Category Archives: Employees

How to Shape Your Company Culture

Company culture has quickly become one of the most important predictors of a company’s future success. With this in mind we are always looking for ways in which we can take even better care of our team. We most definitely live by Richard Branson’s idea of:

“Train people well enough so they can leave,
treat them well enough so they don’t”

I truly believe in this statement, and look forward to seeing it come to fruition over the coming years at Royal Services! 

Source: How to Shape Your Company Culture

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Creating a killer company culture

A great company culture is not something that can be created overnight. It takes months, even years for this to evolve and there are certain things that need to be in place for your company to thrive. One of the most important decisions to make is whether you want to be a boss or a leader. There is a huge difference between these two, and it is only leader-2206099_960_720possible to create an incredible company culture with one of them. Hopefully you know which direction to take, and that is why you are here. The simple thing to remember is a leader will create a killer company culture, whereas a boss will literally kill company culture. The choice is yours!

  1. Lead by example – Live everyday the way you want your employees to behave. You are the leader, which means you do things first, and your team will follow. Set the standard for your team, and then hold them accountable. If you are late for every meeting and continue to keep people waiting, you will be quite a hypocrite if you get mad when employees are late. If you act in this way, you will soon be seen as a boss instead of a leader, and your culture will begin to crumble.
  2. Hire smart – When you are adding to your team hire people according to their behavior rather than their skill set, whenever possible. There are obviously some vocations where you can’t follow this principle, such as within the medical world where you need to hire a surgeon who is qualified as a surgeon! However, there are many positions where the skill set can be trained, and the most important thing is to find people who easily slide into your company with minimal disruption.
  3. Understand your why – You and your team need a purpose for coming to work everyday. If you are just going through the motions, and have no true purpose, it’s going to be very difficult to motivate people to deliver what you are looking for. Understand your why and make sure this is something that is discussed during the hiring and onboarding processes. This is your company’s DNA and needs to be your north star in every decision that you make.
  4. Tell your story and continue to refer back to it – Your company might be 25 years old, but the new members of your team haven’t experienced the trials and tribulations that you have been through. They don’t understand the hurdles you have overcome, the economic downturns, the bankrupt clients, the successes, and the differences that your company has made over the years. Tell your story so that your entire team understand more about your history, and the path traveled thus far.
  5. Establish traditions – these are activities that will help to motivate your team and make them feel more like a family. Company-wide lunches are a great way to achieve this, as are social events, team-building activities, community outreach projects, 5k’s, marathons and other charity events.
  6. Document core values – Decide what matters to your company and what you want Conceptual core values integrity ethics circle concept word clouthe focus to be on. Document, share, and live by these values on a daily basis. Keep referring back to them and make every decision according to what is stated here.
  7. Recognize and reward – Let people know that you are proud of them for their achievements and reward them accordingly. Surprise thank you’s are always fun for everyone involved and require very little effort. How good would you feel if your boss swung by your desk, gave you $50, thanked you for your incredible effort over the past few weeks, and told you to take your spouse out to dinner? Wow your employees and show everyone that you appreciate what they are doing.
  8. Treat others how you would want to be treated – If someone is performing at an incredible level and continues to deliver exceptional results, reward them for it. If someone is struggling due to a death in the family, or a sick child is causing lack of sleep, be empathetic and go easier on them. Show them that you are a human being and truly care about your team.
  9. Stay out of the ivory tower – Get out and about and interact with your team. If you keep yourself locked up in your office and employees only see you when things are wrong, there will be a massive disconnect. Be present, interact with your team, get to know them, pick up trash, replace the printer toner, and show them that you are a team player. Everyone will benefit from it and the collaboration is guaranteed to improve when people feel the collectiveness.
  10. Develop your team – Show your team the paths that they can follow to work their way up in your business, and provide them with the tools and opportunities they need to succeed. Increase their hunger and show them what they are capable of. This is so much more enjoyable and rewarding than hiring external people, and will allow you to positively impact so many people’s lives.
  11. Get to know your teamYour staff don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Understand what matters to them, what makes them tick, and how you can help them realize their dreams.
  12. Catch your people doing the right thing – Far too often we try to catch people doing the wrong thing. This is such a negative way of living and isn’t enjoyable for anyone involved. Instead of searching and waiting for the bad, hunt for the good and celebrate when your team do the right thing. It’s a similar idea to when parents look at a child’s grade card and focus on the one C, instead of the four A’s that the student has achieved. Focus on and reward the things that you want your team to do, everyone will be so much happier.
  13. Smile – If you are following steps 1 through 12, this will happen naturally and you will live a full life.

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Good luck!

