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Using Rewards & Recognition to Shape a Successful Company Culture

image_09When employees come to work on time every day, stay until the work is completed and do the job well, they deserve more than just a paycheck. Recognizing an employee’s contributions to the workplace plays a considerable role in retaining the best members of your staff. The cost of losing an employee is about one to two times his or her annual salary [1]. Consider these ways in which retaining employees through recognition and rewards is good for your bottom line and your corporate culture.

Motivation

Earning a reward, even something as simple as an “Employee of the Month” mug or a sticker for the employee’s ID card, motivates that person to continue performing at a high standard. When an employee is given a reward that is tangible and visible, other members of your workplace will see the reward. These awards could be given out monthly, quarterly or annually. This regular issuing of rewards could motivate additional members of your staff to up their performance levels in hopes of earning their own recognition.

Acknowledgement

While a private “good job” on an employee evaluation is helpful, sometimes a public acknowledgement of exemplary work is even more important and empowering to your employees. You do not have to go overboard or make a big deal, which could cause workplace resentment, but it is important to make a public acknowledgement about the contributions of employees when they go above and beyond your expectations. A moment at a monthly staff meeting for acknowledging and recognizing superior performance shows your staff that their work has not gone unnoticed.

Retention

Employees who are rewarded and recognized for their work are likely to remain in your organization. These people may become known in your workplace culture as rock stars and the go-to person for expertise and advice. Even if these well-recognized people do not become executives, they will continue to be a source of pride and inspiration for your corporation. Employees who feel valued and excited to come into work each day, anticipating recognition for their efforts, will stay at your organization for the long term.

 

[1] http://www.cio.com/article/2868419/careers-staffing/how-to-improve-employee-retention.html

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Building a Strong Company Blog By Including Employees as Authors

image_08Including your employees as authors on your company blog helps to build a stronger company culture. The different voices that your employees have to offer also provide your blog with a wider perspective and range of writing styles. According to Marketeer, corporate blogs with 15 posts per month generate an average of 1,200 new leads [1]. Allowing more people to participate in blog authorship can expand your reach even more.

Offering a New Perspective

Each employee in your company offers a new perspective on what it means to be a member of the organization. Writing from the same perspective all of the time can be boring to your audience. If every blog is written by the CEO, your readers will have no way to know what the rest of the people think. Allowing different employees to author blog posts shows that you value every member of your company equally. Including various employees at different levels of your company also demonstrates that every person’s voice is respected.

Exploring How Employees Joined Your Company

Companies often seem like impersonal, huge entities to the public. Including employees as authors on the company blog provides a more personal view of what happens in your company. Employees can explore their career history and how they came to be a member of your business. Each person’s career takes a different path, and this sort of biography can be fascinating for your loyal customers and business partners to read. This information also shows how your employees have the skills and experience to do their jobs.

Highlighting Employee Work

While the general public and even the other workers at your company know what the CEO, CFO and COO of your company do, they might not have a good idea of what your business analysts, customer support staff or human relations coordinators do on a daily basis. Allowing your employees to write blog posts about how they contribute to your organization highlights the fact that your company would not be what it is without everyone there working together to help the entire business succeed.
[1] http://marketeer.kapost.com/corporate-blogging-stats/

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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Conducting Team Interviews

image_04When you are interviewing qualified applicants for a position in your organization, more than one manager or human resources specialist may need to converse with the applicant. Team interviews provide an opportunity to involve everyone in your organization who wishes to participate in the interviewing process. Before you get everyone seated at the table, consider these advantages and disadvantages of conducting team interviews.

Advantage: Creates a Teamwork Atmosphere

If you want to show that a teamwork atmosphere is important in your organization, a team interview allows you to highlight this. Each person on your interview panel will be able to show how his or her department functions with the others. This will allow you to gauge how well the candidate will fit into your corporate culture. Another benefit with panel interviews, says Meisenhelter, is that by participating in the interview process, team members gain a vested interest in the hiring process and in seeing that new employees succeed [1].

Advantage: Allows for Natural, Honest Responses

During a team interview, you will be able to ask more unusual and varied questions than in a traditional interview setting. Some candidates find the situation a bit stressful, which allows you to see how they respond to stressful situations. According to the Gainesville Business Report, this may lead to a more natural and honest response from the candidate [2]. When faced with a panel of interviewers, candidates will be able to offer less-prepared answers. These answers will give you an accurate picture of the candidate’s qualifications, skills, and demeanor.

Disadvantage: Takes More Coordination and Time

The managers and human resources staff will need to coordinate their questions. Even so, if each person on the panel has two questions to ask the candidate, the interviewing process could take a few hours for a single applicant. If your organization plans to interview 10 or more people, this could consume a considerable amount of your valuable time.

