Tag: human resources

  • 9 Books Every HR Pro Should Read in 2020

    September 14, 2020

    Tags: ,

    Quarantine leaves us with a healthy chunk of time to reassess and spend time with the ones we love. But as quarantine goes on, the work must go on as well and for HR professionals, that means developing professionally as much as everyone else within the organization.

    With all this time on your hands, a nice relaxing read is not only good for your development, but also your health. To help you develop a reading list that can fuel your own growth, we’ve provided a quarantine reading list of the best HR focused books to read in 2020.

    Enjoy.

    1. HR on Purpose: Developing Deliberate People Passion by Steve Brown

    A well-known thought leader in HR, Brown spends a great deal of time facilitating conversations about the possibilities in HR. In this book, he looks to challenge assumptions and preconceived notions about what HR should be and instead challenges the reader to think of the possibilities and tap into their passion for HR.

    1. HR from the Outside In: Six Competencies for the Future of Human Resources by Dave Ulrich, Jon Younger, Wayne Brockbank and Mike Ulrich

    A cast of HR veterans has put together a handbook of competencies that sets the modern HR professional up for a more strategic role within the business. The put forward the argument that one of the most important roles of an HR practitioner is to be a credible activist, both for the employee and for the business as a whole.

    1. Generation Z: A Century in the Making by Corey Seemiller and Megan Grace

    When Millennials (Gen Y) hit the workforce it created a shift in expectations of employers, workplace cultures and the way employers think about processes and employee relationships. Now, a new generation is entering the workforce and their lifestyles, expectations and world view are once again different.

    To manage the Gen Z demographic effectively, HR leaders need to look at how the way this generation manages money, pursues education, values their relationships and what they want for their careers. This book explores these topics in a way that will help HR teams manage the generational diversity of their teams.

    1. Unleashing the Power of Diversity: How to Open Minds for Good by Bjørn Z. Ekelund

    As cultures collide and the nature of work becomes more global, there are differences which could divide teams if we can’t develop a common language and a culture that highlights our common struggles. In this book, the author unveils a step-by-step program for communicating across cultural lines to develop a culture of trust that facilitates greater diversity within the organization and the construction of global teams.

    1. Talent Wins: The New Playbook for Putting People First by Ram Charan, Dominic Barton, and Dennis Carey

    Talent planning is changing and requires a new way of doing things. This book uses examples from some of the world’s largest companies all the way down to Silicon Valley startups to show how HR can become the partner the business needs to acquire, develop and manage talent that can meet the technological and analytical demands of the modern workplace.

    1. Feedback (and Other Dirty Words): Why We Fear It and How to Fix It by M. Tamra Chandler and Laura Dowling Grealish

    Good, honest feedback can be difficult to take, but as HR leaders, collecting feedback and being able to package it into constructive conversations that fuel employee growth is an art. In this book, the authors take a deeper look at where negative reactions to feedback come from and how to limit negative physical and emotional responses to it. It introduces the three F’s of feedback, (focused, fair and frequent) to help ease the tension that sometimes accompanies these discussions.

    1. Predictive HR Analytics: Mastering the HR Metric by Martin R. Edwards and Kirsten Edwards

    Advanced HR metrics can be difficult, but are becoming a necessary part of the modern HR professionals work as employee engagement and experience take center stage. Being able to predict turnover, analyze and forecast diversity and fine tune employee interventions are all key skills discussed in this book. The authors focus on statistical techniques and predictive analytics models that can help improve the HR practitioner’s ability to do those things in an ethical manner.

    1. Talent Keepers: How Top Leaders Engage and Retain Their Best Performers by Christopher Mulligan and Craig Taylor

    Through six case studies, the authors of this book reveal how organizations can develop and implement employee engagement plans that use tactics which have shown proven results. Starting from the time a new hire walks through the door to years into their development, this systemic approach will help HR leaders create a culture that retains and nurtures employees to grow within the organization.

    1. Nine Lies About Work: A Freethinking Leader’s Guide to the Real World by Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall

    Culture is everything, but there are misconceptions and lies that pervade the workplace and cause dysfunction. That is the central tenet behind this book which seeks to identify those lies and highlight freethinking leaders are able to see through the fog to see the unique nature of their teams and reveal truths about the workplace or what the authors call the real world of work.

    Originally posted on hrexchangenetwork.com

  • In Depth: The Future of Work Part 1

    July 2, 2020

    Tags: , ,

    The hardest thing about the future of work is defining the concept. The chief reason has to do with change. It’s constant with new technologies coming online at an increasing pace and changing the way people complete their work.

    If the data is to be believed, what HR knows about work is quickly disappearing. Korn Ferry predicts by 2030 a global human talent shortage of more than 85 million people will exist. That’s an astonishing prediction, but changes are expected well in advance of that year. Forty percent of today’s Fortune 500 companies, according to Deloitte, won’t exist in 2025. Additionally, the World Economic Forum predicts 133 million new jobs will be developed by 2022 through artificial intelligence.

    For HR, this data points to a very clear path: prepare your company now for the work of the future.

    “The fact is we can guess all we want, but we can’t ever truly know what the future holds,” excites Granite Group chief people officer Tracie Sponenberg.”

    Despite all the difficulty in defining the future of work and some of the concerns that come with it, Sponenberg said there is some excitement to be had. Other HR professionals agree.

    “What excites me most are the new technologies that are going to support employees in making leaps in speed, agility, efficiency, productivity and overall performance,” Andrew Saidy said.

    He’s the vice president of talent digitization, employer branding and university relations for Schneider Electric. As the digital transformation of HR continues, we’ve certainly seen advancements in those specific areas. Employees are using more tools that are either digital in part or completely so. Both help employees increase efficiency which leads to an increase in productivity and performance. Technology has also allowed companies to be agile in their approach to work.

