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Gen Z Are Digital Natives Who Use Technology as Their Superpower

Technology Savvy. Spontaneous. Emotionally Intelligent. Digital Natives. Practical. All these terms define Generation Z, or iGen, and their behaviour.

In a Forbes post, Gen Z has been referred as Post-Millennials generation categorizing people born from the mid-1990s to early 2000s, comprising of approximately 25 percent of total U.S. population. They are the larger cohort known so far, even when compared with Millennials or Baby Boomers. By 2020, they will comprise up to 40 percent of all consumers, forecasting to reach a mark of 2.56 million.

iGen is the most connected generation, completely empowered by technology and innovation. Increasing popularity of smartphones and Internet has exposed this emerging generation to unprecedented amount of technology in their growing up years. It is an entitled group of individuals who believe that good things come their way because they’re deserving. These young Digital Natives use technology for connecting with friends & family, getting infinite knowledge and entertainment opportunities. They have the world at their fingertips.

Gen Z Would Give Up Their Sense of Smell Than Losing Technology

More than half of Gen Z spend approximately 10 hours online, playing games, educating themselves, responding to work messages, managing social media, connecting with outside world or merely for entertaining themselves. They are completely technology-dependent and are believed to hop between 3 to 5 screens throughout the day; i.e. TV, smartphone, desktop, laptop and tablet.

Unsurprisingly, this new generation is born into an always connected world where technology offers limitless opportunities. This is the first generation that couldn’t enjoy life without Internet and hand-held devices.

Technology is not an add-on for Gen Z, but a necessity. When surveyed, over 53 percent of 16 to 22 year olds accepted that they would happily give up their sense of smell to keep technology; because it allows them to sense the world.

Generation Z is the new generation that has entered the workforce, preferring visuals over text. Since they have short attention span (ending up to 8 to 12 seconds), feeding them with interesting and visually-appealing content is advisable. Setting up a workplace where digital natives can enjoy better experience, learning, workplace equality, career growth opportunities over high compensation, is paramount. Study behavioural characteristics of this new cohort of soon-to-be employees to offer them emerging technologies and harness their true potential.

How HR Tech Can Enrich Workplace Experience for Gen Z?

Compared to the millennials, generation Z is expected to manage life and work differently. According to Inc., 91 percent of Gen Zers says that the technological sophistication of companies would directly impact their decision about where to accept an offer of employment.

When addressing to the needs of iGen, HR leaders need to think creatively to feed their curiosity and be ready with tools to offer constant digital connectedness, flexible work-life balance, transparent workplace processes, clear communication channels, ongoing performance feedback and mentoring system, culture of continuous learning and development. The most successful employers would be the ones having sufficient resources to engage this group and provide them with immediate beneficial experiences.

Job-hopping trend is on the rise. Dissatisfied employees are making lateral moves to new employers, without even giving a second thought. In the coming years, attracting and retaining top talent would be even tougher.

In a SHRM post, Alfred Poor, a speaker and author on career skills for young employees has been quoted, “Twenty years ago, entry-level workers stayed on the job for an average of five years, compared with two years now. The implication of this is serious. Since the cost of replacing an entry-level worker is averaged to be $20,000.”

We are living in an age when it’s normal for a person to check mobile phone for more than 150 times a day. Internet-enabled devices have made it easy to track fitness and diet goals using apps. Wouldn’t it be great if these young Digital Natives can set and track their performance goals in the same way, in just few clicks, using hand-held gadgets? Well-defined goals and its continuous evaluation would help in keeping them better focused for longer period. With the gamification around, setting and tracking performance goals can keep this generation more interested in work and enhance their productivity.

In a Robert Half survey, 64 percent of Gen Z respondents cited the importance of career opportunities in selecting a job. Apart from a positive and healthy work environment, they expect the employers to offer skill and behavior development opportunities. Providing frequent feedback, implementing weekly or monthly checks-ins, conducting training and learning programs is necessary to keep this workforce satisfied and happy.

Managers and HR leaders need to help the emerging workforce with technology-enabled work environment where they can recognize and explore opportunities in their current workplace, without having the need to switch employers.

Being armed with necessary knowledge and HR tools to support career advancement can be the possible resort, to attract and retain this generation. Make this new generation exceptional team players by being transparent about your company’s goals and achievements. Provide excellent digital employee experiences to confirm low employee turnover, improve real-time-productivity and empower the workforce.

The war for top talent doesn’t seem to be getting over any sooner. HR needs to understand Gen Z and implement ways to harness this new talent and bring positive business outcomes.

The post Is Your Workplace Ready to Welcome Technology-Savvy Gen Z? appeared first on Empxtrack.

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Who wouldn’t love being able to work remotely from home? Isn’t this an attractive job perk?

With the rise of digital independence, the working landscape has changed dramatically. Employees are demanding better work-life balance, and most employers have adapted and offered occasional work-from-home days to meet employee needs.

Work-from-Home – The concept is extremely meaningful for employees and employers. A company gets a chance to make significant savings on maintaining a physical workspace and day-to-day employee needs, whereas employees enjoy a better work-life balance and feel more satisfied. It can be a key factor to motivate and retain the top talent. It has been observed that telecommuting workers are 48% more likely to rank their job a 10—the highest level—on the happiness scale.

