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Category Archives for Positive Employee Relations

Motivate New Employees With These 6 Great Tips from Projections, Inc.

Motivate New Employees: Six Great Tips

If you want to motivate new employees starting on day one, SHRM (The Society for Human Resource Management) tells us that there are several effective ways of properly onboarding employees. Moreover, they’ve found that the positive results of effectively welcoming new hires is that both employee AND employer reap long-term benefits.

According to SHRM, effective onboarding will increase job satisfaction, organizational commitment and performance levels. In addition, motivating new employees in this way can reduce turnover and new employee stress levels. What’s more, motivating new employees can be as simple as creating the right video onboarding tool.

WHY VIDEO ONBOARDING?

Traditional onboarding often consists of classroom-style lectures and accompanying slide decks, with documentation the new hire must study. Providing video is more memorable and far more effective than a lecture. It’s a way to build trust of company executives and ensure that the message to new employees is consistent. In addition, top-notch onboarding that includes video can reduce in-house training costs, and even reduce turnover in the first 90 days of employment.

Must Read: Inspire Your New Hires! How To Create A Stellar Orientation Video

SIX WAYS TO MOTIVATE NEW EMPLOYEES

Here are six great ideas to help you motivate you new hires. You may only need one or two of them, or you may decide, over time, to implement them all! Whatever you decide, these tips can vastly improve your onboarding process.

MOTIVATE NEW EMPLOYEES WITH SHORTER ORIENTATION VIDEOS TO ADDRESS ONE TOPIC AT A TIME

Separate the information you want to convey into manageable pieces. For example, one video could be a welcome video from the CEO; another might come from department heads and so forth.

MOTIVATE NEW HIRES WITH AN ONLINE PORTAL AND ACCESS TO ALL YOUR ONBOARDING VIDEOS

If you’ve got an employees-only website, you can easily build a library of onboarding videos and update them regularly. If every employee, no matter how long they’ve been with the company, has access to the library, they can revisit information that they need to reinforce. This kind of “tribal” knowledge can be invaluable in building a UnionProof culture and becoming an Employer of Choice.

Another advantage of distributing video information online in these bite-sized chunks is that you won’t overwhelm your new hires by providing all the information they need at one time. It’s easy to set up an email campaign that spaces out delivery of links to these videos in sequential order, based on the employee’s start date and job requirements.

Consider adding an online method for new hires to contact HR with questions as part of your portal. That way, when they see something in one of the videos that they have questions about, they can reach out immediately, which the question is fresh, rather than waiting until they get to HR.

MOTIVATE NEW EMPLOYEES WITH CAREFULLY PLANNED VIDEO ORIENTATION CONTENT

Get input from existing employees on the topics you need to motivate new hires. Ask existing employees of differing seniority in what ways they got “lost” when they were new!. Also, ask them what they know now that they wish they’d known when they first joined the company.

By carefully planning out each of these “sticky” areas, you can address them and make your new hires productive that much more quickly.

MOTIVATE NEW HIRES WITH A MULTI-DAY VIDEO SERIES

Here are some topics you may want to include in a multi-day orientation program:

  • CEO welcome
  • Department heads talking about the role of their department in the overall organization and the department’s mission and objectives
  • Where the company’s prospects and customers come from
  • A comprehensive view of the company’s products and services
  • Information on the company’s competitors
  • Marketing approach and the company’s competitive advantages

MOTIVATE NEW EMPLOYEES WITH OPERATIONAL VIDEOS

Ease your new employees into day-to-day company operations with videos on things they might otherwise never know about your company. These videos can cover topics that may seem mundane but are vital in feeling knowledgeable about the company. Examples include how to use necessary equipment, IT policies, how to get support if something goes wrong, and a wide variety of other day-to-day challenges.

How Much Does Custom Video Cost from Projections

Operational videos are also useful for reference – they’re the sort of content that the new hire may return to later, when they encounter that particular challenge. Think about how to contact maintenance if there’s a building issue, who’s in charge of phones or email, even how the sales department brings in new customers.

MOTIVATE NEW HIRES WITH VIDEOS FOCUSED ON “INSIDE INSIGHT”

Of course, your onboarding videos should reflect your company culture. Expand on that idea with fun videos that illustrate what it’s like to work at the company. Create a “day in the life” video of one employee, or edit input from a variety of employees into one video.

