Tag: human resources

  • AI in HR | California Employee Benefits Team

    October 2, 2019

    Tags: , , , ,

    Artificial intelligence is pushing humans and machines closer together.  It’s exciting!  AI’s influences are being felt across the HR space… being used to automate business processes, enhance efficiency, and reduce bias among other things.  In fact, McKinsey’s latest forecast of AI’s impact on the global economy is that it will generate $13 trillion in economic activity across the globe by 2030.

    But, there is room for improvement, and top executives want it yesterday.  A recent survey from PricewaterhouseCooper found 72% of executives believe AI will offer sizable business advantages in the near future.  In another survey from IBM, 66% of CEOs believe AI can drive significant value in HR.  Some are already exploring those opportunities.  Uber, for instance, completed the world’s first cargo shipment using a truck controlled by AI!

    State of AI in HR

    AI as a Tool

    The inclusion of artificial intelligence in the HR professional’s toolbox is not surprising.  When looking for answers, look no further than the iPhone, for instance, or the black, cylindrical Echo tower sitting on the counter.  Whether its Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Echo, people are using artificial intelligence at home in their day-to-day lives.  It makes sense, then, that AI has made it into the workplace.

    In most professional settings, AI is not required to do mundane tasks like answer questions about the weather or turn on the lights.  Instead, AI is asked to do much more.

    Reducing Human Bias

    Humans are inherently bias.  Even when striving for inclusiveness, HR professionals may subconsciously lean toward a particular candidate… for instance, someone who is more like the recruiter.  Another potential bias, language bias; people’s subconscious word associations could indicate a particular preference.

    Now, thanks to AI, algorithms can be designed to help employers identify and remove these biases.  That potentially translates to better hiring communications and attracting a more diverse group of candidates.  Those same algorithms can also find candidates who may have been screened out due to human bias.  To put it in context, AI allows managers to go beyond gut feelings and rely on data-driving assessments.

    AI Automation

    AI is being used in HR to automate repetitive, low-value tasks thus increasing the focus on more strategic work.  AI tools automate common HR tasks like benefits management or handling common questions or requests.

    Recruiting through AI

    Custom experiences are expected by applicants.  These are tailored to unique needs as they apply for a new job, choose the right benefits or explore development opportunities.

    Companies have implemented “AI recruiters” to automate scheduling interviews, provide ongoing feedback to candidates and answer their questions in real time.  This allows human recruiters to spend more time converting candidates to hires.

    Retention

    Some companies are using AI platforms to single out employees that may be heading for the exit door.  Those platforms track employee computer activity, emails, keystrokes, internet browsing and so on and store it.  Then AI analyzes the data to determine a baseline of normal activity patterns in the organization. Based on that knowledge, outliers are flagged and reported to the employer.  AI is also being used to detect changes in the overall tone of employees’ communications to predict when employees might be thinking of leaving.

    AI Makes HR More Human

    At some point in the career of an HR professional the question is asked:  how can human resources become more human?  At least one company believes it has the answer.  Best Buy Canada says it’s to add more machines.  Chris Taylor is the chief human resources officer for Best Buy Canada.  He has gone on record saying the embracing of artificial intelligence and machine learning applications in human capital management is a “mandatory investment in the future.”

    So, why add more machines to make HR more human?

    The automation of tasks through AI technology allows for the freeing of HR professionals to focus on uniquely human abilities such as critical thinking, creativity, and empathy.  While they are involved with the more human tasks, technology, at the moment, can handle the more mundane tasks.

    All of that said, in a lot of ways artificial intelligence is still growing and learning itself.

    What does that statement mean? AI is able to search a query based on the words you are using and give you a response, but that response isn’t contextual.

    AI is heading in that direction though.

    Instead of writing responses specifically to specific inputs… you just have a huge database of language around a specific knowledge domain and the AI can go into that knowledge domain and answer the questions from the user.

    HR professionals interested in pursuing AI want it to do much more than answer questions and rummage through applications. They want to use it as a learning platform.

    But it’s not there yet.

    AI can teach itself to do something, but it’s not at the stage it can replace humans beings as the “drivers of education.” In the future, it may be used that way, but it would require a lot of adaptability.

    Taylor says Best Buy Canada is embracing as much technology as they can get their hands on.  For instance, the company has started investing in cloud-based solution that uses artificial intelligence, voice technology and machine learning.  All of these technologies, Best Buy Canada hopes, will better the employee experience.

    Conclusion

    As much as the HR technology landscape continues to be disrupted by AI, HR teams must find ways to balance these advancements with transparency.  It is essential in making sure the implementation of AI technology is successful.  At the end of the day, artificial intelligence is not the end-all-be-all answer to every quandary HR finds itself in.  It is a tool and nothing more.  A tool that can improperly function based on the data it is given in order to work effectively.  Even so, artificial intelligence can be a valuable resource.  Work to embrace it now because it’s likely you’ll be expected to use it in the future.

    By Mason Stevenson

    Originally posted on hrexchangenetwork.com

  • Top 5 Learning Metrics to Watch | California Benefits Team

    August 14, 2019

    Tags: , , ,

    How much job training equates to time wasted:  About 20%, according to one LinkedIn study.  That’s the percentage of learners who never apply their training to their job.  That same study says 67% of learners apply the lessons learned, but in the end, revert to previous habits.  Another study found 45% of training content is never applied.

