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Leaders: Walk the Walk to Talk the Talk

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Google “leadership” and you will find a whopping 464 million results. Videos, blogs, articles, research studies and trainings are all at your disposal, ready to help you become a better leader. However, the best advice I ever received was from my college professor. She said, “If you want people to follow you, you first have to gain their trust and respect.”

I have worked for both good and bad leaders, and the successful ones are those who make a conscious effort to act in ways that foster an atmosphere of trust and respect.

A past interaction brought me to this conclusion.

I was sitting with my group in our senior capstone class. One group member (for all intents and purposes, I will call her Sam) elected herself our leader. Sam made a pretty convincing pitch as to why she deserved the position, so we were all ok with it.

From the very beginning, I started catching glimpses into how she would be as our leader. She was never on time; when she did show up, she wasn’t prepared; and if something went awry, everyone else was to blame.

Our short interaction together left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. We saw firsthand exactly what not to do as a leader. The reason we couldn’t take her seriously was because she didn’t walk the walk.

Walk the Walk…

To gain the trust and respect of others you must practice what you preach. One way to get there is to ask yourself three questions:

  1. “Am I accountable for all of my actions, both successes and failures?” We love to pat ourselves on the back. Positive reinforcement is a good thing, but if that’s all you ever recognize in yourself, you are doing yourself and others a disservice. Good leaders accept when they’ve made a mistake and they work toward corrective solutions that prevent future errors. Others around you can relate and will respect you for taking accountability.
  1. “Do I devote time to perfecting my personal brand?” When we hear the word “brand,” our minds immediately think of companies, but individuals also have brands, called personal brands. What association do people make when they hear your name? Do they look up to you and think, “Wow, she is always so professional and organized,” or do they say, “Wow, he is really a mess.” When you’re a leader, a spotlight is always on you, so it is even more important that you cultivate a positive personal brand. What do your daily interactions say about you?
  2. “Do I recognize my own weaknesses?” No one is perfect and being able to admit that you have things to work on makes you more approachable. A good leader knows his or her weaknesses and is confident enough to delegate when necessary. Identifying the strengths of others and capitalizing on them proves to the team members that you trust and respect them, which, in turn, has a big impact on productivity and efficiency.

… and Talk the Talk

Respect and trust only can be earned by a leader who is both vulnerable and honest. Hold yourself accountable, work to perfect your personal brand and acknowledge the strengths in others. Such a leader will inspire others to do the same.



Author Bio: Lauren is an enthusiastic writer who is passionate about numerous topics surrounding the HCM industry including talent management and acquisition, technology, document management and leadership, just to name a few. Lauren has been with Paycom for over a year and has taken on roles as a blogger, social strategist and community relations coordinator. In her spare time she enjoys DIY“ing,” exploring the city and keeping up with her two dogs, Deacon and Cookie.

The 1 Thing Efficient, Happy and Motivated Employees Have in Common

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Efficiency, happiness and motivation: These traits characterize the ideal employee, but how can today’s employers inspire their workforce to have more of each? Through the use of carefully chosen technology. Here’s how technology factors in to developing your employees into the best they can be.

Click here to see Jacob Morgan’s SHRM-certified on-demand webinar “How to Win the War for Talent and Crush the Competition” on how the world’s top companies are redesigning work around their people by focusing on three environments: culture, technology and the physical workspace.

Efficient employees

Of course, your employees are not machines. Efficiency for your business means employees are doing the right things at the right time; as management consultant Peter Drucker put it, “Efficiency is doing better what is already being done.” The work you hired them to do is performed with excellence.

Technology goes hand-in-hand with efficiency, and that can make your employees happier! In fact, as reported by Access Perks, 92% of employees say having the tech to efficiently do their jobs improves their overall satisfaction in their work. Employees don’t want just any technology; make sure you’re offering the latest tech that can help them perform better in their roles.