Your team members can share testimonials on a variety of topics, such as what they do, their biggest challenge, their greatest satisfaction, the resources they find most useful, the help they can offer to new employees, and what they like about their job or the company. If you have employees whose career paths have included a series of promotions, arrange for them to provide a testimonial on career opportunities for long-term employees.

If you’re responsible for onboarding new employees, video is a tool you don’t want to ignore. Don’t get overwhelmed if you don’t have a video library right now. Since you’ll be creating specific videos to address specific topics, you can easily build a library over time. The most important thing is just getting started!

Custom video - how much does it cost? From Projections, Inc.

How Much Does Custom Video Cost?

It takes a certain amount of courage to undertake the creation of a custom video production for your company. That courage often comes from the realization that powerful and unique employee communications can be one of the most important tasks you complete this year. Eventually, because everyone has a budget, new clients ask “how much does it cost to make a custom video?” Most of the time a figure is already in the mind of the person asking, and it ranges from “a small fortune” to about the “cost of a movie rental.”

Quality, speed or price. This is what we call the “Unattainable Triangle” when talking about the cost of a custom video production.

GOOD service CHEAP won’t be FAST.
GOOD service FAST won’t be CHEAP.
FAST service CHEAP won’t be GOOD.

WHAT IS THE VALUE OF YOUR CUSTOM VIDEO?

So, what is the value of your message? After all, the ultimate goal in connecting with employees is to create value and improve your culture. Making sure your message is understood is what matters more than anything. But assigning a value (much less a ROI) to that message is practically an art form, and only you can do it.

We can, however, guide you toward the most effective way to craft and present your message to maximize its effectiveness for your audience. So how much does custom video cost? Well, it varies.

Think of buying a car, the base price may seem reasonable. But by the time you add on all the upgrades you need to make sure it meets your needs, like A/C, power windows, a sound system, or upgraded wheels, the price is 1.5 to 2 times as much.

Improve Employee Engagement With These 5 Types of Videos from Projections, Inc.

WHAT CAN BE ADDED?

Here are some of the more common “add-ons” found in custom video production that you may want to consider:

  • Adding talent or actors
  • Special talent or voiceover
  • Additional shooting days in-studio
  • Additional or multiple location shooting
  • Higher-end 3D animation for an opening
  • Specialized shooting equipment such as a crane, dolly or Steadicam
  • Foreign language version (translation, talent, graphics)
  • Custom music or licensing
  • Props
  • Location fees

As you can see, production elements can vary widely depending on your project’s circumstances. Sometimes there are alternate solutions we can offer and other times, something else can be swapped out or removed. The important thing is to maintain the value of your message throughout the entire process.

SO, HOW MUCH DOES A CUSTOM VIDEO COST?

The average price of a 15-18 minute custom video production is $25,000–$32,500. This pricing includes scripting, on-camera narrator talent, 1-day studio shoot, 2-days location shoot for B-roll, executive shoot or testimonials, graphics & animation, music, and a week of post-production (editing). We’ve found that a 2nd language production produced at the same time is 60% of the cost of English, so $15,000 to $19,500.

The keyword here is “average price.” After producing thousands of videos on all subjects, these are the typical production elements that go into every production. That being said, we’ve done videos for as little as $5,000 to over $100,000.

5 Great Ideas for your Employee Onboarding Video from Projections, Inc.

One last tip here is to consider “shelf life.” How long do you think your company will be able to utilize your custom video? We have found that 3 to 5 years is a reasonable estimate, with changes in management or company branding notwithstanding. Take the cost of the production, $32,500 for example, and amortize it out by 5 years. Your cost-per-year for the creation of your powerful and unique custom video is $6,500.

If your company is needing a custom video produced, you’ve come to the right place. Projections, Inc. can help you with your custom video needs.

Onboarding Strategy: 3 Quick Improvements to Make Now

Onboarding. You’ve been doing it for years, and we bet it goes something like this:

  1. You welcome your new hires to your organization.
  2. You tell them all about your mission and values. (Yawn!)
  3. You play a few role-playing games to “break the ice.”
  4. You take a tour of the office.
  5. You wave to Dave from Accounts. Dave waves back. (Hi, Dave!)
  6. You tell your new hires how wonderful they are.

Then you just hope everyone turns up for work tomorrow.

People told you this would inform and educate your employees. It would reduce staff attrition.

