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Organizational Alignment

5 Ways to Spring Clean Your Business


Spring is here and many of us are taking the time to organize, freshen, and slough off the old winter heaviness and create a light, clean approach to life. Spring is not only a great opportunity to clean the space within your home. But it's also an opportunity to clean up your systems and organization at work. Today we will share five approaches that top executives use to to spring cleaning each year.


You receive hundreds of emails each week that you may automatically delete. Take a few minutes every day to unsubscribe from the email lists you never read. In addition, review your social media accounts. If there are accounts or pages you are no longer interest in, then unsubscribe or unfollow.


When cleaning out your closet, organizers recommend that if you haven't worn it in the last year, it needs to go. The same rule can be applied to certain areas of your business. Some areas get neglected due to a lack of resources, so it’s the time to look specifically at those, see how they might be better incorporated, or just get rid of them if they have gone this long without any notice or results.


Continually look for ways to get rid of paper processes. In the digital age files, photos, and scans help an office run more efficiently. Evaluate your business to determine if there is an area that is slower due to manual, paper processes.


Gather the team to brainstorm every area of your department or company. Ask the question, "Is this the best way to handle this area?" "Is there a more efficient system that we could implement?"


This doesn't mean that it's time to begin downsizing. But take a moment to review the staff, their strengths, job descriptions, and the duties they actually carry out on a month-to-month basis. Is downsizing an option? Would cross-training be better? Take some time to evaluate.



Top Priority in 2015: Dealing With Overwhelm in the Workplace

Did you know?feb 17

  • More than two-thirds of all surveyed organizations believe their employees are “overwhelmed” with too much information, too many projects, too many meetings and phone calls, and an always-on 24/7 work environment.
  • The average person checks his or her cellphone 150 times a day
  • The average business professional has 30 to 100 projects on their plate.
  • Modern workers are interrupted seven times an hour and distracted up to 2.1 hours a day.
  • Four out of 10 people working at large companies are experiencing a major corporate restructuring, and therefore facing uncertainly about their futures.
  • More than 40% of adults say they lie awake at night plagued by the stressful events of the day.

We are surrounded by distractions and technical addictions which increase stress and workplace anxiety. As we move into the age of smartwatches, wearable devices, and faster smart phones it is time for Human Resources to review how to keep the work environment HUMAN. Simplifying and streamlining tasks and creating a more humane culture should be top priority.

Flexibility: Allowing employees to have more flexibility decreases overwhelm. Creating a culture that is focused on results, rather than time invested, plus the ability to work from home will reduce stress. Many employees are trying to balance between work and responsibilities at home. Making it easier for them to care for children, family, or elderly while keeping up with work will help them feel more in control.

Think Healthy Lifestyle: Implementing corporate wellness programs will not only reduce stress, but also sick-day losses. A few ways to support employees are:

  • Provide nutritional support through cooking classes or healthy vending machines
  • Exercise or Yoga classes during lunch time.
  • Subsidize gym membership
  • Organize sports teams

Keep it Small: It has been proven that small teams work more quickly, collaborate better, and outperform large teams. There is a cohesiveness that allows smaller teams to be more productive. Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezo abides by the “two pizza rule.” He believes that if there are more than two pizzas needed in a team meeting, the team is too big.

Encourage Breaks: Productivity goes down and stress levels increase as employees push through their day without taking a break. Many employees now even eat lunch at their desks while they work. Tony Schwartz of the “Energy Project” has shown that if we have intense concentration for about 90 minutes, followed by a brief period of recovery, employees will reduce the buildup of stress and have clearer focus and higher levels of productivity.

Simplify: Review procedures and processes. If there is a ten step process to finish a project can it be reduced to five? Does the software require multiple clicks and screens when it can be redesigned to only need one click? Is there lack of delegation with the management team which holds up the processes?

All of these little details can add to the overall stress and overwhelm of the workplace. Streamline and simplify your workflow processes. It will not only increase productivity but it will also create a more peaceful culture.


[1] Statistics source: Sharon Melnick, Ph.D., a business psychologist and author of Success Under Stress

Keep Your Superheroes: 6 Steps to Reduce Employee Turnover

Posted by Jaylyn Schumpert on Mon, May 07, 2012 Do you know what is important to your prospective and current employees? Do you work hard to meet those needs? If you answered yes to both questions, then you probably have a low employee turnover rate. However, this is not the case for all employers and many companies struggle with the issue of employee turnover.

The average employee tenure at a company is approximately 4 years. This is barely enough, or not enough, time for a company to fully recoup hiring and training costs. Companies cannot eliminate turnover; however, there are some items to consider when trying to retain quality people.

