Ideas for Organizing Team Building Activities

As many experienced HR managers already know, when you have a team that works well together, you also have a team that’s more effective and productive. On the other hand, such teams don’t simply fall from the sky – HR managers work hard to make it happen. For some employees, hearing the words “team building” instantly makes them develop migraines from rolling their eyes over. This is because, even though they should be, not many team building activities are actually fun. We’ve helped put together a few ideas that will help you organize fun and exciting team building activities that employees will enjoy.

Paper plane competition

If you’d like to help your team work better together, throw a small competition in. You can organize a paper plane race, but everyone has to build their own. Luckily, all you need to have is an empty hallway, a bit of tape that you are going to use to mark the launch line, and a measuring stick (or a measuring tape). Alternatively, you can play it outside when it’s not too windy. The trick is to give each team a piece of card stock that they will have to use to build their paper place, and to help them out a bit, make sure to show them several different airplane designs they can try to replicate. The team that builds the plane that will fly the farthest is the winner. Also, everyone should decorate their planes so the judge knows which plane belongs to which team.

Play dare Jenga

For this activity, you need a Jenga set, preferably the one that has extra large blocks. The good side of this activity is that it’s simple to set up and allows players to really test their limits. Each block should have a dare written on it (you can write it on a piece of paper and tape it to each block). Don’t go wild with dares, though – 15 pushups/squats, singing “Baby Shark”, and wearing an ugly sweater or a hat for the rest of the day are funny and mild enough for everyone to accept and enjoy doing them. Make sure each block has a dare, tack them up just like in Jenga, and invite everyone to come and play. Another great thing is that this can easily be done as a relaxing Friday activity and doesn’t require much preparation.

Organize a bike ride

There are only a few things that are more fun than leaving the city and going exploring for a day, so why not use this activity to bring your team closer together? You don’t have to spend a fortune and organize a sightseeing tour of another city – all you need are bikes and a bit of planning. There are probably many interesting places to see around the city, and when you do a bit of research, pick a spot you would like to take your team to. Invite everyone on a biking tour, and see how well they are all getting along outside the office. You can find great Bikes Online if you know that some of the employees don’t have their own bikes, and make sure everyone brings their sunglasses and water bottles. Once you get to the place, throw a picnic and play board games, or just allow everyone to relax and explore the environment.

Do a ‘Zombie escape’

For this activity, you’re going to need a bit more room, a rope, one key, and a stack of clues (you can use anything between 5 and 1, depending on how much time you’re planning to have the team spend on this activity). Before the game start, have one team member volunteer to play the zombie, and encourage them to go all in: arms outstretched, screeching “braaaiiins,” and stumbling around. Invite everyone to an empty room, turn around and dramatically “lock” the door, and after that point out to the “zombie” who is tied in the corner of the room. Even though they are tied, the zombie should have a foot of leeway, and every five minutes they get another foot of rope. In the meantime, the team has to work together to solve the puzzles and find the hidden key so they can leave the room before they get “eaten”.

Take them on a paintball field

No matter how well the team gets along, sometimes the stress of everyday office life and deadlines gets to you. If people are feeling frustrated and overworked, it might be a good idea to take them outside and engage them in an interesting and uncommon activity. Paintball is considered one of the best team building activities because it allows everyone to engage all of their senses and handle all of their frustrations and stress in a healthy way. Divide the people properly: bosses and CEOs shouldn’t be in the same team, but they should stand with their employees. People will love having an ‘excuse’ to shoot their superiors, they will develop their communication and will work much better in a team. In the end, you will have a group of exhausted and happy people who have spent the day outside, shooting others with paintball guns, and having fun.

