Why Employees Aren’t Completing Your Engagement Surveys

The employee engagement survey is as much an art as it is a science.

Regardless of how often you run the program, it involves attention to detail in the design and flow of your survey questionnaire. This is often backed up by a robust internal communications campaign ensuring teams are aware of the activity, how to complete it, and why it’s important.

It’s a comprehensive process requiring great input from your HR team, which is why it can be frustrating when response rates fail to meet expectations. However, with the right how-to advice and partners businesses can simplify the entire process, unlock deeper insights, and lift response rates.

To help you better understand the experiences your employees want and expect, Qualtrics has highlighted the fundamental best practices for creating surveys that help you breakthrough. Effective survey design and flow gives power to your research. But great survey questions are the foundation for great research.

Keep your survey simple
Think about how you feel when completing lengthy surveys. Things get boring very quickly.

If you’re bored, your employees are going to be feeling the same way. While there is no ideal length of your survey, the key is to find a balance between asking enough questions to be robust, and not asking so many questions your people switch off. As a general rule, assuming you’re running an annual engagement diagnostic we advise limiting your survey to around 40 questions.

When a survey is too long, three bad things can happen:

Respondents drop out: A high drop-out rate can influence the quality of your results.
People stop paying attention: If it takes too long to take your survey people are more likely to quit the process and return to their work. We actually see this a lot, and encourage researchers to use attention filters.
Employees get angry: The irony of upsetting employees with an overly long engagement survey is not lost on your respondents.
The best way to collect quality employee experience data is to keep your surveys short, simple, and well organised.

Use scale questions
Rather than asking respondents a basic yes or no question, use question scales that measure both the direction and the intensity of opinions. This is critical for research because someone who “Strongly Supports” a decision is very different from someone who only “Slightly Supports” it.

Scales extend the power of analysis from basic percentages to high-level analyses based on means and variance estimates. With scales you will get more information from each question.

Keep coded values consistent
Every survey response, option, question, or answer is coded as a numeric value that is reported as a percent of responses or as a mean, median, range, etc. These values are the basis for analysis.

Values must be coded consistently. Generally, we assign the highest value to the best outcome (ie “Strongly Agree” that customer service is responsive) and then move down from there.

When it comes to the vidual layout of the survey, for simplicity keep your scale direction consistent throughout. This makes it easier for respondents to answer and for you to analyse. Additionally, avoid displaying your questions in blocks as this can reinforce rate acquiesce.

Explain why respondents should participate
Respondents are more likely to take your survey if they see something of positive value for them.

Value offerings can range from a very general altruistic appeal for their help to a very specific offer of an economic incentive. For example, with employee evaluations you can explain that feedback will be used to determine awards, promotions, and pay raises and will help management make organisational decisions that will affect them.

To unlock impactful insights from your workfroce, download your free copy of the Essential Guide to Employee Experience Surveys. This guide contains expert guidance, sample questions, and 8 survey templates to take your employee experience to the next level.

Source : https://www.hrexchangenetwork.com/employee-engagement/articles/why-employees-arent-completing-your-engagement-surveys

HR Digital Strategy – Tips that Propel Your Company into the Future

Technology has disrupted every industry. The way we work today looks nothing like it did only a few years ago. As a matter of fact, the changes in the workplace have been rapid and sweeping.

Today, workers can apply for jobs through their mobile device. They can even participate in interviews. If hired, the onboarding process starts online before they step foot on company property. And in some cases, they don’t have to do that because they work remotely.

These are all symbols of the digital transformation of HR. It’s not an easy process, but it can be achieved in such a way that ensures positive results.

HR Digital Strategy
Defining the digital transformation
HR professionals hear the term digital transformation on a regular basis. It’s actually a buzzword in the space today. It’s important to define what the transformation is before looking at building a digital strategy that will help support the organization during the transition from older processes to more modern processes.

The HR digital transformation, itself, is the process of embedding technology into business processes. The point is to improve functionality across the board. Just as technology is disrupting every industry, it can also disrupt every department within the organization. It will upend work processes and create new ones at the same time. That’s where a strong HR digital strategy comes into play.

RELATED REPORT: The Future of Work and HR

Building the HR Digital Strategy
The Business Case
Creating the business case is critical. This is the stage where HR can gain buy-in from C-Level and senior level leaders. Without it, there is little reason to attempt to build a strategy. Focus on technology and data that provides a clear picture when it comes to the return on investment for supporting the cause.

Set Goals
Before moving forward with a plan, HR should take stock of the current situation at the organization. What is it HR wants to achieve with the change? Also, HR should take a look at the workforce. What are its strengths and weaknesses? How can the strategy help create the transformation leaders want to achieve?

Strategy Development
Developing a strategy is all about how HR plans to move the organization forward during the transformation. It’s almost like a map. Without it, it can be easy to get lost. Know what steps need to happen and in what order so implementation can go smoothly.

Find the Right Tech
The technology chosen by HR should support the strategy. Considering the goals and the strategy, HR should determine what technology is needed to succeed. It’s important to make sure the chosen tools or technology also support the goals of the business.

Experiment
HR should be open to experimenting during the transformation. There is no “how-to” guide on the transformation. It’s important to take stock in what’s happening in the industry in which the business resides. It’s also important to understand the makeup of the workforce as it will help determine the next action taken.

Develop Skills
This has to happen at all levels. Technology won’t make much of a difference unless people are allowed to use it and fail. Failure allows for the review of mistakes and that can be a learning exercise in of itself. The result is often the development of new skills.

Measure Results
Keep an eye on results. This will help HR monitor the success of the transformation. It will also help determine what is and what isn’t working for the employees.

Be Transparent
Changes will happen at a non-stop pace at first. It’s important to continue to discuss those changes in an open way. And don’t forget to take real stock in both success and failures.

Leaders Need to Lead
Leaders can’t just sit on the sidelines. They need to take an active part in the transformation. Not only do they need to help decide on the best course of action, but they also have to promote it and live it.

