AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Uncategorized

    More than half of gig economy workers responding to a recent survey said they believe the “alternative workforce” should unionize.

    Why? So they can get paid fairly, have some level of benefit coverage (about three-quarters of gig workers in the U.S have no health insurance coverage) and generally work on a more equal basis with their full-time colleagues.

    And the uncertainty underlying the desire to unionize uncertainty extends to people who are otherwise happy with the flexibility and variety they have as gig workers.

    In a recent survey, 79% of respondents told Ceridian they are “somewhat” or “extremely” satisfied with their current job. But more than half said they are somewhat worried about having adequate work (pay) in the next two years with 40% rating their level of worry as “moderate” or “extreme.”

    Unstoppable rise of the gig economy

    The rise of the gig economy – workers who leverage technology to find and accept multiple temporary jobs – is changing the economy and individual companies’ talent strategies. And these aren’t all the new generation of temps – many permanent employees are often engaged in “side hustles.”

    These workers fulfill a variety of roles and engage with employers in different ways.

    For example, workers may work independently for one company, work independently for more than one company, freelance/consult with various clients, contract with one company at a time or contract with multiple companies simultaneously.

    40% of U.S. workers doing gig work

    Estimates from Deloitte and others indicate as much as 40%
    of the U.S. workforce engaged in some form of gig work.

    HR technology and service giant Ceridian surveyed a cross-section of these workers to improve understanding of some basic questions:

    • Is alternative work the future or a trend?
    • Are these workers happy or do they feel
    • What motivates alternative workers?

    Among the more important takeaways from Ceridian’s 2020 Pulse of Talent: Engaging the alternative workforce study are that this new model of work is here for the long haul and employers must do a better job of finding, hiring, and caring for these workers.

    Ceridian’s researchers say that companies need to make an effort to engage with and understand the needs of this cohort. These are not the traditional temp workers who can be fitted into any slot for a few weeks or months without any thought about what they do well and how they work best.

    Competitive advantage for employers

    Hiring gig workers is not a discount payroll strategy — and will become even less so going forward.

    Savvy employers will leverage gig workers’ flexibility, variety of skills and experience and willingness to work hard without the security of a full-time salary and benefits.

    And they’ll achieve a sustainable competitive advantage.

    But any company that gains a reputation for treating these
    workers poorly – low pay, slow pay, second-class treatment of any kind — will
    soon find it impossible to attract quality workers and will likely fall behind.

    HR needs to take the lead

    In another Deloitte study, almost half of HR pros said they are not involved in onboarding these workers and more than half don’t see a reason to train them.

    And the downside should be obvious.

    Just as in the permanent workforce, poorly trained workers who don’t understand your values, mission, and customer needs will never contribute real value to your organization.

    And a transactional approach of trading uninspiring pay for uninspired work will ensure you won’t develop long-term relationships with high-skilled gig workers.

    Taking care of gig workers’ health

    One final finding from Ceridian’s 2020 Pulse report — the uncertainty, lack of stability and other challenges of gig work to create high levels of stress and associated physical and mental health impacts.

    Smart employers will work to provide gig workers access to some level of mental health support, even if it is just assigning someone to check in occasionally to “take their pulse” and make sure they’re not feeling isolated or ignored.

    The post Survey: Half of gig workers say they want to unionize appeared first on HR Morning.

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    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Uncategorized

    Technology has had a massive impact on the hiring process, especially artificial intelligence. From providing access to candidate profiles to making it easier to post job applications on different platforms, modern technology has helped make recruiting more efficient and effective than ever.

    Let’s face it, though – even with the access that websites like Glassdoor and LinkedIn provide, the hiring process can still be strenuous for everyone involved. For candidates, it can be frustrating to receive little to no communication in response to an application, while hiring managers, on the other hand, have the grueling task of sorting through hundreds of applications to find the best person for each job.

    Though the search for the perfect candidate can take a toll, new developments in Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, made especially for recruiters and hiring managers, can improve the process.

    Artificial intelligence is used to analyze a large quantity of data in a very short amount of time to make predictions. Our brains are built similarly – we use all of our past experience and knowledge to make decisions. AI, however, uses much more information to make even more precise and accurate predictions.

    It’s used in everything from Google algorithms that predict what searches you might make to customer service chatbots that help talk you through a return on Amazon. In the hiring process, it can be used to help find qualified candidates quickly.

