Ways to Keep Your Employees Connected to Your Business

By Jennifer Brown, Founder and CEO of PeopleTactics

Remember the days of the “all-hands” meetings or even regular weekly face-to-face staff meetings? These meetings used to be the main way in which management communicated information to employee groups. However, the ability to bring employees together to meet face-to-face is getting harder and harder for many employers – given employees are often not even working in an office, work different shifts, or have to be interacting with clients/customers throughout the day (and night).

This can present challenges for helping employees to stay connected with your company, efficiently sharing information with them, getting employee input and feedback, and ensuring everyone is up-to-date on new work processes. Nonetheless, there are a number of ways to overcome these challenges. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Hold meetings via one of the free online web-based meeting services (e.g., GoToMeeting). This is a great way to hold meetings with remote employees. Employees can join the meeting via their computer or phone and often these services allow the meeting to be recorded so those people who can’t attend can listen later.
  • Set-up a conference phone line, so that those employees who can’t be physically present for a meeting can attend and participate. This is a terrific way to conduct weekly status meetings. There are many paid and free conference phone services such as FreeConferenceCall.com
  • Have minutes taken of a meeting noting key information and action items. Distribute these minutes to employees (those who attended and who did not) and have them sign-off indicating they have read and understand them. Then put the signed minutes in their personnel file.
  • Send a monthly company newsletter to share “happenings”. Invite employees to contribute articles and information to include in the newsletter.
  • Share information such as company updates, new work procedures/approaches, and business strategies with employees via email, memos, and/or video/pod-cast.

Helping employees stay connected with your business and up-to-date on key information as well as providing them with venues in which to participate in meetings is critical to the success of your business. Be sure to take some time to think about the communication approaches that will work best for your company and employees.

Want to learn more about how you can be there for your employees and keep them connected? Email us  or give us a call at 571-587-5615. We work with our clients every day to ensure they successful employee engagement.

PeopleTactics works with small business owners to prevent and solve Human Resources problems that can drain them of their time, money and energy.

To read testimonials from other small businesses, and learn more about our services, please visit our website now!

How Checking In With Your Employees Is Good for Your Business

By Jennifer Brown, Founder and CEO of PeopleTactics

When is the last time you “checked-in” with your employees? I’m not talking about having a staff meeting; rather I’m talking about just seeing how they are doing. If you are like most business owners, the answer may be “it’s been awhile” or even “I’m not sure”. Given everything you have to do to run your business, it’s easy to forget to take a few minutes to just check-in with someone. However, the few minutes that it takes to do this will pay off in a big way…it helps employees to feel valued and connected to you and your company. This helps to increase employee satisfaction and retention. It may also give you insight into any issues the employee is facing or help they may need. This helps you to prevent problems that can take your energy, time, and money to fix later.

 

Here are some easy ways to “check-in” with your employees:

  • Send them an email (or even a text). Ask them how they are doing. It can be as simple as “Just a note to say ‘hello’. How are you? How is the work going? Let me know if I can help you with anything.”
  • Call them. I prefer this approach to the email or text because it signifies that you have taken the extra step to actually pick up the phone and engage in a discussion with them.
  • If you and your employee work in the same office, go by their office and talk with them for a few minutes.
  • Take them to lunch. This takes a bit more time, but will really allow you to continue to develop a relationship with your employees, learn about them, and get their feedback on what’s working well and what could be improved.

Showing you care and are interested in your employees is one of the best ways to prevent HR problems. So take a few minutes today to “check-in” with them.

Want to learn more about how you can be there for your employees? Email us  or give us a call at 571-587-5615. We work with our clients every day to ensure they successful employee relations.

PeopleTactics works with small business owners to prevent and solve Human Resources problems that can drain them of their time, money and energy.

To read testimonials from other small businesses, and learn more about our services, please visit our website now!

Employee Appreciation: A Happy Employee is Good for Business

By Jennifer Brown, Founder and CEO of PeopleTactics

When is the last time your showed your employees you appreciate them? Hopefully, you answered with “today” or “yesterday”. However, the more likely scenario is that you had to think about the last time you showed them some appreciation. Don’t beat yourself up too badly…after all; business owners and managers tend to be focused on always trying to improve things and moving from one accomplishment to another without much thought or celebration. However, we have to acknowledge our team’s contributions to our companies’ success…otherwise; we are going to lose these valued employees to other businesses.

 

 

Ask yourself:

  • Do you tend to look for what an employee does right versus wrong?
  • Do you thank employees for going above and beyond?
  • When is the last time you sent an employee an email to let them know you appreciated something they did?
  • Do you give your employees more positive feedback than negative feedback?
  • When is the last time you let your employee know how happy you are that they are part of your company and how much you value their contributions?
  • Do you give your employees small tokens of appreciation (e.g., card, plant, gift card) just to say “thanks”?

It costs at a minimum about 1 ½ times an employee’s salary to replace them…this is made up of lost productivity, recruiting costs, and management time.  Not to mention, an unhappy employee that leaves is bad PR for your company. So be sure you take time each week to thank your employees for their contributions – this will not only payoff in terms of retaining employees, but your employees will want to contribute even more to your company!

Want to learn more about how you can be there for your employee appreciation? Email us  or give us a call at 571-587-5615. We work with our clients every day to ensure they successful employee relations.

PeopleTactics works with small business owners to prevent and solve Human Resources problems that can drain them of their time, money and energy.

To read testimonials from other small businesses, and learn more about our services, please visit our website now!

Having Fun with Your Employees Results in a Successful Business

By Jennifer Brown, Founder and CEO of PeopleTactics

When was the last time you did something fun with your employees? If you can’t remember, then that’s a sure sign it’s been too long!

