Human Resources Perspective on Organizational Mission, Vision and Values


When I was asked to blog about forward-thinking human resources content to Christian Higher Ed Professionals, I knew I would have to start by constructing a solid foundation and build upon that. Having spent over 25 years in corporate America working alongside highly respected HR thought leaders at such organizations as Kodak, PepsiCo, and Merck Inc., I thought back to what makes certain organizations succeed while others fail.

Six years ago, I founded and now lead a growing HR consulting firm that supports organizations across the United States, organizations with one thing in common—they are Christian-based, whether for-profit companies or ministries and churches, and all possess essentially the same strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities. No amount of technology or reengineering solves their issues. At the end of the day, it is the people within those organizations who make the difference.

What singles out certain organizations is the ability of their leadership to align their people effort to a collective MVV—mission, vision and values. Without this foundation, organizations flounder and employees lack direction. Without identified and established MVVs, HR leaders are unable to align their HR programs to achieve high performance. I have witnessed firsthand what happens when organizations lack this essential organizational mantra. What’s tragic is that establishing a company’s MVV is not only basic but quite simple to do. It requires nothing more than to identify why you do what you do and how you want to do it.

In the coming posts, I will guide you through the necessary steps to identify your core beliefs and goals, your MVV. Then we will explore how to skillfully integrate this MVV into your HR process to ensure you deliver on your mission, achieve your vision, and work within the values you establish. I will also define for you a term we use: “Kingdom-minded organization.” In my experience, the use of this Christian-oriented term illuminates how your organization will present its MVV differently to those of secular organizations.

Once you spend some time reflecting on what is meaningful to you and your organization, you will have taken the first steps on our journey together to create a Kingdom-minded organization of like-minded individuals working together to achieve high performance.

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In His Name HR helps organizations build high-performance Human Resources programs. Visit them at In HIS Name HR or e-mail them.

Mark A. Griffin is the founder and chief consultant of In His Name HR LLC. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.

 

Why Developing A High-Performance Employee Review Process Matters

Why Developing A High-Performance Employee Review Process Matters


Most employees loath them; many managers avoid them. High Performance Organizations have them, and they do what they’re designed to do—evaluate precisely the performance of each employee.

Feel like you don’t need them? Here are 10 great reasons that should change your mind.

  1. Aligning performance to goals and objectives

Most organization employees we meet with say they have no idea what the yearly top two or three goals are for their organization.  A great performance program sets these goals as their starting point. Ninety-nine percent of employees in this country want to do well at work, but we lack leaders who know how to align their desire to achieve to the organizational goals.

  1. Providing a basis for promotion/transfer/termination

Many organizations are not transparent concerning how to be promoted.  A performance review process more readily identifies those employees who deserve promotion and those who require lateral shift (transfer) or need to enter into a remedial program. This system also aids career planning.

  1. Enhancing employees’ effectiveness

Most people really do want to be better at their jobs! Helping employees to identify their strengths and weaknesses and informing them of the organization’s expectations concerning their performance helps them to better understand the role they play and increases work efficiency. Feedback reinforces good performance and discourages poor performance.

  1. Aiding in designing training and development programs

Instead of creating “programs of the month,” you can use performance review data to more accurately ascertain training needs and identify skills that need to be developed in order to tailor-make the most effective training and development programs.

  1. Building teams

Counseling employees corrects misconceptions, which might result in work alienation. Performance management also helps employees to internalize the norms and values of the organization. (I have met leaders who have not talked to their employees about their performance since 2009!)

  1. Removing discontent

Performance management puts all employees on the same measuring tape. Identifying and removing factors responsible for worker discontent motivates them to perform better at work. Performance management helps to create a positive and healthy work environment in the organization.

  1. Developing interpersonal relationships

Relations between superiors and subordinates can be improved through the realization that there exists a mutual dependence that leads to better performance and success. By facilitating employees to perform introspection, self-evaluation and goal setting, their behavior can be modified. Better interpersonal relationships lead to team building.

