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Personal development is a crucial driver of employee engagement and growth. As a manager, what are some of the most affordable ways to invest in your employee's personal development? Investing in employees' personal development doesn't always have to come with a hefty price tag. Here are a few ways to foster a motivated and skilled workforce without breaking the bank.

 

Online Learning Platforms

 

Utilize free or low-cost online learning platforms, such as Coursera, Udemy, or LinkedIn Learning. Many of these platforms offer courses employees can take at their own pace. 

 

Book Clubs

 

Start a workplace book club where employees can read and discuss relevant books. Choose literature that aligns with professional development and encourages team members to share insights.

 

Internal Workshops and Skill-Sharing

 

Leverage the expertise within the team by organizing internal workshops where employees can share their skills and knowledge with colleagues. This fosters a culture of learning and collaboration.

 

Cross-Training Opportunities

 

Enable employees to learn new skills by allowing them to shadow colleagues in different departments. This expands their skill set and promotes a better understanding of the organization as a whole.

 

Lunch and Learn Sessions

 

Host informal lunchtime sessions where employees can share interesting topics or skills. Encourage diverse presentations to expose the team to various areas of expertise.

 

Mentorship Programs

 

Establish a mentorship program within the organization. This doesn't require significant financial investment but can yield substantial returns in terms of employee growth and satisfaction.

 

Flexible Work Arrangements

 

Offer flexible work hours or remote work options to allow employees the flexibility to pursue external courses or certifications outside of traditional working hours.

 

Networking Opportunities

 

Facilitate networking opportunities within and outside the organization. This can be done through attending local events, webinars, or even creating internal networking events.

 

Recognition and Feedback

 

Regularly provide constructive feedback and recognition for a job well done. This helps employees understand their strengths and areas for improvement, guiding their personal development efforts.

 

When you're ready to hire in the new year, let our team at itec group lend a hand!

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As the year draws to a close, itec group offers three innovative ideas to inspire your manufacturing and engineering team to a strong finish. These creative strategies can boost morale and drive productivity to ensure a successful end to 2023. Let's take a closer look.

 

Offer an Incentive-Based Event

 

Organizing an incentive-based event at the end of the year is a wonderful way to express gratitude toward employees and boost morale. To create a successful event, understand your employees' preferences and interests. Consider options like gift cards, extra paid time off, or special bonuses as incentives. Plan engaging activities or team-building exercises that encourage participation and foster a sense of camaraderie among colleagues. Acknowledge employees' achievements and contributions throughout the year, highlighting their hard work and dedication. Be sure to create a relaxed and festive atmosphere, perhaps hosting the event at a pleasant venue or organizing a themed party.

 

Give an Extra Holiday Off

 

Offering additional time off during the holidays can be a powerful way to motivate and inspire employees. Providing this extra break demonstrates that the company values work-life balance and acknowledges the importance of spending quality time with family and friends. It reduces burnout and stress and reenergizes employees, making them more focused and productive when they return to work. The gesture fosters a sense of loyalty and appreciation among the workforce, enhancing their overall job satisfaction and morale. Knowing they have the opportunity to relax and recharge, employees are likely to return to work with a positive attitude, increased motivation, and a greater commitment to achieving their goals.

 

Thank Your Team

 

Expressing gratitude and saying thank you to employees is crucial in recognizing their hard work and motivating them to finish the year strong. Genuine appreciation fosters a positive workplace culture, enhancing employee morale and job satisfaction. When employees feel valued and acknowledged for their efforts, they are more likely to be motivated to go above and beyond in their tasks. Recognition reinforces a sense of accomplishment, boosting confidence and self-worth among employees. It also creates a supportive atmosphere, encouraging teamwork and collaboration. Saying thank you validates employees' contributions and instills a sense of pride in their work.

 

If you need help hiring great talent in Ontario, contact our team!

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We hear a lot about toxic workplaces, and no one wants to admit behaviors are happening under their noses that aren't great. But if you're struggling with employee retention, you may unknowingly perpetuate these harmful practices. Now is the time to look at your environment and dump these four toxic practices that might drive away your top employees.

 

Ignoring Employee Feedback and Concerns

 

Ignoring employee feedback and concerns can drive top talent away from your business, as it signals a lack of respect for their input and well-being. When employees feel unheard, undervalued, or unsupported, their morale and job satisfaction can plummet, leading to disengagement and decreased productivity. Employees seek environments where their opinions are considered, and their growth and development are prioritized. Failure to address concerns can erode trust and create a hostile workplace culture, causing high-performing employees to seek opportunities elsewhere where their contributions are recognized, and their voices are heard. Embracing employee feedback and actively addressing concerns retains valuable talent and fosters an atmosphere of collaboration, innovation, and loyalty that ultimately benefits the company's success and reputation.

