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Employees: What To Do When Placed On Suspension -Ask #HR Bartender

4 hours 21 min ago

When an employee is placed on suspension pending investigation, the passing time can seem to take forever. It makes sense for HR to keep employees up-to-date on what’s happening. At least, that’s what this reader wants to know…

Hi. l work in housekeeping and was suspended by HR because the chef said that l threatened him. There was no witness to confirm his allegation. Ten days after my suspension, the union was at the hotel to hear both sides of the story. My concern is that, since l’m bipolar, the hotel knows that after a month l am out of the system and l will not be able to get my medication. If the case they are alleging is hearsay, why is it taking so long?

Dear reader: I honestly wish I had a clear definitive answer. I’m not making excuses, but investigations do take time. How much time depends on the situation and what the organization starts to uncover as they interview employees, etc. In the past, I’ve published some articles about accommodations, investigations, and suspensions that might be helpful.

Working with a Job Accommodation

When Employees Want to Go “On the Record”

Management Isn’t Helping Me

What Happens During an Employee Investigation?

Can HR Reopen an Employee Investigation?

Can I Get Fired for an Accident?

What to do If You’re Placed on Suspension

How to Handle a Work Suspension

Should an Employee Resign or Wait to Be Fired

Employees: When Should You Lawyer Up

I’d like to extend a HUGE thanks to the attorneys who help me answer these types of questions. They certainly don’t have to. They have full-time jobs and always say “yes” as a way to help the profession.

I know it might be tough to empathize with someone on suspension if you’ve never been suspended. But that doesn’t mean we can’t empathize with someone who is waiting to hear whether or not they have a job. Because we’ve all been there. While conducting an investigation or placing an employee on suspension is never fun, we owe it to employees to conduct a thorough investigation in a timely fashion.

Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby just off Duval Street in Key West, FL

The post Employees: What To Do When Placed On Suspension -Ask #HR Bartender appeared first on hr bartender.

Categories: Blogs

10 Financial Skills That Every Manager Needs

Tue, 11/13/2018 - 02:57

I ran across an article on the Association for Talent Development site titled “Financial Skills Every Manager Should Be Able to Navigate”. It’s a good read. Got me thinking…if I had to come up with a list of financial skills that every manager should know, what would they be? These are financial skills that managers should learn in a management development program or during manager onboarding.

  1. Read the company financials. I remember working for an organization where all new managers had a meeting with the controller to learn how to read the company financials. I was amazed that more organizations didn’t do this. After being exposed to the practice, I made it a point in every job I held to ask the controller for a meeting. They always said yes.
  1. Analyze the company financials. It’s not enough to know how to read the financials. You have to know how to pull information from them and make business decisions based on what’s there. So, step one is learning how to read the financials but step two is being able to do something with them.
  1. Understand business insurances. Risk management and insurance are big ticket items in an organization. I’ve been surprised a few times that managers didn’t know the company held employment practices liability insurance (EPLI). I’ve also surprised a few managers when I had to explain that the company’s EPLI insurance was being cancelled … and why.
  1. Prepare a budget. Preparing a household budget and a department budget aren’t the same thing. Sad to say, but the budgeting process can be a bit of a “game” in some organizations. Managers need the financial skills to understand this and know how to budget so they can accomplish the department’s goals – and their goals.
  1. Manage a budget. Like reading the financials, it’s not enough to simply know how to create a budget. Managers have to be able to work within budgetary guidelines. Especially when it comes to shifting expenses and reforecasting revenues. There are do’s and don’ts within organizations, which are often not written down anywhere.
  1. Create employee schedules. Payroll is a huge organizational expense, so understanding how to create a good schedule translates into proper resource management. Overscheduling and under scheduling impacts the bottom-line. It also gets tricky because managers want to create schedules that make employees happy too. And that can often create conflict.
  1. Monitor employee time and attendance. Scheduling isn’t a “set it and forget it” activity. Once a schedule is created, managers need to monitor it and possibly make last minute adjustments – an employee calls in sick, someone is late, or the business levels aren’t at expected levels. Managers need the financial skills to know how to make schedule changes.
  1. Understand employee compensation. Managers should at least understand the basics of compensation, such as how pay grades are established, what’s salary compression, and why red lining employees isn’t good for employees or the business. Managers are asked to make salary recommendations, so give them the knowledge to do it well.
  1. Prepare an RFP (request for proposal). In today’s gig economy, an increasing number of organizations are using freelancers, contractors, or consultants for projects. While a company’s procurement or purchasing department might handle some of these tasks, they will often come to managers to get details.
  1. Evaluate a proposal. And once an RFP has been issued, managers need to be able to review and evaluate what’s been submitted. Ask bad questions on the RFP and you’ll get bad answers. This will not help the organization make good financial decisions and get work completed in the most efficient way possible.

BONUS: There’s one other area in financial skills that managers would benefit from knowing, and that’s operational metrics, including human resources metrics. I’ve learned a lot from managers sharing with me how certain operational metrics they track impact the bottom-line. For example, how an airline’s on-time performance impacts each department. I’ve always understood the logic, but they showed me the numbers.

In turn, I was able to show them how cost per hire and turnover impact the company in real dollars as well. A learning opportunity for everyone!

Managers have a financial responsibility to the organization. And often their personal compensation is tied to their ability to manage the company’s finances. It’s in everyone’s best interest to make sure managers have the skills to do it well.

Maybe HR should create a manager’s financial skills training course? I’m curious. Has anyone done that? Love to hear your thoughts.

Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby at the WorkHuman Conference in Austin, TX

The post 10 Financial Skills That Every Manager Needs appeared first on hr bartender.

Categories: Blogs

How to Find the Right Resume Writer – Ask #HR Bartender

Sun, 11/11/2018 - 02:57

A couple of weeks ago, I shared a reader note that dealt with two subjects: working as a temp and having your resume professionally prepared. Just in case you missed it, here’s the reader note again:

I’m a struggling “wannabe HR professional”. By that I mean, my resume is all over the place. I’ve been a temp worker for so long. I feel like I’m unsuccessful when it comes to landing great HR positions. Instead I keep landing recruiting coordinator roles, and to me it’s not HR.

I’ve paid over $300 to get a professional resume and I feel as though I was taken advantage off. What advice would you give someone like me?

In the first part of this series, I spoke with Joan Ciferri, former president of a regional staffing company about temporary work: why people are attracted to it and how to build a good working relationship with a staffing company.  I hope you’ll check out the article.

Today, I want to deal with the second part of the note: resume writing. To help us understand more about finding a good (and professional!) resume writer, I asked my friend Chris Fields for assistance. He’s an expert resume writer and human resources consultant who helps job seekers with their resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, and job search strategies over at Chris has helped us before – this post about which job title to use on your resume is one of my favorites.

Chris, what’s the best way to find a resume writer?

[Fields] First of all, I’d like to say that I’m sorry to hear about someone having a negative experience with a resume writer. As a resume writer, I know one of my client’s top concerns is “Am I going to be ripped off?”

I always tell people to vet your resume writer carefully. Have a conversation with them and, if they are unwilling to speak to you, that’s not a good sign for sure. Three things that someone might want to ask a resume writer include:

  • What’s the process?
  • Do you have any testimonials or ‘real people’ that can verify your work?
  • Can I see examples of your work?

Let’s expand on this conversation a bit more. What types of questions should someone ask a resume writer to make sure they’re qualified?

[Fields] I like when my clients ask tough questions about how my process stands out from the others. I want them to know that I am going to work with them to get their resumes in the best shape possible.

Also, I talk with clients about the initial process and then the correction process. As a resume writer, I need to know how much time clients can give me in terms of answering questions and request corrections, so we can meet the timeline for the project.

One other thing to consider: I suggest going with a person over a service. Resume services have become automated, so everything is a template for a faster turnaround. Individuals should ask if the resume writer uses templates.

I’m not going to ask you to disclose pricing. But if I were in the market to have my resume professionally prepared, what types of questions should I ask a resume writer specifically about pricing?

[Fields] Some people only want to pay $100 for a resume. Just understand that you get what you pay for.

Others will pay $1,000 or more. Personally, even though I am a resume writer, I do not feel anyone should be paying $1,000 for a resume only. If we are talking about a resume, cover letter and LinkedIn optimization, then sure $1,000 – $1,500 is right, but for a resume only? No.

