How Technology Can Help to Prevent Workplace Stress

We spend over eight hours a day, five days a week at work.

Some of us may even spend more of our waking hours with our colleagues than our families.

It’s therefore important that our working lives leave us happy and fulfilled.

Sadly, studies show that one in four of us will suffer from a mental health condition in our lifetime.

Spending so much of our waking time at work, it’s inevitable that work will affect our mental health.

Too much pressure or long-term stress can cause employees to burn out, leaving them with less energy to function in and out of work.

Too little work – or a lack of stimulation – can also lead to stress. Employees feel under-fulfilled, like they’re wasting their time, and want to be anywhere but at work.

The more stressed employees are, the less work they get done, and the more businesses suffer.

Embracing technological innovations puts employees back in control of how they spend their time at work and greatly reduces the risks of stress and burnout.

Here are four ways technology can make employees feel more fulfilled, and help to prevent workplace stress.

Organize and coordinate schedules

Trying to find a time when a team can meet to discuss something important can often take as long – sometimes even longer – than the meeting itself.

If it’s an important or last-minute meeting, trying to get everyone together can cause employees huge amounts of stress.

There’s always a risk of someone being double-booked because they didn’t check their calendar before agreeing to a suggested time.

This then causes more stress because the meeting needs to be rescheduled.

Calendar connectivity means that this process can be automated, preventing double-bookings and avoiding any stress the process could cause.

Instead of long email chains or back-and-forth phone calls, the person organizing the meeting can tell the software whom they need in the meeting. It can then suggest a list of times when everyone is free to meet. If calendars are set up for bookable resources such as meeting rooms or parking spaces, it can incorporate this into its calculations too.

Connecting an employees’ calendar to HR software also means that they don’t need to switch between applications to keep track of their schedules.

Speed up and streamline complicated processes

On the surface, organizing interviews seems like an easy process, but with so many candidates and interview panellists to coordinate, it quickly becomes laborious.

Hiring managers can spend as many as 20 hours a month organizing interviews.

Automating this process gives hiring managers more time to spend on other tasks, saves interview panellists from having to constantly flit between their calendar and emails, and allows candidates to book their interviews discreetly.

Another process that can be automated is the organization of staff appraisals. In large organizations, this process can be particularly time-consuming.

However, when employees are calendar connected, software can work out the best times for an employee to meet their manager and automatically add the appointments to their calendar. No matter what size their team is, the process is instant.

Offering training programs for employees to expand their skills further breaks up the tedium of the daily routine.

Training programs don’t just have to take place at work, either.

There are thousands of online courses out there, and many of them are free.

Many industries also have their own courses or week-long events that employees can attend to network and get a change of scenery.

Giving employees new ways to learn and grow helps to spark new ideas that they can bring back to the workplace.

Learning new skills is also an effective way to prevent stagnation and keep employees interested in their work.

Monitor employee wellbeing

Looking after employees is a key part of HR.

New technology means HR teams can track how employees feel and gain an insight into how different teams work.

They can also encourage employees to get up and get moving by offering incentives such as fitness trackers.

Communication tools such as Slack give employees the opportunity to keep in touch whether they work in the same building or different parts of the country.

Tools like this can be key for managers and HR staff to keep informed of how employees are getting along, particularly if they work remotely full- or part-time.

Let employees take control of their schedules

The more things a person has floating around in their mind, the more difficult it is for them to organize their thoughts.

When employees have a lot to do and nowhere to organize their time, it’s inevitable that something will be forgotten.

Taking advantage of technology allows them to use it for everything from creating to-do lists in Trello to tracking customer queries in Zendesk.

Giving employees somewhere they can make a note of everything they have to do means that they spend less time trying to remember everything and more time getting things done.

The technology you provide for your employees matters

Richard Branson once said that if you “look after your staff. They’ll look after your customers. It’s that simple.”

When employees feel overwhelmed or overworked, they’re less productive and less able to help a business to grow.

Employees are what make a business a success.

Choosing the right people is crucial, but that’s only part of it.

If you don’t look after them, they won’t be as good to your business as they could be.

By nurturing employees, making them feel appreciated, and giving them opportunities to learn and grow, it not only benefits them, but the business, too.

The more knowledge employees acquire in their industry, the more they can use this to create a better customer experience and increase company revenue.

This then means the company can grow and increase its profits faster.

Everyone wins.


Source: How Technology Can Help to Prevent Workplace Stress | Cronofy Calendar API

About Cronofy

Cronofy connects HR software to users’ calendars via a unified calendar API.

To discover how calendar sync can save you and your users time and money, and help to hire the best candidates, watch our Real-Time Scheduling video.

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DevScore Introduces Developer Acquisition Functionality

Candidate_Notes

Finding the right software developer just got a lot easier for HRs, recruiters, & hiring managers.

DevScore’s new Acquisition functionality enables HR staff to easily source and vet talented developers that are actively looking for work.

