Friday, August 31, 2018

3 Things to Understand about Employee Stress

Stress naturally occurs in the workplace. But when left unchecked, it can become detrimental to one’s health and productivity.  In fact, a recent study[1]  by the British Heart Foundation found that two in every five employees say that stress at work has affected their health, by causing them to smoke and drink more, eat poorly, and forego exercise. Stress has been associated with physical problems like a weakened immune system, stomach aches, high blood pressure, hair loss, and headaches. Their mental health can also be affected as excess stress can cause racing thoughts, feelings of losing control or feeling or anger, depression, and sleep issues.

All though managers can’t completely relieve stress from every employee, there are certain factors to understand that can help put into perspective what causes stress and how to lessen its effect in the workplace. 

1. Employee lack of control

How much authority employees have, lack of influence or consultation in the way in which work is organized can all be potential sources of pressure for employees. To balance this, make sure workers have involvement in decision making or give them allowance to make suggestions in relation to their role. If possible, employees should be encouraged to develop new skills to help them undertake new and challenging pieces of work.
Lack of time is also a huge factor in inducing stress so monitoring how much time you are allotting per project can make a big difference. Also, consult with your employees about when breaks should be taken and their work patterns.

2. Role Ambiguity

Work-related stress can be caused when an employee does not understand their role fully. Reasons for this could be they have not been given adequate training to carry out their role or if their role has conflicting responsibilities. Role ambiguity and conflict decreases workers’ performance and could be a reason for employee turnover. 
Roles should be clearly defined and information should be made available to employees on this. If you do not have them already, systems should be put in place to enable employees to raise concerns about any uncertainties or conflicts they have in their role and responsibilities. Open communication is key here.

3. Work-Life Balance

Although this involves employee personal lives, employers should also be aware of their worker's work and life balance. This is the biggest and most pressing challenge to the mental health of the general population.  Long hours are a contributing factor to this unbalance and it's something that employers can control. Excessive travel time and unsocial working hours can also contribute to stress that affects home life. Keep in mind and respect that each employee has a life outside of work that is just as important as their work life. They need to be able to balance both or their overall physical and mental health will suffer for it.

Have an interesting blog idea? Email us at

Monday, August 27, 2018

How to Eliminate Toxic Talk in the Workplace

Toxic talk and gossip in the workplace is not only distracting but it can wreak havoc on your office morale. Work productivity can go down because people are emotionally caught up in drama. Anxiety and tension can have people “walking on eggshells” around one another and there might even be unexpected turnover or loss of great talent due to the toxic environment. Whether the catalyst is one person or a number of them, toxic people have a huge effect on everyone you work with.

How to Identify Gossip
Sometimes it's hard to define, but you know it when you hear it. When light conversation and idle chit chat suddenly turns to negative or causes the embarrassment of others, you have entered the gossip realm. And as far as Human Resources is concerned, that's a form of attack and violence in the workplace.
According to, here are some questions to ask if you are still not sure if chit chat has become harmful workplace gossip: 

  • Does the chit chat rejoice in the misfortune of others?
  • Does it have a negative emotional charge or seem to perpetuate conflict or negativity?
  • Does it hurt or damage the one being spoken of? Would you say it in front of this person's face?
  • Is it an unsubstantiated rumor about another employee's work situation (a promotion or demotion)?

How to Deal with Toxic People 

1. Create Distance

If you can physically distance yourself from the toxic person or people, try to find excuses to work in different areas of the building. If this is not possible, create mental and emotional distance for yourself. Music might help you tune him or her out, or even just simply wearing headphone without music creates a buffer that tells people you are not interested and cuts off instant access.

2.  Clear your head
Stop giving toxic people your headspace. It can be difficult but it's important for your own wellbeing to take the emotions out of your reaction to these toxic people. They're going to do what they're going to do, but you don't have to get upset about it. Get right with that reality, and start taking your personal power back!

3. Set Personal Boundaries
Start by knowing your own boundaries and making them clear to the people around you. If toxic people ignore your boundaries and become inappropriate in a professional setting then you should make a complaint. Try not to allow this complaint to be personal as its about inappropriate behavior and should be acknowledged accordingly. Keep it professional and be aware that there may be backlash. By being ready for this, you are keeping your peace and putting your foot down.

4. Be an Example
What's the best way to counter negativity? Positivity! Be a role model by not engaging in the gossip or change the subject entirely. Make a conscious decision to stay happy and have fun with the people around you. Your own self talk can help you through this and help uplift your mood, thus affecting the people around you. This approach also gives you a lot of power in the situation because you are not a slave to whims and moods of others.

5. Let Them Be Who They are Going to Be
A huge frustration in life is trying to control another person. It can’t be done and it just creates resentment and hostility in you. Therefore, don’t completely block out the toxic person. You will need to cooperate with them on some level given your mutual workspace. Let him or her speak, share ideas and don’t interrupt them. No one likes to be shut out entirely and you don’t want to be accused of being someone who doesn’t listen to others. Give him or her the respect he or she deserves in their professional position so you're poised to ask for the same.

