Managing employees

4 Ways Employee Incentives Can Drive Engagement and Retention

Do you incorporate employee incentives into your business? Here are 4 ways you can create better...read more

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Managing employees

7 Excellent Reasons to Focus on Employee Engagement

Is your business engaging with its employees? There are lots of good reasons why you should be,...read more

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Questions

What steps do I have to take to dismiss an employee?

I have an employee who is consistently tardy, talks negatively about my business to the other staff... read more

Asked by:
Meal Five
Meal Five at Meal5
General rules of procedural fairnessGeneral rules of procedural fairnessAn employer is generally required to perform the following steps to ensure that a dismissal is procedurally fair. These will apply whether it is a summary dismissal or a dismissal after warnings. You must carry out a full investigation into the alleged behaviour.The employee should be informed about the exact nature of the allegations and, where appropriate, that dismissal is a possible outcome of the disciplinary process.The employee should be given an opportunity to be heard.The employee should be given the option of having a support person or lawyer present when the hearing takes place.Unless the conduct in question justifies summary dismissal, the employee must be warned and asked to stop the misconduct or improve the poor performance. In appropriate cases, the employee should be given assistance in this. An accepted procedure is to first given an oral warning, then a formal written warning, then a final written warning.The employee should be given the reasons for the decision that you eventually reach. It is advisable that these be given before any dismissal. However, the employee has the right, within 60 days after the dismissal or after becoming aware of it, to request you to provide a written statement of the reasons; you must then provide the statement within 14 days.A dismissal should be notified in writing.An employee can be suspended on full pay pending the outcome of the disciplinary process.
Lisa Ormenyessy
We have used this company and recommended them to our small businesss clients where appropriate to make sure all your ducks line up and nothing comes back to bite you.http://employsure.com.au/
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Questions

How do you prefer to get feedback and/or recognition?

We are all different. But I'd like some different perspectives into what makes us all feel... read more

Asked by:
Jef Lippiatt
Jef Lippiatt Owner at Startup Chucktown
Neil HallsOwner at Clear Path Commercial Consulting
This is something every workplace must do, unfortunately in our experience most of them do it poorly!!The most important point I will make it that feedback must be a continuous conversation, whether it is for positive or negative feedback. Too often people reserve giving feedback for annual or 6 monthly performance reviews. Why is this an issue? Because you top employees who are doing a good job will feel disengaged. You know they are doing great work but they don’t, so in many instances these people will end up leaving your workplace as they feel undervalued. This is not good for you! Alternatively bad performance does not get rectified in a timely manner. The longer bad performance goes on, the harder it is to rectify. Often one of the biggest issues is that people managers lack the skills or confidence to have the hard conversations.In regards to recognition, yes things like recognition and presentation of awards and certificates in front of the team can be valued by employees. However our experience shows that often the little things have the biggest impact. Our work has show that things like a team lunch to celebrate a project milestone can go a long way to rewarding a job well done. Or for a smaller thankyou instead of just saying job well done, take them for a coffee and explain what it was you valued about their contribution. Trust me, as managers we see these things as small, but team members really value them.
Greg Rogers
Greg RogersFounder and CEO at REthink HQ
Hi Jef,I see that your a regular contributor to the site, I would like to acknowledge that. Without regular contributors like you the whole concept kinda doesnt work as well!Is that reinforcing for you? If it is the likelihood of you increasing the behaviour that is being reinforced is higher.If it's not then the likelihood is that the behaviour will decrease.Fairly simplistic answers to an area of Science as complex as us, individuals and humans!My answer is certainly not meant to be blase or condescending in anyway, the Science of Human Behaviour is a fascinating subject.Your question is actually the best answer, you need to ask the individual cos it's different strokes for different folks. The father of Human Behaviour, BK Skinner, will tell you that the biggest variables around the concept of human behaviour are actually the environment and timing.Telling the wife/girlfriend/partner/mistress that she looks hot in that dress...the next morning...just aint as reinforcing as when she steps into the doorway! Guaranteed. That's about the effectiveness of timing on behaviour. The more immediate the reinforcement, the greater influence on behaviour.Telling the wife/girlfriend/partner/mistress that she looks hot in that dress....in front of her work colleagues....as opposed to the privacy of your own home...is going to elicit a completely different response. Guaranteed. That's about the effectiveness of the environment on behaviour. The environment alone can influence or change behaviour.I enjoyed responding to this, I feel reinforced and rewarded.CheersGreg
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Questions

What are some strategies to improve employee retention?

