Tag Archives for " human resources "

2017: Changes Coming to HR


The Human Resources field is changing, and the role of an HR Manager isn’t what it was 20 – or even 10 – years ago. Today’s HR professionals face many challenges that are unique to our ever-changing times. Take a look at the following list

IT Integration

Many hiring managers must work closely with a company’s IT department, in particular when it comes to recruiting and screening potential employees. Technology such as automatic resume review and analytics are playing an increasingly prominent role in today’s HR world.

Employee Engagement

Those entering the workforce today are, in general, far more engaged than those of previous generations. Many view their workplace as an extension of themselves, and not just somewhere to earn a paycheck. While this can be very beneficial to an employer, it means that the HR department may also have to wear many hats and take on tasks like party planning and seeking out employee volunteer opportunities.

Social Media

Employee grievances are far less likely to stay behind closed doors in these social media-saturated times. It’s never been more important for Human Resources managers to deal with any unresolved issues before employees take their complaints to social media – potentially damaging a company’s reputation along the way.


Remote Work

Increasing numbers of companies are allowing at least some employees to work from home. While this arrangement can provide benefits to both the employee and employer, managing remote workers can bring up some new challenges for the HR department. This may include ensuring the lines of communication stay open and working with department managers to develop a culture of trust and accountability that fits within the flexible work arrangements.

RELATED: How to Build A Successful Remote Workforce

Labor Relations

Unions are nothing new – but the current proliferation of social media and other online activity can affect employees’ potential attempts to organize in major ways. It’s easier than ever for union reps to contact non-unionized employees via electronic means such as email, instant messages and chat forums. Human resources professionals must be aware of any potential employee interest in unionizing so they can take the appropriate actions. Fair or not, the human resources manager is often the first line of defense in communicating the benefits of remaining union-free.


Gamification 101: What Happens When We Play While We Work?

GamificationBillboardThere is an old adage that declares, “Love what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Gamification is a new way of proving that old wisdom to be true in more corporate environments than ever before. Incorporating “game” components to what employees do every day has proven successful for motivating sales, improving communications and engaging consumers with brands. These enterprise strategies work equally well for small businesses. Every day, in fact, more small businesses are engaging customers and employees using gamification.

What Does “Gamification” Mean in the Business World?

Gamification is defined as bringing game elements into any non-game environment. In the business world, gamification refers to the game-related strategies used to motivate and encourage employees and engage customers. Gamification strategies are always evolving, but traditionally include a focus on elements of gaming that include rewards, achievement markers, contests and even rules for winning.

Rewards for collaboration are often more effective than rewards for competition. As small businesses rely more heavily on portable communication and electronics for information sharing, opportunities to include gamification increase with each virtual platform. Virtual meetings that are actually fun and cost effective are now very possible for small businesses. Replacing the next team building meeting with an afternoon of slow pitch in the park or an hour at the pool hall takes gamification beyond the office and out of the virtual world

Modern Approaches to Business Gamification That Benefit Everyone

How do we make work fun today? That’s where honest corporate communication is essential. While the old-school Pavlovian-inspired bells and whistles are still there, modern applications of gamification include giving employees more artistic and unique rewards, and using fully interactive and personalized computer interfaces when communicating with customers.


Shared corporate goals are the number one factor in hiring and retaining the best employees in your field, and gamification can play an essential role in communicating and reinforcing that shared corporate vision. It can also transform the performance of your employees. For instance, it is important to do more than take an ‘Employee of the Month’ photo. Instead, that strategy can become more modern when that photo is shared with various offices through multiple social media channels. Similarly, including motivators and virtual rewards for collaborative team interaction will help strengthen small business teams, while the gamification strategies already inherent in the social media channels will motivate employees and consumers to communicate with one another in more creative ways.

Gamification integrated with staff training can help motivate employees to learn. Modernized approaches to gamification are proving to increase consumer engagement, create strong dynamic work teams, and facilitate cheerful and appropriate professional communications.

Six Things Every HR Professional Should Know

Six_Things_billboardManaging the human resources department of an organization can be a challenging yet rewarding position. Requiring the perfect blend of analytical thinking and people skills, the job takes a certain knowledge base in order to be successful. Here are six things every HR professional should know to excel in the position.

1. How to Conduct a Cooperative Evaluation

Evaluating employee performance is an important part of the HR process. When discussing room for growth, don’t be too quick to tell an employee how to fix the issue. Instead, ask for his input and ideas of what needs to be changed. This way, he’ll have more of a stake in his improving his performance.

2. What Not to Ask in an Interview

When interviewing a potential hire, be mindful of the laws regulating what you can and can’t ask. The main topics to avoid are pregnancy, disability, age, nationality and religion. This could keep you and your employer from being accused of hiring discrimination down the line.

3. How to Avoid Unionization

In order to avoid union organizing as an HR professional, you need to cultivate a workplace that’s fair and focused on shared success. Be sure to give employees a say in the progress of the organization, and keep an open-door policy that welcomes feedback. This will deter employees from looking to an outsider for help.

33waysbanner24. What to Say When Firing Someone

When an employee isn’t a good fit for the organization or you’re facing budget cuts, it can present a real human resources burden. Preferably, hold the meeting with the employee early in the day and work week. Give her the necessary information — for example, when she’s expected to leave and what benefits she’s entitled to — while exhibiting compassion for her situation.

5. How to Calm an Angry Employee

Following up on the last tip, HR managers may be faced with adversity in the workplace. When conflict arises, don’t mirror the employee (this will just escalate things). Instead, use non-aggressive body language and a calm tone of voice to bring him to your emotional level. You’ll also want to be sure to listen and repeat back what you hear, free of judgment. If the employee feels heard, that’s a step in the right direction.