Have an interesting blog idea? Email us at 


Sunday, August 19, 2018

How to Manage and Optimize Remote Talent

There are many reasons remote work has become so popular. A remote workforce can increase productivity, with quieter environments and fewer distractions. They improve health and well-being for workers and decrease travel-related environmental impact. With lower turnover rates, your business is also able to widen its talent search as they aren’t limited to a small geographic region. The list goes on.

Of course, managing and optimizing remote talent has its challenges. For example, according to[1], “one of the biggest negatives of remote work continues to be the feeling of isolation and disconnectedness telecommuters often report.” While managers are effective at keeping the cohesion among team members about the office space, it poses a challenge to keep that up with remote workers.

Here are a few of our tips for success when managing a remote workforce:

1.     Hire with Entrepreneur in mind

Self-discipline is the key quality when looking for remote workers. The right employee must know how to micromanage themselves. Hire a professional with an entrepreneurial spirit or a passion for their work. Since they will be overseeing themselves in a sense for most of the workday, this self-motivation and excitement are key to their success and as a successful employee.

2. Purpose

With motivation in mind, setting clear and attainable goals for your remote workers will not only share your vision with them, but it will set their purpose. Remote workers are especially in need of connecting with an organizational purpose as they are void of the daily and physical contact that can ensure their work has meaning.

3. Connection
Remote work does not have to mean isolations. Most people want to be part of a team and collaborate on tasks and projects. Many even do their best work as a result of these people-to-people connections. When people are connected with people, they gain a sense of belonging. Try using video communication such as Google Hangouts, Zoom or Skype. Encourage connection through in-person meetups at least twice a year if possible. Use a social onboarding platform to unite the team.

4. Process

Keep the process simple. Although you want to hire talent that are capable of micromanaging themselves, remote workers still need structure. Clear, easy to find and simple to follow processes can take much of the anxiety out of completing day-to-day activities for remote workers. One way to do this is to make use of the surmountable technological apps that are available to you. Workflow and project management tools such as Basecamp, Asana, and Trello are some great examples. These apps can enable real-time and continuous performance feedback, learning, and coaching that keep your workers aligned in your company’s process.

5. Feedback

Every employee loves recognition. Multiple studies have even shown that[2]  “employees value recognition over financial compensation. This could mean taking them aside to show your appreciation or giving a gift. Feedback improved productivity and increases motivation. Since remote workers are not in the office every day, they might be unaware of how management gauges their work. Make sure to create time, perhaps twice a year, to have a one-on-one meeting with your remote talent to go over their performance or the written feedback you have created. This is a great effort to show they are valued, included in the team and important to your business.

Have an interesting blog idea? Email us at

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Generation Z in the Workforce

“Millennial” has been a word on many employers tongues over the years, with hundreds of articles and tools created to understand, hire and foster them in the workplace. Now that most millennials are in their late 20s and 30s, they are most likely passed the junior level roles. Now, employers should avert their attention to the generation of college grads, Generation Z.
Smart companies should begin preparing now for this new tech-savvy, holistic and independent force.

What Generation Z is looking for

According to, “75% say there are other ways of getting a good education than going to college.” This means companies will be welcoming Generation Z into the workplace a lot sooner than expected.
They are also extremely motivated by security. "These Gen Zers have seen their parents struggle financially [due to the recession and student loan crisis], so parents are having conversations about finances, money and debt with kids earlier. They're having conversations older generations never really had before," said Denise Villa, founder of The Center for Generational Kinetics, according to
While millennials were seen as more motivated by purpose than pay, Gen Z is leaning towards security and money. Companies should focus on offering promising job security and opportunity for raises in order to get this generation's attention when recruiting.

How to Recruit them

Companies should focus on delivering an exceptional candidate experience. Gen Z is less likely to do business with a company where they have a poor experience as a job applicant. Slow communication, for example, or non-mobile friendly career pages are going to deter them from moving forward with your company. Focus on creating timely, tech-savvy and effortless candidate experience.
Speaking of tech-savvy, this generation has never known life without a smartphone. Their technical skills are second nature. If companies want to recruit Gen Zers, they need to utilize innovative technology.
On the other side of the coin, Gen Z likes to talk face to face. According to Business 2 Community, “ Fifty-three percent of Generation Z said they prefer in-person discussion over instant messaging or email.” This could perhaps attribute to the negative feedback they saw millennials receive from their reliance on technology, or it could be because Gen Z grew up with Skype and Snapchat, forms of communication beyond text. Either way, companies should prepare for in-person meetings with Gen Z employees.

Why you should recruit them

Generation Z is 55% more likely to want to start a business than millennials. They are highly motivated and willing to work hard to achieve their dreams and are known to be great multitaskers. Their independent work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit can make great employees for your company. With a likely chance they will soak up as much knowledge as they can and take on many different challenges as they pursue their goal of starting their own company in the future, your company has the advantage of the very well rounded employee.
Of course, each candidate varies from person to person. There is no one way to assess an entire generation. But having these characteristics and tactics fresh in mind when recruiting will help you welcome Generation Z into your company’s space and welcome them to the workforce.

Have an interesting blog idea? Email us at