Posts Tagged ‘work/life balance’

Change Is Inevitable in the Workplace—Are You Prepared?

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

May 13 quote blog

Many changes are taking place in the business world. The full effects of healthcare reform will soon come to fruition, the competition for top talent still rages on with no plans for stopping, and your employees are looking for better ways to manage both their responsibilities at work and outside of it.

How will you handle the changes that you and your organization face? In order to continue to achieve success at your business, or even just to stay afloat, you must start by creating a plan to address your most pertinent issues.

Review the following articles for help handling the changes that you and other employers will likely see:

Changes in Healthcare Reform

Are you interested in knowing the top healthcare issues of 2013 and how they will affect employers? Our benefits partner, HCW Employee Benefit Services, put together an article highlighting this information. Check it out here: http://blog.capital.org/the-top-10-healthcare-industry-issues-of-2013-how-they-will-affect-employers/.

Compete for Top Talent and Win

Many organizations are struggling to find high-performing talent to fill their open positions. If you aren’t finding the right candidates, you may want to review your hiring process. Finding an excellent employee isn’t something you can attain quickly. Just like other projects you work on, you must have a solid plan for securing top achievers. Here’s an article to help: http://blog.capital.org/smart-recruiting-is-the-key-for-securing-top-talent-4-helpful-tips/.

Dealing with Workplace Change             

Changes in the business world aren’t just affecting employers; they are also affecting your workforce. Understanding the concerns your employees may have about various workplace changes is important for growing your organization with a loyal team.  Review this article to gain strategies for helping your staff deal with company changes:  http://blog.capital.org/help-employees-deal-with-workplace-changes/.

Employees Crave Work/Life Balance

Engaged employees help drive the business results that you want. They are productive team players who strive for excellence. Their work life is important, but so is the life they’ve established outside of your company. Help them manage both well. When you do, you’ll see a number of benefits. Read more about them here: http://blog.capital.org/help-your-employees-achieve-and-maintain-worklife-balance/.

For additional advice or information for dealing with change at your workplace, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

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

Four Ways to Build and Sustain Trust in Your Workplace

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Are you constantly checking and rechecking the work completed by your employees? Does your boss often say phrases like, “it’s my way or the highway” or “that’s not the way you should do it”? Have you noticed your staff members watching their backs or withholding information from their coworkers? Do people consistently give you instructions that are contradictory? If so, your organization is suffering from a lack of workplace trust.

Building trust in an organization is no easy feat. Time, dedication and care are essential for keeping trust nurtured and sustained. Trust is a fundamental value that all companies should practice because it improves almost every business facet, including retention, morale, communication, customer service and productivity. Employers that focus on trust exhibit confidence in the decisions their workers make, have more collaborative workflows and keep employee motivation high.

Because trust starts at the top, ensure that management is included in your efforts to improve trust at your organization. Employees will quickly follow suit when management is leading the way. Incorporate the tips below into your workplace processes and see the level of trust increase significantly.

1.  Establish Values

Use your company’s mission and values extensively. All employees should be aware of what they are, and they should all strive to uphold them. Revisit your mission and values during staff meetings and post them in different areas in your workplace. Your business changes over time, so make sure to continually review, revise and align your mission and values with the business results you want to produce and the employer brand you want to exude. Ask for input from your staff members when reviewing and revising.

2.  Communicate Openly

Being transparent in your business practices will gain you the trust of your employees. Don’t disseminate information to only a privileged few (unless it’s confidential) because outcries of favoritism will inevitably ensue. Instead, frequently share information with all staff members. Employees don’t like being in the dark, and they will become more engaged the more you communicate openly with them. Additionally, don’t shy away from telling staff members bad news. Even though the news may not be desirable, they will respect the fact that you gave them the truth.

3.  Respect all Employees

Just like trust, respect is earned. You can’t expect your team members to follow your lead if you don’t respect them or the contributions they make to your organization. There are a number of ways in which you can show your employees that you respect them. Don’t micromanage them and obsessively recheck over their projects. Give them clear expectations and autonomy, and they will produce good work. Show them that you are interested in their lives by getting to know them. This can include learning their children’s names or the sports team they follow. Ask for their opinions on business initiatives, and stay informed about their personal short-term and long-term goals. No matter if they are full-time, part-time or temporary employees, recognize the work they perform by thanking and praising them often. Trust is easier to maintain when each of your team members feels valued and supported by the company.

4.  Be Human

Too many managers want to appear perfect, but the ones who resonate best with their employees acknowledge their mistakes and confess when they don’t know an answer. Yes, admitting imperfection will make you more vulnerable, but it will make you more human and that’s a characteristic that employees want in their managers. Let your team members know that mistakes can happen, but they must make a commitment to learn from them. Another way to show empathy is to respect your employees’ work/life balance. Unless they give you a reason to doubt them, trust that they will complete their assignments, and allow them to enjoy their lives outside of work. Be loyal to your employees and they will reciprocate.

