Ways to Thank Employees This Holiday

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For many employers, 2011 culminated in greater success than the preceding years and the holidays are an ideal time to show appreciation to your employees for that success.

Think back on 2011 and hopefully a great deal of achievements, accomplishments, and successes happened at your organization. Many of those would not have been possible without the efforts of your employees, those in the front lines every day servicing your customers and building your products. Each of your employees played a critical role in how your financials play out on December 31.

So whether you hold a celebration or offer time off work, gifts, or other gestures of thanks, it’s critically important to make the time and regard each your employee’s efforts and accomplishments. They are the people who made your success happen in 2011. Here are some ideas.

Coordinate a holiday party or event.

Providing a holiday party or gathering for your employees is a special way to show appreciation to your staff around the holidays. Nearly three-quarters of local employers coordinate a holiday party for their employees. These events are usually luncheons or evening parties held on a Thursday or Friday, and typically use external locations and caterers to host the parties – such as local restaurants, country clubs, or hotels. Some employers even invite employees’ spouses, significant others, and/or children.

Host a pre-holiday team-building activity.

This could be a departmental or team luncheon, fun activity, retreat, or a community service event. The end of the year is a great time to bring departments and teams together to discuss the past year, celebrate accomplishments, and/or continue to build the team. Encourage each of your managers to spend time with their team as a whole. It doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming, but should strengthen team dynamics and relationships to get the New Year started on the right foot.

Start a holiday tradition.

Traditions are an important part of your organization’s culture that makes your organization unique. If your organization doesn’t already have a holiday tradition, it may consider starting one. Perhaps it’s a family holiday party, a Secret Santa exchange, an annual breakfast, or an office decorating day.

Recognize and reward this year’s best.

There’s no question that some of your employees contributed in greater ways to your organization’s success than others, and if your organization hasn’t done so already, it should plan to recognize and reward those top performers. Perhaps these individuals include employees who have worked especially hard on a strategic project, those that exceeded their goals or contributed most to the organization’s profitability, or those that introduced a new innovation or initiative to the organization. Make a short list of your top contributors and provide them a special reward this holiday, preferably publicly.

Provide an extra day off (or two).

One of the best gifts you can give your employees is extra time with family and friends and a bit more work/life balance. Provide the opportunity for some time off work, either through extra paid holidays provided by the company, additional paid time off, early-releases, holiday breaks, reduced schedules, or more flexible work. Also keep in mind that the majority of employers plan to provide paid days off for the days surrounding the holidays.

Make a personal gesture of thanks.

Encourage managers (and ideally your CEO or top management team) to write notes to employees, provide personalized telephone calls, or meet with them individually to thank them for their contributions. These personal gestures can go a long way in showing gratitude to employees for their efforts and accomplishments.

Give a gift.

Small gifts or cash/gift cards are a great way to show you appreciate employees. About half of employers provide holiday gifts to their employees. The most common gift given to employees is a general gift card. Some employers, however, provide hams/turkeys, gift baskets, logo items, clothing items, and candy. You may choose to get even more creative with your gifts and vary them from year to year. Be sure that immediate supervisors or top managers distribute these gifts.

…or gifts that keep giving.

By these we mean the things that many employees are looking for this year – beyond just a gift card. Perhaps it’s a new opportunity, a raise, or a promotion. Survey after survey shows that compensation, advancement, and career development rank high on employees’ “wish lists” this year. You’ll find that these “gifts” truly will keep on giving when they improve your employees’ motivation, engagement, and happiness at work in the new year.

Provide a few perks to help save them money.

Finally, the holidays can stretch employees’ wallets, so any way your organization can save its employees money will be appreciated. Discount programs, convenience services, and free benefits are all perks you can introduce to your employees this holiday season. Plus, ERC offers several employee discounts that are available to your employees through your membership. Click here to learn more.

This holiday, remember to thank the people that made your organization successful this past year by showing a few gestures of appreciation.

Additional Resources

Holiday Benchmarking Surveys 

Benchmark your holiday practices and paid holidays your organization offers by downloading our holidays surveys: the ERC Holiday Practices Survey and ERC Paid Holiday Survey.

