How well do you manage your workforce?
Qualified employees are already in short supply in the tourism sector and the problem is going to get worse. The sector is projected to have the equivalent of over 47,700 full-year jobs unfilled by 2015, with potential for over 114,000 unfilled jobs by 2025. To be successful in this challenging labour market, businesses will need to develop flexible and effective human resource practices.
Managing your workforce well will give your business a competitive advantage, especially when labour and skills are limited. Assessing the effectiveness of your current HR practices can help ensure that you attract and retain a qualified workforce. Even if your operation is too small to employ a dedicated Human Resource professional, it is possible to manage your workforce well.
Take this 20 minute self-assessment to find out how you are doing in:
- Human resource planning
- Hiring and keeping qualified staff
- Occupational health and safety
- Working with unions
Take advantage of practical HR templates, checklists, training products and other tools developed in collaboration with industry to meet the needs of small and large tourism operators.
Performance Management is an ongoing process of providing feedback to employees year round. Everyone likes to reeive regular meaningful feedback from their supervisor that will help them grow and learn in their role. An annual performance review or perormance appraisal is part of this process.
During a performance review you should have measurable goals ie. meeting sales goals, production levels.
Things to include on the performance review:
- Employee Name
- Job Title
- Period under Review
Performance Management: Happier Workplace and Higher Profits
Employee performance affects company performance. If you express clear expectations to your employees, both you and your company will enjoy increased motivation. And all that translates directly into clearly measurable goals, improved morale, a happier workplace and higher profits. See whether your company has all of the objectives of performance management in place, and whether you’re truly receiving all of the benefits!
- Establish a clear link between organizational and individual objectives.
- Encourage ongoing communication through coaching and meaningful feedback to employees.
- Encourage discussion and development of competencies.
- Attract and retain staff.
- Identify, recognize and reward high performers.
- Identify, recognize and manage low performers.
- Align with other HR systems such as staffing, training and career planning.
- Eliminate discrimination and accommodate employees – within reason – based on protected grounds.
- Clear understanding of how individual performance contributes to business success.
- Clear understanding of how to meet expectations.
- Individual performance is clearly linked to rewards.
- Identification of employee learning and development needs.
- Fair, accurate and regular feedback on strengths and areas for improvement.
- Increased productivity.
- Link between individual performance and organizational objectives.
- Accurate and consistent evaluation of employees’ overall performance.cknowledgement of employee contributions.
This performance management article is an extract from emerit’s Performance First® HR Toolkit.
Bottom Line Success Through Positive Employee Relations
Positive employee relations are the heart of the many programs and processes that the HR function must juggle. Whether in a union or non-union setting, when all the pieces come together, the result is a climate where employee relations are positive. Having a plan and building relationships with your staff are the key to ensuring that you have positive employee relations.
Do you have a plan?
Would you plan your business operations without a sound budget and financial plan? Of course not. The same question can be asked of another important asset: your people. Having a plan to achieve positive employee relations is as important as having a financial plan. The following steps will help you to develop a basic HR plan for positive employee relations.
Identify your business needs and how they translate into the people side of your business. For example, if you promise your guests the best service experience when they visit your establishment, you must hire service-oriented people and train them to provide the best service.
How do your people deliver your brand promise?
- Recruiting: Based on your business needs, develop screening questions to select people that believe in what you are trying to achieve and who will deliver on your brand.
- Training: Make sure you have a plan to ensure that your staff have all the know-how they need, empowering them to serve your guests.
- Feedback: Staff need to know how they are performing, so make sure you observe them and give them feedback and coaching where required.
- Leadership: What kind of workplace environment are you trying to create as a leader? Is it a culture of passion, energy, fun and teamwork? As a leader you need to set the tone by example.
- Rewards & Recognition: When your team reaches a significant milestone, do you celebrate? Set team goals and then celebrate your successes as a team. Doing so rewards and recognizes your staff for their efforts and contributions.
- Communication: The final part of the HR plan is to ensure you are keeping people in the loop, involving them, sharing your challenges and making them a part of the solution.
Employee relations in a union environment
When there is a union in place, the above steps in the HR plan still apply; however, you now have to involve this third party. In a union environment, the following steps will help you get the union on board and help create a positive employee-relations environment:
- Goals: Develop mutual goals with the union executive. They are striving for positive employee relations for their members and so are you for your staff. If you have a common goal, you are working together as opposed to against each other.
