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How to Drive More Value with Performance Reviews

Performance reviews are incredibly popular. In fact, some 91% of organizations used them in 2019. While that’s down from a reported 96% in 2012, it’s still a significant portion, especially considering data shows that modern, merit-based appraisal is toxic.

A Gartner study found that in 82% of organizations performance reviews either did not contribute to goals or directly negated them. Modern performance reviews, which involve collecting data and delivering a single performance review at the end of the year, do little but show that a manager is able to lead some people better than others. Essentially, they offer very little value.

While more and more organizations are dropping them altogether, others are shifting focus to use performance reviews for positive organizational change. Making those changes is likely essential to the ongoing value of performance reviews. The same Gartner study listed above suggested that 20% of C-suite leaders wanted changes to performance programs in 2020. What should those changes look like?

Make Performance Reviews Ongoing

One of the largest flaws in performance management is that it means managers cannot give real live feedback. Instead, they are reduced to delivering threats like, “That will go in your performance review”. Employees who are certain they are already losing the “game” have no incentive to improve or better their performance because they’re already at the bottom and they will stay there.

Yet, management best practices, ranging from the much-read “1-Minute Manager” to Emotional Intelligence and many other tactics all recommend avoiding this. New management techniques ask managers to offer feedback in real-time.

For the popular “One Minute Manager” that feedback looks like:

  • Clarify and agree on goals
  • Confirm what happened/describe the mistake
  • Mention why this is concerning
  • Highlight that the person can do better than this and help the person find solutions (do not make the solutions for them)
  • Offer praise for good behavior this person has shown

This approach means that employees immediately know when they’ve done something wrong. This gives them the opportunity to resolve it and replace the behavior with something else. This sort of hands-on approach also means that managers directly play a role in what their employees do by offering feedback on whether something is working, whether something is acceptable team behavior, etc.

For example, if someone is spending 60% of the time in meetings and is not meeting other goals, a review here could include a quick meeting about why this is not great and what is going wrong because of it. The manager would ask the employee to come up with solutions.

S/he might say they often have to delegate content for another team to avoid bottlenecks, which would shift the performance issue to another person entirely. Resolving that would free up the first person to do their job well, completely avoiding a negative rating and potential lost employee.

Integrate 360 Feedback

360-feedback involves collecting feedback from managers, employees, and underlings. This means that HR gets a much stronger overview of a person, their performance, and their contributions. It also avoids potential issues in terms of tracking metric inefficiency.

If HR is measuring performance in terms of output in a development team, but this person has been assigned the role of proofing his or her colleagues’ work to reduce total bugs, their production would look low.

360-degree feedback allows you to get a better picture of the total performance and interaction of the individual in the team.

However, 360-feedback also has flaws. For example, people are significantly more likely to rate someone with a positive review, regardless of the actual quality of work or contribution, if they have known that person for 5+ years.

This means that you must account for how well colleagues know each other when gauging the accuracy of a performance review. Combining 360-degree data with traditional data can help to overcome this.

Stop Highlighting Failure

Most of us would react very badly if someone walked up to us and went, “You’re the worst person on earth, here’s the data to prove it”. Yet, organizations do that every year to the bottom 2% of employees.

These employees are ranked, sometimes publicly, with percentile ratings and informed they are in the bottom “low performance” section. Sometimes their team and the entire organization are informed as well. That’s incredibly demoralizing for most.

Shifting away from negative feedback and towards positive feedback designed to highlight what you did well and what you can improve can greatly change that.

For example, if you avoid ranking employees in any system they can see, you remove the interpersonal competition which leads some employees to work outside the best interest of their team. You also remove demoralizing and demotivating messaging from performance reviews. And, by directly linking negative feedback to “improvement opportunities”, you could encourage employees to make an active change.

Develop 2-Way Dialogue to Share Responsibility for Results

Many employees are resistant to performance reviews because they feel they aren’t’ given the tools to succeed properly anyway. Opening dialogue for employees to share what they do need to succeed can change this. This is especially critical if long-term hires are suddenly not performing, if entire teams aren’t performing, or if performance drops following a change in leadership.

For example, personality clashes with leadership can result in poor performance from an otherwise stellar employee. Similarly, changes in process or tooling can reduce productivity. And, if employees don’t have the tooling they need to properly do their job, it’s unfair to rate them accordingly.

Link Performance Reviews to Personal Development and Coaching

Some of the most common traits linked to poor performance are simple behavioral issues. These soft skills or (negative) competencies are trainable. This means you can deliver personal development and coaching to poor performers to help them excel.

For example, some of the most common traits linked to poor performance include:

  • Clock Watching – these people are the last to arrive and the first to leave, they aren’t engaged in their work, just in doing the job and going home. Time management, motivation training, and better employee engagement all help with the time-wasting and lost hours that result from this behavior. 
  • Resistance to Change – Changes to the company, to software, or to the employee’s job result in resistance and lack of performance. Implementing coaching and training to show the individual they are still valued and can still provide value in the new system can help 
  • Complaints – Everyone complains, but constant complaining is demoralizing and hurtful to those that have it worse. Coaching can help. For example, introducing a meeting protocol where problems are brought up in meetings and discussed in a resolution scenario before being aired outside of meetings can reduce much of this. Of course, that employee has to feel listened to for this to work. 
  • Poor Collaboration – Collaboration and teamwork skills can be resolved with training, coaching, and interpersonal skills development. You should undertake any training of this sort as a team, but some individuals may need extra coaching or help to get through it. 

Performance reviews can add a lot of value. However, many organizations use them in ways that add little to productivity, performance, or ongoing development.

Shifting the current performance review to an ongoing process, with reviews focused on future development and improvement, plus room for discussion with HR, can greatly improve this.

And, if you take the time to offer development or coaching to struggling employees, to discover why they’re failing, and to communicate what needs changing when problems occur, even the worst employee can improve.


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10 Skills Gaps in Leadership and Management

Today’s managers and leaders are increasingly in charge of not top down work delegation, but, rather, people and strategy management. This shift has changed now just how leaders work, but also which skills they need to succeed. Good project management is no longer enough to take on a role as manager.

Despite that, many leaders are promoted internally from technical positions, hired on following having similar roles in other organizations, or simply promoted internally for no reason other than seniority.

This leads to massive skills gaps in leadership and management, which do ripple downward, no matter how flat your organization.

In fact, Burning Glass Technologies shows that management skills gaps are significantly larger than employee skills gaps at any other level.

Despite those gaps, many businesses don’t actively work to correct these leadership issues. One study by APQC shows that 80% of employees recognize a need for different leadership styles, 21% think leadership is effective, and just 46% of companies place any priority on remediation efforts.

Good leadership impacts every part of business. It affects how individuals feel about work, team management, work delegation, motivation, and much more. While, eventually, you will need a skills gap analysis to correctly determine where to invest remediation efforts, most leaders can improve on many of the following 10 skills.

Closing these skills gaps can improve leadership style, boost employee retention, and improve productivity.

10 Skills for leadership to improve

1) Team Building

While team building has largely and historically fallen on HR, it’s critical that leaders be involved. Not only do leaders, whether team leads, branch leads, or managers, have to interact with teams daily, leaders know the work being completed.

Anyone in a leadership position should interact with HR and help make key decisions regarding hires, placement, and restructure. Leaders should be able to:

  • Recognize when personality conflicts get in the way of a team
  • Coach and manage teams to improve how they collaborate
  • Choose new people and introduce them to a team efficiently and effectively
  • Create a team environment built on trust and collaboration

2) Strategy

Strategy was once pushed down through an organization from the very top. Today, many teams and departments are relatively autonomous, with freedom to work on goals however they see fit.

This creates a rising need for those organizations to ensure leaders have strong strategic planning, with a good understanding of business goals, the ability to link daily work and tasks to business outcomes, and sound logic in building plans. Much of this is a learnable skill, although some people will show no aptitude for it whatsoever.

3) Listening

Listening is one of the largest parts of people management, but many managers are still more accustomed to talking. Why is it important? Listening is a critical soft skill that contributes to good people management in multiple ways.

For example, it ensures the leader understands situations as related, can learn more about both sides of a situation before acting, can make individuals feel heard, and can weigh in on arguments and conflict with relevant information.

