Category: Leadership

  • 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
  • 7 ways to handle friction with co-workers (avoidance is not one of them)

    While some friction in the workplace is to be expected, too much is harmful to everyone involved, particularly if left unresolved. Conflicts between employees disrupt their work and that of colleagues who share the work environment. Ongoing disagreements can affect job performance and even the company’s productivity and bottom line.

    While most U.S. workers report involvement in workplace strife at times, more than a third say they deal with it often or always. In a typical week, employees spend, on average, about three hours handling conflict at work. That’s just 7 percent of the work week, but in terms of productivity, the costs are staggering, resulting in an estimated $360 billion in paid hours.*

    So, what’s causing all this workplace friction? Employees say mainly personality conflicts and warring egos, as well as stress and workloads. These may lead to angry outbursts and insults; nasty, behind-the-back comments; poor communications; procrastination on projects; and more.

    Other than avoiding people who rub us the wrong way—which doesn’t solve and often intensifies the problem—what can we do to resolve conflict at work?

    Try taking these steps to manage conflict with co-workers

    1. Ask yourself why the person bothers you. Be aware of what is setting you off. If dealing with ... Read More
  • Building productive workplace teams with shared vision for success

    Our 21st century focus on teams isn’t new. Successful industry executives and entrepreneurs have long recognized the value of teams in fulfilling a company’s purpose and producing positive results.

    Industry titan Andrew Carnegie was a proponent of teamwork, defining it as “the ability to work together toward a common vision.” And his contemporary Henry Ford said, “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.”

    Those are inspiring and convincing words, but even the firmest believers in teamwork can find it difficult to put into action. While a workplace retreat can be effective, gains made in a single day are too often lost upon return to the office. So, how can managers build teams of employees who embrace shared goals to produce profitable outcomes?

    Want to create successful teams? Focus on these five qualities

    • Leadership – Establish yourself as the leader. Set goals for the team that can be linked to the company’s success. Delegate responsibilities that will foster individual professional growth and will help achieve the team’s goals. Be objective and fair in resolving conflicts among team members.
    • Trust –Trust in your employees’ abilities to perform their jobs well and allow them to make independent decisions as much as possible. The ... 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
  • Review and update recognition and rewards to help retain employees

    If you’re running a successful business, chances are good that 1) most of your employees are of a high quality and 2) you treat them well because you would like to keep them as long as you can.

    But how often do you review your efforts to recognize and reward employees? Retaining employees takes concerted effort, and rewarding their roles in your company’s success is the best way to retain them. Your retention strategies are as important as your recruitment strategies, and some rewards are more effective in building employee loyalty and longevity.

    According to the Harvard Business Review, nearly 70 percent of U.S. workers are either actively or passively on the lookout for new jobs. So, I’m not surprised that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that workers today remain with the same employer for just over 4 years.

    Give employees good reasons to remain with your company

    Losing good employees can have substantial costs – their lost productivity, time spent on finding and training their successors, and stress for remaining employees who pick up the slack.

    Good employees who feel valued tend to remain with the same company for more than a few years. So, the employer must give workers good reasons ... Read More

  • Job Openings at 14 Year High

    But….

    There’s always a but, right?  The US Department of Labor reported that the number of opTriStarr logo-FINALen jobs in the United States was the highest in 14 years.  The BUT is that companies FILLED those positions at the slowest pace since the end of last Summer.  Job openings rose 2.5% in January 2015 to a seasonally adjusted 5 million – that’s the highest since 2001.  Available jobs were 28% higher compared to one year ago.  While hiring rose an even faster 3.5% to 5.24 million, that is the slowest rate since last August. Poor winter weather may be one cause.  Ok – here’s another but- but companies also complain that it has become increasingly harder to find workers with the precise skills they need.

    The latest employment survey from the National Federation of Independent Business, for example, says the number of job openings that went unfilled rose to an eight-year high. At the end of January there were 1.8 unemployed workers per job opening, according to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover report, up from 1.78 in December. With the labor ... Read More