You should have a reasonable budget set aside for a resume writer. Depending on career level (entry level to executive) it could be as low as $150 to as much as $500 or $600 dollars. $300 is a good starting ballpark amount for a customized resume and not some templated document.

As you’re thinking about your resume budget, think about how many old resumes or documents you have that the new resume writer would have to read and research. The more stuff that the resume writer has to examine and analyze to make you the best resume, that will factor in the cost.

Most importantly, whatever the price point is, don’t be afraid to negotiate. The resume writer will tell you their price but maybe they are open to knocking a few dollars off.

What types of questions should someone expect a resume writer to ask them?

[Fields] I’ve already mentioned a few in terms of the process. But once the process gets started, they should ask you about:

  • Job duties
  • Strengths as an employee
  • Major accomplishments
  • Valuable results from your hard work
  • Future career goals

It sounds like, if the resume writer and client do all of the right things on the front end, the result will be a fantastic resume. But if someone wasn’t pleased with the end result, do they have any recourse? How could they let the resume writer know?  

[Fields] First, before saying anything, ask yourself what you don’t like about the resume and why. And what you think is missing.

I will be honest, I have had clients tell me that they were unhappy with the finished product and when I ask what it is that they do not like about it, they say, “I don’t know.” or “I’m not sure, I just don’t like it.” For me, it is hard to fix something if you can’t tell me what’s broken. So, I usually start from the top down, “Do you like the heading?” or “Okay, so do you like the “Career Profile”? And I continue all the way down, including the bullet points.

So first, figure out what you don’t like about it. Then, contact the resume writer and let them know specifically what you don’t like and see if they are willing to explain and/or change it.

One last question. I know our conversation has been focused on resume writing. But what would you say to the reader who is frustrated about being a recruiting coordinator.

[Fields] There is nothing wrong with a recruiting coordinator role, in fact some would say HR’s most important job is recruiting because if you can’t recruit then you won’t have a team of workers to do any other HR functions.

Well said, Chris. I can’t think of a better closing.

Many thanks to Chris for sharing his expertise with us. I hope you’ll take a moment to connect with him on Twitter at @ResumeCrusade and check out his blog at The Resume Crusade.

Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby after speaking at the HR Technology Conference in Las Vegas, NV

The post How to Find the Right Resume Writer – Ask #HR Bartender appeared first on hr bartender.

Categories: Blogs

Technology Doesn’t Replace People – Friday Distraction

Fri, 11/09/2018 - 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. Kronos is hosting a free eSymposium for HR and payroll professionals next week. The event is also eligible for professional development credits. Check it out and enjoy today’s article!)

You probably know I love my technology gadgets. One of the things I love about technology is it allows me to interact with people I wouldn’t otherwise ever meet. Case in point: years ago, I connected with Jennifer V. Miller on Twitter. We have a lot in common. We’re both in the learning and development space and we’re both writers.

After connecting on Twitter, we decided to connect on Facebook. I got to learn about her life in Michigan. And she heard all about my life in Florida. Recently, we discovered that we were both at the same conference. So, we had dinner. It was fabulous. We talked about work, home, etc. Our technology connection turned into a real conversation.

That’s why I couldn’t help but smile when I saw this Time Well Spent from our friends at Kronos. Workplace technology helps us do a lot of things. And workplace technologies are very effective and efficient. But that doesn’t mean we can’t sit down and have an honest to goodness real-life conversation every once in a while.

Use technology to build relationships. Networking a decade ago involved a never-ending schedule of association meetings and banquet chicken dinners (you know the ones). And networking today still involves a bit of that. It’s not all bad. But it also involves connecting with people online. Social media can help build relationships.

Use technology to enhance relationships, not replace them. Take advantage of opportunities to chat in person with employees or colleagues. Relationships help us get things done. People will remember when you took the time to talk with them. Especially when it’s time to ask for a favor.

Using technology doesn’t mean you have to always be “on”. The Workforce Institute at Kronos has been sharing a series on the topic of “always being on” when it comes to technology. Check it out when you have a moment. Our relationship with tech doesn’t have to be “use it until we’re completely stressed out by it, then quit.”

I will be the first one to admit that life on social media today is different than it was a decade ago. Back then, you pretty much just saw what everyone was eating and today, politics comes up a lot. But there are still pockets of fun and opportunities to connect and engage with incredibly smart and talented individuals.

Those connections can be valuable. They can be fun. Don’t miss out on them. Not only in making the connection but turning it into something personal.

The post Technology Doesn’t Replace People – Friday Distraction appeared first on hr bartender.

Categories: Blogs

Microlearning: 5 Reasons Your Company Should Consider It

Thu, 11/08/2018 - 02:57

There are many different types of learning: social learning, mobile learning, and elearning are just a few. A relatively new type of learning that’s attracting attention is microlearning. Think of it as small learning units or bite sized pieces of content.

We use microlearning on a regular basis – we just don’t call it microlearning. Here’s an example. I recently wanted to roast a chicken and, to prepare the chicken, I wanted to truss it. But I didn’t know how. So I went on YouTube, found a two-minute video and viola! I knew how to truss a chicken. People are using short videos to learn all the time.

Which is exactly why organizations might want to consider adding microlearning to their offerings. Here are a few things to consider when discussing microlearning as part of your current learning strategy:

  1. It’s easy to produce. Please notice I didn’t say cheap. Although by definition, microlearning would be shorter than standard training and therefore should be cost effective to produce, it’s possible an organization would have more microlearning options available. That being said, I can see microlearning topics being less complex to design and implement than, let’s say, a traditional elearning project.
  1. It’s flexible. Microlearning can be classified as “on demand” if participants can access it whenever and wherever they wish. It could also be called “just-in-time” if it’s used to refresh/remind/teach someone something immediately before they need it. For example, a manager may want to review the steps of counseling an employee right before meeting with them.
  1. It fits today’s technology. One of my mantras is making stuff “easy to buy and easy to use.” Meaning that people who are trying to engage with the organization shouldn’t get the run-around. Because microlearning is focused on a single concept, it can be created using a simplistic process, it can be easy for the company to share, and easy for employees to view.
  1. It can complement your existing programs. I’ve already mentioned microlearning being able to provide a refresher or reminder. It can do that as a follow-up to a traditional classroom learning experience. Instead of searching for the paper participant guide, an employee can search for the microlearning session. It can provide a solution in a moment of need.
  1. It could be a coaching tool. I think of coaching as being able to help someone reach their goals. Part of helping someone could be sharing with them resources that will improve their skills and knowledge. Managers could use microlearning as part of their employee coaching toolbox. When an employee is stuck and needs some assistance, a manager could recommend microlearning sessions.

There are so many different ways we can learn. That’s a good thing because participants can find a learning method that they connect with. I also understand it’s difficult from a corporate learning perspective because how do you justify the time and resources to create all these different learning methods.

The new learning methods emerging right now – concepts like microlearning – have tremendous flexibility and can bring us a return on investment in more ways than one. Something that traditional classroom training might not be able to do. It doesn’t mean ditch classroom training – it means give microlearning a try.

P.S. I’m very excited to be facilitating a virtual seminar for the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) on L&D: Developing Organizational Talent. We’ll be talking about how to design learning initiatives. Details about the learning objectives can be found on the SHRM website. I hope you can join us.

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

The post Microlearning: 5 Reasons Your Company Should Consider It appeared first on hr bartender.

Categories: Blogs

Employee Check-Ins: 6 Essential Components for Success

Tue, 11/06/2018 - 02:57

(Editor’s Note: Today’s post is brought to you by our friends at Readex Research, which provides expert online and mail survey services to help businesses understand their internal and external customers. Their services include employee experience surveys. Enjoy the post!)

Over the past few months, we’ve talked about the importance of “checking in” with new hires to make sure their employee experience is going well. This activity can take place in-person or online. The goal with a new hire check-in is to make sure that employees are in a position to focus on their work, which ultimately fosters employee engagement and retention. Here are a couple of resources you might want to check out:

New Hire Onboarding: Take a Pulse to Increase Employee Retention

New Hires Not Engaged? How to Design an Onboarding Intervention

But I’ve spoken with many people who tell me that the challenge isn’t about convincing anyone that check-ins are valuable. Organizations know that. The challenge is in designing a check-in process that the organization will embrace.

