Surveys can be valuable tools for HR.

Today’s post is written by Freddie Tubbs, who is a human resources manager at Academized. He regularly takes part in HR and business events and contributes columns to Paper Fellows and Australian help blogs.

While your business may already use surveys to find information and answers to the questions you have about your customers, using this data resource in your own company can do wonders for how you operate.

Of course, there’s no denying that each member of staff and employee is an essential cog in your operations, and if you can provide them with the best experience possible you can maximize your efficiency, productivity, and output.

Today, we’re going to explore the types of surveys your HR department can start implementing to get a foundation of where your business is at, as well as sample questions to help you get started.

Surveys for Recruitment

One of the main functions of HR is to recruit new employees who are such an important process since you’re going to want the right talent for the roles you have, as well as ensuring that individual is suitable for your company culture.

To find out all this information, you’re going to need to ask the right questions. There are multiple ways you can apply this, whether that’s questions to engage your applicants to find the right person, or surveying to see how effective they thought your application process was; helping you optimize the way you recruit.

 Candidate Engagement Questions

  • Why do you want to work for this company?
  • What is important to you when it comes to working for a company?
  • Do you engage with our company’s online presence in any way?
  • What made you want to apply for a job in this company?

Candidate Experience Questions

  • What did you think of our recruitment process?
  • What are the three improvements you would make and why?
  • Would you apply to this company again?
  • Would you refer others to apply to this company?

Investigating Your Company Culture

These days, the condition of your company culture is so important. If your company has a toxic culture, this can cause so many problems. Not only will productivity and output be low, but your employees also won’t be happy where they’re working, and you’ll get through employees so quickly, potentially losing your best talent.

However, using surveys and the right questions, you can highlight the weak and strong areas of your company culture, ensuring you’re able to make the right improvements.

Questions about Company Culture

  • Do you feel like you’re respected at work?
  • How importantly do you rate feedback?
  • Do you feel like you are listened too?
  • Do you like the atmosphere at work and why?
  • Do you feel like you can trust your leaders?
  • Would you say you are happy while working here?
  • What suggestions do you have to make this a better workplace?
  • Do you feel like you are fully supported enough to complete your job?

Monitoring Your Employee Experience

We’ve already spoken about the importance that employees have within your company, which is why you’ll need to be proactive in making sure you’re looking after them and ensuring they’re happy and supported while working for you.

What’s more, you’ll need to make sure you’re surveying all areas of your employee experience and how much they engage with your business; both in and out of work.

“Any employee who loves to work in your business and engages with many aspects of it is going to be retained much longer, meaning you won’t get through staff so quickly and you won’t need to keep wasting your time on hiring and training processes” explains Mary Turner, an HR manager for UK Writings and Study demic.

Questions for Employee Attitudes

  • Have you had enough training to complete the job you do successfully?
  • What are your three favorite things about being an employee here and why?
  • Are you happy working here?
  • What are the three top things you would like to improve or change in the company?
  • Do you feel appreciated working here?

Questions for Monitoring Employee Engagement

  • Do you know what the company’s goals and values are?
  • Do you know and understand the company mission statement?
  • Are you motivated to help the company achieve these goals?
  • Is the company maximizing the use of your skills and experience?
  • Would you like to be more or less engaged with the company and why?
  • Are you motivated to want to be successful in your current role?

“Even if you have employees leaving, whether they’re taking a different path or trying something new with their life, you’ll have exit meetings which provide a great opportunity for you to ask questions to gain information on this unique, and typically more honest, perspective of your business” shares Jason Harper, a recruitment professional for Boom Essays and Essay Roo.

 Questions for Employee Exit Meetings

  • What are the reasons you were looking for a new job?
  • What are the reasons for you wanting to leave?
  • Have you previously raised any concerns you’ve had about the company?
  • What didn’t you like about your job?
  • Do you feel like you had everything you need to complete your job?

