Post-Covid-19, workplaces are now settling into a new reality.
For nearly 80 years, Wycliffe has helped people around the world translate the Bible into their own languages. Wycliffe believes that the Bible is God’s Word to us, and something that everyone should be granted the opportunity to understand in a language and format that speaks clearly to their hearts. Nearly 2,000 languages around the world are still awaiting a translation project to start. Once people receive Scripture in their own language, lives often change in amazing ways. People are transformed as they discover Jesus Christ and enter into a right relationship with God. That’s why Wycliffe Bible Translators exists: to help speakers of these remaining languages experience the Bible for themselves.
Finding organizations with professionals who are doing an excellent job in this area can be difficult. But with God, divine appointments happen to me often. I had the opportunity to meet with Jennifer Holloran, Chief Operating Officer for Wycliffe Bible Translators. During our discussion it became very apparent that Jennifer’s leadership, as it relates to employee development and engagement, would benefit us all if it were shared.
Mark: Jennifer, thank you so much for taking the time to meet with me. I think what strikes me upon reading the culture of Wycliffe is how intentionally you are working to integrate your MVVs into your HR practices. As you know, we have built our firm, In HIS Name HR, on this practice. That’s because an organization with a well-crafted MVV always seems to keep its employees focused. Can you tell me how you have ensured your employees remained energized and focused in the face of this chaos we call Covid-19?
Jennifer: Thanks for asking, Mark. In many ways, Wycliffe was particularly blessed in the timing of the start of Covid-19 regarding this issue. We had completed an update to our mission, vision, and core values in March 2020, a process that involved gathering feedback from our global staff and working with our Board to craft wording that would serve us for this next season of ministry. So, as we entered the Covid-19 pandemic, we had already developed these guiding statements before finding ourselves in lockdown.
However, even that good timing would not have been enough to keep people engaged over 2020 and into 2021, especially given the many dividing issues that have come up on top of the pandemic. While we consider all of our guiding statements important, we have given particular attention to our core value of Loving God and Loving Others in response to this difficult time. We put out regular content to our staff through a spiritual formation series we call Deeply Rooted, we talk about this value frequently in our staff meetings, and we bring our staff back to the core of who we are and what we do, regularly.
While we would not say that we have done this perfectly, and the hybrid work environment makes alignment more challenging, we strive to help our staff stay unified and focused on what matters most.
Mark: We know that some of the ways in which we now do our work in our organizations, given the pandemic, have persisted and become normalized. What types of changes do you see to what we might call the “new normal?”
Jennifer: I think we have all realized that the hybrid work model is here to stay. Similarly, for organizations like ours that work in a global space, many questions remain about the future of work travel for face-to-face relationship building and problem solving. We have all found ourselves stretched by finding ways to build and maintain relationships, and to grow and strengthen our community and culture with our staff, in this season. We all have to become better at clearly defining our organizational culture in this kind of environment, because we can no longer rely on some of the methods we have used in the past.
I also believe that we will continue to wrestle with the challenge of staff engagement and staff retention. I recently had the opportunity to attend an HR conference where much of the discussion was about “The Great Resignation,” as the impact of the pandemic is causing people to think about how they want to spend their lives. This reality creates both a challenge and an opportunity for us. It means we need to become even more intentional about building trust and instilling purpose in our staff.
For nonprofits and Christian organizations, we have the opportunity to attract and retain staff in this environment because we offer meaningful work that makes an impact on the world. We can do this much more effectively when we have clarity about our mission, vision, and values. When we know who we are, and what we do as an organization, and we can articulate that clearly, it helps people to opt in and stay committed.
There’s one other aspect I want to mention here: The last 18 months has taken a real toll on people. Burnout, stress, anxiety, and depression are realities for many people, including ours, as they adapted to a changing work environment and shouldered concern for their families, friends, and churches. We have an opportunity to shine here by showing care for our staff above and beyond what they do for our organization. Let’s remember that our staff are more than just their work. If we can get into that habit now, it will serve us well today, and into the future, beyond the pandemic.
Mark: Were you able to establish new work patterns that promote engagement to help employees effectively deal with and overcome feeling isolated?
Jennifer: For many years, Wycliffe has had a combination of staff who have worked remotely from headquarters and staff who have worked completely in-office. So, we had some patterns established before the start of the pandemic to help people stay connected. Instead, what the pandemic has taught us is that we had a lot of work to do in the area of staff experience. We have always had staff who participated in events virtually, served on virtual or hybrid teams, and primarily stayed connected with organizational information through digital means. However, it was humbling and beneficial for those of us accustomed to an in-person experience to discover what it felt like to participate in the organization remotely.
Today, we talk more about how to make sure that any organizational event or activity has the virtual experience in mind. We see the work of connectedness as a two-way street. As leaders, we have a responsibility to make accessible pathways for virtual connection and make those pathways as inviting and inclusive as possible. At the same time, we need our staff’s commitment to show up, read the information that’s sent out, and participate, so we now talk about that with our staff more.
Mark: How are you building team cohesiveness when many employees work remotely?
Jennifer: One way we work on team cohesiveness is to emphasize the importance of teams with our managers. We see teams as one of our most important avenues for culture building. For us, that includes asking our managers to host weekly times of team prayer and devotions and encouraging our managers to attend and debrief organizational events together with their teams.