6 Essential Elements for Successful New Hire Check-Ins

Check-ins should meet the needs of the company as well as the employee. I know it might seem like a check-in is all about the employee…and it is. But if the process is cumbersome or expensive, then organizations run the risk of having no one do it. And that defeats the purpose of getting employee feedback. So here are six things to consider:

Check-ins must meet the needs of the company and the employee. Let’s start with how a new hire check-in should meet the company’s needs:

1.  Low on administration. But high on value. This is the beauty of today’s technology. Organizations can have activities, like a new hire check-in, that are scheduled to distribute automatically. This doesn’t mean the organization doesn’t care just because someone in HR wasn’t sitting at their desk hitting the ‘send’ button. Rather, automating a regularly occurring process allows the company to focus on the piece that cannot be automated…dealing with employee responses.

2.  Clear goals. Speaking of results, the only way that a check-in program brings value is when the organization is positioned to react to the new hire’s responses. That involves establishing clear program goals and designing questions that will provide the company with relevant feedback. The questions shouldn’t be leading the new hire to respond a certain way and they should be designed to give the new hire the feeling that their comments are welcome.

3.  Timely. The whole reason that the organization is doing new hire check-ins is to encourage employee engagement and prevent unnecessary turnover. Asking a new hire after six months on the job what they thought about their first day doesn’t send the message that the company cares. Check-ins allow organizations to send brief surveys to new hires on regular intervals, so the feedback can be heard and responded to in a timely fashion.

New hire employee needs are somewhat similar. Here are a few things to consider:

4.  Convenient. If organizations want employees to respond, then they need to create activities that are easy to use so it encourages participation. Personally, I know my response rate when someone asks me to respond to a five-question survey versus the one that will take 20-minutes. Employees need to also feel that they can keep their comments confidential and, if they wish, they can leave their contact information for follow-up. Let new hires drive their own feedback.

5.  Intuitive. Whatever method is used to deliver the check-in, it needs to be user friendly. There’s nothing worse than offering to give feedback and then having to jump through a bunch of hoops to finish the process. It might be tempting to add other goals to the check-in process because you have the employee’s attention. Resist that urge. Also, if the feedback will be given over a technology platform, make sure it’s mobile responsive and secure.

6.     Timely. Like the organization, new hires don’t want to waste time. But for new hires, the focus is a bit different. They want to deliver their feedback quickly and efficiently, so they can get on with their work. They also want the organization to respond in a timely fashion. Doing so, will encourage employees to keep on providing even morefeedback. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, the worst thing organizations can do is ask for an employee’s feedback and then do nothing with it.

I asked Readex CEO Jack Semler if there was one aspect of check-ins that might be more important than the others. While I knew he would tell me they’re all important, he did share that the key comes down to connection.

“Thinking from my own experience as a manager, I feel what is ‘most important’ is a two-fold:  First, is the new employee connecting with what the job really is and what the employee’s personal vision of the job is?  If reality isn’t in line with their vision, then danger exists, and has to be corrected immediately.  Second, is the new employee connecting with peers and management in a positive, good way?  There are so many other factors that need to be checked out, but in the end, if what the job entails is not in line with the employee expectations, and good relationships aren’t forming, the employee may be a flight risk.”

New Hire Check-ins Help Retain Employees

Employee check-ins are a valuable way to easily and quickly take a pulse on the new hire experience. For example, surveys are only as good as they are structured. In this case, structure means making it easy to take the survey and easy to interpret the results – for the employee and the organization.

If you want to learn more about how to implement an employee check-in program, visit the Readex website. You can see first-hand how technology can help your organization retain employees and maintain engagement and productivity.

The post Employee Check-Ins: 6 Essential Components for Success appeared first on hr bartender.

Categories: Blogs

Using a Temporary Job to Launch Your Career – Ask #HR Bartender

Sun, 11/04/2018 - 02:57

Sometimes we can get a huge lift in our career from the unlikeliest places. We just need the right information and mindset. Today’s reader note is a perfect example.

I’m a struggling “wannabe HR professional”. By that I mean, my resume is all over the place. I’ve been a temp worker for so long. I feel like I’m unsuccessful when it comes to landing great HR positions. Instead I keep landing recruiting coordinator roles, and to me it’s not HR.

I’ve paid over $300 to get a professional resume and I feel as though I was taken advantage off.  What advice would you give someone like me?

First off, there are two separate issues in this note: 1) working in a temporary job and 2) having your resume professionally prepared. Since these are both big issues in today’s job market, I’m going to respond in two articles. Today, we’re going to focus on the temporary staffing part.

To help us learn more about staffing agencies, I reached out to a friend of mine, Joan Ciferri,who wasthe president of a regional staffing firmfor over 25 years.

Joan, for those people who might not know, what’s the function of a staffing company as it relates to a temporary job?

[Ciferri] Most staffing companies concentrate on non-exempt positions. They normally have a specialty such as:

  • Administrative, includingaccounting and finance
  • Humanresources
  • Information technology
  • Light or heavy industrial

Staffing companies acquire a client company’s business to fill the company’s positions in their niche. Most candidates start out as a temporary or contract worker on the staffing company’s payroll for a specific time period for peak business times, special projects, or coverage for a worker who is out on leave.

Many client companies chose to hire the best of these workers if they have an open position because they have had the opportunity to view their work product and habits. Most staffing companies allow their clients to hire their temporary worker after a 90-day period with a nominal or no additional fee. If a client wishes to hire the temporary worker prior to the contracted period, they may do so by ‘buying out’ the contract. Since the staffing company normally is placing several candidates with a client company, they tend to be well connected to the hiring managers and supervisors. They’re in a good position to recommend other candidates to the client company who would fit their environment. Staffing companies get paid when they place someone with the client company on assignment or directly with the company.

How is this different from a search firm?

[Ciferri] Search firms (also called executive search or headhunters) concentrate on higher-level exempt positions. Search firms tend to specialize in positions and/or, more often, in a particular industry. Their recruiters are usually knowledgeable in that industry, so they can understand the client company’s and candidate’s background and needs. Search firms typically are engaged to fill a specific role or roles in the company. Client companies typically pay the search firm for the process of the search regardless if they hire the person.

The client company has specific guidelines of the skills and experience they are looking for and the search company will search both passive and active candidates who fit this description.

Why do people choose a temporary job?

[Ciferri] People choose temp work for a variety of reasons such as:

  • Filling in the employment gap while looking for full-time employment or employment in their field.
  • Allowing for flexibility to travel or pursue interests that would require periodic time away from work.
  • Helping them determine the type of work or company that could be a fit for them.
  • Enjoying the variety and find working for only one employer limiting or boring.

In your experience, do companies regularly hire temps for HR departments? If so, what are the typical temp positions inHR?

[Ciferri] Yes. The most common temporary positions are for recruiters to assist them with ramping up projects or peak periods. Some companies hire HR or administrative temporaries for large benefit open enrollment periods or mergers. Some companies will hire a temporary HR generalist to start a department or cover for their HR person who may be out on Family and Medical Leave (FMLA).

If someone is working through a staffing firm, but wants full-time work, what are 1-2 things they should tell the staffing company before they take an assignment?

[Ciferri] Tell the staffing firm that they want full time work. Have an agreement about what will happen if they get a job offer or interview for full time work while on assignment for the temp company.

In this reader note, the person sounds frustrated or unhappy. If someone is unhappy or disappointed with their temporary job, what should they do?

[Ciferri] Let the staffing company know right away so they can help rectify the situation or replace them. Do not just leave the client company and temp company without notice.

My thanks to Joan for sharing her expertise with us. An increasing number of individuals and organizations are looking for flexibility when it comes to talent. Staffing companies and a temporary job can fill that need. But it takes understanding what a staffing company does best. And openly communicating your needs.

Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby after speaking at the HR Technology Conference in Las Vegas, NV

The post Using a Temporary Job to Launch Your Career – Ask #HR Bartender appeared first on hr bartender.

Categories: Blogs

Understanding the Limits of Convenience – Friday Distraction

Fri, 11/02/2018 - 02:57

Regular readers of this blog know I’m a planner. I plan everything. I think I’d even plan spontaneity.

