Employee Feedback: How Do Netflix and Pixar Deliver It?

Learn the exact methods Netflix and Pixar use for delivering feedback to their employees!

background-black-and-white-blackboard-247708.jpg

Employee feedback: A key to successful employee performance

Providing feedback to employees is an essential component of every successful and productive company culture. Delivering feedback regularly helps to make sure that employees are on the right track and achieving their goals as targeted.

Unfortunately, most companies don’t utilize this powerful management tool. The Globoforce study found that 65 percent of employees say they’d like to receive more feedback than they currently get.

Recent Gallup research finds that only about one in four employees “strongly agree” that their manager provides meaningful feedback to them – or that the feedback they receive helps them do better work.

So how can you ensure providing regular and useful feedback to employees in your company? Learn from the leading companies! Let’s examine the methods Netflix and Pixar use for delivering feedback to their employees.

Pixar’s method for delivering employee feedback

Plussing is Pixar’s magic formula for giving feedback. Plussing has played a game-changing role at the film company Pixar. The general guideline is that you may only criticize an idea if you also add a constructive suggestion. Hence the name plussing.

Here’s an example:

An animator working on “Toy Story 3” shares her rough sketches and ideas with the director. Instead of criticizing the sketch, the director will build on the starting point by saying something like: “I like Woody’s eyes, and what if his eyes rolled left?”

Netflix’s method for delivering employee feedback

Stop-Start-Continue is another employee feedback model that was popularized by Netflix. In this drill, each person tells a colleague one thing they should start doing, one thing they should stop doing, and one thing they’re doing really well and should keep doing.

Netflix also created a system for sending “Stop, Start, Continue” feedback to anyone at the company once a year. The company picked an annual feedback day and asked that everybody send their comments, in “Stop, Start, Continue” format to everyone they had feedback for.

For those who want to know more

If you’re looking for more great tips for managing employees, sign up for our FREE 7 days email course: Short Leaderships Tips for Managers!

Advertisements

Why Performance Reviews Are Critical for Small Businesses

There are certain advantages a small business has that a large multi-national corporation simply cannot, by its very nature, posses. Namely, these are a certain warmth, personality, a sense of being natural… However, perhaps the most important aspect is this – flexibility. Namely, a small business can change, shift, turn. Just compare an elegant mini cooper with a semi.

And for this reason, a small business can utilize performance reviews much better. Namely, performance reviews have gotten a bad rap as being just annoying, bureaucratic by-the-numbers sessions. This is because big companies can’t handle doing this properly, either because of their size, or simply not caring. However, having a small, dedicated team, means that you can do a performance review on a regular basis, and it also means that they have a much greater effect. Below are the reasons why these are just so important.

Time for praise (and error correction)

The entire point of performance reviews are to assess the performance and efficacy of a certain employee. How well did they do their work, how had are they working, how are they handling any pressure that may have been added to their plate.

Performance reviews present a time where you can reward good behaviour, and where bad behaviour can be corrected. Let’s face it, a busy business owner has a lot of thing on his or her mind. This means you simply forget things, even stuff as important as letting some employees know just how good of a job they are doing. It’s a great opportunity to provide some kind of reward as well. It also helps you sit down and see what one person is doing wrong.

Think of this as an opportunity bot to praise and correct your staff, as well as serving as a reminder for you to do so.

 

Helps with goals

Without goals, you are practically rudderless. Goals are something one should strive towards, one should move towards. With proper goals, you know where you are going. In turn, you then know if you’re on the right track or not. With this in mind, think of performance reviews as an opportunity to speak to employees about goals, both theirs, and how they integrate with the goals of the company.

In fact, setting goals is something any company (or for that matter, any individual) should do as soon as possible. By figuring out the goals of an employee, or by helping this person figure them out, you get to see how motivated they are, and how well they can mesh with your company. An ambitious, driven person who wants to start a family in the same town your local business is located in is much more dependable than a person who wants to travel as much as he or she can, without thinking too much into the future. On the other hand, this same vagabondish individual is perfect for positions that require travelling and going out of town.