Walking on eggshells

For this exercise, you are going to have to buy a carton of eggs, and find some simple construction materials such as plastic wrap, straws, rubber bands, balloons, newspaper, some tape, etc. Also, for this exercise, you need to find a place that you won’t mind getting messy (think about parking lots, these are always a good idea because nobody would mind). Divide the entire group into several smaller teams, had them the materials and an egg, and give them about half an hour to come up with a solution that will help protect the egg. They can construct a box, a bag, a carrier, or any other thing they think that will protect the egg. The task is to drop the egg from a certain height (choose the height before you start) and not break it. If you happen to end up with a tie, you can increase the height a bit until there is only one winner. Alternatively, you can boil the eggs first and have the competition inside.

Minefield

If you have an ambitious team on your hands, you can try having them go through a “minefield”. Fortunately, you don’t need much preparation, just an empty room (or even an empty hallway) and some common office items (boxes, desks, shelves, trash cans, fruit bowls, etc). Use these office items to create a set of obstacles (set the mines, so to speak). Group should not be divided into teams but into pairs, and one of the partners should wear a blindfold. The other person is the ‘responsible’ one and they should guide the blindfolded person through the ‘minefield’ without having them bump into or step onto any obstacle. The trick is that the person who is supposed to guide is not allowed to set foot onto the field, but has to only use their voice to help the other navigate. You can start off slowly ad then make it progressively difficult. In the end, the pairs will learn to listen more carefully and give clearer and simpler instructions.

Spider web, spider web…

If you’d like to test everyone’s agility and flexibility, have them play the “spider web” game .for this, you will need to tape a couple of pieces of string across a doorway at different heights. One should be placed at approximately three-and-a-half feet while the other should be put a bit higher, at about five feet. Explain the rules: each string is a dangerous and highly poisonous spider web that melts the flesh of everyone that touches it (or something equally dramatic). Divide the people into two (or more) teams and instruct them to help each other go through the opening without touching the strings. After everyone is on the other side, tape more pieces of string, and make it more difficult.

Online karaoke party

Even if all of your company’s employees are working remotely because of corona virus, there are still some funny games you can play online to help bring them all closer together. Throw an online karaoke party for everyone! You don’t need much – you don’t have to book a place, bring the machine, and negotiate the price of drinks. Everyone should just stay at home and use their computers to try and be the best karaoke singers in the company. If you’d like to take it to the next level, make it into a competition: hand out points, make up rules, and compare everyone’s high scores to find winners.

Whose office?

Another useful icebreaking game you can play remotely is the “Whose office is it?” Everyone should send you several photos of their home office beforehand, and you can use any file sharing tool to show them to the rest of the team. You can spice it up and ask about specific coffee mugs, plants, cushions, and wall décor too. You can send one photo by one or you can send them all at once, mark them with numbers or symbols, and have people guess whose photos is whose. If you want to take it to the next level, try having everyone guess whose desktop background is it, or even compare the views of the office window.

If you’re hoping to have a team that’s going to be successful, work well together, and be incredibly effective, you really have to make sure that your team-building skills are on point. Activities that are meant to bring your team together are many, and just because something sounds great on paper, doesn’t mean it will work in real life. Get to know your team a bit better before you suggest any activities, it will save you a lot of trouble (and some money too). In the end, if you do it right, you’ll help your team connect and function a lot better, resulting in a better workplace dynamic.

The Role of AI in Human Resources

Author: Kim Coombs, Talent Director, EMEA at Riverbed Technology

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is improving human resources (HR), streamlining processes and empowering employees to perform better. Employee data that was once banished to the archives can now be combined with the huge volume of data running through a business’ network to identify talent gaps, learning and development initiatives and provide recommendations to HR professionals and managers.

It is becoming clear that the future success of businesses will be defined by how well they are able to optimise the combination of human and automated work.

There have been some controversial headlines surrounding automation in the workplace and earlier this year, the World Economic Forum projected that the demand for ‘unique’ human skills will grow. While its research suggests 75 million current jobs will be displaced as artificial intelligence takes over more routine aspects of work, 133 million new jobs will be created. This report concludes that skills in both emotional intelligence and technical intelligence – like technology design and programming – will be essential for the future workforce.