    But are the benefits of using this technology
    worth the potential costs? Consider the following pros and cons.

    The Pros


    AI can significantly reduce the time spent
    finding and recruiting great potential candidates. Rather than having a person
    spend hours scanning LinkedIn, posting on job boards, or attending career
    fairs, AI is able to automate this process and locate top talent while you work
    on other things. This can help ensure that organizations are bringing in
    candidates in a quick and efficient way.


    One of the major benefits of AI for hiring is
    its ability to sort through candidate resumes for you. Because it can analyze
    information so quickly, AI is able to screen hundreds of resumes, searching for
    relevant past experience, or other qualities you may be interested in from a
    candidate, and ensuring the best candidates are brought to your attention in a
    matter of minutes. This greatly reduces the time involved in reviewing
    applications, which allows hiring managers to use their time elsewhere.


    AI can also help you improve your
    communication with candidates. The use of chatbots has grown quite a bit over
    recent years, especially in customer service. Now, it’s being used by HR
    professionals in candidate outreach. AI is able to act as a representative that
    candidates can contact with questions day or night. It can also reach out to
    qualified candidates to gather more information and set up an interview. A new
    form of AI, known as Personality AI,
    can even offer advice for communicating with each candidate in an effective way
    based on their unique personality, which helps you build important connections
    and hire the best candidates you can find.

    The Cons

    Overlooking Candidates

    As beneficial as AI’s ability to find suitable
    candidates can be, it also has the potential to overlook, deprioritize, or even
    reject great people. Because it tends to look strictly at past experience or
    other relevant data points, AI may not follow-up with someone who could be
    well-suited to a role, despite not having as much relevant experience.

    Learned Bias

    Despite popular perception, AI does have the
    potential to be biased. Though properly developed AI can help prevent human biases,
    the technology’s need to learn through pattern can easily pick up on past
    partiality, like age, gender, and even the candidate’s alma mater. While there
    are companies that may neglect to account for these biases, this problem is
    easily fixed when software developers take the steps needed to remove these
    patterns of human error.

    Being Impersonal

    AI doesn’t always connect as well to customers
    as a person on the other end might. The hiring process can feel less personal
    for both the hiring manager and the candidate with AI-powered chatbots. Though
    it can make the work more simple and effective, it may ultimately lead to a
    lack of effective communication. Hiring managers may feel more detached from
    the process, and candidates may be less convinced by generic messaging.
    However, this can be avoided if the time hiring managers are able to save with
    AI automation is spent getting to know more about the candidates that AI is
    able to locate. While it’s possible to let AI do all of the work, there are
    still plenty of areas, like interviewing and making the final decision, where
    human connection works best.

    Finding the Right

    Given the pros, many high-performing
    recruiting teams are leveraging AI to improve their hiring process. Though
    there are some downsides to modern AI, the positives can be worth the risk if
    you identify the right applications of it for your hiring process. Whether you
    choose to focus on creating a more efficient candidate outreach program, or
    improve your interviews with personality insights, AI can make a significant
    impact for your team.

    The post 6 pros and cons of using artificial intelligence in your hiring process appeared first on HR Morning.

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    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Uncategorized

    From threats and intimidation to rapes and shootings, workplace
    violence is a growing concern among employers of all sizes, and in all
    industries. A recent survey from SHRM reported that nearly half of HR
    professionals said their organization had experienced a violent incident – with
    more than half of those occurring in the last year.

    Consider these statistics:

    • One-sixth of violent crimes occur in the workplace
    • 18,000 are assaulted at work every week
    • Violence is the second leading cause of workplace deaths

    these figures may be underreported, with an estimated two million victims in
    the workplace each year, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

    Fear among employees is understandable and is why HR pros need
    to step up their efforts to make workers feel safe by ensuring a secure
    environment – or risk lost productivity, reputational harm, and legal expenses.

    Types of workplace violence 

    To address a company’s exposure, organizations first must understand what is behind workplace violence. OSHA defines workplace violence as: any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at the work site.

    The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
    classifies violent acts into these four main categories:

    Criminal Intent: In these cases, criminals do not have a relationship with the business or its workers but commit acts of violence while perpetrating a crime on the premises like robbery. These criminals often target workplaces where employees manage large sums of cash or work alone – think convenience store.

    Customer/Client: Violent acts by a disgruntled customer against an organization or its employees are common, especially in healthcare (e.g. waiting rooms and other hospital areas), social service, and educational institutions. In fact, healthcare is the most dangerous profession due to workplace violence.

