What’s the Connection Between Quiet Quitting and Company Culture?

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September 20th, 2022

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The term quiet quitting dates back to 2009, but it didn’t take off as an actionable concept until 2022. Quiet quitting has become ubiquitous in the workplace, as Gallup reports at least half of the U.S. workforce are quiet quitters. The term is a misnomer, however, as these employees have no intention of leaving their job. Instead, quiet quitting means performing the job as written and maintaining that firm boundary. As a result, employees are doing what their job description stipulates—no more, no less, and certainly no overtime.

Why Are Employees Quietly Quitting?

The pandemic forced many companies to switch to remote work models. Many employees began rethinking their relationship with work, especially when management tried to shift back to working in the office. Employees embracing this approach to work aren’t doing it because they’re lazy. Many are struggling with burnout and an insufficient work-life balance. They’re also keenly aware that the amount of work expected of them doesn’t match their wages or keep pace with the rising cost of living.

A Culture of Thankless Overwork

The reaction to quiet quitting often says more about managers than employees. Some managers are outraged and have threatened repercussions ranging from demotions to withholding raises to outright firing quiet quitters. However, quiet quitting doesn’t mean doing a job poorly or disengaging. Instead, quiet quitters are giving the amount of effort reflected by their wages. They’re no longer willing to perform the work of two employees while receiving the income of one. The quiet quitting movement and subsequent indignation have revealed that many companies have always expected their employees to overwork without a corresponding bonus or salary increase to reflect the added responsibilities.

Changing company culture takes time and consistent effort. However, businesses can identify and red flag trends that indicate workplace discontent, such as shifts in attendance. For example, a business may notice productivity dropping for a specific department. Attendance data may reveal those employees also consistently take long lunch breaks or call out frequently. While those employees may be quietly quitting, an ineffective manager might be the driving cause. Contact Actec to learn more about using attendance data to implement positive, effective changes within your organization.

5 Factors that Influence Employee Retention Rates

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September 6th, 2022

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Retaining employees is often a top priority for HR managers. Companies spend a considerable amount of money on recruiting the best talent to fill their vacancies, but it comes with a hefty price tag. Refilling positions is even more expensive, as it can cost up to one-third of the employee’s salary to replace them. Businesses can influence employee retention rates by understanding the following:

  1. 40% of employees leave their position due to underperforming managers. Over half of employees believe their managers promoted too quickly, while 60% believe their manager needs managerial training. Those employees are much more likely to look for new employment opportunities.
  2. Lack of recognition triggers a job hunt in 24% of employees. Employees that feel that management doesn’t appreciate their work are more likely to interview for a new job. In contrast, employees that feel company management acknowledges and appreciates their efforts are five times more likely to stay.
  3. Remote working options decrease turnover by 25%. Happier, more relaxed employees are more likely to stay with their company, and having the ability to work remotely is a significant motivator. It offers them more flexibility and can reduce stressors like traffic.
  4. Turnover skyrockets when career advancement opportunities are scarce. Employees are rarely content to remain in their job without ever growing their skillset. Many want professional development opportunities and a clear career trajectory. If employees perceive they have no other advancement opportunities, a staggering 70% will find new employment to develop their careers.
  5. Money talks. Businesses can engender employee loyalty through several means. However, wellness programs, flexible scheduling, remote work, strong company culture, and competent leadership can’t compete against a better salary. Nearly half of employees will leave their current jobs for new opportunities that offer a 20% pay raise or more.

Retaining employees is essential to maintain productivity, meet deadlines, and keep recruitment costs in check. Employees considering a job change are more likely to express their dissatisfaction with their job, arrive late, or leave early. These behaviors may escalate to outright absenteeism as the employees withdraw more from their position. Contact the experts at Actec to learn more about absence management.

How to Manage and Engage Remote Employees

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August 2nd, 2022

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Working from home became an unavoidable reality during the pandemic. Many businesses have cautiously resumed in-person operations, but numerous continue to offer the option to work from home for part of the workweek. Some companies are 100% remote by choice, either due to a distributed workforce or the nature of their services.