Company Culture
Don’t lose sight of the company culture. Transformation isn’t easy and your culture will be tested. As long as the process supports and empowers the organization, HR won’t fail. Neither will the workforce.

Conclusion
No matter how robust the digital strategy, the transformation it supports won’t happen overnight. It will take time and a consistent amount of work. Not only that, but technology is still evolving. That means this process isn’t a done-deal. It will continue to need attention and refinement. As long as companies remain agile and consistent, the strategy will always propel the company to success.

Source : https://www.hrexchangenetwork.com/hr-tech/articles/hr-digital-strategy-tips-that-propel-your-company-into-the-future

Overcoming Unconscious Bias Around Recruitment And Hiring

In a perfect world, the decision to hire a candidate would be based solely on whether they would be able to do the job well. Unfortunately, in the real world, the humans who make hiring decisions are almost always affected by some degree of bias.

Research shows that bias—prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another—is baked into each of us. This likely affects a wide range of our decisions without us even knowing, particularly when it comes to the recruiting and hiring process. The term often used to describe this unwitting bias is unconscious bias.

Unconscious bias can negatively impact workplaces by thwarting efforts to recruit and retain diverse employees. Unconscious bias can lead to poor hiring decisions and also hamper career advancement opportunities and contribute to salary inequities, preventing equal opportunities for women and people of color.

The following guidelines can help organizations recognize and disrupt unconscious bias in the hiring process.

• Educate Your Recruiting Team. Seek out opportunities to learn about bias and how it can affect the hiring process. Look for articles, trainings, and other information that you can share with anyone who is making hiring decisions. Make sure that key stakeholders understand that unconscious bias can damage efforts to create diverse, inclusive workforces.

• Learn to Recognize Common Biases and how they may impact hiring processes.

o The “halo and horn effect”: It’s common to associate certain factors (such as graduating from a prestigious university) with particular traits (this candidate must be extraordinarily intelligent). If someone on your hiring committee decides she “prefers” a candidate because he went to a particular school, plays a particular sport as a hobby, or is from her same hometown, it can create a “halo effect” where that one detail about a candidate can impact our opinion of them. His degree from a top school, love of soccer, or Baltimore heritage does not necessarily mean he’s the ideal candidate for the job. Conversely, one negative association can create a “horn effect,” that results in an overwhelmingly negative perception of someone because of a single trait or factor.

o Affirmation bias: When meeting someone new, we often look for commonalities—did we attend the same school, do we live in the same neighborhood, etc. Often, during the recruiting and hiring process, we’re more inclined to favor candidates “like us,” with shared interests, backgrounds or beliefs. We may not feel a connection to someone who has a very different background, and thus see them less favorably as a candidate.

o Bandwagon bias: This occurs when we adopt a belief or direction because the group holds that belief. Bandwagon bias may come out in the workplace when hiring committees make decisions together.

• Develop and Implement Structured, Consistent Processes. Develop clear core competencies before beginning a search to determine the skills and characteristics candidates must offer, and compare all prospects against the same list. Ask each candidate the same interview questions to make sure your assessments are impartial and unbiased. Have the same people interview all candidates so prospects can be fairly assessed, and make sure that each interviewer is using the same structured evaluation process.

• Consider “Blind” Techniques. Redacted resumes can help reduce bias. When certain details (e.g., name, hometown, school) are excluded, it helps increase hiring diversity. Interesting side note: It’s now common practice for professional symphonies to hold “blind auditions,” putting musicians behind curtains so performers are judged solely on the sound and quality of their music. Previously male-dominated, the number of women hired by symphonies has increased significantly as a result. Companies can achieve the same effect by blinding aspects of candidates’ resumes.

• Improve Your Job Descriptions. Job descriptions can tie into bias. Certain requirements (e.g., experience at a Fortune 500 company, an advanced degree) can attract a homogenous group. Be mindful of your descriptions: words like “assertive,” and “competitive” often attract men; words like “dependable,” and “collaborative” tend to attract women. Use neutral language to entice a more diverse candidate pool, including eliminating gender-specific pronouns. It’s becoming more common to use “they” as a pronoun in job descriptions to avoid gender bias and signal a commitment to diversity and inclusion.

• Expand Your Network. Don’t depend solely on the same recruiting methods that you’ve always used. For instance, employee referrals are often ineffective in increasing diversity efforts. Employees tend to refer people that are similar to themselves in terms of race, education, and background, which could contribute to a homogenous workforce. To recruit a more diverse pool of candidates—and, ultimately, build a more diverse workforce—go beyond the “usual” referral sources. Task your recruiting team to proactively reach out to a range of organizations and sources to expand candidate pipelines.

At worst, unconscious bias can result in unfair or even discriminatory hiring practices. Even without bordering on discriminatory hiring practices, unconscious bias is almost certainly causing highly qualified candidates to be passed over and making it more difficult for companies to achieve diversity goals.

The best way to combat unconscious bias is to first learn to recognize it, and then put hiring practices into place that promote equity, consistency, and fairness during every step of the process. The tips above can help you get started.

Source: https://www.hr.com/en/magazines/talent_acquisition/november_2019_talent_acquisition/overcoming-unconscious-bias-around-recruitment-and_k35iko38.html

3 Storytelling Tips For A Successful Performance Review

Everyone dreads performance reviews, especially those tasked with reviewing others. That manager you are nervous to meet with is likely dreading the meeting more than you are. Can you make it easy, if not enjoyable, for them? Is this a pie in the sky idea? Not if you deploy the fundamental storytelling technique of strategically shifting your point of view.

Shift your point of view, and you’ll notice the many biases that can plague managers. After all, reviewing a year’s worth of performance means battling a host of natural but detrimental tendencies, including:

Recency bias (evaluating only the past month or two, rather than the full year).
Leniency bias (giving everyone high marks, regardless of whether it’s merited).
Confirmation bias (seeking only information that confirms the manager’s preconceived ideas about that person).
Awareness of common biases allows you to look through the glasses your manager is looking through and structure your review in a way that helps them notice your strengths. These three storytelling tips will help you highlight those strengths and use your performance review as fuel for further growth.

