13 Learning And Development Reality Checks For 2018

13 Learning And Development Reality Checks For 2018
There is a lot of prognostication and guessing going on nowadays about the future of Learning and Development (L&D). This is especially due to the rhetoric and attention that’s been given to Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Internet of Things (IoT), gamification, and all the other buzzwords you’ve been hearing about.

This article is not predicting what I suspect will happen in the future, it’s a wake-up call or sorts to what is already going on around us. Because let’s face it, there is a lot going on that is impacting L&D that we sometimes don’t see, don’t recognize, and don’t do anything about. In other words, this is a reality check—13 Reality Checks to be exact—and what I think the implications of these realities will be on L&D in 2018.

13 Learning And Development Realities
I’ll keep this short because that is what I believe consumers of information wanted, and it’s also the first reality check. But you can expect 14 follow-ons “thought briefs” that go into more detail on each reality check, including the “why” behind my statements and the research to back it up.

1. Human Behavior Has Changed
Digital conditioning has changed and continues to change human behavior. There is no question that learning has changed over the past 10 years. Innovative consumer technologies, including smartphones and social media, has changed human conditioning, especially how we seek answers to questions and how we choose to learn. Want to know what I’m talking about? Just think about the last time you had a question, and then how you searched for the answer.

2. Free Is The Greatest Threat
Free will continue to be the greatest disruptive threat to the L&D industry. One of the biggest differentiators between the free online learning fragments available to us all and the formal paid L&D solutions is the quality of the experience and content. I’m here to tell you that is changing. These free learning fragments are improving in quality daily, and more and more people are turning to them for answers to their professional questions and dilemmas, including soft skills like sales and leadership.

3. The “Community” Is The New Expert
Yes, the thousands of organically grown communities of practice continue to fill the role of expert. The sage on the stage has effectively been replaced by synergistic communities and a world of up and coming experts. But on the other hand, forced top-down social networks most often fail. We’ve learned that companies cannot force communities of practice but must rather creatively tap into those communities that are already thriving.

4. Learning Is Naturally Occurring On Mobile Devices
Whether it fits our traditional concept of learning or not, mobile learning is becoming synonymous with learning. Whether completely replacing or acting as a supplement or reinforcement tool for learning content, mobile learning is here to stay and will continue to evolve until it has penetrated every aspect of our L&D models. We can either embrace it and innovate along with it or be left behind.

5. Beware Of Shiny Objects
Like before, there will be new shiny tools, innovations, and buzzwords to distract you from what is really working. This is a real side-effect of innovation. Very few innovations will make it across the chasm. The challenge for us in L&D will be to identify what trends are winners and which ones are fads. One of the best ways of ensuring we are not being led away by red herrings is to look beyond our industry, and see what is working and why.

6. The Status Quo Is Being Disrupted
Companies who refuse to innovate digitally will be disrupted from without. Many who only prescribe traditional, outdated learning methodologies and technologies will lose talent and market share, and eventually, be disrupted by competitors in and out of their market.

7. Instructor-Led Training Is Still The Boss… For Now
In some sectors of the market, Instructor-Led Training (ILT) will continue to dominate overall training hours available. Despite steadily losing market share to more flexible, entertaining, and innovative digital mixes, ILT is still the boss and will be for at least a few more years. The ILT solutions that will survive and succeed will adapt their delivery to include a pre-and post-digital blend that reduces cognitive load, incorporates discovery, enables practice, supports reinforcement, and establishes accountability.

8. The Video Is The Golden Child
Video-based learning development, delivery, and consumption will continue to grow. Youtube and subsequent video-based learning products have paved the way for a budding market and growing demand for short, entertaining, video-based learning alternatives.

9. Millennials Are Changing Things Up
Millennials are wired differently than previous generations and will change things as they get more power. Over the next few years, as Baby Boomers continue exiting the workforce and Millennials start filling their vacated positions, we will see a major shift in L&D buying habits, including how training is delivered, what topics are being sought after, accessibility, and technologically-driven ROI expectations. While this sounds like a prediction, it is also a reality as we look at how millennial entrepreneurs approach work, life, and learning.

10. Artificial Intelligence (AI) Is Impacting Learning
AI will increasingly become a more influential part of our lives, including how we shop, how we communicate, and how we obtain information. We should not underestimate or overlook AI in the L&D space. As Pandora recently put it, “voice is the new touch”.

