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3 Steps to Implementing a Goal-Centric Approach to Employee Engagement

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Every company wants engaged employees, and most HR executives, if they’re being honest, will admit that they haven’t found the perfect solution yet. Studies show that employee engagement remains a substantial challenge; a 2015 Gallup poll found that a staggering 51 percent of the workforce is not engaged.

One way to increase employee engagement is to take a goal-centric approach. This method calls for the creation of an objective, tangible view of performance, as opposed to a subjective approach in which goals are ill-defined or nonexistent.

How to Implement a Goal-Centric Approach                     

There are three components to carrying out a goal-centric method: establishing performance goals for employees, providing feedback and measuring engagement on an ongoing basis.

  1. Establish Goals for Employees

Employees’ goals should include personal goals, departmental goals and overall business goals. It is crucial that these are aligned with the business’s overall goals and direction. A mix of short- and long-term goals, with incentives tied to each, can increase employee engagement and get everyone rowing in the same direction.

  1. Let Them Know Where They Stand

Once these goals have been established, use them to measure employee performance and then communicate the results. In a connected business environment, where communication is constant, it’s surprising how many companies fail to offer real-time feedback to employees on their performance.

A way to ensure employees receive timely feedback is to schedule “one-on-ones.” These meetings, between manager and employee, provide both a forum to talk about improvements, ideas and concerns. While managers should provide feedback during this time, ultimately, a well-designed one-on-one is the employee’s meeting. Here, he or she can express an idea that’s only partially thought-out without feeling foolish or seek advice when the job is getting so stressful, it’s affecting his or her personal life. One-on-ones are essential to facilitating this type of open communication.

Providing opportunities for honest feedback is crucial to a successful goal-centric employee engagement program.

  1. Constantly Monitor Engagement

It is critical for organizations to gauge employee engagement levels on an ongoing basis and then act to fill gaps where employees are showing signs of disengagement. There are various methods for doing this, some of which may work better for individual organizations than others.

Conducting performance reviews is a powerful engagement tool. It’s even more powerful when employees can access and sign their reviews online. Implementing a digital review process also helps management set and track employees’ competency and development goals.

Training is another effective engagement strategy. Digital training platforms, with an employee self-service portal, help employees invest in their professional development and track their progress. Some cloud-based training platforms also empower management to pinpoint areas where employees have made strides and where they’re lacking.

Lastly, to make the greatest impact on engagement you need to know what’s happening in the now. The key is administering – and acting on – effective surveys. Surveys open the door to better employer-employee communication and achieve win-win employment relationships that drive performance.

A company’s success depends on its employees and if they aren’t engaged, they simply won’t perform as well … and neither will the company. A goal-centric approach, backed by feedback and monitoring, improves and increases engagement over time.


Stacey Pezold

by Stacey Pezold


Author Bio: Stacey Pezold serves as Paycom’s first Chief Learning Officer. Having joined the company in 2005, she worked her way up to such positions as Regional Manager, Director of Corporate Training, Executive Vice President of Operations and, most recently, Chief Operating Officer. A graduate of Oklahoma State University, she has more than 11 years of leadership and training experience.

Self-Service Software

How to Promote Engagement and Efficiency with Employee Self-Service Software

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How to Promote Engagement and Efficiency with Employee Self-Service Software

Employee self-service software often is adopted as a way to improve efficiency within an organization, especially as it pertains to the responsibilities of your HR department. While that’s a common and effective use, organizations also can use robust self-service software as a way to improve employee engagement and productivity.

A recent white paper by Paycom and HR.com illustrates survey results from over 700 HR professionals (representing companies with anywhere from 50 to 20,000 employees) on how they use employee self-service software, and where there is room for improvement. You can download the entire white paper, or keep reading to find out what self-service software means for your efficiency and engagement.

Gains in Efficiency

Employees who use self-service software can alleviate some tedious tasks, freeing up your HR department to do more strategic and mission-critical work (rather than keying in information, often multiple times). Duplicating employee data (especially by hand) is an ineffective use of time, and can introduce errors.

Employee-entered data actually can improve the accuracy of the information you have on file for your workforce. Over 80% of HR professionals surveyed agree that employee accountability for data leads to a higher likelihood of accuracy for that data. In turn, that improved accuracy can help reduce compliance risk.

Gains in Employee Engagement

According to our research, what employees want most out of their self-service software is ease of use, by a large margin of 47%. Single sign on functionality (the ability to use one login for their employee self-service software and for other platforms) was the next most important.

Why does this matter? User-friendly self-service software with a single login can improve employee engagement (more on why that matters below) and also can increase the likelihood that they will complete the forms, training or information that your leadership or your HR department has requested.

