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6 Ways to Treat Your Temporary Employees with Respect

6 Ways to Treat Your Temporary Employees with RespectTemporary employees are a terrific solution for many organizations to get through a busy season, to cover off leaves, or to get help on big projects. The best scenarios are when it’s mutually beneficial for both the employer (who gets an employee without having to hire another full-time person) and the employee (who gain experiences, but for one reason or another doesn’t want to be locked into a job permanent job).

Even though the talent isn’t going to be around long-term, this should not stop a company and its employees from treating that person with respect. Unfortunately, too often temporary employees don’t feel the same love as their permanently employed counterparts. For example, perhaps they feel they’re outperforming the permanent employees but being compensated less. Other times, permanent employees may start bullying, either because they feel superior in the workplace or they simply feel threatened.

The fact is that everybody — permanent or temporary — deserves respect and has a right to a safe and healthy work environment. It is up to you, the employer, to guarantee that happens. One of the first ways you can do this is by ensuring that your temporary employees are treated as well as the permanent ones.  Here’s how you can lead by example:

  1. Train the temps just as well as you’d train the perms so they have the same chances of success.
  2. Share company perks with temporary employees.
  3. Engage with temporary employees as you would any other employee — refer to them by name (not just “The Temp”), introduce them to the team and managers, and ask for their input.
  4. Hire for fit, increasing the chances that everyone works well together.
  5. Mix around workspaces, rather than have an area of temps and an area of perms.
  6. Hire them back if they’re awesome!

Remember, there’s a chance that you’ll want to call back the high performing temporary employees or hire them on to join your permanent team, and how you treat them now will affect their decision. Even if you don’t want them back, they will be talking to other prospective employees and agencies.

Do you work with temporary employees? If so, how have you made sure they fit in with their team and the organization? Please share your experiences in the comments section below.

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The Importance of Flattery

Flattery frequently has negative connotations, being associated with a way to deceive somebody by giving them false compliments in return for better treatment. While this is true and deception-based flattery is seen all around the world, the term should not always be held in a negative light. Did you know flattery can be a good thing and help grow people and societies?

This School of Life video not only demonstrates how flattery can be positive, but it stresses its importance. It provides real examples from raising children to building cities. Have a look!

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Are there Too Many Rules in Your Organization?

What experts say are stupid rules and how they’re hurting your company’s performance

Are there Too Many Rules in Your Organization?Rules in the workplace are necessary, there is no questioning that. It is what sets standards, keeps people on the same page, and allows for performance measurement. Many rules are even government regulated, so there is no arguing that they have to exist.  Arguably, looking past those mandatory policies, some companies can go too far with their staff manual. In these situations, leaders remove practicality, become micromanagers, and overlook the idea of common sense.

Examples of Stupid Rules

If you’re suddenly concerned that you fall into the category of having too many rules, check out the 10 stupid rules that Liz Ryan claims drive great employees away in her LinkedIn post:

  1. Attendance Policies (dinging salaried employees for being 10 minutes late, when they stayed an hour late two days ago)
  2. Frequent Flyer Policies (not allowing employees to keep rewards for themselves when travelling for business)
  3. Dress Code (going into detail about every little item)
  4. Bell Curve Performance Reviews (Ryan claims these only result in the retention of so-so employees)
  5. Bereavement-Leave Policies (requiring a funeral notice to have a few days of paid leave)
  6. Approvals for Everything (requiring approval for simple things, like order a new stapler)
  7. Disciplinary Rules (what do probation or written warnings really do?)
  8. Feedback Mechanisms (asking people to complete a survey, rather than talking face-to-face)
  9. Hiring Processes (failing to write normal job descriptions, value applicants, and make the process fast and friendly)
  10. Forced Ranking (comparing employees to one another – Best to Worst)

What’s the Problem with Too Many Rules at Work?

What are the problems with too many rules and policies at work? In this Huffington Post article, Kevin Kruse outlines these:

  • Rules Take Away Choices
  • Rules Target the Few at the Expense of the Majority
  • Rules Focus on Activity instead of Outcomes

Throughout the article, Kruse quotes specific experiences that people have had as examples of where he says rules can hinder the organization.

Too Many Rules Can Kill Productivity

Finally, if you’re still not convinced that over-regulating can be a problem, consider that your productivity can also go downhill. Just ask Meghan Biro, who in her recent Huffington Post article listed these Secret Productivity Killers.

  • Poor Employee Engagement
  • Lack of Efficiency
  • Less Collaboration — and less fun
  • Loss of Business
  • Time-Consuming Processes and Procedures

After reading these opinions from credible sources, reflect on your own organization.  Do you have too many rules, policies and procedures? It’s easy to get there and, unfortunately, the results can be harmful.

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How to Manage Difficult Team Members

As a manager, you need to have the ability to properly deal with a wide range of different individuals, even those that give you a hard time. At some point in our careers, we have all encountered a difficult team member. But, fear not! This infographic from Wrike shows us just what to do when managing a tough team member.

Ultimately, it is important to remain level headed as to not create any additional problems for yourself. There will always be team members that are more challenging to work with than others, and somedays you might feel like you have had enough. But, do not lose all hope yet! With these tips and tricks, you will be able to take control and handle a difficult team member at any time.

A Manager's Guide to Working with Difficult Team Members (#Infographic)
Infographic brought to you by Wrike

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What is Transformational Leadership?

