Category Archives: Talent Management

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What is employee engagement and why is it critical for every company?

This is a guest post from Melisa Marzett. Melisa is a freelance employee currently working for findwritingservice.com. She enjoys traveling, sports, cooking and swimming.

Employee engagement implies a psychological state of workers in which they are interested in the success of the company where they work, and are willing to invest their time and energy in the common cause. Indicators of employee engagement are initiative, enthusiasm, desire to actively participate in the life of the team, develop plans, make decisions, etc.

In different countries, professionals researched employee engagement to show the enormous impact of this indicator on the performance of a company.

Gallup research from a few years ago found out that:

  • Firms, where employee engagement is at a high level, are much less affected by staff turnover, systematic absenteeism and other breaches of discipline;
  • Factors that have a positive impact on the business (such as the profitability of the enterprise, customer loyalty), in such firms, on the contrary, are more pronounced.

Particularly interesting is the study of Aon Hewitt, which was devoted to one of the leading indicators of business success – profitability. The results illustrate the striking impact of employee engagement in companies on profits. As a result of increased participation by 1%, profits increased by $ 20 million, by 5% – by 100 million, by 10% – by 200 million.

Regardless of the size of the company, if the employee engagement increased, the profits also increased significantly. For a company engaged in retail trade, the growth could be up to 100 thousand dollars, and for a large travel company – up to 45 million.

Based on these studies, we can conclude that managing employee engagement gives companies tremendous prospects for further growth. After all, at the moment more than 80% of enterprise workers around the world are practically not interested in the work process, the quality of their work will leave much to be desired.

The advantages of high employee engagement in the workflow are apparent. At the same time, the staff demonstrates more diligence, creativity in solving urgent problems, politeness and interest in communicating with consumers with engagement. All this has a positive effect on the company’s image, customer loyalty and, ultimately, on the level of profit.

The healthy state of the team, whose employees are interested in the efficiency of their work, also leads to low staff turnover. If it is necessary to establish a new position, one of the employees will gladly take it. And if necessary to create a new role, the head of such an enterprise will not be limited in choice. After all, employees themselves tend to search where all the conditions for employee engagement are.

The researchers also note that low employee engagement is the cause of poor “efficiency” of employees and low quality of customer service. And this, in turn, leads to severe losses of income.

6 Ways to increase employee engagement with HR

Onboarding

It is necessary to create a favorable impression for employees about their company as early as recruitment. When a new employee enters the enterprise, he or she should immediately feel the general atmosphere of engagement. It is especially true of the case when a manager has the opportunity to get a very valuable professional on his or her staff.

When conducting an interview, you should try to immediately establish a trusting relationship with the candidate and prepare the ground for their entry into the team.

Among other best practices are:

  • Assigning experienced tutors for the newbies;
  • Check-in interviews with new employees in a month;
  • Engagement to adaptation an employee’s family members.

The personnel department of Microsoft knows some ways to shape employee engagement at the stage of workers’ adaptation. The number of employees of this company throughout the world exceeds 120,000 people, while employee engagement is at a very high level.

Work in this direction begins with the first day the employee is on the enterprise. There is a weekly adaptation course developed by specialists, as well as many programs for the adaptation of various categories of employees depending on their professional and psychological characteristics.

Stay interviews

A recent study by the Institute for Corporate Productivity has shown that conducting such interviews has a beneficial effect on the company’s market performance. Stay interviews can increase staff retention by increasing engagement, and you can use it along with weekend and evaluation interviews.

It is better to conduct a one-on-one interview in an informal setting. The goal of the manager during such a meeting is to clarify the point of view of the employee involved in various factors of production. Once you compare their answers to those of managers, it is easy to understand when the team is not satisfied with the organization, working process, and more. For a more holistic picture, you can explore employee engagement through interviews with employees who have an average or even low engagement rate.

The importance of ongoing interviews is that they reveal the causes of problems with employee engagement in the early stages, before they reach a critical point. Accordingly, management will have the time and opportunity to develop a plan for improving conditions and maintaining engagement. Also, any interaction with employees on the work of the enterprise increases their loyalty.

Individual development plans

Another factor affecting market performance is the professional development of the company’s employees. The higher the engagement of an employee, the greater his/her need for self-development and increased skills, which s/he will be able to apply in the future.

You can increase employee engagement effectively by creating individual development plans.

  • First, the preparation of such a project can be one of the methods for effective communication between employer and employees.
  • Secondly, the project will take into account the interests of the best employees and give them the necessary opportunities for professional growth.

