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Via The Drum : Find out why 51% of employees will move on from their current role in the next year

Workplace trends are changing fast. A keen focus on wellbeing and diversity initiatives, from both the employer and the employees, is at the forefront of such changing trends in 2019, according to a new study from Aspire, a global recruitment agency based in the UK, APAC and the US.

Based on research generated through surveys sent to their clients and candidates, the report’s focus is on wellbeing and diversity initiatives, and the changes brought to the workplace by the millennial generation.

Why is this report necessary?

The fabric of the working world has changed dramatically over the last few years. The growth of equal working opportunities regarding gender, ethnicity, age and disability has made it necessary for a report such as Aspire’s to consider what employers need to do to attract, and retain, talent. Operating in this changing world requires employers to accept that homogenous attitudes towards employees, and one-size-fits-all initiatives, are no longer effective. Hence, to thrive, businesses must satisfy the desires, and expectations, of the new workforce.

The millennials and their expectations

The report covers in detail the changes that have occurred in line with the growth of millennials in the workforce. By 2025, the group shall make up 75% of the world’s workforce.

Millennials are often viewed as the group that have instigated, or perhaps even demanded, alterations to workplace structures. The report examines how open-plan offices, working from home and flexible working are just a few examples of initiatives increasingly introduced in the last few years. Flexible working has been found as the most popular benefit offered by employers, with 63% of employees preferring it over other schemes. Employee needs are being increasingly recognised within the workplace, and those who don’t offer these initiatives could lose their candidates, and thus their competitiveness.

Aspire has found that 51% of candidate respondents said they would move jobs by the end of the year. Contrastingly, only 6% said they were happy to stay with their company for the next 4-5 years. Therefore, the ideology that previous generations had of a ‘job-for-life’ no longer exists.

Encouraging diversity and valuing employees for their differences

The definition of ‘diversity’ has changed over the last decade, according to the report. Employers have come to realise that this is no longer restricted to gender or ethnicity; socioeconomic background, sexual orientation, disability and age are amongst those factors that employers must now consider when recruiting.

It also addresses the benefits that can come with a successful recruiting process which allows for a diverse workforce, positively affecting higher profits. The 2018 study by the Boston Consulting Group, which studied 1700 different companies across 8 different countries, found that having diverse management teams led to a 19% higher revenue.

Aspire’s report recognises that removing biases is extremely difficult and lays out certain ways that employers can achieve diversity that refer to adapted recruitment processes and physically altering the workplace environment. Such changes aim to help make employees from diverse groups feel more comfortable and valued at work. Encouraging employee collaboration is another way to achieve such a feeling of being valued, as it allows workers from a wide range of backgrounds to forge meaningful relationships. Employees will value their co-workers and their company more, meaning that employee retention rates are likely to be higher because employees are less likely to want to change jobs.

Wellbeing initiatives

Aspire’s report details how wellbeing has become more of a focus for the worker in recent years. The millennials’ expectation to receive benefits from their company are rapidly becoming the norm for other diverse groups too. Aspire’s survey found that 40% were unsatisfied with their wellbeing benefits, pay and progression opportunities, and that this would lead them to leave their job.

Wellbeing initiatives focused on physical and mental health are perceived as more important than ever. Such initiatives could include offering counselling, arranging team expeditions, and cycle-to-work schemes to promote a healthy work-life. As a result, wellbeing makes a workforce more motivated and engaged with the work they are producing. This translates into happy workers, which equals higher productivity and ethos, resulting in improved retention.

Aspire’s report offers not only interesting food for thought, but tangible and practical advice on how to be a competitive business in 2019. By understanding how the world of work is shifting, one can avoid getting left behind and overcome the recruitment and retention challenge.

Via Forbes : What Does Millennial Loyalty Look Like In Today’s Workplace?

Although common wisdom will tell you Millennials are looking to switch jobs at the first possible chance, Millennial loyalty has not shaken up the workplace as much as people think.

