Employee Assistance Programs
EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS

As an employer, it is easy to forget that employees have lives outside of the workplace and sometimes have troubles and difficulties that they may be dealing with. If an employee is dealing with some personal issues, this may sometimes affect the quality of their work and impact their performance. It is important to ensure that your employees are doing well in order to promote a safe and conducive work environment. Employee wellness is not only geared at preventing work incidents or creating a safe work environment. It is also about supporting the well-being of your employees in both their personal and professional lives. This can be achieved through Employee Assistance Programs. An employee assistance program (EAP) is a work-based intervention program geared towards assisting employees in resolving personal problems that may be adversely affecting the employee’s performance. In this article we’ll look at some of the benefits of these programs.

  1. IMPROVE PRODUCTIVITY

Sometimes, an employee’s personal life problems can greatly affect the quality of their work and lead to lower productivity. It is no secret that when productivity suffers, your business suffers. Research has shown that employees who have access to EAP services have a significant increase in work productivity. Aside from boosting company productivity, this will also strengthen morale in the workplace as everyone is in good spirits.

  1. INCREASE EMPLOYEE RETENTION RATES

Creating a positive work environment is a key factor in retaining talented employees. A study conducted by the American Health Association found that 51% of employees stay at their jobs due to good relationships with their colleagues. EAPs keep employees productive, present, and happier while on the job. In addition, these programs are especially useful in attracting and retaining millennial employees. This is due to the fact that many millennials are more open to discussions about mental health and will therefore appreciate and make use of these programs.

  1. EFFICIENT RESOLUTION OF WORKPLACE ISSUES

At some point, every company is bound to encounter some challenges with their employees or with a traumatic event. It is important to be prepared with an EAP in order to handle these challenging situations in order to efficiently resolve the problem. Having a skilled EAP provider will ensure that these issues can be avoided and prevented.

  1. PROMOTES A SUPPORTIVE CORPORATE ENVIRONMENT.

Employees who know that they can count on their employer-provided benefits to help them navigate life’s difficult moments develop a deeper connection with the company and are more engaged and committed to their work. EAPs that provide help for both personal and professional issues are an effective tool for creating a caring and supportive work environment.

  1. REDUCES ABSENTEEISM

When employees are in good health and spirits, they are less likely to miss work. Having EAPs also enable employees to feel supported in their work environment and are more likely to show up and do what they are required to do. This also means that employees do not have to leave work to seek the kind of assistance that EAPs provide elsewhere as it is readily available in the office.

Depending on the specific type of Employee Assistance Program you choose to adopt into your company, you can help your employees deal with a multitude of sensitive issues they may have in their personal lives. Generally, EAP programs work to eliminate the major challenges employees face that compromise the quality of their life as well as their work productivity. Some of these issues include mental health issues, financial concerns, drug and substance abuse as well as relationship problems.

Kindly follow this link to find out more about Employee Assistance Programs and for contact information should you seek to incorporate these programs into your company.

https://oasisafrica.co.ke/services/employee-assistance-program/

https://blog.montridge.com/employee-benefits/benefits-of-employee-assistance-programs

https://www.empathia.com/7-reasons-an-eap-is-a-strategic-advantage/

PROFESSIONALISM IN THE WORKPLACE

It is always important to carry yourself with the utmost professionalism in the workplace especially if you want to get ahead and advance in your career/ field. The truth is that sometimes working hard and being great at your job just isn’t enough to get you ahead. Most times it is about presenting yourself more professionally so that your employer can see you as more of a leader and a person who is deserving of more opportunities and responsibilities in the workplace. In this article, we’ll look at some of the ways you can be more professional in your workplace in order to get the recognition and promotion you desire.

  1. BE RESPECTFUL

In any professional setting it is important to treat your colleagues with dignity and respect. Keep in mind that everyone is there because they possess both the skills and qualifications required for the job. Be polite and observe office etiquette. In addition, be sure to respect company policies whether you agree with them or not because they are there for a reason. Avoid office gossip as this is highly unprofessional and will only lead to squabbles and will even create a hostile work environment.

  1. BUILD MEANINGFUL RELATIONSHIPS WITH YOUR COWORKERS

When you’ve been working at the same place for a long period of time, it is easy to get into a routine. Where you just want to come in, get your work done and go home. If you’re not careful, you can easily isolate yourself from your co-workers. Take some time out of your day to socialise and get to know the people you work with. People love to feel acknowledged and this will be a great way to integrate yourself into the workplace community. Remember it’s all about making connections and employers generally notice employees who are well liked by their colleagues as this demonstrates company unity and team spirit.