Recruiters can now literally source, vet, & interview developers in minutes.

3 August 2017 — DevScore, the software developer skills-assessment SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) that launched earlier this year at HR Tech World, has introduced a brand new Acquisition feature — one that complements and works seamlessly with its existing functionality — bringing recruiters, hiring managers, and HR a complete candidate-matching, acquisition, assessing, and digital screening service.

Customers can now make targeted developer searches based on actual coding experience; an industry first — a feature that just didn’t exist before in HR tech. They can also filter results by skills, experience, and geographical location easily; allowing them to cherry pick the exact software development talent they need for their business’ individual requirements.

Sourcing_Results

DevScore’s unique and rapidly growing database contains millions of developers. The new Acquisition function finds and connects with those that are actively looking for work.

“In the fast-paced world of software development, acquisition, assessing, and hiring great people quickly is business-critical,” explains DevScore founder, Peter Cummings. “With the new Acquisition feature, recruiters can now literally go from initial sourcing to potentially interviewing a candidate in minutes.”

The Acquisition function is a direct challenge to job boards and candidate sourcing companies that lack the depth of understanding needed to make fully-informed hiring recommendations. These platforms largely use simplistic text-based matching software and lack any sort of advanced assessment and selection criteria. However, up until now coding analysis just hasn’t been available to recruiters.

Candidate_Profile

“There are loads of sites where you can hire recruiters and freelancers,” says Cummings. “But it’s important that you can qualify how good a developer is. There’s always a chance some will exaggerate their CVs, but without any form of code analysis, recruiters can’t get an accurate picture of what a developer can and can’t do. DevScore can literally see what the coder has created and assesses the quality of their code; which enables us to understand how they stack up among their peers.”

Within the Acquisition tool, users can create a customise specific search; filtering developer information by numerous criteria — including experience, flexibility, skills, and location. In addition, searches can be saved and lists can be easily downloaded by users. And where no exact data immediately exists for a chosen set of criteria, customers can create a notification that will let them know when there’s a specific match. Also, API integration makes it easy to pull in DevScore functionality to any job board or talent acquisition tool.

“Everyone who wants to be a developer, can be,” says Cummings. “It’s unlike most other jobs. Your contributions and experience are highly visible. The Acquisition module can help determine which who’s an expert and who’s a novice — reducing the time-to-hire and increasing the quality-of-hire.”

About DevScore:

DevScore enables recruiters and HR staff – even the non-tech savvy – to accurately assess and validate a developer’s skills and experience in an easy understandable format. No need to scan every resume anymore – now you can compile a shortlist with the right candidates in record time.

We scan code repositories across the internet, and analyse the code that developers have submitted. Using our analytics engine we are able to find out how many months the developer has actually used a language, framework, or a development style for. We then assign the developer a score – the DevScore – and from that provide a rank for the developer both worldwide and in the country where they live.

Google Hiring Space

Google Enters the Hiring Fray

Google Hire | The HR Tech Weekly®

It looks like Google was serious about entering the jobs space.

The Google Hire website appeared this month, and while it hasn’t been officially announced, the world’s largest data aggregator could be gearing up to launch an application tracking website which could rival LinkedIn, Greenhouse and Jobvite.

While this new website seems to be still in early stages of development, you can’t help but wonder: how is this new technology going to affect the jobs and recruiting space?

It makes perfect sense that both Facebook and Google would actively seek to gain control of a larger chunk of the jobs market. These platforms are already a definitive part of many people’s daily lives, so it is not surprising that they want to play an increasingly important role in the job search process. As we know, there are enormous possibilities where there are lots of people, and Facebook and Google have their markets comfortably cornered. Why go elsewhere when you’re looking for your next position?

So: how are they going about it?

Google, with the relatively recent introduction of their Cloud Jobs API, looks set to make a big impact, as their latest algorithms and intelligent data interpretation solutions set out to bridge the gaps between employers and job seekers in an unprecedented way: carefully matching the skills, experience and personal preferences of job seekers with the title, position, description and expectations of employees advertising specific job opportunities.

The Cloud Jobs API also has the ability to define the importance and level of various skills, as well as put such skills into the right context, in relation to any particular job requirement or opening available.

This happens through the use of various proprietary ontologies, which are meant to encode insights and information about different skills and occupations, as well shedding light on how such skills interact and correlate with each other. In short? Google will gather and assess your jobs data and match you with appropriate openings. Conversely, recruiters could potentially find perfect matches with pinpoint accuracy.

Interestingly, Google Hire openings have been listed on the bebop website, the VMware enterprise application development platform Google acquired in 2015. VMware’s cofounder, Diane Green was appointed to lead Google’s cloud push efforts that same year.

For Friendships Or Job Searches?

