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Tag: Human Resources

How to Liberate Your Employee’s Talents

It’s not enough to simply have employees; you need to ensure that they’re able to work to the best of their ability. All too often, a company can have a large team of staff, yet they’re nowhere close to meeting their potential. That’s because the systems in place at the business aren’t geared towards bringing out the best of the workers. To take the company to the next level, it’s important that the employees are liberated, that they can deliver work to the highest of standards. As the business owner, it’s up to you to make this happen. Below, we take a look at a few tried and tested methods for ensuring your staff reaches the heights they know they’re capable of.

Hire the Person, Not For the Task

It all begins with who’s on the team. Some bosses have an outdated approach when it comes to their hiring process. They look at the task that they need completing, and hire a person who can fulfill that task. In reality, it’s much better to hire the person for their overall talents and how in sync with your company culture they are. It’s a bit like the old saying: “give a man a fish, and he’ll be fed for the day. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll be fed for a lifetime.” By hiring a talented person, you won’t just get one fish — you’ll have someone who can deliver on a variety of projects and tasks. Reaching this stage will all come back to your hiring process. Take the time to get it right!

Free of Micromanagement

If there’s one thing that employees hate — and that wastes your time — it’s micromanagement. If you’ve hired the right person, then you shouldn’t look over their shoulder, and try to involve yourself in every step of the process. You should just leave them to get on with the work. They’ll be able to do the task much better than you can, but only if they have the freedom to do it. If you’re inserting yourself into every task, then all you’ll be doing is making it difficult for them to do their job well. If you’re one of those bosses, then work on reducing your controlling ways. It’ll be what’s right for your business.

Where Do They Work Well?

The regular office environment is seen as, well, regular, but it’s possible that it works against your company. There’s little suggestion that workers deliver their best work when they’re sat in front of a computer all day. Instead of subjecting your workers to this type of arrangement, take a look at mixing things up. It might be considered a bold move, but there’s a lot of value in asking your employees where they want to work. If there’s an employee who finds it easier to get into the groove of working when they’re at home, then let them work from home. The history of working is one where the employers tell the employees where and when to work, but studies are beginning to show that giving the workers greater control might be a better approach.

Their Own Device

How many hours of productivity are lost each year, all because one of your employees is trying to figure out the device they’ve been assigned. Because they only use it for work, they know the technology much less intimately that they do their own devices, which is almost an extension of their arm. Studies have shown that not only do employees work better when they’re using their own devices, but they also prefer it. To initiate this system at your work, you’ll need to a Mobile Device Management system in place, which you’ll have if you use Electric to manage your organization’s IT needs. Productivity will increase, and the frustrations that your workers feel when using an alien device will reduce. It’s a win-win situation.

Space for Projects

You might have the most supremely talented team of staff in the world, but if they’re using up all their energy and time just completing tasks that you give them, then you’re not going to be making the most of their talents. To do that, you’ll need to give them time and space to work on their own projects. It’s too much to ask for them to work on their passion projects outside of their regular working hours. A better policy is to have an open door process, by which workers can approach you about working on a project. If you like the sound of it, then give it the green light, and provide the space and resources they need to bring it to life. Some of the best ideas from the world’s leading companies happen because one of their workers was allowed to work on a project. Who knows what your team might come up with?

Bringing the Happiness

If there’s one thing you should strive for, it’s making your employees happy. Aside from the fact that it’s simply the right thing to do, there are plenty of advantages that’ll ultimately benefit you and your employees. For example, it’ll make them more willing to deliver their best work. There’s a huge difference in the output between a happy and unhappy worker. An unhappy worker does the bare minimum. A happy worker goes above and beyond. It really doesn’t take all that much to make an employee happy — a few simple worker programs will do it.

Provide Training

You can’t expect too much from your staff if you’re not actively pushing them to be better. If you’ve got a talented team, then it’s up to you, as the leader, to sculpt that talent into something that works for your business. Whatever industry you’re in, there will be developments and new ways of working that requires training. Invest the money needed to give your team this training, and your company will reap the benefits.

Don’t keep your staff in second gear. Take the tips above, and release their talent.


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The Stunning Laziness of Companies Who are Still Making Employees Take Personality Tests

Want to know a secret? Personality tests in the workplace are overrated.

