Affordable Yet Creative and Proven Employee-Loyalty Ideas



Given how challenging to recruit and hire the right talent for your business, you might be scrambling to retain your best employees.

You’re not alone.

Just about every company is employing new strategies to compete for talent retention.

It’s especially tough for small businesses.

Staffs are stretched to the max. There are daily fires to extinguish. Orders to fill. Customers to keep happy. And recruiting motivated job applicants and employees to retain.

So it’s important to budget time each day for marketing and also for keeping employees motivated and content-enough to avoid the temptation to accept offers from other employers.

After all, it will cost you more in the long run if you’re forced to replace great workers and to find new ones.

Your employees are not different from you as the boss. They have emotions, families and needs.

If they feel appreciated, they’ll also value the culture and work environment in your company.

Here are affordable yet creative and proven employee-loyalty ideas:

1. Free-form play time

Give them some time to create and generate new energy.

In understanding that every employee has different wants and desires, why not give them some flexibility. Perhaps they want time to analyze and solve problems.

Possibly, they have ideas to pursue that will help your business.

2. Gifts for their families

When you get a great performance by an employee, why don’t you reward their partners or whole family for memorable outings – baseball, football or ski lift tickets – with money for refreshments or incidentals?

Not to sound mercenary, but you’ll earn loyalty and support from their family members, too.

3. Unplanned time off

Some of your most productive employees probably accumulate too much vacation time. They probably are conscientious and work hard, and need to recharge their batteries.

So surprise them – walk into their cubicle or office with a surprise announcement. Tell them to take Friday off for a long weekend of fun. “Order” them not to answer emails or the cellphone.

4. Charitable time off

Charitable “work” is not work. By creating goodwill, it helps employees’ with higher self-esteem and it creates enthusiasm, which is contagious and an attitude worth spreading.

So encourage your employees to support the community. It’s one of the best ways to get their faithfulness to your business.

They might want to feed the homeless, mentor children, or fixing houses for the less-fortunate. Whatever the case might be, encourage them.

5. Conferences or training

You should be thinking of ways to develop your talent. By building their skills, employees will appreciate your interest.

In turn, they will have enhanced productivity.

6. Fun, learning lunches

You know your crew. What would interest them?

Especially if you have employees with good attitudes, they’ll appreciate lunchtime programs of enrichment or coaching programs.

You might consider inviting a personal trainer to your lunchroom to provide workout tips for busy people.

How about a time-management expert to help employees to better balance their work and personal lives?

Or bringing in a nutritionist with ideas for good family health?

7. Wellness program

Yes, it seems most everybody is on a health kick. But why not do something special at noontime like a massage therapist each month?

Cut a deal with a local health club for employee memberships.

Or start a biking, running and walking clubs.

8. Support professional memberships

Encourage your employees to join professional organizations. True, your employees will be exposed to competing recruiters, but if you’re engaging your employees well you won’t have to worry.

Your employees will appreciate the opportunities.

Moreover, it might be a great recruiting tool for you. Your employees will probably end up bragging about your company which will appeal to their new friends.

At the least, they’ll hear horror stories from others. As a result, your employees will develop a deeper appreciation for your company.

From the Coach’s Corner, here related tips:

Manage Health Costs by Improving Your Culture 3 Ways — Is your company saddled with high health costs? By improving your culture in three ways to minimize stress, your company will improve performance and long-term sustainability.

Strategic HR Management for Retaining High Performers — You must build your organizational capabilities if you want to create an environment that will retain high performers. The way to accomplish it is to be committed to strong results with specialized retention initiatives for your talent.

HR Retention: Keys to Profit from Cross-Generational Teams — Today’s cross-generational workplaces present a quandary for employee retention. Promote a trust culture that’s appealing to everyone – young and old.

Non-financial Incentives Motivate Most Employees – Study — Want motivated workers? Recognition for good work is appreciated by 70 percent of workers – a great motivator for high performance, according to a study by two companies.

