Global HR Innovation and Strategies 2017

For a long period, Innovation is at the top of CXO agendas, yet many executives continue to be challenged with the hit-or-miss pace and results of their programs. The challenge isn’t usually a lack of good ideas. Initiatives take too long, non-strategic projects get green-lighted at the expense of game changers, good ideas remain confined in the heads of employees.

What is missing? A system of enablers that work together to support innovation. When the right people, processes, and metrics come together, they can transform how innovation happens, stimulate employees’ creativity, and create long-term competitive advantage.

Innovation is not inherently unpredictable, and it does not require a heavy portion of providence to be successful. When companies take a systematic approach, they can pursue innovation in a way that reliably generates repeatable results.

Business Innovation Strategy
Image: Management Guru

According to Management Guru, an innovation is the Buzz word that has defined the paradigm shift in the approach of management practices and thinking. This has helped organizations grow and sustain regardless of competitor and market pressure and challenges. Innovation management gives entrepreneurs the liberty to think out of the box and come up with new ideas leading to the development of new products, processes and services.

Change is unavoidable and change is the one that never changes. People like variety and it is the responsibility of business people to satisfy the customer wants and requirements. New approaches are required to avoid monotony and stereotyping. “Old wine in a new bottle” concept may come in handy when you feel that your product has reached the saturation point and about to decline in its life cycle.

Human Resources have not played a very strategic role in innovation so much. This needs to change. HR needs to support the culture change to enable innovation; and the upcoming generation isn’t going to settle for an ‘administrative-only’ role. Future of HR is definitely going to change for sure.

Many companies who are good at managing tangible, concrete, known assets, they try to manage humans the same way. These are changing a lot and if we get some opportunities to know how this is happening, I think there is no better place than Global HR Innovation and Strategies conference.

BCF Group is glad to announce that the applications for the Global HR Innovation and Strategies 2017 are now OPEN. This is an open invitation from BCF Group to be a part of this event in Barcelona, that will take place on the 22nd and 23rd of June.

At the event, you will have the opportunity to listen and to interact with top HR leaders and innovators.

Don’t miss the chance to get inspired from experienced HR speakers, who worked in some of the most successful companies and even founded their owns. Topics that will be discussed are of current interest that in the future will have impact on the companies, such as Millennials, Mobility, HR Digitalization, Gamification, Mobbing, HR role in the Boardroom and in the relation with the employees.

At the conference, you will also have the opportunity to interact will HR people and make new contacts, with which you can share experience.

The list of speakers you can find on our website or check the Poster: https://bcfgroup.eu/?iwevent=global-hr-innovation-and-strategies-conference-2017

Global HR Innovation and Strategies Conference 2017

Do you have friends or colleagues who would like to attend the HR Conference? Forward this invitation them. For more details, feel free to contact Alice Levi: alice.levi@bcfgroup.eu.

When: 22nd – 23rd of June, 2017

Where: 08039 Edif. Este, Moll de Barcelona, World Trade Centre, Barcelona, Spain

HR Tech Conscience is glad to be a Media Partner with BCF Group for this conference. Looking forward to it. Hope to see you there!
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How Machine Learning is Revolutionizing Digital Enterprises

How Machine Learning is Revolutionizing Digital Enterprises

According to the prediction of IDC Futurescapes, two-thirds of Global 2000 Enterprises CEOs will center their corporate strategy on digital transformation. A major part of the strategy should include machine-learning (ML) solutions. The implementation of these solutions could change how these enterprises view customer value and internal operating model today.

If you want to stay ahead of the game, then you cannot afford to wait for that to happen. Your digital business needs to move towards automation now while ML technology is developing rapidly. Machine learning algorithms learn from huge amounts of structured and unstructured data, e.g. text, images, video, voice, body language, and facial expressions. By that it opens a new dimension for machines with limitless applications from healthcare systems to video games and self-driving cars.

In short, ML will connect intelligently people, business and things. It will enable completely new interaction scenarios between customers and companies and eventually allow a true intelligent enterprise. To realize the applications that are possible due to ML fully, we need to build a modern business environment. However, this will only be achieved, if businesses can understand the distinction between Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML).

Understanding the Distinction Between ML and AI

Machines that could fully replicate or even surpass all humans’ cognitive functions are still a dream of Science Fiction stories, Machine Learning is the reality behind AI and it is available today. ML mimics how the human cognitive system functions and solves problems based on that functioning. It can analyze data that is beyond human capabilities. The ML data analysis is based on the patterns it can identity in Big Data. It can make UX immersive and efficient while also being able to respond with human-like emotions. By learning from data instead of being programmed explicitly, computers can now deal with challenges previously reserved to the human. They now beat us at games like chess, go and poker; they can recognize images more accurately, transcribe spoken words more precisely, and are capable of translating over a hundred languages.

ML Technology and Applications for Life and Business

In order for us to comprehend the range of applications that will be possible due to ML technology, let us look at some examples available currently:

  • Amazon Echo, Google Home:
  • Digital assistants: Apple’s Siri, SAP’s upcoming Copilot

Both types of devices provide an interactive experience for the users due to Natural Language Processing technology. With ML in the picture, this experience might be taken to new heights, i.e., chatbots. Initially, they will be a part of the apps mentioned above but it is predicted that they could make text and GUI interfaces obsolete!