That’s why I couldn’t help but laugh at this Time Well Spent from our friends at Kronos. It reminded me that, even though we can do a lot of things with planning, there are some things that just shouldn’t be planned. Nor should people be penalized for making last-minute changes to a plan.

Allow employees to make last-minute changes. I completely understand that our business operations rely on employees showing up. But we all know that there are times when an employee might want to take the day off and we could get by without them. Having a flexible scheduling system is a win for everyone.

Make sure employees know the limits of the system. The cartoon points out that you can’t schedule the tide. Every system will have some limitations. That doesn’t make it a bad system. But letting employees know how the system works, will help them use it properly.

Tell employees the consequences of using the system incorrectly. Flexible systems are wonderful, but in addition to telling employees all of the terrific features, it’s important to share the consequences of using the system incorrectly or inappropriately. It could have an impact on the operation. With convenience comes responsibility.

One of the major advantages in using technology is convenience. We can create schedules, distribute them to employees, and allow employees to make changes. All using technology.

None of this is designed to scare anyone away from flexible technology. In fact, technology solutions with lots of options is exactly what we want. We can customize the solution to our organization. But everyone needs to understand the ground rules: how the system works, how employees are expected to use the system, and what happens if employees don’t use the system appropriately.

The post Understanding the Limits of Convenience – Friday Distraction appeared first on hr bartender.

Categories: Blogs

When Does a Theory Become Outdated

Thu, 11/01/2018 - 02:57

Some of you might be aware that I write training programs. And to design training, I use the ADDIE model. It was developed by Florida State University decades ago as a way to design training for the military. ADDIE is an acronym that stands for Assessment, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation.

There are other instructional design models out there. Michael Allen authored a book titled, “Leaving ADDIE for SAM”, which talks about the ADDIE model of instructional design and proposes a transition to a new model called SAM, which stands for Successive Approximation Model.

Allen’s book contends that ADDIE wasn’t really a great model for instructional design in the first place. With relatively recent trends such as social and informal learning, ADDIE isn’t keeping pace with today’s business demands. His book outlines a new model, SAM, which considers the changing face of learning and business.

Honestly, the jury is still out for me whether I’d “leave ADDIE for SAM” but I did find the book an interesting read. It offered a challenge that merits discussion.

When does a model or theory become obsolete?

I think conventional wisdom tends to suggest that, once a model or theory reaches a certain status, then that’s it. We don’t challenge its application or place in the business world. As fast as today’s world works, I’m not sure if that’s true anymore. Granted, it might take a lot of convincing that an established model or theory isn’t relevant anymore. Or that a particular model needs updating. But I believe we need to get ready for an era of change where classic models and theories are concerned.

This doesn’t mean that learning classic theory shouldn’t happen. Being able to explain the evolution of change when it comes to theories and models is incredibly important. It demonstrates a depth of knowledge about the subject matter.

It also doesn’t mean that the older models and theories were bad or wrong. Older models served a purpose. They taught us things and provided a basis for discussion and discovery.

As we look at the new innovations of our time, I can see moments where we will be forced to challenge conventional models. It will be our responsibility to listen to argument, test the new model and realize the results for ourselves.

In thinking about instructional design, is the ADDIE model passé? I don’t know. Frankly, it works for me. But I need to be open to the idea that someday, I might have to start using a different better model.

P.S. I’m very excited to be facilitating a virtual seminar for the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) on L&D: Developing Organizational Talent. We’ll be talking about how to design learning initiatives. Details about the learning objectives can be found on the SHRM website. I hope you can join us.

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

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Categories: Blogs

Workplace Posting Requirements for Remote Workers – Ask #HR Bartender

Tue, 10/30/2018 - 02:57

(Editor’s Note: Today’s post is brought to you by our friends at Poster Guard, 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!)

Remote work is more than just a passing fad. In a study by AND CO and Remote Year, more than 23 percent of the remote workers they surveyed said their organization is fully distributed. And technology tools like Slack are helping remote workers collaborate on projects.

But it raises the question, how do organizations communicate with employees when it comes to topics like workplace compliance postings. I know we need to be focused on the work, but we also need to make sure all employees know their rights as required by federal, state, and local law.

I had the opportunity to speak with Ashley Kaplan, senior employment law attorney for HRdirect about this issue. Ashley leads the expert legal team for Poster Guard® Compliance Protection. On a personal note, I’ve known Ashley for years and I’m thrilled to share her knowledge.

Even though today’s post is sponsored, please remember that Ashley’s comments shouldn’t be construed as legal advice or as pertaining to any specific factual situations. If you have detailed questions, they should be addressed with your friendly neighborhood labor and employment attorney.

Ashley, before we talk about the posting requirements for remote workers. It might be good to discuss, in general, the current posting requirements for organizations.

[Kaplan] Sure. All employers must post federal, state, and local (if applicable) postings. The mandatory federal posters include:

  • Equal Employment Opportunity (EEOC)
  • Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)
  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  • Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)
  • Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
  • Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA)

In addition, there could be up to 15 additional state-specific posters, depending upon what state you’re in … and up to 10 additional posters for city/county compliance. Oh, and don’t forget there are additional posters for government contractors and certain industries. The topics for these state, local, and industry-specific postings include minimum wage, fair employment, child labor, unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation, expanded family/medical leave rights, smoking in the workplace, electronic cigarettes, human trafficking, and more.

For HR pros who just read that list and are saying to themselves, “I have no idea if I have the right posters up!” is there a government site that will tell them everything they need?

[Kaplan] Sadly, no. The postings are issued by multiple different government agencies. Believe it or not, HR professionals have to visit each agency’s site to find out posting requirements. There are 175 different agencies responsible for issuing more than 370 posters at the federal and state level. Add to that the approximately 22,000 local jurisdictions that have the authority to issue their own postings. That’s a lot of follow-up and unfortunately, these agencies aren’t required to coordinate efforts.

Okay, so potentially HR pros have several sites to check. But do posters really change that often?

[Kaplan] Surprisingly, they do. Our Poster Guard legal team monitors posting changes and has found that there are approximately 150 state-specific post changes per year, with half of them requiring mandatory updates. I’m sure that big changes, like minimum wage increases, most businesses are aware of. But businesses need to pay attention to the small changes too because the government isn’t required to notify businesses when those changes happen. Also, be aware that mandatory posting changes are issued throughout the year, not just in January. 

I honestly don’t remember labor law posters being so complex. How do current labor law posting requirements impact remote workers?

[Kaplan] By law, you’re required to provide these mandatory notices to ALL employees. That includes remote workers such as employees who work from home, offsite, on the road, at mall kiosks, in mobile service units, out in the field, and at construction checkpoints.

Does this mean that HR needs to send remote workers full-size laminated posters to hang in their spare bedrooms/home office?

[Kaplan] No, but it does mean that employees need to receive notices. Although the regulations don’t specify the format — paper or electronic — organizations are responsible for communicating the same information to your remote workers as those onsite. For employees who work on computers as part of their jobs, we recommend electronic delivery of postings, where workers can download, view and acknowledge receipt of all required postings. This satisfies your obligation to communicate their rights, as covered in the mandatory federal and state notices.

That raises another question about what information should an employee receive. If a company has remote employees who work in different states, which posting requirements should they follow? Those from the state where the company is headquartered or the state where the employee works?

[Kaplan] Unfortunately, it’s not always clear which state laws apply in this instance. Most basic employment rights — such as minimum wage, overtime and safety issues — are governed by the laws where the employee performs the work. However, depending on how your company is structured, your out-of-state employees may be covered by both states’ laws. Because it depends on so many factors, we recommend you provide both sets of state-specific postings to remote workers in this situation. 

What if an organization has some employees who work from home, but they report to the office headquarters occasionally. Do they still need to send posters electronically to the remote worker?

[Kaplan] The law isn’t 100 percent definitive on how frequently a remote employee must access the physical wall posters to be covered.  However, FAQs published by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) suggest that, if an employee reports to a company’s physical location at least three to four times a month, the physical postings at the business are adequate. If not, the DOL recommends electronic delivery.

Last question, there could be people thinking, “Labor law posters aren’t a big deal. If we don’t have them, we’ll just get a warning.” What’s the penalty for businesses who are not in compliance?

