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Employee Performance Plans that Actually Work

Employee Performance Plans That Actually Work

Employee Performance Plans that Actually Work

I don’t know a single leader who enjoys dealing with employee performance issues. Few things are more frustrating in a business setting than an employee who is either not performing or who has behavioral issues. It is an area where experience doesn’t really make it easier.

Yet, every leader, at some point or another, has an employee they have to coach and discipline.

Progressive disciplinary policies are common among organizations of all sizes. Most employee performance issues do not warrant immediate termination so policies are put in place to give employees an opportunity to improve. These policies vary but they usually have multiple steps that could include verbal warnings, performance improvement plans, written warnings, suspension, and eventual termination.

Out of all steps I believe the performance improvement plan may be the most crucial. If done well, and early, a performance improvement plan can map out the exact performance or behavior that the employer is not happy with, outline the behavior that is expected and give the employee a clear path to improvement. Unfortunately many performance improvement plans fall short of being worth the paper they are written on.

Here are our guidelines for performance improvement plans that we think actually help improve performance.

Timing:
The biggest mistake leaders make when trying to improve performance is waiting too long. The longer poor performance or bad behavior goes on, the harder it is to fix. By the time the employee is told about the issue, the leader is so frustrated they have no patience left to try to help the employee overcome. All employee issues should be dealt with as soon as they creep up. For this reason we recommend employees receive verbal coaching as often as the opportunity allows. In weekly one on ones or regular performance meetings, employees should be cautioned about any issue that may create problems down the road if they continue.

Then, after that same issue has been coached on multiple occasions, it’s time to get serious. If regular performance discussions are happening, the time between first coaching and performance plan should be relatively short.

Complete Plan:
The second biggest mistake that leaders make when delivering performance improvement plans is only delivering half the plan – the employee portion. Leaders sit an employee down, tell them what they are doing wrong, tell them to fix it and ask them to sign the form. This leaves the employee feeling as though they are on their own and probably have one foot out the door so why bother even trying.

A complete performance improvement plan follows this outline:

Description, with recent examples, of undesired behavior.
Description of desired behavior.
Why desired behavior is important to the business.
How leader is going to help employee improve.
Milestones to improvement.
Next steps and check in dates.
Consequences for not improving.
Employee opportunity to comment.

The piece in italics is the most crucial. Hopefully all leaders want employees to improve. If so, they should be willing to do their part to help employees turn the issue around. Including this in the documentation provides accountability for the leader to ensure they are offering support and assistance as needed.

The Discussion:
Discussing performance issues with employees really is an art form. I’m not convinced there is only one right way to do it. I think it depends on the employee/leader relationship, the communication style of both and the egregiousness of the issue to be discussed. Here’s what I do think should be consistent regardless of style – preparation. Nothing is worse for an employee than feeling like they have just been the victim of a drive by where their leader vomited a bunch of bad news on them and then left.

Leaders should take time to think about the personality of the employee and how they will best receive the information. They should think about framing their words in a way that the employee will be able to hear and understand what is being communicated while, and this is key, being motivated to fix it. The discussion should take as long as is needed for the employee to walk out of the room focused on the issue at hand and understanding what they need to do to fix it.

Dealing with performance issues is a necessary task for most leaders. They are best dealt with swiftly and directly before they grow into something larger than they ever needed to be. Done correctly, they can often steer employees onto a better path, and if they don’t, at least the leader can say they tried to help and the onus for failure lies with the employee.

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Small Thinking that Holds Small Businesses Back

Our motto at Acacia HR Solutions is that small businesses can do anything big businesses can do – they only have to know how to scale. Often, when I say that to people I get a nod in agreement. I’ve learned however, that nodding in agreement and believing are two very different things.

I spoke to a group of HR practitioners at the California HR conference last week. I had an inordinate amount of small business HR leaders in the room. I consider small business to be 250 employees or less. Most of these practitioners were HR Departments of One or leaders with only an admin or one other support person not solely dedicated to HR. One of the slides in the presentation talks about technology and how lack of technology for small business is no longer a valid excuse for not functioning like a business partner. While the small business market is still an under served market in the HR tech space, it’s so much better than it was even 10 years ago. With freemium and monthly subscription options, there is tech out there that even the smallest of budgets can afford.

