Why Performance Reviews Are Critical for Small Businesses

There are certain advantages a small business has that a large multi-national corporation simply cannot, by its very nature, posses. Namely, these are a certain warmth, personality, a sense of being natural… However, perhaps the most important aspect is this – flexibility. Namely, a small business can change, shift, turn. Just compare an elegant mini cooper with a semi.

And for this reason, a small business can utilize performance reviews much better. Namely, performance reviews have gotten a bad rap as being just annoying, bureaucratic by-the-numbers sessions. This is because big companies can’t handle doing this properly, either because of their size, or simply not caring. However, having a small, dedicated team, means that you can do a performance review on a regular basis, and it also means that they have a much greater effect. Below are the reasons why these are just so important.

Time for praise (and error correction)

The entire point of performance reviews are to assess the performance and efficacy of a certain employee. How well did they do their work, how had are they working, how are they handling any pressure that may have been added to their plate.

Performance reviews present a time where you can reward good behaviour, and where bad behaviour can be corrected. Let’s face it, a busy business owner has a lot of thing on his or her mind. This means you simply forget things, even stuff as important as letting some employees know just how good of a job they are doing. It’s a great opportunity to provide some kind of reward as well. It also helps you sit down and see what one person is doing wrong.

Think of this as an opportunity bot to praise and correct your staff, as well as serving as a reminder for you to do so.

 

Helps with goals

Without goals, you are practically rudderless. Goals are something one should strive towards, one should move towards. With proper goals, you know where you are going. In turn, you then know if you’re on the right track or not. With this in mind, think of performance reviews as an opportunity to speak to employees about goals, both theirs, and how they integrate with the goals of the company.

In fact, setting goals is something any company (or for that matter, any individual) should do as soon as possible. By figuring out the goals of an employee, or by helping this person figure them out, you get to see how motivated they are, and how well they can mesh with your company. An ambitious, driven person who wants to start a family in the same town your local business is located in is much more dependable than a person who wants to travel as much as he or she can, without thinking too much into the future. On the other hand, this same vagabondish individual is perfect for positions that require travelling and going out of town.

With this in mind, it helps you figure out why certain people just don’t perform as well as they could, and can help you understand how to get good employees even better.

 

Forces you to reassess

Having performance reviews done regularly helps you take a look at your company, and see where you are right now. It forces you to sit down and analyse what is happening within your company, and how you can improve further on along the way. Perhaps your own leadership skills are not up to snuff, or you may have some other issues you need to attend to.

Juggling too many things at once can make life difficult for any business owner. Getting proper smb management solutions, instead of creating them yourself alone, can help you push forward with your company, and lighting a part of the workload you have. This can make reassessments easier, and make it simpler to integrate performance reviews into your reassessment protocols.

The carrot and the stick

Motivation is obviously important, as we’ve mentioned. But, with regular performance reviews, you can keep some less than stellar employees on their toes, while giving good ones something to look forward to. If they know that you actually care about their performance and intend to review it, both problematic employees and star workers will go the extra mile to give you their all.

And remember, always praise in public, scold in private, if you want to keep your people motivated. Scolding people in public will make your staff be afraid of making mistakes in the future, which will paradoxically lead to mistakes, or will stifle creativity. On the other hand, praising in public boosts morale of an employee even more than if you were to just sit down with them.

Conclusion

Performance reviews are important and useful, especially for small businesses. As a small business, you have a greater impact when dealing with your employees, and can influence them more, both positively and negatively.

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How Can Technology Impact HR Practices?

The advent of digitalization and smartphone usage has impacted every department in every company. This also includes human resources. Outsourcing work is becoming the norm instead of just being innovation and the role of an HR department changed accordingly. The 2019 HCM Trend report, developed by leading HR market analysts, states that global HR technology venture capital was increased to $3.1 billion this year, tripling the cash invested in 2017.

As new HR technology solutions emerge, there is a certain tech boom on the rise that is transforming the way we do the job and our opinions about HR. This impact is twofold. Firstly, it’s shifting the attention of HR managers from managing the workforce to driving profits for the business. And secondly, it offers various tools for better management and engagement of talents in the company.

Mobile Apps are coming

The real Internet revolution came with smartphones, not with desktop computers. And mobiles will probably dominate the HR landscape this year. As more workers across different departments seek access to applications via smartphones, businesses are reshaping their HR system to better accommodate this. For this type of functionally to work, companies must consider HR applications with the mobilization process and the interface the workers are searching for.

