Author Archives: Jeff McDaly

The 12 Worst Things You Can Do at Work

The 12 Worst Things You Can Do at Work

Building a career can be a challenge. It requires work, skill and talent, but it also requires avoiding a toxic workplace that can hamper your ambitions.

If you can find a great organization with a company culture that you can embrace, your chances of success will be enhanced. However, if you want to keep your career on track, there are a few things that you should never do at work.

Some of them are just bad choices, but others involve situations in which you could actually be hurting your career by doing something that you view as a good thing.

 

Stealing idea1. Never take credit for someone else’s work.

This is essential if the other person is your subordinate, but it can cause just as much harm if you are stealing a peer’s thunder.

You risk being publicly unmasked, which makes you seem devious and untrustworthy. If the credit should go to someone you supervise, you are sending him or her a message that you are the most important member of the team.

In this age when employee engagement is critical to retaining top talent, you could find your star player becoming less productive, less cooperative and more likely to abandon ship just when you need someone to bail you out of a tight spot.

Incidentally, taking credit for someone else’s work is not always an active step. It can also occur when you passively accept praise because your boss assumes that you are responsible and you do nothing to dispel the perception.

 

Youre late2. Strive to never be late.

Whether you are arriving in the morning, attending a meeting or relieving a colleague for lunch, be on time.

When you are late, you are sending a clear message that you do not value the time of others.

If you are always late, try to determine what is causing your tardiness. Are you staying up too late to make it in on time?

Try going to bed earlier.

Do you lose track of time during work hours?

Try setting the alarm on your cell phone to remind you that you have someplace to be.

Other possible reasons for constantly running late include procrastination, being easily distracted or difficulty disengaging from conversations when you need to.

 

Sick3. Do not show up for work when you have a contagious illness.

Many people think that coming to work when they are ill shows character and strength. However, if you are contagious, no one is going to appreciate your efforts, including your boss.

If you show up with the flu, for example, you could spread your germs to your colleagues, and in a few days, you might discover that your office is deserted because the rest of the staff has wisely called in while they recover from the disease that you passed on to them.

Even if your coworkers do not fall ill, they could still spread the bug to infants or people with compromised immune systems who could face serious complications from the disease that you spread.

At the very least, you will not improve your employee relations with your coworkers.

 

Cell phone hammock4. Conversely, never call in sick if you are healthy.

You are leaving your team short-handed, so your coworkers will need to cover your duties as well as their own.

It may be a beautiful day for a picnic in the park with your significant other, but how can you truly enjoy yourself when you know that you have placed an unnecessary burden on your colleagues?

Even worse, how are you going to explain your speedy recovery if your boss happens to take a stroll in the park while you are frolicking while allegedly ill?

Gossip5. Never gossip about a coworker, especially with other coworkers. 

Maybe you think that Jane is in dire need of a new wardrobe or that John has put on a lot of weight recently.

Perhaps you spotted Tom at a restaurant with a woman other than his wife or you have heard that Joan has filed for a divorce.

You may think that Sue only got promoted because she flatters the boss or that Harry gets preferential treatment because he and the boss both graduated from the same school.

Whatever your thoughts might be or whatever you have heard, avoid workplace discussions. If you simply must gossip, wait until you are home and tell it to your significant other — or better yet, tell it to your cat; he will likely appreciate the attention.

 

Overworked martyr6. Do not be a martyr.

Martyrs will do anything asked of them if it will benefit the company or their boss.

They seem unable to refuse any request.

If they are asked to work every weekend for the next three months, they will smile and acquiesce.

If they are asked to take a trip, they will go even if it means that they will miss seeing a child’s appearance as the star of a school play.

If they are assigned a project with an impossible deadline, they will work around the clock to complete it on time. Once upon a time, this type of dedication was appreciated by management, but today, smart managers know that martyrs are potential liabilities.

Martyrs are always teetering on the brink of a critical mistake or a meltdown.

Some managers claim that martyrs contribute to a toxic workplace by causing unrest among coworkers and creating an atmosphere that is not conducive to teamwork.

Good managers know that there is a big difference between employee engagement and martyrdom; they know that their most productive employees are engaged but have a good work-life balance.

 

Stabbing the boss7. Avoid biting the hand that feeds you.

Today, organizations are placing increased importance on the company culture.

They want everyone to be “one big happy family” with everyone invested in the mission statement and working toward the company goals.

When employees carp about the company or its management, they are viewed as disloyal, disrespectful and a poor fit with the company.

You may feel that the company needs to improve their employee relations program, hate the company’s newest product or believe that whoever decided to replace the content management system was an idiot.

Whatever your thoughts, complaining loudly to anyone who will listen will not help your cause. If you feel that you have ideas that will improve the situation, take the time to organize your thoughts, find supporting evidence and discuss the issue with someone who has the authority to make changes.

Maybe your ideas will be ignored, but at least you have proven that respect your employer.

 

Middle finger8. Never burn your bridges.

You may have heard about the flight attendant who quit in a very dramatic fashion; while his flight was awaiting takeoff, he resigned and then exited the plane on the emergency slide.

He was promptly arrested, and it is highly unlikely that he will ever work for another airline.

Furthermore, his unprofessional and explosive conduct may limit his opportunities with any other type of company.

 

Screen Shot 2017 03 14 at 7.55.49 PM9. Avoid boasting.

Bragging always creates conflict, makes others feel you are belittling them and conveys a childish attitude.

Maybe your bonus was much more than you expected, but boasting about it to others who may have received less is not going to win you any popularity contests.

Even if your boss told you that you are the most intelligent employee he has ever hired, keep it to yourself.

Misunderstanding10. Never assume that your actions will be perceived correctly if you do not communicate effectively.