    GE Healthcare head of global digital learning Christopher Lind agrees with Saidy saying technology helps organizations break all the rules when it comes to connecting, collaborating and experiencing work. Even so, he acknowledges there is still some fear around technology.

    “Instead of being afraid of machines taking our jobs, I believe we should be excited that machines can do the rudimentary things we waste so much time doing, so we can focus on the higher order things that really drive us,” Lind said.

    Learning and Development

    Despite Lind’s statement, there is still some concern around the potential loss of jobs to technology solutions — specifically around artificial intelligence and automation.

    It might surprise you to know that’s not an uncommon feeling to have. There have been concerns about technology taking away jobs since the First Industrial Revolution in the early 1900s. Here we are 100 or more years later entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution and we’re experiencing similar concerns. While that’s an understood feeling, HR needs to help move the workforce away from this type of concern and focus more on skilling accordingly… what is, sometimes, referred to as future-proofing skills. That’s really the name of the game.

    During this particular revolution, new industries and roles will be created. Forrester predicts robots, AI, machine learning and automation will create 9 percent of new jobs by 2025. Some of the new jobs expected to be created include:

    • Robot monitoring professionals
    • Content curators
    • Data scientists
    • Automation specialists

    Naturally, some will go away. By 2025, Forrester also predicts those same technologies will replace 16 percent of US jobs. Most of the impact will be felt on office and administrative support staff roles as well as roles where workers have a low amount of formal education – the so-called “at-risk jobs”. Learning new skills and building on existing competencies will be crucial to companies wanting to remain competitive in the current climate. The challenge there lies in trying to figure out which skills your employee will need.

    The data provided gives HR some indication on where to begin. With more robot, artificial intelligence, automation, and other related jobs expected in the future, employees should start building their knowledge and skill base now.

    While it seems daunting, there is some good news. A World Economic Forum and Boston Consulting Group report says “95 percent of at-risk U.S. workers could be successfully retrained for jobs that pay the same as or more than their current positions and offer better growth prospects.”

    So How Does HR Move Forward?

    Taking employees off-line for weeks to train is pretty much a “no go” at this point in the game. Learning and training almost have to be conducted “on the job” in reality. This isn’t just a need. Many employees actually prefer learning on the job. Keeping up workflow and productivity is important to the continued success of the business. Different companies are using different methods to accommodate this need.

    Walmart, for instance, has automated tasks at their stores such as customer checkout. That means associates have more time to train on a multitude of concepts including customer service.

    The department store giant is using virtual reality to simulate different issues their associates will experience during their employment. For instance, VR is being used to simulate Black Friday rushes.

    AT&T is taking a different approach. The company has instituted a program called “Future Ready”. Essentially, the $1 billion, web-based initiative includes online courses through a myriad of vendors and universities. This allows employees to figure out what skills they need and train for the jobs the company needs right now and will need in the future. Their online portal, called Career Intelligence, allows workers to see available jobs, the skills each requires, the suggested salary and whether or not the area is expected to grow or shrink in the future. It is career pathing at its best and allows employees to figure out how to get from where they are now to where they want to be and the company needs them to be in the future.

    By Mason Stevenson

    Originally posted on hrexchangenetwork.com

  • Ask the Advisor: Can We Deny an Employee’s Use of Accrued Vacation Time?

    June 23, 2020

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    Question:

    Can we deny an employee’s use of accrued vacation time?

    Answer:

    Yes, the decision to approve or deny the use of accrued vacation time is up to you, assuming you do so in a consistent and non-discriminatory manner. It would be acceptable, for example, to deny a vacation request because approving it would leave you without adequate coverage or because the employee asked with less notice than is required by your time off policy.

    You should, however, ensure that certain employees are not denied vacation disproportionately. For instance, if an employer’s administrative staff (who are all women), or their software engineers (who are all men), are consistently denied vacation because arranging coverage is difficult and deadlines are abundant, this could lead to claims of discrimination.

    If you have “use it or lose it” vacation policy, you may want to change it (permanently or for 2020) to a system where hours roll over from one benefit year to another (up to a reasonable cap) so that employees don’t feel like they need to use up their vacation by a certain date or risk losing the benefit. If you already roll over hours, you might consider raising the rollover cap for this year in response to COVID-19. In any case, be sure to notify employees of any changes to your policy.

    By Emily Schlaudecker

    Originally posted on thinkhr.com

  • Data Drop: The Latest Workforce Surveys for HR Professionals to Read

    June 3, 2020

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    It’s an interesting time for the workforce as big changes are in store for everyone across the spectrum of the professional landscape. Every industry has been impacted COVID-19 and the continuous evolution of the situation, the economy and the workplace means that data and our understanding of all these things is shifting with it.

    More reliable than the data itself sometimes is people thirst for more of it. We love our numbers and there are no shortage of people looking to provide it. Luckily, a good amount of that data ends up in our inbox!

    So here are some of the latest workforce surveys that have caught our attention and what statistics you need to know as you look to address the issues within your own organization.

    People Feel Isolated, but Want to Stay Home

    According to a recent survey from Finance Buzz, around half of remote workers say they feel isolated, but less 20% of them want to go back to the office.

    The perks of remote work are becoming clear to employees, with the ability to work from anywhere, flexibility of schedule and time saved from not commuting proving to be the most universal of the bunch.

    But at the same time, in addition to feelings of isolation, employees are finding it harder to build relationships with co-workers, they struggle to separate work time and personal time and they aren’t getting enough face time with their leaders. Most of the issues can be addressed simply by committing to the principles that make operating remotely different.

    “Remote work is not traditional work which is simply conducted in a home office instead of a company office,” says Darren Murph, Head of Remote for Gitlab. “There is a natural inclination for those who have not personally experienced remote work to assume that the core (or only) difference between in-office work and remote work is location (in-office vs. out-of-office). This is inaccurate, and if not recognized, can be damaging to the entire practice of working remotely.”

