Tag Archives: HR

5 Changes That Impact HR and Your Business

hrEvery year, the HR field goes through major transformations. From the rise of analytics to an increased emphasis on employee engagement levels, change is always taking place. In conjunction with the new presidential administration, an increasingly younger workforce and the introduction of new technology, here are five changes in HR that may impact your business this year:

1. Affordable Care Act

The Trump administration has repeatedly stated that it will repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare). Therefore, as an HR leader, you must stay up to date with the latest movements in the health care and insurance sectors. The plan to take its place hasn’t been clarified. Nor has the timeframe.

2. Overtime pay

In May 2016, President Barack Obama and Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez updated the DOL’s final rule regarding overtime regulations. This will extend overtime pay to an estimated 4 million workers within the first year of implementation alone. Prior to this motion, businesses did not have to pay overtime if their workers made more than $23,660 per year. This rule update raises the limit to $47,476 a year. This change may likely affect many employees at your organization.

There’s no word on whether the Trump administration will work to undo this law.

3. Minimum wage

The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, yet 29 states plus the District of Columbia have a higher minimum wage than the national average. Many state and city governments are in the process of increasing or are debating increasing their minimum wage, which could impact your non-salaried workers.

Chances are likely this will continue to be driven by states, cities and counties.

4. Feedback, not reviews

With a younger workforce on the rise, many companies are doing away with the dreaded performance review. Instead, organizations are turning to continuous feedback, rather than only once or twice a year. As an HR leader, you may be responsible for reworking your existing performance review strategy this year.

Because more companies are looking to do away with reviews, there’s a need for a better audit trail in case you need to lay off or fire workers. In fact, as a best practice many companies institute an employee performance improvement plan with information about the steps the company has taken to help the employee.

5. Rise in technology for remote working

People want the option to work remotely and not be tied down to their desks. Many offices across the country are introducing video conferencing tools and work-from-home policies to improve workplace satisfaction levels and leverage innovative technologies. This is something to be aware of as an HR leader moving forward into 2017 as 60% of the workforce will be working remotely. And more HR departments are working with IT counterparts to help make this happen for their company, including assisting with internal communications plans to roll this out to employees.

4 Ways to Keep the Holidays Merry … at Work

It’s no secret that the office can get a lot quieter over the holiday season. With holiday parties, vacation days and a general feeling of seasonal cheer, it can be difficult for many businesses to stay productive during this time. Despite this difficulty, it is possible to get things done without being a Scrooge.

1. Communicate

Many people take time off around the holidays to spend time with friends and family. While this may be normal, it doesn’t mean your office shouldn’t be upfront about communicating — including reminders about paid time off and asking people to communicate their schedules. It’s especially important in December with several main holidays in the same month. (Although communicating schedules, including time off, should happen all year long.)

keep the office merryOf course, if possible encourage people to stagger their time off or plan ahead if you know key figures will be out of the office at similar times.

It’s also more common in December for people to work remotely. Ensure your office has key information — your schedule and a mobile number. Of course, if your office has unified communications, those issues aren’t as urgent.

Also, ensure your company has online collaboration ability, like video and web conferencing.

2. Prioritize end-of-the-year projects

Though your office as a whole might not be incredibly busy, you still need to prioritize your important end-of-the-year projects or deadlines. It’s hard because it’s so easy to distracted. It’s also easy to let things slide into the new year, but make sure you don’t let holiday cheer keep you from doing what needs to be done. Besides, you don’t want to spend the holidays stressing over it.

3. Take care of yourself and ensure others do, too

Though it’s far too tempting to load up on eggnog, sugar cookies and rich holiday meals all season long, you need to take care of yourself as well. After all, if you’re eating more, exercising less and staying up later for holiday parties, you might get sick.

It’s not just about physical health, it’s about mental health, too. The holidays are stressful. Your schedule is full, but more is expected of you. Take a breather when you need it.

If you’re a manager or leader in your company, help your employees and co-workers as needed.

4. Embrace the holidays

All of the above is true … and yet ignoring the holidays won’t help either. It’s okay to slow down a little, just expect your productivity hits so you don’t over promise and under deliver.

This way, people can have their fun, but still know that they need to do their work.

