Tag Archive for: hr

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

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.

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.

employer implementing learning and development techniques to their team

Learning and development (L&D) programs are essential to the success of any organization. L&D, also known as training and development, aligns employee goals and performance with the company. The aim is to provide employees with the necessary skills and resources they need to flourish in their roles. 

Unfortunately, many companies may struggle to experience the positive benefits of these programs on a long-term basis. In fact,  Harvard Business Review estimates that only 10% of the $200 billion spent every year on corporate training and development in the United States delivers real results.

The good news is 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 what strategies aren’t working and discuss more successful methods of implementing L&D into your business.

What Strategies Aren’t Working to Implement L&D into Businesses

According to research presented by Harvard Business Review, companies face a few challenges in implementing L&D into their businesses. These common challenges include:

Training that Takes Place Outside of the Organization

Learning and development trainings tend to occur outside of the organization. This makes it difficult for the employees to translate the skills learned in the classroom into the workplace. 

When we work with clients to implement L&D programs into their organization, we ensure that these programs are integrated into the workplace. A learning and development initiative should be a main part of your company’s strategic initiatives. 

Training that Requires Employees to Invest Their Own Time

Learning and development training that requires employees to invest their personal time are less likely to be successful than trainings that focus on building these skills during work. When leaders expect their team to fulfill their regular work responsibilities and compromise their personal time, leaders are not setting their employees up to successfully grow these skills. 

Training With Minimal Follow-Up

When leaders implement minimal follow-up after the training, the responsibility to retain and use the new skills is placed on the learner. Leaders should maintain responsibility for learning and development in order to experience the best results.

Successful Strategies to Implement L&D into Your Business

According to Forbes, learning and development training helps organizations to gain and retain top talent, build employee satisfaction, boost morale and improve productivity.  Let’s dive into how leaders can implement L&D to experience these benefits on a long-term basis.

1. 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. Many traditional learning and development programs are held outside of the workplace, which leads to issues translating the skills into the new context. 

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. This can help learners to apply and implement these new skills into their daily work.

2. Break Learning and Development 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. 

For example, leaders can encourage learners to participate in short online courses that can be easily integrated into their work schedules. These classes should be prioritized and completed while employees are on the clock to avoid shifting the responsibility of the training onto the learner.

3. 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 

However, it is important for leaders to remember that learning is an individual process, and each learner may provide different results. While leaders should check in with individuals, they should consider measuring progress based on teams or levels within the organization.

4. 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!”

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. In each reminder, leaders should consider referencing a specific behavior and including a call to action. 

5. 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. Leaders may also choose to set aside time for learners to reflect after the training and then on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.

Leaders can follow up after learning and development trainings in a few different ways. For instance, leaders can check in with individuals during 1:1 meetings or the team during group meetings. Leaders can guide discussion with questions such as:

  • Did you use x skills this week?
  • If so, how did you use these skills?
  • If not, how might you use these skills next time?
  • Are there any tools or resources you need to use these tools in the future?

6. Provide Additional Resources to Support Employee Growth

Employee growth doesn’t have to stop at the end of the training or when they click off that last assigned online course. Leaders can support their employees in growing through reimbursement programs, webinars, books as well as other resources. 

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.

employer reviewing how to perform layoffs the right way

Layoffs are an unfortunate, but often a necessary choice for businesses for several reasons. Some may include an economic crisis, a change in business strategy, or a general reorganization. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2009, during the height of the Great Recession, 2.1 million Americans were laid off. As the American economy is at risk of entering another recession, companies are beginning to take measures to prepare. Companies may turn to layoffs as a means to survive during the economic downturn. 

Company leaders may not realize that layoffs do not only affect only the people leaving the organization, but carry long-term effects on the company culture, such as lowered employee productivity, retention, and satisfaction. 

However, employers can implement specific, purposeful strategies to navigate layoffs and preserve company culture.  Let’s begin by discussing how these changes can affect the team.

How Layoffs Affect the Team

Employees that stay at a company after layoffs experience a 20% decline in job performance, a 36% decline in organizational commitment, and a 41% decrease in job satisfaction. Why? Because layoffs can cause employees to feel as if they have lost control, stability as well as trust in their management. 

 Let’s review some strategies to combat these issues.

Strategies to Navigate Layoffs

While layoffs will never be easy, companies can take steps to make the transitions as smooth as possible for their employees. 

Find a Way to be Fair

One of the most common complaints from employees following a layoff is that it wasn’t fair. By fair, we mean that employees did not understand the criteria or how the leadership decided which employees stayed and which were laid off. 

Company leaders should take the time to create a system for determining who will stay and who will go in the process of making layoffs. These criteria can be designed to clearly identify employee roles, traits, skills, or knowledge that will help the company reach its goals as well as align with company values.

