Enhancing Employee Satisfaction Through HR Strategies

There is a huge change within HR industry in the recent times – a vast professional shift from regular day-to-day transactional tasks to more strategic concerns.

This has made HR function more than a business rather than merely a source where employees approach for some information or seek support. But, is this the right environment we needed from all those years? Are the employees satisfied enough with this change?

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The answer can sadly be slightly, negative!

The kind of environment an employee experiences in his/her organization with a proper work-life balance, decides the employees’ satisfaction. Although both the parties work towards a same objective, but the path is entirely different. The perspective that an HR uses to create an ideal environment is entirely different from what an employee grasps it; which is creating a sense of dissatisfaction among the employees. This calls for a high-level corporate support in which technology can prove to be very effective. Thus, you need to adopt a technology that:

Listens to their problems

Employees spend most of their day’s productive time at the workplace, thus getting a healthy environment and getting all problems resolved is a must for them to work effectively. Offer a proper grievance handling solution where they can raise their complaints and the same can be escalated to the concerned person for a solution. Employees must also be able to track their complaint and know its status at any point of time.

Regularly monitors their performance

Grievances and problems also affect one’s performance, thus a system to track employee performance can help in analyzing the problem areas. This kind of solution will also keep a record of the previously filled reviews so that not only HRs or senior managers but even the employees can themselves compare their own performance and the up-gradation or de-gradation over time.

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AND most importantly: Help you not overlook their feedbacks

Traditionally, organizations had a trend of asking employee feedbacks quarterly or annually in a one-to-one meeting; some don’t cater this facility at all. Employers, who wait for monthly, quarterly, or yearly meetings, are often too late to be effective in correcting the concerns which their employees might be having, say 6 months back. Thus, the proper way is to provide a portal to your employees, which they can access at any point of time and raise their concerns or provide some progressive feedbacks.

The data that is collected through such an analysis will be very helpful in analyzing the current situation and making plans for the future, but HR must also keep alive that human side in them. Spending time with employees, conducting employee get-togethers and team-building games will help you in engaging the employees and keep them satisfied at job, like never before.

SaaS-based HR technology has seen an exceptional outburst in the past years aiding a broad spectrum of human resource, like recruitment, new employee on-boarding, managing their performances, Employee Engagement and techniques to retain talent. But, along with all this technology goodness, there comes a major challenge of maximizing the most important component of any business – its people. Thus, adopting a technology, that not only eases out an HR pros work life by diluting the daily routine complexities but also helps in keeping employees happy, satisfied and engaged, is what every business must target. Remember, none of the available technologies will do any good if ‘people’ are not kept at forefront of the business.

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Employee Information, Just A Click Away!

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How often do you think- Is technology a Blessing or a Blight??

Everything just a click away..and blah blah!

We have been enjoying all the ease and comfort offered to us by the technology from past few decades now and still curse it when it takes the same ease from us.

Yes, you guessed it right! I am talking about how accessible it makes us when we are on a vacation! Here, my discussion is not on cursing the man-made gift we all have, but how it saves us from becoming the culprit of a lost business deal or company facing terrible losses or becoming unable to overcome a disaster as the concerned person is unavailable!

Same is with an TeamWise-Feature that you can monitor anywhere, anytime! Suppose one of your subordinates need your approval for his urgent leave and you are on a vacation. What will he do?

The answer would be- Go to HR department, give them all the explanations and then if they understand your concern, may give an approval but, if he doesn’t have that time, then?

Here, our point becomes valid that says, technology is a Blessing!

Keep an Eye on Your Workforce Even When You are Away

With TeamWise HRMS, you can access the application even when you are on a vacation and catch all the action going on in your absence. Approve/reject leave applications; check employee updates, etc. just on a single click!

The bonus is you can enjoy the beach too!

Beat ‘The Peter Principle’ & Pick The Best!

How do people get selected for promotion in your organization?

Are they judged according to the new position’s requirement or do their past performances in previous roles play the major role?

If you agree to the latter, then your organization might be a victim of ‘The Peter’s Principle’

The Peter Principle, formulated by Dr. Laurence J. Peter and Raymond Hull in their book The Peter Principle, conveys that employees, in a hierarchy, sooner or later gets promoted to higher positions which they are probably not capable to handle.

