Blog

Should You Ditch the 40-Hour Work Week?

 

According to the September 2022 Digital Etiquette: The Reinventing Work Report from Adaptavist, 58% of workers want the 40-hour work week to end. Also, 47% want a 4-day work week. Additionally, approximately 60% of respondents say the quality of work should be used to measure productivity rather than the number of hours worked.

This research shows how workers are shaping and adapting to their workplaces. The survey covered issues such as collaboration, communication tools, health and well-being, and the future of work for both hybrid and onsite workers.

The results indicate the changing shift from traditional workweeks to modern setups that better fit employees’ needs. This indicates that hybrid and remote work should be here to stay.

Discover why the 40-hour work week should be shortened to meet modern-day employee needs.


Changing Employee Needs

When the 40-hour work week began, most women stayed home to provide childcare, cook, clean, and run errands. Today, this concept no longer is reality.

According to an April 2022 news release from the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Statistics, 70% of women who are mothers currently engage in paid work. Most of these women also handle the majority of childcare and household needs.

Working for 40 hours each week while trying to maintain a household puts unreasonable stress on employees. This increases the odds of employee burnout. As a result, the 40-hour work week must change to accommodate the changing needs of the workforce.

Increasing Employee Burnout

A 2021 joint report from McKinsey & Company and LeanIn.org showed that 42% of women and 32% of men were experiencing burnout. Although many employers recognize growing employee exhaustion and overwhelm, the issue of burnout continues to worsen.

A significant source of employee exhaustion is the drastic changes in sleep patterns resulting from chronic stress due to the coronavirus pandemic. Many employees are staying up later to take time for themselves. This interferes with the ability to get productive sleep.

Another source of employee exhaustion is mothers who put in increasing hours of both paid and unpaid work each week. Lacking time for necessary self-care and sleep increases feelings of overwhelm and depletion.

As a result, burnt-out employees tend to feel less empowered, be less productive, and not perform their best at work as compared to other employees. They also have lower odds of being promoted.

Leaving behind the 40-hour work week would give employees more time to take care of their personal needs. This would increase employee engagement, productivity, and performance.

Reducing the weekly number of hours worked also would elevate employees who are mothers into more senior roles. This is especially important for companies that have few women in leadership positions.

Want Help with Your IT Staffing?

RightStone can match you with qualified professionals to fill your IT staffing needs. Learn more today.


5 Ways to Help Keep Communication Channels Open

 

Maintaining open communication with your employees encourages them to share their ideas to improve the organization. Open communication also notifies you of problems, conflicts, questions, and concerns that must be resolved.

Encouraging open communication with your team promotes engagement, productivity, and collaboration. It also elevates job satisfaction, employee morale, and retention.

Implement these five tips to maintain open communication with your team.


1. Focus on the End Goal

Maintaining open communication with your team lets you know about problems as they arise. This helps you resolve the issues and minimize their impact.

Open communication makes you aware of ideas to improve your team. This may include increasing efficiency in workflows.

Openly communicating with your team helps improve your leadership skills. You can learn your employees’ strengths, talents, motivations, and goals. Then, you can use this information to increase your team’s engagement, productivity, and collaboration. This elevates job satisfaction, team morale, and employee retention.

2. Be Present

Stay in the moment when communicating with your team. Actively listening to your employees encourages them to talk about their ideas, issues, questions, and concerns.

Look at the employee who is speaking with you. Show they have your complete attention.

Nod, gesture, and use facial expressions throughout the conversation. Include responses such as “yes” and “uh huh” to show you are listening. Ask follow-up questions to gather more information.

Paraphrase what you are hearing to ensure you understand it correctly. You may want to say, “What I am hearing is…” or “Am I correct in thinking…”.

Wait until your employee is done speaking. Then, respond appropriately.

3. Encourage Team and Individual Communication

Although communicating with your entire team is important, there may be times when your employees prefer to talk with you one-on-one. They may feel more comfortable privately discussing a personal matter than sharing the details with the team.

