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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 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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Improving Employee Retention by Building a Better Corporate Culture

image_07A positive corporate culture does more than keep management happy and demonstrate success to shareholders and investors – it also helps to retain the employees who make the organization successful. The 2016 Deloitte Millennials Survey said employees that stay within their organizations for at least five years are more likely to report a positive culture than others [1]. It’s important to pay attention to employee turnover, as the average cost of a lost employee is approximately 38 percent of the employee’s annual salary [2]. By building a better corporate culture, you can keep the top talent and experience within your organization.

Shared Priorities

A strong business culture is established upon a foundation of shared priorities. One way management can show that the concerns and priorities of the staff are important to them is by watching their pronouns. Rather than referring to employees as “them” and “they,” management can use inclusive pronouns such as “we” and “us.” Managers should also listen to employee conversations. When the staff members refer to themselves as a part of the organization, this indicates that the corporate culture is strong. An inclusive vocabulary allows for the development of shared priorities at all levels.

Listening

Successful business cultures also include listening. “When leaders share ideas and updates with their employees, open communication becomes second nature, and everyone feels equally invested in the company’s overall goals [3].” All management, from the lowest-level manager to the CEO, must spend time listening to the concerns of employees. Once concerns are heard, this gives the management the opportunity to present a thoughtful solution to the problem. Problems can be solved through respectful discussions and regular feedback to ensure that solutions are working for everyone. When ideas are heard and considered, everyone on the team will feel valued and more satisfied with their work.

Develop Bonding Opportunities

When your employees feel like they belong at your company, they will want to stay. Bonding activities as simple as walking meetings provide your staff with something to look forward to. Bigger events such as office potlucks and charity collections allow everyone to come together for a common cause. Even competitive contests can be fun, such as a contest for the best holiday decorations or the most over-the-top Christmas sweater. Bonding can also be done through shared activities. Consider having an employee volunteer day in which everyone in your organization works for a charity such as the local food bank or cleaning up a school playground or park. These simple activities allow employees, managers and leaders to come together and appreciate each person’s unique set of skills. Every person’s contribution has an exponentially positive effect on the whole organization.

 

[1] http://www.forbes.com/sites/wesgay/2016/11/29/meet-the-woman-behind-linkedins-culture/#1d429aa132c0
[2] http://www.talentculture.com/how-high-employee-turnover-hurts-your-company/
[3] https://www.fastcompany.com/3044879/hit-the-ground-running/how-to-make-your-workplace-fun-productive-and-creative

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How Members of the Baby Boomer Generation Can Learn Tech Speak from Millennials

image_04As the Millennial generation enters the workplace in numbers large enough to overtake the Baby Boom generation, there can be a communications chasm between the two groups. Millennials have grown up with in-hand technology, including smartphones and tablets. The Baby Boom generation has had to actively embrace these tools, especially when it comes to using them in the workplace. Forging that communications gap can be done by getting the members of the two generations together in a variety of situations. The Baby Boomers can learn tech speak from Millennials using these three strategies.

Exploit Similarities

One way to get Baby Boomers to start using tech speak is to explore the similarities between talking about tech and talking about any other specialized field of knowledge. Every industry has its own lingo. Take advantage of the similarities by engaging Baby Boomers with Millennials in familiar situations. What used to be a “conference call” may now be referred to as “Skyping,” for example. Moving about on a website used to be called “tabbing” or “paging” but now is just “scrolling.”

Mentoring Programs

Mentoring programs are a great way to get people of different experience levels working together. A member of the Baby Boom generation can be paired with a Millennial for practice opportunities to learn about tech speak. Millennials will benefit from the increased face-to-face interactions as much of their world revolves around digital communications. These mentoring programs do not only have to be among coworkers but can also include college and even high school interns who come into your organization for short periods of time.

Teamwork

Effective engagement can also take place through teamwork. Placing members of different generations into the same working teams in your organization can help everyone to learn each other’s styles of communication. While Millennials often see communication as a way to convey bits of information, the Baby Boom generation may see communications as a way to get to know another person. These ideas can be meshed by having people interact in a variety of ways in the workplace. Seeing a project through from start to finish enhances communication.