    For HR professionals designing or monitoring the Return on Investment of training programs, those are disturbing statistics, especially when you consider the decrease in productivity this causes and the cost of wasted money.

    So, how do you mitigate or address the issue?

    Learning Metrics

    Gone is the day leaders make learning strategy decisions via gut and intuition.  Arrived is the day leaders look at learning data and statistics to make decisions and provide evidence for an action.

    There was a time when the only metrics requested from learning and development officials were the number of people taking part in the training and the cost involved.  In other words:  basic effectiveness and efficiency.

    As with everything, however, learning and development has evolved.  It’s now a business critical change agent.  It’s not enough, though, to measure inputs, the number of courses, and attendance.  Learning and development must look at the output and outcomes.

    “We’re in the process of trying to become a learning organization, and to become a learning organization you have to be nimble.  You have to have a culture of leaders as teachers.  You have to have a culture of recognizing those things that contribute, and actually those things what lead to success,” Brad Samargya said.  Samargya is the Chief Learning Officer for mobile phone maker Ericsson.

    All of the descriptions Samargya is using refer back to the content, specifically how it is delivered and is it of substance.  When both pieces are in concert, HR professionals should see an increase in quality around the metrics gathered.

    Delivery

    First, let’s focus on delivery.

    Samantha Hammock is the Chief Learning Officer for American Express.  Her company employs a learning management system as part of their learning process.  Hammock says measurement is the company’s biggest need.

    “If we’re going to mandate training, we had better be robust in tracking and reporting. Is the experience getting better, is the knowledge increasing. We have put it thru workforce analytics to slice and dice some of those metrics,” Hammock said.

    Of course, learning management systems are not the only way to deliver learning.  Mobile learning for instance, makes content available on smartphones, tablets, and other devices.  Not only is the content accessible anywhere, but anytime.  Video learning is similar in that the content is available in the ever-popular YouTube format.  Gamification, or education by gaming, again delivers learning in a form much for attractive than your regular classroom format, and microlearning, or the strategy of delivering learning content over a short amount of time.

    None of those work without one specific ingredient, however:  the content.  Providing relevant content is key to a good learning strategy, good metrics, and  to ensure your learners are engaged and continue to come back for more.

    The modern employee is distracted, overwhelmed and has little time to spare. Catering content to their needs is not only important – it’s critical.

    The content presented to employees must be applicable and timely to help them with their daily duties, expand their mind, and provide them with quick takeaways that can immediately be applied.

    Metrics to Watch

    There are a handful of metrics derived for HR professionals to analyze.

    1. Completion rates – This metric is important because it indicates the level of learner engagement, motivation and participation. Low completion rates indicate employees aren’t investing in the material or how it relates to their jobs.  High completion rates show employees are invested.
    2. Performance and Progress – This particular metric is split into two categories: the individual and the group.  For the individual, metrics will give you a detailed look at how the employee is doing with the learning.  For the group, the metric will include the details around specific trends.  For instance, how the group is progressing through the material.  Both individual metrics and group metrics allow for the tracking of course effectiveness and engagement.
    3. Satisfaction and approval – This metric gives HR professionals some indication of how the employee or employees feel about the content. The is a powerful metric because it allows HR or learning managers to adjust current content or, if need be, create better content based on the needs of the employee.
    4. Instructor and manager ratings – This metric may not always be applicable as, in some cases, material is not presented by an instructor or manager but through a technology interface of some sort. If that is not the case, this will indicate how learners feel about the instructor or manager.  It can also be directly linked to the reason an employee or group of employees are not learning at the level expected.
    5. Competency and proficiency – Competency and proficiency metrics show HR professionals if employees have the knowledge and skills to achieve a desired outcome. If not, this metric allows for learning managers to adjust the material accordingly.  It also allows from some insight into an employee or group’s currently proficiency.

    In summation

    The challenges facing HR professionals when using analytics to transform the learning and development program are connected.  Before companies can actually engage with the transformation, data has to be present.  Whether it is realized or not, companies do have learning data available.  What may not exist is the ability to evaluate that data.

    Data provides invaluable insight into the future learning opportunities of a company’s workforce.  Now, more than ever before, HR professionals have a real opportunity to do what all leaders and C-suite members want to do:  predict the future.  By leveraging and understanding the data generated by learning programs, HR professionals can better evaluate the content and their effectiveness.  It can lead to better outcomes both developmentally for the employee and financially for the employer.

