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Finding the Real Reason for Employee Turnover

If your IT team is experiencing high turnover, simply replacing your staff will not resolve the problem. You need to get to the root of the problem in order to create lasting change. This will reduce the amount of time and money needed to find and retain top talent.

Here are three ways to uncover why your IT staff are leaving so you can improve retention.

1. Ask Questions

Find out the specific reasons why your IT team members are leaving. For instance, ask what they like and dislike about their job, what your team and company are doing well, and concrete ways you can improve. Encourage your employees to be as honest and candid as possible. Also, go through your current and former employee files to determine whether there are known issues within the organization. Problems such as ineffective onboarding, policies inconsistently enforced, or tensions with coworkers may have been discussed during exit interviews. Talk with leadership about this information and take action to improve.

2. Conduct a Survey

Hire a third party to survey your current and former IT staff about their true impressions of your team and the company. Clarify that all answers will remain anonymous. Look for themes in engagement surveys, stay interviews, and exit surveys to uncover reasons why your employees remain or leave. Perhaps the staff who left after a short time felt that additional training was necessary to do their jobs. Or, they did not receive enough recognition or see enough career development opportunities. Talk with leadership about implementing specific improvements to increase employee satisfaction. Share a follow-up survey to see how the changes impacted your team. Continue the process on a regular basis.

3. Evaluate Company Culture  

Determine whether there are issues with carrying out your company mission, vision, and values. Perhaps your IT staff feel they do not have a say in leadership decisions. Or, they may not believe that equity is evident in the organization. Compare the demographic data of your departing team members to the data from your assessment. Then, talk with leadership about how to resolve the problems. This may include the formation of employee focus groups to focus on specific areas for improvement first, then move to other areas later.

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Considering Workplace Flexibility? What Employers Need to Know

The ongoing need for stronger work-life integration is one reason why flexibility in the workplace is so important. For instance, allowing your employees to work during the hours they are most productive helps them remain engaged and accomplish more. Also, encouraging independent work as much as possible shows you expect personal accountability for finishing tasks on time. Plus, letting your team fit in personal responsibilities around their work tasks reduces burnout.

Discover some ways to provide flexibility for your IT team and how your company can benefit.

Personalized Workspaces

Suggest that your IT staff decorate their work areas to make them feel more personal. This may include displaying pictures of loved ones, using adjustable furniture, or adding plants to a workspace. Creating a unique work area increases engagement and employee morale.

Flexible Schedule

Allow your IT team to set their own work hours. Although they may need to start or end by a certain time while collaborating on a project, provide as much flexibility as possible. Your employees may be able to avoid commuting during rush hour, which reduces stress. Being able to control their schedule also increases daily attendance and efficiency.

Autonomy

Encouraging your IT staff to work independently increases productivity. As long as the work is finished on time and according to expectations, let your staff decide how and when they handle their projects. Having the freedom to complete their tasks with little supervision promotes confidence and trust.

Quality of Life

Your IT professionals experience greater life satisfaction when they can fit in personal responsibilities with professional ones. This may include participation in a morning fitness class to reach a health and wellness goal, attending their child’s ballet recital in the afternoon, or leaving work early one evening per week for a professional development class. Being able to fulfill personal interests during typical work hours increases job satisfaction.

Employee Retention

The more flexibility your IT team has, the longer they remain with your organization. Because employees want more control over fitting both their personal and professional responsibilities each week, they look for companies that provide perks in this area. Longevity among your team members results in lower costs to replace them.

Hire Top IT Professionals

When you need to hire the best IT staff, turn to RightStone. Learn more today.


4 Tips for Difficult Employee Conversations

 

As an IT manager, there will be times when you need to address employees regarding performance issues, conflicts, or other difficult topics. Although this can be challenging, it needs to be done sooner rather than later. You need every employee functioning as a cohesive unit to keep the company moving forward.

Implement these four tips to effectively handle challenging employee discussions:

 

1. Include a Witness  

Ask a manager or HR professional to be present during your conversation. This is especially important when discussing policy violations, behavioral issues, or anything that involves disciplinary coaching. Brief your third party on the situation to make sure you understand each other’s roles and responsibilities before the talk.