An employee development plan may include various refresher courses, training, rotation, coaching, or working with mentors from among the most experienced employees of the firm.

Participation in bright, important projects for a company

Providing work with deep meaning helps with employee engagement. Most of the firms with high levels of engagement get to work on projects that are important to their shared mission. The participation of employees in such plans gives a sense of the significance of their work and, as a result, increases production efficiency. Of course, it is impossible to assign everyone to your best clients, but the possibility of joining the team of “chosen ones” also motivates employees.

The best employees with high engagement should be encouraged to rise to new levels. It may be participation in international conferences, attendance at any professional events of various sizes, etc.

A physical environment that stimulates creative thinking and supports health

Often, to increase employee engagement, it would help to revise the design of the working space of employees. The working environment has a significant influence on the mental and emotional state of a person, including performance.

For example, you can divide the workspace into several zones. One can be for concentrated work, another for brainstorming with the participation of the whole team, and a third for recreation. Staff performance will be much higher if the surrounding space is labor-intensive.

One should pay particular attention to recreation areas, which are still not provided in many enterprises. They help increase employee engagement, providing an opportunity for mental relaxation and maintaining physical health.

Time for creative thinking and innovations

The introduction of change always requires long research and planning, which is difficult to combine with daily concerns. You can maintain your staff’s interest in finding new ideas by allocating time on a weekly or monthly basis.

Employees will work on long-term projects aimed at the modernization of production with a great desire and commitment if you select specific hours for this. The introduction of this practice on an ongoing basis began in the middle of the last century. Modern firms also often take the opportunity to direct employee engagement to the development of progressive ideas. Among the famous examples is the Google company, where each employee can devote 20% of the time to developing author projects.

Company executives should understand that employee engagement is one of the most significant factors affecting the overall performance of the team.

Research conducted by the Institute for Corporate Productivity showed the primary criterion of engagement determines the confidence of employees in caring for their interests.

What makes employee engagement so important: hands-on examples of known companies

Example 1

Kenneth Hendricks, director of the American company for the import of roofing materials at ABC Supply, said that to achieve employee engagement and good relations with customers, employees need to feel comfortable while working. He launched a whole campaign aimed at meeting the needs of workers.

Hendricks devoted a lot of time to communicate with employees in an informal setting. He established a relationship of trust with everyone, creating an atmosphere of unity and engagement.

Besides, the entire staff of the company (which, by the way, includes 350 branches) had a specially designed weekly meeting with photos and personalized lists where corporate goals recorded.

This simple subject was an indicator of the attitude of the authorities towards their subordinates and, together with other activities, became an essential step toward ensuring that employee engagement was top notch.

Thanks to this, ABC Supply is still growing and developing at a desirable rate.

Example 2

Widely known online shoe store Zappos  has always kept corporate culture and employee engagement at the forefront. To join the ranks of the employees of this company, you need to pass this test for participation.

First of all, the candidate undergoes a series of interviews with staff and company executives. The candidate can also receive an invitation to a corporate event, where she or he has to show how quickly they can join the team.

After a four-week adaptation period, the candidate has the opportunity to leave the company, while receiving compensation of 3 thousand dollars.

The fact that less than 3% of people take this offer demonstrates the degree of the company’s prestige.

Employee engagement in Zappos is about a careful selection of specialists who meet corporate requirements and support common ideas and values.

Example 3

Another firm that actively uses the idea of ​​influencing customers through employee involvement is Reebok.

In 2011, a training center was established based on one of the company’s warehouses, where Reebok employees were engaged in improving their physical fitness.

In total, across the year, they lost 4000 pounds. The event received a comprehensive response and is spreading to branches all over the world.

Company executives have found a way to shape real employee engagement based on the personal perception of the company’s values. After all, to sell Reebok products well, you need to be familiar with sports firsthand and understand its importance in human life.

Example 4

FullContact chose another way to influence employee engagement. They developed a whole system of bonuses for staff. For example, once a year each employee receives a paid vacation — incentive amount – 7.5 thousand dollars.

Moreover, the company requires the employee to comply with the following unusual rules:

  • Mandatory use of leave;
  • Lack of professional activity during the holidays;
  • Lack of any connection with the office (telephone calls, mail, etc.)

In this way, the companies are trying to maintain employee engagement through caring for their health. Even during the holidays, managers have the opportunity to fully relax from work, while subordinates at this time can demonstrate their independence.


