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Nulab Survey Provides Employee Bonding Insights

In 2016, over 1 in 3 employees in the U.S. was a millennial, the most represented generation in the labor force. By 2020, millennials are expected to account for half of the U.S. workforce, and by 2025, 75% of the global workforce.

There have been several recent surveys conducted to determine what millennials want in a job.  Consistently rated high on a millennial’s want list is culture.  By setting clear definitions for the company mission, values, ethics, goals, and expectations, company culture creates a personality in the workplace.

Having a powerful company culture can establish strong morale, keep employees motivated, and even boost productivity – but it won’t come free. Establishing a genuine corporate culture can’t happen overnight, and it typically involves dedication and team building.  Accordingly, team building activities have become very popular.

For a closer look at team bonding, Nulab, a collaboration software development company, surveyed 1,000 full-time employees for their feedback. Nulab asked respondents how common team bonding was, which activities were the most popular, and how effective or valuable these events were.  Here is what Nulab said it found:

Bring in the food 

Nothing brings people together quite like food, and the same was certainly true among full-time employees polled for this study.  88% of team-bonding exercises included food in some capacity (like a potluck or team lunches), and in nearly half of examples identified, alcohol was also present for company get-togethers. The second-most popular team building exercises revolved around holiday events (78%) and gift exchanges (58%). Interestingly, potlucks or company lunches were considered some of the most effective (62%) and most valuable (63%) team building activities.

Appeal to your employees’ passions

Volunteer days were considered the most effective and valuable team building activities, despite being significantly less common than food or holiday events.  Only 1 in 5 full-time employees had participated in a company retreat, although they were nearly as effective and valuable for team building as volunteering.

Management consultant, John Hagel, said the secret to company success might not be in measuring employee engagement but finding opportunities to stoke employees’ passions.  Research on corporate volunteer and giving programs found that not only do these events help build better relationships among co-workers, but they also give team members an opportunity to engage with organizations they are genuinely passionate about.

Make team bonding optional

According to the survey, full-time employees were 3.6 times more likely to enjoy team bonding that was optional rather than mandatory. More than half of employees also acknowledged always participating in optional team bonding exercises offered by their company.

Make team bonding enjoyable

Crafting enjoyable experiences that employees want to attend may not come easily to some company leaders, but the results can be invaluable. When employees know the purpose of the activity and enjoy the event, they may see a boost in their peer relationships, their ability to communicate effectively, and their overall enjoyment.

While there were still some questions about productivity, many employees clearly identified the perks of team bonding. Around 96% cited having better relationships with their colleagues, followed by collaboration and open dialogue.

Malcolm Whyte, SPHR – Vice President HR Services

Disclaimer: Some information contained herein has been abridged from numerous sources and may be protected by various copyright laws. Such information should not be construed as consulting or legal advice. Please contact our office for specific advice and/or referrals.

Bay Area Human Resources Services

The Power of Perfect Timing

Earlier this month I had the pleasure of hearing author Daniel Pink speak at the 2019 California HR Conference, during which he shared insights from his new book: WHEN – The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing.  Drawing on research from the fields of psychology, biology, neuroscience and economics, Pink suggests that when we do things has a significant impact on outcomes.  Here are a few tips from this thoughtful, engaging book:

