4 Ways to Get New Employees Off on the Right Foot

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Make the most of a new hire’s first weeks with these tips to make them feel productive and welcome.

Here Are Tips To Super-Charge A New Employee’s First Day:

1. Share a taste of the culture. The weeks between “You’re hired!” and the employee’s first day can be used to get the individual used to the company’s culture and expectations. In addition to having your new hire sign forms, contracts, nondisclosure agreements, and direct deposit paperwork, share materials like handbooks, videos, and other collateral material, that gives a flavor of the business culture.
Do you have a creative, open-space environment where people are expected to share? Or is this more of a road warrior culture where your people communicate through video conferencing? Let him or her know more about what to expect on Day One.

2. Schedule Lunch. It’s a good idea to schedule a lunch or other informal get-together with your new hire and at least one or two members of the team he or she will be joining prior to the first official day at work, says Raz. “It’s never too early to start teambuilding. The sooner these team members are comfortable with each other, the better,” says Raz.

3. Assign a mentor. Call it a mentor, colleague, buddy, or whatever you wish–Raz calls it a smart way to start off right. This is different from a management mentor, who would help the individual navigate his or her career path. Instead, Raz recommends assigning another employee to show your new hire around, field basic questions, make introductions, and act as a sounding board, which can go a long way toward alleviating that dreaded “fish out of water” feeling during the first weeks.

This person should be prepared to help with everything from recommending the best coffee spot to showing your new employee how to transfer a call, if necessary.

4. Set some immediate and attainable goals. Talk to your new hire about accomplishing a couple immediate assignments, such as completing a simple project or organizing a small event. The goal should be appropriate for his or her job description and should also be attainable within the first few weeks of their employment. By giving him or her some attainable goals, you’ll build morale and allow the new hire to feel a sense of accomplishment right off the bat.

 

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5 Ways to Reward Employees When Raises Aren’t an Option

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In these tough economic times, raises and bonus pay for deserving employees may be out of the question. Here are some alternative ways to keep your team…

  1. Side projects Some employees enjoy working on projects that don’t fall under their official job descriptions but could tap into a hobby or special interest. For instance, New York-based Employment Taxation Software Solutions recently began offering some employees “job mobility,” or the chance to spend some of their down time each week working on tasks in other departments such as marketing, video production or training.

    “Most employees don’t start their lives out looking to become sales reps or accountants,” says Cameron Keng, the firm’s founder. “Giving them the opportunity to continue their current responsibilities and take on additional work on the side or within the company in different departments of their interest is a great incentive. They’re still doing what they’re required, yet providing more value by helping other areas on their free time.”

  2. Job swaps JCD Repair, a small chain of electronics repair shops based in Seattle, offers employees a “job exchange” reward, letting them swap positions with another worker at another location. The employees pay for their own travel and lodging but get the chance to spend time in a new city — a sort of working vacation.

    “This means one of the guys from our Chicago shop can take a working vacation to Seattle and at the same time, one of our Seattle guys can come to Chicago,” says Matt McCormick, owner of JCD Repair. “The only thing we ask is that they inform our store managers and that no shifts are left uncovered at either location.” For many companies, such exchanges would be logistically difficult. But McCormick says they work well for JCD Repair because all of the company’s shops operate in basically the same way and employees don’t have to learn anything new to switch to a different location.

  3. Training Training and development programs can be a valuable incentive for employees of small businesses, who typically don’t enjoy the same access to such opportunities as workers at larger companies. At Sammis & Ochoa, LLC, a public relations firm in San Antonio, Texas, the co-owners pay for high-performing employees to attend two industry or personal development events each year within the state of Texas.

    “For example, two of our coordinators successfully met their goals for the first quarter of 2012, so we are sending them to Dallas to attend a blogger conference that they selected,” says co-owner Mario Ochoa. “I like this reward because you can reward a team member and fulfill your goal of continuing education.”

  4. Happy hours Most employees savor a chance to unwind and let loose after a stressful day at work. Give them something to look forward to by occasionally hosting your own company happy hour. Jacobson says his clients have done this successfully in a communal area of their offices, bringing in music, pizza and a beer keg, as well as at nearby bars or restaurants.