    Employers are Ready to Return Workers, but at What Pace?

    Dykema, a national law firm for businesses, surveyed employers asking about their plans to return employees to the office. One thing that became clear is their intent to do so. But what was less clear is how they plan to do it.

    According to the data, 58% were planning to phase employees back into the office over the course of a month. Meanwhile, 21% want to get things back up and running much quicker than that, and another 21% say they won’t reopen until all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines have been met.  Only about half of all respondents have established a criteria for which employees will return to the office.

    How Prospects are Prepping for Your Interview

    Employee screening and background check service, JDP, released a new survey looking at how candidates prepare for job interviews and the results reveal how vital it is to manage digital assets and the organization’s reputation.

    On average, prospects spend around seven hours researching a company before taking an interview. As you might expect, they start by examining the company website, search engine results for the company name, LinkedIn and Glassdoor. Aside from looking at your reputation, they want to know who your customers are, what kind of leadership the organization has, who your competitors are and last but not least, the financial health of the company.

    Around 64% look to research the person who will interview them. Their biggest fears include speaking in front of a group, not knowing how to answer a question and looking nervous. Despite this, 63% do not do a mock interview with someone.

    Automation is Expected Post COVID-19

    It’s no surprise people believe automation is on the way, with research showing that the biggest believers fall into the 35-44 age group, according to research from global business process outsourcing firm SYKES. The survey showed that in all, around 59% of participants believe that COVID-19 will lead to more automation.

    The findings expand upon previous research from SYKES that has shown people don’t fear automation taking their jobs. A November report found that 73% of American workers said the idea of humans and automation working together interested them and 68% said they would be more likely to apply to work for a company investing in new automation technologies.

    By HR Exchange Network Editorial Team

    Originally posted on hrexchangenetwork.com

  • Remote Work Challenges for HR

    March 23, 2020

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    It’s been said the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak has created the largest remote work experiment ever devised.  In fact, there are many recently documented cases where companies have asked at least some of their employees to work from home.  Three of those companies are Amazon, Twitter and Microsoft.

    Remote work, of course, is not something new.  In the past, remote work has been largely reserved for customer service representatives but that’s changed now with remote work being a reality for many different industries across the board.  There’s been a 173 percent increase in people working remotely since 2005.  Additionally, 75 percent of workers say they’re more productive at home.  The reasons:

    • Fewer distractions
    • Less commuting
    • Lower instances of office politics

    The coronavirus aside, there are some real challenges for HR when it comes to looking after a remote workforce.  Chief among them is the strategy for keeping those remote employees engaged the company.

    Remote Work

    Employee Engagement

    Employee engagement is not an easy thing to accomplish.  By and large, it really depends on the type of organization and the type of workers typically employed by said organization.  What works for one doesn’t necessarily work for the other.  When a company then adds remote workers into the mix, one can see how it gets more difficult to see success in a strategy.

    In some ways, it’s easy for human resources to develop this idea remote workers don’t need engagement.  The opposite is actually true.  Remote workers tend to be very productive.  Most statistics back up this claim.  A solid remote worker is typically described as:

    • Self-Disciplined
    • Adaptable
    • Flexible
    • Strong communicators
    • Independent
    • Confident
    • Reliable

    Even with all of that said, remote works want to feel like they belong with the company.  It’s imperative they believe they are important and valued members of the company culture and its community.  Remote workers, just like on-site workers, are susceptible to certain trends such as leaving the organization within the first year and leaving to pursue career advancement opportunities.

    Facilitating Remote Work

    All of that said, there are things company leaders and managers can do to set the engagement of the remote workforce on the right path.

    1. Expectations

    The whole point of remote work is not having to go into the office.  As such flexible work scheduling is typically a piece of the overall remote working strategy.  To be more to the point – workers probably aren’t working a 9-to-5 shift if they’re off-site.  That being said, managers can set particular expectations such as times the employee is expected to be “on the clock.”  Some people refer to these as “busy hours” or “office hours.”  It’s during this time remote workers should be expected to be prompt in their responses to emails and phone calls as well as be available to collaborate with the team.

    1. Inclusion

    Normally when the word inclusion is used, it’s in connected to diversity.  In this particular instance, the focus is not on the inclusion of workers from any other perspective than the fact they are part of a team.  If a team is meeting at the office to discuss strategy or anything for that matter, remote workers should be allowed to participate.  They should actually be expected to do so.  With tools such as Zoom and Skype available, there’s no reason they should not be included in the conversation.

    1. Rewards

    In a lot of instances, brick-and-mortar employees tend to think remote workers don’t work nearly as much.  That’s actually a misconception.  In most instances, remote workers work longer hours than those in the office; about 46 hours a week.  That being said, it’s important to reward these workers.  If they are hitting their goals, that needs to be recognized.

    Productivity Case Study

    One area where companies tend to cringe when it comes to remote work is in productivity.  There are some real fears presented from leaders with respect to workers not being as productive when working from home as compared to those brick-and-mortar employees.  Some of it, like it or not, stems from the need some leaders have with respect to seeing their direct reports work.  Is this fear founded or unfounded?  If the results of one case study (and several others) are to be believed, the answer is definitely unfounded.

    Look to CTrip, China’s largest travel agency.  A professor from Stanford studies whether or not remote work was “beneficial or harmful for productivity.”  It took two years to complete the study and what the professor found is a profound increase in productivity for a group of remote workers over their in-office counterparts.  It wasn’t all “sunshine and rainbows”, however.  Those remote workers did report an increase in feeling lonely and many reported they didn’t want to work from home all the time.  In the end, the recommendation was to create a hybrid of sorts; one that balanced working from home and in the office.

    In summation

    Here’s what we know.  Right now, there are some 26 million Americans who work, at least part of the time, from home.  And that number is only going to grow.  According to a report from Buffer, 99 percent of employees say they want to work from home some of the time for the rest of their careers.  Additionally, IWG says their research indicates 80 percent of workers would choose a position with flexible work over one that didn’t offer the benefit.