Whenever I say this in this presentation, the questions immediately come back asking me for a list of resources. I push back and ask why they haven’t researched any of this themselves and the answer often remains the same.

We assumed there wasn’t anything out there we could afford.

This, and two other beliefs held by small businesses, hold leaders back from being able to serve the business in the way they should. The idea that small businesses can’t do the same things as big businesses is rubbish. They may not be able to do it as fast or at the same level, but that’s not the same as not doing it. Further, small businesses often don’t need to do things at the same level as big business because doing so would be overkill. A performance management system with 18 steps and triggers using artificial intelligence is just not necessary in a 72 person firm.

Small businesses get stuck because they believe there is nothing they can do until they get bigger. Until they have a larger budget. Until they have more resources. Let’s explore three beliefs based on this idea that hold small businesses back, starting with the one I already mentioned.

Lack of Budget Means No Technology/Resources
As mentioned, HR tech available to small businesses is growing. There are companies in nearly every category; payroll, ATS, HCM, documentation and more that either cater solely to small businesses or are lowering their minimum employee numbers allowing small businesses to buy at a much earlier stage. I will be doing an entire series or ebook (yet to be determined) on HR Tech for small businesses to be released around the time of the HR Technology conference (join our mailing list below to receive those posts before they go public).

The same is true for resources. I will often have HR leaders from a 150 employee business reach out and say, “we probably can’t afford your help, but I wanted to ask anyway” only find out that they can in fact, afford our services. Depending on need, and the fact that we work solely in this space, we can usually work within the budget available. There are resources like us available for small businesses that are affordable.

Because We Are Small, We Don’t Need X
In speaking to a potential client recently, I went over how our services provides small businesses a complete HR team. That is, working with us is like having a Chief Human Resources Officer, generalist and recruiter on your team. The CFO responded with, “but I don’t think we need all that.” When I explained how it works, he realized he did need all that and actually could afford it.

This way of thinking is the easiest to fall into. I do it myself with my own business. We’re small so I don’t need an ATS, I can just use spreadsheets. We’re small so we don’t need admin support, our (insert random employee here) can handle it.

The reality is being small doesn’t mean you don’t need certain infrastructure and support systems in place. And being small is definitely not a reason to delay building or growing the people side of the business.

Size is a Disadvantage Instead of an Advantage
I hear this one most when discussing recruiting challenges. “We are small so we can’t pay the most and our benefits aren’t that great so we have a hard time hiring.” If you think that your size is a disadvantage, it’s going to be. There are many candidates who want to work in a small business environment. Many who thrive on the chaos of a startup. If leaders focus on the advantages that small businesses offer instead of the negative, their recruiting and retention programs would change forever.

Again I’ll say and forever I’ll stand by the idea that small businesses, can in fact, do anything big businesses can do. I do have to preach to the choir a bit because I catch myself thinking some of these things myself. But I know when I think about what I can do with the budget and resources I have and that are available to me, I can make it happen.

And so can your business.

 

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Get Your Employees Excited and Engaged About Open Enrollment

Get Your Employees Excited and Engaged About Open EnrollmentAcacia HR’s Christine Kopp is getting you ready for Open Enrollment in today’s post.

That’s right, the title says get your employees EXCITED and ENGAGED about open enrollment this year. I know it’s August, but now is the time to start planning for open enrollment. Hopefully you have already met a time or two concerning your plan performance with either a broker or TPA and you likely are in wait mode until you get your final quotes in.

