Recruiting in Today’s Economy

Webinar: Recruiting in Today’s Economy


Presented and hosted by The Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE)

12:30PM EST Wednesday, December 7th  

Now, more than ever, recruiting employees has become increasingly difficult. Some organizations (those who lead with high-performance HR programs) never seem to run out of qualified leads. What are they doing that makes recruiting employees easier? Learn valuable tools to attract mission fit candidates in today’s tight labor market.

Click Here to Register!

These and other issues will be addressed in this important 1-hour webinar by a keen partner and consistent High-Performance Human Resources blogger with ABHE, Mark Griffin.

If you’re dealing with recruitment challenges during this employment crisis, we hope you’ll listen for his invaluable counsel.  ABHE is comprised of approximately 200 postsecondary institutions specializing in biblical ministry formation and professional leadership education.

Does your organization need HR help,  If so, don’t panic. We are here. We can help.

If you’re struggling with the current employment crisis, what it means for your organization and your employees, and need someone to listen to your concerns who can help, contact us today.

 

 Contact Us In HIS Name HR LLC

Board Governance In HIS Name HR LLC

The Five Common Board Governance Models: Which One Is Right for You?


Governance can be defined as: The combination of policies, systems, structures and strategic framework which a governing body puts into place to ensure that the leadership of an organization makes appropriate decisions.

Or, in less fancy, layman’s terms: Overseeing the control and direction of an organization. Governance models refer to how the authority chain and framework interconnect. These models ensure decision-making remains effective and that correct accountability is assigned to board members and/or managers of an organization.

With more competition than ever in the workplace, both nonprofit and for-profit organizations consistently find themselves faced with challenges as they seek to maintain success and stay on course. Deciding on a particular governance model can be a challenge in itself, as each organization is unique. There is no right or wrong governance model; at some point, every organization must decide which one fits them best. Many organizations adopt a combination of various board governance models that often evolves with time. When organizations face a new life cycle or phase, when operations become unstructured, when roles become ambiguous and board members dissatisfied with their roles, or when a CEO, a college president, a church’s senior pastor, or several board members leave, it may be time to reevaluate one’s governance model.

Adopting a new board governance model might seem daunting. But it needn’t be. Changing models is a bit like changing one’s lifestyle. Let’s say that someone has spent the past few years eating cheeseburgers and Fritos and watching Seinfeld reruns from the comfort of their couch every night. One day, they wake up and realize they’d like to change their life, get healthy, swap the burgers for green smoothies and the reruns for time at the gym, working on their fitness. They might feel eager, but understandably a bit overwhelmed. Where to begin? Which way to go first? This is a bit like that. Changing governance models entails abandoning well-established ideas and replacing them with new ideas and roles. This change takes time, energy, resources and resolve. It may feel confusing at first. But over time, clarity and greater ease does come. With the right model in place, any organization can succeed.

Let’s take a look at the five most common board governance models for nonprofit organizations.

Advisory Board Governance Model

Many nonprofit organizations choose to use the Advisory Board Governance Model. An advisory board is the platform that an organization’s president or CEO consults for assistance or advice. The president or CEO may carefully choose a team of trusted individuals as part of this board. Each board member possesses a set of professional skills and unique talents that will be useful to the nonprofit, and in most cases, they provide these valued skills at no charge. A quality advisory board can boost the reputation and credibility of a nonprofit. This is an excellent model for nonprofits concerned with achieving high fundraising and public relations goals. The advisory board may serve as the main governing board of a nonprofit, or the organization could utilize additional models that offer special expertise, such as a young professional advisory board. This model is often appealing to board members, because these younger members bring valuable contributions to the table, and meetings tend to be informal and task-oriented. While this model can initially be effective, challenges arise when board members face liability issues because accountability mechanisms become ambiguous. This model is not limited to nonprofit organizations. The Advisory Board Governance Model can be the first step in governance for small but growing for-profit organizations. It is an effective way to introduce new ideas from leading experts in variety of career fields.

