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4 Ways to Build Employee Confidence and Increase Engagement

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Employee engagement is a highly-talked-about topic. Everyone has their own ideas about what works. But whatever you think about employee engagement, you should know that confidence is important.

Employees with a healthy level of confidence can achieve new goals and develop bigger and better ideas. A staff that feels confident is more engaged and can be more productive. Unfortunately, just as confidence can be built, it also can fade away.

According to one workplace expert, the most common reason employees lose confidence is because of a bad relationship with the boss. Negative peer relationships at work can damage confidence, but since leaders play a critical part in an employee’s future, they have the greatest impact on confidence levels.

The good news is that employees’ confidence is something you can change and preserve, with a little influence.

Building Employee Confidence

So, how can leaders build and maintain confidence among the members of their team? There are several approaches, but here are four we’ve outlined for this blog:

  1. Uncover their strengths.It is important that employees are set up for success. Find out what their strengths are and then align their responsibilities with those talents for optimum results. For example, you may have a team member who doesn’t like to get into the details, but loves customer interaction. A good leader will recognize when a person is better suited for a different role and will realign that individual with a better fitting job.
  2. Help people get a win.Don’t assume people know you appreciate their work; tell them. It’s a nice reminder every once in a while, not to mention a simple motivator, especially if a respected leader in the organization is giving the recognition. Help your team members achieve success by allowing them to take the credit. If you have a new employee who is struggling in their role, sit with them and model desirable behavior to help them get a win. Do so by planting seeds of confidence and encouragement along the way. And remember, leaders can build or tear down team member’s confidence in a single moment.
  3. Embrace innovation.Your employees have wonderful ideas; encourage them to share. I started an initiative called the Paycom Innovation Awards. Although it’s always been a priority of mine to consistently recognize and encourage creative thinking, the awards offered extra incentive. Employees presented many ideas and were judged on a set of criteria. The very best took home a prize and, to this day, have their names etched on a plaque for everyone to admire.
  4. Embrace the whole person.There is more to people than meets the eye. Most employees have skills or talents that their job doesn’t require, but still could be valuable to the team. Find out what employees are passionate about doing and how they can use these skills at work. Focus on an individual’s personal talents as much as their professional skills and allow them to find ways to incorporate those strengths into their job. If you have a service team member who has a passion for writing, allow them to get involved in the company newsletter. This is a win-win scenario for the company as well as the team member.

Leaders who are committed to building their teams are far more successful in gaining the respect they desire. A respected leader backed by a confident team is the key to great results. Making a conscious effort to improve confidence among employees is a good investment. In fact, it could make a big difference in your organization’s long-term stability.


Stacey Pezold

by Stacey Pezold


Author Bio: Stacey Pezold serves as Paycom’s first Chief Learning Officer. Having joined the company in 2005, she worked her way up to such positions as Regional Manager, Director of Corporate Training, Executive Vice President of Operations and, most recently, Chief Operating Officer. A graduate of Oklahoma State University, she has more than 11 years of leadership and training experience.

Leaders

Levels and Landscapes: Equipping Tomorrow’s Leaders

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Leaders are “the primary factor behind employee productivity, commitment and bottom-line profitability,” according to research from leadership consultant expert researchers Zenger Folkman.

The stakes are high, which doesn’t make it any easier to ensure the leaders in your organization are reaching their full potential, or that your next crop of leaders will be up to the task. In fact, research shows that one of the five largest challenges HR faces in 2018 is developing leaders. To make sure your organization’s current and future leaders are in good shape, help develop them through the five levels of leadership with an eye on your specific organization’s landscape.

John Maxwell’s levels of leadership

 In the fast-paced global economy, strong leadership is key to helping employers innovate and adapt on a dime. But before delving into the vast array of advice, employers must first assess their own leadership. According leadership guru John Maxwell, there are five different levels of leadership a leader may progress through.

Maxwell’s levels are:

  1. Position
  2. Permission
  3. Production
  4. People development
  5. Pinnacle

 

As leaders grow, they should progress through the levels of leadership, which build on top of each other. For example, when a leader reaches the third level, Production, their priority is to produce results. Maxwell writes, “[t]he Production level is where leaders can become change agents. Work gets done, morale improves, profits go up, turnover goes down, and goals are achieved. The more you produce, the more you’re able to tackle tough problems and face thorny issues.”

When a leader reaches the final level – Pinnacle –  they reproduce other leaders who are willing and able to develop still more leaders. Their organizations thrive, and they develop a personal legacy of leadership.