5 Quick Management Tips to Motivate Your Employees — A major quandary for managers is to bring out the best in their employees. Every manager wants to do it, but it’s not always easy. What’s the reason? Usually, it’s because employees are disengaged – disconnected from their managers and companies. Here’s how to fix it.

Tips for Restaurant Owners: Keeping Good Employees, Profits — If you, as a restaurant owner, have trouble keeping talented employees, consider insights from a report on a Sacramento, California TV station. It will also help you increase profits and stay in business.

“Brains, like hearts, go where they are appreciated.” 
-Robert McNamara


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.




Photo courtesy nenetus at www.freedigitalphotos.net 

HR Retention: Keys to Profit from Cross-Generational Teams



Today’s cross-generational workplaces present a quandary for employee retention. Companies suffer losses in profits, of course, when they’re not able to retain employees.

Some forms of dissatisfaction are reasons why employees quit.

The reasons could be one of many. It could be from not being appreciated, the pay structure, lack of advancement opportunities, being overlooked for a promotion or tension among workers.

So, it’s in your best interest to promote a trust culture that’s appealing to everyone – young and old.

Employee engagement

This requires employee engagement to build trust. Eliminate any trust gaps with employees.

By better understanding employees and the demographics of your workforce, you’ll understand what satiates cross-generational employees.

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Basically, you have three demographics: Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964), Generation X (born between mid-1960’s and 1980) and Millennials (born since 1980).

Of the three, Millennials will become the largest demographic group among your employees.

But you shouldn’t have a one-size-fits-all approach to human resources, especially for high performing employees.

For strong company performance, you must be skilled in specialized retention initiatives with strategic HR management.

Develop benefits, incentives, responsibilities and roles that appeal to the preferences of your three employee generations.

Here are the keys to understanding cross-generations:

Baby Boomers

Looking forward to retirement, most baby boomers have worked hard and are the most traditional in terms of dealing with authority and having values.

They provide you with the most emotional maturity, experience, and loyalty. This means they’re likely to care most about your company.

Recommendations:

Despite their advanced ages, understand that many Baby Boomers feel they still have contributions to make.

Eliminate mandatory retirement ages. If they wish, allow them to work part-time.

Analyze your perspective. Instead of thinking about their ages, think about their skills.

Develop a mentoring approach so Baby Boomers feel valued, and the other two generations enjoy new challenges and learn new skills from your older workers.

Generation Xers

Employees in this generation are ambitious and have a modicum of experience. It’s true many are workaholics, and will work long hours.

Recommendations:

Consider ways to move them into leadership roles capitalizing on their experience and skills.

Look for ways to involve them into growing your company. Why? They’re somewhat independent-minded, which indicates they’re also entrepreneurial minded.

For strong company performance, you must be skilled in specialized retention initiatives with strategic HR management.

Create flexible work schedules to accommodate their propensity to work long and hard.

Line up senior employees to work with them to prepare them for leadership roles.

Millennials

True, Millennials have the most unique mindsets and are widely believed to have entitlement attitudes.

So they are also the most-unrestricted in terms of openness and being relaxed, and they want a sociable workplace.

They also see a myriad of work experiences as important.

Recommendations:

Consider flexible scheduling. Of the three generations, they care the most about a work-life balance.

Analyze and implement programs for training opportunities and career development to take on new challenges and responsibilities. This will help minimize their tendency to job hunt.

Put them in a position to learn how to make decisions because ultimately they want that freedom.

Finally, should any of the employees of your age groups resign, be gracious. Yes, be very gracious.

They’re more likely to decide they left a good thing. Chances are they will want to return to you.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related strategies:

Easiest Ways to Boost Your Employees’ Morale — Employee morale affects performance. Study after study shows a significant percentage of worker morale is mediocre, at best. That’s often the case even for companies that are able to pay competitive wages and benefits. As you might guess, it’s a bigger quandary for business owners that don’t have enough cash flow for raises.