With this in mind, it helps you figure out why certain people just don’t perform as well as they could, and can help you understand how to get good employees even better.

 

Forces you to reassess

Having performance reviews done regularly helps you take a look at your company, and see where you are right now. It forces you to sit down and analyse what is happening within your company, and how you can improve further on along the way. Perhaps your own leadership skills are not up to snuff, or you may have some other issues you need to attend to.

Juggling too many things at once can make life difficult for any business owner. Getting proper smb management solutions, instead of creating them yourself alone, can help you push forward with your company, and lighting a part of the workload you have. This can make reassessments easier, and make it simpler to integrate performance reviews into your reassessment protocols.

The carrot and the stick

Motivation is obviously important, as we’ve mentioned. But, with regular performance reviews, you can keep some less than stellar employees on their toes, while giving good ones something to look forward to. If they know that you actually care about their performance and intend to review it, both problematic employees and star workers will go the extra mile to give you their all.

And remember, always praise in public, scold in private, if you want to keep your people motivated. Scolding people in public will make your staff be afraid of making mistakes in the future, which will paradoxically lead to mistakes, or will stifle creativity. On the other hand, praising in public boosts morale of an employee even more than if you were to just sit down with them.

Conclusion

Performance reviews are important and useful, especially for small businesses. As a small business, you have a greater impact when dealing with your employees, and can influence them more, both positively and negatively.

Why Advertising Agencies Hire White Label PPC Management Services

Online advertising and marketing is a key step for the smooth propagation of any business. Nevertheless, it is not always possible to come up with cost-effective and attractive solution at the same time. So, when you are running low on ideas or on funds, you can easily consult a PPC management agency.

More specifically, even better would be to approach one that offers white label services. If you too want to witness the positive effects of these services and see your business flourish, then here is more to help you understand the nuances.

What is the service about?

  • Introduction: White Label generally means when a company, which is lacking in some respect, outsources PPC services to another company.
  • Tailor-made services: The outsourcing agent company will provide services for another company while keeping its logo and find job in India to client intact. White Label PPC management is currently the need of the hour because it offers tailor-made branding in a short time gap.
  • Characteristics: An agency should be trustworthy, experienced and flexible enough to offer transparent services that could ease people’s problems. It should have a competent supporting team that ensures clear and hiccup-less communication between the parties.

Reasons for hiring PPC Management Services

  • Custom-made Branding: Brand value is of utmost importance in this time and so the renowned brands are looking for ways to retain it. PPC management services helps them to protect that value through timely and quality services.
  • Quality Solutions: Certain issues can arise during an Ad campaign, which only an expert can address and handle deftly. Outsourcing services ease such issues by providing industry best solutions.
  • Methodical Movement: An outsourcing agency is expert in these types of campaigns and is more likely to ensure professional solutions. Irrespective of the reason behind the problem, the systematic methodology of the company will eliminate every obstacle.
  • Cost-Effective: Funds can turn out to be a point of concern while doing PPC campaigns. A deft PPC services agency will complete all your complex outsourcing needs within pocket-friendly budget.
  • Lowered stress: Managing your PPC works without proper prior knowledge can be stressful. When you hire an experienced agency, it takes up all the responsibilities to sort out the issues. This sets you free to devise your business strategies conveniently without taking additional stress.
  • Customer-Friendly: The prime aim of any work is to please the client and retain them in all possible measures. These PPC agencies hence provide you with on-time and quality products that let you satisfy the clients’ demands completely. This not only helps you to retain the old clients but also maintains the company’s brand name and goodwill.

Certain Challenges

When you work with a PPC reseller, you come across some obstacles that might hinder your smooth movement.

