How To Fix A Toxic Culture Without Firing People

Is there anything you don’t find right around your office? Do you see a toxic environment in work? Do you feel the employees are tired, discouraged or overworked? If you do see these kinds of symptoms happening with more than two or three employees, there is a high chance that some kind of toxic culture has entered your workplace. It will have a bad effect on your business as well as on the employees. You know what unhappy workers lead to. They are less productive, prone to commit more mistakes and try to leave the toxic workplace as quickly as possible. And the moment the word spreads out it becomes very difficult for the company to come out of the wrong reputation.

It is very important that you address to the problem as soon as possible. You need to clear up the negative work environment, if not, then your employees will leave your company, which will harm your productivity. But there are a few ways to fix a toxic culture without firing people.

Identify the problems in behaviour

Every company is a unique institution. Hence, every company has its own bad work culture. But how a company has give into the toxicity determines what form of toxicity it has. So there is no one solution for the problem. The first step towards identifying the problem is examining the culture of the business to understand the specific challenges.

You need to start by taking a look around and be prepared for the hard truths as sometimes what you find might be unpleasant and unexpected. The common problems which you might find among the employees are gossiping, bullying, poor communication, taking excessive leaves, suffering illness and fatigue. The employees may also want to leave the company due to favouritism, unrealistic deadlines and unsafe and morally incorrect work atmosphere. These are the issues you need to identify and solve as soon as possible.

Delve deeper into the roots of the problem

It is important to know who is in charge of the company leadership and what values they are bringing in. They must not have discriminatory behaviour, should not dehumanize employees, should not have aggressive or hostile leadership qualities and should not show lack of appreciation. All these problematic attitudes and negative behaviours create a stressful work environment. It is the work of the incharge of compensation management to look after the needs of employees.

Plan your reparing strategy

Once you understand the problem, it becomes easier to look for the cure. The first important step is to listen to your employees. It is important to listen to the grievances and look after their issues. The deadlines and workloads  should be achievable. The communication between the employee and employer should be clear and transparent. It leads to less frustration and delay of work if the employee is clear about what he/she is supposed to do. Acknowledge when someone performs well and treat every employee equally.

Implement your plan

It is important to show the changes in action. Communicate with your employee and bring in the rewarding factor. It inspires the employees to give their best. You should not think twice before removing any employee who is not in support of the new work environment. Every employee should be given equal opportunity and ample time to adjust. Another thing which you should keep in mind is bringing in diversity while choosing your employees.

Also Read – Importance of Employee Compensation And Benefits

 

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How HR Continues To Evolve, Technologically and Politically

How HR Continues To Evolve, Technologically and Politically

Changes in human resources are driven by a number of overlapping factors, including the demographics of both the workplace and surrounding society; political climate and legislation coming out of it; and the development of new technology.

The rise of tech startups have created a lot of change in business communities and shifted the expectations of employees. Add breakthroughs in cloud services and management software, and authentication into the mix, and it’s easy to see how the tech boom has had a major effect on the procedures and culture of HR.

Hiring and Interview

Finding job seekers is getting easier and easier. On the other hand, as easy as job sites like Indeed and social networks like LinkedIn have made posting ads, they’ve also allowed a larger number of job seekers to respond.

Recruiters and hiring managers must deal with a much greater volume of applicants if they choose to make use of internet job postings. The benefit is that it’s easier to find the right candidate. LinkedIn and resume upload sites have made it especially easy for savvy HR professionals to target the skills they’re looking for and search for candidates more intentionally.

On the interview side, things are changing too. Skype and other video and voice-over IP apps are making remote interviews a more robust and common process. Being able to interview over long distances is exposing recruiters to talent from far-flung places. 43 percent of Americans say they spend at least some time working remotely, according to The New York Times. Remote work is changing office environments, and it’s changing the way companies hire, giving them access to employees hundreds or thousands of miles away.

Company Culture

The hiring process is closely related to company culture, but it’s an idea that goes far beyond the initial hire.

This is where the tech startup world has made a huge influence. “Company culture” has almost achieved buzzword status in job ads. Both prospective job seekers and employers are putting a heavy emphasis on “fitting in” with the company culture.

This has come with advantages and disadvantages. Tech companies in particular have shown how “culture” can be taken way too far. There have been a number of high-profile cases where culture has been used to justify abuse, inaction, or discrimination.

Company culture is a powerful and popular tool to ensure that businesses and employees truly make the most of their personnel. Every work environment is different, and hiring an employee with the right skills but the wrong demeanor can be more damaging than hiring someone who needs extra training.

Contracts and Consent

One of the biggest developments in recent years has been the ability to handle contracts, compliance, performance reviews, consent forms, and anything else that people need to sign digitally. HR departments have been leveraging digital signatures to streamline and more effectively track important documents.

Paperwork that can be signed electronically can be carefully controlled and tracked. A performance review can be signed in order, first by the employee, then by their manager, and added to their digital record without any printing, scanning, or physical transportation. The process becomes shorter and easier to track.

Timestamps recorded on electronic signatures are more accurate, and the digitizing process is better for privacy and compliance because control is kept of the document at all times. It’s easy to track who has access to it. Signing something electronically may not feel very safe, but electronic signatures are built of digital signature technology which provides encryption and verification, making the whole process very secure.

Communications Technology

Some companies are choosing to adopt high-tech communications technology within their workplaces as a way to improve efficiency of both employees and HR processes.

Chat applications are one way that companies improve communication, letting employees interact with each other and their managers in real time to discuss topics or pose questions that they wouldn’t ordinarily interrupt one another with.

