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How to Handle Workplace Bullying

frustrated employee

Today’s modern, dynamic, rapidly-moving workplace comes with many advantages. We benefit from agile organizational structures with an atmosphere where anyone can shine. Or, at least, that’s what we like to say. And while these benefits make a big difference in employee’s lives, the changing modern workplace has also changed what bullying looks like, transforming it from open abuse of power into something that tends to be quieter, manipulative, and more insidious.

With open-faced bullying seen as totally unacceptable, workplace bullying often instead takes the form of competitive employees defaming others, attempting to manufacture situations where they’ll look like the hero. For example, a common tactic employed by this kind of toxic personality is to claim credit for co-worker’s key deliverables. Then, they’ll use those same deliverables as evidence of why they’re a better performer than their ‘target’. When conflicts invariably spring up from these lies, if management isn’t careful, workplace bullies will tend to have the edge in the ‘he-said, she-said’ conflict due to focusing more on telling executives about the work ‘they’ did rather than actually doing the work.

Handling Office Conflict Responsibly

Needless to say, workplace bullies can destroy a team’s cohesion and productivity, and it’s essential for leadership to detect and remove these kinds of people ASAP before they can gain power in the office. That being said, rushing to fire someone who exhibits bullying behavior is not always the correct move! There are a range of reasons why an employee might engage in bullying; including personal insecurities or even mental illness. 

While stopping bullying is critical, it’s also important to understand motivation for an effective response. That might include sensitivity training sessions, a recommendation to see a therapist, or simply termination from the company. As a leader, it will ultimately fall on you to decide which approach is right for your situation.

Common Patterns of Workplace Bullies

It’s also important not to misconstrue or hastily judge the situation. Behaviors that appear to be rooted in bullying may in fact stem from deeper, institutional issues within the organization, such as cruel or over-competitive traditions. To help distinguish, here are some common patterns of legitimate bullies in the workplace:

  • Consistently redirecting conversations about team efforts to focus exclusively on their personal contribution
  • Displaying a lack of empathy or care for the feelings or workload of others
  • Highly judgemental, and willing to delay or jeopardize projects over minor personal issues
  • Takes poorly to any kind of criticism, even constructive criticism, often viewing it as insulting

How To Document and Report Conflict

These traits all but guarantee someone is a bad fit for any workplace. If you start to notice them, there’s a real chance that you have a workplace bully on your hands! And if you’re an employee stuck in a situation with a bullying co-worker or even boss, make sure to document a pattern of behavior before presenting to Human Resources. Not only will it help you construct a case, but also allow you to examine your relationship with your co-worker. A detached perspective will help you understand if it’s actually a case of workplace bullying or something else entirely. No matter the case, your office will feel the positive impact of removing toxic influences. And you might be surprised how fast things change when you take action!

Check out PerkSpot’s Five Focus Areas for Building a Better Workplace for more advice on building healthy, sustainable long-term culture at your organization.

4 Key Strategies to Boost Your Employee Experience

employees experiencing post it notes

Businesses in the United States lose productivity worth about $300 billion a year due to disengaged workers.

But the good news is that you can increase employee engagement by boosting employee experience. Employees who have a positive experience are likely to be more engaged than those with a negative experience. And creating a positive experience is simple. Let’s take a look at how you can do it.

1. Improve Internal Communication

Ask any HR expert- strong internal communication in the workplace is a huge factor in the employee experience.

Effective communication leads to better collaboration which helps develop employee relationships. It boosts the morale, engagement, satisfaction, and productivity of your employees. Plus, increased communication in the workplace promotes a sense of community and creates cohesion in the organization. This is especially important in a remote or hybrid work environment.

Start by making your workplace a safe space where employees can share accomplishments in their personal and professional lives.