For example, you might notice that one of your coworkers is always coming in early or working late. You assume that it is because she has too much work to do, so you tell her that you would be happy to take some of her workload.

You think that you are being generous and benevolent; she may think that you are insulting her abilities.

The better way to handle the situation would be to mention her extended hours to her and ask if she needs any assistance.

You may discover that she is only working those hours because she is handling a project that involves making calls to people in different time zones.

 

Email mistake11. Always be careful of what you say in your emails.

You might think that your boss is the north end of a southbound horse, but you should not send an email to your coworker expressing that sentiment.

You may believe that you can talk the production manager into prioritizing an order for your customer, but do not send the customer an email telling him that.

These things have a way of coming back to haunt you; all the recipient has to do is forward your email to someone you would prefer not to see it.

Along the same train of thought, watch out for the insidious “Reply All” button.

Suppose a customer service representative forwards an email to you that she received from a customer. The customer is requesting a concession that you are unwilling to make.

You write a reply explaining that it is not possible to agree to the request, but you include a note that this particular customer is a royal pain in the neck and that you would rather walk barefoot over hot coals than give him the time of day.

If you hit the “Reply All” button, the customer now has written proof of your true feelings — and he is probably going to present this proof to your boss.

Liar12. Never lie.

Whether you are covering for yourself or someone else, your career will suffer when your lie is discovered.

You will jeopardize your reputation and credibility.

Many managers believe that telling lies is the worst thing that anyone can do at work. It leaves them wondering what else an employee might be willing to do.

Would they pad their overtime hours or expense account?Would they steal supplies from the company?
Would they embezzle funds?

By telling a lie, employees risk being perceived as untrustworthy, which is never a good attribute to be assigned to anyone looking for career advancement.

These behaviors range from inconsiderate or rude to destructive and cruel. Perhaps the most insidious thing about them is that they can sneak up on you, and you can find yourself doing them without being consciously aware of your actions.

 

Having a system in place that allows peer-to-peer feedback about this and many other aspects of your company can really help improve their engagement, happiness, productivity, loyalty and overall employee experience.

If you’d like to find out more about how EPIC By Clarity Wave can help your business, please click here to schedule a free demo.

P.S. By the way, we would love to welcome you to our LinkedIn Group, HR Today: Employee Engagement, Workplace Climate and Company Culture. We have lots of great content dedicated to employee engagement, the employee experience, and other fun and interesting topics.

Why Money Is a Bad Motivator and What Works Better

Why Money Is a Bad Motivator and What Works Better

What Motivates Employees? (Hint: It Isn’t Money!)

For years, businesses have operated under the assumption that money was the primary motivation for employees to remain with an employer, dedicate themselves to the company’s success and strive to produce exemplary work.
Managers have dangled merit increases, bonuses and other financial incentives in front of their employees in the belief that the pursuit of money would result in greater productivity, reduced turnover, improved product quality, better customer service and even lower rates of absenteeism.
If money is such a great motivator, why are so many companies still plagued by low productivity, high turnover, plummeting quality, disappointing customer service and high absenteeism despite the monetary carrots they have dangled before their employees?

The answer is simple: Money is not the best motivator for most employees.

screen-shot-2016-12-04-at-12-43-52-pm1. Researchers at Gallup compiled a study based on employee surveys, exit interviews and analyses of organizations and business units. They found that money ranked fourth on the list of the top five reasons that employees quit.
Money was a bigger issue for disengaged and actively disengaged employees (15 percent and 13 percent respectively). Money was also an issue among employees who believed that their employer did not value them and those who felt that their coworkers were not handling an appropriate amount of work. (1)

2. The “SHL Workers and Good Management Study” asked respondents what inspired them to work harder. The study found that only 20 percent of the workers surveyed reported that they found motivation in money and bonuses. (2)

3. Researcher Susan David conducted a study of business units that had extremely engaged employees. When she asked the employees what was behind their outstanding engagement scores, only 4 percent mentioned pay. (3)

Why Money Does Not Matter More

Naturally, employees are individuals who are motivated by different things. Even the same employee can have motivations that change over time. However, for more than 70 years, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and its revised models have been used to demonstrate what motivates people. The concept is typically illustrated as a pyramid with five to eight tiers. Only after the needs defined in the lower tiers have been met does the motivation for the next tier become relevant. (4)

screen-shot-2016-12-04-at-1-14-05-pm

1. The bottom tier represents the basic physiological needs that are required for survival. These include sleep, shelter, food, warmth, air and water.
2. The second tier represents the desire to be safe. This tier includes needs such as freedom from fear, protection from the elements, law and order, stability and security.
3. The third tier includes the need to belong. It includes concepts such as being part of a group, friendship, trust, affection, acceptance and love.
4. The fourth tier covers the basic need for self-esteem. Esteem needs include independence, self-respect, achievement, respect from others, prestige and mastery.
5. In the revised models, the fifth tier represents cognitive needs. These include curiosity, exploration, the need for meaning, knowledge and predictability.
6. The revised models devote the sixth tier to the need for aesthetics. Needs include the search for and appreciation of beauty, form, balances and similar concepts.
7. The seventh tier in the revised models and the fifth tier in Maslow’s original hierarchy are devoted to self-actualization. Self-actualization involves self-fulfillment, realizing one’s own potential and pursuing personal growth.
8. The eighth tier in the revised models is labeled as transcendence needs. It involves helping others to reach self-actualization.

Reviewing the tiers, it is easy to see why some employees will not be motivated by money. However, deciding what will motivate different employees requires knowing your employees. To illustrate, a single parent struggling to provide for a family while working an entry level job may find money an effective motivator. However, as soon as he or she is secure in the knowledge that the children have everything they need, money will be less effective.