    By Mason Stevenson

    Originally posted on hrexchangenetwork.com

  • Millennials, legal industry workers more likely to be hungover at work | CA Benefits Agency

    July 31, 2019

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    Dive Brief:

    • On average, American workers miss two days of work per year due to being hungover, a survey of 1,000 full-time workers from Delphi Behavioral Health Group found. By industry, the sector most affected by hangovers is tech, with an average of 8 sick days used, while construction workers and legal industry workers used four, the survey found. Medical and healthcare; wholesale and retail; and government and public administration workers used only one sick day on average, according to Delphi, which estimated that hangovers cost U.S. employers more than $41 billion in sick day pay last year.
    • More than 75% of workers admitted they’ve shown up to work with a hangover — nearly 80% of men surveyed and about 70% of women — the study revealed. By age group, millennials lead the pack at almost 77% reporting for work hungover, and workers in the legal industry were most likely to nurse hangovers at the office, Delphi said.
    • Workers come into work hungover on average six times per year, according to the survey, and spend about five hours of those days actually working. To get through the day, they pretend to work, hide out in the restrooms, take a nap or a long lunch. More than 30% said they’ve told their boss they overdid it the night before, and there were no consequences for 66%.

    Dive Insight:

    While the occasional overindulgence isn’t problematic, employers may rightfully be concerned with the behavior if it becomes a chronic problem and it’s worth considering if it indicates a broader issue. Almost half of employers are unsure whether their staff has a substance abuse problem, but some reports suggest employers think mental illness and substance abuse levels are reaching record highs. The trend is prompting some companies to assess if new benefits can help workers.

    Many of the industries that appeared on the Delphi report, like the legal industry, are considered high stress. Mental health advocates believe stress on the job threatens work-life balance for many workers. Unrealistic expectations for productivity, efficiency and constant communication can pressure staff. Ironically, as stress levels increase, productivity can suffer and some workers may not be equipped with effective coping mechanisms. To address this problem, Macy’s, ADP and other employers recently partnered to create a guide for offering mental health benefits and reducing mental health stigma.

    By Riia O’Donnell

    Originally posted on hrdive.com

  • Ask the Experts: Overtime and Paid Time Off | California Benefits Advisors

    July 17, 2019

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    Question: Should we include holidays, PTO, vacation, or other leave taken during the workweek in calculating overtime premium pay under FLSA rules?

    Answer: No. Because holiday, PTO, and vacation hours are not actually hours worked they do not count towards overtime pay.

    Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), an employer who requires or permits an employee to work overtime is generally required to pay the employee premium pay for such overtime work. Unless specifically exempted, employees covered by the FLSA must receive overtime pay for hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek at a rate not less than time and one-half their regular rates of pay. The key consideration for premium pay under the FLSA is whether or not the employee actually works more than 40 hours in the workweek, not just that he or she is paid for more than 40 hours in the workweek.

    For example, an employee is off work for one day for a company-paid holiday and takes the next day as a paid vacation day. He then works 10 hours for the next three days of the workweek. Under the FLSA, he would be paid straight time at his regular rate for the 46 hours recorded for that week as follows: 8 hours of holiday pay + 8 hours of vacation pay + 30 hours of regular pay for time worked = 46 hours at his regular pay rate.

    Employers should also check state laws for overtime requirements regarding holiday and vacation time.

    Originally posted on thinkhr.com

  • Connecting Agility, Culture and Change Management

    June 20, 2019

    Tags: ,

    Every company wants to lead their industry, and doing so means remaining competitive. With the rate of speed the world experiences change in this age that is a very difficult proposition. For an HR professional, it is increasingly more difficult to stay ahead of the curve.

    So, what are the critical pieces to the strategy?
    • Agility
    • Change Management
    • Culture
    Knowing that, how do the three concepts tie to one another?

    We start with agility.

    When it comes to this part of the strategy, what HR professionals really want is to be able to adjust at a moment’s notice. But it’s not enough to just be able to make the change. The HR professional wants to effectively implement the change in the organization.

    Of course, that change doesn’t just happen at the drop of the hat. It requires leadership and even some maintenance.

    That’s where change management comes into the mix. HR Exchange Network contributor John Whitaker says:
    “Change can and will come quickly. Change management is a helpful (and sometimes hopeful) way to plan the actions and responses needed during a change process. But you must take advantage of those times where you are thrown into a chaotic situation without the benefit of planning.”

    Finally, that brings us to culture.

    In addressing this concept, CultureIQ worked with Bloomberg to survey 300 senior executives about the Future of Work. In that research, one of the first things they learned is work is becoming more complex. How? Consider first that companies are becoming more agile either by force or organically. Executives know they have to do this in order to remain competitive. Optimizing a talented workforce, predicting talent needs and keeping retention rates high are critical to sustaining your organization’s competitive advantage.

    In fact, CEOs recognized that one of the most important factors in their organization’s performance for the next three years was ensuring their organization was agile.

    CultureIQ says agility ranked higher than other attributes like collaboration, engagement, or innovation.
    A company’s culture is imperative to its strategy especially when you consider this fact: culture influences whether talent is attracted or not attracted to the company. It’s also significant in the company’s ability to retain their best employees.

    According to Gallup, 4 in 10 U.S. employees strongly agree their organization’s mission and purpose makes them feel their job is important. Furthermore:

    “By doubling that ratio to eight in 10 employees, organizations could realize a 41% reduction in absenteeism, a 33% improvement in quality, or in the case of healthcare, even a 50% drop in patient safety incidents.”
    Gallup has studied organizational culture and leadership for years. They find some organizations have difficulty in successfully establishing their “ideal” culture and attribute that to the fact that culture is constantly in flux and is not the same one moment to the next.

