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1. Ability to view Expenses Tab in Org for Payroll Admin

Previously, Expenses were shown to the payroll admin under “Reimbursements, Adhoc Payments & Deductions”. Now, this can be viewed under Org >> Expenses.

2. Added ‘Monthly Gross’ in the Pay register

Previously the Monthly Gross component was only visible in Payroll Run reports. You can now view this in the pay register as well.

3. Ability to add Actual Gross in Pay Slip

You can now show the Actual Gross component in the Pay Slip.

This can be enabled by Payroll Admin, Global Admin under Settings >> Payroll >> Pay-Slip >> Edit >> Include Additional Column >> Enable ‘Include Actual Gross Amount of Component’.

The Payslip with Actual Gross will be shown as below:

Actual Gross will only be shown for earnings.

4. Added ‘Gender’ and ‘Date of Birth’ in Group wise Actual Summary Report

Gender and Date of Birth columns have been added in the Group wise Actual Summary Report.

You can view this here: Payroll >> Reports >> Payroll Run Reports >> Group wise actual summary report.

5. Ability to add previous component claims for reimbursements in bulk.

We have added a feature to add all the previous reimbursement claims in bulk. Please contact Keka Support to get this uploaded.

The claims added from here will be marked as ‘Paid Outside Keka’. ‘Paid On’ will be the date mentioned in the sheet uploaded.

6. Updated Bank Transfer Statements of the  following banks.
  • JP Morgan
  • ICICI bank
  • HDFC Bank
  • YES Bank
  • Indian Overseas bank
WORK FORCE MANAGEMENT 1. Ability to delete past holidays

Past dated holidays can now be deleted. Please contact Keka Support to delete the past holidays.

2. Added a new ‘Break Time’ Report

This report shows the break duration, start and end times of employees for each day.

3. Added ‘Shift’ column in Daily Performance Report

A new column ‘Shift’ of the employee is added to the daily performance report for the reference of which shift type is an assigned to an employee.

4. Added ‘Expires on’ column in Compensatory off Requests Report

Added ‘Expires on’ column to compensatory off requests report so that the user can see credited and expiry dates for compensatory off at one place.

We have also added ‘Reporting Manager’ column to all the time-sheet reports.

CORE HRIS Enhancements: 1. Upgraded UI experience for ‘Exits’

Added Department, Location and Exit Type filters for better accessibility.

Added Reporting Manager, Location and Department columns.

2. Added ‘Relieved Employees’ Report
  • Relieved employees report which is shown in Employee status reports is added under org > Exits tab to provide better accessibility for Admins to check who are relieved while processing exits.
  • Added Department, Location, Exit Type and ‘Ok to Rehire?’ Filters to this report
3. Added a new worker type – Intern

A new worker type has been added to the existing list of ‘Permanent’ and ‘Contract’.

4. Ability to download reports of the analytical figures

Added an ability to download reports of the different analytics represented as Pie Charts in the analytics section. These can be downloaded in ‘Excel’ or ‘PDF’ format.

PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT 1. Ability to unlock the review form of a reviewer

Previously, once the review is submitted by a reviewer, changes can’t be made to that particular review. Now however, this can be done by unlocking the review.
A Global Admin or a Performance Admin is only authorized to do this.

When review form is unlocked, following are the reflections:

  • Review will navigate back to feedback form step if it is in meeting or moderation step.
  • Notification will also be sent via email to the reviewer
  • Edits can be made to the review form and can be submitted again.
  • Reviewer can see the related action item under Me >>Performance >> My reviews for employee and My Team >> Current Reviews for other reviewers.
2. ‘Self only’ questions will be shown to admin in review administration before and after the review is initiated

Previously, when a question was configured as “self only” in review form, that question won’t be shown to the admin in preview review template until the review is released.
But now, admin can view “self” only questions also in review administration once the review is created for the employee.

3. Refined the UI of renaming a Review Cycle name

For current cycles, edit option will be shown after the cycle name.

For past cycles , it will be shown under options.

4. Updated maximum duration of reviewer type in ‘Independently’ review

If there are more than one reviewer and each have different number of days to fill the review form, the maximum of all the reviewers’ days will be considered for that particular step.

The post Keka Monthly Update – November 18 appeared first on Keka.

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PAYROLL Enhancements: 1. Added ESI aggregates in the Post Payroll outcomes

After finalizing the payroll, we have added ESI aggregates.

On Clicking ‘Manage’ it will redirect you to ‘ESI Monthly Return (ECR)’ report where the details can be seen and the report can also be exported.

2. Added Section number in Import Investment Declarations excel import

Previously only the section names were shown in the Declaration import excel template, which created confusion if the name is different in your organization. To avoid such confusion we have added the section numbers also in the excel template.
To view this navigate to Payroll >> Payroll Admin >> Import Investment Declaration.