  • Tune in to your inner clock – A chronotype refers to a person’s natural inclination with regard to the time of the day they sleep, work, have energy and focus. Pink guides the reader to determine which chronotype they are and he relates it to one of three birds: the Lark (wakes up ready to take on the world), the Owl (charges through projects in the late afternoon or evening) or the Third Bird (although the name is less catchy than the other two, this represents many of us who get rolling a bit slower in the morning and have peak focus and performance at mid-day).
  • Schedule the types of work you do accordingly – Once you know your chronotype, try making your big decisions and doing your most meaningful, thoughtful, detailed work at those times. We also experience peaks and valleys, so a Lark shouldn’t spend the early morning doing routine work like checking emails to “warm up” – but should rather leverage that moment to do their best work, because a 2 p.m. dip in energy and focus is coming.  For most of us, the “valleys” are the best time to catch up on reading, emails, making calls or scheduling things for the next day.
  • The team clock – Pink encourages us to work with other members of our team and get to know their chronotype as well. This can be helpful in determining when best to hold meetings or the optimal time to approach an individual with a question or propose something new.
  • Step away to recharge – Even small breaks help us to recharge and adjust through the phases of our day. Meditate, take a brisk walk around the office and visit with a colleague in the break room.  If possible, get outside and away from your cell phone.  Research also supports the benefits of a short power nap during the day, and businesses are increasingly offering “nap rooms”.  Beyond the single workday, identify what types of activities help you feel recharged and make sure you are scheduling and prioritizing those in your life.
  • The big picture – In addition to our daily rhythms, Pink points out that there are larger scale cycles of time and its passage we could benefit by recognizing. There are certain times of the year, for instance, that see dramatic peaks in when people decide to change jobs, move or get divorced.  With the school calendar ingrained in us during our early years, fall is a natural time to start new ventures.  Of course, a new year (whether January 1st, a work anniversaries or birthday) are pivotal moments when we to take stock in what we are doing, make larger decisions or take on a challenge or initiative.

Incorporating strategies that leverage “perfect timing” could be a powerful tool in both our personal and professional lives.  As Pink writes: “I used to believe in ignoring the waves of the day.  Now I believe in surfing them.”

Amy Kelemen – Senior HR Consultant

Disclaimer: Some information contained herein has been abridged from numerous sources and may be protected by various copyright laws. Such information should not be construed as consulting or legal advice. Please contact our office for specific advice and/or referrals.

Bay Area Human Resources Services

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When is it Time to Leave a PEO?

Author: Saul Macias, MBA, PHR

When you were smaller, partnering with a professional employer organization (PEO) made sense. It shifted some tasks and liabilities off your shoulders and allowed you to afford to offer good health benefits to your employees. Most of all, outsourcing your human resources, benefits, and payroll gave you space to concentrate on growing your business.

Though co-employment had a role in the growth of your organization, many employers arrive at a point where it is appropriate to exit. Here are some key considerations as you decide whether to initiate that transition away from your PEO:

Benefits: Lots has changed in the world of benefits in the past couple of years. Offering benefits in-house would give you the autonomy to design, choose and manage your health and retirement benefits. The desire for greater flexibility in employee benefits can be a key driver to part ways from a PEO. (A lack of knowledge in this area, however, can often delay a PEO exit).

Service: As you grow, your business and your employees’ needs become more complex. In the midst of that complexity, you may find that your PEO lacks the expertise to drive and support your HR, benefits and payroll to meet your unique and evolving needs. Furthermore, a lack of onsite support or expertise to help you cover a multi-state or international expansion can be most challenging under a PEO model.

Cost /Scale: The average employer in a PEO has 15 employees. According to the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM), the average HR professional supervises approximately 70 employees. Somewhere between 70 and 100 employees the economics may merit managing your benefits, payroll and HR in-house. But what will it take to build a team that can handle this role?

Co-employment: Under a PEO, one key area of managing your employees is done by a different company whose culture and identity could be very different from yours.

Once you have decided to exit, how do you make it happen?

PEO Transition:  Working with an experienced partner like ABD can help you analyze and manage the critical transition away from your PEO. Our team of multi-disciplined experts can help you plan, select the best technology platform, build the required work flows, and transition into your new program while keeping daily operations running smoothly. We can also help you hire an internal team or uncover new options that offer more flexibility than a PEO, but still allow you to outsource some or all of your human resources function. Contact us today to explore the possibilities.

Disclaimer: Some information contained herein has been abridged from numerous sources and may be protected by various copyright laws. Such information should not be construed as consulting or legal advice. Please contact our office for specific advice and/or referrals.

Bay Area Human Resources Services