Category Archives: Social HR

Emerging Tech HR Trends in 2016

Get over hiring difficulties and talent development. As we enter 2016, we welcome a promising year of new HR trends with changing mindsets and increasing integration of technology. Here are the top 3 Human Resource predictions to watch for.

High Demand of Data and Analytics Tools

Big Data is an emerging trend and plays a vital role in gathering, processing and analyzing data, thereby being the lifeline of business lifecycles. Any new-age business wanting to stand out from the crowd needs to be at the top of their game as far as data analytics is considered. Business decisions are getting increasingly data-driven, and for a good reason. Data is what helps you plumb the depths of your workforce so you can strategize HR operations right from recruitment to meeting employee goals according to shifting trends. According to Julie Stich, Director of Research at the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, “Employers are trying different things to see what works for them—a lot of it depends on company culture.”

Increased Focus on Employee Recognition

Experts believe that the key to increased productivity lies in employee recognition and engagement. In fact, it is directly linked to better performance, profitability and customer engagement—outcomes that businesses of all types are seeking. If your employees feel appreciated for their efforts, it is natural that they will actively contribute to your organization’s growth. If employee rewards are a part of your workplace culture, you can also do away with talent retention worries. If you’ve used Slack’s team-based messaging software or Yammer’s collaborative social environment for businesses, you already know what we’re talking about. “We’re seeing an evolution here; it’s becoming more about total employee well-being” says Stich. With platforms like Recognize on the rise, it is clear why employee recognition is on the HR’s radar this year.

 

Rise of Integrated Workforce Management Systems

Any organization dealing with over 50 full-time employees will be aware of the monthly requirement to report and track data, thanks to the Affordable Care Act. If paying penalties or spending hours collecting data from multiple systems is not an option, integrated human capital management solutions come into the picture. While we’re on the topic of data, it is worth mentioning the focus on prevention of data breaches in 2016. The digital era poses various threats such as hacking of employee and customer data and has a direct impact on the business community, so time for companies to pull up their socks for extensive data management and security!

What Millennials Want In a Company

Company leaders are showing a real concern for what is to come with the largest generation – millennials. Millennials want autonomy, they want things to matter, and they want to be mobile. This different mentality from previous generations has been a two-decade-long shift first from video games, then internet, and now mobile.

Millennials on the phone

1. Instant, Always-on, Global Information.

The millennial comedian Aziz Ansari gave a comparison to the millennial mindset in the context of gay marriage. He said, “Two dudes are kissing? I’m about to watch every movie ever, right now! They [millennials] don’t care at all.” Instant global information has made millennials see the world in a whole new light. They look past issues that are not important in the global scheme, because now with Twitter and Facebook they can connect on a deeper level with people all over the globe about any issue as soon as events unravel.

2. Mobile

An endlessly expanding encyclopedia is in your pocket. Every person you have ever known is a short search away. College students complete their studies from anywhere on ultralight laptops. Being anywhere and still connected is the new norm.

3. Instant Feedback

Pinball to Nintendo to Gameboy to mobile computers, instant feedback has gotten more omnipresent. Millennials expect results fast. Increased internet speeds are inflating millennials already hyperactive expectations.

A Blueprint for Companies Seeking to Attain and Retain Millennials

“When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves” – Vicktor E. Frankl.

1. Autonomy and Idealism

By incorporating autonomy and causes, companies can reap the rewards from both a marketing standpoint and an employee’s lifetime value to the company. Companies with skunk groups for independent innovative projects receive both innovative ideas and prototypes, but also increase employees dedication to the company. Follow the startup incubator model by cycling through groups of people, or batches, in the skunk group. Then, many people can be a part of the skunk group generating more employee to company rapport.

To show your company cares, involve environmental or social initiatives. Give a percentage of profits to a charity, match employee donations to nonprofits, or create your own ice bucket challenge. Make a culture staff is proud to promote and show the company trusts its employees.

People looking at ipads around a desk collaborating

2. Mobile

Working from home can lead some to become complacent. The solution is to make working from home a privilege and not a right. If staff shows up for meetings on time, communicates effectively, and complete tasks on time, then they can work from home. Be transparent on what exactly has to happen to make working from home a reality. If done right, your staff can be producing quality work from a Mexican beach.

3. Instant and Transparent

Support communication tools that support working from anywhere. Give staff immediate feedback. Tools like Slack and Yammer for staff to communicate, and Recognize for employee recognition and rewards should be part of your overarching human resources and company communication strategy.