You can’t establish workplace trust overnight, but you can destroy it in a matter of seconds. A continuous effort to show employees the importance of trust is necessary to keep it alive at your organization. Integrate trust in your values, performance appraisals, onboarding practices and other workplace activities. Companies that rate trust highly are more successful than companies that don’t. For more information on building trust at your organization, please contact a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Photo Source: korapilatzen

Employees without Managers Will Disengage

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

Bruce Clarke, CAI’s CEO and president, identifies the importance of employees having managers in his most recent News & Observer column, “The View from HR.” Bruce lists several questions for employers that do not assign specific managers for their employees:

  • How does an employee get help?
  • Who does the employee go to with problems?
  • Who is there to help keep the employee engaged and committed to both the work and the company?

Employees who do not have definite answers for the questions above will quickly disengage with their work and could eventually take another position at a company that boasts strong management. As Bruce mentions in his column, HR departments can help employees with questions they have regarding pay and benefits, but there will be many more topics that employees will want addressed.

Managers provide many benefits to the workers they supervise. They keep employees focused on completing assignments and aligning efforts to match company goals. Managers keep their employees engaged by giving frequent feedback and genuinely having interest in their employees’ professional and personal aspirations. They also serve as problem solvers to help workers when obstacles arise.

If your organization does not have managers assigned to each of its employees, be aware of the negative effects it could be causing. Decreased productivity, lowered morale, absenteeism and lack of trust for the company are just a few of the reactions you may face from your workforce if adequate management is not enforced. Here are a few reasons why employees need managers:

Guidance

Managers help their employees understand their roles and how they can affect business results. With proper goal setting and consistent feedback, both positive and constructive, managers help employees reach success.

Employees have questions that they need answered, and managers who work with them on an ongoing basis are the most equipped to offer them responses. Sufficient guidance and attention spent on employees will help them feel essential and respected in the workplace.

Growth

People are rarely satisfied doing the same tasks for long periods of time, so not planning for employees to grow can have dire consequences for your company, specifically high turnover. Because managers provide consistent feedback, they are aware of the strengths and weaknesses that their employees possess. This information not only helps managers assign projects, but it also helps employees visualize what they do well and what they need to improve. Managers are also qualified to suggest promotions, raises or special assignments for deserving workers.

Recognition

Data indicates that employees who do not feel valued at their organizations will leave. Managers can prevent this from happening by recognizing the hard work their employees contribute.  Managers who seek opinions from their staff on company matters show their employees that their viewpoints are important and can shape business strategy.

In addition to recognizing an employee’s professional performance, managers understand that he or she has a personal life as well. Being fair with expectations and deadlines is mandatory for managers who want to respect their employees’ work/life balance.

Good managers who demonstrate leadership qualities are critical for keeping company morale high. Please call CAI’s Advice and Counsel at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746 for additional information.

Photo Source: alancleaver_2000

Help Your Employees Achieve and Maintain Work/Life Balance

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

 

Balance

The uncertain economy has caused many employers to maintain a lean workforce.  As a result, employees are often working additional hours to get their jobs done.  The expanded workweek may prevent employees from attending children’s events, socializing with friends or taking quality time for themselves.

As an employer, it is important to know the negative effects associated with an improper balance between work and life. People who spend most of their waking hours working are much more likely to suffer from exhaustion, stress and poor sleep habits. The side effects from frequent overtime hours could spiral into business hazards, such as regular absenteeism, decreased retention and poor work performance.

Taking steps to help your staff members achieve work/life balance will provide your organization with a number of benefits. The following are some of the positive changes companies that value and incorporate work/life balance initiatives have seen:

  • Improvement in productivity
  • Increase in employee satisfaction
  • Reduction in tardiness and absenteeism
  • Greater company loyalty and teamwork
  • Decrease in stress, sickness and exhaustion

There are a number of ways that an organization can ensure that their employees are maintaining work/life balance. Depending on the size of the organization, the staff members and the budget, implementing some of the ideas below could be helpful in reaching work/life balance for the entire company:

  • Childcare and eldercare assistance
  • Flexible work hours
  • Company wellness programs with onsite workshops
  • Reduced cost for fitness memberships
  •  On-site and off-site professional development opportunities

Employees can also make an effort to improve their quality of life. Encourage staff members to take ownership of their work/life balance by asking them to speak up if they receive too much work or feel strained to keep up with a project deadline. They can also utilize some of the practices below to make the most of their time inside and outside of work:

  • Set deadlines for projects to help maintain the amount of time spent working on them
  • Prioritize tasks by their importance and work to complete the more pressing assignments first
  • Take breaks between long periods of work to help regain focus
  • Exercise, eat well and sleep at least seven hours each night to sustain energy
  • Avoid discussing work when spending quality time with family and friends

Organizations that emphasize work/life balance improve their bottom line and create a positive environment for all of their staff members. To discuss various approaches for accomplishing a work/life balance initiative at your workplace, please contact a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Photo Source: lululemon athletica