Tuesday, 22 May 2018

How to keep valued employees

We previously covered a topic on the reasons why good employees leave, but how do you ensure they’re happy to stay with you? According to a research from the 2018 Global Recruiting Trends about 33% of new employees quit their new job in six months, while another 33% of employees also knew whether they would stay with their company long-term after their first week. It is also said that 35% of employees will start looking for a job if they do not receive a pay raise in the next 12 months. These statistics are concerning, more so because staff turnover has a huge impact on company’s productivity, negatively affect employee morale and increase costs.

Employers need to find innovative ways to keep valuable employees. Here are the strategies for retaining valuable employees.

Promote from within

Elevating employees from within your ranks shows that you value their work and you are committed to their future at the company. If all you do is, recruit from outside because your current employees aren’t quite ready for the role, it is always best to communicate the reasons. This kind of transparency is essential, or you’re going to give them the impression that they need to leave the company if they ever want to progress in their careers.

Investing in training

Learning and development is the number one choice for many companies when it comes to retention strategies. Any opportunity to learn a new skill and to grow, both personally and professionally, is enough to drive up employees’ levels of job satisfaction and engagement. This intervention need not be expensive, it can be as simple as on the job training, mentoring and free online training.

Employee recognition

A pat on the back, for a job well done, works wonders!
We all like to be recognised for our contribution, but all too often organisations fail to take time to acknowledge the employees’ contribution. Recognition programs don’t need to be complex, a simple thank you, a day off, meal vouchers and a framed certificate of appreciation does the trick.
Recognition reinforces the behaviours and provides motivation for employees to excel.

Share the vision

When employees don’t know the vision of the company, all their efforts focus solely on personal fulfillment, i.e. the achievement of their own ideals; working towards their own benefit and living day to day, probably because their efforts are rooted only in economic rewards and not as part of the benefit that the company can get.

Sharing your company’s overall vision and objectives give the opportunity for them to align themselves with the company’s vision and to see exactly where they fit in.

Shares in the business's financial success

Since top-performing employees contribute to the business's overall success, it probably makes sense for employees to share in the financial rewards as well?

There is a range of reward mechanism that the employer can consider i.e. annual increases, 13th cheque or gain sharing and commission. This approach can encourage employee commitment to your revenue and profit objectives, as well as a financial incentive to "stick around" as the business grows.

No company likes to see their valuable employees leave for another company, in many cases this is preventable, and therefore companies have the responsibility to do what it takes to keep your top people engaged in your company’s mission.

Monday, 15 January 2018

How to set SMART Goals to achieve your New Year's Resolutions

Have you made your New Year’s Resolutions yet? I have been asked this question one too many times in the past few weeks.

Every year millions of people around the world make New Year’s Resolutions, we resolve to accomplish personal goals, change undesired behaviour or even improve our lives one way of the other. A study from the University of Scranton conducted research on 200 people who made New Year’s resolutions, it revealed that people who made resolutions were 10 times more likely to make a positive change after six months compared to people who wanted to change but did not make a New Year’s resolution. So how do you set SMART new years’ resolutions? Here is how.

1.    Get specific

Your resolution should be absolutely clear. A good goal is a specific goal. It tells you not only what you eventually hope to accomplish, but also the steps you must take to get there. Instead of simply resolving to “get out of debt,” a specific goal specifies the type and amount of debt, as well steps that can take to achieve that goal e.g. “I want to reduce my credit card debt by R 4000.00 by 14 April 2018, and will do so by increasing minimum payments each month.”

2.   Track Your Progress

The next step is to define how you will measure your progress in reaching your goals, make sure that the measure of your progress is quantifiable.  If you plan to lose weight, know exactly how many kilograms you will lose, and exactly how you will measure your progress. If you don’t measure your progress toward your goal, it will be impossible for you to figure out if you’re on track, therefore be sure to include exactly how you will measure your progress, as well as how often you will measure. 

3.   Make small, attainable goals

You can set ambitious goals, but make sure that you break down the goals into attainable steps.  if your goal is to exercise more, don’t promise to hit the gym seven days a week. Instead, start small, twice a week and after a couple months re-evaluate if you want to step things up a notch.

4.   Be Realistic

We’ve all been told that wshould set goals, and we assume that we can – but most of us have never been taught how to set goals effectively so they are realistic and achievable. If your goal is unrealistic, or not well defined, then you’re setting yourself up for a failure.
5.   Plan a time-frame

Time creates urgency, your goals should be time-based because, without a deadline, you can easily procrastinate and delay your progress toward attaining your goal. Time frames are your barometer for success, the way you assess your short-term progress towards the ultimate long-term goal.
It is easy to become a dreamer or an idealist when it comes to New Year’s resolutions, but always remember that your New Year’s resolutions are a tool to help you grow into a person you want to be, therefore creating New Year’s resolutions that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-based is one of the most powerful strategies. Much as it is a tedious process...it is a necessary process.

Good luck and all the best in 2018! 

