Employer Branding

How to Retain Top Level Employees (The Right Way!)

How to Retain Top Level Employees (The Right Way!) 1138 642 VP Legacies

The tech industry has the highest turnover rate out of all other business sectors at 13.2%. If you work in tech, this might not surprise you at all. Still, it’s getting more and more difficult to retain top level employees at any business and within any industry. On average, employees switch jobs every 4 ½ years.

But creating a strategy to keep top talent is a must if you hope to maximize your company’s success. Employees are your company’s best asset. Building genuine personal connections with your employees can help them envision a long-term career path at your business.

Empty promises and meaningless employee resources aren’t enough for your most talented employees. By focusing on communication and Personal Connection®, you can create an authentic retention strategy that truly works. VP Legacies creates courses around the value of Personal Connection® in the workplace. With this ideal in mind, here’s our guide to retaining top level employees.

Related: 9 Reasons Why Your Employees Are Your Company’s Most Valuable Asset

Interviewing and On-boarding to Retain Top Level Employees

Applying and interviewing can be an employee’s first impression of a company, so it’s important to get this stage right. The recruiting and application process allows you to show off your company culture. You can then find attributes in your candidates that are well-aligned with those of your company, making both the hiring and retention process easier.

A person’s resume is also a good opportunity to see if they often switch jobs and to ask them why. Maybe they’re looking for the perfect role and your company has that to offer them. But if they seem to be bouncing from one place to another, this may indicate that they don’t have a strong sense of loyalty or follow-through.

Another one of the first impressions of a company is its onboarding program. A positive onboarding experience will stick with an employee and give them a clue in to the kinds of professional development you have to offer.

Increasing Engagement Opportunities

employees having a discussion in a conference room with laptops

Retaining these employees also means increasing engagement. When employees feel disengaged, the company may start to see them leaving in large numbers.

Employee engagement goes beyond the initial weeks of on-boarding. If you’re first starting with creating an engagement strategy, you can rely on the opinions of employees.

Gather information from your employees with a survey of intelligent questions. This will give you a pulse-check on their feelings and help you think about ways to improve workplace culture.

Anonymous surveys can be a great way to allow employees to be open and honest without fear of repercussions. Use the information in these surveys to create an engagement strategy that will work for both the company and employees.

Only 33 percent of new employees feel engaged. To beat this statistic, companies will need to have a strategic approach to engagement. This is an important stage in retaining top-level employees within their first year.

To keep up with engagement, it’s essential to check-in with employees beyond their initial onboarding. Pair your engagement plan with an internal communication strategy to guarantee success.

Once you’ve gained an employee’s loyalty and engagement, they will expect to be paid based on industry standards.

Related: 9 Ways to Reduce Employee Turnover

Fair and Competitive Compensation

With sites like Glassdoor, employees are more informed than ever about industry standards for pay. If you’re not meeting these and making competitive offers, employees will know.

Revenue-sharing can be key here, as you’re tying a part of the employee’s wages to the company’s performance. This can help align their productivity with the company’s revenue and profit. So the incentive to stay with the company as it grows is tied to their compensation.

Another important aspect of compensation is an employee’s benefits package. This also helps to entice top talent during the hiring stage. A competitive benefits package is second to salary but can help to make an employee feel valued.

But an important aspect to keep top of mind is that the benefits program should not be so general that it could be applied to any employee. Targeted benefits packages create a more effective strategy for improving engagement and retention because they show that upper-level management has taken the time to connect with employees as individuals.

The rewards you give to employees should also stretch beyond financial compensation. All employees want to feel valued in ways that are not just monetary.

Genuine Employee Recognition

Employees appreciate the recognition that feels genuine and tied to their hard work. Giving awards in front of a large company audience can go a long way by making a top-level employee feel appreciated.

You can increase engagement by having department or company parties, along with other special events. Lunches with executives, free clothing with the company logo, and volunteer outings are all great options. All these efforts build good employee morale and provide a chance for them to connect with other top employees.

To remain competitive with hiring and retention, flexible schedules and paid time off will be considered.

Flexible Schedules and Generous Time Off

women relaxing on bed with a laptop and holding a hot mug

Today’s workforce wants flexibility in their schedules that allow them to be remote. When employees can work from home, you’re showing them that you’re willing to adapt to their home life and help them maintain a healthy work-life balance. Flexible hours and having the option to work from home (at least occasionally) keep employees happier and more productive. That’s because employees tend to be highly productive for 3 hours in an 8 hour day. Flexible schedules can allow them to take breaks when they need to, creating efficiency when they’re actually working. 

It’s also important to set work from home expectations and a clear policy ahead of time so that there’s no ambiguity. An employee will want to be set up for success while having a flexible schedule so that they can continue to enjoy this perk.

Employees also want generous time off for both vacation and sick days. Having breaks from work can be beneficial to an employee’s productivity and the relationship with their company.

It’s unreasonable to expect employees to keep operating at 100 percent efficiency without having time off to relax. Having breaks and relaxation time is important even on a day-to-day basis. Pacing work can be key to keeping employees efficient so they don’t easily burn out and become resentful.

No matter your work-from-home and vacation policy, it’s important to communicate clearly. You’ll run into fewer issues with your top level employees if you set guidelines in a way that’s easy to understand.

Related: Denver Startup Week: What To Do with Employee Engagement Data

Invest in a Professional Development Program

After you’ve hired top talent, you know they’ll be great at what they do. But it’s important to allow them to keep growing and enhancing their skills.

You can devote some of your resources to providing ongoing training, whether they are short eLearning modules, longer lectures and media courses, or a combination of all of the above. Companies have a great opportunity to provide online courses to their employees. This can help them improve their skills.

A mentorship program also helps employees grow. This can create a new pool of potential leaders by pairing more senior employees with newer ones. This type of training program can be a cost-effective strategy for building a positive company culture.

Once employees have loyalty for their company and a desire to build on their skills, they should also be allowed to grow from within.

If you continue to hire outside talent, the best employees will receive the message that their career path will be short-lived. Create paths to promotion and employees will want to stay put.

Employees Remember How You Make Them Feel

smiling man in professional attire and holding a book

Beyond having opportunities to advance, employees want to feel seen and respected. Indeed, people will always remember how you made them feel. Focusing on employee happiness creates an intangible sense of company loyalty within employees.

Having solid support systems from the highest level will allow managers to be respectful and help to grow a positive workspace. The managers will then take the support they’re given and help to support their contributors. Remember that an overworked and stressed employee will likely feel demoralized and disconnected from your team.

Also, if you want employees to be self-sufficient and productive, even while working from home, you want to show that you trust them to do so.

Giving employees new responsibilities shows that you value their abilities and know they are hard workers. It will also encourage them to continue to grow.

Related: What is the Best Strategy for CEO Communication?

Retaining Top Level Employees Will Help Your Company Succeed

It’s important to keep in mind that all this effort will go both ways. When you show employees respect, they will feel more enthusiastic about staying at your company. If you continue to create opportunities for advancement and give employees fair pay, they’ll remain engaged.

About 1200 CEOs left their jobs in 2019. To avoid your top talent leaving, it’s important to take the time to invest in the right strategies that will keep employees engaged and invested in your company. That means creating a strong recruitment plan that clearly shows your company’s identity and providing plenty of opportunities for employee feedback, recognition, and learning every year. Get started with VP Legacies to build an effective employee branding strategy. We’ll help you develop an actionable plan that reaches current and prospective employees on an emotional level.Connect with us to find ways to improve relationships at your company and retain top level employees.

What is Emotionally Intelligent Leadership?

What is Emotionally Intelligent Leadership? 1224 806 VP Legacies

The ability to lead an organization effectively involves a myriad of finely-tuned skills. One key aspect of effective leadership is having a high degree of emotional intelligence. 

This is what we’ve come to know as emotionally intelligent leadership. Emotionally intelligent leadership can help motivate a workforce through Personal Connection®, keeping them engaged, and reducing turnover. 

A leader who is technically excellent at their job is nothing without their employees. A big part of an executive employee’s day is keeping a team performing at their best. This is why emotional intelligence is necessary. At VP Legacies, our eLearning courses help your team and top leadership thrive by developing pathways for Personal Connection®. Here’s our guide to emotionally intelligent leadership.