Team cohesiveness involves helping teams work effectively together and binding the team together, from top to bottom. We see that as a combination of top-down and bottom-up: cascading communication down through our layers of leadership and encouraging feedback up the supervisory chain to invite thoughts, ideas, and concerns from multiple levels of the organization. Now, I realize that accomplishing this always sounds easier than making it an ongoing reality. Still, we believe it is a goal worth striving toward to help us operate together effectively as a team.
Mark: Did you find it necessary to revamp most of your employment policies due to Covid-19? How were policies and procedures added or changed to reflect current practices?
Jennifer: The policies and procedures we have found most impacted by Covid-19 include those that have to do with workplace safety and flexible work arrangements. Immediately upon the initial lockdown, we instituted many safety practices to help our essential workers come into the office safely. In addition, we have continued to adjust our policies and procedures around workplace and public safety as needed, based on CDC guidelines, local Covid-19 community transmission numbers, and the advice of medical professionals keeping an eye on the latest research findings.
On the flexible work arrangement side, we have found that Covid-19 has served as a catalyst for good conversations about what matters most to us regarding in-person vs. remote participation. For now, we have settled on a 60/40 policy for staff at the headquarters (60% of their FTE in-office and 40% remote). Alongside that policy comes new expectations for managers as they learn to measure productivity and hold people accountable while creating a sense of community in a hybrid setting with their direct reports. We still have much to learn as we see how these policies and practices work in real life.
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Mark: How have you been able to develop programs to support leadership in its ability to manage a distributed workforce?
Jennifer: Like many organizations, this area is heavily a work in progress for us as we continue to learn more about effectively managing remotely. We have tried to provide support through technology like Zoom, Slack, Google Workspace, and other connectivity options. Additionally, we have encouraged healthy rhythms in the life of managers with their teams—regular one-on-one check-ins, team meetings, etc.
Our leaders oversee very different kinds of teams—some have entirely in-person teams because of the type of work they do, some have hybrid teams, and others work with globally situated teams that have to manage significant time-zone and connectivity differences along with the everyday challenges of remote teaming. Rather than establish one kind of program to fit those different scenarios, we have worked toward guidelines within which managers have a lot of flexibility to address their unique situations. We want managers to be part of the creative problem solving needed to create workable solutions for the future.
At the same time, we also see the need for a stronger focus on leadership development. We cannot expect leaders to thrive in increasing complexity if we have not helped them build a solid foundation in leading themselves and leading others, and, for senior leaders, leading the organization. So, we give attention to developing a leadership development program that will ensure our leaders have a solid platform of leadership principles on which to stand.
Mark: I meet with many executive leaders who, in private, admit they are really worn down, losing steam. All of the divisiveness and emotions that have permeated the world in the past 18 months are a lot for many of us to take. What one piece of advice would you share that has helped you motivate key leaders as we try to navigate toward what may become our “new normal?”
Jennifer: Mark, I wish more executive leaders would admit this openly! It shows that executive leaders are human too. But, seriously, my advice is: Don’t feel alone. I believe most executive leaders are feeling the fatigue of the past 18 months. We have been called to lead during a very challenging season.
Two pieces of advice have been beneficial as I have worked with leaders during this time. First, give yourself grace. Take the steps you need to take to lead from a healthy place, not just for you but also as an example to your organization. That could mean examining your energy level and your priorities and applying what you learn to your calendar.
Second, view the changes that have happened around us as an opportunity for creativity and innovation for the future, rather than as a temporary stopping place before going back to “the time before.” We cannot go back to the world as it was before. Instead, we have an opportunity to rethink some of our past norms and practices that have not have served us well—maybe upon reflection, those practices weren’t healthy or well-aligned with our mission and values. Instead, we can institute new ways of working that truly reflect who we want to be and how we want to reach our mission and vision.
Mark: We at IHN HR believe that the most successful organizations have their MVV integrated into their HR practices, ensure it is used in recruitment, build it into their annual goal and review process, and also make it a focus within career development. Can you tell us how you are accomplishing this?
Jennifer: I agree with you, Mark. I would take this statement broader, in that our mission, vision, and values must drive our strategic priorities and our supporting operations, with HR serving as a critical player in helping our people encounter our guiding statements repeatedly. Now, I can tell you—we don’t do this perfectly today, but we are currently in the process of reviewing all of our HR policies and practices to make sure we have designed them to support where Wycliffe needs to go in the future.
When I say “all HR policies and practices,” I would encourage HR practitioners and leaders to think beyond the obvious ones, like recruiting, onboarding, and performance management. We need to look for alignment in the less obvious aspects, too. For example, when we have to help our staff resolve conflict, do our methods reflect and reinforce our values? If we have to conduct a layoff, can we do it in a way that communicates our values in the process and potentially leads the former staff person to stay committed to our mission and vision, even if they no longer have the employment connection?
Mark: Thank you, Jennifer, for taking the time to meet with me today. We will pray for continued blessings over Wycliffe Bible Translators’ employees, their families, and all who meet the Lord through their efforts. May the Lord continue to bless you, so you prosper in all you do.
Mark A. Griffin is founder and Chief Consultant at In HIS Name HR LLC. He has over 25 years of HR experience. In His Name HR helps organizations build high-performance human resource programs. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
In His Name HR helps organizations build high-performance human resource programs. E-mail us here.
Are you complying with all the proper state and federal labor laws?
If not, it could cost you everything.
