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Two Major Signs of Micromanagement

workers discussing micromanagement

The dreaded micromanager is the bane of any productive workspace. We’ve all been there – the manager who needs to be CC’d on every email. The boss who demands reports so often that you can’t get any real work done. Even the coworker who nit-picks everything you do. It’s no secret that micromanagement in all its forms is one of the biggest contributors to employee disengagement and ‘quiet quitting’; a 2014 survey from Accountemps reported that 59% of employees have worked for or with a micromanager, and the percent of workers who reported micromanagement hurting their morale – 68% – has only gone up in recent years, with a recent survey from Trinity Solutions reporting a whopping 85% of respondents citing micromanagement as a personal morale-killer.

Micromanagement is both one of the most common and most bothersome of workplace ills because it is difficult to identify, and even more difficult to adequately address. But the first step of handling micromanagement is to recognize what’s going on, and to differentiate micromanagement from attentive management! Below are some common traits of micromanagement that can help you identify it at your workplace.

Excessive Amounts of Reporting

Reporting is a crucial part of understanding and improving campaigns. Still, a manager who requests excessive reports on projects can serve as more of a detriment than an incentive. Daily check-ins on the same task, for instance, tend to increase stress and decrease productivity. If a manager is hanging over their shoulder, it’ll leave employees thinking more about their check-in meeting than the project itself. An organized routine for project check-ins on a weekly or biweekly basis can go a long way in cutting down micromanagement.

Hyper-Focus on Details at the Wider Project’s Expense

Detail-oriented management is a great trait, especially for managers who need to oversee complex projects with many moving parts. But sometimes, a focus on detail can slip into minutia, where workers start spending unproductive time addressing minor details at the manager’s request. It can be tricky to differentiate between detail-oriented style and genuine micromanagement, so to tell the difference try asking yourself: “Is this feedback rooted in industry best practice, or is it a personal preference?” When small details are being changed, backed up by data that shows it’ll improve the project, then you have an attentive manager; but if small details are being regularly changed for no clear reason other than personal preferences, you may have a micromanager on your hands.

The best way to deal with micromanagement is to help your manager realize that they don’t need to. Every worker is an individual who handles tasks in a unique way. Encourage them to be open to employees trying tasks in new ways, rather than always having to get their way. Personal solutions founded on good, mutual communication are the best solution to micromanagement, as they are for a great number of major HR stressors – take it from the personalized benefits experts! Discount programs like PerkSpot only work due to providing meaningful, individual solutions – the kind that you should be encouraging micromanagers to take, rather than zooming in on the little things.

How to Boost Employee Morale in a WFH Environment

The workplace is changing. If you are running a business, you probably know this too well. Today, many organizations are doing away with the traditional office – in favor of a remote environment. In recent years this trend has accelerated, 52% of global employees now work remotely at least once a week.

It’s not hard to see why. Remote workers don’t have to worry about costs of commuting or delays due to travel disruptions. Businesses can save money by renting small office spaces, meaning they can focus funds on growth.

With the right technology and an application of integrations, a remote worker can be just as effective as an in-office counterpart; as long as you pay attention to their morale.

But despite these benefits, remote work isn’t always a walk in the park. Remote workers can feel isolated socially, and if you’re not careful, people can feel out of the loop. It all negatively impacts the morale of employees. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Here are some simple ways to boost the morale of your remote employees.   

Check in On Your Team

It’s easy for workers to feel a disconnect remotely. In a traditional office environment, leaders will get many opportunities to spend time with team members. Employees must trust leaders and vice versa. Regular meetings provide useful opportunities for teams to get to know leaders.

But in the remote environment, ensuring contact is harder. If leaders don’t work hard to ensure communication, there will be a lack of coherence within teams. But what can be done to avoid this problem?

Ensuring regular meetings is a good first step. Try to find a time that fits with the schedule of all members to avoid creating frustration. Ultimately, you want communication to be as natural as possible. That’s why it’s a good idea to prioritize video calling over audio calls, as this offers more common face-to-face communication.  

It’s best to choose work from home tools that have a track record of reliability, especially for communication purposes. You can’t ensure solid dialogue if your phone keeps dropping calls.   

