A well-trained workforce is the bedrock of organizational success.
This article was first published on September 21, 2023, by HR Daily Advisor, a sibling publication to HealthLeaders.
Training in today’s dynamic corporate landscape has evolved from a mere checkbox activity to a strategic imperative. As organizations invest heavily in upskilling their workforce, the pressing question remains: Is our training truly making a difference?
With rapid advancements in technology, companies now have tools at their disposal to not only deliver training but also evaluate its effectiveness. Technology is revolutionizing the way businesses assess the impact of their training initiatives, ensuring employees are not just trained but also empowered—and that businesses find real benefits from their training efforts.
The Power of Learning Management Systems
In the digital age, learning management systems (LMSs) have emerged as the backbone of modern training initiatives. These platforms offer a centralized hub where organizations can host, deliver, and track training content. But their value extends far beyond mere content delivery.
“In my experience, the best way to leverage technology in quantifying the impacts of your training efforts is to use a learning management system,” says Gauri Manglik, CEO and cofounder of Instrumentl. LMSs provide a standardized platform, ensuring consistency in training delivery across diverse teams and geographies. This standardization not only streamlines the training process but also facilitates accurate performance tracking.
Manglik further elaborates on the adaptability of LMSs, highlighting their ability to “create quizzes and tests automatically based on the content that has been made available to learners.” Such features empower learners, allowing them to gauge their understanding and identify areas that need reinforcement.
In essence, an LMS is not just a tool but also a strategic asset. It bridges the gap between training delivery and evaluation, ensuring organizations can measure the real-world impact of their training efforts and make data-driven decisions for continuous improvement.
Reframing Training Approaches for Better Outcomes
The traditional view of training, often seen as a periodic activity, is undergoing a significant transformation. In the contemporary business landscape, training and upskilling are no longer just supplementary—they’re essential. This is especially true in fields like technology, in which rapid advancements mean skills can become obsolete in a matter of years.
“Training and upskilling are no longer a nice-to-have, but a need-to-have – particularly for those in technology, where the average half-life of a skill is just 2.5 years,” says Sean Regunath, Senior Vice President of Technology at Revature. He emphasizes the shift from mere training to a broader “talent enablement framework.”
Linda Ho, Chief People Officer of Seismic, echoes this sentiment, stressing the importance of experiential learning. “The importance of training goes far beyond assigning a course as a to-do task,” she notes. By immersing employees in real-world scenarios and providing continuous coaching, organizations can foster a deeper connection between the learner and the company’s overarching goals.
In essence, the future of training lies in a holistic approach, one that not only imparts knowledge but also empowers employees, aligning their growth with the strategic objectives of the organization.
Assessments: The Key to Continuous Improvement
Assessment is the compass that guides training initiatives, ensuring they remain on course and achieve their intended outcomes. In the realm of training, it’s not just about imparting knowledge but also about validating its absorption and application.
“Our team uses pre- and post-training assessments to measure our L&D program’s success,” says Nat Miletic, owner and CEO of Clio Websites. By employing a microlearning approach, Miletic’s team ensures assessments are integrated at every stage of the training process. These evaluations serve a dual purpose: They act as refreshers for previously covered content and as diagnostic tools for upcoming modules.
The beauty of such continuous assessments lies in their granularity. They offer real-time insights into a learner’s progress, highlighting strengths and pinpointing areas that might need further attention. “Evaluating the scores and the learner’s completion rate is critical in determining whether they need additional courses,” Miletic adds.
In the digital age, where information is abundant and attention spans are limited, such targeted assessments ensure training remains relevant and impactful. They provide both trainers and trainees with a clear road map, ensuring learning journeys are not just undertaken but also successfully completed.
Data-Driven Training Initiatives
The influence of data and technology on training initiatives can’t be understated. Harnessing the power of data allows organizations to move from intuition-based decisions to ones grounded in empirical evidence.
Ho underscores the transformative potential of top-tier tech solutions in training. “Forward-thinking companies and managers use the power of data to inform training initiatives and improve team performance,” she notes. Such solutions provide instant dashboards that track training activity, offering a panoramic view of learning trends, practice results, and areas ripe for coaching.
But it’s not just about tracking. It’s also about deriving actionable insights.
“Combining training activity and performance metrics can uncover the skills and behaviors needed,” Ho elaborates. This fusion of data points can spotlight skill gaps, guiding the design of subsequent training modules. In addition, the adaptability of modern tech solutions ensures training content remains agile, adjusting based on real-time feedback and evolving business needs.