Additionally, we can see new trends appearing such as applications that streamline the basic work of HR departments. Nowadays smartphone apps are a must for every application a business develops.

Analytics are making performance management better

Performance management – one of the crucial HR functions. HR professionals have been for long driven this process by monitoring performance, regularly reviewing employees and collecting supervisory feedback. Now, technology enables a streamlined process that eliminates unwanted steps. But the next big boom is coming with a data-driven performance management process.

We will see a fast and widespread adoption of people analytics that will help the HR department with making decisions about the workforce. This raw data from analytics can be utilized to build actionable insights and to support the decision making about compensations, promotions, developments, success plans and to create agile cross-functional team staffs.

HR will able to apply analytics to sentiment data gathered from thousands of interactions between workers and managers as a part of the performance management process. By analyzing such sentiment data HR will be able to create ample opportunities for coaching and enable managers and workers to increase their performance.

Helps with organizing business events

Gone are the days of manually organizing business parties and events. Nowadays technology is starting to help with even mundane tasks such as organizing a business event. Numerous event ticketing platforms offer tools that simplify the running of events and community building.

These platforms make from your event a singular experience, guide you throughout the whole process, from checking in, to on-event activities, to post-event analysis. They ease the process of event organizing allowing you to do it faster and better so you can focus on the other aspects of your business.

Social media is changing the game

Social media is playing a more active role in HR nowadays, particularly when it comes to recruitment. A quarter of companies are utilizing social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn for recruitment. These platforms can not only be used for recruitment, but also for worker engagement. They’re also being assessed as a fundamental source for businesses to reach their HR goals.

Companies can use social media platforms to reach a target audience for job postings or other company related information. Some enterprises are even known to share their company’s success story through posts, photos, and blog posts. Vice versa, job seekers actively research companies on these platforms while searching for work.

Social media enables numerous benefits for an HR department and lets them be in touch with emerging trends, news, and technologies. They can be used as a medium for relationship nurturing when you share industry knowledge on them. Aforementioned reasons have made from these channels an ideal place to engage employees, nurture relationships and increase communication in the workplace. Many businesses are thinking about the integration of these platforms with their applications, instead of developing their own enterprise apps.

New trends and technologies will play a vital role in reshaping human resources management software and operations from managing personnel to business execution, but they won’t start it. HR managers must be the ones to leverage and scale this technology in order to drive real values for the company.

Digital technologies will facilitate greater degree of flexibility and integration, hence allowing workers a bigger voice to share their work experience. They may also disrupt human resources and redefine their future development. The HR who accommodate to these changes more quickly will enable their companies to become smarter and bigger. Culture management and employee engagement will be the factors that will drive HR in this ever-changing landscape.

How New Tech Is Revolutionizing HR

Human Resources is often looked upon as a sort of necessary evil in every business. But that couldn’t be further from the truth, as cutting-edge technology is helping HR departments in companies of all sizes evolve into a field that is equally relevant and innovative.

Tech including artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain are helping to streamline HR processes, while cybersecurity is taking the front seat where company data and privacy is concerned. Here’s what you need to know about how an HR department can harness the power of new tech to change its influence and impact within companies, and by extension its reputation as a whole.

The Role of Cybersecurity

A big part of the job in HR is keeping employee personal data secure. In our digital age, it’s easier than ever for cyberthieves to hack into data systems. That’s where cybersecurity comes into play.

As an HR professional, it’s your job to hire individuals who are educated in the latest technologies and equipped to protect the organizations they work for. This can be especially challenging if you have staff members working remotely.

Remote workers are increasingly becoming the norm rather than the exception, with more than 40 percent of workers reporting that they perform some remote duties. As an HR rep, it’s your job to clarify policies and provide resources for remote employees so that they understand how to protect themselves, as well as company data, while working remotely. It’s also your job to anticipate and identify potential security issues before they turn into a major problem.

Your company may even consider putting together a cybersecurity team to address today’s security needs. A cybersecurity team is made up of individuals who are trained in information sciences and cybersecurity. Typically, those professionals are up-to-date on the latest equipment and technologies in order to effectively perform their duties.

Some companies are taking the cybersecurity hiring process even further by designing and building a cybersecurity control room. This move highlights the vital role a cybersecurity team plays in day-to-day operations. HR professionals should work closely with their cybersecurity team in order to answer any question that may arise.

