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.

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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.

The Role of HR in Reputation Management

Most people think of recruiting and hiring when it comes to the HR department of any given company. But HR needs to be involved in much more than just interviewing potential employees. In fact, one of the most important aspects of HR work is reputation management. By guarding the company’s image and making sure employees are happy, it’s easier to not only harbor more interest from potential employees but to let the world know your company is a great place to work, grow, and find success. 

A human resource team should be properly trained when it comes to representing how the business looks to the rest of the world. It’s their responsibility to build and sustain a positive image for the business itself as well as its employees. That includes training for proper employee management and creating an environment where strong, respectful communication is expected and encouraged. Strong communication involves skills like being respectful, listening actively, knowing your audience, taking note of body language, and even habits as simple as putting your phone away.

When communication isn’t open between HR personnel and employees (especially unhappy employees), it will make matters worse and could result in an extremely stressful situation for your business. 

So, how can your HR team develop and sustain a positive reputation for your company? Let’s look at a few practices that your HR department should start committing to right away. 

Building a Better Company Culture

One of the best ways an HR team can focus on reputation management is to build a better company culture from the inside out. The way to do this will look a bit different for every type of business. It’s important to understand what’s important to your company and how you want to portray that not only to your employees but to the rest of the world. 

You want to make sure when any potential employee walks into your business for the first time, they get a full feel of what your company represents. They should understand your atmosphere, what’s expected, the culture surrounding other employees, the culture surrounding customers/clients, etc. It’s up to your HR team to make sure an environment of community and purpose always shines through. 

Other tactics that can be put into place to boost your company culture include things like: 

  • Encouraging your employees to share their positive experiences with the company on their own social media pages or on your company website. 
  • Encouraging your team to talk to potential hires before they start the job. 
  • Creating an environment in the workplace that motivates people to do their job well. 
  • Being flexible with people’s personal lives and schedules. 
  • Building a team — not just a group of individual workers. 
  • Having a strong company mission and making sure everyone knows it. 
  • Communicating with one another to keep things as clear as possible between employees and management. 

When your HR team chooses to create a positive company culture an environment that ensures employees are happy, the benefits will speak for themselves. Not only will you have a crew of employees who are excited to do their job and who are likely willing to go above and beyond, but you’re also more likely to recruit better employees to come work for your company. The trickle-down effect of a great workforce is self-evident. When you have the right people in the right positions, your customers — and in turn your business — will reap the benefits. 

It doesn’t end there. There are personnel techniques your HR team can utilize to highlight the net impact of each employee. Once you’ve found those people who love the work and are willing to go above and beyond, a good management structure won’t let them stagnate. For example:

  • If an employee shows a proclivity toward working with customers, you can create a customer success position in which their strengths can shine. 
  • If a member of your team is highly detail-oriented and organized, consider how they can help your organization by becoming a company auditor to ensure legal compliance with regulations and optimal efficiency.
  • If a member of your team is good at networking, they may be a good candidate when it comes to finding someone to manage your brand’s social media account.

Give employees the opportunity to play an active role in their own career development and the growth of the business. Professional empowerment is a force of nature, so keep an eye out for the unique skill sets that each of your hires bring to the table. 

How to Handle Unhappy Employees

Though reputation management is a big deal when it comes to finding new employees, it starts from the inside, and any successful HR team needs to realize that when they’re working on company culture. The old saying goes that you can’t make everyone happy all the time. But, people who work in HR should make it a constant mission to keep employees content. Yes, it starts with creating the right culture, but that culture needs to be continuously fostered to take care of employees who are already working hard. 

Some signs of disgruntled or unhappy employees typically include things like attendance problems, poor work quality, negative attitudes, or complaints about the job. Sometimes, though, employees won’t say anything about how dissatisfied they are, and they may just opt to quit. A high turnover rate within your company is a sign that your HR team isn’t doing what is needed to ensure everyone’s satisfaction. 

