Are Employee Benefits Changing in Response to Remote Working?
Are Employee Benefits Changing in Response to Remote Working?
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019
Since 2020, when the pandemic started, employers have had to adapt and make ongoing adjustments to their HR operations. One particular change that resulted from organisations recognising and valuing their remote working employees, was the increased revision and improvement of their company’s Employee Benefits Package for hybrid and remote workers.
From adapting paid-leave policies to providing flexible-working options, employers are recognising that with hybrid working becoming commonplace, they need to support their workers in new ways.
With this in mind, how exactly are benefits changing in response to remote working?
Similarly, they can help to attract top talent to your company and retain your existing and key members of staff. Medical or health-related perks to private health insurance can assure all your employees remain as happy and healthy as possible. This, in turn, not only creates a more positive workplace culture but also reduces the number of absences within the organisation.
What are the most popular perks for remote workers?
Perks for remote workers can vary depending on a range of factors, from the type of industry the company works in, to the role that someone does every day and budgetary considerations. Employers may provide private health cover, wellbeing benefits or in-house perks, such as free fruit or snacks in the office. Naturally, some of the perks ordinarily offered in-house are not practical to apply to remote working employees. However, that’s not to say that companies have to stop providing benefits to their staff, but rather allow for a broader and more flexible approach in their application.
Remote working is great, but it can take its toll on an employee’s mental health due to the isolation and the risk of overworking. When staff are not meeting up with other people throughout the day, or are less inclined to take breaks as they naturally would in the office, it can be exhausting and mentally draining.
So, in addition to the inherent benefit of trust and empowerment that remote working provides, businesses have adapted their benefit programmes to accommodate these risks. Some examples include giving staff:
the option of flexi-time to work when they’re most productive
an opportunity to balance work-life commitments more effectively
wellness perks, such as discounts to workout sessions or yoga classes, and
subscription boxes that are delivered to their door.
Another benefit that can do wonders for staff satisfaction, motivation and morale is formal recognition and praise. Employers can use software and online tools to enable recognition to be given to employees when it’s due.
A focus on mental health
The pandemic, lockdown, and a shift in how we work, has had a huge impact on our mental health. In fact, a 2021 survey by the Royal Society for Public Health found that 67% of Brits felt less connected with their colleagues as a result of working remotely. Yet despite this, more of us have stayed working remotely even though lockdowns have lifted. This proves that the benefits outweigh the negatives, and with extra care and attention from employers, remote workers can enjoy the flexibility that remote working offers without it impacting their mental health or leading to burnout.
When employees are valued and their mental health is protected, they’re able to come to their job each day feeling confident and motivated. Neglecting this can not only lead to staff leaving for other roles but it can also foster negativity within the team, which has an impact on morale and productivity.
How to update benefits for the modern workspace
We know that remote working can be an advantage, but there’s no denying that in order to continue to support staff, employers need to make some changes. There are a few ways that businesses can update their remote working employee benefits to accommodate hybrid workers.
Firstly, virtual tools such as online GP consultations, mental health chatbots and online counselling sessions can help people remain positive and healthy without it impacting their routines or schedules. It’s a cost-effective way of supporting staff using technology. Another option is to provide health insurance and medical perks that benefit every working professional and keep your team as healthy as possible.
Businesses can assist their staff with creating an ergonomic workstation that is comfortable and supportive. A well-designed work environment not only helps with physical issues, such as poor posture and eye strain but it also helps to improve productivity and instill a sense of responsibility.
Working remotely can arguably make it easier to balance work and life responsibilities, but it may be more of a challenge for parents of young children when their kids are at home. Providing childcare benefits can relieve them of these distractions.
Learning and development opportunities are another way to provide benefits to remote members of the team, keeping them curious and passionate about their role and enhancing their skills. From digital skills to help them work more efficiently to coaching training for leaders to build confidence when managing a remote team, ongoing education is a great way of creating a more productive, motivated team.
There’s no denying that remote and hybrid working is here to stay. Businesses need to identify ways that help them adapt employee benefits for their remote workers. The focus should be on making sure that staff still feel part of the team, that they feel that their health and wellbeing is supported, and that there are still incentives for them to enjoy as a reward for their hard work and effort. In this way, they can ensure equal support and provision of perks and incentives to those who would have received them if they were in the office every day.
Annie Button is a Portsmouth based writer and recent graduate. Annie has written for various online and print publications, she specialises in business, recruitment and career development.
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Employee Retention Strategies for Small Businesses
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019
Whether you’re a large or small business, retaining your best employees is crucial for success. This article covers the most effective employee retention strategies for small businesses, and how you can start implementing them today.
One of the most common challenges discussed in recruitment is hiring the best talent for your business. With the job market being so candidate-driven, attracting and hiring the right people is harder than ever.
Luckily, there’s plenty of information and recruitment technology to help you make the right hires, but what about once you’ve made those hires? We all know how vital it is to have talented people working for you, and you want to keep those people on board for the highest chance of business success.
Your employees are ultimately your most valuable asset, and care must be taken to retain them just as much as generating sales or managing finances. Employee retention strategies for small businesses are particularly important, as here every member of your team really will make or break the business.
Why is employee retention important?
When you don’t retain your employees, the outcome is of course a higher turnover rate. A high turnover is bad for any business, but the cost of it can be highly damaging to smaller companies.
Turnover can cost employers 33% of an employee’s annual salary, a loss that can significantly impact a smaller business. But why exactly is the cost so high?
When you lose an employee, it’s not cheap to advertise a new role, particularly if you want the right candidate to apply.
Whether you’re advertising your roles through a recruitment agency or hiring directly, the costs add up. Recruitment agencies can take between 15 – 20% of the candidates’ first annual salary, even going up to 30% for harder-to-fill roles. Posting jobs directly on job boards and other advertising channels can also become an expensive option if you’re doing it frequently.
And let’s not forget the more indirect costs like your recruitment team’s time and resources and the consequences of making a bad hire.
If you’re having to go through these processes frequently, the loss to your business is staggering. So it’s best to make sure you’re making the right hire in the first place and then retaining them.
Loss of productivity
It’s only natural for a new employee to take some time to get familiar with the business and get to grips with their new role. This means they may not produce the same level of work as their predecessor for a while, creating a loss of productivity.
A loss of productivity can come at a great cost, particularly for small businesses where the environment is fast-paced. The amount lost depends on the role, however; for example, replacement staff at a restaurant may not need as much time to get up to speed as a senior lawyer position.
Onboarding and training
Once you hire the right candidate, you need to properly onboard and train them. Tasks like putting together a welcome book with their offer letter, contract, details on the company, and an employee handbook will be necessary.
Inductions with new employees will take time – even if it’s just a few hours this is a valuable time within your business. If you are making new hires frequently, this time will add up, and lead to a significant loss.
Training for new employees depends on the role, but this could range from a quick chat to hours spent training on how to sell your product. If this employee leaves soon after, this is essentially wasted time and money.
Employee retention strategies
So what exactly can you do as a small business to ensure your staff are less likely to leave and save on the cost of a high turnover? Here are employee retention strategies for small businesses to help.
1. Avoid making bad hires
This one might seem pretty obvious, but avoiding making bad hires for your business in the first place is essential for employee retention.
Hiring the wrong candidate can cost your business at least 30% of the employee’s first-year earnings, and can go up to as much as double this. This is because either the bad hire will realise they aren’t right for the business and leave, or the company decides to let them go.