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2019 New Year’s Resolution For HR Managers

This is a guest post from Indorse. Indorse is a Skill Validation Platform designed for developers.

As we wave goodbye to 2018 and welcome 2019 with open arms, we will all, most probably, start thinking about our beloved New Year’s resolutions!

That means setting personal goals like eating healthy, read a book per week, investing more time with family & friends, finally find Wally/Waldo, and so on. For most of professionals, that also means setting new goals and strategies.

In this article we will share seven suggestions for all HR managers that are planning on making some changes in 2019 and want to start the year off with new ideas!

Find quicker ways for pre-screening candidates

Pre-screening candidates is one of the most tedious and time consuming tasks for HR managers.

The traditional methods of shortlisting candidates by filtering resumes and by going through multiple rounds of interviews may be too time consuming for HR managers to determine a candidate’s experience and skills according to a role.

In the recruitment space today, this is no longer a struggle if you have the right tools in place for pre-screening your candidate; these include Skeeled, Harver, and Lytmus, among other, which allow HR professionals to save time and energy. Indeed, those tools work by automating tasks in the pre-screening process such as filtering resumes, matching skills to a required job vacancy and more.

So if you have not incorporated a pre-screening tool for your hiring process yet, then it needs to be in your book of resolution for 2019!

Quit the fear of AI taking over your job

Although there are valid arguments on the threat of AI on the career of HR professionals, it is about time to let that fear go. AI is not going to replace HR Professionals. 

In fact, it is an opportunity for HR professionals to automate and simplify tedious processes such as connecting with top talents, providing a more personalized interview experience, etc.

It also allows HR professionals to spend their time and efforts on proactive tasks such as planning new recruitment strategies or working on social employer branding.

HR professionals should understand that AI tools such as Smashfly or iCIMS are just that: tools. They are here to automate tasks and not the job itself.

Thus, take a step forward in 2019 and adopt AI tech by automating some of your own tasks. This will allow you to dedicate more time on developing your recruitment strategies.

Use chatbots as your personal assistant

Recruitment chatbots are applications designed to automate conversations in the recruitment process.

Chatbots such as Xor, impress, and Mya, use natural processing language (NLP) to understand and respond to candidates. Chatbots can be used through various communication channels such as email, SMS, Social Media and Application Tracking Systems.

This allows HR professionals to respond faster to candidates and, in turn, improve the candidates’ experience. If you are not using chatbots in your recruitment process, it is about time to consider using chatbots as your personal assistant for 2019!

Use more job portals

Job portals and career websites such as  Glassdoor and Naukri contain millions of resumes that allow employers, headhunters and/or HR professionals to source potential candidates for a role.

Although having a company website career page is recommended, HR professionals should not ignore the fact that having job posts in multiple job portals leverages possibilities of job exposure to a wide array of candidates.

The only advice is to spend some time drafting your job description with relevant keywords so that it stands out to candidates with the relevant skills.

Automate your payroll processes

First and foremost, running a smooth payroll process is not a task to be left for the last week of every month… Having a smooth payroll process creates a better culture in the company and contributes to the productivity of employees.

If you are tracking  your employees’ attendance, leaves, etc., in a manual manner, then it is time for an upgrade! There are several HR and Payroll systems such as Cadena HR or Workday, which you can implement in order to save time and also reduce human errors that are all too common when it comes to payroll processing.

Ensure a better on-boarding program

On-boarding programs help your employees familiarise with your company culture, objectives and also sets the right expectations for them.

A better on-boarding program helps you retain talent and reach better quality for hire in a shorter span of time.

Other benefits of a better on-boarding program include developing a better workplace relationship and a better engagement rate for your employees. So you may want to spend some time looking at your current on-boarding program and find ways of improving it for the new year.

Commit to hiring diverse candidates

The reputation of a company increases when it demonstrates its commitment to diversity in recruitment efforts. People coming from different cultures have diverse experiences and could contribute to more creativity and higher productivity. This would also allow your business to adapt to the demands of customers that may also be coming from various cultures.

Ultimately, cross-cultural hiring could increase the profits of the company. So if you are not practicing diversity in your hiring, then this has to be on your number 1 priority on the list of resolutions for 2019.

About Indorse

Indorse believes that the solution for an effective and modern recruitment process is a mixture of Human Intelligence & Artificial Intelligence. Unlike other platforms, where a user can claim any skill and add it to his/her professional profile, Indorse ensures that the skills are assessed and validated by AI chatbots and expert developers.

