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Via HR Technologist : Employee Engagement vs. Employee Experience: Are They Really That Different?

In a complex and competitive labor market, an effective employee experience strategy can give you a definitive edge. It is key to improving retention, ensuring loyalty, and garnering referrals – cementing your organization as an employer of choice. This is why it is important to look beyond only employee engagement and reinforce the quality of the overall employee experience aided by technology.

Modern HR practitioners are always looking to find new ways to elevate the employee experience, but studies suggest that this is not so easy. The emerging workforce, comprising a sizeable segment of millennial workers, wants a sense of purpose and meaning to their jobs. Only offering the basic perks and benefits is not enough to ensure a positive holistic experience.

When we sat down with Lisa Sterling, Chief People and Culture Officer at Ceridian, she reaffirmed this sentiment. “Improving the employee experience goes far beyond the Instagrammable, short-term perks like bean bag chairs, foosball tables, or free snacks in the office.”

So, what makes for a great experience, and is it different from your existing employee engagement tactics?

Employee Engagement vs. Employee Experience: Understanding the Basics

In the last few years, the definition of employee experience has changed significantly.

Deloitte’s 2017 Global Human Capital Trends focused on the transition from engagement and culture into a 360-degree experience blueprint. Fast forward to 2019, and this year Deloitte highlighted how employee experience is directly linked to human experience and why finding purpose at work is so necessary.

Simply put, engagement is only one part of the conversation. Lisa explained this further: “The employee experience is the sum of everything an employee sees, hears, feels, and believes about their employment throughout the employee lifecycle. However, employee engagement is a ‘component’ of the overall employee experience which impacts their level of productivity and, in turn, can impact a company’s operations – positively or negatively.”

Interestingly, the concept of employee experience (EX) is inspired by customer experience (CX), where an individual’s relationship to the organization is determined by trust, seamlessness, and loyalty. HR can bring the same level of “emotional connect” to employer-employee relations by adopting employee experience strategies.

How Can Technology Influence Employee Experience Strategies?

Technology has the potential to transform workplaces and dramatically reduce friction. Whether you’re talking about CX or EX, frictionless experiences are key to retention and loyalty. In their 2019 report, Deloitte investigated employee satisfaction with the tools and technologies at work. An overwhelming 62 percent said that the scenario was only “somewhat satisfying – dissatisfying.” This indicates that there’s a long way to go when it comes to using technology for positive employee experiences. Similarly, access to information, job design, and daily workflows were other areas of concern.

We asked Lisa for her views on how technology can help improve employee experiences, and she had these three recommendations:

1. Empower your employees with self-service modules

Self-service has proved immensely successful for streamlining customer journeys. Employers are also “taking a page out of this book,” says Lisa, with self-service integration into every employee service module. According to her, “adopting intuitive tools that make traditional cumbersome HR processes (like trading shifts or vacation requests) easy for employees to consume” can significantly contribute to better experiences.

2. Adopt experience-focused HR technologies

Recently, there has been a rising trend of experiential tools targeted towards the global workforce. From employee management tools with social integration to L&D platforms that mimic experiential ecosystems, there are several options to explore. “Learning experience platforms (LXP) will often have a YouTube or Netflix-like user interface, making it simple for employees to find, consume, and share content with little training,” said Lisa.

3. Cut down the learning curve with AI-driven assistants

Employees do not want to spend their precious time navigating through workflows and figuring out how to best use the available technologies. Deloitte’s 2019 report indicated that 60 percent of employees want easier access to data and information. AI-based virtual assistants can take text or voice inputs to quickly offer relevant insights. “For instance, employees can converse with a virtual assistant to see shift schedules, swap shifts, check on leave balances, or request time away from work, without navigating complex screens,” highlighted Lisa.

For any employee experience strategy to succeed, HR practitioners must pay close attention to all of these details and answer these questions:

  • Are your employees empowered to make autonomous decisions?
  • Are technologies being leveraged strategically to foster a culture of “happiness” and purpose?
  • Is it as easy to get started with work (EX) as it is to buy a product (CX)?

Think Beyond Engagement: Why Employee Experience Is so Important

In a competitive labor market, the brightest talent can pick and choose from a variety of prospective employers. Your employee experience strategy will directly impact retention and satisfaction at the workplace, upping referral scores, and amplifying your employer brand.

“Best-in-class companies will attract – and keep – their top talent based in part on how well they differentiate themselves with employee-centric experiences,” Lisa mentions.

