Elevating the HR function through digitalisation

Elevating the HR function through digitalisation
To seize the opportunities that digitalisation brings, it is essential to equip employees with the right skills by digital training and digital upskilling.

At the same time, we want to enable our employees to effectively navigate the latest technological and digital trends and tap the right opportunities.

We can consider the digitalisation of HR along two dimensions. One is the digitisation of the HR function, which involves implementing digital HR processes and services as well as ensuring that the HR team embraces a digital mindset.

For this, Henkel has a dedicated team that explores new solutions for various aspects of HR processes and improve the delivery of services across the organisation.

The second area is to eTransform the organisation, which includes equipping employees with the relevant digital skills while fostering a lifelong learning mindset.

In line with this, Henkel has launched a digital upskilling initiative for our employees around the world. The initiative involves assessing the digital knowledge of employees and offering them with tailor-made digital training and upskilling recommendations and programs.

The goal is to systematically advance their digital capabilities and enable them to stay ahead of the game.

Speed, transparency and efficiency
Digitalisation and technological disruption are rapidly transforming the HR landscape and creating new opportunities. An example is how we attract and search for talent in the marketplace.

For recruiters, online platforms provide instant networks to thousands of active and passive candidates, who were previously much harder to source.

On the other hand, employees are using social media and online portals to rate their employers and share their positive and negative experiences.

Like how a traveller or restaurant customer post their reviews online, this trend is gathering pace. While prospective candidates benefit from a new level of transparency, organisations that value and recognise their employees are rewarded with positive employer branding that make them more attractive to potential employees.

In addition, the introduction of chatbot services has paved a new way for businesses to communicate with new employees, reduce workload and improve user experience via quick and consistent responses.

There has also been a rapid uptake in using social media for peer-to-peer recommendations and job referrals by companies and candidates. An example is WeChat, which has proven to be successful in referring and promoting job ads to prospective candidates via smartphones.

Enabling digital upskilling and lifelong learning
Itis imperative that we in HR implement new strategies and practices as the interaction with our workforce rapidly evolve.
To seize the opportunities that digitalisation brings, it is essential to equip employees with the right skills. Henkel offers two learning approaches: digital training and digital upskilling.

Digital training focuses on education on digital issues and developing digital mindset and behaviours. Digital upskilling provides learning paths for specific roles and responsibilities.

Besides conventional classroom training, new learning formats are utilised within Henkel to enable employees to learn continuously in their career journey.

On Henkel’s digital learning environment, there are more than 3,500 courses in up to 16 languages in different formats. These include interactive online learning, webinars by leaders and experts, and case studies.

We are also piloting game-based learning, where teams collaborate virtually to solve fictitious business problems, and, meanwhile, expand their professional network with colleagues from different countries.

Employees can also participate in massive open online courses anytime, anywhere, supported by live chats with experts. They also have access to more than 13,000 video courses conducted by inspirational thought leaders.

Besides the vast training resources available, learning can be personalised. For example, on-demand programs give learners the flexibility to not only access content anywhere and anytime, but also engage in bite-size learning while juggling their busy work schedule.

Additionally, we can utilise smart systems to recommend the right online training, either by direct nomination or suggestion based on artificial intelligence (AI).

Internal HR systems no longer just record employee ‘master data’, but also utilise AI to match candidates to roles and map internal succession pipelines.

While these HR practices are not new, the use of AI enables greater data analysis that was previously an uncharted territory or an extremely labour-intensive process highly prone to bias and error.

These powerful job matching systems draw upon the data on the job positions, employees’ qualifications and their career preferences to propose guided career paths for our employees to pursue.

Thus, the HR function is a strategic partner in the digital transformation of any organisation. Among many opportunities, the ability to leverage the right digital solutions can optimise HR practices and empower employees in their lifelong learning journey.

These capabilities contribute towards enabling our organisation and workforce to stay relevant, agile and competitive in a changing marketplace.

Source: http://hrmasia.com/elevating-hr-through-digitalisation/

Great Companies Build Middle Leadership. Here’s Why

Leaders deal with the unknown, and are willing to admit they don’t have all the answers. They seek input from others to understand the important, yet not-so-obvious trends. These skills are needed at the top of an organization and also within the everyday interactions across an entire organization.

Great middle leaders motivate not only their team but others around them too. They do this by communicating purpose, thinking broadly to escape the organizational silos, and behave inclusively. Hiring for middle leadership is a smart strategy and motivates others. Great companies, however, deliberately build a culture of middle leaders.

A company wins the hearts and minds of its employees and customers based on the middle of the organization. A company drives the day to day of everything — from products, customers, support and sales and middle leadership deals with challenges, mistakes, and the surprises in the trenches.

