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Jen Dewar

Employee Experience

Measuring Employee Engagement: 3 Ways to Get Started

Half of employees in the United States are not engaged. That means that half of your workforce may not be “involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their work and workplace.” Disengaged workers are not as productive as their engaged counterparts, and it’s impacting your business’ bottom line.Measuring employee engagement, uncovering your opportunities to improve it, and acting on feedback are crucial in today’s competitive talent landscape. Employees who don’t feel connected to your company can easily find another opportunity. But employees who are willing to go above and beyond can make a stronger impact than several disengaged employees put together. 3 Ways to Start Measuring Employee Engagement: 1. Manager check ins Managers are well suited for measuring employee engagement, because they can get to know each employee individually. They can sense whether an employee is giving it their all, or simply going through the motions to collect a paycheck. Their feedback provides you with qualitative data around your employee engagement rate and how to improve it. Managers should begin regular check ins during the employee onboarding process, and extend them throughout the employee lifecycle. It’s important that they ask their employees how they’re doing, if they’re happy in their role, and if the role is what they expected. Managers should also learn what their employees want from their role and from the company. Put feedback loops in place to ensure this information makes it up to company leadership so you can measure employee engagement and take steps to improve it. Ask managers who their most engaged employees are, and conduct stay interviews with those employees to learn what makes them engaged. Is it employee recognition? Do they have a career roadmap and development plan they’re excited about? Double down in those areas. Then use surveys to measure how those things impact employee engagement for the rest of your workforce. 2. Employee engagement surveys Employee engagement surveys are a great way to gather a lot of quantitative data. Try conducting a company-wide employee engagement survey at least once per year. If you can get strong participation, consider conducting it twice a year—or even quarterly. Increase participation by explaining why you’re conducting the survey, and what you will do with the information collected. Let your team know that you want happy employees who can bring their best selves to work, and that you want to know how you can help them do that. Tell them their feedback will be taken seriously. Share some feedback at an all-hands meeting, along with your plan to address it. Then implement changes. Employees will be happy to continue providing feedback when it’s being used to improve the workplace. As an added bonus, this level of transparency is great for fostering further engagement. Design questions using the “hunt and peck” method with your managers. Discuss what contributes to high employee engagement on their teams. Then use your survey to learn what the rest of the company thinks about those things. For instance, a star performer may be highly engaged because they frequently receive recognition, and are compensated well. Use your survey to ask, “How often do you receive recognition, praise, or rewards for a job well done?” and “Do you feel you’re compensated fairly for the work you do?” An entry-level employee may be highly engaged because they have a great professional development plan, so they can envision their future at the company. Ask, “How satisfied are you with your employee development plan?” and “Can you see yourself working here in 3 years?” Ask questions with multiple-choice answers so it’s easier to measure engagement and progress. You can leave an optional text box below each question to allow employees to explain their answers. 3. Pulse surveys Pulse surveys are usually much shorter than employee engagement surveys, typically between one and 15 questions. This smaller time commitment means they can also be done more frequently, with some companies doing them weekly. Pulse surveys can help you measure your employee engagement levels from week-to-week and month-to-month, between your larger surveys. They can also help you track progress in key focus areas. Let’s say your engagement survey found that employees are largely dissatisfied with their managers. A pulse survey can help you get to the bottom of that dissatisfaction. For instance, you can ask, “Does your manager respect you as a person and as a professional?” and “Does your manager provide you with enough recognition?” If you find that the answer to either of those questions is “no,” look for patterns and take action. Do all of the people answering “no” have the same manager? Are they all from underrepresented groups? Or are they spread throughout the company? Little things like a Praise Wall can go a long way in increasing employee engagement, or a company-wide unconscious bias training may be in order. Final thoughts on measuring employee engagement Companies with high employee engagement have 17 percent higher productivity, 24-59 percent lower turnover, and 21 percent higher profitability. Investing in employee engagement is definitely a worthwhile endeavor. But so many things impact engagement, including managers, peers, recognition, compensation, benefits, and work-life balance. Measuring employee engagement helps you drill down into the areas that need improvement, and helps you track and report on your progress. <a style="text-align: center;" href="/get-demo/">Get Demo</a>

Posted on 
Sep 4, 2019
  by
Jen Dewar
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People Analytics

Making Data-driven Decisions with HR Reporting

People Operations professionals are tasked with many responsibilities. Talent acquisition. Onboarding. Company culture. Diversity and inclusion. Compensation. Benefits. Employee engagement. Performance management. Training and development. Employee retention. Offboarding.HR reporting can help People Ops professionals prioritize which areas need the most attention, and track the progress made on each. This allows them to make more strategic, data-driven People decisions. 9 ways you can use HR reporting to build a more strategic People Ops function1. Turnover rate: Track your turnover rate over time to find patterns, identify potential issues, and plan for backfilling positions. For instance, you may find that your turnover rate increases after each of your quarterly bonus payouts, so perhaps you switch to monthly bonuses to spread out your turnover. Or you may find that a leadership change coincided with above-average turnover, so you know you need a smoother transition for the next leadership change. These insights can help you improve employee retention. 2. 90-day turnover: Keep an eye on your 90-day turnover rate so you know when too many people are leaving before they reach full productivity. A high 90-day turnover can be indicative of issues with your recruitment or onboarding processes. Give candidates a realistic preview of the role and the company during the recruitment process, and allow them to self-select in or out. This can help you hire people who will stay. Then, fully support new hires in their first 90 days and beyond with a comprehensive onboarding process. Help them become fully acclimated to their new role, and assimilated to the company culture, so they feel comfortable during this key transition period. 3. Demographic information: A diverse workforce is often more innovative, ensuring your company’s long-term success. It’s also more inclusive, ensuring your people feel comfortable at work, so they can be productive and engaged. Review workforce demographic information regularly so you can make strategic improvements toward diversity. If you learn that a specific department is largely homogenous, sit down with the manager to discuss areas for improvement. Perhaps you need to source passive candidates, undergo unconscious bias training, or ensure equal pay for equal work. Also look at demographic information by seniority to ensure diversity at every level of the organization. As leadership roles are increasingly more difficult to fill, look within your organization to develop and promote a diverse slate of high-potential employees. 4. Turnover by demographic: Compare your overall turnover rate to your turnover rate by various demographics. If certain groups are higher, you probably have some diversity and inclusion work to do to improve retention. Utilize an employee survey or sit down with an employee resource group to learn where you have opportunities for improvement. For instance, women leaving at higher than average rates could be due to a lack of promotions, poor work-life balance, or lower compensation than their male peers. Pinpoint the causes of turnover by demographic group so you can learn how to retain them. 5. Time off balance: Large amounts of accrued time off can be detrimental to your company. Employees need time off to ensure a good work-life balance and unwind. When they don’t take it, or aren’t permitted to take it, they can easily become burnt out and quit. In addition, many states require employers to pay an employee for unused vacation time, which can become costly. Track your time off balances and encourage your employees to use theirs. If time off balances are unusually high for a specific manager, you may need to have a conversation about the importance of work-life balance for employee productivity, engagement, and retention. 6. Compensation history: Compensation is a top reason for employee turnover. Reviewing employee compensation history regularly can ensure that your company isn’t overlooking anyone for raises—especially your top performers. It can also help you monitor for pay equity over time so you can pinpoint any issues and take action toward inclusive compensation practices. For instance, you may find that your top performers aren’t actually your highest paid employees, because other employees are simply more aggressive about negotiating raises. Compensation history data can help you make needed salary adjustments. 7. Promotion rate and job history: Career progression is another common reason employees quit. Track your promotion rate to ensure that employee development, internal recruitment, and succession planning are being done consistently. Drill down into your top performers’ job history to ensure they’re being promoted as appropriate. Career pathing and development plans should be done early in the employee lifecycle to help employees envision their future at your company. This ensures you can fill your future talent pipeline with strong internal talent to maintain a high promotion rate. 8. Employee anniversaries: Work anniversaries can be a common time for employees to quit, as they feel they’ve put in their time, or as their stocks vest. Keep track of upcoming anniversaries so you can begin discussing promotions, raises, or stock refreshers. Celebrate anniversaries so employees feel appreciated and valued. This can help boost retention and engagement. 9. Employee engagement rate: Engaged employees go above and beyond to meet their goals, making them more productive—and making your company more profitable. Employee engagement surveys can help you measure your engagement rate at a point in time. Consider quick Pulse surveys weekly or monthly, as well as longer semi-annual or annual engagement surveys to check engagement levels throughout the year. Track your engagement rate over time to identify and address issues. For instance, a low engagement rate around the time you conduct annual performance reviews could indicate a new process is needed. This is fairly common, and many companies are doing away with the annual review in favor of continuous performance management.Final thoughts on HR reporting In today’s competitive talent landscape, People Ops teams need to be more strategic in order to attract, engage, and retain employees. HR reporting helps People Ops professionals make data-driven decisions so they can focus resources where they will make the biggest impact. This can help you build the workforce your company needs to stay innovative and relevant. <a style="text-align: center;" href="/get-demo/">Get Demo</a>

Posted on 
Aug 26, 2019
  by
Jen Dewar
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Onboarding

A New Hire Checklist to Ace your Onboarding Process

Great employee onboarding can improve new hire retention by 82 percent and productivity by over 70 percent. But a great process involves many steps, delegated across several functions. A new hire checklist can help you keep track of each task, its assignee, and its status, so you can ensure each new hire has the same, great early employee experience.Preboarding Employee preboarding is the time between offer acceptance and your new hire’s first day. Eleven percent of people have changed their minds on an offer after signing, so it’s important not to neglect your new hire during this time. There are many things you can do to help them feel welcome and engage them:Send a welcome email once the offer letter has been signed. Tell them how excited you are to have them join the company and invite them to reach out with any questions. Share key details about their first day or week, including the start date and time, their itinerary, the company dress code, and anything else they should know. Assign the new hire a buddy, and introduce them. Invite your new hire to reach out to their buddy for questions, in addition to their manager. Invite your new hire to complete a questionnaire to learn things like their nickname, t-shirt size, equipment preferences, and favorite snack foods. You may also ask some questions to get to know them better, and share fun tidbits in a weekly new hire announcement or during your next all-hands meeting. Encourage employees to reach out to new hires via email, Slack, or LinkedIn to say hello and welcome. Send paperwork to be completed, including W-4, I-9, benefits enrollment, direct deposit, and background checks. Identify the new hire’s equipment needs and order items you don’t have on hand. Provision accounts, including email, company-wide accounts, and department-specific accounts. Schedule one-on-one meetings with their manager, colleagues, and HR on their calendar. Schedule training and development sessions in their calendar. Set up office access, including badges, keys, and parking passes. Prepare the new hire’s desk with equipment and company swag. Send an inclusion email with upcoming team activities they can participate in. Send the manager a reminder email the day before their new employee begins work so they’re prepared.First day With preboarding completed, the first day can be filled with celebration, introductions, and early learning. Your goals for the day are to leave a lasting positive impression:Allow your new employee a later start time, so they can enjoy an easy morning and their manager can prepare for their arrival. Ensure someone, ideally their manager, meets them at the door in the morning. Take an office tour so your new hire knows where to find things like the restroom, kitchen, other departments, printers, office supplies, and anything else they may need. Facilitate team introductions, perhaps over a light breakfast or during a team lunch outing. Introduce your new hire to their buddy, and request that they schedule weekly meetings for the first month, and one or two monthly meetings thereafter. These should ideally extend six months into your new hire’s employment. Discuss your new hire’s job responsibilities and goals during their first manager one-one-one. Host a new hire orientation to cover some basic, but necessary, information about working at your company.First week Extend your warm welcome throughout your new hire’s first week, and set them up for success in their role:Begin role-specific training and onboarding. Continue with team introductions, including cross-functional teams. Try to work in a new hire breakfast or lunch with your CEO or leadership team. This can show your organization’s dedication to transparency and communication. Plan an end of week team building event, like a Happy Hour or Paint Night. Check in with the new hire’s buddy to make sure they’ve had an opportunity to get together in the past week, and will again in the week to come. Host an HR sync to ask the new hire how things went during their first week, and to collect some early feedback on your onboarding program. Wrap up the week with a manager sync to provide early employee recognition and feedback.First month Continue to support your new hire as they ramp to full productivity:Introduce all of your new hires at all-hands meeting, with information from their new hire survey, so you can continue building strong relationships between employees. Maintain a people directory and org chart so employees can continue getting to know one another, and can easily find people in the organization. Continue buddy meetings once per week. Give regular shout outs to employees who have embodied company values, to recognize a job well done, and to reinforce values to the entire company. Continue regular manager check ins. Review your new hire’s first projects and their progress toward goals. Discuss opportunities for improvement, and create an employee development plan with resources for continued education. Assign a mentor.90 days and beyond Thirty percent of job seekers have left a job within 90 days of starting, so it’s important not to drop the ball on onboarding too soon:Start tapering off training sessions. Hold a 90-day performance review. Continue weekly manager check ins around progress toward goals, opportunities for development, and employee recognition. Continue buddy meetings once or twice a month. Ask the new hire to complete your onboarding survey. Ask your new hire to write a Glassdoor review for your company.Final thoughts on building your new hire checklist A strong employee onboarding process has many steps that need to be delegated between HR, IT, the new hire’s manager, and the new hire’s buddy. Utilizing a new hire checklist can ensure that each step is assigned and completed, so your new hire has a great employee experience from the beginning. If you only make a few hires each month, a Google spreadsheet or project management software may suffice. But as your company scales, employee onboarding software can help you better manage this process. With so many moving parts, you want to be sure each step is being delegated and completed in a timely manner. <a style="text-align: center;" href="/get-demo/">Get Demo</a>

Posted on 
Aug 21, 2019
  by
Jen Dewar
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Employee Experience

Closing the Loop with Employee Offboarding

All of your employees will leave eventually, perhaps due to voluntary turnover, retirement, or an involuntary termination. But their employee lifecycle doesn’t end there. Your former employees have the power to influence your employer and corporate brands, impacting candidate and buyer decisions. Former employees could even become boomerang employees, bringing new skills back to your company in the future. Maximize your employee lifetime value with an employee offboarding process that leaves a positive, lasting impression during this transition.Employee offboarding best practices/checklistHost a one-on-one conversation: The employee’s manager or an HR representative should acknowledge a voluntary resignation, or deliver a termination notice, one-on-one. First, thank the employee for their service. Second, discuss the reasons for the employee’s departure. In the event of voluntary turnover, try to find out why the employee is leaving and if there’s anything you can do to convince them to stay. A counter-offer, promotion, or manager change could help you retain great talent. Employees being involuntarily terminated can leave on good terms, too. Employees with performance issues should be well aware of their deficiencies from regular manager check ins. Use this opportunity to offer some praise and well wishes for their future. Layoffs should be delivered gently, with plenty of praise, an offer of recommendation, and perhaps a severance package. Document turnover details: Document details about the employee departure in your People Operations platform. This should include their full name, termination type (voluntary, involuntary, or other), whether they’re eligible for rehire (yes, no, upon review), and date of termination. Share next steps: Communicate next steps if your efforts to retain your employee fail. Confirm the employee’s last day, what to do with equipment, and offer a glimpse of what their final time may look like. Wrap up projects: The manager and departing employee should schedule a one-on-one to review current projects, so the manager can decide whether to table them or delegate them. Re-assign direct reports: If a manager is being offboarded, reassign their direct reports to a new manager and facilitate introductions. Complete paperwork: Complete any needed paperwork, such as a severance package and written termination letter, if needed. Update contact information: Make sure you have the most up-to-date contact information for each of your departing employees. At the very least, you will need to send to employment documents at the end of the year. You may also want to keep in touch with your former employees for future job opportunities. Send an exit survey: Ask your departing employee to complete an exit survey before they leave. There may be many things factoring into their resignation, so ask pointed questions. For instance: How was your relationship with your manager? Do you feel you were compensated fairly? Were you satisfied with our employee benefits? Also include open-ended questions to dig in deeper, such as: What other benefits could we have offered? What is the single biggest area we have for improvement? Look for themes in your feedback so you can make strategic improvements and retain more talent in the future. Send a farewell gift or host an event: Host a farewell event, like a team lunch, happy hour, or even a bagel breakfast. A personal letter or small gift from the leadership team are extra touches that can go a long way in leaving a strong impression. Keep in touch: Invite departing employees to join your company alumni program, even if it’s just a quarterly email or an informal LinkedIn or Facebook group. Keep in touch with company news and job opportunities. Some companies even host annual alumni networking events to get everyone together in person. Request a Glassdoor review: Ask your departing employee to leave a Glassdoor review when they’re leaving on good terms. This can be a fantastic opportunity to build your employer brand and attract more great talent to your company. Discuss final pay: Get together with your departing employee to discuss final pay and benefits information. Request that they complete their final expense report. Block office access: Collect items related to office access, including badges, keys, and parking passes on the employees last day. De-provision accounts: Deprovision all accounts, including email, company-wide accounts, and department-specific accounts once the employee has departed. Change passwords to any shared accounts.Final thoughts on employee offboarding Employee turnover can be inconvenient and expensive, but it can also be a great way to infuse your company with new talent and fresh ideas. Further, your former employees get to have new experiences and learn new skills—which they could very well bring back to your company at some point in the future. A structured, positive employee offboarding process can help you wrap up an equally positive employee experience and ensure a smooth transition for all parties. <a style="text-align: center;" href="/get-demo/">Get Demo</a>

