California’s new pay transparency law

California’s new pay transparency law is already having a major impact on employers and employees alike. Companies now need to be transparent about what they’re paying and offering to current employees and applicants, while job seekers now have more information when negotiating salary. 

For business owners, having a strong culture and HR team will be more important than ever as our working landscape dramatically changes over the next year. Acquiring and retaining talent will become a more competitive venture as worker compensation becomes more public. 

In this article, we’ll take a look at what the new law is requiring of California business owners, the potential impact of this law in the coming year, and how you can adapt as employee recruitment transforms. 

What Does the New Law Entail?

California’s new pay transparency law requires companies with 15 or more employees to provide workers with pay scale information on their job position as well as a wage range in all job postings. Bonuses, tips, and other benefits do not have to be included in this information.  

All employers regardless of company size must keep records of employees’ job titles and wage rate history for the duration of their time at the company plus three years after they leave. These records must be open to inspection in case of an Equal Pay Act Claim so that the Labor Commissioner can examine if there’s a wage discrepancy.

In addition to the requirements mentioned, companies with 100 or more employees will have to report data to the state on pay and hours worked categorized by the establishment, job category, sex, race, and ethnicity of their employees. 

Failure to comply with these new laws could make business owners subject to penalties of $100 to $10,000 per violation. These laws will require business owners to adapt their recruitment and company culture fast if they haven’t been transparent about pay scales in the past. 

Potential Impact on Employers and Employees

The driving force behind this law is a public demand for pay equity. The hope is that with salaries out in the open, employers will be less inclined to discriminate against workers. For applicants, knowing the wage range for job postings will allow them to properly negotiate pay and make the application process more efficient. 

While some businesses have been slow to adapt to the new law, there could be long-term benefits for business owners that embrace it early. These potential benefits include:

  • Defined salary ranges for employees and applicants can lower the likelihood of pay discrimination and reduce potential legal issues.
  • Defined salary ranges make budgeting and planning easier with less likelihood of overpaying.
  • Pay transparency can build a natural trust within your workforce culture. Employees are more inclined to trust their employer if they know they are being compensated fairly and not being discriminated against.
  • Accurate and specific salary postings make applicants more likely to apply.

There is significant discussion surrounding the advantages that the new law offers to employees, but it is important to note that employers also stand to reap numerous benefits, if not more, from this law. Why? It provides the perfect opportunity to develop a healthy work culture and productive environment through trust. 

How Businesses Can Adapt

The new law has created a highly competitive environment for recruiting talent because applicants now know what they’re going to be entitled to. So besides offering higher salaries, what can you do to attract and keep the best talent for your company?

Before doing anything, you should ensure you are complying with the new law. Conducting a pay equity audit of your company to find discrepancies, determining pay ranges for existing positions, and updating job postings to include pay information are the best ways to make sure you’ll be following the new requirements. 

Next, consider using the 3 Pillars to create a strong company culture that incorporates the new pay transparency requirements.

At Culture Works, we use a 3 Pillar approach when developing a culture for small to mid-sized companies. These pillars are Attract, Engage, and Retain, and they can all be used with the new law.

Attract: Ensuring your HR practices, compensation structures, and talent attraction strategies are aligned with an ever-changing talent pool. 

Having HR operations that know the ins and outs of pay transparency will reduce bad exposure when recruiting talent.

Engage:  Creating performance and culture accountability through culture roadmaps and playbooks. 

Getting everyone on the same page, which pay transparency can aid in, will drive your company’s achievements and success through a motivated and engaged workforce.

Retain: Offer career pathing and promotions to retain your talent and decrease turnover.

Having a clear path for your employees, as well as transparent salary ranges for promotions will serve as a motivator and incentive to stay with your company long-term.

In addition to the 3 Pillars, creating a strong compensation structure will be vital in staying competitive in the new landscape. A compensation structure gives you clear indicators of what pay scale, raises, and bonuses to offer to current employees and applicants. 

Creating and maintaining a good compensation structure consists of gathering relevant data like employee opinions and market research, developing a pay structure that retains and attracts high-level talent, and alignment with a company’s model, life-cycle stage, and workforce plan.

Have More Questions?

The new pay transparency law is radicalizing employee recruitment and retention. Having a strong culture and HR team will be pivotal in adjusting to the new landscape. 

Connect with Culture works today to learn more about the new pay transparency law, adapting to it, and how the right HR team can help your company grow.

Many small business owners have the same questions when it comes to HR:

  • What is the purpose of my HR department? 
  • What stage of my business growth should I look into HR members? 
  • What different HR roles do I need for my small business?
  • Is a fractional HR team a better option?

In this blog, we’ll break down some of these answers and look into some possible flexible HR solutions for small business owners. 

First Things First: What is HR?

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) defines HR management as “the process of managing an organization’s employees…to effectively meet an organization’s goals.”

What is the Purpose of an HR Department?

If we were to try to simplify the purpose of HR into one sentence, we might say something like: In its most basic function, HR is responsible for employee recruitment, retention, administering employee benefits and training and development. 

However, this is a serious simplification of what HR actually does. 