  • Report Rules: You need to create some PPC reports but owing to various formats available for report creation, you need proper discussion with the company. You must provide the report right on time and as per client’s requirements, hence proper consultation is must to avoid unwanted situation.
  • Access Acceptance: While working on or with Google Ads, using two different mail ids by the company and agency can create problems. So, create a common login id for easy and simple access for both the parties.
  • Balancing Both Sides: The agency needs to play an intermediary role between the campaign and the clients who ordered the campaigns. It should prepare all the answers of all the potential questions that might arise in the client’s mind. This will save time, create the correct impression and help in smooth sailing of the action.  


The white Label PPC management is an affordable and effective option for start-ups and for companies with tight time restrictions. Therefore, the advertising agencies vouch for and hire this professional service to enjoy the sure-shot advantages!

Moving Forward After Funding Failure

One of the toughest things about starting or sustaining a business is finding funding. Whether for a startup effort, an expansion, product development, or more aggressive marketing, every business needs money, and many times that means outside funding. There are a few ways to get outside money for your business:

  • Traditional Business Loans: Available from banks, credit unions, or small business administration and government loans, these are traditional ways of funding. Essentially, a business takes out a secured or unsecured loan and pays it back in installments with interest.
  • Venture Capital/Angel Investors: This funding comes from individuals or groups who invest in businesses in exchange for a percentage of profits and a portion of the proceeds if the business is sold or stock options if it goes public.
  • Crowdfunding: A relatively new method for business, this is when you use platforms like Kickstarter to get funding from those who are interested in your product or service.
  • IPO: When a company sells stock that is publicly traded.

There are other methods of internal funding and less conventional funding like seeking loans from friends and family. Essentially, for all of these different methods, you must prove that your business has either made money in the past or has the potential to make enough money to be worth investors’ time and money.

None of these methods of funding are guaranteed. So what happens when you go after funding and you don’t get it? Here are some keys to moving forward after funding failure:

Evaluate What Went Wrong (If Anything)

Depending on the type of funding you were seeking, there could be a number of reasons you did not get it. It is a good idea at this point for you to see the same issues lenders saw so you can fix them if possible. If it is not possible to fix the issue, then you might have to reconsider your growth rate or even your business idea. Here are a few things that could have gone wrong:

  • Your Personal Credit Score Is Too Low: When your startup is new, your business has no credit rating of its own. Everything is tied to you as the business backer. If your credit score is not stellar, a lender might see your business as a credit risk.
  • Your Pitch Did Not Inspire Investors: Investors hear a lot of pitches, and you should simply be prepared to hear “no” a lot.
  • Your Business Model Needs Work: While your idea might be great, you also need a path to making money, and yours may need refining before you apply for funding. You also may be losing money in ways that are not obvious to you but that investors see. Look for funding holes and repair them.

In his book, Lost and Founder, Rand Fishkin, founder of MOZ, reminds readers that when it comes to business, 5 in 10 will fail. Three of those that succeed will only make a small amount of money for investors, and two will make up for all the rest. Venture capitalists and even banks are looking for those two.

Even LegalZoom failed in their initial IPO before raising $500 million in their latest round of funding, which was designed to give current investors liquidity and move on to investors with a longer term outlook. Even large, successful companies have failed to get funding from time to time. Sometimes, it’s nothing you did wrong at all; you may just have asked the wrong people or at the wrong time.

Evaluate Where You Are Without That Funding

Just because you did not get this round of funding does not mean things are over. It is likely you are not out of business, but you will have to evaluate where you are now, as disappointing as that might seem, and where you need to go from here.

The first thing to do is look at your earnings now. This can also help with the previous step and determining what went wrong. Good accounting practices let you see if you need to scale back growth, return leased equipment, or take other steps to keep your business going. One of the most important steps to this is looking at your current cash flow. What kind of money do you need to cover your daily operations? Do you have that money coming in?

