How to Build a Better Workplace

For any employee in any industry, their workplace is revisited over five days a week for more than 8 hours a day, making it as close to a second home. When you find your employee dreading to come to work, rushing to leave early and underperforming from the expectations you’ve set – you haven’t provided a nurturing and safe environment for them.

Quynh Vu
Quynh Vu, Content Coordinator at EmployeeConnect

A home is desirable and employers today need to be aware of what makes their employees desire to stay and work for them. In doing so, you set yourself on the path to retain your employees. By providing them a place of comfort, they open up, allowing you to understand them on a personal level. You make them realise their potential and reward them to drive performance. As a result, there is satisfaction experienced for both parties including a greater capacity to sustain a competitive advantage over your competitors. With all great ideas that lead to greater results, it begins with an initial step and that is to create a better workplace.

Creating a better workplace involves narrowing down pivotal components that encompass both achieving organisational goals and meeting the desires of employees. We explore each aspect to provide you a framework to follow to achieve greater outcomes.

1. Understanding what employee engagement is

Greater and precise understanding of employee engagement is an important aspect that should be undertaken first. Different leaders within an organisation have different perceptions of what employee engagement should involve. The difference in perspectives is illustrated with inconsistent employee performance outcomes. With these inconsistencies, you’ll begin to notice when your organisation does well and when it doesn’t.

What’s important and should be clearly established are goals to be achieved, the methods used to coach your team and continuous ways to manage them meaningfully and positively. They should be done without being too prescriptive, letting your employees have some autonomy. This three step approach followed carefully will build a two way street between consistent performance in both your employees and organisation to create tangible results.

2. Providing a high performance culture

Following on from clearly defining what employee engagement is and putting the framework into action, you’ll develop a culture of consistent high performance. Why this is necessary is to act as a motivating tool for your employee. They say “those you surround yourself with will influence what you will do”.

You want to foster an environment that strives on motivation or else nothing can be achieved. You’ll be able to boost morale and see this driven spark inside your employees. There is nothing wrong with a little bit of competition as that’s what truthfully drives the majority of people. As a result, you notice how determined your employees are to return to work thirsty to achieve more.

3. Fostering for innovation

You, as a manager, want to steer clear from setting a superior aura against your employees, undermining their ideas. This will just plant in their heads a perception of being a mouse in the company. Most employees desire to be on par with you in an organisation, and the best way to foster for that is allowing them to contribute ideas.

Any new idea is an innovation. Innovation strikes the ability to have an idea, in turn contributing to the organisation’s growth. It can be used as a brainstorming tool to draft potentials for gaining ground over your competitors. Two brains are better than one – so what could be even better than having the brains of your whole team of employees on board to drive your organisation?

4. The overall employee experience

At the end of the day, experience is what matters most to your employees. This is what will make or break the expectations they’ve set for themselves. Your employees are essentially your customers – in a sense, they do serve you and your organisation’s wellbeing. You want to satisfy their experience at work the same way a customer wants to experience satisfactory customer service.

If you put it into perspective, as a customer you’d want to experience that five-star rating service in a restaurant. If the service does not meet your expectations, you wouldn’t think twice about returning would you? The same goes for your employees, they wouldn’t want to return to work if their journey so far in your organisation has been a terrible experience.

Have your employees wanting to come back for more by developing this enriching and addictive experience. Feed positive energy, nourish their personal growth and provide the resources to let them aspire to be greater. Doing just those activities and you’ll see your employees coming back for more.

The workforce environment is inevitably competitive. To keep up with the changes and sustain organisational growth you need the best people to back you up. To keep them being your allies fighting to feel almost close to home. You need to start to create a better workplace.

Source: How to Build a Better Workplace – EmployeeConnect Blog

Why Game of Thrones Needs a HR Information System, HRIS

If you’re a Throner, that’s a Game of Thrones fan, you’ll be all too familiar with the mess that is Westeros. If you’re not, all you need to know is that the world’s biggest fantasy show is the perfect metaphor for poor succession planning, terrible retention strategy, shameless people management, dire career development, and hapless leadership.