 

Tolerating Toxic Employees

 

Tolerating toxic employees can harm a business, driving away top talent. Toxic individuals create a hostile work environment that erodes team morale, hampers collaboration, and damages overall company culture. Top performers are often committed to positive and supportive workplaces where they can thrive and contribute their best work. When toxic behavior goes unchecked, it can lead to frustration, stress, and burnout among top talent who may seek healthier and more respectful work environments. A company risks losing its most valuable assets by allowing toxic employees to persist. It undermines its ability to attract and retain high-caliber talent essential for sustained growth and success.

 

Promoting a Culture of Burnout and Overwork

 

Promoting a culture of burnout and overwork can drive away your best employees, as it undermines their well-being and work-life balance. When employees are constantly pushed beyond their limits and pressured to prioritize work over their health and personal lives, it erodes their motivation, creativity, and job satisfaction. Top performers are drawn to environments that recognize the importance of healthy work-life integration, where their efforts are acknowledged without sacrificing their mental and physical health. Fostering a culture that values rest, encourages manageable workloads, and promotes self-care retains top talent and enhances productivity and innovation, contributing to a more sustainable and successful business in the long run.

 

Keeping Employees Stagnant

 

Failing to provide advancement and development opportunities can lead to the departure of top talent from your business. High-performing employees are motivated by growth and opportunities to expand their skills and responsibilities. When these opportunities are lacking, top talent may feel stagnant and undervalued, seeking out organizations where their potential is nurtured and rewarded. Without a clear path for career progression, employees might feel their contributions go unnoticed, leading to disengagement and a decline in overall morale. Investing in your team's professional development, offering avenues for advancement, and demonstrating a commitment to their long-term success within the company is crucial.

 

If you need help hiring, give us a call!

 

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It's not uncommon for productivity to dip in the summer months. Your team is daydreaming of anywhere but work. But your productivity rates must stay high. Here are some fun incentives that can improve morale and increase energy in your company this summer.

 

Offer Flexible Hours

 

If your environment can handle more flexible hours, offer this as a benefit in the summertime. You can allow your team to adjust their start and end times based on their personal needs, such as the commute or children's schedules. You can also tap into your employees' most productive hours. For example, if someone is a morning person, they may start early and get things done before closing time so they can end their day when their brain begins to wander.

 

Organize Sports Events

 

Teambuilding can be a great opportunity in the summer. Consider organizing a sports event or team for your employees. Casual games like softball or kickball are popular among employees and provide an outlet for their energy in the summer. It can be a fun way for your workplace to get involved in the summer and have fun.

 

Offer Free Lunch

 

When you can, offer your team free lunches, which can be motivating when they start to feel the lunchtime slump. Provide options for people with all dietary needs to encourage everyone to participate.

 

Plan an End of Summer Party

 

Another fun way to get everyone excited about the workplace in the summer is to plan an end-of-summer party. As the season begins to wrap up, plan an event for employees and their families before your employee's children start back to school. There are countless options, including a barbeque at a local outdoor spot, a fun day at an amusement park, or a casual dinner at a great venue in your town.

 

If you can't find the employees you need, let itec group help!

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Every good manager wants a team of happy and fulfilled employees. But to do this, it's important to gather employee feedback and know how to support their needs. Both good and bad employee feedback will make a difference in what you can do as a manager, so it's up to you to solicit their input and create an environment where they are willing to share. Here are tips to help you transform employee complaints into compliments and create a more cohesive workplace.

 

Take Time for Feedback

 

One complaint many employees have of bad managers is that they don't take the time to listen to feedback. They assume things are fine and don't solicit the thoughts of their team on any given project, situation, or experience. Make sure your employees know that their contribution matters, including feedback.

 

Listen to the Good and Bad

 

Another mistake managers make is that they are only willing to hear the good feedback and avoid the bad. It's just as important to know what your team is unhappy about so you can solve the problem. Don't assume just because no one is saying anything negative that everything is just fine.

 

Show Your Support

 

It's also up to you as a manager to show your support and make their jobs easier. What can you provide that will help the team thrive? Are there tools, technology, or additional talent that could improve the working conditions of the entire group?

