Workers Want Better Communication: Four Ways to Make It Happen
According to a recent study conducted by Survata, seven out of ten workers are interested in more frequent and meaningful communication from their employers, and it’s not hard to see why; these are complicated times for both employers and employees, and concerns about healthcare options and long term financial plans are taking center stage. Workers want to know what the future holds for their insurance, their pensions, their workplace benefits, and the growth of their careers. And they appreciate and respect employers who can provide clear answers. Here are four ways to build loyalty and improve retention by communicating more effectively with your teams.
Don’t drop news bombs on them.
When you have an unexpected announcement to make regarding, for example, the surprise departure of a respected company leader or a downward swerve in the company’s financial prospects, make the announcement quickly. Don’t sit with the information and let it stew while you spend days crafting the perfect message. This only feeds the rumor mill, which can undermine the strength of your message once it’s released. Make your announcements with strategy and diplomacy in mind, but make them quickly.
Know what “need to know” means.
If you have a message to release, but you’d like to keep it among insiders and essential personnel until you’re ready, do these “essential personnel” know who they are? If you rely on an information hierarchy, make sure the structure of this hierarchy is clear and consistent. Everyone in your inner circle should know where they stand. And everyone who radiates out from this inner circle should recognize and respect the way the lines are drawn.
Skip the long emails.
Don’t send out long emails laden with impenetrable blocks of text when you need to announce a change to the company health plan or business structure. Most employees don’t read long emails from HR, no matter how important the content may be. In fact, most employees won’t even read short emails, and they tend to get their information from other employees during face-to-face conversations. Engage your information hierarchy and make sure each person receives the message by word of mouth from a manager, HR pro, or trusted source.
Don’t just accept feedback; solicit it.
Request feedback from both employees and senior managers, and make sure every person in the company knows where to go and who to speak to make their voice heard. Make sure everyone feels comfortable airing greivances, reporting problems, requesting additional information, and registering opinions.
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Making a Counteroffer to a Departing Employee
One of your most talented employees and valuable contributors just delivered some unfortunate news: They’ve decided to pursue an offer elsewhere and they’re ready to submit her notice. You’re approaching a busy season and you’re not sure how you’re going to manage without their presence and their efforts…So what should you do? Should you say goodbye gracefully and let them go, or should you scramble to present a counter offer that might encourage them to change their mind? Before you decide, take these considerations into account.
Counteroffers are not a permanent fix.
More than 90 percent of employees who accept a counteroffer will be gone within 18 months. There’s a simple reason for this: A departing employee isn’t just looking for more money. A salary bump may sweeten the deal, but money or no money, the employee is ready to move on. You can lure them back to the fold temporarily, but you won’t be resolving the larger issue. They need growth, change, and new challenges. They may settle for the status quo for now, but don’t expect to see them around the office in five years.
Consider the value of the next 18 months.
Again, you can lure the employee back on board for the next 18 months (on average), but will they be happy during this time? Will you? Will you trust them as much as you have in the past, knowing that their interest lies beyond these walls? And more important, will they spend this period of time phoning in their efforts while they contemplate their next move? Put yourself in their shoes and imagine what you might do during this period. Chances are, you’d lean out, not in.
Team cohesion may suffer.
When their teammates know that the employee’s future plans lie elsewhere, they may not trust them with shared responsibilities and they may not connect as deeply with them on a social level. People don’t typically invest as much emotional energy in work relationships when their teammate has one foot out the door.
Money is powerful, but its power has limits.
Research shows that counter to common wisdom, money really CAN buy happiness…but only within certain limits. Over time, the happiness boost that comes from a raise begins to fade and previous levels of reported happiness return. Your departing employee may be pleased by your offer and may feel genuinely mollified and energized by this new level of income and new acknowledgment of respect and appreciation. But again, if they aren’t happy here, more money won’t permanently solve the problem. It may be wise to let them go and make this inevitable personnel transition sooner rather than later.
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For more on how to hire and retain the best employees in the marketplace, turn to the staffing experts at ACCENT Hiring Group and work with a top recruiter in Scottsdale.
The Real Way to Delegate Decisions and Empower Your Team
There’s an old saying that goes, “If you want something done right, do it yourself.” But there’s another, more accurate old saying that goes, “If you want to become an effective leader and truly help your team succeed, delegate.” As often as possible, include teams in decision making, execution, and the completion of meaningful work. If you have knowledge, share it. If you have a plan, bring others on board. Instead of powering through on your own, turn your growth and success into a true team effort. Here’s how.
Harness the power of consulting.
Encourage your teams to bring you questions, not problems. Don’t let them simply dump problems in your lap and leave them for you to solve. Allow the problem—whatever it may be—to stay in the employee’s purview, but make yourself available when the employee needs information and guidance. Take responsibility for the suggestions and insights you provide, and if they don’t pan out, share in both the cleanup and the learning process. But when they do pan out, make sure the employee played a fundamental role in the victory.
Provide the tools.