Happy employees

Whether your employees are happy can affect many things within your workplace. More than a feeling your people exhibit from 8 to 5, happiness speaks to their satisfaction in their role within your company. When your employees love what they do, that’s how you know they’re happy in their jobs.

The employee experience is the sum of all things good or bad in an employee’s time at your company. A positive employee experience leads to happier employees who are more willing to accept growth and change, and are emotionally prepared to handle the occasional setback.

Jacob Morgan, author of The Employee Experience, describes technology as a key factor in building a positive employee experience. His research shows that 81% of workers say technology is the most important factor in their happiness at work, and 86% say that when their company’s technology is ahead of the curve, they love their job. When employees love their jobs, they become more motivated for the success of the company that has invested in them.

Motivated employees

According to Forbes magazine, motivation leads to productivity, allowing for more work to get done and boosting your bottom line. Chances are, no matter the quarter, your HR team has looked for innovative ways to motivate and engage employees. Incentives, prizes and pizza parties are obvious choices in the search for employee motivation, but is a “prize” the best method?

One powerful motivator that isn’t just another prize is technology; according to PricewaterhouseCoopers, at 48%, nearly half of the American workforce says that new technology is an effective motivator. Are you providing the state-of-the-art, user-friendly tech that can motivate your workforce?

Technology that is up-to-date and simple to use can help you provide the environment your employees need to thrive.  As tech-dependent millennials make up a larger share of the workforce, and Generation Z digital natives begin their careers, technology increasingly becomes a critical part of the employee experience.  Help your employees meet their maximum potential by providing the right technology to keep them efficient, happy and motivated.

Looking for a deeper dive into the employee experience? Check out the HR Break Room podcast episode, “Happy Employees = Happy Customers: The Equation for a Winning Workforce” with author Jacob Morgan.

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Posted in Blog, Employee Experience, Featured

braeden.fair

by Braeden Fair


Author Bio: Braeden Fair produces webinars and podcasts for Paycom, in addition to writing content for the company’s blog and its employee culture magazine, Paycom Pulse. A graduate of Oklahoma Christian University, he managed social media for the college’s student life division and worked in the broadcasting departments of the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Dallas-based sports-talk radio station The Ticket.

Employer Brand

Why Your Employer Brand Matters

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Hello. My name is Amy, and at one time, my Coca-Cola rugby shirt was my most prized possession. Chances are you – or someone you know – had at least one and felt the same way. Those preppy, color-blocked beauties with the classic Coca-Cola scroll were pure Americana. They were so rad.

They were also uncomfortable. The material was thick and hot, the boxy shape was cumbersome and the collars were stiff. So what would inspire millions of sensible people to pay good money and outfit themselves in one? The answer: brand power.

Brands amplify the personal traits and characteristics of which we’re most proud. Brands show others who we are and want to be. They’re a fiercely personal association that sways our decision-making, regardless of whether we like to admit it, and they’re just as powerful today as they were in 1985.

If you don’t believe me, just embroil yourself in a debate about Macs vs. PCs, or Target vs. Walmart. Two things will happen immediately. First, regret will overwhelm you. Secondly, as voices rise and tempers flare, you’ll see that brands continue to serve as an extension of who we believe we are.

Great expectations

While the influence brands have over us remains strong, what we expect from them has changed. Today, companies can’t win customers by building a brand the old-fashioned way, with logo-emblazoned gear, slick photo shoots and ads in glossy magazines. Cultivating a trustworthy brand requires transparency. We want to know which brands mirror our values and operate in a way we believe in, too.

And we can, thanks to the internet. Now, not even the slickest ads in the world can spare brands from the destruction that negative reviews, an exposé on unethical practices or a shocking YouTube video can bring. The power of shaping a brand now lies with the company who owns it and the customers they serve.

Why it matters for HR and recruiting

So what does this have to do with your company’s reputation as an employer, aka your employer brand? Everything.

