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Overcome the Shortage of Top Performing Employees

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Recruiters use a variety of tactics to find new hires, but one still trumps them all: employee referrals. While online job boards and career sites remain top sources for applicants, referrals often go overlooked as a hiring resource. From a recruiter’s vantage point, employee referrals equal gold.

As you may imagine, recruiters have to exhaust all the tricks of their trade in order to stay competitive in the market. With a ratio of unemployed persons to job openings sitting at 3-to-1, employee referral programs (ERPs) are an easy way to build your talent pipeline, because you don’t have to look very far.

Best Practices for Referrals

The saying “it’s all about who you know” rings true when discussing the employee referral tactic for your organization. Just think: If half of your employees all had two good references, your workforce potentially could double in size. Not to mention these references are coming from employees you already have evaluated and trust. Your employees are a valuable resource, so use them and their expanded networks to grow your company with talented individuals that already have been vetted.

Perhaps you’re an employee who wants to refer anyone and everyone. That could potentially backfire on you, so consider these best practices:

1. Stick to professional references, such as:

  • a former co-worker,
  • a college class member you’ve worked with,
  • a vendor,
  • a client or
  • a supervisor.

2. Avoid personal references, including:

  • friends,
  • family members and
  • neighbors.

The idea here is that you want to refer someone you personally can vouch for, so it’s best to be selective and consider who would be the best fit for your organization, all emotions aside.

Successful ERPs

As members of the team, your employees know how things operate, what the cultural norm is and who would best fit. Avoid underestimating the successfulness of an ERP. If you currently have a poor-performing one, re-examine your strategies and develop a better plan.

Here are some marks of a successful ERP:

  • A quick response time is kept with both the referral and referring employee.
  • All employees are encouraged to make referrals.
  • It’s not just a revenue generator for employees, but more about creating a solid foundation of great employees. Incentives are secondary and should entail some sort of stipulation such as receiving $100 for each referral hired and employed for a minimum of 90 days.
  • It is managed and maintained consistently. Speak with employees to find out how they know the referral; ask for referrals during on-boarding meetings; and provide employees with referral cards to pass out when appropriate;
  • Training is offered about how to build networks and who constitutes a good referral.
  • The process is made fun, with awards for most referrals, recognition notices sent company-wide and a catchy program name created.

If executed properly, ERPs can have a fruitful return on investment because you’re essentially investing back into your employee base. It’s a win-win for both your organization and employees, so give it a try today!



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

Political Conversations

Political Conversations at Work

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In the wake of a heated post-election season, we’re reminded that political conversations in the workplace are inevitable. It is important for HR and managers to work together and guide employees out of potentially tumultuous situations without sacrificing a productive, politically diverse workforce.

Listen now to the HR Break Room podcast episode, Political Conversations at Work: Should HR Pass It or Veto It?

Identify politically sensitive conversations within your organization.

A political conversation can be categorized as a discussion about an issue or idea that impacts society, often tied to legislation or action taken by politicians on a local, state or federal level. When looking at your workplace, the most important piece in identifying these issues isn’t the “what,” but the “why?”

Heated conversations that risk creating a hostile work environment tie directly to each employee’s personal belief system; new legislation or political statements are often the match that ignites the flame.

A recent example is the Affordable Care Act. The piece of federal legislation is complex and steeped in policy, but workplace conversations surrounding the bill can  lead to arguments about states’ rights and the ethics of providing health care for all citizens. Opinions on those underlying beliefs is what drives the real office conflicts. Outside of the ACA, discussions about gender, race or religion, if left unchecked, can become toxic ingredients in a recipe for an unproductive and unhealthy work environment.

Good management minimizes conflict.

To minimize these scenarios of conflict, it is critical for managers to understand the underlying beliefs of their people. A manager who is aware of the dynamics of his or her team will be listening when office talk grows heated.

The goal of diffusing such talk is not to sanitize the beliefs of your employees, but rather to deflect the conversation to something more productive. Acknowledging the point of conflict and gently reminding employees of their work is a great way to steer these conversations that direction.

Know the power of HR’s acknowledgement in addressing political conversations.

Your HR department should be aware of potentially disruptive conversations before they become unsettling. Managers, consider informing HR of any toxic or recurring political conversations so they can begin constructing a department or companywide message to employees. In especially challenging cases, HR may need to consider a disciplinary or corrective policy to discourage instigators.

In a recent episode of our HR Break Room podcast, special guest Robin Schooling, described how her organization, Hollywood Casino Baton Rouge, handled politics immediately after the 2016 election.

“Within my HR team, we crafted a three-sentence answer so that we were all on the same page. When employees asked, ‘I know Washington is looking at the Affordable Care Act. How is that going to affect our particular plan, our health insurance?’ we had an answer prepared. Not only did we have an answer, we also shared it in the company newsletter as a way to acknowledge that we were watching the issue.”

When new policy is necessary, HR should be careful not to discriminate against those employees who want to engage in political activities outside of work. Talented employees who are passionate about their opinions could view strict company policy as an unattractive trait. Something as simple as acknowledgment of the issue to employees can put their minds at ease on the subject and reduce potentially heated discussions.

Manage political conversations in the office tomorrow by listening to this podcast today.

Create a politically diverse, yet cohesive work culture.

Ultimately, the message and the policy crafted by HR should be traced back to the organization’s culture created by senior leadership. It is crucial for company leadership to consider the perception of their employees: What are the employer’s values? Does it foster a culture that allows employees to have differing opinions and be open to discussions?

