How to Foster High Performance by Creating the Right Workplace Culture

workplace-culture

Having the right workplace culture can make all the difference, in regards to your company’s success. As a company executive, you’ve probably wondered about the things you can do to boost the productivity and performance of your organization. While nothing can change how your employees feel about their duties and responsibilities or who they work for, organizational culture can boost engagement levels and improve the day-to-day experience of your employees.

Culture is defined as the collective mind and heart of an organization. There are a lot of things that affect the attitudes of your employees about their duties and responsibilities and who they work for. When most managers conduct culture assessments, they find that most mechanisms, activities, and processes connected to the experience of employees affect their attitude toward their work and organization. The biggest influence on the experience of an employee is their managers.

 How managers can create the right workplace culture to foster high performance

1. Create meaningful values and communicate them

Organizational values are not philosophical principles. Values help in guiding employees on how they should interact with customers, the community, and with each other. Your organization should have no more than five values to make it easier for employees to understand and remember what’s important to the organization.

Leaders should communicate the values and the expected behavior linked to each value. This will help employees to know what’s expected of them thus reducing uncertainty and ensuring that everyone’s behavior is aligned with the values of the organization. The best way for managers to communicate values to their employees is by setting a good example. Values do not just apply to frontline staff but the entire organization including senior management. For organizational values to have meaning, leaders should adhere to them every day.

2. Proper selection is key

Most of the time, managers rush to fill a vacant position in the organization without asking the right questions. And this leads to poor hiring decisions. Most managers look at the experience of a candidate to determine their employability. But according to essay reviews, successful leaders, on the other hand, look at how well the individual will work with others. It’s important to ensure that the candidate fits with the values and culture of the organization.

Human resource managers should consider using questions that have

workplace-culture

been tailored around the core values of the organization to know their candidates and make the right hiring decision. Another great way to conduct proper selection is by using a behavioral-interview approach. This method ensures that candidates engage in an activity during the interview process. This activity will help in pushing candidates out of their comfort zone and provide an opportunity to assess behaviors instead of asking a lot of questions.

3. Enhance the onboarding and orientation process

Research studies have shown that close to thirty percent of new hires quit within the first three months of working. To prevent this from happening to you, you should ensure that new hires receive an engaging and effective orientation during the first few days on the job together with an excellent onboarding process. It is important to set up success for new hires during this period to ensure that they feel connected to their team, job, and organization.

You can do this by establishing the right priorities from the first day. Ensure that all employees are happy and feel welcomed from the first day. By creating an organized training program and testing the comprehension of new hires, you will reduce turnover and boost the productivity and performance of your organization.

4. Communicate with all employees

The one thing that leads to poor engagement levels, low productivity, and an increased turnover rate in most organizations, according to a pro essay writer, is poor communication. Most managers are usually surprised when employees or teams report that there is ineffective communication because they think they communicate with their employees regularly. The key issue is not the quantity but the quality of communication transmitted within an organization.

Business leaders can improve communication in the organization by keeping their words short and simple, using their tone and body language effectively, and communicating in a timely fashion. Using the right channels to communicate and reinforce a message is also important. Keep in mind that communication is a two-way process. Checking on your employees regularly to ensure that they understood your message is important.

5. Recognize your employees

workplace-culture

Recognition is a great way to reinforce good habits, make employees feel appreciated, boost engagement and retain the best talent. However, most employees don’t feel appreciated in the workplace. A research study found that 63 percent of employees don’t feel like they get praised enough in the workplace. Every employee learns and processes information differently. Therefore, managers should ensure that they recognize their employees effectively.

Managers should use different methods to recognize their employees. And they should be based around writing, saying, or doing something. The best ways to recognize your employees include writing thank you cards or emails, mentioning their achievements in meetings, or coming up with a fun recognition program. Employees are different. Therefore, recognition should be tailored to meet the needs of every person.

6. Coach your employees

Informal feedback is one of the best ways to help your employees understand how their behaviors measure up to your expectations. Research studies have shown that 32 percent of employees wait for at least three months to get feedback from their managers. This makes it harder for employees to measure their performance and link it to the expected results. Informal feedback can be effective by ensuring that it is timely, fair, and balanced. You should explain why specific behaviors are important and include a gesture of appreciation.

7. Show employees that you care about the workplace culture

Showing your employees that you care about them individually and you’ll do whatever it takes to improve the culture of your organization. You can do this by listening to their needs and supporting them as much as you can. As you listen, make sure that you listen attentively and try to understand the perspective of your employees.

Conclusion on Workplace Culture

Successful leaders are always on the lookout for areas that need adjustments or improvements. While workplace culture is complex, the tips that we’ve shared here will help you foster high performance in the organization.

Author Bio:

Leon Collier is a blogger and academic writer from the UK. He likes trying new subjects and is always focused on proving his worth as a writer in new and challenging writing areas. His hobbies are reading books and playing tabletop games with his friends. You can reach him via Twitter @LeonCollier12.

 

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Starting Your Own Business While Studying at College

Starting Your Own Business

Starting a Business While in College

While starting your own business in college may tempt students to discontinue their studies, it is a good idea if one has a good plan and is focused. There have been many cases of students incorporating companies and expanding them while in college and beyond.

If you are passionate about something like writing, think of how to convert it into a profitable venture. For example, you could be a college paper writer. Use the skills and knowledge you have to start a business and focus on achieving long-term goals and being successful.

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College resource availability

Colleges and universities offer free consultations and have internet access to enhance business research. The college professors often like being involved in meeting rooms, student startups, and other resources, some of which can be quite expensive outside campus.

It is easier to consult professors or your fellow students and gather insights into generating a business idea or how to develop a website. The college may form part of the first market for your products.

After creating a website with the help of your colleagues or professors, start creating content to attract your online audience. You can also find resources on how to improve website content to get more leads and boost profitability.

Gain professional skills when starting your own business

Starting a business while in college is a perfect way to gain professional skills that are needed in the marketplace. It can improve your skills in time management, professional communication, teamwork and collaboration, creativity, and problem-solving.

Starting a business is a way to prove that you possess the above professional skills and are ready to learn more. Some organizations are looking to hire graduates with an entrepreneurial mindset, so acquiring skills early could be a ticket to landing a good job. They prefer people who can contribute to value addition and make a difference.

Ask for help with studying

After you start your own business while in college, think of how to create time for it and continue studying and doing assignments. Maybe you have done the research and are not sure of how to go about citation using Turabian The good news is that Turabian citation generator 9th edition by Edubirdie has the tips needed to cite research sources. The citation generator will simplify the writing process so that you have more time to continue running a business in college.

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Practicing what you learn when starting your own business

Practicing is one of the best ways to learn and you can achieve this through a college startup. Launching a business related to the course you are taking in college can make the curriculum more interesting and valuable.

For instance, a computer studies course may help you to create a software solution for your business. Similarly, a marketing course could help you to understand the marketing dynamics, product design, and development.

Low-risk exposure

Starting a business in college comes with high rewards and minimal risk because it involves a low initial capital outlay. You are committed to your studies and therefore, if anything goes wrong, it will be easier to try something else or continue studying.

However, this does not mean that you should start the business casually or as a by the way. College time is short and it is important to manage time effectively by researching a business idea thoroughly before launching it.

