Saturday December 14, 2019

Letter from a disgruntled ex-employee? How to respond

When you terminate an employee and they leave quietly without incident, you may think that’ll be the end of it.

But “vent letters,” messages in which ex-employees air all their grievances, are becoming increasingly common — and it’s important to know how to respond.

Take complaints seriously

A few old employees might just want to get some things off their chest, but others may raise some serious issues that need to be addressed.

Here’s how employment lawyer Adam Bartrom of the firm Barnes & Thornburg says you should react:

  1. Take complaints seriously and identify legal risks. You should treat these letters as if they were formal complaints raised in an exit interview. The ex-employee may even offer some helpful insights or suggestions. It’s also important to be on the lookout for any potential legal problems raised, such as harassment, discrimination or retaliation allegations.
  2. Investigate and document. If an ex-employee brings up something that needs to be looked into, save the letter and launch a well-documented investigation. Make sure your managers know to send vent letters with serious complaints to HR.
  3. Respond to letters with a PR mindset. Remember that anything you say could end up in court, so respond carefully and follow the usual policies. For example, does your company typically respond to social media comments or Glassdoor reviews? If it does, reply to a vent letter in the same polite, professional way.

It’s important to note that employers can avoid most vent letters if terminated employees are given the opportunity to speak their minds during exit interviews.

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Why automating onboarding can help retain top talent

Employees are an indispensable resource – and
in this competitive hiring market, companies can’t afford turnover. So now more
than ever, businesses must work on retaining their best employees to ensure they’re
running as effectively and efficiently as possible. 

There are many ways companies can do this,
but getting started out of the gate with a thorough and welcoming
onboarding process is one of the best ways to show your employees what they
mean to your business. They’ll know that you value them and they’ll be eager to
stick around longer.

Of course, onboarding can be time-consuming,
but luckily, the latest HR
technology can help you establish a systematized approach to onboarding while
carefully monitoring all of its important aspects.

Here are five ways investing automation of in
your onboarding process can help you retain your top talent:  

Establish a single source of

The fast pace of modern tech development
has made it difficult for companies to keep track of all the channels where
they can find new employees. Oftentimes, candidates will contact businesses
through multiple channels when searching for jobs making it challenging to
track communication and new applicants throughout all the platforms.
Additionally, it’s difficult to assess potential employees and manage them for
proper onboarding.

To help with this process, you can use
software solutions like assessment software to store and manage
applications in a single database. That way, you won’t have to work across multiple

Automate sourcing and screening

Artificial intelligence is making its way
into various software solutions like applicant tracking systems, time clock
software, and others. And when it comes to onboarding and hiring new employees,
it can help HR pros immensely. Here is how:

Giving responses to applicants

When there’s a large volume of applicants,
like with bulk hiring, onboarding managers may find it a challenge to respond
to all of them. In these situations, an AI-powered onboarding software can help
generate proper responses and send them automatically.

Performing sourcing and screening

AI software can also help with screening
and sourcing. Through its understanding of job requirements, it can look for
candidates that meet the criteria, shortlist them and rank them properly. This
allows managers to quickly determine which candidates to focus on first.

Getting all relevant information

AI has the power to gather information
about candidates and store it in a structured manner. This structure makes it easier
for HR reps to assess candidates based on the stored data.

Evaluate candidate qualifications

One of the more tedious tasks for hiring
managers is to go through many applications and narrow down the list to people
who are qualified to do the job. Modern technology gives HR managers the
information they need to evaluate candidates based on knowledge, skills,
experience, employment, history, and other relevant information – all displayed
on one dashboard. From there, they can take it one candidate at a time.

Sorting applicants

Some HR solutions come with features,
functionalities and options that make testing candidates easier, giving
objective results that can tell managers whether someone would be a good fit
for the company. Instead of just relying on their subjective opinions, managers
can use these solutions to give unbiased scores and make better hiring

Furthermore, these tools allow managers to
sort candidates using different criteria such as:

  • Career achievements
  • Portfolios
  • Education level
  • Various demographic factors
  • Work experience

Selecting top candidates

Even though applicants are already sorted
neatly, it’s important to narrow down the list and choose only the candidates
who best match your requirements. To do this, you will have to evaluate them in
a meaningful way. A software solution can save time at this step by providing
personalized aptitude test features and quiz makers you can use for your evaluations. 