Discounts on Catering
Need a caterer for your upcoming holiday party? Consider using ERC’s Preferred Partner, Food for Thought, which provides discounted delivery fees on catering services to ERC members within certain geographical areas.

Team-Building
Build your team this holiday season! The end of the year or beginning of the next is a common and great time to gather your team together for a team-building event, activity, or training to ensure that your team is ready to execute for the New Year.

View ERC's Holiday Practices and Paid Holiday Survey Results

These surveys report on which holidays Northeast Ohio organizations plan to observe as well as holiday parties, gift giving, and more ideas for the holiday season.

View the Results

100+ Workplace Ideas: Celebrations, Parties, & Gatherings

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100+ Workplace Ideas: Celebrations, Parties, & Gatherings

There are many ways to celebrate and gather in the workplace, not limited to just the holidays. Many workplaces come together to celebrate retirements, birthdays, anniversaries or tenure, office changes, employee or organizational accomplishments, among others.

Workplace celebrations and gatherings are important for many reasons. For one, they bring your staff together, allow them to socialize with one another more informally, and often help build and strengthen relationships. Second, they enhance the culture of a workplace, making it fun and enjoyable. Third, celebrations and gatherings provide a means of recognizing personal and workplace achievements and milestones and showing appreciation for them in a public manner.

We’ve compiled a robust collection of 100+ ideas for reasons to celebrate, ways to celebrate, and local places to celebrate with your employees throughout the year.

Ideas for reasons to celebrate or gather with employees

  • Holidays
  • Retirements
  • Birthdays
  • Graduations
  • Promotions
  • Anniversaries or tenure
  • New babies or adoptions
  • New year or end-of-year
  • Major project kick-offs, milestones, or completions
  • Office changes (new office, renovations, major improvements, etc.)
  • Beginning of or end of a busy season
  • Employee appreciation/recognition
  • Employee, team, and/or organizational achievements
  • Company anniversary
  • Team-building
  • Charitable causes
  • Break from work

Ideas for ways to celebrate and gather with employees

  • “75” days of celebration to celebrate “75” years in business
  • Annual employee appreciation day
  • Apple picking
  • Baby showers
  • Beach parties
  • Black-tie galas
  • Boating or cruise events
  • Bonfires
  • Bowling nights
  • Breakfast with Santa
  • Breakfasts or luncheons with the President
  • Bus trips or excursions
  • Busy-season kick-off and/or wrap-up parties
  • Cake parties
  • Carnivals
  • Casino, card, or poker nights
  • Charitable walks or runs
  • Chili cook-offs
  • Christmas in July
  • Cinco-de-Mayo parties
  • Clam bakes
  • College logo days
  • Comedy clubs
  • Company picnics
  • Company-paid staff vacations
  • Cook-offs
  • Cookouts
  • Corn-hole tournaments
  • Coworker trivia
  • Crazy hat or shirt days
  • Cultural/ethnic celebrations
  • Day at the spa
  • Day at the zoo, park, or amusement park
  • Desert decorating contests
  • Desk decorating parties (holidays, birthdays, etc.)
  • Dessert parties
  • Dinner at the President’s house
  • Dinner with live band or DJ and dancing
  • Dinner-dances
  • Easter egg hunts
  • Employee talent shows
  • Fall fests
  • Family fests with activities, contests, and entertainment
  • Field days
  • Fundraisers
  • Gift exchanges or white elephant parties
  • Gifts or celebrations for Mothers Day and Fathers Day
  • Golf outings and scrambles
  • Halloween costume contests
  • Halloween decorating contests
  • Hayrides
  • Ice cream socials and ice cream truck visits
  • Indians, Browns, and Cavaliers opening day celebrations
  • Internal happy hours
  • Karaoke events
  • Laser tag
  • Limo service to luncheons/dinners
  • Local sporting events
  • Local theatre or plays
  • Luaus
  • March Madness events
  • Mid-winter slump events
  • Monthly potluck birthday parties
  • Movie nights
  • National food days
  • Night at the races
  • Nintendo Wii contests or tournaments
  • Office putt-putt
  • Office Thanksgiving luncheons or potlucks
  • Office trick-or-treating for employees’ children
  • Open-houses
  • Paintball
  • Paper airplane contests
  • Pinewood derby
  • Pizza parties
  • Potlucks
  • Raffles
  • Retirement parties
  • Salad bar lunches
  • Scavenger hunts
  • Scrapbooking parties
  • Service award parties
  • Shopping days for the holidays
  • Silent auctions
  • Skits
  • Snow days (tobogganing, sledding, skiing, and/or ice skating)
  • Soup sampler days
  • Special employee weeks or days (administrative professionals, nurse’s week, maintenance day, etc.)
  • Sports tournaments (flag football, softball, basketball, soccer, volleyball, etc.)
  • St. Patrick’s Day festivities (catered corned beef lunch, parade watching, etc.)
  • Staff off-site retreats
  • Surprise fun days (go to the movies, etc.)
  • Tailgates
  • Take your children to work days
  • Take your parents to work days
  • Theme parties
  • Ugly sweater holiday parties
  • Visits from Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny
  • Wear your sweats to work day
  • Wedding showers
  • Weekend trips to Kalihari or Put-in-Bay
  • Whirleyball
  • Wine and cheese tasting

