Human Resources

Someone holding a clock and text reading "3 of the Best Employee Scheduling Tools to Boost Productivity"

3 of the Best Employee Scheduling Tools to Boost Productivity

3 of the Best Employee Scheduling Tools to Boost Productivity 1016 528 Sprockets

Do you know how much time per week you spend organizing schedules for your workers? If you’re not using an employee scheduling tool, then you’re likely wasting time on a tedious task instead of focusing on important daily operations. You might even be contributing to employee burnout and reduced morale due to inefficient practices. 

Make life easier for you and your team members by implementing one of the business scheduling tools listed below. Plus, check out our resources page to discover even more solutions to boost productivity, retention, and employee wellness.

It’s Time to Try These Employee Scheduling Tools

When I Work

Think about what you can do with an extra 15 hours per week. Then, consider making it a reality by implementing the time-saving employee scheduling app, When I Work. It allows you and your workers to manage PTO, swap shifts, and see availability directly from the app. When I Work even comes with an auto-scheduling feature that organizes shifts with a single click. Best of all, it’s proven to reduce the need for overtime, decreasing labor costs by an average of 20%.

Homebase

Homebase is one of the best scheduling tools for businesses that primarily hire hourly employees. It’s specifically designed to empower the hourly workforce with schedule templates, alerts to avoid overtime, and automatic text reminders for employees who have upcoming shifts. Over 100,000 employers trust the Homebase employee schedule maker, and it’s listed among the top 50 business apps for Apple devices. 

Shiftboard

Some of the top brands in the world, like Shell and Salesforce, use Shiftboard’s online employee scheduling tool. On average, Shiftboard users are able to make the scheduling process 30% more efficient and increase shift coverage rates by 88%. Plus, Shiftboard allows you to choose between two subscription options depending on whether you’re a production-centric or service-centric organization. There are plans for every industry, from manufacturing to health care.

Shift Your Attention to Employee Retention

43% boost in 90-day employee retentionWhile all of these online shift scheduling tools can help businesses boost productivity and streamline operations, there’s a crucial first step missing: hiring the best workers. Luckily, Sprockets’ Applicant Matching System predicts new-hire success with pinpoint precision. 

Our solution takes the guesswork out of the hiring process by revealing which applicants share key traits with your top-performing workers. Plus, the simple scoring system makes it easy to make the best decisions every time, drastically improving employee retention. We’ve helped numerous businesses maintain stable staffing levels despite the labor crisis, and we’d like to help you achieve the same level of success!

Employee onboarding software with lights in the background. Text reads "How Employee Onboarding Software Boosts Productivity and Morale

How Employee Onboarding Software Boosts Productivity and Morale

How Employee Onboarding Software Boosts Productivity and Morale 1016 528 Sprockets

It’s a constant struggle for many businesses to hire and retain quality employees. While we cannot control events like the labor crisis and COVID-19 pandemic, we can control how our business adapts to these obstacles; it’s crucial to reflect on how you can improve each part of your hiring process. Today, we will discuss the final step: onboarding. As you know, onboarding is the process of integrating a new employee with your particular business. While this can sometimes take several months to complete, the employee onboarding systems and software solutions below will help streamline the process.

Understand what makes your new hires tick even before the onboarding process with Sprockets! Our pre-employment personality assessment reveals which potential hires share characteristics with your current top performers. Plus, the detailed reports help you understand new employees on a deeper level so you can conduct a more customized, effective onboarding process.

 

 

What Is Employee Onboarding Software? 

Employee onboarding software is technology that hiring managers can use to create a smooth, engaging onboarding process that will benefit both the new employee and current team. Onboarding solutions can reduce the time it takes to complete tedious tasks, enabling hiring managers and HR professionals to focus on other daily operations. 

Why Is Onboarding Software Important? 

Only 32% of businesses have a formal onboarding process, according to the Aberdeen Group. Also, a study from Gallup revealed that just 12% of employees were satisfied with their onboarding experience. Aside from the interview, onboarding is one of the most significant first impressions a new employee has with a business and its culture. Businesses with a standard onboarding process have 50% greater new-hire productivity compared to those that have none. Studies also show that effective onboarding contributes to increased employee satisfaction, confidence, and engagement.

