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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.

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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.

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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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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.


Managing a Remote Workforce- Leading at a Distance

In 2019 and early 2020, articles about remote work were still in the ‘what if’ phase. Back then, 55% of businesses worldwide allowed for remote work in some shape or form — and only 4.7 million people were already working at home. 

If you find yourself leading from a distance, or are looking for a new leadership role in this climate, use these tips to help settle in and support your team as you all adjust to this new style of work.

Express Yourself Visually

What says “good job” more effectively? A short email that simply says, “good work” or a funny GIF or emoji? Very often, animations communicate feedback better than text because they pick up on the non-verbal communication you miss out on when you work remotely.

So, use emoji replies on Slack, send GIFs in an email, and do it consistently.

And don’t forget to reiterate your praise on video calls. It means more than you think.

Build in Time for Conversation

When you’re all at home, it seems prudent to hop on a call, talk about what needs to happen, and then get back to what you were doing. Running a meeting or call this way makes it very transactional, and that’s not good for your team.

You need to build relationships with your team members as people, so build time for chatting into your meetings. It will help you get to know your team, build rapport, and indicate what issues your team are having before they become problems.

Trust Your Team

If you don’t trust a member of your team, then you shouldn’t have hired them. But since they’re here, you should know you can rely on them.

You don’t need to rely on blind trust. Instead, set your expectations early and make them clear. Then, everyone is on the same page, and no one is left waiting for a deliverable.

Focus on Goals Rather Than Activity

A big problem managers face when leading remote teams is their emphasis on activity. They think: what if they aren’t working for eight hours? How can I tell?

The truth is that your on-site employees aren’t engaging in work activity for every minute they’re at the office either. The only difference is that you can drop in on them.

Rather than getting hung up on minutes worked, focus on goals. Is the work getting done? Is it on time? Is it of the quality you outlined in your expectations? If the answer to those questions is yes, then you have a productive team.

Get Ready to Lead Remotely

Today, everyone who can is by-and-large working from home, and leaders are leading from home. Learning to manage a remote workforce is very different from getting to grips with telecommuting tools. You need a whole new style that accounts for the lack of literal facetime.

Are you looking for your next leader, or needing to hire for a remote team? Get in touch to learn about our fine-tuned process for placing skilled IT professionals.


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