This is why EX has steadily moved up on the list of company priorities in recent years. As HR reimagines itself as the strategic arm of an organization – and not just an administrative cog – interest and investment in employee experience strategies will only grow.

“This greater focus on the employee experience also aligns with HR’s changing role of becoming a more strategic business partner, with 83 percent of HR leaders saying that employee experience is either important or very important for their organization’s success,” agrees Lisa.

It Is Time to Move Beyond Engagement-Only Strategies

When you consider the direct link between EX and business outcomes, it is easy to see why an “engagement-only” stance is no longer enough. Driving home the employee experience versus employee engagement debate, Lisa concludes by saying, “Companies who place an emphasis on employee experience encounter more than four times the average profit and more than two times the average revenue.”

That seems like a good reason to start building some robust employee experience strategies if you haven’t already begun. Using technology to identify how you can elevate the employee experience can help you develop great strategies that aid retention and improve business outcomes.

Via The Balance Careers : Online Job Interviews: Practice and Preparation

More and more companies are conducting online job interviews. These interviews save employers money because they don’t have to pay for a job fair or for candidates to travel to the office. Besides, the technology needed to conduct online interviews has become mainstream, so it is a simple and effective way to interview candidates for employment.

For job seekers, it’s easy to interview right from home. It saves on travel time and can be less stressful than interviewing in person. There are different types of online job interviews. Familiarizing yourself with them ahead of time may help you think on your feet and achieve a more successful interview performance.

Webcam Job Interviews

The most typical online interview is the interview via webcam. Rather than having you travel to an office, the interviewer will simply conduct the interview via video. Depending on the company, they may send you a webcam and a set of interview questions, or you may be expected to use your camera, which is less of a hardship these days, as many, if not most, laptops come with webcams built in.

The interviewer will often use popular video conferencing software like Skype or Google Hangouts. If you’re not familiar with these technologies, it’s a good idea to practice using them with a friend before conducting the interview. It often takes a few tries to get the hang of angling the camera so that your whole face (and not just your left nostril or the top of your head) is in the frame. Plus, you’ll want to find a flattering angle and practice “making eye contact” with the interviewer via the camera.

Newbies tend to stare at the part of the window with their own video image instead of looking into the camera, which can appear odd, not to mention disengaged.

Systems

Some employers use online web-based systems for interviewing. For example, Spark Hire provides options for recorded interviews via webcam and in-depth live interviewing with split screen online interviews with candidates.

On-Your-Own Online

Sometimes, rather than interviewing you, employers email you a list of interview questions and ask you to film yourself answering them. If this is the case, all the same rules still apply. Even though you are not speaking directly to a person, be sure to smile and maintain friendly eye contact with the camera.

Remember to speak slowly and clearly. It’s easy to speed up and come across as nervous and garbled when you’re doing a self-paced interview. Take deep breaths. If it seems like you’re speaking too slowly, you’re probably doing it right.

Preparation Tips

Remember that online interviews are just as important as in-person interviews. Your interview could get you to the next round or even a job offer if the company handles all the interviewing online.

Here’s how to get ready for your interview:

  • Download the software ahead of time so that you’ll have the opportunity to get used to it.
  • Create a professional username, such as a variation on your real name, as it appears on your resume, if it’s available.
  • Dress professionally even if you are sitting down. Wear nice pants and shoes, as you never know when you will have to stand up. Plus, dressing the part will help you get your head in the game.
  • Clear your workspace and any clutter that is behind you so that it doesn’t show up on the screen. You don’t want your interviewer to be distracted by visual noise in the room or to assume that your disorganized space is a sign of how you’d perform as a worker.
  • Make sure that you are in a quiet room where you will not be disturbed by people, pets, etc. Turn off your ringer, any alarms, and electronics that are likely to interrupt.
  • Have a piece of paper and a pen ready so that you are not scrambling to find them later.
  • Have a copy of your resume in sight in case you have to refer to dates, job titles, or numbers.
  • Smile and focus as much as possible and try to behave as if you’re in a regular, in-person interview. Look into the camera, listen attentively, and engage with your interviewer. Don’t just wait for your turn to speak.
  • Practice using your webcam equipment before the interview, so you are sure everything is in working order and that you’re comfortable interviewing on video.

Via Times Square Chronicles : 5 Things to Think About When You’re Considering a Career Change

Some of us aren’t sure what our dream job is. Some search for it for a long time. And that’s perfectly fine. Research is continually showing that you’ll have numerous careers in your life. Millennials, for instance, expect to stay in a particular job for less than three years and most will undoubtedly change careers as their idea of a dream job changes.