HR needs to help employees strengthen their core skills and capabilities through targeted training or development initiatives. On top of this, they are responsible for proactive candidate selection as part of the recruitment process, which involves an excessive amount of time, resource and admin. AI is opening up new opportunities to enhance the human experience and is expanding the remit of the HR function within a business. It is important for business leaders to consider the introduction of AI-led infrastructure as an opportunity to improve existing, outdated, and sometimes archaic processes and message the benefits of these changes down to their managers and employees.

Kim Coombs photo1
Kim Coombs, Talent Director, EMEA at Riverbed Technology

The human experience

With the introduction of AI, businesses are positioned better than ever to improve their employees’ human experience. In the modern enterprise, AI is already beginning to streamline admin heavy tasks to free up time for employees to focus on adding value to the broader business.

For example, team leaders and middle management are often required to make the same decisions over and over again, including approving time off requests, approving timecard exceptions and scheduling staff. If you speak to managers performing these tasks, you will often find their perspective is the same: they are repetitive, time-consuming, and while relevant, deliver little value. These are precisely the tasks that AI can tackle first —  the routine, daily, difficult processes that will free up the manager to handle more strategic management matters.

With less time spent on the high touch, low value tasks, managers can be far more aligned with their employees’ needs, boosting employee wellbeing and increasing staff retention. In addition to the general alleviation of admin, AI is also making huge strides in the realms of learning and development.

 

Training talent

There is no “one size fits all” approach to learning and development. As the war on talent grows ever more competitive, organisations that can provide their employees tailored opportunities to grow will set themselves apart. Traditionally doing this has involved significant manual workforce auditing and data analysis before programmes can be put in place. However, with the latest developments in predictive and prescriptive analytics, this heavy lifting no longer falls within the remit of the HR team.

AI has the power to monitor business performance and create bespoke suggestions around talent management and recruitment. This technology feeds off data so unfortunately this is redundant if HR does not engage with the technology and embed AI into the workforce’s natural workflow. The more HR engages with the technology and nourishes it with use cases; the more mature the artificial decision making will become. Supporting use on this scale requires a significant cultural shift. Once this shift occurs, HR can begin to embrace more creative and engaging ways to implement learning and development, with actionable data points already provided for them.

 

Combined intelligence

It will be a combination of human and artificial intelligence that will ultimately drive success for the future enterprise. For an AI implementation to demonstrate its full worth, businesses need to first fully embrace digital change in every aspect of their business. Any system is only as fast as its slowest link, and the goal of using AI to free up managers to solve more substantial organisational challenges will never be achieved if manual, high-touch processes and policies remain.

Staff must be onboarded and reskilled effectively. The IT infrastructure should be able to support higher volumes of data, and senior management needs to ensure digital transformation initiatives are given adequate funding and support.

As AI alleviates admin heavy tasks, roles and responsibilities will begin to shift, enabling the workforce to add a significant layer of additional value to their business. More importantly, workers will be able to focus on tasks that are far more engaging and fulfilling. This can only be achieved if HR teams begin to adopt this technology and implement new processes to support AI adoption in the wider business. The winner in all of this will ultimately prove to be the human experience.

ServiceNow Research Assesses Impact of Digital Transformation on Employees

New research from ServiceNow, a leading enterprise cloud based provider of digital workflows, reveals employees in EMEA companies, embracing workplace automation, report greater job satisfaction (62%), customer satisfaction (71%) boosted productivity (72%) and increased time for creativity (62%). Two thirds say workplace automation improves their organisation’s financial performance and nearly half believe they benefit from job creation.

EMEA employees express that the rise in digitisation enables them to benefit from automating menial tasks, subsequently improving their opportunities for advancement (64%) and more meaningful work. Yet fewer than one in three (27%) of companies studied (27%) have automated the processes with which they work, leaving over two thirds of work processes with substantial manual activity.