While it’s easy to get caught up in the day to day work that needs to be done; it’s absolutely critical to spend time with your employees doing “non-work” activities. Doing fun things together strengthens relationships, leads to more collaboration on the job, and brings more enjoyment to work…resulting in a successful business.

 

There are lots of ways in which to spend some relaxed, fun time with employees…here are a few ideas to get you going:

  • Host an afternoon outing outdoors. Go to a neighborhood park and provide employees with activities from which to choose (e.g., bike riding, canoeing, Frisbee toss, relaxing in a hammock) and then have everyone meet up for a picnic.
  • Buy tickets and go to a sporting event, concert or play together. If you have the budget, rent a suite to make the outing extra special.
  • Invite employees to your home for a cook-out or meal that you prepare (or have prepared).
  • Rent a bus and take your employees somewhere – winery and museum tours are always fun!
  • Go on a boat for a fishing outing or a lunch/dinner cruise.
  • Have a luncheon potluck and provide the drinks and dessert.
  • Plan a scavenger hunt with the final clue taking employees to a restaurant to meet-up for dinner…be sure to have some prizes for the scavenger hunt winners!
  • Include your employees’ families in some of the outings and events.
  • Ask your employees for their ideas on fun ways to spend some time together.

Ensure you host some fun events for your employees at least a few times per year. You will find that your employees will work better together and be happier, more productive on the job, and extra committed to helping create a successful company.

Want to learn more about employee relations? Email us  or give us a call at 571-587-5615. We work with our clients every day to ensure they have a great workplace environment.

PeopleTactics works with small business owners to prevent and solve Human Resources problems that can drain them of their time, money and energy.

To read testimonials from other small businesses, and learn more about our services, please visit our website now!

Employee Records: The Documents Your Business Needs to Have on File

By Jennifer Brown, Founder and CEO of PeopleTactics

Did you know that as employers, we must keep certain employee-related records? Not only that, but there are Federal and State regulations regarding these records. These regulations dictate the “what, where, when, and how” of employee record keeping:

What information do you to keep?

Where do you need to store the information?

When and how to we destroy the information?

These records serve as the basis for supporting the employment-related decisions we have made and ensuring we are in compliance with the record-keeping laws. In addition, if we ever find ourselves in the middle of an unemployment hearing and/or employee lawsuit, these records will become the basis for supporting the actions we have taken.

Employee record keeping often begins with the “personnel file”. The personnel file should contain information critical for handling various employment-related matters. This includes information such as:

  • Documents used in recruiting, screening and hiring job candidates (e.g., applications, resumes)
  • Job descriptions
  • Written documentation of actions taken during employment (e.g., promotions, transfers)
  • Pay and compensation information

Note: Be sure you are familiar with the Federal and State laws related to the types of pay and compensation data you must retain.

  • Education and training records
  • Receipts for handbooks and other critical policies
  • Documentation of employee performance (e.g., performance review)
  • Employee recognition
  • Progressive discipline documents
  • Termination documents

You can keep the personnel file in hard or soft copy…but you must ensure you safeguard the information and have appropriate security measures in place (e.g., locked files, limited access, password protections, and firewalls).

There are other employee records and information that you must also keep such as the I-9 Form, medical and insurance records, and worker’s compensation information. However, this information must be kept separate from the personnel file.

Establishing thorough employee records is critical to ensuring you have the information you need to protect your business, support your decisions and…penalties. To help make this process easy, create a checklist… you will have this information right at your fingertips.

Want to learn more about workplace requirements? Email us  or give us a call at 571-587-5615. We work with our clients every day to ensure they are in compliance with state and federal regulations.

PeopleTactics works with small business owners to prevent and solve Human Resources problems that can drain them of their time, money and energy.

To read testimonials from other small businesses, and learn more about our services, please visit our website now!

Employee Performance Issues: Strategies for this Difficult Discussion

By Jennifer Brown, Founder and CEO of PeopleTactics

Employee performance issues. We all dread them and may try to avoid them. The issue becomes the elephant in the room. When you are faced with performance issues with a team member, do you approach it head on or do you avoid having ‘the talk’? Unfortunately, when we avoid or delay these types of conversations, the problem not only remains, but often intensifies. Whether your employee is having attendance issues, performance issues, or relationship issues with his co-workers, addressing these matters up front will save everyone a lot of time and frustration.

Here are a few strategies to consider that will build your confidence when speaking with your employee.

Timely Discussion
Chances are the employee knows there is an issue and that it is a matter of time before he is called out. Delaying is a bad idea for two reasons. First, if you allow the performance issue to persist, productivity and performance will continue to decline and may affect other team members negatively. Second, delaying gives the employee an advantage to prepare his defense or turn the tables on you. You will be in defense mode rather than in control of the conversation.

Be Prepared
Do not ‘wing it’. Come to the meeting with a list of talking points to help keep you on track. Stay focused on the performance issue at hand and make sure you have concrete examples to share. Generalities or opinions do little to help the employee understand how they need to improve and do not offer the type of documentation you may need in court. Focus your discussion on behaviors that can be quantified.

Be Supportive
Your primary goal should be to offer support to the employee and have an open dialog about the performance issue. Let the employee talk and make sure you are listening. He may provide a new perspective. Ensure you set clear expectations on what changes in behavior and performance need to be made going forward.

Discussions related to poor performance are never easy. However, when handled correctly, both you and the employee can walk away from the meeting feeling empowered and positive that you are now moving in the right direction.

Tackling employee performance issues? We can help! Email us or give us a call at 703-587-5615.

PeopleTactics works with small business owners to prevent and solve Human Resources problems that can drain them of their time, money and energy.

To read testimonials from other small businesses, and learn more about our services, please visit our website now!