Improve employee onboarding

Technology can help speed up the onboarding
process by automating manual tasks that are time-consuming. Automation allows
managers to send out all applications and onboarding forms to new hires as soon
as they get the job so that employees get all the paperwork done before coming
in to work. At the same time, the software can send onboarding managers
notifications about which employees have finished their documentation and which

With these more
monotonous tasks out of the way, onboarding managers can focus on more
important aspects of onboarding: They can engage new hires, tell them about
their new workplace and get to know them better.


While it’s important to make the onboarding
process smooth, the story of retaining employees doesn’t end there. After
someone has joined your team, follow up with proper practices to keep them

Providing employee development

To most employees, the prospect of growing
as professionals and acquiring new skills is just as important as the work
they’re doing. With the help of HR training software,  or learning
management solutions, managers can instantly offer lessons, courses, and
training. With training software, it’s easier to create personalized training
and adjust it to the employees’ level of knowledge.

Getting feedback from your

Listening to your employees is essential as
it shows that you value their opinions and promote transparency within your
company culture. HR training software can be used to gather
feedback about courses and other essential issues. This information is then shared
privately with the manager.

Establishing good onboarding practices will
not only help your business handle the hiring process more efficiently, but it
will also help you choose the right people and retain them. Engaged employees will stay a lot
longer because they find their work meaningful in some way – so grabbing their
attention right at the onboarding process will go a long way in keeping them

In this digital age, using modern software
solutions that offer advanced functionalities can advance your business in a
lot of ways. While it can be a bit of an investment, training software and
onboarding platforms will pay for themselves in the end by freeing up busy HR
professionals to focus on the more ‘human’ elements of the job.  

The post Why automating onboarding can help retain top talent appeared first on HR Morning.

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The new war for talent: Why you should consider offering benefits to freelancers

The growing war for talent , especially millennial talent, is prompting employers to get creative and offer a new wave of benefits like pet insurance, telemedicine and college loan repayments.

Unfortunately, the fastest-growing part of the employment economy, freelance and contract workers, almost always find themselves left out of that conversation. 

The latest Freelancing In America survey from Freelancer’s Union and Upwork, showed the number of US freelancers grew by 7% in five years to 56.7 million, with 35% of American workers freelancing last year.

The entire gig economy may actually be much larger.

Benefits to freelancers?

It is easy to see why companies tap into freelance and contract workers. They often bring specific skill-sets and experience that full-time staff lacks. Employers can access workers from other geographies, for example, who have unique specialties. By the same token, contract workers are often drawn to the flexibility of hours, location and employers or gigs. 

Although there are advantages to freelance work, including the potential to make more money, there are some obvious drawbacks. Mainly, the lack of consistent income and access to company benefits including health insurance, causing stress and concerns about accessibility and affordability. 

That said, I think freelance workers will soon become the leading drivers in the talent war. The best of the bunch are demanding more and more from their clients. Smart companies that want to continue benefiting from them will need to treat them better and offer incentives. It is time to start thinking of making employee benefits available to contractors.

Extending benefits to freelancers?

In California, a new bill has proposed that gig-economy workers, including those who work for Uber and Lyft, be considered employees, thereby making them eligible for basic health insurance. However, it must be noted that not all freelancers want to be employees.

I know that the subject of advocating extending employment benefits to freelancers, may make some HR leaders bristle. Freelancers are known to carry multiple jobs at a time, so the question of liability or responsibility for any single contract worker, may come into question. Administering and managing coverage for full-time employees is challenging enough, with individual coverage plans often being uniquely configured for them and running for different terms. 

Even when working for the same
employer, some workers may be eligible for benefits one month and then
ineligible the next, based on hours worked. The burden of adding and removing
these workers falls entirely on an employer and adds more complexity, liability
and cost to the equation.

The solution may be found in the
new wave of tools that are automated, flexible and intended to manage the
fluctuation of freelancers who meet eligibility requirements. Since failure to
remove an ineligible worker from your list may be a breach of terms with your
plan provider, hypervigilance offered through such software is necessary. 

