PERFORMANCE MANAGEMNT

  • PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT SUCCESS FACTORS: ALIGN PM WITH ORGANIZATIONAL STRATEGY

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Performance Managemnt, Rewards and Recognition

    Performance management processes and procedures have evolved
    at a blistering pace, perhaps faster than any other part of the Human Resources
    discipline.

    PM has transitioned from an industrial-age framework focused on maintaining consistent production schedules and quality to a flexible – and interconnected – tracking, coaching and talent development tool.

    Technology capabilities and limitations often drove process design in early PMS implementations.

    Organizations now require technology solutions that reflect their specific performance management framework and focus on the competencies that enable their unique strategy.

    Aligning performance management with organizational strategy

    To design an effective performance managemtn system, organizations need to understand how each job – and the career ladders or development paths for those jobs – feed into the organization’s strategic goals.

    That understanding provides the framework for how and how often performance assessment and guidance is conducted.

    It provides a way to assess performance not just in terms of “what have you done for me so far?” but also, “Where can we best use your talents and optimize your skills going forward?”

    Why is that so important?

    Effective and engaged employees share a couple of common characteristics, regardless of industry, job function, or seniority.

    They understand how their daily efforts make a difference in
    whether and how their organization achieves its strategic goals.

    Without that understanding, how can they to rate their own
    efforts and see where they should develop strengths and overcome limitations?

    An effective performance management solution provides the tools to answer that deceptively straightforward question for individual contributors, teams and organizations.

    And, like individual performance goals, a PM system design should flow from a clearly-defined strategy. Otherwise, those systems can limit, instead of advancing, that strategy.

    Asking the right questions

    Often, discussions about the need for performance management approach the topic at a tactical level.

    Indeed, many vendors’ websites suggest that customers look at tactical drivers when they are researching performance management tools.

    They suggest organizations ask themselves,” Why are we looking at investing in a new PMS?”

    • Compensation decision making?
    • Administrative support?
    • Developmental planning and guidance?
    • General performance measurement and reporting?

    For nearly every organization, the answer is, “Yes, all of that.”

    The good news is that there’s a growing ecosystem of performance management technology providers that support those core capabilities. And that’s fine as far as it goes.

    But that is also a problem. In the end, those are questions about the tool’s capabilities, not about the competencies required to implement your strategy.

    Strategy drives competencies, competencies drive PM

    Strategy is the expression of an organization’s mission,
    goals, objectives and interrelated action plans for achieving each of those
    targets.

    Those are the factors that determine what competencies you need to build, maintain and nurture.

    Mapping strategy components onto various functions — product development, production, marketing, sales, management and administration and partnerships — helps define and prioritize the tasks that you ask each of your people to perform.

    Answering strategic performance management questions requires the customer, and solution provider, to understand how each job – and any associated development plans and career ladders – feed into the organization’s strategic goals.

    An understanding of the competencies needed to support your strategic aims provides a framework for defining jobs, assessing performance and guiding employee development.

    Shared understanding of why, what and how

    If each of your processes flow directly from strategy, you can trace everyone’s work (actions and behaviors) from task to outcome.

    That allows everyone to see how their work combines with everyone else’s to enable the organization’s strategic ambitions.

    When everyone shares a strategy-based understanding of job responsibilities and interdependencies, they are empowered to hold themselves, and each other, accountable for outcomes.

    They can see where changes and improvements in their jobs might better support strategy. And they can anticipate and participate in realizing those changes.

    Feedback and adjustment

    So, if everything flows from strategy, is this a one-way, top down process?

    No. Like any successful living organism, companies, government agencies, charitable foundations or any other group enterprise operate in an infinite series of feedback loops and adjustment mechanisms.

    Designing a performance management structure and selecting the tools that can best support that structure needs to be a similarly interactive process.

    PMS design needs to include ways to capture and consider input from all stakeholders ranging from senior executive management through to line managers, employees and unions and, in many cases, indirect input from end customers.

    Are you optimizing people or processes?

    When companies were measuring how many acceptable widgets came off production Line B, and knew they’d be making those widgets for the foreseeable future, performance was easier to assess and to manage.

    Employees weren’t expected to change tasks on the fly, if at all. Training requirements were well-defined and could focus on a few specific skills.

    Today, however, you need every employee ready to quickly learn new skills and perform new tasks to support an evolving strategy.

    Managers need visibility into how workers’ capabilities fit with their current jobs and insight into any talents and interests that would be valuable elsewhere.

    Workers need to see how their skills fit with current tasks and what new skills they can and should develop to climb their chosen career ladder.

    That means both managers and workers need a holistic view of current and future competency requirements.

    And there is a real payoff: the more of a role your employees play in recommending and selecting skills they want to develop, the more excited they will be to use those skills.

    Performance management is everyone’s responsibility

    Of course, these highly complex and interdependent performance management tools and processes are only valuable if used consistently across your organization.

    Here again, tying the performance management process back to strategy makes it clear to all stakeholders just how critical it is.

    Leadership support for and continued attention to employee development sets the tone, but ease of use plays a huge part in how effective PM processes and technology solutions are for the organization.

    Employees and managers need to be able to learn and use PM systems without a massive time investment that takes away from productivity.

    That means organizations need to make learning and using performance management processes and tools part of every job description.

    And organizations should push PMS providers to continually improve both user interfaces and user training so those meet your specific needs.

    Measuring performance management ROI

    Performance management systems provide powerful tools for developing and nurturing competencies, making them among the most important investments an organization must make.

    Ultimately, performance management that maximizes workforce development and flexibility in line with a strategic framework is what differentiates successful and less successful organizations – even in the most highly-automated industries.

    The return on your performance management investment can be measured in financial terms reflecting increased efficiency, reduced turnover and other metrics.

    But the true measure of a successful PMS implementation is a flexible, teachable workforce that understands and supports your strategy and that has the resources they need to succeed and grow with your business.

    The post Performance management success factors: Align PM with organizational strategy appeared first on HR Morning.

