How to Create a Sense of Loyalty to Retain Employees

Posted on

October 25th, 2022


Acquiring highly qualified candidates is an ongoing challenge for businesses across all industries. The competition between employers to entice talented applicants is fierce, as the job market leans much more in employees’ favor. Retaining those employees is an equally significant concern. Cultivating a strong sense of culture is crucial for developing a loyal workforce. Understanding employee motivations is also essential to retaining them. The following statistics provide several insights to achieve this goal:

  1. More than three-quarters of employees believe a strong company culture fosters their best work.
  2. Nearly three-quarters of millennials and 65% of Gen Z believe their job is integral to their identity.
  3. 70% of employees stay with their employer for the long term because they received excellent onboarding.
  4. Nearly 70% of employees indicate they would work harder at their job if their employer showed greater appreciation for their work.
  5. Businesses that cultivate a culture of learning enjoy a retention rate that’s 30-50% higher than those that don’t.
  6. Around 44% of employees will look for a new job if their employer doesn’t act on their feedback
  7. The odds of employees quitting rise 16% if they feel uneasy about providing feedback to their supervisors.
  8. Employees who rate their manager’s performance as poor are 4X more likely to quit
  9. Employees are 20% more likely to stay if they are advancing in their careers or believe they have career growth opportunities.
  10. Millennials are more loyal than many employers realize, as most intend to work for their organization for at least a decade.

Employee loyalty is critical for productivity and long-term success as a business. It typically costs around one-third of an employee’s salary to replace them, and it’s impossible to regain the time and productivity lost during their vacancy. Securing employee loyalty is a complex process, but employers can implement several simple changes to work toward that goal. Encouraging feedback, acting on it quickly and meaningfully, and recognizing their work often are good places to start.

However, it’s not always clear to company leadership why their turnover rate is so high. Tracking attendance data can help provide insights, such as identifying once-punctual employees that are now habitually late or a rising absenteeism trend within a specific team or department. A scheduling conflict or an under-performing manager may be the root of the problem. Collecting this data is crucial to untangling the salient details and implementing effective changes. Contact Actec to learn how our absence tracking mobile app can help your efforts to improve employee loyalty and absence reporting.

Warning Signs That an Employee Is About to Quit

Posted on

October 11th, 2022


Replacing an employee is a costly venture, as businesses can spend up to two times that employee’s salary to fill their vacancy. It takes time, recruiting efforts, and training to find and bring the new hire up to speed. Lost productivity and work errors also contribute to the high cost.

The reasons why employees look for new jobs are multitudinous. Some problems employers can address, such as a caustic department manager. Others are harder to resolve, such as major life changes the company can’t easily accommodate. For example, an employee may need a position that pays significantly more money or allows them to work 100% remotely to care for children or sick family members.

The following are several signs that an employee is about to quit:

  1. Loss of focus or interest in long-term projects and goals. Employees who are about to quit may become reluctant to sign on to a long-term project. They may worry that they can’t complete a project before they leave and don’t want to leave their colleagues in a bind. They’re also much less likely to care about meeting annual goals, as they will likely be gone before they can reap the benefits of their hard work.
  2. Poor quality of work. It may be a sign of an imminent departure if a formerly productive employee suddenly shifts to performing at a substandard level. For example, punctual employees may begin to miss several deadlines. They may also turn in work that is well below their usual standard.
  3. A sudden interest in professional development. Employees that regularly attend conferences and workshops aren’t a cause for concern as they’ve established a pattern of interest. However, it can be a red flag if an employee has a sudden and prolific interest in attending these professional development seminars. They may be trying to bolster or expand their skill set for a more appealing resume. They might also be using these opportunities to network.
  4. Sudden attendance changes. Changes in attendance can signal numerous problems. For example, an employee who consistently arrives late and takes long lunches may be struggling with burnout or difficulties with their manager. However, an employee that leaves early from work more often can indicate they’re interviewing for a new position. Abrupt absenteeism is always a red flag. Employees that suddenly start using up their sick leave and vacation days may feel overworked and underappreciated. They may also want to use their paid leave in lieu of working at a job they’re no longer invested in and intend to leave soon.

Employees have many tells that they’re thinking about quitting their job. Companies that identify the warning signs can take proactive steps to mitigate any problems that are within their control. For example, if employee absences are rising within a specific department, employers can investigate the leadership environment. Contact Actec to learn how our absence reporting app can help you implement data-driven changes that retain employees.

4 Hallmarks of an Effective Attendance Policy

Posted on

October 4th, 2022


Employers have several expectations of their employees, but they aren’t always as clear as they could be. For example, employers expect their employees to show up to work on time, but does this mean they need to be in the building, clocked in, or actively working by a designated time? Developing a clear attendance policy isn’t as straight forward of a process as employers may believe, which can create confusion and anxiety for employees.

