Category Archives: December 2017

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How technology affects HRM practices

This is a guest post from Asma Niaz. Asma is an Academic writer at Zoe Talent Solutions who loves to write stellar content on various educational topics, programs, trainings and courses. Zoe Talent Solutions is a premium teaching division, which offers highly professional HR courses to excel at your workplace.

Information technology plays a great role in this modern era of machines. It replaces humans with machines and efforts with electronic signals. Nowadays, informational technology systems are used by almost every business including leading entrepreneurs for the departments to run effectively and smoothly. Entrepreneurs have accredited the vitality of information technology tools in achieving business targets. It also helps hen performing operational tasks efficiently.

Human Resource Management consists of activities such as recruiting, training, developing and rewarding people in the organization. HRM must remain competitive by providing constant educational and training programs for the personal and professional development of the employees of the organization.

Like other departments, nowadays Information Technology is contributing a lot in the achievement of competitive objectives and fulfillment of personnel policies of the organization. IT enables the organization to improve its internal processes, core competencies, relevant markets and organizational structure as a whole.

It can contribute to fulfillment of business strategy in the case of HRM in order to push the business forward towards quality and to gain the competitive advantage in the market. Numerous researches declared that the HR goals, objectives and policies can be achieved moderately and efficiently by the implementation of HR information technology systems. Their utilization mainly in the HR department of the organization to attain defined key performance indicators can increase the efficiency of the business. The key to success is that you must be aware of the relevance of information system and objectives of the organization.

Information Technology may have greater impact on organizations that exist in a dynamic environment. Development in the technology is an important activity for the innovation process within the business. Technology may also include acquired knowledge. In the context, all activities may have some technical content, even if this is just acquired knowledge and results in greater technological advancement. This will lead to greater efficiency and effectiveness of the Human Resources. Hence, utilizing IT application for primary as well as secondary Human Resource tasks such as database management and advances recruitment system will increase the efficiency of the business. Innovation in Human Resource Management can manifest itself in a number of ways such as:

  1. To identify solutions quickly and flexibly during a negotiation
  2. To identify new ideas for products and services
  3. To identify new markets

One of the leading management theorists of her time, Rosabeth Moss Kanter, argued that the re-birth and success of business organizations would depend upon innovation (developing new products, introducing new services, and operating methods), entrepreneurship (taking business risks) and participative management (encouraging all employees to participate in making decisions about work).

Human Resource Management can have the following impacts of informational technology systems used in HR departments of the businesses:

Work as an assistant to HR and Line Managers

The primary function of HR department is to facilitate and manage the workforce needs and requirements of the organization. The chief objective of both HR and Line managers is successful operating of business. HR and line managers must be competent enough to review projection concerning forthcoming requirements to conclude whether to recruit new contenders with higher skills or to train current employees. Training and developing the line managers in IT tools will, therefore, prepare the line managers for a number of leadership tasks.

Enhancing management

HR information technology systems are capable of augmenting the efficiency and effectiveness of the management, which contribute in the success of the business. For example, currently, SuccessFactors Solutions has developed an HR IT tool of talent management for Hilton Worldwide, which had a worldwide operational capacity.

Organizations across the world are driving to improve organizational performance regardless of the size of the organization or the industry. Managers within the organization measure performance, perhaps by comparing it against a benchmark. They analyze and assess their findings and design their controls accordingly to advance the organization’s performance. Customized HR IT tools are capable of providing facilitation to management regarding assurance that all departments are improving its procedures and controls and targeting its activities on better achieving the company’s competitive differentiation through what the employees do and how they are doing it.

Effective recruiting

It is nearly impossible nowadays to achieve effectiveness in the recruitment process without Information technology HR tools. Companies are using online job portals that provide real time information to the intended users or candidates. This process is considered to be very effective as many people come to know of the offer and hence increases the probability of hiring efficient employees. These tools allow the employer to demonstrate all necessary information related to job, careers and personal development of each employee on portals online.

