Technology Trends and the Future of HR

Man Wearing VR Headset

Technology is improving at a rapid pace, even for businesses. In 2018, HR saw the rise of wellness-focused applications, an increase in platforms migrating to the cloud, and data leaning more toward helping business owners understand how dollars have a direct impact to business goals through people analytics. Businesses started to experience even smarter and more integrated applications that aimed to help users make even better decisions.

 

More technology is being developed to further assist employers in better managing their employees by improving retention rates and integrating unique solutions that support employee wellness, growth, and optimal work environment.

 

Early 2019 introduced a business savvy virtual reality experience that allowed employers to introduce employees to real-world scenarios through simulations, without any real-world risk. Consider your risk management and workers’ compensation training where employees are able to assess a real-life scenario in a simulated setting. The basis of this type of learning or training is that these real-world tasks can be combined with a virtual demonstration. Employees gain hands-on experience, which can directly translate into their day-to-day life.

 

More businesses were integrating programs to aid in continuous learning and development through on-the-job programs. These educational opportunities, however, may be more centered on soft skills, including good communication, sales negotiation, and time management. Primarily focused on employees on-the-job skills, organizations have adopted more interactive learning and development programs to help management understand which employees are committed to growing their career with their current company, where other employees can improve, and which employees need more than a helping hand in their role.

 

Recruiting has also seen its fair share of technology advancements. Talent acquisition, for example, is now focused on wowing the applicants through a totally immersive recruiting experience. This means asking your HR team to blend traditional onboarding practices with virtual aspects. From video sharing interviews to recorded answers to interview questions, the entire recruiting process is being transformed to one that is digital.

 

There is more to technology than a mediocre app or single-use platform. Today, employers are looking for increased efficiency, user-friendly applications, and software or tools that can grow at the same rate as the business. For many businesses, their focus is on upgrading their existing human capital management or human resources system.

 

Vensure’s Vfficient cloud-based, client-centered solution is designed to manage payroll, human resources, and benefits administration from a single, intuitive platform. Contact Vensure to learn how you can eliminate more than one of your existing systems while allowing users to manage business-critical tasks quickly and easily through our streamlined anytime, anywhere portal access.

Tips to Managing Regulatory Compliance Changes

Proper Filing Is Part of Regulatory Compliance

Businesses across all industries have a variety of compliance regulations to which they must adhere. These complex regulations can influence business areas of employee benefits, including the Department of Labor (DOL), Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), among others. For example, over the past few years, the DOL has increased enforcement of federal laws, while COBRA is considered one of the most vital HR responsibilities.

 

To stay abreast of seemingly constant updates here are three tips to proactively and effectively manage regulatory compliance changes:

 

  1. Establish a compliance framework from which company operations stem. This framework, once implemented, will stabilize the compliance change and update process. Memorialize the process by documenting critical compliance needs from each of the affected departments. Each department may have different needs. Keeping these all in one public location will help to ensure requirements are minimalized or eliminated. After each of the compliance areas has been identified, create a map of how the changes are implemented, who is responsible for what, and if a rollout or communication is needed, that process would also be outlined here.

 

  1. Identify the primary products, services, or areas of operation where compliance changes will occur the most frequently. These are the practical business areas where departments will be focused on updating technology, manuals, training, policies, procedures, documents, etc. A strategic plan should be put in place for getting these updates or changes incorporated into the established business practices as quickly as possible to ensure compliance across all departments.

 

  1. Regular audits will identify any gaps. Gaps are inevitable, unfortunately, even with the best planning—sometimes things just get overlooked. While an infrequent occurrence, the best way to prevent multiple issues is to not only regularly monitor the regulations and stay tuned-in to any changes or updates being released, but to perform an organizational audit. The audit should focus on training manuals, policies, procedures, documentation, or anywhere reporting issues may be a concern.

 

Regulatory updates are passed down through a PEO or HR services provider, like Vensure. Every industry has unique risks that need to be taken into account when creating and maintaining a safe workplace.  This includes OSHA safety standards and training, commercial transportation and driver/carrier forms, and workplace poster requirements.