In fact, the generation prior to Millennials stayed in their roles for roughly the same amount of time as Millennials are now. In the 1980s, an employee stayed with their employer for a median of five years and that figure has remained steady with a median of 4.2 years in 2018.

So, what has changed that makes people feel like loyalty is fading? What can employers do to increase that longevity and get the best out of their talent while they are staying?

A deeper perspective

In order to determine the differences in loyalty between current and past generations, we need to take a deeper look at the current social and economic environment.

For one, the job search is undoubtedly harder — graduate roles are competitive, with more higher education institutions producing more and more graduates each year. Hiring is more process-driven and less personable, and added perks, such as being wined and dined or taken on enticing trips, are few and far between. This creates a frustrating and intense job market and undoubtedly affects the workplace mindset.

There is also a hangover from the last Global Financial Crisis that society has not seen the full impact of yet. Millennials at the younger end of the spectrum (born 1987–1992) remain in a mindset of an anxiety-ridden job search from their graduation, where they are forced to keep one eye open for fear of job security, experience long recruiting processes and poor feedback as standard from companies.

This group is typically formed of people who were students during the crisis, and the recession did not have the same emotional and working-life impact on them as it did on those in the working world. While this is often perceived as entitlement and lack of understanding of Millennials by their employers, it is actually the employer’s response to this hangover by companies in their hiring and firing process that have somewhat of an impact on Millennials’ job attitudes.

Society has also become more mobile and work has become more ingrained in your with personal life. Work is life now for many; it has to be both because of the competitive job market and the way interpersonal interactions have increased in speed and number with new technology. The pressure to perform and to excel is constant—and Millennials feel this more than anyone because of the intensity of social media visibility and the tight job market.

So what do Millennials want?

Contrary to public perceptions, Millennials are efficient, driven and focused. While older generations may have frustrations with Millennials’ demands, what they don’t understand is that those demands are a byproduct of millennials rejecting the norms and processes that have now passed.

It is no wonder that more forward-thinking companies, particularly those in the high-growth mode and sexy sectors, have produced workplace campuses. They align with the college experience (for people who found stability there during a global period of financial instability) that ultimately promote more working in a lower-stress environment. Free lunches, social events, and pool tables on the surface encourage greater connectivity, but also create underlying incentives to spend more time at work.

While cozy hangout areas and football tables are nice, employees don’t leave the thousands of organizations lacking those things because of that. So, for the generation that supposedly wants it all yesterday with no effort, what do Millennials really want in the workplace?

Meaning

The deeper key is meaning. Meaningful work consistently ranks as something craved by the millennial generation. That can take lots of forms – giving back to the community, having a voice, the feeling that you are pushing a project forward and being taken seriously by those around you. Meaningful work doesn’t necessarily mean saving the world, solving a crisis or finding a cure. It means purpose and passion. It’s a sense of ownership and importance—and surely that is a good thing. Why wouldn’t an employer want somebody working on a project with them who values their work and puts effort into everything they do?

Meaning also extends into the way Millennials think about work and life. Corporate attire is no longer expected everywhere; no longer do all meetings happen face to face. Millennials are okay with integrating work and life—they just want that integration to be meaningful and enjoyable.

Given meaningful work, the Millennial workforce will show passion and dedication—giving workplaces the opportunity to offer Millennials a real trajectory and a chance to grow and stay. The misunderstanding about Millennials that they are entitled and lazy comes from unfair projections. If they are in the weeds doing a good job, they want more of that. Else they will go—it’s a mobile generation in all sense of the word.

How can I foster Millennial loyalty without completely changing my company?

Not every role or organization can be mission-driven, so how can you get your best out of your people? It takes a two-tiered approach that encourages both meaningful, mission-driven work, and an enjoyable culture and workplace.

Here are some simple changes that encourage more meaningful work:

  • Provide formal training to unite all employees in company mission
  • Consider a formal career track that sets clear, attainable targets for promotion and gives direction that is fair and equal
  • Create reverse mentoring programs to give younger employees a voice that is recognized by leadership
  • Actively engage different segments of your organization to come together at different points, who would not naturally do so in their day to day work. This can promote idea sharing and process improvement, whilst allowing people to contribute.

