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4Cs Blog: Happy Employees = Happy Customers


Does Office Gossip Help or Hurt Us?

 

Most of us would agree that office gossip can be deadly.


Many of us also know how much it hurts to be backstabbed by the people who greet us every day with a smile and cheerful ‘hi’ in the hallway. Yet some researchers have shown that gossip can be good for us and it can even be used to enhance relationships. They have even gone so far to say that talking behind someone’s back can bring about increased harmony amongst co-workers. 

Really?

As employee research experts we have never worked with a client who has used gossip as part of an action plan, as a means of strengthening communication and morale. So we were intrigued by a study conducted by a research team at Stanford University who discovered that gossip and ostracism were useful tools that groups of employees use positively to encourage cooperation and even reform bullies.

While we may think gossip is malicious and that it undermines trust and morale, this research showed it had positive effects. Participants in the study were encouraged to gossip about colleagues. What they found was that employees aligned themselves with others they perceived were cooperative and like them. The employees who were uncooperative and selfish were identified through gossip, which was encouraged. What was interesting about the study was how the ‘castaways’ or excluded employees behaved in response to being excluded. When they found out others talked about them negatively and then they were ostracized from the group, they changed their behaviors to become more cooperative. With this attitude change they actually returned to the group at a higher level of cooperation. Read full post

Body Language And How it Impacts Employee Engagement

 Understanding body language can enhance communication with your employees


Managers who understand the basic rules of body language have a unique ability to influence employee engagement by their ability to use non-verbal messages to know their employee’s true feelings. U.S. anthropologist and body language expert Ray Birdwhistell discovered decades ago that 95 percent of communication happens in our subconscious minds and then it is expressed through our body language. Taken one step further, Linda Talley, a current expert in body language, says that a person can say something which may not be true but their body language will always tell the truth.

Our bodies always tell the truth no matter what we say.


By being knowledgeable about body language and what the signs mean a manager can begin to observe and respond to employee’s behavior in informed ways. Not only can awareness make it easier for managers to get a better read on their employees, it can also help managers be more aware of how they are coming across to their employees. For example, if you call your team together for a meeting because you have bad news to share you might frame the conversation with positive words and a smile hoping to minimize the impact but your body language could warning everyone without you even realizing it. Read full post

How to Increase Employee Retention With Lean Management Principles

Employee turnover is accelerating, and it’s costing employers money. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers are staying with their employers for a little over four years. The average cost of hiring one new employee can range from $1,000 in services industries to as much as $5,000 or more in professional and manufacturing industries, according to Recruiterbox. This includes costs for in-house recruiters, third-party recruiters, advertising, travel, referral bonuses, sign-on bonuses and relocation.
 

To avoid wasting thousands of dollars every four years, one effective strategy you can deploy for increasing employee retention is lean management. These principles help you optimize your workplace and reduce your rate of employee attrition.

 

Lean Management Culture...

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How Work Spouses are Disrupting Morale and Employee Engagement

 A work spouse can motivate you to go to work on days when you don’t want to.


If coworkers are the unsung heroes of employee retention imagine the impact work spouses could have on reducing turnover. Work spouses are a growing phenomenon in the world of employee research because they tend to be super motivated employees who consequently have a significant impact on job satisfaction and engagement. In understanding your work force it is helpful to know if you employ any of these happy couples and to what extent you are encouraging or discouraging these types of relationships.

Work spouses Psychiatrist Jacqueline Olds defined a work spouse as “a person at work with whom you have a special relationship in which you share confidences, loyalties, experiences, and a degree of honesty and openness.” 

Friendships and good chemistry can make a big difference in your happiness at work but work spouses take it to a whole new level by driving even deeper feelings of belonging and being connected. Work spouses have the potential to be the most meaningful relationships in employees lives because these partners understand their partners professionally and have insights into each other’s personal lives. As a result, work spouses are extremely motivated, they heavily influence each other’s morale and ultimately make work a more enjoyable experience. These happy work couples very often raise morale with the people they work with as well. 

In many workplaces across the country today, men and women find themselves sharing a close platonic relationship inside the walls of their office that is in every way like a marriage but without the sexual intimacyRead full post

Employee Survey Critics Don't Want You To Know This

It is pretty tough to find out that your employees have harsh and negative feelings about you and the way you manage them. Most humans take that kind of stuff personally and sometimes it hurts.