Listening means paying attention to what the individual is saying, understanding their meaning, and taking body language, emotions, and contextual information into account.

4) Knowledge Sharing

Organizational transparency is quickly becoming not just a key point for developing trust, but also a key reason that employees stay with companies. Leaders who don’t share information, whether information regarding upcoming goals, drivers behind projects, stakeholder feedback, or news of an upcoming restructure, will quickly lose the trust of their teams. Knowledge sharing means being able to push information to employees in a sensitive, contextual, and appropriate manner.

5) Inspiring Commitment

Getting new people onboard with and motivated to stay with a company, to start a project, to reach a deadline, or otherwise achieve something is difficult. In fact, many leaders are bad at it.

Working as an inspirational leader means developing the trust of the team, properly leveraging incentives, utilizing good teambuilding, and knowing how and when to push people to keep them motivated and on-goal. This is, understandably, incredibly important for most organizations. Yet, it’s one of the largest gaps in leadership skills.

6) Receiving Feedback

You can’t properly give feedback unless you’re willing to take feedback. Yet, many leaders simply aren’t accustomed to sitting down and requesting feedback from staff or making changes accordingly.

Leaders who can sit down with their teams, accept criticism, and discuss improvements that work for the team and the people will be valued, respected, and listened to.

Here, 360-degree feedback can be valuable because it gives teams an easy way to offer leaders feedback from every perspective. Most leaders should also be comfortable having sit-down sessions to discuss leadership style, what can be improved, etc., as a normal part of process.

7) Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

Emotional intelligence is widely recognized as one of the most important leadership skills. Daniel Goleman’s book on the topic redefined how people see leaders. Yet, more than 20 years onward, it’s still one of the most lacking skills in leadership.

Emotional intelligence encompasses how individuals are able to recognize and manage their own emotions and those of others, responding to emotions in others, and making decisions based on those emotions. It benefits organizations because it builds team trust, improves employee loyalty and happiness, and ensures that teams are happy and productive by taking their mental and emotional wellbeing into account.

8) Coaching

Coaching is the process of working individuals through a process or problem and helping them to find solutions, to grow, and to improve themselves. It’s a critical part of personal development, and a critical leadership skill.

Why? A leader without coaching will simply tell someone how to solve a problem or tell them what to do. A coach will explain the problem and help that person figure out how to solve the problem on their own. The next time it comes up, that person is well-equipped to repeat the thought process and solve that or a similar problem on their own. Coaching helps people learn, to improve, and to be better at what they do.

Many leaders simply don’t do coaching at any level, even when in charge of onboarding new hires, when in charge of developing potential new leaders, or when choosing candidates for their own replacement. Integrating and teaching coaching skills could greatly improve all three of those leadership responsibilities.

9) Change Management

Change management is quickly moving from something organizations needed once a decade to something needed on a yearly or bi-yearly basis. New technology, new tooling, new workflows, remote work, digital workspaces, virtual computers all require change and change management. A quickly changing world means industries and markets constantly shift, leading to faster restructurers, more mergers, and new business branches that come and go. Leaders must be equipped to help their teams through those changes, offering guidance, acting as an example, delivering coaching, and offering reassurance.

10) Delegation

Many leaders are promoted from internal positions, meaning they come from skilled and technical work, not from management work. While not all leaders will have this problem, Ram Charan’s Leadership Pipeline cites it as one of the primary barriers to promoting leadership.

Work delegation means that when new work is available, leaders should be responsible for delegating and helping their teams to do it and do it well. Their job is to facilitate, not to complete work. Leaders who attempt to do so, even if doing work is simply reviewing work completed, eventually function as bottlenecks rather than as functional parts of the team.

Still, making the change from doing technical work to delegating work is a large one, which means your organization should offer training each time someone is promoted through the ranks to a new leadership position.

Leadership skills gaps affect the organization as a whole. They impact productivity, team motivation, employee loyalty, and collaboration. Performing a skills gap analysis, conduction 360-feedback, and offering courses and workshops to help close the gaps you do find can greatly benefit the organization for the long-term.


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How to navigate LinkedIn for Business to boost your HR efforts

Social media is everywhere. It’s ingrained in our daily life. In just one minute, 87,500 tweets are sent and 1 million people log into Facebook. But social media isn’t only about connecting with friends and sharing your latest photographs. Social media can also be a valuable resource for businesses. 

With over 675 million active monthly users, LinkedIn can be a powerful platform for both organizations and individuals looking to stand out within their industry. As a HR professional, LinkedIn can play an essential role in many of your daily tasks. In this article, we’ll be exploring all the ways LinkedIn Business can help you boost your HR efforts.

What are the business benefits of using LinkedIn?

LinkedIn offers many benefits for HR professionals, outside of social networking with other professionals. LinkedIn’s standard features can be used to conduct job candidate profile checks, to build your own personal brand, show off your company culture, or expand your network through LinkedIn Groups. 

When recruiting new talent, you can use LinkedIn to perform a quick candidate profile check for job applicants. While we don’t advise basing your hiring decision off this, it can be a useful tool for gaining an insight into an applicant’s previous job history, achievements and current activity. 

LinkedIn can also be beneficial for developing your own personal brand. As a HR professional your online actions may be considered representative of the company you work for. However, it’s also a representation of you as an individual. By ensuring your profile is up to date and that you are sharing valuable information, you can use LinkedIn to showcase your expertise within the HR industry. 

The Human Resources department is usually responsible for ensuring a positive company culture exists within the organization. By working with your marketing department, you can use your company LinkedIn page to showcase your company story, share an insight into what it’s like working for your organization and show off your great company culture. Company pages are a great way to show people how your company goes above and beyond to ensure employee satisfaction.

LinkedIn is, of course, a social network and so it presents a great opportunity to build your professional network. By joining and being active in LinkedIn Groups you can build real-world relationships and connections with other professionals.

The HR benefits of LinkedIn don’t stop there. LinkedIn also has many additional features that can be used to further boost your HR efforts and, in turn, your business success. 

What are LinkedIn Business Solutions?

Business Solutions on LinkedIn provides a hub of different paid-for services offering additional features for LinkedIn. Comprising talent, marketing, sales, and learning solutions, these LinkedIn Business Solutions can be advantageous for HR professionals.

While the standard LinkedIn features can be used to elevate your HR efforts, the LinkedIn Business Solutions will help you gain a competitive advantage against competitors by ensuring you have access to even more insights and features to support your HR activity.

How can you use LinkedIn Business to boost HR efforts?

If you are looking to hire new talent for your organization, LinkedIn Business Solutions can help you further your recruitment efforts with their Talent Solutions. LinkedIn reports that over 90% of LinkedIn members are open to job opportunities. Providing access to such a great pool of candidates, LinkedIn can be invaluable for improving your recruitment process.

With LinkedIn Talent Solutions, you can source talent using the recruiter search platform. The Recruiter platform helps you find, connect with, and manage candidates for job opportunities. You can also speed up the hiring process by using saved searches and candidate alerts. You can also stay up to date when your top candidates update their profile, making sure you’re ready to reach out with a job opportunity at the right time.

Whilst recruiting top talent is an important part of your role as a HR professional, it’s also important that you provide support for your current employees. Research shows that 76% of employees who don’t feel valued at work will seek other job opportunities. Therefore, as a HR professional, it is your duty to ensure employees feel valued at work and, as a result, have higher job satisfaction levels. Further to this, a learning report conducted by LinkedIn found that 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career development. Knowing employees value learning within the workplace, Learning Solutions by LinkedIn could be an ideal tool for your HR department.

LinkedIn’s Learning Solutions platform contains over 16,000 courses in seven languages so your employees can access the learning materials that are most suited to their career needs. Survey data by LinkedIn found that employees want access to self-directed, independent learning with 74% of employees wanting to learn during their spare time at work. By providing employees with a range of courses that they can undertake at their own pace, LinkedIn Learning Solutions can help you ensure your business is supporting employees by meeting their demand for self-directed learning opportunities.

