One vital aspect of employee relations is obtaining employee feedback. Employee feedback is beneficial to the employer, the employees, and the company as a whole. It is important for employers to seek employee feedback because they can gain valuable information and get a better understanding of their employees and where their company is headed.
Employers who ask for employee feedback are able to gain a better understanding of their company dynamics, and get a new perspective regarding where they are as a company. Understanding the dynamics of your company based off employees’ perspectives can show you any concerns employees may have. For example, employers asking for feedback regarding practices used by the company, like training programs or onboarding procedures, can gain valuable information on how these practices are actually perceived by employees who participate in them. While the procedures for these practices may look good on paper, they may not translate well when executed, and employee feedback is a great way to determine how effective these procedures and practices are. Employee feedback can show employers if any practice needs to be revamped, added, or taken out. Other employee concerns that can be addressed in employee feedback are compensation and benefits, favoritism in the office, and communication gaps between employees and management. Employee feedback can also highlight employees’ thoughts on the company and show what employees might need to do their jobs better.
With this information obtained from employee feedback, employers can see what is working and what isn’t working for their employees and their company. They can see what policies and procedures need to be corrected or changed to increase their employees’ happiness, engagement, and productivity. Another important reason to ask for employee feedback is its ability to help spot small issues within a company, presenting an opportunity to fix those problems before they snowball into something worse or unmanageable. These issues could involve company practices, employer/employee relations, or concerns between employees. Employee feedback also creates a healthy, communicative relationship between the employer and employee as it gives the employees a voice and an opportunity to be heard, and shows that the employer values employees’ opinions regarding company issues.
Some methods for obtaining employee feedback are one-on-one meetings with the employees, team meetings, and employee surveys. One-on-one meetings, or employee performance reviews, are great ways to actively engage and communicate with your employees to give feedback on their performance as well as hear what they have to say when it comes to their concerns. Team meetings are also good venues for feedback as sometimes it is easier for employees to express feedback in a setting where there are more people and/or peers around. Employee surveys are designed to obtain targeted and consistent feedback from a certain set of employees at once, although it is not as personable as in person meetings
Some things to be mindful of when trying to obtain employee feedback are asking insightful questions, paying attention to body language, and following up with employees to see shifts in perspectives. Asking insightful questions like “What would you do if you were in my shoes?” or “How can I help you be more successful?” are great ways to make employees feel comfortable having an honest conversation with management and their supervisors. Body language is another thing to pay attention to as an employee may say one thing, but their body language may contradict that message, which could indicate that an employee may not feel comfortable expressing their concerns fully. Lastly, following up with employees on a regular basis is a great way to stay engaged with employees and help build a relationship where employees feel comfortable enough to be honest with management.
What is employee engagement?
While employee engagement may be linked to employee happiness or employee satisfaction, employee engagement is not either of the two. Employee engagement is the emotional commitment the employee has to their organization and its goals.
Having engaged employees leads to higher customer service, higher quality in work, and more production because the employee is actively engaged and cares about the work that they are doing.
As former Campbell’s Soup CEO, Doug Conant once said, “To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace.” Employee engagement is the key to activating a high performing workforce.
How can you increase employee engagement in your organization?
One way to increase employee engagement is through peer recognition. Peer recognition helps define company culture in a positive way. Peer recognition helps remind employees that they are a team working towards common goals, as well as strengthens the team bond.
When creating a peer recognition program, it is important to remember that these programs are not one size fits all; you must find one that fits your organization.
Here are four keys to developing a successful peer recognition program:
- Make it public— Public recognition often is more valued by employees than other more conventional forms of recognition. If it is known company wide- it can influence multiple different departments, teams, and employees.
- Keep it consistent— If your company is building their own program, make sure recognition is consistent in terms of when it is awarded, how it is awarded, and why. This helps support the organization and makes it easier for employees to recognize each other.
- Make it a part of the company culture— It is important that team leads and management are encouraging their teams to recognize each other for their innovation and accomplishments.
- Think outside the box— Try to make it unique- don’t offer the typical cash reward. Poll your employees to determine what rewards they might like or what rewards might motivate them.
Some fun peer recognition programs are:
- A company trophy that gets passed around from employee to employee.
- Employees can nominate another employee who they believe deserves the weekly, monthly, or quarterly company trophy.
- Lunch Draws.