By using the Indorse platform, you won’t need to spend several man-hours to sieve through the barrage of resumes. Spot the right developer by simply using Indorse. And for a free trial, drop us a mail at info@indorse.io!

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You can also find us on facebook.com/joinindorse or twitter/@joinindorse


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How to Effectively Handle Employee Complaints

This is a guest post from Allison Hail. Allison has written articles for different sites on topics ranging from travel and lifestyle, to career and business, and has most recently collaborated with NZ businesses such as Keith Andrews.

Even the smoothest-running workplaces will eventually be subject to occasional complaints from employees. Staff complaints are a warning sign to a range of problems: perceptions of favoritism, sexual harassment, or difficulty seeing eye-to-eye with a coworker, to name a few. It’s vital to handle employee complaints quickly and efficiently, and if you’re in charge of managing these, here are 4 things to keep in mind.

4 tips for managing employee complaints

Build a relationship with your employees

If you are a manager, you must make sure that your employees always know that they can talk to you about any work-related concerns. There are many reasons it’s essential to build a strong, positive relationship with your employees: they’ll feel more comfortable running new ideas by you and you’ll know before anyone else if they’re not feeling satisfied with their current roles or tasks.

Additionally, employees who know that their managers are looking out for them are more likely to be engaged in their work. Above anything else, the first step to resolving issues is actually hearing about them, so it’s vital to ensure your staff are comfortable talking to you, should anything go wrong.

Ensure you get the full picture

When listening to your employee’s complaint, try to gain as much detail as you can. For example, if something happened to your employee, find out what happened, who was involved, where and when it happened, and why the employee chose to come forward.  Encourage your employee to give you all the details by listening attentively.

The more he or she feels that they’re being heard, the more information they’ll be willing to give, and the faster you can investigate and resolve the problem. You might also like to ask your employee what action they’d like to have taken about their complaint, if you need a better idea of their expectations. After they’ve explained everything to you, ask them to keep it to themselves – gossip spreads like wildfire around a workplace, but the results can be disastrous if one person unfairly gains a negative reputation as a result of it.

Take your employees seriously

If your employees are complaining to you, it’s likely that something serious – or at least worth discussing – has happened. Don’t brush them off, even if their issues initially appear trivial.

They’ll appreciate being listened to: sometimes, simply getting something off their chest is all they need, with no further action required. By all means, investigate their claims, but so do in a gracious, professional way.  Whether you agree with their complaints or not, your employees will respect you if you visibly try your best to understand them. This respect will help you both at the time of the complaint and in the future.

Create an action plan

Once you’ve had time to figure out your next steps about your employee’s complaint, sit them down and explain your reasoning. If they’re unhappy, give them a chance to explain their rationale and take their thoughts into account. After you’ve moved forward and attempted to resolve the issue, always schedule a follow-up meeting with your employee to ensure they’re satisfied with the result – the last thing you need is a resentful employee venting to all their coworkers about how unfairly they’ve been treated.

Workplace issues might seem less important at times compared to client deadlines and work projects, but to ensure a healthy, happy workplace, you must promptly examine and rectify each problem. Respect what your staff have to say, and any issues will be relatively simple to solve.


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Professional and Conflict-Free Employee Termination Strategies

Terminating an employee is never easy. Nobody enjoys the process but it is a necessary evil of business. If handled correctly, employee termination doesn’t need to result in conflict. There are steps that all HR professionals, business owners or managers should take when letting go of an employee.

Preparation for a Termination Meeting

You can’t wing it when you’re dealing with employee termination. This is something that needs to be carefully planned and executed to minimize fallout, stress, and conflict for all involved.

Gather Evidence

Terminations don’t usually come out of the blue, especially if there are performance related or disciplinary issues. If you’re terminating an employee for these reasons, you need to have properly documented evidence; emails, performance reviews, disciplinary hearings and meeting notes.

Stay within the Law

Pinpoint the main reasons for the termination, is it downsizing, company restructuring, redundancy, violation of policy or performance related. Consult an HR specialist to ensure that the reason is not discriminatory or unlawful.

Prepare for Questions

Be prepared to answer any questions the employee might ask, especially regarding pay, benefits, and procedures that need to be followed. The process can be overwhelming for all parties so prepare a folder to hand to the employee containing all relevant information.

The Termination Meeting

Handling the termination of an employee with professionalism and sensitivity will result in the best outcome for both parties. Regardless of the reasons for the termination, it is important to treat the employee with dignity, respect, and honesty.