In large corporations, an entire human resources (HR) department navigates the complex minefield of federal and state labor laws. Most small organizations think of HR as an afterthought, or HR responsibilities like hiring, benefits, compliance, and payroll falls to a few people who aren’t properly trained. This can be a pricey mistake. Laws concerning overtime, unlawful termination, and equal rights are just a few areas that trip up organizations, big and small, all the time.
Labor laws fill volumes and are quite complex. Plus, labor laws vary from state to state! Even Walmart ran into trouble recently and incurred $4.83 million dollars in back wages, penalties, and fines for violating The Fair Labor Standards Act. The mistake? Managers were misclassified and not appropriately compensated for overtime work. Unlawful termination is another problem that has cost organizations like UPS, Carmike Cinemas, and Dial Corporation dearly. Yes, it’s tricky. Do you know the laws?
It gets worse—the government is ramping up efforts to check up on organizations and crack down. The Obama administration has allotted $25 million for the sole purpose of investigating those misclassified as “independent contractors,” hoping to reclaim lost tax revenue and pad the IRS’s coffers. Be smart. Remember that stiff penalties and lawyer fees can decimate your organization. Are your workers properly classified?
Stay legal and remember these 3 key points:
• Child labor, non-resident labor, and equal rights legislation are the three areas where small organizations most often fail to comply.
• Both state and federal labor information is free and available online.
• Outsourcing with an HR professional firm can save your organization a lot of time and money.
Most organizations with fewer than 100 people benefit from outsourcing labor law compliance and other human resource tasks to HR professionals. The alternative is risky: employees are often uninformed about and under-trained in labor law compliance. Look out! Federal fines could be in store for you. In addition, HR often falls outside an employee’s main job focus, so getting it wrong or spending valuable time away from primary tasks can cripple productivity in a small organization. Get the right person trained or on your team to comply with labor laws.
Regrettably, staying legal has never been more difficult or important.
Make sure to get the help you need right away.
Mark Griffin is President and Founder at In His Name HR LLC. He has over 25 years of HR experience. Learn more about Mark’s journey in HR by watching this short video. In addition you can also follow him on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Many potential clients seek a silver bullet when it comes to the hiring process. They want to set up electronic application systems and implement pre-employment testing to objectively and efficiently screen applicants so they can hire the best candidates.
They want to optimize the process, to speed the days to hire-up. They want candidates fast. They want a paperless process and a filtering system to eliminate candidates that don’t match their requirements.
Unfortunately, not being sure of what you’re doing, and working with unwise counsel, is a minefield you do not want to find yourself in and the results could be downright explosive.
I recently did some preliminary research on Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) cases that have headlined in the past several months, painting a damaging picture of some very prominent companies. The cases revolved around such factors as:
- Pre-employment testing
- Unlawful employment application questions
- Disability discrimination
In actuality, many organizations, even those with the best intentions, ask questions that can inadvertently result in disparate treatment across a broad spectrum of minority candidates. Organizations also rely on invalid forms of pre-employment testing as a screening tool, ones they may not aware might disqualify minority candidates at a higher rate than non-minorities.
As a rule, the organizations that I meet with are not looking to hurt anyone or prevent any person from working at their organization as long as they’re qualified for the position in question. Most not only recognize the benefits that diversity brings to their organization but also share a worldview that embraces all cultures and all people. Regrettably, however, what’s in their heart does not matter one whit to the attorneys and the EEOC who show up to investigate claims of discrimination.
It’s easy to assume that the EEOC focuses only on large corporate organizations, high-profile global entities, as evidenced in such headlines as:
- BMW to Pay $1.6 Million and Offer Jobs to Settle Federal Race Discrimination Lawsuit
- Target to Pay $2.8M to Upper-Level Applicants in EEOC Settlement
- United Airlines to Pay Over $1 Million to Settle Disability Lawsuit
On the contrary, there are many small to mid-sized organizations that are being dragged into court as well. For example:
- Stack Bros. to Pay $140,000 to Settle EEOC Age Discrimination and Retaliation Suit
- Texas Oil Field Services Company Pays $30,000 to Settle EEOC Retaliation Suit
- EEOC Sues Seymour Midwest for Age Discrimination
No organization is too small to escape the potential penalty of discrimination, whether intended or unintended. All it takes is one or more disgruntled workers or applicants.
What might surprise you is that the same risk exists for those working in the nonprofit, church, or ministry sectors—you are just as vulnerable to the consequences of poorly managed human resource practices as any profit-driven enterprise. No altruistic or religious influence will stand up in court as an adequate defense or mitigate damages against your organization. This is just a sampling:
- EEOC Sues United Bible Fellowship Ministries for Pregnancy Discrimination
- Inconsistencies in Termination Decision Wipe Out Good Samaritan Ministries Victory
- King’s Way Baptist Church Sued by EEOC for Retaliation
- Nonprofits, churches, and ministry organizations are generally subject to state and federal laws that prohibit employment discrimination.
What should you do?
Do what great organizations do, and invest in solid HR practices. A qualified HR staff is fully trained and capable of helping you navigate successfully through the practices that can prevent costly litigation and eliminate those practices that might be unintentionally discriminatory.
You need a comprehensive human resources connection that your HR staff can source for this kind of guidance. We’re the map to get you through this minefield.
But it’s not just about risk management. Superior HR practices generate superior job candidates.
Want to read more about the cases cited in this article? Find more information and source articles here.