What This Means for Your Bottom Line

Increasing efficiency with employee self-service software can help you increase your profit margin by saving time and lowering material costs. Improving employee engagement by selecting a user-friendly self-service software can have significant returns on your investment as well.

Employee engagement can help you reduce turnover, safety incidents and absenteeism. According to a recent Gallup survey, teams that score in the top quartile of engagement exhibit 21% higher productivity and 22% higher profitability that compared to teams in the bottom quartile.

In addition to improving the work environment and production, high employee engagement can help you save on the substantial cost of replacing key personnel. Bloomberg’s Bureau of National Affairs estimates that employee turnover costs U.S. businesses $11 billion per year, and highly educated and experienced employees tend to be the most expensive to replace.

If you’re considering adopting employee self-service software (or adding on to your current platform), be sure to take your employee experience into account, as well as the gains in efficiency that could be made. Choosing to prioritize the elements that matter most to your staff can help you increase employee engagement, boost productivity and maintain an efficient workflow.

Read more about the untapped benefits of employee self-service software in our white paper, The Role of Self-Service Software: Get the Most Out of a Crucial Technology.

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Posted in Blog, Document Management, Employee Engagement, Featured, HR Management, Learning Management, Talent Management, What Employees Want

Lauren Rogers

by Lauren Rogers


Author Bio: As a communications specialist at Paycom, Lauren Rogers keeps employees abreast of company news and events, and provides insight to industry leaders regarding issues affecting human capital management. With experience in marketing and communications, Lauren has written blogs and other materials for a variety of businesses and nonprofits. Outside the office, she enjoys gardening, testing new recipes and sipping something caffeinated with her nose in a book.

Employee Self-Service Software

Missing out on Key Functions of Your Employee Self-Service Software?

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Missing out on Key Functions of Your Employee Self-Service Software?

If you’re like most company leaders, you’re probably making use of employee self-service software to a certain extent. In fact, in a joint study by Paycom and HR.com, 88.5 percent of companies surveyed used self-service tools. And about 87 percent of these organizations considered self-service software to be the most efficient way to provide employees with payroll and HR information.

You can discover more of the results of this survey in our whitepaper, The Role of Self-Service Software: Get the Most out of a Crucial Technology.

However, we also found that a large number of the organizations surveyed aren’t getting as much out of their self-service software as they potentially could. They are leaving functionality on the table and missing out on the opportunity to streamline their training, ensure that forms are efficiently completed and securely stored, and improve the accuracy of information entered by their employees.

Streamlined Employee Training

Companies that use their employee self-service software as a platform for training are able to reach a large number of employees with one streamlined training effort, rather than scheduling several training meetings to accommodate staff schedules, wasting time and losing productivity.

Incorporating training videos and slideshows into existing employee self-service software allows your employees to complete trainings when their schedules allow.

In our research, companies are using self-service technology to serve many functions (some of the most common include accessing payroll information and enrolling in benefits). Unfortunately, only 39 percent of companies we surveyed that are already utilizing self-service software are taking advantage of employee training opportunities through that software. Most organizations are missing out on this opportunity.

Secure, Efficiently Completed Forms

The forms that your employees are already filling out can be integrated with an existing self-service software to make it easier for them to complete and ensure that you can store the forms securely and efficiently. We found that this is another area where many organizations have room for improvement.

Of the organizations we surveyed that used self-service software, HR entered 50 percent or less of employee information in only 40 percent of those organizations. In 29 percent of surveyed companies with self-service software, HR was still entering 90 percent or more employee data.

Having a way for your employees to fill out performance reviews, feedback surveys and other forms within employee self-service software allows them to complete the forms on their own time, allowing your HR department to focus on more mission-critical projects. It can also cut down on paper storage and allow anyone who needs access to the completed forms to find them in one secure location online.

Accurate Employee Information

One surprising finding from our study was that while 87 percent of respondents said that employee self-service software was helpful, HR still enters in over 50 percent of employee data for 60 percent of surveyed companies using self-service software. The most common barrier that kept organizations from having a majority of information entered by their employees (instead of their HR department) was a concern over the accuracy of employee-entered data.

That’s a valid concern, but from our research, employee-entered data has the opportunity to improve information accuracy. Over 80 percent of organizations we surveyed determined that employee-entered data helps hold employees accountable for the accuracy of the data—and 51 percent agreed that employee accountability for that accuracy reduces compliance risk.

In addition to a reduced compliance risk, having employees enter their own information can free up your HR department to do more strategic work. In fact, improving your company’s usage of employee self-service software can help your HR department save up to 10 hours per week!

Learn how other companies of all sizes are making use of their employee self-service software and what can be gained from these and other underutilized capabilities in our whitepaper, The Role of Self-Service Software: Get the Most out of a Crucial Technology.

