Category Archives: Happy Employees

Finding the Perfect Incentive for Top Performers

Employee_incentiveIs there a perfect employee incentive?

Well, not all employee incentives are created equal. Employee incentives are to reward top performers.

That is the point! Just like a diverse workplace, incentives can take any shape—from the occasional treat or paid meal, to days off, vacations and extra income.

The best incentives should be like your best employees —innovative, motivating and willing to support the entire team to advance to new heights. Developing an effective reward system should be as valuable as your top performers.

Reward Programs Promote Empowerment

The key to an employee reward program is to promote a sense of empowerment and ownership. Hard work equals more profits, so employees should be able to share in profits, as well as receive individual recognition for their performance.

The first thing is to make employee incentives, rewards and recognition public and highly visible! Everyone in the workplace should understand that the company values good work and rewards high performance.

Concrete evidence of the company’s appreciation of top performers will provide each employee a sense they are working for something than the benefit of senior management.  The result is a more motivated, energized and enthusiastic work force—the perfect recipe for high productivity.

Employee Recognition Equals Employee Engagement

As one of the most powerful tools in the business world, incentive programs can improve the overall quality of employees, more than almost any other factor. When employees are adequately recognized and engaged, they will take less sick days, they are less likely to leave, more flexible and much, much more valuable.

Faced with sagging performance in customer service, American Express needed a change to motivate its call centers. After attempting several plans, with limited success, company leaders came upon a truly brilliant idea. They began providing a revamped benefits package: more pay, flextime and clear recondition for higher performance.

Almost instantaneously, American Express call centers reacted positively, with a 10 percent increase in processing customer calls.

Paid vacations are another popular employee motivation for to reward highest performers.

A paid trip—perhaps costing up to a few thousand dollars—can seem like an extravagantly expensive premium. However, when you crunch the numbers, an investment in employees, by setting an example for all employees to shoot for, becomes money well spent.

The ROI of Employee Incentives

Employee incentive plans—vacations and trips—can have much more “bang for the buck” than a one-off cash bonus. After a time, a single $2500 gift may lose its appeal (especially after it is spent).

However, apply that same $2500 (or even a little less) to a getaway for a top performer, and he or she will return to work with a “glow,” something that will spread throughout a department—or the whole company.

What is a better motivation for a company to get more out of its people? Everyone will need to be the next one on a company-paid holiday!

A well-executed incentive program pays for itself. Spending money on employees provides a return on investment with higher productivity, less sick days taken, improved compliance and better overall morale.

A company can combine the ROI by having the top two (three or more) performing employees take a weekend trip together. When the best employees are enjoying themselves in the same place, who knows what extraordinary things can happen? This makes it a networking opportunity, a way to build relationships and maybe even come up with the next impressive business idea.

Find The Perfect Employee Incentive Program For You!

Not every business can give their best employees paid trips as a way to thank them for their hard work. No matter direction you take your employee incentive program, it should be created to fit your top performers. More importantly, a rewards program should be a highly visible demonstration of their value to your business success.

Of course, employee incentive programs begin with talented employees! Recruiting hiring and onboarding the best talent starts with organization—developing a strategy to cut through the clutter and get the right people for the job.

Think Employee Lawsuits Can’t Happen to You?

Think again.

Discrimination in hiring can be costly when employees sue.When dealing with hiring issues, “I didn’t know” and “I didn’t mean to do that” are excuses that don’t get too much sympathy in court. Discrimination in hiring and firing are serious issues that can be very costly for your business. When cases go to trial awards can be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars because punitive awards are often tacked onto actual damage amounts. Fortunately, most cases are settled out of court somewhere in the middle of what a claimant asks for and what and employer believes is fair. The real winners are, you guessed it, the lawyers.

 So…what kinds of discrimination are common?

 Discrimination comes in many forms.
  • Age discrimination laws are designed to protect workers over the age of 40.
  • Race and ethnicity discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act requires reasonable accommodation in the workplace of disabled workers if the disability is known to the employer.
  • Several States have passed legislation that prohibits practice of excluding unemployed individuals in advertisements for job vacancies.
  • According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), A blanket refusal to hire workers based on criminal records or credit problems can be illegal if it has a undue impact on racial minorities,

 OK….How do I protect my company from discrimination actions?

Avoiding lawsuits, penalties and fines in employment related matters requires a framework of compliance measures put in place at your business and constant monitoring of your company’s compliance. That is one of the key benefits provided by human resource (HR) professionals.

You can employee in-house HR professionals or you can outsource that function. Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs) provide the HR functions on an “as needed” basis. PEOs can help establish the proper framework including employee handbooks, sensitivity training as well as procedures to deal with discrimination issues as they may develop.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is an excellent resource for HR professionals to stay abreast of the laws and regulations surrounding the employer/employee relationship. They also have HR certification programs that result in Professional Human Resource (PHR) and Senior Professional Human Resource (SPHR) certificates.

