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10 Effective Ways to Train a New Employee



Training a new employee the right way matters in many more ways than just having them start to be productive. The costs of not training your employees can add up quickly; from poor morale to lack of production to employee turnover, not setting up your new employee (or newly promoted employee) for success has consequences.

You also will want to consider the costs and the time required to train your new employee. You will want your new employee to track their training time (and what tasks they spent what amount of time learning), as well as you will want to know how many hours it took away from a manager or team to train the new person. This kind of training data will be invaluable to you in order to grow your business, increase your employees’ production, and improve employee retention from continually improving your training programs.

We will discuss the following 10 ways to train a new employee:

  • Way #1: On the Job Training (aka OJT)
  • Way #2: Mentoring Program
  • Way #3: Employee Coaching
  • Way #4: Culture Training
  • Way #5: Job Shadowing
  • Way #6: Webinars & Online Resources
  • Way #7: Mobile Training Apps
  • Way #8: Third Party Training
  • Way #9: Gamification
  • Way #10: Use Social Media

Before we start, let’s also talk about the various ways and the commitment and amount of time they take in an easy table:

Let’s start with the most important way to train the vast majority of employees, from a waiter to a real estate agent to a lawyer:

Way #1: On The Job Training (OJT)

What It Is: OJT is a hands-on method of learning that uses existing equipment, tools, and resources to teach job specific duties and competencies. Training takes place within the job environment so that the employee can learn by seeing how the work is performed. This is especially important for roles that clock in and clock out; one of the first OJT training duties should be teaching your new employee how to clock in and clock out effectively and in alignment with company policy using your OnTheClock system. After all, this small function is where businesses lose thousands… to millions… of dollars!

Why It Works: OJT is considered to be one of the most effective training options because it is normally performed internally by those who already understand the job and the company’s values. It’s like having a real life training manual, where the current employee can also teach the new employee the idiosyncrasies of policies and systems, as well as caution them about company policies. On the other side, it is also time consuming and requires an actual person to be training the trainee.

How You Can Try It: Let’s take a quick look at how OJT works. A retail store cashier is an excellent example of a role where OJT is very relevant. Let’s take a step by step approach at Sam’s Hardware Shop and how OJT might be used for “New Hire Nelly” with long time “Employee Eric”.

Step 1: Nelly comes in for work on her first day. Eric is assigned to be her trainer (or sometimes, companies call this a “buddy” to promote camaraderie). Eric greets Nelly when she arrives and, once she fills out her paperwork (i.e. tax forms, etc… which Eric might do, or someone from HR might do), Eric brings Nelly onto the floor.

Step 2: Eric walks Nelly through a typical start of the day, where he shows her how to clock in, and shows her how to do it (as well as she should do it so she can be paid for today!).

Step 3: Eric then shows Nelly where his register is and starts the day. He counts down the drawer and ensures that it matches the night prior’s totals, and then asks her to try it.

Step 4: Eric then opens his register and lets Nelly watch him take care of actual transactions and customers while she takes notes. This should go on for an hour or two. Then, Eric could let Nelly try to do some transactions while he watches and provides feedback.

Step 5: Eric should then debrief with Nelly at the end of her day, help answer any questions, and help her to clock out.

The steps should then repeat until Nelly starts to be able to do all of the actions on her own. As Nelly becomes more functional, Eric’s time with her will decrease, likely each day, and eventually will likely be only for unique questions like a price check or a rebate.

Next, let’s look at mentoring, which can be a large component of On The Job Training.

Way #2: Mentoring Program

What It Is: Mentoring is a form of training that involves pairing a senior, experienced employee with a new, less experienced employee in order for the new hire to adapt quickly to their role. It is very similar to OJT, but usually takes the relationship to the next level (i.e. think of a senior level attorney being paired with a junior associate).

Tip: You might want to consider using a specific amount of mentoring each week, or even each month, for team members to get the most out of this time. 

Why It Works: Establishing a mentor relationship has been shown to enhance the speed that a new employee learns their new role and adapts to company culture because of the one on one interaction. It also has numerous other positive benefits such as increased positivity at the workplace and higher retention rates because it builds both social and professional bonds.

How You Can Try It: No need to reinvent the wheel: some of the top Fortune 500 companies and successful small businesses implement great mentoring programs. Here are a few of their stories:

General Electric

  • Newly hired graduates go into their Experienced Commercial Leadership Program where they will complete 8 months rotating within areas of their particular business.


  • For the past 9 years, Google has offered a global program featuring stipends for student developers. Summer of Code pairs students with mentors to gain real-world software development experience and has boasted over 8,500 successful participants.

4 Point Consulting

  • 4 Point Consulting offers its associates and staff consultants the opportunity to trade ideas, request trainings and learn from senior management with monthly “Coffee n Convo” hours, dedicated entirely to the development of its employees. Group mentorship allows for camaraderie and the building of essential communication skills.


  • Caterpillar devotes the first 2-3 years of a college graduate’s employment to professional development by implementing a rotation program wherein the new hire can gain exposure to all aspects of the business, from building basic technical skills to engaging with senior management.

Mentoring in a less formal sense, and when usually done by the direct manager of a new employee, is usually called:

Way #3: Employee Coaching

What It Is: Coaching is used to provide guidance to employees so they can work through challenges and strengthen their skills. Coaching is also usually somewhat less formal than mentoring, and can take less time (and thus cost less money, inhibit employee production less) than mentoring. However, both can have value when some structure is in place around them, and employee coaching can be formally structured (for example, in a weekly 1 on 1 with an employee’s manager).

Why It Works: Coaching is effective because it empowers employees to take their training into their own hands and encourages high performance in a setting and pace that helps personal and professional development. It also can serve as the basis for performance management and documentation of performance, which can be important in promotional and termination decisions, as well as in performance reviews.

How You Can Try It: This method can be effective when you have an employee who could benefit from performance improvement because it helps guide them towards solving problems and improving skills. It can also be great for management or senior employees to consult a business coach who can help provide guidance, focus, goal-setting, accountability, personal development, and business profitability.

Way #4: Culture Training

What It Is: Company Culture is the personality of an organization and it describes what values and goals a company has. Training new employees on company culture is equally important as training for skills because it puts emphasis on being part of the team.

Why It Works: Studies show that employees who are in alignment with their company’s culture and mission are more dedicated to the success of the organization. Teaching your company’s culture and values can also drastically reduce the chances employees will inadvertently engage in discrimination or harassment. It also promotes increased communication and promotes positivity. Howard Stevenson, of Harvard Business School faculty, notes: “Maintaining an effective culture is so important that it, in fact, trumps even strategy.”