Another high-tech communications solution comes with digital signage that HR can leverage to cut down on emails, poster printing, and newsletter composition. Announcements of events, important legal updates or performance metrics can instead be simultaneously displayed across a number of devices. That way, employees have information available at a glance without having to open a distracting email whenever there’s a company announcement.

Safety and Compliance

Workplace safety has changed a lot over the years. From the days of steelworkers clambering unassisted on top of skyscrapers and employees handling asbestos, the law and cultural attitudes about safety have made dramatic turns. So too is it with liability surrounding legal rights of employees, such as overtime laws and “theft of employee time”.

One of the biggest changes has been the uptick in retroactive legal action against companies that engaged in unsafe and unlawful practices. Though HR teams were always tasked with compliance and liability limitation, as lawsuits become more prevalent and potentially damaging, Human Resource’s role in protecting the company, and by proxy the company’s employees, has been magnified in recent years.

HR departments work tirelessly to create inclusive, safe workspaces that don’t discriminate or place employees in unsafe situations without a reasonable notice and acceptance of risk. Digital tools are making this process easier and will continue to influence the shape of human resources as we discover new ways to track, authenticate, and communicate.

HR Specialists Talk About Their Stances On Time Tracking | Featured Image

HR Specialists Talk About Their Stances On Time Tracking

HR Specialists Talk About Their Stances On Time Tracking | Main Image

The exponentially growing digitalization of business and life itself is disrupting almost any industry in every country, and it didn’t bypass their HR departments either. Until recently, HR has operated relatively separately from the other parts of the organization, but the evolution of HRMS and SaaS solutions made the HR embedded in everyday business just as much as Marketing or R&D. On the other hand, just like new technologies have created new forms of organizing work (think about digital nomads and virtual organizations), so must the way of managing those employees differ from the conventional ones.

In my attempts to understand the challenges of managing people in large enterprises, as well as the shift in the approach that technology brings in this area, I spoke to a couple of experts in this area – a director of HR department in a large corporation, and a CEO of HR software developing company, about their views on employee time tracking as a business practice. Their rich experience in “both sides” of human resource management allowed them to discuss the benefits of this concept, but also to elaborate their objections.

It’s not for everyone

The first professional I talked to is Sonja Jovanović, head of HR in Serbian branch of accounting and advisory company Ernst&Young. Besides using manually filled timesheets for tracking revenue streams, and punching cards system for checking in and out of the building (although this serves primarily as a security measure), the company does not use any other forms of time tracking, nor do they intend to in the future. Working hours are flexible, remote work is allowed in some circumstances, and their company culture simply doesn’t leave much room for implementing this type of business practice.

The very nature of the industry of providing high-quality services to business clients requires a substantial level of professionalism and severity of their personnel. It takes a tremendous amount of confidence, followed by the strong and thorough selection, to entrust a client to a group of employees. “ […] Therefore, I do not see a situation in which a time tracking tool could bring any value to our organization,” says Sonja.

In EY, performance reviews and feedbacks are being conducted through the complex network of department managers and counselors, and though the employees do use computers, their performance simply cannot be seen nor measured by the amount of time spent on particular computer activities. “Our HRM is digitized in many ways, but tracking time does not fall into that. It simply isn’t applicable, because you cannot gauge the scope and quality of intellectual work by time,” she explains. “The more you try to frame people and their creative process, the greater the set-down will be, and the poorer results you can expect. This simple principle is something that many discipline-obsessed managers fail to understand.”

It’s about culture and priorities

In order to find which companies do find time tracking useful, or even a must have solution for their business, I spoke to Ivan Petrović, CEO of WorkPuls, a company providing time tracking solutions for businesses around the world.

“When it comes to implementation of time tracking solutions in medium and big companies, there are two basic factors that affect this. The first is the company culture, and the way productivity is understood in the company. The second factor are the individual views of managers, especially the HR Directors and their priorities”, says Ivan. WorkPuls works with various companies, from BPO companies, software and video gaming companies to construction companies and e-commerce businesses. While they think that there are certain patterns that one might observe among use cases of different customers, they say that there are also differences among specific goals different managers want to achieve.

“If you are in charge of HR in a company that has more than 500 employees like one of our clients, and your top level management has an initiative to increase productivity, or just wants to gain better insights into current ongoings, you might sometimes feel that it is impossible to know what everyone is working on currently, how happy or productive they are, and whether some teams or employees might be too loaded with work. So you want to find a way to get your insights efficiently, and this is what a good time tracking solution should provide. Such software gives you an easy overview of what your employees are doing at any given time, if this is what you want to know, but also whether they are getting more or less productive over a specific period of time; if they have too much work to do, whether they are “morning birds” or “night owls” and so on. With these insights, it is easier to work together with your employees to optimize workflow, provide a better working atmosphere, and consequently bring up the productivity of the whole company. Of course, all under the condition that your employees’ work is dominantly computer-bound,” explains Ivan.

Smaller companies, however, seem to have a different motive. “Speaking of smaller to medium size businesses, many times owners or managers look for an easier way to monitor whether everyone is working as promised, or they want to use insights to reduce the waste of time,” explains Petrović. “But there have also been cases where business owners used time tracking to see whether their employees needed any additional training with the tools they use. If some of your employees are spending way more time on those Excel sheets or Google Translate then the rest of the team, that might suggest that it’s time for additional training in that specific area.”

Since large companies already have their own payroll accounting solutions and punch in/punch out systems, the analytics side of time tracking software here becomes much more significant. Ivan mentions security related questions, along with the need to integrate time tracking data with other data in the company.