  1. Aiding wage administration

Performance management can help to develop fairer and more equitable base lines for reward allocation, wage fixation, raises, incentives, etc.

  1. Exercising control

A performance review process provides a means to exercise control of projects focused on, and helps keep employees aligned to the agreed upon annual goals and objectives.

  1. Improving communication

Performance management serves as a mechanism for improved communication between superiors and subordinates.  Often times managers shy away from counseling employees.  When the right system is in place, especially is it is employee driven, it forces discussions on a regular basis.

In closing, my experiences lead me to support employee driven programs.  Programs that rely on managers and leaders have a higher propensity for failure.  Simple yet meaningful programs that include goals, objectives, behaviors, an employee development component and stretch assignments meet what most employees’ desire.

How important are employee performance reviews in your organization?  We would like to know.  Please leave comments below. 

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In His Name HR helps organizations build high performance Human Resources programs. Visit them at In HIS Name HR or e-mail them here.

Mark A. Griffin is the founder and chief consultant of In His Name HR LLC. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.

Great Organizations Are Built On Solid Job Descriptions

Great Organizations Are Built on Solid Job Descriptions


Job descriptions (JDs) are just so 1980s,” a young HR graduate recently commented to me, He could not be more wrong. Having worked in HR for over 25 years, I can tell you that some things just don’t change—and shouldn’t change.  New technology consistently bombards us; faster, better, and sleeker processes seem to overwhelm us.

One thing that will never change is the fact that, in order to be a High Performance Organization, you still need to get some  “old school” work done. Don’t let technology and “the new workplace” fool you. Now, more than ever, you need JDs.

Here are eight good reasons why:

Recruitment – As you grow and expand, it is almost impossible to hire legally or correctly when lacking a solid, well-written job description.

Teambuilding – It is difficult for Teams to form and support each other when job duties are gray and tasks constantly conflict or interrupt each other. It is enlightening to know what each Team Member is responsible to accomplish.

Performance management – This enables you  to set measurable performance goals based on duties listed in the corresponding job description. Having them listed, in writing, signifies their importance.

Training and employee development – You can use job descriptions, along with descriptions of possible job promotions, as a tool to determine what to pursue in regards to classes, seminars, and other career development activities in order to close gaps.

Compensation- JDs can be helpful in developing a standardized compensation program with minimums, maximums, and target pay for each position. They help highlight internal equity issues to decision makers and contribute to fairness.

Recognition and rewards – You can use job descriptions as a baseline for performance, and as a tool to encourage performance “above and beyond” the job description, in order to distribute recognition and rewards or just plain old praise!

Discipline – Sometimes employees just don’t do what needs to be done. Hopefully, this does not happen at your place of work, but sometimes Team Members fail each other. If you need to, you can use job descriptions to illustrate when employees are not performing up to agreed-upon standards.

Essential job function analysis – The physical and environmental setting is important in order to provide employees, including new hires, who need accommodation. Not only is this the right thing to do, but it is also the law.  As of July 1992, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) mandates that an organization assist an employee when a request is made for a reasonable accommodation under the ADA.

Some Key Points to Ensure a Great Job Description Process

  • Have the employee own their description
  • Remember that no one knows the job better than the employee doing it
  • Make the employee accountable to complete it and have HR review it
  • The manager should have final JD authority and reserve the right to make changes to the final document, incorporating dialogue with the employee

Don’t make JDs more work then they have to be. Instead, make it a process to enjoy and learn from—it does not have to be awful.

Be joyful and helpful with the process, and your staff will love you for it!

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In His Name HR helps organizations build high performance Human Resources programs. Visit them at In HIS Name HR or e-mail them here.

Mark A. Griffin is the founder and chief consultant of In His Name HR LLC. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.

 

 

How We Became Number One On Google In HIS Name HR

How We Became Number One on Google


Social Media and Search Engine Optimization

This blog post is out of the ordinary. We are human resource experts not marketing or social media experts by any means. We have been asked way too many times and have had to explain in painstaking detail the same question:

How did In HIS Name HR climb to the top slot in Google’s search response to the query for “Christian Human Resources?”