AI and HR Analytics

AI has been changing the way we work for several years, but we’re only starting to see how it can help streamline the field of HR. The technology is meant to work in tandem with human processes, effectively doing three things:

  • Amplifying human function
  • Automating tasks
  • Augmenting human capabilities

AI use in HR starts with the hiring process. Automated software can help narrow down candidates without bias, based on information provided by potential hires. This is where amplifying comes in, as automated screening amps up the capabilities of HR professionals.

With AI, corporate training and payroll are augmented and automated. The use of AI reduces the chance of human error and keeps HR reps accountable for the data collected and processed. AI also allows for better tracking and accountability of remote workers.

Utilizing AI is a smart move for every business since the technology is becoming so ubiquitous. According to Personnel Today, nearly 40 percent of businesses were already using AI in some form as of 2017. A further 62 percent said that they expected to adopt AI into their business model in the near future.

Bitcoin, Blockchain, and Beyond

Payroll is an intrinsic part of the job for many HR professionals. And in today’s landscape of digital payments and other currency forms, payroll may seem more complicated than it has in the past.

If your business has remote workers on your payroll, chances are some of them are part of the emerging bitcoin and blockchain revolution. But what does that mean for you? Put simply, bitcoin is a form of digital currency, and a blockchain is an encrypted digital ledger of those funds.

Data indicates that about 28 million people around the world have a blockchain wallet. On the business end, more than $110 million in bitcoin payments are made every month. These numbers are growing, and HR professionals should have at least a basic understanding of blockchain technology.

Savvy business owners and HR techs should keep payment methods flexible and able to incorporate bitcoin and blockchain as needed. There are now more than 1000 types of digital currency that can end up in a blockchain, worth a grand total of more than $22 billion. That’s a number that’s hard to ignore.

While your company may be years away from adopting blockchain technology, it may be prudent to put together employee training sessions that revolve around digital currency, including bitcoin.

Final Thoughts

Our modern digital age has brought numerous, exciting changes to the realm of HR. Corporate data privacy issues and security training are increasingly part of an HR rep’s job description, alongside recruitment and payroll. Those duties are becoming easier, thanks to the automation, innovation, and augmentation found in new tech such as AI and blockchain.

How Office Design Can Inspire Employees and Keep Them Motivated

Close to one-third of your life will be spent in your chosen profession, in some cases probably more than that. If you’re going into a traditional office environment for work Monday through Friday, then you’ll be spending that third in the same place looking at the same walls for close to 90,000 hours. There’s a good chance that the way your work environment is designed can greatly impact how you feel coming in each day.

Office design is crucial for boosting employee morale and efficiency. People are more likely to accomplish more in a day if they enjoy the space that they’re in, which is why a modern design and comfortable atmosphere is key. You can feel free to embrace your company’s brand personality within the office as well — for example, if you’re a whimsical company, play with space to create that sense.

By creating a desirable atmosphere, you’ll be helping employees feel their best so they can work their best. You’ll also be helping to promote an office culture that takes regular breaks, believes in being comfortable while working, and offers employees the best environment you can. Your team will appreciate being in a space they enjoy and your company will see the results.

Design Impacts Productivity

You may not have initially realized it, but the actual floor plan of your company can communicate goals and objectives to your team. You’ll need to thoroughly understand and analyze your company’s needs and standards for the day-to-day workflow in order to design the best possible floor plan. Think of it like this: if your company needs teams to collaborate together frequently, you’ll want an open floor plan over rows of cubicles.

You’ll also want to be sure you’re incorporating encouragement to take breaks as a healthy work-life balance is important for equally healthy workers. Putting in a comfortable and accessible break room will encourage employees to take their regularly scheduled breaks and lunch hours. It may also be worth it to stock snacks regularly in the break room to further facilitate people spending time in there.

Between allowing coworkers to collaborate and talk with one another easily, and providing a comfortable place to take regular breaks, you’ll be giving your teams the best resources to be energized and encouraged in their day-to-day work. Just like the life of each team member, your office should be balanced and efficient — not burnt out and tired. In this way, the design of your office not only communicates objectives, but values.

Stand Out From the Crowd

Of course, you also don’t want your office to look just like everyone else’s. Having an office that stands out in people’s minds from others they’ve seen can be a competitive draw when hiring new talent. Remember: people are planning on spending 40 hours a week in their offices, they’re going to take design into account when deciding whether or not to work with your company.