Secondly, look at why you wanted or needed that money in the first place. Was the need immediate, or was it to finance future projects that can be put on hold? If the answer falls into the second category, you can take some time to evaluate those projects and look for alternate funding sources or even shift your company focus.

Seek Other Funding Sources

No matter how you tried to get funding, there are other sources. If venture capital failed, you may have to look at loans. If one or both of those failed, you may want to look more creatively at some crowdfunding options. You may even simply want to look at other investors or banking options.

In business, a “no” often simply means you are that much closer to a “yes,” and that is no different with funding than with anything else. If one thing did not work, try another one. If you heard no, ask someone else, or reset once you have determined what went wrong and fixed it, and then ask again. This means expanding your network and practicing your people skills and sales pitches at conferences and wherever you go.

Even after funding failure, business is about moving forward, even if that means stumbling forward for a bit until you can get on your feet again. There’s no time to stop and wrestle with regret. A business that is not moving forward is already moving backward. Determine what went wrong if possible, take stock of where you are now, and seek other funding sources. This “no” may simply be one more step on your way to a “yes” and a successful round of company funding.

The Human Side of HR: What Makes a Great Administrator?

Businesses are made up of a multitude of working parts. From upper management down to the mailroom, everyone has a vital role to play. HR managers are an essential part of maintaining a well-oiled machine; they take care of the people who work there and maintain the kind of workplace that inspires people to turn up day after day, year after year. They are the people behind the people. In order to do their jobs effectively, HR managers need to have a variety of skills in their toolbox.

Hire the Right People

Hiring is a major part of HR responsibilities. It’s important to hire the right people; you want them to be engaged, capable, and in possession of a skillset that compliments the current work goals and progress. An experienced HR manager needs to know how to hire the kind of person who fits the company culture and values, and who will assist in reaching long-term goals as well as immediate needs. The wrong person, or hiring a good employee for the wrong position, can be detrimental. The right person can not only fit into your corporate culture but can help that culture grow along with the business.

Effective Training

A good hiring manager can recruit employees with all the skills required to shape the company’s ability to succeed, but they also need to help mold the employee’s skill set into their brand and workflow through comprehensive and effective training. An employee with a wealth of talent needs to know how to apply that talent, not just for best results but also in compliance with legal and labor laws. A thorough training regimen outlines expectations, any company-specific training, as well as what the employee can expect from the company. This communication is vital to ensuring everyone, including the company, can comfortably fulfill their expectations.

Employee Retention and Satisfaction

The link between employee engagement and revenue is well-established. A skillful HR manager is the cornerstone of employee satisfaction — and employee satisfaction is the key to engagement. HR can utilize programs designed to show appreciation for employee work; anything from food to incentive programs can energize employees. Likewise, public praise and spotlighting distinguished employees as well as a culture of positive reinforcement can be effective. HR must also stay on top of employee needs, whether it be in benefits offerings or promotion and salaries. Employees should feel needed, appreciated, and like they have something to work towards.  

Conflict Resolution

One of the more complicated aspects of HR is conflict resolution. An effective HR manager should be patient, even-tempered and able to navigate employee interpersonal and professional relationships (as they apply to the job) with a delicate touch. HR should be attuned not only to the needs of the company but of the employees as they apply to a productive and effective workplace. Conflict resolution can range from small interpersonal spats to the larger legal issues, such as sexual harassment. It is important that HR managers be thoroughly educated and knowledgeable about conflicts of a legal nature, for the safekeeping of both employees and the company.  

Follow Through

Your employees rely on you to make sure their work lives run smoothly. From benefits to paychecks, they need you to make sure the company fulfils their end of the employee contract. Prompt follow-through shows your employees their well-being is important and the company is invested in making sure they are in a safe, productive atmosphere. If employees do not trust HR, they’ll be less likely to seek out solutions to any problems from HR. They will be more likely to become bitter or malcontent, grow stagnant in terms of work or look for employment elsewhere.

