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If you want your employees to bring in their best versions at work, gear up your managers to become effective coaches.

To make this happen, senior leadership must come forward and commit themselves to develop their employees through effective training and coaching and holding managers accountable for giving regular feedback to their subordinates.

If performance reviews are treated as a mere activity to be ticked off a list, it might as well not happen. Conducting effective reviews involves real work, a deep look at the psyche and skills of an employee, and figuring out what he is best with, what can be improved and what needs to be discontinued.

There is a lot of human understanding involved in this process and it requires a significant emotional investment in the well being of an employee. If the interest shown in developing employees is not genuine, it will lead to an utter wastage of resources and time.

Employees are also smart and their expectations have increased with time. Technology has put them in the driver’s seat and it is very easy for them to lose interest if they do not see growth happening. And poorly conducted annual reviews with form fill-ups and forced discussions are in no way going to convince your talent to stay.

It’s easier said than done

Managers turning into great coaches sounds like a good thing to have. But achieving this is a huge challenge.

Firstly, managers do not have the required tools and techniques to develop into the coaches they need to be. In order to be able to pass on information to an employee that actually inspires him to do more requires training, experience, time and a certain level of knowledge. In most cases, managers do not even consider giving inspiring feedback as a part of their job description.

In cases where managers do have the right coaching skills, they may not be willing or able to take out time from their hectic schedules to undertake such an effort. This is where the role of leadership seeps in, who have to hold managers accountable to contribute to developing employees. Senior leadership must commit to this cause and lead by setting an example.

Performance management tools

Instead of focusing on numbers and ranks, performance reviews should become more about dialogue and open communication. Employees should be coached on areas they need improvement on and also rewarded for great performance. These interactions need to be regular and in real time so that the gratification is also instant. Focusing on events that happened months ago will never really inspire anyone.

Along with regular and real-time feedback, leaders should also make way for structured coaching instruction for managers. This should be by outside experts who are pioneers in the field and who know how to transfer practical knowledge to a group of professionals. These experts will also be able to provide a unified perspective on developing employees and offer your team with the tools, templates, and processes to make them better coaches. Having regular coaching conversation with experts and each other will help managers hone their skills and understand the art of giving feedback.

Putting the employee at the center

Once the managers have the adequate skills and training to coach their employees and have been held accountable for doing so, the main thing to ensure is that all these actions are centered around the employee’s development.

The feedback and coaching given to employees must pertain to his roles and responsibilities and the actual work that has been done. There is a huge misalignment in feedback given and actual feedback required. According to Gallup, 41 percent of employees strongly agree that their job description aligns well with the work they are asked to do. This is why job responsibilities need to be aligned with accountability. Management expectations should align with the employee’s work.

Managers need to be very well aware of the work their employees are doing. They need to focus on now and the future, and not on the past. Preparation is also required in order to have the best conversations from time to time, along with leadership skills such as the ability to listen and be genuinely interested in the employee’s well being and performance enhancement. Feedback should be backed by examples to make it more impactful and memorable.

A culture of engagement starts at the top, and senior leadership needs to approach it from a backward-looking performance evaluation to a forward-looking performance development. And coaching by managers can be a great step forward.

Such an approach to performance reviews will reduce the flight or flight response of human beings to feedback. Ongoing, encouraging, goal-oriented and meaningful conversations that celebrate achievements and develop skills will enable organizations to win their employees trust and shift their focus on their true development. The sooner this shift is made, the better it is going to be.

The post Annual Reviews are Stunting Employee Engagement appeared first on Keka.

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4 Ways Technology Can Make HR Teams More ProductiveDean MathewsOct 18, 2018
Productivity has always been a hot topic among HR professionals, especially with the increasing demands of the modern workplace, causing burnout rates to rise.

Case in point: Human resources manager and author Ingrid Vaughan shares her story about her battle against burnout:

“Working in human resources I have worn many hats: recruiting, hiring, coaching, training, program development, employee retention and culture development, to name a few. In my current role, I do all these things.

At 10:00 a.m., sitting in front of my computer with a lengthy to-do list, I was already exhausted. For months I’d been struggling with fatigue and a deep sadness that permeated everything in my life. It had gotten harder and harder to find the mental focus and physical energy to put in a day’s work.”

Experts have recognized burnout as a real threat to HR managers. This difficult experience is most likely shared by hundreds of other HR managers who are now fulfilling several responsibilities that used to be shared by several HR personnel.  

That said, HR managers are constantly searching for ways to be more productive, to get more done within the ideal 40-hour work week without sacrificing their health or their work-life balance.

Technology to the Rescue

Arguably, one of the biggest defining elements in modern workplaces is the use of technology to help accomplish a multitude of tasks. Technology was initially used in manufacturing and today, is pivotal within many industries.