We’re into season 6 and, it seems, no closer to resolving this huge HR headache. And as the White Walkers beyond the Wall are massing to invade, the Houses of Westeros really need to get their act together – and fast.

Ari Copoulos_Article Image
Ari Kopoulos, CEO at EmployeeConnect

At EmployeeConnect, we think a Human Resource Information System (HRIS) and it’s ability to connect, engage and transform the workplace, could have prevented a whole heap of strife across the Seven Kingdoms. Plus, a HRIS could also be used by some of the current characters to help them achieve their own personal quests, ambitions and even avoid death.

Here’s how:

1. The assassination of Jon Snow

Mr “Hold the gate” could have avoided his (brief) death if he’d been more in tune with his colleagues in the Night’s Watch. In fact, a simple pulse engagement survey would have returned a few unhappy faces, giving Jon the data he needed to make more informed decisions regarding his alliance with the Wildlings.

2. Cersei’s walk of shame 

Perhaps the High Sparrow could have handled this better. If he’d thought more about his organisational objectives, values, KPIs, goals and competencies, he could have had a more meaningful conversation with Cersei. One that could have improved her performance and skills. More carrot, less stick perhaps?

3. Arya Stark needs a career development plan

You can’t underestimate the power of a mentor. The right mix of formal and informal learning from the Faceless Man, Jaqen H’ghar, in the House of Black & White – along with a personalised development roadmap – would plug Arya’s skills gaps, helping her reach ‘assassin’ level much quicker.

4. Imagine if Varys could act in real-time, any time, from anywhere

The ‘Spider’ has a complex network of spies and informants acting as his eyes and ears across Westeros and beyond. This complex web of “little birds” allows him to gather information from far and wide. Information he analyses and uses to his advantage. But imagine how much more effective this network could be if Varys had access to an integrated workflow system with business rules to verify and validate the whispers. All that power. All that knowledge. All in real-time.

5. No information equals no structure

King Robert Baratheon dies and all the great families of Westeros feel they have a rightful claim to the Iron Throne. However, there are no formalised structures underlying the political processes involved in ascending to the Iron Throne and no clarity of roles. As such, there’s no central repository for policies, procedures or performance-based information. The result? Everyone does what they want, when they feel like it. Chaos ensues.

 6. Deanerys needs to work on her recruitment

The Princess of House Targaryen, (aka Khaleesi), has clearly had some recruitment issues… in particular hiring the witch Mirri Maz Duur to treat Drogo, her husband. Had Deanerys used a recruitment module with clearly defined role descriptions, questionnaire and background checks or set-up an employee referral scheme, Drogo could still be alive.

 7. Dragons are a WH&S nightmare

Dragons are dangerous and all employers have a duty of care to their employees and site visitors. Of course, dragons are also unpredictable and while it may never be possible to prevent all accidents, a strong workplace health & safety strategy and hazard identification workflow can greatly minimise risks.

 8. Give credit where it’s due

With a simple reward and recognition scheme that promoted positive values, Theon may never have felt rejected by his father Balon. Instead, in an effort to make his mark, he betrays his good treatment by Eddard Stark and attacks Winterfell. From then on, there’s very little joy in the life of Theon.

9. The evidence was there for Tywin to see 

Tyrion leaving Kings Landing after slaying his own father was a huge shock, but the signs were there. If Tywin had put a simple traffic light system in place, he would have known his son was far from happy and a flight risk. Perhaps Tywin would still be alive today?

10. Success requires long-term planning

It’s a simple fact, but with a proper succession plan in place – supported by a robust talent management strategy – the Lannisters could have avoided almost all of the ensuing feuds and wars.

If only they’d been able to take advantage of HRIS, Westeros will surely have been a safer, happier, and less conflicted place – and everything could have been wrapped up by the end of Season 1.

But let’s be honest – where’s the fun in that?

So, if you want your organization to not only survive, but thrive – and have more time and resources to take on external opportunities and threats, rather than be distracted by inner squabbles or dragon-slaying, now might be the time to look into the HRIS. You don’t need a large, complex kingdom to make the most of its tools. Just a commitment to making every person a priority.

Because no one wants their business to be like Westeros.

Source: Why Game of Thrones Needs a HR Information System, HRIS – EmployeeConnect