How You Can Try It: You can start by creating a list of core values for your company, decide what characteristics new hires will have to be successful in your culture, and continue ongoing training with existing employees. Perhaps employees can contribute to or vote on your list of values, if they are not already stated. If your mission, culture and values exist, make sure you’re living by them. Post your values where team members can regularly see them. Hold your management team and yourself accountable to fulfilling those values daily. If your organization has grown, pivoted, or has experienced a change in its strategy or goals, consider whether the values you put in place at the outset still ring true today. In order for culture and values to work, they have to be felt, so they have to be unique and applicable to your company and employees, specifically.

Next, similar to On The Job Training, there is job shadowing.

Way #5: Job Shadowing

What It Is: Job shadowing involves a new hire working directly with an employee to become immersed in the day by day requirements of the job. In fact, some people even use job shadowing as a part of the recruitment

Why It Works: This method works well because it allows new hires to see the nitty gritty details in real time, without having to figure it out along the way. Simply telling a new employee what to do is not as successful as showing them one on one.

How You Can Try It: Job shadowing works best for jobs that require a lot of detail or those that are heavily task-based. Even if the role would not benefit from solely job shadowing, most roles have some aspects that are well suited to this type of training. In some cases, it can be essential, such as for internships or promotions.

A great example in general is the food and beverage industry. It is fairly unique in its job shadowing (“stage”) concept. But allowing potential (or new) employees to immediately receive the opportunity to work hands-on, side-by-side with more tenured teammates for a whole day can give them a real glimpse into on-the-job realities and skills necessary. One of 4 Point Consulting’s clients, Hu Kitchen in NYC, actually does job shadowing (a “trail” they call it) in their recruitment process for all restaurant roles to make sure that their top candidates understand exactly what their new job would be.

Way #6: Webinars and Online Resources

What It Is: Webinars and Online Resources are both virtual training sessions, with the former being a live presentation, and the latter being pre-made virtual training materials that can be accessed at any time.

Why It Works: This method is extremely cost-effective and convenient, especially if you have employees in different locations. You can take away cost for commuting, venues, and food by utilizing online training. It can also increase employee engagement because people are less likely to be shy about asking questions online. It can also be useful to have resources available for later times because it allows employees to access online information around their busy schedules.

How You Can Try It: For effective execution, start by breaking down material into intuitive sections, incorporate lots of visuals and interactive media, take time to answer questions and encourage collaboration, and set aside time at the end for participant quizzes and feedback.

4 Point Consulting finds success in such trainings from new-hire on-boarding material to systems implementation by leading with agendas, keeping material strictly to the point, and leaving apt time for Q&A at the end of the webinar (so that participants can avoid disruptions and stay on mute throughout the training!). One 4 Point client, SAFEbuilt, was rolling out a new HRIS system in 2018. 4 Point Consulting hosted live webinars (which were also recorded) for employees to attend to learn functionality of the system in real time. We also held webinar Q&A sessions on a daily basis to make sure people felt heard and understood in a smaller group setting. It worked wonders and, better yet, people retained what they learned!

In a similar way, mobile training apps take the webinar concept to the mobile level.

Way #7: Mobile Training Apps

What It Is: Mobile apps designed specifically to provide training sessions and materials straight to an employee’s phone.

Why It Works: Millennials are a lot different from previous generations because they were raised on technology and the workforce in general has become more on the go and remote than ever before. Mobile learning allows employees to learn wherever or whenever and it can be delivered in smaller, more manageable-sized chunks.

How You Can Try It: Find an app service that works for your business, often apps will work with other HR software. Have your new hires gain access even before they begin their first day so that all necessary paperwork is completed in advance and energy levels are kept high from the very beginning. For some app recommendations, visit this article from SHRM.

Way #8: Third Party Training

What It Is: Using outside sources, such as vendors, to provide training to your internal employees.

Why It Works: This method is great when a company may not have the resources to efficiently train new hires or when specialized training is required such as OSHA (Occupational Health & Safety) and you do not have qualified team members available to teach. Other options are using vendor training for any software or apps you use. This can also be useful for training that happens to prevent liability to an employer, such as Diversity & Inclusion training, Sexual Harassment training, HIPPA training, or the like.

How You Can Try It: Determine the needs of your business and decide if it will be more efficient and cost-effective to outsource training.

Need help figuring out your training strategy or don’t have enough time to write your new policies out? Training & development is one of our core practice areas! Get in touch to find more about our hourly HR consulting services.

Way #9: Gamification

What It Is: This new buzzword involved turning training into something fun like a game where people are motivated to succeed through incentivizing the process with rewards.

Why It Works: It promotes friendly competition, gives a sense of achievement to participants, and engages and motivates learners to make behavioural changes.

How You Can Try It: Modify your existing training materials to include a gaming element such as changing format to be levels with winning one level being mandatory before reaching the next step. You can also include an awards system to motivate employees to succeed. More suggestions for implementing gamification techniques can be found here.

Doug Kirkpatrick, of Beyond Empowerment: The The Age of the Self-Managed Organization found that with his project, Morningstar, in which he was instructed to create a state of the art manufacturing plant for tomatoes, he was able to organize the team with a simple scorecard. The gaming element created collaboration, harmony and prosperity for the project: Morningstar produced 90 million pounds of tomato paste for the world market, changing the course of the industry.

Way #10: Use Social Media

What It Is: Using Social Media for training can be a great, easy way to share training materials with your employees because it is easily accessible.

Why It Works: It engages employees on platforms they are already familiar with and active on.

How You Can Try It: Try creating YouTube training videos to share with your new hires. You can also create a private Facebook group where employees can exchange information and materials directly with one another. Another great resource is an instant-messaging service, like Slack, that can be used amongst employees for easy collaboration and sharing.

In conclusion…

Investing in training for new employees helps attract AND retain great talent. Taking the time to coach a team member into the role demonstrates your organization’s commitment to their personal development, endearing them to the company in return.

Spending time with employees in training programs can help managers identify strengths and areas of development right off the bat, ensuring that each new hire can add their specific value to your company. Effective training programs improve overall employee engagement and translate into savings: employees with diversified skills can transition to projects, clients and varied workloads throughout the organization.

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Unlimited PTO: The Ultimate Guide

Paid time off, or PTO, can be the biggest headache for a small business owner. Tracking it, coordinating work schedules, and forget it about holiday time. Many business owners are now balking the traditional accrual or bucket PTO systems in favor of an unlimited PTO system that, ideally, will relieve them of these headaches of counting. But is unlimited PTO, also known as open PTO or flexible time off (FTO), more trouble?

In this article, we will explore:

  • What is Unlimited PTO
  • Sample Unlimited PTO Policy
  • How to Roll Out Unlimited PTO
  • What are the Pros & Cons of Unlimited PTO
  • What are the Federal Laws around Unlimited PTO
  • What are the State Laws about Unlimited PTO
  • Case Studies

So, your first question might be, “Does unlimited PTO really mean unlimited? Like as much as they want?”

