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Revolutionizing Your Workplace in 2016

revolutionize your_billboardAs we move through 2016, employees’ expectations of their employers are growing and changing. To create workplace safety, inclusiveness and a driven team of people, it’s important to focus on strengthening your company culture in a few key ways. The following sections cover those methods and how you can use them.

Encouraging positive employee relations

As companies focus on strengthening communication and forging solid employee relationships, the need for unions will dissipate naturally. Instead of directing your energy toward creating an anti-union environment, a much more positive and effective approach is to create an environment that fosters positive employee relations. This includes a culture that protects its employees against harassment, injuries and layoffs without the need for union intervention. Employees should express confidence that they can approach management openly and receive assistance without having to struggle for their rights. One of the best ways to ensure that all of these factors are in place is leadership training.

Ensuring strong leadership

How do you determine whether leadership is strong within an organization? Not surprisingly, a study by the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology revealed that commitment and positive attitudes lead to better performance. Thus midlevel managers must be taught to openly display these leadership qualities and pass them down through the organization. By starting at the top, organizational leaders can set an example that reflects a company’s culture and values of openness, honesty and tolerance of all types of people. Incorporating technology such as interactive e-learning has become a popular and effective strategy to keep employees informed and allow them to interact directly with management.

Addressing concerns and issues

In today’s globalized world, events that have a widespread influence on your employees’ attitudes and behaviors can occur. Holding meetings that address employee concerns and key issues can generate better trust and understanding among co-workers. Similarly, management must directly address how employees can professionally handle serious problems such as harassment and injury. If uncertainty exists or formal systems have yet to be put in place for solving these issues, there is a strong need for better communication. To maintain consistency and keep your employees from fragmenting in different directions, leadership must work to maintain a clear voice that overpowers external uncertainty.

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5 Great Ways to Improve Employee Retention

Improving Employee RetentionIn today’s increasingly competitive business environment, it is imperative that organizations focus on attracting and retaining top talent. Josh Bersin from Deloitte points out that the cost of losing an employee can reach two times that employee’s annual salary. Beyond cost, the loss of talent can impact the larger team in terms of morale, productivity and motivation. So how do savvy organizations excel in their employee retention strategies?

1. Hire the Right Candidates

Go beyond the resume to understanding what motivates candidates, what their levels of resilience are, and how effectively they manage challenges. Leadership guru Dave Ramsey talks about the interview process, in which his company requires anywhere from 10 to 17 interviews! Go deeper than just previous employment and what books they like to read – find out what makes them tick.  If possible, have the candidate complete a task similar to what they’d be doing on the job. This allows both you and the candidate to find out if it’s truly something they enjoy. Find out what they have done to go above and beyond in their professional and personal lives that demonstrates passion and self-motivation.

2. Share Your Vision

Modern employees – particularly the millennial generation – want to find meaning in their work. Research by Josh Bersin illustrates that “mission-driven” companies yield 40 percent higher levels of retention while reaching the top levels of their market segment. Ensure that your vision is living and breathing, not just a line in an employee manual. Publish your core values and live by them! Help employees understand exactly how their individual roles directly contribute to the vision and how your company is providing solutions to real-world problems.

3. Encourage Innovation

An organization that neglects to cultivate a culture of innovation will soon become stagnant and begin losing talent to more progressive companies. Author Alan Robinson asserts that soliciting and implementing employee suggestions leads to increased engagement. And why wouldn’t it? Everyone wants to be heard and feel vested in the success of the business. Set up a formal process that solicits, reviews and then implements appropriate innovative ideas drives the business forward and provides employees the opportunity to become invested in the company’s progress. Beyond that, invest in training for employees to keep their skills and knowledge top-noch. Train leaders to innovate and you’ll find that filters throughout the organization.

4. Have the Right Conversations

Modern employees want connection. Author Mark Murphy recommends scheduling periodic meetings with every employee to understand their motivations and pain points. Probe and ask the right questions to understand their strengths and their long-term goals, and share how you can help them achieve these goals.

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5. Offer Robust Benefits

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, the most frequently used benefits to retain high-performing employees are health care, professional and career development benefits, and flexible working benefits. A great strategy is to simply ask employees what benefits or perks are important to them, and then accommodate as appropriate.

As millennials continue to replace baby boomers in the modern workforce, it will become increasingly important to modify retention strategies for the next generation. To learn more about how to connect with employees to improve retention rates, or for information on how we can help your organization, please contact us.

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How to Build Positive Employee-Employer Relationships

Positive Employee RelationsFew things are more disruptive to organizational efficiency than an unmotivated workforce. If you have employees who are constantly at odds with management, or a management team that doesn’t listen to employees, it can effectively bring your entire business to its knees or at least lead to a high turnover rate. Here are some ways to properly motivate your workforce.

Listen As Much As You Talk!

Employee communication needs to go both ways. While management is often quite good at explaining their own ideas, managers should always listen to their employees’ ideas. Employees constantly tell their bosses and other managers what’s going on and frequently come up with ideas for improvement. If those ideas are ignored, you have an unmotivated workforce who is not engaged with your business. That doesn’t encourage people to report problems, and it encourages people to leave as well.

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Be Consistent

Consistency is key to good employee motivation. A manager who changes his mind repeatedly is not providing a consistent front for his workforce, and it makes it hard for employees to know what the manager wants. This, naturally, means that it’s hard to make instant decisions, which demotivates people to act with initiative. Acting consistently ensures that your employees can respond to problems without excessive input, making your job easier and your employees happier.

Be A Little Hands Off

One of the hardest things for many managers is to know when to let go. Micromanaging is a quick way to diminish employee motivation as they lose the ability to make their own decisions. While people do occasionally make bad decisions, trust in your employees, and they’ll ensure you have to do less work and they’ll be better motivated. You may have to clean up the odd mess, but as they learn, they’ll improve, which lets you concentrate on more important things.

Communicate Appropriately

Some managers don’t communicate well, and this can lead to employee dissatisfaction. If you want to enjoy positive employee relations, you need to communicate with your employees regularly. Other managers go the other way and over communicate. This means that every meeting is extended and often becomes viewed as a massive waste of time, which discourages employees and decreases employee motivation, leading to a general feeling of management incompetence. In this case, you need to stick to an agenda and be brief. Don’t let a meeting run over because you’re trying to use it as a brainstorm session as well. Instead, let your employees come to you as they come up with ideas during the day, and encourage them to work at their own pace.

Fostering positive employee relations involves effective employee communication, ensuring that employees have some autonomy to make decisions and providing a consistent approach. Lacking any of these factors may demotivate employees and create high turnover, costing your business money.