So instead of waiting until the last minute to plan everything, start putting together a strategy. I know I probably got a few eye rolls on the engaging part but it’s true. Instead of passing out the proverbial memo or sending a bunch of emails that no one is reading, make open enrollment something employees can get excited about. (Even if there isn’t much to be excited about these days)

With the ever-changing climate of Healthcare Reform and the Affordable Care Act’s future, employees are more engaged in their benefits than ever. Use this to your advantage to really sell all that you do for your employees around their benefits. Its also a great time to make employees feel like you are listening to them, even if listening is all next years budget allows for- and trust me I’ve been there! Here are a few ways that you can make this year’s open enrollment smooth and engaging:

Get ahead of the changes- good and bad

So maybe your plan experienced high claims and your renewal is out the roof.  The company can’t take on more cost so something has to give, hello rate increases and plan changes. Employees may not like it, but they will understand if you explain to them the why part. Understanding the why behind the changes is especially important with the millennial bunch, but really, who doesn’t want to know why the changes are occurring.

Take the guess work out of what is changing by putting together a comparison sheet that explains the changes to co-insurance or co-pays.  People will get upset no matter what, but explaining that you started with a 40% increase to the premiums and got it down to 15% by making changes at least helps people understand that you weren’t some heartless HR person who doesn’t care about employees. (okay, maybe that was just me called that) Don’t let open enrollment disengage employees, instead rally your message about we are in this crazy open enrollment thing together.

Communicate

Yes, you must talk to your employees and even if you have less than stellar news to share, please, I beg you, do not hide in your office all of open enrollment!  You laugh, but I would have HR generalists who would call out sick most of open enrollment or sit behind locked doors on conference calls the entire day and people would be gathered around the door!  I know your other duties aren’t stopping because it’s open enrollment.  If you can’t handle large crowds outside your door schedule time to hang out in the break room to take questions. Just be sure to cover all shifts.

Don’t forget to make sure the communication is consistent and often. Most employees feel like they don’t have enough information to make an informed decision during open enrollment. I used to put together a communications plan including exactly what, when and how we were going to communicate to employees. Share this plan with  your management and operations teams. Define the key messages about the changes and how you want questions handled. I always preferred them to be sent to HR but if you are an HR department of one that might not be an option, so get your managers answering questions how you want them answered.

If you have a communications team, use them. I don’t know about you but I am hardly creative. To me typing something in Comic Sans MS constitutes a fun communication to me. If you use a brokerage firm, see what services they offer, don’t forget, you are paying them commissions.  Smaller broker firms may not offer much else but larger ones may be able to help you draft some communications. And finally, If none of those are an option, there are companies out there who specializes in employee benefit communications. The possibilities are endless.

Make it fun! 

So I promised you that we would talk about getting your employees excited for open enrollment.  I had some employees who couldn’t wait to get into the employee portal and review and make changes. Some call them early adopters… or but to me they were my favorite employees. But not everyone is this enthusiastic about open enrollment, and if you are dealing with a lot of changes that could be perceived as negative you would want to take more of a empathetic tone. You are dealing with many types of employees who want to receive their information in different forms so give it to them. Some want videos, some want one on one time and others just want a newsletter and left alone. Offer lots of variety to keep them engaged.

If you are looking for some fun ideas, try playing some games like benefit bingo during a meeting or watch some funny (yet appropriate) videos that go with your open enrollment theme. If your employees don’t have much use for fun you can still make information interesting and engaging.  If you are sending out a newsletter put in some extra credit questions hidden in it. Then instruct employees to submit their answers to HR and be placed in a drawing for a semi-fabulous prize to see if they read it.  If you have group chats send out one to two sentences about a specific benefit, SMS texting works great for this too. And don’t forget the visual. Posters, postcards are all great, but if you are trying to be more green, change your company screen savers with some information about open enrollment.

Hopefully this post will get you thinking about doing a couple of new and engaging things to refresh your open enrollment. Remember this is a time to showcase what you do offer your employees. Make them excited about the good stuff, have fun where you can and most importantly help them understand why there are changes.

 

 

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How Pre-Employment Personality Assessments Can Help Recruiting Efforts

How Pre-Employment Personality Assessments Can Help Recruiting EffortsFor a long time now there have been great debates about the validity of personality assessments. Myers Briggs, DiSC and others have been regarded as useless in determining the way a person really thinks and/or works.

I tend to disagree.

I have been using personality assessments for over a decade and find that, at least the more well known assessments, do consistently resonate with their test taker and offer up great points of conversation for team building discussions and pre-employment. It is the pre-employment use I want to talk about today.