How Not to Worry about Keeping Your Top Employees — Increasingly, employers are worried about filling open slots and retaining their best workers, according to a 2012 survey of 526 human resources professionals. Sixty-one percent indicate they’re concerned about retention. That’s the conclusion from the study, “Retention of Key Talent and the Role of Rewards.”

3 Crucial Tactics Are Needed to Maintain Your Culture — As your company grows, you can expect growing pains and threats to your culture. Whether you create it or not, your business culture happens. There are at least three steps needed to fashion your culture the way you want.

10 Steps to Manage Conflict for High Performance — For progress, a business needs human interaction for ideas and innovation. Sometimes, argument, debate and conflict prove to be productive catalysts for high performance. But such catalysts can be obstacles to success, too. Here are the simplest ways to manage conflict.

Welcoming New Hires the Right Way Enhances Your Culture — What is your plan for welcoming new employees? If you don’t plan well, you risk alienating your new employees, your organization’s culture and ultimately hurting your business performance.

“The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.” 

-Max DePree 


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.




Photo courtesy stockimages at www.freedigitialphotos.net

Human Resources — Red Flags You’re Losing an Employee



In employee retention, you never have to be surprised again. There are common traits among employees who are likely to quit — even those who are secretive about their plans.

Surprisingly, workers who are reading job listings in non-work hours, leave work promptly at the end of the work day or who start taking more vacations — aren’t necessarily going to quit.

But a lack of engagement is almost a sure indicator. That’s according to research by Tim Gardner, Ph.D., a Utah State University associate professor at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business.

ID-10077665 stockimagesHe says there are 10 red flags. If employees display just six of them, there’s an 80 percent probability the persons will resign.

The red flags about employees:

1. They offered fewer constructive contributions in meetings.

2. They were more reluctant to commit to long-term projects.

3. They become more reserved and quiet.

4. They became less interested in advancing in the organization.

5. They were less interested in pleasing their boss than before.

6. They avoided social interactions with their boss and other members of management.

7. They suggested fewer new ideas or innovative approaches.

8. They began doing the minimum amount of work needed and no longer went beyond the call of duty.

9. They were less interested in participating in training and development programs.

10. Their work productivity decreased.

His co-researchers: Huntsman Professor Steve Hanks and Chad H. Van Iddekinge, of Florida State University.

Surprisingly, workers who are reading job listings in non-work hours, leave work promptly at the end of the work day or who start taking more vacations — aren’t necessarily going to quit.

Caveats

Admittedly, the 10 red flags probably won’t surprise you. However, he says there are employee indicators that aren’t listed among the 10.

“People having a lot of ‘doctor’s appointments,’ showing up to work in a suit, or leaving a resume on the printer were the kind of signs that dropped off the list,” says Professor Gardner.

“You might think that someone who starts showing up to work late, failing to return phone calls and e-mails, and taking lots of sick days might be about to leave, but those weren’t unique behaviors that applied only to the quitters,” he explains.

In a press release, Dr. Gardner says that in today’s competitive business environment, where companies invest a lot in their top performers, this information might help managers find ways to keep people on board.

He adds the “dark side” of his research was that some employers may opt to let people go if they thought they were going to leave anyway.

He explains research has shown that people who are contemplating a job change are more likely to share company secrets or do things to sabotage the organization’s goals.

“It appears that a person’s attitude can create behaviors that are hard to disguise,” he says. “As the grass starts to look greener on the other side of the fence to you, chances are that others will soon notice that you’ve lost your focus.”

From the Coach’s Corner, related HR content:

Non-financial Incentives Motivate Most Employees — Want motivated workers? Recognition for good work is appreciated by 70 percent of workers – a great motivator for high performance, according to a study by two companies.

Small Business – Easy Ways to Boost Your Employees’ Morale — Employee morale affects performance. Study after study shows a significant percentage of worker morale is mediocre, at best. That’s often the case even for companies that are able to pay competitive wages and benefits.

