Article | February 26, 2020
A few years ago, when I used to work in real estate finance and development, my colleagues and clients oftentimes thought I was either anorexic or an alcoholic. Because I keep kosher, I have a pretty restrictive diet. In order to be able to meet with anyone, wherever they may want, I would often sit in lunch or dinner meetings and enjoy either a Diet Coke or a Heineken. I would casually sip my drink, acting as if it were normal not to order anything else, while everyone at the table enjoyed the different options on the menu.
Article | February 26, 2020
Organizations around the world are settling into a new normal. The pandemic shed new light on human resources and the future of work. Now that your organization is preparing for the return to work, pulling off both, resuming pre-pandemic HR best practices, and revisiting the ways of managing employee learning and wellness will be paramount. One way to do this is by taking advantage of technologies that emerged as all-essential in these times.
In addition, with much of your workforce preferring staying at home, balancing employee safety and cultivating a culture of trust and accountability will need you to reimagine HR and the technologies you use.
As your organization navigates this transition, here are the most exciting and promising new trends in HR management that you should keep an eye out for in 2022.
Making remote work mainstream
Gone are the days when office work was the primary workplace policy. The most significant change for human resource leaders has been leading the transition to remote work. It highlighted the lack of remote-work readiness and remains the number one goal for HR strategy in 2022.
All over the world, organizations are discovering the advantages and pitfalls of a virtual workforce. Unfortunately, plugging the gap in managing remote employees and leveraging the benefits it offers has become an overnight HR challenge.
While not every organization must go fully remote as the big “return to work” begins, it is an opportunity to develop the hybrid workplace model. Tech giants like Twitter, Shopify, Quora, Basecamp and many more have plans to become remote permanently while allowing employees to come to the office. This is a testimony to the fact that working from home is here to stay for longer.
Empowering employees with employee engagement and experience
Employee experience followed by solid engagement has been forced to go virtual. Gone are the days when interviewing, recruiting, and onboarding employees used to be an in-person experience. The challenge is to integrate new employees virtually while also providing them more than just a peek into the company culture.
Employee engagement needs an overhaul as opportunities for social interaction and partnerships are isolated to online systems. HR will need to find new ways to nurture collaboration and team building.
Aspects such as mental health, work-life balance and peer recognition are crucial for all employees’ optimum engagement. As a result, organizations will continue ideating new ways to normalize and incentivize official interactions online.
Integrating data analytics into HR tech
Data has been an integral HR technology trend for years now. However, leveraging people analytics to drive decision-making remains an important action item on the list of HR leaders worldwide.
From recruiting the right talent to employee turnover, people analytic tools help organizations track crucial data throughout the employee journey. It has enabled organizations to ask the right questions and apply the insights to create actionable policies and guide decisions.
Analytics has also helped organizations uncover a number of issues with current HR processes and allowed them to refine their recruitment practices.
Making recruitment future-ready
Real-world recruitment journeys are no longer the norm. If organizations must keep up with the pace of new developments, HR leaders must reimagine new ways of recruitment.
Recruitment technologies must encompass a complete virtual workflow, from scouting for talent to accepting applications, from onboarding employees to training and retaining them.
Emphasis on learning and training
Upskilling has been a substantial piece in the puzzle of employee training and development. With the demand for upskilling growing from 14% in 2019 to 38% in 2020, its importance cannot be understated, especially now.
New technologies like Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are being adopted to rise to the challenge of training remotely. Creating engaging training programs that quickly orient and onboard employees will require a renewed focus. For instance. AR is extensively used to safely train employees in the retail industry, leveraging both cost and time.
Cultivating egalitarian work-places
Diversity and inclusion are known drivers of business revenues. A diverse workforce leads to innovation and improves employee engagement. Inclusion also boosts employee morale and with wellness and employee safety being at the heart of the new work landscape, inclusion and diversity insights have become all the more important.
In a recent interview, Rashim Mogha, Founder, eWow and a passionate women in tech evangelist, said, regarding women in workplaces,
It’s important that an organization builds a culture of inclusion where the ideas presented by the women leaders are encouraged and their achievements are acknowledged. It is also critical that organizations focus on building a pipeline of women leaders at entry and middle management level so that we can create role models for the future.
