Building Loyalty Among Your Workforce

August 28th, 2015

Do your employees show up and do what’s expected? Or do they go beyond your expectations to drive projects to success and make customers happy? You need the second type of employee if your organization is really going to thrive. To get that kind of performance, your employees need to see their work as more than just a job—they need to see themselves in the organization and feel that its success is their success. That kind of loyalty doesn’t just happen. Here are four tips to help your business proactively build loyalty among its employees.

Hire the Right Workers

If you hire an employee whose values don’t mesh with those of the organization, they’ll never really fit in and you’ll never get their loyalty. Some developers want to always work with the latest and greatest technology. If your business values stability in its product line and introduces new technology slowly, they’ll quickly become frustrated and move on. You also should consider whether the potential hire has a history of changing jobs frequently. That’s a clear sign they don’t hold being loyal to their employer as a key value.

Invest in Your Employees

If employees see you bring in outside workers every time a new skill is needed, they will feel you don’t value their development. Similarly, if every time a management opportunity opens up, you fill it from outside, they’ll think there’s no viable career path within the company. On the other hand, if you train workers in new skills—technical, interpersonal, and managerial—and promote from within, employees will see that the company values their abilities and experience.

Let Your Employees Do Their Jobs

A large part of loyalty is a two-way street of respect. When employees are micromanaged, they feel you don’t trust them to do their jobs. Instead, make sure employees know what you expect, give them the tools, and step out of their way.

Demonstrate Clear Leadership

It’s hard to be loyal to an organization when it isn’t clear what it stands for. The company’s management needs to demonstrate that they know what they’re doing. Share the company’s plan for growth and success with employees so they see where their contributions fit in. For people to treat work as more than just a means to a paycheck, they need to understand what the real goal is. Provide an inspirational vision the company and its employees will work towards together.

 

If you’re looking to hire top talent, reach out to the experienced staffing professionals at InReach IT Solutions today!

Streamlining the Onboarding Process for Your New Hires

August 21st, 2015

Picture two employees’ first day on the job. Employee A walks in the door at Company X and is shown where they sit, but they can’t login to their computer, they aren’t given any project documentation, and they sit accessing Facebook from their phone all day. Employee B is welcomed to their desk at Company Z. Not only can they log into their computer, the access they need to different software packages is enabled. They are given product documentation to read, and the team lead sits with them to discuss the project and their first assignment. Employee B goes home excited about the work they’re doing; Employee A goes home wondering why they were hired in the first place. It’s also clear that Company Z will start getting value from their new employee sooner than Company X. Plan for your new hires’ first days so you can be more like Company Z.

  1. Make sure you have the work station the employee will be using ready for them when they show up. The computers, phone, and other technical equipment the employee needs should be available and connected.
  1. Set up accounts in advance. Create the new employee’s logins in advance. includes accounts needed to login to their PC as well as creating their email account and accounts for any special software they will need.
  1. Prepare a project overview. The employee can’t make a contribution if they don’t understand the business and the project. Pull together any existing documentation. Don’t just leave it for them to read through; walk through it and be prepared to answer questions.
  1. Prepare their first assignment. You want your new worker to work, right? Get together the details of their first assignment. This means you need to be able to explain to them the problem to be solved, the tools your company provides for solving it, and the process you use.
  1. Make sure they meet the team. It’s important new employees get to know the other members of their team, so schedule time for a round of introductions. If someone can take the new employee out to lunch, that’s a good way to make sure some socializing and personal interactions happen.
  1. Designate a main contact. It’s typical that the hiring manager is not the best person to answer the new employee’s questions. You may be too busy; you may not be involved at the detail level. Make sure the new employee knows who they should turn to for help.
  1. Check in to see how it’s going. Onboarding doesn’t end when the employee says goodbye at the end of day one. Make sure you touch base with them throughout the first week and month to make sure they’re settling in and getting comfortable with the work. If there are any problems, resolve them as early as possible. The last thing either you or the employee wants is for them to quit before they’ve really gotten started.

