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The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reported in late January that it fielded 72,675 charges of workplace discrimination in 2019, the largest number alleging retaliation. Those figures don’t include any charges filed with state or local fair employment agencies, which EEOC does not report.

The number was down slightly from 2018’s tally of more than 76,000 charges. The number of suits filed under all federal fair employment statutes also dropped, from 217 in 2018 to 157 last year.

Title VII payouts up

Of the approximately 73,000 charges filed with EEOC in 2019, more than half were complaints of retaliation. The largest number of those retaliation complaints alleged retaliation for complaints protected by Title VII.

Those cases involve employment discrimination based on an individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

Title VII charges were followed by disability- and age-related complaints.

About 180 suits filed in 2018 or earlier were resolved in 2019. Total monetary benefits obtained through mediation, conciliation, and settlements totaling $39.1 million in 2019, down from $53.6 million in 2018, due mainly to a decrease in payments for ADA– and ADEA-related cases.

Payouts in cases involving retaliation under Title VII rose to $25.8 million. That was up compared to both 2018 and 2017.

LGBT-related cases rising

One of the stats that stands out from the 2019 EEOC retaliation data is the continued rise in the number of LGBT-based sex discrimination charges and monetary payouts despite a lack of clear guidance from the nation’s highest court.

In 2004, the first full year of EEOC tracking this category, 1,100 charges resulted in $2.2 million in monetary benefits and settlement payments. Last year, 1,868 charges resulted in $7 million in payments.

Keep in mind that EEOC found “No
Reasonable Cause” in more than 60% of charges every year they’ve tracked this
category. As societal attitudes toward LGBT rights evolve, that percentage may
drop and employers’ potential monetary liabilities rise.

Compliance = constant vigilance

Employers should take away one clear compliance lesson from the report: your discrimination and retaliation reporting and response programs can’t just be a few pages in your employee handbook.

HR should constantly review procedures with employees, supervisory staff and management and validate that your process is working.

The EEOC data highlights that all employees need training to understand what constitutes discrimination. And supervisors and managers must understand compliance obligations related to all EEOC laws and rules.

Equal pay in the spotlight

Suits alleging violation of the Equal Pay Act (EPA), while a small percentage of the total at just 1,117, were the highest since 2003. EPA-related awards were up slightly over last year but remain relatively flat over recent years.

Nevertheless, it might be a good time to look into a privileged gender pay equity audit.  Experts predict that the number of cases and amounts awarded for EPA violations will likely climb during 2020 and beyond, as employees and EEOC focus more attention on pay disparities.

As always, consult with counsel
before initiating any pay equity studies or policy changes.

The post EEOC data show Title VII retaliation cases rising appeared first on HR Morning.

https://www.hrmorning.com/articles/eeoc-data-show-title-vii-retaliation-cases-rising/

The workforce is constantly evolving and companies across all industries are adapting to ever-changing employee desires. Smart employers are striving to create a positive employee experience. That requires constantly refining how they approach human resources to ensure that they can continue to recruit and retain top talent.

From flexibility and competitive compensation to professional development opportunities and a focus on wellness, workers are seeking out desirable benefits when deciding where they want to work. While every industry has its own challenges, the unique characteristics of the healthcare sector have caused it to lag behind other industries in some respects.

I came into my position as chief human resources officer for Banner Health, one of the largest nonprofit hospital systems in the U.S., without any healthcare background. But we have moved to adopt fundamental principles for growth to ensure that we are serving the needs of current and future employees.  

To help become an ideal “Employer of the Future,” we have implemented a three-pronged strategy:

1) modernization, to attract the best talent.

2) customization, to develop and retain existing team members.

3) efficiency, to make work easier for each of our team members.

This strategy is helping us to live our mission: just as Banner has worked hard to optimize all aspects of the healthcare experience for customers and patients, we are equally dedicated to meeting the needs of our diverse, demanding workforce.

