Category: Human Resources (HR) Resources

16 Aug 2018

Why Employee Engagement is NOT Working! by Debra Fraser

Despite many companies’ efforts to create a so-called engaged workforce, surveys conducted in a variety of companies in Jamaica and overseas indicate that only 32 per cent of staff are actually actively engaged. But why is this the case?

Employee engagement refers to an employee’s emotional attachment and commitment to an organisation, which manifests in high productivity levels and low employee turnover. The fact is that people work smarter, harder and safer, and stay with a company longer when they are working for managers, rather leaders, who have earned their respect and commitment.

Over the past decade, organisations have chased this concept by implementing various engagement programmes, creating new engagement coordinator positions, and funding engagement budgets. I have worked with companies that give away prizes on a daily basis, over-rewarding basic duties like attendance and completion of core deliverables and throwing elaborate multimillion-dollar parties, but they still have a revolving door, losing between 30 per cent and 50 per cent of their employees each year. Despite the flurry of engagement activities, employee’s emotional attachment to the organisation have not improved. But why not?

The answer is that employee engagement is an outcome, not an activity, so fun activities and prizes won’t do the trick. Throwing activities and cash at a problem is not likely to make it go away, any more than watching exercise DVDs and buying new spandex is likely to make you lose weight. (Trust me, I’ve tried it.) The first step towards improving engagement is to properly diagnose the root causes in the work environment. Time and time again, many root causes point back to gaps existing in the leadership fabric of the organisation. Leadership is the single most important lever and catalyst in improving employee engaging levels! This is the missing link!

Having administered several employee engagement surveys in a variety of companies in Jamaica and overseas, I have found that regardless of size and industry, the correlation is the same: High satisfaction levels with immediate supervisor = High employee retention = Higher productivity and profitability.

The truth is that companies would be better served to focus their attention and investment in ensuring that they foster an excellent leadership culture throughout all levels of the organisation rather than underwriting events, parties, giveaways, games and other gimmicks that frankly can come off as transparent ploys to buy employee loyalty. The average person would rather have a great boss looking out for them than prizes, trinkets, and parties. After all, people are motivated by people. People follow people. And yes, people quit people, not jobs!

So, if you hold a leadership position in your company, how can you ensure you are part of the solution and not part of the problem? We will explore the single most important thing you can do in our next issue.

 

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31 Jul 2018

Got what it takes to be a manager? Part III by Debra Fraser

Last week we reviewed in some detail the first five of 10 management skills employers are looking for when selecting management talent. They were:

• Performance Management

• Supervising Others

• Conflict Resolution

• Emotional Intelligence

• Communication & Coaching Skills

For aspiring managers, perhaps the descriptions of the first five competencies were enough to scare you off. If so, that’s understandable and equally beneficial to establish a better appreciation for what you DO and DON’T want to do. I encourage you to chart your path on the often less-stressful road of the highly skilled independent contributor, aka the subject matter experts. Let’s do a deeper dive into the final five attributes. Remember to have a friend interview you and rate each response.

Team-Building & Motivation Skills

What methods do you use to motivate your team to perform well in the face of challenges? Describe the actions you take to ensure the dynamics of your team are positive.

Delegation

Describe how you share your workload. Give an example of when an important task had to be delegated — what criteria did you use to select which team member was given the task? How do you control the output without micromanaging?

Integrity

Give an example of when you were given instructions to carry out that were out of line with what you believe was the right thing to do; how did you handle it? Give an example of an area in which you believe you compromised your integrity, and what steps have you since taken to grow in that area?

Resource Management

What scope of resources have you been entrusted to manage? What methods and processes do you employ to ensure the resources are efficiently managed? When procuring additional resources, provide examples of the criteria you use. Describe a time when resources were mismanaged. What was the impact and what did you learn?

Subject Matter Expertise

Describe the skills and functions in which you are an expert. What steps did you take to master the skill and how do you maintain your edge? Have you been involved in training others to become experts?

