How Do You Show Your Appreciation For Stellar Employees?

Employee appreciation day is officially sometime back in April….but we here at Peoplescape think that everyday should be a day that you are grateful for something. Granted, not every employer-employee relationship elicits unbridled gratitude every single day. But, there are many simple ways that you can show your appreciation for your employees all throughout the year, when the mood strikes!

1. Dump the dumb rules – What??? Are we calling all of your rules dumb? No, absolutely not. But…there are probably some silly ones in the office that you know and I know and your employees know are unnecessary. A note for every sick day? Tracking exempt employees’ hours even though their hours aren’t billed to clients? Business casual every day of the week? Whatever the rule may be, I know you have one in mind. Check it out with your HR department and legal counsel, and if it’s not needed, dump it! Your employees will love you…at least for a day or two!
2. Fire the horrible employee – As soon as you read this, a face popped into your mind. If he or she isn’t bringing anything beneficial to the table and you have documentation for years to back up your termination, just do it (again, double check with HR and/or legal to make sure you’re covered). Someone (or many someones) in your office are sure to be grateful for making the office a more enjoyable and productive place.
3. Acknowledge extra efforts – A simple thank you or 10-second recognition at the next staff meeting will go a long way.
4. Don’t play favorites – They all know who your favorites are when you have them. So don’t add fuel to the employee fire, and keep it fair across the board.
5. Listen to an idea – Open your ears, encourage innovation, and implement away!
6. Don’t hover – If an employee hasn’t given you a reason to micromanage, then don’t do it. Give them the breathing room to succeed.
7. Take responsibility – We are all human. We all make mistakes. Take responsibility for yours, and you will see a trend of employees following suit. Be the change you want to see in the world. #Gandhi
8. Support your employees – If the mistakes made are honest ones, then have your employee’s back. Support them through the tough times and see the good times come to life.
9. Give deserved raises and bonuses – Where the levels of success and productivity calls for it, reward your employees.
10. Be honest – There are a few things you can’t share with your employees. But the things that you can share, do. Transparency and honesty will go a long way in earning your employees’ loyalty and honesty in return.

Traditional Performance Review Alternatives

You’ve probably seen the blogs lately on why traditional performance reviews are on the way out. If you didn’t, check this one out so you know what we are talking about here today: http://peoplescapehr.com/are-performance-reviews-on-the-way-out/. Or look at the trends we predicted for 2016 here: http://peoplescapehr.com/key-predictions-in-hr-for-2016-people-leaders-and-apps/.

Now that you’re caught up on your reading, here’s our take on the upcoming alternatives that will be available to replace the traditional, numbers-based, check-the-box performance reviews.

  1. There’s an app for that – performance management (like all facets of human resources in 2016 as discussed in our trends blog linked above) is moving in the direction of apps and mobile technology. There are already performance management and HRIS systems that allow for performance reviews to be conducted and tracked online. Some allow for the employee to provide feedback as well. Check out @BambooHR and @CornerstoneOnDemand for more details on this possibility or contact us today to find out what might be best for your company moving forward.
  2. Frequent and feedback will be the key to performance management in the coming years. Employees (especially the younger generation of workers flooding your hallways at the office) want more frequent feedback from their supervisors, not just an annual review and a raise. Along with the feedback may come more frequent wage increases, or it may be an incentive based performance management system. Either way, increasing the frequency will be a bonus for your employees.
  3. Employee involvement is also going to be critical to the new process. Out with the old “self-evaluation form” and in with a two-way conversation that occurs during performance evaluation meetings.
  4. Focus on the “Big 5” – what are the five accomplishments you’ve had since our last meeting and what are your five goals for the next period before we meet again?
  5. Use progress reports as documentation of these frequent check-ins with employees (something in writing is still going to be beneficial to the company and the manager should anything litigious arise or claims of any sort).

These tips will not only help make sure the company is protected, but managers and employees will be more satisfied with the performance management process as a whole. Check out other blogs on this #hottopic at www.peoplescapehr.com/blog or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/peoplescapeconsulting or on Twitter @PeoplescapeHC.

Welcome to the Team: The Dos & Don’ts of Onboarding

Congratulations! You’ve made it through the grueling recruitment process, which can undoubtedly be as exhausting for the employer as it is for the new hire. Now what do you do? It’s time to welcome your new employee to the team via a process your human resources team will refer to as onboarding. But what exactly does this mean? And how can you avoid the statistics shared by SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) Foundation that 50% of new hires fail within their first four months, and 50% of senior management new hires fail within their first eighteen months? Here are a few tips and tricks for making the process seamless for all parties involved.

