How to Make Your Office a More Vibrant Place to Work

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |Vibrant Workplace|How to Make Your Office a More Vibrant Place to WorkIf your business is going to succeed, it needs to have a base from which to operate that reflects its values and facilitates good work from your employees. A workplace shouldn’t be dour or boring; you get the most out of people when they’re working in a place where they enjoy spending time. There’s nothing wrong with a workplace being vibrant; in fact, that’s the way it should be. Here are some ways to make your office a more vibrant place to work.

Use an Open Plan

One of the quickest and easiest ways to make your workplace more vibrant and dynamic is to break down barriers. You can do this by making the layout open plan. That way, people aren’t shut away in their cubicles away from what other people are doing. It makes communication and teamwork far easier and more viable. So, if you want to switch things up, this is one of the ways of doing it.

Make it Bright and Light

A workplace needs to be bright and light if you want people to feel positive there and you want them to enjoy working there each day. A dark and dingy workplace is never going to help you achieve the things you want to achieve because people will hate being there and lack motivation. So, make the most of natural light and ensure the place feels bright and welcoming as soon as you step inside.

Redecorate It

Maybe it’s time you redecorated your office too. If it’s been a while and the place is starting to look a little dull and uninspiring, changing things up could have a huge impact. You can make use of Custom Made Stencils to put your stamp on the office walls with your logo or brand name. Simply make it feel fresh and bright once more. It might not sound like much, but it’ll have an impact, that’s for sure.

Hire the Right Personalities

Hiring the right people is another thing that’ll help your workplace to feel a little more vibrant. People with the right personalities will help the company to shine and they’ll bring people together. You don’t want too many negative or divisive people working for your business because that’ll just make success harder to find.

Encourage Team Working

Finally, you should think about how you and the other people running your business might go about encouraging everyone to work together a little more closely as a team. It’s not always easy to make this happen but it’s worth at least making an effort. When everyone’s collaborating, the place immediately feels more vibrant and alive.

As you can see, there are tons of ways of making your office a more vibrant place, so all that’s left for you to do now is start putting some of these ideas into action. By doing so, you’ll turn your workspace into a place your employees enjoy being each day of the week, and that can only be a good thing.

How to Improve Your Human Resources Department: 5 Key Steps to Success

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |HR Department|How to Improve Your Human Resources Department: 5 Key Steps to SuccessIf you run an organization, one of the most important departments is human resources. The HR department is responsible for all aspects of your workforce, whether it be the hiring process or providing opportunities to develop for existing staff members.

When you consider employees are what keep the wheel turning, their competency and happiness are what determine if a business will succeed or fail. If your staff members don’t possess the necessary skills to do the job, this will impact overall productivity levels. If they are unhappy, they will be less inclined to work hard and may seek alternative employment.

To ensure these problems are limited, you need to maximize your company’s HR. Thankfully, this handy guide is here to help. From applicant screening software to reward programs, here are five key steps to improving your human resources department.

1. Picking the right person for the role

When in the process of hiring, every business wants to acquire the perfect individual for the job. Sadly, doing this is far from straightforward. Browsing someone’s CV and conducting an interview can only tell you so much about a person.

There are, however, certain steps you can take that will increase your chances of securing the right recruit.
This starts with pre-employment screening. With the assistance of applicant screening software, you can easily take a closer look at a potential employee’s background. You gain insight into their possible criminal record, driving history, and so much more. It also provides the ideal opportunity to analyze a candidate’s CV and see if it contains any inaccurately reported information.

The interview process should also be meticulously planned. Ensure your HR department asks all the right questions, and even plan a relatable activity to gain a better understanding of their skillset.

2. Make your expectations clear

Before the HR department brings an employee onboard, it’s important to create a set of rules that each hired person needs to follow. By doing this, you are establishing the expectations of the business from the outset.

Why is this important? Well, sometimes, no matter how refined your hiring process is, a less-than-desirable employee will be brought into your business. If they have trouble following the set rules, you have the grounds to discipline them.

3. Allow employees to grow

If a worker remains in the same position for years and years without any change, their motivation will soon start to drop. One way of avoiding this from happening is to allow your employees to learn and grow.

Your HR department should arrange opportunities that provide the chance for them to develop both their personal and professional skills. This can be done with, say, online courses or local classes.

There are two big reasons why you would want to help employees grow. First of all, your workers will have the incentive to continue to work for your business and climb the career ladder. Secondly, your organization benefits from the added skills they now possess. It’s a win-win situation.

4. Feedback and analyzing performance

If the HR department fails to keep track of your employees and how they’re feeling, this could prove to be a disastrous mistake. They might have concerns bubbling under the surface which are making them unhappy, or their performance might not be matching expectations.

While this could be done by frequently meeting with every employee, this is far from the most efficient option. Instead, specialist HR management software makes the task an easy one. Workers can communicate with ease, and the HR department can keep all information in one place.

5. Rewarding work

Employees like to feel appreciated. While this can be achieved by praising work on a frequent basis, there’s a more effective way to motivate your workforce: rewards.

Your HR department, for instance, might decide to do a weekly competition for the top salesperson. Or they may arrange a group prize for when a department completes a task on time.

