Archives for posts with tag: Business Tips

It’s always a challenge for employers to look for qualified candidates to fill in a new position or a recently vacated one. Here are some tips from Business 2 Community on how to successfully transition new employees into the company workforce.

It’s no secret finding the right candidate for a job is often anything but easy. Entry-level positions can be particularly difficult to fill, as applicants customarily have little (if any) related work experience to help your decision making. So when you find a quality person for an entry-level job, you want him or her to stick around for years to come.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, young employees between the ages of 20 and 34—the ages you typically see for entry-level applicants—will only spend an average of 2.3 years with an employer. Some sources indicate employees will decide in as little as 10 days if they intend to stay with an organization or begin looking for a different job! This means successfully onboarding entry-level employees can reduce turnover.

As an HR representative, the bulk of work associated with onboarding often falls on you. Now is the time to create a positive onboarding experience for entry-level employees. These tips will help you get started. 

1. Start the Process Before the New Hire’s First Day

For entry-level employees, few things are as full of promise and excitement as the first day at a career-starting job. First days are also typically full of questions, many of which can (and should!) be answered before a new hire arrives. That’s why you should begin the onboarding process before the new person starts work. Send an agenda of what you’ll be covering on the first day. Also send a list of FAQs so you can spend less time answering questions about paid time off and more time discussing job-specific responsibilities and expectations.

2. Explain Why The Employee Was Hired

New employees want to know why exactly you chose them over the other candidates. This information can be especially worthwhile to entry-level employees who are likely new to job search. “Don’t let new employees lose sight of what makes them different,” says Jeff Haden on Inc.com. “They have qualities and attributes other candidates didn’t. Explain what those qualities are and how they helped you make your hiring decision.”

3. Assign a Mentor or Buddy

Starting a new job can sometimes feel like starting at a new school: Current employees already know each other quite while, and they already have their groups of friends, which can cause a new employee to feel alienated. You can account for this by assigning a mentor or buddy to show the new person around, make introductions and begin training. This relationship should continue after onboarding into training and may continue much longer if the pair form a connection.

4. Automate Onboarding Documents

First days come with a lot of paperwork for the new employee to fill out and for you to process. Between company handbooks, insurance and benefits information, employee agreements and tax forms, it’s easy for a form to go astray. By automating onboarding documents, you can eliminate paper shuffling entirely. Onboarding by Hyrell allows you to organize the distribution and collection of all documents needed to process newly hired employees. As an added bonus, by distributing these forms electronically, entry-level employees will get a great first impression of your company’s tech savviness.

5. Ask the Employee for Feedback

It’s important to recognize that, no matter how efficient and effective you think your onboarding process is, there is always room for improvement. After training has ended and the entry-level employee has worked for the company for a period of time, get back in touch to ask for feedback on the onboarding process. Ask questions to determine if the process met the employee’s needs and how the employee would change the process to make it more enjoyable for future hires.

Working to create a positive onboarding experience for entry-level employees may reduce turnover and make your job less stressful. Use these tips to get started today!

 

The Bertrand Management Group is composed of industry professionals specializing in business coaching. Find out more about their work by liking this Facebook page.

This article from Inc.com reveals that all businesses, from small firms to large corporations, should be paying more attention to customer data. Here’s how businesses can fully utilize the information that’s available to them:

Image source: http://www.inc.com

Image source: http://www.inc.com

Imagine you’re waiting at the checkout in a store. The customers in front of you represent a lot of things: sales, maybe a mild annoyance for you if the line is long, and finally, a heck of a lot of information.

That last piece of the puzzle–customer data–can be the most important, but it’s also underappreciated. Although big online companies track just about everything their customers do, smaller brick-and-mortar ventures are often far behind the curve.

I talked recently with Angus Davis, founder of Swipely, a Rhode Island company that’s trying to take advantage of that opportunity.

Swipely offers payment processing for small businesses, with a focus on collecting and analyzing customer data so its users can improve their operations and marketing. I’ll admit that I was originally interested in the company because I grew up in Rhode Island, which isn’t exactly known as a modern tech or startup hub. In fact, Rhode Island has perennially had the worst unemployment rate in the country.

Swipely, however, is a success story. The company was reportedly the first Rhode Island software company to raise a Series A venture capital round and grew from 30 employees a year ago to about 90 today.

“The idea is that the payment network moves money but doesn’t glean data well,” Davis said. “Our technology enables people not only to accept payment but access powerful analytics about customers.”

Swipely focuses on smaller businesses, and Davis told me that two-thirds of its customers are restaurants (including chains such as Rosa Mexicano and Fig & Olive).