*   *   *

An HR manager who utilizes these skills will be able to work effectively and harmoniously with their company and workforce. Their administration skills can help boost productivity and make the workplace somewhere employees look forward to turning up for a long, happy future.

6 Must-Consider Courses for Small Business Owners

Nobody said that college education does not help in the business world, but even without an academic background, an entrepreneur can learn the ropes and build a profitable organization. Examples of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg have shown that college dropouts can easily enter the global business pantheon.

Still, there is little doubt that lack of knowledge and expertise quickly spells doom for small businesses. Even with enough money to hire experts, it pays to be in the know when it comes to things that impact and shape your company. Besides, there is a wide range of valuable courses available these days. Thus, do not miss this opportunity to grow personally, professionally, and propel your organization towards success.

Marketing

All entrepreneurs are engaged in marketing one way or another. Like it or not, this is the only way to break out in the market and get products and services in front of people. A solid marketing course should provide deeper insights into conducting market research and identifying the target audience.

Moreover, it is designed to help you select proper channels and tools for the delivery of your messages. Upon completion, entrepreneurs are able to develop digital and traditional campaigns, engage the customers, allocate resources better, and achieve a good ROI. All in all, they are better prepared to elevate your company above the competition.

Financial planning

The financial side of running a business can be daunting for unseasoned founders. Yet, it is precisely the ability to master financial planning and management that goes a long way towards improving your bottom line. So, seek credible financial planning courses as well as those on general finances and accounting.

You will figure out the optimal capital structure, recognize growth opportunities, balance the budget, use balance sheets properly, manage the inventory, maintain a firm grip on cash flow, keep track of transactions, and make sound financial projections. So, it is time to get on top of the numbers game and monitor the financial health of the organization.

Business management

To be a proper leader, an entrepreneur has to be on the ball at all times, successfully handling daily management tasks. Therefore, a management class is one of the essential steps towards climbing up the career ladder. You have a chance to hone your soft skills and learn to lead by setting a good example.

Furthermore, courses in this department emphasize the value of business communication, proactive employee motivation, company-wide collaboration, task delegation, supervision, performance assessment, etc. Ultimately, you should be able to better inspire the troops and let them march towards business greatness.

Building a startup

If you are yet to launch your small business, you must ponder courses on building a startup. They help you familiarize yourself with validation of business ideas and the creation of killer business models. You become aware of strategies used to secure a market share and set up the foundations for sustainable growth.

Certainly, you will not be in a conundrum when figuring out the best model of incorporation and all the requirements associated with it. Therefore, you should have a nice head start in a long business race, instead of stumbling at the first hurdle.

Developing innovative ideas

Ideation is a name of the business game. It drives innovation and enables small businesses to get ahead of the curve. Courses that cover the process of idea generation teach you how to think creatively, overcome practical obstacles and realize the potential and value in novelty concepts.

Armed with such knowledge, your every idea will be more than a wild guess and become a calculated risk at worst.  Most resources also give you an understanding of how to properly communicate, pitch, and present your ideas, via presentations, visual media, meetings with investors, etc.

Legal issues

Constantly evaluating and optimizing your business from a legal standpoint is paramount. In case you have trouble even thinking of that, do not fret. Take on a course in law in entrepreneurship. These courses empower businessmen to fine-tune their business plans, select a business name, and protect intellectual property.

Also, legal courses better equip business people to steer away from business-sinking scenarios, such as trademark infringement. Finally, along the way, participants are in taught to recognize the value of forming strong relationships with business attorneys and other legal experts.  

On a steady course

Having a college degree is not a prerequisite for running and managing a business, but possessing the know-how is. Courses are an invaluable asset to you and to your company and they are becoming a standard across industry sectors. You have more tools than ever before.

So, step up your game and tap into great and affordable online sources of knowledge. You will save a lot of money and headaches down the road. Move forward with confidence, whether you are facing number crunching, strategic planning, day-to-day management or some other vital task. Be as independent and resourceful as you can.