Today In: Leadership
1. Mine the past year for stories.

Take stock of your past year, digging deep into the caverns of your memory for stories. As you unearth stories, inspect them as if you are your manager. Doing your job and even doing it well is not worth noting. Use these questions to consider what you might have done that your manager didn’t expect:
Zero Isn’t Safe
What are my biggest contributions to the company or team this year? What makes these contributions above and beyond my call of duty? What is it about these contributions that makes them so unexpected that my manager will want to reward me?
What was the biggest investment I made this year (at work, in professional development, etc.)? How did this investment go above and beyond what my manager expected?
What new leadership skills or industry insights have I learned this year? Did I share them with my team? If so, what difference has it made to them?
2. Structure your stories.

You don’t have much time or space to tell a story, so structure is everything. The good news, though, is that by using the “IRS model,” you can craft a story with only three or four sentences:

I – Intriguing beginning (first sentence or two)
R – Riveting middle (next sentence or two)
S – Satisfying end (final sentence or two)
A client of mine recently structured a brief story about herself with the opening line, “I am not who I appear to be.” Talk about an intriguing beginning! No one could shrug and walk away uninterested. Oddly enough, this story was inspired by a quick passing remark my client made. At first, she wasn’t convinced anyone would find her story meaningful. But when she tested it out on her mentor, it so impressed the mentor that she asked my client to teach her everything she knew about business storytelling. From that, my client was convinced she’d found a story worth retelling.

3. Tell yourself the right story afterward.

What if you get difficult feedback? After performance reviews, over half of 1,500 U.S. workers surveyed said they were surprised by the results. Twenty-two percent cried, 37% looked for another job, and 20% flat-out quit, according to a study by Adobe.

When a manager’s feedback comes as a surprise, make sure you are telling yourself the right story about the news you have received, especially if it is difficult. Verbalize that story, trying to see the feedback from your manager’s perspective. How were they trying to help you, and the company, grow? Once you can verbalize the story, try running it past someone you trust. Do they agree with your perspective? Can they add to what your manager might be thinking?

For so much of the year, we are so busy “doing” that we don’t carve out time to reflect. The performance review forces us to reflect. We can welcome this chance to see our year in review—and to push our reflections even further by seeing our year through our manager’s eyes.

Source : https://www.forbes.com/sites/estherchoy/2019/11/17/storytelling-tips-for-a-successful-performance-review/#b77d5f064729

How to Encourage Cross-Department Collaboration

Cross-Department Collaboration is a topic of concern for most companies who want to improve overall employee engagement. Our consultants identify some reasons why working together isn’t always easy or natural. Their straight-forward advice and stories from their work show us how companies can encourage teamwork across the entire organization.

“ONLY 59% OF PEOPLE AGREE WITH THE STATEMENT, ‘WE WORK EFFECTIVELY ACROSS DEPARTMENTS AND FUNCTIONS.'”

CHARLES ROGEL
Senior Consultant
Sometimes organizations understand that people aren’t collaborating, but it’s not quantified until they see their employee engagement survey results. Survey scores and comments often reveal that people view other departments as the problem. They believe their own team is easy to work with. Specific examples illustrating bad cross-department collaboration raises awareness. Once leaders see the survey data, they act.

“THE MOMENT THAT YOU GET TWO PEOPLE TOGETHER, AT SOME LEVEL, THERE’S SOME DYSFUNCTION.”
DecisionWise Principal Consultant, Dan Hoopes
DAN HOOPES
Principal Consultant
The dysfunction compounds across teams, departments, and organizations because there are so many human variables. Different people have various expectations, people skills, or leadership styles. It takes a lot of energy and commitment to find common ground and create a unified team.

“ANYTIME THERE’S A SILO AT THE TOP, IT’S GOING TO COMPOUND AS YOU GO DOWN THROUGHOUT THE ORGANIZATION.”

CHRISTIAN NIELSON
VP of Consulting Services
I was consulting with a financial institution where some groups weren’t working together. We went and held focus groups, and it turned out that we could follow the dysfunction all the way to the top where two senior leaders weren’t on the same page. There was misalignment and silos at the top. And so, once those two leaders got on the same page, their teams followed suit.
“CROSS-DEPARTMENT COLLABORATION CHALLENGES US, BECAUSE WE DEAL BETTER WITH THE PEOPLE AND SITUATIONS CLOSE TO US.”
DecisionWise – Dan Deka – Consultant
DAN DEKA
Senior Consultant
We feel a lot more comfortable staying in our realm of daily influence. Connecting with our team is expected, so it feels more natural. We may feel odd trying to connect with other departments – we may wonder if they think developing a relationship with us is worth their time. These interactions and connections are harder to navigate.
“IN MOST ORGANIZATIONS, PEOPLE WILL NATURALLY WORK IN A SILOED MANNER. YOU MUST FORMALIZE THE STRATEGY TEAM IN ORDER TO GET BETTER EFFICIENCY.”

BETH WILKINS
Principal Consultant
I worked with an educational organization that needed facilities where teachers could teach various subjects. Because of poor cross-department collaboration and communication, the facilities group was building structures that didn’t allow educators to teach the way that they wanted to. It’s important to think about what we’re trying to accomplish as an organization and how to optimize the organization to meet the goal.