“There is an increasing need in this field to provide ever more flexible solutions, balancing the transparency for the employees with solid protection of security and privacy, within the company, but also towards the outside. Integration with other systems is also important.”

Control or motivation?

The overall impression was that for companies like these time tracking would not be yet another control mechanism, but a tool for improving the insight of HR professionals in everyday work and interactions of their people as well. It seems that if you are willing to dig deeper into the metrics, you might discover some remarkable ongoings which would hardly be detected in traditional ways of performance management. For many managers, this feels like a big step forward.

Although the digitalization of HR activities has opened great opportunities in terms of increasing the speed and quality of analytical processes and providing greater insights into organizational affairs, while at the same time reducing costs, there are still some downsides to be looked after. Downsizing the HR departments or burdening HR professionals with technical details are the first threats to successful adoption and modernization of people management. The serious threat to privacy that technology presents is the main reason why the initiative for using such tools should and must come from the HR. Bearing all this in mind, we can conclude that the basic challenge of the profession will be to recognize, develop and exploit the positive potentials of digitalization, while at the same time avoid, or at least minimize the concomitant risks.


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Employee Experience & 3 More Reasons Why the Future Requires HR

Employee Experience & 3 More Reasons Why the Future Requires HR

HR

HR departments are the last thing fast growing companies pay attention to. In the race to become lean hypergrowth machines, many executives in the tech industry see HR simply as a nice to have, if not a symbol of the corporate culture they want to avoid. While it’s become common to start off without an HR department, now we’re seeing fast growing companies reach past the 50 person mark without any formal HR in sight.

With the onslaught of HR tech tools many companies are opting instead to buy solutions that will take care of everything from recruitment & onboarding to payroll and L&D. This is not only a trend affecting startups, bigger companies are now beginning to use HR tools to decentralize many processes placing them into the hands of managers and even the users themselves.

Unfortunately, HR has been relegated to the equivalent of the office hall monitor for way too long. Is this the end of the HR profession? Are we moving towards an age when HR can be completely replaced by tech?

What Tools Can Do:

People want choices. They want to be able to have some sort of control over the processes that affect them and not have to deal with paperwork or waiting. In this fast moving digital age there is an app for everything, including traditional HR functions such as: recruitment, onboarding, payroll, perks and vacation tracking, performance management and L&D. Self-service is becoming a trend, not only in our personal lives but also in the workplace.

Is HR Still Needed?

The answer is, more than ever. The millennial workforce is much more demanding than any other generation. What’s more, they’re much less likely to stick around if their demands aren’t met. A recent article by Gallup demonstrated that millennials are the generation that’s least engaged in the workplace and most likely to switch jobs, with six in ten saying they would be open to new job opportunities. Today with new tech tools that help your competitors recruit, even passive candidates, there’s no time to lose.

This means that employers need to create a more hands on unique experience to keep young talent engaged starting the day they come in the door. This includes curating and integrating tools into customized processes to make them more efficient, employee focused and reflect a company’s unique employer brand. Ultimately, tech tools are facilitators, not solutions. It’s now HR’s job to design a new type of organization that caters to the needs of its employees. Here are four ways the role of HR will change due to the rise of HR tech:

Creating the Employee Experience

Creating the ultimate employee experience has been recognized in Deloitte’s Human Capital Trends Report for the past few years as the key to attracting, retaining and engaging talent. No employee experience program should be the same. To not only attract talent but to attract the right talent, it’s essential to create a unique employer brand. With the rise of websites like Glassdoor, the more time HR spends creating a great experience for current employees, the more likely they’ll become brand ambassadors for the company.

Likewise, your people are different, give them options… but not too many. One of the most important roles Deloitte foresaw in its 2016 report was the need for HR to become a curator for this overly connected generation. With so many options for eLearning tools, communication channels and perks available, sometimes what this generation needs is a guide who can select and whittle down the vast array of distractions and choices presented on a daily basis.

While traditional HR functions may be moving more towards user oriented self-service, it’s HR’s job to choose tools that meet their people’s needs and work best within the organizational framework they’ve designed.

Organizational Architect

Another key aspect of creating the ultimate employee experience is to reinvent and rehabilitate decades old processes that employees distrust or even hate. Performance appraisals are one such process that have often gotten a bad rap. In traditional stack ranking style, they were unabashedly used to decide who would stay and who would be shown the door.

Today many HR departments are starting the process of rehabilitating performance management by getting rid of or reinventing the process to make it more focused on employee growth and development. Cementing the change they’re replacing reviews with employee driven feedback interactions, more frequent coaching conversations and even the opportunity to give upward feedback – a major departure from the so called ‘rank and yank’ system.

Culture

Each company has its own unique culture, whether it reflects what executives envisioned is another question. It’s not necessarily the job of HR to create their company’s culture but to take its values and mission and infuse them throughout all processes within the organization. A company’s core values are often described as its moral compass. As many recent cases show, this should not be taken lightly.

After fast growing tech company Zenefits was charged with taking short cuts on online broker license certifications they came out with a statement announcing that, “Zenefits now is focused on developing business practices that will ensure compliance with all regulatory requirements, and making certain that Zenefits operates with integrity as its No. 1 value.”

However, what must be remembered is that words and reality can be two different things. Your top leadership can profess a company’s values but you need a constant reinforcement of those values at every level of the organization to ensure they’ll really be followed. As the architect behind all people processes, putting HR in charge of strengthening and infusing values (with full support from top leadership) is the best way to ensure they’re fully integrated into your culture.