Applications and programs specifically created to help HR managers perform their tasks more efficiently have existed for years. However, they have only taken center stage in recent years when productivity became a major concern among HR professionals.

For organizations who are still on the fence whether investing in HR productivity software is worthwhile, here are 4 key productivity benefits that can help:

1. Streamline Recruitment

HR managers know that in order to attract the best candidates, a company needs to have a streamlined recruitment process. In today’s competitive labor market where several businesses are fighting for a very limited talent pool, providing a positive recruitment experience to candidates is a company’s way of putting its best foot forward.

Here are just a few ways how technology can improve the application experience for candidates while helping HR managers be more productive during the recruitment process:

  • Go Paperless. Instead of asking candidates to bring a printed resume, send them a form they can fill out in advance. This decreases the paperwork that needs to be done on site and makes the start of the recruitment journey smoother. For HR managers, there’s no longer a need to manually check data accuracy as the candidates can do this themselves.
  • One Recruitment Portal. Integrated HR technologies allow HR managers to do everything in one place — from creating job ads to screening candidates — saving them a lot of time.
  • Pre-selection. Technology allows recruiters to automate many screening processes including personality tests and dynamic pre-interview questions. This makes it easier for HR managers to pick candidates who are the best fit before the actual face-to-face interview. At the same time, candidates go into interviews knowing they already passed an initial screening process.
2. Create a More Positive Onboarding Experience

Onboarding new employees may seem like a mundane task, but it’s an important responsibility that HR managers need to do well. Onboarding sets the landscape for newcomers and is a crucial element in creating a positive employee experience. Onboarding is also the stage when employees submit important forms for labor laws compliance, and many errors are made during this stage.

The importance of onboarding is clear, however, for time-crunched HR managers, it usually takes a backseat or delegated to someone else. Most of the time, this results in more inefficiencies, errors in important documents, and creates a negative experience for new hires.

So, how can technology help in creating a more efficient onboarding process?

  • Automate the paperwork. Onboarding is the stage where new hires get familiarized with office policies and procedures. This is also when they fill out important documents like W-4, I-9, and benefit enrollments. With technology, new hires can accomplish these forms days before their first day on the job. The best HR software includes verification functionalities to ensure consistency and accuracy across the documents submitted, ensuring compliance from day one. HR managers no longer have to spend time correcting errors in the paperwork. At the same time, this can accelerate the onboarding process.
  • Self-service onboarding portal. As soon as a candidate accepts the job offer, HR managers can give them access to the company’s self-guided onboarding portal. This allows new hires to review important company policies at their own pace before they start. This includes policies on workplace behavior and expectations, sick leave, dress code, overtime hours, and workplace safety just to name a few. These self-service onboarding portals can include wikis, webinars, videos, and other manuals. This increases employee engagement while decreasing the workload of HR managers if they were to provide this information face-to-face.
  • Personalized onboarding experience. Personalizing the onboarding experience for each employee is impossible without technology. A personalized onboarding portal can include a friendly note from the CEO, welcome messages from teammates, audiovisual presentations about the company’s history and traditions, and a virtual pep talk explaining how the role of new hires contributes to the mission-vision of the company. This builds culture even before new employees step inside the office.
3. Take the Pain Out of Payroll

Payroll is arguably one of the stressful periods among HR professionals. Every payroll entails a high level of accuracy and compliance with local, national, and international labor laws.

Unfortunately, many companies still use manual and outdated payroll systems when automated payroll technology has been in existence for several years. The American Payroll Association (APA) reports that nearly 29% of HR professionals are using payroll tools that are 10 years old or even more outdated.

As a result, many HR managers are sacrificing accuracy just to get more things done. Research from the Workforce Institute revealed that 51% of HR practitioners cut corners, thereby jeopardizing compliance with labor laws.

Additionally, incorrect and late payroll increases a company’s employee turnover rate. Almost 50% of employees will look for a different job after just two payroll mistake instances.

However, it would be unfair to crucify HR managers for these payroll mistakes given the many hats they have to wear daily. This is why payroll solutions equipped with the latest technology are a worthwhile investment for any company.

  • Accurate time tracking. The amount of time HR professionals spend in manually reviewing timesheets is well documented. According to research, it takes about 5 to 6 minutes to audit each timecard. In a big company, this adds up. Even HR managers who work in medium-sized organizations can waste hours reviewing timesheets manually. Cost-efficient time tracking software has been available for years. This allows employees to track their time more accurately and for HR managers to verify the accuracy of these time entries in just a few clicks.
  • Ensure 100% Compliance. Aside from time tracking automation, advanced payroll systems allow HR managers to stay on top of other things such as 401(k) contributions, PTO accruals, tax deductions, and overtime payments. HR managers can also setup event alerts to ensure compliance with ACA and FLSA regulations.
4. Supercharge Employee Training and Development

Great HR managers are able to shape great employees. However, sustainable employee development is often neglected. Without clearly defined and personalized training programs, companies are at risk of losing top talent.

