6 Reasons to Be a Straight-Shooting Leader

Every business in any industry will come across conflicts, strife, and problems both in and outside of their operations or processes. It’s one of the most inevitable parts of life, even in a professional setup, and not even the most meticulous owners can avoid this phenomenon. The true challenge with problems, however, often has to do with how you react to it, not the problem itself.

Even the most reluctant of entrepreneurs has no choice but to confront conflicts head-on so their business can advance and succeed. Avoiding or ignoring the problem should be out of the question, because not only will it exacerbate the problem until it blows out of proportion, but you’ll only be pushing your employees into further disengagement and strife with each other.

That’s why, as a leader, it’s your prime duty to establish and sustain a conducive and pleasant work environment, so that whenever something goes wrong, your employees are not scrambling to barely hold the company together or suffer a total relationship breakdown between each other. Not only that, but you’ll be able to cultivate the type of surroundings that will foster further growth both individually and as a whole for your employees and your company.

This is possible if you’re a straight-shooting leader. But why should be one? Here are the key takeaways from this infographic by Healthy Business Builder:

  1. To showcase your leadership skills
  2. In order to create genuine harmony
  3. To create a productive work environment
  4. To identify and put boundaries in place
  5. To better understand your employees
  6. To see new opportunities for growth

Learn more about these reasons, why they should be your greatest motivations into cultivating yourself as a straight-shooting leader in your company, and how these reasons can help you become the strongest leader you can possibly be by checking out the infographic now.

6 Reasons to Be a Straight-Shooting Leader

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Employee Experience Is New Way to Win Talent War: ServiceNow Research

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Digital experiences outside of work have made life simpler, easier and more convenient. Today’s top talent is demanding the same at work, and global research of 500 human resources executives across 20 industries reveals that providing excellent employee experiences, enabled by technology, are becoming the new way to win the never-ending war for talent.

“The best talent today expects great digital experiences at work,” said Pat Wadors, Chief Talent Officer, ServiceNow. “Top talent can work anywhere, and they are choosing companies that embrace advanced technology to make work simpler, faster, better. A fundamental shift is under way, and top human resources leaders are creating a new employee experience, realizing that great benefits and cool office perks are no longer enough. Employees want great digital experiences that make work, work better for them.”

Pat Wadors, Chief Talent Officer, ServiceNow
Pat Wadors, Chief Talent Officer, ServiceNow

Insights into this digital transformation of the employee experience were released by ServiceNow in “The New CHRO Agenda: Employee Experience Drives Business Value.” “The New CHRO Agenda” report details the Chief Human Resource Officer (CHRO’s) journey to greater impact; how the employee experience is evolving to impact business results and the impact of an HR function’s capabilities on retaining and attracting the best talent.

From Tactical Manager to Strategic Leader

Over the last three years, CHROs have seen their responsibilities move beyond the core responsibilities of delivering HR services, record keeping and attracting top talent, to a broader role in leading key strategy discussions around advancing corporate goals, driving digital initiatives, and contributing to business performance. 

  • Nearly two-thirds (64%) of CHROs say it’s their responsibility to drive corporate performance.
  • CHROs expect their success to be defined by the consumer-like employee experience. In fact, more than half of CHROs (56%) say the ability to create a digital, consumerized employee experience will define their roles in three years, compared with just 6% who say traditional HR will define their role.
  • 66% of CHROs say the employee experience will drive quantifiable productivity gains across the business.
  • 44% of CHROs expect to be judged on their digitization success achieved not alone but by partnering with other C-level executives to set and manage strategy.

Digital Transformation of the Employee Experience

From how employees access services and information to how global teams collaborate, business as usual is being redefined for the digital era by a new breed of CHRO.

  • Three out of five CHROs say HR is now a driver of digital transformation, a top strategic priority for most enterprises.
  • 77%, or more than three in in four, of CHROs say they expect to see improved employee experiences from digital transformation in the next three years.
  • 83% of CHROs say the employee experience is important to the organization’s success.
  • 68% of CHROs say that their HR technology allows them to improve employee experience.