Translating People Data

Employee experience is not something that can be designed and put in place for life. Just like companies that aren’t constantly innovating their product, those which are not innovating their employee experience will lose out in the talent market. That’s why HR must create an always on engagement culture by frequently measuring and analyzing. People data can tell you when engagement levels are low but it can’t tell you what the root of the problem is. This is where HR must learn to identify the triggers through processes like employee journey mapping and then effectively communicate to executives the changes which need to be made through storytelling.

Conclusion

The great thing about the rise of HR tech is that it takes away more of the administrative tasks HR has had to deal with in the past and leaves professionals with more time to transform their organizations into great places to work. The challenge HR will face is adopting a new way of thinking about their profession and arming themselves with the tools they’ll need to bring their department and company forward in the future. For more info join our free employee experience email course.


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People on the Yacht in the Sea

How Skills Assessment For Interims Can Help Employers Hire Better Talent

Hоw Skills Assessment Fоr Interims Саn Hеlр Employers Hire Bеttеr Talent

Hiring thе bеѕt interim аnd contract workforce tо match uр wіth уоur company’s vision, culture and requirements hаѕ bееn оnе оf thе challenges thаt hаѕ continued tо plague businesses fоr а long time.  In today’s hiring market, thіѕ process саn bе achieved bу uѕіng skills assessment іn evaluating interim аnd contract workforce durіng recruitment process.

Mаnу people today receive job offers bесаuѕе thеу аrе deemed fit fоr thаt position оr due tо stellar interviews that work greatly for perm hires but may not have the same outcomes for interims. Hоw саn уоu bе ѕurе thаt аn individual wіll potentially transition seamlessly іntо уоur corporation аnd mesh wіth current company culture оr uphold company values for a short term they need to be there? Hоw dо уоu knоw thаt thе impression уоu receive frоm аn individual durіng аn interview wіll reflect thе individual’s daily work ethic, true personality, аnd anticipated contribution tо thе company? Moreover, how do you know that they have the right background, experience within a variety of sectors and real-time feedback on their assignments?

Tо gain insight іntо hоw а prospective interim wіll behave іn а specific situation оr view а specific environment, соnѕіdеr assessment оf skills fоr contractor’s, their attitudes and behaviours, to ensure you hire the best interim talent. Welcoming nеw team members’ оn board typically requires а transition period fоr bоth interim аnd employers. Gеttіng acclimated tо а nеw position, а nеw culture, аnd а nеw set оf standards саn bе quіtе challenging. Eѕресіаllу bеfоrе you’ve hаd а chance tо study уоur surroundings.

Making ѕurе уоu lookout fоr thе bеѕt skills fоr contractors аnd hiring bеѕt interim talent іѕ а uѕеful resource іn monitoring аnd determining whаt type оf individual wіll bе mоѕt suitable fоr а раrtісulаr position оr company. Bу performing аn in-depth skills and behaviour analysis оf potential future interim аnd contract workforce wіll hеlр tо optimise thе recruiting experience. Nоt оnlу dоеѕ іt aid іn selecting valuable people resources, but іt аlѕо helps tо save time іn regard tо thе interview process. Lооkіng оut fоr thе bеѕt skills fоr contractors аnd hiring bеѕt interim talent helps tо weed оut candidates thаt mау nоt offer thе skill sets thаt you’re lооkіng for, аnd tо highlight thоѕе individuals wіth experience аnd talents relevant tо а gіvеn position.

It also helps to hire managers and organisations learn more especially of their internal processes, biases and learning requirements in hiring the right talent, not just the one that “fits” in. Thеrе аrе ѕеvеrаl options required fоr assessing thе skills fоr contractors аnd hiring bеѕt interim talent however here wе list some of the basics to look out for:

  • Ability tо work іn а team structure if required, or alone if required
  • Ability tо mаkе decisions аnd solve problems
  • Ability tо plan, organise, аnd prioritise work
  • Ability tо verbally communicate wіth stakeholders іnѕіdе аnd оutѕіdе thе organisation
  • Ability tо obtain аnd process information
  • Ability tо analyse quantitative data
  • Technical knowledge related tо thе job
  • Proficiency wіth computer software programs
  • Ability tо create and/or edit written reports
  • Ability tо sell оr influence оthеrѕ depending on the role

Whіlе thе points noted аbоvе аrе basics fоr assessing interim аnd contract workforce. However, lооkіng оut fоr thе bеѕt skills fоr contractors аnd hiring bеѕt interim talent wіll save уоu а lot оf stress оf hаvіng tо lookout fоr а replacement еvеrу time fоr оnе position аѕ а result оf underperformance, especially if the only current was to hire is based upon biases of “fit” and “like for like” teams i.e. the fear of not hiring the right person with the right skills because they look and sound different to the rest of the business. To read more on similar topics explore our blogs; to speak with us about employer’s hubs and how we can help, get in touch. We are a free platform for interims with thousands of jobs refreshed daily, join us today.

About the Author:

Bhumika Zhaveri’s expertise lies in business strategy, change, human resources and talent management. Her experience is built over years in varied sectors where she has worked within Recruitment, Resourcing and HR. Now as Founder & CEO of InteriMarket a hybrid SaaS platform and an online marketplace for Interim Talent and In-House Recruitment & HR Teams. She is a firm believer of success through people, change and culture!


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Employee Experience – The XXI Century Corporate Super Power

Written by João Duarte, Content Director at Tap My Back.