Starting small guarantees minimal exposure to operational and financial risks that are common in larger establishments. It may take some time to pursue activities such as IT systems, supply chain, and recruitment that could expose your business to operational risks. Similarly, it may be difficult to incur debts that could expose your business to financial risk.

Benefit from professional network as you’re starting your own business

Launching a business while at college provides an opportunity to use professional networks from within the institution and beyond. The professional networks include partners who can provide complementary skills for your business project.

Some professionals know about website development, marketing strategies, or product design. You can also advertise your products or services around campus and through the college social networks.

If you are looking for a space for your initiative, the careers service or your department could be resourceful. Get into professional networking events or college alumni organizations to take advantage of any support that can grow your business.

Conclusion

Starting your own business at college is a good idea because resources are available and it will help you to gain professional skills. It also provides opportunities for practical application of skills while reducing business risk and offering a professional network. Take time to identify a good business idea based on your passion, launch your business while in college, and be as committed as possible.

Author’s Bio:

Jeremy Raynolds works as a team leader in a large publishing company and he handles a team of experienced writers and editors who work on academic papers. He’s himself a popular essay writer and has helped numerous students do their school and college writing work. His free time is for writing poems, watching classic movies and reading sci-fi novels.

 

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Why Are Your Best Employees Leaving and How to Stop It?

Employees Leaving

Description: A high employee turnover rate is always bad for a company. Therefore, it’s your job to understand employees leaving and how to stop them from doing so. Learn more in our comprehensive article that we’ve put together for you!

Employee turnover is expensive for any business, whether it sells clothes or cleans up space junk. It’s estimated that replacing an employee can cost roughly $40,000, including advertising, recruitment, training time, and the lost productivity in the middle. We also know that if the best employees are leaving, the negativity surrounding the process can damage the company as well.

Based on studies, almost one-third of employees plan to leave their companies within 12 months. There are a lot of factors that lead to increased employee turnover. In this article, we will look at why employees leave and some solutions to reduce employee turnover rates.

Why Are Employees Leaving?

Some subtle and emotional factors that play essential roles in employees deciding to pack up and leave include the following.

  1. Lack Of Appreciation

One of the main reasons why employees leave is because they feel undervalued and underappreciated. It has been found that approximately 66% of employees leave if they do not feel valued. This number is even higher for younger staff; studies show that almost 8 out of 10 millennials would instead look for new opportunities if they feel unappreciated by their leaders or colleagues.

Companies that have taken a strategic approach towards recognizing their employees have seen a vast improvement in staff retention. There is a link between recognition and a low turnover rate.

  1. Lack Of Flexible Work Options

Most companies have now started offering some degree of flexibility to retain the best talent as part of the core employee offering, with options ranging from remote working to compressed hours. More than half of the organizations today have seen employees leave because of a lack of flexibility. Flexibility is a perk that all age groups appreciate. Less than 10% of employees would choose the office as the preferred destination to get essential tasks done.

  1. Poor Mental Health

For some time, the impact of poor mental health on a staff member’s performance and the economy has been studied. Based on employee turnover statistics, it has been found that UK companies face a loss of approximately £42 billion every year – out of which £8 billion loss is caused by leaving because of mental health issues.

It can be said that 3 out of 5 employees leave their organizations due to mental health challenges, which is one of the most important reasons for quitting. Poor mental health is an issue that is seen irrespective of gender or age. Based on the survey, many people quit their jobs because of mental health, with long work hours as the primary factor.

  1. Relationship With The Employer/Management

Additional research has shown that most people quit their jobs because of the boss, not the company. Leaving a bad manager is one of the most common reasons why employees quit, with 75% of ex-workers doing so because of their boss, not the job or company itself.

The relationship with the direct manager is vital for several success factors for the employee, like engagement, morale, and productivity. For whatever reason, if there is a breakdown in this relationship, it can lead to job dissatisfaction, anxiety, and mistrust. According to statistics, it has been found that almost 79% of employees leave a company due to bad leadership; in fact, most of these employees have stated that they would return back to their old jobs if the boss/manager was replaced.

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  1. Lack Of Career Growth

Based on studies, it has been concluded that lack of career development and growth is another common reason why staff members leave their jobs. Most quit because they do not get the opportunity to better their performance or learn new skills, even though most companies provided career development tools. Sadly, only a few believed that these tools were working.

More than 40% of the departing employees cited lack of future career development as a deciding factor for leaving the job. Out of these, 28% were actively looking for new employment while the rest were waiting for these opportunities if they came their way.

How Do You Avoid Employees Leaving?

Here are some things that you can do if you want to learn how to prevent employees leaving:

  1. Always Be Generous With The Paychecks

There is only so far you can go with underpaying your staff members. If you continue to do so, they will start nurturing a grudge against you and will readily take up a job when offered by your competitors. Just because you want to save some money, you will lose a valuable member of your team. Hence, it is advised that you hire the best people for your job and pay them as much as you can for the responsibility.

Interestingly, statistics have shown that employees often get a new offer from competition brands during the first year of joining your company.

  1. Introduce Smooth And Transparent Communication

One of the best ways to reduce employee turnover is to run regular feedback sessions with your employees. This way, you can prevent a valuable employee from leaving because you will understand the challenges and difficulties they face. For instance, your staff member might be feeling undervalued, or it has been a long time since he or she has been promoted or on vacation.

If you understand what problems they are facing, you should make an effort to address these issues. Even if you cannot do so, it is suggested that you take the help of others in your team. It is always better to talk about a situation before they become unmanageable and/or critical.

  1. Set Ambitious Goals For Star Employees

Most people have no idea what they are looking for. It means that you should always talk with your subordinates and try to understand their plans and ambitions for the future. Then, ensure that you include these plans in their work. This will help you prevent employees leaving.

You need to become a mentor and help your employees grow professionally. Your employees should be handed ambitious goals and complex tasks; additionally, make sure that you support them to get the task done without being afraid of possible problems.

Another thing you can do is offer relocation opportunities that can help them gain knowledge and skills required to progress in their chosen career path. To ensure a smooth move for your employees, you can partner with an experienced relocation company like ARC Relocation that can provide tailor-made assistance to employees including sorting important documents, finding accommodation and more.

  1. Build Strong Connections to Avoid Employees Leaving

If you want your team to be successful, everyone needs to help and trust one another. This becomes impossible if there is no ‘friendship’ between peers. As a leader, your task is to foster internal employee relationships via various team-building activities.

You should always mind your attitude when you are working with your employees. Always be close to them and understand if they are facing any troubles; try to solve their internal conflicts. Ensure that there is a positive atmosphere within your office.

  1. Reward Good Work

It’s one of the best strategies to reduce employee turnover. Rewarding for a task done well will encourage healthy competition and bring unity to your team. Additionally, it will also demonstrate to the workers how vital they are for the company.

You should remember that money is not the only type of incentive. You can also provide your hires leaves for a couple of days or attend a conference or workshop in different cities. Any type of reward will be well-received.

  1. Address False Hopes to Avoid Employees Leaving

One very effective high employee turnover solution is to address false hopes. When there is minimum openness, it will eventually stir distrust; this will harm productivity. Therefore, it is advised that you do not hide the development of your company from your employees.