Whether you’re one year or several into your career, attempting to change your course isn’t easy. In the end, you have a particular set of experiences, skills, and knowledge, and why would you put them aside? However, changing your job is quite possible, as many of us have done it already. Here are a few things to keep in mind when thinking about a career change.

RESEARCH YOUR DREAM JOB

So, maybe you’re thinking about moving into a salesperson role. However, you’re stuck because of something. And you can’t quite figure out what it is. Your colleagues and friends don’t see it either. Therefore, maybe their advice isn’t what you are searching for. Instead, there is a better way.

Talk to people who are already working in sales and to people in your network who are in this industry you want to transfer to. Learn what they do, how they do it, how they got there, and what they think an individual requires to make it in this niche. Especially ask them what skills and talents are required.

We said skill and talents – not years of experience or a job to apply for. Right now, you’re in exploration mode, discovering everything there is to know about your new industry.

LISTEN TO PODCASTS

Not an avid reader? Perfectly fine. Fortunately, there’s a podcast out there for everyone these days – and those related to careers aren’t in shortage. For instance, The Big Payoff is a weekly podcast that deals with the connection between life and work, and all the twists and turns in today’s workplace environment.

The producers of the show are big fans of finding a new career path – one that you will love. Another one that receives excellent reviews is The James Altucher Show, it doesn’t only include interviews with amazing, influential, successful people – it will also make you laugh from the heart and think outside the box.

TAKE AN ONLINE CLASS

There are many online courses out there designed to help you figure out what type of role you’d excel in, or help you develop a plan for obtaining it. Cheap or expensive – you can get something from each and every one.

For instance, you can obtain a Certificate III in Business that is particularly created for persons trying to develop their administrative and business skills. This kind of online course will deepen your knowledge about business ins and outs, which is always a nice bonus for any industry.

Or you can take Career Hacking – a practical and affordable course for identifying a job you’ll like. It also has tips about obtaining your dream job, including how to edit your resume.

TAKE AN ASSESSMENT OF YOUR GENIUS

Most of us don’t stop and take a look at what we can offer. Evaluate your experience and find what skills are transferable – those are the ones you will want to showcase when you’re promoting yourself as a relevant candidate. Ask yourself these five key questions:

  • What skills do I have?
  • What specific outcomes have I achieved?
  • What tasks have I performed?
  • How did I complete those tasks – what qualities did I exhibit while working?
  • What particular experience do I have?

READ ARTICLES

Although this one seems a bit basic, there is so much amazing advice out there. Research, and then some more research is the new motto for anyone in any career. Just like you’re reading this article right now in order to find out how to change your career, you can also read other articles about what skills are needed for your new career, what talents and what kind of mindset is suited for it, etc.

Finally, remember to articulate clearly why you’re a viable candidate who should be hired. In whatever industry you’re moving into, you want to sell yourself in the best possible way. However, you need to do this indirectly and discreetly. Rather than inquiring about open positions, have a casual conversation that demonstrates why you’re equipped to make this transition and what the business (or even the industry) can gain through you.

Via Vents Magazine : How to Dress Appropriately for the Office

When you have an office job, it can be a struggle to remain proactive about staying fit and dressing well. The latter can be a major challenge for millennials and for those who are just entering an office work environment for the first time.

Regardless of whether your workplace makes you dress in formal wear or casual attire, there are ways you can dress more appropriately for the office to exude a more professional appearance and gain the respect of your colleagues. Here are a few tips to help you out.

Look Like You’re Ready for Business

There’s no doubt about it—the best way to dress in the office is in business casual or business attire. Even if you work in a so-called “casual office,” you should still consider wearing business attire. It will make you look far more professional and will help you earn more respect from your co-workers. There’s just something about good ol’ fashioned business wear that’s professional, refined, and respectable.

But an “office-appropriate” appearance doesn’t only have to do with the clothes you wear. It also has to do with how you make yourself up. Always come to work with your hair nicely combed, and be sure to wash your face in the morning to wipe away that morning grogginess. When you enter the office, you should look energetic and ready to tackle all of the day’s tasks. It can be a chore to look lively in the morning if in fact you’re frequently tired. Consider getting a new mattress to help you get a better night’s sleep.