Investing in the Modern Employee Experience

For employees, the workplace will become more personalized, predictive, and seamless. Their needs will be met through consumer-like digital interactions, such as push notifications for administrative work updates, recommendations for services based on recent actions, and instant answers to questions through chatbots that receive data from multiple departments.

  • 70% say the use of technology to foster a sense of community and healthy corporate culture is a goal.
  • In the next three years, almost half (48%) of CHROs will use an HR platform – not applications – that systematizes automation of HR process and collaboration, up from just 14% today.
  • A significant percentage of CHROs are budgeting for technologies (82% on cloud, 69% on social/collaboration, 65% on mobile, and 47% on function-specific applications) that will help them deliver superior experiences.

CHRO Leaders Show the Way

CHROs who are using technology to improve employee experience are winning the war for talent. The survey divides CHROs into a three-tiered model mapping CHRO-led digital transformation of HR functions, and the business overall. HR leaders taking advantage of more strategic investments fall into the top tier, Level 3.

  • 97% of Level 3s are much more successful in recruiting talent, vs. 80% of Level 2s and 53% of Level 1s.
  • 79% of Level 3s are much more successful at retaining talent, vs. 63% of Level 2s and 14% of Level 1s.
  • 84% of Level 3s report lower turnover than their peers, vs. 77% of Level 2s and 52% of Level 1s.
  • 63% of Level 3s successfully reskill their existing employees, vs. 58% of Level 2s and 41% of Level 1s.

Healthcare Leads, Financial Services Lags

Healthcare CHROs trend ahead of the pack in prioritizing superb HR experiences and building positive relationships.

  • 68% of healthcare CHROs say they are successful or highly successful in using technology to make it easier for employees to do their jobs, vs. 55% for non-healthcare industries.
  • Nearly three-fourths (72%) of healthcare CHROs said they are more likely to be successful at delivering HR experiences that match the technology that employees use in their personal lives, vs. 58% in other industries.

Financial services CHROs are more focused on creating an experience that meets individual needs rather than a sense of community and collaboration – and they’re lagging their industry peers in building a workforce that meets business objectives.

  • 54% of financial services CHROs say the use of technology to foster a sense of community and corporate culture is a core goal, vs. 72% in other industries.
  • 52% of financial services CHROs are less likely to agree that a platform that streamlines cross-functional collaboration would drive productivity and improve the employee experience, vs. 70% in other industries.
  • Only 28% of financial services CHROs say they have built a workforce to meet future business objectives, compared with 42% in other industries.

Five Lessons Learned From 100 Years of Human Resources

Human resources departments are invaluable assets when it comes to protecting companies from potentially devastating losses or game-changing mistakes. All too often, career-ending mishaps could have been avoided with a quick trip to HR, but even the department has occasionally had to learn on-the-job, as it were. After 100 years of HR, you’d think that we’ve learned all there is to know about what companies can, can’t, and really shouldn’t do. Still, here are five lessons that always seem to be a surprise whenever the ball gets dropped.

The Trap of Ignoring Morale

Morale is crucial to working environments. Happy employees are productive employees, after all. When markets move against companies, however, the metrics-based focus of “crunch times” can cause severe loss of focus on this important consideration. As HR, it falls to us to remember to keep the “human” part of human resources in mind at all times. Amazon.com recently found itself under fire for warehouse and worker conditions after metrics-based performance incentives cut the legs out from under the company’s morale. Amazon’s perception in the media and public at large also shifted negatively when word got out about the conditions many workers face in the organization.

The Risks of a Politicizing Company Culture

Company culture can, and often should, change over time. Dramatic shifts, however, should be democratic and involve workers at all levels. When a company decides to make a move that brings it into the political spotlight, it can have repercussions well beyond its own halls. Dan Price, CEO of Gravity Payments, learned this the hard way when he announced a $70,000 minimum salary for his employees. The move thrust him into the spotlight surrounding minimum wage arguments in the nation, clients cancelled their work because of differing political views and lawsuits were filed against the company. This came on the heels of the decision to raise wages for employees by slashing his own.

