Archive for the ‘General’ Category

If You Could Fix Your Employee Compensation, Would You?

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

If you knew 50% of your employees didn’t feel like they were being paid fairly, would you make adjustments to ensure you’re employees felt fairly compensated? Would you want to ensure your employees felt like if they were doing a good job, they were getting paid for it? According to the 2014 towers Watson Global Workforce study only 40% of employees think their employer links performance and pay scale. These numbers are pretty staggering. It’s time employers listen to employees regarding employee compensation before their is irreparable harm done to the employee employer relationship.

Employers, on the other hand know that they are only doing a mediocre job communicating pay scale. Only 35% of employers think their employees understand how base pay is communicated. So, employers have a few options at their disposal to improve employee compensation issues:

  • Communicate base pay strategy and bonus structure better. By setting appropriate expectations employees will be more satisfied when the expectations are met.
  • Supplement typical salary and bonuses with spot rewards. Using small gifts, given out on no specific schedule to recognize employees for a job well done is a great way to supplement employee income. Small denomination gift cards allow employees to treat themselves at popular retailers like Crutchfield and The Cheesecake Factory.
  • Solicit feedback. If you’re not meeting industry standard, your employees are going to walk out the door. Make sure you meet standard market value and that your employees are satisfied with your plans.

For more information on fixing a rocky (in some cases broken) employee compensation program, check out MarketWatch and the full Towers Watson study.

Creating Specific Employee Health Goals

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

f4429a1a0a658cb0f0b6a1849e15ae8a_SEmployee health programs are still rising at a rapid rate. According to a recent Towers Watson survey 48% of employers are testing employees biometrics as part of an employee health program, compared to only 14% of employers doing the same 4 years ago. Using specific biometric goals like losing a certain amount of weight or lower cholesterol by a certain percentage is a tangible way to lower costs for both employees and employers.

Offering incentives for voluntary participation in programs like this are a great way to help employees reach goals and make long term healthy choices that help your organization and their well-being. Providing even small rewards like gift cards to healthy retailers like CVS/Pharmacy, GNC and Whole Foods Market provide the support and boost employees need to stay the healthy course and meet their goals.

On the flip side, employers’ other option to boost participation in employee health programs is to apply disincentives, or financial penalties on employee premiums for healthcare. While this is permitted, research has shown that providing positive incentives (carrots) rather than penalties (sticks) are more effective in nurturing employees to health rather than threatening change.

Establishing (and Maintaining) Work Life Balance

Friday, September 12th, 2014

Work life balance is something that all employers and employees struggle with. However, working to maintain that work life balance can be some of the most important time you spend keeping your employees happy and fulfilled at work. Here are three ways you can work with your employees to ensure that both you as the employer promote a work life balance and an environment where employees believe in the importance of a work life balance.

  1. Prioritize Everyone’s Time. Make sure employees know what to spend time on and what to deprioritize. Ensuring that employees support team goals and focus on the same things will ensure that work loads remain manageable.
  2. Leverage Distractions. Instead of discouraging employees from taking breaks and being distracted, encourage employees to take breaks and be curious. Try encouraging employees to take team “adventures” that can be fit into a lunch hour. Building in distractions makes them scheduled breaks and gives employees something to look forward to, rather than disrupting work flow.
  3. Consider an Open Vacation Policy. Work life balance is exactly that. Employees shouldn’t fear taking vacation and it shouldn’t be something they have to plan in January to ensure they don’t go over some arbitrary limit. Offering an employee unlimited vacation time allows employees to take vacation as they need it, providing a culture of work life balance. Some rules or regulations may need to be put in place to ensure the policy isn’t taken advantage of, but giving a more relaxed feel to time off for vacations can go a long way for employees.

For more information on creating and maintaining work life balance in your organization head over to Fast Company.

How to Keep Employees Motivated (and how not to)

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Keeping employees motivated keeps them happy at work, maintains productivity and prevents negative peer-to-peer interactions. Money can be a short term motivator but it doesn’t have lasting effects to keep employees motivated long term. Here are three ways to keep employees motivated for the long haul.

  1. Coaching: Helping your employees perform better makes your organization better. Providing an environment for employees to grow will keep employees around and allow the organization to grow with your employees and vice versa.
  2. Relationships: Build relationships between managers and employees and between peers. Relationships build a stronger team and that kind of ROI is priceless.
  3. Dialogue: Give employees an opportunity to provide feedback, not just during a semi-annual review cycle but, whenever they want. Keeping the lines of communication open ensures that employees will feel their voices are being heard and valued.

Check out the infographic below from Salesforce and Rypple for more ideas on how to motivate your employees and also some key points to steer clear of.


Wearable Devices in Your Corporate Wellness Program

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Wearable devices are becoming a growing trend in the fitness community and now for employers looking to track their corporate wellness programs. Wearable technology provides a unique opportunity for both employees and corporate wellness program administrators to track participants’ progress in real time. Here are a few ways incorporating these “wearables” into your corporate wellness programs can boost its effectiveness.

  1. Create Team Challenges- Use the real-time data to create fun team challenges. Can the marketing team take more steps in a week than the IT team? Program administrators can track progress and bolster competitiveness within the office. The competitiveness can become loftier wellness goals for all teams involved in the challenge.
  2. Make “Wearables” Part of Company Culture- Providing a wearable fitness tracking device to participants of your corporate wellness initiative has the capacity to boost participation and get employees engaged with the program on a day-to-day and even hour-by-hour basis.
  3. Use Incentives for Participants- Providing nominal incentives, like small denomination gift cards to healthy retailers like Whole Foods Market, GNC and CVS/pharmacy can give employees a boost in a healthy direction. Promoting wellness by example is a productive way to boost participation and level of commitment.