Ideas for local venues for your celebrations

  • Akron Aeros Canal Park
  • Akron Zoo
  • Blossom Music Center
  • Cadillac Ranch
  • Cedar Point
  • Cleveland Botanical Gardens
  • Cleveland Browns Stadium
  • Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
  • Country Clubs
  • Dave and Busters
  • Edgewater Park
  • Goodtime III
  • Hale Farm
  • Hilarities Comedy Club
  • Hotels
  • House of Blues
  • Kalahari
  • Kennywood
  • Lake County Captains Classic Park
  • Nautica Queen
  • Playhouse Square
  • President of the Company’s Home
  • Progressive Field                                                   
  • Put-in-Bay
  • Quail Hallow
  • Renaissance Hotel
  • Restaurants
  • Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
  • Seven Springs
  • Shorby Club
  • Swings N Things
  • The Q
  • Waldameer Water World
  • Whisky Island
  • Windows on the River

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What to Do When Violence Comes to Work

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An estimated 2 million employees each year are victims of workplace or domestic violence, according to OSHA. Employers have a responsibility to prevent and mitigate issues of workplace violence, which also include domestic violence. These issues can cause problems that organizations can’t afford to ignore if not prevented or managed.

Workplace Violence

Workplace violence is defined by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) as any physical assault, threatening behavior, or verbal abuse that occurs in a work setting. Violence can also include intimidation, harassment, or damaging acts to an organization’s resources or capabilities. The majority of workplace violence (85%) occurs by criminal intent by individuals that have no affiliation with the business, according to the NIOSH. Under 15% of incidents are perpetrated by other employees, clients/customers, or individuals with a relationship to an employee in the business. This suggests that many incidents of workplace violence are caused by individuals outside of the business. In light of these facts, here are a few ways you can mitigate and manage the effects of workplace violence:

1. Create and enforce a policy.

Combating workplace violence begins with making it a priority for your business to keep employees and your resources safe, expressing zero-tolerance for violent words and acts, and having a plan and procedure in place when violent acts do happen. Employees and supervisors also need to be trained and educated on how to deal with potentially violent situations as part of enforcing your policy.

2. Respond to threats.

Take reasonable steps to protect your workforce and respond to threats, reports of threats, and suspicious activity whether these come in the form of actual observable behaviors or oral/written remarks made to the target or indirectly made to another individual.  Evaluate every threat seriously and investigate it.

3. Assess your outside risks.

Evaluate your external risks, such as public access to your building, how visitors are screened, lighting in parking lots, entry-systems, and emergency procedures. Consider offering escort service to the parking lot, providing video surveillance, hiring security guards, or using metal detectors to catch suspicious risks before they enter your workplace.