The Snare of Insider Trading

One of the great cautionary tales of HR comes at the expense of financier Ivan Boesky, who in 1986 made over $200 million investing in corporate takeovers. Unfortunately, his seemingly smart predictions landed him in jail as they turned out to be based on insider trading. HR departments around the world send regular updates to stockholders who may have insider knowledge to help them avoid this type of disaster. Boesky also paid over $100 million in fines for his illegal actions.

The Dangers of Old Buildings

When the real risks of asbestos and its link to mesothelioma were exposed to the public sector, companies poured millions into removing the material from walls, ceilings and other key infrastructure. Unfortunately, removal of the material often freed it into the air, causing workers to inhale the substance and suffer effects years, potentially even decades, down the line. It falls on human-resources personnel to make sure that the right persons are responsible for all disaster and cleanup operations, lest the company be found responsible for damages due to its well-intentioned policies of replacement and repair of worn-down structures.

The Pitfalls of Miscommunication

In the BYOD business world, communication moves at about the speed of light (over optical networks). This means that it’s nearly impossible to bury bad news, especially using press releases of good news. HR and PR departments must work shoulder-to-shoulder to make sure that the press doesn’t feel hoodwinked by a show of good news when bad is developing, as happened when Walmart made its grand announcement about its new $11 an hour minimum wage. Unfortunately, the same day, the closure of over 50 stores became public knowledge. The news about the closure spread quickly, as employees are rarely slow to share such information, and bad press followed closely on the heels of the closure news, offsetting any gains from the minimum wage announcement.
As companies strive to keep top talent and protect themselves against lawsuits and game-changing errors, HR departments are more critical than ever. Savvy human-resources professionals aren’t afraid to speak up against bad policy or advise on important matters, and the best are more than willing to go to bat for the future of their companies. With 100 years on the job, HR pros understand what is at risk and have the tools to keep businesses going strong in the decades to come.

Inbound vs. Outbound Recruiting

Inbound vs. Outbound Recruiting

Outbound-inbound-recruiting

Inbound and outbound recruiting strategies are two major recruiting methods used in Talent Acquisition. There has been a lot of buzz around these terms lately, but what do they really mean? And which form of recruiting is better for your company and your hiring needs?

Difference Between Inbound and Outbound recruiting

There are two basic types of recruiting – outbound and inbound recruiting. These terms have become a HR buzzwords in recruiting and everyone is talking about them. But what do they really mean? And what’s the difference between them?

In short…

In inbound recruiting candidates comes to you.

In outbound recruiting you have to search for the candidates.

Inbound and Outbound recruiting focus on different stages of candidate journey

Inbound and outbound recruiting are different recruiting philosophies and strategies with different approaches and tactics, but the same end goal: hiring the perfect candidate persona.

Inbound recruiting is a recruiting strategy where you proactively and continually attract candidates with the goal to make them choose you as their next employer.

Your goal in inbound recruiting is to lead the candidates through the first 3 stages of candidates journey: Awareness, Consideration and Interest.

Outbound recruiting is a recruiting strategy where you search for and contact candidates when a certain new position that you need to fill opens.
Your goal in outbound recruiting is to jump right to the application stage, and offer your job opening.

Human-resources-guide-about-recruitment-marketing

Inbound and Outbound recruiting are long and short term recruiting solutions

If you are looking for a long-term solution to advance your recruiting and hiring strategy, inbound recruiting is the way to go. With inbound recruiting, your goal is to build such an Employer Brand that will continually grow your pool of high-quality applicants.

Many companies have already adopted inbound recruiting as a prefered strategy. Even though it takes some time to see the results, in the long run, their time, cost and quality of hire have improved dramatically.

On the other side, there is outbound recruiting. It is considered as a short-term recruiting solution, because it is only used when a need arises. If outbound recruiting is your only recruiting strategy, start thinking about implementing inbound recruiting.

With so much information competitors share about themselves with the talent, you not doing the same will cost you. Simply reaching out to the candidates and offering an open position is not the way to attract talent any more.