Disadvantage: May Overwhelm Some Candidates

Introverted candidates may feel overwhelmed during a team interview. Candidates who work well in one-on-one situations may clam up when faced with a group of people firing off questions their way. A naturally shy but highly skilled and qualified candidate may not perform or showcase his or her skills as well during a team interview when compared to an individual or paired interview.

[1] http://hiring.monster.com/hr/hr-best-practices/recruiting-hiring-advice/interviewing-candidates/panel-interviews.aspx
[2] http://gainesvillebizreport.com/pros-and-cons-of-doing-group-interviews/

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The Pros and Cons of Promoting from Within for Management Positions

image_03When your organization has a management position to fill, you may not have to look far to find the ideal candidate for the job. Promoting from within is an affordable solution and can also save time and resources. “By offering promotional roles to internal candidates, employers foster a sense of loyalty, engagement and long-term satisfaction by allowing growth from within [1].” While there are many great reasons to promote from within for managerial vacancies, there are also some disadvantages. Keep these pros and cons in mind if you are thinking of promoting from within your organization:

Pro: Seamless Transitions
Transitions can be a challenge when you’re bringing a person into a job. The time spent bringing an outside person up to speed about your corporate culture, policies, and day-to-day operations is considerable. A current employee is already familiar with what is required for success in your organization and understands the company’s goals, mission, and vision.

Pro: Proven Fit and Loyalty
An employee who has been in your organization long enough to be considered for promotion is proven to be loyal. The fact that the employee wants to stay rather than taking his or her skills elsewhere is a testament to the quality of the work environment. The employee is also known to be a good fit for your company and will likely have many strong working relationships within your organization and with your business partners and clients.

Con: Negative Emotions of Other Workers
When former coworkers see the employee moving up the ladder, these coworkers may feel jealous. Some may even become hostile and actively make the situation difficult. If more than one employee applied for the position, the candidates who did not get the job may feel disillusioned and unwilling to work with the person who was promoted. If the promoted employee will be managing his or her former coworkers, relationships could become tense and difficult.

Con: Same Skill Set
When retaining the same employee, your organization is not gaining any new skills, knowledge, or experience. If the management position requires a skill that your otherwise highly qualified employee is only moderately competent at, you could be missing out on an outside person who is well-developed in that particular area of expertise. As The Society for Human Resource Management explains, bringing in skilled external workers to meet the demands of a strategy shift or difficult corporate turnaround can be especially beneficial [2].

[1] https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/tools-and-samples/toolkits/pages/recruitinginternallyandexternally.aspx

[2] http://www.careerprofiles.com/blog/hiring-innovative-talent/internal-vs-external-recruiting-knowing-when-to-search-for-outside-talent/

 

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Boosting Employee Retention By Offering More On-The-Job Training

image_21When you have dependable employees who already fit in well with the corporate culture of your organization, on-the-job training can help you to retain them when they wish to advance into new roles. On-the-job training benefits the employee as well as your organization by saving you money and expanding the employee’s skills – according to a survey of almost 4,300 workers by Sh!ft, 74% felt that they weren’t achieving their full potential at work [1]. Consider these ways in which on-the-job training helps to boost retention of your most valuable workers.

Increased Retention of Information

When you provide on-the-job training in an environment where the employee already works, the employee is more likely to retain the information. During the training process, employees will see how the new skills and knowledge fit into what needs to be done in their existing job or in a future role that they wish to fulfill. Your employees will even have the chance to practice their newfound skills in the work environment, which further increases their retention of the information.

Direct Application to Job Functions

On-the-job training ensures that your employees learn skills with direct applications. Instead of studying abstract concepts in a classroom that seem far removed from the actual job, your employees will see how the knowledge and skills can be put to use to enhance their productivity, efficiency, or effectiveness. According to this workforce research, your staff members may even find that they enjoy both the training and their jobs more as they progress through the training process [2]. When a person enjoys his or her job, he or she is more likely to stay with the organization.

Enhanced Feedback

One of the biggest complaints of workers is that they do not receive detailed, frequent, or useful feedback from their managers. According to PwC, nearly 60% of survey respondents reported that they would like feedback on a daily or weekly basis—a number that increased to 72% for employees under age 30 [3]. Having both positive and constructive feedback encourages your employees to continue doing a great job and lets them know what needs to be improved. On-the-job training boosts employee retention by providing enhanced feedback. Throughout the training process, your employees will receive immediate feedback about their understanding and application of what they are learning.