3. Added ability to mark PF and ESI eligibility while adding employee into Keka

Previously, only annual pay, structure and bonus details were shown in the 4th step of Add Employee. Now, PF Eligibility and ESI Eligibility can also be marked from the same page.


The same will also be shown in the Salary Adding wizard in the employee’s profile if you skip/cancel this step while adding the employee.
To view this navigate to Employee Finances Tab (for whom salary is not added yet) >> Add Salary.

  • PF and ESI eligibility will be shown only for the first time (i.e. while adding salary for the first time for the employee).
  • PF Eligibility will be shown in this step only if “Allow admin to override PF Contribution , opt-out from PF, limit to statutory PF” is selected.
  • If PF Eligibility is marked as OFF in the above steps then system will automatically override PF with 0 under PF Overrides in Payroll Admin (i.e. same as existing functionality because in the current system to disable PF for any employee we should override with zero). Similarly to enable it we need to OFF the override.
  • To enable or disable ESI after finishing the wizard this can be done from Employee Finances >> Preferences >> PF and ESI Information.
4. Added regeneration of salary structures if ESI eligibility is enabled/disabled in employee profile

Previously if an admin makes any changes in the ESI eligibility of the employee, those changes were reflected in the salary structure of the employee only if we trigger regeneration manually. However, now if an admin makes any changes to ESI Eligibility from UI i.e. either from Employee Finances >> Preferences >> PF and ESI Information or from Payroll >> Payroll Admin >> Employee PF and ESI Info , then system will automatically trigger regeneration and update the salary accordingly.

Note :

If the ESI Eligibility is updated in bulk using any import, then we need to manually trigger regeneration. In this case automatic regeneration is not triggered by the system.

WORK FORCE MANAGEMENT 1. Shift or week-off with effective date can be updated from employee’s ‘Job’

We have provided an option to update an employee’s Shift or Week-Off from the Job tab in the employee’s profile.
This can be done for past and future dates. Moreover, there is an option to choose “No end date” if you’re unaware about when the shift/week-off cycle ends.

From employee’s Job tab, clicking on ‘View history’ of shift/week-off opens a pop-up which shows shift/week-off assigned to the employee with the effective dates given.

In the history pop-up, there’s an option to view shift/week-off details.

Updating shifts/week-offs can be done with past or future effective date.

2. Ability for Reporting Manger to update shifts/week-offs

RM can now update shifts/week-offs for his/her reportees from My Team –> Attendance –> Time Assignments >> Select corresponding employees >> Click on Update shift or Update week-off.

Past or future effective dates can be chosen here. Moreover, there is an option to choose “No end date” if you are unaware of when the shift/week-off ends.

3. Updating shift/week-off with effective dates as a Global Admin, HR Manager or HR executive

A Global Admin, HR Manager or an HR executive can update shift/week-off for from Time Attendance –> Time Assignments >> Select corresponding employees >> Click on Update shift or Update week-off.

4. Flexibility to allow or prevent Reporting Manager from changing shift, week-off, tracking policy for reportees

This can be done from Settings –> Attendance –> General.
On allowing, RM can view Tracking Policies, Time Assignments tabs in My Team –> Attendance. Otherwise, those tabs would be hidden for RM.

5. Added ‘Past day’ restriction for attendance requests

There is an option to choose a specific date in a month after which employees are not allowed to make corresponding attendance requests for the past days (before the given date). However, RM and admins can override this setting and make adjustments for past days.
Can be set for each attendance request type in Settings –> Capture scheme.

CORE HRIS Enhancements: 1. Mail Notifications for Asset Assignment and Asset Recovery events

By default, mail will be delivered To: ‘Employee self’ with CC: ‘Asset Manager’ when an asset is assigned to some employee.
Mail will be delivered To: ‘Asset Manager’ with CC: ‘Employee self’ when an asset is recovered from any employee.

Following are the templates used for these mail Notifications:

Asset Assignment:

Asset Recovery:

Mail notifications will work only when the asset is assigned from UI.
It will not work when assets are added through bulk import or when assigned to someone while adding the asset itself.

Recipients list for the Email Notification can be configure from here:

Settings >> Login Integrations & Automation:

Recipients list can be selected:

  • Based on Employee or Requester related roles and Keka User roles.
  • Individual employee can be added by searching their name.
  • Custom recipient mail address can also be added by providing the mail address and clicking on ‘Enter’.
2. Added bounced type and sub-type in ‘Message details’ popup in Email History screen

Since there is no sufficient information available regarding the reason when any email is blocked, Bounced type and sub-type have been added in the Message details

The post Keka Monthly Update – December 18 appeared first on Keka.

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Without goals, we are all lost. To achieve any form of success or achievement, we always have to strategize how we are going to get there, with step by step planning.

According to a Harvard Business School Study, people who have goals are 10 times more successful than those without goals.

