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Via Gallup : Why the Onboarding Experience Is Key for Retention

“Rock Stars Wanted” might not be the job-posting headline, but it’s the underlining message companies communicate during the recruiting process.

Most companies want the best talent, and they do not shy away from making that perfectly clear. Slackers need not apply.

So they woo candidates with promises of unique cultures, perks and opportunities during the recruitment phase. And the company’s employee value proposition (EVP) becomes a distraction meant to lure top talent and set the stage for what’s to come if you’re one of the fortunate few — one of a kind — who receives the coveted offer letter.

A company’s EVP sets the stage and expectations for the rest of the new hire’s employee experience.

Unfortunately, many organizations fail to deliver on the promises they make during recruitment, resulting in a poor onboarding experience and a setback to the connection they initially established with the new star.

Gallup finds that only 12% of employees strongly agree that their organization does a great job onboarding new employees. This failure gets in the way of the formation of an emotional bond between the new hire and the company — a connection that can make or break retention.

According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), employee turnover can be as much as 50% in the first 18 months of employment. Employees leaving the workforce can be expensive and put pressure on highly burdened resources as well as a company’s financial bottom line.

SHRM estimates that it will cost a company six to nine months of an employee’s salary to identify and onboard a replacement. Others in the field believe the cost to be much higher.

How to Avoid New Hire Turnover and Disengagement by Understanding the Journey

The decision to join a new organization is often accompanied by leaving another, and new hires are placing bets that their new role will be better than the last, fulfilling a need the previous employer was not. It is a decision that starts with rational considerations but is ultimately decided based on emotions.

Applying for a new job is a decision that people make after asking for opinions from friends, family and colleagues. It’s a choice they make after searching online for ratings and reviews from current and past employees, and after listening to the company’s promises during recruitment.

After making this decision, all future interactions people have with their new employer shape their perceptions of what it is like to be on the “inside” — to be an integral member of the organization.

From an employee perspective, onboarding involves a series of firsts: first day on the job, first time meeting a manager and coworkers, first work projects and tasks, and first opportunities to share their talents with the organization.

Eager about their new role, enthusiastic about how they will contribute and anxious about how their colleagues will receive them, new hires head off to their new position with visions of what it will be like when they arrive.

This anticipation is accompanied by high levels of adrenaline as the excitement — and nervousness — builds for that first day, week and month.

With all of this in mind, companies should make sure new hires feel welcomed and immediately appreciated, quickly developing a sense of purpose and belonging.

From an employer perspective, onboarding is the best time to deliver on the EVP and other promises made during the job-seeking and candidacy stages.

Rock Star Employees Wanted but Not Truly Welcomed

The transition from candidate to employee should feel like a natural handoff that continues the momentum and fuels the excitement for the new job.

Deviating from the energy generated during the hiring phase to treating the phase of onboarding as a one-day — or one-week — event, or as an administrative process focused on paperwork, orientation manuals and supply cabinet shopping, puts an early strain on the employee-employer relationship.

Throwing new hires into work immediately without training or context, not socializing — or even introducing — them to the rest of the team, focusing on tactical work too early, or not meeting and receiving feedback from managers early and often are more the norm than the exception.

But this isn’t how it should be. Companies should treat onboarding with the appropriate amount of enthusiasm equal to or greater than that of the new hire’s. The time leading up to and extending beyond the first day on the job is all part of onboarding.

Don’t lose the momentum you’ve gained during attraction and recruitment by failing to deliver during the onboarding process. Welcome new hires like they are the rock stars you diligently selected.

If you don’t welcome new employees like rock stars, the experiential disappointment could start them off on an emotionally slippery slope, leading to low engagement and seeking out a new opportunity.

Via Forbes : The Millennial Workforce Needs Mentors, Not Managers

Millennials are currently the largest generation in the U.S. labor force and will comprise more than 75% of the workforce by 2025. Not only that, Millennials now have the most spending power of any generation, which means that creating a work environment that they can thrive in matters more than ever.