[Kaplan] Recently, the amount for federal posting fines increased to more than $34,000 per violation, per location. State and local fines range from $100 to $1000 each. But the real price tag comes in terms of lawsuits or investigations.

An agency could be on-site for a number of reasons, such as an immigration issue, OSHA inspection, wage and hour audit, or EEOC complaint. The first thing they will do is look for up-to-date postings, and non-compliance can negatively impact the outcome of the investigation.

The real danger is with employment litigation. A missing or outdated posting can impact damages and can even ‘toll’ or extend the statute of limitations. And as your readers know, the statute of limitations can often be an employer’s best friend in defending claims.

A HUGE thanks to Ashley for sharing her experience with us. If you want to learn more about how to make sure your posting requirements are up to date, I hope you’ll check out PosterGuard. Today’s technology makes providing remote workers with their postings easy. They also guarantee their work against government posting fines. Right now, they’re offering HR Bartender readers a discount to try their Poster Guard Compliance Protection service. Just use the code SC28549 at checkout to receive 25 percent off their compliance protection service, and the two products they have for remote workers. The code expires on December 31, 2018.

Compliance matters. It’s important to the organizational bottom-line. And when employees – regardless of whether they work remotely or in the office – know that organizations are transparent about their rights, it creates trust and engagement.

P.S. Mark your calendars! I hope you’ll join me and the Poster Guard team on Wednesday, November 7, 2018 at 2p Eastern for a TweetChat about trends and best practices of working with remote workers. Follow the HRdirect Poster Guard Twitter account (@hr_direct) for more details.

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

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Categories: Blogs

Everything #HR Needs to Know About Prescriptive Analytics

Sun, 10/28/2018 - 02:57

We’ve discussed several aspects of technology in this HR technology series. Today I wanted to share a concept that we should be a bit more focused on: prescriptive analytics. Technology now allows us to do more than just process information, it helps us make decisions.

A few weeks ago, I spent a couple of days with the folks from O.C. Tanner at their Influence Greatness conference. (BTW – Wonderful event. I learned a lot and will be sharing more in the weeks and months to come.) I’ve known O.C. Tanner for years and worked with them when I was the president of HR Florida, the state affiliate for the Society for Human Resource Management.

During the conference, they spent a lot of time talking about the value of prescriptive analytics in the workplace. So, I asked to speak with their principal data scientist Padmashri Suresh, and luckily, she said yes!

Let’s start with a definition. What are prescriptive analytics? And how does it differ from predictive analytics?

[Suresh] Predictive analytics is predicting the most likely outcome of an action. Prescriptive analytics is more pre-emptive in its approach and recommends which of the possible actions or decisions would most likely lead to the desired outcome.

To put this in the context of an HR problem, consider the problem of employee retention. Predictive analytics can help us predict which of our employees are most likely to quit. Prescriptive analytics would prescribe the course of action that is most likely to succeed in retaining these employees.

To help us wrap our heads around this, can you give us another HR-related example of prescriptive analytics.

[Suresh] Apart from employee retention, prescriptive analytics can be used to generate recommendations for training strategies that improve employee productivity, strategies that improve employee engagement, etc. The bottom-line is, if you have reliable and robust data, you can use prescriptive analytics to empower the HR manager in any of the areas that they deal with on a day-to-day basis.

As an HR pro, what is it about prescriptive analytics I need to know? Meaning, do I need to know how the algorithms work?

[Suresh] When it comes to solutions generated using prescriptive analytics, the most important thing that an HR professional needs to understand is the scope of the solution (i.e. what are the caveats associated with the solution and in what context and scenarios is this solution applicable.)

For instance, let us consider the case of Netflix ‘Recommended for You’, a solution powered by prescriptive analytics. Its scope is limited to prescribing customized selection of movies, television shows, documentaries, and other videos for its viewers. But it is not capable of providing music recommendations. Also, the recommendations provided for one viewer will not hold good for others. This level of awareness of the scope and context is sufficient to effectively use solutions that are powered by prescriptive analytics in the HR realm.

Regarding the algorithmic understanding, I don’t think it is essential for an HR pro to understand the math that powers prescriptive analytics. However, high-level understanding of the different types of analytics (i.e. understanding what are descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive analytics) will be useful. A high-level understanding of these concepts will help the HR pro to figure out how best to leverage collaborations with analytic teams within their organizations.

If prescriptive analytics is about suggesting options, do I need to be concerned about the quality of the options?

[Suresh] The concept of ‘garbage in, garbage out’ applies here. The quality of the recommendations made by a prescriptive algorithm will only be as good as the data that is fed into the algorithm which generates these recommendations. So, if you have unreliable or incomplete data, the quality of such recommendations will not be optimal. However, we need to remember that when there is incomplete or unreliable data, whether we get a subject matter expert to look at the data and decide on the course of action, or use prescriptive analytics to arrive at a decision, the decisions will not necessarily be optimal.

On some level, this sounds too good to be true. What’s the downside to prescriptive analytics?

[Suresh] Although I would not call it a downside, prescriptive analytics is an iterative process and requires time to collect data and fine-tune the prescriptions given by the algorithms.

If I want to learn more about the potential of prescriptive analytics, are there resources you can share (i.e. blog post, books, etc.)?

[Suresh] Due to the pervasive use of analytics in all fields and industries today, there are several success stories of businesses that are powered by prescriptive analytics. I think the official blogs of any of the technology big-wigs that use prescriptive analytics, like Netflix, Google, Spotify, etc., are a great place to learn about the impact and influence prescriptive analytics can exert on the bottom line of an organization.

Although not exclusively about prescriptive analytics, another great read would be Nate Silver’s “The Signal and the Noise”. It is a good read for someone who wants to understand the potential of analytics but not necessarily delve into the math of how it is done.

A HUGE thanks to Padmashri for sharing her expertise with us. She didn’t mention it but one of the things that O.C. Tanner does really well is research. If you haven’t seen their 2018 Global Culture Report, you might want to check it out. It shares what over 15,000 employees and leaders across six continents say about the current and future state of workplace culture.

Analytics are the future of HR. As Padmashri said, we don’t need to know the math, but we do need to have an understanding of how prescriptive analytics works. Not only for our role as human resources professionals, but for our role as business partners.

Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby after speaking at the SHRM Annual Conference in Las Vegas, NV

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Categories: Blogs

Companies Can Help Employees With Financial Emergencies [infographic] – Friday Distraction

Fri, 10/26/2018 - 02:57

I’ve spent the majority of my career working in industries with large hourly workforces. And much of that hourly workforce was paid minimum wage – or just above it. As a result, when employees had financial emergencies, it impacted their work. Which means it impacted the workplace.

You might have already seen this statistic, but nearly half of Americans do not have enough cash on hand to cover a $400 emergency expense, according to the Federal Reserve’s annual report on the economic well-being of U.S. households. Keep in mind that for some people $400 might not sound like a lot of money, but for others it’s HUGE. A child or parent gets sick and needs to visit the emergency room. Or a car breaks down. Or a refrigerator stops working.

The reason I’m bringing this up is because, as a human resources professional, I’ve been faced with employees trying to get pay advances and loans to cover these kinds of financial emergencies. And sadly, the company’s response has always been “no”. And I get it, the company doesn’t want to get into the loan business. But that doesn’t mean they’re totally heartless about the workplace challenges that money matters create.

Kashable is a company that can help organizations offer their employees with a “Plan B” when emergencies arise. What they do is offer employees low-interest-rate loans that can be paid back through payroll deduction. Employees can only have one loan outstanding at a time, so this doesn’t get to be some out-of-control program for employees (or the payroll department).

There are a couple of things I like about this offering:

  • For individuals who need to establish a positive credit history, the Kashable benefit can help. As much as we might not like to admit it, having good credit matters. And the way you get good credit is by taking out loans and paying them back … on time.
  • Employees who need emergency funds don’t need to tap into their 401(k) savings programs. I’ve written before about the challenges ahead when it comes to retirement. We need employees to start saving. The Kashable benefit could help employees build their savings to help with financial emergencies.