Finally, you could work with your Marketing department to make sure that your marketing efforts on LinkedIn put your company in the spotlight. By teaming up with the Marketing department, you can use LinkedIn Marketing Solutions to create a variety of social media ads on LinkedIn that highlight your company culture, increase business awareness, and showcase employee engagement and satisfaction levels. Boosting employee engagement through your LinkedIn marketing is a great way to show prospective employees that you are a company that cares. You could create “Work With Us” ads that share existing employee testimonials and show prospective employees what it really means to work for your organization. Alternatively, you could use the Marketing Solutions platform to create ads that highlight your company values and strengthen your corporate reputation.

Final thoughts on boosting HR efforts through LinkedIn

There are many ways you can leverage LinkedIn for Business as a HR professional. Ultimately, you should plan to use LinkedIn as a tool for showcasing your company values, hiring new employees and building out your professional network of peers and partners. You will be able to boost your organization’s HR efforts by making use of LinkedIn’s various tools and features.

 Whilst LinkedIn’s recruitment tools are ideal for helping you connect with top candidates for job vacancies, the learning tools will allow you to nurture and support your existing employees. By considering how LinkedIn can be used to showcase your company values and culture, you will be able to create content on LinkedIn that boosts your HR efforts and reaches your business goals.


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Remote Work Trends That Will Shape 2021

Remote Work Trends of 2021 and beyond

This is a guest post from Angelo Castelda, a freelance writer from Asia. Besides writing, he also spends his time traveling and learning about diverse cultures, which opened his heart more to learning and imparting knowledge about homebased online jobs and TESL.

Working outside of an office is now a popular option for many industries. Because of the pandemic, it became even more popular because it’s a much safer choice than having employees travel to their places of work. Even now, when most countries are on their roads to recover from the pandemic’s impact, human resource experts and stakeholders forecast that remote work is here to stay.

While it has its disadvantages, just like any work setup, its advantages are much more appealing. For entrepreneurs, it lowers overall business costs and reduces short-term absenteeism of employees due to sickness. On the other hand, employees get to enjoy location independence when choosing an employer and the savings of not traveling to work and paying for food regularly.

As it looks like it’s going to remain for a while, it’s only fitting to focus on what will happen moving forward. For both employers and employees, it’s important to stay updated on the future of working remotely. Let’s explore it in this article, starting with the remote work trends that will shape 2021.

Reshaping of HR practices

Since the shift to remote work happened, HR departments also had to shift their practices. And since remote work will go on, more HR specialists will be reviewing their usual approaches to see how they can change them for the better. They have to basically reform and invent a new worker experience to adapt to the new normal.

The focus will shift to making the virtual worker experience better this year. HR specialists should adjust in-person practices to be more acceptable in a virtual setup. Such methods include hiring, employee orientation, training, and termination.

Because of the popularity of online jobs worldwide, HR has to cultivate a good virtual relationship with employees. Besides communicating and connecting with employees, they’ll also focus on shortening clerical work because of the rising trend of paper digitalization for data collection and processing purposes.

Competition to attract talent between cities and states

Historically, states and cities compete to attract businesses to relocate to their area to provide more job opportunities for their citizens. Now, they’ll be competing to attract talent to relocate to their jurisdiction due to remote work breaking the boundaries of location.

Since remote work broke location boundaries, city governments will shift to promoting incentives of relocating to their jurisdiction for professionals. It’s a much more affordable method of increasing employment in their area rather than giving tax credits to companies to relocate. This competition will add to the appeal of remote work and relocation in a world where an employee’s residence isn’t tied to their place of work.

Urgency in upskilling

Upskilling means providing an employee with more advanced skills through additional education and training. The shift to remote work for the new normal led to the acceleration of the necessity of upskilling. This year, more businesses across different sectors will be busy with training and educating their remote employees to upskill.

According to recent statistics on remote work trends, at least 54% of a company’s staff will require significant reskilling by 2022. This will prompt managers to create a shift away from specifying roles toward needed skills for a company. Changes of such magnitude will entail crafting new skills to help employees respond to them better.

This year, employees will be trained and educated by their companies to gain cross-functional knowledge. Businesses will also be quicker in adopting upskilling programs to help their workforce gain essential skills.

In conclusion

Businesses that’ll go on with remote work will have to humanize and work on improving the skill sets of their employees. More people will also benefit from working from home because of the incentives from different locales for relocation. The year 2021 looks to be an even better year for remote workers and people seeking remote job opportunities as the world adapts to it being the new norm.


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The ultimate guide to LinkedIn strategies for recruiters

LinkedIn has been a primary recruiting platform for over a decade. That’s never been more true than today. In fact, with 765+ million registered users as of 2021, LinkedIn is the largest it’s ever been. That’s important for recruiters, especially as the pandemic pushed cultural shifts to work-from-home, digital communication, and digital hiring.

That combination, plus LinkedIn’s 400+ million daily active users, make the platform a prime part of your recruitment strategy. Of course, any LinkedIn strategy must be multi-faceted. Running ads and using job profiles can get you hires in the short-term. Building networks and connections, sharing your teams on social media, and building a following will help you to gain access to higher quality talent and better hires over time.

Most recruiters should use a combination of strategies, mixing short-term hiring strategies with long-term talent acquisition strategies for the best results.

Recruitment is digitizing & LinkedIn is an ideal platform

Today’s recruitment is increasingly digital. That’s important in a world where the average corporate job listing sees 250+ applications. Filtering technology, AI, and document scanners are crucial tools to help recruiters do their jobs. And, LinkedIn has many of these tools built in, except you’re looking at profile keywords, profile settings, and similar rather than resumes.

LinkedIn is already used by more than half a million people, most of whom only use the platform for work and networking. That makes it an ideal place to connect with the intent of building work connections – because people are actively looking for them. That’s significantly different from other platforms, like Quora, Reddit, or even Facebook, where most people view unsolicited adds and messages as nothing more than spam.

LinkedIn also offers other benefits. For recruiters, it’s a great chance to learn about the person’s interests, views, and ideas and see whether the candidate will be a good fit for the company. For organizations with a strong culture and an established set of values, it is especially important to select people with a similar mindset and attitude so that everyone feels comfortable.

People can also share their expertise on LinkedIn, allowing you to immediately assess whether they are skilled and knowledgeable enough for a certain position. This might be in the form of sharing blogs or projects, it might be in the form of public commentary, or in the form of shared certifications. However, it gives you an at-a-glance look at that person’s workplace behavior, training, and expertise in ways that a resume rarely does.

And, LinkedIn allows you to easily connect with networks. For example, if you need a new software engineer, you can see not only your direct contacts, but second and third contacts as well. You can then reach out to the people who know those prospects to gauge interest, gain clout, or get a referral. That holds true even if you’re building future networks – because not all networking should be about jobs you need right now.

Get your LinkedIn content in top shape

Getting a foot in the door with current or future prospects means using good content, good ads, and ensuring that job profiles, company pages, and your own profile are optimized. This is an important first step before you should even think about moving on to running ads or doing direct outreach.

Optimize your LinkedIn company page

A company LinkedIn page is vital for connecting to talent and opportunities. Having a LinkedIn presence is great for business-to-business as well as business-to-consumer companies since it shows what services are available through your company. A LinkedIn profile is the equivalent of a Facebook profile for the business world and is a company’s social networking “face.” Below are a few simple ways to optimize your LinkedIn company page for great results, aesthetics and connections.

  • On creating your company page, get followers by emailing employees and current customers. Utilize email lists, newsletters, and databases to get the word out. Insert a follow button on your website and blogs and promote your LinkedIn profile on other social media channels.
  • Make sure your company profile picture is your logo for the sake of brand recognition.
  • LinkedIn banner images are similar to Facebook cover images. They are 1128 x 191-pixel images displayed at the top of your company page. Make them eye-catching and they can bring your page to life! A banner can include a call-to-action, your company colors, or your brand.
  • Your company “about” information should be up-to-date, free of spelling or grammar errors, and succinct. This is a great place to insert your mission statement and a little bit of history.
  • Choose your specialties wisely, and only use relevant keywords to describe your company so that you will show up on relevant LinkedIn searches.

Your company LinkedIn page is the first place most prospective talent will click through from a job posting. It’s always a good idea to optimize it to appeal to customers as well as to prospective employees. That means filling out bios, sharing full details, adding photos, and making it a window into the organization’s culture.