Here are a few other tips to open communication lines:

  • Schedule regular 1:1 sessions. Use this time to learn about any concerns they may have before they turn into bigger problems. It’s also a great time to address their happiness at work.
  • Schedule weekly team meetings as well. It helps members know what others in the team are working on and find opportunities to collaborate. Members can share any setbacks they may be experiencing and get help from teammates.
  • Always give the ‘why’ behind every action you take. It helps create a more transparent atmosphere. 
  • Give constructive feedback. Instead of criticizing, help them learn from their mistakes. This can boost the morale of your employees, which would otherwise drop if you keep criticizing them.
  • Use communication channels to openly recognize employees’ contributions. It’s a great way to motivate them as they’ll see their work being recognized.

2. Act on Feedback

Collecting feedback to understand your employees’ job satisfaction and assess the dynamics of the workplace is great. 

But do you act on this feedback?  If not, you’re losing out, and this inaction can make employees lose trust in you. They are likely to stop giving feedback if they feel unheard. To build employee confidence, first ensure your feedback surveys are anonymous.

This will empower employees to be candid about the issues affecting them in the workplace, and help you implement the changes they want to see.

Once you collect the feedback, communicate your action plan in relation to the issues they raise. If, for instance, your sales and marketing team raised an issue on inefficiency in lead generation, highlight the growth software you’ve adopted in response to this feedback. It’ll go a long way in improving employee experience.

3. Create Growth Opportunities

About 22% of employees cited ‘career issues’ as the number one reason they left their jobs in 2021, largely seeking opportunities for growth and promotion. This concern even comes ahead of other major issues like work-life balance.  

 graph of employee experience

Image via Work Institute

This means having opportunities for growth in the workplace can keep your employees happy and content. It’s one of the main ways to boost employee experience in your company.

Good growth opportunities should:

  • Be accessible to all employees
  • Cater to the different experience levels and needs of your employees
  • Center around short-term and long-term objectives

Instead of hiring externally for leadership positions, promote your employees. Empower them to qualify for these promotions by helping them expand their skills. You can:

  • Use the online course creation platforms to create job-specific training. This Thinkific review can get you started
  • Create mentorship programs
  • Help employees expand their skills through cross-training and stretch assignments
  • Create leadership development programs
  • Set up a tuition reimbursement program. Or if you’re looking to control business spending, encourage them to take up massive open online courses (MOOCs)

Discuss long-term career goals with each employee and create a development plan that gets them there.

4. Create a Strong Company Culture

Company culture encompasses what’s acceptable and applauded in your organization. It’s what the company stands for and the key values that define the organization.

Positive work culture creates an environment where employees are happy to be with each other, committed to the company goals, and engaged in their work.

Create policies that curb barriers to positive company culture, such as:

  • Uniform framework for annual reviews
  • Diversity and inclusion policies
  • Adopting remote and hybrid communication tools and policies
  • Flexible working hours and leave policies to improve work-life balance
  • Placing a cap on the number of work hours to ensure workload management

You can make a video collage that demonstrates the mission, goals, and values your company holds dear. Using this or a similar tool in your onboarding process can help get new employees accustomed to the tone of your work environment from the get-go.

What Next?

It’s time to put these strategies into action to boost your employee experience.

Start by leveling up communication in your organization. It’ll make it easy for employees to build workplace relationships.

Additionally, implement the right changes by paying attention to employee feedback.

Finally, create an environment your employees want to stay and work in by opening up growth opportunities and building a positive company culture.

Once you put these into practice, you’re sure to experience higher employee productivity and retention rates!

 

Contributor Profile:

Gaurav Sharma is the founder and CEO of Attrock, a results-driven digital marketing company. He regularly contributes to top publications such as HuffPost, Adweek, Business 2 Community, TechCrunch, and more. Connect on Socials: Twitter, LinkedIn

4 Reasons Behind High Turnover Rates (And How to Solve Them)

What does a business need to be successful? Some would say producing best in class, appealing products; others would say top quality customer service. Both factors are undeniably necessary, but for bigger businesses, there’s one metric of success that’s even more important: your employees. And just anyone’s butt in the chair won’t cut it. At the top levels, you need hard-working, committed staff that will help you advance your goals. Feel like you’ve got a fantastic team? Great – but there is another challenge that you’ll need to overcome. If you’ve got the best staff, you want to ensure they stick around, which means keeping turnover down.

