Blog

Let’s face it: The term ‘team building’ usually elicits groans and eye-rolls even when we were able to do it in person, and porting it now to the virtual world – in the format of yet another Zoom call – is not likely to elicit any better reactions. 

However, as more teams are now in a remote-work setup where face-to-face interaction is limited, there is a greater need for companies to find new ways to create a sense of personal connection and cultivate a strong, positive work culture, in order to keep employees happy and engaged.

Here are six ways companies can creatively engage teams and jump-start team (re)building in the new remote-work era: 

1) SHARED TEAM EXPERIENCES 

It could be as simple as introducing a company-wide, at-home fitness challenge, rewarding participants for hitting work milestones, or introducing a bi-weekly virtual ‘Coffee Chat’ to discuss a book or movie that everyone has watched. Even an optional after-hours ‘Cooking Club’, where people can learn new recipes and techniques from colleagues with different culinary backgrounds, can be a fun way for teams to connect with one another on a more personal level while physically apart.

Whatever you choose, finding new ways to get people participating in something outside of work will help foster a strong sense of camaraderie. Don’t be afraid to get partners and children involved either – involving employees’ families will help create a more personal connection to their colleagues that can have a positive impact on team morale.

2) NON-TRADITIONAL REWARDS

Just as appreciated as physical items and gifts, non-tangible rewards are another great way to let employees know they are valued. Acknowledge hard work or a major milestone achievement with a day off for everyone, or give teams some flexibility with the option of starting later one day or shutting down the laptop early on Fridays. 

It’s also important to acknowledge that working from home comes with its own set of challenges, as some remote workers struggle to separate their work lives from their personal lives. Show that you understand this problem by encouraging them to take vacation (even if it is just a staycation) and then respect that time by leaving them alone during their PTO. 

3) VIRTUAL TEAM-BUILDING ACTIVITIES 

Consider hosting monthly or bi-weekly virtual team-building events, mixing up teams of employees who don’t often work together and introducing a few games to lighten the mood and break up the cycle of daily work. 

There are literally thousands of options out there – a simple Google search will turn up everything from pub quizzes to escape rooms, at-home scavenger hunts to improv comedy classes, and even NASA-inspired lunar disaster scenarios and virtual murder mysteries

4) WFH SWAG

Gone are the days of getting dressed up for work or attending meetings with company-branded stationary. The reality is that most of us in the work-from-home setup have embraced a much more casual approach to work attire and have carved out a little niche in our homes as our new office space. We’ve also gotten wise to “below-the-screen” (vs. “on-camera”) wardrobe, where comfort is king. 

Consider getting everyone some premium-quality, company-branded jogger sweatpants, comfy indoor shoes, or a ‘go-to’ work top that can be used for team meetings just as well as client-facing calls (a black crewneck sweater with your logo works well), to take some of the thought out of what to wear to “work” each morning. 

5) ASK FOR MORE FREQUENT FEEDBACK & ENCOURAGE INPUT

For companies that are used to providing employee feedback in person, change your approach by engaging employees more frequently and adapting the questions to a remote-first situation.

Consider introducing quarterly or even monthly “Pulse Checks”, asking not only about their opinions on work performance or on the business, but also asking for insight on their mental, financial and physical wellness. Encourage employees to share their thoughts on how they are adapting to the new setup, if there is anything that would help improve their situation (a second screen perhaps?), and solicit ideas on how to improve morale. Also be upfront and sincere about your willingness to incorporate their input into implementing changes going forward.

6) SHOW APPRECIATION

The simple gesture of a personal thank-you is unfortunately underappreciated as a powerful motivator and culture-building tool. According to a Glassdoor survey on workplace retention, 81% of employees are driven to work harder when their boss shows appreciation for their work. That is a staggering number for what can be as easy as a personal note of sincere thanks or shout-outs during a team meeting.  

Although mass messages are an effective means of communicating, these don’t necessarily come off as thoughtful when used to show appreciation. Instead, opt for a personal phone call or draft individualized messages in Slack or e-mail, pointing out the contributions that an employee has made. This shows their individual efforts did not go unnoticed and will lead to significantly higher productivity and engagement down the road. 

These are just several ways companies can show appreciation and boost morale as we adapt to the remote-work era. For more ideas on how to build strong cultures in a virtual world, check out our company’s blog here.

