How to Retain Talent with Better Communication Technology

by Michael Haberman on December 10, 2019 · 0 comments

Communication can improve retention.

With higher rates of young employees (ages 25-34) jumping from job to job after only 2.8 years on average, HR departments are left wondering what they can do to retain their top talent and keep their company pushing forward toward success.

Making your company stand out enough for employees to want to stay and work for you is incredibly difficult, especially in a world where so many different opportunities exist. That’s why, as an HR professional, it is imperative to have a strong understanding of what your employees need in the workplace to feel motivated and happy.

When individuals work somewhere that is in touch with the latest tools and techniques relative to their industries, they will know that they are working for a company that is focused on growth, both internally and externally. Keep your employees happy and give them the innovations they crave—this is your key to success.

Why Employees Leave

A wealth of reasons exists when it comes to why an employee decides to leave a job. Besides the most common factors, such as moving on to a position with higher pay or greater responsibilities, employees desire to feel a sense of happiness on a daily basis. While it’s easy for people to lose the passion they once had for the work they’re doing, it becomes a real issue when they begin to fully disengage from their job. If employees are only coming to work to go through the motions, they are losing the drive they need to truly be successful. At a company-wide level, this can have serious ramifications for your business.

3 Ways to Help Them Stay

Allow Remote Work

Today’s workforce doesn’t want to feel chained to their desks. Being able to come and go freely, working when it is most convenient for their well-being and productivity, is at the forefront of a modern worker’s mind. Allowing for remote work, on a full- or part-time basis gives employees the freedom and satisfaction they are seeking.

Remote employees can easily work with coworkers or clients during business interactions by using tools like the latest email technology. With an emailing tool that manages conversations in real-time, remote employees will still feel just as connected to their team and clients as they would if they were in the physical office setting. Additionally, levels of productivity will not dip just because remote employees aren’t in the office. Having adequate tools to get the job done helps employees accomplish their goals while still having the freedom to work from anywhere and anytime.

Make Collaboration Widely Accessible

Keeping in contact with coworkers for general communication purposes is important for employee morale. Creating a sense of community when it comes to work and professional support will help talent feel that they are valued and respected.

Video conferencing and meetings, company chat platforms, and phone calls all contribute to a sense of connectivity for remote workers. Fortunately, these solutions can be streamlined across a single unified communications tool. This tech solution makes communication possible for remote and in-office employees, allowing for work to be taken on the go, and it can be accessed from any device with an internet connection.

Employees will feel connected and allowed to collaborate no matter where they feel most comfortable working. Now, not only will work be done more efficiently with simplified communication, but employees will keep their motivation for work when they are deeply connected to their team of coworkers and their office community.

Increase Motivation

Another option to increase engagement is by turning everyday tasks into a quantifiable, game-like competition.

Gamification technology is the ideal improvement to employee engagement. Helping your workers determine the amount of work they’ve accomplished in a given amount of time helps to break up the monotony of daily operations. Turning work into a light-hearted competition also encourages employees to push themselves to achieve even more in a given workday or week.

With resulting recognition for those who achieve success with this kind of technology, employees will see greater value in the work they are doing and will feel more motivated to get the job done.

For those employees not reaching the goals set for them with this tool, leaders can spend time guiding them and helping them improve their skills. This way, the entire company is improved in one way or another.

Strengthen your Team

While you’ll never be able to keep every employee working on your team, making the effort to understand and support those who are loyal to your company will serve your efforts for success in the future. Listen to what your employees want and need in the workplace, and they will be more inclined to stay.

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How to Use HR Technology to Your Advantage: A Guest Post

by Michael Haberman on December 6, 2019 · 0 comments

This guest post was written by Ryan Farley

The big challenge for Human Resources teams in the foreseeable future will be staying on top of the game.

Digital technology has freed HR staffs from mundane and repetitive tasks in payroll, benefits, and insurance. But that same technology revolutionized the entire business world at a time when society seeing fundamental shifts in values.  This has redefined and often expanded the role of HR – and it sometimes happens at warp speed. The “gig economy” was a term invented only a decade ago to describe the phenomenon of people taking on freelance work (what musicians called gigs). Fast forward to the present, and 36 percent of the American workforce is engaged in gig employment.

