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| 5 min
Video: The Future of Workplace Training
Video Transcript Jarod: Hey guys, Jarod from intelliHR here. I’m the partnership manager at intelliHR and today we’re going to be talking about training. So to do that, thought I’d bring my good friend...
| 5 min
Here’s why you need to be tracking staff training (and how to do it effectively)
If your staff training is currently being recorded in a spreadsheet, or worse yet, not at all, then you’re in a similar boat to many of the businesses we speak to! First of all,...
| 5 min
Infographic: 10 stats you need to know about employee training
More and more companies are now understanding the importance of providing employee training opportunities. Here are some stats to back that up....
| 5 min
10 Stats that will make you rethink your training policy
Training is not always seen as a top priority, but it should be. Not only does ongoing training support better performance, but high-achieving workers want professional development opportunities and are seeking out employers that...
| 10 min
These 15 stats will make you rethink employee engagement
Key take-aways form this article: Engaging employees is key for a productive workplace, organisations with low engagement have high absenteeism and poor work quality. The contribution given by your employees is dependent on their...
| 5 min
How to make performance reviews proactive
Because reactive performance reviews provide very little value When it comes to traditional performance reviews, most of us do not exactly look forward to them. Whether you’re on the employee side, the manager side...
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Individual training budgets are growing in popularity: what now?
In a recent AHRI webinar on enabling leadership capabilities, I mentioned my experience with an assigned individual training budget and how it really encouraged me to seek out and do some professional development relevant...

Video: The Future of Workplace Training

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Video Transcript

Jarod: Hey guys, Jarod from intelliHR here. I’m the partnership manager at intelliHR and today we’re going to be talking about training. So to do that, thought I’d bring my good friend Simon from Go1, one of our partners into the office today to have a little bit of a conversation. So Simon, I might let you introduce yourself, and what you do and take it from there.

Simon: Yeah, thanks Jarod. Yeah, great to be here. Obviously working at Go1, training’s front of mind for us. My role at Go1 is to look after our partners. So that’s everything from distribution partners to content partners, you create that great learning content, so it’s good to be here and talking about learning in 2020.

Jarod: Yeah awesome. Learning is always a great one and training, to refocus on it I guess. Just to start off with, why should a workplace or an organization invest in training or, learning management system or just learning development in general for their employees or as an organization?

Simon: Yeah. So I think it’s interesting if you look at, as we go into a new decade, what’s happened in the consumer world in regard to self-improvement and learning and it’s kind of mirroring what we’re seeing in organizations as well. So if you look back 10 years, most people the way that they consumed media you know, self-taught and learned themselves, it was very different to what we see today. You would go out and purchase individual CDs or movies or books when you wanted to learn more or consume that type of media. What we’re seeing now is much more of a scenario where everything’s at everyone’s fingertips through subscription services or the ease of having the web on our phone so accessible, we can get to training and learning very quickly. So what we’re seeing in organizations is if that method or that type of learning is not mirrored in the place that they’re working, people can become very frustrated very quickly and they feel like their needs and their opportunities are being reduced by the technology or their structures that are in place within their organization.

Jarod: Yeah. Well, we see that from an HR perspective, the user or employee experience has just gone absolutely crazy. It’ll be the fad for the next few years. And rightfully so. I mean from a, I always look at banking, we used to walk into a bank and have to do everything you want to do there. And then slowly, slowly transition to web-based mobile base and now we’ve got applications that we can do anything we want with our phones and last year now you can transfer instantly. Like it’s just gone absolutely crazy. And we’ve got that from a consumer perspective and how easy it is to have that access. But now bringing that into the workplace I think is become a huge focus. I mean myself, I want everything that I need or want from a workplace perspective at my fingertips. Like you sort of spoken about and training is no difference as I’m sure that you come across quite, quite so regularly. Now I didn’t want to sort of jump into it too quickly and I know it’s not our favorite thing to talk about when we need to, but what is the importance of compliance when it comes to training and what you guys sort of do?

Simon: So compliance is the, is the starting point, right? If we don’t get that right, then organizations leave themselves exposed to all sorts of legal and other ramifications. I think an organization needs to be able to be sure that they can tick that box, provide the compliance training on-demand at the right time to their employees. From an employee point of view, it might not be the most fun thing to do. So I think where organizations are trying to improve that situation is allowing their employees to access the compliance and mandatory training in the flow of work when and it makes most sense and is most easy for them. That might be on the way home from work on their mobile phone. When they have the chance, when they’re remotely working or at a certain point in their working day, they’re able to access that compliance training and complete it there and then.

Jarod: The flow of work is key and everything that we’ll probably speak about today and it’s just making it a part of, I guess what employees do and what an organization expects. I mean, we even say that with, you know, working from home and stuff, we need to be flexible in the workplace and the way that we act as something like qualifications and the compliance, everything should be very similar. I mean from I guess a user perspective, we always talk about employees want to be the custodians of their own data. So essentially, yes, it’s all well and good that HR needs everything in place or that they’re on a one way street to the legal department and to have it all sorted. But now employees are being more interested in making sure their own information is correct and that they have control to change it if need be. And that they’re actually going out and exploring and I guess this is where all the training and the self development thing sort of comes from as well, but that focus on giving the employee the power to do that themselves and empowering them through that is super key

Simon: I think it’s really important because when we talk about why training is so important to organizations, you only have to look at when people leave an organization after having a bad experience or they go and find another job. The statistics that say that up to 94% of them would have stayed in the job they were in if that company had invested more in their self improvement or education. So if you’re not providing your employees with that ability to improve themselves and access that training, then eventually they’re going to get frustrated. Their employee experience is going to be a bad one and they’re going to find somewhere else to work. That’s the bottom line.

