10 Tips for Engaging your Staff Without a Cash Investment

The economy can understandably make companies focus more on cash flow than people.  We believe that the two concepts should not be distinct.  Mishandling employee engagement in times of financial restraint can actually cost a company more money through attrition, lost productivity and presenteeism.  Instead organizations need to be creative on how they focus on employee engagement when discretionary spending is not available.

Here are our top 10 ways to engage your staff without a cash investment.

  1. Be transparent with employees.  Talk about your financial restrictions.  Be sure to highlight why these steps have been taken and what the company to limit the impact of a bear economy.  Ask for ideas on how to cut costs.   Employees will appreciate your honesty as they will have heard rumblings of financial concerns and it is human nature to assume things are even worse when no one informs you of the details.  Plus you’ll be amazed by the ideas employees have to share when asked!
  2. Honour existing promises related to compensation and reimbursement.  If changes to these programs need to be made do them on a future forward basis.  Make sure your word remains trusted.
  3. Create a formal mentoring program to replace some or all of your professional development budget.  Match mentors and protégés based on learning interest not level of employment.  We can all learn from one another!
  4. Encourage employees to subscribe to free online libraries and blogs.  Also encourage employees who have access to an information resource through a previously paid professional membership to utilize those and share with their peers.
  5. Start a leadership book club.  Source biographies and leadership texts and audiobooks from your local library.  Ask readers to identify the one thing your organization should embrace from the reading.  Share these ideas with the Executive.
  6. Reward employees with a one on one coffee with the CEO, a Board Member or Executive with whom they do not normally interact.  Getting to know that there is a human in the C Suite and sharing an informal dialogue will be motivating for both parties.
  7. Hold a fundraising event.  It’s simple but true; helping others makes us feel good!  Fundraising together as a work team builds cohesion, increases morale and reminds people to have fun.  Events should be goofy and the charity selected should have a strong local presence for an even more positive impact on employee engagement.
  8. Say thank you.  Most people aren’t told often enough how much they are appreciated.  Make a point of doing this yourself and encourage others to do the same.  Challenge yourself to recognize 3 people every day by thanking them for a job well done.
  9. Look for ways to make the organization more flexible relating to hours of work.  We humans are simple creatures, if you ask us to work 9 to 5, most of us do just that.  However if you task us with deliverables and deadlines we focus on work and not the clock.  If you are able to allow employees the ability to flex their hours to work late some days and work less other days your organization will see an increase in productivity.
  10. Have leaders spend time every week walking around and talking to staff.  Ask employees how they are feeling, what concerns they have, what support they need for their jobs, etc.  It should be a relaxed dialogue with the leader focussed on listening to the employee not on delivering a predetermined message.  Make sure leaders follow up on any questions or actions they committed to address. The best way to show employees you care is by taking an interest in their wellbeing and concerns.

We’re Back!

HR Blueprints

Happy 2016!!  We are back!! Thank you to all of you who supported us while we took a breakto complete an exciting labout relations initiative where work with other cients would have been considered a conflict of interest.  We value your support!!

We are looking forward to bringing you an exciting year of content in 2016.  We have our ideas and would love to hear yours.  If you have a request for blog topics, are interested in being featured as a guest blogger, or simply have an HR question, please contact us at info@hrblueprints.com

Look for our latest article later this week.

For more details about our services and expertise visit our Website

 

Gen Y and Your Workplace (from our ‘Ask the Expert’ column in The Voice)

Q:  I have hired a younger employee and they do not get the way the world works.  When I was their age I worked long hours and was willing to do every task given to me.  What is wrong with this generation?

A: The presence of the youngest generation currently in the workforce, Generation Y, has caused many employers to scratch their heads.  There is nothing ‘wrong’ with this generation, it is just that they refuse to accept the current workplace norms just because they are the workplace norms.

The situation is not unlike when women started entering the workforce in large numbers.  Suddenly there was a rash of ‘women’s issues’ like parental leave and caregiver leave.  At the time it seemed like an impossible change to many employers but in reality it was a simple adjustment that benefited male and female employees alike.  Adapting to the needs of Generation Y is no different; the changes they are demanding will in fact positively impact everyone in the workplace.  Examples of these changes are:

•    A shift from managing by hours to deliverables – why do office organizations still have a punch clock mentality when the work performed is nothing like a factory environment?  Focus on what needs to be accomplished and manage by deliverables.  A work day should be about what you achieved not whether you worked 8 consecutive hours.

