Creating a highly engaged workforce has become a vital aspect of business success. Statistically, employee engagement has been poor in the last few years. According to recent data from Gallup, nearly 70 percent of the American workforce is disengaged; around the world it’s worse, with only 15 percent of workers engaged. When employee engagement is low, it can harbor dissatisfaction in employees, making them susceptible to reduced productivity, turnover and an increased presence of labor unions. Therefore, all organizations must have a system for checking that their labor and employment practices are conducive to a highly engaged workforce.
Our comprehensive guide to conducting an HR Audit can help you form a plan of action for making sure that your company is on the right track. Here are five incredibly easy (and practical) first steps you can take to develop workforce policies that promote improved employee engagement:
The journey to greater employee engagement can be a difficult one, but it is easier to manage with a clear roadmap. This often starts before an individual actually begins work — in the pre-hire stage of their experience. When a company’s brand reputation emphasizes a positive culture where employees feel valued, it sets things up for long-term success.
What you can do now: The applicant tracking system and way candidates are treated throughout the interview, hiring and on boarding process makes a huge difference. Use the audit guide to help you to identify any areas that need to be corrected.
All human resource teams must ensure that employees are receiving the best possible compensation and benefits in order to remain competitive. The 2017 PayScale Compensation Best Practices Report indicated that 32 percent of top performing companies have changed their compensation strategies as a result of employee engagement feedback. More employers are actively listening to what their employees are asking for and taking steps to ensure they get what they need.
What you can do now: Take the time to conduct a brief survey of your employees to find out if your compensation program needs improvement.
In today’s business world, everything from customer data to employee information is stored in a digital format. This often includes the use of scheduling, payroll, performance and benefit platforms. Ongoing monitoring is needed to ensure that data is accurate and up-to-date and that people are paid correctly.
What you can do now: Your organization should verify that all information systems are secure from information breaches, and accessible and easy-to-use for employees. A third-party auditing firm can often pinpoint potential issues.
Working conditions make a big difference in how employees view their employer. There are too many toxic conditions invading otherwise good companies. The aspects that human resources can control include: having clearly written policies to deal with things like employee grievances, anti-bullying, drug use, union card signing, and more.
What you can do now: Review employee handbooks and update labor law posters in employee break areas. For some objective feedback, ask employees during exit interviews what the company can do better.
When employees are recognized for their efforts at work, they tend to stay more engaged in their careers. Having a professional development program to guide employees through the various stages of career growth is one step in the right direction.
What you can do now: Review job types with management and create structured learning paths for each department.
By following this checklist , any human resource team can help to elevate employee engagement, productivity, knowledge and morale.
Looking For More? Download our FREE Guide to conducting a Labor & Employment Audit to help you make your workplace more positive & productive!
Does effective onboarding increase employee motivation? SHRM (The Society for Human Resource Management) has gathered information indicating that it does. Their findings? That the result of effective onboarding is that both employee AND employer reap long-term benefits.
According to SHRM, effective onboarding will increase job satisfaction, organizational commitment and performance levels. In addition, it can reduce turnover and new employee stress levels. When you research onboarding, you’ll find that video is one of the most effective approaches available today.
Traditional onboarding often consists of classroom-style lectures accompanied by documentation the new hire must study. Providing video is more memorable and far more effective than a lecture. It’s a way to build trust of company executives and ensure that the message to new employees is consistent. In addition, top-notch onboarding that includes video can reduce in-house training costs, and even reduce turnover in the first 90 days of employment.
You can build a library of onboarding videos and update them as required. When the employee has access to the library, they can revisit information that they need to reinforce.
Another advantage is that you don’t need to overwhelm new hires by providing all the information they need at one time. It’s easy to set up a drip email campaign that spaces out delivery of links to the videos in sequential order, based on the employee’s start date.
Separate the information you want to convey into manageable pieces. For example, one video could be a welcome video from the CEO; another might come from department heads and so forth.
Get employee input for ideas on the topics to cover. Ask existing employees of differing seniority in what ways they got lost when they were new hires. Also, ask them what they know now that they wish they’d known when they first joined the company.
Here are some topics you may want to include in a multi-day orientation program:
The types of videos can cover issues that may seem mundane but are important to new hires. Examples include how to use necessary equipment, IT policies, how to get support if something goes wrong, and a wide variety of other day-to-day challenges.
Operational videos are also useful for reference – they’re the sort of content that the new hire may return to later, when they encounter that particular challenge.