    And some low-cost methods to create a more enjoyable environment:

  • Casual dress codes (business attire is changing)
  • Shorter days (work can often be compacted)
  • Remote working (give people more flexibility in how and when they get their work done)

Lead by example. If you implement these changes, be sure to avoid putting in place arbitrary policies that do not mirror your behavior.

Whether your people stay or go, create a company culture that people want to return to each day. If you do, your employees can recommend your organization to their network, further increasing your pool of talent. Give honest feedback and turn the employee/employer relationship into a two-way dialogue and career road map. Millennials want honesty.

The reality is that motivations have not drastically changed; the language has just evolved a bit, like every generation before.

Via Software Advice : How Hiring Seasonal Employees Can Solve Your Holiday Staffing Woes

‘Tis the season for seasonal employees.

If there’s one thing retailers know about the holiday season, it’s that this period potentially represents as much as 20%-30% of their annual sales. According to the NRF, consumers plan on spending over 3% more this year than they did last year for the holidays.

With a series of celebrations including Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve, retailers must prepare their teams for the anticipated demand by hiring seasonal employees ahead of the holiday rush. The time is now.

What is a seasonal employee?

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) defines seasonal employee as “an employee who is hired into a position for which the customary annual employment is six months or less and for which the period of employment begins each calendar year in approximately the same part of the year, such as summer or winter.”

Below is also how you can classify an employee as a seasonal one:

  • “An employee who is hired into a position for which the customary annual employment is six months or less.” In other words, one who works no more than 35 hours and/or less than six months in the year, according to the ACA.
  • The period of employment must begin and end around the same part of the calendar year (e.g., summer, winter, holiday season).

Did you think of an employee at your business that fit the descriptions above? Then your employee is a seasonal employee. This means you do not have to classify the individual as full-time and benefits-eligible at the point of hire.

Why hire seasonally?

Cost-effectiveness: Hiring a team of full-time employees is not the most cost-effective way to handle seasonal demands, as you likely won’t require an increased level of workforce once the holiday period is over. The last thing you’ll want is to continue paying for full-time employees that you no longer need or have the budget for.

Flexibility: With seasonal employees, you can easily adjust the size of your workforce to meet your retail store circumstances—such as during peak holiday periods, like Christmas Eve, or amid significant employee absences.

Higher morale: Unless seasonal employees are hired to meet demand during the holiday season, full-time retail employees have to take on the extra workload. If not managed well, the demands of the busy holiday season can result in overworked and stressed employees. Seasonal employees can support your existing employees by taking on that extra workload.

Your seasonal hiring checklist

Below is a checklist of steps you need to take before embarking on your search for seasonal employees.

1. Research the difference between a seasonal employee and seasonal worker

A seasonal employee is hired into a position for six months or less around the same part of the calendar year.

Examples of seasonal employees:

  • Cashiers hired from November to December during the holiday season
  • Lifeguards hired for the summer and drivers hired for winter snow plow

A seasonal worker is one who is employed less than four months, or 120 days of work, during the calendar year.

Examples of seasonal workers:

  • Rotating cashiers hired between Memorial Day and Labor Day for a food truck

Why is it important to know the difference?

Misclassifying a seasonal worker as a seasonal employee could result in significant penalties for you as the employer.

Seasonal workers are relevant for determining if you are an Applicable Large Employer (ALE) as Employers who are ALEs must comply with the Play or Pay Mandate. For the seasonal worker exception to apply an employer must satisfy two requirements, according to the ACA:

  1. The employer must not be in excess of 50 full-time employees (including FTEs) for more than 120 days, or four months, in the preceding calendar year.
  2. The employees employed during the period that is no more than 120 days who cause the employer to exceed 50 full-time employees (including FTEs) must be seasonal workers.

