Innovative HR Solutions, LLC

Thursday, May 17, 2018

What are the New Survey Tools Available to HR Practitioners?

Human Resource professionals must build a strong company culture.  As HR leaders, we must focus on what is working well at as well as identifying and correcting critical challenges on the job.  This effort is part of ensuring best practices are maintained.  To support progressive HR practitioners, Innovative HR Solutions is excited to announce that we have revamped our current four survey products and are now offering a new subscription service to our latest product, the Pulse survey.  Here are the highlights of our survey tools:

Pulse Survey

The Pulse Survey is an employee survey that provides a quick overview of your employee’s satisfaction and attitude towards the organization over time.  This survey is designed to quickly evaluate and provide management with a snapshot of the organization along with trend analysis on either a monthly or quarterly basis.  This survey can also be administered annually.  This product is very cost effective and typically can be launched within 5 days of the engagement.  The Pulse Survey demonstrates to employees that their opinion and ideas are considered important.

Check-Up Survey

The Check-Up Survey is a targeted employee survey that provides a quick snapshot of your employees' satisfaction level and attitude towards the organization.  Typical reasons why companies conduct a Check-Up includes assessing employee attitudes following a merger or acquisition, determining the organization’s success in reducing turnover, or evaluating employee satisfaction following the completion of a total compensation realignment.  This survey is designed to examine a wide range of issues quickly and efficiently.

Comprehensive Survey

The Comprehensive Survey provides a detailed analysis of your employees’ satisfaction level and engagement towards the organization.  Our clients have found that employees not only have questions, but they also have the answers. By listening to your employees and acting on the survey results, you will be able to identify organization-wide strengths and build upon them.  A Comprehensive Survey can assist the leaders in determining if their managers are respected, identify any communication roadblocks, assist with fostering a collaborative work environment and ensure that the strategic vision of the organization is aligned with the current business realities.  Employees who are engaged are far more productive than those who are not.

New Hire Survey

The New Hire Survey is for employees who have been with the organization between 30 and 90 days. This survey gives HR leaders a better understanding of the new employees' attitudes towards the hiring process, job goals and expectations, supervision and training programs.  The New Hire Survey will help employers refine their hiring process in order to get the best talent in the most efficient and effective manner and monitor new employee satisfaction at an early stage to better align employee engagement with the employer’s needs.

Exit Interview Questionnaire

The Exit Interview Questionnaire allows your departing employees to offer suggestions for making your company a better place to work.  By listening to your departing employees and acting upon the results you will be able to identify organization-wide challenges and take corrective action.  Departing employees need only spend just a few minutes answering the standard or customized questions that you ask. Innovative HR Solutions' Exit Interview Questionnaire is designed to examine a wide range of organizational issues quickly and efficiently.

Monday, May 7, 2018

How do I Develop and Design an Effective Wellness Program?