One solution starts with a couple questions:

What is the strategy?
Can we create a team to implement that strategy?
Explain to your team that they will use resources from across the organization to accomplish the goal, instead of saying, “Just collaborate and make it happen!”
How to Encourage Cross-Department Collaboration
“WHEN THERE’S A LACK OF UNDERSTANDING AND AWARENESS, THERE’S A LACK OF COLLABORATION.”
DecisionWise – Dan Deka – Consultant
DAN DEKA
Senior Consultant
Leaders have to commit to raise awareness. Ways to raise awareness include:

Administer 360s to help individuals understand how they’re being perceived
Run an engagement survey to make the organization aware of employees’ perceptions
Run an engagement survey to build and increase trust and understanding between leaders and employees, and from department to department
Solicit feedback from customers on their experience with your team and products
You increase awareness so people understand why people act the way they do. I believe from there, people will fill in the blanks and do the right thing. But most of the time they choose things out of unawareness.

“I SEE SUCCESS WHEN COMPANIES CREATE VISUALS THAT SHOW AND TELL TWO THINGS: HOW TEAMS ARE PART OF THE VALUE PROPOSITION FOR CLIENTS OR CUSTOMERS, AND HOW TEAMS DEPEND ON EACH OTHER.”

CHRISTIAN NIELSON
VP of Consulting Services
As a consultant you run focus groups expecting to find complex issues, but the issues are often simple. “I don’t know who’s leaving from teams.” “I wish we’d have more updated lists of who’s still in the departments, because my go-to person left and now I don’t know who to go to over there.” Little things like this have a big impact on how connected and aligned groups can be.

Reason your cross-functional collaboration scores may be low:

Teams are looking for something that they’re not getting
Teams don’t know how to support each other
Teams or individuals aren’t sure what collaboration looks like
“I THINK YOU CAN MOTIVATE PEOPLE TO COLLABORATE BY FRAMING THEIR ASSIGNMENTS AS GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES.”

BETH WILKINS
Principal Consultant
Help employees see that a stretch assignment will allow them to get to know key stakeholders. Make sure to coach them through the opportunity, so that the employee is more likely to view the assignment positively. Help them see how they much they learned and how much they contributed to the organization’s growth. Managers should look at the employee’s goals and find opportunities for that person within the organization. Sometimes it’s a mentor or sponsor who does this.

“DEPARTMENTS COLLABORATE BETTER WHEN THEY SOLVE PROBLEMS FOR THE ORGANIZATION. IF YOU NEED CERTAIN DEPARTMENTS TO COLLABORATE, MAKE SURE THEY KNOW HOW WORKING AS A TEAM HELPS THE OVERALL ORGANIZATIONAL DELIVERY”

THOMAS OLSEN
Consultant
I’ve seen product teams take the time to present new products to the company so that people can see what the company is accomplishing or how their work contributed to those products. This also helps client-facing teams speak about products and updates with more confidence. Open message boards where people share ideas and suggestions virtually have promoted in-person collaboration between departments as well. We need to see and understand what people are working on and why it’s important to them. It just helps build more of that trust and that understanding, instead of assuming people are trying to steal your resources or get out of doing things for you.

“MAKE SURE TEAMS ARE INCENTIVIZED TO HELP EACH OTHER WHEN APPROPRIATE.”

STEPHEN MICKELSON
Consultant
We worked with one organization that had multiple departments with different incentive structures. One department was incentivized to refer clients and transfer calls from customers to another department. This frustrated the other department, because they weren’t incentivized to receive these calls or help these customers. And so, they ended up resenting the other department for loading them up with extra work that didn’t lead to more money in their pocket. On the customers side, sometimes customers were transferred 6-8 times before they spoke to somebody who could actually solve their problem.

“FIGURE OUT IF THERE IS CONFLICT BETWEEN DEPARTMENTS. IF IT’S DAMAGING, HELP PEOPLE SEE A NEW PERSPECTIVE AND HELP THEM UNDERSTAND OTHER DEPARTMENTS AND THE IMPACT THAT THEY HAVE ON EACH OTHER.”
DecisionWise Principal Consultant, Dan Hoopes
DAN HOOPES
Principal Consultant
I worked for an organization where there was constant tension between product development and engineering. This critical relationship became so incompatible, that the company took drastic measures: they had the two leaders switch departments. Over 30 days, the two realized things like, “Oh, that’s why we can’t engineer this,” or “Oh, that’s why it’s so important for the product.” So, I tell clients to figure out if the conflict is healthy or damaging.

Your last employee engagement survey may have been a surprising wake-up call. If your teams aren’t collaborating very well, pick some of these tips to add to your yearly people strategy, and then measure again. It may take some time for departments to adopt the strategies, but stay motivated by celebrating the smaller objectives you hit!

Source : https://www.humanresourcestoday.com/?open-article-id=12320120&article-title=how-to-encourage-cross-department-collaboration&blog-domain=decision-wise.com&blog-title=decision-wise

Blue Collar Employees Need Recognition, Too!

No matter what industry and employee population, we all recognize the need to engage, appreciate, and motivate our workforce. Fortunately, there are plenty of creative solutions to engage employees, encourage both peer and management recognition, and deliver rewards. Not all recognition occurs in offices or startups, either. Construction, mining, manufacturing, and energy are a few industries with similar limitations around employee appreciation.

These limitations are mainly tied to logistics and demographics. If you are an HR professional or line manager in one of these industries, you may think that technology-based employee appreciation solutions are not a fit for your company. However, you might be surprised by how effectively you can leverage the right technology to increase engagement, boost morale, and improve productivity.
Traditional Rewards
In a previous article, we identified a number of creative ways to recognize employees. However, not all rewards make the most sense for all employee populations. Research shows that blue collar and white-collar employees value certain aspects of their employment differently.

For example, white-collar employees mainly gain job satisfaction from the nature of their work, a sense of achievement, and a feeling of being appreciated. Blue-collar workers are more motivated by salary, peer relations, working conditions, and job security. Both white collar and blue-collar employees need to feel appreciated, but understanding what motivates them helps to create the best possible, most relevant, and well-received rewards.
Tangible Rewards
Traditionally, blue-collar employees have received many types of rewards that are physically tangible; things they can have physically handed to them, like gift baskets and company-branded gear. Many team members enjoy engraved tools and embroidered safety vests. Handwritten notes and gift cards are also very popular.

