The Benefits of Peer Recognition in the Workplace

April 4th, 2017 by

Everyone loves to receive praise for a job well-done, but did you know that giving praise can sometimes be more rewarding for the overall business than receiving it?

O.C. Tanner, an organization that specializes in the development of employee recognition and reward programs, recently released findings from a new study on the importance of peer recognition.  The study revealed employees who are given the authority and encouragement to provide recognition and reward where appropriate, are more confident and engaged in the organization as a whole.  Among the groups participating in the study, millennials have the strongest desire to be empowered to provide recognition for their peers.

The study also found:

  • 90% of employees who always recognize their peers up their own game as a result
  • 83% of employees who often recognize their peers up their own game as a result
  • 68% of employees who sometimes recognize their peers up their own game as a result
  • 61% of employees who rarely recognize their peers up their own game as a result

Overall, 80% of employees indicated recognizing a peer’s work makes them contribute more themselves.  Also, 94% of employees who recognize and reward their peers take an increased amount of pride in working for their company.

Despite these positive results from peer-to-peer recognition and reward, most employees do not provide peer recognition and reward to their team members.

  • 17% of employees do not feel it is their responsibility to give peer recognition
  • 20% of employees do not feel empowered to give peer recognition by their employer
  • 21% of employees noted their company does not have a peer recognition program in place

Everyone is grateful for recognition from their management for a job well done.  However, recognition from a fellow team member carries with it an increased level of pride and validation that your efforts and contributions are noticed by others.

Even though some employees do not feel empowered to give peer recognition, providing an avenue for them to do so can be very good for morale, productivity, and increased success.

Organizations with peer recognition programs already in place should make certain their employees are aware of the programs and how they work.  If you do not already have a program in place for peer recognition, work to develop one that makes the most sense for your current business model and budget.  According to CAI’s most recent Policies and Benefits survey, 22.9% of local employers offer some form of peer recognition.

Recognition and reward does not have to be expensive.  Simple things such as movie tickets, a certificate of recognition or a gift card to Starbucks are very much appreciated.  In this case, it’s not the size or value of the recognition, but the recognition itself that matters most.

How valuable is receiving recognition?  Well, a recent Korn Ferry survey found that most professional employees feel getting promoted trumps having more money in their pocket. The October 2016 study of 1,200 professionals from around the world found that nearly two-thirds of respondents (63 percent) said they would prefer to get a promotion with no salary increase than a salary increase with no promotion.  “Study after study shows the incredible importance of recognition for one’s contribution is a key driver in job satisfaction, while salary is rarely near the top,” said Dennis Baltzley, Korn Ferry senior partner and the firm’s global head of leadership development. “To retain the best and the brightest, organizational leaders need to put development and clear career pathing plans in place, not just for top leaders but for those across the organization.”

1,100+ North Carolina employers choose CAI to help them build an engaged, well-managed and low-risk workplace. Find out why at CAI.

CAI’s Advice & Resolution Advisor Renee Watkins is a seasoned HR professional with a diverse background in Human Resource. Renee provides CAI members with practical advice in a wide range of human resource functions including conflict resolution, compliance and regulatory issues, and employee relations.

Shorter Work Days: Do they make sense for your business?

March 30th, 2017 by

After a two-year government study on 6-hour work days that took place in Sweden, the results are in.  While employees proved to be happier, employer costs were higher.  Is the increase in cost worth it?

The study took place at the Svartedalens retirement home and was funded by the Swedish government. Employees went from 8-hour shifts to 6-hour shifts but were allowed to maintain their 8-hour salary.  Another similar facility participated as a control group by maintaining 8-hour shifts.  When compared, 68 nurses who worked 6-hour days took half as much sick time as those in the control group.  They were also 2.8 times as likely to take any time off in a two-week period.  In addition:

·       Employees reported higher energy levels and efficiency

·       Employees called in sick 15% less

·       Employees reported that their health improved 20%

·       Employees were 20% happier

·       Employees reported having more energy both at work and home

What about productivity?  Due to the increase in energy, the nurses working 6-hour days were able to do 64% more activities with the elders.  But although productivity increased, profitability decreased.  In order to allow the 80 nurses to work reduced hours, they had to hire 17 additional staff members.  Those new hires added $738,000 to payroll, which equates to a 22% increase.  They estimate that about half of that expense is offset by the reduction in sick time, time off, and unemployment.  While the experiment proved an increase in employee satisfaction and productivity, the added costs for additional staff need to be further analyzed.