 

[1] http://info.shiftelearning.com/blog/statistics-on-corporate-training-and-what-they-mean-for-your-companys-future

[2] http://jobs.lovetoknow.com/Benefits_of_on_the_Job_Training

[3] https://business.linkedin.com/talent-solutions/blog/trends-and-research/2016/5-Employee-Feedback-Stats-That-You-Need-to-See

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Building a Stronger Corporate Culture Through Organizational Volunteering

image_27When people are engaged with the community and participate as citizens, the entire world benefits. Even at the organizational level, volunteering within the community helps to build a stronger corporate culture. As you develop your company’s goals and human resources programs, consider these ways in which you can build a stronger corporate culture through organizational volunteering.

Increased Employee Engagement

Organizational volunteering helps to boost employee engagement with your company. Engaged employees are happier at work and in their overall lives. Happy people are more pleasant to work with, listen better, and offer more positive interactions with coworkers, managers, and clients. According to Open Source Learning, organizations with engaged employees enjoy a 16% increase in profitability, an 18% increase in productivity, a 12% increase in consumer loyalty, and a 60% boost in the quality of the work that they perform [1].

Enhanced Social Capital

Social capital is a concept that addresses how the community sees your company. When your employees are volunteering on behalf of your organization, your name gets out there. The community sees your organization as a positive influence on the community and as an entity that is invested and cares about the people and neighborhood. When your employees see that the organization they work for is viewed positively and thought of as an asset to the community, this strengthens your corporate culture. Studies have shown that socially tied workers have higher levels of trust, are less likely to be opportunistic, and are more likely to cooperate and share information [2]. Your employees will gain pride in your organization and will feel that they are making a difference both at work and in the volunteering that they do as a part of it.

Shared Information and Skills

Organizational volunteering can also boost your corporate culture by allowing your employees to help each other develop and strengthen their soft skills. For example, sorting donations at a food bank and loading them onto shelves allows employees with strong organizing skills and stacking skills to help others. Volunteering in a community garden allows your skilled gardeners to share their knowledge of fertilizers, compost, and seeds with the rest of your staff. The sharing of information and uplifting of skills strengthens relationships, which can extend into the workplace.

[1] http://www.gordontraining.com/free-workplace-articles/productivity-profitability/#

[2] http://www.globoforce.com/gfblog/2015/social-capital-what-it-is-why-your-employees-need-it/

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How Proactive Branding and HR Teams Build Employee Loyalty

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Reputation management is an essential part of what human resources and marketing managers must do in order to build great teams and maintain employee loyalty. An organization’s reputation affects how potential applicants view the firm. Reputations also have an effect on how people working for the company feel about their employers. According to a recent Glassdoor survey, 84 percent of survey participants would consider leaving their current company if another company with an excellent reputation offered them a job [1]. By taking the time to proactively brand your organization and build strong human resources teams, you can help to build loyalty within your organization.

Daily Experiences in the Organization

A big part of proactive branding is ensuring that an employee’s daily experiences are positive. Your human resources teams will need to set the tone for the culture. When a company’s values are in line with the individual employee’s values, he or she is more likely to have a positive experience at work every day. Proactive branding at work should be included in the mission and vision statements as well as workplace policies. One positive branding message could be, “To treat every person with respect.” This sort of positive messaging is actionable and inclusive.

Focusing on Improvement

Admitting that your organization could use improvement is a great step in proactive branding. Working on improving how your organization does things gives every person a goal to work toward. Because improvement never stops, the idea that there is more to be done motivates employees to stay on at your organization. As employees see that work they are doing is improving your company, they will maintain their loyalty to your brand.

Integrating Brand and Business Strategy

Proactive branding should be intertwined with your overall business strategy. This means doing some brand research to see what people inside and outside of your organization think. The way that the top talent outside of your organization feels about you will have direct impact on who applies for jobs and who wants to initiate business relationships. Allowing your employees the ability to anonymously make comments about the business culture will help to build loyalty. Your organization can use that information to work toward maximizing internal resources and keeping your most talented employees on staff.

 

[1] http://www.careerarc.com/blog/2016/01/13-recruiting-stats-hr-pro-must-know-2016/

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The Pros of the Telecommute Perk

image_011Telecommuting began to rise in popularity within the past decade when fuel prices soared. While it immediately benefited employees who would no longer have to spend hundreds of dollars per month to fill their gas tanks, human resources managers also began to notice benefits. Telecommuting is a growing trend – about 40% of U.S. employees are working remotely either full time or part time [1]. If you are considering implementing a telecommuting policy at your organization, keep these pros in mind when making your decisions and setting up the rules of your telecommuting program.

Efficiency

Employees who work from home may be able to start their workdays earlier and end later than they would if they had to commute. They may also experience fewer distractions, such as conversations at the water cooler or disruptions from coworkers chatting rather than working. On the other hand, employees who work at home may become distracted by household chores, the doorbell, television, and spouses or children who are also at home.

