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Posts from the ‘Corporate Culture’ Category

Coping Strategies for Your Department’s Busiest Times

How your business manages workplace stress can have a big impact on your productivity, employee engagement and even retention. During your busy season, when the demands on your department can peak, having a set of stress relief strategies ready to go will help you tackle your busy season with confidence. In this article, Doug Hamlyn, VP, Finance, of Adecco Canada and Roevin, describes some of the best ways to help your employees manage workplace stress.  

When I hear the word “stress,” I think of steel beams and concrete columns and the tests they undergo to make them crack. Though this definition comes from my early career as a civil engineer, in a very similar way, I view work stress as the mental or emotional strain that we are subjected to from difficult or demanding work situations.

I have spent most of my career working in finance departments where stress in its many forms typically happens during quarter-end, year-end or budget season. The usual suspect is the classic ‘having too much work and too little time,’ but can also come from those unexpected events that we hadn’t factored into our timelines. Now, with these unexpected audits or projects on top of an already-full workload, we have plans and priorities that don’t align and family and work conflicts where compromise may not be an option. And if you add to that a manager who isn’t solution-focused, you can get a perfect storm of workplace stress.

As managers, it’s our job to find a way to deliver the results our business requires with minimal stress along the way.  Here are some ideas to help alleviate the pressure of peak season stress:

1. Plan ahead

Stress often comes from not having a plan, so give your employees a clear idea of how they’ll get through the busy season. Use the deadlines and workload you already know to develop your plan. Ensure that you also include buffer zones for last-minute or unexpected demands. You should also factor in your employees’ external commitments to get as realistic and attainable a plan as possible. With proper planning and scheduling, you can give your employees that extra bit of confidence that their time and workload is recognized and accounted for.

2. Vacation blackout period

At the hiring stage, make sure to communicate that there are times of the year when employees cannot take vacation. By setting these expectations ahead of time, you help ensure that all resources are available for your busy period.

3. Remain flexible

Determine which deadlines are firm and which are flexible. You may even have some leeway with external audit dates if you ask and have a valid rationale for delay. In addition, make sure you’re flexible with how you allow people to finish their work in lieu of ‘burning the midnight oil.’ For example, allow your employees to finish their work at home, start earlier, etc.

4. Sharing resources

Use external temporary resources to manage routine tasks and free up senior staff to tackle budgets or year-end functions. Make sure all your resources are cross-trained so that they can share assignments for increased staffing flexibility.

Thinking about expanding your temporary workforce? Explore your options with Adecco.

5. Say no

No is a powerful word. While you usually can’t say no to your boss or to your company’s fixed deadlines, think about the discretionary requests that you can say no to, such as attending a meeting when someone can update you later or taking on a new task that would be a better fit for a different department. For non-critical requests that you’d like to take on but don’t have the time for right now, consider saying “not now” and setting a date for the future.

6. Celebrate

Recognizing your team’s accomplishments can go a long way towards diffusing stress. Even if it’s just taking your staff for a coffee when a deadline is met or ordering in lunch if you can’t get away, small celebrations help demonstrate your appreciation for your staff’s hard work. Plus, these much-needed breaks give your staff some breathing room to help them see the bigger picture (and the eventual return to normalcy).

7. Stay healthy

Encouraging your staff to take steps to prioritize their health will benefit everyone, which is especially true if your busy season coincides with flu season. Encourage your employees to maintain healthy sleep schedules and their physical fitness to ensure that they are ready to tackle their tasks head-on when they’re at work, and to improve their at-home lives at the same time.

As we continue to do more with less, managing through busy periods will always be a challenge. But if you engage everyone in setting a work plan that takes into account each person’s unique and important commitments and their normal working hours, you can minimize the stress they will endure during these periods.

 

Doug HamlynDoug Hamlyn, B.Eng. and MBA, is the Vice President, Finance for Adecco Canada and Roevin. With 10 years in large, multinational public and private staffing companies and experience in the Canadian, U.S. and South African markets, Doug brings senior financial leadership to Adecco’s executive team. Along with his Finance, Real Estate, IT and Occupational Health & Safety teams, Doug’s focus is on regulatory compliance, business controls, process improvements and client support.

Lēad Blog is part of Adecco and Roevin Canada. Hire your perfect team, or get more staffing advice from our experts.