Leaders and managers need to lead by example when driving the conversation about political topics. Instead of squashing dialogue, educate managers on how to responsibly voice opinions and be human beings. In many circumstances, the best way to set the tone for an inclusive work culture is to encourage employees to reconsider engaging in such on-the-clock talk in the first place. Even a politically diverse work culture focuses on relationships and individuals without sacrificing a healthy, productive and desirable environment.

Posted in Blog, Compliance, Employment Law, Featured, HR Management, Talent Management

Caleb Masters

by Caleb Masters


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

Employee Experience

What the Employee Experience Is … and Is Not

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HR departments and C-suites nationwide are abuzz with talk of the “employee experience,” often abbreviated as “EX.” It is the sum of all interactions, good or bad, that an employee has during his or her term of employment with a company.

As defined by author and futurist Jacob Morgan in his new book on the topic, The Employee Experience Advantage, those EX interactions can be divided among three environments that surround the worker:

  • technology
  • workspace
  • culture

The EX concept posits that all three bear equal importance, and that focusing on their long-term design results in an engaged workforce. In turn, productive and happy workers yield loyal customers.

What would improving the employee experience do for your organization? Check out this on-demand HRCI- and SHRM -certified webinar as we break down specifics. 

In addition, Morgan’s research shows that companies that invest in the EX reap rewards over companies that do not, to the tune of:

  • four times higher profits
  • three times higher revenue per employee
  • 40% lower turnover

Sounds like to build a positive employee experience all you have to do is create a utopia of benefits and perks, right?

Wrong.

What the EX Isn’t

Remember, experts define the EX as a totality of experiences that an employee has at his or her place of work, from Day 1 to either resignation, termination or retirement. Providing a positive employee experience doesn’t require satisfying employees’ every whim along the way, or ensuring that every interaction leaves employees feeling euphoric. It just means that the positives in the sum have to outweigh the negatives; you’re simply aiming to become a place where people want to work and want to come to work. After all, everyone has his or her share of negatives while on the clock, and it is unrealistic to think any office to be all unicorns and lollipops, no matter how many nap pods may be on the premises.

The Millennial Factor

With millennials projected to make up at least 50% of the workforce by 2020, employers face a tech-dependent majority that not only is comfortable with using technology in the workplace, but expects to use it (per research conducted by Adobe). Therefore, millennials are primed to be more open to embracing an EX, which relies upon technology as one of its three legs of support.

One way to support this desire for technology companywide is through implementation of an employee self-service platform. Whereas earlier generations may be used to paper-based processes — from tracking hours worked to completing benefits forms — and, therefore, may be hesitant or resistant toward cloud-based, self-service software that accomplishes the same tasks, millennials overwhelming prefer to forego the manual in favor of the technical.

In a recent millennial survey by Price Waterhouse Cooper, 60% of the millennials surveyed said that an employer’s investment into workplace technology was important when considering a job. Self-service software fits in to that category, reducing the burden placed on HR while empowering these young talented workers to take charge of entering and managing their own information.​

But again, let us caution that technology is just one of three critical components organizations must address to build a strong EX. For more information on all three pillars of the EX, download our free infographic, “Building a Strong Employee Experience: What It Is and Why It Matters.

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Posted in Blog, Employee Engagement, Featured, HR Management, Talent Management

Rod Lott

by Rod Lott


Author Bio: As Paycom’s Creative Services Manager, Rod Lott brings more than two decades of experience in marketing, advertising, branding and journalism. A published author and a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, he has worked with such brands as Blue Cross Blue Shield, Sonic Drive-In and OU.

Improve Employee Engagement

3 Ways to Immediately Improve Employee Engagement

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For some employers, having happy employees is a want-to, not a have-to – it isn’t a priority. Making payroll, launching new campaigns and pleasing shareholders seems a more necessary than trying to create engaged, fulfilled employees. But happy, engaged employees are far more important to the success of a company than one might think.

What would improving the employee experience do for your organization? Check out this on-demand HRCI- and SHRM -certified webinar as we break down specifics. 

A Gallup study reported a measurable link between employee engagement and eight common metrics used to measure a business’ success:

  1. Customer Ratings
  2. Profitability
  3. Productivity
  4. Turnover
  5. Safety
  6. Theft Prevention
  7. Attendance
  8. Quality of the final product

 

In fact, companies with engaged employees show 22 % higher profitability and 147 % higher earnings per share than companies without them.

Let’s agree that happy employees are an integral part of your company’s success — so how do we cultivate them?

How to Engage Your Team

While creating an engaged team won’t happen overnight, here are three ways to begin:

1.Equip your employees

Equip your team with tools like engagement surveys to find and improve weak points. Use goal-setting tools that empower employees to reach new heights in their careers.

2. Educate your employees

People love to learn, so host a brown-bag lunch once a week and offer industry-related classes in the office. Give them tools like the Myers-Briggs personality assessment so they can learn how they work best and how to work better with others. Teach corporate culture with high-quality online learning tools that employees can work through at their own pace.

3. Empower your employees

The days of people being cogs in a machine are over—happy, creative individuals make your business better. According to Seth Godin’s Linchpin, today’s employees crave responsibility, opportunity and the authority to make decisions. Create a culture that tells every employee he or she matters. Offer chances for everyone to pitch their big ideas. Give employees control over their own career decisions with employee self-service tools.

Look at your employees as individuals — individuals who want to learn, share their talents, know they’re making a difference and be part of a business they believe in. When your employees are happy, you, your investors and your customers will be, too.

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

braeden.fair

by Braeden Fair


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

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