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Archive for June, 2015

11
Jun

Incentives to Fight Worker Poaching and Promote Employee Engagement

Posted in General  by Shaun Bradley 1 Comment

We discussed ways to improve employee engagement through company culture.  Companies with high employee engagement are more profitable, innovative, and enjoy greater employee loyalty—reducing turnover and labor poaching by competitors.

How damaging is poaching?  Very.

Poaching high-value employees is commonplace, especially in high-tech fields.  Tech giants Google, Apple, Intel, and Adobe Systems were sued for conspiracy when they allegedly agreed not to poach talent from one another.  A federal judge gave preliminary approval to a settlement of $415 million to compensate engineers who lost promotion and compensation opportunities due to the secret agreement among companies.

In another high profile case involving poached tech talent, ride-sharing biggie Uber hired 40 top research scientists away from Carnegie Mellon’s National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC) to build an autonomous automobile.  While Uber had earlier announced a partnership that allowed the company to benefit from NREC’s well-regarded robotics research team, the company went ahead and hired away the scientists, using vast investment funds to offer salaries NREC could not match.

Whatever your area of industrial specialty, it is a key HR function to oversee programs to retain top and trained staff.  Incentives are a time-honored way to increase job satisfaction and build loyalty to bolster against a potential brain drain as experienced by NREC.

Lucrative compensation, flexible scheduling, and bonus pay make a clear difference in convincing influencers in your company to remain.  But to many, money is not everything.  If the dollar figures are close, relationship matters.  Improve and nurture relationships with your talent through low-key but high-impact incentive programs.  Motivators include:

Recognize ideas:  Innovation is important in any field.  Whether it is a product design, or a new way to increase safety on the job, recognize efforts of workers who look around their workplace and find a way to do it better.  Offer conference opportunities to employees looking for networking and training opportunities.

Share the love:  Institute peer-to-peer recognition programs that allow and encourage employees to recognize the talents, moments, and efforts taken by fellow workers.

Support reality:  Integration of work-life balance is becoming increasingly important.  Steer clear of a company culture that prohibits workers from attending important events in the lives of children and family.  Plan company events that allow kids—and parents—to play.  Offer scheduling flexibility when able, and reach out with support when the unexpected happens.  More than money, people remember how employers behave during a family or other crises.

In addition to institutional incentive programs, try a flash rewards programs, or mobile gamification.  Offer gift cards, time off, employee recognition, redeemable tokens, travel or other unique incentives.

An engaged workforce is an intangible asset for any company with plans for longevity. Manage, inspire, and engage your human resource with the right culture, incentives, and recognition.

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11
Jun

Should You Be Thinking About Employee Engagement?

Posted in General  by Shaun Bradley 1 Comment

A recent survey revealed 70 percent of American workers are not engaged in their work, or workplace. As an HR professional, it is your job to recruit, on-board, and retain a high-quality workforce. What can you do to keep employee engagement—and retention—high?

In an update of its State of the American Workplace survey, Gallup found only about one-third of employees are satisfactorily engaged on the job. Although management and C-suite executives appear to have a higher level of engagement, a disengaged workforce means declining profit, reduced productivity, and increased employee turnover.

A comfortable company culture is a factor increasingly considered by potential hires. If your employee morale is low and turnover high, take steps to improve your workplace experience.

Before you hire a consultant to investigate and realign your environment, consider these simple—but meaningful—tips for effective workplace engagement:

  • Communicate the basics: Ensure employees, at all levels, understand the expectations of their job, introductions are made, necessary training is received and all on-boarding checkpoints are covered.
  • Reduce segregation: When managerial and regular workforce employees work in proximity, relationships are built, communication flows, and productivity usually follows. The cubicle environment of twenty years ago does not lend itself to innovation, or idea-sharing. When needed, be sure your working environment is designed to support team and group work.
  • Flexibility: Flexible schedules and remote work are fast becoming highly valued features in attracting and retaining valuable personnel. Mobile time and attendance management helps employees—and you—track time wherever your employee is deployed.
  • Authenticity: Not surprisingly, employees in all cohorts want to know their work is valued—and they are valued for the work they do. Entertainment giant, The Walt Disney Company laid off 250 skilled employees in October, 2014, after outsourcing their jobs to a managed service provider. Personnel laid off were given the opportunity to earn 10 percent severance pay to train their replacements. While Disney saves a bundle replacing highly skilled workers with immigrant outsource workers, the Magic Kingdom loses luster in the American workplace.
  • Effective HR management: HR personnel are usually the first and last point of contact for most employees. Through recruiting, training, scheduling, and professional development, ensure your on-boarding and off-boarding is smooth, welcoming, and in compliance with company and other regulations. A well-designed digital HR platform saves you time, money, and paper—while increasing employee engagement throughout their tenure with your company.

When companies are engaged with their workers, employees return that investment. Reduce turnover, and increase profit, by making the right hires—and keeping valued personnel aware of their importance to you. Should you be thinking about employee engagement? The answer is yes.

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