11. Being Customer-Centric Equals Success
Customer or learner-centric approaches will yield better results and ROI over traditional, silo-based, innovative practices. Because as we’ve learned, the consumer of information, aka the modern learner, is king and will determine the future of the L&D industry, so the more we are in tune with them and their ever-changing preferences, the greater chance we have of success.

12. Keeping Up May Be Impossible
The world, including the L&D industry, is struggling to keep up. While the L&D industry continues to react with new innovative models, technology, and tools, it will become increasingly harder to capture learner behavior and sentiment in a bottle and stay ahead of the ever-changing advances in digital technology and consumer demand that influence that behavior. In other words, L&D must not only continuously reinvent the products and delivery modalities they create, but they must also reinvent how they identify what works and how to stay ahead of the wave of innovation and competition that is our new reality. He who adapts will survive.

13. Commoditization Will Be Hard
The packaging and commoditization of learning products and solutions will become increasingly difficult. For many of the same reasons as the reality check #12, those in the L&D business space will need to reinvent what their products look and feel like, and continuously update and improve those products. As much as we like to put things in neat packages and categories, so we can commoditize them. This is becoming harder to do in a world that encourages and rewards customization and personalization.

Final Words
In summary, there is a lot going on in and out of the L&D space that continuously influences, impacts, and ultimately changes how we consume information and learning. This is not your mother’s training world anymore, and it is getting crazier by the day. What systems and processes we put in place to effectively react and adapt to these perpetual changes will determine the level of success we have within our companies in regards to retaining talent and being profitable. Don’t feel like this can’t be done. There are pockets of brilliance and success stories all around us, we just have to look. However, they may not be where you expect them to be, so keep looking.

Source: https://elearningindustry.com/learning-and-development-reality-checks-2018

When technology makes us more human


The perennial issue of employee engagement is set to become a larger issue for many organisations in the coming years. As employee expectations change and location-independent working and the gig economy become more prevalent workforce models, engaging people with organisational values and processes will become a bigger challenge than ever.

However, the technologies driving these changing expectations are by nature communications technologies, and they are already being used to improve how employees view their relationship with the organisation. The use of HR technology pioneered by automotive manufacturers provides lessons for all of us in using technology to make our organisations more human. These models, developed for situations where relationships with frontline staff are developed almost exclusively through technology, show how we can create a new future of work with technology enabling more human relationships.

Rather than isolating employees, mobile technology allows organisations to connect in increasingly meaningful ways with their remote employees. Combining mobile learning with other technologies including company app stores and big data is helping employees feel closer to the organisation and increasing engagement. One company saw a 60 increase in learner engagement simply by using a new Learning Management System (LMS), showing the positive impact technology can have on an organisation’s people and culture.

Mobile learning technology is being used in a range of new ways, including video onboarding that fosters an emotive response to being welcomed by a senior leader or member of the board, significantly increasing engagement and needing a simple time investment of one video recording. Connections with leadership can also be fostered through mobile communications; rather than all-staff emails, mobile communications tools allow for documents and messages to be sent only to the relevant locations or job roles. This again helps employees receive personalised messaging so that they feel they matter as an individual to the organisation.

Advances in learning technology may also keep your people connected to your organisation. For many of us, when we need quick information at work, the immediate response is to turn to our favourite search engine. But what if, instead, your people’s first response was to search your LMS for the information, and be presented not only with how to carry out the task, but also guidance on internal policies? For example, rather than a generic website advising how to set up an email signature, people could be presented with how to set up a signature and the specific template they should use.

Current technology already allows organisations to target learning to people in certain job roles, departments or locations, but artificial intelligence could make it even easier to get the right information in front of people whenever they need it, without a search as we think of it today. This has the double advantage of again increasing engagement with your organisation, as employees turn to you as a source of guidance, and of freeing people from mundane questions like ‘where do I find the holiday policy?’ to focus on interactions that can really add value to both the organisation and the employee.

As well as humanising relationships within organisations, learning technology is being harnessed to improve customer engagement. A big concern for automotive retailers, and retailers in general, is how customer buying patterns are moving increasingly online. Retailers are therefore focusing their efforts on providing a unique service and their unique assets – their people.

Some exciting trends are already emerging from mobile learning technology, particularly combining point-of-need training on a mobile device with video content and detailed product specifications, so that salespeople can offer a customer experience based on service rather than knowledge regurgitation, powered by their HR technology.

