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Category Archives for Best Business Practices

What Does It Mean To Be An Employer Of Choice from Projections Inc

What Does It Mean To Be An Employer of Choice?

The successful efforts some organizations have made to create a great work environment and culture has led to the concept of becoming an employer of choice. But what does being an “employer of choice” truly mean? Is it about being listed as a best company to work for… or is it something more?

Some would say being a company people want to work for is rolled up in fairly obvious traits including great benefits packages, competitive wages, sufficient paid time off, job security, and room for growth. Going beyond that means thinking about the entire employee engagement journey. When someone joins a company that’s truly an employer of choice, within a few days they realize they didn’t just accept a job – they’ve taken on a calling.

Working for an employer of choice provides a level of satisfaction that few things in life can. “It is about aligning individual personal success with organizational success,” explains Kim Michel-Clark, Senior HR Consultant at Adept HR Solutions.

Employer of Choice: It’s Not About You

Do your employees enjoy their job and the company of those around them on a daily basis, or are they merely going through the motions? This is one of the most crucial questions to ask and a great starting point. Sit down and map out your company’s employee engagement journey. How are you communicating at every stage of that journey? Plan to evaluate progress through employee surveys at strategic points along that journey. Ideally, surveys should be conducted based on where the employee is in their journey, as opposed to a company-wide survey just because “we do this annually.”

These points are a great way to evaluate your company’s success in working toward the distinction of an employer of choice. But how do you know what to measure?. Important criteria shared by employers of choice may include the following:

  • Willingness to allow employees to grow and avoid rigid job classifications
  • Emphasis on retention and service towards clients and customers rather than management’s expectations
  • Transparency of information that is based on clearly defined goals and performance metrics rather than esoteric corporate policies only shared at the highest levels
  • Continuous training and education is an integral part of the organization, rather than sporadic mandatory sessions
  • Relationships at all levels feel meaningful and respectful, regardless of what level of employee or customer is involved

Do Your Employees Feel Valued?

By looking for traits such as those above and assessing the morale of an organization’s employees, a sufficient framework for evaluation should emerge. Beyond internal evaluation, you’ll want to assess how others who come in contact with the company feel – are they satisfied with how they were treated and served by employees?

“Another area that I think is critical is communication and transparency,” Michel-Clark continued. “Employees want to be involved and know what is going on, they need to have meaning in their work and be a valued member of the team.” Your company can get closer to this status with focused effort and evaluations regarding areas that can be used to improve employee satisfaction.

“It is about the relationship an employee has with his or her manager,” says Michel-Clark. “Did they feel a connection, did they learn with their manager, did they get stretched and prepared for their next assignment?”

For Michel-Clark, “being an employer of choice is about employee experience, if they leave for any reason, would that employee recommend your organization to others as a place to work?”

How To Create A Positive Employee Experience from Projections Inc

More Than Just A Top Place To Work

Balancing company goals with employee needs is a challenge in any organization. When a company is a true employer of choice, those two objectives become the basis for satisfaction for everyone involved. Employees know that their work is meaningful, and management takes the time to explain how the individual’s success supports the company’s growth and success. This can come in the form of OKR’s and celebrating individual, team and company achievements.

Once the company’s goals are woven into employees’ definition of success, the organization must also work to support employee needs. Beyond the basics of good benefits and working conditions, do the employees and the organization value the same things? Does the company support the communities in which it operates? Are there other ways the company can support the people that make success possible?

“It’s about getting to know what your employees value,” remarked Michel-Clark, “not what the hottest trend is. Flexibility is not why people leave , yet everyone thinks they need to allow remote work, etc. Get to know what will make your team flourish!”

Establish A Relationship

Some tried and true methods to become a choice employer tend to focus on the relationship between employer and employee. Essentially, this will mean clearly defining your culture and the type of people you want supporting it. A significant effort should be made to attract the right cultural fit. Remember that skills can be taught – cultural fit cannot.

A method of quickly addressing any concerns as they emerge will also go a long way towards a favorable view of the organization. It is helpful if employees feel that their superiors actually care about them and want to solve the same problems. Certainly, train your leader to make sure that team member’s work is focused on both individual and organizational goals. As an employer of choice, your organization’s culture supports learning and growth while still achieving the agreed-upon objectives.