Some forecasters predict half the workforce will be gig workers by 2027. The burden of managing this sea-change in the workplace will fall on HR managers. It would be a nightmare task if it weren’t for foresighted entrepreneurs who see opportunity and develop solutions.

That’s where staying on top of the game comes into play. Since necessity is the mother of invention, vendors offer an array of solutions, and HR managers must choose the right ones.

Here are some trends that successful HR teams need to watch.

Source

Improved analytics

Software can churn out figures, but analytical tools can dive into the “weeds” of the stats to spot causes and trends. Data can track employee turnover, but analytical tools can determine why employees are leaving. This gives HR and management the information they need to make changes.

Look for new analytical tools to dig deeper into the mood, motivation, and productivity of employees and managers. Others will help an HR team digest information on prospective new employees and narrow the field to the best candidates. Analytics can also predict future changes in the business, so HR managers can prepare to hires people that will meet tomorrow’s needs.

Artificial Intelligence

HR teams and business leaders remain skeptical about AI, but it will have a growing presence in the future. While AI may have a “C3PO” robot stigma among baby boomers, those boomers are leaving the workforce. Millennials and generations beyond, raised with chatbots and Siri and Alexa, will have a greater comfort level with AI.

Look for AI advancements to eliminate 75 million jobs over the next few years. But we could see it create 133 million new jobs, which means HR teams will have to adapt to the new technology and “re-skill” a large part of their workforce. Many HR leaders are already using AI in recruitment and training. Soon, the technology will expand to employee evaluation, direct interaction with workers, as well as other areas.

Workplace Bias, Diversity, Inequities, Abuse

HR teams must be vigilant about workplace diversity. They must also be aware of biases and inequities that could affect employee happiness and retention – and have legal consequences. Emerging software can monitor diversity and help detect pay inequities and subtle biases. For example, software exists that can spot unintentional bias in communications and documents.

Because of recent high-profile abuse incidents and the rise of the #MeToo movement, quickly spotting and addressing harassment and sexual abuse is crucial. New apps allow employees to report harassment without fear of repercussions. They also enable HR to investigate and respond appropriately.

No single technological solution exists that meets every HR need. Every company has its own needs, expectations – and budgets. To stay on top of the game, HR teams must know what their companies need now and in the future. It’s up to them to choose wisely from the array of solutions that exist – or will someday exist – in the high-tech marketplace.

About the Author

Ryan Farley is the co-founder of LawnStarter Lawn Care, an online and mobile platform that connects homeowners with lawn care professionals for care-free and efficient services!

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‘Artificial intelligence’ and ‘machine learning’ are buzzwords you might find in any given publication centered around technology, but there’s another popular phrase that HR professionals might want to be aware of: robotic process automation.

So, what is it exactly?

Robotic process automation, or RPA for short, can be defined as the deployment of robotic technology by companies to automate various repetitive tasks. These aren’t your typical metal robots or androids you might see in the movies. Think of them instead as a digital workforce that can complete many of the monotonous duties that can bog down HR efficiency.

Why is there a need for automation?

Today’s workforce is more demanding than ever. Jobseekers expect quick answers to questions and application submissions. If a company is too slow to deliver them, they risk having their competitors steal away top talent from right under their noses. In addition to this, HR professionals are expected to manage the needs of their current workforce, onboard new employees, mitigate disputes, uphold company culture, among other responsibilities. The list of what is required from HR departments continues to grow, and in order to survive and compete in their niche, companies should make an effort to identify tasks they can leave to automated tools.

What do some of these tasks include?

Talent acquisition. Sorting through mountains of applicant data in order to find the best match for a particular position takes time. A single applicant might require an examination of their applicant profile, resume, cover letter, and social media channels to find qualities that are indicative of their competency for a role. With help from RPA technology, HR professionals can expedite this process by scanning applicant data for specified criteria that the company deems as required for a role. The resulting list of candidates should be similar to one that an HR professional would have produced had the process been performed manually.

Onboarding New Hires. Every new employee that enters a company possesses different skills and experiences, but the process of onboarding them is mostly the same. During this process, there are many steps—like setting up new hires with the company’s payroll and benefits systems—that can be performed by RPA bots. “RPA bots are particularly good at performing ‘swivel chair’ tasks requiring the ability to access multiple applications to get work done,” claims Greg Vert, a senior manager at Deloitte. This might include retrieving data from one HR system and uploading it into another, scanning data for completeness, and compiling reports from various data sources.