For instance, let’s consider that you value a specific employee but cannot give him a raise or promotion for now. In such a case, you must convey the message and the reason why you cannot do so. It will prevent your employees from developing high hopes and eventually the feelings of resentment when these hopes are not met.

  1. Just Let It Go

Of course, there is nothing you can do if your employee wants to leave. You should learn to let go and not have any resentment towards the now ex-worker in such cases. At this point, all you can do is try to maintain a healthy employee turnover rate by getting in new employees and ensuring that they stay for at least a year.

Final Thoughts on Employees Leaving

As mentioned above, the costs of employee turnover are incredibly high. Therefore, HR managers and bosses need to understand the underlying reasons why employees leave. Only with the help of these facts can you make the required changes to prevent a high employee turnover rate.

What’s your take on this? Let us know in the comments!

Author’s Bio:

Emily Moore is an English & programming teacher with a passion for space and blogging. She believes that current exploration should be focused on preserving our planet’s resources. With satellites circling the orbit, it is easier to get relevant data on any environmental changes. This, in turn, should help people quickly address any challenges.

 

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5 Ways a Company Can Accumulate Student Interns to The Workplace

5 Ways a Company Can Attract Student Interns

Are you using student interns in your business? Are you in charge of recruitment at a firm in need of extra hands to get things moving? Have you considered that students eager to learn may be an ideal resource for your company? And the best part is that the outstanding ones can end up staying with you after graduation.

Internship programs are potent recruitment tools that you can use anytime you want to help your company grow. Whether you are running a college essay writing service or own an FMCG business, you can benefit from learning how to create an internship program. But how exactly can you accommodate students as interns in your company? Keep reading to find out strategies for leveraging internship opportunities and growing your business.

1.    Offer paid internship programs

It doesn’t take a genius to know that students prefer getting paid while learning rather than interning for free. Although you can employ interns without paying them, there are strict conditions. And running an unpaid internship program will restrict your interns from taking on specific roles and working for more than a given number of hours weekly.

Paying interns motivates them to demonstrate their best at work. They will also be more likely to tell other students about your program, giving you free publicity. Thus, we strongly recommend paying interns or providing additional facilities to help them meet their intern goals. Offer them networking opportunities, transportation and excellent recommendation letters to make their internship experience smoother.

student interns

2.    Run virtual internships

When you put out an internship advert, you can expect students from all over the country to pick interest in it. But if it’s a location-based internship, some candidates may refuse due to distance barriers. So in an age where we are smoothly transitioning to virtual living, it comes as no surprise that companies now have virtual internships.

Virtual interns can work from anywhere — home, school, even other countries. This flexibility gives you access to more interns than could have physically fit in your office. It will also ensure that bright students living far away can apply to work with you. And if your company can’t afford to pay interns, global virtual internships may be an alternative. You can hold such internships and have students work up to 10 hours every week unpaid.

3.    Position to qualify for credit internships

To entice potential interns, consider targeting students looking for extra credits. Some schools reach agreements with their students to give them college credits based on their internship. Clerical or mechanical roles may not qualify for this kind of internship, so if you want to attract more students, tweak your model to suit their needs.

Study the curricula of students in your industry and create a program strongly related to it. Companies qualify for credit internships based on how related their programs are to students’ academic disciplines. The schools often task their students to defend what they learned during their training, write an intern essay, fill a logbook, etc. When you combine the prospects of a paid internship and college credits, you can see why students will love to work in your company.

4.    Host your internship in the summer

Timing can make a lot of difference in how many students you can absorb into your company. Internship programs can run throughout the year in line with academic windows, but we recommend targeting summer periods. Students are less occupied during the summer and are available to work for longer. Running summer internships will pay off as you will have more hands on deck to get things done around the workplace. The key is to post adverts for your internship opening as early as possible so that more students see it and plan accordingly.

5.    Ensure student interns do meaningful work

As much as students want to earn, they crave meaningful work. The interns wish to learn, sharpen their skills and pick up new ones relevant to their industry. Students will generally avoid internship programs that their predecessors have complained about after being used for menial tasks that added little value to them. When you take interns, ask them this crucial question: “What do you hope to gain from this experience?” Knowing your interns’ expectations will help you put them in departments that they are best suited for. This step will also let you know whether their expectations are in line with your company’s core values.

Wrapping Up

Properly planned internship programs benefit both employers and student interns. But to attract suitable candidates to work with you, you must understand their needs and create an enabling environment for them to work, learn and earn. Following these five strategies will help you absorb as many interns as your company needs to thrive.

Author’s Bio

Amanda Dudley

Amanda Dudley is a lecturer and writer with over ten years of experience. In 2001, she obtained a Ph.D. in History from Stanford University and ever since then, she has pursued a fulfilling career in the education system. Currently, she works as a part-time essay writer at EssayUSA, a reputable essay writing service.

 

 

 

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15 STRATEGIES TO RUN TEAM MEETINGS

Team Meetings

STRATEGIES TO RUN TEAM MEETINGS

Team Meetings are an essential part of the business environment, as well as the healthy functioning of teams. But to be helpful, they have to be done well. When done effectively, team meetings can propel the company as a whole on the path of progress. But when overlooked, it can hinder growth and foster stagnation.

TEAM MEETINGS – HOW TO RUN ONE WELL

So, how can you run an effective team meeting? Let’s find out.

Why Have Team Meetings?

So, what is the deal with team meetings? Do I need a team meeting? What are the benefits of having team meetings?

There may persons who wish team meetings could just be erased, and I hear you. But then, the benefits of these team meetings are significant and can enhance the team’s overall productivity. Here are a few benefits of having regular team meetings.

  •         To provide information

Whenever there is information to be disseminated to all team members, the team meeting is the perfect venue. Major points can be explained and emphasized without having to repeat the same thing to all members individually.

  •         To give room for feedback and Ideas

While the information may be a one-sided flow of intelligence /instruction from hierarchy to subordinates, feedback is the medium of reverse flow from subordinates to hierarchy. Feedback encompasses the team members’ reactions and performances for improvement. Team members, via team meetings, can express their challenges and opinions for the team’s betterment.

  •         To strengthen a team

Getting together as a team in a team meeting instills that sense of commitment, unity, and togetherness, as team members get to interact with each other.

  •         To enhance team collaboration

Team meetings create that avenue for team members to share information and collaborate actively to better the team.

meeting colorful

Types of team meetings you need to know

There are various types of team meetings, each defined by some general considerations discussed later.

Onboarding Team Meetings

An onboarding meeting is a team meeting specifically designed to get team members on board with the team.  These onboarding meetings are particularly suitable when new team members are hired.

When there is a recruit to the team, there needs to be that avenue to educate that individual(s) on the team’s general workings and their specific role. The onboarding avenue allows for training and orientation of new team members. These meetings help expose the organization’s structure, current and upcoming projects, and the newbie’s role in the team’s duties.

And the benefits don’t end there. These onboard meetings also help jumpstart the newbie’s relationship with management and other company arms as a whole.

Depending on the specific situation, there may be a need for more than one onboarding meeting. Here are a few meetings that can help new hires settle into their new role.

