Archive for Workplace

Summer Work Schedules

Summer is fast approaching and you know what that means? Employees are going to be distracted. For the productivity of your company, why not consider a flex schedule? Many companies keep summer hours, whether it’s an early out on Friday afternoon or a late start on Monday.

Who wouldn’t want to sneak out early to spend a few hours at the beach, while others are wondering what their kids are up to at home on summer vacation. Many businesses find that offering alternative summer work schedules help energize and rejuvenate their employees to be more productive, not to mention it’s a fabulous morale booster. If your type of business isn’t schedule-restrictive and you haven’t considered offering a flex schedule this summer, it’s not too late. Your employees will surely thank you!

A consolidated work week option is a common summer schedule to offer, from working four 10-hour days with one day off to 9 hour days with a half day off or 9 hour days with a day off every two weeks. In some companies employees are allowed to choose which of these options works better for their schedules.

Many companies allow working from home year round, while other companies permit it more during the summer. Employees with children off from school for the summer will find this especially helpful since they may have to provide transportation to daycare or camp.
As you design the plan that works for your company, think about your daily and weekly business demands. And will this plan work for all aspects of your company?

Be sure to advise your staff there may be times when all employees, or just a few, will need to forego their summer hours.

Inform employees upon implementation, that the program will be evaluated and may be changed at any time due to business needs.

The benefits to a summer hours program can be enormous, but should be carefully thought out prior to implementation.  Summer is the time many employees want to have fun, but you also need to ensure that the commitments of the business are met.

Do you keep summer hours?  What does your company do for summer? Let us know…

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Not So Great Expectations: Are You Setting Your Employees Up For Failure?

As employers, we invest a lot in our staff, and in return, expect a lot from them. From following company policies, procedures, to effectively completing assignments and job duties; in order to be successful, it’s imperative for every member of your team to comprehend exactly what’s required of them. If your employees don’t understand your expectations, how can they be expected to achieve them? Make sure you’re not setting your team up for failure with these two common blunders.

Having Unclear Expectations
When it comes to expectations, communication is key. Without a good understanding of what you require of them, at some time or another, your employees will not meet your expectations, which could lead to productivity, profitability, and morale issues for you. Take time to make sure every member of your team understands their job description, key duties, goals, and the role they play in your company. If you have specific expectations for a project, communicate those expectations clearly and concisely. By asking for their feedback and questions you are able to ensure everyone’s on the same page.

Having Unrealistic Expectations
If the expectations set for your team are unrealistic; your employees could be doomed from the get go. Making sure the goals, projects, and deadlines you establish are realistic and attainable. A great place to start is by making sure your individual and company goals meet the “SMART” goals standard by being specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely. It’s crucial to ensure your employees have the skills, experience, and tools they need to complete the projects you assign.

For the most part people come to work with the desire to succeed. No one likes to fail and your team will stand a better chance of flourishing at work if you set these clear, realistic expectations from day one. 

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Boost Employee Morale and Increase Productivity


We all have those days when we’re down in the dumps and just can’t get motivated. But are you seeing that more often than not at your office? Is productivity beginning to suffer?  Does the staff morale need a makeover?

There are many simple, but effective techniques you can use to boost employee morale, even if your staff is really down in the dumps.

Change up the schedule
When people are stuck in a rut, you need to break out of the daily grind. Allow them start a little later on Monday so they can tie up any personal loose ends leftover from the weekend and come in focused and ready to turn things around.

Have a daily pow wow
When people are down, keeping things quiet will only make it worse. Have a daily brief meeting where you can share the actions and progress you’re taking to make things better. Do this in a daily circle standing, like a huddle.  It creates a natural shot of energy and is better for you than coffee and doughnuts.

Say “thank you”
This is the easy one. It’s just two simple words. Say it and say it about something specific and with sincerity. Showing your staff they are appreciated goes a long way in the effort to increase morale.

Let them talk
If you’re a customer service person you’re taught that angry people need to vent before they’ll be open to change. Speak with your employees individually or in small groups to share the problems and challenges they’re facing. This technique is a considerable step in restoring morale. In large groups it’s more likely to get someone on a soap box harping on one problem, which can generate more problems than you can fix, so keep it to smaller more personal groups.

Change the scenery
Even in the greatest workspace, emotions can decline when the physical environment stays the same. Get your team out of the office occasionally for a unique and different activity, like volunteering for a day at Habitat for Humanity, community food drive or a company fishing trip. While everyone is out, have the office spruced up with fresh paint or floral arrangements with bright colors. The return to a clean bright space may be just the sparkle you need to improve morale.
Do something out of the ordinary
Bringing in doughnuts or bagels for breakfast is a nice gesture, but might not be enough to uplift the mood. Do something different: If your employees sit in front of their computers all day, hire a massage therapist to come in so employees can enjoy quick but revitalizing back and shoulder massage. Or how about hiring a yoga instructor to come in to teach a class for an hour? 

Remember-Have fun! You don’t have to dress in a crazy costume, but you can promote good spirits and enjoyment in the workplace. Go around and talk to your employees. Smile. Acknowledge what they do, for without them, you wouldn’t be in business.

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