The Best Onboarding Solutions 

There are several employee onboarding tools to choose from, but how do you know which one is the right choice for your business? The decision is up to you, but formality, ease-of-use, and paperless onboarding solutions are some common factors to consider. Here are a few popular employee onboarding tools:

  • Clear Company: Prepare your new employees with everything they need to know before their first day. This online onboarding platform is mobile-friendly, so employees can fill out paperwork and continue the onboarding process from any device. 
  • GoCo: Perfect for small businesses, this onboarding platform is completely electronic and easy to use. New employees can sign documents, complete tasks, and learn about their benefits all in one place. 
  • Zenefits: Onboard new hires in under 10 minutes with this onboarding solution. Over 80% of customers complete the process before their first day of work, saving you valuable time. 

Replicate Your Top Performers With Sprockets’ Hiring Solution

Match, hire, and retain the best employees with one convenient platform! Effective onboarding can potentially boost employee retention, but Sprockets’ AI-powered platform is proven to increase employee retention by 43%. Sprockets reveals which applicants will succeed and stay long-term like a business’s current top performers, ultimately empowering owners, operators, and hiring managers to build strong teams. It’s even trusted by top brands like Chick-fil-A, Visiting Angels, and Buffalo Wild Wings. Get your free, 15-minute demo today to replicate and retain your best employees! 

 

People on a video call on a laptop with text reading "3 Things Employers Need to Know About Video Interview Software"

3 Things Employers Need to Know About Video Interview Software

3 Things Employers Need to Know About Video Interview Software 1016 528 Sprockets

One of the worse mistakes you can make as a business owner or manager is to follow outdated hiring practices. Technology is rapidly changing the hiring space, and it’s crucial to stay ahead of trends so that you can attract high-quality workers before your competitors. For instance, many employers have started using video interview software to screen applicants in a timely manner while easing social-distancing concerns due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Learn everything you need to know to conduct successful video interviews below (and discover how our AI-powered platform empowers you to make the best hiring decisions every time without the need for interviews!)

The Employer’s Guide to Video Interview Software

Video Interview Platforms

A recent Gartner HR Survey revealed that a whopping 86% of organizations use virtual tech for interviews. So, what do you do if you’re among the group of businesses that have yet to implement video interview software? The first step is to decide which video interview platform to use. There are several options, each with its own individual pros and cons. Here are some of the most popular options to explore:

  • Spark Hire: This platform is great for live interviews as well as one-way interviews where applicants can self-record responses to your questions. It also makes it easy to rate and organize interviews.
  • Willo: Conveniently schedule several one-way interviews at once by uploading a spreadsheet of applicant information.
  • Avature: Schedule, conduct, and evaluate interviews from within a single platform.

Of course, you can always stick to the tried and true video applications, like Skype, Zoom, and Google Meet. The best part about these applications is that many of your applicants will already have experience with them, and there’s no tricky setup process.

Video Interview Questions

While every business should cater its interview questions based on their industry and the open position, there are a few general suggestions we can provide. First of all, try to avoid asking simple, yes-or-no questions. These answers won’t offer much insight into the applicant’s personality, work ethic, or suitability for the role. Try asking these open-ended interview questions to evaluate soft skills:

  • What are the three most important aspects of a job, in your opinion?
  • How have you handled urgent problems in the past when your supervisor or manager was away?
  • How do you typically handle having to juggle and prioritize multiple tasks at once?
  • Can you tell us about a time you ran into a challenge with a coworker and how you solved the situation?

Video Interview Tips

Conducting a video interview is not the same as talking to someone in-person, and there are a few things you should know before setting up the video call. First of all, make sure you set up your interview platform correctly so you don’t run into any technical issues mid-interview. Clearly communicate this to the interviewee, as well, so they can do the same. Also, it’s a good idea to discuss your intended interview questions with any other team leaders and stakeholders at your company. This improves collaboration and ensures you make an informed hiring decision. 

Finally, make sure you dress appropriately. You’re “selling” the position and company to the job seeker just as much as they need to convince you that they’re the right person for the role. The last thing you want to do is accidentally stand up to reveal you’re wearing tattered sweatpants (or worse) below your suit and tie. It’s not just embarrassing — it makes you and your company seem unprofessional, potentially sending a job seeker to one of your competitors.

Identify the Best Applicant Without a Single Interview

Someone on a laptop hiring hourly employees with SprocketsVideo interviews can be complicated and don’t always reveal enough information about applicants. Luckily, Sprockets’ AI-powered platform identifies who will succeed and stay long-term like your current top-performing employees — all without you having to conduct a single interview. It’s trusted by top brands, like Chick-fil-A and Taco Bell, and integrates seamlessly with popular HR tools such as TalentReef and McHire. Plus, Sprockets users see an average 43% boost in employee retention!