That might seem like a small problem to have, but if employees start leaving, they could do damage to your company’s reputation.Word of mouth goes a long way, and what a former employee says to a customer could result in a negative review. This could lead you to have to hire some serious reputation management. If not the negative reviews can be a huge red flag for people who might have otherwise been interested in working at your business. 

Additionally, an HR team has to be prepared for unexpected situations. For example, if an employee gets hurt on the job, reputation management is still an important consideration. Typical job injuries include things like: 

It’s up to the HR team to make sure an injured employee gets the care they need. If they don’t, that employee could take legal action, which could seriously damage any company’s reputation. 

Reputation management is important for any business. But, it’s not just about making sure customers and clients see you in a positive light; it’s making sure you’re attracting the right people to work for you and keeping your current employees satisfied with your company culture. This should fall on the shoulders of a quality, driven HR team. Putting some of these ideas into action immediately can make a big difference for your business by providing a boost to your reputation.

10 Simple and Affordable Employee Appreciation Ideas

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

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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.

 

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.

 

3 Secrets to Reducing Your Employee Churn Rate

Reduce your employee churn rate with these tips.

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

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

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

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

But how do you reduce your churn rate?

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

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

Plan your onboarding process for early success

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Invest in training and mentorship

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

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

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

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

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

Conduct exit interviews

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

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

Some questions you could ask include:

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

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

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

London Future

5 Things I Learned At HR Tech World

Written by Peter Cummings, Founder and CEO, DevScore.

Peter Cummings, Founder and CEO, DevScore
Peter Cummings is a highly sought after IT Specialist with expert knowledge in three distinct fields; IT Security, Cloud Computing and Development.

I’m still reeling from last week’s HR Tech World event in London. It was a big one for us — we finally launched DevScore and were delighted with the response we had. Admittedly, it’s been some time since I’ve worked in the HR sector (as a developer) but I’ve done the rounds on the technology scene for a good ten years or more. However, I was more than taken aback at how tech-savvy HR has become. To keep pace, companies of all shapes and sizes are really upping their game on the recruitment front: which is good news for companies like mine that focus on helping businesses meet oncoming challenges.

Here are some of the key things I learnt, from talking to prospective customers and other exhibitors, about what’s happening at the crossroads of HR and technology:

Smart devices mean demand for developers will increase exponentially

The emergence of the Internet of Things will add millions of new developer jobs to the market, and demand for coders will scale to previously unseen levels. As more and more devices and appliances incorporate embedded software, companies who’ve never employed software developers will quickly need to upskill their workforces.

We’re talking about big manufacturing companies here: the kind who make everything from vacuum cleaners to electrical screwdrivers. In order for these businesses to compete and stay relevant in the digital age, ultimately they now need people with a different set of smarts — those who know software as well as those who understand hardware.

We need to overcome bias in developer recruitment

Finding developers is one challenge. Finding the right developers with the skills needed to tackle the mission-critical tasks you have is quite another(!). The battle to recruit and retain developer talent is about to get harder. But there’s a lot of untapped potential out there: a wealth of coders who haven’t been able to break into IT development. We need ways to find great people and bring them into the fold.

Development is a field where anyone can play — there are no education, gender, racial, or religious boundaries. We need to be able to find those with the right skills, whoever they are, wherever they are. To do this, businesses need to objectively analyse developers’ skills, and make hiring decisions based on ability. Nothing else.

New sourcing tactics are needed to satisfy demand for developers

Encouraging more coders to participate professionally relies on HR (and IT) professionals changing their perceptions on ‘how a developer is supposed to act’ and instead focusing on ‘what a developer can do.’

For example, there are several initiatives in both the US and UK — like The Last Mile in the US and Code4000 here in the UK — that are teaching prison inmates to code. By giving them work experience (while incarcerated) the idea is that they’ll have the skills to take a junior developer position when they get out.