In a perfect world communication would rock and everyone would feel valued and heard and, If communications were truly working as they should, then you wouldn't need to survey employees because everything would be out in the open. In a perfect world bosses would regularly walk up to their employees and ask how it’s going and they would know if they liked their work or not. Conversely employees would feel confident and reassured and would speak the truth; there would be no need for secrets and problems would be solved in a healthy way.

The reality is communications are tough for everyone and chances are if you are considering surveying your employees it is because you know you have problems. A survey won't solve your problems but it is undeniably the most logical first step in solving problems because it will expose the problems and the barriers you are up against so at least you have the basis for an effective action plan.

Don’t be Fooled by Employee Survey Critics...

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Four Principles That Precede Employee Engagement

Learning to communicate is the basis for a happy life and happy employees


In various degrees, we each have natural emotional needs that are as important at work as any other place in our life. Perhaps even more important given the amount of time we dedicate to our jobs. Employee engagement surveys can give you the inside story about how well your employees needs are being met but how well do you understand your employees needs and what steps can you take to ensure you are creating a healthy positive environment to foster higher employee engagement?

It might be helpful to stop focusing in increasing employee engagement and focus on treating employees well instead. When we focus on the needs of others, listen to them and give them opportunities to grow, engagement naturally follows. If you try to squeeze more productivity out of people for the sake of profits they will see that coming and that will breed contempt and frustration but if your heart is in the right place they will see that too.  Read full post

The #1 Reason To Do An Employee Engagement Survey

Employee Engagement hovers around 30% in the U.S. which means 7 out of 10 people hate Monday!

A statistic like that begs us all to wonder what is happening in our own workplaces and how many people are enjoying or hating their jobs. Sure you can ask around or you can take a guess but the only safe and sure way to know is to survey your employees. The only way to know what your employee think is to ask them about their jobs and where they work.

In other words, who’s loving it and who’s not.


That is the #1 reason to do a survey because you have to know what's going on in your organization if you want to make improvements. Disengaged employees  are going to cost you money by being less productive. And disengaged employees do not care as much about their jobs as other employees. They are not concerned with productivity, or even quality. This is because they are just putting in time and doing their job – and that’s it. They are not committed to you; they only care about earning a paycheck. They take less pride in their work, and this lack of pride leads to reduced productivity. Many of these employees though are not hardwired to be dissatisfied. They might be struggling because of the day to day issues they deal with in their jobs. If you could identify and fix these problems, our research shows you stand a very good chance of converting these unhappy employees into becoming your most loyal employees. Read full post

How to Deal With New Hires And Their Meddlesome Helicopter Parents

We all know that organizations with engaged employees are more successful. We also know that every workplace has its drama,  issues, problems, awkward moments and funny stories. But this week our hat goes off to the people in HR who have the privilege of handling the people we have affectionately come to know as 'helicopter parents'. In an article written by Dana Wilkie that was published by SHRM last week, Wilkes gives us the inside view on some of the most outrageous stunts pulled by helicopter parents. And, as we consider the possibility of any of these happening in our organizations, we wonder if any of these kinds of experiences would make you say yes or no to the hopeful young person applying for the job.  Read full post

Romancing the Disengaged at Work and in Love

Romantic relationships and employee engagement have more in common than you might think.

Much of what sustains a couple in a happy long term marriage and relationship are the same qualities needed to have a healthy engaged team at work. In both cases we are dealing with people and their relationships. Couples who wed draw many others into their circle such as children, in-laws, aunts, uncles, cousins, family friends. Our work places bring together people from an even wider circle. They are al just people and like all of us, they al crave relational success, financial success, and healthy connections (we humans are hardwired for connection). We all want commitment, a sense of belonging, recognition, and to be valued. We want our partners to love us, while we want our co-workers and managers to respect and value us.  Read full post

Fix a Retention Roadblock

people management
In this  new article on Inc.com, Insightlink's founder and President Robert Gray shares advice and suggestions to improve employee engagement based on the leading drivers of job satisfaction as revealed in our Annual Survey of the American Workforce.

Some of the suggestions are:

1. Become an Exceptional Communicator.
2. Reward and recognize. 
3. Create a Clear Path for Growth.
4. Offer Autonomy.
5. Mission.

Read full post
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About

Insightlink Communications are experts in employee survey design, data collection and analysis. Since 2001 we've helped companies of all sizes measure and improve their employee satisfaction and engagement.



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HR ToolKit Guide to Employee Surveys
Good info on how to write surveys

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