Employer of Choice: It’s All About The Tools

Above all, being an employer of choice is really all about providing the right tools for everyone in your organization to remain satisfied through positive reinforcement and relevant opportunities.

Train leaders to have the difficult conversations well. Michel-Clark says the most vital element of becoming an employer of choice is, “communication, tough conversations, being HONEST!”

With this knowledge in hand, begin by evaluating where you are now and craft a specific strategy for your company to become an employer of choice. Don’t neglect the cultural needs of your organization. In addition, make sure your strategy touches all aspects of the employee engagement journey. With that, you can begin the work of becoming a true employer of choice.

Harassment Prevention Training from Projections, Inc.

New Harassment Prevention Training: What You Need to Know in 2019

No matter what products you sell or what industry you’re in, harassment prevention must be a top priority in keeping both your company and your employees safe. What works and what you need to include in that training is changing rapidly. Here is what you need to know regarding harassment prevention training in 2019.

How Has the Workplace Changed in Recent Years?

The movement known as #metoo began in October of 2017, and the repercussions are still being felt. During the last several years, both individuals and companies have become more aware of harassment and reporting has increased dramatically both in and out of the workplace. People are more aware of the many specific forms of harassment. Protected classes include including sex, gender, disability, race, religion and age. 

Why Your Harassment Prevention Training Is Failing You And What To Do About It from Projections, Inc.

According to SHRM, emphasis on workplace harassment training should focus on prevention. As a manager or human resources professional, it’s your responsibility to take the necessary steps to provide the most effective harassment prevention training program possible. It’s crucial to train employees effectively to prevent any type of harassment from happening. If harassment does occur, it’s necessary that employees at all levels understand what to do and take the correct course of action.

How Have Employee Perspectives Changed?

The New Jersey Business and Industry Association reports that a Gallup poll shows both men and women take sexual harassment much more seriously than they did 20 years ago. The majority of individuals now see it as a major problem. Your employees are more sensitive to what is and isn’t considered appropriate behavior. 

Along with increased sensitivity and changed perspectives, however, there has also been more confusion. Many employees are often uncertain regarding what exactly constitutes harassment, what type of language or behavior is acceptable in the workplace and exactly how to handle harassment accusations. This makes an effective training program more important than ever.

How Can Employers Comply?

It’s necessary to understand what the different requirements are in each state and how employers with employees in multiple locations can comply. Right now there are only five states that mandate or have requirements regarding sexual harassment training. California, Connecticut, New York, Delaware and Maine have passed a variety of legislation for training employees. If your company maintains facilties in California and Illinois, for example, all employees should be trained according to the most stringent standards.

Harassment Prevention State By State Guide from Projections, Inc.

This means you’ll stay compliant while keeping all employees on the same page. Employers also need to go beyond basic legal compliance. It’s necessary to cultivate a culture of respect in the workplace. Training shouldn’t just focus on a checklist of unacceptable behaviors. It should focus on building civility and an environment where employees feel comfortable speaking out. 

How Can Employers Engage Today’s Workforce?

It’s imperative that training addresses the recent shifts in culture. It’s not only important to understand culture in our society, but to understand and change the culture in the workplace. This means that management must take a proactive approach by educating current employees and immediately training all new hires. Workforce states that training must involve much more than simply watching a video and checking a to-do box. You must create a culture at the highest levels of management and effective training provided on a fairly regular basis.

Finally, whatever training method you use, make sure there is an evaluation process in place. You need to understand what’s working and what’s not so modifications can be made for future training. Harassment prevention training is critically important to not only prevent costly lawsuits and maintain a company’s reputation, but for building a respectful and positive work environment.

With strong belief that every company can become an employer of choice, the team at Projections has been helping companies build better leaders and improve employee relations for over 4 decades. The Respectful Workplace, is a powerful and effective eLearning program designed to not only prevent harassment but help companies create a respectful and inclusive workplace.

The Respectful Workplace from Projections, Inc.
Why Your Harassment Prevention Training Is Failing from Projections, Inc.