I personally got into web development with the help of a good friend after working as a chef, and I hope to pass that mentoring experience on to new developers. In fact we’re building a platform, DevForge, to do just that.

Retaining developers means helping them evolve

In an industry where the fight for talent is on, employers need to find more ways to retain their developers. But money and work-life balance aside, most developers see their careers as a work in progress, and a good proportion of them value learning and development opportunities.

A crucial part of this is giving them ‘hack-time’, allowing them 10-20% of their working week to work on their own projects or learn new skills. This could be hugely beneficial for employers; ensuring faster adoption of new technologies, satisfying the developers’ need to evolve, and ultimately could be key to retaining developer talent. That’s the endgame we’re striving towards at DevScore — we’re creating a symbiotic platform where employers can build a roadmap to help their business move forward, while growing developers’ skills.

IT departments need more HR input

There can be little doubt that developers are one of the trickiest resources to manage. Few companies have specific developer talent management capabilities, which means it’s easy overlook an individual’s contribution to a project. That’s why IT departments need to play a more active role when recruiting and retaining developers.

By effectively mapping the skills and capabilities of their teams — including outsourced development teams — IT managers can help make better informed strategic decisions; like who should be promoted, who’s no longer needed, and who would be best suited to managing a project using a new technology.

It’s not just about satisfying demand; a developer’s skillset and aptitude have direct impact on a business’ HR reputation. Getting the balance wrong could lead to high developer turnover, missed opportunities, and big financial and talent losses.

About the Author:

Peter Cummings started working life as a chef and restaurant professional, before teaching himself coding and making the leap into software development. He’s now an internationally renowned IT consultant, thought leader, and founder of DevScore; a SaaS platform that helps recruiters and HR managers source the right developers for their businesses. He’s lived and worked everywhere from Greenland to Nigeria and speaks five languages.

About DevScore:

DevScore Logo

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

DevScore is a tool for recruiters and HR staff, offering both an intuitive user interface and also an API, so that it can be integrated into your existing tools and applications, providing you the information you need, when you need it.


If you want to share this article the reference to Peter Cummings and The HR Tech Weekly® is obligatory.

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

The Benefits of Employee Engagement

I Love My Job

Employee engagement is when employees act in a way that furthers their organization’s interests. An engaged employee is a person who is fully involved in, and enthusiastic about, his or her work. It is already clear, with this definition, that employee engagement is something that all the leaders would like to see in their employees, but let’s go deeper in our analysis.

Let’s look at the cost of a disengaged workforce to better understand the significance of employee engagement:

  • Effect on work: the disengaged employee tries to evade work, struggles to meet deadlines and is reluctant to accept additional responsibility.
  • Effect on co-workers: the negativity of a disengaged employee, demonstrated either through rants or complete withdrawal from participation, affects the team morale.
  • Effect on customers: every employee, whether an organization likes it or not, becomes its ambassador. And a disengaged employee either by actively de-selling the organization, or by complete apathy towards their work, product, process, organization, helps create disengaged customers.
  • Effects on productivity: disengaged employees seldom push themselves to meet organizational goals let alone contribute to innovative practices at workplace. Since they do not believe that their work contributes to the organization, they evade completing tasks thereby affecting team productivity.
  • Effect on personal life of employees: a disengaged employee is seldom able to shake off the lethargy and perform in the current organization or land a job of preference. This leads to pent up frustration which may ultimately affect his personal and family life.

Avoiding these costs should be already enough to make employee engagement a priority in any serious company, furthermore an engaged workforce will grant these benefits:

  • Employee satisfaction: if employees are engaged with the company their job satisfaction levels increase. Employees that are engaged and satisfied are very invested in the success of the business and have a high level of commitment and loyalty.
  • Productivity: engaged employees are often top performers, those committed to ‘go the extra mile’ to achieve business success. As an employee becomes more engaged their absenteeism lowers and their motivation increases leading to increased productivity.
  • Retention & recruitment: employees who are engaged significantly lower the company’s turnover. Simply put, when employees are satisfied and engaged they are far more likely to stay with the organization, plus, businesses that have a highly engaged workforce have an increased ability to attract new, qualified employees.
  • Innovation: engaged employees perform at a higher level and bring passion and interest to their job, which often leads to innovation because they strive to efficiently create new products, services and processes.
  • Profitability: companies with more engaged employees tend to have higher profitability rates. The more engaged your employees are the more efficient and productive they become, lowering operating costs and increasing the profit margin.

Clearly the organization benefits, but what about the individual? As an employee, why would you care about being more engaged if it only means you have to work harder and the company reaps all of the rewards? Fortunately, employee engagement is a win-win for the both the employee and employer. Here are a few reasons why you, as employees, should choose to be engaged in your work.

  • Safety: engaged employees have a decreased chance of experiencing an accident at work. When you are engaged in what you do you tend to follow safety procedures more diligently and don’t lose focus as often, thus leading to fewer safety incidents.
  • Better health: employees that are engaged have lower stress and higher interest levels throughout the day. Conversely, disengaged employees are more likely to be depressed than those who are engaged.
  • Happiness: employees can be happy but not fully engaged in their work, but those who are fully engaged in what they do are much more likely to also be happy.
  • Pay and advancement: engaged employees perform better than their peers.  Engaged employees not only work harder, but also work smarter and are able to produce better results. This helps them to earn higher wages, receive faster promotions, and market themselves for better career opportunities.
  • Better home life: if we are disengaged at work, it’s pretty tough to make the switch to an engaged home life. That’s why engaged employees are far more likely to be engaged outside of work as well.

One way to boost employee engagement is to foster real human contact between employees. The current most used solutions fall short as far as creating new relationships is concerned: in big events employees tend to regroup with their teammates. A really effective solution may be organising “micro-events” but for large corporates the administrative burden is often to high to bear.

Woobe makes organising a campaign of hundreds of micro-events not just possible, but even easy. The HR manager selects in few clicks the profiles and the period over which the events will take place and the invitation are automatically sent to the employees based on their agenda’s availability.

Source: The benefits of Employee Engagement – Woobe

Salary Transparency is Coming Like a Freight Train… Get On Board or Get Run Over

Keep Salary Expectations on Track Through Transparenecy

By revealing company salary ranges and fostering a salary transparent society, companies immediately begin accruing both short-term and long-term benefits. Integral to the process is an introspective analysis that creates a greater understanding of what the company values and what they don’t. Companies with clearly defined parameters receive more targeted interest from candidates who have identified the company as being able to fulfill their needs. Interviewing and on-boarding processes are elevated by data-driven discussions. On the job, fewer doubts about compensation frees up employees’ mental energies to focus on the tasks at hand. Employees are also better able to visualize the long-term benefits of remaining with the company. A company opening its books and revealing specific salaries and salary ranges in terms of location and experience level may seem as if it is shooting itself in the foot in the short run, but, given the long view, salary transparency enhances productivity, retention, and quality.

Chris Bolte
Chris Bolte, CEO & Co-Founder at Paysa

While nobody expects companies to universally release every one of their employees’ compensation-related data for the general public to scrutinize, several companies are already doing so. Buffer, creator of a social media management tool, releases up to date salaries for each employee. Companies and individuals wary of an invasion of privacy will appreciate the middle ground Buffer took a stand on with a salary calculator it developed that incorporates factors such as a candidate’s role, experience level, desired location, and preference for higher or lower risk compensation package (equity vs. salary). There are a number of available options when it comes to salary transparency methodology.

Making Progress Toward Transparency

Regardless of the path a company chooses, the track leading toward long-term success involves several stops along the way that facilitate salary transparency and better-informed candidates. In any company, there will always be individuals determined to fight sharing salary-related data. Pushback from guarded employees and well-meaning human resources personnel may result in a temporary thinning of the ranks. The potentially painful transition to providing salary transparency is streamlined with thorough preparation involving organizational introspection and deep market research. First, companies must delve deep into their own needs to understand what skills, traits, and experiences are important to the company. Dissect these components to ascertain why they hold value. It should be apparent what each skill, trait, or experience adds to the company, leading to its continued success.

Before leveraging the benefits of salary transparency, companies must clearly define their compensation processes. Companies must determine the average salary for each position and clarify how those are established. Companies should be able to explain why an employee’s compensation falls at a certain spot within a range. What an employee needs to accomplish in order to move up within a pay range must be clear and transparent. Candidates approaching a company with well-defined values and needs should carefully assemble a portfolio that highlights their skillsets, character traits, and experiences as related to the value they will contribute to the company.

Salary transparency should inform the interview process as well. Those company needs should be juxtaposed against the backdrop of the broader market’s needs. Market research and analysis should lead to establishing updated benchmarks pertaining to skills and experience. Because market values change rapidly, especially in the tech industry, relying on dated benchmarking techniques with a narrow perspective cripples the hiring process and sets companies up for failure from the outset.

Salary Transparency Enhances Long-Term Productivity

The effort required, the difficulties to overcome, and pushback from both outside and within shouldn’t deter a company from achieving salary transparency. In addition to ameliorating conditions for employees, companies benefit in numerous ways from both individually and collectively enacting initiatives that promote salary transparency. Beyond simply staying relevant to the needs of the next generation of job seekers, companies that promote salary transparency have a better understanding of their own values in terms of desired skills, which makes hiring easier. Once an employee is on-boarded, conversations about their value to the company, as well as how to enhance it, are much more data-driven. Providing access to data on salaries, not only within the company, but across a market segment, also dispels any doubts regarding compensation. Rather than focusing on whether or not they are getting paid adequately, employees focus on doing their job and growing their career. This improves both productivity, as employees know what the company values and how they can impact that, as well as retention rates, as employees are more productive and rewarded, while less likely to leave looking for a better deal.

While salary transparency may result in companies losing control over salary negotiations and other minor aspects of candidate interviews, it generates real benefits that extend to employees, the company, and beyond. Salary transparency not only contributes to rectifying societal wrongs, such as gender and ethnic wage gaps, but also helps individuals both understand their present salary and see more clearly the track toward greater pay. For companies, salary transparency is an invaluable tool that enhances hiring, as well as long-term employee satisfaction, retention, and productivity.


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Growth fears: How can businesses align business growth with employee satisfaction?

Written by Sabby Gill, Executive Vice President (EVP) International at Epicor Software, specially for The HR Tech Weekly® blog.

Happy Employees

When a business experiences sudden growth, it creates a myriad of emotions from joy and excitement to dread and fear. The progressive mind-set that stimulates growth can inadvertently cause us to be less sensitive to the negative emotions that might emerge as a result. Because we are creatures of habit, it is probably not surprising that some of the increased complexity and ambiguity can be quite unsettling. Paradoxically, this emergent fear can start to hinder growth, as leaders pick up on it and start taking preventative measures to avoid damaging customer relations, reducing service quality, and minimize the mounting pressure on operations.

The reality is that progress is part of doing business, and with some careful planning and forward-thinking, the growth period does not have to be ridden with pain. The right IT infrastructure can help to facilitate some of these big changes and make the process a lot smoother.

Recent research conducted by Epicor has explored the different approaches organisations take to growth. It’s been found that the three priorities tend to be in turnover and sales, profits, and expansion into new industries and product areas. The outlook for 2016 is positive; 70% of respondents expect growth in 2016, and 79% have made (or are making) investments in integrated IT infrastructure as a key to supporting growth.

But what happens if the growth is unforeseen, or experienced as a surge? Leaders can find themselves on their back foot if they have not developed the appropriate skillset to handle the new changes.