Perhaps a 30-hour work week would be more successful in organizations where 24-hour coverage is not necessary.  There are several other experiments taking place in Sweden outside of the healthcare industry.  Final results are yet to come.  Brath, a Stockholm-based startup, has utilized 6-hour work days since its launch in 2012.  They argue that the shorter days have made them more successful than they might have been with 8-hour days due to an increased work-life balance.  “Our staff gets time to rest and do things that make them happier in life,” says CEO Marie Brath.  She also states, “Our work is a lot about problem solving and creativity, and we don’t think that can be done efficiently for more than six hours.  So we produce as much as – or maybe even more than – our competitors do in their 8-hour days.”

Although not the worldwide norm, France offers 35-hour work weeks.  In the U.S. work weeks average 47 hours.  However, several large U.S. companies have begun to experiment with reduced work weeks, such as Amazon.  Results remain to be seen.  Another U.S. company, SteelHouse began 2017 with an announcement that they will offer one 3-day weekend each month.  SteelHouse CEO Mark Douglas said that the next logical step after that will be going to regular 4-day work weeks.

A more common approach in the U.S. is a compressed work week, but with the same amount of hours.  For example, working 40 hours across four days.  According to a survey by Aon Hewitt, 30% of 1,060 employers surveyed offer a compressed work week.  60% of those surveyed offer flex time, which allows employees to set their own arrival and leave times.  This approach has been shown to be successful.  Research shows that when employees are allowed to have control over their work schedules they report lower levels of stress and burnout and report higher job satisfaction.

While 30-hour work weeks are not likely to become the norm anytime soon in the U.S., it does seem that flexibility in work hours will.  Be creative in your work week structure, and don’t be afraid to try new things.

Author: Heather Nezich, Manager of Communications American Society of Employers

Sources – inc.com, Bloomberg.com, businessinsider.com; fastcoexist.com

Organ/Marrow Donation: FMLA Eligible?

March 28th, 2017 by

I recently had a member call to inquire as to whether their employee’s leave to donate bone marrow would qualify as covered FMLA leave. In this particular instance, the bone marrow donation was not directed at a specific family member (rather just a donation to a bank for qualified donors/recipients) and the donation wouldn’t require an overnight stay at a medical facility. When it comes to marrow/organ donation how does the FMLA view the leave?

First, you have to remove the emotional aspect from the decision.  Donating marrow is clearly an exceptional act, however, you want to focus on whether it meets the qualifications necessary to be considered a serious health condition. Let’s review the six categories that a condition must fall in to meet a serious health condition as defined by the FMLA:

  • Inpatient care
  • Incapacity for more than three days with continuing treatment by a health care provider
  • Incapacity relating to pregnancy or prenatal care
  • Chronic serious health conditions
  • Permanent or long-term incapacity                                                                                       
  • Certain conditions requiring multiple treatments

So if we take bone marrow donation as an example, we can assume it would not meet the qualifications at face value since the employee will not be receiving inpatient or ongoing care.  In essence, they will go for the transplant donation procedure and then may have some recovery time but can expect to go on with their normal activities. Organ donation may meet the qualifications based on the fact that the individual will probably have an inpatient care several day stay and potential follow-up treatments.

As with any procedure, if the individual develops complications from the transfusion or donation and needs to have additional care, the original donation might not have met the qualification at the time of the request but the complications may now qualify. An example would be an infection or surgical complication.