Stressed female worker rests on top of a pile of papers next to a clock. The headline below reads "How the Power of Technology Can Improve Work-Life Balance"

How the Power of Technology Can Improve Work-Life Balance

How the Power of Technology Can Improve Work-Life Balance 1016 528 Sprockets

If you had extra time in your day, how would you spend it? Would you attend your child’s dance recital? Go out to dinner with your significant other? Binge your favorite TV series? Or maybe even hit the gym? The possibilities are endless, especially for Sprockets users, who spend 37% less time on the hiring process.

Read on to learn how technology — like Sprockets — can help improve work-life balance so you can enjoy both mundane and milestone moments without having to stress over work-related tasks.

 

What is Work-Life Balance? 

Work-life balance is the equilibrium of one’s job and personal life. While the exact ratio might not be the same for everyone, the goal is to have a healthy balance of both priorities. The importance of work-life balance is crucial to one’s health and overall well-being.

Benefits of Work-Life Balance

A healthy work-life balance offers several benefits in and out of the workplace. Businesses whose employees have a positive work-life balance see the following results:

  • Higher Productivity: Studies show that employees with a work-life balance are 21% more productive than people with a poor work-life balance. They are able to come to work with an open, well-rested mind.
  • Less Burnout: 77% of working full-time Americans have experienced burnout, according to a work-life balance survey. Symptoms of burnout include fatigue, stress, and a decrease in employee performance. Luckily, a positive work-life balance can significantly reduce and even prevent burnout from happening in the first place. 
  • Better Culture: A healthy work-life balance leads to happier employees. They are energized and excited about coming to work. An improved work-life balance also means employees have time to socialize with one another, therefore building teamwork and trust.
  • Less Stress: Employees who work in a happier environment and are not experiencing burnout are significantly less stressed. Achieving work-life balance means more time to practice self-care, exercise, and fuel your body with the proper nutrients

How Does Technology Affect Work-Life Balance?

Achieving a positive work-life balance can be challenging, especially when adjusting to a new job. According to a recent survey, 38% of workers say they missed out on an important life event due to poor work-life balance. Statistics also say that 48% of Americans also define themselves as workaholics — they are unable to stop worrying about their job. 

The role of technology in work-life balance is to make tasks more efficient for employees so they can effectively accomplish their goals. Technology reduces their need to work overtime, and as a result, improves work-life balance. For example, Buffalo Wild Wings recently launched a robotic chicken wing fryer called “Flippy Wings” at high-volume locations. The solution empowers restaurants to “redeploy team members to more guest-facing functions, improving the guest experience.” So far, results show that food production has increased 10 to 20% with the robotic fryer, and team members are now able to focus on other daily operations. 

The Power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) 

Artificial intelligence is helping employees in many industries improve work-life balance. This modern day technology uses natural language processing to help employees perform tasks more efficiently. For example, Sprockets’ AI-powered platform reveals which applicants will perform like your best employees, ultimately saving hiring managers valuable resources so they turn their attention towards daily operations.

 

A man looking at his empty wallet with text reading, "The Importance of Investing in Your Employees' Financial Wellness"

The Importance of Investing in Your Employees’ Financial Wellness

The Importance of Investing in Your Employees’ Financial Wellness 1016 528 Sprockets

As much as you’d like your employees to leave personal issues at home and give 110% in the workplace, it’s easier said than done. This request becomes even more unrealistic when the two are linked, like problems with employee financial wellness. Employers who wish to improve their company culture, morale, and productivity must address these types of issues. And, it’s not as simple as telling workers to forget their worries. Discover the real, quantifiable effects of financial stress on employees and help ease concerns with the strategies below.

How Financial Wellness Affects Employees

Someone’s financial situation influences much more than their bank statement. Studies show that monetary issues cause severe stress, anxiety, and depression. It can even weaken your immune system and impair your decision-making. This is especially concerning when you consider that an estimated two-thirds of Americans experience financial stress. Employers must recognize this issue and reduce the negative impact on their employees’ physical and mental health.

How It Impacts Your Business

The COVID-19 pandemic prompted a comprehensive study by PwC that yielded some shocking statistics about employee financial wellness. For instance, 45% of workers dealing with financial challenges reported being distracted in the workplace, and 72% said they would leave their jobs for another company that cared more about their financial well-being. Plus, since the stress weakens their immune systems, it’s more likely for people to get sick and need to take time off unexpectedly. Improving the financial wellness of employees benefits your business by potentially boosting productivity, increasing retention, and avoiding the costs of turnover. It may even help with applicant flow if job seekers see that your company values its workers.