For HR professionals working
toward similar goals, these five tips are essential for recruiting and
retaining top talent, regardless of your industry:

Flexibility

Flexibility is key to recruiting and retaining top talent. Employees today want to decide how, when, and where they work. It can be as simple as allowing employees personal options in how they dress, while still aligning with company policy. This may not be a new concept in every field, but it is not yet common in healthcare. Another option is flexible scheduling: allowing people to work less than full time or a modified work schedule. Banner, which is the largest employer in Arizona, offers telecommuting options which have led to more than 2,200 team members working from home.

Customized career paths

It’s increasingly important
to balance what employees want today with what they will want tomorrow. More
and more, employees want to create their own career ladder, instead of feeling confined
to a narrow path. They also want more transparency–knowing where they stand
and receiving more frequent feedback.

Particularly at large organizations, policies need to work for a diverse base of employees with very different jobs and life experiences, ranging from Gen Zers to Baby Boomers and beyond. Workforce diversity is growing across all industries, and we, as HR pros, must customize our approaches and our interactions with employees to make sure their needs are being heard and addressed.

For example, physician burnout is a very serious issue in healthcare nationwide. Physicians have far different wants and needs than other employees, so we created a Physician HR Team to ensure that we listen to them and tailor our approach to better support them. We also created a Physician Development and Experience Team to help us design a new mobile technology, the Clinician Experience Project.

This technology offers short suggestions for physicians on all facets of their work. Whether it’s how to help a patient more efficiently, how to have a courageous conversation with a colleague, or how to improve patient experience scores, this library of over 600 insights and bits of advice, provides a tailored value-add for our talented physician community.

Fresh perspectives

We all develop job descriptions with criteria we would like new hires to meet. However, don’t let these expectations hinder you from making unorthodox strategic hires. Sometimes a person without the expected background will bring a fresh perspective that will shake things up for the better. Banner has made a conscious choice to hire from outside healthcare. We currently have 26 executives from other fields, including banking, retail, hospitality, and customer service, and this shift in hiring is serving us very well.

Creativity and innovation

Fostering creativity
throughout the workforce is critical for employee satisfaction and for ensuring
your organization continues to innovate and evolve. Redesigned workspaces can
help boost creativity and collaboration. Giving team members the opportunity to
share work space and ideas is an inexpensive perk. Other strategies, such as
“Focused Fridays” which consist of no meetings and limited emails allowing
leaders to spend more time with their front-line team members and reimagined meeting
agendas that put rules in place for meetings, including when, who, and how long
they should be, can optimize productivity and balance collaboration with other
demands on employee time.

Technology that helps

Technology has changed workflow, productivity, and information access, but often with added burdens for workers who are already under pressure. We are implementing a new human capital management system to help streamline processes.

Our HR department utilizes 11 different systems, but unfortunately, most don’t talk to each other. An employee might complete their annual goals, but those goals don’t download into their performance evaluation, which in turn doesn’t load into their compensation or their development summary. So, we’re deploying new technology to collapse those 11 pieces into one.

During rounds, nursing staff regularly visit each patient on a unit or meet with physicians or other colleagues to discuss each patient’s progress, setbacks, etc., since the previous rounds.

Banner recently rolled out a rounding app for our nursing leaders that helps them better address the needs and wants of our patients, as well as better engage with their direct reports. The app notifies housekeeping to clean a room once a patient checks out, recognizes team members on the spot for outstanding service, follows up on patients and medication, and sends out other alerts. These features help nursing leaders focus on what’s most important – their patients and team members.

Employees are the heart and
soul of any organization and HR practices must embrace that truth. The more you
work to understand what your employees want and need and what really motivates
them, the more you’ll be able to recruit and retain the very best people.

The post Become an “Employer of the Future” — Five tips for recruiting and retaining top talent appeared first on HR Morning.

https://www.hrmorning.com/articles/recruit-retain-top-talent/

Attention, employers: It just got more expensive to violate the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) and the Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA).

Cost of noncompliance goes up

Here are the DOL’s new maximum penalties for violating the:

  • FLSA: $2,050 for willful or repeated violations of minimum wage requirements, $13,072 for child labor law violations and $59,413 for child labor law violations resulting in the child’s death
  • FMLA: $176 for failing to properly notify employees of their rights under the act
  • OSHA: $134,937 for willful or repeated safety violations, and $13,494 for failing to post safety information or failing to abate safety threats, and
  • EPPA: $21,410 for violating the act.