Why Your Harassment Prevention Training Is Failing You (And What To Do About It)

For decades, companies have been working to protect themselves from liability by offering harassment prevention training in the workplace. Multiple states now mandate training on the topic. Many even spell out what must be covered, who must receive the training, and how long the training should be. But if your goal is simply to be in compliance with the legal requirements, you may be missing the point.

To create behavioral change at a cultural level, harassment prevention training has to be delivered in a variety of ways. Learners need to hear and see not only what is and is not acceptable, but answer questions and make decisions about what they should do. A well-planned and executed harassment prevention program creates an inclusive workplace where everyone not only feels welcome, but is able to be their most productive, most engaged self. 

Harassment Prevention Needs To Change

Many currently available harassment awareness programs are brief and leave the employee with little to think about beyond contact information for HR. True harassment prevention requires a broader cultural shift to have a lasting impact on the workplace. Effective training needs to emphasize that it’s the responsibility of all employees to take an active role in not only preventing harassment in all its forms, but in creating a respectful workplace.

Harassment Prevention State By State Guide from Projections, Inc.

It’s your company’s job to make sure every team member understands that maintaining a respectful workplace is their responsibility. It’s more than a legal issue to be avoided; it’s about feeling empowered to take action when they are confronted with bad behavior at any level. Effective training programs work when every employee feels invested in promoting a respectful workplace. But how do you do this? And why haven’t past programs been able to make it happen?

Drawbacks of Traditional Harassment Prevention

If your harassment prevention training is led by members of your HR team in a small group or “town hall” setting, you may already be setting your efforts up for failure. When employees don’t feel safe within that space, they can easily shut down and fail to internalize the information being provided. If there’s a perception that HR exists to protect the rights of the company over individual employees, then the training will be viewed as self-serving and will never succeed in creating behavioral change.

To get around this perception, some companies choose to bring in live trainers to teach harassment prevention. This sort of environment provides a neutral third party, which can add value – but the training can also be “dismissed” for the same reason if company representatives don’t seem to be actively endorsing it.

Purchasing harassment prevention training videos can be an excellent option, blending the endorsement of the company with the “expert” knowledge of a third party. But if the legal requirements for harassment training change in the states in which your company operates, you’ll need updates to those videos, quickly.

Today, interactive e-learning can provide consistent, relevant messaging that can boost engagement, reinforcing the needs of adult learners

Harassment Prevention – Content Is Critical

With a diverse workforce, many companies today find it increasingly difficult to create memorable and actionable training programs for employees and managers. Creating two entirely separate programs – one for line employees and one for supervisors – is costly and time-consuming.

The Different Types of Harassment from Projections, Inc.

Some states mandate additional training for leaders and knowing what to teach each group can be difficult. Many companies choose to adopt a “one size fits all” approach and use the same content regardless of the audience, but training for supervisors, such as how to address, report or investigate a harassment claim can be inappropriate for frontline staff.

Focus On Targeted Curriculum

The first step in creating effective harassment prevention training for today’s workforce is recognizing that your supervisors and leaders need a targeted curriculum that addresses the specific challenges they may encounter. Generic content that merely teaches the legal aspects of harassment is not going to engage that audience or teach them actionable skills that empower them.

Different states in which you operate may have specific requirements regarding the content you must provide. For example, in California, companies must also address workplace bullying (Abusive Conduct). Make sure your employee curriculum touches on each of these requirements, and make them engaging and interactive. Try role-playing scenarios, depicting common office interactions. Make sure your both employees and leaders have an opportunity to practice the skills they learn, as reinforcement of the concepts happens not only when they see something – but when they DO something.

Remember that it’s not just about victims and perpetrators. Your company must empower bystanders and victims of third-party harassment to understand even nuanced situations and take the right action. Creating effective harassment prevention training today isn’t just about staying within the letter of the law – it’s about protecting every employee and giving them the environment they need to be productive and meet the company’s goals.

Setting the Tone For Cultural Change

Putting together a harassment prevention training program requires a delicate balance. Employees must be made aware of the law and their responsibilities in the workplace. In the past, some have argued that these programs emphasized employment law so heavily that they taught people how to “get away with” harassing behavior and not get fired. Some studies have even shown that the wrong training can make harassment issues worse.