Point-of-need training can also be used to improve internal engagement. It improves the flow of information around the organisation, and keeps information readily accessible. This allows meetings to move away from simple information sharing sessions and creates a meeting culture of collaboration and decision-making.

Technology is going to further impact organisational communications in the next few years. Machine learning may contribute to a shift in how big data is distributed and key points highlighted for individuals as it becomes increasingly easy to analyse. Organisations can already use communications apps to distribute data to the most relevant people, but with the growth of AI, data could be analysed automatically and systems could advise on the most relevant products and deals for a customer, or answer transactional HR questions. This will allow people to do what they do best; build the human relationships that add value to the organisation.

Source: https://www.thehrdirector.com/features/tech/technology-makes-us-human/


Today, professionals in HR departments are being forced to adapt to technological innovation – whether it’s in recruitment, hiring, payroll, or even the management of benefits. But if we look closely at what’s garnering the most attention right now, it’s one thing: data. HR managers must begin to understand the significance of data-driven technologies and how they will affect HR in the future.

Let’s take a closer look at the significance of people analytics, the impact of IoT on HR and application of the latest HR technology trends.

Significance of people analytics

People analytics refers to the utilization of data-driven techniques for managing people in the workplace. These analytical approaches include reporting, metrics and the predictive analytics of experimental research. Business leaders can make decisions concerning their employees based on the in-depth analysis of data instead of outdated and ineffective methods of risk avoidance, decision making and personal relationships.

In today’s business environment, people analytics helps examine the efficiency of processes and practices. It helps businesses understand how to make objective and informed decisions concerning people, and assists in directing the actions of HR, solving problems of individuals and uncovering new insights. As a result, it helps entire businesses run more smoothly when it comes to employee recruitment, performance and development.

The impact of IoT

IoT influences HR management by harnessing large amounts of data from people, providing HR management with new strategies to maximize agility. In addition, IoT enhances employee productivity in various ways. First, it provides the means of gathering more reliable data – as opposed to gathering data manually, which is prone to human error. HR managers can use data from the employees, for example, to schedule brainstorming meetings during their most productive periods. IoT can also boost employee satisfaction and health through fitness trackers and associated monitoring devises, as well as track employee progress.

Latest HR trends

Big data is continuously influencing the workforce on a large scale, highlighting company and employee needs and behavior with remarkable precision. We can now be transparently aware of important information such as who should be hired for what role, how they might do their job and how they might feel on the job.

The flexibility of remote work has modified markets around the world. Organizations are looking to outsource as many jobs as possible, especially the ones that they need not handle on a regular basis. Since workforce fluctuation has created a very time-consuming problem, this policy is heavily influencing HR departments.

Nevertheless, we have to depend on the fact that our future employees will also have access to the open global market to seek new opportunities, which indicates that companies will have to be highly competitive when hiring talent. That includes offering remote workforces with expanding benefits, more flexible work hours and the promise of a healthy and productive working relationship.

Policies and regulations regarding IoT will leave a lasting impact on HR. When it comes to safety and privacy in the IoT world, there is undoubtedly a demand for responsibility. As far as technological advancement is concerned, governmental support will present a complicated issue. It is yet to be determined how HR departments will face the consequences and liabilities that new technologies present, but approaches will differ among organizations based on their structure and goals.

Looking ahead

Big data and IoT have become critical for HR. An HR officer’s set of tasks is already highly dependent on continuous micromanagement and a hierarchy of communications – both of which data can influence immensely. HR teams must keep up with new developments to optimize their work and remain competitive. Humans are evolving alongside advancements in technology, and so, HR must evolve too.

Source: http://dataconomy.com/2017/12/data-impacting-hr/

How to Build Engaged and Resilient Teams

How to Build Engaged and Resilient Teams

As a business owner, CEO, manager or other professional, you’ve probably heard you’re only as good as your worst employee. That holds true for many reasons, perhaps with the most notable being the direct effect your staff has on your company’s success. If you have one or more employees who are disengaged from your business, you’ll likely be able to see that in your financial numbers, as well.

While there are thousands of characteristics we tend to look for during the employee search, a team member’s ability to be engaged with the company’s goal and resilient to any obstacles are two traits you should never overlook.

The Importance of Being Engaged and Resilient
The importance of employee engagement isn’t in question. Countless studies show employees want to feel valued. When they do, their productivity typically skyrockets, while the company can significantly reduce their costs to directly impact their bottom line.