ML technology does not force the user to learn how it can be operated but adapts itself to the user. It will become much more than give birth to a new interface; it will lead to the formation of enterprise AI.

The limitless ways in which ML can be applied include provision of completely customized healthcare. It will be able to anticipate the customer’s needs due to their shopping history. It can make it possible for the HR to recruit the right candidate for each job without bias and automate payments in the finance sector.

Unprecedented Business Benefits via ML

Business processes will become automated and evolve with the increasing use of ML due to the benefits associated with it. Customers can use the technology to pick the best results and thus, reach decisions faster. As the business environment changes, so will the advanced machines as they constantly update and adapt themselves. ML will also help businesses arrive on innovations and keep growing by providing the right kind of business products/services and basing their decisions on a business model with the best outcome.

ML technology is able to develop insights that are beyond human capabilities based on the patterns it derives from Big Data. As a result, businesses would be able to act at the right time and take advantage of sales opportunities, converting them into closed deals. With the whole operation optimized and automated, the rate at which a business grows will accelerate. Moreover, the business process will achieve more at a lesser cost. ML will lead businesses into environs with minimal human error and stronger cybersecurity.

ML Use Cases

The following three examples show how ML can be applied to an enterprise model that utilizes Natural Language Processing:

  • Support Ticket Classification

Consider the case where tickets from different media channels (email, social websites etc.) needs to be forwarded to the right specialist for the topic. The immense volume of support tickets makes the task lengthy and time consuming. If ML were to be applied to this situation, it could be useful in classifying them into different categories.

API and micro-service integration could mean that the ticket could be automatically categorized. If the number of correctly categorized tickets is high enough, a ML algorithm can route the ticket directly to the next service agent without the need of a support agent.

  •  Recruiting

The job of prioritizing incoming applications for positions with hundreds of applicants can also be slow and time consuming. If automated via ML, the HR can let the machine predict candidate suitability by providing it with a job description and the candidate’s CV. A definite pattern would be visible in the CVs of suitable candidates, such as the right length, experience, absence of typos, etc. Automation of the process will be more likely to provide the right candidate for the job.

  • Marketing 

ML will help build logo and brand recognition for businesses in the following two ways:

  1. With the use of a brand intelligence app, the identification of logos in event sponsorship videos or TV can lead to marketing ROI calculations.
  2. Stay up to date on the customer’s transactions and use that behavior to predict how to maintain customer loyalty and find the best way to retain them.

How Enterprises Can Get Started Implementing Machine Learning

Businesses can step into the new age of ML and begin implementing the technique by letting the machines use Big Data derived from various sources, e.g. images, documents, IoT devices etc to learn. While these machines can automate lengthy and repetitive tasks, they can also be used to predict the outcome for new data. The first step in implementation of ML for a business should be to educate themselves about its nature and the range of its applications. A free openSAP course can help make that possible.

Another step that can bring a business closer to ML implementation is data preparation in complex landscapes. The era of information silos is over and there is an imperative need for businesses to gather data from various sources, such as customers, partners, and suppliers. The algorithms must then be provided open access to that data so they can learn and evolve. The Chief Data Officer of the company can oversee the ML integration process.

To start with completely new use cases for Machine Learning is not easy and requires a good understanding of the subject and having the right level of expertise in the company. A better starting point for many companies would be to rely on ML solutions already integrated into standard software. By that it will connect seamless with the existing business process and immediately start to create value.

Lastly, businesses should start gathering the components necessary for building AI products. Among the requirements would be a cloud platform capable of handling high data volume that is derived from multiple sources. The relevant people are as important to this step as are the technology and processes. After all, they would be the ones who will be testing the latest digital and ML technologies.

If you want more information on SAP Machine Learning, then go here to subscribe to the webinar on Enabling the intelligent Enterprise with Machine Learning.

The presenters include Dr. Markus Noga: VP Machine Learning Innovation Center Network, SAP SE. You can follow him on Twitter. Ronald van Loon is the other presenter for the webinar. Mr. van Loon is counted among the Top 10 Big Data expert and is an IoT Influencer. You can also follow him on Twitter.


Source: How Machine Learning is Revolutionizing Digital Enterprises | Ronald van Loon | Pulse | LinkedIn

HR and Business Are Looking for Data Analytics and Insights

Stacey Browning, President of Paycor

Today our guest is Stacey Browning, President of Paycor.

Since 2001, Stacey has played an integral role in every aspect of Paycor’s operations. As president, she fosters collaboration across the business and ensures executional excellence in product development and service delivery.

Paycor is a trusted partner to more than 33,000 small and medium-sized businesses.Known for delivering modern, intuitive recruiting, HR and payroll solutions, Paycor partners with businesses to optimize their people management.

Paycor’s key areas of specialization include Payroll Management, Human Resources Solutions, Benefits Administration, Time & Attendance Solutions, Tax Filing & Compliance, Workers’​ Compensation and Employment Screening Service.