The tone and language of your training must include tolerance and respect for all coworkers, regardless of any protected class. Your harassment prevention will need to acknowledge that harassment occurs despite everyone’s best efforts and that your company is committed to developing processes to address issues.

Above all else, your harassment prevention program must openly demonstrate what all types of harassment look like and what a hostile working environment feels like. Only through genuine understanding of these challenges can employees and managers hope to make lasting changes.

As your company begins to work toward creating a respectful workplace, you may begin to see changes. People may be more open to one another’s ideas. They may become more productive. Fewer reports to HR may mean more time spent on taking care of all employees. Your respectful workplace can even create greater trust between employees and management, as everyone understands their roles in preventing harassment.

The Respectful Workplace Harassment Prevention from Projections, Inc.
Understanding Ethics

Understanding Ethics: Does Employee Age Matter?

With employee perspectives on ethics shaped by very different sets of life experiences, it has never been more important for employers to engage employees across the generations. Baby boomer and millennial employees can understand common goals, even the company’s mission and vision, but understanding ethics can be an entirely different challenge.

Understanding ethics means making decisions on a daily basis with integrity, based on a values-driven workplace culture instead of just a compliant one.

The reality is that “Corporate Compliance” is often just a matter of checking boxes. Ethics can be a much more nebulous topic, and much more difficult for Human Resources teams to keep watch over. In an effort to succeed, employees feeling pressured sometimes strive to succeed in the wrong way. Consider the constant stream of news reports announcing ethical violations of theft and deception – sometimes starting at the very top.

The reports only scratch the surface of what’s going on. There are employees behaving in ways that are unethical, but the behaviors don’t rise to the level of a crime – backstabbing coworkers, job hopping despite commitments made at the time of hiring, secretly talking to disruptive union representatives rather than approaching supervisors, and on and on the list goes. Ethics is a pervasive principle.

Employee communication

Linking Ethics to the Generations

Do baby boomers and millennials have different perspectives on ethics? Multiple surveys suggest they do. Baby boomers operate best in a workplace where there are formal systems to incentivize ethical conduct, access to formal channels that can provide regular guidance, published standards of conduct for responding to questionable activities and ethical leadership.

Millennials don’t like boundaries, largely due to technology and globalization. They like the flexibility to handle situations, collaborative work and quick access to resources when advice is needed. They’re more open and transparent, thus more likely to discuss their employer and workplace conditions with a wide range of people inside and outside the organization, creating a setup for ethical violations. Since they’re more flexible, millennials tend to tolerate historically typical unethical or non-compliant co-worker behaviors more than baby boomers, like theft.

One reason they don’t report observed misconduct at times is because they have seen “whistleblowers” get punished for doing the right thing. Yet, millennials are more likely than baby boomers to access the person or office responsible for compliance and ethics. The lesson to learn is that they’re very social, so communication about ethics and compliance should include social interaction and ongoing support, like ongoing training, technology-based reporting systems and frequent communications from leaders addressing ethics, which could be social media postings, tweets, HR feedback systems and all the other tools that people use to stay in touch.

Union-Free Millennials

Expanding on What Ethics Embraces

Over the years, what is considered unethical behaviors has changed. Baby boomers that did report violations focused on things like fraud and financial manipulation. Millennials are more focused on workplace behaviors like sexual harassment, discrimination, biased talent systems, and corporate social or environmental irresponsibility. People were shocked when Google employees resigned to protest the company’s participation in Pentagon-funded projects. When employees question the ethics of their employers, engagement is negatively impacted.

A couple of surveys also found that millennials are more inclined to do some things you, as an employer, likely believe are unethical. They include tweeting or posting information online about the organization and keeping copies of confidential documents. These are the types of activities that can easily end up involving unions. With the more relaxed millennial perspective of ethics, the challenge for employers is developing an organizational culture that gives people the freedom to be different, while embracing generational diversity.

Make Understanding Ethics Local

Gallup’s research indicates that 70 percent of differences in employee engagement come down to local teams. This particular research addressed employees working in a variety of locations, but there is a lesson for all employers. All organizational leaders down to the lowest level must be ambassadors for ethics, driving the creation of an engaging culture that has ethics as a core value. Senior managers ordering people to act ethically via a policy may work with some baby boomers who are used to hierarchal orders, but it won’t be enough for millennials and it won’t create the ethical culture. Ethics must be “glocal” – local and global – whether talking about a particular department or an international business location.

