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  • Sarah Gatehouse

    Sarah Gatehouse.

    Fujitsu General Australia

    "In 2016 we rolled out intelliHR, and in 2017 we had our best financial year yet. That makes a massive statement to show how valuable an investment in people and technology can be."

  • Sarah Gatehouse

    Sarah Gatehouse.

    Fujitsu General Australia

    "With the implementation of intelliHR, the improvements in our culture are clearly visible. intelliHR is a tool that helps with our strategic cultural goal of being a great place to work, with improved engagement, communication and goal management now well on track."

  • Belinda Maybury

    Belinda Maybury.

    Sheldon Commercial Interiors

    "

    Since starting regular staff check-ins through intelliHR, we discovered how much more capability one staff member had than we initially thought. We have since assisted his career progression and conducted a remuneration review. The outcome was a happy employee feeling valued and appreciated. Without intelliHR prompting us to address this in real-time, we could have lost this valuable employee.

    "

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| 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
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...
| 10 min
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...

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.

 

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

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.

 


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