Of course, your onboarding videos should reflect your company culture. Expand on that idea with fun videos that illustrate what it’s like to work at the company. Take a video of one employee, or edit the input from a variety of employees into one video. Your team members can share on a variety of topics, such as what they do, their biggest challenge, their greatest satisfaction, the resources they find most useful, the help they can offer to new employees, and what they like about their job or the company. If you have employees whose career paths have included a series of promotions, arrange for them to provide a testimonial on career opportunities for long-term employees.
If you’re responsible for onboarding new employees, video is a tool you won’t want to ignore. Don’t get overwhelmed if you don’t have a video library right now. Since you’ll be creating specific videos to address specific topics, you can easily build a library over time. The most important thing is just getting started!
Working to create motivated, engaged employees is a full-time job. That’s why a static approach to onboarding no longer works. You need real interaction, but as the number of team members grows, it’s often hard to individualize not only your new hires, but your existing employees as well.
Consider a unique approach to employee engagement that, when done right, can work wonders. “Blind Dates” between employees can not only increase worker morale but improve productivity, motivation and work quality as well. Beyond that, Globoforce reported that when they have a friend in the office, employees are 69% more likely to describe themselves as “highly engaged” at work.
The strategy, while a bit awkward at first, simply calls for your Employee Relations team to arrange for different employees – who likely would never interact in their normal workday – to meet and greet each other.
Toronto-based FreshBooks, has completed several rounds of blind dates among employees, and reported that of the employees who chose to opt-in, “100 percent of people who joined said they liked it.” These meetings are all about building rapport and giving staff a break from the daily mundane work tasks. Employees can treat the time as a brainstorming session since bouncing ideas off someone with a new perspective is often helpful.
Staff from different departments can also get together for parts of assignments where their work connects. They can work with each other to clear confusion and gain more knowledge — each employee will have something unique to bring forward.
Their blind date is a time when all regular work should get thrown out the window. Let them sit down for coffee and find ways to help each other grow. Your employees will not only engage with each other, they also get an emotional break from their normal work life.
This personalized communication truly matters. The one thing that makes an employee feel worthless, or on the brink of getting fired, is a lack of personalization. You should want your entire team to be comfortable with each other, regardless of which position they hold or what department they serve.
The key is to plan these blind dates strategically. Don’t just pick names out of a hat. If Bob from the IT department can help Janet from accounting overcome software confusion, why not let them interact?
They might already communicate through certain protocols or systems. But by building rapport, less negativity and fear surrounds their communications. In the end, Janet will walk away more confident that she can reach out to Bob for little issues. Meanwhile, Bob will have a better feel for Janet’s weak points and will no longer feel like he’s offending her when he offers unsolicited help.
The idea might sound a little “out there,” and it is, but the results may astonish you when its done right. Focus on cross-department dates; create interactions that wouldn’t happen otherwise. Set aside an hour each month for “corporate dating,” and have department managers coordinate the two employees, based on what benefits their current workload the most.
2017 will be blanketed by a myriad of digital marketing strategies for HR firms. From recruitment and onboarding to employee engagement – human resources personnel must be ready to embrace new trends, staying ahead of the curve and meeting the needs of discerning employees across the board.
Wait, back up the bus… did that just say – MARKETING? For human resources?
The job market is becoming increasingly competitive, with unemployment numbers continuing to fall. That means employers have to set themselves apart from other companies. It means communicating your company’s values, beliefs and the ways in which you’re working to be an employer of choice. In short, marketing.
So yes, today, marketing means digital marketing – and digital marketing is powerful stuff for human resources. Sending letters to employees homes is so 2015… now, you need to be online, transparent, and ready to embrace the demands of an entirely new kind of job-seeker.
Employee-centric websites can serve as information hubs for recruiters and talent. In fact, your company’s website is usually the first platforms for job seekers scanning available opportunities and listings. With this in mind, your website must be up-to-date and reflect all the current and burgeoning employment trends. From industry developments to top hiring prospects, your sites should also include a wealth of resources for clients and talent. We’re talking about employment listings, growth reports and informative articles that correlate with several industries and niches. It is also vital to implement social media links and SEO strategies to secure brand visibility and awareness. In fact, meta tagging and keywords still play a pivotal role in connecting users to the services and information they need.
Beyond recruitment, HR will need to embrace digital marketing in the onboarding process. Begin with emails to your teams that keep everyone informed of any start dates for new hires. This makes sure your new employee has all the software, hardware, training, and resources they need to hit the ground running. Consider automated fulfillment of a gift of premium items, so that new employee will feel welcome and part of the team immediately. Add to that some relationship-building marketing emails for your new employee, helping them get acclimated without overwhelming them on their first day.
And look for places to implement a digital marketing strategy in every corner of your online presence by creating an interactive onboarding program that will allow new hires access to the information they need as they get started in their new position.
