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“Pre-screen applicants to identify issues before they happen! Shrinkage costs business millions annually; loss prevention systems are critical.”
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Organizations strive largely because of their employees. But what happens when your employees are disengaged? According to the 2013 State of the American Workplace Report, 70 percent of American workers are dissatisfied with their job, creating an atmosphere where many employees feel emotionally disconnected from their workplace and therefore less productive.
Employee engagement is both a psychological and social phenomenon—as humans, we need to feel accepted and feel a sense of belonging whether in or outside of the workplace. Employees’ needs and viewpoints should be accepted and recognized; without this communication and connection, employees may feel worthless or question their stay at the workplace. This is where most upper management fails.
Dr. Brad Shuck at the University of Louisville, an expert in employee engagement research, states that managers were “promoted into positions with responsibilities they were not ready for” and rather than knowing how projects were getting done, they cared only on how much could get done. Let’s take for example, J. C. Penney’s former CEO Ron Johnson. Prior to joining J.C. Penny, Johnson was seen as the genius Senior Vice President of Retail Operations at Apple. However, during his reign at J.C. Penney, sales dropped 27 percent (Forbes). Johnson, who transformed J.C Penney immediately, terminated the entire top executive team. In doing so, Johnson created an entirely new environment for the current employees, who now must not only learn the new company culture, but also build trust and the emotional connection with their new leadership. Johnson merely assumed he could transform J.C. Penney successfully based on his past accomplishments at Apple. However, he not only caused the retail chain to plummet, he did not take into consideration the views of the current employees.
According to Kevin Kruse, a New York Times bestselling author, entrepreneur, and speaker, the secret to employee engagement stems from the relationships front line managers have with their direct reports, therefore improvements can be made effectively if these front line managers are given their team’s engagement surveys. In order for employee engagement to increase in organizations, a grassroots approach is necessary because top executives usually do not work or rarely know their subordinates on an emotional level.
Top management must be able to strategize, create, and determine an employee engagement plan that is suitable for their company, taking into account company size and culture. Employees should feel they are part of an organization that values them, and not merely seen as another body sitting in the office or driving a forklift or serving customers. Employee goals and insights for working at an organization should be acknowledged. Trust, communication, and employee recognition for all parties should be taken into consideration for optimal employee engagement. After all, a productive and motivated workforce calls for increased business profitability.
*e-VentExe is a full service human resource consulting firm located in Northern California. We offer an array of assessment tools that may help with employee engagement or other HR needs.
The New Year is an exciting time for rejuvenation—for self and business. As such, resolutions are made, but how long do these resolutions actually last? We see gyms overcrowded for the first few months into the New Year with individuals trying to change their lifestyle, we see leaders jump-starting a new out-of-the-box campaign or company process with enthusiasm in hopes that it will last the entire year; but sadly, most resolutions are not long-lasting. Motivation and perseverance play a vital role in keeping goals and resolutions. For business leaders, the New Year is a time for reevaluating their tactics, attitudes, and beliefs to better themselves and their organization.
Some considerations for leaders include:
- Effectiveness as a leader: What are some things you should stop doing this year that will make you more effective in your role? What are some things you can begin doing or implementing?
- Self-limiting beliefs: What beliefs are preventing you from achieving your goals?
Learning about your strengths and weaknesses can guide you through these questions. There are many tools that can assist you in recognizing these such as assessment tests (more advanced and validated), self-reflection, or observations from others about yourself.
Maybe your lack of team work and collaboration is holding you back from communicating effectively with your employees and managerial team. Utilizing assessment tools can help you recognize this and give you a detailed and user-friendly explanation to guide you through this behavior.
The first step towards achieving goals and/or resolutions is always the simplest; you just do it. Next, you have to mentally change and implement the behaviors—this is not a one-time process; this might take weeks, months, or even the entire year. But you must practice it in order to change your mindset and receive positive results.
This is where many individuals fail to uphold their resolutions: they do something once and say to themselves, “This is easy. I can do this everyday.” But the fact is: sure, it can be easy if you do it for a short-period of time, especially right after the holidays when motivations to keep resolutions are high. What about after a month when things in your life and/or organization begin to pick up? Will you be able to keep your resolutions or goals? The only way to keep motivated is to practice, practice, practice! Ingrain your resolutions/goals into your daily routine.
To be the greatest leader you can be you must understand yourself and the individuals you work with at your organization, as well as maintain business acumen. With that said, are you still continuing your business resolutions/goals?
*e-Ventexe is a full service Human Resource consulting firm in the Greater Sacramento region with superior knowledge on assessment tools. To learn more about how these tools can be beneficial to your organization, please call us at 916.458.5820.