If you are an employer or team leader, goal setting for your employees is one of your key roles. These goals need to be set well in advance and in an effective manner so that you can capitalize on the strengths of your employees, and also help them work on their weaknesses. Regular goal setting not only keeps employees engaged, but also helps them stay motivated to do better.

If you are also looking out for tips that can help you set better goals for your employees, here are a few tips that can be helpful –

  1. Let employees self analyze

Employees know their situation best. The best of talent always know what they need to improve on and the kind of support they desire. As managers, you need to listen to what state the employee thinks he is at, and how can he get better. The key to set meaningful goals will lie a lot on listening to what your team needs.

You can set a list of values at the start of each quarter and ask your employees how they think they fared on each of them. This will give them a chance to think and reflect on their own personal development, work on filling the gaps and direct it to a strategy that can help them perform better.

  1. Communicate

Once you have heard the employee’s side of the story, you need to think about how you can do your best to help them enhance their goals and remove things which might not be of immediate concern. The goal here is to have a mutual discussion and come up with a list of goals that you both agree with. The communication should be transparent and fair, taking each party’s feedback into consideration.

Before even going ahead and listing out goals that you think is important, you should create a friendly rapport with your employee or team, making them feel safe and empowered enough to raise their suggestions freely. Encourage them to voice out their concerns and listen more than you speak.

  1. Plan together

Once a mutual space has been arrived at, it is time to strategize and plan for the individual goals and growth paths. These need to align with the larger company goals and values.

Knowing what the employee wants and where he stands will enable you to plan specifically for individual goals. This can include details about specific labor hours, project deadlines, learning and development goals or outside costs for education. Jointly set these benchmarks, and then schedule in times for their achievement, keeping recognition, breaks and occasional celebratory ideas in the loop.

  1. Set clear expectations

Setting clear expectations for employees drives what we know as “intrinsic motivation.” When employees can see the value that their contribution can have towards a much higher cause, they are more than willing to do their best. Clear goals and regular coaching to achieve these goals are key to driving this intrinsic motivation.

Setting clear goals is not just about the job description. It reflects tasks that an employee has to carry out on a day to day basis for the achievement of short-term and long-term goals. It requires clear-cut roads mutually set out for each employee and his specific job role.

  1. Constant mentoring

The work isn’t over once the goals are set because just knowing the goals isn’t enough. Your employees will also need help in understanding how to get there. This is where you need to come in and mentor them.

Time and again, your employees will be presented with challenges in a dynamic work environment. You need to be available in times of crisis and help them navigate through certain unforeseen situations. Take the time out to understand their needs and enable them to power through the challenges through right coaching techniques. Connect them with people in the organization for employees to be able to understand different facets of getting a job done.

  1. Make employees accountable

Accountability is critical to achieving high performance. Till the time an employee is not willing to take full responsibility for fulfilling the needs of a job successfully, he will not give it his 100%. Without accountability, establishing expectations or spending time coaching or giving feedback is also a waste. This is why effective performance development should require managers and employees to sit regularly to review progress.

One way to create more accountability among employees is by conducting progress reviews where managers and employees equally contribute to creating opportunities, prioritizing tasks collaboratively and determining and changing goals as required. These goals should be achievement oriented, fair and contribute to the learning and development of the employee.

Thoughts/suggestions/comments? Let us know in the comments section.

The post Help Your Employees Set Better Goals With These Tips appeared first on Keka.

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Event: Keka’s Employee Experience Talk 2019 in Association with PeopleMattersBhaswati BhattacharyyaFeb 06, 2019
Hyderabad’s cloud-based HR and payroll management software firm Keka is organizing a full day event called – Employee Experience Talks on the 16 of February in their head office.

This event, in association with PeopleMatters, is going to comprise of a series of discussions and master classes by eminent professionals of the HR world.

What is the event about?

Employee experience lies at the heart of HR discussions in today’s rapidly changing workforce. Employees are the primary assets that have the power to drive organizations to success. Its importance is increasing even more with GenZ entering the workforce.

Employee Experience Talks aims to create a platform for HR practitioners to share their trials, tribulations and learn from winning practices within the community of their peers. This event will highlight the importance and best practices to rightly address this issue of creating rich employee experiences by the best in the HR field. The interactions will be based on contemporary and substantial people challenges faced by various companies and how they were tackled.

Who is this event for?

This event is meant for forward-looking people practitioners who are passionate about employee experience and are looking for answers or have their own experiences to share in terms of employee experiences. Anyone who is passionate about creating organizational change by addressing core problems can register and connect with the best names in the field.