Make Mental Health a Priority 

employees who feel work from home has negative impact on moraleThe topic of mental health in the workplace has been given more and more attention in recent years. Today, people are less reluctant to talk about their problems and more willing to seek help. But despite this, studies have shown that nearly 1 in 4 workers meet the criteria for ‘clinically relevant symptoms’ of anxiety and depression.

 

In the remote work environment, these problems are only exacerbated. What’s more, people are more reluctant to come forward to talk about their problems. So, what’s the solution? Start by leveraging emotional intelligence

Alongside group calls, it’s useful to hold regular one-to-one sessions with members. By doing so, you can offer the chance for workers to express their issues in a confidential, judgment-free environment.

To provide better support in sessions, it’s a good idea to take note of what employees are saying. Otter AI is a good option if you’d rather transcribe notes (although there are some Otter AI app alternatives if you’re looking to save money).

So, if you haven’t already, get in touch with workers and organize some drop-in sessions. 

Take Regular Breaks 

​​A key element of working in a standard work environment is a daily schedule. Loss of routine is one of the reasons that many remote workers struggle. Many remote employees overlook a fundamental element of working: taking a break.  

The idea of employees doing more work might seem appealing to some (cold-hearted) team leaders, but breaks are necessary. Without taking the occasional rest, workers risk being burnt out. Ensure you encourage your team to step away from the screen and take time for themselves.

Additionally, why not set up a virtual break-out room that employees can join on their breaks? Regular chats are a great way for workers to bond and feel part of a team. By encouraging breaks, your workers will feel more rested; you’ll notice a boost in motivation. It’s a win-win! 

Have a Virtual Night Out 

Not everyone likes the idea of spending a night out at work. But there is no denying the importance of social events in terms of teamwork and morale. Sharing drinks with your team can be a great way of recognizing successes and building stronger bonds. But how do you replicate this experience when your team is remote?

There’s no denying that virtual festivities are harder to orchestrate. There’s a good chance that you have workers spread across the globe. This means you will have to work across time zones to find a time that works for everyone. Obviously, standard activities like going for a meal aren’t possible, so you have to think creatively.

But if you keep these factors in mind, you can have a fun virtual night out. Here are a few fun activities that you can try out:

work from home virtual zoom meeting

Share Drinks – This is probably the simplest solution. While you can’t go to a bar, you can all gather in a conference call and share a drink together.

Cook Together – Again, you can’t go out for a meal, so why not share one together? You can even all work on the same recipe and then share the results of your work!

Start a Book Club – Not everyone likes reading. But for those that do, a book club can be a great way to bond over a shared interest. If reading isn’t an interest, why not all agree on a movie to watch together?  

Adapting Is Key

The switch to remote work can be a learning curve. Don’t worry if it takes time to adjust to this different environment. You will need to be flexible with time zones and even schedules.

To keep morale high, you need to put communication at the heart of everything you do. By adapting to new technologies and putting workers’ needs first, you’ll have a happy and productive workforce. With the right approach, your business can out-compete your rivals. So make sure you’re getting the most out of remote working! 

This guest post was authored by Grace Lau.

Grace Lau is the Director of Growth Content at Dialpad, an AI-powered cloud mutlichannel call center platform for better and easier team collaboration. She has over 10 years of experience in content writing and strategy. Currently, she is responsible for leading branded and editorial content strategies, partnering with SEO and Ops teams to build and nurture content. Grace Lau also published articles for domains such as Tapfiliate and Easy Affiliate. 

Scaling Your Culture While Keeping Employees Engaged

people at table scaling their culture

When your organization is growing fast, it’s an exciting thing! New clients, new opportunities, new employees – and often new culture brought with them as your organization adapts. But fast-paced growth also comes with its own set of unique challenges; as organizations become bigger and more difficult to manage, more apathetic employees can easily dilute an energetic company culture, tanking employee engagement – and morale with it. Keeping an increasingly large roster of unique employees actively engaged in company culture is a huge challenge. For a growing enterprise, strong, positive cultures are vital for productivity and retention; so you’ll have to tackle the daunting task of scaling culture.

Bring New Employees Into The Conversation

Organizations of any size, even those with codified values, are filled with unspoken norms. These small quirks and daily standards can’t be communicated in onboardings, but they form the most basic building-block of culture. It’s essential that new employees feel a part of these minor daily routines! An excellent way of achieving this is through a monthly meeting where newer employees can discuss the company’s culture. Alternatively, you can assign newer employees a veteran buddy to talk candidly about your ins and outs.