Click here for the DOL’s complete list of fines and additional information.

Is your workplace compliant? Find all the mandatory labor law posters you need right here.

The post DOL announces penalty increases for 2020 appeared first on HR Morning.

https://www.hrmorning.com/news/dol-fines-2020/

Google’s head of human resources, Eileen Naughton, will step down later this year amid rising tensions between the company’s top executives and rank and file employees.

The executive departure follows many months of highly public people issues at the company, including claims of pregnancy discrimination and an allegation of sexual misconduct by a senior executive at Alphabet, Google’s parent company.

After the executive was allowed to leave with a multi-million dollar severance package, 20,000 employees walked off the job to protest that decision and to highlight what they say is a lack of diversity at the company.

Google workers have also sent all-hands emails on issues ranging from sexual harassment and retaliation, to racial and gender-based discrimination, to Pentagon contracts. And a steady stream of those internal messages has leaked out onto social media and gone viral.

Massive HR challenge

HR pros are always trying to balance the needs of the organization with all of the myriad issues employees bring to work each day. It is one of the biggest challenges in any business, whether you have five employees or 500.

At Google, Naughton had to find that balance for more than 100,000 people worldwide.

In the time since the 2018 walkout, Naughton tried to address the growing tensions at the company, putting procedures in place intended to make it easier and safer for employees to report misconduct.

She also worked to improve wages and working conditions for the thousands of temp and contract employees at the company.

But current and former employees say that the changes have not been enough to address systemic problems at Google and continue to call for more action by the company’s leadership.

With the company facing continued and vocal dissatisfaction among its rank and file, Naughton has announced she is giving up her HR role and will move to a different, unspecified job at the search and advertising giant after helping to find her replacement.

The post Google HR chief to step down as employee dissatisfaction mounts appeared first on HR Morning.

https://www.hrmorning.com/news/google-hr-chief-stepping-down/

One-on-one meeting agenda app, Soapbox, recently surveyed over 200 managers to learn how they conduct one-on-one meetings with their teams.  Turns out, regardless of seniority, role or department, there were many common threads around how these managers approached one-on-one meetings.

Here’s a brief breakdown of some of the key findings:

Managers hold weekly one-on-ones

About one in two managers, 49%, have one-on-one meetings on a weekly basis, while 59% have them for 30 minutes. This was the most common occurrence found among survey respondents.

Having weekly meetings with employees helps to build rapport, trust and a continuous feedback loop. Of the 6% of managers that said they were NOT doing one-on-ones, the most common reason for not having them was lack of time or lack of perceived need.

Managers/employees share agenda

Another 49% of managers say they share responsibility with their direct report for what’s on the meeting agenda, while 15% say that they control the meeting agenda but wish their direct report would. One-on-one meetings aren’t for the benefit of the manager, but for the employee. It’s the manager’s job to create a safe space for their employees to feel comfortable sharing feedback and contributing to a two-way dialogue.

A full 70% of managers said that the goal of one-on-one meetings is to understand and eliminate roadblocks, while 61% said one-on-ones are for getting a pulse check and 54% said that the goal of their one-on-ones is a status update.

It’s easy to turn one-on-ones into status updates, discussing the progress of projects and getting into task-lists.

However, that’s not the real purpose of a one-on-one meeting. As Bronwyn Smith, VP of Business Operations at Influitive says, “If you are not careful, one-on-ones can end up being status updates. Or the manager can take over the meeting. This isn’t their purpose. It’s important to make sure the employee and their needs stay front and center.”

No. 1 goal: Provide value

About one in three managers, 34%, reported their biggest challenge with one-on-ones is ensuring they’re providing value to their direct reports, while 22% stated it was getting their direct reports to contribute to the meeting agenda. Three ways managers can ensure they’re providing value to their employees are:

  1. Prepare for the meeting by creating an agenda and revisiting past meeting notes.
  2. Create a psychologically safe environment where employees feel like they can speak freely and be heard.
  3. Ask meaningful questions that prompt feedback and a two-way dialogue.

