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The Employer�s Challenge in Addressing Employee Negativity

You will find that intensifying any of these factors causes employee negativity.
Knowing about these causes of employee negativity enables you to take action to
prevent or eliminate employee negativity. Based on this research, here are several
examples of actions that you can take to minimize employee negativity in your

If you lose an employee and divide the work across several remaining employees, you
foster employee negativity unless employees have the end in sight � a new employee
with an expected arrival date.

The longer they work in this kind of a scenario, whether because you can't find a
qualified candidate, the budget is not approved for a replacement employee, or the
company is restructuring and all positions are on hold, the more negative they will
become. You can ask your employees to work harder for coverage, but only if they
see a deadline.
Companies that experience a business downturn will experience employee negativity.
Employees are concerned about both management and their future with the company.
Insecure employees are negative and looking for the worst to happen.

Following a period of financial woes, management has to work hard to regain

employee trust. During times of fear and concern about their company's viability,
you will find that many employees are out job searching. They don't want to be
blindsided if you downsize or close.
An employee who applies for a promotional opportunity and does not get the job can
be extremely negative, especially if promotional opportunities are perceived as
limited. You must take great care to make sure your promotion system is fair and
that employees know exactly what they need to do to get ready for the next
Employees love recognition for their work. They also like to see salary increases
for contributing employees. One of the most significant causes of employee
negativity occurs when employees believe poor contributors received raises �
especially when their own raise was below their expectations.
This is a snapshot of causes of employee negativity. If you can eliminate these
five, you have gone a long way in the direction of building a positive, supportive
work environment. You�ve minimized the potential for employee negativity.

And, you won't find yourself playing the role of a negative employee since you now
know what to look for in a negative employee.

It is a huge challenge to get excellent professionals and managers to leave large

companies and join startups. Good people are needed by a startup but they won�t
join easily. Such managers are generally poor risk takers and only when they see
stability in a company and they see other professional managers making this leap of
faith do they agree to make a change.

While it must always be the objective of every entrepreneur who is working towards
building a big business on a national level to bring in strong professionals and
gradually hand over the operations of the company to such professionals, the timing
of bringing in these professionals has to be right.

The entrepreneur must outline his philosophy for the Human Resources function not
just in words but also in deeds because this is what will set the management
culture of the company.
The human resource function of any company can make or break a company since the
employees are ambassadors of the company and and your �face� in front of your
customers. Therefore this function must have a strong leader and must have complete
support of the entrepreneur.

Some guiding human resources principles that the entrepreneur should consider
establishing very early in the company�s journey are:

The company should rapidly move towards professional management and that not build
a family run organisation.
Professional growth must be based on meritocracy and not based on relationships
with the entrepreneur or some senior member of management or patronage.
Any relationships between managers would need to be disclosed at the time of hiring
and approved by the management committee of the company. It should also specified
that two managers who are related would not be allowed to work in the same
Performance management must be done based on agreed and quantifiable key result
areas for each manager.
Salary increases would be based on achievement of results and not based on
seniority and definitely not based on relationships.
In large established companies, HR policies are followed by everyone because
�everyone else� follows them and no one asks for any exceptions to be made.
However, in a new company, most new employees try and implement policies they have
either seen in use elsewhere or want to get implemented for their own personal

The entrepreneur must make it clear to everyone that the company will implement
policies for employees that the entrepreneur is willing to accept himself.

He must take a decision to abide by the policies articulated by the Human Resources
department of the company, and approved by the board, in their entirety so that
there would no exceptions.

He must start marking his attendance on the biometric finger print reader every
morning and evening like he would expect all employees to do.
Leave should be applied for in the standard company approved application form. This
must apply to the entrepreneur as well.
Ensure that no special discounts are offered to the entrepreneur that the other
employees are not entitled to. Obviously, these can be graded based on seniority
but the principle must be transparent for all to understand.
If the entrepreneur calls for any samples to be given out as gifts, these should be
duly authorised as is done for all other managers.
All the expense claims of the entrepreneur must be approved by another board member
as is the practice followed in the company.
For gifts received by employees, some companies fix a limit beyond which all gifts
need to be handed over to the Human Resources manager. These gifts are then given
away to all staff members through a raffle either on the annual day or in a town
hall meeting.
Only when people start to see the entrepreneur following the companies� policies
will they start accepting these and started adhering to them. If the entrepreneur
does not follow these policies then it will take a very short time before all
management levels will start to build exceptions for themselves.

Getting The �Buy In� From Managers

Establishing the key result areas, quantifying these and getting the �buy in� from
the respective managers is a big challenge the human resources function is
confronted with in every new company. Getting people to sit down and make a
commitment to accountable and measurable parameters was tough since most people did
not want to be pinned down to a set of numbers they would be held accountable for.

It can take several years and constant cajoling to get managers to start making
this commitment for themselves based on which they would set similar KRAs for their
teams. This cannot be done through a directive because the entrepreneur is always
worried about losing key managers and therefore he needs to constantly live on the
edge of the razor!

