How to Get Your Employees to Show Up Every Day This Fall

How to Get Your Employees to Show Up Every Day This Fall

Cold and flu season is coming. Employees have probably already started asking off for holiday travel. Sometime in the next few months, you’re probably going to notice you have more staff calling in than usual. You want them to stay home when they’re sick, but you also need them to keep absenteeism to a minimum. There are things you can do to reduce the number of call-ins.

Formalize Your Attendance Policy

Spell out exactly what you expect. Answer the following questions:

  • At what time are employees tardy?
  • What types of absences will you approve? How should employees document them?
  • What is the procedure for requesting an absence?
  • How many absences do you consider excessive?
  • What disciplinary action will you take if they exceed that number?
  • What happens if someone is a “no show”? Are there emergency situations in which you’ll excuse an unscheduled absence or no call?

Put your attendance policy in the handbook, make it a part of new hire orientation and explain it in your next staff meeting.

Promote Wellness

Sometimes well-meaning employees show up when they’re just coming down with a cold or the flu. You disinfect the bathrooms, but what about other surfaces with which employees come into contact? Make antibacterial wipes available and encourage their use on keyboards, desktops and landlines.

Step back and look for places germs can hide. That candy basket on the breakroom table has been sitting there for months. Employees eat lunch then reach for a piece after touching their faces. The microwave handle, refrigerator door, coffee pot handle and vending machine buttons all need regular disinfection.

Reward Attendance

Think through the most common reasons your employees miss work and use that to incentivize attendance instead. If you know last year employees called in to get their Thanksgiving shopping done without the crowds, reward perfect attendance the rest of the month with a few hours of flex time to be used as needed. Enter employees who stayed healthy all winter in a raffle to win a massage or gym membership on January 1.

Keep Good Records

When someone calls in, document who it was and why. That might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many managers rely on their memory. It seems like Suzy’s chair was often empty, but they’re not sure exactly how many days she actually called in sick, how many she was just late and for which ones she claimed a last minute family emergency.

Documentation helps you spot trends. If you see Suzy calls in every Friday and Monday, you know the problem probably isn’t persistent infection. You’ll also notice those employees who never miss a day and deserve recognition.

Often having a formal plan and a reward system clarifies expectations and encourages attendance. Create yours now for employees that show up every day this fall.

Sources:
https://www.naturalhr.com/blog/reducing-workplace-absenteeism-five-simple-tactics
https://www.masterclassmanagement.com/ManagementCourse-DealingWithAttendance.html

How to Rock Your First Day on the Job

How to Rock Your First Day on the Job

No matter how excited you are about starting your new job, you’re probably also nervous. It’s hard being the new kid, and you want to make a good first impression on the people you’ll be working with for in the foreseeable future. Try these tips to make that first day a success.

The Night Before

Your nerves are already prickly, so use that extra energy to make the next morning go smoothly. You’ll sleep better if you know you’re prepared.

Dress code varies by workplace. Take your clothing cues from the people who sat in on your interview.

Don’t just pick out what you’ll wear, try it on. If you bought something new to make a strong first impression, make sure it looks as professional in your bedroom mirror as you remember it did in the store. Locate the belt, scarf, shoes and jewelry you intended to wear with it.

If you wear brand new shoes you take the chance you’ll be limping by lunchtime. It’s better to select a pair you know will get you through the day with a spring in your step.

Set your alarm for at least half an hour earlier than you will on most days. Aim to arrive much, much earlier than you are required to. At best you’ll be there early, enter relaxed and make a great first impression. If something goes wrong, you’ll still be on time.

When You Arrive

Take a deep breath before you walk in the door and remind yourself no one expects you to learn everyone’s name and master every procedure on the first day. Show your positive attitude and enthusiasm for your new job and the rest will follow.

Nervousness makes people hunch their shoulders, look down and avoid eye contact, none of which looks friendly. Keep your head up and shoulders back as you meet people. Make eye contact and offer a welcoming smile.

Lean in when people are speaking to show you’re actively listening. Offer a handshake when you meet people, then allow your arms to hang at your sides instead of crossing them.

When you meet people, repeat their name back to them to help yourself remember. Say something like, “It’s great to meet you Samantha, how long have you been with XYZ Company?” If their name is unusual, ask how they spell it to help etch it in your memory.

Throughout the Day

Ask questions and seek help when you need it. People understand you’re new and will likely see your questions as eagerness to do a good job. If you attend training, show up with a note taking device and use it. Stay off your cell phone and don’t use your work computer for personal use.

If people invite you to eat lunch with them or attend an after-hours activity, join them! Express appreciation for the invitation, and for other ways people help you your first day.

In the evening, if the company website includes employee photos, review names and faces. Plan as thoroughly for your second day as you did for the first and you’ll find yourself in a positive routine that brings success in all the days to come.

Sources:
https://www.themuse.com/advice/what-you-must-do-the-night-before-starting-a-new-job
https://www.salary.com/articles/first-days-on-the-job-15-ways-to-make-a-great-impression/
https://www.livecareer.com/career/advice/jobs/first-days-working

Power Through Your Day With 5 Productivity Tips

Power Through Your Day With 5 Productivity Tips

Do you go to bed at night feeling like you’re wiped out, but you didn’t accomplish everything you needed to? That might be because work days are long and life is stressful, but sometimes a few changes can make all the difference. Try these 5 small changes that make a big difference.

