How to Fast Forward your Employee’s Career

Your employees’ professional growth doesn’t happen overnight. Developing people’s skills needs investment of thought, time and love in order to create meaningful change. Ideally a manager becomes a mentor. They provide guidance and coaching to evolve employee skill-sets, knowledge and confidence. With managers acting as the catalyst for progression, we’ve pinpointed five ways to effectively advance your employee’s career path.

Align your business goals

When you’re working closely with your employees, don’t forget to feed back the “bigger picture” to them. You can coach people in leadership qualities all day long but it’s pointless if you’re not communicating why. Employees motivation to excel can diminish if they don’t feel valued or believe they can create an impact for the company. Realistically, how empowered would your employees feel if they’re given the freedom to make smart, informed decisions however they still need to run their ideas by you before making moves? Communicate the objectives and company goals before anything else, and provide freedom for them to actually reach these.

Create a career development plan

Having conversations around career progressions is the first step in gauging employee development, but it’s important to follow up with implementing achievable objectives. This encourages employees to formulate their goals so they can actively execute them. Create a space where you can collaborate openly on short-term and long-term career goals and most importantly how these can be achieved. If you’re not sure where role progression can evolve, check out Search Party’s Career Path Tool to see all possible options.

Articulate expectations

Objectives and Key Results (OKR) is a popular technique to setting and communicating goals and results in organisations. The main purpose for OKRs is to connect the company, team and individual’s personal objectives to measurable results, ensuring everyone is moving in the right direction. The structure is fairly straightforward.

  • Define 3-5 key objectives on company, team or personal levels. These must be qualitative, ambitious and time bound.
  • Under each objective, define 3-4 measurable results based on growth performance, revenue or engagement.

When OKRs are a place and remain transparent across all teams, employees have complete clarity of knowing what’s expected of them and have something to work towards. Defining these can take into account career progressions or onboarding new responsibilities or projects and when you’re able to measure you’re also able to mentor. No wonder OKR’s are loved by tech giants like Google, Twitter, and Oracle. It’s a proven process that genuinely works.

Actively identify new opportunities within the organisation

When employees begin to seek new experiences or want to build their portfolio of skill-sets, 9 times out of 10 they’ll leave their current organisation rather than take on a new role in a different area within their current company. And it’s no surprise that losing talent and re-training new starters is timely and costly for managers. However this behaviour can be avoided if there is real encouragement and facilitation of internal transfers. Speak with the individual about what skills they would like to gain or areas they wish to excel in and then identify all possible new opportunities and paths they can explore within the organisation. Mentors are those who can look beyond their own areas or personal needs for growth opportunities, even if it means they’re losing a great asset.

Encourage developmental assignments

Developmental assignments come from the opportunity to initiate something new that an employee takes the majority of the reigns with. Internal projects, new product lines or championing a change such as adopting new technology or a restructure in workflows are all great ways to allow employees to step outside of their comfort zones. These kind of initiatives are the gateway into harbouring new skill-sets and embracing areas not usual to their daily tasks. Enabling employees to lead or manage side projects or totally new initiatives are the stepping stones into project management fields and opens a huge number of doors into other leadership roles.

Although most CEOs understand the importance of employee development, the sad truth is that they don’t devote the necessary time into excelling them into greater things. But the proof really is in the pudding. The more effort you put into developing employees, the higher the employee retention, productivity, engagement, turnover…the list goes on!

If you’re unsure as to where career progression can take you or your employees, Search Party have developed a nifty Career Path Tool. Simply type in your current role, and see how careers of people who’ve been in your shoes developed. Or, type in your dream job and see which paths can take you there. Check it out and let us know what you think!


Originally published by Search Party on 29 August 2016.

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Top 25 Questions You Should Ask in Your Exit Interviews and Surveys

Asking these questions will help you retain your best employees and attract new talent!

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The importance of asking the right exit interview or survey questions

Unfortunately, most employer neglect exit interviews and surveys. In the current candidate driven job market, it is understandable that most employer rush into recruiting to find a suitable replacement.

However, conducting exit interviews or surveys is a crucial part of the offboarding process, both for the departing employee and the employer. Exit interviews provide closure for both parties.

But exit interviews and surveys are especially useful for an employer. Effective exit interviews can help improve the company’s bottom line by reducing turnover and​ ​the​ ​associated​ ​costs ​of​ ​hiring​ ​and​ ​training ​new ​employees.

In order to reap all the benefits of exit interviews or surveys, it is important to ask the right exit interview questions.

Selection of the best exit interview questions

Here is the list of the top 25 exit interview questions you should ask in your next exit interview or a survey:

Reasons for leaving the company

  • What prompted you to start looking for another job?
  • What was the biggest factor that led you to accept a new job?
  • What makes your new position more attractive than the present job?

Job satisfaction

  • What did you like most about your job?
  • What did you dislike the most about your job?
  • Did you have all the tools and resources you needed to effectively do your job?