Mark A. Griffin is founder and Chief Consultant at In His Name HR LLC. He has over 20 years of HR experience. In His Name HR helps organizations build high-performance Human Resource programs. Visit them at In HIS Name HR or Send Email
Knowledgeable, experienced, skillful employees are crucial for any organization to stay ahead in a rapidly growing competitive economy. With several recruits lined up, hoping to be hired, choosing a promising candidate is a big task for any human resources department.
After a time-consuming recruiting process, even if HR does find the right candidate, the next big problem arises: How to retain those new hires with the organization?
The simple answer is by formulating a strategic, systematic, and well-tailored employee onboarding program. You may not know this, but a great onboarding program ensures that about 70% of employees stay with an organization for the next three years.
If, being an HR manager, you would welcome updating your next onboarding strategy, let’s look at some quick tips and unique ideas on this.
Purpose of an Employee Onboarding Program
The Society of Human Resources Development (SHRM) defines employee onboarding as:
“[T]he process of helping new hires adjust to social and performance aspects of their new jobs quickly and smoothly.”
A practical and organized onboarding program helps new employees to feel they’re a part of the organization and helps them to understand your organization’s culture in an encouraging environment. Moreover, effective onboarding experience helps recruits gain knowledge, develop skills and feel connected to your organization. This makes them more enthusiastic and enables them to perform their jobs to full capacity.
So, the positives of onboarding include:
- Helping new recruits acclimate to the organization
- Facilitating relationship-building between employees
- Goal setting, recurrent manager check-ins, and employee development programs, which educate them as to what’s expected from them and where they can improve, to bring the changes
An organization only faces disadvantages if the onboarding plan is ineffective or executed poorly.
Elements Contributing to Successful Onboarding
Incorporating crucial elements of success like these can make your onboarding strategy a defining tool to preserve quality employees.
- Interview recently onboarded recruits and ask what they think is missing from the current process. The best advice comes from people who have experienced the process.
- Determine the goals you want to set for new employees and devise a plan to communicate those objectives to recruits.
- Avoid overburdening new employees with tasks; instead, the HR department should work as a team with the recruits.
- Assist new employees with the settling process. Help them feel welcomed; have their workstations prepared; organize weekly meetings to fill any communication gaps.
- Consider implementing a mentorship program where new hires can access proper training and have a go-to companion, helping them feel comfortable while asking questions.
- As an employer, connect with new employees to guide their careers and support them in making career advancements.
Strategies to Improve Onboarding Practices
When deciding to join an organization, potential new employees give strong consideration to the employer–employee relationship, the working atmosphere, and the organization’s concept of teamwork. With a productive onboarding plan in progress, human resources departments can gain a favorable return on their time and investment in the form of qualified and dedicated employees.
Employers lose an estimated 17% of new hires within the first 90 days due to ineffective onboarding. It’s time to upgrade and modify your onboarding program with these proven strategies.
1. Reach out to new hires before their first day
Neglecting new employees after the appointment letter is issued creates a negative impression of your organization. Instead, for a successful onboarding process, take a visionary approach. Don’t wait for them to join your organization. Communicate with them in advance of their first day, through a phone call or a welcoming email.
If you set up an online onboarding portal for them, where they can access organizational information and perhaps complete their paperwork, delivers a positive, encouraging image of your organization.
2. Be welcoming
New employees are understandably a bit nervous, and want to feel at ease on their first day, so a nice welcome may do just that. You can involve all the new hire’s respective colleagues in the greeting process and perhaps provide them supplies embossed with your organization’s logo, along with a welcoming card, to create a positive first impression of your organization.
At Twitter, new employees are welcomed enthusiastically. New employees receive their email IDs upon arrival and are greeted with a t-shirt and a bottle of wine at their desk. New employees enjoy breakfast with the CEO, and their desks are placed right beside those of their teammates.
3. Create an onboarding timeline
Instead of overloading your new employees with tons of work, HR can create a proper timeline, scheduling work for their entire week. This keeps them engaged and busy and both gives them a sense of direction and signals what is expected from them, allowing them to merge with your organization far more smoothly. Successful organizations document processes and monitor their effectiveness. Make sure your program has a mechanism that tracks its effectiveness.
4. Provide help in socializing
While the current pandemic situation has suspended many in-person activities for applicants, new hires, and employees, hopefully this will soon pass. Enhancing your employee onboarding process by transforming it into a social experience generates a positive image of your organization.
New employees can find it difficult to mingle, so by introducing them to the workers and team around them, you help them feel at ease and reduce their anxiety. Plan a lunch, perhaps, with all the team members the recruit will be working with, or arrange a team-building event where the new employee can get to know their colleagues better.
5. Set clear goals
Another strategy to improve your onboarding process is to map out realistic goals for your new employees.
According to Global HR Research (GHRR):
“The number one thing your new hire will be interested in when they onboard will be learning about their role and what will make them successful.”
By outlining short- and long-term career goals for employees, you give them a clear overview of what is expected from them and what milestones they must achieve. This is also an effective way for HR managers to discern the strength and weaknesses of new employees.
6. Solicit employee feedback
By keeping all means of communication open in your onboarding process, you encourage new employees to furnish valuable suggestions and point out potential areas for improvement. A good way to achieve positive reviews from new hires is to send them a confidential survey asking them to provide an anonymous review of the organization’s onboarding process.
Selecting the Right Tools for Your Onboarding Process
To make your onboarding strategy more impressive, you can use employee onboarding software to ease things for you and your recruiting team.
Here is a quick review of some onboarding tools that can contribute to your effective onboarding process.
