Are Your Employees Asked For Input?

Are Your Employees Asked For Input? Employee Commitment Series


This blog series focuses on nine areas that keep employees committed to your organization. In our opinion, employees stay committed when they are Involved, Paid Well, Asked for Input, Challenged, Empowered, Trusted, Valued, Appreciated, and Mentored.

Do You Ask Your Employees for Input?

No individual can competently run an organization singlehandedly. And when more than one person is involved in running it, someone needs to be in charge of decision making.

If you happen to be the leader at your place of work, that responsibility largely falls on you. But the fact that you call the shots doesn’t mean the opinions of others don’t count. Your employees have their own opinions, but the question is, how often do you ask them for input?

Why Is Employee Input Important?

Leadership consultants tell us that organizations should announce that they welcome feedback from employees. They should go a step further and actively solicit this input. Employees often have strong opinions but tend to keep them private for fear of offending management or speaking out of turn.

Yet, constructive criticism from employees can improve productivity. As a manager, it’s imperative to ask for and value the opinion of your team members. Employees view issues from a different perspective. And even if you don’t agree with them, a fresh perspective is always welcome.

The results of a survey conducted by the Zenker Folkman firm suggests there is a direct connection between soliciting input and leadership effectiveness. However, a leader doesn’t simply become better by asking for feedback. The correlation stems from the fact that seeking input from employees means a leader is making conscious efforts to get better. And the leaders that get better are those who constantly work to improve their leadership methods and skills. In fact, arguably one of the worst actions an employer can take is to solicit feedback and then ignore it.

How to Go About It

There are many methods to request input from employees. Below are some of the most important or common ones.

Employee-Led Reviews

It’s important to conduct periodic reviews in order to monitor progress. This will help you devise new strategies to reach organizational goals. Although annual performance reviews are already a major part of the culture of many organizations, there are numerous questions that surround their relevance and effectiveness. These questions tend to stem from the approach rather than the process itself. If done right, annual reviews are a great tool through which an employer can gather employee input throughout an organization.

We find that the best review process is one that is led by employees. Have the employee set up the meetings, set goals and objectives, and develop their own career development. When done correctly, and with HR and leadership review, you can move the organization to much higher levels of performance.

Leadership 360° Feedback

A 360-degree feedback system is a method of gathering opinions about the performance of an employee from people connected with the organization.

The process usually involves a complex web of information. Opinions are gathered from virtually everyone in or close to the organization. While this tool can be used to gather information about anybody within the organization, a leader seeking input from employees can use it effectively for this purpose. The most important aspect of a 360° program is confidentiality. One of the best ways to ensure confidentiality is to hire a firm to keep this information protected. Learn more about how In HIS Name HR helps organizations ensure a confidential processhere.

Morale Climate Surveys

These surveys measure the satisfaction of employees with their work environment and the leadership of the organization. They serve as a great way through which employees can provide input on aspects of the organization they are not pleased with.

Start Asking for Employee Input Today!

As a manager or a human resource professional, it’s important to create an enabling environment. This way, employees can provide their input with confidence. But it’s not enough to simply create this environment or ask for input. Organizations should value the input of employees by listening to their suggestions.

Getting what you think is ridiculous advice? Have a talk with the employee. Clarify what is being communicated. When you listen first, and then explain your perspective and organizational goals, it gets employees thinking on track over time in terms of viable suggestions.

Most importantly, implement changes when you get great advice.

Employee Commitment Series

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

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

Are Your Employees Paid Well IHNHR

Are Your Employees Paid Well? Employee Commitment Series


This blog series focuses on nine areas that keep employees committed to your organization. In our opinion, employees stay committed when they are Involved, Paid Well, Asked for Input, Challenged, Empowered, Trusted, Valued, Appreciated, and Mentored.

Are Your Employees Paid Well?

In our last post we discussed the concept of employee involvement in the workplace. The next area focuses on helping readers understand the concept of being paid well in the workplace. Most organizations look at several areas of compensation: standard pay, perhaps health and wellness and retirement benefits, and, in some industries, bonus programs or long-term financial incentives. For the sake of brevity we will discuss two areas, standard pay and general generosity with your employees.