Sunday, 27 November 2016


Often when companies need to hire staff, the first thing they consider is to hire a permanent staff member, these appointments come with on-going monthly employee benefits and additional payroll administration. If one looks at the cost associated with hiring a permanent employee, it is sometimes worthwhile partnering with a recruitment agency that can provide temporary employees.
There are many benefits to hiring employees on a temporary basis via a recruitment agency:
Temporary staff can fill the void instantly especially when staff members are on vacation, maternity leave or when there is an urgent need for more staff members during busy periods. As the employer, you have the flexibility to decide on how long the temporary staff service is required for, at an all-inclusive rate.  
There’s less direct responsibility
One of the biggest benefits to sourcing staff from an agency is that the pressure isn’t directly on you. A recruitment agency will take over the whole process; the agency becomes the employer and takes over all administrative procedures, responsibilities and liabilities that come with hiring an employee.
Hiring temporary staff provides you with an opportunity to evaluate the employee performance without committing to any full-time employment. It’s almost like a long interview process.
If your company is urgently looking to place a candidate and has no time to search and interview someone, a Temp may be available to you through an agency.

Pakanyo HR Solutions is an HR Solutions company that specialises in Recruitment of Permanent, Temporary and Contract Hire. For more information please call contact us on 011 046 9667 or email us on info@pakanyo.co.za

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

How to Measure Return on Investment (ROI) in Training
The ROI guru Jack Phillips defined return on Investment (ROI) as “a measure of the financial benefits obtained by an organisation over a specified period in return for a given investment in a training programme.” There comes a time where management needs to review and reflect on its training and development activities against its mission and vision. This process allows for critical questions to be asked, such as how relevant is the HRD function, how effective and most of all is the money invested adding any value?

Throughout my training career, I have observed how training professional focus on measures of attendance, completion, and delegates satisfaction to determine the success of training initiatives. The biggest challenge with this approach is that over the years it has failed to help business understand the impact of training on the organisation. Measuring the return on investment of training programmes is not only a necessary exercise but also an effective way to show the powers that be, that there’s financial value in training investing in training.  So how do you determine if your investment in training is worthwhile?
Here are some useful step on how to calculate your return on a training investment (or the ROI in training):

You need to ask yourself what are the challenges the business is facing, this could range from customer services issue, performance management, conflict situations in the workplace. This is a critical step as defines the way forward.
When most organisation experience challenges, the assumption is always that training can fix those challenges; training isn’t always the solution to problems. Do determine if training is a need; ask yourself the two questions, do employees know how to perform the job? Do they know the product? The answer to this will determine if training is indeed a need. 
In order to determine the learning outcomes, think about the challenge that the business has and ask yourself what will the training intervention achieve? What skills should the participant walk away with? Always make sure that the outcomes are directly related to the business need.

Part of the design process it is important to understand what type of training is compatible with your target audience and the outcomes you need to achieve. i.e. is it going to be classroom based, how long will the training be, the training activities involved, the type of equipment needed and lastly what type of support is required after the training to make sure that new knowledge and skills are transferred into the workplace?

In this step, you need to determine how you will measure the success of the training programme. For example, if the organisation is experiencing issues with productivity, the intended outcome would be, increase productivity.  The metrics to measure the success of the training could be, the percentage increase in productivity is, after the training intervention.
After the training intervention, track the metrics you have identified, monitor changes on a regular basis and determine the success of training, if productivity improves and this improvement is worth more than the total cost of the training, then there is a positive return on your training investment.

Remember change will not happen immediately, you need to give the participants’ time to apply their new skill and knowledge. 

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

The Benefits of Customer Service Training

Great Customer service is essential for any organisation to survive in a long run. Yes, there are a variety of elements that create a successful business; however customer service is at a centre stage of that. Organisations providing good customer service are successful in retaining existing customers and building long- term relationships with them. Therefore, I cannot overemphasise the importance of customer service training.

Some of the benefits of training customer service staff are as follow:

1.   Improved Customer Service Skills:
Although all training interventions are meant to improve the knowledge or skill set of an individual, but when it comes to customer services the focus is on improving communication, listening skills, problem-solving and managing human relations more effectively and organizational skills.

It is advisable that all employees undergo training that has the same set of competencies; this will give your entire workforce a standard process to deal with customer issues or questions and creates a sense of team spirit at the same time.
2.   Increases profitability:
The formula is simple; improved customer service + increased customer satisfaction + increased customer loyalty = an increase in profit. Great service allows the company to achieve higher customer retention, acquire new customers, reduces employee turnover and increases sales. The training has a great impact on employee motivation and morale, which leads to increased productivity.

3.   Enhances Customer Experience:
Customer service training workshops have the potential to change the behaviors of employees consequently will help them deliver a better customer experience, these workshops teach employees to develop a customer-centric approach, encouraging them to be empathetic to customers.