Quite a few individuals believe that they produce best work when working from home, as they’re able to block distractions and focus more behind the closed doors. Major distractions, like impromptu meetings, prolonged project discussions, redundant client calls, office politics and water-cooler conversations, can be escaped that kill employees’ time.

In the comfort of home, work-life balance can be maintained better, by fulfilling personal commitments without hampering work. Forbes study says, 91% of remote workers believe “they are more productive when working remotely from home”, as they could reenergize themselves whenever needed. While working at home, employees have the flexibility to go out for a walk to clear things in the head, take a quick bite in the kitchen, spend time reading a newspaper, take a short nap, or even exercise a little bit and get back to work with more enthusiasm.

source

Why Employees Prefer Work-from-Home Option?

Commute Is an Issue

In a post published by Forbes, it was found that 1 in every 5 people are estimated to be working from home at least once a week. That’s 30 million people of the 140 million who have jobs. The main reason behind humongous surge in work at home employees, is because of the time lost in commute. Majority of people spend over an hour on commuting to work. Health issues, physical stress, exhaustion and long commuting hours take a toll on employee happiness.

On exploring why people prefer WFH option, it was found the lure of no commute, a more comfortable environment, and the opportunity to spend more time with family are the major reasons. A study by the Society for Human Resource Management found that more companies are planning on introducing work at home opportunities over any other benefit.

The only challenge is the persistent fear that “work from home” becomes an excuse for employees to slack off from work. But thanks to technology, today’s WFH capabilities have become more sophisticated. Work can now be discussed, not only on phone calls, but over email, chat, video conferences, cloud collaboration software, and other technologies to get the job done on time.

Are employees working from home more productive or it’s a myth?

Here’s an evidence of remote worker productivity in action. Read on.

According to a popular study in 2014, Nicholas Bloom and James Liang, co-founders of a Chinese travel website CTrip experimented with their call center staff by providing them work-from-home option on regular basis.

The performance of employees working from home was compared with that of in-office counterparts. The founders planned to allow half of the team to WFH and kept rest of the staff in office. This set up continued for 9 months. After the experiment got over, employee performance data was collected and analyzed. At-home workers were found to be more productive. As these remote employees ended up taking 13.5% more customer calls than those who were present in office. This increased productivity level was equivalent to almost an entire day’s work.

CTrip also found that at-home workers were happier, more productive, engaged and less likely to quit. The company significantly saved money on infrastructure which was estimated to be $1,900 per employee for 9 months. Isn’t this amazing?

Who wouldn’t want to own a highly productive workforce, while saving significant costs and enjoying low employee turnover rate!

In the past decade, flexible work schedules have been a debatable topic. Some employers believe that it is important to have a work-from-home policy to let employees enjoy flexi time for work, while others have a different perspective on this.

When asked why people get more work done at home, Mark Bishop, a spokesman for Cornhill Direct said, that people have made a stereotype image about employees working from home. Telecommuters are believed to be sitting at home and enjoying coffees, daytime TV, long hours sleep, an early finish, and what not. However, that’s not the truth. Those who enjoy flexible work schedules get more work done than people back in the office, for a reason. They feel an additional pressure constantly; they are always under the scrutiny and constantly feel the pressure to prove that they’re working hard. Having few advanced tools make a day even more productive for a telecommuter.

The Downside

In a WFH setup, employee productivity can be lost due to the following reasons:

  • Tardiness: At times unpunctuality and laziness take a toll on work. Performance cannot be improved, if a person constantly feels lazy while working. Sitting on a bed with a laptop isn’t the best idea to keep laziness at bay. Employees are suggested to opt formal seating when working at home.
  • Social Gap: By being at home all the time, a person can only remain in touch with the team and not the entire office. An employee may thus miss out on day-to-day interactions with colleagues. Hence, Work-from-Home only for a day or two in a week is recommended.
  • Interruption: Sometimes, an employee may face multiple distractions when working from home. Dealing with temptations of spending excessive time with family or kids during work hours, or watching favourite shows on Netflix, or just surfing social media or Internet endlessly, is very difficult. In such a situation, the best idea is to set goals and track them on ongoing basis. Using automated tools can be a great help.
  • Accountability: In a remote working environment, there is no one to keep an eye on an individual’s work and activities. There is no manager to observe instantly or regulate one’s behaviour. Thus, an employee may feel less accountable resulting into low productivity. Using employee timesheet and performance evaluation tools can overcome this challenge.

The post Does Work-from-Home Option Boosts Employee Productivity? appeared first on Empxtrack.

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HR departments are often tied up with day to day processes like recruitment, training, performance management etc, that there’s no dedicated time left to see the welfare of the employees. And it’s a fact that no matter how efficient your business is, if employees aren’t happy with your work culture then all your efforts may go in vain.

According to a Gallup study, “Only 30% of employees said that they feel engaged in their job. More than 50% of employees said they weren’t engaged, and almost 20% of employees stated that they were “actively disengaged.” Though this statistic doesn’t sound well, yet all is not lost. Most employers and HR leaders are now on their toes to find ways to boost employee satisfaction and build a happy workforce. After all, employee happiness and satisfaction are crucial for having a motivated and high-performing workforce.