One way to stand out is to bring a little greenery into the office and not just the run-of-the-mill office fern we see so much. Succulents are low-maintenance, come in many varieties, and can add a modern touch to any office. Also, it’s been shown that offices with greenery can boost positive physiological impacts in the people who work there.

Finally, consider hiring a local artist or muralist to create art especially for your office. Facebook, for example, has been commissioning artists to paint in its office since 2005 and the project has since expanded into a full-on artist residency program. Art can make your office unique while bringing in a diverse view of the world that can help to inspire your teams throughout the week.

Tips and Tricks

There is no wrong way to design your office, but going in with a plan is always a good idea. You should decide what kind of ambiance you want to create for your employees. For example, if you want the office to feel cozy and comfortable, installing a fireplace in a shared area could be a great place for people to curl up and enjoy their lunch or plug away on a project for the afternoon.

If you’re looking for a space that’s more sleek and modern, then clean lines and a strict color palette can help maintain this. You may also want to consider custom tables that you can design to your specifications to match the tone of each room in the office. It’s really all about what you want to evoke in people as they enter each room and set to work for the day.

Finally, having accessible entryways and ergonomic seating is always a must when it comes to employee access and safety. Working in an office may not seem like it’s dangerous, necessarily, but injuries like back pain and carpal tunnel are common if not given the proper positioning and seating. You also want to make it possible for all types of people to enter the workplace — for both employees and potential clients.

Overall, creating a beautiful and inviting office environment is worth the investment. You’ll have an easier time attracting new talent because they’ll want to be in the space you’ve created. Additionally, your current employees will be happier and more relaxed at work, helping to improve your company overall.

The hospitality industry is just one of the industries that could benefit from calendar sync

The Benefits of Calendar Sync for Employee Scheduling Software

According to the Financial Times:

Three-quarters of the world’s workers are temporary, casual or self-employed and this sort of employment is likely to become more prevalent.

This means businesses that require temporary, casual, or contract employees need to do more to keep attracting the best talent.

The more temporary and contract employees there are, the more businesses will offer these kinds of roles. It’s therefore important for businesses that need temporary and contract workers to stay ahead of the competition by offering better employee experiences – no matter how long someone works for them.

The better the employee experience is, the happier employees will be, and the more productive they’ll be. This means they’ll provide a better level of customer service to customers, which helps to increase customer referrals and improve reviews.

One thing companies can do to ensure that their temporary employees have a great experience is to use an employee scheduling software with calendar sync. These makes it easier for companies and employees to manage shifts around pre-existing commitments.

Hire people when they’re needed

In industries such as retail, there’s an inevitable surge in the need for staff in the run up to the holidays.

Employee scheduling tools that can see employees’ real-time availability make it easier for businesses to fill shifts.

Instead of needing to manage an Excel spreadsheet (which 59% of call centers still use for managing shifts!), they can tap into workers’ availability. They can then offer employees shifts that work around their schedules, making them more likely to accept.

It’s also easier for businesses to find last-minute cover for employees that have called in sick or are no longer available, because they don’t waste time contacting people who already have plans.

Work around people’s schedules

Having a work/life balance is becoming increasingly important in the modern world. Offering employees the opportunity to choose their shifts based on their availability makes it an easier, faster process to schedule their work.

If their calendar is connected to shift management software, the software can suggest shifts that work around their already existing schedule. They don’t need to rearrange family commitments or healthcare appointments to be able to work – their work fits seamlessly around their lives.

Alternatively, employees without calendar connectivity can search the database for shifts and choose the ones that best suit their schedules.

Shifts can be set up to automatically close once a set number of employees have chosen it. This means there won’t be too many people signed up for the Tuesday afternoon shift but nobody around on Tuesday morning. If someone cancels, the slot will re-open for someone else to select.

This flexibility helps to build a better employee experience, showing employees that their lives outside of work are valued, too.

Automatically add shifts to employees’ calendars

When dealing with temporary employees, there’s always a risk of no-shows. This then leaves the team short-staffed and makes it harder to deal with everything that comes their way.

Automatically adding shifts to employees’ calendars helps to prevent no-shows. It ensures that the shift sits in their calendar alongside their other commitments. They can also receive time-to-leave notifications based on their location, or reminders to make sure they don’t forget.

For casual workers that don’t need full calendar connectivity, they can be sent Smart Invites. These help businesses to track if an employee has confirmed their shift, ensuring every shift is filled in plenty of time.

Create a better experience for everyone

Syncing your shift management software with employees’ schedules makes it quicker and easier for your users to fill shifts.