Sean Hoff | Contributing Writer

Sean Hoff is the Founder and Managing Partner of Moniker, an award-winning corporate retreat planning agency. 

0

Blog

This article raises a vital question as to how executives can successfully improve financial performance at all levels of an organization and may lack the fundamental fortitude necessary, to be an all-encompassing model to predict financial performance. It further encourages executives to investigate scholarly work to increase financial performance, enhance profitability and sales, and improve shareholder value.

Drawing from the existing literature, new insights identify workplace diversity as a primary driver of sales, profitability and financial performance for companies. Identifying a new managerial approach may be necessary, as the new business environment demands are increasingly difficult to adapt and sustain these three key factors.

The critical and unanswered question is: how can corporate leaders improve financial performance?

There are many academic studies that focus on the organizational and managerial factors that drive sales, profitability and financial performance. Diversity and inclusion in the workplace are areas that play critical roles and are a strategic prerequisite for business success in today’s hypercompetitive global environment.

In particular, a diversity and inclusion strategy can help companies to improve financial performance in terms of achieving commercial goals and the quality of products and services. This is the reason that this strategy is so popular among practicing managers today.

The ultimate business outcome is financial success which narrows the gap between success and failure. This can be achieved by the commitment of its members and facilitated by an executive acting as a facilitative leader. In doing this, corporate leaders need to focus on the critical human assets such as commitment and help followers to effectively implement organizational changes, with both efficiency and effectiveness.

They can shed light on the strategic role of follower attitudes and values to accomplish a higher degree of effectiveness and highlight the importance of employees in implementing changes at the organizational level. When corporate leaders show concern for the employee’s individual needs, individuals begin to contribute more commitment and they become more inspired to put extra effort into their work. This extra effort improves the quality of products, customer satisfaction, impacts the return on assets, sales, shareholder value, and improves financial success and operational risk management. 

Financial success can be only be achieved by a diversity and inclusion strategy. Diversity of skills and interpersonal relations that is based on trust and reciprocity, can improve innovation and the performance of group cohesiveness.

At this point, you’re probably asking why the diversity of skills is so important.

The simple answer is that companies that may lack diversity in the workplace can’t share their knowledge. With an effective diversity and inclusion strategy, global leaders may improve knowledge sharing and learning that can eventually enhance financial performance in global markets, through empowering human resources and enabling change at the organizational level.

Executives can increase workplace diversity to facilitate knowledge sharing and build relationships, aiming at improving customer satisfaction through acquiring additional knowledge from customers, developing better relationships with them, and providing a higher quality of service and/or products for them.

Furthermore, creating an expert group or steering committee may be short-sighted because such groups may not have sufficient diversity to comprehend knowledge acquired from external sources.

Leadership in some companies has failed to pay attention to this important matter and create a team that makes diversity a priority and represents a variety of ideas and perspectives. A leadership status that isn’t only a failing platform but one that represents destruction, as opposed to innovation and expansion. This leadership gap can provide lessons for CEOs and executives in today’s organizational challenges.

The fact remains that leaders who manage diversity and use it as an important driving force for financial success, find their companies to be more competitive and on the cutting edge.

The question posited for top management executives and leaders in any and all companies is to accept the challenge of diversity and inclusion strategy implementation. That way they can address the current gaps in business effectiveness and improve their financial performance and competitiveness in global markets.

I suggest that executives embrace a diversity and inclusion strategy. I attempt to blend scholarly concepts with real world application through thoroughly looking at an effective strategy for maximizing financial performance.

Based on this article, executives can now see that they must be aware that their diversity in the workplace can fundamentally impact the way a corporation performs and can make a change in the processes a company achieves commercial objectives, improves sales, profitability, and increases financial performance. Financial performance is dependent on how executives formulate their diversity and inclusion strategy. Success for companies in today’s global business environment can be better achieved when a diversity and inclusion strategy is effectively applied and widely used to achieve a higher degree of performance. Therefore, when companies can have a diverse employee population, they will secure a foothold in the ever-expansive global business environment.

