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How to Deal with an Employee Who has a Negative Attitude

Employees with a negative attitude are never productive for any company. Not only are they difficult to work with, but their negative outlook can spread throughout the staff, affect moral and disrupt progress or success of a business. Also, over time, an employee’s negative behavior could mean the difference between gaining and losing a client or valuable employees. 

To ensure a harmonious work environment, HR managers should first recognize who the employee(s) are that have a negative attitude. An article on NaturalHR.com, explains that this may be more difficult than it seems but some sure signs include:

  • They always question management and constantly disapprove of decisions. 
  • Protesting against work volume, co-workers or the company.
  • Creating rivals between employees and management. 
  • Overstating mistakes by either the company or other employees.

If you recognize some of these characteristics, arrange a meeting with the employee. Before speaking to them, however, clearly recognize how their attitude is effecting the work environment. Are employees upset or discouraged? Are employees leaving for other opportunities? Is success or progress in the company being affected? Whatever the concerns, organize your thoughts and notes, and speak clearly about the issue(s) at hand and try the follow practices as suggested by Natural HR: 

  • Keep it professional. Don’t make it seem like it’s a personal attack. 
  • Be clear and relay examples of their bad/negative attitude and that it needs to change for the better. By being vague or evasive won’t necessarily address or solve the problem. 
  • Always listen to what the employee has and let them voice their concerns. There may be a root cause. 
  • Try not to point the finger directly at them. Rather than using “you have a bad attitude ” try explaining “we are seeing some negativity around the office because of your bad attitude.
  • While it’s important to be clear that their behavior has to change, try to conclude the meeting on a positive note, and how they can make a difference in the workplace. 

It’s never easy confronting an employee with issues that can have an effect on other staff and even a company. By following some of these steps, it can alleviate some problems and provide the chance for a more pleasant work space.  
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Is an Employee Underperforming? Here’s What You Can Do

Having a one-on-one with an employee who is not meeting their expectations in their role can be a challenge among HR professionals and managers. Whether it addressed during a performance review or a separate meeting, it should hopefully serve as a productive means of improving their focus, skills and overall competence.

Being properly prepared with the specific details of their performance and expectations are essential to a productive meeting. The topic of conversation may not be the most optimistic at first, but by clearly understanding where an employee could improve and following certain guidelines, you can turn a negative situation hopefully into a positive one.  

  • Talk to the Them ASAP

It’s not difficult for any seasoned manager to recognize an employee is struggling in their role. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) suggests its best to arrange a meeting with the employee much sooner than later. In some cases, an employee may be aware of their underperformance, and are possibly expecting such a meeting to take place. So, by delaying the meeting, they could possibly use that to their advantage and allege an unlawful action through a lawyer. In the event the discussion needs be delayed, document the planned meeting and include what is involved, and why it had to be postponed. 

  • Hear Them Out 

No one likes to hear bad news about their work performance. Nonetheless, they may have good reason for not meeting their responsibilities, and perhaps a sound solution can be made moving forward. So, be sure to hear them out or find the source of the problem.

  • Document Everything 

While it’s important to document why the meeting was postponed, it’s ten times as important to document everything that was discussed. In the event that the employee is terminated and a wrongful dismissal lawsuit results, you’ll have the meeting on company record. From using formal guidelines, stating company policies, and explaining expectations, to outlining consequences and getting a signature are just some of the aspects to document.

  • Be Clear on The Company’s Expectations

The SHRM also recommends that the employee is made aware of their expectations, clarify what the problems are, set specific objectives (that may involve some further training) and then arrange a date to discuss progress. On a final note, the meeting should conclude on a positive note, which may provide some added diligence to their role and overall performance. 

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Are Your Employees Constantly Leaving? Enhance Your Retention Practices

Retention is always a hot topic among HR managers these days. As professionals are afforded many opportunities of where they want to work or establish a career, having top talent on your staff is one thing, keeping them part of your staff is certainly another.

Sapling, a provider of on-boarding and HR software, recently reported a series of best retention practices for HR professionals. While some points are common HR knowledge, others will be a great addition to your arsenal of retention tools.

