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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.

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Easy Ways to Boost Motivation in the Workplace

 

Like anyone else, your employees will have days where they lack the motivation to complete their tasks. Although this is completely normal, it can become a problem if they consistently become disengaged. You need your team to remain as productive as possible to continue to reach company goals. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to encourage your team members to remain engaged and continue to perform their best.

Implement these simple tips to maintain motivation and productivity among your team.


Maintain a Positive Work Environment

It is easier for your team members to stay productive when they feel happy. Maintaining a positive work environment promotes a better work experience and stronger relationships. These are significant factors in employee motivation, engagement, productivity, and success.

Create Employee Goals

Work with your team members to establish short-term goals. Include attainable objectives and clear measurements for success. This helps your employees stay on track, see the progress they make, and understand how their efforts impact the company. Be sure to celebrate each team member’s achievements along the way.

Recognize Employee Contributions

Your team members need to know their efforts and results are being noticed. This encourages them to continue to perform their best. Recognition also improves employee engagement, job satisfaction, and retention. Be sure you publicly and privately point out specific actions each employee took, what they accomplished, and how it benefitted the organization. Also, provide bonuses, raises, or promotions when appropriate.

Encourage Regular Breaks

Your team members need time to rest throughout the workday. Remind them to step away from their desks to stretch, meditate, or talk with coworkers who are on break. Also, emphasize the importance of taking a full hour for lunch. Promote healthy eating, walking, reading, and other relaxing habits. Taking time to disengage increases focus, concentration, and engagement in tasks. This helps your employees come back refreshed and ready to produce.

Promote Paid Time Off

Remind your team members how important it is to use all of their vacation days every year. Spending time away from the office promotes physical and mental wellness. Your employees need to create memories by engaging in enjoyable activities with their families and friends. The more time your employees take for rest and relaxation, the less likely they are to experience burnout.

Enforce Staying Home When Ill

Encourage your team members to stay home when they are sick. Your employees cannot perform their best when they do not feel well. Also, coming to the office and spreading germs is not beneficial for anyone. Ask that your team members finish the tasks they can from home while getting plenty of rest. The sooner they fully recover, the sooner they can return to the office and resume their duties.

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Warning Signs Your Top Candidate Isn’t All They Say They Are

 

Like many employers, you may be having difficulty hiring the best talent. As a result, you might feel inclined to hire your top candidate after reading their resume and scheduling an interview. However, you need to take the time to make sure the candidate is exactly as good as they say they are. Although they may seem like a great match on the surface, you need to uncover additional information to validate their claims.

Discover some steps you can take to determine whether your best candidate truly is the right one to add to your team.


Not Sharing Specific Contributions

Your top candidate should give concrete examples of their individual contributions and those of their team members to complete projects. You need this type of information to learn more about the candidate’s role in a project and how it fits with the team dynamics.

The candidate also should talk about other details relating to their current job or the job they want. Otherwise, they may lack the skills and qualifications needed to complete the work. Think twice about hiring this candidate.

Hesitation to Provide Work Samples

Your top candidate should be happy to show you examples of what they accomplished in previous roles. This demonstrates the value they can provide for your own organization.

If the candidate hesitates to participate in a technical interview, it may be because they lack the core skills necessary to carry out the job responsibilities. The candidate may not want to admit that they cannot complete a skills test within the allotted time. This likely is not the right candidate to hire.

Lack of Interest in Learning

Your top candidate should be eager to participate in ongoing learning and development opportunities. This lets them develop new skills and qualify for additional opportunities for career advancement.

A candidate who believes they already know all that they need to likely will be stagnant in a role. Disinterest in improving their abilities means a lack of growth for your organization. This is not a candidate you want to add to your team.

Not Asking Questions

Your top candidate should be asking questions throughout the interview. This shows they are engaged in the conversation and curious to know more about the position and company.  The more information the candidate receives, the better they can determine whether the job is a good match for them.

Not asking questions signals disinterest in the discussion, job, and organization. Since it is unlikely that every topic was covered during the interview, the candidate should want to know more about at least one issue that came up during the talk. You likely should not hire this candidate.

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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.

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6 Ways to Attract Quality Applicants

 

Like many employers, you may have open positions with few applicants. Or, the applicants you have may not be qualified for the roles. Because you cannot have these jobs remain open, you need to alter your approach to the recruitment process to get better results.

Implement these six tips to attract higher-quality candidates to your job openings.


1. Build Your Employer Brand

Enhance your company’s reputation as a great place to work. For instance, use your careers page to show your mission, vision, and values. Include employee photos, videos, stories, and testimonials. Also, include information about your benefits and opportunities for growth. Additionally, encourage your team members to share their stories on employer review sites. Showing what it is like to work for you can increase interest in applying with your company.

2. Encourage Employee Referrals

Emphasize the importance of your team members referring people they know to your organization. The referrals are likely to fit with company culture, stay productive, and remain long-term with your company. Be sure you reward your employees whose referrals stay for a set time.

