How to Develop Better Supervisors

If you are looking to advance your company to the next level, you will need supervisors and managers who are in line with the goals of your company and are passionate about getting there. But in the real world, you will most likely have supervisors in your organization who are in-efficient,  cold, and detached. Such supervisors will impede the growth of your organization. So the question is, is it possible to develop better supervisors, and if so, how?

Talk to your supervisors, personally

It is easy to make the mistake of assuming that the supervisors are in line with your goals and vision for the organization and that you don’t need to personally remind them of that. It is absolutely necessary that your supervisors feel that they have an important role to play in the growth and expansion of your company. Instead of it just being your vision, make it theirs. Ensure that they have all the support and training needed to get them aligned with your thought process. When your supervisors are invested into the organization, they will begin to deliver.

Make sure that your supervisors are actually supervising

In most organizations, supervisors and top level managers spend most of their time doing other activities like administrative tasks, other projects, employee training, and sometimes even get involved in production, rather than “actively supervising” the team. Your supervisors must supervise. Its as simple as that. When your supervisors are spending at least 70% of their time in active supervision, your organization will grow on the fast track.

What is active supervision anyways? It is the supervisor walking on the floor, being available to make minute by minute decisions on the work allotted to the employees, any quality issues in production and so forth.

Sublet work. Appoint Team Leaders

A Supervisor cannot handle everything himself/herself. They need to have time on hand to take care of higher value activities. The lower level managerial activities can be assigned to an employee as a team leader. This approach is great because it helps the supervisors dedicate time to solving organizational problems, rather than being merely focused on the day to day operational activities.

Make sure that their performance is properly captured

As part of the development process, make sure that you measure the performance of your supervisors, so that you can have developmental discussions with them and improve on problem areas. The way to go about this is to create a dashboard, and monitor select KPIs (key performance indicators). This will allow you to make quick and easy decisions regarding the development of the supervisors.

Get your supervisors to conduct team meetings. Regularly.

If your supervisors are interacting with the employees on a daily basis, it builds a bond between them, and goes a long way in developing a better supervisors. Make sure that your supervisors hold daily team meetings, where the objectives and goals for the day as well as for the long-term are discussed with them. Remember that business is a collaborative process and that means team work.

Should HR have its Own Department?

Many companies are unsure as to whether or not they should have a whole department entirely devoted to the realm of human resources; it can be an especially difficult decision to make if you are a small company or a company that is still growing, since it may seem like you don’t truly need an entire HR department.

But there are numerous benefits to have a true HR department, even if your business is a small one. With that in mind, we’ve outlined below some reasons for why HR should have its own department at your company. We hope you find this list helpful and informative.

  • Manage employee needs better. When your small business starts to grow, it can become harder and harder to manage every single aspect of your company yourself, particularly when it comes to hiring and firing employees (as well as handling their day to day needs, such as insurance plans and retirement benefits). As a result, having a whole department set aside to handle these various human resources issues can be of tremendous help when it comes to managing the needs of your employees. And with all of those employee-related duties being handled by someone else, you will have more time to focus on other aspects of your business, such as brainstorming new product ideas or increasing your revenue.
  • Ensure compliance with state and federal safety laws. There are a great number of rules and regulations when it comes to running a business. Depending on what sort of operation or business you run, these can be equipment and workplace safety laws (such as OSHA regulations), food safety laws (for restaurants and grocery stores), hazardous chemical laws (if you work in an industry that handles strong chemicals), and so on. There are both federal laws and state laws for all of these things, and it is the responsibility of an HR department to make sure that your company complies with all of these regulations.
  • Handle payroll and benefits. An effective human resources department can also be a tremendous resource when it comes to handling employee payroll and employee benefits (both health insurance and life insurance, a well as retirement and 401K benefits if your company offers them).
  • Help with conflict management. HR departments are also a tremendous asset when it comes to resolving disputes and workplace conflicts, especially when it comes to being an advocate for an employee. Having a functioning human resources department can give your employees a reliable avenue to pursue if they are having problems in the company (whether it is an issue of harassment or discrimination, or simply a matter of being dissatisfied with their current position in the company). Whatever the problem, the HR department is there to look after the best interests of both the company and its employees, and as such is the best resource when it comes to resolving conflicts in a way that satisfies everyone.

Who Should Handle Employee Complaints?

A necessary part of running a business, whether it’s a large company or a small company, is handling complaints from your employees. These complaints can be relatively minor, such as someone wanting a different schedule or higher pay, or they can involve more severe issues such as harassment (sexual or otherwise) or discrimination (based on gender, sexual orientation, age, race, religion, or some other factor).