A variety of training activities and games can be developed in order to enhance the customer-centric philosophy which goes a long way to deliver and improve the overall experience for customers.
4.   Increased Employee Retention:
According to a study 40% percent of employees who receive poor job training leave within the first year, to a large extent this impact on the companies' ability to maintain the same customer service standards. High turnover is problematic for the business as it adds to the cost of re-hiring and training as well.
Providing adequate training and upgrading the skills set of employees is likely to encourage them to stay with the company since it signals a potential for personal growth and development.

5.   Improve reputation and standing

Despite the fact some customers may choose to leave because of the cheaper price elsewhere, countless customers will remain because of the great experience.  There's a quote that says "Customer services inspires stories" What that basically means is if customers have bad experiences with the organisation, the news will spread very fast and potentially hurt the organisation's reputation So, if you manage to deliver an enjoyable experience, which comes about through well trained, motivated and knowledgeable staff, your customers are sure to pass on favourable recommendations and reviews. 

Monday, 18 April 2016

5 Reasons Why Good Employees Leave

It's pretty amazing how you always hear managers complain about their best employees leaving, the truth is, the departure of any good employee can be costly and very disruptive to the company.  There are a number of reasons why employees decide to up and leave the company. Most of them are not personal, but they are a sign of a poor workplace environment. 

Managers have to realise that in most cases employees don't leave the company but they leave them instead. This can easily be avoided; all that is required is a new perspective and some extra effort on the manager's part.

Here are the common mistakes that happen in a workplace that cause the employee to leave:

1.   Promotion Issues

Many employees leave jobs because there is no upward mobility, no matter how hard they work or how well they succeed, there are no opportunities for advancement into higher and more demanding positions. Alternatively, when you have worked your tail off only to get passed over for a promotion that is given to a colleague who is less qualified or less capable, now that is a massive insult!  

No wonder good people leave.

2.   When hard work is not recognised

It's easy to underestimate the power of a pat on the back, especially to the company's top performers who are highly motivated. Managers to need to communicate with their people to find out what makes them feel good, as for some might be an incentive while others are public recognition.

When employees do good work, they should be recognized financially and publicly. Otherwise, someone else will.

3.   Managers don't care about their employees.

Employees don't need to be friends with their boss but they need to have some sort of a good working relationship. A majority of employees leave their jobs because the relationship with their managers is fractured.  Smart companies invest in up-skilling their managers on how to balance being professional and the human relation aspect.  This will go a long way in ensuring that bosses celebrate employees’ success, empathize with those going through hard times, and challenge people, even when it hurts. Bosses who fail to really care will always have high turnover rates.  

It's impossible to work for someone eight-plus hours a day when they aren't personally involved and don't care about anything other than your production yield.

4.   Poor Management

According to research, one of the major reasons cited in exit interviews is bad management. Bad management practices deflate employee morale; causes stress and cost the company more than just the cost of high turnover.  Managers need to have sufficient emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills to manage people; therefore, companies need to invest in empowering their manager in training soft skills.

5.    A Toxic Work Environment

A toxic work environment is any job where the work, the atmosphere, the people, or any combination of those things makes you so dismayed it causes serious disruptions in your life. Organisations need a workplace culture where people can unplug and relax, something as seemingly minor as snacks at meetings can make a big difference, planned social events can also go far to gain employee loyalty and forestall a toxic work environment.

As a manager, if you want your best people to stay, you need to think carefully about your conduct and how you treat your employees.  You need to create an environment that makes them want to work for you.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

The cost of hiring the wrong person

 Hiring a wrong person for the job can be an expensive exercise!
In a study done by Career Builder survey in 2012, it was reported that 69 percent of employers reported that their companies have been adversely affected by hiring a wrong person that year, with 41 percent of those businesses estimating the cost to be over $25,000, for smaller companies where every employee often juggles many important responsibilities, the cost of bad hire can be even more devastating.

Here are some of the effects of hiring a wrong person:  

The Financial Cost

Making a wrong appointment not only wastes the company’s time, it costs money because you are not only paying a salary to someone who can’t perform to your expectations, but might incur additional training costs and in extreme cases you may also incur the cost of severance pay where the employee is let go.

The Employee Low Morale

When you are spending your time and money trying to correct your mistake of hiring the wrong person, the rest of your team may become disengaged; it’s difficult to stay upbeat when one team member requires so much attention or manages to bring the whole team down.  As a manager you stand a risk of some staff questioning your judgment and will start to doubt the company’s leadership.

The Reputation of the business

The company’s reputation can weaken as customers come to realize that the company is performing below the required standards. Your company brand will be jeopardised if you continue keeping an unsuitable person in the company.
 Managers Lose Time
If you have ever supervised a poorly performing employee, you know how time-consuming it can be and as a manager you need to work harder to maintain team moral and make sure that service delivery is not negatively affected. Your team goals may take longer to achieve as time is wasted on performance reviews and potentially ‘fixing’ problems that were made.

Rather than wasting all the time and money making bad recruitment choices, the next time you need to recruit, make sure of the following:
1.     Have a clear idea of the job requirements;
2.     Draft an accurate job description;
3.     Conduct background and reference checks;
4.      Ensure the candidate is a right cultural fit;
5.     And lastly, trust your instincts;