- Walk a mile in their shoes: It is important that both parties cooperate and work toward mutually beneficial solutions. As an employer and business owner, you must understand what the union is trying to accomplish for its members. Put yourself in their shoes. Ask them what they are trying to achieve, so you understand their side and how it relates to what you are trying to do.
- Explain you needs: You must explain to the union’s designated representatives what you need from them and your staff, so that your business can meet its objectives. If your business is successful and employees are happy, odds are the union will also be happy.
- Know the contract: In a union environment, the rules are all in the collective agreement. Take the time to read the agreement, understand it fully, and make sure you are following any steps and processes that are in the contract. Doing so will assist in creating positive relations with the union that will trickle down to your staff.
Non-union employee relations
Non-union employee relations require the same steps, but they do not involve dealing with a third party. While the goals and steps in the HR plan remain the same, there is slightly more flexibility in a non-union environment.
The key to positive employee relations is to:
- Listen: Be an employer who listens to the staff. What do they need, and what are they telling you?
- Be balanced: Understand what your employees need, and balance it with your needs as a business owner.
- Have a plan: Do not expect that the people side of your business will just come together on its own.
Follow the steps in the plan above and harness the power of your people.
Having an HR plan in place as a road map to positive employee relations is a key factor in your success. While there are many relationships you must manage as a business owner, putting the employee relationship at the top of the list will allow you to create a competitive advantage for you and them. It is your people who deliver your brand promise, so you need to make sure you have a plan in place for how that happens. At times, getting the entire team to pull in the same direction can be a challenge, and it does take time. Business owners who invest the time in planning and learning how to create positive employee relations are the ones who are seeing the payoff through higher productivity, lower turnover, better guest feedback and, most of all, stronger bottom line success. Do you have a plan?
This article is an extract from the www.go2hr.ca webpage.
Posting Information in the Workplace
There are many responsibilities employers have when considering communications with staff. This is not only limited to verbal but also to posting information on relevant policies, legislation, safety, etc. Below are some things to keep in mind:
- Required notices must be posted in a prominent location employees will see.
- Keep the posters up. Ensure the information that is required to be posted remains posted.
- Make sure the information is current. Legislation sometimes changes through the year, so check that what is posted is accurate. (The Royal Gazette publication reports many of the legislated changes.)
- If you have employees who do not speak English as their primary language, you may be required to post the information in the language they can read. Contact the pertinent government department for translated version.
- Ensure compliance. Posting the information is the first step, however the employer is also responsible for enforcing staff follows the posted information.
Examples of legislation that should be posted are below. (This list is not an exhaustive list.):
- Employment Standards Act (“Every employer shall keep posted in a conspicuous place here the employees are engaged in their duties on the employer’s premises copies of all orders and schedules under this Act relating to wages or working conditions in the employer’s plant or establishment.”)
- Employment Standards Act Regulations (“Every employer shall post this regulation and keep this regulation posted in a conspicuous place in the work establishment.”)
- Minimum Wage Order (“An employer shall post and keep posted in a conspicuous place in the work establishment, a copy of all applicable minimum wage orders.”)
- Occupational Health & Safety Act (“An employer shall post the names of the current committee members or the representative and the means of contacting them; and promptly post the minutes of the most recent committee meeting…”)
- Occupational Health & Safety Regulations
Occupational Health & Safety posters available for free:
- Slippery Floors
- Lifting and Reaching
- Lifting in the Kitchen
- Lifting Hot Objects
- Fire Extinguisher Sign (an example is shown on the right, however reflective signs or stickers are preferred and are available at most stores that sell fire extinguishers.
Workplace Email Communications
Email has become a preferred method of communications for many, especially with younger generations. Employers are getting on board with sending schedules, updates and other notices to staff digitally. These efforts are keeping working groups connected. However, as with any method of communication, there are nuances in the language that must be considered. Below are some email etiquette tips:
Check the Tone
It’s easy to get the tone wrong in your business e-mails. Check these three examples, which convey the same message, but in very different tones of voice:
Abrupt: Get me the revisions by Thursday.
Polite: Please be sure to get me the revisions by Thursday.
More polite: I would appreciate your getting me the revisions by Thursday.
USE ALL CAPS SPARINGLY
Using all caps conveys an abrupt and demanding tone even if the subject is relatively tame. For example:
IF YOU ARE PLANNING TO ATTEND THE MARCH MEETING, WE NEED YOUR REGISTRATION FORM BY FEBRUARY 15.