    It can only be hypothesized the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to push employers to test the boundaries of remote working.  In doing so, they will have to take a very hard look at their current employee engagement strategies to ensure workers still feel connected to the organization and each other.  While it’s not the single most important thing when it comes to continued profitability, especially in an economy rocked by a worldwide coronavirus outbreak, it will go a long way to ensuring companies can continue delivering on business promises and supporting the bottom line and the company workforce.

    By Mason Stevenson

    Originally posted on hrexchangenetwork.com

  • International Hiring Strategy

    January 15, 2020

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    In today’s business world, there is more pressure than ever to maintain a high rate of growth and reach new revenue goals. And growth usually means hiring.

    The work of HR is an important part of that work, especially where fast-growing companies are concerned. There are many reasons why going beyond borders and hiring talent internationally can help a company reach its objectives.

    Why International Hiring?

    Growing globally Grab Market Share

    Over the last ten years or so, companies have seen huge growth, but they’re starting to exceed their size regionally.  As a result, companies are hiring internationally to take advantage of new markets and job applicant pools.

    Debbie Millin is the Chief Operating Officer for Globalization Partners, the organization behind the Global Expansion PlatformTM.  Millin says one popular way companies kickstart their expansion is by hiring sales people in new countries where they want to expand.  At the end of the day, companies need to grab global market share and hiring those workers is a good way to start.

    Competitive Advantage

    Millin says companies are going global earlier and faster than they used to, because if they don’t, someone else can use the idea and set up an in-country competitor.  One example:  Didi and Uber.  Uber didn’t get into the market quickly enough and lost out to Didi.

    Accessing a larger applicant pool

    Millin says you must go to the talent.  As the world continues to develop, it’s going to feel much smaller than it does now.  Organizations must start looking outside their current regional offices to scout the best talent available. Unemployment rates are low, and hiring is competitive so staying in your own backyard could severely limit the talent pool.

    The Contractor Trap

    But acquiring international talent does not necessarily mean hiring contractors. This is one of the common mistakes companies make. Leaders identify great talent in a place like Brazil or France and attempt to hire those workers.  The only problem? International contractor laws are the same as those in the United States; if the person acts like an employee, they are an employee. Following this action opens the company up to significant legal risk and financial penalties.

    Falling into “the contractor trap” really is a trap, because it’s not always easy to get out. If the relationship with the contractor begins to deteriorate, they could easily expose the working arrangement to the authorities, and you could potentially owe back taxes, fines, unpaid benefits and more.

    When companies are truly ready to go after the best global talent, hiring full-time makes the most sense. The best talent wants a full-time role, with benefits, and opportunities for growth.

    Where’s the growth?

    Based on data from Globalization Partners, Millin says the following 10 countries are at the top when it comes to expansion.

    1. Canada
    2. UK
    3. Singapore
    4. Mexico
    5. China
    6. Australia
    7. Brazil
    8. Germany
    9. India
    10. South Korea

    The UK tends to be the first stop after Canada 90% of the time, but that’s changing with Brexit. Companies are more hesitant to enter the UK of with the uncertainty of what Brexit will bring, showing how important it is for companies to be aware of the social and political issues in a country as you plan your global expansion.

    Millin says for HR professionals at companies that have decided to take advantage of the many opportunities associated with global growth, the next step is to figure out how to make it happen.

    The Process

    Decide whether to set up shop in another country

    Opening a compliant business entity in any country is challenging – and some are much harder than others. If the company chooses to set up a branch office or wholly-owned subsidiary, it can take six months to a year, or longer, before the company is legally able to operate in the region, not to mention several thousands of dollars.

    Plus, leaders will need to know about local registrations, bank accounts, corporate/tax filings, administering compliant payroll and benefits in country, and more. Some of the “gotchas” to look out for include bank account setup – it can take months. And some countries require in-person signatures. It’s not always feasible to be physically in-country throughout the entity set-up process.

    Lack of At-Will Employment

    In the United States, companies can hire and fire at will – as long as the reason for termination isn’t illegal. Outside of the U.S., this is an unknown concept. Employers must prove that an employee dismissal is legally justified, and in many countries, that is difficult to do, and evidence must be documented.

    If legal process aren’t followed properly, the company can open itself up to a wrongful termination lawsuit, which can be vastly more expensive, and take years to resolve.

    No One-Size-Fits-All Solution

    Benefits vary from country-to-country and from individual-to-individual. A global company must adhere to the idiosyncrasies of each country’s laws and customs and still offer “equal” benefits to all employees.

    On the plus side, so many countries have statutory benefits plans that in some locations your company may not need to provide supplementary benefits at all.

    Understanding the local market norms can help you stand out as an employer of choice.

    For global teams, HR should shape equitable benefit offerings around perks that maximize the quality of life for the company’s employees within the context of their own culture.  Research what benefits are most valued in a particular location, and what other employers are offering in that market beyond what is required.  This helps the company stay competitive, and gives the candidate confidence from the very first interaction with your company.

    But all of this takes time, as well as local knowledge and expertise, which can put additional burden on in-house HR teams who are managing the process alone.

    Going Forward

    So what are the options? One solution to expanding internationally is to use a Global Employer of Record. An employer of record is an organization that serves as the employer for tax purposes, while the employee performs their work at a different company.

    Specifically, an Employer of Record such as Globalization Partners helps:

    • Onboard employees in over 170 countries
    • Manage payroll and taxes – compliantly
    • Navigate the complexities of local benefits, PTO, and bonus structures

    Working with a Global Employer of Record provides a quick time-to-market, until you reach a critical mass in country, or you can continue with this model indefinitely depending on your business.