    Worker-Worker: Current or former employees are frequent perpetrators, especially following a personal conflict between colleagues or work-related issue such as disciplinary action or poor performance review that makes managers and supervisors likely targets.

    Personal Relationship: Often, perpetrators do not have any connection to the business except a relationship with an employee outside of work, like a spouse or intimate partner. With one in four women experiencing domestic violence in their lifetime, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this type of violence poses the greatest threat to female workers but can spill into the workplace and affect all employees.

    Another category – extreme beliefs – is increasingly at the
    root of many workplace violence incidents, with ideological, political or religious
    motivations common behind mass shootings and terrorist incidents. Whatever
    the cause, in all of these cases, it is not just the victims who are affected
    but coworkers, customers, and even witnesses, making it imperative for
    companies to prevent violence before it happens.

    Warning signs of workplace violence

    there is no singular cause of violence in the workplace, there are often contributing
    factors. Triggers like a dispute or financial difficulties are behind many
    incidents by both unknown and known assailants. In many of the cases, the perpetrator
    blames others and wants to get even by retaliating with violence. When
    strangers face these troubles, it may not be possible for a company to spot and
    anticipate how they may react.

    But when the situations involve staff, employers may be able to identify behavioral changes that can signal impending violence. The National Safety Council outlines several behaviors to watch for, including:

    •  Excessive drug or alcohol use 
    • Unexplained absences, change in behavior, or decline in job performance 
    • Depression, withdrawal, or suicidal thoughts 
    • Resistance to changes at work or complaints that they are treated unfairly 
    • Violation of company policies
    • Emotional response to criticism and/or mood swings 
    • Paranoia 

    These noticeable differences may manifest with threats first, such as talking about weapons or violence. When the risk becomes more immediate, perpetrators of workplace violence will likely display some additional clues, including using abusive language. When faced with the potential for imminent violence, those in the workplace should not argue or raise their voices. Instead, they should follow established procedures.

    Training and Prevention

    A safe and healthy workplace fosters opportunities and
    growth for employees and the business alike, while violence has the opposite
    effect, negatively affecting morale, performance, and profitability. To help prevent
    incidents, California has passed legislation aimed at curbing workplace
    violence but, as yet, no standards exist at the national level. While pressures
    mount on legislators to act, employers in the meantime can take their own steps
    to develop and implement a plan to protect workers.

    Develop a Policy: If you do not have one already, create a zero-tolerance policy and share it in your handbook or other procedures manual. Make sure you educate everyone on the policy, enforcement of it, and the consequences for violations.

    Establish Security Procedures: Develop comprehensive measures that cover basic security, such as the importance of locking valuables, wearing ID, and escorting visitors that all employees should follow. Depending on the environment, you may also want to utilize additional measures like coded entries, silent alarms, and danger signals.

    Hold Safety Training: While no one wants to think about an active shooter situation, instruct employees on how to respond when one is in the vicinity. (The Department of Homeland Security offers several resources for HR professionals.) In addition, offer training on steps workers can take to protect themselves, like avoiding being alone when working after hours and letting security know when they leave.

    Follow Reporting Procedures: Make sure your security policy outlines reporting procedures when employees are in immediate danger. Additionally, employees should be instructed on what to do when faced with non-urgent threats, such as aggressive discussions, suspicious behavior, or the presence of weapons or strangers on the property.

    Prepare Staff on Hiring and Firing Measures: Managers and supervisors should take part in training on how to use the hiring process to prevent violent employees from entering the workforce, including how to conduct effective background investigations and reference checks. These staff should also be educated on conflict resolution, handling employee grievances, and holding termination meetings to help avoid potentially dangerous situations.

    While less tangible, do not overlook the importance of creating
    a positive culture based on respect and support, one that will encourage
    employees to speak up to HR about their own personal or professional challenges
    before they could escalate into something uncontrollable.

    The post Combating workplace violence: HR’s key role appeared first on HR Morning.

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    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Uncategorized

    How Much Support Do You Really Need to Get Ahead? 

    When it comes to career development, what gives you a leg up over your peers? Extra hours in the office? Consistent performance? The sheer luck of being in the “right place at the right time”?

    What if getting ahead at work means having the right support around you? Three in four executives responding to a recent survey said having a mentor has been critical to their careers, helping them to grow, learn, and excel at their profession.

