Making Life Easier For Your Employees With These Simple Suggestions

Every employer wants happy employees. Not only should you want to care about your employees’ wellbeing, but retaining a loyal, happy workforce will save your business money and increase productivity. While a good salary and benefits are big motivators for your employees, sometimes it’s the smallest things that can make the most difference.

Take a look at some great workplace ideas that will make your employees’ lives easier.

Give them benefits they will actually use

Employee benefits can be a tricky area to navigate, with many possibilities for the types of benefits you could be offering your staff. When it comes to deciding what sort of perks should be available to your employees, why not consult them on what they’d prefer? While you might be trying to offer some cool and contemporary benefit options, you’ll find that better health and dental plans still rank at the top of the list of most desirable employee benefits.

Give them easy access to their pay information

Workers want easy access to their payroll information, so implementing an online system should be a priority for your business. Many simple queries can easily be resolved through an online portal instead of spending time on the phone to an HR or finance worker whose time could be spent doing more important things. Tools like a check stub maker can also benefit your employees – helping them to keep electronic records of their earnings. This can be a useful tool for contractors and freelance employees so that they can manage their tax returns easier.

Update hardware and software regularly

Technology that is ineffective or regularly crashes can be a major source of frustration to an employee. Not only does it waste time, but it could also be costing your business money. Making sure your equipment is updated regularly will help keep your employees happy, avoiding interruptions to their work. One way to cost-effectively benefit from the latest technology is to lease it, something that many businesses do to make sure they always benefit from the latest tech.

Offer flexible working solutions

Flexible working is a something that is becoming more popular within businesses and organizations, particularly those that want to take their example of best working practices from Europe. Flexible working allows workers to plan their working day to suit them, something which can help employees be more productive and ensures they’re more focused when they are in the office. Ideal for parents or those with a lot of other commitments, flexible working can make a great addition to your working conditions policy, while also helping your employees to find a better work/life balance.

Even the smallest changes can make a big difference to your employees, which is why it’s important for you to think about their wishes and the things that will help to motivate them more. Systems and processes that make your employees’ lives easier will motivate them to work hard for your company, leading to positive rewards for all parts of the business.

Encourage Your Employees to Be Their Authentic Selves – And Improve Workplace Morale

Often people attempt to conceal their personalities at work. This might mean concealing their interests or their passions, but sometimes it goes even deeper. Occasionally, people try and change their accents, or hide their sexual orientation.

Sometimes, employees are concerned that their authentic selves will mark them out as too ‘different’ or ‘quirky’ or ‘airy fairy’ to succeed in the workplace. However, this means that they might be selling themselves short – and in the process, holding back your business.

More Authentic Personalities = Better Business People

People who feel more comfortable in themselves often have greater confidence in their own ability to get the job done. They can be resourceful and quick thinkers who are able to solve problems – because they feel empowered enough to do so. These kinds of individuals are only an asset to a business.

Individuals who are in a role that involves facing clients or closing deals should always present their authentic selves to sell well. Most people can detect fakery and avoid those people, choosing not to spend time with them and trust them in a business relationship.

Fostering an atmosphere of inauthenticity will only impact negatively upon your business. Your staff won’t be happy, productive staff – the kind that are so important to getting a job done well.

Encourage Your Staff to Be Themselves

There are many ways you can encourage your staff to be more authentic in the work place. Mostly it starts by allowing an environment where people feel empowered enough to be their authentic persons, while still being respectful.

It’s mostly about fostering trust between management and colleagues and allowing personalities to shine.

Here are our top tips on how to encourage your staff to be themselves.

1. Get to Know Them

Make sure that you devote some time to each individual member of your staff at least once a month. Ask them what their ambitions are and how they want to get there.

Frequent performance reviews create an environment of trust, so staff feel more empowered to give you honest feedback – something which will only be beneficial for the company.

2. Offer the Training They Want

Staff feel happier and more fulfilled – two elements which are crucial for authentic living – when they feel they’re moving into the future with skills.

If you have ambitious staff, offering them distinct training opportunities to foster their goals and talents. This will help them feel more confident and empowered in the workplace.

3. Don’t Enforce a Strict Corporate Dress Code

You might find a couple of Patrick Bateman weirdos who love wearing a full suit every day, but most modern men and women don’t. Let your employees express their personality in their clothes without judgement.

Most people won’t turn up to the office in sweatpants even if your dress code is more relaxed. People also pick up visual cues off leaders in their environment – if most people dress smart every day, they’ll dress well too.

4. Allow Employees to Personalize Their Workspace

Make sure people feel comfortable personalizing their space in their office. Allowing people to bring in photos of their friends and family, or adding a plant really makes the space more comfortable for them.

If employees have a work phone, let them choose the best phone case for them.