Work rewards

  • Were you happy with your benefits, perks and other incentives?
  • Do you think our company offers competitive compensation for your position?
  • Do you believe your work was adequately recognized and appreciated?

Workplace relationships

  • What was your relationship with your manager like?
  • Did you get along well with your team members?
  • How would you describe your working relationship with your colleagues?

Learning and advancement opportunities

  • How would you evaluate the quality of the training you received?
  • Was the feedback you received about your performance timely, helpful, and specific?
  • Do you feel like you’ve had enough opportunities for growth and career advancement at our company?

Company culture and work environment

  • How would you describe our company culture?
  • What could be done to make this company a better place to work?
  • Is there a culture of teamwork and cooperation within the organization?

Workplace policies and procedures

  • Do you think our company’s policies are adequate?
  • Have you ever experienced any discrimination or harassment while working in this organization?
  • Do you have a say in the organization’s policy changes?

Employee brand ambassador score

  • Would you recommend our company to your friend as a great place to work? Why?
  • Would you consider working with us again in the future?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your employee experience in our company?

Bonus exit interview question

  • What skills and qualifications do you think we should look for in your replacement?

Want to learn more about exit interviews and surveys?

➡️ For useful tips and best practices on conducting effective employee exit interviews and surveys, check out The Ultimate Guide for Conducting Effective Exit Interviews!

Employee Experience – The XXI Century Corporate Super Power

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

Interviewing Jacob Morgan

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

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

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

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

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

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


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TLCon: Talent Acquisition and Retention in Retail, E-tail & Hospitality

TLCon: Talent Acquisition and Retention in Retail, E-tail & Hospitality

More so than in any other industry, retail, e-tail and hospitality are utilizing HR technology in order to service large volumes of recruitment, whether it’ll be retail staff, waiters in the hospitality industry or STEM professionals to recruit, manage and retain staff. So much so there are dedicated apps created just for this industry that places talent acquisition professionals at the forefront of innovation in recruitment.

On the 11th May, talentleadersconnect. will be hosting one of our most popular sector-specific events, TLCon: Retail, E-tail & Hospitality giving 70 ‘Head of People/Talent, in-house recruitment, HR and talent acquisition professionals’ the opportunity to learn, share and network around a theme that is getting more and more important each year. The agenda will have case studies, research and thought leadership from the likes of Caffe Nero, Sofology, Exsurgo, 106 Communications, The Chemistry Group plus more.

We kick the day off with Ben Gledhill formerly of Sofology (now Manchester Metropolitan University) addressing the distinction between the tech candidate of 2005 and 2017. The talent acquisition strategy has changed significantly as we go a more direct sourcing route and he will be sharing what works well and what does the future look like.

We’ll then get more traditional with Nikki Brain from Exsurgo, looking at the importance of the store associate role and how the expectations around their knowledge as well sales through service is ever key to the entire customer service relationship. Candidate & employee experience has a huge impact on the customer service and can be costly if not implemented right.

Which brings us on to bots! Henry Davies, founder of 106 Communications will be talking you through how bots can make your employer brand work harder to attract and retain the right people. In many ways they can make you a more engaging employer (e.g. here is Yasar Ahmad, Wipro’s Head of Strategic Hiring recruitment bot) and Henry will talk through this in more detail. I’d bet a bot would be really handy for high volume recruitment. To back this up, Will Hamilton from LaunchPad will be discussing the impact of AI and Machine Learning in recruitment and what this all means for your profession.

We shared cut-e’s dedicated talent assessment app for the retail industry above; Howard Grosvenor will talk you through how some of the world’s best companies are doing talent assessment and how you can apply it to your own organisation. Furthermore, Nicky Brimmer from Chemistry Group will be talking on predicting people performance with the retail sector and how you can go beyond hiring for attitude using an objective data-led approach.

Finally, Shereen Daniels, Head of HR for Caffe Nero will be talking about how she fosters belonging at work. A really intriguing talk that will discuss how the baristas at Caffe Nero call work their home and not their job, this is one not to be missed.

There’ll be a buffet lunch and plenty of time to network with your peers around all these topics so join us on the 11th May with your complimentary ticket at TLCon: Retail, E-tail and Hospitality.

Useful Information:

Date: 11th May 2017, 8:15am to 1:30pm

Venue: Foyles Bookstore, 107 Charing Cross Road, WC2H 0DT

Theme: Talent Acquisition and Retention in Retail, E-tail & Hospitality

Contacts: Edie Kalman, Events Manager, edie@talentleadersconnect.com

Twitter: @TLCon_

Hashtag: #TLCon

talentleadersconnect. is the largest Talent Acquisition & HR event series in the UK & Europe. The events combine industry leading keynote talks, interactive discussion sessions and relaxed social networking opportunities

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What Does the Future Hold for Global Payroll?

Written by Jan Van Mol, Head of Global Alliances at SD Worx.