If HR notices troubling attendance trends across all departments, it may be time to update the organization’s attendance policy. The following insights can help businesses create effective attendance policies:

  1. Reporting for work. How employers track attendance matters. For example, traditional card punching systems are easy to trick as employees can clock in for each other whether they are there or not (AKA buddy punching). Online attendance systems may pose issues, too. For example, employees may clock in when they’re running late to sidestep the rules.
  2. Tardiness Grace Period. Some businesses allow a small window for late arrivals. This is typically around five minutes to account for unexpected traffic, public transportation delays, or unexpected childcare emergencies. However, there is a difference between an employee who is late on occasion and one who arrives late more often than not. Businesses that allow grace periods need to include how many times an employee can arrive late before receiving a warning. Organizations will need to look at their employee demographics to decide if a grace period aligns with their employees’ needs and how often to allow it.
  3. Flexible work hours. Flextime is a popular benefit because not everybody’s lifestyle fits into a traditional 9-5 job. Some employees may prefer to start work early if they’re more productive in the morning, while others may need to begin later in the day to coordinate with their children’s school schedules. Businesses that allow flexible schedules need to set clear expectations for start times and work hours to prevent scheduling conflicts. For example, if one employee works from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., it may be difficult for them to collaborate with a team member who works from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  4. Acceptable Work Breaks. Businesses can’t treat their employees like emotionless worker bees. People need breaks to refresh their brains and refuel. However, companies need to set clear limits for breaks to prevent time theft and productivity loss. While a five-minute break in the coffee room to grab a drink or snack isn’t likely a cause for concern, it can become an issue if employees stretch it to fifteen minutes or make hourly trips. As for allotted lunch breaks, businesses need to make it clear this break includes travel time if employees decide to go out for lunch. Employers also need to make it clear employees need to keep personal calls, social media, and non-work-related conversations to a minimum while on the clock.

Having a clear attendance policy is essential in the workplace, but businesses need a way to track attendance and absences. Actec’s absence tracking mobile app allows you to capture all attendance data to identify trends, comply with labor laws, and streamline absence management. Contact us to learn how we can help curtail absenteeism and time theft in your organization.

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

Posted on

September 20th, 2022


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.

Showing Employee Appreciation for Better Engagement and Morale

Posted on

September 15th, 2022


Effective communication is critical to ensuring a good working environment. Workplace recognition is particularly effective when it comes to employee engagement, productivity, and wellbeing. While many companies may believe they show enough acknowledgment for their staff, a recent engagement and retention report indicated over 80% of employees wish their employer recognized their work more often.

The same report found that one-third of employees also find it hard to connect with their coworkers and the company culture. While employees appreciate flexible scheduling and the ability to work from home, many still desire face-to-face interaction for at least part of the week. With the pandemic forcing many companies to shift to remote platforms, employees feel disconnected, unrecognized, and unmotivated.

Recognizing past and ongoing achievements are essential for employee motivation and productivity. The pandemic has made this more challenging to achieve, but it’s well worth the effort. A Gallup Workplace report found that companies that focus on employee engagement have 41% less absenteeism than those that don’t. The research identified workplace recognition as one of the most effective ways to improve employee engagement and absenteeism rates.

While grand gestures aren’t feasible or realistic for day-to-day interactions, company leadership can implement the following to show employee appreciation:

Regular recognition. Companies can’t afford to wait until a holiday party to recognize employees. Yearly or quarterly recognition isn’t enough to sustain employee engagement. Weekly recognition yields the greatest returns on employee engagement. Recognition efforts don’t need to be over the top, either. They can be as simple as acknowledging an employee’s role in meeting a deadline or highlighting how their work contributes to the company’s goals.

If companies take too long to recognize an employee’s efforts, it isn’t likely to yield the desired outcome. Employees perceive delayed acknowledgment as a check in the box or that their company leadership didn’t notice their efforts in the moment.

Specific acknowledgment. Personalized acknowledgments will always produce better results than sending generic, canned messages to multiple people. When recognition is specific, employees are much more likely to repeat the action in the future.

Public encouragement. Thanking employees behind closed doors doesn’t foster a company culture of appreciation. Recognizing employees in front of their peers is a much more effective means of showing appreciation.

Recognizing employee efforts is an effective motivator. It improves employee engagement and has a direct effect on absenteeism. To learn more about reducing absenteeism in the workplace, contact the experts at Actec.

5 Factors that Influence Employee Retention Rates

Posted on

September 6th, 2022


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

Posted on

August 2nd, 2022


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

Posted on

July 19th, 2022


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

Posted on

July 5th, 2022


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


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.