Currently, Envoy has developed an IT tool- Asana for recruiting where a potential candidate’s high priority value and tiny details of recruiting process is analyzed. The HR IT tools not only help hire the best potential but also retain it.

Data management and critical analysis

It is easy, efficient and effective to handle data using IT tools because it becomes paper-free. Monotonous work by the humans affects their efficiency in a negative way whereas IT systems allow doing these tasks efficiently. Organizational performance can lead to timely success of the business whether in a stable or an unstable environment. This is essential, as jobs that do not offer much variety in their performance and are of a highly repetitive nature are disliked by employees. It eventually results in intentional downsizing by the employees or decreased effectiveness. Employee’s performance data can be critically analyzed by the HR IT tools more often if it’s online and becomes readily accessible to everyone.

For instance, Zenefits has recently developed an HR IT tool, which has made Passport completely paperless. The tool is further hierarchy sensitive and pings the manager for approval once it is submitted. Thus, it lets an individual get rid of the hassle of filling the paperwork. Thus by developing this HR IT tool, Zenefits has helped Passport radically simplify and manage its HR internal processes.

Inventory management tools and human resource management

Owners of the business are concerned with the profits made by the business and the entrepreneurs with business perceptiveness describe that the customer satisfaction, operational efficiency and leading edge contributes in the performance of an organization. Customer needs must be met by customization and by providing outstanding customer instances. For this purpose, organizations use HR IT tools to provide a universal set of products and diversify the business by providing improved products and services.

Cost-reduction and efficiency

Considerable benefit can be obtained as various reports can be made using IT tools.

Xero wanted to save its resources and make them easier to manage. Xero then implemented PlanSource’s benefits system and ACA compliance technology with their payroll provider and now all their benefits are in one place and easy to access. This leads to cost reduction and efficient and work processes.

Johnson, Scholes and Whittington have rightly said, “Poor performance might be the result of an inappropriate configuration for the situation or inconsistency between structure, processes, and relationships.” Organizational performance can be increased by implementing management by objectives and using participative style of management through Human Resource Information Technology tools. The management of an organization is accountable to the owners of the business for the performance and the achievements of the organization. Managers can perform well and justify their authority only if they produce the desired economic results, for instance, the profits they have desired to achieve in a period of time.

Management often uses the Operation’s Research to maximize the profit, yield, utilization and the performance. The management of an organization usually creates a measurement system to set targets for change and measure organizational performance.

Customer service and human resource management

As organizational change is inevitable, critical success factors and key performance indicators should be revised, and relevant Human Resource IT tool must be devised for the better quality of work.  Reliable and quality service to the customers depicts the organizational performance of the company. Value can come from providing a reliable service, so that the customers know that they will receive the service on time, at the promised time, to a good standard of performance. Doing good quality work and providing quality results will increase organizational performance.

Career development and human capital management

Informational technology tools for career development are responsible for the learning and management of personal development of entrepreneurs as well as development of the employees. Performance evaluation and career progression is interlinked with each other and can be a key motivating factor for the employees to work effectively and efficiently.

Performance measurement and reward systems in an organization establish views of priority i.e. what is important and what is not so important. Thus sound performance evaluation systems HR IT tool is crucial for the organization. The system must be reliable and logical. Rewards systems must be linked with performance management systems. Employees should be rewarded for performance based on the desired behavior and results as per the HR IT tool database.

Also, according to Vroom, one of the best management theorists of his time, instrumentality (rewards system) affects motivation for the increase in organizational performance. Managers must keep their promises that they have given of rewards for performance and try to make sure that the employees believe that the management will keep its promises. However, performance targets do not usually have to be financial targets. They can be in other forms such as recognition, promotion etc.

Human Resource IT tools have great organizational effects;  serve as a pipeline connecting a personal policy and personal processes in all organization, facilitate personnel management in the company, provide important data for a strategic personal decision-making and enable a quick acquiring and analysis of information for HR assistants and reduce cost labors at performance of personal activities.