Even in the best of circumstances, recruiting, hiring and onboarding, the right person can be a challenge. Consider how much worse it would be if after all that, you hire the wrong person.

The cost of a lousy hire is nothing short of incredible!

You may not even be aware of exactly how much a bad hire will set your business back. Here are only a few of the bottom-line costs:

  • Hiring costs (both for a lousy hire and their replacement)
  • Total compensation
  • Employee support costs
  • Lost Productivity
  • Money missing due to neglected sales or business opportunities
  • Loss of clients and reputation

When deciding on a recruiting method for locating and selecting candidates, the sheer number of choices can be overwhelming. In recruitment, failure is never an option since making a poor hiring decision will surely cost your company time and money.

Maybe you are thinking, “How bad could it be?” Consider this; hiring the wrong person could add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. In some cases, the price tag of a poor hire can skyrocket into the millions of dollars!

That is money right off your bottom line.

For example, a second-level manager earning $62,000 per year could cost your business, after 2.5 years, more than $840,000 in associated costs.  The numbers might vary, but the math can apply to employees at every level of an organization.

If lost money and profits aren’t serious enough; add the potential negative impact a unsatisfactory employee can have on your company’s reputation, morale, and productivity. One lousy hire and your business could spend years to recover from the damage!

There is a way to reduce your chances of suffering with a bad hire. Ovation Technologies have all the tools your business needs to engage, screen and hire the best, most-qualified talent. From creating effective and accurate job descriptions to developing a reliable supply of candidates with the right experience, Ovation helps you hire the right person for any type of job.

Ovation even provides pre-hire criminal background checks, as well as driver’s license checks for jobs requiring drivers, truckers and heavy equipment operators.

In a new infographic from Resoomay, a terrible hire doesn’t just cost you time and money. Employees have to work harder to make up the difference, so a lousy hire might just cost your best employees, as well!

The cost of a bad hire far exceeds the cost of a new hire. So, recruit wisely. Use hiring tools such as http://ovationtechnologies.com to rank applicants, perform background screens, and electronically onboard.

Jobseekers – How to Nail a Job Interview

How to Nail a Job Interview, dress neatly, firm handshake, eye contact, be prepared. For a successful job interview, job seekers should be prepared by researching the company and if possible the person who will interview you.Everyone knows that first impressions are the ones that count. But, do you know how to deliver a great first impression at a job interview?

The impression you give on a social level is slightly different than on a job interview. On a social level, your goal is to get a positive acknowledgement that the person you are meeting isn’t weird. Sounds funny but on a personal level, people are initially usually expecting a simple exchange of words and body language to establish normalcy and then look for areas of common interest. If the normalcy bar is reached, the people will invest more of their time establishing a relationship in another. Below the bar (weird level) and people look for the exit.

In a job interview, you are under review and being judged by one with the power to literally change your life. Sounds ominous but not to worry, remember, the other person invited you to interview because they want to hire someone. If you aren’t weird, have the right credentials and present a positive first impression, you have a great chance of nailing it and getting the job.

So let’s look at a few things you can do to better your chances:

(You are on your own with the weird issue)

Do your homework on the company

Job seekers should research potential employers before the job interview. Also, if possible, check out the LinkedIn profile of your interviewer.First, Google the company and explore their website. There are two reasons to research a potential employer. First, make sure the organization is somewhere you want to work. Is the chemistry right for you? If it isn’t, success in landing the job will likely end in a short stint at the company and too many short-term jobs on your resume isn’t good. Second, be prepared to ask and answer questions about the company.

  • If the company has a blog, read it. Look over the website and to get a feel for their products and how they market them. Look at their “In the News” section to be aware of major happenings at the company.
  • If you know someone who works at the company, talk to them about the other people there and the work environment. If you know who will be interviewing you, Google them and also check out their LinkedIn profile.
  • At the end of the interview ask the person if you could take a copy of the company’s handbook along to review. Salespeople call this “assuming the sale”.

 Relax

Job Seekers should relax and breathe deeply before a job interview. Meditation and breathing exercises along with listening to relaxing music helps the job seeker prepare for the interview.While a lack of preparation is one of the biggest sources of anxiety, a well-prepared attitude may be one of the best relaxation techniques available. A positive attitude is contagious, spread yours around. Successful interviewing is all about passion and emotion. People remember positive attitudes, but they never forget fearful or negative ones. Be aware of your emotions and anxiety and before the interview, listen to some music or do some breathing exercises to get into a relaxed frame of mind. Avoid nervous body language like crossing of the arms or clutching your hands in front of your stomach. Look at the interview as a fun experience and it will likely become one.