Related: 9 Reasons Why Your Employees are Your Company’s Most Valuable Assets

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Naturally, an emotionally intelligent leader is one who can understand verbal and nonverbal cues about how a person is feeling. Emotional intelligence can be defined as how well one has a grasp over their own emotions and can recognize emotions in others. These are leaders who are able to factor in both the logical side and emotional side of making decisions.

Emotionally intelligent leaders can apply this same perspective when evaluating the actions and decisions of their team or colleagues. EQ, as it’s commonly abbreviated, is now incredibly important in evaluating leaders and plays an important part in how successful one is in their career. 

Find a course that meets your company’s goals at VP Legacies.

Let’s take a look at the key factors that make up emotional intelligence in leadership:

Self-awareness

a Man gives a speech to his co-workers at lunch

Self-awareness is one’s ability to know how they feel clearly. It’s a muscle that needs to be strengthened over time, involving deep introspection on how one feels and how one reacts to those feelings. 

An acute idea of the emotions one feels is critical in leadership positions. It helps determine how a leader reacts in certain situations and how much their decision making relies on logic over feelings. 

Self-awareness also translates into having a better understanding of one’s strengths and weaknesses and being able to work on the latter. A self-aware leader can form stronger personal connections with employees because they admit that, just like anyone else, they’re not perfect.

Self-regulation

If being self-aware means one has a good idea of how they feel, self-regulation means how they regulate their actions with this knowledge. It’s about how much control one has over themselves. 

As a leader, there’s going to be many times where pressure and stress are high, and self-regulation helps prevent impulsive reactions in such moments. Self-regulation is also about making short-term vs. long-term calls when in a leadership position. Shorter term wins that may be more rewarding must be sacrificed for longer-term gains, and the opposite can also hold true in some scenarios. Self-regulation helps leaders make the right call and communicate next steps in an emotionally intuitive way.

All of this means one needs to have a sound idea of their innate values and principles – something self-awareness can help provide. Self-regulation is then being able to control one’s ability to act to stimuli. 

Related: 6 Tips for Having a Tough Conversation With Your Boss

Motivation

Self-motivation is critical for success and is a key indicator of how well someone does in their career. Self-motivation means one has the ability to set goals, and then work towards achieving those goals independently. 

This can include long-term goals or even the ability to tackle daily tasks. And a natural ability to self-motivate translates into one’s ability to personally connect with others, motivating and inspiring them to ignite their ability to carry out actions. 

Motivation involves a strong degree of EQ, as leaders need to understand what innately motivates their team and how best to communicate in order to inspire them. 

Empathy

Empathy is all about being able to put oneself in someone else’s shoes. It’s being able to look at scenarios from someone else’s perspective and factor this into how decisions or judgments are made. 

Being empathetic is one of the strongest indicators of a leader with high EQ, as they can quickly ascertain why employees behave the way they do and what needs to change in order to foster engagement. 

You can create employee satisfaction and foster productivity solely from being able to understand what intrinsically and extrinsically motivates them. Empathy doesn’t exist in a silo, though and involves the ability to communicate effectively. 

Strong communication is needed in order to better understand someone else’s situation, and communicate to them effectively on the next steps. 

Related: How internal communication strategies boost employee engagement 

Communication

A leader communicates with her team about an issue

Finally the underlying foundation of a high EQ is the ability to communicate effectively. Smooth internal communication within the workplace is the final touch that brings together self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, and empathy.

A leader that can’t communicate effectively won’t get very far with their company’s bottom line. The ability to tailor your thoughts into effective messaging that best resonates with your audience is a valuable one, since it can increase employee retention and also strengthen your company’s goals.. 

A leader can be empathetic, self-aware, and highly self-regulated – but it won’t mean much if these can’t be communicated to his colleagues. Communication is paramount in ensuring discussions are productive, conflicts can be resolved, and a workforce can remain engaged and motivated. 

When we define communication, this involves both the ability to listen well and ask the right questions or make the right statements. 

Related: 10 Ways to Reduce Employee Turnover

Cultivating Emotionally Intelligent Leadership

Emotionally intelligent leadership isn’t cultivated overnight and requires a dedicated amount of effort and training in order to become good at it as a leader. A recent study showed 71% of employers look for high EQ when it comes to hiring leaders, demonstrating that companies are now valuing it as much as IQ. 

By focusing on the above five areas, one can start to develop tactics on how to strengthen each area, and become an emotionally intelligent leader. You can start building an emotionally intelligent workplace with the help of VP Legacies. Our Personal Connection® 101 course and other customized modules shows you ways to infuse your leadership style with empathy and self-knowledge to help motivate your employees.

Learn more about emotional intelligence with Personal Connection® 101.

How to Prepare Employees for a Recession

How to Prepare Employees for a Recession 1232 766 VP Legacies

A smart business prepares itself for anything, especially for a recession. A recession forces human resource personnel to make strategic decisions about spending that might affect employees in a negative way. In times like these, effective internal communication is more important than ever.

Luckily, there are signs companies can look for that might indicate a recession so they have ample amount of time to prepare their employees. For example, the rising rate of unemployment and declining quit rate are signs pointing towards a recession. When a recruiter tells the company that the number of job postings is going down, then that means a recession is approaching within six months.

Luckily, if the employer knows that a recession is about to happen, there are strategies that they can take to prepare their employees. At VP Legacies, we help you retain your valuable employees with strategies for personal connection and effective internal communication. Here’s our guide to preparing them for a recession.

Related: A Guide to Effective Crisis Communication

Track Metrics

The first step in planning for a recession is to have a metric in place. Companies without a tracking metric lack preparation and might end up having to make more spending cuts than necessary. This system should review information about compensation, training, productivity, and other items related to the business goals and the financial aspect. These data will help organizations know what to expect if they were to downsize and might even help them minimize layoffs.

Performance Issues

No one wants to layoff their employees, but sometimes, this is inevitable. Before the recession begins, human resources need to evaluate and document the employee’s work. The common mistake that businesses make is laying off employees that underperform without ample documentation. However, if there is no proof that the employee is underperforming, then that is a lawsuit waiting to happen. 

Another aspect is to be cautious of the reason for laying off an employee. For example, an older and less productive worker can file a lawsuit claiming that he can’t work in the company anymore because of his age. The last thing you want is a company to be struck with months of litigation that can compromise your team.

Documenting employee performance encourages employees to perform well, exceeding expectations during a recession and helping to minimize the number of cuts your company needs to make.

Allocate Resources

The company can save money by decreasing the number of bonuses that they give to employees. It’s up to HR to find out how to allocate limited rewards and monetary gains to workers by looking at the performance review. Of course, employee wages are one of the last (if not the last) categories of spending that you’ll want to reduce. Unfortunately, this might be inevitable.

In the meantime, make sure to let employees know you appreciate their efforts. This might be something as simple as sending an email or keeping your office door open at times to indicate you’re willing to talk. Lines of communications are more important then ever, despite (and perhaps even because of) the possibility of disappointing news.

Evaluate Programs

The company should determine which programs to cut down, and which are useful and should continue throughout the recession. For example, if the company has a high rate of accidents, then they should not cut down the safety training program

A common mistake that employers make is cutting down training development. However, training is vital in building skills and capabilities for future employees. Short, microlearning modules are an affordable option that can minimize spending while ensuring that employees continue to develop necessary skills even during a recession.

Using SWOT Analysis to Help You

The SWOT analysis stands for strength, weakness, opportunity, and threats. This report allows HR to create cost-benefit data about which strategies contribute the most to the business. It helps them indicate which programs should stay and which should go.

Another thing is that SWOT analysis can indicate if recruitment should be reduced or not. The report will show if there are enough funds to incorporate more workers and how many current employees you can maintain. SWOT analysis provides a useful way to avoid unnecessary employee cuts. With thorough analysis, you might even identify wasteful fund usage in areas like corporate events, technology, and other categories where budget restriction isn’t as crucial as it is for your employees.

Flexibility

It’s vital to create a plan to move workers to where they needed to be. That means you should train your workforce to take on various roles in the company in case you may have to suspend the hiring process. 