    Beyond mentoring from a colleague, people looking for developmental opportunities outside their organizations say that career coaching can also be crucial.

    For a closer look at the support needed in and outside of work, ZenBusiness surveyed over 1,000 professionals about mentors, sponsors, and career coaches. Here are some of their findings.

    Career Coaching

    While more than two in three professionals believed it’s difficult to get ahead without guidance, only one in three utilized a career coach.

    When asked how these advisers helped aid their growth and development, nearly 56% of professionals found career coaches valuable in drafting or updating their resumes, 47% used them to prepare for an interview, and 38% to help define their career path.

    Among those who had personal experience with a career coach, more than three in four said the assistance helped advance their careers.


    When it comes to finding support or looking for advice, mentors don’t always have a specific title. Nearly 63% of professionals indicated having a mentor of some kind during their professional journey, including bosses, co-workers, and industry vets.

    In addition to the more than 60% who said mentors helped them acquire new skills, the pillars of support are also crucial to helping professionals navigate the workplace (51%), develop career plans (34%), and get promotions (almost 33%).


    In contrast to career coaches and mentors, sponsors are typically found within an employee’s company and advocate for growth opportunities or projects that can advance their sponsee’s career.

    Fewer employees had experience with sponsors (23%) compared to mentors and coaches, but with their help in learning new skills and getting promoted, about 79% of professionals said sponsors helped advance their career.

    Your likelihood of having a mentor may not fluctuate much as you advance throughout your career, but professionals surveyed were more likely to have sponsors when they reached middle or senior management positions.

    Compared to men, women had more experience with career coaches but were less likely than men to work with a mentor or sponsor. 

    Impact on salary and promotion

    If you think it is enough to have just one kind of support system to guide you through your professional journey, think again.

    Professionals polled by ZenBusiness who had both mentors and sponsors had higher salaries ($52,000, on average) compared to those with either one or the other, and significantly higher than professionals with no support at all ($36,000).

    How does having a mentor and sponsor help you earn more money? Possibly by helping you get promoted in the first place.

    According to the study, professionals with a mentor and sponsor earned twice as many promotions (3.5), on average, compared to professionals with neither (1.7).

    It’s clear that professionals are less likely to get ahead when they don’t have anyone to guide them. But that doesn’t mean you should stop with just one kind of resource.

    Career coaches, mentors, and sponsors all play different roles over the course of a career.

    Professionals who have access to a variety of growth and development networks (including mentors and sponsors) not only have more promotions under their belts at any given stage of their working lives, they also tend to earn more money. 

    The post Mentors, sponsors, and coaches are critical to career development appeared first on HR Morning.

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    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Uncategorized

    Recognizing employees for their good work is essential to
    good business.

    In fact, when researchers in one survey asked employees, “What can your manager do to make this a better place to work?” almost 90% of them said, “Recognize me for a job well done.”

    So, what’s the best way to go about it? Here are some great
    ways to recognize your people:

    Employee recognition that works

    This is important enough to mention time and again.
    Employees can never be over-recognized for good and outstanding work and
    extra-mile efforts. Leaders who take time every day (yes, every day) create a
    highly motivated, productive environment.

    Some ways to do it daily:

    • Put it on the calendar. Note names of people who
      you want to commend for something
    • Mark it with a penny. One leader puts five
      pennies in his right pocket each morning. As he hands out compliments or
      praise, he moves a penny into his left pocket until they’re all gone. Some
      days, he needs more pennies!
    • Start it off right. A company president makes
      sure the first three things he says in the office each day are positive and/or
      complimentary. It sets the tone for the day.

    Honor employees

    Employees need to feel their work means something to their
    bosses and the company. They need to be recognized as a person first and as an
    employee second. So recognize them for the good things they do outside work,

    Ask if you can announce and recognize their anniversaries,
    birthdays, special accomplishments and important events at work. Then talk
    about them at meetings or include a write-up about them in you in-house
    publication or in an email.

    Create a plan

    Help every employee develop a “vision” for personal success
    in the organization. Create a template they can use to document skills they’ve learned
    and ones they’d like to master. Use that to pick goals and to create a path
    they can follow to reach those goals.

    Pay attention to them

    Studies find the best leaders have several things in common, one being they carve out time to chat with their employees one-on-one. They use that time – and it can be just a few minutes every week – to give undivided attention to details on each employee’s work and personal lives.