Clock Closeup

Businesses are always looking for new ways to improve and innovate, and the payroll industry is no different. Payroll is arguably the purest form of HR data, providing employers with real-time information that can inform a more intelligence-led approach to business decision-making. Payroll systems that deliver insight as well as a good service for both employers and employees will undoubtedly gain long-term business intuition. Because of this, forward thinking organisations need to embrace a payroll system that can provide an optimum payroll service for employees across all departments and local market. Investing in a global payroll system that encompasses the individual needs of an organisation is the answer, but how can global payroll providers ensure that multinational businesses comply with all in-country legislations?

Retaining talent and providing the best service for employees is paramount for business leaders – something that has been fueled largely by the advent of new HR technologies. Studies show that if employees are not being paid correctly and on time, the knock-on effect on retention is significant. Employers that do not harness the benefits of global payroll will consequently fall behind in the competitive race, with business penalties spanning the short and long term.

With an increasing number of business leaders starting to understand the benefits that can be reaped from investing in global payroll, how can we expect global payroll to progress in the future? Below are three industry predictions:

1. Improved Employee Engagement

With Generation Z about to enter the workforce, businesses need to look ahead and think seriously about how to cater to the needs and requirements of these digital natives – and that includes playing to their payroll preferences. Generation Z grew up with technology, is comfortable using it, and has come to expect it in the workplace. If businesses can’t cater to these needs, they will struggle to retain the best talent within this workforce bracket.

SD Worx expects to see an increasing number of built-in employee engagement functions within global payroll systems over the coming year, which will include functionalities that improve and enhance the employee experience. These functionalities will be tailored to their users – self-service and user-friendly tools for Generation Zs and Millennials, for example. There will also be an increase in measurement and reporting tools that enable close monitoring of workforce experiences in a way that can then be acted upon to boost employee engagement.

2. Deeper HR Integration

Forward thinking organisations will begin to integrate payroll with wider reward and recognition benefits to create a single, comprehensive system. With the line between work and home life becoming increasingly blurred amidst the ‘always-on’ culture, businesses need to ensure that they have the right technologies and systems in place to help combat this and deliver positive workforce experiences. Payroll systems that incorporate add-on rewards and wellbeing benefits will therefore become increasingly commonplace in coming years.

3. More Data-Driven Predictions

As mentioned above, modern payroll systems now provide much more than a monthly back office function – with the right solution, they can deliver on-going business critical insight into an organisation. The desire for global business insight is increasing year-on-year, and if managed in an optimal, systemised way, accurate payroll data will increasingly begin to provide the source of this much sought after visibility. When combined with other data sets such as employee performance and talent management, the collective insight this delivers can enable business leaders to act upon information in a reactive way, but also in a predictive context to support future planning. Key examples include being able to better identify employee attrition and absence patterns in order to correctly forecast recruiting needs and save costs.

Global payroll providers not only ensure that employers are complying with global legislations, they also guarantee that local requirements are met too. Local legislation frequently changes – like Australia adopting Single Touch Payroll this year, for example – and many large organisations have already been the target of fines due to breaking compliance with local payroll requirements. Every country had different regulations, and it is the job of a global payroll provider to tailor their offering with the needs of each organisation.

The future is often uncertain at times, but global payroll with local capabilities can improve forecasting and planning, giving the business a strong and more insight-led direction. It is clear that the growing trend for global payroll with local capabilities will remain a key business requirement as businesses expand internationally and the world becomes ever more globalised.


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4 Ways To Transform Talent Management Success With AI

Artificial Intelligence in HR

The technological revolution continues to gather pace. Investment in AI is expected to grow by over 300% in 2017 compared to 2016, according to research consultancy Forrester in its report : Predictions 2017 : Artificial Intelligence Will Drive The Insights Revolution. Used effectively, automation and AI empower employers to create effective talent management strategies. Here are just four for 2017:

Future Workforce

Tapping into the gig economy : Workforce models are evolving to encompass gig economy, contractors and part-time workers within traditional recruitment workforce planning systems. In the UK alone, one million people are now agency workers but there is a clear distinction between agency and the ‘open talent’ workers of the gig economy. Evaluate the source of your most successful employees with recruitment analytics and expand your talent pool to incorporate gig economy workers on vital roles. 70% of gig economy professionals have over 10 years of experience in their market and will prove to be a valuable resource as skills in sectors such as tech and engineering become more scarce.

Recognising the disconnect : The growing popularity of a freelance career is expected to lead to a fall in employee loyalty but it goes beyond contingent workers. Hays UK Salary and Recruiting Trends 2017 survey found that, while nearly a quarter of employees consider work/life balance important, only 13% of employees feel the same way. Recognising the disconnect that exists between HR and its employees is essential to improve engagement. The Institute of Leadership and Management refers to this disconnect as a ‘leadership lag’. Measuring employee retention levels through data analysis will provide insight into the success of your talent management strategy and enable HR to deliver change.