Artificial Intelligence trends become today’s HR realities

Gartner Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, 2017

The emergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies in the past years has profoundly impacted a tremendous number of companies and sectors. Take the example of supply chain functions – these have been completely reshaped and fully robotized warehouses are now the new standard. In parallel, other support or corporate functions have also caught this technological wave, but not with the same speed and pace. Human Resources today are the perfect illustration: the shift towards Digital HR has started for pioneer organizations, but the majority of companies are still in the reflection and conceptualization stages. On one hand, there is an overwhelming feeling related to the immensity of ‘the possible’ in terms of HR technology offerings, and on the other hand, there is a need to answer growing expectations from an evolving workforce.

Today, HR C-levels are facing a common main equation: Ensuring that HR roadmaps will become even more relevant in the C-suite and help streamlining organizations while improving the employee’s experience.

But how are AI technologies concretely impacting the HR community?

Beyond the reflection and conceptualization stages mentioned earlier, AI is clearly acknowledged as a critical component of the future HR service delivery model. Most of discussions today are about how to incorporate chatbots, robots or other cognitive solutions within Human Resources departments.

Just to name a few examples:

  • Robotic process automation (RPA) is a new norm today. Any process optimization exercise almost always considers robotic automation as a solution. In this context, almost all HR processes are subject to automation. The main recurring ones that we observe are related to recruitment, core HR administration, compensation, payroll and performance, but all HR processes that require significant manual input are candidates for automation.
  • Chatbots are also getting a lot of traction. For example, in the HR space, chatbots are replacing traditional FAQs. Cognitive chatbots can also be trained by humans in order to improve their correct answer rate. This is a real game changer and robust accelerator to change the employee experience.
  • Robots are less and less considered as exhibition gadgets and can now be found in some HR front office departments.
  • Voice assistants on mobile for any employee, anytime, anywhere are becoming more common – say hello to the new HR ‘Siri’. A vacation request for example can then be part of a quick phone conversation, instead of several less efficient transactions involving HR systems and emails.

What we are observing, is that AI technologies are becoming fully embedded within the HR community. The initial doubts and fears have been overcome by most HR professionals and AI is recognized as a real added value to the employee. The HR operating model shift is ongoing and we are only at the early stages as the technological change is evolving at an exponential speed. Tomorrow new Artificial Intelligence offerings will emerge and will continue to reshape HR departments.

For more insights, please visit hr-jump.com

Author: Thomas Dorynek – Manager, People Advisory Services, EY

Thomas is a seasoned consultant with extensive experience in HR Digital Transformation projects. Views are his ownFollow @tdorynek

Affordable Care Act Reporting Software

The Biggest Challenges of Affordable Care Act Reporting

Written by Adam Miller, HR Compliance Manager, Passport Software, Inc.

Affordable Care Act

I’ve helped hundreds of Applicable Large Employers (ALEs) manage their Affordable Care Act requirements and file their 1094-C/1095-Cs. Though each had different reporting needs, the same question kept coming up…

How do I complete Part 2?

1095-C Part II
The original source: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1095c.pdf

Lines 14, 15, and 16 make up Part 2 of the 1095-C and provide details of an employer’s offer of coverage to a full-time employee. Knowing how to correctly complete this section is imperative for Affordable Care Act compliance and avoiding penalties.

Line 14—Use code 1E.

Choosing a line 14 code requires you to know three things:

  • Was coverage offered?
  • Did it meet minimum standards?
  • Was it available to the spouse and dependents?

Deciding on the best 1A-1K code to complete line 14 has one extra nuance, and it can save you hours of scrutiny: If a full-time employee is offered coverage and has the unconditional option to add their spouse and dependents to their plan, you may use the corresponding 1E code for all employees offered coverage—even those who are not married or do not have children. Since spouse or dependent coverage doesn’t need to meet any cost standards, there is little reason not to offer it.