Inbound and Outbound Recruiting Are Like Inbound Marketing and Outbound Sales

We often hear as saying: “Candidates should be treated like customers!”.

We can approach them using inbound marketing methods, or we can do so using outbound sales methods.

Inbound-vs-outbound-recruiting

The goal of inbound marketing is to have customers figure out their own pain points by reading relevant content. In recruiting, those pain points may include anything from a bad cultural fit, to a lower than desirable salary.

After realizing that there is a pain-point, candidates, reading you content, employee testimonials, benefits and company stories, realizes themselves that your company is a better fit for them.

Outbound recruiting, same as outbound sales, uses a method in which recruiters find candidates who may be a good fit. After that they call candidates to find out if there is a pain-point. In most cases  candidates either don’t know that the pain-point exists, or they wouldn’t admit it.

Inbound vs. Outbound recruiting: Which one is better?

Most companies use both inbound and outbound recruiting methods.

However, outbound method is more and more often considered as a plan B recruiting method. In other words, outbound recruiting method is used only when you don’t manage to get high-quality applicants with your inbound recruiting strategy.

The goal of every inbound recruiting strategy is to continually attract talent and build your talent pools. Once you have a pool of high-quality talent, it is much easier to fill your open positions.

If you, however, don’t have a candidate that perfectly matches your hiring needs, you should switch to an outbound recruiting method.

Difference between structured, unstructured and semi-structured job interviews

Difference between structured, unstructured and semi-structured job interviews

How-to-Hold-an-Effective-HR-Meeting

There are 3 main types of job interviews: structured, semi-structured and unstructured job interviews. In this article you will learn the differences between them so you can decide which one is your best choice for assessing candidates. Tips & tricks for conducting a great interview included!

Job interview types

Recruiters and human resources professionals divide job interviews into 3 different types:

  • Structured interviews
  • Unstructured interviews
  • Semi-structured interviews

Structured interview

A structured interview is a type of interview in which the interviewer asks questions which are planned and created in advance.
Tips&tricks for conducting structured interviews:

  1. Prepare interview questions to ask candidates in advance.
  2. Develop a scale for grading candidates answers.
  3. Take detailed notes of each candidate’s answers.

Unstructured interview

An unstructured interview is a type of interview in which the interviewer asks questions as they arise spontaneously in a free flowing conversation.
Tips&tricks for conducting unstructured interviews:

  1. Keep in mind specific experiences and qualities you are looking for in candidates.
    2. Feel free to explore specific interesting points from your candidate’s resume.
  2. Develop each next questions based on your the candidate’s answer.

Semi-structured interview

Semi-structured interview is a type of interview in which some questions are predetermined and others arise spontaneously during conversation.

Tips&tricks for conducting semi-structured interviews:

     1. Create basic set of interview questions to ask your candidates.

  1. Customize your follow up questions based on your candidates’ answer.
  2. Return to your basic set of questions and repeat the whole process.

Which type of job interview should you use?

You should choose the right type of interview based on the needs of your candidate persona. Create representation of your ideal candidate by defining the characteristics, skills, and traits that make up your perfect hire.

Try to put yourself in your candidate persona’s shoes. Create questions which would allow your candidate person to show of her/his best qualities and skills.

Importance of choosing the right job interview type

Choosing the right type of job interview will help you find and hire your ideal job candidate, improve your candidate experience and make your recruiting efforts more effective and successful.

How do you Retain your Talent the right way? Being Human.

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Question for the start up world.

When you walk into a start up and the first thing they say to HR is “we want a sustainable culture yet, the hyper growth that Facebook or Google went through”. Red flag alert. As the expert, you should already know that these two elements do not happen at the same time. You need to ask them, “Is it Acqusition or Retention?”

This is a conscious effort from your leadership, you simply cannot do this alone. One thing we need to get right is the people in your company defines the future, and this means EVERY SINGLE HIRE you have brought in, and retained.