Posted on 
Aug 19, 2019
  by
Jen Dewar
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Employee Experience

How to Build a Solid Company Culture in 3 Steps

Company culture is a key part of the employee experience. It influences the work environment and team dynamics, impacting how your employees feel about working at your company. There isn’t necessarily a right or wrong way to build your company culture, as different types of people thrive in different types of cultures. One person may prefer a very detail-oriented company that carefully executes projects. Another person may prefer a fast-paced company with some room for experimentation and possible failure. The important thing is that you define your culture so you can attract, engage, and retain the right talent.Step 1: Be intentional about your company culture It would be a mistake to let your company culture develop organically, as it may not align with your mission and vision. Think about the kind of company you want to build, and identify your core values. Those will be the backbone of your company culture. Use them to drive business decisions, hiring decisions, and your employee experience. For example, Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. Their core values — be bold, focus on impact, move fast, be open, and build social value — guide them toward achieving that mission. With the second value, focus on impact, employees are encouraged to spend time on the projects and tasks that will solve the most important problems. The third value, move fast, encourages employees to solve those problems quickly and without fear of making mistakes so they can move on to the next important problem. Make your company’s core values uniquely your own and integrate them into your employee experience. This will allow you to build a company culture that helps you attract, engage, and retain the talent you need to accomplish your mission. Step 2: Let your company culture and values be known Share your company culture and values with both your employees and the outside world. Review them during your employee onboarding process. Post them on your office walls. Discuss them during all-hands meetings. Publicly recognize employees who exemplify your values so others might emulate their behavior. Discuss how employees live up to them during manager check ins and performance reviews to reinforce desired behaviors. The more you discuss your culture and values at your company, the more ingrained they become in employees’ minds. Many candidates, customers, partners, and investors are interested in learning about your company culture and values as well. Promote them on your website, career site, blog, Glassdoor page, and social media profiles. Talk about them throughout your interview process. Work them into customer and investor presentations. Promote them through media opportunities and speaking engagements. This can help you get the word out so you can attract culture-fit candidates, who are more likely to live your values and stay at your company long-term. Many customers, partners, and investors will also be interested in doing business with a company that has shared values. Step 3: Hire the right people Your company culture and values can only live on if your employees allow it. Let’s say, for instance, your company values attention to detail. If you hire former Facebook employees who prefer to move fast, regardless of the consequences, your company culture could change. This could be extremely problematic in a medical device company that requires attention to detail to ensure customer safety. Most culture changes aren’t quite so dire, but they could still be problematic if they interfere with your company’s mission. Your interview process should focus on culture-fit just as much as skill-fit to ensure that you hire the right people for your company. Behavioral-based interviewing can be useful in sussing out the qualities you most want to see in an employee. For instance, a company that values attention to detail might ask the candidate to tell them about a time they noticed a mistake in their work, how they found it, and how they addressed it. This can give you an idea of how the candidate would pay attention to details at your company. Final thoughts on building your company culture Your company culture is an important part of your employee experience. Be intentional about building your culture so you can use it to attract, engage, and retain the right talent to accomplish your company mission. Then keep your culture on track by promoting it externally, reinforcing it internally, and hiring the right people. <a style="text-align: center;" href="/get-demo/">Get Demo</a>

Posted on 
Aug 14, 2019
  by
Jen Dewar
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Onboarding

Building a Strong Experience throughout the Employee Lifecycle

The employee lifecycle doesn’t begin on an employee’s first day, nor does it end on their last day. It begins when your employee first learns about your company, and ends long after they retire.The modern employee holds many positions at many companies throughout their career. Providing them with a strong experience throughout the employee lifecycle is crucial for attracting, retaining—and even rehiring—them. It’s also quite important for earning the employee’s recommendation, so you can more easily attract new talent. Each stage of the employee lifecycle is an opportunity to gain the competitive edge in our competitive talent landscape and maximize your employee lifetime value. Pre-candidate The employee lifecycle begins when someone first has contact with your company. Not every potential job candidate will become an employee, but every employee has been a pre-candidate. So think about your employee lifecycle beginning before a candidate applies for a role within your organization. What is your company culture, and what are your company values? Why would somebody want to work at your company? What can candidates expect from your company, if hired? In short, what is the employer brand you want to craft? A company with a great pre-candidate experience shares this information across owned channels, like your career site and social media channels. It also moderates this information across sites like Glassdoor. Talented professionals want to be able to make informed decisions about where they work—and they don’t want to experience any negative surprises after accepting an offer. Sharing your authentic employer brand during the pre-candidate employee lifecycle stage can help you attract the right talent (and, later, retain them). So be clear on who you’re looking for, and why they might like to work at your company. Candidate When someone likes what they see during the pre-candidate experience, they will take the leap to officially become a candidate. This could mean they apply, or simply reply to your outbound sourcing message. It’s important to follow through on your employer brand promises, so candidates know you’ve been authentic and can be sure of what to expect if they accept an offer. Your candidate experience is indicative of the employee experience. Much can be said about providing a good candidate experience, but it boils down to a few key elements. Communicate clearly and often—and get back to people when you say you will. Treat people like you’d like to be treated, from the application process through to your interviews and offer stage. Then continually collect feedback and innovate to create a standout candidate experience. The little things, like remembering their beverage preference or writing a welcome message to them on the conference room white board, can make a big impact. Even if the candidate doesn’t receive or accept an offer, they can still impact your employer brand through company reviews—and they may be a good candidate for a future role. Carry through with a great candidate experience for everyone—whether you plan to hire them or not. New Hire (pre-start) The transitional period between when a candidate accepts your offer, and when they actually show up for their first day of work, is a critical juncture. Eleven percent of candidates have changed their minds on an offer after signing. You can mitigate this risk by bridging the gap between the candidate and employee experience. Send a welcome note to let your new hire know how excited you are to have them on your team. Begin introducing them to key employees, like their team, their buddy, and the leadership team. Give them some information about your company, including your mission, vision, values, and history. Send a pre-start email so they know what to expect during their first day or week, what time to arrive, what to wear, where to park, and how to get into the building. This is also a good time to send a new hire questionnaire to get to know them better, or ask their equipment preferences. Remember to work behind the scenes to ensure a great early employee onboarding experience. Early employee The first 90 days are critical, as they set the tone for the rest of your new hire’s employment. Craft a memorable first day, and keep it going throughout the early employee experience. Take care of the basics, like setting the new employee up with a desk, email address, and key software access before they arrive. Help them feel welcome by facilitating introductions, planning lunches or coffee dates with key employees and executives, and announcing them at all-hands meetings. Guide them as they ramp to a fully productive employee. Set short-term goals for the position, and learn about your employee’s long-term career goals. Set a career path and create a development plan to help your employee get there. Succession planning can be a win-win, as the employee can reach their career goals, and you’ll have access to a strong internal candidate pool in a competitive talent market. Tenured employee Your tenured employees are often your most valuable, as they’re fully productive. The simplest thing you can do throughout this employee lifecycle stage is to offer recognition—yet it’s so rarely done. Most people report an average of 50 days since they last felt recognized at work, and only 45 percent are completely satisfied with the amount of recognition they receive. Further, employees who don’t feel adequately recognized are twice as likely to say they’ll quit in the next year. A simple solution is to create a culture of recognition in which every employee is responsible for, and encouraged to, lift up their fellow colleagues with praise. Create a physical space for employees to give shout-outs, and set aside time for them during team meetings. Make sure everyone, from the CEO down to the interns, participate. Promotions are also a great way to recognize your top performers, while proving that your career pathing exercise provides a real opportunity. Just be sure to follow up with new goals and a new development plan as each employee is promoted. Alumni Your employees are bound to leave your company at some point—it’s just a fact of life. Your sendoff can impact your company for years to come. Wish your departing employee well and treat them with respect in their final days at your company. Ask them to complete an exit survey so you may learn your company’s greatest strengths and opportunities for improvement as an employer. You may even ask them to write or update a Glassdoor review to help pre-candidates learn what it’s like to work at your company. Take note in your People Operations Platform if you’d hire them again, and tell them if you would. Keep in touch with company news and open opportunities, and ask them to refer candidates if they’re not interested themselves. Your company alumni can be a great source of future hires, both in the form of boomerang hires and referrals. Final thoughts on maximizing your employee lifecycle The way you treat people throughout the employee lifecycle affects your ability to recruit, engage, and retain talent long-term. An employee’s experience with your company begins with their very first interaction and should extend far beyond their last day. Look at your employee’s entire journey to identify opportunities for improvement, and continually make changes to create the best possible experience. <a style="text-align: center;" href="/get-demo/">Get Demo</a>

Posted on 
Aug 5, 2019
  by
Jen Dewar
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Culture & Engagement

Succession Planning for Employee Engagement and Retention

Career development is often cited as a top reason for employee turnover. When organizations don’t provide employees with opportunities for growth, employees seek it out elsewhere.Progressive organizations invest in employees’ professional growth through succession planning to engage and retain the talent they’ve worked so hard to recruit. When employees can envision a promising future at your organization, they are more likely to go above and beyond to excel in their roles. They’re also more likely to stay at your organization in order to achieve desired career goals. Succession planning is arguably just as important for the future of your company as it is for employee engagement and retention. Today’s competitive talent landscape means you can’t always hire the people your business needs to succeed. The demand for skilled talent and seasoned leaders often exceeds the supply. Developing talent internally helps you build a strong internal candidate pool with the skill- and culture-fit you need for your most mission-critical positions. Begin with career pathing early in the employee lifecycle Succession planning often begins with career pathing, to align the employee’s interests and career goals with the organization’s future needs. The intersection of these two areas is critical for ensuring long-term success. If the organization never has a need for the type of role an employee is interested in, the employee will likely leave to find it elsewhere. Conversely, if employees don’t have any interest in moving into your critical roles, engagement and retention will suffer. It’s so important to be in-tune with company leadership so you understand the types of roles the organization will need to fill in the future. This is a strong opportunity to be a strategic advisor, and provide guidance on whether the skills needed can be bought, or if they will need to be developed. Either way, career pathing and succession planning should be done to engage and retain existing employees. Understanding the state of the external candidate pool, however, can impact the resources you put into developing your internal candidate pool. Meet with employees early in their lifecycle to learn about their career interests and goals, and discuss potential career paths within your organization. Ideally, this is part of your employee onboarding plan, so it allows for development to begin shortly thereafter. Employee development Enable your employees to fulfill their career paths by offering opportunities for development. This may include a budget for educational courses and certifications, conferences, tuition reimbursement, coaching services, or online learning subscriptions. Organizations may also offer formal mentoring, job shadowing, stretch assignments and special projects to expand their employees’ work experience. These opportunities will help employees develop the skills and experience they need to move into your critical roles. Your employees will appreciate you investing in their futures, boosting engagement and retention levels as a result. Employee development helps you develop a stronger workforce that can perform better in their current roles, maximizing your employee lifetime value. Some development opportunities, including stretch assignments, may even provide you with a glimpse of how each employee would perform in more skilled, or more senior roles. Internal recruitment With strong internal talent ready-to-go you should see your promotion rate increase and, along with it, your employee engagement and retention rates. A promotion is a great way to reward employees for great work, and it will encourage each promoted employee to continue working hard to produce strong business outcomes. Align with your recruiting team to ensure internal candidates are always considered for open roles. While external candidates can bring a fresh perspective, internal candidates are already vetted for culture-fit and you have a strong understanding of their current skills and ability to learn new ones. A mix of internal and external candidates for each role can ensure a strong talent pool that may help improve your quality of hire and time to hire. Internal promotions send the signal to your workforce that career progression within the organization is possible, encouraging others to stay on board. Just be sure to re-evaluate each promoted employee’s career path and development plan often so they can continue to visualize their career progression within your organization. Final thoughts Through career pathing, employee development, and internal recruiting, your organization can both engage and retain talent. Employees will appreciate an organization that invests in their future, and will be more likely to stay long-term and go above and beyond to meet business goals. Organizations will also benefit greatly from a highly trained and skilled workforce that can easily fill an internal candidate pool with high-quality talent. <a style="text-align: center;" href="/get-demo/">Get Demo</a>

Posted on 
Jul 30, 2019
  by
Jen Dewar
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Onboarding

Employee Onboarding Best Practices to “Wow” Your New Employees

In today’s competitive talent landscape, companies need to go above and beyond to create an employee experience that can attract, engage, and retain talent. Strong employee onboarding is a crucial part of that experience.There are many benefits of onboarding employees the right way, from increased productivity and retention to easier talent attraction and a stronger company culture. Take your early employee experience to the next level with these employee onboarding best practices. Set the tone with a welcome email Eleven percent of people have changed their minds on an offer after signing. A well-timed welcome email can reinforce your new hire’s decision to join your company, and help them feel comfortable reaching out with any questions. Let them know how excited you are that they’ve decided to join your company, and remind them of the impact they’ll make. You should also outline next steps, such as preboarding or a pre-start email with first day information, so they’re not left wondering when they’ll hear from you again. Bridge the gap with employee preboarding Begin acclimating new hires to their new team and company right away, rather than waiting until their first day. Make virtual introductions in a way that makes the most sense at your company. That could include introducing your new hire via a Slack channel, sending a company-wide introduction email, and sharing your internal org chart and people directory. Pair this with information about your company, such as your mission, vision, values, and culture, so new hires can learn important background information. Employee preboarding is also a good opportunity to get new hire paperwork out of the way, so each employee’s first day can be filled with in-person introductions, early learning, and celebration. Send a pre-start email Send an email to your new employee prior to their first day so they have all the details they need to ensure it goes smoothly. Offer a later start time, details on where to park and how to get into the building, and some information on your dress code. Also share their itinerary for the first day, or even the first week, so they know what to expect. Be prepared for your employee’s first day There’s a lot of behind-the-scenes preparation before an employee’s first day, and getting it right is an important step toward creating a positive early employee experience. Make sure they have a desk, as well as the equipment and software they need to do their job. Decorate their desk with a big “welcome” sign, so the rest of your team knows to stop by and say hi. Provision account access for critical systems, like email, Okta, Slack, or anything else your employee will be using daily. Finally, put a reminder with the employee’s start time on their manager’s calendar, so the two can sync once the new employee arrives. Assign a buddy Pair your new employee with a more seasoned employee who can help them fully acclimate and assimilate. A buddy is great for all the things a new employee may want to know, but doesn’t want to bother their manager to ask. For instance, how to navigate the communal fridge, which nearby bar has the best happy hour, or the process for ordering a laptop mouse. A formal buddy program may last for several months, until your new employee feels comfortable at your company. Meetings may start out weekly, and gradually spread out to once or twice a month. Schedule regular manager check ins Regular manager check ins are important to ensure the lines of communication are open, so both the employee and their manager are clear on expectations and progress. Aim for check ins on days 1, 7, 14, 30, 60, and 90—at a minimum. The employee and their manager should set goals and a development plan early, and discuss progress, challenges, and additional development opportunities often. This is also a fantastic opportunity for early employee recognition, which can boost engagement and reduce your 90-day turnover rate. Build onboarding programs for different types of new hires The beauty of a standardized employee onboarding program is that you can create the same red carpet experience for all employees, regardless of their role or location. However, you may need to make small changes for different types of employees. This may include programs for:Different offices: If your company has several locations, you may have a slightly different employee onboarding process at each. For instance, your headquarters may hire enough people to hold a live, weekly new hire orientation with company leadership, while satellite offices may use video instead. Remote hires: Similarly, remote hires will have a different onboarding process to meet their needs. This may include sending equipment to them, or facilitating virtual introductions with the rest of their team. Specific roles: It’s common to include department-specific training during the onboarding process. Many companies take this a step further by including intensive training for specific, high volume roles, such as customer service or sales. Internal hires: Cross-boarding promoted employees is just as important as onboarding new hires, although they can manage with a pared-down process. You can probably cut out the company information, but keep things like team introductions, social and cultural acclimation, and new goals and development plans.Final thoughts on employee onboarding best practices These employee onboarding best practices have worked well for Sapling’s customers, but may not necessarily be useful or necessary for every company. They’re also not inclusive of everything you could be doing to provide a stand out new employee experience. Collect feedback to continually improve the employee onboarding experience at your company. Learn which aspects stand out the most, and where you can improve in the future. At the end of the day, your onboarding program should be unique to your company to really “wow” your new employees. <a style="text-align: center;" href="/get-demo/">Get Demo</a>