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  • BOOST EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT WITH THESE KEY PEOPLE SKILLS

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Management, Performance Managemnt, Rewards and Recognition, Special Report

    With all the talk about “employee engagement,” it’s only fair to ask, “Can I really get all the people in my organization to give their best – every day?”

    The short answer is probably not “all.” But with the right amount of effort you can get “most” of them to give their best … most of the time. And that’s a lot better than where most companies are right now.

    Boiled down to its simplest parts, employee engagement is about connecting with employees and getting them focused. It’s requires an on-going and consistent effort by managers to bring out the best in people.

    Employee engagement takes practice

    You don’t need to be good friends with every employee – but it does help to build cordial relationships. That makes working with people more productive and cohesive.

    People get more engaged in their work then the work means something to them, when they understand their role in the organization, and can see and appreciate the results of their own accomplishments.

    Here are some “hands on” ways leaders can work to improve interactions and create a deeper connection with employees and colleagues:

    • Make it personal. Use people’s names when talking to them – from the janitor to the CEO. Even better, use the names of their significant others – spouses, kids, parents – when possible.
    • Say more than hello. Sometimes it’s necessary to cut to the chase and get to the business at hand – a project, deadline, important question, etc. But in other circumstances, there’s time to show interest in employees’ and colleagues’ lives. Instead of a generic “How are you?” ask about something that affects them.
    • Talk about their interests. People surround themselves with hints of what interests them outside of work (for instance, sports ticket stubs, photos of beach trips, logo T-shirts from local events, race medals, certificates of appreciation from philanthropic groups, etc.). Look for those hints and ask about them. Once you know a little about what they do outside work, you have a starter for other conversations: “How did your son’s soccer game turn out?” “Where did you volunteer this weekend?” “Planning any vacations?”
    • Show appreciation. Avoid waiting for the end of a project or annual reviews to thank employees and coworkers for their contributions. And it’s OK to say thanks for the little things they bring to the table – a good sense of humor, a sharp eye for errors, an impeccable work station, a positive attitude.
    • Make others feel important. Feeling important is slightly different than feeling appreciated. Employees need to know they’re relevant. Let them know you recognize their contributions by referring to past successes when you talk to them personally and to others in meetings. Explain why their work was important.
    • Recognize emotions. Work and life are roller coasters of emotions. Leaders don’t have to react to every peak and valley, but they’ll want to address the highs and lows they see. For instance, “You seem frustrated and anxious lately. Is something wrong that I can help with?” Or, “I can sense you’re very excited and proud. You deserve to be.”

    Building morale

    The best morale exists when you never hear the word mentioned. If you have employees, you’ll have morale problems. No matter how thorough a company’s hiring process is, at some point leaders will have to handle morale issues because employees get stressed, are overworked and deal with difficult people.

    The good news: Most of the time, employees won’t be down if their managers build and maintain morale. To stay ahead of morale issues:

    • Communicate. Employees left in the dark will become fearful and anxious and likely make up negative news to fill the gap. This can be avoided by regularly reporting information, changes and company news.
    • Listen. While sharing information is a must, employees must also be heard. Give them different options to share their concerns and ideas. Offer the floor at department meetings, have regular one-on-one meetings, put up a suggestion box or anonymous e-mail account for submissions, invite executives to come in and listen, etc.
    • Appreciate. People who aren’t recognized for their contributions may assume they’re not doing well. Leaders should take the time to thank employees for their everyday efforts that keep the operations running smoothly. In addition, extra effort should be recognized and rewarded.
    • Be fair. Nothing hurts morale like unfair treatment. Leaders can’t turn their backs on poor performances, and they can’t play favorites. It’s best to document what’s done in response to good and bad behaviors so leaders can do the exact same thing when the situation arises again – and have a record of it.
    • Provide opportunities to grow. Growth is often equated with moving up the career ladder. But it doesn’t have to be. Many employees are motivated by learning and creating a larger role for themselves. So if people can’t move up a career ladder (because there aren’t positions available), encourage them to learn more about the company, industry or business through in-house or outside training. Or give them opportunities to grow socially by allowing them time to volunteer.
    • Create a friendly environment. Research shows people who have friends at work are more motivated and loyal to their employer. While this can’t be forced, opportunities to build friendships can be provided through potluck lunches, team-building activities and requesting staff to help in the recruiting process.
    • Paint the picture. Employees who know their purpose have higher morale than those who are “just doing the job.” Regularly explain to employees how their roles fit into the company’s mission and how they affect the department and the company.

    Praise what you want to see repeated

    Handing out recognition takes a little more skill than just saying “Good job” and giving a pat on the back, though that’s a good start.

    Giving recognition well is a skill all leaders could improve upon to keep their employees encouraged and productive.

    Here are five guidelines for recognizing good work:

    1. Make it a policy, not a perk. Set rules for different types of recognition. For instance, recognize people for tenure and meeting goals – things everyone can accomplish.
    2. Stay small. Handshakes and sincere appreciation are always welcome (especially since 65% of employees say they haven’t been recognized in the past year, according to a Gallup Poll). Leaders need to look their employees in the eye, thank them for specific work and explain why it made a difference.
    3. Add some fanfare. Recognize people at meetings when others can congratulate them.
    4. Include the team. In addition to praising individuals, recognize a whole group for coming through during an unexpected hard time, meeting a goal, working together, etc.
    5. Make it personal. When recognizing employees, match the reward and praise to the person. One person may like a quiet thank-you and a gift card to a favorite store. Someone else might thrive on applause and a certificate given at a group lunch. Find out what people like and cater to them when possible.

     

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  • MOTIVATING EMPLOYEES TO HIGHER PERFORMANCE

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Management, Performance Managemnt, Retention & Turnover, Talent Management

    Building and sustaining an energized workforce that takes initiative requires creating an inspiring atmosphere.

    Some of the key features of such a workplace are:

    • A creative work environment where employees are able to express themselves openly.
    • A work environment not stifled by unnecessary process and policy hurdles.
    • A challenging and constructive work environment featuring constant feedback.
    • Leadership that listens and responds to employees.
    • A collaborative and cross-functional workforce where diversity is cherished.

