Blog

What Does It Take to Manage with Transparency?

 

As a manager, employee engagement is among your top priorities. When your team members are engaged in their work, they remain productive. This increases the likelihood that your employees will reach their goals.

One of the most effective ways to increase engagement is by managing with transparency. Some of the benefits include clear expectations, better project management, and shared accountability.

When your employees understand each other’s roles in projects, they tend to help more because they understand the shared impact of their actions. Because your team members know what needs to be accomplished, they can provide solutions and take ownership of the process.

The following strategies can help you manage with transparency.


Outline Projects and Goals

Communicate your team projects and their objectives. This helps your employees understand what their role is and what they should accomplish. Based on the situation, you may want to cover the topics by an individual conversation, email, or team meeting.

Share Financial Data

Depending on the circumstances, you may want to share budgetary information about a project your employees are working on. This may include the translation of funds allotted into the project timeframe. Your employees can structure their daily tasks to stay on track and complete the project within or under budget.

Encourage Teamwork

Promote open communication among your employees as they collaborate on projects. This helps them understand the status of the project and the reasons for their next actions. Open communication also helps your employees identify and fix problems before they impact the course or cost of the project. Plus, it helps you and your employees understand the connection between tasks and the direction and progress of your team.

Provide Feedback

Let your employees know on a regular basis how they are performing. Include specific examples of what they are doing well and how they can improve. Provide the resources and support needed to implement the feedback. Your employees are likely to increase their efficiency and effectiveness when they receive honest input on their performance.

Get Help with Recruiting

Partner with RightStone to fill your IT recruitment needs. Get in touch today.


Positive Leaders Support Their Employees’ Mental Health

 

Having to navigate through the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic continues to take a toll on employees’ mental health. As a result, an increasing number of employees are experiencing anxiety, depression, and burnout. These mental health experiences differ according to race, economic opportunity, job type, parenting and caregiving responsibilities, and other variables.

As a manager, you need to support your employees as they face new stressors, safety concerns, and economic upheaval. The following strategies can help.

Implement these three tips to provide support for your employees’ mental health.


1. Share Your Mental Health Experiences

Because almost everyone experiences mental health concerns, openly discussing personal experiences helps to destigmatize getting help when needed. This is especially helpful when leaders share their mental health concerns and how they manage them.

Talk with your team about how you manage stress at work. If you go to a therapist, take medication, or receive professional help in another manner, let your team know. This helps normalize the discussion of mental health concerns. It also encourages your employees to get help when needed.

If you work from home, let your team know whether your kids have interrupted your video meetings or your coworkers have seen glimpses of your home. Sharing your challenges helps you appear human, relatable, and brave. This type of authentic leadership cultivates trust among your team. It also promotes employee engagement and performance.

2. Model Healthy Behaviors

Show your team that the prioritization of self-care is important. This includes setting and enforcing boundaries.

Let your employees know what you are doing to maintain your well-being. This may include taking a walk after lunch, engaging in a therapy appointment, or enjoying a staycation.

Emphasize that taking care of yourself helps prevent you from burning out. Your employees are likely to follow your example.

3. Provide Flexibility

Your needs and your employees’ needs will change as circumstances continue to change. Be sure to check in regularly with your employees. This is especially important during transitions.

Talk with your employees about any issues that come up. This may involve stressors such as finding childcare or feeling the need to work at all hours. Help problem-solve when needed.

Reiterate the norms and practices that support mental health. They include setting and enforcing boundaries and work hours.

You may want to include examples of how you modified your own work schedule to accommodate your personal needs. This might include changing your work hours to fit in childcare responsibilities.

Need to Add to Your Team?

When you need help hiring IT employees, turn to RightStone. Learn more today.


Helping Employees Who Are Burned-Out

 

Employee burnout is on the rise. More employees than ever before are experiencing feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion. This leads to increasingly negative feelings toward their jobs. It also reduces engagement and productivity.

