Archive for the ‘WorkPlace Culture’ Category

5 Ideas for Boosting Employee Engagement

Boosting Employee EngagementThe last few years have been a game changer for employers and employees alike, making boosting employee engagement a big priority.

It started with the Pandemic, which showed people that a lot of jobs could be performed just as well remotely as in person.

Soon after that came the Great Resignation, which saw a 20-year high for employees quitting their jobs, often as a result of poor treatment or-low wages.

Next, there was “quiet quitting” – employees  putting in only the bare minimum effort, rather than striving to excel.

The fact is, more employees than ever are realizing that their only motivation for work is the paycheck. Plenty of other companies would pay them just as much or more, so why go the extra mile for an organization that wouldn’t go the extra mile for them?

In this new employment landscape, if you want to keep your employees engaged and motivated, you need to show them why your organization is worth their loyalty – as more than just the signer of their checks. To get them to stick around, and to excel in their productivity, you need to foster a genuine sense of belonging.

Here are a few ways you can make boosting employee engagement work in your environment.

Ways to Boost Employee Engagement

  • Make It About Values. What does your company stand for? Are you committed to lowering your carbon footprint? Do you sponsor programs that benefit your local community? Engage your key employees in establishing your corporate values; then let your employees know what your company values are and what you’re doing in support of those values. Then, offer volunteer opportunities and other ways employees can support those values too. If you can engage them on issues they care about, it makes your company feel like it’s worth caring about as well. And in working for you, they can feel like they’re helping make the world a better place.
  • Call Out Good Work. Most managers will call out an employee to reprimand them for a mistake or subpar performance. But many of those same managers do nothing when their employees do well. Praise is a much better motivator than criticism, and taking the time to recognize when an employee has done a good job makes them feel better about themselves, their work, and your company, and can make them more productive going forward.
  • Offer Career Advancement. This means more than just dangling the possibility of a promotion. Take an individual interest in your employees and find out what their goals are in your field. Then, work with them to help them achieve those goals. Offer to pay for their education or provide the training and tools required to build the skills they’re looking for. By investing in your employees now, it will pay dividends later.
  • Prioritize Wellbeing. Encourage your employees to prioritize their own mental, physical, and emotional health over the company’s needs. Don’t make them feel like if they stay home when they’re sick or take time for their family instead of their job, that they’re letting you down or their career is in jeopardy. Taking an interest in their wellbeing will both show that you care and help them perform better.
  • Foster Community. Keeping employees engaged means ensuring they get along and work well with their coworkers. Sponsoring team-building activities, retreats, and regular social events can help with this, as can encouraging collaboration and providing an environment where employees can bounce ideas off one another.

Employee engagement is a two-way street. The more you care about them, the more they care about you. If you take the extra time to help your employees and make life better for them, you’ll create loyal, motivated, productive workers who help drive your company and retain these engaged team members for years to come.

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Category: WorkPlace Culture

5 Ways to Adapt to Next-Gen Staffing

Zoomer WomanWhile baby boomers are retiring, zoomers are getting their first jobs. According to a report by Glassdoor (one of the biggest job search and company review platforms), zoomers will overtake the number of boomers in the workforce in 2024.

The workforce demographics are changing to new generations (next-gen) that have different expectations and values from older generations. To attract and retain top talent, your company policies must include the following five key elements:

1. Multi-generational knowledge exchange programs

Though generation gaps can’t be fully removed, they can be narrowed. To help build smooth working relationships among employees of various ages, your company can establish knowledge exchange programs wherein colleagues can share their expertise with one another. For example, zoomers can teach older generations how to communicate through various forms of media, while boomers can share their tried-and-tested leadership advice to Gen Xers and younger. There’s a lot of knowledge to go around if given the right avenues.

2. Flexible work arrangements

Different generations have different priorities, but all can benefit if your company offers more options beyond the traditional 9 to 5 office setup. Although boomers are used to that, they may want to work more flexibly in terms of hours and locations to help them transition to retirement. Gen Xers and older millennials want the same flexibility to give them the time to raise their children and take care of their aging parents. Younger millennials and zoomers also want the same thing so that they can pursue their personal interests or take on gig work.