Because of the continuing rise of health insurance premiums along with the importance of a healthy workforce, employers should be continually looking for ways to support their employees healthy living practices.  One of the easiest and best solutions to support healthy living Is to implement a wellness program.  Wellness programs typically have 5 key goals:
o  Lowering employer health premiums by reducing employee utilization.
o  Reducing workers’ compensation and short-term disability expense.
o  Improving employee engagement.
o  Reducing absenteeism and improving productivity.
o  Improving morale at work.
Outlined below is a five step program to make your wellness program a success.
Step 1: Administer a Needs Assessments
Gathering information is an important step in developing any workforce wellness program. The data collected with assist the HR team in designing a program the is not only valued by the employees but can impact the bottom line. Surveying employees to evaluate and chart their person wellness needs will assist in creating a roadmap for the future.  Surveying employees will evaluate the current climate as to how a program might be received, what the program should look like and what information employees are willing to share.
Step 2: Secure Leadership Support for the Program
A key challenge in securing a wellness program is obtaining management support and communicating the potential value of a wellness program to the organization's bottom line.  Providing data that support this type of initiative are a key requirement.  Measurement tools that HR may want to utilize as a benchmark include the current workers’ compensation experience modification rate (EMR), current benefit expense and employee satisfaction and engagement ratings.  As with any initiative, management buy-in is critical when creating a budget for the program.  An important driver to secure support is to show that an effective wellness program will result in reduced company expense and an improvement in productivity.
Step 3: Establish a Wellness Budget
Establishing a budget is a crucial step in creating a wellness program. Without sufficient funding, the program will lack success.  While many employers can secure financial support from their broker and health insurance companies the employer needs to be the primary financial force behind the program’s success. When creating a budget, companies should include expenses relating to effective ways to promote the program, promotional materials, marketing materials, vendor fees, participation incentives, promotional materials and any consultant time.
Step 4: Establish Key Goals and Metrics
Using the information gathered from the employee benefits survey, employers can establish goals and objectives for the program. For many organizations, a key goal is to improve workers' health and thereby reduce health care costs. Here are a few examples of typical goals and metrics:
o  The number of on-site weight loss meetings attended by employees and the total number of pounds lost over a period of time.
o  The number of employees taking advantage of a smoking cessation programs and their ability to quit.
o  The number of employees taking advantage of an employer-sponsored gym membership and the number of times they “work-out” per week.
o  The number of employees attending the annual health fair.
o  The number of employees attending employer sponsored nutrition education classes.
The final objectives should be clear, time-limited and communicated in such a way that it is easy to determine whether they have been achieved.
Step 5: Follow-Up
Conducting a follow-up survey to determine the effectiveness of each type of program would allow the employer to verify the support for the program as well as confirm that the programs offered are aligned with the original purpose behind the program.  As with any project, evaluating the effectiveness of the wellness program is important in sustaining management and employee support and in revising or implementing new programs.
Good luck in the creation of your wellness program.


Tuesday, April 3, 2018

How to Build a Great Team?

People strive to be engaged in meaningful work and it is your role as an HR leader, to promote team building and processes that support teamwork.  Many leaders have the wrong idea as to what constitutes teamwork.  It is not attained through self-promotion but through developing a sense of support and trust.  Once company leaders have identified and clearly articulated what they stand for, it’s up to the leadership team supported by Human Resources to build a team environment. When the values and mission resonate with your employees, they will be a better partner and become more engaged in the company’s success.  You will have also created an environment where teamwork is supported and practiced.  Outline below are four tips to improve teamwork at your organization:

Recognize your High Performing Staff

Start recognizing your high performers through public recognition or awards.  Consider creating a process to have fellow employees call-out their teammates who excel and those who take on the challenging projects.  Recognition on the job is one of the key areas that support employee engagement and general job satisfaction.

Improve your Time Management

Conduct an audit of how you spend your time to see where you spend the most time.  If you are a manager, are you interacting with your team by coaching them, and supporting their success?  If you are an individual contributor have you identified the most satisfying aspects of your job so that you can be more productive and excel at those areas where you have a passion to succeed.  Being more productive by conducting an inventory of where you spend your time will help you allocate your time more efficiently and be more effective on the job.

Communicate Daily

Consistently over-communicate and share your ideas and manage by walking around.  Listen to your employees and learn from them as to what is working and where changes can be made.  Be as open as you can with your team to better understand their challenges to improve teamwork and communication.  Communication also includes establishing a time each day to silence your phone, turn off your computer, and get out and connect with your team.

Define your Value to the Organization

The misperception is that small departments have little influence in the overall teamwork at the company.  In the HR department; whether you are a department of one or twenty, the staff often have the ability to influence the bigger company mission by being focused and taking on those projects that may not necessarily be  aligned with HR’s traditional role.  The HR department can be an advocate for teamwork by being a model for other departments to follow and emulate.

Ultimately building a teamwork strategy takes time and is a serious commitment.  By taking the time to evaluate what type of team environment you want to create, HR can influence the culture where teamwork is practiced and supported through the company.


