HR professionals who are scrambling to comply with the new California sexual-harassment-prevention training requirements have another year to put those plans in place for most workers. Here’s what they need to know about the new mandate.

If you are lucky, you will have a chance to work for a manager who not only recognizes the good work you do now, but also is preparing you for the next stage in your career. The best managers will invest their time in your development, give you stretch opportunities and enable you to reach your full potential. Here are six examples of how managers prepare employees for future opportunities. Look for these traits in your current manager, and remember to follow them when you are promoted to a management position.

the HR profession evolves, it continues finding innovative ways of tackling
traditional problems.

Unfortunately in some areas, such as Performance Management, we open our toolkit and pull out the same old solutions.

For many years HR has been trapped stuck on a hamster wheel of annual reviews supported by one-to-one check-ins and coaching sessions that rarely actually happen.

Research from Gallup uncovered that almost half of employees receive feedback only a few times a year, if that often, and less than a quarter of workers felt the feedback they receive in those sessions is actually valuable.

At Collinson we decided to take a leap and turn the traditional, ineffective appraisal model on its head. Instead of placing the process at the start of our thinking, we put the customer first.

We committed to first consider our people’s needs and experience and then define how we would link that to increased performance and engagement.

As part of that effort, we changed how we talked about the entire process. I was never a fan of the term ‘performance management.’

We have people in our business from 17 to 67 years old, most of them clever and very capable. Therefore the need for close ‘management’ has rarely been a big issue for us. So we coined the term ‘performance engagement’ to more accurately reflect what we are trying to achieve.

To help us realize our vision of performance engagement, we partnered with Betterworks to deploy a digital platform that could support a new way of interacting with our people to encourage and support them.

 We broke away from the annual performance cycle, including killing off the annual appraisal, which felt like saying goodbye to an old friend that was never really much help.

We replaced it with a continuous performance improvement structure, whereby people set and achieve objectives on an on-going basis —  as one is completed another one is introduced.

Overall performance is reviewed every quarter in the same way, using a framework of structured monthly conversations on topics such as performance, well-being, coaching or personal and professional growth.

My instinct proved correct. After moving to a continuous performance process, we saw a noticeable increase in employee engagement and connection to our organizational goals.


Of course, disrupting a process as entrenched as the annual performance review has become, we had to learn a lot along the way, from how to secure executive buy-in, to training managers and rolling out the program to our employees.

Here are three key concepts we learned through the process that will help your organization gain the huge benefits of moving to a continuous performance management process. 

1) Show
employees how performance engagement benefits them

I have never talked to ANYBODY who likes doing annual reviews Most employees and managers find them a bureaucratic  burden, something which they are forced to do that they’d rather avoid. And that’s the best case scenario.

At worst they are demotivating, expensive and ineffective at their primary purpose of improving performance.

Organizations need to break this painful
cycle. The great news is you can replace it with a process that employees will
actually demand because they find it valuable to their career development.

Language is a powerful tool in that
transformation. At Collison, simply renaming the programs from “performance
management” to “performance engagement” immediately signaled that the new
process focused on engaging with the talents and ambitions of each employee.
This forward-looking focus not only reduces employees’ anxiety, it boosts program
. It can also have a positive impact on your
recruitment efforts, as the best candidates increasingly look to join
forward-thinking organizations that are committed to employee development.

Beyond a language change, it’s important to communicate that a continuous process is more efficient than conducting annual reviews.

When we first announced that we were moving from annual to quarterly reviews, our managers worried this would mean an increased workload.

Making the process more frequent made the process significantly lighter, faster, less stressful and more valuable for everyone involved.

I was able to show our executives and managers that, while our previous annual process required users to input data in 30+ fields, our new quarterly process pared this down to just a few key questions.

When designing our review questions, we kept asking ourselves “What does the employee need to know?” and “How does this add value?”

Another important change we made to benefit our employees was upgrading the performance development technology we use. This is a critical step for any organization looking to improve their engagement process.

Compared to the simple and efficient apps employees use in their everyday lives, many of HR’s goal-setting and review systems are outdated, overly complex and cumbersome.