Trophies can be a fun reward that sparks conversation and participation. For example, one manufacturing company I supported had a golden safety award trophy and the “broom of doom.” The trophy went to the department with the best safety audit score, and the broom of doom (a regular broom that was painted black) went to the department with the worst safety audit score. The employees in the winning department got their photo taken with the trophy, and the losing department had to display the broom of doom until the next audit.
Monetary Rewards
Raises, as well as safety and performance bonuses, are the main traditional monetary rewards issued to blue-collar employees. Other monetary-related awards include paid lunches, floating holidays, gift cards to their favorite store or restaurant, and company store voucher. Poll your team to understand what they will appreciate most.
Experience Rewards
Blue-collar employees also enjoy the rewards they can experience. Rewards such as having lunch with the CEO, or attending a company-sponsored event, are usually very well received. Some companies even offer fully or partly-paid vacations as prizes for their top performers. Construction company David Weekley Homes offers their employees a 4-week paid sabbatical to employees who have worked for the company at least 10 years.

Workers may also get the opportunity to attend special training to further their careers. I organized an off-site supervisor training for a mining company I supported, and the team leads who attended the event loved it. They really enjoyed getting away from the worksite for a day, bonding as a team, getting special attention from the GM and learning the skills they needed to get promoted to Supervisor.
Verbal Rewards
Then there is the age-old reward of praise. Verbally acknowledging someone’s accomplishments makes them feel appreciated because you have taken the time to single them out in a positive way. It shows that you know them and their specific contributions. Praise may come from line managers, executives, or peers. Since blue-collar workers tend to care more about their relationships with their coworkers than with their supervisors, facilitating a culture of peer-to-peer recognition makes the most sense.
Typical Hurdles to Leveraging Technology
Most HR professionals and line managers who work at the site or plant level understand that there are some very real hurdles to overcome when introducing new technology to their teams. By addressing these hurdles, we can engage and appreciate our blue-collar cohorts.
Technical Literacy
Employees who don’t primarily sit in front of a laptop might find it difficult to adopt a computer and internet-based solution. Online employee recognition platforms rely on internet connectivity and access to a computer, tablet, or smartphone. Blue-collar workers who have not been required to use email for work and are not used to standard digital user interfaces will need help getting ramped up. Many blue-collar employees do not even have email accounts because they have never needed one.
Training, Orientation, and Setup
Like me, many of my HR colleagues have personally helped blue-collar employees create email accounts and download apps to their phones. They have trained the workforce on how to enroll in benefits online from their smartphones with increasing success. While it takes extra time, special attention, and care, training employees on these solutions pays off in the long run. Ultimately, they are able to enjoy more benefits and programs at the facility level due to the built-in cost savings (e.g. fewer support staff needed to administer the programs, fewer supplies needed, etc.).

New hire orientation is a great opportunity to give a complete overview of how an employee appreciation program works. Weekly safety meetings and quarterly department meetings are also key points where you could make a brief appearance to remind employees about rewards programs and training resources.
Preferred Communication Vehicles
Many blue-collar workers prefer SMS notifications and paper mail to email. They may also prefer phone calls and face-to-face interactions to email. Pretty much anything but email!
This is partly to do with the graying blue-collar workforce, but it is also a result of these employees not being exposed to regular digital communication. Literacy and language barriers can also play a role in email aversion. Before implementing a program, be sure to identify challenges to adoption and have a plan to overcome them as a team.

Where and How the Work is Performed
Most blue-collar work is performed in the field, at a plant, or on a warehouse floor. Cell signal and internet service may be weak or nonexistent, depending on the location. Additionally, employees operating machinery or heavy equipment are not permitted to access their phones outside of lunch breaks. Even if mobile devices are permitted, they can be lost, broken or stolen if taken out or left out while performing manual labor. Identify the constraints in which your recognition program will operate, and plan around them.
Technology to Engage Your Workforce
Despite the aforementioned barriers to technology use, there are several highly effective ways to leverage technology for blue-collar employees.
Mobile Apps and SMS
While blue-collar employees may dislike or struggle with email use, almost all of them have and regularly use cell phones. According to the Pew Research Center, in 2018, 95% of adults living in the US own some kind of cellphone. And 77% of adults living in the US own smartphones, with an even higher percentage of smartphone ownership in the working population.

SMS notifications and push notifications are two ways you can reach your entire workforce by sending alerts, reminders and announcements to their phones. SMS notifications allow employees to reply and do not require employees to download an app. SMS can also be sent to phones that are not smartphones, while push notifications require the internet to work properly. Both options allow you to customize your employee appreciation content. With either solution, you can share anniversary, birthday and promotion announcements. One drawback of these types of communication is that they are either one way or two way, but they do not allow for group participation or peer-to-peer recognition.

Mobile employee appreciation programs have the major benefit of working well on a number of devices in flexible ways. For employees who do not have cell phones, they can use a company-provided computer kiosk to recognize their peers and access their rewards. Many applications are offered in a number of languages to accommodate non-English-speaking employees.

Mobile applications can be used to stream reward announcements on TV monitors in break rooms, or they can be downloaded directly to employees’ smartphones. With so many great options, you are sure to be able to design the best employee recognition program for your amazing team!
Computer Kiosks
Many manufacturing companies leverage computer kiosks to provide employees a free resource to participate in company-sponsored programs. They are used for safety training, ordering uniforms, and, of course, employee appreciation.
TV Monitors
One popular way to share the news with blue-collar workers is through displaying important announcements on TV monitors in the break rooms. These break room monitors are attention-grabbing without being distracting. This reduces safety and productivity concerns around technology use. The monitors can be hooked up to devices that contain the announcement materials.