Jarod: And it’s giving the employees the power to take that on for themselves and the organizations need to be able to support that. And there’s an interesting one who’s the first step are employees meant to go out and sort of, okay, we need help and push that. Or should it be the organization really pushing that? And even if the employee is a little bit hesitant, eventually get them on board. What do you, what do you usually see?

Simon: Yeah, I think it works both ways, right? So you tick that once you’ve ticked that mandatory compliance box, there’s organizations out there who are doing some amazing things with setting learning pathways and giving people the opportunity to have a guided pathway to improving themselves, whether that’s through upskilling or transitioning to different roles. We hear a lot about organizations having to change the roles within their teams and repurpose the skills of staff members to react to different projects that they’re working on. So certainly we see a lot of organizations taking the lead and guiding people on excellent learning journeys. On the flip side, we see it as really important to enable an employee to start guiding their own personal development. So as we talked about before in today’s world, if I want to improve my project management skills, gone are the days where I want to put in an application and then three months later go to a face to face course about it because it may be that I need that information really quickly. It may be that I want to test the water and see if it’s of interest to me and employees want to be able to guide their own learning and access that wealth of information that’s out there as and when they need it. So I think it’s really important when an organization’s starting to put together its learning strategy to sort of consider both aspects. What do we want to give our employees to make sure it aligns to the company strategy and where we want them to go. But also how much flexibility can we give the employees to make sure they’re having a great experience and feel like they’re able to upskill themselves and react to what’s happening in their role.

Jarod: Then we always sort of say organizations who are taking that next step and then instead of being on that reactive sort of side of things, they’re looking at being proactive around that. So actually knowing before the employee might even know that they’re sort of interested in exploring that. I think it’s really key as well to be able to know that there’s going to be both, I guess professional learning and development and then also from the employee stuff and the ability to be able to provide them opportunities to grow even if it’s not directly related to their role is going to be is huge. And that’s where you spoke about before about employees looking out there for jobs and I think if we’re focusing on the employee rather than their job, it just completely changes that as well.

Simon: That’s right. I mean those roles that those employees are in are likely to be changed anyway. So we see a lot of organizations that not only a strategy change, but the fundamental makeup of organizations change so quickly now and they have to repurpose. We see a lot more working in projects rather than working on a specific role. So employees may be working in a certain team on a certain project for a finite period of time and then they’re going to have to adapt and move onto something else pretty quickly. So where that is in place, we’re not training people for a specific role, we’re getting the best out of that person on the project that they’re working on.

Jarod: Yeah, you mentioned teams. I think that’s a huge factor as well. We’re more and more, I guess such a team focus around goals and planning and working together towards a certain project or anything like that. And that’s changing from training to performance to how things are tracked in their system almost to the organization as a whole because you’ve got a pod here or you’ve got an office there and everyone’s sort of banding together and sort of utilizing all their resources and I guess abilities to sort of to move forward together as in cohesion. How do you guys sort of or what are your thoughts around like team training and how do you guys approach that from, is it where you’re looking to get everyone sort of trained together or is it sort of different depending on everyone’s skills and abilities?

Simon: Yeah, I mean there’s certainly times when organizations will want to push training into certain groups of individuals, whether that’s a project team, whether that’s a job specific role or parts of the organization that they want to be up-skilled at the same time, that’s certainly still very prevalent. What we see now with the use of collaboration tools and those sorts of environments in workplaces is we can, even if we’re learning as an individual, we can quickly share our learnings and what we’ve, the training that we’ve gone through with the rest of the organization with the rest of our teams. So where we’re finding a lot of organizations are complimenting their technologies and looking at best of breed solutions is where they can compliment some of the work they’re doing on training and learning with some collaboration tools and fitting in with other parts of the organization to make sure that everyone’s aware and enabled share the learnings as they, as they go through the flood.

Jarod: Yeah, I think a lot of it would ultimately come down to, I guess how people learn really, and everyone’s going to learn definitely in an organization and want to learn in different ways. I know from even from our own team internally, we’ve got people who are, who are readers, people that want to watch people from our engineering team they’re all, one person will have one specific skill and they want to learn from the best in that skill and they’ll teach each other and learn from peer sort of training. And I guess developing from that perspective. But it’s just an understanding I guess from an organization perspective as well that that’s okay, that everyone wants to learn and train and develop differently. And being able to support that is key and a big part of I guess, well what we do in sort of understanding how best to for that to work essentially.

Simon: I think that’s the beauty of um, you know, aggregated content library such as we haven’t go one is that you can then pick the best type of training for either at an individual level, it’s gonna appeal to those individuals or is it at a team level or job role specific level. Because as you said, everyone learns in different ways. If you and I were to go to an art gallery and look at a painting, we would have different opinions on the quality of that painting. It’s quite subjective. It’s the same for training and learning. You know, we both go through the same training course. One of us finds it really beneficial because of the style, because of the content. The other one it falls a bit flat. The subject matter might be the same, but there might be another way for us to learn that and another way for us to teach it. And if we have at our fingertips, the, you know, a huge wealth of learning content from different providers and we’re able to purpose that in the most effective way to the people who matter.