    Earlier this year, researchers looked specifically at how HR leaders fit into the process of changing culture.
    “Our analytics show that in the world’s highest performing organizations, HR leaders play a central role in creating and sustaining the culture their organization aspires to have. As the stewards and keepers of the culture, HR leaders are responsible for inspiring desired employee behaviors and beliefs — and in turn, realizing the performance gains of a thriving culture.

    By owning their pivotal strategic and tactical roles in shaping work culture, HR leaders can cultivate exceptional performance and prove to senior leadership that they deserve a seat at the table.”

    For HR, Gallup set forth three roles that explain how leaders influence culture.
    1. Champion – Executive leaders create the vision of the perfect culture, but HR leaders champion it. They are responsible for turning words into deeds.
    2. Coach – HR leaders, as coaches, make sure managers and employees are on the same page and help the two entities take ownership of the culture.
    3. Consultant – HR leaders here consistently check culture metrics such as employee engagement, customer outlines and performance indicators. In this way, HR leaders can make sure the culture strategy stays on track.

    By Mason Stevenson
    Originally posted on hrexchangenetwork.com

  • Hot Trends in HR | California Benefits Agency

    April 29, 2019

    Tags: ,

    2019 has ushered in many new trends such as retro cartoon character timepieces, meatless hamburgers, and 5G networks to name a few. Not surprisingly, trend-watching doesn’t stop with pop culture, fashion, and technology. Your company’s human resources department should also take notice of the top changes in the marketplace, so they are poised to attract and retain the best talent. These top trends include a greater emphasis on soft skills, increased workforce flexibility, and salary transparency.

    SOFT SKILLS

    Gone are the days of hiring a candidate solely based on their hard skills—their education and technical background. While the proper education and training are important factors in getting the job completed, a well-rounded employee must have the soft skills needed to work with a team, problem solve, and communicate ideas and processes. According to Tim Sackett, SHRM-SCP and president of HRU Technical Resources in Michigan, “Employers should be looking for soft skills more and training for hard skills, but we struggle with that.” While hard skills can be measured, soft skills are harder to quantify. However, soft skills facilitate human connections and are the one thing that machines cannot replace.  They are invaluable to the success of a company.

    WORKFORCE FLEXIBILITY

    As millennials begin to flood the workplace, the traditional view of the workweek has changed. Job seekers report they place a high importance on having the flexibility of when and where to work. The typical work day has evolved from a 9am – 5pm day to a flexible 24-hour work cycle that adjusts to the needs of the employee. Employers are able to offer greater flexibility about when the work is completed and where it takes place. This flexibility has so much importance that job seekers say remote work options and the freedom of an adaptable schedule have an higher priority to them over pay.

    SALARY TRANSPARENCY

    In the wake of the very public outing of the gender and race pay gaps, companies are opening up conversations about wages in the workplace. Once a hushed subject punishable by termination, salary information is now often being shared in the office. Employers have found that the more transparent and open that they are about the compensation levels in their organization, the more trustworthy they appear to their workforce. One way to stay educated on the welcome trend of pay equality is to visit the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ website to review wage ranges across the nation. Another great resource is the Department of Labor’s free publication called “Employer’s Guide on Equal Pay.”

    By watching the trends in the marketplace, employers can focus on what is important to their staff. Honest discussions about salary and compensation, when and where to work, and developing the employee as a whole, including soft skills, sets your company up for success. When you listen to what the market is saying, you show you are sensitive to what their priorities are—and this is always on trend.

  • The Big-Picture View of Risk | Petaluma Benefits Group

    February 1, 2019

    Tags: ,

    Many human resources and business leaders think about compliance in black-and-white terms. We simply check the boxes and evaluate compliance efforts using one measure: “Are we doing it right or not?”

    It’s easy to fall into the trap of failing to see the broader implications of our compliance efforts. We need to go beyond, “What’s the law and what should I do about it?” We need to ask questions like, “How does this law intersect with our culture?” or “What best practices will support this requirement?”  We need to understand that risk crosses our desks every day.

    That’s where people risk management comes in. People risk management is simply the strategic and wholistic view of compliance. It’s really all about the end-to-end story; it’s how we deal with all the things that happen in the employee lifecycle in a way that minimizes risk while maximizing employee engagement.

    It’s all about how we anticipate risk, reduce the likelihood of risk events, and deal with them when they do happen. The best companies proactively respond to risk in an ethical way that not just protects us from liability, but also builds trust and respect among the workforce.

    People Risk Management: An Example

    Let’s say a new sexual harassment law goes into effect in your state. This triggering event (the new law) is just part of the issue. You need to take a big-picture view of the entire situation. You’ll need to know what you should anticipate, what you need to do, and how to evaluate your efforts to make sure you’ve addressed every risk.

    Because this law is related to how people behave, in addition to administrative requirements, it can be difficult to understand how to simultaneously address both the risk of harassment and the risk of failing to comply with each aspect of the law. You also need to incorporate your response to this issue into your company culture to demonstrate that you care about protecting not just the company, but also your employees.

    When engagement and compliance issues intersect, and you do both well, you create a culture that says you deal with stuff in a clear way, but also you protect yourself from legal risks. It’s a double benefit.