Implementing practical and well-thought workplace practices along with leveraging technology is a smart way to boost employee happiness.

The use of HR software to manage employee-related processes is on the rise. With the innovation in HR technology, companies are able to meet basic requirements to streamline and manage employee processes. But the scope of technology is not limited to the basic needs. Some software vendors have gone beyond, to offer simplified solutions and tools that can be made a part of everyday workplace practices.

Here are 7 HR software features that simplify some workplace practices:

TIMESHEET

Timesheets are used for tracking project status and record employee time. It records number of hours an employee spends on a project to accurately produce bill or process payroll. Companies that use timesheets regularly enjoy multiple benefits: cost saving, increase visibility on project status, produce accurate client billing, maintain transparent work relationship between client and the company.

Filling timesheets has become easier than ever. The tool can be customized with necessary fields and dropdowns to let employees fill time cards in less than 2 minutes. Why not adopt this easiest way to track, manage, and report on employee time!

Easy-to-use timesheets track employee activities, identify employees wasting time at work and enable leadership to make informed decisions on employees’ performance. Regular use of timesheets even helps managers to encourage employees to work productively for every hour of the day.

CHAT OPTION

Communication is the key to connect people and encourage collaborative work environment. Employees may interact with each other over phone, emails, or in-person; yet nothing works better than instant messaging. The Chat Option (or commonly referred as messaging tool) tool makes it possible to share ideas and files in real time, or even take up a conversation quickly and privately.

Organizations provide messaging tool to let employees instantly connect with any person in their immediate work circle, whenever needed.

Ensure the chat feature provided by your HR software vendor can also be used by remote employees. Use the tool to create chat groups and control who can view or send messages in these groups.

The Chat Option keeps a team in sync. The idea is to let employees collaborate in open forums or just casually talk or catch up in private messages. This takes away the need to conduct formal and time-killing ‘catch-up’ meetings. This software feature is great for keeping global teams in touch.

QUICK POLL

Employees expect freedom of speech and want to share opinions on subjects that matter the most. A ‘Quick Poll’ option can be used to determine and track emerging trends that impact working individuals and people around them.

Don’t like CEO’s behaviour? Poll about it. Dislike work culture. Poll about it. Cafeteria doesn’t have fresh food. Then don’t keep it to yourself. Say it, poll it.

Though it sounds good yet creating and managing results of surveys require a lot of hard work. Paper-based surveys don’t work anymore, as employees want to enhance their digital experience. Quick Poll tool is designed to allow HR (or employer) to set up anonymous one-question surveys which employees may complete quickly and efficiently.

Wouldn’t it be great if you can create quick polls in just a few clicks? Look for software tools that let you do that. Empxtrack can assist you.

COMPANY DIRECTORY

A Company Directory is a source of basic information about all employees currently working in an office.

In mid to large sized organizations, it is not possible to know everyone personally. Yet people may need to connect with others working in different departments. Whether you want to get in touch with HR Director or Sales Head, browsing through the company directory to get their information, like email id, personal contact number, extension number, their supervisor, employee id, department and more, is quite easy.

MY ATTENDANCE

With issues like buddy punching and lost attendance records, companies struggle to find a way to manage employee attendance in the simplest manner.

Marking attendance via biometric systems or in company registers is old-school. In an era when cell phones are almost inseparable from people, employees look forward to having a digital experience when it comes to workplace too. An attendance software that let employees remain signed in from their hand-held device and mark attendance in just 2 clicks as soon as they enter the work premise, is appreciable. Sending leave requests, regularizing attendance, marking break time, viewing monthly attendance and other tasks can be done in less than 1-2 minutes.

PULSE 360 FEEDBACK

Feedback is never overrated. Through feedback, employees get to know their strengths, weaknesses, behaviour issues, and how their performance is perceived by others in a workplace.

Pulse feedback is a phenomenon that has gained immense interest from both employees and employers in the recent times. Quick feedback cycle is the most popular advantage.

Pulse feedback can be given over the Internet more securely, without using paper or in-house survey software.

A Pulse 360 Feedback option allows employees to provide feedback on any person. It is made visible on the person’s career page. There’s an option to provide rating, write comment, and control visibility.

QUICK LINKS AND DOCUMENTS

Compliance management is all about ensuring that people follow a set of rules. Employees should know the rules they need to abide.

Provide 24×7 accessible links and documents to your employees. These documents may contain company policies, HR policy document, amendment leave rules, holiday list and more.

Takeaway


In a digitally progressive world, every organization should leverage HR technology solutions to improve employee experience and create a positive, technology-enabled work environment. This keeps the workforce satisfied, engaged and motivated. And a happy workplace boosts workforce productivity, reduces employee attrition and improves chances to attract and retain top talent. Use technology and tools to improve employee experience in the workplace.

Empxtrack supports all the above listed features and workplace practices. The team aims at building a happier, satisfied and productive workforce for their clients. Not all software vendors provide these amazing features. Get in touch with Empxtrack to meet all your requirements and make your workplace even better.

The post 7 Workplace Practices That Ensure Employee Happiness appeared first on Empxtrack.