 

Once you’ve been rated on the 10 management skills above, take a look at those on which you scored lower and make them your personal development goals. How? By seeking out new experiences that demand these skills. This can include attending seminars, reading multiple books on the topics, asking management peers for their advice, and seeking out projects at work and in the community. The more experiential your learning is, the more you will learn and grow. And remember, attaining higher goals takes time and focus, so take your time to enjoy each exercise and the journey on which you have embarked. Managers bear a heavy load but the intrinsic rewards are greater, so never become too busy learning or managing that you can’t enjoy the ride.

Until then, Leaders Keep Lookin’ Up!

 

Debra Fraser, MBA, is CEO of Caribbean HR Solutions and is a member of the BPIAJ, Human Resource Management Association of Jamaica, and Society of Human Resources Management. Direct comments to dfraser@ caribbeanhrsolutions.com or www.caribbeanhrsolutions.com

 

Read article

http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career-education/got-what-it-takes-to-be-a-manager-part-iii_139850?profile=1270

 

26 Jul 2018

Why Company Morale is Important

Company morale is how an employee feels about their workplace. This relates to their feelings about their managers, their long-term role in the organization, their benefits package, and the company culture. Many employers might argue that company morale is not important as long as the work is accomplished. However, before we shut it down so easily it is essential to see how company morale actually relates to company productivity and as a result company profits.

Is Company Morale Important.

The Gallup Organization in their analysis of over 10,000 business units and more than 30 industries found that individuals working at companies that receive regular recognition and praise showed an:

  • increase their individual productivity
  • increase engagement among their colleagues
  • are more likely to stay with their organization
  • receive higher loyalty and satisfaction scores from customers
  • have better safety records and fewer accidents on the job.

In addition, it found that for employees that are “actively disengaged” work cost the U.S. economy between $250 and $300 billion every year in lost productivity alone. When you add workplace injury, illness, turnover, absences, and fraud, the cost could surpass $1 trillion per year. Low company morale is therefore very expensive

So How do I increase company morale

In general, different individuals are motivated by different things, and it will be difficult to try to motivate each individual based on their distinct motivating factor. However, Culture IQ has identified some of the recognized techniques that motivate nearly every employee:

  • Celebrate employee accomplishments—When you appreciate someone’s efforts—whether it’s a successful project launch or working through the weekend—they tend to better appreciate the work back. Making someone feel good about their contribution is one of the most effective ways to motivate an employee.
  • Encourage team bonding—Successful companies offer fun perks that let employees form personal bonds while letting them take a break from the day-to-day. If you have a small team, you could buy pizza for everyone on Fridays and take a long lunch together. Some companies throw lavish quarterly parties, while others host team events like scavenger hunts or game days. It doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Even a simple happy hour gives your team a chance to bond and unwind.
  • Give autonomy—Empower employees to think and take action by themselves. When team members are encouraged to steer the direction of their work, they tend to feel more invested in the end result. Most employees feel like their manager has to give permission for every single decision. Not only does that lead to low motivation, but needlessly slow progress. So let your employees set their own goals, accomplish their own projects and—ultimately—feel pride for their own wins.
  • Reward employees when the company performs well—The most successful compensation programs give all employees a reward when the company sees financial success. This could be in the form of a bonus or equity package, as long as the employee sees that their work directly has an impact.
  • Promote healthy work-life balance—As much as possible, organizations should be flexible around commitments like family emergencies, doctor’s appointments and weekend plans. These small gestures make a big difference in how employees feel about the workplace. It also results in team members coming in on a Monday refreshed and focused.
  • Listen—Your team is a wealth of information. Listen to their ideas, their problems, and their frustrations. Some CEOs meet with every employee each year, while other companies send regular pulse surveys so they’re always in the loop.

Low morale leads to poor cooperation, low productivity and increased turnover. It’s an undisputed fact: If your employees aren’t motivated or happy, your business will suffer and fail to reach its long-term goals.

On the flip side, strong company morale has the opposite effect. A happy office environment is one that attracts the most talented workers, and when those works are motivated, they’re productive and rarely quit. Simply put, When You Care About Your Employees, They Will Care About Your Business.

