Employee Engagement Is The Key To Competitive Advantage

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |Employee Engagement|Employee Engagement Is The Key To Competitive AdvantageEmployee engagement is often confused with the satisfaction or happiness of an employee. This is not the case. Employee engagement is when an employee genuinely cares about a business – it is their emotional commitment to the organisation in question. They genuinely want the company to succeed. This is imperative if you are to achieve a competitive advantage, and effective employee engagement software can help you to get there.

Why should you focus on employee engagement levels?

There is no better reason to focus on improving employee engagement than the fact that it will drive your business to greater success. If your employees are committed to the success of your firm, you are naturally more likely to succeed. This is even more significant nowadays due to a number of factors, including the fact that people have become the key source of competitive advantage and there is a war for the talent that is out there, with businesses becoming more serious in their efforts to attract and retain the best employees.

Using software to boost and manage employee engagement

So, where do you start? Well, first, you need to select employee engagement metrics, so that you can determine how engaged your employees are. Metrics include the likes of personal growth, feedback, recognition, happiness, wellness, relationship with managers, ambassadorship, satisfaction, company alignment, and relationships with colleagues. After you’ve done this, you need an employee engagement platform, which will ensure that initiatives run consistently and that cadence is maintained if things start to slip. The employee engagement platform will gather feedback from employees and crucial data that can help you make critical decisions on how to improve engagement.

What about remote workers? Can you make sure that they are engaged?

More and more businesses are embracing remote workers at present. This is a trend that was already starting to get more and more prominent. However, the recent pandemic has accelerated this trend further, and now more people are working on a remote basis than ever before. If you hire remote workers at your business, you may be wondering if you can keep them engaged at your business without seeing them on a day-to-day basis. The truth is that you can.

There are a number of ways you can go about this. Ensuring that communication is regular and easy is important. You should also look for different ways to bond and get to know your remote workers, such as virtual team building activities. Aside from this, it is important to make your remote workers feel just as valued as those who go into the office every day. Bonuses and small gestures can go a very long way, as remote workers often struggle to feel included or like they are part of a team.

The best way to unlock the true potential of your business is to invest in employee engagement software. This will help you to strengthen your employees’ emotional commitment to the business, which will have a positive effect on the overall profitability and success of your firm.

4 Time Management Tips for Professionals

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article |Tips for Professionals|4 Time Management Tips for ProfessionalsAre you the type of person who feels like they need more hours in the day? Have you heard the saying: work smarter, not harder? What can you do to ream more time out of your day?

Instead of working yourself well over your allotted time, you need to learn the value of your time and plan appropriately. Structuring your day, and often relinquishing control over your duties can help maximize your time.

You should know your limits. When there’s a leak in your bathroom, you would call a plumber, right? At work, you might expect a professional like a customs brokerage or an attorney to take care of difficult tasks so you can focus on your work. If you adhere to this order in your daily life, you can create some beneficial habits.

Plan Early

First things first: get yourself a monthly planner! A monthly planner will help you to plan out your entire week in advance. If you have never sat down and planned out your whole week, you will want to start small.

If you are a working professional, the chances are that you are busy. You might have meetings planned, personal appointments, or critical deadlines to meet. Any plans in motion are the place where you need to start. As soon as a new plan pops up during your work, you need to immediately write them down.

Research has shown that writing something by hand solidifies the information into your memory up to 30% faster.

Plan for Work-Life Balance

You might feel like every minute of your day is planned out to the minute. In that case, you want to set some time aside at the end of the day for some rest and relaxation. Otherwise, a massive burnout is approaching.

Set aside an hour at the end of the day where you’ll do only what you want to do and not what you need to do. If that means writing down any niggling ideas you have for work the next day, this could be beneficial for your stress level. It is always better to have your stressors written out—then it is like a promise to yourself to complete and cross off the task.

Don’t Let Your Day Control You

When you are feeling overwhelmed, grab your planner. Separate your day into 10-to-30-minute chunks. Compile a list of your high priority tasks, like deadlines or meetings, and categorize them into these chunks.