Rob Morris, Head of Innovation and Thought Leadership at YSC, the premier global leadership development firm, believes that hiring for and developing the right skillset for growth goes a long way in dealing with the excessive demands placed on the workplace.

“Although we plan for growth in linear and rational ways, it often looks more like chaos in practice. When growth happens at such an unpredictable pace and scale, you don’t usually hire for that growth. As a result, you will not have the people resources to deliver on the new scale that you have created for yourself. The downside is people end up doing more than they expected, and often outside of the roles they were hired or trained for.”

A growing business can hinder employee satisfaction

A risk associated with business progress is employees becoming increasingly disengaged in the workplace due to heavier workloads, pressures, and deadlines. According to the Epicor research, 43% of leaders are concerned that as their business grows, workloads may increase to a level that places too much pressure on staff, prompting key personnel to leave the organisation.

Morris believes that a key predictor of job satisfaction is whether employees find ‘meaning’ in their work and warns that an employee’s personal values and missions can become misaligned with the company’s goals once the company starts growing.

“If I am asked to do things outside of the boundaries with which I joined the company, suddenly I may be less committed to it. If employees have less of a connection with the tasks involved or when they take on too many new tasks, too fast then it creates job dissatisfaction.”

It is vital to have the right infrastructure in place to support employees during growth. If technology can be used to ease the strain of increased workloads, employees can even find themselves empowered by growth. They may, for example, find themselves working on a wider variety of tasks, working closely with leadership to drive growth, and gaining more access to corporate knowledge if their roles are facilitated by the right technology.

How can businesses reduce the ‘pain’ of growth and plan ahead?

Any big change in a business – especially a surge in growth – can be disruptive and can filter through the organisation. According to Morris, this collective expression of pain typically manifests as resistance or disengagement. But businesses can get ahead of this curve by planning for any potential problems and ensuring they have enough resources to cater to increasing demands by the workforce[1].

The Epicor survey findings revealed that the top two stimulants for growth are ‘technology leadership’ (40%) and ‘skilled workforce’ (39%). This can be a two-edged sword. Organisations that are stuck with legacy systems might find themselves falling behind, unable to adapt to new business processes, or meet the demands of employees who expect modern technology in order to do their jobs. On the other hand, the organisations that leap onto new technology, will find themselves ahead of their competitors, ready to embrace new challenges.

A key facilitator in managing this process smoothly is to make investments in the right technology as the “demand for quick communication and transaction” increases[2].

Many progressive businesses are already doing this – according to the Epicor research 79% of businesses have made or are making investments in integrated IT infrastructure. Increased data visibility, for example through the use of the latest enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions, can allow businesses to perform in-depth analysis of key KPIs, so that they can manage costings and profitability more confidently. Customer relationships can likewise continue to prosper during the growth period with agile and scalable ERP and manufacturing execution systems (MES) that meet their demands.

According to Morris, employees need “emotional support to withstand the pressures of growing.” He also recommends “fostering a robust culture so people can be resilient throughout the growth surge.” It’s clear that this culture can be more robust if people are supported by the technology they need to do their jobs. Although it seems counter-intuitive, e.g., deploying technology in support of an emotional challenge, investment in the right IT infrastructure is therefore essential, and will help maintain the emotional well-being of employees throughout this transitionary period.

[1] http://www.theguardian.com/small-business-network/2013/apr/22/growing-a-business-efficiently

[2] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sponsored/business/the-elevator/12095150/steps-to-business-growth.html

About the Author 

Sabby Gill - EVP - EpicorSabby Gill brings more than 20 years of international sales, operations and enterprise software industry experience to Epicor. In the role of executive vice president, International, Gill is responsible for operations including sales, professional services, and field marketing, with a focus on accelerating company growth throughout Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) and Asia Pacific (APAC).

Prior to Epicor, Gill was senior vice president of International Sales for IGT, a gaming technology company. He has also held executive management roles with leading technology companies including HP, CA Technologies, Oracle, PeopleSoft (acquired by Oracle), and DEC.


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