Whatever the reason may be, managing a remote staff has unique challenges. The following are several strategies company leadership can use to manage employees outside of a traditional office setting successfully:

  1. Equip employees with the tools they need. Most employees only need a laptop with a reliable internet connection to work from home. However, many employees overestimate the speed of their home Wi-Fi. While it may be sufficient for one individual on a video conference, it may struggle if other people in the house are using streaming services. Employees may not be able to upgrade their internet speed, but many virtual meeting platforms include an option to toggle off video. Only using the voice function puts less strain on the connection.
  2. Check-in often. It’s easy for projects to go astray or fall off the radar altogether when teams can’t work in the same space. Scheduling frequent check-ins allows managers to keep projects on track and ensure employees’ work aligns with the company’s priorities. Managers can make these meetings more enjoyable by including a coffee break or using the time as an opportunity to brainstorm and share ideas.
  3. Prioritize clarity. Regular check-ins can rapidly become burdensome if managers spend the entire time addressing discrepancies or misunderstandings. It also frustrates employees, as they feel like they’ve wasted their time or need to work overtime to fix a project. Regular communication through a team chat, phone calls, and virtual meetings can eliminate confusion and discontent among the staff.
  4. Build camaraderie. Working from home can be lonely, and employees may miss breakroom small talk. Employees need to feel like they’re part of a team and understand why their work matters. Companies can establish weekly virtual coffee breaks, lunches, or workout sessions to inject some much-needed fun into the workday.

Remote employees can quickly spiral into disengagement and burnout without competent and considerate management. Attendance problems are also more likely without the proper support. It’s easy to start late, log off early, or take long lunches without regular supervision. Contact Actec to learn how our absence tracking mobile app can help you manage your remote workforce.

4 Types of Motivation that Reduce Employee Turnover

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July 19th, 2022

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All forms of motivation fall into two categories: intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation comes from within. It fuels employees that strive to complete tasks that make them feel good about their work. Employees gain an internal reward without expecting praise when they’re driven by intrinsic motivation. Extrinsic motivation comes from external sources, either in the form of a reward or avoiding punishment. Examples of extrinsic motivation include employees who go above and beyond to achieve a bonus and employees that come to work on time to avoid disciplinary action.

  • Achievement motivation. Employees that are driven by achievement motivation often strive to reach their goals for personal development rather than praise. The individual may have a personal goal to attain a higher position in their organization, receive a certificate from continuing education, or be the top performer in their department.
  • Attitude motivation. Employees with attitude motivation want to better the world or help people through their work. They often look for employment with companies that espouse the same values, such as reducing their carbon footprint or championing diversity in the workplace. Employees with attitude motivation aren’t angling for a tangible reward. They prefer the good feeling they gain from helping someone or fixing a problem.
  • Reward-based motivation. Reward-based motivation is the most well-known and popular type of motivation. Incentives are powerful tools that provide a rapid increase in workplace motivation. Employees will work harder if they know they’ll receive a bonus or salary increase for achieving preset goals.
  • Power-based motivation. Power motivates employees that strive to improve their position within the company or their life situation. These employees often possess leadership qualities and inspire their coworkers. However, power-based motivation can have significant consequences when placed in the wrong hands. For example, a strong leader can improve a team’s productivity, whereas an unqualified or toxic manager can cause a spike in employee turnover.

Understanding what motivates employees is critical to reducing turnover rates. Rewards are almost always an effective means of motivating employees, but such incentives may not be enough to sustain employees motivated by attitude or power. Signs of employee discontent include a drop in productivity, lack of engagement, and attendance problems. Actec offers an absence tracking mobile app to help organizations manage employee attendance, including leave requests, complying with federal paid leave laws, and tracking attendance trends. Contact us to learn more about reducing employee absenteeism and turnover.

How to Help Remote Employees Create the Best Home Office

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July 5th, 2022

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remote absence reportingEmployees coveted work-from-home benefits well before the pandemic made it a common practice. Now that COVID restrictions are easing, many workplaces are shifting back to working in the office. However, modern companies understand how much employees value working from home and are implementing a hybrid workweek. With employees working remotely for part of each workweek, they need a home office that is comfortable and promotes creativity and productivity.

While most remote employees likely set up a home office during the pandemic, many did so in a hurry. Their office space may not reflect their style, or they may not be making the most of their space. The following are several ideas to help employees create the best home office.