The duties of a Human Resource Department also typically include:

  • Employee participation and communication
  • Time tracking and attendance
  • Labor law compliance
  • Compensation and benefits management
  • Payroll, including tax compliance
  • Employee satisfaction, engagement, safety, and well-being
  • Onboarding and offboarding
  • Performance reviews
  • Employee rewards and recognition
  • Developing and maintaining employee resources such as training manuals and employee handbooks
  • Creating company culture
  • And more!

​​Key HR Functions for Small Businesses

Key areas of human resources for small businesses are:

  • Recruitment and retention
  • Compensation and benefits
  • Employee engagement
  • Training and development
  • Labor law compliance

What HR Roles Does My Small Business Need?

An HR manager or HR fractional team is your best bet as a small business. There is a difference in cost and outcome in fractional or outsourced HR, but, of course, this all depends on your specific situation. Let’s take a look at these two options.

Fractional HR

Fractional HR tends to be more cost-friendly because hiring a fractional HR team can help reduce the cost of full-time employees while optimizing your existing team’s functionality. The cost of one full-time employee can be the equivalent of receiving a team of employees’ expertise!

Outsourced HR

Outsourcing, on the other hand, can mean a variety of things. It can mean completely relying on the outsourced team instead of hiring an in-house team, or it can be a partnership between your existing team with a company that performs similar or complementary functions. An outsourced team is often a replacement for an in-house team or role.

Need Flexible HR Options? Consider Culture Works

At Culture Works, we work within an extremely focused skillset, we craft Quarterly Game Plans to drive results for your business, and we believe in what we do. Our passionate HR team is here to help your team create success every step of the way. In an effort to give away a few of our secrets, we are sharing a typical 30, 60, and 90-day engagement breakdown as a Culture Works client. 

Let’s take a look at each of these plans in more detail.

30-Day Check-Ins

30-day check-ins begin with the creation of a new 30-day plan and review the commitment to the 30-60-90 day process. This meeting includes stakeholders, team members, and the client success manager. We establish expectations, the approach and working dynamics, the cadence of working sessions, and joint ownership. 

60-Day Check-Ins

60-day check-ins typically included a review of the previous month’s plan and the creation of a new one. In this check-in, we evaluate the partner’s commitment, the results, your team’s experience, the value-add, and how aligned you are feeling with Culture Works’ performance. Next, we work to include a 60-day committed plan for your team.

90 Day Check-Ins

Lastly, the 90-day check-in includes a reflection of the previous two months and an alignment of the next Quarterly Game Plan (QGP) for your team. We will evaluate results up until this point, focusing on your experience, the value you feel Culture Works is bringing to your team, and how aligned you are feeling within your organization. At this time, you will create your first QGP and your stakeholders will receive a complete Client Experience Survey.

Final Thoughts

With Culture Works, we want to partner with your company to create success for your team– whatever that looks like for your specific company. Our passionate HR team has the experience you need in culture ops and hospitality to create success. Our approach is centered upon the importance to humanize, customize, and simplify. We believe in what we do, and we want to help your company operationalize culture, talent, and HR to create ongoing success. 

Read on to learn more about what we do. Then, read on to learn why hiring the right people can lead your business to success in a recession.

Culture Works team

At Culture Works, we get sh*t done, drive results, and take action on undiscovered opportunities. However, this can be a big responsibility and isn’t always as easy as it looks. 

So, how do we do it and why did we start? Today we’re discussing why Culture Works came to be and exploring what the future holds for human resources. 

Let’s hear from Kristi Pastore, the founder and owner of Culture Works. 


Read on to learn more about us and why we do what we do (hint: we love it). 

First, Let Us Introduce Ourselves

Our purpose is to operationalize your culture through improved middle management processes that allow the front line to focus on successful operations, and the leadership team to focus on the future.

Culture Works when Purpose, People, and Process are aligned. When people and processes are aligned, you’ll reach your company’s goals faster.

Why Did Kristi Start Culture Works?

Kristi started Culture Works with the intention of building people with an outcome of building businesses. What better way to do that than have a focus on Culture, Talent, and HR? 

Kristi believes in empowering people with information and the right experiences, so they can make informed decisions and drive their true purpose.

What Are Kristi’s Goals For Culture Works Moving Forward?

Kristi’s priority is to maintain a kickass culture while ensuring the safety of each of her team members. She trusts the Culture Works  purpose, process, and team. 

And we have no doubt that creating and practicing our inclusive culture will only continue to lead to greater company success and individual empowerment.

Why is HR Seen as a Police Force And How Do We Stop It?

HR can be seen as a police force due to a dysfunctional culture. What do we mean by dysfunctional? A culture that is not driven by purpose, role alignment and values. 

To put it bluntly, there are some things missing in the culture of the operations or leadership accountability of culture within the workforce. But it’s also where we are as a society, so we all have to get back to developing out of dysfunction. Companies and Teams need to identify the opportunities to develop what is missing. That’s where we help!

How Can Culture Works Help Find What is Missing?

The Culture Works team starts by accessing the culture of an organization. From this assessment, we can find the opportunities and underdeveloped initiatives to kickstart culture in the right direction.

How do we do it? Let’s discuss our assessments.

Culture Works Assessments 


Our Culture Assessment focuses on purpose, values, & leadership alignment that serve as building blocks for creating your company’s culture strategy, goal alignment, and operationalizing culture.