According to survey of 37 companies in Turkey applying IT in HRM, the employees expressed that their business environment satisfies them and they work efficiently. The survey confirms that these companies use HR IT tools and should contain all HR processes which will sustain all parts of HR it means from ”Recruit to Retire” functions within the company.

This article was updated 2/4/20

Better focus on serious issues through automation

The whole idea of the HRM industry is to serve and care for the talent. However, if there are dozens of mundane processes that demand the attention of an HR specialist, it will become much harder to focus on issues like employees’ motivation, satisfaction, and well-being.

The advancement of technology led to the automation of many HRM-related processes, such as tracking a certain employee’s data, sending emails or similar notifications, or even communicating with employees with the help of smart chatbots.

By having these and similar processes automated, HRM specialists get an opportunity to focus on more serious issues such as analyzing the level of employees’ satisfaction with the company, new ways to increase their motivation or ways to promote the company’s brand.

Even though these activities are extremely important, it often happens that HRM specialists simply do not have enough time for them, especially with endless paperwork or monotonous activities.

Better analysis of employee data

HRM specialists have access to huge data sets regarding employees’ performance, personal data, corresponding bonuses, vacations, etc. In order to manage this data efficiently, HR managers need sophisticated tools that can process and analyze big data sets and extract useful insights from them.

The advancement of technology led to the creation of efficient HRM tools that significantly contribute to the data management process and empower specialists with new approaches towards the data.

Now, specialists only need to upload the data in the system and can receive a detailed report, while all the steps in between are handled by the machine.

This is a huge advantage that technology brings to the HRM. Now, employees can find the needed information in mere seconds without going through massive blocks and reports. This, in turn, contributes to saving time and effort and increases the work results.

More precise recruitment

One of the main concerns of any HRM specialist is where to find new talent for a company. And naturally, the more advanced technology gets, the easier it becomes for HR managers to search for suitable candidates.

First, there are now more options to choose from in terms of possible search areas. Before it was just a few job portals but now companies can search for their perfect candidates on multiple platforms:

  • Stack Overflow: a platform for developers where it is easy to find an experienced developer within the required field
  • Quora: this platform is becoming more and more popular for finding specialists for managerial positions as people there tend to share their own personal insights and knowledge
  • Social media: can actually serve as a source of reliable and experienced professionals but thorough filtering is needed
  • LinkedIn: a one-stop platform for easily finding a necessary professional in a certain industry

Above is just a short list of options. You can also search through freelancer marketplaces to hire a remote specialist.

Secondly, recruitment is becoming more precise thanks to the smart recruitment tools. The use of artificial intelligence and machine learning helps recruiters immediately and accurately filter the resumes and get a suitable match for the open job posting. This is a great time saver, since resume screening is hard work that requires much time and effort.

Increased transparency

Transparency of processes is crucial for any company. In an ideal world, every department would be aware of the work that other departments do, so all the employees can work on one common goal, with deep understanding of other’s tasks and responsibilities.

Unfortunately, for a long time, this was challenging due to the overwhelming amount of paperwork.

Now, HRM specialists have access to cloud storage and can manage the roles for access. In this way, practically any department can see what HR specialists do and what kind of tasks they have. It also allows for efficient collaboration and higher transparency.

As a result, everyone in the company stays on the same track, share one common vision and can access the needed information at any time and from any place.

Efficient onboarding

Onboarding is an important process that heavily impacts a newcomer’s perception of a company and people working in it. Thus, it is the HRM’s responsibility to optimize this process as much as possible and the use of innovative technologies can help a lot.

Chatbots, virtual tours, step-by-step guides, welcome letters and much more – all these things significantly facilitate the work of an HR specialist and make the onboarding process more interactive and memorable. Such an approach significantly saves time of both an employee and an HR specialist and also shows that the company cares about the employees and is ready to help them in every way.