Patron Governance Model

The Patron Governance Model looks very similar to the Advisory Board Model. However, it includes a few distinguishing factors. With the Patron Governance Model, boards comprise individuals who either possess a great deal of personal wealth or wield significant influence in the nonprofit’s field. The primary duty of this board is fundraising. Board members may contribute their own funds to the organization, or they might reach out to members of their network to contribute as well. Generally, under the Patron Governance Model, board members in this model have less influence over the president or CEO than with the Advisory Board Model, other than running the risk of losing funding. This model can be very helpful, but the board cannot be relied upon for governance tasks, like vision development and organizational planning.

Cooperative Governance Model

Many nonprofit organizations do not have an official president or CEO. In this case, the Cooperative Governance Model works well. Under this model, the board makes decisions for the nonprofit as a group of equals. This is a highly democratic model, as no board member has a higher standing or more power than another. This model is often used when the law requires a nonprofit to have a board of directors; it works best when each board member is able to show an equal amount of commitment to the organization. Challenges may arise, however, when personal morale declines. Under this model, there is no effective way to ensure accountability for individual actions.

Management Team Governance Model

The Management Team Model is one of the most commonly used governance models. With this model, the nonprofit acts similarly to a for-profit corporation. Instead of hiring people or teams to handle human resources, financing, fundraising and public relations, the board forms itself into committees to do these things itself. This model, which rose in popularity in the 1970s and has continued to gain momentum, is often used by volunteer organizations such as home school associations, Girl and Boy Scouts and other hobby groups. Challenges under this model arise when board members refuse to delegate authority and become micro-managers instead, resulting in inconsistent decision making and resentment and discontent among staff.

Policy Board Governance Model

The fifth common board governance model is the Policy Board Model, also referred to as the John Carver Policy Governance model. This model was developed by John Carver, author of Boards That Make a Difference. Carver, an esteemed psychologist who has co-authored five books and worked as a business officer in small manufacturing, understands both the business and psychology ends of organizations. He trademarked the Policy Governance model and has consulted with businesses in nearly 20 countries. Under his model, the board delegates much of their trust and confidence in operating the group to the CEO or president, and the CEO holds regular meetings with the board to update them on the nonprofit’s activities. With the John Carver model, there are very few, if any, standing committees on the board. Typically, the board is secondary to the CEO in overall power. The CEO is responsible for the staff, and the board typically does not interact with staff. However, the board and CEO work together as a team, meshing their skills and ideas. Members are often recruited because they have demonstrated commitment to the values and mission of the organization. Many nonprofits use this model, often combining it with other models to create a more specialized advisory team.

As with nonprofit organizations, for-profit (corporate) organizations use five common board governance models. The Traditional (Structural) Model is the oldest of the models, its use dating back to as early as the 1700s, when corporate structuring began. Many government organizations still use this model, as do many law firms. This model is built upon the concept that the board is the legal ownership entity and speaks as a board, while members of the board speak on behalf of the board but do not have an individual voice outside of the organization. The Board Chair is usually structured to be the official “voice” of the board, but only speaks in a way authorized by the board as a whole. Under this model, the board usually delegates responsibilities to the CEO or the board committee.

While the Traditional Model can be effective, it is no longer as widely used and presents some unique challenges. When the board delegates its powers, accountability and expectations sometimes become muddled. Another challenge arises when the CEO creates management operating committees that overlap with board committees which hold similar responsibilities. This can lead to confusion among staff about their roles, as board members cross boundaries between governance and operational management. Organizations still using this model have recently reduced the size of the board and sought board members capable of governing as a whole, versus merely representing constituents.

The Carver Board Governance Model, common among nonprofit organizations, is also popular among corporate organizations. In the words of John Carver, who, again, popularized the model over the past 20 years, this model is a “rigorous academic approach to a practice area that has had very little research over the years.” The Carver Model addresses two fundamental concerns: the board defining the organization’s goals, and creating policies by which the board and management team must abide. The board’s prominent role is to create policy to guide management and also guide the board in its governance work. John Carver suggests that, under this model, a competent board chair member should have the freedom to take action in the area of governance.