    Employees recognize the difference between empty slogans and real commitment and will respond to an organization that walks the walk in creating a great place to work.

    Happiness equals productivity

    A recent study found that employees who are happy are 12 percent more productive than those who aren’t.

    Whether or not the specific percentage is totally accurate, we can all confirm the general point from our own work experiences.

    Happy employees get to work on time, work hard, and take responsibility.

    So how to keep a happy workplace? Here’s some ideas

    • Make humor part of the agenda – work is stressful. Find ways to lighten things up occasionally
    • Within the constraints of your particular process, don’t insist on rigid schedules. Give employees some control over how they use their time during the day.
    • Respect, and encourage respect for, differences
    • Fewer managers and official leaders
    • Make fitness and physical activity part of a normal day
    • Create a bright atmosphere and encourage interaction

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  • SECRETS FOR BETTER PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Performance Managemnt, Special Report

    Every HR pro knows that there really is no “secret to better performance management.”

    Strategies and techniques for improving individual and team performance evolve and new practices emerge but the overall concepts that make up performance management are well-known and widely implemented.

    But there are some secrets to improving performance management results.

    The most important one is that you can’t just discard techniques that you’ve tried and then set aside because they didn’t work as you hoped.

    If you take a fresh look at some of these “failed” approaches you might find they can work both for individual workers and teams.

    It’s worth the effort — you’ll see results in happier, more engaged workers; improved productivity, and a healthier work environment.

    Manager, know thyself

    Before you can be effective in helping an employee to improve performance, you need to think carefully about yourself.

    How might your own personality, work style, likes and dislikes, and unconscious biases and preconceptions color your assessment of a particular employee’s work and how you communicate with them?

    Remember, as you are working to help employees improve their own performance they are observing how you handle yourself, so take some time to look from their perspective.

    • How quickly do you respond to issues?
    • How do you react when faced with adversity?
    • How do you interact with others?
    • Are you overly formal or informal?
    • Are you too blunt or too analytical?

    Was the problem that the technique just didn’t fit with your organization’s environment or work style? Or was it how you tried to put it into practice?

    Looking back at a technique that didn’t work through this lens can be really helpful in making it work for you this time.

    Once you have a handle on these questions, you’re ready to start the collaborative process of assessing and improving employees’ performance.

    The most common performance issues

    Based on decades of experience in working with employee and leadership teams at organizations of all sizes, these are the performance issues that come up again and again.

    • Individual productivity or lack thereof — Employee’s output of work is less than wanted and expected.
    • Attitude and dealing with others — The employee may be consistently negative, won’t speak up, is disrespectful to supervisors and co-workers, or exhibits other negative attitudes that hurt team morale and productivity.
    • Ability to work with others — Whether they have interpersonal issues, produce at a different volume than their peers, or don’t understand teamwork, some employees stand out in a negative way and negatively affect team performance.
    • Quality of work — Even where the volume of work meets your standards and expectation, the quality of that work is consistently below expectations for their position, experience level, etc.
    • Timeliness and responsiveness — An employee’s work is often behind schedule, they don’t show urgency in responding to requests, or they don’t meet commitments.
    • Refusal to follow instructions — Some employees resist being told how to do their work and fight against necessary changes.

    Collaborate with your employees

    There are steps you can take right now to increase collaboration with your employees around their performance.

    Just as you assessed your own strengths, weaknesses, preconceptions and blind spots, the first thing you need to do is think about how you see their individual traits and abilities and if your perceptions are really accurate.

    The most effective way to do that is to sit down with the employee and explore some key questions together.

    First, why is that individual here? What are their objectives and expectations for their job? Why are they here, in this role right now?

    Have you put him or her in an environment that allows them to enjoy their job? If, for example, you put an introverted person into a team of boisterous, talkative highly energetic people, that employee is probably not going to be able to do their best work.

    Successful performance management puts a lot of the work of changing on you — if one approach isn’t working with an employee, you have to keep trying new things and adjusting in how you interact with them.

    Raising team performance

    A team is only as good as its parts. A poor performer — whether a complainer, someone who doesn’t show up to work on time or leaves early, or a is poor communicator, will bring down a team’s overall results. If colleagues see that they are consistently producing more work or higher quality work that the poorly performing employee, over time their own commitment to quality work will slide.

    If you leave your poor performers interacting only with other “C-team” folks — or have them working only with the middle group while your stars are off working by themselves — the performance of your C team group will stay below what you want, and your B teamers will tend to slide backwards. The key is to find ways to flip that script, where the examples set by your high performing A team brings up the work of the whole group.

    You want your highest performers to interact with your least productive employees. That could mean just putting a cheerful, upbeat A-teamer with a consistently disgruntled colleague or mixing them together on a project.

    If your stars are working and interacting regularly with the bottom 10 percent of their team you’re likely to see improvements in those employees’ work and in the team’s results.

    Development Opportunity

    And there’s another benefit as well: doing things this way creates valuable development opportunities for your top employees.

    Before you pair a top performer with one of your problematic employees for the first time, it’s a good time for a conversation like this:

    “Based on your performance, I expect that you will take on more official or unofficial leadership roles, whether as manager or a team lead, etc. For anyone in that position, one of the most challenging things is dealing with difficult people.”

    “Because I think you are ready for that challenge, I am going to put you and Frank together on a [team, project, workers’ council]. As you know, he can be a little tough to deal with and I think that this is a good opportunity for you to build your leadership skill set.”

    By expressing your confidence and explaining your intentions, you’ve set up your A-teamer for success.

    Frank is likely to grumble no matter who you pair him with or how you explain things, but you will have at least given him a reason to make an effort and indicated how you’ll measure success. And if it works, Frank will stop being a drag on the overall team’s performance and show other marginal employees a path to grow, if they want it.

    Consider other influences

    It’s also important to look at what outside issues that you are not aware of might be impacting your employees’ performance. Here are some examples:

    Over the course of an HR pro’s career, they are almost certain to encounter employees who have progressed in their own careers but who have puzzling but real gaps in their skills and capabilities.

    Training is often haphazard, without a formal structure for making sure that employees are learning what they should.

