Author Archives: Dan Weaver

Location-Based Pay: An Evolving Philosophy

In the era before working remotely was popular, paying workers based on their location was a relatively simple and rarely-contested issue. Adjust employee salaries while taking into account what’s necessary to pay expenses in the area where they live – easy, right?

Well now in the age of COVID-19, we’re beginning to learn that things aren’t so simple anymore. With a vast increase in remote work in the name of safety, both employees and employers are finding themselves with a new range of options. Many employers now have the ability to expand their search for candidates beyond the company’s location, and many employees no longer need to limit their job search to what’s within a commutable distance. With this ever-evolving situation, many are starting to question the older, once-commonly accepted philosophies regarding location-based pay. When an employee lives hundreds of miles away (or more) from the company they work for, do you pay them based on where they are located, or where the company is located?

A recent poll by the Compensation Analyst Academy attempted to shed some light on this by reaching out to Human Resources and Compensation professionals to gauge their opinions on the matter. The results yielded a 65/35 split, with the majority of respondents voting in favor of paying employees based on the location in which they live. So, while it appears the majority still believes in the original methods, it would seem that they are not as widely accepted as they once were.

This idea has been reinforced by the revelation that several large, prominent organizations like Zillow and Reddit have come forward and announced that they will not adjust salaries for remote workers who choose to move to lower-cost locations, challenging the old philosophy. Meanwhile, other big companies like Facebook and Google will indeed lower salaries for remote workers who relocate to a less expensive area than where the company is located.

So, which method will work best for your company and remote employees? While scaling salaries down based on employee location is logical and makes financial sense, more people are subscribing to the belief that it could have a negative impact on employee retention and morale for remote workers, as it can seem unfair that they are being paid less for doing the same level of work as those who live closer to the company. Additionally, receiving a pay cut is never viewed positively regardless of the reason behind it. On the flipside, however, keeping their salaries the same has the potential to discourage employees who still work in the office or within the vicinity of the company, as their pay will not be as valuable as their remote counterparts living in lower-cost locations.

At the end of the day, each company is different, and you need to do what’s best for your organization, workforce, and culture. If you need assistance determining how to optimally pay your employees, feel free to reach out to us – we are happy to help.

Benefits of Professional Certifications

You may have seen them before, following the names of some of your LinkedIn connections – a comma accompanied by a denomination of some sort. You likely already know that these designations represent certifications that a professional earns after completing a standardized training program in their field – but are they worth it? They absolutely are, and you should think about participating in a certification program so you can add one to your name too.

It may not seem like much, but those letters signify that you possess the knowledge and skills necessary to perform your job well, and more importantly, that you have the ambition and drive to learn and grow. With that comes numerous benefits for advancing your career.

Enhance Your Knowledge

If you were to ask those who are successful in their career how to prosper in their field, most would advise that it’s important to always be learning – but what if you don’t know where to start? It’s normal to occasionally feel lost at your job, and certification programs can provide a structural foundation of knowledge that can give you the skills to stand out, thrive, and feel confident at work.

Career Growth

In today’s increasingly competitive job market, you need every advantage you can get. If you’re looking for a new job or hoping to get that promotion, there’s no better way to give yourself an edge than with a professional certification.

Higher Income

Whether you work for a large organization or are an independent business owner, you can always count on certifications as a great way to stand out from your colleagues or competitors. Proving via designation that you’ve learned the skills necessary to do the job right no doubt has the potential to assist considerably in negotiating a higher salary or winning over more clients.

Helps the Entire Organization

If you work in HR or are in a leadership position, you may want to encourage other members of your company to earn a professional certification in addition to pursuing one yourself. Employees appreciate when their workplace invests in their career growth, and more people in your workforce completing certification programs will yield better performance.

Provides Networking Opportunities

Networking has always been an invaluable aid for career growth, and certification programs provide just that. When participating in these programs, you will be learning alongside like-minded professionals with whom you can share knowledge and ideas, as well as other mutually beneficial elements. The trainers running these programs can often be helpful to have in your network as well.

Now you may be asking yourself – aren’t these certifications a major time commitment? And even worse, what about the dreaded test? Well if you’re a Compensation professional, an HR professional who wants to learn more about Compensation, or just looking to make a new career move, you’re in luck. Our affiliate, the Compensation Analyst Academy offers a fully remote certification program that can be completed in less than a week if you choose. And even better? No test. You read that right – no test is required for certification.