- Origanimi: Create organization charts and internal structure of your organization to help new employees learn its hierarchy.
- KissFlow: An easy-to-customize onboarding tool to help HR create impressive presentations and visual representations. The real-time dashboard enables your HR team to keep a close eye on the onboarding process.
- Bamboo HR: Best for small organizations, this is a cloud-based HR tool, a complete software package for managing your onboarding operations, including ATS, onboarding apps, time-off management, advanced reporting functionality, and much more. Easy to use, consistent software to smooth your onboarding activities.
So, now you know all about onboarding new employees with excellence. Make use of our employee onboarding tips and see your organization prosper through improved productivity.
In His Name HR helps organizations build high-performance human resource programs. E-mail us here.
Mark A. Griffin is President and Founder of In His Name HR LLC. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Over my 25 plus-year career in human resources, I’ve noticed that while people will endure fewer amenities and less pay, there are four reasons skillful workers will leave for another job.
(1) No opportunity – When employees sense no potential for career progress, or leaders are unaware that advancement is important, employees look elsewhere for better options.
(2) Not knowing the dollar value of their benefits – Pay and benefits is a topic often avoided in many workplaces. Many organizations, however, offer competitive pay and often benefits that cost thousands of dollars, and employees haven’t a clue. (Think PTO, like legal holidays, sick days, and vacation days; life insurance, long-term disability (LTD), and short-term disability (STD) programs; health insurance, including vision and dental; and wellness programs.) The costs of all these programs add up. When organizations take the time to periodically make employees aware of the total cost of all the benefits at their disposal, employees gain a greater appreciation how much value they receive in their job.
(3) Feeling unappreciated – When employees receive little or no gratitude or acknowledgment for their contributions, it feels demoralizing — no wonder 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 all the difference. However, in many organizations, too often managers fail to do even that.
(4) Sheer Boredom – Without savvy leaders or a solid idea of the big picture, 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 only want higher pay and a corner office, or that the trend among employees is to feel “entitled,” the truth is that the best employees are satisfied with simpler, more basic and fundamental management approaches—and a better explanation of the benefits they currently have.
Be thoughtful — find out what motivates your employees! This simple investment will ensure improved worker retention, enhanced overall morale, and increased company loyalty. And isn’t that what you really want?
What can you do as an employer right now to keep your best employees? Consider asking them. That’s right. Simply spending time with employees in focus groups and roundtable discussions can help you to help them by making basic changes to ensure you keep your greatest asset happy and encouraged.
One more thing…What’s the Top Reason People Quit?
This 2017 Inc. magazine article reveals that the primary reason employees quit is:
People leave managers, not companies.
Marcel Schwantes, while researching the topic of turnover, found that 50% of employees left their job “to get away from their manager to improve their overall life at some point in their career.”
Keep in mind that as a new generation of workers comes of age, the issue of turnover will continue to grow. Many employees now look at their lives differently than workers did 20 and 30 years ago. Most value relationships above all else, and when a manager starts stealing their joy, they won’t hesitate to look for work elsewhere.
The workplace ladder is simply not as important to young workers today as in prior generations. Many are talented and capable, but will invariably choose a desirable manager over monetary or organizational rewards.
If you are concerned about 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 the great people you need a lot easier than you thought.
Mark Griffin is founder and President at In His Name HR LLC. He has over 25 years of HR experience. Follow Mark on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Want to find great people?
Running an organization is too big a task to be managed alone by entrepreneurs. To attain an entrepreneurial vision, a leader must search for and hire the best employees. Today, the rapidly developing economy has made the process of hiring talented people more significant than ever.
The role of the human resource department is substantive in organizational success, to the point where it can indeed be called the backbone of any organization. To earn a competitive advantage, firms need to train their HR teams. And when you have the right people on your team, that expense can be significantly reduced.
The pandemic has forced organizations to rethink and often readjust human resource strategies and practices, because the number of organizations that are surviving the pandemic is lower than the ones that are failing. The optimal selection of one’s people is one of the main reasons why certain organizations are surviving and even succeeding, despite the challenges they’re facing.
The real question is: Do you want to waste precious time and investment on making bad hiring choices? Definitely not!
There are two ways to find the best people for your organization when such uncertainty is widespread: 1) by marketing a job opening in the best possible way; and 2) by accurately identifying the right staff for your organization.
- How to Market Your Job Opening
Marketing is not just about how to sell your products and/or services. No, marketing is one of the most reliable ways to select the right people to staff your organization. Let’s look at how to market your job opening(s) to source the very best people for your organization.
Have Your Employees Get the Word Out
The majority of vacancies are being filled through networking. Word of mouth is one of the easiest, most cost-effective, and efficient ways through which you can market a job opening. Your employees are the best ambassadors of your healthy organizational culture. Encourage your employees to discuss vacancies on their social networks and among their friends and family.
Paid Social Media Services
Alongside using your own social media vehicles, you should also invest in paid social media channels, such as LinkedIn and others, as the power of social media advertising today is hard to ignore. Even better, develop a comprehensive social media plan that comprises paid social media channel strategies.
Job posting sites are a great way to effectively market your job openings, with numerous authentic, efficient job-posting websites, like Indeed.com. The more job posting sites you market on, the greater the chances of getting the right and best people for your company.
Direct Traffic to Your Website
Do a swift audit of your website to ensure your career page is easily accessible. For example, if it takes more than five seconds to open, and is not attractive enough to interest the brightest minds in your field, it’s time to redo it.