It’s simple and stress-free to add calendar sync to your software using the Cronofy Calendar API.

To find out more about what features you could add to your software, check out our features page.

This post was originally published on the Cronofy blog.

Earn Employee Loyalty through Benefits Technology

As organizations continue to compete for talent, they are realizing the integral role that benefits play in attracting and retaining the right employees. This is evidenced in our Global Employee Benefits Watch research, which surveyed 2,200 employees from companies around the world and found that only 15% of candidates don’t ask about benefits at all during the interview process. In fact, benefits have a huge role to play not only in attracting talent, but in influencing employees feelings about their current employer. Eighty percent of employees who said they have a good variety of benefits to choose from also said they identified strongly with their organization’s vision and values, as opposed to 40% of those who don’t. Market-leading organizations recognize this and to attract the best candidates and keep current employees happy, more and more employers are working to improve their benefits programs. While offering tailored benefits is important, much of the impact on employee loyalty is lost if these benefits aren’t easily accessible.

Giving employees easy access to their benefits information seems simple enough, yet over 50% of employees say they can’t access their benefits in the way they prefer and just 21% of employees say they can easily access their benefits. Clearly, employers are still delivering benefits in ways that don’t resonate with their people. So, what action does this mean employers should take? How can organizations make sure their people take full advantage of what’s available to them? Our research shows that employees are looking for the same experience they have getting information in their personal lives to be mirrored at work – one of the main aspects being the ability to consume information in a variety of ways. Using a number of communication options, including those driven by tech, is the key to keeping employees engaged and happy.

Integrating technology-enabled communication methods really pays off. For example, 62% of employees prefer to use a laptop for research and information gathering and 40% prefer mobile. Technology’s prevalence in everyday life is pushing employers to make sure their benefits strategy is delivered through  intuitive HR tech with a seamless user experience.

While making sure employees can access benefit information online is critical, it’s also important to deliver this information through other methods too. The only method that beats email and computer access is discussing benefits face-to-face with an employer, with 46% of employees receiving information this way reporting being satisfied. Email and computer access were close behind with satisfaction levels at 44% and 42% respectively. When information is more complicated and personal, people often prefer an in-person conversation.

The numbers say it all. 81% of employees who can easily access their benefits said they feel loyal to their employer and 79% say they were proud to work for their organization. Easy access to benefits information keeps employees happy and has the potential to secure longevity. 77% of employees who understand their benefits offering said they saw themselves staying at their organization for the foreseeable future.

It’s encouraging that employers realize the need to offer better benefits options to their people. But too many are stopping there. Making sure employees have the information they need about their benefits is the next step in solidifying employee loyalty, influencing whether they recommend working there to a friend, and, arguably most importantly, decide to leave or stay. If employers are committed to attracting top talent and keeping their employees, they need to ensure their benefits not only meet their needs, but that they can access them in the most consumer-friendly way possible.

 

5 HR Processes You Should Automate Right Now

Successful human resources activities are the backbone of any productive organization. No matter what product or service you provide, you’re going to need quality employees to be able to deliver it. While most business owners recognize the importance of human resources, they aren’t always the best at it. HR isn’t something that every business executive is an expert in. Instead of trying to master both running your business and doing HR tasks, it is probably a good idea to automate some HR functions. Here are five processes that you should consider automating for your business as soon as possible.

1. Payroll and Expense Claims

One of the most essential HR tasks is payroll. You have to pay your employees and make sure that it’s done right and on time. If there is a mistake made, fixing it in a timely manner is critical. After a few payroll errors, your employees may start to wonder about the long-term viability of your business. Few things can upset employees like not getting their paycheck on payday.

Many businesses are now automating their payroll to another provider that handles that. With something so detail oriented, you want someone who does payroll for a living handling that. There are many quality payroll companies that can do this for you, for a reasonable fee. It’s usually more affordable than having a department that handles this internally. Besides payroll, handling expense claims and reimbursements is also time-consuming. This can usually be lumped in with payroll and outsourced to a reputable provider.

2. Employee Records

Another area that you may want to automate is employee records. When your company is new and small, it may not seem like much of a chore to keep track of employee records. However, as your company grows, this can quickly turn into a full-time responsibility. As an employer, you have to keep track of numerous records for each employee for the duration of their employment. By automating this task, you’ll free up time to devote to essential business functions.

