HR Activities to Regularly Review

Group Of Professional Meetings

Policies and procedures managed by your HR team should be considered dynamic assets. These are documents that grow and change reflecting the company’s evolution over time in terms of organizational goals, industry trends, and both state and federal legislation. For these reasons, the core message or elements of the document, policy, or procedure remain intact; however, the surrounding details and procedure application remain fluid.

 

At first, the idea of regularly revisiting seemingly well-oiled policies may seem redundant or unnecessary. The reality is, though, that the business requires and deserves to have effective and current guiding principles to protect the business and its employees.

 

The top areas where your team will want to keep a close eye includes hiring and recruiting, policy and procedure compliance updates, communication, and departmental gap analysis.

 

Hiring and Recruiting
Hiring and recruiting is not only one of the primary responsibilities of the HR team, but they are one of the greatest sources of value for the entire organization. Good hires improve the company’s bottom line, form stronger relationships, and fortify company culture. Poor hires can result in diminished company culture, the dissolution of important relationships, and can damage the company budget by requiring additional funds to be funneled to recruiting efforts.

 

As your business continues to grow and thrive, you can expect to devote additional resources and attention to hiring and recruiting. During these times of flux is where your HR team should be spending time understanding the needs of the current workforce in order to continue the positive trajectory.

 

Policy and Procedure Compliance
Once considered a more expensive task, maintaining compliance across multiple areas of your HR department is no longer a financial drain. With some special consideration to labor or employment laws, team members should feel less overwhelmed with policy updates. Stay current with local and federal changes by subscribing to trusted blogs or signing up for email updates from law firms in your area who focus on these changing regulations. Bookmark the Department of Labor website (and/or local or state agencies) for quick references and resources pertinent to your industry.

 

Communication
Communication is a learned strength for many and an opportunity for everyone else. Your communication skills can help others improve their own communication deficiencies, and will help you connect with people more easily at events, meetings, or even in new hire orientation.

 

Communication comes into play when reviewing and delivering employee development plans. Speaking with employees will help you understand their skill levels, career aspirations, and opportunities for involvement or improvement from your perspective. Use these objectives to clearly outline how the employee can benefit from these tips and skills. How this information is communicated to the employee can make a difference in their success with a development plan.

 

Departmental Gap Analysis
One of the best ways to determine where your department is falling short is to perform a gap analysis. As your company matures in line with industry and trends, a regular review is required to ensure HR practices are meeting the demands of the organization. For example, if the business expands into new geographic locations, the company may become subject to a more diverse group of guidelines than your documentation or department has previously supported. The gap analysis can help uncover elements that require updates, such as training programs, job descriptions, or even updates to the employee handbook.

 

As important as it is to maintain industry best practices across your organization, it is even more important to ensure business policies are not only consistent but are still as effective as they were when they were put in place. Vensure is able to assist your HR team regular reviews of your policies and reduce exposure by increasing compliance with federal and state laws. Contact Vensure to get started today.

 

 

 

Enhance Internal Communication and Collaboration

Three Coworkers Reviewing Information Together

How many times have you heard employees say they wished internal communication were better? That valuable information should be shared rather than dispersed reactively? It’s an open item on every organization’s “to do” list as cross-departmental communication and collaboration are a vital aspect of any business and the employee-employer relationship.

 

Unforeseen benefits of properly flowing communication include strengthening the foundation of trust between departments, employees, and the management team, and improved productivity. Encouraging employees of different departments to communicate and collaborate with one another ensures any geographic gaps are minimized (all locations know what the others are doing and what the status of open items are) and that teams are on the same page.

 

Employees will always err on the side of wanting knowing more about the company’s operations, financials (stability), and goals in a transparent-like communication strategy, rather than only hearing operationally significant information, (e.g. layoffs, mergers, reorganization, etc.). In addition, while first understanding what information to share with employees, the second hurdle will be how the information is best delivered, and lastly you will want to gather feedback from employees.

 

Options for improving communication and collaboration are endless considering all of the different advancements to available technologies. For example, most businesses are equipped with email and the internet, which opens the avenue of instant messaging and posts to the company intranet. Technology aside, in-person communication avenues include town hall meetings, company-wide updates, and one-on-one meetings between employees and their supervisor(s).

 

For employers starting at the bottom rung of introducing communication improvements to their business, we recommend including these strategies:

 

•   Focus the Teams. Meet with the team stakeholders and primary contributors from each of the departments looking to unite, who will be vocal and share their opinions about necessary communication and collaboration improvements. Use this time to get a pulse on what the teams are looking to share, what they hope to learn about the organization and goals, and what they need to be able to work together effectively and efficiently.

