Motivating Your Staff Post SOE

It’s back to work for a lot of businesses on the Avalon that have been shut down for more than a week. In saying that some employees will have a difficult time getting back into the routine, so here a few tips that can help with the transition.

1. Plan a team meeting

Plan a meeting for Monday morning, start by allowing employees to share their storm war stories. Once that is done review tasks, deadlines and weekly goals so you can set a plan. Create focus by getting everyone together.

2. Prioritize task

You may be coming back to a large to do list. Set your priorities and avoid becoming overwhelmed by trying to do everything at once.

3. Give employees time

Managers need to give employees time to adjust. Don’t expect everyone to be at full capacity, so do what you can to help them get back into the motions. Offer more breaks or opportunities to recover because everyone needs time to get back into the swing of things.

4. Create positivity

Leaders need to create a positive workplace during the first week back. Provide guidance and support so employees can surpass anxiety or negativity. Some employees are coming back to work exhausted, emotional and even checked out. Be intuitive and sensitive to this transition because it isn’t an easy one. Improve your communication and provide extra support.

5. Welcome back event

Plan a welcome back breakfast, lunch or coffee break. Provide welcome back cards or individual messages to your employees. Make the day a positive one so employees can get excited to be back to work.

Some workplace will be a little slower to get going while others will be playing catch up and have double the workload. Whatever the case may be your employees will have mixed feelings and emotions about coming back. Its up to you to set the stage and provide support so everyone can get back to success.

Successful Change Management Tips

Change in business is inevitable, so when you are going through structural change it’s your job to make it easier and clear. When you make a change employees will automatically think “how will this affect me?” Also, whenever you make a change 20% of your employees will support it, 20% of your employees will be against it and 60% of your employees are not sure if this is a good or bad thing.

The key to any change is planning and communication (if you get anything from that article remember that point). Change can be a nightmare when it lacks planning and has poor delivery. Leaders need to communicate so that employees understand and are ready to adjust and recover as soon as possible. Here are a few tips for success

  1. Plan and spend more time on communication. Often a company make a change, has a company wide meeting and then its back to work. You need to do more, so plan smaller team meetings, one-on-one meetings, follow up meetings, etc. The bigger the change more communication is needed. You need to allow people to ask questions and hear the message more than once. Remember, everyone wants to know how this affects them personally.
  2. Training and preparing your team leads. You need to ensure that your leaders are ready to communicate the right message and be advocates for the change. Spend time training and preparing them to be able to answer employee questions. They will either help or make the change worst. Involve them as early as possible and get them ready to support the change.
  3. Share the message of why we need change. People will always support a change more when they know the why. Ensure your employee know the back story as to why change is needed and why the current method is not working. The more employees know the why the more likely they will support the change.
  4. Employee participation is key. People don’t like change and there are two things that make it worst; lack of control and uncertainty. You can improve on those things if you involve the employees. Show respect and provide autonomy when possible. Give them options and allow them to make suggestions on how to implement change. In doing that people feel like they have more control.

Change is never easy but with proper planning and communication you will see better success. As mentioned above, 20% of people will support change. Those people may be more optimistic, understanding or even love change. The other 20% may hate change or are pessimistic. The rest of the people can go either way, so you better be ready with a plan and tell them how it is. With out communication you risk having the non-supports telling them why the change is bad. Now you have 80% of your people not supporting the change. Prepare and communicate or get ready to roll the dice.

Millennial Employees Keep Quitting on Me

It’s Monday morning and Jenny comes to work; she walks into her manager’s office and hands over a resignation letter. The Manager sighs and thinks “Millennials! They don’t get it and they jump ship the moment something isn’t perfect”. Jenny tells her manager “sorry, I have to leave, it’s not the company, it’s me, I need more”. In the end she leaves, but the company needs to realize, it is them, and not Jenny.

In 2020 Millennials will be 46% of the workforce. Successful companies who are making things happen are filled with millennials who are killing it, yet many organizations have issues attracting and retaining top millennial talent.

So, what’s the problem? Why are companies failing? “These young employees have no commitment, spend there days on their phone, want to come and go as they like and need everything handed to them”. With this attitude they are off on the wrong foot. With that underlying negative stereotyping it’s never going to work.

Here are some reasons millennials jump ship early

1. Frustrations with Employees not Pulling Their Weight

You hired a go-getter and across from them sits a slacker that doesn’t step up and management does nothing about it. Very quickly this person is losing respect and will leave. In the end you lose productive employees and end up with a room full of slackers who accept the status quo.

2. Not Making a Difference

This high-spirited person wants to come to work, contribute and do what they do best. Instead they are bombarded with financial numbers, profits and growth plans to knock out the competitors. This is all good to some extent but you need to focus on the purpose and the why. How are you solving problems and making a difference? Why are you in business? Make sure you and your employees know or else its just a job.

3. Lack of Culture

Culture is not a ping pong table for a boardroom or free pizzas on Fridays. Create a culture that has purpose and values. Ensure its motivational and inspiring to your employees. You also need to live those values and not just say them. Perks are one thing and can support culture and values but its not the end game.