3. Performance Management and Evaluations

One of the essential HR functions in running a business is evaluating your employee’s performance. Keeping track of employee performance and then giving them regular reviews is critical to ensuring the success of your operation. Automating can help HR organizations and departments by keeping track of employee performance metrics without the need for human interaction.

Automation of performance evaluations lets you more easily spot any systemic issues or bottlenecks that need to be solved. Employees and systems can give you feedback to improve the process.

The automotive industry is a great example of how automation can improve processes dramatically. Thanks to automating, there are fewer errors, lower costs, and productivity is improved dramatically – think of Henry Ford and bringing production time of a single car down from 12 hours to 90 minutes type of improved.

Such drastic improvement was only possible because auto manufacturers valued and listened to their employee’s feedback. They were willing to implement changes based on their recommendations. Employees were strongly encouraged to share feedback and then report any issues immediately to management to streamline their processes. Today, these same principles are used in the digital sphere. Automation gives companies real-time feedback on their employee’s performance and processes so that changes can be made quickly.

4. Recruiting and Onboarding

While you may want to keep the same employees forever, the likelihood of that happening is not very realistic. Turnover is a part of doing business and this means you’re going to have to be able to recruit and onboard new employees. By automating the recruiting process, you’ll have a steady stream of capable recruits available whenever you need them. Not only that, you’ll also have an automated process to help them get set up as an employee. They can be sent all the forms and documents they need automatically, complete them, and then get started with training immediately.

5. Holiday and Leave Requests

Another time-consuming process in human resources is handling time-off and holiday requests. When you start to get several employees and all of them are entitled to a certain amount of paid time off or vacation, it can be really time-consuming and confusing trying to keep track of all of that.

By automating that process, you can easily track when all employees are scheduled to be off, and who is available to work. When you automate the process of requesting time off, employees will also like it more than having to ask their boss for time off. It’s much simpler to enter information into a computer system than having to ask someone for permission.

Overall, automating as many HR tasks as possible will pay big dividends over time. By maximizing automation, you’ll eliminate human errors, get real-time feedback on your processes and improve the company’s overall productivity.

Personalize the Employee Experience by Going Digital

By: Jen Stroud, HR Evangelist and Transformation Leader, ServiceNow

You know Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), one of the oldest and most rote tasks in the web builder’s playbook. I’m here to tell you that if you’re in Human Resources and building a knowledge base for your employees to use: Ditch those FAQs. Instead of making assumptions about what information employees want and need, figure out what questions they’re actually asking and focus your efforts there.

I call these Actually Asked Questions, or AAQs.

Implementing a knowledge base with AAQs can be a great first step in leading your organization into a new era, one in which organizations become more personalized, predictive, and seamless for their employees. This is a critical transformation. A recent survey of CHROs (chief human resource officers) reveals that more than half of CHROs (56 percent) see their roles as creating a digital, consumerized employee experience. And 77 percent, or more than three in in four, expect to see improved employee experiences from digital transformation in the next three years.

So where should you begin this daunting task of providing all information pertinent to your employee base? Start simple and take a phased approach.

To start, have your HR department take a few weeks and log every question that comes its way, whether via email, phone call, or someone flagging them down in the hallway. Build a database. See what it is that employees need to know, and what’s bubbling up as a question being asked over and over again. Use the top 20 or 30 questions to build your knowledge base. If you have the answers to those AAQs, you’ll be well on your way to creating something your employees will find useful.

When it comes to search functionality within your knowledge base, keep it simple and uncomplicated. Google became a massive company with the simplest of search pages. Learn from that. Equally important, ensure the search results are simple, too. Write answers in conversational, digestible language that employees can easily consume. You do not want to provide as the first search result your company’s entire policy. No one will read it and you’ll start the vicious cycle of phone calls to the HR department all over again.

Building AAQs does take some time. There’s work required up-front that will pay off if done right. Which means curating the content listed, not lifting and shifting information into the knowledge base from some other database or portal without carefully vetting it first. Listen to the employees. They’ll tell you what they need. And then refine that information into something easily digestible, so it’s of maximum utility.

Once you’ve built a knowledge base, keep it growing. As employees ask more questions, add them to the AAQs, because they’re coming from a place of authenticity. The knowledge base should be a living organism. For instance, perhaps when you assembled your AAQs, no one had asked about jury duty, but suddenly the courts call several of your employees. Go ahead and put that in.  One key to making the knowledge base work: Assign one person to be your knowledge manager. Especially key in the first six to 12 months after the knowledge base rolls out, the knowledge manager needs to keep a close watch on which questions are being asked, what searches are successful, and so on, so they can update and grow the database accordingly.

