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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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How to Offset Some Challenges of Remote Employees

In an age of remote technology and cloud companies, it only seems natural that companies are hiring more remote contractors or employees.  While the thought of working from home may be a dream-job for many employees, with additional benefits for companies and employers, it’s still a relatively new concept that can present some challenges for managers and employers.

From securing a successful hire to ensuring productivity is always consistent, here are few key solutions to make the telecommuting concept work for your company.

1. Look for Experience and “Avoid a Gamble” When Hiring

Trust just might be one of the most important elements to recognize when hiring a remote employee. For instance, during the interview, positive answers to questions like “have you worked remotely before” or “how effective are your time management skills in a remote setting” may not be sufficient enough.

So, by taking a closer look at a candidate’s past roles, experience, and achievements can all help determine their work habits and how effective they can be out of the office. It’s even more positive if they accomplished certain goals in a remote setting. All of these aspects can result in an understanding that they’ll be responsible, won’t take advantage of their independence, and will be productive.

2. The Employer Must Clearly Understand the Job Role

This may sound like a no brainer, but knowing exactly what it takes to complete an assignment is vital to ensure productivity from a remote employee. It can also provide the employer with a clearer understanding of their skillset. For example, if a project is taking too long to complete or assignments are constantly late, they may not be qualified for the position; are not managing their time properly; or they are taking advantage of their independence.

3.       Create Meetings for Idea Sharing
According to workopils.com, employers should arrange random group chats about ongoing projects or company objectives to encourage idea sharing and creativity, which is essentially in lieu of those random chats in an office setting. Many companies use Skype, one of the many group chat apps, or even the age-old teleconferences to hold these sessions. As a result, it’s not only productive, but it further helps meet deadlines and company goals.

According to an article in recuiterbox.com, it’s often best to avoid an employee who wants the position based on the sole fact that it’s a remote position (even though they may have the qualifications).  It’s always best to determine why the candidate initially applied for the role, what interests them about the opportunity, and what ideas they can bring to the table to achieve your company’s goal.

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How Managers Can Reduce Stress in the Workplace

Managing stress among staff is not an easy task for employers. Tight deadlines, adhering to strict budgets or difficulties between co-workers are just a few of the origins of stress in the workplace. Yet, just as there is no one cause, there’s no one solution either.

According to a report, Reducing Stress by the University of Washington with data sourced from The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), there are a series of methods employers can utilize to reduce stress for its employees and create a happier work environment.  Here are three of their key finds:

  1. Revise or Create Workplace Policies and Best Practices

The report states that heavy workloads that aren’t achievable can create all sorts of stress.  So, by properly assessing an employee’s workload, managing their workflow, and ensuring their responsibilities are reasonable given their skill set are just a few methods that can alleviate stress. In fact, the report suggests employers or managers to:

  • Provide the chance for an employee (when possible) to have more control over their work pace.
  • Engage leadership to employees, as well as middle managers and supervisors.
  • Ensure employees use vacation time to “disconnect” from their work environment.
  • Create a zero-tolerance policy for harassment.
  • Arrange training for employees and managers regarding resolution issues after a conflict arises.
  1. Create Support…and more Support

Taking on the blunt a project, picking up the slack of poor performers, or just having too much work or responsibility is a common cause of stress. To alleviate it, the report suggests introducing workplace wellness programs such as walking groups or physical activity challenges as they “have concurrent benefits of increasing physical activity, social interaction, and team-building.” As a result, these activities can all help an employee realize that co-workers or managers do care. In turn, when they see the added support, they are more productive. Additionally, stress can be reduced when an employee is recognized for achievements with verbal comments, monetary rewards, or even written acknowledgements.

  1. Increase Communication

If all else fails, communication is always best. According to the report, getting employees involved in open discussions of work-related stresses can be very effective as it can result in achieving a better understanding of the employee’s concerns and causes of stress.

Recognizing and reducing stress in the workplace is an essential task for any employer, director, or manager/supervisor. It not only helps create a more harmonious work environment, but can increases productivity to effectively move forward and meet company goals.

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Three Great Ways to Find Top Talent for Your Company

There are many benefits of hiring top talent. Productivity, meeting company objectives, increased motivation among co-workers…the list of incentives go on. While attracting top talent to your team is one thing, finding an employee with the talent you require is certainly another.

There are presently many employment opportunities across all spectrums of the workforce in the U.S. However, finding ideal candidates with the same drive for success can often be time consuming and present all sorts of challenges. As there are many hiring methods used by hiring managers and HR professionals, here are three great starting points to begin your search of finding top talent for your company.

  1. Network, Network …and Network

Attending trade shows, conferences or other industry-related events overtime can no doubt lead to developing a plethora of contacts and potential great hires. According to Fundera.com networking is a “tried-and-true-way” to seek out new employees. It also allows you to recognize the hiring atmosphere of an industry, establish stronger rapport with potential candidates and even recognize skill sets and experience more easily.