As you think about building a world-class organization, it’s essential to understand, focus on, and measure, the concept of “middle leadership.” It’s a well-accepted fact that culture always trumps strategy when it comes to building a world-class global company and that becoming tangled in bureaucratic duties will slow a company down and erode the culture. To help avoid the ill-fate of a stale and slow-moving company, it’s vital to forward-hire and invest in the middle layer of your organization — as it will ultimately determine the fate of your business.

So how do you know when to hire for management skills versus hiring for leadership? All companies need a mixture of both. Understanding how these skills are different and when the middle of your organization needs more leadership, rather than just management, is one of the keys to growth. We commonly use the phrase “middle management” but have you ever heard of “middle leadership”? Nope. In part, because we tend to reserve the leadership label for senior executive hires. We argue that a consistent culture of middle leadership is essential to sustain corporate growth.

An organization may have great executive leadership, but ultimately, it rests on the abilities of the broader organization. Having leadership at every level is critical to breaking down the organizational silos in day to day challenges. Without this, corporate growth is slower, with more internal friction; often oblivious to market opportunities.

To fill the missing link between your company top leadership and the middle layer of the organization, you must reassess the hiring practices at your company. Evaluate what policies are in place when it comes to the intake of new employees and start to think about it in a specific, measurable way.

Ask yourself what types of interview questions should be added to HR recruiting strategies. Consider incorporating leadership aptitude tests to help ensure that new hires have the potential to help bridge the gap between management and leadership — to break down the silos. A bureaucratic, slow-moving culture is one of the most crippling afflictions a company can face. Middle leadership has the opportunity to spot failed communications between teams, missed hand-offs within the customer experience, and suggest new products. Identifying the attributes and skills of middle management, that will be used to pivot leadership-minded problem-solving, is a crucial component of building a company culture that thrives and is future proof.

One of the critical roles of the board is to set the “tone at the top” and to look at how company culture is affecting the organization. One of the things a board can look at specifically, as part of an ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) framework, is to examine their organizational development. How are they forward building middle management? What programs are available to grow middle managers from doers to leaders? It’s well worth committing time and resources toward creating a dedicated set of programs that teach leadership skills. This creates a robust middle layer vs. one that is bureaucratic and unresponsive.

Great middle leaders see opportunities in friction and initiate action to fix it. Middle managers work the plan, report, and explain. This is valuable, but it won’t carry your culture and company forward. It’s vital to align your middle leadership with the company’s overall purpose and mission, to be sure that your vision is being implemented across all levels.

Leaders deal with the unknown, and are willing to admit they don’t have all the answers. They seek input from others to understand the important, yet not-so-obvious trends. These skills are needed at the top of an organization and also within the everyday interactions across an entire organization.

Great middle leaders motivate their team and others around them, too. This is accomplished by communicating purpose, thinking broadly to escape organizational silos, and behaving inclusively. Hiring for middle leadership is smart and motivates others, in part, because leaders invest in people. Good companies might have both managers and leaders by chance, but great companies deliberately build a culture of middle leaders.

Betsy Atkins is CEO and founder of Baja Corporation and author of Be Board Ready. She currently sits on the boards of Wynn Resorts, SL Green Realty, Schneider Electric, and Volvo Cars.

Lisa Dallmer is an experienced Chief Operating Officer in financial services and technology. Currently SVP of Business operations at Delphix, previously she was COO of BlackRock’s Global Technology & Operations and COO for NYSE Euronext.

Source: https://real-leaders.com/great-companies-build-middle-leadership-heres-why/

Employees, Contractors And Gig Workers: Five Ways To Build And Manage A Mixed Workforce

As the digital age continues to evolve, organizations must rapidly adapt to meet the needs of the marketplace. One such shift is the rising complexity of building, managing and scaling a high-performing, multifaceted workforce. According to research from Georgetown University, by 2020, an estimated 55 million jobs will become available or created, but there aren’t enough younger workers with education and skills to fill the gap created by those retiring out of the workforce. The report anticipates a shortfall of 5 million qualified workers.

This is one example of many competing disruptions that may force organizations to seek alternative work arrangements. As a result, leaders will have to develop creative ways to fill the growing gap for talent. Leaders must realize that it is more than just updating new job descriptions and hiring these new types of employees into your organization. Doing so without intentional planning can cause havoc and confusion in your organization, which can impact productivity, retention and, ultimately, the bottom line. Here are five ways to build and manage a mixed workforce.

1. Take an agile, incremental approach to workforce planning. Long gone are the days of relying on annual or biannual workforce planning activities. While every industry reacts differently to the speed of technological advances, it is important to know the key drivers of your company’s sector and be prepared for disruptive shifts in your market in a way that aligns with your company’s culture.