Work in Chunks

It feels like you need to multi-task to get everything done, but that’s like slicing your focus into ineffective slivers. The American Psychological Association found shifting frequently between tasks cuts productivity by as much as 40 percent.

Think about how many times during the day you click over to email or pick up your cell phone because you hear it vibrate. It seems like only a few seconds, but in the course of the day it adds up.

What tasks are you behind on? Where could you stand to be as much as 40 percent more productive? Set aside chunks of time during which you give them your undivided focus.

Don’t just silence your cell and throw it in a drawer, turn it completely off or the vibration will pique your curiosity until you can’t resist checking. Sign out of your email and close the tab so you don’t receive notifications of every incoming message. Whether your chunks are 15 minutes or an hour, you’ll complete more work in that time frame than you would if you were multi-tasking.

Set a Two Minute Timer

Use this strategy to knock out tasks you find yourself dreading or putting off. When you arrive at work, before you leave for lunch or at the end of the day, set a timer. Do it at the same time every day.

Then for two minutes, sprint through your filing, pay those invoices or respond to one or two of the emails you’ve been putting off. When the timer sounds, you’re through with the unpleasant task until the next day.

Use Technology for Good

Turn your morning commute into a productivity booster by using voice-to-text technology to compile your to-do list for the day. Get a jump on meetings by turning them into teleconferences if others are available.

The online tool Rescue Time monitors how you work and lets you know how much time you spend on email, in meetings and browsing online. Rescue Time Lite is available for free and can provide insight into how you currently work.

Beat the Afternoon Slump

In countries like Spain, Greece and Italy, many employees go home for an afternoon rest. If your employer doesn’t offer a siesta after lunch, that can be a tough time of day. Instead of reaching for a coffee or energy drink, get your blood pumping to invigorate your brain with fresh oxygen.

It’s the last thing you’ll want to do when you start to feel sleepy, but leave your desk. Jog up and down the stairs a few times. If you need to communicate regularly with a co-worker, agree to have that meeting on your feet as you walk around the building or circle the parking lot. Health and fitness blog Greatist provides an extensive article on ways to get moving at work if you need more ideas.

Find a Job You Love

The best way to stay productive and focused every day is to work at a job you enjoy. Let’s sit down and talk about your career objectives when you get in touch today.

Sources:
https://www.inc.com/john-rampton/15-ways-to-increase-productivity-at-work.html
https://www.developgoodhabits.com/how-to-be-productive-work/
https://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/more-productive-4-ways-that-really-work.html

It’s ‘Clean Out Your Computer’ day. Here’s how to declutter your computer in 4 steps.

Save your sanity by keeping files straight from the start.

Chris Ambrose

[Courtesy of Monster.com]

It's Clean Out Your Computer day Here's how to declutter your computer in 4 steps

If you’ve ever seen the comedy “Zoolander,” you may remember the hysterical scene where the not-so-bright title character played by Ben Stiller is told to search for some hard drive files “in the computer.” Zoolander goes into a rage when he can’t open the computer and shatters it open instead.

You may have felt like doing the same thing with your own computer at a time when you couldn’t find an important file you knew you had but can’t locate. Today for Clean Out Your Computer Day, I’ve gathered some easy-to-use, expert tips for decluttering your computer files and getting them organized so you can stop computer rage before it starts.

1. Subdivide your folders

One of the most important steps you can take to organizing your computer’s files is creating subdivisions within folders. In her article, “Where Did I Save That Document?” productivity expert Laura Stack suggests using subdivision to help with organization.

“If every folder were labeled ‘My Documents,’ you wouldn’t find anything,” she notes. Instead, consider making more folders based on type of work or the date it was created. “Microsoft automatically sets up a folder titled ‘My Documents,’ where you can save your documents. If you save EVERYTHING under this directory, you will never be able to find what you need,” writes Stack. Make sure you take control of where your files and work go.

2. Remove old files

Do you have a file — whether it be a spreadsheet or PowerPoint presentation — you use a couple times a week? You should probably keep those around on your Desktop, but almost everything else should go somewhere else.

N2 Publishing CTO Jim Hall advises people delete or move files off their desktop if they’re not in use. “Move files you don’t use often to an external hard drive or cloud storage (whatever you trust and are comfortable with). And don’t be afraid to delete files you won’t ever use again. Clear out your photos and store them on an external drive or cloud, too.”

3. Think about how you want to search

Before you save something new, remember to first ask yourself “how will I search for this in the future?” Take for instance, the example of searching for old insurance files from Stack’s article.

“You can’t remember, ‘Did I call that “automobile” insurance, or “car” insurance, or “Bronco” insurance?’ You would logically want to go to ONE place in your files to find all information related to insurance. So a simple solution is to put the noun first, such as ‘Insurance, Auto;’ ‘Insurance, Homeowners;’ ‘Insurance, Medical.’” By placing the noun first in the file name you reduce time spent searching and stressing.

4. Invent a file-naming system

Perhaps the best way to prevent all future mishaps is create a simple file-naming system that incorporates both a date and a useful description. Your files don’t have to be in a code that would make the pros at NASA proud, just use short, clear names for your files, advises Hall. “And be consistent with the style or format you use.”

Computers are powerful productivity machines, but like anything else, they must be organized from time to time to remain dependable and easy to use. Take these small steps and you can prevent plenty of headaches in the future.