Payroll Administration. Among the many duties that HR professionals perform, payroll can be viewed as perhaps the most repetitive. That’s because it typically involves large amounts of data entry. The repetitive and monotonous nature of this work is also what makes it more susceptible to errors. By deploying RPA technology to automate payroll procedures, HR professionals can reduce this risk of inaccuracies to near zero, correct any mistakes that occurred during manual insertion, and significantly reduce the amount of time it takes for the process to be completed correctly. Automating payroll procedures can also help ensure that employees are paid on time, improving employee satisfaction.

Is RPA the answer to everything?

Although RPA can help an HR department make great strides towards efficiency, it’s important to acknowledge that human involvement is still essential for successful HR execution. RPA bots can indeed perform many of the duties with which they are tasked; however, in order to run most effectively, RPA bots need to be instructed on how to go about performing these tasks. Additionally, a qualified individual should be assigned to oversee that each process is being done correctly and make any necessary modifications to the bot’s process. That said, combining the effectiveness of RPA technology with the guidance of qualified HR professionals can be the difference your organization needs to completely transform your department.

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In my home town, in a recent news story, we were told of a community protest against a chemical plant and its emissions. The local authorities moved quickly to at least temporarily close the plant. Little did they know that action would have repercussions beyond the local community. It turns out that the process being shut down may make it more difficult for surgeries to get done because of the impact on the sterilization of equipment. Thus, when I was offered this guest post I thought it might be relevant to a number of audiences. This post was written by Megan R. Nicols, STEM writer and blogger.

Chemical manufacturing and processing plants are inherently rife with potential dangers. Occupational hazards are always a concern with employees, such as slips or falls, but there’s so much more that can go wrong. When working with volatile chemicals or substances, for instance, there’s a risk for explosions and fires. Acidic or caustic chemicals might eat away at protective gear or machinery components. Poisonous vapors or fumes may pose a pulmonary threat.

It’s not a stretch to claim that maintaining safety within these facilities is a significant challenge, one that deserves adequate attention and resolve. Safety is such a vital component of operation that it requires much more than a single risk reduction strategy. It calls for adherence to a widespread cultural mindset.

Every level of an organization — which means everyone within the facility — must understand its role as it pertains to safety. A collective including organizational structure, modern technology, suitable management processes, and human collaboration are what make sustained safety a possibility. Altogether, it generates a culture of safety within an organization, holding every individual accountable not just for their safety but that of others around them too.

To achieve such a thing, or really to improve safety within a chemical plant, organizations must first assess the situation and then implement the much-needed cultural changes.

Assessing and Identifying Potential Hazards

OSHA describes a failure to identify and recognize present hazards in a workplace as a primary or “root cause” of injuries, illnesses and incidents. The key to anticipating and preventing problems is first to understand when, how and why they might occur in the first place.

That can be done using a conventional form of risk assessment, particularly one that looks at potential hazards and dangers throughout a facility. It’s more than just a one-and-done process, however, as it should be continually leveraged throughout the scope of an organization’s lifetime. It’s why a cultural shift is needed because when everyone on site is involved, it significantly improves the success rate and decreases the number of preventable risks.

Every risk assessment plan should consider the following:

  • Hazards present as a result of routine work
  • New or recurring hazards that appear as a result of process changes
  • Close calls or near misses to determine underlying dangers and how they may be prevented
  • Past injuries, accidents or illnesses that occurred and what could have been done to stop them
  • Areas or rooms of high risk
  • Dangers that may arise during an emergency or a provoked incident
  • Hazards that appear as a result of non-routine operations
  • Equipment failures and other machine-related events that may create hazards
  • Environmental conditions such as temperature, weather, and climate changes
  • Negligence on the part of active workers and how that affects the surrounding community
  • Additional security factors such as those related to the chemical facility anti-terrorism standards (CFATS)

Mainly, the proper parties should collect and compile extensive information about potential workplace hazards to help better understand where problems might occur. It should be done initially, of course, to get the lay of the land. But a dynamic team should conduct risk assessments regularly to identify potential changes and updates, as well.

