The Importance of Training Plans for Employee Morale

The importance of training plans for employee morale cannot be over estimated.  Happy employees are motivated employees and this leads straight to your bottom line.  Training plans ensure that employees have a better understanding of what is asked of them and ensures that whatever you see as fit for their role, is known to them. It makes employees much more confident in their role and in turn gives you confidence in your employee’s abilities. Here is a few points to think about when adding training to your company.

the importance of training plans for employee morale

1. Stress training as investment. The reason training is often considered optional at many companies is because it is thought of as an expense rather than an investment. While it’s true that training can be costly up front, it’s a long-term investment in the growth and development of your human resources.

2. Determine your needs. As you probably don’t have unlimited time or funds to execute an employee training program, you should decide early on what the focus of your training program should be.

3. Promote a culture of learning amongst employees. In today’s fast-paced economy, if a business isn’t learning, it’s going to fall behind. A business learns as its people learn. Communicate your expectations that all employees should take the necessary steps to hone their skills and stay on top of their professions or fields of work. Make sure you support those efforts by providing the resources needed to accomplish this goal.

4. Get management on board. Once you have developed a prioritized list of training topics that address key needs within your company, you need to convince management to rally behind the initiative.

5. Start out small. Before rolling out your training program to the masses, rehearse with a small group of users and gather their feedback. This sort of informal benchmarking exposes weaknesses in your training plans and helps you fine-tune the training process.

6. Clarify connections. Some employees may feel that the training they’re receiving isn’t relevant to their job. It’s important to help them understand the connection early on, so they don’t view the training sessions as a waste of valuable time. Employees should see the training as an important addition to their professional portfolios. Award people with completion certificates at the end of the program.

7. Make it ongoing. Don’t limit training solely to new employees. Organized, ongoing training programs will maintain all employees’ skill levels, and continually motivate them to grow and improve professionally.

8. Measure results. Without measurable results, it’s almost impossible to view training as anything but an expense. Decide how you’re going to obtain an acceptable rate of return on your investment. Determine what kind of growth or other measure is a reasonable result of the training you provide. You’ll have an easier time budgeting funds for future training if you can demonstrate concrete results.

Source: www.allbusiness.com/ten-employee-training-tips-1465-1.html

How to Spot a Hostile Work Environment

A hostile work environment is prohibited by law and is intimidating and/or offensive.  So how do you spot a hostile work environment? Unfortunately, it’s all down to company culture.

Some employees believe that a bad boss, an unpleasant work environment, a rude co-worker, or the lack of perks, privileges, benefits, and recognition can create a hostile work environment. But, the reality is that for a workplace to be hostile, certain legal criteria must be met. Additionally, the behaviour, actions or communication must be discriminatory in nature.

How to spot a hostile work environment

So, a co-worker who talks loudly, snaps her gum, and leans over your desk when she talks with you, is demonstrating inappropriate, rude, obnoxious behaviour, but it does not create a hostile work environment. On the other hand, a co-worker who tells sexually explicit jokes and sends around images of nude people, is guilty of sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment.

A boss who verbally berates you about your age, your religion, your gender, or your race may be guilty of creating a hostile work environment. This is especially true if you asked the individual to stop and the behaviour continues.

You can read some of our tips for creating a positive working environment over here.  For anyone who may need help dealing with a difficult situation regarding behaviour in the workplace, visit reachout.com for advice.

Or… why not just change job? Take a look at some of our great new roles if you have become tired with your job: www.3qrecruitment.ie/home/Source: humanresources.about.com

Tips for a Positive Work Environment

I love my job.  Here are some tips for a positive working environment (if you don’t) because there’s nothing worse that working in a job you hate, or worse, in a hostile work environment. A workplace that is trusting, open and fun will be the most productive and successful. It’s all about the company culture.
Tips for a positive working environment

1. Engage in meaningful (and in-person) dialogue

When you make the effort to connect with your team members in person—individually and as a group—you’re establishing a position of caring that motivates individuals in all sorts of crazy-good ways. It’s easy to send short messages in emails, and then rely on these small exchanges for most of your communication. Or, you can focus on what needs to get done next and forget to take a breath, look around, and get to know your employees. Don’t fall into this rut. Instead, ask your team members about their immediate goals and project interests as well as their career objectives.