4. Address internal conflicts.

You may not be able to always control violent acts that come from outside of your workplace, but you do have the means to control what happens in your workplace. Ensure that conflicts between employees do not get out of hand and are promptly addressed and mediated if necessary. Don’t take assaults or harassment lightly. Train employees on how to control hostile and aggressive behavior if you have had incidents in the past. Teach supervisors how to remain calm in emotional situations and regain control of the environment.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence can also hurt your workplace when violence at home spills over into work. This form of violence is often a hidden workplace threat which affects mostly women. In fact, nearly 1 in 3 females are physically or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend at least one time in their lives according to the Commonwealth Fund, suggesting that domestic violence is likely affecting or has affected at least one of your employees. Unfortunately, victims of domestic violence are frequently afraid to reveal these issues to their employers, but by not doing so can pose serious threats to the organization. Here are some ways you can mitigate and manage the effects of domestic violence on your workplace:

1. Recognize the signs.

If the situation is not disclosed to you, it’s important to recognize the signs of a problem, especially if it is impeding performance, productivity, or the employee’s well-being. Watch for signs of withdrawal behavior, low self esteem, oversensitivity, performance or attitude shifts, unusually fearful or anxious responses to situations, and frequent injuries or scars as possible signs of a problem at home. There may also be more overt signs of abuse, such as indications of unhealthy possessiveness or harassment by a significant other.

2. Respond to the employee.

Express concern about your observations in private with the employee, but don’t directly assume that there is a problem. Rather, keep your dialogue open-ended and unassuming (i.e. “I’ve noticed a change in your behavior lately…”). Reassure the employee that the conversation will be confidential and that you are there to help and support them and ensure their safety and well-being. You may also consider working out a temporary flexible work arrangement with the employee to help her cope with her situation.

3. Redirect the employee to people that can help.

Referring employees to proper resources is essential. These resources may include employee assistance programs, personal or medical leave, counselors and medical providers, shelters, or legal resources (such as law enforcement) to help employees get the assistance they need. If the situation poses immediate risks to your employee or organization, you may consider centralizing their phone calls or changing their phone number, moving the employee’s desk or workspace, providing temporary housing, or creating a contingency plan in the event of an emergency. Employers can find other information here to help them deal with domestic violence’s effects on their workplace.

4. Prevent it from happening.

Like workplace violence, the best way to stop domestic violence is to prevent it in the first place by educating employees on ways to protect themselves in violent situations and keep themselves safe either through training, educational literature, or other means. Creating a domestic violence policy is also another way you can proactively ensure employees’ safety. Such a policy may include:

    • A definition of domestic violence
    • Promise of confidentiality
    • Who employees should tell if they are being abused
    • How absences and/or temporary relocation will be handled
    • If and when employees can use leave for domestic violence
    • Certification process for leave (if needed or required)
    • Process by which employees can obtain services or assistance via the company

Like it or not and as uncomfortable as these issues may be, workplace and domestic violence are key issues that could or may already be affecting your workforce, their productivity, performance, and safety. The best way to stop workplace or domestic violence is to prevent it in the first place. This starts with identifying risks, implementing policies and procedures, and providing education and the resources that your employees can access to help themselves stay safe.  There’s no greater gift you can provide your employees than the ability to keep themselves safe this holiday season. You may just save a life.

Additional Resources

Preferred Partner: Ease@Work

ERC’s Preferred Partner, Ease@Work, provides employee assistance services to companies throughout Ohio with employees throughout the United States. Their services provide counseling and critical incident support to your employees in times of need. Any ERC member is offered one free management consultation regarding how to handle a sensitive employee issue.

Manufacturers More Likely to Address Workplace Violence & Bullying

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 According to the 2011 NorthCoast 99 Winners Report, a higher percentage of manufacturers addressed workplace violence or bullying in their employee handbooks compared to other industries. Eighty percent of NorthCoast 99 winners in the manufacturing industry reported having a workplace violence or bullying policy, compared to 68% of winners overall.

Only half of winners in the finance, legal, and management services industry acknowledged having a workplace violence or bullying policy in their employee handbook. In the health and human services industry, 60% of NorthCoast 99 winners addressed violence or bullying, while 69% of winners in the marketing, technology, and architectural industry reported having a workplace violence or bullying policy.

Workplace violence and bullying are serious issues that can occur anywhere and at any time, but some work environments are more susceptible to violence and bullying. Work environments that have more exposure to external visitors, conflict, or stress are generally more prone to violence and bullying. Employers in these types of organizations must address violence and bullying early on by implementing policies and procedures and providing training and education that support a safe place to work.