Please note that unlimited PTO policies are usually only used in salaried situations where payroll and staffing needs are more stable and predictable (versus an hourly situation like a clothing store or daycare where a certain number of employees are required to make sure work goes on).

What is Unlimited PTO

Yes, “unlimited” technically means unlimited PTO, or an open vacation policy, where employees can take as many days off as they choose to or need to. Unlimited PTO is becoming increasingly popular as companies grow weary of tracking days, tracking accruals, answering requests from employees to go over (or be paid out for extra)… many business owners look at the research and case studies and decide to see what will happen. Unlimited PTO is also a very trendy recruiting tool in today’s ever competitive talent market, and it is a way for companies to differentiate themselves to millennials and Gen Z, who are increasingly picky about their benefit expectations.

However, companies usually put parameters around the “unlimitedness” of the policy in order to protect themselves (as they should), especially if they are in a state where PTO is paid out upon term or layoff. An unlimited PTO policy should also still come with guidelines on how to request time off (i.e. anything more than 16 hours or 2 days of PTO consecutively should be requested off at least 4 weeks ahead of time), and each policy should also still come with a caveat that an employer can reject a PTO request due to workload or other employees’ already having requested off.

Let’s look at a sample unlimited paid time off policy.

Sample Unlimited PTO Policy

Need help writing a time off policy or making sure yours is compliant? Get in touch

Unlimited Paid Time Off Policy

Unlike many employers with formal paid vacation, personal and paid sick-time policies, the Company has no formal policy regarding the amount of time that its salaried employees can take during a year for their absences from work. As a result, employees do not accrue vacation pay or other paid time off and this is considered an unlimited paid time off policy.

Included within the Company’s unlimited paid time off policy are paid sick days. Requests to use sick days should follow the procedure stated below. Since these days are included within this policy, they do not roll over or accrue. Please note that, even with the Chicago and California sick leave laws, if a company has an unlimited PTO policy they do not have to enact a separate paid sick leave policy. Thus, the Company does not have a separate sick leave policy.

However, attendance may be required at certain times and time off grants are still at the discretion of the Company. To request time off from work, written notice to your direct supervisor is required (email suffices as written notice). For planned PTO, such as a vacation or other known event like a wedding, advance notice of 4 weeks is recommended to ensure that PTO is likely to be approved. For unplanned instances, such as an illness or bereavement leave, notification on the day of by 8 am CST is best practice, or as soon as possible.

No single absence will be paid for more than 15 consecutive days without approval from the CEO. Paid time off for all eligible employees must be recorded in the appropriate time/attendance system.

Should your PTO request exceed 15 consecutive business days, please contact the CEO & your manager to ensure proper procedures and documentation are followed. Examples of this may include:

  • the birth and care of the newborn child of an employee;
  • placement with a child for adoption or foster care;
  • to care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition; or
  • to take medical leave when unable to work because of a serious health condition.

Please see the individual policies on these topics for more information.

Paid Leave for salaried employees may not be used as a means to extend other types of

leave, such as FMLA, Parental, Short- or Long Term Disability, leaves required by state law, and other extended leave situations.

The Company expects all employees to maintain the high caliber of performance expected of all employees. Therefore, if performance declines because of use or abuse of the PTO policy, the Company reserves the right to review an employee’s use of PTO and take disciplinary action if necessary, up to and including termination of employment.

While employees may take time off subject to work demands and management’s discretion, they do not accrue any vacation time for purposes of payout at termination and/or payment during leaves of absence.

How to Roll Out Unlimited PTO

For this section, we will focus on HOW to actually enact an unlimited PTO policy at a high level. We will focus on the before/ composition of the policy, tips for how to roll it out, and what to do after it takes effect. Please note this isn’t a comprehensive step-by-step guide to rolling out a policy, but a rough guideline.

Let’s start from the beginning — the “before” phase.

Before You Roll Out Unlimited PTO

First and foremost, unlimited PTO requires planning. Whether you are an organization of 100 people and have an HR manager, or a small business owner doing it on your own, you need to carefully evaluate and be able to answer and consider the below questions:

  • Question 1: What would you do with the current PTO employees have accrued? How do you want to handle the people who have been “saving” up time?
      • This is a huge question- especially depending on which state your business resides in (see below table). The main questions your management and employee base will have are going to revolve around what happens to the time they have saved up. You will want to make sure you have a clear answer to this question, as well as a clear answer to how much it might cost you, before creating your unlimited PTO policy.

Our top 3 suggestions:

                • Cut checks to employees for remaining time off.
                • Give employees a reasonable period to use the accrued vacation time before the new policy takes effect.
                • Track the accrued time separately from the newly implemented vacation policy and pay the accrued balance to the employee upon termination of employment.
  • Question 2: What is the current procedure for requesting time off and how much notice in advance is required?
        • You’ll then want to consider if this still works with an unlimited policy. If you have a loosey-goosey “just text me” policy right now, you will likely want to implement more of a standard request. This could also lead to the next point:
  • Question 3: How will you track the unlimited PTO to prevent abuse and to instill trust?
        • If you were going by emails and a sloppy Excel before, you will want to consider implementing an HRIS like BambooHR or Zenefits to help you to track paid time off and keep people honest.
        • You will also want 1 or 2 “point people” to be in charge of tracking this. People will have a lot of questions and 1 person who can administer this function will be useful to make sure the policy is working.

Other questions to consider:

  • Why does unlimited PTO make sense? Can you link this new policy to your mission, vision, and values? This will be important to get your top people on board, and also when you are explaining it to the entire employee base.
  • Have you done the math? What will it cost the company to execute this policy in comparison to prior years of paid time off?
  • What are your concerns with this new policy? Listing these out for discussion with your senior people can help to show that you are carefully considering this new policy, and the team might have solutions for your concerns, which will build even more trust.

Now that you’ve answered these questions, you’ll need to create the actual policy. Use the above policy as a free template, or get in touch with our expert HR team if you’d like some customized help.

Tips for a Successful Unlimited PTO Rollout

Now that you have an actual policy, you need to roll it out. How have you rolled out policies in the past? You will want to make sure that this is organized and has clear dates for when it starts and the requirements around it. You may even consider making a 1 sheeter for each employee that states their current PTO balance, how it will be taken care of (i.e. date it needs to be used by or payout date), and a copy of the new policy.

Furthermore, in order for an unlimited PTO policy to work for your business, MammothHR suggests some tips for success:

  1. Try using a different term other than “Unlimited PTO” such as, “Personalized PTO”, “Flexible PTO”, “Self-Managed PTO”, or “Responsible PTO” to better reflect the policy.
  2. Incorporate the policy into your company’s mission, vision and company values.
  3. Emphasize the policy is a two-way street by letting employees know their personal time is valued, but they are also expected to live up to expectations and performance should not suffer.
  4. Provide clear PTO guidelines to minimize probability of a request denial (i.e. how to and the timeline for requesting PTO, as well as the right to reject it if works requires)

We would also add here that the training and communications to staff and management is KEY to the rollout of an unlimited PTO policy. Consider having several training sessions with open Q&A, as well as creating documents people can hang onto such as the policy itself, FAQs, and best practices for both employees and managers.