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“It’s been over two weeks, I haven’t heard from the recruiter till now.”

“My interview went well. I had high hope from this job opportunity. But the company doesn’t seem to care much about losing a candidate like me.”

“I am not aware about my application status. Not yet received a rejection or confirmation call from the team.”

You must be wondering who these people are and why are they complaining so much.

Well, these are few responses from job seekers who are not happy about the recruitment process of a company where they appeared for an interview.

Such responses are often received when recruiters don’t pay attention on Candidate Experience. No matter whether you hire the job applicant or not, treating them well and giving them a positive experience is something that each recruiter and hiring manager must do.

Source

Candidate Experience has become a buzzword in today’s recruiting landscape. The way you treat candidates says a lot about the company, its reputation and the recruitment process. 83% of job seekers say, a negative interview experience can change their mind about a role or company they once liked, while 87% of talent say that a positive interview experience can change their mind about a role or company they once doubted. A company’s ability to successfully attract, hire and retain top talent entirely depends upon the thoughtful approach to manage their hiring process.

Here are few suggestions that can be used to improve candidate experience.

1. Shorten the hiring cycle

60% of job seekers have quit an application process in the middle due to its length or complexity.

A lengthy and complex application process can be a turnoff for candidates. They may lose the enthusiasm to work at an organization that makes them wait long to hear back about a job. Anyway, top candidates have countless opportunities. Either they won’t wait for long to hear back from the recruiter or they lose interest in the opportunity.

Make the job application process quick, painless and ensure that the job seekers hear frequently from you.

2. Make job description clear and precise

64% candidates claim that job descriptions provided by companies aren’t clear while 72% of hiring managers say they provide well-defined descriptions. Isn’t this contradictory?

Both perceive job descriptions differently, and that’s the main reason for discrepancy in their thought. A candidate may want to understand the job role while a recruiter may feel important to mention the skills required to fill the vacant position.

Recruiters are suggested to create job descriptions in a manner that can easily be understood by the candidates and makes the job role clear for them.

3. Don’t delay responding to candidates

80% of applicants admit that they would be discouraged to consider other relevant job openings at a company that failed to notify them of their application status. Yet, they would be 3.5 times more likely to re-apply to a company if they were notified.

Quite often candidates are made to wait for recruiter’s response after the submission of their job application. In some cases, this wait becomes endless. Uncertainty in the hiring process leads to poor candidate experience. Even if a candidate isn’t the right person you’re looking for, don’t hesitate by giving feedback or telling about rejection of their profile.

Keeping in touch is the key solution to this problem. Communicate with the candidates and let them know the actual status on their application, at every step.

4. Leave a lasting impression

Majority of job seekers read at least 6 reviews before forming an opinion of a company.

As most of the candidates go through online reviews before appearing for an interview, make sure the candidates give good ratings to your company on online job portals.

When a job seeker receives poor experience at an organization, they are more likely to share the same with their friends and family, and some of them even post reviews on online portals. Poor ratings by candidates can be damaging for a company’s reputation.

Make extra effort to keep them happy, informed and leave a positive impact.

We all know that hiring process is stressful both for the recruiter as well as the job seeker. But, by providing a positive experience, you can expect more respect and commitment from the candidates and far more chances that they recommend other talent to your organization.

Build employer brand by improving the recruitment process and providing a good candidate experience.

The post 4 Ways to Improve Candidate Experience in a Hiring Process appeared first on Empxtrack.

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Empxtrack by Gunjan Bhatia - 1M ago

Hey Managers,

Do your employees love working with you or do they just work for you? Do you mentor and guide them to perform better? Have you left a positive impact on their career?

Each manager must ask these questions to themselves to become a more likeable boss.

According to a Gallup study, more than 50 percent of U.S. employees leave jobs due to poor relationship with their bosses. An unlikeable manager not only impacts employee relationships but becomes a major cause for high employee turnover.

Experts believe that being a good boss isn’t only about being nice, cordial or proficient. It is more than that. An American stand-up comedian and actor, Bob Nelson says, “An employee’s motivation is a direct result of the sum of interactions with his or her manager.”

Good managerial skills require consistent efforts in building a highly productive team in which people are focused, engaged and happy. They provide a work environment where employees realize their full potential, take responsibility of work and continually perform better to contribute in the company’s profitability.

Unfortunately, not every team is led by a good manager.

In the State of the American Manager: Analytics and Advice for Leaders, Gallup estimates that managers account for at least 70 percent of the variance in employee engagement scores across business units. A manager’s behaviour and action towards employees impacts the variance, that results in low engagement in most of the cases. Only 30 percent U.S. employees feel engaged at work and only 13 percent employees show high engagement levels worldwide. This shows that majority of the workforce is not engaged enough to perform competently and contribute to a company’s success.

As today’s workforce is multi-generational (Including baby boomers, Gen X, Y and Z), managers need to be more compassionate when dealing with people. Managing a team with an iron fist no longer works. Adopting new leadership styles, that positively influences subordinates and inspires them to perform better, is the need of the hour.

Being considerate, inspirational and leading people is a challenging job. With the above-mentioned tips, you can be on the way to become a good boss and a great leader.