 

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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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How Annual Performance Reviews Can Help or Hurt Employee Retention Rates

image_06The findings of a survey from the Harvard Business Review show that 65 percent of employees feel more engaged with their company when their performance reviews are aligned with corporate goals [1]. Achieving employee engagement is key when it comes to employee retention, so unlocking the potential of the performance review is important. However, it turns out that an annual performance review can both hurt and help employee retention rates in a variety of ways.

Annual Reviews Might Not Be Enough

Annual reviews, in and of themselves, can be a positive thing and a great way to engage employees, offer credit where it is due and ensure that both employee and manager are on the same page. Margaret Jacoby, writing for the Huffington Post, believes that relevant feedback needs to be offered throughout the year [2]. More opportunities for open communication can ensure employees are satisfied and willing to stay on in the company.

Winging an Annual Performance Review

Whether an employee performance review is an annual event or something that takes place quarterly, it is perhaps the only chance for a mid- or entry-level employee to have a frank discussion about pay, job title and expected duties. When the reviewer goes into the meeting without adequate preparation, it can be a slap in the face to employees who have worked hard for recognition. Worst of all, according to Forbes, is simply offering the same advice or review as the year before [3].

Providing Detailed Feedback

When offered in a timely fashion and combined with quarterly appraisals to keep employees on the right track, an annual performance review can go a long way in promoting staff satisfaction, which in turn leads to higher retention rates for a business [4]. One way to provide a satisfactory annual performance review is to offer detailed feedback. The manager providing the review should do their homework, offer praise in the areas required and speak candidly with employees.

A thoughtful quarterly or annual review can be a tremendous tool for managers interested in increasing employee retention rates. However, reviews that are poorly done, delayed or not accompanied by year-round feedback could actually reduce employee engagement and satisfaction.

[1] https://hbr.org/resources/pdfs/comm/achievers/hbr_achievers_report_sep13.pdf
[2] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/margaret-jacoby/the-worst-advice-ever-hea_b_7444356.html
[3] http://www.forbes.com/sites/ericjackson/2012/01/09/ten-reasons-performance-reviews-are-done-terribly/
[4] http://www.businessweek.com/managing/content/jan2011/ca20110114_156455.htm

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Hiring Techniques for Balancing Short and Long-Term Corporate Goals

image_21Finding, vetting and hiring a new employee is an expensive proposition. For example, it is estimated that the costs for even a high-turnover, low-paying job is at least 16 percent of the annual salary for the position [1]. For more significant positions, the total costs can easily exceed $40,000 to $50,000. Moreover, the costs of terminating an employee can be multiple times this number.

Hiring Processes that Fit the Task

Because of these realities, it is important to develop hiring processes that deal with both short and long-term needs for your organization. If a specific position is identified to fill a seasonal or limited time period, there are ways to save on the costs of adding that employee without compromising the process.

For example, many companies incorporate expensive tests in their hiring cycle to evaluate an individual’s long-term capabilities. This is especially the case where there is an expectation of growth and promotion. If that is not a practical consideration for a more temporary position, those types of investment are easily eliminated. On the other hand, certain proven techniques, such as drug testing, should not be taken out of the hiring equation for even short-term assignments.

Another effective way to deal with limited staffing needs is to consider the temporary employee market. An increasing number of qualified individuals now place themselves at the disposal of temporary agencies and corporations. There are many reasons highly qualified talent might pursue temporary opportunities, and you can find employees for everything from assembly work to C-Level executives who will work on short-term projects.

Protecting the Culture

Of course, looking at temporary employees does not mean accepting a compromise in quality or expectations. This is especially the case is the need extends beyond a few months. It is important to only bring in shorter-term hires that fit the corporate culture and are willing to show the same commitment and performance during their tenure as expected from established staff.

Taking the time to streamline hiring processes that fit the need will help you meet corporate goals while saving on the costs involved.

[1] http://www.cbsnews.com/news/how-much-does-it-cost-companies-to-lose-employees/