In Conclusion
While it is important to professionalise a startup company quickly, handing over
the reins of the company and stepping back should only be done by an entrepreneur
when the organisation has built sufficient resilience to handle changes that a
professional manager is bound to bring in for the long term good of the company.

Good policies coupled with firm implementation could mean that your young company
will need to keep hiring better and better people to keep upgrading your skill
sets. This will also result in a higher than normal turnover in your management
ranks but this is to be expected and must not be a reason for any concern.

It is better to lose those employees who find it difficult to accept the company�s
policies rather than allow them to develop arbitrary policies and norms for
employees. Over a period of time, the management team will stabilise.

In summary, motivation of human beings in a startup must be a fire from within. If

someone else tries to light that fire under the employee, chances are that this
fire of motivation will burn very briefly and then die out.

3.Best HR practices for your startup

Startups cannot run their businesses the way established companies can. Established
companies leverage their name and stability to attract the best talent in the
industry. Your startup does not have an established name or track record of
stability, but you do have other principles at your disposal that can help your HR
department. Use these principles to hire the best talent away from the larger
companies around you.

#1: Creating Something Great

You must appeal to new hires that you are building something great. The people that
come to work for you should come because they want to be able to say that they were
there from the beginning. They want to have the satisfaction of knowing that they
helped build a company from the ground up. Appealing to new employees in this way
allows them to see their own potential in light of the jobs you have posted. There
is more room for them to grow, and there is more reason for them to stay as your
business becomes more successful.

#2: A New Office Environment

Your office environment does not have to be like the stodgy offices of old.
Established companies have office environments that likely have not changed in
decades. Your new employees will feel more comfortable in a place that is modern in
its feel. Casual dress, flexible work hours and more understanding managers will
draw people away from companies with strict rules.

#3: Stock Options And Futures

Your new business may not have stock value today, but your new employees can be
some of the first people to receive stock options from your company. These
employees may end up very rich if your company grows as much as you want it to, and
they are more inclined to stay because they helped to create that growth. You are
building a business together with your employees, and you should appeal to them as
creative creatures. Employees want to be a part of something rather than a cog in a

#4: Access To The Top

Your new employees are going to work closely with you as soon as you hire them.
They will spend all their time at your company working with the people who manage
everything. Employees who have worked for much larger companies know that they may
never meet the executives or board of directors. Your employees work for the
executives, and they may be invited to board meetings. You want to make your
employees feel included to distinguish your business from other businesses in the

#5: Creativity

The biggest companies in the world are not as creative as startups. Large companies
are repackaging their biggest products many times over to make money. Your business
must start on the ground floor to create new product and services. Your employees
are invited to be a part of the creative process, and many employees will get
project management experience that they may never have had with a larger company.

#6: Bonuses

You need to use the venture capital you have acquired to pay bonuses to your
employees. You need to give them incentives to come work with you, and you want to
give them performance bonuses when you can. Larger companies often reserve these
bonuses for people in the upper management sphere, but you can give bonuses to
everyone in the office.

#7: Including Everybody

You must make every person in your office a part of the team. These office workers
want to be a part of something big, and they should have the freedom to participate
in the growth of your company. The receptionist should be included in planning
meetings just as your engineers are included. You need to revolutionize the office
with your inclusion of all employees to improve their morale. Your employees will
love coming to work because they know that their opinions matter.

#8: No Generational Gaps

Your Company will not be defined by generation gaps that exist in other businesses.
The executives at other companies do not understand the young people they hire, and
that gap can cause creative problems in the office. You must emphasize to your new
employees that they are understood in every way. You are their age, or you are not
that much older than them. You have a clear understanding of how their generation
feels about the work you do, and you must let them know that you care about how
they perceive the world around them.

Using these tips will allow you to recruit the best talent in your industry without
any falsehoods. You are presenting your business in a completely different light,
and your employees will see that difference when they come to work on their first
day. This is a much wiser hiring plan and it allows you to hire people who want to
stick around

Have you ever looked in envy at an article online and seen the incredible, bright,
and colourful workspaces Google�s 70,000+ employees enjoy on a daily basis? I have
too�Creating innovative workspaces is only scratching the surface when it comes to
Google�s revolution of Human Resources, or People Operations, as it now known. We
will delve deeper to uncover what Google have done to transform its human resource
processes, have one of the highest rates of employee retention in world, and have
some of the happiest employees.

First, some background; based in Mountain View, California, Google is the largest
and most popular search engine in the world. Google was founded in 1998 by Larry
Page and Sergey Brin with the singular aim to �organise the world�s information and
to make it universally accessible and useful�. In the (almost) 20 years since it
was founded the tech giant has become synonymous with innovation, and has become
known for its unique work culture and human resource policies. It has been named
the No.1 �Best Company to Work for� by both Fortune magazine and the Great Place to
Work Institute a total of 7 times. Google once again received this accolade for
2017. This is no accident; Google is deliberate in its actions and does not do
things by chance. As a data driven company, Google makes calculated decisions for
everything it does; including its HR policies.