We explore your current company culture by partnering with leadership and culture influencers, learning from them and inviting them to be a part of the process.


We collaboratively develop a custom assessment process that includes coordination strategy, data collection targets, surveys, and interviews. We then deliver an assessment and roadmap.

What is Commonly Missing?

Some organizations are run solely by money and metrics. We’ll let you in on a little secret: money and metrics are not enough to produce a successful company culture. We focus on factoring in people and purpose with money and metrics to create a thriving workplace culture. 

At Culture Works, We Put People First

We prioritize valuing employees and contributing to employee growth, engagement, and retention. Why? People are often driving the success of an organization: they innovate, they engage, they collaborate.  The people at an organization contribute in a variety of ways that doesn’t just include their job duties. 

That’s why we think it’s so important to have a powerful community of people in your organization and to support them in their roles and development.

Let’s Talk About the Future of HR: What Will It Look Like?

HR in the future will not look like HR today – and we’re okay with that.

Automated Processes

Many of HR’s operational functions will be automated and optimized. This can include functions such as payroll, for example. Why do we think this? Technology is advancing quickly and can be an efficient option in taking over some of the operations. 

That’s why the future HR will bring the human element to organizations.

The Future of Human Resources: The Human Element

We think the future of human resources will be talent development, talent strategy, and building purpose and people-driven businesses.  

While we can trust technology to take care of some processes, we still need HR to bring a human connection to operations such as team and client interactions, as well as talent strategy and talent development.

Learn More About Us

Consider Culture Works. Our goal is to work with you for as long as you and your owners, operators and stakeholders need us!  We do this by operationalizing your culture, fostering the development of your leadership teams, and driving HR initiatives.  

We build Quarterly Game Plans and Culture Success Roadmaps that are focused on Culture, Talent, and HR initiatives and real results.Learn more about our services, here.

learning and development program at an office

Did you know that 93% of employees say they will stay longer at a company that invests in their career development? Wow! Learning and development programs are directly related to greater employee retention and satisfaction. 

Learning and development isn’t just about lunch and learns or a quick presentation on a Tuesday afternoon. So, how do we avoid those glazed over eyes and make programs that actually help our employees grow?

Let’s hear from Sabrina, the Culture Works L&D Specialist.


Read on for more information about learning and development programs and how to implement these programs in your organization. Let’s dive in.

First, What Are Learning and Development Programs?

Learning and development (L&D), also known as training and development, is a part of HR that aligns employee goals and performance with that of the organization. Leaders of learning and development within your organization should identify skill gaps within teams and develop and deliver training to help bridge those gaps.

What Are the Responsibilities of Learning and Development Programs?

A learning and development team typically takes on a few responsibilities. These include: 

  • Evaluating organizational and individual employee development needs
  • Ensuring alignment of proposed L&D programs with business goals
  • Developing and implementing learning strategies and programs to meet the needs of the business and its employees. 
  • Designing or hiring the right team to provide eLearning courses, interactive group training, and a variety of other training content.
  • Marketing the training programs to get management and employee buy-in.

We understand this list can seem a bit daunting and organizations may not be sure where to start. The good news? Leaders can use purposeful strategies to better implement L&D into their business. These strategies focus on creating an environment where employees can learn, practice, and apply their skills. 

Let’s take a look at some strategies to implement L&D into your organization. 

Successful Strategies to Implement Learning and Development Programs

Learning and development programs can be an excellent step toward improving retention. These programs can make employees feel valued, supported, and productive as well as build a strong company culture.

From our experience, we’ve found the biggest challenge for employers is creating a learning and development environment that helps their employees succeed. In order to create this environment, you need to know what you’re creating–a clear goal can help drive the process forward smoothly and efficiently.  

Contextualize the Learning 

Research has shown that learners are less likely to apply what they learn if it is taught in a different context than it will be applied. 

One strategy to combat this issue is to create customized training programs. In these programs, instructors target specific topics on a team or individual level. 

Break Trainings into Portions

Research suggests that dividing training into smaller increments can help learners retain and apply information. Leaders may experience more positive benefits of learning and development programs if they break up training into small, structured portions. 

Measure Progress and Benchmark Performance 

Your L&D strategy should include clear objectives and performance indicators. Leaders should consistently measure progress by utilizing these indicators. In reviewing the performance of the L&D strategies, leaders can review:

  • Employee retention and satisfaction
  • Cohesion among teams 
  • Employee growth 

Provide Helpful Reminders

Leaders can offer short, helpful reminders for their teams to use the skills from the learning and development trainings. These reminders, which can take the form of an email or push notification,  should be contextual, friendly, and just a few sentences. These nudges can be as simple as “this project would be a great opportunity to try this skill that we learned!”

The purpose of these reminders is to keep the ideas from the training at the front of the learner’s mind as they navigate their day-to-day responsibilities.

Follow Up and Reflect

To effectively employ learning and development strategies, leaders should encourage learners to reflect on how the skills and tools they have learned can be used in the workday. 

Learn more about each of these strategies in our guide to implementing L&D into your organization, here.

Need Help Implementing L&D into Your Business?

At Culture Works, we value the opportunity to help businesses implement learning and development programs into their company culture. Our team of experts is ready to partner with your team to build greater organizational success. 

