Category Archives: Culture

group of professional people wearing suits

Three Types of Employees

If you were to look around your office right now, could you identify the different types of employees you have? I’m not talking about identifying their roles or positions. You’ll be able to name the accountants versus the sales team. Instead, I’m referring to the three different types of employees as identified by the Gallup organization: engaged, not engaged, and actively disengaged.

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casual office meeting

Culturally Speaking

In my years of experience, the one thing I’ve learned is that a company’s culture can be the determining factor if employees stay at their jobs. But what exactly does that even mean? By definition, corporate culture refers to “the beliefs and behaviors that determine how a company’s employees and management interact and handle outside business transactions.” Your company probably has a written code of conduct for how you interact with your customers, and there may be some guidelines for how you interact with colleagues as well, but culture goes beyond just the written rules.

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man and woman working together

Gender Schmender

I’m often asked what I do to combat gender inequality in the work place, and my answer may be shocking: I do nothing. To me, gender schmender. I don’t believe that gender inequality exists; in my experience, as an HR Manager, I just have NOT seen it. For those out there who want my advice? Here it is: to move up within your organization, find out what you need to do and do it.  Keep your nose down and work hard. Don’t complain, just work hard.

But I was also aware of my trajectory. I’ll never be a Fortune 500 CEO, but I don’t want to be one either. (Too many headaches, if you ask me.) I don’t have the educational background or past experience to make that happen. My not becoming CEO of Google or Apple has nothing to do with my gender. I’m simply not the right person for that job.

However, I did have the background, education, and passion to become an expert in my field: human resources. I found my passion in life, and I worked hard to learn everything I could about it — from first-hand experience on the job to continuing my education even today.

You can do the same, too. Regardless of whether you’re female or male, find what makes you happy in terms of career. Immerse yourself in that culture and continue to learn as much as you can about the field. Work ahead. Find out what needs to be done, and do it. Go the extra mile. And your gender won’t have anything to do with your progression through the company.

For more tips on how to succeed in your career or how to motivate your employees to look past their gender, visit stopknockingonmydoor.com to schedule your free consultation.

This entry was posted on by HR Resolutions.
team work concept

Corporate Culture

What is your corporate culture? Does it accurately reflect the company you envisioned? How is your message conveyed?

Company handbooks are the written documentation of your company’s culture. They are the best piece of internal advertising that you have for your company. Not only do they promote internal branding, they help drive your mission, vision, and values.

Handbooks also reflect your company’s personal tone and attitude. They help establish who you are and where you want to go, as well as setting a guideline for the quality of employees you are recruiting. Is your culture true to who you are as a company?

Benefits and Perks

Offering benefits is the one way you can set your organization apart and develop your company culture. More and more employers offer benefits to their part-time staff as well as their full-timers. They want quality workers who stay for years and this is a great way to achieve those goals. Benefits make a difference with recruiting quality workers, and they make a difference with retention.

If you study any of the best places to work, they are differentiating themselves on employee relations and perks. Anybody can offer medical, dental, and vision. Not everybody can and not everybody does offer flexible benefits, but it’s a great option to consider if you want to focus on employee satisfaction and retention. Keep in mind, benefits don’t have to cost an arm and a leg!

Perks are entirely employer funded with no employee contribution. They’re not insurance. They’re not backed by another company. They’re just extra things that we choose to give our employees to set ourselves apart from our competitors or to align our culture with our mission, vision, and values. What benefits and perks should you offer for your company to be the best place to work and draw the best candidates?

For support in creating and building your company handbook and culture go to www.stopknockingonmydoor.com to request your free consultation.

This entry was posted on by HR Resolutions.
man tightning up his tie

5 Ways to Gain Employees’ Respect

Respect in the workplace is as crucial as productivity when it comes to the bottom line. Without respect, no manager will succeed, which could mean a company that fails as a result. Respect is a two-way street, but it is one that managers must walk over and over again in order to gain the respect needed to run a quality company. Gaining the respect of fellow employees is not something that comes as a result of a title or paycheck – it is something that is earned through hard work and perseverance.

Follow the Company’s Mission

Do as I say, not as I do is not the mantra any manager should live by; instead, managers need to lead by example. Actions speak louder than words in the workplace, which means managers need to be the leader that they want their employees to follow. Employees cannot be expected to fulfill a mission if their leaders are not doing what is necessary to make that mission a reality. The rules that are set forth for employees are the same rules that every manager should abide by in order to have the respect they need and deserve.

