Campaign/FTC disclosure:This is a sponsored blog post. I will or have received compensation for this post. I only work with companies I feel have great products, services, and offerings. In accordance with my blog disclosure statement, I will only work with and showcase products, events and/or companies I believe my readers will benefit from. I am not formally employed by Trakstar. All thoughts and viewpoints are created and written by me. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
Of the many dynamics or tasks that have to be executed between employee and employer, performance reviews are probably the most hated. Over the past few years, there have been extreme calls to get rid of the performance evaluation. For this argument, there are two camps. The first camp is comprised of those who never saw a purpose for a once-a-year process that is labor-intensive as well as challenging. The second camp is made up of people who see it as a necessary evil that perhaps needs some reinvention. There are viable arguments on both ends and yet they all miss one important factor, we are dealing with humans.
It amazes me how often we forget the human factor whether we are talking about a new HR Technology or the discipline of HR on the whole. We serve humans and they serve us. When we design and develop policies, procedures, processes or technology based on the day-to-day needs and realities of our employees we garner compliance, trust, and a willingness to be a part of the solution. People are not merely a cog in the wheel or a means to an end for your company. They have shared their talents with you in an effort to:
Progress a specific career trajectory.
Sustain them financially, so they can live and provide for themselves and their families.
Test out the kind of work they are good at and also like to do.
Just for a moment, let us assume that everyone who you employ shows up with the intention to do their best daily. You expect productivity, engagement, and a genuine interest in the work being done at your company, but what is the emotional and physical ROI for those expressions? If I am diligently churning out quality work daily, I want to be able to connect the dots between my contributions and the effect they have on the employer’s mission and/or goals. Conversely, if I’m not performing to standards or am executing a task in a way that isn’t helpful or wanted, I would appreciate open dialogue about that concern rather than to find out a year later that I am being put on a performance improvement plan for an issue that could have been solved with direct communication.
Communication is a core challenge when we speak about everything from performance evaluations to succession planning. If I understand what is expected of me and there will be multiple checkpoints throughout the year for me to revise goals or have a discussion with my boss to discuss progress, there is absolutely nothing that could blind-side me during the performance process. Continuous communication makes it so that everyone is on the same page about goals, execution, and outcomes alleviating serendipitous and uneasy performance conversations later in the year. If I am made aware that I am being slated as a top performer for future leadership opportunities, I may reconsider looking elsewhere for the opportunities I seek. People can’t plan their lives let alone their careers when leaders neglect to communicate on a regular basis. Increasingly, your employees want their power back. By power I mean the ability to have a say about what they accomplished through their efforts, to be heard and acknowledged as someone who has contributed either individually or as part of the team to the success of your company.
How can you start to empower your employees from a performance perspective?
Here are a few tips:
Be upfront about how success will be measured. As mentioned before, no one deserves to be blindsided because you failed to communicate what is expected.
Where possible, give your employees the ability to craft their own goals in collaboration with you. If I am setting my goals, I will be a lot more inclined to rise to the challenge than if goals are forced upon me.
Start to review performance as a continuous cycle of learning and development for both you and your employee. No one is perfect. In fact, leaders aren’t perfect. We need to start assuming that people want to do the right thing as opposed to the wrong thing. Use continuous feedback and performance discussions to help people improve rather than to penalize them.
Pardon my next statement, but it needs to be said. There is no excuse to struggle through performance evaluations when various approaches to managing it are available such as technology. I recently had the opportunity to give a new performance management solution called Trakstar a try. What I loved about the solution was the ability to set clear and individual goals whether to assess the overall performance of an employee or to have a basis for evaluating project-based contributions that too often fly under-the-radar from a recognition standpoint. The entire solution encourages companies to get out of the mode of the once per year review and instead set up several touchpoints throughout the cycle so that no employee is ever left behind or lost in the abyss of the workforce. The most tedious aspect of performance is keeping up with the documentation of it. Trakstar makes this a completely online process and provides for user-friendly scheduling of performance discussions, check-ins, and authentic dialogue around productivity and performance.
Your employees have a purpose in mind and a voice they wish they could express more at work. Implementing technology in lieu of genuine face-to-face dialogue is a step in the right direction of ensuring that you are in regular dialogue with your people even as you get caught up in the day-to-day.
