Employee Engagement in Light of COVID-19

Employee Engagement in Light of COVID-19

COVID-19 is hindering employee engagement in a multitude of ways. Not only are employees distracted, but they are also isolated. If you feel as though your employees aren’t engaged, you need to take action now. Engagement is an incredibly important part of developing company culture and productivity, and low employee satisfaction never yields good results.

Connecting With the Right Team

When employees aren’t engaged, you don’t want to interact with human resources. You don’t want to reach out to upper management. You want to connect with direct management and supervisors; those who are listening to their team and who understand what makes their teamwork. If you can, reach out directly to employees. Find out what they need to feel valued.

Foster a Feeling of Connection

Under COVID-19, employees frequently feel as though they aren’t as connected. Make sure that employees are getting enough face-to-face time in terms of video conferencing and phone conversations. If employees aren’t able to communicate with each other, they’re going to start feeling like their work doesn’t matter and isn’t valued. But it doesn’t take a lot to help them feel connected, just conscientious effort.

Make Sure Employees Are Cared For

At this time, the last thing employees really want to have to worry about is their jobs. Tell employees about the direction that the business is taking and how the business is performing. Be honest and transparent. Let employees know what might be coming next. If people are going to have fewer hours, they need to know. The more honest you are with people, the more they will trust you.

Give Them an Open Door

There are a lot of things that employees may want to discuss during this time. They may need more time off. They may need to know about their health benefits. Or they may just need to know that they’re functioning well under these new constraints. Give employees a time when they can reach someone, such as their HR representative, and bring up their concerns.

Be Proactive About Potential Issues

When problems do arise that could potentially impact employees, don’t let it be a surprise. Everyone knows that there are new developments every day, and they will be understanding if these issues are brought up beforehand. Always have a plan. Don’t just give employees a problem, but also discuss what you’re going to do about it. This will make them feel more confident with the direction that the business is taking.

Everything else is uncertain. So employees need to be certain about something, and work is often that. Maintain structure rather than trying to do things on-the-fly. Set expectations clearly and make sure employees always know what they need to be doing. The more certain they are, the better.

Maintain Structure

Everything else is uncertain. So employees need to be certain about something, and work is often that. Maintain structure rather than trying to do things on-the-fly. Set expectations clearly and make sure employees always know what they need to be doing. The more certain they are, the better.

It’s not easy to keep employees engaged, especially when they’re dealing with other issues such as quarantine and potential illness. But if you’re able to reach out to your employees and communicate with them more effectively, it will help. To start gauging your employee engagement and effectiveness, you need a plan. You also need data. To learn more, contact the experts at Starr & Associates.

Machine Learning 101: Essential for the Modern Business

Machine Learning 101: Essential for the Modern Business

Today, machine learning is becoming incredibly important for businesses hoping to remain competitive. From shipping and logistics to the medical industry, machine learning is being used to improve upon products and processes. Here’s what you need to know about integrating machine learning into your organization’s infrastructure.

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So, You Are Thinking About Integrating Machine Learning Into Your Business Process?

By: Dmitriy

When most people think of ML, they imagine a team of data scientists, high overhead costs for computer hardware and timelines that stretch into quarters or a year before seeing results. But today the market is filled with automation tools and cloud-based computing power. ML, AI, and Big Data are available more than ever. It is now easier for medium to large-size businesses to start using and applying these advancements in business intelligence technology to grow and improve their business.

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Data Biz: Q & A with John Tardy

By: Sharon Mattei

John Tardy is a principal consultant at Starr & Associates and leads the Business Intelligence and Data Analytics practice area.  He has a BS in Electrical Engineering and an MS in Biomedical Engineering from Rutgers University and an MBA in Management of Technology from Georgia Tech.  He has worked with start-ups and served in senior leadership roles with some of the most recognized brands in the country.  He pairs a depth of technical expertise with business savvy to deliver practical and impactful solutions for his clients.

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Analytics Is a Team Sport

By: John Tardy

One of the things I enjoy about our work in analytics is the variety of business problems we solve. While the specifics of the problem vary, our overall objective is always to derive value from the data. Putting the client’s needs first means that we adjust our approach to best fit the situation rather than fixate on a specific tool or pre-selected solution. This variety makes the work exciting, but it also creates challenges in staffing the appropriate skills. Over the years, I have come to refer to our solution to this challenge with the phrase “Analytics is a team sport.”

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The Recipe for Growth During Economic Downturn [Part 1]

3 Oct 2019 Strategy

Depending upon which pundits you may listen to, there has been significant discussion around an impending economic downturn. Regardless as to whether you believe this to be the case, we can all agree that the cyclic nature of the global economy guarantees that we will be faced with tough economic conditions at some point within our working years. A significant risk of economic downturn alone is enough to change consumer behaviors, which could then impact our broader business ecosystem. This then will impact how organizations communicate with and meet the needs of their respective customers.

It’s difficult enough for companies to stand out in performance and product during times of economic expansion. Those that have figured out how to navigate the competitive landscape well enough to be considered an “established brand” often struggle to maintain that relevance in favorable economic environments. The task becomes many-fold more difficult as the macroeconomic conditions of large markets (global, national, or regional) deteriorate toward stagnation or full-blown contraction. Corporate managers will be challenged to focus their decision making around the attributes that have created success for their respective organizations from inception and to ensure that their brands continue to resonate with their targeted customer base, while continuing to aggressively compete for additional market share.

The last two major US economic downturns: the late 1970s and more recently the Great Recession of 2008 – 2012 provided an opportunity to observe the successful strategies and tactics of well-managed brands that not only survived the downturn but in some instances thrived. Brands like ITT, Lehman Brothers, and General Motors can be counted among the casualties of consumer economic hardship from both periods. While on the other hand, companies like Microsoft, Southwest Airlines and Amazon saw unparalleled growth and expansion. What are the attributes that separated the latter group of brands from the former? What decisions, advantages, commonalities, and approaches were used to expand in such tough economic conditions?

While there are several well-thought-out strategies that I could point to, my primary focus is to highlight key principles that are easily relatable to your particular enterprise (no matter what it may be).  I, by no means, want to oversimplify what it takes to navigate the “choppy waters” of recessions, depressions and/or market contractions but in an attempt not to “boil the ocean” it is critical to hone in on what appears to be most important. Below are the four focal principles:

  1. Accept the hand you’ve been dealt!
  2. Singular Focus, Duality of Action
  3. Re-Invest in Specific Pockets of Growth
  4. Strengthen the Meritocracy

My subsequent four blogs will focus on each respective point above. The thought is to expound upon how each tenet can help your organization thrive in times of turbulence. Each will be explored in a non-prescriptive way, to shed light on its particular impact on your likelihood of continued success.

Let Starr & Associates help you navigate economic downturns before they happen.

Learn more about how we can help your business. Contact us

Using Predictive Analytics to Plan Inventory to Support Product Warranty Claims

Using Predictive Analytics to Plan Inventory to Support Product Warranty Claims

Understanding Predictive Analytics and Predictive Understanding

The term predictive analytics refers to the analysis of existing data to create forecasts that when properly applied, help avoid future problems. While kaizen helps spot problems live on the manufacturing floor, using predictive understanding methods provides an opportunity to:

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