If the employee needs information that can be drawn directly from the company’s institutional knowledge, records, or resources, provide these tools and point the way. If your employee needs insights that are rooted in your own personal experience or training, share what you have. Just try to stop short of providing ready-made answers and clear-cut step-by-step instructions. The less hand-holding you do now, the less you’ll do in the future as your employee gains knowledge and independence.
Set a goal.
When a newer or younger employee comes to you with an issue, you’ll start small. Over time, you’ll provide fewer supports as he or she begins to rely on her own experience and the lessons of her own mistakes. As your delegation skills improve and strengthen, your employee’s skills will improve and strengthen as well. So how will you know when you’ve reached a goal or truly helped an employee grow? Keep an eye out for the day in which your employee knows what you’ll say before you have a chance to say it. When your employee can predict your answers, then place them into a context of personal knowledge and experience, you’ll know that you’ve done your job. You’ll also know that you can trust your teams to handle the crises and issues that arise when you aren’t there.
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If you are looking for the right employees to bring to your team who don’t need to be micro-managed, contact the ACCENT Hiring Group and work with the top recruiters in Scottsdale.
Five Ways to Become the Great Boss Everyone Wants
You’ve seen great bosses in action. You’ve known a few of them personally. You may have even had a few, or at least one, who stands out in your mind as a competent leader and motivational coach. So what can you do to find a place on someone else’s list of all-time great bosses? How can you make a name for yourself as a great boss everyone wishes they worked for? The long answer is far from simple and involves patience, experience, and trial and error. But over the short term, here are a few moves that can help you take steps toward your goal.
Look for any reason to celebrate. Great leaders share our joy and encourage us to savor positive moments and achievements. When we look back through the mists of time to the best bosses we’ve ever had, we often remember them smiling, giving out high fives, and making the most of large and small victories. Get excited about both performance (great employees doing great things) and growth (mediocre employees getting stronger). Get excited about team victories and individual victories. Get excited about permanent wins and temporary wins. In fact, get excited about everything. Love your work and let it show.
You justify your position as “boss” by claiming knowledge or influence others don’t have. This means you can be expected to withstand punches others can’t, and your responsibility and influence extend further than those of your employees. So when something goes wrong, step up and take the hit. If you truly have authority, the mistakes of your team ARE technically your fault. In the meantime, those who are weaker than you should be protected from fallout and backlash.
Do the right thing, always, even when nobody is watching and there’s no chance you could be caught. Make an unrelenting habit of always doing the right thing, and when you’re standing at a fork in the road, choose the ethical and responsible path…always. If you do this as a general matter, of course you’ll be trusted to do it in the future. Reputation and character are built on a foundation of small decisions that accumulate over the course of months and years.
Make Decisions but Get Input
Don’t make decisions on your own. Gather data from multiple sources and all available factors and evidence. And after you’ve reviewed the data and considered the evidence, pause before moving forward. You’re not trying to win the award for “correct decision maker;” you want the award for “great boss” and “person who interacts successfully with others.” Being a good boss is a social state, not a solitary one. In order to win trust, praise, support, and respect, you need to work well with others. And that means soliciting input before making high stakes decisions that affect other people.
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If you are looking for the right talent to join your team, turn to the recruiters at the ACCENT Hiring Group and work with a top recruiter in Scottsdale.
Measuring Potential: Approaches that Work
When you sit down with a prospective candidate to assess their fitness for the job, you have a few useful tools at your immediate disposal. For example, you can simply explain the nature of the job to the candidate and ask how well your description aligns with her career goals. If you need very specific technical skills, you can ask the candidate to describe his or her experience in these areas. Most candidates won’t blatantly claim expertise on a software platform they barely recognize. And of course, you can compare your hard requirements (like a non-negotiable college degree) with the information you find on the candidate’s resume. But these assessments are not easy to quantify. A college degree may not actually translate into applicable knowledge, and a candidate’s claims may have a different meaning to them than to you. So how can you attach some numbers to an inherently subjective process? Consider the benefits of testing and measured assessments.
Potential is the new performance.
Over the past several years, many management experts have been obsessed with the search for measurable, reliable metrics that can help them put a number on employee performance. But now the tide is shifting toward potential, specifically, the potential of prospective candidates. Employers now know that the best way to fix staffing problems to avoid them by hiring the right people in the first place.
Rely on targeted skills tests.
Test candidates using assessment models that target very specific skill sets, the ones that best reveal daily success in the position. Don’t waste your time and burden your applicants by assigning the same panel of tests to all potential hires across the board. For example, not all “writing”, “basic math” or “database management” skills are the same; measure only the specific ones that matter most.
Test attitude as well as aptitude.
Cultural alignment can also serve as a profound predictor of success, but fortunately, there are a few ways to attach numbers to this quality. Choose a personality indicator or assessment model that reveals character traits you’d like to measure, such as leadership skills, team skills, flexibility, extroversion, or assertiveness. Don’t rely on a single personality assessment model (like the Meyers-Briggs Assessment) to outweigh a long list of other qualities that predict a positive match. Instead, take a balanced approach.
For more on how to determine a given candidate’s potential contributions and chances of success, turn to the management recruiters at ACCENT Hiring Group and work with a top staffing agency in Scottsdale!