Problems associated with increased cell phone usage

 

Thanks to modern technology and advances with cell phone capabilities, you no longer need a camera, an alarm clock, a Rolodex (remember those!?), a journal, a notebook, a diary, a shopping list, a watch, or a music player! These are all great woman on phonetechnology improvements and benefits that have occurred over the past decade. While the emergence of the smartphone has had tremendously positive impacts in so many areas, and has helped make the world more connected than ever before, there are unfortunately many negative consequences that have accompanied the evolution of the modern day mobile telephone.

  1. Addiction – dopamine and serotonin is released when we hear a ping, receive a message, or have a post liked by one of our peers.  Do you think you may be addicted to your phone?  Check out these signs and symptoms.
  2. Reduced productivity in the workplace – due to problems associated with number woman holding phone at computerone, addiction, it is very possible that you could spend more time on your phone than you do in face to face interactions.  And I’m not just talking about work-related items; answering texts, personal calls, checking Facebook and other social media, as well as news updates coming through almost by the hour can eat up a huge chunk of time each day.
  3. Dangerous driving and an increased number of accidents – this is something that constantly amazes me.  There have been so many senseless deaths and injuries due to cell phone use while driving – so why do people still do it?  NOTHING is that important, but if you feel like it is, PULL OVER!
  4. Poorer social skills – it is so aggravating and rude when you are speaking to someone and their phone rings and all of a sudden it’s like you are no longer there!  Why do phones get priority over people?
  5. Cyberbullying – this is obviously a huge problem, with adults and children alike.  cyberbullying-victimization-20152Having all social media and communication available to us 24/7 makes this so much easier.  If people took the time to think about what they were going to say before they started typing, perhaps the problem wouldn’t be so big, but cell phones do not require that we take that time allowing for immediate, and often rash, responses.
  6. Increased crime – people always know where you are because you constantly check in or post a picture of your dinner.  And how often do you see your friends posting pictures of their children in front of their school?  Anyone who wants to find you can do so, at any time.
  7. Health issues – from minor issues such as back and neck pain due to being hunched over a phone all day to major issues such as cancer, there are a number of health issues associated with cell phone usage that should not be ignored.
  8. Disruption of sleep – exposure to blue light can cause us to not sleep as well as possible, while constant updates coming through buzzing at us through the night will disrupt our sleep patterns.
  9. We are always connected – this leads to increased stress as it is nearly impossible to disconnect from work, and the world in general.
  10. More distracted and less interactive with those around us – it’s amazing to me the family-on-phonesnumber of parents glued to their phones while their kids are playing at the park.  Don’t get me wrong, I understand the urge.  Your kids are occupied, you have a second to breathe, what a perfect time to check your email!  But as we know, it only takes one second for a child to be hurt, or even worse, taken by a stranger!  Not to mention, they know when you are focused on your phone instead of them, and we certainly don’t want to give them the impression that a phone is more important than they are.

This is a great video that takes a look at millenials and cell phone usage.  I recommend the whole thing, but the cell phone segment begins at 3:20 – take a look!

What problems have you encountered due to increased cell phone usage?  Put your thoughts in the comment section below!

 

Conference calls: Are they worth it?

If you ever find yourself on conference calls, I am sure you will be able to totally relate to the video below. This is a classic example of something that is seen as being important and necessary for a company to function, but something that has the chance to negatively impact all parties involved. When I watch this video I immediately get flashbacks to previous companies where conference calls were a frequent occurrence.

Anyone who has taken part in a conference call knows that this video is not just trying to be funny.  These things do actually occur, and at the end of the meeting you end up feeling like you have just wasted an hour of your work day that could have been spent in a much more useful manner.  Instead of spending your valuable time on conference calls such as this, here are some alternative ideas that could be very beneficial to your company!

  1. Video conferencing – Skype or other teleconferencing tools are a great solution as everyone can see each other, which will remove some of the difficulties shown in the video.
  2. In person meetings – when possible, meet in person.  If you have an hour or so drive, having one in-person meeting a month will accomplish much more than meeting four times a month over the phone in many situations.
  3. Smaller, more personalized calls – try having fewer people on the call.  Make sure you only have absolutely essential people involved, and avoid bringing those on the line that don’t have much to contribute.  If you only include two or three people, those people can in turn send out a summary of the meeting to those who weren’t involved.
  4. Collaborative work documents – Google Docs, Office 365, Microsoft Teams, etc. are all great options for collaborating through online documents rather than over the phone or even in person.  They give people a chance to really think about their responses as opposed to shouting out the first thing that comes in their mind.