5. Hold Team Idea Meetings

Don’t wait for employees to come to you with ideas. You may never know but there could just be an idea that’s about to revolutionize your company and increase your profit margins in the head of someone sat down in a cubicle in your office.

Foster an environment where people feel comfortable enough to throw out ideas, to help people grow in confidence as they know their opinions are valued.

6. Encourage Structured Growth

To really get the best out of the people you work with, make a plan for each individual’s development. Make sure everyone has a set time each week to do their training or develop their passion projects, for the benefit of the business.

Remember: happier staff can only mean better things for your business.

StrategyDriven Talent Management Article

Top Ways to Retain Employees

StrategyDriven Talent Management ArticleWhether you’re the manager of your department or the CEO of a company, it’s so important to make sure you retain the attention and engagement of your employees. When your employees go through the hiring process, they’ve proven themselves to be the best men and women for the jobs your company offers. In order for the company to do well, there needs to be a level of continuity and consistency in the workflow. One of the best ways to make sure this happens is through retaining top talent. There are a few strategies to implement in order to make sure your company holds on to its best employees and attracts more awesome and talented employees in the future.

1. Mentorship
Partner new team members with more experienced employees. It’s so important to foster an environment of mentorship. The experienced employees can teach the newer ones the ropes of the company. There’s also a level of openness regarding how to improve and facilitate a better workflow. When the company implements a mentorship system within the workplace, it takes away the vibes of competition and backbiting. Everyone is in the room with the same goal: to make the company more money and win. When everyone is on one accord, the results can be truly divine.

2. Ownership
Take note of the strengths of your employees. If they’re not already exercising them in some way, give them opportunities to thrive. Sure, there is a level of initiative employees need to take. However, as the leader, it’s important for you to make it clear that you’re open to your employees taking on new roles, growing and improving company strategies. There are many employees that have lots of ideas, but have bosses with large egos. Don’t let ego get in the way of an employee’s ability to offer more to the company.

3. Gold Stars/Incentives
Money is a major motivator, but it’s not the only one. Bonuses are amazing for helping employees stick around. An upgrade to the company benefits package, weekly lunches and telecommuting are a few of the tricks to get good employees to stick around. If the work environment is conducive to their personal and professional happiness in a very tangible way, it’ll be hard to get them to leave.

4. Accountability
It can be really detrimental to a company when an employee decides to quit abruptly. If they’re a major part of the team, their presence is essential. Design an environment where members of the team are able to check in with one another and remain accountable to each other. This will foster a level of transparency. If a person is deeply unhappy in their work, that’ll come across when they interact with other employees. Keeping one another accountable will help the company become stronger as they’ve been bonded together.

These are a few of the best ways to make sure your company holds on to the best of the best. As you progress and tweak the process, keep an ear to the ground. You’ll want feedback to learn how you can improve as the head of the team. As you gain advice, listen to it and implement the most effective practices. A company doesn’t become a well-oiled machine overnight. In many cases, it takes years of mistakes and fine-tuning. Lean in and embrace the process because the company will be better as a result of it.

StrategyDriven Talent Management Article

Five Tips to Recruit and Manage a Global Project Team

To compete in global markets, you need global talent. The demands of a customer in China diverge widely from those of a customer in Canada. In this increasingly connected world, you can’t limit your recruitment to local markets.

How exactly can you adopt a global recruitment strategy? Once recruited, how do you effectively manage an international team? This article will answer these questions and more below.

1. Go Beyond Resumes

The traditional resume often fails when hiring internationally. Variations in local work and education standards can make it difficult to develop an evaluation matrix for shortlisting international candidates.

As an antidote, look beyond resumes and consider more standard signifiers of expertise. Internationally recognized certifications, standardized test scores, and even skill-based competitions can be a worthy replacement to resumes.

For example, if you’re hiring for a project management position, you might prioritize the PMP certification over a resume. If you’re hiring for technical talent, a team-based competition board like Kaggle can help.

2. Consider Local Talent Concerns When Making Offers

As any experienced international recruiter will tell you, local talent priorities and concerns vary widely across regions and geographies. For example, a MetLife survey found that more workers in China considered a higher salary as a reason to stay in a company. In India, higher benefits trumped a higher salary when it comes to employee needs.

Your goal should be to consider the expectations of local talent and design an attractive package. Your offer should align with the cultural practices, workplace expectations, and established employment trends in the region.

3. Invest in Team Building

Just because a team is working remotely from locations across the globe doesn’t mean that you can eschew team building. In fact, in the absence of a shared space or common culture, investing in team building activities becomes even more important.

