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Communication

What to include in your holiday party memo

What to include in your holiday party memo

By on Dec 5, 2016 in Blog, Communication, Safety | 0 comments

Do you have a memo ready to send out to your employees for an upcoming company holiday party this year? If not, here are some suggestions from the Society of Human Resource Management of what to include in a party memo to send out to your employees. Alcohol – It should go without saying that employees should drink responsibly if alcoholic beverages will be served at the party, but that is not always the case. A system should be implemented to prevent employees from consuming too many alcoholic beverages, such as having someone in charge pass out an allotted amount of drink tickets with employees names printed on them. This will help employees limit the amount of drinks they consume and employees cannot give them away to others if they choose not to use them. There should also be a cut-off period where alcohol will no longer be served about an hour before the party ends but make sure that there will be non-alcoholic beverages still available. Make sure to have professional bartenders serve beverages at the party instead of burdening an employee with the risk. Apparel – Make sure to have a set dress code for the party so employees know ahead of time what they can wear and set what will be considered inappropriate attire at the event. Behavior – Communicate with employees that although they are not at work, their behaviors should still conform to what is acceptable in the workplace. This includes using language that would be appropriate for the workplace as well. Gift giving – If gifts will be exchanged at the party, make sure to have a price limit on gifts and that gifts should not be obscene, offensive or of a sexually explicit nature. Impaired driving – To avoid employees driving after consuming alcohol, have your company make arrangements with a taxi firm to be available to transport employees who do not have a designated driver to get home safety. Smoking – Have a rule in place on smoking at the event, whether it prohibits it completely from the event or make sure there is a designated area for employees to go. These are just a few items to communicate to your employees...

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Holidays are coming up…already!

Holidays are coming up…already!

By on Oct 31, 2016 in Blog, Communication, HR Consulting | 1 comment

Hard to believe we are already at the end of October and with today being Halloween we know that November, December, and even January brings on the holiday season for 2016 and 2017. Rather than listing out all the holidays celebrated by different people throughout these two months, we wanted to provide some general reminders to help you plan your staffing and ensure that you are being fair and consistent when granting time off or flexible schedules. If you have not done so, prepare and post holiday schedules now indicating what days you will be open for business and which days you will be closed. If the holidays fall on weekends, will you close the day before or the day after the holiday? If so, make sure you let people know. Some industries, such as medical or retail, may have normal hours and scheduling or even longer hours. Make sure people are aware of this. It’s completely appropriate to state that you have certain ‘blackout’ periods in which no time off may be granted due to business needs. Keep in mind that there are a number of religious and other holidays throughout this period, some of which you may be unfamiliar. Make sure you treat people fairly even if it is a holiday that you do not know. Does your handbook state who is eligible for holiday time off and holiday pay? Have you explained how holiday pay is calculated?  If not, do yourself a favor and get your handbook language updated so that you don’t have to deal with any disputes or misunderstandings. Do you need assistance with your workforce strategy or other Human Resources consulting needs? Contact us and check out our blog for more helpful...

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Understanding non-verbal communication

Understanding non-verbal communication

By on Jun 29, 2016 in Blog, Communication | 0 comments

Non-verbal communication is an exchange that is absent of words. In the business world today, non-verbal communication is highly regarded. However, it is widely misunderstood. Non-verbal communication relies on gestures, body movement, physical contact, facial expressions, and the physical environment. Approximately 55% of a message is conveyed via body posture and facial expressions. Nearly 38% is conveyed by inflection and tone of voice. The remaining 7% is the actual verbal message. It is generally understood that there are three kinds of non-verbal communication frequently practiced in the workplace: body language, images, and environments. Body language – can be as simple as the distance that you stand away from someone. Standing close indicated either aggressive behavior or friendliness. In some cultures it is appropriate to stand further apart, while in other cultures is acceptable to stand closer together. Extended eye contact can demonstrate either interest or hostile feelings. Crossed arms generally indicate disinterest. Images – are the mental pictures that develop in a person’s mind, based on the words chosen by the speaker. The words used may convey more than the literal meaning of the words. Environment – in which communication occurs also plays a role in non-verbal communication. Communication may be hindered when physical “power” barriers exist. Several factors convey power, such as the size/type of furniture in an office, how accessible/inaccessible the office resident may be, or the location and square footage of the office itself. You should always be aware of the impact of non-verbal communication when conversing with customers and employees. Positive feedback delivered with inappropriate non-verbal “messages” can have a negative impact. The message you are delivering can be strengthened or weakened depending on the non-verbal behavior demonstrated. Watch for new postings on workforce strategy here on our blog, as well as Facebook, LinkedIn,...