 

Consider aligning updates or changes to regulatory requirements with organizational and operational activities. Designing foundational elements to establish standard compliance policies and business processes for all departments. Contact Vensure to learn more about offloading complicated regulatory paperwork and compliance issues.

A Realistic Approach to Employee Retention

Two Professionals Meeting At The Table

A staggering “83% of employers believe attracting and retaining talent” is one of the primary challenges for their recruiting and hiring teams.

 

For this reason, a realistic lens must be used when viewing or creating an employee retention strategy. As the lifespan of employees shortens, HR teams are faced with the challenge of turning employee retention from a dusty section in a procedures guide on the shelf to a real-world, best practice plan.

 

To take a realistic approach to employee retention, focus your energy and effort on the hiring process, conducting a regular pay analysis, and enabling growth and development within your organization.

 

Starting at the very beginning with the application, hiring process, and talent management, organizations who have been able to create and uphold realistic employee retention strategies are those where the leaders are creative and inspired, and the employees are motivated and feel valued. Ensure your hiring process includes the vetting of candidates in terms of whether they are a good fit culturally. Workplace culture, or the lack thereof, could be one of the primary factors behind higher attrition at your company.

 

Regular review of employee salaries and pay analysis is necessary to ensure you are paying employees within the industry standard, in addition to what is appropriate based on their skillset and responsibilities. Every organization differs in terms of amount, how positions are paid, and the responsibilities that make up each position. These are necessary elements when reviewing pay structure and roles. The end goal, however, is to pay employees fairly and keep them engaged and motivated.

 

Employees find growth and development to be a major factor in staying motivated and in showing professional progress toward their next career goal. Consider including opportunities for the adoption of new hard skills, the refinement of specific soft skills, job shadowing in complementary roles, or giving employees the ability to broaden their knowledge in an area of their choosing. Regardless of the method, it’s important that the organization supports the employees’ desire to achieve a goal and stay motivated.

 

Job satisfaction and employee engagement feed directly into employee retention. This, in addition to refining your existing hiring process, conducting a regular pay analysis, and enabling employee growth and development will all aid in improving employee retention, overall. Contact Vensure to learn how integrated HR technology can reduce employee turnover and accelerate organizational growth.

 

Pros and Cons of Telecommuting

Professional Telecommuting From Home In Casual Attire

Innovations in modern technology have allowed quality candidates to join organizations remotely, from any corner of the globe, and still feel connected to the business, their colleagues, and the company mission, vision, and values. In a rather quick amount of time, telecommuting and working remotely became the future of corporate America. But not all companies are on board.

 

Employers who found immediate benefits of telecommuting were those who experienced cost savings on parking and office space, relocation costs, and were able to retain their top talent who may have otherwise had to sever their employment due to other obligations or the need to work from a different location.

 

Telecommuting is shown to improve employee productivity, as it is “estimated that employers in the US lose $1.8 trillion a year in productivity” costs. Employees who work from home are subject to far fewer distractions that are commonplace in a traditional office. These employees are able to better structure their days for optimal productivity, all while promoting a healthy work/life balance.

 

Conversely, employers who are anti-remote work policies stand by their decision to opt-out of adding telecommuting policies. For example, employees who work from home have less one-on-one time with coworkers and managers, which can affect the employee’s ability to form a valuable synergy with the rest of the team and direct management.

 

Remote employees may require additional effort to ensure they feel like part of the team, including important projects or company-focused communications, and are not overlooked just because they are not physically in the office.

 

If your organization is looking to implement a telecommuting policy here are some items to consider.

 

Eligibility

Not all employees may be eligible for the telecommuting benefit. Candidates for telecommuting should not have a history of attendance issues or disciplinary action and should be considered dependable and have a comprehensive understanding of their role.

 

Job Duties

The employees eligible for or requesting a telecommuting position should be a top performer in their current role and in a solo capacity. It is also important that they are able to perform all aspects of their role from their remote location, as it is assumed the position requirements and responsibilities would not change.

 

Technology

Employees may be required to supplement some or all of the equipment needed in order to work remotely. If the organization is providing the equipment, it may become necessary to have the employee sign an acknowledgment verifying the equipment is the property of the organization and is only to be used to perform their required duties. In the event the employee leaves the organization, for any reason, all of the equipment should be returned in similar or better condition.