  •         1-on-1s: A one-on-one meeting with an existing key member of the team will go a long day to settling in a recruit, especially when done on the first day and with someone the recruit will be working with, like a direct manager or team leader.
  •         Meet the team: an introductory team meeting is necessary for recruits to meet the team within a few days of working. Such a meeting doesn’t have to be as formal as most meetings, as even a lunch or coffee meeting will do the trick.
  •         Tools training: If the team member will be working with tools, systems, software, etc., it is essential to schedule specific training to cover this.
  •         HR, Operations, and Facilities: The logistical side of operations is essential for team members, and as soon as possible, expose these newbies to such aspects as human resources, operations, and operation facilities.

Brainstorming Team Meetings

Ideas are the fuel to every successful business, and it is vital to keep a fresh influx of ideas. To do this, brainstorming team meetings are necessary.

Brainstorming team meetings aim to generate many ideas in so little time without critically examining and judging the ideas right then. The key to a successful brainstorming meeting is to focus on the plethora of ideas and not necessarily their feasibility. After brainstorming, you can carefully examine and choose feasible ideas to implement for the business’s growth.

Kick-off Team meetings

team meeting flip chartWhenever there are innovations or projects for a company, there needs to be an avenue to educate team members duly. The kick-off meeting is that avenue to fill team members in on the plan.

When adequately executed, team members become conscious of the long-term objectives of the project/initiative and can more effectively fit themselves in. This type of team meeting reveals the part each team member will play in the realization of the end project, and they can, by this knowledge, buy into the initiative. The enthusiasm of team members dramatically determines the project’s overall success, and that hinges on the success of kick-off team meetings.

Feedback and retrospective Team Meetings

As kick-off meetings are essential for initiating new projects, there needs to be evaluation and transfer of experience among team members. This is where feedback and retrospective team meetings come into play.

Seeing that no project ever executes perfectly, retrospective meetings are important because they present the opportunity for team members to exchange their experiences, highlighting what went well and what didn’t like the project wraps. These lessons and experiences go a long way to foster improvements for future projects.

Budget and financial meetings

When it comes to money, communication issues can spur quickly, and there needs to be a forum dedicated to examining financial issues.

Tension quickly springs up around finances, and financial team meetings are essential for addressing any concerns. After having decided what is to be done in other team meeting types, there needs to be a conclusion on who’d pay/get paid to do it and the costs of achieving it.

For adequate budget and financial team meetings, some central questions have to be answered clearly:

  •         How much money will be spent?
  •         What exactly is the money being spent on?
  •         What kind of return should be expected on the investment?

Having everyone up to speed on necessary financial matters will help curb any future tensions or conflicts and provide better accountability, transparency, and financial management on the team.

Consideration for Setting up Team Meetings

The previously discussed types of team meetings are defined by some general considerations like frequency of meetings, the composition of meetings, motivation, and decision process

Frequency

The frequency defines the number of team meetings held in a defined period. The frequency of team meetings could be daily, weekly, or monthly. There are also irregular, ad hoc, quarterly, and annual meetings.

  •         When team members are all assigned to a joint project, the daily team meeting works have to work together towards a common objective and need to arrive at decisions informally by unanimous agreement before progress is made.
  •         The weekly, monthly, or quarterly team meeting applies when team members work on different but parallel projects. There is some degree of competition among projects, and decisions are likely to be arrived at by the chairperson.
  •         The irregular, ad-hoc, or “special project” team meeting can be constituted when people, who usually do not come in contact with each other or do generally not constitute the same daily working team, are united by a desire to realize the success of a project for which they are united. Team members usually have an active role in decision-making.

Composition

Composition considers whether or not team members usually work together on the same project, as teachers in the same school department, or they have parallel tasks like plant managers and regional sales managers of a company. Are they strangers to one another united by the meeting, or do they regularly cross paths?

Motivation

Are team members cemented by a common goal in their work, like football players on a team, or do they have some competitive elements like research units in a company?

Decision process

How are decisions ultimately arrived at in team meetings? Is it by a majority vote, consensus, or decision-making in the chairperson’s charge after considering the facts, opinions, and discussions?

large team meeting

Types of team meetings to avoid

After exploring various types of team meetings expedient for efficiency in the team’s functioning, some team meeting types should be avoided as they have no benefit to team members’ productivity.

Status update meetings

While status updates are essential in the team’s overall functioning, Tools like e-mails, pagers, and even phone calls can suffice to give a status update. More digital channels for status updates are recommended and better suited for team health and efficiency.

Agenda-less Meetings

Organizing meetings without a plan or clearly defines objectives is an excellent way to waste time and company resources.

An effective team meeting should have a clearly defines objective and expected outcomes from the team meeting.

Too many meetings?

Meetings are good, but bouncing from one meeting to another without productive outcomes is wasteful and completely unnecessary. Meetings do not necessarily need to be too frequent to enhance team efficiency.

Follow the right modus operandi in setting up team meetings and follow through on discussions and resolutions, and only consider another team meeting when the situation indeed calls for one.

team high five

15 Strategies to Effectively Run a Team Meeting

Before the Meeting

1. Define team meeting objective(s)

Team meetings can have a range of objectives, like providing information, updates, teeing input from others, or address problems or challenges.

You shouldn’t just hold a team meeting on the assumption that team members would understand the reason for the meeting. No! It would help if you had a well-stated and well-communicated objective – the intended outcome of the meeting.

2. Develop a clear agenda for the team meeting

Once the meeting objective is clearly articulated to team members, then a meeting agenda should be developed. The agenda should reflect the key talking points for the meeting and communicated them to team members before the meeting commences. Having foreknowledge of what will be done in the meeting prepares the team members for the meeting. It helps in time management as discussions will be confined to stipulated objectives as in the agenda.

3. Link the agenda with the team mission

It is pretty easy for team meetings to stray from the mission and vision of the company. The company vision and mission define all business’s key objectives and must be reflected in team meetings and fed into team meeting agendas.

Team meetings should mission-related discussions to keep team members abreast of their role in the company’s growth. Remember, team meetings aren’t just for handling reports, motions and deadlines.

4. Determine the suitable medium for the team meeting

Is the meeting going to be an in-person meeting, or is it going to be a virtual meeting? The decision has to be made based on the objectives of the meeting and team members’ communication. The medium chosen will define the type of preparations needed for the meeting.

5. Be prepared

To have an effective team meeting, take time to make the necessary preparations for anything that may be needed during the meeting in advance. Meetings may require stationery like paper, pens, and some other tools depending on the purpose of the meetings, like financial records, bank statements, laptops, etc. As such, careful planning and preparation should be done, such that the time for the meeting isn’t mismanaged and reallocated to assembling needing materials, which should have been done earlier.

And it isn’t limited to just stationary. Who is going to chair the meeting? Who will act as the secretary of the meeting, taking down relevant minutes and resolutions from the meeting? These should be decided, and the relevant individuals communicated to avoid last-minute appointments that can significantly hamper team meetings’ productivity.

team meeting laptop

During the Meeting

1.  Connect with everyone in the meeting

The purpose of meetings is to have face-to-face discussions and not to share information. What happens many times with team meetings is, the team meeting starts with the distribution of some data, and while talking is ongoing, team members have their heads tilted to the paper, losing connection with what is being discussed.

Preferably, share the needed information before the meetings, such that team members are well informed and can freely participate in team meeting discussions.