More and more team dynamics play a role in how effective and efficient a department is. One or two bad apples and the whole team is dragged down. Often, the bad apple isn’t necessarily a poor performer, but more often there is a personality conflict between that person and another or even the entire team. And that is difficult to manage and overcome if it gets out of hand.

For leaders, thinking about team dynamics in the hiring process is essential. It is not enough to simply look at how a person’s skill set and past experience is going to fit into the position, but how the person’s personality is going to mesh with the rest of the team. Since the interview process usually produces the best of a person, meaning they are not being their total self in an effort to impress, simple questioning can prove fruitless in figuring out how a person truly works and interacts with others.

And that is where pre-employment personality assessments come in.

Let me be clear. I believe pre-employment personality assessments can be a part of the recruiting process, not the whole thing. I also believe you have to go with a personality assessment that has been validated for pre-employment. Neither Myers Briggs or DiSC are validated for pre-employment. Finally, you have to have someone certified to be able to review the results with the candidate and leader. Someone should be trained in how to interpret the results and highlight what is important for the candidate/company to consider.

I am a certified coach with Hogan Assessments and really like the assessments they offer, the results that are provided and, most importantly, provide great discussion point to review with the candidate and leader. Below is my process for administering and reviewing personality assessments in the recruiting process.

Determine the Right Positions
I don’t think all positions need personality assessments as part of the recruiting process. I believe crucial leadership roles or the first few roles in a small business/startup are usually perfect for a personality assessment step added to the process.

The Assessment is a Final Step
If not the final step, the assessment piece should be one of the ending phases of the recruitment process, meaning only your top candidates take it. You don’t want to make hiring decisions early on based on a personality assessment. If you have results that tell you what their personality may be like before you’ve gone through any other stage of the interview process, you are making a decision without the full picture.

Review the Results
The most important step is to fully review the results with both candidate and leader together. This is where it’s important to have a certified coach who can help interpret and discuss the results that may impact the workplace – both positively and negatively. This conversation must be open and honest. It should allow the candidate to describe how they may act in a workplace setting when certain situations arise. It should also allow the candidate to get an even better understanding of the workplace they will be working in and determine if it is right for them.

When done well, these pre-employment personality assessments allow both candidate and leader to walk into the employment relationship with a head start on how they might work together. Both are aware of areas of synergy and areas that may create conflict. They already know how they might adapt to one another’s style. Information that will also help the leader integrate the new hire into the team as a whole.

For all the debate over personality assessments and their validity, this consultant is a fan. They do require care in administration and execution, but with the right help and facilitation can provide insight now found anywhere else in the recruiting process.

*this post is not sponsored or affiliated with Hogan.

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Meet Me in New Orleans! SHRM 2017 Preview

Meet Me in New Orleans! SHRM 2017 PreviewOnce again this year I have the privilege of attending the national SHRM conference as a member of the blog team (squad, krewe, rift raft, whatever you want to call us). My responsibility as a member of this team is to write posts, share updates across social channels and make those not in attendance feel as though they are. I thoroughly enjoy being a part of this team and take the opportunity to share as much as I can while there very seriously.

Considering the niche I am in, I focus my conference experience on content that I find most valuable to small businesses. I try to attend sessions that I feel can apply to any size business or ones that are designed specifically for HR Departments of One. So outside of the general sessions, you can look for updates from me from sessions focused in this area.

Here on the blog we have some pretty cool updates planned leading up to the conference. We published one of two speaker interviews this past Tuesday and will be publishing another in a few weeks. We are also very excited to publish our first ever SHRM Small Business Session Guide. This guide will have our top picks for sessions designed specifically for small businesses.

The guide will be released to our blog subscribers on June 1st and to the public on June 8th.

Also this year I have the honor of joining the amazing speaker lineup on the Smart Stage. Smart Stage talks are 18 minutes in length and are Ted-esque in nature. My topic is Big HR for Small Business. Following my mantra that small businesses can do anything big businesses can do, I will be sharing ideas for accomplishing big business ideas in a small business environment. We will be talking about getting it all done, being everything to everyone and scaling projects to wow your executive team.