Acquisition:

You start off with acquisition. Take a company through hyper growth. Hire for headcount show, not for PURPOSE. Your leadership tells you, “hiring slow affects business”. And so, you make it the only agenda in your job to Hire, Hire, Hire, because yes, you were told you can and should do so. They know that it is the talent they have who build their product. It is the talent they have who connects the product to their customers. They know that it is the talent they have who is going to give their customers a better world. So, THEY MUST HAVE IT.

This is the most exciting part of a start up, the expansion phase. Of course it is! You’re selling a great dream every single day. You even end up believing in it yourself. The propaganda.

So now, you think if I can hire all these great people, I can retain them too because we’re all in this together.

WRONG.

Retention:

All these great talent, all of these great people you have just brought in to build this dream are also very smart people. If they weren’t, you wouldn’t have bat an eyelid at them at the first instance. Their experiences are top notch, their technical skills are second to none. But you forgot to ask, “what is YOUR DREAM?”

Every employee has a dream, GREAT employees CHASE their dreams. If you want to retain greatness, must give them the work, life satisfaction they seek.

Because they are human, just like you.

Let’s put it this way, a satisfied employee is an engaged employee. We all know that high engagement brings profitability to the company, because losing people costs you ££. Don’t be daft, of course it does.

Losing talent is not something to be proud of.

So what do you need to do? 2 things.

Empowering your employees:

Oh, did I hate it when Steve Jobs put A,B,C players in boxes and he used to say that Apple is successful because their A players run circles around other B,C rejects from the company. I cannot help but felt how derogatory this is to the majority of people who were never given the opportunity to graduate from Stanford. Great leadership encourages self improvement instead of firing low performers. They listen intently and believe in them. I know this because I’m empowered every day and it’s not a fairytale. Man, am I lucky.

Trust and respect:

Give your employees generous boundaries. Contrary to conventional wisdom, boundaries don’t restrict team members; it means you TRUST them. Let them have autonomy, and let them prove to you they can do it too. No one was born to know exactly what to do with their lives, but they learn along the way. Credible leadership believe in their employees, and let them get on with it.

Needless to say, employees who are engaged shows better performance because they hit your happiness index right at the mark you want them to be. So leaders need to remember, their success is your greater success. Treat them how you want to be treated.

Stop making excuses. Humanise your company now.

Polishing These Skills Will Improve You As a Leader

Being a leader is not a state one finds himself in, but the number of actions he performs every day. And before each action, there is usually a difficult decision which must be made according to personal and organizational values. That’s why it can be very hard to become a good leader, not to mention excellent one. And as a leader, you need to achieve excellence if you want your company to blossom with accomplishment. In a turmoil of today’s dynamic organization, the role of a leader is critical – you’re the one who must have a clear vision of the values, the knowledge how to implement and establish them, and the power to sustain them. You need to stand behind everything your organisation presents and to be passionate about it in order to motivate other employees to follow your example. Sometimes this enormous task seems impossible for one person to carry, but there are some basic powerful skills which can make the task much easier. Of course, that doesn’t mean that there is a strict set of rules you need to follow to become a good leader – one of the most important leadership components is the ability to perform authentic actions. Nevertheless, polishing these skills will definitely improve you as a leader.

Walk the talk

As a leader, you have a role of a general in a modern war that rages among strong competition. But that doesn’t mean all you need to do is shout orders and observe from the distance. If you’re sending your ‛army’ to march ahead, that means you’re sending them to unknown, to the territory you’ve never been to. That’s why you should always say ‛follow me’ and lead your employees by example. They will follow your every move as long as they are certain that what you do is equal to what you say. By setting up an example for them you earn their trust and confidence. They’re not the only ones who must prove their worth, it’s also the other way around. And once you’ve set an example, remember to make your actions according to it. Without consistency, all your words will be gone with the wind.

But still, talk

That doesn’t mean that words are not important. You can’t act on the principle ‛I’ve shown you how it’s done, now shut up and repeat’. You’re not a god or a statue of an idol – in order to lead people you need to be a man of flesh and blood. You need to be a part of the group and you need to know how to communicate with them in a transparent and respectful way. Fear and intimidation have never been good motivators, so you need to lock up your ego and throw away the key. If you’re able to understand your employees you will also be able to encourage them and boost their problem-solving and creativity.