Mostafa Sayyadi | Contributing Writer

0

Blog

Finding a work-life balance is not easy, it is imperative for an individual to have their employees’ support to achieve this. A person can only do so much if the company demands most of their time. In many cases, some businesses consider the amount of hours the employees spend at work or their time-off to value their performance. Thankfully, more organizations are able to realize that the personnel needs a work-life balance to be more productive. Helping your staff attain this goal will not just improve their daily operations, but also decrease the organization’s turnover rate.  Some benefits a business can offer to aid its workers are:


Flexible schedule


Create a program where employees can take a day or half day off by working extra hours during the week. This will assist your staff to have some time to work on personal tasks, be with family, or have an extra day before the weekend.


Telecommuting


Allow your personnel to work from home. It doesn’t have to be every day, but some days during the week will help. Nowadays, technology provides the option to authorize staff members to access the company network from home. They can also communicate with coworkers and managers from anywhere in the world as long as an internet connection is available. This will give flexibility to their schedule and allows for less time commuting.


Paternal Leave


In most countries parents are entitled to a maternity/paternity leave when their baby is born. The length of the leave will depend on the employer and government laws. But what most companies do not offer is a leave that allows parents to take time-off when their children are in need of care such as sickness or other emergencies. Employees always appreciate when management understands their needs and provides priority to family matters.


Lights out program


Establish a day during the week in which no one can work overtime. This policy will ensure that staff members who often work extra hours take a much-needed break.


Vacation time


Make sure your employees do not work for longer than 2 years without vacations. According to a study, around 40% of Americans don’t take vacations. To avoid this, provide all the necessary tools, like work back-up to complete jobs before the absence.


Facilities


If your business can afford it, provide childcare and fitness amenities at work. These on-site services, allow your personnel to spend less hours commuting and more hours taking care of their children or themselves.


Supporting your employees to achieve work-life balance will entail happier and healthier staff, not to mention, higher productivity and lower turnover for the company. Create a win-win situation for everyone.


V. Sanchez | Contributing Writer

0

Blog

There are many benefits to working from home or working remotely. You can worry less about commuting, conveniently make time for personal obligations and work within your own comfort zone. But, when distracted by this ideal, we tend to become unproductive. Working at home or working remotely requires commitment. Here are some tips to help you:


Get Dressed

No one has ever been excited to commute to their office in the morning, thus it’s a great feeling to think you can get out of bed, stay in your pj’s and work! But, this will make you feel lazy! Getting dressed greatly influences your mood. You do not have to go out of your way and put on a suit or some heels, but stay casual. Dress like you are ready to get work done.


Tune out Distractions

Being able to have a movie on in the background, browse social media or online shop are all tempting distractions you may indulge in, but set this aside for a break. Whether you’re in the office or not, maintain your work habits just as if it were a normal work day. Work as if an employer or employee were watching you.


Schedule Your Day

Have an outline for everything you need to get done. This is a form of self-discipline. Not everyone is suitable for an at home work day or remote job because they are not capable of working independently, but use this as a chance to be your own boss. Nonetheless, do not lose valuable work time.


Stay Connected with Your Team

This isn’t your opportunity to avoid your boss, difficult coworkers or colleagues. Remember that having a job and maintaining your career is all about how well you are able to work with others. Take the initiative to remain easily accessible with those you work with. You also do not want to miss out on any important updates or events that may affect your work. Have your email open and phone ready to answer.


Maintain Consistent Office Hours

Be determined to work a set amount of hours for each particular day. This way, you do not find yourself working too much or working too little. For instance, you could maintain your usual 9-5 work hours to help you do so. Keeping family and colleagues/clients informed about your work hours is also a good strategy to keep your work life and personal life separate.


L. Shabudin | Contributing Writer

0

Blog

It’s a regular Friday afternoon and you can’t wait for the weekend. You and your colleague make small talk about weekend plans as you work, when your boss calls you to his office. You go in hoping he doesn’t take too much of your time, as you still need to finish a few tasks before you go home.


“We need to let you go…”


You don’t hear the rest of what he says. You’re too busy trying to hide the range of emotions roiling inside of you.


You are not alone.


Accept it


Different people react differently to the same situation. Maybe you are the “optimist” who would choose to think that this is the best thing to happen to you (Now you can go on that vacation…).


Maybe you’re the kind of person who would need to grieve under these circumstances. Maybe you’d fume in anger. Whichever kind of person you are and whatever reaction you may have, you must accept the situation and deal with it. There’s nothing to be gained by living in denial or blaming anybody, including yourself.


