Tag: talent management

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

 

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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.

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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

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02 May 2018

Training and Development of my Staff – Are my Programs effective?

Training and development of staff is arguably an important part of the development of your company and ensuring that your company grows. Onboarding a new employee is costly and similarly, every company wants to ensure that their employees are not only effective but also efficient. Training and development programs provide employees with that necessary skills and knowledge to grow and also implement in their current work to be more efficient and effective. As an organization, it is therefore critical to examine training and development programs and ensure that they are effective.

Here are 5 tips to ensure that you have a successful training program

  1. Identify Clear Goals and Outcomes

Any good program starts with clear and definable goals. Training merely for the purpose of having it is futile. You need concrete outcomes in order to stand any chance of deploying materials and a curriculum that add value to your firm.

  1. Develop Engaging Training Resources

In addition to having the correct goals and the best intentions, you also need materials and a curriculum that is sufficiently interesting to engage your employees and keep them focused. It comes down to three choices:

  1. Establish a Consistent Schedule

Effective training is all about consistency. Instead of trying to cram all of your company’s required training into a three-day period at the end of the calendar year, try spreading things out and commit to a couple hours of training every week or month.

This kind of consistency not only lessens the burden on your company, but it also raises the probability that your employees will become committed to ongoing learning. (They’ll also retain more information this way.)

  1. Give Employees a Say in the Curriculum

Though you’ll have the final say over which curriculum your organization uses for its training programs, don’t deny your employees the opportunity to get involved. Ask them about concepts and topics they feel would help them grow as employees, leaders, etc. There’s a lot of potential value in getting their input, and you may stumble across some ideas you hadn’t previously considered.

  1. Bridge the Gap Between Knowledge and Action

One of the biggest mistakes organizations too often make is failing to bridge the gap between knowledge and action. In other words, they expend generous amounts of time and money on training but don’t give employees a timely opportunity to transfer the knowledge they’ve acquired into action.

Employee training expert Julie Winkle Giulioni believes in developing an action plan: “Organizations, leaders, and individuals invest heavily in training and development through traditional classroom-based workshops, e-learning, webinars, apps, mentoring, experiences, and more,” Giulioni explains.

“But formal and informal learning efforts fall short of the full range of possible outcomes if we don’t metaphorically cross the finish line by bringing the learning to life. Action planning is what does this, bridging insights and intentions to results.”

You can increase the odds that your employees will convert knowledge into action by setting them up for success. Always enable employees to debrief before they leave any training session.

Ask questions like “What will you do differently now that you know X?” Host follow-up meetings with your team to see what progress they’re making. Simple things like these can have a significant impact.

 

For more info

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23 Apr 2018

Industry Talent Composition & Improvement Areas to Foster Growth

The 1st Outsource2Jamaica Symposium & Expo was held on April 11-13, 2018 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, Montego Bay, Jamaica.

This BPO event hosted by the BPIAJ (Business Process Industry of Jamaica) is the 1st of its kind to be held in Jamaica bringing together a diverse group of global experts, technocrats, local entrepreneurs, Government officials, BPO leaders, buyers and service providers at the first ever Outsourcing Symposium and Expo in Jamaica. It was a great opportunity to network and interact with key stakeholder’s in the BPO industry and listen to presentations made by experts in the industry.

Debra Fraser, CEO for Caribbean HR Solutions, presented on “Industry Talent Composition & Improvement Areas to Foster Growth”. She examined the need for training in the BPO sector and possible improvements that could be made to the existing training avenues. She highlighted the importance of having pre-trained candidates and the need for assessments to determine the skills and talents of individuals prior to training as this will help to boost productivity and profitability.

 

Here are four steps that need to be used by the training institutions and the organizations in the BPO sector to ensure that they receive the best performance from their employees.

  1. Better Pre-Assessment of natural giftings, skills, and attitudes and desire.
  • Assess #1- What industry and job is this job-seeker best suited for? BPO, Finance, Hospitality? Entertainment? Construction? -assessed for industry ‘fit’ – not just typing and talking, but a deeper and more objective assessment of natural proclivities
  • Assess #2 – If the person is suited for the BPO industry, what type of BPO job are they best suited for: Sales? Collections?  specialized in areas like Customer Service, Sales, Collections and Technical Support, comprising while others Virtual real estate schedulers, remote data analyst, remote payroll administrators, virtual Executive assistants,
  1. Use objective assessment tools. i.e psychometric assessment, computer-based test etc
  2. Use technology to ensure the assessments can be fairly administered and administered in mass. If you have the discipline to screen persons ‘out’, then you will need a much higher number of persons to screen in order to supply providers with necessary requirements. We have developed a Prescreening Psychometric screening tool, cloud-based skills and personality assessment which our clients use to ‘weed out’ and find the best candidates.
  3. Begin to use the same objective approach in selecting and accepting students for supervisory and leadership development courses. here is a large training gap in the BPO sector particularly as it relates to the training of middle-level management. Some BPO companies, for instance, Sutherland, Teleperformance, and Startek have invested heavily in training and development internally and this has contributed significantly to their sustainable growth.

 

In Summary, finding the right fit requires employers to source true talent. Employers in the BPO industry can achieve a greater ROI when more time, effort and resources are invested in effectively assessing raw talent by leveraging the use of technology and specific assessment tools.

 

 

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18 Apr 2018

Working Your Way Through Talent Management Crisis in Jamaica by Talent Management Expert Debra Fraser CEO Caribbean HR Solution

Jamaica BPO Stakeholders Communicate Honest, Actionable Awareness of Talent Crisis

Jamaica BPO has been reaping the benefits of a desirable workforce, low wages, and cultural alignment with US customers, but talent is still a challenge, and the industry is vocal about it.

Whatever caused it, BPO buyers are now paying very close attention to Jamaica, with companies such as Amazon, Lyft, Hilton, and AT&T betting big on the sector. As a result, the country is under close external scrutiny, leading local stakeholders to identify what is holding Jamaica back from the next level.

As the third largest English speaking nation in the Americas, Jamaica and its BPO sector have been capitalizing on the benefits of a desirable workforce, low wages, and cultural alignment with US customers, but greater demand for talent is where the difficulties lie. As client demands also become more technical, Jamaica’s meager IT talent pool has become another top concern.

Offering another potential solution to the training deficit, Debra Fraser, CEO of Caribbean HR Solutions presented some examples of where technology is successfully being used to create a better fit between agents, employers, and roles.

“We need leaders that will bring the entire labor force up, and there are lots of tests that can help with that by identifying the right people to invest in,” she said. “We don’t just want the masses, we want quality masses, and we can do that with technology and objective standards. Pre-screening tests can weed out non-fit and high performers, along with tools that measure personality fit, basic skills in grammar, logical reasoning, math skills, and whether a person suits sales/outbound or service/inbound. I haven’t yet seen many companies use any of these in Jamaica.”

What is clear from the O2J conference is that Jamaica has a remarkable willingness to adapt, a willingness to find business, the country is open to change, and people are empathetic to the customer. These are all traits that clients want in their providers and agents, so, if the puzzle of healthy talent development is solved, particularly on the IT side, these core values will ensure the country retains its upward trajectory.

Read full article at 

 

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