Setting Employee Goals [Video Blog]

Posted on Aug 18, 2017 11:54:00 AM

Today, we’re going to talk about something every supervisor and employee should do: set goals. Whether timed to the start of the calendar year, or done in conjunction with quarterly or annual reviews, goal setting has far-reaching benefits. 

Employees who set goals increase both their commitment and motivation, and they become more invested in their jobs and long-term career plans. Employers also benefit—the goal-setting process allows them to direct employees’ efforts toward maximizing accomplishments and… perhaps most importantly… toward supporting the company’s own long-term goals.

Sounds like a win-win… but how do you, as a manager, go about setting goals?

To start, know that goal setting will be most successful when you provide each employee with clear expectations regarding performance that are tied to an understanding of how his or her individual work contributes to the company’s overall goals.

To help make that happen, there are 7 key criteria that your goals should meet.

1. Be specific. Clearly communicate the tasks or behaviors employees must accomplish or demonstrate to achieve successful results. Performance goals should function to align employee growth and development with that of your business.

2. Be realistic. You need to set goals that are challenging, but attainable based on your employee’s knowledge, skills and resources. Ask the employee for input, and make sure you monitor and update goals as circumstances change. Your definition of “realistic” may change as the year proceeds.

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How To Keep Employees Motivated [Video Blog]

Posted on Aug 4, 2017 7:00:00 AM

Today, we’ll be discussing employee motivation. Whether you’re the CEO of a Fortune 500 company or the owner of a five-person firm, you know that a motivated team is essential to your success. More than that, a demotivated staff can do serious damage to your business.

So, what are the warning signs of demotivated employees? According to a blog on the professional networking site, LinkedIn, there are three key areas to watch out for: workplace atmosphere, job standards, and employee productivity. If any or all of these are trending downwards, there’s a good chance you’re dealing with demotivated employees.

As a business owner or manager, you need to not only motivate employees, but also help them to motivate themselves. Ultimately, your goal is to create an environment that allows your employees to meet or exceed expectations, do their best, and feel valued.

Understanding what motivates employees comes down to knowing your staff as individuals. Remember, we all have different needs, aspirations, and values…therefore, what motivates one employee may not work for another. That’s why your best strategy is to offer a range of motivators to improve performance, enthusiasm, and retention.

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3 Tax Recordkeeping Tips for Employers [Video Blog]

Posted on Jul 20, 2017 7:00:00 AM

You may not give much thought to doing your taxes outside of tax season, but some of the expenses you pay during the year might qualify for money-saving tax credits or deductions come tax time. If you organize your tax records now, you'll make tax filing easier and faster when you do them next year. It also helps reduce the chance that you'll lose a receipt or statement that you need. 

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Planning for Workplace Emergencies [Video Blog]

Posted on Jul 6, 2017 7:00:00 AM

A workplace emergency is an unforeseen situation that threatens your employees, customers, or the public; disrupts or shuts down your operations; or causes physical or environmental damage. Having an emergency action plan is key to preventing a disorganized evacuation or emergency response that could result in confusion, injury, and property damage.

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How to Keep Company Information Confidential [Video Blog]

Posted on Jun 22, 2017 7:00:00 AM

Maintaining the confidentiality of valuable company information--such things as customer lists, trade secrets, and other proprietary data--can be a challenge, both during the course of an individual's employment and after an employee leaves the company.

To help ensure that confidential information remains just that, and to discourage former employees from using knowledge gained at your firm to the advantage of another employer, you may consider requiring that certain employees sign agreements.

These fall into 3 specific areas:

1. Non-competition agreements, which prohibit them from working for a competitor or engaging in activities that compete with your business
2. Non-solicitation agreements, which prohibit luring your customers or other employees to a competing business; and
3. Confidentiality agreements, which prohibit disclosing confidential information to anyone outside the company or anyone within the company who is not authorized to receive the information.