4. Lack of Respect

Remember those negative stereotypes from above? That creates disrespect and leads to an impersonal experience. Start embracing diversity and what millennials can offer. If you don’t see the value and you treat them like a number you will get the same in return.

If you are a company that lacks purpose you will struggle. The difference today versus 15 years ago is employees demand to know the purpose and the why. If they understand it and support it, they will stick with the job. If they don’t get it, they have no fear, guilt or obligation to stay. That’s why you can’t keep a millennial employee hired for more then 6 months.

Running a Small Business that isn’t Small Anymore

Like many small businesses you open your doors and start with a handful of employees. Then one day you wake up and you’re running a company with 15-30 employees. This can be a major change with many difficulties. You are not quite a small family style business anymore but you are far from a mid-sized business. You are in a zone of pain that has its own unique challenges.

So, what makes it so difficult?

  1. The owner can no longer be everything to everyone or have their hands on every task (at least they shouldn’t if they don’t want to burn out, slow things down or be a micro-manager).
  2. Certain industry or data tracking software is almost a necessity. For a company this size the issues is costs, but trying to survive on Excel spreadsheets is no longer working.
  3. Lack of specialized managers. You probably don’t have an HR Manager, but you need the specialized focus and expertise. Having your Controller or General Manager looking after HR, Marketing, IT, Finances and Inventory is too much for one person.

But, it’s not all doom and gloom. You just need to admit your clothing no longer fits and you need a new wardrobe. How you operated in the past is no longer going to work. Here are a few suggestions.

  1. You need to realize your company is bigger than just you. Start empowering, training and allocating others to perform tasks. You also need to provide trust, support and recognition. Take care of your employees and they will take care of your business.
  2. Software can be expensive but there are many alternatives. Do your research and find competitors that have more affordable software. You may not be able to afford the leading software but you just might be able to afford a rival solution.
  3. Start working with consultants on retainer to help with areas like HR, Payroll, Marketing, IT, etc. You need the expertise and hiring a consultant will add much needed value versus hiring full-time expertise. The value will far outweigh the costs.

Many owners are not prepared for the zone of pain while others work within the zone. The main realization is that you need to find solutions that fit your situation. Now that you are larger, you cannot expect to get the same success from operating as a smaller company.

$2,750 – Flat Fee Recruitment Services

Did you know that People Stuff offers recruitment services for a flat fee? No matter the position the rate is always the same, $2,750. Low cost recruitment services is perfect for any small businesses looking to keep their recruitment costs down and still find the ideal client.

With 20 years recruitment experience People Stuff can find the perfect person for you. Give me a call or send me an email (709) 697-2423 or

Included in the Recruitment Process

  • Job ad creation
  • Posting the job on Indeed and Glassdoor
  • Featured posting on Career Beacon
  • Social media posts
  • Pre-screens
  • Interview Bookings
  • Facilitation of up to 5 Interviews
  • Reference Checks
  • Offer letter creation
  • Call backs to unsuccessful candidates

High Performance Work Practices for SMEs

High Performance Work Practices (HPWP) are employee management practices that make better use of employee skills and improve commitment to the organization. These methods increase employee engagement, performance and productivity, which increases customer loyalty, leading to higher profits.

Many larger organizations engage in many HPWP practices but smaller companies seems to be lacking. Here are some examples of HPWPs that can be implemented with proper coaching and guidance  

  • Employee on-boarding strategies
  • Mentoring and leadership development strategies
  • KPI performance appraisals
  • Flexible job descriptions
  • Employee suggestion programs
  • Employee reward and award programs
  • Weekly Acton Review (WAR) meetings
  • Competence or performance-based pay

Some small businesses are missing the opportunity to implement these practices. Through proper planning these HPWPs will increase your success and revenue. Many of these can be easily implement with a reasonable and realistic budget.

If you would like training or coaching on identifying which HPWPs best suit your business or setting up HPWPs, please contact People Stuff at or (709) 697-2423

Newfoundland & Labrador Harassment & Violence Regulations for Jan 1, 2020

As of January 1, 2020 Newfoundland, & Labrador will become the last province in Canada to update Occupational Health & Safety Act regulations on violence and harassment in the workplace. In a nutshell here are a few of the requirements.

  • A harassment prevention plan must be in place
  • Employers must conduct a risk assessment of the likelihood or chances of violence and/or harassment taking place
  • Policies and procedures must be in place to eliminate the risk of violence
  • When an employer becomes aware of family violence that can expose a worker to physical injured in the workplace then reasonable precautions should be taken
  • A written prevention plan must be created around harassment and bullying
  • A reporting process needs to be implemented and followed
  • An investigation process needs to be in place
  • When necessary a 3rd party investigator process needs to be in place
  • All employees must be trained on the policies and procedures

These are important factors that must be implemented so ensure you have proper policies, training, reporting processes, investigation processes and third-party investigation processes in place.

Be sure to be ready for January 1, 2019. If you are not ready and need assistance then give People Stuff a call at (709) 697-2423 or

10 No Cost Ways to Increase Employee Retention

Here are 10 quick and easy ways to improve employee engagement and increase employee retention. Though these tasks take time, and time is money, there is very little to no implementation costs.