Data backs up this idea. According to a study by Michigan State professor Frederick Morgeson, “there was a near zero correlation between personality tests and job success rates- 0.03 to 0.15.” Research shows that personality tests just aren’t very good at predicting workplace success.

There’s a stunning amount of laziness from companies who use these tests as the primary way to evaluate employees. Here are several practical reasons that illustrate why these tests aren’t effectual.

Applicants Don’t Give the Right Answers

One of the major problems with personality tests is that employees don’t give truthful answers. Employees tell employers what they want to hear because they fear they’ll be discriminated against otherwise. This perhaps happens nowhere more than the introvert/extrovert questions. Peruse this quote from the Hoffeld Group, “traditional sales wisdom claims the best salespeople are extroverts.” The idea is that extroverts are better in managerial positions and sales positions. If an employee feels like they may be removed from consideration because of their personality, then some of them will lie on the test. All of them won’t, of course, but some will.

This problem is compounded by the fact that it’s relatively easy for employees to answer in the way employers prefer. Timothy Horrigan from La Weekly says, “In theory, you can design personality tests to detect cheaters. But most tests aren’t sophisticated enough to do so reliably.” This leads to an excess of bad data, and you know what statisticians say about bad data- garbage in, garbage out.

Personality Tests Promote a Lack of Diversity

Another problem with personality tests is that when they do work, they limit personality diversity in the workplace. Take a look at the four sections of the Myers-Briggs: introvert/extrovert, intuitive/sensing, thinking/feeling, judging/perceiving. The point of the test is that certain characteristics are desirable for a position, and other characteristics are undesirable. For instance, you may believe you want “thinkers” in your engineering job, or “sensors” as park rangers.

However, there are some problems with this approach. The elephant in the room is that prominent stars constantly rise to success despite having the “wrong” personality. For example, you would think a CEO needs to be extroverted, but there are plenty of success stories that prove otherwise: Bill Gates, Marissa Mayer, Warren Buffett, Guy Kawasaki, Mark Zuckerberg, and many others. These people have to meet-and-greet almost every day of their lives. They don’t just do it; they excel. However, it doesn’t mean they eventually changed into extroverts.

Guy Kawasaki said on Twitter,

“You may find this hard to believe, but I am an introvert. I have a ‘role’ to play, but I’m fundamentally a loner.”

If someone loves their career, they can embrace (and excel) at aspects of it they don’t have a natural aptitude for. There’s another rumination here too. People who master abilities that don’t come naturally to them have an alternative perspective on these abilities. An unusual perspective may make it easier to teach, perform, or even enhance the aforementioned skill. This is why diversity is so important in the workplace.

The Financial Cost of Personality Tests

Personality tests have a laundry list of problems, but one of their most practical concerns is their cost. Of course, there are free personality tests online. Yet, the problem is quality. The previously mentioned LA Weekly article by Timothy Horrigan notes that test-taking is a game of lying by test-taker and counter-detection efforts by the test-issuer. Using free tests to screen candidates is like pitching to the opposing baseball team with your non-dominant hand. You’re at an extreme disadvantage, and it’s unlikely you’ll get the results that you want. As a result, employers often pay for personality tests. These examinations aren’t cheap.

According to Career Trend, the typical test costs anywhere from $100 to $5,000 per person. There’s a lot of variation in those numbers. Obviously, the more expensive the test, the more accurate it should be, and the better the measures are against cheaters. However, $5,000 is a lot of capital- unless you’re Apple or something. Imagine paying this, not for every candidate that you hire, but for every candidate you interview. That would get expensive fairly quickly. Even a number toward the lower-end of the spectrum, say $1,000, is stretching a point for many businesses. Also, the less you spend, the less confidence you have in the test.

Of course, this helps explain why companies put significant stock in personality tests. They have a significant financial cost. If you are spending big money on the tests, then you certainly want to them to influence your hiring decisions. Otherwise, why would you spend money on them in the first place? This is the catch-22 of using personality tests for hiring.

Final Thoughts About Personality Tests in the Workplace

The idea of personality tests not working for business owners is incredibly counterintuitive. You’d think they would work well. Tests are an important way of examining people for work and school. Students must take the SAT to get into college, and lawyers must pass the bar exam to obtain their license. It was once thought a personality test, even though it is a subjective exam, could be as robust as these other tests, examining employees with machine-like accuracy. Although personality tests have minor uses, they’ve never come close to that lofty billing.