And occasionally, listen

Communication is a two-way street. You’re not the smartest person in the world and if you’re in need of advice that doesn’t make you weak. As the matter of fact, fearing to ask for advice is a sign of the lack of confidence and that is certainly not good for leadership. You need to set an example and show your employees that there is always more things to learn in order to encourage them to develop their skills further. You can always turn to a trusted colleague, but today’s highly competitive nature of business usually requires a mentor, for it’s not only about gaining knowledge but also about deciding which way to go. An experienced executive coaching professionals can help you determine your clear goals using a variety of behavioral methods and techniques. That way you’ll require advice, but also feedback and guidance, which will establish a fresh view on issues at hand.

But, most of all, feel

There cannot be a good organisation if all the people inside it are not well connected. And the best way to connect with your employees and develop a strong and unbreakable bond is through emotions. You need to be aware of your employee’s emotional states and to learn how to interpret them correctly because that form of communication can give you far more insight than spoken words. But first, you need to connect with your own emotions, to understand them and control the way you feel and the reactions that feelings produce. Only then will you be ready to pick up the emotional signals of others in order to prevent conflict and improve the workforce.

And then express it

Of course, it is not enough just to become aware of your emotions, you need to express them. If you’re not showing your emotions in front of your employees they will also suppress theirs, and then bye-bye to all that valuable insight and bonding. On the other hand, you need to be careful not to express everything – anger and weakness are not good things for people to see in a leader. You need to show them that you truly believe in the organizational goals you’ve established and to be truly passionate about it. Passion spreads like fire, and when in flames you’re willing to take the greatest risks and take all responsibility.

As we said at the beginning, these are not rules, simply very useful skills. You should always encourage individuality and creativity. Your goals should be to motivate, inspire and engage the people around you. These skills are your best tools for the job, and now the improvisation may begin.

How HR Can Be the Rock Star of Employee Experience

Written by Deepak Bharadwaj, General Manager of the HR Business Unit at ServiceNow

In 1981, James Hetfield, an unknown vocalist and guitarist responded to an advertisement posted by drummer Lars Ulrich in a local newspaper. From this meeting, Metallica was born.

As a huge fan of Metallica, my ears are still ringing from the last concert I attended in San Francisco’s Golden Gate park. Every time I see them live I walk away amazed at their talent. For many, Metallica is the epitome of heavy metal, and while many of their peers from the 80s and 90s have faded away, Metallica is going strong. They released their tenth albumin2016 and have sold more than 58 million albums, a number only exceeded by the Beatles and Garth Brooks.

I’ll spare you the rest of the history lesson, but I hope you will indulge me on what makes this band so popular: What may sound like loud noise to some is a four-person group coming together, each with their own style and backgrounds to create a finely orchestrated metal experience.

HR leaders can draw inspiration from Metallica and its frontman, James Hetfield. The key to a successful organization isn’t much different than what makes a band successful. A band finds success when they can pull all of the different parts together – lead guitar, rhythm guitar, bass guitar, drums and vocals – all working in perfect harmony creating that sublime listening experience for the audiophile. Similarly, an organization finds success when all departments providing service to employees – IT, facilities, finance, legal and of course HR come together to create that unparalleled end-to-end employee experience. And HR must be in front with responsibility and accountability for this outcome.

Take onboarding for example: HR helps set an employee up with their tax forms, direct deposits, benefits packages and employment contracts, IT also has to to provision their laptops and accounts, while the office manager helps with a desk area and whatever other supplies may be needed. It is hard to imagine an effective onboarding process that does not bring all of these departmental services together. Yet, for many years HR has operated in a silo with little interaction with other departments leading to often disjointed processes. But employee expectations in the workplace have changed significantly, and HR can no longer ignore collaborating with others outside HR. It takes all departments working together to provide a positive and exceptional employee service experience.