A fair selection process, especially one that is communicated to the team, can help employees better understand the reasons for layoffs and set them up for success moving forward.

Be Respectful

Leaders should approach layoffs with intention, respect, and compassion. This approach can result in significant benefits for your employees and your company.

Layoffs will inevitably cause negative reactions amongst employees. Respect can help to soften these reactions.

For example, companies may choose for leadership to personally speak with employees about the changes. Leaders should avoid impersonal actions such as sending out a generic email detailing the layoff decision. 

Prioritize Transparency: Talk About It

Leaders should consider having an open dialogue about the layoffs. Why? Because after the announcement of layoffs, gossip and hurt feelings are inevitable. By making the effort to speak to their teams, leaders are taking the opportunity to control the narrative of why these changes are happening. 

According to PR Newswire, more than 86% of employees stated that their loyalty would be affected if a company “fails to be transparent regarding slowing company growth, hiring freezes, and layoffs.”

Consistency is Key

Layoffs can cause a workplace to feel inconsistent or unstable to employees. Leaders can prioritize consistency by maintaining consistent expectations, communication and behaviors across conversations. This can help employees to feel more stable in their workplace and help to boost productivity. 

Provide Choices

Employees are likely to feel out of control during the process of layoffs, whether they stay or leave the company. Leaders can combat this issue by providing employees with as many choices as possible, even the little things.

For instance, allowing employees to take select office supplies or select their last date of employment can show care and allow exiting employees to feel more in control. Further, this display of extra care will boost morale and trust for the employees staying with the organization.

Show Extra Care

In the event of a layoff, small actions can make all the difference for both the employees exiting the organization and the employees staying. Leaders can show extra care by providing all employees with information about unemployment resources, job search resources, communication, and support. The care leaders show to exiting employees will matter to those staying with the company.

Is There a Wrong Way to Make Layoffs?

Harvard Business Review defines “bad layoffs” as “layoffs that aren’t fair or perceived as fair by employees and that have lasting negative knock-on effects.” 

For example, companies should avoid performing layoffs with the goal of achieving short-term cuts instead of implementing long-term strategic change. When used as a quick means to support a short-term goal, these choices often prove to cause more issues than solutions. 

Need Help With Your Company Culture?

At Culture Works, we understand that sometimes layoffs can’t be avoided. These changes don’t have to negatively impact your company culture on a long-term basis. With the right strategies and structures in place, we can operationalize the elements of your company culture that drive productivity, retention, and results. 

Learn more about us and what we do, here. 

Then read on to why hiring the right people can help your business in a recession (and prevent layoffs in the future) here.

HR helping company hire the right people to improve company during a recession

For many companies, an initial reaction to a recession (or any significant financial crisis) may be to stop hiring. Employers believe that this will allow them to save money and focus their resources on their existing staff.

However, hiring during a recession is essential to the growth and success of your business. Why? Because hiring the right people can improve employee retention, foster innovation, and save time in the long run.

Before we dive into why hiring the right people is important, let’s discuss why businesses should resist hiring freezes.

Resist Hiring Freezes

While hiring freezes may save money in the short term, they can often be more harmful than helpful to a company. If your business is not hiring new people, it is not progressing and growing.

Freezing hires may have the following negative impacts:

Issues with Retention and Loss of Your Best Talent

Hiring freezes will likely result in your existing staff covering the work that a new hire would be taking on. Many employers depend upon their best talent to pick up the slack in a time of financial crisis.

However, additional work with limited resources can lead to employee burnout and increased turnover. Further, employees will be more likely to leave your organization if there aren’t opportunities for them to grow within the company.

According to PR Newswire, more than 86% of employees stated that their loyalty would be affected if a company “fails to be transparent regarding slowing company growth, hiring freezes, and lay-offs.”

Loss of Revenue

Hiring freezes mean that you don’t fill your revenue-generating positions. This results in a lost opportunity to earn more revenue for your company.

Additionally, if your organization isn’t properly staffed and your employees are stretched thin, you hinder them from doing their job to the best of their ability. Limited staffing can frustrate your employees, affect the quality of the work, and therefore, impact your customers.

Missing Out on Talent Opportunities

Company-wide hiring freezes mean that your organization won’t be able to consider exceptional talent. This means you’re missing out on the positive impact new talent could make on your business. Moreover, if your organization doesn’t use them, another company will!

So, what’s our solution to helping your business in a recession? Focus on hiring the right people.

Why Hiring the Right People is Important in a Recession

Improved Employee Retention

According to PR Newswire, a report surveying over 1,500 employees in the United States found that 57% of employees would actively look for a new job if we enter an economic recession in 2022.