Posted on 
Jul 29, 2019
  by
Jen Dewar
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Onboarding

Building Scalable—Yet Delightful—Onboarding and Offboarding Programs

Fifty eight percent of organizations say their onboarding program is focused on processes and paperwork, and most organizations don’t give much thought to offboarding employees. The truth is, it’s more work to create delightful onboarding and offboarding programs.But the extra effort can make a big difference. Strong employee onboarding is known to increase productivity, retention, and proficiency. Closing the loop with delightful employee offboarding can preserve your employer brand, generate candidate referrals, and help your departing employee consider your organization for future opportunities. While delightful, yet complex, onboarding and offboarding programs can become increasingly challenging to manage as you grow, you don’t have to sacrifice a standout experience to make it work. Standardize your employee onboarding and offboarding process There’s no need to reinvent the wheel every time you make a hire. Create a standardized employee onboarding and offboarding process that you can use for each new employee. It’s ok to start with a simple process and add steps as you gather feedback from new hires, managers, buddies, and departing employees. The most delightful programs go beyond compliance to make each employee feel special, no matter their lifecycle stage, which calls for a more complex process. For instance, new hires should receive a warm welcome, early team introductions, and regular manager check ins. Departing employees should be thanked for their service, asked for feedback, and invited to keep in touch with the organization. As you consider how each element can improve your employee experience, add it to your process. [Learn how employee onboarding software can help you manage all of this!] You may find that you need to modify your process for a different office, department, job level, or for remote workers. It’s worth saving that process as a new template for future use if those changes are significant. Companies may start off using a spreadsheet or project management software to build their onboarding and offboarding checklists. These work well for a couple hires each month, but organizations quickly learn that they can benefit from a dedicated employee onboarding solution as they scale. Use email templates throughout your onboarding and offboarding process Again, don’t reinvent the wheel for onboarding and offboarding communications that could easily be accomplished via repeatable templates. Create the message once, and save it for future use. For instance, a request to complete employee preboarding, a pre-start email with the first week’s schedule, or an invitation to complete an exit survey. Each of these communications should be carefully worded, and sent in a timely manner to make a positive impact on your new hire or departing employee. You can get scrappy by saving your templates in a Word document or utilizing Gmail’s Canned Responses feature—but even using those can be tedious if you’re scaling. A good employee onboarding solution should have this feature to help you effectively communicate with new hires and departing employees, while saving you time. Automate what you can Adding extra steps to your onboarding and offboarding programs can create a better employee experience, but may also require more of your time. Automate what you can so you can spend your time where it’s needed. An onboarding solution that integrates with your ATS can send candidate data directly into your HRIS to get the process rolling without manual data entry. A good solution can also create rules that delegate key tasks and send reminders when tasks haven’t been completed in a timely fashion. It can even provision and deprovision employee accounts for important business solutions like G-Suite, Slack, and Okta. In order to create a great employee experience, you don’t want to overlook these important steps. Final thoughts on building scalable, delightful programs Standardized onboarding and offboarding programs that utilize templates and automation can free up your time to spend on more important things. Use this extra time to build a more strategic People Ops function, or to improve your onboarding and offboarding processes for better outcomes. Welcome each new hire on their first day, reinforcing their decision to join your organization. Send each departing employee off with a strong last impression of your organization so they speak highly of your company and consider returning in the future. When you leave the more administrative functions to be handled by technology, you can focus on creating a strong employee lifecycle experience. <a style="text-align: center;" href="/get-demo/">Get Demo</a>

Posted on 
Jul 25, 2019
  by
Jen Dewar
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Employee Experience

How to Improve your Employee Experience: 6 Quick Wins

Employee experience is top of mind at many organizations this year. In fact, a Deloitte study found that 84 percent rate this issue important, and 28 percent identify it as one of the three most urgent issues facing their organization in 2019. Despite this desire to improve the employee experience, only 9 percent believe they were ready to tackle it—which is no surprise. A strong employee experience strategy is quite involved, as it involves optimizing for every stage of the employee lifecycle, from hire to retire. But that doesn’t have to stop you from making incremental changes while you work out a comprehensive strategy. If you want to know how to improve your employee experience with some quick wins, look no further.1. Assign a new hire buddy Start the employee experience off on the right foot by assigning each new hire a buddy to help them acclimate and assimilate to your organization. A buddy is helpful for answering non-mission critical questions, such as where to get the best coffee, or what is appropriate to wear on casual Friday. You can simply ask employees to volunteer out of the kindness of their hearts, or you can sweeten the deal by offering a budget to take their buddy out for coffee or lunch. Eighty seven percent of organizations that assign a buddy say that it's an effective way to speed up new hire proficiency, making this an easy win to boost the employee onboarding process. 2. Celebrate employee anniversaries and birthdays Sometimes, it’s the little things that stand out and contribute to a positive employee experience—like remembering an employee work anniversary or birthday. This can be a simple gesture, like a Slack message, card, or banner to decorate the employee’s desk for the day. Or you could plan a team celebration over lunch or happy hour. As your team grows, it might make more sense to plan a monthly group celebration for everyone with an anniversary or birthday. If you do, try to combine this with a smaller gesture to help each employee feel special. 3. Provide continuous feedback Nobody likes waiting until an annual review to learn whether their manager is satisfied with their performance. Continuous feedback is important so employees feel adequately recognized for their contributions, and are given the opportunity to improve as needed. As it stands, only 45 percent of employees are completely satisfied with the amount of recognition they receive. Furthermore, employees who don’t feel adequately recognized are twice as likely to say they’ll quit in the next year. Employee recognition is so simple, it’s an easy win to improve your employee experience. Incorporate recognition into your company-wide and team meetings, and display it publicly via a physical or digital praise wall. Constructive feedback is also useful for helping employees understand their areas for improvement—but this is best paired with an employee development plan. Giving people the opportunity—and the means—to improve can go a long way in improving the employee experience. 4. Solicit and implement employee feedback Employees want to feel heard, but soliciting their feedback is only half of the solution—you also need to act on it. Use regular employee surveys, from engagement and Pulse surveys to stay interviews and exit interviews, to collect employee feedback. Tie in anonymous feedback from sites like Glassdoor as well, to get a better view of how employees perceive your company. Then make a plan to implement changes. You may find some low-hanging fruit to go after right away, while also earmarking some more strategic initiatives to consider long-term. 5. Offer promotions to deserving employees Your employees want to know they have a future at your organization—or they will go elsewhere to meet their career goals. Show them there are opportunities for advancement by promoting talent where appropriate. Initially, this could mean you source internal candidates for every open position, or more clearly communicate open roles with employees so they can easily apply. However, this is an area where it can pay to go beyond a quick win. You should also consider creating career maps and development plans for all employees to provide a roadmap for them to earn promotions. 6. Maintain your relationship with company alumni A positive employee experience should extend well beyond the years someone works at your organization. The truth is, you need your company alumni to recommend your opportunities within their networks via referrals, and across online channels like Glassdoor. You also want to keep the door open for them to return at a later date as a “boomerang employee.” Keep your employee offboarding experience cordial, so all company alumni feel respected and supported during their transition. Take note of which employees you’d rehire at a later date, and keep in touch over the years with company news and open opportunities. Your company alumni can be a powerful resource if you maintain a positive relationship with them. Final thoughts on how to improve your employee experience While a comprehensive employee experience strategy is a worthwhile endeavor, don’t let it intimidate you or stop you from making some quick changes now. You will surely find that optimizing for a great employee experience is an ongoing effort—and one that pays off. In fact, organizations among the top quartile of employee experience see twice the innovation, double the customer satisfaction, and 25 percent greater profitability than those among the bottom quartile. Employee experience is an important area to invest in, and there’s no better time than now to get started with some quick wins. <a style="text-align: center;" href="/get-demo/">Get Demo</a>

Posted on 
Jul 10, 2019
  by
Jen Dewar
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Onboarding

6 Benefits of Onboarding Employees the Right Way

Employee onboarding at the majority of organizations focuses on completing new hire paperwork and explaining processes. It’s administrative, serving the needs of the employer and ensuring compliance. But this is a mistake. Doing too little during this crucial transition period can lead to higher turnover, lower engagement, and poor productivity, among other things.On the other hand, innovative organizations are finding many benefits of onboarding employees more strategically, including: 1. Stronger employee experience Job openings are at an all-time high, and your employees have no shortage of opportunities available to them. If they don’t enjoy the employee experience at your organization, they can easily find another opportunity that better suits them. A great onboarding process sets the tone for the entire employee experience. Focusing on things like company culture, employee development, and frequent check-ins show new hires that you care about their experience at your company. Extending these focus areas beyond your onboarding period then continues that strong employee experience, from hire to retire. 2. Higher employee engagement Engaged employees go above and beyond in their work, leading to things like higher productivity and profitability, and lower absenteeism and turnover. The problem is, only 33 percent of employees are engaged. Onboarding the right way can help employees feel more connected to your organization, and it’s mission, vision, and values. Set your new hires up with a buddy, and help them learn about the company in an interesting way—perhaps over breakfast with the CEO. Provide early recognition for a job well done, and gather and implement employee feedback. Including these activities in your employee onboarding program can help you build employee engagement from day one. 3. Better employee retention Employee retention is top of mind for many organizations this year, and for good reason. Employee turnover is expensive once you factor in things like the cost to backfill the position and the cost of vacancy. While some turnover is always expected, you still want to maximize your employee lifetime value. Replacing a new hire within 90 days is more wasteful than replacing a more tenured employee who has provided your organization with years of productivity. Organizations with a strong onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82 percent. This should begin with employee preboarding the moment an offer letter is signed, as 11 percent of candidates have changed their minds on an offer after signing. Extend a warm welcome to build off the excitement of your recruitment process and offer, and provide a smooth transition from candidate to a new hire. Get the paperwork out of the way so your employee’s first day can be filled with celebration, introductions, and early learning. Then continue your onboarding process for at least 90 days to ensure new hires properly acclimate and assimilate to their new roles—and stay long-term. 4. Easier talent attraction Twenty percent of new hires are unlikely to recommend an employer to a friend of a family member after their new hire onboarding experience. This is problematic, as dissatisfied employees can make their opinions publicly known, and tarnish your employer brand in the process, on review sites like Glassdoor or InHerSight. An engaging onboarding program that provides a stellar employee experience can go a long way in helping you not only retain talent—it can help you attract strong candidates, too. Once you’ve provided a world-class onboarding experience, ask your new hires to write you a preliminary review on Glassdoor. Also, be sure to loop new hires in on your employee referral program, so they can easily recommend great talent from within their networks. Employee referrals are known to be faster and less expensive to hire, onboard faster, and stay longer, making this an important channel for sourcing candidates. 5. Stronger company culture It’s not enough to attract and retain talent—you need to attract and retain the right talent. For instance, someone who’s a great fit for Amazon’s culture of high standards probably isn’t going to be the right fit for Zappo’s zany culture. Building a strong, intentional company culture and sharing it throughout your recruitment and onboarding processes can help you attract and retain the right people. Sixty nine percent of companies that invest in employee onboarding report easier assimilation into the corporate culture. Share information about your company’s mission, vision, and values early—and often—in the employee lifecycle. Use things like onboarding materials and all-hands meetings to highlight employee stories and company wins that reinforce your values and ensure cultural alignment. 6. Increased productivity New hires typically need the better part of a year to ramp to full productivity. Between things like getting to know your organization and building relationships to forge cross-functional teams, it takes time to settle into a new role. Onboarding employees the right way can speed up this process, decreasing time to proficiency and improving productivity by over 70 percent. A great onboarding process helps the new hire become acclimated to the organization, and facilitates relationship building between employees. It also includes goal setting, frequent manager check-ins, and employee development so employees know what’s expected of them, where they stand and have a plan to improve. Only 21 percent of employees strongly agree that their performance is managed in a way that motivates them to do outstanding work, making this an impactful focus area for many organizations. Final thoughts A strategic employee onboarding process is more involved than printing out paperwork and creating a PowerPoint deck with company processes—but it pays off. There are many benefits of onboarding employees more strategically. Some, such as improved productivity, affect your top line. Others, such as improved retention, can make a significant impact on your bottom line. Consider your onboarding program a work in progress, implementing new ideas as you’re able, and gathering feedback to improve. Over time, you’ll surely see more benefits of onboarding employees the right way. <a style="text-align: center;" href="/get-demo/">Get Demo</a>

Posted on 
Jul 2, 2019
  by
Jen Dewar
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Employee Experience

How to Combat a High Turnover Rate

Given the competitive talent landscape, employee turnover rate is one of the most important HR metrics to track, analyze, and optimize. Job openings have reached record highs, providing strong talent with many job opportunities available to them. The average United States employer spends $4000 and 24 days to hire a new employee, and the total cost of turnover is estimated at 33 percent of the employee’s base pay once everything is factored in.An average turnover rate around 10 percent is considered healthy to maintain an influx of fresh ideas, but often varies by industry or role. If your organization is facing a particularly high turnover rate, read on to learn how to combat it and start retaining more of your top talent. How to calculate your employee turnover rate You can’t optimize what you can’t measure. The first step toward combating a high turnover rate is to measure and track it. Calculate your employee turnover rate by taking the number of separations, dividing it by your average number of employees, and multiplying that by 100. For example, 100 separations, divided by 1000 average employees, equates to a 10 percent employee turnover rate. Track your employee turnover rate monthly and annually to uncover trends over time, and potentially help pinpoint events that may have contributed to a high turnover rate. For instance, a manager that left the company, taking a significant portion of the team with them. Break your turnover rate down by voluntary versus involuntary separations to get a high-level view of why employees are leaving. You may also want to break this down by demographic, manager, department, and 90-day turnover rate to see if you can uncover any other underlying causes of turnover. For instance, a high number of involuntary separations could signal poor hiring practices, while a high 90-day turnover rate could signal the need for better employee onboarding. Dig deeper to learn your opportunities for improvement Your quantitative data will only get you so far; now it’s time to dig into your qualitative data to identify trends. The most obvious source of information is a thorough exit interview. Ask your departing employees why they’re leaving, and if there’s anything you could do to get them to stay. You may also ask questions that pertain to their employee experience, but may not be a core reason for their departure. For instance, “How was your relationship to your manager?” or “Did you feel you had adequate opportunities for professional development?” Supplement this information with employer reviews from sites like Glassdoor and InHerSight. Employees may feel more comfortable giving negative (and useful!) feedback in a more anonymous manner. They may also share information you didn’t think to ask about in your exit interview. It’s also useful to consider leading indicators of turnover, so you can potentially prevent it altogether. These may include information from various employee onboarding, pulse and engagement surveys, as well as stay interviews. Ask pointed questions about your employee experience to learn common sticking points. Then fix those issues before they lead to a high turnover rate. Strategize and prioritize There’s always room for improvement in every aspect of your employee experience, and you’ve likely uncovered many through your data. Now it’s time to strategize and prioritize the strategies and tactics you will use to reduce your high turnover rate. There’s no right or wrong way to do this. You may choose to prioritize by:Potential impact: Choose the strategies that will make an impact on the biggest group of employees. If your survey data finds that most employees are dissatisfied with opportunities for advancement, for instance, you may choose to prioritize the strategies that will help in that area. Ninety four percent of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their careers, so any improvement in this area would likely make a significant impact. Alignment with company values: Implement the strategies that most closely align with your company’s core values. For instance, if diversity and inclusion is a core value, and you find that employees from underrepresented groups are leaving at higher than average rates. Analyze your internal survey data to learn if the reasons people from these groups are leaving are different from those of your general population. You may find that compensation is a major sticking point. Men are offered higher salaries than women, for the same role at the same company, 60 percent of the time. When women learn of this discrepancy, 32 percent started looking for a new job. Developing a compensation strategy that addresses any internal pay inequities can help you retain women, while making strides in diversity and inclusion.Low-hanging fruit: Pick off the strategies that are easiest to implement, which may vary by organization. For instance, allowing employees to work remotely. Thirty-seven percent of people would switch to a job that allows them to work off-site at least part of the time. This can be especially useful for working parents, who want to spend more time with their children, or disabled individuals, who may face challenges in daily commutes. Offering this perk can help you build a more diverse organization, and provide employees with better work-life balance. Final thoughts Employee retention is top-of-mind for many People Ops professionals this year, and for good reason. People Ops teams recognize they need for high-quality talent to meet business goals, but the competition for top talent is fierce. Keeping an eye on employee turnover is key to uncovering potential problems before they start and correcting issues as they arise, so they can keep the talent their organizations need to succeed.<a style="text-align: center;" href="/get-demo/">Get Demo</a>

Posted on 
Jun 26, 2019
  by
Jen Dewar
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People Analytics

