CDI Corporation

Leveraging Employer Branding via the Most Powerful, Zero Cost Company Perk

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In today’s work culture where paternity leave, free snacks and on-site daycare have become more common, formulating the right package of perks and benefits for your blended workforce can be difficult. Glassdoor research indicates 57 percent of people place benefits and office perks at the top of their list when considering a new role. Research has also shown, however, that employee satisfaction in the workplace is more strongly correlated to elements such as senior leadership, company culture and values, and opportunities for growth. It is these intangible factors that can have a significant impact on employee retention and the willingness of contractors to remain on long-term assignment with a company. As a result, it’s no surprise that companies are placing more focus on their employer brand and more clearly articulating what they have to offer employees. As it pertains to company perks, there is one that all employees crave that costs nothing: praise. It’s as simple as taking the time to commend your employees where that praise and credit are due.

“In today’s business environment, leaders are often focused on the financial side of the business and forget the impact that their everyday interactions with employees can have on job satisfaction, which directly correlates to their drive and overall production,” says Scott Bass, Director of Marketing & Communications for CDI Corporation. “It’s really the small things like a simple acknowledgement or word of thanks that can make a world of difference. It’s this recognition and sense of fulfillment that your employees will then communicate externally, which only helps to reinforce your employer brand. Without those words, even the most highly-paid employees or contractors will lack the meaningful recognition they’re looking for, putting you at greater risk of losing them to competitors.”

The goal is not to encourage flattery or give false praise, but instead to find the right opportunities to give authentic and honest recognition. Everyone deserves praise for their individual talents and hard work. It’s your job as a manager to see that potential and bring out the best in your employees. Perhaps this is even more important for contract workers, especially those on long-term assignments, who are often treated differently than permanent staff.

Here are three tips for generating a positive praise culture in your workplace:

Be authentic
Don’t praise just to praise – your employees, whether permanent or contingent, will see right through a false compliment, and they’ll be left wondering what you’re hoping to get out of them. Praise should be organic, the natural reaction to a job well done. Take the time to sit down and really explain what it is they did so well.

Use specific examples of what they’ve done and how it benefited the company as a whole. Encouraging them to keep up the hard work exemplifies how their individual contribution made a positive impact, which is always nice to hear. Also, going one step further to recognize the employee amongst the rest of the company, adds another dimension to your praise, potentially incentivizing others to emulate the staff member’s behavior or actions.

Put yourself in their shoes
Consider the last time you were commended for your long hours, extensive research or hard work. Did you feel appreciated? Your employees are seeking the same kind of feedback. Each individual contributes something of great importance to your company, and deserves to be recognized for that.

Displaying true personal interest in your employees shows that you are invested in not only the work they generate, but also in each of them as individuals. When employees feel genuinely appreciated, it cultivates stronger dedication to any given client, project, report and the company as a whole.

See the potential in everyone
Finding areas to praise may be difficult in some situations. It’s important to remember that everyone brings something to the table and each has his or her own talents. Perhaps they consistently boost team morale, or as a short-term contractor they bring a specific skill set to the job that fills a gap on your team. Whatever it may be, it’s your job to support them, encourage them and praise them.

“While recognition may seem like such a simple and obvious thing, companies frequently underestimate the far-reaching impacts, which can be especially powerful for organizations that don’t have the ability to provide extraordinary perks or benefits,” says Bass. “By spending a few moments to sincerely commend your permanent staff employees and your contractors, your company as a whole will reap the benefits, not only from a revenue perspective, but also in terms of the employer brand.”

Recent CDI Analysis

“It’s really the small things like a simple acknowledgement or word of thanks that can make a world of difference. It’s this recognition and sense of fulfillment that your employees will then communicate externally, which only helps to reinforce your employer brand.”

Scott Bass
Director, Marketing & Communications
Talent and Technology Solutions
CDI Corporation

Employment Situation (U.S.)