Recently Paycor announced Workforce Insights, a new data visualization solution that extracts rich and actionable insights from people data to bring valuable C-level and operational insights to key business stakeholders.

The interview is hosted by Alexey Mitkin, Founder, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, The HR Tech Weekly® Online Media Co.

  1. Hi Stacey, and first of all thank you very much for this interview with The HR Tech Weekly®. Straight away, why you have developed Workforce Insights and how it will complement other Paycor products?

Our innovation is driven by uncovering ways to better serve our clients, and Workforce Insights is no exception. Last August we surveyed our clients about the features they wanted to see in future product releases. After reviewing more than 1,000 client responses, we found that the overwhelming majority were looking for data analytics and insights.

In addition to evaluating our client’s feedback, we also looked at industry trends that show HR professionals are striving to prove their strategic value to executives. One way we can help them is by organizing their key people data in a manner that helps with business execution.

For example, through the Workforce Insights overtime dashboard, information from our time platform is correlated to OSHA incidents reported on in our HR platform. Leaders can uncover safety thresholds exceeded by location, department or manager to home in on where a performance issue may be occurring.

  1. What key benefits and advantages does Workforce Insights have when compared with other tools on the market?

Most other tools on the market force standard charts and data visualization. Workforce Insights allows customers to view their data in the way that is most impactful for their unique business needs.

Another key differentiator is the one-click sharing functionality. Users can take their insights and share that information with the appropriate parties without having to import or export data. The custom reporting and one-click sharing allows users to not only have access to the data, but to make it meaningful and actionable.

  1. Why do you think small and medium-sized businesses need their own HR technology solutions?

Employees at small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are often forced to wear multiple hats, and sometimes that even means taking on responsibilities like payroll. HR technology solutions help relieve the administrative burden of payroll and benefits while ensuring reliability and security, while also protecting against the risk of compliance infractions.

What Paycor offers seems to be what’s desired most by SMBs – a platform or suite of functionality at the right per-employee-per-transaction and per-month price point that doesn’t require a customization. A solution that can be implemented and have value derived in three days to three months, and that can adapt with them as their organization grows.

  1. Paycor has run its operations since 1990. How have your clients needs during this period changed, and what is the secret sauce for long-term success?

Since 1990, the technological needs of our clients have changed dramatically. In 1990 computers were large and expensive, “the cloud” didn’t exist, and phones were connected to a landline or, for a select few, in a bag in your car. Since then, clients have had to react to the demands of their workforce; faster access from any device, and our products have had to evolve accordingly.

Our secret sauce for long-term success may be the only thing that has remained the same since 1990 – putting our clients first. We were founded because our CEO believed there was a better way to serve the needs of our clients, and it’s that passion that still drives us today.

  1. Achievements in big-time sports are based on grassroots sports. What can you recommend to HR Tech startups on how to get into the highest league?

The energy around new HR tech offerings through start-ups informs the entire industry. For some of these startups, success looks like being acquired into a larger company and human capital offering. For those wanting to progress into a higher league more independently, I recommend having an openness to partnerships and distribution options, and feedback to the offering itself. The best emerging technologies in HR are built and market-tested quickly.

  1. Since its founding, Paycor has grown to 1,460 people onboard. What do newbies need to know about the company in order to have a successful career with you?

First, excel at the job you are given, and then look for ways to take on more responsibility. It can be dangerous to be too eager to move to the next level without first nailing the task you are given. At the same time, becoming complacent doesn’t allow you to be a change agent in the organization.

To take on that next challenge and excel to the next level it is critically important that associates know and own their personal brand. Your personal brand is what people say about you when you leave the room. Think about the impression you want to leave, and make it.


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Unlocking Business Growth through HR and People Science

Unlocking Business Growth through HR and People Science

Written by Adam Hale, EVP of Sage People.

Why fast-growth companies are bounding ahead?

For businesses to sustain growth, be more productive, and attract and retain the best talent in today’s increasingly global and competitive climate, they need to use data intelligently. Data analytics has been happening for a long time in marketing, sales and finance, but now we’re seeing HR wake up to the benefits. Traditionally, HR functions capture information about employees passively in order to meet legislative requirements but organizations are now realizing it has far more potential with data analytics which is also leading to the rise of the Chief People Officer role.

While 83% of HR leaders recognize that all people decisions should be based on data and analytics, the reality in the workplace is very different. Recent research Fairsail (now Sage People) conducted amongst 500 global HR leaders for its report ‘The use of people science in fast growth companies’ showed that only 37% of those surveyed claiming to already use a data-centric approach.

Why fast-growth companies are bounding ahead

However, there is one business group making the most of its people science capabilities: the fast-growing ‘gazelle’ organizations – companies which have increased their revenues by at least 20% annually for four years or more. The research shows that these organizations are far more advanced in HR than the average company. They have full HR automation (80% v 53%) so they can report faster and more easily on a range of influential HR metrics. If asked to report on headcount within a single day, 84% can do it; that’s 16 percentage points better than non-gazelles. They can more easily report on high potential employees (58% v 42%) and on personal growth (58% v 41%).