2. Understand the motivating drivers of each employment type and multigenerational needs to create relevant career journey frameworks. The career management needs, rewards and motivations of an aging full-time employee seeking a path to retirement are different from those of a long-term freelancer or a temporary millennial gig worker. Build out career journey maps for the various workforce segments of your organization that tailor how talent development, learning and rewards are created and delivered.

3. Identify gaps in internal business processes from the front of the house to back office that could impact talent experience. Work with various key stakeholders — including employees —across the organization to identify and prioritize current breakdowns with internal business processes that could be further impacted with a mixed workforce. Determine how to address those business process gaps to maximize talent investments.

4. Develop an end-to-end, multilayered talent management approach. Make sure your talent management strategies take into account how each employment type fits into the broader corporate strategy and governance model. Integrate these strategies into key talent processes, such as recruitment and performance management.

5. Educate your front-line managers and supervisors on the nuances of working day to day with a mixed workforce. While executive leadership teams may understand the business case for recruiting and developing a mixed workforce, the true test of retention will rely on their day-to-day experiences. Front-line managers must be educated on how to effectively lead mixed teams in ways that convey an understanding of how to balance different employment types.

Finally, leaders must make sure to weigh the pros and cons of a mixed workforce, including taking into account any hidden costs.


Conscious Capitalism: Beyond Corporate Social Responsibility?

The future of business will require companies to do more than add on a CSR program—purpose will need to be incorporated into the business model and integrated into the entire organization.
Certified B Corporations have taken a bold stance in the modern world by declaring in no uncertain terms that while they do intend to be a successful business, they will do so while also making positive changes in the world at large. This comes from an understanding that sustainability and social advocacy are actually good for business. Not only can you still turn a tidy profit when implementing an ethical business model within a company, but you can also make a positive impact on communities both local and global.
Corporations are increasingly depicted as unfeeling industrial giants whose only interest is their bottom line, but corporations that engage in conscious capitalism are far from that depiction. In reality, B Corps that embody conscious capitalism may very well change how the world views capitalism as a whole.

Certified B Corporations meet the highest standards of positive impact on society and the environment. Learn what it means to be B Corp certified.
Conscious Capitalism: Taking It Further Than CSR
Conscious capitalism is the next logical step for companies that are already engaging in CSR (corporate social responsibility), as it takes the concept of social responsibility even further. While CSR can be grafted onto traditional business models, conscious capitalism and Certified B Corporation status require that an entire business model be actively engaged in ongoing self-awareness.
With conscious capitalism, corporations go beyond what traditional CSR programs accomplish by focusing on impact maximization, incorporating a higher purpose and a caring culture in the company, and exhibiting greater citizen awareness and participation. Conscious capitalism and the B Corp movement do all of this while still serving the needs of all stakeholders within the company.
Conscious capitalism is defined by Conscious Capitalism Inc. as a “way of thinking about capitalism and business that better reflects where we are in the human journey, the state of our world today, and the innate potential of business to make a positive impact on the world.” This essentially means that while a company’s primary goal is to be profitable, there isn’t any valid reason why that company shouldn’t also strive to use their position of power and resources to improve the world as they do so.
B Corporations are almost all inherently conscious companies to begin with and the Conscious Capitalism movement has long been a partner of the B Corp movement. After all, both movements operate under the knowledge that improving the world through environmental and social advocacy is essential to continued, long-term success.
Why Conscious Capitalism Matters
First, conscious capitalism is fantastic for business. A decade-long research study conducted by Rajendra Sisdodia (one of the progenitors of conscious capitalism) showed that companies that follow the principals of conscious capitalism saw a 1,025% return on investment over the course of those 10 years. Additionally, there were more esoteric benefits such as a deeper understanding of customers, low employee turnover with high levels of engagement, and higher trust among stakeholders.
Unlike standard philanthropic efforts, conscious capitalism and CSR aim to ensure that beneficial values are part of a company’s DNA. While some companies engage in CSR to manage their corporate reputation, truly impactful businesses understand that when you implement CSR and the tenets of conscious capitalism from the get-go, reputation doesn’t need “management” as a positive reputation simply comes with the territory.
Though large corporations that have CSR programs can certainly help communities around the world, the majority of their business models are predicated on a linear economic model that still prioritizes short-term profitability. When companies become followers of conscious capitalism, the goal instead becomes to develop a circular economy that is not only beneficial economically, but environmentally and socially as well.
Making the World a Better Place For All
Many corporations currently follow a model of shareholder primacy in which maximizing the financial return for shareholders is the ultimate goal. This is a short-sighted model that can cause serious social and environmental harm as it generates economic prosperity. In order to change for the better, companies need to incorporate CSR and conscious capitalism systemically, creating a business model that takes into account how actions affect the world around them.
Companies that strongly value conscious capitalism are increasingly common in the business world, and for good reason. The current model of capitalism is becoming clearly unsustainable and as the wealth gap increases and the environment takes hit after hit, more consumers, workers, and companies recognize that something has to be done. People want a system that will not only enrich the economy but also protect the environment and improve the quality of life for people around the world.
Morally sound companies are just more attractive to both consumers and potential hires. People want to work in a diverse environment, as evidenced by the nearly 70% of those looking for jobs who say that a company’s level of diversity affects their decision of whether or not to pursue a position. The environment is even more important to millennial job-seekers, with 76% of them taking into account a company’s environmental commitments when considering applying.
Conscious capitalism and B Corps go hand-in-hand, and it is important that more potential business owners understand their importance. These ideas are not radical and many large companies put them into practice today. The future might depend on whether or not companies engage in conscious capitalism and go beyond CSR. While some are doing their part, it is of the utmost importance that these ideas be spread far and wide.
B the Change gathers and shares the voices from within the movement of people using business as a force for good and the community of Certified B Corporations. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the nonprofit B Lab.