Challenges in this governance model arise when the board focuses its time on building policy rather than actually attending to other pressing responsibilities. While creating policy (such as how many meetings to implement a year) is helpful to create structure, and can potentially protect the board and organization, this model doesn’t always help to establish clear expectations or ways to measure success. This model works best when an organization looks beyond policy and creates a comprehensive strategic business plan and budget.

Every great organization creates and implements a strategic plan that aligns with their Board of Directors’ vision for the future. Learn more about IHN HR’s Strategic Planning Processes here:

For-Profit Organizations

Higher Education and Nonprofit Organizations

Churches

Less Common Board Governance Models

The Cortex Board Governance Model

Under the Cortex Board Governance Model, developed by John Por of Toronto, the board focuses on clients, community, legislation and best practices of similar organizations, so they can define the standards they wish to adhere to in their own organization. The board’s main role under this model is to clarify and set outcomes, so they can measure success. The board may set up an accountability framework, identifying which roles the board, CEO, staff or other members should assume. This model helps ensure transparency and accountability, as it helps organizations establish clear outcomes and measurements of success. Challenges with this model arise, however, when board members don’t fully understand the business and must rely on the management team to do much of the research. This model can also be tricky when organizations do not implement mechanisms or report structures to measure performance against new outcomes. However, these things can be developed over time. Focusing on what is important, versus what is convenient, is key for organizations that use this model.

Consensus Model

The Consensus Model, alternatively known as the Process Model, stems from the idea that all board members are equal, with an equal vote, responsibility accountability and liability for decision making. This model recognizes, however, that board members offer different areas of expertise, knowledge and wisdom. Under this model, board members must decide how issues will be discussed, how differences of opinion will be handled, and how members will reach a consensus on timeliness and agenda management. Many small, family-owned businesses or corporations with no shareholders use this governance model. Challenges arise when roles remain undefined, necessitating that issues must be sorted out among the CEO and board members. When disagreements arise under this model, board members often turn to Robert’s Rules of Order or the Parliamentary Rules of Order for guidance.

Competency Board Governance Model

The Competency Board Governance Model, sometimes referred to as the Skills/Practices Model, is also used in organizations. This model focuses on development, and ensures that all board members possess appropriate knowledge and skills. Relationships remain a key factor under this model, with special focus on communications and trust. Board members are often assessed to ensure their behavior matches the expectations of the organization, and that they work well together, as a team. While this model is very appealing for many organizations because of its relationship-driven quality, it can run into challenges when clear policy is not implemented. Having an experienced board member mentor newer board members can be an effective strategy.

If this information is new to you, or feels overwhelming, please don’t let it be! Choosing the best board governance model for your nonprofit or for-profit organization doesn’t have to be like pulling teeth. Your organization is unique and one of a kind. Therefore, your model will be as well.

Here are some questions to consider when reevaluating your governance model or establishing one for the first time:

  1. Do we have a clear understanding of the purpose of our organization?
  2. What are our organization’s basic values?
  3. How do we measure our organization’s success?
  4. What are our financial resources, and will these resources be reliable for the next several years?
  5. Do we believe our organization should be run as a cooperative, or a collective? In other words, should staff participate with board members in the governing?
  6. How much time is each board member wiling to devote to the organization?
  7. What is our expectation for board member meeting attendance and commitment?
  8. How will we hold board members accountable?
  9. How useful is each committee we have? Could we eliminate any?
  10. How will we handle disagreement?
  11. How much trust does the board place in the CEO or president?
  12. How satisfied are our current members with board performance?
  13. As board members, to whom do we wish to be accountable?

In the words of John Carver, “A carefully crafted, conceptually rigorous purpose of governance … forms the heart of board effectiveness.”

What is the heartbeat of your organization? What really makes you tick? Remember, it need not be a one size fits all. Your organization is unique, complete with a distinct purpose, vision, skillset and team. Take some time today to ponder which one of these board governance models might work best for you.

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Concerned about the Board Governance Model at your organization? The benefits of having a trusted partner to guide you and your team to excellence is invaluable. Contact us today. You—and your employees—will be glad you did.