Keep Everyone Involved

Micromanaging, berating, or downright ignoring is not the way to create productive employees. Everyone wants to feel needed, heard, and valuable, which is only possible by managers doing their part. Employees thrive on compliments and praise, but this should only be provided when it is warranted. Falsely praising employees will not drive them, but rather deter the company’s goals. Work together as a team and the respect will naturally fall into place, keeping everyone on the same page.

Set Goals

Goal setting and achieving those goals can make employees value their managers. A Manager should be someone that is looked up to and sought after. A manager that just shows up to work to punch the clock, does their job, and leave is not a goal setter or achiever. This is a manager that collects a paycheck. The manager that gets the respect desired is one that reaches for the stars and achieves personal and Company goals. The team is a part of reaching those goals and a good Manager recognizes those achievements with everyone.

Carry Yourself with Pride

Pride and self-confidence lend themselves to respect. If managers do not carry themselves well, letting others around them know how unsure they are about the job being performed, no one is going to respect them. Instead, that manager will be walked all over and the jobs will be inefficiently performed. Managers need to exude self-confidence and pride in order for others to respect them the way they desire to be respected and in order to get the job done.

Have an Open Door

Respect is achieved when a manager is approachable. Respect is not the same as fear, which any manager with a closed door and unapproachable attitude will create. Keeping that open door policy, allowing anyone to come in at any time with any problem will help to put employees at ease, making them want to problem solve and make things right. In the end, this helps with productivity, creativity, teamwork, and the company’s bottom line.

A well respected manager is one that works just as hard as the employees, following the rules, and remaining approachable. In the end, when employees and managers work together, a higher level of success is achieved. It is not hard to achieve success, but it is hard to have employees that disrespect. Finding the perfect level of achievement is necessary for managers that want their company to be the next best thing.

This entry was posted on by HR Resolutions.
cubicles workplace office

Three Steps to Creating a Drama-Free Workplace

Managing employees can be tough. From the hiring process to the daily dealings you have with your employees, there are a multitude of areas to manage that, if handled ineffectively, can start drama. These issues that come up can be downright draining to you and everyone around you, decreasing the overall efficiency of your business and affecting your bottom line. Before you let that happen, you need to implement the right HR techniques that prevent issues from occurring in the first place.

Describe the Job Correctly

When you start the hiring process off effectively, it can have a positive impact on each employee’s career with your company. The hiring process begins with ad placement. Instead of placing an ad that does not accurately describe the ideal candidate for the job, provide explicit details that cover your expectations. For example, if you are hiring a receptionist, do not just say receptionist; instead, focus on the details that the ideal candidate would possess or the skills that would be utilized to perform the job effectively. This eliminates any miscommunication or assumptions that a potential employee could make about the job, helping to eliminate drama from the start.

Create a Readable Handbook

Once you hire an employee, it is time for him to learn the procedures, rules, and expectations your company requires. Do you have a handbook created? This is often a simple way to get your employees on the same page. However, how do you know if your employees have read your handbook? Even if you were to require them to sign a statement confirming that they read it, chances are that they did not do it. Why does this happen? More often than not it is because the handbook is too long. They know the basics of most handbooks and are going to assume that yours is the same and sign the confirmation and move on. What are the repercussions on your company though? Now your employees do not know your rules, expectations, and values. This can lead to misunderstandings and frustrations in the workplace. What you are left with is inefficient employees that are unfamiliar with the procedures and expected behaviors to conduct their job. What you could do rather than handing your employees a 100-page handbook is create a readable, short and to the point handbook that they can relate to and want to consult whenever they have a question.

Remember the Procedures

Along with the rules, regulations, and expectations are the procedures your company possesses. These items should also be in writing, but not in the handbook. There are two reasons for this. One, you will have to update your handbook every time a procedure changes, which can be time consuming. Two, the handbook will be back to 100 pages or more and will likely not be read many employees. Instead, keep those procedures separate, in a file that is handy should anyone want to see them or review them for further clarification.

The more transparent you are as a company, the less drama you may have to handle. The drama can start from day one, believe it or not, when your expectations are different from those that you portrayed in your job description, interview, and handbook. Get it right from the start and prevent the drama from ever being a problem in the first place.

If you want to learn more about how to handle your company’s HR, visit www.stopknockingonmydoor.com, where you can request a free consultation to get your company back on track!