Companies must embrace with open arms a new way to operate. The industrial revolution is behind us and from the perspective of millennials, the world needs new modalities if we want to keep a healthy planet for the future.

I myself am a millennial. I founded Recognize after discovering the power of employee recognition at former employers. I want to help all companies have a simple employee recognition strategy. It makes work more like a game. When things are more like games, they are more fun and more profitable.

Four tips towards an employee recognition company culture

Getting started and onboarding staff to a program is one of the biggest challenges facing organizations interested in recognition. To help articulate and solve some of our customers concerns, the following list can help guide the beginning of a recognition-focused culture.

1. Survey staff on employee engagement.

Does your staff feel recognized? An anonymous survey helps gauge your staff and sets a base.

2. Ease your staff into a recognition program.

– Mention Recognize at an all company meeting as a priority for the company.
– Send an email to all company with a link to sign up for Recognize or program of your choice.
– Track who has activated their accounts on Recognize and gauge interest amongst staff. Don’t force anything on the company. If people are resistant, continue to ease into the program organically.

3. Meet with department directors and team managers to set guidelines on when to Recognize.

– Recognize at end of projects or specific tasks domain to the company.
– Remind managers and directors to make sure to recognize someone every day on the team or the whole team once a week.
– Ask staff to send emails to managers or directors once a week on one thing they accomplished. On Monday, have the manager recognize their team for those tasks. Creating that feedback loop is crucial.

4. Tie recognition into the company’s structure.

Provide status for high achievers. With Recognize, we send monthly reports of whom is doing the best work each month. Let everyone know who those individuals are via a monthly recognition party. Incentive good work tied to company values by rewarding staff each month for each of the values. Each month reward staff who are high achievers in each of the company’s core values (e.g. innovation, leadership). Finally, the highest-rated receivers in each core value should be given more access to perks or power inside the organization. Don’t stop at $20 gift cards – give staff the ability to make special decisions if they are high achievers.

Engraining employee recognition while promoting company’s core values can be easy if admins and leadership follow certain practices to make it a habit for the organization. Contact us if in need of recognition consulting for help getting started. We custom tailor recognition programs based on your company’s goals.

Employee Recognition Parties

Office party
Years ago I was fortunate to work at a great company called Pop. Pop had a recognition program that allowed individuals to show appreciation for coworkers with a message and a corporate value. The best part of the program was the monthly parties.

Over a hundred people would crowd around the meeting area on a Friday at 4:30pm. Beers and snacks were laid out to set a casual mood. One of the most charismatic staff members would read off a gamut of recognition stats, “The word ‘jerk’ was used…. zero times, while the word ‘awesome’ was mentioned 800 times!” Gift cards were handed out for sending the most recognition and for receiving the most recognition. This small token went a long way for Pop, and helped drive an engaged, innovative workplace.

Simple steps to throwing employee recognition parties

1. Involve everyone. If you’re a company of over 200 people, break the parties by department or team.
2. Buy snacks or something to enjoy. It doesn’t have to include alcohol.
3. Schedule the meeting for a Friday at 4:30pm.
4. Use Recognize to read off most popular recognitions. Search through the last month and find funny or interesting recognitions to share.
5. If you need any help gathering information that is beyond the boundaries of the company admin, contact us for help.
6. Randomly give away a $25-$100 gift card to someone who was recognized.
7. Give gift cards to the staff members who gave the most and received the most recognition.

Celebrate greatness at work on a monthly basis and enjoy the rewards of an engaged workforce.

Recognize integrates with Yammer

Yammer

We are very excited to announce our partnership with Yammer. Last night we deployed a new version of Recognize that integrates with Yammer. Now both Yammer and Recognize have added value through Recognize’s employee appreciation and Yammer’s workplace social feed. I have envisioned this since I started building Recognize.

Announcing Single Sign On with Yammer

Login with Yammer

The Recognize staff loves this new feature. We don’t have to enter our email and password anymore to login to Recognize. Just one click and we are in the Recognize Stream page.

Even if you are logged in normally, we let you know where you can take advantage of Yammer

Show 
Yammer users

When inviting users or sending a recognition, we have login buttons there for easy access to authenticate with Yammer.

Main events in Recognize are populated in Yammer’s recent activity

Recent Activity on Yammer

An update occurs in the Recent Activity when users are validated through +1, when commenting on a recognition, or when a recognition is sent.