To Keep Top Talent: Personalize, Humanize Benefits

Building a workplace where people want to spend their entire careers takes commitment and a long-term investment, says Ultimate Software’s Chief People Officer Vivian Maza. But the results will be well worth the time and effort.

For many organizations, employee retention is an ongoing challenge. There are talent shortages across industries at almost every job level as employers face an increasingly competitive job market. But while candidates and current employees have many career options, there are steps you can take to create a workplace where people want to stay, grow and thrive.

Candidates and current employees have many career options today. But take these steps to create a workplace where people want to stay, grow and thrive. @UltimateHCM #HR #HRTribe CLICK TO TWEET
But before we discuss the how, it’s important to understand the why.

A positive, productive culture isn’t just great for people– it’s also great for business. For one, turnover is expensive: Seventy-eight percent of business leaders say retention and employee engagement is a top concern, and the cost of replacing employees ranges from 30 percent to 200 percent of annual incomes. Whether you’re a company with five employees or 500, turnover can have a significant impact on your bottom line.

When it comes to building great cultures, companies with a business focus on HR seem to have success. At Ultimate Software, we’re proud of our own 94 percent employee-retention rate and to be continuously recognized for having one of the best workplaces in the nation. We’ve learned a lot about putting people first through Ultimate’s 25-plus years of building HR solutions.

But you don’t have to be in the people business to be a people company. Here are some ways to ensure you’re keeping employees at the forefront of all you do.

Build a Culture of Trust, Empowerment
Successful cultures are sustained on trust. Building that trust takes buy-in and dedication at every level of the organization: from executives to managers to HR to customer service representatives to entry-level employees. Remember that you hired your people because they are great at what they do–so trust them to do a great job.

Trust makes a difference. It empowers your people, and employees who feel empowered often express it through stronger job performance, higher satisfaction and increased commitment to the organization.

Usually empowerment comes from quality relationships among employees, and research shows good working relationships are key. In fact, according to a recent nationwide study, employee-manager relationships are the number-one driver of employee satisfaction at work today. Looking at your current culture, do managers have what they need to lead effectively? Are they routinely checking in with employees to ensure they feel empowered to seek growth opportunities?

In turn, managers should also feel empowered to ask for help if they feel they don’t have the skills to help employees grow. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to success, so talk to your people about the tools they need to continue developing their skills and reaching their long-term career goals.

Use AI to Predict Risk
Technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine-learning platforms that offer predictive analytics capabilities and sentiment analysis can also help reduce turnover. In one case, a top employee at the Anderson Center for Autism was about to hand in her resignation. However, with the help of technology, the HR department predicted this move and developed a personalized retention plan that ultimately made her change her mind. Using predictive analytics, Anderson Center has been able to identify at-risk employees, as well as forecast employees’ likelihood of remaining at the organization for the next 12 months, and act immediately on that insightful information.

Not only has Anderson Center saved substantial time and money with these advanced solutions, but it can also now better identify, develo, and retain great talent in a highly regulated organization with few resources to spare–all while maintaining the strong employee base that’s critical to advancing the center’s mission of providing the highest-quality programs for children and adults with autism.

Preserve the ‘Little Things’
It’s easy for companies to lose sight of their cultures as they grow and bring new people onboard. While startups and smaller organizations can feel like tight-knit families, that’s not always true for organizations with thousands of employees. However, protecting your employee-centric culture should remain a high priority, regardless of your company’s size.