2. Remain Positive

Maintain an open line of communication with a coaching style of dialogue. This helps the employee avoid becoming defensive and argumentative. Begin by asking simple questions such as “How’s everything going?” or “Can I have a few moments of your time to talk about some feedback about your behavior?” Clarify exactly what the issue is and specific examples of how the employee can improve. Include facts and data to support your statements. For instance, “I have some suggestions for what we can do. Can you share some ideas so we can reach this goal?” Provide the necessary tools, resources, and support to reach milestones for improvement and measure success. Finish the conversation on a positive note.

3. Tie the Issue to the Business

Point out how the issue creates a concern for the team or company. For instance, consistent absenteeism may mean that teammates have to add to their already full workload to ensure tasks get done on time. Or, a conflict with a coworker can make it more difficult for employees to collaborate on projects. This shows your main focus is on the company, not the employees’ personal lives. Work with the employee to create a plan to improve and a job-related consequence if they do not. Making the employee feel heard is empowering and encourages them to do better.

4. Maintain Confidentiality

When addressing a conflict between employees, keep the conversation limited to those involved. Make sure they understand that what they disclose may need to be shared with others. Meet individually with the employee you received feedback about and others who witnessed the incident to discuss their behavior. Use the information you gather to determine what happened. Work with the employees to find a fair resolution. Hold everyone accountable for keeping with the final agreement.

Hire Top IT Professionals

Find the expertise required to make your next IT execution and implementation successful. Talk with RightStone today.


How to Create a Positive Team Culture

 

As an IT manager, you understand the importance of teamwork. When your team members communicate and collaborate well, they are better able to do their work. However, blending employees with different talents and personalities can result in challenges. This is one reason why having a strong team culture is necessary.

Follow these 6 guidelines to build a desirable team culture.

1. Define Your Team Culture

Talk with your team about what your culture should look like. This is important because your employees’ actions, interactions, and attitudes impact the effectiveness of your success. For instance, your team culture may be defined by having a positive mindset both inside and outside the office. This creates a strong team synergy that minimizes conflict and increases success. Everyone performs better when they work as a cohesive group. Different ideas lead to solutions for problems. Shared visions let your team see the future.

2. Learn from Other Successful Teams

Explore how teams with proven track records communicate, collaborate, and solve problems. For instance, incorporate ideas from companies like Google, Southwest Airlines, and Zappos to develop your teambuilding procedures. These companies are among the most successful in engagement, productivity, and goal attainment.

3. Encourage Collaboration

Instill in your team culture the importance of collaboration. Use your enthusiasm, self-discipline, and strengths to serve as a guide for teamwork. For instance, trust your team members to make hard decisions when you are away. Encourage them to discuss how you would handle a situation and carry out an appropriate plan of action.

4. Emphasize Your Company Mission and Core Values

Work with your team to create a list of team values based on your company’s mission and core values. Include in the discussion what everyone’s most important personal values are. Find out whether the same values impact their professional success and whether they would look for these values when hiring employees. Also, talk about what your team would not tolerate in the workplace. Use their answers to set team standards for job performance, customer service, and related issues.

5. Clarify Your Expectations

Explain to your team what you expect from them all of the time. Examples include honesty, accountability, commitment, conflict resolution, and pride in top performance. If your expectations are not being met, privately talk with the employee about the issue. Find out what it causing the problem and how you can help. If the employee does not want to set goals for improvement, assume responsibility, or respond to feedback, they may need to find another source of employment.

6. Continue to Build Your Team Culture

Use positive reinforcement to maintain your team culture. For instance, provide real-time feedback and coaching to help your employees maintain professional growth. Also, encourage your team to get involved in local charity events. Plus, organize employee family activities one weekend per month.

Hire Top-Notch IT Professionals

Add talent to your IT team with help from RightStone. Get in touch with us today.