To encourage employees to contribute to the
agenda, it’s important that it’s not hidden in a notebook but accessible
online.

Most don’t use meeting software

Four in ten managers, 41% reported using personal productivity tools for their agenda and notes in one-on-ones. Only 21% said they’re using purpose-built one-on-one meeting software. The benefit of having one-on-one meeting software means that all of your notes, follow-up and important information about your employees is in one shared space. It also makes it easier for employees to contribute to the meeting agenda and show up prepared.

Of the managers whose biggest challenge was having meaningful, productive conversations, 82% of these managers were not using one-on-one and team meeting software.

No. 1 topic: Growth & development

Three in four managers, 75%, said that they discuss growth and development in their one-on-ones. Only 23% stated that they discuss alignment to company mission. There’s tremendous value in creating a line between the work employees are doing and how it connects to the larger company mission.

According to a study conducted by Gallup, 59% of employees don’t know what their company stands for. Research from Imperative shows that when employees align to their companies purpose, they stay with the company longer and are happier in their roles. Easily discuss this in one-on-ones with your team by adding a recurring agenda point for reiterating the company mission and vision like “Here’s how your work this past ‘x’ is getting us close to our company vision.”

One-on-one meetings can very quickly become a waste of time for both the manager and the employee. This survey outlines, from a manager’s perspective, where the challenges lie and shows the commonalities in various different manager’s approach to one-on-ones.

The post Survey: How 200 managers approach one-on-one meetings appeared first on HR Morning.

https://www.hrmorning.com/articles/one-on-one-meetings/

You’d love to have employees working for you who are the type that always want to learn new things and grow, right?

Right.

Engaged
employees spend more of their time working to improve their performance through
training and development.

They are the
type of workers every company wants, and they expect their employers to create
a positive experience for them by matching their ambition with effective
training.

For firms and HR professionals trying to create a positive employee experience, it’s essential that your team of in-house trainers is ready to lead the way.

But who will
train the trainers?

Great managers don’t necessarily make great trainers.

So, if you truly want learning to take place, it’s best to give your manager/trainers the help they need to take training to the next level, so you can create a more positive employee experience.

Here are 10
ways to do that.

1. Provide
the big picture

Make sure you let trainees know right from the start why they’re learning whatever you’re teaching. Giving the big picture reinforces to trainees what needs to be accomplished by the end of the session. Then a trainer should break it down into smaller pieces, all the while referring back to the big picture so people see how it all fits together.

2. Repeat
names

When
training a small group, try to start the session off with a smile and a
personal greeting. Then attempt to use the attendees’ names at least three
times during the training session. It helps them feel like part of the process,
and will motive them to do better and pay attention.

If you tend
to forget people’s names, try associating them with someone famous or someone
you know.

Another
technique for retaining someone’s name is to repeat the person’s name back to
him or her when you first meet or when the person enters the training session,
if you already know them. For example you could say, “Hi, Jeff, it’s nice to
meet you.” Or “Hi, Mark, so glad you could make it.”

3. What’s in it for me?

If you want
adults to retain training material, you must show what’s in it for them.
Reason: Adults best retain information they consider useful. It’s the way we’re
hard-wired. If you fail to show adults how they’re invested in the material,
the cerebellum won’t let the info travel to the cerebrum to be stored. It’s
vital trainers tie the material to their audience.

4. Apply
what was learned

After you
show trainees what’s in it for them, you need to give them an immediate opportunity
to practice what they just learned.

The adage –
use it or lose it – applies very much to adult learners.

Whether it’s
in the form of a training exercise or a game, or letting the trainees demonstrate
something, they will retain it better the sooner they get to use their new skill
or knowledge.

5. Tie it to
experience

Adults are
not a blank slate. Every trainee brings some prior learning to the table, and that’s
especially true of adults.

