How is social media affecting your workplace? Put a policy in place

By now you have probably heard about the infamous 2017 Oscars flub in which the movie “La La Land” was incorrectly announced as the Best Picture winner.  It has been speculated that this mishap could have happened because the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) employee responsible for handing the correct envelope to the presenters was distracted due to posting on the microblogging website Twitter.

This has caused many to question the quality of of the firm’s work, despite their longstanding reputation and name recognition.  Perhaps, it left you wondering how social media could be impacting your business.  There are several reasons to implement a social media policy if you have not already done so:

  • Establishes Rules: A social media policy allows you to define what is considered confidential information that cannot be shared.  The policy should also make it clear to employees what you consider appropriate or inappropriate behavior and the consequences for not following the guidelines.
  • Manages Employee Distractions and Productivity: Social media can be a distraction for employees; in a recent study, 30 percent of employees admitted that they spend one hour or more visiting social media sites. A social media policy would explain whether or not employees are permitted to use company property to access social media, when this is allowed and for what length of time.  Finally, the policy should also describe if and when employees can use personal devices throughout the day.
  • Protects Your Firm: Allowing employees to use social media on company issued computers and other devices puts the firm at risk for malware.  Malware could allow hackers to enter the company network and place viruses in it.

As a reminder, the National Labor Relations Board says that your social media policy cannot prohibit employees from discussing their working conditions.  BCN Services can assist you in drafting and implementing a strong and legally compliant social media policy that reflects your company values and goals.  If you need assistance in creating a policy, please contact us at 1-800-891-9911.

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Alicia Freeman, Operations Manager

Why so many employees call it quits and what you can do about it

Do you ever wonder how much it costs when an employee quits their job? The Society for Human Resources (SRHM) predicts that “employers will need to spend the equivalent of six to nine months of an employee’s wages in order to find and train their replacement.”

So employee retention is really about being financially responsible. With this in mind, we share the 4 biggest reasons employees quit their jobs and offer recommendations for reducing turnover.

Lack of training

Remember the last time you started a new job? The feeling can be terrifying! Employees appreciate knowing what is expected of them and how to be successful at their jobs. Oftentimes, employees are hired and thrown straight into work where they must “sink or swim.” A lack of training can also fester into other issues, quickly provoking employees to quit their jobs.

Recommendation: Review your strategies for training with simple questions such as “Do my employees exhibit the skills necessary to successfully fulfill their job duties?” or “Can employees successfully complete their job duties without seeming confused or lost?” (The larger goal is to strategize for future training techniques.)

Feeling underappreciated

Showing simple appreciation for employees is one of the most underestimated strategies for retaining a strong workforce. Employees of all levels are often hungry to know they are appreciated by their employer. More often than not, underappreciated employees feel disconnected from the work they achieve because they feel it goes unnoticed. This disconnect results in employees who go through the motions of their jobs rather than caring for the success of the organization. It also signifies a ticking clock: It is only a matter of time before this employee burns out and quits.

Recommendation: Host a lunch for employees dedicated solely to acknowledging their hard work. When you take time to show admiration and encouragement, employees will feel valued and proud of their organization.

Feeling of constant, meaningless work

Employees need to know how and why they contribute to the success of your organization. American author and business consultant James C. Collins once said “it is impossible to have a great life unless it is a meaningful life. And it is very difficult to have a meaningful life without meaningful work.” Employees who like their work is meaningless will have no loyalty to their position or the organization. Every job holds a certain value and though not every job can hold immense importance, employees who feel like their job lacks value tend to be in high-turnover positions.

Recommendation: Find a simple way to show employees that their work is not meaningless (which is different from showing them they are appreciated!). Several things to try: call a meeting focused on explaining job importance, hang a poster showing the outcome of employees’ work within the organization’s model, or put employees in contact with people they help so they see the impact of their work.

Lack of workplace community

A workforce is only strong when a healthy community exists. Too often, organizational leadership teams produce important goals but do not create a workforce culture to successfully carry them out. In return, culture and positivity diminishes over time and can lead to unhealthy community among coworkers. Sadly, many work spaces provide atmospheres akin to a nasty episode of “Gossip Girl.” When the atmosphere turns poisonous, employees have no regret or remorse after quitting their job.

Recommendation: Strive for organization citizenship behavior (“a person’s voluntary commitment within an organization or company that is not part of his or her contractual tasks”). Organizational citizenship behavior is becoming a golden standard for companies who want to reduce retention while creating a sense of pride among employees. Take time to host group initiative sessions geared towards building community within your organization.

If you would like to further discuss different methods for focusing on increasing retention within your organization, please reach out to BCN Services. We pride ourselves in helping organizations maximize on their potential through building strategies to increase retention.

Sources and more information: Allen, David. “Retaining Talent.” Shrm.org. Society for Human Resource Management, Sept. & Oct. 2010. Web. 22 Jan. 2017. Bateman, T. S., & Organ, D. W. (1983). Job satisfaction and the good soldier: The relationship between affect and employee “citizenship.” Academy of Management Journal, 26(4), 587-595.

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Alex Pattenaude, HR Administrator

Watch out for identity thieves during tax time

This is the season for identity thieves to run rampant.  It is important to protect your identity, as well as your employees’ identities, throughout the year, but the threat increases this time of year as the April 18 tax deadline approaches (the traditional April 15 falls on a Saturday and Emancipation Day is observed in Washington, D.C. on Monday, according to IRS.gov).  Following are a few steps you can take in order to keep this information private:

  1. Never send an e-mail that contains full Social Security numbers.  If it is necessary to send this information, password protect the sheet you are sending.
  2. Always verify who is requesting the information and who you are sending information to.
  3. Never give out information to a person that contacts you via email or phone. If they are authentic, they will already have that information on hand.

The IRS warns of multiple phishing scams that they are currently aware of at these links:

If you have any questions about how best to protect yourself or your employees or if you are contacted by someone that doesn’t feel right to you, please contact BCN Services and let us help you through this process.

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Amber Heckaman, Sr. Staff Accountant