Best tips for training new employees

Best tips for training new employees

New employees can be a great asset to any team, their fresh mind can offer the team a new perspective that no one may have considered before. However, new employees are only as great as their training, so below are three of the best tips for training new employees:

Introduce The Team

Introducing new employees into a team can be difficult at first, so it is important to let staff know beforehand when a new employee is expected to start. Once the new employee starts, it is important to introduce them to the team. Formally introducing new employees to the team as a whole helps the new employee fit in faster and it helps them to get to know the team, so if they need help in the future they know that the team is there to help and they know exactly who they need to go to.

Give Constructive Feedback

New employees may not be used to doing things the way that your company does them, so it is important to give new employees a variety of tasks to practice with. However, the whole point of practice is to learn from your mistakes, so it is important to remember to give new employees constructive feedback at the end of each task so that they are able to learn from their mistakes to help them going forward in the new job.

Don’t Stop Training After A Few Days

Training a new employee should not stop after the first couple of days or tasks, it is important to follow through and continue training employees until you know they're ready for more independence. However, even after you give new employees the freedom they earn, it is still good to continue checking in from time to time for a little longer. There may be something you didn't cover in the initial training that they're struggling with months into the job, so it is important to check in to make sure that they have everything handled.

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Tips to Become a Better Leader

Tips to Become a Better Leader

Leadership, despite what everyone thinks, is situational. Often people assume that only certain people have the necessary skills to be leaders, but that is a myth. A leader is someone who has a vision of the opportunity or challenge and the courage to take action based on that. Someone who is a leader in one situation may be a follower in another because the most important tip to become a better leader is to recognize your own skills and understand when you should take charge and when you should be a follower. Here are a few tips to help prepare you to be a better leader:

  1. Know your skills- In order to be a good leader, take stock of your strengths and continue to learn everything you can. Know your leadership style, improve on your weaknesses, and periodically update your knowledge to make sure that you are up to date on new technology, processes, etc.
  2. Be willing to let someone else lead- Every person has individual talents and skills that they bring to a team, and the leader should be the best suited for the challenge or task that needs to be completed. The leader should always be changing to the person who can best lead the group during that time.
  3. Pay attention to opportunities to take action- Always be aware of obstacles, tasks, or challenges that may arise during a project and be willing to step up and take charge. A good leader does not wait to be appointed; a good leader finds an opportunity and takes action.
  4. It is not about directing others, but about getting something of value done- A good leader does not order people around for the sake of doing it. The purpose of a leader is that they have skills and a deep understanding of the task that allows them to direct others to accomplish the task. A leader should always be thinking about how can the team move forward and use their skills to successfully complete their work. 

Five Ways to Build Great Work Teams

Five Ways to Build Great Work Teams

Building a great work team can seem daunting. How do you take a diverse group of employees and turn them into an efficient, innovative, and effective team? The ultimate goal is to create a group that follows the agile system development technique, which can be applied to many different industries. The colloquial term for the process is stormin’, formin’, norman’, and performin’. A more technical explanation of the system is that it is created by small group dynamics which allow a self-regulating team to define, motivate, and manage themselves. Here are five steps to help build a team that can achieve that goal:

  1. Mix personalities and skills- Do not assign five identical people to the same team. The more you can mix it up the better. Try to create diversity in age, experience, background, and education to have a well-rounded team. Each worker will be able to provide a new perspective and set of skills that the rest of the team may not possess.
  2. Give them a clear goal- It is a group of people; which means if they do not have a clear goal, they will pontificate ad nauseum. Assign a task, give them some set parameters, and make sure that they have a clear understanding of what the end goal is.
  3. Let them figure out how to get there- This is known as the stormin’ part of the process. There may be some arguments and this step can take longer than some of the others, but the team will come out on the other side of the discussion with a creative way to achieve the goal that utilizes their individual strengths.
  4. Time block their work- Make it a realistic period, but a little challenging. This is another part of the Agile technique: break into short components to allow short bursts of energy that will lead to more progress than one long stretch of time. The idea is to have the team break the work down into sections, so their energy can be focused on one part at a time. This will mean every step of the process is given equal attention and that the team can reevaluate what they need to do each step of the way.
  5. Unless there is a strong personality conflict try to keep the team together through multiple projects- With every project they work on together, they will continue to improve as a team. They will become in tune with how their coworkers go about their task and will set up stronger lines of communication.