 

Re-focus on Customer Service

It may be strategic marketing and advertising that draws customers to your business, but it’s the level of customer service that keeps them coming back and referring friends and family. Don’t let your business’s lackluster customer service affect your profits. In honour of National Customer Service Week from October 1 to 5, we’re sharing our tips to raise awareness of the importance of customer service within your company.

Customer service is an under-valued yet essential function for your organization’s success. Not only does it help you grow customer relationships, a good customer service strategy also gathers important feedback from customers about your services and products, while building customer confidence in your brand. It’s a win-win-win situation!

However, not all organizations have the capital to invest in a call centre or customer service department. So how can you increase your company’s customer service focus without a full-scale reorganization? Check out Adecco’s 4 tips and watch your customer relationships grow!

Hire service-oriented employees across all departments

“It costs 6-7 times more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one.”

Whether it was past experience in a call centre or even a previous retail job, hiring staff with prior customer service experience can yield great benefits for your organization’s customer relationships. Not only will these employees bring an array of customer service skills to their new position, they will likely already have a customer-first focus that won’t go unnoticed by your clients or customers. These employees will act as an example for colleagues lacking customer service experience and skills, and they can help build a stronger customer service focus within your organization.

Schedule mandatory customer service training for all staff

“A customer is 4 times more likely to defect to a competitor if the problem is service-related than price- or product-related.”

Customer service is more than just handling customer complaints. It requires product knowledge, clear communication skills, positive language, empathy and so much more! Given how multi-dimensional good customer service is, helping your employees develop these skills can dramatically improve your organization’s customer focus. Make it a priority within your organization by scheduling mandatory training sessions with all colleagues annually. In these sessions, emphasize company policies on product or service warranties and role-play a variety of potential situations to help develop your employees’ customer service skills. By preparing colleagues for those tricky interactions, they will feel more comfortable and confident in handling any customer issues that come their way.

Provide a desktop cheat sheet

70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated.”

Customer service skills take time and practice to develop and they don’t necessarily come naturally to your employees, especially those who work in departments that wouldn’t normally interact with customers or clients. Provide staff with a cheat sheet of the best words and phrases to use in challenging customer service situations. By providing your employees with this tool, you help them take control of the customer interaction, while working towards a positive outcome.

Incentives and rewards

55% of customers would pay extra to guarantee a better service.”

Recognize colleagues who have maintained a strong customer service priority within their daily work. This will reinforce your organization’s commitment to a high level of customer service and influence colleagues to focus on their customer service skills. However you choose to acknowledge your high-achievers — think an extra vacation day, gift card, or employee of the month certificate — providing employees with an incentive can be the push they need to make customer service a priority within their daily work load.

Lēad Blog is part of Adecco and Roevin Canada. Hire your perfect team, or get more staffing advice from our experts.

The Pursuit of (Workplace) Happiness

It’s no surprise that employees appreciate a “happy” workplace, but the benefits to employers are sometimes overlooked. In this article, we take a look at the positives of creating and maintaining a happy workforce. 

We all know that employees want to work in a place that makes them happy – who wouldn’t? But what might get overlooked is that employee satisfaction can also have a significant impact on organizational performance. From productivity to brand promotion, a happy employee makes your organization better  by just being happy.

But what affects an employee’s happiness? It might be surprising to note that salary isn’t the only factor. In fact, a Glassdoor study found that, at all income levels, compensation was the least significant workplace priority for workers — lower than culture and values, senior leadership, career opportunities, business outlook and work-life balance.

It’s clear that employers have a significant effect on employee satisfaction, and it’s often through factors other than compensation. While it may be daunting, it’s also increasingly obvious that employers must consider employee engagement as an official part of their corporate mission.

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The Untapped Benefits of a Corporate Referral Program

Finding your next great hire in today’s competitive talent market can be time consuming and costly. With the plethora of sourcing tactics recruiters explore, sometimes the one staring us in the face is ignored — referrals from your existing employees.  A well managed corporate referral program can help you tap into a different talent pool and provide many other benefits.

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Cannabis – A Shift in Perception

With the legalization of cannabis only a couple months away, many Canadians still have reservations about its accessibility and the effects its consumption will have on the workplace.