    This gives leaders a chance to see how employees manage all
    of their demands, offer help when possible and uncover new ways to boost morale
    based on what employees care about most.

    Include their families

    Talk to employees about their families (spouse’s job or philanthropic works, pet’s health, daughter’s talents, son’s basketball game, etc.). If possible, create a newsletter to share family-oriented information, that employees can submit information they want to share about their loved ones.

    Also, when an employee is recognized for a significant achievement, send a letter home to the employee’s family explaining what happened, and how the organization valued the employee’s efforts

    Special events

    Regular, off-task events that are short and fun give employees something to anticipate and something fun to do. Psychologists say having something to look forward to reduces stress by creating a healthy anticipation of the future.

    Some ideas: Plan occasional dress down days (you might even
    ask employees to pay for the privilege and give the money to a charity).
    Schedule weekly lunchtime group walks. Have a chili cook-off.

    Add humor

    Laughter is great for the workplace. Leaders can incorporate
    appropriate fun stories into their speeches. One of the best ways for leaders
    to get their people laughing is to poke fun at themselves. Remember humorous
    mistakes you made in your young, working career and share them.

    Say hello every day

    A manager at an insurance company positions himself at the
    entrance of his department nearly every day so he can greet employees. With a
    smile on his face, he asks questions about their evenings or weekends. His
    interest in their lives sets the stage for a positive day.

    Get meeting input

    The more managers include employees in meeting planning, the
    more likely employees will want to be a contributing part of them. One
    supervisor asks employees to submit topics for regular meetings. In addition to
    covering what they want to discuss, he leaves time for “A-ha” moments. It’s a
    time when employees either share something they learned that may benefit others
    or something they witnessed a co-worker do that deserves recognition.

    Change the focus

    Leaders measure results. But if they spend a little more
    time focused on employees, and less on the numbers, results will follow. So
    regularly ask employees how they think processes can be improved. It’ll provide
    a two-fold benefit. Employees will be happy their input is valued (and used),
    and the company will have better processes

    Share in the work

    Managers who are too busy to help employees or who believe
    they’re above the work they’re asking employees to do, will demoralize staff.
    When employees face tough or busy times, managers want to step into the trenches,
    show they care about their people and find ways to make their lives easier.

    Talk from the top-down

    The biggest reason morale plummets at organizations  and employees feel left out and unrecognized is
    a lack of communication. Employees want to know where the company is headed and
    what’s going on in other departments. That means manages should regularly
    report to staff the information they learn in management meetings.

    In fact, companies that give employees a voice in management
    meetings report higher levels of morale than companies that don’t. That doesn’t
    mean you have to allow employees to make decisions are you C-level meetings.
    But consider offering them an avenue to make suggestions, air concerns and
    share new ideas up the chain of command. One CEO said she holds regular town
    hall meetings and spends at least an hour on the floor with employees at each
    of her companies’ facilities every month.

    She also has what she calls her“Charlene Chatline,” a
    monthly publication to tell employees about worldwide operations, innovations
    and industry news. Plus she takes “Comments to Charlene” – email messages from
    employees with questions and concerns, which she personally answers.

    Create social committees

    Employees who have outlets to do what they personally enjoy
    around work will have higher morale. That’s why the management at a financial
    services company in Canada allowed and encouraged employees to create “social
    committees.” Sign up sheets were posted in the break rooms and groups formed to
    meet on their breaks or even after hours. Some of their most popular
    committees: health and wellness, breakfast, social and birthday.

    • The wellness group sends email health tips each
      week and plans post-work soccer games, runs and bike rides.
    • The breakfast club purchases coffee, pastries
      and bagels with donations for employees who don’t have time to get a meal at
    • The social committee gets people involved in
      paintball events, family picnics and local theater.
    • The birthday committee decorates cubicles and
      plans periodic group celebrations.

    The post 13 essential steps to great employee recognition appeared first on HR Morning.

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    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Uncategorized

    Biometrics lawsuits are heating up, with plaintiffs filing actions against employers who are replacing older time and attendance systems with technology that relies on fingerprints, face scans or other individually unique biometric identification data.

    The suits, which join other actions against companies that collect and sell biometric data to third parties, have all been brought under Illinois’ Biometric Information Protection Act (BIPA).

    That means that any company with operations in Illinois needs to immediately assess the risks of legal liability, but other states are considering similar statutes and many are on track for legislative action in 2020.