For more management tips, read our related blog posts or contact our experienced staffing team at InReach IT Solutions today!

Avoidable Reasons Employees Fail

August 14th, 2015

And How to Overcome These!

Terminating an employee can be traumatic, for the employee, the manager, and the remaining co-workers. Besides the emotional impact, there’s a financial impact as being short-staffed causes projects to fall behind and keeps firms from accepting new work, plus all the costs of having to recruit and train a replacement worker. Even worse, the reasons employees fail at work are often avoidable. It’s far better for companies to work with employees to overcome these issues than to stop trying to make the situation work out.

Employees Lack Proper Tools

Some employees will succeed despite lacking tools. Others will struggle. Many companies try to save money by not purchasing licenses for useful software development packages. The result is that code takes longer to write or isn’t thoroughly tested. It looks like the developer isn’t competent; in reality, they’re simply handicapped by their development environment.

Employees Lack Training

Similarly, some employers don’t invest in training employees, seeing a few days at a course as a few days not working on the project. As a result, employees are left to figure out development methodologies and development tools on their own, sometimes taking days to resolve a problem that would have been quickly solved if they were trained previously.

Management Doesn’t Provide Direction

If management doesn’t set clear priorities, employees are left to figure out where to focus their efforts. They may work on the most important problem; they may not. Even when management communicates priorities, if those priorities change frequently, employees may flail about, unable to stay focused on any project long enough to complete it well.

Management Doesn’t Listen

While managers need to give direction at the outset, managers also need to listen to their employees. There will always be questions about what needs to be done, and suggestions about changes to the project. If management is too busy to respond to employees, they are forced to either follow the original instructions, which may not be appropriate, or make their best guess as to what should be done, which may not be accurate.

A careful recruiting process will bring good people into your business, but you need to continue to support them once they’re working for you to achieve success. Contact InReach IT Solutions to find out how we can help you find great IT staff.

Overcoming the “Perfect Hire” Mentality

August 7th, 2015

It’s natural to want to find the “perfect hire” to fill an open position. Finding someone who can handle all the job’s responsibilities expertly on day one, without needing any training, is the ultimate dream for many managers. The costs of an imperfect employee can seem scary: training them, supervising them, and potentially terminating them if it doesn’t work out in the end. It’s easy to hold out for the perfect hire without recognizing the costs of an unfilled position: delayed projects and missed deadlines mean lost revenue, plus additional stress and lost morale on the other employees. Instead of holding out for the perfect hire, employers should look for good-enough candidates who have the potential to grow into excellent workers.

Skills

In technical projects, managers often want to hire candidates who have expertise in multiple technologies, including specific open source or vendor products. It’s unlikely many interviewees will have familiarity with every component the company uses. It’s also not really necessary. Technical employees who have a strong understanding of the underlying principles of a technical area will be able to quickly pick up details of vendor implementations. Unless the position requires working only with a single product which has specific issues that need to be resolved, developers who’ve worked with other products in the same technical domain are likely to be good enough for the job.

Education

When companies work with recruiters, they often specify a minimum level of education and training, including certification in numerous technologies. Over-reliance on this criterion can lead to missing good candidates. There are multiple certifying organizations in many technical areas, so providing a full list of acceptable certifications can be difficult. It’s also common that candidates who have real-world experience don’t bother getting certified, assuming their experience will speak for itself, while those who are certified have book knowledge but no actual experience with the technology. Overemphasizing credentials may mean missing out on potential workers with good-enough knowledge to get the job done.

Commitment

With the economy and work environment the way they are today, companies are unlikely to find workers who will make a long-term commitment to a business. Of course, no candidate is going to state in an interview that they plan to move on quickly. Use the candidate’s work history to gauge their average tenure in a position. If their average length of time with a company is longer than it will take to get your project through its next major deliverable, this may be good enough for their contribution to outweigh the cost of finding a replacement.

InReach IT Solutions can help you find your next employee — maybe even the perfect hire. Contact us today to learn about our hiring solutions.