How to celebrate employee appreciation day every day
In honor of employee appreciation day, BRUSA has compiled a list of four simple tips from previous articles that can help improve (or maintain) employee satisfaction:
1. Promote a culture of collaboration and appreciation
The best leaders motivate, inspire and energize people by connecting the vision, values, purpose and business goals of the organization to individual values and needs. Promoting a culture of collaboration will allow employees to believe in the work they are producing, and showing appreciation will ensure the productivity and drive remain high.
These simple actions can provide massive results:
- Engage, empower and enrich your employees: Invite employees to become part of your vision. Empower them to be a force of change and be enriched by your culture. Make your employees part of the solutions, by giving them a role and the responsibility for implementing solutions to major business issues.
- Appreciate and reward your employees: Develop and deploy a schedule that regularly and meaningfully rewards employees to create a culture of appreciation. Assess and improve the way you reward people so that you are sensitive and responsive to the differences in age, education, maturity, and demographics.
- Focus on the things that inspire your people: Identify what inspires you and your employees. Do they need more education and training, more creative time and cross-training opportunities, wellness programs to promote less stress and better health, or even a sabbatical? Develop and improve the key programs that your people need to stay engaged and loyal.
Read the rest of the article: Ten critical steps to achieving magnetic leadership
2. Work to reduce workplace stress
High stress levels often cause (or can worsen) a long list of health issues, including heart disease, obesity, depression and diabetes. In addition to increased health costs for stressed workers, employers are also dealing with the effects of stress that directly impact their profitability, including loss of productivity, absenteeism, turnover and disengagement.
Here are a few ways to combat workplace stress:
- Introduce wellness plans: Exercise and a healthy lifestyle are extremely important when it comes to combating workplace related stress. Employee wellness schemes, such as paying for a portion of employees gym memberships or running group-wide healthy eating challenges are examples of how to help employees unwind and feel better about themselves.
- Create social activity: Employees spend a lot of time with their co-workers so it is important they get along. The more people enjoy their time at work, the better the atmosphere will be – and a better office atmosphere leads to productivity and collaboration, which ultimately results in a less tense, less stressful environment. At least once a week set aside an hour to bring your team together in a non-work related capacity, whether it be a team lunch away from the office or a midday game of ping-pong (should a table be readily available). Social activity is good for reducing stress, boosting morale and team building.
- Think about the habitat: Not every company can build its own workers village, complete with health food restaurants and indoor bike lanes a la Google however there is always room for improvement, particularly when it could boost job satisfaction and one’s overall mood. Think about budgeting for some brighter, more modern office furniture, consider changing the color of the walls (out with the sludge green and in with something fresher, cleaner and brighter), introduce some plants in the office, invest in some new pictures – anything to promote positivity.
Read the rest of the article: 7 ways employers can reduce stress in the workplace
3. Be part of the team
The best business leaders set standards through actions. They are the first one to arrive at the office and the last one to leave.
Simple ways to show employees that “we are all in this together” include:
- Taking on your fair share of the workload: It is no longer acceptable to sit behind an office door and dictate – managers need to prove their own ability and lead by example. By putting in as much time and effort (if not more) than the staff, a boss will not only gain respect but also offer inspiration for the team as a whole.
- Listening to your staff: Asking questions and (genuinely!) seeking to understand the needs of one’s team can help employees feel respected and appreciated while promoting open discourse and healthy communication.
Read the rest of the article: Ten ways to lead by example
4. Allow for flexible schedules and telecommuting
Offering employees the option to telecommute, at least part time, can result in:
- Cost savings for all: Your business will experience substantial savings in office occupancy expenses including utilities costs, leased office space, and additional costs associated with office supplies. Your staffers will save on fuel costs and general vehicle maintenance costs. In addition, they won't have to spend anything on work attire or lunch break grub either.
- Fewer absences: Schedule flexibility decreases absences by allowing workers to take care of daily responsibilities on their own schedules. Additionally, telecommuting employees are less likely to call in sick because working from home while under the weather is much more convenient than doing so from the office.
- Increase productivity: Flexible schedules in combination with the enthusiasm of a work-from-home atmosphere means your employees are likely to work more efficiently and more often.
Read the rest of the article: Why allowing your employees to telecommute is good for business
Click here to read the March edition of Business Review USA
How innovation is transforming government
According to Washington Technology’s Top 100 list, Leidos is the largest IT provider to the government. But as Lieutenant General William J. Bender explains, “that barely scratches the surface” of the company’s portfolio and drive for innovation.
Bender, who spent three and a half decades in the military, including a stint as the U.S. Air Force’s Chief Information Officer (CIO), has seen action in the field and in technology during that time, and it runs in the family. Bender’s son is an F-16 instructor pilot. So it stands to reason Bender Senior intends to ensure a thriving technological base for the U.S. Air Force. “What we’re really doing here is transforming the federal government from the industrial age into the information age and doing it hand-in-hand with industry,” he says.
The significant changes that have taken place in the wider technology world are precisely the capabilities Leidos is trying to pilot the U.S. Air Force through. It boils down to developing cyberspace as a new domain of battle, globally connected and constantly challenged by the threat of cybersecurity attacks.
“We recognize the importance of the U.S. Air Force’s missions,” says Bender, “and making sure they achieve those missions. We sit side-by-side with the air combat command, intelligence surveillance, and reconnaissance infrastructure across the Air Force. There are multiple large programs where the Air Force is partnering with Leidos to ensure their mission is successfully accomplished 24/7/365. In this company, we’re all in on making sure there’s no drop in capability.”
That partnership relies on a shared understanding of delivering successful national security outcomes, really understanding the mission at hand, and Leidos’ long-standing relationship of over 50 years with the federal government.
To look at where technology is going, Bender thinks it is important to look back at the last 10 to 15 years. “What we’ve seen is a complete shift in how technology gets developed,” he says. “It used to be that the government invested aggressively in research and development, and some of those technologies, once they were launched in a military context, would find their way into the commercial space. That has shifted almost a hundred percent now, where the bulk of the research and development dollars and the development of tech-explicit technologies takes place in the commercial sector.”
“There’s a long-standing desire to adopt commercial technology into defense applications, but it’s had a hard time crossing the ‘valley of death’ [government slang for commercial technologies and partnerships that fail to effectively transition into government missions]. Increasingly we’re able to do that. We need to look at open architectures and open systems for a true plug-and-play capability. Instead of buying it now and trying to guess what it’s going to be used for 12 years from now, it should be evolving iteratively.”