Leaders in all areas of an organization can identify where they can grow to move toward Pinnacle – which benefits them, their companies and everyone they work with.

Knowing your business landscape

 The way a leader carries out Maxwell’s five levels may look somewhat different depending on your business and industry. According to a recent study in the Harvard Business Review, different kind of enterprises thrive under different types of leadership. Businesses should take stock of their products, makeup, competition and the types of people who rise and fall in the ranks to understand which leaders are best suited for their future endeavors.

According to the study, “[l]eadership styles, or brands if you prefer the term, are always contextual. Different kinds of leaders are minted in different organizations.”

This gives your organization an opportunity. Determine how the best, most effective leaders in your company lead. How do they make decisions? What are their priorities, and how do they communicate those to their employees? What are the commonalities your top leaders share? Then, seek those common elements in your rising leaders to build a strong bench of future leaders.

In an upcoming webinar presented by John Maxwell on HR.com, gain insight on how leaders can develop themselves and others. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn how you can grow leaders and elevate the rest of your organization while you do it.

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Author Bio: Jason Bodin has been the communications pulse for a number of organizations, including Paycom, where he serves as director of public relations and corporate communications. He helped launch Paycom’s blog, webinar platform and social media channels. He aided in the development of Paycom’s tool to assist organizations in complying with the Affordable Care Act, one of the largest changes in health care the country has seen. A graduate of the University of Oklahoma, Bodin previously worked for ESPN and FoxSports. In his free time, he enjoys adventuring with his family, reading and strengthen his business acumen.

Physical Wellness

Practical Tactics to Improve Your Workforce’s Physical Wellness

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By now, most of us are well aware physical wellness should be a priority for employees and employers. Being physically active helps employees perform at a high level and brings a host of work-related benefits, including increased mental stamina, better concentration and memory, and the ability to learn more quickly. Studies have shown working out for as little as 30 minutes can drastically reduce stress levels. Plus, on days when employees exercise, they tend to be more productive and have improved moods, which benefits the entire company.

Although many employers are aware of this correlation, it can seem difficult to encourage physical wellness in the workplace without expensive perks like exercise equipment or onsite personal trainers. But, the good news is you can encourage physical wellness in your workforce by implementing practical tactics in three key areas: culture, environment and ergonomics.

Culture

It’s difficult for any wellness initiative to succeed without support and buy-in from top-level leadership. Ideally, through words and actions, leaders should communicate employee physical health is important.

This could happen in several ways, including:

  • encouraging participation in sports
  • facilitating company teams or leagues
  • holding walking meetings
  • offering full or partial reimbursements for local race entry fees
  • partnering with local fitness centers to offer employee discounts

After encouraging employee engagement in company offerings, leadership might choose to cement their support by participating in that big community run or taking part in an office-wide volleyball game. A physical wellness program will thrive in a culture that recognizes its importance at all levels.

Environment

You also can help employees get the most out of your organization’s wellness program by creating visual cues throughout the workplace reminding employees to make healthy choices. It’s certainly difficult for employees to overlook the on-campus gym or track they walk past each day, but choosing a healthy snack from the vending machine might increase with some signage indicating 100-calorie or less options. Post signs in stairwells to remind employees how many calories they can burn by choosing to walk instead of using the elevator.  An environment with myriad positive visual cues will encourage employees to take the next step toward a healthier lifestyle.

For businesses with smaller office spaces, take stock of the number of windows present and position desks near them when possible to help improve office visuals. If it’s an option, bring some plants into an all-beige office space – they can improve employee productivity in addition to providing visual interest.

It turns out that acting on those visual cues matters, too. According to Harvard Business Review, Leeds Metropolitan University researched more than 200 employees at a variety of companies and had them report their work performance on days they exercised during work hours and days they did not. On the days they did, the employees reported markedly better productivity and time management, as well as improved interactions with others.

Ergonomics

According to the United States Department of Labor, ergonomics (the science concerned with people’s efficiency in work environments) can help increase productivity, decrease muscle fatigue and lessen the incidence of work-related injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis and rotator cuff injuries.

For the many employees who work in an office, implementing a few simple ergonomic best practices can make a big difference. Businesses could enact the 20/20/20 rule for vision breaks, which suggests individuals take a 20-second break every 20 minutes to focus their eyes on an object 20 feet away. Doing so can prevent harmful eye strain that occurs more frequently in jobs with high levels of screen time. Additionally, accommodations like additional lumbar support, standing desk options and adjustable chairs for comfort can be beneficial for desk dwellers, as can suggesting a two-minute break to stretch each hour.