These rewards don’t have to break the bank. They could be as simple as free movie tickets or a gift card but it could provide the extra encouragement to work harder.

Conclusion

Your human resources department should never be overlooked. With great HR, your entire organization will function with greater efficiency and productivity. It will also help to retain employees, which means you no longer have to continually hire, train, and familiarize workers with your business. The end result: your business saves money and becomes more profitable.

Ways To Help Support Your Staff More

Helping support your staff more in the business can be really beneficial to your company. Looking after your employees and making sure they’re happy at all times is the secret to a productive work environment. Here are some ways to help support your staff more when they’re working for your business.

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article | Ways To Help Support Your Staff More | Talent Management | Entrepreneurship | Staff Support

Listen To Their Needs

Their needs should always come first, and as a result, you’ll likely see a change in the way they see the company and the respect they have for you as an employer. Listening to their needs and what they want can be done in a number of ways, the most important being through regular meetings with them on a one-to-one basis. This can be helpful in getting them to talk through their concerns or what they want to change. If they’re seen as a valued member of staff, rather than just a number, that’s going to help build work relations across the company. Try to change what you can in order to make their working environment more enjoyable at all times. Obviously, not everything can be honored, but at least you’re trying.

Improve IT Services

IT problems tend to be something that a lot of businesses have a problem with, and if there are problems with your equipment and staff workstations, then you’ll find productivity levels are going to dip. Staff need to be able to get on with their work with little distractions or disruptions. Otherwise, you’ll find the concentration for them to continue with their work will be severely depleted. IT services & support are in constant supply, so if your current situation isn’t working for you, look at other companies who might be able to help.

Encourage A Work-Life Balance

A work-life balance is one thing that many of your staff members will probably want in life. After all, we spend so much of our time working, it’s important that we are able to get the most out of life outside of work too. Try to encourage a better work-life balance and change the benefits that some of your staff might not currently be getting. A mental health day can be good for those who need a break every now and then to reset the batteries. Being flexible with working from home can also help.

Assist With Company Progression

Company progression might be on the cards for some of your employees, and so if they wish to rise through the ranks, it’s good to help them in whatever way possible. That might be offering them extra training or courses to improve their resume, and it might also be offering promotions and career opportunities both inside and out of the company.

Supporting your staff as a company is important to maintaining happiness levels and overall job satisfaction. So, keep working on ways to make the working environment better. Improve job prospects and encourage a good balance of work and personal life. Improve what’s not working properly and listen to their needs whenever you can.

Why Professional Mentorship is a Highly Underrated Business Tool

StrategyDriven Talent Management Article | Why Professional Mentorship is a Highly Underrated Business ToolIf you’ve never heard of a mentorship program, look no further.

Mentorship programs are often overlooked by business owners because they’re seen as an expense instead of a beneficial investment. You should understand the importance of mentorship because it will help you and your company.

Mentors can provide a plethora of benefits to employees and business owners that allow them to make better decisions and improve their workspace. This will allow any business owner to earn more money in the long run.

Keep on reading to learn more about mentorship programs and what they can do for your business!

What Is a Mentor?

A mentor is someone that can enter a company and guide both the employees and owners. They act as the eyes and ears of the operations because they’re constantly involved with employees and see what goes on daily.

Depending on the size of a company, there may be multiple mentors. The more employees you have, the more mentors you’ll want so that everyone can get mentored equally.

Mentors typically go to school to learn how to deal with people. They’re effective at providing support to others and giving business recommendations when needed. You can learn more about the experience that mentors have if you’re interested in hiring them.

Asking Questions and Getting Advice

One of the main benefits of mentorship programs is that they allow employees to ask a question and get advice whenever they need assistance.

Many employees, especially newer ones, struggle to get the hang of things when they enter a new job. This is because they’ll go through a standard training procedure that all employees do and will be expected to start working efficiently right away.

The problem with this is that each role needs to be trained in a certain way so that employees aren’t confused about what their job is.

Bringing in someone to mentor employees will ensure that they do their jobs consistently and effectively because they’ll have someone that’s always available to answer questions.

Receiving a Different Perspective

It’s important to hear from another perspective before deciding to do something because it helps you guarantee that what you’re doing makes sense.

One of the mentorship program goals that most programs have is to provide unbiased and useful information. Whether a business owner or an employee is looking to hear from someone else, a mentor can give them their thoughts and explain other scenarios.

Improving Key Skills

The main purpose of mentoring is to guide someone through a process by helping them improve their key skills.

If you have a new IT employee that doesn’t know how to repair a broken motherboard, a mentor can show them what they need to do. In this case, the mentor would act as a trainer.

Should your employees constantly complain about not knowing how to do things, your mentors will tell you how you can make the training process better.

Venting with a Trusted Person

Although a mentor will often assist employees with tasks, they’ll also be a person that employees can go to when they want to vent. If an employee feels as though they can’t express themselves, you’ll usually see a decline in their work because they’ll feel stressed.

Similar to a counselor-patient relationship, mentors won’t disclose the personal information that’s shared between them and the person they’re mentoring.