    It’s your job to explore whether they really have been trained properly. If they have gone through training but don’t show that they’ve absorbed it, it might be that they learn differently from other workers.

    How do they see their role? If you don’t understand how they see themselves in the job, it is very hard to know what you need to address to help them elevate their performance.

    Do employees have resources and time needed to perform up to your expectations?

    Are employees content in their current role? Anyone doing a job that they simply don’t like is never going to produce really good work.

    Are there underlying personal issues involved?

    In most cases, taking the time to understand why issues are arising and being clear-eyed about helping employees to learn and grow is worth the investment in time and money.

    Recently, I was asked if I was going to fire an employee who made a mistake that cost the company $600,000. No, I replied, I just spent $600,000 training him. Why would I want somebody to hire his experience? – Thomas J.Watson

     Coach, inspire, empower, motivate

    Successful performance management includes coaching employees on how they can achieve success in specific areas; inspiring them to make sustained effort; empowering employees by giving them authority that matches their responsibilities; and motivating team effort, improved performance and professional growth.

    Coaching

    When you coach an employee, start from a positive place. Be open — explain that you are working to help them improve their work.

    Keep it specific and ask them to come to the session prepared to share their own impression of how they are doing.

    Include attitude and productivity as performance expectations.

    As with every other aspect of people management, of course, it is critical that you document and share proof of relevant performance issues at the start of the coaching process.

    Follow up through the W x W x W (W3 formula). What will be done by Who by When? Effective coaching requires that both you and the employee make solid commitments to each step in the process.

    Inspire employees to take action

    If employees are just showing up for the paycheck, you’ll likely never see performance improvement from them.

    When they look forward to showing up and creating value each day, you’re likely to see continuous individual improvement and team members who boost each other up.

    Empower employees to acheive more

    Giving an employee responsibility without also giving them the authority needed to make decisions, get resources, and guide others’ work as necessary is a recipe for failure.

    The key is, as always, communication. While discussing an assignment, ask the employee what authority THEY think they’ll need.

    That wish list is usually going to be more that you can actually fulfill completely but working together you can make sure that they are empowered to do what is needed to get the job done.

    Motivating employees to higher performance

    Building and sustaining an energized workforce that takes initiative and is positive requires creating an inspiring atmosphere. Some of the key features of such a workplace are:

    • A creative work environment where employees are able to express themselves openly.
    • A work environment not stifled by unnecessary process and policy hurdles.
    • A challenging and constructive work environment featuring constant feedback.
    • Leadership that listens and responds to employees.
    • A collaborative and cross-functional workforce where diversity is cherished.

    Employees recognize the difference between empty slogans and real commitment and will respond to an organization that walks the walk in creating a great place to work.

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  • SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR THE ONE-PERSON HR DEPARTMENT

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: onboarding, Pay and Benefits, Performance Managemnt

    As a one-person HR department you are constantly juggling demands for your time. So how can you stay on top of everything you need to do today, next week, sometime this quarter or before the end of the year?

    Schedule Everything!

    This is one of the most critical pieces of the puzzle. To succeed as a one-person HR department, you need to take the time to create and maintain consistent processes. It’s the only way to stay above water with the many and varied demands you face every day.

    The first key is to schedule your days, and that means everything. A useful approach to prioritizing your schedule is to use the “ICE” method.

    Is a task IMPORTANT? Does it have to get done today?

    CAN it wait? Can I put it behind other tasks today or put it off to another day?

    Is it an EMERGENCY? If so, you need to handle it right now, but you still need to have an idea of how you’ll reprioritize your other tasks and rearrange your schedule to handle them. Build some slack into your schedule to help accommodate any emergencies that come up.

    And don’t forget to build in time for longer-term projects, like reviewing your policies and procedures, checking for changes to laws and regs and updating employee manuals and other important documents.

    Rule of thumb: Don’t let policy reviews go longer than a year or you’ll be putting your organization in possible legal or financial jeopardy. Better if you can do them once a quarter or at least twice each year.

    Taming the email and phone monster

    In the meantime, to help avoid living in a constant state of interruption, set aside specific times to review and respond to emails and phone calls.

    Many HR pros find it works well to do this first thing in the morning, around lunch and towards the end of your day. That way, you’ll be able to clear the decks before you leave and know what has to get done tomorrow.

    Take the time to learn the organizing features of your email application. By setting up folders, rules, and alerts, you can be sure you don’t miss critical messages from the CEO. And, when it’s time to sit down to review your inbox, you’ll be able to see which folders need your attention now and which ones — like newsletters or employment law bulletins — can wait until you have time to review them, save or act on the ones important to you, and purge the rest.

    If you need help, check with your IT group or look for online tutorials. The work you put in up front to learn and set up email tools will stop constant email pinging from distracting you and, since you’ve set aside times to check your email, you won’t worry you’re missing important messages.

    Of course, you won’t only be dealing with people electronically. It is critical that HR pros get out of their office and interact with employees regularly — try to check in with at least one department or group each week. In many ways, you are the face of the company and employees need to know you are engaged and interested in how they are getting on. That way they’ll know you are available, and they can come to you with any questions or concerns.

    The courage to say no

    But, when it comes to interacting directly with employees and other managers and supervisors, it is important to protect your time.

    Have the courage to ask anyone who “drops by” if they can check back via email or come back during a time you’ve set aside for meetings. The stuff that really isn’t important will get dropped and everyone will be better prepared for discussion that do happen.

    That goes for outside the office, as well. You’ll be invited to attend dozens of HR seminars and trade shows every year and asked to join every professional group in your region. These can be important sources of support for a small HR department, but just say no to almost all of them.

    Look for a couple of outside groups that can be truly useful to you, like local industry associations or your state HR council. You want to spend your valuable time with people who share the same issues and have addressed the same challenges.

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  • 7 WAYS HRMS CAN TRANSFORM YOUR HR DEPARTMENT

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: central database, Hiring & Recruiting, HRMS, Management, onboarding, Pay and Benefits, Payroll, Performance Managemnt, Retention & Turnover, self-service portal, streamline, Talent Management, turnover

    A typical day in HR is… anything but typical. Whether you’re dealing with an employee suddenly leaving or your CEO demanding results, you’re constantly on the move and putting out new fires.