The following are 6 steps that an employer can take to attract and retain top talent:

1) Evaluate Your Managers

Measure employee turnover by manager; this pinpoints the real problem. Poor managers cancel out all the good things that employers do to attract and retain the right people. Once the problem managers have been identified, help them! Use assessments or other tools to discover what these managers are doing to drive employees away and then provide training to develop them into better leaders. Good management is crucial to employee retention.

2) Create a Recognition Culture

Give your managers the responsibility for seeking out ways that employees go above and beyond. Create awards for excellent performance; this gives everyone an opportunity to be in the spotlight for doing a good job. Great examples of employee recognition include: thank you notes, employee of the month awards, newsletter recognition, service awards, etc. Positive recognition will lead to a more productive work environment.

3) Create a Healthy Work Environment

Create an environment where positive recognition seems normal. In order to achieve this there must be open communication, an attitude of cooperation, and an atmosphere of trust. Communicate with your employees; let them know where the company is going, how it plans to get there, how their jobs play a part in the grand scheme of things, and why they are the key to your success. Look for ways to show that you are willing to meet them halfway in balancing their personal and professional lives- flexible hours, childcare facilities, birthday leave, etc. Last, but definitely not least, trust your employees. If you want people to trust you, then you have to trust them. Give people a good reputation to live up to and they won’t let you down.

4) Create an Atmosphere of Continual Self-Improvement

Today’s job candidates want the opportunity to develop themselves and to continually polish their skills, abilities, and experience. Invest heavily in training and employee development and encourage employees to take advantage of the programs offered. Give everyone access to training that will enhance their self-esteem, their value, and their skills. Prove to your employees that there is no reason to leave when they can receive training and development from within the organization.

5) Put Your Best Foot Forward

This next statement may definitely throw some employers for a loop; pay employees as much salary and provide as many benefits as you can afford from day one. The goal is to reduce turnover and retain the right people, so if you scale back the initial offer by 15%, will the savings be enough to retain the employee when another company offers more money? Probably not. Put your best foot forward from the start and let everyone know that you are paying as much as you can afford for each position. As a person moves up the ladder, their pay should be adjusted accordingly. Know what each job is worth, and pay it early.

6) Match People to Jobs

Ensure people are matched to their jobs in terms of their abilities, interests, and personalities. When people are placed in positions where job demand and abilities match, where job stimulation and interest match, and where cultural demands and personalities match, turnover decreases and productivity increases. Employers can use assessments to determine the requirements of each position in terms of abilities, interests, and personalities and then use the information to match people to jobs where they will excel.

In most cases we want the quick, easy, and inexpensive fix, but unfortunately that is not always possible. Attracting and retaining the highest quality people may take time, effort, and money. By applying the 6 steps from above, companies can eliminate a large percentage of why people leave and keep the people that are essential to their success.

All Aboard! Five Factors for a Successful Onboarding Process

Do you remember your first day of school? That momentstanding at the bus stop, lunch box in hand, waving your mother good-bye, and your heart beating faster than ever. Well starting at a new job feels the same way. We’ve all been there – dressed in your finest business attire with butterflies in your stomach as you enter through the doors of a brand new job. But did you know it’s estimated that 45% of new-hires fail within 18 months?

That’s why investing in a welcoming and structured onboarding process will help reduce such turnover and increase new-hire effectiveness. An effective onboarding process isn’t just a routine checklist; it should be a comprehensive process that makes the new employee feel comfortable and acquainted. When a new-hire anxiously walks in the door, they need an extra boost of confidence – and a structured, friendly introduction will help. A successful onboard leads to a successful organization! Here are five factors your onboarding process should have:

1. Team involvement. Onboarding a new employee should involve the entire team. It’s not just the HR department or the hiring manager’s concern, but all team members should be involved in welcoming new hires. Taking new employees to lunch or assigning a mentor will help build relationships and show the newbie that the company values them.

2. Consistent structure. Whether you’re onboarding a new secretary, associate or top manager, the process needs to be consistent for all employees and reflect the company values. A set structure helps the employee as well as the team and administration. Remember, it’s all about making the transition as smooth as possible.

3. Prepared desk and equipment. In addition to structure, make sure that everything – from the desk, office supplies, security badges, computer passwords, phone numbers and access keys – are prepared for the new hire. You want them to feel at home!

4. Information. The most important part of the onboarding process is making sure the new employee has access to all the information they need to succeed in their position and know the company. It’s a good idea to set up meetings with subject-matter experts so the new employee can grasp the organization’s goals, policies and practices.

5. Check-ups. The onboarding process doesn’t stop after the first day or the first week. It’s important to have regular “check-ups” with your new employee, ensuring they are comfortable and offering them the support they need to be successful.

At the end of the day, the onboarding process is the employee’s first impression of the company culture and it should introduce the organization values. Now that you have a successful onboarding process in place, it's time to focus on training and developing these new employees to succeed! Call us to access a free report "Training and Developing Employees to Succeed". 415-456-1990 or email us at