Recognizing the need for inclusion during these times is a significant HR best practice that cannot be ignored if you want to create a truly ready workplace to take on the future.
Shaping your HR strategy for 2022
To summarize, HR management trends signal the cusp of massive transformation for businesses all over the world. Elements such as mental health, inclusion, diversity, HR tech, engagement are at the forefront of new challenges. Make data and technology your primary vehicles to navigate this change today and in the future.
Frequently Asked Questions
What training technologies are the forerunners in the post-pandemic HR training ecosystem?
Learning Management Systems (LMS) integrated with the rest of your system’s training and workshop modules are your best bet. Platforms like GoSkills, Absorb, Bridge, etc. Help you train talent and manage their learning journeys better.
How can Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) help in the recruitment process?
AI can be beneficial in training applicant software systems to aid HR in recruiting faster. AI tools can also help organize core HR practices like employee data management, payroll and performance management.
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Article | February 26, 2020
Engaged employees work better, are more productive and encourage others to contribute more. It’s a no-brainer that employees who feel connected to their organizations make for an empowered workforce. This is why employee engagement has an exponential impact on almost every significant aspect of your organization like profitability, revenue generation, sales, customer experience and even recruitment.
According to a Gallup study, highly engaged employees result in 21% higher profitability for their companies.
Employee engagement is a hot topic among HR leaders across the world and there is a ton of information about it and some ambiguity.
But isn’t engagement subjective? And what exactly does it mean to measure employee engagement? And how can you measure it if you can’t define it?
What is employee engagement and can it be measured?
Employee engagement is the degree of emotional and mental connection an employee has towards their work, team and organization. Employee engagement metrics cover more than just satisfaction, well-being and happiness derived from one’s job.
Measuring the right drivers of engagement adapted for your organization’s workplace and culture can reveal more valuable insights.
Levels of Employee Engagement
Employee engagement can be classified into four levels. From highly engaged to disengaged, here’s how every level is defined and what they mean.
Positive towards their job and team
Champion your organization and brand
Motivated to stay long-term
Higher productivity and job satisfaction
Favorable but not fully engaged
Unlikely to take initiative
On the lookout for other opportunities
Room to be more engaged
Neutral towards the organization
Demotivated about their work and team
Likely to underperform
Pose a risk of high turnover
Negative perception towards their work
Lack of commitment
Misaligned with your organization’s mission and values
Negative influence on team members
Why is it crucial to measure employee engagement?
People-centric organizations are fully aware that their people are one of their most important assets. So, how does employee engagement impact companies on the ground? Multiple studies show they have a direct influence on every critical area of your business.
According to a Gallup study, highly engaged employees result in 21% higher profitability for their companies. On the other hand, another study reveals that disengaged employees cost companies in the US $450 - 500 billion every year. Therefore, profitability is one the most significant aspect of your business and employee engagement is correlated to it.
Engaged employees are reported to be 17% more productive than those that are disengaged. This is because they love their jobs, thus, are willing to go above and beyond their scope of duties and getting more things done.
Since engaged employees report higher job satisfaction, they are unlikely to switch jobs. This drastically improves employee retention resulting in reduced costs for the organization.
Employee engagement has a direct impact on customer service. Engaged employees are deeply committed to their jobs and endeavor for customers satisfaction.
Engaged employees are also less likely to take unnecessary leaves. A Gallup study shows a 41% decrease in absenteeism from impeccable employee engagement alone.
Work is a modern-day source of stress for many workers. However, engaged employees are healthier, have fewer chronic diseases, are less likely to be overweight and more likely to eat healthier and exercise. Overall, it’s a win-win for both employers and employees.
Engaged employees are more focused. This results in fewer workplace injuries, drastically reducing costs and resulting in better adherence to safety standards.
Tracking Employee Engagement
The important question is what are the drivers of employee engagement and how do you even begin to quantify engagement?
Most organizations start right with employee engagement surveys and witness significant participation. But what steps are taken next once the surveys are complete? For this, choosing your survey questions matter a lot.
What to do?