Conclusion

As you can see, it doesn’t matter what area or stage of your business your employees are in; there are numerous questions you can ask to help you gain an accurate idea of what people think of your business and how you can improve for everyone involved. Get it right, and you’ll be maximizing your business’s opportunities for success.


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Is a slip injury covered by workers' comp?

Is a slip injury covered by workers’ comp?

Very disagreeable seems to have arrived early this December 2018, so I have decided to republish this post from last January. Take heed on how to handle slips and falls by employees.

It is winter time in the Northern Hemisphere. As a result snow and ice has fallen making areas treacherous for travel, especially for walking. Here in the Southeast, we had a couple of inches of snow and ice fall the last couple of days. Although the sun is now out there are still some roads and parking lots that have not had the sunshine on them and melting the ice. Thus some hazards still exist to employees trying to make their way to work. If one of your employees is injured on ice coming to work are they covered under workers’ compensation?

It depends

As with many questions of this sort, the answer is a resounding “It depends.” It will depend on the workers’ comp law in your state, so make sure you check it thoroughly, but generally, in most states, an employee who is injured in the course of coming and going from work is not covered by workers’ compensation insurance if they are employed at a fixed site. Thus, an employee who is in a car accident while commuting is not covered by workers’ comp. However, a sales rep or repair technician, who travels directly to a customer site from their home, may be covered.

What about slips in the parking lot?

In the case of the company parking lot, the answer is again “It depends.” This is where the term “the zone of employment” comes in to play. The “zone of employment” is that area either owned by, or under the control of the employer, that surrounds the fixed site location of the employer. This includes the parking lot, walkways and entryways into the building. The control of these sites is generally determined by ownership or by a lease agreement. Responsibility will often determine accountability in injury situations. Let’s look at a couple of examples.

Single property

If a company is located on a single piece of property and the parking lot is for the exclusive use of the employees of that company, then the concept of “zone of employment” comes in to play. The employer, as the owner of that property, is responsible for keeping it clear and safe. Thus if an employee fell on uncleared ice in that lot then an injury sustained would likely be covered by workers’ comp.

Common property

In the case where the business is located in an office area where there are many businesses that lease from the property owner, there may not be any “zone of employment.” The property owner may be responsible for clearing snow and ice from the parking lot and thus any injury incurred would most likely be covered by their liability insurance and not the employer’s workers’ comp. The terms of the property lease will be important. In some situations, even though the parking lot is not owned by the employer, a parking area may be designated for a specific employer and thus, by the terms of the lease, they may be responsible for keeping that area clear. In that case and slip and fall comes back into the realm of “zone of employment.”

In situations where there is no parking lot at all, such as an office building in New York, unless the employer owns the building, there is no zone of employment and any slip on the sidewalk would not be covered.

Just be aware

Naturally, this blog post cannot cover all situations. You need to be aware of your state law and your responsibilities as either a property owner or lessee, to determine how you should consider injuries from slips and falls. Having a statement in the employee handbook might be a good course of action as well or an annual published statement before the ice and snow falls. You may also need to consult with your individual counsel if injuries arise.

References:

Employers Can Be Responsible for Falls in Parking Lots, Christopher Gray of Wickens, Herzer, Panza, Cook & Batista Co.

Parking lot slips, falls and the “coming-and-going rule”: is your parking lot within the zone of employment?, William Ross and William McKinley of Calfee Halter & Griswold LLP


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This is not a battle that man will win, the human needs to be more human.

Fast Company magazine published an article titled 5 Myths about the future of work that you need to stop believing. These include:

  1. YOU NEED TO BE A QUICK LEARNER TO SUCCEED- It is not really the speed at which you learn something, it is whether you master the skill or not that is important. 
  2. IF YOU WANT TO DO SOMETHING INNOVATIVE, YOU HAVE TO BE AN ENTREPRENEUR OR WORK AT A STARTUP- Small does not necessarily equate to innovative. Larger companies innovate all the time.
  3. YOU NEED TO LEARN TO CODE- It never hurts to learn code, but much is being done today that does not necessitate learning how to code. The important thing is learning how to think computationally. 
  4. AUTOMATION IS BAD FOR WORKERS- Automation may be bad for some jobs, but it will also create many jobs too.
  5. A HUMANITIES EDUCATION IS POINTLESS- To the contrary, as I wrote in the blog post that is reprinted below, the human side of us may be more important than ever.

