Posts Tagged ‘employee morale’

Stop Demotivating Your High Performers

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

In today’s video blog, CAI’s Vice President of Membership, Doug Blizzard, asks employers to quit demotivating their top employees. Doug says whether or  not you believe you can motivate other people, one thing is clear: accepting mediocre performance from some employees is one of the most destructive things you could do to top performers.

He offers reasons for why leaders accept poor performance. Doug says some leaders blame the economy, are fearful of a lawsuit or think they need to treat each employee exactly the same. Another reason he lists is that, even with help, some very well-intentioned employees just can’t do their jobs well. Not dealing with low performers is often the easiest thing for a company to do.

Doug’s primary message is to be aware of how mediocre job performance is costing your organization, and work hard to address the poor performance in a fair and reasonable way. He says everyone at an organization knows who the low performers are, and they lose respect for their employer each time poor performance is not addressed.

Work hard to create a culture of high performance. Doug suggests starting by identifying and addressing your low performers. Some individuals can improve with training and others with performance improvement plans. However, some will have to take their talents elsewhere. When you implement a high performance culture, you’ll see company productivity, morale, and your bottom line rise.

If you’d like assistance with creating a high performance culture, please contact a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Why Your Company Needs an Up-To-Date Employee Handbook

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

Although there is no federal law that requires organizations to produce employee handbooks, providing them for your staff helps create positive employer-employee relationships and protects your organization from potential wrongful harassment, termination or discrimination lawsuits.

Here are two reasons why handbooks benefit employers and employees:

Promotes a Positive Workplace Atmosphere

Company handbooks provide employees with a set of clearly defined policies, rules and guidelines. Well-written handbooks also outline consequences for not following company policies, as well as where employees should turn to if they have a problem. Having this information on hand helps workers understand their employer’s expectations and what they should expect from their employer.

Because each employee receives the same handbook, they all review the same information. These documents set the precedent for fair and consistent employee treatment. To ensure effectiveness and understanding and to avoid low employee morale and job dissatisfaction, keep your handbook clear, concise, easy to follow, and up to date.

Is a Legal Document

Although you don’t want to fill your employee handbook with confusing legalese, it can serve as your biggest protection for or evidence against your company in a lawsuit. Many courts see employee handbooks as contracts between an employer and its employees. For this reason, avoid using promises, guarantees and entitlements in your handbook because if left unfulfilled, those promises could be used against you in a lawsuit.

Making sure you follow the policies and procedures outlined in your employee handbook is critical.  Routinely adhering to your handbook will be one of your best defenses. However, the opposite is also true. If you have several rules that you don’t follow, your current or former employees can use them against you. Regulations that you seldom enforce or frequently change should be omitted from your handbook to safeguard your organization.

It’s impossible to cover every workplace situation in your handbook because additional issues will always occur after you finalize it, so keep your policies appropriately flexible. Additionally, putting a statement in your handbook explaining that the document is not a complete collection of company policies and that your company reserves the right to change any policy is suggested.

If you have questions or would like your company handbook reviewed, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Photo Source: West Point Public Affairs

6 Steps to Boost Employee Happiness and Productivity

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Just as April’s showers bring May’s flowers, the time you spend on cultivating your employees directly affects how successful they are in reaching their goals.  Proper time spent on setting your employees up for success not only benefits their workflows, but it also helps your overall organization maintain positive business results.

The six strategies below will help your staff members bloom to their full potential. So, implement these tips, and watch them flourish:

Make Expectations Clear

Give your employees clear instructions and desired results before they start an assignment. Doing this will better ensure that you both will be satisfied with the outcome. By being specific with your expectations, you will save your employees from the confusion and frustration that typically comes with vague directions.

Train Them Well

Offering your employees the opportunity to strengthen their skills or improve their industry knowledge benefits you as much as it benefits them. They will use the information they learn from training classes or webinars to elevate the quality of work they complete for your organization. Help them find appropriate training opportunities for their positions.

Offer Them Adequate Resources

Making sure your employees have the necessary resources to perform their job well is critical. If an employee doesn’t have the tools he needs to complete his projects, his motivation to improve his productivity will decrease. Ask your employees what they need to get their jobs done. If their answers are reasonable, you should do your best to accommodate them.