As a Millennial who worked in corporate for several years before calling it quits, I’ve first-hand witnessed the many ways in which companies adhere to outdated norms, many which are still tailored to older generations. This stands particularly when it comes to management.

Today’s workers don’t need some Big Brother figure hovering over us to tell us that budgets are cut, that we will be in big trouble if we don’t meet deadlines, and to “make do with less.” We need leaders who set us up for success, instill in us a sense of bigger purpose, and give us the confidence we need to persevere when the work gets challenging.Corporate culture in the U.S. is changing in a big way, and companies who pay attention and adapt to these changes will be the ones attracting the most talented, passionate, and dedicated employees.

Millennials don’t want (nor will respond to) an archaic management system that dictates rules and constraints – this generation craves mentors that guide and inspire them. Management can help the rising Millennial workforce thrive by:

Creating a relationship of trust and understanding. Management should empower and build the confidence of its employees. This means no guilt trips, blaming, or pressuring. Employees should feel free to approach their managers and speak openly with them without intimidation, while still respecting employer-employee boundaries.

We no longer live in a world where it’s possible to completely leave our work at home. People deal with personal issues all the time, and management should have some level of sensitivity towards that instead of pretending that the separation between life and work is an impenetrable brick wall. For example, context is important – perhaps someone isn’t performing because they had a recent family death, and that does not mean they’re incompetent.

Employees should feel that management won’t turn its back on them the second something goes wrong. When people feel understood and part of something bigger than themselves, they will go to greater lengths to excel in their work.

This mentorship dynamic builds way more trust and loyalty than a raise or bonus ever could, as it cultivates a mutual relationship instead of a transaction. Knowing that management has their back is priceless and will benefit both parties in the long run.

Letting people fail… and helping them get back up. Ideally, mistakes in the workplace are avoided altogether as some can be very costly and put the company in jeopardy. If that is not the case, however, mistakes should be approached as opportunities for learning and improvement.

Mentors should teach employees to take responsibility for their actions, as well as accountability to fix what goes wrong. Most people won’t thrive with finger pointing, blaming, or winded lectures: we need to be made aware that we’ve made a mistake, given the confidence that we are capable of fixing it and receive the support to do so.

By guilting or threatening employees, there is a good chance that they will develop fear or apprehension towards the task they originally “failed” in, which only makes the situation worse and poorly sets them to deal with future mistakes. Mentors should push employees so they’re exiting their comfort zone (which means failure is a possibility), but at the same time guide and set them up for success. That way, when someone does inevitably make a mistake, he or she knows how to deal with it responsibly and confidently.

Giving space for growth. People operate differently when it comes to getting into their zone of genius. Allow them to practice freedom and accountability when it comes to their working style: for example, why not allow an employee to work remotely, from a coffee shop, or in the nighttime if that is how they best excel in their tasks? Have a detailed discussion on what they personally need to thrive in the workplace, and as long as it does not interfere with the quality of the work, let them do it.

Management should not push employees to work a specific way, as that will stifle them and therefore affect their ability to perform. If an employee works best out of coffee shops and you make him or her feel guilty about leaving the office, the overall productivity of the team will suffer.

The gist of it is: allow people to be themselves and create the environment they need in order to thrive, and they most likely will. Coerce them to do things a certain way, and they’ll likely resent management and subconsciously (or consciously) sabotage the work.

When it comes to the Millennial workforce, focus on the results and not the method in which they are achieved. In the end, the companies who stay up-to-date with their workforce’s needs and desires will be those who make the most profit and have a societal impact.

Via Inc. : 6 Genuine Ways to Show Employees Appreciation

There’s no research that shows that employees feel overappreciated, so the sky’s the limit on what you can do for them. Start small with these easy ways to demonstrate your appreciation.

Demonstrating our appreciation for employees and their efforts can put them on the fast track to excellence. There should be plenty of opportunities since a Harris poll found that 65 percent of the workers reported receiving no recognition for good work in the past year!

We should not worry about recognizing our teams too much. To date, there are no documented studies, none, nada, nill – of employees feeling over-appreciated.