Use Benefits Levers To Provide A Universally Attractive Foundation

Certain traditions, such as monthly gatherings of all staff, may become logistically unfeasible as your organization grows. To replace them, you can leverage digital tools to instead offer benefits with universal appeal. While attractive benefits are no replacement for bottom-up culture, using levers like PerkSpot’s discount program can help engage growing cultures by giving new employees attractive reasons to approach the office with the same enthusiasm of their veteran colleagues. 

Be Flexible to New Quirks

With any influx of new employees, or even just a growing scope of your enterprise, it’s important to remember that the organization is never going to be exactly the same as it was – and that’s okay. Scaling your culture is the perfect time to codify your organization’s core values. You’ve got the unique chance now to really identify what makes your culture strong and successful. These core values should be your guiding torch to handling company-wide decisions and day-to-day interactions alike. With confidence in your example-setting, you can help maintain your organization’s positive cultural traits while also allowing new employees to add a piece of their own to the tapestry of your workspace.

Find Ways For Leadership To Engage Organically

It’s true that it’s a bit more difficult to do water-cooler talk over Zoom. Still, whether remote or in-person, it’s important that your organization’s leadership is accessible and engaged. Encouraging lower-pressure get-togethers, lunches, or similar events for teams or individual offices creates an environment where teams and leadership can come closer together. It’s also the perfect setting to reinforce a positive organizational culture!

Growing any organization is an exciting and fast-paced time to be involved, but it’s also a high-pressure environment. While one side of ensuring employee engagement is to provide enjoyable interaction opportunities, the other is to prevent burnout and disengagement through proper support and resources. As long as you can supply both sides of that equation to your employees, old and new, you’ll find any sort of cultural transition a breeze.

 

The Importance of Trust in The Workplace

The relationship between employees and their managers is often a complex one. With different working styles, communication preferences, and work environments there can oftentimes be disagreements. In addition to the already existing responsibilities as a leader, how do you create an environment where employees feel inspired and engaged? It all comes down to trust. When there is mutual trust, there is increased empowerment, more open communication, and higher success of employees. So, how do you show your employees you trust them? 

What is Trust? 

Trust can look a lot of different ways in the workplace. It’s when a manager feels that they can count on their team to meet their responsibilities and be honest in their progress. It’s allowing for flexibility and letting teammates work where they are most comfortable whether it’s remote or in the office. Trust in the workplace means your employees enjoy a culture of honesty, psychological safety, and mutual respect. In addition, it’s being able to predict that someone will act in specific ways and be dependable

How To Build Trust 

Building trust can be easier said than done. For example, statistics show that people trust each other less today than they did 40 years ago. With it being difficult to achieve, how do you find success with your employees? We’ve laid out a few tips. 

Listen Frequently 

When your employees feel empowered to have their ideas be heard, they will be more willing to speak up in the future. One way to set aside time with your employees is to set up recurring weekly one-on-one meetings. This way you have dedicated time to talk directly with your team and gather feedback, both positive and negative. 

Embrace Vulnerability

We all are human and face hardships outside of work. It’s important to embrace your employees’ true self and also be vulnerable when you can. By creating a safe space, your teammates will feel more willing to open up in the future. 

Show Appreciation 

Appreciation goes a long way. Whether it’s a simple “thank you”, a written note showing your gratitude following a large project, or celebrating a career anniversary. When employees’ feel appreciated at their job, they are more likely to meet deadlines and be honest with their managers.

Be Honest 

Honesty is key to trust. If you’re honest about how things are going in and outside of work, your employees’ will be more willing to be honest going forward. Even if what you’re sharing might not be the best information, it’s better to communicate the truth than not at all. 

Coach Before Discipline  

One mistake a lot of leaders make is reacting to mistakes with discipline instead of coaching. Research has shown that authentic leadership can cultivate trust and improve employee engagement and performance. Not only that, but it’s been shown to improve work relationships company wide. 

Transparency Over Everything 

It all comes down to transparency. The more open and honest you are with your team, the better. Be open and transparent with your feedback and keep your employees’ in the loop. You’ll foster an environment based on trust in no time!  

The Results

Trust has impactful results from improved engagement, efficiency, and productivity. According to research, disengagement costs U.S. companies approximately $450 billion to $550 billion annually. With trust impacting engagement alone, it’s a no brainer why trusting your employees is so important. 