Employers may start by offering
freelancers access to voluntary benefits. Pet insurance and student loan
repayment can be a flexible and manageable way to add value to freelance
engagements. Subsidies are also an easier way to contribute without having to
deal with the paperwork and red tape associated with traditional medical

Benefits make a huge difference to
an individual – gig workers, part time, or full time employee. Top talent will
look for opportunities that acknowledge their needs even while giving them the
flexibility they appreciate. In the meantime, it will be interesting to see how
the California bill will be actualized and, if successful, if it will become
the playbook for similar efforts nationwide.

The post The new war for talent: Why you should consider offering benefits to freelancers appeared first on HR Morning.

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Sexual harassment training: Does your state have a new law?

In the wake of #MeToo, where does your state stand on the expanded sexual harassment training trend that’s starting to spread to more workplaces?

New York’s become the latest state to require firms to not only educate staff on harassment, but make it easy to find and file complaint forms.

Newest state laws

In the last two years, a growing number of states have passed laws to expand sexual harassment training.

They include Connecticut, Illinois, Delaware, Washington and California, which just delayed its mandatory compliance until Jan. 1, 2021 (it was Jan. 1, 2020). Rhode Island has a similar bill pending.

Most employers have offered some form of sexual harassment training ever since the 1986 Supreme Court ruling that found sexual harassment violates discrimination laws.

That’s when many firms adopted a “check the box” approach by showing staffers an instructional video on how to spot bad behavior, followed by a run-through of company policies.

But that’s not enough to comply with new state and local regs.

For instance, New York, which is requiring employers to train all employees by Dec. 31, mandates training should explain how to download and submit a complaint on the state’s website.

In Illinois, employers must provide training to new workers within
90 days.

“Training is moving away from ‘Is this harassment or is this not harassment?’ to ‘Harassment is wrong, we don’t tolerate it. Here’s what we expect,’” says Kevin Kish, director of the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

“Employers realize they must take [sexual harassment] more seriously now,” says Andrew Rawson, chief learning officer for Trailant, a company that provides sexual harassment training. “It went from a best practice nice-to-have, to a need-to-have, to a substantial chunk of the working population must-have.”

What employers need to do

The specifics vary from state to state, but one thing is clear: Employers need to take steps toward compliance now. Here’s how:

  • Review and revise policies and procedures, as well as employment contracts, severance agreements and confidentiality agreements.
  • Communicate to employees about your state’s new law, if applicable, and impending changes to your company policy.
  • Adopt training programs that include an overview of federal and state laws and outline employers’ responsibilities in preventing, investigating and taking corrective measures on sexual harassment.

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Managing office holiday party risks: Mistletoe no-no’s

The office holiday party season is in full swing. And employers who don’t want to suffer the old adage that “no good deed goes unpunished” would be wise to manage holiday party risks by considering these key suggestions from an employment law expert.

Control Alcohol Service and Consumption

Inebriated office colleagues at a party pose a risk you don’t need and are a formula for trouble. Consider these three precautions when planning or throwing an office holiday party:

  1. Restrict the number of drinks
    permitted (through drink tickets), the type of drinks permitted (no shots and
    plenty of “cool” non-alcoholic options), and the time that drinking is
    permitted (last call prior to departure time).
  2. Ensure sufficient food is
    available and passed around to help slow absorption.
  3. Offer vouchers/paid cab rides
    or incentives to employees to act as designated drivers.

a Reasonable Dress Code

No matter the time, location or occasion for the party, make sure employees are aware of your dress code expectations, and that inappropriate and overly suggestive attire is not acceptable for any office-related function.

Individual Preferences

The point of the holiday party should be to celebrate and reward employees who want the celebration and reward. Reasons some employees may choose to avoid the office holiday party may include having suffered a personal loss at this time of year, general discomfort with mixing “business with pleasure,” religious beliefs, another commitment that evening, or simply preferring to spend the time with family. In any case, employers must never retaliate or ostracize those uncomfortable with office parties, no matter their reason.

to Policies and Protocols (and Create Them If Needed)

Office policies and protocols apply regardless of where office personnel congregate, onsite or offsite. These policies are so important they’re worth repeating verbatim to employees. HR professionals should consider the following:

  • Make
    sure you have comprehensive, lawful workplace policies (harassment,
    discrimination, retaliation, complaint process, social media) in place.
  • Circulate
    a memo to employees prior to your holiday party reminding them of your
    workplace policies, that those policies apply equally to on- and off-premises
    parties, and that the company will not tolerate inappropriate behavior and
    violations of its policies.