This entry was posted on by HR Resolutions.
two men arguing

Stay Calm & Carry On: Tips for Dealing with Workplace Disputes

You say this, they say that. You think something is obvious, but your employees seem to think otherwise. One of the great challenges in dealing with workplace disputes is that, as the business owner or manager, 99% of issues that arise appear to be cut-and-dried as far as you’re concerned. You tell employees to be on time. You ask them to be courteous to customers. You require them to report certain things accurately and consistently. This should be straightforward, right?

And yet, these assumptions – now matter how justified you may feel (or be) in having them – set the wrong foot forward, because they immediately make any situation that arises into an oppositional dispute that can rapidly escalate out of control.

Remember, the goal in dealing with any workplace problem is to do what is best for the business — not what feels best for the business owner. Here are five tips you can keep in mind the next time you confront an unexpected situation with your employees:

1. Don’t get upset. No, really. Don’t get upset.

It’s so easy to take affront (especially when you’re caught off-guard) that you often don’t realize you’ve already acted in error until it’s too late. Your routinely late and on-the-verge-of-being-fired employee comes in one day and files for a disability claim. Ten seconds later, your pulse is racing, your blood pressure is 1,000 over 500, and you’re about to explode.

Don’t. In fact, if you must, just leave and take a walk (not a drive – we don’t want you driving angry!). Take a breather and take a step back. The only correct response when these situations arise and you’re about to lose your cool is to tell the employee that they need to document their concern or issue in writing, and hand it in formally for review. Conversation over. That’s it.

2. Less is more. So say less. Much less.

While we’re on the topic, this is NOT the time to unload. “Well, Frank, it’s pretty convenient that you’re filing for disability now that you’ve been late twenty days in a row, isn’t it?” would be the wrong response. The right response is none at all. Again, don’t say anything.

Remember, you don’t have to say anything! You’re being notified of a situation, so take the notification and put it somewhere (like on your desk). Then let it sit until you’re ready to review it — with your HR director, in the conference room, with all related documents and procedures in front of you.

3. Follow the law. Don’t assume that you are the law.

One thing we discuss regularly on this blog is that, while you have many rights as an employer, your rights can be quickly curbed when you least expect it. Employees may be able to use office email to organize, they might be able to put up posters in your break room about their grievances, and they might even be able to claim that the blue sky is currently red instead. To you, it’s all nonsense — the sky is blue, the business is yours, they are just lucky to have a job, etc. etc. etc.

That’s exactly the situation when employers assume they “have the law on their side” without knowing if they really do. Remember, the law can be on your side one moment and then, as soon as you do something out of anger, that same law can run away, hand a victory to a disgruntled employee, and leave you in the dust (or worse).

The best way to know if the law is on your side is to speak with the professionals who will know – your HR director or consultant, and your attorney. Don’t do anything they don’t advise you to do. Your job is to follow the law, not try to take it into your own hands.

4. Don’t discuss an issue publicly, in person or online.

Don’t. Discuss. It. Trust us, you’ll start doing so without even realizing it, because when we’re angry our frustrations tend to squeeze out of every corner in our minds and mouths. That’s why you need to be aware of this up-front and place yourself under a self-imposed gag order.

Don’t discuss it means don’t discuss it directly with employees (including other managers, if doing so doesn’t apply to following your written procedures). It also means not inferring it or implying it, no matter how indirectly. It means zero, and we mean zero, disparaging remarks or innuendos. It means no social media postings – and no blog articles! It also means no discussion or venting with your CEO peer group (like Vistage), either.

5. Let the documents drive the process.

A well-managed HR operation is properly prepared for any situation that may arise because it has two kinds of documents in-hand and updated at all times. One kind is your policies and procedures, which will dictate how the process of responding to the situation which has arisen should go. And the other kind is the employee-specific documents such as a personnel file, time cards, hiring forms, etc. which provide a clear and unambiguous record upon which to build your response.

Bottom Line: The goal in dealing with any employee dispute is to protect the business, not burst a blood vessel. Let your well-formulated processes and procedures, backed by complete and accurate documentation, guide the response to any situation that arises. Then, take yourself personally out of the middle so that the frustrations can subside and you see the situation objectively, rather than personally and emotionally. Finally, before doing anything, consult with your HR professional and business attorney for proper counsel.