Be Brief and to the Point

This meeting needs to focus only on reasons pertinent to the employee’s termination. It should begin by succinctly communicating the company’s decision and presenting the employee with a termination letter, outlining the reasons for termination and expectations moving forward, including final pay, benefits, and any legal restrictions.

Good Timing

The timing of the meeting is important. The best day is Monday, this gives everyone at work time to adjust to the new situation, and gives the employee time to begin looking for alternative employment immediately.

Meet in Private

Termination meetings should always be held in a private area, like a conference room, where other employees can’t see or hear the discussion. But it is important to have a witness at the meeting so that if the employee decides to take legal action it won’t turn into a he-said-she-said situation. The witness should be from HR or senior management.

Handling Conflict

No matter how well prepared you are for the meeting, and even if the employee knows what’s coming, they could still react badly. You need to stay calm and give them time to vent. If an employee responds emotionally, show compassion and understanding but make sure they are clear about the company’s message and the process surrounding the termination.

After Termination

You need to have a plan for moving forward after the termination meeting.

Notify Stakeholders

Be proactive and communicate with all stakeholders as soon as possible. Give a concise explanation and focus on how the company is moving forward.

Be Prepared

Activate a plan to have existing employees pick up the slack. If the terminated employee deals with customers, ensure that there is a competent staff member to replace them immediately. Customers don’t want to know about your internal problems.

Maintain Confidentiality

Termination meetings are confidential and must not be discussed with other employees.

Terminating an employee is never easy but, if handled correctly, it can be conflict-free.


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Managing Difficult Team Members: 8 Strategies that Work

Team dynamics are often complicated and there are always one or two team members that are difficult to manage. Unfortunately, these people can bring down the entire team if the situation is not resolved. Fortunately, it’s not impossible to form a cohesive team, even with difficult personalities in the mix. Here are 8 strategies to manage difficult team members.

Recognize that there is a problem

Before you can address a problem, you need to recognize that there is a problem and that it’s having a negative effect on team dynamics. You look at the full picture and identify the problem behavior and the impact it’s having on the team. Once you’ve identified the problem, you need to resolve it as quickly as possible so that the team can get back to the business of doing business.

Identify the culprits

When you realize there’s a problem, you need to look at your team dynamic to identify the root cause. Sometimes it’s easy to spot the problem team member because they stick out like a sore thumb. But it’s not always obvious and you may have to dig a little deeper.Here are some of your potential problem team members,

  • The Quiet One – doesn’t contribute effectively and frustrates other team members.
  • The Ghost in the Team – doesn’t pitch up half the time.
  • The OverAchiever –focuses only on results, always has to be the best and is bad for team spirit.
  • The Lost Member – doesn’t fit in and is not comfortable in the team.
  • The Argumentative Type- picks fights to demonstrate their power.
  • The Devil’s Advocate -sees problems everywhere.
  • The Aggressor – bullies their teammates.
  • The Joker – can’t take anything seriously.
  • The Diva or Attention Seeker – hogs the spotlight.

You can have one or more of these types in your team and they can work together brilliantly, or it can be a total disaster if you don’t handle them correctly.

Tackle Problems Head On

Once you know there’s a problem and you’ve identified the culprit, don’t let things fester, and don’t be fooled into thinking it will sort itself out. Sit down with the problem team member, in private, and discuss their behavior. Highlight the impact it’s having on the team. The person may not even realize their behavior is detrimental so give concrete examples to demonstrate your point.  Help them understand and appreciate their position in the team and your expectations.

Take time to listen

Given the team member the opportunity to explain their side, and actively listen to what they’re saying.  This will give you helpful insight into the person’s perspective and enable you to get to the root of the problem.

Find a solution

Work together with the team member to come up with solutions that could improve team dynamics. By making them part of the process they will be more invested in the outcome and work harder to achieve success. Part of the solution should be measurable targets and not just vague suggestions.

Always be Professional

Once you’ve had a discussion with the team member give them time to apply the solution, and don’t undermine them by spreading gossip or making negative comments to other team members.

Follow-Up

Once the plan is in place, keep an eye on the situation to ensure that there are visible improvements. Follow-up with the team member regularly and give constructive feedback. If you see positive changes, let them know immediately.

Know when to call it a day

If you’ve identified the problem correctly, had the discussion, and monitored the team member’s progress, and you still don’t see improvement, then it’s time to rethink your team as a whole. You might need to reshuffle and make some changes.

Managing difficult team members is challenging, but not impossible, and you have to do it properly if you want your team to be successful.


