How Loyal Are Your Employees ?

employeesloyaltyThe workplace science and chemistry is directly reflective of inner harmony or devotion of an employee towards their employers. A strong allegiance often is a result of constant and untiring efforts on both, the employee and employers end. As of today, hiring is not that big of a hurdle as compared to engagement and retention of the best talent on the team. The feeling of belonging and merging with an environment comes with understanding and working with different mindsets. An attitude that emanates a sense of interest in the idea of commitment towards the employer, a sense of duty that clearly embodies that no employee should knowingly or willfully bring harm to the employer’s business or have conflict at work, that is due to the polarity of their self interests.

As businesses mature and companies go through phases of metamorphosis, it generally becomes more complicated to practically achieve this balance. A growing and successful business is more often a result of multiple tough decisions and a constant wave of restructuring, hiring, firing and resizing teams. In the midst of all that craze, any layoff can become an ugly next day news headlines.

We have seen this happening now, more than ever that with a wave of dozens of large companies that managed to hire too fast, without analyzing practical expenditures Vs. true earnings, had artificially inflated valuations. All of that drama is coming to an end and we have observed some of the very popular companies crumbling under such pressures by being carelessly extravagant. Then begins a cycle of layoffs, resulting in angered employees, who would magnify any discrepancies a company has; sometimes publicly in press.

A bad press is what scares many large corporations, or we must say that it should. There are many examples that we can directly relate to, Theranos, Zenefits and Uber top the charts for controversies and employee dishonesty. The problems were not mainly related to employee loyalty but a major set back happened due to that. I always say and stress on this, that if honesty pays back, dishonesty can bite back when one’s least expecting it. To expect a loyal and honest employee that you could present as a gold star standard, the leadership in a company must portray a major share of those traits itself, to ensure that it is a give and take scenario. If this sensitive equilibrium is not maintained, a back lash can hit hard. Many companies don’t realize the implications of downsizing , it doesn’t just immensely mar their image but the benefits they expect to reap from that restructuring are too little, as compared to the negative vibes emerging in the market about them. A loss of trust and respect are the major areas where the race is lost. It is a better approach, we must say, to build business with a hiring process that is not fueled and forced by the investment or profit but rather is more focused towards the goals it meets, through a number of employees that is just “enough” for its needs. Hiring a team, to look powerful and influential or just because some investor pumped more money into the business, makes no sense.

We are an impatient society that has weird ideals and want quick results, even if that means you need to fake it at times. “The growth at all costs” does not necessitates that one deals their conscience for money. The founders who rise above and beyond that notion, not just acquire that equilibrium but earn a long lasting employee loyalty.

How many times do we see employees actually beginning businesses that are in direct competition with an employer, steal business secrets, unlawfully take confidential customer lists and supply them to the competitors, lure the existing customers towards a new business, some even conspire and cause massive resignations of the key employees from the company( e.g the Co-founder of hyperloop ), delaying a deal intentionally so that they could direct it to their maturing business, vandalizing records or computer files etc. All these actions are however, crimes punishable by law but by the time the law gets to them a substantial amount of harm has already been caused.

To put an employee’s duty under a proper law and boundary a  mechanism is in place and this law is called a “Uniform Trade Secrets Act”  This act clearly hinders any embezzlement of trade secrets by illegal means.

There is a wide array of laws in this regard like:

  • Computer Fraud and Abuse Act ( CFAA )
  • A non-competition clause, also called a ” non-compete clause, a restrictive covenant, or a covenant not to compete”
  • A non-solicitation clause
  • A confidentiality clause
  • A work for hire clause

The details of these clauses can be looked up, while no employer is immune to fraud and theft but a certain amount of research done before hand can save them from a lot of future trouble.

A few important guidelines to follow are:

  • Background checks, specially with teams that handle and maintain finances
  • Securing company’s financial records ( regular password changes )
  • Thorough review of the payroll records to check phantom employees
  • Adopt a code of ethics or policy manual that is publicly known by the employees
  • Try to get employee dishonesty insurance coverage

An employee’s loyalty is not just a definition of their personality, it is also a reflection of a good leadership guiding and training them to enhance the culture of a company.

The Essentials Of Employee Evaluation

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What is evaluation?

An employee’s professional life depends upon his/her evaluation, it could make or break the image created through years of devotion and hard-work.

Employee evaluation can be done accurately and efficiently provided the feedback mechanism has gone through different phases and is transparent; so that the end product is expected and doesn’t come as a shock. There are procedures where a self-evaluation is a prerequisite from employers and is a constructive way of easing the communications between them.