If you’ve done all of this, well done—you have marketed the positions right. But now comes the bigger task…
- Selecting the Best Candidates
Follow these useful tips on how to best search for the right people for your organization:
- Identify the ideal candidate for your organizational growth plan
All too often, organizations fail to consider how the position they want to fill fits into their organization with an eye to its further expansion. Before creating a job description for a vacant post, it’s critical to clearly understand the need and role of the vacancy in the future growth of your organization. If you do this right, you will create the optimal job description, one tailored to help you access the right people.
- Conduct a thorough assessment of a candidate’s references
Do you thoroughly evaluate every candidate’s references before you hire them?
If not, why not? References are a terrific opportunity to glimpse the working behavior and patterns of your preferred candidate with their coworkers and employers, along with what they can offer to your company in terms of performance. This is too important to dismiss or cut corners. Always comprehensively assess the references a candidate provides before finalizing their hire.
- Pair your interview with data
The importance of face-to-face interviews cannot be denied, but it is not the only thing you should rely on when searching for new employees. Add data to your interviews, such as technical competency tests and questionnaires that evaluate skills. Be careful of unlawful testing, it could cost you millions. (Learn Why Here)
- Gauge the interaction between your potential candidate and your team
Again, an interview is not sufficient to select the right candidate; you also should arrange for your prospective candidate to meet and casually interact with your team in a way that allows the candidate to relax and be themselves. Have one or more team members take the candidate for a tour, or for a cup of coffee or breakfast, where they can relax and be themselves. Just remember, though, that every interaction with a candidate, whether formal or informal, is legally viewed as a part of the interview process. That means your team must know what they can and cannot legally ask. The idea is to determine whether or not a candidate is a good fit with your organizational culture. Not only that; it also works in the reverse, by giving your candidate an idea of what they can expect in terms of their future coworkers and the prevailing culture.
- Work with your potential candidate
Have you considered working with your candidate before confirming their hire? Add some hands-on work to the interview procedure. This is an excellent opportunity to see them in action. By encouraging them to devise ideas for a fresh project or carry out a small part of the job you’re hiring for, you will get a clearer idea of how the candidate works.
- Ask them what tasks they feel they cannot perform well
No one is a master of everything. Asking them where they feel their skills are weaker or need further developing will help the candidate understand your professional expectations of them and give you an opportunity to discuss what improvements and training you may want to arrange for them.
Need Help Hiring the Right People?
No organization can justify wasting monetary or non-monetary resources by investing a huge amount in training their human resource department, especially when uncertainty prevails in this current challenged economy.
Organizations operate more efficiently and cost-effectively when they are smart enough to tap human resource outsourcing and consulting services.
Don’t know how to find great people? No problem!
In HIS Name HR has been offering HR consulting services with a Christian worldview for the last 10 years.
And given the critical, often unprecedented challenges raised by the coronavirus pandemic, In HIS Name HR has developed high-performance remote human-resource programs by implementing different technologies designed to promote safety, including FaceTime and Zoom. Our company also provides guidance related to HR practices to attain success and prosperity within your organization.
Concerned about the HR programs at your organization? The benefits of having a trusted partner to guide you and your team to excellence are invaluable. Contact us today. You—and your employees—will be glad you did.
Rise with us by implementing our high-performance remote human-resource programs to help find great people! E-mail us today for more information.
Mark A. Griffin is president and founder of In HIS Name HR LLC. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter
Effectively Manage Benefit Programs
COVID-19 is surging, and more lockdowns are looming. It’s all too easy for us to become overwhelmed with worries about friends and relatives—and when things might hopefully return to normal—in times of crisis. Even during trying times—or perhaps even more so—your HR department is still called upon to manage your employees’ needs swiftly and accurately.
HR executives tend to juggle more than their fair share of business concerns. Payroll systems, in particular, can be complicated and time-consuming to manage, which is why executives look to outsource to more cost-efficient payroll services.
Employee Benefits: An HR Executive’s Top Priority
Employee benefits, an indirect form of salary, are a vital consideration when it comes to how and why a company attracts and retains the best employees. No wonder HR executives focus on the benefits that their companies offer, compared to others in the same or similar businesses. For instance, there is little in the way of public medical and dental benefits in the United States. Consequently, these two factors are among the most significant considerations when a prospective employee is looking at a company. The importance of salary negotiation benefits is liable to be in front of the line, right after the salary itself.
While many candidates fresh out of college or rising from lower echelon positions tend to focus on salary, this is not so for candidates eligible for more senior positions. More than salary, the seasoned professional is focused on the indirect pay, the benefits. And benefits mean more than health and dental. Senior employees typically look for vacation/personal time, stock options, pensions and 401(k) matching, family leave, and the like, which means the HR department must find a way to keep track of their benefits package in a manner both efficient and scalable.
Reasonable HR Benefits
Two categories of employee benefits exist in the United States: benefits required by law, and optional benefits offered by an employer. Legally required benefits include company-sponsored savings programs, such as employee contributions to a 401(k) with a percentage of funds contributed by the company; medical and dental insurance; unemployment insurance; Social Security contributions, and more, while company-specific benefits may include such perks as tuition assistance, profit sharing, paid sick leave, and stock option plans, just to name a few.
Depending on the organization’s size and the benefits portfolio, keeping up with such a wide range of concerns can be daunting for larger corporations, but equally challenging for small companies.