The two most common factors that create a bad hire are poor cultural fit and underperformance. Ensuring you get these two aspects right throughout the hiring process is essential, and there are a few ways you can do this.
Write effective job adverts
How you write your job adverts is a vital part of attracting the right talent online. Your advert should be as clear and focused as possible, whilst engaging and exciting a prospective candidate.
A simple job description isn’t going to cut it. The most talented candidates are often already employed and passively searching for roles online – if you want to have any chance of hiring these people, you need to stand out, and sell the role and opportunity to them.
Some good practices for this are:
Use the right job title
Avoid too many ‘essential’ bullet points
Outline the role responsibilities accurately
Include information on career progression, working environment and culture, and potential rewards
In order to reach the right people, you need to select the right job advertising channels that they will be searching on.
A simple Google Search of the job title and location you’re advertising for will reveal the top results of where candidates are most likely to be searching. Simply select the top channels displayed.
You also want to make sure your advert is shown across and large enough number of these channels. There are now tools that can help you do this, such as job board multi-posters.
These increase your job’s visibility by posting across numerous relevant job advertising channels at a reduced fee. This saves your recruitment team both time and money that would be spent researching and posting on each channel individually. This is great if you’re a small business with limited resources.
2. Create a positive candidate experience
Attracting the right talent is one thing, but retaining them throughout the recruitment process is key. In-demand employees are less likely to accept a job offer if they’ve had a negative candidate experience.
A disappointed candidate may also share their experiences, with a CareerArc Survey revealing that 72% of candidates who have a bad experience will openly tell others about it. This can give you a bad employer reputation, and discourage talent from joining your company in the future.
An efficient hiring process
Keep your hiring process as simple and efficient as possible. Research has shown that candidates quit job applications when they’re too long or complex, so make sure you’re doing the following:
Avoid redirecting applicants between platforms in the initial application process
Poor communication with candidates is one of the biggest reasons for talented people dropping out of your recruitment process. Communicating properly increases your chance of winning over the best and retaining their interest.
Communicate as quickly as possible from the point of application
Be courteous in all your communications
Ensure you provide adequate information on your company, opportunity, team, and the steps in your recruitment process
Once you have shortlisted your best candidates for an interview, follow through with a carefully prepared and organised meeting. It’s amazing how many companies invest time and effort into recruiting candidates, yet blow their chances on the day. A good candidate will know if they’re being fobbed off with an ad hoc interview.
You are selling your company, so you should put your best people in front of the candidates that you want to impress. Confident, ambitious job seekers will have plenty of other opportunities on the table, so do your best to woo them.
Make sure your interviewer is properly trained
Avoid interviewer fatigue by not booking too many interviews in one time period
During on-site interviews give a tour of the facility & introductions to members of staff
3. Enhance your benefits package
Before you start thinking about hiring new employees, ask yourself – are you offering attractive benefits as part of working with you? While providing adequate pay is a vital employee retention strategy for small businesses, offering a superior benefits package is another sure-fire way to keep top talent (and attract new hires!).
Benefits are important because they make your employees feel valued, and give them what they may not be able to otherwise afford. In fact, research has found that 80% of employees would choose additional benefits over a pay rise. In a job seekers’ market, it’s not just job seekers who are being harder to please. Your existing staff may consider changing jobs if they feel more valued elsewhere.
Not only does an attractive benefits package keep talent in your business, it also contributes to increased productivity in the workplace. Keeping your employees productive is one of the most important parts of keeping your business profitable, so this is vital.
Some key benefits to consider are:
Training and development
Professional financial advice
Time off for mental health
Rewards for performance
4. Training and development
Are you providing ongoing staff training and development as part of your business? According to a LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report, a huge 93% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their careers.
Training and development have become an expectation by talented employees. It shows that the business values them and their career progression.
Here are just some of the ways you can develop talent from within your business.
Use of micro-learning
Traditional skill-developing techniques like seminars and in-person courses can eat up employee time and productivity. As a result, e-learning has become increasingly popular, as it can be done flexibly in a micro-learning format at the employee’s own convenience.
Offering learning opportunities in bite-sized time periods can be easily weaved into the normal workday. This may include:
Social media learning
Video learning e.g. webinars or training videos
Learning Experience Platforms (LXPs) that create a personalised, online learning experience for employees from a singular platform that they can revisit at any time
Experienced members on your teams can help get new and existing hires up to speed through internal training programmes. There are a few ways to boost your internal training processes, which may include:
Mentorships with senior staff
Creating a talent development programme that focuses on certain skills staff lack in
Performance reviews to monitor staff training progress
Upskilling & reskilling programmes
Upskilling and reskilling programmes are a great way to improve your employee engagement and help retain talent within your small business. They’re also effective for attracting new talent and speeding up the adoption of new trends in the business.
These programmes may require more investment from you, but the payoff is huge. Some examples of techniques to use are:
Job shadowing or swapping between teams
Investment in industry courses and qualifications
Time away to attend relevant seminars and events
Group sessions with external training providers
5. Rewards and recognition
A study from Office Team found that 66% of employees would quit a job if they felt unappreciated. Giving your employees rewards and recognition is a great employee retention strategy for small businesses, but what can you do to give them this?
Written & verbal praise
Praising your employees can boost their self-esteem, and motivate them to continue to do good work. It also has the potential to motivate other employees to work just as hard to get the same level of recognition.
A simple thank you card or email can have more of an impact than you’d think and is tangible proof of an employee’s contribution.
Verbal praise is again quite self-explanatory, but ensure you’re making a conscious effort to give it in an ad-hoc format as and when it is necessary.
Employee appreciation events & days
Calling out your employees in a highlighted event or day is a great step to showing appreciation for them. Some examples include having an employee of the month/quarter/year to identify and celebrate your top performers.
Additionally, celebrating birthdays, new additions to the family or other notable out-of-work events can have a positive impact too.
Celebrating employee milestones such as work anniversaries, project completions, and quarterly reviews can actually have a big impact on your employee retention.
In fact, research by Harvard Business Review found most workers change jobs in the first year, spiking around work anniversaries. Acknowledging this milestone has the potential to help the employee feel valued, and perhaps reconsider leaving.
These recognitions don’t need to be costly, with something as simple as a thank you card or company-wide announcement. Even the smallest gesture can have the biggest impact.
Bonuses & gifts
Showing your appreciation in the form of a bonus or gift is a good tactic to reward your employees and contribute to retention.
Bonuses and gifts can range from small to large. Monetary bonuses can be given frequently for a job well done, and show employees they are valued and that their hard work is helping the company. Giving this kind of reward for a specific job well done can have the biggest impact, as the action is rewarded almost immediately when it’s top-of-mind.
Gift certificates can have a similar impact, and even something as simple as a free lunch once a week can also go a long way.
6. Career advancement
The opportunity for career advancement is an extremely effective employee retention strategy for small businesses. It may be challenging to develop a clear path for a promotion in a smaller business, as this usually means smaller teams and fewer senior positions available. However, you can still provide alternatives.
Offering your strongest performing employees more responsibilities as a way to grow their careers is a viable option.
This offers employees the chance to get additional experience, hone new skills, and become more satisfied. Having these new experiences then sets the employee up for a promotion and a better salary in the future.
This is also a good time to get employees doing the extra training and development discussed in this guide.