This simply means people keep on getting promoted until they reach a certain level of incompetence. However, people do need some hierarchical uplift to stay motivated, yet this promotion cannot always be vertical and what today’s workforce looks for is a more expanded and wider self-development along with career growth.

Then how companies can put the principle aside? Have a look at some tips:

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1) Give Promotion Accompanied with Proper Training Session:

A person who is being promoted to a senior position is almost entirely new to that position and will take time in understanding new roles and responsibilities. Best way is to have the person shadow the current position holder for few days, say a month before the effective date, so that he/she can have a complete idea of the position’s roles and responsibilities. Another way is to have them attend formal training sessions.

2) Reward Employees Based on Their Performance & Efforts:

It is not always necessary to promote employees with a change in their designation. Sometimes, without any drastic change in their responsibilities, you can reward them for their hard work by offerings some free trip, a big gift or a salary hike. Providing them more responsibilities within their roles, like giving a chance to lead an important project, can act as a great morale booster and will also help in avoiding departmental stagnation.

3) Take a 360 View of the Employee’s Performance:

Employers often become myopic when considering an employee for promotion. Giving consideration only to his/her recent accomplishments or former track record is not just enough to take the final decision. These aspects don’t guarantee their success in the future. Take decisions based on the individual’s expertise and assess him/her on decision making capabilities and technical proficiency. This will help you decide what type of role that candidate will fit in!

4) Talk About the Employees’ Expectations and Career Aspirations:

Talking to employees about their career expectations and interests about holding a higher position, will help in analyzing where they would like to see themselves and whether they are satisfied with their current role or not. In this way they won’t be compelled to do something that they are not comfortable about.

Promotion is a kind of positive strengthening for the employee being promoted. It helps them analyze that they are performing well and their hard work is properly recognized and rewarded accordingly. But, the promotion process must not be taken lightly as the consequences can be hazardous for the entire organization with unwilling candidates on top positions. These tips, when applied successfully, will definitely help in combating ‘The Peter Principle’ and its after effects. Moreover, having a Performance Management System integrated in the organization will provide data to analyze each individual’s performance in a much better way and on a regular basis.

As millennials continue to enter the workforce at a rapid pace, employers need to transform old traditional methods and create an environment best suited for this generation. The Gen Y employees don’t just settle for a promotion, they need proper scope and advancement in their career and value only what interests them. This provides a perfect chance for the employers to get rid of The Peter Principle and develop new and engaging principles of their own.

How Can Job Hopping Affect One’s Career?

“It looks bad on your resume”

“It shows that you lack the sense of commitment.”

Have you ever heard these comments when someone reads your resume or an HR pro saying this during an interview?

These days, job hopping is a practical way of life. Gone is the idea of spending entire professional life at one company and ultimately retire with a gold-plated watch and a pension plan. If you talk to the Baby Boomer generation or older people, it’s not a surprising fact that they have worked for maximum 2-3 organizations in their lives. On the other hand, present generation employees, if we talk about those between 25-40 years age bracket, might have already switched 3-4 jobs.

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In the present era, employees are more focused on finding their dream job which makes them fail to realize that such frequent job switching might jeopardize their entire career. Employees today are so much impatient that they don’t give their present jobs a chance to gain necessary skills and required maturity to succeed in their career. They don’t even realize that the next time they’ll face an interview, what questions might be red-flagging into their interviewer’s mind?

  • You’re potentially a bad investment.
  • You’re restless and will not stay for long.
  • You’re unfulfilled no matter how much ever is given to you.
  • You’re not focused on the long-term goals.

Frequent job hopping might hurt your career growth drastically. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), employees who stayed in the same job role in 2014, earn way more than those who left the job for a better opportunity.

Frequent job hopping-TeamWise

But, what makes an employee to switch jobs?

Professionals have a long list of reasons for departing from a company; including corporate downsizing, insufficient career growth, unfair employee treatment, desire to get advanced degree, more money or completely switch to a different field.

Here, organizations too need to take important measures so that employees don’t feel deprived of growth. Companies can retain their employees for a sufficiently longer time by supporting their value systems, providing them meaningful work, becoming more social and understanding the generation differences. All this can be done by properly managing each employee’s performance through a Performance and Talent Management System.

