Posts Tagged ‘job satisfaction’

Use Training and Professional Development to Encourage Employee Engagement

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

 June 3 2013 quote blog

If you think the only way to boost employee morale and job satisfaction is increasing salaries or offering large bonuses, you are wrong. Competitive pay rates and earned raises are important to your employees and you should give them. However, if you don’t have the money to increase everyone’s salary, you can offer your employees opportunities for training and professional growth.

Providing employees with education that will be beneficial to their careers is a cost-effective way to increase job satisfaction at your workplace. You don’t have to max out budgets to illustrate to your staff that you want to help them achieve their goals. Help them feel appreciated by investing in their futures.

The list below shares several ways you can help your staff learn more, become engaged and be more productive. Try some of the examples at your workplace:

Encourage employees to join professional groups and associations.

Groups related to their jobs will help your staff members connect with similar professionals, learn best practices from their peers, and even gain new business and clients.

Set up a company mentor program.

Seasoned employees can teach your new additions a lot about the company. Your green employees can also give out important lessons. Organize a program that will be beneficial to most of your staff.  

Buy subscriptions to industry-related literature.

A budget-friendly way to increase the knowledge of your workers is to supply your workplace with magazines, journals and books that teach them valuable information.

Provide employees with professional training

Sign your staffers up for training classes to help them develop into strong leaders and better communicators. Experienced trainers will teach them applicable information to take back to the organization.

Capitalize on the information on the Internet.

Improve your employee’s technology skills while they receive training on the internet. Use webinars and blogs to cut costs or save travel time.

For additional ideas to increase employee morale and productivity at your organization, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

12 Activities to Keep Your Workforce Engaged through Fall

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

Saturday is the first day of fall, and with the new season comes cooler weather, different foliage and a workforce that just wrapped up its summer. Keep your team members’ engagement high by incorporating fall fun into your workplace. There are many activities you can try at the office. Some are great for team building and others will show your employees that you appreciate their hard work.

Try these employee engagement activities with an autumn twist at your organization:

  1. Have team members bring in fall inspired dishes, such as apple pie or pumpkin soup, for a fall themed office party
  2. Stock the break room with warm apple cider or pumpkin flavored coffee for a morning treat
  3. Allow your staff members to leave work early to pick up their children from school once the academic year starts
  4. Organize an office activity day at a nearby park and play football with your workers and their families
      • Make participation optional
  5. Help employees stay fit during the season by planning a group hike at a local nature trail
      • Make participation optional
  6. Purchase group tickets to a local football game or other fall activity for you staff members to enjoy
  7. Treat your staff to a fall family day and schedule family-friendly activities like jumping in leaves or a cake walk
  8. Plan an office outing to a local apple orchard or pumpkin patch to bond while walking and picking autumn goods together
  9. Host a family hayride at a local park or farm
      • Include hay bale contests or a mini petting zoo
  10. Encourage fitness by arranging after work pick-up soccer games
      •  Make participation optional
  11. Throw a Halloween party and create a costume contest and a pumpkin decorating and carving contest
  12. Buy a turkey and hold an office potluck lunch for Thanksgiving
      • Ask your employees to each bring a dish

For more employee engagement tools and strategies, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Photo Source: Michael Whyte

14 Ways to Help Your Employees Improve Their Health and Work Performance

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

Employers, you can help your employees be more productive and engaged workers. Including activities and programs that improve the mental and physical health of your staff members will help them enhance their work performance. Your employees will experience many benefits by maintaining good health. Stress is reduced, focusing is easier, fatigue is minimized and job satisfaction is increased when workers adopt a more healthy way of life.

There are several ways you can help your employees shape up. Helping them switch some of their routines could also help you reduce the cost of your company health care plan. However, for maximum impact make sure the focus of your health initiative is helping your employees get healthier rather than helping your organization save money.