HR Management Best Practices
Best practices should not be confused with HR activities, such as payroll, attendance, training, and so on. No, best practices involve the overall strategy of the HR department. It should also be noted that there tend to be two schools of thought on best practices. The first, the “best fit” approach, seeks to align human resource policies with the larger overall strategy of the business being supported. The second, the “best practices” approach, posits a universal set of HR practices that any company can use to achieve business excellence.
Leaving aside the best fit school of thought, the current line of thinking on best practices is that it should be employee intensive. This thinking means an organization can excel if: a) it works to ensure job security, b) it offers fair compensation, c) it offers continuing education and training, and d) it ensures that anyone in the organization easily obtains pertinent company information. (This list is by no means definitive.)
Executives Who Manage Benefits Effectively
Effectively managing HR benefits involves effectively managing such HR activities as these, and more:
- Yearly employee surveys
- Planning, design, and implementing benefit changes
- Maintaining benefit information
- Staying abreast of state, federal, and international laws
- Monitoring compliance with government regulations
HR Management Systems
There are many HR management services available to businesses today, but not all are equal. Some are simply specialists in one field, like payroll services, while others may offer comprehensive services yet ultimately lack the depth and expertise that the client requires. An effective HR management service will have a specific target for their expertise. Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach, effective service will specialize in small or medium-sized business support. A reputation for integrity and service is a hallmark of the best HR management services.
Effective Benefits Management Systems
Effective benefit management systems simplify complex processes and procedures, are easy to use, and are cost-effective. There is no sense in outsourcing if the service cost is greater than the current organizational overhead. Moreover, they offer an efficient method for managing mission-critical factors such as:
- State, federal, and international law compliance
- Monitoring employee turnover
- Locating the appropriate talent for your needs
- Leadership training
- Employee training
- Benefit management
- Payroll services
An Expert to Help You Through the Labyrinth
In HIS Name HR is an innovative, reliable HR management service designed for small and medium-sized companies. Comprehensive in our approach and focused on our customers’ needs, In HIS Name HR offers full-spectrum support for your small or medium-sized concern.
We can help you navigate health and benefits brokers’ intricacies, current regulations, and increase workplace productivity. Among our other areas of expertise are recruitment, how to find and retain the best people, and compliance with employee benefits law to ensure that state and federal requirements for employee protection are in place. We also specialize in employee-benefits design, the best benefits packages available for the money, and organizational development to keep your business on the right course.
Regardless of whether you are a small or medium-sized firm, HR management in the modern business environment is a challenge. Even the largest companies find adequate HR solutions time consuming and, frequently, not aligned with the organization’s objective. In HIS Name HR helps our customers to assist in their HR processes and encourage an agile and productive business. We offer leadership training, business coaching, and organizational coaching, all at an incredibly affordable price.
With In HIS Name HR, you no longer have to negotiate the labyrinth alone.
Looking for a guide to best practices in cost-effective, efficient payroll service options? Many of our clients ask us about payroll services. Our role in leading or supporting human resources includes helping our clients secure the best payroll service tailored to their individual needs.
Because we are not brokers, we don’t play favorites or maintain a financial relationship with any payroll firm. This independence, this objectivity, enables us to screen and get every client the best payroll service at the lowest cost.
Payroll management can be complicated or straightforward, depending on the number of employees and the payroll processes involved. To avoid errors, small and large organizations often turn to payroll service providers for well-planned and effective payroll administration. Selecting the best payroll service is essential. What constitutes “best” for you is based on your organization’s size, payroll processing budget, and how much payroll responsibility you want to maintain. What should you look for?
Services and Price
The best payroll service organizes all employee payment tasks and files employee taxes. When choosing a payroll service, it must perform such necessary HR activities as calculating wages and keeping track of employee work hours, withholding deductions and taxes, printing and delivering checks or direct deposit, and paying employment taxes. A good payroll service’s primary features include: attendance management, overtime management, allowances management, leave management, and report generation. Determine how you are being charged for each service provided and don’t buy more than you need.
Simplicity and Ease of Use
The best payroll service should be simple and easy to access and use. You must have easy access whenever you need it, depending on what management reports and employee information you need. This includes comprehensive employee details and a full history of past and current pay slips. A good payroll service allows you to change employee data easily, manage employee loans, and transfer funds electronically to all major banks and payment services. When you choose a simple and easy-to-use payroll service, all balances and details are displayed in an easy-to-understand and straightforward format, allowing you to budget online and plan staff costs.
Security and Responsibility
When picking a payroll system, look for security features that guard against information tampering. The payroll service provider you select must be credible and a brand recognized for providing quality. Once you choose your payroll service, it is you who decides how much control you want. The best payroll service allows you adequate control and the option to view all information and previous reports. Clarify responsibilities with them so you know what to expect from the payroll service provider and what they require of you, and when.
Payroll service needs are unique for every organization, and the specific tasks vary. The payroll service you choose should generate customized reports and be flexible to your company’s particular needs. The best payroll service should be scalable as your organization grows. It should be able to expand with your organization to ensure you gain the planned benefits. And you need to choose a service compatible with your way of doing things, one that is flexible to automationfor speed and accuracy. If you have multiple organizations, choose a payroll service that functions well with your other companies.