     

    by Larry Dunavin
    Originally posted on ThinkHR.com

  • AI in HR | California Employee Benefits Team

    October 2, 2019

    Tags: , , , ,

    Artificial intelligence is pushing humans and machines closer together.  It’s exciting!  AI’s influences are being felt across the HR space… being used to automate business processes, enhance efficiency, and reduce bias among other things.  In fact, McKinsey’s latest forecast of AI’s impact on the global economy is that it will generate $13 trillion in economic activity across the globe by 2030.

    But, there is room for improvement, and top executives want it yesterday.  A recent survey from PricewaterhouseCooper found 72% of executives believe AI will offer sizable business advantages in the near future.  In another survey from IBM, 66% of CEOs believe AI can drive significant value in HR.  Some are already exploring those opportunities.  Uber, for instance, completed the world’s first cargo shipment using a truck controlled by AI!

    State of AI in HR

    AI as a Tool

    The inclusion of artificial intelligence in the HR professional’s toolbox is not surprising.  When looking for answers, look no further than the iPhone, for instance, or the black, cylindrical Echo tower sitting on the counter.  Whether its Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Echo, people are using artificial intelligence at home in their day-to-day lives.  It makes sense, then, that AI has made it into the workplace.

    In most professional settings, AI is not required to do mundane tasks like answer questions about the weather or turn on the lights.  Instead, AI is asked to do much more.

    Reducing Human Bias

    Humans are inherently bias.  Even when striving for inclusiveness, HR professionals may subconsciously lean toward a particular candidate… for instance, someone who is more like the recruiter.  Another potential bias, language bias; people’s subconscious word associations could indicate a particular preference.

    Now, thanks to AI, algorithms can be designed to help employers identify and remove these biases.  That potentially translates to better hiring communications and attracting a more diverse group of candidates.  Those same algorithms can also find candidates who may have been screened out due to human bias.  To put it in context, AI allows managers to go beyond gut feelings and rely on data-driving assessments.

    AI Automation

    AI is being used in HR to automate repetitive, low-value tasks thus increasing the focus on more strategic work.  AI tools automate common HR tasks like benefits management or handling common questions or requests.

    Recruiting through AI

    Custom experiences are expected by applicants.  These are tailored to unique needs as they apply for a new job, choose the right benefits or explore development opportunities.

    Companies have implemented “AI recruiters” to automate scheduling interviews, provide ongoing feedback to candidates and answer their questions in real time.  This allows human recruiters to spend more time converting candidates to hires.

    Retention

    Some companies are using AI platforms to single out employees that may be heading for the exit door.  Those platforms track employee computer activity, emails, keystrokes, internet browsing and so on and store it.  Then AI analyzes the data to determine a baseline of normal activity patterns in the organization. Based on that knowledge, outliers are flagged and reported to the employer.  AI is also being used to detect changes in the overall tone of employees’ communications to predict when employees might be thinking of leaving.

    AI Makes HR More Human

    At some point in the career of an HR professional the question is asked:  how can human resources become more human?  At least one company believes it has the answer.  Best Buy Canada says it’s to add more machines.  Chris Taylor is the chief human resources officer for Best Buy Canada.  He has gone on record saying the embracing of artificial intelligence and machine learning applications in human capital management is a “mandatory investment in the future.”

    So, why add more machines to make HR more human?

    The automation of tasks through AI technology allows for the freeing of HR professionals to focus on uniquely human abilities such as critical thinking, creativity, and empathy.  While they are involved with the more human tasks, technology, at the moment, can handle the more mundane tasks.

    All of that said, in a lot of ways artificial intelligence is still growing and learning itself.

    What does that statement mean? AI is able to search a query based on the words you are using and give you a response, but that response isn’t contextual.

    AI is heading in that direction though.

    Instead of writing responses specifically to specific inputs… you just have a huge database of language around a specific knowledge domain and the AI can go into that knowledge domain and answer the questions from the user.

    HR professionals interested in pursuing AI want it to do much more than answer questions and rummage through applications. They want to use it as a learning platform.

    But it’s not there yet.

    AI can teach itself to do something, but it’s not at the stage it can replace humans beings as the “drivers of education.” In the future, it may be used that way, but it would require a lot of adaptability.

    Taylor says Best Buy Canada is embracing as much technology as they can get their hands on.  For instance, the company has started investing in cloud-based solution that uses artificial intelligence, voice technology and machine learning.  All of these technologies, Best Buy Canada hopes, will better the employee experience.

    Conclusion

    As much as the HR technology landscape continues to be disrupted by AI, HR teams must find ways to balance these advancements with transparency.  It is essential in making sure the implementation of AI technology is successful.  At the end of the day, artificial intelligence is not the end-all-be-all answer to every quandary HR finds itself in.  It is a tool and nothing more.  A tool that can improperly function based on the data it is given in order to work effectively.  Even so, artificial intelligence can be a valuable resource.  Work to embrace it now because it’s likely you’ll be expected to use it in the future.

    By Mason Stevenson

    Originally posted on hrexchangenetwork.com

  • Top 5 Learning Metrics to Watch | California Benefits Team

    August 14, 2019

    Tags: , , ,

    How much job training equates to time wasted:  About 20%, according to one LinkedIn study.  That’s the percentage of learners who never apply their training to their job.  That same study says 67% of learners apply the lessons learned, but in the end, revert to previous habits.  Another study found 45% of training content is never applied.