  1. Involve the team in discussions and decisions affecting their position
  2. Get feedback from your employees on what they like and do more of it
  3. Hold daily 5-minute kick-off or scrum meetings
  4. Create more of a positive, fun and grateful culture
  5. Learn how to properly handle conflict and not be emotionally charged
  6. Encourage feedback and give it in a timely and considerate manner
  7. Create a respectful workplace, free of gossip, bullying and disrespect
  8.  Provide more praises than criticism; praise twice for every criticism
  9.  Listen to your team, they want to be heard
  10.  Perform exit and stay interviews, know why people are leaving and staying

Measuring ROI in Your HR Investments

How do you measure ROI on time and money spent on human resources and cultural?  For business people this can be very difficult and for most they see no ROI. Too many business owners view human resources as a known cost with an unknown return. Not knowing the financial impact as a measured ROI means most business owners tend to under invest in HR.

Recruiting software giant Greenhouse has come up with a method to measure HR initiatives called Employee Lifetime Value (ELTV). As illustrated in the chart below, ELTV measures the value an employee brings to an organization, from his or her first day to the last day.

As you can see when an employee is hired, they have a negative output, because time and money is spent to recruit and hire. As onboarding starts and continues, employees eventually move into a positive output. For some companies this can happen very slowly. As you continue to grow, train and develop that employee their output increases. Eventually the employee may decide its time to move on and output will decrease until finally they leave.

ELTV has four areas of input that will either increase or decrease an employee’s lifetime value. Hiring, Onboarding, Developing and Culture. An increase in output does not rely solely on how long an employee works for you. Effective processes for those four areas will improve ELTV output. The better Recruitment and Onboarding you have the earlier you will achieve a positive output. The better Development and Culture process you have the longer you will have a positive output.

Maia Josebachvili from Greenhouse shared some research from a case study on sales people. The focus was on sales people as it’s easier to calculate revenue with that role, but it applies to any position or employee.

In the case study there are two breakdowns, companies who invest very little or have average HR practices versus companies who invest in and create above average HR practises. Below are the results that show higher investment in HR leads to an increased ELTV output.

  • Hiring – The salesperson is a better initial hire; they outsell peers by 20%
  • Onboarding – A better onboarding program decreases the sale person ramp time by 30%
  • Development – Better management and development practices improve the salesperson’s performance by 20% in a year
  • Culture – Better culture and management practices add a year to the salesperson’s tenure.

Josebachvili said these numbers are conservative and are probably a lot hirer. In one case, a company investing in HR had salespeople making an extra $1.3 million over three years. A small monthly investment in practises such as recruiting, onboard and improving culture can make a big difference in revenue. See the chart below to compare

In looking at these measurements you can get a better sense of ROI. Those unknown returns now have a measurable return. Investing an extra $1,000 a month in HR can bring a return that is 10, 20 or even 30 times higher.

The key is start measuring and start investing to see what works. Start small but focus on those four areas Hiring, Onboarding, Development and Culture. Start measuring areas such as; average employee life cycle, revenue, employee offer acceptance, etc. Investment is essential for success just make sure you are measuring your success.

The Basics on Headcount Planning

Headcount planning is a strategic talent management exercise. It ensures organizations have the right people, the right skills, in the right roles. The process usually looks at reviewing your talent, hiring targets, succession plans, promotions and training.

A successful headcount planning process looks at internal and external changes and aligns talent strategies with organizational strategies and goals. You need to focus on

  • Identifying skills that the current workforce lacks.
  • Focus recruiting on the right candidates with the skills you need now and in the future.
  • Identify and mentor employees who can fill critical skills gaps.
  • Identify a budget for hiring new staff and developing employees.

Here are four steps to get started

1. Identify Your Business Challenges

Look at what you need to focus on as a company. Here are a few sample questions:

  • What is our goal for the year?
  • Are there challenges for your business and/or industry?
  • What opportunities do we have as an organization?

The more you understand and define your business goals, the more successful your headcount planning process will be.

2. Establish Metrics

You need to evaluate your existing talent and figure out your talent needs. Successful headcount plans must have defined metrics to make talent changes and plan accordingly. A few suggested metrics are performance ratings, position requirements, employee skill sets, retirement eligibility.

3. Evaluate Your Data

Now that you have the metrics defined how do you use them? Here are some questions to ask:

  • Which roles are critical now and which ones will be in the future?
  • Which positions (if any) can we do without to maximize the ROI of our workforce?
  • Where are we having problems with attrition and what can we do about it?
  • Are we growing or hiring succession-eligible employees?

4. Plan for the Year

Your headcount plan should be a living document and therefore you should be reaching out for insights from your departmental and business line leaders to evaluate needs.

Headcount planning can be very successful when planning and budgeting for talent needs. It takes planning into consideration versus always being reactive to employee changes. It looks at training, transitions, hiring and retiring and creates a road map for success while taking the guessing game out of workforce planning.