Team meetings are meant to establish a connection among team members, and everyone in the meeting should have that connection. This will keep everyone mentally on edge brainstorming and the same page.

2.  Let some fun into team meetings

To most persons, the words meeting and fun cant possibly appear in the same sentence. But you can bring in about of fun to team meetings. This extra bit of excitement can go a long way to ease tensions in a meeting, relieve fatigue, and spark team members’ creativity.

You could introduce some games to team meetings. Yes, you read that right! Games like trading cards, brain-writing, the anti-problem, etc., can really liven a team meeting. And it doesn’t end there. You could also introduce story-telling in a team meeting as you ask someone to tell a success story. You could even use team meetings for seasonal awards to team members. These fun ideas can bring life to a monotonous meeting.

Fun in meetings can create team members’ enthusiasm about team meetings as they’d always look forward to participating in them.

3.  Encourage Participation of Team Members

Sometimes, team members fail to participate in team meetings because they are oblivious f the objectives of the meeting or the procession of activities in the meeting. As such, it is imperative to have a relevant and well-communicated team meeting objective and agenda. This will encourage team members to participate in team meetings, sharing their opinions, and actively participating in decision-making processes.

In team meetings, be sure to give every member a chance to lead a discussion and present their ideas and viewpoints. When team members feel the push to participate, their excitement towards meetings will be shot up, and they will actively partake in discussions and decisions.

Be it in giving ideas or posing questions, all group members should contribute to group meeting discussions. Some easy ways to get input from team members in a group meeting include:

  •         Regularly prompt, especially those who haven’t spoken up yet, asking for their input during team meetings.
  •         Engaging team members in brainstorming exercises to trigger and encourage idea synthesis.
  •         Delegating follow-up responsibilities from the meeting to team members, requiring them to present reports and findings in subsequent meetings.

4. Differentiate Fact from Opinion

As much as opinions and contributions should be welcomed from team members in a team meeting, there should also be references from facts. There should be data included in team discussions towards growth and progress. The team can’t rely on guesswork or conjecture.

There should be an analysis of data, trends, reports, etc., to guide the team towards practical discussions and action. A presentation of analyzed data on team productivity measured by, for example, team members’ punctuality can be done before discussions emerge based on the presented data. This will ensure discussions and deductions are fact-based and logical.

5. Periodically Recap Objectives

With team meetings, it is pretty commonplace for discussions to stray from meeting objectives and agenda. Tomeeting’she meeting’s objectives aren’t forgotten; it is crucial to recap the agenda and objectives as the meeting unfolds regularly.

Also, regular recaps of conclusions and agenda items will help keep discussions focused, thus keeping time-waste and off-topic discussions minimum.

meeting

At the End of the Meeting

1. Make the meeting actionable

After having discussed strategies and ideas for progress, what comes next? How do you know members remember what was discussed and are taking steps towards implementation?

At the end of the meeting, you can ask each team member to present their individual goals based on the discussions and conclusions arrived at in the team meeting. This will serve as a recap of discussions and ensure the retention of information by participants. The meeting should end in a way that pushes for action on the part of team members.

2. Make Decisions

Though it may have deliberations and significant contentions, an effective team meeting should always have a clear-cut decision and conclusion. You shouldn’t just dance around issues and end the meeting without drawing conclusions and making a decision agreement. This could even be in the form of agreeing to adjourn the proceeding discussions to a later date.  Making decisions ensure the team doesn’t stagnate in a deadlock situation. Always ensure the meeting ends with a decision.

3. Define the way forward

At the end of the meeting, communicate a summary of proceedings from the meeting and the way forward and next steps with the individuals responsible for those steps. Also, communicate what has to be done, when it has to be done, who has to do it, and how it contributes to the project at hand.

4. Ensure Efficient Follow Up of Decisions

For a team meeting to be deemed effective, there needs to be a follow-up of proceedings from the meeting to ensure no vital information from the meeting is lost. Members are fully aware of all conclusions arrived at in the meeting. This can be done via e-mail or in subsequent team meeting discussions.

Also, there should be specifications as to who will handle what deliverables from a team meeting. A decision from a meeting won’t do much good until it is executed, and there should be a strategy implemented to follow up the implementation of decisions.

You should assign tasks to individuals with specific deadlines. This will increase the efficiency of team members while minimizing duplication of efforts.

5. Close on a note of achievement

The ending of a team meeting matters, and it should always end on a note of achievement. Even if the last item on the agenda was inconclusive, you could refer to an earlier resolved item to instill a feeling of achievement and progress to the team meeting participants.

So, there you have it. With these strategies, you can effectively run a team meeting.

 

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Delegation in Management: Where do you need to be right now? By Jim Sullenger

delegation in management

Delegation in Management

Years ago when I first started in management training I had a great mentor who shepherded me through the basic parts of floor and delegation management  with McDonald’s.

The operations and technical procedures were over-whelming to a “college” boy looking to learn the ropes and make it to big-time management.  The pace and the demands were well beyond my capabilities and the forty-plus crew all knew their jobs far better than I knew mine.

My Business Mentor Patiently Taught Me

Every day my mentor and trainer patiently taught and explained the process and the details of learning how to conduct the orchestra by knowing the basics well, “going deep” with the details and spending time encouraging instead of criticizing.

He Understood the Importance of Management Training

He clearly understood the importance of management training.  The stresses of operating one of the highest volume restaurants in the country were enormous, and the attention to detail was truly impressive.  The leadership part of my job seemed impossible because I was surrounded by incredibly talented and experienced personnel and they would often “run me over” to meet the business demands.

He Began to Pull Back and Allow Me to Operate the Business

Throughout each day my mentor would coach and teach.  Gradually he began to pull back and allow me to operate the business.  It required enormous skill and an incredible ability to anticipate the next steps.

He Moved Me Into Anticipatory Management

My mentor would often sneak up to me in the middle of especially difficult circumstances and quietly ask me; “Where should you be right now?”  It was frustrating because I was wrapped up in my frenzy to achieve, and didn’t want to be provoked into thinking instead of acting.  Patiently, he would ask until I responded correctly, and gradually I learned the key to moving away from personal action, and instead of moving into anticipatory management.

The fact is that this lesson is probably the best delegation in management training I ever received.

In the Middle of the Daily Battle, Where Should You Be Right Now?

When you are listening to your clients, customers, and employees and hearing their frustrations, watching the short term decision making, and observing the lack of planning, please consider the question…..Where should you be right now?

Where Does the Client Need to Be Right Now?

You will often get an exasperated response and it is true that when the Ox is in the ditch, even on Sunday….we need to get it out.  But, we must ask ourselves as we coach, and teach, and encourage…..where does the client need to be right now?  Management training is an important key to leadership development.

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Finding and Training Great Employees

finding and training great employees
Part 1 of 3.

The people you hire to work for your business can be your biggest assets and your biggest headaches; finding and training great employees can be a challenge. They can support and help you to achieve the vision you have for your company – but they can also prevent you from reaching that vision.

Finding and Training Great Employees

Too many businesses overlook the role of employee recruitment and retention when planning for the success of their organization. Staffing is an important exercise that needs to be purpose-driven and strategic, just like marketing.

Employees Think: What’s in it for Me?