Encourage your team to request individual discussions when needed. They may want to share an opinion that differs from the team’s opinions on how to proceed with a project. Or, there may be a family issue that could affect your employee’s work performance.

Show empathy and support during these private discussions. Work with your employee to resolve the issue however you can.

4. Acknowledge Employee Accomplishments

Give your team credit for their work. This includes when an employee’s idea is successfully implemented or a finished project attains the desired results.

Openly acknowledging your employees’ contributions and impact on the organization shows they are valuable members of your team. This promotes feelings of trust and respect. It also increases team collaboration and cohesion.

5. Request Constructive Feedback

Ask your team for input on your performance. Include what you are doing well and specific ways you can improve.

Talk more in-depth about the answers you need clarification on. The greater your understanding of an issue, the more effectively you can resolve it.

Implement the feedback you feel would be most beneficial. Regularly follow up with your team to discuss your progress.

Looking for Help Hiring?

RightStone has the qualified IT professionals you need to reach business goals. Contact us to get started today.


Work-Related Team-Building Activities That Enhance Morale

 

Employee morale consists of the attitudes, satisfaction levels, and overall outlooks that employees have while working for a company.  Employees who are satisfied and motivated at work tend to have high morale. They typically stay engaged and productive throughout the day.

Employee morale is an important part of company culture. A positive collective attitude creates a positive work environment. This helps increase employee retention.

As an IT manager, employee morale impacts your bottom line. This is why you need to do what you can to keep morale as high as possible.

One way to accomplish this is by organizing work-related team-building activities. Employees who participate in shared experiences tend to increase their engagement and connection in the workplace. This typically elevates collaboration. The more effectively your employees work together, the more they contribute to your organization’s success.

Choose among these remote and in-person team-building activities to improve morale.


Remote Team-Building Activities

Eat Around the World

Learn something new as you explore different cuisines. Cooking shares part of a culture, enhances taste buds, and teaches new culinary skills.

You may want to create a bowl of the Korean rice dish bibimbap. You might make the Senegal rice dish jollof. Or, you could bake the Breton cake kouign-amann. This activity is best for up to 10 people.

Themed Trivia Night

Improve collaboration by dividing everyone into teams with people they normally don’t work with. You may choose ‘90s music or classic movies for the trivia theme. Or, you could educate everyone with a theme like Black history or financial wellness. This activity is best for up to 40 people.

Guided Mindfulness Session

Help everyone relax and unwind through meditation. Organizing a group session is an effective way to introduce everyone to this calming practice.

This activity is best for any number of people.

In-Person Team-Building Activities

Improv Workshop

Help everyone improve the way they work together. Teach them how more effectively communicate and read social cues.

This activity is best for up to 25 people.

Guided Hike

Learn something new while relaxing in nature. Organize a guided hike at a state park. Discover more about the area you live in while spending time together.

This activity is best for up to 15 people.

Wellness Day

Provide the time and space to completely unplug from work. You may want to begin with a group yoga session and end with a gong bath. These peaceful activities can spark meaningful conversations and organic connections with others.

This activity is best for up to 40 people.

Looking for Help Hiring?

RightStone can provide support every step of the way when hiring IT talent. Find out more today.


What Employees Really Want from Managers

 

As an IT manager, your relationship with your team is important. It impacts important issues like employee engagement, productivity, and retention.

Understanding what your employees are looking for from you helps improve their performance. The more effectively you lead your team, the more your employees will do to positively impact the bottom line.

Discover five areas to focus on to fill your IT team’s needs and maximize performance.


1. Personal Interest

Get to know your employees on a personal level. For instance, talk about their families, hobbies, and interests outside of work. Also, find commonalities that you can have more in-depth discussions about. Additionally, follow up to see how your employees’ weekend activities were.