Murali Padmanabhan, Sr. VP Head Talent Management, Virtusa

OVL Kiran Kumar, Executive Advisor & Business Consultant

Anjali (Bhole) Desai, HR Advisor & Consultant

Aditya Chakravarty, Head – HR, TravelTriangle

Sriman Narayana, Head – HR, GrabOn

Link for registration – https://bit.ly/2HT89FS

About The Author

Bhaswati Bhattacharyya is a Product Marketer at Keka, an employee experience HR platform. Passionate about economics, Bhaswati also loves storytelling. She has a keen interest in start-ups, food and travel. In her ‘me time’ she picks up fiction novels, tries different cuisines or explores routes to less-traveled places on the world map. Get in touch with her @Bhaswatibh

The post Event: Keka’s Employee Experience Talk 2019 in Association with... appeared first on Keka.

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Performance reviews are not just an indicator of an employee’s actions over the year. It also gives a view of how well the manager and organization as a whole have fared in their actions.

If you look at performance management closely, it is all about managing expectations that managers have from employees and vice versa. Managers expect certain things to be done by their subordinates, and on the basis of whether they think the required goals have been achieved or not, they go ahead and give a rating. The employee, in turn, has some expectations from their managers, which can impact his level of productivity, engagement and professional commitment. What should be considered is how can both parties be aware of what the other is feeling, and address it in the most effective way possible, without hurting any sentiments.

What is expectation management?

“Expectation” is a heavy word. We all expect things from one another. Some are fair, some aren’t.

But what we do not realize is that expectation is a two-way street, just like trust. Expecting something from another person is going to be fruitful only when the other person also feels like they are valued. If an organization expects great work from its employees, it has to understand that those very employees also want certain conditions of theirs to be met on the company’s behalf. More often than not, these conditions go beyond just mere compensation. It is when these priorities meet that growth actually starts to take place.

Robust communication to the rescue

The reasons for failure in managing expectations can be unawareness, lack of interest, or worse – misunderstanding between the two stakeholders involved. The way to avoid all of these is frequent and quality communication.

Transparent and robust communication is often the solution to most problems related to expectation management. If an otherwise high performing employee seems disengaged, sit down with them and have a frank conversation about the changes in performance. Be empathetic and ask what has led to a negative change in productivity? Do this in a safe environment, encourage open communication, offer support and do all this in a non-threatening way.

Based on whatever problem you figure out during the communication, offer suggestions or advice to help counter that. For example, if someone is feeling a sense of burnout because of a change in management style, coach the concerned manager to offer the right support to the employee.

The powder of a one-on-one

Needless to say, the interest in exploring the real issues for a lack of optimal performance need to be genuine. There will be employees who might now be willing to open up about issues they are facing. Leaders need to proactively step in here and make a difference and offer an environment of psychological safety for them to be able to trust them with their problems.

Regular one-on-ones are important and they need to be treated like a responsibility, rather than a weekly task that needs to be ticked off a list. Everyone is hard pressed for time, but through such initiatives, employee engagement indices can actually take a positive spin.

There should be avenues for facilitating open conversations between managers and employees. Both parties need to know the agenda of the meeting, and the manager in particular needs to be well prepared with the set of questions. It is critical that managers make the most of these interactions, as they will play a crucial role in understanding what the employee is experiencing in the company.

Managing expectations both ways is probably the only way we can make relationships between employers and employees work. Start thinking about the gaps that exist in your organization when it comes to expectation management and how you can fill them up using the right technology, or maybe just through a conversation over a cup of coffee.

The post How to Ace Expectation Management in the Workplace appeared first on Keka.

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No matter what it is that we do, be it investing in personal relationships, running a marathon, cooking a meal for friends or happily going to work every day – the success of it will depend on what motivates us to do it.

Motivation is what drives high levels of productivity and keeps the wheels of creativity and novelty running. With the right kind of motivation, there is almost nothing that we cannot achieve. But with the lack of motivation, even the simplest of tasks can seem like a burden.

Why motivation at work?

The mundaneness of everyday work life has been time and again of accused stealing our creative and enthusiastic spirit. Doing the same thing every day, without challenges or growth in offices can lead to a steady decline in motivation levels, day after day. The reason why this happens so very often is that employees stop identifying opportunities for personal growth or excitement in the things they are asked to do. And when your workforce is demotivated at a collective level, it is a dangerous sign.

Workplace motivation is crucial because collective goals and rewards are what makes the entire journey truly exciting. But is it not always easy for leaders to achieve this. The purpose of doing business, in general, is to exercise thoughtfulness and bring skills together to be able to solve problems. It is about ideating, creating and distributing products and services that make lives easier for someone else. How much value is placed on this proposition will define the motivation levels of your teams.

Just hiring the best of talent isn’t enough. You need to keep them motivated on a constant basis so that they do not feel drained out or worse, purposeless. This is especially true in today’s day and age where a large number of young population in the workforce are looking for purpose over security.

Here are a few ways in which you can keep your workforce motivated.

  • Take a personal interest in employee well being

Employee motivation will not work if leaders of an organization just hand over the responsibility to the HR team or just give a nod stating approval for the new employee engagement budget. Till the time they do not take a personal interest at the strategy level, it is more or less futile. This is because successful employee engagement initiatives are not done just for numbers, but it is a commitment.