In essence, data acts as a lighthouse, illuminating the path forward for training initiatives. By integrating data-driven insights into their training strategies, organizations can ensure their efforts are not just effective but also aligned with their broader business objectives.
The intersection of technology and training has ushered in a new era of talent development. As organizations grapple with the challenges of an ever-evolving business landscape, the tools and strategies they employ to upskill their workforce become paramount. From leveraging LMSs to harnessing the power of data, the avenues to ensure effective training are diverse and dynamic. But at the heart of these efforts lies a singular goal: empowering employees to reach their fullest potential.
As technology continues to redefine the contours of training, one thing remains clear: A well-trained workforce is the bedrock of organizational success.
To truly gauge training's effectiveness, a holistic approach is needed—one that marries the objectivity of numbers with the depth of personal insights.
This article was first published on September 19, 2023, by HR Daily Advisor, a sibling publication to HealthLeaders.
In the quest for effective training, evaluation stands as the compass, guiding organizations toward success. But when considering training evaluation, a debate often arises: Should we rely on quantitative metrics—hard data—or delve into more qualitative, nuanced feedback?
The answer lies in a combination of both.
Understanding Quantitative Metrics
Quantitative metrics offer concrete data—think test scores, completion rates, or time taken to finish a training module. These numbers offer a clear-cut, measurable view of performance, highlighting successes and pinpointing areas of improvement.
But while the clarity that quantitative metrics can provide is certainly important, hard data isn’t enough to help detect and learn from more nuanced aspects of the training experience.
Where Qualitative Metrics Come into Play
Just because quantitative metrics are numbers-based doesn’t mean qualitative inputs aren’t important. Qualitative metrics can help learning and development (L&D) leaders take a deeper dive into trainees’ experiences, perceptions, and feelings.
Feedback forms, personal reflections, and group discussions all provide qualitative input to help assess training impacts. These qualitative metrics offer a richness that numbers often can’t, shedding light on the why behind quantitative data. Why did a particular module resonate with employees? Why was another module more challenging? Qualitative data can provide the answers.
Striking the Right Balance
In practice, neither quantitative nor qualitative metrics can stand alone. Each brings its own strengths to the table. Quantitative data, with its clear-cut numbers, offers an objective lens, allowing organizations to benchmark performance and set measurable goals. It’s the foundation, providing a stable ground for evaluation.
On the other hand, qualitative metrics delve into the intricacies of the human experience. They capture the nuances, the emotions, and the subjective experiences that numbers might overlook. They answer questions that quantitative data might raise, providing context and depth. For instance, while a low test score (quantitative) might indicate a problem, feedback (qualitative) can reveal whether the issue was with content understanding, module delivery, or perhaps external factors affecting the trainee’s performance.
To truly gauge training’s effectiveness, a holistic approach is needed—one that marries the objectivity of numbers with the depth of personal insights. This synergy ensures organizations get a comprehensive view of their training’s impact. It’s akin to viewing a painting; while you can measure its dimensions and count its colors (quantitative), understanding its emotion and story requires a deeper look (qualitative).
Training, at its core, is about growth and development. And to truly understand its impact, organizations must embrace both quantitative and qualitative metrics. It’s not an either/or scenario; it’s a harmonious blend. By striking the right balance, organizations can ensure their training not only educates but also resonates.
Josetta Jones' journey and Chevron's longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion serve as a beacon for other corporations.
This article was first published on September 18, 2023, by HR Daily Advisor, a sibling publication to HealthLeaders, and has been adapted for HealthLeaders.
Human resources (HR) leaders in healthcare can learn and take valuable information from HR leaders in other sectors. In today’s corporate landscape, the emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is more pronounced than ever. Companies are recognizing the value of a diverse workforce, not just as a moral imperative but as a business necessity.
At the forefront of this movement is Josetta Jones, Chevron’s Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer. With a rich background spanning STEM education, law, and corporate leadership, Jones embodies the essence of Chevron’s commitment to fostering an inclusive environment.
An Early Emphasis on Education and STEM
Growing up in Houston, Texas, Josetta Jones’ early life was deeply influenced by her parents’ emphasis on the significance of STEM education. “Even way back as a child,” Jones recalls, “my parents always emphasized the importance of STEM education. They suggested that I study engineering when I went to college.” Heeding their advice, she pursued a degree in chemical engineering, laying the foundation for her diverse career path.
