Posts Tagged ‘Kyle Lagunas’

4 Lessons in Staffing From the Apple Store

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

The post below is a guest blog from Kyle Lagunas.

About the Author: Kyle Lagunas is an HR Analyst at Software Advice, an online resource for HR and talent management software buyers guides, demos and more. He reports on trends and best practices in human resources technology.

Apple is running a seriously smooth operation in their retail stores. Each employee has a distinct role to play, understands that role, and does his/her part to deliver the level of service we’ve come to expect from this powerful brand. All of this requires serious alignment of brand, business goals and people process.

Finding the right people to work in the stores is half the battle. There are things that Apple’s retail arm does particularly well in organizational development–things any organization could learn from:

  1. Make Work Meaningful. When your employees know that what they’re doing matters, it’s easier to inspire them to do their best. And no one appreciates this more than the employees staffing the stores, who are on the front lines of the customer relationship.
    Apple would be hard-pressed to deliver their standard of service in retail unless their employees were satisfied with the level of employee engagement.
  2. Free Up Your Leadership. When your workforce is deployed effectively–with minimal room in the process for bottle-necking–managers spend less time wondering who should be where and more time keeping the machine in ship shape. Apple Store employees are busy delivering Apple-grade customer service, so it’s up to leadership to maintain the same level of awesome day after day. They’re doing more than managing the operation–they’re coaching staff, leading training, and driving sales.
  3. Know your roles! Tightly-defined roles ensure that your employees knows exactly what he or she is expected to do, what others do–and what other roles they could move into.
    Those boldly-colored tees Apple Store employees wear aren’t just for looks–they designate the distinct role each employee plays. From Experts who assess visitors’ needs, and direct them to the right place–to Geniuses who speak your language when something’s wrong with your precious MacBook–everyone in the store knows his or her place.
  4. Retain With Growth Opportunities. Many organizations are struggling to retain top talent, but how many offer a great opportunity for college grads to make something of themselves? Despite having a great job portal on their site with multiple open positions, Apple prides itself on promoting from within. For the twenty-something Expert with a Master’s degree who’s manning the entrance to an Apple store today (I could name more than one), that’s pretty encouraging.


A Lesson for Your Grinding Gears
Organizational development at this caliber doesn’t just happen–but it’s a necessary part of a thriving company culture like Apple’s. Getting to that level requires open dialogue between senior leadership and business partners–and human resources and recruiting. You’ve already got Experts, Specialists, Geniuses and Creatives in your organization. It’s up to you to find them, engage them, and let them know you want them to grow with you.

Photo Source: nechbi

Onboarding Strategies for Getting Seasonal Workers Up to Speed

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

The post below is a guest blog from Kyle Lagunas.

Kyle Lagunas is the HR Analyst at Software Advice. On the surface, it’s his job to contribute to the ongoing conversation on all things HR. Beyond that, he makes sure his audience is keeping up with important trends and hot topics in the industry. Focused on offering a fresh take on points of interest in his market, he’s not your typical HR guy.

During peak periods – around the holidays, tax season or over the summer – it’s critical that businesses can easily manage the addition of temporary employees and quickly get them up to speed. And from recruiting and training to offboarding, seasonal employees can put your human resources software and processes to the test. Not only do you have to find and hire the right people, you have a very short time to train them and get them connected to your organization.

An effective, streamlined process for hiring and onboarding employees is essential to any organization’s success – especially those that rely on seasonal help. Here, I’ve outlined a few ways to go above and beyond your normal onboarding process to get seasonal employees geared up and ready to go.

Employee Integration: The Heart of Onboarding
According to ForbesWoman columnist and onboarding expert Emily Bennington, every employee in an organization should be integrated into the company on several levels – regardless of the length of employment. But because of the time constraints associated with onboarding seasonal workers, you’re going to need a concentrated game plan. How familiar with your products do they need to be to handle the register? Take a look at your existing onboarding process, and then adjust and condense it so you can achieve your optimal level of integration.

5 Key Factors of a Strong Seasonal Workforce
Some people may assume I’m focused on training when I say “onboarding,” but the fact is that the employee experience starts in the recruiting stage. With this in mind, here are a few key strategies to help you throughout every phase of the process:

Tailor your recruiting strategies. Your recruiting efforts should be tailored to meet the specific needs of a seasonal workforce. It’s important to make the details of the opportunity clear from the get-go. I would also be wary of how you communicate potential for further employment, as you don’t want folks making assumptions.

Perform due diligence. Don’t skimp on due diligence in collecting legal papers and monitoring employees’ schedules. “A lot of people short-circuit processes like verifying work eligibility or tracking hours correctly. It should go without saying, but you really need to be sure you’re following the law,” says John Rossheim, a senior contributing writer at Monster.com.

Provide proper training. According to Bennington, onboarding should focus on integrating new employees in three areas:

  •  Technical Skills: To what depth of expertise do seasonal employees need to be trained to perform their jobs?
  • Company Culture: How thoroughly do seasonal hires need to understand company policies and values?
  • Social Integration: In what ways can you connect seasonal employees to your organization so they feel like they are part of the team?

Furthermore, Rossheim suggests designing your seasonal workforce “to accomplish the task at hand, rather than haphazardly training everyone to do everything they may possibly have to do. Specialize rather than throwing everyone into the same bucket.”

Know your capacity upfront. Whether you have a general human resources management system or a hodgepodge of spreadsheets and checklists – it’s important to know your capacity. Can your back-office system efficiently handle an increased volume in applicants and new hires?

Make them part of the team. Seasonal employees can easily feel isolated if an onboarding program doesn’t successfully connect them to the organization. According to Eddie Baeb of Target Corportate Communications, Target is focused on engaging seasonal employees and making them feel just as valued as anyone else from day one. With nearly 40 percent (about 35,800) of seasonal team members joining as permanent employees last year after the holidays, they’ve got this down.

Offboarding Offers an Opportunity for Improvement
You may have discovered a few star performers you’d like to bring onto your team permanently. For the rest, though, Bennington says “there’s definitely an opportunity to establish brand ambassadors.” Offboarding provides a chance to make a lasting positive impression while gaining insight into the worker’s experience.

Standard offboarding practices include surveying workers on their experience. Bennington suggests going beyond surveying and having one-on-one exit interviews with select employees to get more candid responses.