Author Archives: Dan Weaver

Maintaining Routines When Working Remotely

If you’re reading this, I don’t need to tell you what a crazy month it’s been. March 2020 has brought vast changes to our daily lives in the blink of an eye, one of the biggest being how we work. Telecommuting has swiftly shifted from an occasional (or possibly nonexistent) practice for many professionals to the absolute norm for all non-essential employees.

Although working from home sounds like paradise on paper, it can actually be a challenging adjustment for those who are not accustomed to it. This is mainly due to the upset it causes for our daily rhythms – as creatures of habit, sudden, major changes in routine can be disruptive on a basic human level. Since the current state of the world is fortunately temporary, it is vital to maintain our daily routines as much as possible so there’s no difficulty switching back upon returning to business as usual.

Up and At ‘Em

As tempting as it may be to sleep in every day due to the lack of commute, it’s recommended to rise as close to your normal time as possible. Doing so will spare you from a difficult readjustment when the time comes to start commuting normally again.

If you do choose to get a little extra shut-eye (can’t say I blame you) make sure you are at least sticking to the same time every morning – becoming less strict about when you get up can throw off your momentum for the entire day, making you less productive. Also, waking up at different times each day can throw your circadian rhythms severely out of whack, which affect health on multiple levels.

Dress to Impress… Nobody

Believe it or not, it’s actually in your best interest to continue to get yourself ready as if you’re going to the office…even though you’re not. Comb your hair, brush your teeth, and yes – even dress like you’re going to work. As fun as it is, forget working in your pajamas.

Although this sounds bizarre, ask anyone who’s been unemployed for an extended period of time and they’ll tell you that once you lose this habit, it’s far more difficult than you may think to get it back. You may also find it harder to stay motivated and energized without it because you won’t feel like your usual, stylish self. It’s prudent to uphold that sense of normalcy in your morning routine or you risk having a difficult time reacclimating later on.

Stay Active and Leave the House

Whether it’s because of an injury, illness, or inclement weather, we all know what it’s like to be stuck at home. It’s a drag – but just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you need to be sitting still all day.

When working on location, it’s much easier to stay active between commuting, interacting with co-workers, walking to different places around the office like the copy room or break area, leaving for lunch, etc. When working remotely, it’s essential to find similar, active ways to break up your day while preserving your regular routines as much as possible. An excellent way to do this is by going out for a walk during the times you would normally be commuting, and another walk in the middle of the day around lunchtime. This way, you can stay active, energized, and focused while virtually keeping your ordinary habits the same.

Remember to Stop Working

Just as it’s important to start your work day normally at home, it’s advisable to end your day normally as well. Without co-workers physically around to keep you in check, it’s easy to lose track of time and work longer hours than you normally would. While being more productive certainly isn’t a bad thing, straying from your routine in this way can make you overexert yourself which can cause negative mental health effects and burnout. Keep your eye on the clock and wrap up around the time you would usually head home.

Just because current circumstances have temporarily required us to go about our daily lives differently doesn’t mean we need to lose our sense of normalcy. By working to sustain our regular habits in work and life safely, we can find comfort in the knowledge that we will soon return to our normal routines with a greater sense of purpose and appreciation for life than ever before.

All of us at CHRG wish everyone the best of health. Click here for a list of free, helpful COVID-19-related resources including telework guidance for employees.

What Not To Do When Creating an Exceptional Job Posting

So a position just opened up at your company, and it’s your job to fill it. You don’t just want a good candidate, you want the best candidate. You want someone that isn’t just passionate about their field, but a person with remarkable professionalism and standards.

The job posting you use to entice and attract your potential new hire should be no different. As someone who has assessed many different job postings over the years, I’ve seen it all – from the clear and concise to the repetitive and confusing, the tactful to the tacky, the best to the worst. I’m here to offer some thoughts on what to do if you want to catch that perfect job seeker’s eye, and more importantly, what not to do.

Don’t “Enhance” the Job Title

If your job posting is the first impression your potential candidate has of your company, it all starts with the job title. Unless you want them to continue scrolling past your post, it’s advisable to write down the job title and the job title only, exactly as it would read on an official job description at your company. This means no extra job details in parentheses and no enthusiastic advertisements – there is a place for that, and it’s not in the title. And please, please do not use all capital letters. While it may seem like these techniques will make the job more noticeable, all it really does is make the posting look messy and unprofessional, thus likely turning away the quality candidates you desire.