If you want to learn more, check out this PLH Group case study and consider asking Kashable for a demo. I did, and thought it was worth my time. I honestly didn’t see a downside to this benefit. Organizations can offer employees a valuable Plan B option for when cash flow is an issue. Hopefully, employees won’t need it. But that peace of mind can help employees focus on their work. Just knowing that it’s there. It could be a win for everyone.

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Categories: Blogs

4 Steps for Writing the Perfect Learning Objective

Thu, 10/25/2018 - 02:57

One of the most essential (and challenging!) components to training design is creating the learning objective. If you design training (like I do), then you know it’s one of the first things that stakeholders ask for: “What’s the program objective?” And they don’t want a wimpy objective.

Wimpy objectives use what are considered to be weak verbs. Words such as know, learn, understand, and appreciateare examples of weak verbs. Here are a few examples of poorly written learning objectives:

  • Understand the four components of a learning objective.
  • Be able to describe the four components of a learning objective.
  • Our workshop will provide participants with the opportunity to learn the four components of a learning objective.

Please don’t hate on me for saying it. We all know it. And I’ll admit, upon occasion, I’ve used those weak verbs myself. But there’s a better way.

Now, before I share with you my rule for writing a solid learning objective, I want to have a quick side bar conversation about the term “learning objectives”. Often, we use the terms learning objective and learning outcome interchangeably. Again, I’ve been guilty of this myself. Traditionally, learning objectives are what participants can expect from the facilitator or trainer.

Learning outcomes are what participants are expected to know or be able to do by the end of the training session. They should be specific and measurable.

In today’s training world, I believe the program description is what participants can expect during the learning event and learning objectives are what participants expect to know by the end of training. So for the purposes of this post, we’re calling them learning objectives.

Back to the rule. I use what is called the A-B-C-D method for developing an objective.

A stands for audienceand is fairly self-explanatory. They are the participants.

B represents the behavioror the “thing” that participants need to know or do.

C is for condition, which is the support provided to the learner. It might be a book or job aid.

D refers to degreeor required efficiency level.

Here’s an example:

Given a complete copy of the manual on Instructional Systems Design, the participant should be able to accurately describe the four components on a learning objective without error when given at least three opportunities to do so.

In this example:

A (Audience) is “the participant”

B (Behavior) is “accurately describe the four components of a learning objective”

C (Condition) is “Given a complete copy of the manual on Instructional Systems Design”

D (Degree) is “without error when given at least three opportunities to do so.”

I find this four step process to be a thorough way in developing an objective. Just ask yourself the questions.

1) Who is the intended learner?

2) What do they need to know or do?

3) What kind of support will we provide? And lastly,

4) What is the degree of proficiency they need to have?

So, the next time you have to design training – whether it’s revamping the company’s orientation program or a quick 5-minute refresher for managers on conducting interviews – use the A-B-C-D method to come up with the learning objective. It will really focus your training content and improve your results.

P.S. I’m very excited to be facilitating a virtual seminar for the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) on L&D: Developing Organizational Talent. We’ll be talking about how to design learning initiatives. Details about the learning objectives can be found on the SHRM website – just follow the link above. I hope you can join us!

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Categories: Blogs

Candidate Experience: The Importance of Developing a Strategy

Tue, 10/23/2018 - 02:57

(Editor’s Note: Today’s post is brought to you by our friends at Criteria Corp, a leading provider of pre-employment testing services. They’ve recently relaunched their customer interface, HireSelect. It’s been completely reworked to help organizations hire faster and smarter. Get a demo when you have a chance. Enjoy the article!) 

We’ve talked before about the need for organizations to have a defined candidate experience. But what does that mean? The “candidate experience” includes all of the touchpoints that a candidate experiences from the time they discover the company until they learn whether they’ve been hired. It’s important to note that the candidate experience includes more than just the company. Every outside organization that the company partners with (i.e. background check companies, pre-employment testing organizations) is part of the experience.

A bad candidate experience can hurt a company’s brand and bottom-line. According to a 2016 Talent Board survey, 41 percent of candidates who received a negative experience indicated that they intended to stop buying products and services from the company. Conversely, a positive candidate experience can benefit the organization in building a strong talent pipeline.

Obviously, it makes sense to have a positive candidate experience. I don’t know that anyone is intentionally trying to create a negative experience for candidates. The challenge is trying to create a candidate experience where individuals feel positively about the company, even when they don’t get the job.

The 4 C’s to Developing a Candidate Experience Strategy

To really have a positive and lasting impact with candidates, it’s going to take a strategy. The candidate experience isn’t simply another HR program, because what happens during the hiring process has a direct link to the employee experience (we will talk more about the employee experience another day.) Everything is related. For the candidate experience, I like to think of the strategy as having four key components which I’m going to call the 4 C’s (current, clear, communicative, and connecting).

1. Current: What I mean by current is being reflective of today’s business world. When I purchase something, very little comes with the    product in terms of instructions. How to assemble or activate the item is intuitive.

The same is necessary for the candidate experience. While getting hired is a process, make the process easy for candidates to understand and follow. For instance, if your competitive set is using mobile to accept applications, then it’s possible you’re missing out by not doing the same. So, use technology where it makes sense and brings the most advantage.

2. Clear: A couple of months ago, I wrote a post about the “8 Things Job Seekers Want from Recruiters”. One of the biggest things candidates mentioned was honesty – about the job and the company. Candidates understand that companies aren’t perfect. They do want to know both the good and the not-so-great about a future employer.

Consider putting together a “day in the life” video and posting it on your career portal. It can help employees learn about the company and the jobs available. It can show off some of the company culture.

3. Communicative: This will be no surprise to anyone, but candidates want to know where they are in the process. They deserve to be treated with respect. Even if they’re no longer being considered.

Tell applicants when their application has been received. Communicate with candidates when they’re scheduled for video or panel interviews, so they can prepare. The same applies to when candidates are going to complete an assessment. Tell them in advance so they’re not caught off guard.

4. Connecting: By connecting, I mean letting candidates “connect” with the company. First by creating online talent networks so individuals can hear about job openings. Then once they apply and are called for an interview, connecting can mean touring the office, meeting future co-workers, and getting a chance to see what it would be like to work there.

Another aspect to connecting is allowing candidates to stay connected with the hiring manager and recruiter via email and even on social media platforms like LinkedIn. It’s possible that if the candidate isn’t selected for this opportunity, they might be perfect for another one.

The Candidate Experience Lasts Beyond the Interview

Organizations need to realize that the candidate experience will stay with a person long after the interview. So, make it a good one by creating a strategy. But keep in mind that the candidate experience is only one part of an organization’s overall talent acquisition strategy. It’s equally important to have a sourcing strategy as well as a selection philosophy.

If you’re looking for more ways to step up your recruiting game, I hope you’ll join me and the Criteria Corp team for a webinar on “Standing Out in a Candidate’s Market: 5 Recruiting Strategies for Success”. We’re going to add to this conversation and discuss additional steps employers can take to attract and hire the best talent. The webinar is scheduled for Wednesday, November 7, 2018 at 10a Pacific / 1p Eastern. And if you can’t make the live event, sign up anyway and get the recording. Look forward to seeing you then!

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Categories: Blogs

Retention: Employees Want to Choose Their Own Career Adventure

Sun, 10/21/2018 - 02:57

It’s no surprise that talent management is a key issue for organizations today. And I’m not talking about just in the United States. Employers all over the world are experiencing challenges finding the best talent. But hiring is only one piece of the puzzle. Once you hire that great candidate, now you have to retain them.

That’s why I was very excited to snag an advance copy of Alexandra Levit’s “Humanity Works: Merging Technologies and People for the Workforce of the Future”. I’ve participated on conference panels with her and we’re both members of the Workforce Institute at Kronos advisory board. She’s a super smart business pro and I’m truly honored to call her a friend.

One of the chapters in the book that really spoke to me directly relates to employee retention. It’s the idea that employees want a say in their own career development. Personally, I can’t help but think this is a result of the edict that organizations gave to companies during the Great Recession – own your career development. And employees said, “Okay.” But now employees are saying, “Here’s what we want to develop our careers.”