Jones’ journey was not without challenges, especially as a woman of color in fields traditionally dominated by men. “I studied chemical engineering and worked for a few years for a chemical company in the Texas area,” she shares. “I was in a manufacturing facility where a lot of men worked—and not very many people of color.” Despite the challenges, Jones valued her time there, forging strong relationships with coworkers and gaining insights into the importance of inclusivity.
Jones’ thirst for knowledge and growth led her to law school, after which she moved to Washington, D.C., to practice law. “I went to law school and then went to D.C.,” she says, highlighting the stark contrast between the private sector and government work. Her experiences in patent law further underscored the underrepresentation of women, particularly women of color. In fact, she shares only about 2-3% of the patent bar were women of color.
Throughout her journey, Jones has consistently been a beacon for diversity and inclusion, drawing from her personal experiences to advocate for a more inclusive corporate culture. Her story serves as a testament to the importance of representation and the value of diverse perspectives in any field.
Chevron’s Historical Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion
Chevron’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is deeply rooted in its history. “Even as early as the 1960s, before the Civil Rights Act, we made a public statement about not discriminating,” Jones proudly states.
This early stance set the tone for the company’s future initiatives. By the late 60s, Chevron embarked on a campaign to actively hire minorities, a move that was both progressive and emblematic of its core values.
“We have a great picture of lands and black service stations in North Carolina from that era,” Jones reminisces, emphasizing the company’s long-standing dedication to inclusivity. Whether it was the establishment of diversity councils or public declarations against discrimination, Chevron’s actions have consistently displayed its unwavering commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment.
Employee Resource Groups at Chevron
Chevron’s dedication to fostering an inclusive environment is evident in its robust Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). “In the 90s, we started with our lesbian and gay employee resource groups,” Jones recalls. Over time, this initiative expanded, and today, Chevron boasts 11 diverse ERGs, catering to various demographics including race, gender, and career stage.
These ERGs aren’t just social hubs; they’re platforms for leadership development and cultural awareness. “Our employee networks are great. They present an opportunity for leadership development,” Jones emphasizes. Encouraging cross-participation, she adds, “We probably encourage everyone to step out of their own affinity and step into another one to learn something new.”
With global presidents of ERGs hailing from outside the U.S., Chevron’s commitment to diversity is truly international, reflecting its global operations and the diverse voices within.
Chevron’s Proactive Approach to Inclusion
Chevron’s approach to inclusion is both proactive and innovative. “We have training, like ‘Breaking Bias’, helping people understand their unconscious biases,” Jones shares. While such training isn’t mandatory, it’s a valuable resource for employees.
Another unique initiative is the inclusion of counselors during selection processes. These counselors challenge selection teams, ensuring choices aren’t influenced by unconscious biases. “The intent of the inclusion counselor is to test the selection team’s reasons for selecting somebody,” Jones explains. This ensures equal opportunity for all qualified candidates.
The Importance of Diverse Voices
In the vast expanse of the global corporate landscape, the significance of diverse voices cannot be overstated. For a multinational giant like Chevron, this diversity is not just a nod to corporate responsibility—it’s a business imperative. “Not every place we operate looks like Pascagoula, Mississippi,” Jones points out, highlighting the vast cultural differences in Chevron’s operational regions.
Jones passionately believes that a team enriched with diverse voices leads to better, more innovative outcomes. “A team that has a diversity of voices and perspectives really resonates well,” she asserts. This isn’t just about ethnic or gender diversity; it’s about the myriad experiences, backgrounds, and viewpoints that employees bring to the table.
These varied perspectives are invaluable in navigating the complex challenges of the global energy sector.
Jones emphasizes the importance of listening to both underrepresented groups and voices of the majority. “It’s essential to look out for underrepresented groups. They also need to hear the voices of the majority,” she says. This balanced approach ensures that everyone feels heard, valued, and included, driving Chevron’s mission of true inclusivity.
Josetta Jones’ journey and Chevron’s longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion serve as a beacon for other corporations. In a world where diversity is often discussed but not always practiced, Chevron stands out as a testament to the power of inclusive thinking. Through proactive initiatives, employee resource groups, and a genuine desire to hear diverse voices, the company not only champions inclusivity but thrives because of it. As businesses look to the future, Chevron’s model offers a blueprint for harnessing the strength that can be found in diversity.