Happy employees are productive. To create a workforce filled with happy employees requires a deep analysis of the current state. What employees are going through, the generic trends, the problems, and the gaps – all need to be analyzed first hand. And all this needs to come from the employee, not from just external source. And leaders have to be involved and committed to first understand the core issues hampering motivation levels, and accordingly, take suggestions for improving the same. It is the responsibility of leaders to constantly take stock of what life is like for their talent on every rung of the ladder.

  • Offer psychological safety

There cannot be any happier with mental security. Employee motivation levels are most likely to plummet when they cannot make their voices heard or when they do not feel safe to discuss their issues with their bosses or peers. Psychological safety refers to a state where people can honestly raise issues when they have any and do not feel threatened, intimidated or embarrassed to do so.

Leaders will also play the main role here by encouraging and setting the ground for a transparent workplace. Leaders must demonstrate time and again, be it in meetings, emails or everyday interactions, that they are open to feedback and welcome a culture of open communication. And they should not just say it, but also practice it through an example so that employees get convinced. The communication needs to be sparked by humility and focus on the collaborative aspect of doing business, where there is no room for the unhealthy exercise of power.

  • Empower people

There is nothing more powerful than empowerment. As a leader, when you show faith and trust in your employees, lead by example and encourage them to do their best, they will not falter. Employees should be given the freedom to pursue their goals and meet shared expectations in their own way and within reasonable guidelines. In order to be able to do this successfully, employees should also be given access to resources and guides that might help them.

Leaders have to really work towards making their talent believe in themselves. They need to be treated as their own CEO and given the kind of respect that is essential to stay motivated to do good work. Trust is a two-way street and if it is not genuine, it will not work. Treat your employees with the kind of respect and attention that will enable them to stay motivated strongly and foster thoughtfulness. Instead of telling them what to do or how to do it, be open to learning from them or listening to what they have to suggest.

The bottom line is to be available for your employees. Show up when they need you, act when there is an issue. Ensuring employee motivation does not always mean investing in expensive software and spending a lot of money and time. What it truly means is to be available and aware of what your employees are feeling.  Sometimes even a small gesture can go a long way.

The post Motivating Employees Should Be Your Top Engagement Strategy appeared first on Keka.

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The Status of Employee Wellness Programs in 2019Bhaswati BhattacharyyaJan 24, 2019
We live in good times. You know why?

Because people are finally talking about issues openly that have gone unnoticed or ignored for decades. Mental health is one such topic that is finally getting the attention it deserves. A lot of influential people including powerful leaders and celebrities have come out with their personal stories, giving hope and a voice to many others.

It has been proven over years that mental health troubles such as anxiety, stress, and depression have a tremendous effect on productivity. Prolonged exposure to such conditions can take a serious toll on our well being, making productivity dip lower with each passing day. Without easy and constant access to wellness programs, employees are going to be lethargic, disengaged and unhappy. And we all know the brunt of this on a business.

Organizations need to care about this, especially if they want to stay ahead of the curve. Ensuring employee well being is not just a strategy for growth, but also a human responsibility. Perhaps this is why employee well being is finally getting the attention it deserves and 2019 seems like the year of opening up and helping each other cope. With massive employee turnover rates, workplace-related stress and declining health of employees, it is finally being talked about.

Here are a few ways to get started in the right way:

  • It is for them, so let it be by them

There is no point in asking an external expert on how to achieve higher well-being levels without even taking a look at the heart of your organization – your employees. The answers lie with them. First, try to understand what really is going on. Do a preliminary check on the health of your organization through staff surveys. Survey data can reveal interesting trends about the workforce that can make organizations rethink not just their wellness initiatives, but also their talent management, training and engagement programs. Data-driven strategies should start with the employee.

In doing so, it is important to create a safe environment where employees can feel comfortable to express. Involve your employees for ideas as health and wellbeing is an area that interests everyone, and allows the scope for everyone to bring something to the table. A good start can be with an introductory level wellbeing workshop, where everyone can be acquainted with how they can contribute and benefit from the efforts.

  • Make it a company-wide effort

Well being programs, even though carried out by HR teams in no way mean it should just be restricted to one department. Achieving high levels of well being can only be possible if everyone in the company is educated about it, and encouraged to make their own contributions. The intrinsic motivation of talent is shifting from compensation and perks to factors such as the quality of the workplace and the value of the work. The HR function is responsible for achieving this, but without support from upper management, it will not be fruitful.

C-suite needs to take initiative and deploy actions. They need to talk about budgets and strategies allocated to wellness programs. And most importantly, look at well being from a holistic perspective, and not just a silo program focused on physical fitness or nutrition.

Each and every department should be run through an employee-centric lens. Managers should be trained to be more empathetic, and understand how to deal with employees going through a tough phase. Staff should be encouraged to talk freely about their issues with their peers. And there should be efforts aimed at connecting employees to one another and fostering collaboration.