Interested in continuing your efforts to make your workplace a great place to work? Read our E-Book, “5 Focus Areas for Building a Better Workplace” to see how you can create a better place to work for your employees.

Five Tips for Onboarding Remote Employees

Laptop Remote Onboarding

Remote work has rapidly transitioned over the last few years from a rare form of employment to the global norm for countless industries, and that’s caused big changes in onboarding. Remote employees are often looking for a completely different set of resources than their in-person counterparts; and since successful onboarding is a major factor in employee retention, it’s important to set up stable systems for onboarding remotely on a permanent basis.

 

The additional flexibility of remote work is great, but it also creates a need for managers to provide structure. Remote employees need strong online resources and clearly defined goals to make the best use of their digital schedules. Start off on the right foot when bringing in remote employees and retain your top digital talent with these tips!

 

1) Get Incoming Employees Looped In Right Away.

A remote employee’s toolkit, from company messaging apps to website logins, will functionally be the digital equivalent of their office. It’s important to make sure they have access to these tools and time to get comfortable with them right away. Ideally, you should aim to get everything set up with IT during their first-day orientation.

2) Give a Warm Welcome.

A simple welcome package can go a long way! Treating new employees to a virtual lunch with some time to socialize can help cultivate a sense of belonging. Orientation can often be daunting for employees not physically there, so a quality orientation is sure to leave a big impression. 

3) Build Strong Online Resources.

Sourcing your relevant resources alone isn’t enough; you also have to make sure they’re easily accessible! An employee handbook and guide to company values are important for all employees. For more creative-oriented positions, you’ll want to consider having a formal brand guide and style guidelines as well. Most important is building best practice guidelines for the specific position that you’re onboarding; that way, new hires have easy access to clearly stated expectations and responsibilities for both the wider company and their specific position right from day one!

4) Provide Clearly Defined Goals and Regular Check-ins.

Flexible schedules can make it more easy to get distracted, so immediately provide remote employees with a sense of structure by setting up clear 30/60/90 day expectations. Regular one-on-one check-ins with HR and management can set remote employees up for success; ensuring they’re always on the right track! 

5) Integrate Remote Workers into your Culture.

Many new remote workers can feel isolated from the wider company. Plan remote-focused events at least monthly, and make sure that new employees feel comfortable at them. If they aren’t, work with your remote employees to draft some events that sound fun to them. Bridging the gap between in-person and remote employees ensures a successful hybrid team.

Nearly half of all employees report feeling as though they’d messed something up on orientation day, whether it’s in meeting new co-workers or finding the right resources. The key is to be understanding, empathetic, and patient with your new employees, giving them the resources and direction they need to become remote rockstars!

The Benefits of an Employee Discount Program

When it comes to benefits and perks, it can be difficult to find solutions that employees not only engage with but also find value in. With financial stresses high due to inflation and other economic factors, it is an especially crucial time to offer a perk that stretches your employees’ paycheck. An employee discount program could be the benefit you’ve been searching for, with exclusive discounts for your teammates on the things that matter most. We’ve laid out a few reasons why you should join the thousands of employers taking advantage of steep discounts. 

What is an Employee Discount Program? 

An employee discount program is a marketplace of exclusive discounts, negotiated by a team of experts, from top brands and local businesses. Employees can access their discounts through their Discount Portal and browse deals, search by brand or category, discover curated and personalized discounts relevant to their interests, and enjoy savings on a variety of products and services.

No Impact on Your Budget

Employee discount programs are often an affordable way to provide financial benefit to your team. Not only that, but it’s much more than exclusive access. With PerkSpot, you’ll get an easy-to-use portal, optimized for all devices, that ties in with your company’s unique branding, creating a one-stop shop for employees’ perks and discounts. The best part? It’s free. What’s the catch? There isn’t one. It’s a no cost solution to help stretch your employees paycheck. 

Easy to Maintain 

One of the best parts about an employee discount program is the low maintenance. The portal is managed for you and discounts are regularly updated. Leslie Sells, Benefits Analyst at Humana, shared, “It’s always been easy. This is one of the programs that almost runs itself. It’s not one I have to spend a whole lot of time on.” With a dedicated Client Success Manager, we are here to create a communication plan that builds program awareness and helps employees maximize their valuable benefit.