Outline your plan of action
Collecting information will give you an insight into how your employees relate to the various drivers of engagement. Next, outline the exact outcomes you want out of this strategy.
For example, ask targeted questions that reveal perceptions of your organization, the pride your employees take in their work, intention to continue long-term. You can measure these and other parameters you consider important on a scale of 1 to 10 to determine the level of engagement.
Determine what matters most to YOUR employees
Every organization across industries varies in its workplace dynamics and what its employees consider important. You can determine what employees consider most essential by considering the following universal drivers of employee engagement:
My job empowers me to use my best skills.
My seniors demonstrate honesty and integrity.
I am confident this organization will do well.
My job is challenging and mentally stimulating.
The senior leaders here value their employees.
My opinions are heard and considered at work.
I get recognized for my efforts and contributions to the organization.
I see opportunities for career growth here.
I trust my leaders to lead this organization to grow and succeed.
I have all the necessary resources to do my job well.
Calibrate your employee engagement strategy
Resonance is key. The importance of conducting surveys and having your finger on the pulse of the workplace cannot be understated. However, it is also essential to pace your measuring to enable smart decision-making.
Research shows, tracking employee engagement annually is the best route to take. Since employee behaviors change through a period, you want to balance employee surveys to capture responses from everyone.
Pulse surveys can help you track engagement in real-time about specific changes and topics. While life cycle surveys will track employee perceptions during appraisals, transfers or promotions. Whatever you choose, ensure it is calibrated to your organization’s specific end goals.
What not to do?
Now that you know what steps to take next, it is imperative to explore some of the mistakes that you should avoid. Here is a list of things you should not do to avoid miscalculating employee engagement.
Don’t rely on pulse surveys
Short and specific surveys are crucial in your toolkit, but they are likely to paint only part of the picture. Hence, pulse surveys should not form the crux of your strategy. Instead, it can help you identify trends and patterns over time and shape a more concrete strategy that aligns with your organizational goals.
Don’t survey a sample population
Surveying a sample population can be deceptive when it comes to measuring employee engagement. Eliminate surveys that don’t cover all your employees and their voices. The results are skewed and the efforts do not help you get to the heart of your organization’s true ethos.
Don’t stop at collecting answers to surveys
Once you have the insights you need, don’t let them go stale. What this means is you need to take action right away while the results are fresh. This ensures our action steps are steady and aligned to the yielding the outcomes you want.
What does action look like?
Once you have the data you need, it is time to put it into action. An actionable strategy will help you implement your specific engagement drivers, propose steps to execute your employee engagement strategy, and create accountability for the outcomes you seek. Finally, employing an experience management solution can help you keep track of engagement and the actions you need to take.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who should collect engagement data?
Since engagement data is critical, you must ensure complete confidentiality. However, it is also important to share it with the right stakeholders. Your HR team should drive the efforts to collect the data you need.
Who is responsible for taking action on the results of the employee engagement survey?
The leadership team, HR and managers all play a role in determining the next steps post the collection of information stage. Your HR teams curate the tool and engagement partners while your leadership visualize the objectives and share progress. They can also support managers in identifying areas of focus where engagement efforts are most needed.
Do third-party providers offer employee engagement services?
Yes, quite a few third-party services are available if you are considering developing an employee engagement strategy. However, take note that you will want to do the heavy lifting of gathering data and identifying your goals to maximize getting the most out of these professional services.
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"name": "Who is responsible for taking action on the results of the employee engagement survey?",
"text": "The leadership team, HR, and managers all play a role in determining the next steps post the collection of information stage. Your HR teams curate the tool and engagement partners while your leadership visualize the objectives and share progress. They can also support managers in identifying areas of focus where engagement efforts are most needed."
"name": "Do third-party providers offer employee engagement services?",
"text": "Yes, quite a few third-party services are available if you are considering developing an employee engagement strategy. However, take note that you will want to do the heavy lifting of gathering data and identifying your goals to maximize getting the most out of these professional services."
Article | February 26, 2020
Remote work can be an unexplored territory for many people. If you’re new to remote work, make sure you’re well-equipped with the right tips and tools in place. We dive into 10 essential remote working tips.