  • Personalized offerings

What is important to remember here is that there isn’t a one size fits all approach when it comes to wellness. The kind of program you carry out will depend on your understanding of your employee needs. Once you understand the pulse of your company and the needs of your workforce, only then can you create the conditions for the employees to succeed.

With the information overload at work and home and a seemingly blurred line that separates personal and professional, employers need to pay attention to each employee’s condition. Organizations should equip themselves with the ability to offer the right resources, tools, and information to each person at the time of need. This will not only engage people but also make them feel like they are being cared for.

Your wellness resources need to be as tailored to each employee’s unique needs as possible. You should be able to analyze who needs what and aim at offering solutions to individual pain points and interests. Put in place innovative programs for financial wellness, mental health, physical fitness, exercise, sleep, stress management, mindfulness and more.

Consistent investment in employee well-being efforts will lead to marginal gains and small, incremental changes will have positive business impacts. The benefits of conducting wellness programs are multiple. From lower absenteeism rates, increased staff loyalty to higher creativity and engagement, wellness programs have a lot of advantages. But they are only going to work when planned strategically and with the right intention.

About The Author

Bhaswati Bhattacharyya is a Product Marketer at Keka, an employee experience HR platform. Passionate about economics, Bhaswati also loves storytelling. She has a keen interest in start-ups, food and travel. In her ‘me time’ she picks up fiction novels, tries different cuisines or explores routes to less-traveled places on the world map. Get in touch with her @Bhaswatibh

The post The Status of Employee Wellness Programs in 2019 appeared first on Keka.

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The importance of HR has seen a dramatic increase in the past few years, as talent becomes the number 1 priority in organizations. The rapid pace of change in the world of work is shattering stereotypes and expanding roles for the CHRO.

The role of a CHRO is one of the most important in any organization. Today, their contribution and collaboration with the CEO matter more than ever. CEOs have often been distracted from HR concerns, but 2019 is going to the year of embracing the expertise of CHROs for strategic growth. Just like the CFOs have become the new finance experts after the introduction of analytics in businesses, CHROs can help businesses build the new world of work.

Here are some of the roles that a CHRO will take over in the coming times:

  • Strategic decision making through data analytics

Data analytics is seeping into every department of an organization and HR isn’t behind. Today, organizations are defining their competitive edge by using data insights to make powerful strategies.

CHROs are also going to be catalysts in making decisions based on analytics. They have the ability to leverage data, understand its implications and use it to ask the right questions. By using data-driven insights, CHROs can build work environments that incentivize people to stay. These same insights can also help make the existing talent management strategies much more effective by knowing when to hire, whom to hire and what to implement to retain the best talent. It can also help finance teams by telling them how much compensation is adequate not just for candidate satisfaction, but also from the point of view of the company’s financial goals.

  • Diagnosing people problems

CHROs can help CEOs identify and look beyond the obvious problems. Most reasons for misses are related to people problems. The numbers seen through data should be linked with the company’s social system and how people work together.

A correct diagnosis will throw light on the right cause and also suggest a remedy. This would include factors such as reward programs, leadership quality, employee growth and more. Core issues within the organization that often go unnoticed can be pinpointed and worked upon as soon as they come to notice with the intuition and people expertise of a CHRO.

  • Setting the agenda for workplace culture

Workplace culture triumphs compensation as a factor of employee retention. The world of work is changing with a new composition of the workforce, burgeoning technologies and a scarcity of good talent. As such, the culture of a workplace has come to determine the longevity and growth of companies.

CHROs are the catalysts of the much-needed changes that existing cultures demand. Their expertise in helping a company build a culturally harmonious workplace cannot be questioned. CHROs can help organizations take diversity and inclusion seriously. The rise of a global political environment has escalated the issue of employee sensitivity to diversity and inclusion. Burning issues such as immigration challenges, nationalism, race, gender have seen a massive steer in the discussion of these topics. The engagement and awareness of such issues in social media has brought every place under scrutiny.

  • Building a new age, agile organizational structure

Organizations can no longer rely on traditional and static models to carry out their functions. An agile approach is a must to survive the competition, and CHROs should steer such initiatives. CHROs can choose the right strategies and technologies to design workforce models that can help organizations hire and retain better, adjust in real time and be dynamic in their approach.

For example, recruitment can no longer rely on old ways of sourcing, hiring and retaining talent. CHROs can take the lead in adjusting recruitment strategies in a way that fits the current gig economy of workers and full-time employees, by setting up processes that facilitate new work environments. This would include choosing and optimizing the right technology to bring all processes of HE under one umbrella and make it easier for everyone to see through it transparently. CHROs need to break down traditional models that deny the scope of flexibility and create nimble structures.