Jef Lippiatt
Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
This question covers a lot of ground, but I'll try to give you a few concrete ideas.Genuinely thank people for their effort - don't make this a robotic process. You don't need to thank everyone every time they do their job (that's their job after all). However, when someone makes a great effort (regardless of if it works out) recognize their effort and work. When someone does something great acknowledge it (to them individually or at a team or company level - but make sure they are comfortable with public recognition before you blurt it out to everyone - so people aren't a fan of public recognition).Give people a bit of margin during the workday / work week - Perhaps its a percentage of time (like Google's 20%) or several hours a week. Give them this room to read industry related articles, take online courses to further their learning or just the time and resources to work on a personal project that fosters learning and can maybe have strategic advantages for the company down the road.Don't make failure a threat - people that take risks can definitely help keep your business going forward (I'm not speaking of anything illegal or anything that would make the company look bad). If you can teach people to learn from mistakes and failure and turn that into a better solution or process going forward, that is still a win. Treat it as such. If failure is penalized, people will only do the bare minimum and that won't be good for your business in the long run.Get to know individuals & what motivates them - First you need to know your people to create a good relationship. Second you need to understand what motivates them. This helps when it is time to give an award. They may want a monetary bonus. Perhaps they'd be happier with an extra day or two of vacation. Maybe they are just looking to make a leap from a regular position into management. Get to know everyone and reward them with what motivates them individually.
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Questions

Would you rather lose a client or lose a staff member?

Or in other words, keep a client and lose a staff member or keep the staff member and lose a... read more

Much prefer to loose a client! I only keep employees if they are awesome.
Jef Lippiatt
Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
Gary,I would somewhat echo what Huy wrote. I would most likely want to keep all of my staff, unless someone was causing problems for the overall team or not meeting expectations. If you've done your due diligence when hiring, it'd probably be hard to let someone go.However, from a client perspective I would examine a few more items. If the client is always difficult to work with, it would be an easy decision to stop working with them. I think the main concern before losing a client would be to consider, how much of your business will be impacted by not having their business? If cutting a client loose (even a difficult one) would impact your business to the point of closing your business you need to do some hard looking. Build up some additional clientele before cutting the client off. I would take that approach to ensure that if I lose a client, my staff would still have jobs.
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Questions

Can you elect to NOT hire someone based on what you find?

Such as violent crime or assault based offences, as you may have a fear for the safety of your... read more

Andre Smith
Andre SmithMarketing
Not sure what the law says about your particular case, but when I am hiring I am not looking just for the best person for the job. Nope. I look at everything I think might influence my future employee. So if you fear for your own, and safety of your employees you can elect not to hire.
Steven Freeman
Steven FreemanOwner at Evolved Sound
Can you elect to do that providing it's not discriminatory or doesn't contravene other laws.
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Managing employees

5 Reasons I'll Never Work In An Office Again

Flexible hours for employees are becoming increasingly popular, and the statistics should be very...read more

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Managing employees

The 5 Biggest Teamwork Problems

Ideally all businesses run smoothly without friction. In reality though even small businesses of a...read more

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Questions

If you have an absenteeism problem, what do you do?

For those of you who have this issue, what steps have you taken and what would you recommend? read more

Asked by:
Phil Khor
Phil Khor Founder at SavvySME
Brad Lyons
Brad LyonsOwner at SMS Fusion
Absenteeism is a result of multiple factors. The best thing to do before taking any action towards attempting to resolve the issue is to first understand it. Some basic analysis of the issue should help identify some trends, for example what are the most common days people are taking off. Do those days correlate with any internal or external events. If you can see a trend appearing, for example every second pay day the same employee is calling in sick, you can start to understand what is happening. People are creatures of habit, that is why behavioral modeling is so effective if done correctly. If you have a system in place to identify when employees are starting work you may even be able to identify early signs of absenteeism and address the issue before it starts. Absenteeism reporting is common place in large businesses, sure they have expensive reporting software however the same analysis can be done without expensive software. In some cases it could simply be the person is lazy however in a lot of cases it is something you need to do to change. Like Neil said in his reply, review internal factors as it could be something your doing. KPI, bonus structure and other incentives work however some people just need a challenge and may be getting bored with their job and seeking new challenges.
Neil Steggall
Neil SteggallPartner at Wardour Capital Partners
In my experience recurrent problems such as absenteeism suggest underlying management issues within the organisation. These problems can result from a single bad manager or a more fundamental problem with your organisational structure, poor recruiting practices or your levels of staff engagement and communication. The first step is to question why (assuming it is organisational absenteeism rather than a single person) staff are dissatisfied and feel the need to take time off, look firstly within for a possible solution. If it is a single person absenting themselves repeatedly, firstly look at their work environment and line manager and if all looks good there discuss the issue with the staff member, do they have problems outside work, can you help, would greater flexibility in working hours help? Of course if the person is simply a shirker then move to terminate that person with due process.
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Questions

Do you let your employees work from home?