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Riot Games settles ‘bro culture’ gender bias claim for $10M

All it took was an exposé, two lawsuits alleging gender bias, sexual harassment and wrongful termination; a walkout and a class-action on behalf of its female employees.

But video games maker Riot Games has committed to fundamentally changing a sexist “men first” workplace culture where women were routinely subjected to harassment and inappropriate behavior.

And the $1.4 billion dollar company (2018 revenue) agreed to settle a class-action suit by paying out $10 million to about 1,000 employees who self-identify as female.

The settlement was announced in August but details have just been released.

Fixing a culture of gender bias and retaliation

The legal battle was launched following an investigative report into Riot’s “toxic culture” by gaming news and review site Kontaku. The report detailed pervasive gender bias experienced by female employees at the company.

Following the report, five employees sued the “League of Legends” video game developer for wrongful termination, claiming gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and violation of the California Equal Pay Act.

The company moved to block two of the suits because the two women had signed arbitration agreements when they were hired.

The suit also alleged that Riot retaliated against outspoken female employees who were “denied promotions, refusals to provide increased compensation or equal pay, demotions, reassignment with significantly different responsibilities, losses of benefits, suspensions, terminations, and other adverse employment actions.”

Riot said in its filings that it’s strengthened its sexual harassment and gender discrimination reporting process.

The company also committed to make its pay, promotion and hiring practices more fair and transparent.

And it promises other moves to show its commitment to “living up to our values and to making Riot an inclusive environment for the industry’s best talent.”

Arbitration still a sore issue for tech

One thing that won’t be changing immediately for the company’s existing workers is the forced arbitration clause in their contracts.

The company’s efforts to force the original gender bias, harassment and wrongful termination suits into arbitration was one of the driving issues behind the May 2019 walkout by about 150 workers.

Despite the pressure from employees and the public, Riot has thus far refused to change its arbitration agreement for workers hired before Jan. 1, 2019.

That’s when a new California law banning such requirements took retroactive effect.

Employers in California are prohibited from requiring “any applicant for employment or any employee to waive any right, forum, or procedure … including the right to file and pursue a civil action or a complaint…

Tech giants Google and Facebook moved to address the issue earlier this year.

Google announced in February it would end the practice of mandatory arbitration for all employment disputes, including gender bias, sexual harassment and retaliation occurring after March 2019.

Contract workers left out?

That agreement left out contractors, however, who make up about half of its total workforce.

Contract workers at Google locations in California will be covered under the new law.

It is unclear what Google will do for contractors working outside the state.

Facebook so far has followed the lead of other large tech companies and limited its arbitration changes to cases of sexual harassment.

The post Riot Games settles ‘bro culture’ gender bias claim for $10M appeared first on HR Morning.

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5 Ways to Fine Tune Talent Acquisition with an Eye on Recession

Will the global economy go into recession in 2020? That’s the worry on so many minds. News headlines reflect that concern with stories of trade disputes and that wonky-sounding inverted yield curve.

The validity of those fears is underscored by data from experts, such as the UN’s trade and development body, which recently revealed in its 2019 World Economic Situation and Prospects report that “Leading indicators point to some softening in economic momentum in many countries in 2019.”

Whether the economy is softening or hastening towards its next recession, what HR leaders know is that economic swings hit the workforce hard, and make it tougher to fine tune talent acquisition.

From 2007 to 2009, the Great Recession swallowed up 8.7 million U.S. jobs as unemployment soared to 10%. Job losses were greater than in prior recessions according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. From career setbacks to retirement disruptions, it was a traumatic period for the U.S. workforce and one no talent or business leader wants to see replicated. 

While no one can stop a recession or eliminate its impacts, HR leaders do have the power to fine tune talent acquisition processes ahead of the next downturn.

Here are five ways to fine-tune talent acquisition that, when done in advance, could ease the kind of stress and pain that plagued corporate HR and recruiting teams during the Great Recession.

Embrace a Total Talent, Data-driven Strategy

As company Boards and CEOs look to economic indicators and adjust spending plans, HR leaders need to have broad human capital insight in order to align workforce strategies with those evolving business strategies. While many businesses do a decent job of forecasting talent needs, a recession underscores why forecasting is only one part of the “total talent” picture HR should have in mind. The candidates you plan or hope to hire represent only one segment of the population affected by recession-driven change.