    Informed consent

    The Illinois law requires anyone who collects biometric information in Illinois
    or of Illinois residents anywhere else, to inform customers in writing how that
    information will be used, stored, and destroyed. And the law requires that
    anyone collecting the data get affirmative assent from individuals involved.

    Suits filed to date include one filed against fitness chain operator Capital Fitness and its subsidiary Executive Affiliates. The suit, filed with the Circuit Court of Cook County, alleges that Executive Affiliates collected employees’ fingerprints to track time and attendance, but failed to follow BIPA’s policy disclosure requirements.

    In another case, filed in January, employees of the PersonalizationMall.com, an online retailer owned by Bed Bath & Beyond, assert that the company unlawfully collects and stores workers’ biometric information by requiring employees to provide their fingerprints to track hours and breaks on the job.

    The workers say they still don’t know whether the PersonalizationMall.com has destroyed or still retains their biometric information or the information it continues to collect.

    No way to repair damage

    Plaintiffs in these and other cases claim the exposure of biometric information is particularly damaging because it cannot be changed if it is ever exposed in a data breach.

    People can open new bank accounts, change passwords, or order a new credit card. But once a face scan or fingerprint is exposed, it is effectively impossible to change them to protect against identity theft and other forms of fraud.

    Significant potential liability

    While case law around biometrics is still evolving, the U.S. Supreme Court decision not to review Facebook’s biometric privacy class action throws a spotlight on the scale of employers’ potential liability under BIPA.

    The law allows plaintiffs to seek up to $1,000 for each negligent violation
    of the law and $5,000 for each knowing violation.

    The post More biometric lawsuits against employers getting into court appeared first on HR Morning.

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    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Uncategorized

    The California Supreme Court recently ruled that tech giant Apple must pay its employees for mandatory bag searches.

    This decision came after a lawsuit was filed challenging Apple’s security policy, in which employees’ bags and personal Apple devices must be searched any time they leave the store.

    Off-the-clock searches

    These searches were being conducted off the clock, and employees argued they should be compensated for this time. The California Supreme Court agreed.

    It pointed to several factors to prove this time was compensable. First of all, employees testified the searches could take anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes, depending on how many workers were waiting.

    The court also said the searches were primarily for “the benefit of the employer,” not the employee. Apple tried to argue employees had the option of not bringing bags or personal Apple devices to work — therefore not being subjected to searches — but the court dismissed that argument as irrelevant.

    Apple now must pay these employees back wages and adjust its bag search policy. This is a good reminder for all employers to avoid requiring your employees to do anything off the clock.

    The post CA Supreme Court: Apple violated wage and hour laws appeared first on HR Morning.

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    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Uncategorized

    It’s no secret that employees are stressed. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says job-related anxiety is the leading workplace health problem in the U.S.

    Not only is an abundance of stress not good for business and productivity, it can have detrimental effects on people’s long-term health.

    Underutilized services

    Employers have been working hard to tackle their employees’ stress and burnout, offering perks such as wellness programs and flexible schedule options.

    Many companies have an employee assistance program (EAP), which offers helpful services like on-demand counseling and therapy referrals.

    With advances in technology, EAPs today can offer even more valuable services, such as:

    • financial education classes
    • healthy eating/sleeping information, and
    • help maintaining a good work/life balance.

    The problem is, employees aren’t taking advantage of these. Multiple studies show the average EAP utilization rate is below 10%.

    So why aren’t employees using EAPs when they need these services now more than ever?

    Workers could be a little wary to take advantage of EAPs, which could stem from a lack of trust in their organization. They may not want to divulge personal information, or they might just be confused about what the program offers.

    Changing the status quo

    But if you have an EAP in place, you want your people to use it!

    You can’t make any major changes happen overnight, but here are five tactics you can use to start boosting your EAP utilization rates.

    1. Communicate the program effectively. Your employees can’t use your EAP if they don’t know about it or where to find additional information. Employers should put EAP info everywhere — the employee handbook, fliers around the office, links on the intranet homepage, etc.

      It’s also a great idea to start including EAP information in your orientation and onboarding programs. Let new hires know from the start that it’s there for them if they need it.

    2. Promote online and mobile capabilities. Does your EAP have its own website or app? Make sure your staff knows about it. The easier it is for them to access, the more likely they’ll use it.

      Another good idea is to have EAP apps and online shortcuts downloaded onto all electronic work devices. This will constantly remind employees the program’s there and will increase accessibility.