What Works Better than Money

In an ideal world, managers would know all employees well enough to accurately predict what they need. In companies with more than one or two employees, however, it is highly unlikely that the level of mutual trust and openness will be sufficient for this to occur.
This does not mean that it is impossible to find the right motivations, however. For all of their differences, humans share many common needs and desires.

1. People want to feel that their work is appreciated.

Behavioral economist Dan Ariely has conducted numerous studies on motivation. In one study:

  • He gave participants a piece of paper containing random letters and instructed them to find letter pairs.
  • The amount of money decreased with every round.screen-shot-2016-12-04-at-1-27-23-pm
  • The first group had to sign their sheets and give them to the experiment leader, who would look over the sheet before placing it in a pile.
  • The second group did not sign their sheets, and the experimenter did not look over their sheets before placing them in a pile.
  • The third group’s work was immediately shredded.
  • The third group wanted twice as much money to continue as the first group, and the second group wanted almost as much as the third group. (5)

The SHL study also found that having their work appreciated was a great motivator. Approximately 17 percent of the respondents stated that having the company acknowledge their work inspired them to work harder. (2)

Recognizing an employee’s performance can be a powerful motivator. A sincere compliment would work best, but even an acknowledgement of the employee’s efforts is better than silence.

2. People want to see the fruits of their labor.

In another study, Ariely had participants build Lego characters.

  • The pay declined for every character built after the first one.screen-shot-2016-12-04-at-1-30-03-pm
  • In the first group, the creations were placed under the table to await disassembly when the experiment ended.
  • In the second group, the creations were disassembled immediately and in front of the participants.
  • On average, the first group completed an average of 11 creations before quitting, but the second group only averaged seven. (5)

Although the participants knew that their creations would be disassembled eventually, seeing the fruits of their labor for a short time substantially improved their productivity. It gave them tangible proof that their work had meaning.

 

3. People want autonomy.

A study led by Greg A. Chung-Yan of the University of Windsor found that the amount of freedom that employees have to handle a job their way can significantly impact their performance. Although there are some jobs that require strict compliance with a particular method or approvals at every stage, many tasks can be completed in a variety of ways. Allowing employees to choose the method that is most efficient for them can be an effective motivator. (6)

Employees who can use their own skill sets and creativity to succeed are being motivated from within. Their success is directly tied to their own initiative and talent, allowing them to have greater pride in the results.

 

4. People want to be challenged.

In the SHL study, 22 percent of the respondents stated that wanted to take on more responsibility. (2) In another study conducted by Dan Ariely:

  • He provided participants the materials to build their first origami product.
  • The first group received instructions, making their work easier and their products prettier.screen-shot-2016-12-04-at-1-33-37-pm
  • At the end, the builders were asked how much they would pay for the product, and the same question was posed to a group who had only observed.
  • The builders in the first group stated they would pay five times as much as the amount stated by the observers.
  • However, the second group valued their products even more highly than the first group even though the observers considered them less valuable. (5)

The more difficult it is to perform a task, the more pride people feel when they accomplish the task. Employees tend to tie the value of their work to the effort they expended. Limiting employees to simple, easily mastered tasks can rob them of their motivation to contribute to the company and make them feel unappreciated.

5. People want to feel a sense of belonging.

A sense of belonging can come from being a member of a team, contributing to the well-being of others or being a good fit for the company culture.

In the SHL study, the motivation cited by most respondents — 26 percent — was the support of colleagues and workplace culture.

(2) Adam Grant, a researcher, author and professor at Wharton College, found that the sense of belonging can extend to a desire to help others. In a study he conducted:

  • He placed signs at a hospital’s hand-washing stations.screen-shot-2016-12-04-at-1-37-53-pm
  • Half of the signs reminded nurses and doctors that hand hygiene protected them from catching diseases,
  • and the other half reminded them that hand hygiene protected their patients from catching diseases.
  • After measuring the amount of hand sanitizer and soap used at each station, he found that 45 percent more was used at the stations referring to patients.

(7) In the Gallup study, employees who did not feel connected to the company’s mission or its leadership were more likely to quit than those who felt connected. (1)

Relationships in the workplace can be powerful motivators. Whether the actions manifest as not wanting to let others down or a desire to do their part for the greater good, a sense of belonging increases the employee’s happiness.

Specific Actions to Motivate Employees

Just as employees are individuals, every organization is unique. This means that not every approach is suitable for every situation.

However, here are some actions that can help motivate your employees.

1. Be fair. Employees who perceive that you are “playing favorites” are not going to be highly motivated.
2. Give employees sincere praise frequently. Let them know that you appreciate the fact that they worked over the weekend to conduct an inventory, for example, or that you found the new format used for a report to be a great improvement.
3. Host company parties. Group activities can help build camaraderie and promote a sense of belonging. Throw monthly birthday celebrations for employees, host a company picnic or organize a potluck luncheon.
4. Recognize the personal and professional accomplishments of employees. Include a blurb in the company newsletter, take the employee to lunch or just make an announcement.
5. Find out what employees really want. Allow employees to respond to a survey anonymously or put up a suggestion box. Some employees might be motivated by flex time, others by opportunities to cross-train and still others by increased mentoring. Once you know what they want, you can decide whether it is possible to provide the opportunities they prefer.
6. Take a genuine interest in your employees, especially in their career goals. Discuss possible paths they can take to move up in the company, for example, or inquire about their progress if they are taking night classes to improve their skills.
7. Allow employees to take responsibility for their own work. Make sure that they understand the goals, any relevant deadlines and the quality of work they need to produce, but let them decide on the order of tasks and the methods they use to accomplish them.
8. Give employees the opportunity to prove themselves by giving them special assignments that will challenge them. If they succeed, praise them. If they fail, refrain from criticism; ask them what they would do differently next time or similar questions that will allow them to identify their own mistakes.