Here are the five things Davis thinks companies are able to do more effectively than their competitors through tracking customer data:

1. Know your customers better than their mothers do.
The key here is to identify your 100 best customers, keep track of what they love to order, and make sure you know how often they visit. Then use that knowledge to make them feel special. Marketing experts suggest that developing 100 fiercely loyal customers can drive more word of mouth than a $25,000 advertising campaign.

2. Evaluate your marketing efforts.
There’s an old saying that 90 percent of advertising doesn’t work, but the trick is that it’s so hard to know which 10 percent is actually effective. If you can track how many of your sales in any given time period come from new customers, as opposed to repeat visitors, you’ll understand more quickly whether your marketing efforts are working.

3. Spot hidden items that will unlock new sales.
There is often a trove of data that’s hard to find without the right tools. If you’re running a restaurant, is there one menu item in particular that new customers come in to try? Identify it, and you’ll see which hidden gems you can coach your staff to recommend to first-time guests.

4. Help your employees to become better salespeople.
You can effectively track who on your staff sells the most and drill down deeper to see who turns over tables most often or persuades customers to purchase particular menu items. Figure out who your stars are, and you’ll know where to focus your coaching efforts.

5. Collect feedback without lifting a finger.
Let’s use the restaurant industry as an example some more. Nearly half of restaurant reviews mention specific menu items, which means there’s another rich data source to mine. Listening to what customers have to say about your business on sites such as Yelp, OpenTable, Google, and TripAdvisor gives you a quick way to offer concrete feedback to your chef, servers, and marketers.

 

Follow this Bertrand Management Group Twitter page to find more resources on better business practices.

This Business-Personal-Coaching.com article discusses the importance of constructive feedbacks in the workplace.

Hamlet believed he needed “to be cruel, only to be kind” but, for once, Shakespeare’s grasp of human nature doesn’t suit the modern workplace

Richard needed coaching over a problem with an employee whom he managed. He didn’t feel that Sheila was as committed to her work as she used to be. He knew he needed to say something, but he felt uncomfortable and dreaded the confrontation.

Richard admitted that normally he would hold back from saying something
because at times it seemed to be for a good reason. We talked about how holding back from communicating limits the other person, rather than empowering them.

It inhibits your relationship because often people sense you’re holding back and this can cause uneasiness.

Richard knew that holding back wasn’t useful but revealed that previously when he had said something the other person had become defensive. His example was “Your commitment to work isn’t good enough”. We talked about how he was dumping his opinions, worries, thoughts, criticisms and fears on them and how this doesn’t allow for open communication.

We then discussed the possibility of telling the truth which might be “Sheila, you don’t seem as committed to your work now.” Ouch! This may have been truthful and accurate, but it’s not constructive.

I suggested that Richard should become “unconditionally constructive” in all his communications. This means being positive, helpful and supportive without exception. It’s about putting people first and speaking to them in a way that shows your belief in them, without compromising standards.

It allows you to say everything you have to say in such a way that it helps the other person move forward. You can be direct and personal without leaving the other person feeling criticized, damaged or demoralized.

Even when you have tough things to say, endeavor to be constructive. Being unconditionally constructive can strengthen and support the other person. It helps to develop their confidence and contributes towards their personal growth, instead of protecting them from possible discomfort.

Taking this suggestion on board, Richard said to Sheila, “You’ve always been very committed to your work and I sense that there’s something missing in this commitment now. I just wondered what you think about this?” This allowed for an open discussion between them so that they could both decide the best way forward.

When you are unconditionally constructive, you don’t point out the negative, even if it’s obvious. You understand that the negative is obvious, so why mention it? You focus on the person’s strengths and not their weaknesses. Their shortcomings are addressed by suggesting the most favorable outcome possible.

One of the things that holds people back from being unconditionally constructive is the need to establish superiority or “being right”. I encourage you to drop this need.

Your role, whether as leader, manager, parent or partner will require communicating feedback, advice and support. Being unconditionally constructive in all your communications creates a better environment, achieves more, overcomes problems more quickly and prevents the build-up of resentment. It allows for open communication between people, rather than the other person clamming up and going on the defensive.

When you communicate openly and allow for discovery, you boost yourself, the other person, the situation and also your business. Being unconditionally constructive requires awareness, skills and practice. Let it to be a part of who you are and with practice it will happen naturally, just like breathing.

What difference would being unconditionally constructive make to your life? What do you need to make it happen?

Source:=http://www.business-personal-coaching.com/being-constructive-with-feedback.html