However, all caps may be used for emphasis without being offensive, for example:
If you are planning to attend the March meeting, we need your REGISTRATION FORM BY FEBRUARY 15.
What about all lower case?
That gives the impression that you don’t consider the message very important. For example:
if you are planning to attend the march meeting, we
need your registration form by february 15
When to Hit Send
A good practice is to enter the recipient’s email after you have finished writing your email. To be extra cautious, set your email account to send on a delayed schedule. Many times I have gone into the Outbox to renege on an email that was almost on its way… then sighed in relief to find it hadn’t left.
Some excerpts from Do your E-mails Send the Right Message? by Steve Bruce
Posted Monday, May 18, 2009 7:00 AM via HR Daily Advisor
Another useful hint comes from WORK THE POND! by Darcy Rezac with Judy Thomson and Gayle-Hallgren-Rezac:
Organizing guru Linda Chu (www.outofchaos.ca) says “Use EOM (End of Message) in the subject line to signal the recipient of email that they don’t have to open up the email. This works nicely for things like. ‘See you Friday at 11:00 am. EOM’, ‘Congratulations on a great job! EOM.'”
Work the Pond!Work the Pond – Positive Networking Tips
Working Through Conflict with a Withdrawn Employee
Most people want to avoid conflict and want it to just “blow over”. However, if we don’t work through conflict we are in a way condoning it and although the root of the problem may seem trivial at times, our behaviours and actions can amplify the situation. In some cases where an individual is particularly anti-conflict he or she may become withdrawn. Here are a few practical tips borrowed from Customer Service for Dummies (California, 1995) on how to be effective in these situations.
- Resist pushing – realize that not everyone is ready to have a discussion on demand and you may push the person away.
- Be empathetic – if you sense your employee is pulling away from the conversation try approaching the subject differently. Monitor your approach ” if you sound aggressive in your tone, your conversation will not improve the situation, so try to engage the employee in an open discussion.
- Seek input – once your employee begins opening up, help him understand why there is a problem and that dealing with it is best for everyone. Ask, with sincerity, “What would you do in my position?”
- Make an appointment and stick to it – set up a time that is mutually acceptable and as soon as possible. Ensure both you and the environment is respectful and appropriate (i.e. turn off the phone and focus on your employee).
- Follow up.
Exit Interview Process
Exit Interview Questions
- How do you feel you were treated by your supervisor and your coworkers?
- How well do you believe your work was recognized and appreciated?
- Do you feel you were given adequate training and assistance in learning your job?
- Can you see opportunities for transfer or promotion within this business?
- How would you describe the morale of your fellow employees?
- How fairly was the workload distributed among you and your coworkers?
- What could be done to make this company a better place to work?
Publish Date: December 16, 2009
Conducting an Exit Interview
Follow these steps to conduct effective exit interviews:
- Focus on good employees who resign. Not all turnover is undesirable. We may not especially care why troublesome employees quit, but we should be strongly interested in why valued employees quit.
- Have every interview conducted by someone other than the employee’s immediate supervisor (a human resources interviewer, if available). The supervisor’s relationship with the employee can influence an employee’s decision to either remain or depart.
- Explain the purpose of the exit interview to the departing employee. The essential purpose is to determine whether there are problems that should be addressed to help prevent further losses of valued employees.
- Explain the confidential nature of the process. Assure the employee that no one beyond the interviewer will be able to attribute specific comments to the individual.
- Keep the process simple. An exit interview should be relatively brief and focused on specific areas (a few recommended questions are listed below).
- Make the interview one-on-one, conducted in private. “Ganging up” on a departing employee with multiple interviewers is intimidating and can limit the person’s willingness to respond honestly.
- Be sensitive to potential differences between persons leaving for other employment and those resigning for “personal reasons.” The straightest answers come from those who admit they’re going to work elsewhere; those who cite only “personal reasons” are often reluctant to reveal their true reasons for fear of repercussions (poor references, etc.).
- Encourage the departing employee to summarize his or her employment experience before addressing specific questions. This usually provides answers to some questions before they are asked.
- Assure the individual employee that all information provided will be used anonymously and that no permanent record will be retained. Once the information is assessed and tabulated, the interview document or notes should be discarded.
- Assess and tabulate exit interview information. When patterns emerge from accumulated information, consider what can realistically be done to prevent future loss of good employees.
Publish date: December 16, 2009