Part of deciding who should handle an employee complaint involves determining how severe the complaint is. If, for example, you are a department manager and your employee’s complaint is a minor issue that can be resolved within your department, it may be something you can handle yourself without directly involving your human resources department or your general manager.

That being said, if the complaint is a serious one (or if at any point you feel out of your depth when confronted with the possibility of handling the issue on your own) you should absolutely transfer the matter to your human resources (HR) department. They are trained to handle all forms of employee complaints and problems and will be able to decide the best course of action moving forward.

An effective human resources department will be able to objectively review the facts of the complaint without bias or prejudice and come to the best resolution for both the employee and the company. In more serious cases, an additional mediator may be called upon or higher management involved in the complaint review process in order to get the matter resolved as thoroughly as possible and with the best results possible.

Some serious complaints or issues that should be handled by an HR department include (but are not limited to):

  • Payroll disputes. If you or another employee believes that there might be something wrong with their paycheck, that is a matter that should be handed over to human resources immediately, since they are (in most companies, at least) responsible for all payroll matters. Additionally, if there are any issues regarding employee benefits, those are also an HR matter.
  • Harassment complaints. While a harassment complaint can sometimes be filed with whoever your supervisor or acting manager is (assuming, of course, that they are not the offending party), it’s often best to simply go directly to HR (especially if the harassment is sexual in nature or if you feel threatened by the perpetrator’s behavior). By going straight to HR, you won’t have to deal with any potential conflicts of interest on the part of the manager and you can rest assured that your complaint made it to the human resources department and will be investigated.
  • Workplace Discrimination. If discrimination of any sort is taking place, HR should be contacted immediately because such behavior is illegal and you should file a formal complaint. They will be able to investigate the validity of your claim and then respond accordingly.

Workplace injury or medical leave. Worker’s comp and paid medical leave are also matters handled by the human resources department, so if there is an employee who needs to discuss those matters it’s often best to forward them directly to HR.

How to Respond to an Employee’s Serious Illness

There are few moments in a person’s life that is more stressful than finding out that they have a serious illness. Not only are they worried about their own quality or length of life, but they are worried about financial issues like losing their job when the diagnosis comes in. How are they going to pay for treatments? How will they continue to support their family? These are all concerns that they have. As a business, knowing how to respond to their illness and their concerns is important for everyone involved.

The first thing that you should know is that employees who have a serious illness are protected by the law. Such acts include the federal and state FMLA laws, Americans with Disabilities Act, and any other state employment laws that you should be familiar with. Employees can also choose not to disclose their illness to you, which is well within their right under the law. If they have disclosed their illness to you, you will need to figure out the nature of their illness (is it mental or physical?) before you can determine how to move forward. In this case the focus will be on serious physical illnesses.

The primary questions that you should be asking at first are how this affects their ability to do their current job and if there are any physical limitations to address. Getting a doctor’s note from your employee can be a great help to you as you decide the answer to these questions. After this, you should find out if this is a long-term illness or a short-term one. If the employee does not help you to figure these things out, you are able to continue treating them as if there are no limitations to their job.

Once you get the answers to these questions, you need to figure out if you can accommodate any limitations, such as if there is another job that they can perform at your company or adjusting their duties or schedule. If accommodations cause an undue hardship on your company that you can legally prove, you can address this. Is there a leave of absence option available to them to handle a short-term illness? Does FMLA on the state or federal level apply here? Track FMLA leave where you can and you are able to ask for updates on their health if necessary.When they return to their normal job functions, you can require the employee to have a doctor’s note that clears them for regular activity. There may be limitations when they return at first that you need to accommodate and you will have to plan accordingly in case there is a relapse.

Unfortunately, every situation is different and requires their own method of how to handle an employee’s serious illness. Be sure to empathize with your employee, showing them compassion during this stressful time for them. It is also important to familiarize yourself with all applicable laws as well as documenting everything that you can. Documentation can help protect you if issues come up in the future.

Easy Time Clock™ is a cloud-based time and attendance system that provides a comprehensive, accurate, and affordable solution allowing employees to clock in and out with a computer, mobile device, or biometric reader.

How Automation Will Affect Your Workforce

Businesses need to learn how to run as efficiently as possible. This will give them the edge that they need to thrive. Thanks to the numerous cloud-based services available today, automation is becoming easier than ever for businesses to achieve. When people hear automation, they automatically think that they will be losing their jobs. However, automation has the ability to increase efficiency and make your life a lot easier around the workplace. This will take a look at how automation will impact the workforce today.