For more information or to purchase NorthCoast 99 Winners Reports, please click here.

Bullying in the Workplace

4 Musts for Retaining Employees

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A flurry of resignations hits your HR department or you could be facing an epidemic of employees that have “quit and stayed.” These are employees who feel trapped (and perhaps even miserable) at their organizations, but are afraid to leave or explore the job market.

These are two common scenarios that many organizations are experiencing this year. Retention of great talent has become a major issue affecting a number of organizations. Before your organization hastily decides to launch a series of HR initiatives to address your retention problems, look first to these four areas of your business.

1. Look at their job

When faced with the red flag of potential turnover, take a hard look at their job first. Is the job playing to their strengths? Could the employee be used in more productive ways that would improve their engagement and is their job naturally progressing with more responsibility and challenge? Most employees need to feel a sense of importance in their work – that their skills and abilities are being put to good use, that they are doing something meaningful with their time, and that they have a say in decisions and how their work is produced. Consistently ranked as the most important attribute among top performers and a key driver of engagement, there is no substitute for making challenging and meaningful work the first priority when solving a retention problem. The job is usually the best place to start.

2. Look at their manager

Employees leave managers, not organizations. Employees are more likely to stay when they are treated in a supportive manner by their boss. In fact, this concept of feeling supported has been time-tested and is consistently found to be the leading indicator of whether employees stay engaged and committed. Support is most commonly manifested in how managers interact with their employees – whether employees are receiving the right amount of interaction and flexibility, the resources they need, help solving problems, and recognition and appreciation. So ask yourself: do employees have a positive relationship with their supervisor and do they feel supported by them in their job, career, and even personally? Consider whether the employee’s manager is doing everything they can to support employees and make them feel valued and confident in themselves.

3. Look at their opportunities

Numerous studies link the relationship between confidence and retention. Generally-speaking, employees will leave their employers for other opportunities. The more confident employees are in their prospects for continued employment and advancement opportunities, and their ability to earn more pay over time, the more likely they are to stay. You can help build a sense of confidence by emphasizing the organization’s success and long-term strategy and discussing advancement opportunities and career paths periodically. The bottom line is that you must give employees confidence that their career will thrive at your organization and that you are prepared to offer those opportunities.  Many organizations fear committing to providing a certain career path to their employees. The reality is that if you don’t, some other organization will.

4. Look at your competitors

Even when the job, manager, and opportunities are aligned with retention, sometimes competitors’ practices snatch a great performer. With pay information publically available on the internet to employees, an influx of passive recruiting via social media, and more employers heavily branding their workplace and culture as great places to work, your organization is constantly at risk of losing its best people. If your organization has fallen behind in terms of making sure its pay and benefits align with those of other businesses, make sure it stacks up before it’s too late. Get to know your competitors’ HR practices intimately and adjust yours if it makes sense.

Contrary to most popular beliefs, retention usually isn’t complex. It’s not a complicated formula requiring a multitude of HR initiatives. It usually comes down to whether employees are doing challenging and interesting work, being supported by their boss, seeing opportunities and security, and receiving fair pay and benefits in comparison to what is offered elsewhere.

Additional Resources

Talent & Performance Management Consulting Services
When it comes to managing talent retention, there are a variety of programs and initiatives to consider including employee engagement surveys, performance management, rewards and recognition programs, succession planning, mentoring and career development programs, job description updates, and exit interviews. To learn more about how ERC can assist you with these consulting projects, please contact consulting@yourerc.com.

FMLA for Domestic Violence?

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The Domestic Violence Leave Act (H.R. 3151) was introduced by Rep. Lynn Woolsey of California in June. She reintroduced it on Oct. 11 in light of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

This legislation would allow employees to take lave under FMLA to address acts of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking aimed at themselves, a spouse (including domestic partners and same sex-sex spouses), parent or child.

FMLA leave could be used to seek medical attention for injuries; obtain legal assistance or remedies; participate in a legal proceeding; attend support groups or therapy; and participate in safety planning, among other related activities held during work hours. An employee would be able to substitute paid leave for the leave provided under this bill.