    By Mason Stevenson

    Originally posted on hrexchangenetwork.com

  • 9 Books Every HR Pro Should Read in 2020

    September 14, 2020

    Tags: ,

    Quarantine leaves us with a healthy chunk of time to reassess and spend time with the ones we love. But as quarantine goes on, the work must go on as well and for HR professionals, that means developing professionally as much as everyone else within the organization.

    With all this time on your hands, a nice relaxing read is not only good for your development, but also your health. To help you develop a reading list that can fuel your own growth, we’ve provided a quarantine reading list of the best HR focused books to read in 2020.

    Enjoy.

    1. HR on Purpose: Developing Deliberate People Passion by Steve Brown

    A well-known thought leader in HR, Brown spends a great deal of time facilitating conversations about the possibilities in HR. In this book, he looks to challenge assumptions and preconceived notions about what HR should be and instead challenges the reader to think of the possibilities and tap into their passion for HR.

    1. HR from the Outside In: Six Competencies for the Future of Human Resources by Dave Ulrich, Jon Younger, Wayne Brockbank and Mike Ulrich

    A cast of HR veterans has put together a handbook of competencies that sets the modern HR professional up for a more strategic role within the business. The put forward the argument that one of the most important roles of an HR practitioner is to be a credible activist, both for the employee and for the business as a whole.

    1. Generation Z: A Century in the Making by Corey Seemiller and Megan Grace

    When Millennials (Gen Y) hit the workforce it created a shift in expectations of employers, workplace cultures and the way employers think about processes and employee relationships. Now, a new generation is entering the workforce and their lifestyles, expectations and world view are once again different.

    To manage the Gen Z demographic effectively, HR leaders need to look at how the way this generation manages money, pursues education, values their relationships and what they want for their careers. This book explores these topics in a way that will help HR teams manage the generational diversity of their teams.

    1. Unleashing the Power of Diversity: How to Open Minds for Good by Bjørn Z. Ekelund

    As cultures collide and the nature of work becomes more global, there are differences which could divide teams if we can’t develop a common language and a culture that highlights our common struggles. In this book, the author unveils a step-by-step program for communicating across cultural lines to develop a culture of trust that facilitates greater diversity within the organization and the construction of global teams.

    1. Talent Wins: The New Playbook for Putting People First by Ram Charan, Dominic Barton, and Dennis Carey

    Talent planning is changing and requires a new way of doing things. This book uses examples from some of the world’s largest companies all the way down to Silicon Valley startups to show how HR can become the partner the business needs to acquire, develop and manage talent that can meet the technological and analytical demands of the modern workplace.

    1. Feedback (and Other Dirty Words): Why We Fear It and How to Fix It by M. Tamra Chandler and Laura Dowling Grealish

    Good, honest feedback can be difficult to take, but as HR leaders, collecting feedback and being able to package it into constructive conversations that fuel employee growth is an art. In this book, the authors take a deeper look at where negative reactions to feedback come from and how to limit negative physical and emotional responses to it. It introduces the three F’s of feedback, (focused, fair and frequent) to help ease the tension that sometimes accompanies these discussions.

    1. Predictive HR Analytics: Mastering the HR Metric by Martin R. Edwards and Kirsten Edwards

    Advanced HR metrics can be difficult, but are becoming a necessary part of the modern HR professionals work as employee engagement and experience take center stage. Being able to predict turnover, analyze and forecast diversity and fine tune employee interventions are all key skills discussed in this book. The authors focus on statistical techniques and predictive analytics models that can help improve the HR practitioner’s ability to do those things in an ethical manner.

    1. Talent Keepers: How Top Leaders Engage and Retain Their Best Performers by Christopher Mulligan and Craig Taylor

    Through six case studies, the authors of this book reveal how organizations can develop and implement employee engagement plans that use tactics which have shown proven results. Starting from the time a new hire walks through the door to years into their development, this systemic approach will help HR leaders create a culture that retains and nurtures employees to grow within the organization.

    1. Nine Lies About Work: A Freethinking Leader’s Guide to the Real World by Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall

    Culture is everything, but there are misconceptions and lies that pervade the workplace and cause dysfunction. That is the central tenet behind this book which seeks to identify those lies and highlight freethinking leaders are able to see through the fog to see the unique nature of their teams and reveal truths about the workplace or what the authors call the real world of work.

    Originally posted on hrexchangenetwork.com

  • In Depth: The Future of Work Part 1

    July 2, 2020

    Tags: , ,

    The hardest thing about the future of work is defining the concept. The chief reason has to do with change. It’s constant with new technologies coming online at an increasing pace and changing the way people complete their work.

    If the data is to be believed, what HR knows about work is quickly disappearing. Korn Ferry predicts by 2030 a global human talent shortage of more than 85 million people will exist. That’s an astonishing prediction, but changes are expected well in advance of that year. Forty percent of today’s Fortune 500 companies, according to Deloitte, won’t exist in 2025. Additionally, the World Economic Forum predicts 133 million new jobs will be developed by 2022 through artificial intelligence.

    For HR, this data points to a very clear path: prepare your company now for the work of the future.

    “The fact is we can guess all we want, but we can’t ever truly know what the future holds,” excites Granite Group chief people officer Tracie Sponenberg.”

    Despite all the difficulty in defining the future of work and some of the concerns that come with it, Sponenberg said there is some excitement to be had. Other HR professionals agree.

    “What excites me most are the new technologies that are going to support employees in making leaps in speed, agility, efficiency, productivity and overall performance,” Andrew Saidy said.

    He’s the vice president of talent digitization, employer branding and university relations for Schneider Electric. As the digital transformation of HR continues, we’ve certainly seen advancements in those specific areas. Employees are using more tools that are either digital in part or completely so. Both help employees increase efficiency which leads to an increase in productivity and performance. Technology has also allowed companies to be agile in their approach to work.