Throughout the growth phase, focus on preserving “the little things,” the special touches–from birthday celebrations to baby showers to community service outings–that form meaningful bonds and show employees you’re invested in their complete well-being. Break room gatherings and team lunches shouldn’t disappear as you scale. Consider what made your organization unique during the early stages, and what you can continue to hold onto, or bring back, to preserve that close-knit culture.

Think Benefits
According to Gallup, Millennials are the least engaged generation in the workplace, with six in 10 open to new job opportunities. Millennials also make up the largest generation in the U.S. workforce today. If organizations want employees to stay until retirement, they must show they’ve made a long-term investment to their people. Company outings and catered meals are nice perks in the short term, but offering benefits like unlimited paid time off or a competitive 401(k) company match can be life-changing for employees even while they promote a healthy work-life balance.

Consider ways you can restructure benefits to accommodate employees of all ages, and continue tailoring benefits based on changes in the workplace and evolving expectations. For example, younger Millennials may not be thinking about maternity leave today, but a generous, well-rounded benefits package demonstrates that you’re focused on keeping that employee happy 10, 15 and 20 years down the road. Not all benefits will fit into every company’s budget, but it’s worth taking a close look at your current offerings, and listening to your people to see which benefits matter the most to them.

Creating a workplace where people want to spend their careers takes company-wide commitment and a long-term investment. But the results will be well worth the time and effort. Even in a candidate’s market, you’ll see reduced turnover, increased productivity and happier employees. When you focus on culture, your people and your business thrive.published in TLNT

Vivian Maza is Ultimate Software’s chief culture officer. From 2004 through 2019, she served as the company’s chief people officer, and before that was office manager since the company’s inception in 1990. This article was originally published on TLNT. Based in Weston, Fla., Ultimate Software is a sponsor of the HCM Technology Report.


How SMBs Need To Approach HR — Even If They Think The Old Way Is Working

“Why should I change something that’s working?”

A business owner recently asked me this question when discussing his company’s approach to human resources. The company, a medium-sized business, has a single HR coordinator responsible for benefits, compliance and onboarding.

“I know we could be doing more to develop our employees, but I can’t justify spending the money to build an HR team when our turnover rates are in line with the industry average. What we’re doing must be working.”

But is it?

It’s tempting for small and midsize business (SMB) owners, like the one above, to follow an old-school mindset to HR. The thinking goes like this: HR is a cost center, not a revenue generator. HR is the realm of tactical thinkers, not strategic leaders. HR is about managing paperwork and benefits, not forecasting talent needs and optimizing the employee experience.

But today’s tight talent market and dynamic business world demand a different approach.

Making The Case: Why SMBs Must Rethink HR

Assuming the status quo is “good enough” can be a costly assumption for SMB owners. Yes, the worst-case scenario of low productivity and talent loss may not come to pass. But settling for good enough means you’re missing out on a truly dynamic work environment that sparks innovation, helps employees reach their full potential and drives business success.


How Virtual Assistants Make Working From Home Smarter

If you could choose the best possible office perk, what would it be? If you lean towards work from home, you’re certainly not alone. The “working from home” phenomenon (or WFH, in popular email shorthand) has recently swept the nation by storm leaving executives puzzled and HR in a sticky situation. With companies adopting the policy to appease staff, remote work will soon be an expected allowance from major corporations. Now that researchers have had opportunities to study working from home, more cost-benefit analyses can now be conducted with that information, on a company-by-company basis.

But what does that mean for the managers and supervisors?

Behind closed doors, who is to say whether or not employees are putting in work or simply slacking off? Accountability from out-of-office employees is something that still makes managers anxious. But in industries where remote work has not been traditionally offered, the practice is now becoming a vital cost-cutter. A work culture that involves a remote workforce is no longer a fantasy; it’s a reality. But how do you make sure you’re getting the most out of your employees if you can’t supervise them IRL, or manage their workload without resorting to countless tracking apps and platforms?

Luckily, there’s a software solution that’s becoming HR’s saving grace. As automation becomes increasingly present in office workflows, you can now deploy similar software that will add value for both employees and supervisors. This practice is called “attended automation,” which means that a virtual assistant works alongside the remote worker, intuitively sensing when the employee might need help solving a problem. The information flow goes both ways. The assistant’s data will be available to the manager, meaning that they can discern which problems the worker had, how long they worked, and what tasks they accomplished.

Let’s use an example: a call-center. In that environment, a virtual assistant will record how many calls your employee made, and note times those calls were placed. Every instance where the attended automation is activated, processes will be recorded, letting a manager know where the employee’s pain points occurred, and how productive the employee. It can even report progress in real time.