These gazelle organizations can see what’s working and what needs to change and can take action confidently to make sure they’re supporting employees to achieve their potential. While gazelles are the one’s bounding ahead, all is not lost as almost every organization we spoke to did have an awareness of the potential to use people and HR data to improve their business.

Use Chief People Officers to close the gap

Even if they haven’t yet marshalled it effectively or decided exactly how they’ll use it, a staggering 92% said they’d like to use people science to improve their business. And another 65% said that in the next 12 months they need to achieve greater data visibility.

The research also positively showed a movement across all organizations to make a highly visible change that reflects the shift to a people focus: 17% have appointed a Chief People Officer to put people science at the heart of their business. The gap between the gazelle approach and the non-gazelle approach looks set to narrow in the very near future, as all businesses take action on their ever-growing awareness of the importance of people analytics.

Tap into data to unlock rapid growth

So what can we learn today from these market-leading organizations? Seeking and seizing opportunities and using every lever a company can get its hands on to improve performance is the key to rapid growth. Organizations shouldn’t be afraid to explore the latest people thinking, or adopt the tools that gather data and turn it into business intelligence. The challenge is to put systems and tools in place to collect and analyze it for tangible benefit – as 31% revealed, they don’t currently have the right technology in place to interpret the necessary people science. Automation helps companies move away from old-style HR with its laborious administration and manual processes and spreadsheets. With this, people teams should be able to explore the workforce data to understand what employees want and need. They can take action to provide great workforce experiences that makes the most of talent to fuel productivity and business growth.

To read the full ‘The use of people science in fast growth companies’ report, please visit www.fairsail.com.

About the Author:

Adam Hale, CEO at Fairsail

Adam Hale, EVP of Sage People, previously acted as Executive Chairman and Non Executive Director having spent over 30 years in the technology industry. He was formerly Head of Software and European Technology at Russell Reynolds Associates, the leading executive search firm and before that ran large system implementation projects at Accenture. Adam is also a committee member of the Technology Leadership Group (TLG) for the Prince’s Trust.


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What Does Dark Data Mean For HR?

What Does Dark Data Mean For HR?

Dark data is predicted to be one of the emerging tech trends for 2017. As businesses explore more ways to transform talent management processes and slowly move towards analytics, the swathes of information contained in dark data may prove to be the missing piece in the recruitment jigsaw.

Gartner defines dark data as the ‘information assets organisations collect, process and store during regular business activities, but generally fail to use for other purposes’. It is used, inactive information found in unexplored files including e-mails, messages, spreadsheets, pdfs, audio and video files. For many companies this data lies dormant and discarded but the insight it contains may inform and drive future talent management and hiring decisions.

Deloitte’s reportDark analytics: Illuminating opportunities hidden in unstructured data’ highlights the opportunities in dark data but warns that within three years’ time the sheer amount of data available may prove to be unmanageable. Veritas estimates the cost of managing ‘untamed’ data at up to $3.3 trillion per year collectively by 2020.

Dark data in hiring

Used effectively dark data can offer vital insights into talent sourcing and retention patterns. Data that is lost or ‘goes dark’ may disrupt hiring processes. It may be something as simple as the lost CV of a qualified candidate or a missing vital background check that extends your time to hire. Effective hiring processes require active, easily accessible data to reduce the amount of time employees spend duplicating or recreating information they can’t find.

In considering the potential use of dark data in your hiring processes, keep in mind the following:

Clarify your problem : Deloitte recommends identifying the problem you wish to address before delving into your dark, or unstructured, data and decide what data sources might help in resolving it. Focus questions on one specific area and ensure it is measurable and of value for your hiring process. Extracting samples from a selected data source will help to quickly indicate its potential value rather than attempting the impossible and time consuming task of pouring through an expanse of information. For example, a paper based onboarding system may contain invaluable insights into why new hires are leaving your business within the first six months of employment. Too broad an approach will be overwhelming.

Be aware of risks : Historical recruitment data that is not easily accessible or securely stored could expose your business to issues with data protection. Information on former employees for example may not be needed again but must be stored appropriately and securely. A formal policy relating to the storage of data during the hiring process is essential. Veritas found that that over 25% of employees store personal data in corporate resources which may infringe on data privacy or copyright rules. 20% of employees also use personal devices to store business data. That may be vital dark or unstructured data lost to HR.

Incorporate technology : Paper based or manual recruitment processes add to the expanse of dark data generated every day. Korn Ferry notes that less than half (48%) of businesses use applicant tracking software in recruitment. Without those systems or basic technology, dark data risks adding to inefficiencies in hiring processes rather than offering added value. This may still be a step too far for hiring teams inching towards the use of people analytics, or who have yet to harness the insight available in basic recruitment metrics. Deloitte’s Global Talent Trends report for 2017 shows that 85% of companies have usable data but only 9% have a ‘good understanding of which talent dimensions drive performance’. Dark data may be the key to understanding those dimensions.

About the Author:

Kate Smedley

Kate Smedley is a freelance copywriter specialising in HR, HR Tech and recruitment, with 18 years of previous experience as a recruiter. Kate also works with employers to identify problems in hiring processes, offering full support and advice throughout the recruitment cycle.