  1. TAKE ON BIGGER CHALLENGES

Employers are always on the lookout for star employees. it is rare for people to get promoted unless they are already putting in the work. Take initiative and volunteer your time to take on extra projects and do what to can to help. This will put you on your boss’ radar and may even lead you to a promotion. Alternatively, if you’d like to advance in your career, you could even speak to your boss on ways you could incorporate a personal development plan into your work in order to build your resume.

  1. BE A LEADER

Leaders are typically charismatic and sociable people, however, this does not mean that you have to be loud or an extrovert to be a leader. In order to be a leader, you need to carry yourself with a certain level of confidence. Speak with confidence and purpose and eloquently articulate your ideas. Remember that leaders are empathetic and are ready to serve as well as lift others up so everyone can succeed as a whole. Keep in mind that leadership is not just about speaking but listening as well. Be patient and allow others an opportunity to express their thoughts and ideas in order to promote a cohesive work environment where everyone has an opportunity to present their ideas and take part in the company’s development.

  1. DRESS FOR SUCCESS

 Peoples first impression of you is based on how you look. It is important to ensure that you’re properly dressed at work. Look up your company’s dress code guidelines and be sure to dress accordingly. Dressing well and appropriately for your job will ensure that you are taken seriously. Dressing well make you stand out, remember, when you look good, you feel good and this translate in the quality of your work.

Maintaining professionalism in the workplace only servers to do you good. It ensures a conducive work environment. Being professional ensures that you leave a good, long lasting impression on your employers and colleagues.

https://www.careeraddict.com/workplace-professionalism

https://www.thebalancecareers.com/professionalism-526248https://smallbusiness.chron.com/become-professional-workplace-22087.html

HOW TO NEGOTIATE A PAY RISE
HOW TO NEGOTIATE A PAY RISE

It’s no secret that everybody wants to be paid more money for what they do. Everyone wants to feel valued and that the time, effort and skills they put into their work is adequately compensated. In most cases however, the way in which people approach asking for a pay rise is wrong. This could be due to the fact that some people are uncomfortable with talking about money or are afraid of coming off as too demanding to their employers.  In this article we’ll look at a few salary negotiating tips.

  1. BE DESERVING OF THE RAISE

When seeking a pay raise, first ensure that you are truly deserving of it. There are no shortcuts around this. Ensure that your work speaks for itself and that you have actually been creating value for your company as well. Sometimes when it seems like you’ve been slaving away at your job and have spent so much time and energy doing your work, you may feel like you deserve a raise. It is important to take a step back and look at things objectively to determine whether or not you truly deserve a raise.

  1. KNOW YOUR VALUE

In order to justify a pay raise, it is important to know your value and how to articulate it to your employer. This therefore means that you must bring up any and all evidence to justify your worth in terms of salary increase. For instance, you could bring up occasions where you’ve helped your company increase their profitability, or reduced costs or even instituted time saving methods in various areas. Be calm and confident in your abilities in order to articulate the same to your employer and convince them to give you a raise.

  1. MARKET RESEARCH

Before asking for a raise you also need to know what the market is paying for someone with your credentials and experience. This means that you have to go out into the field and speak to recruiters for up-to-date market information as well as speaking to others working in your field with the same credentials as you. This will allow you to be well informed when negotiating the pay increase.

  1. GIVE A NUMBER

When an employer asks what your salary expectations are, most people tense up or become shy and undersell themselves in a bid to avoid offending the employer. Most people give a range of their salary expectations which is a big mistake. For starters, this gives the employer an opportunity to pay you a salary that is lower than what you really wanted. If you give a range and were aiming for the higher number, your employer may probably pick the lower one instead and this will only leave you feeling disgruntled. What you need to do is give one figure that is fair and one you are truly deserving of and then negotiate from there.

  1. TIMING IS EVERYTHING

In most cases, the topic of salary expectations comes up in new job offers or interview situations. It is therefore important to note that you should only bring up your salary expectations when your employer asks you. This is because you want to avoid coming off as money hungry. If you are an employee and are looking to get a salary increase you should time your request around your performance review. This way you can showcase how well you’ve been doing at your job and make a case for the raise.