6. What’s Trending in the HR World

Finally, in order to excel at your job, you need to stay abreast of trends and legal changes in the field of human resources. Subscribe to a magazine or blog and/or follow HR-focused Twitter and Facebook pages to be sure you’re keeping up with the current environment.

4 Critical Technologies Shaping the Future of HR

4 Critical Technologies Shaping the Future of HRFollowing recent improvements in the U.S. economy, the focus at many human resources (HR) departments has shifted towards talent retention and recruitment, as well overall positive employee relations and employee communication. Seventy percent of HR professionals cite capability gaps as one of their biggest challenges. Technology tools and tactics, including e-learning, analytics, and collaboration platforms, are crucial ways for HR departments to maximize limited budgets. Join us as we explore four emerging forms of technology that are shaping the future of HR.

1. E-learning

HR leaders rank e-learning technologies as their second most valuable form of training. In fact, electronic training programs have been adopted by 42 percent of Fortune 500 companies. Highly flexible, user-friendly platforms for employee training allow HR departments to save significant costs and gain efficiency, while meeting the training requirements needed for compliance or competitive advantage. Most companies currently opt for a hybrid approach to training, using a mix of electronic and in-person training solutions.

2. Cloud-Based Technologies

The average HR technology platform is over 5 years old. As HR departments look towards new solutions, cloud-based platforms are an increasingly popular option. These solutions don’t require costly or time-intensive upgrades every few years. Perhaps more importantly, they’re easy to scale and can support remote workers and a global team very easily. If you’re considering new technology for employee or recruitment management, consider cloud-based HR solutions to increase your agility and cost-effectiveness in the years to come.

3. Talent Analytics

Big data is a buzzword, and few applications are receiving more attention than talent analytics. By applying data analysis to your company’s employee insights, you can discover the factors that drive talent and performance. Successful applications of talent analytics can allow smarter recruitment, better leadership development initiatives, and more automation in application screening processes.

4. Collaboration Tools

Ninety-seven percent of employees and executives believe that collaboration can have a major impact on project outcomes. HR departments should take a leading role in screening, implementing and championing technologies that can improve collaboration in the enterprise. Examples of collaboration tools could include the following:

  • Project management tools
  • Chat and file sharing platforms
  • Workflow visualization tools

By opting for technologies that are cloud-based or include robust mobile apps, HR departments can facilitate significant productivity gains throughout their organizations, and encourage positive employee relations to retain the best talent.

While HR is an inherently people-facing department, investment in the right technologies can allow managers to become more efficient and effective, and solve their capability gap issues. The future of HR is very tech-driven, and adopting e-learning, talent analytics, and other tools will create a competitive advantage.

What new technology opportunities excite you? Where do you see the technological future of HR headed? Let us know in the comments!

5 Great Ways to Improve Employee Retention

Improving Employee RetentionIn today’s increasingly competitive business environment, it is imperative that organizations focus on attracting and retaining top talent. Josh Bersin from Deloitte points out that the cost of losing an employee can reach two times that employee’s annual salary. Beyond cost, the loss of talent can impact the larger team in terms of morale, productivity and motivation. So how do savvy organizations excel in their employee retention strategies?

1. Hire the Right Candidates

Go beyond the resume to understanding what motivates candidates, what their levels of resilience are, and how effectively they manage challenges. Leadership guru Dave Ramsey talks about the interview process, in which his company requires anywhere from 10 to 17 interviews! Go deeper than just previous employment and what books they like to read – find out what makes them tick.  If possible, have the candidate complete a task similar to what they’d be doing on the job. This allows both you and the candidate to find out if it’s truly something they enjoy. Find out what they have done to go above and beyond in their professional and personal lives that demonstrates passion and self-motivation.

2. Share Your Vision

Modern employees – particularly the millennial generation – want to find meaning in their work. Research by Josh Bersin illustrates that “mission-driven” companies yield 40 percent higher levels of retention while reaching the top levels of their market segment. Ensure that your vision is living and breathing, not just a line in an employee manual. Publish your core values and live by them! Help employees understand exactly how their individual roles directly contribute to the vision and how your company is providing solutions to real-world problems.

3. Encourage Innovation

An organization that neglects to cultivate a culture of innovation will soon become stagnant and begin losing talent to more progressive companies. Author Alan Robinson asserts that soliciting and implementing employee suggestions leads to increased engagement. And why wouldn’t it? Everyone wants to be heard and feel vested in the success of the business. Set up a formal process that solicits, reviews and then implements appropriate innovative ideas drives the business forward and provides employees the opportunity to become invested in the company’s progress. Beyond that, invest in training for employees to keep their skills and knowledge top-noch. Train leaders to innovate and you’ll find that filters throughout the organization.

4. Have the Right Conversations

Modern employees want connection. Author Mark Murphy recommends scheduling periodic meetings with every employee to understand their motivations and pain points. Probe and ask the right questions to understand their strengths and their long-term goals, and share how you can help them achieve these goals.

Employee Orientations

5. Offer Robust Benefits

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, the most frequently used benefits to retain high-performing employees are health care, professional and career development benefits, and flexible working benefits. A great strategy is to simply ask employees what benefits or perks are important to them, and then accommodate as appropriate.

As millennials continue to replace baby boomers in the modern workforce, it will become increasingly important to modify retention strategies for the next generation. To learn more about how to connect with employees to improve retention rates, or for information on how we can help your organization, please contact us.

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