Another creative and flexible approach is to use workers and technology together. That means you can have employees work 30 hours a week, and use technology to perform the remaining jobs. You can also have recruiters to get on board in the company to manage the employee. In order for this to work, internal communication is vital. You must ensure adequate pathways to communicate even between departments.

Avoid Constant Layoffs

Organizations must avoid constant layoffs. This demoralizing cycle can strip employees away from the security and comfort of working for your company. It’s best to use layoffs as a last resort, and instead make other cuts so that your employees still feel a personal connection to your company.

If a worker who has the most experience and works the hardest in the company observes massive layoffs during the recession, then he or she would be discouraged from continuing their work. Your top employees might start looking for another job that will give them the security that they need. This issue would entail losing a valuable worker and wasting hours of training them.

Keep Employees Informed

Companies need to find the right balance between transparency and not scaring the workers. That means it’s essential to keep the employees informed about the recession and solutions to deal with it, but not share too much information that would put personal connections at stake. After all, no one likes walking into work to find out that the business is cutting half of its employees. Honest internal communication is essential, and it prevents the company from burning any bridges with employees. 

To prevent social media backlash and maintain the trust of current employees, it’s vital to handle layoffs professionally and respectfully. 

Gratitude

Companies need to show gratitude and appreciation for staff members who have worked hard and take on more responsibilities than other workers. 

Gratitude often comes in forms of better recognition and new titles. Showing appreciation can reduce the worker’s fear that they could be the next ones to get fired. Gratitude can come in a variety of forms, such as a pizza lunch or gift card as a small token of appreciation to show that the company acknowledges the employee’s hard work. Praise maintains personal connections between employees and managers, even when economic times are difficult.

Related: Key Takeaways from Recession-Proof Businesses

Empathy

The worst way to handle a layoff is to have security escort the worker out of the door. This issue can discourage the remaining workers, causing them to look for another job.

There is a proper way of laying someone off. It’s vital to show empathy by understanding how they may feel about the situation. That means being respectful with the individual getting laid off by explaining the reasons and thanking them for being in the company. 

It’s also essential for the department to sit down with the remaining workers to discuss potential layoffs, benefits, and severance. HR can let eligible workers know that they can reapply when the company hires again. 

Ensure Everyone is Inspired

The most valuable aspect of the survival of the company during a recession is the employee’s passion and love for the organization. If the workers invest their heart and soul in the company, they will take on a new role and work extremely hard to get the task finished despite having a shortage of staff. 

They are more likely to take a pay cut but work harder to ensure that the company stays alive. If the workers are inspired and passionate about the organization, they will do whatever it takes to keep it thriving during the recession. 

The best way to ensure that everyone is vested in the company’s success is to motivate them and to promise a better future. Employers that are honest and trustworthy are most likely to create inspiring people. 

It’s a good idea to let employees know that there could be a potential raise or bonuses after the recession. That way, it keeps them motivated to work twice as hard for the survival of the organization.

Enhance communication

Before a recession or anything that happens to a company, the organization must have a good relationship with its employees. 

The best way to do this is to hire a consultant such as VP Legacies to create strategies to build a great relationship and identify opportunities for personal growth and connection with employees. 

The primary strategy is to focus on empathy and consistency to improve employee retention. These communication strategies are essential to help both employers and employees to cope with the recession.

Keeping Everyone in the Loop

Owning and/or managing a company is like a roller coaster ride. One minute you are on top of the world, and the next you’re facing a recession. It’s easy for a company to thrive and do well during economic growth, but when the recession happens, the organization will have to find ways to survive. 

The main objective is to save money and to cut down on unnecessary programs. Another aspect of survival is to lay off employees. However, the best way to help your workers prepare for the recession is to show empathy, gratitude, and keep them informed during the situation. 

There are also other strategies, such as understanding the metric, data, and swot analysis of the company to get an overall report of what to expect during the downsizing process. 

With the proper techniques and skills, your company would be able to prepare employees successfully during the recession if you engage your employees. To get started with eLearning, microlearning, and other strategies to help your employees feel valued and engaged, check out VP Legacies courses and more.

Related: Custom eLearning Development

How to Create a Recession-Proof Employee Retention Plan

How to Create a Recession-Proof Employee Retention Plan 1218 780 VP Legacies

Talent management is a crucial aspect in cultivating a healthy workplace. Employees and employers work in a mutually beneficial manner, where employees provide their skills and knowledge to help make the company a success. In turn, the company offers them a stable source of income and (ideally) professional fulfillment. 

This is the ideal scenario in an ideal world. However, things don’t always stay the same, especially when there’s an economic slowdown or a recession. Managing employees becomes complicated when there are external forces that an employer has no control over. 

To counter any influence of such external forces, it’s essential to optimize for long-term employee retention even in times of economic hardship. At VP Legacies, we believe in the power of personal connection as a way to engage employees. But how can you connect during a recession? Here’s our guide.

Related: A Guide to Effective Crisis Communication

Why Is Employee Retention Important?

Employee retention is how companies make sure that their talent stays with them. When it comes to an unpredictable scenario like recession, employee retention plays a huge role in minimizing losses for employers. When the market situation is unstable, employees tend to feel unsafe and thus are more likely to jump ship. 

For an employer, hiring a new employee costs money. There’s training, onboarding, and other costs involved that put a dent in an already tightened wallet. Employee retention is beneficial for both employees and employers.

How to Create a Recession-Proof Employee Retention Plan

This recession-proof employee retention plan will keep employee morale high and make a company surf against the tides of recession when it comes to managing their human resources.

Communication Is Key


The first step to retaining employees is to have a solid internal communication strategy. Employees like to stay updated about some of the inner workings of an organization. Every big or small success should be shared with the employees. Not only do they feel like their work is producing a tangible benefit but it also increases their confidence in the company. This plays a huge role during the recession as employees won’t feel like their job is at risk as the company is doing well and keeps them updated.

Focus On Training

All employees want to grow on a professional level. If they feel like they’ve stagnated, they’ll look for opportunities where they see scope for them to grow and learn more. If an organization has a training program, employees won’t look for the same opportunity elsewhere as there’s a risk involved. 

Invest in training employees, giving them the opportunity to learn and grow and it will reward an organization by increased loyalty and increased productivity. In addition to onboarding training, ongoing training is also important. This helps employees feel valued and develop a personal connection with your company.

Need to build a custom eLearning training program for your company? Find out how VP Legacies can help.

Provide Recognition

Apart from their salary, employees also want to feel appreciated on a personal level. They put in 8-10 hours on a daily basis for a company, and reinforcing them with due praise in any way you can will affect their morale, productivity, and happiness. 

If you don’t reinforce your valued employees, they might feel insecure about their job status and start looking for a new job during a recession. To avoid this, one must make sure all employees feel valued and appreciated. This can be done by recognizing their achievements, hard work, and team effort. By setting up reward systems and incentivizing their contribution, employers are safeguarding the interests of the employees and in turn, benefiting from their increased morale.

Stay Connected

The importance of developing a personal connection is heavily underrated in the rulebook of employee retention. Armchair management just does not work when it comes to a healthy workplace environment. The sheer fact that the leaders in an organization are present and active gives employees a sense of comfort. Personal connections with top-level employees gives forth a sense of availability and trust that is hard to achieve with distant and absent leadership.

Seek Feedback


How does one know what an employee wants? The easiest way is to simply ask them. Often plans don’t work how they are intended to and most managements have no way of quantifying the results. To do so, getting employee feedback becomes a necessity. 

An anonymous feedback program can offer invaluable insight into what the employees are thinking and can expose the management to shortcomings they aren’t even aware of. This helps draft a more effective plan of action for the future of any organization.

Take Action

The next step after receiving feedback is to take action. If one has all the information necessary, there needs to be a certain plan of action to implement whatever decision has been made. When employees notice that their opinions are being heard and acted upon in an organization, they feel a personal connection that motivates them to work harder and with a boost in their morale. The key to employee retention is to take the right action at the right time and to be proactive as and when the need arises.

Manage Change Effectively

Change is an inevitable part of every organization. Sometimes it is positive and sometimes it is negative, what matters is how an organization deals with the change and more importantly how it deals with the employees during that period. Remember that when an organization is changing, the employees too feel the effect of the change – whether it is a rise in sales or a merger or even layoffs.