Exclusive Savings

Another great benefit of an employee discount program is the exclusive access to meaningful savings. With PerkSpot, employees save from 25+ categories including electronics, travel, home goods, cars, health, and so much more. In addition, savings with PerkSpot are personalized. In comparison to other discounts available, these savings are tailored and relevant. It not only saves time for your employees, but also provides discounts your employees may not be aware of. Another great benefit of PerkSpot is the access to Premium Perks. Premium Perks are verified to be the best available discounts on the market by your PerkSpot team

Exceptional Employee Retention and Engagement 

It’s estimated that turnover costs employers over $1 trillion annually. So, how do you minimize these costs and setbacks? It all starts with the employee experience. With PerkSpot, you can lend your employees a hand with their financial wellness by offering exclusive discounts on tax services, loans, mortgages, and more. Not only that, but we’ve built our platform to encourage engagement by allowing employees to save when and where it matters to them by showing the most relevant and meaningful offers. 

With a multitude of benefits and perks to choose from, offer a solution that is affordable, easy to maintain, exclusive, and engaging. Not only that, but it’s valuable for your employees. With a potential of $6k in savings, you’re not only offering impactful discounts but you’re providing a financial wellness benefit. Ready to start the savings journey for your teammates? Sign up for a demo today

Infographic: What Your Employees Need For Success

In the past few years, employees’ needs to achieve success have shifted with financial wellness making its way to the top. In addition, employees are seeking improved appreciation, emphasis on diversity and inclusion, hybrid or remote work environments, and a company culture that aligns with their values. With high turnover rates, what can you do to attract and retain top-notch talent?

Employees are looking for more out of their employer. What options do you have to improve morale, retention, and success? Listen to employees needs, have direct conversations, and consider additional benefits. PerkSpot could be the perfect solution.

Interested in learning more about the value of an employee discount program? Sign up for a demo today. Your employees will thank you later!

3 Reasons Company Culture Is So Important Amidst COVID-19

Company culture has transformed from a popular HR buzzword to an important element that companies give serious consideration to. As COVID-19 continues to impact how companies manage their employees and their business, culture is more important than ever. Check out a few reasons why keeping up with your company culture is so important right now!

1. Recruitment, Hiring, and Onboarding

During the early stages of the coronavirus, things like recruitment and hiring came to a halt for many companies as they worked to navigate the rough waters of the pandemic. However, it’s become increasingly apparent that we can no longer put important processes like hiring on hold. Instead, we must focus on transforming them, just as many companies have done with other facets of their work.

Company culture has always been an important part of recruitment and hiring. It’s a wonderful way for candidates to better understand the inner workings of the company they’re applying and interviewing at. This is why it should be at the forefront of all HR professionals’ minds while determining a new hiring process.

For example, how do you utilize social media to convey company culture? This is especially important given candidates often can’t meet with you or experience your workplace in person. Consider the interview process, especially for the companies and employees deemed essential. How do you show candidates what steps you’re taking to ensure employee health and safety? Upon hiring, do you have a carefully thought-out and prepared plan to onboard an employee who may have to work remotely for the foreseeable future? All of these are questions that will reflect your company culture. Therefore, you should be considering each one as you develop a new hiring plan amidst the coronavirus.

2. Communication

For many companies during the COVID-19 pandemic, communication has become vital. As a company with essential employees, communicating new health guidelines or changes in hours should be done in a timely manner. As a company whose employees have remained remote, online communication has become one of the only ways to transmit important messages and information.

No matter what your business is, you likely know the importance of communication. But what many don’t realize is how communication and company culture are connected. Remember, company culture isn’t just about weekly happy hours or interesting amenities at your workplace. It’s also about how you value your employees’ health and wellbeing, and how you transparently demonstrate that to them. To keep your company culture strong during the pandemic, reinforce your support of employees by keeping communication constant and educational, and offering a space for them to respond if needed. Work to quickly develop new guidelines based on the information you’re receiving. Then, communicate them to your employees in a way that is digestible and concise. Use different communication channels to send out messages with varying degrees of importance. This way, employees can quickly understand the gravity of a given situation.