Custom employee appreciation announcements can easily be made by the on-site administrative, HR or IT professional using PowerPoint or Google Slides. The company’s marketing team could provide the template so that the presentation is branded correctly and look sharp. Alternatively, support staff could share recorded video announcements streamed from the company’s YouTube account. Video interviews with individual employees can highlight their contributions and create a sense of belonging.
Message Boards
Programmable message boards are often used at outdoor worksites because they are highly portable and weather resistant. They are also easy to program, and line managers or foremen can update the messages themselves as frequently as they’d like. These are very eye-catching and are great for shoutouts and announcements.

In Conclusion
Introducing employee appreciation solutions have been proven to help improve engagement, reduce turnover, and increase productivity. Even workplaces that don’t revolve around always-connected internet communication can take advantage of their benefits, and introducing these programs your organization doesn’t have to be a hassle. Think about how your own organization can take advantage of employee appreciation.

Source: https://www.hr.com/en/magazines/recognition_engagement_excellence_essentials/november_2019_rewards_recognition_employee_engagement/blue-collar-employees-need-recognition-too_k2u1v39i.html

Prediction: Assessment will go mainstream for engaging, hiring, developing, and retaining workers

Finding and keeping good talent has been a challenge for organizations since the dawn of the first Industrial Revolution—and it continues to this day. Deloitte’s 2019 Human Capital Trends research demonstrates this: 70 percent of respondents cited recruitment as important, and 16 percent said it was one of three most urgent issues their organizations would face this year.1 Across every industry sector, talent acquisition (TA) and business leaders are struggling to hire talent that sticks. Retention strategies are often reactive, relatively scarce, and disconnected from organizations’ recruitment initiatives.

In a competitive talent market with a socially conscious and highly selective candidate pool, recruiting teams need to be more data-driven in order to keep up with organizational demand without sacrificing quality of hire. TA must fundamentally reinvent its approach to hiring through a focus on accessing capabilities and optimizing tools and technology. Yet, despite understanding this need, the TA function is often resistant to experiment and change.

In 2020, this shifting focus will be the new imperative for the TA function. As enterprises evolve and adopt more data-driven approaches to talent selection and development, assessment technologies will become increasingly prominent. Such innovations are long overdue, according to our High-Impact Talent Acquisition research:2

Only 23 percent of organizations are effective or very effective at leveraging cognitive applications.
As few as 16 percent of organizations are effective or very effective at using analytics-enabled applications.
Merely 8 percent of organizations are effective or very effective at embedding artificial intelligence and machine learning into the TA process.
Reinventing the Hiring Process through Assessment Tools
Organizations continue to bear the burden of their own ineffective talent practices (e.g., gut hires, unstructured interviews), but there is an alternative to this approach—or lack thereof. Empirical evidence strongly supports that hiring for culture fit and conducting structured interviews focused on assessing skills, capabilities, and values can lead to better hiring decisions and positive talent outcomes, all of which impact the bottom line.3 But recruiters are still wired to hire to one opening and then quickly move on to the next requisition without truly considering the potential downstream impact of these hiring decisions. Time to fill tends to win out over quality of hire, mainly because it’s easier to measure and claim success. Both are important, yet these goals have become disconnected in many organizations. How can organizations address this gap?

Enter psychometric assessment, which will finally help bridge the divide between recruitment and employee retention in 2020. Psychometric assessments will empower TA teams to more fully evaluate talent prospects, helping them understand the whole person—beyond just demonstrated skills and education—behind the resume. These new tools can enable recruiters to assess unique human capabilities such as empathy and curiosity, as well as identify talent that is likely to fit well with an organization’s culture and thrive in a particular context—all in a fraction of the time and with greater clarity and accuracy than current “gut instinct” methods. By leveraging science-based predictions, recruiters can reduce the potential for misjudgments in the screening process and begin to assemble an internal talent marketplace that is the right fit for both open jobs today and enterprise needs in the future. Organizations already recognize the impact of a bad hire, but in most cases, this is caught too late. With a keen focus on assessments in the early stages of talent pool development, recruiters will begin to uncover more about the behaviors and motivators of successful employees—and focus their efforts accordingly.

Additionally, by sharing the key insights that assessments reveal about human capabilities (e.g., willingness to experiment, adaptable thinking, openness and inclusion), the TA team can also begin to break down organizational silos and unlock unprecedented opportunities. The role of talent acquisition can then shift from a transactional “conveyor belt” to a valued connector across the organization, using its unique position to identify key talent opportunities across functions. For example, adaptable workers seeking growth can find the right opportunities within the organization instead of looking elsewhere; organizations can identify potential leaders based on their capacity for empathy or collaboration rather than just rewarding high individual performance. This creates the critical linkage to internal mobility that has previously eluded so many TA teams. Connecting candidate data with future-focused talent management initiatives will strengthen TA’s position across the HR suite, differentiate the organization’s hiring approach, and help the business prepare for the future of work.

Organizations trying to stay competitive should incorporate assessments as part of the top-of-funnel sourcing process. With richer data and validated insights, the TA function can have the clarity needed to deliver an intentional and fully integrated talent strategy. TA teams can fully optimize their impact by hiring the right people for the right roles, driving better retention outcomes at scale. Once TA leaders learn how to balance data with intuition—blending human interactions with augmented solutions—the function will be able to better deliver a less homogenous and more effective pool of talent, and one that fits and stays put.

If you are interested in learning more about this topic, Bersin will be launching research in early 2020 that explores the key trends in the prehire assessment technology market.

Source : https://www.humanresourcestoday.com/?open-article-id=12276239&article-title=prediction–assessment-will-go-mainstream-for-engaging–hiring–developing–and-retaining-workers&blog-domain=deloitte.com&blog-title=bersin-with-deloitte

Confronting overconfidence in talent strategy, management, and development

Many leaders we encounter insist that their talent- and people-development strategies are sound—and that their organizations are good at implementing them. Is this confidence warranted, and are companies living up to their leaders’ assertions? Could these leaders be succumbing to the same optimism bias that motivates three out of four people to imagine that they are above-average drivers? The answers to these questions matter: companies with very effective talent management enjoy higher total returns to shareholders than less effective competitors do.1

The findings of a recent survey of 500 managers in the United Kingdom, part of a research project we conducted in collaboration with the Confederation of British Industry (CBI),2 suggest that CEOs and HR leaders in particular may be taking a rose-tinted view. Asked to evaluate 21 generally accepted talent practices—in areas ranging from recruitment, employee engagement, and talent strategy to talent development and team efficiency—56 percent of survey respondents said that their organizations have adopted no fewer than 16 good practices. More than one-quarter said their companies have adopted all 21. (For more, see sidebar, “Twenty-one best practices.”)

