How to Handle an Employee Gone Rogue

You know that person at the office who seems to consider themselves above the rules? That’s a rogue employee. But sometimes, rogue behaviour isn’t as obvious. Someone may openly disobey policies or disrespect management, or a seemingly perfect worker may be committing serious offences in secret, such as stealing company data, pilfering money, spying on behalf of a competitor, or sabotaging their colleagues.

There are ways to detect a rogue employee early. It’s can be the person you demoted because they no longer seemed to be the ideal fit for the role they were hired for. Or the member of the management team that consistently ignores company policies or the opinions of others when making changes. If their rogue behaviour has already been identified, they’re likely already on the bubble – one more misstep and they’re out. But before firing them, it’s best to consider the value they bring. Discuss the employee’s overall performance with other managers and HR. If they haven’t caused a high level of offence, determine whether you want to give them a chance to change.

In the meantime, there are ways you can prevent rogue employees from inflicting damage on the organization by limiting and monitoring their access to information. Use identity and access management (IAM) software to increase security. With IAM software, you can regulate the amount of access employees have to pertinent data and files depending on their role. Look for software that records login information and activity for each user, allows them to update their own profiles, and can handle a large volume of users in the system without compromising performance.

If it’s a disrespectful employee you’re dealing with, evaluate how you position yourself as a manager: are you too lenient with the person in question? Do you allow them to break certain rules? Are they doing whatever they want? If you tolerate a workspace in which certain people can behave this way while others can’t, then you’re the problem. But whether you’ve been unwittingly encouraging such behaviour or not, reexamine the way you treat all employees. Reimplement the company values and the most important policies. Present these policies and guidelines clearly, as outlined in the employment agreement, to everyone.

Fellow coworkers can help handle a rogue colleague and spot other potential threats if they’re trained in detecting rogue behaviour. For example, if an employee notices their colleague taking frequent trips to the photocopier or printer when their job doesn’t really require, there’s a possibility the employee is stealing company info or using the machine for personal things. A properly-trained employee could ask their coworker about the issue (their frequent use of a machine); maybe their colleague is stealing proprietary company secrets, delivering that information to a competing business or using it for their own entrepreneurial project. Keeping employees aware of these sorts of issues will increase awareness and create a more stable and secure work environment. If anybody feels disrespected by a fellow colleague or is suspicious of their conduct, they should feel empowered to report them.

Speaking of corporate espionage, you may want to do some digging yourself. Take a look at the rogue employee’s social media channels. Ensure they’re abiding by the organization’s social media policy and aren’t bad-mouthing the company (and/or its affiliates or partners), especially after a significant incident like a demotion or another disciplinary issue. This would be detrimental to brand image and cause distrust among your customers, which is obviously bad for business.

– Joséphine Mwanvua
 

Business photo created by yanalya – www.freepik.com

More Than Just Resumes: How LinkedIn Can Benefit Your Business

A LinkedIn account may seem crucial for a job seeker, but less important for a small business. However, with more than 500 million members now on the professional platform, it’s worth it for all businesses, big and small, to create a profile.

LinkedIn is different from other social media platforms because it focuses on professional content while fostering connections between businesses as well as people. A company profile can draw in potential customers and attract new employees in addition to promoting itself and sharing various content.

A personal account is necessary to set up a company profile, but joining LinkedIn is free. Once the business account has been created, you can utilize ads to promote company news to specific audiences and get even more personal by dropping personalized ads into your customers’ inboxes. Posting videos on the platform is a new tool for reaching and expanding your audience. Videos are among the most popular forms of online content, and they allow you to convey your company’s message in seconds. Your subsequent marketing efforts can be improved by studying engagement analytics and website demographics, tools that allow you see what kind of LinkedIn users are visiting your page.

Customers aren’t the only people you’ll want to connect with on LinkedIn. Since the platform is designed for networking, tapping into the contacts of first-degree connections can grow your network and potentially even grow your business. Maybe the right partner for a joint venture you’ve been considering will be a second-degree connection, or you’ll find that new team member you’ve been looking for as a third-degree connection.

