HR essentials for managing remote teams

HR essentials for managing remote teams

Many managers are struggling with finding ways to keep their remote employees engaged and productive. People leaders today want to get the most out of their teams while still supporting the well-being of their people, given all of the pressures of today’s work environment. 


We’ve assembled a list of what we consider HR essentials: tips and techniques to support managers as they work to support their teams.


Schedule check-ins
Being physically apart doesn’t have to mean that you’re disconnected from your team members. Schedule regular check-ins at intervals that make sense for you and your people. Ask your employees what they’re comfortable with. For some, a brief daily check-in may be preferred. For others, weekly or biweekly catch-ups will suffice. Each individual has different and evolving needs. 


During your virtual meetings, set aside time to talk about non-work related matters. Ask them how they’re doing, how they’re feeling, and what you can do to support them. Listening and taking action on what you hear is important too — employees will continue to be more communicative and forthcoming if they see that you take their needs seriously and are quick to address any concerns. And, it’s always good to humanize the face behind the screen. Share a bit about yourself and how you’re feeling about work and pandemic life. Being relatable is a key characteristic to being a great leader. 


Help with home distractions
Many of us can relate to the challenge of trying to be heads-down with work while children, dogs, cats, etc. run wild in the background. 


Some of your team members may also be operating with limited technology or a poorly constructed work space. If you have the budget to do so, consider extending a home office allowance to your remote employees so that they can invest in an ergonomic chair, desk, and other necessary supplies to make their space work for them. 

For those employees having a hard time blocking out the noise and distractions at home, offer them flexibility in their work hours. It may be easier for them to work early in the morning and again late at night. Listen to the unique needs of your team members and be flexible — we’re all doing our best. 


Focus on outcomes over productivity
To our last point, the work environment has vastly changed over the past year. Rather than trying to micromanage activity for activity’s sake, emphasize the importance of measurable outcomes. 


It’s less about hours worked and more about completed to-dos and goals achieved. First, be sure that the goals you’re measuring your employees against are clearly defined and that they have the training and resources required to be successful. 


Secondly, define the purpose and impact of the desired outcomes/output. This will help your team members understand the organization’s big picture and how their contributions help to benefit everyone. 



Stay tuned for more HR essentials: tips for managing today’s changing workforce.


Have an immediate need or workforce challenge? Talk to the experts at The West Egg Group

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5 steps to effective coaching

5 steps to effective coaching

There are endless approaches to workforce training, coaching, and leadership. But what truly works? 


For staff performing new employee onboarding, internal trainers teaching or reinforcing new skills and practices, and for people leaders looking to get the most from their teams, there are 5 simple steps to ensuring success:


Step #1: Read it
Reading helps many learners take-in and process new information.

Be sure to present new ideas, concepts, and processes in a visual way, such as using paper or a whiteboard to write it down or draw/map it out. Then, ask learners to rewrite what they see to help reinforce their learning. 


Step #2: See it
Some people need to see it to believe it — and to learn and retain it. 


Many learners benefit from watching a video that demonstrates the desired action or behaviour you are presenting. This helps them to visualize what it looks like and how it impacts them/their role at work.


Step #3 Try it:
Next, introduce your teams to the new process, action, or behaviour by allowing them to act it out at their own pace. This will help to reinforce the learning and allow them to demonstrate their understanding. It’s also an opportunity for learners to become comfortable with something new in a safe, controlled environment. 

Step 4: Feel it
Practice makes perfect. This is the step in which you’ll ask your teams to practice what they’ve learned on-site. Walk learners through the process within the work environment so that they can put into proactive their new skill set.


Step 5: Live it
This is where it gets real. The on-site practice has led your learners to on-the-job coaching. At this stage, your people leaders or trainers will act as mentors, helping learners to execute their new skills while in real work scenarios.

Remember to be encouraging and supportive, and to offer compliments alongside constructive criticism when an area of opportunity for improvement presents itself. 


Remember that each individual has their own learning style and pace. Using a singular approach to teach and reinforce new processes and behaviours will fail to reach each individual on your team. To ensure that you’re connecting — and making a positive impact — on everyone, the above holistic approach to leadership and training should be adopted. 


