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.

How much salary is too much?

Colleen Coates

Optics play a big role in determining executive pay at a non-profit

We’ve all seen the media headlines scream CEO earns $250,000 or Head of organization gets $100,000 bonus. Recent Free Press headlines shouted Auditor general questions wages. This headline, like others, raised questions about executive salaries and left us to wonder, “Is it too much? How much is too much? Is there such a thing as too much?”

Recently I delivered a report presentation to a board of directors who asked me that very same question. Here’s a list of points that was offered to them for consideration:

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.

Craig McIntosh of Acrylon Plastics on the power of entrepreneurial thinking

People First

Acrylon Plastics CEO wants managers to act as owners

Craig McIntosh readily admits that he doesn’t accept no for an answer.

“No just means you haven’t heard me clearly, so let me explain myself to you some more,” says the president and CEO of Acrylon Plastics, a Winnipeg-based manufacturer of custom plastic parts for a wide range of applications including buses, farm equipment, windows and doors, fencing, commercial buildings and residential playgrounds.

McIntosh says his proclivity to positivity is a common trait of entrepreneurs. “That’s just part of our nature. We don’t regard boundaries as absolutes but rather as obstacles to be worked around whereas many others see boundaries as absolutes and are stopped by them.”

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.

Top 10 must-have HR policies for Manitoba employers

Colleen Coates

 Losing someone close to you is one of the most difficult things a person can go through. As an employer, you may wonder what you can do to help a staff member through this difficult time.

One of the most important things you can do is to give them time — not only time to grieve, but time to manage the often staggering amount of planning, organizing, and paperwork that must be completed to prepare for a funeral if they are entrusted with this incredible responsibility. Having recently lost a close family member, I was shocked at the amount of time needed to complete the arrangements along with necessary legalities. The fortunate ones, like me, have an employer who is not only understanding, but also a leader in better people practices.

Don’t try to direct volunteers, let their efforts find best path

Colleen Coates

During the holiday season, many non-profit organizations and even understaffed companies make use of volunteers to stretch their resources. Whether it is because they want to give back to their community or because of the realities of the job market, more highly skilled workers are available and eager to lend a helping hand.

The idea of co-ordinating volunteers, including student interns and committees, can be an organizational nightmare for some people — one that brings the simplicity of herding cats to mind. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Managing volunteers isn’t about directing people as much as it is about allowing their efforts to find the best path.

Positive work culture helps retain new talent

Colleen Coates

Congratulations on finding and hiring a strong, qualified new employee, bringing their talent, enthusiasm and valuable skill set to your organization.

Now that you’ve got them, what are you doing to keep them from leaving?

It is no longer enough to apply resources to recruiting employees who are the right fit for your company; it is absolutely necessary to give them reasons to stay. When it comes to retaining top talent, you may be surprised to learn that your company has a lot going for it already — if you have made the effort to create a positive workplace culture.

Total rewards more than a cheque

Colleen Coates

The attraction and retention of key talent is an important component of an organization’s overall success. That’s why successful organizations consider all of the elements of a total rewards program when communicating with prospective or current employees.

Total rewards, frequently referred to as total compensation, are the tools that make up the employee value proposition. In other words, total rewards include everything that an employee perceives to be of value. Essentially, an employer provides rewards that its employees value in exchange for their employees’ time, talent, effort and, of course, results.