People First HR Services

Who are these aliens we call millennials?

Colleen Coates

Call them Millennials, Generation Y or the young adults still living in your basement, this is the generation that is supposedly going to save us Gen X’ers and older.  Yes, this is the generation who received trophies not only for participating in sports, but just for showing up it seemed.  The National Institute of Health reports that 40% of Millennials got so many participation trophies growing up that they believed they should be promoted every two years, regardless of performance.

You know it’s time to leave when…

Colleen Coates

If you wake up feeling grumpy just at the thought of going to work, chances are it’s time to move on. Your work life can make up the better part of how you spend your waking hours, and if that time is spent doing something you don’t enjoy, or actually despise, that’s a whole lot of wasted time in your life.

Impress boss by winning new customers

Colleen Coates

Many careers depend on the ability to attract and interact with customers, clients or members, and yet, the first meeting with someone new can be nerve-rattling — ranking somewhere between getting ready for a first date and going to a job interview.

You rehearse what to say, all the while hoping that you’ll not only represent your organization well, but impress a prospective customer enough to win their trust and their business. Of course, there’s a bit of added pressure knowing that you’ll have to face your boss, who will be asking, “Well? How did it go?”

Poor communication a top work complaint

Colleen Coates

If you ever have felt that no one hears or sees you at work, you’re not alone. Poor communication within organizations could easily be the No. 1 complaint that is heard time and time again. You would think that knowing this is a key issue plaguing many organizations that someone would do something about it! Admittedly it can be tough to address something as important as communication when it is difficult to prove the organization’s return on investment. That is, if you invest time and even money into resolving the organization’s internal communication needs, what is the payback for the organization?

Team motivation part of day-to-day business

Colleen Coates

In order to create and sustain team motivation, it needs to be a matter of constant focus.

Think of it like coaching your team for a marathon. This would require training on a daily basis in order to build stamina and reach optimum fitness levels. It’s simply not enough to offer short, infrequent spurts of intense training activity and hope it will take them the distance.

Many leaders make the mistake of thinking team motivation is separate from or somehow less important than conducting day-to-day-business. They may put it on the back burner, believing that there will be plenty of time to work on morale and team building after the bottom line is achieved.

Make most of job you have

Colleen Coates

Create new attitude and find work happiness

There’s never a better time like right now to make a change at work, not by looking for a new job, but by making the most of the one you have.

There’s no better place to begin than by assessing your personal attitude. Is what you do for a living just a job and what you’re working toward only the next payday and eventually, retirement? That certainly makes for a very long and tedious career. The alternative is coming to appreciate what you have and, even better, finding happiness at work.

Top challenges for businesses in 2013

Colleen Coates

As we ring in the new year, it is often a time to pause and reflect on past successes and maybe some transgressions with hopes of improving in the coming year. I asked three of our resident wise men and women what troubled our clients the most over the past year and how they planned to reduce their woes. Our industry experts provide uniquely valuable insight to help business leaders attract and reward the people who will ensure they continue to succeed by enabling their employees to do well at every stage of their career. Here are the top three common challenges our experts saw in 2012:

Open your eyes, use your head before raising glass on the job

Colleen Coates

It’s a sobering reality: alcohol is still present at most work functions, from holiday parties to client lunches. While most of us realize that “liquid lunches” are passé and that getting sloshed at a company event is never (ever!) wise, it’s still unclear what is appropriate when it comes to social drinking on the job.

A recent survey by the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) shows that this is a grey area. Respondents were asked how alcohol is perceived by their organizations at a variety of work-related activities. Among the findings, some said drinking is acceptable:

Help your firm avoid revolving-door reputation

Colleen Coates
No organization wants to have a revolving-door reputation, gaining notoriety as a place where employees tend to enter and leave quickly.

Having an alarming rate of traffic move through the office has a negative impact on all areas. Losing good people and then training replacements means productivity slows down. Without continuity, operational flow is interrupted.

Morale certainly suffers as seasoned staffers wonder who will be next to go and leave them to pick up the extra work or carry out unfinished projects, or else they avoid making meaningful connections with newcomers lest they too disappear by the end of the quarter. And once word gets out that the company has a retention issue, potential employees stay far away, deciding that the work environment must be toxic.

Treating customers kindly increases loyalty, business

Colleen Coates

Remember when a friendly greeting and a genuine smile used to be part of doing business? It may sound old-fashioned, but it wasn’t all that long ago that making a customer feel special — not the lowest price or fastest shipping — is what won their loyalty and kept them coming back.

In these fast-paced, technology-driven times we live in, when most business transactions occur online and not in person, we seem to have lost touch with the importance of being kind to one another. And yet, none of us have lost the desire to be treated kindly, nor has technology changed the value of kindness. Without costing a penny, it is still the most effective way to build greater brand awareness, boost customer loyalty and keep employees happy.

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