Embracing technology helps HR managers focus on workforce development without spending too much time crafting training programs.

  • Delegate training to immediate supervisors. With technology, HR managers can create a training kiosk for each supervisor/manager. The manager then chooses the training programs or trainings for his team members to take. HR will help monitor, supervise, and source training programs that are not yet available on the kiosk. By using this strategy, training and development become a shared responsibility in the company, not just of HR managers.
  • Better measurement of training effectiveness. According to studies, 55% of companies do not measure the effectiveness of the training programs they provide to employees. This is a productivity sinkhole as HR might be providing training that does not have a concrete impact on the company. With technology, data is available in almost real-time and HR managers are able to measure the effectiveness of the training they provide to employees. As such, they can focus on providing programs that bring a positive impact to their organization.
Finally, HR Managers Can Catch Their Breath

Productivity is all about getting as much work done with the least amount of time and energy. Oftentimes, this is not the case among HR managers who are multi-tasking to meet the demands of the company. They try to accomplish more by spending more time in the office, often resulting in poor quality work, inaccuracies, and burnout.

Investing in technology is the most sensible solution companies can take to make their HR departments more productive. There are several options that will fit specific needs and budgets. The ROI on these technologies are long-term and far-reaching.

Technology-aided productivity will be the defining characteristic of successful HR departments. Companies have the option to keep up or get left behind.

About The Author

Dean Mathews is the founder and CEO of OnTheClock, an online employee time tracking app that helps over 8,000 companies all around the world track time. Dean has over 20 years of experience designing and developing business apps. He views software development as a form of art. If the artist creates a masterpiece, many peoples lives are touched and changed for the better. When he is not perfecting time tracking, Dean enjoys expanding his faith, spending time with family, friends and finding ways to make the world just a little better. You can find Dean on LinkedIn.

The post 4 Ways Technology Can Make HR Teams More Productive appeared first on Keka.

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Why One-On-One Meetings?SarathOct 17, 2018
“When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.” – Simon Sinek

Building a good rapport is a fundamental technique to gain an employee’s trust and confidence. It is a basic rule for a manager to have an open and regular communication with the employees to keep them happy and motivated. There should be an activity for them to express themselves after those long working hours. This makes them engage more with a pumped up feeling to contribute. These one-on-ones are so valuable and an employee can bring you a buck more.

How this helps:-

One-on-ones provide an obvious feedback on various issues through direct interaction with the employee. As a whole, you can gather definite aspects, also sometimes employees bring out loopholes thereby you can take steps to improvise on them. These surely play a key role in the growth of the organization.

This helps a manager in,

  • Keeping his people focused and engaged
  • Creating a room for an open discussion
  • The excellent mechanism for the flow of ideas and information
  • Understanding the opinions of the employee

One on one meeting is great for team members in,

  • Having an opportunity to get inputs and learn
  • Strengthening relationship with their manager
  • Expressing their views and issues that bother them
  • Re-aligning themselves with the team and company goals

Millennials Love One-on-Ones :-

Millennials are hyper-scheduled. Since they are newbies one-on-one meetings with them should be every day or weekly or monthly to have a better understanding of what is in their mind. For a successful one on one, some tips to follow include

  • Asking questions to foster communication also to break the ice.
  • Communication should be both ways which mean you shouldn’t be dominating the discussion.
  • Linking up with stats of performance and summary of the previous meeting would help in easy flow and a better understanding of information.

How To Kickstart The Perfect One On One Meetings :-

If you are totally unaware of these one-on-one meetings, then you should really make up mind to start them. Also, you need a planned approach to have a successful one. There are few things to keep in mind to avoid a few predicaments.

“Quality is more important than quantity” – Having so many meetings won’t get you anything if there is no ‘proper orientation and agenda’ towards it.

Recurring Meeting With Each Employee :-

Every employee needs to have a one-on-one meeting with their reporting manager. For a manager, there could be different subordinates such as staff, veterans, millennials or low-level managers. It should be seen that there is a right frequency for meeting each person. Sometimes, it might become difficult to reach out to all of them. Hence, there should be a definite planning.

  • Team Size :- The more the size of your team, the lesser it becomes to meet the same person every time for a one-on-one. Managing a bigger team becomes a constraint. Also, realize that with proper scheduling there will be time left to cover this gap. Avoiding topics that aren’t really necessary during the meeting would leave time to catch up with others.
  • Millennials or Veterans :- A new employee or recently promoted existing employee in the company needs coaching and guidance regarding their roles and responsibilities. So, you need to make time for meetings with them as frequent as possible (ideally every week or two). Change the frequency of meeting depending on their roles and their familiarity with it.
  • Your Schedule :- As a manager if you travel a lot or busy in other meetings then it limits your interaction with the team. You need to schedule such that you can meet them at least a month otherwise, you will miss out on a lot of valuable information from them. Also, it creates a bad impression as not giving them a voice to express. So always make sure to adjust your calendar for them

Planning Them Right :-

Now that you’ve got an idea on how to conduct one-on-one often, you need to set some things up regarding its characteristics.