Take Charge


Sometimes terrible things happen for no obvious reason and you may not have control over them, but don’t let that make you forget that you are in charge of your life. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.


Join that yoga class you have never had the time for before but always wanted to try.  Learn a new skill to help you in your job search. Make use of this time to re-invent yourself. Trivial things like a new hairstyle can do wonders for your self-esteem.


Your Job is to find a job


The next thing to do is to set up a nice routine for yourself that involves exercise, eating healthy, socializing with your friends and family and prioritizing your job hunt. Most people seem to shy away from socializing when something like this happens, but the truth is your social network can help you bounce back quicker and give you much-needed moral support. Come up with a concrete action plan and a timetable so you remain focused on your job hunt, and treat your job search as your full-time job.


Network


Tap in to your existing professional network. Email your old colleagues and look up contacts on LinkedIn. See if you can leverage your connections to find an opportunity. You can also build your network by volunteering at organizations in your industry, which also makes for valid work experience.


Persevere


Despite doing all the above, you’ll still have the occasional bad day when everything seems hopeless. When you feel like the world is against you and “Why me?” won’t stop echoing in your head. What do you do then? Have a good cry if necessary, then think about what Frank Sinatra said: “The best revenge is massive success.”


Sleep on it. Then begin again.


Latha Ram | Contributing Writer

0

Blog

A company’s culture plays an important role in a business. Culture establishes a unique identity. In a historic sense, culture is a way of life. It developed so that people from different cultural backgrounds are able to identify and represent a community. To exert this theory, office culture exudes the same characteristics. This assists with co-operative work that encourages improved development. It’s an evolving element that promotes enthusiasm, innovation, productivity and techniques to solve problems within the office. Building this type of workplace environment is paramount for the corporate soul.


Most entrepreneurs start a business for many reasons. One of them is to build and develop an office culture that is unique and differentiates from other organizations. This includes newsletters, websites, and especially job postings. It will give the essence of your business structure and represents what it stands for. It is challenging when a company does not have a specific way of doing things. Culture is necessary for a business to identify aspects of their organization to give a significant element that influences how work gets done.


The formula for successfully hiring the right fit for your company is pretty simple: clearly outline the goal and practices that characterized your organization. Not only will it make your company unique and stand out from other hiring processes, but you will also attract and retain talent that will be the perfect fit for the intended position. In the business world (and personal life), we tend to gravitate towards people we have something in common with. The hiring process should be no exception. Essentially, cultural fit means conventional or social practices associated with a particular field. As Lauren Kolbe, founder of kolbeCo said, “An employee who is not aligned with the culture and is not committed to living it can wreak havoc pretty quickly, even if they bring a great deal of skill and experience to their craft”.


One of the main things that can ruin a company’s hard-earned reputation, is hiring a decadent candidate that is completely off with the office personality. Employees represent your company even outside of work, so one bad discretion can affect an entire department and possibly decrease productivity and sales. This is why it is imperative to recognize a strong fit when you see it: by aligning your organization’s culture with strategy.


Building an office culture is important for more reasons than one. It also promotes employee’s happiness, in and outside of work. The tie in is to not have the staff dread coming in to work. An open line of communication between employees and management can avert minor concerns from becoming intense stressors. For Instance, companies that reserve employees to leave during traditional work hours for doctors visits, or to simply have a personal day to gather their thoughts or to clear their minds, allows employees to be well rested, eager and productive. There are many practices that elaborates good company culture, but one component that is indeed a major factor in sustaining an effective office culture, is recognizing the excellence of its employees.  This prides itself on being a pioneer in workplace culture by supporting employees’ personal and professional growth. Apart from hiring and retaining the right fit for your company, keeping your tenure staff exultant and engaged encourages a healthy work life balance.

 
“Maintaining an effective culture is so important that it, in fact, trumps even strategy.”– Howard Stevenson


L. Paul | Contributing Writer

0

Blog

Successful companies like Google don’t just rely on their names to lure the best and brightest talent. They also rely on their stellar reputations when it comes to their corporate culture. Tech companies and start-ups are well known for putting company culture at the forefront of their brands, and your business should too.


It’s not all nap pods and free food – there are real benefits to your employees and your bottom line when you prioritize company culture.