Interviewing Jacob Morgan

Jacob Morgan is a 3x best-selling author, keynote speaker, and futurist. His latest book is The Employee Experience Advantage: How to Win the War for Talent by Giving Employees the Workspaces They Want, the Tools They Need and a Culture They Can Celebrate (Wiley, March 2017) which is based on an analysis of over 250 global organizations. Jacob’s work has been endorsed by the CEOs of: Cisco, Whirlpool, T-Mobile, Best Buy, SAP, Nestle, KPMG, Schneider Electric and many others.

Tap My Back, a tool that provides the simplest way to provide work recognition recently had the opportunity to talk with Jacob Morgan about the concept relying beyond his latest book, employee recognition. Jacob advocates this concept should be the major focus of companies aiming to attract and retain talent. This article provides a summary of the main ideas explored on the interview. Alternatively,  you can read or listen the full interview here: Employee experience – The XXI century corporate super power.

Nowadays, we’re living in such a rapidly and demanding world that the skills gap issue is turning into a big thing. Therefore, more than ever before the need to attract and retain talent is a huge issue for corporations around the world. In the end, “every organization in the world can exist without technology but no organization in the world can exist without people”. Bearing this in mind, the concept Jacob Morgan approached in his last book, employee experience, comes in the perfect timing. Companies need to seek out to provide the best possible interactions with their workforce, that is the only way to guarantee they have people delivering their best and sticking for the long run.

On the interview Jacob explained that employee experience is sort of the next step in what regards the way company’s manage workforce. It appears as an answer to the fact that “employee engagement has always acted as kind of an adrenaline shot inside of our organizations” –  Jacob Morgan.

He goes through a few best practices that major companies with the likes of Facebook, Google or Microsoft are adopting to improve their staff experience, highlighting three major aspects culture, technology and physical space. Jacob also confessed to Tap My Back that this concept of employee experience is something that the whole company should be aware and responsible for, even though he sees mainly HR related roles pushing it into company’s’ culture.

In the end of the interview, Jacob Morgan was questioned about the best advice he would provide to SMB companies looking to start from scratch implementing and improving the employee experience they provide. You can check his tips and the full interview here: Employee experience – The XXI century corporate super power.


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Recognize Employee Achievements: 5 Ways how to give Positive Feedback | Featured Image

Recognize Employee Achievements: 5 Ways how to give Positive Feedback

Recognize Employee Achievements: 5 Ways how to give Positive Feedback | Main Image

Feedback shouldn’t only be given when there’s a problem. It’s also important to let your employees know they’re on the right track and that they’re valued within the company. Recognizing achievements can signal to other employees the types of skills that should be enhanced and behavior that should be replicated. For those of you who are uncomfortable giving positive feedback, following the right steps will help you to deliver honest recognition that doesn’t feel forced or insincere.

Putting positive feedback to the test

In his insightful Ted Talk “What makes us feel good about our work?”, behavioral economist Dan Ariely describes an experiment he conducted on the correlation between recognition and motivation. In the experiment people were offered declining amounts of money to circle pairs of identical letters on a sheet of paper. In the first scenario, people had to write their name on the paper. When they were finished, they handed it to an experimenter who quickly scanned the paper, said “aha” and placed it on a pile. In the second scenario, the participants did not write their name on the paper. When they were finished, the experimenter placed the paper on the pile without looking at it. In the final scenario, the experimenter put the sheets directly into a shredder.

The results showed that people in the first scenario ended up working for half as much money as the people in the third scenario. Watching their work being destroyed immediately was extremely demotivating, despite being offered money to do an easy task over and over again. Surprisingly, it turns out that the average stopping point for people in the second scenario was almost the same as those in the third. As Mr. Ariely explained, “Ignoring people’s performance was almost as bad as shredding it in front of their eyes.” Even just a simple acknowledgment from the experimenter had a marked impact on the subjects’ motivation.

Why is positive feedback important?

A common misconception is that motivation in the workplace is primarily based on monetary rewards. It’s not always possible to give your employees a raise every time they do well, and surprisingly it might not be the strongest incentive either. A 2013 study by Make Their Day and Badgeville revealed that 83% of employees surveyed found recognition for contributions to be more fulfilling than rewards and gifts. Another 88% believed praise from managers in particular was either very or extremely motivating.

Positive feedback lets your employees know that they’re valued by the company and is especially important for building confidence in newer employees. It’s also helpful to give positive feedback when an employee improves in an area they had previously had difficulty with, making it very useful as a follow up to constructive feedback.

Don’t forget that your top performers also need positive feedback. Many managers tend to neglect their top performers when it comes to feedback because they see it more as a tool for helping improve the performance of employees who are struggling. Recognizing them for their efforts and showing appreciation are important steps to retaining your top talent.

While creating a positive feedback culture starts with managers, encouraging your employees to give positive feedback to each other is the step that will diffuse and institutionalize the practice within the office. The Make Their Day/Badgeville study reported that 76% of respondents saw praise from peers as very or extremely motivating. Peer-to-peer feedback can inspire better interpersonal relationships between employees and boost team spirit.

How to give positive feedback:

  1. Be specific

Avoid generic comments like “good job!” Explain what your employee did in particular so they can learn what type of behavior they should keep up in future. Instead of saying “you’re a great team player” describe what they did and why you appreciated it. “The extra coaching you gave to the new recruits on the last project helped them to learn the appropriate procedures, and helped our department to reach our deadline on time.” This will also help managers who are uncomfortable giving positive feedback. If you stick with stating the facts and why you thought their performance deserved recognition you can avoid clichés.

  1. Timing

Timing is an important aspect of giving positive feedback. If you wait too long both you and the receiver might forget the details of their performance. This will undermine one of the main reasons for giving positive feedback: pointing out positive behavior so it can be encouraged and replicated. If you put it off for too long, when the employee finally receives appreciation for their work, so much time may have passed that it could feel more like an afterthought. If you don’t have time to speak with them straight away, send them a message or email. Letting the opportunity to give praise go by in some instances and not others can unintentionally create double standards.