9119 Infographic.indd

Employees worry more about change than fear of machines

There has been much rhetoric around ‘fear of machines’, yet employees studied worry more about change than robots taking their jobs:

  • 31% are concerned about learning new skills or processes and 28% worry about changing the way their job is performed
  • Only 17% worry about losing their job
  • Employees in highly digitised companies report they benefit from increased job creation (42%) as opposed to only 23% in less automated companies (23%)
  • 86% view AI technologies as the future of work
  • Under a fifth (16%) fear being told what to do by a machine

Employees have a desire to learn and improve digital skills

  • 66% of employees have a desire to learn or improve their digital skills
  • 15% say their job requires advanced digital skills
  • 75% believe they have the digital skills required to perform their job well
  • Only 18% find adapting to digitised work processes difficult

Increased financial success

Employees in ‘highly automated’ organisations are more likely than those with less automated processes to report that their firms have high revenue growth, exceed financial goals and are much more profitable than competitors.

  • 55% of those in highly automated companies see higher profitability than their competitors, compared to only 31% in less automated companies
  • In highly automated companies, 21% see ‘much higher’ profitability vs. 5% for others
  • 36% of highly automated companies report that they exceeded their financial goals compared to just 16% for others

“Highly automated companies are making use of digital workflows to simplify complex tasks, respond rapidly to users’ needs and take a predictive approach to maintenance,” says Chris Pope, VP Innovation, ServiceNow. “Automation enables employees to reclaim time spent on unfulfilling tasks and refocus it on more meaningful work. The result is significantly greater efficiency, productivity and job satisfaction compared to companies with more manually-led operations.

“Activities such as resolving customer issues are critical to customer and employee satisfaction, so they should receive more focus from an automation standpoint in the future. The question businesses need to be asking now is how they can make the necessary changes to realise these benefits,” adds Pope.

Guarantee Employee Job Satisfaction with Digital Workflows

Author: Chris Pope, VP Innovation, ServiceNow

The idea that company employees discuss and share their inner musings on corporate secrets when standing around the water cooler is probably more down to the movies than it is related to any form of reality. But if people are talking at work, one of the up-and-coming topics these days is their workflow—or lack of it.

Regardless of whether people talk at the water cooler, the tea station, or while queuing for lunch, we all discuss our working life experiences with each other in an informal way. It’s a sort of supplement―or you might say antidote—to human resources. And it’s where the crux of working lives is really played out.

So, in an increasingly connected and digitized world, may I suggest that the thread of water cooler conversations might be shifting slightly? Armed with new tools to transform the way many company processes are being carried out, people may now actually start discussing the state of their digital workflows and measuring their job satisfaction as a result.

A new yardstick for job satisfaction

People are now looking at the way work really gets done inside their organization in a far more granular and analytical way. Regardless of whether or not an individual is fully aware and cognizant of the digital workflow that their role may fall into, they are probably in one, nonetheless.

What everyone will know, instinctively, is that there is a flow of work between customers, partners and other members of an organization. What we can do with digital workflows is more accurately locate areas where work can be carried out more efficiently.

More than ever before we also know that people have more choice about the technology they use every day. We’ve witnessed the rise of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to work and the general consumerization of IT that came with it.

These experiences should tell us that if you don’t give people the right tools, then they will go and look for them. Equally, if you don’t give people the right applications, engagement systems and wider workflow patterns, then they will instinctively go and look for them, or make them.

Unrestrained innovation in a digitally native territory

The shift to digital business brings with it new opportunities. Non-techie business people are starting to embrace so called low-code software application development platforms that allow them to build elements of app functionality that work just the way they want them to.

As these new freedoms play out in the workplace, firms need to think about the unknown factors. Unbridled and unrestrained innovation is all very well, but the problem with custom-built point solutions is that they often do one thing well, but fail to provide scope for enterprise-wide scalability or an ability to integrate across the entire organisation.

If we think about platform-level technologies, we can build that innovation factor into software that is digitally native to the cloud era and so ready for a more structured approach. Because these applications have been built in a digitally native territory, they will be able to leverage fully integrated native device capabilities, such as maps, camera, and so on.