Engaging candidates : Chatbots are predicted to play an increasingly interactive role in hiring. Jobseeking company Fastjob trialled chatbot Mya earlier this year. Mya is designed to take over 75% of the recruitment process, utilising a combination of AI and natural language processing (NLP). Early trials indicate that candidates who engaged with Mya were over three times more likely to be contacted by a hiring manager. Chatbots are also considered more suited for mobile than apps. In a further development, the Financial Times also reported last month on robot hiring manager, Matlda. Still in the research stage, Matlda is designed to shortlist and interview job applicants. Successful hiring means engaging with technology. Companies choosing to stay with the familiarity of manual recruitment systems will fail to attract high achievers. HR technology is the first step ensure your company is poised to compete in a candidate driven market.

talent

Monitoring wellbeing : A focus on workplace wellbeing will be central to successful talent management in 2017. For instance, the global workplace is facing a sleep deprivation crisis. In the UK alone, sleep deprivation costs an estimated £40 billion per year, or 200,000 working days, according to RAND Europe. The US loses 2.28% of its GDP – up to $411 billion and 1.5 million days – due to sleep deprived employees. As wearables begin to incorporate AI, HR can tap into technology to monitor sleep patterns and implement policies to improve employee wellbeing. 56% of people would be happy to allow employers to collect data from wearable technology provided there was a related benefit, although it should be noted that 41% don’t trust their employer not to use the data against them. Implementing a clear policy for ensuring the ethical and confidential use of the data gathered is essential.

Writing in Harvard Business Review Andrew Ng observes that ‘if a typical person can do a mental task with less than one second of thought, we can probably automate it using AI either now or in the near future.’ Engaging with automation and AI, empowers HR to rapidly respond to and engage with ongoing changes in the workforce and labour market. HR technology is your first step towards achieving that goal in 2017.

Advorto’s recruitment software provides workflow and structure across the entire hiring process, offering a dynamic database of candidates and analytics. Used by some of the world’s leading organisations, it provides a straightforward first step into HR analytics and big data.


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The Future of Recruiting and Hiring with AI

Future of HR Tech

Talent acquisition can be one of the most time consuming and frustrating aspects of business. Harsh deadlines and specific requirements, not to mention the piles of applications and resumes, is tough for any recruiter. Tack on retention accountability, candidate experience and employer branding and the job becomes even harder. The emerging HR technology throughout the last decade has strived to take away these many frustrations while improving candidate experience and quality of hire.

The buzz around artificial intelligence this year is being shrugged off by many as just a new word HR got ahold of, but what would happen if AI was actually embraced by the recruiting and hiring world? What could it do to further practices and solve problems? This is exactly what Karen.ai are trying to do. How is AI enabled software aiming to better recruitment and the candidate experience?

  1. Candidate Matching

Matching the right candidates to the right positions, that’s the name of the game, but it’s not as easy as it may sound. 52% of recruiters say the hardest part of their job is identifying the right candidates from a large applicant pool. Resume parsing and keyword search advances within an ATS has made the sifting and shifting of this task a bit easier as it picks up on keywords in resumes and cover letters to pull ones that match the most. But as we’ve traversed from keyword matching, to semantic search and contextual search, it’s clear we have not perfected Artificial Intelligence in candidate matching just yet. Today’s products are using Natural Language Processing for even more efficient and learning tools.

75% of job seekers’ chances of landing an interview are killed by errors in the ATS or by restrictive keyword search parameters. Limiting the search to a set amount of keywords does not always guarantee the most qualified candidate or best fit for the job requirements. However, Karen, an Artificial Intelligence software we built specifically for recruiting and hiring, builds off the basic keyword search, broadening the results with a more advanced version that includes semantic search, contextual search and integrates candidate chat conversations, eliminating fuzzy matches.

The ability to find concepts hidden in text, in addition to traditional keyword search will give recruiters a more complete look at the candidate’s qualifications and help improve the candidate matching process. In addition, this new software will take the information learned from the resume and cover letters to potentially help match candidates to jobs they may be better fit for within the company during and after the application process.

  1. Candidate Rank and Score

In addition to pulling out the most qualified candidates for the position based on keywords and concepts, recruiters and hiring managers are expected to then select the best ones to move on in the process. Many use the rank and score method based on what was found within the resume and cover letter. Artificial intelligence is now helping recruiters do this faster by leveraging big data and predictive analytics. Some companies that already do this include Hiredscore and Ideal.com.

While this helps professionals get to the next step in the hiring process quicker, what seems to be missing is the interaction with the candidates and those who did not make it to the next step in the process.

A study conducted by CareerBuilder found an astonishing 75% of people said they didn’t hear back from the company to which they applied. This is where the ATS black hole comes into play and how Artificial Intelligence can help fight it. Karen steps into the process from the beginning, conversing with candidates, learning from their interactions and assimilating the data into a decision: continue down the pipeline or exit in a brand-minded way. In either scenario, Karen ensures the candidate knows where they stand.

  1. Conversation Service for Candidate Engagement and Brand Experience

The ATS black hole is something of which many recruiters and candidates are all too familiar. 74% of job seekers say a clear timeline of the hiring process is what could improve their candidate experience the most, according to a report by applicant tracking systems consulting website Software Advice. Candidates want to be kept in the loop but for many recruiters, staying in contact with all of the applicants and notifying them of each step in the hiring process is next to impossible.