    For HR professionals designing or monitoring the Return on Investment of training programs, those are disturbing statistics, especially when you consider the decrease in productivity this causes and the cost of wasted money.

    So, how do you mitigate or address the issue?

    Learning Metrics

    Gone is the day leaders make learning strategy decisions via gut and intuition.  Arrived is the day leaders look at learning data and statistics to make decisions and provide evidence for an action.

    There was a time when the only metrics requested from learning and development officials were the number of people taking part in the training and the cost involved.  In other words:  basic effectiveness and efficiency.

    As with everything, however, learning and development has evolved.  It’s now a business critical change agent.  It’s not enough, though, to measure inputs, the number of courses, and attendance.  Learning and development must look at the output and outcomes.

    “We’re in the process of trying to become a learning organization, and to become a learning organization you have to be nimble.  You have to have a culture of leaders as teachers.  You have to have a culture of recognizing those things that contribute, and actually those things what lead to success,” Brad Samargya said.  Samargya is the Chief Learning Officer for mobile phone maker Ericsson.

    All of the descriptions Samargya is using refer back to the content, specifically how it is delivered and is it of substance.  When both pieces are in concert, HR professionals should see an increase in quality around the metrics gathered.

    Delivery

    First, let’s focus on delivery.

    Samantha Hammock is the Chief Learning Officer for American Express.  Her company employs a learning management system as part of their learning process.  Hammock says measurement is the company’s biggest need.

    “If we’re going to mandate training, we had better be robust in tracking and reporting. Is the experience getting better, is the knowledge increasing. We have put it thru workforce analytics to slice and dice some of those metrics,” Hammock said.

    Of course, learning management systems are not the only way to deliver learning.  Mobile learning for instance, makes content available on smartphones, tablets, and other devices.  Not only is the content accessible anywhere, but anytime.  Video learning is similar in that the content is available in the ever-popular YouTube format.  Gamification, or education by gaming, again delivers learning in a form much for attractive than your regular classroom format, and microlearning, or the strategy of delivering learning content over a short amount of time.

    None of those work without one specific ingredient, however:  the content.  Providing relevant content is key to a good learning strategy, good metrics, and  to ensure your learners are engaged and continue to come back for more.

    The modern employee is distracted, overwhelmed and has little time to spare. Catering content to their needs is not only important – it’s critical.

    The content presented to employees must be applicable and timely to help them with their daily duties, expand their mind, and provide them with quick takeaways that can immediately be applied.

    Metrics to Watch

    There are a handful of metrics derived for HR professionals to analyze.

    1. Completion rates – This metric is important because it indicates the level of learner engagement, motivation and participation. Low completion rates indicate employees aren’t investing in the material or how it relates to their jobs.  High completion rates show employees are invested.
    2. Performance and Progress – This particular metric is split into two categories: the individual and the group.  For the individual, metrics will give you a detailed look at how the employee is doing with the learning.  For the group, the metric will include the details around specific trends.  For instance, how the group is progressing through the material.  Both individual metrics and group metrics allow for the tracking of course effectiveness and engagement.
    3. Satisfaction and approval – This metric gives HR professionals some indication of how the employee or employees feel about the content. The is a powerful metric because it allows HR or learning managers to adjust current content or, if need be, create better content based on the needs of the employee.
    4. Instructor and manager ratings – This metric may not always be applicable as, in some cases, material is not presented by an instructor or manager but through a technology interface of some sort. If that is not the case, this will indicate how learners feel about the instructor or manager.  It can also be directly linked to the reason an employee or group of employees are not learning at the level expected.
    5. Competency and proficiency – Competency and proficiency metrics show HR professionals if employees have the knowledge and skills to achieve a desired outcome. If not, this metric allows for learning managers to adjust the material accordingly.  It also allows from some insight into an employee or group’s currently proficiency.

    In summation

    The challenges facing HR professionals when using analytics to transform the learning and development program are connected.  Before companies can actually engage with the transformation, data has to be present.  Whether it is realized or not, companies do have learning data available.  What may not exist is the ability to evaluate that data.

    Data provides invaluable insight into the future learning opportunities of a company’s workforce.  Now, more than ever before, HR professionals have a real opportunity to do what all leaders and C-suite members want to do:  predict the future.  By leveraging and understanding the data generated by learning programs, HR professionals can better evaluate the content and their effectiveness.  It can lead to better outcomes both developmentally for the employee and financially for the employer.