Promote from within
If the need does arise to create a new senior position, begin your search from within the business with your existing employees.
Consistently searching for new candidates and promoting from the outside can cause frustrations with your current employees. They may stop trying their best, or even leave your company as they don’t see any opportunity to grow within the business.
Promoting from within your teams is a key employee retention strategy for small businesses, as it shows the time and effort they’ve put into the company is valued.
7. Invest in your company culture
A Deloitte survey found company culture is a big and growing topic you cannot afford to neglect, with 86% of CEOs and HR Leaders seeing it as increasingly important to businesses.
It’s a magic formula that goes like this: Get your business model and your internal culture right, and you’ll be surprised just how quickly word gets around that your company is the place to be.
When your candidates, employees, customers, and the public interact with your business, what’s their experience? The way your company is perceived hinges on its internal culture and how this is managed. Everything follows from here – from team engagement and productivity to employee happiness, staff retention, and business success.
Identifying and developing your company’s brand doesn’t have to be expensive, but it does have to be done. Here are four things you should be doing:
Build authentic and meaningful recognition and reward into your company culture to meet your employees’ needs to be recognised for their efforts and achievements, and drive performance, staff retention, and employee engagement.
Build strong teams that collaborate eagerly, communicate openly, trust each other’s views, and are motivated to engage in the best performance. Team building shouldn’t be a one-off activity, day-to-day reinforcement may be needed to create a collaborative work culture.
Build a flexible work environment, allowing and trusting your staff to choose when, where, and how they work. This freedom coupled with personal accountability strengthens your work culture by encouraging happier, higher-performing teams.
Create a caring culture that genuinely looks after its employees and goes beyond the norm. X, Y, Z generations want to know that you will look after their best interests and care for them, especially in their hour of need. Employees now prefer healthy food and access to help and advice over a beer fridge or pool table.
Retaining top talent is vital for your business’ success. A high turnover is ultimately bad for morale and adds numerous costs to the business. Whilst retaining every employee isn’t always possible, implementing these employee retention strategies for small businesses will create a much more desirable place to work, and your employees are likely to stay for longer.
Ultimately, talented employees who know the ins and outs of your business over time are the ones who will bring the most value. But you need to ensure you’re hiring the right people in the first place. This is where Smart Recruit Online can help. Our talent acquisition platform comes with the latest candidate screening tools and software designed to attract and hire the best talent online.
Annie Button is a Portsmouth based writer and recent graduate. Annie has written for various online and print publications, she specialises in business, recruitment and career development.
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Successful Employee Retention Strategies in the Remote Work Era
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019
This blog covers how you can implement successful employee retention strategies in today’s remote work era.
Telecommuting is still new terrain for many companies and HR professionals. They’re still figuring out how to manage their workforce in the digital space without hurting employee engagement.
However, it’s something they all have to grasp, given the popularity of remote work. According to a Havard Business School study, most professionals who transitioned to remote work wouldn’t want to return to the traditional office full time.
While studies and statistics have shown the many benefits of remote work, it still comes with challenges. For example, managers are tempted to micromanage since telecommuters can’t be physically supervised, and restrictive rules could cause challenges in the home-office arrangement.
Employers risk losing their workforce to competitors if they don’t enforce the right policies. This article will explore employee retention strategies for remote work that can help organisations prevent their best talents from leaving.
Avoid Delayed Payments
Late paychecks can kill the morale in your company and force your workers out the door. Every employee depends on their wage to settle personal issues and bills. So, this makes money a critical factor in employee retention.
Things can quickly get ugly when firms delay payments more often than they should. Now, it gets trickier in a remote setting.
First, you have to get your payroll right, especially with an unconventional workspace where calculating billable hours can be difficult. That said, with a work time tracking app, you can generate accurate timesheets.
Not getting your payroll right could attract your competitors, and workers can easily make the switch if they’re frustrated.
Watching a subordinate or employee make costly mistakes is difficult, especially if you know how to avoid them. Allowing them to go through a process you’re not confident about can even be more challenging.
However, that doesn’t mean you have to control their every move. Micromanagement is workplace dictatorship. It’s unhealthy and it demoralizes the workforce. It creates a problematic chasm between employers and managers, erodes trust, and discourages commitment.
Monitoring and controlling every aspect of your team’s workflow will make you lose sight of the bigger picture. It annoys employees, sows distrust, and leads to high turnover.
No employee wants someone over their shoulders at every hour. They quickly get fed up working in such an environment.
So, if you’re going to retain your best workers, show them you’re confident in their ability to make the right decisions.
Develop an Optimised Reward System
One of the best ways to retain outstanding employees is recognising and appreciating them. As a manager, you must understand the importance of appreciation.
Workers want to know that what they do matters. By validating their work, you’re not just encouraging them to do better but also boosting their job satisfaction and loyalty.
According to a Great Place to Work study, 37% of respondents said personal recognition would encourage them to perform better.
Additionally, 63% of participants in a Bonusly and SurveyMonkey study “who are ‘always’ or ‘usually’ recognised” said they’re unlikely to switch jobs.
These numbers show that reward and recognition programs are the cornerstone of effective employee management. So, if you don’t have such a program, developing one would be hugely beneficial.
However, it doesn’t end at starting a reward and recognition program. Companies are now becoming creative as the competition for talent grows more intense. That means you have to optimise your rewards program for your workforce to prevent them from looking elsewhere.
Developing a program involves setting up recognition frequencies, types of bonuses and incentives to be distributed, and how to distribute them.
You have to streamline every process for remote workers. Use an excellent recognition system to identify work-from-home employees who do good work and send out gifts that benefit telecommuters.
Organise Training and Workshops
Investing in your staff’s development builds a sense of belonging and loyalty. It shows them you’re interested in their growth and are ready to spend for that cause.
Learning and development are ongoing activities as enterprises adopt complex applications each day. To stay relevant, employees remain on the lookout for opportunities that will help advance their careers.
L&D is important for remote workers who are spread across the world. You have to integrate your staff into your company’s processes and train them on navigating the industry.
Indeed, training can be more difficult in a virtual workspace. However, you have to figure out innovative ways to develop your workforce.
Support Flexible Working
Employees tend to lean towards firms with flexible working structures. That’s because they’ll have more space to work comfortably and determine their hours. Encouraging flexible hours is one of the most effective employee retention strategies, especially in remote workplaces.
Studies have shown that one-third of employees would take flexible hours over a raise, as well as a 2021 Jabra Hybrid Ways of Working report finding that 77% of employees would pick an organization that offers flexible hours over one that doesn’t.
There are different interpretations of flexible working hours. For some, it starts and stops at working remotely, while for others, it includes a bit of in-office work.
However, it doesn’t end at allowing employees to work remotely or telling them to show up at the office twice a week. You have to give them the autonomy to choose hours that work for them.
If your company has a rigid work time structure, find innovative ways to allow workers to select after-hours periods.
For any office environment, employee independence is one of the vital ingredients for success. While a level of supervision is healthy, workers love to handle how they go about work.
According to a paper on the effects of job autonomy on work outcomes published on Research Gate, “job autonomy is significantly related to job performance and satisfaction.” Another 2017 study found that giving workers more responsibilities raises productivity.
Autonomy is vital for remote workers who are less supervised than in-office employers. They need to make critical decisions without breaking the workflow to contact a manager. Trusting your employees to make the right calls will keep them satisfied with work and boost performance.