  1. Get into the habit of giving feedback more frequently

Failing to recognize when your team has gone above and beyond can demotivate them. Not recognizing their efforts will tell them they simply met expectations. Getting into the habit of giving positive feedback more often will motivate your employees to achieve more.

Be careful not to base positive feedback exclusively on results. Sometimes even if an employee puts forth their best effort, a project could fall through due to funding, a client may decide to go in a different direction, etc. It’s at these times that positive feedback can be most effective in counteracting the demotivating feeling your employee may be experiencing after not seeing their efforts materialize.

  1. Set goals and new challenges

Even if you only have positive feedback to give, you should encourage your employees to continue improving by helping them set goals and new challenges. This is especially important for top performers who may become demotivated if they don’t feel they’re developing or being challenged.

Start by asking them if they have any professional goals or objectives they’d like to accomplish in the next few months, or in the next few years. Consider how these short and long term goals could fit with the company’s objectives. Then offer support finding ways they could achieve these goals, for example, taking on a stretch assignment or participating in a training course. Keep in mind that the goals you’re setting together should be challenging but achievable, and won’t cut into your employee’s work-life balance.

  1. Encourage a positive feedback culture

A 2009 Mckinsey Quarterly survey found that respondents saw praise from their managers, leadership attention and a chance to lead projects or task forces as no less or even more effective motivators than cash based incentives. Aside from giving praise, you can also recognize your employees’ achievements by suggesting they give feedback and coaching to peers who are having difficulties in that particular area. This can help top employees develop leadership skills, and at the same time boost the performance levels of other employees.

Alternatively, you could suggest they give a presentation on this project, skill, etc. to the team. This will demonstrate an example of what you’re looking for to other employees and reinforce your recognition of their success. If employees share their successes with the rest of the team more often it will help foster a sense of community. Encouraging your employees to give more feedback and empowering them with new leadership skills is one of the best ways to keep them challenged and motivated.

Summary and take-aways:

An effective manager consistently recognizes their employees’ strengths and achievements with positive feedback. Employees who feel their work is appreciated by their manager and peers are highly motivated and more likely to stick with their current job. Giving more positive feedback can be a great way to encourage team spirit and a positive work culture.

  • Give examples and be specific
  • Don’t wait too long
  • Give feedback more frequently
  • Don’t base feedback on results
  • Set goals and new challenges
  • Encourage peer-to-peer feedback and sharing of achievements

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Enhance Engagement and Retention with People Analytics

Enhance Engagement and Retention with People Analytics

Employee Group

An organization that provides top wages and benefits loses a great employee to a competitor for no apparent reason. We can’t stop employees from leaving unless we have a plan to make them stay.

“Retention is the single most important thing for growth” – Alex Shultz (VP Growth, Facebook)

What is the biggest and most intractable restraint to growth faced by companies doing business today? For many organizations, it’s the lack of appropriate talent. The reason: As more organizations have expanded their operations, the need for talent has skyrocketed. But there isn’t enough skilled labor to fill the demand. As a result, one risks losing the talent to other organizations. And with so many companies drawing on a limited talent pool, the competition is fierce.

Glassdoor’s statistical analysis reveals top three factors that matter most for employee retention.

  • Company culture
  • Employee salary
  • Stagnating for long periods of time in the same job

By examining the survey responses of more than 100,000 employees in numerous organizations, Gallup also discovered common themes among the reasons employees chose to remain with a company or to leave it. The reasons employees chose to stay with a company included the following:

  • I feel my job is important to the company.
  • My supervisor cares about me and gives me regular feedback.
  • I know my job expectations.
  • My opinions count.
  • I have opportunity to do my best work every day.
  • My career development is encouraged.

All the above reasons are part of what is often known is “engagement”. Organizations, or teams with high levels of employee engagement score high in most if not all of these. Higher engagement levels not only significantly affect employee retention, productivity and loyalty, but are also a key link to customer satisfaction, company reputation and overall stakeholder value.

OWEN Analytics, who is are providing AI-based people solutions have developed a robust and comprehensive methodology to measure and enhance retention. They run quick pulse surveys that are a combination of “ME” questions (My opinions count), and “WE” questions (I would like to appreciate the following individuals for helping me in my day-to-day work). Open feedback questions are interspersed as well to understand sentiment and key issues.

This helps understand engagement drivers not only from an individual employee perspective, but also from a team dynamics perspective. After all, our engagement with the organization is actually our engagement with the people in the organization – hence understanding those relationships is critical in better understanding attrition. This is the science of ONA (Organization Network Analysis). The example below illustrates how ONA can be used to understand team dynamics in a pharmaceutical sales organization.

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Clearly, the more cohesive teams have better performance and lower attrition.

Now that we have looked at engagement comprehensively, we need to look at what other factors drive employee turnover, as shown below:

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As per Deloitte, moving beyond the analysis of employee engagement and retention, analytics and AI have come together, giving companies a much more detailed view of management and operational issues to improve operational performance.

Exploring People Analytics

People Analytics, a discipline that started as a small technical group that analyzed engagement and retention, has now gone mainstream as per Deloitte. Organizations are redesigning their technical analytics groups to build out digitally powered enterprise analytics solutions.

OWEN Analytics specializes in helping organizations improve retention using AI driven techniques. As per OWEN, “Machine learning predictions can be sufficiently accurate and thus very effective in enabling targeted interventions for retaining high risk employees. However, using such techniques requires significant expertise in developing predictive models and experience in interpreting the outputs.