Standard Employee Pay

We often do compensation studies for organizations, including churches, ministries, for-profit and non-profit companies, and colleges. These studies are very important for all organizations, and should be performed at least every five years. You also should look internally at your compensation structure, being mindful of internal equity issues, especially as it relates to disparate treatment between protected-class employees.

“Most companies try to be good about keeping it up-to-date, but they tend not to do it as quickly as they should,” says Steven Slutsky, a director at Pricewaterhouse Coopers Human Resource Services in Philadelphia.

Doing a full-blown compensation study not only helps you to understand internal equity and current compensation market conditions but also helps promote a greater organizational image to your employees when they know you are performing this type of study. It is a great morale boaster, even if the wages don’t shift upward.

The most often question that we are asked is, “How do we even begin to do a salary study?” We always start the same way—leading organizations to undertake a total update and rewrite of all job descriptions across the organization. This establishes a solid baseline of what employees are doing and why.

General Generosity with Your Employees

Good-standing employees deserve more than fair wages. Scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,” and “The worker deserves his wages.”

Wow, the ox was permitted to eat during its workday. Sadly, many organizations don’t extend the same consideration to the most valuable commodity of their organization—their employees. Many years ago I witnessed a young teen working at a local pizza shop, making minimum wage. The owner was a cruel, selfish man who refused to provide any food or beverage to his employees unless purchased at full price. The owner’s children would come in and help themselves to all kinds of food, which they left behind, half-eaten, to be thrown away, but the floor sweepers got nothing. The shop owner also insisted upon destroying any leftover, unsold items at the end of each evening rather than offering them to his employees. Dear leaders, please do not fall victim to becoming a tyrant in your workplace. Be generous when you can. It is an investment that pays huge dividends in any organization.

Be generous to your people and you shall be rewarded.

Some of the most impactful gestures of gratitude and appreciation that I have given my people were the least costly—small lunch celebrations, or boxes of favorite chocolates. If you act with kind regard, with generous giving, you are building a strong Kingdom-minded organization while honoring Christ.

Remember: Virtually every single employee will give you 100 percent when they know you care.

Lastly, in relation to this premise, it is important to reflect on this piece of scripture.

1 Timothy 6:17-19: 17“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”

So why are we sometimes hesitant to share with the very people we should care about the most? We need to be more generous, because in the end we really are left with nothing to take with us.

Employee Commitment Series

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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

Are Your Employees Involved? In HIS Name HR

Are Your Employees Involved? Employee Commitment Series


This blog series focuses on nine areas that keep employees committed to your organization. In our opinion, employees stay committed when they are Involved, Paid Well, Asked for Input, Challenged, Empowered, Trusted, Valued, Appreciated, and Mentored.

Are Your Employees Involved?

In an article in Fortune magazine, Dan Schawbel stated that the primary priority for business leaders would be “retaining employees in a competitive talent marketplace.” He added, “In a new study by Future Workplace and Kronos, we found that 87% of employers said that improving retention is a critical priority for their organization.” Mr. Schawbel’s suggestion to focus on retention is spot on.

Let’s start with the first area, Involved. Oftentimes, when we first engage with an organization, leadership asks us to implement programs to immediately improve employee relations. We hear, “Employees are leaving in droves,” that turnover is high. Or “Our pay is too low. We repeatedly lose people to organizations that pay slightly more.” Excuses and explanations abound. But when we ask the key question How do you know the true reasons people are unhappy or why they are leaving?, the explanations are generally theoretical or hypothetical, not fact-based.

Our first suggestion to any organization: Don’t make changes or implement programs without first determining what the core issues are. Doing so is a waste of money and time, and can also hurt your organization’s culture and morale. That is where being involved comes into play. Use a skilled facilitator to run employee focus groups. Include representatives from each department. Have those same representatives talk to their departmental colleagues about what might be important to address.