How to Improve Workplace Safety

Only after the potential hazards have been appropriately identified and assessed — and continue to be — can you truly take action. Use the information gleaned to build a proactive or preventative system that works to reduce potential risks before something severe occurs.

Something as simple as a spill, for example, should be cleaned by the nearest party or upon its discovery. By taking action immediately, it prevents others from stumbling upon the area and having an accident. It simultaneously encourages workers to be more accountable for their actions, which may have been the cause of the spill in the first place.

Not all accidents are a result of poor housekeeping, however. That’s when it’s necessary to draw up and deploy the proper protocols, which requires a degree of training and education. Everyone should be suitably informed about the environment, potential hazards, and safety requirements. Furthermore, the only way to ensure procedures are being followed is to conduct regular safety audits of the workforce. Examinations should only ever be used to assess the ongoing performance and help educate workers and build awareness about their involvement. No punishment should occur unless there’s a clear or direct sign of negligence, or if there are repeated offenses.

To ingrain safety as part of the company’s ethos, senior management, executives and supervisors should all be willing to prioritize and provide ample attention to the issue.

New and modern technologies can also be incorporated to this end, to help improve the ongoing analysis and understanding of a facility’s safety.

To sum it up, the action plan for improvement should look something like this:

  1. Assess the current facility and all necessary elements to understand potential hazards and dangers
  2. Educate and train all workers, supervisors and personnel about workplace safety and their relevant responsibilities
  3. Take action to improve existing processes and procedures while also upgrading facility systems — this would be where you install new safety-monitoring technologies, for instance
  4. If you haven’t already, create a team that will be responsible for routinely assessing and auditing facility safety
  5. Require personnel to take action whenever possible like cleaning up spills, wearing safety gear, properly maintaining machinery and more
  6. Strive towards a persistent level of improvement, encouraging safety as a top concern for all

Safety Must Remain a Priority for All

Provided the organization can make the necessary changes at each level of an operation, then safety will automatically improve. It is vital, however, that it continues to remain a priority for the organization, and improvement must always be a focus. Barring that, a lapse in safety can and will occur, resulting in a hazardous environment for anyone present.

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Why Good HR Teams Started Using Kaizen Philosophy For All Employees

by Michael Haberman October 30, 2019

Tweet Today’s guest post was written by Ashley Wilson. Every business today is under immense pressure to improve efficiency, communication and ensure continuous improvement within the organization. The HR department – Human Resources – is at the center of every organization, and connects with every person. For example, HR is the one to welcome a […]

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5 Essential Technologies for Your HR Department

by Michael Haberman October 18, 2019

Tweet Human Resources Department (HR) employees are in charge of multiple tasks on a daily basis, all of which are high-responsibility duties. Organizing interviews for new employees, checking the overall employees’ satisfaction levels, and managing everyone’s salaries are some of the many responsibilities on their shoulders. This is why it is necessary to aid them […]

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3 Next-Level Management Tips to Create a Better Workplace in 2020

by Michael Haberman October 16, 2019

Tweet Today’s post is courtesy of SocialMonsters.org The only thing constant is change. Though some aspects of business success are built upon bedrock principles that were detailed decades ago, you can’t stop evolving. There are new business models. There is new technology. And there needs to be new management. No, we’re not talking about firing […]

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The USDOL finally gives us the updated Overtime Rule!

by Michael Haberman September 25, 2019

Tweet I am been saying it since 2016 that the US Department of Labor would be issuing new rules for who was to be paid overtime and who was not. Since the Obama administration’s attempt to update the overtime rules was killed in 2016 we have been waiting for the Trump Department of Labor to […]

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The Future of Payroll: 4 Trends to Watch: A Guest Post

by Michael Haberman September 24, 2019

Tweet Today’s blog post was written by Ashley Lipman. The way the world does business is constantly evolving. From production methods to administration procedures, technological advancements have changed the face of business exponentially in recent years. One of the areas that’s adapting to these changes is payroll. Payroll is a pain point for many business […]

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Cultural Fit be Damned! Hire the Whacko!: Revisited.

by Michael Haberman September 23, 2019

Tweet There is an article in the Wall Street Journal that says “employers should be aware of the dangers of hiring for cultural fit.” There are dangers of hiring everyone to fit into the culture. It makes the company homogeneous and that costs in creativity and innovation. Sometimes you have to ignore the fit and […]

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