To get some insight on how you can improve your own performance and feedback process, sign up for Trakstar’s live demo to see it in action and assess whether it is right for your organization.
“Bureaucracy is a global thing. “ ~ Gary Hamel, Professor at London Business School
I had the opportunity to sit in on a Q&A session Day 1 with Gary Hamel, Professor at London Business School at Unleash 2018 in Vegas. Long before this Q&A, he had wooed me with his words and refreshing perspectives on the disease of bureaucracy as it pertains to the workforce.
One of the reasons why I believe I was unable to flourish in Corporate America was because of my disdain for bureaucracy and politics. “Disdain” is a strong word, but completely applicable here. It wasn’t that I was beyond adhering to the structure or constructs that existed in the organizations that I worked for. It was that those constructs and structures always felt constricting and for all intents and purposes they didn’t appear to have a positive impact on the workforce. To this point, Gary shared in our session that he thought “Very few businesses worry about the environmental costs of bureaucracy and CEO’s only recognize the cost of bureaucracy vaguely.”
The reason why businesses can’t bother to care about these environmental costs is that the function of bureaucracy is to control and maintain order. Gary suggests there are likely really great reasons why bureaucracy existed, to begin with, but maintains it isn’t very useful given the world we live in today.
To some, I may have been pre-maturely seen as an anarchist who wanted things her way and had little respect for rules. The reality is as Gary Hamel asserts: “The pressure on the employees in the US is far more impactful than anywhere else in the world. US companies have an even more transactional lens for people at work.” To put it plainly, those who participate in the US workforce are seen as expendable and a means to an end. It is this line of thinking that ensures that our employee engagement numbers never budge or budge ever so slightly year-to-year. US workers are mere cogs in the wheel and we know it. Not only do we know it, we aren’t collectively empowered to stop it, because of course money.
I was and I am currently one of those people who believe that there are alternatives to bureaucracy. In our Q&A, Gary shared: “You have to believe there are alternatives to bureaucracy. It’s hard to imagine what you haven’t seen.” There is a great conflict in the world at large, but most certainly one at work too. It is the battle of old ways of thinking versus new ways of thinking. In the former example, it is hard for older establishments to wrap their minds around any other work arrangement/relationship that isn’t grounded in having to control how people think, work and show-up. They haven’t been privy to the evidence that suggests an alternative, and even if they had seen the promise of another way of managing people; it is likely a very uncomfortable notion to imagine a workforce where people work autonomously and on their own terms without being infantilized at work.
“Why don’t people have the ability to design their own job or choose their own boss, or approve their own expenses? We are so used to people needing parents or infantilization at work. “~Gary Hamel, Professor at London Business School.
Transparency for what?
Another pet peeve I have had with organizations I have been a part of was the lack of transparency. This goes hand-in-hand with the infantilization that goes on in many companies per Gary Hamel’s keynote on “Humanocracy”. Imagine for a second being an adult in every other aspect of your life. This is probably not a hard vision to conjure. You have a family that relies on you, bills, debts, and a healthy dose of responsibility. Yet, daily you report to a job that doesn’t think you worthy of sharing information that may affect your livelihood. Perhaps the business isn’t performing well financially. In most cases, that company you report to would rather cease to exist than to confide in the very people who make it profitable daily. It’s a ludicrous concept and surely antiquated. People should be trusted to show up and work as the adults that they are. Professor Hamel shared with us that: “Transparency needs to be a core principle for how we do business. Let’s be a little more open and have a little more freedom.”
What is the path forward?
“Evolutionary goals and revolutionary steps is the path forward. “
Gary challenges leaders to “employ radical business models while imagining a radically different workplace”. Questioning old hypothesis is a start as well as challenging your own embedded assumptions. Professor Hamel also maintains that we ought to “find a migration path between the past and the future”. “If you are a traditional company it is a much harder transition to moving from bureaucracy”. Aversive strategies to shifting out of bureaucracy do not work. It is about a gradual migration path”.