With Betterworks as our technology partner, we were able to make it easy for our employees to continuously create and update goals, and for managers to provide regular and ongoing performance feedback.

Upgrading our HR platform had an immediate positive impact on our participation and engagement rates — where less than half of our team recorded their goals in our legacy system, that rate reached 98% of employees in our first year using the new system.

2) Start from
the top 

Research from management consultants DDI found that those companies who clearly define and then act on a sense of purpose outperformed financial markets by 42%. But that doesn’t happen without hard work and ongoing commitment.

Connecting individual effort to an organization’s mission requires continuous alignment and re-alignment of everyone’s work within the organization to encourage and sustain the levels of engagement needed for higher performance.

HR must help senior executives see the connection between employees’ alignment to goals and increased employee engagement and better performance.

And that requires speaking their language. You want to tie the effort of moving to a continuous process to the very real business outcomes senior leaders are looking to achieve. 

Then, once you have the senior staff on board, move your focus to the individuals who have the greatest impact on your workforces’ overall performance: your people managers.

At Collison, we provided on-site group training for our managers and also trained people at each location to act as local champions. We encouraged friendly competition among employees and managers to boost initial adoption, sharing leaderboards showing which regions had the highest goal completion rates.

3) Have a plan, but stay agile and open to learning

Once you get the buy-in and the budget to implement a new Continuous Performance Management process, it will be tempting to go all in and try and roll out everything at once.

But it is more critical that your workforce and the business to start seeing value as quickly as possible.

We learned from our rollout that it is better to get started quickly with just one or two elements of the program and allow time for everyone to learn and adapt to the new process and platform.

As leadership, management and employees see immediate value from the program, you’ll acheive higher, and faster,  adoption.

This agile approach to rolling out continuous performance management also encourages feedback from your managers which you can use to refine the process.

And when people know that their ideas are being acted on they are more engaged in working with and sharing their opinons about how to improve the process.

We’ve now reached the point where, if a manager isn’t coming to HR with
suggestions about how we can make our performance engagement process even
better, we wonder if he or she is paying close enough attention.

And we are getting ideas from all the way up our organization. When you get focused, direct feedback from your CEO and can act upon it, you know that you are making real progress.

With quarterly reviews successfully in place and evolving, we’ve created a roadmap for the next year.

We’ll encourage people to start setting specific quarterly goals and introduce added value to the process, such as marking International Mental Health Week by releasing wellbeing conversations and integrating 360-degree reviews into our processes.

Other factors that will impact your
organization’s ability to implement a continuous performance process
successfully, but I believe the above three are the most important because each
one influences the others.

A feedback loop for continuous performance inmprovement

Leadership buy-in helps with employee engagement and ensures leaders contribute to the evolution of the process.

Engaged managers will also provide feedback on the process and their enthusiasm will be picked up by employees, enhancing everyone’s appreciation of the benefits of a continuous approach.

Finally, an agile process helps with early adoption and engagement because people don’t expect a perfect system and it’s easier for leadership to back an idea that will deliver results quickly. It also enables you to learn quickly and apply for improvement, which has been key to our success so far.

By transitioning to a Continuous Performance Management model, HR teams can position individual employees and the entire organization for success.

Just remember to keep your focus on creating a process that delivers inherent value for employees, provides more frequent opportunities for communication across all levels of your business, and leaves room for ongoing innovation and refinement. 

The post Transitioning to a continuous performance process: 3 keys to success appeared first on HR Morning.

According to a recent study, 97% of executives expect to see increased competition for talent over the next 12 months.

That’s the view shared by thousands of business executives who responded to business consultant Mercer’s 2019 Global Talent Trends Study.

And, the study found, more than half of executives from high-growth companies – 52% – see the length of time it takes to find and hire new talent as their biggest people-related challenge.

‘Human capital risks’

That’s why more organizations are focusing on how to address what the study labels “human capital risks.”

They are working to understand where their workforces lack skills needed to compete now and in the future.

And they’re looking to HR to develop people strategies focused on identifying and filling those gaps.