Build a Collaborative Environment
One of the biggest challenges of remote work is communication. Since employees work from home, reaching out to other colleagues for simple issues is hardly considered. Moreover, even when they reach out, they don’t always receive immediate, synchronous feedback like in the traditional office environment.
Also, separating home from work makes it all the more challenging to collaborate with other team members. This tendency for telecommuters to work in silos can breed a sense of job dissatisfaction over time.
So, ensure you develop and encourage communication and collaboration. Create general routines, such as daily briefs, video conferencing, and project updates. Make sure you constantly remind team members to reach out whenever they feel stuck.
You don’t want to lose your top talents to the competition because you refused to adapt. Implementing the right policies in a remote workplace will improve your work culture and help you retain productive employees. Above all, you must keep the lines of communication open and encourage feedback to help you collect information needed to streamline your policies to suit staff.
Sometimes you need a little extra help. For information on how our recruitment technology can help you more efficiently hire and retain talented employees, get in touch.
Sarah B Blank
Sarah B. Blank is a business and management graduate writing about remote working, time management, productivity and other similar topics. Her articles appear on various authority websites and get thousands of visits every month.
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Why is Internal Communication Important?
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019
Good internal communication is crucial for the success of your business. But exactly why is internal communication important?
The successful implementation of an idea in the workplace is only as good as how well it’s communicated between teams. Companies often work zealously to build strong communication with their clients, but place less emphasis on their internal communications.
Business performance is strongly tied to good internal communication, and companies should think twice before putting it on the backburner. This article covers why internal communication is important, and what you can do to improve yours.
What is internal communication?
Internal communication is the process put in place that enables people within a company to exchange information. It’s used as a blanket term for different types of information exchange happening within the company.
Communication within companies can occur across multiple channels. There are top-down memos, general announcements, peer-to-peer communication, information campaigns, and more. Each method of internal communication is designed for a specific audience with a definite purpose.
Without a well-defined communication strategy, your communication efforts can create chaos. Its effectiveness determines the quality of work produced, and unless everyone is on the same page, your business performance can take a significant blow.
Types of internal communication
There are a few common types of internal communication we see in the workplace.
Managerial and top-down communication
Managers and senior leaders have two key tasks: defining the direction of the company, and setting the culture that facilitates it. Making both of these clear to the workforce is critical.
This type of communication encompasses updates, strategy overviews, performance, and formal announcements.
Two-way and bottom-up communication
Research on employee engagement and satisfaction has shown that communication should be strong both ways.
It’s important to ensure every voice is heard, and it’s the task of internal communications to facilitate that with the right tools, channels, and support.
Feedback from employees, staff surveys, polls, and ideation for staff are all part of bottom-up communication. This is supported by a Bonusly Survey, which found 95% of engaged employees believed managers listened to their ideas, compared to 39% of disengaged employees.
Employees working in different teams need to be able to collaborate to share knowledge, solve problems, or simply network to make the workplace more productive.
Peer-to-peer communication is facilitated through instant messaging tools, project management platforms, and chat forums.
Information communication is meant to get the employees up to speed on a number of different things such as HR and IT information, policies and procedures, legal information, How-to resources, training tools and content, and company information.
Communication of essential information is critical during a crisis. Companies need to have a robust crisis communication plan to mitigate any unexpected surprises. A multi-channel approach is ideal for crisis communication.
Campaigns can involve things such as promotional activities, education drives, raising awareness, and generating participation for events. They are activities designed towards a specific outcome within a predefined time.
Campaign communication requires clever use of channels and message format to gain attention.
Why is internal communication important?
Here are 8 key reasons why internal communication is vital in a company.
1. Boosting employee engagement
Engagement is strongly associated with productivity and business success. Employee engagement can’t be overlooked in a company, yet only 33% of employees report being engaged at work.
Companies that have strong internal communication create a two-way dialogue between employees and management. When employees feel like they are important enough to be heard and valued by the company, they are more satisfied and engaged.
A good internal communication system facilitates transparency. Transparency is at the heart of trust, which fosters a greater sense of security and accountability in a company.
Employees prefer to hear about major announcements through their trusted leaders over any other sources. They also want to be aware of how decisions are made at the upper level, as it affects everyone else.
3. A holistic view of the company
Seamless internal communication opens up opportunities for different departments to make news or announcements which would otherwise be made by the marketing and HR departments.
This allows individual departments to express themselves more openly, rather than have HR dominate the narrative. News reporters and event coordinators then are more empowered to update the rest and give a complete perspective. This helps build greater trust in the employees.
4. Building company culture
Culture is what the image of a company is built upon. One of the primary goals of internal communication has always been to manifest the company culture.
When done right, communication can have everyone in sync with the culture, and even helps newcomers adapt quickly. If communication is executed poorly, it will leave employees confused and frustrated.
The company’s culture, values, and internal communication need to mesh perfectly for organisational and employee success. It’s more important now than ever as the pandemic lockdowns have fragmented teams, necessitating the need for a positive culture working from home.
5. Sharing company goals and objectives
A steady stream of information that flows from top-down and horizontally is necessary to get the message across to everyone in the organization. Employees need to be reminded of the company goals and objectives so they do not lose sight of the bigger picture.
The roadmap laid out for the objectives will be clear for everyone in the teams. The clarity then motivates employees to perform while instilling confidence.
6. Internal communication facilitates action
Instant communication can significantly reduce the time to implementation from the ideation phase, leading to a more productive workplace.
Using a centralized system for internal communications can help with this (like the Empuls Social Intranet for example). Communication is made easier by keeping all communications on one platform. For example, work can be commenced on a project with instant approval from stakeholders in the form of likes on a shared post. Changes that need to be made or any other relevant information can be instantly shared and approved.
People are more likely to respond immediately if the task can be done in a step as simple as clicking on a like button, rather than drafting a whole email.
7. Discussion and feedback
Collaborative efforts require two-way communication to reach business targets on time and within budget. Internal communication is important for teams to discuss their ideas, and also have the leadership in the loop so everybody is aware of the status of the project.
The other side of this communication is feedback. Soliciting periodic feedback from employees makes them feel that their opinions are important to the company. This can significantly improve motivation, engagement, and productivity.
8. Critical during a crisis
Crisis can occur at any level and by its nature- unexpectedly. The dynamic business environments can sometimes compel companies to undergo restructuring, mergers, or acquisitions.
Internal communication is absolutely essential during these times to pass on accurate information. Being transparent about the changes, who it affects, who will be let go, and who will be reassigned gives employees a clear picture and eases tension.
Rumors and undue conflicts in the absence of such clear communication can also be avoided.
Crafting a smooth internal communication strategy
Here are a few tips on how to go about creating an internal communication strategy:
Survey the existing situation in the organization to find places where communication can be improved.
Define the objectives of the communication strategy and list out the goals.
Identify the departments and teams who will be the audience and divide them up into segments based on parameters such as generation, location, skills, projects, etc.
Narrow down the method and channels that will be used.
Have an internal communication calendar that is regularly updated.
Determine performance indicators and set up methods to track results.
So that covers why internal communication is important. Having a strong internal communication strategy is just as important as having an external communication strategy.
Good communication boosts employee engagement, which is essential for productivity and business success. In a world that has seen a radical shift in the work culture in the form of hybrid work models, robust internal communication is more important than ever to bring the company together.