Automated emails have helped this frustration as it’s easy to send an email to a couple dozen candidates letting them know they weren’t the right fit for the position or they are moving on in the process. The problem with this automation, though, is a lack of brand experience and personality. Automated emails are also not as good keeping the candidates fully engaged in the process.

Enter Karen. Chatbots have been affecting our world by advancing customer support to helping users book a flight and now they’re here to advance the world of recruiting. By using an active chatbot to communicate and engage with candidates, AI could solve the problems of the ATS black hole.

A chatbot guides candidates through the application process, take insights learned from resumes and ask candidates questions to assess their level of engagement and keep them informed about where they are in the process. Although platforms like Wade & Wendy and Mya have these abilities as well, Karen is the first to take the information learned from the chat and combine it with the scoring and ranking capabilities to present the recruiter with the best possible candidate for the position. This chat capability will also increase the brand experience for the candidate as 78% of candidates will tell their friends and family about their bad experience and 34% will post about it on social media.

Tie all these functions together and you have a winning combination of matching, scoring and ranking, and chat capabilities that will help ease the recruiter frustrations and build a bridge between the disconnect of employers and job seekers. Prior to the cognitive computing era, enterprise companies would manually review resumes or at best use keyword matching to prioritize internal and external candidate submissions. Using AI, like Karen, to improve these tactics can lower time-to-hire for recruiters and engage candidates.

Want to learn more about Karen? Visit karen.ai or read more about the creation in this press release.

Find Karen on Social Media: Twitter | LinkedIn

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6 Social Media Benefits You’ll Get With a Millennial Team

Creative businessman giving presentation to colleagues in office

As marketers, we’re so often looking at the title “Millennial” as a golden egg – shining potential resting in our very hands that we’re unsure how to crack.

“Millennial” – it’s a word almost mystified, a world inside the word that encapsulates millions of people from around the globe.

A passionate, outspoken group with vast avenues for potential and growth.

Millennials.

Lazy, uninspired, and entitled.

No matter what comes to mind when you think of the Millennial generation, marketing teams have twisted themselves into knots trying to pitch brands and products to them. In fact, if you Google anything related to Millennials and marketing, you’ll quickly understand what I mean.

Between the copy-wars squabbling over Facebook and Snapchat, or whether Instagram is the true underdog to truly reach a Millennial crowd – wait, scratch that, Vine – you’re likely to leave more confused than before you began your search.

But the double-edged sword mentality regarding Millennials is part of the problem, too. On one hand, Millennials make up a HUGE population of people (a whopping 75.4 million according to Pew Research) whom marketers are chomping at the bit to gain credit with. On the other is the stereotype that Millennials are a lazy group without motivation or goals – that hiring them brings risks to your organization that you may not be willing to deal with.

So, essentially, we’d like to sell to Millennials while reducing  their abilities – making it harder for them to find employment and make money to spend on the products that marketers have exhausted time and money in reaching them.

That’s confusing.

No. Millennials aren’t lazy. They’re a fountain of wealth to your organization – and below we’ll share some social media benefits you’ll gain with a Millennial team.

Social Media and Millennials

It’s no secret: Millennials are big into social media. A 2015 Pew Research survey found that a solid 90 percent of young adults (18-29) are the most likely to use social media. But who’s surprised by that figure?

More than that, most Millennials were born into a world already embracing and adapting to rapidly evolving technologies – including social media.

Unlike adults who quickly on-boarded when social media proved a fruitful venture, Millennials grew up with it, experienced pivotal events through it, and formed long-lasting relationships because of it.

To put it bluntly: Millennials have a deeper connection to the internet and social media than any generation preceding them. As members – and consumers – of the Millennial generation, they know what their peers want to see, when they’ll be active, and how to engage with them in a meaningful way.

More Accurately Targeted Social Posts

Millennials know who likes what, to what extent, and where to find them instantly. You’ve probably figured this out by now, too. The difference is the way they can reach out to them.

Millennials are talked about constantly. They’ve been forced into a lot of corners already, having to defend their generation against a litany of accusations. Because of this, Millennials have had to do tons of research to keep up with grievances, research on different segments of the population, more deeply understanding people – sometimes surfacing with things you might not have considered.

Brainstorming with a younger team can lead to revelations about your targeted efforts – interests and groups that you never thought to be a meeting ground for your target audience.

Better Engagement

Speaking to people whom you don’t share many interests with can be difficult, however Millennials have to time and again to reach a level of acceptance with older generations. They know the language to use, the tools to fuel their message, and the places where it will be seen.

This intrinsic understanding of people within, and outside, their generation can give your social media presence the boost it needs to get you more followers, readers, and buyers.

Platform Adaptability

It seems like every day there’s some new social platform touting the death of Facebook. It’ll never happen. Millennials, however, are far more open to experiment with new ideas and social media platforms as they roll out. As their friends try out the latest video streaming app, they’re all-but-guaranteed to give it a spin, too.