    You’re busy, to say the least.

    And on top of it all, you still have to answer questions about payroll and keep up with compliance reporting. That leaves little room for higher-level responsibilities like scouting for new talent or developing strategies to motivate employees.

    No one needs to tell you that your time and energy are valuable. And your day shouldn’t be consumed with administrative or routine tasks. Whether you’re doing everything on pen and paper or using specialized software for recruiting or training, it’s time to consider a change.

    If you haven’t heard about HRMS, now is the time to check out the technology that can streamline HR and help you take back your day.

    What is HRMS?

    A human resource management system (HRMS) integrates all of the core and strategic HR functions into one solution, improves recruiting, offers a self-service portal, automates data entry and administrative processes, streamlines information in a central database, reduces payroll and compliance errors, and facilitates data-driven strategies.

    How is HRMS different from HRIS and HCM?

    HRMS, HRIS and HCM are various acronyms used for comprehensive HR technology. It’s easy to get confused, because these terms are often used inconsistently and interchangeably. That said, it’s still a good idea to know how they are generally defined. Here’s a breakdown of which modules are included in each one:

    • Human resource information system (HRIS) – applicant tracking, employee self-service portal, central database, analytics, training, compensation and benefits
    • Human capital management (HCM) ­– HRIS modules, plus onboarding and talent management
    • Human resource management system (HRMS) – HCM modules, plus payroll, time and attendance, and performance tracking

    HRMS has the most modules of any HR technology, but typically has fewer customizations and advanced features compared to specialized software that focuses on an individual module. What makes HRMS preferable, however, is that it’s an integrated system that can follow employees end-to-end from recruiting to exit interviews.

    Consider these seven ways that HRMS can transform your HR department.

    1. Manage the hiring process more efficiently

    We’ve previously written about the insights that applicant tracking systems (ATS) can provide, including:

    • Finding and solving hiring bottlenecks
    • Discovering which hiring managers need help
    • Tracking your hiring team’s efficiency and effectiveness
    • Determining your best sources for hires

    An HRMS solution won’t have as many specialized features as a dedicated ATS software, but it will have the benefit of retaining applicant information if they are hired and onboarded. You’ll also be able to analyze this data and generate reports on the types of candidates that ultimately become successful employees.

    2. Engage employees with onboarding and training

    Once you’ve hired the right candidate, it will be important for you to keep them engaged from the beginning. Employees that go through a structured onboarding program are 58% more likely to stay with an organization after three years.

    With HRMS, onboarding can start even before the new employee reaches the office. Employees can sign administrative documents electronically, catch up on company news and business goals, and join virtual social networks of colleagues. On their first day, they’ll have more time to tour the facility, set up their equipment and hit the ground running.

    HRMS solutions can also boost engagement through continuing education. For example, millennial employees ranked training and development as the most important benefit of working for a company, higher than cash bonuses, free health care and a pension.

    Small businesses may find hiring speakers or holding physical classes too expensive. HRMS offers a cost-effective alternative with e-learning modules to help employees improve their skills and performance at their own pace.

    This type of professional development not only promotes employee engagement, but also prepares future leaders within your company who might otherwise leave.

    3. Save time with a self-service portal

    Employees often have specific questions about their salaries, benefits and time off. Answering these vital yet routine questions, however, can take up a huge chunk of your day.

    With a self-service portal, employees can access their information any time, from a remote site or on their mobile phone. The portal generally has a user-friendly interface and allows employees to:

    • View their salaries, benefits, 401K and taxes,
    • Update their employment and contact details,
    • Enter time and attendance,
    • Submit expense and reimbursement forms, and
    • Request paid time off and sick leave.

    Managers can also approve and decline employee time off requests without your intervention.

    In the end, your employees will be able to answer many of their own questions at their own convenience and you’ll have to do less data entry, giving you back valuable time to spend on more meaningful activities.

    4. Reduce business errors with automated processes and a central database

    You know how important it is to maintain accurate payroll and compliance records. Any mistake is not just a headache but also a potential lawsuit.

    HRMS automates these processes, so that you can worry less about costly errors. It can calculate wages and salaries, deduct the correct amount of taxes and benefits, and print checks or execute direct deposits. It can also schedule reminders when compliance forms are due, require employees to digitally accept communications and deliver compliance training.

    In addition, the system will consolidate information into a central database. You won’t have to go searching through multiple filing cabinets, spreadsheets or emails for various details about a single employee. This not only saves you time and energy, but can also keep you organized and reduce errors in transferring information.

    5. Accelerate employee performance

    Employees are more productive when they feel that business objectives are aligned with their skill sets and accomplishments are properly rewarded. Yet it may not be clear to you how employees are doing in their roles and whether or not they are succeeding.

    HRMS solutions empower employees to take performance into their own hands. They can:

    • Monitor their own progress,
    • Seek help and make improvements between scheduled reviews, and
    • Develop their future goals.

    In response, managers can:

    • Quantify employee performance,
    • Provide more relevant feedback,
    • Select appropriate assignments,
    • Recognize achievements, and
    • Create succession plans to promote exceptional employees.

    Overall, everyone will have a better understanding of how employees are doing at their jobs. Managers can acknowledge progress and employees will have a clearer path going forward.

    6. Understand why employees leave

    When an employee leaves, you conduct an exit interview to understand why. The information you get, however, may not always be accurate. Perhaps there are strong emotions surrounding the departure or the employee doesn’t feel comfortable being honest in person.

    HRMS solutions can communicate with employees even after they leave. Because they’ve had time to understand their reasoning and now have the space to be direct, their insight can be valuable. This information can be combined with other metrics previously collected by the software such as demographics, performance, promotion wait time and compensation ratio to create a more holistic analysis of employee turnover.

    Fully examining why an employee leaves is important because it helps to develop a strategy for reducing turnover in the future. Without proper data, you’re left to wonder if your assessments are accurate.