3 Tips for Performing an Effective Employee Review

As a manager, one of your duties is to conduct monthly, quarterly, or annual employee reviews. These meetings let you talk with each employee about their accomplishments, challenges, and concrete ways to improve performance. Although these discussions can be difficult, they are necessary to ensure your employees align on shared goals and have a plan for future improvements.

Implement these three tips to conduct your next employee review.

1. Prepare Your Feedback in Advance

Gather your thoughts and data about the employee’s performance well before the review. Use the information to fill out the employee evaluation form. This can serve as the framework for your discussion. Make sure your remarks are direct, concise, and transparent. Include specific examples of what the employee has been doing well and how they can improve. This should clarify your goals and expectations and avoid confusion. Have a copy of the evaluation form ready to give the employee to reference and stay on track with the improvements you requested.

2. Maintain a Two-Way Conversation

Encourage an open discussion about the employee’s performance. You want to promote trust, clarity, and alignment with company goals. For instance, find out what they believe to be their greatest strengths, biggest challenges, and areas they can improve in within a month, quarter, or year. You may ask questions such as, “What is the accomplishment from the review period that you are most proud of?” “Which areas do you think you need to improve the most in?” Or, “How can I support you in reaching your goals?” Also, clarify your expectations and evaluation guidelines. In order to stay engaged, the employee should know the level they should be performing at and how their success will be measured. Additionally, actively listen to what the employee says. Repeat what you hear to make sure it is accurate. Ask follow-up questions to gather more information.

3. Focus on the Future

Share your goals and plans for the employee to improve their performance. For instance, involve them in creating an action plan to set milestones and reach objectives in line with company goals. Clarify that you want them to succeed and are available to discuss their concerns and challenges. End the discussion on a positive note with motivation and hope for the future.

Hire Top IT Professionals

When you need the best IT talent, turn to RightStone. Get more information today.


Keeping Talented Employees Can Be Difficult: 4 Tricks for Retaining Them

Everyone wants to attract the best talent. But what are you doing to retain the talent you already have? If you’re like many organizations, you’re not doing enough.

Employee retention needs to be a core part of any business strategy, but many organizations put it on the backburner in favor of more “tangible” value-adding processes. Yet, attracting your best employees not only stops employee churn but promotes a stronger culture through experience, loyalty, and leadership.

So how do you keep employees when your competitors are actively recruiting them? Here are four tricks for employee retention.

1. Keep Their Compensation Competitive

A well-known maxim in today’s market is this: if you want a raise, then you need to get a new job.

Financial stability won’t keep employees who want to leave, but it will stop otherwise committed workers from quitting. And it will make your team more difficult to poach.

Do some research and make sure you’re offering a competitive package. If you’re not, start talking to your team to learn more about what you can do to close the gap.

2. Hire the Right Employees

Hiring an employee who is the right fit for the role and the culture is the best thing you can do to retain talent. 

So rather than filling a gap now, wait for the right fit to come along, and make sure you use a comprehensive hiring process to filter candidates.

3. Create a Robust Professional Development Process

Regular reviews, investment in skills, and mentorship are the building blocks of employee retention, and they’re all simultaneously an investment into your company.

Employees who continue to grow their skills and take on new challenges in their jobs are more likely to stay. And it will build into the final piece of the employee retention puzzle: employee recognition.

4. Recognize Employees’ Contributions

All your employees are pulling for the same team: your company. But it’s important to recognize their individual efforts. Be sure to recognize their contributions both privately and publicly to remind them how much you value them and to inspire others.

Remember to keep the recognition specific. Let them (and others) know exactly what they did right and celebrate both personal and team achievements.

Employee Retention Benefits the Whole Organization

Employee retention tactics come in many different forms, and each one is worth the investment. When you work hard to retain your employees by ensuring they feel valued, providing opportunities for growth, and recognizing your efforts, you build stronger teams and a more stable organization.

At RightStone, our consultant retention rate is far above the industry average.Get in touch to learn how we build decades-long relationships between clients and consultants.