2. Ensure compliance for salary and insurance

According to a survey by online insurance company Insureon, more than a third of business owners don’t have plans to update their workers’ compensation insurance to account for temporary workers. This could potentially result in fines, depending on which state your business is in.

Seasonal employees are entitled to your company’s workers compensation, which means they are provided medical care and payments for temporary and permanent disability. That means you must comply with your state’s workers compensation laws as well as coverage of injuries occurring in the workplace.

Other things you should be aware of about seasonal employees:

  • They must be paid minimum wage, according to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
  • They are subject to the same tax withholding rules that apply to full-time employees.
  • They need to fill out a Form W-4 as employers will still withhold the federal income tax calculated based on the personal and financial information provided.

Ensuring compliance can be time consuming. Having HR software can alleviate stress by ensuring that you comply with regulations and keeping you updated with any compliance changes.

3. Use an applicant tracking system

When potential employees apply for jobs online, all their information is uploaded into a database. Their contact information, resume and cover letter is then transferred from one component of the system to another as they move on in the hiring process.

Applicant tracking systems provide a way to automate the entire recruiting process from processing job applications to sending automated emails letting applicants know their applications have been received. These systems streamline the recruiting process for employers, making your job of hiring seasonal workers quicker and more efficient.

4. Plan your onboarding and training

Onboarding: Once your candidates are hired, you’ll want to have a robust onboarding plan ready. Doing so sets clear expectations between your managers and seasonal employees and ensures a great onboarding experience.

Provide your managers with a checklist of what they must do around new hire forms and orientation. Onboarding software can help with that, by providing customized workflows for work eligibility and tax documents.

Training: It’s important to set your seasonal employees up for success, as you need them to be just as capable as your full-time employees—especially for the busy season.

When it comes to training, do not underestimate its importance for seasonal employees. Expecting them to perform at the same level as your full-time employees without adequate training will yield unsatisfactory results.

Give them the knowledge they need to do a job well. Train them on processes and duties by using language they understand as new team members and incorporating clear and engaging content.

Conclusion

When it comes to hiring seasonal employees, it’s important to get a head start as you’re not going to be the only one looking for seasonal employees.

Via Standard Media : How to improve feedback during appraisals and assessments

Most of us have been on one or both ends of an appraisal during our careers. This process can offer a variety of benefits for both the employer and employee, provided it is done correctly.

In theory, an appraisal can provide an extremely useful forum for both businesses and individuals to take a considered and constructive look at what is working for them and where there is room for improvement. Crucially, the process can present a good time and place to agree steps needed for an individual’s career path, as well as how they can play a part in the future and growth of the business.

However, some appraisals may not be handled in the best way. Some meetings are often crammed in a short time slot between seemingly more important work commitments. Then there are the cases where appraisal forms are filled in by the employee but aren’t read by the appraiser ahead of the meeting. Even when the appraisal takes place and a plan agreed, in some cases the minutes from the meeting only gather dust in a drawer with little or no action taking place weeks or months after.

One way in which we can redress the balance of appraisal anxiety and indifference is by being clear of the purpose of an appraisal. Ideally, appraisals should not simply be about taking a retrospective look at work to date and giving a “could do better” oral work report.

Both sides need to be clear of the purpose of the appraisal – is this a chance to meet face to face to review certain working practices and potentially how obstacles can be overcome? Will the appraisal provide a good opportunity to map out the next steps for an individual’s career? Will it offer the opportunity to discuss promotion or a pay rise? Both sides need to be clear about the parameters to ensure discussion at the appraisal is focused and expectations are managed.

Appraisals should also be conducted in a holistic, 360-degree manner. It’s often said that the most inspiring bosses are the ones who listen. They don’t run a business with an iron fist, but create a work culture which is more democratic, listening and encouraging employees to have their say.

A more open workplace culture, via 360-degree reviews where senior management’s performance is also assessed, can go a long way to making an employee feel part of the business and not simply like a work-horse. Provided the reviews are constructive, this can be great opportunity for the boss or line manager to hone in and improve their leadership and management skills.

