When was the last time your team or company had a successful brainstorming session? By “successful,” we don’t mean you were able to get side work done while everyone else tossed out a few ideas in hopes that they wouldn’t be loaded down with extra work. Did everyone leave the meeting encouraged and recharged or did they leave feeling like they wasted the last hour or two? Effective brainstorming sessions can help companies innovate. Ineffective brainstorming meetings can be time-wasters and drag down morale.
What’s the secret to brainstorming done right? For starters, don’t keep the brainstorming topic a secret before the meeting. If you want people to contribute ideas, give them time to prepare. Some people are great at coming up with ideas on the spot. But many people need time to process and think through options.
It’s vital to make sure your employees feel safe in the brainstorming sessions. How do other employees or even managers respond to the ideas presented? What happens to those who go against conventional thinking or who question the aspects that have “always been done that way?” Are they made to feel unhelpful or, worse, chastised?The reaction to ideas can have a huge impact on further employee suggestions.
And you might want to reconsider any rewards for those “best” ideas. A reward system may cause others to not even make suggestions if they know their ideas aren’t worthy of such high regard. Each idea contributes in some way to the session.
An idea is only an idea until it is implemented into your business’ practices. Don’t just ask for ideas but ask how they can be implemented and who will handle them. Don’t end the brainstorming session until employees are empowered and ready to implement a plan for further action.Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a commentJune 10, 2020
Every evening, it’s the same. You are determined to leave on time. Yet again, you find yourself finishing one more thing, answering one more email, or talking to one more co-worker. Or perhaps you spend a few hours every weekend catching up on your to-do list.
Either way, it adds up: Americans on average spend 47 hours a week at work, more than any other industrialized country. Americans work 137 more hours per year than Japanese workers, 260 more hours per year than British workers, and 499 more hours per year than French workers. Four in 10 Americans said they work more than 50 hours every week, with two in 10 working more than 60 hours.
Yet the research is clear: Long hours — working in the morning, evenings and weekends — is not only hard health-wise on the person doing all that extra work but it doesn’t pay off to the degree that workers and their organizations expect. John Pencavel of Stanford University is one of many researchers who have found that output falls sharply after a 50-hour work-week — even more sharply after 55 hours. Other studies show work weeks of 50 or more hours can lead to a variety of health issues. With that in mind, here are some goals you may want to consider:
Don’t work more than 10 hours each day. Several studies show that more than 10 hours of work a day dramatically increases your risk of cardiovascular and other health issues. One study concluded that working 10-plus hours each day results in a 60 percent increase in the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Stop sitting so much. It’s difficult when you work in an office not to sit all day. But studies show that it’s hazardous to our health to sit for eight to 10 hours a day. Make it a goal to stand up or walk around for several minutes once every half an hour or hour. Take a walk during your lunch hour, in the morning and/or in the evening.
Schedule times to unplug from work. That means no work-related phone calls or email for specified times throughout the week. Consider making at least part of your weekend a time you don’t do any work. The key is to set specific times and stick with them — even if it’s only an hour at a time.
Take vacations. Americans take on average only 16 days of vacation each year, down from 20 days a year. More than half of all Americans do not take all of their vacation time each year. Studies show that vacation time — even if spent at home — helps us recharge and boosts our productivity. Take time off — and encourage your employees to do the same.Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a commentMay 27, 2020
Your employees are productive and do everything you tell them to do. But are they happy? Will your best and brightest work as hard as they can and stick with you or will they leave at the next opportunity? Gallup research shows that the majority of U.S. workers have some level of dissatisfaction with their jobs.
Studies also show that employees rarely disclose their frustrations with work situations until they are well on their way to finding a new job. That’s why it’s imperative for managers to get an accurate read on how things are really going at the office. But that’s easier said than done.
One way to gauge employee satisfaction is to meet one-on-one with each member of your team regularly. Ask them not only how they feel about their jobs but how your company — and you — can help them meet their personal and career goals. And don’t forget to provide regular feedback. Take a few minutes each week to provide positive feedback on recent accomplishments. Make sure if you’re providing negative feedback that you also provide some positive feedback as well in the same meeting.
Perhaps the best way of all to get honest feedback from your team is to make sure that each person feels that they can come to you with the good and the bad. Do you show irritation when employees approach you with problems or issues? Do you glance at your computer or phone while your employees are talking to you? Do you appear rushed when people come to talk to you? You may unknowingly be encouraging people to not be candid about how they feel and about what’s going on at the office.