The post Top 15 Ways to Become a Good Boss appeared first on Empxtrack.

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This year, Finland grabbed top position in the list of world’s happiest countries, followed by Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland.

On March 14th, 2018, the Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the United Nations released the World Happiness report giving top ranks to the happiest countries in the world. According to the report, countries were ranked on multiple variables, like freedom, trust, well-being, social support, healthy life expectancy, corruption and generosity.

Over the past two decades, Happiness Quotient has been varying dramatically in some countries. Let’s talk about Denmark. Danish employees have made headlines for past many years for having amazing, stress-free work life. Denmark is a small country of 5.8 million residents, still it ranks above the average in several dimensions, such as work-life balance, skills, jobs and earning. This country has been consistently ranking in top 5 positions for having loyal and happy employees. Danes lead happy personal as well as professional life.

Reports suggest that Unhappy Employees cost as much as $550 billion every year to U.S. companies.

Happiness at workplace matters. Its absence may negatively impact employee productivity, morale, performance, and overall business outcomes. Companies with satisfied workforce outperform those with dissatisfied staff by up to 202 percent.

Happiest Countries in the World

In an Annual Happiness Index released by Universum, more than 200,000 young professionals in 57 markets were surveyed on the following factors to determine their happiness –


  1. Satisfaction level in their jobs.
  2. Willingness to recommend a current employer.
  3. Chances of switching job soon.

Top 10 positions were taken by countries in Western Europe and the European Union. Unfortunately, the United States and the United Kingdom did not make even in the top 20.

Here are some facts:

Denmark — The country has been consistent in maintaining its position in top 5. Employee happiness is a top priority for employers in Denmark. Happy work culture keeps high motivation levels among workforce. Along with work life balance, social security and positive work culture, Danish work culture also offers equality to everyone. Companies with more than 35 employees open seats on the board to employees who can own them and enjoy the same power as anyone else in the top management team would do. {Source}

Norway – Best known for job security and earnings in the OECD’s Better Life Index.

Sweden Obsessed with work-life balance, Sweden employers have experimented to have 6-hour workdays for 2 years. We are not exaggerating, but during those two years, employee engagement was on highest peak.

Canada – Majority of employees (up to 76 percent) are either ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with their jobs. Employment laws are structured carefully to avoid discrimination, set safety standards, minimum wages and hours of week.

Panama – Employees aren’t overworked. Two-hours long lunch break and 30 days paid vacation keep employees satisfied. If this isn’t enough to keep employees motivated and engaged, then we don’t know what is.

Austria – Employees are offered high salaries, along with 13 bank holidays and up to 5 weeks of paid holiday. Flexible maternity leave is a boon for female employees. They can avail pre-maternity leave starting from 28th week of pregnancy and 8 weeks after the child birth.

How to Increase Happiness Index?

Though each country (and workplace for that matter) has its own lifestyle and challenges, there is always a hope. If employee happiness is constantly dropping and the business outcomes aren’t satisfactory, it’s time to learn some lessons. Here are few suggestions that can be implemented to increase workforce happiness and unlock employee’s potential-


  1. Equality – As reports suggest, the Danish look for equality even at the workplace. People don’t believe in showing off wealth, as it’s seen negatively. In fact, salaries are evenly distributed among employees and social classes are almost inexistent. 
  2. Sense of Trust – Employers believe in accountability and ownership of work. They give employees the freedom to take initiatives, work on their own, make mistakes and learn from them. After all, failures are the stepping stone to success. Employees trust on each other and appreciate the quality of taking initiatives. With the help of online HR tools, processes are transparent. All stakeholders remain informed on progress of individual and team goals.
  3. Flexibility – Employers encourage flexible office rules. Whether it concerns work hours, work-from-home or leaving early for a personal task, employees are given flexibility. Use of HR tools makes it easy for record in-and-out time, break time and short leaves. It is a win-win for employees as well as employers.  
  4. Social responsibility – Many European companies consider it as their responsibility to fight social exclusion. Employers don’t disregard people from different social backgrounds and treat everyone with respect.
  5. Encourage entrepreneurship – Entrepreneurial spirit is always encouraged; in fact, people are trained to develop skills right when they start schooling. From an early age, children are encouraged to express their creativity and take their own decisions to develop self-confidence and take initiatives. High schools and universities have mandatory programs that offer lessons on innovation and entrepreneurship.

The post What Drives Employee Happiness? Here are Few Facts appeared first on Empxtrack.

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In the past few years, the term “Performance feedback” has become as important as Client Satisfaction. Feedback sessions are essential to keep employees informed about their strengths and weaknesses. Feedback provides guidance, lead people to perform better.

Providing constructive feedback is imperative. Having meaningful and insightful conversations with subordinates to discuss their performance and behaviour requires additional effort.

A Gallup survey found that 67% of employees whose managers focused on their strengths were fully engaged in their work, as compared to only 31% of employees whose managers focused on their weaknesses. As a manager, leading a team of talented professionals and keeping them motivated with positive, constructive feedback is perhaps the most important task. Managers who cover an extra mile are successful in building high performing teams.


Source

How to provide feedback to subordinates?