With these few steps, a company can take a group of employees and turn them into a strong and united work team that can produce great work. 

How to Engage a Multigenerational Work Force

How to Engage a Multigenerational Work Force

The workforce is one of the first places that different generations interact in a team environment without as much emphasis placed on age. It is important to understand since the workers will come from different backgrounds, education levels, and generations that the manager or employer must know how to engage and interact with every age level. Remember that everyone in every generation wants to feel relevant, needed, and appreciated.           

Motivation for each generation comes from a different place; identify where it comes from and use this to your advantage. The oldest generation of workers, and these are going to be the baby boomers, want to be recognized for their lifetime of experience. Their years need to have value to their employers even if their years in the workforce may be limited. The next generation of workers are your in-betweeners and they have different needs. To engage the in-betweeners, they need to feel like they are rising and in control. They are going to be feeling a loss of power when their skills are replaced by someone in another generation even if they have more knowledge or better ideas. Give this generation of workers power within the project and the ability to prove themselves because these are the employees are the pool to be promoted to high-level management positions. Finally, your young generation, the famed millennials, are going to be excited about introducing new ideas. Show appreciation for their ideas, energy, and enthusiasm because they place value in their fresh perspective.

Now that the values of each generation of worker have been identified it is important to assign them roles based on how they will best be engaged. The older generation should be assigned a task that allows them to be the subject-matter expert and show off their years of experience. The younger generation should be placed in the role of the innovator; let them utilize their spirit and imagination to push the project in new directions. The in-betweener should be the manager or guide for the whole process. Let them demonstrate and test their leadership skills by leading the team to complete the assigned task.

By keeping in mind the needs and values of each generation, you can successfully engage a team that is comprised of workers from different age groups. 

5 Tips For Building Workplace Etiquette

5 Tips For Building Workplace Etiquette

Workplace etiquette is critical in running a business: it can change how employees interact with each other and with their employers. Below are five ways to build workplace etiquette to ensure everything runs smoothly:

Make A Good First Impression

Coming into a new workplace is difficult, you don't know anyone and you don't know the current dynamics of the workplace. However, making a good first impression will make colleagues more likely to bring you into the workplace environment. This will make the team work more cohesively to accomplish things faster and easier.

Keep Communication Lines Clear

Communication is the key to any working relationship, including employee relations in the workplace. Communicating when something is bothering you, in a professional manner, will help solve problems quickly and easily before they start. However, it is important to remember that not all communication is good communication. Gossip, complaining and other forms of negative communication should never be able to find their way into the workplace.

Be On Time

Being on time to work is one of the hardest things for employees, but constantly arriving late to work while all of your colleagues are on time can wear on the team. Continually asking your colleagues to cover for you because you're running behind, again, can cause the team to start to resent you for not doing your part to further the team. Being on time will make the team get along more and be an overall more cohesive unit.

Be Available

Being available to your colleagues is incredibly important. Not just being in your cubicle able to be called on when needed, but responding to emails in a timely manner and answering phone calls when you are able to. It is also important to remember that your off days are not everyone else's off days. If you're off and someone calls with a question it is important that you respond at your quickest availability to help your colleagues further their projects.

Plan Outside Team Building

Planning outside team building activities can greatly improve team morale and make the team work together as a more cohesive unit. Activities such as team building workshops, or even a team lunch, cam greatly improve how the team works together. The better a team is able to work, the better the workplace as awhile is able to function.