    7. Support your decisions with evidence

    Businesses are increasingly looking to HR for more data-driven initiatives and strategies. Whether its recruiting more efficiently, increasing engagement or reducing turnover, senior management wants your decisions to be backed up with quantifiable metrics.

    HRMS not only records information but can also generate reports and analyze real-time key performance indicators, such as duration-in-position or time-to-achieve goals. This data can help you develop evidence-based strategies that are more likely to get buy-in from senior management.

    Some HRMS solutions even offer predictive analytics that can give you more certainty in your workforce decisions and insights for future recruitment and retention strategies.

    Still undecided on HRMS?

    With a self-service portal, automated processes and a central database, HRMS solutions can reduce the amount of time you spend on labor-intensive tasks and transform your HR department.

    You’ll now be free to focus on data-driven strategy and higher-level initiatives that will ultimately benefit your greatest resource–your employees.

    If you’re in the market for an HRMS solution, it’s important to do more research on implementation, cost, integration and training. For more info, here’s our definitive guide to HRMS.

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  • 7 WAYS HRMS CAN TRANSFORM HOW YOUR HR DEPARTMENT

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: central database, Hiring & Recruiting, HRMS, Management, onboarding, Pay and Benefits, Payroll, Performance Managemnt, Retention & Turnover, self-service portal, streamline, Talent Management, turnover

    A typical day in HR is… anything but typical. Whether you’re dealing with an employee suddenly leaving or your CEO demanding results, you’re constantly on the move and putting out new fires.

    You’re busy, to say the least.

    And on top of it all, you still have to answer questions about payroll and keep up with compliance reporting. That leaves little room for higher-level responsibilities like scouting for new talent or developing strategies to motivate employees.

    No one needs to tell you that your time and energy are valuable. And your day shouldn’t be consumed with administrative or routine tasks. Whether you’re doing everything on pen and paper or using specialized software for recruiting or training, it’s time to consider a change.

    If you haven’t heard about HRMS, now is the time to check out the technology that can streamline HR and help you take back your day.

    What is HRMS?

    A human resource management system (HRMS) integrates all of the core and strategic HR functions into one solution, improves recruiting, offers a self-service portal, automates data entry and administrative processes, streamlines information in a central database, reduces payroll and compliance errors, and facilitates data-driven strategies.

    How is HRMS different from HRIS and HCM?

    HRMS, HRIS and HCM are various acronyms used for comprehensive HR technology. It’s easy to get confused, because these terms are often used inconsistently and interchangeably. That said, it’s still a good idea to know how they are generally defined. Here’s a breakdown of which modules are included in each one:

    • Human resource information system (HRIS) – applicant tracking, employee self-service portal, central database, analytics, training, compensation and benefits
    • Human capital management (HCM) ­– HRIS modules, plus onboarding and talent management
    • Human resource management system (HRMS) – HCM modules, plus payroll, time and attendance, and performance tracking

    HRMS has the most modules of any HR technology, but typically has fewer customizations and advanced features compared to specialized software that focuses on an individual module. What makes HRMS preferable, however, is that it’s an integrated system that can follow employees end-to-end from recruiting to exit interviews.

    Consider these seven ways that HRMS can transform your HR department.

    1. Manage the hiring process more efficiently

    We’ve previously written about the insights that applicant tracking systems (ATS) can provide, including:

    • Finding and solving hiring bottlenecks
    • Discovering which hiring managers need help
    • Tracking your hiring team’s efficiency and effectiveness
    • Determining your best sources for hires

    An HRMS solution won’t have as many specialized features as a dedicated ATS software, but it will have the benefit of retaining applicant information if they are hired and onboarded. You’ll also be able to analyze this data and generate reports on the types of candidates that ultimately become successful employees.

    2. Engage employees with onboarding and training

    Once you’ve hired the right candidate, it will be important you to keep them engaged from the beginning. Employees that go through a structured onboarding program are 58% more likely to stay with an organization after three years.

    With HRMS, onboarding can start even before the new employee reaches the office. Employees can sign administrative documents electronically, catch up on company news and business goals, and join virtual social networks of colleagues. On their first day, they’ll have more time to tour the facility, set up their equipment and hit the ground running.

    HRMS solutions can also boost engagement through continuing education. For example, millennial employees ranked training and development as the most important benefit of working for a company, higher than cash bonuses, free health care and a pension.

    Small businesses may find hiring speakers or holding physical classes too expensive. HRMS offers a cost-effective alternative with e-learning modules to help employees improve their skills and performance at their own pace.

    This type of professional development not only promotes employee engagement, but also prepares future leaders within your company who might otherwise leave.

    3. Save time with a self-service portal

    Employees often have specific questions about their salaries, benefits and time off. Answering these vital yet routine questions, however, can take up a huge chunk of your day.

    With a self-service portal, employees can access their information any time, from a remote site or on their mobile phone. The portal generally has a user-friendly interface and allows employees to:

    • View their salaries, benefits, 401K and taxes,
    • Update their employment and contact details,
    • Enter time and attendance,
    • Submit expense and reimbursement forms, and
    • Request paid time off and sick leave.

    Managers can also approve and decline employee time off requests without your intervention.

    In the end, your employees will be able to answer many of their own questions at their own convenience and you’ll have to do less data entry, giving you back valuable time to spend on more meaningful activities.

    4. Reduce business errors with automated processes and a central database

    You know how important it is to maintain accurate payroll and compliance records. Any mistake is not just a headache but also a potential lawsuit.

    HRMS automates these processes, so that you can worry less about costly errors. It can calculate wages and salaries, deduct the correct amount of taxes and benefits, and print checks or execute direct deposits. It can also schedule reminders when compliance forms are due, require employees to digitally accept communications and deliver compliance training.

    In addition, the system will consolidate information into a central database. You won’t have to go searching through multiple filing cabinets, spreadsheets or emails for various details about a single employee. This not only saves you time and energy, but can also keep you organized and reduce errors in transferring information.

    5. Accelerate employee performance

    Employees are more productive when they feel that business objectives are aligned with their skill sets and accomplishments are properly rewarded. Yet it may not be clear to you how employees are doing in their roles and whether or not they are succeeding.

