Posts tagged ‘culture’

Punk Rock Pixie Strikes Again

My favorite HR blogger by far is Laurie Ruettimann of Cynical Girl fame.

Today she talks about avoiding HR.  She’s right.  By the time you get to HR, things have often gone too far to fix.  And HR people really don’t want to manage your employees for you.   We’re happy to teach you how to manage better, hear your ideas for solving problems, and help you with your management strategy.  But, we don’t want to do your job for you.

HR’s true function should be focused on workforce planning based on company goals.  We are advisers, coaches, and yes, enforcers.  But we hate the enforcing part.  We’d rather help you prevent the pain in the first place – which explains why we get cranky when you want us to clean up your mess.

So, check out Laurie’s tips for avoiding HR.  They might change your world.  Or at least your day.

Advertisements

January 29, 2013 at 12:49 pm

Recruiting – A Positive Experience, Or Just An “Experience”?

When was the last time you sat down and really considered the candidates’ points of view during your recruiting process?  Are they treated with courtesy and respect?  Is their time valued?  Do the people that DON’T get the job still have a positive opinion of your company?

I asked my recruiting guru/goddess, Aimee Fahey, to give me her perspective on making recruiting a positive experience for everyone.  And how that can really benefit the organization.

PAM:  Define “recruiting experience” from your point of view.

AIMEE: As a recruiter, I take ownership of facilitating the process from start to finish, and therefore I feel it is my responsibility to ensure a positive recruiting experience.  As a recruiter, I am the face of my company, and work with all parties to ensure the right people go into the right jobs at the right time. To me, the recruiting experience assesses satisfaction from three perspectives – that of the candidates, the hiring teams, and yes, the recruiter.  If one or more are dissatisfied, the process needs to be examined.  Everyone needs to be on board and feel good about the hiring process.

PAM:  How can the recruiting experience negatively affect employee retention?

AIMEE: The hiring process is all about (or should be all about) giving both the candidate and the hiring team a realistic preview of not only the job, but the working relationship as well.  If you’re not focusing on the right areas in your questions, not providing good service, you’ve already started off on the wrong foot.  I’ve been in jobs myself where it’s been a complete 180 from how the position was represented in the interview because the hiring manager was too busy selling the employee – it’s a disservice to everyone.  In addition, employees who are part of hiring teams dealing with poor organization, lack of communication, and/or dysfunctional relationships?  Well, they stop wanting to refer good people – and they start looking elsewhere.  Why?  Because hiring has to be an organization’s first priority.  The people make the product who make the company – people always have to (genuinely) come first.

PAM: How can it positively affect retention?
AIMEE:  A former mentor of mine used to say, “our employees are our best recruiters”.  Give them a great experience and they’ll have a greater trust in you as the employer because you were honest with them upfront about the job, the culture and the team, and because from day one they were justifiably excited.  In addition, as you can imagine, happy employees refer more applicants (because they love it there), and “pay it forward” – giving an honest picture of the environment and the job, as you had for them.

PAM: What do you feel are the top 3 success factors in a positive recruiting experience?
AIMEE:
1. Communication – Great communication among all members of the hiring team – everyone’s got to be on the same page not only with what their roles are, but understanding themselves what the job is, what’s expected of them, and a shared belief in how their company takes care of candidates.
2. Customer Service – Great customer service to ALL applicants from start to finish (I say applicants to include those who do not make it to interview status), from giving them the information they need about the job, the team, and the company; to handling the logistics efficiently; to selling the company throughout the process; to making them feel not just welcome, but respected for their time investment.
3. Content – The interviews have to give a realistic portrayal of the job, ask questions that are not only relevant but help interviewers get a stronger picture of their potential to succeed, and involve the people they’ll be interacting with both on their team and in a cross-functional capacity.

PAM: How have you constructed your business to ensure that candidates have a positive experience, and how does that reflect on your clients?