How to Fortify Their Finances

There are various employee financial wellness programs and initiatives that you should consider implementing at your company if you haven’t already done so. One idea is to raise wages for hourly workers like McDonald’s and other fast-food restaurants have done. You can also boost morale and put some extra money in people’s pockets when they need it most by giving workers holiday bonuses. Additional employee benefits can include financial education, access to financial advisors, and even tuition reimbursement. 

Discover More Employee Retention Strategies

The Franchisees' guide to Employee TurnoverThere are several reasons why financial wellness is a must-have employee benefit, including the positive impact it can have on retention. That means less time and money spent on the hiring process. If you’d like to learn more ways to improve employee retention, then make sure you check out The Franchisees’ Guide to Employee Turnover! You’ll discover the hidden effects of turnover, common causes, and proven strategies to conquer this costly problem.

Restaurant workers with text reading, "Why You Need to Create Career Pathways for Hourly Workers"

3 Reasons Why You Need to Create Career Pathways for Hourly Workers

3 Reasons Why You Need to Create Career Pathways for Hourly Workers 1016 528 Sprockets

It might seem impossible to attract and retain high-quality hourly workers, but there are a few proven solutions you can implement to quickly stabilize staffing levels. In addition to using Sprockets’ Applicant Matching System to boost retention by 43%, we recommend creating career pathways for your employees.

While many business owners and operators have raised wages to attract job seekers, that’s only a piece of the puzzle. It has increased applicant flow in some cases, but it’s a short-term solution. Workers who aren’t engaged or don’t feel a sense of loyalty to your business are likely to leave once a competitor offers an even higher wage. Consider providing employee growth opportunities so workers see their role as less of a job and more of a long-term career.

The Importance of Creating Career Pathways for Employees

1. It Helps Attract Applicants

A company’s culture and core values can significantly influence a job seeker’s decision to apply for a position. When you promote the fact that hourly employees have access to career growth plans, it shows people that you value their individual success and well-being. Be sure to include this in your job postings, company website, and even social media profiles.

2. It Can Boost Retention

A study conducted by WorldatWork revealed that employers who do not invest in training and developing employees will ultimately lose them to competitors. So, you can either deal with costly turnover or boost productivity and engagement by offering career growth opportunities. The return on investment makes it incredibly worthwhile to simply outline career pathways and conduct a little extra training.

3. It Reduces Hiring Costs

The savings don’t stop with retention. It’s much more cost-effective to hire from within, and these loyal employees already know the ins and outs of the business. External hires actually tend to score worse on performance reviews and are 61% more likely to get fired despite having more industry experience. Save money by saving your current employees!

Tips for How to Create a Career Pathway Plan

Be Transparent

You don’t want to be that employer who makes empty promises. Clearly define the roles and steps to climb the ladder so you can accurately discuss the process with potential hires. And, if you can’t offer career growth opportunities, let them know. It’s better to be transparent than deal with disgruntled employees and negative reviews on job sites. 

Discuss the Employee’s Goals

These development opportunities and training programs should be mutually beneficial for both employers and employees. That’s why it’s crucial to meet with workers, particularly in a one-on-one setting, to talk about where they see themselves at the company. Have an open conversation and work together on a plan to help them achieve their goals.

Set up SMART Objectives

The career development plan that you create should include SMART objectives (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound). This ensures there’s no confusion about what the employee needs to accomplish to reach their ideal position with the company. It also keeps a record of what you’ve discussed, sets realistic expectations, and makes it easy to track progress.

Predict Applicant Success — Before the Interview

The Sprockets platformCreating career pathways can be a complete waste of time if you don’t hire the right applicants. Some job seekers are simply looking for a quick paycheck and will leave within a few months no matter what incentives you set up for them. Luckily, Sprockets’ AI-powered solution identifies which applicants will succeed and stay long-term. 

Sprockets eliminates wasted interview time, reduces costly turnover, and enables you to focus on daily operations. It’s proven to work and trusted by numerous businesses, like a Bojangles franchise group that achieved 95% employee retention in 90 days during the peak of the labor crisis!

See how Sprockets works and get all your questions answered with a free 15-minute demo!

