You know what most people hate? Job interviews. Why? Well, they’re a weird, manufactured thing where people sit in a room and one is trying to prove they’re the best and the others are trying to prove their workplace is cool. Awkward all around, right? Naturally, the instinct on the part of HR and hiring managers is to relieve the awkwardness and make the experience as pleasant as possible.Read More
We’ve all seen it: that sweet statement at the end of every job posting that tells everyone not to worry, that the people doing the hiring hold absolutely no bias whatsoever and will totally make every decision without regard to race, sex, national origin, disability status, sexual orientation, etc.
We all know that’s complete and utter BS, right?Read More
If you've ever been through the strategic planning process before, you know how it usually goes: a bunch of people sit in a room and push their priorities for the next cycles, the group settles on some goals, and the few who are willing to take it on do the work to distill everything into a document. Said document sits on a shelf for three years, then the process begins again.
Fortunately for me, I work for an organization that loves to innovate, and our new strategic planning cycle presents the perfect opportunity to do things differently. Enter Deeper Funner Change, a consultancy that is changing the way leaders engage with each other and with their organizations. The amazing team at DFC led a revolutionary retreat for our leadership team and board members, and we're already using these awesome new tools in our daily work. I encourage you to check out their video about a new approach to collaboration, here: Deeper Funner Video.
I've worked with companies that are very resistant to outside perspectives--bringing in that consultant to solve a tricky problem or hiring a mediator to facilitate inter-team conflict resolution can be scary. What if they see that we aren't perfect? What if it turns out we are doing it all wrong? It can feel like a radical step to open our organizations to criticism when we don't have to. However, the fact remains that outsiders can see what we're missing in a way we never will from the inside. I encourage you to be unafraid, open to outside influence, and brave enough to ask for help. Think of it as unlocking a mystery or solving a riddle--and follow the fear.
Do you know which of your benefits really matter to your employees? I often catch myself gazing longingly at the start-up tech world and their pool tables and free beer and ropes course expeditions. Glassdoor recently published a round-up of top perks at various companies, and it's full of things like ski passes and executive coaching. It also made me realize that those things really wouldn't matter all that much to my staff--but they would have mattered a lot to the staff of my previous company.
At my current organization--a nonprofit where the staff skews young, childless, and lower-middle income--I'm very aware that the most important things we provide are amazing health insurance and generous paid time off. And while those other perks may draw folks to fancier organizations, I also wonder if those companies won't lose their people eventually if they don't start with the basics. Free ski passes don't mean much if all you offer is a high-deductible HSA that no one can afford to fully fund.
What are your organization's most important benefits - and would your employees agree with you?
When is the last time you picked up your 60-page paper-copy employee handbook and flipped through it to look up a policy? Your first week of work, maybe? In the age of Google searches and cloud storage, paper handbooks are swiftly going out of style. Here are a few reasons why you should consider moving your handbook into the 21st century:
- Things change quickly. Remember when we were all worried about the new overtime salary threshold and everyone scrambled to update policies and practices to get ready to comply? Wasn't it SO MUCH FUN when the new rule was stopped by an injunction about a week before it was supposed to go into effect? Now, raise your hand if you'd already printed paper information about new exempt/non-exempt guidelines. Don't be shy. If you'd used some sort of electronic system to store your policies--whether a fancy policy manager that notifies employees of changes or a simple Google doc--you wouldn't have paper copies of outdated policies floating around, and Mother Nature would be a bit happier too. Now that nobody has any idea what's going to change and how quickly, it's a great time to get to get your policies into the cloud.
- Tables of Contents are so last-century. I can find an email from 7 years ago in about 3 seconds by using my email provider's awesome search functionality. I guarantee you that your workforce is used to doing the same. People use the tools we give them when those tools are intuitive and quick--and typing "FMLA" into the search bar of your policy management system is faster and easier than wading through a 2-page TOC to find out that your leave policies start on page 64.
- Smart phones fit in their pockets. Using a program that has an app--yes, even Google Drive--means your employees (and, more importantly, managers) have your policies at their fingertips. "I couldn't find my copy" is no longer an excuse for failing to consult the policy before making an iffy decision.
Need some help getting on board the digital train? There are a lot of companies that will sell you (expensive but fancy) SaaS-based policy management services, or you can always try the do-it-yourself approach. Independent HR consultants can do much of the work for you and update your policies along the way. Any option you choose, your employees will thank you.