How Not to Worry about Keeping Your Top Employees — Increasingly, employers are worried about filling open slots and retaining their best workers, according to a 2012 survey of 526 human resources professionals. Sixty-one percent indicate they’re concerned about retention.

How You Can Eliminate Destructive Conflict for Better Teamwork — For better employee-team decision-making and higher performance, it’s true that constructive conflict works. Usually, the best ideas evolve when ideas are discussed and debated. But when employees fail to exercise self control and their egos get in the way, emotions flare and cliques are formed in the workplace.

Workplace Bullies May Hurt Retention of All Employees, Not Just Victims — Victims of workplace bullies are less likely to quit than employees who observe the abuse, according to a study by a Canadian university. The 2012 research implies a costly threat to an organization’s teamwork and productivity.

“Human resources are like natural resources; they’re often buried deep. You have to go looking for them; they’re not just lying around on the surface.”

-Ken Robinson


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Photo courtesy of stockimages at www.freedigitalphotos.net

How Not to Worry about Keeping Your Top Employees



Recruitment and retention of valued employees have been longstanding headaches for employers.

They are worried about filling open slots and retaining their best workers, according to a 2012 survey of 526 human resources professionals.

Sixty-one percent indicate they’re concerned about retention. That’s the conclusion from the study, “Retention of Key Talent and the Role of Rewards.”

Only 49 percent are confident about retention efforts.

ID-10046884 AmbroHopefully, you’re able to retain key workers. If you’re finding it challenging to keep your best employees, you know the frustrations and cost of turnover.

It’s important to identify and retain excellent workers. You can if you know which employees are most-likely to quit.

You will profit by not letting your stars become free agents.

Indeed, 83 percent of the study’s respondents is aware of the costs associated with turnover. Two thirds say a salient issue for management is keeping top performers.

 The study was conducted in 2012 by Dr. Dow Scott, professor of human resources at Loyola University Chicago and WorldatWork, Hay Group.

The No. 1 reason top talents leave? Pay.

Four other reasons:

  • Dissatisfaction with job and responsibilities
  • Perception that pay is unfair
  • Promotional opportunities
  • Concerns about the direction of the organization and its leaders

“Talent wars are going to become intense, not just this year but for the foreseeable future, because jobs are becoming more complex and demanding, Baby Boomers are retiring and Generation X has far fewer people who can fill this gap, and other countries are retaining their most talented people with great job opportunities of their own,” says Dr. Scott.

“Top talent can more easily compare the ‘deal’ or pay package they get from their employer with other organizations via social networking sites like Salary.com, Vault.com and Glassdoor.com,” says Tom McMullen, North America reward practice leader for Hay Group.

“If a company is to thrive in the next decade, they must learn how to recruit, develop and retain key talent in a much more competitive and transparent competitive environment,” he adds.

The study’s three main recommendations:

  • Identify key employees and discuss with them their future opportunities with the organization
  • Pay key employees above the labor market
  • Allow flexible hours or telecommuting

In addition, another proven solution is to power your brand with employee empowerment.

“Rewards professionals are under increased pressure to make counteroffers, increase new-hire offers, and offer special deals to retain key employees,” says Kerry Chou, a certified compensation professional and practice leader at WorldatWork.

“The most successful organizations moving forward will be those that develop a clear definition of what is considered key talent, identify them and make a concerted effort to ensure that those employees are engaged with their organization and satisfied with the full range of organization rewards,” he says.

The study included a cross section of respondents:

  • 47 percent – private sector-publicly traded
  • 26 percent – private sector-privately held
  • 26 percent – public sector and not-for-profit

From the Coach’s Corner, here are three related articles with solutions:

Are You Successful In Keeping Female Talent? Here’s How and Why You Should — Enlightened marketers know that women make 80 percent of household buying decisions. And in most cases, even when a husband goes to make a purchase, he often defers to his wife. Whether it’s a suit or a computer, she usually prevails on choosing the color and the price. So, if you want to be successful in attracting female customers, enhance your odds by making your company a great place for women to work.