But, here’s the kicker: Most onboarding strategies follow the exact same pattern as above. And they’re seriously dull.

The result? Employees are suffering from “onboarding fatigue.” They know exactly what to expect because they experienced the same thing in their last job.

Mission and values. A few games. A tour of the office. Waving to Dave from Accounts…

Come on, you can do better than that.

Twenty-five percent of all employees leave a company within a year, and 20 percent leave within the first 45 days. Onboarding can reverse these trends, but only if you do it properly. And we bet you’re not doing it properly. Sorry.

If you really want to succeed, you need to think outside the box.

Here are three creative onboarding hacks that you need to incorporate into your business, like, now.

1. Gamification

There’s a certain point in the onboarding process where someone from HR says something like, “OK, it’s time to have some fun.” The problem is, new hires know what’s coming next, and it’s really not fun at all.

HR professionals always insist on role-playing games, where they split groups of new hires into small teams and get them to act out a certain scenario. Organizations have been doing it for decades, but do new hires actually enjoy it? We don’t think so.

There’s nothing wrong with incorporating interactive elements into your onboarding process, but you need to do something different. This is where gamification comes in. Most companies don’t use this technology for onboarding, so you’ll instantly engage your new hires.

Why not ask employees to download an app onto their smartphone that includes a digital checklist? New hires can tick off items as they complete them during training. Alternatively, employees can play training games on a tablet.

Research shows that organizations who incorporate gamification into their onboarding generate a 49 percent boost in engagement and a 36 percent improvement in turnover. Still, only 17 percent of companies use this technology.

2. Videos

People love watching videos. Around 1.3 billion people use YouTube alone. Incorporating videos into your onboarding process might seem strange. HR teams should teach employees about company values, surely? New hires can watch videos in their spare time, right? Not necessarily. Research from Gartner suggests that onboarding videos are the most effective type of video for organizations — more effective than product videos and sales enablement videos, in fact. What gives?

The truth is, videos will standardize your onboarding techniques and ensure you get your message across properly. Whether you want your new hires to know about your company objectives or labor relations policies, videos will explain everything in a clear, concise, creative way. Consequently, every single new hire will receive exactly the same message.

Want to create onboarding videos of your own? Projections, Inc. can help you with that.

5 videos that will improve employee engagement

Now that we’ve established you need videos, what should you include in your visual content? There are various things you can incorporate into your onboarding videos, but it’s always a good idea to check out the competition.

Recently, we published an article about what makes a great onboarding video. We looked at how some of the biggest brands and organizations engage new hires with their visual content. (Check out the article here!) This is what we learned:

You don’t need fancy graphics to get your message across. People respond to great content, not dramatic music or Hollywood-style action movie sequences.

A piece-to-camera is awesome if you want to tell your brand story and convey your values. Encourage your CEO to be a part of your onboarding video!

Animation works well if you have lots of information that you want to tell your new hires — statistics, data, numbers, that kind of thing.

3. Personalization

Personalization will help you achieve your onboarding goals. We know there’s no “one-size-fits-all” approach to onboarding, so customizing this process should produce explosive results. Onboarding a group of new sales agents will require a different approach to onboarding a senior manager, for example.

Tailor your onboarding to each individual. This might take you some time, but it could provide you with a return on your investment. Sure, standardized onboarding programs might work for some companies who just require temporary staff, but if you really want to reduce turnover, you need to customize content.

“To achieve personalized onboarding, initial assessments can be used to better understand an employee’s areas of excellence, areas of potential growth, and areas that need to be developed to ensure job readiness,” says the Association for Talent Development.

Related: The Employee Experience: The Path to High Engagement

Here’s how to personalize onboarding:

  • Send personalized emails to new hires before your onboarding event. When people arrive for onboarding, give them a handwritten welcome note.
  • Get to know your new hires individually. Ask them questions and boost engagement.
  • Provide new hires with individualized training based on their experience, qualifications, and goals.

All onboarding isn’t great onboarding. If you need to engage with new hires and prevent them from leaving your company, you should invest in new strategies that provide real value. Forget everything you’ve been told about onboarding strategies. Splitting your new hires into teams and playing a few games won’t do much at all. Gamification, videos, and personalization, however, will change perceptions toward your organization and result in confident, informed, more productive employees. Take it from us, we know!