There are several states that have organ/marrow donation leave laws.  North Carolina does not have an organ/marrow donation leave law for private employers.  State employees may be given reasonable time off with pay for whole blood donation, pheresis procedures and bone marrow transplants.  State employees may be given up to 30 days with pay for organ donation.

Bottom Line: As with any FMLA request, employers should review all of the request details and have a conversation with their employees to understand the circumstances regarding the request. Take the request and compare it to the items necessary to qualify for a serious illness under FMLA regulation. If it doesn’t meet the qualifications you can deny the request, but be prepared to offer another solution to the employee, for example, if the company offers personal leave or sick time that might help cover the leave. It’s important to have an open communication with the employee to help find the best solution for the business and your employee.

Complying with state and federal laws that affect your workplace is not always straight forward. That’s where CAI’s HR experts come in. Find out more about how CAI can help you in building an engaged, well-manged and low-risk workplace.

Emily’s primary area of focus is providing expert advice and support in the areas of employee relations and federal and state employment law compliance as a member of the Advice & Resolution team for CAI. Additionally, Emily advises business and HR leaders in operational and strategic human resources areas such as talent and performance management, employee engagement, and M&A’s. Emily has 10+ years of broad-based HR business partnering experience centering around employee relations, compliance & regulatory employment issues, strategic and tactical human resources, and strong process improvement skills.

 

Organ Donor Image Credit: Catherine Lane, 2015

Utilize Employee Referrals to Hire Top Talent

March 23rd, 2017 by

If one of your top sources for hiring isn’t from employee referrals, then you are missing out on an incredible source of quality hires.

When your business is ready to hire a new employee, where do you typically look first? If you’re like many smaller companies, you may start by asking current employees for referrals. Hiring from the networks of your current team has always seemed like a good idea. Recent research now shows that it’s actually the most effective way to find a match for your company.

  1. Leadership IQ 2012 Global Talent Management Survey found that employee referrals were the most effective recruiting channel for front-line performers.
  2. According to recent Glassdoor research report, “Why Interview Sources Matter in Hiring,” employee referrals boost the odds of a successful job match by a statistically significant 2.6 to 6.6 percent.
  3. A recent jobvite survey found that while only 7 percent of applicants came from employee referrals, that 7% accounted for 40% of new hires.  Hires came faster through employee referrals at an average of 29 days, versus 39 days from a job board and 55 days from a career site.  Forty-seven percent of referrals stayed with the company for more than 3 years versus only 14% hired through job boards.
  4. For more hard facts touting the benefits of referrals, click here.

Although employee referrals more often result in accepted offers, most companies do not seem to be using those referrals enough. According to CAI’s latest NC Policies and Benefits Survey, 69% of local employers do not offer a bonus for employee referrals.  That number reveals that companies might have better luck sourcing and hiring the right candidates by focusing on asking for and rewarding employee referrals.

Why are employee referrals so effective in finding the right hire for an open position?

Much like turning to TripAdvisor reviews before choosing a restaurant, employee referrals provide useful context to both the job seeker and the company. Job seekers gain insights about prospective employers from the employee, and companies learn about the reputation of candidates from the recommender.

If you want to maximize the effect of employee referrals for sourcing your next great hire, consider taking the following steps:

  1. Ask for referrals. Don’t assume your current employees are focused on your hiring needs; instead, actively communicate with them about open positions and the types of candidates you seek. Regularly remind employees that they are well suited for recommending others who would fit at your company, and ask them to refer candidates in their networks.
  2. Be specific. Don’t just ask employees to send their friends and family members to you. There’s no reason to be bombarded with résumés of people who may be trusted but are not a fit for potential positions. Instead, share details about specific job requirements and the experience the new hire will have.  Even better, give employees Facebook and Linkedin links about the job they can share with their friends.
  3. Reward successful referrals. If a current employee refers a job seeker who you eventually hire, they should be rewarded. Establish a reward system and communicate it to all employees. For instance, you might reward them with a small monetary bonus, gift card or special privileges at work.  According to CAI’s latest NC Policies and Benefits Survey, the average bonus payout is $575 for non-exempt hires and $747 for exempt hires.  Now at first glance, those numbers seem reasonable and would clearly motivate some people.  At the same time, the average recruiting fee paid to an agency is 21%, or $6,300 for that $35,000 administrative person or $12,600 for that $60,000 engineer.  What would happen if you paid $2,000 for successful employee referrals ($500 up front and $500 after 6 months and $1,000 after a year, or something like that)?