How well do you know your employees’ hopes, dreams and personal challenges? Do you know what’s going on in their lives? Their children’s names? Their hobbies and what they do on vacation? It’s amazing how much happier people feel when someone takes a genuine interest in them. Taking the time to listen to your employees, support them in their careers and genuinely get to know them can go a long way towards helping them be happy at work.Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a commentMay 13, 2020
Telecommuting is definitely taking off as COVID-19 disrupts our traditional ways of doing business. For companies, it solves the problem of social distancing and keeping employees from getting sick. And studies show most employees love working at home at least part of the time.
Yet allowing employees to work at home can expose your company to risks that you don’t encounter when your workforce is physically located at your company’s facilities. At Accurate Protection, we specialize in working with companies to better manage ever-evolving risks. That’s why we wanted to share with you some great ways employers can better manage the liability risks of remote workers:
Create a telecommuting policy. Setting clear work-at-home guidelines and communicating them to employees can help prevent misunderstandings. Make it clear that you have the right to rescind their work-from-home privileges at any time and for any reason. Have all employees review and acknowledge your company’s telecommuting policy.
Re-evaluate your insurance coverage. Make sure your insurance program effectively addresses the unique risks of having some of your employees working remotely. (We can help with that.)
Make sure employees are using secure wi-fi. All of your employees should be using private and secured Wi-Fi networks while working remotely. Using an unsecured network — public wi-fi — can put your company’s private information at risk. Require anyone who uses public wi-fi to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN), which keeps their web browsing secure.
Make sure employees are using devices that are secure with up-to-date firewalls and anti-virus software. This applies to laptops, tablets, and smartphones. It’s your responsibility to keep your customer and client information safe.
Use secure virtual meeting rooms. Make sure that private conversations and presentations cannot be monitored by unauthorized third parties.
Make sure you’re complying with federal wage and hour rules. To avoid violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers should require non-exempt employees working from home to record the time they work each day and stick to the hours they should be working each day. Non-exempt employees are entitled to overtime pay whether they are working at your company’s facility or at home, so it’s important that employees know they must adhere to their normal working hours and that they are prohibited from working additional hours without your approval.
Make sure you’re classifying workers correctly for workers compensation insurance. When employees switch to working from home, some workers compensation insurers may want to change classification codes. As an employer, it’s important to know that you could be potentially be held liable if an employee is hurt on the job and employees may be eligible for workers’ compensation if they are hurt while working at home.
We’re here to help your company better manage its risks. Want to learn more? Visit our website: http://accurateprotection.com/.Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a commentApril 23, 2020
Creating a fleet safety plan is crucial to the protection of your employees, your company vehicles and your business. Having company vehicles is necessary for many organizations, but it’s also a risk and a liability. How do you prevent something that’s important to your business – the ability to transport goods or employees – from becoming something dangerous or disruptive to your business? Developing a fleet safety plan can help protect your people and your property. Developing a working plan is key to negating risk:
- Know who’s driving: Businesses are responsible for knowing everyone who may be driving company vehicles. This is the first step in both being aware of risks and working to reduce them.
- Commitment to risk management: Once you’ve decided to create a fleet safety plan, it’s important to follow up with managers and other stakeholders to make sure it’s being implemented and executed correctly. Establish your policies and procedures in writing to ensure clear, consistent expectations.
- Screen and hire carefully: The safest, most reliable driving teams are those that have been hired according to clear standards and thorough screening. Adhering to a strict hiring process can ensure that your business has a long-term safety record on the road.
- Invest in training: You want to make sure that your drivers are always up to date with vehicle safety policies and procedures. Arming with them regular information on safe driving strategies and techniques, including defensive driving, can improve your safety record. Training shouldn’t be a one and done ordeal – managing ongoing training and ensuring that people are following it is part of a successful safety plan.
- Proactively managing accidents: Accidents happen, but being mindful and proactive in helping to process the incident can help you better understand your exposure and help plan for and prevent future problems or losses.
- Create a plan for maintenance and inspections: To reduce breakdowns and accidents due to equipment failure, establish and manage a schedule for fleet vehicle maintenance.
Handling claims or dealing with loss of property and productivity can severely impact your business. We can help you connect with resources that enable you to create the best risk management plans, as well as help ensure you’ve got the right coverage for any scenario. Get in touch with us today, and feel more comfortable about the future of your business.Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment← Older posts