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Want 12 Tips for Team Building?

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Want to build effective teams in your organization? Here are the tips and tools you need to develop rocking teams with your amazing employees.

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Human Resources Spotlight10

The Best Perks Are Free

Wednesday April 16, 2014

What employee benefits do employees really value? The best perks do not have to cost the employer any money at all.

For example, the newest generation of employees, the millennials, in particular, and employees in every generation, actually, value flexible work schedules. Sure, providing flexible schedules might take a bit more work, especially in departments that have to have coverage at all times. But, the payback in employee morale is enormous.

Employees can better manage their work and life balance when they don't have to miss work to take junior to the doctor. Or, an employee can stay at home long enough to see the kids onto their school bus, if the employee can start work at 9 a.m.

I predict that teleworking will continue to grow as employers save the cost of providing workplace facilities and employees are enabled to work productively from home. Not right for every employee, or every job, teleworking provides the employee with quiet, uninterrupted time for work. As technology continues to advance, so will telecommuting.

The fun part is that teleworking will require employers to find a whole new way to manage employees, measure employee performance, and promote team interaction. And, oh my, for telecommuting to really work, we're going to have to learn to trust employees. This is an area that I am working on this year, so we will continue to revisit it. Have a terrific week.

Image Copyright Catherine Yeulet

Your Worst Job - Ever?

Wednesday April 16, 2014

Some of you said that what didn't kill you, made you strong or a better person. Others said, "Despite the fact that this was no doubt a character-building experience, if I had it to do over again, I'd leave after the first day, without giving notice." And, some of you did leave, as fast as you could get out of there on your first break - if there was a break. No break? You escaped when you visited the restroom.

Little was I prepared for the life time of bad job experiences readers would share when I asked this question: What Was Your Worst Job - Ever?

Think about it. What do you do when a chef throws a hot iron pan at your head? How would you manage to work with crass, crude owners who demeaned your customers? How about working in an environment in which the customer was always wrong?

How would you handle a job that required you to clean new born chickens, ID the sex of nasty-looking dung beatles, or collect cattle ticks? How did you manage when your job required you to work knee deep in blood all day? Or, you worked in a trim shop clipping plastic from pieces with requirements so exacting, that they created 100% employee turnover - a week?

In reminiscing about your worst job ever, some of you shared your laughter and many of you shared your tears and even, your anger. Take a look as readers share their worst jobs - ever.

Worst jobs either killed us or made us better people. For sure, they played a serious role in determinimg our future occupations, aspirations, goals, education, and dreams.

What was your worst job - ever?

In Contrast, Some Bests

Image Copyright Creative Photography

Write a Meaningful Recommendation Letter

Tuesday April 15, 2014

I'm not a big fan of employer-provided recommendation letters for employees. As a prospective employer, I would much rather talk with the applicant's manager than read a letter. Maybe it's just me, but a recommendation letter is always my second choice.

However, at times, circumstances require a recommendation letter: companies close, supervisors retire, employees relocate across the country, and companies merge. Having a recommendation letter, in unusual circumstances, beats having nothing at all.

Specific contents in a recommendation letter will serve your employees and former employees the best. My guidelines for the contents of a recommendation letter will showcase the employee's talents and potential contribution while making a case for your qualifications to write the recommendation letter.

Although many use the reference letter interchangeably with the recommendation letter, it has always helped me to differentiate them slightly. You can, however use either term.

Image Copyright Catherine Yeulet

More Employer Sample Letters

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Are you lost on my website? Here's the bookmark to all content organized by category.

See a New Twist on Job Descriptions

Monday April 14, 2014

Readers ask frequently whether employees need job descriptions or if they have become such a legal mine field that we are best off forgetting about them. I am a firm believer in the necessity of providing clear direction to employees.

So I do recommend job descriptions, but one of the readers of this site sent me a unique idea that I liked. I tried it this year in my own company. Although the implementation team modified my original idea, it still removes the onus for the job description from HR and gives it to the employee who owns it.

In conjunction with his or her manager, the employee updates the job plan twice a year. Find out more about how you can make job descriptions easier for the employer.

Image Tom McNemar

More About Job Descriptions

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