The virtuous circle of workflows

If we hinge our business models around digital workflows that define what data lives where, then we can more easily react to change and uncover new streams of profitable operation. Digitizing workflows means we can use defined data where it has the right impact, but also channel unstructured data to the data lake.

But even the information in the data lake need not go to waste―we can apply Machine Learning (ML) to these data resources and use algorithms to find patterns in business transactions where we weren’t even looking for them to drive new business outcomes. This can be a virtuous circle because workflows can be tuned and changed based upon the new insights uncovered.

The business process you didn’t know about

The best work processes are very often the ones that you follow, but that you didn’t even know about. If we define digital workflows and build our operational models around them, then we can increase productivity and create great experiences for employees who want to work anywhere and at any time.

A lot of employees have to take actions throughout the day that move the organization forward, but often these same actions prevent them from doing high-value work. It’s time to transform old, manual ways of working into modern digital workflows, so employees and customers get what they need, when they need it.

Create a joined-up experience

Kicking off digital workflow initiatives and getting your transformation started can be a real challenge and as a result, many companies struggle to even start their efforts. First of all, we all have disjointed internal systems and processes that make it hard to connect the dots. Trying to navigate these can feel like unravelling a ball of yarn, so the more you learn, the more complicated they seem.

Once you make sense of the systems and processes, you have to figure out the myriad tools and solutions that drive these. The end result you should be aiming for is a common, workflow-driven experience layer that is consistent across the systems in your organization.

Your typical company employee might still be more likely to discuss holiday plans, managerial peeves and whether or not the associate in accounts is being a pain about expense reports, but the water cooler conversation around ‘how is your workflow?’, is coming. Are you digitally hydrated yet?

About the author

Chris Pope - ServiceNow

As ServiceNow’s global VP of Innovation, Chris brings more than 15 years of C-level executive experience with leading technology solutions and platforms across Product Management and Strategy. Chris also has the rare, added-value, experience of having been a ServiceNow customer multiple times so he understands the client and the vendor perspectives on business transformation. Chris’ proven track record working at and with the largest organisations globally, has seen him recognised as a thought leader in process and methodology. He holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Electronic Engineering from De Montfort University in the UK, and is a well-published author and contributor to many leading digital publications and blogs.

Benefits of Using Humor in the Workplace

How can you benefit by making your everyday office life more fun?

adult-chill-connection-450271.jpg

Why should you use humor at the workplace?

Using humor in the workplace has many benefits. Office humor can come in many different forms – it can be an office joke, prank or funny employee awards event.

Any event, no matter how big or small, infused with humor can brighten up a regular, everyday life at the office and bring a smile to everyone’s face.

The benefits of using humor in the workplace

Besides making you and your colleagues feels good and less stressed, using humor at the workplace has many additional, proven benefits. Dr. David Abramis at Cal State Long Beach has studied fun at work for years.

He discovered that employees who have fun on the job are more creative, more productive, better decision-makers and get along better with co-workers. They also have fewer absentee, late, and sick days than people who aren’t having fun.

Therefore, the main benefits of using humor at the workplace are:

  • Increased employee engagement
  • Increased employee productivity
  • Lower absenteeism
  • Decreased turnover rates.

These are certainly some very good reasons to have some fun at the office. Aren’t they?

Rules for using humor at the workplace

A good office humor is the one that everyone can enjoy and laugh about. Be careful not to go overboard and hurt somebody’s feelings or embarrass or humiliate your coworkers.  

How to introduce humor at your workplace?

Here are 2 great ways to introduce humor to your workplace:

  1. Funny employee awards

    Turn your old, boring “Employee of the month” award into something much more fun! Check out our list of ideas for funny employee awards!
  2. Funny office pranks

    There is nothing that can bring out so much fun and laugh like a well thought office prank. When was the last time you enjoyed making a practical joke on your co-workers? If you’re looking for inspiration, check out our list of the top 20 office prank ideas!

