Posts Tagged ‘empowerment’

19 Low Cost Ways to Recognize Employee Achievements

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

employee recognitionRecognizing your employees for the work they produce for your company is a great way to increase their engagement and the overall morale of your organization. No matter the size of your budget, creating special moments for your team members is possible.

Listed below are encouraging, empowering and easy ways to recognize and reward employees at no or low cost to the employer:

  • Encourage and recognize employees who pursue continuing education.
  • Create and post an “Employee Honor Roll” in break rooms or feature it in the company newsletter.
  • When preparing a status report, acknowledge individual contributions by using employee names.
  • Send Congratulations cards home or tape them to the employee’s office door.
  • Give a copy of the latest best-selling management or business book as a gift.
  • Encourage and recognize employees actively serving the community.
  • Drop in on the first meeting of a special project team to thank each employee for their participation.
  • Thank each employee for their involvement as a team member at the conclusion of a project.
  • Call an employee to your office to thank them and recognize them for a recent achievement.
  • Ask employees to identify specific areas of interest in job-related skills and have them spend a day with the in-house expert to learn more about the subject.
  • Immediately pass along any praise about someone to that person, preferably face-to-face.
  • Tape a few gift cards to the bottoms of chairs at an employee meeting.
  • Serve refreshments at the next team meeting.
  • Encourage the sharing of a team accomplishment by designating that team as mentors or advisors to other teams.
  • Ask upper management to attend a meeting when you plan to thank individuals and the group for their specific accomplishments and contributions.
  • Make arrangements for a team to present their completed project to upper management.
  • Write a letter of appreciation to an employee for his/her contributions, placing a copy in the personnel file.
  • Be sure to use positive nonverbal behaviors that reflect your appreciation.
  • Remember, a smile is contagious!

People like being appreciated. Simple things, particularly when made public to their co-workers, foster a supportive and productive workplace by openly recognizing employees. If you have questions regarding employee recognition, please contact a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919‑878‑9222, 336‑668‑7746 or advice@capital.org.

Photo Source: Texas State Library and Archives Commission

 

Why Your Employees Want to Leave and How You Can Prevent Their Departure

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Losing a top-performing employee significantly impacts an organization. Research indicates that the search to find, hire and train a replacement costs more than a third of the new hire’s salary. Not only do you experience financial implications from the loss of top talent, but your culture could also be affected. The former employee takes his knowledge and skills with him, leaving his remaining coworkers left to pick up the slack from his open position. Heavier workloads can cause stress, decreasing job satisfaction and employee morale for your other team members.

Identifying the reasons why an employee might consider leaving is key in preventing attrition. Contrary to what many leaders believe, money is not the sole or even top motivator for an employee. Many factors contribute to an employee’s decision to leave his current workplace. Some factors are out of your control, but you can heavily influence many. Here are some of the top reasons employees leave their organizations:

  • Demanding positions—long days and working on the weekends
  • Boredom—not enough challenges to keep engagement
  • Inadequate compensation—raises are currently frozen or given to someone less qualified
  • Management disorganization—constant turnover and restructuring in several departments
  • Few opportunities—having little input on decisions cause feelings of unimportance
  • Too competitive—rewarding internal competitiveness instead of cooperation
  • Lack of recognition—feelings of not being valued ignite from infrequent to no acknowledgement

Here are steps you can take to retain your workforce:

  • Set goals—help employees stay motivated by giving them something to work towards
  • Empower them—allow them to lead and don’t micromanage their efforts
  • Show you care—take time to get to know your employee’s life outside and inside of work
  • Offer training—opportunities to gain more knowledge and develop new skills increases engagement
  • Constant feedback—let them know which tasks they’re doing well and which need improvement
  • Be appreciative—thank employees and make sure you frequently let them know they’re valued
  • Give perks—if you can’t offer a raise,  pay for lunch every Friday or grant flexible schedules

For more strategies to retain your top talent, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Photo Source: Victor1558

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

Organizational Culture: In Theory and Practice

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

Articles about how your company culture and talent will be the key factors in your organization’s success, or lack thereof, seem to be everywhere.  Some of these articles highlight specific focus areas for building a culture, and others include high-level theories without application.

I recently had the opportunity to hear Diane Adams and Richard Byrd from Allscripts discuss their corporate culture at a Raleigh Chamber of Commerce program.  Diane, who is the executive vice president of culture and talent, and Richard, who is the vice president of internal communications/culture, shared both a high-level theoretical approach and more specific details about how it is applied in practice.

From 20,000 feet, the key takeaways from the presentation were:

Culture is Intentional

It’s important that you have a destination in mind and take ownership of your company culture.  Your culture should then drive measurable behaviors.

Culture First

You can’t afford to lose precious time waiting to get to your culture.  You must start now if you haven’t already.

It’s More Than Great People

You must continue to work deliberately on your culture. Hiring for cultural fit is just the start.

Inside=Outside

When your organization has a strong, positive culture with engaged employees your customers will have a great experience and your business will see the results.

Diane and Richard pointed to four key areas of focus at the application level when it comes to organizational culture:

Empowerment

Let your team members/employees own their job. When people own something, they usually treat it much differently and will go the extra mile to make it better. It’s also important to help them see how they impact the business results.

Communications

Without consistent, repetitive communication, culture is just some words put to paper.  Make sure the lines are open to two-way communication and be aware that the words you use matter.

Respect/Civility

How people treat each other is a big piece of culture.  Team members should interact in a positive manner toward each other, even when in disagreement.

Feedback/Development

Top talent wants to be in an environment where they are learning, challenged and feel like they are continuing to grow.  Recognition is also important for all employees.

Having read many of the articles and heard numerous speakers discuss culture, I think there are two clear points to be taken from the chorus:

1 – You need to focus on culture now.  If you put it off you will be looking back in six months and realize that your culture has taken on a life of its own—one that you may not like.

2 – One size does not fit all.  It’s up to you to find those things that make your organization special and to highlight them, while also determining the aspirational goals for your culture and how you are going to work toward getting there.  Sure, there may be some broad topic areas that need to be included, but the specifics are up to you.

Is your company culture what you want it to be?  What are you doing to get it there?

Photo Source: USACE- Sacremento District