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Navigating Cultural Differences to Promote Team Spirit: 7 Strategies That Work

Go Team Go! Team spirit is important in schools, but it shouldn’t stop there. Team spirit also has a place in the workplace.  It fosters a sense of belonging, builds confidence, raises esteem and increases company morale.  Team spirit makes people feel like they belong and are a part of something bigger. It’s great to look at a completed project and say, “I was part of that.”

Strong teams create strong companies

Many businesses rely on teamwork to succeed but with an increasing number of companies doing business worldwide, workforces are becoming more diverse. In this new global environment, navigating cultural differences to promote team spirit can be daunting. But it is not impossible.

Get to know team member as individuals

Team leader’s need to get to know their team members. Not just as professionals but as individuals. When you get to know people as individuals, and you recognize their skills and talents, you learn that despite our cultural differences, in many ways we are all the same. We all have hopes, dreams, and ambitions. And you’ll also realize that skills, rather than culture and beliefs, are what’s important to a team. Getting to know team members, and learning about their culture builds team spirit by making employees feel valued and appreciated for who they are and what they bring to the team.

Create opportunities for team members to get to know each other

If employees don’t feel a natural bond with each other, management has to build that bond. There are many ways to foster relationships between team members. Everything from ‘water cooler’ talk to team building exercises and volunteer work can foster rapport within a team. Create opportunities for team members to learn about their coworkers’ cultures, perspectives and way of life, as this will help build a healthy work environment and encourage open-mindedness.

Don’t let company culture become a barrier to team spirit

Companies all have a culture and it is important. It enhances team spirit but it can also unintentionally lead to discrimination. Fortunately, you can build successful multicultural teams without undermining or compromising company culture. One way is to ensure that your company culture embraces diversity and establishes norms that include practices from all cultures on the team.

Retain a culturally diverse staff

If employees don’t feel understood and valued, they will look for work elsewhere and you will lose talented people. Especially if they feel that their culture is inhibiting their progress or ostracizing them from the team. The more diverse your staff, and the more you recognize their diversity as an asset, the easier it will be to build a multicultural team with innovative ideas and strong team spirit.

Work towards a common goal

Your team needs to know that they are working towards a common goal. If they are no longer focused exclusively on their own success, but working for the good of the team, they will find it easier to see beyond their cultural differences.

Keep open communication

Miscommunication is a huge barrier to cross-cultural team spirit. A great way to counteract miscommunication is by using technology and implementing employee self-service software. The software can manage several aspects of the team, including schedules and deadlines, and help prevent misunderstandings between team members.

Deal with conflict immediately

Regardless of the cultural make-up of a team, conflict is inevitable. But it can be magnified in multicultural teams. When conflict arises, make sure to address it immediately. This helps ensure that small issues don’t spiral out of control. A good team leader needs to understand cultural perspectives and use them to minimize conflict.

Building a multicultural team isn’t easy. People don’t appreciate cultural differences and see them as stumbling blocks rather than strengths. With businesses becoming more global, multicultural teams are becoming commonplace and the key to global success and sustainability is embracing diversity.


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How to Effectively Match Employee’s Skill Sets With Job Roles

The success of your company relies on the skills of your employees. Putting the right person in the right job can be the difference between success and failure, not just for the employee but also for the project.

Part of effective management is identifying your employee’s strengths, and weaknesses, and then assigning jobs and projects accordingly. Everyone has different skills. They excel at some things and fail at others. That is perfectly natural. The key to your success is playing to your employee’s strengths and using their skills effectively. You’re not going to ask a graphic designer to sell advertising space, that’s not what you employed them to do.

Clearly define different roles within your business

Before you can match your employee’s skill set to a job role, you need to clearly define the job. You can’t match a person to a project if you don’t what it entails. The first step is to draw up a clear and precise job description. Don’t be vague. Describe the job in detail, including the tasks, functions, and responsibilities. Next list the skills, experience, and capabilities that are required to carry out the work. Include a section where you list the soft skills need to perform the job effectively.

When you have a clearly defined job description, with a list of skills, it will be easier to identify those skills in your employees. Remember, your employees don’t have to excel at everything, they have to excel at the job they are employed to do. Only once you have identified the job requirements, can you find employees who have the skills, personality, and experience to fulfill the role.

Use the tools at your disposal to evaluate your employee’s skill set

There are many programs and test out there to help you identify your employee’s skill sets. Use these to gain a better understanding of the people working for you, and how best to utilize their skills.