Evaluations have a direct effect on employee and a negative evaluation can sometimes be considered discriminatory and bring out evident agitation.

A more in-depth system can be a 360-degree evaluation, which involves a multi-layer assessing mechanism through managers, supervisors, colleagues and annual reports. The process becomes truly 360  degree evaluation when someone from within the company or outside the company, including a particular customer/client evaluates the employee and hence, the circle of assessment comes to a completion.

Evaluations can be pretty tricky if not done with extra care and vigilance  because one wrong move or personal conflict that could result in bad evaluation can cause immense grief at the employee’s end and would push the employee towards filing a claim against them. It is imperative that all procedures be clearly understood by both parties and avoid unnecessary misunderstanding later. Hence, any lack of communication can blow things up, so it is critical to not waste time on repetitive useless collection of data.

An employer should never come into a direct conflict with the employee by tarnishing his/her reputation by subjecting them to discriminatory attacks, something that would give them an impression that not only is this about their professional lives but it is also about their loyalty and character.

 

Why Is Evaluation Important?

With a wide array or evaluations done these days, it is important to understand the core value of doing an evaluation. Doing an evaluation provides a solid foundation on which any promotion or disciplinary action is taken. It is the very basics and a fundamental component of the evidence of misdemeanor and any evaluation if not done with right intentions or properly can bring a bad name to the company.

It is always a good to follow a certain criteria when evaluating an employee and a few tips an employer should take into consideration are given below.

  • Follow a manual or a pre-defined policy because anything done outside the criteria for evaluation can sound shady
  • An official sheet of terms is going to be a great help with to-the-point objectives
  • Extremely ambiguous comments, using harsh language would not offer any support, always point to alerts and raise your concerns as discreetly as possible
  • All kinds of biases should never effect an employer’s ability to evaluate a certain employee; like targeting their age, sex or physical disability and making it a central focus regarding their performance.
  • The set of responsibilities and tasks should always be clearly defined and no employee should suffer a negative report coming from the employer about a job they didn’t know about.
  • The nature of comments should always be about their job, performance and progress. Anything that hints towards behavior should be notified along with a note from the company policy manual
  • All reports that are provided at the end of the year should include a complete year and not just a few months
  • When an evaluation report is ready, it is a moral obligation of an employer to notify the employee and give him/her an ample of space and time to come forward and justify their stance confidentially. Settling these claims in private can reduce any emotional instabilities and enhance the workplace productivity.
  • The most important aspect of employee evaluation is to bring improvements, so any encouragement and constructive feedback that appreciates their work should be included.
  • Keeping track of the notified deficiencies in an evaluation is a must as they will be the sole evidence for an employee’s promotion, suspension or termination.
  • Always be careful, if you have issued a handbook to an employee, then the employment can only be  terminated for the cause stated there. Some organizations have a handbook given to managers only that are specific to the laws of disciplinary actions and terminations.
  • The policy may state, who has the authority to take certain actions pertaining to disciplinary actions, suspensions and terminations
  • Failure to follow these guidelines might subject the employer to a lawsuit
  • The employer handbook should never be shared with the employees and no promises should be made in an employee handbook regarding the kind of disciplinary actions that could be taken
  • All warnings done, should be given orally first and then put in a written format, signed and dated
  • All breaches of laws including extended absence or any infringement of regulations that a company follows: including wasting time on personal matters more than normal should land into an oral or written warning.
  • If the violation crosses the margins of a subtle offense, it can lead to a suspension and never a termination, allowing matters to cool down.
  • In case of a serious criminal offense like alcohol consumption during work hours, sexual harassment, tampering of office documents, vandalizing  office property, carrying illegal weapons and substances may result in a prompt termination of the employee and handing the matter over to police authorities
  • The disciplinary actions vary according to the nature of business and what fits one company might not be suitable for others

There should be a space given to the employee to avail a last chance in case of a termination, this is a written document or a contract that states; “the employee has agreed to rectify his/her behavior and would comply with all rules and regulations in the future and one last chance may be given. If the problem recurs, it will be taken as a proof of irreversible action against them.

What must be understood by all  this is, that an evaluation is not just a serious job but weighs in a lot of responsibility on the shoulders of the people that have been given the performance evaluation task

Stepping Up Employee Engagement

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What does it take to have a dedicated, motivated and hardworking team that supports the very columns of your company ?