The first thing that should be addressed is how automation can make life easier in the workplace. The biggest part of this is how they can reduce the amount of repetitive and mundane tasks that employees have to handle themselves. This ultimately reduces the workload that a person has to handle and allows them to focus on being more creative or other more complicated tasks. For instance, businesses are using kiosks for check-ins at airports or to get simple movie tickets for a showing. Rather than replacing humans, this takes simple tasks and completed them for employees. The staff can now focus on more complicated issues, like customer complaints or answering questions that customers may have.

There are some jobs that automation can’t handle. An HR department can use automation to deal with some of their clerical work, but the HR department is still very necessary for that human connection between the company and their employees. Through certain cloud-based HR programs, the HR department can store information without filling their office with paperwork. Any data is right there at their fingertips. They can handle a lot of the on-boarding tasks through software and can even take their jobs on the go with them so that they never miss a beat.

Automation offers a lot of benefits in the workplace. You will notice an increase in customer satisfaction because they get the quick and efficient process that they want with customer service available when they need it. Automation will improve employee productivity and efficiency, which will help boost your profits. These also all help to bring your products and services to market faster. There are few downsides to implementing automation for your workforce. Automation frees up a lot of your employees’ time so that they can focus on other tasks that will improve your business.

The idea of automation can be daunting for businesses. This is primarily because there are a lot of misconceptions about automation, such as how people will lose their jobs or it is too complicated to implement. By working with your tech department and your employees, you can get everyone on the same page about automation through education. Tell them how automation will improve the workplace for them. This will help you to build support for the new changes and help employees to understand why automation isn’t so scary. Your employees’ time is valuable to your business, making it essential to find ways for you to find automation that makes sense for your business.

Easy Time Clock™ is a cloud-based time and attendance system that provides a comprehensive, accurate, and affordable solution allowing employees to clock in and out with a computer, mobile device, or biometric reader.

What Great Managers Do Differently

Good managers are those managers who follow the conventional rules and approaches. Great managers on the other hand, are the those who dare to break the conventional rules and go beyond the established norms. There are so many managers who are praised for the excellent job that they do, however, just a tiny portion of them get the title of “the best boss ever” by their employees.  This title in itself is a very big statement which sets the goal for all managers to be seen as the best one by their employees. Below are some guidelines which will help differentiating great managers from the average ones:

The Hiring Process

During the hiring process, good managers will tend to mainly analyze the applicants’ educational background, work experience and test their intelligence. On the other side, great managers have an eye for talent. They would rather hire a talented individual than an overly-qualified individual. In this statement, talent refers to the applicants’ desire to achieve their goals and grow from their daily experiences, their ability to stay motivated and apply theories to real-life situations, to showcase their problem-solving abilities and their ability to show empathy, to persuade, to be attentive and portray emotional intelligence.The hiring procedures involving behavioral interviews and realistic tests of great managers have proven to be more effective and are highly recommended.

Expectations and Outcomes

Great managers assist and advise their employees on how to set their individual aims and objectives which are at the same time parallel to the requirements of the organisation. They help their employees to design a plan to meet expected outcomes and paint an image of how the successful completion of their goals will look like.

They certainly provide individual help but do not constantly pester their employees to get the jobs done. By giving their employees their freedom and trusting them to do the expected tasks, great managers aim at increasing productivity and increasing job satisfaction for their employees.

Emphasis on Employees’ Strengths

Great managers acknowledge that each staff member has their unique set of skills and strengths. They therefore encourage employees to focus on their own strengths, rather than struggling with their weaknesses in order to be more comfortable in their workspace and grow from learning ever more about their individual capabilities. Allowing the employees to do so help them to increase productivity and eliminate the risk of boredom and stress in the workplace. Great managers also provide training for struggling employees and help them be on the same page with their weaknesses.

Right Job for the Right Person

A great manager has the aim of helping each employee to improve their performance by recognizing that this will in turn lead to a boost in the company’s performance. To make this happen, the manager identifies the best possible role for each employee that he hires. He also has to observe his employees and determine what growth signifies for them in order to use this in the best interest of both his staff and his organization. For some employees, growth may signify an increase in the salary, for others it may signify a higher position in the company, etc. This information helps great managers to implement a reward system which will encourage each employee to work harder to achieve their individual goals.

Easy Time Clock™ is a cloud-based time and attendance system that provides a comprehensive, accurate, and affordable solution allowing employees to clock in and out with a computer, mobile device, or biometric reader.