 

Telecommuting may not be the right addition for every company at this stage, however, it should be a regularly discussed topic. This trend is only becoming more popular, and there is no sign of slowing down when it comes to either hiring remote employees or having the company’s top performers request to move to a more flexible or remote location.

 

Regardless of whether your employees are in the office or working remotely, Vensure has the ability to implement industry-specific solutions to manage time and attendance. From robust scheduling and complex calculations to reporting and telepunch, we have the solution to fit your business needs. Contact Vensure to learn more about drag and drop scheduling, benefit accruals, or PTO and leave of absence request tracking.

 

 

 

Forbes: Benefits of Telecommuting for the Future of Work

 

 

Digital Time and Attendance

Digital time and attendance tracking are rapidly becoming a rapid need for businesses who are regularly clocking hours or asking employees to clock in and out. As your company continues to grow, managers will need the ability to submit expense reports on-the-go, enter expense details, or upload receipt images directly from a smart device.

 

Modern companies require a partner familiar with the industry and capable of providing the tools you need to operate more efficiently. As the nation’s fastest-growing partner in payroll, human resources, benefits, risk management, and workers’ compensation, Vensure is equipped to handle all of your HR services and back-office administration needs. Let us design a flexible and economical solution to meet your time and attendance needs. Learn more about Vensure today.

Building a Stronger Team with Self-Evaluations

Smiling Chef & Executive Meeting Over Lunch

Employee self-appraisals, or self-evaluations, have undergone scrutiny on whether they are beneficial, help employees achieve goals, or provide an accurate picture of the employee’s performance from their own perspective. While some employees may express they find self-evaluations to be tedious, the real benefit of employee evaluations is in the strength of the team.

 

High-performing teams are found to be more effective and productive as they are able to better communicate and coordinate their efforts in order to meet deadlines and attack projects head-on. Self-appraisals benefit the entire team by allowing employees to identify and refine their strengths, and focus on improving areas of opportunity.

 

Adding an employee evaluation section to your regularly scheduled annual performance reviews will require setting a good foundation, creating a self-evaluation process, determining next steps to keep the employee’s professional growth on a positive trajectory, and monitoring progress.

 

Here are our tips for creating or adding employee self-evaluations to your existing performance review process.

 

Provide accurate, current job descriptions. Employees should always know what their current role is and be able to communicate their job duties and responsibilities. This information will allow the employee to understand exactly which areas they should be focusing on in their self-appraisal. The employee and manager should be in agreement of the employee’s duties to ensure the employee is evaluating the proper scope of their position.

 

Create a formal employee self-evaluation. An employee’s performance development should include a self-evaluation. The results of these evaluations should be used to contribute to the employee’s professional development planning and as a motivational tool. Managers should be able to glean information from the evaluation to help prepare the employee for their next professional move or better understand the areas the employee requires assistance to achieve their goals.

 

Include evaluation questions that require the employee to explore their current role, new goals or challenges, achievements, and how the company can assist in their professional development.

 

Closely monitor the new or integrated evaluation process. Whether your organization currently employs self-evaluations, or you are considering integrating them into your existing employee performance reviews, it will be important to monitor the progress and program success. Managers will want to keep a pulse on the process to confirm cross-departmental consistency and suggest or provide additional training, as necessary, to further ensure managers are prepared to execute the process effectively.

 

Follow-up. Schedule regular check-ins with employees to provide feedback throughout the year, rather than once or twice. Employees will see consistent performance-focused feedback as their manager investing in their career. These employees are 94% more likely to stay with your organization.

 

 

Evaluating an employee’s performance, even reviewing an employee’s self-appraisal, can be an uncomfortable task for managers. Regular performance reviews that incorporate an employee’s self-evaluation should look more like a performance snapshot throughout the year. These evaluations open doors for communication and opportunities for the employee and manager to provide feedback to one another, keeping the entire team engaged and productive. Contact Vensure to learn more about incorporating self-evaluations into your existing processes and procedures.

 

 

LinkedIn: 2018 Workplace Learning Report

 

 

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.

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.