Jarod: Yeah. I love the art gallery. Sort of I immediately had my mind sort of racing around because performance comes straight to mind and this is probably done back when we were in primary school, but we would go see the same art exhibition and then be given a sheet of paper asking us four questions and one person would be right, one person would be wrong. And that’s completely changed for what we are now. There’s no right or wrong, especially around something like that and understanding that every person from a performance and development perspective is going to be different and therefore should be judged and then you can pull in all your remuneration and stuff as well. But it becomes more of a discussion and I guess more or less right or wrong and there’s more grey, which is always interesting in an organization. A great grey keeps the wheels turning and keeps entertaining us and show you sort of understand.

Jarod: I mean we all know that organizations now are made up of we don’t want to segment people and create clones of people. We want our people to be able to unlock their own creativity and add value to an organization and its culture. So we want to get as diverse and as different teams as possible working together. So we understand that those individuals are going to be motivated by different things. They’re going to be excited by different things and they’re going to bring different skill sets to it. And so when all those different people are in that mix, trying to access training and trying to have a great employee experience, that employee experience is going to look different for every single individual.

Simon: So we can’t just pigeonhole people and say, Hey, if we throw this team, this incentive, it’s going to work for all of them. It’s going to be what does make, what does each, what makes each person in that team tick and how do we deliver the employee experience that each of them deserve.

Jarod: I mean, we’re not the recruitment specialists, but exactly what you sort of spoke about here. No longer do we go out and we want to hire four Bobs. We need everyone to be different and we can focus on, I guess the skills that they bring or their ability. I know from an engineering perspective for them it’s actually the ability to learn and adapt and be fluid. That’s what they’re actually testing. I guess we haven’t sort of spoken about development too much, but how do you see training in development? I guess work hand in hand. We’ve mentioned upscaling and skills has been a huge focus from our discussion, but where do you see that going in working together moving forward?

Simon: So we know him important it is for, as you mentioned, for the employee to be empowered to own their own data and own their own journey. I think from a performance point of view, an employee can start to own their own learning and as well. They can start to understand which pathways are bringing them the most success and what they can then transfer to either other parts of the same role or the parts of the organization. And they can soon start to learn about the learning journeys that they want to keep going on and keep owning themselves. And I think in that way, when an employee feels empowered to own their own learning journey it becomes much easier to then introduce new ideas to them and upskill them into different areas.

Jarod: Employee driven development. That’s, I reckon 2020 here we come. That’s going to be a big focus moving forward. And to do that it needs to be a mixture of training and having that readily available and supported by an organization and to be able to provide feedback through that and obviously feedback and continuous and understanding and growing of how an employee is developing within an organization is sort of feeds hand in hand. But thank you very much for the conversation today. I think we’ve touched on quite a few areas of training and hopefully it’s been quite valuable for those people listening out there. But thanks for popping in really appreciate it. And if you have any other questions, feel free to reach out to any of us.

Simon: Nice one Jarod.


Here’s why you need to be tracking staff training (and how to do it effectively)

If your staff training is currently being recorded in a spreadsheet, or worse yet, not at all, then you’re in a similar boat to many of the businesses we speak to!

First of all, it’s okay. This is a judgement free zone. Secondly, don’t panic because we have some tips to help get your training records on track. 

Regardless of what systems you might have (or not have) in place, tracking staff training successfully all starts with understanding the importance of monitoring your people’s professional development, so it can be established as a priority. 

There are three critical reasons you need to monitor your people’s training through a central record, some of which will be more relevant to your own business depending on your industry.

Once you know which of these factors is most important for your organisation, you’ll know exactly what to look for in for in a tool to help you manage your staff training records.

Next, we’ll explore how to put this knowledge into action.

 

Three reasons to track staff training

1. To maximise compliance and minimise risk

If your industry relies on meeting certain professional development requirements such as CPD points to stay compliant, then keeping track of training records is naturally already a priority for you. The problem is, we see many businesses in this position turning to spreadsheets to achieve this.

If you’re in that position yourself, you’ll know that raises a few problems. Firstly, you still need to enter every piece of information manually, so there’s a lot of room for error, not to mention it’s very time consuming. Then you have the issue of spreadsheets being difficult to share and keep updated as a single source of truth, particularly when multiple people may need to enter information. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the information sitting in spreadsheets is static, and there’s no system to alert you to expiring qualifications or overdue training refreshers.

If any of these things are causing havoc in your business, putting in place a central training record keeping system with notifications for expiries will be a gamechanger. When scoping out your solution, be sure to also check for a system that makes it easy to export a compliance report on demand, to take the stress out of audit time.

 

2. To save time on admin, and make time for strategy

So the idea of tracking training sounds great in theory, but one of the main reasons it probably isn’t being done in the first place, is that it’s creating a lot of extra admin work. The simple solution to avoid this and save time is to not rely on a spreadsheet, but rather use an online tool that can automate a lot of the work and minimise the need for repetitive data entry.

Saving time is appealing in its own right, but the real motivation for all of us in saving time on tedious work is to make time for the things that really matter, like strategy. When everyone’s training is being tracked and monitored for you, you’re free to spend more time being proactive about training, and using it as a strategic tool, not simply a way to fulfill compliance needs.