If you are attending the conference this year, I would love to meet you. Send me an email, a comment below, a tweet or however you prefer to reach out to let me know you are attending. Part of the fun of the conference is meeting online connections in person….even for this introvert.

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Interview with SHRM 2017 Speaker Dr. Tony Alessandra

Interview with SHRM17 SpeakerIf you have followed this blog for any amount of time you know that one topic I am passionate about is communication. I’ve written about it on numerous occasions, my most popular post being this one all about communication. I speak on it and even did my first DisruptHR talk about it. I firmly believe that many issues in the workplace could be avoided with better and more thorough communication.

SHRM 2017 speaker Dr. Tony Alessandra agrees.

Dr. Alessandra is facilitating a workshop on June 18th, titled: Adaptability: How to Talk so that People Will Listen. I spoke with Dr. Alessandra about this session and wanted to share a few takeaways.

Dr. Alessandra says that the most important thing people will take away from this workshop is how to practice communication. This is a “you had me at hello” moment for me. We are very reactive. We speak before we think. More than that, we speak the way we think without forethought or strategy. Dr. Alessandra is going to teach attendees how to adapt (change) their communication style depending upon the person or situation you are facing.

So important and yet rarely done.

Dr. Alessandra will provide a model that describes the 4 basic communication styles and how to identify each. He takes a “when in Rome” approach to communication which I really like. We should not be communicating based on our preferences but based on the preferences of those we are communicating with.

If I say it once I say it 20 times a week to leaders – let’s figure out how to frame this information in a way that the receiver can hear it. So many misunderstandings could be avoided if the person communicating would have taken a bit of time to think about how they wanted to say what they needed to based on how the receiving individual communicated.

This topic hit home for Dr. Alessandra when he moved from New York to San Diego years ago. He quickly realized that the New York style of communicating did not work well in Southern California. My own experience moving from Chicago to Los Angeles in 2014 reiterates that story well. Whether it be with people from different parts of the country, experiences or personality preferences, everyone communicates differently and using a one size fits all approach will not fly in the long run.

Dr. Alessandra says that his workshop is best for anyone who has to deal with people, so I’m certain any SHRM attendee will get something out of this session. He promises actionable content, stories and group activities that make 4 hours fly by.

Although this is the first time presenting this topic for SHRM, Dr. Alessandra is a noted keynote speaker and member of the National Speakers Association where he is in the Hall of Fame.

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Facebook’s Bereavement Policy and Why Small Businesses Should Follow Suit

FB Bereavement Policy and Small BusinessThere is a certain clarity that comes from life experiences that change who you are. Experiences you know will leave you different and creating a new normal for yourself and your family. Time often muddies that clarity and if we don’t act quickly to apply the lessons learned to every area of our life we forget it’s impact. I applaud Sheryl Sandberg and the entire Facebook team for not only applying lessons learned from major life experiences to their personal lives, but for applying them to policies at Facebook as well. One such policy is their a new bereavement policy. One I’m sure was influenced, at least on some part, after the sudden death of Sandberg’s husband.

I believe these types of policies are where companies put their money where their mouth is. These are the policies that allow us to see if all that culture and engagement talk are just words. Leaders know what to say these days. They know what employees are looking for and often say the right things. Policies like these are where you really see if they mean it or not.

The standard bereavement leave policy is three days. Three days to mourn the loss of someone immensely close to you. Three days to mourn the person who raised you, shared your life with you or who used to call you mom. Three days to say goodbye to the people who you are closer to than anyone else in the world. I realize many businesses allow employees to take more time off but they either use vacation/sick time or go unpaid for those extra days.

And that is where the message gets confusing.

“Your loved one is important to us, but only for three days. After that, you have to figure it out.” Or “We only think you need three days to get over this.” Regardless of whether the company allows the employee to take more than the three days, three days is what the employee will feel the company thinks is appropriate.

And if you have lost a parent, or a child, or a spouse, you know, three days is not enough.

I will admit I am a little raw regarding this topic. I just lost my mother and can’t imagine feeling the pressure to return to work after three days. I live far from my parents and need a full day just to get to them. I would have never been able to handle the stress of going through this trauma with the added pressure of getting back to work.

