August 24, 2017 | Sabrina Clay, CCWP
Paid time off is difficult for both the employer and the employee. Studies show that people just aren't taking time off. And time off is good for the soul and your company.
According to a U.S. Travel Association report, 658 million vacation days went unused by American workers last year. With reasons varying from fear of returning to a mountain of work and feeling no one else can do their job, a shocking 22 percent said they wanted to show a complete dedication to their job. But at what cost?
You want to provide work-life balance for your employees (and quite frankly yourself), but what is the best approach? When determining the best time off policy, it's important to consider your culture. While difficult to recognize, ask yourself if your culture creates an unspoken stigma around taking time off. Do managers hesitate to promote time off because it will over burden them? Your managers may be subtly discouraging employees from taking time off and not realize it.
Perhaps you turn the tables to promote and anticipate vacations.
Another critical component to time off policies is your messaging. We know there must be rules, but how are they communicated? Do they come across as strict and cold? Vacation is fun, so make your rules around vacation fun as well. For example, We’re going to miss you while you're out, but we want to know when to start missing you! Please let us know (insert timeframe) prior to taking your getaway. While this may sound silly, it helps to ease any tension that may exist.
It may be helpful to get feedback from your employees. Surveys tend to be impersonal, but focus groups can provide some truthful information on how your employees view vacations and the company's PTO plan. Remember, the most generous vacation packages are meaningless if the culture does not support taking time off.
August 3, 2017 | Sabrina Clay, CCWP
I’ve recently noticed an influx of posts and articles dedicated to the “quitting economy” and the wane of employee loyalty. But with all the perks, free snacks, nap pods, and bring-your-dog-to-work day’s out there, how did this occur? Is employee satisfaction at an all-time low?
Employee satisfaction describes whether employees are happy, content and fulfilled by the work they are doing. It is also a factor in their fulfillment and achievement of personal goals.
The way I see it, employment is much like dating. In the beginning of the relationship you are on your best behavior. Over time, the shine can become lackluster. However, just as in any relationship it is important that people feel wanted, needed, and respected. Maya Angelou said it best: “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”.
Here are 3 easy techniques to gain and maintain loyalty in your company:
It starts with your recruiting processes.
Instead of simply filling positions, take a proactive approach, so you’re not just recruiting but retaining your employees. In addition to learning about their professional background, seek to understand their goals, and what they want out of the job and their employer.
Embrace your company culture.
Think about how you described your company to your candidate during the interview process. Do you live by those beliefs, or were they just words? The goal with culture is to create a workplace that provides a positive direction for the company and its employees. It’s hiring people who have the same values and behaviors. It can easily become your brand, so be true to your culture.
We all need to trust our employees, but what about their trust in us? While developing trust is challenging work, model the behavior you seek: be honest (even when it’s uncomfortable to do so), be consistent and become accountable. Remember, trust is a two-way street. Employees want to know that their employer has their back.
The biggest secret is to give loyalty first. If you want employees to go above and beyond for you, you must go above and beyond for them. The best leaders understand if they fight for their team, the team will fight for them in return. Lest we forget, the employee is the most important asset of your organization.