HR leaders and aspiring analysts needn’t be disheartened though. One can start with some very simple analyses using nothing more than basic Excel and develop reasonably good retention strategies” Read their blog here: Manage attrition using simple analytics.

OWEN uses a systematic retention approach to understand, predict and drive necessary actions.

04

Predictive models are developed using various Machine Learning algorithms (e.g. Decision Trees, Random Forests, Logistic Regression, Support Vector Machines and Artificial Neural Networks) and best fit algorithm based on the accuracy and business context selected to predict flight risk.

Once the predictions are drivers are available, simple action planning templates to develop and track interventions are used to retain high potential employees.

Retention Challenge

The retention challenge is the result of increasing job mobility in the global knowledge economy where workers average six employers over the course of a career, coupled with the baby boomer retirement “brain drain” and a smaller generation of workers entering their prime working age during this time. It is occurring in all types of organizations across all management levels. This study empirically investigates whether the impact of an organization’s strategic orientation toward knowledge management, the learning culture it supports, and specific human resource practices impact knowledge worker retention and organization performance.

The Eight Elements of the High-Retention Organization as per SAS Institute

  • Clear Sense of Direction and Purpose
  • Caring Management
  • Flexible Benefits and Schedule Adapted to the Needs of the Individual
  • Open Communication
  • A Charged Work Environment
  • Performance Management
  • Recognition and Reward
  • Training and Development

As per Asia – Pacific Journal of Research, preventing turnover is a wise step to implement because it saves money, time, and effort. The company should spend a considerable effort and time to prevent turnover. It is better for an organization to keep experienced and productive employees than to hire new ones. It should invest in its employees through training programs, creating a good hiring process, and engrain them with strong organizational vision. To effectively solve turnover problems, every company needs to address the causes of the turnover. The causes of turnover might not be the same for every company. Below are the most common and affecting factors for preventing turnover.

It’s no more a secret that People Analytics plays a vital role for organizations in dealing with challenges of employee engagement and retention.

About the Authors:

Soumyasanto Sen — Blogger, Speaker and Evangelist in HR Technologies. Engaging with OWEN Analytics.

Professional Advisor, Consultant, Investor in HR Tech. Having 12+ years of experience focusing on Strategies, People Analytics, Cloud, UX, Security, Integration and Entrepreneurship in Digital HR Transformation.

Tej Mehta — Founder & CEO of OWEN Analytics.

Entrepreneur, advisor, student of social sciences. Founded i-Cube as an intersection of analytics and social sciences. Previously, as Vice President with Seabury Group, led strategy and operational transformation programs across several clients in the airline and aerospace industries. Aeronautical engineer, MBA from University of Southern California.


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What Millennials Really Want In 2017 | The HR Tech Weekly®

What Millennials Really Want In 2017

What Millennials Really Want In 2017 | Woobe

Conventional wisdom holds that Millennials are entitled, easily distracted, impatient, self-absorbed, lazy, and unlikely to stay in any job for long. Furthermore, they want free food; they want unlimited vacation; they want to run the company two days after they arrive. But, on the positive side, they’re also looking for purpose, feedback, and personal life balance in their work. Companies of all kinds are obsessed with understanding them better. Let’s talk, for once, about the positive attitudes:

  • Millennials will sacrifice salary for a better work environment: 25- to 35-year-olds said they’d be willing to give up an average of $7,600 in pay for a better situation at the office, such as more career development and a healthier work/life balance.
  • Millennials want to work for the greater good: 73% of Millennials seek meaningful work at an organization with a mission they support. In fact, a remarkable 90% say they want to use their skills for good, suggesting that Millennials seek workplaces with a culture of altruism that enables them to give back. Millennials also care about workplace culture, with 77% noting it is just as or more important than salary and benefits.
  • Millennials want to be entrepreneurial: giving your employees the flexibility and freedom, where possible, to be their own boss with a focus exclusively on results, produces greater employee engagement, loyalty and ultimately better business results.
  • Millennials want to be coached: they crave and respond to a good, positive coach. Overall, Millennials want feedback 50% more often than other employees. Their number one source of development is their manager, but only 46% thinks that their manager delivered on their expectations for feedback.
  • Millennials want to design their own career paths: an essential component of Millennial employee engagement is letting them have a voice in how their careers are structured. The one-size-fits-all approach to building careers simply doesn’t work for Millennials’ ambitions. They desire amazing, personalized experiences and the chance to prove their abilities and quickly rise through the ranks. Unlike the traditional career paths, which tended to be more linear, Millennials are forging nonlinear and unique career paths that are aligned with a personal sense of purpose.

Leaders are increasingly turning their attention to the millennial generation, whose attitudes and preferences may profoundly reshape workplaces and society. Like those in every generation before them, millennials strive for a life well-lived. They want good jobs and they also want to be engaged in those jobs. In addition to finding engaging jobs, millennials want to have high levels of well-being. They also want a purposeful life and active community and social ties. Are millennials getting what they want out of work and life? Not so much. Gallup’s latest report, finds that millennials struggle to find good jobs that engage them. Millennials have the highest rates of unemployment and underemployment and only 29% of employed millennials are engaged at work.

Their overall well-being nearly matches that of Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, meaning millennials have not been able to forge better paths for themselves, and that’s because of the corporate environment that is not ready to deal with this generation. They need to teach them the social skills that they are missing because of the digital and hyperconnected world they live in. Relationships are built on little things and, since trust doesn’t build in one big event, they have to create mechanism where they allow for the little interactions to happen. To achieve this, you can’t rely on the current social tools or add a new one because, as a matter of fact, too much connectivity kills connectivity.

