Archives for posts with tag: employee management

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!

 

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There are many ways to motivate employees but this article from Business2community.com talks about the fine line between empowering and victimizing them.

What Are Your Motivation Tactics?

There have been hundreds of books and articles written on how to motivate one’s employees. All manner of theories and ideas have been introduced, from those that insist that employee motivation lies with financial reward to those that declare you must motivate your employees based on their age group. What many of these theories and ideas don’t express is how deeply employee motivation is tied to personalities, company culture, and the style of management employees receive.

At the core of managing people is a need to empower them. Realizing that each and every employee has strengths and weaknesses is a huge part of successfully managing and empowering them. What are some easy ways to empower your employees? We’ve listed a few below.

Consider the Personalities on Your Team

Many managers avoid getting to know the members of their team because it is, in fact, extra work. Taking the time to have meaningful conversations about the roles your team members fill, what isn’t working for them as far as processes go, and the efficiencies they enjoy in their daily roles can yield tons of valuable information, and not just for the health of your role as a manager.

Successfully empowering your employees begins with considering the wealth of personalities within its confines. From the quiet workers who need to be encouraged to speak up in meetings to the boisterous personalities that demand more leadership roles, you can allot your team members assignments and roles within the company that directly reflects their strengths, comfort zones and aspirations. When they’re working within the sphere where they feel most able, empowerment (and more efficient,  more enthusiastic work) will follow.

Mad Men wherein young, hardworking, and talented copywriter Peggy Olsen is expressing her frustrations with her job to her boss, Don Draper. Don’s reaction to Peggy’s inquiries is a classic example of how to alienate and victimize your employees rather than empower them, and while the show is set in a drastically different time than ours, it’s still relevant to the conversation of employee empowerment.

Not only does refusing to recognize your employees’ hard work make them feel disvalued and overlooked, it can work against any aspirations you have to increase leadership roles on your team. Be aware of exceptional work. Reward it. Acknowledge it. Empower your employees by giving their work the recognition it warrants. Don’t expect their often-paltry paychecks to be all the recognition they need.

Have Realistic Expectations

inevitable failures from the very beginning. By assigning to many tasks and setting unrealistic deadlines, you ensure that your employees will either A) Miss their deadlines so they can do the work correctly, or B) Meet their deadlines, but turn into low-quality work that does not reflect their abilities. Both scenarios produce mental anguish, frustration, and eventual disempowerment for your employees.

Being honest with yourself about the actual possibilities and parameters for your company is the first step towards making realistic assignments and setting attainable and fair deadlines for your employees. When they’re given enough time to do good work, your employees will deliver on their abilities and, as a result, feel empowered in their positions.

Independent Decision-Making

Allowing your employees to make decisions in their jobs without seeking approval or review from you or another management member is also important in the empowerment process. If you shudder at the thought of allowing a task to be marked “complete” before getting your seal of management approval, you might want to rethink the people you’ve hired to hold positions in your company. If micromanagement of each and every task is the only way you’re able to sleep at night, you must re-align your priorities and consider searching for job candidates who can work independently from your constant scrutiny and overseeing.

Unless you’re paying each of your employees a king’s ransom each paycheck, micromanagement is going to suffocate and frustrate them and might also make them feel victimized. Your lack of confidence in their abilities says more about your own lack of confidence in your hiring practices than about your employees’ inability to deliver.

Discourage Competition; Encourage Team Work

Bosses who try to inspire competition among their employees are usually just trying to inspire a spike in performance. What they usually end up doing, however, is creating an atmosphere of tension and deceit that will inevitably become more distracting than empowering. Encouraging your employees to compete with their team mates (the keyword here is team) is bad for collaboration, office culture and the health of future group projects. You want your employees to feel like a united front, willing to help and encourage one another on any project. Any competition that crops up among your team should arise organically, as a result of personal hunger and ambition, not because you planted the seed.

Empowering your employees can seem like a tough riddle when you’re facing trying times in your business and bolstering leadership roles is imperative. You may find that employee empowerment lies in treating your employees like the assets to your company that they are. Seeing them as dynamic people, capable of leading, collaborating and contributing on all levels, will not only help them feel empowered, but it will help you grow as a manager.

Learn more about motivating employees by visiting this Bertrand Management Group blog.

