Social Media at the Workplace and How It Can Enhance Workplace Productivity

By Nancy Rodriguez July 21, 2019

Social media is everywhere, most businesses advertise in social platforms their products and services. There is this believe that social media affects the workplace negatively, but social media is actually beneficial for companies as it increases efficiencies and better productivity.

Here are five ways to encourage the use of social media at your workplace to increase efficiency

Research and Networking

More employees are going to the social platforms to exchange ideas and to network with other colleagues. By encouraging your employees to use the social networking available they can reach a greater number of people and share information about the company or any new product s the company wishes to promote. If employees are sharing great things about the company then this is elevating the employer brand and it is free marketing for the company.

Social Media has also changed the way recruiting is done. Many employers are using professional sites such as LinkedIn to seek for talent and fill positions and expand their reach to candidates.

Opens the communication lines

Social media allows for an environment where ideas and input are valued, and employees tend to feel empowered. The company wins in getting more ideas, improvements, and feedback that could benefit their business.

More employees are going to their social network to assist them with problems or for additional information or feedback on a project or just recommendations on the where, the what and the how. This creates better collaboration amongst the team as they are able to obtain answers quicker. It can also be beneficial to obtain and improve services through the feedback that is obtain.

Productivity Increases

When employees are allowed to connect with those on social networks or catch up with friends and family   at their leisure their productivity tends to increase.  Research shows that breaks are link to the productivity of an employee. The difference today is that this is happening virtually and connecting with others creates a happier environment. Employees who take those mini breaks are able to focus on their task and be more efficient. Having an online presence is advantageous for the company and it can generate higher profits. By facilitating the use of social media there is an immediate boost in morale.

Encourages Collaboration

There are many tools available in the market that encourages collaboration for example tools that improve meetings. It allows for meetings to be discussed, provide more feedback and higher participation by those who may be introverts and would rather pose a question through the platform.

Social tools also allow for employees to communicate with customers and strengthen their professional relationships with individuals outside the enterprise. This can be of great benefit as it can bring new opportunities to the business. Some other tools that can encourage collaboration are video conferencing, instant messaging tools, platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook.  Facebook makes it convenient for all purpose of communication and shared information instantly.

New employees can connect with other employees from all over the business. Especially if they are located in different countries and can share and discuss content.

Most workplaces limit the amount of time use on social media during work hours. Allowing employees to use their social media platform can actually grow your business and improve your business bottom-line. In today’s fast-paced, globalized workplace environment engaging employees in social media will transform the way your company will impact and will add a valuable opportunity to gain insight innovation and feedback.  It will create a more engaged and productive workforce.

Interview Process and Tools your Organization Should Have

by Nancy Rodriguez July 20, 2019

Changes in technology are having a tremendous impact on recruiting strategies and the interview process. Putting your recruiting efforts to attract the best talent is important, but also sharpening your interviewing skills and improving your interview process is as important.

Here are some useful process and innovations to help you with your interview process:

Train Managers on Interviewing Skills

Managers who may not have the skills on how to conduct thorough interviews must be trained. During the interview process managers should be focusing in assessing the candidate’s skills and abilities and whether they meet the requirements you the position and the culture of the company.

Video Interviews

Video interviewing has become more and more common as organization expand their search nationality through social media attracting a wider range of candidates. Video Interviews makes it convenient for the candidate and it eliminates the need to travel.  Live video interviews are a way to interview those remote candidates that is more personal than a phone call.

The on-demand video interviews have also gained popularity. This is a one-way video interview where the candidate answers questions and they record themselves. This are very structured every candidate gets the same questions and it is easier to evaluate candidates using the same consistent criteria.

Virtual Reality Assignments

Virtual reality is also making it to the world of recruiting.  Companies can test a candidate’s skills by providing simulated 3-D environment to test them on how they approach and solve tasks.

Internet is an Important Resource

The internet has revolutionized recruiting, there are so many platforms available to the hiring manager LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook networking groups and beyond.

Candidates continue to use the internet not just to search for jobs, but they are using it as a self-marketing platform by leveraging all its tools, social media, digital postilions and even having their own personal website.

Soft Skills Assessment Software

There is an increase on software’s that can measure a candidate’s soft skills for a very specific role which can be share with the hiring team.  High tech tools such as Koru and Pymetrics can assess a candidate’s teamwork, flexibility and can predict job performance.

Job Auditions

Job auditions are gaining popularity as it provides the opportunity to see the candidate on action and provide more of a realistic sense of their skills. So, both the candidate and the organization can get a real sense of whether they can pass the test.

There are many ways to make the process better, training your hiring team to perform better interviews, introducing new ways for interviewing and convenience.  More and more organizations are relying on technology to help them interview more objectively and making better hiring decision. Tools like video interviewing and virtual reality have change the traditional interviewing with so many advances in technology the next decade will have a whole new added process for talent acquisition.

Why It’s Important to Have Policies and Procedures?

Posted July 14, 2019

First, it is important for organizations to comply with laws and regulations at the federal, state and local level. Second, every business no matter how big or small should have a well written and comprehensive set of policies and procedures as it sets the rules and principles to guide employees and managers in how to behave in the workplace. Third, they offer protection to the organization and help mitigate risk.

Having a well written employee handbook and policies and procedures is critical, below are 5 important reasons why to have policies.

  • Policies provide a Set of Rules and Expectations at the Workplace

They help the employees know what is expected of them, and what they can expect from their supervisors a co-worker on respect to standards of behavior, conduct and performance for employees.  It is important that employees have a clear understanding of what those expectations are, and an employee handbook is a place where they can find some of those set of rules that guides them. For example, rules on attendance, harassment, usage of internet, bullying, harassment just to mention a few.

  • It Helps Remain Consistent & Hold Management Accountable

They set rules and guidelines for decision-making, so managers know what to do. Also, it provides guidance on how to conduct themselves and the standards they will be held to.  They help to have transparency across the company and to assist manager to remain consistent and treat employees fairly and equally as they can refer to the company’s set of rules.

  • Ensure compliance with the law

Policies and procedures must not just be reviewed regularly, but they must be in compliance and up to date with new emerging laws. Safety is a very important purpose as they address legal and ethical safety for the organization as well as personal safety for employees. Having strong policies related to workers safety helps a company minimize their exposure to lawsuits.

  • Can help defend against employee claims

Up to date policies and procedures can assist an employer in defending against legal claims. For instance, in defending a wrongful termination claim when in fact it was due to an employee’s bad attendance record. An employer can provide a copy of their attendance policy and how it has been consistently applied and provide record of the policy and documented corrective actions will prevent the company of exposure to lawsuits.  

  • Policies Communicate where employees can seek help

Finally, your policy should provide where to go when employees feel they are either not treated equally, fairly or have a complaint handling process in place to avoid claims and bias. Most companies have a dedicated Human Resources professional that will hear the complains and keep the confidentiality of the offended party to the extend necessary.

Policies and procedures provide a roadmap for the organization. However, policies and procedures won’t do any good to an organization if they are not been followed. Making sure that the policies and procedures are consistently followed is good for the organization and for the employees. When employees follow policies and procedures, the organization grows an achieve its goals

Fostering a Winning Culture

Posted July 13, 2019

Having a great workplace culture takes the involvement of everyone in the organization. Building a great workplace culture will help draw the best talent to the organization and will increase productivity.

Culture begins with developing a strong company purpose ant the values that guide the people. Building a company culture that reflects what your organization vision, mission and core values are will provide the environment where your employees can thrive, and the organization can in turn be successful.

Creating a winning culture takes a lot of planning and effort, it takes work. Here is a list on how you can start.

Foster a Team Environment

In today’s organizations must people want to feel as they are part of a group. Allowing individuals to come together and work in projects adds value and also allows for diverse ideas and creativity contributing to the success of the organization.

Provide a Work-Life Balance

This is very important as in today’s changing work environment employees are expected to react quicker due to technology, even when they go away from vacation there is a level of expectancy especially if you are at a management level to respond to calls, texts and emails. If your business can offer flexible schedules instead of the traditional 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. schedule or to work remotely in occasions

Reward and Recognize and Provide Incentives

Employees feel vested in a company that invest in them.  There are many ways that an organization can invest in their employees as having more perks, reimbursement for gym membership, offering employee ownership, stock options. It is important to show appreciation for the contributions that the team members make, so creating a culture where employees feel encourage and appreciative and happier would make them want to stay longer with the organization.

Share the Vision of the Organization

Organizations who have a well written vision statement are focused on a collective effort.  This is key to build a strong culture as it provides a better understanding of what it is that needs to be accomplished and how the team will achieve it. Employees need to know they are important to the company and the greater purpose that they serve, and the leaders of the organization need to continuously articulate what the vision is to its employees.

Focus on Your Employees

When you take care of your employees they will want to do the same back for the organization. Creating a culture where employees feel value and supported and where they feel they can continue to grow and develop. Really showing that you care about your team and creating trust

Culture is important and is not something that just happens. It requires an active role of all participants, the organization and the employees.

How to Implement an HRIS System Step by Step Successfully!

by Nancy Rodriguez, July 7, 2019

It is important to have an HRIS (Human Resource Information System) that would meet the demands of your organization and the needs of your employees.  

HRIS systems allows for the integration of your HR functions to increase effectiveness and decrease the amount of time spent on routine activities that can be manage by the HR software.  Implementing a new HRIS system takes time to properly develop and implement.

 Here are some steps you can take to make sure you have a successful implementation.

Plan, Identify, and Define Objectives

It is important to know what you want this new HRIS system to do. Setting up clear objectives and goals would help determine. What are some of the thing you hope the new system to do that your current system cannot deliver.  For example, having your Applicant Tracking System all integrated within the platform to have a seamless onboarding experience. Asking these questions from the start would help you define your objectives of the HRIS, identify the problems it should resolved, what are some of the functions you hope the HRIS can perform and will help you develop your Request for Proposal and to assess your prospective vendors.

Establish your HRIS budget

Start discussion earlier in the year and create an estimated budget, discuss these with stakeholders to secure buy in and start a cost/benefit analysis and let them know which features are the most critical for the team and for the organization. Do employees need access to the system where they can make changes to their information or make requests? Are there additional costs involved such as training?  Once stakeholder buy in is secured then add in the communication all others who will be using the new system.

Make a Request for Proposal (RFP), interview vendors and then select an HRIS platform

Evaluate each vendor and do your research by connecting with others in the industry. Do a thorough research of best vendors within your industry.   Ask the vendors for a presentation of their product to everyone on the team. Ensure that the vendors have aligned their systems’ capabilities with your expressed current and future plans while staying within established budget and timeline for implementation.  Does the new system integrate with the tools you already have, is there any additional hardware needed what is the support and training that would be provided?

Create your Project team

It is important to identify early on the implementation team those within the organization those externally and ensure you have support from a diverse range of perspectives upper management levels to ensure all needs of the implementation are met. Establish dedicated resources such as IT, consultants, etc. and the various functional roles of the project team and who would be responsible for each of the phases of the implementation.  Does the team have the set of skills required for a successful implementation that are not currently present, do you need to outsource the skills? Assigning a project leader who has the competency to seek the project through is very important.

Implementation Kick-off

It is important to having the go live broken into multi-phase to ensure that sufficient time and resources are allocated at each phase, and more effectively implement the process without much interruptions.

Phases may include IT and connectivity, security, systems integration, data migration, hr workflow, testing of the data, super user training and. Automated processes, final pre-live testing, post life evaluation and support, managing transition within the organization.

Communicate to All employees the HRIS Rollout

Establish a communications plan for companywide messages as you move toward your rollout date. Your plan can include specifically timed and focused messages to super users Identify and promote internally information on technical support an end user training.

Identity Challenge and provide support.

Once your HRIS system is fully functional, have additional resources in place to support. Have a communication system in place to gather feedback from super users, stakeholders and end-users. Continue wok with the vendor, internal and external resources to make any necessary technical adjustment.  Training is important to the success of the new platform.

Evaluate the Implementation Success

Test the post-live performance of the system to ensure it meets the objectives to perform the functions and solve the problems initially identified.  Continue the communication and ask for feedback from the employees and see if they have run into any issues with the new technology.

There should be regular meetings to monitor the progress of the implementation and see if there are additional outstanding issues that need to be resolved. Implementing an HRIS system is a very complex process but if plan effectively the results will lead to higher productivity and the outcomes align with the expectations of the new technology.

Do’s and Don’ts on How to Negotiate Your Salary

by Nancy Rodriguez July 6, 2019

Salary is one of those things that most people find intimidating and avoid talking about it or asking during a job interview.  Knowing how to negotiate salary is a valuable skill that can get you the salary you deserve. There are many things that people are not sure as to when is the right time to ask for salary, whether or not the salary offer is fair and you are fairly compensated. Does the pay aligns with career level, your education, skill set, abilities and what you have to offer.

Here are some helpful Do’s and Don’ts

Do your Homework and do research

Doing your salary research prior to applying or interviewing will get you prepare of what your job is worth in the market. There is a zillion different websites that provide salary surveys but be cautious make reasonable comparison as salaries differ from one industry to another. Research should only be based on similar industries, for example comparing a fortune 500 company to a fortune 100 company or privately held is not a good comparison.

Do make the best impression.

It is important that you make a positive impression not just in your initial interview, but also when having those second interviews.

Do highlight your value

Show your prospective employer what you have contributed to your prior roles and how you have contributed to your organization’s success. Focus on your accomplishment and the wealth of knowledge and value that you would add to their organization. Don’t be shy to talk about yourself, but don’t over do it.  Focus on your skills, experience and education. Review the job description and let the interviewer know how your values are aligned with the company’s strategic goals.

Do share with the Interviewer your findings

Employers do appreciate when a potential candidate presents relevant data. In fact, it will show the employer that you have done the research and often employers may be relying on data that is no longer relevant and may make the adjustments necessary to remain competitive.

Do remain professional

It is important to remain professional even if the offer is not what you expected. Getting upset would not be helpful.

Here are some Don’ts

  • Do not focus on Money and do not bring salary at the start of the interview.  This is too soon to ask, instead talk about you and how your skills will add value to the organization.
  • Don’t say yes to the job offer letter right away. Look at all factors and also does the job offer letter is reflective of your actual worth?
  • Don’t wait for the job offer to talk about salary either. You may want to provide a range of what you are looking your salary to be, again based on your research and your worth.
  • Don’t just only focus on the salary, consider other factors that can assist you make a decision. Look at the total compensation package. Does the company pay for health, dental, vision or other benefits these can add value to the offer.
  • Don’t give up so quickly if they say ‘No’ to asking for more money. There is no need to accept a role that will not pay you your value.  Negotiate other perks that can add value to your offer. Someone told me once everything is negotiable and if you don’t ask you would always wondered.

It may not come as easy at first, but if you keep practicing your negotiation skills it can be learned.  You don’t want to start a job and thinking that you are been underpaid. This is not a good start and it can cause stress as it may not meet your financial needs or the value that you bring to the new organization.

Top 7 Tips to Manage Remote Employees Effectively

by Nancy Rodriguez June 30, 2019

Remote work is becoming the new normal for many companies. With the new Millennial and GenZ joining the workforce there is a rise of workers who are joining the ranks of telecommuters.

Companies must be able to manage and adapt to this new way of having employees working remotely, but how can remote workers be effectively managed?

It can be very challenging to manage from the distance, but the truth is, this is the way of the future workplace where companies must adapt to this new working situation.

A manager can still be successful in managing a remote employee and it could be very similar as having an employee on site. The # 1 rule is to treat them as local employees.

Some tips for managers below:

  1. Set Goals and Expectations.  Assist the employee in setting goals that must be accomplish and ensure they are in alignment with the company and your objectives. By having a goal and clear expectations and deadlines for meeting those goals it prepares the employees to be successful in their role. For example, if emails must be responded within certain time frame, have that discussion with your remote employees of when they need to be responded.
  2. Regular Engagement.  Check up with remote employees on a daily basis. When employees work remotely they may feel disconnected or distant from the rest of the team. Ensure to check up with them and keep them in the loop every step of the way. Inform of any aspects of the organization including any new information or news. This will help keep them engage and connected. Planning regular face to face meetings can improve communication and help them stay engage with the company.
  3. Use Technology. It is important to use technology to keep those remote employees engage. Skype is a good way to have those face to face meetings via technology and it helps build the relationship.
  4. Increase Communication.  Regularly communicate the company’s goals and strategies this is critical. Provide regular feedback on their performance and see what you can do to support them meet their goals or career development. Be available and let them know how they can access you if there are any questions or issues to be resolved and make sure to respond.
  5. Show Appreciation. Too often managers forget to say thank you or show appreciation, this can be express even if the employee is working remotely.  Just don’t send an email to say good job!, calling them will have a greater impact, than just an email. Providing positive feedback goes a long way, it motivates employees, engages them and in turn you have better , stronger high-performance team.  
  6. Make them Part of the Team. Having weekly meetings with the group via video and local employees it will help build the relationship among the team. Include them in all the training available to local employees.
  7. Create a Positive Culture. Create a culture where employees are aligned with the company’s values and of inclusiveness.

Having a strategy to manage those remote workers it important to make them feel engage and motivated. The end result is that performance and productivity would increase.

Millenials and Gen Z are Reshaping the Workplace

Nancy Rodriguez June 29, 2019

So, who are the Millennials and Gen Z?

The term millennials are those individuals who were born between 1980s -1995 and Gen Z are those born between 1996-2010

These generations are known as having tendencies of been flaky but they have shown to be loyal to employers who invest in their development and training.  Millennials say that their employers are expecting too much from them and that they are experiencing burnout at the workplace. Today we see more millennials occupying managerial positions, director or higher. Millennials are changing the traditional management styles as they tend to be in favor of flexible schedules and having a remote workforce.

Millennials need to know the reason for completing a task before they actually execute on it.  They want to see how this fit into the bigger picture. Millennials are also known for been the job hoppers usually with a tenure of three years.  They are also known as individuals who are savvy in surfing the Web.  This is the generation that first connected to the technology revolution. Millennials are known for asking questions and are not afraid to ask questions.

Gen Z has some differences from the millennials. They tend to be less focused and process information faster than prior generations. They are great to multitask they can research on a table with doing other activities at the same time. They are also more entrepreneurial, they are constantly creating new content thought various platforms and sharing ideas of the things they see and hear.

Millennials grew up during a time that was a very rapid change. Millennials and Gen Z are expected to be the dominant generation. The number of millennials is projected to reach 73 million in 2019 according to National Post. Generation Z will account for 40 percent of all consumers in the U.S.

Examples of how millennials and Gen Z are reshaping the workforce:

  1. Millennials like to Plan Ahead. This generation tends to make planning a priority more so than the prior generations.
  2. Remote Working and Flexibility.  This generation tends to work more remotely. Those managers in these generations tend to work remotely as well as their teams. They want to be in control of their own working hours and location.
  3. Reskilling– the majority of employers feel that reskilling is important for their employees.

Whereas Millennials and Gen Z like more self-development and training.

  • Open Communication. Millennials want to feel as their opinion is important and having open and honest communication is expected.
  • Socialization. Millennials want to be able to socialize and connect with their co-workers in and out of the office.
  • Contest Feedback and Recognition. They want to receive feedback more often than just a mid-year review.  They also want to be recognized for their performance than just on one off event.

In conclusion millennials and Gen Z generations are wanting things different and their expectations differ from those of other generations. Employers must encourage the adoption of different management style as their values are different from those of prior generation.  They should also encourage flexibility as more and more are demanding to have a flexible schedule where the can work anytime of the week.  Each manager will be facing some big challenges on how to understand these newer generations and also need to come up with ideas to attract, engage, motivate and retain them.

5 Valuable Ideas to Keep Employees Engaged that do “Not Cost Anything”

by Nancy Rodriguez June 23, 2019

Having engaged employees increases productivity, reduces turnover, number of days missed from work and creates a higher level of satisfaction.  The benefits created by having an engaged workforce it translates to higher revenues as employees feel that they are valued all facets of the business increases.

Here are 5  Ideas To Keep your Employees Engaged:

  1. Show them you care!

 A simple effective way is by learning about your employees and who they are outside of the workplace, have a genuine care to learn about them as individuals this is key as employees feel they are appreciated when their boss ask about them.

2. Empower Employees

It is not only important to get to know your team, but also to allow them to take responsibility for their work and the opportunity to grow beyond. Welcome their ideas and involve them in the decision-making process.  Micromanaging is not empowering employee to do their jobs instead give them the autonomy to do their job in their own way.

3. Have a Good Listening Ear

Employees feel more engage when they have a voice in the workplace, it is important for your employees to know that management cares and that they have a genuine care for their input. It allows them to feel as part of the company.

Ask them for their opinion and feedback or you can also do this through anonymous surveys and do not forget to act on the feedback that is received.

4. Keep an Open Communication

Provide frequent communication on how the company is doing through meetings and the areas that the company needs to improve it gives the employee the opportunity to look at the areas where they can make an impact to help the company achieve its goals. They would know what the expectations are and how they can support the plan and contribute to the company’s goals.

5. Employee Recognition.

This is simple just say “thank you” or “good job” Recognition is very powerful especially when is your boss who is recognizing your job, Try to be specific on the praise as this could be very motivating to the individual when they are recognize for a special task where they went above and beyond.

Promoting Workplace Diversity and Its Benefits

One of the most important aspect in today’s organization is to embrace diversity at the workplace.  Many individuals when they hear the word diversity first thing that comes to mind is either ethnicity or national origin. Diversity is very broad, and it is more than just these two mentions. It includes sex, race, age, religion, people’s background, life experiences, upbringing, education, abilities overall it includes people with different characteristics as all of these shape an individual’s character and creates diversity.

Organizations must make sure that they have a workplace that embraces diversity and encourages individuals to foster an inclusive environment where people feel valued and respected.   An inclusive workplace begins from the top with senior management as they are the model for everyone else to follow as leaders of the organization. It also sends out a loud message that they do support diversity at the workplace. In order to do this, they have to align “workplace diversity” with their business goals and company strategies.

To increase diversity at the workplace employers must ensure that their hiring strategy resembles the community in which they operate in. They should reach out to the local organizations, institutions and colleges and reach out to minority job recruiters. The search should not just concentrate to local entities, but it can be broadened to other cities, states or even countries

It is important to develop and implement an equal opportunity employment policy that follows the Federal EEOC (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) guidelines.

There are many benefits to having a diverse workforce. There is a link between employee engagement and workplace diversity, if employees feel included then they are more engaged.

In an article in Summit DD on “Everyone Benefits from Inclusion” Senior Manager of Children’s Services, Tina Overturff when asked about the importance of inclusion she responded, “Our world is headed toward cooperation and working together,” “If we keep an entire population of people separate, we are not helping to move things along. Segregation is never OK. Each person matters. We need to teach lessons beyond textbooks”

Companies that have a diverse workforce achieve better business results and reap more profit. People with different background bring a unique set of experiences to the workplace and offers a different perspective and point of views which lead to better creativity. Also, by having diversity in the workplace it provides a better image for an employer which makes it a more favorable place to work and it helps attract top talent. Adding diversity to the workplace helps reduce turnover as employees feel valued, they may tend to stay longer with the organization.