Many burned-out employees feel taken for granted. The lack of rewards for their hard work and results leads to feelings of not being in control at work. These employees tend not to feel a sense of teamwork toward a unified goal. Some may believe they are working harder than others or are being unfairly treated.

The amount of work and the emotions surrounding the work are what lead to burnout. As a manager, you need to do what you can to help alleviate these feelings in your employees.

Implement these tips to help your employees who are experiencing burnout.


Openly Discuss Mental Health

Talk with your team about the importance of mental health. Point out that most employees struggle with mental health concerns at some point. If you feel comfortable, mention some of your own mental health challenges and how you effectively manage them. This may include meditation, yoga, therapy, or medication.

Keep all discussions and information confidential. Your employees need to know they can trust you and each other in order to open up.

Use an Emotion-Rating System

If you or your employees do not feel comfortable talking about their specific feelings, use an anonymous rating system instead. Give each of your employees a piece of paper and a pen. Then, ask your employees to rate their mental health on a scale of 1-10. Next, collect and look over the answers. Finally, use the results to talk with your team about their overall emotional state.

Ask whether there are specific issues your team would like to discuss. Provide as much support as possible. This may include mentioning the resources available through HR or the health insurance benefits.

Look for Mental Health Concerns

Participate in training to spot potential mental health concerns in your employees. This often involves an employee acting out of character. For instance, a top employee may begin to put in less effort, reduce communication with teammates, and miss deadlines.

Privately talk with an employee who appears to be struggling. Let them know you are available to talk and provide support however you can.

Offer a Leave of Absence

You may want to offer a leave of absence so an employee can get help to resolve the issues they are experiencing. If so, RightStone can provide temporary IT workers to fill in. Find out more today.


Communication Strategies to Improve Team Collaboration

 

Effective communication and collaboration skills are important for your team. Your team members need to share, develop, and implement their ideas in order to solve problems and complete projects. This is why it is important for you to provide the appropriate tools and support to facilitate communication and collaboration among your team. The following examples can help reach this goal.

These four strategies can promote communication and collaboration among your IT team.


1. Provide an Agile Collaboration Tool

An agile collaboration tool facilitates team communication and incremental steps to finish projects. It lets your team members assign and prioritize tasks. This lets your team know what needs to done right away and what can wait. It also keeps them informed about individual and team objectives, due dates, and milestones. It also keeps your team on track and working toward the same goal.

Your team members can share information, see their progress, and determine whether there are any issues to resolve. They also can provide feedback and measure performance. Because the project is delivered in increments, there should be faster movement and more flexibility for planning and responding to change.

2. Use a Messaging Hub

A messaging hub collects your company’s digital messages and stores them in a cloud database. This includes emails, voice over internet protocol (VoIP) phone calls, Tweets, and more.

Your team can access the information from anywhere without having to streamline their operating systems or devices. They also can more easily navigate their emails to determine which messages to pay attention to and which messages can wait. Plus, your team can search for the information or files they need and determine whether multiple messages are related. This helps reduce information overload, especially when your team is remote or hybrid.

3. Encourage Instant Messaging

Your team can use instant messaging for casual conversations. This helps your team members get to know each other and find common interests. They can stay current on the latest events in others’ lives and share what is going on in their own life. These interactions promote trust, camaraderie, and cohesion. They also make it easier for your team to have serious or difficult conversations centered around work.

4. Set Limits for Your Meetings

Invite to your meetings only the team members who truly need to attend. Keep the number of topics on the agenda to a minimum as well. These actions help keep the conversation focused.

Encourage the attendees to collaborate on the agenda. This helps them understand their part in sharing relevant information or leading discussion topics. Hold the attendees accountable for delivering their materials or insights to keep the agenda moving forward. These actions help improve collaboration.

Want Help with Hiring?

RightStone can provide the skilled IT candidates you need to reach business goals. Find out more today.