On the surface, it may look like an additional cost on your company’s financial statements, but providing staff trainings can give you more profit in the future than the initial funds that you invested for them.

Image Source: cmmonline.com

The most obvious benefit is that your employees can acquire or improve some skills right after training. Employees may not have direct access to tools and resources needed to perform their tasks better, and providing trainings will let them develop their talents and boost their morale for enhanced performance.

 

Productivity will also improve if your employees are skillful. It will prevent mistakes that can affect the delivery of your products to your consumers, and it can build better relationships with your customers as they get superior service, which in turn, makes the revenue flow more stable and fluid.

Confidence within the workplace will also get boosted if your employees know they are skilled enough to do their tasks. It will also make your company more competent in the industry as your products or services become well-organized to the eyes of the consumers. This can also lower attrition and absenteeism among employees because there is less pressure since they are confident that they can easily perform their jobs.

 

Providing trainings can also improve your company’s image to the public as more people will believe that you are capable of giving opportunities for growth, and you will be regarded as an organization that values your employees. This will attract not only skilled people but also investors and new clients to join your company as they believe that you truly understand the worth of your trade.

Image Source: gthankyou.com


Bertrand Management Group in Ontario, CA
is a management consulting firm dedicated to helping companies manage and improve their business process. For updates and latest news, follow this Twitter page.

One of the common issues that leaders have to deal with is difficult employees or those who don’t follow due to differences in views and opinions, which is sometimes caused by “positional gaps.” This Forbes.com column by Mike Myatt offers tips on how leaders can turn the situation around and start creating a more productive relationship with their employees.

Want to test your leadership mettle? See how well you do when leading those not inclined to follow. Surrounding yourself with like-minded people may be comforting, it might even seem like a good idea, but it’s not the stuff of great leadership. The best leaders are not only capable of effectively leading those who hold differing opinions and perspectives – they thrive on it. In today’s column I’ll share 8 Tips for transforming tough relationships into productive relationships.

Poor leaders find themselves mired down in organizations unnecessarily suffering from corporate politics, turf-wars, empire building, title inflated ego and arrogance, and the list goes on… Effective leaders don’t have to deal with the aforementioned dysfunction because they understand how to align opposing views and diverse interests.

If unique perspectives, philosophical differences, and dissenting opinions are viewed as an opportunity as opposed to a set-back, growth and development are certain to follow. What I like to refer as “positional gaps” are best closed by listening to all sides, finding common ground, and then letting the principle of doing the right thing guide the process.

When a leader develops the skill to convert negative conflict into creative tension, they have found the secret sauce for developing high performance teams. Mature leaders see individual differences as fuel for development, not as barriers to success. The goal of a leader is not to clone him/herself, but to harness individual strengths for the greater good of the organization. This is best accomplished by respecting individual talents; not stifling them.

It is absolutely possible to build very productive relationships with even the most adversarial of individuals. Regardless of a person’s original intent, opinion or position, the key to closing a positional gap is simply a matter of finding common ground in order to establish rapport. Moreover, building rapport is easily achieved assuming your motivations for doing so are sincere. I have always found that rapport is quickly developed when you listen, care, and attempt to help people succeed.

While building and maintaining rapport with people with whom you disagree is certainly more challenging, many of the same rules expressed in my comments above still apply. I have found that often times conflict resolution simply just requires more intense focus on understanding the needs, wants and desires of the other party. If opposing views are worth the time and energy to debate, then they are worth a legitimate effort to gain alignment on perspective and resolution on position. However this will rarely happen if lines of communication do not remain open. Candid, effective communication is best maintained through a mutual respect and rapport.

In an attempt to resolve any conflict, the first step is to identify and isolate the specific areas of difference being debated. The sad fact is many business people are absolutists in that they only see things in terms of rights and wrongs. Thinking in terms of “my way” is right and therefore “other ways” are wrong is the basis for polarizing any relationship, which quickly results in converting discussions into power struggles.