If your voluntary turnover is high, it shows that staff aren’t happy with their working situation. There are lots of reasons why you’d want to keep voluntary turnover on the decline – for one, the cost of replacing an employee ranges from one-half to two times the employee’s salary. But how can you keep turnover levels low? The following four steps will help you keep your workers happy and content. 

Image sourced from Quantumworkplace.com

1. Poor Management 

Looking for one of the top causes of workers leaving their jobs? You’d be hard pushed to beat poor management. The best team leaders can inspire their teams to work harder while utilizing the unique skills of different members. The worst leaders do the opposite.

You might want to consider new leadership if you’re encountering the following issues:

  • Unmotivated employees
  • Lack of cohesion between teams
  • Burnt out employees.
  • Leaders setting poor standards

These are just a few examples of bad management. These practices will only cause you harm and do little to help you retain employees. Don’t underestimate the importance of leadership in the workplace. If your current leaders aren’t up to scratch, find new ones.   

2. Not Enough Opportunities for Progression 

Most people don’t take on a job to stay in the same position forever. Employees want to advance and grow in their careers. If workers feel they aren’t getting enough opportunities to progress, they’ll turn over to go elsewhere. Instead, you’ll want staff to feel they have a clear path to climbing the career ladder. You could consider a talent management strategy.

It means creating a culture of development. In other words, the idea of development and progression should be an intrinsic part of your organization. Try to offer continuous education throughout every layer of your business. Even those at the top still have room to learn more. Those at the bottom will be keen to grow their skill sets and advance. So for their sakes, it’s best to make learning materials easy to access, mobile or otherwise!

3. Hiring Externally 

rapid turnover firing hiring

Image sourced from Unsplash

One pitfall a lot of businesses fall into is only offering high-level roles externally. There’s a clear logic to hiring externally; you can choose from a larger pool of candidates. But reliance on external recruitment can have a major impact on employee morale, especially for critical mid-level managerial and executive positions; morale impacts that translate directly into higher turnover.

Put yourselves in the shoes of an employee for a moment. You’ve devoted long hours and shown commitment to your organization. But when the opportunity for a promotion crops up, you’re overlooked in favor of an external hire. In this instance, you probably won’t want to stick around much longer. 

Ultimately, if employees are putting in the effort, they should have the opportunity for a promotion.    

4. Recognize Your Employees 

A little recognition goes a long way. A contributing factor to high turnover rates is a failure to show appreciation for the efforts of your workers. Obviously, you don’t want to be gushing praise constantly. But when teams or individual workers do well, you should let them know.

Recognition can take many forms. It could mean setting up an employee of the month scheme. Using a conference calling system, you can announce each month’s winner in front of the team. This is a great way of showing recognition while building a healthy sense of rivalry between teams.

If you want to go the extra step, you could set up a discount program for the highest performers. The more recognition and feedback you offer to your employees, the more valued they will feel. 

Employee Satisfaction Is Key  

happy employees high five

Image sourced from Unsplash

There are some areas in business that are just common sense – like retaining good employees.

Some employee turnover is natural. People don’t stay in the same position forever; they move on to new opportunities and horizons. But if voluntary turnover levels are high, you should be more worried. If your organization isn’t providing a positive environment for your workers, it reflects badly on you.

Start by asking yourself, ‘why are people leaving?’. Is there a problem with management, or perhaps you’re failing to provide a route for your employees to progress? You can’t just click your fingers and make your workers happy. As shown here, retaining workers takes commitment.