And this brings us to reason number three!

 

3. To track ROI and plan future training requirements

So we know using the right tools to monitor your employee training can help you save time and stay compliant, but the biggest benefit by far is that it can actually help you track the ROI on individual training efforts, and use this knowledge to inform future training plans.

Once you’re tracking training sufficiently, you’ll have the data you need to start getting these insights and making more strategic choices with training. By recording costs, and asking team members to give feedback on the impact of training they’ve undertaken, you can start to paint a picture of which professional development courses or programs are most worthwhile. From here, you’ll be able to continue prioritising these for future team members, while dropping other training that may not be contributing to your bottom line. 

Tracking training effectively will also help you spot gaps in your workforce’s skill set that might need filling in order to achieve your strategic direction. In this way, you’ll have the visibility to invest in the most relevant training, and maintain alignment between your spending and goals.

 

How to track staff training effectively

So now we can see all the the benefits of tracking staff training, let’s deep dive into our best practice tips on how to manage your training records long term.

If you’re already keeping track of your training records in any capacity, then you’re off to a great start. But if this information simply sits in a static spreadsheet or document somewhere, then you’re missing out on the full benefits of having this information to begin with. The real value comes in being able to generate reports, draw meaningful insights and make the data work for you! 

Okay, sounds great, but how can you actually start getting these benefits for your business? 

 

Step 1: Get centralised training records management in place

Before we get into the fun part (a.k.a. Automation and Analytics), the very first thing you will need to break up with manual training records like spreadsheets or paper forms is to use a central training records product that can store these records securely, accessibly and online. This will allow you to connect all your training data with automation and analytics tools, as well as enable staff to self-service entering their own records as soon as training is completed.

Once that’s in place, you’re ready to start using automation and analytics to get the most out of your training records.

 

Step 2: Integrate automation tools

Connecting your training data with automation tools means you can actually make this data work for you. Automations can help you save even more time and stay compliant. Here are a few key features to look for.

Mandatory qualifications 

You’ll want to ensure there’s a layer to your system that’s tracking mandatory qualifications. This way you can instantly see what percentage of requirements like licenses, CPD points or safety tickets are up to date, and which ones might be expiring soon. From here, you can easily send reminders to staff who may need to update a qualification and keep a constantly up-to-date overview on training compliance.

Compliance reporting

Another automation feature to look for is easy compliance reporting. When it comes time for an audit, you’ll have peace of mind not only knowing exactly what is up-to-date, but also being able to quickly download a report proving this at any time. Using an online system also means you can easily handpick which data you want to report on or view, for example, filtering down to a list of all your accountants’ CPD points to see their totals and determine who might need some additional professional development.

Training Action Plan

Using workflows, a Training Action Plan task can be triggered to staff after they complete training, they’ll receive an email asking them to create a plan of action on how they will implement their training. This helps ensure they’re getting the maximum value out of their learning while also providing a helpful tool to measure their performance against in the near future.

Integrations

If your centralised training records system of choice has integrations available, you’ll have almost endless possibilities to create other automations you might need. 

For intelli users, that includes automations like these (just to name a few):

  • Automatically set up a new staff member in your Learning Management System (LMS) when they are created in intelliHR.
  • Automatically create a training record in intelliHR when a user completes a course or module in GO1.
  • Automatically create tasks in Asana for team members to update their qualifications before they expire.
  • Automatically create and send a summary of training completed in your LMS to the Learning and Development Manager each month.

 

Step 3: Apply Analytics

Now having data is one thing, but it isn’t much use if you can’t easily draw insights from it. Gathering lots of data without a way to break it down and understand what it means can be more of a blessing than a curse. Luckily though, with the right tools, you can stop drowning in the data, and easily know what to look for. Here are a few ideas on how you can really leverage your training data to make the best decisions on training in the future.

Continuous feedback

The first thing you’ll need to do to get the most out of your training analytics, is to ask for feedback directly from the participant and their manager. This can be setup as a workflow, so that the team member and their manager automatically receive a request for feedback at a set time after the training record is entered. By asking your people to share feedback on how beneficial a particular training experience was, you’ll be able to make better decisions going forward on what training to invest in.

Training needs

Another training insight you can gain from your general continuous feedback is whether your team has the skills they need to actually fulfill the company goals. You can get these insights by simply adding a question to your standard continuous feedback forms, asking your people if they feel they need to work on any additional skills to achieve their goals. These responses can then be aggregated using Keyword Analysis, allowing you to easily spot key needs (without personally having to read 100s of feedback responses).

Training investment

With these insights combined, you can also start to measure your investment in training, and which initiatives are proving to be most valuable. By understanding what productivity is being driven by certain training, and what skills gaps you need to fill to reach your company goals, you can continue investing in the most worthwhile training moving forward. A training investment analytics tool will allow you to measure all of this visually and in real-time – no number-crunching required.

 

So now you know not only how to replace those manual training records, but how to ensure you can get the maximum value out of this data, by minimising risk and aiding strategic decision making. Have questions about anything you’ve learned today? Our team is here to help show you how it’s done and configure a solution that meets your organisation’s needs. Get in touch.