It is vital to understand in today’s market that the relationship between employee and employer is a two-way street. Now, more than ever, employees have a “what’s in it for me?” attitude that extends beyond salary and benefits expectations into incentive and rewards programs. The days of simple compensation structures are over.

Now, this may sound like a big headache, but it’s actually a good thing! With some simple systems and open dialogue, you will be able to effectively create – and keep – your dream team.

The Power of Your Dream Team

How much of your own personal time has human resources – staff hiring, firing, issues management, etc. – taken this year? No doubt staff recruitment and retention is one of the biggest challenges facing any business owner today.

The truth is, if you spent half as much time on human resources as you do on marketing, I guarantee your sales would increase dramatically.

Employees Treat Customers Exactly the Way You Treat Them

Customers know the difference between happy employees and disgruntled ones, and it makes a difference when it comes to purchasing decisions. I’ve heard it said that your employees will treat your customers exactly the same way that you treat them. Would you rather have your car serviced by a grumpy mechanic who doesn’t feel his good work is rewarded or a pleasant one who just stepped out of a weekly team meeting?

A successful business owner has confidence in the people who work for him because he believes they are the best people for the job. Employees who know their employer believes in their skills and abilities will go over and above to get the job done, to make the sale.

Successful Business Owner Invest Time and Money in Employees

Successful business owners invest time and money in finding, keeping and training great employees. These are the people who share and support the collective vision of the company.

I’m not talking about a complicated formula or magic concoction. I’m talking about some careful thought and a proactive strategy that will make your business shine from the inside out.

how to get the best employees

 

Finding Your Dream Employees

Building a dream team starts by finding and hiring the right people for the job. Sounds simple enough. You post an ad, find someone who has the necessary qualifications and hire them on.

Not so fast. Recruitment is a complex process that can dramatically impact your business operations. Just like finding and securing the right customers, finding and hiring the right candidates requires pro-active planning and careful evaluation.

Create an Internal Recruitment System

If you currently work with a recruiting agency to build your team, now may be a good time to stop and evaluate the effectiveness of their service. While a recruiting agency can save you the time and hassle of working through the hiring process, it can also cost more money in the long run.

I always recommend creating an internal recruitment system, not because recruiting agencies do a bad job, but because no one knows your business like you do.

 

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Create an Attractive Business Culture

If you want to attract and retain the highest quality clients, you must have a culture that is attractive and a future that is compelling. Developing an effective strategic plan and including your employees in the process is a good place to start. Determine where you are going, what your mission is and how your organization will treat others. Once you have established your vision, mission, and values, then you must deploy them throughout your organization to ensure that you “practice what you preach.”

An internal recruitment system ensures that the true essence of your business culture is communicated – from advertisement to interview. You also have the opportunity to communicate expectations from the outset, instead of relying on the recruiter to relay this information. The middleman’s thoughts and impressions are eliminated, leaving you to make decisions based on your impression of the candidate and no one else’s.

Step One: Advertise the Opportunity

The first step in recruiting candidates is obviously letting potential candidates know about the opportunity with your company.

But before you pick up the phone to place a classified ad, remember that advertising for potential employees requires just as much consideration and planning as general advertising for your business.

Before You Place an ad ask yourself:

• Who is your ideal candidate?
• What are their skills and qualifications?
• What is their personality or demeanor?
• What are they passionate about?
• What are they looking for in a job?

Once you have a mental picture of your candidate, then you can begin to write an ad that will not only reach them but also inspire them to act (and submit an application).

When writing this ad, be as specific as possible and focus on the benefits of the job. Remember that potential candidates screen job postings with an eye for “what’s in it for me.” Tell them exactly that.

Here are a few sample job postings:

Are you the Marketing Assistant we need?

About You

You’re fun, friendly and have a keen eye for detail. You’re always two steps ahead of your colleagues, and eager to take on new and exciting challenges.

You’ll be the glue that keeps the marketing team operating in a seamless fashion, responsible for website updates, copywriting, event coordination and client relations. You’ll be punctual, responsible, and well put together.

You’ll ideally have an undergraduate degree in marketing or English, and some previous office experience, but a fast learner with a great attitude will also get our attention.

About Us

We are a collaborative team of young professionals. We offer a competitive salary, great benefits and performance incentives.

Think you fit the bill? Email your resume and cover letter to John Jones at [email protected] business.com by Friday at 5 pm.

Are Computers Your Life?

About You

You are smart, outgoing, and a wiz when it comes to computer programming. You’re on your friend’s speed dial for computer emergencies, large and small. Helping people understand the complex digital world is your passion.

You’ll be our Lead Computer Technician, managing our computer repair counter and five Junior Technicians. You’ll have great people skills, mounds of patience, and enjoy working as part of a dynamic team.

About Us

We operate Anytown’s leading computer repair store and are known across the region for our customer service. We work hard, play hard, and offer a competitive benefits package to our employees.

Tell us why this job is for you. Email your resume and cover letter to [email protected] by Thursday, September 23.

Both of these job postings speak directly to a very targeted audience. They’re friendly, colloquial, and communicate the job requirements in an informal way.

Every job posting should:

• Be written in the way that you talk
• Be specific
• Describe benefits
• Include skills, qualifications, duties and job title
• Be written in the present tense
• Have a great headline
• Call the reader to action
• Be simple – in word choice and sentence structure
• Be more exciting than the competition

Now that you have a great ad to post, you need to decide where you are going to publish it. This depends on the level of the job (junior to management) and on the specific type of candidate you are looking to recruit.

Here are the five major places to advertise your opportunity:

Government Employment Center

These are great places to find blue-collar or junior level employees. Candidates register with the center, which keeps their resumes on file. Be cautious with this route – it can produce a wide variety of candidates who are not qualified.

Indeed, Ziprecruiter, Etc

This is a great place to post junior to mid-level employment opportunities. You’re looking for basic qualifications from local applicants, perhaps even for part-time positions, with minimal cost.

Linkedin

Senior employment opportunities that require specific high-level qualifications are best advertised with a broad scope. This incurs a greater cost but will return a greater variety of candidates.

Online

This is a cheap way to tap into a massive database of job seekers. Post your ad online on sites like www.monster.com or www.workopolis.com and watch the resumes come flooding in. A large number of highly qualified job seekers who do not wish to register with a recruitment agency will use these services.

Referrals

The most ideal way to find candidates is through your existing network – including associates, colleagues, employees, friends and family. These candidates come to you already vetted by a trusted source. You may also wish to consider giving your staff an incentive to refer their qualified friends and associates to you.

Other Niche Areas

You should also brainstorm a list of any other niche areas that your target market may look for a job. Consider vocational schools, colleges, industry publications, industry associations, small publications, etc.

Conclusion

Once you’ve posted your ad, your next step is to manage the inquiries that come flooding in. These are just a few steps in the process of finding and training great employees.

To read part 2 Finding and Training Great Employees.

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Finding and Training Great Employees Part 3

Training great employees
Read Finding and Training Great Employees Part 1 and Part 2.

Training Your Dream Employees

Once you have landed your dream employees through a rigorous recruitment process, it is essential that you continue to invest in your decision by putting them through a thorough training process. Training great employees makes them a great asset and grow professionally, and this makes them stay in your company.

