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Find and Train Your Replacement Through Succession Planning – Friday Distraction

9 hours 42 min ago

The holiday season is behind us. That being said, this New Year’s themed Time Well Spent from our friends at Kronos shares a message we should embrace all year long. Organizations need to dedicate resources toward replacement and succession planning. 

I know many companies don’t like to make this level of commitment to employees. They don’t want to say, “Joe, we’d like for you to become our next vice president of finance.” Because what happens if Joe does something crazy and the company changes their mind? Organizations figure if we don’t commit to Joe, then we don’t put ourselves in that position. 

But here’s the deal. What happens if Joe comes into your office next week and resigns? Or decides to retire? Companies need to prepare for these issues. Here are a few things to consider:

Organizations need to think about knowledge management. Let’s put the succession planning argument to the side for a moment. With unemployment at record lows, employees are testing the job market. Companies need to think about their key employees and the work they do. What happens if those employees decide to leave? Companies should be thinking about cross-training to make sure their history and knowledge is passed along. 

Internal talent pools can be a viable alternative to replacement and succession planning. If the only hold-up to talent planning is committing to employees, organizations can create talent pools. These employee “pools” create opportunities for development without specific job commitment. Using the example above, the company can tell Joe, “You have a future with us. We don’t know all the details, but we’d like to start developing you for the future.”

If companies are worried about employee retention, then they need to do something about it. I’m going to deliver some tough love here. Companies that want to engage and retain employees need to take actions that will do so. It’s not logical to expect employee retention without competitive wages, training and development, and positive workplace relations. Telling employees they have a future is part of that.

The conversation about succession planning is about more than avoiding one unpleasant conversation with an employee. It’s about talent management. Organizations will not be able to achieve their talent management goals if they don’t think holistically about current and future talent. That includes training, development, knowledge management, and talent planning. 

The post Find and Train Your Replacement Through Succession Planning – Friday Distraction appeared first on hr bartender.

Categories: Blogs

Employee Perks: Should Companies Offer Free Food [POLL]

Thu, 01/17/2019 - 02:57

I ran across this article the other day on LinkedIn about “A Once-Rare Office Perk Takes Hold”. It’s about a growing number of companies offering free or discounted food to employees. Interesting read. But I must admit that when I see these articles, I don’t have the same reaction of “Wow! Companies offering free food!” because I worked in industries where a free meal was the norm. 

Offering free meals as part of employee perks is definitely a nice thing to do. Especially when employees:

  • Make minimum wage or just above it
  • Are scheduled wacky hours, where there might not be an option to go out for food
  • Don’t have access to an employee breakroom, where they could refrigerate or reheat their meal
  • Work in expensive cities where the cost of going out is prohibitive

Organizations that include meals in an employee perks package have to think about what types of food and the nutritional value of the food that they will offer to employees. I can tell you from experience that “menu complaints” were a regular workplace issue. Also, how those meals are going to be prepared (i.e. staff, sanitation, costs, storage, etc.) I recently saw in the newspaper a company’s employee breakroom receive a warning from the health department for sanitation. (Can’t imagine that helps the company’s recruiting and retention efforts.)

So, what do you think? Is free food really the new “must-offer” perk? I hope you’ll take a moment to complete one (or both) of these survey questions.

AS AN EMPLOYEE - - what do you think of free food as part of an employee perks package?
  • I love it! And I want to work for a company that offers it!
  • I could take it or leave it. Free food doesn't influence my decisions.
  • No way! I want to control what I eat and I'm willing to pay for it.
Vote

AS A COMPANY - - what do you think of including in the employee perks package free food?
  • We offer free food to our employees, and they love it!
  • We're considering offering free food to employees as a perk.
  • We have no desire to offer free food as one of our employee perks.
Vote

I think it will be interesting to show these results side-by-side. Again, I hope you’ll take the time to answer and share the poll with your networks. I’ll post the results in a couple of weeks.

Organizations are looking for ways to stand out in the crowd. And free food could be one of those ways. While I don’t know that free food creates employee engagement, it might set a company apart from the competition. I can’t wait to hear what you have to say on this one! Thanks.

The post Employee Perks: Should Companies Offer Free Food [POLL] appeared first on hr bartender.

Categories: Blogs

6 Ways to Improve Your Business Acumen

Tue, 01/15/2019 - 02:57

One of the behavioral competencies in the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) competency model is business acumen. This should come as no surprise to anyone. It’s important to know the business, be able to talk about it, and make decisions to help the business grow.

But honestly, it’s hard to develop business acumen. Oh sure, a lot of people throw business buzzwords around like “growth mindset” and “blue ocean strategy” but do they really know everything those terms mean? In today’s business world, new concepts are being developed all the time. It’s a challenge to stay on top, especially when your plate is already full of work. 

Personally, I find it helpful to take inventory of the things I’m doing to stay on top of business. I love lists that remind me to step back and just get focused. So, here’s a list of suggestions that can help build business acumen.

  1. Read (and listen to) the right stuff. I’ve discovered an electronic newsletter called “Morning Brew” that helps me stay on top of business news. Trust me, I hate junk emails as much as the next person, but this isn’t junk. This Monday-Friday enewsletter provides a stock market overview and some commentary about the business headlines of the day. What I really like is the casual, conversational tone. Business acumen doesn’t have to be boring or stuffy. 
  2. Develop a business book library. Laurie Ruettimann has put together an HR Book Club. You can also check it out on Facebook. To me, the success of a book club lies in the book selections. She’s doing a great job of curating book selections that stretch our minds from an HR and business perspective. The other thing I love about this book club is, if you don’t want to read the book selection, Laurie encourages you just to read something. So, if you’re ready to tackle that pile of books you have on top of your filing cabinet, this group is for you. 
  3. Learn how your organization makes and spends money. If you haven’t bought your controller a cup of coffee lately and asked about the profit and loss statement, now might be a good opportunity to do so. Years ago, I did just that during onboarding and it was one of the best hours I’ve ever spent on my career. The good thing is there’s no rule that you’re only allowed to do it once. Consider scheduling coffee time with your controller right before budget time too.
  4. Join your professional association. I’m not here to tell anyone which professional organization(s) to belong to.  Everyone needs to figure that out on their own. But I do believe it’s valuable to be a member of a professional organization. And let me add that I feel it’s important for individuals to get involved. Volunteer! Not only will you make friends, but you will learn from your colleagues. Part of developing business acumen includes developing a professional network. 
  5. Step out of your regular responsibilities. The next time the boss is looking for a volunteer, consider raising your hand. Getting involved in project teams can help you 1) learn new knowledge and skills 2) build new working relationships and 3) get noticed by the organization. I know your calendar is already full. These types of extra assignments might be worth it. Both from a learning perspective and your long-term career development. See if you can squeak out a little bit of time to make it happen. 
  6. Know your customer. When I talk about customer here, I’m not referring to employees. Do you know who the top ten customers are for your organization? Not just their names, but do you know what they do? Years ago, I had the chance to go on some customer calls with the sales team. Very valuable! If you’ve never done it, consider asking a sales manager if you can tag along. You’ll learn a few things and I’d say that the sales department will be happy you did. 

