Forbes’ Top Cities for Employee Engagement/Satisfaction

Which cities are not only providing great opportunities but keeping their current employees happy as well?

To determine which cities make this list, job search and salary comparison site Glassdoor considered reviews shared by local employees on their site over the past year (through April 24th) for the most populous 50 metros in the country, according to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. Each ranking is based on a minimum of 1,500 employee reviews.

At the top of the list this year is San Jose, California, which bumps its Bay Area neighbor to the north and last year’s number one, San Francisco, to second place. Once again, several California cities can claim deeply engaged workforces, as San Diego, Los Angeles, Riverside, and Sacramento all make the list as well.

Many smaller cities also fare well for employee satisfaction. Salt Lake City, Austin, Raleigh-Durham, and Oklahoma City all make the cut.

Major east coast mainstays Boston and Washington, D.C. also boast satisfied workforces, as does the Pacific Northwest’s tech flagship, Seattle.

How does your city fare?

As a resident of the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area, I’m glad to see that DC is ranked at #7 on the List of The Top Cities for Employee Engagement. With a significant amount I/O Psychologist being employed in the area– along with the federal government being a large element of the workforce in DC, I can understand how Washington, D.C. would be ranked high on the list. There are great opportunities in this area with substantial salaries to match. I would like to think that the companies in the area, are in tune to effectively managing their human capital. Making sure your employees are engaged and satisfied is a good step towards leading a great company into success.

 

Why The 8-Hour Workday Doesn’t Work by Travis Bradberry

This article was an interesting read with ideas professional can apply to their daily work schedules. Sharing– 

The eight-hour workday is an outdated and ineffective approach to work. If you want to be as productive as possible, you need to let go of this relic and find a new approach.

The eight-hour workday was created during the industrial revolution as an effort to cut down on the number of hours of manual labor that workers were forced to endure on the factory floor. This breakthrough was a more humane approach to work 200 years ago, yet it possesses little relevance for us today.

Like our ancestors, we’re expected to put in eight-hour days, working in long, continuous blocks of time, with few or no breaks. Heck, most people even work right through their lunch hour!

This antiquated approach to work isn’t helping us; it’s holding us back.

The Best Way To Structure Your Day

A study recently conducted by the Draugiem Group used a computer application to track employees’ work habits. Specifically, the application measured how much time people spent on various tasks and compared this to their productivity levels.

In the process of measuring people’s activity, they stumbled upon a fascinating finding: the length of the workday didn’t matter much; what mattered was how people structured their day. In particular, people who were religious about taking short breaks were far more productive than those who worked longer hours.

The ideal work-to-break ratio was 52 minutes of work, followed by 17 minutes of rest. People who maintained this schedule had a unique level of focus in their work. For roughly an hour at a time, they were 100% dedicated to the task they needed to accomplish. They didn’t check Facebook “real quick” or get distracted by emails. When they felt fatigue (again, after about an hour), they took short breaks, during which they completely separated themselves from their work. This helped them to dive back in refreshed for another productive hour of work.

Your Brain Wants An Hour On, 15 Minutes Off

People who have discovered this magic productivity ratio crush their competition because they tap into a fundamental need of the human mind: the brain naturally functions in spurts of high energy (roughly an hour) followed by spurts of low energy (15–20 minutes).

For most of us, this natural ebb and flow of energy leaves us wavering between focused periods of high energy followed by far less productive periods, when we tire and succumb to distractions.

The best way to beat exhaustion and frustrating distractions is to get intentional about your workday. Instead of working for an hour or more and then trying to battle through distractions and fatigue, when your productivity begins to dip, take this as a sign that it’s time for a break.

Real breaks are easier to take when you know they’re going to make your day more productive. We often let fatigue win because we continue working through it (long after we’ve lost energy and focus), and the breaks we take aren’t real breaks (checking your e-mail and watching YouTube doesn’t recharge you the same way as taking a walk does).

Take Charge Of Your Workday

The eight-hour workday can work for you if you break your time into strategic intervals. Once you align your natural energy with your effort, things begin to run much more smoothly. Here are four tips that will get you into that perfect rhythm.

Break your day into hourly intervals. We naturally plan what we need to accomplish by the end of the day, the week, or the month, but we’re far more effective when we focus on what we can accomplish right now. Beyond getting you into the right rhythm, planning your day around hour-long intervals simplifies daunting tasks by breaking them into manageable pieces. If you want to be a literalist, you can plan your day around 52-minute intervals if you like, but an hour works just as well.

Respect your hour. The interval strategy only works because we use our peak energy levels to reach an extremely high level of focus for a relatively short amount of time. When you disrespect your hour by texting, checking emails, or doing a quick Facebook check, you defeat the entire purpose of the approach.