Networking is not just limited to industry-related events. Online business and employment-oriented services such as LinkedIn are great ways to source talent. Many offer a bevy of features including customized profile searches, the ability to connect with contacts directly related to your industry and allow you to join professional groups with like minded industry peers.

  1. Get Creative with Job Postings

Any industry has its own required skill sets, specific roles and terminology. Fundera.com suggests that by including your business’s personality and values through job postings candidates can more easily understand if they would be a good fit within the company’s culture and/or the specified role.

Also, be very specific – rather than vague – in a job description. By including distinctive terminology, responsibilities and/or criteria only experienced employees would understand, it allows you to see if a potential candidate identifies with the role, if they understand the responsibilities, and have the desired experience.

 

  1. Persistence and more Persistence

For some hiring managers and HR professionals, finding top talent is like finding a needle in a haystack. According to LinkedIn, thousands of resumes are posted on popular online job sites every day like Indeed.com. While this may result in searching through many profiles and online resumes, chances of success are far greater if this is a consistent practice.

It also means each new search presents new opportunities to find top talent. However, as not all employees are the same to all employers, searches can be simplified by using effective keywords or utilizing functions such as custom-tailored, daily Resume Alerts.

 

Finding an employee may not be difficult, but finding one with the talent you need might be. While there are many tried-and-true methods among HR professionals and hiring managers, these are just a few starting points that may lead to finding that top talent your company requires for long term success.

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Consider These Steps when Terminating an Employee

Terminating an employee is never easy. It is a difficult situation for both the employee and the employer. There’s some criteria to consider when terminating an employee. Yet, despite the grounds, legalities, etc., there are certain criteria to consider that can make the process less strenuous for both parties.

1. Get to the Point

Terminating an employee is always disheartening. It’s best to arrange a meeting with the employee as quickly as possible and inform them right away. Employees easily detect bad news and it’s best to be clear and direct as possible. In fact, according to an article in the Harvard Business Review, by announcing the termination immediately, the employer will get the individual’s attention about what’s coming next. Additionally, it’s suggested to inform the employee directly, then state the reasons(s) clearly so they understand it’s a firm decision that has been determined prior to the meeting.

2. Listen to the Employee

As it’s not difficult to predict the reaction of an employee getting terminated, The Harvard Business Review also suggests that by taking time, seeing their reaction, and listening to what they have to say makes it much easier to clarify the reasons of their dismissal. Plus, rushing through the meeting may seem insensitive, callous and may create unnecessary irritated emotions.

3. Be Organized to Avoid Future Repercussions

Always have the proper documents completed, including a written notice of termination (or similar documents) and details on severance (if applicable). Geneviève Desmarais, the Assistant Vice-President of Legal Affairs for The Business Development Bank of Canada suggests that when an employee disputes their termination, it’s due to the lack of back-up documentation to support it. It then “becomes a question of ‘he said, she said’ and the burden lies on the employer to demonstrate the termination was made for a just and sufficient cause, and was properly conducted.”

Some employees may be surprised by being let go, while others may have predicted their termination by realizing their lack of performance or behavior. Regardless, showing courtesy, respect and overall professionalism can help make the process less strenuous and smoother for both the employee and employer.

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Three Reasons Why You Should You Hire a Summer Intern Full-Time

With a robust economy, low unemployment rate and manufacturing at a steady pace, it’s no surprise the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), reported that employers projected to hire 3.4 percent more interns in 2017 than 2016. In fact, 2017 was the first year since 2013 employers revealed positive hiring projections for interns, co-ops, and full-time, entry-level hires.

The association also stated that over the last several years, most membership-employers with internship (75.2 percent) and co-op (65.9 percent) programs said the primary focus of internship programs is to recruit college graduates for full-time positions.

Summer internship programs are beneficial for the employer and intern. The employer receives added assistance with daily work tasks while the intern gains much-needed work experience. It’s often easy to spot the talent of a summer intern during a summer program, yet why should a company offer a full-time position?

1. They Can Bring Value to Your Company

Many summer interns are keen and enthusiastic. Consistently devising fresh ideas and concepts for projects on an ongoing basis is a sure sign of potential future development and progress. Plus, they developed experience within a corporation over the course of an internship, and can further build on their ideas and quite possibly bring something new and exciting to the table for the long term.

2. Smooth Transition

Hiring and training new employees takes time. It can be frustrating for an employer to make the time and effort with on-the-job-training only to realize the employee becomes unhappy in their role or the employer is disappointed with their performance. Summer interns, however, have already grown into a role, their work habits are recognized, and are well-acquainted with other employees and/or clients. Plus, they are current with company operations and upcoming or ongoing projects.

3. Cost Savings

In simple terms, hiring and training a new employee means revenue for a company. According to a report from the Society for Human Resource Management, the average cost-per-hire is approximately $4,129, while the average time it takes to fill a given position is 42 days. Whereas, an intern is already present in their given role and an investment has already been made in their training.

Offering a summer intern full-time employment has several more benefits and is an effective way to develop a great team and grow a company. Even if there are no immediate openings for another team member, it’s always wise to leave the door open for a summer intern in the event of future hires.

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