Transformational leaders are always thinking about the future and ways they can improve on it. In this video, Doodle Slide shows us how transformational leaders use four different methods to make tomorrow a better day. Some characteristics that make up a transformational leader are honorable outlooks, authenticity, a growth mindset, and creativity.

Having a transformational leader can inspire workers to achieve outstanding results and take charge when it comes to making decisions. Learn more details about what it takes to become a transformational leader, and get your employees excited about their position in your organization!

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Feedback: What Your Own Eyes Cannot See

Mastering communication is an important skill for everyone in the workplace, employees and managers alike. Failing to get your point across in a diplomatic and clear manner can have disastrous results in a myriad of situations.

One management task where communication tends to breakdown is when giving feedback.
As this video from Credit Suisse demonstrates, this is often because of a misaligned version of a person’s self-perception and their manager’s perception. The video goes on to explain roles that both the provider and recipient need to follow for successful, beneficial feedback for both parties.

If you’re a manager struggling to give feedback to your employees, or an employee who’s concerned about providing feedback to your boss, then take 3 minutes to watch this video. It may drastically improve your current work situation!

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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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Getting to Know Your New Employees

Getting to Know Your New EmployeesAs a leader, having a good relationship with your team is a key to success. A way to start building this relationship is by getting to know and understand each individual team member — what they are like as professionals and what makes them tick as a person. This, of course, needs to be done without moving into inappropriate areas of their personal life.

Whether you’re a manager who just hired a new team member or new manager joining a team, you’re in a situation where you must get to know people. With all of the work already piling up, how can you possibly make time to get to know your employees, aside from sending them a long, intrusive survey?

First, don’t waste any time. Although it may seem awkward learning about people, imagine how awkward it is when you still have no idea about who they are after they’ve been working under you for a year. With that in mind, spread out the “getting to know you” questions to avoid bombarding a new employee.  This will also make it easier for you to remember the information. Finally, when a person tells you about themselves, always listen, show interest and understand what their saying. This will help you recall it later.

As a manager, you want to get to know your new employees on two different levels – professionally and, to a lesser degree, personally. Professionally, learn about a person’s strengths and weaknesses, their experiences, their goals and their work habits. It’s much easier to lead somebody when you know how they learn and organize themselves. Never pry into an employee’s personal information but if they offer it, understand what motivates them, as well as what they may be dealing with outside of the office.

So how do you go about gathering all of this information? Here are a few simple tips and strategies:

  • Ask other managers. Especially if you’re new or if your employee came from another department, one of your colleagues may be able to provide input. This isn’t limited internally, as you know from the hiring process, references can provide valuable insight.
  • Schedule one-on-ones. Regular meetings are an opportunity to ask what would make things more interesting for them and how things can improve around the office. Their responses will teach you some of their motivations, priorities, and values.
  • Work on a project. Rather than always being a “manager”, join a project and work with your team at the same level. They will become more comfortable with you and share more as a result.
  • Be open to conversation. An open door policy and a commitment to a few minutes of casual chit-chat each day can go a long way in getting to know somebody.
  • Some (most?) people dread them, but when time permits, the right setting with the right icebreaker can help you get to know somebody and be a phenomenal team builder.
  • Team socials. After work, get together for activities. It can be a pub night, exercise, or celebrate birthdays and achievements.
  • Bring treats. It is possible to buy love, at least when it’s with food. Bringing in baked goods or having a bowl of candy on your desk can start great conversation.
  • Work on conflicts together. Adversity and conflict resolution can strengthen a relationship. People often expose a different side of themselves when working through a tough situation.
  • Ask interesting questions. There are plenty of resources on the web with questions to ask to get to know somebody professionally, or quirky questions to see their softer side.

It would be unrealistic to expect an employee to open up right away, but with some time, effort, and a smile, it won’t be long before you know more about an employee than just what’s on their resume. What steps have you taken to get to know a new employee?

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How to Reap the Benefits of Your Multi-Generational Team (Infographic)

Today’s labour force is primarily comprised of three generations — Millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers — and each make up roughly 30% of the workforce. While authors love bashing Millennials’ work ethic, Gen-X’s negativity, and Baby Boomers’ resistance to change, successful leaders understand that a combination of all groups will result in a high-performing team. In the same manner that each group has its perceived downsides, they also contribute unique skills.

Ghergich & Co. teamed up with AkkenCloud to create an infographic that describes the unique skills each generation brings to the workforce. It includes the three segments referenced above, as well as the “Silent Generation” which, although less prevalent, continues to make up part of Canada’s workforce. As a leader, take a look for tips and pointers on how you can make your age-diverse team work together harmoniously.

Unique Skills in Each Generation That Employers Need

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Why Your Employees Aren’t Engaged & How You Can Help (Infographic)

Are your employees working to their potential right now? If you said “yes” there’s only a 30% chance you’re right. 7 in every 10 employees are disengaged from their work—meaning they’re distracted or, worse, just pretending to work while they secretly watch cat videos.

If you want to take back your workplace, you have to look beyond what employee engagement is costing you (a reported $350 billion for U.S. companies each year), and dig deeper. You need to know why employees are unfocused.

That’s where the team at Company Folders comes in. They’ve done the research and discovered what employees are really doing at work, why it’s happening, and—most importantly—how you can motivate them to do better.

Have more ideas for motivating employees? Tell us in the comments below.

Why Your Employees Aren't Engaged & How You Can Help (Infographic)