Here are a few pointers for team building in global teams:

  • Respect cultural beliefs: Any team building activity you undertake should take cognizance of cultural beliefs of each team member. Get individual team members to buy into any activity before recommending it to the rest of the group. Make sure that team members don’t feel pressured into participating in any activity they are uncomfortable with.
  • Focus on collaborative digital activities: If your team is remote, your team building should revolve around collaborative digital activities. Think of multiplayer games, digital treasure hunts, etc. Pick activities that reward teamwork instead of skill (such as team-based strategy games instead of action games).
  • Encourage non-work collaboration: For a team to thrive, team members should have something in common that goes beyond their work responsibilities. Encourage team members to meet, converse, and collaborate on non-work activities. Create dedicated communication channels where people can exchange ideas and have conversations without the pressure of work.

4. Adopt Managerial Practices that Align with Cultural Expectations

To manage a multicultural team built across geographical boundaries, you have to eschew standard managerial practices. Instead, you have to accept, understand, and adopt cultural differences in your management approach.

A few things you should consciously look out for are:

  • Leadership approach: Leadership styles vary greatly across cultures. Some cultures appreciate a more collaborative approach to leadership, while others will prefer a more distant and forceful leader. Understand the cultural approach to leadership for all your team members and incorporate it into your management practices.
  • Time: How people approach time is also variables across cultures. Some cultures consider deadlines to be a hard stop in the work process. Others might see it just as a guide. If the people on your team come from cultures where time is seen as a flexible concept, change your management approach accordingly.
  • Responsibilities: In some cultures, speaking out and raising your hand to take on responsibilities is encouraged. In others, it is considered rude. As a manager in a multicultural team, you’ll have to understand each team member’s approach to responsibilities and change your expectations accordingly.

5. Adopt Practical Solutions to Time Zone Conflicts

If you’re managing a global, distributed team, one of your biggest problems will be dealing with time zone conflicts. The farther apart your team members are, the harder this challenge.

Some things you should consider are:

  • Changing meeting schedules: A fixed meeting schedule can often inconvenience team members located in different time zones. For instance, if you have early morning weekly meetings (by EST), a team member based in Australia will have to be up late at night to attend them. Fix this problem by changing meeting schedules regularly so all project team members feel that their needs are being met.
  • Automate messaging: To get around the problem of time zones, automate messaging as much as possible. For instance, instead of sending a deadline reminder manually, you can instruct your project management tool to send one automatically as per the task assignee’s local time zone. This can save you tons of micromanagement.

Recruiting people from a global talent pool and managing them effectively is one of the biggest challenges for modern organizations. Getting it right can improve your competitiveness and help you win against bigger, but less diverse businesses.

Have you ever managed a global team? What were your biggest challenges? Share your experience in the comments below!

About the Author

Puranjay is a marketing leader and founder of GrowthPub, a content-focused marketing agency that helps SaaS startups scale their digital presence. He also blogs at

Teching Your Way To Better Employees

Being an employer can be a tough job for a lot of people. In this sort of role, it can be very easy to be overly compassionate, giving people much more than you can afford. Likewise, though, some people are much too strict to be a good boss. Sat in between these two issues is a balance which few manage to reach. To help you out with this, this post will be exploring some subtle ways to watch over your workers, while also looking for ways to make their work easier. This may involve a little bit of spying, but this will be worth it if you’re able to make a difference.

Monitoring (Digital): Keeping an eye on the work which people are doing will be very hard without the right systems in place to handle it for you. Options like Excel used to be the only way to do this, and you would have to create your own detailed spreadsheets if you wanted to do properly. Nowadays, tools like Asana take away this work, giving you a much easier platform to handle your work from. As long as everyone keeps something like this up to date, it should be nice and easy to keep track of their work. This is particularly good for digital companies with very little work outside of computers.

Monitoring (Physical): In some cases, the work your employees will be doing won’t be able to be tracked digitally, and you might need a physical tool to help with your monitoring. Though it may seem a little secretive, one of the best ways to do this is through the tools on a site like Sentel Tech. Giving you the power to watch over work without being noticed, this is a great way to see your employees working. More importantly, though, this will also help you spot any issues they are having at the same time.

Finding Solutions: Once you have an idea of the issues which could be floating around in your business, it will be time to find some solutions to them. For example, if a worker seems restless towards the end of their shift, and it’s making their work hard, giving them an additional five minute break each day would be worth the benefits it could bring. Most employees will work as hard as they feel their job is worth to them. If you’re able to improve their work, they will feel more valued, and will often work much harder as a result. A lot of the time, the issues your employees will have will be directly related to your company, giving you the chance to fix them.

Hopefully, with all of this in mind, it should start to get a lot easier to work your employees into something much better. Most of the time, employers have a lot more power in this area than they think. Simple changes to your company, like better facilities or computers, will make a big difference to the people having to use them everyday.