But if you look to the roots of the problem and work to find a solution, you’ll foster a much happier workforce. So, make sure you’ve on top of your turnover rate!

 

This contributor post was written by Jenna BunnellSenior Content Marketing Manager at Dialpad.

Dialpad is an AI-incorporated cloud-hosted call center platforms that provides valuable call details for business owners and sales representatives. Jenna is driven and passionate about communicating a brand’s design sensibility and visualizing how content can be presented in creative and comprehensive ways. Jenna Bunnell also published articles for domains such as SME News and Together Platform.

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.

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.

 

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!

Dealing with Burnout as an HR Professional

In today’s competitive candidate market, life as an HR professional has never been quite so exhausting. Being forced to chase after candidates in the age of work from home and tremendous employee freedom has meant a difficult balancing act between providing appealing, top-quality benefits, managing cost efficiency, and negotiating employee concerns – all while dealing with the fallout of a global pandemic. It’s no wonder that burnout is skyrocketing at HR departments all over the country – but there is a better way. And with World Health Day officially starting today on April 7th, there’s never been a better time to help your department get physically and mentally healthy!

Burnout Business Woman Overwhelmed

42% of Human Resources teams report feeling overburdened with projects and responsibilities. And on one hand, this is something that should be taken up with management; when HR teams are simply too small or too overworked, there needs to be discussion about expanding Human Resources or offloading responsibilities. But a second, equally important aspect of this equation is learning to deal with burnout individually. And for that, we should first understand what “burnout” really means.

When we talk about burnout, we’re talking about the feelings of dread and exhaustion that rise up when we’re forced to do demanding, repetitive work. It’s the sense of doing tasks purely out of obligation, no longer believing they have any real impact. And the first step in re-gaining your passion is to re-gain control over your schedule.

Set Boundaries

The first step of assessing burnout is setting boundaries. It’s important both personally and professionally to be able to step away from work communications; for instance, turning off Slack and email past six-o-clock. Sticking to a routine that clearly separates work from life is fundamental to having a good work-life balance. Even if you’re on-call for emergencies, emergency should never mean every night, and if they are, then that’s a conversation you need to have with management.

Build Strong Communication Habits

Fostering good communication with management and the executive team at your workplace is another important aspect of managing burnout. That’s because burnout isn’t all about stress, but also lacking a sense of agency and value in what you do. When you feel you’re doing “meaningless” work, or don’t have control over your own schedule, burnout is far more intense. Prioritizing valuable work and setting firm boundaries on your own schedule is often a necessary step in managing burnout.

Break your Routines

More than boundaries, you’ll also want to start breaking your routines. While routines can provide a comforting sense of normalcy in our lives, they can also become trapping. If you notice you’re performing the same tasks in the same way over and over again, then it’s time to find something new. Maybe it’s as simple as switching up your morning routine, maybe it’s taking a new route around town, or maybe it’s shifting into a new aspect of your department’s operations.

Discover Personal Stress Management Solutions

Finally, there’s the most traditional (but still very important!) part of dealing with burnout – personal stress management. Exercise and meditation are the two most common methods, but it’s important to find what works for you; whether it’s walking your dog, paddling down canoe trails, or simply taking five dedicated minutes to focus. By understanding your stress and mentally moving on, you can take control back from your emotions.

Properly managing burnout requires breaking negative feedback loops, getting excited about work, and learning to manage stress. While that’ll require a lot of personal initiative, there are some tools that can help manage burnout stress.

One area you can cut down on stressful micromanagement is with PerkSpot’s single stop benefits platform, which offers countless diverse benefits for your diverse employees. With a suite of discounts at their fingertips, PerkSpot provides employees with the resources they need to cope with stress and burnout – whether it’s deals on ergonomic office chairs and gym memberships or complete getaway vacations to exotic destinations at a discount, schedule a demo today to learn more about the ways that PerkSpot can be a powerful burnout-burning resource for your organization this World Health Day.