College graduate holding her diploma with text below reading: 7 Unique Types of Employee Benefits to Offer Hourly Workers

7 Unique Types of Employee Benefits to Offer Hourly Workers

7 Unique Types of Employee Benefits to Offer Hourly Workers 1016 528 Sprockets

The average wage for a fast food worker in the U.S. is $12.43, though the federal minimum wage remains at just $7.25/hour. However, many people simply won’t accept the bare minimum. Job seekers want competitive wages, opportunities for growth, and the best employee benefits. Employers must get creative with employee benefits if they want to attract and retain hourly workers.

Get ahead of the competition and hire your ideal employees with Sprockets! Our Applicant Matching System creates unique success profiles based on your current top performers and reveals which applicants will succeed and stay long-term. 

 

Aside from industry standard benefits — medical, life, disability insurance, etc. — here are seven creative types of employee benefits to offer your hourly workers.

1. Sign-on Bonuses

Companies like Papa John’s and McDonald’s have started to offer their hourly workers sign-on bonuses. The food service industry, in particular, is facing record-high turnover rates, so it’s crucial to attract and retain applicants. Employees will get to enjoy the instant gratification of cash in their pocket and will likely be more motivated to stay at your business long-term. It’s a win-win. 

2. Gym Membership Discounts

Encourage your hourly workers to maintain a healthy lifestyle by offering gym membership discounts! Regular exercise can boost employee engagement and productivity. The healthier your hourly workers are, the more likely they will come to work energized and ready to conquer the day. 

3. Scholarship Opportunities

Seeking a degree is costly, so why not reward your hourly workers with free education? Top brands like Taco Bell currently offer exclusive scholarship opportunities for employees. Their Live Más Scholarship will be awarding Taco Bell employees with $7 million in 2021. 

4. Tuition Reimbursement

Approximately 43 million Americans are currently burdened by student loan debt. Some companies, like Chick-fil-A and McDonald’s, have taken it upon themselves to offer their employees tuition assistance or reimbursement. 

So, what is tuition reimbursement? Employers agree to pay a specific amount or percentage of their employees’ higher education for a degree if the employee works a certain amount of hours per week. Usually, the study program relates to their current career, but that is not always a requirement. Offering tuition reimbursement to your hourly workers can benefit your company since your employees are less likely to leave and seek higher wages elsewhere.

5. Workplace Counseling

Stress is inevitable, regardless of the industry you work in. Consider implementing Employee Assistance Program (EAP) benefits such as workplace counseling. This gives them access to therapists who work with employees to reduce stress that could impact employees’ ability to do their job. Workplace counseling aims to provide a healthy environment as it benefits both employers and hourly workers. Employees have a safe, confidential place to discuss problems, solutions, and useful skills, and businesses generally see lower turnover rates, higher employee attendance, and better productivity. 

6. Childcare Services

62% of parents in the U.S. struggle to find childcare so they can support themselves and their family. Additionally, 83% of millennials say they would leave a job for one that provided more family-friendly services like childcare. This employee benefit program is often overlooked or forgotten by employers, so if you have the resources to do so, it would make many parents happy. Plus, childcare services will boost employee recruitment, retention, and attendance.

7. Charitable Donations

Consider making a donation in your hourly worker’s name to a charity of their choice. A Senior Helping Seniors franchise implemented this program to attract more caregivers to their locations, and so can you!

Bonus Benefit: Being Part of a Cohesive Team

In addition to implementing several types of employee benefits, hire individuals who will mesh well and succeed like your best hourly workers! Sprockets’ Applicant Matching System empowers owners and operators to predict applicant success based on the mental makeup of top team members, ultimately reducing costly turnover by 22%! Our AI-powered solution is proven to work and is trusted by top brands like KFC and Taco Bell.

man and woman are in an interview with text reading "facing first impression bias: how it impacts the hourly workforce

Facing First impression Bias: How It Impacts the Hourly Workforce

Facing First impression Bias: How It Impacts the Hourly Workforce 1016 528 Sprockets

It takes seven seconds to make a solid first impression. Some studies even suggest first impressions are made within milliseconds. Whether you’re an owner, operator, or job seeker, first impressions in business are important. In fact, 33% of hiring managers report they know whether or not they will hire someone in the first 90 seconds. Why? Our brain makes quick, incomplete observations based on what we perceive — this is called first impression bias. However, first impression bias can impede effective hiring as it is often inaccurate. So, how important are first impressions in business? Read on to find how to make a good first impression and how it impacts the hourly workforce. 