Some other sentiments shared by Professor Hamel worth further exploration:
HR is the fastest growing function of the organization but has the least buy-in and respect within the organization. We need to ask ourselves why we struggle to self-actualize when this premise is true.
The world is changing too quickly to be tied to hierarchical constructs. Why are you holding onto hierarchical constructs? Is it because it truly works for you or is it about control? It is worthy of some further exploration.
Technology will be used to disempower more than empower.
Technology is used to aggregate and exert control.
Employees come first, customers’ second, shareholders last. If your employees aren’t happy, it is safe to say no one will be happy. Nurture your people first and everything else in business will flourish.
Gary is ingenious in the way he sees the world. He had a lot more to say, so as such I am sharing my Growth on my Terms podcast recording of the Gary Hamel Q&A. Have a listen and reflect on where your organization is and how you can begin to reimagine work while envisioning a gradual migration to less bureaucracy and more trusting professional ties and relationships.
Campaign/FTC disclosure:This is a sponsored guest post. I will receive compensation for this post. I only work with companies I feel have great products, services, and offerings. In accordance with my blog disclosure statement, I will only work with and showcase products, thought leadership, events and/or companies I believe my readers will benefit from. I am not formally employed by Recruitee. All thoughts and viewpoints are created and written by Perry Oostdam of Recruitee. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
Image courtesy of Recruitee
What works for one company may not work for another. This goes for the budget, policies, and recruitment software! With the abundance of Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) available, it’s worth it to shop around and get the best fit for your specific needs. There are comparison tools that are handy, like Capterra’s list of the best ATS. Side-by-side features and ratings are a great research tool! However, it may seem like a daunting task to sift through the options if you don’t know what you are looking for. Read on to find out the questions you need to be answering in order to determine the right ATS.
1—Is it user-friendly?
Collaboration in the hiring process is crucial. Decide with your whole team if an ATS will work for your particular situation. You must find one that even the least tech-savvy of employees can use and interact with! This will increase the level of inclusion and employee engagement, as well as the quality of hires. It’s a win-win situation.
How to find the answer:
Pin down what it means to your team to be user-friendly. A great place to start is a resource or article that explains how and why recruitment software can benefit teams when it’s easy to navigate and use. When listing these requirements out, remember to include criteria that benefit both a) the users and b) the potential applicants. Here are some quick ideas to give you and your team some inspiration:
Simple application process with no redundancy
Application form can be completed on mobile
Sourcing extension for auto-fill of candidate data
Email inbox right in the platform
2—Is it mobile optimized? (Bonus if it has an associated mobile app!)
In the first question’s details, I mentioned mobile application forms as a possible must-have. This isn’t something to take lightly! Even if you don’t tangibly see the results of your mobile-optimized application form, candidates and your hiring results will thank you for it. A whopping 78% of job seekers reported that they would apply for a position via a mobile device. This is a huge chunk of your talent pool! Some applicants will bypass applying for a job if it can’t be completed when they are viewing it on their mobile device. Why miss out on top talent this way?
Speaking of missing out, the hiring arena is fast-paced. You don’t want to lose a potentially great fit for your company because you are out of the office. I’m not saying stay connected 24/7. However, your team will benefit from an ATS app that allows custom notifications. This way, your ATS is essentially in your pocket, allowing you to pick up on important, time-sensitive opportunities. Candidates will appreciate the responsiveness, and your competitors will be left wondering how you nabbed top talent so quickly!
How to find the answer: Test it out on your phone! Does the application form hold up on a mobile device? Also, go to the app store and see if there is an associated app with the ATS at hand. Download it, and try it for yourself.
3—Is it customizable?
Not only should notifications from your ATS be customized, but the whole platform should be able to be tweaked to fit your exact needs. Extra features that aren’t necessary just waste space and junk up the interface. Find an ATS that is intuitive and allows for customization. This will not only benefit your hiring workflow, but it will improve the candidate experience.
For instance, mass emails can appear cold and impersonal. When you are already dealing with a sensitive situation such as rejection of a candidate, this can leave them feeling jaded, confused, and, worst of all, ready to retaliate. The candidate experience can have a large impact on employer brand and the way your company is perceived. Tweaking bits of the hiring process to show candidates that you care will work wonders.