  • Meeting Duration :- If you want to squeeze out full value from one-on-one meetings then you got to invest your time. It should neither be too long nor too short. A minimum of 30 minutes to a maximum of 1 hour would be the ideal duration for the meeting. If your time doesn’t support, then reschedule it to another time but don’t cancel it. Cancelling makes you miss out on the information that’s most necessary, also it makes your team feel that you don’t value them.
  • Place :- All the discussions could not be done at the desk. Sometimes employees might feel insecure talking about some issues. So, having the conversation in private (like in conference room, going to the café or eating together) will encourage them to open up even more. This way it also creates a positive notion about their manager.

Announcing the New One-On-One Plan to Team :-

Usually, people create a fear in them whenever they come to know that there’s meeting. They feel so attacked thinking that it’s about something they’ve done wrong. It’s the manager’s duty to take that way by giving them announcements with clearly stated objectives. This way it would be easier for employee afterward and would get better with a series of meetings.

Do’s & Don’ts :-

  • Don’t Schedule Spontaneously :- The employee should be notified prior to the date of the meeting. Make a proper schedule that fits yours and your employee’s time and to maintain the frequency of meeting the same employee on a recurring period.
  • Be Talkative & Friendly :- When in meeting blur the lines between employer and employee by posing pleasant questions and being a good listener. Be the talkative person instead of giving place to awkward silence. Do not dominate the discussion, let your employee take over and see how issues are reflected honestly. It makes them feel more secure, and you will have their trust and confidence.
  • Bring out other topics :- You need to create an interest in them. Talk about their career interests and development, give guidance or try helping them out instead of asking status updates, projects progress and all. You should effectively utilize the time by completely involving each other in it.

KEKA is one of the best HRMS portal available in the market. With KEKA you can arrange the meetings with employees for a specific date, time, duration with ease and can also edit afterward. It also provides flexibility of storing and viewing the past reports of previous one on one meetings.

About The Author

Sarath is a Marketing Executive at Keka HR. He is a tech geek and is passionate to write. Plays guitar and a slight introvert by nature. He can’t keep calm when he’s around birds he just loves them a little much. He gets inspiration from nature and is creative when it comes to art.

The post Why One-On-One Meetings? appeared first on Keka.

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Up until a decade ago, company culture was a term mostly discussed behind closed conference doors by HR leaders. The game has massively changed today, as culture reigns among the top indicators of employee performance and organizational growth.

Employees have come to expect a great culture, along with benefits and perks when they join an organization. Several international platforms such as Glassdoor and LinkedIn have increased transparency on a global level with reviews and ratings for everyone to see. This has made organizations much more vulnerable and open to scrutiny than they ever were. Negative culture is something that makes rounds very quickly. There have been a lot of stories circling over the internet about toxic corporate cultures, which have affected companies badly. Amazon’s culture was described as “bruising” by a New York Times article, and Uber’s culture as aggressive and unrestrained.

But there are also companies which have understood that culture goes beyond superficial elements like ping pong tables and beer Fridays. Culture is about keeping people happy, helping them grow and feeling valued. When people are happy, they are likely to be more productive and high performers.

While there is a no one-size-fits-all approach to company culture, there is no harm in taking inspiration. Here are the top picks from us:

  1. Netflix

Netflix is not just a streaming juggernaut redefining the way we experience entertainment, but has been time and again mentioned as the best place to work. Its commonsense approach to culture, as they call it, has inspired many organizations worldwide.

The reason for such a business transformation of Netflix is often attributed to its positive work culture. The company’s chief talent officer at the time, Patty McCord had redefined the way company cultures are built, by listening to people rather than following established models. Instead of listing the company’s core values like every other organization, McCord went ahead and decided to write down the things that the company valued, and what they expected from their people. For instance, if the company wanted courageous employees, they made sure employees know what “courage” looked like and didn’t look like.

How do you get a seat at the table? You earn it. How do you get recognition? You do something that’s worth recognizing.

~ Patty Mc Cord, Former Chief Talent Officer, Netflix

Netflix’s culture is one that demands self-sufficient employees who feel responsible towards the company, who are accountable and who practice innovation. The leaders of the company took many risks, refused to follow what the world was following, and created a culture unique to their own company.

Employees at Netflix aren’t judged by the number of hours worked, but rather evaluated on the basis of their abilities and accomplishments. They are given the responsibility of policing themselves and being self-sufficient, basically treated as adults. This has worked well in terms of creating accountability and not burning employees out. Given the freedom and flexibility, employees are productive, responsible and happy, and the business results are pretty much in front of us.

