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Companies With The Best Perks Ever (Video)

It’s every manager’s dream to have a workplace filled with only happy, productive employees who never complain and have no risk of ever leaving. That’s about as likely to happen as the Reply All button always being used properly. Even the world’s top employers struggle with retaining talent, and they have the budget to offer some incredible perks.

This video from AskMen showcases 5 companies and some of the top benefits they use to keep their best employees around. As you watch it, you’ll notice all of them are centred around one thing — health. You may not have the money to provide catering or put treadmills into your offices, but what can you do to offer your employees a more healthy lifestyle? Share your thoughts below.

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How You Can Use Industry Awards to Recruit Top Talent

How You Can Use Industry Awards to Recruit Top TalentThey come with hours of writing and require coordination across multiple people in your organization. At some point in the agonizing process, you say to yourself “Is this industry award worth all of this hassle?” If you’re a manager of any sort, and recruiting star people for your team is a priority, then don’t shut that application down just yet. Winning recognition from the right places provides more than a fancy logo to add to your letterhead or something to brag about in a proposal, it has a positive impact on your recruitment efforts and makes finding the right people much easier. The only challenge may be too many qualified resumes!

Recruiting Just Got Easier (and maybe even unnecessary)

Nobody likes a loser. Maybe that’s too harsh, but it is safe to say that everybody wants to be a winner and play for the winning team. Especially during a recession, job seekers are looking for a place they can hang their hat and be confident they’ll still have a job when hard times are over. In addition, many applicants want to know that their new place of work will provide opportunities for growth and, in many instances that requires the company to grow as well. Industry awards are a stamp of approval from a credible third party that confirms your organization is well-run and implementing plans for success. Those working for your competition may also see awards as a differentiator and be quicker to jump ship to work for you.

In a perfect world, you’ll rarely need to recruit because your great employees will never leave — awards bring you closer to that perfect world. When organizations win awards and celebrate with their team, it brings a positive aspect to the corporate culture. Employees get excited and proud of their workplace. They want to work harder for their employer and start to bring in other star employees from their own networks. Now your company will start performing even better, more awards will roll in, and the cycle continues.

Keep it Relevant

As with any business initiative, a specific strategy has to come into play. There are countless awards available that you can chase, but you’ll want to do it strategically. Ask a few questions such as:

  • Is it truly winnable?
  • Does the organization providing the award brings credibility (if you have to pay to participate in the application, look extra carefully)?
  • What would having this award mean to your organization?

Award programs will be available that evaluate your organization’s growth and sustainability, recognize your commitment to employees (including specific demographics), and highlight your initiatives in a specific functional area. Understand what is important to your organization and your employees and that will help you narrow the list and decide where to put your efforts.

It’s Not a Secret

You’d be surprised at how many organizations win an award then hide it away like a dirty secret. Be proud of your accomplishments and ensure potential employees are aware. Use them in your job postings to highlight the organization’s success and sell the organization and culture to anybody considering applying. Don’t forget to add logos to your social media pages, stationery and signature blocks.

Industry awards can boost so many aspects of your business and as long as you evaluate them properly, they are absolutely worth the commitment from you and your team. Do you apply for any awards? Do you think awards you’ve won have helped in recruiting or employee retention? Share your ideas with us below.

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Social Networking for the HR Department

Dear Employee,

Are you tired of receiving the same boilerplate emails from HR?

Signed,
Fun HR

HR on Social MediaLooking to spice up your HR Department and find a new way to connect with employees and boost engagement? Try using social media!  Your HR Team might already be using social media for recruiting, but let us tell you a bit about what HR social media accounts could look like for other processes and how to best leverage Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to spread your HR messages and connect with your employees.

Facebook:

One of the many benefits of using Facebook for business is the ability to create closed and secret groups.  People who are not invited into these groups are not only unable to access the group, but they can’t even see that it exists. An HR Department group would be a great hub for employees to connect with each other and share in a less formal way than sending company-wide emails. Facebook’s groups make it easy to share pictures and videos from last week’s company lunch and even share files like that holiday party dinner menu spreadsheet that everyone needs to fill out! Moreover, the messaging feature could be another avenue for employees with concerns to contact the HR Department and would make them feel like the communication lines are always open, from wherever they are.