'HR can effectively demonstrate its value to the leadership team by fully engaging in activities that will allow them to learn about the business and gain business acumen.'
This article was first published on September 14, 2023, by HR Daily Advisor, a sibling publication to HealthLeaders, and has been adapted for HealthLeaders.
Human resources (HR) leaders in healthcare can learn and take valuable information from HR leaders in other sectors. In this article, read how one leader's passion for helping others.
Meet Stacy Lord, HR Manager at University of Phoenix. Lord has been with the university for 16 years now, kick-starting her career as an enrollment representative. Her responsibilities included duties that allowed her to help others progress in their roles, such as peer performance coaching and skills training. It was during this time that Lord’s passion for helping others and relational skills was ignited.
A senior leader in operations would become her mentor, helping her explore further career paths. A few years later, Lord became a learning facilitator, operating in myriad roles.
Lord said, “There was a time where I was placed into the business as an L&D partner, and I was introduced to the Human Resources Business Partner (HRBP) role. I drew a strong interest in that role and identified that I wanted to pursue my career as an HRBP. I started mentoring with the HR Director who provided me with the guidance and encouragement I needed along the way. I connected with HRBPs to gain insight, advice, and to become familiar with the new department.”
From there, Lord joined the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), taking advantage of the resources available the professional membership association provided.
“I had just completed my master’s degree in management and had no desire to pursue another degree,” Lord recalled. “When positions were posted I applied and interviewed several times and was hired as an HR Representative, Investigations Specialist role in April 2015, when I simultaneously began my HR Management Certificate and my career in HR. In August 2016 I was promoted to HRBP, then to Sr. HRBP in 2019, and to HR Manager in 2021.”
In her current role as HR manager, Lord oversees the development and implementation of HR strategies that effectively align HR principles with the university’s business objectives. Additionally, she spearheads leadership coaching, talent management, employee engagement, employee relations, performance management, and staffing and compensation strategies. Lord also serves as a trusted advisor and strategist to management and assigned client groups and more.
In our latest Faces, meet Stacy Lord.
Who is/was your biggest influence in the industry?
My mentor, the HR director who helped me find my way, was my biggest influence. Joining his team was the best thing that happened that led to the start of my career in the HR field. I would always observe him and his HRBPs in confidential meetings with senior business leaders discussing things that I assumed would impact the company in some way. I wanted to be a part of those meetings, I wanted to participate in the discussions, I wanted to influence decisions, and I wanted to be part of his team!
What’s your best mistake, and what did you learn from it?
Often, in this profession, we must deliver tough messages and must navigate the recipient’s response. I was counseling an employee on his performance, and I tried to relate by sharing a personal experience, and it backfired on me. The employee made a very insensitive comment in response and basically told me he did not care about my experience and that it was not helpful. I had another time early on in my HR career when I was having a difficult conversation with a senior leader, and although I felt prepared, the leader disagreed with me and pushed back on my guidance the entire time.
I stuck with the conversation and continued to pivot throughout, but in the end, I did not persuade the leader to change their perspective. I felt very strongly about my view, so that was not easy walking away from. I did not lose confidence; this just motivated me to prepare better next time. It also helped me identify that no matter how strongly I feel, I need to keep an open mind because there will be times when other directions are taken. We are all humans and have feelings, but I learned that in this profession, do not take things personally. Stay focused on the agenda, and take your feelings out of it. Not everyone will like what you have to say or agree with you, and that is OK. It has nothing to do with you personally. It just comes with the territory of work that we do.
What’s your favorite part about working in the industry? What’s your least favorite part, and how would you change it?
I like the level of importance of the work we do every day. I like the pressure, as stressful as it can be at times. I enjoy the challenge of keeping up with the industry and ensuring I follow best practices. I enjoy the level of involvement HR has within the organization and being involved in decision-making that influences outcomes aligned with business goals. I do not think you can change my least favorite part; it just comes with working in HR and dealing with the challenging life situations we as humans experience.
It sounds like, through your experience, you really care about people, and you want to help them feel safe and comfortable, which is important in the industry. Please elaborate here.
It is very important to help individuals feel safe and comfortable. Just hearing the term HR makes people anxious; they think they are getting in trouble. I always knew I worked well with people and wanted to help them in some capacity. Because HR can sound intimidating to some, my goal is to always be personable and approachable. I try to be present as much as possible in various ways, not just when I am needed. In my role, I can’t expect employees to automatically be comfortable coming to me when they need to. I must put in effort toward helping them feel comfortable with me. I invite employees to reach out to me any opportunity I get, and I make myself available as much as possible. It is important for employees to understand that I am part of the team of support and resources they have.
