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The Benefits of Quarterly Vs. Annual Performance Evaluations

image_015Quarterly and annual performance evaluations are an important component of employee assessment, productivity and continued employment. Some organizations conduct a quarterly review of employees while others do an annual review. There are benefits to each type of evaluation, and the choice that your human resources department makes may depend on several factors.

Benefits of Quarterly Employee Performance Evaluations

Quarterly employee evaluations are helpful to employees who are new to the industry or the workforce. These employees may be unsure of how well they’re doing, and they’ll appreciate the feedback that they receive from their supervisors. A quarterly evaluation makes it easier for supervisors to augment a staff member’s job duties or to make suggestions about improving performance. Problems such as tardy work or low efficiency can be addressed at a faster pace with quarterly evaluations.

Benefits of Annual Employee Performance Evaluations

At large organizations, there may not be enough staffing to conduct a quarterly evaluation of every employee. This is especially true when a supervisor has a large number of employees working for them. An annual evaluation is ideal for an employee who is experienced in the line of work. This method of evaluation is also a good choice for employees who have been at your organization for a long time. Annual evaluations are typically used as the basis for employee raises and bonuses.

Using a Mix of Quarterly and Annual Evaluations

The subject of employee performance evaluations is not a one-size-fits-all for every human resources department. At your organization, you might wish to use a combination of quarterly and annual evaluations of your staff. For example, employees with less than two years of seniority in their current job might benefit from quarterly evaluations as they get used to the organization. After a worker has been performing well at their job for a few years, the human resources department could shift to annual evaluations of that employee. This sort of mixed evaluation method would be most useful for organizations that do not have a high rate of turnover in their workforce.

 

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Questions You Should Ask When Hiring a Work-at-Home Freelance Professional

image_09When your business needs to outsource certain services for a project, work-at-home freelance professionals are a great choice. Your company gets the expertise of an independent contractor without having to deal with the training and integration processes. Before making the decision to hire a work-at-home freelance professional, ask each candidate these questions:

What Is Your Availability?

To make sure that your project stays on its timeline, ask the freelance professional what his or her availability is. You may need to know how much time it will take the professional to complete the work that you want done. You might also want to know how quickly the professional will return your calls or emails. Another variant on this question is the freelance professional’s general daily availability, such as whether he or she will work on your project only on specific days or times of the week.

What Is Your Experience?

Before making a decision about hiring a work-at-home freelance professional, ask about the relevant experiences he or she has had doing work similar to what your project entails. If you need a survey done of 1,000 people and a logistic regression analysis of the results, you may want to know that the freelance professional has only done qualitative analyses in the past. Asking for written or online examples of the freelance professional’s work may help you to make a decision about whether the person has the experience that your project requires.

What Are Your Terms of Payment?

While terms of payment are typically included in a contract for independent professionals, they are important to discuss during the decision-making process. Your work-at-home professional may desire a deposit for services. You may ask about discounts for prepayments or penalties that you could incur for paying any of the professional’s invoices later than the due date.

Hiring a work-at-home freelance professional can help increase the efficiency of your projects. These professionals also add specialty experience that your company needs in specific situations. By occasionally bringing in an independent freelance professional, your company can expand its products and services to your loyal customers.

 

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How to Keep Quality Employees Working for Your Company

image_07Hiring your dream employee is only half of the battle for any organization. Major companies are making a habit of poaching top talent, and to keep your best workers on your side, your work environment needs to remain a comfortable spot for your employees to be. Given that it costs an average of 150% of a mid-level employee’s salary to replace them – it’s important to retain your top talent [1], as it can cost your company a lot of money.

Opportunities for Growth

Feelings of stagnation are a common complaint across every industry and pay grade. Keep frustrated talent from jumping ship by creating an environment that nurtures optimism and personal pride. Give every employee access to career building, advancement and personal growth opportunities. Help them learn new skills and be open about what they need to earn the promotion or pay raise they desire.

Tailored Benefits

A bigger salary is tempting, but an after-hours car service, a better health care package or help with daycare costs can be worth more than cash. Find ways to let your employees customize their benefits or speak with each to find out what their goals are. An employee who is thinking about leaving to spend more time with their family could be persuaded to stay if they can telecommute two days a week. These seemingly small perks add up to every employee feeling valued.

Productive Communication

Open up a feedback line that goes both ways. Give detailed performance reviews, and match all criticisms with possible solutions and offers to help. Make sure your staff feels comfortable providing feedback, and seriously consider implementing changes based on that feedback. Employees are in a unique position to spot inefficiencies in company workings. Those inefficiencies will cost you money and employees, especially if the people trying to draw attention to problems get frustrated with being ignored.

It may seem obvious, but remember to think of your employees as people. They have goals, wants and needs, and if you take the time to understand them, you can build a work environment that no one will want to leave.

 

[1] http://www.eremedia.com/tlnt/what-was-leadership-thinking-the-shockingly-high-cost-of-employee-turnover/

 

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Ways to Boost Morale in the Workplace and Promote Productivity

image_29Unhappy employees make for unproductive employees, which is why it is so important to work hard to boost morale in the workplace. Businesses of any size can benefit from these tips to create a more positive, efficient and enjoyable work environment for all personnel.

Recognize Personal Moments

According to Forbes, one of the key ways to boost morale is to show employees that they are recognized and appreciated as individuals, even outside of the workplace [1]. That means remembering key dates like birthdays or anniversaries as well as commemorating special moments like weddings or the birth of a child. Gifts and cards need not be expensive, but they can show employees just how valued they are.

Invest in More Affordable Fringe Benefits

Mark Shields writing for CNN highlights the value of fringe benefits for employees. Says Shields, “Good hearted and tough minded are not mutually exclusive in labor-management relations [2].” Paying for things like employee health insurance premiums, employee parking, coffee in the break room or staff transportation is tax deductible for most businesses, but these benefits do more than just make employees happy. Boosting morale in these fringe ways can be more affordable than increasing salaries, and it can go a long way in terms of productivity and reducing turnover.

Let Managers Serve the Rest of the Staff

A great tactic for improving morale is to reverse the hierarchy in the office for a few hours. Corp! Magazine suggests having upper-level management host a pancake breakfast for staff [3]. Donning an apron and cooking pancakes in the office takes just a morning, but it can be a fun reprieve from everyday tasks and an affordable way to create a more positive environment for staff.

Incorporate Philanthropic Activities

Stepping away from corporate obligations and doing something positive for the community is a wonderful way to boost morale. As a bonus, this also improves your company’s brand image. Entrepreneur suggests employees a few free hours each month to volunteer while on the clock or leaving the office as a group to volunteer locally [4].

 

 

 

[1]  http://www.forbes.com/sites/cherylsnappconner/2014/09/11/6-ways-to-increase-employee-morale-and-performance-without-giving-a-raise/#5031175f6997

[2] http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/09/05/treating.workers.right/

[3] https://www.corpmagazine.com/human-resources/fun-and-inexpensive-ways-to-boost-morale-during-tough-economic-times/

[4] http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/220000