Retain Employees Through Engagement: How to Solve Your Workplace’s Biggest Challenge

It’s no secret that for most company management teams, the bottom line is what drives the business.

Yet, when talking the talk, many leaders will tell a different story. When asked about their primary business concern, one in three American CEOs point to keeping talent on the team.

According to Forbes, one of the key incentive keeping talented professionals at their current companies is employee engagement.

But what is employee engagement, exactly? According to Gallup, engaged employees are involved in, enthusiastic about, and thoroughly committed to their work and their workplace. Though this might sound simple, it’s rarer than you’d think: the same Gallup poll found that 87 percent of employees are not engaged at work. Meanwhile, they also found that companies that foster high levels of employee engagement will outperform competitors by 147 percent in earnings per share.

The numbers don’t lie — engagement is not only good for employees, but good for companies, shareholders, and leaders.

So now that we’ve solved the “what” of employee retention, we’ll get to the “how”: here are five proven ways to improve employee engagement.

Start by measuring. Before you hit the ground running with employee engagement programs, you need to do some research and find out what matters to your employees. To do this, you’ll need to measure employee satisfaction, overall engagement, and the source of that engagement. Are they engaged by your company’s vision? By its mission, capabilities, or values? Compare what’s working within your organization to what could clearly be improved upon. Discern differences between teams and departments, then dig deep to understand the roots of those differences.

Managers must be up to the challenge. Though employee engagement and satisfaction start in HR, they certainly don’t end there. These concepts are important throughout your workplace ecosystem, and anyone who manages anyone else needs to bear them in mind. Little things like continual feedback, off-site activities, and/or honest and open discussions about personal achievements can make a world of difference.

Always keep the company’s overarching message in mind. Ask yourself: what message is this company delivering? How do we deliver it? When do we deliver it? There’s a constant stream of information that must move from the company’s leaders to the rest of its employees. If you’re committed to keeping all employees engaged, connected, and invested to the company’s vision and goals, it’s important that you constantly evaluate and reevaluate your deliver. Does it come in an inspiring, motivating package, or is a barebones “bottom line” delivery? Plus, these messages need to come from company leaders at a time that is fair, timely, and effective for all.

Help employees find their voice. As HR managers, we have dozens of daily decisions to make. It’s not unusual for our to-do lists to be several pages long, spanning a wide variety of topics. And it always helps to have a deep knowledge of each topic, which adds an element of research and learning to every bullet point. One great way to increase employee engagement is to spread some of this responsibility among employees, not only heightening the overall level of expertise within your organization, but positioning individual employees as experts who can help make decisions, strategize, and resolve complex problems.

 

Do you have any of your own tips for engaging employees? Share it with us!

Happy Employees is Just Better Business: 7 Questions to Ask Yourself

As an HR Manager, you want your recruits to be happy. That is your job, after all.

Plus, happier employees make for a more productive workplace. In fact, happiness amongst employees is a key factor in a company’s success — it’s proven to improve business results up to 30 percent.

But keeping everyone happy is easier said than done. To start, you have to know whether employees are happy or not. Someone might seem perfectly content, but at the end of the work day, they go home and vent all their office-related frustrations to friends or family. Not to mention, every aspect of “happiness” is subjective; it means something a little different to everyone, and the things that make us happy vary from person to person.

To determine what factors truly matter when it comes to satisfaction at work, we took a look at the research and came up with the six metrics that matter most. So, here are the questions to ask when assessing the happiness of employees.

  1. Does she like her direct manager? Even if she absolutely loves the office culture, her coworkers, and the company itself, it’ll be hard for her to be happy if she doesn’t care for the person she reports to. Nobody wants to be seen a mindless piece of equipment that serves solely to support the team in a highly designated capacity — it’s important that all employees are treated as individuals, with their own skills, interests, and aspirations.
  2. Are expectations clear? It’s hard to hit a goal if you don’t know where to aim. An employee should know exactly how he’s being assessed and what his manager expects of him, so he understands exactly what qualifies as progress. This allows him to plan for the future of his career, helping him stay focused, motivated, and work smart.
  3. Do your employees like the work environment? If you’ve ever had a work space that you can’t stand, you know how it affects you: low concentration, low energy, low productivity. Affecting factors can include everything from the in-office social life, to pet friendliness, and beyond. So whether the decor is drab, the temperature is cold, or the room is noisy, it’s important to recognize that even seemingly minor things can influence the way employees feel about the workplace.
  4. Does your company provide a platform for initiatives? Everyone wants the opportunity to be themselves and shape the office culture, even in small ways. Making sure that employees have a say when it comes to day-to-day office life, whether it’s bringing a pet to work or planning an out-of-office meetup can help them feel valued.
  5. Is the work meaningful? Now, this may sound like it only applies at nonprofits or other mission organizations — however, meaning can come from anywhere. While meaning certainly could come from making the world a better place, it could also come from career growth, personal growth, or skill growth.
  6. Are employees fairly compensated? Your employees know what they should be earning — they talk to their friends, search the Internet, and network with peers in the field. Unfair compensation can create resentment, so even if they love what they do, they won’t love who they’re doing it for.
  7. Is your workplace stable? Instability in the workplace can understandably cause a certain anxiety. If your company is regularly restructuring, undergoing rounds of layoffs, or frequently changing company policies, it’s likely impacting your employees’ mental health. When employees are uncertain of their future, it’s tough to focus on their jobs.