On a brisk November morning a female employee at a small electrical company in Winters CA arrived at work and was ambushed as she sat in her car. The alleged gunman was her estranged husband, whom she had a long history with and had an active restraining order. Tragically, the protective order would not be enough to keep her safe and she was killed that morning. It’s unknown what, if any, knowledge the owners of the business had of the ongoing domestic violence. What is clear is that despite the tragic loss of life, the incident could have been much worse. The gunman could have chosen to attack his wife inside the business. A quick scan of the internet will point you to a long list of stories of domestic violence spilling into the workplace, with unintended victims being injured alongside the abuser’s target.
In a troubling juxtaposition, all too often extreme violence can be tied to a victim either seeking or having recently obtained a protection order. Here are some other points to consider.
- Our workforces are largely a reflection of society. The problems that society faces will carry over into the workplace.
- Protective orders are only effective if the “restrained” person is willing to follow them. A piece of paper will not keep you or your staff safe.
- Be mindful that the most dangerous time is when a victim is trying to leave her abuser.
- Accept the fact that victims will often go back to their abuser, don’t take it personally.
The challenge for businesses has always been trying to determine the right balance of support vs. intruding into employees’ private lives. The reality of domestic violence is that the abuser knows two places where he can find his victim with almost certainty; at home and at the workplace. Regardless of an organizations desire, or lack thereof, to get involved, domestic violence does spill into the workplace. So what can a company do to protect their workforce and respect the privacy of individual employees?
- Maintain strong and open communication with your employees
- Have multiple methods for staff to report concerns
- Provide training for staff and managers on recognition of domestic violence indicators
- Consider establishing a relationship with a domestic violence shelter. Employee assistance programs can feel cold and impersonal. In Sacramento County WEAVE is an excellent resource.
- Consider elevating security measures when a credible threat exists. This may be as simple as sharing with impacted coworkers the nature of the threat and keeping doors locked.
- Consider establishing an incident response team. This team will conduct an assessment if/when a threat is identified and determines a course of action. Even smaller companies can use a team approach to assess situations.
The single greatest factor to identifying and then being in a position to help prevent incidents of violence in the workplace is having a good relationship with your employees. If your employees feel comfortable coming forward with concerns and your management team knows how to respond you significantly increase your chances of addressing problems before they can escalate to violence.
About the Author:
Mr. Alvarez is the founder of Alvarez Associates, a firm specializing in workplace violence prevention. Having been both a security director for a major national critical infrastructure and a city police officer, he has built over 25 years of experience in the field of violence prevention. For 15 years he directed cutting edge security programs focused specifically on preventing and responding to “active shooters” in private sector environments. He understands the challenges organizations and communities face addressing the threat of violence. He has personally evaluated and managed hundreds of potentially violent situations, developed numerous violence prevention programs and trained thousands of employees and managers in workplace violence prevention.
*e-VentExe and Alvarez Associates will be holding a workshop in Roseville CA on utilizing state-of-the-art assessment tools for recruitment practices and workplace violence prevention on January 22, 2014. If interested, please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Leaders are visionaries—they are passionate about their beliefs, they set clear goals to be achieved, and they never give up on their desires, even if completed in unconventional ways. We have witnessed creative leaders throughout history; look at Steve Jobs and the way he changed technology, Ghandi and his nonviolent approach to human conflict, The Beatles and their rock music that challenged the mainstream. All these leaders were innovative and wanted to make a change in their respective industries.
When we look at creative leaders in the past, we remember how and what they did to achieve their dreams. All these creative individuals gained popularity by igniting a spark in others; these leaders knew how to speak to a person’s soul rather than blatantly sale their mission. People felt personally connected with or intrigued by their words and ideas because these leaders defied the ordinary.
There are commonalities when we look at past leaders deemed as creative: they all provided a clear message of ideas, they essentially created the persona of an expert to their supporters, and they were able to maintain a dedicated and steady audience.
A growing issue in businesses and organizations today is employee retention. How do businesses keep their employees engaged and interested in their company? If we compare creative leaders with ordinary business leaders, we can see that the same tactics in the former works for the latter—being passionate goes a long way. It is believed that creative leaders have the ability to build teams, build collaborative work environments and provide the motivation to allow employees to think outside the box and take risks at work. This new concept is called, “Creative Intelligence.”
Statistics compiled by The Corporate Executive Board Company states that small businesses suffer greatly from their quality of labor because “replacing one person on a small team could be equivalent to replacing 10% or 20% of the workforce,” which makes employee retention very important for these businesses.
Business leaders must have a clear mission and know what kind of employee they wish to seek who will also fit well into their company culture. If they can not establish a clear message as to what they want represented, then why would anyone want to represent them? In this day and age, people are more motivated to do work for companies they believe in, so wouldn’t executive leaders want to find the perfect candidate who strives to make the company better? One way business leaders can do this is via assessment tools, which screens prospective candidates by using various tests to determine their skill levels and overall work ethic.
Progressive leaders should strive to use Creative Intelligence in the workplace. Their employees will be more engaged in their work and satisfied. Retention will be reduced and bottom line number will grow.
*e-VentExe is a full service Human Resource consulting firm that specializes in HR compliance, policy development, employee retention, training and development and assessment tools.