  1. Do have a written plan for onboarding.
  2. Do have team meetings for those involved in the onboarding process.
  3. Don’t drown your new hire in data. Piecemeal it in order of priority.
  4. Do start the process right away – don’t wait for the new hire to get it all handled without explicit directions on where, when, how, and why.
  5. Do provide clarity on the new hire’s direct supervisor, chain of communication, point person for HR, etc.
  6. Do offer and point out training opportunities – your Millennials will especially love this!
  7. Don’t be vague on your expectations. Be clear, be concise, be communicative.
  8. Don’t forget to ask for feedback, and do it often and consistently!

Onboarding is a bit like the honeymoon stage of a relationship. You want your new hire to have a full picture of the good pieces that your company has to offer, and have enough information to feel comfortable and capable of making it work. Honesty and communication are key to the onboarding process, and will go a long way to make those statistics come drastically down so that you are not spending time and energy on new hires that won’t stick around as long as you hope.

 

 

Are Performance Reviews On the Way Out?

Performance reviews…the dreaded checkup that causes nerves and cringing everywhere! The antiquated practice of scoring and ranking employees has mostly passed to the wayside, as new tips and tricks for effective performance reviews have come to light. Some of these new techniques and tactics for performance reviews include self-evaluations, performance ratings and goals based on actual projects and past performance rather than an objective number rating system. However, some companies are choosing to do away with the standard process altogether, and in lieu of performance reviews, managers are conducting “performance conversations” and apps to provide feedback to employees on a consistent and constant basis.

Even Jack Welch of GE has done away with standard performance reviews and stacking ranks, made popular by GE in the 1980’s and 1990’s, in which the top 10 employees on the rankings would be promoted while the bottom 10 employees would be terminated. Seems pretty cut and dry, right? But what were these rankings and numbers based on? When it comes to performance reviews, can the manager really be 100% objective? When dealing with people in general, objectivity is not always possible. People are subjective, people have opinions, and people cannot be 100% unbiased, it’s just not in our genetic makeup. So with that in mind, performance reviews will never be completely objective. Which leads to the point of this blog…why are companies making the move to performance feedback apps and performance conversations? Because it’s time for the tide to turn and for managers to rely less on objective ratings and more on honest, comprehensive, accessible feedback. And for employees to have access to that feedback year-round, not just in a 1-hour meeting for their annual performance review.

One obvious reason for this change is the rise of mobile technology, and the creation of a generation completely dependent on mobile technology, instantaneous response, and information at their fingertips. Another reason is that managers nationwide are averaging seven employees under their leadership, as opposed to the four employees of the ‘90s. This leaves less time for individual coaching, something that technology and feedback apps can assist with because of the sheer volume of management duties required for the increased number of employees to be reviewed/managed. Third, the modern world now operates on a fast-paced system that just doesn’t jive well with an annual goals system. The immediacy of life in the 21st century calls for faster response, more frequent feedback, and quicker access – something that mobile technology and feedback apps can bring to the table.

People management is possibly on the way out as news way of thinking about leadership and managerial skills are surfacing…and personal and professional growth within the workplace has become a strong presence in workplace news. So changing up the way that we manage people in the workplace makes sense. As we have now survived the challenge of the first month of a new calendar year, maybe it’s time to put a review of your company’s performance management tools on your to do list for February!

Effective & Inexpensive Ways to Motivate Your Staff

After the holidays, there seems to be a dull roar in the office, a sense of apathy and melancholy can sometimes prevail as the weather gets colder, and the holiday cheer has been blown out of everyone’s sails. Motivating your staff is a yearlong predicament, and one that can be approached from different strategies. Do you offer performance bonuses? Commission for your sales team? Incentives for high-achieving employees each month? #motivate #employees #bonus

While all of these are great ways to motivate your staff, we’d like to offer a few simple solutions as well. These will be easy on your bank account and effective when implemented correctly. Employees are appreciative of recognition and acknowledgement of a job well done, so as long as you keep that at the front of your mind, you will be an effective and motivating leader with these helpful hints.

According to a Gallup poll, almost 70% of Americans are actively disengaged with their work. How depressing! Let’s turn those numbers around with a few simple strategies.

1. E-Learning: online webinars, training, and cost effective strategies for employee engagement.

2. Employee Acknowledgement Programs: reward employees for a job well done with a simple certificate or a low-cost gift card to Starbucks. Have monthly team meetings to recognize high-achieving employees that month!