  1. Asana

Asana is known to have one of the best company cultures in the tech world. The current founders who are former Google and Facebook employees made culture a priority from the very beginning. The result – a rare perfect rating on Glassdoor and a spot on Glassdoor’s Top 10 Best Places to Work in 2017.

Asana’s founders Dustin Moskovitz and Justin Rosenstein made culture as big a priority as the product from the first day itself. They created core values which included things like a healthy work-life balance, inclusiveness, embracing mindfulness and equanimity, taking responsibility and open, honest communication at all times.

They managed to achieve this by treating culture as a product. They looked at culture as something that needs to be created with the utmost thought, dedication, and team effort, just like any product. It also needs to be tested and retested, to ensure the perfect version has been achieved.

“Even if companies are just out there to make money, they should still invest in culture. Treating each other well, being respectful to each other, building a culture you actually want to live in, these are all things that make people happier, and in the end, more productive.”

~ Justin Rosenstein. Co Founder, Asana

They ensured that employees from various departments met on a regular basis to openly discuss where they are at from a cultural standpoint. The feedback would then be taken into consideration and changes would be implemented on a mutual basis. Asana also actively surveyed their people on an anonymous as well as one-on-one level. This information was spread on a transparent level to one and all, and changes made after taking everyone’s opinion into account.

  1. Zappos

A recent winner of the prestigious WorldBlu Freedom-Centered Workplace Award, Zappos has been setting higher standards for company culture with each passing year.

Since its inception, Zappos has tried to live by its foundational value of delivering happiness to customers, employees, and vendors. Ensuring these three elements automatically took care of profits.

Zappos has ten core values –

  • Deliver WOW Through Service
  • Embrace and Drive Change
  • Create Fun and a Little Weirdness
  • Be Adventurous, Creative and Open-Minded
  • Pursue Growth and Learning
  • Build Open and Honest Relationships with Communication
  • Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
  • Do More with Less
  • Be Passionate and Determined
  • Be Humble

These ten core values have been treated as assets. Recruitment is also done on the basis of the cultural fit rather than a job fit. People are hired on the basis of how well they relate to these values and how much they mean to them.

The cultural fir interview carries half the weight of whether the candidate is hired. Cultural fir is given as much importance as the qualifications and experience of the candidate. New employees are in fact offered $4000 to quit after the first week of training if they realize or decide the job is not for them.

Promotions and employee raises come from building capacities and skills. Every employee has to pass a skill test for any pay raise. Performance evaluation also happens on the basis of adherence to core values. One manager, employee or office politics is not the basis for raises. Portions of budgets are kept aside for team building efforts and employee development.

“It’s important to check in with our employees and make sure Zappos is working for them as much as they’re working for Zappos. “We’re committed to operating as a self-managed company and a big part of that is making sure employees feel empowered to make changes in the organization, especially as they affect our customers.”

~ Jamie Naughton, Zappos Chief of Staff

Zappos proves that when you get company culture right, great customer service and a great brand become automatic results. It publishes an annual 480-page Culture Book which highlights unedited versions of existing employees work experiences and their understanding of Zappos culture.

  1. NextJump

Rated as Johns Hopkins Top 3 Healthiest Workplaces apart from many other recognitions, NextJump has taken employee wellness to a whole new level. Despite having a successful business, what NextJump is more known for is its unusual culture.

Harvard researchers Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow call NextJump a “deliberately developmental organization.” This means that NextJump puts as much emphasis on helping employees learn and grow as humans as it does on any business or revenue goal. Because they invest so much in their people, they reap more profits, have more satisfied and functional teams and display more innovation than other companies.

Charlie Kim, CEO at NextJump, has also redefined leadership in a lot of ways. While comparing leadership to parenting, he asks if your family is going through a hard time, will you lay off one of your children? The answer to this is obviously no. Simon Sinek also talks about this in one of his TED talks on great leaders.

If a child in a family comes home with a D, parents will most likely try their best to present him or her with opportunities to do better the next time and in future. However, this is not the case in businesses. If an employee does not have a satisfactory performance (which is mostly judged on the basis of unfair and subjective performance reviews), that employee has a higher likelihood of being laid off. Organizations which operate on such principles do not have great leaders.

Charlie Kim also introduced a lifetime employment policy at NextJump which states that an employee can never get fired because of performance issues. If at all there is a lack of optimal performance, that employee will be hand-held, guided, coached and given all those opportunities that can help him become a better professional.

The key here is to hire the right people so that organizations are sure from the very start about the potential of a candidate. Smart and thoughtful recruitment is extremely crucial and organizations need to do this better so that they are sure of who they are giving a chance to, from the very beginning.