Contact us today to learn how we can help your business implement these programs and contribute to positive company culture.Interested in more information? Read on to see how learning and development can transform your company culture here.

woman explaining people operations to her co-workers

Some companies may use the terms “people operations” and “human resources” interchangeably. However,  while people operations falls under the umbrella of human resources, the two are separate entities and maintain a few key differences. 

These differences include varying goals, strategies and functions. Let’s start with some definitions.

First, What is People Operations?

Human resources has been around for decades. In fact, the first human resources department might have originated in 1901! So, where did this new term “people operations” come from? 

The answer is: Google in the early 2000’s. After Google pioneered the term, it quickly began gaining popularity throughout human resources. Let’s take a look at its definition.

People Operations – also referred to as People Ops or POPs– is a people-focused approach to managing a workforce. 

How is People Operations Different from Human Resources?

Human resources tends to focus on elements such as productivity and compliance, whereas people operations places emphasis on employee satisfaction, happiness and development.

Let’s review a few examples.

Main Focuses

The main focuses of traditional HR may include enforcing rules and reducing liability. The main focus of people operations, on the other hand, includes valuing employees and contributing to employee growth, engagement, and retention.

Conflict Prevention and Resolution

Old HR often responds to issues as or after they arise. People operations make an effort to proactively prevent issues through people, purpose, and processes.  

Hiring and Role Alignment

Old HR fills vacant positions at organizations. People operations place more emphasis on retaining employees.

Further, traditional human resources may speak with employees about poor performance. People operations value role alignment and place employees in the best position for success. 

While this shift may seem small, there are significant impacts. For instance, a people-first approach results in higher employee engagement and retention. 

What Are the Main Responsibilities of People Operations?

Any People Ops department has several key priorities they’re striving to meet in an organization. While some of these goals may differ, there are a few that every People Ops department likely shares. Let’s take a look.  

Connecting With Employees

The main goal of people operations is to strengthen the connection between HR and employees. At Culture Works, we believe that successful HR practitioners put their people first. 

Making HR a Resource Instead of Policing Employees

Some may associate HR with awkward conversations enforcing rules and policies. People operations shifts these impersonal conversations into humanized processes.  The new HR will use these processes not to enable people, but rather to empower them. 

Operating With a Mindset of Growth

People operations places importance on the growth and development of employees. 

How Is People Operations Implemented?

All of these benefits sound pretty great, right? We think so too. However, many HR practitioners may be wondering: how exactly does people operations work?

Shifting From Manual to Automation

Use technology instead of humans for repetitive tasks. These tasks can include, for example, payroll, data entry, or processing and reporting. 

Prioritizing Data Over Guesswork

Capture, review and share insights driven by data about the workforce. What kind of data, you may ask? We’re all about HR metrics and KPIs. 

HR metrics and KPIs help human resources (HR) professionals guide the development of their organization and track its efficiency. Key performance indicators, or KPIs, are quantifiable measures of performance over time for a specific objective. KPIs clearly articulate what an organization needs to achieve to reach its long-term objectives.

Through using this data – and not just gut feelings or quick conversations – HR practitioners can focus on concrete improvements and where the organization is thriving.

Learn more about HR metrics and KPIs, here. 

We understand that some parts of HR will have to stay. However, many of these systems and processes can be upgraded or automated.

This is the New HR. Ready to Get Started?

Consider Culture Works. Our goal is to work with you for as long as you and your stakeholders need us!  We do this by operationalizing your culture, fostering the development of your leadership teams, and driving HR initiatives.  

We build Quarterly Game Plans that are focused on Culture, Talent, and HR initiatives and real results.

Learn more about our services, here.

Recruiting Talent

As we head into 2023, companies face a range of challenges in their efforts to find and recruit talent in the current competitive market. No matter the name you call the events taking over our current market – the Great Resignation, the Great Reshuffle, the Talent Gap, and the Talent Shortage (did we miss any?) – we can draw a few clear conclusions: recruiting and retaining top talent is difficult and the situation doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon. 

However, there are steps companies can take to recruit and retain talent. Let’s discuss. 

What Does It Mean To Be in a Competitive Market?

According to the Wallstreet Journal, in the United States, there are roughly 11 million open roles and about 6.9 million unemployed people who are actively seeking work. Further, spiking in October of 2022, employees continue to quit their jobs at a rapid pace. 

Julia Pollak, a chief economist at ZipRecruiter, stated this is “the lowest ratio of unemployed people to job openings we’ve ever seen and that is contributing to unprecedented tightness in the labor market.”

Let’s Talk About the Elephant in the Room: The Great Resignation

The Great Resignation resulted in 20 million people leaving their jobs in the second half of 2021 alone and shows no signs of slowing in 2022. In fact, according to Forbes,  over 40% of employees worldwide are considering leaving their current job this year.

What does this mean for companies looking to hire? Top talent will not only be difficult to attract, but hard to retain as well. 

Recognizing the reasons behind this spike in employee resignations can help companies to attract and retain talent in this competitive market. Let’s dive in.

How Do You Hire in a Competitive Market?

There are several things you can do to make your company the place where the most qualified candidates want to call home.