An employer would be entitled to seek certification that the employee is legitimately taking FMLA leave for the reasons outlined in the measure, but would be required to keep such information confidential. In lieu of written documentation, such as police reports or witness statements, an employee would be able to satisfy the certification requirement by providing a written statement describing the reason for taking leave.

The text of this bill already has been incorporated into a more extensive leave bill – the Balancing Act of 2011 (H.R. 2346) – Rep. Woolsey introduced in June. Yet another measure, the Healthy Families Act (H.R. 1876, S. 984) introduced in May, would require employers to provide paid sick leave as well as paid leave for employees who are the victims of domestic violence, stalking or sexual assault.

For more information on proposed Domestic Violence Leave Act please visit:
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h112-3151

ERC Preferred Partner CareWorks provides Absence Management and FMLA Administration. ERC Members save 5% off per EE per month fee or a $500 discount off Initial Set-up Fee

Top 5 Workplace Attributes Most Important to Top Performers

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According to the results of the 2011 Top Performer Engagement Survey, conducted by ERC on over 2,400 top performers in Northeast Ohio as part of its NorthCoast 99 program, 24% of top performers report challenging and meaningful work as the most important attribute that they seek in jobs. This attribute continues to be most important to top performers when compared to other attributes, and has been consistently ranked as most important over the past five years.

Both compensation and job security were the second most important attributes with 14% of top performers reporting compensation and job security as the number one most important job attribute. Work-life benefits and career development were other important job attributes that top performers ranked as most important in 2011.

“It’s important to consider what your top performers value as most important when prioritizing and budgeting for HR and workplace initiatives,” says Susan Pyles, Senior Talent Consultant & Trainer. She adds, “By making sure that your workplace is meeting the needs and interests of your top people, you’re more likely to retain those employees.”

Note that percentages reflect the percentage of all rankings as the #1 most important job attribute by top performers.

For more information or to purchase the 2011 NorthCoast 99 Winners Report, please click here.

Top Performers Promoted Within 2 Years, On Average

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A 2011 report released by ERC shows that the average time that it takes a top performer to be promoted for the first time at employers of choice is less than 2 years.

According to the 2011 NorthCoast 99 Winners Report, the average number of months that it takes top performers to be promoted for the first time is 18 months, however winners say they may promote top performers for the first time in as little as 6 months of employment at the organization.

Additionally, top performers in professional services and manufacturing industries tend to be promoted for the first time more quickly than top performers in the health and human services industry. Winners in professional services and manufacturing industries also are more likely to report that higher percentages of their top performers had been promoted from within during the last year and that their organizations’ training and development efforts had improved the advancement and engagement of their top performers.

In our experience conducting employee engagement surveys with many local employers, advancement and career development opportunities are consistently reasons that top performers cite as most important to their decision to stay or leave their organizations. Employers of choice are clearly creating a competitive advantage by identifying their top people early on and formulating effective leadership development programs and strategies to develop them into higher roles more quickly than other employers. As a result, these organizations generally see higher retention and engagement.

For more information or to purchase the NorthCoast 99 Winners Reports, please click here.  

Checklist to Select Employees for Promotions & Leadership Training

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leadership training select employees

Whether you are determining who to promote at the end of the year or creating a leadership development/training program or strategy, the most critical task is selecting the right employees. Your organization wants to be sure that it trains, develops, and promotes employees that are the most likely to succeed in leadership roles. We’ve developed a short checklist you can use to select employees for promotions or participation in a leadership development program.

1. Are they a top performer?

Participants in your leadership development program should be your top performers. If employees can’t perform well in their current role, they likely won’t perform well at the next level. That being said, know the attributes and characteristics of your top performers throughout the organization and at every level.

Understanding what defines a top performer at the entry, mid, manager, and leadership levels will help make selecting the right employees that much easier.

Keep in mind, however, that just because the individual may be a top performer, doesn’t automatically mean they have potential for a leadership position.

2. Do they have potential…and for what?

Next you should ask yourself if this employee has potential for a position besides their current role and for what specifically. There are several different types of potential and classifying employees into different levels of potential helps determine the level of potential the employee has – such as the ability to move laterally, one level up, or multiple levels up.