Knowing what to ask is the first step to making your workplace everyone’s happy place.

Do you think we missed something? What do you think affects workplace happiness? We want to hear from you 🙂

5 Lessons I Learned From 20 years in People Management

Anyone who’s worked in HR knows that it isn’t as easy as it seems.

It’s not just about setting up phone screenings and managing complaints — an HR professional wears at least a dozen different hats. We’re the first person a recruit meets, and the last person an employee formally chats with before leaving the company. We plan events, shape the culture, and make sure that everything runs smoothly.

And when there’s so much to do, it can be overwhelming to do it all right.

Before founding Mensch, I spent 20 years working as an HR professional, where I learned a lot about what works, what doesn’t, and how to be most efficient. Chief among those lessons is that your people are the most important part of your company, and that aligning your corporate values with the people you hire will be key to your company’s success.

So, how exactly does one do that? Here are a few tips I’ve managed to pull out from all the lessons I’ve learned.

1. Be open minded. Look beyond CVs, past LinkedIn pages, and deeper than cover letters. When it comes to job applications, there’s a limit to what you can learn about a job candidate. Of course, there are always skills that a candidate must possess — but also take time to chat with candidates that don’t have all the relevant experience. While many such individuals might not be your best bet on paper, they’ll come in with a natural creativity and are bursting at the seams with fresh ideas. Get to know the person on the other side of the table not only as a candidate, but as an individual. What are their ambitions, their goals, their dreams, and can these drivers be an asset to the company. Though a job application can be a good starting point, there are so many qualities that simply can’t be explained on a  11 x 8.5 sheet of paper.

2. Aim higher than anyone expects you to shoot. As an HR professional, you’re responsible for leading management teams and providing them with the tools they need to lead employees. You help them manage expectations, set goals, and measure outcomes. You impact and contribute to the company come by helping managers set the right expectations from their employees, and to challenge them to achieve more than they knew they could. For you, it’s not all about revenue contribution, but about helping employees define their strengths, then nurture those strengths into expertise.

3. See the people through the numbers. What makes a company successful? How can we spot talent? How can we replicate successful teams? How can we recognize important trends in advance? These are the questions that each and every HR should ask themselves to be proactive. A great HR person can identify the employees who make the company what it is — in turn, making them one of those ultra-valuable employees themselves, in a inception-esque twist.

4. Make data-backed claims. In HR, our input often has the power to make or break and employee career, influence over company-wide expenses, and the pull to define the company’s DNA. Decisions about downsizes, promotions, new offices, new hires, compensation, and beyond are important and should all be supported with real and reliable numbers. For instance: if you’re opening a new branch in a new city, it’s important to have a complete and accurate breakdown of all the costs associated with it.

5. Define your goals and KPIs. Human resources is a wide-ranging field that covers everything from recruiting, to career development, to employee welfare, to organizational restructuring, to interpersonal mitigation, to office culture, and way, way beyond. Even if you’re an amazing HR, no one will know it unless you’re able to document and show your progress. Set KPIs that can easily be measured to reflect your wins or understand your challenges.

HR isn’t easy. There’s no rulebook, no guide, and no right or wrong way to go about it. Hopefully, my own hard-won wisdom helps you broaden your view and incorporate new ideas into the way you work.

Yours,

Galia Bachar

Galia brings over 20 years in HR and People Management both from early-stage startups to IPO companies. Today Galis is Co-Founder and CEO at Mensch HR.

Keep In Touch with Galia here

GDPR – Just Around the Corner

We are here to present you the key factors of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), and how you should get prepared to manage your employees’ data accordingly.

Do you hire EU employees? Have current employees in the EU? Do you store vendor data that includes personal information about individuals in the EU?

If you replied YES for at least 1 of these questions, and regardless of you are headquartered in EU or not, you are required to become GDPR compliant.

So, what is GDPR anyway?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a law that aims to strengthen European Union residents’ rights to privacy and protect their personal data. This law will impact how Organizations and tools collect, store and manage personal data from EU residents.