Adult
learners have a lot of experience and knowledge they bring to a training session.
Whether it’s right or wrong, it will have an impact because it’s in their
brains and influences how they perceive things.

A great way
to get adult learners to retain training material is to tie it to something
they already know. By doing that, the brain doesn’t have to learn something
new. It just applies what it already knows to a new situation, which strengthens
retention and the learning pathways in the brain.

6. Repeat
key concepts

If you want
your audience to remember the key concepts, repeat them. Put them on a slide, a
dry erase board, a handout, etc., and repeat them several times.

Then at the
end of every session, review the key concepts again. Just like children learn
through repetition, so do adults.

7. Be brief

Keep your
instruction/lecturing time brief. Teach in 10- to 20-minute time chunks, then change
to an activity or group discussion. And every time you break from the short lecture
chunks, do a new activity. Even a fun activity becomes repetitive when done in
the same way every time.

8. Be simple

Don’t
overwhelm your audience with everything you know about the topic being covered.
Just give them the absolute-need-to-know information.

One of the
harder things to do as a trainer is break the information down into the
need-to-know information and the nice-to-know-but-not essential information. If
you try to cover too much at one time, your audience won’t retain the
information.

Trainers
need to ask themselves “What do my trainees need to know in order to do their
jobs efficiently and effectively, and keep their jobs?” The answer is what the
actual training session should be built around.

You can supplement the training with the nice-to-know stuff as handouts the trainees can take with them and read on their own time. Another way to think about it: If your training time was cut in half, which concepts would you include, and which would you make a handout?

9. Use honey

It’s not
only children that learn better with encouragement. Adults do, too. That’s why
the best trainers create a positive learning environment and celebrate small
successes, new learned skills and concepts, and deliver feedback in a positive
way.

10. Stay
relaxed

One factor
important to a fun training session is a relaxed, informal environment. If you
can avoid the classroom set-up, then do so. When a trainer stands up front and
everyone faces him or her lined up at desks or in chairs it creates a formal
lecture environment, which is rarely fun.

Get
creative. Set up small tables that you can walk between and interact with your
audience. Or if it’s a small group, having everyone sit around a big table is
better than the classroom set up. You just want trainees to face each other –
not just you – so they can interact easily with each other.

The goal is
to be close enough to engage the audience.

The post Great training is key to creating a positive employee experience appeared first on HR Morning.

http://www.hrmorning.com/articles/positive-employee-experience/

A New Jersey state court of appeals ruled in January that an employer is obligated to pay for medical marijuana when the prescription is treating a job-related injury.

The ruling in Hager v. M&K Construction is the first time a NJ court required an employer to compensate a worker for legal weed used to treat an on-the-job injury.

Quitting opioids

Vincent Hager suffered a severe spinal injury on the job and became addicted to prescribed opioid pain killers he took to address chronic pain.

He was later able to get relief – and stop taking the opioids – when his doctor prescribed medical cannabis as permitted under New Jersey’s Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act (the “MMA”). 

When the employer refused to reimburse any of the cost of the prescription, the worker sued.

A judge of compensation noted that the drug was effective and ruled the state workers’ compensation laws obligated the employer to reimburse the cost of medical cannabis and related expenses.

The company said the judge couldn’t require it to reimburse medical cannabis costs.

In its appeal, M&K argued the state law is preempted by federal drug laws, which criminalize the manufacture, possession or distribution of psychoactive cannabis.

Employer not abetting

The appeals court agreed with the workers’ compensation judge that there was no preemption issue because M&K was not engaged in aiding or abetting any of the prohibited activities by reimbursing Hager.

The appeals court also confirmed the compensation judge’s finding that medical cannabis may be a “reasonable and necessary” form of treatment under New Jersey’s Workers’ Compensation Act, particularly for a worker whose situation is similar to Hager’s.

New Jersey joins New Mexico in holding the CSA does not preempt state medical cannabis laws. The only other state whose courts have weighed in on the question, Maine, holds that the CSA DOES preempt state prescription pot laws.