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5 Ways Companies are Delinking Performance Management from Pay

Written by Andrea Hak, Content Writer at Impraise.

shutterstock_145160614

Awarding higher pay and bonuses to top performers seems like the straightforward way to incentivize and retain great employees. The most popular format being performance based bonuses, which keep base pay manageable and provide incentives for better performance. However, research shows us that this may not be as simple as it seems.

A study by Willis Towers Watson found that only 20% of employers in North America actually believe merit pay is effective in driving high performance.

Traditionally money was seen as the main incentive used to motivate employees. Higher productivity results in higher salaries and bonuses. For companies, it’s been used as the main tool to attract, retain and engage employees. Today we’ve learned that the key to motivation is much more complex than that.

What psychologists and thought leaders have found is that money can actually demotivate employees from working at their peak performance by leading to a prioritization of rewards over learning and innovation. In one of the most widely viewed TEDTalks, career analyst Dan Pink explains that it’s actually intrinsic motivators like autonomy, mastery and purpose that drive real motivation.

To provide their employees with more opportunities to grow and develop, many companies are now moving to continuous, peer based and ratingless systems. The key question that many of them face is how they can continue to make compensation decisions, without inhibiting the feedback process.

In a recent eBook we identified five trends companies are following to delink performance from pay. Here is a summary of what we found:

1.  Keeping one annual review for compensation decisions

The most commonly used method is to introduce more continuous informal feedback and quarterly performance reviews, but continue to keep one annual review specifically for making compensation decisions. Rather than being in the dark until the annual review, employees will know where they are and how they’ve improved at each quarterly check-in. Compensation is still linked to end of the year feedback but the feedback they receive throughout the year is focused on growth and development.

2.  In ratingless systems

With more and more companies switching to ratingless reviews, this question has emerged as the main obstacle: without ratings how do we calculate compensation? Some companies have taken the position that ratings based reviews leave too much potential for bias. For example, a person’s communication skills can often be assessed differently depending on how communicative the rater is or how much they value communication within the team. However, when compensation decisions are based on a qualitative review the potential for rater bias actually increases, giving managers more leeway to decide how they want to award pay. Here are two ways companies are overcoming this:

Performance Calibration

Calibration meetings include a group of managers who discuss the performance of each employee.Together they come up with the best way to allocate pay and bonuses. Including multiple perspectives into the decision process is meant to separate rater bias from reviews and allow for a more accurate allocation of pay

Peer Reviews

Who better to ask about an individual’s performance than their teammates? Instead of depending on managers to make the majority of the decisions, some companies are basing pay solely on peer reviews. To avoid introducing ratings, employees are asked a series of questions about their peers, for example:

  • “How much did this person grow over the past 3 months? Please provide examples.”
  • “This person is your strongest team member. Explain why.”

3.  Objectives and Key Results

Setting Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) is the process made famous by companies like Google, Intel, Adobe and Linkedin. The idea is that allowing employees to set their own goals provides greater clarity in what’s expected and what needs to be done to perform well. On top of this, individual OKRs can more easily be aligned with team and company objectives. How these companies set compensation:

  • Employees regularly set their own OKRs with manager approval.
  • At the end of the performance period, compensation decisions are made by assessing whether and how well employees reached their OKRs.
  • Employees may not always complete their OKRs but assessing how they went about achieving them is taken into account.
  • This is combined with a review process during which information is gathered about their performance from their self-assessment, manager and peers.
  • Compensation is then decided based on OKRs, plus factors such as skill development, collaboration, leadership abilities and their contribution to the team/company.

4.  Getting Employees to give more feedback

Rather than trying to separate pay from feedback, some companies are actually using bonuses based on peer feedback to boost engagement. A joint study by SHRM and Globoforce found: “Peer-to-peer is 35.7% more likely to have a positive impact on financial results than manager-only recognition.” And dramatically, “When companies spend 1% or more of payroll on recognition, 85% see a positive impact on engagement.”

  • To implement this, some companies are allocating budgets to each employee. They can then use this to award cash bonuses to peers along with positive feedback. Rather than leaving pay solely up to managers, this system includes everyone in the decision process.
  • One of our clients came up with an innovative way to gamify peer feedback. Employees are given the opportunity to award gold, silver and bronze ratings to each piece of feedback they receive. Those who have shared the top most helpful feedback with their peers receive a bonus.

5.  Complete transparency

Some companies are rejecting individual performance based bonuses altogether in favor of complete transparency. For example, Buffer has come up with their own salary formula based on the person’s role, experience level and loyalty (years with the company). This essentially eliminates the compensation question altogether. In this type of system, everyone knows exactly where they stand and feedback can truly be focused solely on growth and development.

Alternatively, some companies have decided to slash the idea of individual rewards altogether, instead basing pay on team performance. Keep in mind that a study by PWC found that the ideal team size in this type of system is under five employees, with 60% of people becoming demotivated over five and 90% becoming demotivated in a team of over ten. Familiarity with team members was also an important factor.