Showing thanks has never been easier with our new autocomplete user list

Autocomplete user list

You can find and recognize anyone in your Yammer account. No need to invite anyone if everyone is already on Yammer. If you want to Recognize someone not on Yammer, simply enter their email alias.

Added contrast to the badge trigger button

Choose a badge button

The choose a badge button is now darker to be easier to see on all monitors. This will increase Recognize’s usability and improve the experience for all users.

Comment with Yammer on the Recognition Show page

Recognition show page

Recognize’s value has jumped with Yammer comments. Users can create a conversation about the best work in your company. Sometimes you just want to say, “You’re welcome.”

When comments are made, they show up in your Yammer feed.

Yammer feed

Invite users from Yammer

Invite with Yammer

We show a few users that haven’t signed up for Recognize yet. If you select their name and click “Send,” we will send them an invitation email.

If your company is using Yammer, go to our homepage and sign in. If your company doesn’t use Yammer, then go to their homepage to create a private social network for your business.

Three steps to Social HR

The leftover dogma from the industrial revolution has to be removed from company culture in order to avoid an arduous path. The workforce is moving away from the repetitive motions of factory work. Norms developed to push people to their limit must be shed.

The modern workplace is all about sharing knowledge, social employee recognition, staff engagement, and interconnectedness. Embrace the ever-increasing hyper-connected social society in your workplace, and reap the rewards of an engaged innovative environment.

1. Use social enterprise software to interconnect and brainstorm with your staff

Communicate with your staff through Yammer, an internal enterprise social network. Yammer is a lot like Facebook’s wall, allowing communication with your entire staff. If one person has a problem in your company, they can ask on Yammer allowing anyone to answer.

Then, introduce social employee recognition. Many companies already have an employee recognition system in place, but most homegrown solutions are isolated. Our application, Recognize, provides a needed social element to employee recognition. When employees are recognized publicly, they’ll be more profitable. Regularly recognized employees are more dedicated to the organization as well as feel better about themselves.

Move away from your isolated intranet. Aragon Research predicts by the end of 2014, social intranets will replace conventional, information-driven intranets. Ones that connect with third party applications and allow real-time collaboration, allow for new ways companies can get the most from their staff.

Much like Yammer and Salesforce, choose tools that allow seamless integration with your technology workflow. In Recognize, we are working to completely integrate with Yammer, Google, and eventually Salesforce. Being integrated is key to surviving the modern enterprise technology landscape. One way to find apps that are connected is by looking in Yammer’s App Directory. The Business Tools section on Google Web Store is another way to find web apps.

2. Give more responsibility to your staff

Let your employees choose their job title. I love this idea ever since I heard it being practiced at Amazon. I even mentioned it in a previous post. It gives more ownership to the employees and suggests the employer trusts them. It may be a small gesture, but many small gestures add up. When employees feel they have more ownership, they’re more engaged.

Eliminate the 30 minute daily break. We are using our minds more than our bodies, and we need proper mental breaks. Strict rules like two 15-minute breaks implicitly assume the employer doesn’t fully trust their employees. Let your employees decide when they are ready for a break. Thus, your staff will more alert and able to handle challenging tasks.

Create an environment where everyone’s opinion counts. That’s why Yammer and social collaboration tools work so well. People can articulate and share their ideas on an equal playing field. We need to start applying this idea more in the real world. Build a “living wall” where employees physically write on a wall in your office. This act is empowering for employees. It is visible to everyone in the office, and allows everyone an equal opinion.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is a recent trend in business. Not only do businesses save money when they allow their employees to bring their own monitor or device, it gives your staff more ownership over their lives at work.

3. Encourage more physical activity

When people do tasks together, they feel more connected. Introduce activities where the staff can collaborate in games, outdoor activity, or exercise.

Open an exercise room in your office. A room with a couple of ellipticals and a ping pong table will go a long way. Host daily exercise or yoga classes at the office. When people have exercised they are more relaxed and think more clearly.

Throw monthly parties celebrating employee achievements. Using employee recognition tools like Recognize can help with this. No matter what employee recognition platform your company uses, celebrating your staff with beverages and awards each month helps company culture and office positivity.

Throw bimonthly parties with TED-like talks from staff, and celebrate company projects.

Open up and embrace social

Using enterprise social web applications, providing more ownership to your employees, and fostering an environment of activity will lead to a better workplace for you and your staff. You’ll see more innovation and collaboration.

How is your company providing a social environment in your office? What are your concerns with an open culture?