According to Mercer’s analysis, that requires breaking down HR silos.

The consultancy recommends closely integrating talent acquisition, compensation and benefits, career development and learning and aligning them with organizations’ strategic priorities.

Training investments

With competition for talent so intense and market trends so unpredictable, developing the skills of existing employees becomes more urgent.

Mercer states that companies are spending about $1,000 per person on helping employees improve or add new skills by offering employee-directed learning programs or more formal, targeted training.

And companies are investing in “upskilling and reskilling” initiatives.

But there are barriers that are stopping some companies from
implementing training programs.

HR leaders told Mercer that the biggest of those barriers is
fear that competitors will reap the benefits of training investments when
employees leverage newly acquired skills to get jobs with other companies.

Redesigning jobs

They are also redesigning jobs to help keep employees
engaged and inspired. They are increasingly focused on aligning those jobs
explicitly with their organization’s culture, values and strategic goals — and
eliminating jobs that don’t.

To keep talent, reports Mercer, many organizations are focused on developing and maintaining an attractive “talent value proposition.”

That includes work/life balance, transparency and trust and a fair and respectful work environment.

And, Mercer says, HR plays a critical role in designing and supporting
a “human-centered” strategy necessary to compete for and continuously develop
the talent needed to compete in complex and rapidly changing markets.

The post Execs say hiring takes too long as competition for talent intensifies appeared first on HR Morning.

Having trouble hiring? Who isn’t, with the tight job market, being ghosted by candidates and just the complete overhaul in the hiring process the last several years?

And now there’s a new hiring practice: Job interviews by texting.

If you adhere to certain guidelines, interviews by texting can be a really useful, and convenient, tool to add to the mix. It can even speed the process along, particularly when managing multiple candidates for a job.

Here’s how interviews by texting might work: A recruiter would set up a time to text back and forth with a candidate. Then the interviewer sends the candidate a question, waits for a response and asks the next question, and so on.

Attracts millennials, Gen Zers

Texting might be particularly useful as a first-time discussion to weed out unqualified candidates. And it can boost recruiting efforts for attracting millennial and Gen Z candidates.

There are even a growing number of technology companies, such as and Canvas (, that offer text messaging tools. For example, you can send an automated text, asking “You applied to a job last month. We have a new opportunity. Do you have a minute to chat?”

Rather than trying to accommodate a candidate’s current work schedule, employers can cut “approximately half of that time spent by communicating through text,” says Fisher Phillips Employment Attorney Erin Price on SHRM.

Here are a few best practices from recruiters who’ve been hiring by text:

Consider the position. Use texting for more junior positions. “You probably don’t want to recruit your chief financial officer via text,” says Gwen Moran, author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Business Plans.

Ask first.
“We always speak to our candidates via phone first, and then ask if it’s okay to text,” says Michael Sunderland, CEO, Full Stack Talent. It’s best to have a conversation to ensure the candidate completely understands the format of the interview or pre-interview.

Develop a text message policy. Specify how and when to initiate contact through text. Most employers suggest keeping it professional. In other words, no slang, abbreviations or acronyms.

“While texting is an informal medium, you’re still trying to impress each other,” says Moran.

Save text communications. Use recruitment marketing software to keep all communications in one place – including applications, email communication, notes and text messages.

Diligent recordkeeping will also protect the company should a candidate, for instance, not get hired and threaten a discrimination lawsuit.

The post ‘Just text me’: New way to interview appeared first on HR Morning.

For lack of more artful description, Ohio’s employment discrimination law is an awful mess.

Among other problems, it exposes employers to claims for six(!) years; contains no less than four different ways for employees to file age discrimination claims (each with different remedies and filing deadlines); renders managers and supervisors personally liable for statutory discrimination; omits any filing prerequisites with the state’s civil rights agency; and contains no affirmative defenses for an employer’s good faith efforts to stop workplace harassment.

There have been several prior attempts to fix this law and harmonize it with its federal counterparts. All have died on the legislative vine.