After the Policy is in Effect

Schedule feedback sessions for leadership for 90 days after the policy is in effect. You will want to compare days off in the prior years to this first 90 day period. It is highly likely that it will be similar or even less; however, this kind of data will be invaluable to assuage fears in leaders (and to nip abuse of the policy in the bud).

Let’s look at unlimited PTO’s potential pros and cons next.

What are the Pros & Cons of Unlimited PTO?

As with any policy, you’ll want to look at your company culture, your employee base, and assess the pros and cons of how it would impact your business operations, team, management, and bottom line prior to rolling it out. Remember, unlimited PTO is traditionally used in salaried, full time employee environments like law firms or consulting firms, versus hourly businesses where a certain volume of workers is required (i.e. a restaurant or daycare).

Let’s discuss the pros of unlimited PTO first.

Pros of Unlimited Paid Time Off

While the pros of this policy might make many business owners and HR managers nervous, the reality is that the pros and cons easily overlap with unlimited PTO. A lot of it depends on company culture and the implementation of the policy itself. For example, the pro that employees are more likely to feel valued could easily turn if the managers hold it against employees who actually take time off (“You’re asking for PTO again, Megan? Didn’t you just have a week off last month?”.

As you read through the following list of pros, notice how they parallel the cons list below it:

  • Employee happiness increases with unlimited PTO
  • Easier to attract and maintain top talent, aka makes hiring easier!
  • Company appears to be more modern, pro-employee and with changing times
  • Financial benefits to the employer include less administrative costs and sometimes even less paid time off paid out/ taken as a whole
  • Employees are more likely to feel valued by their employer
  • Sick employees are more likely to stay home and take sick days, which leads to less “everyone in marketing has the flu” issues
  • Unlimited PTO has proven to enhance morale, productivity, and employee health
  • Allows employees to balance personal/work life, which is a highly valued benefits for many Gen Z and millennial employees

Let’s now explore the downside of an unlimited PTO policy.

Cons of Unlimited Paid Time Off

Most of the cons list revolve around company culture and the implementation of the unlimited PTO policy. For example, if the policy is rolled out with little thought, managers or company leaders may be afraid of the downside (think of your VP of Sales being terrified that s/he won’t meet their quota because of Account Executives taking time off). Making sure to use data, and connecting WHY the policy is occuring, is absolutely crucial to the below cons being avoided.

Unlimited PTO can have the negative side effects of:

  • Requiring a lot of trust between employer and employee (hint: think about when you should roll this out!)
  • Risk of abuse from employees (even though data shows this is unlikely)
  • Risk of employee burnout (if they are fearful to use it or use less time off than before)
  • Transition to an unlimited PTO policy can be problematic, especially if employees have unused PTO time from the previous policy
  • Can place strain on a business is everyone wants the same time off (hint: you can mitigate this with the wording in your policy and with some simple planning!)

Aside from pros and cons, each employer should carefully review the laws around paid time off, and unlimited paid time off, prior to implementation.

What are the Federal Laws around Unlimited PTO

In the United States, paid time off has very little regulation. By FEDERAL law, as an employer, you have no obligation to give any vacation, holiday, or sick paid leave, regardless of size. The only regulation is around FMLA, the Family Medical Leave Act, for employers of 50+ full time employees (or the equivalent thereof). This law states that someone with an FMLA-approved cause can have a certain amount of unpaid time off depending on their situation and their job is protected.

State laws, on the other hand, have a lot to say about paid time off, both vacation and sick time.

What are the State Laws about Unlimited PTO

Below we have a comprehensive state table on if you were to enact an unlimited PTO policy and what you should be aware of.

However, you should also note that there are several states and cities with paid sick time policies (if you are in one of these, you should already be aware!). However, unlimited PTO can easily cover the sick time law in your city or state as long as you include wording of such in your policy (see example above).

Need help making sure your policy is compliant? Send us a message to ask about our hourly, contract-free HR consulting services.