One area many organizations bypass is the exit interview. An exit interview is a valuable tool to collate critical data and ascertain employees’ true reasons for leaving. Ask simply whether they felt involved in their departments, and with the rest of the organizational team. Ask them to suggest how your organization could do better in this area.

Finally, one of the best ways to uncover potentially problematic issues in your organization is to conduct confidential 360-degree feedback assessments of your leadership staff. Used the right way, it reveals key trends in certain areas of employee relations. As a plus, your findings can also serve as a tool for organizational-wide leadership development.

Most important: When employees are given access to their leadership, they walk away not only feeling heard but also involved in the organization.

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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

Employee Commitment Series

The #MeToo Movement Biblical Approach to HR Practices

An Interview with The Institute for Faith, Work & Economics


The #MeToo Movement and a Biblical Approach to HR Practices

There’s never been a more urgent time than now to have HR professionals who are grounded in sound biblical principles. With the rise of the #MeToo movement, human resources consultants are in high demand as companies, churches, and organizations ensure best practices and deal with existing charges. How should biblical principles and economic thinking impact the way we approach human resources?

Read the Full Article Here

 

Podcast “Human Resources and Higher Education”


Enjoy listening to Guest Mark A. Griffin discuss “Human Resources and Higher Education” with host Drumm McNaughton, PhD.

Have iTunes? Podcast available through iTunes.

The Change Leader Inc. creates sustainable organizations that meet the needs of the 21st century students andemployers while implementing change in way that enables them to remain true to the history and values that made them successful.

About Mark: With over 20 years of Human Resources experience at both fortune (Kodak, Quaker Oats, and Merck) as well as small and mid-sized companies, Mark has seen it all.

Mark A Griffin PodCast

Topic: Always give more than you receive


With operations in Melbourne Australia, The Ambitious Entrepreneur Podcast Network hosts weekly podcasts, broadcasting inspiring and informative interviews to an expansive growing audience worldwide.

Enjoy listening to Guest Mark A. Griffin discuss “Don’t ask what God can do for you; ask God what he wants you to do for him!” with host Annemarie Cross.

Have iTunes? Podcast available through iTunes.

The Ambitious Entrepreneur Podcast Network is the voice for Entrepreneurs and Small Business, featuring business experts, Thought Leaders, Disruptors, Innovators and Change Makers who are making a real impact in the world with their message.

About Mark: With over 20 years of Human Resources experience at both fortune (Kodak, Quaker Oats, and Merck) as well as small and mid-sized companies, Mark has seen it all.

HR and Employment Law News


No matter where you work, Higher Education, Business, Ministry, Nonprofit work or a church, today’s workplace is changing almost daily. Now more than ever staying abreast to changes in Human Resources related issues is very important to you and your organization.

Thank you for visiting HR and Employment Law News provided by In HIS Name HR. We’re helping professionals navigate the HR legal landscape of the world of work. From the Affordable Care Act to changes in payroll compliance state by state, we bring you the most relevant stories affecting today’s workplaces.
So check out our weekly highlights on new workplace legislation, recent employment lawsuits and other important news for today’s human resources.

Here are our recent stories:

HR and Employment Law News

How We Became Number One On Google In HIS Name HR

How We Became Number One on Google


Social Media and Search Engine Optimization

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In just 6 short years we have been able to develop a strong social media audience.

We now have:

Over 15,000 followers on Twitter

Facebook Business Page now exceeds 3,100

Over 7,700 connections on LinkedIn

And our latest social media platform Instagram, now exceeds 4,100 plus followers

 

Kingdom-Minded Employee Engagement Programs

Kingdom-Minded Employee Engagement Programs


Sometimes the best way for employees to develop an appreciation of what they have is to take a closer look at what other people have. I would like to introduce to one program that does just that.

Employee engagement is not only concerned with aligning employees to the goals and objectives of their organizations. Engagement can be just as much about aligning their hearts to the organization’s vision, a vision we hope has a Kingdom impact. Employees who perceive a greater good in what is being done in addition to their daily roles have a greater sense of purpose and satisfaction. All of us, at one time or another, have experienced that longing for a true sense of purpose. Having an engagement program that helps employees fill that void will benefit not only the organization, but also the world we live in.