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Talent Retention in a Tight Job Market: Building Your Company Brand

With the current US nationwide unemployment rate at 4.7% employers are scrambling to recognize high performers and retain talent.  While it is important to have a compensation program that is progressive, benefit plans that are aligned with the employee needs and a work environment that is supportive, companies are finding out that that is often not enough.  In an economy where attracting and retaining talent is a key challenge facing organizations a coordinated and thoughtful strategy needs to be implemented in order to ensure success.  Companies today should be asking their leaders and HR professionals what steps can be taken to be strategically positioned to leverage their brand and internal talent to support lower turnover and improve productivity.
Consider these three key components that support a quality company brand that encourages excellence:
Building a Strategic Plan
In order to develop an effective brand, there needs to be a strategic plan based upon the values of the organization.  Executives need to understand that a brand is not only the pay, benefits and work environment but it is also the core values that are the underpinnings of the company culture.   It is important for the leadership team to examine the brand and determine what the company wants to be known for and then reinforce this perception to improve the company’s strategic position.   Ultimately as HR professionals you want to capitalize on what makes your brand unique, and build from there.  It is important to take a critical look at your current brand and define what you want to be known for when a potential employee thinks of your company.  An important component of this part of the process is - what is the ideal perception you want to convey in the market-place. 
Implement Your Plan Base Upon Your Values
Once you’ve developed your strategic brand, how you choose to implement that strategy is  very important. In fact, just because you want your company to be perceived in a particular manner, doesn’t mean that it will be perceived that way.  The best brands are often the ones that live up to or exceed their reputation and are able to develop a brand strategy that is constructed of four pillars of success:  honesty, integrity, quality and trust.  Trust is the most important factor to ensure that your brand strategy remains aligned and intact.  Trusting a company’s product or service will have a long-term effect and improve future prospects.  If your  company is viewed as an honest, responsible and  a trustworthy organization potential candidates may select your company over another employer because the brand will provide a better career experience for them.
Sharing the Brand
Perhaps the most important way to communicate your brand strategy to potential candidates is to have your current employees champion the benefits of working for the company.  Encourage current employees to share their experiences and showcase how your brand and company is separated from the competition.  You will discover that there will be those engaged employees with a desire to highlight the company  culture and spearhead ideas that can help bring to life your employer brand. By empowering these individuals, you’ve created an advocacy program that has far reaching effects both internally and externally.
Ultimately building a strong brand strategy takes time and a serious commitment to understanding what your company represents and the talent it wishes to attract. By taking the time to examine the issue, a company can develop a brand that no longer struggles to attract and retain talent, but draws in those that are aligned both strategically and culturally with the company.


Monday, December 18, 2017

New Year – New Goals what Needs to Happen in 2018?

As the budget process for many companies draws to a close, HR professionals have to prioritized their initiatives for 2018 and assign budget dollars to ensure that their initiatives occur.  Three important HR initiatives are  critical in order to meet the needs of the organization and the employees over the next twelve months.

Compensation Planning

With unemployment currently at 4.1% in the United States many Americans are enjoying the benefits of working in a rewarding position.  However, a limited pool of qualified talent increases competition both in the private and public sectors.  This in turn challenges those HR professionals that are in a compensation planning and design role.  Retaining talent will be a increasing challenge over the next year and without the compensation team evaluating the salary ranges to ensure that benchmark positions are at market, higher turnover maybe the result.  While some organizations view compensation planning as an annual event handled through the merit increase program most progressive companies view the management of direct pay, commission, bonus and incentive programs as an on-going process in order to support the company.  The addition of either a compensation professional or the outsourcing of this type of service is critical for organizations to maintain a competitive pay structure.  Ensuring that the merit increase budget supports an aggressive pay plan along with additional dollars to reward performance is a key responsibility for the Human Resources department.

Professional Development

General employee satisfaction is often determined by how and what employees are learning on the job either through “on the job” training or coordinated professional development activities.   Typically, satisfied employees are more successful in meeting the goals of the company if they are being challenged and are learning new tasks.  Not only is some training mandated by law but HR professionals need to budget for more targeted training in order to support the development needs of the staff.  HR professionals will need to determine what training is needed at their company through a needs analysis.  This process will ensure that employees are provided with the necessary skills and sufficiently trained in order to be productive.  When budgets are tight training will often be the first line item to be eliminated which sends the wrong message to the staff and is often not in the best interest in the company.

