News – Asset HR

The Strong Foundation of Employee Experience

This blog post was submitted by one of our fantastic contributors, Jaime Taets, CEO of Keystone Group International.

Every house needs a solid foundation to remain strong and weather the storms that will inevitably come.  Our organization’s Culture and Employee Experience is much the same.  We don’t build it during or after the storm, we build it in the calm times, the times when we can give it the focus is deserves so it stands strong when the storms come.

The biggest part of the foundation of any organization is Conscious Leadership.  It drives how we think, act and interact as we are weathering the storms of change.  Conscious Leadership is focused on creating an environment where people feel a sense of belonging and bring their strengths to work each day to have an impact on the organization.  And the result of having conscious leaders in your organization is employee retention.  People will stay where they feel valued.  People will perform for leaders that they trust and are committed to their success.

Often time as leaders, we believe our jobs are to have all the right answers, to be able to solve the biggest problems and have all the best ideas.  The truth is, our job as conscious leaders is to ask all the right questions, challenge people to think differently about our biggest problems and create the space for people to bring the best ideas forward.  Our organizations do not thrive and grow when leaders are directing and controlling the efforts of their people.  Organizations and humans thrive when leaders are inspiring and challenging them to think differently and get curious.

The good news is that conscious leadership skills can be honed.  We aren’t born conscious leaders, we have it modeled for us and we learn techniques that help us put it into action in our own authentic way.  There’s no one type of leader, just like there’s no one strategy to grow our organizations.  It requires conscious action and decisions that move us forward, some that succeed and some that cause us to learn.  But there is no wrong way to develop our conscious leadership skills.  The only failure is to subscribe to the arrogance that what worked before will work forever.  We are never done growing as leaders, and as the business climate around us evolves, we need to ensure we are evolving.

Here are a few ideas to strengthen your Conscious Leadership muscle:

  1. Focus on coaching. Leaders don’t have all the right answers, they know the right questions.  Think about that when working with your team.  Coach them through the change or the issue.   You hired them for a strength, so help them utilize that strength to solve the problem they are facing.  Just like you would a kid on your youth basketball team – help them find their unique strength and then help them figure out how to apply that strength to help the team win – together.
  2. Don’t overcomplicate it. Life is complicated enough, as leaders we don’t have to overcomplicate our role.  Caring about your people is free.  It doesn’t cost you anything to truly care about who they are as humans and what makes them tick.  And then use that to power their growth.  Find out who they are beyond just their degree and title, find out what ignites passion in them and help them do more of it.
  3. Be vulnerable. Admit where your own limitations are as a leader.  Ask your team to help you grow, model a growth mindset for them and you will bring out the best in them.  Can you remember a leader in your life that you would do anything for?  Someone who you knew cared for you and would have supported you no matter what?  Become that leader.  Strive to live up to that level every day.

As the business world evolves, leaders are being called to a new level of leadership.  Focus on your own gaps and areas of growth and opportunity and be the leader that your future organization needs.

Keystone Group International guides businesses in becoming more focused and aligned, by providing solutions at the intersection of strategy, leadership, and culture.

Discover how Keystone Group can help solve your biggest issues and transform your business. Learn more.

Building Efficiencies Creates More Effective and Efficient Work Environment

The situation: The client faced heavy manual work importing information into their accounting systems and other portal platforms, which resulted in the two-person HR staff exhausting their efforts and tasks 7-10 days each month. The employees did not have one resource to manage and update benefits, thus creating difficulties during the onboarding process.

Our work:  After the client partnered with AssetHR, we provided them with projections of how our services could increase efficiencies and improve the employee’s overall experience. We implemented iSolved, our human capital management solution, to easily oversee benefit tracking, administration tasks, and eligibility requirements; ensuring that the software would not counteract with Great Plains.

The results: In the near future, LeFebre-Westendorf would like to be fully integrated with isolved and AssetHR. The client is thrilled that the company will eliminate over 500 hours a year in manual application work, allowing for a more effective and efficient work environment. Because of AssetHR, the client now has the ability to focus on growing relationships within the workplace and begin to incorporate more impactful ways within the organization.

Construction Firms Facing Historic Pressures Must Still Focus on Compliance or Risk Lawsuits

This article was written by attorneys Janell Stanton and Lauren Skildum with Wagner, Falconer & Judd, Ltd. and The Compliance Center. To learn more about The Compliance Center, our all-in-one HR compliance platform, please reach out to Chris Kelly with AssetHR.