Welcome House Bill 352 [pdf], introduced on October 1. It’s yet another business-friendly attempt at comprehensive reform of Ohio’s employment discrimination statute.

Among its key reforms, H.B. 352:

  • Creates a uniform two-year statute of limitations for all employment discrimination claims.
  • Unites the filing of age discrimination claims to the same procedures and remedies as all other protected classes.
  • Eliminates individual statutory liability for managers and supervisors.
  • Requires individuals file an administrative charge of discrimination with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission as a prerequisite to filing a discrimination lawsuit in court.
  • Prioritizes conciliation for all charges filed with the OCRC, so that all but the most difficult of cases can be resolved efficiently and cost-effectively.
  • Establishes an affirmative defense to certain hostile work environment sexual harassment claims, when 1) the employer exercised reasonable care to prevent or promptly correct the alleged unlawful discriminatory practice or harassing behavior, and 2) the employee failed to take advantage of any preventive or corrective opportunities provided by the employer or to otherwise avoid the alleged harm.

This bill presents a tangible opportunity to fix a very broken law. Ohio’s current employment discrimination statute is so different from both its federal counterpart and the similar laws of other states that it places Ohio at a competitive business disadvantage. By paralleling federal employment discrimination statutes, H.B. 352 restores balance and predictability for Ohio employers, while, at the same time, preserving the crucial right of employees to be free from discrimination in the workplace.

As opponents to these reforms have argued in the past, we can expect to hear that the elimination of individual liability protects sexual harassers. Nothing could be further from the truth. The legislation leaves intact all common-law remedies employees have if they are subjected to predatory behavior in the workplace—assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and invasion of privacy—along with the possibility criminal sanctions for the most egregious of misconduct. H.B. 352 merely brings Ohio in line with federal law and the law of almost every other state on this issue. It also harmonizes Ohio law on this issue, as the Ohio Supreme Court has already eliminated individual supervisor and manager liability for public officials.

Now comes the hard part—getting this bill passed into law. If you believe H.B. 352 presents necessary reforms of a broken system, call or email your state representative and urge him or her to support this bill. Passing H.B. 352 is a battle worth fighting for Ohio’s businesses.

For more on H.B. 352, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce has shared its thoughts on its All for Ohio Blog.

It’s impossible to avoid the headlines about loneliness and its consequences.

Being lonely hurts our health. It spans generations. And it’s a topic of discussion at HR conferences and in many of the publications you read.

“Loneliness is the new smoking,” one headline announced after a couple of big surveys were released last year. Cigna’s chief medical officer confirmed it, saying, “Loneliness has the same impact on mortality as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, making it even more dangerous than obesity.”

Yikes! So many people are lonely that it’s reaching public health crisis proportions. The 2018 study by The Economist and Kaiser Family Foundation found that 22 percent of Americans and 23 percent of folks in the U.K. always or often feel lonely, lack companionship or feel left out or isolated.

Even with all the talk about loneliness and how pervasive it is, there isn’t much common-sense conversation around what to do about it.

Cigna’s survey, conducted in the U.S. the same year, had even more striking results:

Nearly half of Americans report sometimes or always feeling alone (46 percent) or left out (47 percent).

Only around half of Americans (53 percent) have meaningful in-person social interactions, such as having an extended conversation with a friend or spending quality time with family, on a daily basis.

Generation Z (adults ages 18-22) is the loneliest generation and claims to be in worse health than older generations.

Also read: Loneliness Creeps into Workplace Wellness World

Even with all the talk about loneliness and how pervasive it is, there isn’t much common-sense conversation around what to do about it. That’s why a recent Scientific American article caught my eye.

It revealed that benefits leaders actually have one solution to the loneliness problem in hand, already. Titled “A Solution for Loneliness,” the article outlines three ways volunteering helps alleviate loneliness and its related health impact.

Volunteering is a meaningful way to connect with people and make new friends.

It can make up for the loss of meaning that is often brought on by loneliness.