 

Go the Extra Mile

 

There may also be times when you must go the extra mile and pitch in when necessary. If things are overwhelming, find out how you can help. Roll up your sleeves when needed, and work with your team to get things done.

 

If you need help hiring, give our team at itec group a call!

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Employee layoffs can be difficult, so they must be handled effectively and respectfully. Everything from planning to messaging to providing a severance package should be considered carefully before letting anyone go. If your business is considering layoffs, consider these tips to ensure things go smoothly.

 

Include HR in All Decisions

 

Never do layoffs without the complete buy-in of your company. Always include HR in your decisions of who to let go. You want to ensure that you remain compliant and handle everything within the requirements of the law and your company's policies. HR can give you additional tools to make the process go smoothly.

 

Hold Exit interviews

 

Your departing employees are a great source of information. When they leave, you can talk to them about their experience, which can help you in the future. You must acquire as much knowledge about their projects and create a transition process as early as possible after layoffs are announced.

 

Discuss Layoffs Privately in Person

 

There is indeed a proper way to conduct layoffs. You want to talk to each person getting laid off in person. Of course, a video conference would also work in today's workplace, where remote work is standard. You also want to have these conversations in private so you can respect the feelings of each employee and treat them with compassion.

 

Provide References

 

Whenever laying off employees, be sure they know that they can rely on you to be a reference. They will be looking for new jobs as soon as possible, and references are often the most challenging hurdle. When they can rely on you to provide that information to potential employers, it will significantly relieve their stress about the situation.

 

Reach Out to Your Network

 

However, you can be a connector. Offer to reach out to your network to introduce employees to other people with opportunities. You never know how you can help someone, and if you can introduce your good but outgoing employees to someone else in the industry, take advantage of that.

 

When you're ready to build up your team again, connect with itec group to lend you a hand!

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Hiring is critical to your success, but it's time-consuming and takes you away from running your business. There are ways you can save time and hire talented people for your open positions. A recruiting partner can save you in so many ways, including financially. Are you curious about how an agency can streamline your hiring process? 

 

Help You Optimize Your Job Description

 

Job descriptions, like any other online content, need to be optimized to be seen by as many people as possible. These principles of search engine optimization are part of a complex science, and there's no reason for you to learn something new to post a single job. Your recruiting partner can help you with this process. They understand the intricacies of SEO and how to create a job posting that the best candidates will see.

 

Use Smart Recruiting Techniques

 

Data-driven recruitment means you understand the cost-benefit analysis of every new hire before making a decision. Your recruiter can help you better understand many metrics involved in the recruitment process to ensure you're making the best decision possible with the information you have.

 

Pre-Screen All Candidates

 

When you don't have all the time to devote to hiring, pre-screening can feel like an unnecessary addition to the process. But it can be the best way to gather important information before moving to the next steps. A recruiting agency can do this at scale and only send you the best candidates for consideration.

 

Use Assessment Tools

 

An agency can also provide assessment tools to help determine a candidate's proficiency in various skills. Whatever skills are determined to be the most appropriate for the job, you don't have to take the candidate's word on the matter. Your recruitment partner may be able to provide assessment tools to get a better feel for someone's skills before they interview.

 

Support Onboarding

 

Your recruiter relationship doesn't end when an offer is extended. Recruiters will help with onboarding to ensure your new employee is prepared and ready to start their new career with your organization. They can also be a resource in the future should you have any questions or concerns.

 

itec group can give you the answers you need. Get in touch with our team!

 

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The idea of the skills gap has been around for a long time. Much like our business world, the skills gap itself is evolving. The missing puzzle piece in many of today's jobs is knowledge of technological advancements that will become increasingly important to business success. So how do you close the skills gap in your company? Let's take a closer look.

 

Upskilling

 

It's always more complicated to replace employees than to keep the team you have. If you upskill, you show your team that you're willing to invest in their future. What skills are you missing, and who on your roster has the interest and ability to learn them? Offer upskilling for things that will benefit you as well as your employees.

 

Generation Z

 

Companies that embrace every generation are better at disseminating knowledge and up-to-date skills. Younger employees, especially in up-and-coming Generation Z, will bring new skills. These are things that your team can benefit from. At the same time, your younger employees will learn the company culture and professional etiquette from your older employees.

 

Retired Workers

 

Throughout 2020, many older workers who were looking forward to retirement decided to stick around a little longer. That's led to more people retiring this year and in the foreseeable future. But boomers are not a generation that likes to sit around. Reengaging them by offering part-time or flexible roles can help you maintain their knowledge base and pass it on to incoming team members.