Further, the report stated that over 70% of respondents believe we will be in a recession within six months or less.

So, what does this mean for employers? Employee retention should be a priority during a recession.

The right new hire can improve employee retention by decreasing workloads for your current employees, boosting morale, and showing your employees that there is opportunity to grow within your company.

By decreasing the workload alone, the right new hire can make your team feel supported as well as give them the time they need to complete quality work at an effective pace. This can cut down on employee burnout and give employees the tools they need to flourish within your organization.

Foster Innovation

A new hire can bring a fresh perspective to your organization. Through this perspective, the new hire can introduce innovative ideas, such as how to make current processes more efficient.

Innovation, in addition to helping the team, can also help prevent workflows from becoming stagnant.

Saves Time and Resources

By hiring the right people, you save time in the following ways:

Less Time Spent Hiring

Taking the time to hire the right candidate means you only have to do the hiring process once.

Quicker Onboarding Process

Additionally, hiring the right person will likely lead to a quicker onboarding process. If this candidate is well-aligned with the position, they are more likely to pick up their responsibilities and seamlessly transition into the role.

Improved Efficiency

By hiring the right people, employers make their teams more efficient. When everyone on the team can execute their responsibilities well and support each other, the team becomes more successful as a whole.

How to Hire the Right People

Now that we’ve discussed why to hire the right people, let’s discuss how to do it. Begin with the following steps.

Assess Your Company’s Needs

To recruit the best people, you need to be aware of your company’s exact needs. Consider questions such as:

  • Where could your team benefit from additional support?
  • What responsibilities does this role need to fill?
  • What are the goals of this position?
  • What qualifications will this new hire need to achieve these goals?
  • What mindset are you looking for in this new hire?
  • What experience would be the most helpful for this position?

Create a Detailed Job Description

Creating a detailed job description can define what exactly you want from this role and how it will benefit your organization. Plus, a detailed job description can help draw the best-fitting candidates to your company.

Prepare a Structured Interview

Use the interview to ensure the candidate is meeting the expectations you’ve set for the role. We suggest preparing questions or an itinerary to keep the interview as focused and productive as possible.

Look Beyond the Resume

While the skills and experience listed on the resume are important, it is also essential to review other qualities when selecting a new hire. These qualities can include their values (and if these values align with the company values) as well as their ambitions and their soft skills.

Need a Little Help Hiring the Right People?

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 how to build trust with your employees.

Team members bringing emotional intelligence into the workplace and having discussions

In a survey of hiring managers, nearly 75% of respondents stated they value an employee’s emotional intelligence (EI or EQ) over their IQ. Why? Emotional intelligence is linked to more productive and satisfied employees… Hello, retention!

Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to perceive and manage emotions. This skill can be improved and strengthened as well as brought into different aspects of one’s life – like the workplace!

However, bringing emotional intelligence into the workplace isn’t as easy as a Friday afternoon workshop with acai bowls. (Although, we certainly aren’t against that!). EQ is the building and cognizant maintenance of healthy habits. It takes work.

Read on to learn how to sharpen and maintain these skills in the workplace!

What is Emotional Intelligence?

First things first, what is emotional intelligence? EQ can be broken into four different levels:

  • Perceiving emotions
  • Reasoning with emotions
  • Understanding emotions, and
  • Managing emotions

The term “emotional intelligence” was first coined by psychologists Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer in 1990. Five years later, science journalist Daniel Goleman wrote a best-selling book titled Emotional Intelligence followed by Emotional Intelligence 2.0 in 2019.

In Emotional Intelligence 2.0, Goleman expanded on EQ and broadened the definition of the term. Goleman split emotional intelligence into four crucial areas:

  1. Self-Awareness
  2. Self-Management
  3. Relationship Maintanence
  4. Social Awareness

Let’s take a look at how these skills can contribute to success.

How Can Emotional Intelligence Lead to Success?

EQ can help individuals refine communication, increase problem-solving abilities, build relationships, defuse conflict, and improve productivity. Through these benefits, emotional intelligence helps individuals become successful and satisfied in both their personal lives and in the workplace.

How to Develop Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

Now that we’ve reviewed what emotional intelligence is and how it leads to success, let’s dive into how you can bring it into your company culture.

Educate Your Team on EQ

How can employees practice emotional intelligence if they don’t know what it is? We suggest educating your team on what EQ is, how they can practice and strengthen their EQ skill set, and how these skills can contribute to their success.

Consider presentations, workshops or classes. Read on to learn more about our culture operations packages!.

Assess Your Team’s Needs

Leaders can focus efforts through investing time in reviewing where the company culture excels and where it can be improved. For instance, leaders may notice that the giving and receiving of feedback can be improved in their workplace. 

