Innovative HR Solutions, LLC

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Why is Employee Self-Service so Important in Today’s Business Environment?

First of all employee self-service is a process that allows employees to make updates with respect their personal information directly into the company’s HRIS or the third party administrators web site.  This access is applicable for benefit changes, address changes, time keeping and payroll monitoring.  Self-service also allows the employer to find out what the employee is thinking and how engaged they are through the survey process.  Employee ownership of their information is very important to the accuracy of records and the on-going communication between the company and their staff.  In order to automate and implement a self-service approach all the company needs to do is integrate their systems and establish kiosks for those employees that do not have a dedicated computer.  Today with the computers becoming very affordable migrating from a paper-based to electronic based format is very easy.

Consider implementing a self-service process as this will allow more time for the HR professionals on your staff to move away from processing paper to becoming more a business partner with the employees and management.

Monday, December 6, 2010

What is Certification and Why is it Important?

Today, many HR professionals in addition to have a college or advanced degree are certified through the Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI).  The decision to become certified is a direct result of HR professionals wanting to have additional education which will make them more attractive for internal promotional opportunities or as an external candidate more competitive.  Certification by HRCI is available in 4 categories.  These categories are:

·         Professional in Human Resources (PHR®)
·         Senior Professional in Human Resources   (SPHR®)
·         Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR®
·         California Certification (PHR-CA® and SPHR-CA®) 

Key stages of certification process include:

Eligibility:  2 years of professional (exempt-level) HR work experience are required in order to take the test.

Plan:  Make a study plan by either joining one of the many classes offered by either a regional HR association or SHRM.  Classes typically last 13 weeks and are lead by a certified instructor who can walk you through the process and offer you tips on taking the test.  Attend each class, become engaged in the process of learning by asking questions, participating in the practice tests and read the material.

Create a Study Group:  Work with your fellow students outside of the class setting to test one another, share ideas and offer support.  Many of us have been out of school and need to have the support and knowledge of others to help us study and learn.

Schedule Your Test Date:  An important driver of success is the goal of taking the test and passing.  If you don’t schedule your test date the likelihood of success diminishes.
Clearly, employee certification is important in today’s competitive environment.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Why Do Employers Today Want Employee Engagement?

It would appear that the economy is starting to improve through various market indicators.  With this improvement comes increased competition and the turnover by key staff.  The engagement of employees and the reduction of turnover is very important for companies today and in the future.  An engaged workforce will assist companies in remaining competitive and productive.  Key elements of employee engagement are found in three main drivers of success.  These include:

Strong Employee/Management Relations:  An important driver of employee engagement is the individual employee’s relationship to their manger.  Is their manager supportive, an effective coach, honest and represents the high ethical values of the organization?   A manager that embodies these key elements will be a partner with the employee and secure their engagement.

Effective Communication:  Understanding how the company operates and the strategy for the future will allow the employee to become more engaged in the success of the organization by understanding where the company wants to be in the future.  Effective communication includes sharing the business plan and strategy, new products, financial performance and the vision for the future.

Job Satisfaction:  When employees at different levels in the organization enjoy the job and view their role at the company as challenging and contributing to the success of the company engaged employees are more included to give 110%, look for new ideas and be more creative.

Clearly, employee engagement is an important tool for the leaders of companies today to embrace and support.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Why Do Employers Today Want to Conduct an Employee Engagement Survey?

Today with employee access to the Internet readily available either through a personal work computer, the library or a company kiosk more employers today are able to devote the time and resources to find out what their employees are thinking.  Because surveys are quick and easy to administer company’s can obtain an accurate assessment of the organizational “climate” – What’s working well, and where do we need to improve? 

Employers are also finding out through an electronic based on-boarding survey what new hires are thinking in the first 60 to 90 days of employment or through an off-boarding survey ways to reduce turnover or find out if a specific department is experiencing management challenges.  Employee feedback will allow you to determine where you need to modify, eliminate or enhance HR programs.  Progressive organizations are utilizing this tool to make their work environment more aligned with employee expectations and the company’s financial resources.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What Can We Do to Make Our Managers Better at Hiring?

Improving hiring skills is becoming the priority for public and private organizations as the economy recovers and more baby boomers enter retirement. I believe “hiring skills” is the organizational competency most likely to create growth and long-term success going forward. The need to identify the right talent for the right position is, and will continue to be, the most critical objective for human resources departments and hiring managers. So your concern and focus couldn’t be better. Unfortunately, most organizations’ HR departments offer a traditional approach to hiring and are not adequately matching advanced tools and strategies to the needs of the hiring manager. The key is to train hiring managers to be empowered to use the latest proven tools, processes and strategies. That way, HR becomes more of a strategic partner rather than a bureaucrat (from the perspective of the internal client) while the goal—consistently hiring superior performers—is more easily met.
Job benchmarking is the first step to securing the talent necessary to the organization’s success. The first question is: What talents are required for superior performance in the specific job?  Only the job has the answer, so use a system that lets the job “talk,” and then listen carefully. (I use a patented job-benchmarking process with all of my clients, developed by TTI Performance Systems, that enables an organization to benchmark the job. The client can then assess the talent of the candidate to find the best match to the job’s talent requirements.)  The essential elements of conducting a job benchmark using internal stakeholders and subject-matter experts is to first identify the key accountabilities for the position and then use a “valid and reliable” job survey to capture individual opinions based on those key accountabilities. By combining the results of up to 10 job benchmark surveys (three is adequate) into a single composite survey, the HR department and hiring manager have a “talent profile” or target for matching purposes. The job benchmark should offer job-related interview questions that promote dialogue around the applicant’s talents. The value of the job benchmark goes well beyond the hiring process, which makes for a high return on investment.