Expanding Networks

Mentors give employees and business owners the opportunity to expand their networks by introducing them to new people. Most mentors have worked with several companies, so they can give you contact details and mention you to others.

Even inside a business, a mentor can expand a new employee’s network by introducing them to other coworkers. It’s common for employees to not know everyone within a company, especially if it’s larger.

This benefits business owners because they can start partnering with other companies, and it benefits employees because they’ll be able to interact with more people and feel included.

Methods and Strategies

Every business has a set of methods and strategies that they employ to fulfill their services. A mentor can drill these things into employees, making them better employees as they won’t feel lost when they’re working.

If a strategy is outdated or isn’t working as effectively as it should, mentors will make recommendations to improve the system. They’ll have a better idea of what’s working because they’ll be interacting with various employees daily.

Confidence to Make Better Decisions

Having a mentor gives employees the confidence to make better decisions because they’ll know they can fall back on someone if they mess up.

Their guidance encourages employees to make bolder decisions, even if there’s a lot of risks involved. They’ll do the same with a business owner that’s struggling to decide on something.

Start Looking Into Mentorship Programs Today

Investing in a mentorship program is one of the best things you can do as a business owner because you’ll save a lot of time and money in the process. Instead of having to deal with employees when they’re stressed or don’t know what to do on the job, a mentor will take care of that.

If you own a business, we encourage you to start looking into mentorship programs in your area to help you take your business to another level. You’ll quickly notice that the company is more productive, ultimately allowing you to maximize your profits.

Browse our articles to learn more about mentorship programs and other business ideas.

Can Your Employees Sue You for Emotional Distress

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |Suing for Emotional Distress|Can Your Employees Sue You for Emotional DistressAny business should consider the mental wellbeing of its employees. Work is stressful enough without people having to deal with the outrageous behaviors of others. Major depression and burnout cost companies billions of dollars every year. In this context, the stress in the workplace is not something to neglect. From a legal standpoint, employees have the right to sue a business for emotional distress. Here is what you need to know.

Employers Have Double Legal Duties

As an employer, you have the legal duty to avoid inflicting emotional distress to other people. You must use reasonable care to prevent such issues. You are responsible for all your employees’ conduct. Say an employee causes emotional distress to another employee or a client. If you knew and did nothing about it, you are vulnerable to a lawsuit.

Making the Difference between Legal Types of Emotional Distress Cases

An employer must follow the letter of the law and its spirit. You may do everything right and face legal exposure. Some of your employees may have asked themselves, “can you sue for emotional distress” at least once. The answer is “yes,” but it depends on the situation. Most people will not sue you because you are annoying as a person. They will if:

  • you are a negligent manager;
  • engage in reckless/outrageous behavior towards them;
  • your management led to workplace accidents and injuries;
  • you ignore their complaints.

With burnout syndrome, depression, or sexual harassment, the law is intricate. In this context, you need to know the difference between NIED and IIED.

The best way to move forward is to hire legal aid. It may be hard as a small business to find the right law firm. But, it will save you money in the long term. Most likely, it will protect your reputation.

NIED – Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress

Employees can sue for NIED when someone else’s negligence leads to their emotional distress. The proof varies from state to state. These are the general provisions when making a case:

  • The employee must prove that the defendant (employer) engaged in a negligent activity.
  • The employer is open to an NIED suit if he/she willfully violated a statutory duty.
  • The plaintiff suffered significant emotional distress (as described by the law). They must prove its occurrence, persistence, symptoms, etc.
  • The plaintiff’s emotional distress is a direct consequence of the defendant’s negligence.

Example: Employees can sue within an NIED framework if a piece of equipment fell and nearly crashed them.

IIED – Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

Bad behavior opens the door to an IIED suit. There are no guidelines on what represents extreme, reckless, or outrageous behavior. It is why IIED is hard to prove in court. Don’t misjudge the courts and lawyers, though. An IIED claim must target conducts that go beyond the usual workplace insults, threats, or annoyances. They should not exist, either, but they do not pack a big punch in court. What comes with heavyweight is the following combination of factual elements:

  • The employer/their agent’s conduct was deliberate and reckless. And there is proof to back up this claim.
  • The defendant/their agent engaged in extreme or outrageous behavior (and the plaintiff can prove).
  • This conduct led to an employee’s emotional distress.
  • The employee can prove the causality and the severity of the distress.

Example: You are open to IIED claims if you neglected an employee’s complaints regarding sexual harassment. Your failure to respond to numerous notices for months will most likely put you in the defendant’s chair.

In IIED claims, fright or shame can fall under the umbrella of “emotional distress.” As we said above, you are responsible for the conduct of all your employees. Consider promoting a safe working environment. Remove any risks of sexual harassment, bullying, shaming, emotional abuse, social isolation, etc.

Can You Put a Price on Your Employees’ Feelings?

If an employee wins an NIED or an IIED claim, you have to pay for damages. The payment is relative to the severity of the emotional injury. You should consider legal advice in such cases, even if you are a small business. Many NIED and IIED cases settle outside of court. You need to know your rights, your employees’ rights, and the methods you have to make their lives better and safer.