In conclusion, there are many ways to motivate employees, but for most, money is a bad motivator. If you still doubt that fact, ask several parents two questions.

screen-shot-2016-12-04-at-1-43-23-pm1. Without a safety net or harness, would you walk across a 6-inch board suspended between two skyscrapers for $1 million? Most people will say that they would not take the risk.

2. Without a safety net or harness, would you walk across a 6-inch board suspended between two skyscrapers to save your child’s life? Most parents would.

You see, despite the cynicism that has become increasingly prevalent in modern business, there are simply some things that many people are not willing to do for money that they would readily do for a different motivation.

Knowing what your employees want is at the core of a good company culture and workplace climate.
EPIC By Clarity Wave can help you find out what people want and chart a clear roadmap to help you achieve a more productive team.
Schedule a demo with us today and find out how we can help your company increase your employee engagement.

(1) http://www.gallup.com/businessjournal/106912/Turning-Around-Your-Turnover-Problem.aspx
(2) http://www.incentivemag.com/Strategy/Engagement/Study–Money-Not-a-Top-Motivator/
(3) https://hbr.org/2014/07/make-sure-your-employees-emotional-needs-are-met
(4) http://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html
(5) http://ideas.ted.com/what-motivates-us-at-work-7-fascinating-studies-that-give-insights/
(6) http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/75-autonomy-keeps-employees-happy-study-finds.html
(7) http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/31/magazine/is-giving-the-secret-to-getting-ahead.html?ref=magazine&_r=0&pagewanted=all

Working from home

Telecommuting, the Pros and Cons of Working Remotely

Telecommuting, the Pros and Cons of Working Remotely

Working remotely sounds like a dream come true.

Many people dream of working from home. People imagine getting up later and then sitting down at home on a soft couch in their pajamas as they have a pleasant and easy work day.

While this sounds fabulous, the reality of telecommuting is often far more complex. A home based job has both advantages and disadvantages. In many ways, this is an easy way for people to increase their employee happiness.

Working at home can also mean increasing employee engagement that helps people feel more part of the company culture. At the same time, working from home can also have certain disadvantages.

Those who work from home may not be as in tune with their colleagues about their company. They may lack contact with
co-workers and find themselves confronting feelings of isolation that can be hard to get past. Working at home can also make it hard for people to separate the world of work and the world of home life.

Blurring the two may make the employee feel as if they are never off work leading to feelings of burnout and enormous frustration. Making the arrangement work often requires careful attention to detail and determination.

A Relaxing Work Look

working-in-bedThose who work at home often get away from the need for formal dress or the need to work in a uniform. Women who are telecommuting can avoid the need to buy items like stockings that are both costly and fragile.

A woman who works at home can also avoid wearing makeup and high heels. She need not worry that a single stain on her dress will make her look bad all day long. She can also forgo costly hours at the beauty parlor and trying to keep up with the latest styles in order to look fashionable and up to date.

Many men benefit as well as they can discard the tight ties and long pants that can make it hard on them during the warm summer months. Doing so can be freeing for men, allowing them to fully concentrate on the matter in front of them rather than a jacket that does not fit right. Men and women can both also save money on clothing that is soft and comfortable. While formal dress may be required now and then, in general, most people who work from their homes can mostly get avoid such costly and often uncomfortable clothing.

Increased Time At Home

Many people who work from home also find a greater sense of employee happiness because they are no longer spending long hours sitting in traffic. Instead of running out in the morning to catch a train or shove snow of their car, they can simply take a long shower, grab a cup of coffee and wait for their work shift to start.

When they work at home, they can also save money by getting rid of their commuting costs. Many workers find they can now get by with a single car rather than two. They also find it much easier to attend a child’s football game and help them with their homework.

This can help them be more involved in a child’s life. Children have the pleasure of knowing that a parent is home with them when they get home from school. When they are there they can also take time out from work now and then to offer a child supervision and support. Parents can relax knowing that they are there more often for their children and need not worry that the child is off doing something inappropriate.

Some Disadvantages of Working From Home

working-from-home-tiredWhile working at home clearly has major advantages, many people find that it also has certain drawbacks as well.

Someone who works at home may not be there in the office, sharing in the company culture. They may also not be in touch with supervisors directly. Lacking direct, constant contact with company supervisors can make it hard for them to prove their worth and get a vital promotion.

They may be doing wonderful things at work but to those at the company headquarters, they may remain just a name on a card and little else. The worker may also feel as if they have few people to talk to during the day. This can make working at home feel very lonely. They may not get invited to company parties and get left out of celebrations such as a company anniversary.

Those they do stay in touch with may know little about their lives, making it hard for them to forge friendships and create work networks that can help them learn about additional openings and jobs elsewhere that might be suited for their talents and aims. This can lead to a frustrating feel of career stagnation.

Making It All Work

Those who work at home can find many ways to help increase their sense of employee engagement and avoid some of the pitfalls that may happen when they work at home.

  • Setting aside a specific room in the house can help separate work and home life.
  • Putting on more formal clothing can also help people live up their professional responsibilities.
  • A worker may also ask if they can come into work once or twice a week at the office to help them retain connections and stay in touch with important office activities.

Doing so can help them remain more than a name on a page. Many people who work at home also find it helpful to join a few clubs that are related to their interests. Attending meetings can help them stay on top of industry developments and forge important connections at the same time.

Women who work from home may wish to consider networking with other working moms. Doing so can help them discover tips that other women have learned as well as connect with others who may share their concerns. In short, careful attention to detail can help make anyone’s work at home dreams come true.

Is telecommuting right for you? Is it something that would improve your staff’s happiness and engagement?