For help putting this system into practice, reach out to the workforce solutions experts at The West Egg Group

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How The West Egg Group’s Ambassador service is keeping shoppers and retail workers safe

How The West Egg Group’s Ambassador service is keeping shoppers and retail workers safe

As experts in both workforce management and the guest experience, The West Egg Group was pleased to implement its Ambassador services at busy shopping centres across the Greater Toronto Area.


The program, now at nine locations, has most recently expanded to Upper Canada Mall and Hillcrest Mall. 


What is the Ambassador service?
The program was born out of the need for the screening of guests entering the shopping centres — a government mandate aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19.


What does an Ambassador do?
Our Ambassadors are stationed at the doors to the shopping centres and are tasked with asking each shopper a predetermined set of COVID screening questions. Based on their responses, the Ambassador will permit or deny their entry. 


In addition to screening questions and enforcing COVID-19 safety protocols, they also assist with wayfinding — helping shoppers following the mall arrows to ensure a safe distance from other shoppers. 


Our Ambassadors are at the frontlines
We’re proud of the work our Ambassadors do with the public at the frontlines. With changing business operations rules, stores reopening, and a growing consumer demand for in-store shopping, the work that they do is paramount to ensuring the health and safety of retail employees and shopping mall guests. 

The presence of our Ambassadors, and the important screening questions that they ask, ensure that businesses can remain open and aligned with the government of Ontario’s bylaws around safe business operations amidst the pandemic. This creates a more positive experience for shoppers and a more prosperous one for retailers and shopping centers.


To date, we have served thousands — if not tens of thousands — of guests across the shopping centers we are stationed at. And we look forward to welcoming more shoppers in the weeks and months ahead and remain committed to facilitating a safer shopping center experience. 


Look for our Ambassador service representatives at these fine shopping centers:


  • Sherway Gardens Mall
  • Fairview Mall
  • Upper Canada Mall
  • Fairview Park Mall (Kitchener)
  • Yorkdale Shopping Centre 
  • Scarborough Town Centre 
  • Manulife building 
  • Hillcrest Shopping Centre
  • Eatons Centre 

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How to build a mission and vision statement for your business

How to build a mission and vision statement for your business

Before you can rally your workforce behind your organization’s purpose, you have to create it. And that can be more difficult than you think. 


Sure, you know what products or services you’re offering, but what is at the heart of what you do? What problems does your organization solve and what sets it apart? 


Here is a guideline on how to define your organization’s mission and vision, and create simple statements that employees can rally around.


The purpose of a mission statement
A mission statement describes the present. The who, what, and why of your business. In short, it describes why the business exists to internal and external audiences (i.e. employees and customers).


How to write a mission statement

Consider addressing three key elements within your mission statement: what your company does, how it’s done, and why. And, try to address what sets you apart.  


Instagram: to capture and share the world’s moments

Tesla: to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.


How does a vision statement differ?
This statement is future-focused. It helps employees and other stakeholders understand the meaning and purpose of your business. It outlines the desired long-term goals and resulting effects of your organization’s efforts. It’s essentially what you want your business to be and to achieve.

How to write a vision statement
Although these statements should be only a sentence or two, they can be difficult to write. To get started, think about your organization’s long-term goals — this will be the foundation of your vision statement. 


Next, think about how you’ll interact with employees and customers and the impact you want to have on them. Don’t be afraid to be bold. Some of the best vision statements are a little bit daring.

Microsoft (when it was founded): A computer on every desk in every home.
Alzheimer’s Association: A world without Alzheimer’s disease.


Why do mission and vision statements matter?
Mission statements are a great navigational tool for the organization. By identifying the purpose behind the work being done, you can align company goals and desired employee behaviors. 


Similarly, employees who identify with their organization’s vision are more engaged, and as a result, are more productive. They become brand ambassadors helping to move the organization closer to its goals.


So if you haven’t already done so, take some time to draft your mission and vision statements, or use some downtown to reflect on the ones you currently have to determine if they still reflect your business and where it’s headed.

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