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How to demonstrate social leadership as a company

Social leadership brings people together, focusing on individuals while building interpersonal relationships, and breaks down silos to help people work together across groups towards unified organizational goals. While that sounds simple enough, it’s often difficult to define on an organizational level, because the steps and processes you take to get there depend on your organization, where your employees are, and how you work together.

A social business works together as a team, leveraging internal people, cultures, processes, and technology to create and develop as an organization, not just as individuals. Getting there means identifying where you are in the process, creating a concrete strategy, and developing agents for change. Along the way, you must show change as a motivational factor, so that employees, new and old, understand what you are working towards.

How to demonstrate social leadership

Work together and eliminate redundancy

Many companies know that if something is achieved in one business unit, another will likely start from the ground up to reduplicate their efforts. The same is often also true of internal processes in smaller companies. A successful digital ad will likely never be repurposed for use in video, print, or any other medium. Instead, the people responsible for building those products will simply create something new or work out how to get there from the ground up.

This process of ‘rebuilding the wheel’ is one of the organizational problems which social leadership works to circumvent. By bringing employees together and encouraging them to collaborate, you can build cost-saving instances of sharing and co-creation. That same digital ad could likely be repurposed and created for every ad medium, in a way that is just as successful – while cheaper and faster for every party involved.

Prioritize management

One of the most difficult aspects of social leadership is managing priorities. Task-based leadership is often focused on accomplishing and achieving specific tasks. This can be beneficial in some roles and counterproductive in others. Social leadership prioritizes total goal accomplishment, personal development, and customer satisfaction. This enables or even empowers employees to do things in new ways, because they aren’t bound to completing specific tasks, which can boost overall productivity over time.

Change employee management techniques

Traditional task-based leadership involves creating strong hierarchy where a manager or supervisor tells their subordinates what to do, how to do it, and when. In social leadership, the manager discusses problems with the team, determines the best way to do it, uses team input to assign goals for individuals, and then allows them the autonomy to create a strategy to address those problems. This gives the team more freedom and flexibility to achieve, while enabling high-performers to step up, and ensures that everyone is part of the process.

Provide motivation

Motivation is a crucial element of good performance. No one wants to work in an environment that is boring, unfriendly, or unrewarding. Social leaders reward their employees, allow people to be human, and often give leeway for failure but rewards for meeting or exceeding goals. This works to reduce pressure, create a friendlier and more welcoming environment, and reduces instances of goal-based procrastination, where employees don’t focus on their work because they are too afraid of failure.

While the exact application of social leadership will depend on your business, how social you already are as a company, your ability to integrate new leadership styles in a timely manner, and the regulations, requirements, and risks of your workplace. However, in every situation, the goal is to increase collaboration, motivation, and personal leadership.

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Happy Holidays!

This amazing year would not have been possible without you, our valued followers and fans. Thank you for your continued support, and have an excellent holiday season! See you in 2018.

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5 Simple office holiday party ideas

Planning a get together for the team? Each team is unique, and would appreciate different types of holiday gatherings. Take a look at some office holiday party ideas you can draw inspiration from.

Fun themed parties

This is a fan favorite. Most offices like to have different themed parties each year, to mix things up and give the team something fun to aim for. Some ideas to consider are masquerade, your favorite Christmas movie, Santa’s elves (dress in red and green), or even a pajama party.

Giving back

Consider hosting a holiday party that gives back. For example, you could ask each employee to bring a gift, however small, that you can donate to a local charity. You can even propose doing some volunteer work as a team, instead of a large party. For example, going to a nice lunch then working with a soup kitchen for the evening.

Scavenger hunt

This is a fun idea for active teams who enjoy hands-on activities. It can be whatever size is most convenient for you, whether it’s all within the office at different checkpoints with prizes, or across your city at special places, ending at a picnic area or restaurant for food.

Cozy get-together

Less is more for some teams, and yours may appreciate a simple get-together instead of a grand party. A cozy party includes a simple meal without frills, such as party games or entertainment. Instead, this event would include smaller groups who can have conversations and bond over good food.