Over time, I’ve come to realize that business acumen isn’t something you learn once and you’re done. Business acumen is changing all the time. Yes, it’s true that terms like profit and EBDITA haven’t changed. We have new terms like blockchain, disruption, and vlogger. If you want to be a contributor, you have to know how to really talk business. 

The post 6 Ways to Improve Your Business Acumen appeared first on hr bartender.

Categories: Blogs

Is Your Organization Humble

Sun, 01/13/2019 - 02:57

I want to tell you about an organization. Think of it as a case study. It’s a private company with over $1.4 billion in revenue and nearly 6,000 employees globally. Been in business since 1977 and is regularly recognized as a best place to work both in its industry and headquarters location. I think we would agree that this is a very successful company. And one of its core values is humility. 

Have you guessed what company I’m writing about? If you said Kronos, then you’re right.

I’ve had the privilege of working with Kronos for many years. First in my Corporate life as a customer of its products and now as a blogger and consultant. I’m honored to have interviewed members of the company’s senior management team on this blog. But I must say “It’s about time!” that finally, after all these years, Kronos CEO Aron Ain has put the secret to the humble company’s success down on paper. 

Kronos CEO Aron Ain

WorkInspired: How to Build an Organization Where Everyone Loves to Work” is the story of Kronos. How the company started and where the company is today. What I love about this book is what I love about Kronos – it really is a humble organization. In fact, Ain writes about humility being a company value.

I’m not going to give the book away – you definitely need to pick up a copy and read it for yourself. But I thought his comments about humility were particularly appropriate and create a takeaway for any organization.

Companies can change their culture. Ain talks about humility becoming a company value during a time when the organization was experiencing a lot of change. Personally, I think there are times when organizations forget that as the company is changing, leadership needs to make sure that the company culture and values align with the change.

Define what values mean. Kronos defined humility as “assuming positive intent”. It’s important when the organization establishes values that those values are clearly defined. Don’t make the assumption that every employee holds the same meanings for words. Give employees examples of behaviors that demonstrate a core company value.

Humble isn’t a wimpy word. Ain and the Kronos leadership team make sure that employees understand that humility and “bold” aren’t mutually exclusive terms. Organizational values need to be able to work in concert with each other especially in industries where innovation and speed drive profitability.

Always be positive. Even when things go wrong. Kronos uses humility as a way for employees to hold themselves and others accountable. Will stuff go wrong? Sure, but their expectation is that everyone will model positive behaviors which will benefit working relationships and the company. 

Now you might be saying to yourself, should we copy the Kronos culture? And the answer is no. But, if your organization is looking for some creative inspiration, what better place to get it than from another well-respected organization. Or get a confirmation that you’re doing the right things. 

For HR professionals who want some insight into how a CEO thinks, this is a book written by a CEO. There’s no shortage of business talk. But if you’ve ever spent 5 minutes with Aron Ain then you know he’s in the people business. And this book is a great example of how human resources has the role of business partner and what they’re able to do.

The post Is Your Organization Humble appeared first on hr bartender.

Categories: Blogs

Staffing and Scheduling are Two Different Things – Friday Distraction

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 02:57

I know that Christmas was last month, but I can’t resist sharing this Time Well Spent from our friends at Kronos because it beautifully demonstrates that staffing and scheduling are two different things. Staffing is about finding the right people to do the work. And scheduling is about making sure they show up at the right times. Both are important. 

I remember working on a project years ago where the company was convinced that their problem was staffing. They kept telling everyone that they didn’t have the right people. And that they weren’t being trained properly. After a thorough analysis, the problem was discovered to be scheduling. Oh sure, the company could have used a few more good employees and some better training. But the bottom-line was that employees weren’t being scheduled when the operation needed them the most.

Identify key tasks that must be completed during operational shifts. Think about what needs to happen during each shift in your organization. I’m reminded of my hotel days when we created opening checklists or closing checklists. It was a reminder for everyone in the department what needed to happen. 

Spread the work around. Speaking of those checklists, one person didn’t complete the entire checklist. One employee might do 1-2 items. Another employee was responsible for 2-3 items. This approach created more of a team environment where each employee was a contributor to the department’s success.

Encourage cross-training so there are multiple employees who are capable of doing these tasks. Finally, because multiple employees were involved in the opening / closing checklist, the department didn’t miss a beat when an employee called in sick or took vacation. Another employee simply filled in. 

As the labor market continues to challenge us, this will be a real issue for companies. If you have one employee who completes a specific report every week, what is the company going to do if that person resigns tomorrow? While the company can simply dump the work on another employee’s desk, that doesn’t mean they’re the best person for the job. Sorta like giving a reindeer’s job to an elf, if ya know what I mean…

Part of running a smooth operation is making sure that the right people are working at the right times. It’s also making sure that “back-ups” are in place so those “right people” can take a day off, go to an all-day workshop, or deal with an emergency. They can focus on what they’re doing while at the same time, the company can focus on running the business.

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Categories: Blogs

Peer to Peer Learning: Why It Should Be Part of Your Training Strategy

Thu, 01/10/2019 - 02:57

Co-workers play a huge role in the employee experience. An increasing number of organizations include peers in the hiring process so candidates can meet some of their co-workers. Companies are adopting new hire buddy programs as part of the welcoming and socialization process during onboarding. Multi-rater reviews (sometimes called 360-degree feedback) ask for feedback from peers as part of the process. 

Another aspect of the employee experience that we don’t talk about much is peer to peer learning. Peer based learning can take place in both a formal or informal organizational setting. What’s great about peer to peer learning is that both the sender and the receiver can find the experience valuable.

I recently sat down with a friend and colleague of mine, Kathy Shurte, CPLP, CPM, district organizational development manager for the Florida Department of Transportation, to talk about peer to peer learning programs and the value they bring to employees and organizations. I’m thrilled that Kathy agreed to share her expertise with us.

Kathy, I’d like to think that everyone understands the value of peer-based learning, but as an in-house learning and development (L&D) professional, what’s your take?

[Shurte] As an L&D professional, my take on peer-based learning is that, while it is not a new idea, it certainly is an idea whose time has come! I know I provide a valuable service to my organization, and historically that value has been through training opportunities I’ve created, facilitated, provided, or recommended. That has all been good, and there is still a definite need for structured learning events.

But when I think back over my own life, there is no denying some of my most important lessons happened with a friend by my side, patiently showing me how to balance on ice skates or how to roast a chicken. Sometimes there was more laughter than patience, but a friend in need was still a friend. In the workplace, there was always someone who knew the job better than I did and was willing to let me learn from his or her mistakes. Getting me up to speed quickly was a win-win situation!

Fast-forward several decades and we live in a different time. The world has shrunk, we communicate differently, and the resources that are available to us are simply mind-blowing. ‘Change’ has become my new definition for life. How does one take it all in and learn to make sense of it? Peer to peer learning. No one has a training staff large enough to allow them to create a structured learning opportunity for every new app, idea, or thing that appears on the horizon with each day’s rising sun. But there is always someone, somewhere, who can grasp it and pass it on.

Now our role as an L&D professional must expand to embrace the fact that our ‘training team’ is everyone. We’ll have to look for trends, figure out how to ensure the information shared is accurate (or something that we want to be shared), understand how to quantify it, and know when to pick it up and add some structure to it. Peer-based learning is not going to go away; we need to embrace it and support it.