In the past few years, Canadians have experienced a growing reliance on the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes. Its usage for treatment of pain, relief of cancer symptoms, and epilepsy has paved the way for the legalization of cannabis and has slowly altered the way the general public perceives the historically illegal substance.

Though studies show the majority of Canadians agree with its legalization[i], recreational use of cannabis still has its critics. Here, we examine three areas of concern related to the legalization of cannabis and its impact on the workplace.

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10 Tips to Leverage Social Media in Your Recruitment Strategy

To source talent, recruiters typically put themselves in the shoes of the ideal candidate and wonder, where would that candidate go? What are their interests? What literature do they read? How do they stay informed? Being able to answer these questions used to mean that a sourcing tactic could be put into motion to target a specific pool of candidates, be it, newspapers, flyers in coffee shops, radio ads, etc. However, the social media era has changed the game. 2 in 3 people Canadians use social media platforms daily.  Incorporating social media into your recruitment strategy to draw talent from this platform has never been more important.

Here’s 10 tips to help you make the most of your social media recruitment strategy.

  1. Build and share a corporate culture

Before using social media in your recruitment strategy, you need to build an online corporate presence to promote your brand and culture. Share posts that reflect company values, highlight company success stories, and, share event information, testimonials, etc. This will help promote your corporate culture and attract potential employees.

  1. Diversify your corporate social media platforms

Solely having a company Facebook profile doesn’t cut it anymore. Make sure your social media platforms are as diverse as your potential employees! Consider other social platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and LinkedIn to reach a broader audience.

  1. Determine the appropriate platform for your position

You would not recruit for an IT professional on Instagram, much like you wouldn’t recruit for a shipper/receiver on LinkedIn. Remember to wear the shoes of that ideal candidate, and use the appropriate mediums to recruit your target demographic. This ensures your efforts yield optimal results.

  1. Engage employees

Good people know good people, right? Well they often follow them on social media too! Find ways to involve colleagues in promoting your brand on social media. Colleagues sharing job postings online helps increase attention for your role, facilitating your recruitment efforts.

  1. Monitor your competition

The transparency of social media is a fantastic way to stay on top of your competition. Check out their recruitment tactics. Look at what they’re offering, and try to differentiate yourself. Don’t forget to promote your corporate culture as it’s your key competitive advantage.

  1. Tap into LinkedIn’s recruitment tools

For professional roles, LinkedIn is where you want to start. To capitalize on the recruiting benefits LinkedIn offers, consider investing in a Recruiter profile. This gives you access to tools that will search and filter candidates by job title, location, skills and several other factors. You can also contact potential applicants individually or in batches, and, track applicants to facilitate recruitment. Also, don’t forget about your own connections. Post the job on your corporate LinkedIn page, and your own. Your personal LinkedIn network may just yield the perfect candidate!

  1. Facebook’s audience insights tool

Facebook audience insights is a great tool to help narrow your posting and target your ideal demographic. Not only does the portal allow you to gauge your overall reach, it can break the data down by age, gender, country and city. Even better, you can narrow your target demographic by boosting a post! This tool allows you to set a gender/age demographic, target locations, as well as, identify additional demographics, interests or behaviours to ensure your post reaches your desired audience.

  1. Incorporate visuals

Your success in social media relies heavily on strong visuals. Using eye-catching images and bold short text to attract potential applicants as they scroll through posts is vital.

  1. Monitor your success

Monitoring your success and learning from your failures is key. Social media is constantly changing. New posts drop your existing posts rapidly to the bottom of the feed. If you aren’t seeing the desired results, make sure to change text, images, platforms, post daily, or, sponsor an ad to increase your success.

  1. Screen potential employees

Think you found the one? Do your own research! 60% of employers currently use social media to screen applicants before making a final positive hiring decision.[i] Social media is an effortless way for an employer to learn more about candidate’s values and interests outside of what is on a polished resume.

With social media usage continuously growing, it’s a necessary medium to incorporate into recruitment strategies. But we know that everyone isn’t comfortable using social media to recruit.  No worries! Adecco has recruiters trained in attracting top talent through online recruitment efforts. Contact your local branch today!

For more information and articles, visit our Employer resources page on our website.


[i] Social Media Screening: The Good the Bad and the Ugly https://www.sterlingtalentsolutions.ca/blog/2017/04/social-media-screening-requirements/