Just as consumers choose products based on brand identity, candidates choose jobs based on employer brand. Consumers want transparency. Candidates do, too. Review websites like TripAdvisor and Yelp offer consumers a forum to share honest experiences with thousands of people. Major job sites like Glassdoor, LinkedIn and Indeed provide employees a similar outlet.

And candidates pay attention. Much like consumers contemplating a big purchase, candidates planning to make a big move do research. Before applying, 62% of job seekers will use social media channels to evaluate a company and 76% will view an employee’s LinkedIn page, while 60% consider word-of-mouth to be their best source of information.

To nab today’s top talent, you must enter the conversation and cultivate your employer brand.

Isn’t that marketing’s job?

Although the similarities between the consumer brand and the employer brand would suggest it, that’s not the case. And shaping or managing your employer brand doesn’t just belong to HR, either. Because your employer brand has to portray your company’s employee experience accurately, everyone who has a hand in shaping that has a hand in cultivating the employer brand.

Download our new, FREE white paper: Discover Who Owns the Employer Brand? (Hint: It’s Not Just HR)

Once you understand the role everyone in your organization plays in cultivating the employer brand, you can begin making steps toward recruiting, hiring, onboarding and retaining the talent your business needs. Then, take some time to design an awesome (and hopefully comfortable) employer-branded shirt. Your workforce will be just dying to wear it.

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Posted in Blog, Featured, HR Management, Talent Acquisition

Amy Double

by Amy Double


Author Bio: Amy, a tenured professional in sales and marketing with over 10 years of experience, is dedicated to creating content focused on helping organizations achieve their business goals. As an experienced writer, Amy is committed to researching and blogging about topics that affect businesses across multiple industries, including manufacturing, hospitality and more. Outside of work, Amy enjoys reading, entertaining and spending time with family.

Financial Literacy for the Millennial Workforce

Dollars and Sense: Financial Literacy for the Millennial Workforce

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Budgeting, borrowing and debt management can be intimidating topics to even the most experienced professionals. But according to Harvard finance professor Mihir Desai, teaching financial literacy to today’s workforce — especially millennials — is important.

In our most recent episode of the HR Break Room podcast, Desai, author of The Wisdom of Finance: Discovering Humanity in the World of Risk and Return, discussed why and what employers can do about it. Here are three takeaways from that conversation.

Most millennials are in debt

A recent PricewaterhouseCoopers report stated that 81% of college-educated millennials surveyed said they had at least one long-term debt. In the same survey, 54% expressed concern about how they will pay back student loans, with only 27% actively seeking professional assistance to do so. These numbers indicate a growing need for financial education among today’s largest working generation, whose members witnessed the Great Recession a decade ago — the nation’s worst economic disaster since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Make your organization the go-to center

Offering financial education programs is an attractive perk to today’s top talent. Many of the brightest employees of this generation are eager to learn more about how they can better handle their finances. Whether they are paying back student loans, planning a wedding or preparing for their first child, understanding how to manage their income is going to be a huge priority them.

By offering employees workshops, lunch-and-learns or company retreats on the topic, you not only make your organization more attractive to talent, but you also win the loyalty of your workforce and build an even better employee experience.

Meet their needs head-on

Start by identifying the specific financial needs of your people. Hold department meetings or send surveys to learn their pressure points. Once you discover the most urgent areas, plan an event or create materials to address and assist those needs.

This could encompass a wide array of topics, including financial wellness, the power of savings through an employer, tax advantages, budgeting, and understanding 401(k) and retirement plans. Whether a series of seminars or a one-off class, any program geared toward their needs can generate outstanding loyalty.

As more young and in-debt employees enter the workforce, the more valuable and attractive such financial education will become. Offering your employees the opportunity to be financially more savvy than their peers could be the next step in ensuring your people are set up for long-term success.

For more about financial literacy for today’s workforce, read How Investing in Financial Literacy Improves Employee Retention and click here to listen to the HR Break Room podcast interview with Harvard professor Mihir Desai.

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Posted in Blog, Employee Experience, Featured, Millennials

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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