Improve Employee Engagement With These 5 Types of Videos

Videos are among the most effective communication tools in existence to improve employee engagement. They grab and hold people’s attention, and they’re often very memorable. Even videos with weak production values can have high entertainment and engagement value.

It’s no wonder that so many companies use videos to train staff members and share information. And the following video categories make for particularly enlightening clips.

1. Pre-hire

Before you officially offer a position, you can show job candidates a pre-hire video. It provides a glimpse into your company’s environment and culture by depicting typical workdays. It should also list your rules and beliefs, including the fact that you operate without unions. Testimonials from current employees and customers can likewise illustrate your brand’s character.

A crisp video helps applicants make last-minute decisions. Does your workplace really seem like the right place for them? Do they suddenly realize they’d be a better fit elsewhere?

2. New Hire

Once you hire someone, play your new hire video. Reiterate your benefits and basic expectations, and explain them further. Delve into the history and unique features of your brand. Just don’t go into too much detail since new employees have so much to learn.

This video should restate your union-free business model. You could explain how your company isn’t opposed to unions but has established this system for the welfare of all employees.

Improve Employee Engagment

3. Philosophy to Improve Employee Engagement

Another onboarding video is your company philosophy video. It should include information for and about every division in your organization.

Here, explain how your UnionProof culture works — a culture, be sure to mention, that your entire team endorses. Describe how your company makes decisions and how disputes are mediated. You might rely on open-door policies, after-hours meetings or other helpful methods. These are all great tools to improve employee engagement.

4. Benefits

Each year, screen your benefits video for employees; you can invite their family members to come in and watch as well. It ought to describe your total compensation package and remind everyone how to take advantage of perks and benefits.

You might discuss how your human resources team can assist, which online forms to complete, how enrollment processes work and so on. In short, be as thorough as you need to be.

RELATED: Employee Benefits: The Gift That Keeps on Giving

5. Updates

Finally, once or twice a year, workers and their families could view a company update video, one that’s full of news and testimonials. It can spell out your organization’s achievements during the past year and its goals for the year to come. Remind everyone, too, of the culture that makes your workplace so special to improve employee engagement.

The purpose of such a video is to inspire and make everyone feel included and valued. Thus, it can be a rousing way to start or conclude a meeting or a conference.

In the end, engaged employees are happier, more productive and likelier to stay with your company for a long time. And videos are great a great tool to improve employee engagement, delivering consistent messages and building a strong UnionProof organization. You can either film these yourself onsite or consider hiring a company proven to create videos that improve employee engagement.

Understanding Ethics

Understanding Ethics: Does Employee Age Matter?

With employee perspectives on ethics shaped by very different sets of life experiences, it has never been more important for employers to engage employees across the generations. Baby boomer and millennial employees can understand common goals, even the company’s mission and vision, but understanding ethics can be an entirely different challenge.

Understanding ethics means making decisions on a daily basis with integrity, based on a values-driven workplace culture instead of just a compliant one.

The reality is that “Corporate Compliance” is often just a matter of checking boxes. Ethics can be a much more nebulous topic, and much more difficult for Human Resources teams to keep watch over. In an effort to succeed, employees feeling pressured sometimes strive to succeed in the wrong way. Consider the constant stream of news reports announcing ethical violations of theft and deception – sometimes starting at the very top.

The reports only scratch the surface of what’s going on. There are employees behaving in ways that are unethical, but the behaviors don’t rise to the level of a crime – backstabbing coworkers, job hopping despite commitments made at the time of hiring, secretly talking to disruptive union representatives rather than approaching supervisors, and on and on the list goes. Ethics is a pervasive principle.

Employee communication

Linking Ethics to the Generations

Do baby boomers and millennials have different perspectives on ethics? Multiple surveys suggest they do. Baby boomers operate best in a workplace where there are formal systems to incentivize ethical conduct, access to formal channels that can provide regular guidance, published standards of conduct for responding to questionable activities and ethical leadership.

Millennials don’t like boundaries, largely due to technology and globalization. They like the flexibility to handle situations, collaborative work and quick access to resources when advice is needed. They’re more open and transparent, thus more likely to discuss their employer and workplace conditions with a wide range of people inside and outside the organization, creating a setup for ethical violations. Since they’re more flexible, millennials tend to tolerate historically typical unethical or non-compliant co-worker behaviors more than baby boomers, like theft.