Also, remember: We’re all human, and most humans respond well to the real thing—in-person communication that says “you matter.”

2. Show your appreciation

One of the biggest complaints from employees is that they don’t feel appreciated. It takes no effort to say “thank you” for example. They are the two most underrated words in the dictionary.  The second someone gives us a “nice job” or “you made a difference on this project,” it makes us feel like we matter in a way that gives our work a sense of purpose. If you’re not so inclined to give out verbal gold stars, an easy place to start is with a simple “thank you.”

The next step is to give meaningful appreciation. Thread the high-fives and “nice jobs” with a more detailed picture behind your acknowledgment. This way, your employees can understand what they’re doing well, and do more of it. Also, detailed praise shows you’re paying attention and not throwing around empty phrases. When people feel like they’re doing good work, they want to rise to the occasion even more.

3. Listen to everyone’s ideas

Your entire team has great ideas. They’re in the trenches all day, bringing their own experience and perspectives to the part of the project they’re focused on. For example, if there’s a way to make spreadsheets more efficient or cold-calls more productive, the team members know how. It’s tempting to stick with protocol because you know that works well. But these days the world moves so fast nobody can afford to stay with a status quo for too long. So instead, make it a policy to listen to new ideas (you could structure appropriate time periods for this, too), and this will tell everyone they’re a valuable part of the team. Give the good ideas a try; you never know what might happen—other than the team becomes more invested in their work and the project outcome, for starters.

4. Trust your team members

This is a harder rule to practice for some more than others. So try to default to the assumption that your team is made up of adult, responsibility-taking, competent workers that don’t need to be treated like children. (In the end, people act the way they’re treated.) In action terms, this means that when you delegate, really let go and let the individual own the task you gave them. You can also communicate trust by asking team members to make decisions for their part of the project, like:

  • Suggesting when and if meetings should happen
  • Anticipating road blocks and communicate those to the group
  • Assuming that your team wants the best for the project. And if you sense the beginnings of some negative juju kicking up, invite  discussions about office policy; see what the majority thinks.

5. Be spontaneous and have a little fun

Everyone wants to have fun at work—even though everyone defines “fun” a little differently. Still, if you can keep the previous four tips in action, then fun—or a sense of enjoyment and being able to be yourself at work—becomes a more natural part of everyone’s job. Fun happens when  people feel well-connected with a team where there’s mutual respect, open communication, acceptance of who people are and everyone’s collaborating and working toward the same goal. When teams are working well together, it makes it easier to be spontaneous and have some fun – whether it’s a last-minute Football Friday party after a project launch, or a brief pause in the afternoon to tell stories and have a few laughs over topics that have nothing to do about work.

Source: www.liquidplanner.com/blog/5-ways-to-create-a-positive-work-environment/

Tips for Reading a Candidate by their Body Language

The next time you are conducting a job interview, be sure to pay attention to the job candidate’s body language.  Their non verbal cues could make or break the deal.  Here are some tips for reading a candidate by their body language.

tips on reading a candidate by their body lanuage

Before the interview

An excellent way to get a snapshot of people’s true inner feelings and attitudes is to observe their “resting face,” the expression worn when they’re not interacting with anyone. A negative resting face, among other things, makes someone less approachable to others.

Come in to my office
An applicant walking in tall and taking fairly brisk strides, shows some confidence and enthusiasm. Candidates dragging or shuffling their feet or taking short choppy strides are less assured.