Practice Effective Communications

You can likely blame miscommunication for several mishaps that have occurred in your workplace. Knowing how to effectively communicate to your employees will help you achieve greater productivity, increased employee morale, and, of course, fewer mishaps. Learn how each of your employees likes to communicate, and use those methods when interacting with them.

Keep Them Empowered

Research indicates that empowered employees are more likely to be satisfied in their jobs and stay loyal to their employers. Help your employees feel empowered by delegating important tasks to them. Let them know that you trust them with more responsibility, and they will appreciate your trust and try hard to not disappoint you.

Let Them Achieve Work/Life Balance

In addition to projects and deadlines they have to keep up with at work, employees have responsibilities outside of the office that may include their family, place of worship or charitable organization. Check in with your employees to make sure their workloads allow them time to enjoy activities that are not work related. Granting them time to breathe will keep them positive and productive at the office.

For additional tips to help your employees grow and succeed in their careers, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Photo Source: Keith Williamson

Use Effective Time Management to Keep Your Workforce Productive

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

At 2 a.m. this Sunday, we will set our clocks forward one hour for Daylight Saving Time. The practice first used in World War 1 adds daylight to our afternoons and evenings. Many activities benefit from the spring time change, but many people don’t forget the fact that we lose an hour to keep some sunlight. Depending on your organization and the work your employees complete, this loss of an hour could have a negative effect on your company’s productivity. Utilizing effective time management strategies will help you and your staff avoid unfavorable results from the lost hour.

Successful time management comes easy to some, but for most people, it is a skill that takes time to learn and perfect. Being more efficient with time has several workplace advantages. Here are a few: deadlines and expected results are met because they were realistic, fewer errors occur in projects because staff members allot appropriate time to complete them and last-minute panicking to address pertinent assignments decreases.

Some managers and members of senior leadership think the answer to solving time management issues is to eliminate all time wasters. Examples of time wasters include chatting with coworkers, surfing the internet, taking personal phones calls, checking personal emails and running errands. Yes, these activities take away time from completing projects, but they shouldn’t be eliminated all together. If employees work straight through their 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. shifts, they will most likely burn out. Breaks, downtime and socializing should be practiced in the workplace because they help create a positive atmosphere for everyone. Instead of eliminating these activities, limiting the amount of time spent on them is encouraged.

Here are a few more time management strategies to share with your workforce:

  • Plan your day
    • Whether you make a to-do list or setup tasks in your Microsoft Outlook, specify the assignments you want to complete for the day. You can also go one step further and specify the amount of time you’d like to spend on each project. Make sure your list is manageable so this method is helpful not overwhelming.
  • Practice prioritizing projects
    • Finishing all of your easy assignments in a day does feel good, but dragging out the length of a high-priority assignment is never fun. Build time in your daily schedule to work on an important project. Break it down into smaller parts or take breaks to avoid a burn out. Getting these assignments finished before or by deadline will make more of an impact on your company than the easy projects.
  • Delegate when you can
    • If you have tasks that can be completed quicker with the help of additional team members, ask for their support. Delegation is a great business tool because it helps free up some of your time while also empowering the employees who receive the additional assignments.
  • Know when to say no
    •  Sometimes employees take on more work than they can handle for various reasons such as, wanting a raise or proving they can take on more responsibility. Overworking creates stress and lowers employee morale and job satisfaction. Instead of volunteering for projects that come your way, evaluate the core assignments that you have to finish. If a new project will cause a missed deadline for another project, politely decline and give the reason why you are declining.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle
    • Loss of concentration can often be attributed to an unhealthy lifestyle. Eating nutritious food, exercising multiple times per week and adapting a routine sleep schedule will give you plenty of energy to stay focused throughout your work day. Your ability to stay focused will help you complete tasks more efficiently and with fewer errors.

For additional tips to effectively manage time and increase productivity for your company, consider participating in CAI’s Time Mastery: Taking Control of Your Time course.

Photo Source: Victor1558