There are many ways to encourage physical wellness in the workplace – start with what makes sense within your organization’s current wellness initiatives. Whether your company has a spiffy new gym in mind or strives to embrace a culture where walking meetings are the norm, prioritizing physical wellness can improve productivity and morale in your workforce and directly contribute to continued success!

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Tiffany Gamblin

by Tiffany Gamblin


Author Bio: Tiffany Gamblin is an HR manager at Paycom. Since joining the company in early 2016, she has implemented innovative benefit communications, as well as developed and delivered an immersive “HR Leadership for Management” training program across the organization. A certified professional of the Society for Human Resource Management, Gamblin obtained her bachelor’s degree in 2013 from the University of Central Oklahoma and has more than eight years of HR experience in a generalist capacity, with a focus on benefits administration and HR training.

Employee Mental Health

 The Value of Promoting and Prioritizing Employee Mental Health

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Today’s businesses navigate an ever-shifting balancing act between productivity and retention of talent. In many workplaces, efficiency and output are paramount to compete in a fast-paced, globalized economy. However, retaining top talent is also crucial, and numerous employers regularly combat workforce shortages and additional expenses associated with turnover.

One way to maintain this balance is by recognizing the benefits associated with a mentally healthy workforce. An awareness of mental health benefits not only employees, but also the overall culture of the business. Conversely, if companies fail to recognize the importance of prioritizing mental health, they could potentially face increased absenteeism, performance lag and steep health care costs.

Why it matters

First and foremost, people make up a workforce. This may seem obvious, but in an increasingly competitive, “always on” business landscape, employees and leadership often both feel pressure to maintain a nearly superhuman level of output.

It’s true that employees produce innovative, useful products, invigorate the economy, and maintain goals and values that align with their workplace culture. But those same employees can also face a myriad of personal issues at home, such as substance or alcohol abuse, family stress and grief. According to a recent study from the National Institute of Mental Health, one in six U.S. adults lives with mental illness. Mental health issues don’t occur in a vacuum; employees who struggle with these issues at home can struggle with them at work, as well.

Using an EAP

An employee assistance program (EAP) is one resource business leaders can use to focus on their workforce’s mental health. An EAP is a voluntary program that typically allows employees access to confidential counseling services and referrals at no cost. Companies may provide an EAP through an independent counseling service, through life insurance as an ancillary benefit, or even with case-by-case services, such as an on-site chaplain.

Implementing an EAP is a step in the right direction; however, many employees may be wary of the stigma around receiving or even discussing treatment for mental health issues. Due to generational norms, you may find that your millennial employees are more comfortable asking about or accessing an EAP than your older employees. Workers of all generations may have a misconception that EAPs are only for seeking services to treat addiction, while others simply may not know about them at all.

Regardless, effectively communicating the benefits of an EAP and how to access them is key, and can help ensure your employees take advantage of them when needed. Posters displayed in areas like the restroom will encourage the employees to understand the purpose of the EAP, however, printed take away cards are a best practice to allow the information to be obtained discreetly.

 Making it a priority

Businesses that value the mental health of their employees need to communicate this priority to them. As with any successful initiative, this cultural emphasis should start at the top so employees feel empowered by leadership to prioritize their own mental health.

A few ways to do this include:

  • encouraging employees to take care of their mental health by providing resources like an EAP or inviting mental health professionals to wellness events
  • allowing for breaks during the day to allow employees to re-energize
  • providing communication regarding possible stress management tactics, such as getting a good night’s sleep, confiding in friends or family, and finding an engaging hobby
  • hosting a wellness fair to highlight local mental health resources

Also, it’s important to let employees know they always can contact a professional when necessary.

Prioritizing mental health not only helps businesses find the right balance between output and retention, but creates an open, authentic environment in which employees and employers feel comfortable to engage, innovate and grow. With the right tools and management support, a solid mental health initiative can be the first step toward a brighter, better future for your company.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also like Requests for standing desks: How HR can exercise its options.

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Posted in Blog, Featured

Tiffany Gamblin

by Tiffany Gamblin


Author Bio: Tiffany Gamblin is an HR manager at Paycom. Since joining the company in early 2016, she has implemented innovative benefit communications, as well as developed and delivered an immersive “HR Leadership for Management” training program across the organization. A certified professional of the Society for Human Resource Management, Gamblin obtained her bachelor’s degree in 2013 from the University of Central Oklahoma and has more than eight years of HR experience in a generalist capacity, with a focus on benefits administration and HR training.

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