•    Add Flexibility – similar to the point above, don’t force someone to work a firm schedule unless it is a requirement of the job (e.g. receptionist, security guard).  Allowing employees to complete assigned tasks on their schedule within required deadlines can dramatically increase both productivity and engagement.

Most important are changes regarding communications.   Ask your employees what they want from their work environment.  This is a win-win proposition.  Remember happy employees work harder!

Start Spreading The News! HR Blueprints Heads to New York This Fall!

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Statue of Liberty (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The flights and rooms are booked and we’re ready to go! On September 26th, HR Blueprints will be providing a full day seminar at the 4 Points Sheraton Soho in Manhattan.

We are looking forward to sharing cutting edge HR strategies with organizations and HR professionals to our neighbours across the border.

Join us for all or any of the following education sessions designed to help you make your workplace more productive and your workforce more engaged!  Book 2 or more sessions and save!!!  REGISTER

0730 to 0930Boomers and Xers and Y’s, Oh My! (breakfast included)

There are currently four distinct generations in the workplace, each with a unique style and different needs and values.  This can create misunderstandings, conflict and strife in organizations. Learn how your organization can forge a strong and cohesive team across the generations.  Learn how generational diversity can be leveraged to create a more engaged workplace.  Learn about policies and practices that will attract younger generations as well as benefit and recognize more seasoned employees.

1000 to 1200Leveraging Flexible Work Arrangements to Drive Productivity (lunch included)

Employees are demanding work-life balance.  Employers want to do more with less.  But are these two concepts really in opposition to one another?

Learn about solutions that create more value for organizations, customers and employees.  Learn the underlying research, how these concepts can be applied in any organization, and how to positively impact the bottom line by being more flexible.

1200 to 1300Lunch (attendees from the 1030 or 1330 session invited to join us)

1300 to 1500Bias Free Selection – Screen For Talent (lunch included)

We may miss the best candidate simply because of our pre-conceived notions. In a business culture that is increasingly becoming diverse and vibrant, it becomes apparent that we cannot afford to turn down a world-class candidate because of their name, color or ethnicity. It’s time we consciously try to set our differences and perceptions apart to hire the best talent to our organizations.  Learn how to screen for talent to select the very best person for your workplace without bias.

1530 to 1730Behavioural Based Interviewing (snacks and refreshments included)

Is your organization struggling to find the right fit for your vacant roles?  Do you use your ‘gut’ when hiring only to be disappointed by the results?  Are you tired of paying the enormous cost associated with bad hires?  Learn the scientific foundation of this technique and how to leverage it in your organization.  Learn how to involve this technique into your existing selection processes to save time and money.

Key Communication Rules for Conflict Resolution

  • Create and Maintain a Supportive Atmosphere
    Try to see things from the employees’ perspective. You must both take the time to listen attentively to what each other has to say, and find out what it is the other person needs.
  • Be Confident
    State the problem as you understand it. Voice your needs clearly while still remaining open to what others have to say and what their needs may be.
  • Listen Actively
    Focus on what the other person has to say. Make sure your body language is open and receptive. Know when to be silent, let the other person finish completely. Try not to focus on your arguments while the other person is speaking. To clarify what he or she is saying, try summarizing or paraphrasing. This way you’ll ensure a better understanding of his or her point of view.
  • Probe for More Information
    Ask questions to drill down deeper into what the other person is saying. Ask for clarification in a way that will foster open dialogue. Discuss your differences openly. This way you may reveal an underlying issue or the true source of the problem.
  • Look for Non-verbal Clues
    The other person is speaking to you non-verbally as well as verbally. Be aware of his or her gestures, tone of voice, nervous habits, etc. Work on fine-tuning your ability to read non-verbal clues; as a manager, you may have to pick up on the subtle signs and respond to them.
  • Seek Common Ground
    When confronted with two opposing views, inquire about the underlying values and if appropriate, integrate the two conflicting positions rather than demand one of the parties to change his or her view.

HR Blueprints July Newsletter

Human Resource Blueprints July Newsletter
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Upcoming Webinar

HR.com
Join us on July 19th at 3:30pm for a presentation by Susan Haywood on Building Strong Multigenerational Teams.