It could help if you try to do some more manageable tasks first to get your mind into a workflow, but doing this won’t let those more difficult tasks fall to the back of your mind.

Learn to Be Present

With the rise of social media, we have distractions at genuinely every point of the day. If you work in a fast-paced work environment, you might continuously be inundated with work emails or phone calls. This could seriously distract you from some of your more important work tasks.

Our loss of interest and distractions are the most pressing reasons for time management struggles. It is important to ground yourself in between these high-stress moments and keep yourself on track. One great way to do this is to set a timer or an alarm to stay aware of your time and keep your mind on the present moment. You might even want to consider pausing your notifications when you’re working on more pressing tasks!

How Companies Show Their Employees That They Care

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |Show Employees You Care|How Companies Show Their Employees That They CareGone are the days when companies would treat their employees as cogs in the machine. While there are still businesses that do take this approach, the consequences of doing so are too severe — it results in low productivity and high staff turnover, and can even cause more severe problems if the issue isn’t addressed.

No, it’s much better to treat members of staff as what they are: human beings. In doing so, you’ll find that there are a lot of positive side effects, such as a higher output and generally improved atmosphere at the workplace. Plus, you’ll feel happier too! In this blog, we’re going to take a look at some of the key ways that companies show their employees that they care. Be sure to incorporate any that are applicable to your own venture.

They Get To Know Them

When you hired your employee, you will have done so based on their professional merits. But that’s only one side of them. They’ve also got rich inner and personal lives, too. So why not take some time to get to know your employees on a deeper level? While work should, first and foremost, be a place of professionalism, there’ll always be time and space to chat more informally. Everyone likes it when another person shows an interest in their life. Also, by doing things like getting to know about their family and interests, you’ll be developing a deeper bond between you and your employee, which will make it easier to work together.

They Help Them Know Each Other

A company that does not want its workers to mingle is not a good company. They do this because they’re afraid that if everyone’s too friendly with one another, then they won’t work as well, or that they might gain too much collective power. But this, of course, is a cynical view for a company to take. Plus, it’s not one that’s backed up the studies conducted by researchers, which shows that having a friend at the workplace can significantly boost productivity.

So be sure to give your employees a chance to get to know one another. It’s easy enough to do — simply hosting after-work drinks at the end of the week will be a good start.

They Invest In Their Skills

Your employee won’t be the finished article. They’ll know that. The sign of a bad company is when it tries to limit the knowledge or growth of its employees. They fear that if they become too educated, then they might leave for another company, or ask for a raise. And this is true — it could happen. But holding someone back for your own reasons is a selfish attitude, and your employees will know this. So invest in their skills. Pay for them to go on training courses, attend seminars, and so on. Doing this will also benefit your company since you’ll be gaining access to well-trained employees.

They Stand Up For Them

Someone once said that the customer is always right, but whoever that was must have been a customer, because it’s rarely true. This is a good thing to keep in mind generally, but it’s especially important when you’re dealing with your staff. If a customer targets one of your employees, what is your response? Do you back the customer in front of the employee, or do you defend your member of staff? Of course, there’ll be a fallout no matter what path you take, but one is less severe than the other. You might lose a client if you back your employee, but you’ll lose the trust of your employee — and possibly other members of the team — if you back the client.

They Don’t Question Illness/Off Days

Everyone gets ill from time to time. It’s just the way life goes. If you’re a good boss, then you won’t question the trustworthiness of your employees, or force them to come back to work before they’re ready. This can be the tempting route to take, but ultimately, you’ll just find that it causes more problems — and that you don’t come across as uncaring. Also, if a member of staff has an emergency — such as an ill family member or a logistical issue — then let them get on with it. Your business might be a priority for you, but it’s a secondary concern for your employees, especially when they’re dealing with an emergency.