For example, PerkSpot leverages a few different communication channels. We rely on Slack to communicate more casual notices, like a fun company-wide initiative or virtual event. We depend on email to send out important messages, like new in-office guidelines or rules for quarantining. Plus, we hold a regular cadence of company-wide meetings, creating a forum in which employees can get updates on other departments and ask questions about future plans or team developments. This effective and transparent system of communicating helps employees better fulfill their roles and responsibilities, thus creating a culture of connected and engaged employees!

3. Productivity and Engagement

Speaking of engagement, there’s no doubt of the connection between company culture and a productive and engaged workforce. A study by Queens School of Business and the Gallup Organization found disengaged workers showed 37% more absenteeism, 49% more accidents, and 60% more errors. Plus, that disengagement translated to 18% lower productivity!

A positive company culture, on the other hand, typically produces more engaged employees. This is because it promotes general employee wellness, support, and respect. If leaders or management put too much of an emphasis on working long hours or being overly productive, without mentioning the value of daily breaks or acknowledging employees’ hard work, a stressful and negative culture can quickly emerge. So, how can you promote a culture of employee wellness and support? Encourage employees to take breaks away from their work, especially if they’re remote. Offer resources that foster both physical and mental wellbeing and motivate leaders in your company to set an example by doing so as well. Recognize your employees going above and beyond to produce great results, which promotes a more engaged workforce and a culture of workplace appreciation.

For example, as an employee discount provider, PerkSpot employees receive all of the benefits that we offer our clients! That means PerkSpotters have access to discounted mental health apps, home workout products, and more. Plus, we add and highlight new discounts that are relevant to the wellbeing of employees regularly so employees are aware of them. These perks are a great way for leadership to demonstrate how they prioritize the health of their employees which, in turn, leads to a more productive and engaged workforce!

For many years, company culture has been a way for companies to highlight their values to current and potential employees. But amidst an unprecedented pandemic, company culture also offers the opportunity to help promote stronger engagement and more informative communication. Plus, it’s the perfect way to attract potential employees when so many other resources aren’t available. As we all work to navigate COVID-19 and its impacts, be sure you continue to prioritize and adapt your company culture!

Why Checking in With Employees Is More Important Than Ever

It’s no secret to most managers, and employees for that matter, that regular employee check-ins are an important part of any job. While the frequency and format of an employee check-in can change from organization to organization, the content will typically stay the same. Check-ins allow for more direct communication and feedback between managers and employees. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to provide project updates and share any questions or concerns.

Though employee check-ins have gotten considerably more complicated as so many workforces and organizations have moved to remote working, they’ve also become more important than ever. Check out the four reasons why employee check-ins are so important during the COVID-19 pandemic.

1. Feedback

Employee check-ins, commonly referred to as one-on-ones, are always a great opportunity for both managers and employees to offer feedback on a number of different areas they deal with on a daily basis. However, during the current COVID-19 pandemic, check-ins give both parties a chance to offer feedback on more than just performance. It’s important for managers to open up the floor for employees to evaluate how they are feeling about their current work situation, remote or not, as well as things like company responsiveness, communication with fellow team members and departments, and more. Managers should encourage employees to share their thoughts on all of these subjects, and any other important ones that come to mind, and ensure them that their feedback during one-on-ones is private and confidential.

2. Support

There is no denying the fact that we are dealing with difficult times, and many employees may be struggling personally with adjusting to this new normal. While it’s still important that managers stay professional during check-ins, a one-on-one with employees presents a wonderful opportunity to assess any areas the employee might be grappling with and offer both empathy and support. For example, we know that many are experiencing heightened levels of worry regarding their finances during these times. Therefore, remind employees of any financial wellness benefits the company offers them that they can utilize. Similarly, if your company offers mental health checks or wellness benefits, now is a great time to mention to employees that they’re available and even explain how to enroll! If you’re a current PerkSpot client, don’t forget that your Discount Program offers a number of exclusive discounts to your employees in important categories like health and wellness, financial wellness, and more! If you’re not a current PerkSpot client, but you’re interested in offering this as a benefit to your employees, click here to get more information!

3. Stress

There’s a good chance managers probably know the signs of burnout and they might even be trained in keeping an eye out for them in employees. Now more than ever, it’s important to be on the lookout for those signs: an employee who is noticeably and regularly tired, forgetful, anxious, or easily frustrated could be suffering from the early stages of burnout. For those who are working remotely, it’s easy to extend your working hours without even noticing, as there is no signal that the workday has ended. If managers begin to notice employees seem burned out, look for areas where they can help the employee manage his or her workload, and encourage them to log off when their workday is done. Be sure to offer positive reinforcement and recognize the hard work they’ve been putting in.