With this allowance, most fully ACAcompliant companies will find they can use Line 14 code 1E for every 1095-C they submit, instead of 1B for single employees, 1C for single parents, and 1D for childless couples. Your life is already easier, isn’t it?

Line 15—Forget about Line 14.

This continues to be a very tough concept to nail down. The IRS wants to know: What is the monthly employee’s share of the least expensive, employee-only plan available to this person?

Let’s review each part of that statement.

  • Employee’s share—the employee’s remaining portion after the employer’s contribution.
  • Least expensive—the qualifying plan with the lowest monthly cost available, often referred to as bronze level. This is not what the employee is paying for a more comprehensive plan.
  • Employee only—One Person. Forget that on Line 14 you reported that the offer included the spouse/dependents. For the purposes of ACA reporting, it does not matter which plan an employee actually enrolls in, only what they could have chosen and what it would have cost them.

Line 16—What happened after Line 14?

It isn’t difficult to find that code 2C applies to employees who accept an offer of coverage, or that 2B is used for a part-time employee. Things start to get murky with code 2D. Code 2D refers to the variable-hour[i] employee who is in their Initial Measurement Period, also known as the Look-Back Method.

People start to panic when it comes to employees who were offered insurance but declined. In their 1095-C Instructions, the IRS wrote 1181 words describing all the Series 2 Codes in use. Nowhere does it say “Use code __ if the employee declined coverage.” In cases where you have made an a fully qualified offer which an employee has turned down, use whichever of 2F/2G/2H matches your method for calculating their income and ensuring affordability:

  • Use 2F if you look at W-2 Wages
  • Use 2G if you use the Federal Poverty Level
  • Use 2F if you look at the employee’s Rate of Pay

Congratulations…

Not only have you completed Part 2, but unless your company self-insures, you can bypass Part 3 completely!

What’s the next step?

Knowing how to correctly use the codes and contribution fields is fundamental, but organized tracking of ACA-related information throughout the year is equally important to save time and avoid penalties. A good, regularly maintained spreadsheet is a serviceable option for smaller ALEs with straightforward ACA reporting. For larger employers, or more complicated reporting, a specially designed software solution or service will reduce the compliance workload and help avoid penalties. A good one will help you accurately manage changing and editing data and even create the 1094-C/1095-C forms or electronic files.

Passport Software’s ACA Software and Services range from on-premise software to full year-round compliance management services. Our friendly service is fast and accurate, and our customers have given us great reviews. Our software is IRS-certified and we are IRS-approved to file on behalf of our clients.

Dealing with past years reporting troubles? We can help there, too.

Learn more about Passport Software’s ACA Software and Services, or call us at 800-969-7900.

[i] variable-hour refers to cases where it is unclear whether the employee will be comfortably above or below the 130 hour per month full-time threshold.

Form 1095-C
The original source: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1095c.pdf

About the Author:

Adam Miller

Adam Miller is the HR Compliance Manager at Passport Software, Inc. He designed their ACA Software and, as a support tech, he has helped hundreds of people with Affordable Care Act compliance and reporting.  Adam has a background in engineering, the service industry, and print, which makes him a technically proficient and friendly communicator for Passport Software.

Passport Software, Inc.

181 North Waukegan Rd, #200

Northfield, IL 60093

800-969-7900

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

Engaging Executives: HR’s Responsibility to the Higher Levels

Engaging Executives: HR’s Responsibility to the Higher Levels

Engaging Executives

When experts talk about employee engagement, most people imagine lower-level employees and middle managers. These workers have minimal authority over their daily tasks, they are the least job-secure, and they tend to receive the lowest pay and worst benefits packages, meaning they are most likely to be disengaged from their work. As a result, the web is filled with engagement solutions to keep lower-level employees around.