Further, I know there are going to be times in the coming weeks when I, for lack of better words, have a day. Where what has happened hits me like a ton of bricks and I am unable to put any work in. It’s going to hit my son, father and sister too and they may need me to step away from work and help them through. I know that I will be able to take that time without fear of repercussion.

This should be a simple one folks. This is one of those no-brainer policies that I think we have all just accepted for so long the way it is. Why can’t businesses offer more than 3 days? I don’t know that 20 is the right number for everyone, it certainly was for Facebook, but 3 seems perfunctory.

Of course it isn’t as simple as just changing the policy. This article highlights some important components of the Facebook policy and the culture they have created which support a policy like this.

While I’m not encouraging businesses to implement policies like this without thought and measure, I do think it’s necessary that businesses of all sizes begin to look at policies like this and see if the words they tell their employees align with the policies they hold them accountable to. We proclaim more human workplaces, but often work against ourselves in actually providing them. This policy, often forgotten until needed, is a great place to be a little more human and show employees how much we care about their personal lives and their ability to navigate the balance properly.

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Top 5 Ways HCM Software Supports Your Small Business

Today we have a sponsored post from my friends at Ultimate Software. I mentioned that I joined Ultimate Software at their annual user conference in March. I had the privilege of hearing Adam Rogers, their CTO, introduce new updates, interview Will Smith and share Ultimate’s vision for the future. To say I was impressed with both him and the company would be an understatement. I think you’ll enjoy what he has to say as well.

Guest Post: Adam Rogers, CTO, Ultimate Software

For many small businesses that begin with a small team and a dream, HR responsibilities are managed by a cross-functional manager or sole in-house administrator. This approach suffices for a time, but as your company grows, a more comprehensive and effective strategy is needed. Efficiency is critical for small businesses with limited resources, and the right software streamlines time-intensive tasks while alleviating HR challenges. The result? Your efforts are spent strategically growing your business – not updating spreadsheets.

Affordable solutions are available for companies of every size, and they can make a meaningful difference for you and your employees. How? Here are 5 ways your small business can benefit from HCM technology.

1. Consolidate tactical activities
Time is money, and having key employees completing basic administrative tasks consumes both. Today’s solutions streamline otherwise time-intensive tasks, improving productivity, organizations, and effectiveness. Time and attendance management, payroll, and benefits administration are all easily managed by HCM solutions. Most also utilize direct access for both employees and managers, allowing your people to update their personal data and handle leave balance, leave requests, and approvals without any help or interventions while ensuring your business has accurate real-time information for reporting and compliance.

2. Keep tabs on regulatory compliance
Staying on top of compliance is practically a full-time job. Regulatory requirements vary from county to county, but even small businesses are expected to comply with the unique labor, taxation, insurance and healthcare laws of each. With the rise of “gig economy” and increased popularity of remote workers, it’s never been more critical to have a partner ensuring your legal adherence.

3. Progressive talent management
Acquiring and retaining employees is a crucial aspect of every organization. For many small businesses, this is an unrealized opportunity for improvement with technology. Look for a provider that can manage the complete recruiting experience, onboarding, open enrollment, compensation, performance and succession management, and uses social collaboration tools. Some HCM software even allows you to set specific, measureable goals with your employees, monitoring and reporting progress on an ongoing basis. By capturing various data points and journaling throughout the year, performance reviews become more of an ongoing collaborative process benefiting the employee, manager, and the business.

4. Advanced analytics for strategic development
Data is at the heart of every solid strategy, and compiling, accessing, and understanding actions as a result of that data has never been easier. Advanced reporting and analytics provide rich insight into key workforce metrics such as turnover trends and overtime hours, and predictive analytics can help predict future high performers and flight risks. Some solutions even offer prescriptive analytics, guiding leaders through crucial leadership actions with a variety of fact-based, real-time suggestions. Businesses can also gain invaluable data-based insight into their culture and overall employee experience by employing sophisticated pulse surveys. Using natural language processing (NLP) and sentiment-analysis technology, these innovative additions can decode text-based, open-ended questions and uncover the true voice of employees in real time.