    “It’s really a simple idea, but most companies don’t realize that if you approach a local bar or restaurant and let them know you intend to bring 30 or so people on an off night, such as Monday or Tuesday, the venue will bend over backwards to accommodate you,” Jacobson says. For instance, the establishment might waive a private room rental fee or offer discounted food and drink specials.

  5. Personal perks Some entrepreneurs find that the best rewards vary based on an individual employee’s personality. “You just have to know your team,” says Jonathan Robinson, founder and CEO of FreeTextbooks.com, an online college bookstore that rewards loyal customers with free textbooks, based in Birmingham, Ala. “We’re pretty small so I have to stay in tune with the preferences and pulse of our employees. It’s my job to recognize when they need an extra bump or something to recharge on.”

    Robinson says the company finds that for Generation Y, “the perks are in the details.” For instance, all new hires complete a questionnaire that includes items about their favorite candy, music and local restaurants, “which gives us some ammo when rewards come up,” he says. Recently, an avid golfer was rewarded with a free round at the best local course. Another employee received a $100 gift card to the restaurant of a local celebrity chef, and another, IMAX tickets to the premiere of The Dark Knight Rises.

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Young Job Seekers Prefer Working at Startups [STUDY]

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Young job seekers today would rather work for startups than big corporate companies, a new study suggests.

The study was conducted by software provider PayScale, Inc. and research management firm Millennial Branding. It found that millennials — also known as Gen Y, a group currently between the ages of 18 and 29 — are more drawn to smaller companies that offer flexibility, embrace the entrepreneurial spirit and don’t restrict social media use.

“This report confirms that Gen Y is an entrepreneurial group, highly versed in social media, and prefers freedom and flexibility over big corporate policies,” said Dan Schawbel, founder of Millennial Branding, in a statement.

This group is also attracted to large tech companies where innovation is prized, salaries are higher, and workplace programs and culture are more flexible. But the highest concentration of Gen Y workers are at small companies with less than 100 employees (47%), followed by medium-sized companies that have between 100 and no more than 1,500 employees (30%). Only 23% of this group works at larger companies with more than 1,500 employees.

Two of the main skills offered by millennials today are online marketing and social media — both areas with great growth potential, the study said.

As for the best location for Gen Y workers to get their start, Seattle was listed as the top large metropolitan area, thanks to its high median pay and the strong presence of tech firms.
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Your Attitude is Key to Your Job Search

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You can’t control when someone is going to call you back, or if the person liked you, or what the economy is going to do, but you can control your attitude and how you conduct yourself throughout the process.

 

The job search process inherently comes with ups and downs — moments of excitement and anticipation blended with feeling defeated and beaten down. It’s crucial that job seekers keep the negativity of the process from affecting their attitudes

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Why Your Office Should Have a Nap Room

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Sleeping at work can actually be a good thing. Naps decrease drowsiness, increase alertness and benefit your overall health.

Humans consolidate sleeping time for a long period at night, but we’re designed to feel tired in the early morning hours and mid-afternoon, when a 2 p.m. nap would feel awesome. A 2- to 5-minute nap can perk you up and a 5- to 20-minute nap can improve your motor skills and performance. Siesta, anyone?

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What Type of Social Media Personality Are You?

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The Myers-Briggs Indicator tests psychological traits per individual. Turns out, your specific indicators inform how you use social media. Two – thirds of online adults use social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

The Myers-Brigg Type Indicator assessment is based on Carl Jung’s theory of psychological types. It looks at how individuals prefer to:

  •  Focus their attention and get energy
  •  Take an information
  •  Make decisions
  •  Deal with the outer world

These four preferences combine to form 16 possible four-letter types. According to Jung, these preferences are innate predispositions that interact with and are shaped by environmental influences.

Do You Have A Facebook Account?

In general, individuals with a preference for Feeling reported spending more time engaging in certain activities on Facebook in their personal time than did individuals with a preference for Thinking.

On the whole, individuals with a preference for Extraversion and/or Feeling reported spending more time engaging in certain activities on Facebook in their work time than did individuals with a preference for Introversion and/or Thinking.

Do You Actively Used LinkedIn?

In general, individuals with a preference for Extraversion reported spending more time engaging in certain activities on LinkedIn during their work time than did Individuals with a preference for Introversion

Do You Have A Twitter Account?

More individuals with a preference for Intuition reported being active users of Twitter than did individuals with a preference for Sensing.

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