How can HR most effectively demonstrate its value to the leadership team?
HR can effectively demonstrate its value to the leadership team by fully engaging in activities that will allow them to learn about the business and gain business acumen. HR partners can use this knowledge in the guidance provided and to engage in conversations with the leadership team. Most importantly, this will help build credibility. If you demonstrate that you understand the business and how they operate and what they are trying to accomplish, leaders will listen when you speak. Leaders will allow you to influence their thought process and decision-making if you can demonstrate that you understand and that you are there to be a business partner and are not just someone in HR that they call when they have questions.
What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of the progression in my career since starting in HR in 2015. I believe my progression through roles with increasing levels of responsibility and expertise proves to myself and others that pursuing my career in HR was the right thing to do.
Do you have any advice for people entering the profession?
The work in HR can be challenging but very rewarding. When times get tough, do not forget to take time for yourself to recharge. When you experience success, take the time to celebrate.
Implementing several strategies can help HR leaders better communicate ideas with other C-suite members, especially the organization's CEO.
This article was first published on September 15, 2023, by HR Daily Advisor, a sibling publication to HealthLeaders.
It’s no secret there’s sometimes a significant disconnection between the CEO (and C-suite) and HR leaders in many organizations. While HR is focused on ensuring a positive and supportive culture and boosting employee engagement, CEOs are much more focused on the bottom line and often have a hard time understanding and supporting HR initiatives that, to them, may lack evidence of a real return on investment (ROI).
Follow the Numbers
In most organizations, human capital represents the greatest expense on the balance sheet. That big expense represents a big opportunity for HR professionals, who can get their messages aligned with areas of relevance for senior leaders.
It may be a blow, but it’s likely true: CEOs don’t care about how satisfied employees are—they care about how that satisfaction translates to higher productivity and other demonstrable bottom-line impacts.
Trying to sell “nice to do” initiatives without data to back up their business relevance is a good way to ensure your messaging lacks resonance.
Understand What Matters Most
When was the last time you looked at your organization’s strategic plan? Do you know what your company’s strategic initiatives are? Do you know what metrics have been selected by the senior leadership team to monitor success?
If you aren’t familiar with your organization’s strategic plan or priorities and don’t know what metrics keep senior leaders up at night, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be able to develop and pitch initiatives that will receive C-suite approval. That lack of understanding is one big reason so many HR professionals (and other members of service departments) continue to lament their lack of involvement.
Creating Conversations to Build Connections
HR professionals should avoid sitting in their offices and lamenting about the lack of connections or the lack of understanding between them and the CEO and other C-suite executives. Instead, it’s important to reach out to make connections and build understanding. What are the CEO’s and C-suite members’ specific areas of focus?
Gaining this understanding can help you build better business cases to support your recommendations.
Building the Business Case
Building a business case involves presenting reliable and valid support for whatever recommendations you may be making. This could include a financial analysis, case studies, research, trends reports, benchmarks, or internal data, e.g., the current cost of turnover and what a specific percentage reduction in turnover could represent in terms of cost savings or boosted productivity.
Framing your conversations based on bottom-line impacts can put “real green reasons” behind HR-related recommendations.
It is essential for HR teams to manage the rules and processes around the use of AI in the workplace and stay updated with rapidly changing trends.
This article was first published on September 14, 2023, by HR Daily Advisor, a sibling publication to HealthLeaders.
Artificial intelligence (AI) has captured our imaginations for decades. Blockbuster hits like The Terminator and The Matrix series have driven home fears of computers becoming sentient and seeking to eradicate or enslave the human race.
Beyond Science Fiction: AI Impacts Become Reality
More recently, however, concerns over AI have been more mundane and practical, and those concerns are typically focused on AI’s impact on human labor. There have long been concerns over whether and to what extent AI will render humans obsolete in different industries, for example.
But AI has the potential not only to replace human labor but also to complement human labor, resulting in significant productivity boosts. AI, including tools like generative AI chatbots, has the ability to answer a wide range of employee questions, create high-quality written and visual content, and even engage with customers.
This has many employees asking themselves: “If my employer can benefit from replacing me with AI, why shouldn’t I use AI to perform my work myself?” In other words, what’s wrong with employees using AI to perform their work for them?