How to find the answer: Look for options to customize your workflow, from interview setups to team management. Furthermore, look for the ability to personalize candidate interaction, such as emails with placeholders.
4—Does it track recruitment data?
With the pressures of recruitment to-do lists, analysis sometimes gets pushed to the backburner. However, constant optimizations can result in a genius hiring process! It’s worth it to track the right data and analyze your findings. Practical application throughout different stages of your company’s lifetime will get you better hires in less time. Not only do companies differ in their hiring needs, but hiring needs change and fluctuate as an individual organization ebbs and flows.
How to find the answer: If you think you don’t have time to track data and/or don’t know what metrics to include, find an ATS that offers data tracking and automated reports!
5—Is your data secure on the platform?
Recruitment software is making the right move: to the cloud. ATS, in particular, are best when cloud-based. This keeps sensitive candidate and user information safe and secure from hackers, viruses, and the like. Think of the cloud as an intangible file cabinet that doesn’t run the risk of catching fire, losing documents, or being broken into! Pick an ATS that has proper security procedures in place.
How to find the answer: Make sure your ATS is outside of the jurisdiction of the Patriot Act. Cloud-based software can be used globally. Additionally, in the terms and conditions, look for adherence to security protocols.
Ask these questions, but play around with them to ensure that they are right for your company. What works for a similar company may be way off when it comes to your needs! Sit down with your team and decide the make-or-break features that will fill in the gaps where your recruitment is lacking. Try out the free trials of a few ATS and use your experiences to make an informed decision. Your hires will be better for it.
Image courtesy of Recruitee
Perry Oostdam is the co-founder and CEO of Recruitee, a collaborative hiring platform for teams of all sizes. Recruitee helps optimize the entire hiring process, from candidate relationship management, employer branding, and job posting to candidate sourcing and applicant tracking. The company has offices in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and Poznań, Poland and works with companies around the world.
Campaign/FTC disclosure:This is a sponsored product review. I will receive compensation for this post. I only work with companies I feel have great products, services and offerings. In accordance with my blog disclosure statement, I will only work with and showcase products, events and/or companies I believe my readers will benefit from. I am not formally employed by Lanteria HR. All thoughts and viewpoints are created and written by me. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
One of the things that has bothered me from the very beginning with certain HR Technology solutions is the lack of flexibility. Sure, they all preach about how flexible their solutions are; but analysts who have been through their share of implementations can attest to a different reality.
We have been able to convince most of the HR industry that having technology to streamline and/or facilitate their internal processes has some substantial wins where both productivity and consistency are concerned. Now that we have their attention, it would seem that we need to meet them where their customer journey begins.
As someone who has worked in HR previously, I know that the customer journey towards purchasing HR Technology isn’t often a proactive decision; but rather a reactive decision that commonly results from several, separate, yet connected pain points with processes and/or home-grown systems. There are usually work-arounds for the work-arounds and systems that don’t speak to one another which causes inefficiency and frustration for those doing the work. When your solution arrives on the scene to save the day, the single, most impactful thing you can provide is a flexible solution.
Although there is plenty variation in customer needs, most HR professionals will agree there are some basic needs that can be extrapolated across our industry.
Here are a few of them:
HR professionals prefer a solution that is has the capacity to scale accordingly with business as it continues to grow.
HR professionals prefer a solution that is intuitive, can incorporate their company lexicon and doesn’t require a lot advanced training or thinking to utilize it.
HR professionals expect the solution to make their jobs easier.
Recently, I had the pleasure of getting an inside look into a solution I was unfamiliar with called: Lanteria HR. Lanteria HR is a global HR Management (HRM) solution best suited for mid-sized to large companies. They currently service companies with as little as 50 employees up to 20,000 employees. If you are an Office 365 customer/fan, you will love the way Lanteria HR integrates with SharePoint and the Office 365 product. Lanteria HR is a SharePoint-based system which means you will enjoy the personalization of roles as it integrates well with Microsoft Office. Lanteria HR prides itself on their ability to meet their customers’ configurations needs without expensive software customization.
Lanteria HR has 9 functional areas that you can utilize via the various modules delivered via the solution.