3. Support for new technologies

Millennials and zoomers are comfortable with technology, so they expect companies they work for to give them access to the latest tools and platforms. Boomers and Gen Xers are less receptive to new technology, but they’re aware of the convenience and efficiency it can deliver, so they’re willing to adapt as long as they get the right support. Your company should provide comprehensive training to help them adopt new technology and make them feel comfortable using it alongside younger employees.

4. Enhanced rewards and recognition program

A competitive compensation package is appealing to most employees regardless of age, but rewards and recognition work best when personalized according to what they want. Millennials and zoomers appreciate non-tangible benefits such as additional days off, wellness programs, personal development opportunities, and similar rewards that facilitate work-life balance. Gen Xers and boomers want tangible benefits such as bonuses, salary increases, and gift cards for a job well done. For best results, your company can offer a menu of various rewards to your employees so that they can make the choice themselves.

5. Well-defined career path

Younger employees tend to stay at a company for two years or so before moving on to the next opportunity. But they don’t change jobs just for the sake of changing; they do it in search of better pay and experience. If your company can offer growth both in terms of pay and role to your millennial and zoomer employees, they will stay — maybe not up to retirement, but at least longer than one or two years. On the other hand, older employees choose job security, so they tend to stick around, but a long tenure doesn’t equate to job satisfaction. Gen Xers and boomers also need a clear direction in their careers to remain effective in their roles.

The workforce landscape is changing fast, but your company can keep up if your policies are inclusive enough to accommodate diverse employees. More importantly, listen to what your employees have to say. They’re your best source of information about these matters.

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Category: WorkPlace Culture

How Does Marijuana Use Affect Employee Productivity?

A woman smokes marijuana.A couple of decades back, being in possession of cannabis would land you in big trouble. That’s because the substance was classified as a schedule 1 drug alongside other drugs like heroin and LSD. The general perception was that using marijuana has negative side effects and was a gateway drug to other stronger substances.

However, there has been more research looking at the effects of cannabis in different regards. Countless studies highlighted the positive effects of marijuana use. These include ameliorating pain, nausea, PTSD, cancer, glaucoma, and much more. Consequently, this led to significant changes in how the drug is perceived.

Over the last few years, marijuana has been legalized for medical and recreational use and is quickly becoming one of the most used drugs in the United States and many other countries. This change of perception and widespread use means someone (maybe many people) you know is likely using marijuana, either for medical or recreational purposes.

Marijuana legalization and the workforce

According to a study published in the Society Human Resource Management Journal, over two-thirds of the workforce is in favor of marijuana legalization and use. This clashes with the current employers’ drug test that screens for various substances, including cannabis.

With the cannabis legalization trend on the rise, new policies are needed to monitor what substances should be included in a drug test. Currently, employees with authorized medical marijuana use are exempt from the ramifications of testing positive for the drug test.

What effect does marijuana have on your staff? 

Marijuana is classified as a drug as it has physiological effects when ingested. Consequently, any employee regularly using cannabis or cannabinoid products will experience these effects. Some of the notable physiological effects of marijuana use are:

  • Reduces pains and aches
  • Alleviates nausea and vomiting
  • Causes short-term memory problems
  • Slows reaction time
  • Relaxes the body and mind
  • Reduces stress and anxiety

While research on how marijuana affects you have greatly progressed, there are still challenges to conducting these studies and research. As such, many employers have internal policies on marijuana use. Some professions are arguably more tolerant of marijuana use compared to others.

In many cases, modern jobs like those in the tech industry are more tolerant of cannabis use compared to traditional jobs. The generational shift of the workforce to include a younger workforce will likely influence the future of marijuana use in the future.

Does cannabis use affect employee output? 

An employer’s bottom line is driven by having a productive workforce. Employers who view marijuana use as a deterrent either discourage the use or create policies to prohibit use. At the federal level, marijuana is still an illegal drug. Many employers set in-house policies to manage the use and perception of marijuana.