Create New Hire Retention

Ever have a new employee leave shortly after they were hired? There are a few reasons why and “employees who experienced a poor on-boarding experience” is one of them.  Sapling states that creating an efficient on-boarding process right from when they are hired is essential to ensuring a new employee stays for a longer term. In fact, companies that have a proven on-boarding process improved their new hire retention by 82 percent.

 

Update Compensation Plans Regularly

It’s in anyone’s nature “to follow the money and benefits.” Sapling reported that a competitive compensation package is the most attractive factor when candidates are considering a new job. So, if your company isn’t adjusting or “sweetening the compensation plan” regularly, you could more than likely lose out on the talent you want.

 

Establish Career Paths and Development

It’s common for employees to “move on” for career advancement. So, it’s important to explain and demonstrate to employees that they may have an opportunity for growth in your company. As a HR professional, map out a career path and help them get there through employee development opportunities. This not only helps your company surpass a skills gap, but allows candidates to move into key leadership roles when they become available.

 

Reexamine Benefits and “Perks”

It was also revealed that employees “would switch to a job that allows them flextime, while 37 percent would switch to a job that allows them to work off-site at least part of the time.” In other words, (and it may vary from company to company) most people would appreciate a better work-life balance.

There’s enough competition just to find and hire a qualified employee with the ideal skill set. Retaining can them can almost be as difficult. This means reestablishing your best retention practices, and enhancing the employee experience in your organization.

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Three Basic HR Best Practises You Should Never Ignore

Human Resources may not be the easiest department to work for in a company. During any given week, HR professionals are often known to break the good news with the bad; hiring a key candidate or turning one down; organizing certain roles during restructuring;  all the while hiring, recruiting and retaining top talent.

Contrary to popular belief among employees (and even HR professionals), the bad doesn’t always outweigh the good, and best practices are constantly being established to ensure this.

In an article on recruiter.com, one best practice to always resort to is creating an employee feedback system. Feedback is an effective means of learning more about suggested changes. Perhaps start conducting what recruiter.com calls employee satisfaction services, or create feedback channels to stay current on certain issues within a company and employee’s concerns.

In the same article, it explained that HR professionals should implement special incentives or performance-based bonuses among employees. While a common practice, it always feels good to be rewarded for hard work and when accolades come down from upper management, it not only maintains good morale, but productivity as well.

The topic of recruiting practices can be discussed until eternity, and is a hot topic all its own. To offset some of the challenges of recruiting, creating and maintaining talent pools is essential for any HR pro.

Talent pools are basically a database of potential candidates to resort to in the time of hiring. According to Monster.com, talent pools are “a contingency plan and can result in reducing costs or time and productivity is not affected too much by a skills shortage. According to Monster.com, some effective ways of building a talent pool include:

  • Remember Previous Potential Applicants: Even though a previous candidate didn’t receive that final offer, it doesn’t mean their skills and qualifications are at a loss for future roles. File their resume (and any additional documents) and add them to “your pool” for reference down the road.
  • Network, Network, and Network:  Trade shows, industry conferences, association meetings, to name a few, are all effective ways of meeting and interacting with potential candidates for future hires. Ask for business cards, request a CV, or basic contact information (and adding separate notes) for your data base is a great way to increase references for the future.
  • Online Searches: This day and age networking is not limited to industry functions. Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace and several social networking sites make it so simple to reach out to a potential candidate. This is also something to do when the time allows and always keep their details in a data base.

 

Most of all, Monster.com recommends to keep your talent pool small. It should only contain professionals who will make a difference to your company. Also, the more effort you take to create a solid talent pool, the less work will be required when it comes to the hiring process.

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Four Great Ways Managers Can Relieve Stress for Employees

Your staff stressed at work? They’re not the only ones.

According to Wrike’s United States stress statistics from 2019, 94 percent of American workers reported experiencing stress at their workplace. This means just a mere six percent that were surveyed are content and stress-free. What’s more, as reported by The American Institute of Stress, businesses in the United States lose upwards of $300 billion annually as a result of workplace stress.