Creating a Culture of Development: 3 Ways to Teach New Skills to Current Employees

These days, it’s very easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day work of reacting to new challenges and just trying to stay afloat. But one of the ways companies can keep themselves in operation and spend less time reacting to changes is by preparing employees in advance.

A culture of development gives workers room to upskill, future-proofing their jobs and preparing for new eventualities. It also keeps employees engaged, which is vital in a world where 7 out of 10 U.S. workers don’t feel connected to their job.

How do you create a culture where development opportunities are not only available but taken? Use these three tips to get started.

Emphasize and Facilitate New Connections First

Conferences, classes, and workshops work wonders for development. However, by focusing only on those resources, you miss out on very real development opportunities. These are the opportunities that come through making new connections.

Mentorship has a huge impact on an individual’s career, and it offers insights you won’t find in a webinar. Yet, mentorship programs are often optional.

If you want to create a meaningful development culture, you may be better placing mentorship above other learning opportunities and allowing employees to ‘opt out’ of mentorship rather than encouraging them to ‘opt-in.’

Even better, nine in 10 workers who participate in career mentorship programs are happier with their jobs. Happy workers want to stay, learn, and grow.

Set Every Employee up with a Development Plan

Before expecting employees to find ways to upskill, you need to provide them with ideas, resources, and a plan of action.

Employee development plans provide the groundwork needed to pursue educational opportunities. They consider personal, professional, and organizational goals and identify the resources needed to get there. Even better, they provide an action plan that everyone agrees on, giving workers a chance to get started as soon as they’re ready.

Provide Adequate Funding for Development

Before you go to workers and ask them to do more, ask yourself this: what is your budget for professional development?

According to one report, there’s a real disconnect between what employers think they offer and what employees get.

So go back to the drawing board and ask: are you granting enough money for development?

Upskilling Workers Benefits Everyone

A culture of development benefits workers, teams, and the whole organization. However, it requires more than handing out passes to conferences. You need to start with a solid foundation to show employees what’s possible and how to get there. And then, you need to provide the resources they need to make it happen.

 

Would you like to learn more about building a development culture and what it means to staff it? Get in touch to learn how RightStone pairs consultants and clients to build relationships and broaden teams.


How to Help Your IT Team to Remain Focused During Long Projects

Any team will look at a deadline that’s six, nine, or 12 months away and see it as a distant problem. These kinds of deadlines always feel like plenty of time to complete a project. 

Yet, those months can disappear quickly. And it’s your job to ensure that your team doesn’t find themselves two weeks away from a six-month deadline with six months of work left to do.

How do you keep your IT on task even on a long project? Use these tips to help stay on track and deliver better results.

Break It Down into Milestones or Sprints

Achieving a goal always sparks motivation. But what do you do if the overall goal is a year or even more away?

While the work completed today will contribute to the end goal, your team need to see results sooner to stay focused. That’s why “chunking” work into milestones (or sprints, if you want to dabble in Agile) wins the day.

When you set milestones, you mark the passing of time in a tangible way. Reaching those milestones equates to an accomplishment and thus boosts morale. Even better, smaller segments of work simplify planning, so you can get the project off the ground faster.

Reiterate the “Why” as You Work

Why are you completing this project? And why does this milestone fit into the end goal?

If you want to keep teams focused and motivated, then you need focus as much on the “why” question as on the task at hand. When team members know why they need to accomplish a task or even why the deadline is what it is, then they will be more likely to see the value, which will stop their attention from drifting to other work.

Give Frequent Feedback

Milestones also make it easier to provide regular feedback to all team members. Feedback offers emotional motivation by boosting our sense of self-esteem. When teams get good feedback regularly, they want to keep repeating the actions that earned those feelings.

Are you looking for the next valuable member of your project team — or even your team lead? Learn more about the RighStone 360 process and find out how we make IT project execution a success.

 


3 Tips to Keep Remote Employees Productive without Micromanaging

Many businesses didn’t choose to go remote in 2020: it became the only suitable option overnight. As a result, there was no time to prepare a remote management plan or brush up on new skills.