3. Sunshine Programs: Celebrate birthdays and work anniversaries, and to make sure you don’t forget, create a “Sunshine Team” each year who runs the program.

4. Empower your employees to come up with innovative ideas (i.e. like that one employee at 3M who came up with Post-It Notes!)

5. Challenge your employees each time they reach a new goal. Set the bar higher each time, and see how it affects your team’s potential and growth!

There are millions of other ways that you can motivate employees to succeed, get creative and have team leadership meetings once a month to collaborate with your managers as well. The more ideas that are out on the drawing board, the more successful your efforts will be.

#Teamworkmakesthedreamwork

Why Millennials Leave

We Won’t Pay For Your Lexus, Boss Man!

We have written about millennials several times, and there’s a reason for that. We promise. Not only do some of us here at Peoplescape identify with the millennial label, we have been subject to the stereotypes placed on our colleagues (and at times ourselves). You know the ones: Millennials are fickle, they never settle in one place, they’re selfish, and they don’t care about the companies that they work for – always in search of the next big thing. While these stereotypes may be true of SOME millennials, they can also be applied to baby boomers and Generation X’ers. So let’s flip the switch a little bit and see why millennials are dumping you, their managers and companies who simply don’t get what these youngsters are after! Elizabeth McLeod penned a note to management in Forbes.com recently. What do you think of these millennial breakup lines? #millennials #careeradvice #multigenerationalworkforce

Dear John….it isn’t you, it’s me. No, but really, it’s you. Here’s why I’m leaving:

1. You put up with low performing employees. This doesn’t work for us, because millennials are driven. We want to make a difference and be top producers. The low-performing employees that you hang on to for loyalty’s sake are slowing us down.

2. You are too focused on money. While we aren’t opposed to working hard, we aren’t going to do it simply to pay for your new Lexus. We want our work to make a difference, and that is bigger than the bottom line dollar.

3. Company culture means something different to us. We don’t want free meals (we’ll take them, but we don’t necessarily want them or need them to motivate us!). We want a manager who is a leader, who wants to inspire us and challenge us to think outside the box.

4. You treat people like a number. We are people. We have thoughts and ideas and opinions and feelings. If you treat us like a cog in the wheel, we will show up for the paycheck, but don’t expect the top producers who you hired. This isn’t fun for us, and work is supposed to be something that we can engage in. Show us why our work matters, and be an example to all of us.

After reading these points, doesn’t it seem like the millennial next door to your cubicle might not be that different from you after all?

Succession Plans: Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go!

We are all familiar with the small Mom & Pop companies that don’t have any real HR departments in place, lack procedures and documentation, and basically do what they’ve been doing because “hey it works for us!” As an HR professional, this is definitely not the recommended path for our clients and blog readers! No matter the size of the company, HR is necessary. The same can be said for succession plans and career development. Without a plan in place for what happens if someone leaves the company abruptly, or health concerns take a beloved long-term employee out of the office for months at a time, you are opening your business up for failure. Why not take a proactive approach and train your junior-level employees so that should a succession plan need to be implemented, you already have the training and groundwork underway? #successionplans  #careerdevelopment

Authors Beverly Kaye and Julie Winkle Giulioni are both successful businesswomen and leaders who have penned a book about the how-to’s of career coaching and development. Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go is a straightforward guide for CEO’s, managers, and leaders to implement strategies in the workplace to foster growth in employees, encourage career development, adopt succession plans that allow for cross-training, learn the duties and responsibilities of colleagues and utilize the talent within your employees to build a strong and confident team approach.

According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), “succession planning is a means for an organization to ensure its continued effective performance through leadership continuity.” Combining this definition of succession planning with the tools suggested by leaders such as Kaye and Giulioni in encouraging career development amongst all levels of employees will allow companies to be prepared in the case of necessary organizational change.

At Peoplescape, we would suggest a team training followed by mentorships, pairing up a greener employee with a more seasoned employee, and allowing them to share ideas and learn from each other. We truly enjoy helping companies grow and working with them on their organizational development plans. Follow us on Twitter  @PeoplescapeHC or Like us on Facebook at Peoplescape Consulting to see our latest tips and ideas on how to improve your career development plans!

5 Reasons Employees Leave Too Soon

As a manager, when you see that resignation letter cross your desk, what thoughts go through your head? Is it a gift you’ve been waiting for, finally seeing that problematic employee headed out the door? Or is it your worst nightmare signed, sealed and delivered on your desk at 8:00am on a Friday morning? Here are a few reasons why employees leave a job too soon (and ways that you as the employer can prevent it from happening at your organization!)