It’s important to remember that people trust one another more than they trust companies. Embrace this way of thinking, and empower your own people to help you recruit with a human approach by embracing the employee referral. CAI members always have access to the latest salary and policies and benefits survey information to help them make smart hiring decisions and retain top talent. Find out how CAI can help your company.

Tom Sheehan brings 20+ years of extensive, broad-based strategic, tactical and practical HR experience to CAI’s Advice & Resolution team.  He advises HR and other business leaders on talent management, organizational effectiveness, employee engagement, M&A’s, and employee relations.

HR Managers: How Well Do You Understand the Pregnancy Discrimination Act?

March 21st, 2017 by

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) is an amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a federal discrimination law. Discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions is unlawful sex discrimination under Title VII, which covers employers with 15 or more employees, including state and local governments. Women who are pregnant or affected by related conditions must be treated in the same manner as other applicants or employees with similar abilities or limitations.

At CAI, we receive over 7,000 calls annually from our North Carolina members on a wide variety of HR compliance and workplace issues. Here are a few situations that employers may face when complying with the PDA.

Q. My employee has had several absences due to an illness unrelated to her pregnancy.  Recently, pregnancy complications kept her out of work an additional two days.  Can I discipline or discharge her according to our attendance policy?

A: In this case, be sure that you are following the same policy for all employees. Would you typically terminate or discipline at that level of attendance? Also, be sure to think through ADA or FMLA (if applicable) coverage if her illnesses or complications might qualify.

Q. I have a visibly pregnant applicant applying for one of our busiest jobs. We can’t take the risk of her needing to be out to go on maternity leave so we decide not to offer her the job, even though she is the most qualified. Is this ok?

A: No. This would be a direct violation of the PDA

Q. Our leave policy provides for four weeks of leave for employees that have worked less than a year.  Our employee has only worked with us for 6 months and did not return to work after her four weeks of leave. Are we ok to discharge?

A: If you are treating the pregnant employee in accordance with your other leave policies and treat all employees the same, regardless of their medical condition, you should be fine. Again, you may want to ensure that there are no ADA/FMLA implications.

Q. My pregnant employee has been given a lifting restriction of 25 lbs. Her job requires her to be able to lift up to 50 lbs.  We do not allow for light duty other than Workers Compensation situations.  Do we have to accommodate this employee’s light duty request?

A: Yes.  If you have policies that allow for light duty for employees who are injured on the job (or ADA accommodation) you must treat your pregnant employee with the same accommodations/allowances. In this example, because you allow for light duty for WC situations, we would recommend that you allow your pregnant employee to continue with light duty.

Q. My employee is pregnant and I feel like she shouldn’t be lifting our boxes and placing them on the shelves. I think I may switch her to another duty to help her out, would this be ok?

A. If your employee hasn’t requested accommodation or light duty and hasn’t been placed on restriction from her doctor, do not make an automatic inference on what would be best for her in her job. You may however, engage your employee in a conversation to discuss your concern and to obtain her perspective.  As a result, you may both reach the conclusion that a reassignment is appropriate.  Should this be the case you will want to document your conversation including a written acknowledgment from the employee.  An employer may, of course, require that a pregnant worker be able to perform the duties of her job, adverse employment actions, including those related to hiring, assignments, or promotion, that are based on an employer’s assumptions or stereotypes about pregnant workers’ attendance, schedules, physical ability to work, or commitment to their jobs, are unlawful. Even when an employer believes it is acting in an employee’s best interest, adverse actions based on assumptions or stereotypes are prohibited. For instance, it is unlawful for an employer to involuntarily reassign a pregnant employee to a lower paying job involving fewer deadlines based on an assumption that the stress and fast-paced work required in her current job would increase risks associated with her pregnancy.

