Posts Tagged ‘career’

Create a Flexible Work Environment With These 6 Tips

Thursday, October 1st, 2015
Molly Hegeman, VP of HR Services

Molly Hegeman, VP of HR Services

In today’s post Molly Hegeman, CAI’s Vice President of  HR Services, shares helpful strategies for companies looking to offer more flexible scheduling to its employees.

When CAI first surveyed about flexible schedules in 2012, 48% of companies responded that they offered some form alternative work schedules.  In the 2014 NC Policies and Benefits Survey, that number had grown to 52%. In a recent discussion that I had with a group of HR professionals in Jacksonville, NC, this market trend got a lot of interest. Alternative work arrangements are definitely gaining popularity with employees, as evidenced by feedback in the Employee Opinion Surveys that CAI conducts.  All levels and types of employees are voicing a greater interest in flexibility with their hours, the work environment, etc.

With the convenience of mobile and wireless devices, many employees can work nearly 24/7. It seems only right that we should recognize the efforts of employees who check and respond to emails, complete a project after hours, etc. by giving them flexibility with their time.  So, what does that mean for employers?  More specifically, how do you make it work, especially in traditional organizations?

It used to be that companies would only allow a policy to exist if it affected all employees. I don’t think that’s practical anymore. Now don’t get me wrong, I believe all employees should be treated fairly. But fairly does not mean equal in all situations. For example, you may be able to offer a work from home schedule to an employee whose work is fairly independent and not contingent upon physically being in the office. That may not be practical, however, for the receptionist whose main job function is physically greeting customers/clients. It’s probably not reasonable for the organization to set up a virtual/Skype situation.  But, that employee could be afforded the option of a modified work shift and/or remote phone coverage (leaving only limited in person reception duties to be rearranged when needed).

So what’s an organization to do when it hasn’t previously offered flexible scheduling or remote work arrangements?

  1. Understand the options like flex time (schedule-based: compressed work week, flex hours, etc.) and flex location (location-based: telework, working remote).
  2. Consider why you would introduce flex work arrangements and what problem you are trying to solve (downsizing office space, employee morale, etc.).
  3. Ensure your management team supports schedule and/or location-based flex arrangements
  4. Define eligibility and the business situations that support the flex arrangements (even if you start in selected departments within your organization)
  5. Establish guidelines and procedures for your employees and managers to follow
  6. Continuously evaluate the flex arrangements and impact on employees, morale, productivity, business needs, etc.

In a world where there are competing interests and demands on all of us, why not consider the opportunity to help support your employees’ work-life effectiveness?  Whether you introduce small changes or a full program, the positive reaction and response from your employees (and managers) will be returned ten-fold. Flex work arrangements are a great strategy in attracting, retaining and motivating your workforce!

Want more information on our survey findings? Need help creating or updating your flexible schedule policy? Feel free to contact me, Molly Hegeman, directly at (919) 713-5263 or molly.hegeman@capital.org.

Top Reasons Why Employees Voluntarily Leave Your Company

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

FiringThere are several reasons employees decide to leave their jobs. Every employee has specific criteria that makes a job enjoyable or worth making a commitment to. Below are some of the top reasons employees quit their employers to start new positions at different companies.

Some employees do not want to tolerate the demands of their job position or suffer while their company is going through a hard time. Employees in this position may not want to put up with the following:

  • Weekend work, long hours or frequent travel
  • Additional administrative duties added to current job responsibilities, such as copying or filing
  • Raises and promotions currently unavailable
  • Corporate relocation of offices or manufacturing plant

 

Other employees are looking to work on their professional development and won’t stick around long at a place that doesn’t value employee training. To avoid this scenario at your company, consider providing your staff members with the following opportunities:

  • Training programs to develop and gain skills
  • Access to conferences related to their field or industry
  • Subscription to an industry or trade magazine

 

Many employees want to know if they can have a career at their current company. If there’s not a future in it for them, they may look for another company that will need them. Here are some ways to make sure you’re considering your employees’ long-term goals:

  • Ask your employees what they would like to gain from working with your company
  • Implement a program that identifies and trains high performers for leadership positions in the future
  • During your regular employee feedback meetings, get their input on the types of projects they enjoy working on and what they’d like to work on next and in the future

 

A poor company culture is a big reason why employees quit their jobs. Some of the specific reasons related to poor company culture that drive employees to leave include:

  • Constant reorganization of management structure and company direction
  • Rejection of ideas or suggestions to improve the environment
  • Favoritism of some workers over others by team leaders
  • Competition among departments or teams, creating an environment that is more about competing than cooperating.
  • Promoting employees with less training or experience over  more deserving and/or skilled employees

 

If you have questions regarding your organization’s retention strategy, please contact a member of CAI’s Advice and Resolution Team at 919‑878‑9222 or 336‑668‑7746.