Eliminate first impression bias with Sprockets! Our AI-powered platform evaluates which potential hires will perform like your top-performing employees, empowering hiring managers to predict applicant success before the interview and without a resume. Plus, it’s proven to boost employee retention by an average of 43%. 

 

 

Research has found that most people form impressions about personality based on facial appearance. It can be easy to fall into the trap of assuming an applicant’s friendliness or customer service skills based on appearance. However, first impressions are often inaccurate, and various studies suggest first impression bias is the leading cause of hiring errors. It’s human instinct to ask easier questions to individuals we feel good about and ask harder questions when we have a negative feeling, even if the latter may be the better candidate. 

How to Reduce First Impression Bias

  • Conduct a Phone Interview: Similar to blind auditions on The Voice, initially conducting a phone interview will allow you to focus on the applicant’s experience and skills. Plus, you won’t have to evaluate an individual’s demeanor, physical appearance, or facial expressions, thus increasing your objectivity.
  • Script Questions Ahead of Time: This will ensure you ask job seekers the same questions and remain objective throughout the interview. Consistency is key. Follow-up questions are still welcome, but your chances of making an unfair assumption about an applicant are significantly lower. 
  • Utilize Objective Technology:  Technology solutions — like Sprockets — are designed to help you look past first impressions to see overall applicant quality. Our Applicant Matching System creates a unique success profile for each potential hire, evaluating their “fit” scores against your current top-performing employees. The simple red-yellow-green scoring system allows you to easily see which applicants are the best fit for your team and who will stay long-term.

The Importance of a First Impression

Of course, first impressions are still important. It means that it’s essential for hiring managers and business owners to rely more on data-driven hiring methods than on their first instincts. Look at your initial interactions with job seekers to determine how they might react to your customers. Additionally, pay attention to any gut instincts (just don’t rely solely on them). If you have a negative first impression of a candidate who does well in their interview, simply spend some extra time checking their employment references. Remember that accurate, high-quality information is crucial for an effective hiring process. 

Build the Best Teams with Sprockets

Reduce first impression bias with our AI-powered solution! Sprockets’ Applicant Matching System evaluates potential hires based on the mental makeup of your best employees. It’s proven to increase retention by an average of 43%.

 

A man cleaning tables at a restaurant and text reading, "How to Manage an Underperforming Employee"

How to Manage an Underperforming Employee: The Easy Way

How to Manage an Underperforming Employee: The Easy Way 1016 528 Sprockets

As a business owner or operator, you are bound to face underperforming employees at one point or another. Either they are not providing the output required by their position, or there is a significant decrease in the quality of their work. But, while underperformance might be considered natural with the ebb and flow of a business, it can affect other workers if not handled quickly, ultimately undermining the performance of your whole organization.

There are a number of proven strategies for managing underperforming employees. Having a formal process will help manage this without the risk of breaching any employment contract or registration. Let’s take a look at how you can accomplish this.

Characteristics of an Underperforming Employee

Your first move should be to identify the underperforming employee.

An underperforming employee is typically one who:

  •         Consistently fails to meet deadlines
  •         Has a poor record of quality in their work
  •         Displays laziness when it comes to task execution
  •         Provides poor customer service

Therefore, take a look at your team members and ask yourself which ones exhibit the above traits. You can do this by merely observing them or using information from their performance reports.

How Do You Inspire an Underperforming Employee?

Now that you’ve discovered who the “weak links” are, your next move is to help them get back on track, right? Well, it is important to first understand the cause of the underperformance. You can then come up with an appropriate plan of action.

What Is Causing the Underperformance?

In some cases, you’ll find the reason behind the underperformance is beyond the employee’s control. For instance, the employee might not be performing simply because they don’t fully understand what is expected of them or they lack sufficient training.

Start by asking the following questions:

  •         Does the employee have the essential skills needed for the job?
  •         Does the employee fully know what is expected for their role?
  •         Did the company give the employee enough training before starting the job?
  •         Is it possible that their workload is too high?
  •         Could the employee be facing personal issues that hinder them from doing their job?
  •         Is there effective communication between the employee and management?
  •         Is there a motivation issue, like the employee wanting recognition or a promotion?

Most of these cases can be solved with a bit of training or improvement in communication. As an employer, it is your duty to ensure that the employees have all the tools necessary to accomplish the task at hand.