Unlimited PTO Policy by State

State PTO Payout Policy Unlimited PTO Policy
Alabama Not required Employers may choose to offer unlimited PTO
Alaska Required only if outlined in policy Unlimited PTO policy must outline that vacation days are not measured, therefore, not payable at departure
Arizona Not required Employers can create their own policy if they choose to
Arkansas Required only if outlined in policy Unlimited PTO policy must outline that vacation days are not measured, therefore, not payable at departure
California Required to pay all accrued vacation PTO Unlimited PTO policy must outline that vacation days are not measured, therefore, not payable at departure
Colorado Required to pay all accrued vacation PTO Unlimited PTO policy must outline that vacation days are not measured, therefore, not payable at departure
Connecticut Not required Employers may choose to offer unlimited PTO
Delaware Not required Employers may choose to offer unlimited PTO
Florida Not required Employers may choose to offer unlimited PTO
Georgia Not required Employers may choose to offer unlimited PTO
Hawaii Not required Employers may choose to offer unlimited PTO
Idaho Required only if outlined in policy Unlimited PTO policy must outline that vacation days are not measured, therefore, not payable at departure
Illinois Required to pay all accrued vacation PTO Unlimited PTO policy must outline that vacation days are not measured, therefore, not payable at departure
Indiana Not required Employers may choose to offer unlimited PTO
Iowa Not required Employers may choose to offer unlimited PTO
Kansas Not required Employers may choose to offer unlimited PTO
Kentucky Not required Employers may choose to offer unlimited PTO
Louisiana Required to pay all accrued vacation PTO Unlimited PTO policy must outline that vacation days are not measured, therefore, not payable at departure
Maine Required only if outlined in policy Unlimited PTO policy must outline that vacation days are not measured, therefore, not payable at departure
Maryland Required only if outlined in policy or if policy is silent on the issue Unlimited PTO policy must outline that vacation days are not measured, therefore, not payable at departure
Massachusetts Required to pay all accrued vacation PTO Unlimited PTO policy must outline that vacation days are not measured, therefore, not payable at departure
Michigan Required only if outlined in policy or if policy is silent on the issue Unlimited PTO policy must outline that vacation days are not measured, therefore, not payable at departure
Minnesota Not required Employers may choose to offer unlimited PTO
Mississippi Not required Employers may choose to offer unlimited PTO
Missouri Required only if outlined in policy Unlimited PTO policy must outline that vacation days are not measured, therefore, not payable at departure
Montana Required to pay all accrued vacation PTO Unlimited PTO policy must outline that vacation days are not measured, therefore, not payable at departure, any previous vacation accrual must be paid out
Nebraska Required to pay all accrued vacation PTO Unlimited PTO policy must outline that vacation days are not measured, therefore, not payable at departure, any previous vacation accrual must be paid out
Nevada Not required Employers may choose to offer unlimited PTO
New Hampshire Not required Employers may choose to offer unlimited PTO
New Jersey Not required Employers may choose to offer unlimited PTO
New Mexico Not required Employers may choose to offer unlimited PTO
New York Required only if outlined in policy or if policy is silent on the issue Unlimited PTO policy must outline that vacation days are not measured, therefore, not payable at departure
North Carolina Required only if outlined in policy or if policy is silent on the issue Any vacation policy MUST be outlined in detail, unlimited PTO policy must outline that vacation days are not measured, therefore, not payable at departure
North Dakota Required only if outlined in policy Unlimited PTO policy must outline that vacation days are not measured, therefore, not payable at departure; all paid leave is considered vacation unless otherwise stated
Ohio Required only if outlined in policy or if policy is silent on the issue Unlimited PTO policy must outline that vacation days are not measured, therefore, not payable at departure
Oklahoma Required only if outlined in policy Unlimited PTO policy must outline that vacation days are not measured, therefore, not payable at departure
Oregon Required only if outlined in policy or if policy is silent on the issue Unlimited PTO policy must outline that vacation days are not measured, therefore, not payable at departure
Pennsylvania Required only if outlined in policy Unlimited PTO policy must outline that vacation days are not measured, therefore, not payable at departure
Rhode Island Required as long as employee has completed at least one year of service Unlimited PTO policy must outline that vacation days are not measured, therefore, not payable at departure
South Carolina Required only if outlined in policy Unlimited PTO policy must outline that vacation days are not measured, therefore, not payable at departure
South Dakota Not required Employers may choose to offer unlimited PTO
Tennessee Required only if outlined in policy Unlimited PTO policy must outline that vacation days are not measured, therefore, not payable at departure
Texas Required only if outlined in policy Unlimited PTO policy must outline that vacation days are not measured, therefore, not payable at departure
Utah Required only if outlined in policy Unlimited PTO policy must outline that vacation days are not measured, therefore, not payable at departure
Vermont Required only if outlined in policy Unlimited PTO policy must outline that vacation days are not measured, therefore, not payable at departure
Virginia Required only if outlined in policy Unlimited PTO policy must outline that vacation days are not measured, therefore, not payable at departure
Washington Required only if outlined in policy Unlimited PTO policy must outline that vacation days are not measured, therefore, not payable at departure
West Virginia Required only if outlined in policy or if policy is silent on the issue Unlimited PTO policy must outline that vacation days are not measured, therefore, not payable at departure
Wisconsin Required only if outlined in policy Unlimited PTO policy must outline that vacation days are not measured, therefore, not payable at departure
Wyoming Required only if outlined in policy Unlimited PTO policy must outline that vacation days are not measured, therefore, not payable at departure


Unlimited PTO Case Studies

So what does unlimited PTO look like? While there is a lot of anecdotal evidence out there, we thought we would include 2 case studies here (if that’s your thing!).


Kronos Case Study

Kronos began implementing an Unlimited Vacation Policy in 2016 using a system called myTime. The roll-out of this new system was not easy and involved educating all employees on the process.The CEO of Kronos believes the old way of giving time off is outdated, especially with today’s technology many employees do not stop working when they leave the office. Employers need to focus on results over office time in order for this kind of system to work effectively.

The implementation of unlimited PTO gave Kronos a huge financial savings that they used to provide additional benefits such as increased maternity and parental leave, increased 401k matching, and tuition reimbursements. One of the big complaints from employees about unlimited PTO is that it is only implemented to help the company’s bottom line by avoiding PTO payout to employees. This was Kronos’ way of showing employees that their goal is to better the workplace, not for their own financial benefit.

Another concern about unlimited PTO is that employees will take advantage of time off or be fearful of taking too much time off with repercussions. Kronos found that employees on average took fewer days than their entitlement allowed under the old policy, and with the new unlimited PTO policy employees took only 2.65 extra days on average.

While this new policy wasn’t greeted with 100% positivity by employees, Kronos saw an increase in employee engagement and a decrease in voluntary turnover as a result of unlimited PTO. Ultimately, it may not work for every company, but it has a good chance of working as long as there is a trusting employee/employer relationship.


MammothHR – Small Business Case Study

MammothHR implemented a successful unlimited PTO policy. It started with a one year trial, brought on by the fact MammothHR is a small business that wants to have a vacation policy that encourages trust and allows for less red tape when taking time off.

By the end of the year trial period, unlimited PTO became the #3 most valued company benefit among employees behind health benefits and 401k. The overwhelming positive feedback over this new policy oddly had no effect on the actual number of days employees took off. It stayed roughly the same, an average of three weeks per year.

MammothHR discovered it wasn’t the time off that created the difference, but the flexibility that employees truly valued. It gave employees the ability to freely live their lives outside of work, knowing they didn’t have to stick to a rigid PTO policy. It also put trust in employees, giving them the autonomy to get their work done in the way that best suits their lifestyle.


The bottom line is that unlimited PTO can be an edgy, awesome and exciting benefit to offer for a business, but the caveat is that it requires more planning and rollout time than a normal “you get 15 days” policy.

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Improve Your Diversity Hiring Practices

Diversity hiring has become a hot button issue in local and global corporations, especially among tech giants and Silicon Valley startups. Creating a workforce that includes employees of all backgrounds has been proven to increase the all-around success of a business. In fact, Deloitte reported that highly inclusive organizations generate 1.4 times more revenue and are 180 percent better in their ability to adapt to change.

However, undertaking a diversity hiring initiative to rectify an inclusion problem can be challenging — so challenging that companies like Google and Facebook are still trying to get it right. Unfortunately, stereotyping and snap judgements are so deeply ingrained that we don’t realize it’s an issue. This unconscious bias is what an organization must seek to overcome to truly achieve a diverse workforce.

Access Proactive Recruiting Networks

Before posting for a position, take a look at your proactive hiring practices, such as connections with professional networks, job fairs and even social networks. These essential groups help get the word out when a new job is posted. However, if these networks aren’t inclusive of a different backgrounds, the candidates they yield won’t be either. Consider ways in which an organization can broaden its reach to make connections with new communities. For example, when looking for candidates with MBAs, take a look at the networking opportunities through such organizations as the National Black MBA Association. The same goes for company leaders’ networks. According to the Kapor Center, workplaces in which men are the majority, their personal and professional networks are even more segregated, affecting recruitment, hiring and promotion.

Examine Language and Context

Building a diverse workforce starts with how candidates are approached. There may be things the company is doing to discourage applicants of certain backgrounds, without actually knowing it’s being done. Textio, Inc. found that use of certain phrases like “whatever it takes” or “tackle” in descriptions can discourage female candidates from applying. While Project Include recommends minimizing references to perks that may appeal only to young, male, white applicants in the jobs page, like company retreats in exotic locales or sports outings, and emphasize inclusivity.

Prevent Bias in Candidate Selection

It is important to prevent unconscious biases from impacting who moves forward in the hiring process. While a hiring team may have the best intentions, a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research uncovered biases based on whether or not a name sounds white or African American. To combat any potential for unconscious discrimination, try developing blind hiring practices.

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, the concept of blind hiring dates back to at least the 1970s, but the strategy of hiding certain candidate information until the late stages of the recruiting process has become more popular in recent years, thanks to new tech tools and an increasing awareness of the importance of building diverse workforces. Another approach is to replace the traditional process of narrowing down top candidates from a large applicant pool with intelligent shortlisting. This type of software will eliminate the tedious task of sifting through resumes and identify top candidates without outside bias.

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Defining OKRs (Objectives & Key Results)

Objectives and Key Results (OKR) is a process that has gained momentum across international companies like Google and AirBnB, helping these powerhouse brands connect with and unite their teams through tangible objectives that guide the business in a unified direction. OKR research and creation has become an integral part in successful human resource management to such benefits as stronger communication, faster adaptation and even workforce scalability plans.

What is an OKR?

At its core, OKR is a system of setting objectives and tracking the outcomes. While this isn’t a new concept, it was popularized by Google co-founders John Doerr and Larry Page when they implemented the process and credited it with the company’s incredible success. Google and its parent company, Alphabet, continue to use the system across all functions.

How it Works

OKR finds its best success through setting objectives, measurable results and grading the success of the efforts. To create an OKR,

  1. Start by defining key objectives for the business on a company, team and individual level.
  2. Under each of the objectives, outline a few measurable results to track and analyze progress. Avoid setting too many objectives, as this will fragment your workforce and keep the process from doing what it is designed to do, focus the organization’s efforts.
  3. There are multiple systems to use when measuring the success of OKRs, each with its own benefits and reporting systems. Once the objectives have been established, work backwards to uncover the best ways to grade success.

Remember, OKRs are not a one-time process — they should become an integral facet of the company culture and revisited on a consistent basis.


A well-executed OKR program can result in a more coordinated and focused company. It creates clear objectives and expectations of employees, so they know where they should focus their efforts to complete the goals set for themselves, their team and the company as a whole. OKR also aligns employee and company goals, which allows an individual’s effort to forward the progress of a team, effectively moving the business towards its goal in a larger coordinated endeavor.

Growing a long-lasting company with sound internal structures and a strong culture is difficult. In addition to the many challenges innate with building a business from scratch, coordinating the workforce to accomplish the company’s goals adds another layer of difficulty. Implementing and executing an OKR process will ease the growing pains of the business and set it on the path towards success.

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How HR Saves a Company Money

Acquiring a human resources employee or contractor is an investment you make to improve the quality and value of your business. While adding this asset does cost money initially, the long-term payoff in adding these services will save the company untold amounts of money in the following ways:

  1. Ensuring diversification in the workforce
  2. Creating a supportive company culture
  3. Compliance of ever-changing workplace laws and regulations

Diversification in the Workforce

Today’s hiring landscape is more complicated than ever, making it more challenging to not only acquire the right talent, but to do so properly and reap its benefits.

Building a workforce that includes employees of all backgrounds has been proven to increase the all-around success of a business. To prevent improper hiring practices, assess the candidate pool to ensure the candidates are not all of the same background; examine the language and context of the listings to avoid alienating certain groups; and remove bias by implementing blind hiring or using software that hides personal information to prevent any unconscious bias.

Responsible Company Culture

One of the biggest draws in today’s recruiting practices is the overall company culture, which adds to your overall brand identity. Unfortunately, it’s often the culture that causes misconduct issues across the workplace.

Last year, a survey of 150 human resource representatives revealed that roughly one in 10 employers cancelled holiday parties, and only 47.8 percent surveyed said they would provide alcohol due to employee misconduct issues. However, according to the Society for Human Resources Management, no amount of training or post-problem investigations will help eliminate misconduct until a company chooses to invest in a “culture of civility.”

A dedicated HR professional has already acquired the proper training techniques needed to avoid a toxic culture that leads to costly lawsuits and executive firings. They can also determine how to best spend valuable company funds for proactive and preventative measures.

Maintaining Compliance

Federal, state and local employer/employee compliance laws are crucial when a company workforce is growing, but a company has to know these laws exist to comply. A high-level review of these topics is necessary for every business owner, but one must also dive into industry-specific regulations to avoid costly fines and legal actions.

One example is the Ban the Box movement, which is currently supported by 29 states. Ban the Box refers to the elimination of the box indicating criminal history, as checking this box almost always meant the individual was not going to be hired. Unfortunately, this practice too often condemns an otherwise qualified individual for a mistake they made years ago.

Additionally, accommodations for pregnant and nursing employees are gaining momentum after years of being overlooked. Legislation is working its way through government entities to protect pregnant workers on the job, similar to the Americans With Disabilities Act.

A company without an HR department is missing many opportunities and placing the business at risk. Working with a professional HR consultant will not only save a company money on employee turnover costs, but prevent potential lawsuits and increase employee satisfaction in the workplace, which in turn boosts productivity.

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The Top 5 Ways HR Can Help Scale Your Investment

When investors inject funds into a company, they expect to see growth and returns. While these empire-building professionals know how to build a successful venture from the business side, it’s important for startups to consider the human aspect of their business, as a dedicated and productive workforce will be the driving force behind any and all success. Luckily, there are a number of effective strategies companies can use to invest in their employees.

1. Boost Company Culture to Spur Success

Company culture is a commonly heard in today’s modern work environment, and for good reason. It is an effective way to increase employee happiness and productivity, attract top-talent and identify a business in a crowded industry, among other benefits. However, newly founded companies can struggle to define their internal brand, and maintain it as the business grows. Investing in an HR solution can remedy this situation, allowing that all-important culture to flourish and motivate growth from the inside out. Company values, such as creating and practicing a strong mission and vision, can act as an anchor to guide a business towards success.

2. Proactively Prevent Legal Troubles

A young business with no onboarding process, employee handbook or system to keep track of workplace requests or complaints can quickly find itself in legal trouble. Commonly, companies will seek help reactively to untangle the legal mess they are in, which is expensive and rarely easy. Working with an outsourced HR company or bringing on an internal HR employee can help a business create proactive practices to avoid potential legal vulnerability. Additionally, defining what behavior is expected of employees can set clear expectations and prevent workplace conflicts, which often deteriorate productivity.

3. Create a Workforce Scalability Plan

Scaling a business in terms of financials and external resources is always part of the business plan, but unfortunately, many company leaders fail to plan for massive and sudden internal growth. In fact, a large number of startups fail, and one of the main reasons is due to improper internal growth. Budding startups are already at risk for growing pains — workforce expansion shouldn’t be one of them! Establishing recruiting strategies and scalable internal processes early on in the lifecycle can provide the confidence needed to continue growing, and layout a clear strategy for ongoing success.

4. Manage Employee Sentiment to Maintain Productivity

The most important facet of a business it its employees. It is a proven fact that happy employees are more productive, which directly feeds into a healthier bottom line. When transitions in management occur or a department shifts occur, it is extremely common for employees to experience higher levels of stress. Investing in a strong human resources solution will prevent unrest from spreading throughout the company, potentially damaging the value of the company.

5. Identify the Best, Most Qualified Candidates

New business ventures need a strong group of employees to shoulder the early workload as the company scales. However, as a new business, attracting quality talent will be challenging. An HR company can coach and guide a startup on how to find the best-fit candidates. They can also dramatically increase the business’ exposure to potential future employees. Once a strong team is in place, it will be essential to train, develop and maintain the staff. No one is better equipped to handle those tasks than an HR professional. They know the exact training and development services that will benefits each employee — from executive coaching for team leadership to closing gaps in training and coaching.

Guiding an investment business towards success is about uncovering potential problems and turning them into opportunities. Savvy investors will scour every corner of a company to discover new areas of improvement, and the the workforce carries a high potential for increasing the return on investment. Working with a professional human resources company can help maximize success.

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5 Continuing Education Opportunities to Attract and Retain Top Talent

Top talent is difficult to acquire. Once you have high-performing employees, it is essential to implement initiatives to maintain retention. While some may not see it as a priority, statistics show that opportunities for career development and leadership are among the most desirable company offerings. Additionally a lack of employee investment is the reason 91% of workers seek new opportunities. Offering educational opportunities to employees shows them that you are interested in helping them grow and reach their career goals. As an employer, investing in and fulfilling the needs of your top employees will be an integral part to attracting and retaining top talent.

1. Implement Training and Development Programs

High-performing employees understand the value behind training and development programs. Offering these initiatives will attract employees who are looking to improve and want to succeed, which are key qualities of top talent. Training and development programs will not only increase the quality of work, but it will also foster loyalty.

2. Provide Mentorship Opportunities

A mentorship offers many benefits to the mentored employee and the business, as the mentor will impart their good habits and best practices onto the mentee, creating another high-performing employee. The mentor will guide the new employee and offer feedback as they progress in their role. It is also a great way for an incoming staff member to learn the office landscape and to become acquainted with other employees.

3. Send Employees on Conferences

Conferences are a great way to engage employees on topics related to their role. Additionally, it is a great opportunity for them to network with other like-minded professionals. One way to increase the value of the conference is to ask the employee to report back any new practices they learned to the team.

4. Enroll Staff in Professional Courses

Many training and development programs include coursework, as they are a more formal way of learning and can be done at their desk, remotely or in-person.

5. Promote Professional Associations

Presenting employees with access to professional associations is a great way for them to remain up-to-date in their profession. It also allows them to engage outside of work with other similar professionals, and creates the opportunity to expand their network.

6. Offer Job Expansion

After a significant amount of time on the job, the role may grow stale. One way to avoid this is to give employees additional responsibilities to keep them engaged and challenged. When considering expanding an employee’s job roles, work with the individual and their supervisor to find a comfortable balance of additional responsibility.

High-performing employees feel that continued education are critical to progressing their career. Providing these opportunities to staff will show them the company values their career development. Not only will these efforts increase employee loyalty, but it will directly improve the quality of work your employees output. Investing in your employees is an investment in the company.

4 Point Consulting offers Training & Development services to help you invest in your employees.

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How to Tell if Your Founder is C-Level Worthy

A business’s founder has the incredibly important and rewarding task of building a venture from the beginning. While many continue to run the business themselves, statistics show that by a company’s third year, only 50 percent of original founders hold the role of CEO. There are a variety of factors that contribute to such a change, and occasionally this was the founder’s goal all along. Regardless, when a business surpasses $20 million in revenue, it’s time to decide if the individual who initially launched the business is able and willing to take on a C-level role.

Are They Adaptable?

Once a corporation reaches a certain height, the concept and rate of change undergoes a major shift. When board members and even shareholders become involved, change management and its impact on the long-term growth strategy of the business becomes one of the most crucial skills in company leadership.

Take a look at how a founder like Jeff Bezos of has been able to react to and stay in front of trends and movements in the e-commerce space to morph his online bookstore into a global powerhouse. Not every founder is going to be a Jeff Bezos, but the ability to manage the process of and reaction to change is a key trait for a CEO.

Are They Able to Manage Growth?

Another factor to consider is how a founder manages growth — both funding and team size. If a startup achieves success, it’s not uncommon for that venture to go from a bootstrapped staff of five to a Series A-funded organization with over 50 employees in a few short years. This is a tremendous accomplishment! However, this is where some companies can begin to falter. An infusion of capital and people of this magnitude can become too much for the original leadership to handle, and a major indicator that leadership may need to shift.

Are They Board-Ready?

One area in which an original founder often shines is when it comes to communicating and exemplifying the overall brand. Whether it’s presenting to a potential client or giving a speech at a company picnic, this individual has the passion for the business ingrained within them. This level of excitement and dedication is extremely infectious. However, when it comes to ideal C-level candidates, the term “board-ready” becomes more common. Is the company founder able to bring this level of familiarity to a room full of investors or advisors who all have opinions on how the company should run in order to achieve maximum success?

Just because the founder is the right person to start a business from nothing, does not necessarily mean they are the right person to continue its growth. Even if the C-suite is not the right fit for the founder, many are still highly involved in their business. Should a founder no longer have the necessary skills to take the business to the next level, this need should be identified early on to ensure the corporation continues to grow.

If your company is considering whether or not your founder is C-suite-ready, 4 Point Consulting can help! Contact us to learn more.

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50 Motivational Quotes For Work

Let’s be honest. We’ve all found ourselves in the grips of a little midweek or mid-day slump. A good inspirational and uplifting quote can inspire you to get out of that slump and turn you back into the goal crushing machine that you are! Take a few moments, grab a cup of tea or coffee, and read on to re-energize yourself with these inspiring and motivational quotes from some of the world’s greatest thinkers.

1. Becoming is better than being. —Carol Dweck, Mindset

2. If I had nine hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first six sharpening my axe. —Abraham Lincoln

3. Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change. —Stephen Hawking

4. Leaders can let you fail and yet not let you be a failure. —Stanley McChrystal

5. Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships. —Michael Jordan

6. Do or do not. There is no try. —Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back

7. Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else. —Judy Garland

8. The only way to achieve the impossible is to believe it is possible. —Charles Kingsleigh, Alice in Wonderland (2010)

9. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too. —Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

10. Hey there, Mr. Grumpy Gills. When life gets you down do you wanna know what you’ve gotta do? Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do? We swim, swim. —Dory, Finding Nemo

11. Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings. —Salvador Dali

12. If something is wrong, fix it now. But train yourself not to worry, worry fixes nothing. — Ernest Hemingway

13. Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant. —Robert Louis Stevenson

14. For artists, scientists, inventors, schoolchildren, and the rest of us, intrinsic motivation—the drive to do something because it is interesting, challenging, and absorbing—is essential for high levels of creativity. —Daniel H. Pink, Drive

15. Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and again and bring their friend. — Walt Disney

16. Innovation distinguishes from a leader and a follower. —Steve Jobs

17. Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear. —George Addai

18. The best way out is always through. —Robert Frost

19. It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe. — Muhammad Ali

20. There’s zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas. —Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

21. Unless someone like you care a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not. —Dr. Seuss, the Lorax

22. Someone, at some point, came up with this very bad idea that an ordinary individual couldn’t make a difference in the world. I think that’s just a horrible thing. —John Skoll

23. If you light a lamp for someone else, it will also brighten your path. —Buddha

24. If you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money. But if you hire people who believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood and sweat and tears. —Simon Sinek

25. Very often, a change of self is needed more than a change of scene. —A.C. Benson

26. Learning never exhausts the mind. —Leonardo Da Vinci

27. Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity. —Seneca

28. Don’t persuade, defend or interrupt. Be curious, be conversational, be real. And listen. — Elizabeth Lesser

29. The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, or not to anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly. —Buddha

30. As long as they are well-intentioned, mistakes are not a matter for shame, but for learning. —Margaret Heffernan

31. In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun, and – SNAP – the job’s a game! —Mary Poppins

32. You can’t change how people treat you or what they say about you. All you can do is change how you react to it. —Mahatma Gandhi

33. Once you’ve accepted your flaws, no one can use them against you. ― George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

34. Fulfillment isn’t found over the rainbow—it’s found in the here and now. Today I define success by the fluidity with which I transcend emotional landmines and choose joy and gratitude instead. — RuPaul

35. Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known. — Carl Sagan

36. If I create from the heart, nearly everything works: if from the head, almost nothing. — Marc Chagall

37. The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. — Confuciusm, Confucius: The Analect

38. Failure it appears is not the regret that haunts most people; it is the choice not to risk failure at all. ― Dr. John Izzo

39. Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there. ― Will Rogers

40. Your imagination is your preview of life’s coming attractions. ― Albert Einstein

41. Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor ― Truman Capote

42. Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it. ― Maya Angelou

43. The difference between try and triumph is just a little umph! – Marvin Phillips

44. Someday is not a day of the week. – Janet Daily

45. What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us – Ralph Waldo Emerson

46. The tragedy in life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach – Thomas Edison

47. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. – Unknown

48. Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful – Albert Schweitzer

49. It is better to be prepared and not have an opportunity, than to have an opportunity and not be prepared. – Unknown

50. You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose. – Dr. Seuss

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6 Steps to Provide Effective Employee Coaching

Coaching is defined as an ongoing approach to managing people that creates a positive and motivating climate for performance, improves the match between an employee’s actual performance and an employee’s expected performance, and increases the probability of an employee’s success by providing timely feedback, recognition, clarity and support. Coaching is an alternative to discipline by passing the ownership of performance improvement to the employee rather than the manager. Coaching also works to frame the “issue” as an opportunity to grow and improve rather than the employee “getting in trouble” for something they did wrong.

In this article, we will be focusing on coaching, what effective coaching looks like, and the 6 steps to providing effective employee coaching:

  • What Is Effective Coaching?
  • Why/When Should Effective Coaching Be Used?
  • Step 1: Create Ownership In The Process
  • Step 2: Get On The Same Page
  • Step 3: Remove Barriers To Success
  • Step 4: Collaborate And Brainstorm Solutions
  • Step 5: Write It Out
  • Step 6: Make A Time To Follow Up

What Is Effective Coaching?

Effective coaching not only provides positive feedback about employee contributions but also lets employees know when they are effective contributors to the workforce. By providing this positive feedback, the employee’s actions and contributions are reinforced so that they continue to perform in this way.

Why/When Should Effective Coaching Be Used?

Effective coaching can also be utilized when there are performance issues with an  employee. Employee coaching feedback assists the employee to correct minor issues before they become significant detractions from their performance. The goal of coaching is to work in a collaborative way with the employee to solve performance problems and to improve the work of the employee, the team, and the department.

Coaching & Performance Management

The first step in any effort to improve employee performance is counseling or coaching. Counseling or coaching should be part of the day-to-day interaction between a supervisor and an employee who reports to him/her. Done well, coaching can help an employee continuously improve their skills, experience, and ability to contribute.

Here are some steps that management can take to provide effective employee coaching:

Step 1: Create Ownership In The Process

Show that you have confidence in the employee’s ability and willingness to solve the problem. Ask them for help in solving the problem or improving their performance. Create a common goal to increase the employees’ effectiveness as a contributor to your company.

Step 2: Get On The Same Page

Describe the performance problem to the employee. Be sure to focus on the problem or behavior that needs improvement and not on the employee themselves. Provide concrete examples of the behavior so that you and the employee share a common understanding and meaning. Ask for the employee’s view of the situation. Do they see the same problem or opportunity that you do?

Step 3: Remove Barriers To Success

Determine whether there are external issues that exist that may be limiting the employee’s ability to perform the task or accomplish the objectives. Four common barriers are time, training, tools, and temperament. Find out if these barriers exist and how to remove them. Does the employee needs your help to remove the barriers? Are they able to remove them by themselves?

Step 4: Collaborate And Brainstorm Solutions

Collaborate with the employee to brainstorm potential solutions to the problem and create action items to create improvement. Identify the core goals and achievement markers that the employee must achieve to reach the level of desired performance.

Step 5: Write It Out

Core goals and achievement markers can be put into a formal written document between the employee and manager so each party is held accountable to the process and the results.

Step 6: Make A Time To Follow Up

Set a date and time for follow up, whether this is internally made by the manager to check in with the employee at a later date or a mutually agreed upon time to revisit the employees progress. Following through to check on improvements and progress is an important part of coaching.

What Else Can A Great Manager Do?

As a supervisor, offer positive encouragement and express confidence in the employee’s ability to improve. Recognize, however, that the only person who is in charge of their performance improvement is the employee. They are ultimately the one in charge of their own progress.


This process allows your employee to take ownership of their own growth thereby creating an employee who is fully engaged in their own performance. Investing in your employees’ development and growth by communicating your commitment to their success through effective employee coaching will help you build an engaged, skilled team for your business. By following the steps above and maintaining positive reinforcement and follow up, your employees will be well on their way to owning their experience!