Training is Important for Employee Retention

Training an employee is actually an element of recruitment. A new employee’s orientation and training set the tone for their entire employment; this includes their impression of your business, its systems, and respect for its leaders. This has an impact on your ability to retain good people and avoid unnecessary or redundant recruitment processes.

Too often, businesses rely on junior employees to train new ones without any guidelines or ‘curriculum.’ New employees are thrown into the deep end without clear expectations or an understanding of ‘how things are done around here.’

Your Leaders’ Involvement in the Training Process

These elements affect how an employee perceives their own required level of effort or performance. A business that doesn’t give much thought to planning, expectations, and preparation will end up showing a new employee that the same lack of attention is expected from them.

Here are some things to ensure you implement when you create your comprehensive training system:

Prior Learning / Existing Knowledge

Acknowledge your new employee’s prior learning, and don’t overestimate or underestimate their existing knowledge.

Choice of Trainer

Investing time and effort in training employees, make sure the person or people who will be training the new employee are sufficiently qualified and experienced. If an administrator is leading a salesperson’s training and orientation, consider asking another salesperson or more senior team member to assist on specific days or sessions.

Training Materials

Have all the required training materials handy. This includes company manuals, industry guidebooks, common reference materials, work samples and anything else that will aid in the training efforts.

Training Tools

Also, ensure you have the tools available to train your new recruit. Will the training be held at their workstation or another workstation? Do you have all the software you need? All the equipment required? Doing so will ensure the training runs smoothly and the time provided will be used effectively.

Time for Training

Provide more than ample time for training – including time for questions and elaboration. Rushing training benefits no one, including your profits.

Testing to Ensure Mastery

Consider including some ‘tests’ or checks to ensure the new recruit understands each component of the training. Ask the trainer and the trainee to sign-off on each section.

Employees’ Part in the Big Picture

Each team member’s role is part of a larger picture: the company as a whole. Ensure that the trainee understands how their role contributes to the big picture on each level. If they are a junior member of a department, they should understand how their job contributes to the department, as well as how the department contributes to the entire company.

Encourage Employee Feedback

The trainee should be able to ask questions and review information at any time – including after the training process. Create an environment that encourages open dialogue and encourages employees to ask questions when they are unsure of a task.

The other common mistake that many companies make is ending training after the first few weeks of a new recruit’s employment.

Ongoing Employee Training

Training our employees is an ongoing process for every single member of your team, and there should be a system or structure in place to ensure that staff training and development happens on a regular basis. This can include cross-training, employee development, and new systems orientation.

Benefits of Regular Training

Regular training not only benefits your staff and improves their performance, but it allows you – the business owner – to:

• Implement new policies + procedures
• Invest in your staff, thereby improving confidence and morale
• Evaluate staff performance at an individual and team level
• Reward staff based on performance improvements
• Provide a regular arena for feedback and discussion, including positive and negative experiences and issues

One-on-One Training + Evaluation

An effective system of ongoing training for employees is by weekly, monthly, or quarterly staff reviews. When conducted one-on-one, this provides a forum for regular communication with employees to review performance and identify areas for improvement. A one-on-one environment will encourage more open and honest dialogue than if the session were conducted as part of a team.

As a business owner, these sessions are valuable sources of information and insight into the strengths, weaknesses, and motivations of your team.

Senior Staff Mentoring Junior Staff

If you have a large staff, consider pairing junior staff with senior staff and establishing mentorship relationships. This is a powerful way to build the synergy of your team and frees you up from weekly meetings with each staff member. Instead, each senior staff member can report back to you on the results of their regular training sessions, and you only need to conduct these sessions with your senior staff.

Team Training Events

Team training events are great team builders and provide insight into how your team interacts as a whole. These can take the form of “lunch and learns”, where senior staff or guest speakers conduct an hour-long session with staff members or more social team-building exercises with a less formal program.

Team training exercises will shed light on the leaders and followers in an organization and bring together employees who may work outside of the office. These can be especially helpful if you and your senior staff do not see the team ‘in action’ on a daily basis.

Keeping Your Dream Employees

Now that you have spent hours of time and potentially hundreds or thousands of dollars recruiting and training your staff, your human resource job is done, right?

I suppose you’ve done what you’ve set out to do: get the right people working for you. But what happens when those people get bored? Or stolen by another company? Or feel they’ve “done all they can do” at your company?

The final step in the overall recruitment process is employee retention. This includes keeping your employees happy, supporting their development, and giving them an incentive to continuously improve their performance.

Your Work Environment

The environment you create for your staff has a huge impact on your employee retention rates. This includes the interior design and layout of your office or business, the lighting, plants, and kitchen amenities available. It also includes the culture of the company – what is the general working atmosphere? Are most people loud? Quiet? Is there a buzz or hum to the office space?

The bottom line is that employees should enjoy and feel comfortable coming to their workplace – they do spend most of their waking hours there.

Spending a little more on comfortable office furniture and amenities like coffee, tea, snacks, and social spaces will go a long way toward keeping your employees happy at work.

Recognition, Rewards, and Incentive Programs

Did you know that many employees place more value on positive public recognition for a job well done than they do on salary?

Recognition and rewards are powerful tools when it comes to keeping employees happy. Positive feedback from those in more senior positions has a higher perceived value than a 3-5% salary increase – and it costs the business little to nothing to implement.

Retaining Your Employees

Incentive programs are a formalized way of rewarding employees for their achievements and successes. Clear targets and milestones are identified, and when an individual or team reach those milestones they are rewarded with bonuses or prizes.

Recognition, rewards, and incentive programs are an important part of employee retention, as well as team building. They will be discussed in further detail in the Team Building chapter.

Professional Development Programs

Another common reason employees choose to leave their positions is professional development. Many feel they need to move to another company in order to develop their careers or gain more responsibility. They may not necessarily dislike their current role, but become bored or stagnated and believe they have ‘done all they can do’ at that particular company.

Keeping good people means providing opportunities for growth and advancement within your company. This benefits the company because you can hire from within, and save money and time on recruiting and training new staff. It also benefits your employee and increases their loyalty toward your business.

Staff Retention

Professional development programs are an important part of staff retention – but they are also an important part of business growth and development. A company with staff who are always increasing their knowledge and improving their skills will stay on the ‘cutting edge’ of their industry and have an advantage over the competition.

Ongoing training and development should be a primary focus for any growing business. Here’s why:

• Increases productivity
• Increases staff retention
• Increases workplace safety and morale
• Increases customer service
• Increases sales

Professional development programs typically focus on the big picture ambitions of the company and its staff members. The longer-term goals and career ambitions are recorded and taken into consideration.

Professional development can be easily worked into your ongoing one-on-one training systems. Keep a folder or binder for each staff member that outlines current role responsibilities, short and long term goals, and areas for improvement, and review it during your weekly or monthly meetings. Identify specific areas for growth, and develop plans of action for that growth.

For example, if your marketing assistant wants to grow into a marketing coordinator or manager role, and needs to improve her people management skills, consider putting her through a management course.

Simple System Tools for Employee Retention

Maintaining this program doesn’t have to be a time-consuming task. With some simple system tools and a commitment to regularly scheduled meetings, you can have a clear and effective program for your staff.

