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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.

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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.


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.

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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.


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.


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