First, Prioritize Hiring the Right People

What do we mean by hiring the right people? We mean prioritizing taking the time and effort to find someone who is aligned with the role in terms of skills, experience and culture. 

Hiring the right people can improve employee retention, foster innovation, and save time in the long run.

Act Fast 

Candidates are getting offers in days versus weeks. If you wait too long before sending an offer, you may lose your chance at hiring an excellent candidate. Remember: if you really like them, you probably aren’t the only one!

Don’t Low-ball Candidates

In a competitive market, you need to make sure your offers are competitive. If you low-ball a candidate, they’re likely to go with another company that values them more.


Be Creative With Offer Packages 

In order to attract top talent, you may need to get creative with your offer packages. This means being open to negotiation on salary, benefits, and other perks like flexible work hours or remote work options. We understand that not all those who are hiring have a ton of flexibility in what they are able to offer their candidates, in this case, try to talk up the perks you are offering!

Prioritize Transparency About Compensation

Did you know 90% of managers say they don’t know how to have conversations about pay? Let’s change that. We recommend being as transparent as possible about what your company is offering– waiting to discuss compensation with a candidate until you send an offer letter is so 2015. 

Show the Company is Invested in the Learning and Development of Employees 

93% of employees say they will stay longer at a company that invests in their career development. By showing that your company is invested in helping your team grow, you can attract top talent.

Show Off Your Company Core Values 

Company core values are a set of guiding principles that reflect your organization’s vision, mission, and motivations. These values should drive your team towards common goals, outline their priorities, and help them navigate through difficult decisions. 

According to HuffPost, 94% of millennial employees want to use their skills for good. Further, over 50% of millennials say they would take a pay cut to find work that matches their values. Wow! 

So what do these statistics tell us? 

Millennials aren’t just clocking into a 9-5 for a salary; they’re interested in contributing to change, upholding their values, and finding a position that means more than just “work.”

If an employee feels as if the company’s core values align with their own, they are more likely to join and stay with a company and be more productive and satisfied with their work.

Discuss what your company’s core values are and how the company is implementing them throughout the recruitment process. 

Learn why company core values are essential to success, here

How Role Alignment Supports Successful Hiring

When you’re clear about the role you’re hiring for, it becomes easier to identify the right candidates and sell them on your company.  But what is role alignment?

Role alignment is the process of making sure the responsibilities of a given role match up with the skills, experience, and goals of the person hired for that role. In other words, it’s all about fit.

Role alignment leads to higher employee engagement, satisfaction, and you guessed it – retention! 

Need a Little Help Hiring in a Competitive Market?

Taking the time to hire the right people will have a host of benefits in the long run. Finding the best fit may not be as easy as a gut feeling and a round of interviews. Luckily, Culture Works is here to help.

At Culture Works, our team is focused on value and role alignment. Our team creates processes for your hiring manager to implement, that make the hiring process efficient and effective. We carefully review and screen each candidate, administer customized assessments, and deliver value and role-aligned people to fit your needs.Read on to learn more about what we do. Then, read on to learn why hiring the right people can lead your business to success in a recession.


Upskilling has become a buzzword echoing around the human resources space right now – and for a good reason! This trend promotes continuous improvement of your current team and employees. Let’s break down exactly what upskilling is all about. 

First, What is Upskilling?

At its core, upskilling is the process of teaching employees new skills or improving existing ones. This can be done through formal training programs, online courses, or simply on-the-job learning. 

The goal is to help employees keep up with the ever-changing demands of the workplace and to make them more valuable members of the team.

Why is Upskilling the Buzzword of the Year?

In 2022, companies are facing a range of challenges – the Talent Gap, The Great Resignation, the Labor Shortage– that all share one solution: a focus on employee retention. 

Improved employee retention leads to higher productivity, performance and company culture: sounds like a win-win-win to us. Upskilling allows employers to enhance the skills of their current employees and focus on retaining their current staff instead of trying to hire new team members. Additionally, employees feel valued, engaged, and excited about work. 

In addition to employee retention, there are a few key reasons why upskilling is so important:

  • It helps employees keep up with the latest technology and trends.
  • It makes employees more productive and efficient.
  • It reduces turnover and saves on new hire training.

What is the Difference Between Upskilling and Reskilling?

The terms upskilling and reskilling are often used interchangeably, but there is a subtle difference between the two. Upskilling refers to teaching employees new skills or improving existing ones, while reskilling is focused on training employees for a completely different job. 

For instance, if you wanted to train your current administrative assistant in a new task management software, that is upskilling. If you wanted to train them in sales, that would be reskilling.

What Are Some Examples of Upskilling? 

Upskilling often includes using new tools, programs, and strategies within the workplace. Examples include:

  • Certifications
  • Software training
  • Professional development

However, there are more upskilling opportunities out there than you may expect. Upskilling doesn’t necessarily mean something that will directly impact the business or be considered a hard skill. For instance:

  • Sensitivity training
  • Educational rebates
  • Conferences
  • Training
  • Leadership development
  • and more 

How to Identify the Right People for an Upskilling Program

The first step in designing an upskilling program is identifying which employees would benefit the most from it. There are a few factors to consider when making this decision:

  • Are there specific skills that need to be improved?
  • Are there positions that are hard to fill?
  • Do you have employees who are looking for career advancement?