Each time you provide feedback, take some time to think and analyse how much your opinion matters. Does your team appreciate the way you evaluate their performance, or do they feel resentful? Does your feedback keep them focused on the pre-defined goals or is it disturbing them? Does it motivate them at all? If not, where do you think you’re wrong.

Answers to these questions may somehow help you increase effectiveness of the performance evaluation and feedback conversations.

As one of the leading Performance Management Solution providers, we often meet managers who aren’t clear about the significance of feedback and how frequently they must conduct feedback conversations.

Some managers believe feedback is effective when it’s given annually, while others don’t. Some of them believe talking over performance issues twice a month helps employees to perform better, while others think differently.

Everyone knows feedback is crucial for performance improvement. But the frequency of feedback conversations varies depending upon the team members and their needs. Every work culture needs to have continuous performance feedback as a ritual to win over all the odds. HR and managers need to take initiative to make it a reality.

Begin with continuously monitoring employees’ performance and determining their progress against each goal. Feedback discussions can be made more meaningful, when employees have clear performance benchmarks. Never end the review process immediately after providing feedback and giving a corrective action plan to the team. Follow-up at regular intervals to find out the improvement in performance.

Mentoring and coaching employees is the best way to ensure performance improvement. Encourage employees to exceed performance standards, by guiding them on developing skills, building strengths, increasing confidence and knowledge. Try to understand potential performance issues and find out if the employees truly understand what is expected from them or what are the obstacles that prevent good performance, or whether there is a lack of motivation, skills or training. Guide them accordingly. Most importantly, create a culture of continuous learning to scale-up productivity.

Never underestimate the need to formally check-in with your employees, even if you provide them feedback every day. Once in a quarter is the best time to look at achievements, goal progress and review goals (if required). It entirely depends upon the type of industry and work you do.

Always remember, employee appraisal isn’t meaningful if one-size-fits-all approach is applied. Understand needs of each individual and follow-up with them, once you’re done with feedback conversations.

Here are few Don’ts that may help you to make an impact during performance conversations.

  • Don’t sugar coat your opinion
    There are times when managers are required to give negative feedback on an individual’s performance or behaviour. It might be difficult to make an employee understand where they are wrong. But managers are suggested to not sugar coat their feedback. A negative feedback may not be well received by employees, hence choose your words wisely. Say things as they are! It will give a clear idea to employees about where and how to improve.
  • Don’t use the “Experience” card
    As a manager, you have got immense power and experience to lead your team in a better direction. Never play “Experience” card on team members to overpower them and impose your judgements on them. Encourage two-way communication.
  • Don’t generalize feedback
    Managers often generalize feedback without specifying instances that led them to a specific conclusion. In this situation, employees may think that they’re being judged on the same lines and manager’s opinions are too vague or unreasonable.
  • Don’t avoid giving solutions
    While discussing performance issues, you might come across several challenges that employees face while achieving their performance goals. Make an effort to understand their challenges. Suggest solutions and ways to improve.
  • Don’t wait for annual performance appraisals
    With so much performance-related talks in the workplace, managers shouldn’t wait for annual appraisals to share their views. Collect performance reports throughout the year and take opportunity (whenever needed) to share your opinions.

In a TriNet survey, 85 percent of employees said they would feel more confident if they could have more frequent conversations with their managers.

A study from Robert Half, showed 82 percent of employees would like to discuss their career path 1 to 4 times a year. Perhaps, it’s the right time that managers put annual reviews aside and replace it with something more valuable – that is continuous performance feedback and coaching!

The post Do Frequent Feedback Conversations Guarantee Employee Performance Improvement? appeared first on Empxtrack.

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According to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) 1993, the covered employers must give their employees up to 12 weeks of job-protected unpaid leave for their qualified medical and family reasons once in a year.

FMLA is a federal law that gives enough time to employees to take care of their own health or their family member’s. In a condition, when an employee or their spouse, child, or parent comes down with a serious health condition, or if there’s a need to take care of a new born child, employees may feel free to apply FMLA leave for their convenience.

This eases down the pressure from an employee’s shoulder as their own health or the family becomes priority and work takes a backseat.

8 Facts That Each Employee & Employer Must Know About FMLA
  • » Employees must know that not all companies are covered under this act. There is a condition that needs to be fulfilled. The company must have at least 50 employees working for minimum period of 20 weeks in previous or current year.
  • » Employers and employees must know that not all employees are covered by FMLA. The condition for an employee to comply with this act is that he or she must have worked for at least a year in the company.
  • » The leave is provided for reasons which are pre-defined in the policy. An employee can take this leave to take care of their own health or someone in the family (as mentioned above) or to bond with a new born. Military people can also take time off for above reasons and to recover from a service-related injury.
  • » It is important to know that FMLA is an unpaid leave type. Employees may avail accrued paid leave (sick days or vacation days) such that they get paid even on the FMLA leave. According to the law, this is an unpaid leave.
  • » Generally, employees are given a period of 12 weeks as time off each year. But it may exceed up to 26 weeks in a special case, when an employee must take care of a family member suffering from illness or injury caused during military service.
  • » Under this act, an employer may ask the employee to show a medical certificate given by the medical service provider.
  • » If by any chance this leave is taken for foreseeable reasons, the employee must give a notice of at least 30 days to the employer.
  • » In some cases, an employee may need to use FMLA leave at multiple times in a period of 12 months. This would be possible if the employer agrees to it and allow employees to take intermittent leave not using all the FMLA leave at once.
Is FMLA a boon to employees?