Infographic: 10 stats you need to know about employee training

More and more companies are now understanding the importance of providing employee training opportunities. Here are some stats to back that up.
Ten steps you need to know about employee training


10 Stats that will make you rethink your training policy

Training is not always seen as a top priority, but it should be. Not only does ongoing training support better performance, but high-achieving workers want professional development opportunities and are seeking out employers that provide this.

In today’s blog, we’ll explore some additional reasons why workplace training is so important, and why it’s worth the investment.

 

Lifelong learning aids business agility

70% of CEOs say their organisation doesn’t have the skills to adapt to disruptive changes due to technology advances.

Better Buys

 

It’s no secret the world around us is changing at an ever-increasing rate. The only way everyone in an organisation can stay up to date with technological change is by engaging in ongoing training. Even the most experienced employees can benefit from revisiting best practice or picking up skills in new tools to do their job even better. It’s important to instil this as part of your workplace culture, so employees know they are welcome to request training opportunities, regardless of their experience level or tenure.

One way to ensure employee skills are kept up to date with organisational priorities is by tracking goals, and identifying skills gaps. By allowing all staff to set goals directly related to bigger picture objectives from above, employees always have direction on exactly what they need to do to contribute. What’s more, it’s then easy to identify skills gaps blocking goals from being completed, and training can then be selected to combat this. This process will help keep your business agile by ensuring everyone has the skills they need to fulfill company goals.

 

Training opportunities aid retention and talent acquisition

7 in 10 employees say professional development opportunities would affect their decision to stay at a company.

Better Buys

40% of employees who receive poor job training leave their roles in the first year.

go2HR

Companies that offer professional development opportunities have 34% higher retention rates.

Better Buys

 

If you know the cost of employee turnover and talent acquisition in your business, you’ll know it can be costly. The worst part of turnover cost is that it’s largely avoidable, and while some level of attrition is always inevitable, most organisations should be aiming to reduce it as much as possible.

Multiple studies have found a correlation between retention and training opportunities, with the majority of workers claiming a lack of professional development opportunities would contribute to a decision to leave an organisation.

By engaging in continuous feedback and asking staff what training or development opportunities they would like to undertake, you can ensure staff know that the option is always on the table and they can request certain programs that they feel will add to their skill set.

 

Effective training improves profitability

Ineffective training can cost businesses up to $13.5 million, per 1000 employees per year.

Shift

Companies that invest in employee training enjoy 24% higher profit margins than those who don’t.

Huffington Post

 

Training should not be seen as a cost but an investment. The cost of ineffective training is potentially huge, leaving staff ill-equipped to do their best work or even at risk of making crucial mistakes due to a lack of training. When organisations do make an effective investment in training, they can therefore expect much improved profitability.

By tracking your training in intelliHR, you can measure ROI and gather feedback on different programs to determine which are most worthwhile. Capturing this information will also make it easier to identify skills gaps, and also how those skills gaps have been best filled with other team’s members.

Once you have data on ROI generated by different training opportunities over time, it will be simple to determine a set quarterly or annual training budget for every staff member. Use your goal setting and strategic alignment processes to identify training opportunities for each of your team members. Having a set training budget for all employees normalises training and encourages everyone to take advantage of development opportunities within a set timeframe.

 

Training budgets aren’t just for big businesses and don’t have to cost the earth

Organisations with less than 20 employees are 23% less likely to participate in work-related training than those with 100 or more employees.

Australian Bureau of Statistics

 

Almost 5 million Australians work for a small business and this number is growing, but unfortunately, businesses with less than 20 employees are 23% less likely to deliver work-related training than their bigger counterparts. Seeing the value of training, small business can’t afford to miss out. The good news is, training budgets don’t have to cost the Earth.

As mentioned, funds spent on effective training should be seen as an investment, as it pays for itself with the boost to productivity and subsequent profitability. But beyond this, even if a set training budget for every employee isn’t feasible, there are plenty of valuable online training courses or workshops that are offered for free or a very low cost. So get creative, rather than setting a monetary training budget, you could assign a set amount of hours each employee can spend on training each month.

 

Training opportunities are a key motivator to perform

74% of workers feel they aren’t achieving their full potential at work.

Shift

Employees with training opportunities are 15% more engaged.

Better Buys

87% of Millennials claim that professional development and career growth are very important to them.

Gallup

 

Training not only adds to performance by enhancing workers’ skills, but also helps keep your people motivated and engaged at work. Helping your staff take their knowledge to the next level provides motivation to keep striving for better performance, building a culture of continuous improvement. Providing ongoing professional development also allows everyone to keep growing in their role, rather than feeling they need to get a new job in order to level up in their career.  

 

Now that it’s clear the impact effective training can have on your organisation, what will you do differently to take advantage of it?


These 15 stats will make you rethink employee engagement

Key take-aways form this article:

  1. Engaging employees is key for a productive workplace, organisations with low engagement have high absenteeism and poor work quality.
  2. The contribution given by your employees is dependent on their perception of how meaningful their work is to the organisation.
  3. If a manager is disengaging from their employee, then the employee will disengage from the business.

 

The term “employee engagement” is thrown around a lot lately, so much so that it sometimes detracts from its true meaning. Engagement is far more than installing ping pong tables or giving everyone an extra week of annual leave – it’s about motivating your people to do their best work – and keeping them motivated.

Motivated employees are 31% more productive and sell 37% more compared to less motivated peers.