Exhibit 1

We strive to provide individuals with disabilities equal access to our website. If you would like information about this content we will be happy to work with you. Please email us at: McKinsey_Website_Accessibility@mckinsey.com
When we looked at the responses by role, we noticed that CEOs and HR leaders appeared more bullish than the other managers: 64 percent of both HR leaders and CEOs said their companies were high adopters (deploying 16 or more of the practices), but only 42 percent of all other respondents in our survey agreed. Similarly, CEOs and HR leaders were less likely than the others to say their companies were low adopters (Exhibit 1).

Corporate leaders also appeared optimistic about specific talent practices. CEOs, for example, were two times more likely than other respondents to say their companies excelled at “know[ing] who the best people are and put[ting] them to work on the most important business priorities.” And they were also nearly twice as likely as others to say that managers and leaders at their companies “are evaluated against their people performance, not just their business performance.”

Leaders: The limiting link?
When survey respondents admitted that their companies had difficulty implementing some of the practices, they tended to identify company leaders and management as the biggest impediments. “Our leadership does not value this practice,” for example, was cited by one-third of the non-CEOs—more than any other barrier—as a top-three reason various talent practices hadn’t been embraced (16 percent of CEOs also cited this barrier).

The talent practices where non-CEO respondents felt leaders’ lack of support was most consequential were related to ways of working, talent engagement, and talent strategy (Exhibit 2). For example, 52 percent of non-CEO respondents said that the company leadership didn’t value the use of “clear structures, roles, and responsibilities to streamline work,” while an additional 46 percent said that the company leadership didn’t see the value of performance evaluations that judged managers—and senior leaders—on their people-management skills as opposed to just business performance. About the same proportion said leadership didn’t value “help[ing] and reward[ing] those who deliver continuous improvement.”

Exhibit 2

We strive to provide individuals with disabilities equal access to our website. If you would like information about this content we will be happy to work with you. Please email us at: McKinsey_Website_Accessibility@mckinsey.com
Idea in action:

To encourage new behavior, one UK-based multinational made 20 percent of every manager’s annual bonus contingent on scores from direct reports on a variety of leadership practices. As the quality of leadership improved, the company noticed a secondary benefit: encouraging line employees to give upward feedback made them more fluent in the practices and improved their own leadership skills, as well.

Short-term views
A closer look at the survey evidence highlights signs of short-termism in vital areas such as talent strategy, talent development, and recruitment.

For instance, when we asked respondents what prevented their companies from identifying the best people and putting them to work on the most important business priorities, 37 percent said that “this practice does not fit our culture” and one-third that “we have more important things to worry about.” This is despite evidence suggesting that when companies regularly reallocate talent to match strategic priorities they are more than twice as likely to outperform their competitors.

Respondents also cited “more important things to worry about” as the principal reason their companies didn’t adopt more skills-based training (41 percent), followed closely by perceptions that training was too expensive. These views are notable given the looming skill gaps expected to arise from disruptive technologies and the fact that many senior executives say their organizations are unprepared to address the skill gaps they anticipate.4
When respondents admitted to difficulty in implementing some of the practices, they tended to identify company leaders as the biggest impediment.

Other preoccupations seem to take priority over good recruitment practices, too: 37 percent of the respondents said they have more important things to worry about than changing recruitment processes to improve workplace diversity—despite a growing body of evidence linking gender, ethnic, and cultural diversity to positive business outcomes.

Idea in action:

To encourage long-term thinking, the UK-based multinational adopted a rule requiring all senior leaders to spend three years in their roles before becoming eligible for promotions that would take them to another part of the business. This rule ensures that leaders are aware of—and own—the consequences of their decisions.

Take stock, make changes
Taken together, our findings suggest that many companies in the United Kingdom (and beyond) should take a close look at their talent practices, particularly as the more demanding and diverse millennial generation comes of age. Workers are paying attention: a 2018 survey found that poor management was the top reason UK employees weren’t happy in their current roles.5 And British workers are hardly alone: comparable studies in the United States suggest that employee dissatisfaction with the company’s leadership is commonplace.6
The path to improvement for companies anywhere, we find, starts with soul-searching, as well as recognizing that the view from the middle of an organization may be less sanguine than the view from the top. Leaders must be prepared to deal with what they learn from employee surveys or external benchmarking exercises. A real commitment to talent can’t be built through half measures or, worse, faked. As one survey respondent put it, if verbal messages are “not backed up by [leadership] actions . . . then you can’t expect HR to think it’s a priority. In order for a good practice to be implemented . . . the senior leadership team have to genuinely want it to succeed.”

If companies in the UK moved up just one decile in people performance relative to their peers, the resulting boost in labor productivity would be worth £110 billion.

Elevating people leadership on the management agenda often requires elevating the chief human-resources officer (CHRO) or the most senior person in charge of talent if the role goes by another name. At a minimum, the person who holds it should report to the CEO and be accountable for organization-wide talent priorities linked to tangible business objectives. The board, which often becomes involved in succession planning, can also do much more to review and advise on the organization’s talent performance.

As our colleague Dominic Barton and his coauthors noted in Talent Wins,7 CEOs in some talent-oriented organizations insist that the CHRO and CFO be part of a core strategic inner circle that drives people strategy. Our research, highlighting a disconnect between the organization as a whole and the perceptions of CEOs and HR leaders, suggests that moving to such a model also will require a mind-set shift.