Or perhaps you want to meet like-minded entrepreneurs or managers for mentorship or advice. Joining a LinkedIn group can make you new friends, and there are groups for every niche. You might find the right person to bounce ideas off or simply build a new friendship. Be active in the groups, but don’t try to use them to promote your company’s services or products, as it’s considered bad form.

If you want to position your business as a leading brand in its industry, consider LinkedIn Publishing. You can write longform articles that connect people with your brand and help them understand what your company is all about. This not only builds your reputation as an expert in your field, but it also builds interest in your business as readers become potential customers. Make sure you post on a regular basis, share what matters to you, and provide glimpses of the company culture. You could even write about the causes your company stands behind. You can go as far as using original images featuring actual employees. LinkedIn Publishing provides the opportunity to show that there are real people behind your brand.

Your business may have a subcomponent or a specific initiative you want to highlight. LinkedIn’s Showcase Pages helps draw attention to those specific areas of the company and members can follow them.

There are more tools to personalize your company’s profile and build brand awareness. With a detailed page that fosters engagement from audiences and employees, LinkedIn remains a proven way to lure in potential clients.

– Josephine Mwanvua

Resolving Conflict in the Workplace

Conflict happens. Differences of opinion and different work styles can create problems, straining relationships between coworkers and reducing their efficiency and productivity. They may become unmotivated and dread coming into the office. But if properly handled, conflict can also be an opportunity to move toward a better organized work environment.

Below are some steps to help managers avoid and resolve conflict in the workplace:

Communication

Clear communication plays an important role in avoiding conflicts in the workplace. Be very clear and specific with your message and communicate in a way that everyone can understand. When talking with or emailing your colleagues, make sure they understand everything being discussed, as misunderstandings can lead to more problems in the future. Ensure that all necessary information is being properly conveyed to avoid this.

Clarify Misunderstandings

When conflicts arise, bring both parties together and let them have a professional and respectful conversation. Make sure each party understands the other’s point of view. At the end of the discussion, make sure an agreement of some sort has been reached and any misinterpretations are addressed.

Consider All Sides

Speak with each party individually to understand the issue behind the conflict. Ask them for suggestions on how to best avoid this situation in the future. After hearing everyone out, analyze the feedback and focus on the problem itself rather than the specifics of who did what. Any action taken should be with the goal of improving the overall work environment. Meet again with the parties involved and provide your solution. Be impartial and emphasize what’s best for the company in order to avoid future complications.

Eliminate Negative Feelings

Solve the problem in a manner that helps both parties feel like the issue has been resolved in an acceptable manner, ideally with no lingering bitter feelings. Everyone should be satisfied with the solution so that the work environment remains a respectful and friendly place.

Be Cooperative

Everyone has their own way of working and accomplishing tasks. Don’t impose your ideas on others and instead consider their views. Avoid bias, treat everyone equally, and be fair with all your employees and coworkers. Bring it to their attention when they make mistakes, but also applaud them for a job well done. If you make mistake, apologize, and accept your part in causing the problem. Never assume any conflict is insignificant; always try to solve it as soon as possible, rather than letting it fester. Try using written notes or emails to help your peers understand the solution to a problem. And always keep the bigger picture in mind.

Structure

Encourage collaboration. Create a structure that facilitates teamwork and requires staff to work together to complete tasks. This is one of the most effective conflict-resolution techniques and it will make employees realize the importance of working as a team to support each other.

Regardless of the specific workplace, everyone expects a friendly and healthy setting when they’re doing their job. It’s everyone’s responsibility to create a positive work environment. It eliminates stress and keeps employees cheerful. More importantly, it brings out the best in people on a daily basis and helps increase productivity.

U. Lakhia

Benefits of a Recruitment Agency

Finding the right candidate for a job can be a daunting process for many employers. Individuals with a great work ethic and a strong skillset are essential for maintaining a productive organization. When it comes to finding the right people, utilizing the services of a recruitment agency is an effective way to fill job openings.

There are many benefits of a recruitment agency and using their services will significantly simplify the hiring process for you and your organization. Here are a few of the advantages:

Time and Cost

Time is of the essence in today’s world, especially if companies want to remain competitive. Stopping or slowing production can result in a loss of revenue. Job openings need to be filled with suitable candidates who can learn fast and make notable contributions to an organization. Recruitment agencies can match and shortlist candidates, saving your company on countless hours of sorting through hundreds of applications. As a result, open positions can be filled much faster, saving you time and money.