The success of a LinkedIn page is also a team effort. Ask your employees to generate thoughts, updates and contributions. This will result in a wide variety of topics and create interest throughout multiple groups.

Engage with current employees

Get employees and LinkedIn members excited about your page by adding value for them. Share information they need, post company updates, and share employee successes and team highlights on the page. This gives you a place to direct internal traffic for updates – while showcasing company culture. 

Offer training

Provide training and opportunities for employees to create full LinkedIn profiles that they enjoy investing time in. Expose employees to compelling information that they can share on LinkedIn and help them become LinkedIn thought leaders in your company’s industry.

Add personality

A LinkedIn Company page offers a number of different features to optimize content and convey important information to visitors. The page design has been tested and developed so that a company can feature what they want, and garner attention with well-placed call-to-actions. Utilizing that will help you to improve your recruiting strategy. For example, you can showcase products employees might be working on. You can share think pieces and company culture. You can share photos of the office or showcase employees “work from home” offices. And, you can share content created by your employees.

Showcase your team

That can also extend to incentivizing employees to build their profiles. Top talent will click through employees at a company before deciding to work there. Showcasing your one of your primary attractions, your human capital, can be important for drawing that talent. Provide training and opportunities for employees to create full LinkedIn profiles that they enjoy investing time in. Expose employees to compelling information that they can share on LinkedIn and help them become LinkedIn thought leaders in your company’s industry. If this is too much investment, you can try simply encouraging LinkedIn contributions to the company page by sharing and posting items your employees write to the page.

Go through the tab options, decide which to add to your page, and make sure it’s well filled out. It’s always a good idea to have “People”, “About”, “Content”, and “Posts”. But, adding a products page allows you to showcase a product or downloadable file that could add interest to prospects.

Optimize your personal LinkedIn profile

One of the biggest mistakes many companies make is ignoring their own social media profiles when looking for candidates online. In the world of the Internet, your social media profile is your trademark. It represents the identity of your brand and immediately informs the visitors about your mission, values, and goals.

For example, if someone visits your page and it’s empty, they will most likely leave – simply because your profile doesn’t seem trustworthy. Always make sure your page looks good before engaging in outreach:

  • Fill in about information
  • Make sure the company you’re hiring for is visible on your profile
  • Post content that reflects your company culture
  • If you are a recruiter for a recruitment company rather than hiring internally, you can always post specific job listings to your profile to ensure it looks relevant
  • Use the right hashtags and tags
  • Ask for references

Improving your own profile ensures you look credible when you go to make a hire. If you’re associated with a specific company, simply viewing someone’s profile can send them to look that company up. Make sure the data people need to find you is on your profile.

Build attractive job listings

A good job profile will make or break your hiring – but it has little to do with networking. Job profiles can link to ads, to individuals making hires, and to ongoing hiring campaigns.

  • Be thorough, always include as much information as-is available about the role
  • Try to include information from the internal job profile
  • Share what software and tools people will be using
  • List hard and soft requirements
  • Be specific about salary ranges, as this is a better way to attract top talent
  • Link jobs to company profiles
  • Share team data. If someone is working at home over communication platforms, share it. If lex work is possible, state that. And, if you know which team they are going in, share something about the team.

Tips for setting up job listings

LinkedIn offers dozens of tools for creating and advertising job listings. These include resumes, branding, search tools, advertising, and much more. Some do cost more money, but it’s worth considering when setting up a recruiting strategy on the platform.

Use targeted recruitment ads – Ensure that only relevant applicants see your vacancy; this doesn’t cost more than a normal recruitment ad.

Don’t forget SEO – Use good keywords to show up in LinkedIn search and increase your search ranking in Google.

Set the right skills – These come up as part of LinkedIn Search.

Open to LinkedIn applications – Allow prospects to apply right through LinkedIn. This “fast application’ reduces the amount of time the applicant spends on the application. But, while it can mean getting more “spam”, it also means seeing more casual candidates, who might be good fits for other roles as well. Plus, LinkedIn applications often allow you to see a resume plus the LinkedIn profile, so you get a more thorough picture of the prospect. 

Add screening questions – These can help you reduce spam, so you get higher quality applicants. 

LinkedIn job ads can be a great way to make immediate hires. But they also put your company page in front of future prospects as well.

Get your team involved on LinkedIn

Internal PR is all about promoting the company’s image and brand among the company’s employees. So, what does it have to do with LinkedIn recruiting?

Internal PR is one of the best ways to advertise that you have a great company to work for.

Satisfied and loyal employees usually become the company’s ambassadors and gladly share their experience and ideas with friends and peers. Once you create a strong internal PR culture and enhance the company’s culture, the employees will more actively talk about the company online – thus, attracting new potential candidates. People greatly trust the feedback from friends and family – use it to your advantage.

When your team is highly engaged, productive, and happy at work, they’re more likely to tell those positive stories to their friends, family, and professional networks. By shifting your focus to recognize team members as your very own, built-in influencers, you can further grow your business by leveraging your team’s strongest suits.

Your employees are connected to ten times more people than your brand. That pays off when it comes to recruitment.

A study on employee activism revealed that, on average, 50% of employees share photos and videos on social media about their work, and a third of them do this with no encouragement from their employer. If your employees are already singing your company’s praises, how can you leverage their networks without being heavy-handed?

The answer is pretty simple: Provide them with the tools and resources that make it easier to promote your brand. Create a Brand Bible, if you will, that clearly explains the vision, mission, and history of your organization. Give your team training on the company’s “elevator pitch”. Make brand promotion part of your corporate culture.

Engaged employees are more likely to refer talent to your organization when openings arise, meaning Human Resources gains access to better talent pools with fewer resources spent. Simply leveraging an employee referral program can help you attract – and retain – the best possible talent!

While it’s not necessary to offer stock options to employees to reap the benefits of ownership mindset, it is up to leaders to create positive change and a culture of empowerment by recognizing, fostering, and nurturing internal brand ambassadors.

Use brand ambassadors

A brand ambassador is someone who speaks highly of your business. Today, most people associate brand ambassadors with highly paid celebrities acting as the face of a brand. But, brand ambassadors have traditionally been individuals who are hired by companies to help entrench the brand into the community by leveraging already established networks and market the brand through word-of-mouth tactics.

To identify potential internal brand ambassadors, look for team members who:

  • Ask questions aimed at discovering new ways they could be more effective or helpful
  • Talk about the brand and may engage with internal branding experts or managers to ensure they’re on the right path
  • Share their thoughts and ideas on how the company could improve
  • Think about your company and/or their role even while they’re not at work
  • Arrive at work each day inspired to do their work and share their thoughts
  • Advocate for the organization online such as by sharing content related to your brand initiatives on their personal social networks

If you’re working internally, it’s also important to encourage these qualities in your team on a large scale. As you identify the employees already demonstrating their enthusiasm, curiosity, and engagement, it’s important to support them to help them flourish. Good company culture is just that, culture.

Bring a human touch to the recruiting and onboarding process

  • Start with proper onboarding – From the moment you make a new hire, all efforts should be made to welcome your new team member and engage with them – from the time the offer letter is sent to the time s/he walks through the door on their first day. That can be on LinkedIn, or not, but you should always maintain contact through LinkedIn. 
  • Make a good first impression  Make an excited introduction to the team, share profiles so people get to know them. 
  • Assign mentors and buddies – Create a buddy system so candidates know who to reach out to for questions, and new hires have support through the early days.
  • Get feedback – Check in frequently to see how candidates find the recruitment and onboarding process, and if they have suggestions.
  • Keep your team in the loop – Keep the team that a candidate would be working with informed throughout the process, especially during the final stages. They may even want to reach out to candidates they liked to make a connection.

Your employees can only be as engaged as you let them. For this reason, keeping your team close to the action and ensure they’re informed about the business, how it’s doing, and the ways their work ladders up to the strategic priorities and goals of the organization. Eventually, they will likely be your largest source of prospects and new leads on LinkedIn.

If your current team is willing to reach out to their own network, you can ask them to share your job openings and careers page on their personal social networks. Your team is in a unique position to sell the company culture, since they are a part of it. They can share their experiences with the company, how they’ve grown, and other reasons they enjoy working with your business. Just make sure they have good experiences to share before you ask them to advertise an opening.