Rather than focusing narrowly on adjusting budgets or the number of new hires in its recession planning, HR needs to think bigger, going beyond typical knee-jerk recession mindsets that hurt businesses over the long term. Instead, HR should gather workforce and business data to analyze the many ways human capital translates into financial and organizational health and infuse those analytics into broader strategic planning efforts. That requires building a total talent picture that takes into account the full range of factors affecting workforce success—from risk management and supply/demand to proactive talent community development, employment branding, and performance management. It also means taking into account the contributions and management of all employment categories, from full-time and part-time employees to contingent staff and outsourced resources and vendors.

This total talent picture gives HR leaders the insight to provide
proactive human capital guidance that can positively affect the financial and
organizational health of the business in the near-term while also safeguarding
the systems that drive workforce productivity, agility and satisfaction over
the long term. With this, they earn a seat at the leadership table.

Ensure Your ATS Can Keep Up

While recruiters and hiring managers are currently struggling with a scarcity of skilled candidates, the deluge of applicants that come with a recession is hard for any team to manage without strong technology. Applicant Tracking Systems (ATSs), however, are only as good as the algorithms behind them and the data you put in them. As applicant volume and quality increase in a declining market, HR leaders need to ensure their systems are fine-tuned to help, not hinder.

The first ATS factor to consider is whether the system and
tech environment have been configured so that recruiters and HR teams are able
to create strong pipelining plans, integrate customized candidate messaging and
deliver a valuable candidate/user experience. Assessing the ATS for these essential
capabilities now, at a time when most businesses are seeing fewer applicants,
is a great way to improve the system ahead of economic changes that cause a
spikes in applications and limit both system and staff bandwidth.

Another consideration is whether the ATS needs to be updated
to capture different skills and qualifications.  Is the job and requirements data being entered
sufficient enough to identify the best candidates rather than simply bringing
in large pools of candidates? Is the ATS feeding talent insights to the right
leaders and managers with good, current reporting data? Are automated
engagement tools current and able to set engagement and timing expectations for
candidates while still promoting a strong employment brand?

An ATS can be an extremely useful support system as hiring
volumes slow and candidate applications increase. An important way to get ahead
of recession challenges is to ensure that the data coming in and the
communications pouring out of the ATS are accurate and valuable.

Assess Incentive and Retention Plans

When unemployment is high and job hopping is rampant, incentive and retention programs swell in the hopes of capturing and keeping talent. As the pendulum swings, HR has an opportunity to strategically (but never callously) re-adjust programs to balance new needs. Those needs might include upskilling internal team members to limit the need for new hires with these skillsets.  

The key in making changes to the scope of programs designed to retain talent is to ensure changes are communicated with grace and honesty. If employees are informed that budget dollars need to be re-allotted to support the development and retention of internal staff, the majority will line up in support of the program. If, however, changes are made behind closed doors and without thoughtful communication, people get nervous and it can ding solid employment brands that should be able to endure upturns and downturns.

Get Employment Brand Creative

A recession can be devastating to an employment brand. Salary, promotion and hiring freezes. Reductions in hours. These are actions businesses sometimes have to take during recessions and, without counter balance, they can erode faith and trust in a company’s employment brand. This is a place where HR leaders need to think creatively.

In which ways is the organization working to nurture strong relationships
with employees and contract talent? Are most of them related to benefits and
compensation?  If so, consider ways to
tap into shared company and employee values that don’t require extensive
investment. Perhaps it’s committing time or resources to community and
charitable programs that employees care about. Perhaps it’s opportunities to
engage with and learn from business leaders. Perhaps its internal mentoring and
apprenticeship programs that support ongoing skill and career development.

Another key to enduring employment brand strength is ensuring consistent, timely candidate communication. Even in these recent years of low unemployment and hard-to-find candidates, many businesses have remained astonishingly guilty of Black Hole Syndrome— behaving like a communication vacuum in which candidates send information, questions and applications and never hear  back. Recession or not, ensuring your business is doing its best to communicate status to candidates and talent is key to employment brand strength and good talent relations.