Mary Madhavi Reddy is a content marketer with 20 years of experience. Her career spans GE Money, Google, and several growth-stage startups. At Xoxoday, she handles product messaging and positioning for Empuls by Xoxoday, an employee engagement platform.
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The 5 Essential Drivers of Employee Engagement
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019
An engaged workforce is essential for your business’ productivity and success. These 5 essential drivers of employee engagement will help you reach your goals and perform better.
Employee engagement is one of the biggest challenges for any business. In fact, according to Gallup, 85% of the employees are not engaged or actively disengaged at work; a term commonly referred to as ‘presenteeism’. This creates issues, as organisations struggle to progress with a high number of disengaged employees.
A new role of HR is emerging as a result – to help bring back interest and engagement levels of employees that were previously disengaged. The encouragement and people management techniques that HR contributes to the employee culture are vital for the growth of any organisation.
Employees need driving forces to push them towards higher levels of engagement. A lack of drivers of employee engagement is a big reason for their disengagement at work, and strong HR practices can help. This article takes a look at some of these drivers that you can start implementing today.
What is Employee Engagement?
But first, what exactly is employee engagement? Engagement is the level of commitment or involvement an employee has in the business.
Employee engagement shows itself through behaviours that mean they do the job better than what is required of them.
They might provide excellent customer service no matter the circumstances. The employee may not ever speak ill of the company, instead of feeling comfortable at work and with the team, committed to the company and any projects. They may not mind doing overtime, or even in their spare time dedicate themselves to finding solutions to company issues.
Engaged employees are different from workaholics. A workaholic might not comfortable when they are not working, and in their free time, they feel bad for not continuing with their work. This causes them to be in a state of constant restlessness and anxiety. In the case of “engaged” employees, they have a full, happy life, both personally and professionally.
Why is Employee Engagement Important?
Better employee engagement has numerous benefits for your business as a whole, from improved productivity to creating a great employer brand.
When your employees are engaged, they tend to work harder and get things done. In fact, research by Gallup found that an engaged workforce is 21% more productive.
This makes sense – when your employees feel motivated to do the work, it’s more likely they’ll do it well and be invested. Naturally, this leads to the additional benefit of increased profitability within your business. So it’s a win-win.
It’s unsurprising that more engaged staff are less likely to leave the company. Disinterest can spur employees to search for a new role, or be more likely to accept if another one comes along. However, if they care about their work and the business, their commitment to staying on is higher.
Another major benefit is an engaged and motivated employee can impact your working environment as a whole. They spread the ‘engagement’ to the rest of the team and make it a collective – something psychologists refer to as ‘emotional contagion‘.
Just like one bad apple can spoil the bunch, one highly motivated and engaged employee can make your team.
Happy employees who are engaged and motivated at work are more likely to speak positively about your employer’s brand. They may become brand advocates, sharing the positive aspects of working with you via social media or simple word of mouth.
This is incredibly beneficial for attracting and retaining talent to any future roles you have available. LinkedIn research revealed that candidates trust a company’s employees 3x more than the company to provide credible information on what it’s like to work there, so if good reviews are coming from your employees themselves, this is a huge green flag.
Drivers of Employee Engagement
So, what can you do to drive employee engagement in your business? Here are five simple techniques to get you started.
Recognition is one of the most crucial drivers of employee engagement. According to a survey conducted by OGO, 40% of the employees said that they’d put more energy into work if they were recognised more often, and yet, 82% don’t feel their supervisors recognise them enough. This clearly validates that recognition drives employee engagement and businesses should pay more attention to the issue.
When an employee gets recognised for a job done well, he/she feels good, it releases Dopamine and Oxytocin in the brain, and this contributes to them wanting to perform even better and repeat that feel-good factor again. Further, if the recognition is public, peers congratulate him or her and they feel even more motivated to keep it up.
But, do organisations give as much importance to this driver of employee engagement as it deserves? Sadly, in most cases, probably not!
The HR team can play a massive role in assisting in this area, by ensuring that regular evaluations of employees take place. It’s also useful to coach managers to understand the importance of recognition in a practical capacity that they can understand (happiness, respect, productivity, etc.).
2. Employee Happiness
Employee happiness is an important factor that impacts employee engagement. This is quite an obvious one, as unhappy employees cannot concentrate well on work. As a result, they display low levels of engagement. No business should neglect their employees’ happiness, but several studies have shown that they often do.
According to an Officevibe survey, 23% of employees leave their work feeling drained or very drained every day. One of the most basic reasons behind this is that they don’t feel happy working at their workplace.
HR departments of every business can assist by helping to measure employee happiness. The use of employee apps that ask all employees to register how they feel on a daily basis is a great way to stay in tune with staff sentiment.
Showing appreciation, organising fun activities, and cultivating a positive work environment are some examples of positive steps that an HR team can take in helping to maintain a happy working environment.
3. Balanced Management Approach
Most managers follow either the hands-on or hands-off approach to management. This can be a disaster for employee engagement. Neither of the two approaches is individually sufficient for managing the employees well.
The complete hands-on approach makes them feel frustrated. Whereas, the completely hands-off approach doesn’t make the employees feel motivated to work. Either way, employee engagement gets negatively impacted if managers follow any of these two approaches individually.
Then, what should they do? The best answer to this question is – to follow a balanced approach to management. The managers should know when to implement which approach of management.
‘Task relevant maturity’ is an important parameter that can help managers take this decision. When employees have a high task-relevant maturity i.e they are capable of handling the task on their own, managers should follow a hands-off approach. But, when their task-oriented maturity is low, managers should shift to the hands-on approach and guide the employees with their work.
4. Career Advancement Opportunities
Career Advancement Opportunities act as an important driver of employee engagement. This is because no one wishes to have a stagnant career. Everyone wishes to grow professionally and individually. So, businesses should offer career advancement opportunities to enhance employee engagement. But, many companies don’t do so.
According to Officevibe’s employee engagement report, 56% of the employees believe that they don’t have any career advancement opportunities at their current place of employment. As a result, they don’t feel motivated to continue working with their organisation, which largely impacts their engagement at work.
HR teams can play a vital role here by linking up with management and team leaders to map out career road maps or to encourage training and personal development initiatives that help keep staff motivated, appreciated, and to feel like they are growing and evolving as individuals.
This is quite natural as stress takes a huge toll on the employees’ physical, emotional, and mental well-being. As a result, their overall well-being gets disrupted and they cannot get engrossed in work. This makes employee well-being a crucial driver for employee engagement.
So, businesses need to utilise their HR teams to reduce employee stress and enhance their approach to employee wellbeing. For this, the HR department needs to take a holistic approach to what the company can do to ensure that the well-being of staff is comprehensively and genuinely catered for.
Smaller organisations with limited budgets should look at pre-packaged schemes that help SMEs to offer more comprehensive wellness programs at economies of scale, rather than trying to engage with suppliers of wellness services directly.
Well-being and wellness programs drive company culture and demonstrate a genuinely caring environment that employees will appreciate and talk about. This will help reduce staff attrition and aid the attraction of the best talent. Positive company culture will also influence productivity, reduce sick days and increase presenteeism.
A lack of driving forces is one of the major reasons for employee disengagement. Businesses need to understand and implement the right drivers of employee engagement to grow.
Jessica Robinson is a woman of words, who brings with her an experience of a decade. She is an educational writer and has even penned down many motivational blogs for various websites. She spills the magic of her thoughts through her blog ‘The Speaking Polymath’. In this blog, she makes the reader experience her management proficiency along with her skill to resolve matters of global importance.