Of course, regular email newsletters will continue to play integral roles in all HR marketing campaigns. However, these materials can also serve as mobile blogs for all your new and existing subscribers. This means the content should effectively attract and engage job seekers and clients – while addressing all their questions and concerns.
This is where knowledge of online content creation becomes important – what kind of voice do you want for your company in this arena? What topics are vital to cover, and how will you convey who your company truly is? This kind of digital marketing is what draws people to companies today – and repels them just as quickly. It’s important to truly reflect who you are and the kind of team you’re continually building to help your company reach its goals.
Your email content should always be easy to scan and digest as well. Creating memorable content helps generate a lasting buzz about your company
As always, mastering the right social media platforms will be imperative in reaching the right people and drawing them to your company. Recent statistics show that 79 percent of job seekers use social media for daily searches. This includes Facebook and Twitter, along with other platforms and networks. With this in mind, your HR department should continue cultivate relationships on social media platforms relevant to the kind of people you hope to attract. This will help you reach your prospective team members on a large scale – while effectively marketing the things that differentiate you from your competitors to specific individuals.
Believe it or not, depending on who your company is, Instagram and Pinterest can both be especially helpful in establishing a visible presence for your company. Savvy HR professionals utilize these platforms for posting industry growth charts, pictures, videos, and anything that connects their company to what their kind of job seekers are looking for.
So, digital marketing strategies for HR doesn’t sound so far-fetched in 2017. Embracing these concepts can help you build a stronger company with an unbeatable team of engaged employees.
Millennials prize work-life balance above all other employment-related goals. They’re also more likely to have a spouse or partner in the workforce than any other generation, so flexibility is key to keeping them engaged in their work. Therefore, many unions that seek to recruit younger workforces will emphasize their ability to obtain generationally-important benefits from employers. However, savvy businesses know that they can provide the specific benefits their employees desire, benefits that both engender loyalty and demonstrate responsiveness to its workers’ needs.
Instead of dividing paid leave into sick time and vacation days, employers can transition into a paid time off policy that places all time off in one PTO “bucket.” This time off policy allows employees to take time off when they need it without having to account for how they’re spending their time off. On the flip side, today’s workers, those that are highly engaged and inspired by their work, can have a tendency not to take that time off. To make sure that your most dedicated employees don’t experience burnout, allow a very limited amount PTO to carry over to the next calendar year.
Most employees carry smartphones during vacations and time off, but your manager and leaders should avoid contacting them unless it’s a genuine emergency. Support a work culture that allows employees not to check or answer their emails during their off-hours. Businesses who encourage employees to take a true vacation are rewarded with more productive and loyal employees.
Over three-quarters of married Millennials also have a spouse that works full-time. So companies that can provide flexible schedules, partial telecommuting, four 10-hour shifts per week or other attractive options can attract better talent and cultivate loyalty among employees.
Even if your company does not fall under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, you will want to offer leave options to new parents. Research indicates that paid maternity leave had no adverse effect or even a positive effective on businesses 91 percent of the time. Offering paid leave also increased the chance that an employee would return to work after the birth or adoption of a child. Top tech companies who compete for talent know the benefits of offering paid parental leave: They already offer some of the most generous packages in the United States. Remember that even your employees without children may need time off to care for a family member, parent, or spouse.
Sometimes companies that offer work-life-affirming benefits find that few workers regularly use them. It’s natural that some businesses have busy periods where employees really can’t take time off. But workers should balance these busy times by taking more time off during the year. To demonstrate that the company supports this balance, your managers and leaders should exemplify work-life balance in their lives. Not only will regular time off increase productivity, in management but it should also assuage worker fears that they’ll experience retribution if they take regular time off. Having regular discussions about taking time off conveys that the company cares about team members, making them less likely to become disgruntled during busy periods.
On-site daycare, flexible telecommuting, and other benefits allow employees a chance to balance their work lives while focusing on their personal well-being. Because so many parents are part of two-income households, companies can’t expect that a stay-at-home spouse will be responsible for covering minor family emergencies. Companies such as American Express have seen success by offering their workers even more flexibility to handle minor family problems, coupled with providing backup care services that employees can use.
Already there are more Millennials in the workforce than Generation X, and within the next few years, they’ll overtake Boomers as well. For this reason, businesses should consider now how they can support their younger workforce and demonstrate that a union-free company is better for everyone. Companies who ignore workplace flexibility and work-life balance risk creating an inviting environment for union organizing. Any employer working to build a union-proof culture knows that it’s far more cost-effective to retain the best workers, rather than having to recruit, hire and train repeatedly.