The post NJ court rules workers’ comp must pay for prescription CBD appeared first on HR Morning.

http://www.hrmorning.com/news/news-legal-pot-meets-workers-comp/

As technology leaders, we have the opportunity and responsibility to ensure that our teams – whether regional or globally based – conduct work with the efficiency and maximize performance, using software and hardware solutions to deliver the best products and services to our clients and customers.

Our mission as technology experts is to review existing systems, analyze new solutions and remove barriers to performance always with an eye on maximizing budget and minimizing disruption.

We are the technology gatekeepers of our businesses, but we also have the responsibility to understand that at the heart of all our technology solutions is the human touch.

We never lose sight of the fact that our most important assets are the people in our ecosystem. Our colleagues, customers and vendor partners are all integral to our success.

In an age where speed is paramount to maximize performance and we have new solutions to integrate on a regular basis, we must keep at the core of whatever we do the understanding that technology enhances our work. But it can never and should never replace our ability to genuinely connect to one another.

Here’s how great technology can foster and help our teams by building human connections and maximizing performance.

Creating a Collaborative Culture

We can always implement technology solutions to power our workforces, remove friction and improve performance, but if a culture is not built on collaboration, then the technology can often serve as a barrier to building bridges within an organization.

At the heart of every company, we want to instill a culture where collaboration is not only useful – it is needed. Whether our colleagues are global, spread across a country or down the hall, we need to share ideas and encourage voices from different perspectives to be heard.

Before implementing a new technology solution, truly take time to understand what your team needs and wants. Consider crowd-sourcing different solutions among teams to garner internal buy-in and ensure that the technology truly fits the need.

Seeing is Understanding

I am excited to work in a company that is dedicated to making people healthier and happier through nutrition and has a global work force reflecting our customer base.

I encourage everyone to put down their phones and whenever possible, walk down the hall to speak with a colleague. While conference calls are great – I encourage our teams to make video conferencing integral to all communication.

With video technology, we not only hear a person’s voice, we can discern so many non-verbal cues. Do the people I am speaking with understand what I am saying? Did I just experience someone’s discomfort with a presentation?

Is someone trying to contribute ideas but keeps getting interrupted? Seeing our colleagues provides so much more insight, a richer conversation and an opportunity to build deeper relationships.

Leading by Example

Having served in a global CIO role for many years, I find it important that executives truly understand what it’s like living in another country and culture, and how culture impacts technology decision and usage.

I have taken teams to China, for example, and given them their cell phones to get around a city, purchase groceries and rent a bike, while communicating via WeChat.

Through these experiences, these leaders begin to truly understand what it is like for colleagues and customers in their country to complete daily tasks. They learn firsthand the technology sophistication and norms of some countries, and the incredible challenges others face.

Nothing can take the place of having key
internal stakeholders experience for themselves what the challenges and
opportunities our global teams face without walking in their shoes.

Recharging People

We spend a lot of time thinking about powering our technology tools. From our servers to our laptops to our devices, energy is key to our efficiency. Just like our digital equipment, people need to take a moment to recharge as well. That means stepping away from your devices and desk, to sit with a colleague and have coffee.

Teams recharge in many ways and taking time out to think, walk, relax – not search and post – provides opportunities to refuel, recharging creative thinking.

As leaders, we have an enormous responsibility to enhance our existing technology tools with innovative solutions. Every day there seems to be an amazing new opportunity to introduce our organizations to technologies that enhance performance and streamline job functions.

While our role is focused on continuously evolving our companies, we also need to be careful not to follow every “shiny object” at the risk of losing the human touch of connecting to people.

So, put down your phones and tablets. Go across the hall and chat with a colleague, make all your calls (when possible video ones) and take time to recharge not only your devices – but yourself as well.

High-though high tech—with the
importance of the human touch– is limitless.

The post The human touch: How great technology helps teams maximize performance appeared first on HR Morning.

http://www.hrmorning.com/articles/maximize-performance/

In any business, time is the most important
resource. Time equals money and wasted time equals wasted money. If you’ve seen
Avengers Endgame, there’s one line in the movie that pretty much sums this up:
No amount of money ever bought a second of time.

