Strategies for Managing Workplace Conflict

Every manager hopes their employees can work together in harmony all the time. Is that realistic? Of course not. It’s completely normal that employees occasionally feel frustrated, not listened to, stressed out, or resistant to change, and that conflicts will arise. That’s okay. In fact, if conflicts are addressed in a sensitive and constructive manner, they can even inspire process improvement and fresh ideas. So, as a manager, what should you do when members of your team don’t see eye to eye? What are some strategies for dealing with conflict in a way that doesn’t affect morale or productivity? Evaluate your own strengths and weaknesses as a manager. This should always be step one. Take responsibility for your own role. Understand what your management style is, and assess how this style might exacerbate conflict or clash with other styles. Do you avoid having tough conversations with employees? Do members of your team have the tools they need to improve their performance and meet expectations? Take a closer look at communication. Conflicts can often be traced back to a failure or breakdown in communication. Do your employees feel like they have a voice and the opportunity to share feedback? Create a culture of transparency and openness, where employees are kept up to date about key decisions and changes, and feel empowered to provide honest feedback to their managers. Getting disagreements or points of dissatisfaction out in the open is always better in the long run. Keep in mind, communication is not everyone’s strength, so consider offering communication training or workshops to help your team gain the skills they need to... Read More

Build Your Brand Through HR

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that Human Resources can be a company’s strongest brand asset. What does it take to convert employees into brand ambassadors? HR practices that encourage engagement and retention. On the other hand, if employees don’t feel their employer is invested in their long-term development and wellbeing, HR can also be a company’s greatest weakness. To improve your HR processes and give employees a positive experience of your brand, consider following these HR best practices.  Take the Technology Leap Efficiency and self-sufficiency are the key words here. Using an HR technology platform streamlines processes and improves communication between employee and manager. Employees can access paycheck information and manage HR tasks at any time rather than submitting requests through their supervisors. Automating processes also cuts down opportunities for error, and ensures that payroll proceeds smoothly for all employees. Invest in Your Employees To stay at a job, employees must feel there are opportunities for career growth and professional development. Give employees access to online training, create a formal mentoring program, offer mediation and wellness resources, or host lunch and learn sessions with experts from your industry. Yes, there is a cost to do these things, but it is far less than the cost associated with hiring and turnover. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate It sounds easy enough but make sure your employees are in the know. Leaders should keep their teams up to date on their vision and business plan, while also being open about challenges and setbacks. Transparency is always the best approach to guarantee employees feel like they are part of a team and belong to something... Read More

HR Spring Cleaning

Spring is here, which means all those hectic start-of-the-year tasks have subsided, and you’ve had time to get comfortable with your Human Resources administration routine. That makes it the perfect time to tackle all the organization and process improvement tasks you haven’t had time for up until now. Where should you start? Here are a few recommendations to guide you in your HR spring cleaning. Audit Employee Files Do you have an efficient filing system in place or is it time for a tune up? This is the time to clean up, organize and destroy files that are no longer needed. First, check you I-9 files to confirm you have a form for every employee and that they are filed separately from other employee records. Separate I-9s for terminated employees from active employee forms. For terminated employees, I-9 forms must be kept for three years after date of hire or one year after termination date, whichever is later. Next, review employee files. Does your filing system restrict access to only those who need it and protect the privacy of your employees? Remember that confidential medical information must be stored separately from main employee files. Finally, use this opportunity to go paperless. How much space are old files taking up in your office? Evaluate what can be stored digitally and start converting. Consult with Anthros for comprehensive guidelines on employee records and file retention. Employee Handbooks When was the last time you updated your employee handbook? Does it reflect your current policies and procedures, as well as changes in employment law that have been made since your last update? The... Read More