Here’s the caveat: Millennials must have access to the right communication tools, like confidential online helplines before they are likely to report ethics violations. Employees in various generations reported bribery, kickbacks, and stealing, the kind of behaviors baby boomers have traditionally reported. However, other unethical behaviors reported by the 69 percent include misuse of confidential information, sexual harassment, and offering products and services that did not meet quality standards. Ethics goes far beyond compliance.

All About a Culture of Integrity

Of most importance is the fact the Ethics & Compliance Institute’s survey found that companies aren’t making progress in developing an ethical culture, which is the biggest factor influencing employee behavior. Only 20 percent of employees surveyed said their company has a strong ethical culture and approximately 40 percent indicated the organization’s ethical culture is weak. Developing a culture of ethics and compliance is crucial to maintaining an organization with a workforce that acts with integrity on a day-today basis.

A culture of integrity has certain characteristics, like a set of clear values, senior managers who behave ethically and regularly encourage employees to do so, and consistency of messaging. Your frontline managers should be engaged in reinforcing the culture on a daily basis. People at all levels of the organization should be held accountable for behaving ethically. Internal violations and other employee matters should be handled equitably, a key principle for keeping unions out of the workplace.

The organization needs to provide a variety of communication systems to appeal to multiple generations and provide consistent messaging. An effective communication system can send the message across generations in the format each generation prefers and by the people (i.e. CEO, supervisors, co-workers) each generation is most likely to pay attention to, i.e. CEO, middle managers, frontline supervisors and/or co-workers. That might be a video played in a meeting or the same video distributed via social media or shared via an email link.

Younger generations learn best by doing as they’ve grown up with tablets and smartphones in their hands. For younger leaders, interactive eLearning may be the best training solution. Baby Boomers are often fact-finders and may appreciate having all the Company’s ethics reference information on an easily readable website.

Ethical Culture Begets Employee Engagement

Creating an ethical and compliant culture brings a lot of advantages, like a more engaged workforce. It’s also the foundation of creating a UnionProof culture because an ethical culture is supportive of employees, believes in equitable treatment, and is supported by strong and regular two-way communication between employees and managers. People in every generation want to be treated fairly.

Think about this: Baby boomers joined unions decades ago because they perceived their employers to be unethical, profit driven rather than people driven, unjust and non-communicative about Human Resources matters, i.e. promotion systems, pay scales, etc. Today, if all team members know their supervisor, and ultimately their employer, will stand behind them when they make tough, ethical decisions, it minimizes the odds of unions taking hold in your business. It’s the best way to stay union free.

HR Audits

The Evolution of HR Audits

The following is a guest post from Ronald Adler, President-CEO, Laurdan Associates, Inc.

Evolution is a process of change. In recent years we have seen a significant change in the HR auditing process, in the value derived from HR auditing, and in the HR audit tools used. HR audits have evolved from a simple checklist of dos and don’ts or periodic affirmative action plans to a comprehensive, sustainable process that:

1) is an integral part of the organization’s internal controls, due diligence, and risk management;
2) is a fundamental activity of strategic and operational management; and
3) uses sophisticated auditing products and consulting services. Increasingly HR audits are conducted of HR rather than by HR.

This paper reviews the change in HR audits, discusses the external and internal forces affecting the process and use of HR audits, and provides information about the leading HR auditing process.

Overview of HR Audits

The HR auditing process is — or should be — an independent, objective, and systematic evaluation that provides assurance that: 1) compliance and governance requirements are being met; 2) business and talent management objectives are being achieved; 3) human resource management risks are fully identified, assessed, and managed; and 4) the
organization’s human capital adds value. Under this definition, HR audits are more than an audit activity that solely collects and presents evidence of compliance. HR audits are increasingly expected to look behind and beyond the organization’s assertions of sound and proper HR management practices and to assess the assumptions being made, to benchmark the organization’s processes and practices, and to provide the necessary consultative services that help the organization achieve its business goals and objectives.

External and Internal Forces

Numerous external forces and factors have had an impact on the demand for and scope of HR audits. First, in the global economy, human capital is becoming the single most important determinant of competitiveness, productivity, sustainability, and profitability.

