Posted on

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.

Posted on

What’s Your Management Style?

This post isn’t meant to debate the best management style (but we do welcome it in the comments below). Instead, it’s simply to outline that every manager has a unique way of doing things, every organization has different managers, and every employee prefers to be managed by leaders who possess distinctive styles. In other words, there’s a place for everyone.

Which style are you? Which style is that manager for whom you’re recruiting? These are important questions to answer before meeting candidates and making a hiring decision. There are countless styles, and most people are a combination, but this infographic from FindMyShift simplifies 6 different styles.

What's Your Management Style?

Posted on

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.

Posted on

Preparing for an Increased Minimum Wage

Preparing for an Increased Minimum WageMany of us have heard the Ontario Government’s new plan to have minimum wage raised to $15/hour by 2019. In fact, the Government of Alberta also has planned to raise rates to $15/hour in 2018 and many have suggested that other provinces will follow suit.  These planned increases have led to very diverse opinions from businesses across Canada as many believe that this new expense will negatively impact corporations, with the potential to ruin them.

At first, it might seem that there are a lot of downsides to drastically raising the minimum wage up a couple dollars. However, there can be various benefits to having higher wages that can improve your business such as: motivating employees to work harder, attracting more productive workers, minimizing disciplinary issues, enhancing quality & customer service, and much more! In addition, higher wages can lead to lower turnover resulting in reduction hiring and training costs.

In short, some changes will most likely need to be made to your business and hiring process to accommodate these new minimum wage increases. However, in the end, it comes down to one question; will my business be able to afford the minimum wage increase?

According to this Globe and Mail article, it would be in every business’ best interest to do some early research and preparation. Here are a few measures they suggest to ensure that your business is ready when the new minimum wage legislation come into place:

  1. Conduct an audit. Start with an audit to help determine if the new wage legislation is properly arranged with your business plan and structure.
  2. Determine the scope. By taking a look at the salaries your current employees earn, you may find most of your employees already are already earning $15/hour. Figure out how many employees will be impacted by an increased minimum wage.
  3. Determine the job worth. Separately reviewing each job role to see if any alterations in responsibility needs to be established. A change in responsibility and review of the impact of each role might mean creating different roles with different pay scales.
  4. Create a new pay grid. Once you have collected all your information, start building a new pay grid with ranges in salary.
  5. Communicate any upcoming changes early and try to be as clear as possible! This will help avoid misunderstandings or confusion that may arise with employees, or customers that are involved in your business.

All in all, every business should be able to survive the minimum wage increase as long as they take the time to do some advanced planning!

Posted on

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

Posted on

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!

Posted on

Managing the Office Know-It-All

Managing the Office Know-It-AllOf all of the annoying people in your office, the know-it-all may be the person you’d like to yell at the most. Unfortunately, yelling at your co-workers is generally never good practice and it’s more frowned upon when you’re the boss. So how do should you respond when you find yourself managing a person who thinks they know everything about everything, and are quick to display their vast knowledge to everybody in their presence?

Take the High Road

When your employee is guilty of correcting you for every little detail (even when they’re wrong), your first instinct is to shut them down. While this is necessary at times, you also need to take the high road. Practice empathy and understand that a confidence issue is probably at the heart of their behaviour. As such, pick your battles. Decide which situations can be brushed off and which ones need to be addressed.

Be Prepared

Even if they’re annoying and sometimes wrong, nine times out of ten, the know-it-all is usually quite smart and skilled at arguing. If you want to begin to “put them in their place” then you’re going to have to be prepared yourself. Identify situations where you know they are going thrive and organize before-hand, arming yourself with facts about the subject. As they start to correct you, ask probing questions. Either they will back down or, if you’re willing to be open-minded, you will learn something from them.

Know How It’s Affecting Your Team

As a manager, your job is to lead your entire team, ensuring they’re doing the best work they can do. When you identify the know-it-all, also identify who they’re aggravating. In some cases, it may just be you, especially if they’re vying for your job and only care about undermining you. In other situations, and more commonly, this person has no limits. They correct whoever they can in hopes of feeling superior. When your entire team is being affected, and a negative atmosphere is being created, fixing the problem immediately becomes a higher priority.

Deal with the Behaviour

As alluded to earlier, know-it-alls are smart and you do need to keep an open mind to ensure you’re not turning away innovative thinking that can move your team forward. As a leader, you also need to deal with behaviour that may be bringing down the team. Schedule a time to meet with your know-it-all and provide constructive feedback. Explain that you value their input but they need to consider their delivery. As with all constructive feedback, bring up specific examples of inappropriate behaviour and explain how they affected the team’s performance.

By understanding and addressing a know-it-all’s behaviours, you can bring out much value in an employee that has potential to be a strong asset to your team. Unfortunately, some people are lost causes. They are too stuck in their ways and genuinely believe that they are smarter than everyone else, and that they are a gift of knowledge to your office. This toxic attitude will be disastrous to your team and may cause top employees to leave. As such, your only solution will be to terminate the person’s employment at your company.

How have you dealt with know-it-alls in your company? Do you have any success stories of turning them into functioning team members, or does your experience point to having to fire them each time? Share your experience and advice with our readers in the comments below!

Posted on

How to Write a Job Description (Video)

A proper job description is helpful when posting jobs during the recruiting process, but their usefulness goes beyond hiring. A perfect and detailed job description will ensure all employees are completing their tasks and allow for accountability if something falls apart.

Writing job descriptions can be daunting, especially when you’re starting from scratch or dealing with extremely outdated files. If you’re working in HR, or any sort of management, and find yourself in this position, have a look at this short video from HRCloud. Not only is it entertaining, but it gives some quick pointers on the basic elements of a job description.

Posted on

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?

Posted on

Top 4 (slightly unethical) Tricks on How to Persuade Anyone (Video)

Every manager and recruiter tries to persuade people to do various things throughout their job. It can be while negotiating salary, convincing a top performer to leave a competitor and join your team, or just asking for a favour around the office. Regardless, knowing the best techniques to persuade somebody can have a positive impact on how well you can do your job.

There is a science behind persuasion, and it’s more than saying please and begging. As this video from Bite Sze Psych explains, understanding how the human mind works and manipulating those processes can go a long way. Just be sure not to cross any ethical lines while you’re doing it.