Q. My employee is pregnant and hasn’t been placed on restriction by her doctor or requested duty accommodation, however, our jobs require a lot of standing, bending and lifting. Can I force my employee to go on leave at this time?

A. No. The PDA specifically addresses Forced Leave.  An employer can not force an employee to take leave because they are pregnant. On the other hand,  you must allow women with physical limitations resulting from pregnancy to take leave on the same terms and conditions as others who are similar in their ability or inability to work. Thus, an employer could not fire a pregnant employee for being absent if her absence fell within the provisions of the employer’s sick leave policy. An employer may not require employees disabled by pregnancy or related medical conditions to exhaust their sick leave before using other types of accrued leave if it does not impose the same requirement on employees who seek leave for other medical conditions. Similarly, an employer may not impose a shorter maximum period for pregnancy-related leave than for other types of medical or short-term disability leave. Title VII does not, however, require an employer to grant pregnancy-related medical leave or parental leave or to treat pregnancy-related absences more favorably than absences for other medical conditions.

Emily’s primary area of focus is providing expert advice and support in the areas of employee relations and federal and state employment law compliance as a member of the Advice & Resolution team for CAI. Additionally, Emily advises business and HR leaders in operational and strategic human resources areas such as talent and performance management, employee engagement, and M&A’s. Emily has 10+ years of broad-based HR business partnering experience centering around employee relations, compliance & regulatory employment issues, strategic and tactical human resources, and strong process improvement skills.

How HR Creates a Culture of Recognition

March 16th, 2017 by

When you take into consideration the high cost of turnover and its disruptive impact on the business, it should get you thinking about your own recognition strategies. How can you expect employees to stay at your organization if they’re not getting the appreciation they deserve?

We all know that retention is closely tied to recognition. Employees want to work for an organization that not only values their work but also shows them appreciation. Accordingly, there is a strong relationship between recognition and likelihood to stick around at the job.

We also understand that praise sways the perception of the work environment. No one wants to work at a place that ignores its employees. Here again, there is a positive link between recognition and an employee’s perception of the workplace.

Finally, a healthy employee-supervisor relationship relies on some sort of positive recognition. Simply put, employees want to work for someone who appreciates their contributions to the organization.

But getting occasional recognition from your boss is not nearly enough.

The Role of Peer-to-Peer Recognition

A quick telling stat: 70% of employees credited their peers for creating an engaging environment, while perks such as work functions, parties, or amenities only accounted for 8%. (Source: Tiny Pulse)

The following employee comments underscore the role that peers play in the workplace:

  • “I look forward to coming to work every day. The people are great, and we have lots of celebrations for the good work that we do.”
  •  “I’ve never once wished that I didn’t have to go into work. Everyone here is awesome, and there is not one day that has gone by where I haven’t laughed out loud about something, with someone here.”
  •  “Great people to work with, people I share my life with, people I trust, that support, and encourage me and my ideas. There is a team here that is for each other and builds all the others up instead of climbing over the backs of others. We laugh with each other and seem to truly enjoy each other. We get silly, eat too much, and treat one another as a family.”

Creating Collaboration Spaces

Peers play such a vital role in creating a fun work environment. So at CAI, we give staff the space to collaborate and work together. This is especially important with the influx of millennials in the workforce, who live and thrive on collaboration. We also utilize informal and formal ‘we’ spaces where our employees can spontaneously come together to collaborate:

  • Meeting tables: Scatter these around the office so people can quickly come together. Put up a whiteboard (or better yet, whiteboard paint a wall) nearby, and you’ve got an impromptu meeting room. These tables are perfect for encouraging and promoting spontaneous ideation.
  • Break rooms: Idle chitchat around the water cooler isn’t a time waster. In fact, it typically revolves around work-related topics, so you never know when a brilliant idea might pop up. At CAI, we have created a breakroom that allows staff and training class visitors to actively network and intermingle.
  • Casual meeting rooms: In addition to more traditional conference rooms, we have included casual enclosed spaces that are ideal for when you need to discuss sensitive topics or gather for team meetings.

