Category Archives for Employee Websites

3 Shortcuts Every HR Department Should Avoid

HR Shortcuts to avoid

Don’t Sabotage Your Engagement by Ignoring Other Areas

Your HR department is vital to building the best company possible. It ensures that your employees are at their best and receive the support they need. While there are so many things that your HR department has to do that it might be tempting to take a few shortcuts, there are a few areas where you absolutely must use HR best practices or face negative long-term consequences in the future.

1. Don’t Cut Corners in Employee Orientation

New employee orientation is vital, as it sets the tone for the rest of an employee’s experience with your company. Within the first week, it is important that you describe the basic work processes that the employee will be using every day. This can include everything from job-specific tasks to the basics that everyone uses, such as email protocol. It’s also important that you keep the information you share with your employees consistent. So it’s a good idea to create a series of orientation videos that you can share during the orientation process. It ensures everyone gets the same information and, if done right, can be more engaging than a manager rushing through the process.

Employee Orientations2. Don’t Make Annual Benefits Enrollment a Chore

After their salary, your company’s benefits package is arguably the most important element for your employees. To ensure that your benefits communication is outstanding, you need to go beyond the norm. Approximately 80 percent of companies still rely on printed materials regarding benefits sent to their employees’ homes. In a digital world, that’s not nearly enough. Your employees need to be engaged with the process. That means annual videos that are available online for your employees to review and interactive websites that help them find the best plans. These tools can be invaluable for smoothing out the annual benefit enrollment process.

3. Don’t Ignore the Possibility of Unions

Unions can be destructive for businesses. Unions can devalue seniority and employee effort, make it difficult for your business to compete, and also exploit your employees. This can lead to your business becoming unprofitable and to your employees losing their jobs. Union avoidance is in everyone’s best interest and you need to communicate this to your employees. Take the time to investigate the best union avoidance strategies and then implement them for the sake of your company and your employees.

33 ways to union proof your companySo, don’t cut corners when it comes to employee engagement! If you need help connecting with your employees, whether it’s during orientation, harassment training, wellness programs, annual benefits enrollment, or just to communicate important facts, contact Projections. Your message will reach your audience and create the change you need to grow. We make it so easy, you’ll find no shortcuts needed!

How Jeff Bezos and Steve Jobs Changed The Way We Communicate

Jeff BezosStevebillboardOn July 5, 1994, in Seattle, Washington, Amazon (or Cadabra, as it was known then) was founded. Apple Inc. was experimenting with consumer-targeted technology, like digital cameras, video consoles and portable CD players, 845 miles away in Cupertino, California. Both companies were struggling. Apple’s market share was declining as Microsoft’s growth showed no signs of abating. Amazon was just an upstart, a small online bookstore in the days when the majority of the population didn’t even know what the Internet was.

Within a few years, Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos would reverse the fortunes of their respective brands and transform communications. Both companies have changed the way you converse with friends, family, colleagues and clients over the last two decades, but in very different ways.

How Steve Jobs Transformed Conversation

The world’s most valuable brand has had a massive impact on communication. Doctors use iPhones to diagnose patients, iPads teach children math, and students use Apple Watches to email assignments to college professors. Today, you can make a sales presentation from another continent via Skype, FaceTime your clients, or upload marketing images to Instagram in seconds. Steve Jobs didn’t invent the text message, but Apple’s iOS software introduced predictive messaging and spell checking to the masses, making virtual connections less of a chore.

Launched in 2010, Siri set the blueprint for digital communication, allowing you to email or text clients using voice commands. Jobs’ investment in Pixar turned the independent company into a blockbuster-producing powerhouse, with contemporary classics like “Toy Story” and “A Bug’s Life” redefining the limits of computer animation.

Jeff Bezos’ Effect on Digital Communications

From same-day delivery to the Fire Phone, Amazon has changed the means and the speed in which you receive information. The Kindle shattered the publishing status quo, giving readers access to an ever-expanding catalog of digital content. Bezos’ 2013 acquisition of the Washington Post spearheaded a new direction for the 138-year-old publication. With a greater emphasis on web content, Bezos has influenced the collective discourse for Post readers. New blogs like PostEverything and Morning Mix present the day’s news and business headlines in digestible chunks, while an online community commenting system showcases a wider spectrum of opinions on hot button issues. So far, it looks promising. The Post’s online numbers are up, and there’s been a noticeable shift towards digital innovation.

