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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.

Common Questions about Interviewing
Human Resources Spotlight10

Are Your Paid Holidays Competitive?

Sunday April 20, 2014

Scheduling for holidays when many employees use paid vacation time or PTO is a challenge for most employers. So many people are off work that, even the employees who want to work, are challenged to have the team members they need to make progress.

I've put together several new resources that you may find valuable. Have you ever thought about adding a floating holiday or two to your normal set of paid holidays? It's an opportunity for diverse employees to use a paid holiday, rather than PTO, for one of their special days. Our employees enjoy taking their birthday off each year, too. My new article about floating holidays is a guide to the decisions an employer needs to make to offer this employee benefit.

While the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that for the category "all full time employees," 7.6 is the average number of paid holidays for employees in the United States, I work most frequently these days in a professional environment where 8.5 is the norm.

Want to see how your paid holidays compare with those of other employers? Here's a standard paid holiday schedule for U.S. employers in the public and private sector.

If you're thinking about paid time off for your next year's benefits package, these cited resources give you standard practices and norms in the U.S.

Image Copyright Catherine Yeulet

More Related to Paid Time Off

Happy Easter

Sunday April 20, 2014

Today is Easter and I'd like to wish you and yours a happy day. Something about decorated eggs, family dinners, and bunnies always gets to me. It's nothing like being a child, however.

My Dad used to hide jelly beans all over the house for the seven brothers and sisters to find. We colored eggs the night before and always found them in our baskets in the morning. About the only thing I don't like about Easter is marshmallow chicks - don't like them - never did. How about you?

In the grocery store Saturday, I passed a woman who had twelve boxes of eggs in her cart. I did not envy her the workload she was obviously pursuing last evening. I hope she had lots of help. That's the important part about teams. The best teams share the workload, the responsibility, and the successes and failures. On a good team, you never stand alone. I certainly hope she was not decorating those eggs alone.

With spring here, it's time, too, to think about how you will celebrate the spring and summer holidays in your workplace.

Image MMN Network

Do You Ask Odd Interview Questions?

Saturday April 19, 2014

Do you ask your candidates unusual interview questions? If you do, you'd be among a growing number of organizations that have developed surprising interview questions to ask their applicants. You're not alone.

But, do the answers to odd interview questions tell you anything? Employers who seek unusual interview questions to ask need to specifically decide what information they are trying to obtain by asking their prospective employees unusual questions.

To see how the candidate responds is not the right answer. To assess the candidate's ability to think quickly, react quickly and land on their feet or to assess their potential creativity is heading in the right direction. It is even better when the employer saves the answers and sees patterns over time in the eventual success or failure of the employees who are hired after responding in particular ways to unusual interview questions.

Since few employers do the follow-up and put in the thought necessary to track whether the unusual interview questions they asked prospects actually told them anything, I'm not totally a fan.

Kris Dunn at the HRCapitalist had several interesting comments to make on the topic of puzzles, riddles and other trendy tricks during interviews. I agree totally that the factors that tell me the most about a candidate's capabilities are examples of work products, manuals created, teams led, and facts about accomplishments and achievements.

In the IT world, my best developers sit with a candidate and do white board exercises to see how the individual approaches problems and creates solutions. A customer service phone rep must answer problem emails appropriately and with some exhibited care and concern for the customer.

Glassdoor.com collects the most unusual interview questions to ask from their thousands of readers. This list of unusual questions to ask is a hoot. A couple include, "How many cows are in Canada?" and, "What song best describes your work ethic?" Don't miss it.

Image Copyright Dean Sanderson

More About Interview Questions to Ask

Promote Both Formal and Informal Recognition

Saturday April 19, 2014

Employers approach employee recognition both formally and informally. And, each type of recognition serves a purpose in your organization. They both help to create an environment in which employees will thrive.

Employers are most successful when they implement both approaches to recognizing employee contributions. Both the formal and informal recognition will help you reinforce specific behaviors and actions that you'd like to see more of in your organization.

There are key components of a formal recognition program that you need to follow, though, for success. Because formal recognition normally involves a large number of employees, it must be perceived as fair.

In a client organization, the activity committee implemented a formal recognition program in which coworkers could nominate each other for a going above and beyond reward.They were met with more nominations than they could handle or afford. So, the first week, they paid out 37 awards of $50.00 and determined that they would blow the whole year's budget (that they had hoped to spend on many forms of recognition and other employee activities) in just a few weeks.

As you can imagine, the group set some fairly rigid criteria and changed the award to one person a week. They wanted to maintain employee interest in participating so they set up a drawing. Each employee nominated was placed in the drawing. If they were nominated by a coworker more than once, they had additional entries in the drawing.

Employee recognition is tricky because you don't want to demoralize some employees while rewarding others. Here are seven tips for effective employee recognition.

More Resources for Employee Recognition

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