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nonfarm payroll employment advanced by 255,000 last month which included hiring in financial activities, and professional and business services. Both the number of unemployed persons and the unemployment rate remained unchanged, despite predictions otherwise. Forecasted to fall to 4.8 percent, the unemployment rate held at 4.9 percent for July.

Ahead of the job report, economists surveyed by Reuters expected a rise in nonfarm payrolls of just 180,000, reported Fortune magazine. Although the July numbers were down slightly from the June employment jump of 287,000, the rise was still well above the monthly average of employment gains for the first half of the year, which stood at 171,500.

The sector with the most robust growth last month was professional and business services, posting an increase of 70,000 jobs. That brings added jobs to 550,000 within the past year. Within the sector, professional and technical services grew by 37,000 positions. Computer systems design and related services added 8,000 roles, while architectural and engineering services also posted 7,000 jobs. Management and technical consulting services continued edging up, adding 6,000 jobs.

Employment in government added 38,000 jobs, as did financial activities which added 18,000 roles. Mining continued its downward trend, losing 6,000 jobs.

Other major industries including construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade and information remained relatively unchanged throughout the month.

Private nonfarm payroll earnings on average increased by 8 cents per hour in July, according to the BLS report. Marking a 2.6 percent rise in hourly earnings over the year, it brought the hourly median earnings to $25.69. Private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees saw hourly earnings increase by 7 cents to $21.59. “As the labor market continues to tighten, I think we will see wage growth further accelerate,” Gus Faucher, deputy chief economist at PNC Financial Services Group in Pittsburgh, told Fortune. “Consumers are driving economic growth right now and one of the reasons is that wage growth has gotten a bit stronger.”

Though the average workweek for manufacturing employees held steady at 40.7 hours last month, overtime increased 0.1 hour to 3.3 hours. Meanwhile, private nonfarm payroll employees saw a decrease of 0.1 hour, bringing the average workweek down to 34.5 hours.

The second robust month of hiring comes amidst a mix of an unsettled global economy, increased consumer spending, a slowdown in economic output and falling investments in the business sector, according to The Wall Street Journal. Regardless of swaying indications from the economy however, the strong job report for July should bolster expectations of a strengthening labor market, noted the source.

“It shows the economy from a labor perspective is heading in the direction that the Fed wants, Doug Duncan, chief economist at Fannie Mae in Washington told Reuters. “It gives the Fed some support for those looking for an increase in rates by the end of the year.”

Moreover, the steady rise of entrants to the job market is expected to maintain a high labor force participation rate, or the percentage of working-age Americans who are employed, which currently stands at 62.8 percent, noted Fortune.

The full Bureau of Labor Statistics report can be downloaded by
clicking here.

Employment Situation (Canada)

Following three months of small economic change, employment in Canada dropped sharply and unexpectedly in July by 31,000, reported Statistics Canada, primarily among Canadian young adults. The unemployment rate increased 0.1 per cent to 6.9 per cent. Though 40,000 part-time jobs were added last month, it was not enough to completely offset the loss of 71,000 full-time positions. However, the economic growth in the U.S. remains a bright spot for its northern neighbor, expected to trickle over and benefit the Canadian economy in the third and fourth quarters of the year.

Employment in social assistance and the healthcare sector saw an increase, adding 28,000 positions and marking a year-over-year jump of 2.8 per cent. Though the public sector lost 42,000 jobs, and there was virtually no job growth for workers in the private sector and those that are self-employed.

According to Action Forex, the current job situation is expected to improve from the most recent report, which served as the first economic data indicator of quarter three. Though employment will likely not even out completely, the majority of gains are anticipated to occur in Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia.

Also proving positive for the Canadian economy was the strength of the U.S. jobs report last week.

“Mitigating the sombre start to the quarter was a healthy employment gain south of the border,” TD Economist Leslie Preston told The Star. “With exports expected to help lift Canada’s growth in the coming quarters it is good news that the U.S. is proving resilient to global headwinds.”

Canadian ES Report:
Labour Force Survey, July 2016

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