Appreciation is certainly not a one-size-fits-all need. It should to be personalized to each employee.

Before I share some examples, click on the video below to watch this short video that illustrates what happens when we don’t personalize our appreciation.

For example, being recognized at an all-employee meeting might trigger more perspiration than inspiration for an introverted employee. Instead, use the information you learn about your employees to present an appropriate gift, token or sincere expression of appreciation. Invariably, the gift or expression will be less important than the obvious time and thoughtfulness that went into it.

Here are six easy ways to appreciate your employees:

  1. Say “Thank You!” An all-too-obvious, yet highly underused, form of appreciation.
  2. Allow employees to present their work to your boss. This is a great way to engage employees, and it also shows your boss what kind of leader you are.
  3. Offer team members a choice of projects to work on. When employees buy into a project, they will put their hearts into it.
  4. Put a sincere acknowledgement in your company or department newsletter. This takes only a few minutes of your time but creates long-term “trophy value” for the employee.
  5. Tell an employee’s story of accomplishment at a staff meeting. Detailed stories are perceived as more interesting, meaningful, thoughtful and memorable.
  6. Take a team member to lunch to show your appreciation. Remember to listen more than talk.

The good news is that we have complete control over this type of recognition. No budget limitations or excuses here–there are literally thousands of ways to create defining moments at little or no cost. As we strive to make connections with our team and recognize them, our goal is to be creative and outthink our competition, not outspend them.

Tell someone how much you appreciate them today.

I appreciate YOU!

Via BW People : A happy workplace is a productive workplace

Organisations are adopting various strategies and programs to keep their employees happy and healthy.

Gone are the days when the most paid jobs were the best places to work. A strong supportive culture, professional growth, flexible working hours, rewards and recognitions are the things that people look for while joining an organisation. Organisations are adopting various strategies and programs to keep their employees happy and healthy. As it is rightly said that healthy employees lead to more productivity and growth.

Employee appreciation, flexibility in working hours and styles and employee engagement programmes are another aspect of workplace satisfaction and engagement. Organisations have changed their strategies and style of working to achieve long-term sustainability goal.

“A cool organisation must have the pre-requisites of fostering personnel relations and supporting growth. For us, at K Raheja Corp the endeavor is to create a culture where employees feel valued, engaged and empowered.Initiatives range town-halls, where an employee can address their query or concern to the CEO in an open forum. Similarly, employees are engaged through interesting workshops like Tibetan yoga sessions, Zumba classes, a cyclist club, access to holiday homes at Matheran and Lonavala, all of which go a long way in making them feel connected. We also have a wide range of sports and cultural activities like cricket matches, Garba celebrations, in-house photography contests, seasonal parties like ‘gola party’ in summer and ‘vadapao party’ in the monsoon! Additionally, rewards and incentives motivate employees to put that extra effort to achieve their career goals. Finally, a fresh and creative workplace with futuristic facilities gives it the final touches to make the workplace truly cool!” said Urvi Aradhya, Chief Human Resources Officer, K Raheja Corp.

“The dynamics of today’s workplace is a rapidly changing one, especially with the spurt of startups. A fun yet effective workplace should primarily be safe. One in which both management and employees are encouraged to engage in open dialogue and both are heard. Employees are allowed to gauge their own effectiveness and their contribution to work and are free to choose how they utilize their time without management breathing down their neck. Weekly lunches and ideas bounced off each other over beer is a great way to bond and foster engagement. At Sunday Mattresses we make it a point to go out on a team outing to an outstation locale at least once a year. Every week we have a team lunch and although ad hoc, our team meets up at least twice in a month for a drink or two, just to kick back and relax. This season we are all going to an IPL match. Nothing bonds Indians like cricket.” said Alphonse Reddy, Founder, and CEO, Sunday Mattresses.