General studies reveal marijuana can have a negative effect on aspects like short-term memory and attention span. Admittedly, additional studies are needed to shed more light on the effects of marijuana use. As such, most employers will stick to setting internal guidelines.

Should a company continue to not hire, or terminate an employee who is a cannabis user?

In the past, failing a drug test for cannabis meant termination for many employees. This may no longer be appropriate for many companies. In this author’s opinion, most companies shouldn’t be terminating people because they use cannabis outside of work. But, if they come to work high, you should consider sending them home with a warning. If they do it more than once, you might have more severe consequences, including termination. Of course, there might be certain industries and job functions that need to enforce strict restrictions on the use of cannabis. We’re not suggesting they change. But for most jobs, employers may want to rethink their policies.

As seen above, marijuana use and legalization are rising trends and the perception of cannabis use is gradually shifting. This implies current and future generations are much more likely to be using cannabinoid products. With more states legalizing marijuana use, employers need to address how to tackle the issue.

This article is brought to you by COMPackage, the leader in DIY total compensation reports. Help your recruiting and retention efforts by clearly showing your employees and recruits the total package you offer.



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Category: WorkPlace Culture

Quiet Quitting – What Are You Doing About It?

Empty Desk - Quiet QuittingSince the start of the pandemic, much has been written and said about The Great Resignation. Amidst this conversation, a new term has emerged and is dominating on social media: Quiet Quitting. This term refers to employees exclusively performing the tasks they are paid for without taking on any additional responsibilities or engaging in extracurricular activities at work.

But what is it really? Is it a problem for the workforce, and should business managers be concerned about it? In this article, we will explore the concept even further to have a better understanding of this new concept. Let’s dive in.

What Is Quiet Quitting?

Contrary to its name, quiet quitting has no connection with resigning from your employment. It entails accomplishing nothing more than what is required of you by your employer. You still report to work, but you scrupulously adhere to the constraints imposed by your job description. This includes things like refusing to go to unnecessary meetings, turning down projects, refusing to answer the phone outside work hours, and much more.

While it differs in definition, it is motivated by many of the same underlying motives as genuine resignations. Millions of Americans had to endure a deadly pandemic, a poor economy, the eroding of our civil liberties, and the gradual dissolution of democracy. As a result, we have working-class people who are exhausted, overworked, and burned out, and are attempting to reclaim their agency and reject employment and working situations that are unfit for them.

Quiet quitting, which has grown in popularity as a reaction to pandemic-induced exhaustion, is undoubtedly becoming a trend. This is especially true among the younger workforce, who, in many ways, have experienced the worst of these unusual times.

Is Quiet Quitting a Problem for the American Workforce?

Quiet quitting might not seem like a problem initially, as your employees aren’t abandoning their primary duties. They’re just not willing to go above and beyond them. However, since most employers cannot adequately and fully describe most professions in a written job description or contract, they must rely on their staff to rise to the occasion and take on additional responsibilities. Therefore, it is no surprise that many leaders have reacted somewhat harshly to the trend.

Should You Be Worried as a Manager?

If you notice that an increasing number of your employees are quietly quitting, you should question whether it has something to do with yourself, your leadership qualities, or your direct reports. In either case, give your strategy for working with your team a critical evaluation. Start with this: Do you try to ensure that your employees feel valued and appreciated? Do you make efforts to support your staff in having a supportive work-life balance? Do you take for granted the work they do that is above and beyond? Is it time to sit down with each of your employees and have a frank conversation about their commitment to the job, and the company’s commitment to them.

The Reality of Quiet Quitting

Workers are being asked to put in more effort while receiving insufficient support from their employers. If this doesn’t change, this silent option of work dissociation is expected to gain popularity as the economy worsens and outright quitting becomes less realistic for many people.