An organization where employees don’t track how they’re spending their time at work is,  therefore, an organization that is wasting money, particularly when 89% of workers have admitted to wasting time while they’re on the clock.

However, not all time tracking practices are
created equal. There’s more to time tracking than just the mundane act of
employees clocking in at the beginning of their workday and clocking out at the
end of their shift.

In short, time tracking that delivers real and
positive business results—better productivity, highly engaged employees,
cost-efficient projects, etc.—needs to go beyond mere tracking of work shifts.

What follows is a 7-point checklist to help
steer your workplace time tracking in the right direction. It’s also easy to
remember. Just keep in mind the age-old mantra: T.I.M.E. I.S. GOLD. It’s a
mnemonic which stands for the following checklist:

T ime Categories Identification

I nvestment in Time Tracking Technology

M anagement Support and Adoption

E mployee Appreciation of Time Tracking Benefits

I ssues of Privacy and Transparency Resolution

S mart Goals Setting

GOLD-Standard Evaluation and Evolution

Here’s how it works:

Time Categories
Identification

Bad time tracking practices result in dirty,
unusable data. One of the worst mistakes that you can make is not thinking
about the structure of the reports that you want to get from your time tracking
system.

One way to avoid this is to clearly and
specifically determine time categories. For example, one best practice is to
track activities based on projects. This will allow you to identify both
project efficiencies and inefficiencies. General day-to-day tasks can be
grouped together under an “Administrative” category and skills development
activities can be classified under “Training.”

Whatever you decide, make sure that everyone
is using these time categories consistently. You can achieve this by doing the
following:

  • Having a required field for time category.
  • An employee handbook or manual that clearly defines each category.
  • Face-to-face training on how to use time categories.

Having these time categories will give you
insightful and usable productivity, project management, and time management
reports, enabling you to make smarter business decisions.

Investment in Time
Tracking Technology

In an age when digital transformation is making life easier for businesses, it’s quite strange how several offices are still tracking time using manual and outdated processes such as spreadsheets and punch cards.

These manual processes consume a significant
amount of time, not to mention that they’re highly inaccurate. According to a
whitepaper by Accelo: “[One] reason why timesheets are so painful to use is
that keeping track of time is manual. Since most timesheet applications don’t
allow users to enter time easily as they go, people end up having to use their
own manual way of keeping track of what they’re doing – like a notepad on their
desk, or a text document open in the background on their computer – and they
have to remember to be disciplined about tracking when they start and finish
working on tasks, only to then have to transcribe it all later. Only the most
disciplined of people are able to be relied upon to get this right.”

Enter automated time tracking technology.

While the time tracking technology you choose is not the be-all and end-all, it is a crucial ingredient of every successful time tracking system. It allows you to automate the process and record employee activities with accuracy and convenience. Added features such as payroll integration, PTO monitoring, and project reporting are cherries on top of the cake.

Management Support
and Adoption

A top-down approach is best if you want your
employees to comply with your time tracking policy. This means that your fellow
managers, members of the upper management, and some C-executives should track
their time using the same systems, processes, and applications that your rank
and file employees are using.

Employee
Appreciation of Time Tracking Benefits

“I am so thrilled to track my work hours.” Said
no employee ever, and for several reasons.

Some employees may feel that time monitoring
is a form of micromanagement or an invasion of their workplace privacy. Many
may think that logging their hours could be cumbersome and add to their already
heavy workload. Scepticism toward time tracking is more of a norm than an
exception. This could manifest as low compliance to your time tracking policy
or a high level of resistance to a new time tracking implementation.

Managers and HR leaders can turn these
negative sentiments around by making sure that their team understands the value
and benefits of having time tracking in place.

Here are just some of the benefits you could
highlight:

  • Better project planning by having benchmark data. This prevents scope creep, reduces overtime work, and keeps projects on track, which contributes to overall employee wellness.
  • More accurate payroll for hourly employees, with minimal, if not zero errors on timesheets.
  • More opportunities for remote work with web-based office time clock software.
  • Accurate recording/crediting of accrued paid time-offs.
  • Productivity incentives for deserving employees.