Why not let them tell you?

EPIC, Employee Perceived Image of the Company® helps your company develop a community in which your team members feel safe enough to share their ideas, comments and suggestions and have their co-workers vote on them.

Schedule a demo today and see how we can help your company have more engaged and productive team members.

Evaluating Performance Surveys

Evaluating performance surveys

favorable work environment is an essential factor for the proper functioning and the productivity of the company. Work environment and productivity are closely related. Employees who feel that their jobs don’t give them any personal satisfaction, do not receive a fair wage, are overwhelmed with responsibilities or must endure a bad boss, become frustrated and unmotivated, and therefore their effectiveness decreases.

For a company to increase its profitability it requires happy, productive and motivated employees. Although as managers of the company, when we make an assessment in the workplace, we may think that the business prospers, the customers are satisfied and staff turnover is not significant. However the reality may be quite different: workers may not enjoy their work, conditions could be upgraded, there could be the possibility of increased productivity through a supportive work environment, motivation and drive…

What are the three factors that make employees love their jobs?

  • An interesting work.
  • Professional development and personal fulfillment.
  • Working in decent and professional conditions, and in a friendly and favorable work environment.

In order to take the pulse of a company and get to know thoroughly its workplace climate, it is extremely useful to implement regular performance reviews. Thanks to them, you can have a comprehensive and realistic perspective on the actual situation of the company’s most valuable asset: its employees.

Employee surveys, conducted by HR departments allow managers to obtain vital data about the business so that management and employees can establish a constructive dialogue on their respective professional targets, the future development of the company and how to increase productivity.

Using the surveys to review the performance

 

  • Information.

The information collected will be very useful to review the performance, to shape the training programs for management, to develop the skills of workers and to guide the professional career of each individual.

 

  • Self Assessment

Each worker must grade their level of job satisfaction and performance. Also, they must assess whether the objectives stipulated at the beginning of the year were achieved and whether these objectives were realistic and achievable.

 

  • Skill Assessment of the teams and workers

The surveys collect performance management insights and skills of both individual workers and teams.They reveal the differences between self-assessment questionnaires of the workers and of the management. Using this data, we can identify the shortcomings or needs in order to come up with a plan to reach our objectives.

 

  • Efficiency of the managers

The feedback from employees on their bosses is extremely valuable to unify objectives and improve efficiency.

 

Requirements of an Effective Performance Review Survey

 

  • 360º Comments

(Evaluation of multiple sources). To get a comprehensive perspective, the survey must report on the performance of a worker from the perspective of colleagues, peers, subordinates, etc, and not just the manager.

 

  • Performance of the managers

The feedback from employees about their managers will assess the corporate team and get insights on the business, its public relations and its job performance.

 

  • Employee satisfaction survey

The staff’s happiness translates into satisfied customers. Any company can test the level of satisfaction of its employees, including retail and online businesses.

 

3 useful tips for workers to complete the survey without problems

  • Preserve anonymity

  • Providing options for employees to express themselves through open questions and unstructured responses.

  • Informality. Please do not use a corporate technical language, formal or technical, but a relaxed, conversational tone.

If you want to learn more about how to conduct real-time employee surveys without going crazy in the process visit ClarityWave.com to learn more about our Employee Engagement software, EPIC™

Tableta-essential

How does feedback improve performance?

The Importance of Feedback

 

In a company there are many aspects in which personal relationships are fundamental. In order to measure the inner workings of the company and the evaluation of the work environment, we must have feedback  through regular performance evaluations, measurement of the labor and organizational climate, coaching or other evaluation and monitoring processes.

 

But do we really know the meaning and importance of feedback for achieving job success and increasing productivity of the company?

 

A good or bad feedback has a direct impact on workers.

 

It should be made clear that a candidate’s feedback is important to see it’s  weaknesses and strengths. A good feedback serves as a motivational tool and helps in the employee’s growth and the achievement of its career success.

 

The concept of feedback is very wide and can be applied in many different ways:

 

  • In educational processes.
  • To assess the individual development of a person.
  • In couple’s relationships.
  • As an instrument for measuring the working environment of a company.

 

And in general, in any process of personal growth and development or interaction with other people and situations. The feedback is an instrument used to refocus and improve the effectiveness of human relationships.

 

The feedback is a system of communication between a sender and a receiver. The issuer makes an assessment of the actions of the receiver.

 

In the workplace, the feedback is a kind of evaluation system. The person who gives it, gives to the recipient, his opinion about the performance of a particular task and the degree of satisfaction that the company has obtained as a result of the task.

 

So, you can maintain and enhance the strengths of the worker and give guidelines to improve the shortcomings. Thus, feedback becomes an indispensable support tool to improve the interpersonal relationships and performances within the company.

 

 

How to achieve a good feedback .

 

To achieve the desired impact of the feedback on the improvement of the performance,we have to follow a particular technique, always aiming for a good working environment and an improvement of productivity. The feedback can be received by the receiver in either a negative or a positive way, and this will be crucial for the person to implement changes in its attitude and that the feedback has served its purpose.

 

By doing feedback must focus on two aspects:

  • What do I perceive that the worker lacks in order to achieve its objective?
  • What kind of “relationship” I want to establish with the other person? And what do I hope to get after giving the feedback?

 

To answer these two questions is necessary to establish a methodology by following these steps:

 

  1. Knowing what the other person’s objectives are and expose the aspects which in your opinion would improve their effectiveness.
  2. Establish an atmosphere of constructive listening. Feedback talks will be effective only if both parties learn something. Both parties must keep an open mind and be willing to learn.
  3. Ensure that the other person is open to the feedback. If the person is not willing to listen, the whole process will be fruitless.
  4. Specify clearly the aspects over which the feedback will be given and establish a constructive conversation between both parties.