Charlie Kim: Why culture is your most important strategy - YouTube

What seems to be common in all these successful companies is the emphasis given to cultural fit, exceptional leadership and the consistent drive towards making employees better and happier. The focus is always on people over profits. Business is definitely a human endeavor.

Something to learn from, perhaps?

The post 4 Companies That Have Solved the Culture Puzzle appeared first on Keka.

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Imagine the following situation. There is a new product launch next month and you just come back from a meeting for it. Goals have been assigned, deadlines have been set, and everything needs to get moving right now. You meet again next week, but half of the team members are confused about their goals, there is no clarity about outcomes and overall, it is a mess. Sounds familiar?

The truth is, the only way to stay in the game for the long run in such competitive times is by constantly innovating. This requires creative teams in companies who have the tools to develop cut throat work. And creativity cannot be bought.

Even if you have the best talent on board, ensuring that they bring their best to work every day is a completely new challenge altogether. And an even bigger challenge? Ensuring that these talented folks are willing to collaborate and work together in harmony to create valuable products and services.

The best places to work are those that offer a creative and collaborative environment to their employees. And this does not mean superficial and temporary attempts such as foosball tables or coffee lounges alone. Creating a collaborative environment requires research and constant effort. Employees need to be given what they need so that they can be productive. Modern businesses need to find ways to encourage collaboration at all costs.

There is a lot of research that has been done in this field that proves that effective collaboration leads to enhanced performance. A 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.

There was another study that examined over 1100 companies that found that companies that promoted collaborative working were 5 times as likely to be high performing!

If you are trying to up the performance game for your employees, ensuring collaboration should be your top priority. Here are some ways to do it:

  1. Make meetings count

9 out of 10 people daydream in meetings. This is because most of the meetings have no clear agendas set, do not let everyone contribute or are just plain boring!

Without a clear agenda and an early update for meetings, they become nothing but a waste of time and resources. Not to mention the frustration and mental fatigue that it causes in employees.

The idea behind conducting meetings is to ensure everyone has a heads up on latest developments, and also a common platform where everyone can contribute their ideas and opinions. Effective meetings are a rarity and they help build team spirit and coherence.

If you want your employees to collaborate, make sure clear agendas are set out well in advance before meetings happen. Following a detailed agenda and starting on time can reduce meeting times up to 80%. Make sure you let everyone know of the agenda way in advance so that everyone can come prepared. Be a leader who listens and encourages active participation by all. Most importantly, keep meetings short and to the point.

  1. Work on physical space

The physical space in offices also plays a great role in creating an engaged workforce. A lot of organizations are innovating their office spaces in a way that can foster happiness and productivity through collaboration.

Photo by Shridhar Gupta on Unsplash

Several innovative office spaces are coming up that uses space efficiently. Even a small factor such as access to natural light, some color pop or having private rooms and increase employee satisfaction and productivity.

The idea is to not make employees get tied to their desks.  Innovative workspaces also shake things up by inspiring people to do more. Workspaces should allow people to come together from different departments and bounce off ideas to solve problems with each other, instead of working in silos.

  1. Stay united

Collaboration requires unity among team members. Without team members standing up for each other in times of crisis or supporting each other on a regular basis, collaboration can start to seem like a utopian concept.

Everybody wants to work with people they can trust and learn from at the same time. Only when people trust each other will they be able to build the foundation of any successful relationship. As a leader, you should be able to keep trust alive through actions and take care that it does not shatter.

A high sense of trust would make employees feel safe and secure with each other. This will eliminate negative elements and conflicts at work and lead to higher productivity and improved morale. Make sure every team member is empowered and given full ownership of tasks. Put teams together and allow them to make mutual decisions through brainstorming sessions and interactions.

  1. Robust communication

There is no problem that transparent communication cannot solve. Collaboration refers to bringing diverse people with different skill sets, beliefs and attitudes together. Conflict and misunderstanding is bound to happen. But harmony can only prevail when everyone is treated fairly and given an equal status.

Make sure robust communication is an indispensable element in your interactions with team members. Whenever there is an update about any development, make sure everyone is told the same thing so that there are no feelings of exclusion. Along with this, also offer a safe environment where employees can also feel confident to voice their own concerns openly.

  1. Choose collaboration over competition

For decades, the foundation of performance management practices has been the rating system, which, if loosely put, is pitting one employee against the other on the basis of a number. While healthy competition can lead to inspiration, too much comparison on the basis of scores can lead to an unhealthy attitude towards a colleague’s success.

Instead of focusing on such age-old practices, leaders should instead opt for a mindset that focuses on identifying the unique strengths of each employee and contribute to projects accordingly. Instead of creating competitiveness between team members, the goal should be to bring them together to solve larger goals and add a much higher value to a cause that matters. This will open up new possibilities of discovering new avenues for growth.

