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10 Ways to Promote Mental Health in Your Workplace

As we approach Mental Health Week in Canada, it’s a good time for managers to take a step back and ensure you’re providing a healthy workplace on all fronts. As this video from Heads Up Australia points out, more employees than we realize suffer from some sort of mental health illness. Not only does it have a negative impact on their well-being, but it can also hurt their productivity. Therefore, promoting mental health in the workplace benefits everyone.

The video is packed with helpful information for leaders looking to play a bigger role in mental health and encourage a healthy environment. It provides 10 easy-to-implement tips that will play a huge role in improving your workplace culture. Is there anything you would add?

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Managers Need to Understand Remote Workers

If your office still doesn’t offer employees a “work-from-home” program of some sort, you’re behind the times. There are obvious exceptions (security, equipment) when a job needs to be done on location, but advancements in technology allow most office employees to do a large amount of their tasks remotely. Some companies take this a step further and embrace the trend of 100% remote employees, where a person’s primary workspace is their home office.

Remote work comes with a number of benefits for both employers and employees. Just the mention of it in a job description is sure to attract a few new applicants when posting jobs. But you can’t offer the perk and stop there. As the infographic below from TimeDoctor shows, remote workers have different motivations and managing them comes with new challenges. The infographic is compiled based on results of a study completed by employee engagement company, TINYpulse, and provides insight into remote workers’ motivation, demographics and unique struggles they have on the job.

Are Remote Workers Happier Than Office Employees? (Infographic)

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Your Cold Office Will Destroy Your Team

Your Cold Office Will Destroy Your TeamOffices in all climates have had the debate among co-workers at some point — the office is too cold… or too hot! For some, it’s because the building manager is too cheap to spend money on heating or air conditioning. In other cases, the manager is too generous and shows it by blasting the furnace or cool air.

As a leader responsible for a bottom line, happy team, and a positive culture, the debate of temperature should be a concern.  Failing to take it seriously can completely break up your team and cause serious issues. In the end, you will lose your job, all because you failed to care about the climate inside the office.

Don’t believe us? Just check out some of the nasty effects cold temperatures in an office can have:

  • Lower productivity. As reported in this article from the Association for Psychological Science, it’s been proven in various studies that when an office is too cold, productivity drops. The article suggests that 25C is the ideal temperature, but other sources will tell you that it should stay at 21-23. Regardless, one thing is true: frozen people do no work, and shivering people can’t produce much quality either. You may find them increasingly getting up from their desk every 5 minutes for a hot beverage (or to thaw out the one they didn’t get to finish).
  • Negative atmosphere. Additional studies have shown that when people are uncomfortable due to temperature, they become more negative. At that point, it’s just a matter of time before relationships and teams are hurt due to negative communication and hurtful comments.
  • Now that your freezing cold office has destroyed your culture and has torn everyone apart, it’s a matter of time before they realize they’re dissatisfied with their job and up and leave, for better work and warmer conditions.
  • You can salvage some cold employees by giving them a raise, or maybe they’re too untalented to find another job, but now they’re going to get sick. This article backs up the fact that cold offices can also impact your employees’ health. And before you go turning up the heat too much, there’s also such a thing as heat stress.
  • Won’t somebody think of the money?? Perhaps your office is perfectly fine in the winter, and the freezing cold temperatures appear in the summer, when it’s hot and people want air conditioning. Sure, you’re making the office more “comfortable” by blasting the AC, but do you know how much you’re spending? (not to mention the environmental implications).

Perhaps these explanations are excessive and over dramatic, but keeping an office too cold will, to some degree, lower productivity, create a negative atmosphere, cause dissatisfaction, lead to illness, and cost money. Your challenge is that everybody in your office has a different view of “too cold”. It could be based off a number of factors and backgrounds, and typically variables like age, weight and gender do make a difference.

You may not always have control over your building’s temperature, but be sure to talk to your staff and ensure their comfort while they work. For example, provide individuals with blankets, sweaters or space heaters.

Does your office have battles over temperature? How do you deal with it?

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Does Your Recruiting Process Match Your “Fun” Corporate Culture?