It is no secret that the construction industry has been facing significant issues completing its project backlog that have caused stress on business.  Since construction is one of the largest sectors of the U.S. economy, most can appreciate these concerns, as they in turn impact many other sectors of business.  The two main problems most of the industry is navigating are: supply chain issues and shortage of workers.  First, current supply chain issues are pushing delivery dates to double or triple their typical timelines, which make planning projects difficult and deadlines tough to uphold.  Further, even when materials or equipment are available, US Inflation at a current rate of 8.52% is driving costs to unprecedented highs.  Second, the effects of the pandemic have left a significant shortage of skilled workers in the US labor market.  It is difficult to retain quality employees and challenging to hire new or replacement workers.  This labor shortage puts pressure on any project to complete the work on time and within budget.  In some instances, construction firms have taken a laxer approach to compliance, often with dire consequences.

However, these pressures on construction firms should not cause HR departments to “throw out the baby with the bathwater.”  In May, during hearings, the EEOC cited the construction industry’s culture of racism and sexism and commented that, with much of the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act being earmarked for construction firms, the Act should not fund an environment of hate.  It is safe to say that construction firms are squarely in the EEOC’s enforcement crosshairs, which is never a good place to be.

Consider a case that a Washington HVAC contractor recently settled with the EEOC.  The case involved allegations against the HVAC contractor’s owner who was accused of sexually harassing female employees, including telling women they did not belong in the building trades, engaging in nonconsensual touching, leaving condoms and lubricant out in public areas of the building, and asking women to wear more revealing clothing.  Ultimately, the contractor reached a settlement with the EEOC agreeing to be subject to federal oversight for five years and pay out a total of $361,000 to seven women who were subjected to the owner’s harassing conduct

Against this backdrop, it has never been more important for construction firms to recommit to compliance: starting with its anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies.

Review: HR representatives should review existing policies and ensure they are up to date.  If any changes are needed, or an audit reveals some employees have not received the policy, HR should undertake to ensure all employees receive and acknowledge receipt of the policies.

Train: All employees and managers should receive anti-discrimination and anti-harassment training, ideally on an annual basis.  Companies should ensure that they comply with any specific state or local laws requiring employee and manager training.

Enforce: Compliant policies are no good if they are not properly enforced.  HR must take all allegations of discrimination and harassment seriously, regardless of the position of power the alleged perpetrator may occupy.  Companies should conduct thorough investigations.  Employees should be subject to appropriate remedial action, including termination of employment if the circumstances warrant.

Should Skill-Based Hiring Be a Consideration for Your Organization?

The traditional hiring process puts an emphasis on degrees and certifications over skills. As a result, the average job-seeker doesn’t apply for many positions they can fill because they don’t meet the official requirements. Degrees and certifications are absolutely necessary for some careers, such as medical and legal. However, many organizations just need employees with the right skill sets. Beyond this, for many jobs, a college degree or certification isn’t necessarily an indicator of employee performance.

Skill-based hiring is a new but effective approach to hiring employees who will be an asset to your organization. There are many benefits to focusing your recruiting efforts on skills, with only minimal changes to the hiring process.

Benefits of Skill-Based Hiring

There are many reasons to hire employees for their skills instead of adhering to traditional requirements like degrees and employment history.

Increase Your Pool of Applicants

Most job seekers do not hold a degree. This reality severely limits your applicant pool. By requiring a four-year degree or a specific length of previous employment experience, you limit the number of people who can apply for your job. Leave out the arbitrary requirements, and you’ll get more applications to choose from.

Even with more applicants, you don’t have to spend more time on the hiring process. There’s a way to sift through the job applications to find the candidates best suited for the position. Instead of excluding candidates for lacking a degree, you want them to demonstrate specific skills. It doesn’t matter if they learned the skills at a regular job.

Fill Positions Fast

The hiring process can take a long time if you don’t use skill-based hiring. The first step is to weed out applicants who don’t meet your list of requirements. Then you might interview the ones who show potential. Finally, you’ll verify they have the skills they need to fulfill the job responsibilities.

If you focus on skills first, you can speed up the hiring process. Instead of wasting time dissecting educational experiences, you can get straight to what matters the most: does the candidate have the skills to get the job done? Once you verify they have the skills you need, you just need to ensure they fit in with your company culture.

Save Money on Training

A recent college graduate may be highly sought after in the traditional hiring model. But what real-world experience does a college graduate have that will help them perform the duties of the job? Unless they worked as an intern in the summer semesters or held a part-time job, they might have fewer skills than someone who didn’t pursue a degree.

When you hire employees for the skills they have, you save money and time on training them for the job. They can start working for you right away because they already have all of the necessary skills. Many degree programs and certifications don’t offer enough real-world experience, which puts the responsibility of training squarely on you.