In your experience, what types of peer to peer learning programs can organizations implement with very few resources?

[Shurte] An organization can implement different peer to peer learning programs with very few resources. Our organizations are quickly filling up with young people who are tech-savvy and collaboratively conscious. We have two generations that have grown up wanting to share everything they do, have or know, and they use technology to share it with as broad an audience as possible (think global!). A smart organization will tap into that – and it takes very little to do so. Government organizations have more issues with technology and transparency, but private sector enterprises can allow employees to mingle personal devices and company resources to achieve amazing returns. 

  • Setting up social media sites (or internal versions of the same) allows employees to ‘show off’ an idea or skill. 
  • Mentoring programs now match mentors with new hires, and never mind that the mentor has yet to finish his or her probationary period. Of course, mentors with more tenure work well too. 
  • Setting up ‘sandboxes’ or ‘playgrounds’ where employees can explore applications provides a safe learning environment where failures are less painful. 
  • Creating ad hoc teams to address problems spurs innovation.

You’ve mentioned technology already, so let’s explore that more. Where can technology provide value in peer to peer learning?

[Shurte] It makes me sound old to say this, but kids today are wired differently! I’ve seen children just barely a year old pick up a smart phone and, not only find the games, but play them, too. Technology is like an added appendage. Who hasn’t at one time or another wished for an extra arm or two? Technology affords its gifted users an added advantage relative to communication, learning, researching and/or sharing information. It can hardly be separated from the person.

A caution, though, just as any strength becomes a weakness when it is over-used, we have a generation that struggles with interpersonal skills, and a peer cannot share what a peer cannot do. So as L&D professionals, we all need to be on the lookout for ways to help everyone maintain a swatch of humanity.

Do you see a downside to peer to peer learning? And is there a way for organizations to mitigate the risk?

[Shurte] The downside to peer to peer learning is that left unto itself, there may be quality issues. If I only think I do a great job, and then I show all my friends how something is done, they won’t be great at it either. Also, we still have people in our organizations, often older and often senior, who don’t recognize or value any kind of informal learning, be it peer to peer or stretch assignments. L&D has a role in educating that faction on all the ways learning can take place.

Organizations can mitigate the risk of poor quality by including segments of peer learning in staff meetings or wherever groups of employees meet formally. Managers can be present, watching from a distance and then giving feedback when they see peer to peer learning taking place. Recognize it, and specifically say what made it good. If there is a way to formalize peer to peer learning, using a learning management system (LMS), an internal certificate/certification program, or even simple corporate badges – these can all help mitigate quality issues.

Last question. With the increase in collaborative work, what do you see as the future of peer to peer learning?

[Shurte] I see the future of peer to peer learning as another tool in my toolbox, something that is here to stay, something that I need to embrace and coach. If indeed any of us is a lifelong learner, the natural outgrowth of that is to be a lifelong sharer and cultivator of peer-based learning.

A HUGE thanks to Kathy for sharing her knowledge and experience with us. As Kathy mentioned, peer to peer based learning isn’t going away anytime soon. Organizations are going to want to embrace this opportunity. We hire super smart people to work at our companies. Why wouldn’t we create an organizational culture where they feel confident and comfortable sharing their knowledge with others? Everyone benefits.

Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby while exploring the streets of New York, NY

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Categories: Blogs

Employee Burnout: 5 Organizational Programs That Can Reduce It

Tue, 01/08/2019 - 02:57

(Editor’s Note: Today’s post is brought to you by Concordia University, St. Paul (CSP). Become a more effective HR professional with an with an online Bachelors in HR or an online Masters in HR. CSP offers small class sizes with a personal learning environment geared toward your success and knowledgeable faculty who have industry experience. Enjoy the post!)

Nearly half of HR leaders say that employee burnout is responsible for up to 50 percent of the company’s turnover, according to a survey from Kronos Incorporated. In addition, ninety-five percent (95%) say employee burnout is sabotaging workforce retention. Think about that for a moment, not only is burnout a cause of turnover, but it’s an obstacle to retention. We know what that means. The area between retention and turnover is disengagement. 

“Employee burnout has reached epidemic proportions,” said Charlie DeWitt, vice president of business development at Kronos. “While many organizations take steps to manage employee fatigue, there are far fewer efforts to proactively manage burnout. Not only can employee burnout sap productivity and fuel absenteeism but, as this survey shows, it will undermine engagement and cause an organization’s top performers to leave the business altogether. This creates a never-ending cycle of disruption.”

Unfortunately, there may not be a simple solution to employee burnout, but many factors contributing to it are within the organization’s control.

What is Employee Burnout?

According to World Psychiatry, employee burnout is a prolonged response to chronic emotional and interpersonal stressors on the job. The response has three key dimensions: overwhelming exhaustion,feelings of cynicism and detachment from the job, andasense of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment.

It’s important to realize that employee burnout is not typically the result of a single factor, such as working too many hours or having a demanding boss. Employee burnout has complex causes, which is why it’s so costly to individuals and organizations. 

The Five Domains of Employee Burnout 

There are several organizational risk factors for employee burnout, but five domains have been identified by researchers:

  1. Values are the ideals and motivations that originally attracted employees to the job. They motivate workers beyond money or advancement. A conflict between individual and organizational values forces a trade-off between work employees want to do and work they have to do.
  2. Work overload is (obviously) having too much work. When employees have work overload, it weakens the employee’s ability to meet performance goals and leaves little opportunity to rest and recover.
  3. Control and community become a factor when employees feel they don’t have an influence on decisions that impact them, their work, or their career. And that they don’t feel anyone cares. Employees aren’t looking for absolute control. They understand there’s an organizational hierarchy. But they do want to feel that they have a trusting community of supporters.
  4. Rewards and recognition show employees that they and their work are valued by the organization. The rewards and recognition can be financial, institutional, social, or a combinationof all three. While rewards and recognition are always important, they are especially so when employees have a lot of work to complete (See #2).
  5. Fairness refers to work decisions being perceived as fair and equitable. Employees tend to gauge their value on the quality of procedures and their own treatment during the decision-making progress. Not being respected can lead to cynicism, anger, and hostility.
Employee Burnout: The (Negative) Business Outcomes

Employee burnout can negatively impact workers and organizations in three areas: employees, teams, and organizations. 

Employee burnout contributes to poor health. Physical exhaustion is the most predictive variable of stress-related health outcomes and is linked to symptoms like headaches, chronic fatigue, gastrointestinal disorders, muscle tension, hypertension, cold/flu episodes, and sleep disturbances. 

Team dynamics are impacted when employees experience burnout. It is perpetuated through social interactions, personal conflict, work disruptions. Burnout causes negativity in working relationships. 

For organizations, employee burnout is linked to job dissatisfaction, low employee loyalty, absenteeism, disengagement, and turnover. Burnout makes it more likely for workers to leave the company, and those who stay tend to have impaired quality of work and lower productivity. 

5 Employee Programs That Can Help Reduce Burnout

To reduce burnout, organizations can implement programs that are directed at the major causes. According to human resources consulting firm Robert Half, here are five ways to enhance retention that could also assist in reducing employee burnout.