Below are 14 ways to help your employees improve their physical and mental health:

  • Provide them with a stipend that they can use for fitness activities, such as gym memberships or yoga classes
  • Replace high calorie snacks and sugary drinks at your office with more nutritious options
  • Encourage your employees to take short breaks between long periods of work to help them regain focus and avoid burn out
  • Create a quiet space with comfortable chairs for employees to take their breaks
  • Make walking maps of the company neighborhood available for employees to use before work, during lunch or at the end of the day
  • Offer a free, healthy lunch option to employees once a month
  • Plan onsite group fitness activities during lunch or after work hours, and allow your staff members to choose if they’d like to participate
  • Personalize items for your employees that will motivate them to pursue fitness activities
      • For example, you can order water bottles and pedometers personalized with the company logo or names of staff members to encourage weekly walking
  • Have a massage therapist come onsite to provide employees with inexpensive massages
      • Massages can be paid for by your company or by your employees
  • Provide information on achieving a healthier lifestyle in your company newsletter and on bulletin boards
  • Plan a company picnic that includes fitness activities, such as softball or tug of war
      • Invite employees’ families to participate as well
  • Tell your employees to take and enjoy their lunch breaks—preferably out of their office or workspace
  • Keep plenty of water in different workspaces for your employees to maintain  hydration and  concentration throughout the day
  • Work with your benefits provider to offer onsite flu shots for your employees and their families

Please contact a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746 if you are interested in receiving more strategies to improve workplace performance.

Photo Source: Port of San Diego

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

Why Employees Stay Long-Term

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

Granted, some reasons employees leave a company are out of your control. People may quit a job for reasons as varied as having a bad commute, a deterioration of their community, an industry downturn, a desire to be closer to family or even to escape from unpleasant weather. However, most employees leave a company because of factors directly connected with their job.

 Like the Rolling Stones’ song, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” people leave a company when they are dissatisfied and decide they can only achieve their career goals somewhere else. To combat this, you need an armload of information relevant to your company in particular.Meeting

 Find Out Why Employees Leave and Why They Stay

 It’s important not only to have exit interviews in which you find out an employee’s reason for leaving, but also to ask those who have stayed with the company the reasons why they stay. A simple employee survey could open your eyes (and those of management) to all sorts of useful insights.

 Studies have shown that the longer employees stay with a company, the more likely they are to continue to stay. Research company Blessing White’s Employee Engagement Report 2011 shows that engaged employees stay longer and provide more value to the company (http://grenell.com/cms/index.php/how-engaged-are-your-employees/ ). So the big question is, how does a company engage its employees?

 Engage Your Employees

 There are many ways to effectively engage employees. Here are a few ideas: 

  1. Implement a strong career development program.
    This involves many aspects of management, from the creation of job descriptions and career ladders with clear advancement steps tied to job performance, salary and status, to the time set aside for coaching and mentoring. Providing training to employees is a major part of any career development program. Some employers fear that if they train their employees, the employees will leave—but it is most often the other way around. Fail to train your employees, and they will leave.
  2. Monitor the company benefits constantly for improvement.
    Having great benefits is a strong factor in retaining employees. Offering top wages is not enough, as employees make career decisions based on company benefits such as 401(k)s, profit sharing, sick leave, vacation, and health plans—especially as health insurance premiums continue to rise. The Department of Health and Human Services just released its guidelines to states for the creation of affordable insurance exchanges on July 11. Monitor your statMeetinge’s efforts to carry out the new federal health care law and keep your employees informed.
  3. Make employees feel valued.
    This is where job satisfaction begins and ends. To keep up morale and make people feel appreciated, you must create a workplace environment where managers are respected for their competence and fairness, and employees are recognized in multiple ways for their contributions. Develop creative employee incentive and reward programs, and you will affect employee productivity and company profitability. People have a strong need to feel valued.
  4. Empower your employees. Personal autonomy in completing tasks is important to employees because no one likes to feel powerless. Giving people some control over their workplace environment and schedule is often a wise move on the part of management, but so is delegating authority and trusting employees to follow through. Accountability and responsibility for results are essential for empowerment, so the benefit works both ways.

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

Photo Source: Alan Cleaver, Voka-Kamer van Koophandel Limburg