 

IMPORTANT: The feedback must always be aimed at improving the working environment, so it has to be positive and always with the aim of increasing satisfaction, employee performance and job happiness. A negative feedback is perceived as threatening and intimidating that will adversely affect the company.

 

If you want to learn more about how to conduct real-time employee surveys without going crazy in the process visit ClarityWave.com to learn more about our Employee Engagement software, EPIC™

Tableta-essential

 

Working with Baby Boomers

Working with Baby Boomers

Working with Baby BoomersThe baby boomer generation has perhaps been one of the most notable generations in the recent century. The generation following what has been termed “The Great Generation,” baby boomers were born after World War II between 1946 and 1964 and grew up in the 50’s, 60’s, and early 70’s. This generation typically involves the following:

  • Eager and devoted work ethic that seeks to be rewarded with monetary compensation
  • A “work hard, play hard” mentality
  • Individualistic and independant mindsets that enable them to work their best when taking charge of a project alone
  • A competitive nature which seeks to perform well both for themselves and in front of others

Working with the baby boomers can seem intimidating due to what feels a potentially larger age gap than what you may be used to, but you will discover that they are excellent workers when they know the goal. Below are some tips and techniques to consider when trying to keep a happy and productive work environment with a baby boomer.

The Baby Boomer’s Relationship With Technology

A major thing to consider when working with any baby boomers on your workforce is that they have lived through major technological improvements. They may be struggling to keep up with each new update and advance. When handing out assignments or seeking for effective motivation, consider possible tutorials a baby boomer may be able to take advantage of to successfully complete the task. Coating the request with a compliment won’t hurt, either.

Baby Boomer WomanBaby boomers are dedicated employees.

Employee surveys show that they plan to work much longer than the generation before them. They are known for working with vigor and efficiency. As a peer or subordinate, it would be wise to recognize their hard work by responding to messages or acknowledging their years of experience. Likewise, if you are in a management position, allow them a moment in the limelight to show their knowledge and display their effort.

This generation is extremely money motivated.

They put in long hours so that when they aren’t working they can use their paycheck to relax in style. If there is a project that offers a higher payout, the baby boomer will get the job done while simultaneously packing for the cruise he just earned. Millennial’s may not understand this drive as much, and tend to want to work smarter, not harder.

Potential frictions and conflicts

The significant age gap that may occur between the separate generations in the workforce has the potential to cause conflict. Since the baby boomer will have potentially up to 50 years more life experience than the younger Millennial’s, tension may arise when their younger counter parts begin to climb the ladder and excel. To manage this, direct attention toward the achievements and capabilities of individual members of the team. Back in the day, baby boomers were the generation that brought about the Civil Rights movement and the rise of feminism. The realm of the individual is almost like home for them.

If you are on the receiving end of any hostility, don’t feel too overwhelmed. Like many other areas of life, some people are skilled in areas you are not. Endeavor to find those areas in your baby boomer coworkers, and remind yourself of your own strengths. It just may be that that the individual feels that his job may be threatened by your work.

While it may not be your duty to reassure the baby boomer that you won’t be moving into their office next week, it could go a long way in keeping a peaceful work environment. As a manager, it is you job to keep workflow producing and ensure employee happiness. Take time to calm any potential fears a member of this generation might have, as it will help them move on with their projects. You might even give them specific projects that appeal to their strengths and years of knowledge in the field.

If possible, have their work ethic be a source of inspiration for younger generations. As a subordinate of the baby boomer, take notes. While you may not agree with them on how to run your social life, you should be able to find the innovations they have contributed to the company that actually make your job easier.

EPIC PRO Employee Engagement SoftwareReal-time tools like Clarity Wave’s EPIC PRO™ allow baby boomers to quickly and easily express their opinions and perceptions of their workplace and coworkers in a safe and anonymous environment.

If you want to learn more about how to conduct real-time employee surveys without going crazy in the process visit ClarityWave.com to learn more about our Employee Engagement software, EPIC™

Tableta-essential

Schedule a demo to see how EPIC™ by Clarity Wave can help you have more engaged employees and improve your company’s culture.

Why American Express is one of the 100 best companies to work for?

Why American Express is one of the 100 best companies to work for?

American ExpressIn 2014 the main mission of the company last year was to try that its nearly 4,000 workers in Mexico didn’t lose hope in their future against the uncertainty of the economic situation of the country and the rest of world. Labor happiness and to know how to motivate employees in an enterprise, is vital for its productivity.

 

The goal of the company was fulfilled thanks to informing the employees on both the external and internal situation of the company and the creation of a favorable working environment. In order to achieve this, they summoned several types of general meetings: annual with senior officials, monthly with vice-presidents and weekly with leaders and work teams.

 

Thanks to this strategy of creating a good work environment, the company has been placed as the number 1 in the ranking of “Top Companies 2014 (in the category of companies with more than 3000 employees)”, awarded every year by Expansion magazine.

 

According to this publication, American Express is one of those companies in which everyone wants to work for its excellent conditions to achieving professional success: excellent human resources policies, and excellent working environment in the different groups.

 

Reality cannot be changed, but to know what happens and to keep abreast of events helps to focus and define objectives. Once those objectives are defined, they’re able to create hope.

 

American Express is going through good times and despite this, the Human Resources team works to maintain the organization’s work environment high, by taking on three vital actions:

 

  • Flexibility in decision-making
  • Online training
  • Support networks programs

 

Although the atmosphere of economic uncertainty in the country, with some economic reforms approved and others on their way, is not the most suitable at present, this has not been an obstacle to proceed with the planned programs or investments to better train the employees.