They Give Raises

You’ll have started your employees on a set salary, but it doesn’t mean that you should keep them there, even if you’re legally allowed to. If they’ve proven that they can produce work to a high standard and have become a valuable member of the team, then you should reward them. There are plenty of employees who end up growing resentful that they never get a raise, and you know what they do? They leave to find another job. In making it a company policy to review your employee salaries from time to time, you’ll be helping to boost your employee retention rate. Of course, there may be times when the company is unable to give raises, for various reasons. At those times, it’s important to communicate the reason for the lack of raise, and mention that things will change when things improve.

They Focus On Wellness

Wellness has become a big corporate trend in recent years. This has been driven, in part, by a need to address the rising stress levels that many employees are beginning to experience. We know now, in a way that we didn’t in the past, that it’s important to find a balance between work and relaxation. The only problem is that employees are working so much that there’s usually not enough time for wellness. This is where you can come in. By offering some wellness activities and treatments at your workplace, you’ll be showing that you care about the mental health of your employees.

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |Show Employees You Care|How Companies Show Their Employees That They CareThey Focus On Site Safety

Of course, while there are plenty of things you can do to push your employee wellness program forward, it’s important to first take care of the basics. Offering a morning yoga class won’t do all that much good if the basics of employee care have not been handled. First and foremost, your workplace should be safe and free of hazards. How you create a safe workplace will depend on the type of business you run, but could include installing industrial dust collector filters, having a secure access system, or investing in safety clothing/equipment for your employees. In essence, it’s all about identifying the potential threats to the wellbeing of your team and taking steps to address it.

They Offer Employee Perks

The salary of your employees is important, but it’s also important to offer more. What is your employee perk program, for example? If it’s currently non-existent, then perhaps now is the time to get one going. There are plenty of different things that you can offer your team. Can you offer a flexible working schedule, which allows them to choose their hours and where they work? Could you offer more than the minimum vacation time? Or what about simply having coffee and donuts available? It’s amazing what a difference these types of things can do for the happiness of your employees.

They Take On Feedback

It’s hard to feel as if someone cares if they never listen to you. It’s always a good idea to look at the dynamic of your relationship with your team. Is the conversation always one way? Or do you present an opportunity for your employees to talk, and then take their ideas on board? If it’s anything other than the latter, then work on making changes. It’s not so much about having an open door policy as it is about getting rid of the door entirely.

They Improve the Work Environment

People look primarily at the work they’re doing and the amount of money they’re getting paid. But they also look at secondary factors, too. For example, the work environment in which they’re working. So take a look at your workplace. Is it as inspirational as it could be? Is it pleasant, clean, and trendy? If not, then invest the time and effort required to make it so. Your clients will be happier to work in an environment that they like.

They All Pitch In

If there’s one thing that employees dislike, it’s feeling as if they’re the ones doing all the work, while the people at the top take breaks. If you want to show that you care about your staff, then it’s important that you pitch in to help. A family member would rightly assume a lack of care if you let them do all the housework. The same principle applies for regular work, too. If there’s a deadline, don’t leave the responsibility of meeting the deadline just to your team — make sure you’re the one that’s not only helping out, but the one leading the charge and setting the example.

3 Ways to Improve Quality of Life in Your Workplace

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |Life in the Workplace|3 Ways to Improve Quality of Life in Your WorkplaceThe average employee spends almost a third of their adult life in the workplace. You only get one life, and all this time sitting at a desk, sending emails, and working for someone else’s dreams is stealing valuable minutes away from it.

Although paid work is essential for survival, 64% of employees are unhappy with their job. So why spend so much of your precious time on Earth doing something that makes you miserable?

As a small business owner, the wellbeing of your staff should be one of your top priorities. Some bosses see their employees as mere tools to help the business grow, but any good employer will treat them as humans and do what they can to make them happy. After all, a happy worker is a productive worker. You have a great deal of power in your hands to greatly improve your team’s quality of life. With a few simple changes, you can transform the way they feel about work, and make them enjoy coming into the office each day. As a result, they will work harder and better, and the atmosphere in the workplace will change dramatically. Their physical and mental health will improve, and you will find it much easier to attract and retain the top talent.