 

•   Commit to Making a Change. With all of the feedback you’ve gained from team meetings, collaboration huddles, and one-on-one check-ins, it is up to you to not only get the department leaders to commit to making improvements but also ensure the right people are included and don’t feel left out. Some non-manager level employees may want to have a voice in improving the organization’s communication and cross-department collaboration strategy. The more involvement, the better! Cut down on frustrations on the back end by opening the opportunity to the people who want to see changes implemented company-wide.

 

•   Foster a Collaborative Environment. Unite departments in a common goal. This is one of the best ways to break down any communication or social silos and, as a by-product, teams should also be able to have more effective and results-driven meetings and interactions. Encourage departments to be mindful of competing schedules, communication objectives, and comfort level spanning team members. Managers can offer opportunities for job shadowing or cross-training between employees or departments that interact frequently. Employees will leave the experience with a basic understanding of how the other team/department functions and a better perspective as to the larger picture of operations and organizational goals.

 

Making communication and collaboration a priority at your business with help to reinforce the importance of performance, productivity, and goal-oriented results through these channels to employees. Commitment to making improvements across the board in communication and cross-departmental collaboration will also have a positive impact on employee culture. Vensure Employer Services helps clients around the U.S. change the way our clients manage people, retain talent, accomplish goals, and improve company culture. The time to start is now! Contact Vensure to learn more.

Back Injury Prevention

Every seven seconds a worker is injured on the job. Even more shocking, after the common cold, “back injuries are the most common reason for nonattendance in the general workforce.” Back pain, irrespective of how the employee came to be injured, can make it difficult to concentrate on their work. Even employees who spend the majority of their day behind a desk can incur back pain.

 

Whenever possible, create a work environment for yourself that is “back friendly.” Store items on shelves in the middle, with higher and lower shelves reserved to store lighter objects. Remember to be conscious of repeating certain movements that involve twisting the spine, as this could cause injury over time.

 

This is our high-level look at preventing back injuries in an office environment. Contact us to learn more and about risk management and workers’ compensation programs offered at Vensure.

 

 

The Good Body: 15 Shocking Back Injury Statistics

 

 

Tips for Improved Performance Evaluations

Businessman Open To Feedback

Job performance feedback is something everyone needs, but not something everyone wants. Performance evaluations are an important element of an organization’s commitment to employee development and are a great way to measure productivity and morale, over time.

 

As the process for performance evaluations evolves, businesses are taking the opportunity to review their policies and methods when it comes to conducting and learning from and discussing employee performance.

 

“45% of HR leaders do not think annual performance reviews are an accurate appraisal for employee’s work.” – ClearCompany

 

Regular evaluations are a great way to promote employee growth, competence, and help develop relationships across the team and departments. Managers can take the time to really dive into an employee’s role, review expectations, and goals, and ensure the employee is set up for success in the coming months/year.

 

Consider the following tips when preparing to deliver your next performance evaluation to your team:

  • Regularly Scheduled Programming. Evaluations should be conducted at the same time every year for each employee on your team. Try to never skip or move a scheduled review as this can give the employee the feeling that they are not as important as whatever their review was bumped for. Once the evaluation process is over, find a way to monitor and keep track of each employees’ progress in preparation for their next scheduled review.

 

  • Goal Oriented. Each performance review should include a review of the employee’s previous goals (monthly/quarterly/annually) as a benchmark, a status update on the goal(s), and setting goals for the next period. Companies who have performance processes that set quarterly goals rather than annual goals see a 31% greater return. Encourage employees to review their goals regularly on their own to make sure they are invested in managing their own success.

 

  • No Surprises. Urge your team to speak to you for encouragement or motivation between review cycles. This is a great way to ensure your team is focused and not “taken by surprise” in their next performance review. Most employees have no idea how much or how little their actions are contributing to the team or the larger business. When done properly, employees should never be surprised about any of the information they hear in a review. Managers should be providing constant, on-the-spot feedback as frequently as they are able. Give employees the opportunity to course correct by immediately letting them know if they are doing something wrong.

 

Follow established organizational procedures in order to ensure all employees are held to the same standard and understand the expectations around performance evaluations. Successful evaluations are those where the employee understands the results of the conversation and is prepared to achieve the next set of goals discussed with their manager. Vensure Employer Services offers a number of services to help businesses like yours succeed in performance evaluations and retaining top talent. Contact Vensure to learn more.

 

 

Forbes: It’s Time to Put Performance Reviews on Notice

 

Addressing Detrimental Workplace Behavior

Shocked Colleague Trying To To Understand The Conflict

Employee behavior, good and bad, has a direct impact on your organization’s environment and can affect the behavior of their coworkers. Typically, managers try to identify candidates with destructive or negative personality types or characteristics in the interview process. However, this is not always successful. Candidates will mask these characteristics during an interview, regardless of whether they are aware of these toxic traits or not.