“Startups require an energetic and zealous environment as most employees are expected to put in longer hours at work. If your employees love your organization, they themselves will deliver their best. Each progressive organization needs an awesome company culture, which includes creating winning conditions that support improvement and ideation, along with personal satisfaction. Engineer.ai strives to offer just that. With flexible work timings, recreational spaces, and a collaborative atmosphere, our offices empower and encourage increased productivity and output.” Added by Sachin Dev Duggal, Founder & Chief Wizard, Engineer.ai.

Shawn Anchor, the author of The Happiness Advantage, has found that the brain works much better when a person is feeling positive. At those times, individuals tend to be more creative and better at solving problems. And additional research has shown that when workers are happy they’re more effective collaborators working toward common goals. As Anchor sees it, the incentive for organizations is clear-cut—“happiness leads to greater levels of profits” for companies that take the right steps.

Babu Vittal, Head HR, ShopClues spoke that “When an employee feels that whatever they do has an overall impact on the business, and is able to see the progress on overall impact, the workplace becomes cool. It is more intrinsic. There are a few extrinsic factors including relaxed work atmosphere, conducive climate, employee friendly policies and high pedigree colleagues. All of these get converted into intrinsic factors over a period of time. In a nutshell, when I know what I am doing and whatever I am doing impacts the bottom line of the organization, it makes me feel connected and adds a “cool factor” to my workplace. “

Tanvi Malik, Co-founder, FabAlley added ,”There are multiple factors that make a workplace fun, while remaining productive. To begin with, it’s important to have cross-team interactions. Things like internal networking groups, on-site fitness centers, annual off-sites, celebrating festivals and occasions together really make the office an exciting space. At FabAlley, we do not believe in traditional office hierarchies. The team structure is flat and we all refer to each other by our first names, which creates a comfortable and informal zone that keeps our colleagues motivated, without creating rigid functional boundaries.”

“Modern-day offices should provide a fun and engaging workplace to make the employees productive and happy. An employee should enjoy his work and not treat it as just a job. Workplaces should have recreational spaces to help the employees unwind and get back to work with a fresh perspective. We at Yerha value our employees as much as we value our customers. We provide them with all such amenities and frequently organize team outings to help the employees become more approachable and bond with each other”, said Manikant Jain, Founder Yerha.com.

“Employee engagement, empowerment, rewards, recognitions and appreciation are the key factors that make an organization one of the coolest places to work. In order to engage with our employees, we at Fujitsu have undertaken various initiatives and ensured that we always keep a check of these elements. Our aim is to make our office an exciting place where work and fun goes hand in hand. Every month, five to six events are organized for our employees as per the engagement calendar which includes quizzes, events to support sports and motivate employees’ wellness. The most exciting months for our employees are from October to December as we conduct sports tournaments like Fujitsu Premier league, basketball tournament etc. We have been receiving an overwhelming response from our employees for all these events, their participation and support motivates us to arrange such activities. We have been constantly working towards developing a workplace of trust and engagement and are quickly gaining recognition as one of the best ICT companies to work with.”- Attributed to Sumit Sabharwal, Head of Human Resources, Fujitsu Consulting India.

Jagrati Shringi CMO & Co-Founder, VOYLLA said,”if people are having fun, they’re going to work harder, stay on longer, maintain their composure in a crisis, and take better care of the organization, says The Levity Effect. Best way to achieve this is to create a strong bond with the team, with continuous communication, constant appreciation, and encouraging plenty pf laughter. When the team sticks together like a family, they have fun even while working hard and also sail through rough waters smoothly.”

Pooja Duggal, Founder Healthhunt said, “Businesses today realize that they have to look after their employees, and Healthhunt is not only taking care of its own employees but also helping other organizations accomplish the challenge through our tool – healthwire. We go an extra mile to ensure that our own employees are healthy – physically, mentally, and emotionally. We offer fairly flexible work schedules and give employees liberty in decision-making. Overall, we try and maintain a healthy physical environment with healthy food offerings (we call it ‘Fruity Wednesdays’). We also have a dance, Zumba, and Yoga sessions every now and then.”

Surely it can be seen that companies are adopting innovative strategies to engage employees and make it a better place to work with.