View upcoming trainings and register here.

Minimizing Risks Associated with Vaccine Mandates

Vaccine mandates in the workplace have been a hot topic for quite some time now, and the recent news that the Pfizer vaccine has been approved by the FDA (with Moderna expected to follow) has added a new level of perspective to the conversation. While many companies have already started requiring vaccines for their employees, it is anticipated that even more will follow suit as a result of this new development.

You don’t have to look too far to see that this is a polarizing issue – simply turn on the news or open any social media page and you’re bound to witness a flurry of debates surrounding the moral and legal dilemmas that come along with requiring (or not requiring) vaccines for employees and/or citizens. It’s strikingly similar to the conversations we’ve seen regarding wearing masks – but accompanied by even stronger opinions. While some argue that requiring vaccines in the workplace is necessary for keeping employees, their families, and the rest of the community safe, some believe that doing so is a direct violation of privacy, legal rights, and personal safety.

Because of these clear differences of opinion, it’s understandable that employers might be wary about evolving their vaccination policy from a simple request to a full-on mandate, even in light of the FDA’s approval. Although there may be concerns regarding a mandate’s effect on employee morale and turnover as well as potential legal issues, there are several points you can include that can help minimize the risk of unfortunate outcomes should you choose to take this route.

Clearly Define Reasoning

When designing your vaccine mandate, it’s important to include the organization’s logic behind it. Doing so serves to clear up any confusion as to why it’s being put in place, and can reduce anxiety employees may have over getting the shot. Clearly explain the impact it will have on employee safety and include facts about the effectiveness of the vaccine. Even going so far as to describe the extensive measures the FDA had to take in order to grant approval could help sway an employee who is on the fence.

Compensate for Time

It’s vital to explain in the mandate that employees will be paid for their time spent getting the vaccine during work hours. Not only is this required by federal law, it can also assist in incentivizing employees who may feel inconvenienced or worry that their pay will be negatively impacted by the time spent waiting to receive the vaccine. It may even be wise to take this a step further and provide a few days of paid time off – this point comes all the way from the top, with President Biden urging companies to provide PTO for employees getting the vaccine, even offering a paid leave tax credit to make it easier for organizations to administer this benefit. Everyone loves time off, and it will give employees a chance to recover after being vaccinated if they need it.

Offer Reasonable Accommodations

Even though the vaccine will be mandatory should employers choose to utilize this type of policy, there can still be exceptions for employees who meet certain criteria which should be clearly defined. These exemptions could be of a medical nature, in which an employee has a medical condition that could cause the inoculation to be dangerous for them. Employees citing religious reasons for opting out of the vaccine is also permissible. Be sure to explain what employees should do and who they should communicate with in order to make these exemptions known.

Promote Confidentiality and Third-Party Communication

A key factor to consider in order to make employees feel secure while avoiding legal problems when drafting your vaccination policy is to have strict confidentiality rules that are clearly stated. Make it known that no personal information surrounding vaccination records will be shared. Also make it clear that all relevant communications will go through Human Resources, so that employees won’t feel pressured to share personal information with their bosses or coworkers.

We are living in uncertain times, and sometimes it’s hard to determine which move is the right one. But if you choose to implement a mandatory vaccination policy for the safety of your employees, be sure to take the necessary steps to ensure it produces a positive outcome. 

How to Make Work Meetings Work Well

Meetings. The word alone is sure to induce groans, eye-rolling, and collective facepalms from both employees and managers alike. While meetings may not be a crowd favorite, their importance for improving and maintaining communication, productivity, and employee engagement can’t be denied – but only if they’re done right. With the right approach, you can ensure that your work meetings are a benefit to your organization, and not a detriment.

Preparedness is Key

If improv is your thing, it’s best to save those skills for the stage, not the conference room. Going into a meeting without preparing yourself and your employees with materials and a clear agenda is the perfect recipe for an unproductive meeting. Always provide attendees with relevant handouts and information plenty of time in advance, at least one full day if possible. This ensures that everyone is on the same page concerning the purpose of the meeting, and provides ample time for participants to prepare. As the meeting leader, always have a solid plan for how the meeting is going to be run, and take plenty of time for yourself to prepare as well.