In order to continue conducting business within the EU, all companies that interact with personal information of EU citizens must be compliant with the GDPR.

When will GDPR take an impact, and what is the cause of non-compliance?

GDPR will come into effect fully across all European member states as of May 25, 2018. Not complying with certain provisions of GDPR, can result in a fine of up to €20 million or 4% of your gross profit.

Both clients and employees will demand a certainty that your company is a GDPR compliance.

What are the main requirements to become GDPR compliant?

GDPR is a multi-step process. It requires meeting framework security and data protection standards, as well as how employers collect and store their employees’ data, and provide the  “right to be forgotten” (RTBF).

What are the differences between Data Controller and Data Processor?

Data Controller is the entity who is determining the purpose, the means and the nature of the data that is being collected. In other words – data controller is you, your company.

Data Processor is the entity or agency that is processing personal data on behalf of the data controller.  Mensch is a data processor and will be taking all measurements to ensure its compliance as data processor.

However, although you might be using GDPR compliant tools, does not mean that you as a data controller are automatically compliant as well. As Data Controller, It is important you explore your obligations in order to become GDPR compliant as well.

What is GDPR impact on HR management?

As data controller, HR should ensure the data collected on the employee level is stored in a secure, compliant manner. Ensure that the tools that are being used to process employees data, are compliance with GDPR and ensure that the company has the right to collect and store employees information.

Is Mensch GDPR compliant?

Mensch is the perfect platform to use in order to ensure you protect your employees data. We provide top-level security of employees database, as well as a way for you to communicate inside your organization securely.

Mensch has set a goal to become GDPR compliant as of May deadline. These days we are finalizing all GDPR requirements, both on the platform security and framework, and on the transformation, storage and accessibility of your employee’s personal data.

If you have any further inquiries regarding Mensch GDPR compliancy, please contact us at support@mensch.io

We will update you once Mensch is fully GDPR compliant through our blog and newsletter. 

The Mensch Team

Mind the Marketing: How Thinking Like a Marketer Can Make You Better at HR

Marketing operates at a company’s core, working hand-in-hand with each and every other department. Its responsibilities are spread across the board — from branding, to customer acquisition, to measurements and future spending projections, to creative content, to communicating with existing customers, and beyond. But when it comes down to it, marketing is all about getting people to keep coming back. It’s not just about drawing in new customers, but about creating lasting relationships.

Similarly, HR starts with getting new recruits in the door, then keeping longtime employees happy. Your people are the backbone of your company — nay, they are your company. They’re what makes it run, what gives it personality, and what gets stuff done. No matter how amazing your product idea maybe, if you can’t keep employees, you can’t make it big.

So, how do you keep your employees happy then? And how do you maximize your recruiting efforts?

In marketing, success is measured by key performance indicators or KPIs. Important KPIs include customer acquisition, as well as customer retention. As it turns out, it’s not so hard to translate these concepts to HR, where we must acquire recruits and retain employees.

And so, there’s a lot that you can learn from marketing about people management. Here’s how you can think like a marketer to recruit the right people and to keep your employees coming into the office excited and engaged.

Data comes first. In marketing, the numbers inform the moves. As a people manager, you can’t get a sense of employee sentiment without looking at the numbers. Consider hard metrics (like job title, seniority, and compensation) along soft measurements (like social interactions, tools and technology, time management, and personal growth goals) to get a well-rounded understanding of an employee’s satisfaction. Then, when you have metrics for your entire company, comb it for trends and patterns.  

Segment your staff. In marketing, segments help sort out the data. Your company is diverse, and everyone is a little bit different. That means that everyone’s motivations are a little bit different. It’s important to get to know your staff and understand what makes each one of them tick. That way, you can tailor motivation methods to any single employee’s job, character, and goals.

Define your DNA. Marketers define their target audience to determine who is most likely to purchase the product. Their audience varies from product to product, and their messaging shifts along with it. In your case, that target audience is the talent pool. When recruiting new employees, first spell out what your company stands for. Ask yourself: Who are we? What is our mission? What are we selling to the employee? By doing this, we’re able to narrow down our talent search and tailor our efforts to target the people who actually want to hear from us.

Measure the ROI of HR-related activities. Much as marketers treat clients to expensive dinners, VIP clubs, gifts, etc., we invest in talent nurturing activities for our employees, like courses, mentoring programs, team building events, and other development-boosting activities. In both cases, we’re aiming to increase engagement — the ROI of HR. But with our employees, we often forget to measure this. Do they increase employee efficiency? Bolster engagement? Improve retention rates? Run the numbers on these types of activities, so you can maximize their impact.

What other marketing lessons would you apply to people management?