But vs. And

By Anastasia Warren, Sales and Marketing Manager

 

“I like that idea, but we need to weigh the pros and cons.”

If my upper leadership responds with this, I automatically feel that my input is inadequate. That my solution was the wrong one. That there are too many flaws to my idea.

“I like that idea, and we need to weigh the pros and cons.”

If my upper leadership responds with this, I have hope. I feel that I contributed, that my opinion is valued, that there was something to what I said.

It’s no surprise to us that positivity and positive reinforcement is important. In the workplace, in relationships, in your life.

And in the workplace, not every single idea is going to be a good one. Not every single idea is going to move forward.

Read more

In a tight job market, he who hesitates is lost

By Jim Annis, CEO

 

Oops … lost one. Oh, and there’s another. Wait for it … and … gone. What’s happening? Companies are losing key employees left and right. In the talent acquisition game, this market is hot, hot, hot. Companies cannot delay hiring people. Our headhunting and recruiting side of the business is so busy that we’ve had a handful of situations where companies who were interested in candidates lost out because they did not move quickly enough – literally within minutes. How many times can we say it? You snooze, you lose. The early bird gets the worm. Postponement is the father of failure. Has it sunk in yet?

Read more

4 business email etiquette tips

By Jim Annis

 

“As I said before, I’m sorry if this touches a nerve because I just know you people never read this column all the way to the end.” – The Annoying One

How did you react? The sentence encapsulates everything that can go wrong in workplace email communication. It floors us how much energy we spend (as HR experts) daily on adjudicating the damage that poorly written or poorly thought out emails cause. Are your emails driving business to your company, or sending people running to a competitor? How do you ensure a positive outcome? Set the bar high. Establish an expectation that open, honest and appropriate communication is mandatory. We are so email-heavy that we have to nitpick down to the detail. Our employees need to be good at email, because largely that is our product. What is the percentage of job function that email captures at your company? Here are some high level points to share with your employees at your next office meeting or training:

Read more

The power of paid time off

by Jim Annis

Unlimited paid time off, or PTO, has almost reached superhero status in the media, showcased by startups and giants like GE and Adobe. This permissive approach to time off has burst forth from the phone booth with a super cape, promising that if employees are getting their work done and have received approval, they can take time off when they want and need to.

Is unlimited PTO realistic?

It is if your work culture allows it, which means looking at the staff holistically. Some employers will never allow employees to take PTO. They believe in the concept itself, and use it for recruiting purposes, yet when an employee uses the time, it is irritating or miserable for the employee to come back to the job. Still yet, some employers reward employees that never take PTO, enforcing a culture of no time off … even if it is available.

Read more

Investing in yourself and your skill set

By Jim Annis

 

From the breakroom to the boardroom, you have admired them from afar. They are magnetic personalities who truly take care of themselves physically. They are committed mentally to lifelong learning — including developing their career through certifications or college degrees. At a cocktail party they may be fascinating with a ring of people hanging on their every word. In the HR department, we can spot them before they come into the interview. It may not be fair to judge them based on that fact; however, it is an observation proven repeatedly. On the flip side, during our company’s official casual days, we have observed that employees who consistently wear jeans, t-shirts and ponytails seem to be the same ones that have no real interest in personal or professional growth. We desire to see everyone strive to be the former.

Read more

How to manage project managers

By Jim Annis

 

This is a cautionary tale of The Project Manager (external) and The Sponsor (internal). Imagine for a moment both taking the Shakespearean stage, then bowing, encouraging audience members who are cheering, while holding their noses at those who relentlessly “boo.” Neither role is an easy one. Each requires a range of management skills and talents not often possessed at once in a single person. Alas, we need them both. Here is some guidance to prevent a comedic tragedy at your workplace.

Read more

5 Ways to Continue the Momentum of the New Year

By Anastasia Warren, Marketing Manager

 

So, it’s a month or two into the new year. The holidays are well over, the year-end bonuses have been spent, and there are no major holidays in sight.

The excitement of a great year is wearing off, and looking into a new year full of possibility and new goals has pretty much disappeared from employees’ minds among their daily tasks.

The momentum an organization feels at the end and start of a new year is important. It lunges us forward, it makes us feel grateful – it offers a mindset of growth and potential.

So how do we keep this feeling going?

Read more

Investing in yourself and your skill set

By Jim Annis, CEO

 

From the break room to the boardroom, you have admired them from afar. They are magnetic personalities who truly take care of themselves physically. They are committed mentally to lifelong learning — including developing their career through certifications or college degrees. At a cocktail party they may be fascinating with a ring of people hanging on their every word. In the HR department, we can spot them before they come into the interview. It may not be fair to judge them based on that fact; however, it is an observation proven repeatedly. On the flip side, during our company’s official casual days, we have observed that employees who consistently wear jeans, t-shirts and ponytails seem to be the same ones that have no real interest in personal or professional growth. We desire to see everyone strive to be the former.

Read more

A better method for employee performance reviews

By Jim Annis, CEO

 

Traditional performance reviews can be a source of conflict. A slightly negative review can break an employee’s morale and be a precursor for their exit. If they are a “keeper,” taking a risk is not an option, especially in this competitive market for talent.

According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) article entitled, “Is It Time to Put the Performance Review on a PIP (Performance Improvement Plan)?”, the number of employers that are either ditching the numerical ranking of employees or tossing out the entire performance review process has grown from 4 percent in 2012 to 12 percent in 2014, as referenced in a CEB survey of Fortune 1000 companies. Does ditching the traditional 1-5 performance ranking and “expected” raises work for your company or against it? We believe it encourages avoidance and is uncomfortable for everyone, and most people don’t leave feeling empowered or positive.

Read more

Millennials in the Workplace: What We Really Need To Talk About

By Anastasia Warren, Marketing Manager

 

I’ve recently noticed the amount of people in the world pointing out problems.

Yes, this is needed.

We need to understand the root of the problems we as a society face. We need to identify pain points and different issues.

What I wish I saw more of, are solutions. Discussions about solutions, ideas for solutions.

We often get so bogged down in the problems themselves, that we forget to work together to find an answer — to solve them.

This applies to many things going on in the world right now, but today, I want to talk about the simple topic of millennials in the workplace.

Say “ay” if you have seen an article this week about millennials changing the workplace.

Read more