 

Many times, managers will struggle with effectively detecting these character traits, or managing an employee who is having a negative behavioral effect on the team. If a manager is unable to reign in an employee who is exhibiting patterns of detrimental or toxic behavior, the organization will eventually start feeling the effects. In other circumstances, managers are aware of the issues, but they choose to avoid rectifying the situation as they are not comfortable with confrontation, claim they are too busy to worry about one person or are unsure how to handle the situation properly.

 

Negative or toxic behavior can be identified as larger matters such as resistance or rigidity to change and adaptation or taking extended or unapproved breaks, or smaller matters like using inappropriate language when conversing with employees on the floor or engaging in gossip, or persistent complaining and whining. No matter how minor the situation, each of these habits or occurrences can damage the workplace environment and the professional reputation of those involved.

 

Here are our suggestions for how to address the detrimental behaviors:

 

•     Address issues early and often. Negative behavior can be infectious and will oftentimes develop as a result of resentment for something about which the employee, or group of employees, is not happy. Speak with the individual or group in a private setting to aid in protecting the privacy and pride of those involved. This also helps to fortify a feeling of trust among the team.

 

When discussing, try to focus more on the reason behind the behavior, rather than how the negative behavior affected you, the team, or the organization. While you cannot undo what is already done, you can try to further eliminate the cause from repeating itself.

 

•     Create a calm, respectful, and open environment to discuss the situation and bad habits the employee is expressing. Allow for the conversation to include time to focus on resolution and steps to ensuring the habits will not surface again. Take notes after the meeting including a brief summary of what happened and any facts or comments the employee made that may need to be referenced in the future.

 

•   Leave your emotions at the door. Behavioral issues stem from a problem with something very specific and personal to the employee. Try to be understanding about the situation and understand what the person may be feeling. Managers should be open to helping the employee sort through their feelings to get to the underlying issue. But do not make assumptions about the behavior or reason for their reaction to the situation. Simply acknowledge their feelings and focus on coming to an amicable resolution.

 

Employers should support and assist managers in their efforts to create a safe and conflict-free workplace culture where employees can thrive and work together to improve their skills within the organization. Vensure encourages regular employee and manager training and a collaborative work environment where all employees have the tools and resources they need to be successful. Reach out to Vensure to learn more about the comprehensive business solutions we offer to free up your time, reduce costs, and focus more on employee management and culture.

 

 

 

Creating a Thoughtful Offboarding Experience

A Smiling Professional Moving On To New Opportunities

Employers spend an exorbitant amount of time, energy, and dollars creating what they hope is a proper and well-received onboarding or new hire process. Why? Employers understand the importance of a strong employee experience from day one. As the employee nears their last day with the organization, this part of their employment journey is just as crucial as the first.

 

Whether an employee voluntarily ends their employment or is involuntarily separated, they remain walking billboards for your brand, even after their desk is cleared. How your organization manages the employee’s departure has a direct impact on how the former employee will speak about the company.

 

Remember that every employee matters.
No employee journey lasts forever. However, while an employee is with your company, they should be treated as an extension of your company. Keep the employee-first aspect of your organization fresh, emphasize your desire to take offboarding as seriously as onboarding, and ensure all employees understand that they are a priority for as long as their employment at your organization lasts.

 

Compile an offboarding checklist.
This checklist will contain a number of items that the management team and HR should use to ensure a seamless end to the relationship. The checklist should contain these standard items, in addition to organization and/or industry-specific items:

  • Inform proper departments, including payroll, IT, and HR, of the employee’s departure date.
  • Gather necessary paperwork that the employee will need to review or sign prior to their last day. This could include nondisclosure or noncompete agreements.
  • Recover issued devices, keys, badges, or credit cards.
  • Ensure the employee’s contact information is up-to-date and keep their details in your HR system.
  • Remove the employee from future meetings, update the org chart, and redirect incoming calls or emails to a proper replacement.

 

Create a process for involuntary separations.
In most cases, employees who are thrust into an involuntary separation have little to no expectations for the event. Regardless of whether the employee is one who is eligible for rehire, it is important to keep in mind that all employees should be treated with compassion and be given the opportunity to exit the company gracefully.

 

Data from an exit interview can garner real information that can be put into action immediately to gain sight as to unwanted turnover, help develop brand ambassadors, or even discover trends over time to see where your organization can improve or where newly implemented practices are succeeding. Exit interviews, regardless of how they are conducted (in person or over the phone), should be performed by a third party who is able to maintain a high standard of confidentiality. Revisit the data and findings from exit interviews to improve your new hire process and recruitment strategies while getting a better handle on market trends.

 

Streamlining your HR processes including recruiting and offboarding ensures your organization’s focus is on the quality of each employee’s journey, no matter the length. Creating a well-thought-out offboarding strategy is a great way to display the company’s priorities in employee value and care. Consistency is key. Reach out to Vensure to incorporate an employee offboarding process into your existing HR administrative duties.