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6 Ways HR Can Increase Creativity in the Workplace
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019
Creativity is often considered to be a key element in driving the growth of a business. Here are some effective ways you can increase creativity in the workplace, and push your business forward.
There are many reasons why creativity could be stifled in an office work environment – whether it be micromanagement, an isolated workspace or just a general lack of confidence. Luckily, there are ways to improve ingenuity and inspiration when working in a corporate environment.
Why is creativity in the workplace important?
You may be wondering why exactly increasing creativity in the workplace is essential for your growth. Well, firstly it can help employees come up with better, innovative solutions to problems you may not have considered before. Many of these solutions have the opportunity to help you stand out from your competitors, which is always a bonus!
Here are some great tips for all human resource representatives that will make staff members at all levels happier and more inspired as they walk through the door each and every day.
6 Ways to Increase Creativity in the Workplace
1. Encourage Remote Meetings
In the corporate setting, you may find that employees are hesitant to leave the office during the workday in fear of not completing assignments on time or missing crucial information. This feeling of isolation and constant anxiety can have a negative effect on work ethic and stagger workplace productivity.
Consider speaking with upper management and coming up with new ways to foster creativity from your staff. One strategy could be to schedule the weekly update meetings outside the office. Meeting at a remote location such as a café or coffee shop would be a refreshing change of pace that gets the team away from their desks.
Additionally, allowing employees to work from home once a week could also help boost morale. There have been studies that prove workers are just as productive if not more productive when they are able to work remotely or make their own hours. If it isn’t imperative that your staff be in the office during business hours, consider these types of options to boost free-thinking and relieve stress.
2. Allow Anonymity in the Workplace
Many employees, especially those at the bottom of the corporate hierarchy or that are new to the company, may find it uncomfortable to share their ideas. It can be challenging to be outspoken when you feel it isn’t your place to be or about things that are above your pay grade.
Urging individuals to come to human resources to voice their ideas or concerns anonymously may help negate this issue, and increase creativity in the workplace. You could also begin a suggestion box in the office for all employees to contribute to at their convenience.
Many of these individuals may have great ideas in terms of improvements or subtle changes that would help better the workplace, so allow them the opportunity to make their voice known.
3. Foster Personal Growth
Encouraging staff to consult with their managers regularly in regard to their personal accomplishments and career goals is crucial to creating a thriving office environment with employees who are working hard to succeed.
Forming a culture that promotes upward movement from within can give your staff goal-oriented mindsets both in the short and long term. Be sure to set annual or even quarterly performance reviews for all employees with either their direct supervisor or HR to ensure continued success and growth.
The more feedback your staff is given, the more opportunities they will have to prove themselves. And although it may seem tedious to consistently conduct these evaluations, it will prevent anyone from feeling neglected or unheard.
And don’t be afraid to invest in the cultural aspects of the company to foster a positive sense of well-being and togetherness among staff. Use this time to focus on those who are putting in 110%, looking for advice and stand out from the pack.
4. Reward Major Career Milestones
Most employees crave appreciation and praise for their hard work. Incorporating reward systems for those who are top performers at the company can help to jumpstart productivity in the workplace.
Whether it be an employee of the month award, bonus incentives, or simply giving promotions to those who are deserving of them are all great ways to boost morale.
Some companies celebrate anniversaries for years of service as well as host new hire lunches to connect new staff members with experienced co-workers in the department and/or department heads.
Regardless of how you choose to celebrate milestones, employees will be appreciative and work diligently knowing that their hard work will be rewarded.
5. Streamline Workflow Processes
Find new and innovative ways to make your employee’s jobs easier, and increase creativity in the workplace. It will help take away the hassle of repetitive tasks and administrative work.
Many human resource departments will partner with the IT team to find the most effective methods of workflow optimization. Some have chosen to incorporate business automation software to simplify back-end tasks, while others have opted to reevaluate the corporate structuring and specific job responsibilities to ensure optimal workflow.
Certification programs for management training have also been used to help better delegation within and between departments.
There are many strategies you can use, depending on the size and industry focus of the business you are in. Take time to review where there is a significant lag in your business processes and what can be done to correct them.
6. Create a pleasant office space
Creating an office space that motivates and creates a sense of wellbeing is a huge part of boosting workplace creativity. There are a few very simple ways that you can do this.
Ensure that your office has the correct amount of light – a Department of Design study found that employees too far away from windows had a much higher risk of eyestrain, headaches, blurred vision and more. Avoid this by trying to have as much natural lighting as possible in the office. You should also ensure to replace any flickering lights, and control any distracting glare on computer screens.
Colour can also have a significant impact on your office space. Instead of opting for a typical grey or beige office, consider introducing a splash of colour. Indoor plants for example, are thought to enrich a space, increasing productivity and employee happiness.
Want to create a great workplace culture?
Fostering increased creativity in the workplace is just one way to create a great workplace culture, and improve the performance of your business. If you want to learn more ways to engage your workforce, download our webinar on this topic!
Chandler Coleman is a contributing author to Smart Recruit Online and has expertise in business and tech-focused content.
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5 Essential Culture Fit Interview Questions
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019
A candidate might look great on paper, but how do you know they will fit into your organisation? There are 5 interview questions to assess culture fit, so you can find out.
What is cultural fit?
So, what exactly is cultural fit within a business context? When we talk about a business culture, we mean the core values and beliefs that a company abides by. They essentially determine how the employees interact, and may be reflected in your business hours, hiring decisions, dress code, treatment of clients and so on.
A business culture is often implied and not outwardly defined. However, it is becoming more common for businesses to have cultural guidelines for their employees to follow, and that are brought into the interview process.
Cultural fit is basically how well an employee matches up with the business culture. This doesn’t mean not having a diverse workforce, as this has a multitude of benefits for businesses. It simply means ensuring they match up with these values in some way. For example, if your business values collaboration in the workplace highly, someone who works best individually may not be a good fit.
Why is cultural fit important?
Cultural fit is becoming increasingly important to businesses, with 86% of CEOs and HR leaders confirming this in a recent Deloitte survey. This is unsurprising, as an effective culture is said to create a 50% difference in performance between businesses in the same sector. Other reasons why cultural fit is important include:
When your staff is happy, they tend to be more engaged, productive and motivated to succeed. Being part of a culture that aligns with their own tends to incite these feelings.
When employees feel like they belong, this can lead to increased enthusiasm in the role, and a willingness to go the extra mile to succeed.
Higher staff retention
If your employees are happy, they’re less likely to leave the business. This will help save you the cost of recruitment for a replacement, as well as any additional time and money spent training new hires
Interview questions to assess culture fit
Cultural fit is one of the most important things hiring professionals need to evaluate in a job interview, but it’s also one of the most challenging traits to identify. Without working with an applicant, or knowing them, determining whether they are a good fit for the team is difficult.
But, asking the right interview questions can help. There are lots of questions you could ask, but here we give you five of the most effective interview questions to assess culture fit.
1. “If I walk by your desk at 5:30 p.m., what will I see?”
The answer to this question will reveal the candidate’s view of work, and what the workplace should be like.
Their response can then be evaluated against your company culture. For example, does everyone in your business tend to stay until 9pm to work? Are you a start-up, where everyone works remotely all the time? Or perhaps most of your team have left by 4:30 pm in an effort to beat the traffic.