Resilience isn’t a trait we may think about on a regular basis, but by having an engaged workforce, you are more likely to have a resilient one, as well. Engaged employees are more likely to be able to bounce back from setbacks because they care more about your company. They’re more eager to tackle difficult tasks because they truly want to see your business succeed. You can have the smartest, most dedicated team, but if they can’t overcome challenges, their skills won’t always make up for it.

Five Ways to Build Engagement and Resiliency in Your Workplace
Luckily, there are a few simple things you can do that will boost your team’s engagement and resilience all at once. Here are five ideas to get you started.

1. Focus on Growth
Most job seekers aren’t looking to hop around from company to company. Applicants — as well as your current employees — want to see your business is growing, as this typically means they have better job security.

When your employees feel confident in their position, they begin to think about staying with your company over the long term. Once this happens, your team will become more dedicated, engaged and resilient to any setbacks.

2. Develop an Employee Recognition System
Just like employees want to know their company is on the up and up, they also want recognition for all their accomplishments. Whether it’s a company newsletter, a peer nomination system or simply mentioning a few accolades at the end of your next team meeting, establishing an employee recognition process can go a long way in improving your team’s engagement and resilience.

For example, a 2015 Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) survey on engagement and job satisfaction discovered 75 percent of employees feel their importance to an organization is the main source of their commitment to the business.

3. Be Transparent
It’s not surprising trust between management and staff plays a key role in the dynamic of the office. But it also has a significant effect on your employees’ productivity and commitment to your organization. The same SHRM survey on job satisfaction and engagement found 64 percent of employees thought trust between management and workers was a necessity in any work environment.

4. Interact on Social Media
This may come as a surprise to some, but many employees truly want to post content on social media about their workplace — especially if you give them something to talk about! One Weber Shandwick study discovered social media is essential to employee engagement.

In fact, 50 percent of engaged employees will post messages, photos and videos about their employers on their social media profiles. About 33 percent have shared positive comments without being asked to do so, and they’re almost 25 percent more likely to boost sales than any of your uncommitted team members. With numbers like that, who wouldn’t want a more engaged team?

5. Require Managers to Get on Board
As the ones who work most closely with your employees every day, it’s crucial for your department managers to be entirely on board with your company’s drive to boost engagement and resilience among your staff. Not only are your employees likely more comfortable with their managers, but they also respect them and their leadership role. By holding them accountable and requiring them to participate in employee engagement and resilience-building efforts, you’ll see better results.

There’s no question your team’s resilience and engagement are crucial to your business’ success. By following these five steps, you’ll be well on your way to seeing a more productive, committed and overall happier team.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/williamcraig/2018/01/23/how-to-build-engaged-and-resilient-teams/#1e5757587315

Dismal Employee Engagement Is a Sign of Global Mismanagement

According to our recent State of the Global Workplace report, 85% of employees are not engaged or actively disengaged at work. The economic consequences of this global “norm” are approximately $7 trillion in lost productivity. Eighteen percent are actively disengaged in their work and workplace, while 67% are “not engaged.” This latter group makes up the majority of the workforce — they are not your worst performers, but they are indifferent to your organization. They give you their time, but not their best effort nor their best ideas. They likely come to work wanting to make a difference — but nobody has ever asked them to use their strengths to make the organization better.

In a nutshell, this global engagement pattern provides evidence that how performance is managed, and specifically how people are being developed, is misfiring. Most of modern business relies on annual reviews to provide feedback and evaluate performance. And yet the new workforce is looking for things like purpose, opportunities to develop, ongoing conversations, a coach rather than a boss, and a manager who leverages their strengths rather than obsessing over their weaknesses. They see work and life as interconnected, and they want their job to be a part of their identity.

While this may sound like a tall order, the roadmap to better management is clear. Here are three steps organizations can take immediately to boost engagement:

Audit your current performance management system. Dissect which parts support setting clear expectations, making it easy to be an ongoing coach, and holding people accountable in a fair and accurate manner. There are undoubtedly pieces of your current system that align with modern performance development and others that work against allowing productive ongoing conversations to take place.

Train your managers to have effective performance development conversations. There are five conversations your managers need to become experts on, from onboarding to check-ins to semi-annual progress reviews.
Build a scientific system to make the right decisions about who becomes a manager and who can naturally deal with the idiosyncrasies that come with managing people. Some individuals are more naturally gifted to manage people toward high performance than others.

Performance reviews are still important. However, they become much more useful to the employee and organization if reviews follow ongoing conversations where expectations can be reprioritized in real time so that development can happen throughout the year. The review meeting, then, is not a surprise, but rather becomes a discussion about the future.