The functional areas Lanteria HR covers are: Core HR, Time & Attendance, Compensation, Recruiting, Onboarding, Performance Management, Learning, Succession Planning and Reports. You will find that each of the five modules in the solution allow for easy toggling back and forth without issue.
When it comes to user roles there are three within the solution. There are the Core HR users better known as “Super Users”. Then, there are the roles of “manager” and “employee”. Lanteria’s team can also create custom roles depending on your organizational structure needs. During my testing, it was great to simply change existing organizational charts; but also to be able to create new departmental and group-specific hierarchies as your organization changes and scales.
Learning & Development has a special place in my heart
With a natural focus on retention being prevalent in the HR sphere, technology that can facilitate the ongoing process as well as the roll-out of programs to a large number of people will become important.
In Lanteria HR’s Learning Development module, every employee has a development plan and profile. They have delivered reports that track L&D milestones. In addition, you have the ability to deliver and L&D training directly from the solution.
Types of training that you can have in this system are: E-Learning SCORM courses, Video, Homegrown Training Programs, MP4 files and/or links to training hosted on the internet (i.e. Vimeo or YouTube).
Where Succession Planning is concerned, I like that they focus heavily on career pathing, internal talent pools and delivering career goals at all three role levels through their dashboards within the module.
What does implementation look like?
Implementation for Lanteria HR is about 2-3 months from the time a contract is awarded. There are once a week meetings where you will meet with your assigned project manager and engineer. It is recommended that you have at least 1-2 people internally that can serve as your implementation team. All training is delivered remotely via the train-the-trainer method.
What do their Service Level Agreements (SLA) look like?
Lanteria HR allocates engineering time as part of your licensing package. Since your solution will can be hosted on-premises or delivered as a SaaS solution, you will either rely on your internal IT Team or Lanteria’s team for resolution of any technical difficulties experienced. Major updates happen 1-2 times a year. Lanteria’s support team troubleshoots technical issues when they’re related to Lanteria HR. If you experience issues with SharePoint, it should be resolved by your SharePoint administrator, IT team or anyone who manages your SharePoint.
What about pricing?
Lanteria HR charges per license/module. All fees for licenses include the cost of the license and implementation. Prices will vary as they serve customers internationally. You will need to contact them to be properly priced-out based on your company, team and needs.
All in all, if you are looking for a solution that has the capability of being delivered on-premises or in the cloud; with greater flexibility, personalization and control over your next HRM solution Lanteria HR is worth a look. It is simple, does all of the things that we as HR practitioners need to do in a day, plus has some extras that can help us drive the proper messaging and programming around Recruitment, Retention and Succession Planning.
Want to see the latest version of Lanteria HR? Check out there short feature tour here.
Get know Lanteria via their product overview below:
Today’s Guest Aristocrat is:Maria Gee. “Maria Gee is The Content Manager for harri.com. A restaurant worker turned blog-writing-video-directing machine, she aims to educate and entertain those in the hospitality field. “
The restaurant industry is currently seeing one of the biggest technology shifts since the 1980s. With the recent emergence of ordering kiosks, mobile payment platforms and other innovations, it’s time to give your management system a needed overhaul too. Before you make the final decision on one of the many hospitality solutions out there for your restaurant, arm yourself with the following information:
Craigslist Doesn’t Cut It Anymore
Craigslist is known to be the go-to source for staffing in the restaurant industry. You publish a job post in the morning, and you may make a hire by the end of the day. Sounds great and all, but that’s not the best way to source candidates for your business. (Don’t keep your hopes up either; you probably won’t be that lucky every time.) You need a more reliable channel when recruiting talent. Find a hospitality online management system that can deliver you the quality and quantity. Also, when you are not looking to staff, have the resources to be proactive and scout out for potential hires. The shortlist of names will come in extremely handy when you are actually short-staffed.
Your Filing Cabinet Cannot Handle Any More Paperwork
Retire your filing cabinet immediately. Begin onboarding your employees via digital forms and applications. Going the paperless route will not only help you reduce waste, but you will be able to bring on new hires at a faster pace too. Hey, what’s not to like about that, right? The quicker you can handle that, the quicker that team member can add value to your business. Additionally, digital onboarding now includes e-signing and e-verifying features, which means you will be fully compliant with labor laws.