10 HR Reports you Can Pull with Sapling

As HR and People Ops professionals strive to become more strategic, they rely on data to make more informed decisions and measure their progress on key initiatives. That’s why Sapling has created configurable, permission-based reporting and powerful dashboards. We want to make it easy to track and manage important information, so our customers can be proactive rather than reactive While every organization will track and measure different HR metrics, here are the 10 most common HR reports our customers use: 1. Employee headcount Sapling’s headcount report shows your organization’s total active employee headcount over a given period of time. It can be broken down by department, location, and employment status. Understanding how your headcount changes over time can provide many valuable insights. For example:Tying headcount to revenue can show you revenue per employee, so you can learn how this metric increases or decreases with organizational changes. Looking at headcount growth by department can help you understand when you may need more support staff. Tracking an office location’s growth can help you understand when it may be time to start looking for a bigger office.2. Employee turnover The turnover report shows you monthly departures, type (voluntary versus involuntary), length of service, and rehire eligibility. You can also dig in to see exactly which employees left. Tracking this annually provides valuable trends over time, while tracking monthly helps you pinpoint potential causes of turnover. For example, a change in company leadership can often mean an uptick in turnover, as employees are uncertain of what the future may hold. Employee retention is a top priority for many organizations this year, so keeping an eye on employee turnover is crucial to uncovering potential problems before they get worse. 3. Time off balances and requests Sapling’s time off report will show time off balances, accruals, time used, and scheduled by employee during a specified time period. It can be filtered by employee groups (departments, locations and employment status), time (for example, last quarter), accrual type (unlimited time off, or accrued policies), and policy type (vacation, sick time, parental leave). This can provide managers with quick visibility into employees’ time off balances, so they may encourage those with higher balances to take some time off to recharge. This is particularly important if you find that a given department’s average time off balance correlates with their average turnover rate. 4. Compensation history This report shows you employee compensation history, allowing you to filter by department, location, employment status, time period, and manager. Compensation is often listed as a top reason for employee turnover, so reviewing it regularly may help mitigate that risk. This can be particularly important for a new manager to review for their team, so they understand each of their employee’s compensation histories and can advocate for raises as needed. People Ops professionals may also choose to review compensation history for employees in departments, locations, or managers with higher than average turnover rates. 5. Job history See each employee’s job history by date, or filter by department, location, employment status, time period, or manager. Again, this could provide interesting insights to help you retain talent, as career development is also commonly listed a top reason for voluntary turnover. See who might be a flight risk due to lack of career progression, and put in the work to build a career path and development plan for them. 6. Point-in-time report Sapling customers will soon be able to run point-in-time employee reports to review changes that have been made to employees’ data as of a specified date. For example, you might need to produce a report that includes the top 10 salaried employees for each department as of a particular date, including each employee's name, position, mailing address, and manager. 7. Change reporting Change reporting allows you to track and audit the history of any field in Sapling. The primary use-case of this feature is to track payroll related changes during your pay period so you can easily track what may need updating within your payroll system. It also helps you comply with industry regulations related to audit capability and data retention. 8. New hires Track your organization’s new employees, sorted by their start dates. This is a great way to keep track of all new hires so you can welcome them during your next all-hands meeting, facilitate introductions for them, and check in with them. These small gestures can help you build early employee engagement. 9. Employee birthdays and anniversaries Sapling helps you easily pull reports with your employees’ birthdays and anniversaries, in addition to the integrated calendar that tracks these key events. Celebrating and recognizing them are a thoughtful way to improve the employee experience. Some organizations will celebrate employee birthdays and work anniversaries by decorating the employee’s desk, going out to lunch, or offering a small gift. Others may simply send a company-wide email, make an announcement during an all-hands meeting, or leave a handwritten card. 10. Demographic information Sapling can provide a breakdown of employee population for any demographic information you track, including gender identification and ethnicity. These reports can also be filtered by department, location, and employment status, time period, and manager. This can make it easier for organizations to track diversity and inclusion metrics, and spot imbalances before they lead to turnover. In addition to tracking this data company-wide, it can be useful to utilize the filters to identify imbalances within each individual department, for example. Final thoughts on Sapling’s HR reports There are many ways to use Sapling’s HR reports to make more informed, data-driven decisions. HR and People Ops professionals can use these to build a more strategic function that elevates the employee experience. Managers can also use many of them to improve engagement and retention on their teams. Sapling’s customizable permission levels give reporting access only to those who need it. By default, employees can see their own information, while managers can see information on their direct reports, and Admins can see and edit other team members’ information. You may also create custom permission groups using location, department, and employment status. That way, you can create the reporting access needed for every individual at your organization. <a style="text-align: center;" href="/get-demo/">Get Demo</a>

Posted on 
Jun 14, 2019
  by
Jen Dewar
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Onboarding

5 Engaging New Hire Orientation Ideas to Borrow

Traditionally, new hire orientation is a one-time event on an employee’s first day of work to help them settle into their new company and role. It usually includes a meeting with HR or their manager to learn about the company history, mission, vision, and values. Many new hire orientation programs also review benefits and company policies and assign a stack of paperwork to be completed. It’s essentially death by Powerpoint and papercuts. In fact, 58 percent of organizations focus on processes and paperwork, which is boring and likely causes information overload.Smart organizations are finding value in creating a more engaging new hire experience and spreading traditional orientation activities throughout a longer onboarding period. If you’d like to do the same, here are five new hire orientation ideas to get you started: 1. Facilitate early introductions to other employees Don’t wait until your new hire’s first day to begin introducing them to fellow colleagues. There’s no better way to say “welcome” than to get the rest of your team involved. Of course, the hiring manager and recruiter should be the first to say how excited they are to have the new hire on the team. This is also an excellent opportunity to share next steps. Many organizations assign and introduce new hires to a work buddy before their first day, so they can begin building relationships and ask questions. For instance, someone may want to know just how casual a “business casual” dress code is, or if there is a less expensive parking garage than the one in their office building. Finally, a welcome message from others in the organization can build off the excitement of the new hire’s offer letter. Whether your organization does this via email, Slack, or one-on-one LinkedIn messages, announce your new hire to the team and ask them to extend a heartfelt welcome. A company org chart and people directory can help your new hire place each person, and remember them long-term. 2. Decorate their desks At a very minimum, new hires should have a desk, computer, and software logins that have been set up prior to their arrival. Many organizations will even ask the new hire if they have any specific preferences, such a Mac or PC, office chair or exercise ball, and a standing or sitting desk. Some organizations go above and beyond by decorating their new hires’ desks with welcome messages and gifts. This may include a “welcome” banner, handwritten notes from the hiring manager and colleagues, and some company swag. If you send out a new hire questionnaire to get to know them, add in some of their favorite candy or another personalized gift. You may also choose to provide some gift cards to local coffee shops or lunch spots. Better yet, have your team write welcome notes with IOUs to join them at some local places (on the company, of course) and set dates in your onboarding platform so they get scheduled. 3. Tie in your company’s core values What better way to learn about your company’s core values than to see them in action? One of Zappos’ core values is “Deliver WOW through service,” and they expect each new hire to spend part of their onboarding period answering customer calls. This ensures that each employee is bought into this core value, and can better understand the needs of their customers. Consider your organization’s own core values, and how you might incorporate them into your new hire orientation. A company that believes in service to the community might organize a volunteer event as an employee meet-and-greet. Or a company that values attention to detail might use team attention and focus exercise as an ice breaker. Come back to your values periodically, recognizing employees as they exhibit the desired behavior. It can be especially powerful to recognize new hires during their onboarding period to improve engagement. This can be done during company all-hands meetings, through email, or through a praise wall in the office. 4. Schedule breakfast with the CEO Rather than making new hires sit through a Powerpoint presentation of the company’s history, mission, and vision, invite them to hear it straight from the CEO. Or, if that’s not an option, set up a time for new hires to learn this information from other company leaders. Twitter’s “Yes to Desk” onboarding program incorporates both a new hire breakfast with their CEO and a monthly happy hour with their leadership team. If the CEO isn’t able to review key company information in person, try recording a video presentation instead. The President of Dunkin’ Donuts uses a new hire video to share who they are as a people, a company, and a brand. This highly visual format creates a much more engaging new hire experience than a Powerpoint presentation.5. Plan casual team events for bonding and introductions Meals and other casual events are a great time to get to know new hires in a less formal way. If you don’t schedule the CEO breakfast for a new hire’s first day, invite them to breakfast or coffee with their manager, buddy, or team instead. Even remote employees can join you on a video call with a coffee for a meet-and-greet! Make plans for lunch on a new hire’s first day too, so they don’t wind up eating alone. You may even spring for small group lunches over a few days, so your new hire can get to know your immediate team, leadership team, and people from other departments. This can help them build stronger relationships, which lead to better collaboration and productivity for the duration of their employee lifecycle. Final thoughts When almost 30 percent of job seekers have left a job within the first 90 days of starting, an engaging new hire experience is crucial. This is your organization’s opportunity to leave a positive first impression, and build off the excitement of accepting the offer letter. It’s also an opportunity for new hires to learn about the company and begin building strong professional relationships, so they feel more connected to your organization. From there, focus on continuing to build engagement throughout the employee lifecycle so you can retain your talent long-term. <a style="text-align: center;" href="/get-demo/">Get Demo</a>

Posted on 
May 30, 2019
  by
Jen Dewar
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Employee Experience

6 Employee Retention Best Practices

With 7 million job openings and only 6.5 million people unemployed—plus a notable skill gap—there simply isn’t enough talent to go around. People have many opportunities when it comes to where they want to work, making employee retention a key focus at most organizations. The good news? There is a range of best practices to help you retain your workforce, some fairly straightforward, and others more involved. But it all comes down to one thing: doing what’s best for your unique team.1. Gather employee insights When it comes to employee retention, you don’t have to guess at what will work. Find out from your current and former employees! Employee satisfaction surveys and stay interviews allow you to ask people exactly what it would take to make them stay, while exit surveys can help you learn exactly why they’re leaving. You can also gather employee insights from public review sites, social media, and other online sources, so be sure to monitor your employer brand. This will allow you to identify trends, so you can prioritize your biggest problem areas—as well as some low-hanging fruit to make quick wins. 2. Start retaining employees from the moment you hire them There’s a lot of competition for talent, and people have many choices when it comes to where they want to work. It’s not uncommon for new hires to leave on or before their first day, or shortly after starting a new job. In fact, almost 30 percent of job seekers have left a job within the first 90 days of starting. Employees who had a negative new hire onboarding experience are twice as likely to look for new opportunities in the near future. On the flip side, organizations with a strong employee onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82 percent. Providing a solid employee experience, from the moment a candidate accepts a job offer, is one of the most important things you can do to set your new hires up for long-term engagement and retention. This includes a warm welcome, a stellar first day, and ongoing support to help new hires acclimate to your company and accelerate to full productivity. [Check out our webinar to learn how to create a memorable and impactful onboarding experience.] 3. Provide ample employee recognition Only 45 percent of employees are completely satisfied with the amount of recognition they receive, and those who don’t feel adequately recognized are twice as likely to say they’ll quit in the next year. A well thought out employee recognition program is such an easy, yet effective way to retain your talent. You can really take this to the next level by creating a culture of recognition, in which everyone—from company leadership to individual contributors—freely recognize one another. 4. Update your compensation plan regularly Compensation is not necessarily a reason employees stay, but it can be a major reason they leave. Over half of candidates say a competitive compensation package was the most attractive factor when considering a new job, and market rates could very well be increasing faster than your annual pay raises. If you’re not adjusting your compensation plan regularly, you could be losing candidates for two reasons. First, because there are many job opportunities available, and candidates can quickly learn what they could be paid elsewhere. Second, because new hires may very well be offered market rates in order to close them, while long-term employees have not been adjusted and are still earning last year’s market rates. Retain your workforce by regularly updating a competitive compensation plan, and paying fairly across your organization. 5. Provide career pathing and employee development Show employees they have a worthwhile future at your organization by mapping out a career path with each of them, and helping them get there through employee development opportunities. This carries the added bonuses of helping your organization overcome the skills gap in the labor market, and providing strong internal candidates to move into key leadership positions as they become available. Career pathing should be done early, and revisited often, to ensure it meets both the employee’s and organization’s needs. 6. Revisit your employee benefits and perks Employee benefits and perks can play a major role in an employee’s decision to stay or leave. Fifty one percent of employees say they would switch to a job that allows them flextime, and 37 percent would switch to a job that allows them to work off-site at least part of the time. Fifty three percent of employees who get paid vacation would leave for more at another company, and 51 percent would take a job for 10 percent less pay if unlimited paid time off was included. Exact preferences may vary by your workforce, but it’s probably safe to say that most people would appreciate a better work-life balance. Final thoughts on employee retention Finding and closing on your top-choice candidate is no longer enough—now you have to do everything in your power to retain them. In this war for talent, effectively retaining your employees ultimately requires that you think strategically about the employee experience. That begins with collecting feedback, and becomes an ongoing cycle of improvements and feedback to continually evolve to meet your employee’s needs. <a style="text-align: center;" href="/get-demo/">Get Demo</a>

Posted on 
May 7, 2019
  by
Jen Dewar
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Employee Experience

6 Things You Should Include in Your Employee Experience Strategy

Your employee experience is critical in today’s competitive talent landscape. Great talent has many opportunities available to them, and can easily search the internet to learn what it’s like to work elsewhere. They also have many tools at their disposal to share their experiences with others, which can have a strong impact on your ability to recruit new talent. If you want to attract and retain the talent your company needs to be successful, it’s time to get serious about your employee experience strategy.Here are six things you should consider if you’re just starting out, or planning to revamp your strategy: 1. A strong candidate experience Every employee is a candidate first, and their experience is shaped by their very first interaction with your organization. Consider each step of the candidate experience, from their first career site visit and application process to your candidate communications and interview process. Iron out any kinks that you may find to ensure that you’re not only converting candidates into applicants but that you’re setting the stage for a positive long-term relationship with them. Your candidate experience needs to be fully aligned with your employee experience to make a positive impression from the beginning. 2. World-class employee onboarding Employee onboarding bridges the gap between the candidate experience and the employee experience. A thoughtful handoff is crucial to reinforcing the candidate’s decision to join your company and should begin with a welcome email and employee preboarding. It should then continue with a phenomenal first day and an onboarding program that guides new hires through their first 90 days. Things like goal setting, regular manager check-ins, and early learning and development opportunities are important to the early employee experience. A world-class employee onboarding program will help your new hires assimilate and acclimate to their new role and company, so they can go on to become happy, engaged, and productive employees. 3. Regular communication Regular communication should begin during employee onboarding and extend throughout the employee lifecycle. It’s important to clearly communicate goals and expectations during the onboarding process, and provide frequent feedback on progress during manager one-on-ones. Employee recognition is also a key component of great employee communication, but only 45 percent of employees are completely satisfied with the amount of recognition they receive. Learn how each employee likes to be recognized, whether that’s public, company-wide recognition, or a handwritten note with a small token of appreciation. 4. Career pathing and development opportunities Career pathing should also be done early in the employee lifecycle so people can see a future at your organization and work toward it. Consider your employee’s career goals, as well as your organization’s succession planning needs. Once you and your employees are aligned on their current goals and future growth opportunities, build an employee development plan to ensure their success. Opportunities may include things like courses and certifications to help educate your employees, as well as stretch assignments and special projects to expand their work experience. It can also be helpful to provide things like job shadowing, or even a formal mentorship, to provide additional support. 5. A thoughtful compensation package Compensation and benefits are often listed among the top reasons employees resign, which is a telling sign they may not be doing enough to strengthen the employee experience. It’s not necessarily about offering the highest salary, or the most benefits; because employees may choose to take or leave an opportunity for any number of reasons. The most important thing is that you show your employees you care about them, and their future at your organization. When you offer development opportunities and promotions, reward your employees with a higher salary to match their new level of responsibility and impact. Even if you can’t afford a salary increase right away, communicate that with your employee and let them know they’re appreciated. There are also many low- or no-cost ways to beef up your compensation package, including work from home or flex hour benefits. These can make a big difference in an employee’s experience with your organization. 6. Respectful employee offboarding While high turnover rates can be costly and problematic, some turnover is expected—and even beneficial. Your employee will have the opportunity to learn and grow from another organization, and your team will have the opportunity to be infused with fresh ideas and insights from a new hire. If you approach your employee offboarding process with grace and respect, you may even be able to re-hire your alumni at a later date. Congratulate your departing employee on their new role, and try to learn what it offered that your organization could not. Employee feedback at this stage can help you improve your employee experience and retention rates, and learn what it might take to get the employee back in the future. Final thoughts on employee experience strategies Executing on this strategy is a significant time investment, and would be overwhelming for any organization to tackle all at once. Instead, utilize your data to prioritize the areas that could make the most significant impact. Common HR metrics like candidate conversion rates and employee turnover rates are important to track but don’t tell the whole story. Add in qualitative data you hear from candidates, employees, and managers, as well as survey data to dig in deeper. For instance, you may learn that you have a high 90-day turnover rate. This could be due to any number of factors: a poor onboarding process, lack of manager feedback, or even a more competitive offer that came through later. Regular surveys—from candidate experience and onboarding surveys, to pulse, engagement, and exit surveys—can pinpoint where to focus your employee experience strategy short- and long-term. <a style="text-align: center;" href="/get-demo/">Get Demo</a>