Are they creative, great at sales, good organizers, managers, and can they perform under pressure? These are all things you need to know before you can assign certain jobs to certain people.

It is also important to take into account personality characteristics. If two people have the same level of skills and experience, it is best to give the job to the one whose personal preference best fits your requirements.

Assign tasks related to skills

You’re not always going to be able to only assign employee’s work that they enjoy. They are going to have to do jobs that don’t inspire them but the more you focus on their strengths, and they’re able to use their skills, the more they’ll enjoy the work and the better they’ll perform.

Re-evaluate regularly

Matching an employee’s skill set to a job role is not a one-off exercise. In a healthy working environment, with strong leadership, people will grow and change. It is important to re-evaluate your employee’s skills regularly and assign projects accordingly.

Studies show that employees perform better, and are more productive and engaged when they focus on using their skills rather than improving their weaknesses. People work harder, and excel at what they do when they are confident and passionate about their work.


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How to solve 6 common HR challenges with technology

The soft skills of HR employees are valuable, but some challenges remain difficult to overcome without use of advanced technology.

In response to growing demand for high quality HR solutions, there is a whole class of software designed to solve some of the most common issues in human resource management.

Challenge #1: Reducing costs and time needed for IT support

A major trend in the IT support niche is adoption of integrated technologies that are less time consuming and complex to manage than systems where every department needs to take care of its own technology needs.

Company-wide systems for attendance control and time tracking can be deployed with very little additional hardware, while their impact affects practically every team and project.

Challenge #2: Regulatory compliance issues

In many countries, governments demand tight reporting on employee salaries and other statistics related to the workforce.

If those reports were compiled manually, companies would have to dedicate their best people to the task or face the possibility of a costly error.

Modern software tools allow for creation of automated queries that generate custom reports with minimal human involvement, making regulatory compliance a routine task.

Challenge #3: Data availability

Collecting large amounts relevant data about workers is worth very little if the management has to spend a lot of time digging out key bits of information from local databases. Instant and effortless data retrieval is one of the greatest benefits of HR software tools of the latest generation, since all the data is centralized and accessible from anywhere.

It’s even possible to set up automatic updates that reflect recent changes in the status of the selected worker or team.

Challenge #4: Vendor management

It’s very common for a company to use a variety of software products, which may come from different vendors and include incompatible features.

Such incompatibility can be a problem, which is why system integration is an essential need for large companies.

In some cases, this can be avoided by purchasing a suite of software solutions from the same vendor, unifying time and attendance control with payroll management and employee assessment under the same umbrella.

Challenge #5: Platform integration

A variety of IT platforms are used for business purposes today, with mobile frameworks gaining traction lately. That’s why HR departments are increasingly updating their solutions to facilitate easy access from any device and any operational system.

Wireless sharing of relevant data can go very smoothly when the system is set up in such a way to support access from mobile phones and laptops, eliminating the need for physical presence in the office in order to participate.

Challenge #6: Data storage security

Loss of data or unauthorized access to confidential information can present a significant threat, motivating the companies to centralize data storage and implement robust defensive measures.

It’s far easier to mount effective defenses and control who can access the employee data when there is only one central database to protect. Security in the cloud is another hot topic at the moment, with top providers guaranteeing the integrity of uploaded information.

Fortunately, modern HR suites feature a range of advanced software tools that can be utilized to simultaneously address multiple challenges from this list.

Exact choice of tools and modes of deployment is unique for each company, but the overall strategy should be similar.

Integrating individual systems (including HR data) into a wider, more flexible framework will certainly return positive results, regardless of the structure of the company and its data collection methods.


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What is a Blended Workforce and How Can It Help My Business?

While hiring has traditionally revolved around long-term contract hires, blended workforces are quickly becoming more popular. These workforces combine individuals with different types of contracts, bringing freelancers, part time workers, and traditional contracts together to create a more flexible and scalable workplace. This trend brings complexity to HR management and payrolling, but offers numerous advantages to businesses of all sizes.

What is a Blended Workforce?

Traditional hiring means hiring everyone with a fixed contract for a set period of time and a set contract. Today, more and more people prefer to work more dynamically, taking on freelance, part-time, and contract roles. The gig economy means that more individuals are able to work on a short-term contract basis, filing short-term needs as they become relevant and then moving on.

Scalable Workforces

One of the biggest challenges in any growing organization is bringing on employees at a rate which matches internal needs to drive value. With traditional hiring, companies are forced to bring on full-time employees often before they are able to fully contribute, simply because demand is too low.