In many, if not most, cases, there shouldn’t be any ethical concern with such an approach. However, it’s important to put certain ground rules in place to protect business interests and ensure appropriate use of these rapidly emerging tools.
One of the most prominent concerns over the use of AI is transparency around the authenticity and source of AI-generated content. Was this content created by a human employee over several hours, or was it created by an AI chatbot in 15 seconds? How should that impact how that work is paid for and how much?
Similarly, businesses also need to be transparent with their employees when it comes to how the use of AI may impact their work and, ultimately, their careers.
“HR should strive for transparency and create a culture of openness in how AI algorithms and decision-making processes work,” advises Young Pham, the Cofounder and Senior HR Manager at BizReport. “Employees should be informed as early as possible about the decision to use AI in HR and given a clear explanation of how it affects their current employment and future decisions about their work.”
Protection of IP and Confidentiality
Many AI chatbots involve creating prompts. This might mean a user entering a one-sentence question or entering a lengthy report and asking the chatbot to summarize its content.
But what happens to the information entered into the prompt?
It’s important that users understand the implications of entering customer data, company financial information, or other sensitive material into a third-party AI chatbot.
Certain laws, regulations, or contractual obligations with customers may have rules around how that information is used and whether and how it can be shared with third parties, including providers of AI chatbots.
Another key issue in the use of AI chatbots at work has to do with the concept of ownership. We’re not talking about ownership in the sense of legal ownership of intellectual property created by or entered into an AI tool; we’re talking about the concept of taking responsibility for the product of AI-assisted work.
This means that even if AI is a key contributor to a given work product (or even the sole creator), the employee or team using that work product is still responsible for it.
A great example to illustrate this point comes in the legal context. A New York attorney recently found himself in hot water for submitting court filings that cited bogus legal authorities. The source of this infraction was apparently the lawyer’s use of an AI chatbot to create the filing.
When AI is used to help create work products for human employees, those human employees are still responsible for ensuring the end result is accurate and doesn’t plagiarize work from others. The lawyer in the example above could have easily looked up the case references created by his AI tool and discover they didn’t exist. Similarly, there are a number of free plagiarism tools available online.
Those who choose to leverage AI in their work have no excuse for bad output.
The Role of HR
AI and AI chatbots are obviously very tech-focused tools, but it’s not just the IT team that needs to be well-versed in their operation and use. The HR function also has a critical role when it comes to the use of AI by employees and by the employer.
“When new AI technology is introduced, it is important for HR to communicate guidelines around its use in a timely, clear, and consistent manner—managing the people side of the implementation,” says Amani Gharib, PhD, Director of HR Research and Advisory Services at McLean & Company.
“HR can also support through feedback and output review, as well as ensure that policies are relevant and in compliance with local and global laws and regulations,” Gharib adds. “By conducting risk assessments and creating policies around AI technology, HR will be able to manage ethical risks and considerations accordingly. It is also just as important for organizations to build resilience and manage the disruption of AI through effective change management and transformational leadership.”
Early concerns over AI in the workplace focused on AI taking jobs from human workers. While AI can replace a human worker entirely, in practice, there are perhaps more situations in which AI—in its various forms—will augment the work human employees are doing. While this collaboration can create tremendous productivity gains, it also raises a variety of ethical concerns for both employers and employees.
It’s therefore essential for the HR team to have a central role in managing the rules and processes around the use of AI in the workplace and for HR leaders to stay on top of rapidly changing trends related to the use of generative AI and other tools.
Employee well-being includes monitoring and taking steps to address both physical and mental well-being, as well as opportunities for advancement and a sense of belonging and inclusion.
This article was first published on July 5, 2023, by HR Daily Advisor, a sibling publication to HealthLeaders, and has been adapted for HealthLeaders.
Although there are many examples of friendships and romances in the workplace, it’s typically a professional environment where people keep personal feelings and information private. This tendency has increased significantly in workplaces that shifted to remote work in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is unfortunate because improving overall employee well-being can have important and positive impacts on the engagement, loyalty, productivity, and innovation of a workforce.
Although the term is broad, employee well-being includes monitoring and taking steps to address both physical and mental well-being, as well as opportunities for advancement and a sense of belonging and inclusion.
One of the biggest benefits of well-being programs is they often encourage employees to do some sort of self-evaluation—for example, to identify key strengths and weaknesses or sources of stress or anxiety.