    3. Train your managers and get them involved. Department managers are the leaders who know employees the best. Get them to be vigilant and look out for any workers who may not be acting like themselves. Managers can then offer the employee EAP information if they feel it’s warranted.

      It’s important to note that managers should be trained on handling these situations sensitively.

    4. Have a benefits fair. Organizing an internal event like this will do wonders for promoting your EAP, as well as other benefits available to employees.

      A great thing to include would be any employees willing to discuss their experience with the EAP firsthand.

    5. Track EAP usage and obtain feedback. Keep an eye on the stats to see how effective your efforts are. It’d be a good idea to look for any spikes in EAP usage, too, which could give you insight on overly stressful business periods.

      And don’t forget to ask your people for feedback on the program! See if there’s anything specific that would increase usage.

    The post The best benefit nobody’s using: How to fix your EAP appeared first on HR Morning.

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    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Uncategorized

    Small businesses face a unique set of challenges when it comes to hiring – and retaining – top talent as they compete with larger companies with more resources and established brand names. Those challenges can become even more daunting for small businesses aiming to attract top talent from the millennial workforce.


    Millennials continue to redefine the expectations around benefits, perks and the culture they value in their workplaces. Some things that used to be considered a “nice to have” have become a “need to have,” as Millennials emphasize a work-life balance, flexibility and employers with purpose in their job hunts.

    It’s expected that 75% of the global workforce will be composed of Millennials by 2025, so it’s essential that small business owners understand how to stand out and attract Millenial talent.

    Many of the benefits that Millennials have advocated for are becoming attractive to all generations of workers. So,, by making your benefits offering more millennial-friendly, you’ll improve your talent approach overall.

    Here’s how your small business can reach this particular generation with benefits offerings that appeal to their unique set of desires and challenges.

    Student loan debt

    The millennial generation is infamously straddled with student loan debt – and it’s impacting their professional and personal lives. A 2018 Boston College study found that graduates with student loans accumulate 50% less retirement wealth by age 30 – something that could drastically alter their security and comfort later in life.

    Money continues to be a leading cause of stress among Americans, according to the American Psychological Association, so it’s likely the stress of student loan debt is wearing on your millennial employees, too.

    Employers have started to step up to the plate to help. In fact, from 2018 to 2019, the number of employers who now provide this benefit has doubled, according to the Society of Human Resources Management. Whether you’re able to offer a repayment assistance plan or repayment bonuses, any type of student debt assistance benefit can give your small business a competitive boost if you’re looking to hire members of this debt-laden generation.

    Debt assistance not possible? Consider
    that many millennials are now parents themselves and are likely intimidated by
    the prospect of saving for the rising cost of college. An employer-matched 529
    savings plan for employees is another way to show them you are invested in
    their (and their families’) futures – so they can relieve debt for their next

    Financial literacy

    In addition to dealing with debt,
    millennials came of age during a recession – so this generation values financial
    security and overall financial wellness and literacy.

    While individualized options are great for tailoring investing and retirement planning to an individual’s goals, these additional options can also make the selection process that much more overwhelming.

    Small businesses can show candidates and employees that their overall financial wellness is a priority by empowering them with educational tools and programs that foster financial literacy and help them make smart investing decisions for their futures. These programs can come in many forms, such as one-on-one coaching with an advisor or educational workshops.

    Incorporating financial literacy into your employee benefits package doesn’t have to be formal (or expensive). Beyond a formalized program, you can also tap into your existing service providers to ensure you’re utilizing all of your resources without hindering your bottom line. Your benefits provider can and should be a resource that you go to when it comes to financial education for your employees.

    Many providers often offer free, on-site workshops that can be conducted via an informal “lunch and learn” series or presentations for employees. Employees who understand their benefits options fully are more likely to choose the plan that is the best fit for them.


    Large organizations might run into
    roadblocks when implementing flexible work policies for their entire employee
    base. But as a small business, offering employees autonomy and flexibility is
    often easy – and it’s a great way to stand out against your bigger competitors
    in the war for talent.

    Your small business can empower employees by actively supporting work-life balance, such as remote work, flexible workdays or unlimited PTO, which prioritizes the employee’s needs and illustrates your trust in their judgment and ability to manage themselves.

    Showing your employees you trust them cultivates a sense of autonomy and responsibility among your workforce and, as a secondary bonus, can actually help improve efficiencies within your business. And millennials appreciate an employer that shows them they’re trusted – so offering this benefit is often a win-win for both parties!

