Sunday, March 16, 2014

Motivate Unhappy Employees

No one likes to manage unhappy employees. They can be tough to motivate and resistant to change. In addition, unhappy employees can negatively affect team and organizational performance. However, giving up isn't the solution. Being a true leader means getting the most out of your team no matter what the situation.

Here are 3 ideas to help you invigorate unhappy employees:
Work to Inspire
Employees sometimes lose their focus at work. Maybe they aren't sure what is expected of them or what the goal of the organization is. Your responsibility is to help them get a better understanding of these things. Schedule regular one-on-one meetings. Take the time to ensure that they know what they should be doing on their project, or maybe when their next deadline is. Explain why their work is important. Spending quality time with your employees and giving them a chance to talk out their thoughts allows you to see issues before they get too big, or even develop at all.

Develop Them
Resolving some issues may be as simple as giving an employee a more challenging project. Set expectations high so they'll become more invested in their assignment. A work environment without challenges, and their associated successes upon completion, can easily lead to boredom. That can turn a happy employee into an unhappy one.

Send the employee to a class to learn a new skill or technique. Allow them to attend a seminar. These are great ways to motivate people. Having something new to learn and bring back to share with others can motivate not just the individual employee. It can motivate the entire team and foster a stronger team bond.

Break the Tension
Take them to lunch. Managers tend to spend more time with people they like, but you may make your unhappy employees feel excluded. Make an effort to evenly spread your attention around.

For the overworked employee, grant some time off. Employees like to have a few extra hours or an extra day to recharge after (or during) a big effort, especially when it’s not part of their standard compensation. Just make sure it doesn't turn into an expectation for them or it could turn into a bigger problem for you.

For employees with a long or expensive commute, allow them to occasionally work from home if the nature of their work can be performed remotely. However, tell them your performance expectations, and make sure you measure their work results to ensure they are as productive working from home as working from within the office.

Create a workplace culture that’s conducive to overall employee satisfaction. When you see that an employee is unhappy, take quick action to improve their demeanor and performance.

David Schuchman

Saturday, March 1, 2014

What to Look For When Hiring a New Employee

Hiring the best people is more critical than ever. In a tight job market, you are able to be more selective about who you hire. However, the cost of finding, interviewing, engaging and training new employees is high. With so many qualified candidates, here are six things that you should look for when you review and interview job applicants.
Professional Competency
Does the candidate have the necessary skills, experiences and education to successfully complete the tasks to perform well? Look for evidence in a person’s past that shows that they can. This doesn't mean that each candidate needs to have done this particular job with this particular title before. Instead, it means the candidate needs to have a track record of success in the skills that the position requires.

Can this candidate get along with colleagues, and with existing and potential clients and business partners? An additional critical consideration is the person’s willingness and ability to get along well with you (his or her boss). If the new employee can’t get along well with others, there will be problems.

Satisfaction with the Organization
You want to hire a candidate who will stick around for a long time. You will  also want to hire a person who will be happy with the job. An unhappy employee tends to be less productive, become a drain on other employees' morale, and may quickly leave your organization.

Fit with Company Culture
Does the candidate seem like they will easily embrace the culture, or does it seem like they will struggle to fit in? Every business has a culture or a way that people behave and interact with each other. Culture is based on certain values, expectations, policies and procedures that influence the behavior of a leader and employees. Workers who don’t reflect a company’s culture tend to be disruptive and difficult.

Does the candidate have values that align with your organization? Are they honest; do they tell the truth and keep promises? Are they a team player? It's not enough to just show up at work every day and do the minimum required. Look for candidates who care about getting things done, and to do those things well.

Enthusiasm for the Job
Is this just one job of many the candidate is applying to? Or, does the candidate have a special interest in this one? You would rather hire someone who will be excited to come to work than someone who sees it as "just a job."

David Schuchman