International pot-luck

This is a great idea for teams with diverse backgrounds. If you have a workforce from different countries, cultures, or even heritages, you should consider an international pot-luck. Everyone should bring their favorite dish, and clarify that it doesn’t need to be a dish from their heritage. If someone from Europe loves Asian food, they should be free to bring their favorite Asian dish.

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Why positive engagement is vital for employees

Most modern businesses understand the benefit of creating a positive work-space, resulting in an influx of solutions like flex hours, on-the-job perks, and company outings. But, while happy employees are significantly different from engaged employees, many organizations leave employee engagement as an afterthought or don’t pursue it at all. Despite that, positive engagement is one of the most crucial factors to a productive workforce.

Why is positive engagement so important?

Boosts Productivity

Reaching out to employees, connecting with them on an individual level, and using hands-on management techniques helps to boost company productivity as a whole. Engaged employees are more proactive, more focused on what they are doing, and more passionate about results. This naturally creates a culture where employees feel responsible and empowered, and are therefore more likely to go the extra mile, be creative and productive on a project, and be dedicated to completing work.

Increases Company Loyalty

Employee turnover costs U.S. businesses some $11 billion each year, but employee engagement dramatically reduces the chances of employees quitting. When someone feels needed and valuable in their role, they are more satisfied, more driven, and significantly more likely to feel that they have opportunities to move up in their current role.

Improves Communication

An employee who feels listened to is more likely to voice their opinions, give input, and offer feedback. Someone who feels appreciated is more likely to pitch in, contribute to a project, and help their colleagues, because they know it’s not ‘just their job’. By taking steps to actively show employee appreciation and to engage on an individual level, you can boost team communication, as well as inter-company communication for improved collaboration.

Engaged Employees Take Initiative

While not every employee is in a role where they can take initiative, engagement means that employees are focused, dedicated, and passionate about what they are doing. They aren’t just waiting to clock-out at the end of the day, they’re actively working to do a good job. That means they will use creative thinking, take initiative to cut costs or improve a product, and use creative problem solving to tackle obstacles. On a company-wide basis, employees taking a proactive approach will dramatically improve results.

Employee engagement pays off in terms of productivity, improved employee satisfaction, overall morale, and in how individuals approach their responsibilities. Taking the time to culture positive employee engagement will pay off.

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Why social leadership is important to your top employees

Good leadership builds employees up, drives them, and makes them better at what they do. Your top employees, who are likely self-motivated, driven, and ambitious, know this.

Good leaders are an essential part of any business, and social leadership is one form of defined good leadership – centering around bringing employees together, breaking down silos across organizations, and creating a single cause or purpose that everyone can work together to reach.

While the reality of social leadership will change based on your business, it’s as important to your top employees as it is to you.

Why social leadership is important

Employee engagement is competitive advantage

Most companies have some form of internal corporate social programs, designed to boost engagement. At the same time, most businesses in the United States only see an engagement rate of about 30%. Most employees are tuned out, not listening, and not particularly interested in what they are doing or why. Your top employees, those who are engaged and interested, need to see a purpose behind what they do if you want to keep them engaged. Social leadership is one way to do this.

For example, a social leader can connect with individuals while building goals at an organization-wide level, work to build engagement by making crucial decisions based on social input, and can work to bring people together so that they create the returns needed for engagement.

It creates a unified company goal

Most companies divide themselves into teams, branches, departments, and other forms of silos. These groups sometimes work together, sometimes don’t, and often adopt different technologies, processes, and mindsets. A person who has to work with two groups in the same company might feel like they’re working with two different companies.

Social leadership works to break down these barriers by creating a common goal or purpose for the whole company. It does this by clearly defining and outlining how internal tasks contribute to the customer experience, how the company must be involved together, and creating simple, flexible systems and processes that everyone can use together.