Having casual conversations with your employees shows you care about them as people. It also helps them see you as a person rather than just a manager. This helps enhance the employee experience. The more your team members enjoy their jobs, the longer they should perform their best and remain with your company.

2. Connection

Engage with your employees through individual conversations. For instance, recognize and celebrate each employee’s successes. Also, ask your employees what they feel they are doing well and what they believe they could do better. Additionally, provide constructive feedback to help your employees improve their performance.

Encourage your employees to share what is important to them and what they may be struggling with. Actively listen to what your employees say. Show that you support them. Offer to help as needed.

Enhancing individual connections with your team helps build respect for you as their leader.

3. Acknowledgment of Strengths

Regularly acknowledge each employee’s strengths. Focus on a 3 to 1 ratio when sharing what each employee did well and what they could improve on. This helps provide the motivation to continue to improve their performance. It also increases employee confidence and engagement.

4. Purpose and Impact

Help your employees understand how their contributions impact the company and carry out its mission. Your employees want to know how their efforts help reach the organization’s strategic goals. This shows how your team individually and collectively impacts the business.

Providing a sense of purpose and impact for your employees helps build feelings of belonging and job satisfaction. Your team should remain proactive and engaged while moving toward success.

5. Career Development

Develop a career plan with each of your employees. This shows how they can advance within the organization.

Be sure to offer opportunities to develop the skills needed for promotions. You might do this through training, delegation, or stretch assignments. The more you help your employees grow professionally, the longer they should remain with your company.

Need Help Finding Employees?

Work with RightStone to find qualified employees to join your IT team. Talk with us today.


How to Show That Your Organization Values Diversity and Inclusion

 

The need for companies to demonstrate their prioritization of diversity and inclusion is more important than ever. Managers and other leaders need to create a work environment where employees at all levels feel valued and respected for their uniqueness and contributions.

Your employees likely differ by gender, ethnicity, age, religion, race, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and physical ability. This means their diverse talents, experiences, lifestyles, personalities, perspectives, opinions, family compositions, education levels, worldviews, and tenure also differ.

As a result, you need to find ways to help each of your employees add their voice and value to your team. This helps your employees feel included in decisions, opportunities, and challenges.

Choose among the following strategies to show that your company values diversity and inclusion.


Request Employee Feeback

Ask your employees for input on how effectively they feel the company values diversity and inclusion. You may want to begin this conversation in small groups or with individual employees. Make sure you include everyone during the process.

Ask difficult questions and seek honest feedback. Remind your employees that everything they say or hear is confidential. Use your findings to make any necessary changes to the company’s diversity and inclusion initiatives.

If you do not feel comfortable talking about diversity and inclusion, send your employees an anonymous survey instead. Ask questions related to specific parts of the company’s initiatives. Use the results to improve the company’s actions to increase diversity and inclusion. Resend the survey on a regular basis to assess progress in this area.

Participate in Diversity and Inclusion Training

Engage in learning how you can better promote diversity and inclusion for all employees. As a manager, you provide the foundation for the cultural environment they work in.

Take part in assessing the current environment, creating an approach, and leading the implementation of the plans to increase diversity and inclusion. Commit to the demonstration of respect for all employees within the organization every day.

Help create a sense of psychological safety for all employees. This is shown by your actions and commitments to honoring diversity and inclusion.

Encouraging employees to express who they truly are and celebrating their unique traits is part of this process. This helps increase engagement, productivity, and retention.

Celebrate Diverse Holidays

Recognize the holidays that honor your employees’ heritage. You may want to organize a luncheon where each employee brings a cultural dish to share. Perhaps you want to hold a brown bag lunch where your employees share information about their heritage or religion. Or, you could encourage your employees to decorate their work areas to promote their personal holidays.

Hire Diverse Employees

Partner with RightStone to hire the diverse IT employees your team needs to stay competitive. Reach out to us 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.


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.


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.

Add to Your IT Team

When you need to add IT professionals to your team, get in touch with RightStone. Learn more today.


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.


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