Network

Recruitment agencies maintain an extensive pool of skilled candidates in their databases. Job seekers seek them out for employment opportunities, which ensures that agencies are always receiving new applicants from a wide cross-section of backgrounds, experience levels, and expertise.

Pre-Screening

Candidates go through extensive assessments and evaluations before being referred to a potential employer. The agency will take care of all the background and reference checks, ensuring that only the best and most qualified candidates move on to the next stage.

Employee Retention

Workplace turnover is significantly reduced when the employee is the right fit for the job. Knowing that the available candidates have already gone through a thorough screening process puts the manager’s minds at ease when selecting an employee. That added confidence makes the final hiring decision that much easier to make.

Building Relationships

Over time, employers will find that the hiring process through the recruitment agency they’ve engaged becomes more efficient. The agency will have established prior knowledge of the employer’s specific needs and expectations, and thus be able to provide valuable advice and expertise on future hires.

For your next job opening, consider using a recruitment agency. The benefits will be reflected in an efficient and skilled workforce that’s capable of boosting company morale and helping you achieve your organizational goals.

– N. Johnson

Workplace Wellness Programs

Studies have proven that the physical and mental conditions of employees affect the productivity of a business. Therefore, companies should implement workplace wellness programs to improve the health and nutrition of their workers. In addition to benefitting existing employees, these features also attract other skilled workers to join the company. Here are various examples of effective workplace wellness programs that will make your company a coveted place to work at.

Health Programs

This is one of the most important programs that employers include in employment packages. This can range from health/dental insurance to therapeutic massage sessions. In Canada, OHIP covers general health care, but areas that they do not compensate are major concerns for the public. It would be an attractive incentive if companies included benefits that the government didn’t. This reflects the company’s consideration in their employees’ well-being.

Onsite Gym

A lot of people these days are conscious about fitness. This is why the gym industry is making good business through membership sales. Going to the gym has become a routine for many people. However, a lot of working professionals would complain that it’s too time consuming to juggle work, sleep, and the gym. As a result, they would have to sacrifice either their sleep or the gym, both of which would affect their health in the long run. Having a gym facility in the office would solve this dilemma.

Other Fitness Alternatives

Of course, an onsite gym would be a large expense for most companies. Other alternatives include a regular yoga or Pilates session. These exercises are cost-friendly; each session can include a big group of people. They are stress-relieving methods and will give you a break from the normal routine of the work environment. In addition to encouraging their fitness, these sessions would inspire mental recovery.

Free Meal/Organized Lunch

A cafeteria with a set schedule of different meals per workday could prove beneficial for the entire company. In addition to saving time and money for employees, it allows the employer to monitor the regular diet of their employees. The typical half-hour lunch break offers employees little option of food to choose from. If they aren’t able to bring their own lunch, they will tend to choose something from a fast-food menu. Eventually, this will take its toll on the employee’s health.

There are numerous workplace wellness programs that your company can implement. More employees are looking for these benefits in their job searches. The more wellness programs your company has, the more it will persuade effective workers to support you. It might require the business to expend more money; however, the benefits will reap in the future. As long as your company looks out for the employees’ well-being, the workplace will emit a positive atmosphere.

– J. Tjoandi

Personality Tests in the Hiring Process

The vast majority of Fortune 100 companies use personality tests to separate the candidacy wheat from the employee-to-be chaff. What do these tests do? Are they worth the time and resources? And more importantly, are they effective?

Kathy Brizeli, the Senior Director of Member Services and Client Success at McLean & Company, worked in psychometrics for 12 years at Caliper. Psychometrics is one of many tests used to measure how an applicant’s traits relate to job performance. As an evaluator, Kathy interpreted assessment results and relayed them back to the potential employers for the candidate being evaluated.

“What we found out were the candidate’s innate tendencies – strengths and weaknesses,” notes Brizeli. “I would recommend their use as an additional piece of information, but never the sole determinant of a hiring decision; they should only be a piece of the puzzle. Assessments don’t necessarily consider experience or skill development.”

