Posts Tagged ‘morale’

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

 

7 Helpful Tips for Conducting Difficult Conversations with Employees

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

difficult conversationHaving a difficult conversation with employees, either as a group or one-on-one, is never an easy thing to do. A negative performance review or a poor corporate earnings report can adversely affect employee morale and future productivity.

There are ways, however, to deliver bad news that can mitigate the impact it has on the employee and on the existing relationship with the messenger. The key is in leading the conversation with respect and sensitivity to how the news is likely to be received by the employee.

Here are seven tips that can help to guide the conversation effectively and promote a positive experience the next time difficult news needs to be delivered:

What Do You Want To Accomplish?

Decide on your objectives before you engage with the employee. List the points you wish to address and the outcome you are anticipating. If the discussion begins to drift from this path, return to your list of points and stay on track.

Empower the Employee

Give the employee an opportunity to present their side or to address the points you are making from their point of view. Show the employee your willingness to listen to what they have to say and they will be less likely to feel threatened or defensive.

Be Specific, Avoid Generalities

Make certain you cite specific events or behaviors without making general statements. Negative generalities can be interpreted as a personal attack. Specific incidents, on the other hand, can be improved upon and that improvement can be measured.

Observations, Not Absolutes

Sensitive issues should be presented as observations made from your perspective, not as absolutes. Observations can leave less room for argument in the discussion. However, be certain to only leave room for negotiation if you are willing to consider it. In cases of a termination, maintain a firm and direct stance without room for argument.

Accountability without Blame

Provide context when framing an issue that needs to be addressed. If a specific goal has been missed, suggest circumstances that may have contributed to the situation. The employee is still responsible for overcoming those obstacles, where possible, to meet the goal. Knowing management understands the situation beneath the surface will motivate the employee to improve going forward.

Turn the Conversation Into a Learning Experience

After the difficult news has been delivered, do not end the conversation on that note. Discuss with the employee how improvements can be made and help to create a plan of action going forward. Interject advice based on your own experiences in a similar situation. This will help the employee feel supported and will also demonstrate your willingness to assist them.

Dignity and Respect

Keep all conversations on a professional level, maintaining dignity and respect on both sides of the table. Even terminations, which are non-negotiable, can be presented in such a way to allow the employee to maintain their self-esteem and exit the meeting gracefully and without feeling defeated.

If you’d like additional help conducting difficult conversations, please contact a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746. You can also sign up for our e-Learning course, Difficult Conversations. Please visit our website at www.capital.org and look under the training tab.

Photo Source: Victor1558

4 Ideas to Show Your Employees Appreciation During the Summer Months

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

Summer activityThis Friday marks the first day of summer and calls attention to all of the activities that go along with warmer weather. Many of your employees will plan vacations during this time period.  For your staffers who elect to stay in the office, treat them to some summertime fun. Show them you appreciate the contributions they make to your organization by coordinating activities that are most enjoyable in the summer. Reminding employees that you value their efforts is helpful in increasing a number of metrics, such as engagement, satisfaction and morale.

Try some of the following fun ideas at your organization:

Company picnic with family and friends

The warm weather season is a perfect time for a company picnic. Encourage your employees to invite their friends and family to make the event more memorable for them. By allowing your employees to bring guests, you’ll have the opportunity to connect with the people who are the most important to them. Rent a picnic shelter from a local park, provide food, and make sure you plan activities that cater to all of the age groups that will be present.

Refreshing treats

The summer months provide plenty of opportunities for fun, but they also bring a long supply of blazing hot days. Help your employees get some relief from the sun. Stock your company fridge with popsicles or mini containers of ice cream. If you purchase these items in bulk at a warehouse, such as Costco or Sam’s Club, you won’t break your budget to provide your employees with nice refreshments.

Relaxed Dress Code

If your employees wear business casual or business attire each day of the week, let them enjoy a more relaxed dress code during the summertime. Giving them the option to dress more comfortably during the hottest months of the year will show your employees that you care about their happiness while they are at work. Whether you implement casual Fridays throughout the summer or allow your employees to sport sandals instead of loafers, this gesture will show them that you appreciate them.

Parking lot tailgate

Everyone loves a good tailgate! You don’t have to be celebrating a particular sporting event to incorporate some of the fun aspects of getting together before a big game. Utilize the resources you have by hosting the tailgate in your company’s parking lot. Set up cornhole, ladder ball or play Frisbee to create some bonding moments for your staff. Treat your team to traditional tailgating foods and drinks like BBQ, hamburgers, hotdogs, lemonade and sweet tea.  If you decide to provide alcoholic beverages for your staff, make sure they are of age and limit them to two drinks each for their safety and yours.

For more ways to raise employee morale at your organization, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-9222.

Photo Source: Rob Boudon

Employees Will Seek Consistent Feedback in the New Year

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

employee feedbackGeneration Y is not the only workforce population that relies on frequent feedback to improve their workplace performance.  Each of your workers will benefit from a meeting discussing their current performance and how they’ll fare in future.

Telling your employees how their performance measures up is advantageous to your organization and their career. Maybe you don’t understand what motivates your office manager or that your graphic designer needs an assistant to better manage his workload. Consistently offering staffers feedback and asking them how you can help will explain some of the questions you haven’t thought to ask.

Here are five ways to offer feedback to your workers and improve their job performance:

Notice Their Routine

Be aware of how your employees conduct themselves at your organization. As their manager, you’re responsible for making sure they deliver the results that you hired them to achieve. Your direct reports represent you and your department, so protect your reputation by playing an active role in their development.

Listen to Their Concerns

Part of being a manager or a leader is addressing the concerns of your employees. The only way you’ll find out their concerns is if you ask them questions and listen. Holding individual, weekly or monthly meetings with your team members is a great way to uncover their motivators and the personal goals they’d like to reach.