Here’s a bold idea that we tried, and it really worked: When you’re ready to go live with your new knowledge base, turn off your general 800-number and email accounts previously used to reach HR staff. Force employees to use the knowledge base and continue to refer them to the AAQs. Many organizations, however, find that approach too aggressive. You can still keep the lines of communication open if you like. Then if someone comes to HR with a question that could have been solved by searching in the AAQs, have HR reply with a gentle note along these lines: “I found your answer in our new knowledge base. Here’s the link.”

Either way, the knowledge base should be easily searchable on the employee-facing website/portal so you reinforce the habit of turning there first for all questions. It should also have the option to submit a new inquiry to the knowledge base, with a prompt along the lines of: Would you like to submit a case? Then the knowledge manager can respond, route their question, and take the steps necessary behind the scenes to incorporate the answer into the knowledge base for the next time that question gets posed.

That’s where the project comes full circle. You’re using real-life transactions to help inform and build your living knowledge base, ultimately serving the needs of your employees.  And with that, you’re well on your way to the new era of serving employees through digital transformation!

3 Secrets to Reducing Your Employee Churn Rate

Reduce your employee churn rate with these tips.

Replacing an employee can cost as much as 20% of their yearly salary. The higher up their position is, the more expensive it is. That’s because you need to factor in paying recruitment agencies, covering for the vacant position, and the time lost to those responsible for hiring.

A low employee churn rate is key to maximizing your potential and growth.

When you have a lower employee turnover, you can focus your resources on researching and launching new products and services, improving the working environment, and investing in employees’ development instead.

It also boosts your employer brand, which is crucial if you want to win the war for talent. Brands with a strong employer brand lower their cost to hire by 43%.

But how do you reduce your churn rate?

It starts by looking at the employee journey. How can you improve it? What steps can you make to create a more inviting atmosphere for employees whether they’ve been there five weeks or five years?

Let’s take a look at three important parts of an employee’s journey, and how small changes to them can reduce your employee turnover rate.

Plan your onboarding process for early success

Happy employees are loyal employees. To create this sense of loyalty, you need to make them feel valued. This starts from their very first day.

However, not every company manages this – 42% of employees have no computer or device to work from on their first day. Worse, some employees don’t even have a desk on their first day! While this is only part of the onboarding process, it’s an important part of setting your employee up for success, especially when 20% of employees leave within the first 45 days.

Contrast that to the 69% that will still be with a company three years later if they go through a positive onboarding process, and you can see why a good onboarding process is so important.

A negative experience reflects badly on you: it makes you look disorganized, and like you don’t value your employees.

It’s therefore imperative that you you spend time planning the onboarding process for your new employee before they start. Don’t leave it all until the last minute, as you may find that there are some issues – like purchasing new equipment – that will take days, maybe even weeks, to sort.

Also ensure that their company account and logins for any relevant software are set up before they begin. That way, all they need to do on their first day is click to activate their new account. They can then start using the software straight away.

Once they’re all set up, don’t just sit them down and present them with a list of objectives. Include them in the decision-making process. Have some projects ready for them to work on, but listen to them and ask them what they’d most like to work on, too. That way, they immediately feel like their thoughts and opinions are valued.

The objective of an onboarding process is to help the employee get to know the company, its products, and mostly importantly, the culture and their colleagues.

Everyone in the team should be involved in making the new team member feel welcome. This could include scheduling introduction meetings with the new starter, or assigning them a buddy to give them a tour and answer any day-to-day questions.

Group inductions can be intimidating for new starters, so focus on one-to-one sessions instead. This creates more space for the new hire to ask questions.

Efficient scheduling solutions make organizing these one-to-one meetings a breeze, and avoids the risk of two member scheduling a meeting at the same time. Scheduling meetings before someone starts also reduces any awkwardness over the new hire having to approach people to schedule meetings – it’s all there ready for them when they first start.

Invest in training and mentorship

Training and mentorship are crucial parts of an employee’s progress. They can boost their skills and help them to work out which career path is for them.

For mentors and those conducting training, it reinforces their skills. They can even learn from those that they teach. It’s also great networking for everyone – you never know where your next great opportunity will come from.

Despite this, only 44% of companies offer a mentorship scheme.

Mentorship benefits employees at every stage of their journey. Don’t let the fact that someone is already a manager convince you that they already know everything they need to know. No matter how long someone has been managing for, there’s always a new strategy or technique they can try to motivate their team.