Don’t Force Unnecessary Meetings

Constant, mandatory meetings, or what I like to call “meeting mania”, may seem like the right move in order to keep everyone on the same page and improve workflow. However, it can actually have the reverse effect on productivity and morale. Employees who are compelled to attend meetings that never really needed to happen in the first place will not only be less productive as a result of the time wasted in the meeting, but they will also resent the fact that their productivity was negatively impacted. In addition, the less meetings an employee is expected to attend, the more valuable each meeting will be for them, encouraging them to make the most of their time communicating with the group and staying engaged.

So, how do you protect your company from developing a culture in which meeting mania is the norm? Before scheduling a meeting, it’s always important to ask yourself: what is the objective of this meeting? Is a meeting truly necessary in order to meet this objective? Are there simpler, more time-efficient methods in which these objectives can be met without interrupting workflow, like an e-mail or a quick one-on-one conversation? If you are able to determine that a meeting is not necessary based on these questions, there is no shame in letting that meeting slide.

Keep Employees Engaged

Remember – meetings are meant to be meetings, not monologues. While it’s important to present relevant information to the group, it should never be a one-way conversation unless you want to witness a chorus of yawns among a sea of disengaged employees. Keeping attendees engaged is especially vital during the age of COVID, when virtual meetings are still common – nothing is stopping an employee from getting distracted from their computer or even taking a nice clandestine powernap during the meeting (after hitting the mute button to hide their snores, of course).  The best way to remedy this is by keeping attendees involved by asking for their opinions and ideas, encouraging them to ask questions often, and promoting relevant discussions among the group. The key word here is relevant – don’t be afraid to keep the conversation on topic if discussions stray from the focal point of the meeting, or if they begin to go around in circles – the bane of existence for many meetings.

It’s important to note that everything mentioned above can be made significantly easier if you focus on smaller meetings, in which each participant is guaranteed to provide value to the discussion. While it may seem like this can only work for small companies, this idea has been condoned by Elon Musk. If it works for Tesla, it can work for you.

Practice Proper Post-Meeting Patterns

Ah yes, the four P’s – without them, all the time spent in meetings could be rendered useless. If you neglect to take the right steps even after the show’s over, even highly successful meetings could potentially become a waste of time for you and your employees. You can’t always expect all in attendance to just take what was said and run with it simply because the meeting has ended. In order to solidify the meeting’s impact, it’s imperative that attendees receive a summary as soon as possible, while all of the relevant ideas and assignments are still fresh – never more than a full day beyond the meeting. Consistent check-ins are also recommended to ensure that tasks and objectives set are being acted on.

When it comes to favorite workplace traditions, meetings may not always be at the top of the list. If you implement the right strategies, however, the conference room may just become the most valuable room in the office.

It’s Time to Embrace the “Human” in Human Resources Again

2020 taught us a lot – on multiple levels.

For one thing, all of this new free time the majority of us had been granted while in quarantine provided ample opportunity to spend time learning new skills. Maybe you finally learned how to play that guitar that’s been gathering dust for years, or how to meditate in order to deal with the stress that tends to accompany a global pandemic, flagrant social injustices, and civil unrest. Perhaps you focused more on your professional development, picking up new competencies that would better your career.

Aside from individual self-improvement, I don’t think many would disagree that 2020 gave us a lot to think about concerning humanity as a whole. Were there aspects of the past year and a half which would cause one to be justified in questioning their faith in humanity? I won’t sugarcoat things – absolutely. Although it’s easy to focus only on the negatives, if you consider the more positive aspects such as the outpouring of support seen in communities around the world, massive crowdsourcing to help those in need, and other uplifting stories to come out of these times, it is this humble blogger’s opinion that while there is still work to be done and the negatives are still there for us to learn from, we pretty much came out on top.

So, what does this mean for HR? People are back in style.

2020’s increased spotlight on how much we depend on other people, as well as our understanding of people and what’s important, translates into the workplace as well. 2021 has seen – and will continue to see moving forward – a renewed emphasis on the human element. This will take the form of many focal points in the workplace including diversity, inclusion and equity (DEI), resilience, agility, flexible work schedules, employee health, safe work environments, and compliance. A lot of big words, but it all boils down to one truth – the future is looking bright for work, and the world.

To say 2020-21 has been a real whirlwind of a time that has relentlessly tested humanity would be an understatement. However, I believe that we can now confidently say that hope is on the horizon and we are slated to come out of this better than ever.

Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to stay positive.

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.