AIMEE:  For me, I’ve been around long enough as a recruiter and human resources professional to know what does and doesn’t work in hiring the right people (rather than “filling requisitions”).  My reputation is based on the candidate experience, and facilitating the hiring process from start to finish.  When I first meet with a client, we discuss our philosophies around hiring, what we each believe the recruiting experience should look like, and – if that’s a fit – then talk about how I can make their lives easier and get them the people they need more effectively and efficiently by allowing me to guide the process and trusting my expertise and experience.  I rely on them as the subject matter experts on the jobs we’re hiring for and the culture they’ve created, and they rely on me for my expertise when it comes to matching the right people with the jobs, where I find them, and how I partner with their team.  I am always clear about expectations from the beginning when it comes to turnaround time, customer service, interviewing dynamics, and other aspects I think are important in hiring.

Thanks, Aimee!  As always, your perspective is fresh and timely.

So everyone, how does your recruiting experience stack up?

August 29, 2012 at 10:00 am 1 comment

Free Tool for Successful Onboarding

How important is a good onboarding plan to your organization’s success?

According to the 2012 Allied Workforce Mobility Survey, it’s critical.

Consider these statistics:

  • 25% of new employees leave in the first year
  •  Only 66% of employers include training in onboarding
  •  Only 41% have new hire workplace meetings
  •  Only 39% include milestones and goal setting

A comprehensive, well-constructed onboarding plan can make a huge impact on the success of your new employees.  That translates to increased productivity and retention.  When you weigh the cost of onboarding with the potential cost of replacing employees, it becomes an easy choice.  Replacing an employee can cost up to twice their annual salary.  Onboarding doesn’t have to be expensive – it just has to be well-planned and well-executed.

Our new Onboarding Worksheet provides you with a template for including all of the critical elements:  training, goal-setting and communication. It’s fully customizable to fit your specific program (but we’ve filled it with examples to get you started).  If you want added depth and strength in your plan, Compass offers Onboarding Services as well.

Additional Information:

Employee Turnover Caused by Bad Onboarding

How a Solid Onboarding Process Can Help You Improve Employee Retention

August 21, 2012 at 3:41 pm

Unlimited Paid Time Off – Too Good To Be True?

What if your employer told you that you now have unlimited paid time off.  Meaning, if you need to take time, that’s fine and we’ll pay for it.  The only condition is that you must continue to meet your deliverables and the company’s expectations for performance.  Would that seem like a great deal to you?

There are quite a few companies that are beginning to institute just this kind of program.  The premise is that if you treat employees like the adults they are, they will perform well and your relationships will be more effective.  Most companies that have put this type of system into place have gotten outstanding results.  However, there are a few key success factors involved:

  • The organization must have a high-performing management team
  • Organizational objectives must be clear and quantifiable
  • Organization and personal deliverables must be well-defined
  • There must be a commitment to a trusting culture from highest level
  • There must be metrics for evaluating results
Dyn has put up a post explaining their time off system.  It’s one of the best I’ve seen at clarifying how unlimited time off should work.  The Starpress also has some nice coverage on the topic.
Will some employees take advantage of the system?  Yes.  And those employees are not a good fit for a culture of trust.  The recruitment process has to allow for that fit factor and focus on employees who can work in a trust-based environment.  Management will have to re-educate employees about how to meet expectations within the new system.
I do think that having a high-performing management team is the single most important factor in a successful system.  Managers must be on top of results and performance.  They must act on difficulties in a timely manner.  They must have strong relationships with their reports.

While a system of unlimited time off might be a bit much for employees to embrace at first, it embodies the work culture that our society is demanding – one of balance, flexible hours, and remote locations.  It allows employees to work how and when they need to, and still feel they are able to dedicate attention to family and personal issues.

What’s your take on unlimited paid time off – is it too good to be true?

June 5, 2012 at 10:00 am

Can Your Employer Access Your Facebook Account?

There has been a lot of media excitement this month about employers asking employees for their social media account passwords.  This has become such an issue that On April 27, 2012, Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., introduced the Social Networking Online Protection Act (SNOPA).