It is important to have a strong internal communication strategy to convey these changes so as to keep the employees updated and to stop any rumors or misinformation from spreading within the organization.

Maintain Balance

To retain employees, organizations have to take the extra step to maintain a work-life balance. Every employee cherishes their time out of the workplace and an organization that prohibits them from that in any manner, intentionally or unintentionally, will be met with high turnover rates, even during a recession. 

Professional Growth Strategies for Employee Retention

If an organization has a culture that promotes communication, conversation, feedback and honesty, employees are much more likely to stick around. Aside from their income, they also value their time, respect and happiness. If a workplace is able to provide all of these, then an employee has no reason to leave and take a risk of starting afresh in a different organization. On the other hand, a workplace culture where employees can seek feedback, improve, and be recognized for their labor is one that incourages employees to stay. Building connections with employees helps them feel supported and empowers them to grow their skillset – thus allowing them to contribute to your company in a positive way.

Employee retention is about creating and harboring a safe culture for the employees and encouraging them to live a happier, more productive life both in and out of their workplace. Are you ready to get started with effective communication? Learn how VP Legacies can help you with an internal communication strategy.
Related: Key Takeaways from Recession-Proof Businesses

The Ultimate Guide To Hiring Executives For Your Company

The Ultimate Guide To Hiring Executives For Your Company 1080 675 VP Legacies

When founding a new venture, it is not unusual for a founder to wear too many hats. It’s actually the most sensible, cost-effective, and efficient way to get things done during those early days. However, as your business grows, “founder-sweat” quickly spread thin.

Eventually, even the most efficient startup grows to a level when it becomes essential to hire business executives who can help propel the corporation to the next level.

Nowadays, employers have the advantage of having a vast collection of candidates to choose from and interview for comparatively few vacant positions.

But, the executive hiring process is quite different from the standard recruiting processes. For one thing, the conventional interview process for staff roles isn’t a dependable method for judging executive candidates.

To hire the most qualified executives for top-level positions, a company needs to graduate from simple hiring and leverage more advanced recruiting techniques.

This article will give a slightly broader overview of what executive hiring entails end-to-end, as well as some tips for building an executive recruitment program that delivers results.

In a world where the average CEO’s tenure is increasingly shortening, companies with strong executive hiring programs can scale notably more effortlessly than their counterparts. 

What Is Executive Hiring?

Executive hiring refers to the process of discovering and employing candidates to occupy leading roles at the company. The nuance of executive hiring is that different roles, despite being under the C suite, vary dramatically – not only from each other, but also company by company.

CEO (CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER) 

CEO tenures continue to fall across the board. In 2017, the average CEO tenure was an all-time low of only 5 years. Most companies eventually need to hire a new CEO to guide the company through a new phase – and it’s without a doubt the hardest of the C suite to hire for.

The CEO decides the company’s policy. They employ and assemble the senior team. A CEO’s docket also involves making the final decision on how company resources are managed, and it is usually their face that appears on the media and business magazine covers.

A good CEO’s core competencies should include strategic judgment—the ability to see beyond the daily activities and decide on the best route for navigating future industry conditions.

The CEO’s primary function, however, is hiring and firing.

At the end of the day, a good management team can make up for the CEO’s shortcomings. A CEO can set strategies, set long-term bets, and manage the finances, but if they fail to recruit a capable team, the company will inevitably fall short.

A good CEO must be able to recognize and recruit the best and fire those who don’t function while running the show. At a certain scale, the best CEOs are world-class recruiters.

COO (CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER) 

A COO is an extremely ephemeral role that can encompass a lot of different responsibilities. While traditionally tasked to managing the operations of large scale supply-oriented businesses, the dawn of the internet era has seen the role shift – see Sheryl Sandberg at Facebook, for example.

To simplify it, however, a COO must ensure that the business delivers day after day. The COO essentially sits on the pulse of the company, and acts as an extension of the CEO’s vision, guiding implementation and beating roadblocks.

The COO’s team also creates systems designed to monitor measurements and be decisive whenever the business aren’t delivering.

When hiring for COOs, the core competency is – and this might sound trite – management. A good COO is a systems thinker – someone who understands the big picture, and knows how to scale the day-to-day operations to reach it.

PRESIDENT

There is no clear-cut role for the company president. Some say the president supervises human resources, staff functions, strategy, and finance while the COO administers daily operations. 

Nevertheless, sometimes, the company president fills any operational cracks left by the CEO and COO. 

Regardless, you should think carefully about whether you require someone to occupy this role, or if your business can get by with just the CEO and COO.

CFO (CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER) 

Naturally, the company’s CFO manages the money. They make budgets and generate financing strategies.

The CFO figures out if it’s profitable for the business to buy or lease. They also set up control systems that scrutinize the financial health of the company.

(And yes, the CFO is usually the “killjoy” who won’t approve your request for funds to purchase that ultra-cool videoconferencing gear.)

A good CFO should always be busy working out which clients, products, and business lines are most profitable, so that next year you might be able to afford that sweet video conferencing equipment.

If numbers don’t keep you awake at night, you have to recruit someone who does.

Money is the lifeblood of any business, and cash flow is essential in entrepreneurship. Cash flow management is a very underrated part of enterprise – a good CFO can synchronize a cash flow dance that maximizes growth and minimizes risk.

CMO (CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER)

The CMO develops the company’s marketing strategy and also supervises its implementation. In more tech-driven organizations the CMO is slowly starting to blur with other roles, like CGO (Chief Growth Officer) and CPO (Chief Product Officer)

A good CMO should have in-depth industry knowledge which helps to position the brand, distinguish it from the competition, enlist distributors, and ensure that customers crave for your product.

If the success of your business depends heavily on demand generation, then you need to hire a CMO.

CTO (CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER)

The Company’s CTO has to stay abreast of the latest technology trends, incorporate such trends into the business strategy, and ensure that the company remains up to date when necessary.

While the CTO used to be a niche hire, modern companies almost inevitably need a CTO; as they say, every business is a software business nowadays.

Importance of Executive Hiring

Identifying and employing the most suitable candidates for your company’s executive level is critical to the long-term success of the business.

Since the decisions of the next department heads will shape the existing workplace culture as well as the future of the business, the process of executive hiring needs to be handled with maximum awareness and priority.

Finding the Right Team Members

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Sadly, good executive employees are scarce and highly sought after. Because their decisions will either make or break the business, you’ll want to hire the best.

Recruiting executives is no easy task. Classified ads, online bulletin boards, and newspapers are not the ideal route to take. And making mass-market advertisements will only attract people who haven’t got any other job prospects.

If you have a sufficient budget available, executive search agencies are a good option for finding promising talent and adding input for hire.

Even though their fees are quite expensive, they conduct their due diligence and provide you with already screened candidates, which can be a significant time-saver.

These agencies usually have a reservoir of executive talent and can likely connect with candidates you wouldn’t be able to approach by yourself.

Search firms may even specialize by industry, location, function, and level of qualification, so if you choose to engage one, ensure that you know what you are getting.

Networking is another proven method of finding potential hires (and this is where that CEO guy/gal comes in handy).

A company needs to build its own professional network that it can inform about the kind of executive you are searching for. Then arrange one-on-one introductory sessions to assess the chemistry.

While networking, stay away from general networking forums. Be direct about what you would like.

If you’re looking to recruit a CMO for your law firm, attend more Legal Service conferences, which attract top marketing executives from various law firms. Networking can work well, but make sure that it’s targeted.

Related: How to Be an Effective Group Member

Interviewing Guidelines

The interview is one of the most important parts of the hiring process, since it allows you to get to know the candidate on a personal level. When the time comes to have a sit down with the potential employee, there are some few things worth knowing that can make the process a little easier:

Ensure That The Candidate Knows The Job

Executive hires have a much higher bar for “context” than regular employees. A staff employee not knowing all the nuances of the job requirements is fine. An executive should know everything about the job, company & industry – if not, pass.

Assess Chemistry

Can this candidate be trusted? Will other people like to spend time around them? Culture fit is far more important for executive hires because they set the tone for the entire organization. 

Check References

Do the brilliant claims of the candidate reflect in the comments of their past colleagues and subordinates? Find concrete details of their deliverables.