Based on these stats, it’s safe to say that stress is more the rule in the workplace than ever before. Having a healthy and happy staff is one of the keys to success. Even though stress may be part of this success, there are ways managers or HR managers can create a less stressful environment.

Data from a national survey of more than 1,000 office employees conducted by Bridge by Instructure, reported that “employers may not be providing the right tools or atmosphere to help employees achieve the work-life balance for full productivity and engagement.”

As a result, Bridge by Instructure recognized the following ways for employees to alleviate stress and a practice that HR managers should encourage among staff.

Here are four key points to consider.

Be More Proactive with Managers

Have your employees communicate more with managers or executives about their needs and career goals. In turn, this can help reduce stress and enable them to achieve greater job satisfaction. It can also help you – as a manager – fulfill more responsibilities.

Take Breaks from the Desk

Sitting for hours can takes its toll more than we realize. So, tell employees to take quick breaks, stand up, grab a coffee, or perhaps exercise with walks or aerobics during lunch. Combined, these actions throughout the work day can reduce stress.

Disconnect

In an age where email and wireless communications reign supreme and 24/7 work cycles are common, employees should take time each day to shut of their phone and other smart device(s) and close their laptop. As a result, this will not only reduce stress, but increase productivity during work hours.

 Take Time Off When Needed

Even though there may never be a good time to take time off or call in sick when needed, encourage your staff to use Paid Time Off (PTO) and use designated sick days when they feel under the weather. Believe it or not, getting away or absences from work increase productivity and improved engagement when they return.

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Are Office Politics Dominating Your Work Environment? Here’s How to Manage Them.

According to collinsdictionary.com, office politics are defined as the ways that power is shared in an organization or workplace, and the ways that it is affected by the personal relationships between the people who work there.”

Office politics is common in any company. Nonetheless, they can ruin productivity, reduce morale, and cause much wasted time, effort, and even good talent. Competition for advancement, striving for constant attention (and the boss’s ear) and the need to always get “your own way,” are not all, but some of the root causes.

Let’s be honest. Office politics can get down, right nasty.

A national survey of more than 1,000 office employees conducted by Bridge by Instructure, Inc., a talent management software suite for businesses, reported “over half believed engaging in workplace politics is an important factor in receiving a promotion.”

While this may be true in some cases, it also means other employees with talent could be disregarded for their efforts and not given the rewards they deserve.

So, what can hiring managers or managers do about this? A lot.

Find the Source

Office politics can arise where competition is fierce. As a result, it’s important to determine who the employee (or sometimes employees) is that is causing the politics in the first place.

It’s not hard to spot. As a manager, try to recognize those superiors who play favorites or those employees who thrive on gossip beyond the water cooler chit chat. In fact, www.mindtools.com suggests to see who gets along with who; which employee(s) find it more difficult to interact with others; determine in-groups, out-groups or cliques; or if interoffice connections are based on respect, friendships, or even romances.

In the event the workplace does get heated (as it often can with office politics) it’ll be easier to determine the source, and find a temporary solution for the problem. Unfortunately, office politics never really go away.

Strive for Open Communication

Communication in the workplace is essential for productivity, growth, and success. It’s also reduces the chances of politics, according to The Management Study Guide. They recommend employees should not play with words and always pass on the information in its desired form. Plus communicate via texts, emails, or various work management software to avoid confusion is also a good idea. From a manager’s perspective, request to be cc’d or bcc’d on any communication to avoid any miscommunication or problems down the road.

 

Promote Transparency and Team Work

A productive workplace is often a happy workplace. As a manager, encourage transparency at all levels so employees are clear of company goals. Policies should also be same for everyone. The Management Study Guide suggests team work should be promoted to not only strengthen bonds amongst employees, but develop stronger relationships.

While there are many methods for managers to combat politics, it just takes a few basic management skills. Once the politics are reduced, you can feel good about managing a sound, creative and productive work environment.

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How to Avoid a Confrontation during a Performance Review

Performance reviews. People love ‘em or hate ‘em. Regardless, they do have a place in any corporation to ensure development and growth, recognition, and even retention. However, not all performance reviews are positive experiences for managers and employees.