Rise with us by implementing our 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

The Crucial Upside of Workplace Friction In HIS Name HR LLC

The Crucial Upside of Workplace Friction


Every workplace has friction—that’s the simple truth. Anytime you have a few people working together on something, differences surface that create drag. We shouldn’t be surprised when conflict or tensions arise. Instead, we should be prepared and have some tactics on hand to facilitate a cooperative working environment and healthier relationships. Friction has a bona fide upside.

In my decades of work in the field of Human Resources, I’ve learned that 3 major things have the potential to create workplace conflicts:

  • Inadequate communication
  • Lack of emotional control
  • Indefinite goals and boundaries

Here’s an example of all three creating a common situation of friction:

Project X must be finished in two months. The lower level manager fails to set legible parameters on a project when expectations and roles are not defined for the work. As the manager delegates the project, too much is left to speculation. Co-workers attempt to complete the work, but soon run into interpersonal problems as different ideas emerge. Frustration increases, tempers flare, morale sinks, and passive aggressive sabotage and gossip start. In other words, gridlock. A few team members inform the manager; however, by then, emotion is driving the situation. Decision-making is maligned and communication continues to falter. The project is tanking.

What to do?

A lot of repair work is needed to get things back on track and keep the project moving forward. First—and this is important—ditch email as a resolution tool. A sit-down, face-to-face meeting is necessary, and a concise description of roles and responsibilities must be presented. But a few other things are invaluable, too.

It’s important to reestablish a healthy culture with the team and ensure acceptable behaviormoving forward. This shouldn’t be done by lecturing. It shouldn’t be expressed in an exasperated tone either. Rather, make sure you conduct your meeting by modeling respect and integrity. Assume the best in your co-workers and back it up with words and actions that make it clear. Graciousness and amiability should preside, not hostility and annoyance.

Get the Right “Game Face” On.? Prepare yourself. Your “game face” must be a commitment to the greater good plus good faith efforts to buoy the environment and create a better working situation. It’s crucial to find common ground. This can be done with a simple and sincere reference to everyone wanting to do well, or a mention of some of your company’s most important values, or by outlining the basic goals of the project. It may be wisest to use a bit of each.

Conflict = Opportunity for Improvement.? It’s normal to dislike friction. Just remember, excellent organizations and great leaders have a habit of transforming conflict and tensions into occasions that make things work more smoothly, efficiently, and improve the positive bonds between employees. Don’t shrink from this opportunity. Instead of dreading conflict or becoming paralyzed by it, realize that conflicts can harvest new ideas and innovation—not just in how your company works, but also in how co-workers connect with each other.

Grace, empathy, forgiveness, cooperation, and better listening can be the result. If you treasure-hunt in the situation and invite that same positive attitude from your employees during conflict, better times are ahead.

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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 here.

Mark A. Griffin is president and founder of In HIS Name HR LLC. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter

 

 

In HIS Name HR LLC Job Shepherd Announcement

Job Shepherd


Post-COVID-19 recruitment has been unquestionably hard for employers, with many struggling to find quality employees in the aftermath. Religious-exempt employers have had an especially difficult time.

Organizations such as Biblical higher education institutions, Christian ministries, camps, and churches have found that mainstream secular platforms no longer assist them in target hiring. For example, Christian employers frequently used Facebook to connect with potential candidates, but in recent years many social media programs stopped allowing recruitment ads that target Christian applicants. Keywords such as “Bible,” “Jesus,” and even “pastor” are flagged as well.

Handshake, the most prominent job portal for college students gives universities the opportunity to block religious employers. Here, at In HIS Name HR, we have experienced this firsthand.

These setbacks have left Christian employers discouraged, wondering how they might maintain their voice and find quality candidates in this even more challenging environment. We have an answer.

Yes, a new day is dawning, and help is on the way.

The day is coming when employers can cast their net to the right side of the boat and watch as it quickly fills up.

Welcome to Job Shepherd, a platform that will change all this for you.

 

Job Shepherd was created to meet the demand by Christian employers, including ministries, camps, churches, colleges, and Christian for-profit companies in their search for qualified job candidates.

Job seekers can once again identify opportunities in sales and marketing, office administration, pastoral work, counseling, worship leadership, and higher education positions, like provosts and executive leadership.