When asking for a pay raise, always be patient and remember that even when exercising humility, be confident in your worth and abilities.

https://www.themuse.com/advice/how-to-negotiate-salary-37-tips-you-need-to-know

https://www.theguardian.com/careers/careers-blog/how-to-negotiate-pay-rise

https://mycareer.aicpa-cima.com/article/how-to-negotiate-a-pay-raise/

Managing Millennials

If you are working in HR, or a managerial position, there is one group of people that you cannot afford to misunderstand or connect with… Millennials. Millennials or Generation Y, are a group of people born between the late 1980s and early 1990s. Millennials are a fascinating bunch in their own right because they bring with them new and fresh ideas into the workplace. They are innovative, agile, natural networkers and are incredibly tech-savvy.

However, they also bring with them some challenges. Millennials are a generation whose ideas and views differ greatly from those of the older generations. This is because they are a generation whose approach in respect to their work ethic is a bit different and may even be slightly jarring to the older generation in the workplace. In this article, we’ll look at some of the ways to manage millennials in the workplace.

  1. CREATE MEANINGFUL RELATIONSHIPS

In most cases, millennials are very people oriented. They value personal relationships over loyalty to brands and teams. It is therefore critical to nurture a working relationship with them to build confidence and boost their work ethic. As a manager ensure that your millennial employees know how much you care and   value them; not just as employees but as people. This means that it is absolutely important to be authentic and to build trust with this particular group of people.

  1. KEEP THEM CHALLENGED

Studies have shown that the number one thing most millennials value in their work experience, above a competitive salary is opportunities for growth and learning. Often times millennials may lose interest in working for a company or business when they start to feel bored and lack the engagement and challenge from their work. Be sure to provide training opportunities that allow them to expand their skill sets and expand their knowledge in a particular field.

  1. BE FLEXIBLE

As an employer, it is important to make flexibility a priority. This means flexibility in work hours, the structure of their work and even the work location where possible. It is often the norm that workplaces value employees who come in at a specific time and clocking in a set number of working hours and then clock out. However, with millennials, there is a need to break away from this culture. Allow them to express their creativity and in this way develop new and innovative ways to solve various problems and get their work done in more efficient ways.

  1. GIVE POSITIVE FEEDBACK

Everyone likes to feel appreciated and that their effort and good work is being noticed. Some members of the older generation may think that this makes millennials high maintenance or too demanding, however it serves to boot moral and builds confidence. A study done a few years ago asked millennials how often they wanted praise from their employers and 60% said once a day. Proving just how important encouragement, praise and positive feedback is to this generation.

  1. EMBRACE THEIR IDEAS

As the younger generations begin to enter the workforce, they are coming in with fresh ideas and new outlooks on the job. Having just completed their education, most of them can be a phenomenal source of innovation. This is because not only are they coming into the workforce with a fresh perspective but an eagerness to challenge the status quo. As millennials come into the workforce, they are asking all these questions about the way things are done and why they are done in a particular manner. This curiosity can be a great opportunity for innovation.

https://medium.com/pathlight/the-biggest-mistakes-managers-make-when-managing-millennials-ff849868bf8e

https://bonfyreapp.com/blog/6-tips-managing-millennials-workplace

https://www.forbes.com/sites/iese/2016/09/08/managing-millennials-nine-tips/?sh=813a5eccd8af

CYBER SECURITY IN THE WORKPLACE

The expansion of globalisation has increased the world’s reliance on technology, now more than ever before. Since the development of the internet, there has been a massive surge in digital data creation. Many companies and governments store a great deal of their data on computers and transmit it across networks to other computers. It is no secret that technology and its underlying systems have vulnerabilities that can be exploited subsequently undermining the proper functioning of an organisation.

A breach in an organisation’s data stores can have a range of devastating consequences for any business. It can quite literally destroy a company’s reputation through the loss of consumer and partner trust. The loss of critical data, such as source files or even intellectual property, can cost a company its competitive advantage. In addition, a breach in a company’s data can impact corporate revenues due to non-compliance with data protection laws.

Cybersecurity is the combination of processes, practices, and technologies designed to protect networks, computers, programs, data and information from attack, damage or unauthorized access. In this article, we’ll look at some of the main cyber security issues workplaces face and some tips on how to secure your workplace data.