For instance, outside of job performance and growth, an employee may have some complaints about other staff members, the overall work environment or other concerns. So, managers should listen carefully, consider how to phrase their comments, be constructive, and provide suggestions on how the issue(s) can be resolved.

According to Hays Specialist Recruitment, there are certain steps managers can take to turn a potential confrontation into easy discussion with ample resolve.

Take “Issues” Head On 

Employees are often provided the chance to raise concerns about problems with other employees, complaints of being treated unfairly, or issues with heavy workloads, etc. If this happens, no matter how big or small the issue, Hays suggests that managers should be astute, take the issue head-on, and try to avoid the employee from dwelling too much on the problem at hand.

Find the Source of the Problem(s)

If some of the employee’s comments are surprising, it’s always best to ask them for some examples. It’s also important to read between the lines, and try to get to the source of the issue. Better yet, ask the employee to try and resolve the issue themselves before providing answers to their problems.

 

Resolve the Issue(s)

One key aspect to remember is it’s not always necessary to decide if the employee is right or wrong. Perhaps try to reach a solution that the employee is happy with. According to the University of Berkley Human Resources, “looking first for needs, rather than solutions, is a powerful tool for generating a win/win option.” This couldn’t further from the truth. Once you understand the advantages of their solutions, you better know their needs and how to meet them.

 

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Rejecting a Candidate for a Role? Here’s How to do it the Right Way.

Although a relatively short process, rejecting a candidate from a role after a short while after interview takes some professionalism, courtesy, and diligence. A bad rejection method can result in a negative reputation about your company, its culture, and can even damage your company brand.

Remember, a candidate is part of your industry and word of mouth spreads quickly, especially if they didn’t take the rejection well. Plus, it’s always important to maintain a relationship with a skilled candidate for a future hire. Just because they were turned down for one role, doesn’t mean you can’t contact them in the future for a more suitable one.

So, when the time comes to reject a candidate be courteous, diplomatic, and responsive.

According to theundercoverrecruiter.com, when the call comes from a client or an executive naming their choice for a role, let the candidate (s) know as soon as possible. After all, it can be stressful process with hopes of a new role on the horizon. Informing them that they didn’t get the role means they can simply move on to other endeavors.  Also, in some cases, it’s more appropriate and professional to take a few minutes do it over the phone, especially if it was a long multi-interview process.  Be respectful, talk to them, and break the news in a gracious way.

Even though hiring managers receive dozens of resumes for one position, they should be as courteous as possible to all applicants before moving to the next round of interviews. This means reaching out those who were not selected. A common practice is a rejection email template. These not only save time, but it also lets the applicant know that they were not selected for the position.

In fact, according to a survey conducted by Indeed, “44 percent of candidates said they waited up to two weeks for a response, while 15 percent waited months. Additionally, “55 percent revealed the digital hiring process has made the experience more inefficient and their resume seems to disappear.”

Choosing your words carefully and being kind and considerate is always essential to ensure the applicant will still have a positive perception of your company. Indeed suggests some of the following tips to create an effective, yet positive rejection email template:

  • Be Polite
    First off, always being polite. Saying “thank-you for their interest in your company, the time they spent completing an application, and the efforts made for the interview (if applicable) is always important.  While courteous, it also demonstrates that you value an applicant’s time.

 

  • Make it More Personal
    It’s true that a rejection email template can be a little cold or too general. So, Indeed suggests including the applicant’s name, the title of position they applied, a note relating to a previous conversation, and mention a specific positive attributes (s) to their skills.

 

  • Suggest Applying for Another Role in the Company
    In the event a candidate was turned down for the desired role, yet they would have been a good fit for the company with their skills, let them know in a simple sentence. There are many reasons why an applicant doesn’t get hired. So, you may want to encourage them to apply for other opportunities in the future and keep their resume and contact information in your data base.

Rejecting an applicant doesn’t have to be a difficult or pessimistic experience. Regardless of the method you do choose, being courteous, diligent and professional is the best way to avoid any hardship or resentment towards you and your company.