Smart Home Office

Employees that live in a smart home can extend those features to their office. Even without a high-tech house, employees can install smart technology to improve their workspace. For example, investing in HVAC zoning improves energy efficiency and allows employees to control the temperature of their home office. Employees can also utilize a voice assistant to schedule appointments, organize their work calendar, or control other smart home features like room temperature and lighting.

Industrial Home Office

Not everyone has a separate room they can use for a home office. Many savvy homeowners looked to their basements, garages, and sheds as a possible solution. While converting a garage or shed into a home office requires environmental considerations (particularly temperature control), utilizing the basement is a simpler and more budget-friendly option.

Employees may think their unfinished basement isn’t conducive to work, but they can implement several simple changes to create an edgy, industrial workspace. Natural light is important, but employees can mimic sunlight without undertaking a significant renovation. Employees can brighten an otherwise gloomy basement by frosting the glass of used windows and hanging it over LED flat panel lights. An urban area rug and industrial office furniture can complete the transformation.

No Space Home Office

Not every employee can dedicate an entire room in their home to an office. They likely tried to make areas of their home serve double duty, but many of those spaces are high-traffic zones. For example, a kitchen island or dining room table. Employee productivity hinges on having a quiet space in their home with minimal interruptions.

Closets are a great option for creating a compact but functional office. Many homes also have unutilized spaces that employees can convert into a workstation, such as landing areas, awkward niches, dormers, under the stairs, and other spaces with a sloped headspace. Some open shelving and a built-in desk can transform a previously dead zone into an efficient workspace. Employees can also consider installing built-in shelving for rooms that have width but lack depth. Running the shelves and cabinetry along the full width of the wall creates ample storage while keeping the office footprint slim.

A comfortable and well-designed home office is critical for employee productivity. Companies may notice an uptick in attendance problems during remote workdays, such as employees failing to respond to messages when they’re on the clock. Those employees may lack a dedicated work zone or struggle with frequent interruptions. Whatever the reason, businesses need a solution to track attendance and monitor absenteeism. Actec’s absence tracking mobile app centralizes absence data to help businesses identify attendance trends, manage PTO requests, and comply with federal leave laws. Contact us to learn how our app can improve your absence management practices with a remote workforce.

Biggest Workplace Time Wasters

Posted on

June 21st, 2022

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Unauthorized absences are a multifaceted problem for employers. Employee absences are expensive, as salaried employees continue to draw a paycheck even if they don’t work. The company may have to pay other employees overtime if they must work longer to cover the work the absent employee didn’t complete. Productivity diminishes along with workplace morale as they shoulder the burden of an additional workload. Work quality is also likely to suffer as team members attempt to shift between multiple projects.

However, absenteeism isn’t the only attendance issue companies need to manage. Employees at all organizational levels waste time at some point while at work. The following are some of the most common time wasters during business hours:

  1. Email. Employees check their email more than 120 times per day. More often than not, they’re doing this in an attempt to be productive. Employees rely on email for most workplace communication. They check their inbox frequently to avoid missing an important email. However, this activity derails productivity, as employees spend 28% of their workweek checking their inboxes.
  2. Blurring personal and professional communication. Employees use their phones for work regularly. It’s a short leap to go from answering an email to replying to a friend’s text. Employees spend nearly an hour of their workday reading and replying to personal texts and taking personal phone calls. Employees spend 1.5 hours on social media daily, too. That’s 2.5 hours per day (more than 30%) spent on personal communication through texts, phone calls, and social sites.
  3. Aimless meetings. Meetings can enhance productivity and make sure team members understand project goals. However, poorly planned meetings, overly long meetings, and unnecessary meetings waste a significant amount of time. Employees perceive this and find other ways to spend their time. For example, 91% of employees daydream during meetings, 73% bring other work to do, and 39% admit to falling asleep.
  4. Busy work. Many tedious workplace processes are essential but consume too much of the workday (e.g., calculating or balancing accounts and filling out attendance records daily). Employees spend a cumulative total of an entire workday on menial jobs throughout the workweek.

The time spent on checking emails, personal communication, and menial tasks add up to almost 22 hours a week—over half of a typical work schedule. Automating specific tasks can help reduce the amount of busy work and subsequent boredom (a significant trigger for wasted time). Actec’s absence tracking mobile app allows employees to submit leave requests for sick days, holidays, and paid time off via a phone call, text or chat, or the app itself. It delivers all the data to a centralized location to easily identify absence trends and make data-based decisions for addressing attendance issues. Contact us to learn more about streamlining absence management.