3 Common Motivators For Employees Outside of Money

3 Common Motivators for Employees Outside of Money

Money is one of the biggest motivators to employees when finding a new job, but there are many other things that can motivate employees. Below are three things that can motivate employees more than money:

Experience

Starting a new job can be a great feeling, but if you already know exactly what you're doing when you start then that job is not really benefitting you the way it should be. Ever new job should be an opportunity to gain new knowledge and experience to make employees more well rounded, employable individuals. So experience, regardless of pay, can be more than enough of a motivator to employees who need more experience to get a higher up job in their field.

Progression

Employees like to be able to see where they are in a job, and how far they've come since they first started, seeing yourself progress can be a great motivator to employees to keep up their hard work. However, with profession comes recognition, meaning employers must know how to recognize their employees' progression and properly reward them when they have done well. This doesn't mean giving employees big, fancy gifts, but simply telling employees that they are doing a great job can go a long way in boosting morale and increasing their motivation.

Responsibility

Giving your employees responsibility, whether promoting them or allowing them to lead a project, can motivate them to work harder to produce a greater outcome. Promotions tend to come with increased pay, but if you were to increase an employee’s pay and not increase their responsibilities, they would not be greatly motivated to try harder. Employees find joy in being able to lead and accomplish tasks at work, and the first step is to motivate your employees by giving them more responsibilities at work.

What to Look for When Recruiting Staff

What to Look for When Recruiting Staff

When hiring a recruiting staff, most people will say that they look for a specific skill or experience in a particular industry. That is the easy part; recruiters that do not understand the job will often rely heavily on those specific skills in their selection criteria because they do not know what they should be looking for. What should they be looking at? There should be a focus on a match between the human characteristics of the job and the candidate pool. Proper identification of the true characteristics of the successful employee in the job is the key to finding the best candidate.

Let’s say you are trying to find a candidate for an isolated, boring, and repetitive job, what kind of person do you need? A type A hyper-creative team player who is also highly disciplined and well educated will not be successful in this role. The type of person who would be best suited for this role would be a loyal, predictable, and dependable person that thrives on routine. In this case, a recruiter should not be looking for someone who has a specific skill because most people can be taught, it is the core personality that needs to fit.

To find the best candidate for each job, recruiters need to fully define the characteristics needed to be successful in the role and then select people based on those. There are of course a few general aspects that should be consistent across all roles: maturity, morality, ethics, and judgment. Outside of these key qualities, each job requires a different type of person and by identifying that personality type you can successfully recruit staff that will be suited for their jobs.

Managing Millennials: Tips and Downfalls

Managing Millennials: Tips and Downfalls

Millennials are often treated as if they are some special generation that requires extra care, but they are no different from the Woodstock idealists and those that came before them. The unifying characteristic of Millennials is they want to change, and the world and they want to do it NOW. Knowing this is essential to being able to manage Millennials as it is one of their best and worst characteristics. They are no different than the Baby Boomers of old except they are a bit more socially aware and the Boomers were more socially aware than the WWII generation and so on and so forth. Millennials want to work on something that has meaning, is that really so different than the desires of the generations in the 1960s?

            As I mentioned before, the key to managing Millennials is recognizing their drive to make a change. This has resulted in a generation that is self-driven and works better when they organize themselves; give them a goal and let them figure out how to get there and accomplish their task. The methodology behind this managerial style is used in computer application development which is known as the “Agile” method, and this system has shown tremendous results by not managing the people on a team. How it works: a product owner identifies, defines, and prioritizes functions and features to be developed. The team is responsible for determining how to do this work, in what sequence, and assigns the tasks to get it done. While to some people this sounds like chaos, it has been proven to yield great results. Toyota first introduced this idea in their Lean Manufacturing technique, and this proves allows Millennials to be high performing, top quality, and enthusiastic workers.

            The downfall of managing Millennials is the same as dealing with any other generation: it is important to recognize what they want and what they are willing to work for and utilize that to get the results you want. This is an idealistic generation, so they need to see how their work is going to be effective in the long run. Any good manager identifies what is important to their team and focuses on that to create the best results. In the case of Millennials, they need to be given a basic structure that they can freely work within and to let them see the impact of their work. 

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