Example of an adequate title: Senior Software Developer

Example of an inadequate title: ENTRY-LEVEL ACCOUNTANT IN ATLANTA, GA – $20-$25/HOUR (GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR RECENT GRADS!!!!)

Don’t Write a Novel in the Job Description

Keeping it short and sweet is the name of the game when it comes to writing a great job description for a posting. The description should be clear, concise, and organized into different sections that flow naturally. A quick summary followed by a clear list of responsibilities, followed by a practical list of qualifications, and so on. It’s best to use concise lists or short paragraphs for each section separated by titles, or else you risk creating a wall of text which will not look attractive to job seekers.

Another great way to keep descriptions short is by reducing “fluff”. The responsibilities section does not need to be exhaustive list of what the potential employee might do, but rather a realistic snapshot of what they can fully expect to do on a typical day. An additional common mistake is inserting irrelevant or frivolous qualifications. Particularly glaring examples I’ve seen of these include “must have an excellent sense of humor” and “must work hard, but play harder.” Not only does this make your posting unnecessarily long, but it also serves to alienate potential qualified candidates.

Don’t Use a Website That Requires Immediate Login

It is my firm belief that nothing makes a cursor move to a back button faster than a login screen – especially on a job application page. Whether you’re using a third party website or an internal one for your posting, make sure candidates are able to at least view the full posting and fill out applications without needing to immediately create an account and sign in from the get-go. If you do require candidates to make an account, it’s best to integrate account creation with the application process – it puts less pressure on the applicant and allows them to at least view the application which could impact their decision on whether or not they even want to apply. Asking for their information before they even have access to the application and full description is asking for too much of a commitment too soon.

Don’t Forget to Proofread

While it sounds obvious, we’re all human and everyone makes mistakes. Of all the job postings I see, I would wager a guess that about half of them have at least one error, some of them much more. Spelling and grammar mistakes, forgetting to add spaces, putting a bullet point mark where there shouldn’t be one (or leaving one out where there should be one), and misuse of punctuation marks are all common errors I see regularly. One simple mistake could be the difference between gaining and losing an extraordinary candidate. Spellcheck is your friend, as can be an extra pair of eyes.

Remember – it is just as much your job to impress potential candidates as it is their job to impress you. Therefore, it is vital to incorporate the same level of standards and professionalism into your job postings that you would expect from an employee at your organization.

If you currently have an exceptional job posting for an open Human Resources role you are trying to fill, feel free to make a submission on our job board – at no cost to you.

Top 5 Careers in 2020

If you are currently seeking a new job or career, you are in luck. Reports are coming in that many available jobs have been opening since the holidays ended – and employers want to fill them now. Whether it’s a career change you want or you’re an HR professional curious about hot jobs right now, here are the top 5 jobs in 2020 according to research done by Glassdoor.

5. DevOps Engineer

Coming in at number 5 is DevOps Engineer. This tech career, which includes overseeing and coordinating the work of system operators and software developers, requires a great deal of versatility. Not only must a DevOps Engineer fully understand the ins and outs of IT infrastructure, strong people skills are essential as well as they facilitate communication among many different branches of the department.

4. Product Manager

Product Management has been one of the best careers to have for a long time, and for good reason – the responsibility of a product’s business success basically falls on the Product Manager’s shoulders. They work with everyone involved with the creation of a product like engineers and designers, overseeing the development process while ensuring customer needs will be met. As more and more Product Managers start managing digital products, this career continues to be one of the most sought after in 2020.

3. Data Scientist

Second runner-up on the list is Data Scientist – a job for those with a keen eye for data. Data Scientists collect large amounts of various data that is relevant to the organization, analyze it, and then use that information to help their company make important decisions. Due to the high value of their input and the combination of complex skills required like math, statistics, and understanding of trends, Data Science is one of the most relevant careers right now in 2020.