Imagine a company that generates an impact not simply on one child’s life but an entire village.

Meet Elexio. Elexio makes a difference, not just in their Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania community, but also in Honduras. Today, we’ll talk to Jeff Hostetter, the CEO of Elexio, to learn more about their commitment to community,

MarkGreetings, Jeff. It’s an honor to spend time with you this morning. We know already that you have a wonderful story to tell us about how you impact the world through employee engagement. But, first, please tell me a little bit about you, how you came to occupy your role as CEO of Elexio, and a little bit about the history of Elexio.

Jeff:  Thanks, Mark. It’s a privilege to talk with you. I’m a simple guy who wants Christ to use him for His glory. Diane and I have been married for 24 years and have an 18-year-old son and an 11-year-old daughter. In high school, I took two years of computer programming and got a job as a software developer at the age of 18. Software has been the track I’ve been on ever since. Along the way, support, sales, and leadership crossed my software path, and then, in 2008, I was asked to become CEO of Elexio. Elexio began in 2002 and, in 2009, we merged People Driven Software into Elexio.

Elexio provides church software for people to come to know Jesus. Exclusively for churches, we have a database, check-in, website CMS, mobile, and giving—all integrated. We help churches in all fifty states and in thirty-two countries. God continues to amaze us with what He has in store for us.

Mark: That’s a great story. I’m always intrigued by how organizations develop, grow, and change over time—how it all comes together. Let’s talk about the organization you support. What organization is it and when did you start supporting them?

Jeff: We have a strategic partnership with Compassion International that began in the fall of 2010.

Mark: Out of curiosity, why did you choose Compassion? Tell us a little bit about your selection process.

Jeff: I created a profile of the type of Kingdom-minded organization we were looking for, and then worked with our other leaders to finalize the profile. I shared it with our entire staff to ensure they had a picture of the ideal organization. Our criteria included items like: make a big impact in one location rather than a small impact in many places, involve our staff in more than just giving money, and to avoid being self-serving in any way, to name a few. I asked our staff to submit recommendations for organizations, and Compassion was the most highly recommended.

When I contacted Compassion and learned they had an established initiative for strategic partnerships with businesses, and that they matched our profile and beyond, I knew God was at work and this was meant to be.

Mark: How many children did your company ultimately sponsor?

Jeff:  Praise God, we currently sponsor thirty-five children, all in the same church and community! We also work with the pastor of that local church, which partners with Compassion and cares for 225 children altogether. In 2012, through Compassion, we sponsored a Leadership Development Program (LDP) student.

Her name is Arely, and someone had sponsored her through Compassion in her younger years. Now we are sponsoring Arely through college at the University of Honduras, where she majors in computer science. Arely loves the church, computers, and software, so we have a lot in common.

Mark: Besides sponsoring children, in what other ways have you worked to tie employee engagement into this process?

Jeff: We have a big vision for this, so a few years ago we began inviting our staff to go to Honduras to meet their sponsored child. As giving money is available, we send a team to Honduras to visit our kids, their families, the church partner, and the pastor. We are hoping that, when it is time for Arely to do an internship, she can do her internship at Elexio, so that our staff can invest even more into Arely and growing her in her field.

Mark: Tell me how you engage employees to support Compassion.

Jeff: First, we setup a co-sponsorship where the staff person pays half of the monthly sponsorship and Elexio pays the other half. Sponsoring a child only costs $38 per month, so the staff member pays half, $19 per month. Since we pay our staff twice a month, it’s only $9.50 from each paycheck.

It’s an outstanding return for the investment. Also, a security wall was needed to protect the children, so Elexio decided to match dollar for dollar, the total of what our staff donated. Our staff raised $2000 so Elexio added another $2000 on top of that. Now, the security wall has been built and is protecting our sponsored children in the community. We have also helped our Honduran community get clean water and upgrade their electric service.