Once you’ve identified the employees who would benefit most from upskilling, you can start to design a program that meets their needs.

If you’re not sure where to start, try looking for online courses or training programs that focus on the specific skills you want to improve. Alternatively, consider hiring a coach or a fractional HR team to help you out!

How to Implement an Upskilling Program

The best way to implement an upskilling program will vary depending on the needs of your business and employees. However, there are a few key things to keep in mind:

  • Be clear about the goals of the program from the outset.
  • Make sure there is buy-in from management and employees.
  • Design a program that is flexible and can be adapted as needed.
  • Choose a delivery method that works for your team (e.g., in-person, online, etc.).

Once you have a plan in place, the next step is to start implementing it! Upskilling programs can be rolled out gradually or all at once, depending on what makes the most sense for your business.

Remember, the goal is to improve employee retention and make your team more productive – so don’t be afraid to experiment and find what works best for you.

We recommend tracking the progress of your upskilling programs through an HRIS so you can see which programs are working and where there may be room for improvement. 

Upskilling your employees is an ongoing process, but by taking the first steps today, you can set your business up for success in the future. 

Need Help Upskilling Your Employees?

At Culture Works, we value the opportunity to help businesses implement learning and development programs into their company culture. Our team of experts is ready to partner with your team to build greater organizational success. Contact us today to learn how we can help your business implement these programs and contribute to positive company culture.

Interested in more information? Read on to see how learning and development can transform your company culture here.

talent development

Talent development—designed to attract, develop, motivate, and retain productive, engaged employees—is essential to an organization’s success and sustainability.

According to LinkedIn’s 2019 Workforce Learning Report, 94% of employees say that they would stay at a company longer if the company invested in their employee learning.

This considered, leaders should prioritize continuous efforts to:

  • Engage talent
  • Identify opportunities for learning and development (L&D)
  • Train for expectations, and
  • Manage outcomes

So, how can you facilitate talent development in your organization? Let’s find out.

Why Is It Important to Develop Talent in the Workplace?

At its core, talent development is the process of building your people in line with your company’s goals and plans (and just a little secret from us: your people are your greatest asset).

Let’s be honest: When organizations are not actively striving to help employees achieve their potential and goals, people are more likely to jump ship and look for something better.

This harsh reality is WHY talent development is so important in your organization!

Talent development can make employees feel seen and supported; therefore, making them more likely to stay and grow within their current organization.

What is the Process of Developing Talent?

The process of developing talent is not as quick as a bi-monthly “learn and lunch,” a set of slides for employees to click through, or a brief meeting before the team heads out for the weekend. 

What does this mean for leaders? It might be time to ditch the idea of leaving new hires to complete courses on computers or grouping the whole team together for all learning and development efforts.

Instead, the process of training and development is continuous throughout the lifecycle of an employee and should be performed on an individual, ongoing basis.

The good news? Leaders can kickstart and maintain talent development in just a few simple steps (and some patience and dedication never hurt anyone either!)

Wondering what these steps are? Let’s dive in. 

What Are the Four Steps of Talent Development in Your Organization?

Engage the Talent

Leaders can access the talent of the team as well as get employees involved with the process. A cookie-cutter approach to developing talent won’t have the same results as a collaborative, adaptable process.

But what does this process look like?

Employees can play an active role in how they want to develop their talent. For example, the skills they want to perfect, career opportunities they may want to pursue down the line, and how the company can help them accomplish these goals (i.e. what learning opportunities will work best for them).

Identify Learning and Development Opportunities

Leaders can take an inventory of current employee skills and identify opportunities for learning and development within their team.

Leaders can do this by asking questions like:

  • What skills are utilized?
  • How can the team improve our soft skills?
  • Are there any gaps in the workforce?
  • Is the team gaining hands-on experience?
  • Is the team lacking any particular KSAs (knowledge, skills, and abilities)?
  • How is the company supporting career development?

Train For Expectations

Leaders can consider company objectives and strategies, effectively training employees to meet these expectations. These expectations can include:

  • Role requirements
  • Role alignment
  • Value alignment, and
  • Culture accountability

Leaders may implement the strategies of upskilling, reskilling, or cross-skilling to meet expectations.

Let’s Talk Upskilling, Reskilling, and Cross-Skilling

What the heck is upskilling, reskilling, and cross-skilling!? Don’t worry—we’ve got you covered.


Providing existing employees with new or more advanced skills within their role through education and training. Read on to learn more about upskilling.


Helps employees learn new skills that will be useful in an entirely different role.


Gives employees the skills to perform multiple functions at a company. 

What is the Difference Between Talent Development and Upskilling?

Talent development and upskilling are similar but have a few key differences.

We like to think of it like this:

Upskilling focuses on just that: Skills! Talent development, on the other hand, takes a broad approach to encourage employees to learn and grow.

Moreover, talent development includes skills and upskilling but is not just limited to those attributes. A talent development strategy may include more soft skills, culture, and role alignment than upskilling does.

Manage Outcomes

A talent development strategy should include clear objectives and performance indicators. Leaders can consistently measure progress by utilizing these indicators. 

Need Help Developing Talent in Your Organization?