Equipment Savings

When employees work from home, your organization may be able to cut on some costs, such as utilities, office supplies and furniture. A typical business could potentially save up to $11,000 per employee per year [2]. When telecommuting employees do come into the office, they may be able to use shared work areas. This might even allow your organization to be housed in a smaller space. Keep in mind that you may have to reimburse your employees for their work-related internet fees, pay phone bills for work calls and provide them with a laptop so that they can do their work from home.

Employee Loyalty and Retaining Staff

The flexibility of being able to telecommute may help to increase the loyalty of your employees. Employees who have young children may appreciate the ability to work from home on days when their childcare center is closed or when their child is sick. You may be able to retain your staff by offering the option of telecommuting one or more days per week. Your employees are sure to enjoy the time savings and experience less stress from not having to drive in weekday rush-hour traffic. The savings on gas and wear and tear on cars also benefits your staff, who may decide to stay with you for these benefits.

[1] http://www.forbes.com/sites/mikekappel/2016/07/27/for-employee-retention-theres-no-place-like-home/#48ca551855ec

[2] http://globalworkplaceanalytics.com/telecommuting-statistics

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Promotion Versus Hiring: Deciding How to Fill Management Positions

image_28When your organization has a management position to fill, deciding how to hire for the opening can be a challenge. Promoting from within is often faster than looking outside of your organization. However, hiring from outside provides you with greater access to potential employees who may have a wider range of skills. However, there are many reasons to consider both options.

Promoting From Within

When you open up a management position to your current staff members, promoting from within can reduce the amount of time the position is vacant. There will not be a need for routine human resources activities such as checking on the applicant’s resume or references. This can reduce your hiring costs. Hiring from within means that you are already familiar with the employee’s personality, skill set and experience level. A study from Kelly-Radford found that senior executives fail, in general, 34 percent of the time when hired from the outside versus 24 percent when hired from inside your organization [1]. Promoting from within helps to boost employee loyalty, allowing your staff to do their best because of the potential to move up the corporate ladder.

Recruiting From Outside of Your Organization

Even if there are qualified candidates for a management position within your company, there are many reasons why you might want to consider outside recruitment. Bringing in a fresh perspective allows your company to increase its range of skills. Recruiting an outside candidate may also be easier on supervisors and staff who might otherwise develop a contentious relationship with internal promotions. Top talent is attracted to companies that are using best practices and offer the opportunity for growth, not companies that always want to stick with what’s safe and comfortable [2]. A new person may have more experience or relevant technological skills than the people you already employ. Outside recruitment allows you to capture the best talent from applicants locally, regionally and even internationally.

[1] http://www.ddiworld.com/ddi/media/white-papers/thecaseforinternalpromotions_wp_ddi.pdf?ext=.pdf
[2] https://www.ziprecruiter.com/blog/the-benefits-of-hiring-outside-your-industry/

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Ways to Promote a Spirit of Teamwork in Your Organization

image_017Teamwork is something that, at least on the surface, every business says they value. However, teamwork is more than a buzzword to be used in recruitment; it is a vital element of success, and Stanford Business School even believes that it can boost manufacturing productivity [1]. In any industry or field, your organization can promote a spirit of teamwork through each of the following ways.

Encourage Social Interaction

Goofing off on the company dime is generally something that is frowned upon, but many businesses actually see an increase in productivity if they allow for social interaction during office hours. Rachel Rodriguez, writing for CNN, says that a weekly happy hour, game hour or craft day can boost creativity and teamwork [2]. This may be especially true in work environments where isolation is normal, such as in computer programming or accounting.

Create a Team Structure

In large corporations, employees can often break off into individual cliques, which may cause some personnel to feel left out. In order for the whole company to benefit, it may be necessary to create a team structure, putting staff into set teams of a specific number. These teams can collaborate, share responsibilities and inspire one another. At Microsoft, teams are limited in size. Peter Drucker of Microsoft says, “Teams work best when there are few members…if a team gets much larger it becomes unwieldy [3].” This advice might encourage your business to create teams of up to 15 people, but no larger.

Encourage Free Speech

The natural power differences in a typical business leave some employees afraid to speak up against changes, increased production demands or new strategies. However, the best teams function when everyone feels like they can contribute and voice their opinions. Encouraging free speech is key in order to enjoy the results of “higher trust, increased productivity and rich creativity,” according to an article in the New York Times [4].

Businesses that foster a spirit of teamwork can see major benefits in the workplace. An organization that wants to improve teamwork might encourage free speech, create a formal team structure and encourage social interaction.

[1] https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/insights/encouraging-teamwork-can-boost-manufacturing-productivity

[2] http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/29/living/play-at-work-irpt/

[3] http://business.time.com/2013/07/17/microsofts-new-mission-to-create-real-teamwork-not-just-teams/

[4] http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/13/jobs/want-teamwork-encourage-free-speech.html?_r=1