 

More than half of the 2014 Super Transnational Companies have maintained their budgets for HR, but only 3 in 10 of them have increased them over last year. American Express is one of them.

 

In AmEx, investment for the training of employees has not been cut down for the short term. 

 

Digital age

The company has changed its traditional training strategies for digital support. The aim is to increase the number of employees having this type of training in order to  measure results in a better way.

 

In Mexico, the company’s employees have access to the digital library that has many curricula, which they can use from their computers. At present, all employees must cover 40 hours of training annually.

The main advantages of this are  accessibility and savings.

 

AmEx has also unified training

Currently leadership programs for the sectors of Travel Sales and Corporate Sales  are the same, as it is considered that the essence and purpose of background were similar.

 

Happy workers

The company maintains its health programs so that employees will know periodically their cholesterol, triglycerides, muscle mass, or sugar levels. Guidelines are given for maintaining ideal weight or reduce stress levels with medical and nutrition consultations.

 

They have also strengthened support for the gay community, single parents and minorities.

 

Finally, annual seminars are organized with the attendance of employees to discuss issues of interest to the group, or breakfast and meetings in which the CEO is present.

 

If you want to have a workplace climate similar to American Express’ you need to be able to measure it and find out what areas need work.

EPIC, Employee Perceived Image of the Company® allows you to see, in real time, how your team members perceive your company and their co-workers.

If you want to learn more about how to conduct real-time employee surveys without going crazy in the process visit ClarityWave.com to learn more about our Employee Engagement software, EPIC™

Tableta-essential

Schedule a demo to see how EPIC™ by Clarity Wave can help you have more engaged employees and improve your company’s culture.

 

How to Shield Yourself from Secondhand Stress

 

The roots of secondhand stress.

Ever had your perky mood instantly brought down by the negativity and complaints of co-workers around you causing you secondhand stress? Ever felt demotivated to go to work knowing you´d be entering a field of stress and toxicity for the rest of the day?

It´s no secret that our brains easily respond to emotional contagion, such as smiles, yawns, and yes, stress. The simple fact of observing someone who´s feeling stressed can directly affect our nervous system and spike up the levels of cortisol, also known as the “stress hormone”. You don´t even have to hear or see the stressed out person; you can smell them. That´s right, stress causes people to sweat out stress hormones, which are picked up by our olfactory senses. So, negativity at your workplace can literally drift right into your cubicle.

There usually isn´t much we can do to change the people or environment around us. But we do have the power to change our response and shield ourselves from those storms of negativity.

 

Here´s how:

 

Don´t engage in their drama.

Instead of feeding the stress, complaints or victimization by responding with comments such as “awwwwwwww” and ooey gooey “oh my god poor youuuu” or with an equally stressed out energy, try to bring back your focus on the task at hand or the subject of your work related interaction. You can even practice compassion for their state and ask if there is anything you can do to help them out.

Another way is to simply avoid interaction altogether whenever possible, until the storm has passed.

 

Don´t take it personal.

When someone´s stressed out, he or she might lash out at anyone or anything having the misfortune of being in his or her way. So don´t hook into it, even though it may push certain buttons of offensiveness, anger or insecurity within you. Keep in mind that it has nothing to do with you. This is their own projection.

 

Build your shield.

Create a positive routine every morning before going to work, such as writing down 3 things you are grateful for, writing an email praising someone or giving them love, doing a meditation or even some early morning exercise. “Exercise??!” You may ask. Yup! Exercise is one of the most effective ways to build self-esteem, as your brain records a victory every single time you exercise via the release of endorphins.

 

Breaaaaathe.

Here´s a quick and easy way to come into your center, no matter what your background or experience is.

It´s called the “Coming Home Breath” or the “Cleansing Breath”, by breath expert Dan Brule. The Coming Home Breath is basically an exaggerated sigh of relief. It involves a full expansive inhale with a quick and total release of the exhale. It´s actually a natural automatic response to a change in our physical, emotional or psychological state. When we move from a state of pain to no pain, or from fear to no fear, the sigh of relief naturally happens by itself. And when we consciously give ourselves a sigh of relief, we naturally move our system toward a state of comfort and pleasure.[1]

It´s a way to trick your mind into thinking “I made it home, I can relax now”. You know that breath you take when you´ve had a long day at work; you arrive home to your spouse or favorite pet and drop into your comfy chair, a nice drink in your hands….“aaaaaaaaaaaaah”.

This technique is a great and easy tool to use at work; unnoticed.

 

Create new and positive responses.

Instead of lashing out yourself in response to other people´s stressed energy, turn it around! Return your co-workers’ stressed nonverbals with a smile or a nod of understanding.

 

Avoid negative exposure to social media and news articles.

Continuous exposure to such frequency can easily spike up your cortisol levels and encourage your system to “tune into” stressful vibrations and thus easily respond to.

 

Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.” – Oprah Winfrey

Work with and hang out as much as you can with people who have an uplifting energy, praising other people for their work or character instead of hanging out with the bullies, gossipers and complainers.

 

 

So here is our selection of ideas you can choose from in order to build a stronger immunity to stress. Remember, you can´t always change your environment, but you do have the power to choose your response and action to any situation

If you want to learn more about how to conduct real-time employee surveys without going crazy in the process visit ClarityWave.com to learn more about our Employee Engagement software, EPIC™

Tableta-essential

Schedule a demo to see how EPIC™ by Clarity Wave can help you have more engaged employees and improve your company’s culture.

[1] http://www.breathmastery.com/two-core-techniques-in-breathwork/

 

New Managers and the 10 typical mistakes they make.

Definitely, one of the most damaging elements for the existence of a good workplace environment is the existence of “bad bosses”. The bad atmosphere and working environment they create is reflected in the long run on the productivity.