What is Company Culture?


Company culture typically refers to the values and expectations of a company, and how those notions interact with employees and other stakeholders. It’s often something that’s implied, and it naturally develops based on who you hire. However, you can still intentionally and successfully shape your company culture by keeping a few characteristics in mind.


Reputation


We know Google has an awesome company culture from more than just the tech giant’s solid 4.5/5 star Glassdoor rating, it’s imbedded in its brand identity. Likewise, your employees will associate how you treat them with your brand identity. If employees are treated well and a fun and positive workplace is encouraged, your brand will be seen accordingly by not only your team, but by your customers too.


Goals


Your company culture plays a major role in fueling your company values, which is why it must align with the vision and goals of your business. If your company culture values creativity and being results-driven, then it’s more likely that your employees and potential candidates will have similar values and be keen to put them into play.


Turnover


Studies have shown that company culture helps to attract and retain top talent. When people look forward to going to work every day, feel like they belong and that their values align with your company’s, why would they want to leave? The bottom line, according to ZipRecruiter, is lower turnover and higher performance, which are good for business.


Not Just a Trend


Company culture isn’t new, but there’s a reason that business leaders now think it’s so integral to success now more than ever. With the dawn of social media and the 24-hour news cycle, your company’s brand and associated culture will be on display to a previously unprecedented degree. So you might as well use that to your advantage.


Other Factors


Increasing demand for positive company culture also points in the direction of millennials who, by 2020, will comprise nearly half the working population. According to Forbes, millennials are attracted to strong company culture over anything else.


Another factor to keep in mind is the growth of the so-called start-up economy. With successful new businesses popping up more and more frequently these days, it means more competition for your business in terms of both hiring and customers.


Defining what your company culture is will help you differentiate your business from the rest, as well as keep you relevant and desirable in the public eye. In turn, this will help you attract quality candidates (millennial and otherwise), as well as keep your employees happy and eager to stick around.


Whether your company culture grew naturally or intentionally, there is no questioning its power to affect every aspect of your business inside and out. We spend one-third of our lives at work, so why not make it the most enjoyable place possible? Your employees – and your bottom line – will thank you.



Laura D’Angelo | Contributing Writer

0

Blog

Starting a business is hard, making it successful is even harder.  Once a company has hit its first few major milestones, many will start to think about going to try and carve out a bigger chunk of the market for themselves.  This has been the downfall of more than one promising business, and before anyone thinks of expanding, they should look for a few key indicators that their organization is actually ready for that kind of growth. 


When the product is ready


So you’ve rolled out the initial version of your product/service, and it is a hit with your core customer base and other early adopters.  The question you must ask now is whether it is ready for mainstream public consumption.  Trying to expand a business centered around a flawed product can lower the ceiling for your potential market share and sabotage your potential.  Analyze your product against the competition, and make absolutely sure that it’s ready to blow everyone else out of the water before you embark on a marketing and hiring blitz.


When you know the market is there


If the growth of your current market is limited, it should only be because of a lack of infrastructure or funding on your part.  It is incredibly risky to expand and try to “find” a larger market.  Lots of money will be spent on marketing and business development for returns that are unpredictable at best.  The market should already be there ahead of time.  In cases where your business has a very particular niche, it is similarly dangerous to try and expand beyond that small market.  It is one thing to convince customers that you have a great solution to a common problem; it is much harder to convince them that you have a solution to a problem they don’t even think about.


When customer base exceeds customer support


One of the most important elements in maintaining a successful business is making sure fast, quality support is available to every one of your customers.  Even the best products can fail if there isn’t sufficient infrastructure in place to help customers who are struggling some element of its use.  Word of bad service will spread quickly and will easily undo good publicity from advertising.  Resist the urge to keep growing your clientele without investing in more support reps to match.


Most successful leaders meticulously plan the start of their business, and they should always exercise similar caution and reflection when dealing with expansion.  The danger is that entrepreneurs will get caught up in the storm of their early success and miss key indications that their company is not yet ready for the big time.  Enthusiasm is great, but it is equally important that you maintain a critical eye when looking at your business.  A bit of caution now can pay big dividends in the long term and can save your company from burning out early.