Personality testing is in the news: Merve Emre’s The Personality Brokers is the just-released book on how the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator was invented by a mother-daughter team in the early twentieth century. According to Emre, personality testing is now a two-billion-dollar industry.

The New Republic weighed in on the topic, saying that Myers-Briggs, taken by two million people each year “is used by universities, career coaching centers, federal government offices, several branches of the military, and 88 of the Fortune 100 companies.” CPP Inc. sells it for $49.95US. On the flip side, organizational psychologist Adam Grant wrote, “The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is better than a horoscope but less reliable than a heart monitor.”

Robyn Knezic, Delmanor’s Director of Human Resources uses the Wiley – Global Assessment Profile XT.

“We are able to see areas where a candidate excels, and where they may have challenges. Some of those areas are: verbal skills, verbal reasoning, numeric reasoning, energy level, assertiveness, sociability, manageability, attitude, decisiveness, accommodation, independence, and objective judgment,” notes Knezic. But this comes with a caveat: “I think it is important to keep in mind that the personality profile is only one piece of the process and should not be relied on solely when making a hiring decision.”

With fifteen years of testing experience, Maryann Romano, Vice President of Human Resources at Distinct Infrastructure Group, also worked with Caliper, which she says costs $600 per test. “If you are limiting it for one or two candidates, fine. If you’re filling ten candidates over six months, the costs can get significant, especially if things don’t work out for whatever reason.” She claims that personality testing has shone light on, “knowing the warts, deciding if you can live with them, how to manage them, and how they like to work.”

Meanwhile, Mardi Walker, VP of Human Resources for the Ottawa Senators shares similar experience with personality testing. “Personality testing,” she says, “has worked out well for store clerks and store associates.”

In addition to Caliper, Walker used Gallup’s StrengthsFinder Personality Test – what she refers to as “very intense”. “It tested arithmetic ability, a person’s honesty and integrity, and how likely they’d be to ‘help themselves to the merchandise’.”

Vered Lerner cautions if the test is not administered properly, or if the tested individual isn’t honest, “the results may be misread or misunderstood.” The CEO and Founder of Bizstance Services has been working in HR and management for over 20 years.

The employer, moreover, ought to understand that a test doesn’t reveal everything. “Not all roles require testing, and employees are complex individuals with emotions, and the ability to change and adapt, given the right conditions and support.”

– Dave Gordon

How Does Your Company Measure Your Potential?

Understanding how your employer gauges your potential can have a major impact on your position at the company, and on your career. If you know what they’re looking for in an employee, you can improve your chances of advancement.

When a manager is evaluating an employee’s potential, they’re considering factors like motivation, skill, experience, and the willingness and ability to learn, and evaluating how that employee can or will impact the company as it moves forward into the future.

Clearly, there is variation in terms of what different companies and management teams look at when determining an employee’s potential. But some factors are common, even if they may seem obvious. Still, knowing how your employer measures your potential can be valuable information both for your own personal development and for your advancement within the company. Here are a few commonly-used indicators.

Quality of Work

There are many ways for an employer or manager to asses the quality of your work. It might be through a series of specifically stated goals they’ve set for you, or through subjective analysis from your direct supervisor or manager. There is also what’s known as the 9-Box Grid method of assessment, a graph with one axis representing an employee’s potential, and the other their performance. So, a high-performing but low-potential worker would be ideal in their current role, while a low-performing but high-potential employee would be in need of coaching to unlock that potential. Other factors companies use to measure performance can be as simple as tracking the number of errors an employee has made, or, depending on the nature of their work, quantitative statistics like the number or amount of sales made or units produced.

360/180-Degree Feedback

The concept behind 360-degree feedback is for an employer to get performance feedback from a staff member’s direct manager, colleagues, subordinates, and customers. This can be done through specific questions or as a more general performance evaluation. Alternately, 180-degree feedback is similar, but is limited to the employee’s co-workers and manager, and is typically utilized when the worker doesn’t manage people and/or interact with customers.