It also helps prioritize who your organization should develop, into what roles, and the promotions for which they should be considered. Consider these levels as an example:

  • No potential: The employee performs well in their current role, but does not have potential to move laterally or upward.
  • Lateral potential: The employee is able to move into other positions at same level.
  • Potential: The employee could be promoted within 2-3 years to the next level, such as a manager or supervisor.
  • High potential: The employee could be promoted within less than 1 year or make multiple moves upward in the next 5 years. The employee has the level of potential to be promoted at least two levels beyond their current level to a leadership or top management role.

3. Do they have the requisite knowledge and ability?

In order to create a leadership development program, you need to determine what employees already know. Make a list of the required knowledge and abilities. Evaluate employees’ education level, training history, experience, and job knowledge as well as the knowledge requirements of the role for which they are being considered.

Compare the abilities they have already demonstrated on the job and the abilities they need to perform in a different or higher role in the organization.

If employees have too many knowledge and ability gaps, they may not be the right candidates for leadership development unless they have tremendous learning agility.

4. Do they have the desire and ability to learn?

Ideal candidates for leadership development show an openness to learn and change their behavior over time. They also are able to receive constructive feedback and coaching and use it to grow their skills.

They seek opportunities to develop their knowledge and abilities, often without being encouraged or told to do so and use challenges and setbacks as learning tools.

Finally, they have the capacity to learn concepts quickly, fit those concepts together, and apply them to their work.

5. Are their motives and interests aligned?

Not all employees want higher positions. Some of your top performers may have already reached their potential and are satisfied with their current positions and achievements. Likewise, some employees may want to advance their career for the wrong reasons.

Those that desire merely status, authority, and more compensation generally don’t have the right motives for leadership, whereas those that seek to develop others and serve the mission of the organization may be better candidates. Be mindful of both employees’ motives and interests when selecting them for leadership development.

6. Are they well-respected by others and considered team-players?

Consider how respected and liked the employees are within the organization by their coworkers, supervisor, and other individuals.

Employees need not be everyone’s best-friend, but they must be individuals that can develop positive relationships with other employees and are team-players that others respect and trust. If they aren’t, they may have difficulties in a future leadership role when relationship building and maintenance is crucial to their success.

7. Do they have courage?

Lastly, the best employees for promotions and leadership development have courage – to take risks, think outside the box, overcome obstacles, and challenge their fellow employees to push and develop themselves. These employees have a “do whatever it takes” mindset and are committed to taking the organization to new levels.

By not spending adequate time evaluating your candidates for promotions or leadership development initiatives at least by these basic criteria, you may be wasting resources on the wrong people. Before your organization decides to send your employee to leadership development or promote them to a new role, be sure to use this checklist.

Leadership Development Training Programs

Leadership Development Training

ERC offers a variety of leadership development training programs at all levels of the organization, from senior leadership teams to mid-level managers to first time managers and supervisors.

Train Your Employees

Parental Bereavement Act of 2011 Would Amend FMLA

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The Parental Bereavement Act of 2011 was introduced on July 13 by Sen. John Tester of Montana. This bill would allow parents grieving from the death of their child to receive up to 12 weeks of job-protected time off under the Family Medical Leave Act.

Under 2011 FMLA regulations, parents are eligible for extended, unpaid time off to care for newborn babies, adopted children and family members with serious health conditions.

Tester’s Parental Bereavement Act of 2011 ensured that the death of a child is treated like other life-altering events, allowing parents time to grieve.

“Allowing time off to mourn the death of a child should have happened a long time ago because it’s simply the right thing to do for any parent,” said Tester. “When the unthinkable happens to parents, the last thing they should be worrying about is whether they’ll lose their jobs as they deal with life-changing loss.”

Businesses with fewer than 50 employees would not be affected by this bill.

For additional information on the Parent Bereavement Act of 2011, please visit: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s112-1358

For more information on CareWorks, contact Scott Vaka

Phone: 614-760-3536
Email: scott.vaka@careworks.com
Website: www.careworksabsence.com