    GE Healthcare head of global digital learning Christopher Lind agrees with Saidy saying technology helps organizations break all the rules when it comes to connecting, collaborating and experiencing work. Even so, he acknowledges there is still some fear around technology.

    “Instead of being afraid of machines taking our jobs, I believe we should be excited that machines can do the rudimentary things we waste so much time doing, so we can focus on the higher order things that really drive us,” Lind said.

    Learning and Development

    Despite Lind’s statement, there is still some concern around the potential loss of jobs to technology solutions — specifically around artificial intelligence and automation.

    It might surprise you to know that’s not an uncommon feeling to have. There have been concerns about technology taking away jobs since the First Industrial Revolution in the early 1900s. Here we are 100 or more years later entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution and we’re experiencing similar concerns. While that’s an understood feeling, HR needs to help move the workforce away from this type of concern and focus more on skilling accordingly… what is, sometimes, referred to as future-proofing skills. That’s really the name of the game.

    During this particular revolution, new industries and roles will be created. Forrester predicts robots, AI, machine learning and automation will create 9 percent of new jobs by 2025. Some of the new jobs expected to be created include:

    • Robot monitoring professionals
    • Content curators
    • Data scientists
    • Automation specialists

    Naturally, some will go away. By 2025, Forrester also predicts those same technologies will replace 16 percent of US jobs. Most of the impact will be felt on office and administrative support staff roles as well as roles where workers have a low amount of formal education – the so-called “at-risk jobs”. Learning new skills and building on existing competencies will be crucial to companies wanting to remain competitive in the current climate. The challenge there lies in trying to figure out which skills your employee will need.

    The data provided gives HR some indication on where to begin. With more robot, artificial intelligence, automation, and other related jobs expected in the future, employees should start building their knowledge and skill base now.

    While it seems daunting, there is some good news. A World Economic Forum and Boston Consulting Group report says “95 percent of at-risk U.S. workers could be successfully retrained for jobs that pay the same as or more than their current positions and offer better growth prospects.”

    So How Does HR Move Forward?

    Taking employees off-line for weeks to train is pretty much a “no go” at this point in the game. Learning and training almost have to be conducted “on the job” in reality. This isn’t just a need. Many employees actually prefer learning on the job. Keeping up workflow and productivity is important to the continued success of the business. Different companies are using different methods to accommodate this need.

    Walmart, for instance, has automated tasks at their stores such as customer checkout. That means associates have more time to train on a multitude of concepts including customer service.

    The department store giant is using virtual reality to simulate different issues their associates will experience during their employment. For instance, VR is being used to simulate Black Friday rushes.

    AT&T is taking a different approach. The company has instituted a program called “Future Ready”. Essentially, the $1 billion, web-based initiative includes online courses through a myriad of vendors and universities. This allows employees to figure out what skills they need and train for the jobs the company needs right now and will need in the future. Their online portal, called Career Intelligence, allows workers to see available jobs, the skills each requires, the suggested salary and whether or not the area is expected to grow or shrink in the future. It is career pathing at its best and allows employees to figure out how to get from where they are now to where they want to be and the company needs them to be in the future.

    By Mason Stevenson

    Originally posted on hrexchangenetwork.com

  • Ask the Advisor: Can We Deny an Employee’s Use of Accrued Vacation Time?

    June 23, 2020

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    Question:

    Can we deny an employee’s use of accrued vacation time?

    Answer:

    Yes, the decision to approve or deny the use of accrued vacation time is up to you, assuming you do so in a consistent and non-discriminatory manner. It would be acceptable, for example, to deny a vacation request because approving it would leave you without adequate coverage or because the employee asked with less notice than is required by your time off policy.

    You should, however, ensure that certain employees are not denied vacation disproportionately. For instance, if an employer’s administrative staff (who are all women), or their software engineers (who are all men), are consistently denied vacation because arranging coverage is difficult and deadlines are abundant, this could lead to claims of discrimination.

    If you have “use it or lose it” vacation policy, you may want to change it (permanently or for 2020) to a system where hours roll over from one benefit year to another (up to a reasonable cap) so that employees don’t feel like they need to use up their vacation by a certain date or risk losing the benefit. If you already roll over hours, you might consider raising the rollover cap for this year in response to COVID-19. In any case, be sure to notify employees of any changes to your policy.

    By Emily Schlaudecker

    Originally posted on thinkhr.com

  • Data Drop: The Latest Workforce Surveys for HR Professionals to Read

    June 3, 2020

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    It’s an interesting time for the workforce as big changes are in store for everyone across the spectrum of the professional landscape. Every industry has been impacted COVID-19 and the continuous evolution of the situation, the economy and the workplace means that data and our understanding of all these things is shifting with it.

    More reliable than the data itself sometimes is people thirst for more of it. We love our numbers and there are no shortage of people looking to provide it. Luckily, a good amount of that data ends up in our inbox!

    So here are some of the latest workforce surveys that have caught our attention and what statistics you need to know as you look to address the issues within your own organization.

    People Feel Isolated, but Want to Stay Home

    According to a recent survey from Finance Buzz, around half of remote workers say they feel isolated, but less 20% of them want to go back to the office.

    The perks of remote work are becoming clear to employees, with the ability to work from anywhere, flexibility of schedule and time saved from not commuting proving to be the most universal of the bunch.

    But at the same time, in addition to feelings of isolation, employees are finding it harder to build relationships with co-workers, they struggle to separate work time and personal time and they aren’t getting enough face time with their leaders. Most of the issues can be addressed simply by committing to the principles that make operating remotely different.

    “Remote work is not traditional work which is simply conducted in a home office instead of a company office,” says Darren Murph, Head of Remote for Gitlab. “There is a natural inclination for those who have not personally experienced remote work to assume that the core (or only) difference between in-office work and remote work is location (in-office vs. out-of-office). This is inaccurate, and if not recognized, can be damaging to the entire practice of working remotely.”

