Tag Archives: at work

Is Your Company Building Customer Loyalty?

One of the most powerful tools for building a successful business is a loyal customer base that freely advocates for the services or products companies provide. Even the smallest businesses can become a giant when the word gets out that they’ll go the extra mile to build positive relationships with their customers.

But that kind of loyalty isn’t created overnight. In fact, according to research from Yotpo, “37% of consumers say it takes five or more purchases before they consider themselves loyal to a brand.” So, businesses must be willing to put in the work to create a brand that inspires a devoted fanbase.

Check which of the following five methods your company is employing to build customer loyalty and let us know how they did in the comments section below! (more…)

3 Types of Business Culture

Which one is right for you?

Job seekers frequently worry what their interviewer is thinking of them. They want to be perfect job candidates, ideal matches for the job description. They want to be liked, both as a person and as a prospective employee.

But job seekers must also consider whether the company they’re applying to is right for them. Even if you’re a perfect fit for the company, if the company isn’t a good fit for you, you probably won’t end up happy.

This is where culture comes in. Before you start interviewing, decide what your preferred company culture looks like. Do you want your co-workers to be a second family? Or is your job a place to get work done and get out? Let’s figure that out.

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Are You a Workaholic?

Because most people are.

It happens all the time. When you’re playing with the kids. When you’re at the doctor. When all you want to do is fall asleep.

You can’t stop thinking about work.

Regardless of whether you hate your job, we’re a nation of workaholics. A recent survey from OnePoll, revealed the average employee works four hours a week without pay, and spends another four hours each week just thinking about their job. Forty-eight percent (48%) thought of themselves as modern-day workaholics, while 53% were stressed out as they took the survey!

In the study, researchers found three main symptoms of workaholism. Let’s dig in.

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Have You Considered Phased Retirement?

You’re tired of working and ready to retire, so what’s stopping you?

Maybe you can’t afford it yet. Or perhaps you don’t want to stop working because you enjoy it. You want more time to dedicate to your family or hobbies, but aren’t quite ready to give your job up and retire. So, regardless of reason, you keep working.

The Good

But working forever isn’t the only option. There’s another way to ease out of the workforce—phased retirement.

Not sure what that means? Investopedia defines phased retirement as including “a broad range of employment arrangements that allow an employee who is approaching retirement age to continue working with a reduced workload, and eventually transition from full-time work to full-time retirement.”

In other words, phased retirement allows you to work in a part-time capacity for a certain time period before you start full-time retirement. You get to keep working for longer, while employers get the benefit of you passing on your knowledge and experience before heading off to retirement.

Sounds enticing, right?

The Bad

A study published by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, as reported by Forbes, notes that 77% of employers believe many of their employees want to keep on working post-retirement. Forty-seven percent think employees would like to do some sort of phased retirement. The issue?

Only 31% of those same employers actually allow that shift to a phased retirement, and only 27% are okay with employees taking on jobs that are less stressful or demanding to make retirement easier.

The Solution

If you want to keep working and embrace retirement, there is still a solution through staffing companies like Express Employment Professionals.

You don’t have to pay anything to benefit from Express. All you need to do is pick up the phone and call a local office or register online. Let your employment specialist know your work availability and they’ll find you part-time positions that allow you to phase into retirement at your own pace.

For more in our retirement series, check out these helpful blogs:

Retirement: Happy 40th Birthday 401(K)

Beginner’s Guide to Retirement

Job Searching Past Retirement Age

Three Tips for Getting Your Retirement Started Off Right

Do you plan on retiring? If so, will you retire outright or opt for a phased approach? Let us know in the comments section below!

Poll: What Type of on the Job Training Do You Prefer?

A new job can be stressful. You’re learning new concepts and systems, all while trying to remember your co-workers’ names.

That’s why it’s so important to have some sort of new employee training in place. And even once you’ve gone from new to not so new, continuous training is still needed.

However, each one of us is different, and training that works for one person might not be ideal for another.

What’s your preferred type of on-the-job training?

Thanks for voting in our poll! Is there a type of training you don’t like? If so, let us know in the comments section below.

4 Flexible Work Arrangements Your Boss Should Consider

In the age of rapidly advancing technology and constantly evolving work-life balance priorities, workers expect more flexibility than ever before. And, given the current talent crunch many businesses are facing, companies that do not embrace at least some flexibility may end up a casualty of the talent war.

In a recent poll on RefreshLeadership.com, the Express Employment Professionals blog for business leaders, readers were asked, “What does flexible work mean for you?” The top answer provided was “freedom to adjust schedules to accommodate personal/family needs.”