- Recognized employees go into a lunch raffle. The winners of the lunch draw enjoy a free lunch. Everybody loves free food!
- Send cards.
- This can be through a designated peer to peer platform or in-hand cards. But allow employees to send thank you’s or kudos to fellow employees. You may even want to include gift cards! I.E. every employee has a monthly kudos bank they can send to team members for good work!
- Prize tokens
- When an employee sees a coworker doing something great or going above and beyond they can give them a token. The tokens can be redeemable for prizes, gift cards, parking spots, lunches, or other rewards.
Please note- these are just a few ideas of ways your company can implement a peer recognition program.
Do you have questions about how to implement an employee recognition program or how an employee recognition program could impact your business? Speak with one of our HR Business Partners today at 631.794.7400.
Stress at work is nothing new. According to recent statistics, 47% of employees stress over job security, 65% stress over bills, and 69% stress over investments and retirement, in addition to other work and personal stressors. But whatever the reason, the presence of stress at work takes a heavy toll. Employee stress often leads to decreased productivity, decreased quality of work, and increased rates of illness and absenteeism, affecting client relationships and hurting the bottom line for employers.
So what can be done to address this issue? Here are a few tips on taking action to curb stress in the workplace:
Pets in the Office
— Allowing pets at work contributes to reduced stress levels, as well as increased rates of teamwork, employee satisfaction, creativity, and productivity
— Employers with more pet friendly policies statistically have employees who are more focused, more comfortable at the office and more willing to work longer hours
— The presence of pets can eliminate some of the natural human barriers and discomforts employees have interacting with each other, making it easier for them to collaborate and work in teams.
Workplace Wellness Programs
— Subsidizing gym memberships, bringing in fitness instructors, or partnering with employee wellness organizations can decrease stress and improve employee health in general.
— Employees who attend and/or utilize available wellness programs have higher rates of job satisfaction and lower rates of job-related stress. Encourage employees to attend events for points or rewards, or educate employees on the benefits of wellness programs.
— A more holistically healthy workforce means better productivity, less absenteeism, and more camaraderie among staff. Offer healthy snacks or provide a list of healthy options in the area.
Encourage Physical Activity
— Ensure employees take advantage of breaks throughout their day to incorporate physical activity. Just 15 to 30 minutes of walking positively affects mood, increases energy levels, and sharpens focus.
— Employees who spent roughly 2 hours a week being physically active were more satisfied with the quantity and quality of their work, reported increased work ability, and took less sick time. Educate employees on the benefits of physical activity.
— Get involved by partnering with charitable fitness events for a company-wide fitness adventure such as Relay for Life or Race for a Cause.
Review your PTO Policy
— Examine how your employees taking advantage of PTO time and how often they exceed available PTO. Having a PTO policy that aligns with employee needs leads to more satisfied employees with less work-related stress.
— Ask for feedback from employees on their usage and opinions of current PTO policies. This creates opportunity for employees to feel more involved often raising morale, work interest, and commitment.
— Compare with PTO policies of employers of similar size and industry to determine if your workforce has adequate time to de-stress and maintain their health.
Do you have questions about how to manage employee stress? Speak with one of our HR Business Partners at 631.794.7400 to learn more about how you can take a proactive approach to workplace stress.
With Valentine’s Day around the corner, whirlwind workplace romance comes to mind. Dating in the workplace has been a muddled issue. We are all familiar with the disastrous consequences of typical workplace romances gone awry, where private and professional lives clash quite publicly. According to a 2016 office romance survey, 66% of baby boomers, 59% or generation x’ers, and 44% of employees age 18 to 24 reported romantic involvement with a colleague that year. Most notably, 23% of survey respondents reported dating a subordinate in some capacity, a common HR nightmare.
So where do employers draw the line? Many employers recommend instituting policies that expressly prohibit romantic relationships between superiors and subordinates which can help to quell major concerns about favoritism and workplace gossip. Beyond just internal concerns, there is inherent risk that romantic endeavors in the workplace can turn sour, leading to sexual harassment claims, inappropriate behavior, unjust firing or promotional practice claims, and general law suits.
Take preventative steps. Educate your employees by holding office trainings on how to identify sexual harassment, what constitutes sexual harassment, and how to uphold healthy workplace practices. Establish clear workplace relationship guidelines in employee manuals and orientation, taking into account workplace culture and employee needs. Lastly, if behavioral, productivity, or professionalism issues come up, or a sexual harassment claim is placed, act quickly and within legal constraints.