Here at Projections, we’re changing communications too – for companies and their employees. Ready to re-purpose what you already know works? With the Projections team, you’ll get a whole new take on how to connect with your employees more effectively. If you’re ready to rethink the resources and delivery of your employee communications, we can help you build the strongest workforce in your industry. Think powerful online video, highly engaging social media tools, interactive websites and Elearning tools that are proven to boost productivity and the bottom line. Take on a new and inspired approach and reap the benefits of innovative tools for communicating with employees.

Community & Competition: Professional Development in 2016

Employee LearningFor many companies, shaping a professional development program is a key component of human resources strategy for 2016 and beyond. Research indicates that for seventy-six percent of employees, opportunities to advance their skills are among the top three non-financial motivators. Bersin reports how companies are spending fifteen percent more on professional development today than they did just one year ago. It’s clear that strengthening your staff’s skills can yield a significant competitive advantage. Whether your goals are to attract a better caliber of employee, retain your best talent or close critical skill gaps, you can benefit from recent advancements in employee learning strategies and yield better outcomes.

1. In-House Certification Programs

Developing an in-house certification program can create a level playing field that allows motivated workers to shine. In a Forrester case study of travel brand Maritz, the organization saw a number of benefits by having custom certification-driven eLearning courses developed for technology workers. These benefits included:

  • A centralized road map for incremental skills development
  • Increased employee motivation to pursue certifications
  • Improved recruitment of talented new hires

5RetentionTipsBanner2. Facilitating Healthy Competition

Creating transparency in your professional development programs can facilitate healthy competition and move your organization toward a culture of continuing education. Maritz realized many common approaches to skill assessment were faulty. By implementing “competition and code judging” among their developers, the organization improved their skills assessment and culture of learning. Transparency in your professional development programs can facilitate small learning groups, higher achievement and better self-awareness among your staff.

3. Community-Based Learning

IBM is an organization that has taken a particularly community-driven approach to growing talent. Per Training Mag, IBM’s community-based learning resources include:

  • Technical communities “lead by subject matter experts”
  • Online employee directories
  • Employee-driven knowledge assets, such as an internal wiki
  • Socialization, career and expert mentors

Today’s talented workers need more than learning programs to improve skills and competencies, although these programs are critically important. Facilitating community-based learning can allow organizations to transfer context-based knowledge between the older and younger generations of workers. By including mentor programs in your professional development strategy, your organization can foster positive decision-making, industry-specific knowledge and relationship-building qualities critical to shaping tomorrow’s business leaders.

Twenty percent of the American population will be 65 or older by 2020. Human resources professionals are acutely aware of the pending “silver tsunami,” or a wave of retirements among baby boomer employees that will leave many organizations with significant skill gaps and difficulty recruiting technology and leadership roles. By establishing a strong professional development strategy for 2016, you can facilitate a culture of learning for years to come.

Employee Orientations

One Word That Summarizes the Future of Employee Communication

Today’s workforce is the most diverse it’s ever been, with employees at large and small companies coming from many different backgrounds and spanning multiple generations. It’s an exciting time, but also one that means employers are tasked with finding new and more efficient ways to connect and communicate with employees.

One Word

The one word that summarizes the future of employee communication is customization. Employers need to customize material, training programs and overall communication to specific audiences to make sure their business runs as smoothly as possible. Here are some examples of how customization can help out in the workplace.

Custom-Crafted Employee Video

Far from the cheesy training videos from the past, today’s custom video creations are fun, inspiring, and not just consistent, but consistently effective. Consider custom video for your message, particularly if you have employees who speak a variety of languages and you need them all to get the same information.  Additionally, with the ability to place your video message online, you can reach additional audiences as needed, including employees’ families. This is a great plan if you’re making changes to your benefits plan or if the company is relocating or announcing other big changes. Creating a positive feeling around change can go a long way toward acceptance of that change.