Job Shepherd offers job seekers free guidance to find the right position within the right organization, one aligned with their values. With a few simple clicks, job seekers can explore a vast array of opportunities in any of these fields, and find themselves one step closer to the career of their dreams.

Job Shepherd, however, doesn’t stop there. In this portal, job seekers will find an abundance of additional online career help, including articles that share career advice and provide free tips on resume writing, career development, and interview skills.

These invaluable resources are always free for job seekers.

Employers seeking quality employees have just as much to gain. Job Shepherd offers a plethora of job postings to enable employers to find their ideal hires, as well as free articles on how to identify and secure great employees. Additional employer resources are available as well.

At Job Shepherd, we call this a win–win!

If you are a Christian employer in search of a thriving, uncensored job platform, your search is over.

If you are an eager potential employee looking to fill one of these roles, you have come to the right place.

Job Shepherd is the new “go to” job portal whose mission is to connect Christian employers with like-minded candidates to help advance the Kingdom until the day Jesus returns.

Are you ready to join this movement? Are you ready to cast your net?

Welcome to Job Shepherd!

Finding Great People in Today's Economy IHN HR

Finding Great People in Today’s Economy


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.

  1. 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

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.

Job Shepherd was created to meet the demand by Christian employers, including Christian for-profit companies, Christian ministries, camps, churches, colleges, and in their search for qualified job candidates.

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…

  1. 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 tE-mail us here.

Mark A. Griffin is president and founder of In HIS Name HR LLC. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter

Press Release IHN HR

Press Release: Paul Jaspers Joins In HIS Name HR LLC


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Paul Jaspers Joins In HIS Name HR LLC

Lancaster, PA, US – February 10, 2022 – In HIS Name HR LLC, based in Lancaster, PA, has announced that Paul Jaspers has joined the company as Human Resources Partner.

Paul possesses decades of HR industry experience. Previously, Paul led HR activities for a private international consumer products company in Chester County, PA. As part of the leadership team, he helped them grow global sales eight-fold, from $50 million to $400 million.

After that, Paul worked with a family-owned Lancaster County manufacturing company for three years, before joining a nonprofit organization, a church with weekend attendance of 17,000 and a staff of 250 spanning 16 locations.

In HIS Name HR has been implementing high-performance HR programs for Christian-value-based for-profit companies and organizations, including Christian colleges, ministries, camps and churches, since 2011. In this new role as Human Resources Partner, Paul will support organizations to achieve their goals and scale their organizations.

“We are excited to have Paul join our team to help take this HR organization to the next level. His depth of experience, knowledge and management capabilities complement our growing team of seasoned executives,” says Mark A. Griffin, president and founder of In HIS Name HR LLC.

PR Newswire Press Release Here 

More information about Paul Jaspers is available at: In HIS Name HR About

ABOUT In HIS Name HR

Founded in 2011, In HIS Name HR is strongly guided by Christian values and strives to reflect Christ in all areas, starting with the view that everyone should be treated with dignity and respect, and that employees are the most important part of all organizations.

In HIS Name HR provides progressive HR programs to increase productivity and profitability, eliminate non-value-added practices, and enhance employee wellbeing.

Navigating Professional Communication In HIS Name HR LLC

Navigating Professional Communication During the COVID-19 Pandemic


It would be the understatement of the century to say that the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted the flow of information in the workplace. It hasn’t simply disrupted communication in the workplace; it has rewritten the landscape of how managers and employees interact daily and how employees do their work. When it comes to a productive, efficient and effective workplace, nothing can replace robust communication between everyone. It builds trust, sets realistic expectations and gives everyone a sense of orientation, even—and perhaps even most importantly—when times are tough.

That is why it’s more important than ever to not only maintain communication with employees but improve it, as much as possible. HR departments, managers and employees all play a critical role in making sure that the lines of communication stay open and are used often. How do you do that? Consider this.

The pandemic has left people detached, distracted, and hopeless beyond belief. The unpredictable layoffs, dismissals, lack of income security, and compromised productivity have created an atmosphere of uncertainty and fear. One report suggests that about 655 million full-time jobs worldwide were lost in the first two quarters of 2020 alone.