Employees want to have an assurance of long-time career which only the organization can provide by giving a diverse career path to its employees.

How to Tamper-Down the Toxic Employees’ Negativity?

An old adage states People are hired for their talents and fired for their behavior“.

To be sure that a noxious worker does not make your workplace culture sick, preventive measures are a must to take. Toxic employees like a cloud of noxious gas, can poison your work environment thereby affecting your staff. So, what is the best way to avoid hiring one like this?

Putting a little extra care and effort in the hiring process can prove to be a great time saver and help in reducing the hassles caused by the wrong employee down the line. But what an employer should do if a potentially hazardous resource has developed in the organization or was flourishing from a long time?

Know-How of Identifying and Dealing With Obnoxious Employees

What If The Employee Is Already There?

Sometimes, even after putting all the measures in avoiding the bad hire, companies end up with one or more employees of negative temperament. Now what?

Most experts agree that the first step should be a swift confrontation with the problem or the problematic employee, before trouble arises. Have a discussion with the employee to understand the problem and try to tackle it as soon as possible for minimum damage done to the organization.

By exhibiting some behavior patterns, people often fail at work and become hostile towards the organization.

Following are some characteristics of TOB (Toxic Organizational Behavior):

  • Aggressiveness: Diverting resources from productive work environment into fight or any other defensive operations.
  • Lack of Credibility: Credibility lacks and mistrust arises when people don’t do as per their commitment.
  • Egotism: Developing a culture of give-and take compromises to satisfy one’s own self-centered nature.
  • Disorganization: With the lack of personal organization, organizational requirement like focus, discipline and structure are hard to meet.
  • Passivity: An employees’ behavior that is completely opposite to taking initiatives for maximum performance.
  • Resistant to change: Rigidity and change resistance can guarantee failure in this ever-changing world which requires continuous adaptation.

Employee behavior is not generally included in the individual’s performance measurement, thus organizations often end up with toxic employees. Moreover, a hostile employee might indulge in indirect costs for an organization and can become a potential financial burden. Thus, the toxicity should better be avoided in the first place or diluted to minimize the damages.

Culling Out The Toxic Employee In Hiring Stage

Avoiding a bad hire seems to be easy to say rather than practically done. Checking references might help in this context and should be performed, even if it is time consuming. It helps in predicting the candidate’s behavior in different situations given. Along with this, to sense how an employee will function at work, behavior based questions can be asked.

These simple but effective interview tips might help you to uncover major problems early in the process.

  1. Ask potentially toxic questions like asking for five things that the candidate liked least about the current or last company he or she worked with.
  2. Have a team rather than an individual to sniff out the toxic employee while interview.
  3. Enquire how good the candidate is at handling difficult situations.
  4. Make sure that the references given by the candidate are actually reached.
  5. Look for “we” rather than “I”. Identify whether the candidate includes his / her team in the accomplishments achieved or all the words that come out are self-centered.
  6. Watch for any previous complaints and decide accordingly; remember history repeats itself.

Asking negative questions might force the candidate to give more authentic replies.

Determining whom to hire and whom to avoid isn’t that easy as it might look. So, implying these tips might help in reducing the threat of having a toxic Employee On-Board and minimize your chances of hiring negative workforce before things go out of hand.

What Hiring Managers Can Learn From Their Childhood’s Bed-Time Stories

Many situations, stories and experiences teach us a lot of lessons that if used in our daily lives, can help us get through so many challenges and hurdles.

Similar is the case with the bed time stories that you have grown up listening to. They all had a moral lesson at the end of the story. These tales, if you give them more thought, can help you solve so many problems while managing your human capital. Especially, recruiters can learn a lot from them while judging different types of candidates.

Here are the main fairy tale characters from whom you can learn a lot:

#1. Cinderella’s Prince Charming: Wait for the Perfect Fit

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Let’s think about the tale the other way round! Just like the prince waited with the crystal shoe for his perfect lady, recruiters must watch out for the candidate who is a perfect fit for their organization. You must not hurry while filling the vacant positions in your organization and should look out for the one who exactly matches your business needs and requirements.