My takeaway is that a decade ago when organizations said, “own your career”, they didn’t necessarily anticipate that employees wouldn’t want to give it back. Hate to say it, but my guess is employers thought when they’re ready to get back in the driver’s seat of career management, employees will happily relinquish it. Nope. Sorry, that’s not happening. In “Humanity Works”, there are three reasons presented for this disconnect:

  • Organizations aren’t sharing with employees what career development looks like and the role they can play.
  • Organizations are sharing career development roadmaps, but not in a way that resonates with employees.
  • Organizations don’t have any idea what employees expect when it comes to career development.

It’s important to note that, when we talk about career development, we’re not always referring to promotions. Employees understand that career development is about experiences. I can totally relate to this. In thinking back on my own career, there were opportunities I had as a manager that some vice presidents never get. So here are six activities to think about when it comes to employee career development:

  1. Roles and responsibilities. Again, it’s possible that organizations can’t change an employee’s job title but a little shift in responsibilities could make a huge difference.
  1. Technology. Give employees access to new technology. Employees are accustomed to testing and using various technologies. This doesn’t mean you should not hold employees accountable for data security.
  1. Learning and development. It’s time for organizations to view their training sessions as more than simply training. Organizations can turn these sessions into something more impactful for employees.
  1. Flexible work and sabbaticals. Organizations willing to offer flexible work might find that employees use this time to develop their skills. Holding them accountable for the work (versus the time) could be a benefit.
  1. Job sharing and rotations. Personally, I believe many organizations used to do these things back in the 1990s but have let them fall to the wayside. It’s time to bring them back because when done right – everyone wins.
  1. Temporary assignments and special projects. These opportunities can give employees the chance to use skills they don’t use every day AND meet people in the company they don’t normally work with.

Of course, I’m only sharing a snippet of the takeaways you’ll get from “Humanity Works”. You won’t be sorry ordering this one.

Companies that are waiting for their talent management challenges to disappear are going to be waiting a long time. It’s time for organizations to develop a talent management strategy. One that not only includes how to find the best talent, but how to keep them. Because the last thing anyone wants is to spend company resources finding employees to have them leave after a few months.

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Categories: Blogs

Policies and Procedures Must Grow With Business [infographic] – Friday Distraction

Fri, 10/19/2018 - 02:57

There have been numerous articles about how the annual performance review process is broken. Today’s post is not one of those articles.

It is a reminder that, as business professionals, we must change with the times. Meaning we must update policies and procedures to keep current with the change in today’s business environment. For example, not that long ago, the only way we could make a doctor’s appointment was by calling the doctor’s office, waiting on hold for 10+ minutes, followed by speaking with an office worker who would schedule the appointment. Then we would receive a phone call to confirm that we were coming. And when we arrived, we would spend 20-30 minutes completing paperwork before seeing the doctor.

Those days have changed. Mr. Bartender and I recently moved to North Florida and, as a result, we’re establishing new relationships with doctors. We can make appointments online. Get paperwork online. Confirm our appointment via text. Medicine is changing as the technology around us changes.

Today’s infographic, courtesy of Reflektive, shows us the growing divide that’s happening with performance management.

I’m not saying that changes in business necessitate ditching the performance review. I believe performance reviews serve an organizational purpose. However, that doesn’t mean companies should use a 1980s performance review process in 2018. We don’t do that for most other things, why do it for managing performance?

Performance management, like so many other employee-centric processes, need to be brought into current times. It’s not just a nice thing to do. It’s a business imperative. If you want to learn more, download Reflektive’s white paper “The Growth Divide: An Economic Imperative for People Management Innovation”. This might be one of the documents that you can easily circulate around the office to get senior management thinking.

I totally get it. Trying to revamp a legacy process like performance reviews can be tough. Managers are a great place to start when it comes to changing the performance management process in business because they play a huge role in delivering employee feedback. I’m working on a webinar with Reflektive titled, “No Bad Managers: 5 Programs Every Organization Needs to Create High-Performing Teams” that will focus on this aspect of management development. The webinar will be on Thursday, November 1, 2018 at 1 PM Eastern / 10 AM Pacific. And as always, if you already have something scheduled, go ahead and register to get the recording.

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Categories: Blogs

Midterm Elections: Why #HR and #Business Professionals Need to Pay Attention

Thu, 10/18/2018 - 02:57

On Tuesday, November 6, 2018, the U.S. has their midterm elections. According to Wikipedia, midterm elections usually have lower voter turnout than the presidential election. Some years, the turnout has been around 40 percent of those who are eligible to vote.

I’ve written before about the importance of being involved in government affairs and the public policy process. What happens in government impacts us personally. What happens in government impacts our organizations, which impacts our work as human resources professionals. To help us understand how the upcoming election could impact our HR role, I spoke with two distinguished members of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) government affairs team. Mike Aitken is senior vice president of government affairs and Lisa Horn is vice president of congressional affairs at SHRM, where they play a key role in advocating  on policy proposals that will have an impact on work, workers, and the workplace.

Lisa, my guess is I’m not alone is saying it’s been a long time since my high school civics class. Can you give us a refresher on what a midterm election is and why they exist? 

[Horn] A midterm election takes place between presidential elections and is called a midterm election because it is the midterm of a President’s term in the office. Unlike presidential elections, where the Electoral College determines the presidents, Congressional elections are direct vote by the district and state’s citizens to choose their representative and/or senator. In a midterm election, all 435 members of the House of Representatives and roughly one-third of the U.S. Senate are up for the election. Authority for the midterm elections is set forth in the U.S. Constitution.

Mike, now that we know what the midterms are, let’s get straight to the point. Why are they important (versus presidential elections)?

[Aitken] Midterm elections determine which political party will govern the House, the Senate or both. Congress largely determines what the legislative agenda is going to be for that two-year term, and therefore, Congress controls the legislative issues that are going to be advanced in the legislature.

I would like to think that everyone is tuned into the news. So, people understand there are lots of reasons to vote in the midterms. What’s at stake from a HR and business perspective?

[Aitken] Many of the issues that are before the Congress are workplace issues: immigration reform, paid leave, civil rights issues, healthcare reform, and workforce development. These are critical issues to the success of the workplace: for workers and their work. And, who controls the Congress largely determines the structure, focus and response to these very important issues. 

Lisa, you and I spoke earlier this year about SHRM’s Workflex initiative. And, SHRM recently introduced the “We Are Work” campaign. How do issues like paid leave, the skills gap, immigration reform, and workplace equality factor into the mid-terms?

[Horn] The issues raised in the midterms (i.e. healthcare reform, immigration, harassment, workforce development etc.) can motivate individuals to go out to the polls and vote. For example, people may be motivated to vote by one candidate’s perspective supporting a Medicare for all healthcare reform proposal, while another citizen may be motivated to vote based on a candidate’s views on immigration reform.

As a HR professional, where can I learn more about how the mid-terms can impact my work and organization?

[Horn] HR professionals that want to learn more about a candidate’s perspective on these issues should start by visiting that candidate’s website. If they have time, attend televised or local debates and educate themselves on where the candidate stands on these workplace issues. In addition, SHRM has featured articles and information in our newsletters and SHRM’s Member Advocacy website about some of the issues that are being considered in the context of the midterm elections.

Last question. For HR pros who are looking for some information on voting laws in their state, where can they go to find it?

[Aitken] As an HR professional you should be encouraging your employees to learn more about candidates, and how they are on these issues and encourage them to vote on election day. You can find out all the information you need to know about variety of state voting laws on the SHRM Policy Action Center website or by connecting with the SHRM Knowledge Center.

My thanks to Lisa and Mike for sharing their knowledge with us. It’s not easy understanding everything that happens in Washington D.C. As a SHRM member, I think it’s fantastic that not only do we have a voice on Capitol Hill but that the government affairs team takes the time to educate us, so we can play an active role in shaping what happens from an HR perspective.

If you haven’t already, mark your calendar for midterm elections: November 6, 2018. Your vote could impact your job.

Society for Human Resource Management logo used with permission

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Categories: Blogs

Learning Opportunity: FREE #HR and #Payroll eSymposium

Tue, 10/16/2018 - 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. Check out the latest research from The Workforce Institute at Kronos how employees across the globe view their relationship with work. Part one, “The Case for a 4-Day Workweek?” explores how employees spend their time on the clock and if the standard 40-hour workweek is most effective. Enjoy today’s article!)

Professional development is important. But sometimes as human resources professionals, we’re so focused on employee and manager development that we forget to carve out some time for ourselves. That’s why I wanted to share with you some information about an upcoming event dedicated to HR and payroll professional development.