Focus 1: Thirst for Data

Google as a company, is part of the knowledge economy. Its human resources; the
people who work within the company are the most important determinants of Google�s
ongoing success and growth. Like most tech companies, Google�s workforce is
comprised mainly of young people, and a large number of Millennials; with an
average employee age of 29. This is considerably young when compared to the US
workforce�s average age of 42.2. As a result, this youthful workforce is
instigating change, as these employees demand a different type of work environment.
However, Google�s employees are not the only driving force behind Google�s
innovative �people processes�. As a tech company, Google uses data to inform all of
its decision making, including its HR processes. Essentially, Google uses people
analytics to navigate their people management practices. Nothing is done solely on
gut feeling, or in accordance with outdated HR policies of the 80�s and 90�s which
still plague many companies to this day. Instead, data informs all of their
decisions. By adopting this scientific approach to its processes; from improving
employee retention, workplace collaboration, diversity, to hiring algorithms which
indicate which prospective candidate has the highest probability to succeed at
Google. �All people decisions at Google are based on data and analytics�. The goal
is to � �bring the same level of rigor to people-decisions that we do to
engineering decisions�. Nothing is left to chance.

Focus 2: The Happiness Project

I have self-assigned the term �Happiness Project� to Google�s attempts to make life
easier/better for its employees. Google makes it its mission to remove all barriers
so that �Googlers can focus on the things they love both inside of and outside of
work�. By putting the health and happiness of their employees first, they get more
out of their employees, their employees are happy and contented, while they produce
the stellar results that continually propel Google to even greater heights.

Google is very aware that having happier employees benefits them greatly too. When
compared to other leading multi-nationals; Google�s employees outrank employees
from every other company in terms of $value of their productivity and profit
generation. The average Google employee generates more than $1.2 million in revenue
each year. Yahoo currently produces just $449,000 per employee, and Microsoft
$783,000. �This level of productivity has pushed Google stock into the
stratosphere, with share prices recently topping $1000�no small feat, given that
Google only went public in August 2004 at a price of $85�.

Like everything at Google, happiness levels too, are monitored and researched; with
data driving new directions and policies. A particular internal group known as
PiLab carries out these experiments and plans its human processes in accordance
with its findings. This research includes determining the most effective approaches
for managing people and maintaining a productive environment (including the type of
reward that makes employees the happiest). Google have also notably increased the
health of its workers by lowering their calorie intake at work by relying on such
scientific data; and an experiment which decreased the size of its canteen plates.

This focus on employee happiness and health extends beyond the world of work.
Google�s �Pay-for-Performance� compensation package provides considerable
compensation for strong performers and coaching and training for underperformers.
On the job learning, training sessions from experienced managers, as well as
inspirational talks from famous people such as Sen. Hillary Clinton and Lady Gaga
help to inspire its workers. Google also provide gourmet meals to all of its
employees. All of these perks create a happier, healthier, more engaged workforce
with high company morale.

Focus 3: Management Style

Like its hiring policies and people pleasing perks, the driving force behind
Google�s management styles is also no accident. It is driven by extensive research
and, yes, you guessed it, data analytics. Google launched �Project Oxygen� in order
to assess how its managers were doing, and to suggest future training and coaching
when inadequacies were uncovered by the performance management process. Google came
to the realisation that if managers are effective they do not need to build a lot
of training infrastructure. Project Oxygen, uncovered 8 traits that Google
managers, ranked in order of importance must possess:

1. Be a good coach

2. Empower your team and don�t micromanage

3. Express interest in team members� success and personal well-being

4. Don�t be a sissy: Be productive and results-oriented

5. Be a good communicator and listen to your team

6. Help your employees with career development

7. Have a clear vision and strategy for the team

8. Have key technical skills so you can help advise the team

Another interesting feature of the management culture in Google is that,

essentially, the buck stops with a manager. Employees are encouraged to be innovate
and try new things; however if they endeavours do not pan out as expected, instead
of scapegoating the individual employee; it is instead seen as a failure in
management. While many of these skills may seem arbitrary or unimportant, I promise
you if your managers leave and work by these rules, you will have happier, more
productive, more engaged employees.

What to take away?

While most companies are not on the same scale of, or have the resources available
to them as Google, there are still many lessons that can be learned from Google�s
innovative HR process. Perhaps the most important piece of advice would be to look
after your people. Happier employees are more likely to go above and beyond, and do
the very best for their employer once they feel valued and appreciated.

Additionally, it�s time to stop the mindset that other firms (regardless of size)
have that Google is not a competitor to companies not working in the IT sector, as
that�s simply not true. Like the New York Yankees in baseball or Barcelona in
football, Google is a talent magnet. Google attracts and retains the top talents in
each industry from IT to marketing, sales, sustainable development, engineering and
more. It is this ability to hire and retain the best talent that accounts for
Google�s continued success and dominance on the world stage.