Approach and solve challenges

Social leadership approaches problems and organizations with the concept that change is inherent. This makes it easier to introduce new tools and technologies, new attitudes and behaviors, and tackle organizational challenges. It re-frames problems from a point of values to change how people work based on why they work.

This can create an organization where top performers are well recognized and rewarded, while being given every opportunity to learn and to improve.

It develops personal leadership

Many leadership styles are about creating followers. Social leadership is about developing personal leadership so that each person is a leader in their own arena. This enables you to create an environment where individuals can challenge the status quo and make change, take risks, and work in ways they normally wouldn’t. This enables everyone to recognize their own authority to achieve more, and to have more freedom within their job role.

It brings teams together

Social leadership is about breaking down silos, developing personal leadership, and creating a shared purpose that everyone can work towards. This naturally fosters both the ability and the interest in working together across functions, teams, and geographies, enabling anyone to leverage all of the opportunities and skills available in an organization.

Social leadership is about bringing people together, breaking down silos, and creating common goals for everyone. If a company is going to succeed, it must do so as part of a whole, not as individuals. But adapting to that change must happen on an individual level. Good social leadership works to foster individual growth, promoting personal empowerment, while giving everyone the chance to improve and excel in their career. This naturally creates an environment where your top employees are rewarded, and they are given an environment where they can grow and move forward toward their goals.

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What is a social leader?

Having social leaders is crucial to building social leaderships. This means that the managers, supervisors, and leaders in your business need to understand the importance and how to practice being a social leader. This can be difficult to develop and easier to hire for, but often requires leveraging existing leadership and retraining them.

Social leaders are key to bringing people together collaboratively to work towards a common goal. A social leader approaches leadership as developing the system as a whole through encouraging individual employees. Social leadership is very often about building individual capabilities while bringing people together to achieve more. This requires specific characteristics and traits, like transparency, authenticity, likability, and a passion for the work, alongside agility, willingness to try and learn new things, a collaborative approach, and the ability to connect with people.

Social leaders facilitate change, help with smooth transitions, and can lobby for performance improvement and process changes without any hidden agendas. This means they need to understand and empower the motivations of their team members, have a high level of altruism, and are able to understand (and explain) exactly how change translates to improvement.

A good social leader can motivate a team while breaking down internal silos, introducing new tools and employees, and driving everyone to succeed together.




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What is social leadership?

Businesses are changing, and often from the inside out. With factors like technology and social media changing how we connect and interact, globalization changing culture on a local and worldwide level, and generational changes – how and why we work is in a constant state of flux.

Social leadership, as coined by Esade professor Jaume Filellia, is about bringing people together through social similarities, by driving effort, creating motivation, and giving everyone in a business a single (social) cause to believe in. This is especially important in businesses that navigate frequent and sudden change. Because that definition applies broadly to nearly any modern business, which must adjust and constantly to meet changing social needs, most businesses can benefit from social leadership.

What Does Social Leadership Look Like in Action?

Social leadership is often about bringing teams together across a company, so that individuals inside of a company have the ability to work together quickly and efficiently, leverage each other’s expertise, and achieve more together.

Breaking down Silos – Breaking down silos encourages collaboration across teams, departments, and areas, often through the use of social and online tools.

Introducing New Tools – Modern businesses have to use efficient and modern tools to stay on top of industry trends and to outperform the competition. A good social leader gets employees behind those tools to encourage adoption.

Engagement – Average employee engagement hovers at just over or under 30% in most countries. But social leadership is about boosting those numbers, helping employees to become more passionate about what they are doing by linking day-to-day activities to real outcomes and productivity.

Social leadership can mean many things, depending on your business and your interpretation of it. However, it always involves connecting with employees, encouraging communication, breaking down silos, and boosting engagement through shared goals and drives. This can be extremely valuable to any company, by boosting engagement and therefore productivity, helping employees to work together even at geographic distances, and helping to improve efficiency by ensuring that everyone is on the same page.

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