Selected Sources:

10 Tips for Dealing with Workplace Problems
http://www.arlnow.com/2015/02/09/legal-insider-10-tips-for-dealing-with-workplace-problems/

Grievance Procedures and Internal Dispute Resolution
https://www.nonprofitrisk.org/library/articles/employment01002000.shtml

Resolving Employment Disputes
http://corporate.findlaw.com/human-resources/resolving-employment-disputes.html

Image Credit: kurtb (Flickr @ Creative Commons)

This entry was posted on by HR Resolutions LLC.
company holiday party

Holiday Fun or HR Under the Gun: Seven Keys to a Successful Season

December is always an interesting time of year for human resource professionals. While senior management is focusing on achieving year-end revenue goals and many employees are running ragged from Black Friday to Cyber Monday and beyond, those in charge of managing HR and payroll responsibilities are busy with year-end planning and making sure everything is in order before December 31st.

This is all the more reason why the last thing you want to confront is an unexpected crisis related to poor planning, bad behavior or something more serious during the holiday season. Here are some key steps you and your CEO can take to help ensure that you have smooth sailing between now and the New Year:

1. Alcohol – If you aren’t comfortable eliminating it entirely at company holiday parties, consider some other strategies such as having a cash bar; imposing a ticket-based limit on drinks per person; or changing the time of your event(s) to an earlier point in the day (lunchtime or afternoon, for example, rather than evening). In addition, always make sure you cut off the alcohol well in advance of the end of the party – and provide desserts and coffee too!

2. Behavior – Obviously, in almost every workplace the potential for business relationships to become personal always exists. But mixing alcohol, seasonal parties and a bit of the ‘holiday spirit’ can be a recipe for unwanted advances, inappropriate contact or worse. Make sure that your event(s) do not include activities that might encourage or provide a forum for this to unfold (a good example to ban is “mistletoe spots”).

3. Executives – Consider providing a briefing for the entire executive team reminding them that their behavior is the model by which others follow, reiterating what kinds of behavior are acceptable and unacceptable as well.

4. Conduct – Either send out an employee conduct reminder to everyone, or have department heads brief their teams. This may seem like ‘buzz-kill’ but then again, that’s precisely the point. Better to kill the buzz a bit rather than risk a raging inferno of miscommunication, allegations and potential misconduct.

5. Drama – Many company holiday parties have historically included skits or shows highlighting (and often mocking) the best and worst moments of the year. Just remember that those can quickly turn into disrespectful or discriminatory episodes about religion, race, marital status, pregnancy and more that can lead to direct legal consequences.

6. Faith – Companies can celebrate holiday events but it is ill-advised to allow anyone, even your CEO, to turn them into religious observances. Employees’ personal lives — including if and where they go to church, what belief(s) they may practice and so forth — are not things you should make assumptions about or preach to them on.

7. Attendance – Don’t forget that if you require employees to attend the holiday party (whether you directly state so or make it ‘functionally’ mandatory by, for example, only handing out bonuses at the event), then they must be compensated because it is an official company function that you are making a necessary part of their job. To avoid confusion in this area, make attendance optional and invite, don’t demand, their presence.

Remember, the one thing more important than a memorable party is a morning after with no regrets – for you, your executives or your employees. Make sure everyone has a good time within reasonable boundaries by setting the example and following through on it every step of the way. In doing so, you will help make sure that the entire company has a safe and successful holiday season.

Selected Sources:

Six Last-Minute Tips To Help HR Leaders To Avoid Holiday Party Lawsuits
http://www.managingyourhr.com/avoid-holiday-party-incidents

Five Holiday Party Tips to Keep off HR’s Naughty List
https://www.rocketlawyer.com/blog/five-holiday-party-tips-to-keep-off-hrs-naughty-list-95590

5 Tips for HR to Help Employers Avoid Holiday Party-Related Legal Liability
http://www.reidkellypc.com/news/the-company-holiday-party-hr%E2%80%99s-role-as-party-planner/

Pro Tips: Five tips for avoiding holiday party-related lawsuits
http://www.thinkabel.com/pro-tips-five-tips-for-avoiding-holiday-party-related-lawsuits

Tips To Keep Your Workplace Holiday Parties Merry
http://blog.thinkhr.com/tips-to-keep-your-workplace-holiday-parties-merry/

Image Credit: lachiquita (Flickr @ Creative Commons)

This entry was posted on by HR Resolutions.