Posted on 
May 2, 2019
  by
Jen Dewar
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Onboarding

7 Tips to Design a World-Class Employee Onboarding Process

The benefits of employee onboarding are clear. The Human Capital Institute has found that companies investing in onboarding are more likely to see decreased turnover, increased engagement, and decreased time to productivity, among other benefits. At Sapling, we’ve estimated the ROI of an employee onboarding solution at a whopping $6,044 - $11,799 per new employee.It’s no surprise that more and more companies are recognizing the criticality of onboarding as one of the most ROI-generative People Practices in the employee lifecycle. If your organization is one of them, read on for seven tips to build a smooth employee onboarding process. 1. Welcome your new hire More than one in ten have changed their minds on an offer after signing. Build off the excitement of the offer and reinforce the candidate’s decision to join your company by creating a heartfelt welcome. Let them know how happy you are to have them on the team, provide a little information on what to expect next, and let them know to reach out with any questions. You should also announce your newest addition to the rest of the team, so they can welcome the new hire too. These simple gestures can go a long way in preventing cold feet, during the “Yes to Desk” phase. 2. Start onboarding early, and don’t stop too soon Your employee onboarding process should begin with the welcome email on the day your new hire signs their offer letter, and extend out at least 90 days. Employee preboarding can get the boring paperwork out of the way so your new hire’s first day can be filled with celebration, introductions, and early learning. You’ll also want your new hire to have a desk, email address, and software access on their first day—so start on those things early to ensure a seamless first-day experience. Continue the onboarding experience long enough to ensure new hires are fully supported as they become acclimated to their company, culture, and role. Ninety days is a good starting point, although some companies extend their employee onboarding process out for a full year or two. 3. Brainstorm onboarding best practices with your team A great employee onboarding program often varies from company to company. Get together with your team to gather your own best practices and brainstorm new ideas. For instance:What is the best way to make employee introductions? Many will make introductions during a first-day office tour or all-hands meeting, but remote teams may use Slack or Zoom to make introductions. A team lunch on the employee’s first day is a common practice, and breakfast with the company’s leadership team is a fun option to consider. Will you assign a buddy or mentor? Eighty seven percent of organizations that assign an ambassador or buddy during the onboarding process say that it’s an effective way to speed up new hire proficiency. If you plan to forward with a buddy program, consider how you will find buddies, what you expect from them, and if you want to set aside a budget for the program. How will you share company-specific knowledge? You can help your new hire acclimate to your organization by sharing information about the company’s history, mission, vision, values, culture, and product. But you can go about this in many different ways. For example, you can provide this information during a live new hire orientation, via a wiki, or through a series of videos.4. Use a new hire checklist It’s important to build a streamlined, repeatable employee onboarding process so you can ensure the same red carpet experience for all of your new employees. A new hire checklist will ensure you never forget a step! If you’re only hiring one or two people each month, a spreadsheet or your project management software may meet your needs. But if you’re scaling your team, or have more complex needs to accommodate different roles, office locations, or remote employees, you will need a more robust solution. Employee onboarding software can automate many of the tasks and processes in your onboarding process, including account provisioning and task reminders. It can also accommodate dependencies and workflows, so everyone is assigned the right task, at the right time. <a style="text-align: center;" href="/get-demo/">Get Demo</a> 5. Create a great first day With all the administrative stuff out of the way, you can make your employee’s first day leave a positive, lasting impression on them. Offer them a late arrival time, followed up coffee (and maybe even a light breakfast) with their manager, buddy, or team. Give them the lay of the land in an office tour before heading to a team lunch, and round out the day with a new hire orientation and manager check in. There’s no need to pack too much into the first day, as it’s best spent on helping your new hire get their bearings. 6. Check in regularly Thirty percent of job seekers have left a job within 90 days of starting, so it’s important to check in regularly during this time period to ensure everything is going well. Aim for manager check-ins on days 1, 7, 14, 30, 60, and 90. During these meetings, new hires and their managers should discuss their role’s expectations and goals, and share feedback so everyone is on the same page. This is also a great opportunity to set a development plan and career path, so employees can excel in their current roles while envisioning their future at your company. 7. Get employee feedback on the onboarding process Designing a world class employee onboarding program is an ongoing commitment—not a one-time deal. Gather feedback from your new hires throughout the onboarding process, and make important changes to improve it. Find what new hires like and dislike about your program, and what you could have done better. Then, make sure you actually use the feedback to make improvements so your people know you value their opinions. <a style="text-align: center;" href="/get-demo/">Get Demo</a>

Posted on 
Apr 24, 2019
  by
Jen Dewar
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People Analytics

HR Metrics You Must Track and Optimize This Year

Employee retention is a big concern for many organizations this year, and for good reason. There are more job openings than there are unemployed people to fill them, a problem that’s further exasperated by the skills gap, creating a lot of competition for talent. Your employees have many choices about where to work, and likely receive opportunities in their inboxes on a regular basis. Tracking and optimizing for the right HR metrics can help keep a pulse on retention and elevate your HR and People Ops functions in the process.Employee turnover rate First thing’s first: you should track your employee turnover rate monthly and annually. This will provide you with insight into trends over time, and potentially help pinpoint events that may have contributed to a higher turnover rate. For example, any big shake ups in your leadership team or an acquisition announcement can lead to above-average turnover. Break this metric up further by also looking into:Voluntary versus involuntary turnover: Dig further into the reasons for turnover by understanding whether the employee quit, or was let go, and why. Turnover by demographic: Look into whether diversity and inclusion may be playing a role in your turnover, so you can take appropriate steps to improve. Turnover by manager or department: Discover whether certain managers or departments may have a higher turnover rate than others, and help them learn from managers or departments with low turnover rates. 90-day turnover and first year turnover: Understand how much of your turnover is taking place in an employee’s first 90 days, and first year, and why. While some turnover is inevitable, losing employees before they reach full productivity is a very expensive problem to have.Employee engagement rate Engaged employees usually feel more connected to their organization, which can have a positive impact on productivity and retention. Keep a pulse on the engagement levels of your team so you can proactively respond before turnover happens. There are a number of ways to measure employee engagement, including an employee net promoter score or a survey. Ask questions like:How likely is it that you would recommend working at our company to a friend or colleague? Do you feel valued as an employee? Are you satisfied with your career prospects?Again, tracking this HR metric monthly and annually, and breaking it down by demographic, manager, and new hire engagement levels, can help you discover trends and causes. For instance, you may learn that engagement levels in a given department have dropped since a new manager was brought in. Or you might discover that engagement levels are higher for men, overall, than they are for women. You can then dig deeper to learn why, and take corrective steps to re-engage your employees most at risk of leaving. Diversity and inclusion metrics Diversity and inclusion are crucial components of creating a welcoming company culture that retains employees. For example, in the 2018 Women in the Workplace study by McKinsey & Company and LeanIn.Org, one in five women reported being the only woman or one of the only women in the room at work. Two in five women in senior-level and technical roles reported the same. These women are one and a half times more likely to think about leaving their jobs. Keep track of your diversity data so you can spot imbalances before they lead to turnover. Include the number of employees that identify as each gender and ethnicity at the company level, as well as by seniority and department. It’s also a good idea to include compensation data by demographic to keep an eye on pay equity at your organization. Get ahead of inclusion issues by adding some related questions to your employee surveys—or even creating a dedicated diversity and inclusion survey. Then, track your progress over time and take necessary steps to build and retain a more diverse organization. Diversity and inclusion are ongoing initiatives, and the work is never fully completed. Promotion rate Lack of career advancement is a top reason for voluntary turnover. When you hire great employees, create a career path and development plan to help them reach the next level in their careers. Investing in your employees shows them that they have a future at your organization, and makes succession planning much easier. Track your employee promotion rate over time, as well as by gender, ethnicity, and department, to ensure your internal candidate pipeline is being utilized effectively. If you find that it slows, managers may need coaching to ensure they’re developing and promoting employees as the organization expects. Final thoughts on HR metrics There are certainly no shortage of HR metrics to track and optimize, but these are arguably the most important to improve employee retention efforts. Take the data you glean from these, and combine it with qualitative data learned from employee surveys, feedback, and conversations. Make improvements, and continue tracking your progress over time to see what makes the biggest impact. While you can never expect to retain 100 percent of your workforce forever (and, for innovation purposes, you probably don’t want to), you can certainly get to a more comfortable retention rate—and save a lot of money on turnover costs. <a style="text-align: center;" href="/get-demo/">Get Demo</a>

Posted on 
Apr 19, 2019
  by
Jen Dewar
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Employee Experience

Connect Summit Sneak Peek: How to Elevate People Ops with Analytics

Sapling Connect Summit is just around the corner (May 1st), and we’re getting pumped! Our list of expert speakers is growing and their content has been steadily trickling in.Today, we’re excited to share a sneak peek into Lattice CEO Jack Altman’s session “From Analytics to Action: Mobilizing on your People Management Data.” During this 20 minute session, Jack will show us how to set up a people analytics program, and use it to make more informed people decisions. With a great people analytics program, we can answer questions like:Why are our top performers leaving? Who are our best managers? What managers need help? How often do employees share feedback with each other? How do employees feel about work-life balance? Are we doing enough to tackle diversity and inclusion challenges? Who is best at hiring?This session will review Jack’s 5-step process to discover which questions your organization should be focusing on, and how to address the opportunities for improvement you find. Jack stresses the importance of using both qualitative and quantitative inputs to make better people decisions. Qualitative data—such as observations, emotions, instincts, and beliefs—don’t give you a complete picture. But quantitative data alone—found through facts, insights, trends, and experiments—can cause you to lose the human element of decision making. This session will show you how to pair the qualitative and quantitative to make better people decisions and improve things like retention and performance at your organization. It will also review different ways to combine and slice data to uncover actionable insights. For instance, combining engagement and performance data may lead you to discover that your most disengaged employees are also underperforming. An employee engagement survey may provide the necessary data to help you re-engage these employees and simultaneously improve their performance. Taking action and measuring your impact will allow your People Ops team to continually build a stronger company. Register now for free, and tune in on May 1 to learn how you can elevate your People Ops function with analytics, and get exclusive access to the entire lineup of on-demand, online keynotes! <a style="text-align: center;" href="/get-demo/">Get Demo</a>

Posted on 
Apr 9, 2019
  by
Jen Dewar
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Onboarding

Employee Onboarding Examples to Inspire Your Own

The benefits of employee onboarding are clear. Organizations with a strong employee onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82 percent and productivity by over 70 percent. On the other hand, a negative onboarding experience results in new hires being twice as likely to look for other opportunities in the near future. The problem is, only 12 percent of employees strongly agree their organization does a great job of onboarding, which is no surprise when 58 percent of programs are focused on process and paperwork. If you’re looking for a little inspiration, use these employee onboarding examples to take your own program beyond administration, and into assimilation and acclimation.SafetyCulture’s early alignment with hiring managers The best employee onboarding programs ensure a smooth transition between the candidate experience and employee experience. SafetyCulture does this by meeting with hiring managers before beginning the recruitment process, to create six month plans for their new hires. This ensures that the candidate’s, hiring manager’s, and recruiter’s expectations are aligned early on. These plans include key steps, initiatives, and milestones that are later incorporated into the new hire’s onboarding plan, to ensure expectations are being communicated and met. Learn more about SafetyCulture’s employee onboarding program Buffer’s three-buddy program Eighty seven percent of organizations that assign an ambassador or buddy during the onboarding process say that it's an effective way to speed up new hire proficiency. This entails matching a seasoned employee with your new hire, and requesting that they check in regularly to help your new hire acclimate. At Buffer, they actually assign three buddies to each new hire. The Leader Buddy is an experienced member of the team who mentors the other buddies, and actually sends the offer letter to their potential future buddy. The Role Buddy helps the new hire acclimate to their new job, and understand how they can improve during their 45 day onboarding period. The Culture Buddy helps new hires learn about, and assimilate to, Buffer’s culture. While the hiring manager fills the Leader Buddy role in a traditional buddy program, it may be helpful to assign both a role buddy and a culture buddy if you have the resources to do so. The role buddy could come from the same department to help your new hire learn about the specific tools and processes the team uses. Then, someone from a different department could help your new hire meet the broader team, and learn how the different departments collaborate. Dunkin’ Donuts’ new hire video A new hire video is a fun way to welcome new employees to your team and show them what they can expect at their new company. Dunkin’ Donuts uses a new hire video to define who they are as a people, a company, and a brand. They could easily share an employee handbook to communicate that their goals are friendliness, service with speed, and serving great products, but that wouldn’t have the same effect. They create a more engaging experience by having the President introduce himself and the company’s goals, then showing what those look like.These videos don’t need to have high production value, but should be authentic. You can use them to share information about your company culture and values, or with a simple welcome message where your CEO shares a bit about the company mission and vision. Upserve’s position-specific onboarding Professional development is an important part of any company’s onboarding program and overall employee experience. Developing employees to do their best work, and move down their career paths benefits everyone. Employees are given opportunities to improve, advance in their careers, and increase earning potential. Companies are then better able to meet their business goals, overcome the skills gaps, and fill open leadership roles with qualified internal candidates. For evergreen, high-volume roles, it can make a lot of sense to create position-specific onboarding, like Upserve. Their six week Customer Support Bootcamp helps new employees learn the ins and outs of their new roles, so they can reach productivity faster. They also share ongoing assessments with new hires throughout the bootcamp, so everyone is clear about expectations and feedback. Learn more about UpServe’s employee onboarding program InVision’s remote employee onboarding An estimated 43 percent of American workers work remotely at least some of the time, and that number is expected to continue rising. Start these employees off on the right foot by tailoring an onboarding program that meets their specific needs. Invision’s team is fully remote, so they’ve learned a thing or two about offering a red carpet onboarding experience for remote employees. First, acknowledge that you know that they’re remote by creating an onboarding task to set up their home office. InVision allows employees to reimburse up to $500 to cover things like a nice chair, desk, or a stronger modem. Second, make sure remote employees have a computer shipped to them prior to their start date, and know how to contact the IT team for support. Remote employees can’t simply ask questions to the person sitting next to them, so it’s important to be proactive about telling them where to go for help. Third, make sure to introduce remote new hires in as many places as possible, just as you would do around the office. This might include a Slack introduction on day 1, an announcement in a monthly new hire newsletter, and an introduction in the next all-hands meeting. Learn more tips in our webinar: Humanizing Onboarding & Offboarding for Your Remote Workforce DigitalOcean’s new hire surveys As with most people programs, employee onboarding should be constantly evolving to meet your employee’s and your company’s needs—so feedback is crucial. DigitalOcean is always looking for ways to become a more data- and feedback-enabled culture. They ask for candidate feedback after the interview process, new hire feedback during onboarding, and employee feedback through engagement and pulse surveys. New hire surveys are sent on days 7, 30, and 90. They help the People Team understand how they’re doing, make sure new hires have what they need to succeed, and make more informed people-first decisions. One such decision has been the implementation of a buddy program to help new hires adjust to their new roles more easily and quickly. Learn more about DigitalOcean’s employee onboarding program Final thoughts on these employee onboarding examples These are just a few things to consider when creating and optimizing your own employee onboarding program. Take your company’s, and your workforce’s, unique needs into consideration and see what works best for you. While InVision introduces all remote employees digitally, you may choose to fly them into your office to meet the team. And while DigitalOcean sends three new hire surveys, you may find that you need to send more or less to collect the data you’d like to see. Try new things, and let data and feedback be your guide to see if they’re strengthening your program. Over time, your employee onboarding program will evolve into the best possible program for your team. Want to learn more about building a strong employee onboarding program? Download our eBook: The Ultimate Guide to Employee Onboarding <a style="text-align: center;" href="/get-demo/">Get Demo</a>

Posted on 
Apr 3, 2019
  by
Jen Dewar
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Onboarding