The role of CEO matters here because it is they who can give the real boost to CHROs to elevate organizations. Because let’s face it, only the CEO can elevate HR and bridge any gaps that might prevent the CHRO from becoming a strategic partner. For this, the CHRO needs to be freed from administrative and day to day activities and be given the chance to make a difference in fields related to talent management, performance, engagement and more. Such kind of support will be the foundation of a new wave of shifts in career paths for HR executives everywhere.

The post The New Role for CHROs in 2019 and Beyond appeared first on Keka.

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“Seeking and sharing feedback” — In general, we do! At work?Murali KrishnaJan 02, 2019
How long has it been since you’ve received or given feedback to someone at work?

When is the last time you have had an open discussion with your subordinates on how they were performing and how they could improve? “5–6 months ago”, “In the last performance appraisal”, “Don’t really remember!” — these are the most common answers I’ve heard. Often, we are so busy that we barely think of giving feedback to our colleagues or subordinates. However, things are quite different in our personal lives. We give and receive feedback all the time. To get a better picture of what I am referring to, let’s understand the basic and fundamental behaviour of humans.

Forget that we are managers or employees for a minute. Think from a human being’s perspective and imagine a world where feedback in any form didn’t even exist. As a kid you recite a poem in your school assembly. What if no one applauds you in the end? You plan a surprise party for your girlfriend on her birthday. What if she does not even react? Say you put in lot of effort to cook when you are hosting a party. How would you feel if none of the guests speak a word about the food. It could be very disheartening. In all these instances, you expected immediate response or reaction (feedback) for your actions. When feedback does not come or comes late, it causes restlessness and frustration. We, humans, are habituated to receive feedback for everything we do. It is deeply ingrained in our nature and emotions. But, when it comes to work we barely receive feedback — be it from managers or peers. (On a different note, most of the times even we too are not proactive in seeking feedback.) In most of the companies the only feedback that employees receive is during appraisals that happen once or at most twice in a year. Unfortunately, there is huge misalignment between the human nature and the feedback practices we follow at work.

As a manager, if you don’t give timely feedback to your employees, they work in a direction which they assume is right. Later, if they realise that the work they’ve accomplished is not what you expected, they will surely get frustrated. This obviously can have devastating effects — starting from employee demotivation to poor performance and ultimately leading to attrition. In such cases, timely feedback can make a lot of difference. I’m sure most of the employees would rectify their actions the moment they receive feedback.

Humans can neither progress nor improve without feedback. Similarly, an organisation (which is obviously a group of people) cannot progress without ‘feedback’ being a part of its culture. Many organisations around the globe are already taking steps to inculcate such open culture where employees are given feedback on a regular basis. The closer the practices are to human nature, the better are the yields. After all, the habit of expecting feedback is something not new but has been in existence for thousands of years.

About The Author

Murali Krishna is a Product Manager at Keka – a one-stop HR software solution for HRIS, Talent Management, and Payroll needs. He loves software domain and is passionate about building new products. Over the past few years, he has developed a keen interest in the HR domain, specifically in Talent Management. Murali has bachelor’s from BITS Pilani and an MBA degree from Indian School of Business.

The post “Seeking and sharing feedback” — In general, we do! At ... appeared first on Keka.

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Another year is over and a lot has happened in the employee engagement space in HR. There was a positive spin last year with employee engagement matching its all-time high as per Aon’s report in 2018. This rebound from a dip since 2012 was largely seen to be driven by the biggest markets in Asia and in Africa.

With a positive change like this, the importance of what employee engagement will be like in the future is starting to get an overwhelming curiosity. The most important development is the shift of power to the employees who are more demanding than ever. They want more exposure to senior leadership, strengthening of skills and continuous career growth, among a host of other benefits.

The shift in the understanding of employee engagement

For most of the years, employee engagement as a term has been confused with happiness or satisfaction. Because of this misunderstanding, efforts towards creating engagement kept getting concentrated towards superficial ideas. Remember that whole era of ping-pong tables and beer Fridays? It was soon realized that temporary spurts of happiness do not ensure long-term commitment.

Engagement is a far more psychological concept. It is the level of emotional investment that an employee voluntarily is willing to put in towards the growth of his company. And this level gets defined by each and every small incident that he experiences in a day at work. The drivers of employee engagement can vary from basics such as job security to something as complicated and diverse as a culture. Each of these areas is mutually exclusive and equally important.

Let’s take a look at the trends in employee engagement that 2019 is most likely to witness:

  1. Collaboration

In Deloitte’s Global Human Trends Report of 2017, 94% of respondents reported that “agility and collaboration” are critical to their organizations’ success. Organizations are increasingly becoming team-centric and collaboration matters more than ever in today’s world. This is why we see such an explosion in the market for collaborative tools and technologies.

study by Stanford found that even the mere perception of working collectively on a task can supercharge our performance. In the research, participants who were primed to act collaboratively were found to stick to their task 64 percent longer than those who worked in silos. The collaborative group also reported higher engagement, lower fatigue levels, and higher success.