I and others have written about the necessity of keeping the “human” component in the jobs of the future. That is going to be the only way to preserve work for humans as artificial intelligence advances. I wrote about this in Future Friday: Why it will be important for jobs to be more “Human”, but recently I wonder if this will be enough to maintain work as we know it. It may not be.

Human skills

Futurist Graeme Codrington, strategy consultant at TomorrowToday Global, writes in an article about the same concerns. Codrington writes that machines are already better at a lot of jobs and getting better all the time. He says:

We are about a decade away from computers becoming more intelligent than we are, although they can already do many parts of our jobs better, faster and cheaper than we can now. This doesn’t mean we expect an army of sentient machines to invade our workplaces. Instead, slowly at first, and then increasingly bit by bit, our jobs will be eroded as machines do more and more of what we do today.

Another author suggests that work as we know it will stop and humans will be left to doing work that is fulfilling but not necessarily productive. Giles Broadbent says:

The concept of “work” may have to change altogether with productivity and GDP a matter for the machines. What is left could be something more human, co-operative and rewarding all paid for by a “universal basic income” which will surely move from the wild reaches of economic fantasy to the central goal of any progressive regime.

I don’t think we are at the stage of everyone being “artsy and craftsy” and deriving their income from that government or industry being taxed to provide a universal basic income. Codrington, however, is spot on with his advice by pointing out the skills that humans will need to be relevant in a future world. His list is:

  1. Creativity and ingenuity. It will yet be a while, so we think, before machines will get to this point.
  2. Sense-making. Machines are great at producing data but are not all that good at determining what that data means. However, they will get there.
  3. Unstructured problem-solving. Machines need rules, people can operate without them.
  4. Common sense. Common sense can be rule-based, but as the saying goes “common sense” is not all that common.
  5. Ethics and morals. Choices are not always obvious. There are subtleties often necessary that machine code cannot handle. As Codrington says: An intelligent machine’s ‘moral code’ is only as good as the data it receives from humans – it doesn’t have metacognitive awareness itself.
  6. Identifying errors. Since machines are coded by humans it is humans who will have to identify the errors, at least for many years to come.
  7. Empathy, love, care, and compassion. This is the most human of these skills. Not all humans are very good at this, as we have spent decades turning workers into machines. Many will have to relearn these skills. But as Codrington says “The human touch is indispensable for most jobs…”

Let’s hope

Let’s hope that human skills will be able to sustain people in their jobs and will be enough. I think the human condition includes a big dose of work and not just self-fulfilling endeavors supported by the estate.


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3 Things Employees Look for in a Workplace

by Michael Haberman on December 6, 2018 · 0 comments


 

Health and well-being is sought after at work.

Today’s post is brought to you by my friends at SocialMonsters.com

The things that employees look for in a workplace has changed and evolved over the past few years. This can make it challenging for some employers to keep up. If you take a look at the latest trends, you might be easily overwhelmed by all of the recent tips that are said to keep employees happy at work – nap pods, anyone? While there is a lot to consider when it comes to making this generation of employees happy and satisfied at work, these are the timeless aspects that your workplace should focus on.

Flexibility

The strict 9-to-5 workday is dead. According to data from a 2018 Global Talent Trends report, 51 percent of employees wish that their employer offered more flexible working options. Flexible work options can be applied to nearly any industry, including human resource professionals. And it is something to strongly consider. Not only is it good for the employee, but it can benefit the workplace, too. A recent report out of Stanford has revealed that over a nine-month period, flexible work employees achieved more, were happier in their work, took less sick days and even worked longer hours than their 9-to-5 counterparts. Consider offering permanent flexibility in forms such as telecommuting, flexible schedules and unlimited paid time off.