Always speak positively about different departments and cite examples of how well they have done as a team. Celebrate team success and go out of your way to support cross-functional collaboration through recognition and interaction.

Working with people we like and respect makes a lot of difference to the way we view work. We have all been in situations where we have worked with peers we admire or those we have no liking for.

Organizations need to ensure that they work towards supporting and promoting a collaborative working space. This is not an easy task, and requires leaders and senior staff to step in and play and active role in building values that can ensure collaboration. The entire way an organization works, right from attitudes of leaders, behavior, the systems in place, all play a crucial role in enabling or destroying a collaborative environment.

The post This Workplace Element Can Increase Collective Performance of Emp... appeared first on Keka.

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CORE HRIS 1. Assets Option to Bulk Import Asset:

You can bulk import assets through below path:

Org >> Assets >>Bulk Import.

Points to note:

All fields which are marked in Red are mandatory to add an asset.
Reason is mandatory to add an asset with status as ‘Not Available’.
Employee Number and Assigned on dates are mandatory to add an asset with status as ‘Assigned’.
Select correct Category and Asset type which are added in UI to avoid errors.  It is required to add new assets through import before which you have to create all categories and asset types required. We can’t update the existing assets with this import, rather this can be used only for new assets.

Asset Report:

You can now download an asset report from the path Org >> Assets >> Asset list.
Though this option is provided within each asset type, the report contains assets from all categories.

2. Login & Email Notification:

With the help of this report, Global Admin/ HR Manager/ HR Executive can see the Login and Email Status of the Employees. This will help you identify the reason for email delivery failure if an employee didn’t receive any email from Keka.

This report can be accessed through the path – Org > Employees > Logins > Login Registrations.

3. Employee Exit Notification

An email will be sent to the Reporting Manager, HR Manager, HR Executive, and Payroll Admin if an exit is initiated for any employee.

WORKFORCE MANAGEMENT 1. Introducing Shift Groups

You can now create simple or rotational shifts using this feature to manage your workforce efficiently.
i) Simple shift refers to single shift which resembles the old shift and week-off setup.
ii) Rotation shift can be created with a minimum of 2 shifts to a maximum of 4 shifts. Each shift cycle.

Please find the detailed flow below:

Simple Shift:

Choose an icon and give a name for the shift, configure week-offs as required. Choose shift timings & break duration – same through the week or different for each day.

Rotational Shift:

Choose “Rotation shift” option in step 1 and enter the number of shifts required.

Multiple Shift:

2 Shifts: Choose between alternative rotation or uneven cycle rotation. Choose rotation pattern from the options given in drop-down for uneven cycles.

3 or 4 shifts – These options will not be shown. Give shift cycle period (in weeks) i.e., the period for which each shift lasts and shift cycle start date, i.e., the date from which rotation starts.

Create/Edit Team Names:

Weekly Off Setup:

Select the checkbox of any day and click on default selected week-offs (All) and configure it as required in the pop-up shown. This is same for both simple and rotational shifts.

Flexible Shift:

Flexible shift option is available only for the simple shift. Here you can give the same gross hours and break duration for the entire week or different for each day. A flexible shift can be configured in two ways
i) Flexible shift with gross hours and break duration considered
ii) Flexible shift without gross hours and break duration considered – this is same as a flexible shift that was available previously.

Shift Group Summary:

Shift Group Employee Allocation:

Employees can be allocated under shift groups’ team from “Employees” tab of corresponding shift group with an effective date. Effective date here refers to the date from which shift is applicable to an employee.

i) Under a simple shift, there’d be only one team to move employee into.

ii) Under rotational shift, there’d be number of teams based on the number of shifts (or pattern of shifts) chosen.

iii) Employee who don’t have shift group assigned or employees from other shift group can be moved to a simple shift group using below screen.

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How and Why Your Business Should Give Regular Employee Performance Reviews
Rae SteinbachSep 29, 2018
Performance reviews are important no matter how small or new your company is.

Providing employees with regular feedback is key to maintaining engagement, high productivity levels, and retaining top talent. That’s  why you should start early when considering ways to implement performance reviews. Whether you decide to focus on giving each worker an overall performance review or simply give ongoing responses throughout a project’s life cycle, regular feedback is an essential part of any successful business.

The following steps will help you establish a plan to ensure your organization has a system in place for leveraging these reviews to their full potential.

1. Discuss  options

Although it’s widely agreed that performance reviews are necessary, simply holding them once a year isn’t effective or valuable according to most employees. Discuss other options with your HR team. You may be better off leveraging tool that makes providing regular feedback much easier. This is especially worth considering if your team is remote and you need a resource that helps you remain in contact with them. With more and more people working from home these days, you may find yourself in a position where you need to maintain contact with employees outside of the office. Embracing the right feedback tool ahead of time is a good way to prepare.