Not afraid to dive straight into the deep-end, Millennials are quick to grasp how a platform works. They’ll probably have a good understanding of how to reach audiences quicker. And, even if your team isn’t the most creative, you’ll have a presence on a new platform before competition notices.

Masters of Microcontent

So we know Millennials spend a lot of time on social media, but how are they accessing it? According to findings in the 2016 U.S. Cross-Platform Future in Focus, just about 80 percent of social media is accessed from a smartphone.

What’s that mean?

Since Millennials are always on the move, this means they’re thinking, typing, snapping a photo, or recording a video on their toes. In a word, they’re quick to think of ways to share information in an easily digestible format.

Since many Millennials post consistently, they’re typically in the mindset to develop micro-copy to cause a specific reaction or outcome. They’re already seasoned professionals at it – no tweet editing necessary before sending them aflutter. Your organization will save a lot of time and money leaving microcontent in the hands of your Millennial team.

Keeping Relevant

Born into a world of instant access to information, news, and pop culture, Millennials have the ability to see an event and create a post that harkens to the event or emotions tied to it. They know what will trend before Facebook does, and they know how to get people excited about it.

Having a Millennial staff of social media gurus gives you an edge in creating viral posts about topics nowhere near your radar, but whose mention can yield incredible results.

Social Freedom = Better Results

Attached to relevancy is the freedom (within reason) to let your social media team craft a tone and engage with followers unfettered. Not to mention the points you’ll score for having a more flexible working arrangement.

PwC study results confirm that Millennials value greater flexibility, appreciation, and team collaboration. If you show trust – and they prove to be trustworthy – you’ll have yourself a stellar team ready to elevate your social media presence to the next level.

As Millennials grow, there’s no time to write them off and shut them out. As a generation, they are the gatekeepers of the Internet. They understand it in a way older generations simply cannot. And, with the right motivation and leadership with them, they’ll prove beneficial to your organization and campaigns.

About the Author

todd-giannattasioTodd Giannattasio

CEO & Founder at Tresnic Media

Helping businesses build their brand and acquire customers with strategic content production and promotion.

Twitter | LinkedIn


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The HR function is in the middle of a process which will change it forever

the-new-way-of-working

The New Way of Working (NWoW) is rising and the reasons behind this are in the latest trends in HR: Autonomy, Accountability, Flexibility and ICT.

Most companies are following or are planning to follow this trend, and for good reasons! But before speaking about the benefits, it is better to understand what this trends mean with some examples.

When we talk about autonomy we refer to the proliferation of small independent teams as well as virtual teams. Accountability refers to the empowerment of all the employees, while flexibility is well represented by telecommuting and home-working. ICT obviously concerns all the new tools that information technology offers to help us get work done.

NWoW is all that, but why should the HR implement it? The answer is because this holistic approach results in a better performance than each single trend considered; that is autonomy, accountability, flexibility and ICT are more effective if implemented all together.

So let’s talk about benefits, real advantages, something that make NWoW worth in the eyes of the executives.

Here are the three benefits in our opinion:

  • better productivity: because employees work more and better when they evaluated for the results they achieve, and not just for the time that they spend in the office;
  • more innovation: because if employees are more engaged at work they will feel more involved and go the extra mile to find new ideas
  • more attractive: for the best talents on the market, the future generation (aka Millennials) will be asking jobs which offers this features, so NWoW is the key to attract the best employee of tomorrow.

The road to NWoW is paved also with some challenges to overcome:

  • loss of social links: remote work can reduce the relationships between the employees;
  • less collaboration: open spaces can make collaboration more difficult;
  • individualisation: can occur if the employees are obsessed with their goals;
  • silo mentality: when thinking of silo mentality people will most of the time think of a lack communication between departments, yet it is not that simple and it requires an in depth analysis.

Silo Mentality

Silo mentality is a mind-set present when certain departments or sectors do not wish to share information with others in the same company. This type of mentality will reduce efficiency in the overall operation, reduce morale, and may contribute to the demise of a productive company culture.

Traditionally organizational structures were set up with silos to enable specialization towards a specific activity. In the 20th century this method was successful because managers focused on their efforts and rarely had to take in consideration the organization’s other activities. This is no longer applicable nor efficient in today’s ever-changing, fast-moving and information craving workplaces.

Organizations need to get away from the silo mentality because coordination across departments is where opportunities to create efficiency, change, and innovation lie.

But how could it be prevented, not just once but in a systematic way?

First and foremost, it’s to the management and leaders to generate cross-silos efficiency by addressing contextual issues at the heart of the organization. All collaborators will need to have a common goal to advance in the same direction. Once the management is set on the right track, they still need to find a way to engage and motivate the teams towards the goals.

Secondly, it is necessary to find a coherent and systematic solution to reach out to the departments and be able to select the people that need to meet each other. Chances are that the silo mentality will dissipate as more people doing a variety of jobs with different mind-sets start to understand each other’s mutual reality.