Health and Well-Being

A workplace wellness program that includes a myriad of wellness initiatives is crucial. Aspects such as wellness challenges and on-site health screenings are just two examples of wellness initiatives that can be implemented year-round. Keep in mind that it is not enough to just create these wellness initiatives, employees want the company to truly make an effort to create a culture of wellness in the workplace and expect leaders to lead by example. Other options that potential employees are drawn to include meditation programs, standing desks, and onsite workout facilities, Forbes reports. In addition to these initiatives, it should go without saying that employees are drawn to a safe working environment. But the workplace is failing. A survey from The American Working Conditions of more than 3,000 workers in the United States found that one in five Americans do not feel safe at work. Safety is critically important, whatever the industry may be. And policymakers are working hard to make American workplaces safer. You can take action, too, by implementing workplace surveillance in the form of wire-free security cameras, which can improve security around the working environment. This will lead to happier, more satisfied employees.

Purpose

Today’s employees are seeking out meaningful work. You don’t want your employees to feel like they are just working for a paycheck and not something bigger. Employees don’t want that either. A Mercer Talent Trends study revealed that thriving employees are actually three times more likely to work for a company that has a robust sense of purpose. You can establish a greater purpose by developing a company vision. Other aspects such as showing recognition, expressing gratitude, discussing the meaning and value of the company often, sharing success stories both from employees and customers, and ditching a tunnel vision approach can all lead to a greater sense of purpose at work.

From offering permanent flexibility, focusing on health and well-being, and giving workers a sense of purpose on the job, your company can not only attract top talent but retain it, too.


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Employers just keep messing up!

by Michael Haberman December 5, 2018

Tweet In the past month, there were multiple stories of employers messing up compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act. Here are the stories: Alabama Installation Company to Pay $134,097 to 22 Employees After U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Finds Overtime Violations U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Results in Sacramento-Area Gas Stations Paying $45,957 to […]

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The Penalties for Misclassifying Independent Contractors

by Michael Haberman December 4, 2018

Tweet Recently a company in Louisiana agreed to pay nearly $250,000 in penalties for improperly classifying employees as independent contractors. Specifically, “…an electrical contractor based in New Iberia, Louisiana – has paid $249,278 in back wages to 117 employees” according to the press release from the USDOL. The employer was charged with not paying required […]

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From the archive: Which industries do you think are hit the hardest by FLSA violations?

by Michael Haberman December 3, 2018

Tweet This two-year-old post is still relevant. Wage violations occur in these industries as much today as they did two years ago.  With the December 1, 2016 deadline for changes in the new overtime regulations a great deal of attention is being focused on the Fair Labor Standards Act. A recent study conducted by TSheets, […]

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Future Friday: Rays of Hope for the Future

by Michael Haberman November 30, 2018

Tweet It is easy to sit in an office, looking outside at a cold, overcast sky and feel somewhat dismal. Listening to the news will certainly not perk you up either. So it is nice to come across an article that shows the future and the future of work is not as bad as you […]

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In the era of #MeToo: A Holiday warning

by Michael Haberman November 29, 2018

Tweet It is that time of year that many companies will be having holiday parties. HR and Management need to be cognizant of party protocol. Managers need to be warned about their behavior with the employees. Hands need to be controlled and behaviors need to be engaged in under the warning of “If you don’t want […]

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Common Hiring Mistakes to Avoid And Foster A Great Company Culture: A guest post

by Michael Haberman November 28, 2018

Tweet Today’s post is written by Ashley Lipman.  Building a strong, inclusive company culture is all about finding the right people to come together and be a team. It can be challenging for HR professionals and hiring managers to assess whether or not someone will be a good fit, not only for the role but […]

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