– University of California

 

After almost three decades of leadership, the collective experience in the team here at intelliHR has uncovered three pillars of genuine employee engagement that we aim to help all organisations foster.

 

Alignment

Engagement starts with alignment. Where does each employee fit in your organisation? Your people need a place to fit in and feel like they are part of the bigger picture, and understand how they personally contribute to their organisations future direction. They want to know that their everyday activity is making progress towards the company’s mission. Beyond knowing they have a meaningful place within the organisation, this alignment should not strongly conflict with their own personal goals, attitudes, values and beliefs.  

80% of employees feel more engaged when their work is consistent with the values and mission of the company.

IBM

 

Contribution

Once your people have a place in your organisation they also need to know that they can make a meaningful contribution to the wider company goals. Consider if employees are able to see the impact their work is having on the bigger picture. Knowing that they are making a difference instils a sense of achievement that is so essential to staying engaged.

Employees who feel their voice is heard are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to perform their best work.

Salesforce

Relationships

Finally, the relationships your people form at work are the remaining piece of the puzzle. Ultimately, people must be able to work with their team harmoniously and enjoy coming to work each day.

Half of employees would sacrifice their salary, as much as 29% of it, to work a job they enjoy.

Kforce

Almost 8 in 10 employees said they’re likely to leave in search of another position after just one bad day on the job. 

Addison Group

 

 

So now we know what engagement really means, but why should we care?

Consider this research:

Companies with engaged employees pull in 2.5x more revenues compared to competitors with low engagement levels. 

Hay Group

 

Motivated employees are 31% more productive, sell 37% more and are three times more creative compared to those who lack motivation in their role.

– University of California

 

This is just one piece of data proving that engagement really does have a direct impact on the bottom line. Not only does it have an impact – but more than 30% additional productivity and sales is quite significant. What business wouldn’t want that?

 

Disengaged employees have 37% higher absenteeism, 49% more accidents, and make 60% more errors.

 Gallup

So not only do engaged employees perform better, but we also see the reverse effects when people are disengaged at work. The increased likelihood of accidents and errors that come with disengagement are exposing businesses to serious risk and financial loss. This is coupled with lost productivity due to absenteeism, further eroding profitability. Further to this, the Employee Turnover Calculator uses your data to show what disengagement and attrition are costing you

 

Organisations with low engagement scores have 18% lower productivity, 16% lower profitability and 65% lower share price over time.

 Gallup

Further supporting the above findings, companies with poor engagement not only have lower profitability and productivity, but these snowballing problems have also been shown to have a compounding effect on share price over time.

 

Organisations with highly engaged employees receive twice as many job applications.

 Gallup

Anyone who has been involved in the hiring process will know that the best talent can be hard to find, and even harder to retain, particularly in specialist roles. This figure shows that switched on professionals are seeking out roles in organisations with a good reputation for being a great place to work. Building a positive work environment with happy and engaged staff will help you expand and improve the quality of your talent pool.

 

70% of an employee’s motivation is influenced by their manager.

– Gallup

Turns out the age old adage, “people don’t quit jobs, they quit bosses” is backed by science. Leaders charged with the responsibility to oversee direct reports have a significant influence on how their team members perform. Part of this can be attributed to how managers impact on an employee’s attachment (or lack thereof) to the organisation. This is explored in Anthony Sork’s concept of ‘Attachment Theory’.

 

Within 120 Days, new hires will have fully decided if they are going to stay in an organisation long-term, based on the relationships they have formed.

Sork Human Capital

As we mentioned above, strong relationships at work are absolutely essential to not only retaining people but helping them perform faster. It takes significant time (up to 2 years) and money (up to $100,000 or more) to get an employee performing at their peak. By fostering an engaged workforce, and ensuring managers have a healthy relationship with their direct reports, we can speed up the path to peak performance, and keep people performing over time.

This is all determined by what happens within an employee’s first 120 days which is why an effective onboarding process is so crucial to success.

Learn how to get people performing at their peak sooner with these 3 ROI tips

 

People consistently perform more poorly and disengage when higher incentives are at stake.

– Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

Science has proven time and time again that significant monetary incentives or time pressures often result in decreased performance when it comes to tasks that require creativity or strategic thinking. As manual work becomes increasingly redundant in our workplaces, we need to use methods of motivation that are conducive to creative and strategic thinking.

This study from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston looked at how performance was impacted by the size of an incentive. After testing across a series of different tasks, it was found that performance was consistently lower, the higher the incentive. Essentially, the higher the stakes, the harder it became for participants to perform. This is not to say financial incentives are never effective to motivate employees – each individual has different motivations. What it does mean, however, is we must go beyond the traditional “carrot and stick” approach, as it doesn’t work for everyone, and may even inhibit performance. When managers take the time to invest in building relationships and getting to know their direct reports, they can better understand what motivates each individual and support their success accordingly.

 

So what’s the state of engagement like right now?

If you think the majority of your workforce is fairly engaged, think again.

Only 14 per cent of employees in Australia and New Zealand are engaged in their jobs. 71 per cent are not engaged and as many as 15 per cent are actively disengaged.

Gallup

 

Knowing the positive impacts of engagement, this is a concerning percentage of workers to be actively disengaged. But it is possible to measure engagement in your own organisation, and pinpoint areas for improvement. Let’s explore how this can be achieved.

 

But how can we begin to measure and improve engagement?