There are currently four distinct generations in the workplace, each with a unique style and different needs and values. This can create misunderstandings, conflict and strife in organizations. From the Millenniums to the Boomers, we will cover the attributes common with each of these groups as well as what organizations can do to leverage these unique characteristics to their advantage.

You will learn:

  • How your organization can forge a strong and cohesive team across the generations.
  • How generational diversity can be leveraged to create a more engaged workplace.
  • Policies and practices that will attract younger generations as well as benefit and recognize more seasoned employees. 


Register here to secure your spot for this informative, free webinar!


Working in the Capital Wrap Up

WIC_Show-PageTime flies when you’re having fun!

We have completed our five episode pilot of Working in the Capital with Susan Haywood.

The program covered various employment topics such as  ‘Downsizing- Sizing up Your Options’, ‘Win-Win Interviewing’, and ‘Youth Employment Strategies’ all from a perspective that was informative for both the employer and employee audience. Each episode included two guest experts, sharing their insights on pertinent employment topics as well as an opportunity for viewers to call in with their questions and comments for discussion.

We would like to sincerely thank all our guest experts, viewers and the phenomenal team at Rogers for their support in making the program such a success!

Portions of the episodes will be available on our website in the weeks to come. Stay tuned!

The program will also rerun throughout the summer. For episode details and rerun times, visit  Rogers TV


Article of the Month

The concept of building effective work teams is not new to organizations. The team model is complex although when done well the results can be exceptional for productivity, innovation and employee engagement. Growing an effective multigenerational team requires some additional considerations.

This months article discusses suggestions on how leaders can effectively leverage all generations in the workplace.

Article Link


Blueprint of the Month

When working with multigenerational teams we need to understand the key drivers for each group. Studies show that Baby Boomers want teamwork, Generation Xers want independence, and Millennials want more responsibility.

How can we provide an environment that addresses all of these key drivers?

Shifting the responsibilities and tasks between these groups through delegation can be the answer to everyone’s needs!

Boomers are known for creating the ‘workoholic’ concept and are now starting to see that this is not the only way to attain success. By reducing the responsibilities owned by Boomers we can lighten their workload and provide the much needed balance they crave.

By preparing Generation Xers for their next role through self directed learning and increasing the autonomy of the tasks assigned, we will address their concerns for more independence.

Finally, by providing Millennials with more opportunities to contribute we can address their desire for more responsibility while relieving the workload from other groups.

Utilizing delegation as demonstrated above can be a very valuable tool and we encourage you to give it a try!

Remember that accountability of all parties and timely feedback is essential for success. Happy delegating!


News From the HR Blueprints Team

The month of June was certainly a busy one for the HR Blueprints team!

Katrina Waples, Talent Strategist at HR Blueprints has spent the last 6 weeks in the Ottawa Chinese Community Service Center Mentor to Mentor program as a mentor and facilitator. Katrina was recognized by the OCCSC and Integrated Resources Canada with a certificate of competency. This certificate is presented to mentors when they successfully assist their mentees in attaining employment that is aligned to their skills and abilities. Way to go Katrina!

Sue and Myles 2Preparation for the 2012 Army Run is underway for Sue Haywood!

Sue hopes to break the 2 hour mark on the half marathon distance. The Army Run raises funds for Soldier On, a non-profit organization that supports injured veterans
with both picking up the pieces of their lives and filling in the gaps that public agencies do not address.

NatalieFitness is no stranger to the HR Blueprints family…even the extended members! Katrina’s sister, Natalie Waples, is a figure competitor and IFBB pro. Check her out in the July issue of Oxygen magazine. You continue to inspire us Natalie!!




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Upcoming Virtual Conference Presentation on Building Multigenerational Teams

We are excited to announce that Susan Haywood will be hosting a virtual presentation on July 19th at 3:30pm to discuss how organizations can build effective mutligenerational teams.

There are currently 4 generations in the workplace.  This can be an incredible asset to your organization or a complete disaster.  How can your organization forge a strong and cohesive team across the generations? What policies and practices will attract the younger generations and also benefit and recognize your more seasoned employees?

Learn about the underlying social aspects that form the lens by which each generation looks at the workplace.  Gain an understanding about the challenges of a multigenerational workplace and learn effective management techniques to use with each generation to engage, motivate and ensure performance and growth.

Sign up for this free Virtual Conference presentation at HR.com