Employee Preboarding: Begin the Employee Experience on the Right Foot

Building a strong employee experience is more important than ever. The demand for talent currently exceeds the supply, making it incredibly easy for your employees to find another role and leave your organization. They can apply for a new job within a few clicks of a button, and may be receiving cold outreach from recruiters. They can also easily learn what it’s like to work for another company by reading Glassdoor reviews or networking with the company’s employees on LinkedIn. Without a strong employee experience, your company’s talent will dwindle as people leave for other opportunities and you struggle to backfill vacated positions. The good news -- you can get ahead of retention woes, and begin the employee experience on the right foot, by providing great employee preboarding.Preboarding is the first step toward an effective employee onboarding program, taking place between the time a new hire signs their offer letter and arrives for their first day. Here are some things you can do during this important transitional period: 1. Extend a warm welcome Hooray—your offer letter has been signed! This is an exciting time for both you and your candidate, so build on that by enthusiastically welcoming your new hire to the team. This can be done by your People Ops team, but can be particularly powerful coming from the hiring manager. Provide some details around next steps, even if just to say that additional details are forthcoming, and invite them to reach out with any questions they may have. When 11 percent of candidates have changed their minds on an offer after signing, this early communication could be instrumental in helping the candidate feel connected to the organization, and preventing cold feet. 2. Introduce them to a work buddy A buddy program is a great way to help your new hire acclimate to their role and your organization. A buddy will help welcome the new hire to the team, introduce them to other employees, show them around the office, and answer any questions they may have. As peers, buddies are more approachable than a hiring manager or someone on your People Ops team, especially for non-critical questions like where to go for the best coffee. A whopping 87 percent of organizations that assign a buddy during the onboarding process say that it’s an effective way to speed up new hire proficiency, yet only 47 percent do this. Ask seasoned employees to volunteer, and sweeten the deal by offering a coffee or lunch budget so they can take the new hire out with others on your team. It’s best if buddies check in with the new hire at least weekly for the first month, and once or twice a month thereafter, to ensure their success. 3. Get to know them better Ask the new hire to complete a questionnaire so your team can learn more about them. This includes fun information like their favorite hobbies and holiday locations, which you can share with the rest of your team. It may also include logistical questions to help you accommodate things like food and equipment preferences, or t-shirt sizes so you set up their desk with some company SWAG. 4. Rope in the rest of your team, too Send a weekly new hire announcement with fun information from your questionnaire, so your entire team can get to know new employees. Encourage current employees to reach out and introduce themselves to your new hire via email, Slack, or LinkedIn. You may even introduce them to a few other recent hires. This can help them feel like a part of the team before their first day, when they will meet many of their fellow teammates in person. It can be helpful to begin provisioning new hire accounts early for this purpose, as well as to ensure they’re ready for the employee’s first day. An accompanying people directory and org chart can also help them keep track of everyone they meet, and learn more about their backgrounds and interests. 5. Give them the inside scoop on your company Help your new hires acclimate to your organization by sharing some preliminary information about your mission, vision, values, history, and culture. They’ll certainly learn more over time, but a quick new hire video or some text and images that depict your organization can help the new hire feel more connected. 6. Plan, and share the itinerary for, a memorable first day Let your new hire know what to expect during their first day, or even their first week. A late start time on the first day can help them arrive at work refreshed and relaxed, while also giving the hiring manager and buddy time to prepare for their arrival. Start the morning off slowly by scheduling coffee with their manager or buddy, followed by on office tour and team lunch. Round out the day with a new hire orientation with the People Ops team, and a manager check in to review responsibilities, goals, and a development plan. 7. Get the boring paperwork out of the way A new hire’s first day should be filled with celebration, introductions, and learning. Get the boring paperwork out of the way during preboarding, so your new hire doesn’t have to deal with it on their first day. This can also give them time to consider your employee benefit options, and ask questions to People Ops or their buddy. An employee onboarding platform can simplify this process by pulling key information from your ATS to kick it off. Final thoughts A great employee experience begins with preboarding, and extends throughout the employee lifecycle. Follow it up with a 30-60-90 onboarding plan to ensure new hires are fully ramped and set up for success. This includes regular check-ins with managers and buddies, product training, and a fully baked development plan and career path. When done correctly, employee onboarding can improve new hire retention by 82 percent and productivity by over 70 percent. <a style="text-align: center;" href="/get-demo/">Get Demo</a>

Posted on 
Mar 28, 2019
  by
Jen Dewar
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Culture & Engagement

Sapling's Connect Summit: What to Expect

On May 1, the HR and People Operations leaders of today, and tomorrow, will be gathering for Sapling’s virtual Connect Summit. People will be joining from all over the world as renowned experts and industry leaders share how to bring together people strategy and people experience.<a style="text-align: center;" href="/get-demo/">Get Demo</a> Here are some of the things you can expect when you join us in May:Industry trends and insights. The needs of the modern workforce are rapidly evolving. You’ll learn the latest trends in people strategy, employee experience, and employee lifecycle so you can adapt to meet your employees’ needs. Join Meredith Haberfeld, Founder and CEO at ThinkHuman, on building a high-performance, high-retention culture. Actionable insights. You’ll walk away with connectivity and insights to create a meaningful employee experience and support your team to do its best work. Christina Luconi, Chief People Officer at Rapid7, will share her employee lifecycle playbook, while Raphael Crawford-Marks, CEO at Bonusly, will dig into the art and science of employee recognition. Incredible speakers. You’ll learn from 20+ renowned experts and industry leaders from companies like Minted, Zendesk, and more. They will share key insights around people strategy, focused on the employee experience throughout the employee lifecycle. Thousands of fellow leaders and practitioners. Fellow HR, Talent Acquisition, and People Operations leaders and practitioners will be tuning in from around the world. On-demand sessions. We know you’re busy. Watch whichever sessions interest you, whenever you’re available on May 1. All sessions will be 20 minutes long, and available on-demand for 24 hours beginning at 10am PT. SHRM credit. SHRM certification demonstrates your commitment to lifelong learning and professional development. Connect Summit attendees will earn SHRM credit toward recertification. All of this, for free. That’s right, this is all offered at no cost to you! So, what are you waiting for? Register now!<a style="text-align: center;" href="/get-demo/">Get Demo</a>

Posted on 
Mar 27, 2019
  by
Jen Dewar
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HRIS

How Data Science Will Change People Ops

Data-driven HR has been a hot topic for many years, as People teams learn to do more with the challenging talent landscape and limited resources they have at their disposal, through data. But data-driven HR arguably doesn’t go far enough. It simply provides you with answers to the questions you have. Data science, on the other hand, can answer questions you don’t even know you have.For instance, you may want to know what causes turnover in your organization, so you leverage exit survey data to learn from your departing employees. You may learn that a significant portion of employees say they’re leaving for career advancement elsewhere. But when you utilize data science to dig deeper, you find that most departing employees haven’t received feedback and recognition in over 90 days, and haven’t taken a vacation in over six months. Or, you may find that their stock options are almost fully vested, and that they haven’t received a salary increase that aligns with current market rates. These subtle indicators can tell you a more complete story, but you may not have thought to look for them—or may not have the bandwidth to consider all of the factors related to turnover. Data science is all about looking at your data from multiple angles to gain gain useful insights from it. A Core HR platform brings this data together, alongside external data, to help you make more informed decisions. Here are three ways data science will change People Ops: 1. Data Science will help People Ops to strategically advise company leadership CEOs cited the ability to attract and retain talent, as well as develop the next generation of leaders, as top internal concerns for 2019. Data science can help in each of these areas. For instance, data science can uncover factors that are most indicative of a high- or low-quality hire, so you can recruit more strategically. Then, it can uncover the factors that make employees more likely to stay, and those that make them more likely to leave. You can use this information to provide strategic recommendations to your leadership team around recruitment and retention initiatives. Data science can also identify the characteristics of your best leaders, and surface internal candidates who would fit the bill. Through succession planning, career pathing, and employee development, your organization will have strong internal candidates ready to move into key leadership positions as they become available. These types of foresight are invaluable to company leadership, who will come to view People Ops as a strategic advisor to the organization. As your company grows, you can provide information about whether you’re developing the talent you will need in the future, or will need to buy it. You can also provide important information around attrition, so your leadership team can build realistic headcount plans and growth goals. 2. Data science will empower your hiring managers to engage and retain employees Managers are experts in their fields, but not necessarily in employee engagement and retention. Data science can provide key insights and recommendations to empower them to build and maintain strong teams. Managers have a lot on their plates, and may inadvertently neglect the engagement and retention measures uncovered through data science. The right HR technology can help, with nudges and predictive talent alerts to provide managers with trends or warning signs they may not notice on their own. For example, the manager may receive an alert if one of their employees hasn’t taken any vacation time or received peer recognition in the past 3-6 months. Surfacing these opportunities empowers managers to proactively take action to better engage and retain their team. Employees who don’t feel adequately recognized are twice as likely to say they’ll quit in the next year, so these gentle reminders can make a significant impact at your organization. Furthermore, utilizing data science can help managers identify high-potential employees they may have otherwise overlooked for development and promotions. When the most visible and outgoing employees are often the ones who get fast-tracked, data science is a less biased approach that can help identify less visible high performers. This may include employees from underrepresented groups, or remote employees. 3. Data science will help you build a stronger employee experience When there are 7 million job openings, 6.5 million people unemployed, and a noticeable skill gap, your top employees have many opportunities available to them. Employee experience is crucial for keeping them at your organization. Data science allows you connect information from your various systems, such as feedback and performance tools, and external data to provide insights to improve your employee experience. For instance, you can marry employee engagement surveys to your performance data to make decisions around promotions. Things like career pathing and employee development have an impact on the employee experience. Employee experience also feeds back into your employer brand, affecting your ability to attract talent in the future—for better, or for worse. If you’re unconsciously overlooking employees from underrepresented groups for promotions, or if your workplace doesn’t have family-friendly benefits, employees will leave and share their experiences. If you can’t retain your workforce, you can’t expect to easily attract their replacements either. <a style="text-align: center;" href="/get-demo/">Get Demo</a>

Posted on 
Mar 21, 2019
  by
Jen Dewar
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HRIS

How to Make a Solid HRIS Software Comparison

So, you’re in the market for an HRIS. Whether your company is scaling and needs a platform to scale with it, or you’re considering a migration to a new vendor, you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to walk through how to make an effective HRIS software comparison, so you can begin thinking about the things your unique organization might want to look for in a platform. Every company has different needs, so it’s important to prioritize what’s most important to your unique organization.All-in-one or best-of-breed An all-in-one HR Solution is often alluring for HR and Finance teams seeking simplicity. You don’t need to evaluate and implement multiple tools, as many of the features and functionality are included. The problem is, the breadth of features often impedes the depth of functionality for each. While they may integrate with best-of-breed tools, like Payroll, they may also be locked out of those marketplaces as a competitor. These products are developed with a one-size-fits-all approach, and typically only meet minimum requirements around compliance and HR Program effectiveness. A best-of-breed, integration-first HRIS is ideal for organizations that want the best software in market for each stage of their candidate and employee lifecycle. In today’s hyper-competitive talent landscape, innovative organizations understand that they need to go beyond compliance and reactive HR to create a stellar employee experience that engages and retains their best people. It’s not uncommon for growing companies to migrate from an all-in-one PEO/ HRIS to dedicated tools as they increase their People Operations sophistication. Sure, multiple tools adds some complexity to your HR tech stack, but it allows you to build exactly what your unique organization needs to build a winning culture and workforce. Integrations Regardless of whether you choose an all-in-one or best-of-breed HRIS, it’s important to consider whether the platform integrates with your must-have HR, Recruiting, IT, and Finance systems. You don’t want to manually export information from one tool, and import it into another. For instance, from your ATS into your HRIS, or from your time and attendance tool into your payroll system. Look at whether each HRIS integrates with your preferred:Applicant Tracking System Background check provider Payroll solution Benefits provider Time and attendance tool Feedback and performance tool Learning and development tools Productivity and communication tools Email provider Single sign-on providerEmployee experience Look for an HRIS that goes beyond compliance to provide a stellar employee experience with features like:Self-service portal: Allow team members to self-navigate their onboarding and day-to-day employee experience with software that makes life easy for your whole company. Employee onboarding: Improve your new hire experience with an HRIS that offers a strategic, engaging new hire onboarding program. Organizational chart: Help employees understand your organizational structure and provide access to real-time changes such as employee departures, title changes, and contact information. Team directory: Help employees stay connected with their location, team and other groups. Time Off Tracking: Create custom policies and provide an easy time off request and approval experience for employees and managers, while giving administrators visibility with a globally integrated calendar.HR productivity Increase efficiency and productivity with:Automated workflows: Streamline processes and reduce non-compliance risk with workflows that assign tasks, trigger personalized emails, and send reminders when tasks are not completed. Email Templates: Streamline communications with custom email templates that can be sent to individuals or groups of team members. eSignaturing: Eliminate the need to print, sign, and scan paperwork. Calendar integrations: Sync relevant information to your calendar, such as activity due dates, new hire start dates, employee exit dates, anniversaries, and birthdays. Account provisioning: Automate the setup of key systems, such as G-Suite, Slack, Okta, Onelogin, and more.Reporting Make data-driven decisions with configurable, permission-based reporting and dashboards:HR and Manager Dashboards: Track and manage key information across your organization, such as headcount growth, turnover data, and onboarding ramp progress. Custom Reporting: Drill down into the exact information you want to see with easy to build, customizable reporting and analytics. History and audit abilities: Retain archived field history data of all your employee data, helping you comply with industry regulations related to audit capability and data retention.Privacy and security Keep your employee data safe with:Permission settings: Keep employee data secure by providing access only to those who need it. GDPR compliance: Maintain compliance with GDPR if you have employees in the European Union.Support Get the help you need, when you need it, with:Implementation: Get support and learn best practices during your implementation and data migration process. Customer success: Get the level of customer support you need, whether it’s a email support, phone support, an online knowledge base, or even a dedicated customer success representative. Product updates: Learn about each vendor’s product roadmap, how future integrations and features align with your needs, and how your feedback might impact the roadmap.Final thoughts on making a thorough HRIS software comparison Choosing the right HRIS comes down to prioritizing the features and functionality that are the most important to your organization, and finding the platform that can deliver on your must-haves. Consider you evaluation criteria early, so you can go into product demonstrations with a clear understanding of what you’d like to see. Make sure the demo is tailored to your prioritized features and functionality so you can ensure they will actually meet your needs, and be careful not to get distracted by features that aren’t important to your organization. When you go into the process with a strong understanding of what you’re looking for, you can make a solid HRIS software comparison. <a style="text-align: center;" href="/get-demo/">Get Demo</a>

Posted on 
Mar 12, 2019
  by
Jen Dewar
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Announcements

Announcing Sapling Connect

We’re excited to announce Sapling’s inaugural Connect Virtual Summit!We’re bringing together 10,000 HR, Talent Acquisition, and People Operations leaders and practitioners to discuss trends in people strategy, employee experience, and employee lifecycle. <a style="text-align: center;" href="/get-demo/">Get Demo</a> HR and People Operations leaders of today, and tomorrow, understand that the needs of the modern workforce are rapidly evolving. It’s imperative to stay up to date with the latest trends in people operations and culture, so we can better engage and retain talent. Join us on May 1, 2019, beginning at 10am PT (1p ET) and available for 24 hours only, to learn:How to build a more strategic HR function Best practices to create a meaningful employee experience Ways you can support your team to do their best work How to calculate the ROI of People Operations Diversity and inclusion best practices How to set your remote workforce up for success And more!Watch online the day of, wherever you are, whenever you’re available. The on-demand sessions will each last 20 minutes and will be available for 24 hours, so you can watch the exact content you’re interested in when it best suits your schedule. You'll be learning from the best of the best – leaders from Atlassian, CultureAmp, Invision, Twilio, and more. The Connect Virtual Summit is completely free to attend, and sessions are available for SHRM credit. Register today, and join us on May 1! <a style="text-align: center;" href="/get-demo/">Get Demo</a>

Posted on 
Mar 5, 2019
  by
Jen Dewar
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Employee Experience