However, the software’s greatest benefits far exceed monitoring and task management capabilities. While these bots are well oiled at logging hours and completing low-level tasks, they really shine in helping employees improve their own productivity by working alongside their every move. For example – during a customer call, AI will enable the bots to bring up pertinent information on the screen that can decrease hold times and allow for seamless interactions. With dozens of systems of information to pull from, wouldn’t you be less stressed if a robot could instantly grab the data for you? The quicker you finish one call, the faster you can move on to the next. It’s not always about working 8 hours a day, but meeting your 50 call quota. That’s just one way that RPA can boost productivity as your staff works remotely. In addition, this maximizes flexibility, allowing employees to walk the dog or run a mid-day errands and still meet their goals.

Above all else, software closes the distance between manager and remote employee. Attended automation is a solution that improves the work-life balance for both employee and manager; the software can be tweaked to track KPIs or to drill down on task management. These virtual assistants track the metrics and improve staff productivity while allowing the employee more freedom, a situation where both parties win.

The work from home trend isn’t going away; in fact, many prominent corporations have already utilized the practice to their advantage. In large markets where office space is prohibitively costly, an efficient remote relationship is becoming increasingly desirable. The purposeful implementation of software is an ideal solution.

As our work/life balances adjust during a generation where the nature of work is changing, software solutions set both companies and their employees up for success. If remote working environments are in your company’s future, automation can make the transition smooth and efficient.

Source: https://www.hrtechnologist.com/articles/digital-transfo rmation/how-virtual-assistants-make-working-from-home-smarter/

Best Practices for Switching from Annual Performance Reviews to More Frequent Feedback

As a busy HR leader, implementing the change from annual performance reviews to more frequent feedback is easier said than done, but an engaging performance review process is critical to driving job satisfaction and employee engagement. Paychex HR Coach Elizabeth Watson shares some key steps to making frequent feedback the norm in your organization.

The shift to a more frequent cadence of performance feedback is one of many changes being driven by younger generations in the workforce. According to data from Gallup, only 19 percent of Millennials say they receive routine feedback from managers and only 17 percent say the feedback they receive is meaningful. This lack of more frequent feedback could be causing Millennials to feel unfulfilled in their jobs thereby possibly impacting business success. A study by Clutch revealed, of the Millennials whose managers do provide accurate and consistent feedback, 72 percent find their job fulfilling compared to only 38 percent of those whose managers do not.

As a busy HR leader, implementing a change of this significance is easier said than done; but an engaging performance review process is critical to driving job satisfaction and employee engagement, especially for Millennials and now Gen Z. Here are some key steps to making frequent feedback the norm in your organization:

Step One: Evaluate Your Current Performance Review Process
Are employees surprised by what they’re hearing in performance reviews? They shouldn’t be. Unclear expectations and unexpected feedback can be a sign that managers may not have been checking in enough. If there is too much time between conversations, recency effect can come into play as managers tend to reflect exclusively on the good work or mistakes made in just the past few weeks. This means that potentially great work gets overlooked and some problem areas are never addressed. Every team is different, but often real-time feedback helps employees establish good habits rather than needing to break bad ones down the road.

Another aspect of the performance review process to evaluate closely is how employee progress is measured. Often, when reviews are completed infrequently, managers can inadvertently judge their direct reports against one another. One shining star can make other solid workers seem subpar and one problematic employee can make it easy to ignore the challenges of their colleagues. More frequent feedback can help employees and their managers set timely goals and milestones by which to measure their performance and help avoid this comparison bias.

A challenge many businesses face in reviews is a lack of motivation from both managers and employees to participate in the process. Ideally, everyone should feel energized by performance reviews and feedback, empowered to make progress toward their individual goals, and contribute to achieving team and company goals. To accomplish this, reviews should center on the development and coaching communications rather than criticism, positioning employees to be more successful and helping them understand why their contribution is valuable.

Step Two: Communicate the Change to Your Employees
When switching from an annual review process to more frequent feedback, there may be some initial assumptions that the new way will be more time-consuming. Therefore, it is important to communicate the benefits and the correct way of transitioning to this method. Ultimately, the goal of frequent, effective feedback is to drive engagement, loyalty, and satisfaction among employees. When done right, performance reviews are a valuable asset to the organization and not just a “check-the-box” exercise.

If your annual performance review process has traditionally been tied to promotions and raises, you’ll want to communicate carefully around how this shift impacts the timing of pay increases and the benefits of separating the two. When reviews are connected to salary, feedback often freezes when wages do. Not only do employees not receive raises during this period, but they also stop receiving acknowledgment that their work is valued. As a result, engagement may plummet. The elimination of an annual review reduces those formal expectations around feedback and creates more open dialogue between managers and employees.