Agenda: Kronos HR & Payroll eSymposium

Our friends at Kronos are hosting an HR & Payroll eSymposium on Wednesday, November 14, 2018 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern. It’s absolutely free. (That’s not a typo. It’s really free.) The eSymposium is designed to bring HR and payroll pros education on the topics we deal with most. This one-day experience will offer separate HR and payroll tracks with many sessions eligible for recertification credits (more on that below). As participants, we can follow one track or switch back and forth to explore the topics that we think matter most. I checked out the agenda and there are five sessions that caught my eye, some HR and some payroll.

The True Cost of Bad Hires: HR pros are under increasing pressure to find qualified candidates without sacrificing time-to-fill and cost per hire metrics. But trying to speed up this process can lead to costly hiring mistakes unless companies put the right tools in place to provide a strong candidate experience. Learn how modernizing your talent acquisition processes with a unified, end-to-end technology solution can help reduce your risk of bad hires and create an experience that welcomes, nurtures, and engages new talent. 

Competing in an Era of Choice: Today’s HR systems and technologies can help employers meet their “people” goals and demonstrate that the things their candidates and employees value most have been thoughtfully incorporated into the work experience. Find out how these modern systems better enable you to attract the right candidates, develop and retain top talent, and drive engagement and productivity — all while meeting your strategic objectives and providing consumer-like work experience. 

Wage and Hour Done Right: The exempt versus non-exempt employee classification issue continues to be a common area of confusion among employers, and it’s important for you to know and follow the rules for properly paying workers. This session will identify key policies to put in place to help ensure that employees and managers understand the details of time tracking and payment of non-exempt employees.

Classifying and Paying Exempt Employees: There has been more attention than ever on proper classification of employees. So how do you know if you’re doing it correctly? This session will look at the most commonly used “white-collar” exemptions and how to determine if any of them apply to your employees. They will also explore how to avoid jeopardizing the exemption and common mistakes such as improper salary deductions and erroneous time tracking. Find out what every employer should know about properly classifying employees.

The Future of HCM: A unified HCM software platform has it all in one system: HR, payroll, talent, and timekeeping. Say goodbye to administrative hassles, poor data quality, limited visibility, and cumbersome employee management processes. And say hello to a single source of truth that can help you hire more strategically, onboard employees faster, drive efficiencies, and deliver a great experience for both you and your employees.

Now, I couldn’t list the entire agenda. This is just a sampling of the sessions being offered. You’re going to notice when you check out the complete agenda on the Kronos website that there are more sessions than time. Don’t let that discourage you!

Can’t Make the Live eSymposium? Listen to the Recordings!

Kronos told me that there will be recordings of each session and you’ll be able to download the session materials. So, if you’re not able to listen to all of the sessions on November 14 OR your learning preference is to listen to one session a week, you can.

As an HR professional, there have been a few times in my career when I’ve been responsible for payroll. Whether you are or not, this is a great cross-learning opportunity. Because the event is free, I could see this as an opportunity to bring in lunch and listen to a session as a group. After the session, the group could do a quick debrief together. It allows HR to learn more about payroll and vice versa.

Bonus! Earn Recertification Credits!

I did confirm with Kronos that participants will receive a certificate for attending.Most of the sessions have been pre-approved for recertification credits with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI), and the American Payroll Association. If you’re certified, this event covers the trifecta of learning: 1) free, 2) high quality programs, and 3) approved for recertification credits. You know this doesn’t happen very often.

I can speak from experience that Kronos delivers quality professional development. I’ve attended their KronosWorks conference for a few years now and it always delivers. So, I can say without hesitation that I’ll be signing up for the eSymposium. The price is right and recertification credits are a plus. Hope you will take advantage of this great opportunity as well.

Kronos HR & Payroll eSymposium

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern

Registration and Details:                                                                    

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Categories: Blogs

Everyone Has Influence. Everyone! – Ask #HR Bartender

Sun, 10/14/2018 - 02:57

Yes. Everyone!

I’ve seen quite a bit of conversation lately about human resources and influence. I received this note from an HR Bartender reader and thought it might be good to answer it here on the blog.

Hi Sharlyn. I hope my message finds you well. You must know that you are my true HR Hero. I would like to seek your advice on starting a HR blog. I have nine years of HR experience mostly in a generalist role. I have both good success (and downfall) stories as a HR practitioner but I don’t want to bore readers with HR life stories (you know what I mean). Could you give me some tips on what I can write about? Thanks a million!

First of all, I want to thank the person who sent this note. It’s very nice and totally made my day! I see this note having three parts: 1) starting an HR blog, 2) telling HR stories, and 3) influence. Let’s start with the first one, blogging. I’ve written posts about being a blogger before. Here’s a few of them:

How to Start a Blog

Advice for New Bloggers

5 Things I’ve Learned from HR Bartender

Writer’s Block

Buy My Stuff and Click My Junk

In addition to these, there are a variety of articles out on the interwebs about how to start blogging. Both from a logistical view as well as writing. Mr. Bartender and I still go to events like WordCamp to stay current with what’s happening from a technical perspective. And I read several writing blogs, so I can continue to become a better writer. I think the better I get at writing, the better I become at expressing myself. Which leads me to topic number two, telling HR stories.

We all have HR stories. Just get a group of HR pros together and the stories begin to flow. While HR professionals can learn in many ways, there are times when hearing other people’s crazy HR stories that adds to the learning. In my experience, I know there have been times when I thought “no one else deals with this crazy” or it would be embarrassing to ask a question “because the work craziness is a reflection on my HR knowledge and skills.” Well, get that thought out of your head right now. You do not control workplace crazy. Even though you have to deal with it.

HR professionals need to hear other HR pro’s stories. Look, we’re not asking anyone to name names and reveal confidential and proprietary information. But sharing war stories can be valuable. Both the good and the bad. The boring and the exciting. The funny and the sad. It helps readers realize they’re not alone. Which leads to the last point – influence.

People shouldn’t be hesitant to share their stories because they feel they might be boring. Boring is okay. Boring helps people. Tell your story. Tell all of your stories. Because trust me when I say this, your story will be relevant, valuable, and helpful to someone.

I enjoy a funny story as much as the next person. But deep down we all know that funny stories aren’t always relevant, valuable, and helpful. They are entertaining. But when I’m looking for answers, I’m not looking for funny stories. I am looking for proven results.

So, go out there and start a blog. Share your stories. Influence others. The profession really needs it.

Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby after speaking at the Learning and Development League 2016 Annual Conference in Delhi, India

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Categories: Blogs

Bookmark This! Workplace Grief Edition

Fri, 10/12/2018 - 02:57

I recently had an HR Bartender reader contact me about how to handle a very tough situation. One of the employees at her company had committed suicide. At the same time that I received her note, I saw a couple of posts on my Facebook page about employees who had lost a co-worker to illness.

Death is a difficult subject. Organizations need to realize that on most days, employees spend one-third or more of their time with co-workers. They celebrate successes together. They deal with failures together. Employees talk about their lives over coffee in the breakroom and pizza during training. When employees hear about the death of a co-worker, it’s an emotional time.

I found a few resources that you might want to bookmark when the time comes for your company to deal with workplace grief.

How to Cope with the Death of a Colleague

Making Your Workplace Safe for Grief

5 Things Employers Can do to Manage Grief in the Workplace

Manager’s Guide to Suicide Postvention in the Workplace

How to Handle and Help with Workplace Grief

Coping After a Suicide Loss at Work

Resources for Loss Survivors

When I worked for the airline, we had a crash. All of the passengers died, including the crew. The company brought in grief counselors to walk around and talk with employees. The counselors scheduled regular calls with people who were on the emergency response team to see how they were doing. That happened for months after the crash. Yes, months. Employees who admitted they didn’t even know the crew were upset. The organization was committed to making sure everyone had the opportunity to process workplace grief.

I know none of us like talking about death and dying. I don’t like it either. But as human resources professionals, we need to help our organizations during these tough times. If you have an employee assistance program, reach out to them. Talk to your health insurance broker. Call a community-based organization that can help.

Hopefully, you will never have to use this list. But you will find some comfort in knowing you have it.

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

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Categories: Blogs