If you have micromanaging tendencies, then you may have found them stretched during the past year. But micromanaging is just as counterproductive out of the office as it is when you’re co-located. Micromanaging leads to poor morale, a lack of confidence, and stress, which all contribute to lower productivity and higher turnover.

How do you make sure employees remain productive without getting in your own way? Use these tips for remote management inspiration.

Use Team Management Software

Clear, measurable goals are the ticket to productivity. When you have a good team and a crystal clear deliverable, you can almost count on it getting done.

To help you avoid micromanaging a project — even one with a defined goal — use goal tracking systems, like team management software. The right software enables you to see where your team is at a glance, which cuts down on wondering, emails, and unnecessary Zoom calls. 

Software also makes teamwork more transparent, so members of each team can see where their colleagues are and collaborate easier. There are plenty of options out there, from enterprise systems to freemiums like Asana. Just be sure to choose the right one for your team’s needs and get them onboarded so they can hit the ground running.

Provide a Daily or Weekly Focus

If you find yourself wondering what your team is up to, then your team may not have a focus. Make life simpler for everyone by pulling out a daily or weekly focus for each goal and communicate it with the whole group. Make the focus clear and ensure it ties into the overarching effort.

Using this method not only helps you stay on top of what’s happening in the short-term, but it helps keep employees on track even when other projects may be calling their name.

Tip: Weekly focuses tend to work best for longer projects or sprints. If there’s a pressing project or need, you might use a daily goal.

Build Relationships Based on Trust

No system or method can save you from micromanaging if trust isn’t the foundation of your working relationships. You have to earn trust, and it takes hard work. However, it is the best way to avoid relying on harmful management tools and boost productivity overall.

Remember: you set the standard for behavior. So if you want to earn trust, you need to give it. Check out this research from the Kellog School of Management on what it means to build trust and build a stronger remote organization.

Is the missing piece of your productivity puzzle a new employee?

RightStone can help you build the remote team you need to exceed your goals in 2021. Get in touch to learn more about the RightStone360 process.


Redeeming a Bad Hire – What to Do When You Hire the Wrong Person

As HR professionals, you look for the holy grail in candidates: the candidate with the right background and who will also fit naturally into the company’s culture. 

To get there, you’ll sort through candidates with the experience but who won’t thrive at the company and those candidates who will win over all their colleagues but don’t have the skills needed to fulfill the organizational strategy.

Every hiring manager will hire the wrong person at some point. It’s what you do after you realize your mistake that counts.

Three Tips for Redeeming A Bad Hire

Don’t Fire Them Just Yet

The simplest solution to a poorly-performing new hire is to fire the employee. While simple, it’s rarely the right choice.

If your hire fits into the company culture and is a competent worker, then it’s a much better use of your resources to figure out how to support that employee. You might invest in upskilling, further education, or even transitioning them to a different role or team. But it’s rarely prudent to sever the relationship. With a little thought, they can repay the investment and be a real benefit to the company.

In the event the employee is tough to redeem both culturally and professionally, then it may be smart to part ways.

Trust your gut and once you make a decision, act on it.

Work with the New Hire to Play to Their Strengths

When you decide to transition the new employee, it’s important to work with them. If they aren’t a fit for their current role, then they probably know it.

Now is the time to decide whether to invest in their current role or transition them to a role where they will add more value. You can’t do this without working directly with the hire.

Talk to the new employee about what they think their strengths and weaknesses are. They may be able for their role with some skill development. Or you may find their woes are the result of a missed step in onboarding.

Use this knowledge to help the employee embrace their strengths.

Rethink Your Recruitment Process

Everyone makes a bad hire at least once, but if you find yourself in the position repeatedly, then there’s likely something awry in your hiring process.

Reassess everything from the job description to the onboarding process to look for weaknesses. Ask company leadership and direct managers for their input in the process. If you still face a loss, get outside help.

Looking for Help Finding the Right Candidate? Contact Us!

Are you struggling to place the right candidate? Let RightStone help. Our RightStone 360 process uses quality control checks at every part of the engagement to place qualified consultants with the right role every time.


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