3. Recruit from Customized Job Boards

Post your openings on job boards other than the usual ones. You should get more qualified candidates that convert to hires at a higher rate. These sources may include industry-specific job boards, local or community message boards, university job boards, and Craigslist.

4. Increase Your Salaries

Candidates want to receive competitive compensation for their time and talents. This is why offering salaries on the higher end of the range is important. Include the job title, years of experience, skills, qualifications, geographic location, and other relevant information when researching an appropriate salary to offer.

5. Optimize Your Application Process

Your application process needs to be fast and transparent. This includes easy submission of cover letters and resumes through your company website, ongoing notifications of application status, and details of what the next step is. It also involves email reminders of job interviews, chatbots to answer questions, and quick responses to candidate messages.

6. Make Fast Hiring Decisions

Your hiring decisions need to be made as quickly as possible. Because the best talent typically is off the market within 10 days, you must let them know soon after an interview whether they are chosen to advance in the process or receive a job offer. As a result, you need to talk with your hiring team to gather feedback and compare candidates to determine which should advance or be asked to join your team.

Need Help Filling Your IT Roles?

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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.

Add to Your IT Team

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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.

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Is Temp-to-Staff Right for Your Company?

A temp-to-staff work arrangement involves a role being filled for a set time with the possibility of a permanent job offer later. Whether a full-time job becomes available depends on the worker’s performance, budgets, economic conditions, and other variables that impact hiring decisions. This type of employment can provide a variety of advantages to your organization.

Find out how bringing aboard a temp-to-staff worker can benefit your company.

Evaluate a Potential Employee’s Performance

When you add a temp-to-staff worker to your team, you are able to see their work performance without making a long-term commitment. During the length of the assignment, you gain insight into the worker’s skills and comfort level with the work environment as they tackle your projects. You also see how well the worker blends with your team, coworkers, and company culture. Plus, you witness whether they show initiative, apply their training to their work, and find ways to provide additional value to the organization. This hands-on experience provides a realistic view of whether a permanent job offer should be extended.

Efficiently Use Company Resources

Hiring a temp-to-staff worker is a wise use of your company’s time and money. For instance, you can evaluate the worker’s performance during the trial period, which typically lasts 3 to 6 months. This equips you to make an informed decision about whether to offer full-time employment at the end of the contract period. You also avoid losing a significant amount of time and money, which happens when a bad hire joins your team. Plus, the temporary worker is likely to stay long-term if they have a permanent job.

Partner with a Staffing Agency

The best way to find a temp-to-staff worker is through a reputable staffing firm. The recruiters have the connections, skills, and experience necessary to evaluate candidates and ensure they are a good match for your business needs. The recruiter can negotiate a competitive salary, benefits package, and perks to help you attract top talent. Be sure to clarify what you are looking for in terms of knowledge, skills, experience, job duties, goals, and expectations.

Source the Best IT Talent

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Keeping the Interview Conversational: 5 Ways to Conduct an Interview Like a Pro

The best interviews flow like a conversation rather than an interrogation. Conversations work because it gives both the interviewer and the interviewee space to think laterally and creatively, which allows both parties to share more about themselves.

But how do you keep an interview conversational when you have so many to complete and little time to do it?

Here’s how to get the most out of an interview.

Break the Ice First

“How are you?” is the most obvious question you can ask, and you won’t glean much from the candidate by asking it. Instead, ask them a more specific question that allows you to make a minute or two of small talk.

Some questions include: 

  • What’s the best thing to happen to you this week? 
  • How did you find this job post? 
  • What are you watching on television at the moment? 
  • Tell me something you’ve learned this week.

These are questions that open up the floor for discussion but don’t veer far enough into the personal to be jarring. 

Practice Asking Open-Ended Questions

If the answer to a question is yes or no, then you’ll get a yes or no answer. While it may provide a perfunctory answer, you won’t learn much, and your questions will seem more like an interrogation.

Practice answering open-ended questions to get more from candidates. These questions usually begin with “why” or “how” rather than “can” or “do.’

Ask Questions (and Follow-ups) Relevant to the Interviewee

You won’t find cookie-cutter candidates because there aren’t cookie-cutter people. So, don’t ask every candidate the same list of questions. Instead, use their resume and their previous answers to riff on their experience and ask questions relevant to the candidate’s history specifically.

Lean on Your Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is an often-overlooked part of the interview process. You don’t give anything away by being kind, warm, and yourself with a candidate, even if you aren’t sure they’re a good fit.

Lean on building a natural rapport with each interviewee where possible to keep the conversation flowing. Not only does it improve the process, but it also gives you a better sense of the candidate’s emotional intelligence too.

Let the Conversation Flow

Candidates regularly say that the best interviews feel more like conversations. And these interviews leave them with a positive experience, even if they don’t land the job.

Rather than rattling off a list of questions, let the conversation flow by demonstrating emotional intelligence and keeping each interview personal. You’ll find you both get more from the process when you do.

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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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