Lance | Contributing Writer

0

Blog

Recruiting metrics are used to gather and analyze information to improve a business’ hiring process. Recruiters and stakeholders must remain aware of evolving trends to successfully manage turnover.


Sourcing Quality Hires


Recruiting managers are deployed to proactively leverage the sourcing channels used to hire quality recruits. Some of the most common sourcing channels include referrals, recruitment agencies, resume search, social media shares, notifications, career sites, and other job boards. To ensure recruiter efficiency, metrics and activities reported in a timely manner can identify potential problems and opportunities for improvement.


Pipeline Development


A key business goal is to develop a pipeline of quality candidates, which hiring managers can call upon when positions have to be filled. This facilitates easy tracking and monitoring of leads, while also managing traditional metrics, such as the Interview-to-Offer Ratio (the number of interviews to the number of offers extended) and Offer-to-Acceptance Ratio (the number of actual hires versus the hiring goal).


New Growth Attrition Rates


In some cases, more time is spent on replacing employees instead of growing the team. Some businesses experience higher turnover rates in particular industries, which can result in high vacancy rates. Lower turnover is a main indicator of the effectiveness of the recruitment process. It demonstrates that real value is being contributed to the growth and success of the business.


Performance Dashboards


To benchmark performance success, dashboards create a snapshot of key performance indicators for further examination and analysis. For instance, the amount of revenue generated is a clear indication of whether a growing organization should hire. They also act as a tool to measure productivity.


Candidate Satisfaction


Satisfaction ratings can provide essential feedback from new hires and employees who are seeking opportunities for internal mobility. From the candidate’s perspective, feedback from the interview process through post-recruitment surveys can influence the company’s recruitment strategy. The surveys can identify gaps in the recruitment process and provide critical information for the improvement of recruitment campaigns.


In the information age, many businesses have implemented software tools, such as the Human Resource Information Systems, which aid in facilitating easy review of pertinent human resources functions. Most importantly, this system software encompasses metrics for monitoring and tracking recruiting data. Success factors can be achieved when a business efficiently and effectively understands the benefits derived from making investments in the Human Resource Information System.


L. Chadee | Contributing Writer

0

Blog

Hiring has never been an easy practice, and job hoppers have long been the bane of HR managers around the world.  That being said, the nature of the job market has changed a lot over the last few decades, and some degree of job hopping is expected for most of the workforce these days.  With that in mind, it is useful to be able to identify the individuals who are more likely to leave you high and dry at the most inopportune time.


First, it is important to separate legitimate job hoppers from people who have simply worked jobs that are short-term or contract-based.  For example, people in event management, construction and consultant roles will naturally move from company to company.


One of the most common types of people to look for are what’s termed an “opportunity” job hopper.  These are people who are either overqualified for the position and will likely leave to pursue another opening, or they are individuals who already have a strong established work history and will likely leave if a better financial/scheduling offer is made.  Now this isn’t to say that companies should avoid hiring someone simply because they’re overqualified.  It is important to first take a look at their actual work history and see how long they typically stay in a position.  Many people, especially new graduates, are looking for stable income and may stay much longer than you originally anticipate.


Some hoppers can be spotted just by a quick glance at their work history.  With others, however, their habits may not be apparent until you interview them.  For instance, they could have left their last company relatively quickly with a legitimate reason, but when you talk to them about it, they have nothing but negative things to say about working there.  Probe a little bit further, and you may find that they have the same negative opinion about many of their former workplaces.  You’ve just discovered a perpetual malcontent – this is someone who will inevitably leave because they find it difficult to adapt to the working world and will be unhappy no matter where they go.


In some cases, it can be difficult to identify either type of hopper. Either their work history is sparse, or they do not disclose this information during interviews.  This is when references become important, as their former employers can provide honest insight that the candidate might not be as forthcoming with.  In addition, asking the right questions during the interview can force the candidate to give you useful answers.  For example, a question like “name your greatest achievements from a few of your last positions” will force them to think about their previous roles in a positive light and can also tell you whether they contributed anything of value before they left.


Finding the right person for a position is never easy, and spotting job hoppers early will definitely make the process more demanding.  That being said, it is absolutely worth the extra time and effort to make sure you avoid hiring the wrong person.  The alternative is much more costly.


Lance | Contributing Writer

0

PREVIOUS POSTSPage 1 of 8NO NEW POSTS