Yet, while HR professionals devote the bulk of their energy to engaging this portion of the workforce, executives are suffering. Though they have greater responsibility and greater remuneration for their efforts, executives can still disengage from their work, lowering their productivity, and endangering the entire business – including those workers at lower levels. However, the engagement solutions that work for lower-level employees rarely apply to higher-level business leaders. Therefore, HR professionals need an entirely different strategy for executive engagement.

Understanding Executives

HR typically doesn’t pay much attention to executives for a couple reasons:

  1. Executives already earn high salaries, and they generally have more control over their schedules and tasks. Therefore, the monetary rewards and engagement strategies HR is most familiar with don’t work.
  2. Most HR reps can’t relate to executives.

Most HR professionals have more in common with low-level employees than upper-echelon executives. Most HR reps earn respectable salaries and average benefits; they complete daily tasks that have little bearing on the greater goals and direction of the company; and only the CHRO and similar top-tier HR workers ever interact with executives. Thus, few members of HR comprehend the lifestyle and struggles of working in the higher levels of an organization.

The first step to engaging executives is understanding executives. It is important to consider that although executives might boast different responsibilities, they are still human. As such, they experience stress and concern for their jobs, their subordinates’ jobs, and their families’ well-being. Further, executives have interests and hobbies, they consume media, and they take pleasure in small joys like the rest of us. Remembering this, HR reps should find it easier to empathize with higher-level workers.

It might also be useful to know what executives discuss with one another – which is not nearly as disparate from the lower-levels as HR reps might expect. Alongside infrequent discussions about business direction and organization design, executives lament their full schedules and intrusive meetings, gossip and chat about mutual acquaintances and people within the organization, and generally talk about what work needs to be done. A savvy HR professional will note that their discussions are nearly identical to those of lower-level workers.

HR’s Responsibility to the Higher Levels

Engaging Executives

Aside from their wealth and authority, executives aren’t terribly different than anyone else within a business. Therefore, HR reps only need to determine what motivates individual executives to develop effective engagement tactics for the upper echelon. Some common higher-level motivators are:

  • Need. Executives have finely honed talents, and they want to know their talents are integral for business success.
  • Passion. Like everyone else, executives want to like what they do.
  • Chemistry. Workplace culture is important; even executives want to like the people they work with.
  • Challenge. Executives tend to be competitive. If a job isn’t challenging enough, most will disengage.

It isn’t difficult to develop engagement programs around executives knowing how simple and common their needs and wants truly are. To stimulate their need motivation, HR reps can institute a “thank your boss” day, where higher-level employees receive executive gifts. To improve chemistry around the office, HR can organize team-building exercises that are mandatory for the C-suite.

Another useful tactic for engaging executives is to connect them more closely with their subordinates. While some high-level managers are naturally proficient at seeking out and befriending low-level employees, most executives maintain a boundary between themselves and the grunts. HR should strive to coach executives in their behavior toward lower levels, revealing their blind spots when it comes to leadership methods and results. HR should lead by example, placing people first and exemplifying how executives should interact with other members of the organization.

If necessary, HR should encourage executives to enroll in leadership training courses; just because they’ve reached the higher levels doesn’t mean they can’t acquire new skills and knowledge. If an organization invests in its people, its people will invest in the business – even executives understand the value of that.

About the Author:

Tiffany Rowe

Tiffany Rowe is a leader in marketing authority, she assists Seek Visibility and our clients in contributing resourceful content throughout the web. Tiffany prides herself in her ability to create and provide high quality content that audiences find valuable. She also enjoys connecting with other bloggers and collaborating for exclusive content in various niches. With many years of experience, Tiffany has found herself more passionate than ever to continue developing content and relationship across multiple platforms and audiences.


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

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

HR Specialists Talk About Their Stances On Time Tracking

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

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

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

It’s not for everyone

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

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

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

It’s about culture and priorities

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

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

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

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

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

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

Control or motivation?

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

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


If you want to share this article the reference to Gina Ora, WorkPuls and The HR Tech Weekly® is obligatory.