Additionally, according to research by Zenefits, an HR software developer, 73% of employees surveyed said “flexible work arrangements increased their satisfaction at work.” And 78% said “flexible work arrangements made them more productive.” The research also revealed that 77% of employees “consider flexible work arrangements a major consideration when evaluating future job opportunities.”

So, for many companies trying to attract and retain top talent, creating a more flexible work environment may be the key. Here are four of the more popular flexible work arrangements, along with a few pros and cons of each.

Telecommuting
One of the most common flexible work arrangements, telecommuting allows employees to work from home or other locations outside of the office via email, telephone, and/or internet.

  • Pros: Better work-life balance, employees are more focused and efficient without the distractions of a busy office. Avoiding long commutes. Employers may not need to maintain as much office space.
  • Cons: Less interaction between coworkers, including fun or teambuilding opportunities. Employers have less oversight over how employees are managing their time and staying on task.

Flextime
In most cases, businesses require employees to be in the office during a “core” period (i.e 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.) However, during the hours outside that period employees choose their own schedule.

  • Pros: Freedom to schedule work around life and family events. Employees have more freedom to work when they feel the most productive. Employers can better address peak or odd business hours.
  • Cons: Similar to telecommuting, face-to-face time with coworkers is reduced. Complicated logistics of keeping track of everyone’s differing schedules. Opportunities for employees to abuse the privilege.

Compressed Week
In this arrangement, employees “compress” a full 40-hour work week into fewer than the standard five days. A common example would be working four 10 hour days Monday – Thursday with Fridays off.

  • Pros: Extended hours during busiest workdays. Employees have more time away from work to pursue personal interests.
  • Cons: Longer work days can be more grueling. Employees may find it difficult to arrange childcare during atypical hours. Vendors and other outside contacts likely still work a traditional work week.

Job Sharing
Job sharing involves two employees who work on a part-time or reduced hours basis to perform a job that is typically performed by one employee working full time.

  • Pros: The two employees’ skills may complement each other, creating more well-rounded performance. Time off can be staggered so the position is always covered. Employees have better work-life balance.
  • Cons: Inversely, the two employees may not be compatible and work slips through the cracks. Pay and benefit structures in such an arrangement can be more challenging for employers.

In the end, the type of flexible work arrangement a company implements—if any at all—comes down to their individual business needs. What works for one workplace may not be suitable for another. However, no matter which arrangement you choose, communication with employees is vital in order to ensure everyone benefits.

Navigating Complex Workplace Situations; Or: My Coworker Smells Bad—How Do I Tell Him?

We’ve all been there. Maybe someone in your cubicle row breathes loudly. Or someone on the assembly line just won’t stop talking. And then there’s the case of the coworker that smells … less than good.

These are all real problems, but you’re working with this person every day. How can you politely let them know that their behavior is negatively affecting your performance?

Honestly, it’s really a three-step process.

  1. Calm Down and Think Rationally

It’s easy for issues like these to fester and become bigger in your mind than they actually are. After behavior like this goes on for months on end, it can seem like they’re personally targeting you.

But in all honesty, they probably have no idea they’re doing whatever it is that annoys you so much. People aren’t going to have a reason to change their behavior if they don’t know it’s causing problems for other people.

Also, take time to consider the facts. Is this something that the person is even capable of changing?

Human behavior is complex. Most people aren’t setting out to bother the rest of the workplace every day. Perhaps they keep talking because they’re nervous and want to impress you. Maybe they just breathe oddly because that’s how they’re built.

  1. Don’t Speak to Them Directly

But don’t gossip about them either. Take their manager aside and talk to them about the issue. Don’t be accusatory. Let them know that it’s totally possible there is a cultural or behavioral reason for the offending behavior. You don’t want the coworker to feel called out for something they didn’t know was wrong! Put yourself in their shoes. Of course this tactic helps you as well; you don’t want to look like your complaining about what looks like a relatively small problem.

  1. Observe and Adjust

Okay, you’ve done all that you can do. You’ve let their manager know. If the behavior continues, consider changing your own behavior to block it out. If they talk to much, let them know when you have to work and put headphones on. If they emit an offensive odor, grab a scented oil dispenser or some scented spray. Though it may be annoying to change in a bid to adapt to someone else’s behavior, it’s far better than telling them they stink and dealing with the ensuing awkwardness for years.

Have you ever had to deal with an awkward work situation? How did you handle it? Let us know in the comments section below!