Do you agree? Share your thoughts about personality tests in the comments below.


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Effective Procedures to Avoid Wrongful Termination Suits

Even though you can’t do anything about the post-termination emotions that your employees will feel after you terminate them from the job, you can, however, hopefully prevent a former employee from doing post-termination actions like filing for a wrongful termination suit against you, by following certain procedures.

Know what causes an employee to file a wrongful terminal lawsuit against you.

Any employee will have grounds for a wrongful termination lawsuit against you if they think that they were fired from the job without any good reason. So it is essential that you, as the employer, know what kind of termination actions that may lead your disgruntled employee to file a suit against you.

  • If you fired an employee in violation of the state or federal anti-discrimination laws.
  • If the employee thinks that the termination was a form of sexual harassment.
  • If you fired an employee in violation of the employment agreement.
  • If you fired an employee in violation of the labor laws.
  • If you fired an employee as retaliation for the complaint or claim he/she has made against you.

Some of these reasons may subject an employer to statutory penalties, while others will require an employer to provide back pay, reinstatement, compensatory damages, and other relief.

Know the state and federal laws regarding wrongful termination

Knowing the state and federal laws concerning wrongful termination is an important procedure in preventing wrongful termination lawsuits against you. Wrongful termination laws differ from-to-state and it’s your job to know the employment rules and regulations based on where you live.

Establish a termination policy for your employees.

You need to create or establish a termination policy before you start hiring employees.

  • Create a written termination policy and make it known to your employees before you hire them.
  • State in there the procedures that you will follow if there comes a time that you are going to let go of an employee.
  • Make sure to cite situations that could result in immediate termination of an employee such as sexual harassment and threatening behavior.


 Keep detailed accounts of your employees.

You also need to keep detailed accounts of all your employee’s disciplinary actions and performance and make your employee acknowledge that you are taking into account his/her behavior performance at work. Letting your employee know that you are meticulously monitoring his/her behavior and performance will most likely prevent them from filing a lawsuit against you if you terminate him or her later on.

 Terminate an employee after careful consideration.

You must only terminate an employee after careful consideration. Don’t terminate an employee without exhausting all measures you can think of to get him/her back on track.

  • If your employee has made an offense, you can issue him/her with a written or verbal warning.
  • In addition to that, make an improvement plan for your employee.
  • Give your employee ample time, resources, and proper training to get him/her on track.

If all of these are not enough to bring your employee up to speed, termination is your final option.

Don’t sign any contracts with your employees.

You should never sign any contracts with your employees. The only agreement that you must have with your employees is that “an employer or an employee can dissolve the employment relationship at any time for any reason”.

  • Contractual employment can lock you into a fixed relationship with an employee that can be difficult to dismiss even if you wanted to let that worker go.
  • Also, unhappy employees who are under contract can sue you if they think that their contract has been breached or violated.

 Give an employee a probationary period before terminating them.

Probationary periods can do a lot in preventing wrongful termination lawsuits after you fire an employee. Let your employee know that he/she is under probationary employment status.

  • It will be easier for you to fire an employee who is on probation.
  • When an employee knows that he/she is on probation, the employee knows that his/her employment status is in danger because things are not going too well.
  • Also, employees who know that they are on probation often leave the job on their own accord.

Having to terminate an employee is never easy. It’s a decision that will leave a big impact on an employee’s personal and professional life. So as an employer, you must be serious about terminating someone from the job. Terminations are an important conversation and should not be taken lightly; it’s one of your jobs as an employer.

Just don’t fire an employee without any good reason or illegally, as it can lead to wrongful termination suits. Wrongful termination lawsuits can prove to be dangerous for your business, and you’ll never want to face the consequences that come with it.

So the next time that you fire an employee be sure to do it legally. Or, better yet have legal counsel on your side every time you terminate an employee to make it as legal as possible.

Disclaimer: This article contains general information on how to avoid wrongful termination lawsuits. For real legal advice in this matter, kindly refer to a qualified attorney.

Nicole Ferrel

Nicole Ferrel has spent more than two decades writing about law, and continues to do so writing on her next big thing. She imparts words of wisdom to the common reader with her pieces. Nicole is an avid sports fan and loves watching games if she has free time.

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