And remember, in small businesses, cultural issues are sometimes just as important as the job itself.

Are they smarter than you?

This is a good principle to follow: Each new executive should boost the average IQ of your company; hire executives who are smarter than you.

Related: 5 Entrepreneurial Mindsets to Utilize in Your Own Business

Observe Learning Ability

Is the candidate prone to repeating previous mistakes? Or do they learn quickly from their errors and adjust that knowledge to suit your company?

Utilize Behavior Description Techniques

During the executive hiring process, don’t ask questions about principles, knowledge, and idealistic stories. Instead, ask the potential executive employee to share details of specific past events. Such accounts will expose their values, capabilities, and skills.

For instance, a future CFO may be asked to describe how they set up and managed the previous budgets they handled.

Closing the Deal

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After you have found the executive you would like to employ, you’ll probably need to pitch them before you find yourself handing out those employment forms.

There aren’t any standard regulations for the best contract to offer successful candidates. Hourly workers might be delighted to receive cash, but executives are not so easily pleased.

Company executives often want assets, stock options, inflated pay, as well as annual bonuses.

Given that the job of the executive is to make sure that the whole company succeeds, you can use bonus plans and stock options to link their earnings to the overall performance of the company.

Stock options can be connected with consistent performance, while profit sharing and bonuses should be founded on the previous year’s results.

Naturally, not all executives yearn for stock. Preferably, you would like to employ a capable person who is content with a demanding job and modest income. And they are out there!

Well trained individuals who value family time, a challenging job, and fun culture.

You can gain a good understanding of a person’s core values from the new hire paperwork, which will help to craft better deals that will please them in a manner that goes beyond mere dollars.

Handing Over To Your Executives

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After new employee forms have been properly documented and all the members of your executive team are committed, next comes the hardest part: trust.

Doubts will plague you at every turn. A new executive is like introducing a new parent to your child – it’s not going to be easy.

Still, trust is essential because once the executive team members have joined the fray, you have to allow them to take charge by accepting full responsibility for their decisions or indecisions.

Remember that you have hired an executive team, and they must be accountable for the wellbeing of the company; this means defining their roles, the deliverables each one is responsible for and within what timeframe.

It is also worth discussing in advance how you will handle disagreements. Set processes in place right away and be stringent at enforcing them.

These people were hired on the premise that their decision making should be better than yours. Therefore when there is conflict, if you did a good job, chances are that they are right and you are wrong.

Agree early about how you will make the call, ensuring that the company benefits most from constructive disagreements. Just bear in mind that if you agree on everything, some of you are redundant.

Final Thoughts

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Entrepreneurship is all about going for those things that are beyond what you alone could achieve. Your job is not to struggle alone to attain the goal; it’s to assemble a team that can.

While it’s hard for a founder to loosen the reigns, it’s essential for a business to scale that it starts hiring talented executives. There’s a learning curve for the executive hiring process – and an incredibly long recruitment process, usually – but the payout is well worth it. A company’s success relies on its people, and there are no people more essential to a company’s future than its executives.

If you’ve done your job and assembled a dream team, their success will be your success.

Related: What Is the Best Strategy for CEO Communication?

Is Your Employment Branding Strategy Working? Here’s what you need to know

Is Your Employment Branding Strategy Working? Here’s what you need to know 992 646 VP Legacies

In today’s competitive job market, there might be plenty of candidates lining up and waiting for interviews for a position at a prime organization.

However, that doesn’t mean that these are the most ideal candidates on the market.

It’s no knock on the current individuals seeking employment. But as specific positions increase in expertise, pay, responsibilities, and overall impact on the company, it becomes increasingly more challenging to find the right fit.

So, businesses face a unique challenge. Top-level talents aren’t going to burst through doors desperately looking for employment after reading a job posting on LinkedIn, so it’s important to incorporate the right employee branding strategies through communication.

The fact is, most top-notch professionals already work well-paid jobs in prominent positions they deem fulfilling. They aren’t fervently sending out resumes and cover letters to anyone who’ll accept them.

Furthermore, if they’re considering a change in their workplace, the chances are these gifted people are already in talks with another respected organization. And it’s likely a result of recruitment efforts as opposed to job hunting.

What’s crucial is how organizations present – or brand – themselves to humanize themselves and create personal connection. 

Now, that sounds like how businesses market their products to consumers. And for a good reason. Extremely talented employees are as valuable or more valuable to an organization as consumers. Instead of thinking candidates are just happy to have a shot at a job, it’s time to start shifting the employer-employee paradigm towards a brand-consumer dynamic

What will really make an employer branding strategy stand out is emphasizing the way you build relationships and personal connections. Potential employees do not just want to see a boring laundry list of company perks, but a thoughtful explanation of a business where they’re likely to stay.

After all, it’s through these unique minds that organizations thrive in the long run.

Let’s take a deep dive into this topic.

Employment Brand Examples: Taking a Lesson from the Sporting World

Professional sports provide a shining example of the effectiveness of how employment branding helps recruit top talent.

Teams with savvy marketing that know how to leverage fanbases, location, facilities, and history, attract elite players.  

Organizations that show players that they’re willing to bend over backwards to meet their demands are the ones that attract premier talent as well. This is a marketing strategy that builds on personal connections to drive communication.

Interestingly, in many sports, (such as the NBA), the power is 100% in the hands of the star players. And realistically, the business landscape is similar in 2019. Where most of the workforce consists of millennials, who change jobs more often than any previous generation, costing the U.S.$30.5 billion in turnover, annually.

It’s no coincidence that the star athletes in the NBA are also millennials. 

This is a generation that’s perfectly aware of their own worth.

 

As such, the cream of the crop will select the company that sells them on the opportunity, the why and personal connection —not the company that acts like they’re doing a candidate a favor just by offering them an interview. 

The Proof Is in the Pudding

One of the most effective ways of recruiting top talent is as straightforward as it gets—be a great place to work the focuses on strong relationships and personal connection. That’s how the top companies set themselves apart as an attractive employer brand.

Savvy candidates will catch on fast to a toxic environment that takes advantage of employees, and run the other way. There are even stories where talent has refused job offers because of the poor behavior displayed by management during the interview. While this form of corporate communication does not occur through official marketing channels, the behavior of management clues potential employees in to the way people interact within a company.

Yes, employment branding and marketing strategies are wholly necessary for ensuring that quality candidates are enticed to apply. However, effective recruitment starts internally. If current employees love their jobs and feel strong relationships with those around them, word will spread.

More specifically, in today’s landscape, job reviews on sites like Glassdoor are more prevalent than ever.  Organizations can’t be passive part in the process. No, that doesn’t mean coaxing employees into writing positive reviews. It means building strong relationships to create personal connection, giving them every possible reason to write sparkling reviews that attract ideal candidates.

That could involve anything from implementing a “bring your dogs to work” policy to putting a ping pong table in the break room. Before you do either of these things, it is important to communicate with and talk to current employees and ask them what they want instead of just doing it haphazardly. Then, it’ll  be something that harnesses a fulfilling and empathetic work environment.

Also, don’t squeeze every ounce of juice out of current team members. Because in 2019, work-life balance has become a pressing issue. Millennials want jobs that support their lifestyle, and that can’t be done when 12-14-hour-days are the norm. Ensure that you communicate regularly with your employees and pay attention to their work load so that they are performing efficiently and do not feel overwhelmed. If they work at a steady pace, they are more likely to stay with your company and even help you attract future employees.

Remember, word of mouth is everything to today’s most viable candidates when it comes to employer branding. This form of talent branding rests on the knowledge that job seekers rely on recommendations more than any other generation. With more online sources about employee satisfaction than ever, they will do their research on organizations before deciding where they’re going to work. People care about purpose driven companies more than ever

Companies can do their best to manufacture employment branding strategies that convince candidates they’ve cultivated a fantastic professional environment. But the one guaranteed way to make this happen is to establish a fruitful, exciting, and thriving place to work by building strong, personal connections. 

 

Related: Monochronic vs. Polychronic Cultures: What are the Differences?

 

Why Use Other Employer Branding Strategies?

 

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With strong principles and practices, any company will be an optimal spot for top talents. Still, even with an army of employees writing positive reviews, it may not be enough to attract ideal candidates.

These branding strategies must be multi-layered. So, one facet of branding could be incentivizing employees to leave positive reviews on websites like Glassdoor – but that’s only one piece of the puzzle. What’s most important is that you strengthen personal connection with your employees from the very beginning so that these reviews essentially write themselves.

It’s reported that organizations who invest in a comprehensive employer branding are 3x more likely to make a quality hire. Also, companies with a strong employer brand see a decrease in hiring costs than those with weaker strategies.

How to Create an Employer Branding Strategy

Here are five steps to follow that’ll help establish a strong employer branding strategy:

Define goals:

  • Employers need to know the exact purpose of what they’re trying to do, or else the plan will remain aimless
  • Overall goals can be to get more applicants, get more high-quality candidates, increase candidate engagement, etc.

 

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Craft a candidate persona:

  • Candidate personas are an employer’s most desired talent
  • It allows organizations to target marketing messages and job descriptions accurately

Establish an employee value proposition (EVP)

  • Utilizing an HR marketing strategy, the employee value proposition is why candidates seek out a company and stay there for the long haul
  • It’s usually comprised of factors such as compensation, benefits, career, work environment, and culture
  • The EVP targets the ideal candidate persona

Figure out the channels to promote the employer brand

  • Where is the target candidate most likely to be reached? 
  • There are a multitude of touchpoints with candidates before they’re hired
  • Some options are:
    • Social media
    • Job posting websites
    • Current employees
    • Workshops
    • Inbound recruiting
    • Job ads
    • Application Process

Establish metrics and assess the effectiveness of strategies

  • Like any business practice, it’s integral to find a way to measure success and assess the efficiency of any initiative
  • Regularly examine whether the employer branding is producing the best results and make changes where necessary

Using All the Available Tools for Employer Branding

With a well-managed employer brand, 94% of applicants are likely to apply to a position. The same research shows that 91% of candidates won’t apply to employer brands with a weak web presence.

Potential employees want to see that organizations care about their image. When companies don’t take advantage of the wealth of digital resources, such as social media, blogs, videos, etc., this acts as a red flag. People (especially top performers) don’t want to work for companies that are behind the times and don’t seem interested in maintaining an employer brand image.

Conversely, companies that continually promote internal events and produce engaging web content will put on full display that they’re ideal employers. Furthermore, candidates want to see employer brands that give employees a voice and possess innovative, imaginative mindsets.

Without utilizing the tools of today, an employer brand will seem archaic, behind the times, and undesirable. With digital resources abound, it should be clear that potential employees place a high value on communication; it’s up to your company to create a digital and personal strategy to speak to these needs.

Related: 10 Ways to Reduce Employee Turnover in 2019

Attracting Passive Candidates

The primary obstacle when seeking elite talent is that these people already have well-paying jobs and likely aren’t looking for anything new.

Unfortunately, those are the exact people organizations need to reach the next level. Sure, there are diamonds in the rough out there. But businesses require leaders with proven track records for success who’ll pave the way for everyone else.  It’s only from there that internal efforts can develop and sustain top-performing teams.

These enticing individuals are known as passive candidates. The sought-after people who other businesses attempt to woo with well-worded LinkedIn messages and (in some cases) expensive dinners with a big sales pitch.  By building strong relationships and personal connection, you are more likely to attract passive candidates in the future. If a passive candidate consistently comes across positive messaging from you even when that candidate is not actively seeking a job, they are more likely to remember you when they are seeking a new position more actively.

A strong employer brand is crucial with passive candidates.

First and foremost, a good employment branding strategy starts with reaching out to somebody through an online resource. Most likely, it’d be on LinkedIn or through email, depending on how the contact information was obtained. This initial touchpoint should include the following:

  • An introduction to the recruiter and the company
  • Reasons for reaching out and why this move would benefit the candidate
  • Reasons why the position is relevant to their experience 
  • Which aspects of their resume make them a good fit for the job

It sounds like a sales email, but a recruitment message requires strong employer branding and should reflect the organization in the most favorable light. A recruitment message is a small facet of corporate communication, but it will create the first impression of your company to a potential hiring prospect.

Beyond personalized messaging, employee referral programs are probably one of the most effective employment branding initiatives to recruiting passive candidates. Enthusiastic employees doing everything in their power to bring somebody on board will monumentally bolster a brand’s image. Of course, that means going beyond the HR department to attract passive candidates. 

Throughout this process of converting passive candidates into lucrative hires, it’s essential to keep in mind that they have most of the power. Don’t expect them to have a resume on hand or to be prepared for skill-testing questions. 

Alternatively, it’s the organization that should do enough brand planning to be ready to answer the tough questions and prove why they’re worthy. It’s the candidate who’s being sold on making a significant change in their career path. 

Social Media is Integral to Employer Branding

A LinkedIn survey shows that 50% of all professionals follow a brand on social media to find out about employment opportunities. 

Now, it’s all well and good to open a plethora of social media accounts and post without rhyme, reason, or rhythm. However, there’s a need to be calculated and strategic with each piece of messaging to attract quality candidates.

On social media, brands must be conscious of crafting an authentic voice – not one that’s littered with HR buzz-speak. It should also be friendly, approachable, unique, and consistent. Brands should utilize a corporate communication strategy that speaks to why their employees are satisfied, and why future employees will want to stay. Instead of using bland hiring lingo, tune in to relationship-building between current workers and what positive things they have to say.

Consistency in employment branding is most critical because the same people aren’t necessarily making all the posts. But each piece of messaging must be uniform and seem like it’s made by the same person.

Plus, the voice of an employer brand must speak directly to the candidate persona. 

Then, there’s the matter of sharing engaging content, which can be anything from photos of office space to educational videos and workshops, etc. Either way, the content needs to tell a captivating brand story and create personal connection.

Also, it’s a top priority to spark a conversation with audiences and respond to their questions and observations. 

Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter are the most mainstream social media channels to post from. Choose one or two of the platforms—trying to post from all the options will over-extend messaging efforts and hamper the quality of the content. 

Whereas, streamlining content towards the one or two platforms where the candidate persona spends the majority of their time is the most sound strategy.

Conclusion: Shore Up Employer Branding Strategies and Hire the Right People

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It’s time to see job candidates as consumers and employers as products. This kind of employment branding is the only way organizations can hire top performers who’ll take them to the next level and set them apart from the competition. Employer branding is the most vital part of establishing a workplace as the proverbial ‘place to be.’

But employer branding won’t take care of itself. It requires careful forethought and a concerted strategy that encompasses various forms of active and passive recruitment. While ensuring that current employees feel fulfilled to encourage word-of-mouth branding is a necessity, there’s a need to strengthen other facets of the process. That means crafting a multi-layered strategy and consistently adjusting and amending to meet the inclinations of the candidate persona. Think of employer branding as one of the most important forms ofcorporate communication. By showing how you interact with current employees, you can leave a good impression on future employees as a company with strong relationships and a knack for building personal connections. 

To find out how your company can craft effective employment branding, and for helpful educational tools, visit VP Legacies to see how we can help. Create change in your company for higher employee and customer retention by remembering that people matter.

Related: Employer Branding

 

Monochronic vs. Polychronic cultures: What are The Differences?

Monochronic vs. Polychronic cultures: What are The Differences? 974 636 VP Legacies

At VP Legacies, we’ve tackled various aspects of employee communication from employee retention and best communication strategies. Tap into one of the most important elements of communication contributing to employee satisfaction – time.

In business, establishing a time culture is crucial to the success of the brand or product. To establish a time culture, a business owner needs to study the cultural differences of their environment and adapt accordingly. There are two primary “time cultures” from which to choose – and they permeate corporate culture in deep and intricate ways.

 

In general, a typical business owner belongs to either of two time cultures: Monochronic or polychronic.

 

Monochronism and Polychronism: What Does It All Mean?

 

 

 

To understand these two different time cultures and how they contrast, consider the following example at an airport.

A traveler becomes frustrated when the customs official takes too long to stamp their passport and help them pass through the body scanner. The official moves at a slow pace because other team members keep interrupting him, and his phone keeps ringing. The traveler wants the official to finish one task – stamping his passport – before moving on to the next. Instead, the official is trying to complete multiple tasks at once.