The main thing that I would suggest is to be as efficient as possible and don’t just have meetings for the sake of having meetings. Have an agenda and objectives, and stick to the tasks at hand.  Also, stress to the members of the group the importance of timeliness.  Start the meeting on time, and if people are late do not go back and recap what you have already discussed.  This is especially frustrating for those of us who show up on time and have to listen to something two, or even three times!

Do you have any suggestions for alternatives to conference calls, or tips for making conference calls more effective?  If so, put them in the comments below!  And as always, Expect the Exceptional every day!

Dedication & diligence in the workplace

Dedicated employees are the driving force behind any successful company.  Dedication can be described as an “exceedingly strong feeling of support and loyalty for something or someone.”  When your employees are loyal to your business, it usually means that they love what they are doing and have a vested interest in the company doing well.

You can recognize a dedicated employee by noticing the first people to show up and woman on computer in bedthe last to leave at the end of the day.  These employees will typically continue working once they get home, as they experience great pleasure with the success of the company’s success, as well as their own.  These added hours are not put in due to a fear of losing their job, it is just that they truly enjoy what they are doing and have trouble putting their work away.

 

Here are 12 characteristics displayed by loyal employees who are described as being “dedicated”:

  • An infectious passion for work and belief in the company’s mission and vision
  • Steers clear of negativity and drama, instead focusing on positive ideas
  • A positive attitude in personal interactions with teammates and clients
  • Punctuality at all times for work, meetings and functions
  • High attendance and low absenteeism at work
  • Knows the history, mission, values and vision of the business
  • Frequently shares new ideas and ways in which the company can grow
  • Flexibility and excitement when it comes to change
  • Incredible work ethic
  • Always manages to get things done, regardless of obstacles they may face
  • Leaves work when the job is complete, not when the clock strikes 5pm
  • Continually looks for ways to improve individually so that they can contribute more

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On the flip side, burnout is a common trait among employees who have been in their position for an extended period of time.  If you notice a high rate of turnover, it’s probably time to examine where the problem lies and make changes accordingly.  It could be a simple matter of employees being in the wrong position at your company and a few lateral changes may just do the trick.

It is possible to love the actual work that you are doing, but have major problems in your current work environment.  I was in a position previously that made me miserable.  I shed many tears and suffered major stress over finding a new job, if only for my sanity.  When my husband asked me what I would like to do, I realized that I really enjoyed the actual work I was doing; the problem was WHERE I worked and those that I worked with.  That was very eye-opening and led me to hasten my retreat so I could find something that made me happier.  As an employer, it’s important to ask yourself if you are creating a positive workplace environment that nurtures those who love what they are doing, and in turn leads to positive growth in your business.

We would love to hear your thoughts on this matter, so please share your comments below. What are some ways in which you research a company prior to joining to make sure that you have a strong chance of loving your job and sticking around for multiple years? As an employer, what do you do to create a positive environment that encourages people to stick around because they love their job? Where have you previously worked where you experienced burnout? Until next time, have a brilliant week and in everything that you do, Expect the Exceptional.

 

Source: http://www.clarkgaither.com/9-unmistakable-signs-of-employee-dedication-you-need-to-know/

 

Is your brain getting mushy?

The skills gap has been a hot topic among business leaders, educators, and politicians over the last several years. According to a recent study by Career Builder, a company on average loses more than $14,000 for every job that says vacant longer than three months. Rather than waiting for the perfect employee to come along, we suggest you consider utilizing professional development to build the skill sets you need in your organization.  Below are just five of the many benefits professional development can provide for your business.

1. Increase Retention

In an era where more and more employers are cutting costs by taking away giving a presentationopportunities like training, your organization can stand out from the rest by offering and promoting some professional development options. Offering professional development shows your workers that you care about their career progression and are interested in keeping them at your organization long-term.

2. Make succession planning easier

Professional development programs are great tools for training future leaders at your organization. Rather than hiring outside the business, promoting from within is a great way to show your staff that they can have a long career with your organization. It can also reduce the knowledge gaps that are inevitable with turnover and outside hires. By choosing professional development programs that help your employees master skills they need to progress, you can shape the development of your future leaders.

3.  Re-energize your staff

Get-Moving-at-Work-to-Prevent-Varicose-VeinsProfessional development can help break up the monotony of everyday work and re-energize your staff’s creativity. Providing periodic professional development can also help your staff gain new skills and perspectives, which can translate into how they approach their jobs.  It also allows for discussion among peers, giving employees a chance to bounce ideas off of and learn from one another.

4.  Give your employees an edge

 

Professional development can give your employees the confidence to step into a role they may not normally have the courage to take.  This can lead directly back to number two, allowing you to hire from within rather than find someone brand new.