Not sure if your company policy adequately addresses workplace relationships? Contact one of our HR business partners regarding your company policies and practices.
Many employers take great care in complying with safety regulations on site to ensure their employees and their pockets remain untouched. What company wants to lose valuable employees to an easily preventable injury? Furthermore, what company wants to pay out for losing staff? So, relying on OSHA guidelines and insightful HR personnel has become the norm for companies aiming to operate safe facilities. Unfortunately, workplace safety isn’t the only factor at play in common injuries, and the results are far more costly than you might imagine. The following are some of the leading causes of disabling workplace injuries, their costs, and how to avoid them.
Repetitive Motions Involving Micro-Tasks: Cost $1.82 Billion
From the secretarial level to the executive, repetitive tasks are unavoidable. This includes daily use of keyboards, smart phones, book binding machines, copy or fax machines, and regular duties associated with mailings or filing assignments. These repetitive motions can take a huge toll on an employee’s physical well-being leading to conditions such as carpal tunnel, tendonitis, and chronic back or joint pain.
How to avoid: Employers can avoid these costly injuries by ensuring employees have access to wellness initiatives that involve proper posture, stretching, and at-your-desk exercises. Companies may also encourage regular breaks to alleviate cramping or overexertion often associated with repetitive motions.
Caught in/Compressed by Equipment; Struck Against Equipment; Struck by Equipment: Cost ranging from $1.85 Billion to $5.31 Billion
When reviewing the above causes of workplace injury, factory or construction settings may come to mind with bulky, dangerous equipment and strict safety procedures. However, injuries resulting from actions as simple as walking into an open file drawer, being struck by an object dropped by a clumsy coworker, or getting caught in office equipment fall under this category. Injuries of this nature can be as mundane as a small bruise or scrape, or as severe as a concussion, broken bone, or pulled muscle.
How to avoid: Preventative measures go a long way. Ensure employees and office management staff are trained to maintain a safe and orderly office environment by closing all drawers, tending to protruding objects that could cause harm, maintaining shelved objects in a safe manner, following safety measures when using office equipment, and making certain that office equipment is secure at all times. If mechanical aids or safety equipment are necessary in any given setting, be sure all staff are trained on when and how to make use of them. Regular review of office layout, office equipment, and potential safety hazards will help employers to manage any workplace risks in real time and manage them appropriately.
Falls on Same Level; Falls on Lower Level; Slip or Trip Without Falling: Cost ranging from $2.35 Billion to $10.17 Billion
Workplace injury can result from slipping on a wet floor, falling up or down a set of stairs, or tripping over an object. It is important to note, however, that employees can fall, slip, or trip for a number of reasons that are not completely related to working conditions. For employees who lead demanding personal and professional lives, levels of awareness can suffer while workplace stress levels rise. Of course, keeping a watchful eye over potential safety hazards in the workplace is vital, addressing employee awareness and stress levels efficiently is just as crucial when looking to prevent accidents of this nature.
How to avoid: Once again, preventative measures like providing safety rails in stairwells, marking wet floors, and warning of areas where the floor is damaged/under construction are key to prevent injury that can result from these scenarios. In terms of employee mindset, levels of awareness and workplace stress can be moderated by wellness programs that allow employees an opportunity to unwind and refocus. Wellness activities such as mindfulness, meditation seminars, and fitness initiatives have been proven to increase employee productivity through improving employee mental and physical health.
Does your policy adequately prevent accidents like these?
If your company needs help reviewing, creating, or instating safety policy, or has any further questions, we can help. Call our office; speak to a human resource professional about your company’s policies or employee handbook. (631) 794-7400. Write to us: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website compasswfs.com
This is not legal advice and will not cover all situations and circumstances.
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- Consequences of Employee Burnout (8/15/2017)
- Coworker, Friend, or Lover? Drawing the Line this Valentine’s Day (2/22/2017)
- Cupid’s Arrows Sting Employers (2/10/2015)
- Do You Work For Us?… Are you an Employee or 1099? (6/9/2014)
- Effective 10/09/18: NYS Mandated Sexual Harassment Training (10/4/2018)
- Employee Engagement and Recognition (5/29/2017)
- Employee Feedback (6/26/2017)
- Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Study Shows Few Employees Take Formal Action in Workplace Harassment Cases (10/3/2018)
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