Yes, it is.

As it is a great option to lawfully take time off from work to manage all caregiving responsibilities towards the family and take care of one’s own health too. It reduces the stress and anxiety caused due to the fear of losing employment.

Another benefit is that an employee remains entitled to continue health insurance during this leave period too. In this case, the employer continues to pay employee’s share of the premium for getting insurance benefits. But if an employee decides to never return to work after the leave period gets over, the additional amount paid for the insurance needs to be reimbursed to the employer. Unfortunately, if an employee couldn’t return to work due to a fateful event or unavoidable circumstance, the person isn’t liable to reimburse this amount.

In some parts of the world maternity leave is still a debatable topic. New mothers often face challenges when they return from maternity leave. Challenges occur related to compensation, job role or more. But when it comes to FMLA leave, employees are given equivalent position and pay when they come back from leave. Though highly paid employees may deal with an exception, but otherwise things are smooth and simple for employees entitled to take this leave.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the Family and Medical Leave Act covers a total of 60 percent of U.S. employers (including private-sector companies with 50 or more employees, and public agencies and schools). It was found that in the first two decades of the implementation of the FMLA law, employees used it more than 100 million times. Though there have been widespread concerns among employers and the leadership regarding this act, but overall it had a positive impact on employers as well as employees.

Managing employees’ leave is anyway a challenging task for HR. Unclear policies, unavailability of leave tracking tools, irresponsible employee behaviour, paper-based systems are few more reasons that make leave management a headache.


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An online leave management software makes the process more interactive and easy-to-manage.

Employees can use self-service portals to enter their leave details and access leave policy, especially when they have doubts in FMLA leave. They can refer to the leave policy before raising a leave request. This would simplify things for employees as well as HR. Employee portals with a clearly define FMLA guidelines is a better way to guard against leave abuse.

HR must be careful while enforcing leave policies. Through an online leave management system, one can know the eligibility to avail the leave, medical documentation needed to show, maximum time off given to an employee, what are the other leave rights, and associated benefits and how they can avail them. Having an automated leave management system enables an employer to keep a track of employees who avail this leave type and make sure no one abuses the benefits.

Read a related post to learn more about the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

The post Is Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) a Boon for Employees? appeared first on Empxtrack.

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Internet of Things (IoT)

As defined by Wikipedia, the Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical devices, vehicles, home appliances and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and connectivity which enables these objects to connect and exchange data. Each thing is uniquely identifiable through its embedded computing system and can inter-operate within the existing Internet infrastructure.

Hence, it’s not only digitization, but a constantly growing “network of wearable and mobile devices” that’s changing our society and transforming the way companies conduct business.

The Changing Trend

As a tech-savvy human, many of us use gadgets and apps to track number of steps we walk every day, hours we sleep, calories we burn during exercise sessions, and a lot more. Keeping a regular check on our health helps in optimizing our activities and enables us to perform better. These advanced applications and wearable devices have made life easy.

Similarly, employers are using the same technology to make workforce more efficient and their work more productive & effective.

At workplace, employees are typically caught up with emails, meetings, decision making, meeting performance standards and what not. All these activities hardly leave us with any time to track productivity. The need to monitor, evaluate and measure one’s performance have shifted the entire focus to the wearable computing devices, fitness trackers and mobile communication tools.

The quantifiable data can be taken from these devices which are powered by an architecture of technology referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT). With unprecedented data from workers’ wearables, HR departments can possibly create positive and efficient work culture by assessing employee productivity, people related trends, communication patterns, and how teams should collaborate for better outcomes.

What does the stats say: Consumers bought more than 45 million wearable devices and fitness trackers in 2015, and analysts expect demand to grow by more than 45 percent annually through 2019, becoming one of the fastest-growing technology markets.

Impact of IoT on Human Resources

HR departments should devise strategies to absorb the impact of Internet of Things (IoT) on multiple aspects of Human Resources.

1. It is important for HR to understand the significance of people analytics that comes from IoT. There’s no doubt that Internet of Things would generate an unprecedented amount of data associated with people and their related processes. The data is extensively useful for decision and strategy makers.

2. IoT improves employee experience. Employees, managers and HR carrying Internet-enabled mobile devices are connected with each other round-the-clock.

For instance, they can instantly book meeting rooms, communicate with any team member, exchange ideas, and do a lot more. In this way, IoT optimizes the effectiveness of employees’ workday and offers better work experience.

3. Flexible work environment for the coming generations would be a boon. Trust me, IoT technology would be a big contributor. IoT would enable HR to create flex workspace, with the flexibility to manage work through mobile and wearable devices.

4. Employee wellness can be monitored and measured on ongoing basis through the same technology. If corrective steps are taken in a timely manner to improve employee health, the purpose of introducing technology would succeed.

5. Just like HR technology has simplified Continuous Performance Management, IoT has also impacted it positively. The enhanced connectivity with IoT devices helps in establishing a digital culture where managers and employees can connect frequently, share opinions on each other’s performance, improve skills and help each other become better.