Use LinkedIn networking

Networking is part of your long-term recruiting strategy. It allows you to build and nurture contacts. It allows you to work your way into groups where you see people looking for jobs. And, it allows you to create leads out of cold contacts by offering them value over time. However, there are always rules and doing things the right way usually means spending more time.

Join groups

Join existing LinkedIn groups and take part in them. Comment, answer questions, ask questions. Do not, under any circumstances, spam the group with job ads unless the group allows that.

LinkedIn groups are either open or private communities where people can share their expertise and thoughts. Unfortunately, marketers actively use these groups as well as an easy way to promote the company’s content. Because of that, it becomes hard to find one experienced candidate among dozens of marketers or expert wannabes.

While the presence in LinkedIn groups is preferable, do not see it as your only or primary talent pool.

Use relevant filters

Filtering is probably the easiest way to find the right candidates, but many recruiters still seem to ignore it.

Filtering allows you to search the candidates by location, experience, occupation, etc. So, once you have a profile of a perfect candidate, match it to the right filters and it will be much easier and quicker to find a person.

Be responsive

Build relationships with your followers and other professionals in the industry. This will give you a direct line to your potential candidates, and it’ll allow you to interact with them and see how they treat your content. Pay attention to whether they share your blogs, the quality of their posts (their work and insights, not grammar), and how they brand themselves online.

Use Hashtags – Hashtags allow you to see and engage with posts from all over the world. Choosing and following relevant hashtags gives you insight into people looking for work, people hiring, and even education and certifications in the field. You can apply this on a broad level with hashtags like #softwaredevelopment or you can do so on a local level, with tags like #Manilla. You can engage, or just keep an eye on what is going on.

Don’t underestimate cold contacts

Cold contacts might include people who are in jobs now. They might include people who qualify for roles you need in one to five years. But, they represent future prospects. Building networks with them now and investing in them now can lead to you hiring them well into the future. Plus, building relationships with people, while asking nothing out of them, makes it easier for them to decide to send job prospects and contacts your way when you do post job listings.

Try a direct outreach

Direct outreach is a viable tactic, but you have to be careful not to come across as pushy or to spam prospects.

Avoid spam

The worst thing that a candidate may receive on LinkedIn is a random and non-personalized message from a recruiter.

On one hand, it is understandable that after screening 100+ profiles, a recruiter can make a mistake and send the wrong message to the wrong person. On the other, if you want to show genuine interest and respect for a person, always take some time to personalize the message and make it interesting for the candidate.

Personalizing messages can mean investing in reading profiles. But that will save you a lot of mis-placed emails and content.

Offer value

Whether you’re contacting a prospect for a position now or one that might open in 2 years, offer some value. That might be access to free training. It might be valuable information. It might be spending 20 minutes offering a free review of their resume. But, that time investment gets you in the door and works to build trust. When you do approach with a job role, you’ll already have established a relationship.

Running your LinkedIn recruitment strategy

Once you know what to use, it’s important to define how much, how, and how to follow up. You can normally work out LinkedIn recruiting strategies based on budget, team involvement, and total number of hires needed.

  • How far forward do you have hiring prediction in place?
  • What is your turnover rate? Can you plan to have contacts in place to fill roles as they empty?
  • Are you adding on new roles? Can you plan to fill them before hiring becomes an immediate necessity?
  • Can you align hiring with teams so that those teams post about and share roles themselves?

Using LinkedIn to research candidates

LinkedIn showcases someone’s interests, hobbies, and even personality. By looking at a person’s profile, you can spot their favorite places, ways of spending time, and even learn about their views on modern trends and culture.

However, you cannot predict whether a person will be a perfect fit for your team or not just by looking at their page. People behave differently at home and at work.

However, looking at posts, content, and personality on pages can give you a good idea if someone will fit into a team.

What to look for

Social media check should not be the primary factor upon deciding whether to hire a person or not. However, a social media profile may have some red flags that you should pay attention to.

Professional profiles

All people are different, and all have a different opinion about things. This is perfectly fine. However, if you see poor behavior social media, like an open combative argument online, that should be a warning sign.

People have a full right to agree or disagree with things. But an aggressive imposing of opinion may lead to conflict in the future. If the person cannot handle him or herself on social media, there is no guarantee s/he can be professional at work.

Communication styles

The way a person communicates with the followers may say a lot about the candidate. If a person is rude, arrogant, passive-aggressive, or never agree with the opinions of other people, this should concern you. Most people tend to keep the same conversational style both at work and at home.

If you see that a person cannot efficiently communicate, think twice about inviting him or her for an interview – most probably, s/he cannot work as a team player and could introduce constant arguing and temper tantrums.

Things to look for:

Now, let’s look at what can actually help you determine whether the candidate is the right fit for your company.

Content that supports expertise

While scrolling the feed, you may see the photos from conferences, re-posts from industry leaders, links to the online courses, etc.

These posts support the expertise of a person and show that they are willing to network and grow their skills. But if there are no such posts, that’s OK too. After all, many people prefer not to mix work and personal life.

You should also look at references, recommendations, interactions, courses taken on LinkedIn, and even listed certifications – whether or not they have anything to do with the specific role. This will give you a significant insight into the person’s total expertise and willingness to learn.

Content that showcases creativity

Creativity is awesome because it helps employees make unusual decisions and find unique solutions.

So if LinkedIn posts show a creative mindset, it’s a good sign. Creativity in your personal life can greatly help at work and would become a great asset for an employee. In addition, creative people tend to be independent thinkers who may as well become good leaders.

Content that shows personality

Let’s be honest – you want to know a bit about the person before inviting them for an interview.

LinkedIn can be a great source of information about the person in terms of habits, interests, hobbies. However, it is limited, because it’s always geared towards work. In a way that’s great, because you see exactly as much personality as that person is willing to bring to work.

Taking the next step

Eventually you’ll move candidates and prospects off LinkedIn and hopefully into an interview and then into a role. As you do, it’s important to continue to dedicate the same amount of attention and time. Offer perks to keep hires engaged. Use good onboarding to ensure the hiring experience is good. And, make sure recruiters continue to work with hires to ensure they are moving towards not away from professional goals. Doing so will ensure that they not only stay with the company – but will improve your existing LinkedIn networking.

Conclusion

Eventually, no LinkedIn recruitment strategy will ever be perfect. You’ll always run into issues. Someone will always eventually accidentally send a copy paste message to the wrong person. And, you can engage with candidates for months only to have the role vanish in a restructure. The important things are to set a budget and keep recruitment efforts within that. You also want to ensure that you continue to tweak your strategy over time, so that you invest time and effort into the people and hiring strategies that matter. That always means keeping job profiles and descriptions up to date. But, it also means changing which groups you interact in, tweaking engagement strategies, changing which roles and skills you look for, and otherwise keeping things relevant. And, if engagement doesn’t’ work, it’s always a good idea to stop and look at why, change tactics, and keep moving forward.


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5 Ways to Optimize Performance Reviews to Streamline Your Workforce

While performance reviews are massively popular with organizations, most employees hate them. In addition, most performance reviews don’t actually achieve any goals. They simply represent a point in time when organizations take stock of employees and gauge them according to some metric or other.

While performance reviews are “old-fashioned” and often associated with top-down management in waterfall style organizations, they can offer a lot to companies that use them well. Yet, according to a Gallup Poll, just 14% of employees surveyed say performance reviews incentivize or help them improve.

So, what goes into optimizing your performance review? While that largely depends on where your organization is now and what you have set up, the following options are a great place to start for most businesses.

Link Performance Reviews to Competency and Skills Frameworks

Most organizations have or are in the process of implementing skills and competency frameworks. Many fail to link those frameworks to performance review or performance management. This is a wasted opportunity, considering integration allows you to create at closed loop of feedback for the existing framework and for the employee.

Why does it help optimize your workforce? Tracking performance against skills and competencies (providing skills and competencies are correctly registered) allows HR to track performance against what is assumed to result in performance. Therefore, it validates (or doesn’t) the competency framework.