By dishing out praise, leveraging peer-to-peer recognition tools, creating collaborative spaces, and assessing cultural fit, you are laying down the right groundwork to retain your star employees. CAI members have access to numerous recognition information and tools. Contact CAI to learn more about membership.

Tom Sheehan brings 20+ years of extensive, broad-based strategic, tactical and practical HR experience to CAI’s Advice & Resolution team.  He advises HR and other business leaders on talent management, organizational effectiveness, employee engagement, M&A’s, and employee relations.

Unlimited PTO – Is It Right For Your Company?

March 14th, 2017 by

Business executives and HR professionals alike continue to explore ways to improve their organizations’ culture to drive both employee engagement and business results. One such way is by providing employees increased flexibility to improve the balance between their work life and personal life. The following information will provide key insights to help guide you in contemplating the very popular benefit of Unlimited PTO.  As your organization’s HR Business Partner you will want to be driving this conversation, not simply reacting to it.

What You Should Know about Unlimited PTO Plans

  • Unlimited PTO is a very popular topic these days.  But despite all its popularity only approximately 1% of U.S. companies* have an unlimited PTO plan in place.  This is clearly not a trend!
  • This 1% includes the likes of Netflix, GE, and LinkedIn. These are all well managed and results based businesses that compete aggressively for very targeted highly qualified and talented employees. These organizations also offer top tier compensation and benefits to their employees.  In consideration for these rewards, employees typically work very long days each week to achieve the desired results.
  • Culture First: Unlimited PTO works best in organizations’ cultures that values accountability, trust, and teamwork. An unlimited PTO plan, in and of itself, is not the catalyst that will seamlessly transition your organization to this state.  You must first build a culture of trust and accountability that will support the high degree of employee flexibility that an unlimited PTO plan requires – this is critical!  (Talent Management, July/August 2016)
  • Employees that are provided an unlimited PTO benefit typically do not take any more time off than in their prior traditional plan; in some cases, they are actually taking less time.
  • A 2013 time-off study conducted by Oxford Economics revealed that U.S. workers use on average 77% of their annual PTO accounts (or 16.2 of the 21 days allotted annually – leaving nearly 5 days on the table).
  • Although employers are not seeing a noticeable uptick in days off under the unlimited PTO approach, they are noticing that employees are altering how they are taking time off. For example, more employees are taking extended 4-day weekends. This is in part because families tend to be more spread out today and travel is required to attend family events. (Fortune,  March 2016)
  • Employees have a high degree of empowerment under unlimited PTO. However, these same employees also tend to be very diligent about their PTO decisions.  They want to perform high-quality work and they are also keenly aware their organization’s cultural norms (trust, accountability, teamwork etc.) and peer behaviors. These employees tend to make responsible choices that balance out business priorities and personal needs.  In many organizations however a collaborative discussion between employee and boss is required prior to the time off.

Tips for implementing an Effective Unlimited PTO Plan

  • Link your plan to your company’s culture and values. Your values will need to include: accountability, trust, and teamwork. As mentioned above, if your current culture is void these values, you will need to lead your business through a change initiative to lay this critical foundation.
  • Provide guidelines around how time-off requests get approved. Simple guidelines can help employees know when it is appropriate or not to request time off.  This is particularly helpful in the beginning stages of your roll-out.
  • Ensure your employees know that time off is a two-way street: employees receive increased time off flexibility and in return they perform at high a level ensuring their deliverables are completed on time. Further, they ensure that their teammates don’t feel abandoned during the employee’s time away from work.
  • Consider a pilot plan and be clear with your employees of your intent. Think this through thoroughly as rescinding an employee benefit, even a pilot program, can have adverse employee relations repercussions.
  • Consider naming your program something other than “Unlimited PTO.” “Personalized PTO” may be a viable alternative or other names that convey the overarching purpose of responsible employees making good decisions about their work and time off.
  • Drive Trust: shift your attention from the clock to contributions. Focus on your employees’ results and the success of the business – not how much time your employees are taking off.