Preventing Burnout with Employee Recognition Programs

 

Burnout is a sign of a bad fit between an employee and their work. It is a chronic problem that builds over time. Common symptoms include cynicism, loss of concentration and productivity, sadness, anger, irritability, headaches, and insomnia. Typical causes of employee burnout include inadequate rewards, misalignment with company values, and feelings of unfairness or isolation. Fortunately, as a manager, you can begin resolving these issues today by creating an employee recognition program.

Discover four ways an employee recognition program can help prevent burnout.


1. Opportunities for Rewards

Your employees need to be recognized for their contributions and results. This increases their motivation to perform their best each day. A handwritten thank-you note, verbal praise during a team meeting, or recognition on your company’s social media accounts would be appreciated. Clarify what the employee did, what the results were, and how it benefitted the organization. Include a bonus, raise, or promotion when appropriate. Helping your employees feel valued and respected reduces their odds of experiencing burnout.

2. Alignment with Core Values

Your employees need to experience alignment with your company’s values through the interactions they experience at work. This helps provide meaning for their work and carrying out your company mission. You can give out awards when you see your employees behaving in line with your company values. This promotes feelings of importance and belonging, reducing the odds of experiencing burnout.

3. Fair Practices

Your employees deserve to be given equal opportunities. This includes verbal recognition, financial incentives, and promotions for the value they add to the organization. Your employees are likely to remain motivated, engaged, and productive throughout the day. This contributes to a positive work environment, job satisfaction, and employee retention. Your employees are less likely to experience burnout under these circumstances.

4. Feelings of Connection

Your employees need to feel supported when they go through difficult times. This helps them navigate stressful situations until they are resolved. Providing recognition celebrates your employees’ efforts and achievements. This helps them feel seen and heard. It also encourages your employees to see and hear each other. As a result, they should build relationships that include reaching out to each other in times of need. Having this sense of connection helps prevent burnout.

Need to Add to Your Team?

RightStone has a network of experienced IT professionals ready to join your team. Learn more today.


Happy Employees Are More Productive

 

As a manager, are you aware of the link between your employees’ happiness and their productivity levels? Studies show that happy employees work harder, collaborate better, and accomplish more in less time than unhappy employees. As a result, you should do what you can to encourage high levels of happiness among your team.

Learn how employee happiness levels impact productivity and what you can do to increase both.


Elevated Performance

The University of Warwick conducted a study where participants were given either 10-minute comedy videos to watch or drinks and snacks to consume to help them feel happy. The control group received nothing. The participants then were given tasks to complete.

The results of the study showed that the happier participants were 12% more productive than the control group. The participants who increased their happiness levels before completing the tasks performed at a higher, more accurate level than the participants who did not.

These results demonstrate that having a positive frame of mind elevates work performance. Happier employees are more likely to show up each day and give their best efforts. They also are less likely to experience high levels of stress or burnout.

Increased Efficiency

The University of Oxford conducted a study that tracked call-to-sale conversions, attendance, and customer satisfaction for call center employees at a British multinational telecommunications firm over a 6-month period. The employees self-reported their level of happiness each week.

The results showed that the happy employees were proven to be 13% more productive than the unhappy employees. The happy employees worked faster, made more call-to-sale conversions per hour worked, and more closely adhered to their workflow schedule than the unhappy employees.

These results demonstrate that employees with a positive emotional state can finish more work in the same amount of time than employees with a negative emotional state. This means you should do what you can to promote happiness among your employees.

Steps to Increase Happiness

You can take action to increase the levels of happiness among your team members. For instance, model professional behavior at all times. The more you interact with others in a respectful manner, the more likely your team members are to follow your example. Also, provide fair compensation. Your team members deserve to be rewarded for their contributions and results. Additionally, give constructive feedback in real-time. Your team members need to know what they are doing well, which areas they need to do better in, and specific ways to improve their performance. Plus, acknowledge your team members’ accomplishments with bonuses, raises, and promotions. This motivates them to continue to perform their best and accomplish business goals.