Offer Encouragement

Listening is just the start of establishing a positive manager/direct report relationship. Once you know what your employees are hoping to achieve, inform them that you’re on their side. Make yourself available to your employees if they need help. Walk them through frustrating situations, and don’t let them quit, even when obstacles become overwhelming.

State the Truth

Be direct with your employees because it will help them and your business in the long run. Sugar coating issues will only prolong the problems at hand. Take action to make your staff members aware that you have concerns about some aspects of their job performance. Work with them to find solutions instead of wasting time.

Recognize Their Work

Anytime your employees execute great work performances, you should take time to recognize them. Whether they prepared well for a presentation, assisted a colleague who was home sick or doubled their sales numbers, rewarding them for their hard work lets them know that you appreciate their contributions. Showing employees that they are integral team members will boost their morale and level of engagement.

For additional information on delivering constant feedback, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Photo Source: RDECOM

4 Tips to Beat Summeritis and Keep Your Employees Productive

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Summeritis is a common term heard among high school and college students when the warm weather season is quickly approaching. Symptoms of this seasonal disease include excessive daydreaming about trips to the beach or pool, a decreased ability in retaining information, sluggish performance and producing poor quality work. Yesterday marked the first day of summer, and you may have noticed some symptoms of summeritis floating around your workplace. While summer months tend to be slower for companies because of vacations from your staffers and clients, maintaining high productivity is still achievable. Prevent the symptoms of Summeritis in your staff by utilizing these four tips:

Plan for Vacation

With school out and an increase in nice weather, summer months are the ideal time for employees to go on vacation. Research shows that Americans are notorious for not using all of their vacation. While a strong work ethic is admirable, taking a vacation allows you to rest, recharge and come back to the office full of energy to be productive. Make sure you and your employees plan a solid vacation with family or friends.

Utilize Flexibility

Many companies are offering their workers flexibility during the hottest time of year. Some companies allow their staff to leave early on Fridays to enjoy the weather and spend quality time with people who aren’t their coworkers. Like the effects of a summer vacation, employees return to the office on Monday feeling refreshed and ready to perform again. If this set up isn’t feasible for your company, try a variation. Have employees come in earlier or work through their lunch break to leave the office sooner.

Delegate When Needed

Don’t let important tasks go unfinished because fewer people are around the office. Before an employee leaves for vacation, meet up with her to go over tasks that she is currently working on and ask her if she needs assistance while she’s away. Using strong teamwork during the summer months ensures that deliverables are met.

Have Some Fun

Keeping your workers productive during this time of year is important, but don’t ignore the fact that this is one of the most fun times of the year. Celebrate the season and all of the accomplishments your team has made throughout the first half of the year with an office party or celebratory lunch. Recognizing their efforts and letting them have some workplace fun will keep their morale high and performance stellar.

For more tips to keep you and your employees productive during the summertime, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Photo Source: turbulentflow

10 Ways to Retain and Motivate Your High-Performing Employees

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Businesses that want to see success as the economy continues to improve should keep a close eye on their top talent. If your star employees don’t feel like they’re getting the most out of their jobs or feel that they’re underappreciated, you can assume that they’re looking for enticing opportunities elsewhere. High retention rates indicate that an organization is doing well in employee engagement, but a strong retention rate also means success in other business areas, such as sales and customer satisfaction.

Implementing the 10 tips below will encourage your high-performing talent to stick around and help create success for your company:

1. Conduct Stay Interviews

Instead of using exit interviews to find out why employees leave your organization, ask the employees that are still around what would make them leave your organization. Use this information to transform inefficient processes, raise morale and increase your retention rate.

2. Be Specific with Job Descriptions

People often leave a company after a short period of time because they were unaware of all the responsibilities that their new position held. To prevent short stints with new hires, spell out all of the duties—bad or good—required for your open positions.

3. Teach Managers People Management

Employees often cite their managers as the main reason they left or are planning to leave an organization. Spend adequate time training managers with direct reports proper ways to handle employee relations issues.

4. Communicate Openly

Information that is confidential or intended for a select group of people doesn’t have to be shared with the entire staff. However, frequently sharing information on company health, financials and major decisions with your workforce will keep them informed and engaged, which will help them remain loyal.

5. Promote Flexibility

Today’s employees view workplace flexibility as a necessary element in a total rewards package instead of as an added perk. If your employees can work from home a few days per week or start their days earlier or later depending on traffic, let them.  They will show you more respect if you trust them to get their work done.

6. Give Clear Expectations

Be specific when assigning your team members projects. Give them clear expectations the first time so you both are satisfied with the end product. Taking this step well lessen confusion, frustration and unsatisfactory results.

7. Help them Grow

Providing your staff members with different opportunities to increase their industry knowledge or to strengthen their technical and soft skills will show them that you are willing to invest in their future. Send them to training programs or promote them to different positions to help them grow.

8. Manage Poor Performers

Poor performers with bad attitudes are not good company for star employees to keep. Poor performers can drain energy, happiness and productivity from your top employees. Make sure you address issues caused by poor performers immediately to maintain a positive workplace for each of your employees.

9. Involve Senior Leadership

Company leaders are always busy, but they are never too busy to allot some time to their employees. Encourage your senior leaders to leave their offices and mingle with their workforce. Have them meet new hires and sit in on departmental meetings. Making them present in the office will eliminate an “us” versus “them” mentality that some staffers may have if they never see their senior leaders.

10. Show Them They’re  Valued

Employees who feel that their contributions matter to their organization are more likely to be productive and give their company a long-term commitment. Make your staff members feel appreciated by giving them constructive and positive feedback on their assignments and professional development. Often ask for their opinions on company decisions, and take time to get to know them personally.

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

Photo Source: Victor1558