7 Ways to Show Employee Appreciation

Employee appreciation is one of the best ways to improve retention at your organization. It’s simple to implement, it doesn’t have to cost you anything, and it goes a long way in helping employees feel like valued members of your team. That’s why it’s so surprising that only 45 percent of employees are completely satisfied with the amount of recognition they receive. If this is an area for improvement at your organization, read on for 7 ways to show employee appreciation—and be sure to share them with your managers and leadership team.1. Say thank you The single best way to show employee appreciation is with a heartfelt “thank you.” Briefly acknowledge what you’re recognizing, and why you appreciate it. This is best done in person, but a handwritten thank you note, email, or Slack message work as well. While simple, this gesture is genuine and encourages the employee to continue similar behaviors in the future. You may, of course, layer on additional gestures of employee appreciation, but each of them should be accompanied with a genuine thank you.2. Amplify employee appreciation company-wide While some employees prefer to be recognized privately, others thrive off public displays of appreciation. If your employee is the latter, public appreciation serves a double purpose. First, to recognize the employee; but second, to amplify what standout behavior looks like so others follow suit. You can do this with a shout-out during a team meeting, in a team-wide email, or with a physical space to display notes of appreciation in your office. Check out some of our feedback and performance integration partners to take public employee appreciation to the next level. 3. Send a thoughtful gift A personal, well thought out gift can be a nice gesture to go along with your thanks. For instance, a Peet’s gift card for the coffee lover, or tickets to an upcoming game for the sports enthusiast. Thoughtful gifts show employees that you went the extra mile to give them something special, rather than a generic, company branded T-shirt.4. Celebrate work anniversaries Celebrating employee anniversaries can help employees feel appreciated and cared-for on their special days. While significant achievements are best celebrated as they happen, employees make many, smaller, day-to-day contributions that add up to make a positive impact in the organization. Milestone celebrations are great for appreciating all of those. For Sapling customers, make sure you never miss an employee anniversary by taking advantage of our calendar integrations. 5. Hold employee appreciation events Employee events are a great way to show your entire team that you appreciate their efforts, especially when important goals have been met. For instance, a company-wide party to celebrate meeting aggressive growth goals, or a team-wide dinner to celebrate a successful product launch. These events are also a great place to recognize individual contributions for employees who like public recognition.6. Award bonuses While monetary recognition isn’t necessary, it is appreciated and shows employees that you value their contributions. Award discretionary bonuses with an explanation, for transparency. A bonus that simply pops up in an employee’s paycheck doesn’t have the same effect as one paired with a genuine “thank you,” regardless of whether they’re given spontaneously, or in regular cycles. 7. Promote your star players A promotion shows employees that you value them as a member of your team, and want to keep them at your organization long-term. This is best preceded by career pathing and employee development, so each person has a say in their future with your organization—and clearly understands what they need to do to get there. Again, employees who thrive off public recognition may also appreciate a team announcement for this milestone.Final thoughts on employee appreciation There are literally countless ways to show employee appreciation, but the important thing is to thank people for their contributions to your team. A thoughtful gift, bonus, or promotion can be icing on the cake, but they aren’t necessary. Employee appreciation should be given out freely, and you don’t need a budget to give a genuine “thank you.” It’s also important to note that employee appreciation can come from anywhere: a manager, a company leader, a peer, or even a customer or partner. Creating a culture of feedback can help employee appreciation flow freely within your company, and encourage people to share feedback from external sources. Do this, and you’ll be sure to increase the number of employees who are completely satisfied the the amount of recognition they receive. <a style="text-align: center;" href="/get-demo/">Get Demo</a>

Posted on 
Feb 20, 2019
  by
Jen Dewar
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Employee Experience

The Secrets of Successful Employee Recognition Programs

Employee engagement and retention are top of mind for many HR teams this year, yet many are missing out on an important piece of the puzzle: employee recognition programs. Employees who don’t feel adequately recognized are twice as likely to say they’ll quit in the next year. That’s a harrowing statistic indeed, as only 45 percent of employees are completely satisfied with the amount of recognition they receive. If you want to engage and retain your team, it’s time to turn up your focus on employee recognition. Here’s what makes the best programs successful:They take employee preferences into account Every person likes to be recognized differently. Some appreciate public, company-wide recognition, while others prefer praise during a one-on-one. Some like to be rewarded with bonuses or gifts, while others prefer a hand-written and heartfelt thank you note. Great managers will learn their employee’s preferences, and incorporate them into their team- and company-wide recognition activities. For instance, the employee that appreciates public praise may get a shoutout from leadership during the all-hands meeting, while the employee that prefers more private recognition may be invited to lunch with company leaders. They start early and repeat often Recognition early on an employee’s lifecycle is great for engagement. Managers and new hires should set goals for the employee onboarding process, and the manager should quickly stop by the new hire’s desk every now and then with some encouraging words. Many organizations include regular check-ins during their new hire onboarding process, which also make for a fantastic time to provide recognition. The manager may even choose to share the new hire’s early contributions and wins during team meetings. This will help the new hire feel appreciated, so they stay motivated to keep up their new hire enthusiasm. But don’t stop there. Forty percent of employed Americans say they’d put more energy into their work if they were recognized more often, but most report an average of 50 days since they last felt recognized at work. They get the whole company involved A great way to recognize employees more often is to get the whole company involved by creating a culture of feedback and recognition. Managers will always be the primary drivers, as their feedback ultimately holds the most weight, and they set the feedback culture for their teams. Managers should share key wins with the company leadership, so they too can drive a culture of feedback from the top-down. Think about it: if the CEO can find time to praise employees, nobody else has an excuse not to join in. Employees say the most memorable recognition comes most often from their manager (28 percent), followed by a high-level leader or CEO (24 percent), the manager's manager (12 percent), a customer (10 percent), and peers (9 percent). There are many ways to encourage peer recognition from a team or a company-wide perspective. Here are a few to help you get started:Add employee recognition to the agenda for meetings, and provide an open forum for employees to give shoutouts to their colleagues. Install a cork board with note cards to your lobby, kitchen, or team area, so people can write about, and display, their appreciation for others in a central place. Create a weekly email or Slack thread where you ask employees to give each other shoutouts. At Sapling, we call them #wins. Managers can introduce this thread to their team’s each week, and kick off employee recognition themselves. Implement a solution like performance management and feedback platform to allow employees to praise an individual or a group, or even to send generic praise (many of these solutions also integrate with Slack—and Sapling!).They spread the love Some employee’s contributions are more visible than others, and some employees are less vocal about their successes. If the manager finds that the same people are getting recognized over and over, they should consider how others are contributing and spread the love. For instance, a top-performing salesperson may get constant recognition, but another may be really hustling to make more cold calls, resulting in a significant jump in sales. Make sure to give them a shoutout for that. It’s important to praise good behavior and hustle, just as much as any outcomes. Seek out opportunities to praise team efforts, too. For instance, a manager may find that marketing ads performed really well last month, but know that the advertising manager isn’t the only person responsible for the great outcome. They should also provide recognition to the graphic designer who helped created the ad visuals, the digital marketing manager who created the landing pages, and that engineer who added tracking code to the website. Each person played a role in the success of the team. They tie it into performance management Performance reviews are completed annually in many organizations, and feedback tends to be skewed by recent successes and failures. It can be helpful to tie in feedback and recognition from the entire year, so the employee and manager can get a better sense of overall performance. Some managers will keep a written notebook or digital meeting notes to keep tabs on employee successes throughout the year, while others utilize technology for this purpose. For example, Lattice integrates historical feedback into performance reviews to provide a more complete picture of the entire review cycle. Final thoughts on employee recognition programs Employee recognition is an easy, cost-effective way to improve engagement and retention. But, as with many People programs, it’s crucial to get manager buy-in and participation. They’re at the frontlines of employee retention and need your expert guidance to kick things off the right way. Employee recognition programs enable them to retain the talent they need to lead successful teams, and there’s no better time than now to get started. The talent market is only getting more competitive and your employees have many choices when it comes to where they want to work. <a style="text-align: center;" href="/get-demo/">Get Demo</a>

Posted on 
Feb 12, 2019
  by
Jen Dewar
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HRIS

How to Choose the Best HRIS

Your people are your organization’s strategic advantage—but there’s a lot of competition for them on the market right now. Especially true with ‘in-demand’ industries, like technology, there are simply more open roles than there are qualified people to fill them, giving your employees many choices when it comes to where they want to work. Organizations are realizing they need to do more to actively engage and retain their best people, so they can continue to meet their business goals.Because of this, we’ve seen a shift in HR departments from people administration to people operations and strategy. While the administrative work is still very much necessary, organizations today also need to focus on building a strong employee experience. The right HRIS can help in that regard, by improving efficiency and productivity for People Ops professionals, so you have time to focus on the more strategic aspects of your roles. If you’re in the market for new Core HR technology, read on for some tips to choose the best HRIS for your organization. Prioritize your needs Every organization’s needs will be a little different, depending on things like the size of your organization, where you’re located, and what else is in your HR tech stack. Begin your search for an HRIS by understanding what your unique needs are. It can be helpful to set up an evaluation taskforce to get input from other key stakeholders and users. What are your goals for a new HRIS? The first step is to understand why you’re looking for a new HRIS. Some common goals are to:Build a more strategic HR function, focused on engagement, retention, and productivity. Support rapid headcount growth without sacrificing the employee experience. Create a central system of record to keep employee records accurate and streamlined across talent platforms. Ensure GDPR compliance if you have employees in the European Union.You’ll want to see how each HRIS you consider helps with these goals. Which HRIS features will support your goals? As you consider your goals, pair them with the features and functionality that support them. Make a note of which are must-haves, and which are nice-to-have. Here are some features to consider:Integrations: Improve efficiency by selecting an HRIS that integrates with the best-of-breed HR tech stack you already know and love. Go beyond the obvious integrations with your ATS, payroll solution, and benefits provider, and also consider background checks, time and attendance, feedback and performance, learning and development, and productivity and communication tools. Consider whether single sign-on is important and if you would like an HRIS that seamlessly integrates with G Suite. Employee onboarding: Improve your new hire experience with an HRIS that syncs with your applicant tracking system to trigger a strategic, engaging new hire onboarding program. Org charts: Help employees understand your organizational structure by providing them with access to a dynamic organization chart. Look for a system that reflects real-time changes such as employee departures, title changes, and contact — saving you time and hassle updating multiple systems. People directory: Help your team stay connected with their location, team and other groups — at work, at home, or on their mobile — through a people directory. Time off tracking: Provide an easy time off request and approval experience for employees and managers, while giving administrators visibility with a globally integrated calendar. A great PTO tracker will allow you to create custom policies to track and manage employee time off with visibility and consistency. Intelligent workflow and notification engine: Streamline processes and reduce non-compliance risk with intelligent workflows that assign tasks, trigger personalized emails, and send reminders when tasks are not completed. Email Templates: Save time and streamline communications with custom email templates that can be sent to individuals or groups of team members. Calendar integrations: Sync relevant information to your calendar, such as new hire start dates, activity due dates, birthdays, and anniversaries. eSignaturing: Save time and money by eliminating the need to print, sign, and scan paperwork. Reporting: Make data-driven decisions with configurable, permission-based reporting and dashboards. You should be able to generate things like headcount reports, growth charts, salary averages, work anniversaries, and shirt sizes. Account provisioning: Save your IT and Operations team time and money by automating the setup of key systems, such as G-Suite, Slack, Okta, Onelogin, and more. Permission settings: Keep employee data secure by providing access only to those who need it. For instance, allow your Payroll team to see employee salary information, but don’t allow your IT team to access it. GDPR compliance: Maintain compliance with GDPR if you have employees in the European Union.Effective HR management isn’t just about administration and compliance—it’s about building an employee experience that helps you attract, engage, and retain talent. Look at these features not only from the lens of your key stakeholders but from the perspective of every single person in your organization. What happens after you choose a solution?Implementation: Consider your ideal timeline to implement a solution and the kind of support you’d like. For instance, whether you’d like the vendor to guide you through the process, support your data migration, and advise on best practices moving forward. Customer success: Different vendors can offer varying levels of customer support. Consider what you’ll need to be successful, whether it’s an online knowledge base or a dedicated customer success representative. Product updates: Consider each vendor’s product roadmap, and how future integrations and features align with your needs.Build a thorough evaluation process to choose the best HRIS Your HRIS is the core of your HR tech stack, and a thorough evaluation process will help ensure you choose the right one.Create your shortlist: Once you’ve prioritized the features and functionality you’d like to see in an HRIS, build a shortlist of products to demo. A network of HR professionals can be invaluable here, to gather feedback on what users like and dislike about each HRIS they’ve used. Also, browse vendor websites and third-party review sites to narrow down your choices. Some organizations will send a formal Request for Proposal, in which they ask the vendor to complete a questionnaire about the product functionality and features. Use the information you gather to create your shortlist. See your shortlisted products in action: Schedule demos with your shortlisted products to get a detailed understanding of how they work. Keep your goals and prioritized features top of mind, and make sure you see each of your top priority features in action. It can be helpful to bring in key stakeholders at this point to make sure they will sign off on it, and actually use it—although you can also arrange an additional demo for this purpose. Customer reviews: If you haven’t done so already, read through product reviews on sites like Capterra and G2 Crowd, to get a better sense of what to expect from the product, from people who actually use it. If any additional questions or concerns come up, you can always reach out to the vendor for further discussion. Customer reference: Some organizations will request to speak with a customer reference with similar goals and needs. A product’s existing customers can provide useful insights and best practices, and paint a realistic view of the possible benefits and shortfalls you may experience. Keep your own priorities in mind, and be prepared with specific questions that will help you determine whether the software meets your organization’s specific goals and needs.Final thoughts on choosing the best HRIS Investing in HR technology to improve your employee experience is a critical business decision—and one that’s unique to each organization. It’s not about finding the solution with the longest list of features, it’s about finding the solution with the right set of features for your needs. So round up an evaluation committee, prioritize your must-have features and functionality, and get some demos scheduled. We certainly hope Sapling will be on your shortlist. {{cta('4d230012-6b9b-416d-a9b3-a687d1e015e9','justifycenter')}}

Posted on 
Feb 6, 2019
  by
Jen Dewar
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Onboarding

10 Employee Onboarding Statistics you Must Know in 2019

As we continue into 2019, strategic employee onboarding continues to be a key focus for many organizations. The Human Capital Institute has found that invested onboarders are more likely see key benefits, such as increased engagement levels, decreased time to proficiency, and decreased turnover. But the most innovative companies understand that building an effective onboarding program is an ongoing process. Whether you’re just starting out with your program, or you’re a seasoned veteran, check out these 10 employee onboarding statistics you must know in 2019:1. Great employee onboarding can improve employee retention by 82% Research by Glassdoor found that organizations with a strong onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82 percent and productivity by over 70 percent. Unemployment is low, job openings are high, and people have many choices when it comes to where they want to work—so it’s important to engage and retain employees from day 1. A strong employee onboarding process can help you accomplish that, while also helping new hires ramp faster, so they can be productive sooner. 2. 88% of organizations don't onboard well Gallup found that only 12 percent of employees strongly agree their organization does a great job of onboarding new employees. That means 88 percent don't think their organizations do a great job of onboarding! Given that a strong onboarding process can result in higher retention and productivity, there’s a huge opportunity for most organizations to do more on that front. Only about one in 10 employees think their employer does a great job of onboarding new employees—so survey your team to find out what you could be doing better!3. 58% of organizations say their onboarding program is focused on processes and paperwork It’s no surprise that only 12 percent of employees think their organization does a great job onboarding, when HCI found that more than half of organizations focus their employee onboarding on processes and paperwork. Furthermore, one-third said their onboarding program was informal, inconsistent, or reactive. The best employee onboarding programs structured and strategic, rather than administrative, with focus on people, not paperwork. 4. Most organizations only focus on week 1 of onboarding HCI states that most organizations have stopped their onboarding process just after the first week, leaving new hires feeling confused, discouraged, and lacking resources. Again, it’s no surprise organizations aren’t doing a great job with onboarding when all activities are completed so quickly. A week is hardly enough time for a new hire to become acclimated to their company, culture, and role. The best employee onboarding programs extend throughout the employee’s first 90 days—and may even extend out for a full year—to ensure new hires are fully supported as they ramp to full productivity. 5. A negative onboarding experience results in new hires being 2x more likely to look for other opportunities According to Digitate, employees who had a negative onboarding experience are twice as likely to look for other career opportunities in the future. The average US employer spends $4000 and 24 days to hire a new worker. With a negative new hire onboarding experience, your new hire could walk out and effectively double your cost and time to hire. Once you take into account the cost of vacancy, lost productivity, and the impact on morale, losing an employee so soon after they’ve been hired is actually much worse than it appears on the surface. 6. 1 in 5 new hires are unlikely to recommend an employer Digitate reports that one in five new hires are unlikely to recommend an employer to a friend of family member after their new hire onboarding experience. Employee referrals are one of the most coveted sources of hire because they’re faster and less expensive to hire, onboard faster, and stay longer. Many organizations will host sourcing jams with their new hires to dig into their social networks and see which of their connections might be a good fit for current or future roles. That’s why it’s a shame that 20 percent of new hires are unlikely to recommend an employer to a friend or family member.7. 87% say buddy programs boost new hire proficiency According to HCI, 87 percent of organizations that assign an ambassador or buddy program during the onboarding process say that it's an effective way to speed up new hire proficiency. While a buddy program is considered highly effective, fewer than half (47 percent) of organizations include it in their onboarding program. A buddy program is fairly easy to implement—and it’s free! Just match a seasoned employee with your new hire, and request that they check in once a week for the first month, and 1-2x per month thereafter, to make sure your new hire is acclimating to their new environment. They can introduce the new hire to other employees, help them find their way around the office, and show them local coffee shops and lunch spots. 8. 81% of organizations believe cross-boarding is just as important as new hire onboarding HCI reports that 81 percent of organizations agree that onboarding internal hires is just as important as onboarding external hires. However, only 27 percent of organizations report that they effectively onboard employees that are promoted or moved to a new position. Internal hires won’t need company-specific information but certainly benefit from social activities to get to know their new team and role-specific onboarding.9. The biggest onboarding challenge is inconsistent application Inconsistent application, competing priorities, ability to measure ROI, buy-in and manager accountability, and insufficient internal resources are the top onboarding challenges reported by HCI. If you’re facing these challenges with your employee onboarding program, know that you’re not alone. The good news is that many organizations have overcome these challenges, and there’s plenty of guidance available to help you do the same. An employee onboarding solution can also help in many of these areas. For instance, it can reduce manual tasks to maximize resources, and can automate reminders to help ensure a consistent application and manager accountability. [Tip: Check out this webinar to learn how to extract ROI from your candidate and employee experience program] 10. The average new hire onboarding experience consists of 54 activities Sapling reports that new hires will have over 50 activities that need to be completed during their onboarding period. The average new hire will be assigned 3 documents to sign, upload, or acknowledge, and 41 administrative tasks to complete, such as desk set-up. They will also have 10 outcomes, which are achieved learning goals around the company culture, market knowledge, and role alignment. This variety of activities ensure the new hire is fully acclimated and integrated into their new role. <a style="text-align: center;" href="/get-demo/">Get Demo</a>