5. Career and personal development
Numerous studies show that people value learning and career development opportunities, and offering ongoing learning stands to benefit employees and businesses alike. In addition to increased satisfaction, performance is likely to improve, as well as the value your employee brings to the role. Look for HCM software with a learning management platform that mirrors how today’s employees prefer to learn – collaboratively and on demand.

HCM technology is an investment, but there are affordable solutions for businesses of all sizes and the result can be truly game-changing. Reduced labor costs, increased efficiencies, and strategic opportunities are perhaps even more important for small businesses than they are for larger ones. I suggest looking for a solution that can grow with you- even if you’re only interested in time and labor management and payroll right now, a centralized HR solution can evolve and adapt as your business, budget, and needs grow.

 

 

 

Determining the Employee Turnover Rate

After my post yesterday on employee retention I had a reader ask about how to calculate the turnover rate for a company. Here is a post I wrote a while back on that so I thought I would share again.

employee turnover rate

How to Determine Your Employee Turnover Rate


The first step to understanding and impacting turnover is to measure it.  A very easy formula to help determine your employee turnover rate is:

# of separations / average # of employee’s * 100

This is the most commonly used equation, although I have worked for companies that measure it differently.  If you want to use a different equation, that’s fine, just be consistent and able to explain it.  A quick breakdown looks like this.

Number of separations – pretty self-explanatory, but you do have a few decisions to make.  Do you want to calculate voluntary and involuntary together?  Do you only want to look at people who have been with the company beyond your probationary period?  Whatever your criteria, collect the total number of separations that fit it in a given month.  You should not count people on FMLA or any other type of leave.

Average number of employees – The easiest way to do this is to capture your total headcount at various time throughout the month and then average that number.  So if you run a headcount report three times a month, you would add those numbers together and divide by three.  It’s important to count every employee on your payroll.  If you have temporary employees who are paid through a temporary agency and not on your payroll then they would not be included.  This metric could also be separated out into groups, such as exempt and non-exempt.

So if you want total turnover (voluntary and involuntary) and your numbers for January look like this:

4 separations
4 headcount reports that show 50, 62, 60 and 58 total employees

Your employee turnover rate would be 4 / (50+62+60+58 / 4) =  .0695 * 100 = 6.95%

To get an annual rate add up your monthly turnover rates (Jan + Feb + Mar etc).  That’s it – now you know your employee turnover rate.

Calculating this number is the easy part.  Next you have to understand what it means…… and what to do about it.

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Veteran Hiring – What I’m Working on Wednesday

Veteran Hiring

Veteran Hiring. What is HR’s Role?

This week I am finalizing a presentation I will be giving tomorrow at a local SHRM chapter titled: From Soldier to Supervisor: HR’s Role in Helping Veterans Transition into Corporate America.

Susan and I have great interests in helping veterans find work. The research we conducted for this presentation has been fascinating. The plight of job seekers in general is bad, but military veterans face challenges unlike any other. They face stigmas like PTSD. Their job duties in the military are misunderstood and therefore their abilities discounted. They face a general misconception that can make it difficult to get past an interviewer.

While doing this research, Susan and I met with a good friend of ours who spent 20+ years in the military. The insight he shared was invaluable to us in understanding what military life is like. Perhaps more importantly, he helped us understand what it is like to transition back into civilian life. I quickly realized I knew very little about our military system. It was fascinating.

The presentation will talk about the state of veterans today. Specifically, the number of veterans that will be transitioning in the next several years. It will talk about the transition they have to make from military life to civilian life. It will also cover stigmas associated with veterans. These stigmas can be a huge roadblock in both veteran hiring and retention. Finally, it will discuss how to put together a focused veteran hiring strategy.

I’m so excited to present this and only hope I can do our veterans justice. I firmly believe that HR departments play a significant role in driving a focused effort on veteran hiring. This is a group who deserves our help. They have more than earned it.

That’s what I’m working on. What about you? Tell me in the comments below or tweet me using the #workingwednesday hashtag.