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Developing effective listening skills

Developing effective listening skills

By on Jun 27, 2016 in Blog, Communication | 0 comments

Listening is another key management skill and is the companion to speaking. Listening involves hearing and understanding the message the speaker is conveying, then confirming to the speaker that the message was received as intended. Before you can assess if you are an effective listener, you must determine if you have any listener shortcomings. Do you: Demonstrate impatience as you wait for others to finish speaking? Offer solutions before the concerns have been completely described? Interrupt the speaker? Indicate boredom with your body language? Find your mind wandering, resulting in missed information? Hear only what you want to hear? If you are guilty of any of these poor listener habits, you should improve your listening skills. Listening is more than hearing spoken words. It includes the mental processing of the entire message. You may consider: Listening for key ideas. Determining the basis of the information provided. Viewing the information conveyed from the speaker’s perspective. When you are listening effectively, you process information, ask questions, remain focused and active, keep an open mind, and pay attention. When you are not listening effectively, you disregard information, do not ask questions, are passive, have preconceived notions, and are easily distracted. Next time an employee is speaking with you, focus to make sure you are really listening to what they have to say and fix any bad listening habits. Watch for new postings on workforce strategy here on our blog, as well as Facebook, LinkedIn,...

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Speaking with energy

Speaking with energy

By on May 11, 2016 in Blog, Communication | 0 comments

Your speaking manner impacts your ability to be persuasive. A monotone voice will alienate your listeners quickly. The best way to determine your level of enthusiasm when speaking is to use a recording device. Use the recordings to hear how others hear you. You may learn from the recordings by: Listening to the recordings approximately five to seven days later. Determining if your tone of voice was appropriate for the content and importance of the information conveyed. Assessing the presence or absence of a monotone voice. Reviewing your communication to determine if it was engaging and relevant. Based on speech patterns revealed by the recordings, outline your areas of opportunity. Create an action plan and incorporate into future discussions or meetings. To ensure your message is not lost because of wordiness, express main points clearly, organize supplementary information as lead-in and/or wrap-up statements, and solicit listener feedback to validate clear understanding. If miscommunication or a misunderstanding occurs, you should determine if: Sufficient information was provided. Unclear information was conveyed that possibly clouded your points. Slang or poor grammar was used. Certain employees always seem to misunderstand you. Any other modifications could be made to enhance the clarity of the message. Costly errors can be minimized when clear communication occurs between managers, employees, and customers. You may develop the ability to incorporate spontaneity in your speaking style by: Using anecdotes or examples to enhance the message. Relaxing mentally while speaking. Imagining you are conversing with only one person. Using clear, simple words. Speaking in short sentences. Enjoying yourself. Information presented in a natural manner is more likely to captivate the listener. Watch for new postings on workforce strategy here on our blog, as well as Facebook, LinkedIn,...

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Developing effective speaking skills

Developing effective speaking skills

By on May 9, 2016 in Blog, Communication, Speaking | 0 comments

Long-term research has shown that speaking to more than one person at a time is a widely held fear by most people. To comfortably convey the spoken word to others requires considerable practice in many key areas. People usually possess one of three common speaking habits, which include: Avoiding public speaking – would rather write a memo or note to others. Providing no background information – does not want to bore anyone. Using big words – wants to impress everyone. Without the ability to communicate confidently and effectively, you may lose respect. The biggest source of listener boredom is when the speaker is long-winded! Important points of the conversation are lost due to wordiness. Some people will actually shift their attention completely away from the speaker and begin concentrating on anything but the meeting. If you have ever perceived that your audience has lost interest during a weekly meeting or during other conversations, perhaps they are victims of verbosity. You may become a more concise speaker by Narrowing the focus of your discussions. Editing out non-essential information. Noting how others are responding during your meetings or discussions; lost eye contact indicates you are drifting off the subject. Privately asking a reliable friend or co-worker if you are too wordy; use pre-established signals to subtly indicate that you are drifting. Keeping answers to questions as brief and clear as possible. Asking audience members to summarize key points to verify that you have communicated clearly. Established habits are hard to break. Use every occasion to rehearse speaking more concisely. Watch for new postings on workforce strategy here on our blog, as well as Facebook, LinkedIn,...

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