HR Infrastructure Upgrades

Continually improving the technology and the company’s infrastructure will often times improve morale, tend to produce greater financial results and will send the message that the leaders of the company are investing in the future of the company.  An annual audit of key indicators to determine where technology and infrastructure improvements are needed will help the leaders of the organization set priorities and allocate financial resources in order to improve the business.  This audit will also set forth a road map for the employees and the leaders to communicate the expectations and goals for the future.  The planning for and the budgeting of these key improvements will assist in holding key leaders accountable and assist the employees in understanding what the long-term goals of the organization are.
Human Resource professionals must prioritized their initiatives and allocate a reasonable budget to ensure that three key initiatives are in place for 2018.  These include an aggressive compensation program to retain talent, on-going professional development to challenge the staff and improved skills and HR infrastructure upgrades to monitor technology improvements and where appropriate allocate the budget for capital improvement.  HR professionals need to prioritize and promote these three key process improvements and if done properly a budget will include these initiatives for 2018.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

What are the Three Pillars of Employee Success?

Over the years technology has profoundly shaped the Human Resources profession.  Today, with the internet the collection of timely and accurate survey data is not only available to large companies but also too small to mid-size organizations that want to evaluate and assess the pulse of their organization.  With this new technology there are several reasons to survey employees and if clients use the three pillars of employee success to shape their human capital program success will be on the horizon.  The three pillars are importance, satisfaction and engagement.  Each of these three pillars is discussed in detail below.


Employee surveys assist management in determining the importance of the programs and policies at the company and support by the employees for these established programs and policies.  Surveys provide the data that will determine how important or unimportant they are to the staff.  A misalignment can lead to programs that are not targeted, value-added or desired by the staff.  Evaluating the importance of these programs will help ensure  that the alignment of these polices compliment the core values of the company.


General satisfaction and high levels of morale determine how fulfilled, happy and content employees are.  Typically, satisfied employees are more successful in meeting their professional needs at work and the goals of the company.  Furthermore, high levels of employee success in achieving the agreed upon goals and objectives will lead to higher-performing organizations.  Satisfied employees are more productive and customer focused whereas low levels of satisfaction can lead to less productivity and dysfunction among work teams.


Engaged employees are more productive, customer focused and have a heightened connection to their job.  They also care about the future of the company and are willing to invest time, energy and effort to support the strategic direction, vision and mission of the company.  Engaged employees will also tend to produce greater results and will remain with the company longer.  Organizations possessing high levels of engagement are also more likely to be financially successful.   Employee engagement with the business is a key driver of business success.  Disengaged employees require more of your time to coach, manage, counsel and hold them accountable.

What makes a company successful in today’s work environment can be summarized by following the three pillars to employee success.  Employees want managers who are good listeners and support effective employee management relations.  They also want opportunities for advancement that will lead to a compensation program that recognizes excellence on the job and finally, they want to work for a company that functions effectively where employees play a key role in the decision making process and are respected by their community.


Friday, July 28, 2017

What Needs to Happen in 2017 to Make Your Organization Successful?

One of management’s key duties and responsibilities is challenging, motivating and retaining staff.  Three metrics of employee engagement need to be implemented in the near term for progressive organizations to remain competitive in the future:

  • Align employees work with the strategic vision and company goals as outlined by the leadership team.  This can be accomplished by ensuring that the corporate goals are communicated, and incorporated into each employee’s performance plan. Research has shown that employees that buy into the vision, values and strategic vision of the company will support the company in the future. 
  • Hold employees accountable by constantly demonstrating through management’s actions that employees will be treated fairly and honestly along with the consistent application of the prevailing policies.  To determine if policies are consistently being applied evaluate your compensation practices to determine if those employees that are demonstrating excellence receive the larger merit increase.  Evaluate promotions and transfers to determine if only those employees that are excelling in their jobs are receiving new job opportunities.  Finally, evaluate the learning opportunities made available to the staff to ensure that all employees are eligible for external training and development and not only those that are performing at a peak level. 
  • Evaluate the decision making processes to ensure that all employees share in decision making process.  Typically, the employees that “do the work” are those that should be recommending ideas to improve work-flow.  Employees should feel comfortable recommending changes to the existing processes.  At times, failure will be the result but with failure comes knowledge and success.  Employees are more likely to accept and carry out decisions if they're involved in the process.
Using these three metrics will assist you as you start to establish metrics for the remainder of 2017.
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