Read on to find more information about our wellness resources.

Prioritize Active Listening

Simply put, active listening is the practice of making a cognizant effort to pay attention and fully engage in a conversation. This can take the form of paraphrasing to show understanding, using nonverbal cues such as nodding and eye contact, as well as verbally inserting short affirmations.

Provide Purposeful Feedback

Feedback is an essential part of improving a company and company culture, but can get tricky. To provide feedback using a high level of emotional intelligence, we recommend being in a mindset that the feedback is an opportunity to feed forward. Leaders and teams can get better together, collectively, if they lean into this mindset by using some of the following tips. 

Ask Questions

By opening with a question, those who are giving feedback encourage a discussion rather than a negative statement. This can help those who are receiving feedback feel heard and that they can participate in the conversation; instead of simply being told they’re doing something wrong.

Describe a Specific Behavior

When giving feedback, leaders should discuss specific behaviors or examples to pinpoint where an employee’s opportunity to learn and grow is. If the feedback given is too vague, the employee may not know what to improve or how to improve. 

Provide Context

Those providing feedback should explain the full context of the situation. This gives the individual receiving feedback an understanding of why they are receiving these notes and how they can adjust their behavior.

For example, if an employee doesn’t understand the impact of a particular behavior, they may feel surprised or that they are being nit-picked. When provided with context, an employee can understand why the behavior may not be beneficial; and therefore, be more open to adjusting.

Try To Understand Their Perspective

Feedback should be a discussion. By asking questions and stepping into the employee’s shoes, those providing feedback can understand why the other person made specific choices.

Further, those receiving feedback would likely appreciate the opportunity to explain themselves in an open, safe space, so as to not feel attacked.

Leaders Should Model Behaviors

Leaders can inspire the rest of the team by actively sharpening their own EQ skills. For instance, management can use active listening skills and make an effort to accept criticism themselves and respond accordingly. In addition, leaders who can provide clear direction and articulate the needs and expectations inspire and encourage teams to identify and commit to the needs and wants so collective change can happen. 

Want Help Bringing Emotional Intelligence Into the Workplace? We Got You!

At Culture Works, we provide the processes to operationalize culture and EQ you want in your company and through its leaders.. Our services include culture, talent and HR assessments, culture operations, recruiting, and consulting.

Read on to learn more about us and why we do what we do.

a team using people operations and Hr as a resource in their roles

What do you think of when you think of HR? 

The friendly co-worker always sipping lemon tea and bringing donuts? Thursday morning workshops squeezed into the schedule? The adorably decorated office visit to talk about benefits? Some might even think of impersonal conversations about rules and regulations. (It’s okay, you can say it.) We’ll let you in on a little secret: we don’t like those impersonal conversations either. That’s why we’re leaving them in the old HR.

We’ll tell you what we think of when we think of HR: people.

And as much as we love lemon tea, workshops, and decorated offices, we want employees to primarily associate HR with one thing: resources.

How will we accomplish this? We’re so glad you asked. Let’s dive into the new HR. 

What Do We Mean By People Partners?

People partners function as a system of strategic practices that will humanize impersonal processes and prioritize employees. By focusing on employee happiness and satisfaction, people partners improve employee development, engagement, and retention. 

Sounds like a win-win, right? Let’s look into the goals of people partners in greater detail. 

What Are the Goals of People Partners?

Connecting With Employees

The main goal of people partners 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 partners shift 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 partners place importance on the growth and development of employees. 

Coordinating with Employees of All Levels

HR practitioners utilizing the principles of people partners work alongside co-workers of all levels. Through these collaborations, HR practitioners have the opportunity to learn the business partners from each level of the organization. 

Impact Change through Purpose, People, and Process

We like to think of it like this:

Purpose: HR practitioners assess and identify goals as well as value alignment. 

People: People partners will help integrate, support, and guide performance accountability amongst the team. Further, HR practitioners familiarize themselves with roles and success indicators and align employees accordingly. 

Process: HR practitioners implement humanized processes to connect to employees and create change. 

Learn more about purpose, people, and process, here. 

How Are People Partners Different From the Old HR?

The old and new HR will have many differences, ranging from details in processes to broad responses to problems. Let’s go over a few examples.

  • The main focuses of traditional HR may include enforcing rules and reducing liability. The main focus of people partners, on the other hand, includes valuing employees and contributing to employee growth, engagement, and retention.
  • Old HR often responds to issues as or after they arise. People partners make an effort to proactively prevent issues through people, purpose, and processes.  
  • Old HR fills vacant positions at organizations. People partners place more emphasis on retaining employees.
  • Traditional HR may speak with employees about poor performance. People partners value role alignment and place employees in the best position for success. 

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.