1. Changed his or her mind on job type (new hire wasn’t clear about the job duties to begin with…or maybe unsure of their own career path)

2. The work didn’t accurately match their expectations (the job ad was not clear or left too many “duties as assigned” unanswered until the job began)

3. Boss was a jerk (don’t be a jerk!)

4. Didn’t receive enough training (don’t throw new employees to the wolves too soon!)

5. The job wasn’t fun (aka the job wasn’t what they expected – job description unclear or the interview team sold the new hire on a job that doesn’t exist)

One way to avoid this type of early departure is to make sure your employees are provided with onboarding from start to finish. We specialize in new hire orientations, onboarding, and fun seminars to get your employees excited and involved. But, if you aren’t ready to give us a call, we’ll offer these tips to all of our blog readers because we like you.

1. Provide on-the-job training – do not tell a new employee to do something without showing or explaining or supervising or shadowing. Training means a supervisor or trainer is present. Be there. Answer questions. Don’t leave the newbie alone for too long. It scares them.

2. Take the time to review your company policies and handbook with each new hire. This can be done as a group orientation or one-on-one with the manager.

3. Take the new hire on a walking tour of the company. Introduce him or her to team members, the front office staff, security guards, and the bathrooms. These are important pieces to feeling welcome and comfortable in a new environment.

4. Make sure the equipment for each new hire works. Email set up, telephone extension in proper working order, etc.

In a nutshell, invest in your investment to reap the rewards!

Onboarding is often forgotten with the excitement of a new hire, because the recruitment and screening process itself can be so demanding and time-consuming. Instead of taking a break after you sign the offer letter, take the proper steps to make sure your new hire is set up for success plans to stick around, otherwise you’ll be back to the drawing board much sooner than you’d like.

Why is Employee Retention Getting Worse?

Today the average worker’s tenure is just 4.4 years, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics with expected tenure of the workforce’s youngest employees at about half that.”

– Seth Ollerton, www.decision-wise.com

 

I remember as a kid, we would visit my dad at work on his lunch break, or stop by to say hi on our way home from running errands. My dad’s workplace was a familiar place for all of us, because he has been employed at the same employer for over forty years. He’s switched buildings a couple times, but has held the same role in the corporate office in the same city for a large majority of those forty years. My dad instilled in us his extremely high work ethic, but also taught us that there’s a generational difference in the way we view work, and the way his generation views work. Loyalty is a big thing for the baby boomers, while the boomers’ kids (millennials, Generation X, and Generation Y) are looking for a career that provides personal fulfillment, growth, and opportunity to learn more throughout their career. Because the baby boomers were more likely to grow up with less than ideal circumstances, they over-parented their millennial children, and sacrificed their happiness for security when it came to career paths and company loyalty.

While this personal tidbit may not strike a chord in all of you, it is an accurate anecdote to the reality of employee retention in 2015. Let’s take a closer look at why this is the case.

  1. The economy is hot, and only expected to get hotter in the coming years. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, job openings exceeded number of hires in May 2015. This mean there are more jobs available than are being filled. Great news for job seekers, because they can be picky. Not so great for employers, because candidates can be picky! Top talent will go wherever they choose….so employers have to work to attract those candidates.
  2. Millennials (adults ages 18 – 34 in 2015) are now the largest group in the workforce. Scary, right? If you said no, and you’re a small business owner, you may want to rethink that answer. Millennials expect to stay in a job for no more than three years, which means if you want to keep them around, it’s your responsibility as the business owner to attract and keep their attention. Need ideas on how to do this? Contact us today and we can guide you on the key factors for your organization to retain your talented yet difficult employees.
  3. Mobile job searches are taking over – is there an app for that? If not, chances are your company may be missing out on top talent. Mobile recruiting, mobile job applications, and mobile screening processes such as interviews are becoming critical to the technology-obsessed job seekers of 2015. This is a trend that is only expected to continue and become bigger over the coming years.
  4. Non-traditional side incomes are becoming more and more popular, so the traditional nine-to-five jobs are not becoming as necessary or prominent for a portion of today’s workers. From bloggers to Etsy shop owners, to distributors of health care and beauty products. Today’s worker has options!

So what can you do as an employer to attract and keep your talented employees? Make your company an attractive place to work, and speak to your audience. For specifics on how to build a high quality selection and retention strategic plan into your business, give us a call, we’d love to help!