    HRMS solutions empower employees to take performance into their own hands. They can:

    • Monitor their own progress,
    • Seek help and make improvements between scheduled reviews, and
    • Develop their future goals.

    In response, managers can:

    • Quantify employee performance,
    • Provide more relevant feedback,
    • Select appropriate assignments,
    • Recognize achievements, and
    • Create succession plans to promote exceptional employees.

    Overall, everyone will have a better understanding of how employees are doing at their jobs. Managers can acknowledge progress and employees will have a clearer path going forward.

    6. Understand why employees leave

    When an employee leaves, you conduct an exit interview to understand why. The information you get, however, may not always be accurate. Perhaps there are strong emotions surrounding the departure or the employee doesn’t feel comfortable being honest in person.

    HRMS solutions can communicate with employees even after they leave. Because they’ve had time to understand their reasoning and now have the space to be direct, their insight can be valuable. This information can be combined with other metrics previously collected by the software such as demographics, performance, promotion wait time and compensation ratio to create a more holistic analysis of employee turnover.

    Fully examining why an employee leaves is important because it helps to develop a strategy for reducing turnover in the future. Without proper data, you’re left to wonder if your assessments are accurate.

    7. Support your decisions with evidence

    Businesses are increasingly looking to HR for more data-driven initiatives and strategies. Whether its recruiting more efficiently, increasing engagement or reducing turnover, senior management wants your decisions to be backed up with quantifiable metrics.

    HRMS not only records information but can also generate reports and analyze real-time key performance indicators, such as duration-in-position or time-to-achieve goals. This data can help you develop evidence-based strategies that are more likely to get buy-in from senior management.

    Some HRMS solutions even offer predictive analytics that can give you more certainty in your workforce decisions and insights for future recruitment and retention strategies.

    Still undecided on HRMS?

    With a self-service portal, automated processes and a central database, HRMS solutions can reduce the amount of time you spend on labor-intensive tasks and transform your HR department.

    You’ll now be free to focus on data-driven strategy and higher-level initiatives that will ultimately benefit your greatest resource–your employees.

    If you’re in the market for an HRMS solution, it’s important to do more research on implementation, cost, integration and training. For more info, here’s our definitive guide to HRMS.

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  • PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT TRENDS FOR 2019

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: annual performance reviews, compensation, HR trends, Latest News & Views, Performance Management, Performance Managemnt, Retention & Turnover, Special Report

    Performance review

    As we move into 2019, organizations of all sizes are once again reviewing employee performance management strategies.

    In a field as dynamic and fast-changing as HR, the new year is seeing HR teams trying new approaches that include recent scientific insights, productivity research and technology developments.

    The traditional annual review is on its way out at more and more organizations, with increasing focus on continuous performance appraisal and management. Companies are refining the metrics they track and the amount and types of employee feedback they include in their processes. Managers are expected to coach employees to help them realize potential. More companies are looking to separate goals setting and evaluations from compensation discussions. And jobs, schedules and training are getting more personalized.

    While HR Pros have been reading about some of these trends for a couple of years, actual rollouts have mostly been limited to a few large corporations.

    Here are six trends expected to gain traction across a much wider set of organizations during 2019.

    The (lingering) death of the annual review

    HR pros often struggle to get managers and employees to treat performance management as a positive opportunity for growth rather than an unavoidable, but deeply uncomfortable, ritual. Taking a fresh approach to how you think about feedback might make a real difference. Besides helping to keep everyone aligned with the organization’s strategy, building a culture of open communication and constant improvement helps all employees to guide their own professional development in ways that are truly meaningful to them.

    Many of the HR practices we’ve taken for granted for decades were developed to manage a largely industrial workforce whose job functions changed very little from year to year. Performance metrics were based on concrete production targets.

    Today, most employees are tasked with adjusting to constantly shifting targets as organizations seek growth in a constantly shifting competitive environment. In such fast-changing workplace, employees don’t just want real-time feedback. They need it to be successful, so your organization’s success might depend on making that happen.

    HR software provider Impraise reports that more than 70% of users say that getting regular feedback from peers and managers helps them improve their performance.

    How you design your feedback processes can make the difference between an engaged and energized workforce and one where both managers and workers dread and resent performance reviews.

    Flipping the feedback loop

    Most of us are familiar with the concept of the “flight or fight” response to anything we perceive as a threat, a response that comes from one of the oldest and least evolved structures in the human brain. Unfortunately, although understandably, most humans respond to even well-intentioned criticism much the same way they’d react to a physical threat — they switch from thinking to reacting. And that isn’t a one-way street. Research shows that both giving and receiving feedback are stressful — they feel like conflict and we prepare and react accordingly.

    That has a real impact on how employees — and supervisors — perceive performance management, whether in an annual sit down that ends with numerical rankings or a continuous communication model where supervisors give feedback to workers weekly, or even daily.

    So, is there a solution to this deeply seated, brain-based problem? According to research published by the NeuroLeadership Institute (NLI), the trick is to flip the feedback loop on its head.

    “Crowd-sourced” performance assessments

    Instead of structuring performance discussions around GIVING feedback, the researchers recommend training everyone — employees, supervisors, managers and execs —to instead ASK for feedback on a regular basis. That puts the asker in a position of control and reduces the stress reaction. It also means that everyone needs to think about specific aspects of the job they want to discuss before they begin the conversation.

    NLI’s research indicates you can help form a healthy organizational culture by encouraging a common habit of thoughtful and honest communication by changing your feedback. Other research by the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) and the Center for Effective Organizations (CEO) supports the idea that organizational and financial results improve when positive and productive goal setting, performance assessments and career development conversations result in better employee motivation, engagement and retention.

    For HR pros, that means training managers and supervisors to give regular feedback. But it also means training them to encourage employees to ask for feedback — and to share their own feedback with peers.

    Moving away from “stack and rank”

    Along with the move from annual and semi-annual reviews to continuous performance feedback, companies are revisiting how they evaluate and rate performance. Rather than following a rigid and often flawed “stack and rank” process of measuring performance, companies ranging from global tech giants to family-owned small employers are moving away from point-based assessments.