With a job benchmark in place, marketing the position and evaluating applicants for fit becomes much easier. The question now is: How does a hiring manager quickly and accurately separate the top talent from the applicant pool?

After filtering applicant résumés based on minimum requirements, and perhaps conducting a short phone interview to verify certain information (such as relocation and salary expectations), use a talent assessment for this next step. Not all assessments are equal. Assessments can measure very different parts of a person’s talent. Many of these assessments become very suspect when trying to verify the assessment’s validity and reliability, especially for hiring. Hiring managers should be able to easily learn how to understand and use the assessment to properly narrow the candidate pool, and use the assessment results to formulate questions to use during the interviewing process.
Interviewing candidates is time-consuming and has the greatest potential for creating biases. That is why I encourage and train hiring managers to use scientifically proven (valid and reliable) assessments that measure the “talent” of the person to help determine “who” will be interviewed.

Hiring managers want to be in control of whom they hire. Keep that in mind as you provide them with tools and strategies. This outline ensures the hiring manager is in control and uses an HR department in a more strategic way. Training the hiring manager comprehensively to be an expert in interviewing, hiring and using talent assessments can be done in 12 hours. That includes covering job benchmarking, using assessments for applicant evaluation, behavior-based interviewing skills and the legal dos and don’ts of interviewing. Breaking the training into three- or four-hour segments is a good idea.
With a carefully designed training program for managers, job benchmarking and talent assessment tools, and a process that enables the manager to stay in control throughout the process, you’ll have very satisfied managers and will realize that hiring superior performers is not as difficult to achieve as you first thought.

From a recent post at Workforce, Carl Nielson, The Nielson Group, Dallas

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

12 Questions to Measure Employee Engagement

Workforce Magazine had this great article posted on their site:
Five years ago, The Gallup Organization began creating a feedback system for employers that would identify and measure elements of worker engagement most tied to the bottom line--things such as sales growth, productivity and customer loyalty.
After hundreds of focus groups and thousands of interviews with employees in a variety of industries, Gallup came up with the Q12, a 12-question survey that identifies strong feelings of employee engagement. Results from the survey show a strong correlation between high scores and superior job performance.
Here are those 12 questions:
· Do you know what is expected of you at work?
· Do you have the materials and equipment you need to do your work right?
· At work, do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day?
· In the last seven days, have you received recognition or praise for doing good work?
· Does your supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about you as a person?
· Is there someone at work who encourages your development?
· At work, do your opinions seem to count?
· Does the mission/purpose of your company make you feel your job is important?
· Are your associates (fellow employees) committed to doing quality work?
· Do you have a best friend at work?
· In the last six months, has someone at work talked to you about your progress?
· In the last year, have you had opportunities at work to learn and grow?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

What are the Benefits of Promoting from Within your Company?

Today with business facing strong headwinds from both domestic and foreign competition retaining quality staff that have a proven track record is more important today than it has ever been. With unemployment near 10% and a flood of applicants trying to secure employment, Human Resources should re-examine their internal application process.
HR departments should internally post all open position for a minimum of 10 business days, establish a process for employees to apply for an open position and companies should encourage all qualified internal candidates to apply. If there is a skill deficiency consider looking at providing the internal candidate with additional training or support as you have a proven quality employee. Always get back to all of the candidates by letting them know of the hiring manager’s decision. Often times hiring an internal candidate will be an employer’s best decision as you have access to the candidates performance reviews, typically there is no drug testing, background checks or concern about performance.
Consider establishing a career opportunities program for your company. Promoting from within is often times the best business decision a company can make.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Is Turnover Going to Be a Problem in 2011?

As the economy improves and employees start to see new opportunities to increase pay and responsibility employers will start to see an increase in turnover.
Turnover is very expensive to businesses as there is the cost of sourcing candidates, time to interview and check references and then the training of the new hire to meet the daily tasks. 
One of the best ways to meet this challenge head-on is to ask your employees what their long-term goals are, do they need any additional training to be more productive on the job and what are some of the key challenges that they face. Often times it is just the discussion that makes the employee feel better about their manager and company. So ask your employees to share their thoughts and learn from their ideas.
Communication is very important and two-way communication is critical to retaining employees. As a reminder, if you lose an employee you will often have to pick-up their job in addition to your own so learn to listen and communicate more effectively.
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