Posts Tagged ‘Leadership’

Why Your Best Workers Quit

Friday, July 12th, 2013

employee credit check, pre employment backgound checkHaving a group of happy, loyal and productive employees is every business owner’s dream. But it’s inevitable that things in business go wrong. Morale can suffer for reasons as diverse as declining sales, layoffs and managerial stress levels.

And when morale drops, productivity drops. People start looking for other work. And soon, you’re replacing your best workers. But if you know why people leave, you can be proactive about solving the issues and giving them incentives to stay.

Why do employees quit?

They don’t feel connected to the company: Many managers keep employees in the dark. They don’t share information about financials or the big picture. They keep their vision for the company and their own department to themselves. As a result, employees have little sense of why they are important to the company. They don’t feel compelled to make a difference—which is very important to most people.

Their work does not motivate them: Plenty of people work for low pay in jobs they love, because they get something of great value out of it—self satisfaction, or external praise for their contributions. But many employers expect workers to be motivated just by their paychecks. It takes more than financial compensation to attract and retain the best workers.

They don’t enjoy themselves at work: Your company may not be a fun factory, but that doesn’t mean people can’t find enjoyment in their work. Engaging employees in new ways can go a long way toward that. Offer flexible hours. Eliminate the dress code. Encourage workers to decorate their cubicles and offices to reflect their personalities. Learn from innovative employers like Google and Zappos.

They see no career path: Do you provide a way for employees to work their way up from their current positions? If so, is it clearly understood by them? If workers feel “stuck,” they will look elsewhere for some upward mobility. And sadly, many employees report that they don’t know if their companies offer any way to move up.

If you have valuable, talented employees that you want to keep, you can help them stick around by paying attention, offering them more than a paycheck and making them part of the company’s success.

When you’re recruiting the perfect team, don’t neglect employee background screening. The best pre-employment screening process includes employee background checks, employee credit checks, and criminal background checks. You’ll know you’re hiring safe when you screen employees before offering a position.

10 Leadership Traits Anyone Can Use

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

employee screening, pre-screening, employment screeningLeaders vary in their styles and how they motivate employees to perform at their best. But good leaders have commonalities that help everyone around them. All business owners and managers can learn from the great leaders, who typically utilize the following traits to be effective:

  1. Confidence: No matter how you go about boosting yours, confidence is an essential trait that every leader needs. If you’re not confident in your abilities, no one else will be. Being confident doesn’t mean being arrogant or knowing the answer to every question. It does mean knowing what you don’t know and being willing to find out the answers.
  2. Curiosity: Finding out who you really are and learning more about your team members are important aspects of becoming confident. Knowing your strengths and those of your direct reports makes everyone more efficient.
  3. Focus: Great leaders know where they are going. They are focused on the goal and how to achieve it.
  4. Listening Skills: Just as focus on a goal helps you achieve it, listening to people moves everyone toward the objective. People who don’t feel heard will soon tune you out. No matter what rank or level a person is, giving them your full attention will make you soar in their eyes.
  5. Integrity: It should go without saying that leaders do what they say they’ll do with honesty, so people can count on them and trust in their words. Lack of integrity will sink a leader quickly—and has no place in any reputable company.
  6. Engagement: The ability to engage an entire team is a sign of a great business leader. By challenging your people, seeking their ideas and recognizing their contributions, you’ll have then engaged and motivated to help achieve the goal.
  7. Communication: Being a good communicator means being open to sharing both good and bad news, talking about your vision and hopes for your team and your company, and instills trust. It also fosters communication back to you, which all leaders need from their teams.
  8. Support: Foster a positive environment that helps your teams flourish. Letting people know you truly care can motivate them more than money.
  9. Collaborate: Ask for ideas and help from your team members, both the best and those who may struggle more. Collaboration makes people feel valued and encourages them to do better.
  10. Celebrate: Let people know you’re proud of their accomplishments. Celebrating successes helps relive stress that today’s competitive environment can bring, and helps recharge workers’ batteries.

Whether you’re a business owner, project manager or team leader, you owe it to your people to work on strengthening your leadership skills. Not only will your team feel happier at work, but they will be more productive and may even stick around longer!

If you’ve found the perfect candidate, don’t overlook proper background screening. The best pre-employment screening process includes employee background checks, employee credit checks, and criminal background checks. You’ll know you’re hiring safe when you screen employees before offering a position.

Leadership Tips: Start with a Vision

Friday, August 7th, 2009

revers on employee screening blogQuickBooks developer and NetBooks founder Ridgley Evers believes in using technology to make running small businesses easier. In a recent interview, he discussed how he’s currently combining his passion for small business, technology, and food at DaVero, his Sonoma, California farm, where they grow olive trees, grapes, and fruit trees, and make a variety of wines and olive oils.

According to Evers, all businesses, large and small, start with a vision, and leaders work backwards to determine the right path to reach it. Fulfilling a vision can take a few years, or in the case of DaVero’s olive trees—centuries!  But not knowing the company’s vision or purpose is a crucial misstep made by many businesses—one that can lead to their downfall.