Leadership Potential

Many businesses will also consider their employees’ potential to rise to a leadership position. Part of management is being able to observe when employees demonstrate a knack for managing others, delegating duties, and taking responsibility for projects. In a small or medium-sized business, it’s often easier for management to get a feel for an employee’s abilities and potential to advance by direct observation. (It also costs a business more to hire and train new employees than to promote an internal candidate.) Factors like drive, organizational skill, the ability to learn quickly and think on their feet, and empathy towards colleagues are some of the traits a good manager will look for when assessing an employee’s leadership potential. The Korn Ferry Institute, an authority on leadership and recruiting, has its own test for measuring leadership potential that takes into account many of these traits and more.

Once you have an idea of how your company measures your potential, you’ll be able to adjust your behaviour accordingly and focus on the right things. Whether it’s making a point of being in the office early every day, contributing in meetings, helping your colleagues with their projects, or just putting in the extra effort when executing your duties, demonstrating your potential to management is a sure-fire way to get ahead.

 

Justin Anderson | Assistant Editor

How to Organically Get on Your Clients’ News Feeds

With Facebook’s ever-changing algorithm, it’s essential to adjust your strategy to land the most views and interaction on the social network. The organic reach of most Facebook posts doesn’t get to nearly as many people as it used to, so you might have to work a little harder. Here are some tips to land your business’ page on potential clients’ news feeds without having to shell out the money to pay for the exposure.

Publish Evergreen Content
If you post timeless content, then your audience will be able to “like” and comment on it for a longer period of time. As more people keep liking and commenting, the increased engagement probes the Facebook algorithm to ensure that your post gets distributed further, and that it appears in other peoples’ feeds for longer. If you plan on repeating blogs, come up with a new image, title, and description so people don’t get tired of seeing the same post over and over.

Engage
This is an obvious one, but don’t underestimate the benefits of engaging with your audience, including sharing the posts of others. As you read other blogs, like and share them with a one or two-line comment. Liking and commenting are obvious ways to engage, but also be sure to use and encourage emojis – they rank higher on Facebook than a like.

Tag People
Tag people in your posts, but don’t just tag any random profile. Tag people that you know will have an opinion or get pumped about the post. If you know that someone will be excited, passionate, or even angry about the subject, having them comment will create a conversation. If you can create conversation, the algorithm will automatically make it show up in more news feeds. If you don’t want to tag specific people, you can also ask a question that will immediately increase engagement while prompting others to respond.

Share Video and Image Content
Users prefer to engage with video and images, rather than text or link posts because they’re usually seen as boring and are generally more time-consuming than video and images. It’s easy to like and share a picture or video without having to click through to another webpage or read a lengthy article before deciding if it’s worth sharing. And if you can create your own video content, even better. Make sure there’s a clear call to action at the end of the post, such as “like this post if you agree” or “tag a friend who would like this”.

Make Use of Facebook Groups­
Facebook groups can be surprisingly supportive. Type your niche or business plus “group” in the search bar and browse through the results until you find some that might be interested in your posts. By posting links and a short blurb on these groups, you can increase your traffic and exposure.

Although the organic reach on Facebook has gone down significantly, you can still land on news feeds without having to pay a penny or harassing your audience for views. You just have to know what Facebook is pushing at the moment and strategize accordingly. To work with the recently updated algorithm, you can add an image if you’re going to use a link, actively engage with your audience, encourage conversation, and don’t be afraid to start making your own video content.

 

Helen Jacob | Staff Writer

How to Have a Difficult Conversation with an Employee

It’s never easy to have a difficult conversation in the office, especially if you’re deathly afraid of confrontation. However, it’s impossible to manage a company and not have to approach an employee at some point about their behaviour, insubordination, or work quality, and sometimes even terminate them. Brushing the issue under the rug or simply ignoring it can make the situation worse and negatively affect the workplace, productivity, and other employees. There are several different types of difficult conversations that you might need to have at some point, including policy breaches, coworker complaints, dress code violations, and even workstation cleanliness. As a manager or supervisor, it’s important to know the proper way to handle these conversations, or it could do more harm than good.

Prepare Yourself
Before deciding to have the conversation, get prepared by asking what the behaviour is that’s causing the problem, and what outcome from the behaviour is impacting you, the team, the environment, etc. You need to have an understanding yourself before providing clarity to someone else about the issue. This will also keep the focus on the issue and avoid derailing the conversation.