Via Forbes : Four Reasons Employee Appreciation Should Be A Top Priority

The fact that countless business owners are still completely unaware of the importance of employee appreciation is nothing short of mind-boggling. Despite the proven benefits of showing gratitude for your team’s hard work, far too many employees are treated like replaceable robots and exploited for needing a well-paying job. Rest assured, these employees spend every day contemplating two things: One, how much longer they will put up with their bosses and two, how much more work they would get done if their bosses actually gave them the respect they deserve.

If you aren’t making a conscious effort to let employees know how much you appreciate them, your employees are not performing to the best of their ability. Here are four reasons employee appreciation should always be at the top of your to-do list:

1. An appreciated team is a loyal team.

A loyal team is an essential ingredient of a successful business, yet business owners often struggle to build a team they know they can count on when the going gets tough. They wonder how to get their employees to care about their company’s goals as much as they do. The solution isn’t necessarily giving employees less work or reminding them what’s in store should their goals be reached. It’s employee appreciation, which has the potential to turn unsure employees into lifelong friends.

Showing appreciation lets your team know that you believe in them, so it only makes sense for your team to return the favor. They will come to view their leader as more of a friend than a boss, and rarely will a friend leave another behind.

Maintaining a friendly and cohesive atmosphere is especially important in the finance industry because the work you’re doing isn’t always too exciting. Employees might not be jumping to get their daily tasks done until they come to understand that they are also doing a favor for a trusted friend who clearly appreciates their dedication.

2. A little encouragement goes a long way.

What’s one of the few things every successful person has in common? Confidence. If you want your employees to perform shortly after recruitment, it’s your responsibility to build up their confidence with outward encouragement and appreciation. This should be a critical part of your employee training regimen since new employees tend to develop longstanding opinions about their leaders early on.

They will remember the lengths their leader went to make them feel confident for the rest of their careers. And, when a daunting task comes their way, they will feel up to the challenge thanks to their knowledge that, in their leader’s eyes, they are the very best at what they do.

Whether you’re trying to convince potential clients to come on board or developing a bold strategy, confidence is essential for success in finance. But, before you’ve amassed an impressive personal record, your confidence comes from the support of your boss and teammates. It’s safe to say that supportive bosses are likely to blame for the incomparable (and often annoying) confidence of young finance professionals.

3. Great employees are few and far between.

If you have built a team without a single weak link, you should feel extremely grateful, because an all-around great team is hard to come by. Businesses typically have to cycle through dozens of new recruits before they find candidates with the attitude they are looking for. Previous team members might have refused to follow directions or simply failed to understand the value of the opportunity that was presented to them.

You’ve hit the jackpot when every one of your employees is able to fulfill your expectations on their own and do exactly what you tell them to. It’s easy for bosses to forget how lucky they are to have a team that does these things, but employees will notice when they appear to be taken for granted. Neglecting to acknowledge the rarity of a great team makes a leader seem entitled and ultimately undeserving of their help.

Since great employees are rare in general, finding someone who is cut out for finance can be like finding a needle in a haystack. The field requires a certain type of personality and intelligence that would take the average person several years to develop. Younger employees who naturally possess most of the skills required for success in finance should most definitely be appreciated, particularly for saving their bosses the precious time they would have otherwise spent training them.

4. It’s easy.

Don’t worry, business owners: Your employees are not expecting you to offer the same over-the-top perks as tech giants. This is not what you need to do to show appreciation and turn employees into friends. They just want consistent verbal support and maybe a few small perks like free pizza once a week and the option to work from home on occasion. You can also strengthen your connection with your team by spending time with them outside of work. People operate differently once they leave the confines of the workspace, so your team will definitely appreciate seeing another side of you.

Still not convinced?

Bosses who still aren’t convinced about the importance of employee appreciation should ask their team to name their favorite former employer. There’s a strong chance that, when asked about their answer, each employee will recall how much this employer appreciated them. They’ll remember because this former employer gave them the confidence to pursue their dreams. A little appreciation is all it takes for your employees to summon the incredible work ethic they had when they were young, hungry and ready to get their hands dirty.

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