Category: Employee Policies

  • How to create a more employee-friendly work environment

    Employee happiness has become increasingly important to success in business. Why? There is now growing evidence that when employees are happy, companies thrive.

    Consider these key statistics. According to Forbes Magazine, one study found that happy employees are up to 20% more productive than unhappy employees. When it comes to salespeople, happiness has an even greater impact, raising sales by 37%. But the benefits don’t end there. Often there is less employee turnover in a healthy, employee-friendly workplace environment. That equals less time lost on the job translating into an increased bottom line for companies.

    Taking positive steps to create a more employee-friendly work environment can be done with these five simple suggestions:

    1. Invest in growing your employees. Self-development is essential for career growth. Offering a variety of training programs will help employees build their skills and grow professionally. Conferences, seminars, and online courses can further help employees gain more knowledge and become an increased contributor in the workplace.
    2. Listen and show appreciation to your employees. Promote an open dialogue between corporate leadership and staff. Employees want to know that their opinion matters and that their work contribution is making a difference. Recognize staff accomplishments in meetings for positive behavior and performance that go above ... Read More
  • Finding the best temp candidates to meet employers’ expectations

    On average, nearly 17 million temporary and contract employees work with America’s staffing companies during the course of a year, according to the American Staffing Association. In Pennsylvania, temporary help came primarily from engineering, IT, and scientific sectors (38%), health care (7%), industrial (17%), administrative and clerical office work (14%), and managerial (12%).

    At TriStarr, our clients find that hiring temporary workers can reduce labor costs, unemployment claims, and time. Temps, on the other hand, enjoy the flexibility of short-term assignments that align with their personal schedules and lifestyles.

    There are many ways to recruit temporary workers to ensure the best possible fit. Here are a few strategies for recruitment that can lead to finding a temporary worker that exceeds expectations:

    1. Assess soft skills when conducting an interview. Exemplary temporary candidates are cheerful, resourceful, and coachable. They’re also confident. Ask open-ended and anecdotal questions to gauge their abilities beyond what’s on their resume.
    2. Evaluate a candidate’s communication skills. Temporary workers often shift from assignment to assignment and work with many different people and industries. The best temporary workers are adaptable and able to communicate well with employers and employees of all levels. Enthusiasm and a can-do attitude can also have a positive impact on ... Read More
  • Tips for how to effectively manage remote workers

    How many people do you know who work from home? If you feel like that number is increasing, you’re not wrong—a survey done by Global Workplace Analytics and FlexJobs shows that remote work has grown by over 91 percent in the past decade.

    This simple workplace benefit is often seen as enticing for employers who wish to cut down on office space costs, boost employee morale, and attract top candidates who appreciate the scheduling flexibility. Mobile and online applications like Slack allow workers to communicate with each other anywhere and everywhere, no matter if they’re physically in the office or working from home, a client site, or even a tropical beach.

    On the other hand, some major companies like Bank of New York Mellon Corp, IBM, and Yahoo, have been cutting down on offering remote work options and asking their remote workers to return to the office. According to SHRM Online, this decision may have come from the following theories about why working remotely sometimes fails:

    1. Employers do not adequately train or provide proper resources to remote workers to ensure their success.
    2. Some supervisors find it harder to manage someone who they cannot communicate with face-to-face, and are uncomfortable with them working ... Read More
  • Workplace mentoring benefits everyone—mentee, mentor, and their company

    In the “Odyssey” by Homer, Odysseus assigned the care and education of his son, Telemachus, to his trusted advisor Mentor. Borrowing from this ancient epic, today we use Mentor’s name to refer to someone who uses their knowledge to advise a less-experienced colleague.

    Over the last several decades, U.S. businesses have adopted mentoring as a training vehicle, mainly for young or new employees. Among Fortune 500 companies, 70 percent offer formal mentoring programs to employees.

    While some companies have structured mentoring processes, most smaller companies don’t. But mentoring new employees can take place without a formal program and with little to no expense.

    Mentorships can be an employee retention and recruiting tool

    Young or new employees can learn their jobs faster and expand their skill set if coached by  experienced mentors. Together, they can tackle issues related to problem-solving, communication, collaboration, networking, and more.

    Mentors get the satisfaction of using their knowledge to assist someone just starting out in their profession or a new position. They might benefit in other ways—many mentors report that they learn from their mentees. For example, mentors may learn about new technologies from younger employees.