Increasingly, the organization’s human capital is being recognized as the source of innovation and a driver of business success. Thus, to be effective in the global economy, HR audits must be diagnostic, predictive, and action oriented.

Second, a confluence of economic, political, and social factors, including corporate scandals, the failure of the financial industry to adequately assess risks, and increasing stockholder initiatives, have resulted in increased statutory and regulatory requirements, a call for greater transparency, and increased internal and external audit activity. Consider:

1) Sarbanes-Oxley requires effective internal controls. While Sarbanes-Oxley specifically requires effective internal financial controls, the financial and organizational costs of employment related claims and litigation can have a material effect on an organization’s bottom line, can have a negative impact on earnings per share and the organization’s valuation, and because employment litigation can negatively affect the organization’s employment brand, can impact the organization’s long-term sustainability.

2) Securities and Exchange Commission Guidelines require management to
“…exercise reasonable management oversight.” If human capital is one of the organization’s most important assets ─ it is certainly one of the organization’s largest expenses ─ is it not reasonable to expect that management applies the same level of oversight and due diligence to the management of the organization’s human capital as it does to the management of the organization’s other assets.

3) The U.S. Federal Sentencing Guidelines require that management demonstrate that it took reasonable steps to engender an organizational culture of compliance and to “monitor and audit” compliance activities, behaviors, and results. Ethical conduct and legal compliance, including nondiscriminatory employment practices, are achieved by management setting “the tone at the top.” Audits ─ including HR audits ─ provide the C-suite and boards of directors with important feedback about how effectively they are communicating this message.

4) Governmental agencies are attacking systemic noncompliance. The EEOC strongly encourages employers to conduct comprehensive HR audits as a tool to ensure that systemic discrimination does not exist. The OFCCP considers self-assessments a “best practice” and has issued its final voluntary guidelines for self-evaluation of compensation practices. The U.S. DOL considers wage and hour self-audits as a valuable tool in ensuring compliance, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and immigration attorneys encourage employers to self-audit their I-9s and hiring processes and practices to ensure compliance with U.S. immigration laws.

5) Venture capitalists, investors, and stockholders are scrutinizing organizations’ human resource management practices, processes, and outcomes and using HR audits to help them properly valuate an organization’s human capital asset, expose liabilities, and perform due diligence.

6) Recognizing the importance of the organization’s human capital asset and the risks associated with misaligned, mismanaged, and unlawful employment practices, internal auditors and risk managers are assuming a leadership role in developing HR auditing standards and in designing and conducting HR audits.

Designing and Conducting HR Audits

While an organization’s size, industry, financial health, commitment to becoming a “best place to work,” and business objectives and imperatives affect the scope and urgency of the HR audit process, we have noted some common features, attributes, and objectives in HR audits recently conducted.

1) HR audits are becoming increasingly complex and multi-dimensional. While ensuring compliance is still a basic goal of HR audits, other objectives
include:

A. Ensuring the alignment of HR management and employment practices
with the organization’s business objectives.

B. Assessing the outcomes of the organization’s employment processes,
policies, practices, and procedures.

C. Developing the right human capital measurements and HR metrics to
allow the organization to calculate and measure the value added by human
resources, to determine the ROI and the return on the human capital asset, to measure the outcomes of employment policies and practices and the
achievement of EEO and diversity goals, and to benchmark best practices.

D. Ensuring due diligence, including: uncovering hidden liabilities and assets, identifying vulnerabilities to be corrected, and identifying opportunities to be attacked.

E. Developing HR auditing procedures that become an ongoing and
sustainable element of the organization’s internal controls.

F. Assessing and managing employment related fraud.

G. Developing HR auditing procedures that become an ongoing and
sustainable element of the organization’s risk management program.

2) HR audit reports are increasingly being used to report audit findings to wider audience. The distribution of the report on HR auditing findings is no longer limited to senior management. As noted above, an increasing number of third parties are expressing interest in the organization’s human resources management.