10 Simple and Affordable Employee Appreciation Ideas

Check out 10 creative employee appreciation ideas your employees will love.

adult-african-america-1035598.jpg

Appreciate your employees – if you want to keep them

Did you know that one of the top reasons why employees leave their jobs is that they don’t feel appreciated, according to Gallup’ research?

The message here is clear: If you want to keep your employees, you have to appreciate them! Employee recognition is the key to employee satisfaction.

Of course you appreciate your employees…but how often do you show it and recognize their hard work?

Gallup’s poll has found out that 65% of employees haven’t received any form of recognition for good work in the last year!

OK, so maybe you can’t afford expensive awards…but that isn’t an excuse for not showing your employees that you appreciate them! You don’t have to spend any money to recognize your employees and show them that you appreciate their hard work. Actually, according to Officevibe’s recent study, 82% of employees think it’s better to give someone praise than a gift.

Employee appreciation ideas

Here is a list of 10 great, inexpensive employee appreciation ideas your employees will love:

1. Surprise appreciation celebration

Organize a surprise party for your top performers! Include some cake, confetti and their favorite tunes.

2. Shout out on social media

Post a photo of your employees on social media and brag about their achievements. Don’t forget to tag them!

3. Newsletter

Feature you employees’ success stories in your company’s newsletter.

4. Congratulatory email

Send a company wide congratulatory email and praise your employees for a job well done.

5. Hidden praise

Hide a few notes of appreciation around your employees’ work area.

6. Handwritten note

Send your employees a handwritten note, or just leave a sticky note saying “Thank you” on their desk.

7. Thank you meeting

Call an employee to your office just to say thank you. Don’t discuss any other issue!

8. Ambassador opportunity

Offer your employees to represent your company at an event they typically would not attend.

9. Ask for their help or opinion

Show your employees how much you value their opinion and input.

10. Invitation to an executive meeting

Invite your top performer to join your executive team meeting.

 

Top 5 Reasons to Start an Employee Wellness Program

Not sure if you should start an employee wellness program? Here are the top 5 reasons why employee wellness programs are becoming more and more popular!

doctor-3464761_1920.jpg

Employee wellness programs benefits

There are some obvious benefits of employee wellness programs. Helping your employees stay healthy is great – for them. But how about your company? Is it just a waste of your time and resources? Or are there some tangible benefits for your company as well?

Let’s dig into the research and found out!

Top 5 reasons to have an employee wellness program

Here are the top reasons why you should start an employee wellness program at your company:

1. To save money

Implementing a workplace wellness program can help your company save money.

The most comprehensive review ever completed on the financial impact of worksite wellness programs has reported some incredible findings.

Among the 22 different studies that looked at wellness programs and healthcare costs, the average return on investment was 3.27. This means that for every dollar that was spent on the program the company saved $3.27 because of reduced healthcare costs!

2. To improve employee productivity

Research has found that employee wellness programs have a positive effect on employee productivity.

Research published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine has found that employees who take part in employee wellness programs are more productive than those who don’t.

3. To improve the retention rate

Companies who implemented employee wellness programs report higher retention rates.

Research conducted by an American Psychological Association has found that fewer (only 25%) employees in companies with employee wellness programs intend to leave their job in the next year. In companies without employee wellness programs, twice as more employees (51%) said they intend to leave their job in the following year.

4. To attract top talent

Research has found that implementing an employee wellness program improves your employer brand and helps you attract great candidates:

  • The Virgin HealthMiles and Workforce survey found that 87% of employees said they consider health and wellness offerings when choosing an employer.

5. To improve your company culture

  • A survey by Virgin HealthMiles Inc. and Workforce Management Magazine found that an overwhelming 77% of employees think that employee wellness programs positively impact the company culture.

Conclusion

Research is clear: Keeping your employees healthy is not just good for your employees, it’s also good for your company’s bottom line!