The key it’s to bring back real human contact but, for large organisations, the only available solution is organising big corporate events which unfortunately aren’t effective. That’s because when you put 100 people in the same room, and hope they will talk, they tend instead to stay with people who already know. A better solution would be organising 25 small events of 4 people each:  that’s how you create new links between people. Unfortunately, finding the right person at the right time for these events is a nightmare without the right tool.

Woobe solves this problem with an innovative approach: managing profiles (age, seniority, departments, etc.) instead of individuals and adopting push communication instead of pull communication. In few clicks, and in less than 5 minutes, you can create a campaign of hundred micro-events! Watch how simple it is in this video:


Source: What Millennials really want in 2017 – Woobe

Keeping your finger to the pulse: HR’s digital solutions for 2017

Keeping your finger to the pulse: HR’s digital solutions for 2017

Man with MacBook Pro on wooden pier

It’s not uncommon to learn that some businesses are reluctant to update the tried and tested methods. It’s not difficult to get stuck in a digital rut. Particularly if companies have been trading for many years. Time has taught us to think if it’s not broken don’t fix it, but in this case; we’re wrong.

Taking on paperless processes

Technology is everywhere. Today businesses are expected to be online in some capacity. And whilst it’s understandable that in a hands on industry like retail it might feel unnecessary to take on new tech, from a business perspective; it makes no sense not to.

Spending time hunting through piles of paper slows down response time in an age when most answers are a click away. Eliminating paper not only updates your methods and reduces the amount of paper your company consumes. But it also reduces the time and money spent managing it. It also ensures that none of your documents go missing, that all your information easily searchable and backed up in a centralised location keeping all your information is secure. By taking on digital solutions your company can embrace these benefits whilst upping your efficiency and professional image.

So, what’s the best way to do this in HR?

Aside from the hundreds of cloud solutions that are adaptable and available today, there are different operating systems with a HR focus. Charlie, Zoho, and People HR are just a select few to look at. Adopting these will make your HR department more efficient, and help take your paper based work online. Managing the day to day processes typical of a HR department. Such as, payroll, team details, holidays and sick days.

HR trends – what to look out for

Now in 2017, different principles apply. These recent trends are what you need to be aware of in order to stay ahead.

A millennial workforce

The biggest trend for recruiting will be concerned with millennials. Unlike their previous baby-boomer generation, millennials are a more demanding workforce[1]. They are more likely to to need constant validation, communicate through social media and require a lot more guidance. The challenge for HR is to attract and retain this talent in an innovative way. And there are a variety of techniques and apps that can help with this.

  • Start regularly recognising good work – Boost employee confidence in their work by using TapMyBack. This app works through peer-to-peer recognition, and gives managers great insight to their teams on where needs improvement or celebrating.
  • Continuous assessments – this will mean employees are able to recognise any problems and correct them. This will encourage growth in their role and identify when an employee is suitable for a promotion.
  • Non-traditional performance reviews – With a reputation as negative and demotivating, the majority of staff dread their performance reviews. Tools like OrangeHRM can help you easily track progress and produce reviews on your employees, giving you time to focus on improving this process.
  • Have your social media experts follow relatable trends for millennials – this will help to engage with them regularly whilst ensuring current and any prospective employees relate to your brand. Free tools like Social Mention and Twazzup can ensure you keep on top of this.

Maintaining company culture and hiring the right team

2016 found that 84% of candidates would consider leaving their current job if a more attractive role was available[2], and with the millennial generation always on the lookout for better opportunities; finding the right person and then retaining talent is becoming more of a challenge for HR. This can mean sieving through a high volume of C.V’s often in a short period of time, especially around the seasonal period, making it easy for an applicant to go unrecognised. Which leads on to…

Updating processes around recruitment

One way HR managers are attempting to become proactive in their recruiting search is by looking to social media. Research from Aberdeen Group has seen 73% of 18-34 year olds find their most recent job through social media[3]. And as social platforms have a large millennial population[4]; it not only makes sense to recruit from these online sources, but it also financially makes sense as it’s a very cost effective solution. A software options such as JobVite are available to simplify your social recruiting process. Along with others like HireRabbit and BranchOut.

Electronic signature solutions are also a very effective way of streamlining your recruitment process. As soon as you have selected your successful candidate you can email their contract through the e-signature platform. They can then review and sign according to their schedule, or even on-the-go, and contracts are returned as soon as they’re completed. Removing the need for in-store visits and cut out printing and postage costs. Try Signable’s free trial for an e-sig solution.

Take on new technology today

Don’t waste your time with systems that are time consuming and feel counterproductive. Using software as a solution means your business is constantly innovating and streamlining it’s approach. And as a report by Business Review Europe highlights how “new technology adoption is crucial to business success … businesses can only progress as quickly as IT enables them to – it’s business at the speed of IT.”[5]

About the Author:

bio-pic

Jessie Davies is a Marketing Manager at Signable and also goes by the title “Content Queen”. Signable is an electronic signature platform that helps businesses get their documents finalised faster. As Content Queen she ensures that Signable’s customer’s resource for support, educational content and industry updates are always available and clear. Jessie also makes sure the Twitter feed is full of hilarious reaction gifs and sarcastic comments.

Website | Twitter | Facebook

References:

[1] Millennial workforce - Source

[2] Recruitment stats - Source

[3] Social recruitment stats - Source

[4] Social media millennial stats - Source

[5] Business Review Europe - Source

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