Unlimited PTO plans are not for every company, in fact, they are not designed for many businesses in their current state. Transitioning to an unlimited PTO plan requires much thought, planning, and hard work to lay the proper foundation (culture) to effectively support this type of flexible plan. Does your current culture drive results through accountability, trust, and teamwork?

Whether an unlimited PTO plan is right for your business or not, this may be the time to review your total rewards plans as well as your culture. CAI’s Advice & Resolution team can help you think through these issues to discuss the best options for your company. Learn more about the advantages of becoming a CAI member.

Rick Washburn leads the Advice & Resolution team at CAI. In his role, he advises executives and HR professionals on strategic and organizational issues, tackling subjects ranging from employee engagement to talent management. With his 25 years experience in HR management, Rick is uniquely poised to advice and lead businesses to successful HR strategies

 

 

*Source: SHRM

HR Metrics that Matter: Talent Acquisition

March 2nd, 2017 by

Unlike many other functions, human resources has not been able to develop and/or sustain universally accepted performance metrics.  As a result, HR metrics often vary widely from company to company and industry to industry. Additionally, the metrics that are most commonly used are not always the best indicators of HR performance or impact.  In fact, HR leaders often make the mistake of using metrics that relate specifically to how well HR is performing administrative tasks.

hr metrics that matter.png

The following measures are geared toward measuring HR’s actual impact on the business.

1. Quality of Hire

This metric can be calculated from a combination of a number of factors, including: performance review ratings, actual job results, 9-box ratings, and 6-month Quality of Hire Evaluation Form to obtain the hiring manager’s perspective. You could also review hires that turned over, hires on the promotable list, and hires on the performance improvement list to help determine quality of hire.

2. Time to Fill Key Roles

Not all job openings are equal. In fact, some mission-critical positions carry a lot more weight than a ‘rank-and-file’ opening. Recruiters and HR business partners should prioritize their job openings so that the key roles get the greatest attention. It doesn’t really matter if your overall time-to-fill metric is only 30 days, if it is taking 3 times that long as that to fill key roles.

3. Onboarding Effectiveness

There are basically two simple ways to determine if your onboarding process is effective. The first way is to conduct a post-onboarding survey with new hires on or about 90 days after being brought onboard.

The second way to ensure that the first 90 days are properly scripted into a series of events aimed at supporting the new hire, and ensuring they have been given exposure to the right people.

By asking for completed and signed-off copies of the checklist, with signatures of both the new hire and manager, you improve the likelihood that the onboarding process will be taken seriously.

4. New Hire Dropout Rate

One way to tell how effective the organization is in terms of selecting, hiring, onboarding, and training new hires is to review turnover data. If the turnover rates for new hires (say the first 180 days) or newly hired (first year) are significantly higher that the remaining employee population, you likely have real issues.

Start by asking these questions:

  1. Are we presenting a realistic job preview during the interview process?
  2. Do we have properly trained interviewers asking the right questions?
  3. Are we doing a good job of checking references?
  4. Do we have our act together in terms of a scripted onboarding progression?
  5. Are the hiring managers effectively setting clear expectations?
  6. Have we met the commitments we agreed to during the ‘courting’ stage?
  7. Are we selecting based upon cultural fit?
  8. Do we involve coworkers in the interviewing process?

CAI members have access to all forms, tools, and templates for talent acquisition / recruiting / onboarding online at myCAI. Not a member? CAI can help you build an engaged, well-managed and low-risk workplace, give us a call at 919-878-9222 or visit www.capital.org/membership to learn more.