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How To Conduct an Exit Interview [Video Blog]

Posted on Jun 8, 2017 7:00:00 AM

An employee leaving your company often has a lot of knowledge about your business and workplace. A final sit-down with a departing employee may prove valuable to your company going forward and may provide an outlet for letting the individual "let off steam" and possibly reduce the likelihood of a lawsuit.

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The Termination Meeting [Video Blog]

Posted on May 25, 2017 7:00:00 AM

Terminating employees may be a necessary reality of the workplace, but it’s important not to lose sight of the emotional impact of a termination. If possible, schedule the meeting at the end of the workday or prior to a weekend, so that the employee will have the opportunity to go home to engage fami ly and friends for support. Also, try to avoid termination during a holiday, which could appear insensitive to outsiders and other employees. Of course, for egregious infractions the employer may have no choice.

Generally, a termination meeting should involve two management personnel:

  1.     The manager responsible for termination, and
  2.     A witness.

The witness may take notes if helpful. The presence of a witness, preferably one of the same gender as the terminated employee, will help to negate any claims of harassment or inappropriate action during the termination meeting, and provide an eyewitness to the process.

Also, consider security. Sadly, the recent history of violence in the workplace means that employers must be prepared for the possibility of an outburst by the employee either during the termination meeting or soon afterward. If the employer has any reason to expect the possibility of violence, it is wise to take extra security measures. This would include escorting the employee from the building and perhaps having security guards on standby.   

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3 Steps to Prepare for the Termination Meeting [Video Blog]

Posted on May 11, 2017 7:00:00 AM

We are going to discuss three steps you should take to prepare for a termination meeting.

1. Thoroughly review the employee’s personnel file. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the employee's work record and the reason for termination. It is essential that you explain to the employee why the decision to terminate his or her employment was made. Failing to provide an explanation or providing a false explanation may later support an employee claim that the reason was a pretext for unlawful discrimination or other unlawful treatment.

2. Identify property to be returned (access cards, company credit cards, etc.) You should also prepare the employee’s final paycheck. In many states, the final check must, by law, be delivered at the time of termination. In some states, accrued but unused vacation time or paid time off (PTO) must also be compensated in the final check at termination. Review our final paycheck section for more information regarding final paychecks in your state.

3. Prepare a termination packet. The packet should be hand-delivered at the termination meeting. This includes a termination letter, benefits summary, and information regarding unemployment compensation.

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Firing a Problem Employee [Video Blog]

Posted on Apr 27, 2017 7:00:00 AM

Firing a problem employee is never easy. As unpleasant as any termination situation is, handling it with a difficult employee makes your job all the more challenging. All the same, it’s a necessary part of managing your workforce. At HR360, we’ve been there, and we’re here to help you get through it.

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How to Deliver Negative Feedback Fairly and Effectively [Video Blog]

Posted on Apr 17, 2017 7:00:00 AM

Delivering negative feedback to your employees can be awkward, uncomfortable, and a little intimidating. As a manager, you may find yourself avoiding these conversations in an effort to spare employees’ feelings, or to preserve good working relationships.

We understand your dilemma. However, we’re here to tell you that you aren’t doing your employee any favors by withholding constructive criticism about where he or she needs to improve. Think about it: their performance, behavior, or attitude isn’t up to par, and by avoiding the uncomfortable conversation, you’re depriving them of the opportunity to make necessary changes. It isn’t fair to them or to you. In the worst case scenario, you could even be setting them up for termination due to nonperformance.

We advocate providing constructive feedback regularly, rather than waiting for a formal review. That being said, you DO need to pay attention to the language you use when having these types of conversations.

Avoid any language that might be discriminatory according to state or federal labor law. A good rule of thumb is to be factual and limit your comments to the employee’s PERFORMANCE, rather than PERSONALITY, as these types of remarks can be interpreted as a personal attack. An example of words to avoid would be descriptions such as “sloppy” or “messy,” which sound like value judgments rather than appraisals of performance.

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