Step Three: Implement the Right Tools
The tools used to facilitate employee feedback, goal setting, and progress towards those goals should be flexible and based on employee needs. Employees may require a different approach based on level of experience, their role within the company, and the type of work they do, among other factors. However, there are several common tools that can help optimize the review process overall. A learning management system (LMS), for example, can be customized based on the types of training employees need at the time – both hard skills for their job duties and soft skills such as communication and professionalism. Through the LMS, employees can take development into their own hands and managers can easily track employees’ progress toward training milestones.

To ensure they’re basing feedback on the most accurate information possible, managers should keep an activity log. A simple tracker of employee activity (including both highs and lows) helps managers deliver quality, timely feedback and content-rich examples that are specific to an employee and their goals and not based on comparisons to colleagues. Additionally, this record helps maintain the proper look-back period when doing quarterly or monthly reviews, for example.

When making the switch from annual performance reviews to offering more frequent feedback, be sure to emphasize the benefits to the company, managers, and employees alike. Remember that any change in process requires time and training to fully and properly implement. But in the end, employees may be more engaged and satisfied with their job experience and retention and productivity should improve as a result.

Source: https://www.hrtechnologist.com/articles/employee-engagement/best-practices-for-switching-from-annual-performance-reviews-to-more-frequent-feedback/

What Is the Potential of Chatbots in Recruitment?

Chatbots can help businesses screen, vet, and communicate with candidates more efficiently than manual recruiting processes. This article helps you review the benefits of developing a chatbot for your recruitment needs.

The Potential of Chatbots in Recruiting
Chatbots are causing a buzz in many digital circles, but employee recruiting isn’t one of them. At least, not yet.

According to a Clutch survey, only 3% of current job applicants communicate with employers using chatbots. But experts believe that chatbots can provide value for recruiters and HR professionals.

Chatbots, when used properly, can provide both customer service and candidate screening functions to help businesses with recruiting efforts.

This article will gauge the potential for chatbots to become a larger part of the recruiting landscape and share how businesses can begin implementing chatbots in their recruiting processes.

Making the Candidate Experience Better
Advances in AI have improved the functionality of chatbots. Many people now have no issue initiating conversations without a live person on the other end. For many, getting simple answers on a 24-hour basis makes chatbots valuable to the communications process.

Job seekers also value the ability to receive responses and confirmations of submitted application materials.

A consistent pattern of communication makes companies more attractive to candidates. The messaging capabilities that chatbots provide make building a rapport easy and intuitive.

Chatbots can ask choice questions and make sure the conversation is comfortable. They also can provide static details that are often requested by job seekers, such as, dress code, hours, paid time off, and salary range.

Overall, chatbots have the capability to make the candidate experience better.

Improving Recruitment for Employers
Chatbots also provide a host of benefits for the employer in the recruiting process. AI systems constantly record details of interactions between candidates and companies, which can help recruiters find the right candidates more quickly.

For example, chatbots can be utilized to conduct the initial screening process. A chatbot can be programmed to ask specific questions about a candidate’s qualifications and history, such as, work experience, previous company details, specialized skills, and areas of interest.

Once the conversation is complete, chatbots can use machine learning to mine the conversation and determine if the candidate is relevant for the position. By assessing the job requirements, the conversation, and the candidate’s resume details, the chatbot can decide whether a candidate has the desirable skills and experience to advance in the process.

As more interactions occur, chatbots become more adept at identifying qualified candidates, streamlining your company’s recruiting process.

One example of an effective recruiting chatbot is the Mya platform. Mya can “talk” and engage with a candidate through a messaging app while recording the interaction with the job-seeker. Mya can also increase a company’s recruiting productivity by pre-qualifying candidates quickly and easily with less strain on HR personnel.

Finally, a chatbot can be employed to gather details for the rest of the hiring process, such as, availability for future interviews and the contact information of references.

Chatbots can make hiring a quick and easy process for employers.

Limitations of Recruitment Chatbots
While AI is improving and chatbots are becoming more prevalent, a number of challenges remain for employers hoping to utilize chatbots in the recruiting process.

Despite technological advances, chatbots cannot fully replicate human thinking.

For example, if a candidate uses slang or vernacular to answer a question, the chatbot will most likely misinterpret the information and miss the context of the answer. This can have the adverse effect of disqualifying candidates, who are otherwise great fits for a position.

Chatbots also are not generally programmed to handle unusual questions about a company. If a candidate asks a chatbot a question it hasn’t encountered before or is not programmed to answer, it may provide an irrelevant answer, disappointing and confusing the candidate.