Custom Employee-focused Websites

Creating a powerful and effective employee website can be a challenge, and maintaining it is another proposition altogether. But customization is key – it’s no longer enough to just piggy-back off third party resources – as an employer of choice, your company has to provide customized resources that connect with employees and the all-important secondary audience at home. Creating password-protected sites that protect your company and your employees from outside interference is a great way to inspire trust and confidence in the resources you’re providing online. Including information on the state of your business, your union-free philosophy, Human Resources, and employee benefits is an important part of keeping a happy and healthy workforce. Custom-created websites allow you to keep the content fresh, interesting and relevant, making the information meaningful to employees.

Custom-crafted eLearning Programs

Not nearly as expensive today as they once were, custom-crafted interactive eLearning programs can help you create a sense of community among your employees, as your training and information instantly becomes consistent and spot-on with content employees and managers need. Interactive eLearning can engage your employees, bolster communication and build solid communication across geography, time zones, varying shifts, different jobs – everyone engages in the same way and learns the material you need them to know. Compliance tracking can provide you with the knowledge you need to make sure your eLearning is doing its job.

Custom Messaging through Social Media

Creating social media groups that let employees share information with each other and managers in a more relaxed and comfortable way can be another great method of improving employee relations. The purpose of social media is to build communities and facilitate interaction. (Check out our previous post on this topic, with some great insight, here!) You can use private Facebook groups to share news about your company and start new conversations or to recognize employees for their accomplishments, and you can use Twitter to communicate fast, short updates to your employees.

Employee communication is more important now than ever. Learn how to customize your interactions with employees to ensure they are happy and feel valued by your company.

Using Digital Resources to Connect With Employees? Here’s the Right Way.

Today – while we all seem to be more connected than ever – technology (and the digital resources it empowers us to use) can stand in the way of genuine connections. Case in point: twenty-somethings today think nothing of relationships that begin, end, and take place mostly as texts. But this is a particularly sticky challenge in the workplace.

Employee Communication Resources

Forging true connections can be accomplished online – it’s all in the resources you use.

Communicating with workers about change, about the state of the business and about your union-free operating philosophy is an important part of keeping your businesses healthy while offering employees more opportunities.

Using the right digital resources to train, educate and inform workers is vital in forging a genuine connection. You should be aware of the online resources that are available to you to optimize your union-proofing efforts. Consider these new ideas:

1. Use Digital Media to Educate Employees

Many employees support unions because they believe working conditions and pay will improve after they unionize. The reality is that unionizing can have negative effects that harm employees.

Videos that explain the truth can help employees understand that unions actually add a tremendous burden that cost companies and workers money. Even when unions manage to negotiate higher wages, union dues and higher tax rates often exceed pay increases while forcing companies to spend more money on labor. This often means many businesses have to downsize to stay in business. Worse yet, employees lucky enough to keep their jobs rarely see improved living standards.

Giving your management team the ability to educate employees with online union avoidance videos can effectively impart the lesson that staying union-free benefits them, their coworkers and their company, ultimately impacting their overall job security. You can even keep the videos on password-protected websites that only give access to your employees and managers.

2. Counter Union Messages With Objective Facts

Unions can only operate when they convince employees to give them money. Training mid-level managers so they can share objective facts with employees is one of the best ways to counter claims made by union organizers.
Union Proof offers e-learning courses, videos and other resources that clearly and effectively show that unions can and do negatively affect businesses and workers. Once your managers know the facts, they can share them with employees so they aren’t persuaded by unions. Without objective facts, it’s nearly impossible to show employees why unionization won’t improve their professional or personal lives.

3. Keep Employees Happy to Avoid Unionization

Staying union-free is as much about treating employees well as it is countering the efforts of union leaders. A report from the Conference Board shows that over 52 percent of Americans are unhappy at work. If your employees do not feel appreciated, then you may have opened the door to ambitious union leaders.

Prevent this by using the internet to improve positive employee relations. Some digital options for improving employee relations include:

  • Creating social media groups that let employees share information with each other and managers
  • Tracking productivity to publicly reward your best employees
  • Putting information about pay, benefits and company news on an in-house website
  • Building a website that lets employees submit time and track vacation requests

Contact the Union Proof team at Projections to learn more about how you can use digital resources to truly connect with employees and keep your workforce union free.