When I look at my Facebook feed, I’ll often see my friends using their status update to ask their network for job openings.  Now, Facebook has confirmed it had begun experimenting with recruiting features: “We’re running a test for Page admins to create job postings and receive applications from candidates.” The company is also actively investing more in functionality for recruiters and employers, giving them the ability to share job opportunities that are specifically visible to an audience that matches their standards (for example, the level of education required).

From a recruiter’s standpoint, Facebook is a goldmine, because it is such a huge repository of information about people. Individuals share a wide variety of data about themselves on their social media, from their basic information to their education level, their current employment, and their personal interests. If you want to gain an exhaustive profile of a candidate, you can’t do much better than Facebook.

As Facebook is already a definitive part of our daily lives, it’s not surprising that it could play an important role in the job searching industry. But do they run the same risks as platforms such as LinkedIn, where personal information becomes more curated to attract a certain job? Will people be pumping up their own profiles, not always accurately? The beauty of Facebook’s “raw and real” data may be quickly lost once people know recruiters are able to mine their information.

As both Facebook and Google enter the space, it confirms yet again that the rate of developments in our space is blinding, and that the new year might bring a few more tricks to learn yet.

About the Author:

Megan Flamer

Megan Flamer is an organizational development specialist who is fascinated by how people find and interact with their work and each other. She writes about recruitment, HR, human behaviour, and the future of work at 1-Page.com

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The Rise of the Multi-Interface HR Application

The Rise of the Multi-Interface HR Application

The move to allowing users to interact where they already are, be that chat, calendars or email is especially relevant to HR applications.

Like project management (Trello, Basecamp) and customer service tools (Intercom, Zendesk), HR tech has been part of the next wave of a hyper focus on user experience to create the next generation of applications.

HR applications have two distinct constituents: primary users like hiring and personnel teams, and the rest of the company’s employees who are generally irregular users. Perhaps when they’re booking leave or participating in an interview for a new team member.

This creates both friction and a training challenge for the second group to get the most out of applications. No matter how intuitive a UI is, a user still must switch mental context and understand the language and mechanics.

Mobile apps were the new revolution in enabling users to interact with applications and services. However, creating another dedicated interface for applications didn’t really solve this context switching problem. User’s just don’t download or use apps for services they user sporadically.

This is why we’re starting to see the next generation of UX innovation happen outside of dedicated applications.

Slack is the most high profile crucible for this kind of innovation in the enterprise world. Slack is an app that employees will install on the phone so they can use it wherever they are. They’re already in Slack both on desktop and mobile so there is minimal context switching. And it supports the kinds of ‘chat and click’ interactions that allow relatively complex features to be access with a guided user experience.

Applications like Lever are expanding the collaboration hiring functionality into Slack. Team members who are already in Slack can easily interact, comment and support the hiring process without switching to another application. GoCo provide absence reporting and management from within Slack.

Calendars are now revealing themselves as the next interface to enterprise applications, especially in HR. So much of HR workflow is schedule based that users can’t avoid taking decisions without referring to their own or their colleagues’ schedules. Use of calendar APIs rather than read-only ICS feeds turn calendars into real-time integration points rather than delayed reporting tools.

Anton Roe, CTO of MHR who have been delivering HR software for over 20 years, said: “We’re seeing a dramatic shift in focus away from HR departments and directly on the employees themselves. The consumerisation of enterprise software and the efficiencies gained from empowering employees to perform personal HR operations requires a new approach to building software.”

With recruitment platforms connected to employees calendars, prospective members of interview panels no longer have to maintain availability in an application. They just keep their calendar up to date and this is automatically reflected to the hiring manager or the candidate when an interview time is selected.

Booking holiday becomes as simple as an employee creating an event in their calendar. That’s where they’re making the decision about when they want to take holiday. Creating the required holiday can trigger the authorization flows so the manager can approve wherever they are, be that email or via a Slack interaction.

Performance management meetings can be automatically tracked, changes responded to and follow ups triggered. All by the HR application automatically monitoring users calendars, not relying on users to keep the application updated.

Roe goes on to say “HR systems today need to have the employee front and centre and must require minimal training. Leveraging chat systems and native interfaces like calendars provide people with natural user experiences that just work wherever they are.”

Chat and calendars represent the next vanguard of application interactions. They are native to computing be that mobile, desktop, car, smart home or otherwise and are already core to users’ workflows. The most successful applications of the next few years will leverage their pervasiveness and commonality to take computing where people are.

About the Author:

Adam Bird, CEO and Founder at Cronofy

Adam Bird is Founder and CEO of Cronofy, the unified calendar API. He’s a highly technical and experienced technology entrepreneur with a passion for continuous improvement that pervades every aspect of his life.

Adam can be shortly described as a technical founder and problem solver with track record of success. Expert post rationaliser.

Entrepreneur and developer with previous success as co-founder of Esendex.

Husband, father & wannabe rock guitarist as time allows. A lover of cycling and craft beer but he never really got on with having a beard for that hipster hat-trick.

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