When we get performance management right, engagement will naturally rise. And the potential impact on the bottom line is significant. When compared with business units in the bottom quartile of Gallup’s database, those in the top quartile of engagement realize 10% higher customer metrics, 17% higher productivity, 20% higher sales and 21% higher profitability. Organizations at the top achieve earnings per share growth that is more than four times that of their competitors.

Clearly, the health of the world’s organizations depends on getting employee engagement right — and that begins with fixing the problems within our performance management systems.

Source: http://news.gallup.com/opinion/gallup/224012/dismal-employee-engagement-sign-global-mismanagement.aspx

The AI-Driven Digital Transformation Of Learning And Development

How Is Digital Transformation Affecting L&D? Discussing Artificial Intelligence

Bradbury taps into a human concern that surrounds the idea of Artificial Intelligence – if technology continues to develop at such a rate, humans will begin to become obsolete in our own homes and workplaces. Every week there’s a new article telling us that robots can do our jobs better than we can, after all.

But step back from the hysteria—the robots are not really coming to get us—and AI is already very much a part of our lives. Computers have been mimicking cognitive functions for many years: Deep Blue beat Kasparov in a chess match in 1996. We’ve all been helped (or hindered) by a chatbot online. Chatting with Siri is an everyday occurrence.

And the future is bright for learning. The award-winning online training platform Filtered uses AI to personalize the learning experience for each user. Its global filter also incorporates a chatbot to provide rapid-fire content suggestions based on your profile. Half push, half pull – the learner chooses when, where, and how much they want to learn, and the content is pushed depending on the information they provide.

So – we have our Big Data, our intelligent systems, many devices, and a plethora of content in different formats. Our learners can get going at their own pace and be guided by AI-fueled platforms. And we can tailor the content we feed in based on the intel we get back. The future is writing itself.

Industrial Revolution: Fourth Time Lucky?
We’re in the fourth industrial revolution. The first was powered by steam, the second by electricity. The third was made possible by the microchip. Now we’re at a point where Big Data, communications, and automation promises to change the way we work and live in whole new ways, alongside other developments in manufacturing, transport, and medicine. Just like the other revolutions, people will need to adapt and live with this leap in technology. This time, the technology will also learn to adapt and live with us. Let’s take some informed guesses on where this might take workplace performance in years to come.

The fourth industrial revolution (4IR, if you’re fond of acronyms) has automation and connectivity at its core. The ability for machines to network, make decisions, and intelligently distribute information allows us to automate not just manual tasks but also advanced problem solving and creativity. When we think of automation replacing jobs, people imagine self-driving cars and robots. However, better, cleverer software systems will make just as much of an impact, with many quietly doing their thing behind the scenes.

There are two ironies to this. So much, like modern learning content, is on demand – push, not pull. But intelligent software will pull information on our habits and those of people attempting the same task. It will have the ability to suggest resources to us before we even know we need it. Virtual personal assistants like Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana are mainstream applications. In the future, friendly chatbots will play a bigger part in our lives, acting as the interface to a slew of systems that save our time and effort. Coaches and buddies may be digital, following us from school and managing our life-long development.

This brings the second irony. As automation displaces certain roles in the workplace, it will also help to retrain us. But certain skills will begin to disappear. The driverless car removes the necessity of learning to drive. In this sense, technology will learn so we don’t have to. Augmented Reality will walk us through tasks. Imagine putting on a headset that projects instructions, hints, and tips into your field of view. Memorizing things like policies will neither be needed nor desirable. This technology is here today and as hardware becomes smaller and more discrete, it will become more and more integrated into the workplace.

But this doesn’t mean the end for human interaction. Not only will jobs remain that require people, but the same technology that networks the new wave of intelligent software will also network us in new ways. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality will allow us to share digital worlds and see through the eyes of other people, bringing us closer together. We can share experiences and insights in a way we never could before. Cohorts of learners will be able to collaborate and share easily over distance, making social learning over distance feel much more like the classroom, even if the experience looks a lot different.

It’s the shift from content on-screen to content all around us, intelligently filtered and instantly there at the point of need, that will provide a big change for learners, as will the way we’re connected. Interfaces, be they onscreen or via wearable, will perhaps drive these new ways of learning. No one can be sure exactly where the fourth industrial revolution will take learning, but one thing’s for sure: we’ll need good content. However it pans out, the next decade will be an exciting time for L&D professionals.