2. Java Developer

At number two we have Java Developer. Java, a well known programming language responsible for creating countless computer applications, is one of the best areas anyone can have expertise in right now. Without programming languages like Java, there would be no video games, no computer programs for businesses, and no social media. So as you can imagine, Java Developers are more important in 2020 than ever.

1. Front End Engineer

The number one career of 2020 in Front End Engineering. This is a style of engineering in which each project is planned in a detailed manner prior to execution for the purpose of increased cost control. The many complicated skills required to excel in this career such as the ability to anticipate future issues, excellent time management skills, and being incredibly detail-oriented make it the most important, sought after career of the year.

It’s still early in 2020 and many companies are hiring at the start of the year. If you’re looking for a fresh start, one of these careers could be the way to go. And if you’re an HR Manager and you’re missing one of these on your team, it might be time to do some recruiting!

Upcoming HR Trends in 2020 and Beyond

As 2019 comes to a close, we not only have a new year to look forward to, but the start of a brand new decade (crazy, right?). This will undoubtedly have many professionals wondering what the future will hold for business, including human resources. Here are some HR trends that are expected to really take off in 2020 and beyond.

Ongoing Performance Management

If the 2010s have taught us anything, it’s that the yearly performance review is an outdated practice. Performance management occurring on a more consistent basis is expected to further take shape in 2020, which will provide tremendous benefits for organizations. Continuous feedback and check-ins concerning goal attainment will greatly improve employee engagement, one of the most important factors for employee retention and performance. Due to its increased importance, companies are likely to implement more advanced performance management software technology to help manage their reviews.

Artificial Intelligence

There is little question that artificial intelligence will play a major role in performing various HR functions in the future, particularly for recruitment and onboarding processes. When it comes to recruitment, AI can take an enormous load off of the HR department’s shoulders by streamlining many time-consuming tasks. These include sifting through hundreds of resumes, making faster and more impartial hiring decisions, and even answering candidate’s questions via automated messaging software.

As for onboarding, the past decade has provided a great deal of insight into how vital a quality employee orientation really is. Giving the right first impression of your company is crucial; more companies are realizing that there is a short window post-hire in which a new employee decides if they are staying or going. With more resources being placed at the forefront of the employee integration process, receiving all the help you can get is a must to make it go as smoothly as possible. Artificial intelligence can provide much relief in this endeavor by answering common questions new employees may have about benefits, holidays, job specifics, and more. AI can also lend a hand in filling out the huge pile of paperwork that often comes with each new hire – whew!

We’ll talk more about how technology will be used for onboarding in a bit.

Higher Emphasis on Soft Skills

To say that there was an increase in the use of technology in the workplace in the last 10 years would probably be the understatement of the decade. So unsurprisingly, technical proficiency has been one of the most highly sought after skillsets of job candidates across industries. However, when this becomes the primary focus for hiring managers, attention toward “soft skills” can fall by the wayside. Failure to seek employees with skills like communication, creative problem-solving, time management, and leadership abilities will have numerous negative consequences for organizations.

In 2020, there will be a much higher emphasis on hiring applicants with a proven track record of displaying these skills, as well as promoting them in existing employees. According to LinkedIn, the biggest skill gaps in companies right now tend to be soft skills – so moving forward, they will likely even take precedence over technical skills for potential and current workers.

Virtual Reality

Although there has been a lot buzz about virtual reality for a long time, many still have yet to experience the wonder of this amazing technology. In 2020 that is expected to change as more organizations utilize virtual reality in various capacities, one of which being the onboarding process. New hires can use this technology to take tours, virtually experience aspects of their job, or even interact with executives who may be at a different company location. Outside of onboarding, virtual reality can also be used to simulate training programs, interview potential candidates, and allow remote employees to communicate more effectively with their peers.

The future is approaching, and fast. Is your company ready to embrace the changes 2020 will bring?

Making the Most of Your Team

Great work teams are like engines. You can fit your car with the most powerful V8 engine on the market, but refusing to care for it and give it oil won’t do you much good. Similarly, putting together a group of talented, high performers doesn’t always guarantee that a quality sense of teamwork will emerge organically. If you implement the right principles into your organizational teams, it won’t be long until they’re operating like a well-oiled machine.