How to Bring Reluctant Employees Back to the Workplace

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June 7th, 2022

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As the pandemic restrictions loosen in severity, many businesses are resuming in-office work hours. However, not all employees are excited to return to the workplace, and their reasons aren’t as clearcut as employers may believe. The following are some illuminating insights into employees’ reluctance to resume onsite work and how to address them.

It’s Easier to Be Productive at Home

Depending on the employee’s home situation, they may have significantly fewer distractions. After all, their house doesn’t have the frequent opportunities for breakroom chitchat or the irritation of difficult coworkers. They also don’t have to contend with the noise that is ubiquitous to most office spaces. With two-thirds of employees reporting greater productivity while working from home, many are asking why they should have to come into the office. Offering work-from-home days can ease the transition back to the office while providing the flexibility and comfort of working from home. Employers can also rearrange their offices to create more effective spaces for quiet, independent work and collaborative work.

Burnout Disguised as Productivity

Employees may feel more productive at home, but it often comes at the expense of longer working hours and increased stress in the home. It’s not always easy to cut off work when it’s always within arm’s reach. The idea of commuting and socializing with colleagues adds an unacceptable layer of stress to burnt-out employees. Employers can take steps to reduce burnout by offering flexible work schedules that match employees’ family and household obligations, implementing wellness programs that focus on employees’ mental health, and encouraging and supporting vacation time.

The Pandemic is Still a Concern

Although COVID restrictions are easing, the threat still looms for many individuals. They or someone they live with may have comorbidities that put them at high risk for severe COVID complications. It’s also significantly different to dine outdoors at a restaurant than it is to thrust themselves into an enclosed space with dozens of colleagues. They can’t be certain if everyone is taking the same precautions as they are, and they’re worried about the health risks. Companies can address this by highlighting their increased sanitation protocols, requiring masks, performing daily health checks, or requiring proof of vaccination/a weekly negative COVID test for all employees.

Addressing employee concerns about returning to work is essential for attendance. Employees are more likely to call out or refuse to return at all if they feel their employer is disregarding their health and wellbeing. Contact the experts at Actec to learn more about mitigating absenteeism as your employees return to the office.

How to Create an Office Environment Employees Will Love

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April 19th, 2022

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FNOLThe pandemic forced many companies to shift to an all-remote staff, but many are returning to the office as the omicron surge wanes. Flexibility and the option to telework are here to stay, and employees are likely to divide their time between the office and at home. However, employees have grown used to their home offices. The layout is to their liking, snacks are readily available, and their productivity is impressive. If their workspace at the office falls short by comparison, they aren’t going to want to be there. It’s also likely to tank their engagement and hinder their work output.

Office spaces should energize and motivate employees rather than leaving them underwhelmed and apathetic. Here are several ideas to cultivate workspaces that employees will love.

Create Collaborative Spaces

Teams need spaces to engage, bounce around ideas, and form a cohesive plan. Depending on the company culture and space availability, employees may prefer to gather on comfortable couches in break rooms, meet at a round table, or book a formal closed-door meeting. Stocking these rooms with tools that inspire creative collaboration (e.g., whiteboards and dry erase markers) can maximize their effectiveness.

Define Quiet Productivity Areas

Many employees struggled with distractions from pets, kids, family members, or other people living in the house while telecommuting. The workplace should seek to eliminate these noisy interruptions for times when employees need to focus. Meeting rooms away from the main office thoroughfare work well for this purpose, or companies can designate a productivity space that discourages phone calls, loud conversations, music, etc.

Design Workspaces with Employee Wellbeing in Mind

Enhanced cleaning protocols became the norm as the pandemic progressed, but companies can do much more to make the workplace a relaxing and supportive environment. Dark workspaces can leave employees feeling lethargic and unproductive. Increasing natural lighting in workspaces does wonders for employees’ happiness and engagement. Companies can achieve this with easy and cost-effective changes, such as moving workspaces to well-lit areas, adding mirrors to reflect the light, or using bright lights that mimic natural sunlight if it isn’t possible to rearrange the office layout. Eliminating clutter can also improve employees’ moods, as visual clutter often overwhelms employees and increases their stress.