Discuss your specific requirements with the provider to ensure you are on the same page. An excellent payroll service provider understands your objectives and suggests solutions. Be keen to understand the functional and technical aspects of the payroll service agreed on. When choosing a payroll service, select a provider dedicated to the project to ensure ongoing customer support, customization, and upgrades. Establish the after-purchase care you expect, the terms of your maintenance contract, and confirm that the payroll service you choose has an easily accessible help desk.
Training your employees and HR team on the new payroll service is vital to successful implementation. You don’t want everyone reverting to the old ways of doing things. Instead, they should adhere to the new payroll procedures to ensure you get the best out of your new payroll service. That means selecting a service provider with adequate online support and training manuals to ensure that both the HR team and employees can easily access the training materials needed to use the service successfully.
When choosing a payroll service, it is crucial to consider a provider who will let you test the service to determine suitability, so you can be sure you get the precise service you need. Senior management, your HR team, and other critical employees should all perform the service test before you buy. Test driving will determine if your team will be comfortable with the new program. Many payroll services have portals where you can simulate the use of their products. Take advantage of this opportunity.
Concerned about the HR programs at your organization? The benefits of having a trusted partner to guide you and your team to excellence can be invaluable. Contact us today. You—and your employees—will be glad you did.
In His Name HR helps organizations build high-performance human resource programs. E-mail us here.
Mark A. Griffin is President and Founder of In His Name HR LLC. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.
$305,000 in Employer Fines Upheld for I-9 Violations
Human resources can be complicated these days. Few would argue with that. But sometimes it’s the most basic human resources processes that can cause the greatest damage to any organization when not done right. And that disaster can be compounded if you lack a skilled professional to provide oversight.
When I say any organization, that includes any college, university, church, ministry, hospital, nonprofit or for-profit company, and even youth camps. Small organizations are not immune. No matter what size or kind of organization you are, if you employ staff, you must be diligent in following state and federal employment laws.
Recently, DLS Precision Fab, an LLC in Phoenix, Arizona, assumed they had made the right decision in hiring what appeared to be a seasoned HR professional. Much to their chagrin, despite his credentials, the human resources professional they hired proved inept and derelict in his duties when it came to maintaining the administration of the firm’s I-9s.
What is an I-9, you ask? Well, if you employ people and don’t know what an I-9 is, that’s a huge red flag, right there! Here is the definition as provided by ICE, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement:
Form I-9 is used for verifying the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States. All U.S. employers must ensure proper completion of Form I-9 for each individual they hire for employment in the United States. This includes citizens and noncitizens. Both employees and employers (or authorized representatives of the employer) must complete the form. (Source)
We, as an established HR firm, are continually astonished that organizations think that because they are a school, church, camp, or nonprofit, the I-9 is not a requirement. The law clearly states: “All employers must complete and retain Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, for every person they hire for employment on or after Nov. 6, 1986, in the U.S., as long as the person works for pay or other type of payment.”
All employers must have I-9s for every employee, regardless of the employer type or size!
Back to the case concerning DLS in Arizona, they were in a growth mode and had conscientiously made an effort to comply with state and federal employment laws by hiring an HR professional to handle compliance. Unfortunately, as the appeal by DLS states, the HR professional failed in his duties:
DLS is a company located in Phoenix, Arizona, providing custom sheet metal fabrication in a variety of industries. In the late 2000s, DLS grew to about 200 employees because of the expansion of a Department of Defense program. To deal with the sudden growth of its workforce and ensure its compliance with applicable state and federal employment laws, DLS hired a well-credentialed human resources director (the “HR director”). Unbeknownst to the company, however, this individual shirked his responsibility to ensure the company’s compliance with the INA to the point, as later described by DLS, “of literally stuffing the government’s correspondence in a drawer and never responding.”
Their legal problems started in 2009, when ICE served DLS with a notice of inspection and an administrative subpoena. After the onsite visit and a thorough review of their I-9 forms, DLS was served a notice of suspect documents. In October 2012, ICE served a notice of intent to fine.
DLS quickly responded by requesting a hearing before an administrative law judge, and ICE countered by filing a six-count complaint alleging that the employer failed to comply with employment verification requirements and continued to employ 15 individuals despite knowing they were ineligible for employment, all in violation of the Immigration Nationality Act.
Now, in 2017, in an attempt to reverse the violations, DLS Precision Fab appealed—and promptly lost. Richard Clifton, assigned to the case through the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found DLS Precision Fab liable for 504 of the 508 alleged violations, 489 of which were I-9 paperwork violations and 15 of which involved DLS Precision Fab’s ongoing employment of ineligible aliens. As a result of the actions of the so-called HR professional, DLS Precision Fab was ordered to pay civil money penalties totaling more than $305,000.
Understandably, this has landed the company in dire straights, and it is now is in the midst of Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. While we can’t be sure that these violations are solely responsible for the bankruptcy filing, it certainly hasn’t helped, adding to their already stressed organizational longevity.
Perhaps, like DLS, you assume your HR staff are competent and on top of complying with all your legal requirements. But are you sure?
The first thing you should you do is have all of your HR processes independently audited by a human resources processional, one with the right experience. We can help. Our HR Assessment, conducted by our skilled team of HR professionals will determine whether you’re protected or at great risk. We help clients across the country. Don’t hesitate—it could be costly.
Contact us today to find out more, and learn about our HR Assessment here.
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.
Wondering what is all behind the process of developing a High Performance Organization? Wonder no more. Check out our Infographic for those who learn by seeing.
Click here for a .pdf version: HPO Organization Infographic
Click here for a .pdf version: HPO Organization Infographic