One reason they don’t report observed misconduct at times is because they have seen “whistleblowers” get punished for doing the right thing. Yet, millennials are more likely than baby boomers to access the person or office responsible for compliance and ethics. The lesson to learn is that they’re very social, so communication about ethics and compliance should include social interaction and ongoing support, like ongoing training, technology-based reporting systems and frequent communications from leaders addressing ethics, which could be social media postings, tweets, HR feedback systems and all the other tools that people use to stay in touch.

Union-Free Millennials

Expanding on What Ethics Embraces

Over the years, what is considered unethical behaviors has changed. Baby boomers that did report violations focused on things like fraud and financial manipulation. Millennials are more focused on workplace behaviors like sexual harassment, discrimination, biased talent systems, and corporate social or environmental irresponsibility. People were shocked when Google employees resigned to protest the company’s participation in Pentagon-funded projects. When employees question the ethics of their employers, engagement is negatively impacted.

A couple of surveys also found that millennials are more inclined to do some things you, as an employer, likely believe are unethical. They include tweeting or posting information online about the organization and keeping copies of confidential documents. These are the types of activities that can easily end up involving unions. With the more relaxed millennial perspective of ethics, the challenge for employers is developing an organizational culture that gives people the freedom to be different, while embracing generational diversity.

Make Understanding Ethics Local

Gallup’s research indicates that 70 percent of differences in employee engagement come down to local teams. This particular research addressed employees working in a variety of locations, but there is a lesson for all employers. All organizational leaders down to the lowest level must be ambassadors for ethics, driving the creation of an engaging culture that has ethics as a core value. Senior managers ordering people to act ethically via a policy may work with some baby boomers who are used to hierarchal orders, but it won’t be enough for millennials and it won’t create the ethical culture. Ethics must be “glocal” – local and global – whether talking about a particular department or an international business location.

Here’s the caveat: Millennials must have access to the right communication tools, like confidential online helplines before they are likely to report ethics violations. Employees in various generations reported bribery, kickbacks, and stealing, the kind of behaviors baby boomers have traditionally reported. However, other unethical behaviors reported by the 69 percent include misuse of confidential information, sexual harassment, and offering products and services that did not meet quality standards. Ethics goes far beyond compliance.

All About a Culture of Integrity

Of most importance is the fact the Ethics & Compliance Institute’s survey found that companies aren’t making progress in developing an ethical culture, which is the biggest factor influencing employee behavior. Only 20 percent of employees surveyed said their company has a strong ethical culture and approximately 40 percent indicated the organization’s ethical culture is weak. Developing a culture of ethics and compliance is crucial to maintaining an organization with a workforce that acts with integrity on a day-today basis.

A culture of integrity has certain characteristics, like a set of clear values, senior managers who behave ethically and regularly encourage employees to do so, and consistency of messaging. Your frontline managers should be engaged in reinforcing the culture on a daily basis. People at all levels of the organization should be held accountable for behaving ethically. Internal violations and other employee matters should be handled equitably, a key principle for keeping unions out of the workplace.

The organization needs to provide a variety of communication systems to appeal to multiple generations and provide consistent messaging. An effective communication system can send the message across generations in the format each generation prefers and by the people (i.e. CEO, supervisors, co-workers) each generation is most likely to pay attention to, i.e. CEO, middle managers, frontline supervisors and/or co-workers. That might be a video played in a meeting or the same video distributed via social media or shared via an email link.

Younger generations learn best by doing as they’ve grown up with tablets and smartphones in their hands. For younger leaders, interactive eLearning may be the best training solution. Baby Boomers are often fact-finders and may appreciate having all the Company’s ethics reference information on an easily readable website.

Ethical Culture Begets Employee Engagement

Creating an ethical and compliant culture brings a lot of advantages, like a more engaged workforce. It’s also the foundation of creating a UnionProof culture because an ethical culture is supportive of employees, believes in equitable treatment, and is supported by strong and regular two-way communication between employees and managers. People in every generation want to be treated fairly.

Think about this: Baby boomers joined unions decades ago because they perceived their employers to be unethical, profit driven rather than people driven, unjust and non-communicative about Human Resources matters, i.e. promotion systems, pay scales, etc. Today, if all team members know their supervisor, and ultimately their employer, will stand behind them when they make tough, ethical decisions, it minimizes the odds of unions taking hold in your business. It’s the best way to stay union free.

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