Tips for Managing Underperforming Employees

Here are a few steps you can take to handle the underperformance issues:

1. Active Listening

The only way you can identify what is really causing the underperformance is by actively listening to the employee. For best results, you want to use a friendly, informal approach. Employees feel motivated when they know that management is keen to listen to them without bias.

Start by asking how the employee is doing and whether something is bothering them. Remain neutral and empathetic, looking at the situation from their side. You can also involve their line manager or supervisor in the chat. Since they already have a working relationship, it might be easier talking through them. Finally, end the conversation with a note for improvement. Encourage the employee that they are free to voice their concerns whenever they want.

2. Consistent Feedback

Constructive criticism has been proven to encourage employees to perform well while making them feel fulfilled. It helps them know where they are doing well and which areas still need improvement.

The key here is to do it regularly. During the time, make sure you let the employee voice their opinions or concerns.

3. Personalized Training

If you discover that the underperformance is due to insufficient training, your best move would be to offer personalized training while tracking changes in performance. Teaching some underrated skills, such as soft skills in presentation and communication, can go a long way in improving employee morale and performance.

Once you identify where they fall short, focus on addressing those specific weaknesses. This should help solve the problem.

4. Clear Expectations

Ensure that the employee knows the objectives that they are expected to meet so they can actively work towards achieving them. By the end of the chat, they should have a holistic understanding of where they fit in the organization as well as how their contribution impacts the organization.

5. Performance Goals

Next up is to lay out the performance goals together with the employee. The trick is to use techniques like SMART. This means the performance indicators should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely.

It is crucial that you involve the employee in setting their own goals. This way, they’ll be more committed to achieving the goal.

6. Effective Recruitment

Often, you’ll find underperformance tracing back to the onboarding process.  Either the employee’s skills were not matched to the role assigned when hiring, or they were not clearly told what is expected of them. In this case, you’ll need to restructure your recruitment or onboarding process.

When recruiting, always check that the employee has the required skills. Ultimately, this will result in a quality team of workers.

7. “Silent” Aide

Sometimes, assigning a “silent” aide to the underperforming employee may be the best solution. This can be in the form of an employee who is in the same department that can help mentor them. Just keep in mind that the aide should still be able to execute their own role without distraction.

8. Recognition

The reason for underperformance can also be because the employee gets no incentives or rewards for a job well done. Naturally, the employee feels unappreciated and gradually stops making any effort. You can solve this by setting up a recognition program to keep your employees motivated to do better.

9. Disciplinary Action

It is important to follow up with a second meeting to review their performance. Here is where you go over the previously set goals and give respective feedback. If the employee is still unwilling to improve, then disciplinary action can be taken. This can be through a formal warning or even termination of employment. Of course, this has to follow the guidelines set in the company’s policy. Always keep a written record of the discussions that you have with the employee in case the information is required in the future.

10. Predict Applicant Success With Sprockets

A seasonal employee at a restaurantSometimes the cause of an underperforming employee could be due to them not having the right company fit. If that’s the case for some underperforming employees, let Sprockets AI-powered platform assist in the hiring quality of your future talent. Our applicant matching software is used to find applicants based on the top-performing employees in your company and reduce employee turnover. Improving your hiring process today won’t only save you time, but also save your company money in the long run. Schedule a demo today to learn more!

A restaurant worker and text reading, "What Are the Traits of Engaged Employees?"

What Are the Traits of Engaged Employees?

What Are the Traits of Engaged Employees? 1016 528 Sprockets

Often underrated, engaged employees are one of the greatest assets you can have as a business owner or operator. These select individuals are highly motivated and enthusiastic about what they do. They go the extra mile in making sure their deliverables are met, ultimately translating to better productivity and profits for your organization.

Engaged individuals are also generally more pleasant to be around. They are like a breath of fresh air in the workplace, making it enjoyable and lively for everyone coming to work. It is vital that you learn to identify engaged employees and spot those whose engagement is lacking so you can work out a strategy on how to increase overall productivity. Now, while there are a lot of distinguishable traits that can help identify engaged employees, we will take a look at the ones that actually matter.

What Defines an Engaged Employee?

An engaged employee can best be described as an individual who is highly driven and motivated to do their work well. Engaged employees have a deep emotional commitment to fulfilling their role, helping their team, and achieving company goals. They connect to your organization’s missions and actively work toward making a contribution to its success.

From that definition alone, it is pretty easy to spot an engaged employee. It will be the person who’s always running up and down, doing the most in the organization. You’ll find them following up on ongoing projects, offering suggestions and feedback even without being prompted. All in all, engaged individuals do not shy away from responsibilities. They always do their best to give satisfactory output.