While Hetfield wrote the lyrics to “Enter Sandman,” it was lead guitarist Kirk Hammett who did the riffs. The end result was a song referred to as one of Metallica’s best moments and earned them a place on Rolling Stone Magazine’s “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” list. Its time for HR to create that well-orchestrated masterpiece.

Before we get into the “how” let’s begin with the “why.”

Employees first (♪ Nothing Else Matters ♪)

I’ll start with the backbone of the organization, its employees. When you look at the employee experience, one of the most important things to consider is employee interactions with HR and other departments that provide service. If employees are frustrated with the level of service they experience, then something needs to change.

Today’s employees want their experiences at work to be just as easy as ordering a Lyft or shopping on Amazon or booking an AirBnb or filling out their tax returns with Intuit’s Turbotax. They want easy and fast access to information without having to spend time searching or having to ask around. They want to be able to make a request and receive regular updates and reminders if further action is needed, but with little to no exposure to what’s going on “behind the scenes” to fulfill the request. From their standpoint, providing this level of service across the enterprise should be a top priority for organizations and they look to HR to own that end-to-end experience for important life events such as having a baby, a promotion, a transfer or onboarding. Yet, a recent study ServiceNow commissioned of 1,850 business leaders shows that HR is the department most in need of a “reboot.” Not only that, the study also revealed that the three most inefficient processes also happen to be HR-related – employee relocations, leaves of absence, and onboarding.

Enough is enough, it’s time for a change.

HR is the Lead Vocal ( Master of Puppets )

When James Hetfield was asked about Metallica’s hit Master of Puppets and what it meant for the band he explained that they were “definitely peaking” and that the album had “the sound of a band really gelling, really learning how to work well together.” Drawing inspiration from that massive hit of a song, I’d like to suggest that given the employee expectations in today’s world, it is time for HR organizations to begin “peaking” and reaching new levels of effectiveness by coordinating across the organization and “gelling” the various departments and processes. By doing so, HR becomes the lead vocalist and leader of the employee service experience, making sure processes and tasks get completed with complete end-to-end visibility.

Almost all employee life-event services provided by HR touch other departments. With better cross-departmental coordination, companies are sure to see increases in efficiency, greater visibility into processes, and overall happier and more productive employees.

Here are four steps for organizations to achieve cross-departmental success:

  • Clean up shop. Before anything, each department needs to clean up their act and get organized. HR cannot successfully bring departments together if individual departments are bogged down in managing requests in an unstructured manner.
  • Unite departments. Work towards a “team” approach by getting all departments involved. Welcome ideas and have open discussions about how departments can work together better to provide the best end-to-end employee service experience.
  • Constant communication. Provide a way to communicate back and forth effectively, between departments and with employees. Be transparent and open with departments as you help guide them through processes while reminding them of the benefits to their group and the organization.
  • Ongoing optimization. Use analytics and employee feedback to determine what is working and what can be improved. This should be an ongoing process that is constantly evolving and proactively looking for ways to be more effective.

While HR may not officially belong to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, HR organizations can certainly be rock stars within their company. By bringing departments together and working as a team, not in silos, HR can lead the way in improving the employee service experience.

Are You a Leader or a Manager?

When describing someone at the head of a team or business, many tend to use the words “leader” and “manager” interchangeably, with the belief that these two words mean the same thing. While it does colloquially, in terms of business and character, there is actually a huge difference between the two of them that you should be aware of so you can truly gauge where you stand.

In its most basic sense, the biggest difference between a manager and a leader is the way they motivate people to accomplish their tasks and work towards a common goal. This sets the tone for most of what they do, how they approach people in their team and business, how they react during crises, and the overall atmosphere of the employees and of the business.

While there is nothing wrong with being a leader or being a manager (and not being what they aren’t), the knowledge of what you are like as a business owner and team head is still a worthwhile fact to hold as it allows you to see how you truly handle the business and where else you can improve upon. It also pays to know the difference between the two so when it comes to assigning team heads for the different projects that your business may have, you are able to assess who can work better with what task and with what sort of people they can work well with.

