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5 Strategies for Effective Organizational Communication

It’s no secret that great organizations cannot flourish without strong organizational communication. But what does that look like? Here are five strategies for effective organizational communication in the workplace. Create an Environment That Supports Open Communication.Whether it's formal, informal, upward, downward or horizontal communication, it's imperative to cultivate an environment where all team members feel free to express their ideas and share their concerns. Communication within your...

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Global Leadership Summit

A few of our team members attended the Global Leadership Summit at The Met last week, where they had the opportunity to learn more about leadership attributes from a variety of speakers. The theme of the event focused on how making mistakes, and persevering through those mistakes, helps create better leaders. Leadership is more than just a title - we all have the ability to lead, it's about finding where your leadership abilities lie.

A Client's Perspective: CloudNine

Based in Houston, Texas, CloudNine is a data and legal discovery technology company with proven expertise in simplifying and automating the discovery of data for audits, investigations and litigation. CloudNine empowers legal and business professionals with eDiscovery automation software and professional services that simplify litigation, investigations, and audits for law firms and corporations.“We began working with Achilles Group earlier this year, after acquiring the eDiscovery suite from Le...

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Updated FMLA Forms 

An updated set of Family and Medical Leave Act (FLMA) forms for employers has been released by the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division. The only revision to these forms is an updated expiration date. The previous forms expired on August 31 of this year, but now, the updated forms will be valid through August 31, 2021.DOL forms are critical when it comes to ensuring that the FMLA's requirements are met. It is important to stay up-to-date on these forms.If you have any question...

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Minimize Your Company’s Risk with a Hands-Free Driving Policy!

Recent studies have shown that drivers who use their cell phones while driving—whether holding the phone or using a hands-free device—have a much higher risk of collision than those who do not. In fact, one-in-five car crashes are now related to driver distraction, and texting while driving makes a car accident 23 times more likely to occur! In 2016, there were over 109,000 traffic crashes in Texas involving distracted driving, resulting in over 3,000 serious injuries and at least 450 fatalities...

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Changes coming to the EEO-1 Report

As announced on August 29th, 2017 by the U.S. Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (or OIRA), the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (or EEOC) is implementing an immediate stay and reviewing of the effectiveness of the pay data collection components of the revised Equal Employer Information Report (as known as the EEO-1 report).Last year, the commission amended the EEO-1 report to require federal contractors and private employers with at least 100 employees to include pay and h...

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Controversial Overtime Rule Struck Down by District Court

A federal court judge in Texas has struck down a controversial overtime change to the Fair Labor Standards Act (or FLSA) put in place by the Department of Labor (DOL) during the Obama Administration. The rule, which was originally scheduled to go into effect last December, was designed to extend overtime pay eligibility for over 4 million workers, lifted the overtime salary exemption threshold from $455 per week to $913 per week. Any exemptions to this law are based on both workers’ salaries and...

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5 Tips for Virtual Workforce Engagement

Two of the hot topics in business today—employee engagement and workplace flexibility—can often seem at odds in terms of the virtual workforce. As working from home, at client sites, or second locations has increased, this has led to a decrease in employee engagement; however, there’s more to it than mere distance. The number-one reason virtual employees are disengaged is the same reason why employees quit: their relationship with their supervisor.At Achilles Group, we understand that the value ...

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Clear, Timely, Focused, Respectful, Feedback

 “But I’m just a soul whose intentions are good/Oh lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood.” The lyrics to that old blues song perfectly illustrate the importance of communicating your feedback in a clear, timely, focused and respectful manner. The goal is not to tear down your employees but to give them the gift of clarity and to help build them up into something greater. To do so, you must make sure the feedback covers something the employee can actually control and address directly. Be sur...

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How to Receive Feedback with Grace

Inviting feedback can be hard enough, but receiving it can be even harder. Any sort of criticism (even constructive) tends to bring out all of our insecurities and defensiveness, but truly great leaders resist this impulse and readily accept feedback with grace and an open mind. It can touch on sensitive areas, but it’s important not to take it too personally and to manage your emotions and reactions.  Keep your composure, focus on understanding their perspective and work to keep the channel ope...