The traveler is a classic example of a monochronic person, and the official is polychronic.

The monochronic individual believes in finishing one task at a time. In their time culture, time is a valuable commodity that shouldn’t be wasted and sticking to one task at a time ensures that it’s well-managed. The monochronic culture schedules one event at a time in an orderly fashion.

In the polychronic culture, employees can work on several tasks simultaneously. Polychronic individuals thrive on carrying out more than one task at the same time as long as they can be executed together with a natural rhythm. For example, it’s perfectly natural for the official to stamp the passport and take a phone call at the same time because these tasks require different parts of the body and different levels of concentration.

The critical difference between the two time cultures is that monochronic cultures value schedules, while polychronic cultures value interpersonal relationships. That is why a monochronic individual will have an alarm to wake up and other gadgets to help keep time.

A polychronic person, on the other hand, will often rely on other people as time cues.

 

Can You Learn A Time Culture?

 

 

 

It’s certainly possible to acquire a new time orientation; however, it takes time and an open mind. According to research by the Havard Business Review, between 10 to 20 percent of American managers sent by their companies to work abroad had difficulty adjusting to local cultures and norms.

Building a business in a predominantly polychronic or monochronic country may call for a business owner to learn a new time culture. A savvy business person must acclimate to the culture in order to thrive and stay sane. Becoming familiar with the time culture will help with the following –

 

It may be difficult to adapt to a new time orientation because time holds different values and meanings in each culture. In polychronic cultures, the concept of time is fluid. On the other hand, the concept of time is precise. You can run a business that uses a combination of both approaches to time when applicable, as long as you maintain an open mind and keep everyone on the same page.

 

The Best Time Culture?

Cultural perception of time varies all over the world. In broad strokes, the “best” time culture depends on the location of the business and that location’s overall time personality. North American and North European countries are monochronic societies where business managers typically divide work schedules into sequential chunks.

Arab, African, South American and Asian countries are typically more accepting of changes in schedules because they are polychronic cultures. However, much of East Asia is a monochronic society.

 

Monochronic

To maintain a thriving business in a monochronic time culture, the company must emphasize the following elements.

 

1. Punctuality

 

 

 

Keeping time is essential for any stakeholder in a project. Not only does the staff arrive to work on time, but they arrive promptly to meetings with clients and other employees. In monochronistic cultures, employees know their schedule ahead of time and organize their week in advance.

 

2. One activity at a time

An employee must complete a current task before moving on to the next in a monochronic time system. This holds employees accountable for their time and enables managers to see more easily if employees are completing the necessary tasks. Monochronic time also ensures that employees finish tasks with a high degree of focus and little interruption.

Monochronic business workflows typically thrive using sprint-style setups, and fragmented time-keeping techniques or platforms.

 

3. Business time management tools

Employees in a monochronic orientation must schedule every task in a calendar or daily planner with a detailed plan and allocated time for completion. Using these tools increases focus and efficiency while minimizing time wastage in projects. Investing in time management tools like Trello, Asana, and Scoro, among others, is crucial to completing tasks on time.

 

4. Short term relationships

 

 

 

The company expects every relationship between employees to serve the purpose of reaching an objective that one employee cannot meet alone. People in monochronistic cultures prefer engaging in short term connections for particular transactions. These relationships are sustained within a specified time frame and end when the business goal is met.

At VP Legacies, we discourage short-term relationships even in a monochronic work environment. By building strong relationships and fostering personal connection, you can develop rapport between employees and effective collaboration when necessary so that future tasks can be executed more efficiently.

Related: Crisis Management for Businesses

 

5. Individual accomplishment

Since managers assign particular tasks to each individual on a project, personal achievement becomes a primary goal in monochronic culture. Completing tasks within a given time frame and adhering to the culture of scheduled events indicates that an employee is performing well. Group work remains a part of every work environment, but for monochronistic companies, it’s only in the context of all individuals accomplishing specific project tasks on time.

As VP Legacies, we believe that individual accomplishment is important, but the contributions and impacts of a supporting team must also be valued and taken into account.

 

6. Hard deadlines

Everyone must adhere to deadlines at all costs in a monochronic orientation. Meeting deadlines promptly shows that an employee is conscious of their clients’ time, as well as the busy lives of their fellow employees. Monochronistic culture encourages showing respect for other people’s schedules. There are more deadlines, so this method of working is primarily task oriented.

 

Polychronic

On the other hand, a company operating in a polychronic society is used to:

 

1. Human interaction and personal connection

 

 

 

Human interaction and personal connection fosters a sense of belonging in the company. The employees will strive to accomplish their set tasks for the day while also allowing for interactions like borrowing office items or catching up on work or personal issues. Consistent flow of information among members of the team also means everyone knows each other’s tasks and can help where possible.

In a polychronic business culture, interaction is king.

 

2. Group work

Working as a group takes the stress off individuals and makes room for multi-tasking. Polychronic organizations often employ a flat management structure, allowing (and often encouraging) workers to jump across their typical job function and contribute to supporting their peers.

 

3. A holistic approach

The success of a project is measured holistically, rather than on a task-by-task basis. With polychronic time, everyone pulls together to accomplish the tasks of the day, so an individual who completes their part will move on to help others. While tasks might take longer to complete, the more leisurely pace also contributes to the positive mental health of employees.

 

4. Flexibility

 

 

 

Time is flexible, and work merges with personal time. An employee may be working on a task while on the phone talking to another member of the team to share information. Does that mean the quality of work is compromised with polychronic time? Not necessarily, since employees usually multi-task when performing more mundane functions. When working on multiple, more complicated projects concurrently, they can go back and review their work.

 

5. High context communication

Polychronic people tend to communicate crucial information with a lot of accompanying background information. There is an emphasis on the tone of voice and visible communication cues like raising of eyebrows or clicking of the tongue. High context communication believes in sharing every bit of information. In the case of training, learning happens in groups as opposed to individual training.

 

6. Long term relationships

Whether they are between employees or with clients, long term relationships are crucial to the success of a business in polychronic societies. These relationships develop over time to foster trust and friendship, making it easier and less stressful to strike business deals. There is no specific time frame to create a relationship, which is why this is harder to do in a time-based, monochronic environment. In polychronic cultures, a clear objective can help expedite the growth of a positive business relationship.

Related: What is the Best Strategy for CEO Communication?

 

The Monochronic and Polychronic Conflict

 

 

 

As globalization increases, businesses find themselves in culturally uncharted waters when they strive to break into new markets across the world. When opening offices abroad or becoming involved with international markets, business owners must adapt to different time culture practices.

The time culture conflict arises when companies begin to tap into the local workforce abroad, where standard employee practices differ. However, it is possible to have a predominant time culture and tap into the other as needed. To make a combination of polychronic and monochronic time work, a company should focus on the following:

 

  • Making no assumptions about business partners and employees
  • Becoming flexible and open to the culture around
  • Tapping into the different strengths of team members
  • Communicating the exact requirements of a project and the goals, and
  • Building teams that work efficiently together.

Employees at the same company might see things differently, even if they have the same time orientation. A closed-door office might seem unfriendly and off-putting to an employee who is used to an open plan office space. With a little consideration, everyone can feel at home in the same environment.

The monochronic and polychronic conflict can be solved with an agile corporate communication strategy. Continuously evaluate how you should interact with employees and customers throughout your organization and the world. Using a corporate communication strategy you will be able to properly merge and utilize the monochronic and polychronic time cultures to connect with your people.

 

Consider Past Time Orientation

 

 

 

Many polychronic cultures have strong traditional values that dictate the way employees carry out day-to-day functions. These traditions do not adhere to time and schedules, but contribute to an overall corporate identity. On the other hand, the methodical ways of monochronic cultures allows for time efficiency.

A business can thrive in either culture with the right amount of tweaking, an open mind, and a new approach to time and order. A business should consider their goals over the period of a month, several months, and a year, and adapt aspects of both monochronic and polychronic cultures where they best fit. Adapting a flexible time culture for your company that works for employees can maximize efficiency and make employees feel valued. Once you and your executives reach a decision about the best time culture and have received ample feedback, roll out internal communication that makes your time model clear. If your employees are satisfied with a robust, well-thought out time culture, they are more likely to stay at your company and communicate positive reviews externally to boost future hiring.