    Employers are Ready to Return Workers, but at What Pace?

    Dykema, a national law firm for businesses, surveyed employers asking about their plans to return employees to the office. One thing that became clear is their intent to do so. But what was less clear is how they plan to do it.

    According to the data, 58% were planning to phase employees back into the office over the course of a month. Meanwhile, 21% want to get things back up and running much quicker than that, and another 21% say they won’t reopen until all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines have been met.  Only about half of all respondents have established a criteria for which employees will return to the office.

    How Prospects are Prepping for Your Interview

    Employee screening and background check service, JDP, released a new survey looking at how candidates prepare for job interviews and the results reveal how vital it is to manage digital assets and the organization’s reputation.

    On average, prospects spend around seven hours researching a company before taking an interview. As you might expect, they start by examining the company website, search engine results for the company name, LinkedIn and Glassdoor. Aside from looking at your reputation, they want to know who your customers are, what kind of leadership the organization has, who your competitors are and last but not least, the financial health of the company.

    Around 64% look to research the person who will interview them. Their biggest fears include speaking in front of a group, not knowing how to answer a question and looking nervous. Despite this, 63% do not do a mock interview with someone.

    Automation is Expected Post COVID-19

    It’s no surprise people believe automation is on the way, with research showing that the biggest believers fall into the 35-44 age group, according to research from global business process outsourcing firm SYKES. The survey showed that in all, around 59% of participants believe that COVID-19 will lead to more automation.

    The findings expand upon previous research from SYKES that has shown people don’t fear automation taking their jobs. A November report found that 73% of American workers said the idea of humans and automation working together interested them and 68% said they would be more likely to apply to work for a company investing in new automation technologies.

    By HR Exchange Network Editorial Team

    Originally posted on hrexchangenetwork.com

  • Remote Work Challenges for HR

    March 23, 2020

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    It’s been said the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak has created the largest remote work experiment ever devised.  In fact, there are many recently documented cases where companies have asked at least some of their employees to work from home.  Three of those companies are Amazon, Twitter and Microsoft.

    Remote work, of course, is not something new.  In the past, remote work has been largely reserved for customer service representatives but that’s changed now with remote work being a reality for many different industries across the board.  There’s been a 173 percent increase in people working remotely since 2005.  Additionally, 75 percent of workers say they’re more productive at home.  The reasons:

    • Fewer distractions
    • Less commuting
    • Lower instances of office politics

    The coronavirus aside, there are some real challenges for HR when it comes to looking after a remote workforce.  Chief among them is the strategy for keeping those remote employees engaged the company.

    Remote Work

    Employee Engagement

    Employee engagement is not an easy thing to accomplish.  By and large, it really depends on the type of organization and the type of workers typically employed by said organization.  What works for one doesn’t necessarily work for the other.  When a company then adds remote workers into the mix, one can see how it gets more difficult to see success in a strategy.

    In some ways, it’s easy for human resources to develop this idea remote workers don’t need engagement.  The opposite is actually true.  Remote workers tend to be very productive.  Most statistics back up this claim.  A solid remote worker is typically described as:

    • Self-Disciplined
    • Adaptable
    • Flexible
    • Strong communicators
    • Independent
    • Confident
    • Reliable

    Even with all of that said, remote works want to feel like they belong with the company.  It’s imperative they believe they are important and valued members of the company culture and its community.  Remote workers, just like on-site workers, are susceptible to certain trends such as leaving the organization within the first year and leaving to pursue career advancement opportunities.

    Facilitating Remote Work

    All of that said, there are things company leaders and managers can do to set the engagement of the remote workforce on the right path.

    1. Expectations

    The whole point of remote work is not having to go into the office.  As such flexible work scheduling is typically a piece of the overall remote working strategy.  To be more to the point – workers probably aren’t working a 9-to-5 shift if they’re off-site.  That being said, managers can set particular expectations such as times the employee is expected to be “on the clock.”  Some people refer to these as “busy hours” or “office hours.”  It’s during this time remote workers should be expected to be prompt in their responses to emails and phone calls as well as be available to collaborate with the team.

    1. Inclusion

    Normally when the word inclusion is used, it’s in connected to diversity.  In this particular instance, the focus is not on the inclusion of workers from any other perspective than the fact they are part of a team.  If a team is meeting at the office to discuss strategy or anything for that matter, remote workers should be allowed to participate.  They should actually be expected to do so.  With tools such as Zoom and Skype available, there’s no reason they should not be included in the conversation.

    1. Rewards

    In a lot of instances, brick-and-mortar employees tend to think remote workers don’t work nearly as much.  That’s actually a misconception.  In most instances, remote workers work longer hours than those in the office; about 46 hours a week.  That being said, it’s important to reward these workers.  If they are hitting their goals, that needs to be recognized.

    Productivity Case Study

    One area where companies tend to cringe when it comes to remote work is in productivity.  There are some real fears presented from leaders with respect to workers not being as productive when working from home as compared to those brick-and-mortar employees.  Some of it, like it or not, stems from the need some leaders have with respect to seeing their direct reports work.  Is this fear founded or unfounded?  If the results of one case study (and several others) are to be believed, the answer is definitely unfounded.

    Look to CTrip, China’s largest travel agency.  A professor from Stanford studies whether or not remote work was “beneficial or harmful for productivity.”  It took two years to complete the study and what the professor found is a profound increase in productivity for a group of remote workers over their in-office counterparts.  It wasn’t all “sunshine and rainbows”, however.  Those remote workers did report an increase in feeling lonely and many reported they didn’t want to work from home all the time.  In the end, the recommendation was to create a hybrid of sorts; one that balanced working from home and in the office.

    In summation

    Here’s what we know.  Right now, there are some 26 million Americans who work, at least part of the time, from home.  And that number is only going to grow.  According to a report from Buffer, 99 percent of employees say they want to work from home some of the time for the rest of their careers.  Additionally, IWG says their research indicates 80 percent of workers would choose a position with flexible work over one that didn’t offer the benefit.