The answer is simple but technically the most difficult to achieve. “The Employee Engagement” – creating  a culture and understanding throughout the organization to uplift and equip your best talent.

How to reach that Nirvana?  The place where it is all hunky dory, with rainbows, unicorns and glitters, where there is an environment of motivation and success fueled by achievers and go-getters reaching far beyond their goals. The place where employees get a sense of ownership and responsibility, where gratitude turns into success of the organization as a whole.

The honest truth remains on a more obvious approach towards transparency and mutual trust, without creating a co-dependency. The process of liberating the employees, where checks and balances do not jump far off the fence and undermine their capabilities but rather enhance their existing skills.

Having said that, it reminds us to nurture a constant mechanism of feedback and learning where the communications are focused and bring out the desired outcome. The ” performance evaluation ” as the term goes is also entering into a completely new territory and is of a less judgmental sort and more of a learning and development activity. The solution lies in listening, observing and measuring how to create a symbiotic environment  between all tiers of the organization, displaying the best features offered by those employees.

The DNA OF A Successfully Engaged Team 

 

If the motives are always weighed as collectively, rather than individually and benefits are portrayed as a shared “success”, it will provide enough incentives to perform brilliantly and bring forth an energized and charged atmosphere, improving the workplace ambiance.  The purpose of boosted self-esteem can result in a constructive achievement of objectives. “The learn and develop” mantra can help groom the team for future challenges and teach them to co-operate at all levels and stages of the projects. A mechanism that is well oiled and working in coherence. The system where concerns don’t come out as arguments and promises of rewards don’t stay empty promises. I cannot stress enough on this, that employees are the company’s best ambassadors and represent the face of the company, so their well-being and prosperity is a company’s well-being and prosperity. They would not only promote and glorify the company’s motto but also deal with the clients more efficiently, binding them into a long term beneficial business relationship.

Small gestures and appreciation go a long way, a happy and emotionally stable employee would be more creative and would work faster, overcoming all glitches and improvising where hurdles come. Companies relying on constant innovation can benefit immensely from employees which stay tuned and focused rather than the employee who couldn’t think beyond working from paycheck to paycheck.

The more engaged the team at work is, the more chances of productive days and less absences and sick leaves. Employees get engaged where there is room for thought, consideration and realization. A workplace where culture, traditions and values are taken care of become the examples other would like to follow. If this scenario is achieved, an atmosphere is set for visionaries to be born and incubated to fill in the shoes of the leaders passing on this legacy.

The Deal Breakers

An array of behaviors, ranging from being over powering to being super-bossy might scare people and the term, keeping them “in-line” loses its importance. It is morally unjustified to keep employees tied up in errands that undermines their personal growth and engages them in an unpleasant, burdened and mechanical way of working. An emotionally upset employee might not utter something against the employer but the productivity and loyalty would certainly decrease over a period of time. Any kind of manipulative behavior might come under abuse, a very cynical and sarcastic approach can tarnish the company’s image in a paramount fashion.

Pointing out employee’s faults publicly can cause a caustic background and would put the members of the company in an awkward relationship with each other. Disappointment and resentment can never lead to a team that works towards the prosperity, as employees need a balanced leadership to guide them through different phases of the job cycles. Maturity and responsibility comes with setting examples that can be followed and adopted. Public ridiculing and humiliation are two zones, that if entered or ventured into might lead into the destruction of the very structure of the company. The only sensible way is to calmly work on the things that work and then encourage the employees to expand their skill sets.

Working with weaker parts of the team all the way up to the strengths and then letting them build the foundations of mutual association and team spirit to guide them through ups and downs of a company. These are the very basics of self-sufficient teams that can work independently.

The essential point that centralizes a gentle and understanding leadership to focus on building and strengthening the basic structure of the company is the “mainstay agenda” towards effective employee engagement.

 

 

WebHR Ranked As A Top HR leader by Gartner’s GetApp – 2016

Human Resources (HR) Category Leaders Q4 2016 for WebHR

GetApp’s quarterly ranking showcases the top 25 Human Resources (HR) apps based in the cloud. Each app is scored using five factors, worth 20 points each, for a total possible score out of 100. These factors include user reviews, integrations, mobile app availability, media presence, and security. Each app’s score is independent of commercial interests and existing relationships that GetApp has with app vendors.

WebHR is again ranked at the top of the HR leaders category by GetApp for the year 2016. WebHR has stayed in the top three slot for a whole year and that is an achievement in itself.

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