This lingering fear of losing a job or business, or negative changes in monthly income has affected the psychological well-being of employees and employers alike. Adjusting to the new form of work while maintaining one’s sanity and staying safe from the virus is a huge challenge that has negatively affected communication within most organizations.

If you are experiencing some or all of these same difficulties and need some winning tips, we can help. This article brings valuable insight to help employers learn communication development ideas from a Christian perspective as well as effective tips for employees to acquire the support they need from their employers.

Acquiring Support the Right Way

Since the start of the Covid pandemic, employees worldwide have experienced a lack of support from their employers in the area of communication. This has greatly affected employees’ mental framework and productivity.

Many employees and managers alike have chosen to keep communication to a minimum, assuming it would prevent unnecessary conflict. But keeping concerns bottled up inside is an exhausting way to handle a situation. Speaking one’s mind will help relieve stress and also reveal unrealistic assumptions. But concerns must be appropriately voiced for effective results. To avoid a negative impact, follow these 5 strategies:

1. Voice Your Concern in a Timely Way

The first thing for workplace harmony is choosing the perfect time to share a concern. Discussing issues during a meeting or when leadership is interacting with others may be a big no-no at your organization. The most effective way in ensuring non-confrontation is to schedule a time with your leader and have an honest one-on-one discussion with them. Make sure the time is right, as it will set the course for productive conversation, allowing your employer to listen to you attentively and respond. Many leaders are more receptive in an individual setting vs. a group format when an employee goes out of their way to communicate.

2. Avoid Being Vague

If you are intent on finding a solution or you have concerns, be specific to avoid sounding negative or unserious. Instead of generalizing the problem, discuss the details, as generalizing diminishes the seriousness of your case. The more specific and clear you are, the more benefits you will likely achieve.

3.  Keep Solutions Ready

The most effective employees are those who see a problem come up, identify a solution, and seek approval to implement. Employees who repeatedly raise problems without suggesting solutions tend to diminish their reputation, so try to be solution oriented. Suggesting a solution along with the problem will make you look like a problem solver and helps leaders be more receptive to considering your point.

On the other hand, those who perpetually complain hurt only themselves. Complaints are not limited to employees; leaders can be negative as well, especially given the pressures and restrictions of Covid-19. So you need to know when best to present something as a problem and when to visit your superior to seek their opinion and advice before you work on something.

4.  Let the Employer Decide

You cannot force an idea or a solution upon your organization. Voice your concerns in the form of a request vs. a demand, present some suggestions, and leave the final decision to senior leadership. Even if you do not get your request approved quickly, it will be on the record for future concerns. Most employers want to hear concerns, and presenting them respectfully creates a greater chance of implementation.

5.  Ask Others to Voice Their Opinion

If it’s an issue that affects others, encourage them in a respectful way to speak up for maximum results. When more people are affected by a problem, the chance of leadership taking action also increases. Together, all can help leadership understand the totality of workplace obstacles.

Communication Ideas for Employers

To make sure the organization is operating well and heading towards its intended goals, employers need to pay attention to the communication within their organization as it relates to the development, care and support of its employees. This is most important during this difficult Covid-19 pandemic period.

Below are 9 critical takeaways for leaders and human resource management to ensure added productivity and development, even in times of crisis.

1. Communicate Often, More Than You Think Is Necessary

Over-communication is rarely the problem in any organization. That is why is it important to communicate frequently. According to the Harvard Business Review, those who work remotely don’t feel like they are being treated equally. This is where consistent communication can make a dramatic difference.

Communication is key to success, especially during tough times. Constant reminders, motivation, and communication reduce employees’ concerns and help them stay on top of their tasks. The way communication is maintained with employees can have a dramatic impact on an organization during tough times. So, keep it transparent and regular. Consider developing a communication strategy that allows your HR team to take the lead to communicate key information on a regular basis. Doing so can help reduce the stress your employees may have of the unknown.

2.  Have One-on-One Discussions With Your Staff

Having one-on-one discussions with your staff allows you to put your Christian values to work. Being tolerant and treating employees with grace shows that you value their growth and are willing to helping them develop to their full potential, regardless of circumstances in the outside world. Your staff grows, your company grows.