Mark: Many leaders miss the effect that positive employee engagement activities can have on an organization. Tell us in what ways your organization has been impacted by having adopted these types of employee engagement activities.

Jeff: It gives us another thing in common that we can rally around, share, and talk with each other about. Our team knows that, beyond the work they do at Elexio, they are making a difference in another country and, more important, in someone else’s life. Our team members write their children letters and also receive letters. It’s life changing for each child.

When a trip is coming and our staff has the opportunity to go or send gifts to their children, there is a buzz in the office because of the encouragement it will be to our long distance family in Honduras. As far as the gifts we send along, it is tough to manage our people’s generosity. It’s a good problem to have.

Mark: What suggestions do you have for other organizations that are interested in adopting policies of employee engagement in order to make a difference in the world?

Jeff: Create a profile of what an ideal employee engagement might look like for your team and make sure there’s nothing about it that’s self-serving or a marketing tactic. Involve your team in the process and strategic planning. Focus on fewer initiatives and make a big impact in those initiatives. This also builds momentum. Remember, it’s not an expense, it’s an investment, so put time and capital into it. God may surprise you with the ROI.

Mark: Jeff, thanks so much for spending the time and sharing your insights with us today, despite your busy schedule. We do appreciate it. By sharing this, we hope to encourage other great organizations to follow your example, and to build Kingdom-minded organizations through their human resources practices, encouraging activities with meaningful aspects, like solid employee engagement programs such as yours.

 

Mark Griffin is founder and Chief Consultant at In His Name HR LLC. He has over 20 years of HR experience.   Follow Mark on FacebookTwitterand LinkedIn.    

Want to make High Performance HR Systems including Employee Relations a reality in your organization?  Check out the HR Mastery Toolkit and learn how.

 

Obama Care IHN HR

Obama Care: Tips for Employers


Nothing creates panic in business like massive changes and spikes in expenses, especially when handed down by bureaucrats. Healthcare and benefits are on everyone’s mind. Employers are scrambling to make sense of it all and many tell me they are anxious. And with good reason. The many complicated new regulations, terminology, and alterations in healthcare laws are confusing.

These new changes are forcing companies to manage their finances, and the increased costs and government penalties will limit the quality and kind of care and benefits options available, as the financial facts drive important company decisions.

Here’s a quick summary chart of what’s entailed in the new Affordable Care Act (Obama Care) that unfolds over the next ten years and requires companies or individuals to buy healthcare to avoid stiff fines. Plus, the IRS now has new powers to garnish money from those who do not purchase insurance. Everything is different now!

What can you do?

Get advice. Find a reputable advisor who knows the ins and outs of company benefits. This is a critical necessity now, just like having an accountant is essential during tax season.

Maintain your patience. It will take time for things to settle. Don’t wear yourself out by being an alarmist.

Be transparent. Let your employees know about the increasing costs and that the changes in government intervention and mandates are not within your control.

Express empathy. Let your employees know that the changes in benefits and care are understandably disconcerting and that, in light of the new laws, neither you nor they can change the situation.

Encourage preventative care. Encourage and incentivize healthier living habits and make it easier for your workers to take personal responsibility for their own good health. Reward nonsmokers, healthy eaters, those who get routine health checkups, and those who exercise and maintain a healthy weight. Some government rulings and incentives make this more attractive. More on that here.

Here are some ways to create a company culture that supports a healthier way of living:

  • Be an example for your employees, be fit!
  • Include a workout room at your company
  • Start a lunchtime walking club or company team (softball, soccer, bowling, etc.)
  • Pay for employees to complete smoking cessation programs
  • Put healthy choices in the snack machines; encourage a salad potluck day
  • Support a charity with a walk-a-thon or 5K run, and start a training group to increase fitness levels
  • Ask your employees what they feel would help them stay healthy and come up with creative wellness solutions together

While the changes in healthcare may be substantial and expensive, getting the right kind of help will make all the difference for your company.

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Mark Griffin is founder and Chief Consultant at In His Name HR LLC. He has over 20 years of HR experience. Check out his Christian Career Coaching Page here.  Follow Mark on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.