Employing Career Changers

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

Lifestyle adjustments have become the new norm for most Americans. Many of those modifications have been small and easy to make, such as cutting back on splurges, carpooling or dining at home, but for those whose career has been impacted, the changes can be significant. Unemployed workers have altered both their lifestyle and career expectations of growth and stability. When seeking new employment, many professionals have turned to positions of lower income, employment outside a previous career or an additional part-time job to make ends meet.

Rutgers University researchers revealed that 26 percent of the unemployed workforce in 2009 was successfully employed by 2010. Within this group of newly employed professionals, nearly 50 percent found employment in a different career or new position. Though the career transition may have been paired with a salary decrease, the majority felt satisfied and content in their new line of work.

The Assumption and Benefit

Many organizations may be hesitant to employ staff outside their industry because seasoned professionals often eliminate the necessity for a majority of the training process, making for an overall smoother transition. It is obvious why companies pursue top talent, but that mindset can be expanded to a variety of potential job candidates, not just industry experts.

Though career changers will need additional time invested up front with training and support, they come with long-term benefits for the organization as a whole. Consider these career changers as new sets of eyes for the company. Your staff and those who have previously worked in similar environments function under related concepts concerning operations and processes. Bringing in new talent allows for an innovative and fresh perspective that may not have been previously available to employers under different economic conditions. The economy has forced everyone to think and maneuver in new ways, so consider seizing the current job market and taking the opportunity to bring in a different kind of talent.

For additional information, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel team at (919) 878-9222 or (336) 668-7746.

Top 5 HR Books of 2010

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

As 2010 is heading toward a close, now is a good time to review the year’s top books addressing human resources management and related concerns. According to Amazon, the following are the most popular ones to come out this year:

1)     The Truth About Managing Effectively, by Stephen P. Robbins, Cathy Fyock, and Martha I. Finney

This came out in 2007, but as it is now available free for a limited time via Kindle (956 KB), it has topped the Amazon list and is worth your consideration in case you have not read it previously. It offers more than 150 tips on how to hire great people (and how to avoid those that are not), get the best from them as employees, and lead them to success. A Kirkus Reports review says it offers “Sharp, necessary words for both employers and prospective employees.”

2)     Visual Meetings: How Graphics, Sticky Notes and Idea Mapping Can Transform Group Productivity, by David Sibett

Tools such as graphic recording and visual planning are in place in Silicon Valley to engage and energize participants in group meetings. These creative resources can facilitate excellence both face-to-face and in virtual group work among all employees when properly used.

3)     The No A**hole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t, by Robert I. Sutton

Do not let the off-color title dissuade you from this still-popular 2007 book, based on a much-discussed Harvard Business Review article that assessed the impact of jerks and bullies in the workplace. “This meticulously researched book” (in the words of Publishers Weekly) includes advice on how to cope with these people and ways an organization can measure the actual cost to their bottom lines of individuals with consistently poor conduct, which could generate into benefits for everyone in response.

4)     Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements, by Tom Rath and James K. Harter, Ph.D.

The wellbeing elements divide into career, social, financial, physical and community. The authors argue that focusing on any of these elements in isolation may drive us to frustration and even a sense of failure. Seeing them from a holistic view, the authors believe it can improve not only the reader’s wellbeing, but that of work colleagues as well.

5)     The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working: The Four Forgotten Needs That Energize Great Performance, by Tony Schwartz, Jean Gomes, and Catherine McCarthy, Ph.D.

The needs referenced in the title are ones that the authors say are essential in retaining employees and keeping them committed to organizations. Their proposed solutions recommend employers embrace humans’ need for both effort and renewal.

Photo Source: austenevan