Are Chatbots Worth Developing for Recruiting?
It’s understandable for companies to be uneasy about using chatbots in the recruiting process. However, developing a chatbot can streamline the recruitment process, reduce the burden on recruiters, and make the company more attractive to candidates.

As long as a company understands the limitations and risks, chatbots can be a valuable tool to find the next generation of employees and employers.

Source: https://www.hrtechnologist.com/articles/digital-transformation/what-is-the-potential-of-chatbots-in-recruiting/

Don’t Create A Culture; Unite Behind A Purpose

Culture is a popular topic, not only in the agency world but in the brand world as well. There’s a vibrant consulting industry developing around this trend alone. Culture isn’t just internal anymore; it’s a marketable asset that can drive customer loyalty. Everyone wants a cool and magnetic culture, but it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes intention and commitment, and you have to know where to start.
Nearly all of our clients, regardless of their industry, want to know how to weave their outward strategy, creative and marketing work into their culture, then back out again. It’s actually quite cyclical. This is an element that has become second nature to include in all of our work. The ever-important B2E rollout plan (business-to-employee) is an essential part of building and maintaining a thriving culture.

Because we provide this kind of work to our clients, I believe it’s paramount that we practice it ourselves. Through this practice on our own culture, I’ve found there are three rules to get a company’s culture on tap and flowing.

1. Start with your purpose.

A company’s culture comes from its purpose, its reason for being. This isn’t what a company does but why — what it believes in. Surface-level things like snack options in the kitchen, unlimited PTO and dog-friendly offices are not the things that great cultures are made from. Your purpose gives your employees, and ultimately your customers, something to get behind, beyond what your product or service offering is.

Your purpose should be unique, specific and enduring. Companies that clearly articulate what they believe in seem to have the best cultures. Why? Because it gives a reason for everything they do.

For example, our purpose statement is “to reveal a world that works better together.” This statement has indoctrinated a specific way of how we do things. It informs the way we serve our clients with intimacy and person-to-person partnership. Creative is a people product and people connect on an emotional level. So, you see, it’s impossible to produce creative that people can connect with if you don’t embark on that creative journey together. Our purpose also provides a foundation for how we treat each other within the agency — wherever the agency goes, we go together. We celebrate together and we learn from failures together. No one goes it alone.

It has to start with your purpose. I believe this is the only way to truly begin to build a lasting culture.

2. Be intentional.

After you establish your purpose, you must communicate it often. You should be transparent, persistent and get everyone on your staff on board. This isn’t a “set it and forget it,” one-time effort. Your culture, informed by your purpose, needs constant cultivating and tweaking. Put a process in place for a feedback loop and create accountability structures like a “culture club” to find out what’s working organically and what feels forced. This will strengthen your culture’s core so you can let go of what isn’t working. Give your staff ownership over parts of your culture they’re passionate about. This will give them skin in the game and a vested interest in the success and health of the culture, which is a major contributor to its overall success.

I’ve found our internal culture group to be very effective. We have subcommittees based on different aspects of our culture that report periodically during our Monday morning status meetings to share any relevant activities they have coming up, and ways others can engage. These intentional habits create a level of activity that feels unique and organic to who we are and what we stand for.

One other very simple habit that has delivered volumes of value is monthly one-to-ones. I take each employee to lunch or coffee each month. There’s no set structure, topic or guardrails; we can talk about anything they’d like. Sometimes we talk through a hurdle they’re facing, sometimes we just talk about their weekend plans. Regardless, it provides a safe and open environment for honest feedback. Plus, there’s an added bonus for me: I use this time as a reverse mentor session. There’s a lot I can learn, too, from just listening.

3. Let your people do the talking.

B2E (aka your employed media) is one of the most underutilized resources at many companies. Now that your employees believe, give them the tools and encourage them to share what they love about your company. Give them a talk track and empower them to engage using easy tools like social media, blogs, podcasts and industry events to organically spread the word about who your company is and what it stands for.

It’s important to note that leadership should demonstrate this behavior as well. This should radiate vertically and horizontally throughout your organization — from leadership to customer service, and sales to operations. If it’s only impressed upon mid-level and below, then it will be not be perceived as a priority.

One way we empower our people to spread the word is through a social media series called “What’s Up WITH _____” that features a given employee each episode. This gives them the opportunity to be an ambassador for what they’re excited about and the cool things they’re seeing out there.

Your company’s culture is a living, breathing, growing thing. It’s not made up of whats; it’s made up of whys. It’s the whys in life that excite and motivate people. If you ground your culture in purpose and cultivate it intentionally, it will market itself organically.