By better understanding their current skills, areas for improvement, and mindset, employees are better positioned to improve their performance.
Another key benefit of well-being programs is the creation of valuable feedback loops and channels of communication among employees, their managers, HR teams, learning and development professionals, and others. These are vehicles for employees to express concerns or share feedback on company policies and initiatives, as well as to receive valuable feedback themselves.
The office isn’t intended to be a place where people overly share personal information, but employees’ general well-being does impact their work, and it’s influenced by a variety of factors that aren’t necessarily work-related.
When structured appropriately and with genuine business objectives in mind, employee wellness programs can successfully bridge the gap between the professional world and the outside factors that drive performance.
The results of Monster’s poll may be shocking to some. For example, here are some of its key takeaways:
Only 9% of those polled say they haven’t experienced some form of discrimination at work.
In addition, 77% say they have witnessed an act of discrimination in the workplace. Unfortunately, when they do, 28% say they don’t feel comfortable reporting these incidents.
During the job application process, employees also report discrimination, with 50% saying they’ve experienced discrimination based on age (50%) or race (40%).
It’s also interesting to note that there’s a difference between the level of discrimination experienced during the job application and interview process and the level experienced in the workplace. For instance:
Discrimination based on race—40% during job application and interview; 38% on the job
Discrimination based on age—50% during job application and interview; 37% on the job
Discrimination based on weight or height—15% during job application and interview; 11% on the job
While most organizations have policies against discrimination, those policies aren’t enough.
Policies Aren’t Enough
Monster’s research indicates that while companies have policies against workplace discrimination, 45% of employees say they’re unaware of those policies. In addition, employees don’t think discrimination policies are as important as other types of policies like family and medical leave (81%), antiretaliation against whistleblowers (77%), and salary transparency (70%).
Train and Educate Employees
As Monster’s poll reveals, there’s an opportunity to better train and educate employees about the importance of anti-discrimination in the workplace, what discrimination looks like, employees’ roles in helping minimize discrimination, and steps to take to report discrimination they either experience or observe.
Start with a Baseline
Just because Monster’s poll indicates a high level of discrimination doesn’t mean that’s the case at your organization. It pays to poll your own employees to get a better understanding of your situation and to start with an accurate baseline to begin devising specific strategies and tactics.
By implementing data, you are investing time in tracking how well your organization is doing when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent.
This article was first published on June 14, 2023, by HR Daily Advisor, a sibling publication to HealthLeaders.
Metrics have always been an important part of HR, but to many HR professionals, 2022 was the year they became essential. In an incredibly tough job market, a political landscape where everything felt flipped upside down, and a rocky economy, companies were desperate to hold onto their employees as priorities shifted and workers made drastic choices.
The human element of HR will always be the most important one. It’s hard to quantify how well you’re caring for your employees in numbers. After all, satisfaction and contentedness in the workplace are nebulous terms that mean different things to different people. Plus, on any given week, an employee may feel good about work one day and not so great the next.
But there are several key performance indicators (KPIs) that can be useful for HR teams.
The Value in People Metrics
These “people metrics” measure what can feel immeasurable: how well your company is doing at finding new employees, filling open positions, retaining talent, and creating a great company culture. KPIs aren’t just bland stats in a spreadsheet. They can give you real information about how well your business is treating its employees.
On one hand, this matters in terms of your bottom line—employee retention is far more affordable than having a high turnover rate. On the other hand, you probably got into HR because you care about people and want to treat them well.
So making sure you’re doing so is just the right thing to do!
By the Numbers
By measuring your data and looking at your numbers, your company can ensure your HR department is thriving. Numbers and analytics can help you zero in on what your problem areas are so you can spend the proper amount of time adjusting your practices.
Metrics can also help you make predictions.
When you’re mapping out hiring timelines, training programs, or recruitment efforts, metrics can help you understand how long things will take and what type of process it will be. These KPIs can also clue you in to where to look for your next employee and how much of your budget you should set toward training efforts. Without HR analytics, you’re flying blind, which isn’t a great place to be.
Metrics That Matter
Here are 12 metrics HR professionals should track to hold onto employees, care for their needs, and help their business do what it does best. Take a look at your own data-gathering practices, and see what you need to invest a little more time into calculating.
Percent of Open Positions
Your percent of open positions is calculated by figuring out how many job openings you currently have. Think: How can you quickly fill those positions to keep your percentage nice and low?