Final Word
So where does this leave us? As many have blogged, workplace learning needs a new definition and a new mindset. Learning happens as a natural part of work, people are learning more by themselves using online resources as they’d do in everyday life. The new role for L&D involves encouraging, enabling, and supporting self-organized learning.

The changing pattern in the workplace must be recognized and embraced; there is a fundamental shift in power and it belongs to the learner. We must recognize this and shift our approach to embrace digital design principles to transform the L&D offer.

We are heading towards a more agile L&D, one that embraces digital and social learning, focuses on and empathizes with end users, delivers a personalized learning offer, facilitates and supports learning communities on and offline, is more outcome focused and understands how to support performance.

A learning ecosystem that makes the most of digital transformation – elegantly using a stack of technology to facilitate learning.

Sounds like a tough challenge? In some ways it should; the word ‘transformation’ does suggest a step change. But like digital transformation in any aspect of life—mobile phones instead of phone boxes, on demand instead of scheduled TV—we won’t realize we’ve changed until it’s well embedded and has become second nature.

Source: https://elearningindustry.com/ai-driven-digital-transformation-affecting-l-and-d

Why Now is the Time to Adopt HR Automation

Every business function today is heavily reliant on technology and HR is no exception. Rosemary Haefner, CHRO at CareerBuilder talks about how automating repetitive, time-consuming and labor-intensive HR tasks could help drive bottom line growth

Human resources management is constantly evolving, and in the last few decades, it has changed its focus from personnel management to strategic human resource planning. New technological advances have allowed for an increase in affordability, simplicity and accessibility of HR automation services for organizations of all sizes. A recent survey from CareerBuilder shows that 72 percent of employers expect that some roles within talent acquisition and human capital management will become completely automated within the next 10 years.

But the rate at which companies with 250-plus employees are adopting automation varies considerably. Although more are turning to technology to address time-consuming, labor-intensive talent acquisition and management tasks – that are susceptible to human error – the CareerBuilder study shows a significant proportion continue to rely on manual processes. One-third of employers (34 percent) don’t use technology automation for recruiting candidates, 44 percent don’t automate onboarding and 60 percent don’t automate human capital management activities for employees, such as payroll, benefits and personnel administration.

By not automating you could be hurting productivity and falling behind competitors. CareerBuilder research identified that HR managers who do not fully automate say they lose an average of 14 hours a week manually completing tasks that could be automated; more than a quarter (28 percent) waste 20 hours or more, and 1 in 10 (11 percent) spend 30 hours or more.

Any number of HR processes can be improved through automation. For example, onboarding new employees is typically laden with forms and can take an unreasonable amount of time when it’s done on paper. With electronic forms and automated workflows, data entered once can be used to populate multiple onboarding forms. Employee reviews are another process that benefits from automation by being faster, clearer and easier to trace from beginning to end. And it isn’t just HR processes that can benefit. Other business processes like expense reporting, maintenance requests or transportation management benefit from electronic forms and workflows too.

According to the CareerBuilder survey, employers who have automated a part of their talent acquisition and management processes have seen the following results:

Saved time and increased efficiency (93 percent): An HR manager who spends time looking through time-log spreadsheets, files or emails might end up doing nothing else but that. The more the time consumed, the lesser the productivity. Automating the process increases the productivity rate of the HR team.

Improved the candidate experience (71 percent): Communicating clearly and consistently with applicants throughout the recruiting lifecycle reduces candidate frustration. Applicant tracking software makes it easy to communicate electronically, and candidates also feel empowered because they can log in and check their own application status. Further, if applicants call HR with questions, all the relevant information is available in one place for the HR team.

Reduced errors (69 percent): Automating your strategy enables you to standardize records management. At the same time, it removes the potential for human error that plagues so many HR offices. A paper-based system can be a big risk – there might not be back up and, if misplaced or lost in a fire or burglary, for example, some information may not be recoverable.

Saved money and resources (67 percent): Many businesses are chasing their tails, being bogged down with manual work that can (and should be) handled through HR automation. By not automating, you could be wasting a significant amount of time (an average of 14 hours, as mentioned above), and therefore money.

Improved the employee experience (60 percent): Every employee has different requirements. Some travel and have to apply for travel requests and submit expense reports. Others may contact the HR constantly to update their personal and professional information. As an organization grows there will be more and more employees that require HR assistance. Automated HR systems let employees manage all these activities themselves.