The main drawback to an HR Facebook account is that some employees like to create a distinct boundary between their work and home lives. Not everyone wants their HR Department connecting with them on Facebook and getting to know what they did last Saturday or sharing their pictures from high school. This would be best served for a close-knit company that already has a very open community and is not afraid to connect outside of the 9 to 5.

Twitter:

Twitter is a great medium to transmit short, to the point messages. An HR Twitter account would be perfect for straightforward announcements.  A simple 140 character message is just right for broadcasting new hires, company updates and new policies. Similar to Facebook, Twitter has a private option where only people who you accept can follow you and see your content, but unlike Facebook they will be able to see that your account exists. If you want your HR Twitter to broadcast more personal and confidential information, you could ensure that you only allow employees to follow you.

Where a Facebook group facilitates more group conversation and file sharing, Twitter excels in relaying direct information outwards, with less two-way conversation in mind. Twitter does have replies and a direct message function, but limiting each reply/message to 140 characters or less makes it difficult to foster great conversation. Compared to Facebook’s 1.44 billion users, Twitter’s 302 million seems shallow; it’s likely that less people in your company are on Twitter than Facebook, so be sure that your people are out there before you start your HR Twitter account.

Instagram:

Sometimes a picture says more than 140 characters. If you’re a company that likes has a lot of cool events, parties and photo worthy moments, this is the social media platform for your Human Resources Department. Instagram is the best way to keep everyone up to date on the latest activity with just the click of a button. Instagram is great for photo-sharing and the filters can make anyone look like a pro. Want to share the photos from the holiday party or keep the employees up to date on the office renovations?  Then sign up your HR Department for Instagram.

The downside is, Instagram is a picture sharing medium only, users can comment and like, but it is not a great place for lengthy explanation and discussion. Just like Twitter, you can create a private account that only lets accepted followers like employees and stakeholders see what you’re sharing.

LinkedIn:

LinkedIn also offers both open and private groups. For the purposes of spreading internal company information, a private group would be best. The most attractive benefit of LinkedIn is that your employees are likely already on it and they won’t have personal or private information on there that they wouldn’t want their professional network to see.  Your employees won’t have to worry about the group seeing those pictures from their high school days. Another benefit is that while people are on LinkedIn checking your updates, they might stumble upon a new networking connection.

One of the drawbacks of LinkedIn is that its professional nature takes away from some of the fun added by the other social networks. The benefit to trying Facebook, Twitter or Instagram is a unique communication method to bolster employee engagement. LinkedIn can carry some of the same boring and tired aura that email does.

These are just a couple uses of the 4 main social media networks that your Human Resources Department can use to bolster their communication and make meaningful connections to boost employee engagement. Are you using any of these already? Let us know if you are and how it’s going by commenting below!

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Millennials at Work (Infographic)

A post last month discussed the reality of millennials in the workforce and how managers can better understand how they think in order to recruit the superstars of that demographic. If you want more information about the topic, or a simple summary of the facts, here’s an infographic we found from Bentley University.  It has some surprising statistics that will help you get in the head of a millennial.

Millennials at Work (Infographic)Download the ebook here.

 

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7 Tricks to Keeping Top Talent

Keep Your Top TalentWe talk a lot about how to recruit the best employees for your company and rightfully so. Building the best team in your industry is the first step in making sure you outperform your competition. Even after you’ve built that group of all-stars, it’s important to remember that you can’t stop there. Employee retention is an ongoing process and requires continuous monitoring and improvement. If you find that your turnover rates are higher than you’d like them to be, take a look at a few of these tips and see if there’s anything you can implement today.