This list of external stakeholders includes not only investors, major stockholders, and venture capitalists, but also governmental agencies, NGO’s, civil rights groups, and plaintiff attorneys. Since HR audits findings include proprietary and confidential information and, in many cases, produce discoverable information, the implications of non-management stakeholders reviewing HR audit finding are significant and create a potentially serious problem for organizations. As a result, organizations are spending more time considering the format, content, and the
impressions created by their HR audit reports.

The Five Critical Components of the HR Audit Process

Recognized as setting the standard in HR auditing, the new edition of the ELLA®, the Employment-Labor Law Audit™, the leading HR auditing tool, incorporates the five critical components of an HR audit into the HR audit process. These five critical components, which should be addressed in every HR audit, are shown and discussed below in the HR Audit Model™.

1) Activities: The starting point of the HR auditing process is a review of
the organization’s activities, that is, the tasks and actions that create or implement employment policies, practices, procedures, and programs. Activities include such actions as the promulgation of an EEO policy statement, a sexual harassment policy, and other employment policies, and the posting of required employment posters. The Activities component of HR audits is typically evaluated by using a“checklist approach,” that is, the item is checked off when it is completed.

2) Behaviors: Behaviors in this context are actions and conduct that affect ─ either positively or negatively ─ the implementation or effectiveness of the organization’s policies, practices, procedures, and programs and demonstrate the organization’s commitment to stated goals and objectives. Examples of Behaviors include: the creation of a corporate culture that values and promotes equal employment opportunities, diversity, and compliance; the visible and unequivocal support by senior management for the organization’s diversity efforts; and the budgeting of sufficient resources to achieve EEO compliance and diversity goals. Behaviors are frequently assessed using qualitative measures, such as culture scan and employee satisfaction surveys.

3) Risk Assessment: Risk assessment is the identification of current and/or
future events that have the potential to cause loss, peril, or vulnerabilities, and management’s willingness to accept those risks. Risk assessment is also the identification of events or conditions that create new opportunities for the organization to achieve its business objectives.

Risk assessment provides management with the information to make an informed decision about the allocation of the organization’s human, physical, and financial capital and about effective ways to eliminate, mitigate, control, or transfer those risks.

Human resource management and employment practices liability related risks include: employment law and regulation compliance failures; lost business opportunities due to the failure to attract, hire, and retain top talent; intangible asset losses due to turnover and the loss of top talent and key employees; ineffective staff development and succession planning; and lower profitability due to the inability to control labor costs.

HR auditing activities include assessments of the external and internal factors that impact human resource management and employment practices, including: 1) the economy; 2) legal, regulatory, and litigation trends; and 3) demographic and structural changes in the workplace and work force.

4) Internal Controls: Internal controls are processes, tests, and assessments that help ensure compliance, manage risks, identify fraud, and help ensure the achievement of organizational goals. HR auditing activities include: 1) assessments of the effectiveness and efficiency of HR management processes, policies, practices, and procedures; 2) the reliability and accuracy of HR management reporting; and 3) the level of compliance with laws and regulations, industry and professional standards, codes of conduct and ethics, organizational policies, and budgets.

5) Outcomes: Outcomes are quantitative and qualitative measurements and metrics that measure and help assess the achievement of organizational goals and objectives. HR auditing activity includes the identification of metrics used by the organization to measure organizational and individual performance; the assessment of results by comparing actual results against projected results, budgets, and internal and external standards; and a description of the activities, behaviors, and internal controls that are needed to maintain or improve future results.

The value of the HR Audit Model™ is that it helps organizations: 1) assess current HR management and employment practices; 2) identify and diagnosis systemic problems; 3) evaluate and predict the impact of corrective measures; 4) develop a plan of action; and 5) determine the ROI of such actions. Using the ELLA®, organizations enhance the value of their human capital, reduce their exposure to employment-related liabilities, and
improve their ability to achieve business objectives.

Laurdan Associates, Inc., is a human resources management consulting firm specializing in HR audits, employment practices liability risk management, HR metrics and benchmarking, strategic HR, and unemployment insurance cost management. Laurdan is the developer the Employment-Labor Law Audit™ (ELLA®), the nation’s leading HR auditing and employment practices liability risk assessment tool — now in the tenth edition. For more information, contact Ronald Adler, President-CEO, Laurdan Associates, Inc., 301-762 -5794, radler@laurdan.comwww.laurdan.com


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