Choose an Appropriate Location
Before entering the conversation or even calling for a meeting with the individual, decide where it will be held. Finding the right location will set the tone of the meeting. Your office is usually the best place, but depending on your company culture, it might ease the tension if you talk over a cup of coffee or lunch at a food court in the building or nearby; this can lessen the chances of the employee feeling embarrassed. However, if it’s a more formal conversation, your office, a conference room, or a boardroom is probably the most appropriate place.

Leave Your Emotions at the Door
When starting the conversation, be straightforward and tell the individual what the purpose of the meeting is. Be sure to not get caught up in your emotions; keep your feelings in check and don’t let them drive the conversation. Focus on the facts and be careful not to say things like, “I feel disappointed,” which will only add biased emotional elements. It also helps to be aware of your preconceived notions about the situation and the person involved, so make sure to leave that at the door as well.

Be Open and Listen
Be calm and fair during the discussion. Don’t project anger or judgment because that may result in the employee getting defensive and things might get heated. Find a balance between polite and firm; be caring but remain professional. It’s important to be open to hearing what the other person has to say. Be mindful and treat them with respect, even if you completely disagree with them.

Brainstorm
It’s important that you brainstorm solutions during the meeting. Ask the employee in question what they think will work. Out of their ideas or suggestions, build on something you like. Asking for their point of view can create a safe atmosphere and encourage them to engage.

Always Follow Up
Following up after the conversation is a good way to smooth over the relationship between you and your employee. It’s also a good way to check up on their progress if there are any changes they need to make. Don’t micromanage, but keep track of how they’re doing, for as long as you think is necessary. If progress needs to be made, there is a possibility they might backslide.

Putting off a difficult conversation will only do more damage to your business. Holding off on speaking to an employee about their performance or attitude won’t help productivity and might even affect the rest of your team. Practice these tips and prepare your points so that you can mentally prepare and be more effective, confident, and comfortable with having difficult conversations. That way, you can get everyone on your team working together and at their highest potential.

 

Helen Jacob | Staff Writer

Why You Should Take Risks in Your Career and Life

“True entrepreneurship comes only from risk taking.”

Dhirubhai Ambani, founder of Reliance Industries, India’s largest private company

Risk. Not everyone loves it, many try to avoid it, but the people who are most successful are the ones who seek it out and embrace it.

By definition, entrepreneurs are risk-takers. They have an idea, take the initiative and do everything possible, including taking risks, to make their dream a reality. But entrepreneurs shouldn’t be the only ones willing to take risks. If employees, whether at the bottom or the top of the working ladder, want to stand out from the crowd and find opportunities, being a risk-taker is paramount to success.

Not All Risk is Created Equal

There are a variety of types of risk. Calculated risk means people have considered all the angles, the pros and cons, and have decided that the gamble is worth it. Entrepreneurs and those who are tolerant of risk understand that despite their planning, there’s always a chance that the risk won’t pay off, but they embrace it nonetheless. There’s also the no-lose scenario which, according to Cigna, means that if people look at all possible outcomes and each one offers a gain, the risk is definitely worth taking.

Test Your Risk Tolerance

While some people thrive on risk and the opportunities it presents, others try to avoid it at all costs and are content with the life they lead. But many of us fall somewhere in between. People who want new opportunities and a different life need to look at their risk tolerance and learn to step beyond it.

Here are three reasons why people should embrace risk if they want to be successful:

Risk Equals Opportunity: The more risks you take, the more opportunities you’ll find. Those interested in the status quo will likely remain within the status quo, staying stagnant in their jobs and in their lives. Those willing to do the work and take chances will likely climb the ladder faster and discover new opportunities along the way.

Risk Equals Learning: People open to taking risks often try new things, learn new skills, and gain more knowledge, which in turn increases their confidence and broadens their range of skills and abilities.

Risk Equals Resilience: Many businesses fail, but even when a venture doesn’t work, most entrepreneurs don’t give up. They dust themselves off, learn from their mistakes, and try again. But failure, according to Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington, isn’t bad; she says it’s “not the opposite of success but a stepping stone to success.”

Those who take risks learn to embrace failure and use it as a starting point for their next success. Whether you’re an employee starting out or somewhere in the middle of your career, if you want to be successful in business and in life, try taking a few risks.

 

Lisa Day | Contributing Writer