At the same time, aligning performance management and competency frameworks allows HR to see which competencies consistently contribute towards success, which are missing in individuals with low performance, and so on. This can work to improve hiring. You can also use it to contribute towards personal development by working to close skills gaps.

Focus on Improvement and Recognition over Evaluation

The yearly evaluation and scoring, where individuals are given a performance percentile is quickly becoming a thing of the past, and for good reason. It achieves nothing, outside of a few competition-based niche sales industries, but making the top few percent feel good and everyone else feel bad. This is especially true considering 20% of your employees will always be responsible for 80% of your output.

This doesn’t mean others aren’t achieving work or that they aren’t necessary, it just means a small percentage of people are highly motivated and very able to do large amounts of work in short periods of time. They’re your “star” employees, but most people aren’t actually capable of functioning at that level.

What can you do about it? Remove ranking equations (at least public ones) and instead integrate public-facing measures involving constructive criticism, recognition of efforts, and positive reinforcement. If someone truly did badly, apply constructive criticism, empathetically approach the situation to figure out why, and assess additional factors like motivation, team environment, and personal environment.

You can still track high performers, but if the people in your middle 60% are still doing what you pay them to do and doing it well, there’s no reason to make them feel bad or second rate just because someone in accounting did 400% more work. This will happen no matter how good the median employee is.

Integrate Personal Development and Learning

Any performance review should follow up with opportunities to improve. If performance is about learning and improvement, employees see value. You can offer this by implementing competency frameworks, by analyzing work, by recognizing shifts in technology, and by reviewing external factors like home and team environments, motivation, or even commute.

What factors contribute to poor performance

  • Skills Gaps > Train the skill
  • Technology gaps > Train the technology
  • Motivation issues > Figure out motivation or move the individual to another team
  • Team conflicts > Teach interpersonal management, communication, emotional intelligence, etc. Check team balance and leadership styles and reallocate where clashes are problematic
  • Leadership problems > Train leadership and work to address relationship problems for the team
  • Personal problems > Offer flex work and/or stress and relationship management courses

Every aspect of a person’s life will contribute to their performance at work. If you understand why performance is low, you can work to improve that performance, delivering real opportunities for employees to grow, change, and improve with the company.

Offering that also makes performance reviews about learning and growing, rather than receiving a rating, which will make employees that much more incentivized to put in the work. And, of course, you should reward improvement with something they want, like a cash bonus.

Connecting Performance and Individual Contribution to Company Goals

It’s impossible to truly track performance if you don’t link goals that matter. At the same time, you can’t track employee performance in alignment with company goals unless employees are aware of those goals, are given short-term goals aligned with longer-term goals, and are able to autonomously work towards those goals. If someone is simply handed top-down tasks designed by a manager or team lead, you have to judge them based on performance of those tasks.

So, if hierarchy allows, integrating how employees contribute to and move towards company goals, as individuals and as part of a team, can add considerable value to performance reviews. Why? It doesn’t tell you how many tasks someone did or how often (Someone can sit in meetings every single day, day in, day out and achieve nothing), it tells you what they actually do to move the company forward.

This ties into setting company goals as well. Performance reviews should give your organization a very good idea of what it is able to achieve and who is able to achieve it. This allows you to set realistic goals that move your company forward.

Create a Two-Way Conversation

Performance is about how an employee is able to and motivated to function in their work environment. Your organization contributes to employee performance as much as they do. If you don’t make performance talks a two-way discussion, where employees can freely give feedback, discuss their work environment, and actively contribute to how their performance is seen, what changes are made to improve that, and what they are offered, you’re missing out.

A simple discussion with an employee might tell you they’re struggling because the team isn’t getting along, and management isn’t helping. The manager would likely never tell you that. You might also learn that a top employee has been offered a better-paying job and was waiting for performance review to determine if they wanted to make the switch. You’d have the opportunity to offer incentives to stay.

Having discussions would also allow you to help employees find their own ways to improve and to do better in their environment, to set their own goals, and to build their own motivation. That’s a lot more motivational than simply handing that employee yet another to-do-list of things to learn and improve at.

Your organization’s performance management system should ultimately reflect the organization, its hierarchy, and its goals. A good performance management system feeds into training, hiring, development, and setting goals and directions for the organization. If it isn’t, you have to step back and ask where it is adding value and if you actually need it.


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The psychology behind appreciation and acknowledgement for employee retention

What do your employee turnover numbers look like? Hiring top talent is great but retaining that talent will be far more beneficial to your business performance. If you wait until your employee hands in their resignation to find out how they feel about work, you are missing a valuable opportunity. You will miss the chance to keep a valued member of your team; and you will also miss the opportunity to identify and fix issues within your organization.

Developing an employee retention strategy that appreciates and acknowledges your employees and their needs will allow you to retain top talent within your company. Higher levels of employee retention will also benefit your business bottom-line and ongoing performance.

What is employee retention?

Employee retention is often shown as a statistic to showcase the percentage of employees that have remained in your business for a fixed period of time.

This is calculated by working out the total number of current employees minus the total number of employees that left. This figure is then divided by the total number of employees which is then multiplied by 100 to give you your employee retention rate.

Employee turnover relates to the percentage of employees who leave your business. You may often hear companies talk about their staff turnover rates when discussing employee retention. Across all industries, the average employee turnover rate in 2019 was calculated at 3.7%. Keeping this average turnover rate in mind, a 90% employee retention would be considered a good employee retention rate. However, the average employee retention rate may differ based on different industries.

According to research by Jobvite, 33% of new employees quit their job within the first 90 days of employment. Reasons for leaving include the job not being as expected, misinformation about the company culture, and poor leadership practices. Understanding why an employee leaves can be an important component in learning how to improve your employee retention rate.

Why is employee retention important?

Now, you might be wondering why employee retention matters so much. Investing time, energy, and resources in improving your employee retention rate can have rewarding benefits for your business. 

Having a high turnover rate can be costly for your business. Recruiting, replacing, and re-training employees can have a significant financial strain on your company. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) estimates the average cost of replacing a salaried employee as being equivalent to 6 – 9 months’ salary. For an employee earning $60,000 per year, that totals approximately $30,000 to $45,000 in recruiting and training costs. Naturally, your finance department would much prefer you to reduce those overheads by ensuring you have a strong employee retention rate.

Cost isn’t the only important factor involved in employee retention. A high turnover rate can also be damaging to your business performance. Focusing on employee retention could positively impact your business performance by ensuring stability within your team and, in turn, within your processes.

Employees who are happy in their jobs are more likely to stay and will also be more productive and produce a higher quality of work. Of course, in some situations, a new hire could help bring a new perspective and productivity to your business. Therefore, it’s important to frequently check in with your employees to make sure they are satisfied and performing optimally.

How do appreciation and acknowledgment affect employee retention?

Employee appreciation and acknowledgment are two factors that can positively impact employee retention. By making employee appreciation a central part of your business strategy, you can help to improve the employee retention rate of your organization.

Appreciation can be defined as the “recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something.” Therefore, by showing your employees that they are appreciated, you are informing them that they are an integral member of your team and the wider company network.

Research by TINYpulse states that 21.5% of employees who don’t feel recognized when they do great work have interviewed for a new job. In contrast, this figure was only 12.4% when employees do feel that their work efforts are recognized. Further to this, a report by Appirio found that 60 percent of surveyed employees highly valued being appreciated by management, and that appreciation played an important role in their decision to remain with an employer or interview for a new role.

From this research, it is evident that appreciation and acknowledgment should form part of your employee retention strategy. In order to effectively implement a successful retention strategy, it is also important to understand the driving forces behind those feelings of appreciation.

The psychology behind appreciation and acknowledgment

In order to increase employee retention, you must first understand the psychology behind appreciation and acknowledgment. By doing this, you will be able to better understand what makes your employees happy. 

Appreciation and acknowledgment are, at their core, constructs of intrinsic motivation. In psychology, there are two types of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation refers to the act of doing something without any external reward. Someone who is intrinsically motivated will engage with a task because they enjoy it and get personal and internal satisfaction from it. On the flip side, extrinsic motivation refers to the act of doing something in order to gain an external return.

Goals that are intrinsically motivated will be focused on outcomes that satisfy your basic psychological needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness. In a work environment, this could refer to feeling like you are part of a team or having your hard work be acknowledged. Another example of workplace intrinsic motivation would be taking on more responsibility because you enjoy being challenged and feeling accomplished.

A report into the psychological effects of appreciation and acknowledgment in the workplace found that appreciation and acknowledgment were two important tools in worker motivation and organizational success. By regularly expressing appreciation for employees, employers can also minimize their employee turnover rate. This report also highlighted when employees feel appreciated and esteemed for their commitments at work, it leads to increased employee commitment and lower staff turnover.

Creating a culture of appreciation and acknowledgment

There are several ways that you can harness a culture of appreciation and acknowledgment within your workplace. In order for employee appreciation to have significant effects on your employee satisfaction and retention levels, it needs to be ingrained into your company culture. Simply setting one day a year aside to champion employee appreciation will not be enough.

You can create a culture of appreciation and acknowledgment by allowing employees to provide feedback without judgment or risk of repercussion. If employees feel like their voices are heard, they will be more likely to feel valued at work.

You should also ensure that a culture of appreciation is evident at all levels of your business by encouraging employees and managers to show gratitude for one another. One way to do this could be through employee of the month nominations, or encouraging employees to give positive (and genuine!) feedback to another team member during daily stand-ups. 

Other ways to instill a culture of appreciation include offering valuable rewards to employees that work hard, celebrating employee effort rather than outcomes, and analyzing your company values to make sure they are reflective of an appreciative company culture.

Investing in your employees as a way of showing you care

Employee training and development can also be a crucial factor in ensuring a high staff retention rate. According to LinkedIn’s 2018 Workforce Learning Report, 93% of employees stated that they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their careers.

Investing in your employees shows that you care about them. By providing your employees with learning opportunities, you are letting them know that you value their input and that you care about their long-term success. This shows your employees that you are focused on their personal growth and long-term performance, rather than focusing on short term business objectives.

Therefore, if you really want to show your employees that you genuinely value them, you should look to invest in employee learning and development opportunities.


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Build Brand Ambassadors: How your team can be your best marketing

It’s no secret that word of mouth marketing is one of the most effective forms of marketing you can come by. Satisfied customers sharing their positive experiences will always be viewed as the most genuine message consumers can receive. It’s for this reason almost exclusively that influencer marketing has taken the world by storm. But what about your team?

When your team is highly engaged, productive, and happy at work, they’re more likely to seek out products and services from your company, but they’re also more likely to tell those positive stories to their friends, family, and professional networks. By shifting your focus to recognize team members as your very own, built-in influencers, you can further grow your business by leveraging your team’s strongest suits.

Your employees are connected to ten times more people than your brand, and companies with engaged employees outperform those without by up to 202%. Can you afford not to be focused on engagement?

Perhaps you’ve noticed the new trend of companies referring to employees as “owners.” In 2016, nearly 10,000 companies in the United States of America had become substantially or wholly employee-owned. This switch has been credited with decreasing employee turnover, increasing company growth, and boosting satisfaction among employees.

While it’s not necessary to offer stock options to employees to reap the benefits of ownership mindset, it is up to leaders to create positive change and a culture of empowerment by recognizing, fostering, and nurturing internal brand ambassadors.

What is a brand ambassador?

A brand ambassador is someone who speaks highly of your business. Today, most people associate brand ambassadors with highly paid celebrities acting as the face of a brand. But, brand ambassadors have traditionally been individuals who are hired by companies to help entrench the brand into the community by leveraging already established networks and market the brand through word-of-mouth tactics.

Since we’re not looking to hire someone as a specific brand ambassador, it’s time to identify your potential brand ambassadors.

Who are your internal brand ambassadors?

To identify potential internal brand ambassadors, look for team members who:

  • Ask questions aimed at discovering new ways they could be more effective or helpful
  • Talk about the brand and may engage with internal branding experts or managers to ensure they’re on the right path
  • Share their thoughts and ideas on how the company could improve
  • Think about your company and/or their role even while they’re not at work
  • Arrive at work each day inspired to do their work and share their thoughts
  • Advocate for the organization online such as by sharing content related to your brand initiatives on their personal social networks

Now that you know who to look for, it’s important to understand how to encourage these qualities in your team on a large scale. As you identify the employees already demonstrating their enthusiasm, curiosity, and engagement, it’s important to support them to help them flourish.

Start with proper on-boarding

From the moment you make a new hire, all efforts should be made to welcome your new team member and engage with them – from the time the offer letter is sent to the time s/he walks through the door on their first day.

  • Make a good first impression
  • Make an excited introduction to the team
  • Create a buddy system so new hires have support through the early days
  • Get feedback
  • Ask about their professional goals

Keep your team in the loop

Your employees can only be as engaged as you let them. For this reason, keeping your team close to the action and ensure they’re informed about the business, how it’s doing, and the ways their work ladders up to the strategic priorities and goals of the organization. One of the simplest ways to do this is to clearly communicate your vision.

How employees can be your best marketing

study on employee activism revealed that, on average, 50% of employees share photos and videos on social media about their work, and a third of them do this with no encouragement from their employer. If your employees are already singing your company’s praises, how can you leverage their networks without being heavy-handed?

The answer is pretty simple: Provide them with the tools and resources that make it easier to promote your brand. Create a Brand Bible, if you will, that clearly explains the vision, mission, and history of your organization. Give your team training on the company’s “elevator pitch”. Make brand promotion part of your corporate culture.

Engaged employees are more likely to refer talent to your organization when openings arise, meaning Human Resources gains access to better talent pools with fewer resources spent. Simply leveraging an employee referral program can help you attract – and retain – the best possible talent!

At the end of the day, the effort to support your team will always be worth it

Fifty years ago, the expectation of working at one company until retirement wasn’t unrealistic but in today’s world, the likelihood of spending one’s career with a single company is low. But that doesn’t mean companies should sit back and watch as people come and go.

By engaging your employees and creating opportunities for them to flourish through Brand Ambassador programs, you can extend the longevity of your employee’s careers within your company along with the enjoyment they get from working with you. Although happy customers will always be your greatest brand ambassadors, happy employees will rapidly close that gap.


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6 Tips for Improving the Hiring Manager Experience

Hiring managers are often a recruiter’s sole window into an organization, building good relationships with them is key to finding talent resulting in a quality hire with low turnover. Strong relationships between hiring managers and recruiters are a key driver of talent acquisition performance. Recruiters and recruitment agencies are responsible for building those relationships, typically through improving the hiring manager experience: e.g., working hard to deliver higher quality talent.

Align with Hiring Managers on Talent Acquisition

It’s critical that recruiters have access to data relating to the organization’s strategy, career development tract, and culture. Building alignment with hiring managers can mean different things depending on whether you’re in the same organization or working externally, but it always means having:

  • Access to the hiring matrix
  • Access to job profiles and existing employee profiles
  • Benchmark data for hiring and talent acquisition
  • Performance profiles
  • Updated performance requirements from HR
  • Access to competency frameworks

Why does all this matter? Having access to performance data, job profiles, and employee profiles allows you to put together a talent pool based on what the hiring manager wants, people already working in those roles, and what success looks like in those roles. In short, you can find significantly higher quality candidates by leveraging the resources that are likely already available in the organization.

Work to Become a Trusted Business Advisor

Hiring managers are often far detached from the talent pool. The smaller the organization or the more the organization leverages internal talent, the more this will be true. Many are aware of this. Recruiters can leverage this to become trusted business advisors, offering sound advice, helping to make decisions, and helping the Hiring Manager to get more from each hire. This ties into the previous tip, because you have to have a strong understanding of the organization, its strategy, goals, and performance metrics in order to make this work. You’ll also likely have to spend additional time on each hire, so that you can add real value to the team:

  • Get to know the team in question. Even if you’ve hired for similar roles, spend some time meeting with the placement team to decide what they want and need. If you can, use personality assessments to figure out what personalities are in the team, and what might complement or benefit it.
  • Talk to people in similar roles, either in the team or in the organization. If possible, speak to people who are “successful” in their role. What does success look like for them? What do they think the most critical aspects of the job are.
  • Create an open feedback loop with the hiring manager, so they can communicate their needs in real time, communicate if what they are looking for has changed, and communicate anything new, such as feedback on declined candidates.