 

Recruiting Partner

 

You don't have to do your hiring alone. Recruiters can help you uncover new talent who will bring additional skills. They can work with you to determine the best fit and will spend less time sourcing and screening candidates than it would take you. They'll tap into a much broader applicant pool and provide you with qualified candidates.

 

If you're struggling to close your business's skills gap on your own, let the itec team help!

 

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Social media is not a fad. We live in a world where everything worth mentioning ends up online one way or another. And once something's online, there's no going back. But what does that mean for your employees and creating social media policies? If you've been thinking of developing guidelines to help your team and represent your company well, here are the top tips to get you started.  

 

Create and Enforce Official Accounts 

 

Your business should have official social media pages on all the major platforms. Keeping these owned by your company prevents someone from creating an account that unfairly targets your business. Maintain ownership, make branding consistent, and have someone within your organization responsible for posting and commenting on these pages.  

 

Request Transparency  

 

Your team is online; that's just a fact of business today. What's important is that you create a culture of trust. What you can ask your team is that if they include their place of employment on their social media, they make sure people know the opinions posted on their social media are personal and not representative of your organization.  

 

Ensure Privacy  

 

While you need to trust your employees to use sound professional judgment online, you can create policies around what they can and can't share. It's vital to let everyone know confidential client or company information not be shared online. This needs to be a formal policy; if it's violated, there are professional consequences.  

 

Train on Cyber Safety 

 

It's also critical that your team is safe online. There are constant threats to safety on the internet, and many of them can look very legitimate. Offer regular training to reinforce safety guidelines. These include:  

 

  • Creating strong passwords 
  • Two-factor authentication 
  • Limiting personal information online 
  • Using secure internet connections 
  • Spotting and avoiding phishing 
  • Not clicking on suspicious links or downloading unknown files 

 

Be Tough on Harassment 

 

Cyberbullying isn't just something teenagers do. Harassment online is all too common, and you must have a no-tolerance culture in your workplace. There is no room for hate speech or other forms of harassment. You should also provide resources for your employees if they experience harassment online.  

 

Follow Legal Guidelines 

 

There can also be a lot of legal traps online that people get caught in unwittingly. Always remind your employees to respect intellectual property, copyright, trademarks, and other laws regarding content and creations. Make sure they know if they don't have explicit permission or licensing to post something, they need to avoid it.  

 

 

Let the staffing experts at itec group weigh in.   

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Relying on your team of loyal employees is what makes your business succeed. Loyalty is a two-way street, so what can you do as an employer to improve team loyalty? Here are five ways to create a culture that encourages team loyalty now and in the future.

 

Focus on Culture

 

Good company culture can improve employee loyalty by creating a positive and supportive work environment. When employees feel valued and appreciated, satisfaction rates are improved. They can build better relationships with coworkers and managers and feel a sense of belonging within the organization. A strong company culture can align employee and company values. And when employees feel their work is meaningful and their contributions are valued, there are higher performance levels and a reduction in turnover.

 

Provide Meaningful Work

 

Giving employees a sense of purpose and fulfillment in their jobs can also improve employee retention and loyalty. When their work is meaningful and their contributions positively impact, your employees are more likely to stay engaged and motivated. A stronger emotional connection to the organization based on the feeling of doing good and meaningful work can improve retention. Employees who see themselves making a difference are less likely to seek employment elsewhere.

 

Be a Stellar Manager

 

Management can make all the difference in employee satisfaction and loyalty. Managers can improve performance and retention by clearly communicating expectations, providing regular feedback, and listening to employee concerns. Showing appreciation and recognition will enhance employee engagement. There should also be a culture of supportive leadership, empathy, and fair treatment with respect and dignity.

 

Listen to Feedback

 

Employees who feel empowered and comfortable providing feedback will also be more likely to stay engaged. But you shouldn't just listen to feedback; it should be used to improve processes and workplace culture. When you hear and incorporate feedback, you demonstrate that you value and appreciate what your employees bring to the table.

 

Offer Room for Development

 

Advancement is a big draw for many professionals. If someone feels they've maxed out their company's career growth opportunities and earning potential, they will seek that gratification from another employer. Provide opportunities for learning and increasing responsibilities within your organization to improve retention and employee loyalty.

 

If you still can't find the people you need, itec group is ready to assist!

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