    Simple technology

    Offering these benefits are great for getting top millennial talent through your doors. But in order to keep them there, you need to continuously meet them where they are – which is, more often than not, on their smartphones.

    In order to take advantage of the great benefits you have in place, employees need to know what they’re offered and how to enroll and participate – so user-friendly technology and communication are both key.

    Millennials are a technology-first generation, and your HR and benefits processes should reflect this. When implemented correctly, benefits technology has the power to make selections streamlined and efficient. If you’re still using pen and paper to enroll employees, check with your provider about online enrollment options.

    Online enrollment allows employees to easily shift through the increasingly personalized options, enabling them to feel confident that they’re making the best selections.

    Technology can also make it easier for employees to check in on their benefits (e.g., look at how many PTO days they have remaining or check the balance of their child’s 529 account), as mobile options will allow them to engage with their benefits providers directly and on the go.

    Remember: Not all hiring strategies have
    to be costly or resource-intensive, but choosing the right benefits for your
    target recruits can make all the difference between losing out on top talent to
    bigger fish and finding all-star employees who are equally as invested in your
    business as you are.

    The post How small businesses can attract top Millennial talent appeared first on HR Morning.

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    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Uncategorized

    In order to cultivate a successful business with happy employees, it is highly important to have a clearly defined purpose. Many businesses don’t have a true strategy when it comes to describing their company purpose, choosing to fill in the blank with almost anything.

    Because many leaders have no connection with their outlined purpose, they aren’t capable of fully integrating it into their business operations – and employees feel less connected than ever.

    Your company’s purpose is the reason you do what you do.
    It’s that underlying focus of what you hope to achieve all boiled down to a
    couple of sentences. Purpose is separate from your mission statement. It
    describes what value you intend to provide to your customers and guides you and
    your employees into achieving its true plan.  

    Clearly defining your purpose is crucial for three reasons.

    Increased productivity

    An employee survey in a recent Harvard Business Review article found that only 28% of respondents felt connected to their company’s purpose. In addition, 39% of employees said they could clearly see the value they create, while only 22% agreed that their jobs were fully leveraging their strengths. Just one in three, or 34%, thought they were strongly contributing to their company’s success.

    On the other hand, when companies had a clearly defined purpose, the positive results were obvious.

    In the same Harvard Business study, 90% of organizations that had a clearly defined purpose that resonated with employees saw growth and profits at or above the industry average. Furthermore, over 60% of employees said they were motivated and/or passionate about their work, which was almost twice as much as companies that didn’t have a defined purpose.

    Better customer satisfaction

    Customer satisfaction is a popular motivator for many
    company purposes. The role of employees in building relationships with
    customers means that they should have a strong connection to the company’s
    purpose. If employees feel disconnected from their purpose, so too will the
    customers with whom they interact with on a daily basis.

    Loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase, meaning customer satisfaction has to have more than passing significance to your organization. Before even the profit of your brand, customer satisfaction needs to be of the utmost importance to succeed. It’s true that it’s more difficult to find new customers than it is to build up the loyal ones you already have.

    Ensuring your employees are satisfied with what they do is the key to ensuring your customers are also happy.

    Clear competitive advantage

    An article on Gallup defines the competitive advantage that comes with a clearly defined purpose: “Establishing and operating from an anchor of purpose can create a competitive advantage: A company’s competitors might be able to replicate products and services, but that company can successfully differentiate itself from the rest by hiring and engaging employees who can fulfill and deliver its purpose and brand in the marketplace.”

    Many articles and experts may encourage your company’s purpose to become the underlying factor that guides all your business decisions, however, it might be even more important to focus on its importance in the great scheme of long term success in order to distinguish you from competitors.

    If employees can associate their work with how it will align with the organization’s purpose long-term (in how they treat customers as well as how business managers treat employees and promote their actions with customers), then there’s a stronger chance of success.

    Implementing a solid employee recognition and engagement strategy is one of the first steps you can take towards motivating your employees to understand and connect with company purpose, as well as instilling and reinforcing core values.

    When employees are recognized both from their peers as well as their superiors (and they’re able to recognize you back), the playing field is equalized, and your purpose becomes a driving force that’s just as important to the entire work team as it is to the business owners – and everyone, including your customers, will want the company to succeed.

    The post Only 28% of employees say they feel connected to their company’s purpose appeared first on HR Morning.

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