  1. Build the right team. Having right people working for you is imperative for a successful workplace. Your employees need to contribute to the entire team and perform well, but you also want to make sure that they’re not bringing any negative elements into your culture. In the same sense that a detailed recruitment and candidate screening process will help you hire with quality, make sure you also have a strategy to fire people before they cause other great people to leave.
  2. Competitive benefits and salary. This is a no-brainer. Consider your local supply and demand, as well as each employee’s seniority and skill level and ensure you’re compensating them appropriately. Perceived fairness, or lack thereof, is a common reason people leave an organization. You may also want to consider benefits, and not just the standard ones. Small, unique perks that help simplify peoples’ lives can go a long way in making your employees happy. For example, some organizations arrange dry-cleaning.
  3. Comfortable work environment and culture. Forget the exciting and unique cultures we often read about for now, but consider the most basic elements. Do people in your office feel safe at work? Are the work areas well-lit and set a reasonable temperature. If employees have a negative feeling about their workspace, it’s setting the tone and will contribute to any issues there having elsewhere in their job.
  4. Help people excel. People become motivated when they achieve their goals. When managers set time to regularly review those goals and find out what employees need to accomplish them, such as training or specific tools, it results in higher engagement for the employee. Goals can be both professional and performance-based. Reviewing performance goals means it’s clear what’s expected of them, so it’s easy for the employees to take ownership of work towards success in their jobs.
  5. Encourage communication. Without great communication, simple conflicts get blown out of proportion, turn into fights, hurt long-term working relationships, and result in people leaving or being dismissed. Give your team the tools and freedom to communicate properly and avoid these situations. Great internal communication also means letting people get to know each other on a personal level, which makes coming to work less of a chore and more of a place they want to be. Finally, encourage communication with the top and allow suggestions to help make the company perform better. Some organizations have “Stay Interviews”, as opposed to the standard Exit Interview, where they talk to those employees who have stuck around and learn more about what makes them want to stay.
  6. Recognize accomplishments. Proper recognition is a giant motivator and often contributes to an employee’s longevity with a company. It can be achieved through any number of ways, including large prizes or contests, but also through simple means like hand-written notes or an invitation to an industry event.
  7. Have outstanding leadership. There’s an old cliché that people don’t leave a company, they leave a boss. That doesn’t necessarily mean that firing any manager with high turnover will increase employee retention, but providing managers with the proper leadership training will contribute to successful retention strategies.

What would you add to the list? Do you have any other experiences that you find contribute to employee retention? What about sure ways to ensure employees up and leave the company? We’d love to read about them in the comments below!

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What Makes Millennials Different?

What Makes Millennials Different?Today’s workforce is drastically changing and perhaps the biggest driving force is the evolving demographics in the office. As Baby Boomers continue to retire, more and more millennials are entering the workforce and, according to a recent study by Brookings, they’ll make up for 75% of the workforce by 2025. Given this group is already known as self-centred, lazy, entitled, technology-addicted, bleeding heart job hoppers, one can only expect that the traditional office culture of their parents will soon seize to exist.

Whether or not you believe this to be true and fear a world run by Gen Y, that is a problem for future managers and recruiters. Today, the focus needs to be on accepting reality, embracing change, attracting the star millennials, and adjusting your culture to nurture them, all while weeding out those who will be lazy and toxic (and exist in all generations).

The reality is if you can successfully understand millennials and adjust your workplace culture to match their values, as opposed to those of their parents, only a handful will fall into the negative category described above. For example:

  • Millennials crave flexibility and value perks such as telecommuting and flexible hours.
  • They want to know that they’re making a difference. You will earn commitment and loyalty by giving them a voice within the company and communicating the positive impact your organization is having in peoples’ lives.
  • The traditional corporate life is seen as evil, mostly because they watched their parents get laid off or treated terribly by bosses. Millennials respond best to management styles that are closer to a mentorship than an employee/boss relationship.

The harsh reality of Millennials is that they rarely stay in one place for more than five years. Even when you bend over backwards to please them, this generation is more likely than any other generation to remain loyal. This could be because they’ve seen large corporations drop their commitment to employees through layoffs and eliminating pension plans, so millennials see no reason to commit on their end. Or it could be a result of seeing the Zuckerbergs of the world make millions overnight and now they think they should be making that cash after working for four entire years.