Need to Increase Your Team’s Productivity?

Talk with RightStone about adding a member to your team. Get in touch today.


Set Your Team Up for Success in 2022

 

Setting team goals helps your employees feel more invested in reaching company objectives. Because your team members play a part in creating the goals, they are able to develop their skills as they work toward common objectives. Collaborating along the way, refining the action plan, attaining the goals, and celebrating successes promote engagement and a sense of accomplishment throughout the process.

Use the following guidelines to help your IT team set goals for 2022.

Tie Team Goals to Company Objectives

Meet with your supervisor to discuss what the business priorities and performance expectations are for your team. Use this information to align your team goals with what leadership wants to see happen over the next 12 months. This will serve as a foundation for the action plan your team creates.

Use the SMART Format

Create team goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-driven (SMART). The more specific your goals, the more focused your team’s efforts will be. This helps measure your progress and create actionable plans to increase the likelihood of success. Be sure you divide the bigger goals into smaller, more manageable milestones that your team can monitor. Also, provide the necessary resources, skill training, and deadlines to reach the milestones. This helps with productivity, efficiency, and time management.

Help Your Team as Needed

Consistently check-in to ensure your team members are fulfilling their responsibilities and meeting their milestones. This may involve scheduling regular one-on-one meetings to discuss the goals and address any questions or concerns. Be sure to find out where your team members are in reaching their milestones. Also, provide feedback, advice, and individual training as needed. Encourage your team members to hold themselves and each other accountable for getting everything done on time. Their actions affect the individual and collective success of the team.

Follow Up

When a deadline passes, talk with your team about whether they achieved their milestone or goal. If they did, point out how their individual efforts contributed to the success of the company. Also, talk about what worked well, what did not, and how it could be improved for next time. Celebrate your team’s successes through recognition during a meeting, a gift from the company, or a team lunch. Or, if your employees still are working to reach a goal, help them update the action plan, milestones, and deadlines. Encourage your team to continue moving forward in the process.

Plan Your IT Staffing Needs for 2022

Meet with a recruiter from RightStone to begin planning your IT staffing needs for the new year. Talk with us today.


Effectively Improve Your Team’s Morale

 

Part of your role as a manager involves monitoring employee morale. The attitude, satisfaction, and overall outlook your team members have for your company affect their work performance. The higher their morale remains, the more engaged, productive, and loyal your team members are.

Implement these five tips to maintain high morale among your team.   

1. Prioritize Employee Recognition

Regularly acknowledge your team members’ achievements. For instance, thank them for something specific they did to add value to the organization. This may include their role in finishing a project, reaching a milestone, or attaining a company goal. Point out how their contributions benefitted the organization. Award additional vacation days, remote work days, bonuses raises, or promotions when appropriate.

2. Be Transparent

Openly discuss company news as much as possible. This includes updates, new protocols, company reviews, customer feedback, and challenges. Transparency is especially important when the company is experiencing problems or morale is low. Your employees will respect your honesty and be more inclined to help however they can.

3. Maintain Communication

Regularly check in with your team to see how they are doing. For instance, find out how they feel about you, their job, and their coworkers. Also, ask whether your team members are experiencing any problems and how you can help. Additionally, discuss whether they are happy with their work or how it can improve. Ongoing conversations about the things that matter to your team show you care about their happiness and success.

4. Request Feedback

Ask your employees for feedback on their roles and the company. They may provide suggestions to make their jobs easier or help you more effectively manage them. Or, your team members may have ideas to increase efficiency, save money, or help in another way. Implement the feedback whenever possible. Showing you listen to your team motivates them to stay engaged, productive, and loyal to your organization.

5. Offer Professional Growth Opportunities

Cover the costs for your employees to participate in professional development activities. This may include seminars, conferences, or networking events. Or, your team members may subscribe to industry magazines, purchase books on leadership development, or join an online class for skill development. Encouraging career growth provides your team with a sense of purpose while working to reach their goals.

