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Reaching Champion Status: 3 Leadership Lessons from Coach Urban Meyer

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At the collegiate level, there are a lot of really good players, but every once in a while, a coach snags a great one. In the case of Urban Meyer, the Ohio State head football coach, he found himself in a unique situation with two strong, experienced leaders going head-to-head for the top quarterback spot.

Many wonder how he got so lucky, but I wouldn’t call it luck; it’s strategy at its finest. Here are three leadership lessons from Urban Meyer:

  1. Getting the best talent starts with recruiting.

Recruiting is the lifeblood of any college program and the same is true in corporate America. Bringing in elite talent is what has kept the Buckeyes a contender, year-in and year-out.

In Meyer’s first four years as head coach, Ohio State recruited top-five classes. Aside from having the passion to recruit, Meyer knows that his team members are his greatest ambassadors.

Just like Meyer’s vision to recruit star athletes, the same is true of your organization. Companies use a variety of sources to find top talent for their coveted positions, but it truly is all about whom you know. Current employees might already hold the key to the ideal candidate. By tapping into your teams’ networks, companies and football programs alike can increase referral rates, thereby increasing the number of quality recruits and hires.

Another problem many companies and football programs face is keeping your top talent – another challenge Meyer knows all too well.

  1. Cultivating the best equates to keeping the best.

Game-planning and play-calling aren’t the only things discussed in the Buckeyes’ locker room. In fact, an encounter with a 61-year-old track star and pastor, Tim Kight, morphed Meyer’s philosophy into an approach Buckeyes team members use long after football.

That approach involves switching out the Xs and Os for Es and Rs. The E represents “the event” and the R is for “response.” For every situation, there is a proper or improper response which results in a positive or negative outcome. Responding appropriately is the Buckeyes’ mission.

The goal is to have a strong R for every situation, both in the game of football and in life. According to Kight, if you are confident your R is stronger than any E, you’ll always win.

However, it’s not just the players who receive training. Every week during spring ball, Meyer allots time for his staff members to take leadership workshops with Kight. The coaches are on board with Kight’s teachings and they hold players accountable to the same beliefs.

Kight’s equation has proven effective for the Buckeyes, but it can easily be used in business organizations. Just follow these steps:

  • Start by engaging executive leaders to get them on board first.
  • Then, through workshops and training sessions, leaders can help to develop employees on the practice of responding appropriately.
  • Encourage employees to take the course or incorporate it into their career paths.
  • Keep the material readily available through a learning management tool for employees to reference when necessary.

Developing skills in both football and leadership helped carry the Buckeyes to victory last year and now they aim to accomplish a feat not many have done: Repeat the win.

  1. Once a foundation of great talent is established, replenishing it only gets easier.

Finding and developing great talent is the foundation needed to achieve national title status or success in the business place.

Once you’ve established a strong foundation of leaders, capitalize on that through training and development. Not only will you have a model to base hiring decisions from, but you also will have a slew of ambassadors willing to recruit on your behalf.

How will your organization reach champion status?



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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