It protects against the cognitive decline (such as memory loss) that often results from loneliness and isolation. Volunteering is a way to stay engaged and stimulated, build new neural connections, and become more resilient to symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

The benefits of volunteering are many, as we learn from respondents to Great Britain’s National Survey on the Volunteer Experience. When asked to reflect on what they get out of volunteering, 93 percent said they enjoy it; 89 percent said they meet new people; 86 percent said it broadens their experience of life; 77 percent said volunteering improves their mental health and well-being; and 68 percent said it helps them feel less isolated.

So, there you go. Many companies are already (unwittingly?) helping to prevent loneliness through company-​sponsored volunteer programs. People love them, and it doesn’t take a huge investment to create a program that builds energy. I’ve worked with Intuit for more than a decade, and we hear incredible feedback about its We Care & Give Back program, which gives employees 32 hours per year to volunteer and matches donations to charities up to $5,000 per year.

Also read: Personal Lessons in Communicating Change

Salesforce is another company that has made a name for itself from its commitment to community. Salesforce employees are eligible for seven days of paid volunteer time off per year. Everyone gets a $2,500 company match for charitable donations, and those who complete the full 7 days of volunteer time get another $2,500 matched. These programs play heavily into recruiting and best-places-to-work awards — and they are something people talk about.

Still, promoting volunteerism is but one way the workplace can support people and help them feel less lonely. We can help nurture relationships at work and help people participate in social activities.

And we can build cultures of caring that help people bring their full selves to work. Some of the proudest moments I’ve experienced building a team came from helping to create a culture that supports people during their best times and their toughest times.

That means thinking about the big stuff (how do we handle it when someone needs to be out to take care of themselves or their family?) and the little stuff (do we encourage chitchat on video calls to help remote folks feel more connected?).

Work can and should be a place filled with meaningful relationships — relationships that ward off loneliness.

worst employer 2019An employee tells you he might need to leave work on a moment’s notice to rush home to care for his disabled daughter (born with a severe neurological disorder, Rett Syndrome, which affects the ability to speak, walk, breathe, and eat, among other things).

Do you?

a) Tell him he can’t leave work immediately after his shifts to care for his daughter because he’s expected to remain on site in case of an emergency.

(b) Deny him a raise, telling him, “Your problems at home are not the company’s problems.”

(c) The day after his daughter suffered a near-fatal seizure and was rushed to the hospital, demote him from his position as an Operator, where his responsibilities included running controls on trucks, to a Laborer, where his chief responsibility involved shoveling sewer systems.

(d) Refuse to excuse the employee from overtime so that he can visit his daughter in the hospital.(e) On the employee’s first day back at work after a two and half week absence while his daughter was hospitalized, you send him home for being 15 minutes late, and subsequently fire him.

(f) All of the above.

If you chose (f), you might be the Worst Employer of 2019.

Previous Nominees:

The 1st Nominee for the Worst Employer of 2019 Is … the Philandering Pharmacist

The 2nd Nominee for the Worst Employer of 2019 Is … the Little Rascal Racist

The 3rd Nominee for the Worst Employer of 2019 is … the Barbarous Boss

The 4th Nominee for the Worst Employer of 2019 is… the Flagrant Farmer

The 5th Nominee for the Worst Employer of 2019 is… the Fishy Fishery 

The 6th Nominee for Worst Employer of 2019 Is … the Diverse Discriminator

The 7th Nominee for Worst Employer of 2019 Is … the Disability Debaser

The 8th Nominee for the Worst Employer of 2019 Is … the Lascivious Leader

The 9th Nominee for the Worst Employer of 2019 Is … the Fertile Firing

The 10th Nominee for Worst Employer of 2019 Is … the Exorcising Employee

The 11th Nominee for the Worst Employer of 2019 Is … the ****y Supervisor

The 12th Nominee for the Worst Employer of 2019 Is … the Disguised Doctor

The New York City Commission on Human Rights has released guidance restating the obligations of most employers, housing providers and providers of public accommodations in the city to avoid discrimination based on national origin and immigration status.

LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner is asking the site’s 645 million members comprised of predominantly professional knowledge workers to reach out and connect with someone beyond their peer group to expand career opportunities for those with weaker networks or no network at all.