Need to Hire IT Staff?

RightStone has the skilled IT workers you need to move your company forward. Contact us today to get started.


The Best Ways to Show Employee Appreciation

 

Expressing gratitude for your team members should be an everyday occurrence. The more valued and respected your employees feel, the greater their engagement and productivity will be. This increases retention and helps make you an employer of choice.

Choose among these five ways to show you appreciate your team members.

Directly Express Your Gratitude

Use verbal and written methods to show specific reasons you are thankful for your staff members. For instance, tell your employees exactly how their contributions to a project benefitted the company. Also, write a thank-you note expressing gratitude for a team member going above and beyond to provide value to the organization. Additionally, include more positive feedback in your employee reviews.

Begin Meetings with Appreciation

Highlight your employees’ recent accomplishments when you start a meeting. This may include career milestones, innovation, an exhibition of company values, or another display of excellence. Point out how your staff members’ hard work and results added value to the company. Thank them for their efforts. Encourage your team to continue their performance.

Provide Financial Rewards 

Your employees appreciate being given monetary rewards for their contributions. For instance, give bonuses when your team members have significant accomplishments. Also, provide additional vacation days after a busy period. Additionally, give out gift cards for birthdays or work anniversaries, during the holidays, or when your staff finish a big project.

Organize a Team Activity

Set up something fun for your team to do after a busy period or during a slow time. For instance, give your employees humorous coffee mugs to use at the office. Take your staff to a restaurant they enjoy. Or, arrange an in-office party to share food, beverages, and games on a Friday afternoon.

Include Advancement in Your Team Culture  

Offer opportunities for your employees to move up in the organization. For instance, provide regular training to gain the education and skills needed for higher positions. Also, offer a mentorship program for seasoned staff to provide career advice and guidance. Additionally, cover the costs for seminars, conferences, and other networking opportunities.

Need to Hire IT Professionals?

When the time comes to hire IT professionals, reach out to RightStone.  We have the vetted candidates with the skills and qualifications you need to reach business goals.


6 Steps to Resolve Workplace Conflicts

As a manager, part of your job is to resolve team conflicts. Using honest dialog and modeling what it means to be a team player are key parts of the process. Involving your employees in finding a resolution encourages them to work together to find common ground and move forward.

Use these six steps as guidelines to resolve workplace conflicts.

1. Identify the Conflict

Find out what the problem is and when it began. Include which employees are involved, their beliefs about the issue, and which needs are not being met. The more details you uncover, the more you can help solve the problem.

2. Actively Listen to the Employees

Find a safe space for your staff members to talk about the conflict. Uncover why they are upset and what they would like done. Clarify what needs to be discussed and how everyone must be treated with respect. Emphasize the importance of honesty and finding a shared solution. Get to the root of the issue to avoid repeating it later.

3. Reflect on What You Heard

Think about what you learned regarding the issue. If you have questions or need additional clarification, have follow-up conversations with your staff members. Encourage them to talk with you if they think of anything else.

4. Create Common Goals

Encourage your employees to work together to find solutions to the problem. Have everyone share their ideas to move beyond the issue and not have it resurface.

5. Resolve the Problem

Find out which solution your staff members feel is best. It should include enough common ground to satisfy everyone. Include each staff member’s responsibility in carrying out the resolution. Have your team implement the answer to begin moving forward.

6. Follow Up

Set a time to get together to determine the effectiveness of the solution. Talk about whether the problem has been fully resolved or there are remaining issues to discuss. Take steps to find permanent answers and preventative strategies for the future.

Looking for IT Talent?

When you are in the market for IT professionals, get in touch with RightStone. We have the talent you need to move your company forward.


  • 6029 Belt Line Rd, Suite 260, Dallas, TX 75254
  • 972-895-2555
Military Spouse Employment Partnership Forbes America's Best Temporary Staffing Firms 2020