Tips on Successful Team Building

Team building is one of the essences of any company’s culture. If employees are not respectful to one another, and if they do not get along well, this can have a negative impact on successful running of any company.  A negative working environment can hamper the overall productivity of a company. Unity is strength!  If employees cannot work together as a team, a company can soon fall apart. Therefore, to promote and encourage team work, it is important to have team building programs in the company.

Here are a few tips on successful team building.

Never take a side 

As a part of human resources, you cannot be biased. You have to be willing to hear both sides, and it is your job to remain a harmonizing influence. Minor disagreements between employees are common in any working environment, and whenever such a situation arises, you have to play the role of a mediator. Try to find a solution that is acceptable to everyone.  The best way to resolve the conflict is to tell the employees to think about the greater goal, and have them meet at the middle with an idea that works for the both of them.

Act as the leader

Do not waste time, establish yourself as a leader right away. You don’t want to be the type of leader that inspires fear and is too stoic. You just want people to know that you’re in charge to solve the issues, that all they have to do is follow you, and they will be alright.

 Choose the right activities

You need to be able to choose the effective team building activities specific to your company. If you are going to talk values and mission statements, remember that they cannot be general. They have to be exact, and the employees should remember that they are all aiming toward one goal. You have to unite them, and make sure that you are actually team building.

Be trustworthy

People want to know that their leader is someone they can trust. Encourage people to communicate and share information. You want all of the employees to talk to each other, so that they can actually work together.

You have to be the one that guides them through that. Remind them that you’re there as a person they can trust, and that they can discuss things openly.

Keep everyone in check

Though the employees in the company understand what their responsibilities are, it is your responsibility to keep everyone in check. One of the best ways to do this is with a time clock app and cloud based attendance.

This ensures that you have everything stored and organized for easy access.  The way that time clock apps work, depending on the specific app you use, is you set it up so people can check in and out of the app, and all the data syncs to the cloud.

You get to track overtime, all clock-ins, and you may even get alerted if somebody doesn’t show up for work or is late.

Easy Time Clock™ is a cloud-based time and attendance system that provides a comprehensive, accurate, and affordable solution allowing employees to clock in and out with a computer, mobile device, or biometric reader.

Your Guide to a Promotion

Many workers aspire to move up in their company’s ranks as time goes on. This is usually associated with additional perks such as a higher title, higher wages, better benefits, and more. If you are looking for ways to increase the chances of you earning a promotion, see this as your guide to a promotion.

Network

Networking is the best method to familiarize yourself with those above you in management. The more you are able to familiarize yourself with those above you and leave a good impression, the more likely they are to choose you when an availability opens.

To accomplish this, be on the search for networking activities. Go to office parties and other work events that already have social expectations attached to them. However, do not limit yourself to these opportunities alone. Lunch breaks or just passing someone in the hallway can be your opening to familiarize someone with your name and face.

Get to Work Early

Punctuality is important for the workplace. In an economy where time is money, taking some more of your time and dedicating it to your workplace can help increase your chances of earning that promotion when the opportunity arises. By getting to work early, you can put yourself in the best state of mind to work efficiently. You are potentially able to get quick, mundane tasks out of the way earlier and be ready to work. Your increased performance will increase your chances of being noticed by management and get promoted.

Dress Up

Dress for the job you want, not for the job you have. This saying is the clearest way to express this point. What you wear is a reflection of yourself, so dressing for the career you want gives you an air of professionalism and ambition. It may seem like a small touch, but it can make the difference when the time for promotion comes.

Minimize Weaknesses

Show off your strengths and work to improve your weaknesses. Take some time to discover what you do well and what needs improvement. By working to better yourself and your abilities, you make yourself a more well-rounded worker that still has distinguishing strengths that will be noticed by those above you. For example, if your current or desired position requires an amount of public speaking and that is not an area you are comfortable in, putting yourself in situations that allow yourself to improve your weaknesses will help you as a person and employee.

Work to Improve Company Inefficiencies

Think outside the box and look for ways to improve the company. Try to solve problems before and as they arise. By voicing these types of ideas that would benefit the company, you appear as an invested and innovative employee that can continue to improve the company, increasing your odds of being promoted.

Conclusion

Promotions do not come easy; you need to work for it. If you are looking to work to a higher position in your company, utilizing some or all of these strategies is a universal method of increasing your chances of getting promoted. Whether it be coming up with ideas to improve the company, showing up early, or just talking to people, familiarizing yourself with those making these promotional decisions and putting yourself in positions to come across as professional and invested are solid starting points for you to earn that new position.

Easy Time Clock™ is a cloud-based time and attendance system that provides a comprehensive, accurate, and affordable solution allowing employees to clock in and out with a computer, mobile device, or biometric reader.