Evers’s idea of success is to create a sustainable business and lead people forward to the vision. And, he says, it’s even more important in a small business that everyone is moving toward a common vision.

To make that happen in your company, spend time with new employees to help them understand why your company matters—and where it’s going. You should also ensure that each employee understands their individual role in the bigger vision.  Creating a sense of pride among employees will make them more likely to buy into the company’s goals—which leads to higher loyalty and less turnover.

Evers also laid out the four things he believes every successful businesses does:

1. Focus first on the customer. Concentrate on satisfying each one.

2. Have an authentic voice—so customers understand what the company is about and where it’s going.

3. Hire slowly, but fire quickly. Take the proper care when hiring new employees, but when you make a mistake, cut your losses and move on.

4. Know when to ask for help.

Small business owners are building what is will be their most important asset—so running it well pays off both in the short and long term. Identify and stay focused on the company vision—it’s the first step in every successful business.

Now is the Time to Delegate

Monday, March 30th, 2009

CB056550If your company has downsized to cut expenses lately, you’re likely facing the need to produce at pre-recession levels—or higher—with fewer people to do the job. You know that you need everyone to pull together now, but how do convince your staff to do it?  

Your employees know what’s going on in the job market, and most are probably thrilled to still have one. This is certainly not a something to take advantage of, but it can turn into a win-win situation. If your employees are more motivated and loyal, and you’re communicating your expectations clearly while treating everyone fairly, you may find them willing and ready to take on more responsibility. The happy result? You get the help you need, and your employees learn new skills, making them happier, more loyal, and more valuable. 

How do you delegate without making your staff feel overworked? Present your requests as opportunities for learning new skills or taking on leadership or management roles, not as another entry on an employee’s to do list. Empowering your employees to make decisions will help bring your company through this crucial economic time. 

Remember to build in a feedback procedure and be sure that every delegated task or project has a concrete timeline, so that everyone feels a sense of accomplishment.

5 Ways to Empower Employees Through Delegation

1. Give your employees a sense of ownership in the project; encourage questions and suggestions.

2. Don’t give out pieces of a task—let the person know the overall goal or purpose of the project so they understand it completely.

3. Don’t just hand over a project and walk away. Interact, ask for feedback, and know for sure that the employee understands exactly what you expect before you turn it over.

4. Help them know when they’re finished: take the time to explain your request thoroughly and paint a picture of what the outcome should look like.

5. Tell your staff at what points you’ll need progress reports or feedback. Let them know they’re on their own, but not all alone. 

When you’re hiring again, employment background checks will help you attract and retain the best employees to help you through your company’s growth and prosperity.

Lead Your Employees Through the Recession

Friday, March 20th, 2009

Image courtesy of Flikr.com/pedrosimoes

Image courtesy of Flikr.com/pedrosimoes

Many small businesses are struggling through the current uncertain, tough economy. Perhaps you’ve had to lay off employees, cut perks and reduce spending, making your remaining staff’s jobs more difficult.

Times like these force everyone to step up; you may be seeing a welcome side effect of the downturn in more focused and dedicated employees. Take advantage of this situation and hone your leadership skills. With tough decisions to face and stress to handle, it may seem impossible to be a great leader; but now is not the time to become self-absorbed and forget that your employees still need your guidance.

A recent article in Family Business Magazine offers these tips:

1. Meet with your staff often.  Clear, frequent communication is vitally important.  People are smart; they know what’s going on in the world around them; they know what your customers are up to. Be honest about the economic slowdown and stay ahead of the gossip curve before things spiral out of control.

Great leaders learn from staff and customers every day.

2. Acknowledge your shared fears.  Recognize the real fears and concerns that exist at all levels of business and society. Again, communicate with your employees. Listen to their concerns and put yourself in their place. Just allowing them to vent is often a big help.

A leader listens first, and then speaks.

3. Put things in perspective. If your company has weathered tough times before, it will do so again. Let your employees know this: they may have no idea what your company has been through—and no idea how strong it really is. 

Leaders keep an eye on the past when planning for the future.

4. Invite your employees to participate in finding solutions. Ask for their creativity, and reward them for great ideas.  Some companies pay bonuses for cost-cutting suggestions; others hold brainstorming pizza parties to work on strategic planning together.

Leaders help their employees feel like part of the solution, not part of the problem.

5. Be an optimist!  A negative attitude is viral.  Instead, spread the positive. Remind your team about previous wins.  Talk about the positive results that came from other difficult times. Focus your staff on ways they can repeat those efforts that once proved successful. 

Leaders always focus on the positive, and teach others to do the same.

Watch your actions; measure your words; remember that your staff is looking to you for guidance through a difficult time. The way you carry yourself—for better or worse—will be long remembered.  Do whatever you must to ensure that your staff’s memories of this economic downturn are as positive as possible.

When you’re hiring again, pre employment screening checks will help you attract and retain the best employees to help you through your company’s growth and prosperity.