Solutions

To complete the overview on the current situation I am going to describe what the companies are currently doing, the usual solutions, to break the silo mentality.

The three main solutions which most companies are putting in place are: team building activities, enterprise social networks and company’s dinners.

All these solutions have proven to be reliable for many years, but it is finally time to expose their limits: they are gathering always the same usual attendees, they are very hard to organize and manage because too many people are involved, and often people tend to regroup with their team without having any contacts with the other colleagues. Furthermore, these current solutions fall short as far as participation rate and employees’ engagement are concerned, and at the end of the day Silo mentality will be still an issue.

So the question is: how to go beyond these limits and, at the same time, drive high participation rates and employees’ engagement? Well, the answer is “frequent micro-events”, that is events which are repeated several times in a given time frame and with a small number of attendees.

In this manner the HR manager can improve cross-silo contacts, get high participation rate and solid employees engagement.

Admin Costs

Yet organising these kind of events might be quite difficult for large companies, with hundreds or thousands of employees. The HR will be overwhelmed by the number of variables involved to plan the events… and handling the last minute cancellations might be even worse. They need the right tool to help them complete this task.

Woobe for instance, is a tool that will give HR a the possibility to organize long-term and specifically designed small-group events over large groups of individuals.

It is an effective, long-term and scalable solution that can design inter- or intra-department campaigns with different objectives and separate goals. With only few clicks, and in less than 5 minutes, the HR will create a campaign. Woobe will send automatic invitations to employees, according to their calendar availabilities and the criteria defined, such as department, age, seniority, etc. What Woobe is not is “yet another tool” for the employees: they will receive invitations in their regular “outlook” calendar.

With Woobe, a company can easily and economically organize micro events to break down the silo mentality, initiate a sense of cohesion and a corporate spirit that will drive success.

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

Linking Corporate Social Responsibility to Corporate Reputation

social-responsibility-to-corporate-reputation

An Interview with Nielsen’s Wendy Salomon, VP, Reputation & Public Affairs

wendy-salomonToday, we welcome Wendy Salomon, a vice president in Nielsen’s Reputation Management practice, to join us for our Q&A blog series. In her position, Wendy leads research engagements that deliver business insights to her diverse set of clients. She is entrusted with some of the firm’s most valuable client relationships.

Wendy has more than twenty years of experience with research and research-based consulting. She has helped her clients set strategy, refine business and reputation management plans, and optimize agency relationships based on research insights. Her work focuses on reputation management, brand strategy, and strategic communication engagements. She has earned particular regard for her ability to consult in challenging B2B environments around the world.

Wendy recognizes the value of both qualitative and quantitative inputs and has intelligibly brought to bear advanced analytics for many of her clients. She is a highly regarded partner and is often called to interact at the c-suite level within her client organizations. She is a published thought leader on reputation management and a sought-after presenter.

The interview is hosted by Jennifer Spencer, Content Marketing Manager at Versaic.

Versaic: Why should companies invest in CSR?

Wendy: It’s funny; that’s something you used to hear asked a lot, and now investing in CSR is not often something that is called into question.

The most successful companies have led the way in understanding that corporate reputation is a business asset that requires proactive understanding and management—the same as any other asset like their supply chain, brand portfolio, workforce, etc. How a company is seen as engaging with the world—whether it is viewed as socially responsible by key stakeholders—is often at the heart of reputational equity and risk.

Simply put, the world and the marketplace have moved beyond evaluating companies based solely on the quality of what they make or the service they provide. Equally important to protecting and growing reputation are the relationships a company has with the environment, communities, its employees, etc.

Versaic: What brand and marketing value can CSR and sustainability initiatives bring?

Wendy: We know that a strong corporate reputation clears the way for positive product brand stories to be heard. A company might have a compelling brand story to tell, perhaps even a pitch-perfect value proposition. However, if there are reputational frictions in the conversation about the company—for instance, if some call into question whether the company behaves in responsible ways—that brand message will have a really hard time cutting through the noise.

CSR activities protect and grow corporate reputation, which creates a supportive backdrop for brand strategies to be brought to life. CSR activities also help the company continue to engage with communities and stakeholders that can provide valuable feedback for their products and services, strengthening their business. Investment in initiatives that bolster reputation unlock business value and shared value.

Versaic: What are the unexpected benefits or outcomes that you have seen for companies that have implemented CSR programs successfully? 

Wendy: Beyond the good these programs do in the world, one of my favorite outcomes of these types of programs is the positive impact they have on employees. This is true on two fronts.

First, for employees themselves, these activities are often a critical piece of how they connect with the company. It makes them fulfilled, gives them a chance to serve with colleagues in a new way and build their skills, and plays an important role as they go out in the world and serve as brand ambassadors in their daily lives.

Second, we know that future talent around the world feel it is a priority that the company they work for is socially responsible, and this is particularly true of those early in their careers. Even when compared to things such as career advancement, elements of corporate character are a compelling part of a company’s reputation that can influence whether someone wants to work for you or not. The importance of this can’t be overstated. There are many who seek to work in a sexy technology environment but somewhat fewer who aspire to many of the stalwart “traditional” industries that desperately need creative talent to remain innovate. CSR activities can help pave the way to attracting and retaining high-potential hires.