One potential way to help ameliorate your employee’s relationship with your company is by showing how generous you are with benefits. Most employees don’t really understand the financial investment you make to their benefits – and, moreover, the dollar value these benefits have to the employees. Tools like total compensation reports from COMPackage make it very easy and cost effective to show employees what you are giving them above and beyond their base pay.

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Category: WorkPlace Culture

6 Effects of Covid-19 that Will Affect Companies for Years to Come

Covid in the workplace - masked workerCovid-19 caused a total shift in the corporate world and created trends bound to last into the future. Below are six effects of Covid-19 that you can expect to have a lingering impact on companies. As a business, understanding the implications of major events like the recent pandemic allows you to plan and adjust to the prevailing circumstance to ensure survival, growth, and relevance. Sticking to old ways may not work.

1. Hybrid Workplace

As part of the containment measures, most companies required employees to work from home to minimize the spread of the virus. The move made most companies (and employees) realize the benefits of remote work and acknowledge that employees can still be productive away from the office. It also came with cost savings for companies and flexibility in working hours and workplaces.

Since not all employees can work from home, companies created a hybrid workforce by adding flexibility to their working hours and allowing employees to work remotely in shifts. After implementing such measures during the pandemic, getting back to working entirely from the office will be a challenge.

2. Increased Digitization

With remote working, companies had to digitize their operations. They shifted from in-person to virtual meetings, which required companies to invest in digital conferencing tools like Microsoft Teams and Zoom. Also, the uptake of packages like Microsoft 365 increased as it comes with benefits like sync and the ability to access files remotely for home workers.

As more businesses move online the focus on cybersecurity also grows, with more companies investing in cloud services and tools like VPNs. Digital investment during the pandemic also means companies will continue adopting new digital solutions after realizing their effectiveness and security. This may also impact employment rates as companies can work effectively even with labor constraints.

3. Changing Consumer Behavior

Covid-19 caused changes in consumer behavior, resulting in a shift in demand for specific products and services. Consumers shopped more intentionally and consciously, with brand loyalty dropping. They also went online for goods and focused on buying locally.

Conscious shopping means less waste and choosing more sustainable options. With this in mind, brands that make sustainability a crucial offering are bound to enjoy the benefits in the future. Also, companies will have to invest in connecting with local consumers and tailor their offerings to meet local needs to stay relevant and prosper.

4. Increased E-Commerce

As people stayed home and social-distanced, consumers opted to shop online to avoid going to the store. E-commerce provided access to different products for consumers in the comfort of their homes. It has also ensured that companies continue operations despite Covid restrictions.

The convenience that e-commerce affords buyers means consumers will continue shopping online. Also, the sales incentives and lower business costs make it a possible alternative for brands seeking to benefit from an online presence. Companies that would otherwise shut down their physical stores in such a crisis can consider e-commerce to stay in operation in the future.

5. Resilience

Given the threats the pandemic posed to businesses, companies that survived the tumultuous era are likely to become more resilient. After adapting and overcoming the crisis through measures like better products and services and improved processes, many companies can handle future disruptors without crumbling. Also, the pandemic forced most businesses to put their best foot forward and change how they conduct their operations through digitalization and automation, improving productivity and efficiency.

6. Recruiting

The advent of an increased workforce means that companies are no longer limited to the pool of employees living near their offices. This opens up staff sourcing opportunities really wide for employers. This includes specialized workers that might be hard to find in your city. It also opens up the possibility of paying less for workers who reside in cities where the cost of living is much lower than your city (e.g., someone from a remote town in North Dakota being hired for a job in Manhattan can probably be paid a lot less than those living in or around Manhattan.

The Covid-19 pandemic had significant implications on business operations, and the above effects are likely to be around for much longer.

This article is brought to you by COMPackage, the leader in DIY total compensation reports. Help your recruiting and retention efforts by clearly showing your employees and recruits the total package you offer.

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Category: Total Compensation Report Software, WorkPlace Culture

4 Considerations to Get Staff to Return to the Office

Employees going back to the officeThe last couple of years have seen a paradigm shift in most workplaces. As a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, most employees had to work remotely. Fortunately, the restrictions caused by COVID-19 have been gradually easing.