Leading-the-Hard-to-Lead-300x227Image Source: Forbes.com

However when a situation can be seen through the lens of difference, and a position is simply a matter of opinion not a totalitarian statement of fact, then cooperation and compromise is possible. Identifying and understanding differences allows people (regardless of title) to shift their position through compromise and negotiation while maintaining respect and rapport. The following perspectives if kept top of mind will help in identifying and bridging positional gaps:

  • Listening leads to understanding.
  • Respect leads to acceptance.
  • Accepting a person where they are creates an bond of trust.
  • Trust leads to a willingness to be open to:
    • New opportunities;
    • New collaborations;
    • New strategies;
    • New ideas, and;
    • New attitudes.

The following 8 tips (listed in no particular order of preference) will allow you to move from being entangled in a positional or philosophical juxtaposition toward finding alignment :

  1. Be Consistent: If your desire is to minimize misunderstandings, then I would suggest you stop confusing people. Say what you mean, mean what you say, and follow-through on your commitments. Most people don’t have to agree with you 100% of the time, but they do need to trust you 100% of the time. Trust cannot exist where leaders are fickle, inconsistent, indecisive, or display a lack of character. Never be swayed by consensus that calls you to compromise your values, rather be guided by doing the right thing. Finally, know that no person is universally right or universally liked, and become at peace with that.
  2. The Importance Factor: Not every difference needs to be resolved. In fact, most differences don’t require intervention as they actually contribute to a dynamic, creative, innovative culture. Remember that it’s not important be right, and more importantly, that you don’t have to be right for the right things to be accomplished. Pick your battles and avoid conflict for the sake of conflict. However if the issue is important enough to create a conflict, then it is surely important enough to resolve. If the issue, circumstance, or situation is important enough, and there is enough at stake, people will do what is necessary to open lines of communication and close positional gaps.
  3. Make Respect a Priority: Disagreement and disrespect are two different things, or at least they should be. Regardless of whether or not perspectives and opinions differ, a position of respect should be adhered to and maintained. Respect is at the core of building meaningful relationships. It is the foundation that supports high performance teams, partnerships, superior and subordinate relationships, and peer-to-peer relationships. Respecting the right to differ while being productive is a concept that all successful executives and entrepreneurs master.
  4. Define Acceptable Behavior: You know what they say about assuming…Just having a definition for what constitutes acceptable behavior is a positive step in avoiding unnecessary conflict. Creating a framework for decisioning, using a published delegation of authority statement, encouraging sound business practices in collaboration, team building, leadership development, and talent management will all help avoid conflicts.
  5. Hit Conflict Head-on: You can only resolve problems by proactively seeking to do so. While you can’t always prevent conflicts, it has been my experience that the secret to conflict resolution is in fact conflict prevention where possible. By actually seeking out areas of potential conflict and proactively intervening in a well reasoned and decisive fashion you will likely prevent certain conflicts from ever arising. If a conflict does flair up, you will likely minimize its severity by dealing with it quickly.
  6. Understanding the WIIFM Factor: Understanding the other person’s WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) position is critical. It is absolutely essential to understand other’s motivations prior to weighing in. The way to avoid conflict is to help those around you achieve their objectives. If you approach conflict from the perspective of taking the action that will help others best achieve their goals you will find few obstacles will stand in your way with regard to resolving conflict.
  7. View Conflict as Opportunity: Hidden within virtually every conflict is the potential for a tremendous teaching/learning opportunity. Where there is disagreement there is an inherent potential for growth and development. If you’re a CEO who doesn’t leverage conflict for team building and leadership development purposes you’re missing a great opportunity.
  8. Clarity of Purpose: Everyone who works for me knows that I care about them as an individual. They are important to me. They know that I’ll go to great lengths to work with them so long as one thing remains the focus point – the good of the organization. So long as the issues being worked on are leading us toward our vision, they know they’ll have my attention regardless of positional gaps or personal differences. Likewise, if things degenerate into placing pride or ego ahead of other team members or the organization as a whole, they know I’ll have no tolerance whatsoever.

The bottom line is that people matter, and but for people, organizations don’t exist. It’s important to remember that a manager exists when the company says so, but that said manager only really becomes a leader when their team says so. As a leader you have only two choices when it comes to your people –  serve them and care for them. Sometimes this means working through challenging scenarios and situations. If as a leader you’re not up to this task, then you should rethink your decision to lead.

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Bertrand Management Group helps companies in terms of strategic planning and employee management. For more tips on how to keep your business afloat through competent leadership and efficient business tactics, visit this blog site.