Take real rest. In the study at Draugiem, they found that employees who took more frequent rests than the hourly optimum were more productive than those who didn’t rest at all. Likewise, those who took deliberately relaxing breaks were better off than those who, when “resting,” had trouble separating themselves from their work. Getting away from your computer, your phone, and your to-do list is essential to boosting your productivity. Breaks such as walking, reading, and chatting are the most effective forms of recharging because they take you away from your work. On a busy day, it might be tempting to think of dealing with emails or making phone calls as breaks, but they aren’t, so don’t give in to this line of thought.

Don’t wait until your body tells you to take a break. If you wait until you feel tired to take a break, it’s too late—you’ve already missed the window of peak productivity. Keeping to your schedule ensures that you work when you’re the most productive and that you rest during times that would otherwise be unproductive. Remember, it’s far more productive to rest for short periods than it is to keep on working when you’re tired and distracted.

Bringing It All Together

Breaking your day down into chunks of work and rest that match your natural energy levels feels good, makes your workday go faster, and boosts your productivity.

Do you notice your energy and focus waxing and waning according to the cycle described above? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.

Travis co-wrote the bestselling book Emotional Intelligence 2.0 and co-founded TalentSmart.

Employee Engagement

Employee Engagement has become one of the biggest topics in HR today based on the affects engagement has on measurable business outcomes. Having an engaged workforce increases the following:

  • Productivity
  • Customer Service
  • Productivity
  • Job Satisfaction

Connecting employees emotions to the mission and values of the company can only enhance the purpose of the company. How can companies accomplish and maintain a personal connect with their employees?

Communication and personalizing the on-boarding experience assists in making employee’s feel connected.  Clearly informing employees about their job expectations to company resources helps to establish a strong rapport with employees. Highlighting the importance of the companies’ services and the effects it has on the community grabs employee’s attentions. Relating the effects the company can have on an employee’s personal life can really help to get and keep them engaged. Whether the company provides peaks such as gym facility with trainers to the company making products which makes the lives of the employee’s easier. Each company has to customize their process of connecting and engaging with their employees because there are a lot of factors that can go into connecting with a person. The culture, the location, the personality types, etc.

4 ways to recruit top talent for your organization using unique perks

Ceridian - Transforming Human Capital Management

employee perksBy Howard Tarnoff, SVP of Customer Success, Ceridian

One of your primary responsibilities as an employer is to make sure your employees are happy at all times. Different companies do this in different ways – for some, the approach is to give people the biggest possible salary, while others focus on more intangible elements like creating an exceptional corporate culture. In either event, keeping people happy is essential, both in recruiting and as a way of maintaining employee engagement.

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5 ways you can make a real, tangible difference in employee retention

“Look ahead of the exit interview
Exit interviews are one way to figure out why people are quitting, but what’s even better is to get out ahead of the problem. Consider stay interviews instead. Find out why people are sticking with your organization, and make sure that remains the case.”

Ceridian - Transforming Human Capital Management

employee productivityAsk anyone who works in human resources, and they’ll tell you without hesitation – it’s important to pay close attention to employee retention and productivity. Doing so can be the difference between your company’s success and failure. If you have people who stay in their jobs and work hard, you’re in prime position to get ahead in business.

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Transforming Organizational Culture

Efficient organizations are forever changing to learn information, adapt to current climates, and stay a step ahead of the competition. Change isn’t an easy task to harness, especially when we are talking about changing an entire culture of an organization.  A culture has been developed from years of experiences which then forms a way of worklife. Have you ever attempted to change your own “way of life”? Whether it has been dieting or relocating from a hot climate to a cold climate. Change is a tough task to deal with.

Today, I read an interesting excerpt by Joseph M. Patrnchak entitled Building Belief: The Five Keys to Lasting Cultural Transformation. The excerpt explains the process of how The Cleveland Clinic was transformed from a “respected but not liked” organization into a highly engaged organization by changing it’s culture. Joseph discusses everything between small changes in organizational language to large initiatives such as leadership changes. Not the replacement of physical bodies and their positions but the replacement of the current leadership’s thought process, behaviors, and responds. He introduced Robert K. Greenleaf’s servant leadership as a suitable leadership style for the type of organization. Servant leadership is the concept that a leader should be a servant before anything else. The needs of the employees should be above the leader’s own needs and the power should be shared throughout the organization. Change champions, training, and awards initiatives were introduces as well in a support to change the culture.

In summary, the excerpt determined five keys to sustaining culture change.

  1. Acknowledge the dissatisfaction/problem
  2. Catch the vision and turn it into a cause
  3. Care for the employees so they will take care of the customers
  4. Hard wire the change into every aspect of the leadership development
  5. Commit to a long process of transformation

Major initiatives to change the culture were mentioned and the initiatives produced great results. However, I’m curious to know about the details. Were there were any push back? What did it look like? How was it handled? The entire transformation was seamless, which is great! However, how realistic is that in changing an entire culture?  I’m simply thinking about how I can take the lessons introduced in this excerpt and potentially use them in my future career endeavors. Overall, I would recommend this read to my I/O Psychologist and HR friends!