  1. Employee Compensation: In the Kronos survey, forty-one percent of respondents said that unfair compensation was the leading cause of employee burnout. Organizations can distinguish themselves in the job market and address burnout by offering competitive compensation and benefits packages.
  2. Training and Development: Professional development programs can help employees improve their skills, which benefits employees and organizations alike. It not only helps employees manage challenges but it’s a strong way to hire from within.
  3. Recognition and Rewards Systems: Organizations can demonstrate appreciation through a heartfelt email message, a gift card, or an extra day off. A small budget shouldn’t discourage managers from recognizing hard work.
  4. Work-life Balance: Flexible scheduling allows employees to arrive at work later than normal for personal reasons or following a late night of work. Another way to enhance work-life balance is with telecommuting. One study in Harvard Business Review found that remote workers were happier, less likely to quit, and more productive than their in-office peers.
  5. Mentorship Programs: More experienced employees can mentor colleagues to provide them with the guidance and resources they need. By using peers instead of work supervisors, employees can receive help in a less intimidating environment.
Make an Investment in Reducing Employee Burnout

Employee burnout is a multidimensional response to several risk factors. However, the complicated nature of employee burnout is not the reason it has become one of management’s biggest challenges. According to the Kronos survey, the reason that burnout is a major organizational issue is because organizations are not focused on enhancing retention. Approximately one in six survey respondents said that funding is the biggest obstacle in improving employee retention and engagement.

Which is surprising, because turnover in organizations is costly. Research from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) suggests that direct replacement costs can reach up to 60 percent of an employee’s annual salary, with total costs ranging to as much as from 200 percent of annual salary. Given the link between employee burnout and turnover, it’s time for organizations to invest in the employee experience and create programs that will help thrive.  

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Categories: Blogs

Connect and Engage with Job Candidates Using These 5 Recruiting Strategies

Sun, 01/06/2019 - 02:57

Organizations spend hours sourcing applicants, reviewing qualifications, interviewing candidates, and internal discussions among the recruiting team. But one of the most important steps in the recruiting process is one some companies spend very little time doing – selection. When it comes time to evaluate and select a candidate, some hiring managers will spend minutes making a final decision on who to extend an offer to.

It only seems logical that candidates accept job offers from organizations they’re excited to work for. The question becomes, how do organizations create that excitement? The answer is by connecting and engaging with the candidate. Find ways to learn more about the candidate and vice versa. Connecting and engaging might seem like the same thing, but they’re not. Connecting means providing a way for communication to happen. Engaging is starting the dialogue.

It’s an important distinction because the way a candidate interacts with you during the interview process can help you evaluate how they will behave as an employee. For instance, if a candidate shows up for an interview and treats the company receptionist badly, what are the chances that they will treat customers badly? The good news is that in today’s technology driven business environment, we can connect and engage with candidates before ever interviewing them.

5 Recruiting Strategies for Connecting and Engaging with Candidates

Connecting and engaging with candidates isn’t a one-way activity. Remember that candidates are doing their own types of connecting and engaging activities to learn more about the organization. Here are five recruiting strategies to consider:

  1. Create a robust employee referral program. Current employees are “connectors”, meaning they can introduce a candidate and the company. The organization benefits from the recommendation from a current employee, who knows what it’s like to work there. Meanwhile, candidates can learn the inside scoop about the organization from those same employees. This recruiting tactic continues to provide the highest quality of hire at the best cost per hire.
  2. Develop a talent network. According to a CareerBuilder’s Candidate Behavior Study, sixty-four percent (64%) of candidates research a company before applying to a job posting. This doesn’t mean that a candidate will never apply, but instead companies need to realize that the decision for a candidate to apply could take some time. Building a talent network, a place where candidates can virtually ‘hang out’ before they’re ready to apply is a great way to promote their employment brand as well as engage.
  3. Maintain a social media presence. Speaking of promotion, some of a company’s social media interactions can happen via their talent network. The goal is to be where your candidates are. Organizations want to understand how candidates find out about them and their openings. The desired result in connecting and engaging with candidates is getting them to apply. So, using social media to stay top of mind keeps the company visible with active and passive job seekers.
  4. Consider collaborative hiring. HR and hiring managers do not have to be the only people connecting and engaging with candidates. Collaborative hiring allows organizations to build recruiting teams, that include not only HR and the hiring manager but also include key employees that the candidate would regularly interact with. There are many benefits to this approach, especially during onboarding. Candidates can build relationships with more employees before day one.  It also means that more employees have a vested interest in the candidate’s success. 
  5. Use technology strategically. All of these activities point to the need for organizations to use their recruiting technology strategically. Today’s recruiting technology solutions allow companies to connect and engage with candidates before they apply as well as during the hiring process. In addition, companies can stay in touch with former employees and applicants, who can be a source for employee referrals and (possibly) become boomerangs. 
Build Recruiting Strategies that Connect and Engage Candidates

To make the best hiring decisions, organizations need to take advantage of every opportunity they have to learn about the candidate, and not just their knowledge, skills, and abilities. Organizations want to know that a candidate is going to like the work and the company.

That’s why successful recruiting strategies involve connecting and engaging with candidates. Organizations can use their resources, including current employees and alumni, to build an effective recruiting community that will help them find the best talent. Because the greater the candidate engagement, the more likely they are to accept a job offer and become an engaged employee.

Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby while exploring the Wynwood Wall Art District in Miami, FL

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Categories: Blogs

Give Employees Recognition and Rewards That Matter – Friday Distraction

Fri, 01/04/2019 - 02:57

This Time Well Spent from our friends at Kronos ran shortly before the holidays, but I thought the message was an important one to share even after the New Year. 

I’m sure 2019 is going to be a busy year. Every year seems to get busier than the last. Our calendars are full of meetings. We’re thinking about all of the goals we need to accomplish. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining. The New Year can be exciting. But in all of the excitement, we can’t forget about recognition and rewards for employees and their hard work and efforts.

More importantly, we need to recognize and reward employees in a way that means something to them. Giving employees an “ugly sweater” is awesome if an employee wants an ugly sweater. Or lives someplace where they can use a sweater in general. 

Find out what motivates employees. There are plenty of opportunities to ask employees what matters to them. You can ask during the interview. Or maybe create an activity during orientation where employees make a personal user guide that includes how they prefer to be recognized. Another option is to straight up ask them during a one-on-one meeting. Whatever method you choose, don’t make assumptions that every employee values the same things.

Step out of your comfort zone. When it comes to recognition and rewards, managers should not expect employees to conform to the manager’s style. Managers need to deliver recognition in a way that is meaningful to the employee. Some employees appreciate public recognition. Others are mortified by it. In addition, if you’re a manager that prefers staying out of the spotlight, you might need to step into it to properly recognize an employee. 

Look for signs that the recognition or reward was valued. I will admit that sometimes employees say, “Oh boss, I just love this!” and the truth is they hate it. But the employee doesn’t want to hurt feelings. If you want to know if an employee values a gift – see if they use it. Or pay attention when they mention recognition. It could be a small indicator of something that an employee appreciates. 

We spend a lot of time talking about employee engagement and the employee experience. Recognition and rewards are big parts of it. And we’re not talking about big, expensive items. It could be as simple as “thank you”. But that thank you needs to be sincere and delivered in a meaningful way. It goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway) that employees aren’t going to engage with an organization where they’re not appreciated. Because they can go find a company that will. 

The post Give Employees Recognition and Rewards That Matter – Friday Distraction appeared first on hr bartender.