Applicants Per Opening
Your applicants per opening is self-explanatory: How many people apply for each job opening you post? Think: How can you cast a wider net to entice more applicants to come forward?
Time to Fill
Your time to fill is simply the number of days it takes to hire a new candidate—i.e., how long between a job opening is posted and when a candidate accepts an offer. Think: How can you shorten the application process in order to fill open positions more quickly?
Your acceptance rate is the number of job offers your company extends divided by the number of positive responses you receive. Think: How can you convert more job offers into accepted ones?
Cost per Hire
Your cost per hire is your hiring costs divided by the total number of employees you hire within a given time period. Think: How can you lower your hire costs to recruit new employees without spending a fortune or somehow hire in batches?
Source of Hire
Where are your accepted job candidates coming from, and how did they originally connect with your company? Think: How can you focus your time and energy on the most effective recruiting channels?
Training Expenses per Employee
This is calculated by looking at the total cost of training, education, and courses divided by the number of people in your organization. Think: How can you maximize training outcomes while minimizing the cost?
Time of Training Completion
This is how long it takes employees to complete a training program from beginning to end—in other words, how long it takes to get from their accepted offer to when they’re actually able to throw themselves into the role. Think: How can you speed along the training process while ensuring it still runs smoothly?
Revenue per Employee
Your revenue per employee is calculated by taking the total amount of revenue in your company divided by the total number of employees. Think: Which employees contribute the most to your company’s bottom line, and how can you increase your revenue per employee?
Track how well employees are performing by taking a look at manager assessments, peer reviews, and their own specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals. Think: How can we help our employees knock it out of the park at work?
Employee satisfaction is how willing your employees are to recommend your business as a place of employment to others. You can gather this data by asking them to participate in an anonymous survey. Think: How can we improve our company culture and make our organization the best place to be employed?
This is calculated by dividing the number of employees on the last day of a year by the number of employees on the first day of a year, accounting for any new positions created. Think: How can we entice our employees to stick around and continue thriving in their roles instead of seeking new opportunities?
By implementing data, you aren’t losing the human element of HR. KPIs aren’t something to be nervous about. Instead, you’re taking HR more seriously—you’re investing time in tracking how well your organization is doing when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent.
Upskilling and reskilling employees are constant requirements in today's rapidly changing workforce environment.
This article was first published on September 7, 2023, by HR Daily Advisor, a sibling publication to HealthLeaders.
Reskilling and upskilling are terms that refer to workforce development and employee training efforts designed to ensure employees are capable and competent to achieve job objectives. While similar, the two terms are different.
Difference Between Reskilling and Upskilling
Reskilling is the process of training employees in new skills that are entirely different from the skills they’re currently using.
Upskilling is the process of improving or expanding existing skills.
Both involve training and development activities designed to enhance proficiencies and productivity.
The Benefits of Reskilling
While upskilling helps employees develop higher-level competencies that may allow them to move into more responsible roles, reskilling teaches them new skills they need—in some cases, because their current job is being eliminated or replaced by technology.
Reskilling ensures employee adaptability and helps future-proof the organization. It also aids in retention. After all, even if employees’ skills have become outdated for their current role, their knowledge and experience with the company are still valuable. It’s costly to recruit and retain new employees, but if existing employees can be reskilled to meet company needs, that’s a win-win for both the company and the employees.
The best practices for reskilling employees are the same as for upskilling. Both involve:
Aligning training and development activities with organizational goals and strategic objectives;
Continually assessing individual employee needs—in this case, gaps between current competencies and required competencies to remain effective and productive in their jobs;
Providing diverse learning opportunities;
Setting clear goals; and
Rewarding and recognizing achievements.
Because reskilling has a somewhat more negative connotation than upskilling, it’s also important to provide ongoing communication and support to employees whose current skills don’t meet organizational needs. It’s important to ensure they understand that the company wishes to keep them on board, values their contributions, and is committed to providing them with the knowledge, skills, and aptitudes to help them succeed in the organization.
The good news for employers is that employees are increasingly interested in reskilling to remain competitive in a constantly changing job environment. In fact, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 68% of workers say they’re willing to retrain in any situation—28% are willing to retrain if necessary.
Upskilling and reskilling are constant requirements in today’s rapidly changing environment. What steps are you taking to ensure employees are committed to strengthening or gaining the skills needed to help your organization succeed?