Conclusion

It’s important that you find the best system for your culture and company objectives. Whether you place emphasis on teamwork or want to give individuals more autonomy over their personal development, it’s essential to research and understand which method will work best for you. No matter what you choose, the most important thing is that you clearly communicate to your managers and employees how this new system will work and how it will impact them.

About the Author:

Andrea Hak

Andrea Hak works as a content writer at Impraise, a web based and mobile solution for actionable, real-time feedback at work. Impraise turns performance reviews into an easy process by enabling users to give and receive valuable feedback in real-time and when it’s most helpful. With Impraise, employees can better analyze their strengths and learning opportunities, track their progress and pursue their personal and professional goals all year long. Managers can easily set up 360 degree feedback for their team or themselves, resulting in more meaningful 1-on-1s and more engaged people.

Contact Details: andrea@impraise.com


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Reasons Why You Need to Start Hiring Interims as a Savvy Business!

Reasons Why You Need to Start Hiring Interims as a Savvy Business!

Four reasons small businesses should consider interim and contract worker

Four reasons small businesses should consider interim and contract workers

Gone are the days when interim and contract work was done by low-skilled employees and restricted to the realms of admin and support in a company. Interim workers today are highly skilled and function across career fields, playing a key role in sustaining businesses and the economy. Interims can fill short-term skills gaps while saving employers money – a big reason why small businesses ought to be considering them as part of their growth plans. In this article, we discuss the benefits hiring temporary workers provides.

Cost savings

One of the biggest advantages of interim employees is the positive impact they have on the company budget. Because they are hired to fill a short-term need, they can be paid for a fixed amount of work. They do not require long-term contracts, nor do they need benefits like healthcare, pension funds, paid leave and other extras. This means that they can be given a good wage, while keeping expenditure lean. Cost savings in this area can help companies to expand and reach the point where they are able to create permanent positions for the same or different employees.

Risk reduction

Small businesses and start-ups face big risks while they are getting off the ground. This includes financial risks, as well as staffing issues. It is advisable for businesses to keep their operations as small and as streamlined as possible initially, keeping the number of full-time employees and overheads to a minimum. They can build the team as they establish themselves.

Hiring interim workers is an intelligent solution; they can be brought in to support a small core staff component. At the same time, the employer does not have to worry about being locked into a cumbersome contract with someone who may turn out to be an imperfect fit for the job – and a cost to the company.

Need fulfillment

Many small businesses have seasonal bursts of productivity where they need a few extra hands on deck to assist. They may also have permanent staff going on parental or sick leave. These are ideal situations for interim workers. They can be hired to meet demand for the duration of the big project or leave, and be let go (as per agreement) when it comes to an end. Their need for income and work is met, as is the company’s short-term skills gap.

Flexibility

Relying on interim employees gives small businesses a great deal of flexibility, while providing access to top talent. Many experienced workers have been retrenched, are in between jobs, or have chosen to do temporary work for lifestyle reasons. They can contribute to a small business on terms that are accommodating of both their own and the employer’s needs.

If the interim employees make such a good impression that the business decides they would like to offer them a full-time position, this is always an option. Many interim and contract workers transition to permanent employees in this way. The initial contract can serve as an excellent way of testing the waters for both parties.

InteriMarket connects interim job seekers with the posts best suited to them by using intelligent data. To find out more, sign up for a free account today.


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Strategies for Being Productive While Working Remotely

Strategies for Being Productive While Working Remotely

Working Remotely is Trending Upward

I was reading an interesting article the other day on Fast Company’s site regarding work trends. It was estimated that more than 50% of the work force will be working remotely by 2020. Additionally, 25%, of the business leaders surveyed, indicated that more than three-quarters of their employees would not be working in a traditional office by 2020. Of course the definition for the word “remote” has been debated often. Does this mean working somewhere outside the office for 1 or 2 days/week? If you work off-site or in coffee shops does this ‘count’ as working remotely? If you work any at home during the weekend are you considered to be a ‘remote employee’? Therefore, if we widen the scope of the definition says, Sara Sutton Fell (CEO of FlexJobs) then:

In most white-collar jobs, I’d say 99% of people are already working remotely in that they take work home. It creeps into our work style already. I think it’s just not formalized by either the employer or employee… If remote work means that you check email on Sunday night then congratulations! You already have a work-from-home job.

There is little question that workers often rank ‘flexibility’ as one of their top reasons they are attracted to more desired jobs. Given the impact of the digitization of work millennials (and other age groups as well) really value the option of, “…taking an afternoon off and catching up on Saturday morning.” Further, a more flexible schedule allows for more spontaneous interactions with co-workers, but also time for focused, head-down productivity as well. For recruiters and other small business owners the power of working remotely is truly endless.

How to Remain Productive when Not in the Office

If the trend is toward more of us working remotely and/or from home what are some tips and tricks we can take advantage of to ensure success?

This article will provide a short list of tactics that have worked for me as well as a few suggested by others who are experienced at being productive while working remotely (PWWR). I’ve worked remotely (in some capacity) as a college professor and content marketer for the past 15 years and learned a few tips and tricks along the way. One thing I know for sure is you need a strategy and plan, for remote work, or it can lead to problems. There are real pluses to working at home/remotely and also pitfalls if not approached with a solid plan.