Hiring part-time and freelancers enables you to bring in work on an as-needed basis, so that you can perfectly meet demand without increasing overhead more than needed. This is especially advantageous for businesses with seasonal demand, because you can scale your workforce up and down quickly and easily.

Bringing on Experts  

Most organizations can benefit from technical experts and highly-skilled individuals, but many don’t have the resources to hire and bring them on without creating more overhead than value. Hiring freelancers gives you the opportunity to bring experts and specialists on for short-term projects or a low number of hours per week, so that you can benefit from expertise and specialisms without paying for a full-time employee you can’t make full use of.

Motivated Individuals

Choosing when and how to work gives many people freedom and the ability to keep themselves challenged and motivated without becoming stuck in a static environment, which can benefit you a great deal. The only caveat here is that you must be willing to bring even contract workers on as full members of the organization, so that they feel as though they are part of the organization and are motivated to contribute to organizational goals.

Outsourcing

While outsourcing isn’t always a good option, it can be extremely cost-effective, especially for technical roles such as developers. Outsourcing allows you to reduce the cost of technical work by moving it to another country, where you pay less per hour for labor. However, this can cause some issues in terms of communication and timelines, so you should carefully manage and set up infrastructure to ensure good communication before doing so.

Today, most companies hire as many as 48% of employees through part-time or freelance contracts, giving them room to hire on more people in new and different ways. Organizations benefit from this in numerous ways, creating more opportunities for flexible and scalable workforces, where you can bring employees on in an as-needed function, even when they are very high-level or specialist.

While you will need additional HR structure to support different types of employees and to manage short-term contracts and hires made through agencies or freelance, the payoff is often very high in terms of enabling even a smaller organization to cut costs while ensuring that skilled labor is available where needed.


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3 Useful tools to help your HR department

Any job is easier when you’re equipped with a range of advanced tools, which is why HR departments around the world are rapidly undergoing a digital transformation.

Adoption of IT-based tools allows for more transparent and more effective workforce management, while their costs are negligible compared to the benefits they bring to the table. In fact, there is a global trend towards greater automation and data-based decision-making that was made possible by introduction of highly sophisticated software packages well equipped to assist in essential HR duties.

While exact needs and financial possibilities of every company may vary, the following high-tech tools are so valuable that no serious HR professional should be forced to work without them:

Attendance tracking solution

Tracking when the employees arrive to work and how much time they spend away from their stations allows employers to have a precise picture about typical behavior of the workers.

This tool also simplifies management of planned absences and allows for replacements to be called in on time in case a shortage is on the horizon.

Proactive scheduling that takes into account human resource availability as well as future project needs can be developed to intricate detail with the help of an integrated time and attendance solution.

Finally, data generated through this tool can be analyzed to determine which departments may be chronically understaffed or suffering from too many unplanned absences, with the corresponding personnel moves aiming to fix such imbalances.

Performance assessment software

In order to measure how much each employee is contributing to company objectives, it’s possible to use performance tracking tools optimized for the type of duties that each of the workers is fulfilling.

Those tools are capable of measuring the practical output of each employee, forming a strong foundation for impartial assessment by the management.

Additionally, when the employees are aware that their performance is measured objectively, they will be more motivated to achieve solid results day after day, and less likely to react defensively to constructive criticism.

This allows for gradual and cost-effective improvement of the company output, either through rewarding the most productive workers or by replacing those that fail to pull their weight.

Automated payroll administration

Calculating precise salaries that include overtime, bonuses and all applicable deductions is a time-consuming process that demands undivided attention to avoid mistakes.

For this reason, this is an area where automation achieves amazing results, cutting the time needed to administer the reimbursements for all employees considerably while at the same time ensuring that errors are kept at a minimum.

Apayroll automation tool can greatly reduce the pressure on the HR department and allow its key members to spend more time proactively analyzing the data, rather than merely crunching numbers. On the flip side, a majority of employees will appreciate that their salaries are paid out quicker and reflect the true number of hours accurately, making payroll software a win-win proposition for everyone.

Installation of software packages for HR management is just the first step. To fully take advantage of digital HR, companies need to alter their operating procedures and adopt a more open-minded and data-based attitude.

This is an organic process that takes time and active effort on the part of the top management, while the role of HR managers is to act as  data interpreters’ and align new, tech-based methods with overall workforce management strategy. Only in this way companies can leverage new technology into a tangible recruiting edge and gain a clear competitive advantage in the marketplace.


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