While these traits might seem minor, they can go a long way in keeping your business ahead of the competition.

Characteristics of Highly Engaged Teams and Employees Include

While there are several traits that can be linked to engaged employees, here are the most fundamental traits you’ll spot:

1. Reliable

Engaged employees can always be trusted to deliver on time. Whenever they have a task delegated or assigned to them, they will do it wholeheartedly and see to its completion regardless of the circumstances. They will carry out the task with a positive mindset because they believe their objectives are aligned with those of the organization.

2. Positive

These are the employees that harbor the “can-do” approach to any task assigned to them. They are open to new, challenging assignments and have the emotional capacity to handle them without complaining.

Engaged employees carry with them an aura of positivity, and they are always happy to be at the workplace. You won’t find them quarreling, or making excuses for failed tasks. Basically, they seemingly work toward easing your burden as a manager.

3. Collaborative

These sorts of employees are always happy to assist when needed and are great team players. Since their goals align with those of the organization, they will happily work with others to get the job done, rather than only focus on their own duties.

Collaboration also means actually wanting other colleagues to achieve their goals while helping them get there. Engaged employees are quick to adapt and support each other even without the intervention of their superiors.

Overall, the workplace becomes more pleasant for workers. Productivity also increases since employees are working together instead of competing against each other.

4. Motivated

Whenever a project begins, an engaged employee will be fully committed to seeing it through. These employees show up on time, even working additional hours until their share of work is complete.

Such employees are willing to do difficult tasks without any resentment. They know almost all the processes within the organization, even in different departments.

5. Resilient

In the case of a setback, engaged employees always bounce back quickly. They take setbacks as lessons and learn how to prevent them from recurring.

They are great students of change and are often the ones encouraging their colleagues to keep up and not get disheartened. Ultimately, by fostering such work ethic, your organization and its various departments learn how to better handle downtime.

6. Innovative

These employees do not back down from challenges. They face them head-on and come up with new and creative ways of solving them. This means being able to see beyond the day-to-day tasks and embrace the bigger picture. By doing so, it inspires fresh ideas. An engaged employee will think outside the box and take calculated risks for the sake of improving the organization.

7. Well-Spoken

Effective communication keeps the workflow easy and open throughout the organization. People are able to express their ideas and concerns and ultimately inspire improvements. Engaged employees are able to do this effortlessly. They are not afraid to share their opinions with their peers or higher-level colleagues.

Communication skills also include being a good listener. An engaged employee will take and give constructive feedback and know the exact role they play in the organization. Instead of relying on speculations and assumptions, engaged employees seek clarity in everything they do, leading to efficient operations.

What You Should Do If Your Employees Are Disengaged

While not everybody can be an engaged employee right from the start, that doesn’t mean you give up on them. Some of them just need a little push to get there. Below are some proven ways to improve employee engagement:

1. Mentorship Programs

Mentorship programs are some of the best ways of instilling values or educating a group of individuals. You can start by establishing a program that focuses on improving your employees’ weaknesses and boosting their strengths.

A great way to do this would be having them choose a leader or colleague in the organization who excels where they are weak. This will give them a chance to grow and track their progress.

2. Recognition

Another great way of boosting employee morale is by giving them recognition when they do a good job or achieve a milestone. This will let your employees know they are valued and even increase team participation. You can achieve this via simple things, such as congratulatory emails, bonuses, and mentions in company meetings.

3. Team Building

Employees take comfort knowing that their needs are listened to and that they have the support of the organization behind them. You can do this through team-building and empowerment programs.

Giving your employees a voice in key decisions revolving around their expertise makes them feel important. Team building will make them feel like they belong to the organization and are part of the team. You can come up with simple routines, like outings for lunch-and-learns or delegating other important tasks to other members of the team.

Hire the Best Workers From the Start

Restaurant workers in a team meeting

Finding engaged employees really starts with sourcing the right talent from the beginning. At Sprockets, we believe that it is crucial to find someone who meshes with your team and fits into the company with their attitude, work ethic, and values.

We have developed AI-powered software that makes finding good employees easier than ever. Our applicant matching software does this by analyzing your top talent and identifying the most suitable applicants for your organization. Also, Sprockets allows you to keep open positions in front of the applicants who best fit your organization with our virtual recruiter and sourcing tools. To learn more, feel free to contact one of our platform experts today for a free demo.