Besides a misconception that engagement does not impact the bottom line (which we now know is not the case), another factor which often discourages businesses from prioritising engagement is that it can be difficult to measure.

 

If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.

– Peter Drucker

 

There are a plethora of ways to improve engagement at work – but before implementing all these tactics ad hoc – it’s vital to have a system in place to actually a) measure engagement, and b) determine what areas of improvement should be focused on.

If your staff are disengaged at work, they don’t necessarily want free coffee or sleeping pods, they might just want a chance to have their ideas heard, or a health and safety hazard to be fixed. Sometimes it is these one percent fixes that can have a huge impact on engagement, but first we must determine what they are.

The following tools can help you identify focus areas to improve employee engagement across your organisation, and then measure their improvement as you make changes.

 

Continuous Feedback

Long, infrequent employee engagement surveys have low completion rates and offer poor quality data as they are simply too much of a mammoth task for employees to complete. They also don’t offer insights that are timely. By sending a quick form to staff each month to see how they are going, you can give your people the opportunity to give feedback about their experience, then use this to inform a meaningful one on one conversation.

70% of the employees say motivation and morale would increase if senior leaders said ‘thank you’ more.

Reward Gateway

 

Adhoc Feedback

Our Survey and Feedback functionality not only helps measure engagement but can also be used as an adhoc engagement and survey tool in itself. For example, a check-in could be sent to staff asking for them to contribute any innovative ideas they may have. This gives people the opportunity to contribute more, while the organisation benefits massively from receiving fresh, innovative ideas to explore. After all, no one knows what your customers want better than your staff!

 

Happiness Analytics

See what is making your staff happy or unhappy, identify trends and uncover root causes to fix them. Track an overall happiness rating out of 10 across individuals, teams, business units or the whole organisation over time.

96% of employees believe showing empathy is an important way to advance employee retention.

Forbes

 

Sentiment Analysis

Monitor events that are leading to engagement or disengagement among your people. Sentiment analysis analyses the emotional tone behind entries left in diary notes, goal comments, forms and more to uncover potential issues or areas of positive progress, helping you easily identify hidden qualitative trends.

 

 

We hope this blog has inspired you to start paying closer attention to your employee engagement. How will you improve engagement in your organisation?


How to make performance reviews proactive

Because reactive performance reviews provide very little value

When it comes to traditional performance reviews, most of us do not exactly look forward to them. Whether you’re on the employee side, the manager side or the HR side, performance review time usually isn’t the most exciting period on the work calendar. It takes a lot of work to prepare everything, only for all parties to often be left feeling like they’ve derived little value from the whole experience.

This animosity toward review periods usually comes down to three main problems with traditional performance reporting:

  1. It’s completed on an annual basis
  2. It requires a significant amount of administration to compile each report
  3. The findings are not actionable

When these three issues combine, we are left with a performance review process that is reactive, not proactive and therefore, provides very little value for everyone involved. In fact, conducting your review process this way may be slowing your organisation down, rather than invigorating it like intended.

Below we’ll explore how to make performance reviews proactive by addressing these three key issues.

1. Make the review process continuous

 

In another recent post of ours, 5 HR Process Mistakes, we looked at why completing performance reviews annually isn’t so productive.

In summary, it’s near impossible for most of us to remember what we did an entire year ago. Even if we did, what is the point of getting feedback on something you needed to improve 12 months ago when you could have been working on it the whole time had you known?

What’s more, most new employees form a decision on whether they want to stay or leave a company within their first 90 days, and one in five new employees leave before their probation period is up.[1] With figures like those it is easy to see why huge attrition problems can arise when reviews are not regular.

Rather than sitting down with staff once a year to see how they are going, start a continuous feedback process. Ideally, managers should be having a one on one catch up with each of their direct reports at least once a month. It only needs to be a 10 or 15 minute conversation, but it’s a vital opportunity to intervene on potential problems, ensure your people have all the tools they need to do their job and provide recognition.

 

2. Never compile a manual review again

So a continuous process sounds great in theory, but how is it feasible when everyone is already time poor? Well, the truth is it doesn’t need to take additional time. In fact, it doesn’t need to take any time at all.

When you use intelliHR, everyone in the organisation is entering valuable information into the system every day. Managers are entering diary notes and sending out monthly feedback, HR is recording promotions, employees are tracking their goals, recording training and completing their check-in forms, and so on.

Now all of the key information that has historically been collated into performance reviews once a year is already being captured for you. Most importantly, it’s effortless to bring all this information together. “Performance Summary” reports can be generated for any staff member at any time, for any period, and they will always include all of the key information you want to include.

Do we really need to convince you to stop preparing reviews manually? Not really. Let’s move on.

 

3. Make performance reports valuable

Simply put, performance summary reports are only valuable if they provide information that is actionable. They must provide direction on where to make improvements moving forward.

Increasing the frequency and taking the manual effort out of the whole process already goes a long way toward achieving this. The final step is how does the performance report summary contribute to a positive review outcome.

First, consider what information both employees and managers will require in order to make positive improvements.