    It can only be hypothesized the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to push employers to test the boundaries of remote working.  In doing so, they will have to take a very hard look at their current employee engagement strategies to ensure workers still feel connected to the organization and each other.  While it’s not the single most important thing when it comes to continued profitability, especially in an economy rocked by a worldwide coronavirus outbreak, it will go a long way to ensuring companies can continue delivering on business promises and supporting the bottom line and the company workforce.

    By Mason Stevenson

    Originally posted on hrexchangenetwork.com

  • International Hiring Strategy

    January 15, 2020

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    In today’s business world, there is more pressure than ever to maintain a high rate of growth and reach new revenue goals. And growth usually means hiring.

    The work of HR is an important part of that work, especially where fast-growing companies are concerned. There are many reasons why going beyond borders and hiring talent internationally can help a company reach its objectives.

    Why International Hiring?

    Growing globally Grab Market Share

    Over the last ten years or so, companies have seen huge growth, but they’re starting to exceed their size regionally.  As a result, companies are hiring internationally to take advantage of new markets and job applicant pools.

    Debbie Millin is the Chief Operating Officer for Globalization Partners, the organization behind the Global Expansion PlatformTM.  Millin says one popular way companies kickstart their expansion is by hiring sales people in new countries where they want to expand.  At the end of the day, companies need to grab global market share and hiring those workers is a good way to start.

    Competitive Advantage

    Millin says companies are going global earlier and faster than they used to, because if they don’t, someone else can use the idea and set up an in-country competitor.  One example:  Didi and Uber.  Uber didn’t get into the market quickly enough and lost out to Didi.

    Accessing a larger applicant pool

    Millin says you must go to the talent.  As the world continues to develop, it’s going to feel much smaller than it does now.  Organizations must start looking outside their current regional offices to scout the best talent available. Unemployment rates are low, and hiring is competitive so staying in your own backyard could severely limit the talent pool.

    The Contractor Trap

    But acquiring international talent does not necessarily mean hiring contractors. This is one of the common mistakes companies make. Leaders identify great talent in a place like Brazil or France and attempt to hire those workers.  The only problem? International contractor laws are the same as those in the United States; if the person acts like an employee, they are an employee. Following this action opens the company up to significant legal risk and financial penalties.

    Falling into “the contractor trap” really is a trap, because it’s not always easy to get out. If the relationship with the contractor begins to deteriorate, they could easily expose the working arrangement to the authorities, and you could potentially owe back taxes, fines, unpaid benefits and more.

    When companies are truly ready to go after the best global talent, hiring full-time makes the most sense. The best talent wants a full-time role, with benefits, and opportunities for growth.

    Where’s the growth?

    Based on data from Globalization Partners, Millin says the following 10 countries are at the top when it comes to expansion.

    1. Canada
    2. UK
    3. Singapore
    4. Mexico
    5. China
    6. Australia
    7. Brazil
    8. Germany
    9. India
    10. South Korea

    The UK tends to be the first stop after Canada 90% of the time, but that’s changing with Brexit. Companies are more hesitant to enter the UK of with the uncertainty of what Brexit will bring, showing how important it is for companies to be aware of the social and political issues in a country as you plan your global expansion.

    Millin says for HR professionals at companies that have decided to take advantage of the many opportunities associated with global growth, the next step is to figure out how to make it happen.

    The Process

    Decide whether to set up shop in another country

    Opening a compliant business entity in any country is challenging – and some are much harder than others. If the company chooses to set up a branch office or wholly-owned subsidiary, it can take six months to a year, or longer, before the company is legally able to operate in the region, not to mention several thousands of dollars.

    Plus, leaders will need to know about local registrations, bank accounts, corporate/tax filings, administering compliant payroll and benefits in country, and more. Some of the “gotchas” to look out for include bank account setup – it can take months. And some countries require in-person signatures. It’s not always feasible to be physically in-country throughout the entity set-up process.

    Lack of At-Will Employment

    In the United States, companies can hire and fire at will – as long as the reason for termination isn’t illegal. Outside of the U.S., this is an unknown concept. Employers must prove that an employee dismissal is legally justified, and in many countries, that is difficult to do, and evidence must be documented.

    If legal process aren’t followed properly, the company can open itself up to a wrongful termination lawsuit, which can be vastly more expensive, and take years to resolve.

    No One-Size-Fits-All Solution

    Benefits vary from country-to-country and from individual-to-individual. A global company must adhere to the idiosyncrasies of each country’s laws and customs and still offer “equal” benefits to all employees.

    On the plus side, so many countries have statutory benefits plans that in some locations your company may not need to provide supplementary benefits at all.

    Understanding the local market norms can help you stand out as an employer of choice.

    For global teams, HR should shape equitable benefit offerings around perks that maximize the quality of life for the company’s employees within the context of their own culture.  Research what benefits are most valued in a particular location, and what other employers are offering in that market beyond what is required.  This helps the company stay competitive, and gives the candidate confidence from the very first interaction with your company.

    But all of this takes time, as well as local knowledge and expertise, which can put additional burden on in-house HR teams who are managing the process alone.

    Going Forward

    So what are the options? One solution to expanding internationally is to use a Global Employer of Record. An employer of record is an organization that serves as the employer for tax purposes, while the employee performs their work at a different company.

    Specifically, an Employer of Record such as Globalization Partners helps:

    • Onboard employees in over 170 countries
    • Manage payroll and taxes – compliantly
    • Navigate the complexities of local benefits, PTO, and bonus structures

    Working with a Global Employer of Record provides a quick time-to-market, until you reach a critical mass in country, or you can continue with this model indefinitely depending on your business.

    By Mason Stevenson

    Originally posted on hrexchangenetwork.com

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