Don’t Forget About Your Shoes

Shoes are a big part of your professional look. If you’re a guy, you should wear brown or black leather shoes (you might be able to get away with sneakers, so long as they have a faux-leather appearance). If you’re a lady, you might consider getting a pair of formal flats. Heels work, too, but they might get a little uncomfortable after a few hours of wear.

Keep your shoes in good shape! People will notice dirty shoes. Make a monthly visit to a shoe shiner, or get your own shoe shining supplies for your home.

Be Modest

Always dress modestly when you’re in the office. Men and women have their own ways of overdoing it. Men, for instance, come to the office looking like a band leader, with an oversized leather jacket and wild hair. They go for an overly-masculine look. Women, on the other hand, come into work wearing revealing dresses and very low cut tops—fine for going out on the town, but less so in a work environment.

There are definitely some sexist attitudes about these types of appearances, particularly when it comes to women’s attire. But whether you like it or not, these attitudes are still highly prevalent in workplaces across the world.

Keep this in mind: you don’t want showy fashion to suggest that you’re trying to compensate for subpar intellect. That’s not what you want to exude when you’re in business meetings or when you’re meeting with clients or partners. Dressing modestly can help you be taken seriously, and it’ll enable the people you’re communicating with to focus more exclusively on your words and not your look.

You Can Be Casual and Stylish

Casual attire doesn’t mean you should come into the office dressed in a tee and basketball shorts. There are ways to dress casually and still look very stylish and work-appropriate.

If you’re a guy, always, always, always wear jeans to work. Never wear shorts of any kind because shorts just aren’t made for an office environment. Women should also avoid wearing shorts in the workplace. Other attire you should avoid (for both men and women) include athletic wear (yes, that means yoga pants) and sweats.

If you’re going to dress casually, try adding a layer of outerwear to your shirt so it doesn’t look like you’re so dressed down. A nice jacket is the perfect piece of outerwear. Or, you can wear an inner layer of clothing underneath your shirt, like a thermal. Add fashion accessories to give your appearance a little more pop, like jewelry, a watch, a matching tote bag, or a wristband.

Now you’re ready for work! If you keep these fashion tips in mind, you’ll always look ultra-professional at work whether you’re in business attire or not.

Via Human Resources Online : HRUnplugged: The most critical aspects in talent management

Having the right attitude towards people is important to establishing a progressive work culture, Murnira Abdul Mury, General Manager of Human Resources, Admin and Central Procurement Unit at Gamuda Land, stresses.

Q In Southeast Asia, what are the biggest challenges facing HR heads?

The biggest challenge is to have a management or organisation that views HR as only a function that manages personnel, and not as a business partner. As HR leaders, we need to go beyond the conventional function and proactively initiate practices that will impact the business as a whole. Today’s digital and technological disruptions are moving businesses to reinvent the wheel and we also have to digitalise our business or be rendered irrelevant.

We are also looking at diversifying our talent pool and hiring more energetic and tech-savvy young men and women who can easily adapt to changes, and yet, have a strategic and visionary mindset to move the business forward.

For instance, at Gamuda Land, we are expanding our portfolios from townships to integrated smart cities in line with our brand value to be a market leader in driving innovation. This has been evident in the way we build and manage our townships and the initiation of Malaysia’s first digital industrialised building system that enables us to provide fast and flexible construction solutions.

We need to be creative in our employer branding and engagements and in coming up with new and relevant policies that suit all generations. HR practices and operations need to be fast and efficient. We should adopt technologies that are convenient and user-friendly. In addition to this, we need to facilitate the change management process and support existing employees who are impacted by all these changes.

Q Tell us your most critical people management advice.

The most critical aspect in people management is genuine love and care for those you work with. In addition to proper policies and procedures aligned to the business, the right attitude towards people is equally important to establishing a progressive work culture. The words “people management” say it all. When you deal with people, you are dealing with humanity, emotions, values and beliefs and these are delicate matters. Respect and empathy are expected of you. When times are tough we need to balance these two with some assertiveness. It is a skill that each and every leader must practise and master.

It is also important to have mentors, including leaders who will be able to draw us out of our work-related challenges and look at both personal and work matters in a more objective manner. We have always encouraged mentor-mentee programmes to provide our employees with the needed support and positive reinforcement.

We must also be highly supportive of their growth by identifying potential talent to be groomed as leaders for a seamless and sustainable business operation. Gamuda Land recently launched our year-long apprenticeship programme by pairing suitable young leaders with members of the management for them to observe and learn the ways of the management. This way, we are able to identify our next line of leaders and prepare them accordingly.

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