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Humility Is the Key to Rewarding Feedback

Seeking feedback from your employees requires both humility and recognizing your own room for growth, your motives are also equally as important.  For example, do you really want to be great at what you do, or do you want to be seen as great? That distinction is important because it requires the willingness to give up the illusion of positional power in exchange for the ability to be aware of areas of needed growth.If you truly want to be a strong leader, helping others increase their influence ...

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Feedback is a Gift

If you were about to take a hike through the wilderness, would you take a compass with you in case you got lost? Of course! And much like a compass helps you find your path in the wilderness, employee feedback helps you find your path in business.Feedback is a gift in business. It may not always seem like it, but it’s a gift that keeps on giving in that it continuously helps your business improve and grow. It requires humility to ask for and it’s not always easy to accept, but it’s ultimately gr...

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Success Story: Houston Zoo

"We reached out to the Achilles Group to assist us when we found ourselves down one person on the HR team with the absence of a Vice President of Human Resources. Because we were in the middle of working on several major projects and did not have enough time or manpower to take care of it all, we contacted Achilles Group for assistance.It was an awesome experience. We told them what we needed and they jumped right in and hit the ground running. And since we had not performed an extensive I-9 aud...

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Peanuts, Cracker Jacks®, and People Performance

When you think about winning teams in professional baseball, the New York Yankees are one of the first teams that come to mind. But have you ever thought about why that is? Maybe lots of great players? Well, while they’ve certainly had many amazing players throughout the years, they’ve also been led by fantastic coaches, including Tony La Russa, Casey Stengel, and Joe McCarthy.But what does it take to be a fantastic coach? First, there are the GOOD coaches: those that create a vision for the tea...

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The Great Toy Run!

Thanks to the efforts of dozens of generous fishing and boating enthusiasts, and some caring local citizens, more than 1,500 at-risk children on the central coast of Texas will be enjoying a very happy Christmas again this year.  Bill Bahr, one of our Achilles Group associates, and his wife Marci have participated in the annual “Toy Run” for 10 out of the last 15 years.  This year, the employees at Achilles Group were able to make their own generous donations to help Bill and Marci.Annually, for...

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The Importance of Strategy Alignment

Leveraging the Right PrioritiesFundamentally, leadership is about getting others to go in the direction you set with full competency and commitment. The challenge is that you’re often too busy to sit down to agree upon that direction or to take the time to really lay out the strategies that truly focus on your business goals.It’s not that you don’t know your priorities, how to attack the market or solve other business challenges.  However, you probably don’t often collectively gather to collabor...

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A Client's Perspective on Strategy Alignment

We don’t just want you to take our word on the importance of Strategy Alignment at your organization, but read below a Success Story from our client, Crest Management.Achilles Group really facilitated our understanding of the need to align all of our people with key company initiatives.  Due to our fast growth, everyone was working in the business and no one was focused working on the business. Thankfully, Achilles led us through an organizational redesign, complete with a new organizational cha...

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3 Simple Terms for Success

A lot of folks throw around the words business strategy or organizational alignment or strategic planning. The reality is that the ability to draft a simple, direct set of plans or objectives based on a few core disciplines, can move your business forward in a positive directionDon’t make it too complex! Keep your team on track with three simple steps – focus, tools and technique. Read more about how this framework can bring you Strategy Alignment. First of all, begin with the end in mind and fo...

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Align Your Strategy, Align Your People

An Employee Reflection on the Crest Management Strategy Alignment Success StoryThis month, we shared a Strategy Alignment Success Story from one of our clients – Crest Management. They found themselves in the familiar predicament of companies experiencing fast growth… everyone was working in the business and no one was working on the business. As a result, Crest needed to identify key people to focus on the business through an organizational redesign.Read here as our VP of HR Services, Kristen M...

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The Importance of Recruiting Effectiveness

Recruiting Effectiveness is everybody’s business and no one’s job…Over many years of working with business owners and leaders, we always ask about the three most critical issues that directly impact their profitability.  One of the answers is always a version of the phrase, “Our people are our greatest asset and in order to grow we have to find, hire and keep good people”.  We then ask whose job it is to ensure that this happens and what that plan looks like.  We often get a lot of vagueness, he...

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