Read more

Read the Gallup study here

15 Jul 2018

Have what it takes to be a manager? Part II by Debra Fraser

Launching Leaders with Debra Fraser

 

Companies are completely right to spend a large amount of time and money when selecting supervisors and managers to run their businesses, for any employee who is “not a fit” for the job eventually costs the company in several ways, including lost productivity, reduced employee morale, and replacement costs. But when the miscast employee is in management it is especially damaging because of their broad scope of influence on so many other employees.

Research suggests that the majority of companies are doing a poor job in their selection process: The State of the American Manager: Analytics and Advice for Leaders by management consulting company Gallup indicates that 82 per cent of managers are in fact miscast in their roles, with 25 per cent of them being “dangerously lousy”.

It begs the question: Why are companies floundering in selecting good managers? One of the challenges is that sourcing and selecting leaders represents a significant effort and is NOT a core competency of most businesses. Headhunting and recruiting firms can help with this.

But what about the responsibility of the aspiring manager to pursue his/her own development? There are numerous testimonies of executives who have taken risks and made sacrifices to acquire new skills necessary to advance their career. I can testify to these risks, and rewards, having left Canada at 28 to pursue my own development in Jamaica.

To help those of you who are in this pursuit, and to guide you in choosing the right skills, review the first five (of 10) employer-sought management skills as printed in our last edition. This time ’round however, have a friend interview you and rate each response on a scale of 1 – 10. (See graphic below) In our next article we’ll take a closer look at the last five skills: team building & motivation, delegation, integrity, resource management, and subject matter expertise.

Until then, leaders keep lookin’ up!

Debra Fraser, MBA, is CEO of Caribbean HR Solutions, an HR outsourcing and recruiting firm; a member of the Business Process Industry Association of Jamica, Human Resource Management Association of Jamaica, and Society of Human Resources Management. Direct comments to dfraser@caribbeanhrsolutions.com

 

Read Observer article

 

09 Jul 2018

Have what it takes to be a manager? by Debra Fraser

Aspiring Ainsley just passed his 90-day probation at an entry-level job and schedules a meeting with HR to ask where he can apply for a manager position. Ambitious or delusional? Who knows, maybe a bit of both! But it begs the question: How do you know if you are management material? What are employers looking for anyway?

The 70/30 Rule

Having worked with clients both locally and overseas (about a 30 per cent – 70 per cent split), I can tell you there is no clear answer, but there certainly are trends. Some local companies still look for the traditional pre-requisites: education, peer and supervisor references, industry knowledge and experience, and prior management experience. This last requirement is really a catch twenty-two. The result is that many high-potential managers are excluded from consideration due to one or two unchecked boxes. Companies from North America and the UK are more flexible on the education and qualifications side, but sometimes rely too much on ‘personality’ fit, preferring candidates who build rapport with them, at the expense of solid management skills. So what’s an aspiring employee to do?

The best advice I can give is simply this: build your experiences on a solid foundation, much like you build a house. Build it and they will come! Here are some competencies that all employers want to see:

Once you have these skills, half the battle is won.  The other half is being able to confidently present them in the interview process. Another hurdle that must be crossed!  Hiring an Interview Coach to work with you is an effective, and worthy investment.  Having coached job-seeking managers on interview skills I have seen time and time again that the best-skilled candidate will almost certainly NOT get the job if interview skills are lacking.

Finally, consider your motivation for moving into management, a role carrying much higher responsibility and stress.  Let’s say the management post would equate to an additional $20,000 JMD per month, then you must consider your options.  Perhaps a part-time job in teaching or real-estate, or working overtime, could yield a similar cash lift.  If selling Avon on-the-side would reward you an additional $35,000 JMD per month, which would you choose? If you still choose management, money is likely not your main motivator, and you will enjoy the sober pursuit of becoming a manager.