Find out if you are a leader or a manager with this infographic by Healthy Business Builder.

Are You a Leader or a Manager?

The Secret to Improving the Employee Experience Has Nothing to Do With Quirky Benefits

The Secret to Improving the Employee Experience Has Nothing to Do With Quirky Benefits

The Secret to Improving the Employee Experience Has Nothing to Do With Quirky Benefits

We’re in the midst of a global productivity crisis. The IMF estimates that if productivity growth had followed its pre-2008 financial crisis trend, overall GDP in advanced economies would be about 5% higher than today. However, to blame everything on the financial crisis is misleading. The overall trend in productivity growth is stagnant and has been on a downward trend for the last several years, costing the US a staggering $450-$550 billion a year. These national figures raise concern for business leaders as they battle to achieve growth in an unstable political and economic climate, looking for ways to ensure that their entire business is working as efficiently as possible, from the top to the bottom.

You’d think this would be simple but recent research conducted amongst 2,000 Americans for the report ‘Why your workforce isn’t working’, found that only 37% of respondents think they’re highly productive in their role. There is clearly much room for improvement.

Positive experiences beget productivity

 According to the research, 78% of people say they are more productive at work when their working experiences are positive. This jumps to 92% for younger people or millennials – a generation that will make up 50% of the workforce by 2020. Employers need to stop and listen to them. Clearly, driving positive workplace experiences is important but what does that actually mean?

The workforce experience can be viewed very similarly to the customer experience. It’s the journey an individual employee makes throughout their contact with a particular organization, from initial recruitment discussions, through to being a fully-fledged worker and also their exit should they leave. It’s a fast-moving and evolving journey, with no-one person’s journey being the same as another. It’s vital that organizations can be agile and flexible to these needs, so that they improve the experience and ultimately drive productivity. But how do you go about it?

Quirky benefits don’t yield expected results

 First and foremost, employers need to build a stronger connection with employees. The research suggests that at present there is a large disconnect between the two, particularly about what positive workforce experiences look like. Forty per cent of business owners believe free food, beer fridges, ping-pong tables and bean bags are important to employees. Perhaps understandably given the publicity that high-profile and successful brands like Google, Facebook and Apple get for such ‘quirky’ benefits. But when asked, employees across all age groups said benefits such as ping pong tables (5%) or company outings (9%) add relatively little value to their workforce experience. This disinterest for quirky benefits is even true in cities where ping-pong tables have become commonplace, like San Francisco where only 4.2% of respondents rated it as a valuable addition to their day-to-day workplace experience. In fact, more than half of respondents (53%) felt that having games in the office are distracting and actually decrease productivity.

Are you asking the right questions?

 Instead of making assumptions, employers should be asking their employees directly what would improve their experience and help them be more productive. As it stands, more than half of people have never been asked this by their employer, with just 12% being asked on a regular basis.  Just as there is business value in listening to customers, there is just as much value in listening to employees. And don’t assume that HR’s trusted tool, the annual survey is doing the job. Twenty percent of those we spoke to said it wasn’t a benefit to them or a suitable catalyst for business transformation.

Invest deeply in flexibility and appreciation

 Once employers take the time to engage with their employees, they are likely to find clear recommendations on how to improve productivity. The research found that two key requirements stood out. Unsurprisingly, the first being flexible and remote working, with 81% stating this is very important and highly valued; particularly when it comes to balancing the varying demands of their professional and private lives. The second, being valued and recognized in their role. Two-thirds (66%) of people cited this as the most important aspect of their day to day employment – not pay rises or better benefits which bear a cost, but being valued and having recognition is what’s a high value, cost-free option for companies.

As major economic shifts continue to happen, it’s never been more important focus on productivity. While economic leaders and governments can consider the value of national fiscal measures, individual businesses can play their role too. And fortunately, as this research shows, it doesn’t have to be difficult. The key to success, as in many aspects of business, is to get to know the people you’re trying to target better and to build personalized positive experiences around them. And much like when building a successful customer experience, data and technology plays a clear role when it comes to getting your workforce working.