Now, employees are slowly coming back to the office. But, just how easy is it for your employees to transition from remote working to be in the office? More importantly, what can employers do to ensure a smooth transition? Read on to learn how to smoothly get your employees back to the office.

How easy is the transition from remote to office working?

Some employers and top managers do not see a problem with the transition from working from home to moving back to the office. However, if you look at it from the employee’s point of view, you’ll realize why you need a transition plan. Essentially, your staff has been working from the comfort of their homes for a while now.

Working from home presents a new experience, and it will take time before the staff can get used to working from the office. There’s no definitive timeline or guideline on how long it will take. Since every workplace is unique, it may take your staff anywhere from a few days to weeks or even months.

What can employers do to ensure a smooth transition?

Admittedly, employers have a key role to play in creating a conducive work environment. Here are a few practical tips on what you can do.

1. Get feedback from your staff

As an employer, you may feel the entire burden of creating a smooth transition falls on you. However, it is important to remember you are dealing with the lives of other people. Taking some time to engage with your employees will make the transition process easier.

Basically, you want to ask your staff what works best for them and how you can improve the working space to match the experience they had. Take up these ideas and work on implementing them. For example, most people got used to dressing down. You can, for example, come up with a more lenient and accommodating dress code.

2. Consider changing the working hours

One of the most significant changes when working remotely is the freedom of working hours. Some employees got used to working at different hours of the day. Now that the staff is transitioning back to the office, perhaps you should reconsider changing when the staff can work.

Since most economies operate throughout the day and night, implementing better working hours could also open up new opportunities for your services and products. In addition, changing the working hours could positively affect productivity. Since everyone works when they are most productive, you may experience increased output.

3. Rearrange the working environment

Traditionally, offices were built without significant consideration for the staff. However, since your employees have gotten used to working in a conducive environment, getting back to the generic office setting may increase the transition period.

You can get ideas from your staff on what they would like to see in the new workspace environment. Some of the options to consider include a practical and functional break room with some nice amenities.

4. Give your staff ample time to adjust

As mentioned above, there’s no one definite time limit that your employees need to officially get back to the comfort of the office. This applies to both general workplaces and individual employees. Employers and managers should be understanding and let employees take their time and transition at their speeds.

Ultimately, it is important to recognize that getting back to the office comes with its own set of challenges. Taking time to understand what your employees need and what you can do to help will go a long way in creating a smooth transition. These steps will help you get the best from your employees and a creative work environment.

Improving the office experience is one way to help workers be comfortable in the office. Those considering changing to become freelancers would be well served by understanding their current situation better with total compensation reports. They might be surprised to learn that if they go off on their own, they will be giving up a lot of money in benefits they’ll need to provide themselves.


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Category: Reducing Employee Turnover, Total Compensation Report Software, WorkPlace Culture

Does Increasing Female Leadership Help Reduce Gender Bias in the Workplace?

Gender Bias in the workplaceGender bias and inequality in the workplace is something we’d like to think of as a thing of the past. In reality, that isn’t the case. This remains a significant issue today.

Every company should certainly make an effort to eliminate gender bias and inequality. Not only is this the right thing to do, but making a deliberate effort towards the same can help you attract and retain top talent.

Towards this end, there are several approaches a company can take. One such approach is by increasing female leadership in the following one or more of the ways.

1. Implementing a Gender-Neutral Recruitment Process

Review your entire recruitment process to eliminate any loopholes that would otherwise encourage gender bias. This starts with the language used in the job description when putting out job ads.

Indeed, some words commonly used in job descriptions have masculine connotations, which may put off women from applying for the advertised positions. “Competitive” is one such word; another is “rock-star” On the other hand, words such as “co-operation” and “collaboration” tend to attract women more.

The bottom line remains that you should be sure to inquisitively review your job postings and remove any gender-charged phrases, both masculine and feminine.