3.  Be Empathetic

Empathy goes a long way and can buy you a lot of goodwill. Remember, everyone is working and building their careers, and concerned for their future and stability. People will continue to make mistakes in their work. This is where empathy can show that you care and are worthy of their trust. This leads to more honest and open communication.

4.  Watch for Nonverbal Cues

The signs of stress or impending problems are often more easily seen than heard. In the age of video calls, watching for nonverbal clues can give you an edge when anticipating challenges. By being alert to and addressing these clues, not only are you being proactive but you show that you care enough to pay attention. That can go a long way toward bolstering communication between employees, managers and HR.

5.  Give Employees Options to Have Their Concerns Addressed

Communication is a two-way street and by making it easy for employees to have their concerns heard and addressed, you are proving with your actions that you care. One-on-one conversations, suggestions boxes, easy access to HR and an open-door policy to managers are ways to show that employees matter. When people believe their voices matter, they speak.

6.  Develop Feedback Mechanisms

Create a secure channel to communicate and encourage feedback from employees. To gain organizational feedback, allow employees to utilize several means of communication, such as reaching out to HR, talking to a senior or manager (open-door communication), or providing anonymous suggestion channels. Offering various methods allows the concerns to reach the right authorities and encourages the employees to give feedback, which helps immensely in professional development. For more intense leadership development feedback, consider HR Impact 360, a program where leaders are assessed by their direct reports, peers and superiors.

7.  Ease the Work-from-Home (WFH) Experience

As we all know, maintaining productivity is challenging while working from home. Therefore, employers who can arrange for equipment to support working at home will help employees succeed. By now, most organizations have implemented software and tools (Zoom, Slack, etc.) to help employees perform without much hindrance. On the other hand, holding meetings and discussions on time that limit the effect on their family can ease the WFH experience. Opting for audio vs. video calls when few people are needed can also speed up things.

8.  Provide Job Security

One of employees’ greatest fears, based on our conversations with them, is the possibility they might lose their jobs and have their careers derailed. Being a leader, it is difficult to navigate this territory. Many states are “employment at will,” which means employers and employees can part company at any time for very little reason. And employers must be careful not to insinuate job security in precarious times. Be cautious about assuring employees that their jobs are secure. And if you know it not to be the case, let them know in advance to give them enough time to prepare.

9. Keep Plans Transparent

These unprecedented times call for leaders to be extra composed as their subordinates look to them for cues often timed for strength and inspiration. When appropriate, share strategies and planning with employees and communicate the organization’s performance focus so that employees can, if need be, modify their work accordingly.

10. Encourage Participation in Group Conversations

A study done by Baylor University, a private Christian school, found that younger staff were less likely to offer an opinion or participate in a discussion if the more senior staff remained silent. Due to the perceived hierarchy and their “place” in the organization, people didn’t feel free to speak. By making it clear that participation is encouraged and expected, you can improve the quality of your group discussions.

Need Specialized Guidance?

The pandemic has transformed the way organizations operate, and for these changing times, you need better and more specialized strategies. In HIS Name HR helps implement effective HR plans and programs for organizational success. Our experienced HR leaders ensure that your organization enjoys improved productivity and better employee relations in just a short period of time.

If the pandemic has you stressed out, let our 10 years of serving clients nationwide benefit you. We are the leaders in human resource consulting and outsourcing services from a Christian perspective. Let our experts assist you in these hard times and save yourself from unnecessary pain and stress!

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Mark A. Griffin is founder and Chief Consultant at In HIS Name HR LLC. He has over 25 years of HR experience. Follow him on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

In His Name HR helps organizations build high-performance human resource programs. E-mail us here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emerging HR Practices Post Pandemic In HIS Name HR LLC Wycliffe Bible Translators USA

Emerging HR Practices Post Pandemic


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.

 

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.

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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 FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

In His Name HR helps organizations build high-performance human resource programs. E-mail us here.

 

 

 

 

How Bad Human Resource Practices Cost You Millions

How Bad Human Resource Practices Cost You Millions


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.

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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

Onboarding New Employees With Excellence

Onboarding New Employees With Excellence


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.