Regardless of why millennials are like they are, they’re not going anywhere. As recruiters, if targeting this age group is part of your strategy, there’s no need to overhaul your culture, but simply recognize what you’re already offering. Once you identify what aligns with the values of a millennial, highlight it in your job descriptions and expose them to more of it once they start working. If your culture doesn’t fit with their values (and many cultures won’t), there is no need to panic. Not everybody is painted with the same brush and many 20 and 30-somethings will share the values of earlier generations.

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The Secret to Happy Employees

Building a productive team requires having happy employees.  When the people working for you are happy, they’re more engaged and more willing to go above and beyond for the organization. Building that culture isn’t as simple as building a house out of Lego, but, as it turns out, Lego can help communicate a few great tips!

This infographic from TMSME.biz has some fun ways that you can add happiness into your corporate culture and build up morale. What do you think? What’s your secret to keeping your employees happy?

The Secret to Happy Employees

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The Cultural Differences Between Apple and Google

Google and Apple are competitors in technology, but also constantly compete for talent. Both are well-known for being the place to work, but they also both have completely different corporate cultures.  In this video from CNNMoney, Tony Fadell, who worked for Apple and is now part of Google, explains those cultural variances and, even more interesting, what factors played a role in making those cultures so different.

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Twelve Lessons on Building a Company Culture

This post was originally published on the Eagle CEO Blog April 21, 2015.

culture-quote-from-jack-welchThere is a significant amount of focus on company culture these days, and with good reason.  If you want a sustainable entity then a positive company culture is a good start. It is a great way to attract and retain talent plus it is a positive message to clients and shareholders.

Where I get a little concerned is when I see leaders establishing a “project” to “fix the culture”.  It might well be the right thing to do, in that there needs to be a plan to establish a strong corporate culture but it is not really a project, because working at culture never ends.

In our nineteen year journey from starting this company we have learned many lessons along the way, and have received recognition for some of the good things we have been able to do.

I thought I would share some of my thoughts on culture, based on our journey.

  1. Steven Covey played a big part in our company culture and Habit #2 “Begin with the end in mind” was just one factor in our development. In order to develop the right kind of culture, we needed to define the kind of company that we wanted to be.
  2. One of my previous employers was consulting company Andersen Consulting, now known as Accenture. Their methodology at that time focused very much on alignment between People, Process, Technology and Strategy. This was another critical influence for us.  It is important to have all parts of the company pulling in the same direction.
  3. In line with the above, we needed to develop a mission, vision and core values that inspired us, were meaningful to us and that we could live with even when decisions were tough. This was an important process for us, and while they have been modified over the 19 years, they are fundamentally the same today as they were back then!
  4. We don’t live in a perfect world so we had to learn some patience. Rome was not built in a day. There are always setbacks, poor hires, wrong turns along the way and tough economic times to traverse.
  5. A business needs to be profitable in order to pay its people, its suppliers and provide the right level of service to its clients. This means that you might want to provide more “goodies” for your employees, but it has to be done prudently. I like to point at Nortel, which was a company that its employees loved because they had big salaries and amazing benefits; unfortunately that was not sustainable and most of those employees had trouble finding jobs that could offer anything similar.  As a private company we need to live within our means.
  6. For us, our vision meant focusing our efforts on clients, our own employees and on the candidates with whom we work. We have continually looked for ways to improve those relationships. This focus allows us to ensure business decisions we make are in line with that vision.
  7. A positive culture within our company means that we have high expectations of our people, and that we provide them with training and the tools to be successful. We create an atmosphere focused on one of our core values, TEAM, and we are prepared to invest in growth. We give monthly and annual recognition for employees that excel and that exemplify the behaviors we associate with our values.
  8. You can never please all of the people, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.
  9. If you have a clear culture then you will attract the people that fit your culture, and those who do not will self-identify quickly.
  10. The number one reason why culture is successful, or not, is leadership. It needs 100% commitment from the whole leadership team.
  11. Sometimes you will need to make tough decisions to preserve the culture you want, or you risk getting the culture that just happens!
  12. It is a work in progress that can never be considered complete.

In addition to being a Platinum member of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies program our company was recognized as one of Canada’s 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures in 2102, and in 2015 we were named one of Canada’s Best Workplaces.

The awards indicate that we are on the right track and we are enjoying the journey … but it IS a journey!