Evaluate Outsourcing Opportunities and Vendors

Outsourcing recruitment functions to experts has driven growth in organizations around the world. While a recession is a downturn for the economy, many businesses find it can also be a time to infuse greater workforce management effectiveness and execution into their organizations. The recession-focused push to do more with less is still centered on optimization and driving greater efficiency. The need for recruitment and talent management excellence may slow due to economic conditions, but it does not go away.

Take a fresh look at your outsourcing vendors and
opportunities. Are there current vendors that need to be reassessed or fired
because of poor performance or rising costs? Are there models, such as
recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) or managed service providers (MSP), that
could increase quality and scalability and reduce costs? Could current gaps in
HR services be met by an outsourcing partner that can establish a streamlined
system in the downturn that will pay dividends over the longer term? The key is
to identify areas of optimization early, and take action in advance of a
slowdown. Get ahead of the recession in order to emerge stronger from it.

Some economists say a big recession is inevitable markets
rise high and fall big. Others believe that even if there is a recession it
won’t hurt much. While no one knows for sure, HR knows that being prepared is
the best way to support and maintain a committed, high-performing workforce. A
flip in economic fortunes changes a lot. With the right forethought and action,
it doesn’t have to change what makes a good business a good employer.

The post 5 Ways to Fine Tune Talent Acquisition with an Eye on Recession appeared first on HR Morning.

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How 2020 will reshape HR’s role: 5 trends to watch for

With 2019 winding down, HR pros are all wondering what new workplace trends 2020 will bring.

Well, look no further! The experts at Glassdoor have answers for you in their Jobs & Hiring Trends for 2020 report.

Here’s what Glassdoor says you can expect to see in the new year.

1. AI will play a bigger role in the workplace

Between apps to schedule meetings, chatbots for customer service and software to sift through candidates, experts are predicting the use of artificial intelligence to increase greatly in 2020.

Many companies are already using AI in some form or another, but in the new year, Glassdoor is predicting management will be taking advantage of it — specifically to help perform routine tasks such as scheduling, budgeting and communicating.

For example, some managers are using AI to help coach employees in real-time. Software can offer instant help or suggestions to employees, or give immediate feedback to sales and customer service staff.

This form of AI can guide employees without managers physically having to be there.

2. Culture will become the focus of the hiring process

In 2019, a lot of employers became aware of just how important a good company culture is. In 2020, more progress is expected to be made.

With a culture-first mindset, business leaders will be focused on employee engagement now more than ever before.

What’s responsible for this shift? For one, candidates are getting smarter about doing research on companies before accepting offers — and they won’t go somewhere employees are miserable.

But mostly, companies can clearly see the positive effects a healthy culture has on their employees and business overall. Financial performance improves, innovation goes up, and it’s far easier to attract and retain top talent.

Here are some of the key values Glassdoor says contribute to a great culture:

  • collaboration
  • diversity
  • innovation
  • integrity, and
  • respect.

3. Diversity and inclusion will become a priority

Between the #MeToo movement and the shocking lack of diversity in C-suites across the U.S., employers will certainly be keeping diversity top of mind in 2020.

In fact, a recent Glassdoor survey found that 64% of companies are investing more in diversity and inclusion efforts now than they were before. And between August 2018 and August 2019, job postings targeting diverse candidates rose 30%.

Diversity and inclusion initiatives are nothing new, but employers are now putting money into specifically recruiting and retaining diverse talent. Another key element to success in this area is getting leaders and managers on board, from the top down.

4. Employers will see more baby boomers in the workforce

Nicknamed the “gray wave,” more people over the age of 65 will be working and actively job hunting next year. Over the next 10 years, 61% of the 65-plus workforce will postpone retirement and keep working.

What’s behind the rise of the boomers? They’re healthier and also want the additional income more than previous generations.

5. Job searching will happen on mobile devices

People use their phones for everything from shopping to dating to looking for jobs. And candidates today want a quick and easy way to apply.

In 2020, employers will see the importance of streamlining application processes and making them mobile-friendly. No one wants to miss out on all the talent that’s ditching their desktop computers and searching for employment on the go.

The post How 2020 will reshape HR’s role: 5 trends to watch for appeared first on HR Morning.