Strategies for Working Remotely

  • Work off of a Daily List of Tasks to be Done: One of the challenges with working at home (or in any other remote location) is how easy it can be to become distracted and taken off course. Therefore, it’s a good idea to put 2-4 things you want to get done on a list daily. During the day go back the list a couple of times to ensure you are staying focused. As things get accomplished you can cross them out. At the end of the day update the list by checking off what has been finished and what is pushed to the next work day. Psychologically it can be very satisfying to see items get ‘checked off’ the list. The goal is to make steady progress every work day (usually on several small tasks).
  • Don’t become a Silo & Consistently Communicate: It takes personal discipline to work remotely and remain productive. One thing to remember is avoid being a ‘silo‘ and working independently for long stretches. In other words, check in often with co-workers and bosses to let them know what you are working on and to be available to help others if needed. It can be easy to ‘fall off the radar’ when working from home, but if you are intentional about consistently communicating it will serve you well. Also, consistent communication lets everyone on the team know that you are engaged and working toward pre-planned goals.
  • Be sure to take Breaks/Change of Scenery: It may seem obvious but be sure to take breaks when working remotely. Given that you do not have other co-workers around (who can be distracting) often we can really get in a groove and get a lot accomplished while working remotely. This is great, however it’s also easy to work even more hours and ‘forget’ to take breaks. I find taking a 20-minute walk, grabbing a lunch off-campus, getting a quick coffee, or doing a chore or two around the house can serve as an effective change of scenery/break in the monotony.
  • Put Together Reports to Update Colleagues on Progress: Given the way our work places are organized, in this digital era, often we are working on individual/independent tasks that are connected to bigger goals of the company/agency. What’s more, our colleagues may or may not know what we are working on and, more importantly, the progress that is indeed being made. Therefore, if you can provide monthly and/or weekly summaries of tasks that are getting done and how they are edifying the long-term goals of your company this can be super helpful. Also, this helps for summarizing how all of the small tasks are helping move the business in the right direction. It can be easy to get bogged down in the details and not “see the forest for the trees”.
  • Have a Dedicated Work Space: Whether you are working at home or at a coffee shop it’s critical to have a work space that is ‘only for work’ and not used for other things (you may do in your spare time/down time). It helps if your home or remote location is similar to your office at work.

Optimizing Working Remotely Important

As more and more people work remotely (and the time they do so also increases) it is going to become even more important to continue finding ways to optimize this type of work environment. For even more information check out a recent article from The Muse: 10 Reasons Working Remotely is Even Better than You Thought it Was.


Source: Strategies for Being Productive While Working Remotely – Crelate

HR Outsourcing May Steady the Path to Success

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For years, HR outsourcing (HRO) has begrudgingly worn a label of dedication to small businesses. Yes, there are incredible merits for small businesses within this stereotype, however the advantages of an outsourced Human Resources department show benefits for organizations of all sizes.

Recent statistics have pulled back the curtains to reveal increased reliance on HROs for business-related tasks. A global Deloitte study found that more than 35 percent of respondents already measure the value of their HRO, with another 32% planning increases in Human Resources over the next year.

And while some attribute Human Resource outsourcing to small business ventures, the industry is exploding. Outsourcing firms are expected to generate $53.9 billion in business by 2020.

The figures are clear, but for business owners thinking of making the shift, the advantages must offer total compliance satisfaction in order for the investment to pay dividends. If leaders can trust an outsourcing firm to manage daily tasks, long-term strategic goals can take center stage to focus on the business’s long term growth and needs.

So why are more organizations outsourcing the functions of HR, and is it truly achieving the goals it sets to satisfy?

HROs Reduce Company Risk

Over the past decade, workplace case complexity has increased almost across the board. Especially for startups and small businesses, the resources exhausted throughout workplace investigations quickly become overwhelming. HR professionals, likewise, are not experts in all fields of law and sometimes untrained to handle complex caseloads.

A HRO mitigates these risks by remaining up-to-date on all local, state, and federal regulations the organization must comply with. Likewise, they have the benefit of conducting unbiased, thorough, and timely investigations that reach clear conclusions and move the organization beyond the situation.

Although HR is not directly a profit center for businesses, it does minimize risk, create better efficiencies, and save money from being lost or spent unnecessarily. So even though HR might not be bringing in revenue, it can directly help with keeping more profit for the company.

Because minor oversights can cause costly delay, or worse, litigation, it is important for organizations to trust their workplace investigations with HR professionals who are experts in the field of risk mitigation and fair procedures.

HROs Meet Compliance Standards

A must for organizations of all sizes, compliance standards have the nasty habit of constant updates and overhauls, delays and reversals. It is imperative that businesses keep up-to-date with all standards expected within their industry and state–which can become overwhelming for an HR team already overloaded with important tasks.

But compliance means more than regulatory satisfaction. HR compliance is an umbrella term that may include things like cultural obligations, the ACA, licenses, collective bargaining, separation, and a slew of other considerations.

And organizations aren’t just worried about keeping up, they’re also tasked with recognizing any variances between their own policies and applicable laws.