Categories: Blogs

Management and Leadership: Organizational Strategies for High Performance

Thu, 01/03/2019 - 02:57

Every organization is striving for high performance. I don’t know of a single organization that’s saying, “Our vision is to be mediocre. Let’s just do enough to get by.” Organizations want to be the best. To do that, they need high-performing employees.

But to have high performance, organizations need to think about their learning and development strategies. Here are a few popular HR Bartender posts from the year that focus on learning and creating high performance.

The Difference Between Goals, Objectives and Outcomes

The key to employee engagement is employees who feel their work is valued. Talent management links value to business outcomes via goals.

How to Create Learning Paths that Align with Company Goals

Learning paths allow employees to build knowledge or skills. We want them to align with company goals. These six steps help align learning paths to goals.

Employee Coaching Is a Form of Accountability

Employee coaching is not the same as discipline. That’s important because coaching is often perceived as negative. It’s a discussion for accountability.

4 Ways to Measure the Success of Your HR Programs

There is only one sure way to know if your HR programs are a success – measure the results. There may be many was to do that. Here’s a proven method.

Managers are key in the execution of the company’s learning and development strategies. Organizations need to not only make investments in employee learning but manager development as well. Here are some topics to consider when it comes to management development programs

The 10 Basic Skills that Every Manager Should Have

There are skills that every employee should have. Managers need those too, plus a few others. These are the 10 basic skills every manager needs to have.

Managers Should Spend the Majority of Their Time Doing This

Managers have a lot to do. And that’s exactly why managers should spend most of their time doing this. It helps with goals, performance and learning.

4 Ways Managers Can Create the Work Conditions for High Performance

Employee engagement and high performance should go together. There are 4 ways managers can encourage engaged employees into high performance.

Organizational success (which includes the bottom-line) is a result of employee performance. It only makes good business sense to invest in programs that will help employees become high-performers. This includes developing managers to be excellent coaches, trainers, and leaders.

Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby after exploring the streets of Gainesville, FL

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Categories: Blogs

Employee Engagement: Resources to Plan Your 2019 Strategy

Fri, 12/28/2018 - 02:57

I don’t have to tell you that employee engagement will continue to be a hot topic in 2019. Finding the best talent is incredibly competitive. The last thing companies want is to spend their resources bringing in the best talent, only to have them never become engaged with the organization (and then leave). So, debating about engagement seems like a non-issue.

But being able to craft an engagement strategy is a challenge. How to sell the idea of creating a strategy, what to include, and how to measure results can be hard. So, I’ve put together a round-up of the most popular articles on HR Bartender that focus on building an engagement strategy. 

Organizations Must View Employee Engagement as a Long-Term Business Activity

We know the business value of engagement. Organizations must view the employee experience long term, set realistic expectations, and focus on culture.

Employee Engagement and Commitment Are Not the Same Thing

Engagement is high priority today. It helps with retention and productivity. But we also want commitment from our employees. How do engagement and commitment differ?

Employee Engagement Is a Financial Strategy

The employee experience, engagement and satisfaction have value. Measurable financial value. And competition is driving that value to new heights.

How to Get to the Root Cause of Employee Engagement Issues

Action determines the success of your engagement surveys. Taking the right actions means understanding the specifics of employee feedback and what really matters.

Employee Engagement Surveys: 4 Planning and Execution Must-Haves

We know the value of the employee experience and using surveys to develop programs. Proper planning and execution are crucial in engagement surveys.

HOW TO: Turn Your Employee Engagement Survey Results into Action

Engagement surveys give employers a wealth of information. Here are three steps to turning engagement survey results into action.

Increase Employee Engagement and Retention with Better One-on-One Meetings

Communication helps managers drive employee engagement. One-on-one meetings are more important than ever to grow engagement and improve employee retention.

Employee Engagement Roadmap: It Is Not Too Late to Create Yours!

An engagement roadmap helps connect organizational actions with long-term goals and guides managers in activities that help build strong engagement.

These articles have examples and downloads that might help human resources departments guide their organizations through the exercise of creating an employee engagement strategy. I hope you find the information helpful.

Engagement has been around for decades. The value of a great employee experience isn’t going away anytime in the near future. People might try to find new names for it, but it’s still the same thing. The question is, what are organizations going to do about it. Because disengaged employees cost the organization hard dollars. 

Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby at the 34th Street Graffiti Wall in Gainesville, FL

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Categories: Blogs

How To Be More Creative In Your Career

Thu, 12/20/2018 - 02:57

I ran across an older white paper that talked about the importance of creativity. The article quoted a study from Adobe and Forrester that said 82 percent of companies believe there’s a connection between creativity and business results. I get it. Creativity is important.

I don’t know about you, but when I think of creativity, I think of artists like Prince or Picasso. I have to remind myself that creativity comes in many different forms. And for a logical thinker (like me), I can still be creative. But maybe I need a process to be creative. That’s okay. 

Here are a few things I try to keep in mind when I’m trying to be creative – whether it’s to solve a problem, design a program, or just challenge myself.

  1. Dedicate time to think. Former Secretary of State George Schultz was quoted in an article a few years ago about having a “Schultz Hour”, where he dedicated time on his calendar for the purpose of thinking. I love this idea and try to find time to do the same. One place where I get in “thinking” time is during air travel. 
  2. Apply problem-solving skills. Everyone should find a problem-solving model that they love and can use regularly. It’s like finding your own system to get yourself “unstuck”. My model is called STP (Situation – Target – Proposal). Over the years, I find that it works for me. 
  3. Think beyond the constraints. One of my personal ground rules for problem solving is “There are no rules.” I brainstorm the options and then evaluate all the details. I believe companies put a lot of constraints on themselves because they brainstorm options and evaluate them at the same time. They really should be two separate activities. 
  4. Find what works for others and bounce ideas with respected coworkers. I know many people are best practice haters, but I’m not one of them. I think best practices can provide creative inspiration for ideas. The purpose isn’t to duplicate someone else’s best practice. It’s to use them as inspiration for your ideas. 
  5. Experiment and take calculated risks. Everyone has their own level of tolerance for risk, so I wouldn’t encourage someone to take on more risk than they wish. But that being said, it is possible for us to experiment and explore. Instead of viewing options as “all in or nothing”, are there ways to test drive something and see if it makes sense? 
  6. Take time to cool down. All the things I’ve mentioned involve a bit of stretching comfort zones. After we push ourselves, take a few moments to “cool off”. You know how, after a workout, we do a cool down? Do the same here. Declare a “no decision” time out. Of course, you can’t do this for a super long time, but find someway to clear your head and celebrate your creative time.

Maybe one of the ways we need to think of creativity is in terms of curiosity. I read an article in the December issue of TD magazine about curiosity. A survey cited in the article said the 83 percent of executives encourage curiosity and 49 percent feel curiosity leads to salary growth. So not only is this type of thinking good for the organization, but it’s good for us personally. 

Creativity is a difficult subject. I see very few workshops or training programs about how to learn creativity. Most often, we hear about other people’s creative processes. And that’s okay.  But we need to be able to take that information and turn it into some guiding principles that will help us be more creative. 

What do you do to turn on your creative juices? Leave us a note in the comments.

Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby while exploring the Wynwood Wall Art District in Miami, FL

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Categories: Blogs

Proven Retention Strategies to Help Reduce Employee Turnover

Sun, 12/16/2018 - 02:57

It’s no surprise that recruiting is a challenge. On some level, finding the right talent is always a challenge. So it’s logical that, once organizations find the right employees, they want them to stay. I mean no one says, “Hey, let’s hire Leonard. He’s not going to be very good and he’ll leave in a few months.”

The first thing that organizations need to realize is that employee retention is everyone’s responsibility. Turnover and retention are not “HR issues”. The factors that influence retention extend beyond human resources. The entire organization needs to buy-into making retention part of their role. 

And if you’re wondering what those factors are that influence turnover, I did a survey here on HR Bartender about why employees leave companies. The common wisdom is that that employees leave bad managers.  But the top reason may surprise you! Businesses need to be ready to address the issues. Here are a few popular posts from the blog that might help:

Reduce Turnover: Develop an Employee Experience Strategy

The employee experience drives turnover. Start with a great candidate experience and continue through the employee lifecycle. 

What Employers Should Do When an Employee Resigns

When an employee resigns, employers should have a process in place to transition them properly. Here are some things to consider. Employees should be able to leave the organization with respect. 

According to a survey from Korn Ferry, ninety-eight percent of senior leaders believe that structured onboarding programs are the key to employee retention. Making sure the company’s onboarding program is best-in-class only makes sense. 

How to Assess Your Company’s Onboarding Program

Onboarding is more than just orientation. Done right, it helps retain and engage new hires. So, we need to assess our onboarding program for maximum effectiveness.

Companies Should Include Feedback Training in Onboarding

Feedback is an essential tool for maximizing employee engagement. So, include feedback training in your onboarding.

How to Evaluate the Success of Your Company’s Onboarding Program

Good onboarding is the key to new hire success. To evaluate the impact of your onboarding program, here are five effective data and feedback methods.

New Hire Onboarding: Take a Pulse to Increase Employee Retention

Employee retention is critical today. A pulse survey can help during onboarding to structure and receive effective feedback.

Organizations hire employees and want to retain them. But that means having the right processes and programs in place, so the employee is successful. It also means making employee success an organizational priority – not an HR program.

The post Proven Retention Strategies to Help Reduce Employee Turnover appeared first on hr bartender.

Categories: Blogs

How to Manage Multiple Priorities – Friday Distraction

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 02:57

(Editor’s Note: Today’s post is brought to you by our friends at Kronos, a leading provider of workforce management and human capital management cloud solutions. Want to create an inspired workforce? Check out this Forbes interview with Kronos CEO Aron Ain where he talks about being an un-leader. Enjoy the article!)

There’s quite a bit of research that says multi-tasking isn’t good for us. And that we don’t really do it well. Even when we think that we do. But what does that mean in a world where we’re constantly being asked to manage multiple things…at the same time.

I don’t know about you, but somedays I feel like this Time Well Spent from our friends at Kronos. I feel like I’m playing Whack-A-Mole. And that’s not good. Over the years, I’ve figured out a few things that help me manage multiple things without feeling like I’m sacrificing quality – for both the project I’m working on AND my personal sanity.

Learn how to plan. I’m not talking about how to put appointments in your planner, although that can be helpful. I’m referring to finding time to think. Finding time to analyze information. Not just quickly glance at it and hastily make a decision. Having (the right) time to think, explore, develop crazy ideas and vet them can be immensely valuable. 

Prioritize and reprioritize. New priorities are always popping up. The answer isn’t to simply add another priority. That’s a recipe for spreading ourselves way too thin. Whether you’re an organization or an individual, we need to decide if a new initiative is really a priority and where it falls on the list. Maybe it’s not priority number one. OR maybe it is, and we need to shift some other priorities. 

Renegotiate commitments. I don’t’ want to say, “Don’t overcommit.” I think the better approach is, when faced with changing priorities, renegotiate your other commitments. Again, whether you’re an individual or an organization, go to the people you’ve promised a deliverable and discuss a new timetable. You’d be surprised how many people will be willing to work with you.

I don’t know that it’s realistic to think we’re never going to be asked to work on multiple projects or strategies at the same time. But that doesn’t mean we can’t reprioritize our commitments, so we can do our work well. 

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Categories: Blogs

Dealing With Managers Who No Show for Interviews – Ask #HR Bartender

Thu, 12/13/2018 - 02:57

I’ve been in this position before. Many times, as a matter of fact. It’s not fun. And frankly, it’s not right.

Hi! I work as a candidate experience coordinator, and one of my biggest pain-points is dealing with last minute cancellations from our hiring managers that create 30-60-minute gaps in the middle of a candidate interview. I always try to scramble and find a fill in or to rework the schedule, but I’d say more often than not, it’s not manageable due to their tight schedules.  

In the past few months, the amount this has happened has decreased significantly (due to a couple of new policies and our killer recruiters!), but it’s still an issue. Too many times I must give a tour and then sit with the candidate to talk about company culture and essentially just kill time until the next scheduled interviewer arrives. I think it’s obvious and doesn’t shed the best light on our company. Any creative suggestions or ways we could fill this time when this does happen? Thank you!

I’m going to start by pointing out the elephant in the room. This is an organization that has a person dedicated to the candidate experience, which is a goodgreat thing. The candidate experience is important. There’s a well-known case study from Virgin Media documenting how they discovered a bad candidate experience cost the organization over $5M annually and how they turned it around. So, the candidate experience isn’t just some feel good thing. It costs organizations significant dollars when it’s not done right.

Which is why I want to point out the obvious. If your organization has someone dedicated to the candidate experience and hiring managers don’t seem to respect the candidate experience, then this needs to be addressed first and foremost. With unemployment at historic lows, organizations cannot afford to send this message. Now, there are potentially some power dynamics at play and we could speculate all day long about them. Bottom-line: there’s an underlying issue that needs to be addressed.

That be said, I do understand that sometimes emergencies happen. But I’d like to think that candidates understand that. Recruiters can explain emergencies. But if the company is facing a 30-minute emergency and asks the candidate if they can stick around, here are a few things to consider:

Train a second interviewer. I know at some point the candidate will have to meet the primary hiring manager, but in the meantime, they could meet a supervisor. Or a senior employee. Just make sure the person doing the interview has attended some kind of interview skills training.

Tour the facility. I know the reader note mentioned that they do tours to fill time. If ‘no show’ managers are a frequent occurrence, I would hold the tour until the end of the candidate’s time, so I could always move it up. Versus planning the tour and then discovering a manager isn’t available. 

Move the HR interview. Speaking of juggling schedules, if this is happening on a regular basis, I would make the HR interview the one with flexibility. Again, instead of interviewing with HR and then finding out a manager needs to shift their time, I would work around the managers. 

None of these solutions are ideal, but they could work. Ultimately the solution is that managers need to conduct their interviews on time. Because if they don’t, all the schedule shuffling in the world by HR isn’t going to help. And they will lose candidates. 

Candidates have options. If managers don’t show up on time for interviews, it sends the message that the manager doesn’t respect the candidate’s time. That’s the issue to address. 

Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby while exploring Duval Street in Key West, FL

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Categories: Blogs

Labor Law Posters Are Not a Substitute for Mandatory Employee Handouts

Tue, 12/11/2018 - 02:57

(Editor’s Note: Today’s post is brought to you by Poster Guard® Compliance Protection, a division of HRdirect and the leading labor law poster service that gets your business up to date with all required federal, state and local labor law postings, and then keeps it that way — for an entire year. Enjoy the article!)

Last month, we discussed the labor law posting requirements for remote workers. After I published that post, it occurred to me that there are other postings organizations might not be aware of…such as employee handouts. According to Ashley Kaplan, Esquire, senior employment attorney for HRdirect, there are two distinct types of mandatory employee notifications: labor law posters and employee handouts.

And because there are two types of mandatory employee communications, it possible that organizations might overlook employee handouts thinking they’ve got it covered with labor law posters. Kaplan says, “there is some overlap with posters, so it can be confusing to employers what’s required at a federal, state and local level.” Let’s take a high-level look at mandatory employee handouts.

4 Things Every Employer Needs to Know about Mandatory Employee Handouts

In a webinar about mandatory employee handouts, Kaplan shared four key things that employers should remember when it comes to required employee communications:

  1. Mandatory handouts are legal notifications, typically issued by government agencies. Common examples are Family and Medical Leave, Workers’ Compensation, and sexual harassment in the workplace. These notifications are required at a federal, state, and local level. In addition, government agencies might require notifications in multiple languages.
  2. Many required handouts are distributed to employees at the time of hire during orientation. However, some handouts are “event driven”, meaning that they must be distributed at the time of the event. For instance, Family and Medical Leave notifications should be provided to the employee when they are requesting leave.
  3. Remember current employees need to be notified as well. When new notifications are required, organizations should start giving new hires those new required notifications, BUT we can’t forget about existing employees. They need to be notified about the new or changed requirements as well. Keep in mind that some government agencies will require that notifications are acknowledged (i.e. signed) by the employee.
  4. And finally, these employee handouts are in addition toany labor law poster requirements for your workplace. Yes, this is what makes mandatory employee notifications so tricky. Kaplan pointed out that some laws require only postings, some require postings and handouts, and others only handouts. It’s important to know the requirements.
In Human Resources, Time is Money

I’ve got some good news and not-so-good news. 

The good news is that some government agencies do offer free downloads of these employee handouts. In those situations, HR can simply download the document. That’s not the issue. 

The not-so-good news is that there’s no government one stop shop that will tell you everything you’re required to do. According to Kaplan, there are “across the nation, more than 400 different federal and state notices that employers must distribute based on different triggering events. In a state like California, there can be up to 32 employee notices issued by up to five different agencies for compliance.”

Let me add that more often than not agencies don’t notify employers of changes. So not only do employers need to know where to look for the legal requirements, they have to regularly go back and double check to ensure they are in compliance.

One more thing. There are instances where government agencies do not offer templates or free downloads. Employers are responsible for creating the handout on their own. And I don’t have to tell you what that means. HR is responsible for everything that comes with designing the new form – researching the legal guidelines, creating the document, getting legal approvals, communicating the change, etc. Oh, and I know I don’t have to tell you (but I’ll say it anyway) that, if an organization is caught being out of compliance, they are subject to fines, penalties, and legal exposure. 

But let me end this section with some more good news. You don’t have do this alone. Our friends at Poster Guard have recently introduced a new Mandatory Employee Handout service. It was developed by their legal team to help businesses comply with all of these handout requirements.

With the service, employers are provided with electronic access to current federal and state handouts, so they can print or email them to employees. Poster Guard takes care of monitoring, so organizations will always have the most up-to-date information to share with employees. AND they’ve also built some templates that you can use to create your own. 

Right now, HRdirect is offering HR Bartender readers a discount to try their Mandatory Employee Handout service. Just use the code SC28549 at checkout to receive 25 percent off the Poster Guard Compliance Protection service. This applies to all three tiers of service offered and the two products they have for remote workers. But don’t delay! The code expires on December 31, 2018.

Notifying Employees is the Right Thing to Do

I understand that compliance isn’t the sexiest part of human resources. But it’s essential to the business and not just from the standpoint of avoiding fines and penalties. 

Telling employees their legal rights is simply the right thing to do. The last thing organizations want is to develop a reputation for being an employer that doesn’t operate in good faith. We don’t do that with our customers and we don’t want to do it with employees. It will impact the company’s ability to hire, engage, and retain the best talent, which ultimately impacts the bottom-line. 

The post Labor Law Posters Are Not a Substitute for Mandatory Employee Handouts appeared first on hr bartender.

Categories: Blogs

Recruiting Challenges: People and Process Are the Answer

Sun, 12/09/2018 - 02:57

Organizations continue to be focused on finding the best talent. Even organizations that have recently announced layoffs and reorganizations are still focused on hiring, engaging, and retaining the best talent. Any time an organization hires someone – even one person – they want that person to be the best. Then they want them to become engaged with their role and stay with the company.

I know many HR departments that are examining their current recruiting processes to see if there are places where they can become more effective and efficient. One way to do that is to think about people and process.

1) Do we have the right people involved in hiring? And have we given them the tools to be successful?

2) Are we using the right processes to source, interview, and select employees?

Here are a few of the popular posts from HR Bartender that you might find useful in evaluating your recruiting processes:

10 Strategies for Recruiting in a Highly Competitive Job Market

Recruiting can be a challenge during normal times. To recruit in a highly competitive job market, consider using some of these proven strategies.

5 Ways to Reinvent the Traditional Job Interview

The job interview has changed a lot over the years. But, has it changed enough to keep up? Here are 5 ways to reinvent the traditional job interview.

Pre-Employment Tests Can Help HR Hire Faster (and Better)

Hiring the right candidate has never been more important. Pre-employment tests can help HR hire faster and better. But you have to find the right tests.

And, when it comes to the people involved in hiring, here are some things to consider:

Your Company Culture is Responsible for Attracting and Retaining Talent

Attracting and retaining employees is more important than ever. Your company culture holds the key. Here are some resources to learn more about culture.

The 10 Skills Every Recruiter Should Have

Every recruiter needs to perform at a high level. Having the right skills is important. Use this list to help develop effective skills in every recruiter.

10 Recruiting Tips for First Time Managers

Knowing how to recruit top talent is important. And new managers need strong recruiting skills. Here are 10 recruiting tips for first time managers.

Before Interviewing, Train Hiring Managers on These 5 Things

Hiring managers have a critical job. You can’t assume they can recruit just because they have a title. First, train your hiring manager on these 5 things.

IMHO, recruiting is one of the HR functions that should be evaluated regularly. Even if no one thinks there’s a problem. It’s important to keep both the processes and individual skills current. That way, organizations can stay ahead of the competition. And isn’t that what finding the best talent is all about?

Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby while exploring the streets of Las Vegas, NV

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Categories: Blogs

Establishing New Performance Measurements – Friday Distraction

Fri, 12/07/2018 - 02:57

Over the past year or so, we’ve talked about using measurements like employee net promoter score (eNPS) to understand employee engagement. I don’t know if it’s directly related to it, but I’m hearing more conversation about human resources professionals being evaluated based on talent acquisition metrics. For example, recruiters being evaluated on the time it takes to reach out to a candidate.