5. Keep minds active

There are many studies that discuss the importance of keeping your mind active, cube-2582067_960_720essentially “exercising” your brain the way you exercise your body.  Personally, I feel my brain getting “mushy” if I am not learning something new.  After I graduated with my bachelor’s, I looked forward to returning to school to complete my master’s degree, as school kept me sharp in all aspects of my life.  But now that I am finished with schooling, and have no plans to return, I need to look for new ways to keep my brain active.  The Brain Yoga app on my phone helps a little, but I need something more, and I imagine your employees do as well. Professional development is a great way to keep your employees sharp and teach them new skills at the same time.

 

Hopefully these ideas will give you some inspiration for some additional education for your team.  And if you are a member of a team that could use some extra knowledge, this is a great thing to recommend to your boss, and will show initiative on your part!

 

What to look for in potential hires and how to find it

Each business and HR professional has their own unique way of evaluating candidates. Resumes, references, experience, qualifications, probation periods, training periods, and on the job interviews are all ways that someone’s hire-ability can be evaluated.

In my previous position I was responsible for hiring individuals who would be responsible for teaching physical fitness programs to preschoolers. The perfect fitnesscandidates required a certain skill set including an outgoing personality, patience, energy, confidence, a professional appearance, and an ability to engage a room full of 3 and 4 year-olds! My assessment process included them coaching other candidates using our curriculum, as well as going out into the field to experience a class and watching how they interact with the students.

The weighting of criteria will vary drastically depending on factors such as the industry, clientele, location, company culture and philosophy. However, the following list is a selection of 11 factors that are frequently assessed during interviews or other parts of the job application process.

(1) Punctual – did the candidate arrive on time?

(2) Appearance – professional, takes pride in their appearance, dressed to impress, appropriate for the job that they are applying for.

(3) Communication – well spoken, clear, confident, able to articulate their ideas through interviewa variety of mediums

(4) Genuine – are their answers a true representation of their beliefs or are they feeding you what they think you want to hear?

(5) Works well under pressure – try to incorporate aspects into the interview so that you can assess their capabilities when the heat is on.

(6) Flexible – Is open to new opportunities and experiences

(7) Diligent – Prepared to do whatever is needed to get the job done

(8) Passionate about the job at hand/ industry/ company’s mission – as the old saying goes, “do what you love and love what you do”. If your employee believes in what you do and is passionate about your mission, you are going to get a lot more buy in from them.

(9) Self-motivated – Look for areas in which the candidate has demonstrated independence, an ability to lead, and a desire to make a difference.

(10) Team-oriented – Will they fit in with your current culture, or are they going to upset the applecart?

(11) Socially responsible – This is a factor that varies greatly by industry, culture, Image result for teachers and social medialocation, and position, but for many people, a quick glance through someone’s social media profiles can eliminate candidates from the application process if inappropriate content is discovered.

There are many factors that are desired in new hires and here are some tips for things to include in your interview to assess competency in these areas:

(1) Ask the candidate about their thoughts on your website. This will show how interested they truly are in your company, whether they took the time to research things before the interview, as well as their understanding of your offerings

(2) Perform group interviews. How well do your candidates stack up against each other. This gives you a good idea of their interpersonal skills, as well as how they might fit in with your company culture.

(3) Give them a job related task to complete to see how they perform under pressure, on the spot, with no preparation time. I remember one of my brother’s sales position interviews where the interviewer passed his car keys to my brother and asked him to sell them back to him!

(4) Have your existing employees be involved in the interview process to see how theinterview candidates interact within your existing structure, and how smoothly they would slot into your culture. This also empowers your existing employees as they play a part in the recruitment process, and feel valued as you are interested in their thoughts.

(5) Throw some curveballs in there to see how quickly your candidate responds under pressure, as well as the decisions that they make. You could have them answer a staged telephone call, or could ask them a question that has nothing to do with their job, but allows you to assess their ability to think on the spot.

(6) Don’t pay too much attention to qualifications unless it is something a where specialized skill is required, as in jobs such as doctors or lawyers, where some expertise is typically required! Just because someone was a great soccer player doesn’t mean that they will be an incredible coach. Just because someone has a PhD in Education doesn’t mean that they will be an incredible fitness coach in a room full of preschoolers. Believe me, I am talking from experience here…

What attributes do you look for in your candidates? Which factors immediately eliminate potential hires from your recruitment process? What are some interview tricks that you have up your sleeve to truly test your applicant’s’ capabilities? Please share your thoughts in the comments box below, and until next time, Expect the Exceptional in everything that you do.