  1. PHISHING

Phishing is a cybercrime that involves fraudulent attempts to obtain a person’s sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, bank/ credit card information etc. Usually, victims of phishing are contacted by email, telephone or even text message by someone posing as a representative of a legitimate institution to lure individuals into providing their sensitive data.

  1. BRING YOUR OWN DEVICE POLICIES

Some companies have ‘bring your own device policies’ (BYOD) in a bid to increase flexibility and to cut down on device costs. Employees are therefore allowed to bring their own devices such as laptops. The down side to this is that it is increasingly difficult to manage these devices. This then increases the risk of viruses, malware and data breaches.

  1. DATA AND PRIVACY BREACHES

Attacks on personal data have become a growing concern in the past few years. Companies that store personal data about their employees therefore, are at risk of being targeted by those who would like to get a hold of this information with malicious intent.

  1. RANSOMWARE ATTACKS

Ransomware is a type of malware attack in which cybercriminals gain access to sensitive data and encrypts the victim’s. This prevents the victim from accessing their system or personal files. The hackers then demand payment in order for the victim to regain access to their data.

  1. HUMAN ERROR AND NEGLIGENCE

Even if a company is well protected against outside attacks, human error and negligence is sometimes inevitable. This is also the main cause of all data breaches. Be it through a malicious act from a disgruntled employee or simple carelessness, employees are usually the weakest link when it comes to a company’s cyber security deference.

In order to ensure that your workplace is well protected from cyber criminals, begin by having regular meetings with your employees on the importance of cybersecurity and observing the proper workplace etiquette on internet use and information sharing. Train your employees on the various risks and improve their working habits.

Carry out formal risk assessment tests to determine the best cyber protection tools for your workplace. Hire ethical hackers to find weak links in your company’s data protection systems and provide solutions.

https://digitalguardian.com/blog/what-cyber-security

LEGAL FACTORS AFFECTING THE KENYAN BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT

Business laws among other regulatory measures help to protect economic growth and to shield consumers from exploitation and other illegal factors. Before establishing or when in the process of running a business, it is important to understand the legal factors affecting your business. In this article we’ll look at some of the ways various laws influence a business and the general business environment.

Legal factors are simply the factors that affect a business and its dealings in relation to governmental/state laws. These laws play a huge role in determining the success of a business as they regulate the relationship between employers and employees, profit margins, taxes and many more.

  1. LABOUR LAWS

The government has passed laws to protect the interest of employees. These laws protect them against discrimination on the basis of their race, religion, sex, age, or colour. Our labour laws can be found in the Employment Act.

These laws play a key role in protecting employees from unfair termination and exploitation. For instance, it is illegal for a business to dismiss employees for joining trade unions or for expecting a baby. Ignoring these legal factors will result in serious repercussions for your business. In this case, before the dismissal of any worker, there must to be prior notice with proper reasons outlined otherwise, the case may be treated as an unfair dismissal.

  1. GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENT LAWS

The government has put in place various contracting rules, regulations and procedures that dictates the manner in which they conduct their dealings with businesses. The government encourages small businesses to participate in expressing interest when it purchases products and services. It also goes to great lengths to invest in outreach programs to find reliable, qualified small businesses to be its suppliers.

  1. CONSUMER/ CUSTOMER PROTECTION LAWS

In a perfect world, all businesses would act in the best interest of their customers. Unfortunately, this is not the case. For this reason, the government has put in place various laws to protect consumers. The Sale of Goods Act is a perfect example of this. This Act focuses on the rights and responsibilities of merchants and customers when exchanging legal tenders and goods. It is essential for retailers, whole sellers and businesses involved in the exchange of goods be familiar with its terms.

  1. ORGANISATIONAL LAW

Any business that is organized as a legal entity is subject to the state law that governs its operation and conduct. In a previous post we discussed the various forms of business entities.  For example, corporations, limited partnerships, partnerships and limited liability partnerships all of which have different legal status and liabilities. It is important to understand your business association in order to know what laws apply to you. This helps prevent various illegalities and protects your business as a whole.

  1. CONTRACT LAW

Contract law is the law that governs the relationship between two or more individuals who enter in to an agreement (contract) which creates mutual obligations that are enforceable by the law. With this law, business can contract with individuals and both party’s rights are protected without one taking advantage of the other. Contract law also spells out the components of a contract and what would be either legal or illegal and the elements that would void a contract. Fraud, illegality and misrepresentation are all elements that would make a contract void and therefore not enforceable.

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