    That doesn’t mean all assessments are going to become purely qualitative. Especially for production and sales teams, firm numeric targets remain critical to evaluating performance. But most employees — especially the majority in the middle who are doing a good job but aren’t either stars or laggards —benefit more from continuous guidance and coaching than from being ranked and rated against inflexible goals that are handed down once a year.

    With a continuous performance management system in place, employees can be evaluated on how they’ve responded to feedback from peers and supervisors and whether they’ve adapted to changes in company goals or individual job targets over the year.

    Coaching

    Employees come into a new job with a set of talents and competencies but how well they adapt and improve depends a lot on how —and how well — they’re coached. Companies will focus a lot on how to improve their coaching over the next 12 – 18 months.

    Coaching can include sharing with employees examples of what has and hasn’t worked in the past and discussing how those examples relate to overall strategic goals. With technology speeding up how quickly companies can judge success or failure, those examples will move closer and closer to real-time, helping to drive lessons home.

    Along with changes in how performance reviews are conducted, coaching helps to focus discussions on what is needed for future success rather than on post mortems.

    Separating evaluations and compensation

    Many companies that have moved to continuous feedback have also taken the next step and separated performance evaluation from any discussion about compensation.

    The idea of disconnecting formal performance evaluations and compensation decisions feels counter-intuitive. Most companies have always linked evaluations, comparative ratings and compensation. Top performers get above average compensation and increases. Poor performers see below average pay and most are compensated around the market average for their jobs and seniority.

    The problems with this approach also cluster in the middle, however. There is always a limit to the available compensation budget. If a manager has already decided to pay one employee slightly more than his or her peer, they might be tempted to tweak ratings to justify the difference. When employees find out about the ratings difference (and they always seem to find out) they are likely to be demoralized, not driven to work harder. Over time, employees come to see things as a horse race and are more likely to undercut each other instead of working together.

    Job Personalization

    Personalization is moving out of the realm of business-to-consumer commerce and into almost every arena of human activity. For HR, this trend means empowering employees to find the best path to mastering skills needed to do their jobs. That translates into a need for customized training that focuses on the specific requirements of a job and individual employees’ specific skills and skill gaps.

    That can be tough for small HR departments. The good news is that there are a growing number of technology solutions that can help even the smallest HR team develop and implement flexible, personalized programs. When those are tied closely to continuous evaluation and feedback, training plans can adapt more quickly to changing job requirements — and become more relevant to employees.

    Increased focus on emotional health and stress management

    Every HR pro knows employees’ mental health is just as important as their physical health. And when employees aren’t getting what they need, their work suffers. Research by the British government found that the number of people who left their job due to mental health was 50% higher than the number who left for physical health reasons.

    The best way to help? Communicate, communicate, communicate. It is important to create an atmosphere of understanding and openness where employees dealing with emotional stress and more serious mental health issues are comfortable discussing any difficulties they are experiencing with work.

    Employers can help by creating a framework for discussion and finding assistance, when appropriate.  Here are some ideas from experts in the field:

    Assess the workplace by reviewing existing data, conducting anonymous surveys, and identifying the appropriate people or departments that will be responsible for overseeing programs.

    • Understand common risk factors and examine where workplace processes and procedures might be changed to help avoid those factors
    • Ask employees for their input, including suggestions for practical improvements
    • Research best practices and
    • Create a yardstick to measure the effectiveness of programs

    One of the main things that negatively impacts employee mental health? Feelings of isolation and loneliness in the workplace. And, thanks in part to technology, employees are feeling lonelier than ever.

    Regular check-ins with both onsite and remote employees — in person or via a phone call, team celebrations and company-supported social activities are all low-cost ways to keep workers feeling supported and recognized.

    The trends for 2019 include truly fundamental changes to how HR – and the organization – looks at performance management and compensation.

    But for HR, the one thing that stays the same is the certainty of constant change. Your ability to adapt and evolve is what makes an HR professional so valuable.

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  • NEW RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS KEY TO SUCCESSFUL FEEDBACK AND PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Employee performance, feedback, Latest News & Views, Management, Performance Management, Performance Managemnt, Retention & Turnover, Talent Management

    Performance management theory and practice is among the fastest-evolving areas of human resources. New research from corporate performance think tanks reflects recent psychological insights into the power – and drawbacks – of how we provide performance feedback to employees.

    Most of us are familiar with the concept of the “flight or fight” response to anything that is perceived as a threat. That response comes from one of the oldest and least evolved structures in the human brain. Unfortunately, although understandably, most humans respond to even well-intentioned criticism much the same way they’d react to a physical threat — they switch from thinking to reacting. And that isn’t a one-way street. Research shows that both giving and receiving feedback are stressful — they feel like conflict and we prepare and react accordingly.

    That has a real impact on how employees — and supervisors — perceive performance management, whether that’s in the form of an annual sit down that ends with numerical rankings or continuous communication models where supervisors are giving regular feedback to workers on a weekly or even daily basis.

    Flipping the feedback loop

    So, is there a solution to this deeply seated, brain-based problem? According to research published by the NeuroLeadership Institute (NLI) , the trick is to flip the feedback loop on its head.

    Instead of structuring performance discussions around GIVING feedback, the researchers recommend training everyone — employees, supervisors, managers and execs —to instead ASK for feedback on a regular basis. That puts the asker in a position of control and reduces the stress reaction. It also means that everyone needs to think about specific aspects of the job they want to discuss.

    NLI’s research indicates that encouraging a common habit of thoughtful and honest communication by changing your feedback model can help form a healthy organizational culture. Other research by the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) and the Center for Effective Organizations (CEO) supports the idea that organizational and financial results improve when positive and productive goal setting, performance assessments and career development conversations result in better employee motivation, engagement and retention.

    HR pros often struggle to get managers and employees to treat performance management as a positive opportunity for growth rather than an unavoidable, but deeply uncomfortable, ritual. Taking a fresh approach to how you think about feedback might make a real difference.

    Powered by WPeMatico