Workplace Wellness: Beyond Fitness & Nutrition

“A person who feels appreciated will always do more than expected” –Anthros Founder & CEO, Anurag Dandiya As employers, we want to do everything we can to help our employees become their best selves, at work and at home. Are you using all the tools at your disposal to promote the overall wellness and wellbeing of your team? When talking about wellness in the workplace, we often think first of nutrition and fitness. An employer might offer healthy eating workshops, exercise challenges, gym membership discounts, or flu shots. But wellness is not just about what “feeds” the body. It is also about what nourishes the mind and spirit. Here are a few questions to consider. Do your employees feel purpose in coming to work? Do they have opportunities to be a leader and feel secure about their future? Do they have resources when they face difficult life events? Here are a few things you may not have thought of that can promote wellness in your workplace. Employee Assistance Programs Everyone faces unexpected stresses, challenges and life changes. With an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) in place, your employees have direct access to experienced counselors to help navigate these difficult times. An EAP program can also help your employees set goals, manage work life balance, or create a weight loss program. Anthros partners with EAP provider Charles Nechtem Associates (CNA) to give our clients’ employees unlimited phone and email counseling twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Learn more about the Anthros EAP program. 401K Plans & Retirement Tools Giving employees the option to enroll in a 401K or retirement... Read More

Move60 Challenge: Team Anthros Gets Moving!

  The Anthros team is greeting spring with a wellness challenge! For the second year in a row, we’re participating in Healthy Central Florida’s Move60 challenge along with over 1,400 participants in our community. We’re challenging ourselves to be more active, whether that is running, biking, walking, swimming, or yoga—whatever gets us moving! Over 60 days, March 1st through April 30th, we’re tracking our steps and fitness activities. We’re also using Move60 as an opportunity to talk about our overall wellness, both mind and body, and explore ways to promote health and wellness in the workplace. Each week on “Wellness Wednesday” we’ll tackle a different wellness-related topic. And, because we like a little friendly competition to get us motivated, we’ve split up into two teams and are having an internal competition as well. Meet our teams: Team Mission Slimpossible: Ed, Bailey, Carleen, Tiffany and Erin Team Die Lard: Helen, Anurag, Jamie, Lisa and Dyannah Follow along with us as we share highlights from our health and fitness challenge and journey over the next few weeks!   Week One For our first Wellness Wednesday we hosted Holistic Health Coach Shanna Windle, who led an interactive workshop about taking an integrated approach to health and the primary “foods” needed to create a nourishing life. We also have some exciting fitness highlights from this week! Congratulations to Brand Manager Dyannah, who ran a half marathon PR (personal record) in Best Damn Race Orlando. And our Office Manager, Bailey, wins this week for most interesting exercise activity: baby goat yoga! Because, as far as we can tell, everything is better with baby goats.... Read More

Best Practices for Protecting Employee Data

Is our personal data safe? This question is on our minds more than ever in the face of more frequent, more sophisticated, and more egregious security breaches. For business owners and payroll and HR professionals, the issue is especially critical. Are you doing enough internally to protect employee data? Do you have proper safeguards in place to protect against security breaches? What we do know is that businesses are susceptible to data breaches. This is not hypothetical. So what should you do? As you review and update your security policies and procedures, here are a few things to keep in mind. Best Practices for Protecting Employee Data: Map internal data flow. When looking at your internal processes, it’s important to review the flow of information and documents, including where they are stored and who has access. Where does your business interact with sensitive employee data? Make a map of these touchpoints and how data flows through your business. Review internal forms and requests for personal data. When looking at requests for sensitive personal information, evaluate if it’s absolutely necessary to get that information for a process to work. Store sensitive documents separately. Keep any records that contain sensitive information in confidential, locked files separate from other personnel files. This might include I-9 forms, employment applications, wage garnishment documents, direct deposit forms, credit card information, mortgage application inquiries, drug screen and background test results. If you have employee medical records, keep those separate as well. Limit access to sensitive information. Again, make sure the staff with access to private employee data absolutely need it in order to perform their jobs.... Read More