Training can be both internal and external, so be open-minded about the best place(s) for employees to build their skills. The best person to train your marketing team may not be someone who’s been there for years – it may be someone who can offer a fresh perspective on your strategy and help you to keep it relevant as algorithms continue to change.

Conduct exit interviews

Exit interviews are an often overlooked but incredibly valuable part of an employee’s journey. They give you the opportunity to examine why employees leave, and identify areas where your company may be failing them. Without this information, you can’t make positive changes to improve the working environment.

Conducting exit interviews using a framework makes it easier for you to quantify results. You can then pick up on reoccurring problems or praise. The more often something is raised, the more important it is to address.

Some questions you could ask include:

  • How employees feel about the working environment
  • What their commute is like
  • What their relationship is like with their manager
  • How well they get on/work with their team

Using this information, you can start discussions with remaining team members about any common threads. You can then make informed decisions about how to better suit employees’ needs and (hopefully) prevent more from leaving for the same or similar reasons.

You can also home in on positive comments that are made, finding ways to further enhance these experiences. For instance, if employees benefit from flexible working hours, you could look into allowing them to work from home if they can’t already. If they like how the team encourages self-development, you could look into courses or events for the team to further develop their skills.

Employees are your business’s biggest – and best – advocates. If they share negative experiences with their social circle it reflects badly on you and may even cause you to lose customers. Leaving them with a positive overall feeling is therefore crucial. Exit interviews are just one part of this. Others include how the rest of the team reacts to their departure, handover periods, and anything else that happens on their final day. While you can’t control all of this, exit interviews help to cement your positive employer brand by showing employees that you care about their wellbeing from the start of their journey with you right through to the end.

When an employee speaks highly of you when they leave, they’re more likely to return for a future position, or even to recommend roles to their friends and family. Since referrals are one of the best ways to hire the right person for the job, this can make a huge difference to your hiring process, and further improving your employer brand.

Conclusion

It’s your responsibility to offer employees opportunities to learn, grow, and be more efficient in their role. Employees will then be more loyal and motivated, and turnover will decrease.

It’s also important to remember that there are many other elements that can impact employee satisfaction. Internal promotions, 360 feedback, and open communications are also key to reducing employee turnover. And don’t forget to make the technology that they need available to them!

These investments and changes to company culture make a big difference. After all, reducing your employee churn rate can be the difference between business growth and stagnation.

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Source: 3 Secrets to Reducing Your Employee Churn Rate | The Cronofy Blog

6 Useful Tips for Choosing the Best Background Check Service

Choosing the best background service that will perfectly fit your hiring needs becomes easy-peasy when you apply this 6 useful tips.

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The necessity of using a background check service

Even if you are an experienced HR professional familiar with all the tricks for checking the truthfulness of your candidates resumes, there is only one way to prove that your findings are accurate.

It is to use the background check service.

Only certified background check services can guarantee a detailed, current and completely accurate information.

With 23% of job applicants admitting to exaggerating the truth on their resume or in a job interview in order to land a position, you should be very careful if you want to hire the right people for your company.

A reliable background check service will help you do that.
But how to choose the best one?

Tips for choosing the best background check service

Tip #1: Define your needs

Background check services offer different types of checks.

Which of the following do you need?

  • Identity verification
  • Criminal history searches
  • Education verifications
  • Employment verifications
  • Drug testing
  • Driving records check
  • Reference check
  • International background checks
  • Credit reports check

Make sure you choose the background check service that can provide all the specific checks that you need.

Tip #2: Ensure legal compliance

Make sure that your preferred background check service provider is completely legally compliant.

It should be accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) and compliant with all relevant state and local rules and regulations.

Tip #3: Consider turnaround time

The average turnaround time for most of the background check service providers is 2-3 days, with some of them guaranteeing that you will have all the needed information in the 5 days maximum.  

Tip #4: Look for great user experience

Make sure that the background check service provider you choose offers a great user experience, both for you and your candidates.

It should offer completely paperless, online, user-friendly and transparent service.

It should also ensure great customer service that can answer all your questions via email, live chat and phone 24/7.

Tip #5: Check review sites

Check review sites to read about other people experiences with different background checks services.

Factor #6: Inspect integration options

Choose the background check service that can guarantee seamless integration with all other HR tools you use, such as your Applicant Tracking System, HRIS, etc.

Hopefully, these tips will help you find the background check service that best fit your needs.