I’m appalled that employers think this is an acceptable practice.  It seems like the modern-day equivalent of tapping your phone, or bugging your apartment.  Are employers really so paranoid that employees are going to say something bad about the company that they feel the need to invade their privacy?

Some employers would justify their actions by saying they need that access to investigate insider trading or harassment complaints.  There are other ways to accomplish those things.  Why not spend their energy making their organizations better places to work and avoid the problems that way?

Some states are even taking the initiative to introduce regulations at their level, and not wait for the federal act.  Maryland, New York, California, Illinois and New Jersey (although NJ postponed their vote) all have something passed or on the table.  So, protection for employees is coming.

In the meantime, employees should consider the following:

  • be sure their privacy settings are restricted to “friends only”
  • be especially careful about friending anyone they work with, or who works at a prospective employer
  • don’t take a job with an employer who requires you to give out your password – that says so much about the work environment
For more information, do a Google News search for “social media passwords”.  You’ll get enough articles to keep you busy for hours.

After you do your reading, tell me what you think about all this…

May 25, 2012 at 2:17 pm 1 comment

Pay For The Job or The Person?

One of my colleagues recently asked me whether it was appropriate to pay a new hire more money than existing employees in the same position because the new hire had more education/experience.  As with most human resource questions, the answer isn’t cut and dried.  Let’s follow a fictional example and see where it takes us.

I’m the CEO of Snail Mail Inc.  I employee stamp stickers and envelope stuffers.  Most of my employees have basic skills and education and do a fine job with those qualifications.  They get paid $10/hour.

Due to snail mail being in vogue, I need to hire another stamp sticker.  I’ve gone through the normal recruitment process, and have found a candidate that I want to hire.  The candidate will be performing the same work as the other stamp stickers.  However, this candidate has a Masters degree in Orchestral Composition from Julliard and 20 years of stamp sticking experience.  I decide to pay this person $20/hour because of these additional qualifications.

Before implementing this decision, I should ask myself these questions:

  • Are the candidate’s education and experience relevant to the job?
  • Will the candidate be using those skills and experience in the job they are being hired for?
  • Will I alter the scope of the position to leverage the candidate’s additional skills and experience?

If the answers to these questions are “yes”, then I may be able to pay them more than the other stamp stickers.

Here are a few cautionary notes to consider because, let’s face it, employees talk about their pay to each other:

  • When the other stamp stickers find out the new person gets paid more, how will that affect their morale?
  • Are the lesser paid people the same gender as the new hire?  The Equal Pay Act (EPA) requires that men and women performing similar work under similar conditions must receive similar pay.  You also don’t want it to appear that you are discriminating against the other employees because of their age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, or other protected status.
  • Will paying the new person more give them an unwarranted sense of entitlement?

In the end, it’s best to pay a person for the work they are performing now, not what they might do, have the potential to do, or have done in the past.

May 22, 2012 at 10:00 am 2 comments

Compass Client In The News

It’s always a little thrilling to get the Portland Business Journal in the mail and see one of my clients featured.  This week the shout goes out to Brian Simmons, President of Fluid Market Strategies.

Brian and I have known each other for 10 or 12 years now.  When we met, I was HR Manager and he was a Project Manager at Ecos Consulting.  Over the years I came to value Brian’s vision of how company culture should be managed and maintained – how essential it is to an organization’s overall success.  Success not just financially, but in reputation and fan base.  He and I have always shared a similar vision.

When I started Compass, Brian sought me out to help him as he got Fluid up and running.  Fluid was my first client.  As they grew, my admiration and respect for Brian and his staff grew exponentially.  I still hold them up as the gold standard of how to preserve a great culture through change, growth, bumps in the road and acquisitions.

In the Business Journal article, Brian states that his guiding principle is “Do the right thing and die with more friends than money.”  That sums up every reason that Brain continues to be a role model for me.

Best of everything, Brian, you deserve it!

May 15, 2012 at 10:00 am 1 comment


Enter your email address to follow this blog

Join 7 other followers

Older Posts


%d bloggers like this: