How does providing access to flexibility impact a company’s bottom line?

by Nancy Rodriguez August 4, 2019

In today’s high tech and global economy more companies are structuring flexibility programs around the needs of their employees.  In return employees feel empowered to live and work in the best way that works for them.   These new strategies allow organizations to have a unique advantage to retain and attract new talent.

A flexible result driven culture not only attracts and, retain, and motivate employees to accomplish the business goals of the organization, it also impacts on how employees care for themselves and others, and maximize performance and productivity.  Family structures are much different than a century ago, women are choosing to stay at the workforce even after bearing children. The rates of single parents have also increased in the last recent decades. Many employees are not only taking care of their children but are also caring for their aging parents.

Flexibility in the workplace is vital to a company to survive in today’s changing modern world and it should be a norm as it has a positive impact on the business results of the organization. Employers who have flexible working arrangements experience less absenteeism and have more engaged and productive workforce, it increases employee’s loyalty, diversity, productivity, reduces stress in the workplace.  A company with Flexibility policies has a unique advantage and can use this as a differentiator from the competition and attract the best talent.

Companies must also implement flexibility policies to address matters of disability, which is important to remember one size fits all flexibility policies does not work for all.  An example is someone who may need access to public transportation may just need a different schedule to avoid rush hour. Organizations that take the time to recognize that their employees have different needs and offer a diverse array of opportunities are more likely to achieve their business results.

To implement a work flexible program, one needs to remain open as the needs of everyone may differ from the other.  Millennials for example may want to have more flexible hours or work from home. But boomers may want to have a different flexible option to care for their aging parents. There is not one size fits all strategy and the programs can be informal and based on the needs of the individual.

Another benefit of flexible working, for employers, is that it makes the business greener. By allowing your employees to work at home, the employees spend less time commuting and the less time spend commuting, translates to a decrease in a person’s carbon footprint. The organization can also save on having a smaller office space, which can reduce not only the rental bill, but also utilities and office supplies.

Companies who adopt flexible working options for their employees have clear benefits and a happier, more engage, motivated, productive workforce and a more harmonious work environment that can benefit everyone.


Ways to Advance Your Career as an HR Professional

by Nancy Rodriguez August 3, 2019

Are you feeling as your career in Human Resources is not advancing?  Have you been thinking how to advance to earn that next promotion?

Sometimes it is hard to focus when you are inundated with your day to day responsibilities at work, but it is important that you keep broadening your skills so you can strengthen your credentials.

Here are some tips on how you can become more visible in your organization, secure a promotion or gain leadership experience:

Take a Proactive Role

It is important to have a proactive attitude in Human Resources as everyday you will be faced with many challenges and thinking outside the box to come up with solutions to every day challenges will add value to your role. Take a look at areas where you can help the company grow for example if there is an opportunity to put an engagement program together or if there are processes that can improve productivity and evaluate your task so you can work smarter and not harder.   Ensure that you communicate with your leadership team of what your plans are so they are onboard and can support your efforts.  Communicating with employees an getting their feedback is as important, encourage people to be creative and provide you with ideas to improve the work environment.  Once employees see their ideas in action, they will be more willing to come up with new ideas.  Facilitate workshops, mentoring or planning day sessions to gain more visibility and build relationships with your staff.

Broaden Your Knowledge of HR

Being specialized in one area of Human Resources provides you that unique value, but making sure that you are exposed to different areas of HR for example benefits, payroll, employee relations, talent management, etc.  it will add greater value to your HR career and will provide more opportunities for advancement. Ask your manager to allow you to explore other aspects of HR or to invite you to special project meetings to learn outside your scope of responsibilities.

Find a mentor who has the expertise of your areas of interest. A mentor will be able to guide you and provide you with advice and can help you develop your leadership and HR skills.

Get Certified as an HR Professional

Focus in your education you may want to get a degree in Human Resources or take it to the next level as an MBA with a concentration in Human Resources. An MBA will provide you with the skills in business to be able to offer support and understand the modern business.  There are also other certifications that would add the credential that you may need to advance your career as the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) or Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) certification.  Do some research and find out which would be in better alignment with your career goals.  

Don’t Just Think HR

Surround yourself with various professions and make connections. As an HR professional interacting with other departments to gain a better understanding of how the business operates will give you a better perspective to be able to come up with new creative solutions that can impact the organization’s bottom line as your knowledge is expanded. You will also need to have the right interpersonal skills to work with different people.

Reach out and make connections through social media, subscribe to journals, grow your network through LinkedIn.  Get involved in the HR community, attend local HR meetings organized by your HR chapter, attend webinars to enhance your HR knowledge and connect with others outside your profession.

As you continue to build your career focus on your ultimate goal, but don’t be afraid if you may have to take a different role while you build your skills either as an HR Specialist or HR Generalist.  As you continue to build your skills and building your network it will help you to move your career forward.