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Five Unique Questions that are Illegal to Ask in an Interview

There’s a long list of labor laws that hiring managers need abide by and the last thing you want to do is ask one that leads to discrimination. While recounting every labor regulation in the law book is hard for even the most ardent attorney, hiring managers and HR professionals need to be extra diligent when it comes asking certain specific questions during an interview.

According to Monster, there are a series of ones to avoid, which are considered discriminating (and vary from state to state). Asking about age, religion beliefs, nationality, or kids (or planning on having kids) are all well-known questions to avoid. Yet, there are a series of questions and topics that are lesser known. Here are just a few that are most likely illegal in every state:

  1. Bankruptcy Filing

Asking if a candidate has ever filed for bankruptcy is big a no-no, along with asking about loans, wage attachments, and overall financial status. However, you can ask for certain financial information related to benefits of compensation after they have been hired.

  1. Military Discharge Status

While it’s fine to ask if an applicant is a veteran or they have any job-related experience from the military, always avoid asking their discharge status.

  1. Asking About Nearest Relatives or Next of Kin

This is another question that is off limits, yet it’s legal to ask an applicant about a nearest relative or next of kin for emergency contacts once after they have been hired.

  1. History of Belonging to a Union

Raising a question about previous roles and affiliation within a union is another one to avoid. However, you can make reference about the union status of your workplace.

  1. Disabilities

Whether a disability is apparent or not, this is very much illegal  under The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which “provides protections for disabled employees and job applicants.” When a candidate’s disability is obvious (or has disclosed their disability), it’s suggested to ask about any necessary (or reasonable) accommodations they may need for the position.

Interviewing can be a long process and it’s wise to make special note of the more unique questions. Even though you may not realize that some questions are in fact illegal, it’s always best to do further research to avoid any type of discrimination.

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Three Red Flags to Look for when Interviewing an Applicant

Realizing an employee is not an ideal fit for your company or doesn’t perform up to certain standards – after they have been hired – is frustrating for any hiring manager. After all, the interview process can be long, often challenging, and provides added cost for your company.

Short of predicting the future with a crystal ball, the process of screening resumes and interviewing is crucial. While hiring managers or HR professionals can learn only so much from a candidate from resume and series of interviews, there are certain indicators to realize well before the interview is over.

Character goes a long way for a candidate, and even further for hiring managers. For instance, before the screening and interview process begins, thebalanacecareers.com suggests some key examples to follow to ensure not all is lost after a hire.

Make Sure Candidates are Familiar with Your Company

Enthusiasm is important in the eyes of hiring managers. So, the more a candidate understands a company’s service or product, the more it says about their preparedness, research skills and how enthusiastic they are for the position. In the event a candidate doesn’t demonstrate all that much knowledge, it simply reflects a lack of enthusiasm, and in turn, little interest in the goals a company wants to achieve.

Request Proof of Experience

This may seem like a no brainer, but according to the balanacecareers.com “nothing is more telling than candidate who can’t provide a detailed answer” of a previous role or accomplishments. A portfolio of work, documented success, specific procedures and responsibilities of a role should all presented and credible. So, it’s recommended to watch for vagueness, evasiveness, or not providing a credible answer at all.

They Don’t Take Responsibility for Past Actions or Mistakes

Not every candidate is perfect. Hiring managers know this. A sure fire red flag, according to thebalanacecareers.com, is when a candidate repeatedly blames coworkers and managers, limited resources, or team members for past mistakes (if requested by the hiring manager).

It can demonstrate how poorly they are at accepting responsibility or can’t effectively solve their own problems. In the event a candidate was fired in a past role, listen to their reasons. If they are blameless, couldn’t admit to errors, or seems they are evading the truth, it may be wise to simply pass on the candidate altogether.  It’s always best to ask for the truth. The right candidate will clearly admit to errors and explained how they resolved them.

 

It’s never easy to find an ideal employee. By following some simple guidelines and using common sense, screening and interviewing an employee will become easier, more efficient and time well spent.

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