Does Your Recruiting Process Match Your "Fun" Corporate Culture?How fun is your recruiting process? Not for you, but the applicant. If your organization boasts a fun work environment and encourages new hires to have a sense of humour, then shouldn’t you demonstrate that as a company while recruiting them?

Before going any further, let’s clarify that not every organization wants to have that fun, Silicone Valley-style corporate culture with ping pong tables. We all have different definitions of “fun” and to different degrees, and some organizations prefer to define their corporate cultures in other ways. Today, we’re going to provide some tips on where you can inject fun and humour, on any level, into your recruiting process.

Careers Page

The Careers Page on your website is the first place a job seeker goes to learn about your company before applying. It needs to reflect your culture. A common technique many HR departments already use on this page is interviews, either written or video, with current employees. You can continue to do this, and add lighter elements into the interview. For example, ask them to tell their favourite joke, their weirdest experience while with the company, or any other out-of-the-ordinary question. The way people dress and what’s happening in the background of a picture or video will also give an idea as to the company’s culture.

Job Descriptions

If you search through job descriptions on Indeed, you’ll notice that very few of them have that “fun” element to them. Most, at best, have a standard company boilerplate, followed by a description of the role and the requirements work in that role. That doesn’t scream “fun corporate culture.” Try including a few off-the-wall responsibilities or make light of the position’s stereotypes (make sci-fi references in a developer post, or comment on the accounting department’s obsession with being organized). You may also add some graphics, comics or memes.

Job Interview

Do not hire a stand-up comic to run a job interview, unless you plan to film it and make the next viral video on YouTube.  Your top priority in the interview is to evaluate the candidate and their skills, so it needs to stay relatively serious, but you do have some opportunities to stand out. Interviewers have a habit of going on a power trip, trying to intimidate candidates and make them sweat — why? Keep the conversation light and add a subtle joke here and there. You may choose to evaluate how they react or respond to your jokes, but most candidates will remain conservative as opposed to exposing their natural wit. A couple quirky questions will also soften the mood and give you a chance to learn about the candidate’s creativity.

A Few Words of Caution

Comedy is a tricky thing. If you’re not funny, you come off as cheesy or offensive. Understand where to draw the line and run ideas by other team members, before causing damage to your company’s reputation. Also, it goes without saying, but take note as to where the fun should be minimal. For example, the first phone interview, salary negotiations, and the first-day policy review all need to remain serious and professional.

How can you spruce up your recruiting process so it better matches your corporate culture? Do you have an ideas you’d like to share with our readers? Please share them in the comments below.

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The 9 Most Despised Work Personalities (Infographic)

Are you trying to build your culture to become a place everybody wants to work? Part of that task includes identifying toxic personalities that discourage new talent or cause great employees to want to leave, and then fixing those problems. Sometimes fixing could mean terminating a person, but hopefully you can keep them around and fix any issues with some training.

This infographic from Workfront (formerly AtTask) identifies 9 people who may be lingering in your office and destroying your efforts to create that ideal culture. Do you recognize any of them? If so, do they concern you?

The 9 Most Despised Work Personalities (Infographic)

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Recruit More Employees with This Unique Perk

Work/life balance is not a new term for hiring managers and a major consideration for almost every job seeker. For parents, it’s often the ease of maintaining a successful career while taking care of their family that makes an employer attractive. As such, companies use a number of perks and programs to promote this benefit, from flexible hours to work-from-home opportunities to daycare assistance.

As you try to think of unique perks to attract the best talent, don’t rule out the importance of “fur babies” to many of the people submitting job applications to your company. Specifically, consider a “Pet-Friendly Workplace” that allows employees to bring their animals along for the day. The benefits of such an idea extend beyond a perk that attracts more candidates, as can be seen in this infrographic from Petco.

Click to Enlarge Image

Benefits of a pet-friendly workplace Infographic

Benefits of a pet-friendly workplace Infographic by Petco

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10 Reasons You Hire New Employees More Than You’d Like (Infographic)

How is your company culture? Do employees keep quitting and noting in their exit interviews that they don’t like the atmosphere?