The change to exclusively telecommuting happened quickly, and employees had little time to adjust. Businesses have much more control over the return-to-office process. Creating a workspace that employees want to use doesn’t have to be grand or cost prohibitive. Simple changes to layout and lighting can improve employees’ mood, productivity, and desire to go to the office.

The office setting needs to support employees’ creativity, productivity, and mental wellbeing. If their home offices are better equipped, companies may struggle to transition their workforce back into the workplace. Contact the experts at Actec to learn more about what influences employee attendance and how you can improve it.

4 Simple Steps to Improve Employee Attendance and Engagement

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April 5th, 2022

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absence reporting

COVID-19 has forever altered the concept of business as usual. Many businesses transitioned to a remote workforce at the onset of the pandemic. Now, some are reopening their offices, but employees expect to have continued flexibility. The pandemic isn’t over, and employees may still need flexible hours or the option to work remotely should COVID affect their household.

Employees’ mental health has also become a top priority for companies. Businesses are implementing several changes to reflect this trend, such as:

  • Offering mental health days
  • Adding mental health services to insurance plans
  • Encouraging employees to stay home when they feel unwell
  • Increasing PTO

Employee burnout is at an all-time high, and ignoring their mental health or work-life balance needs can lead to disengagement and rampant absenteeism. Consider implementing the following trends to sustain attendance and productivity:

  1. Remove the stigma of using PTO. Many employees feel like they can’t use their PTO without repercussions unless they give ample notice, such as taking time off for vacations. However, employees can’t predict mental health challenges or burnout. Fostering a culture that encourages employees to use PTO when they need it can help employees rest when they need to and return to work refreshed.
  2. Focus on employee retention. Many companies expend considerable energy on continually improving the customer experience, and employees deserve that same courtesy. Companies that consistently recognize their employees’ value and efforts experience greater employee loyalty and less absenteeism.
  3. Trust employees. Employees resent micromanagement, particularly while dealing with the stressors introduced by the pandemic. Provide clear productivity expectations and deadlines, but trust employees to manage their schedules. Companies can ensure projects stay on track by monitoring employees’ work output rather than scrutinizing or dissecting their work hours.
  4. Invest in absence management software. Absence management software helps businesses identify attendance trends and unusual absences. Employers can use this information to implement data-driven changes to improve attendance and employee engagement.

Actec understands the attendance challenges businesses are facing as the pandemic continues to affect business operations. Our self-service absence-tracking mobile app captures all attendance data without the need to contact multiple departments or managers. Employees can also use the app to submit leave requests, either by phone, text, chat, or within the app itself. Contact us to discuss your absence reporting and tracking needs.

Top Reasons Why You Need Employee Attendance Tracking Software

Posted on

March 8th, 2022

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Employee absences have a ripple effect on productivity. Projects come to a halt if a team member isn’t present to complete their part. Other employees may pick up the slack to meet the project deadline, but their morale is likely to suffer under the increased workload. Other attendance issues can also sew discord among staff, such as an employee who regularly arrives late without consequences.

The Types of Attendance to Track

Certain employee absences are inevitable, such as an employee falling ill or using their vacation leave. However, failing to track all areas of attendance can create blind spots that lead to chronic absenteeism. The following are the primary attendance markers companies need to know:

  • Arriving late
  • Leaving early
  • No show without notice and without calling
  • Sick leave
  • Paid time off (PTO)

Some businesses offer other forms of leave, such as maternity leave, bereavement leave, and mental health days. Which metrics a company chooses to track depend largely on the company’s culture and attendance policy.

The Importance of Attendance Tracking Software

Manual attendance systems are too easy to fool. The most prevalent issue with manual systems is buddy punching. Employees may clock each other in or out to hide tardiness or early departures. Using a mobile app provides better attendance data and simplifies many aspects of absence management. A mobile app centralizes all leave requests, and it simplifies the process of requesting leave for employees.

Businesses can also use the data to identify attendance trends, which may uncover more significant issues. For example, if employees in a certain department arrive late and leave early consistently, it can indicate there is an issue with the manager. Addressing these issues early can prevent systemic absenteeism and potentially improve morale. Contact the experts at Actec to learn more about improving absence management with our absence tracking mobile app.