If so, how are you finding that? what are some key benefits/issues that you have noticed? read more

Asked by:
Yee Trinh
Yee Trinh Co-founder at SavvySME
Our business uses a mix of office staff, onsite staff at client locations, and offsite bookkeepers who work part-time from home. This has been a productive model over the past 5+ years.There are pros and cons to each approach. Our favoured approach is onsite engagements where our bookkeepers work directly with the client in their office. Many of our bookkeepers are part-time, and this provides opportunity for them to develop rapport and relationship with the client. It also tends to be more efficient in terms of gathering paperwork, getting answers to queries, resolving any issues, and dealing with any complexities, management approvals, etc...However, there are situations where it is more appropriate for a bookkeeper to work from home. One example of this is where the client is a small business (e.g. a tradesman) and is frequently out with their own clients, so there is negligible value in working 'onsite'. Another factor is often that there is limited space or only one computer - working from home avoids the situation where the bookkeeper is inconveniencing the business owner by needing to use their computer and/or desk.The biggest issue, however, when staff don't work in our own office, is building the relationship with our own staff. Often, bookkeepers can become closer to their clients than to their own manager/boss/colleagues. We try to balance this a little through regular catchups, team events, training at our office, and other opportunities to connect.We've also, in the past, used less skilled staff for specific tasks, and felt that we needed to monitor them more closely. There are some great software tools available these days that allow us to see and even capture at regular intervals the screen of our staff member. This provides us with the capability to assess their efficiency, assist them with matters they find challenging, answer technical queries, etc...Overall, we see working from home as a valuable and viable component of a distributed business model.
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Managing employees

5 Questions to Ask Before Dealing With a Negative Team Member

Running a business of any size is hard - and having the added issue of a disgruntled employee can...read more

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Managing employees

Canity is an online staff training platform for businesses looking to improve their customer service

Customer service can make or break any business and especially for a smaller business it's vital to...read more

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Managing employees

20 Rewards Your Employees -- and Budget -- Will Love (Infographic)

Here are some ways to show your appreciation without opening your wallet. read more

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Questions

How do you get your team to generate and share ideas?

Some Vinomofo deals are very creative in content and presentation, and am sure commercially solid.... read more

Justin DryOwner at Vinomofo
First we actively encourage them to think about it and share with the team. Even if it’s not related to Vinomofo. We call this Mofo Projects and it has led to some really cool ideas and even the creation of a few startups! In regards to the secret deals example, they say necessity is the mother of all invention and it certainly was in this case. In the early days of Vinomofo we were regularly facing the same challenge - wineries wanted to sell us their wines but at such epic prices, distributors and other retailers would get upset. Then one day a team member said “what if we hid the label?” and the secret deal was born. So now we have an agreement with the producers not to reveal these wines and a promise to our customers that they’ll have the “wow” moment when it arrives and they found out what it is. We have 100% confidence that if a wine passes our tasting panel (only 5% do) then our Mofos will love it. And we stand behind that by offering a 100% no questions asked money back guarantee.
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Managing employees

Manage People as Adults Not as Children

Realize more creativity and productivity from employees with these six techniques. read more

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Questions

How many times do you encounter 'difficult' customers or colleagues?

When you encounter a person who is 'difficult' what skills do you use to manage the situation to a... read more

Asked by:
Malcolm Dawes
Malcolm Dawes Managing Director at dta Worldwide
I have had three clients that were 'difficult' in the past year.Two were because I offered a discount or free service at one point.The third was unforeseen.I now do my best not to attract 'difficult' people to my business. I have clear processes in place and do not advertise discounts or provide free services.
Mary Mai
Mary MaiBusiness Intelligence Analyst at Savvysme
Which industry is this?
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Managing employees

4 Initiatives Chief Marketing Officers Must Get Right In 2014

The pace of change is accelerating. Last year, most Chief Marketing Officers faced the tasks of...read more

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Managing employees

Don't Lose Valuable Employees - Repurpose Them

I’m always fascinated by stories of how entrepreneurs can take some asset or business,...read more

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Managing employees

6 Tips to Reduce Employee Theft

One in every 40 employees steals from their employer. Make sure that your store isn’t a...read more

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