Communication is Vital
It’s crucial that your restaurant team stays connected. The best way to keep in touch nowadays is through messaging apps, since most hospitality professionals rely on their phones. In the group chatroom, update your crew on the latest updates. For example, let them know there is a seasonal menu change or a daily special. When everybody is on the same page, both your restaurant team and business will run smoother.
Why does your entire workforce need to be seen in the flesh? Can you provide three reasons why you need to have your staff physically present themselves to work that doesn’t begin with “Our internal customers” and end with “need facetime”? Among the other excuses for why flexible work arrangements can’t happen are:
1) How will I know they are truly working?
2) If I allow one person to a flex work arrangement, everyone will want it.
3) I need my people here doing the work.
The Supply and Demand of Flex Work and Collaboration
According to GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com , 50% of the US workforce holds a position that is compatible with at least a partial telework arrangement. GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com goes on to report that 80-90% of US workers would like to telework or flex their schedules at least part-time to allow for concentrated work at home and in-person team collaboration via the office. Technology has made it so that we can be productive whether we are sitting in an office or at the doctor’s office. You need to check emails- our mobile devices make that possible on-the-go. Is there an online meeting coming up that you need your staff to attend? Most online meeting platforms have an or mobile optimized site for people who need to a join meetings from where ever they are. Many years ago, we could say “no” to telework, because the technology wasn’t there. Now that we have virtual workspaces, cloud storage, and video technology that allows us to collaborate and remain connected with our teams- what is the excuse?
The Telework and Flexwork Challenge
Image courtesy of Unsplash.com
If we are honest with one another, the nature of work is changing. It’s changing at an uncomfortable pace that appears to threaten our traditional way of doing things. Change is both uncomfortable and inevitable. However, the case of telework and flexible work arrangements seems clear. The workforce wants it, the technology is ripe for facilitating it- yet organizations are still relying on antiquated ways of thinking to approach this topic.
As Human Resources professionals, it is key that keep a pulse on what is needed by our workforce versus constantly campaigning for what the organization needs. No one wins when there isn’t some compromise. The issue around telework isn’t with the employees wanting it, but with our reluctance to evolve with the times.
Let’s be clear, not everyone in your workforce will want to work from home. Working from home requires discipline. There are employees that will naturally prefer to come to the office for a more structured environment. This puts to rest the idea that if you offer one employee a flex arrangement that suddenly a stampede of employees will be outside your door. For those that either need or want to telework or flex work, it is as simple as sitting down with them and figuring out a schedule that not only helps the employee, but compliments the needs of the business. After teleworking two days a week for two years at my previous company, I can tell you that my internal customers were well taken care of, interviews conducted and projects were on target. Granted, my then employer had me filling out work plans to show “proof” of my work from home; but they could never deny the fact that I was productive. Which brings me to the point of trust. Much of the challenge with managing a virtual or mobile workforce has to do with a lack of trust. There is a lack of trust with the collaboration tools and technology that make these arrangements possible and in some cases not semblance of faith in your employees. Think of it like this, if you are asking for a telework arrangement and you choose to abuse that privilege by not working as you would in the office- who loses? In some regard, the employer loses due to lack of productivity. However, most people who ask for flexibility need it more than it being a “want”. That said, the egg is on their face if they fail to work to standards and do what is expected of them.
What’s my Call-to-Action?
Cease the excuses for why telework and flexwork arrangements can’t happen. Instead, look at all of the instances where it is possible. Use a mix technology to keep your team engaged and connected. The need for face-to-face interaction isn’t going away yet. In the meantime, look at the endless possibilities on-demand video technology provides. Video not only makes it possible for teams in different parts of the world to meet and collaborate, it allows candidates to record an interview without missing a day of work and tipping off their current employer. I’m certain that some dedication to helping people work smarter and more flexibly can only help your talent management efforts. It’s all about adapting to what makes sense for your workforce while getting things done.
What will you do to kick the telework and flexwork excuses to the curb?
Want more? Click here to watch the latest “Ask Czarina” episode on this post on “The Aristocracy of HR” You Tube Channel.