How to Properly Onboard Your New Employees

Making a strong first impression and properly integrating a new hire into a new position is imperative if you wish to inspire loyalty and high morale in new employees.

Often, businesses may be forced to terminate an employee immediately or an employee may leave a business without giving the business ample time to replace the departing employee. In these cases, it can be tempting to forego the traditional on-boarding process in an effort to fill the vacant spot as quickly as possible.

If you’re interested in promoting peak performance and encouraging loyalty and high morale amongst your staff, then it’s important to make sure that your employees know that you’re invested in them and their success. Here are some best practices on how to properly on-board an employee:

A Proper Introduction  

            The first step of the on-boarding process should involve a formal introduction and meet-and-greet with direct managers, coworkers, peripheral staff and, if possible, having a high level executive take the time to meet each new hire.

Policies, Procedures and Company Values

            At an early stage in the on-boarding process, it is important to set the right expectations for new hires. Take some time to highlight important policies, standard procedures, expectations.

In addition to highlighting key policies and procedures, be sure to give your employees a copy of the employee handbook that they can peruse or reference at their leisure.

Training

            It is essential that your new hires feel confident that they will be able to perform the job that you need them to do. There is, however, only so much that a person will be able to absorb through training.

What’s most important is that you follow up with employees regularly in the weeks and months following training to make sure that they are acclimating to the position.

Successful on-boarding cannot be done in a 2-3 weeks. Proper on-boarding should last a year.

Easy Time Clock ™   is a cloud-based time and attendance system that provides a comprehensive, accurate, and affordable solution allowing employees to clock in and out with a computer, mobile device, or biometric reader.

How to Deal With Employees’ Requests for Raises

As an employer, you control the financial well-being of your employees. When it comes down to the finances of the company, it is often finding the balance between what is best for the company and what is best for its workers. For example, look at benefits that employers offer to their employees such as dental insurance. These are costs to the business that exist for the purpose of better retaining employees. By retaining the workers, the company is able to make more money by reducing turnover.

Keeping this in mind, an employee comes into your office requesting a raise. The final decision is up to you as the employer, so it is important that you weigh the relevant factors and proceed in a logical manner to the employee’s request.

Listen to what the Employee Wants

An important first step in response to the employee is to listen to their entire request and ask questions to gain further information. Why are they requesting this raise? When was the last time this employee received a raise? By gaining related information as to why this request is coming to you in the first place, you are better able to respond with a solution everyone will be satisfied with. Cutting off the employee without actually listening to their request is the quickest way to make them feel they are not valued at the business, and they will likely look for work elsewhere. 

Consider what the Employee Brings to the Table 

This stage is where you evaluate the employee to decide if they should receive the requested raise. This stage asks a lot of questions about the employee and their relationship to the company. Has it been enough time since their last raise that the request feels justified? Have they been outperforming their coworkers? What does the employee contribute to the company financially? What does the employee bring to the business other than finances? These are the types of questions you should ask yourself to evaluate whether or not the employee should get a raise.  By conducting an internal or official performance evaluation of the employee, you are better able to make an informed decision. 

Consider what May Happen if You Say No 

If you are unsure if you should give your employee the raise, ask yourself what could happen if you deny the request. Will the employee still want to stay with the company? If the employee was asking for the raise for personal reasons, will their personal lives affect their quality of work? Will it cost more to replace the employee than to give them the raise? These types of questions can help guarantee you have come to a conclusion you are satisfied with no matter how the employee may respond.

Be Honest 

Being honest with your employee is crucial, especially if the answer is no. Be careful not to say that you will take it under consideration if you have already come to a firm conclusion. If your response to their request is no, you should most likely explain why. If the employee can earn that raise by doing more, try explaining that to them. By maintaining honesty with your employee, you are more likely to get a satisfying conclusion for everyone.

Be Willing to Negotiate 

Sometimes the business can’t afford the full raise that the employee is requesting. Be willing to negotiate with your employee. If they are asking for raise x and you can only afford amount y, then negotiate with the employee so that everyone walks away with a satisfying result.

Conclusion

Employers hold the financial stability of everyone involved with the company. Being fair to your employees is important. If you are a business owner and an employee come into your office asking for a raise, remember to hear them out, consider what they bring to the table, what may happen if you say no, to always be honest, and be willing to negotiate. By keeping these factors in mind, both you and the employee are more likely to achieve a satisfying result.

Easy Time Clock ™   is a cloud-based time and attendance system that provides a comprehensive, accurate, and affordable solution allowing employees to clock in and out with a computer, mobile device, or biometric reader.