You will most likely be looking for the following items at a minimum:

  • Skills gaps
  • Goal progress
  • Training records
  • Diary notes
  • Performance management
  • Employee and manager feedback

Skills gaps are one of the most crucial elements to detect early on. If you’re asking employees about their training needs in their regular check-ins, this feedback will be included in the performance summary report. Further skills gaps can also be identified by looking at training undertaken by the individual compared to the rest of their team members. From here, managers are able to compare these insights against team and company-wide strategic goals, working with individuals to decide on a training plan to fill these skills gaps.

You will also want to look at goal progress and performance management entries as measures of performance and progress. These are both important points for discussion if you detect areas for development or positive reinforcement are in order.

Diary notes left by managers are also worth considering to determine patterns in behaviour. Diary notes can also be used to share notes of recognition with a staff member so these should also be included.

All of this information is valuable because it can be acted on. From here, each individual’s performance summary report can be discussed between them and their manager, a conversation which should focus around how to proactively move a role forward in line with the company’s strategic objectives – looking forward is much more important than spending too much time reflecting on the past.

In conclusion, if you can action the tips above you will easily transform your existing performance review process into a proactive, value-adding exercise.

Questions about any of these tips? Get in touch.

 

SOURCES

[1] People Management (2017). One in five employees have left a job during their probation period. https://www.peoplemanagement.co.uk/news/articles/employees-leaving-job-during-probation

 


Individual training budgets are growing in popularity: what now?

In a recent AHRI webinar on enabling leadership capabilities, I mentioned my experience with an assigned individual training budget and how it really encouraged me to seek out and do some professional development relevant to my job. A lot of people let me know that this was their big takeaway to encourage lifelong learning in their own business.

Before starting in my current role, I’d never even heard of this way of giving people access to professional development, so this was a great reminder of how good I really have it. A new customer also has a similar structure in place, where their employees can use an allocated training budget each year for whatever they (and their manager) deem relevant.

Suspecting this was now a ‘thing’, I started doing some research to see how prevalent this individual training budget was (and what is the average amount).

I was surprised to see more articles on how employees can convince their boss to approve training than anything else. One even had a handy email template with spaces to outline the key benefits of the training they wanted to attend. My brain started playing that scene in Oliver of the poor little kid with the empty bowl saying “please sir, I want some more”.

If you’re announcing on one hand that your people are your greatest asset, why are you also making that asset beg for an upgrade?

I get that training is expensive and that there might be a fear that allowing people to pick their own development might lead to anarchy and ‘conferences’ in Bali. The thing is, you’re going to be spending the money anyway; according to Deloitte (2014), companies are spending more than $130 billion on training and development worldwide. If you’re already spending the money on training, at least invest it in what people really need. It’s a smarter way of doing things, plus HR no longer has to do all the legwork on researching training that might be relevant.

On top of that, this is an opportunity to advance your organisation’s strategic objectives in a really empowering way. Having training closely aligned with the overall goals of the organisation helps you to get the most value out of it (as with other people processes); this makes logical sense. Sure, you could decide what type of training will best help your people to contribute. Alternatively, you can make sure they know what you’re trying to achieve, then let them suggest the ways they can best enhance their individual abilities to help the organisation get there. Everybody wins!

Of course you’ll want to track what’s getting spent and the return on investment (ROI), that’s just the norms of good business. But doesn’t it make more sense to have individuals identifying their own training needs? After all, they are the ones who best know their role, their abilities and what will help them to contribute effectively.

Here are some of my top tips to track development needs and measure the value of training in your organisation.

 

Ask for Input

What’s the best way to find out what training your people need? Ask them! On your usual regular check-in with staff, add a question asking: Are there any areas you feel you would benefit from additional training in?

This is a great way to normalise training and show everyone in the organisation they are welcome to put their hand up and ask for development opportunities when they need them. It’s also important to keep in mind this process will be aided by ensuring all staff have a clear knowledge of the organisation’s strategic direction. In this way, they will be able to identify what skills gaps they may have by looking at where they need to contribute to the bigger picture.

 

Get Feedback

When employees do undertake training, ensure there is a way for them to provide feedback at set intervals afterwards. This will allow them to report back on what they learned and how it has impacted their work, while you as the HR team can understand which programs are most worthwhile and suggest them to more staff. By allowing the team member to record their own reflections on training and resulting performance, the organisation can get the full picture.

If you use intelliHR, this can be achieved using a workflow; every time training is recorded on the employee’s profile, they’ll automatically get the opportunity to provide feedback.

 

Track Training Investment

Using intelliHR, you can keep track of training records and their value to measure the ROI on different training programs. Employees can enter their own training and they will be asked about the hours spent in training as well as the direct costs. From here, this data can be compared against productivity to determine the effectiveness of different training initiatives.

 

Set a Budget

Now, of course, this all links back to having a defined training budget for your employees. If you haven’t allocated individual development budgets before, it can be hard to know where to start. With the right data we mentioned above, however, over time you’ll be able to draw on these insights to determine the best budget for each individual. This may vary between different experience levels, tenures or departments depending on the average cost of training in each group, but it’s important to keep in mind everyone can benefit equally from training; regardless of seniority or job role.

The key benefit of having set training budgets is it makes approving training a much smoother process as the employee and their manager are aware of how much they can spend. Having a budget that resets each financial year is also a good idea to keep things manageable. This ‘use it or lose it’ system also creates a sense of urgency, encouraging employees to actually take advantage and book that training in before they miss out.

 

Does your organisation have defined individual training budgets? We’d love to hear why or why not. Tell us what you think in the comments.