Why is Employer Branding So Important?

by Nancy Rodriguez, July 28, 2019

An employer brand is the face of the company.  It reflects all the great things that makes up the company.  Employer branding is how you attract and engage potential employees and how top talent becomes aware of what makes your organization an attractive place to work for.

Your branding must tell the story of who the company is, what you stand for, why are you doing it and where are you going. This allows for a potential candidate to learn what it is like to work for your organization.  It is basically the mission, vision and core values of the organization

When you don’t have a strong employer brand, top talent becomes unaware of the unique perks that make your company great or if they even want to work at your organization.

Make Your Organization Attractive by marketing all the reasons that is unique

Having a strategy to attract top talent is as vital as making your organization stand out from other competing companies.  Employer branding is important to attract top talent. All the benefits and perks that the company offers should be emphasized. As well as the organization and its employee’s involvement in environmental issues. Many millennials would rather work for organizations who demonstrate care for their environment and would select this rather than higher pay.

Culture has become a determining factor for candidates in choosing which companies they would want to invest the next couple of years. If there are fun and interesting events that your company holds, make sure to properly capture them via high resolution photos or video and post them on either the company blog or social media outlets.

Build a Strong Company Culture through your employees

Engage everyone in the organization to build and promote a strong company culture. Your employees are your best ambassadors of your brand encourage them to share and create their own content such as tweets, phots and videos through their social media networks. provide them with a platform where they can share their story about their experience of working for your company. Candidates are most likely to trust someone’s review who works at the organization and trust their feedback about the culture of the organization. Your employees can also highlight the great work your company or themselves are doing in the community and you can also encourage your customers to share their stories.

It is important when selecting a candidate to not just pay attention to their hard skills, but also their soft skills and how they fit with the company’s culture. Involving not just the direct manager in the recruiting process but also other members of the organization to make sure they meet the company’s values and standards.

 Publicize Your Culture

There are many ways an employer can publicize their culture either creating short videos of people at work and what their everyday lives may be like.  By telling stories a candidate may gain insights about the company and its people.

The organization’s website is another place to publicize your culture as most candidates looking for a job or information about your organization will visit your page. Your career website should reflect the company’s mission, culture and values, it should highlight other employees in the organization, having a section for example that reflects some of the people that works at the organization.

Social media platforms would be another place to publicize the company culture, either through Instagram photos of employees having fun or celebrating some achievement. There are many ways to be creative and activate participation from employees to propagate the company’s culture, but of course it must be a culture the employees are proud to talk about. This way employees contribute to building your employer brand and help spread the word.

Candidates have many choices to choose the right employer for them and in order to compete for top talent your organization must make every effort to stand from competitors. By having a strong employer branding your organization can attract top talent and retain their current employees.

Things Every HR Department Must Start Doing

by Nancy Rodriguez July 27, 2019

Many Human resources department have many functions depending on the size of the organization they may be managing payroll, training and development, recruitment and selection, compliance with legal employment issues.   They are responsible for evaluating employees and handling interviews, employment engagement programs and much more.

There are things that the HR department of every company should be doing to improve the general running of the business and improving productivity.

New Technology

Investing in new technology can turn repetitive work into one that is automated, which can help HR professionals to run a more efficient department and focus instead in aligning with the strategic goals of the organization.

Investment in a human resources information system that can manage employee’s data and files for easy retrieval, onboarding processes, benefits, compensation, files transfer to other vendors such as your 401k and health benefits enrollments and terminations, performance reviews would  free up significant time that is spent by the staff and instead this time can be use for more  important projects. 

Consolidating Systems for Efficiency

By consolidating multiple systems, it can streamline processes and free up a significant amount of administrative time that takes to manage multiple systems. Instead of having several systems to manage payroll, time management, benefits, a unified system can minimize the time spend on managing various data entry, which can guarantee less mistakes. With an integrated software solution, it can send reminders when reviews are due or when an employee’s work authorization is about to expire.  Having one system that can manage the employee’s data, internal communication and even production reports can improve employee satisfaction and makes it easier to maintain and spend more time in helping the organization achieve its goals.

Develop a consistent brand profile for hiring

The HR department plays an integral role in the recruitment brand of the organization. This branding needs to be the same throughout including internal information, recruitment advertising and as the business grows you must ensure that it is consistent.  Everyone in the organization that meets the candidate plays an important role in sharing the same brand message that is consistent.

The HR department must communicate with candidate about their status in the process even with those candidates who have not been selected preferably by using an automated technology to generate a message to them.

Take an active role in Performance Management

Employees want to know how they are performing whether is good or bad, and as long as it is constructive and leads to growth.

Many managers may not complete performance reviews on time, or at all. Having a performance management software can help manage the review process and send alerts to the managers when an employee is due for his or her evaluation. This keep managers accountable across the organization to be able to set times with their direct reports and provide feedback. It is important that the HR department gets involved as to ensure managers are being consistent and everyone is receiving performance reviews within the same cycle and avoiding any type of claims such as discrimination, preferences or favoritism.   

By investing in technology and integrating the systems the HR department can spend more time in meeting the company goals.

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.