The handshake
When someone offers you a firm, palm-to-palm handshake accompanied by direct eye contact and a pleasant smile, this shows the person to be confident, interested and sincere. An affable smile sets the stage for a congenial interaction, sends a positive message and adds some warmth to what can feel like a cold process.

Have a Seat
Confidence; interest and alertness are projected when prospective employees sit tall in their chair. Someone who leans slightly forward while you’re speaking is usually engaged in what you are saying. Slouching in a chair can be a sign of indifference. If someone is perched on the edge of the chair, that person is probably nervous or overly eager. Leaning or tipping back in a chair, especially with hands clasped behind the head, is a gesture of arrogance and disdain.

Eye Contact
A desirable job prospect maintains good eye contact. When someone fails to look you in the eye, it can mean that individual is nervous, introverted, disinterested or even dishonest. On the other hand, if someone’s gaze turns into a stare, it may signify aggression or fear. Applicants who stare blankly are showing disinterest in actively participating in the interview process.

Hands, Arms, Feet and Legs
Job prospects who place their hands calmly on their lap are confident and relaxed. When an applicant articulates with open hands and palms visible, this is an indication of sincerity, openness and warmth. Crossed arms send a negative vibe and show the person to be closed off, defensive or in disagreement with what you are saying. Crossed arms and legs together may convey a very reserved and suspicious nature. If someone rests an ankle on the other knee, this reflects an arrogant or overly casual attitude.

It ain’t over till the applicant exits
You can tell a lot about a job candidate’s genuine self by observing that person in closing. When they get up out of the chair, and walk to the exit, are they still confident and comfortable? Or are they hesitant and slumped?

During the job interview process, never underestimate the value of nonverbal communication. Being able to read body language can be significantly instrumental in finding the right candidate for a particular job.

Source: www.businessknowhow.com/manage/body-language.htm

Be sure to read our tips on identifying a positive working environment and how to identify a hostile work environment too.

Recruitment Advice: Ensure you Complete a Thorough Background Check

The best piece of recruitment advice we can give you may seem obvious, but the amount of times we have to deal with distraught employers, who could have saved themselves a lot of disappointment by performing a thorough background check.

recruitment advice do a thorough background check

  1. Take the reference checking process seriously

It’s frightening to think of the number of people who will actually bring someone into their organisation relying on the feedback gained from a 2-minute phone conversation. Perhaps trusting a 2-line email; or maybe without even carrying out any reference checks at all. They’re usually badly burnt after 3 – 6 months of the new employee being in the job.

2. Conduct at least 2 verbal reference checks

There are candidates out there who look great on paper but who perform poorly during interview. But there are also candidates who perform very well during interview but once they are on the job it’s a different story altogether. That is why you need to get an idea of how they performed in an actual job from a previous employer. Before you bring anybody new into your team you should really carry out two verbal reference checks. It’s the perfect way for you to understand how they really perform on the job.

3. Plan your questions carefully

When you are speaking to a candidate’s former supervisor. You need to think back to the core skills as well as the core competencies and key success measures that you had created for the job. If during your interview you asked the candidate questions around communication, decision-making and time management, you should then ask the referee exactly the same questions. The questions you ask should prompt the candidate’s former supervisor to talk about the candidate’s actual past experiences and behaviour .

 4. You’re allowed to ask one hypothetical question

One question you might also want to consider asking at the very end of every conversation with a referee is something along the lines of “So would you ever re-employ [insert name here]?”. This should be the only hypothetical question in the entire discussion. But the answer to this question can speak volumes.

5. Take detailed notes

It’s always a relief when you hear positive feedback about the candidate you are so desperate to hire. In fact you may have even already made them an offer (I’ll leave tips around making an offer subject to references for another time). But it’s still important to take notes during your calls with past employers. You never know when you might need to refer back to some of the comments further down the track (e.g., during performance reviews).

6. Beware of fake referees

You wouldn’t believe how many so-called professional candidates out there will provide fake referees. When someone is desperate to get a new job, they’ll resort to anything. Make sure you’re really talking to a previous employer. Do your due diligence. If a candidate gives you the details of a past boss, check them out on LinkedIn, and ideally call them on a land line at the organisation. Better still, after you’ve spoken to them, connect with them on LinkedIn and thank them for taking the time to speak to you. You’ll quickly find out if you actually spoke with an ‘imposter’.

Source: recruitloop.com/blog/7-ways-to-really-conduct-a-reference-check/

Here’s what our clients have to say about us: www.3qrecruitment.ie/client-testimonials/

Don’t forget to check out our tips on creating a positive working environment and how to recognise a hostile environment.

Employee Recognition – Free Valuable Ways to Recognise Good Staff

It doesn’t take much to give recognise good staff.  Employee recognition is a huge factor is staff morale and many companies overlook it’s importance.  Remember to win in the market place, you need to win in the work place. It’s also important for staff retention and good people are great for business. Here are some free valuable ways to recognise good staff.
 employee recognition free valuable ways to recognise good staff richard branson

1. Special Employee Appreciation Mini Meetings

Verbal praise is an often-overlooked way to show appreciation. Make a habit of doling out praise by carving 20 minutes out of your schedule on the same day every week. In those 20 minutes you can meet with 5 people for 3-4 minutes each. That’s plenty of time to express your gratitude and send them off feeling like a star.

2. Give Free Time for Special Achievements

Show that you recognise someone’s overtime hours by giving them extra free time during the work day. Offer a 2-hour lunch, a late arrival or early quitting time. It costs you nothing but goes a long way in communicating your gratitude.

3. Send a Deserving Employee Snail Mail

Go old school and write a good ol’ fashioned letter singing your team member’s praises, drop it in the mail and send it to their home. It costs you only a few minutes (and the cost of a stamp), but makes a big statement.

4. Publish Meme Motivations

Catch your staff off guard by creating a funny, personalized meme about them and e-mailing it out to everyone. Choose your image and type a funny message that includes the recipient’s name and a congrats for all the great work they have done.

5. Create a Motivation Mascot

Buy a big, cheap, silly object and make it the employee of the week mascot. Every Monday, put it on a different person’s door or desk to show that they are the chosen one. Don’t fear if, at first, your staff acts like it’s cheesy; within a couple of weeks they’ll be anxious to see where it is at the start of every week.

6. Give Out Home work

Give a work-from-home day as a reward to employees who’ve been going above and beyond. The joy of sleeping a little longer and working in pyjamas cannot be overstated.

The truth is, it doesn’t really matter what you do to show your appreciation. Rewards and gratitude can take just about any form, as long as employees know that their hard work has been noticed. These ideas are not revolutionary, but if they’re utilized frequently, they can have a dramatic impact on relationships and productivity.

Source: https://www.aabacosmallbusiness.com/advisor/10-free-easy-creative-ways-show-employee-appreciation-180030256.html

Three Q volunteers set to take part in The Alzheimer Café Dublin once again.

Our Three Q volunteers are set to take part in The Alzheimer café once again, as part of our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Programme.  (You can read more about our CSR here). This worthwhile organisation was set up in 2011 to provide information in an environment in which there is openness about dementia. Unlike other support services, the emphasis is on the emotional and psychosocial than the medical aspects of dementia.

three q volunteers the alzheimer cafe corporate social responsibility

A meeting takes place every month.  This month’s Alzheimer Café meeting takes place on Thursday 9th and will feature a special guest who will tell us about her family’s experience of a move from the family home to residential care. Dementia directly impacts on the lives of tens of thousands of people in Ireland. An estimated 48,000 people are living with dementia and the number is set to double in the next 20 years.

Like any café, people come and go, sometimes sitting at tables for a chat over a cup of tea and some cake. There’s then a talk about some aspects of dementia, followed by discussion and more general chat. Hosted in the Avila Centre, Donnybrook, this event is free and welcomes all members of the public.