If the candidate were to say “I’m long gone”, or “I’m working hard and ordering takeout dinner”, then you can evaluate how this measures up against your own culture. Do they fit in, or are they an outlier? You can also evaluate if a response slightly off from your norm is a deal-breaker or not.
2. “What are you most passionate about?”
Asking this question is a great opportunity to understand a candidate’s hobbies, enthusiasms, or whatever is important in their life. It can help identify if they are a well-rounded individual, and if into your culture.
Even if their passion is unrelated to the role they will be filling, their answer will show your hiring manager if they are a committed person with interests and goals, an important quality for any role.
3. “Describe your ideal working environment.”
If the candidate had a magic wand, and could create their perfect job and work environment, what would it look like?
Giving a candidate free range to describe what they desire in an organisation is a great way to highlight whether their ideals match up with your company culture.
For example, maybe they prefer to work in a quiet, closed-off environment, but your office is frequently busy with sales calls and collaborative working.
4. “If we were stuck somewhere, what would you do?”
Understanding how a candidate would handle being stuck somewhere will give you an insight into how they deal with challenging situations.
Any manner of tough situation can happen within an organisation, and knowing you have people on your team who can keep their cool, and perhaps come up with a solution is invaluable.
5. “Walk me through your perfect workday.”
Asking about a candidate’s perfect workday gives them the chance to identify what they value in the workplace. Do they prefer to work independently or with teams? How does socializing fit into their idea of working?
The majority of interview questions often assess a candidate’s competence to do tasks, and how they would fit in with that aspect. This question gives a glimpse into what the candidate values, which you can then compare to the company.
Want to create a great company culture?
It’s one thing to ask interview questions to assess culture fit, but is your culture one which performs well? Make sure you’re cultivating great company culture, by watching our webinar on this topic.
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We offer an award-winning talent acquisition platform, that combines an ATS with a powerful job board multi-poster. Our platform helps you quickly find and hire the best talent online for less with a range of tools designed to help you run a successful recruitment campaign.
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11 Reasons Why Diversity Hiring is Important
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019
So, you’re wondering why diversity hiring is important. Whether you have a small, large, or remote team, diversity hiring is the most vital hiring trend for you today.
What is diversity hiring?
Diversity means celebrating different age groups, cultures, and values in your organization.
With diverse hiring, you can gain a global outlook within your organization to target different customers, ideologies, and social values. Especially, today in the remote work culture, diversity hiring is the core success factor that can cut monotony in your business workflow.
However, if you haven’t yet practiced diversity hiring in your organization, let’s first understand why diversity hiring is important, and what better changes can diverse employee forces offer you before adopting this hiring system. So, let’s dig deeper into diversity hiring benefits.
“A diverse mix of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone.” — Sundar Pichai
Why Is Diversity Hiring Important for Your Organisation?
Diversity hiring might sound like a small thing, but it can help you attract and retain highly competent talent from around the globe. Especially to support the present virtual recruitment system, diversity hiring helps a lot.
So, you should include diversity hiring in your company policy because:
1. It boosts productivity and livelihood
If people from the same culture and social backgrounds work in the organization, it will create a very boring work environment. There will be nothing new to discuss or learn in the company. All this will eventually reduce productivity and liveliness among the team members.
According to Forbes research, 43% to 53% of employees are bored right now in your organization. Yep, when your organization has nothing challenging and new to offer, it will automatically make your employees bored and unproductive. Hence, you should gather a diverse workforce so that each employee can learn from the other and grow together. This will bring more vibrancy to the workplace and lead to increased productivity.
2. It helps target the global market
Do you want to scale up your business operations by targeting global customers? If yes, having diverse employees can help you rule the global market.
You see, business owners, your diverse employee base can help you understand the needs and choices of the different customers. For example, if you plan to target the European market with your Indian SaaS products, hiring some local employees here will help you better understand the needs and psyche of European customers.
So, making your organisation a global brand is a key reason why diversity hiring is important.
Therefore, to keep your employees motivated and engaged within your organisation, you should hire diversely. When you treat all employees equally in your organization without any discrimination, it will send a strong positive message out there. This, in return, will motivate your team to give their 100% to grow your business productivity.
4. It creates a multitalented and multilingual task force
One of the biggest reasons why diverse hiring is important is it gives you multitalented and multilingual employees. Locally, you might not find employees with versatile skill sets or command over different regional languages, but when you hire remotely, you have the opportunity to leverage the global talent pool.
It is common knowledge that when you have highly talented and multilingual people in your team, it can give a big push to your business success.
5. It aids in coming up with innovative solutions
With non-diverse hiring, you limit your team’s innovative thinking skills. When all your employees have the same experience and exposure, they will use the same old method to deal with a problem. And this lack of innovation can impact your business operations negatively.
For example, parameters to monitor remote team’s performance are completely different from the traditional office environment. Today, you need high-tech tools and technologies to address remote work challenges along with unique management strategies. Here if you have people experienced in remote working in your team, they can offer innovative solutions to deal with numerous operational issues.
Therefore, to harness innovative solutions in your organization, you should start diverse hiring, ASAP!
6. It improves quality and efficiency
When people possessing different experiences and skills come together to complete a project, it dramatically improves quality and efficiency. In addition, your diverse team can put different methodologies and ideas on the table that can amplify your work quality many levels up.
Automatically when you offer better quality to your customers, it will help in increasing your customer retention rate and business revenue simultaneously.
7. It boosts your employer’s brand
Your workplace diversity can also help you with promoting your employer’s brand. You can go vocal on your social media channels about how your company believes in diversity and how you encourage people from different cultures to be part of your team.
When people see your diversity goals, it will motivate highly talented people from diverse cultural and social backgrounds to work in your organization. For example, Microsoft has created a career page on Instagram where they often post content related to their diverse hiring approach.
8. It makes quick handling of workplace conflicts possible
Workplace conflicts occur at every place where opinionated and motivated people work. With diverse recruitment, you can effortlessly solve all workplace conflicts within the organisation.
That’s because every single person in the team will offer different ideas to resolve conflicts, and among so many unique ideas, you can easily find the best solution to solve conflicts.
9. Harness competitive environment
Healthy competition is great for an organization’s growth. Thus, when different-minded people work on a team, it will give birth to a little competition that can motivate employees to work harder.
This healthy competition in your organization can lead to higher profits, goodwill, and conversions in your organization.
10. It boosts employees’ confidence
If your employees lack confidence, diverse hiring will help them build confidence. When your low confident employees connect to employees working with different cultures, nations, and religions, it will work as a confidence booster for them.
11. It builds an amiable environment
A friendly work environment is what you can build with diverse employees. When people from different castes, creeds, and cultures work hand in hand, it can create an amicable environment. It will build good friendships among employees; this, in return, can bring peace and trust within the company.
Workplace Diversity — Yay or Nay?
Definitely, yay! Diversity hiring is important, as you can build a happy, healthy, and progressive work environment. You can motivate your employees to improve their productivity and skills.
Plus, diversity helps you to build an organization that can grow on international grounds and virtually succeed. So, whether your goal is to expand your business or harness a positive team culture, start promoting diversity in your workplace now!
Ankur is the co-founder and CEO of GreenThumbs. He is an HRTech enthusiast and a passionate entrepreneur. By education, Ankur is a Chartered Accountant. In addition to running his company, he is an avid reader and knowledge sponge.