It’s normal for employees to be wary of new
systems, especially if they don’t know what’s in it for them. Explaining the
benefits of time tracking to their overall work performance and experience is
an important ingredient in every successful time tracking initiative.

Issues of Privacy
Resolution

One of the friction points managers and HR leaders observe when implementing time tracking is workplace privacy invasion. You don’t want to create mistrust among your employees by making them feel that Big Brother is watching their every move.

The reality is, almost all forms of employee monitoring is legal as long as they’re done with consent. The operative word above is consent.

According to research by Dtex Systems: “77% of employed Americans would be less concerned with their employer monitoring their digital activity on personal or work-issued devices they use to conduct work, as long as they are transparent about it and let them know up front.”

Avoid being shady, vague, or hazy when
explaining how time tracking works to your employees. Don’t withhold
information and make sure that you’re clear on the following 3 points:

The time tracking technology you’re using and
how it works; especially how it collects and stores data.

What activities you’re going to monitor and on
which devices.

How you’re going to use employee activity data
outside of timekeeping purposes.

Smart Goals Setting
and Monitoring

Just like any aspect of your business
operations, time tracking should be associated with objectives that are
specific, measurable, assignable, relevant, and time-based; commonly known as
S.M.A.R.T. Goals.

Some of the common time tracking goals
include:

  • Productivity improvement
  • Overtime hours and cost reduction
  • Increase billable hours
  • Improve project scheduling and
    forecasting

Having SMART Goals attached to time tracking
enables you to ask the right questions and arrive at the right insights to
improve your staff’s performance.

GOLD-Standard
Evaluation and Evolution

Setting SMART Goals as mentioned above also
allows you to set a benchmark on how time tracking is contributing to your
workplace’s overall productivity, efficiency, and profitability—a gold standard
so-to-speak.

As your business grows and as you implement
changes, you need to constantly evaluate this benchmark so it remains
applicable and ensures that you are aiming for the right targets. You might
need to evolve your processes, systems, and even your technologies from time to
time.

As you can see, even in time tracking the only
constant is change.

It may not be
written in your job description in black and white, but as a manager or HR
leader, you are one of the primary protectors of your organization’s most
precious asset: time. Great managers are effective resource managers and this
includes making sure that in the workplace, every second counts.

The post A 7-point time tracking checklist for managers and HR leaders appeared first on HR Morning.

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With an active flu season well underway and concern growing over the spread of potentially deadly coronavirus infections outside of China, it’s a good time to re-emphasize your contagious disease health response plan with all of your employees.

The Centers for Disease Control has numerous wellness and safety templates and information packets you can customize and distribute to your team. www.flu.gov/plan/workplaceplanning/toolkit.html

But there are also potential legal risks associated with outbreaks like the coronavirus. Check with counsel and your insurance partner to be sure you have covered all your bases, but here are three top-line travel-related considerations:

  1. Sending an employee to a high-risk area during this outbreak creates legal exposure under OSHA’s General Duty Clause.  A travel ban is in effect for the epicenter of this outbreak in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. But cases of the disease are already confirmed well outside of China and history shows that travel bans are ineffective at slowing the spread of easily transmitted viruses. Employers whose business involves travel to China or other areas subject to travel restrictions should explore alternatives for the duration of the threat, such as videoconferencing.
  2. Personal travel gets even more tricky, because it brings in the ADA. Demanding employees restrict private activities, including travel to high-risk areas, out of fear they might later become ill or disabled, might expose you to a disability discrimination claim. Provide all information, share expert recommendations, but avoid banning personal travel outright.
  3. An important caveat: You can require that anyone traveling to those areas or who is otherwise at higher risk of exposure get examined before returning to work. Not everyone infected with the virus will show symptoms but they will still pose a risk of infecting others. ADA’s prohibitions on medical inquiries and required exams stop when an employee might pose a direct health threat to others.

The post Coronavirus: What employers need to know about travel restrictions appeared first on HR Morning.

http://www.hrmorning.com/news/coronavirus-what-employers-need-to-know-about-travel-restrictions/