6. Trackers make it easy to monitor mobile workforce and track their activities without stressing too much.

Downside Security breaches

Unfortunately, because so many devices can connect in ways never possible before, the IoT is also susceptible to malfunction and hacking. 70% proportion of most commonly used Internet of Things devices contain serious vulnerabilities. Unnecessary exposure to user data and theft are the result to security risks.

Standards and regulations

Due to lack of standards and best practices in designing IoT devices, products often operate in disruptive ways. This leads to a difficulty in networking, configuring and managing considerable number of IoT devices.

Privacy

Privacy issues have become common in consumer devices, such as tracking devices for phones, smart TVs, etc. Voice recognition or visuals can be integrated with other devices to keep a watch on the user activities. Listening to personal conversations secretly and keeping an eye on the user’s movements is the biggest danger.

To realize the opportunities of the IoT, a whitepaper by the ISOC (Internet Society) suggests that well-thought strategies are needed to respect and protect users’ privacy choices across a broad spectrum of services, while fostering innovation in modern technologies.

Final word…

With Internet of Things, we already have another wave of technology. It is surely going to have a significant impact on the way people work and human resources function. Just like an athlete has a chance to track and optimize performance with the help of wearables or mobile devices, employees can use IoT devices to their advantage and become more efficient in their workplaces too.

The post How Internet of Things (IoT) Will Impact HR? appeared first on Empxtrack.

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“Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.”
—Gen. George Patton

People management is not a cake walk, it is tricky and challenging. One of the best things an employer can do to their managers is – give them the freedom to work and let them feel accountable for their actions. Offer them technology, tools and well-defined processes that accelerate their career growth and development.

How does a manager manage people and processes?

A Manager is responsible to create a work environment in which employees feel empowered, productive, engaged and happy. Just like two sides of a coin, managers play a vital role in keeping their team members highly productive as well as meeting end-to-end needs to keep the business running.

Line Managers are expected to push limits and find solution to each challenge that comes their way, without losing their mind. They must learn the art to balance multiple facets of people management and leadership.

A company’s success is tied to its employees’ productivity. And guiding employees to be highly productive and be on the right path is the key. It is a manager’s duty to mentor team members to get the best out of them and contribute to company’s growth. With patience and understanding, line managers can relate to their employees, understand their emotional needs and empower them. This shall motivate employees to give optimum performance.

Ineffective managers can cause damage to a business. Their attitude and actions can be influential on subordinates and negatively influence them to be less productive and disengaged.

Here are few recommendations that may help entry-level (first-time) managers or experienced ones to become more effective.

Focus on Team Strengthening and Team Work


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Team work is an essential element for a successful business. Managers need to focus on team problems before they arise. Build a strong and motivated team by bringing employees together.

Respect each team member. Show regard for everyone through actions and words. It is important to make team members feel valued. Appreciate each member for their unique qualities and always make it visible.

Communicate and Mentor Employees

Good Communication is the key to establish positive relationships. Managers who encourage two-way interactions are always considered wise. Whether the communication is in the form of text, email or in person, it is important to make it two-way to exchange ideas and induce fairness in conversations.

To create a culture of continuous growth, it is important for managers to strengthen professional relationships through open communication, mentoring and engaging employees.

Share Vision, Goals and Direction

Managers are suggested to involve their team members into organization’s mission, objectives or strategic plans. Ask employees to share their input and listen to their opinions carefully. This will make them feel independent and accountable.

Also, involve them in goal setting on the department level and share the goals and direction for the team. When people are involved in their goal setting process, they are more likely to accomplish better results.

Trust People and Their Intentions

Managers should learn to trust the intentions of their subordinates – to make right decisions and do the right thing.

Act in such a way that encourage trust within immediate work circle and keep everyone around happy.

Conduct Frequent Interactions to Provide Feedback


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45 percent of employees quit their jobs because they dislike their managers. Not providing performance feedback and giving unfair ratings can be a cause for disliking.

Providing constructive, frequent performance feedback to let people know how they are performing. Connect feedback with reward, recognition, compensation, training and appraisal to encourage employee growth and development.

Be Persuasive and Make Informed Decisions

Managers having all the necessary information to make informed decisions are empowered and turn out to be better people managers

Use HR technology to gain data insights into useful processes and make plans accordingly.

Listen to Understand, Not to Argue

Don’t always ignore or contradict employee inputs and suggestions. It can become a demotivating factor for them.

Managers must comfort their subordinates by patiently hearing to their problems, questions or work-related issues.

Employees prefer to share their challenges and fears with managers, who happily provide guidance on what is important or what needs to be done. Be considerate, use leadership skills wisely and ask questions to understand the root cause of the problem. Don’t ponder over the right or wrong side of the problem. It is advised to stay positive and be a problem solver.

Do not pinpoint faults or what’s wrong with the people, instead suggest intelligent solutions to resolve employee issues.

No overnight solution is available to make people management better. However, offering a work culture, where managers feel accountable for their job and actions and they get tools and skill development opportunities to take control in their hands, is an effective way to improve manager effectiveness.

The post 7 Ways to Improve People Management appeared first on Empxtrack.

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