To Quote Nike: Just Do It (Company Meetings)

We understand your hesitation with holding regular company-wide meetings. Depending on the size of your organization, all-hands-on-deck meetings can run you hundreds to hundreds of thousands of dollars. And yet, you can’t afford NOT to have all-company gatherings at your business.

Why do these meetings matter?

All company meetings
They can dramatically improve your organization’s engagement levels as well as understanding of key company initiatives — like objectives and strategy. They are a crucial factor in creating a strong corporate culture at your organization, which will allow you to build a loyal customer and employee base.

Employees’ understanding of objectives and strategy improve engagement, but also helps with their productivity. They’ll understand their own work better if they know how it improves the company itself.

What are the main benefits for these meetings?

Entrepreneur wrote that these gatherings encourage a collaborative team environment and unify everyone toward similar goals and strategies. Essentially, if you want to boost innovation levels at your organization, you want everyone to be on the same page – from the lowest level workers all the way up to the CEO.

They are also an excellent time to have understand the company values. Use this corporate meeting time as an excuse to hold bring your staff together and appreciate the work everyone’s doing. Employees from all across the country will feel more connected and satisfied with their work if they not only feel appreciated, but are able to engage with co-workers, even using video.

How can I make the most of my company-wide meeting?

Make sure you cover these important items with your employees:

  • Goals and why they matter to the company and individuals
  • Strategies and why they’ll deliver results
  • Initiatives and why they’re important
  • What teams can do
  • Any follow-up on what happens next, like whether their managers will be meeting with them

It’s all about cascading information and ensuring people understand.

Ensure manager success

Managers should understand what’s being discussed and why before the meeting happens. Chances are good employees will save questions for their managers. If they’re hearing information for the first time, employees won’t get questions answered.

If for any reason that’s impossible due to the size of your organization, ensure officers are aware and email highlights to managers. At the very least, officers can attend team meetings and provide information back or address how their organization can make a difference.

Hold Q&A at all-company meetings

Holding question and answer sessions are an excellent way to encourage worker participation. Your employees want and need a voice at your company: So don’t be afraid to give it to them at these meetings, even if they have hard questions.

One of the best way to cut costs in your all-company meetings is to host a live webcast. You can lead high-resolution, interactive meetings right over the internet. If you have multiple offices all over the country, simply broadcast your office meeting for the rest of your organization, which will save you time and money without losing employee engagement.

Ready to get started?

Try a Webcast

Help Your Leaders and Why it Matters

Last November, ReadyTalk started a new program – LeaderReady. ReadyTalk has always had programs to help managers, but this is the first time a program has focused on employees not specifically in leadership roles.

Why build a leadership program?

Pawn with shadow of the king , strength and power concept , 3d render

Leadership isn’t one of those talents many are born with. And yet, there are tricks and information to help people build those necessary skills. More

than that, it’s important companies develop their people — individual contributors or managers.

Sure it takes leadership to be a manager, but individual contributors can be leaders too. They could lead teams or projects where they need people to help them.

“[At ReadyTalk] we thought about all the resources available to managers and realized there was a gap in the development of individual contributors and high potentials,” said Caryn Auger, organizational development manager in HR at ReadyTalk. High potentials are people who could be managers one day, earmarked by their supervisors as high performers.

This isn’t the only way leaders are helped — ReadyTalk has a mentor program that pairs high performers with executives and leaders. They also have a series of training opportunities available for managers, to hone people management skills.

Mind the gap and fill it.

After meeting with a consulting firm, the LeaderReady team drew up a concrete plan that spanned 9 months. Four main installments structure the course, the latter three of which feature direct involvement from ReadyTalk’s leadership, and participants are given smaller interval experiences between them.

1. You
The first installment focuses on each employee personally. They receive a 360-review, where their direct reports, peers, and managers provide feedback on strengths and opportunities. Not only do participants learn strengths and opportunities, they can clarify their personal brand.

2. Team
Participants explore how they influence others in the workplace without necessarily having a position of authority. As Caryn said, “You don’t have to be a manager to have influence.” That means improving collaboration and communication with fierce conversation techniques, and building a cohesive team organically.