    Companies with formal mentoring programs generally find they improve employee satisfaction among participants. This, in turn, ... Read More

  • Five mistakes to avoid when finding candidates for key positions

    At a time of nearly full employment, recruiting employees who are high performers can be tough. That’s why employers should watch for missteps that can cost them a leading candidate or cause them to hire the wrong person. Such avoidable errors can send the recruitment process back to square one at the company’s expense of valuable time and money.

    In order to get the most out of your recruitment efforts and land the candidates you need, plan ahead. When formulating your recruitment strategies, avoid making these mistakes:

    1. Assessing only for skills and knowledge – Evaluating a candidate’s skills and qualifications is vital, but so is assessing for personality and compatibility. Yet many companies never do this. Knowing that a candidate is a good fit for both your company and the position will result in a higher placement success rate. See our blog post on recruiting for personality as well as skills.
    2. Prolonging the recruitment process – If a recruitment process drags on too long, great candidates are lost and internal projects get delayed. If other employees pick up the slack for too long, morale can suffer. Don’t wait for the perfect candidate who may never materialize. Now, I’m not suggesting you rush ... Read More
  • Managing low performers: Confront, communicate, coach. Then commend or can them

    One of the most challenging tasks facing managers is how best to handle low-performing employees. Questions abound: Can they make an acceptable turnaround? What help should we give them? How many strikes until they’re out? How long until we cut them loose?

    If they show a sign of promise, you might want to give them a chance to redeem themselves, particularly now when good employees are hard to find and recruit. Try coaching low performers and developing action plans for them. But know how and when to terminate them properly.

    “While it’s never easy confronting individuals about poor performance, tolerating it is a failure of leadership,” says John Baldoni, executive coach and leadership educator.

    Use a mixture of sensitivity and firmness when approaching low-performing employees. Don’t express anger toward them, and never disparage them in front of fellow employees. While no process is the only right way, here are eight effective steps to address subpar performance with employees from our HR consulting firm:

    1. Address the situation as soon as you recognize a problem. Don’t procrastinate or wait for a performance review while the problem continues.
    2. Find the cause and be objective. (Employees’ lack of skills, training, or motivation? Personal problems? Unclear expectations? Poor two-way communications?)
    3. Begin ... Read More
  • Less stress is best: our seven HR consulting tips to de-stress your workplace

    While a certain degree of stress in the workplace can be expected, too much of it isn’t healthy for employees. Furthermore, it can hinder a company’s productivity by increasing turnover and absenteeism.

    According to a survey on anxiety and stress by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, seven in 10 adults who experience work-related stress say it affects their personal relationships, mainly with spouses.

    The survey’s results show the main sources of workplace stress are deadlines, 55 percent; interpersonal relationships, 53 percent; staff management, 50 percent; and dealing with problems, 49 percent.

    But, most workers aren’t comfortable talking with their employer about their stress. Fewer than 40 percent of employees who said stress interfered with their work spoke with their employer about it.

    That’s unfortunate because managers can play an important role in creating less stressful work environments and helping employees address and manage stress.

    Here are seven ways to de-stress your work environment

    1. Allow flexible work schedules, if possible. This can reduce stress related to commuting, child care concerns, and overall work-life balance.
    2. Communicate openly with employees. Keep them informed of departmental and company changes. Ask for their feedback and be available to talk anytime.
    3. Speak positively and give sincere compliments of work done well. Recognize ... Read More
  • Addressing sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace

    Following widespread reports of sexual harassment and gender discrimination over the past year, we all have become more aware of these serious workplace issues. These examples serve to remind us of our duty to comply with existing law and ensure that our workplaces are fair and safe for employees at every level.

    Most allegations don’t relate to behavior as obvious or salacious as the ones we hear in news reports, so don’t think your company is immune from these threats.

    Revisit and revise your policies on sexual harassment

    How is your company confronting the prospect of sexual harassment? Are your corporate policies sufficient to address the changing environment?

    If your company hasn’t reviewed and updated your sexual harassment policy lately, now is the time. Read it, mark it up with questions and comments, and ask an attorney to review it. Be sure it defines prohibited workplace behaviors and unequivocally forbids sexual harassment. That’s a start.

    But, a policy banning sexual harassment in the workplace needs to do more than just that. It should explain how employees can make a complaint, with several options for doing so. Understandably, employees who make allegations against a supervisor don’t want to approach that person with a complaint.

    Your policy should ... Read More