At Culture Works, we value the opportunity to help businesses implement learning and development programs into their company culture. Our team of experts is ready to partner with your team to build greater organizational success.

Contact us today to learn how we can help your business implement these programs and contribute to positive company culture.

Interested in more information? Read on to see how learning and development can transform your company culture.

wood blocks with core values text

Aligning personal and company values can drive a company towards success. Why? Personal and corporate value alignment helps identify an organization’s goals while improving employee engagement, investment, and productivity.

Purpose defines why your company does what it does; values determine how your company acts in pursuit of that purpose.

Personal and company values are similar in that they both help guide decision-making. However, personal values vary and are for individuals to uncover, whereas company values can be consciously chosen, operationalized, and set across the board.

Let’s take a look at personal and company values before we dive into how aligning the two can drive company success.

What are Personal Values?

Personal values guide an individual’s thoughts, words, and actions. These values help individuals grow, both inside and outside of the workplace.

Examples of Personal Values

Personal values can differ significantly among individuals. Some common examples of personal values include:

  • Loyalty
  • Spirituality
  • Humility
  • Compassion
  • Honesty
  • Kindness
  • Integrity, and
  • Selflessness

How Do Personal Values Impact the Workplace? 

Personal values affect how individuals show up and function in their daily lives, including in the workplace (duh, the average person will spend 90,000 hours at work over a lifetime!)

These personal values indicate what is important to each person and therefore, guide their behavior. These values will affect how employees respond to situations, interact with others, and approach leadership positions.

Further, these principles will influence an employee’s mindset and fulfillment in the workplace.

What are Company Values?

Company values are a set of guiding principles that reflect an organization’s vision, mission, and motivations. These values should drive your team towards common goals, outline priorities, and help them navigate difficult decisions.

Examples of Company Values

Companies should choose unique values that reflect their organization. Here are a few common values that many companies highlight:

  • Integrity
  • Respect
  • Drive
  • Communication
  • Sustainability
  • Fairness
  • Transparency
  • Honesty
  • Innovation, and
  • Accountability

How Do Company Values Affect the Workplace?

Company values distinguish the identity of the company, establish a sense of belonging, influence behavior, and shape the future of the company.

Read on to learn why your company’s core values are essential to success.

What Happens When These Values Are Misaligned?

Most often, there is a gap between companies and employees regarding values. According to research from Oxford Economics, 75% of executives stated their organization has defined values that are “communicated and understood.” However, only 33% of employees agreed.

If employees feel that values are not being communicated and understood, they are likely to feel disconnected from an organization. This can decrease employee motivation, engagement, and productivity… But this doesn’t have to be the case!

The good news: Employees and companies often share many of the same values. It all comes down to operationalizing and communicating these values to your team. After all, both the company and employees will benefit from seeing these values in action!

How Can Aligning Personal and Company Values Benefit an Organization?

To bridge the gap between how executives and employees see the implementation of values, an organization should recognize the importance of aligning these values.

Benefits For Employees

Aligned values can help employees feel a sense of belonging, support, and satisfaction in their roles.

Benefits for Companies

Value alignment can improve the cohesiveness of an organization’s branding as well as improve employee retention, engagement, and recruitment efforts (i.e. talent attraction).

Oxford Economics tells us that “public companies with extremely healthy cultures are 2.5X more likely to report significant stock price increases over the past year… and 1.5X more likely to report average revenue growth of more than 15% for the past three years.” 

It’s a win-win; companies want productive employees and employees want to work for organizations that share similar values.

How to Align Personal and Corporate Values Within Your Company

The short answer: Company values should function as more than hyperboles.

Research suggests that value misalignment is not a result of companies and employees having different values, but instead, that employees simply don’t see values implemented in the workplace.

Core company values should be purposefully chosen and operationalized in a way that is productive, efficient, and effective.

What steps can leaders take? Leaders can work to align values by:

  • Giving employees a space to identify their personal values
  • Inviting team members to discuss company values
  • Tying personal goals into professional goals
  • Valuing communication, and
  • Increasing transparency

Need Help Aligning These Values?

This task might seem a little daunting, but don’t worry – we want to help! At Culture Works, our values make us who we are.

We are a trusted resource working with companies to improve their processes, operationalize their company culture, invest in their people through leadership training, and bring purpose into everything they do.

Our services provide the processes to operationalize culture in your organization:

  • Intentional Culture Works for businesses
  • Collaborative Culture Works for employees
  • Healthy Culture Works internally in companies to facilitate organizational change, and
  • Values-Driven Culture Works to make productivity soar and reduce churn

Read on to learn how people partners are the new HR.

HR team tracking HR metrics and KPIs

HR metrics and KPIs help human resources (HR) professionals guide the development of their organization and track its efficiency.

Peter Drucker, management guru, famously stated: “What gets measured, gets managed.”

These measurements show the methods that are working, aren’t working, and where to focus future efforts. But what measurements should HR professionals be tracking to drive their organization toward success? Let’s take a look at some key metrics.

What are HR Metrics?

Human resources metrics, or HR metrics, provide data on a business’s performance.

What are Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)?

Key performance indicators, or KPIs, are quantifiable measures of performance over time for a specific objective. KPIs clearly articulate what an organization needs to achieve to reach its long-term objectives.