2. Talk with managers

You need to make sure each manager responsible for implementing performance reviews knows enough about the employees they’re reviewing to provide relevant feedback. However, you also don’t want to overwhelm managers by giving them too many employees to review. Discuss your plans with team leaders to establish a system that works for everyone.

3. Set standards

Once you’ve established a program and decided what tools you’ll use to offer performance reviews, coordinate with HR to outline performance standards that strongly reflect the company values. Of course, he specifics of each review will vary depending on the nature of an employee’s work. But, it’s still a good idea to put forward a general idea of what you expect from employees in regards to interpersonal skills, motivation levels, and other essentials.

4. Train

Train managers to use the performance review program and let them know they can always ask questions if they need to. If you do use a tool that allows managers to provide employees with feedback on a consistent basis, you want to be sure everyone fully understands

Let managers know they can also use these tools to solicit feedback from employees. If they gather honest feedback and use it to adjust their management style, staff will be happy to know they’re working at a company where their opinion is valued. Of course, as your company grows, you can always make changes to your performance review system if necessary. In the meantime, it’s still essential to set one up sooner rather than later. Following these steps makes it easy to start offering the kind of feedback that helps employees thrive.

About The Author

Rae is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined International Relations and Chinese degree. After spending time living and working abroad in China, she returned to NYC to pursue her career and continue curating quality content. Rae is passionate about travel, food, and writing, of course.

The post Why Your Business Should Give Regular Employee Performance Review... appeared first on Keka.

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5 Ways Cloud-Based Systems Can Give Your Company a Competitive AdvantageAmanda PetersonSwp 14, 2018
Many companies are falling behind in technology due to the rapid pace of new developments.

Software updates are a must when seeking that extra edge against competitors. Upgrading your systems to the latest software can also make daily work more efficient and productive. “There’s a lot of pressure on companies to perform,” says Oracle’s CEO Mark Hurd. “Executives need ample flexibility to respond to the market. That means both reducing costs and increasing innovation.” There are many ways in which cloud-based systems can provide that competitive advantage, and a number of them meet Hurd’s criteria for lower costs and greater innovation in ways that older systems simply can’t. Here are a few examples of how the cloud can give a company that extra edge.


Flexibility is one of the many advantages that cloud-based systems can offer. According to Growth Business, implementing a cloud software allows all your data to be easily accessed at all times, allowing your workforce to be more mobile. Employees can now work from any location, which can help companies hire and retain top talent, some of whom may prefer not to live near their prospective employer’s offices.

Data security

There is always a chance of data breaches or hacking, however, cloud software often boasts better security standards than programs installed on hard drives and on-premises data centers. If a computer with important information were to be stolen, no one but the thief might have any way of retrieving its stolen data. A stolen computer or other hardware isn’t as pressing for companies using cloud systems. Passwords to cloud systems can be changed and the data protected instantly from any device by anyone with the proper administrative privileges. Directly breaching a cloud system’s security is an extremely difficult task to begin with, so there’s a better chance that your data will be safe when stored on the cloud.

Back-up plan

Business to Community says that companies using a cloud system will never have to worry about losing their data. On-premise computing requires back-up plans in case of system crashes. This involves manually uploading information to dedicated hard drives on site to ensure the necessary duplication of critical data. However, most cloud systems provide options for periodic back-ups that can be automatically recovered. That way, if your system crashes, there will always be a recent backed-up copy to access. This can help companies avert any crisis resulting from the loss of information.

Reduced costs

Establishing, owning, and properly running an on-premise system is extremely expensive. Many companies spend immense amounts maintaining computer systems and external hard drives. Switching to the cloud can save a lot of money over the long run. With the cloud, you only need to pay for the resources you use and not for the physical hardware that runs them. This can also save money by minimizing the need for on-site IT personnel to maintain and upgrade an on-premises system.

Improved workflow and collaboration

Employee performance is a critical factor for business success, and companies are always looking for ways to improve it. One way to streamline the collaboration process is with cloud applications. Employees can easily share data, work on projects together, and update each other whenever and wherever they’re working. Cloud computing’s flexibility allows for greater efficiency and productivity. Workers can better communicate and produce their best work when they are using the best tools and are not constrained to a specific computer with a particular configuration.

Every company wants that competitive edge. For many, the cloud often provides them the tools they need to excel. With data storage, information sharing, and other benefits, the cloud offers efficiencies that many other programs lack. For ambitious businesses, upgrading their software might be what’s needed to get ahead.

About The Author

Amanda Peterson is a contributor to the site Enlightened Digital and a software engineer from New York City. Her aim is to explore how changes in technology affect personal business growth and professional development, especially for women.

The post 5 Ways Cloud-Based Systems Can Give Your Company a Competitive Ad... appeared first on Keka.

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