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Retention drives employee recognition ROI

Even as some surveys show that about 65% workers in North America say they aren’t actively looking for a new job, many of them also report they are not engaged at work. But that doesn’t mean you can relax with your employee retention efforts.

Most of those folks are probably sticking around because they are uncertain
about which way the economy is headed.

But, since they aren’t getting a lot of satisfaction working for you, they
are open to other opportunities that might come around.

At the same time, your company and your competitors are trying to make the
most of the current economic upswing while it lasts and are still hunting for
the best workers.

That creates a double-edged employee retention problem for employers.

Many workers you might not miss aren’t feeling very loyal and are sticking around
just for the paycheck. They’re bored but safe. As soon as things look promising,
they’ll be back on the job websites.

Worse, while they are at work, they are creating an atmosphere that drags
co-workers down into the same “meh” attitude.

Meanwhile, retaining your top performers remains a challenge as they’re still
seeing offers interesting enough to make them jump ship.

The good news is you can attack both problems using the same tool – an
effective and sustained employee recognition program.

Even better news? Employers who’ve invested in employee recognition programs and technology to support and measure those programs say they can quantify links between recognition, engagement and employee retention.

By the numbers

Let’s get the bad news out of the way first.

In a survey conducted by leadership training company OGO Lead, 82% of employed Americans said they didn’t feel their supervisors regularly recognized their contributions.

That tracks pretty well with findings from recognition platform vendor
Acheivers – only 9% of the workers they surveyed ranked their managers
“awesome” at recognizing their contribution.

But 26% of those same workers ranked recognition in the top three factors
for staying in their job and about 20% pointed to a lack of recognition as the
main reason they’d consider leaving for a new job.

And the folks who are staying put but doing just enough every day? OGO
reports 40% of workers they surveyed said they’d put more energy into work if
they were recognized more often.

What does that mean in dollars? A Gallup study put the cost of employee disengagement at work at $960 billion to $1.2 trillion in lost productivity a year in the U.S. alone.

The business analysis and advisory juggernaut has more bad news: Replacing
an employee who quits runs from one-half to twice the person’s annual salary,
bringing the cost of “voluntary turnover” at American companies to $1 trillion.

Astounding figures sure to get anyone’s attention. Even so, dollar figures
that start with a T are pretty abstract.

You’ll need more grounded numbers to get leadership’s support to launch and
sustain an employee recognition program that’ll help stem turnover at your

Critical factors: support from the top and bottom-up recognition

Here’s some information that will help you make your case that recognition is key to employee retention:

A midwestern grocery chain needed to stem the brutal turnover rates typical
of the retail industry. With more than a hundred locations following a series
of acquisitions, however, it knew that running different programs at each store
and warehouse was never going to be affordable — or effective.

To justify the investment required to build a program, it needed to develop
a centralized, standardized program.

That would help all employees understand that employee recognition was a
core part of the company’s culture and mission.

They would all use the same tools to recognize each other and to see how
colleagues’ work was helping drive the business.

By elevating and praising great work, the program helped to drive co-workers to emulate their colleagues and strive to be recognized themselves.

The company appointed corporate and local champions with responsibility for
making it a success.

Engaging workers and the CFO

And that went both ways – keeping the program fresh and workers engaged and
sustaining executive buy-in over the long term.

To keep the investment coming, the employee recognition program had to be
connected directly to business goals, results and strategy and be able to
change along with them.

The program champion told an HRMorning webinar audience that, for an employee recognition program to elevate a business in a meaningful way, it must be continuously tied to the overarching goals of the business.

And the champion, usually an HR pro, has to have a seat at the strategy table.

“It’s mission critical for the program champion to not only understand the
entire landscape of the company but to be connected to what’s going on,” she
said, “so you’re really able to constantly re-evaluate what’s relevant to the
business that recognition could help drive.”

In addition to giving employees a great way to recognize each other for
great work, the retailer solicits feedback from employees and incorporates
their ideas into programs as much as possible.

The company has also made training on the employee recognition platform a required part of their onboarding process.

And it evaluates managers based on the percentage of direct reports who are
active on the platform and the percentage who receive recognition over the
course of the year.

Showing results in engagement and retention

When it was time to convince leadership to keep investing in employee
recognition, metrics are the key.

For this retailer, teams receiving more frequent recognition have better engagement scores.