In order for your team to be the best it can be, every person on the team must:

Feel Important

If just one team member doesn’t feel like they’re making a difference, it will throw off the chemistry of the entire group. It can lower the employee’s morale which not only affects their performance, but that of their teammates as well. This can also make them less likely to communicate their ideas, causing you to lose valuable potential input. Make sure every employee has clear set goals and objectives which have a tangible impact on the group’s progress, and don’t be shy about giving positive recognition for all employee contributions and ideas, no matter how big or small.

Be Well-Acquainted

Unless we’re talking about Survivor, groups of strangers don’t usually make the best teams (and even then, they’re always betraying each other).

It goes without saying that everyone should be properly introduced and encouraged to get to know each other, but if you truly want to foster a harmonious sense of familiarity and rapport among colleagues, you should go beyond that by implementing some team-building activities. While the phrase itself is sure to induce some eye-rolling, research has shown that team-building activities can have a positive effect on all team outcomes. Hint: Make your employees magically fall in love with these activities by scheduling them during work hours.

Be on the Same Page

A team cannot function effectively unless there are clear lines of communication among all team members and a common understanding of how the team operates. Basic expectations and standards should be made apparent from the very beginning, as well as long-term goals that the team hopes to accomplish – short-term goals for individual projects should be defined as well. Each employee should always have a say in the formulation of these goals and objectives, and should constantly be encouraged to share their ideas and give feedback.

Trust One Another

Trust among colleagues is absolutely imperative in order for a team to perform at the most optimal level. Trust doesn’t just happen overnight, however – it needs to be nurtured over time. As a team leader, you can act as a role model for trustworthy behavior by being honest about your faults, acting as a supportive advocate for your employees, and always exhibiting a respectful attitude. Encouraging each team member to conduct themselves in the same way will boost trust among the group.

A great team is more powerful than the sum of its parts. Take the time to promote a positive sense of teamwork in your organization instead of simply hiring a group of star employees and saying “go” – your company will reap the benefits in no time.

Managing the Manager-Employee Relationship

Very few would argue that when it comes to maximizing employee retention and performance, nothing is more important than employee satisfaction. Therefore, it stands to reason that if your employees aren’t satisfied, you don’t have a company – or at least one that will last very long. One of the most relevant factors of employee satisfaction is the relationship between workers and their managers.

When an employee has a negative relationship with their boss – whether it’s because they struggle to communicate with them, don’t receive enough recognition, or simply don’t feel respected – the consequences are immeasurable. Employee performance will suffer, turnover will increase dramatically, and morale will decrease significantly. If the manager-employee relationship is managed properly by HR and Leadership, these detrimental outcomes can be avoided.

Find the Right Manager

Although it sounds obvious, finding the right person to fit a managerial role isn’t always as easy as people think. When searching for a new manager, it’s natural to assume that the best course of action is to hire someone who is experienced and talented in their field. While that is definitely important, there are many other characteristics that need to be considered if you want a superstar manager. When evaluating a potential candidate, ask yourself – are they a good decision maker and communicator? Do they have the emotional intelligence necessary to show empathy to those working under them? Are they passionate about the work they do and the company they work for? Do they have an attitude that will make others want to follow them? Finding someone with the right combination of traits may be challenging, but it is absolutely necessary if you want to equip your company with the best leaders out there.

Encourage Constant, Quality Communication

If an employee doesn’t feel like they can communicate with his or her manager about a problem, it could only be a matter of time before they’re out the door. Regular check-ins are a great way to set the right example for positive communication between employees and managers. It makes workers feel that their well-being is cared for, and lets them know that their manager is an open communicator who is always available if they have a problem. Employee recognition is also a vital component of positive communication. If an employee genuinely feels appreciated by their manager, their working relationship will improve considerably.

Discourage Favoritism

A common mistake made by lackluster managers is playing favorites. Yes, some employees are higher performers than others. However, if someone feels like they are not being treated equally, either because their work is not up to par or worse – because a manager has a subconscious or discriminatory bias towards them regardless of work quality – this only serves to worsen their performance and/or make them want to leave. In order to augment each employee’s potential and ensure they are working to the best of their ability, it is imperative that managers foster an atmosphere of equality and respect.