5 Workplace Wellness Statistics You Should Know About

Workplace wellness programs: Yay or nay? Discover the data-based answer!

buildings-city-exercise-374632.jpg

Workplace wellness programs: A growing workplace trend

Workplace wellness programs are getting more and more popular. This new workplace trend has gained a lot of attention recently and stirred quite a debate.

Some argue that companies should not be burdened by taking care of their employees’ health. On the other hand, there are voices arguing that in today’s modern world, these programs are becoming a necessity.

Above all, there are questions about the effectiveness and ROI of these programs. To answer these questions, we dug deep into research.

Top 5 workplace wellness statistics

Workplace wellness statistic #1

According to research conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management, 75% of employers indicated that their companies offered some type of a wellness program, resource or service to employees.

Workplace wellness statistic #2

A comprehensive review of the literature has found that the average return on investment of workplace wellness programs is 3.27. This means that for every dollar that was spent on the program the company saved $3.27 because of reduced healthcare costs.

Workplace wellness statistic #3

A new survey by Virgin HealthMiles Inc. and Workforce Management Magazine found that an overwhelming 77% of employees think that employee wellness programs positively impact the company culture.

Workplace wellness statistic #4

Research suggests that employers save on average $5.82 in lower absenteeism costs for every dollar spent on employee wellness programs.

Workplace wellness statistic #5

The Virgin HealthMiles/Workforce survey found that about 87% of employees said they consider health and wellness offerings when choosing an employer.

Conclusion

Research has shown that workplace wellness programs have proven benefits, both for employers and employees. Employee wellness programs can do much more than just keep your employees healthy.

These programs can help you improve your company culture, reduce absenteeism, attract talent and even save money!

 

3 Must-Have Sections of a Great Employee Handbook

Does your employee handbook include these 3 sections? Don’t miss out on these must-haves!

book-731199_1920.jpg

The hidden potential of your employee handbook

Employee handbook  is the cornerstone document of every company.

This document usually consists of a company’s policies. Unfortunately, too often this valuable document contains ONLY policies, rules and regulations.

While this is useful, an employee handbook has a much greater potential. Instead of a document full of prohibitions, you can easily turn it into an engaging and useful document your employees will read, know and love. Read on to find out how to achieve this goal!

3 main mistakes of your employee handbook

Most employee handbooks make the same 3 mistakes:

Mistake #1:

They are written in a formal tone of voice with lots of legal and technical terms which regular employees can hardly grasp.  

Mistake#2:

Most employee handbooks focus on company’s policies and provide just a brief introduction to the company if at all).

Mistake #3:

Most employee handbooks state only the company’s expectations from employees and not the other way round.

3 main sections your employee handbook is missing

In order to avoid the above stated 3 main mistakes of most employee handbooks, make sure that your employee handbook includes the following 3 sections:

Section #1: Your company’s history, mission, vision and goals

Start your employee handbook with an extensive introduction to your company. Explain why your company was created, by whom and how it went on to become what it is today.

State your company’s mission, vision and goals in an inspiring, relatable and easy to understand language.

Section #2: Your company’s core values and culture  

The second section of your employee handbook should present your company’s core values and provide a glimpse into your company culture.

Include real-life photos of your workplace and your employees and present true stories which illustrate your desired workplace behavior.

Section #3: Employee benefits and perks

Finally, make sure to emphasize what your employees will get in return for following all your company’s policies, rules and regulations.

Accentuate all the benefits and perks your company offers to your employees. Also, present all the types of rewards and bonuses which will be awarded to your most deserving employees.  

The Truth About AIs Impact on Jobs

By Allan Leinwand, CTO, ServiceNow                  

According to a recent report from PwC, AI is expected to raise the global GDP, in 2030, by 14% (approximately US$15.7 trillion). That being said, AI is seen by many as being either a hero or a villain. On one hand, AI is currently driving nearly every CIO’s agenda because it intelligently automates work processes, making it possible to do things that have never been done before. But on the other, many workers are scared of the rise of AI as they believe it is rising from humble beginnings to become a villain that will steal their jobs.