Create Higher Quality Talent Pools

Build talent pools around team, organization, and hiring manager needs. This means pre-screening candidates, using personality tests and behavioral assessments, and asking some interview questions before the candidate ever makes it to an interview.

  • Use personality and behavioral assessments to map the candidate to the organization. You can highlight strengths and weaknesses, as well as why the candidate will and will not fit into the organization before the hiring manager ever looks at their profile.
  • Conduct an interview. Knowing what to expect, including what the hiring manager will likely get as answers to questions will greatly improve your ability to recommend valuable candidates. This means you may want to conduct a kick-off meeting or interview with every candidate.
  • Build candidate profiles using personality assessments, skills assessments, and past experience, so that the hiring manager has easy access to data.

In most cases, hiring managers have little training in how people work or what they are looking for. If your role is influential in the organization, ensuring that hiring managers have this training may be critical to improving the experience of hires as a whole. For recruiters, this means specifically working to tie the candidate to critical competencies and skills, as highlighted by the hiring manager, while highlighting other advantages they might bring to the role.

Foster Communication

Many hiring managers lack any real way to communicate with candidates outside of a single interview. This can be a mistake. Creating opportunities for open lines of communication, several meetups, and ways to showcase the real work experience of the candidates can greatly improve the quality of the hire. Here, utilizing tools like open days, where multiple candidates come in for a few hours to visit the organization and get a feel for its culture, trial workdays, trial work assessments, and more casual opportunities for communication can help a great deal.

  • Create communication opportunities directly relevant to the importance of the role
  • For most roles, “culture days” or “open workdays”, where candidates can come into the office for a few hours or more, can be hugely beneficial in helping teams and hiring managers make a decision
  • Allow the hiring manager to schedule several interviews with the candidate.

The more opportunities for communication with the candidate, the more the hiring manager will be secure in their hiring decision. Research by The Talent Board also shows that 70% of candidates research organizations before going into them, and creating more opportunities for communication means building more opportunities for a better mutual decision.

Remain Transparent

Some hiring managers will have unrealistic expectations, such as “find a candidate within 7 days and make a hire”. Most will be much more realistic and will be happy with a timeframe for the process, interviewing, and hiring. Establishing clear lines of communication so that the hiring manager can update the recruiter, and vice versa, when things change is also critical. Recruiting is a partnership with hiring, whether recruiting is handled by an internal team or individual or an external organization. Clearly communicating what is expected, why, and when is critical in any partnership.

Manage the Process

Hiring managers often wear multiple hats. Hiring candidates isn’t their only job, unless they’re in a very large organization. Even then, hiring managers are often team or department leads, not solely dedicated to hiring. Take charge of the process, scheduling calls, scheduling checkups, and connecting with the hiring manager after interviews to see how things went, how they liked the candidate, and what to do better next time. If you can touch base and use each successful and unsuccessful candidate as a learning process, you can quickly learn exactly what the hiring manager needs and better tailor the talent pool for them.

This may result in managing organizing interviews, negotiating terms with the candidate once the hire goes through, and ensuring that both the hiring manager and the candidate have everything they need.

Hiring managers rely on recruiters and recruitment firms to supply candidates, pre-screen talent pools, and organize interviews and negotiations with clients. Recruiters must always work to balance the needs of hiring managers and candidates, but it is eventually the hiring manager who matters most. Taking time to improve the hiring manager experience by offering data, real communication, and highly targeted talent pools will greatly boost your ability to deliver great candidates to the organization.


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How to nurture self-motivated employees who boost workplace productivity

A motivated workforce can result in a more productive workforce. If your employees aren’t motivated for the work in front of them, it’s likely that they won’t perform to their full potential. As a manager or employer, it is your duty to help nurture employee motivation.

There are two main types of motivation – extrinsic and intrinsic.

Extrinsically motivated individuals will be motivated by external factors and rewards such as a pay rise, commission or paid time off. Meanwhile, intrinsic motivation comes from within. This type of motivation focuses on the personal desire to overcome challenges.

Intrinsic motivators include producing high quality work, building relationships with colleagues or feeling like an integral part of the organization. 

It has been argued that intrinsic motivation is the only type of motivation that leads to success. However, you cannot create self-motivated employees. You can only create an environment that allows self-motivated individuals to achieve their full potential. So, how can you help nurture self-motivated employees in order to boost workplace productivity?

Who are self-motivated employees?

Self-motivated employees look beyond extrinsic rewards of pay rises or bonuses. Instead, their motivators for career success are more psychological. Due to this internal focus, intrinsically motivated employees are focused on the company goals and strive to achieve those goals. Employees driven by intrinsic motivation are able to undertake work without the need for external input, micromanagement or extrinsic reward.

Self-motivated employees are a strategic asset for your organization. If you want to attract and retain highly productive and high-performing employees, you should focus on intrinsic motivators and nurturing self-motivated employees.

Why is motivation important?

There’s a vast number of benefits to having motivated employees from increased productivity to reduced business costs. By understanding the reasoning behind employees’ behavior and actions, and using those results to motivate them, you can improve business performance. 

According to Gallup, unmotivated employees can cost the U.S. between $450 – 550 billion in lost productivity each year. Therefore, learning how to motivate your employees can be fundamental to reducing your costs. Motivated employees will also be more engaged which will result in higher employee retention, productivity and company sales.

Knowing the importance of motivation in the workplace, here are some of the ways you can help nurture self-motivated employees.

How to nurture self-motivated employees

1) Let them have autonomy over their work

As we know, self-motivated employees are driven by internal factors rather than external rewards. A key way to nurture intrinsically motivated employees is to let them have autonomy over their own work.

Autonomy refers to having ownership or independent choice over your own actions. You can provide your employees with a sense of autonomy by letting them have responsibility over their workload, projects and upcoming tasks. If your employees are doing any company training, you may also want to consider self-led learning to let your self-motivated employees have control over their learning progress. 

In order to provide employees with autonomy over their work and nurture their intrinsic motivation, you should also consider allowing self-motivated employees to be involved in their goal-setting. Gallup found that employees whose managers involved them in goal setting were 3.6x more likely than other employees to be engaged in their work.

Providing employees with autonomy could also make them happier within their jobs and increase productivity. If you don’t already let your self-motivated employees have autonomy over their work, it may be time to hand them the reins and let them take control of their output. 

2) Recognize employee achievements

Although self-motivated employees may not be motivated by external rewards like bonuses, that doesn’t mean their achievements should go unnoticed. In fact, when employers recognize their employees achievements and contributions, engagement levels can increase by 60 percent. 

Recognizing an employee’s contributions to the team can provide them with an incentive to continue working hard to produce high quality results. Recognition has been highlighted as one of the main factors in attracting and maintaining “talent” within an organization.

3) Focus on communication

Communication is potentially one of the most overlooked ways of successfully motivating your work team. Through effective communication, you can nurture self-motivated employees and boost workplace productivity. 

Along with effective communication, it’s also important to have an honest and transparent communication line with your employees. Research suggests that withholding important information from staff could mean the difference between a motivated workforce and an unmotivated one. Whether the news is good or bad, employees will appreciate being kept in the loop as it will help them feel like a valued member of the company. Transparent communication could also improve business performance in terms of focus, engagement, and growing and recruiting talent.

4) Provide opportunities for success and development

As self-motivated individuals are driven by internal and psychological factors, it’s no surprise that offering the opportunity for further professional development can nurture these types of employees. 

Studies have shown that there is a link between self-motivation and professional development. Helping employees feel valued has been shown to have significant effects on their workplace performance. Employees that complete professional training will feel an increased sense of self-worth. This intrinsic motivator is sure to make self-motivated employees feel more engaged within their role and therefore can boost their productivity levels.

Providing employees with training opportunities will also show them that you are a company that cares about their personal development and may positively influence retention rates. A study by LinkedIn found that 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career.

How does your organization nurture self-motivated employees?

Now that you know some key ways to nurture self-motivated employees in order to boost workplace productivity and employee retention rates, take time to consider your own processes. Evaluate whether your company is currently nurturing self-motivated employees and think of new ways to support these employees in performing to the best of their ability.


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