Check out our services at VP Legacies and start building effective strategies so that everyone is satisfied with the time culture of your company.

 

Related: The Ultimate Guide To Hiring Executives For Your Company

9 Ways to Reduce Employee Turnover in 2019

9 Ways to Reduce Employee Turnover in 2019 1920 1144 VP Legacies

High employee turnover can be extremely costly and detrimental to an organization. It’s normal to encounter some level of turnover in an organization due to reasons such as retirement. However, turnover due to other reasons, such as poor employee morale, is not good and should be fixed.

A higher than normal amount of turnover is usually one of the first signs there are significant issues in an organization, and if it’s ignored can lead to even further issues such as a decline in workforce productivity. All of this will eventually trickle down into affecting the bottom line.

In short, turnover can’t be ignored and won’t go away without intervention. It’s essential that you improve your communication strategies, amongst other things to take action to limit your employee turnover.

Management studies on reducing turnover are plenty. In this post, we’ll distill the many mitigation techniques out there and go through some easy and practical ways of reducing employee turnover.

We’ll distill the many mitigation techniques out there and go through some easy and practical ways of reducing employee turnover.

1. Analyze Turnover

The first step in reducing employee turnover is getting a good grasp of how it’s happening and more importantly, why.

This means keeping track of how many employees are leaving an organization in a given year and how these numbers compare with the years before. If there’s been a sudden spike one year, look into why this might be the case. Did a major event happen that year such as an acquisition by a bigger company? Where is the turnover happening? If it’s only within a specific department, was there a new leader hired there that may be causing issues?

Drilling down may help uncover possible hypotheses on why turnover has spiked and ways to solve. Numbers alone aren’t enough; it’s essential to know the underlying reason – the why?

Qualitative insights also help. This is where implementing practices such as exit interviews can be very beneficial.

Most employees that have decided to leave an organization are willing to state why. Be sure that these exit interviews are conducted by an unbiased party such as an HR practitioner and are done confidentially so anyone who reads the takeaways from the interview won’t know who the interviewee was.

Establishing monthly employee surveys can also help raise red flags to leadership if employee morale is sinking, and there’s a chance of high turnover happening. It’s important these surveys are anonymous when completed and isn’t collected at a level where employees or managers handling the data could determine who might have completed it.

Monthly employee surveys are a great preventative measure in flagging potential turnover before it happens.

2. Don’t shy away from praise and recognition

The next tactic to reducing employee turnover is quite simple, low-effort, but very effective.

Make sure employees, managers, and the overall company culture value the practice of giving recognition and praise.

If employees are doing a great job, submit an excellent deliverable, or have gone above and beyond in any way – recognize them for this in front of their colleagues. Or if certain events have happened such as the colleagues being promoted or certain milestones being met by a team during a project, recognize them for the work done.

Praise doesn’t always have to be public. It can also be privately done and still be effective. Take employees out for coffee and let know their hard is work is appreciated.

Don’t go overboard with this and only give praise when employees genuinely deserve this.

Praise is a great way to reduce turnover. Employees will feel like their hard work is being noticed and appreciated – boosting their morale.

3. Show employees the end goal and how to get there

Feeling a sense of progress is critical towards employees feeling fulfilled in their jobs.

This means if they think they’ve stayed stagnant in a particular position and begin to get bored of their job – they’ll start looking elsewhere for new opportunities.

Luckily, this one’s easily avoidable by ensuring that there are clearly defined roles and career progression in an organization.

By formally establishing these and communicating it with employees, they’ll start to understand what’s the next step in their time here and what might be the tasks they need to show they’ve accomplished in order to progress to the next level.

This doesn’t always been dishing out a promotion. Sometimes this can be adding more responsibility to their current role or rotating them across different functions to keep things interesting.

Keep career paths transparent, detailed, and supplementing this with regular performance reviews. This means employees will know what to work on to get to the next level and progress through the company – instead of leaving for the competition.

4. Let employees manage their own time

The next trick to reducing employee turnover is simply providing them with autonomy. When it comes to their daily tasks, this may be hard due to a lack of experience, but freedom and independence in how they manage their time to completing work on their plate are surely doable!

Provide employees as much freedom to set their own schedule, and even where they work from. Introduce options such as work-from-home days, and flexible work hours so that it’s not mandatory for them to be in-office, 8 hours, 5 days a week.

Employees can pick a work schedule that’s optimal for them but also gets work done effectively. Having the option to do this might keep them in the organization cause ultimately, there’s no price one can set on freedom.

5. Pay employees well and offer bonuses

Money matters. And this means employees want to feel like they are compensated well or else they’ll leave.

Make sure annual salary reviews are in place and that compensation is benchmarked with the market rate and to what competitors offer.

This can extend beyond just base salary to include other benefits such as bonuses. Make it attractive and it doesn’t all have to be monetary. Pairing market salary along with flexible work-at-home policies can shrink turnover as employees start to value the flexibility over more pay elsewhere but restricted to being in the office all the time.

6. Align values and purpose

Everyone want’s to feel a sense of purpose to what they’re doing. This is the same at work.

Communicate to employees what it is the organization is striving to achieve, and why their contributions matter. This doesn’t have to be altruistic. The effort just needs to go into helping employees see the purpose in what they’re doing. The key is being able to articulate a company’s purpose in a way that connects.

This might sound complicated. But to keep it actionable, translate this down by ensuring managers communicate the bigger context of what their direct reports do.

An analyst helping crunch numbers in an excel sheet just needs to know that this analysis is going towards identifying bottlenecks in the shipping process – which in turn could be fixed and speed up delivery times for customers. It can be that simple and be enough to give an employee a sense of purpose in the work they are doing.

7. Check-in with employees often

This trick is all about habit and it can be implemented in a fairly easy way within an organization.

Simply ensure that time is carved out for direct reports to have casual conversations about how their job is going with their managers. Make this mandatory for managers to schedule into calendars on a recurring basis with every direct report. Keep them accountable by measuring such practices and making it a part of their annual performance reviews.

This should be a casual check-in for 30 min. or an hour and involves going for coffee or a walk to ask how things are going. This practice alone can be hugely beneficial in making a frustrated employee who’s a flight-risk feel heard and reconsider leaving.

8. Create a rewarding culture

Although rewarding for a job well done is great and much needed. Most often, employees want more than that. They want their time with a company to be more than just work so it’s important to create a sense of culture.

This means hosting regular ‘after work’ events such as having managers gather everyone to go for drinks nearby. Or having monthly team lunches that allows everyone to get together.

Cheeky traditions at work also help such as telling employees to dress up in whacky costumes during Halloween or creating a fantasy football league for employees to participate in.

All this boosts camaraderie and makes the work team feel more like family. Leaving your ‘family’ for a job somewhere else is a lot harder to do and starts to reduce turnover!

Moreover, having a team that’s well bonded also means they’ll be more comfortable in voicing any issues that creep up proactively. This allows an organization to address any problem quickly before leaving their job becomes the only solution.

Though hiring the right employees who are a good fit for an organization is important in reducing turnover. The other often overlooked aspect is hiring or training up good people managers.

Some employees can be high performers that excel at their work but can be horrible people managers who don’t really know how to lead, develop, and instill a sense of culture in their teams. They may often prioritize actual work over activities such as hosting check-ins with their employees to see how they are doing. Because of this, direct reports to some of these managers may have no issue with the company but hate their boss so much they decide to leave.

To fix this, if hiring for managers, be sure to vet their people management skills thoroughly, and if promoting from within, be sure to train them on effective people management!

9. Make wellness a key priority

Tackling a sudden spike in turnover can seem daunting, but there are simple, habitual strategies that can do wonders in reducing turnover in an organization. Take our suggestions above and put together a task team to apply it to a company. Remember, high turnover left unchecked can be disastrous in the long-run.

Takeaway

Tackling a sudden spike in turnover can seem daunting, but there are simple, habitual strategies that can do wonders in reducing turnover in an organization. Take our suggestions above and put together a task team to apply it to a company. Remember, high turnover left unchecked can be disastrous in the long-run.