The next step is to ensure you standardize interviews and implement blind evaluation processes. Blind evaluation processes, such as neuroscientific tests, help to remove any bias from the recruitment process.

2. Support Women into Senior Roles

Big names across different industries have set gender targets. These companies break down targets by function and business lines. This means that the company sets out a certain number of seats on the senior management board for women and finds the most qualified women to fill these roles.

Of course, like men, all these women in senior positions should have clearly defined roles, and their performance gauged against set targets and required milestones. They should be held accountable for meeting these targets just like anyone else.

3. Actively Encourage Women to Progress

Ensure your female employees are applying for advertised promotions and asking for pay raises. Some companies have made a point of ensuring that line managers check if the high-potential women in their team have applied for these positions. If not, the line managers have a responsibility to find out why that is the case.

Actively encouraging it will get more women to apply for positions of progress. Line managers should make a point of doing follow-ups to ensure that more women apply, provided they are a good fit for the advertised positions.

4. Establishing Mentorship Programs

It isn’t enough to just encourage women at your workplace to apply for higher-paying and more senior roles. It’s best to provide the much-needed guidance and mentorship. And the higher up in the organization you are, the more widespread will be your effect.

Indeed, a solid mentorship program will help to diversify the work hierarchy. These programs give women in your organization the organizational knowledge, skills, and networks to be able to climb the corporate ladder.

Through these programs, you will be pairing the women in your organization with other women, or even men, who can impart to them the knowledge required to get to that promotion or power the transition to the next step.

Beyond Leadership

As highlighted, you can bridge gender inequality at the workplace by encouraging and increasing female leadership. In addition to encouraging more women to fill senior positions or positions of leadership in the organization, you will do well to review salaries and standardize pay. This will help bridge any gender pay gaps. With total compensation reports, you can show potential employees and recruits the total package you offer, which will, in turn, help your talent recruiting and retention offers.

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Category: Total Compensation Report Software, WorkPlace Culture

How Savvy Companies Are Winning the Battle for Talent

Recruiting Millennials As the economy continues to improve, the need for young skilled workers is rising. For many companies, the need for finding, hiring, and retaining workers can be challenging. Compound this by the changes in needs and expectations that Millennial and Gen Z workers have brought to the workplace, and you have the perfect storm.

Today, companies need to look beyond compensation when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent. You need to look at your corporate philosophy and culture. To win the battle for the top talent, you need to build a strong employer brand.

Here are a few ways savvy companies are winning the battle for talent.

Offer Clarity to Applicants about Your Company’s Core Values

When you have a clear set of defined values and are open and honest with applicants before and during interviews, both prospective hires and those doing the hiring will have a clear idea if they fit before actually working together.

The key is to make sure that the values you’re expressing are authentic. Imitating another businesses’ value set is a big mistake. If you haven’t already done so, take some time to spell out your company’s core values. Speak with your standout team members and ask them what keeps them around; you’ll likely begin to notice distinct patterns.

Once you’ve defined your core values, make sure you walk the walk! Live your values day-in and day-out. Many companies have a list of core values, but what matters is that they are grounded in behaviors. For example, if you say you’re committed to personal growth, but do not have a budget to pay for employees to take courses, your candidates will see right through it.

As past CEO of Pittsburgh’s leading advertising agency, and now President of this blog’s host,, we developed eight core values at my agency by pulling the management team together and throwing everything at the wall that represented any of their core values here. Then we asked the question: can we operate without this one, and that one. We came down to eight that we could not live without. That was after combining terms like honesty, truthfulness, integrity as one (Integrity). There were several like that. We probably started with over 50, and condensed it to eight. Then we came up with a term that the first letter of each spelled that term, and drilled “GOT RICE” into everyone’s minds, so that they could all probably today recite at least five out of eight of them… and that was over 20 years ago! Email me if you want to know what GOT RICE stands for. Or tell me, and I might send you a gift. J

What Today’s Talent is Looking For

Smart HR professionals are highlighting cultures that reflect the needs and expectations of Millennials and Gen Z workers. Beyond the basics of being a great place to work, what these newest members of the workforce are seeking are:

  • Work/Life Balance – While these workers are dedicated and hard-working, it’s important for companies to understand that they have a life outside of work. Policies like flex time, telecommuting, and the ability to donate time to causes they believe in are important differentiators that can help you attract talent.
  • A Strong Sense of Social Responsibility – Companies that are diverse in their hiring, support their local communities, and/or offer paid time off for employees to donate their time are attractive to potential hires. Millennials and Gen Z workers value businesses that are socially and environmentally responsible.
  • Safety and Respect in the Workplace – In a respectful workplace, employees are more engaged and productive. Treating your workers with respect can instill confidence and offer much-needed encouragement. Workers who feel safe and respected while at work, are more satisfied. Respect improves knowledge sharing and boosts the bottom line!
  • The Ability to Advance Their Career – While both Millennials and Gen Z prefer to work independently, both are looking for guidance. Mentorship programs where new hires are paired with experienced employees are an attractive benefit. Offering a program where employees can switch their core focus is also a big draw. For example, Newmark, a real estate firm, offers a two-year program where employees switch positions every six-months to learn about the business, and also to identify where they excel.

While compensation is secondary for a large percentage of millennials and others, it’s still a significant factor. So it’s essential to make sure you show them the total value of their package that includes benefits beyond their paychecks. Total compensation reports are the way to do it.

As the workforce continues to tighten, companies must begin to think beyond compensation to attract and retain the best talent. By defining your company’s core values, and implementing policies that today’s workers are seeking, you can begin to win the battle for the top talent.

Managing the Impact of Polarizing Politics in the Workplace

The Impact of Polarization Politics on the Workforce

Today America is an incredibly politically polarized country. With each passing day, the gap between liberal and conservatives widens. Each morning, Republicans view Democrats as crazy, wrong-headed people while Democrats see them as wrong, misguided people. This increasing political gap is not about to go anywhere. If anything, it’s slowly finding its way in the once bipartisan American workforce. That said, what is the impact of polarization politics on your workforce?

The Effect of Polarization Politics on the Workforce

Americans have always been bipartisan people. They are therefore used to working in environments where most of their workmates either share similar political opinions, or even if they support different parties, they find a common working ground. However, as noted, the gap between Republicans and Democrats, liberals, and conservatives is wider today more than any other time in American history. The effects of this increasing polarization on the workplace are both positive and negative as explained below.

The Dark Side

In the past, employees only worried about the future of their jobs. Today, the increasing political polarization means that they are more concerned about the future of the country. Democrats think that the nation is in the wrong hands while Republicans believe that they are right.

These different perspectives mean that it becomes hard to become innovative and boost productivity when all anyone wants to discuss is the state of political affairs. As you know, a key ingredient to productivity in the workplace is teamwork. Unfortunately, the more politically opposed employees are, the harder it becomes for them to work together, which in turn affects the entity’s success.

The Bright Side

On the bright side, if managed well, a politically polarized team can also be a blessing to your business. This is because they both bring different ideas and viewpoints to the table, which in turn benefits your business. Also, politically polarized teams are likely to argue out any workplace policies before they are implemented, which means that the workplace becomes a free and fair working environment for all.

Managing a Politically Polarized Team

How do you ensure that you only reap the benefits of political polarization and don’t end up with a dysfunctional team that can barely work together?