Debra Fraser M. BA, is CEO of Caribbean HR Solutions – a leading HR Outsourcing and Consultancy firm, a member of the BPIAJ, HRMAJ – Human Resource Management Association of Jamaica, and SHRM Society of Human Resources Management. Please direct comments to dfraser@caribbeanhrsolutions.com or www.caribbeanhrsolutions.com

 

Read more

http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career-education/have-what-it-takes-to-be-a-manager-_137328?profile=1270

28 Jun 2018

BioMetric Time Clocks “literally” putting money back in your pockets

As an employer, if you have hourly employees, you might be wasting unnecessary cash. GTM Business Blog (2018) identified numerous ways in which hourly paid employees are stealing time from their employers who do not utilize a biometric time clock system. The ways mentioned include

  • Time Theft
  • Staying On The Clock For Unpaid Breaks
  • Punching In For A Co-Worker
  • Human Error Inflates Labor Costs

Time Theft

On a timecard sheet, it is quite easy for employees to put in a time to state that they arrived at work, particularly if the supervisor is not closely monitoring the time placed. For instance, an employee will state that they started working at 9:00 when in actuality they arrived at work at 9:15. Because that employee’s shift would have started at 9:00 they place that time to avoid the consequences of being late.

Staying On the Clock for Unpaid Breaks

If not properly scrutinized, employees who are not paid for breaks might not clock out for break. In these situations, employers hope that they can place a level of trust in their employers, however, in industries where this practice is employed time theft is also very common.

Punching in for A Co-Worker

For companies that do not use a manual time clock, this situation can occur quite often. Usually, this occurs when an employee is running late and ask their co-worker to clock them in until they arrive. If the manager does not realize what has occurred the employee will be paid for the time even though they are not at work. There have also been instances of the co-worker punching in an employee that did not work at all for the day. This is very costly to the employer is it is both a loss in production but a loss in funds as the employer would have paid for an employee that is not present.

Human Error Inflates Labor Costs

There have been instances of employees simply forgetting to clock out or write down the time that they would have finished work. In instances like that, it is left up to the person to guess the time that they would have left, however, in those instances memory is not always accurate and the employee is likely to “remember” a time that would be in their favor.

So what is the solution? Employers might try to hire more managers that will monitor the employers time. However, this is a costly solution. Biometric Time Clock uses unique attributes that will ensure a reduction of time theft.  Dependent on the type of clock chosen they will scan your fingerprint, iris or face as a means of clocking in the employee ensuring that each punch is done by the employee.

Caribbean HR Solutions are proud to be a provider of Biometric Time Clocks in Jamaica that will aid your company greatly in reducing time theft and save you money. For more information contact us at 1-876-971-7632 or email us at sales@caribbeanhrsolutions.com.

20 Jun 2018

Taking the lead by Debra Fraser

Welcome to the first edition of Launching Leaders a bimonthly conversation about leadership and people engagement, better known as human resources. It encompasses leadership strategies, management issues, recruitment, business services outsourcing and just about everything to do with managing human capital.

It’s fitting we debut with a conversation about leadership given the wealth of knowledge and literature available in print and online about this subject area. Over the past few decades, we’ve witnessed the evolution of workplace philosophy from just focusing on managing staff to placing greater emphasis on leading team members. On the surface, the difference may seem semantic or mere wordplay, but the distinction is very important and in my opinion is a significant characteristic driving the BPO sector, an industry which is transforming Jamaica’s economic landscape.

 

Servant Leaders

There are many great books that speak to the core of what effective leadership should entail. Good To Great by Jim Collins comes readily to mind, as does The Servant as Leader by Robert K Greenleaf, who coined the term ‘servant leadership’. Greenleaf says “the servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve; to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead.”

Truly effective leaders start from a place of appreciation for every team member’s contribution and exhibit a sincere desire to serve as much as they do to lead. This is the kicker — servant leadership turns the traditional hierarchy upside down. The higher you go in the organisation, the more you serve those who you manage. This is a philosophy that leaders must work closely with their HR and department leaders to flesh out.