4. Communication

Obviously, employee check-ins are all about communicating about ongoing and future projects, setbacks, day-to-day responsibilities, and more. But during the COVID-19 pandemic, take that communication one step further. If managers are no longer seeing employees every day, they might not realize it, but both managers and employees are missing those daily communications they probably took for granted. Make sure that now, your one-on-ones are used to ask how they’re doing and feeling, what’s new for them, and offer the same responses back, so they feel the communication is going both ways. Additionally, employee check-ins should be the time in which managers communicate important updates and information regarding your company and COVID-19. At a time when everything is so unsure, they’ll appreciate the extra communication and reassurance.

No two employees are the same, and therefore, their check-ins won’t be either. Make sure managers take some time to consider the employee they’re meeting with and how he or she prefers to communicate and work. This can help direct the conversation and ensure that they are getting the feedback they need, plus offering support and providing updates employees are looking for.

5 Employee Gifts That Aren’t Bonuses

Sometimes, it feels like we were just celebrating the Fourth of July and then we blinked and it’s the holiday season! As the end of the year approaches, HR professionals are hard at work filling their offices with holiday cheer. And the one thing that’s at the top of many lists? Employee gifts!

And while 94% of employees in a recent survey said they want some form of seasonal gift, remember that it doesn’t necessarily have to be a bonus to make your employees feel valued and appreciated. Plus, for many companies, a unique employee gift aligns more closely with the company culture. Check out some out-of-the-box options that will have your employees smiling for the rest of the year!

Holiday Party

What better way to celebrate the end of the year than a company-wide holiday party? You may be thinking of the costs associated with something like this. However, it’s possible to keep a holiday celebration under budget! If possible, utilize your own office space and suggest a potluck, encouraging employees to bring in their favorite dishes to share with their coworkers. You can even hold a gift exchange like a Secret Santa or White Elephant – make sure to include a modest value for the gifts so employees don’t feel pressured to spend big bucks on anything. This is a great way for your employees to get together outside of the normal work hours and celebrate the holidays!

Extra PTO

According to a recent survey, almost 30% of employees said what they’d most want from their company is a few extra hours here or there to spend with their loved ones. As a holiday gift, offer employees an extra vacation day or close the office slightly early leading up to the holidays as a special treat. Work tends to slow down as the quarter comes to a close, so you likely won’t experience a strong impact in output, and you’ll have some happy coworkers who return from their holiday refreshed and ready to get back to work.

Charitable Donations

You know what they say – this is the season of giving! So why not give back on behalf of your employees as their gift? You can make a small (or large!) donation to the charity of your employee’s choice in his or her name, or choose a few options and give them the choice. Bonus points if you pick charities that give back directly to your local community! Not only are you paying it forward in a big way, but your employees will appreciate your charitable thinking. If you want to make it a bit more personal, you can even schedule a day of volunteering at a local charity where your employees can give back themselves.

Productivity Gifts

For some employees, there’s nothing better than unwrapping an actual, physical gift. Make it a win-win and seek out gifts that your employees will love and you can enjoy as well. For example, do you ever hear of employees complaining of bad backs or sore wrists due to typing at their desks all day? Give them a new ergonomic keyboard or chair! Is your sales department dying for branded apparel they can wear to important client meetings? Try presenting them with a branded polo or vest! These are gifts that they’ll enjoy and use, plus they’ll appreciate knowing that you’ve heard their requests throughout the year!

Rewards & Recognition Dollars

Sometimes, a monetary gift really is the way to go! But instead of simply writing your employee an impersonal check, why not use your Rewards & Recognition program to say happy holidays? Not only can you customize it by including a personal note of gratitude and appreciation, but it also gives your employees the opportunity to redeem for a gift card for a number of different stores! Whether they want to treat themselves to something special or use it to help them for holiday gift-buying, rewards and recognition credits give your employees the freedom to buy what they want and the knowledge that they’re being recognized for a job well done. Want to learn more about rewards and recognition programs? Get started here!

Holiday gifts can be a tough thing to navigate, as you want to reward and recognize your employees, but still find something that feels unique to your company and culture (and doesn’t break the bank). Try any of these options and you’ll have some happy employees!