Tom Sheehan brings 20+ years of extensive, broad-based strategic, tactical and practical HR experience to CAI’s Advice & Resolution team.  He advises HR and other business leaders on talent management, organizational effectiveness, employee engagement, M&A’s, and employee relations.

 

WARNING: OFCCP Sends “Audit” Letters February 17th

February 28th, 2017 by

Federal contractors and subcontractors be warned the Office of Federal Contracts Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has mailed a new round of Corporate Scheduling Announcement Letters (CSAL).  These letters are considered courtesy letters and are sent to federal contractors/subcontractors as an early notice that the company may be selected for an OFCCP audit.  The last time the OFCCP sent these notices was November 2014 and many of the audits since then have been based on that list.

These letters are sent to the company location that may receive the official audit letter later and are typically sent to the HR Director. Previously, these letters were sent to the company headquarters.  So advise your HR staff & directors at your locations to be on the look out for these letters.

If you do receive a CSAL letter, CAI encourages you to ensure your AAP is up-to-date.  You should also carefully review your data and be prepared for the official audit letter. Once you receive the actual audit letter, you only have 30 days to prepare the requested material.  So use the advanced notice to take the time to review all of your AAP obligations and records.

If you have a company location that receives the CSAL letter, it does not guarantee that you will receive an actual OFCCP audit.  You may also receive an actual audit without receiving the CSAL. If you need help putting together an affirmative action plan, contact Kaleigh Ferraro at CAI at kaleigh.ferraro@capital.org.

What is Your View of HR?

February 23rd, 2017 by

Close your eyes and picture the human resources function at work.  It could be a deep department or it might be led by an office manager.  Either way, I bet your picture is incomplete.

Key roles of good HR will help you during your career.  Plug into them.  Ask the right questions.  Expect good service.  Be patient when things seem too slow.

  1. Timely Trains

HR makes the trains run on time in most businesses.  Incredible complexity, regulation, and risk are behind every paycheck, every 401(k) deduction or match, every group health claim dispute, every payroll deduction form, every voluntary benefit, every stock or bonus plan and every performance review.  We take them for granted.  Stop and thank HR.  It is really impressive that these things work almost all the time.  It is equally impressive HR gets anything else done.

  1. Truth Teller

Effective HR tells employees and leaders the truth.  If you want to hear the truth and are ready to act on it, ask HR how you can grow.  Ask HR strategies to work with your manager (they already know you have an inexperienced manager and how that feels).  Allow HR to help you understand the negative comments on your performance review and how easily most things can improve.  Ask HR how you can change career paths at your organization.  They have heard it all before and usually have good advice to give.

The CEO and a senior team really need someone with the information, credibility, and neutrality to tell them the cold, hard truth when that truth is needed.  Great HR does this well.

  1. Ombudsman

The toughest role for HR is finding the right balance between an advocate for management (and its business goals) and the employees.  Good HR finds a way to do both.  Know that human resource professionals struggle with this balance and usually do see your side of things.  Talk to them about this balance, about management’s position on an issue and whether employee needs were considered.  Most of the time, you will come away with a clearer view.

  1. Gatekeeper of Talent

The biggest impact from really good HR is who gets hired and who gets fired.  The “who” affects everything that follows.  The who makes strategy work (or fail).  The who makes it a nice place to work (or awful).  The who supports company values and engagement (or destroys them)

  1. Guardian of the Culture

HR has to make all this happen in a way that improves company culture:  how people behave when no one is looking.  If the trains run on time, truth telling is valued, employee needs are balanced with business goals, we hire (and keep) the right people, then a good culture will usually follow.

At CAI we build engaged, well-managed, low-risk workplaces. If your company could use an HR partner, please contact us at 919-878-9222 or learn more at CAI.

Bruce Clarke serves as CAI’s President and CEO, and has been with CAI since 2001. Bruce practiced labor and employment law with the national labor law firm of Ogletree Deakins for 18 years. He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America and was selected as one of North Carolina’s Legal Elite by Business North Carolina Magazine. Bruce is 100% committed to helping companies maximize employee engagement and minimize workplace liabilities.