It means that in a typical team setting, it is not the most savvy or best educated who is promoted, but the one who is most engaged with assisting the team in fulfilling their deliverables. This type of person is focused on ensuring his coworkers are truly successful at getting the job done, and does so in a way that balances efficiency with engagement. With this mantra, the leader who masters his tactical job does so while pulling up his teammates to succeed with her/him. It’s the opposite of the popular Jamaican colloquialism “…crab pulling down crab”. And who can resist a leader who genuinely wants to help you be successful?

 

Read more

http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career-education/taking-the-lead_136009?profile=1270

14 Jun 2018

Smart Ways to Manage Older Employees

Managing a team can be very challenging for anyone.  It does not matter if you are young and inexperienced or older and more experienced.  Perhaps the second situation might be slightly easier to handle.  Teams come with different kinds of skills, personalities and ages.  It might get a little awkward and uncomfortable if you have to manage a person who is older than you.  This is so because you assume that this person has more experience, knowledge and confidence than you.

There are 5 tips you might want to consider in such situations.

You have been given this job for a reason

Don’t you ever forget this.  You might perhaps want to have this inscribed on your desktop, so that no situation at the workplace can get the better of you.  You got this job for a certain reason, for the skills and the strengths that you bring to the table, as compared to the others.  Also, older employees’ priorities might be something else at this point in their careers.  It is a good idea to be patient and assertive, rather than being pushy.

Minimize friction

You should be very clear in your head and in your communication to your team about what you want them to achieve.  Adopt a democratic style of leadership which keeps friction in the team to a minimum.  By focusing on tasks rather than uncertainty and emotions, you indicate a clear direction and reasoning behind your requests.  Create an amicable environment where everyone is moving in the same direction together.

Do not underestimate the power of the elders

The elders bring a lot of experience to the table which you can use.  In life, there is not enough time to make all the mistakes yourself.  Learn from the mistakes of older employees and make use of their knowledge.  A good leader acknowledges the strengths of each member and their contributions to the vision of the team, thus recognizing their importance and making them feel good.

Understand what makes your team tick

It is very important to know what makes your team happy, what motivates them, what keeps them going and how to get them working hard.  Respect their opinions and find out from them how they would like to be managed.  Having the right conversations would help in bringing clarity to what makes them tick.  Older employees definitely want to learn and stay relevant and supporting them in the right way with appropriate development plans and meaningful rewards helps in building a motivated workforce.  At this point in their careers, they might be looking for flexibility rather than money.

Getting the best out of your team

As a leader, if you are clear about the vision of the team, the direction in which they are going and robust plans to back them up, you need not be intimidated by older or younger employees. Age is just a factor.  Create a healthy and motivated environment that uses the different skills that each employee brings.

Any workforce would definitely have a couple of employees who are older than their managers.  All it takes are smart and wise ways of managing them without making anyone feel uncomfortable.

 

For more info:

06 Jun 2018

4 Tips That Attracts Good Talent

1. Teach Your HR Team to Be Active on LinkedIn

Most of the time, talented candidates are already employed and aren’t actively looking for new opportunities. But you can find them on social networking platforms like LinkedIn where they show off their skills and share their expertise. That’s why your recruiters should create a LinkedIn profile for your organization and share news about vacancies. A well-written job description will attract talent hanging out on the network.

All members of your HR team also need to optimize their personal LinkedIn profiles so passive candidates can find them. Make sure your recruiters know how to effectively search for LinkedIn profiles of professionals who have the right skills and qualifications. Once they identify these candidates, recruiters should have engaging recruitment messages on hand so they can approach and target these professionals.

“If you’re after candidates with niche skill sets, consider building a candidate database. Your recruiters will be able to keep track of professionals and respond quickly to candidates who apply for a position.”

2. Keep Your Recruitment Process Short

Glassdoor recently revealed that the typical hiring process lasts around 22 days.  If you ask any candidate, they’ll tell you that three weeks is way too long. A recruitment process that drags along will never attract and engage talent. A slow response from your team won’t keep talented candidates interested in your offer. And other employers might snatch these candidates out of your hands.

