Archive for November, 2011

How to Be an Employer of Choice

Thursday, November 17th, 2011,, employement screeningIf you want to have the kind of company that people want to work for, here are some tips to help you achieve that goal and reduce employee turnover:

  • Create a positive environment: Promoting open communication, positive feedback, and friendliness can produce an overall feeling of positivity among your company. Relax the rules and allow comfortable clothing. Encourage employees to express their personalities in their attire and work environments. Celebrate happy occasions more often.
  • Open it up: Ban the private office in favor of group work areas. Provide private areas with comfortable couches for brainstorming sessions.
  • Be family-friendly: Provide quality onsite day care. Absenteeism will decrease, and satisfaction will increase among staffers with kids.
  • Promote play: Engage staff in activities such as 5K runs at lunch, mountain biking or surfing, or occasional bowling nights. If you’re close to the ocean, provide surfboard parking so employees can go surfing at lunch. Install a bike rack and buy a few used bikes for anyone to use. If you’re near a trail, encourage walking meetings. Close down for a day and go on a field trip. Install showers so employees can get their exercise before work or in the middle of their day.
  • Make it meaningful: If your company gives back to charities, involve employees in making the decision about which groups to support. When their efforts support causes they believe in, their efforts to do well increase. When their work is meaningful, people are much more engaged in the outcome.
  • Respect everyone: Respect comes in many different forms. From soliciting their ideas, to showing appreciation, to allowing employees to listen to music as they work. You can even provide the ear buds.
  • Trust: Communicate expectations, but then trust staffers to meet their deadlines by working however how they work best. Give them the freedom to meet their objectives, but do check in to see if they need help.
  • Do the right thing: If an employee needs time off for personal reasons, or if they need a more flexible schedule to care for kids or a parent, work with them. Flexibility doesn’t hurt the bottom line, but it goes a long way to creating loyal employees.

Allowing employees to be themselves means they will bring their best selves to work every day. By promoting respect, play, freedom and trust, yours can be a company that people – even you – want to work for.

Hiring? Avoid Making These Types of People Your New Employees

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

employee screening, employee background checkIf you’re hiring, you’ll likely see all types of applicants. Some will be a good fit for your company, and some won’t. Some will help you weed them out with big red flags, like lying on their resumes, while others throw out little pink flags that are more difficult to spot. While they look great on paper and interview well, certain types of employees may prove to be more trouble than you expect. The impact can range from simple aggravation to permanent harm to your company, your reputation or your brand.

Three Types of Employees You Don’t Want to Hire

  • The first type to avoid is the employee who performs at the “just enough” level. They do just enough work to get by. They come in exactly on time, and leave just when the clock says their shift is over. They contribute just enough to the company culture, share just enough ideas and give just enough of themselves to help out fellow employees. While one of these types on staff probably won’t hurt your company, can you imagine if you had an entire “just enough” team? Avoid hiring this type of person.
  • Next, you might see the entitled type of employee. You might think you’re doing them a favor by hiring them, but their opinion is quite the opposite. They feel you owe them a job, and you’re the one who’s receiving the favor of them showing up for work. Soon, you’ll hear that they are not being paid enough, or that their job description doesn’t cover the tasks you’re asking them to perform. They may expect special treatment. Some view benefits like paid sick leave as just like vacation, and therefore theirs for the taking—whether they are sick or not.
  • The constant complainer is another potentially burdensome employee. When interviewing, ask lots of questions about why the applicant left his or her previous job, what they liked and did not like about it, the company, their supervisor and fellow employees Look for clues, which might range from negative comments about a previous boss or company, or even “joking” about the dress code. And ask about how much interaction they had with customers. An interviewee who complains about customers has his or her priorities in the wrong order.

While you might not discover these toxic types of employees until after they’ve been hired, if you can avoid them, you’ll be glad you did. And remember, employee pre-screening is a must to uncover any credit issues, an undisclosed criminal background or discrepancies that can indicate a potential problem employee.