• Evolving job description documents to monitor roles, responsibilities, and tasks
• Regular performance evaluations
• Goal planning worksheets
• Continuing education programs at local business schools
• Regular meetings between staff and supervisors
• Rewards and incentives
• Difficult to re-organize
• Best for smaller lists

Conclusion

Finding and retaining employees is one of the most challenging issues that small business owners are facing. Implement these practices and see your business take on a life of its own!

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Find and Train Great Employees Part 2: Screen and Interview Candidates

interview candidates

Step Two: Screen and Interview Candidates

Screen and interview candidates is one of the most time-consuming aspects of the recruitment process, so you will need to work out a system to manage the response to your job posting.

Screen and interview candidates is a system that will also ensure you ask all potential candidates the same questions, and provide them with the same information about the role as well as about your company.

1. Decide whether all inquiries will be handled by one person or several.

To screen and interview employees whether it will be handled by one person or several, depends on your staff resources and capacity. A system will allow multiple employees to assist in the process.

For example, if your candidates have been instructed to submit their resume and cover letter to you through email, designate a single email address and inbox to receiving and responding. This way you or another staff member will not be bombarded by emails and can designate an hour of time each day to managing the inquiries. If your candidates are calling in, designate a unique phone number or answering machine for this purpose.

2. Decide how inquiries will be responded to.

This can be as simple as an email acknowledging receipt of the resume, or specific instructions on an answering machine. Ensure everyone receives the same information, and that you receive the same level of information from all candidates (resume, cover letter, portfolio, references, and other relevant information.).

If you have asked candidates to call you instead of submitting their resumes through email, create a standard checklist of questions to ask them, as well as of information to provide them with. You may wish to create a script. Some questions might include:

• What kind of job are you looking for?
• Why do you think you would be well suited to this position?
• Tell me a bit about yourself.
• What makes you interested in our company?

Use this opportunity to get a feel for the applicant’s personality, and trust your initial impression. Create a form on which to record this information, and file it with their resume when you receive it.

3. Devise a process for reviewing resumes or applications.

The easiest and most time-efficient way to do this is in a single session, after the stated deadline, and not as you receive them. You may wish to enlist the assistance of a senior colleague to provide a second opinion.

Review the resumes and application materials, and divide the applications into three piles: interview, no interview, and maybe. From here you can begin to call candidates and set up the first interview.

It is also a good idea to be in touch with unsuccessful candidates, and politely let them know that you will not be asking them in for an interview. If you anticipate your response rate will be overwhelming, you may wish to consider stating in your advertisement that only successful applicants will be called.

Step Three: First Interview

The first interview is also a screening interview; your objective is to develop a first impression of the candidate as a person and to determine if they are qualified for the position. If you feel you have found an ideal candidate, this is also your opportunity to convince them to choose your company over any others they may be considering. Good people don’t stay in the market long.

Interview Candidate Structure

You will need to decide on a structure, or system, for the interview process as well. Will you be conducting the first interviews, or will another manager? Will the interviews be conducted one-on-one, or will several employees participate? If you are replacing an employee, you may want to consider inviting that employee into the interview to provide insight into the role.

Interview Candidate Materials

Just as you are asking the potential candidate to come prepared to the interview, you must be as well.

• Have an outline prepared for what you would like to cover? Topics include company history, job description, interview questions, compensation structure, availability, and room for advancement.
• Bring two copies of a typed job description. Include all tasks the candidate will be responsible for completing or assisting with.
• A company profile or overview document (other marketing collateral will also work here).

Interview Candidate Attitude

Begin to build a relationship with each applicant. The purpose of the interview is not just to discuss the job description, or for the applicant to get all the interview questions “right.” It is to determine if this person has the right attitude for the job, and whether or not they will fit in with the company’s culture and its employees.

Keep the interview professional, but make sure the applicant is comfortable. Interviews test our ability to perform under pressure, but you will want to gain an understanding of the applicant’s true nature. Remember that even if the applicant is not well suited to the role they have applied for, they may be suited to a future opportunity with the company.

Interview Candidate Questions

The questions you decide to ask the candidate are highly specific to your company and the role you are hiring for. Take some time to brainstorm what you really need to know about each person, and what questions you can ask to get that information.

Keep in mind that part of the objective of the first interview is to get a sense of the candidate’s personality. You will want to ask questions about their responses and begin to establish a real relationship with them.

Here are some starter interview questions to get you going:

• Tell me a little bit about your background.
• What has been your first impression of our company/product/services?
• Tell me about a time when…[insert a likely scenario they will encounter in the position]. How did it make you feel? How did you handle the situation?
• What advantages do you feel you have over the other candidates?
• What are your strengths? Weaknesses?
• Tell me about an achievement you’re proud of.
• Why did you leave your last position?
• Where do you see yourself in five years?
• …and so on.

Make sure you take good notes or ask a junior member of your team to take notes for you. Also, record your impression of the candidate after each interview. You will want to be able to reflect on each interview before inviting the candidate to the next phase of the selection process.

When the first interviews have been completed, review your notes and discuss your first impressions with other employees involved in the process. Then, decide who you would like to invite back for a second interview, and let the unsuccessful candidates know they are not right for this particular role.

Step Four: Second Interview + Reference Check

The second interview is used to confirm your impressions of the applicants you believe are well suited to the job. It can also be used to get more information, or to more closely compare two solid candidates.

Make sure you only offer a second interview to those you are considering hiring. If you are on the fence about a candidate, chances are your instincts are right, and bringing them in for a second interview is a waste of their time and yours.

Callbacks

When you call a candidate to invite them to come in for a second interview, remain professional and don’t make any allusions to a job offer. If your impression of the candidate changes during the second interview, you do not want to have to go back on something you said. Let them know what you thought of them based on the first interview, and ask if they would be interested in meeting with you a second time.

Give yourself and the candidate at day or two between interviews to reflect on the first interview and prepare for the second.

Interviewers Can Change

You may wish to change the person or team of people who conducted the first interview. Usually, the second interview is conducted with more senior team members at the table.

Interview Candidates Questions

While the second interview is often less structured than the first – a relationship has already begun to be established – you should still prepare a list of questions for the candidate.

These questions should focus on the specific tasks related to the job, and on providing more information about the culture, systems, and values of the company. You can also use the second interview to ask questions you may not have had the chance to in the first interview.

Office Tour + Introductions

Once you have determined that you have found the candidate for the job, take them on a tour of your office or business, and introduce them to your staff members. This is a good way of gaining an initial understanding of how the candidate might interact with your existing staff members.

Calling References

This is the final – arguably most important – step to make before offering the job to the candidate. You should ask your candidate for at least three employment references, and perhaps one character reference.

Call each reference contact, and explain who you are and why you are calling. Then ask if they have a few moments to answer some questions about the candidate. You will want to find out information about punctuality, professionalism, skills, and their reason for leaving. Cross-reference this information with your interview notes to ensure consistency between the candidate and their reference.

Step Five: Hire Your Employee

Provided their references are solid, now is the time to make them an offer of employment.

Call the candidate personally to offer them the job. Make sure you congratulate them and express your enthusiasm in welcoming them into your team. You will also need to follow up your conversation with a letter or email that includes the job offer document or contract.

In the case a candidate declines the job offer, you may wish to do a reference check on your second pick candidate and make them an offer.

Good luck!
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