To get you started, here are three ways to improve the quality of life in your workplace.

Embrace flexible working

Every single one of your staff members has a life outside work. They will have family, hobbies, side projects, and other concerns that they struggle to fit in around their work. One of the biggest changes you can make to your employees’ lives is to give them more flexibility at work. By allowing them to choose their hours or work remotely when needed, they will find it easier to pick up their kids from school, go to the gym, visit the doctor, and do all the things that make their life fulfilling. And if you’re worried they won’t get as much work done, relax. Studies show that flexible working actually boosts productivity.

Promote good health

You might not think it, but office work is one of the unhealthiest professions there is. Humans weren’t designed to spend eight hours a day slouching at a desk while staring unblinkingly at a screen. The sedentary and digital nature of the work can lead to weight gain, musculoskeletal disorders, and vision problems, not to mention the mental health risks of all that stress. Help your employees to look after their health. Invest in standing desks and ergonomic desk chairs to promote good posture, and talk to them about ways you can help manage their workloads and remove some of the stress.

Make them feel safe

No employee should feel unsafe in the workplace, so do what you can to instill a sense of security. Your office should comply with all fire and safety regulations. For example, fire exits should be signposted and unobstructed, while low voltage electric appliances will reduce risk. Ensure there is always a trained first-aider in the office and ask your team for suggestions about creating a safer environment to work in.

Should Your Business Pay Home Office Costs For Remote Employees?

StrategyDriven Managing Your Finances Article |Remote Employees|Should Your Business Pay Home Office Costs For Remote Employees?The COVID-19 pandemic has forced so many businesses to adopt remote working overnight. While there are a lot of benefits to remote working and it’s much safer for everybody right now, there are some challenges for your employees.

Creating a positive working environment in the home can be difficult and expensive. But many companies aim to solve this problem by giving their employees a stipend to create their own home office.

Shopify and Twitter, for example, offered to give each remote employee $1,000 to set up their home office. This money is to be spent on things like ergonomic office desks and chairs, or new laptops. Some companies are also offering a monthly payment to help cover things like internet or phone bills.

For big companies like Twitter, this expense is manageable and it seems like a no-brainer if it makes life easier for their employees. However, it’s not so easy for small businesses and paying your employees a similar stipend will put a lot of financial strain on you, so is it really worth it?

What Are The Benefits Of Paying Home Office Costs For Your Remote Workers?

Although it is a big expense to cover, it may be the best thing for your business in the long run. If you pay this money to your employees you will notice a big increase in productivity. It’s difficult to work productively if you don’t have a comfortable, well equipped space to do it. But if you give your employees the money to buy a proper office desk and chair so they can stay comfortable and focus, they will get a lot more done.

Giving your employees some financial assistance also increases access to tech tools, which employees may not otherwise use. Expecting your employees to pay out of their own pocket for a brand new laptop is unreasonable, especially considering their utility costs are likely to increase while they are working from home. The same goes for upgrading their internet connection to accommodate video conferencing. This means that many employees will struggle to work effectively because they are using outdated tools. Giving them some money to update their tech tools will benefit them as well as the business.

You should also consider it an investment for the future because it’s likely that the business world will be changed permanently by the pandemic. Remote working is going to become far more common, and that’s good for businesses because it cuts your office costs. However, if you expect your employees to continue working remotely in the future, you need to help them get their homes set up for it.

What Are The Downsides?

The obvious downside of these payments is that they put a lot of financial strain on the business in an already difficult time. So, before you make any promises, crunch the numbers and make sure that you can afford it.

The other thing to be aware of is that employees may spend the money elsewhere. Although this is unlikely, you may decide to ask them to purchase items and then reimburse them afterwards to avoid this.

Overall, if your business can afford it, paying home office costs for your remote employees is a good idea.