The truth is that some jobs will be lost, but many more will be created. It is important to understand that fundamentally, AI is not strong at creative, interpersonal or physical work. It will be used for “decision support, not decision making.” So lets debunk a few myths.

Reduce and Simplify

As workers, we want to use automation to get our jobs done. AI will free us from having to spend long hours analyzing data and invest that time in achieving a better work-life balance.

Information technology, manufacturing, financial services and human resources will all see significant improvement and productivity gains because of AI. These industries have many repetitive tasks that can be easily automated, helping workers become more productive. For example, AI can streamline the onboarding process of a new employee. It can alert HR when background checks are completed, and aid them with the creation of benefits packages and employment contracts. It can help IT order and provision new equipment. Similarly, it can help the employee complete and send tax forms and direct deposit information to finance.

The Mundane

Workers want to move to more meaningful roles. In fact, according to the Society of Human Resource Professionals, workers, particularly Millennials, want to “create outcomes within meaningful projects and may become impatient with mundane tasks.” AI can automate the more mundane tasks allowing for new jobs to be created that are more fulfilling, strategic and meaningful. AI can help workers be more productive and efficient at their jobs, while learning new skills. In addition, AI can help workers become better organized, reducing stressors, improving productivity and overall job satisfaction.

Financial compliance is a great example of this. Until recently, the creation of expense reports and review of submitted expenses was a very manual, mundane process requiring hours and hours of review. In the cases of expense report review, only a sample of expense reports could be reviewed in order to hopefully identify some patterns of fraud in submissions. Now, not only can AI generate the invoices, but it can sort through the hundreds of expense reports, invoices and other transactions and  identify potential areas of fraud, waste and mistakes by employees, vendors and others for humans to further investigate, saving their companies billions of dollars each year.

Customer Satisfaction

The idea behind AI is to create more satisfied customers. Because workers can focus more on the interpersonal and creative parts of their jobs rather than the more mundane, they will treat customers better. In customer support cases, this will be done by employing AI to identify and provide a solution for the issue and utilizing a human who can react to nuances for interpersonal communications. Customers will develop loyalty because their needs are met and issues are resolved quicker, more efficiently and with a personal touch.

Let me give you an example. Years ago, many companies implemented phone trees to help route support calls more efficiently. All of us have been frustrated to get to the end of the menu realizing that we must press “star” in order to go back to the previous menu in order to talk to the right person. While this is automated support, it didn’t employ a combination of people and AI to do so. Rather than having to press the right button to move forward, imagine answering a few questions at the beginning of the call describing what the issue is or what you want to accomplish, and immediately being routed to the correct person (yes, person) who will help you or to the right menu telling you store hours. This will speed up support, improve loyalty and create better satisfaction for customers.

Convenience

One of the biggest benefits of AI is the convenience to customers. AI allows nearly every aspect of business to occur faster, from identifying and fixing support issues so that workers don’t have to drive into the office on weekends to fix a server, to providing more accessibility to information, services and more.

As an example, there seem to be ATMs on nearly every corner in most major cities and more bank branch locations than ever before. However, bank teller jobs have not been eliminated because of the rise of ATM machines. Yes, there may be less tellers in general, but their jobs are more valuable to customers and their employers. When one walks into a branch at a bank, there are dozens of workers providing better value-added services with shorter lines helping customers to be more satisfied with the convenient service provided. More than likely the work these employees do have higher margins, enabling them to make more money for both themselves and their local branches.


Allan Leinwand - CTO - ServiceNow
Allan Leinwand, Chief Technology Officer, ServiceNow

In summary, while AI might result in loss of certain jobs, it is more likely that the amount of work each worker will need to complete will be reduced and simplified rather than eliminated. Employees will feel more satisfaction in what they do because they can focus less on the mundane and more on the strategic. Customer satisfaction will increase because customers will have more human interactions, faster, with people who know how to resolve issues they have. In addition, customers will have more convenience than ever before.