Having been peppered with this question from a wide array of sources, we decided to answer it here, and share our methodology.

Social media can be confusing to many people, but in reality it is very simple. Social media programs are nothing more than tools that allow like-minded people to communicate. What is critical to remember is that not all people use all programs. Therefore, to reach a large and diverse group of people, you need to reach them where they are, instead of hoping they’ll somehow stumble across you.

Many people make the mistake of only using Facebook, or Twitter, when they attempt to market their voice to the world. But what about all those people who use other social media programs instead, those who are not on Facebook or Twitter? If you rely only on those two platforms, you are essentially missing out on millions of potential people who won’t hear your message.

What you want to do is essentially send your same message out through all the various social media programs. However, you will need to tailor the way in which your message is sent out to accommodate the differing requirements or constraints of each social media platform.

To start, make sure what you present fits your voice—that is, how you want people to perceive you and your services. It is a combination of your mission, vision and values. Your voice can also be defined as a “niche” that you are working to create for your organization.

Decrease Turnover ~ Develop On-Boarding Excellence

Decrease Turnover ~ Develop On-Boarding Excellence


Many leaders think that the reason turnover has decreased is because of the bad economy. That’s not entirely accurate. As the 2014 Equifax research shows, on average, more than half of all employees who left their job in the past year did so within the first twelve months.

Concerned? You should be. The average cost to recruit a single new employee is well over $4,000 and will take on average 42 days to fill the vacancy (SHRM study 2016). This figure does not reflect the time spent or the decrease in morale as the search drags on. Since the rate of turnover is potentially the highest during the first year, let’s take a closer look at one way we can stop the hemorrhage.

There is a misperception shared by many of today’s leaders that orientation and on-boarding are essentially one and the same. They are not. Simply stated, orientation comprises the tactical tasks to complete in order to get an employee ready to get to work, for example, computer login registration, physical building access, facility tours, and a basic HR overview of policies such as benefits and the employee handbook.

So, how is on-boarding different? On-boarding is assimilating your new employee to the culture of your organization. It is about introducing your new employee to your organization’s values, its norms, providing a recipe that lists the ingredients of what makes up your organization’s culture, and how they can blend effectively with them to create a desirable end product, leading to the greater success of your organization as a whole.  An effective program helps the new employee align themselves to your Mission, Vision and Values.  This is a very important step to organizational success.

Want to create an effective on-boarding program? Consider these 4 steps.

Step #1: Use a Focus Group

Create a focus group that consists of the most recent six people you hired. These are the individuals who best know what does and doesn’t work— they’ve just lived through it! Task the focus group facilitator with developing a list of items that should be included in the on-boarding program. And, once your HR leader develops the final program, schedule the focus group to meet again to ensure the legitimacy of the program.

Step #2:  Build Employee Development into the Process

Ensure job description review, refinement, and updating are all a part of your process. Have every new employee consult with co-workers and corresponding leaders to update their job description so that they have full ownership. Have them present to their leader the key areas of development for promote-ability based on future career assignments. Get them thinking about their own development now, not after they tire of their position.

Step #3: Build in Key Meetings with Various Stakeholders

Arrange for new employees to meet with a different manager in separate departments several times over the course of some months. Earlier in my career, we built a process at the Quaker Oats Company where all new employees or transferees would go to lunch with different department managers and several members of their department. It is a fantastic way for new employees to feel part of the Mission of the organization.

Step #4: Ensure New Employees Own the Process

Create a checklist for employees to follow and update going forward. Have them meet with their manager twice a month to discuss how the process is working. Ensure participation is built into their 90-day review. Holding them accountable will ensure they take an active role in the process.

One thing is for sure—most organizations have veered away from progressive HR programs in the last several years, losing time and money, as well as valuable employees.

Isn’t it time you started focusing on the fundamentals and take the time to bring your people on board correctly? After all, people are your most valuable resource. It’s one of the best investments you can make in the long-term success of your organization.

What on-boarding programs have you had success with?

