According to the Center for American Progress on the topic of work and family life balance, work-family conflict is much higher in the United States than elsewhere in the developed world. Americans work longer hours than workers in most other developed countries, includingJapan, and the trend is increasing over time. The typical American middle-income family put in an average of 11 more hours a week in 2006 than it did in 1979.  As a culture, we are often taught that poor performers are let go, and we want to keep our jobs by working harder. We also value money over many other things, and in most cases, the more we work, the more we get paid.

Not only do American families work longer hours; they do so with fewer laws to support working families. Among the 30 industrialized democracies in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, theUnited States is the only country that lacks paid maternity-leave laws.

All laws aside, as an employer, the impact of too much work can be devastating to your employees’ well being and company’s productivity. More work leads to more stress and a lower quality of life, and stress is the #1 cause of health problems in the United States– mentally and physically. Overworked employees are far more likely to exhibit anxiety, make errors on the job, and experience indignant feelings toward their employers for expecting them to work so hard. We understand that in a culture often measured by productivity and performance, you may not be able to afford to give your employees more vacation time or paid time off, so where is the happy medium? 

As a start, here are 8 policies that focus on employee well being by helping them feel less overwhelmed.  Reduced stress leads to increased productivity which in turn enables employees to lessen the time required to meet project deadlines.

  • Insist employees use up their vacation time. Do not reward the employee who only takes off one day a year. Taking time off work enables employees to balance their life and come back to work well rested and energized. 
  • Establish clear goals with realistic deadlines to increase efficiency. If the deadline is Friday afternoon, an employee can meet their deadline and head home guilt-free for the weekend.
  • Offer time-management training
  • Train employees on various tools and/or IT equipment. A simple typing class may enable an employee to work much more efficiently.
  • Encourage employees to make lists, get organized and track their progress.  
  • Always supply employees with what is necessary for them to finish the job, in a timely manner.
  • Encourage non-interrupt time frames throughout the day or week so employees can better focus on their duties and deadlines.
  • Allow flexible working hours and working from home opportunities when appropriate.

For more HR Management Best Practices, call the HR professionals at HR Shield, (813) 251-3181.

Last year, survey results from Jobvite’s recruiting survey found that 83% of respondents used or planned to use social networking this year as a recruitment tool.  Over 600 human resources professionals completed Jobvite’s online survey, and not to much surprise, the big sites referenced were LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

Regarding the quality of candidates, human resources professionals rated job boards the worst, referrals the best, and social networks somewhere in between.  Now, here we are a year later, and recruiting professionals have stood by their responses. Use of and investment in social media recruiting continues to increase, and use of traditional online outlets, such as job boards, continues to decrease.  Despite the increase in social media users, many recruiters and organizations still struggle with exactly how to incorporate social media into their recruitment strategies.

Here are some steps to consider when putting together your social media recruitment strategy:

  1. Determine which social media platforms are best for recruitment: Who is your audience and who are you looking to employ? The biggest outlets don’t necessarily guarantee the biggest pools of talent. Also, consider how you want to engage with your audience. Signing up for all social media outlets available may not be the most effective means of reaching out to people. It may not be the most direct either.
  2. Create an online presence that accurately depicts who you are: Once you’ve selected the right social media platforms that your company is most comfortable with, get connected! Provide potential contacts with an accurate idea of who you are and what your company’s culture is like so they’ll have a reason to communicate with you and form a relationship. Be authentic!
  3. Get users involved: A large part of any success with social media is involvement and interaction. This stands true if you want to use social media for recruiting as well. However, it often takes longer to build a community of talent versus a basic community of followers. Consider engaging users by directing them to your company Web site or online employment applications. Post activities that capture information and generate qualified leads. The people who interact are likely the most interested in your company, and by capturing information you can save a potential candidate’s information, even if you are not hiring at the current time.
  4. Personalize your approach: Eventually, to continue building your online community, you will have to connect with people you don’t know. As an employer, recruitment manager or HR manager, take a moment to connect with people who have a genuine interest in your business or industry. Engage in personal conversation when appropriate; you never know who might turn into your next employee!
  5. Get mobile and video applications:Mobile and video are increasingly popular in the social mix, and will need to form a big part of your strategy. Videos help add authenticity to your company’s brand and image, and will also increase awareness. With many job seekers utilizing their mobile phones for information and employment opportunities, make sure your social media messages, videos, engagement and links are mobile friendly!