In 2019, organizations will move towards supporting and promoting a collaborative working space. Leaders and senior staff will have to step in and play an active role in building values that can ensure collaboration. The entire way an organization works, right from the attitudes of leaders, behavior, the systems in place, all will be looked at from a fresh perspective in order to enable a collaborative environment.

  1. Diversity and inclusion

The rise of the global political environment has escalated the issue of employee sensitivity to diversity and inclusion. Terms like diversity and inclusion are no longer just big words being used for debates, but these very terms have now come to impact brands, corporate goals as well as the performance of employees.

Companies like Facebook, Salesforce, and others are publicly highlighting gender equality and addressing it as a strong issue. The world today consists of people who are highly aware of the complexity of such issues. This is why major companies are always under the scrutiny of whether they discriminate against any particular identities.

Inclusion matters even more to millennials as they want companies to listen to them at work. Hence, it has become imperative for organizations to pay heed to this burning issue, ensuring that they invest in diversity and inclusion efforts. 2019 will see a lot of global initiatives in making working environments sensitive to such issues. If companies want to retain their millennial talent, they have to align their approach with their expectations of inclusion.

  1. Advanced performance management tools

Harvard Business Review surveyed over 400,000 U.S. workers in 2017 and found that when people believe promotions are managed effectively, they are more than twice as likely to give effort at work and to plan a long-term future with their company. The way performance is being managed in companies will be pondered upon even more seriously in 2019.

Organizations are slowly realizing that getting rid of ratings altogether and the absence of a measurable rating system does not aid in effective compensation planning. The way to go is feedback, learning and growth for employees in a systematic and acceptable manner.

This year will see further innovations and investment in performance-enhancing tools around continuous feedback, goal management, and manager training, giving rise to new examples of successful ways to manage performance with an aim to enhance employee engagement.

  1. Rewards and recognition

Over the years, health benefits, a raise once a year and vacation time pretty much were what counted as “benefits.” There is clearly no room for such practices in 2019.

Today’s organizations face a much bigger challenge of catering to a workforce that has grown up in a way to naturally have a completely opposite set of expectations. Employee rewards matter more than they ever did. And leaders now understand that rewards need to be agile, holistic and personalized. Giving strategic importance to reward programs is going to become a priority as that is one way of retaining the best of talent. Category leaders are now emphasizing on creating rewards that are delivered more continuously, and that take into account an employee’s contribution to his team and organization as a whole. And this goes beyond work but also focuses on creating learning opportunities and helping employees grow.

  1. Work-life balance

In the last two years, more than $2 billion has been invested in venture capital in the well-being market. All of this goes into creating a suite of online videos, applications, and tools that help people through stress and improve their mental and emotional health. Global corporate wellness market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 5.5% CAGR to reach revenue of $63.26 billion by 2022, as per a recent study from IndustryARC.

What has led to this demand from workers and society at large is the presence and acknowledgment of a huge amount of stress at work. Studies have shown that more than 40% of all workers face high stress in their jobs, the negative effects of which spill over to other areas of their lives. Missing targets, tight deadlines, pressure, office politics and long working hours have made most workers lives miserable. This makes them question a lot of things about their work lives, and even their existence. The latest example is that of the city of Mumbai in India, where a jaw-dropping 31% of professionals suffer from stress.

Organizations have started understanding the importance of such holistic wellness programs. According to Deloitte’s survey, Global Human Capital Trends Report 2018, two-thirds of organizations now state that well-being programs are a critical part of their employment brand and culture. However, it also states that there is a huge gap between what organizations are offering and what employees actually expect or value.

  1. Quality of senior leadership

According to the Global Human Capital Trends Report, 2018, people are frustrated that financial gains have failed to improve individual lives, offer political stability or address social issues. People have less trust in their political and social institutions which is why they are turning to business leaders to fill the void.

People are increasingly turning to the private sector and asking that companies respond to broader societal challenges and demanding that organizations serve a social purpose.

~ Laurence Fink, CEO – BlackRock

The 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer reported that people worldwide place 52 percent trust in businesses to do what is right. The same trust placed on the government is 43 percent. People are increasingly losing faith in their political systems, and shifting their focus to business leaders. Large organizations are expected to do them but and contribute to social causes such as income inequality, health care, diversity, gender disparity and the like.

Such expectations are causing tremendous pressure on organizations, but also creating opportunities. Large organizations are focusing on their contribution towards creating a positive relationship with their internal and external environment and tackling social issues that need pressing attention.

The hyper-connected nature of workplace presents the opportunity to analyze the data related to interactions among workers and the outside world. It also means treating the workers and everyone outside the system in a fair and just manner. Expectations are no longer just about financial growth, but also in the physical and mental spheres of employees.

Thoughts, comments, suggestions? Let us know in the comments section!

The post Top Employee Engagement Trends for 2019 appeared first on Keka.

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