Source: https://www.hrtechnologist.com/articles/employee-onboarding/why-now-is-the-time-to-adopt-hr-automation/

A Rogue Manager Can Kill Your Culture

If you’re winning awards and turnover is low, don’t be fooled. Want to hear the bad news about your culture.

With great anticipation, best places to work lists come out. Companies and individuals post their pride on LinkedIn and other social media outlets, praising their HR team and senior leadership. WE ARE A GREAT PLACE TO WORK! “Employment Branding” it’s called.

Every company tries, but only 10, 20, 50…maybe 100 make the list. Not a lot. Companies should be proud. They have a great culture. People are happy. People are being promoted. They offer great benefits, fun perks, are growing and profitable. They’re doing it right!

What can go wrong? One manager. One. It’s a game of telephone. They hear X, and they translate it as B. They don’t know how to drive a message to their team. They nod accordingly in management meetings and during one-on-ones with their boss. They understand the numbers, and where their group and the company need to go. They just don’t know how to communicate down. Why?

1. Emotions. They let their emotions dictate the group’s behavior. Any team will eventually imitate the personality of their manager. Goofy. Disciplined. Lazy. Strong. Resilient. It doesn’t matter. People see how the person they report to behaves and imitate. (There are exceptions to the rule…)

2. Threats. If we don’t achieve this, Mary is going to be pissed (Mary being the manager’s boss or CEO). There may not have even been a conversation, nor does Mary know what’s going on, but for lack of a good management strategy, the manager falls back on the 1970’s parenting tactics, “when your father gets home from work” strategy.

3. Protectionist. They look out for their group more than the company. A project should be moved to another group for the betterment of a client, but it’s not. An employee wants a transfer, but the manager says they can’t move. To them, it’s all about short-term accomplishments.

4. No fun. They may laugh with their superiors and maybe fun outside the office, but with their group, they are a hard ass all the time. They aren’t creating a fun atmosphere. There isn’t any laughing, and they’re not a part of any team jokes (they may be the butt of the jokes).

5. They tell, don’t show. Most people want to understand, but they are told, not taught. The best way to manage is to learn philosophically what the results of behavior will be and how that affects the company overall. The ability to teach is crucial.

6. Teaching for short-term gains versus teaching for long-term development. This is the problem in the US education system. Do we teach for standardized testing, or do we teach for long-term knowledge. In business, we need to do both, and the analogy of teaching someone to fish is very appropriate.

The best HR team and leader can miss this in a medium-to-large organization. You have to talk to staff. You have to listen to what people below management say. You have to accept that managers may not be what they appear to be by their superiors. Leaders have to want to hear bad news.

The hardest part is that this behavior isn’t intentional most of the time. These managers believe they are doing the right things. They believe they are doing what they are paid to do. Most poor managers want to be successful. They don’t have the 360-degree view to comprehend the consequences of their behavior.

So realize, being a best place to work and having a great culture is like your health. You can run, lift weights and eat healthy all you want, but if you don’t get checkups, you may have cancer or high blood pressure and not even know it. While you’re winning awards and turnover is low, don’t be fooled. Want to hear the bad news about your culture. Investigate the level of communication and cross-functional interaction. Don’t take for granted that people are doing it “your way.” If you don’t get a physical and a checkup, you’ll never know.

Source: https://www.inc.com/tom-gimbel/a-rogue-manager-can-kill-your-culture-.html

Dealing with the dreaded self-evaluation

A written self-evaluation submitted to your manager seems like a cruel trick question, or at the very least, a hard line to walk. If you’re too self-congratulatory, you come off as a delusional blowhard. But if you’re too negative, you risk undermining yourself — and your career prospects.

Some companies such as General Electric and Adobe have dropped the traditional annual performance review altogether in favor of more frequent check-ins, says Dan Schawbel, research director at Future Workplace.

Jaime Klein, founder of Inspire Human Resources, has also noticed a change.

“We’ve seen the overall performance management process shift from one goal-setting meeting and one performance appraisal meeting to year-round check-ins, flexible goal-setting, and increased employee input. Self-reviews create the conversation that results in the formal review that is used to evaluate salaries and promotions.”

Whether your appraisals are annual or occur more frequently, here’s how to make sure you’re getting the most out of these forced career checks.

Do your homework

If your supervisor hasn’t explained already, ask how self-evaluations are used. “This helps to connect the dots between your personal view of your contributions and the company’s performance,” Klein says.