When you have a culture problem, you’re naturally also going to have a turnover problem. As a result, your recruiters will always be working on filling the same roles and the company is continuously absorbing unnecessary hiring costs. If your company doesn’t have in-house recruiters (which is true for many small and medium sized businesses), then managers are forced to put aside value-adding activities to search for new members of their team.

Obviously, reasons for high turnover aren’t limited to poor corporate culture, but it’s a good place to start. So what may be killing your company culture? Take a look at this simple infographic from OfficeVibe for 10 possible causes of a damaged culture and look for ways to improve your own culture to reduce your hiring efforts.

The 10 Company Culture KillersThis infographic was crafted with love by Officevibe, the software that shows you how to be a good leader by collecting feedback from employees.

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16 Unique Job Interview Questions That Guarantee You’ll Hire for Cultural Fit

16 Unique Job Interview Questions That Guarantee You'll Hire for Cultural FitEngaged, productive employees are an important part to any organization’s success. Every manager dreams of recruiting the perfect team, but it never fails — there will always be some people who are sinking your boat. One way to ensure engaged employees is by making sure you only hire those who fit well into your company culture and will optimize your team’s performance. Unfortunately, hiring the perfect cultural fit is easier said than done.

Hiring for cultural fit happens throughout the entire recruiting process. You need the right job description, strategic resume screening, and of course, some unique interview questions. Here are some interview questions you may want to add into your processes that help you learn if an applicant will get along with their potential team, manager, and will fit into the overall culture.

Will they fit with the rest of the team (assuming it is a team-based role)?

  1. What is your definition of “team work”?
  2. Are you more effective working alone or part of a team? In a perfect role, what proportion of each would you have?
  3. What role do you most often play when working in a team?
  4. What type of team member frustrates you the most?
  5. Tell me about the best team you have been a part of. Why was it so great?

Will they fit with the manager?

  1. Describe your ideal boss?
  2. What management style brings out your best work?
  3. What should senior leaders in an organization do to make the employees successful at their job?
  4. How would you describe your relationship with past managers?

Will they fit into the social environment of your office (or do they expect one that doesn’t exist)?

  1. Are you comfortable having friends at work? Or do you prefer to keep friendships for outside the workplace?
  2. How do you feel about becoming best friends with your co-workers?

Will they fit into the overall culture? Better yet, do you fit the candidate’s ideal corporate culture?

  1. What are your values?
  2. What motivates you to come into work every day?
  3. What is the single most important thing your workplace must have in order for you to love the environment?
  4. What is your favourite part about the culture at your most recent place of work?
  5. What did you hate the most at your most recent place of work?

Whether or not a candidate’s answer to these interview questions is the “right” answer will depend heavily on what you’re looking for in a person and your own company values. Is team work and being super social important, or does your office prefer to keep to themselves? What kind of management style does your organization tend to follow? These are questions that you’ll want to answer yourself and determine what “cultural fit” means to you. Once that answer is obvious, learning which candidates fit into your culture becomes a lot easier.

How do you determine cultural fit? Do you have any favourite questions to ask that aren’t listed above? Share them in the comments below!

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The Iceberg of Culture (Infographic)

It’s no secret to any HR manager or leader that company culture is an important component to recruiting the best people and retaining your top talent. When we think of culture, we often only think of the visible norms and behaviours within the workplace. As this infographic from Gotham Culture points out, though, those are just the tip of the iceberg and there is more you need to consider when optimizing your environment.

Take a look for more details about the full story of corporate culture, as well as some things leaders can do to improve it.

The Iceberg of Organizational Culture Change Infographic

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Fun Ways HR Managers Can Boost Office Productivity (Infographic)

Is your office environment boring and monotonous, but with a team dying for more liveliness? A boring workplace can cause employees to be less productive and have lower job satisfaction. The result will be higher turnover, meaning your HR department is always under pressure to recruit.  It may also mean your company has acquired a lousy reputation, making recruiting new people bigger challenge. With that type of blow-back, it’s in both the HR department and hiring manager’s best interest to ensure the office culture has some pizzazz.

This infographic from Slyng can help. It provides 8 different ideas you can apply to your workplace to make work less of a chore for your employees resulting in a boost in office productivity. Could any of these make a difference in your organization?

Fun Ways HR Managers Can Boost Office Productivity (Infographic)