Typically, the HRO chosen immediately focuses on compliance standards and potential issues, reducing risk and assuring satisfaction. Their goal is to provide a strategy that replaces any potentially damaging policies and reviews your policy regularly in line with updates to law.

Without this burden, organizations are freed from surrendering in-house time and resources to keeping up with regularly changing laws and reviewing their policies.

HROs Prove Financially Beneficial

Especially for smaller businesses (it’s a hard-to-shake label), a HRO is simply more cost-effective than hiring a full-time, in-house HR professional.

For companies of all sizes, there are smaller benefits that HR outsourcing brings with it. More office space without an HR team allows the organization to grow in workforce without concern for office overpopulation. In fact, a recent Deloitte study found that of those surveyed, a healthy 47 percent chose to outsource based on its solution to capacity issues.

Efficiency and productivity are influenced by office design, and outsourcing HR satisfies the conditions for a more efficient, productive workspace.

HROs Provide More Affordable Group Rates

Healthcare affordability is a top concern for employees. Not only that, but those who receive affordable health care coverage through their employer are more likely to find satisfaction in the job. Prudential Financial Inc found that 46% of employers were either outsourcing or looking to outsource the requirements of the ACA.

Because HROs work with many companies, they can take advantage of reduced bulk pricing. For small and large businesses, this provides quality coverage for employees at lower costs.

The advantages of an HRO for group rates extends beyond the coverage employees receive. Because of the ever-changing ACA requirements, with sweeping changes on the way, administrative costs are cut sifting through constant updates.

For organizations with an HR team, outsourcing health care oversight to an HRO minimizes the burden on HR while preventing easily-made mistakes.

HROs Strengthen Recruiting Methods

As companies turn to more strategic, aggressive recruiting methods, outsourcing this HR function has become more widely popular. Organizations are “becoming increasingly inventive to attract and retain valuable candidates”, Byrne Mulrooney told SHRM earlier in 2016.

Because many HR teams are unequipped to attract top talent in a way larger organizations can, the task is being outsourced to companies specializing in the field, like Mulrooney’s. When combined with bolstered benefits, appeal to organizations outsourcing these functions is elevated on a budget.

Choosing one or more HR function to outsource is smart organizational planning. Freeing up resources and time to focus on the growth of the company allows leaders to plan for long-term growth and goals. As the industry continues to grow, it will undoubtedly change the roles of internal HR teams, aligning them with more strategic functions over day-to-day tasks.


If you want to share this article the reference to Todd Giannattasio and The HR Tech Weekly® is obligatory.

How to Build a Data Science Team

Businesses today need to do more than merely acknowledge big data. They need to embrace data and analytics and make them an integral part of their company. Of course, this will require building a quality team of data scientists to handle the data and analytics for the company. Choosing the right members for the team can be difficult, mainly because the field is so new and many companies are still trying to learn exactly what a good data scientist should offer. Putting together an entire team has the potential to be more difficult. The following information should help to make the process easier.

The Right People

What roles need to be filled for a data science team? You will need to have data scientists who can work on large datasets and who understand the theory behind the science. They should also be capable of developing predictive models. Data engineers and data software developers are important, too. They need to understand architecture, infrastructure, and distributed programming.

Some of the other roles to fill in a data science team include the data solutions architect, data platform administrator, full-stack developer, and designer. Those companies that have teams focusing on building data products will also likely want to have a product manager on the team. If you have a team that has a lot of skill but that is low on real world experience, you may also want to have a project manager on the team. They can help to keep the team on the right track.

The Right Processes

When it comes to the processes, the key thing to remember with data science is agility. The team needs the ability to access and watch data in real time. It is important to do more than just measure the data. The team needs to take the data and understand how it can affect different areas of the company and help those areas implement positive changes. They should not be handcuffed to a slow and tedious process, as this will limit effectiveness. Ideally, the team will have a good working relationship with heads of other departments, so they work together in agile multi-disciplinary teams to make the best use of the data gathered.

The Platform

When building a data science team, it is also important to consider the platform your company is using for the process. A range of options are available including Hadoop and Spark. Hadoop is the market leader when it comes to big data technology, and it is an essential skill for all professionals who get into the field. When it comes to real-time processing, Spark is becoming increasingly important. It is a good idea to have all the big data team members skilled with Spark, too.

If you have people on the team that do not have these skills and that do not know how to use the various platforms, it is important they learn. Certification courses can be a great option for teaching the additional skills needed, and to get everyone on the team on the same page.

Some of the other platforms to consider include the Google Cloud Platform, and business analytics using Excel. Understanding the fundamentals of these systems can provide a good overall foundation for the team members.

Take Your Time

When you are creating a data science team for the company, you do not want to rush and choose the wrong people and platforms or not have quality processes in place. Take your time to create a team that will provide your company with the quality and professionalism it needs.

About the Author:

Ronald van Loon has joined as an Advisory Board Member for its Big Data training category. Named by Onalytica as one of the top three most influential personalities of Big Data in 2016, Ronald will contribute his expertise towards the rapid growth of Simplilearn’s popular Big Data & Analytics category.


Source: How to Build a Data Science Team | Ronald van Loon | Pulse | LinkedIn