 KPIs provide:

  • Goals a team should aim for
  • Milestones to measure progress, and
  • Insight from team members across the organization

Successful strategic plans may have between five and seven key performance indicators to keep a pulse on how a team is performing.

What’s the Difference Between HR Metrics and KPIs?

While ‘HR metrics’ and ‘KPIs’ are often used interchangeably, there are a couple of important differences.

We like to break it down like this:

Key performance indicators help to define strategy and provide a clear focus for an organization. Metrics are measures of everyday activities that add value to an organization but aren’t the critical measure for achievable goals.

Think of it like this: Every KPI is a metric, but not every metric is a KPI.

For instance, ‘organic inbound website traffic’ is an example of a metric. While this metric is important to track, it is not as considered, or clearly defined as, a KPI.

An example of a KPI would be ‘targeted new clients per month.’

Now that we understand what each of these measurements is, let’s dive into what HR metrics and KPIs you should be tracking.

What HR Metrics You Should be Tracking

HR metrics help HR professionals understand and maintain efficiency in the daily operations of their organization.

While there are dozens of important HR metrics, let’s focus on a few that may be valuable for your business:

Quality of Hire

Quality of hire is an essential metric for evaluating the effectiveness of an organization’s hiring process.

A healthy quality of hire metric shows that:

  • The hiring team brings in good people
  • Managers support retention efforts, and
  • New hires are consistently thriving in their roles

However, attempting to define this measurement can be difficult.

HR professionals may choose to review turnover, performance reviews, and hiring manager satisfaction as proxy measurements. The combination of these results can help indicate if a new hire is happy and performing well in their position.

Demographics and Diversity

Diverse teams are necessary for any company–but they don’t build themselves! HR professionals and hiring teams should be making cognizant efforts to build and maintain diverse teams.

To gain an understanding of their company’s demographics and diversity, HR professionals can analyze data such as the gender diversity ratio and pay gap.

Let’s take a brief look at each of these metrics.

The Gender Diversity Ratio 

This ratio helps HR professionals determine whether there is an equitable or fair representation of different genders within a company. While this metric is most commonly used to measure the ratio of men vs. women, it can also include people who identify as non-binary or other gender identities.

Pay Gaps 

HR professionals can make closing pay gaps a priority in their organization. 

In the United States, the gender pay gap between men and women is approximately 18%. However, this gap varies by race and ethnicity as well.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, white women earned 82% as much as white men, black women earned 85% as much as black men, and Asian women earned just 70% as much as Asian men.

By reviewing these gaps, HR professionals can understand their organization’s culture and how their policies apply to different gender groups.

Absenteeism Rates

Absenteeism rates are important for HR professionals to review because they can indicate poor management, employee burnout, workplace stress, and/or employee disengagement.

If an HR professional notices an employee is taking short absences regularly, they can schedule a 1:1 to check in on their health, well-being, and company satisfaction.

What KPIs You Should be Tracking

Time to Fill

Time to fill is the measure of days a company takes to fill an open position from the date the job is listed to the date the new hire accepts the position.

This metric is often expressed through dividing the total number of days for each position by the number of new hires or positions filled.

Typically, organizations measure time to fill for external candidates because hiring internal candidates includes a different process.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) set the benchmark for time-to-fill at 42 days.

Employee Turnover Rate

High employee turnover can have a range of negative effects on an organization. For example, high turnover can be costly, cause reduced morale, and make it difficult for employers to hire and retain high-potential talent.

To thoroughly measure employee turnover, HR professionals may choose to monitor several different metrics, including:

  • Overall Turnover Rate: The percentage of employees that have exited the company over some time.
  • Voluntary Turnover: Employees who leave a company on their own, whether for an opportunity at another company or to pursue other goals (i.e. going to school).
  • Involuntary Turnover: Employees who are laid off or otherwise terminated.

By analyzing these rates, an HR professional can understand where the organization is excelling and where it may need improvement in terms of employee retention.

What is the Purpose of Tracking These Metrics?

HR metrics and KPIs help HR professionals to address company issues head-on, maintaining a clear understanding of where their company is at using data.

Determining which metrics should be tracked as KPI’s can vary based on an organization’s goals, values, areas for improvement, and needed areas to highlight in reporting. All metrics are important to keep a pulse on, but KPI’s are highlighted to provide a spotlight on those metrics that need focus.

According to the SHRM HR Magazine, HR is held back by the following shortcomings:

  • 46% – Failure to identify shared priorities and strategic goals
  • 34% – Inability to communicate effectively in real-time
  • 27% – Failure to reference the most up-to-date, accurate data
  • 24% – Lack of automation for shared HR/finance processes
  • 21% – Use of different systems to access data

By tracking metrics, identifying high-impact KPI’s, and using data to drive your people-minded decisions, you can align your HR initiatives with your organization’s goals, obtain buy in from stakeholders, and have a clear vision of where to focus your efforts. 

Need Help Tracking Your HR Metrics and KPIs?

At Culture Works, our assessments focus on purpose, values, and leadership alignment that serve as building blocks for creating your company’s culture strategy, goal alignment, and operationalizing culture.
Read on for more information about our culture assessment and other services. Then, check out our article to learn how to bring emotional intelligence into the workplace.