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In His Name HR helps organizations build high performance Human Resources programs. Visit them at In HIS Name HR or e-mail them here.

Mark A. Griffin is the founder and chief consultant of In His Name HR LLC. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.

 

How To Learn from Employee Turnover

How To Learn from Employee Turnover


Why are people leaving your organization?

My client’s eyes glazed over when I asked her this. She didn’t know why more than 13 percent of her workforce left every year – and hadn’t even thought about figuring out the reasons.

In my experience, most organizations fail to document why people leave.

If they do conduct exit interviews, they often don’t probe deeply enough. Or, they fail to effectively learn from their findings and implement change for the better.

People Join organizations they leave managers.” Bill Hybels

How to Keep People

According to The Wall Street Journal, by the time a talented worker has decided to leave, it’s probably too late to make the necessary improvements to keep them. But, finding out why people aren’t staying with your organization is critical to your future success, especially in tough economic times.

Keeping competent employees is one of the best ways to save your organization a lot of money and keep a cohesive and healthy workplace culture. The high cost of hiring and training employees warrants that you learn from what isn’t working, every time.

There are several reasons why people leave.  In previous articles we have discussed many.  One area that continues to gain attention is organizational vision or lack thereof. Make sure your vision is properly integrated within your HR programs.  Employees need to be part of it and understand where you are going.  A recent article from Barnard Marr on CNBC.com cites “No Vision” as being a leading cause of turnover.  I agree.  Most employees want a hope and a future and a great vision that is bought in by all helps create energy in the workplace.

So, appreciate the rich source of information that a good exit interview brings!

A good exit interview finds out these three (3) things:

  • What the work climate is really like?
  • Whether and how are your managers are failing.
  • What’s missing?

Do your employees get what they really need to do well? If people are leaving too frequently, it’s time to find out why.

Make sure your exit interview includes these three (3) questions:

  • When did you realize you wanted to leave?
  • Did you and your manager set goals and objectives together?
  • How often did you receive helpful feedback from your leadership?

Ending Well

First, conduct your exit interview with a spirit of grace and graciousness. Your concern and honest inquiry into the reasons your employee is leaving will yield valuable insights if you put them at ease. This is where your core values come in.

Second, remember to set up an exit interview at a time designed to give you the best information. Don’t rush in at the last minute, just before your employee’s departure, or try to get information after they’ve already moved on.

Finally, wish the employee well in their new endeavor. At some point, they may want to come back. If they feel cared for during this last important experience, they will know that the door is still open. Losing a talented employee is disappointing, but it might be redeemed if they happily return in the future.

Have you used exit interviewing before? Please take a few moments and tell our community of readers your experience.

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In His Name HR helps organizations build high performance Human Resources programs. Visit them at In HIS Name HR or e-mail them here.

Mark A. Griffin is the founder and chief consultant of In His Name HR LLC. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.

Four Top Reasons Talented People Quit Their Jobs


The economy the past several years has made jobs scarce, but talented people still quit for reasons that might surprise you. This turnover issue transcends all profit and non profit organizations.

In my 25-plus-year career in human resources, I’ve noticed that, while people will endure fewer amenities and less pay, there are three reasons skillful workers will bolt to another job:

(1) No progress

When employees sense no potential for career progress, or leaders are unaware that advancement is important, they look for better options.

(2) Feeling unappreciated

When employees receive little or no gratitude for their contributions, it’s demoralizing — they seek more rewarding work elsewhere. The biggest surprise? Many times, during exit interviews, departing employees disclose that a simple, verbal “thank you” would have made them feel sufficiently appreciated.

(3)  Sheer Boredom

Without savvy leaders or a solid idea of the big picture (Vision), employees don’t see concrete, interesting ways to contribute outside of the ordinary scope of their jobs. Things grow tedious and employees hunt for new challenges to make work feel more meaningful.

So, while you might think your employees desire high pay, a corner office, or a cushy benefits package, the truth is that the best employees are satisfied with simpler, more personal benefits.