  1. Let the World Know. Let your commitment to political diversity be known to all. In all job application forms, and during candidate interviews, let those aspiring to join your team know what’s on the table.  That way, they can choose to walk away early if they prefer environments where everyone supports a particular party. If they decide to take the deal, also let them know about the regulations on political conversations.
  2. Strike a Balance in Political Diversity. As mentioned, the impact of polarization politics can be both beneficial and at the same time, may have adverse effects on your team. To reap the benefits, striking a balance is vital. In other words, you ought to make the most out of political diversity by striking a balance in your workforce.Hiring one Republican when the rest of the workforce is made of Democrats will only put them in an awkward position. Hiring a single conservative when the rest of your employees are liberals will only force them to choose sides. Therefore, the key to managing and making the most of political polarization is maintaining a politically diverse team.
  3. Set the Rules. As mentioned, each party thinks their side of politics is better than the other. Therefore a simple conversation on last night’s news headlines during lunch or tea break could quickly go from zero to 100, leaving your team miserably divided and consequently affecting productivity.  Therefore, while striking a balance is a step in the right direction to making the most out of political diversity, it’s not enough. Ensure you set clear boundaries about political conversations in the workplace. To prevent them from escalating and affecting your workforce, have clear rules that dictate respectful conversations; and, enforce them by outlining what happens when one violates the rules.


Political polarization in the workplace is now a reality. The sooner we accept this, the easier it will be to weed out the adverse effects. Fortunately, managing political polarization is not rocket science. It takes simple steps, such as ensuring everyone you hire is aware of the work environment they are about to join, striking a balance, and setting clear, concise rules.

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Category: Reducing Employee Turnover, WorkPlace Culture

5 Ways to Address Drug and Substance Abuse in the Workplace

workplace drug abuseDrug abuse at the workplace is a common problem that not only hurts productivity but also ruins both the personal and professional lives of employees. According to the CBHSQ reports, about 8.7% of drug users in the US are full-time workers, with alcohol being the most abused drug. Ignoring members of staff who struggle with substance addiction only makes the problem worse and puts the company at risk of losses.

The first step to dealing with drug problems in the workplace is acknowledging its presence. Here are a few tips on how human resource professionals can address substance abuse in the workplace and enhance productivity as well as the well-being of employees.

1. Note Signs and Document Instances of Substance Abuse at Work

To ascertain the presence and extent of the problem, observe any signs of substance abuse from the employees. These may include changes in behavior, strained relationships with colleagues, absenteeism, and a drop-in performance and productivity. Documenting your observations and instances of drug abuse will serve as the basis of your intervention. You need to have evidence when you decide to take appropriate action – such as taking disciplinary action or encouraging the affected employee to seek help.

2. Implement Workplace Policies

While this is a standard practice in most workplaces, introducing policies at the workplace to deal with drug abuse can greatly improve your staff’s productivity and reduce turnover. The policies should clearly communicate the intolerance of drug abuse during work hours, what behaviors are unacceptable and the consequences. Drug testing programs will also go a long way in deterring members of staff from abusing drugs at work.

3. Treatment and Support Programs

Although it may cost the business financially, coming up with treatment and support programs is one way of effectively remedying drug problems at work. Classes and forums about drug abuse will serve to initiate a conversation about the problem and also encourage ideas on possible solutions.

Dependency breeds fear of losing the job when one decides to seek help. As such, you need to provide assurance and support for employees to seek treatment, and that the staff won’t lose their jobs when they enroll for rehabilitation. Direct them to professionals for treatment, and help create a supportive environment for those determined to kick their habits.

4. Avoid Enabling

Giving employees opportunities that support drug abuse at work only serves to worsen the problem. Whatever way you decide to handle the matter, avoid the following enabling practices.

  • Lending them money
  • Assigning the duties of the affected employee to their colleagues
  • Covering up for the employee

By doing the above, you are only showing the affected employees that they can get away with their behavior. This may not only fuel the habit but also hurt the company’s bottom line.

5. Maintain Professionalism

Substance abuse and dependency is a highly sensitive and personal matter. Therefore, if it is not handled well, the intervention may do more harm than good to the affected. When confronting employees with drug problems at work, do it in the most civil and professional manner basing your perspective on the effect it has on the career aspect of their lives. It is not recommended to delve into their personal lives, so keep it strictly professional. On the same note, you shouldn’t try to counsel them without a professional.

While you cannot change employees who indulge in substance abuse at work, you can control how you treat them. The above tips should be helpful in dealing with the drug menace in the workplace and help safeguard productivity.

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Category: WorkPlace Culture