    By Mason Stevenson

    Originally posted on hrexchangenetwork.com

  • Millennials, legal industry workers more likely to be hungover at work | CA Benefits Agency

    July 31, 2019

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    Dive Brief:

    • On average, American workers miss two days of work per year due to being hungover, a survey of 1,000 full-time workers from Delphi Behavioral Health Group found. By industry, the sector most affected by hangovers is tech, with an average of 8 sick days used, while construction workers and legal industry workers used four, the survey found. Medical and healthcare; wholesale and retail; and government and public administration workers used only one sick day on average, according to Delphi, which estimated that hangovers cost U.S. employers more than $41 billion in sick day pay last year.
    • More than 75% of workers admitted they’ve shown up to work with a hangover — nearly 80% of men surveyed and about 70% of women — the study revealed. By age group, millennials lead the pack at almost 77% reporting for work hungover, and workers in the legal industry were most likely to nurse hangovers at the office, Delphi said.
    • Workers come into work hungover on average six times per year, according to the survey, and spend about five hours of those days actually working. To get through the day, they pretend to work, hide out in the restrooms, take a nap or a long lunch. More than 30% said they’ve told their boss they overdid it the night before, and there were no consequences for 66%.

    Dive Insight:

    While the occasional overindulgence isn’t problematic, employers may rightfully be concerned with the behavior if it becomes a chronic problem and it’s worth considering if it indicates a broader issue. Almost half of employers are unsure whether their staff has a substance abuse problem, but some reports suggest employers think mental illness and substance abuse levels are reaching record highs. The trend is prompting some companies to assess if new benefits can help workers.

    Many of the industries that appeared on the Delphi report, like the legal industry, are considered high stress. Mental health advocates believe stress on the job threatens work-life balance for many workers. Unrealistic expectations for productivity, efficiency and constant communication can pressure staff. Ironically, as stress levels increase, productivity can suffer and some workers may not be equipped with effective coping mechanisms. To address this problem, Macy’s, ADP and other employers recently partnered to create a guide for offering mental health benefits and reducing mental health stigma.

    By Riia O’Donnell

    Originally posted on hrdive.com

  • Ask the Experts: Overtime and Paid Time Off | California Benefits Advisors

    July 17, 2019

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    Question: Should we include holidays, PTO, vacation, or other leave taken during the workweek in calculating overtime premium pay under FLSA rules?

    Answer: No. Because holiday, PTO, and vacation hours are not actually hours worked they do not count towards overtime pay.

    Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), an employer who requires or permits an employee to work overtime is generally required to pay the employee premium pay for such overtime work. Unless specifically exempted, employees covered by the FLSA must receive overtime pay for hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek at a rate not less than time and one-half their regular rates of pay. The key consideration for premium pay under the FLSA is whether or not the employee actually works more than 40 hours in the workweek, not just that he or she is paid for more than 40 hours in the workweek.

    For example, an employee is off work for one day for a company-paid holiday and takes the next day as a paid vacation day. He then works 10 hours for the next three days of the workweek. Under the FLSA, he would be paid straight time at his regular rate for the 46 hours recorded for that week as follows: 8 hours of holiday pay + 8 hours of vacation pay + 30 hours of regular pay for time worked = 46 hours at his regular pay rate.

    Employers should also check state laws for overtime requirements regarding holiday and vacation time.

    Originally posted on thinkhr.com

  • Connecting Agility, Culture and Change Management

    June 20, 2019

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    Every company wants to lead their industry, and doing so means remaining competitive. With the rate of speed the world experiences change in this age that is a very difficult proposition. For an HR professional, it is increasingly more difficult to stay ahead of the curve.

    So, what are the critical pieces to the strategy?
    • Agility
    • Change Management
    • Culture
    Knowing that, how do the three concepts tie to one another?

    We start with agility.

    When it comes to this part of the strategy, what HR professionals really want is to be able to adjust at a moment’s notice. But it’s not enough to just be able to make the change. The HR professional wants to effectively implement the change in the organization.

    Of course, that change doesn’t just happen at the drop of the hat. It requires leadership and even some maintenance.

    That’s where change management comes into the mix. HR Exchange Network contributor John Whitaker says:
    “Change can and will come quickly. Change management is a helpful (and sometimes hopeful) way to plan the actions and responses needed during a change process. But you must take advantage of those times where you are thrown into a chaotic situation without the benefit of planning.”

    Finally, that brings us to culture.

    In addressing this concept, CultureIQ worked with Bloomberg to survey 300 senior executives about the Future of Work. In that research, one of the first things they learned is work is becoming more complex. How? Consider first that companies are becoming more agile either by force or organically. Executives know they have to do this in order to remain competitive. Optimizing a talented workforce, predicting talent needs and keeping retention rates high are critical to sustaining your organization’s competitive advantage.

    In fact, CEOs recognized that one of the most important factors in their organization’s performance for the next three years was ensuring their organization was agile.

    CultureIQ says agility ranked higher than other attributes like collaboration, engagement, or innovation.
    A company’s culture is imperative to its strategy especially when you consider this fact: culture influences whether talent is attracted or not attracted to the company. It’s also significant in the company’s ability to retain their best employees.

    According to Gallup, 4 in 10 U.S. employees strongly agree their organization’s mission and purpose makes them feel their job is important. Furthermore:

    “By doubling that ratio to eight in 10 employees, organizations could realize a 41% reduction in absenteeism, a 33% improvement in quality, or in the case of healthcare, even a 50% drop in patient safety incidents.”
    Gallup has studied organizational culture and leadership for years. They find some organizations have difficulty in successfully establishing their “ideal” culture and attribute that to the fact that culture is constantly in flux and is not the same one moment to the next.