Posted on 
Jan 29, 2019
  by
Jen Dewar
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Onboarding

The Fatal Flaws in Your New Hire Orientation Program

New hire orientation is typically done on an employee’s first day of work and, in too many cases, it doesn’t leave a very positive impression. Your hiring manager meets your new hire at the door, offers some lukewarm coffee, and hands them a pile of paperwork to fill out. They input their name and social security number, the date, and signature on page after page of paperwork. This can take anywhere from an hour to a few hours, depending on whether or not they actually read everything they’re signing. They take an office tour, and are introduced to dozens of people along the way—many of whom they won’t remember 10 minutes later. They may sit down with their manager for a brief one-on-one before heading out to a team lunch, followed by an afternoon of learning about the company.The first flaw in your new hire orientation: it’s boring Each of these things is necessary—and important—to do, but the first big flaw with this program is that it doesn’t make for a very exciting first day. Consider this: your new hire came from another role where they knew everybody, had a firm handle on their job, and were making an impact at their organization. As their end day neared, they may have had goodbye lunches and best wishes for their new opportunity. They left feeling on top of the world; ready to conquer their next adventure. But upon beginning their first day, they’ve been reduced to paper pushing and classroom or video learning for the day. They’ve probably met a lot of people, but can’t remember most of their names, or what roles they’re in. They’re bored, feel alone, and wonder if they made the right decision to leave their prior company and join yours. It’s not uncommon for many of these people to leave after a bad first day, or to wish they had once they realize they’ve felt the same way for the past three months. The second flaw in your new hire orientation: it’s too much information at once It’s certainly important for a new hire to get team introductions, learn where things are in the office, and learn about the company—but it’s information overload when done on the same day. And, if you don’t have a formal onboarding program, the information is likely never reinforced to your new hire. Some of it might stick, but the rest will probably never be thought about again. So, the only thing that ultimately stands out about your new hire orientation is that it was boring, and a waste of valuable time. Is that what you want your employees to remember about their first day at your organization? How to structure your employee orientation instead Innovative companies are offering online orientation prior to the first day. This allows the first day to be about meaningful introductions, early learning, and celebration. It also allows new hires to learn key information at a slower pace, so they retain more of it and can ask follow up questions on their first day. The key is to extend and integrate the employee onboarding process into the rest of your onboarding process, and reinforce key messages throughout the employee lifecycle. Preboarding Employee preboarding takes place between the time a new hire signs an offer letter, and actually arrives for their first day of work. Communicating and engaging with new hires during this transitional period helps them feel more connected to the organization, while also allowing them to complete some new hire tasks at their own pace. Here are some things you can do at this time:Send the new hire a welcome email, letting them know what to expect on their first day. Send new hire paperwork. [Tip: an employee onboarding platform can pull key information from your ATS and send it to your HRIS, payroll provider, and benefits system.] New hires can get the boring paperwork out of the way, and ask any questions they have about it on their first day. Share information about your company’s history, mission, vision, values, culture, perks, and benefits. Introduce the key people your new hire should know, such as their hiring manager, buddy, and team, as well as other recent new hires. An accompanying people directory and org chart allows new hires to get to know their colleague’s backgrounds and interests outside of work, as well as how each team is structured. Ask the new hire to complete a new hire questionnaire, so you can learn more about them, such as their food preferences, favorite holiday locations, and a t-shirt size for company swag. Use this information in a weekly new hire announcement, so the rest of the team can get to know new employees. Set the new employee up with a Slack account so they can connect and communicate with their new colleagues. Encourage employees to reach out to new hires via email, Slack, or LinkedIn to say hello and welcome.First day An employee’s first day is a crucial time to make a positive, lasting impression. With some of the administrative, logistical stuff out of the way, the first day can be reserved for a warm welcome to the team, company culture, and environment:Offer your new hire a later arrival time, so they can enjoy a stress-free morning and commute. Ask the hiring manager to meet their new team member at the door, and introduce them to their buddy. Schedule breakfast or coffee for your new hire and their buddy so they can get to know one another. Offer the new hire an office tour, so they can learn the lay of the land and be introduced to some of their new colleagues. [Tip: a people directory or org chart can help your new hires remember everyone’s names after this tour is over.] Invite the new hire to join you for their new hire orientation. Go into more depth on some of the topics covered during preboarding, such as how you came up with each company value, and examples of employees embodying those values. Allow new hires to ask any questions they may have from their preboarding process. Invite the new hire to lunch with their team, to celebrate their first day. Schedule a meeting between the new hire and hiring manager to review responsibilities and goals. Also schedule regular check ins to review performance, and discuss what the employee needs to be successful in their role.Beyond the first day While new hire orientation has traditionally been a one-time event on or near the employee’s first day, extending some aspects into the rest of the onboarding process can be useful. For instance:Schedule all of your new hires for a breakfast or lunch with your CEO or leadership team, rather than using an impersonal video introduction. This can’t always be done on the first day due to scheduling, but working it into the first month of employment can show your organization’s dedication to transparency and communication. Introduce all of your new hires at all-hands meeting, with information from their new hire survey, so you can continue building strong relationships between employees. Give regular shout outs to employees who have embodied company values, to recognize a job well done, and to reinforce values to the entire company. Maintain a people directory and org chart so employees can continue getting to know one another, and can easily find people in the organization. Continue the buddy system to provide new hires with a resource to answer any company-related questions that come up. Maintain regular employee communications around their goals and progress.Final thoughts Too many new hire orientation programs are employer-centric, focusing on administration and compliance, when they should be more candidate-centric, focusing on engagement. With 25 percent of the U.S. population experiencing some type of career transition each year, it has become increasingly important to engage, retain, and develop your talent. That begins with a strong new hire orientation program. You have exactly one chance to make a positive first impression—don’t waste it. <a style="text-align: center;" href="/get-demo/">Get Demo</a>

Posted on 
Jan 16, 2019
  by
Jen Dewar
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Onboarding

How to Evaluate Employee Onboarding Software

As your company scales, so must your employee onboarding process. A spreadsheet or project management tool may have worked fine early on, but it’s not cutting it now. Or, perhaps you’re using an employee onboarding platform that simply isn’t meeting your needs. Onboarding has a lot of moving parts, between signing paperwork, provisioning accounts, and helping your employee acclimate to their new role at your organization. Plus, employee onboarding is the perfect time to jumpstart engagement and retention, which require more of a red carpet experience than your average onboarding program.You also know that you need new employee onboarding software to help you scale your team more efficiently and strategically, but you’re not quite sure how to evaluate solutions. Well, you’re in the right place. We’re going to walk you through a typical employee onboarding evaluation process so you can make the choice that’s right for you. Determine your criteria and prioritization Different organizations have different goals and workflows, which may require specific software features and functionality to support them. It’s important to begin the evaluation process by understanding what those are, and which are most important to you. This allows you to evaluate each employee onboarding solution thoroughly against the things that your organization needs to be successful. It can be helpful to set up an evaluation taskforce to gain different perspectives from other people involved in the decision making process, as well as product users. For instance, rope in someone from Finance, IT, and Operations, as well as hiring managers and even some recent hires. Leverage this task force to develop a crystal clear understanding of what you’re looking for in a solution. Determine your goals The first step is to understand why you’re looking for new employee onboarding software. Some common goals are to:Scale hiring without sacrificing the new hire experience. Streamline onboarding throughout your organization to give each new hire the same red carpet experience, regardless of department or office location. Build a more efficient onboarding process, allowing your People team to automate administrative tasks so they can focus on more strategic initiatives. Simplify the onboarding process for hiring managers and your IT department. Develop a more strategic onboarding program to engage and retain employees.You’ll want to see how each employee onboarding solution you consider helps with these goals. Build your ideal onboarding workflow Consider your current onboarding workflow, and what would make it better or easier. Let’s say, for instance, you would like to send each new hire a welcome email, and get them set up with a G Suite account prior to their first day. An onboarding solution that allows you to store a welcome email template and auto-provision an email account can help you build a more efficient process. Or, if other departments often forget to complete tasks in a timely manner, a solution that sends automated task reminders can allow you to focus on more important things. Prioritize features and functionality As you think through your goals and workflow, pair them with the employee onboarding software features and functionality that support them. Make a note of which are must-haves, and which are nice-to-have. Here are some features to consider:Integrations: Reduce manual data entry by selecting onboarding software that integrates with your ATS, HRIS, payroll solution, and benefits provider. Intelligent workflow and notification engine: Streamline processes and reduce non-compliance risk with intelligent workflows that assign tasks, trigger personalized emails, and send reminders when tasks are not completed. Email Templates: Save time and streamline communications with custom email templates. Calendar integrations: Sync relevant information to your calendar, such as new hire start dates, activity due dates, birthdays, and anniversaries. Pre-boarding: Reinforce your candidate’s decision to join your organization by offering a strong employee preboarding program. Introduce new employees to your company culture, mission, team, and onboarding program before they commence day one. eSignaturing: Eliminate the need to print, sign, and scan paperwork. Dashboards: Get visibility on employee and manager progress with smart dashboards. Account provisioning: Save your IT and Operations team time and money by automating the setup of key systems for new hires such as G-Suite, Slack, Okta, Onelogin, and more. Permission settings: Keep employee data secure by providing access only to those who need it. For instance, allow your Payroll team to see employee salary information, but don’t allow your IT team to access it. GDPR compliance: Maintain compliance with GDPR if you have employees in the European Union.New hire onboarding isn’t all documents and signatures—it’s the beginning of the employee experience. Look at these features not only from the lens of your internal stakeholders, but from those of your new hires as well. Demo your shortlist of employee onboarding solutions Once you’ve determined the features and functionality you’d like to see in an employee onboarding solution, build your shortlist of products to demo. With 132 employee onboarding software vendors represented on Capterra, it would be quite time consuming to look at every solution on the market. Narrow them down by speaking with other HR professionals in your network about your needs, browsing vendor websites, and reading third-party reviews. Some organizations will send a formal Request for Proposal, in which they ask the vendor to complete a questionnaire about the product functionality and features. Use the information you gather to create your shortlist, and reach out for a product demonstration. Attend the demo with your goals, ideal workflow, and prioritized list of features and functionality you’d like to see in a solution. Walk through the entire employee onboarding process, as both the employer and employee, then do the same for offboarding. Make sure you see all of your must-have features in action, and take note of how they meet your needs. It can be helpful to bring in key stakeholders at this point to make sure they will sign off on it, and actually use it—although an additional demo can also be arranged for this purpose. See what customers have to say Following a product demo, some organizations will review a customer reference with similar goals and needs. Customers can provide helpful insights and best practices around using the software, and paint a realistic view of the possible benefits and shortfalls you may experience. Keep your own priorities in mind, and be prepared with specific questions that will help you determine whether the software meets your specific goals and needs. Organizations may also choose to read product reviews on sites like Capterra and G2 Crowd or peruse case studies to make a more informed decision. Final thoughts on evaluating employee onboarding software Modern employee onboarding software can help you manage the many administrative tasks associated with hiring a new team member, while also supporting strategic initiatives to engage and retain talent. But, as every organization is different, it’s important to evaluate software based on your own needs and priorities. It’s not about finding the solution that has the most robust feature list, it’s about finding the solution that has the right feature list, and partnering with the right team that truly understands your company and needs. <a style="text-align: center;" href="/get-demo/">Get Demo</a>

Posted on 
Jan 10, 2019
  by
Jen Dewar
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Onboarding

What is Employee Onboarding?

Employee onboarding is the transitional phase between an interviewing job candidate becoming a fully-ramped employee. Everyone onboards new employees, but many onboarding programs skew more administrative than strategic. You have each new hire fill out paperwork, get them set up with an email address, access to software, and office equipment, and introduce them to key team members. The problem is, this does very little to set your new hire up for success—or retention. Employees who have a negative onboarding experience are twice as likely to begin looking for new opportunities within the year. The talent market is tight, and your talent acquisition team is working hard to attract, assess, and close top talent for your organization. Candidate experience is a big part of that. When talent acquisition passes the baton, onboarding extends the candidate experience into the employee experience. This handoff is critical to engaging and retaining talent.Definitions: What is Employee Onboarding? Employee onboarding is the key transitional period of acclimating a new hire to the organization's values, culture, systems, and processes. According to SHRM, “onboarding is the process of helping new hires adjust to social and performance aspects of their new jobs quickly and smoothly.” Wikipedia says, “Onboarding, also known as organizational socialization, refers to the mechanism through which new employees acquire the necessary knowledge, skills, and behaviors in order to become effective organizational members and insiders. It is the process of integrating a new employee into the organization and its culture.” In many organizations, however, the onboarding process doesn’t help new hires acclimate or integrate into the organization or their roles within it—and employees are left to figure that out on their own. Some eventually will, but others will feel that they made a mistake by joining your team and will seek employment elsewhere. A more structured, strategic employee onboarding process will not only help you retain the talent you’ve worked so hard to recruit, but it will also help employees reach full productivity faster. [Learn more about building a strong employee onboarding process in our eBook: Strategies for the Future of Employee Engagement] What is strategic employee onboarding? Strategic employee onboarding goes beyond paperwork and administration to help new hires acclimate to their new role at your organization. Partner with your leadership team, hiring managers, payroll, and IT to set goals for new hires, and build a predictable and repeatable process over each new hire’s first 90 days. Gather feedback from existing employees and each new hire to continually improve your process. We’ve found that the average structured onboarding program has 54 activities per new hire, with the complexity of onboarding programs increasing as organizations grow. That breaks down to:3 documents signed, uploaded, or acknowledged by new hires 41 tasks and administrative items completed, such as desk set up, hardware, and calendars 10 outcomes, including achieved learning goals around company culture, market knowledge, and role alignmentThis requires some more effort, but it’s well worth it. Using employee onboarding software to automate many administrative tasks, and to keep workflows moving, can help. For instance, software that allows you to create an email address with a single click, and sends notices and reminders to the hiring manager to add the new hire to department-specific software. This frees up your time to provide the new hire with a warm welcome, put together a company swag bag, and gather feedback to continue to improve your process What might a good employee onboarding program look like? While each organization’s onboarding process will vary, here’s a sample program to help you get started. Before the first day: Employee preboarding should include a welcome email to your new hire, sharing your excitement to have them on the team, and providing some details around next steps. This may include:First-day details (what time to arrive, how to get into the building, what is on the itinerary) An invitation to complete new hire paperwork A buddy introduction An introduction to the team A request for equipment preferences (i.e. Mac vs. PC, left-handed mouse, or a standing desk) Information about the organization’s history, team, and cultureFirst day: With a strong preboarding experience, your new hire’s first day can be filled with meaningful introductions, early learning, and celebration:Later arrival and coffee/tea with the hiring manager Office tour and team introductions (it can be helpful to include an org chart) Team lunch Training on tools and systems critical to the role (i.e. those they will be using right away) First day hiring manager check-in to review role responsibilities and goalsFirst week: Rather than overloading your new hires with information on their first day, spread things out over a week or so.Insights into the company culture Information about company history Product training Request for initial onboarding feedback (and use it to improve your program) Buddy check-in Additional training on tools and systems relevant to the role Day 7 check-in to recognize successes and identify areas where the new hire may need some additional helpFirst 90 days: Strong employee onboarding programs extend out 90 days to help new hires fully ramp.Day 30, 60, and 90 check-ins to recognize successes and identify areas where the new hire may need some additional help Ongoing training and development Request for additional onboarding feedback (and use it to improve your program) Buddy check-ins (once per week for the first month, once or twice per month thereafter)Final thoughts A structured, strategic employee onboarding program requires more effort than a strictly administrative onboarding process, but the return on investment is there. When done right, it can accelerate time to productivity, increase engagement, and improve retention. Each organization’s program may vary to cater to its unique needs, but the goal remains the same: provide new hires with the foundation they need to succeed in their new roles. Want to learn how Sapling can supercharge your employee onboarding program? Schedule your demo: <a style="text-align: center;" href="/get-demo/">Get Demo</a>

Posted on 
Jan 3, 2019
  by
Jen Dewar
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