Based on feedback, it seems all too often the appraisal finds its way down the list of things to do and is often bumped to another date on one or more occasion. The hour slot then becomes a rushed twenty minutes.

Essentially this sends a message that there is often someone or something else is more important than the career of the individual being appraised. While money talks, the lifeblood of the business is also the talent itself, so it’s important to ensure enough time is allocated – ideally between 45 minutes to an hour – and the meeting isn’t constantly moved.

Likewise, many appraisals only take place on an annual basis. This is a long time given the changes that can take place, such as other members of the team leaving, creating shifts in workload or responsibility. If possible try to hold appraisals twice a year to check that any agreed targets and requirements are still relevant, being acted upon and supporting all parties.

Filling in a form ahead of an appraisal meeting can be a useful first step as long as it is read by the appraiser and detailed responses provided.

However, if you’re being appraised don’t just leave it to the form to communicate your thoughts or to ask for a promotion or pay rise. You may want to write up a summary of what you believe to be some of your best work highlights over the past six to twelve months. This could include endorsements from clients and team members. If it helps, do a run through with a family member or friend ahead of the meeting to ensure you are clear and confident during the appraisal.

Likewise, if you are the appraiser, discreetly ask other team members for their feedback and look into how they believe a certain individual has made a valuable contribution. However, it is important that you are not inviting unnecessary negative remarks at this stage. The appraisal should be perceived as a positive and constructive process within the organization.

A few days after the appraisal has taken place, the appraiser should send a summary of agreed actions with relevant timelines attached to each point. It may even be worth diarizing a short meeting to follow up a few weeks down the line to ensure everything is on track.

A few extra steps before and after can ensure that the appraisal will make a huge difference to a person’s career and in turn the business itself – a far cry from a simple box-ticking exercise.

Via Thrive Global : Proven Strategies to Improve Employee Productivity at the Workplace

Employees have a very important role to play in the success of any business. Make your employees happy and you will reap the benefits of increased productivity levels thus leading to business growth. But how do you turn a poor performer into your most productive employee? Well, this is not quite hard considering you only have to make a number of changes to current habits at the workplace.

Before you know it, you will be increasing productivity levels thus taking your business to the next level. Here are proven strategies to keep your employee productivity at the maximum hence getting the most out of them.

Set Realistic Goals

It with no denying that most managers tend to find it hard in determining whether their employees are performing effectively or not. This is mainly because many employers fail to keep their employees on track.

Instead, they leave the staff with a huge mountain to climb by not clarifying expectations. When this is the case, your business is set to hit rock bottom eventually since things are not going in line with your set goals. To avoid finding yourself in this situation, you should start by setting realistic goals while at the same time asking supervisors to offer support where necessary. Through this action, you are destined to increase their productivity, as they already know what you expect from them.

Always Keep Your Employees Happy

A stressful workplace environment is not going to help your business with anything rather than reducing the productivity levels of your employees. Furthermore, it tends to increase the levels of absenteeism and disengagement.

It is for this reason that you need to make your employees happy by showing how much you respect, value and appreciate them. With a happy workforce, it will prove quite easy for your company to move forward.

Offer The Right Tools and Equipment

Even though your team’s skills are fundamental to the performance of your business, it is still mandatory that you equip them with the right tools and equipment.

By making use of the right tools, your employees will find it easy in performing their duties efficiently while also saving on time. However, this does not mean purchasing any tools and equipment that you think might work. You will have to keep pace with the changes in technology by making use of high quality and modern software or any other equipment that can serve you effectively.

Final Thoughts

Improving employee productivity at the workplace is not that hard as many employers may think. All it takes is for you to make use of the right strategies if things are to run smoothly. With the above three tips, you are set to get the most out of your staff as they will be willing to work to the best of their ability.

Do not hesitate in trying out new methods such as practicing positive reinforcement or improving the workplace conditions as they come in quite handy whenever you want to improve employee productivity.

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