Promote Mutual Trust

Just because a manager is higher on the job ladder doesn’t mean they are truly “above” the people working for them. Employees and managers have a reciprocal relationship – managers depend on employees to do their work well and keep the organization afloat while employees depend on managers to give them guidance, support, and fair compensation. For this reason, mutual trust is key. Managers can develop trust by making sure employees aren’t overmanaged and constantly monitored, which can make them feel untrusted. Managers should also try to be forthcoming about communicating company updates so that workers always feel like they are in the loop. Employees can build trust in their managers by performing their jobs well and going above and beyond what is asked of them.

If you want to keep your employees and maintain a positive culture within your organization, you can’t afford to overlook the manager-employee relationship. If handled correctly, your employees will be happier and your company will thrive.

Does the Eight-Hour Workday Still Work in 2019?

For many of us, the eight-hour workday seems about as normal as fireworks on the 4th of July. To understand how this common workday tradition came about, let’s take a journey back in time to 1817 when fair-labor advocate Robert Owen popularized the term “Eight hours labor, eight hours recreation, eight hours rest” as a means to combat unfair labor standards at the time. It took a while, but this phrase planted the seeds for the eight-hour shift to eventually become the status quo by the 20th century and beyond.

Fast forward to 2019, and even though working nine to five is still pretty common, many employees and employers alike are beginning to question its practicality in the modern work environment. Are there actually positives to the eight-hour schedule in 2019? Or is it an outdated practice that we only continue because it’s been cemented over time as a tradition that we’ve grown comfortable with?

Different Strokes for Different Folks

One challenge of the eight-hour workday is that everyone has different rhythms. Let me use myself as an example – at the moment I am writing this, it is 9:42pm on a Tuesday night. I’m sure some people would much rather be relaxing watching the new season of Stranger Things at this time – but for me, it is when I feel most productive. Some people do their best work in the morning, others in the evening, and the typical nine to five workday doesn’t adjust for that accordingly.

With that said, there are cons to allowing people to adjust their work schedules based on their own natural rhythms, particularly when it comes to communication. If employee A is most productive between the hours of 6am and 2pm, but employee B prefers working from 3pm to 11pm, there would be no visible overlap in which they can collaborate in the event that they are working on a project together. Therefore, it’s important for coworkers with flexible schedules to be forthcoming with one another about their preferred schedules and the best times for them to communicate.

Employee Morale

Doing away with the eight-hour workday for a more flexible schedule is generally a positive for employee morale. Workers will be pleased with the freedom to choose a schedule that works well for them and their personal lives, vastly improving work-life balance. Can you imagine being able to willingly avoid driving in rush hour traffic, saving money on childcare, and being able to spend more time with your children? I can’t think of many things more morale-boosting than that.

A flexible schedule can have a reverse effect on morale as well. Employees who don’t have the option for a flexible schedule can grow jealous of those who do (see my blog post on dealing with jealousy in the workplace). Also, employees who function best with structure and uniformity in their daily lives may struggle to cope with choosing their own hours.

Quality vs. Quantity of Time

When the idea of the eight-hour workday was originally conceived, it was done so mainly with industrial factory workers in mind. For this type of work that consisted primarily of manual labor, performing an eight-hour shift could easily yield tremendous productivity without infringing on the rights of workers. While that may have been favorable at the time, the workforce looks much different today with many jobs relying more on creativity and problem-solving to be done well. These more intellectually-stimulating skills may not necessarily thrive when employees are forced to sit in an office and work for eight hours straight.

Most people would likely agree that your best ideas never come to you when you want them to. Oftentimes they pop into your head when you least expect it, and the quantity of time spent at work isn’t really going to change that. If an employee has the freedom to work when inspiration strikes, it’s likely that they will produce a much higher quality output.

In the end, every company – and each individual working for them – is different. For some organizations the eight-hour workday is the most optimal situation, or even the only option in industries like healthcare and hospitality. And for some people who desire structure, the traditional nine to five might work best for them regardless of the type of business they work for. It’s important to at least be open to it, as your company and workers could potentially benefit in spades.

Does your company offer flexible work schedules or are you considering implementing them? Please let us know below!

Dealing with Jealous Feelings in the Workplace

Anyone who has felt even a hint of jealousy – and most of us have – knows that it’s like a curse. The moment it takes hold, it doesn’t hesitate to create a toxic work environment filled with resentment and hostility. But as a natural human emotion, that’s unavoidable, right? Not necessarily – if you become afflicted with feelings of jealousy due to a fellow employee obtaining success you think you deserve, there are steps you can take and strategies you can use to vanquish it, or at least shift things in a more positive direction.

One of the worst things about jealousy is the sheer amount of mental energy that gets wasted because of it. Actions that emerge from jealous feelings like doing things out of spite or spending time sulking don’t just have a negative effect on your organization’s morale, they take up so much of your own time and energy that would be better spent elsewhere. If you’re feeling jealous of a coworker because they received a promotion over you or they seem to get praised more for their work, you can always choose productivity over negativity when it comes to how you react to the situation. One healthy reaction is taking the opportunity to analyze why you feel the way you do. Breaking things down may help you realize that whatever accolades you are jealous of actually make sense given the situation and don’t necessarily call for jealousy. Let’s say a coworker who has been at the company just as long as you have receives a promotion before you do, and are now higher up the ranks even though you’ve been working there the same amount of time. While your gut reaction may be to assume that management thinks your counterpart is better than you or has more inherent value as an employee, that may not be the case at all. It might just be that the job opening was more closely attuned to their specific duties, and your chance for growth will come later when a similar opportunity arises that you are a better fit for.

Even if you come to the conclusion that a coworker you are jealous of is having more triumphs come their way because there are things you can improve on, you can still respond in a manner that is positive and proactive without dwelling on your shortcomings. Use it as an opportunity to grow as a professional – communicate with your managers about opportunities for career development and what changes you can make to perform your job more effectively. Communication is equally important in the event that your jealousy is completely valid and someone is being given more recognition for unfair reasons like favoritism. Allocating your energy toward voicing these concerns to management as opposed to keeping quiet and stewing in anger is tremendously beneficial for yourself and your organization. Hopefully, it will influence your managers to rethink the grounds by which they reward employees, creating a more fair-minded environment for yourself and your coworkers.

Jealousy happens. At the end of the day, we’re all human and we can’t stop ourselves from experiencing these feelings every once in a while. We can manage them, however, and work toward a more positive outcome. The most important thing to remember is that your coworkers are your teammates, not your competitors.

Ever dealt with jealousy at work? Feel free to share your experiences.

The Future of HR: Expected Top Trends of 2019

As we reflect on 2018, there’s no doubt that the last year brought a lot to the table when it came to innovating HR methods and the business world in general. We saw changes implemented to improve the work-life balance of employees, a higher emphasis on diversity and inclusion, and increased applications for more than a few technological advancements that allowed businesses to function more efficiently, to name just a few. But as we begin the final year of the decade, it’s time to build on the past and look ahead to what will be HR’s biggest focus points in 2019.

Increased Consolidation of Work and Life

In the past few years, we’ve already seen companies instituting changes that allow employees to import more and more aspects of their personal lives into their place of work, like focusing on self-care during work hours or even encouraging people to bring their pets into work. The inverse is true as well; not only are more personal activities being done at work, more work-related activated are being done at home. Since a better work-life balance leads to reduced stress which leads to higher quality work performance, it’s fortunate that we can expect to see this trend continue with even more employee flexibility in 2019.

Enhanced Applicability of Artificial Intelligence

Although artificial intelligence is only just starting to make its mark as a relevant part of the workforce, it’s expected to start taking shape even more in 2019. AI will further increase efficiency across departments including human resources by streamlining various HR processes like scheduling and hiring. Not to worry though – it is not projected that AI technology will replace human workers anytime soon. To quote a tweet from Tesla CEO Elon Musk, “Humans are underrated”; AI will only make humans do their jobs more efficiently and effectively.

Higher Focus on Employee Engagement

In our last post, we discussed the importance of employee engagement and how to identify and deal with emotionally detached employees. High employee engagement generates benefits on multiple fronts including increased morale, a greater quality of work, and decreased turnover rate. In 2019, many companies will be taking what we’ve learned about the significance of employee engagement in the last several years and putting it to good use, spending more time and energy on employee engagement practices than ever before. Business solutions company G2 Crowd has projected that companies will spend 45 percent more on employee engagement in 2019 than in previous years, which will have a tremendous positive impact on the workforce.

Spotlight on Diversity and Inclusion

Of all the emerging trends of 2019, diversity and inclusion will likely be the most significant, and rightfully so – having a wider array of backgrounds and perspectives is essential to the success of any company. Changes will be instituted to eliminate bias during the hiring process, and organizations will be encouraged to pay more attention to the level of diversity in their working population through detailed analysis. A higher emphasis will also be placed on educating and informing about the importance of diversity through internal training programs and a number of emerging conferences that focus specifically on diversity and inclusion.

Although change is never easy, it’s hard not to feel positive about a lot of the expected trends coming this year. These changes won’t only provide countless benefits for organizations everywhere, but more importantly, the people behind them. Thanks for reading – please feel free to share your thoughts on this year’s upcoming trends.

Identifying and Managing Emotionally Detached Employees

Have you ever felt emotionally detached from your work? If you said yes you’re certainly not alone, and if you said no… please leave a comment telling us what your secret is. Whether it’s due to sleep deprivation, being overworked, or something crazy going on in our personal lives, most of us have days when we just don’t feel like ourselves. While that’s perfectly normal, it’s when employee disengagement shifts from a temporary to a consistent basis that it becomes a problem for your company’s productivity level and turnover rate. Although engagement is not always easy to pinpoint, there are various telltale signs that an employee just isn’t feeling it anymore, as well as steps to be taken to reverse the issue.

One obvious red flag concerns lines of communication and behaviors surrounding them. When a staff member is quiet during meetings, it’s easy to assume that that they just didn’t have anything relevant to say. However, if suddenly mum’s the word for someone who is normally vocally present, it’s likely that they would much rather be somewhere else. The same can be said when once-responsive employees stop replying to e-mails or partaking in work-related discussions with their colleagues. Unsurprisingly, the best way to deal with an employee who isn’t communicating is to, well, communicate with them about it. Even if you think it’s probably nothing, it never hurts to reach out and make sure everything is okay, and if not, have a discussion to determine the source of the dilemma.

While verbal distance is a big warning sign, literal distance is an even bigger one – as in an employee not being at work. When a staff member calls out, no one ever wants to believe it’s simply because they don’t want to be there. We all want to give our workers the benefit of the doubt, and besides, things do happen – people get sick, family matters arise, an employee’s favorite rock band comes to town, you know, priorities. But when these call-outs become a little too regular for comfort or they occur in conjunction with other common disengagement signals, it may be time to sit down and have a candid conversation with them about how they are feeling about their work.

Another major indicator is attitude. When a once wide-eyed, optimistic, and energetic employee now seems to always present as cranky and apathetic (or in Sesame Street terms, when Elmo turns into Oscar the Grouch), what do you do? You could sweep it under the rug and assume that whatever’s bothering them will eventually resolve itself, but if you wait too long you run the risk of losing a valuable employee. It’s important to take action as soon as you notice these negative behaviors – talking with them and their supervisors is a great first step as the problem could be something as simple as them being overworked, which can be easily adjusted.

The last and probably most glaring sign of an employee’s emotional detachment lies within the work itself. If someone who was at one time known for being vigilant, detail-oriented, and having high standards commences a new pattern of completing assignments late, putting less care into projects resulting in noticeable slips in quality, or blowing off tasks altogether, you know something is wrong. The sooner you speak to the employee about this issue the better, so you can help him or her get back on track as soon as possible.

From personal problems to burnout from being overworked, there are a lot of reasons why an employee might become emotionally detached from their job. Taking the initiative by opening a dialogue with them is the key to gaining insight on the root cause of the issue and determining what can be done to make them feel motivated and engaged again. You never know what kind of personal battles your workers are fighting, so it’s always helpful to apply a compassionate, patient, and honest approach – doing so won’t only reflect well on your businesses’ success, but more importantly, the morale and wellness of the individual and the employees around them.

Thanks for reading, please feel free to share your thoughts and experiences on employee engagement.