How to Equip Yourself to “Employer-Parent” Talented Millennials

You know who they are. The one with his ear buds permanently attached to his ears, or the girl with twelve pieces of jewelry on her right ear alone who refuses to wear what you consider to be “business casual” attire.  Or maybe it’s the nerdy guy with glasses and messy hair whose face you’ve never really seen because he’s always in front of his computer or cell phone; never separated from his tools of technology for even a moment while at work. Oh, and they are always late or right on time. Whatever happened to being on time and prepared? Sitting at your desk at 7:45 a.m. ready to start the 8:00 a.m. day? Does it seem they require attention or tasks at all times, always in motion — on the go, ready for the next thing?

Even if you are a small business owner, among your dozen or so employees, the chances are good that you have at least one Millennial employee. How can you best equip yourself to “employer parent” this individual so that he or she is an undeniable asset to the team, rather than a distraction or irritant to your more seasoned employees?  A starting point is to understand Millennials better. Millennials are loosely defined as ages 18 to 34, with age 23 being the largest demographic within this segment of this population.  Be forewarned that the “catch-all” label of Millennials is not a concept its members strongly identify with.  Yet, credible studies of this age group do reveal the common social, economic, and technological factors that have shaped their lives and forged their values.  Due to the sheer numbers of Millennials and their expected longevity in the workforce, it is essential that employers understand the largest and most diverse segment of our population taking their place in the business world.

[tweetthis]Millennials: Equip yourself to “employer-parent” this talented group.[/tweetthis]

A high percentage are children of immigrants. As a group they are economically stressed, many more of this generation compared to previous ones live with their parents. They have decreasing opportunities at home ownership. They are very educated, but collectively have amassed a trillion dollar student loan debt. They still value education – more so than their European counterparts who have been demoralized by poor economic conditions.  Millennials are masters of technology and social media, value family and work-life balance.  While plenty of employers complain about lack of loyalty and short tenure of Millennials, their feedback often indicates a willingness to stay longer in their jobs given more purposeful work.

One of the most interesting pieces to the Millennial puzzle is the mistaken notion that they hate to be managed. They actually require it. This is due in large part to the way they were parented at home – millennials are essentially spoiled. And it’s ok for me to say this, because I myself am one of those temperamental, reactive, seemingly impossible to manage millennials. We are a generation that was over-parented. We didn’t play outside without supervision, we were raised by the more affluent boomers (who were parented much differently by their Depression-era moms and dads) and were often rescued by our parents when faced with trials or obstacles. Essentially, we are a generation of coddled guys and gals, told that our opinions matter and we are free to express ourselves within boundaries that are much wider and broader than the ones our own parents faced.

Now that you regret hiring millennials even more than you did before reading this, let me tell you the good news! There’s hope! Millennials may require a little bit of parenting at work, but once they are managed and coached correctly, the sky is the limit because along with our spoiling came a sense of pride in our own success, a drive to achieve and a knack for technology. We crave direction, but at the same time, would like a little freedom to make decisions for ourselves. It’s a tricky combo, but one that could lead to great organizational success for small business owners who master the managing of millennials.

Christine Hassler, renowned speaker on the topic of generational differences in the workplace specifically focusing on the millennials, argues that millennials do in fact want to be managed. She writes, “I think it is imperative for managers to be ‘coaches’ to their employees, especially the millennials, as that is what the Millennials expect.” They require validation, crave feedback from their supervisors, and are confused by the world of work in general. Statistics show that the majority of teens during the ’70s and ’80s worked during summer vacation, while only one-third of today’s teens have a paying job over the summer. Instead, they choose to volunteer, work in unpaid internships, and enroll in high school or college courses. All of this looks great on college resumes, but is not practical when it comes time for these millennials to enter the workforce. They have no idea how to set up direct deposit for payroll with their ban

  • Include information on company culture and values in your employee handbook, go over timesheets, employment paperwork, vacation requests and all of the details involved with the company procedures during their orientation.
  • Take the guess work out of the workplace for your millennials and become their coach, and you’ll start off on a better foot with your millennials moving forward.

Keep in mind that Millennials are facing many tough challenges across their long lifespan but their common skills and values make them well equipped to face and overcome these adversities.  Employers who understand and bring out the best of their Millennials will tap into the potentially valuable contribution to the workforce and the innovation they are capable of.

For more on Millennials see 15 Economic Facts About Millennials, 2014 Report of the United States Office of the Presidentl Council of Economic Advisors.