Often, documented self-evaluations are usually saved with performance appraisals, and are taken into consideration when decisions about bonuses and promotions are made.

“When an employee understands the weight that their self-evaluation carries, and the impact it can have on things that matter to them, like bonuses and promotions, it usually increases the effort they put into its preparation,” she says.

Gather ammo year-round

Sorry, but your manager probably doesn’t keep track of your wins. To snag a promotion or a raise, you have to remind him or her — and your self-evaluation is the perfect opportunity. Over the course of the year, keep a log of all your achievements and how each one has translated into revenue for your company. “If you’re preparing a month before self-evaluations are due, you’re doing it wrong,” says Schawbel. “Any time someone sends you an e-mail saying how great of a job you did, log that. Go into that self-review meeting with case studies.”

Be brutally honest

Take a hard look at yourself and your performance. What are your strengths? What could you have done better? Ask yourself what you uniquely brought to a project or task, Klein suggests.

Consider getting feedback from your co- workers to inform your self-evaluation, says Schawbel. And don’t just write what you think management wants to hear: “Full honesty is key to getting the most out of the self-review process,” says Klein. “If you’re considering being dishonest about your performance, chances are your manager is already aware of some issues that need to be addressed. Being honest demonstrates professionalism on your part, and allows your manager to review your strengths and opportunities for growth from your point of view. It also gives them a chance to offer career-path insight and identify potential training needs.”

Phrase it right

Self-reviews give employees a voice. “This is your chance to shape your performance appraisal, and highlight the contributions that you consider to be most impactful,” says Klein. “This is the perfect opportunity to discuss career goals with leadership, and make a correlation between your accomplishments and your immediate and long-term career goals.” Schawbel suggests quantifying your achievements — did they lead to an increase in revenue, an increase in savings, a more efficient process, an award for the company, or an improvement in customer-service ratings? Just don’t bash your manager, your company, your clients or your co-workers. Aim to be 90 percent positive, and save the remaining 10 percent for “areas for improvement” comments in order to appear well-rounded. “If you mention any weakness or setbacks, you immediately have to say, ‘But I did this differently the next time,’ ” says Schawbel. “Show that you’ve improved or corrected the error.”

Be pro-active

This is imperative. Your supervisor expects you to ask questions, says Klein. “To demonstrate your commitment to your personal and professional development, ask questions with suggested answers,” she suggests. “For example, instead of just asking, ‘How can I help to make your job easier?’ consider the tasks that your manager is already undertaking and ask if you could assume some of that responsibility to alleviate their workload. They’ll appreciate your proactive gesture, and you’ll get an answer from your impressed manager.”

Source: https://nypost.com/2018/01/14/dealing-with-the-dreaded-self-evaluation/

3 Ways You Unconsciously Disrupt Employee Engagement

A recent article, Three Things That Sabotage Employee Engagement by Dr. Rick Goodman says that your company culture (every habit, every rule, and every practice) affects your employee engagement whether for good or bad. So, even team leaders who have the best intentions can unconsciously sabotage their own efforts to keep their employees engaged.

Here are three ways you can unconsciously sabotage your employee engagement.

1. Micromanaging your employees. You hire your employees to be part of your team in an agile office space because you believe and trust them in their talents and skills. But when you assign and delegate some tasks to them and yet they have no liberty to achieve them on their own terms, you sabotage their engagement and confidence.

You need to trust your people otherwise you shouldn’t have hired them in the first place.

2. Criticizing your employees. We make mistakes, it’s our natural tendency as human being, but it is one way in which we learn and grow. If you criticize or blame your employees for every little mistake they make instead of offering support, you restrain that growth potential. Instead of casting blame, you can call a meeting with your team in a meeting space to discuss their issues and concerns and how to improve their performance.

3. Failure to appreciate your employees. Don’t take all the credit for yourself. Give to your employees the credit due to them. Make sure everyone feels valued and appreciated. Your team should share successes as well as defeats. And if the team achieves something, everyone should feel good about it.


Employee engagement should stem from all aspects of your company. Thus identifying the areas where you’re coming up short and taking action about them is vitally important. Having an awesome office space and location is also very essential to keep employee engagement. Thus if you’re looking for workspace solutions in Philadelphia, YourOffice Philadelphia offers you a wide choice of office and workspace solutions: small office space Philadelphia, executive suites Philadelphia and meeting space Philadelphia. You’ll have access to a complete array of office support and concierge services as well as state-of-the-art business technology.