3. Business acumen
This is a big one. In LeaderReady’s early developmental phase, Caryn asked leadership what would make the program a success in their eyes. The response came loud and clear, “We want them to have a better understanding of the business.” Knowing that, this became the only two-day installment in the program. The first day is partially overseen by two company leaders, guiding the participants through the ins and outs of ReadyTalk’s business and talking strategy. The second puts participants through a business simulation where they have to make quick decisions to save a struggling company.

4. Strive
The fourth is something like graduation, but since the program still hasn’t finished, we can’t spill the beans. All the participants know for now is that they’re in for full-day course of learning … with the athletes at the Olympic Training Center.

So … did the leadership program work?

“You know, it’s been interesting,” Caryn says. “As we get closer to the graduation ceremony and I’m trying to personalize a message for each participant, I know I can see a lot of change. A few of them have been promoted, but that wasn’t really our objective. We didn’t need or necessarily want them all to be managers, it was more about helping our individual leaders who are so valuable to the business.”

It’s hard to place any definite metrics on the success of the program when its first round still hasn’t finished. No doubt, ReadyTalk will refine the program and work to determine skills achieved.

But did they learn enough to justify an entire program? “No question — they were challenged. Oh, they had some learning,” Caryn said as she laughed.

What is Talent Brand, Why Do I Need It, and How Do I Build It?

There’s high demand for top talent in the tech industry, but a fairly low supply. With more people retiring and not enough workers to fill the pipeline that means in general candidates have their pick of the litter for potential employers. So how does a business stand out from the rest?

What is talent brand?

It’s the brand you use for employment and recruiting. Brand is more than a logo and a tagline — it’s the reputation your company has with employees and with the outside world, like candidates. It’s not separate from your company’s brand, it’s complementary.

Portrait of two happy business colleagues standing together in the office

Why does talent brand matter?

People are attracted to brands. Period. And people want to work for brands that match their core values. If volunteering is important, you’ll want to work for a company that has a strong corporate social responsibility (CSR). Maybe you love sports and everything sports-related, maybe Nike or Adidas is your company.

Talent brand does more than just build a shiny reputation and attract new employees, though. According to LinkedIn, effective talent branding can increase engagement in current employees, cut hiring cost by 50%, and reduce turnover by 28%.

How to build a talent brand

Every employee plays an integral part in developing an engaging and rewarding workplace, and letting people see that could mean a world of difference for our hiring. Also, in HR it’s important to think like a salesperson or someone in marketing.

Build awareness. Build perception for passive job searchers. “Before they’re even looking for a job, we want people to think, ‘I could see myself working at ReadyTalk,’” says Caroline Scott, talent acquisition manager. Instead of promoting a specific engineering position, for example, focus more on the brand of the company.

Build and leverage partnerships. We’ve found partners who can help us showcase our culture, like The Muse. The Muse hosts and designs company-specific pages, which are well-designed and appealing. The resulting network of featured companies attracts huge numbers of workers, 60% of whom are passive job seekers. Our page enables potential hires to see job postings and gain a better understanding of the “real” ReadyTalk through content like video profiles, worker testimonials and written information on perks and more.

Conduct targeted marketing. We also built our own landing pages to specifically target certain seekers: one page for engineers, one page for other searchers. We can promote those pages through social, email or a variety of other methods … all while maintaining a direct relationship to the brand we’ve built. For the most part they serve a similar function as our page on the Muse, but feature slightly different content — targeted for the positions we’re hiring for, including the perks we think they’re most likely to enjoy.

Advertise what’s special — the secret sauce of your company. More often than not, our most memorable perks are our intangible ones. The PTO, remote work and endless supply of habanero almonds are all fantastic, but lots of other companies have those in some form or fashion. What’s special at ReadyTalk is our culture of innovation that promotes free continuing education programs, our opportunities to volunteer, our return-to-work internships for caregivers to re-enter the workforce and development opportunities like our leader camps. We even have breakfasts and happy hours with the executive team. More than that, we focus on pushing down decision making because we trust our employees. That’s ReadyTalk’s secret sauce, but each company has something that may appeal to people who align to that brand. In our case, we get enthusiastic, typically healthy people who like to volunteer and innovate.