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.

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.

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.

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.

How to Bring Reluctant Employees Back to the Workplace

Posted on

June 7th, 2022


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

Posted on

April 19th, 2022


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

Posted on

April 5th, 2022


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.

Benefits of Fostering a Culture of Workplace Wellness

Posted on

December 28th, 2021


Mental health difficulties aren’t personal problems that employees can deal with off the clock. Stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues have far-reaching effects. Workplace stress compounds these issues, which can lead to burnout, poor productivity, and absenteeism. Here are some of the benefits companies reap when they support employees’ mental and emotional wellbeing:

  1. Employee motivation and productivity improve. Depressed, stressed, or burnt-out employees don’t perform to the best of their ability. Their work quality may suffer, or they may finish significantly less work than usual. Employees that feel supported by their employer are happier and more productive.
  2. They attract top-tier talent. Employees talk, and the internet is rife with company workplace reviews. Businesses that show they care about their employees’ wellbeing attract highly qualified candidates for open positions, which gives them an edge on the competition.
  3. Employees are more loyal. The modern workplace experiences a much higher rate of employee turnover than it did in previous decades. Employees change jobs for several reasons, and many are outside their employers’ control. For example, employees may quit because their spouse’s job requires them to move, or they may quit because they want a shorter commute. However, employers can control their company culture. Employees are less likely to look for a new job if they’re happy and feel supported by their company.
  4. They have a better reputation. A company’s reputation goes beyond how employees feel about their employer. Consumers want to support companies that take care of their employees, and they will take their business elsewhere if they believe an organization doesn’t treat its people with compassion.
  5. Employees take fewer mental health-related absences. Employees that struggle with mental health issues are more likely to take sick days. Their mental health symptoms can make it impossible to work or siphon away their motivation. Companies that offer mental health support for their employees help cultivate a happier work environment. Happier and less-stressed employees are much less likely to call out of work due to their mental health.

Employee absenteeism is rarely random or without cause. If employers notice a once-reliable employee is arriving late, leaving early, or not showing up at all, that employee may be suffering from mental health challenges. Offering mental and emotional wellness support can reverse the absenteeism trend. Contact the experts at Actec to learn more about preventing absenteeism in the workplace.

How to Improve Employee Engagement with SMART Goals

Posted on

October 5th, 2021


Every company has big-picture goals, but it’s not always a straightforward matter to achieve them. Managers may struggle to keep employees engaged, or employees may not understand their role in the process. Team- or company-wide goals are easy enough to grasp, but how to accomplish them becomes murky when broken down to the employee level. Using the SMART approach to setting goals can cut through this confusion and allow employees to engage with their work to the best of their ability.

Understanding SMART Goals

The SMART method isn’t a new concept, but many businesses fail to keep it in mind when setting goals. The SMART criteria are Specific, Measurable, Achievable/Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Using these elements allows companies to create measurable goals that outline what employees or teams need to accomplish on a specific timeline. The SMART approach also allows companies to provide clear markers of success, whether it’s a certain number of sales or a percentage increase in customer engagement because they can track the results.

  • S: Specific goals eliminate confusion by providing details on what the objective is, what team or employee is responsible for it, and what steps those individuals need to take next.
  • M: Measurable goals are much easier to quantify because they have data to examine. If a company sets a goal to increase social media engagement, it also needs to identify benchmarks of success. One additional customer comment compared to the month before technically constitutes an increase, but it’s not likely what the company had in mind. Setting measurable targets eliminates confusion on what counts as success.
  • A: Unrealistic goals will leave employees frustrated and destroy productivity. When companies reach this point in goal setting, they need to take a hard look at the feasibility of the goal. If the goal is too demanding or big in scale, employees will struggle to achieve it.
  • R: Employees won’t understand the point of a goal if it lacks relevancy. This part of the method explains why the goal is important to the company’s long-term success and how employees contribute to that end.
  • T: Employees need to know the timeline for achieving their goals. If they aren’t clear on when tasks are due to keep the goal on track, they’ll struggle to distribute their workload effectively. Similarly, if the timeline is too short, employees won’t be able to produce the quality of work required for true success.

When employees understand their role and tasks, why it matters, and what management expects of them, their productivity increases exponentially. Without knowing these things, they’re likely to flounder and disengage from their work. Disengaged employees don’t see the importance of what they do and are much less motivated to do their work. This kind of thinking can result in absenteeism, poor workplace morale, and lost profits. Contact the experts at Actec to learn more about improving employee engagement and attendance.