For more ways to promote your corporate wellness program through wearable technology (and vice versa) head over to

Work Perks That Maintain Employee Loyalty

Friday, September 5th, 2014

Casual Fridays are nice, free snacks are great, beer cards on Fridays, awesome. However, giving employees work perks that save them money and time aren’t always good enough when the goal is raising employee loyalty. Here are a few unique work perks that are a great was to push your loyalty program over the top and keep your employees sticking around for the long-term.

  1. Laundry Service: If employees wash an average 400 loads of laundry a year, and the low-end drop off laundry service costs about $1/pound you could be saving employees about $500 a year. This is also a huge time saver. By picking up employees laundry you take one more item off the weekend chore list. This may work best for employers with a young (presumably single) workforce, but where it fits, the value is significant.
  2. Free Healthy Food: Providing free snacks is great. However, providing free breakfast, lunch and snacks with an emphasis on nutritional value beats the cheese puffs in the cabinet any day. You will be saving employees an average of $2,500 annually (assuming 50 weeks of work a year about about $10 on lunch per work day). The savings is palpable and it shows an employer’s commitment to both a social workplace and a healthy one.
  3. Spa Services: Spa services you say? May sound a little ridiculous, but it can provide some much needed self-care for employees who put in long hours for your organization. Bringing a masseuse or a manicurist to the office once a month or once a quarter is a great way to treat employees and say “thank you” while providing some healthy and much needed stress relief.

Employee perks should be just that. Something earned, not given. For a hard working staff, they can go far in promoting long tenure, employee loyalty and employee satisfaction. For more ideas on innovative employee perks, check out this article from

4 Ways to Effective Employee Leadership

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Effective employee leadership can be difficult for any management team, and leadership tactics can vary greatly based on the size of your organization and your company culture. However, some principles of effective employee leadership can be universal and really speak to the way you handle your organizational affairs from the perspective of your employees. Here are four tips to instill employee confidence through effective employee leadership.

  • Ask Yourself the Right Questions: Leadership teams don’t often enough audit their own decisions and progression paths. Ensuring that not only your leadership group audits their decision making, but that those company altering decisions are opened up for controlled feedback. This promotes effective employee leadership and ensures employees are motivated towards organizational goals.
  • Build it One Step at a Time: Not to get cliche, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. Long term goals are just that, they take a significant time to reach. Don’t get impatient or panic when goals take time to meet. Rather, focus on effective employee leadership and take solid steps towards those goals each day.
  • Commit: Make sure that once goals are set, everyone in your organization, from the CEO to your interns, are aware of the the goals and the metrics for success. Commit your leadership team and your whole organization to the goals and ensure that they are clearly communicated across the company.
  • Adjust in Process: Don’t be so set in your ways that you can’t adjust your workforce to better fit conditions internally or within the industry. Effective employee leadership includes flexibility and is critical in ensuring that employees remain committed.

Healthy Employee Culture Drives Participation

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

f4429a1a0a658cb0f0b6a1849e15ae8a_SInitial engagement in employee health and wellness programs doesn’t always drive long term participation like healthy employee cultures. While new employee health and wellness programs often drive short term engagement through the first few months, or maybe even the first few years, creating healthy employee champions and a culture of wellness is what creates long term employee participation.

Providing non-cash rewards as a component to a healthy employee culture is a great way to drive long term participation. One example of this was offering a discount in the employee portion of the health insurance premium which almost doubled employee participation in Herman Miller Co’s employee wellness program; jumping from 40% to 79% year over year for the first 3 years, but seeing a plateau in participation levels in subsequent years. Offering small denomination gift cards to retailers like GNC, Nutrisystem and CVS/Pharmacy are another way to promote a healthy employee culture by assisting employees in forming a healthy lifestyle.

Instead of using typical carrot tactics to get employees to change habits, providing an environment for creating a healthy employee culture will provide longer term results that will have a greater impact on your workforce and healthcare costs.

Employee Growth Builds Employee Loyalty

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

loyalty-pano_20169Employees are expecting more and more from their jobs, while at the same time employers are trying to retain employees as the notion of the “company man or woman” becomes a thing of the past. Higher salaries, free snacks, and flexible hours are great, but giving employees an opportunity to really grow and learn at work is the most compelling case for employee loyalty.

Employees can leave when their positions start to feel stagnate. They get bored, they check out, and then they start to look for other opportunities to grow. A recent Canadian study reveals that 65% of Canadian employees would leave their “perfect job” for more money, to improve their career opportunities, or for a job that is a better fit for their background. This is compelling and consistent with the employee climate in the U.S. as well. Employees are looking to build their profiles, and if they find an employer who is willing to help them build that while working and contributing to the organization, their loyalty will endure. Employees won’t have an opportunity to stagnate and will build themselves opportunities for advancement, while advancing the goals of their organization.

For more information on how to build employee loyalty through employee growth check out this article from the Financial Post.

The Cost of Employee Turnover

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

Employee turnover is constantly on the mind of human resources professionals in all types of organizations. However, once you see the infographic from TribeHR below you might put some urgency behind an employee retention initiative. On average, a new employee costs over $57,000 in lost productivity, on-boarding costs, benefits application, and that figure does not even include the cost of training. For the cost of $57,000 could pay a junior level employee for an entire year, which has much greater potential to have a lasting impact on your business than simply bringing on a new employee.

Want to lower the cost of employee turnover? Keep your current employees on board! Make sure employees feel appreciated through recognition of exceptional actions. Provide opportunity for learning and growth through professional development. When employees feel appreciated and feel like their employers are investing in them, employee turnover will decrease and retention rates will rise.