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Posted in Blog, Document Management, Featured, HR Management, Learning Management, Payroll

Lauren Rogers

by Lauren Rogers


Author Bio: As a communications specialist at Paycom, Lauren Rogers keeps employees abreast of company news and events, and provides insight to industry leaders regarding issues affecting human capital management. With experience in marketing and communications, Lauren has written blogs and other materials for a variety of businesses and nonprofits. Outside the office, she enjoys gardening, testing new recipes and sipping something caffeinated with her nose in a book.

Changing Drug Screening Policies

4 Insights About Evolving Drug Screening Policies

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4 Insights About Evolving Drug Screening Policies

During the November 2016 election, eight of the nine states with marijuana-related decisions on the ballot voted to legalize the drug for medical and/or recreational purposes. This trend has gained traction across the country; today, more than half the nation has state laws in place that allow marijuana for medicinal use.

Marijuana legalization has created tension between state laws, federal law and organizational best practices nationwide, causing employers from numerous industries to revisit their current drug-screening policies to ensure they are best serving their people and the company. To learn more about how organizations could handle this shift in state policy, Paycom invited Sheehan Phinney attorney Jim Reidy to the HR Break Room podcast.

Listen to expert and attorney Jim Reidy from Sheehan Phinney discuss current and future drug laws on the HR Break Room podcast episode, “A New Leaf on Drug Policy Screening Policies: Time for a Change?”

Specific plans of action may be difficult to determine, but Reidy provided valuable insight and four major takeaways about quickly changing drug screening-policies.

1. Ask the Big Questions Now

Employers should consider asking a few key, ever-evolving questions about their current drug-screening policies right now.

Reidy suggests asking:

  • What do your drug and alcohol policies actually say?
  • Are you even asking about medications in the workplace? If so, why?
  • Are you asking about the current use of illicit or illegal drugs?
  • For nationwide companies, how do you draft policy in states where marijuana is either medically or recreationally legal? Do you default to federal law or try to accommodate employees and prospective candidates in those positions?

Hard answers may not exist on how to accommodate every employer and employee concern, but asking these questions now will help prepare you for issues that could arise as state laws continue to evolve. If marijuana legislation begins to affect your state, you will be more familiar with the possible pressure points that may influence your policies.

 2. Know Risks and Current State Laws

During the HR Break Room podcast, Reidy cited risk management as one of the most important aspects of changing state laws.

“HR professionals generally work in risk management, and one issue with risk management is safety and productivity, “Reidy said. “Twenty-six states now have medical marijuana approved, and eight states and the District of Columbia have recreational marijuana approved, and those numbers will likely increase in the next year or two. Employers are concerned about what impact it’s going to have on everything from attendance to mental acuity, productivity and largely safety.”

Take time to educate yourself on exactly what your state laws require before choosing a strategy. The better you understand your state’s legislation, the easier it will be to determine how it may impact your organization.

3. Communicating with Managers and Supervisors

According to Reidy, one of the most important things HR can do to prepare for changes is to learn about employee concerns by communicating and working closely with your managers.

“Assuming that they’ve tailored their policy appropriately to their workplace, to their locations, to their standards, their mission and the like, then I would spend a fair amount of time on training my supervisors and managers on the new policy,” he said. “Managers, I like to say, are your eyes and ears, but they’re also your Achilles’ heel. Be very careful with your managers … once managers have been trained, have them share policy changes and train them effectively to ensure they know what it means.”

Once your organization has created these clear channels of communication between HR, managers and employees, it will be easier to create a strategy for implementing a new policy if changes occur on a state or federal level.

4. No Universal Answer

Perhaps the biggest takeaway from our talk with Reidy was that there is no universal answer for all organizations, which is why employers must learn what works best for their business.

Reidy said it best, “employers, know your workplace, know your locations and know the state law that might apply. Be aware that the state law is certainly going to be different than the federal law, and have a realistic approach to screening and testing, and being consistent about your enforcement of your policy going forward.”

Learn more by subscribing to HR Break Room and listen to our podcast, A New Leaf in Drug Screening Policies: Is it Time for a Change?

 

Disclaimer: This blog includes general information about legal issues and developments in the law. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You need to contact a lawyer licensed in your jurisdiction for advice on specific legal problems.

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Posted in Blog, Compliance, Employment Law, Featured

caleb.masters

by Caleb Masters


Author Bio: Caleb is the host of The HR Break Room and a Webinar and Podcast Producer at Paycom. With more than 5 years of experience as a published online writer and content producer, Caleb has produced dozens of podcasts and videos for multiple industries both local and online. Caleb continues to assist organizations creatively communicate their ideas and messages through researched talks, blog posts and new media. Outside of work, Caleb enjoys running, discussing movies and trying new local restaurants.

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