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How to Promote Teamwork Culture in the Workplace
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019
A teamwork culture involves a collection of attitudes and behaviours that create the work environment surrounding a team.
A successful teamwork culture is characterised by:
A drive to work together — the teammates believe proper collaboration will help the team move forward;
High empowerment — the team is empowered to make decisions;
High support — the teammates have the resources they need to do their jobs, but also take care of their personal needs;
Training opportunities — the teammates have relevant cross-training opportunities.
A successful teamwork culture helps shape a successful organization:
It strengthens teamwork, because it values the team’s contributions to the organization’s overall success. This helps make individuals feel a part of a community.
It increases employee productivity, because it establishes a positive, supportive workplace. This increases employee happiness, and, in turn, their productivity. After all, research at Oxford University shows that happy employees are 13% more productive than unhappy employees.
It increases employee well-being, because it promotes a proper work-life balance. This helps improve the physical and mental health of teammates, but also the organization’s overall image.
But, despite the clear benefits of a successful teamwork culture, toxic workplaces are still common. One survey shows that as much as one-third of 40,000 employees at 125 companies report having left their jobs due to “workplace conflicts”.
To promote a healthy teamwork culture at the workplace, you’ll need to make the right efforts. Here are 4 tactics that provide quality results.
1. Define clear common goals
The first step towards promoting a successful teamwork culture is ensuring the team has clear common goals to strive for.
To define clear common goals, first, think about the values, mission, and vision that shape your organization’s identity. Then, think about the norms you want your team to follow.
The values, mission, and vision are vital because they affect how people inside and outside of the organization will view you. A positive identity will help demonstrate the organization’s social responsibility and professionalism.
The norms are vital because they define the workflows and behaviour patterns teammates should adopt at the workplace. Clear directives about the dress code, meeting etiquette, onboarding processes, training programs, and workplace behaviour will not only help establish a successful teamwork culture, but also improve your business’s chances for success.
It’s crucial you make the team values, mission, vision, and norms transparent and precise. They will help the team outline clear common goals.
Once you’ve outlined your common goals, it’s time you ensure they are S.M.A.R.T. — specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound:
To make team goals Specific, ensure everyone understands what the team wants to accomplish, and why
To make team goals Measurable, ensure it’s possible to track progress towards them
To make team goals Achievable, ensure they match your team’s skills and talents
To make team goals Relevant, ensure they match your broader business goals
To make team goals Time-bound, ensure they have realistic timings.
Clear S.M.A.R.T. goals based on transparent and precise team values, mission, vision, and norms will help your team cultivate a sense of togetherness — a vital component of a healthy teamwork culture.
2. Establish effective team communication
The key to a successful teamwork culture lies in proper collaboration. And, the key to proper collaboration lies in effective team communication.
When conveying information to teammates, ensure the said information is:
Coherent communication implies the information is logical and consistent. Coherence ensures the information is relevant to the topic discussed.
Concrete communication implies the information is specific. Concreteness helps avoid misunderstandings.
Courteous communication implies the information is delivered in an open and friendly manner. Courtesy helps you build great team rapport.
Correct communication implies the information is void of grammatical and other errors. Correctness enhances professionalism, but also the impact of the information conveyed.
Clear communication implies highlighting a specific piece of information. Clarity makes information specific enough to be understood faster and easier.
Confident communication implies assertive communication. Confidence underlines your words with the credibility they deserve.
Concise communication implies conveying information in as few words as possible. Conciseness helps you save time and money.
Yet, learning how to convey information is only half of the equation. To establish effective team communication, teammates will also need to learn how to actively listen to information presented by others.
Some best practices include:
Providing nonverbal feedback — maintain eye contact to indicate attention
Providing verbal feedback — ask follow-up questions to encourage the speaker
Being patient — focus on what the speaker is saying, instead of what you want to say in reply
Reflecting on what you’ve just heard — summarize the speaker’s main points to ensure you understand everything
Learning how to properly convey and listen to information can be covered in a couple of simple team training sessions — but, it will build a strong foundation for future collaboration and a successful teamwork culture.
3. Organize team-building activities
Team-building activities are used to improve teammates’ interpersonal relationships and help them better define their roles within the team.
Types of team-building activities you can consider include:
Ice-breaking games for new teammates. For example, “Two Truths and a Lie”, a game where every teammate needs to provide three personal statements — two truths and one lie. The other teammates need to guess what are the truths and what is the lie.
Problem-solving games. For example, the “Big Picture Puzzle Challenge”, a game where a group of teammates needs to solve a puzzle. But, they need to do so without the “Big Picture” that tells them where each piece of the puzzle goes.
Conflict management games. For example, “Divide the Loot”, a game where teammates need to contribute fake money to a group pot, without revealing how much they contributed. Afterward, the same teammates need to negotiate how they want to divide the money.
Communication games. For example, “Legoman”, a game where groups of teammates need to recreate lego structures within limited time frames. However, only one person is given the instructions for the lego shapes, sizes, and colors. This person needs to successfully communicate the instructions to other teammates.
Cross-cultural games. For example, “Find Someone Who...”, a bingo-like game where people need to find teammates who have specific culture-related experiences to share.
The above-listed team-building activities bring a range of benefits to any workplace. They are great for helping teammates:
Explore their creativity
Get to know each other better, on a personal, professional, and/or cultural level
Understand how they can best communicate and collaborate
Because of their benefits, team-building activities can help you promote a strong teamwork culture — one where teammates understand how they can better work together.
4. Celebrate the team’s successes
The final component of a teamwork culture where teams thrive is a work environment that celebrates when teams thrive.
You can celebrate the team’s successes in several ways.
First, you can celebrate the first accomplishments of new teammates. For example, provide public praise after new teammates successfully complete their first assignments. Such well-placed commandments will help new team members understand they are valuable additions to the team.
You can also make public acknowledgments for established teammates. For example, provide public praise to the people who made significant contributions to a successful project. This will help motivate the said teammates to continue contributing with equal quality.
Hosting an official celebratory event is another effective practice. For example, organize a celebratory pizza lunch or a Friday office party after landing a lucrative contract. This will help the teammates celebrate their success in a casual atmosphere.
You can also consider providing occasional pay bonuses. We cannot deny the power of a monetary reward, so, smaller pay bonuses are often an effective incentive to successful teams. These bonuses should be timely and tied to specific big achievements that occur throughout the year.
Celebrating team successes is a crucial boost for a successful teamwork culture. After all, each celebration of a team’s success paves the way for future team successes. Teams who know their contributions are valued feel motivated to continue being successful in the future.
A successful teamwork culture is the key to a successful team.
To promote one, you’ll need to:
Define clear common goals, because they are a great team motivator
Establish effective team communication, because it is the foundation of productive collaboration
Organize team-building activities, because they will help teammates learn how better to work together
Celebrate the team’s successes, because it will inspire teammates to continue thriving
As a result, you’ll establish a healthy, positive teamwork culture — one where individuals can easily grow into a top-notch team.
Want to learn more?
Creating a good company culture takes work. Luckily, we’ve got plenty of resources to help you along the way. Learn how to create a company culture that performs well by watching our webinar on this topic.
Nikola Radojcin is a productivity researcher and writer at Clockify. When not petting the office dog, he makes sure to check out the latest time management techniques so his co-workers can utilize time in the best way possible.
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