Teams with positive engagement scores say they feel more valued through that recognition.

And teams who say they feel valued lose fewer workers to voluntary turnover.

HR is able to show that, when recognition goes up in a location, engagement scores
go up and turnover goes down. Recognition equals retention.

As a specific example, company metrics show that, at locations where managers recognize 1.8x more than their counterparts, the company sees up to 40% less turnover.

And by sharing the data across the organization, managers can see how they
stack up and take steps to increase recognition and improve retention.

“They can look at all the other data including this recognition data for those locations and recognition tends to be something that they can easily control,” the company champion explained, “They can easily put a campaign together and help drive retention at their location. So it’s something that they have a lot of control over that makes a big impact.”

Best practices drive best results

This is just one company’s experience, but it highlights a number of best
practices for leveraging employee recognition to improve retention:

  1. Tie employee recognition programs to business goals, results and strategy
  2. Find a champion who can manage the program and keep leadership committed. You can’t launch it and leave it
  3. Use the employee recognition program to drive desired behavior across the organization – what’s recognized gets repeated.
  4. Measure and quantify the return on your employee recognition program investment. Employee recognition drives engagement. Engagement drives performance and retention. And that translates into making and saving real money.

The post Retention drives employee recognition ROI appeared first on HR Morning.

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7 super HR tech tools that’ll make your life easier

With each passing day, the HR industry is under more pressure to get things right. That’s why it’s so essential to keep abreast of what’s new in the marketplace and where HR tech tools are heading. 

Different tools and applications for recruiters and HR are more valuable than never. Hundreds of platforms have been created to improve productivity and to automate HR processes. We have compiled a list of 7 super HR tech tools that will definitely make their lives easier.

Ready? Let’s get started

Textio Hire

This application solves the problem that almost everyone faces in recruiting: poorly written vacancies. The main feature that the system offers is the ability to identify patterns in the language, helping the company better communicate with candidates and thereby improve business results. Textio Hire shows you words you need to use to attract people you want to hire, using language that reflects the very best of your values and culture.

Hero jobs

If you use Instagram, you probably know that Stories are very popular now. To everyone’s surprise, Stories captured not only social networks and messengers but also working applications. How about sending short video messages instead of annoying cover letters? Recruiters will be able to attach short, minute-long videos about their company and upcoming tasks to each candidate, thereby strengthening their HR brand.

Academy Ocean

All this became real with
Heroes Job app. It is positioning itself as a platform where students can find
internships and a first place to work, and startups will select young talented
employees who are open to novelties and an informal style of communication.

The best way to onboard a
new employee in the first month is to make the onboarding process automated.
Have you noticed that recently medium and large enterprises started creating
and using employee onboarding academies? With the help of AcademyOcean, you
will be able to create such an academy. 

Employee onboarding academies are sort of closed portals where the knowledge is stored. Academy may contain both formal information (description of basic processes, checklists, and instructions) and essentials for a beginner – mission and vision of the company, corporate culture, traditions, etc.

If you count the company’s expenses for the onboarding of each newcomer one-on-one, you will get a considerable amount. Automated onboarding academies will help save a sufficient number of person-hours.

Crystal Knows

It is a super handy extension for Google Chrome, which will help you find an individual approach to each candidate. It analyzes the profile and activity of the candidate on LinkedIn, Facebook and other social networks. Consequently, it tells how to address him better and what content of the letter he will appreciate. You can also have a grasp of the type of person’s personality and his preferences and fears.


Sounds good, right?

With this application, you will never forget what the name of the new employee is, what your boss’s niece loves and when you need to congratulate your colleagues. You can add information from any device, view your “database” before meetings and receive notifications, so you don’t miss anything.  


Krisp allows you to
minimize ambient noise during voice and video calls. This free application
works with Skype, Slack, Zoom and many other services for online calls and

Using this application it will not be a problem to handle an interview at the airport or on the street. 

Block Clock

It is one more extension for Google Chrome that
blocks the social network for 25 minutes. It saves on days when it is very
difficult to concentrate on work.

So, here were seven tools that will definitely make HR’s life easier. I think everyone will find some useful apps for themselves to optimize their working processes and to make their work more pleasant and productive. 

The post 7 super HR tech tools that’ll make your life easier appeared first on HR Morning.

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