    Earlier this year, researchers looked specifically at how HR leaders fit into the process of changing culture.
    “Our analytics show that in the world’s highest performing organizations, HR leaders play a central role in creating and sustaining the culture their organization aspires to have. As the stewards and keepers of the culture, HR leaders are responsible for inspiring desired employee behaviors and beliefs — and in turn, realizing the performance gains of a thriving culture.

    By owning their pivotal strategic and tactical roles in shaping work culture, HR leaders can cultivate exceptional performance and prove to senior leadership that they deserve a seat at the table.”

    For HR, Gallup set forth three roles that explain how leaders influence culture.
    1. Champion – Executive leaders create the vision of the perfect culture, but HR leaders champion it. They are responsible for turning words into deeds.
    2. Coach – HR leaders, as coaches, make sure managers and employees are on the same page and help the two entities take ownership of the culture.
    3. Consultant – HR leaders here consistently check culture metrics such as employee engagement, customer outlines and performance indicators. In this way, HR leaders can make sure the culture strategy stays on track.

    By Mason Stevenson
    Originally posted on hrexchangenetwork.com

  • Hot Trends in HR | California Benefits Agency

    April 29, 2019

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    2019 has ushered in many new trends such as retro cartoon character timepieces, meatless hamburgers, and 5G networks to name a few. Not surprisingly, trend-watching doesn’t stop with pop culture, fashion, and technology. Your company’s human resources department should also take notice of the top changes in the marketplace, so they are poised to attract and retain the best talent. These top trends include a greater emphasis on soft skills, increased workforce flexibility, and salary transparency.

    SOFT SKILLS

    Gone are the days of hiring a candidate solely based on their hard skills—their education and technical background. While the proper education and training are important factors in getting the job completed, a well-rounded employee must have the soft skills needed to work with a team, problem solve, and communicate ideas and processes. According to Tim Sackett, SHRM-SCP and president of HRU Technical Resources in Michigan, “Employers should be looking for soft skills more and training for hard skills, but we struggle with that.” While hard skills can be measured, soft skills are harder to quantify. However, soft skills facilitate human connections and are the one thing that machines cannot replace.  They are invaluable to the success of a company.

    WORKFORCE FLEXIBILITY

    As millennials begin to flood the workplace, the traditional view of the workweek has changed. Job seekers report they place a high importance on having the flexibility of when and where to work. The typical work day has evolved from a 9am – 5pm day to a flexible 24-hour work cycle that adjusts to the needs of the employee. Employers are able to offer greater flexibility about when the work is completed and where it takes place. This flexibility has so much importance that job seekers say remote work options and the freedom of an adaptable schedule have an higher priority to them over pay.

    SALARY TRANSPARENCY

    In the wake of the very public outing of the gender and race pay gaps, companies are opening up conversations about wages in the workplace. Once a hushed subject punishable by termination, salary information is now often being shared in the office. Employers have found that the more transparent and open that they are about the compensation levels in their organization, the more trustworthy they appear to their workforce. One way to stay educated on the welcome trend of pay equality is to visit the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ website to review wage ranges across the nation. Another great resource is the Department of Labor’s free publication called “Employer’s Guide on Equal Pay.”

    By watching the trends in the marketplace, employers can focus on what is important to their staff. Honest discussions about salary and compensation, when and where to work, and developing the employee as a whole, including soft skills, sets your company up for success. When you listen to what the market is saying, you show you are sensitive to what their priorities are—and this is always on trend.

  • The Big-Picture View of Risk | Petaluma Benefits Group

    February 1, 2019

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    Many human resources and business leaders think about compliance in black-and-white terms. We simply check the boxes and evaluate compliance efforts using one measure: “Are we doing it right or not?”

    It’s easy to fall into the trap of failing to see the broader implications of our compliance efforts. We need to go beyond, “What’s the law and what should I do about it?” We need to ask questions like, “How does this law intersect with our culture?” or “What best practices will support this requirement?”  We need to understand that risk crosses our desks every day.

    That’s where people risk management comes in. People risk management is simply the strategic and wholistic view of compliance. It’s really all about the end-to-end story; it’s how we deal with all the things that happen in the employee lifecycle in a way that minimizes risk while maximizing employee engagement.

    It’s all about how we anticipate risk, reduce the likelihood of risk events, and deal with them when they do happen. The best companies proactively respond to risk in an ethical way that not just protects us from liability, but also builds trust and respect among the workforce.

    People Risk Management: An Example

    Let’s say a new sexual harassment law goes into effect in your state. This triggering event (the new law) is just part of the issue. You need to take a big-picture view of the entire situation. You’ll need to know what you should anticipate, what you need to do, and how to evaluate your efforts to make sure you’ve addressed every risk.

    Because this law is related to how people behave, in addition to administrative requirements, it can be difficult to understand how to simultaneously address both the risk of harassment and the risk of failing to comply with each aspect of the law. You also need to incorporate your response to this issue into your company culture to demonstrate that you care about protecting not just the company, but also your employees.

    When engagement and compliance issues intersect, and you do both well, you create a culture that says you deal with stuff in a clear way, but also you protect yourself from legal risks. It’s a double benefit.

     

    by Larry Dunavin
    Originally posted on ThinkHR.com

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