It reminds me of the promises that organizations make to customers. We’ll deliver your pizza within 30 minutes. When I travel home, Delta airlines tells me I will get my luggage within 20 minutes. The idea being that performance promises create a positive customer experience and build brand loyalty.

So, it goes without saying that, if organizations want to create a positive employee experience and build employee loyalty, then measuring HR and payroll response times could be helpful. But to be fair, if organizations are going to hold HR and payroll accountable to this standard, they need to do it the right way.

Hold people accountable for things they can control. I call this the ‘turnover example’. HR cannot be held accountable for the company’s turnover. Because they don’t control all the factors that go into turnover. Yes, HR can be held accountable for human resources department turnover. But not the rest of the company. Turnover belongs to everyone.

Define a realistic standard. Once the company has established a performance standard that payroll or HR can actually accomplish, it’s important to set standards that make sense. Let’s use turnover again. Setting a goal of zero percent turnover is unrealistic. And probably not even advisable. Organizations should want a bit of turnover.

Get buy-in from impacted individuals. If establishing these standards is new for the organization, take time to chat with payroll and HR. Talk about why creating new performance standards is important. Get their buy-in. Managers should let employees know that they feel confident the new standards can be met.

Payroll is important. Through the years, I’ve talked about payroll being one of those functions that should strive for perfection. That being said, in this Time Well Spent from our friends at Kronos, payroll should be given realistic performance goals that they can meet. While no one wants to make a payroll mistake and striving for perfection might be a goal, let’s be real and admit that occasionally mistakes are going to happen.

Zero payroll mistakes might not be realistic. That doesn’t mean that payroll and HR can’t have realistic, measurable goals that directly align with the candidate and employee experience.

The post Establishing New Performance Measurements – Friday Distraction appeared first on hr bartender.

Categories: Blogs

5 Retirement Strategies Companies Need to Start Planning For Now

Thu, 12/06/2018 - 02:57

I recently wrote a blog post over on our other blog, Unretirement Project, about the “5 Retirement Strategies that Individuals Need to Start Planning For”. It came from a session that I attended during the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) annual conference.

But employees aren’t the only ones that need to start thinking about retirement. Organizations do as well. According to Pew Research, approximately 10,000 people each day turn retirement age. That number is expected to last for at least the next decade. Now of course, not all of those people are going to leave the workforce the moment they reach retirement age. In fact, there’s some data to suggest that older workers are trying to stay in the workplace longer (whether that’s simply for the money or because they enjoy working).

My point is that organizations need to think about the growing number of people who are – at some point – going to exit the workplace. And during a period in time when recruitment is tough, it makes sense to have a deliberate strategy for keeping skilled workers. Here are five strategies that come to mind:

  1. Reskilling. Employees need to keep their skills current with the business climate. That includes older workers. Personally, I’m not buying the comments that “older people don’t know squat about technology”. Not from the individuals or the companies they work for. It’s time for organizations to make investments in employee education and training.
  1. Repurposing. Everyone wants to feel that they contribute to the bottom-line of the organization. That doesn’t mean that everyone needs to have career advancement goals. Translation: you don’t have to want a promotion to be valuable. Organizations need send the message that everyone can contribute value, even if their goal isn’t to move up the company ladder.
  1. Reducing stress. Burnout and stress are real issues in today’s workplaces. Organizations are doing the right thing by creating wellness programs for employees. Let’s remember that there are some wellness issues that are the same for every age group, there will also be some unique wellness issues for older workers. For example, financial education programs could be tailored for not only saving but retirement.
  1. Reverse mentoring. You guys know I’ve never been a big fan of the term reverse mentoring. I mean, why can’t we just call it mentoring? So, I view this one as both traditional mentoring – where an older worker can share their expertise and knowledge with others AND reverse mentoring – where they can learn from a younger worker. This is great for reskilling and repurposing.
  1. Phased retirement. If you haven’t had a moment to read my interview with Joyce Maroney, executive director of The Workforce Institute at Kronos, I hope you’ll check it out. She shares her transition from full-time to part-time status and the support she received from Kronos along the way. Organizations have a real opportunity to create a win for everyone by supporting employees through a phased retirement plan.

As more employees start eyeing retirement and more organizations continue to struggle finding talent, it only makes sense for both sides to create some mutual wins. It can be done. But it takes open communication, transparency, and planning.

Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby while exploring Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale, FL

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Recruiters: 6 Things When Texting Job Candidates

Tue, 12/04/2018 - 02:57

A few years ago, I went to the SourceCon conference. During the event, one of the speakers asked the crowd how many people texted candidates and quite a few people raised their hand. More than I would have suspected at that time. Since then, I continue to hear more and more people talk about texting candidates. If you’re not texting candidates, you might be behind the curve in today’s competitive talent market.

Human Resource Executive published an article recently titled “Recruiting Gets Smarter with Targeted Texting”. It’s a good read about how talent acquisition professionals can use texting to target candidates. But as I was reading the article, I couldn’t help but think that HR and talent acquisition pros need to step back and think strategically about how they will use text messaging in the hiring process. Here are a few things to consider:

  1. Create guidelines that everyone on the recruiting team will use. For example, what types of messages are appropriate to send via text? When are acceptable times to text? Texting should be considered a form of company communication. Texting messages can enhance the organization’s employment brand and candidate experience if they’re done the right way.
  1. Let candidates opt-in. While many recruiters are using texting as a way to contact candidates, I still can’t help but think that texting is considered a very personal way to connect. And it still needs a level of permission. Ask candidates before cold-texting them. It can be perceived as a sign of respect.
  1. Identify yourself in messages. This should go without saying, but I’m amazed at the number of people who text me and I have no idea who they are. Because their phone number doesn’t identify who they are. So, err on the side of caution and identify yourself and your organization. That way a candidate doesn’t ignore you or write back a “Who the heck is this?” response.
  1. Be brief! Just because more people are open to texting, doesn’t mean messages should be longer. The beauty of text messaging is its brevity. Recruiters will want to learn how to send succinct messages. And if the message needs to be longer, maybe find a way to refer a candidate to a medium that’s better suited for longer messages. For example, “Can I send you an email with details?”
  1. Use acronyms, slang, and emojis sparingly. Speaking of brevity, texting does lend itself to acronyms, emojis, etc. But we have to remember that we’re representing a company (and the company’s brand). Think about how the slang we use in our personal lives would be interpreted by candidates. In some cases, a smiley face or an LOL could be perfectly acceptable. The poop emoji…well, maybe not.
  1. Let candidates opt-out. If we’re going to give candidates the ability to opt-in, then they should have the ability to opt-out. Maybe they’ve decided they don’t want to apply for an opening. Or that they no longer want to be considered. Organizations have to respect that and stop their communications.

Oh, and one more thing. Once the recruiting team has finalized their texting strategy, run your ideas by legal. I’m sure they would appreciate being looped in and they can make sure that nothing is left out.

I don’t have to tell anyone that the benefit of using texting in the recruiting process is people read their texts. Before they read emails. Or listen to voicemails (if people actually do that anymore…) If organizations want to reach candidates, text messaging is a very effective medium. But it has to be done properly. And in a respectful way. The company’s brand is on the line.

Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby while exploring the Wynwood Wall Art District in Miami, FL

The post Recruiters: 6 Things When Texting Job Candidates appeared first on hr bartender.

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