How can you shorten your recruitment process? Here are some key strategies you should start implementing in your team right now:

  • Make your careers website mobile-friendly – candidates like to check new job offers on mobile devices, so reach them by optimizing your content for mobile.
  • Ensure that your team reviews applications daily – you can’t afford to lose talented leads who come knocking at your door. Recruiters need to pay close attention to incoming applications and address them promptly.
  • Schedule interviews as soon as you accept a resume – your HR team should quickly respond to applications from talent and be flexible in adjusting to their schedules.
  • Follow up with candidates on a regular basis – talented candidates need to be informed about their current stage in the recruitment process.
  • Don’t hesitate to present the offer when the hiring manager agrees to hire a candidate – recruiters should be quick in following up with an offer. It can be the same day or a day after. Otherwise, they risk losing the candidate to another company.

3. Personalize Your Hiring Process

Sometimes it’s hard to imagine that recruiters should personalize their communication when hundreds of candidates apply for vacant positions. Personalization is a challenge, but your team should never forget that resumes represent real human beings who deserve respect. Talented candidates spend a lot of time crafting their resumes and tailoring their applications to match the job description. From their perspective, it’s fair to expect a personalized approach in return.

A cold and impersonal recruitment process will inevitably damage your employer brand. You’ll never attract the type of candidates that you’re trying to source. Help your HR team realize that every time they get in touch with a candidate, they’re representing your company. The hiring process should be efficient and transparent. That’s how you build a positive employer brand that catches the eye of top talent.

4. Emphasize Return on Investment (ROI)

A recent report showed that companies that actively source talented candidates can boost their revenue by over 200% compared to organizations that don’t engage in such activities. That’s why your HR team should stop focusing exclusively on candidate skills and qualifications, and look instead into their quantifiable achievements. If a candidate writes on their resume that they’ve increased sales by 12%, your team can bet that they will achieve similar results in the position they’re trying to fill.

Your HR team needs to have a good understanding of how significant ROI and revenue are for your company. They’ll look for candidates who can streamline processes and optimize them to impact your bottom line.

Key Takeaway

Attracting, sourcing and engaging talent is a top priority for every organization these days. You need a smooth and personalized recruitment process to engage these passive candidates efficiently, especially if you’re searching for unique skill sets. Use these four strategies to teach your HR team how to hire the most impressive talent in your niche.

 

For more info:

 

29 May 2018

Inside Knowledge about the Recruiting Process

The recruitment process comes about because of a need for employees by an organization to carry out different tasks. Once the need arises the recruitment process has been initiated. In order to understand what the recruitment process is all about, lets firstly set the foundation by having a concrete definition of what the recruitment process really is. Recruitment is a systematic process of finding and hiring suitable candidates, from within or outside an organization, for an open job post in a timely manner. The recruitment process can be a long and exhausting process, however with a strategic team, the process can be finished in the shortest possible time. This process can be summarized into five easy steps.

  1. The first step is analyzing. Within this step, the organization that needs the candidate does their research to see how many spaces they need to be filled and what positions are to be filled. This is a very important step, as this step analyses the job description for the open positions within the firm. Without a job description things are like a train at top speed that has lost all control, so it is very imperative to have the job description sorted out.

  2. The next step is the attraction. Within this step, the necessary tools are used to drive interested candidates to apply for that job. Without this step, there will be no candidates to be considered for the position.

  3. The next step involves screening the candidates. Within this step, the candidates undergo a preliminary interview, that determines who has the required set of qualifications for the specified job post. This step is also important as it reduces the number of unqualified applications sent in to the recruiter.

  4. The fourth step involves doing a more in depth interview that will really determine whether or not the applicant is able to fulfil the requirements of the job.

  5. And the final step involves assimilating the qualified candidates within the position within the organization.

As stated before, the recruitment process can be very tedious without a very strategic team as Caribbean HR Solutions. As such we are always ready to take that burden from your shoulders, and do the recruiting for you. We have filled both small and big gaps, so come in and have a conversation with us today. 

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