Idea in action:

The UK-based multinational’s executive committee focuses up to six hours a quarter on the development of the company’s top 150 leaders. Because the process depends on discussions from the business, it builds coalitions that support talent development more broadly, while signaling its value to employees. Even when facing a tough external environment—a “crisis” in one leader’s words—the company maintained the process throughout.

McKinsey has long emphasized the positive relationship between a company’s organizational health—including people practices—and its performance. The upside potential is considerable. For the United Kingdom, our research found that if companies moved up just one decile in people performance relative to their peers, the resulting boost in labor productivity would be worth £110 billion, or 9 percent of the UK’s nonfinancial business economy. At the very least, as the UK-based multinational has found, better practices improve employee engagement and boost productivity in a tangible way.

Source : https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/future-of-work/confronting-overconfidence-in-talent-strategy-management-and-development

Learnability: Is LQ the new IQ?

The concepts of IQ and EQ (emotional quotient) are well known by HR leaders, but should they be focusing their attention on LQ, or learnability quotient? Chris Gray explains its importance.

Technology is transforming the business landscape. Advancements in automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning are helping businesses improve output and increase revenues. But how does such rapid development impact employees and hiring practices?

Media scaremongering has led some to believe that new technologies are here to replace human workers, when in fact the opposite is true. This is supported by research from Gartner, which indicates that AI will create more jobs than it replaces, adding 2.3 million jobs while eliminating 1.8 million jobs globally.

Employees rate learning and development over salary

Nevertheless, these technologies still shift the emphasis in assessment and recruitment. This means that employers should increasingly look for a new trait that will help them build teams to get the most from new technologies – and that’s LQ, or learnability quotient.

What is LQ?
While the terms IQ (intelligence quotient) and EQ (emotional quotient) are well known by global employers, LQ is a new measurement gaining in recognition.

LQ refers to an individual’s desire and ability to quickly grow and adapt their skillset to remain employable throughout their working life.

Increasingly, professional success is determined by an individual’s ability to adapt to new challenges, change their mindset when dealing with different tasks and their willingness to take charge of their own career progression.

LQ represents a new way for employers and employees to assess their learning styles and recognises an individual’s ability to learn new skills and adapt quickly – you can even test your own LQ online.

How can we use LQ at work?
The speed of change within the modern workplace, largely driven by the constant introduction of new and evolving technologies, is making the capacity to learn ever more important.

Employers want people who are agile enough to thrive in their working environment now and in the future. At the same time, employees are looking to learn and accumulate new skills in a bid to remain relevant, employable and mobile.

What’s more, with skills shortages at a 12-year high and new areas of expertise appearing as quickly as old ones are made redundant, companies are developing talent as a way of future-proofing.

Our Skills Revolution 4.0 research revealed that by 2020, 84% of employers will be upskilling their workforce to keep up with innovation.

Organisations can no longer rely on finding talent to do the job just in time. Instead, they have to ensure the people they already have on board are able to learn the new skills required to keep up with competitors.

Learnability can also be an indicator of career mobility. An individual who shows signs of being a quick learner is likely to be agile and work their way up in a company. As organisations seek to invest and develop their best talent, having insight into learnability metrics will provide guidance on how best to enhance performance.

Those who can learn quickly will not only prove instrumental in growing the business, they can also work with other members of the team to demonstrate the value of LQ in the workplace.

Demand for digital
Demand for IT skills is growing, and rapidly. Almost two-thirds of companies are planning to increase headcount in IT roles, but at the same time, tech talent is scarce.

Furthermore, with technology evolving at pace, employers are trying to build a pipeline of talent ready to work with emerging technologies. Anticipating what the skills of the future might be is critical if organisations are going to build a sustainable pipeline of talent.

Finding people that are eager and have the capacity to learn is going to be essential if employers want to keep up with the pace of digital change. However, employers also have a role to play in equipping their people.

Establishing clear training programmes that upskill teams, or even appointing a Chief Learning Officer can help set a business apart from its competitors when it comes to embracing new technologies.

As the workplace continues to evolve, employability has become less about what you already know and more about your capacity to learn. While a CV can show an employer the background and existing knowledge of an individual, their ability to learn is ultimately going to be more important. If you can build a team that is hungry to learn and grow, so too will your business.

Source : https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/future-of-work/confronting-overconfidence-in-talent-strategy-management-and-development

Bad candidate experiences chase away nearly half of job seekers

Dive Brief:
Nearly half (49%) of job seekers in a recent PwC survey said they’ve turned down an offer because of a bad candidate experience.
Even more said they’d discourage family or friends from applying for a job with a company because of a bad experience with the company’s recruiters.
To ensure quality candidates aren’t lost to poor recruiting experiences, PwC said it recommends that employers use tech tools to streamline interaction with candidates, recognize how communication failures harms recruiting and manage the organization’s reputation, among other things.

Dive Insight:
Recent research shows that candidates and talent pros don’t see eye to eye on the recruiting process. Most employers think they’re doing great, but the majority of candidates say they’ve had bad experiences.

Luckily, there are steps employers can take that experts say will improve those experiences — and the chance of landing a great hire. Immediate feedback, for example, can solidify a relationship, according to the Talent Board. Employers can no longer afford to “ghost” candidates by failing to keep them abreast of their application’s status.

A personalized process and a clear explanation of a company’s employee value proposition is key too, a 2018 report from Phenom People explained. Those findings echo additional recommendations from the most recent PwC report. Candidates want their communication preferences recognized and respected, the firm said. And employers should showcase the rewards people want most: salary, benefits, development opportunities, inclusion and flexibility. “Recruiters must be able to quantify and communicate them as part of their value proposition,” PwC said. “Adopt a sales mindset around these rewards. Understand their value to candidates and showcase them as part of your offer package.”

Source : https://www.hrdive.com/news/bad-candidate-experiences-chase-away-nearly-half-of-job-seekers/567952/