Strategies: If a Valued Employee Wants a Raise, and Money’s Tight — In this economy, whether you operate a large or small company, trepidation of higher payroll expenses can turn your hands cold with perspiration. That’s especially true when talented employees suddenly ask for a raise. Talented workers are an asset – your human capital.

Human Resources: The Future of Performance Reviews — Here’s an interesting dilemma: Should performance reviews be fired? That’s the title of an article published by the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School in April, 2011. It’s an informative article and its premise continues to be thought-provoking.

“The Customer Comes Second: Put Your People First and Watch ’em Kick Butt.”

-Hal Rosenbluth


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Photo courtesy of Ambro at www.freedigitalphotos.net

HR Management: Which Employees Are Most-Likely to Quit?



If you need help in retaining valued talent, there is a way to determine how to anticipate which employees are likely to leave.

eePulse, Inc, the HR software company, contends in a 2011 study there are four criteria of employees who are most likely to quit.

ID-10034804 photostockThe four are:

— Workers aged 41 to 45

— IT and marketing professionals

— Directors and supervisor/managers

— Employees working at companies at average or below average pay

If you laid off people and didn’t significantly expand your workforce since the Great Recession, the report suggests monitoring more-closely workers who took on added responsibilities.

Those employees are more inclined to feel taken for granted. This leads to morale issues.

You know what that means. They’ll look for work with your with your competitors.

While it’s true there are companies that are aware that good morale among employees propels profits, many businesses are missing opportunities for growth. It’s not because of marketing.

It has to do with internal issues. There’s a trust gap between managers and workers. Managers simply don’t know how to drive engagement.

Savvy employers know how to profit from their human capital. As a result, their employees offer profitable ideas. Such knowledge is a powerful weapon for high performance in a competitive marketplace.

It brings back to the problem of knowing which employees are likely to quit.

Six possible solutions

For possible solutions, here are six key questions for you:

1. Have you gauged the attitudes of your employees?

2. Have you conducted a wage and compensation study?

3. What does your employee-recognition program look like?

4. Do you make education and training programs available?

5. What training do you provide to upgrade the skills of your managers?

6. What have you accomplished to increase sales for better cash flow to reward deserving workers?

Once you have positive answers to these questions, you’ll lessen the likelihood of having to suffer from employee turnover.

Notice that most of the challenges to retaining workers is solved by skilled management.

It’s important to have great relationships with your workers and to be empathetic with them. Within reason, they need to know that you care about them.

Who wants to lose valuable employees? Especially, losing valuable employees to competitors is not only a human-capital loss, it means a loss in profit.

Plus, it results in a marketplace stigma. You want to be known as one of the best places to work.

From the Coach’s Corner, this portal has dozens of HR-coaching topics, which include:

If a Valued Employee Wants a Raise, and Money’s Tight — In this economy, whether you operate a large or small company, trepidation of higher payroll expenses can turn your hands cold with perspiration. That’s especially true when talented employees suddenly ask for a raise. Talented workers are an asset – your human capital. Many companies don’t have a compensation policy.

15 HR Strategies to Improve Your Business Performance — Studies show many employees are dissatisfied in their workplaces. Employee dissatisfaction, of course, will adversely affect a company’s performance. The dissatisfaction is global and the trend is likely to continue unless businesses improve their approach.

Human Resources: 12 Errors to Avoid in Evaluations — Now that it appears the recession has ended, questions may arise about human resources. What to do now? Here are the answers.

Before You Fire Employees, Ask Yourself 3 Important Questions — Keep in mind that if you’re forced to terminate workers, there are normally three questions to ask yourself.

“There are so many things you can learn about. But you’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut.” 

Dr. Suess


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Photo courtesy of photostock at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.