How to Put Skill-Based Hiring in Practice

Now that you understand the benefits of skill-based hiring, it’s time to put it into practice. You don’t have to revamp your entire hiring process right away. Just start with the next open position or consider skill-based hiring for positions that take a long time to fill.

Hiring for skill only requires minimal adjustments to your hiring process. In most cases, it’s as easy as changing your job descriptions. Before you add requirements to your job postings, think about the reasons behind them. Every requirement should be an indicator that a candidate can do the job you’re hiring for.

Does the job really require a degree? What skills does the future employee need to succeed at the job? If the degree doesn’t guarantee they have the skills, then it’s a useless qualifier. Rewrite the job description by focusing on responsibilities instead of providing a list of requirements.

Even skill-based hiring can be time-consuming. Our enterprise-level technology partnership with isolved can help you simplify applicant tracking and onboarding, and our deeply skilled team is a resource for your team when you need help with HR Recruiting. When you’re ready to take the next step, please don’t hesitate to reach out – we’d love to help!


Planning for the Future of Your Bank

Every industry has its unique challenges. The banking industry is no exception. Over the last two years, there have been many changes in the workplace environment, and those have directly affected your ability to hire and retain employees.

If you want to remain competitive, it’s time to evaluate your approach to human resource management.

Challenges in the Banking Industry

The banking industry faces unique challenges with its workforce. Hiring employees is more difficult and time-consuming, especially with pandemic-related changes. More people are working remotely than ever before, and the banking industry has been traditionally slow to change.

Competition for Talent

Competition for talent can be fierce. Other financial institutions are searching for employees from the same limited pool of applicants. Companies from other industries also recruit banking professionals to perform various duties.

To generate applications, your bank has to think outside of the box. Employees value fair pay, but they also look for flexibility in their schedules, opportunities for advancement, and an attractive benefits package. With the need to have sufficient staff during opening hours, flexibility can be limited.

Employee Retention Challenges

It’s increasingly difficult to keep health insurance affordable for your bank and its employees. Rising healthcare costs also contribute to the challenges of employee retention. Employees may seek jobs with better benefits even if they prefer your company culture and the work environment you provide.

Your employees have also had to face many new challenges within their role throughout the past two years. For example, they have to provide services to customers remotely where previously they provided assistance in person. They may be experiencing a heavier workload burden due to team members being out sick for extended periods of time. And they might be feeling overwhelmed if they are in a customer-facing role due to more confrontational behavior from consumers.

Develop Leaders and Engage Employees

Your employees are your company’s greatest assets. For employee retention, it’s important to focus on employee engagement and leadership development. The people who hold managerial positions often need to learn the skills to lead their teams in a way that encourages employee engagement.

You may also benefit from outsourcing your leadership roles, especially if you don’t have the time and resources to train your staff. All of your efforts to improve your workplace culture need to focus on developing the people you work with.

Focus on Long-Term People Development

With the present hiring and retention challenges, it makes sense to focus on the long-term development of your staff. Your employees are your greatest asset, but they’re also human – they need feel like a valued member of your company. Focus on building authentic relationships, give them opportunities for on-the-job training, and recognize their achievements regularly for best results.

Look for opportunities to bring new training and development initiatives within your business. Ask your employees what they’d most like to learn in professional development or on-the-job experiences. This can help you craft ongoing opportunities for growth with your existing workforce in a way that they truly value, increasing employee loyalty and retention rates.

Invest in AI and Automation

Your business operations involve many moving parts, but you don’t have to use employees for every task. Artificial intelligence and automation can streamline your processes. However, AI and automation are not a replacement for human involvement. Instead, they simplify tasks for your employees and increase productivity.

To identify areas that could benefit from automation, consider documenting how much your employees spend on different, repetitive tasks. For example, automatically recording attendance and managing employee time can streamline payroll with the right system in place.
Supplement Your Human Capital Needs with Remote Workers
You probably can’t meet all of your human capital requirements by hiring full- and part-time staff. To create a comprehensive human capital management strategy, consider investing in AI and automation and supplementing your workforce with fractional and freelance team members.

Many tasks required to run your business operations need to be done by people, but they don’t have to happen on your premises. Remote-friendly tasks include things that don’t involve direct customer interaction or collaboration with a team of your employees. For example, you can often fill HR, marketing, and sales roles with remote team members.

Hiring remote employees is just as challenging as hiring on-site staff. But if you’re open to fractional or freelance team members, you can fulfill your staffing needs more efficiently.

Take the Next Step

Rising above the challenges of hiring, retaining, and managing your staff can help your business flourish. While human capital management is evolving, there’s no reason why your company can’t evolve along with it. When you’re ready to create a comprehensive HCM strategy, AssetHR can help. Reach out to schedule some time to chat.