#2. Smart Siblings: Use Your Intellect to Analyze Candidates in and out

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The kids in Hansel & Gretel succeeded in outsmarting their step-mother first and later the witch. Similarly, recruiters must be smart enough to detect candidates’ intentions and whether they are really that capable and willing to perform or not. This is one of the most critical lessons as every candidate tries to attract recruiters through exhibiting his/her skills in the best possible manner, but, the hiring managers must use their wits to determine if the individual is a right choice or not.

#3. The Brave Heart Mulan: Look for Candidates Who are Willing to Perform

Don’t just go by the basic qualification of a candidate and try finding the one who is well-skilled as well as willing to perform. Just as the case of the story, Mulan is a girl who masks herself as a man to be a part of the army. Recruiters must learn that they should give equal opportunities to  candidates and help them perform.

#4. Ariel: Explore the Unexplored

The Little Mermaid

Surfing through the pool of resumes is just like little Ariel’s adventurous journey through the ocean. You get to meet so many new characters and deal with them. This clearly indicates that you need to get out of your comfort zone to explore the unexplored territories and come out with winning results. With industry’s rapid social development, you also need to change your conventional recruiting styles and find some innovative ideas to attract the talent.

#5. Creative Golden Haired Girl: Think out of the box

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Today’s dynamic recruitment climate doesn’t allows you to follow your conventional strategies and patterns. Thus, you must have an out-of-the-box thinking just like Rapunzel and try to make out the most innovative use of available tools and resources.

Although, you cannot always believe that your recruiting tale will have a happy and contending ending, yet the chain of surprising events that keep occurring will often put you in situations where you need to behave in such a way. Thus, recruiters must check out with the strategies that these tale heroes used while facing tough challenges and came out with flying colors.

Author: Prateek Sharma is the Director at TrogonSoft, a company applying product development technologies and devising innovative technology products. Their product, TeamWise, an HRMS & Payroll Software enables companies to streamline and automate all their routine employee-related tasks with utter precision and accuracy.

Is Your Workforce VUCA Ready?

Constantly changing business climates are clear examples of the VUCA situation that stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. Earlier, the term was used to denote severe political conditions, but now they have more relevancies to the business environments. Usually businesses used to plan to deal with the uncertainty, but now uncertainty is an anticipated aspect to run businesses and for this the leaders need to work with a proactive and agile approach.

With the talent shortage shooting up, it has become a prime concern for the leaders on how to keep the talent as prime agenda during VUCA times. Black swan events (that come as a surprise) keep occurring in this VUCA world and that is our “new normal” these days.

Dealing With The VUCA Times

Thus, the talking point here is what organizations can do to help the workforce successfully deal with these events and situations??

The Communication Ladder:

Ensure that the messages going down the leadership ladder are communicated in alignment to company vision and without any discrepancy. With shifting priorities, every piece of information must be well communicated and clear.

Use Adversity to Build Talent:

Existing business eco-systems are running on adversity and accepting rapid changes. Adversity makes your talent stronger and brave to deal with challenges at hand. The time is not to repent over the situation and is to act. Organizations must anticipate any undesirable change and make plans for the worst. HR pros must be ready to realign policies and procedures as your workforce may give you shockers time to time.

Embrace Digitization:

Workplaces are changing like never before. Earlier, when the employees were not even allowed to check personal mails, now the companies openly allow them to engage on social media as well as set up gaming zones for them.

Trust the Gen-Y:

Gen-Y is your trump card now! No other generation of employees can be more willing and enthusiastic to face the VUCA environment as Gen-Y. These people are willing to explore all those unexplored areas and experiment with the challenges that are out of conventional roles. This means organizations need to leave those conventional practices and offer talent with more agile, challenging, exciting and flexible job roles. They simply need more “LIFE” at work!

Optimize Multi-generational Workforce:

While an organization does not only have the Gen-Y, try optimizing the combination in the best possible manner. Make strategies to boost up the morale and enthusiasm using Gen-Y, while making the people more knowledgeable through transferring knowledge from the Baby Boomers. Thus, make it the best blend with rebels as well as the followers!

This is the time to act, perform and outsmart the unknown risks and events that can arise any time. Be innovative, be agile, and make your workforce stand like a rock in front of any situation. Use smart strategies to offer more to your employees and this is not just the compensation, be the best career ladder for your talent!

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