Be thoughtful — find out what motivates your employees! This simple investment will ensure improved worker retention, enhanced overall morale, and increased organizational loyalty. And isn’t that what you really want?

Action Steps

What can you do as an employer right now to keep your best employees? This article provides some great ideas.

One more thing…what’s the Surprising New Reason People Quit?

Forbes magazine reveals a new reason spiking among employees who quit:

The Final Reason (4) –  Not enough flexibility for work-life balance

Not long ago this reason primarily concerned mothers, but now both men and women will leave pay increases and promotions behind to have a manageable work schedule that doesn’t crowd out the rest of life.

Keep in mind that, as a new generation of workers comes of age and/or starts having children, many will value fulfilling connections with family and friends above a full workload. Climbing the workplace ladder is simply not as important to young workers today as in prior generations. Many are talented and capable, but will choose a desirable work-life balance over monetary or organizational rewards.

So, if you are concerned with retaining talented employees while also saving time and money in hiring and training costs, remember these Top 4 Reasons and the new trend that makes talented people quit. It could make keeping great people you need much easier.

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In His Name HR helps organizations build high performance Human Resources programs. Visit them at In HIS Name HR or e-mail them here.

Mark A. Griffin is the founder and chief consultant of In His Name HR LLC. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.

Preparing Your Organization For The Aging Workforce


Huge changes in the labor force draw near. Here’s how to get prepared!

Baby Boomers are a very influential demographic of people born after World War II, in the years 1946‒1964, and will soon represent a whopping 40 percent of the workforce. In 1950, only one in six workers were over the age of 55. In less than two decades, one of every four workers will be over age 55. Multigenerational organizations are now the norm, with many organizations employing people who are in their sixth or seventh decade of life.

The impact is enormous. It will continue to affect the workplace everywhere in the U.S. Some Boomers plan to retire, leaving giant gaps and a vortex-style “brain drain” across most industries. Others will stay working or shift to part-time employment, creating new challenges most organizations are unaware of or unequipped to handle. Either way, the costs could be devastating, so preparing now is crucial.

Activate These 3 Concepts to Avoid Trouble:

(1) Retention

Economic woes have resulted in most Boomers not being ready for retirement at the normal age range of 62 to 70. The AARP reports that a full 25 percent of Boomers have no savings on which to retire whatsoever, and a mere 14 percent plan to retire when the time comes. Nevertheless, only 52 percent of organizations have policies to rehire retired workers. Ensure that your organization is ready for this inevitability.

(2) Train for the Talent Gap

Many Boomers have vast working experience, crucial expertise, and command top pay. Too few organizations are utilizing Boomers to train younger workers while they are still around. Job mentoring, job shadowing, and job sharing with younger workers are three important options to make the transition less painful. Move quickly to create programs to train younger workers alongside Boomers before it’s too late. Additionally, more sophisticated recruitment and hiring programs are needed to find qualified and competent talent in a shrinking pool with a wider age spectrum.

(3) Accommodate

Most organizations are not prepared to accommodate aging workers; so work-related disability claims are expected to rise sharply. That’s expensive! Take steps now to create a safe and accommodating work environment to avoid injuries and to make working less stressful for an older workforce. A Human Resources consultant can assess what changes are necessary to avoid workplace injuries and boost morale.

Those Boomers who want to continue working often face discrimination and prejudice. In truth, this population typically comprises excellent workers who are far more flexible, able to learn, and more technologically savvy than the persisting stereotype would have us believe. Plus, employment laws protect them against unfair hiring practices. Avoid lawsuits and potential problems by knowing the law and complying with it. If you have not read this article regarding HR legal compliance, please do so.

According to the Sloan Center on Aging and Work, organizations can do a lot to ensure that Boomers work to an older age and do well on the job. Flexible work options, participation in decisions, chances to develop new skills and competencies, and regular engagement will help Boomers succeed in your organization for years to come. By valuing them properly, you will mutually reap the rewards.

As the demographic shifts, many organizations will experience disruption or harm—but it doesn’t have to be your organization! Right now is the time to make sure that you are prepared for the biggest demographic shift in the history of American labor.