Here are a few tips from Dale Carnegie, author of “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, that will help in a job interview

  • Offer a firm handshake
  • Maintain eye contact
  • Maintain good posture
  • Be respectful. “Yes Sir/Ma’am  No Sir/Ma’am” show respect
  • Give positive non-verbal communication (smile and nod head when in agreement)
  • Let the other person do a lot of talking
  • Don’t criticize, condemn or complain about past employers

Dress appropriately

Professional dress makes a great first impression for the job seeker. Dress neat and appropriatelyRegardless of how many interviews you have been to or how many you have scheduled, treat each as the last one you will need to go to. Look the part of someone a company would want to hire. A good rule of thumb, often used by successful salespeople, is to dress one level above the person you will be meeting with. In today’s business casual world, that means dress shirts and slacks for men and dresses or pant suits for women. Business casual should be the minimum level of dress for any job. A business interview is not the time to wear your best club clothes.

An employer will appreciate that you have intuitively known the proper dress and grooming. A banking or investment firm will likely mandate more formal attire, so anticipate that and show up accordingly. At many startups and design firms, the college look of tee shirts and sneakers are common. However, they will appreciate the importance you have given to the interview if you show up in business casual.

Remember – Good luck comes to those that bring it

A job interview is about showing a potential employer that you have the required skills and attitude for the job. It is also about demonstrating to the hiring person that you come without baggage and will fit into the company’s culture and its plan for success. Treat the interview as an opportunity to share how great you really are.

Tips on How to Treat Your Employees

Happy employees are good employees. Treat them nice and reap the rewards.Here are some real tips to use in your relationships with your employees. They are from a blog by James Altucher who is an investor, programmer, author, and entrepreneur. He is Managing Director of Formula Capital and has written 6 books on investing. His latest book is I Was Blind But Now I See. You can follow him on Twitter @jaltucher

Here are James’s rules for employees:

A) Treat them as if they are eventually going to be better than you. You can learn from every one of them before you have to fire them or before they abandon you.

B) Picture that all of them will eventually start their own businesses and you are just training them. This doesn’t mean be nice to them all the time. It means train them to start their own businesses. In my first business a bunch of employees broke free, stole some clients, and started their own business. Now they are doing very well. My partners hated them. I love them. It’s good to have many friends who look back and appreciate what you did for them.

C) If an employee gets the “disease” (all they want is more money and they don’t care about anything else and they start to have an attitude) then instantly fire them. There is no cure for the disease and it’s highly contagious.

D) No employee is allowed to say a bad thing about any client. Everyone has to love the client’s products. No gossip. No jokes. Worst situation: One time we had a proposal to send to the U.S. Post Office. Everyone worked very hard on it and we got it done just in time. The project manager FedExed the proposal to the Post Office. Fed. Ex. He was tired because his wife had just had a baby in the prior month. We had to fire him that very night. Nor did we win the job.

E) No gossip about anyone. I was guilty of this as a VC. I would talk badly ab0ut one of the CEOs we invested in. One of my partners told him everything I said. The CEO eventually went bankrupt anyway but he has since written a novel where I am the evil character. Gossip is a seed that gets twisted into history.

F) I picture every employee calling home at night to their mother. The mother asks, “how was your day at work?” I picture the employee saying, “Mom, it was the best.” I picture the mother crying tears of happiness because the baby that once came out of her is so happy to be working with me. I try to make that happen every day.

G) Teach the employee how to exploit you for their own gains. You certainly exploit them. Not in a bad way. You have to exploit them. You charge more for their services than you pay them and than you pay for all of your fixed expenses. That’s how you get rich so it’s worth it. But ultimately they have to exploit you to feel good about the relationship. When you both die there should be no bad feelings that linger among the maggots you share between your graves.

H) How can they exploit you? By building a rolodex off of yours. By learning your skill set. By learning how you deal with your failures. By learning not to repeat your mistakes. By eventually stealing some of your clients and employees and breaking off to start a business or take a higher position at a competitor. None of these things are bad things. You want them to do this. If you train them how to do this then it all becomes a good thing for you in the long run even though you might not see that. If you act with abundance in these situations then abundance will come to you. Too many bosses act with fear and scarcity and ultimately scarcity will come to them.

I) Teach them how to sell. Even if they are programmers. Programmers are often introverted and think they can’t sell. I’m a programmer. Because of their introversion, programmers are often seen as more trustworthy by the clients. Bring programmers or introverts to your meetings. They listen the best and they are the best sales people but they don’t know it.

J) Surprise them. Employees are like “reverse clients.” You have to please them just like you please a client. It doesn’t cost much to reward an employee who gets a job done. Gift certificates, dinners, get a masseuse to come in every Friday, write employees personal notes about what you liked about their work, and so on. Employees, like clients, are the gift that keep giving. They are all there to make you wealthy so you need to be infinitely grateful to them and, ultimately, help them get wealthy.

Read James complete post on TechCrunch