Bad bosses not only thin the workplace atmosphere but also demotivate employees, and that lack of interest has a direct impact on the company. Nobody thinks that leadership is easy. With new managers, being in a more visible position, it is more difficult to maintain a level of excellence of 100%. But the position of leader not only means more power, but above all, greater responsibility.

Anyone can be a bad boss. It depends on oneself to decide if your goal is for the company to increase its productivity through a favorable working environment and have happier employees, or to devote oneself to whipping them instead of rowing with them in the same direction.

Bad managers cause brain drain while conversely, a boss involved and proactive manages to create an ideal working environment for the competitiveness of the company. The bosses must have it very clear that, if due to inadequate and unfair performance with employees, the company does not get the expected returns, they will have many good chances of being fired.

The negative leaders are becoming more repudiated by companies who see them as elements that cause poor performance and create discredit to the company.

These are the 10 most common mistakes of bad new managers:

verbal-abuse-2-3121.-Verbal abuse

It manifests itself in several ways: using sarcastic, disapproving, or accuser tone, not empathizing with the personal problems of workers in charge, or interrupting, ignoring, and humiliating in public or in private.

 

2.- Reneging on promises

There are managers in certain situations that try to convince their employees with the promise of incentives that never arrive: false promotions, salary increases, etc.

 

3.-Venting the anger instead of seeking solutions

Indeed, sometimes the leaders must withstand high pressures. But the situation will worsen if, instead of correcting the performance of a subordinate showing them how to improve or learn, the boss downloads all its anger on the employee for the mistakes he or she made, as this will only  increase their nervousness and therefore, their inefficiency.

 

4.- Ignore a good performance

The lack of personal assessment is one of the main grievances of employees. The arrogance of many heads prevents them to assess the achievements of their employees, as they only find time to berate errors.

 

5.-Inconsistencies

The rules and company values affect everyone, including the leaders themselves. A typical case is that of managers who impose rules and procedures to employees which they themselves don’t follow, even though they have established them themselves.

 

6.-Boycotting the team

Jealousy is a bad companion. Often the boycotting of the work of their subordinates hides a security problem.

 

7.- Being pessimistic

If the responsible of the business has a pessimistic view, everything is going to hell. It’s impossible to motivate and promote an efficient work environment if the person itself does not believe in it.

 

8.- Not having a clear objective

Sometimes the high level of concentration in designing or supervising the tasks causes the blurring and shifting of the ultimate goal.

 

9.- Not knowing what motivates the team

Everyone who is part of the team has needs and specific goals that are its engine and motivation. Knowing these requirements helps to better achieve the common goal.

 

10.- Being too soft.

As damaging as excessive hardness is not being able to transmit power or demand results from employees.

 

New managers need, more than anyone else, to receive constant feedback on the job they are doing as leaders. however in many cases, direct reports will be hesitant to tell their bosses when they do something wrong.

This is where tools like Clarity Wave’s EPIC PRO™ come in handy. With EPIC Pro™ new managers (as well as everyone else in the company) can see exactly how they’re doing in the eyes of the people they work with.

Our weekly, 100% anonymous surveys ensure that you have real-time information about over 60 different indicators.

If you want to learn more about how to conduct real-time employee surveys without going crazy in the process visit ClarityWave.com to learn more about our Employee Engagement software, EPIC™

Tableta-essential

Schedule a demo to see how EPIC™ by Clarity Wave can help you have more engaged employees and improve your company’s culture.

The 3 promoters of employee engagement

Now times have changed, we no longer live in the slave models where the foreman, a whip in his hand, was next to the worker giving orders and watching him perform the work. Surely as time goes by, it brings a permanent evolution, and in the workplace itself it definitely has brought significant changes. Every day more companies are concerned that their workers are well involved with their work, and are looking for ways that this is accomplished in a greater proportion. We will learn about the 3 elements that drive their workers to feel more involved and engaged.

a.) Good leadership:

It is perhaps the fundamental base. A good leader not only directs but accompanies, gives feedback, proposes, suggests and is aware of the situation to perform real-time management. He pushes his team to reach its goal and is the primal model of involvement. He is the first really committed to the objective for the company’s sake rather than for his personal satisfaction.He may be the direct supervisor or a coordinator, but it falls on him the resposibility of leadership that aims to create a culture of feeling part of the organization.

b.) Meaningful work:

We all want to have the best position of the company and better pay, but this we will get according to our profile. Many times we have to work on what is available, even in things outside of our strengths, talents and skills, however, it is a joint effort of both the company and the employee that the work will be meaningful: From the company’s standpoint, it is to provide the conditions necessary for the person to feel well, happy and motivated enough so as to exercise, monitor, control and evaluate their achievements; from the employee’s standpoint it is putting their talent and effort to give the best results, without anyone asking what it is but to fulfill and give a little more.

c.) Professional and Personal Growth:

It’s a crucial element, because nobody wants to stay the same for all of its life.The necessary conditions should be given to provide at the level of permanent training and academic incentives,the conditions which will allow the development of the individual in all areas, in order to continue getting better achievements for future promotions and better jobs, both within the company or elsewhere. This gives certainly an involvement to the extent that the person feels it is part of the company and not just another employee doing the same for all eternity.

Thus, adding these concepts assertively, we will make employees feel total adherence to the goals, mission and vision of the company. To learn how you can implement strategies that enable greater employee involvement, at ClarityWave we have tailored solutions, based on the current reality of your business and taking action to get the best results..

 

If you want to learn more about how to conduct real-time employee surveys without going crazy in the process visit ClarityWave.com to learn more about our Employee Engagement software, EPIC™

Tableta-essential

Schedule a demo to see how EPIC™ by Clarity Wave can help you have more engaged employees and improve your company’s culture.