 

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In His Name HR helps organizations build high performance Human Resources programs. Visit them at In HIS Name HR or e-mail them here.

Mark A. Griffin is the founder and chief consultant of In His Name HR LLC. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.

 

 

Outcomes Magazine Spring 2017 Managing Employees to Success


Honored To Be Featured in Outcomes Magazine Spring 2017 Edition

Making your mission, vision and values a reality

Read or Print the Full Article Here

 

MARK A. GRIFFIN is the founder and chief consultant of In His Name HR LLC. Follow him on Facebook at InHISNameHR or Twitter @InHISNameHR. In His Name HR helps organizations build HR programs based on MVV. Contact them for more information at (InHISNameHR.com) or e-mail them at HR@InHISNameHR.com.

CLA Dallas 2017: Clarify your organization’s leadership strength by attending Mark Griffin’s CLA Conference workshop “Managing Employees to Success.” April 4–6, 2017.

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In His Name HR helps organizations build high performance Human Resources programs. Visit them at In HIS Name HR or e-mail them here.

Mark A. Griffin is the founder and chief consultant of In His Name HR LLC. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.

 

 

How To Ensure You Hire the Right Person


Find the right person for the right job!

It sounds simple, but it won’t come easily without planning and a process. Getting the wrong people not only kills performance but can also damage your reputation.

And, of course, you don’t have the money to do it wrong. Training misfit or unqualified new employees always costs more in the long run than hiring the right person in the first place. Additionally, turnover is higher if employees haven’t been recruited properly. Employees grow disappointed when their position is out of their depth or the job isn’t what they thought it would be. They leave as soon as they find a better fit.

How do you hire people the right way? How do you find talent well suited for your organization and its open job position?

Remember these 3 simple tips

(1) Develop and Finalize a Thorough Job Description.

Craft a job description that matches your need, using the two most critical modes:

  1. Use the right template from the beginning, each and every time you create a position, to ensure that all information necessary is covered; and
  2. Train employees to create their own descriptions, because they know their job better than anyone.

Without a clear job description, when employees discover that a lot more is expected of them, frustration and stress result. Draft a description that is not too generalized—vagaries only hurt your organization and catch new hires off guard.

At high-performance organizations, employees know why they are there and what their specific job duties are. The description should note expectations of the job, skills or education needed, and duties and related responsibilities; plus, who they report to, and when. Include how they will be evaluated, and who will train them or be available to consult if they run into trouble.

Realistically, not everything can be covered in a job description, add a segment stating that related duties and responsibilities may arise or exist that are not detailed in the job description. Otherwise, a worker may take advantage of a concise description to avoid putting in the necessary extra effort by claiming, “That’s not my job.”

(2) Filter Your Resumes

A filter is created from the core requirements of the job description. It gives the resume screener a baseline to efficiently weed out resumes and applications that don’t meet the minimum qualifications of the descriptions. Consider outsourcing the screening process to a professional firm that will funnel the best prospects to you, or enlist someone to handle the slush pile of applications, and then feed you the cream of the crop. Filtering the process is important.

(3) Memorialize the Recruiting Process

Develop key steps to use in the process every time to ensure recruitment efficiency and fairness. Consider including the steps within these four categories as you create your own organizational recruitment process:

How your candidate pool is created (job description, advertising, screening, etc.)

How the interview process is conducted (interview questions, background check consent, candidate evaluation forms, etc.)

How a selection is made (who decides on the new hire, how are they and other candidates notified, etc.)

The elements of your hiring process (pre-employment physical, drug and alcohol testing, notifications, etc.)

It pays to spend the time and money up front to ensure a well-tuned process. An outside Human Resources firm can set up all the details involved in your recruitment and hiring process to streamline and maximize the procedure. The result will be a clear and useful tool to boost organizational performance and save costs.

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In His Name HR helps organizations build high performance Human Resources programs. Visit them at In HIS Name HR or e-mail them here.

Mark A. Griffin is the founder and chief consultant of In His Name HR LLC. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.