Versaic: What are the three most important ways companies measure the success, and how does that lead to value in the business?

Wendy: From what we see, the landscape of CSR measurement is evolving and is a big opportunity for CSR managers. When measurement is lacking, the programs default to being a line-item expense versus something that drives business value for the corporation. By measuring success, the case can be made that CSR activities protect reputation and shape the business landscape in a supportive way. I’d recommend focusing assessments in three broad areas.

First is actual performance. Are the efforts themselves bringing about the desired positive change? CSR programs take many forms, but they all generally seek to make the world a better place. Perhaps your CSR initiatives set out to feed, educate, or create healthier lifestyles using products that are manufactured with fewer negative environment impacts, or they provide access to cleaner water and the chance for kids to play in cleaner parks, etc. Companies must measure and evaluate their positive impacts, alongside their community and nonprofit partners, so they can share this information both internally and externally. It’s good to do good.

Next is “campaign”-level understanding. This primarily applies to initiatives that are fairly well resourced and time bound, etc. Were stakeholders aware of the effort, how did they come to know about them, and did it contribute to the desired understanding of the company/issue? Over time, insights like this serve to inform future efforts to hone CSR practices.

Last is the overall impact that social responsibility efforts have on corporate reputation and risk mitigation, including the impact on the company’s license-to-operate and overall business environment. This is the business case for CSR that is critical for companies to operationalize—the extent to which being a socially responsible company builds reputational equity and mitigates reputational risk.

Versaic: How can companies truly differentiate themselves in how they communicate their CSR initiatives and results?

Wendy: One of the main things that should be kept in mind when it comes to communicating about CSR initiatives is the basic tenet that companies will need to tell more than just one story. Particularly for CSR, how diverse stakeholders view the information will vary dramatically based on their specific priorities. So, a CSR communication strategy for consumers, for example, is quite different from the strategy for policy influencers, NGOs, or investors. There is a real danger in being tone deaf. Thus, accounting for the different lenses through which stakeholders see your CSR activities is important and has real implications for communicators.

Another thing I’d share about how to differentiate is the expanded value that’s possible when companies engage in activities that link to their own core competencies—moving from old-school philanthropy to “skillanthropy” or skills-based contributions. This could be a CPG company addressing access to healthy food, a bank educating vulnerable populations on financial literacy, a shipping company getting supplies to storm-battled regions, etc. There is a particular “stickiness” when programs such as this are part of a CSR portfolio, as they allow them to shine a light on the good the company does in the world and also the expertise it brings to the marketplace day in and day out.

Versaic: What tips can you share with companies who would like to increase the impact of their CSR programs?

Wendy: You’d be surprised at how many companies don’t communicate the steps they take to be socially and environmentally responsible at all. There is worry that it will be seen as opportunistic versus sincere, or boastful versus humble. The truth is that people are making an effort to learn proactively about the way a company engages with the world before they decide to support it—whether that support be in the form of buying the company’s product, working for the company, or welcoming the company’s expansion in their local community. We know that many don’t like what they find and opt to engage elsewhere.

So, the main tip I would share is to tell your authentic corporate-responsibility story. It’s up to companies themselves to make sure this information is available when consumers go looking; without it, opinions can be shaped by broad industry perceptions, critics, and misinformation. A misperception of many reputation managers is that a lack of a bad story is the same as a good story, under the false hope that the lack of high-profile irresponsible behavior provides the proof necessary that the company is engaging in responsible behavior. For companies who have prioritized social responsibility, it should be a component of their enterprise-messaging strategy.

Versaic: Where do you see CSR going? What is going to be important three years from now?

Wendy: I would say there are two things to watch.

First, we have seen the evolution over the past decade from a definition of social responsibility that was dominated by environmental issues toward a broader view of corporate citizenship. Looking ahead, I think this “bigger tent” definition of what it means to be a responsible company will continue to expand. So, we’re likely to hear more about economic impacts, transparency, employee well-being, etc., as proof points for being a responsible company.

Second, it’s a hobby of mine to take note of how companies work CSR activities into their actual organizational structures. Is there a “sustainability” team or “global citizenship” department? Is it primarily a marketing function charged with creating a glossy sustainability report? Are responsible business imperatives decentralized and woven in across the company, giving it a voice in R&D, community outreach, and hiring practices? It’s all across the board right now. As the definition of corporate responsibility becomes broader—the bigger tent I mentioned—presumably, providing a framework for responsible behavior will need to become more systemic. I’m not sure yet what shape it will take, but I think we’ll see fewer occasions where companies opt to relegate CSR to a silo and fewer instances where it is an appendage on the org chart that is separate from where the “real work” happens. We’ll see more and deeper integration.

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Source: Linking Corporate Social Responsibility to Corporate Reputation: Nielsen’s Wendy Salomon, VP, Reputation & Public Affairs