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Major challenges faced by HR – Resonating to employee dissatisfaction and more

Everybody is underpaid in the world and that’s why all HR departments face the wrath from the staff. Most organizations find it hard to structure the compensation strategy that satisfies all employees. Small organizations are directly competing with bigger brands that have hefty budgets in place to meet bigger payrolls. As the costs of living goes up steadily, so do the expectations of employees from the compensations they receive.

Unsatisfied ones will speak up or will look out for alternative opportunities. According to the results of a research conducted by Ransdstad Employer Brand Research, employee compensation is a factor that tops the list of the factors determining job satisfaction

However, the vows don’t end here.

Working in compliance with laws and regulations

There is dynamism in the laws with respect to employment. This is a challenge for the HR professionals as the business owners have to make sure they work in compliance with such regulations. There have been in fact instances where businesses endured heavy losses when they ignored legal compliances thereby invited lawsuits and audits. Over the past one decade, organizations in India are paying attention more than before towards regulations on everything right from hiring practices, wage payments, workplace safety, etc.

Producing more leaders from within the organization

A recent study released that more than one third of companies are doing nothing above an average job or at best, with respect to leadership development programs. 36% of companies that were surveyed in Brandon Hall Group’s State of Leadership Development Study had to admit the low quality of their leadership development practices.
According to the Society of Human Resource Management, there is a high level of turnover that the executive roles are facing which can lead to a leadership void. This can lead to a ripple effect which may leave managers and employees in a state of confusion. Human Resources, have a greater responsibility towards producing leaders from within the organization through organized learning and engagement programs.

Containing high employee attrition rates

Events such as Brexit have clearly rendered a number of employees unsettled as fears of uncertainty have increased within the international staff in the business. Employee retention has always been a problem for HR. The average span of time for which an employee sticks with a particular job is around 4.4 years and that too has decreased. As a matter of fact, millennials and Gen Z stick for even less time, around 3 years.

The competition out there for talented employees is fierce. Small organizations and startups do not have hefty budgets to provide for the retirement planes, insurances, etc. that the bigger organizations do. As employee turnover adversely affects a business, HR’s have a prime responsibility of <containing employee attrition rates> through boosting employee communication and resonating to their expectations.

Bringing the best talent on board
In fact, you don’t need the best talent but the most appropriate ones to join you! Attracting talent is a huge investment when time and money are the key differentiators. For entrepreneurs, it is really difficult to keep a balance between a business’ run and hiring of right candidates for the organization. Additionally, it is almost impossible to determine if the candidate will be right for the organization until he has worked for some time at the organization.
The unemployment rate has been on a steady decrease in Canada, recently having dropped below 7%. So, with a fewer number of talented employees out there seeking jobs, it comes upon HR to fill in candidates that may be right investment for the organization. SO, attracting right talent becomes a hardship.

Manage diversified workforce

In any organization, multiple generations work at a time. A millennial will have different expectations from a workplace as compared to the older generation. They might not be comfortable sitting at a desk from 9 to 5 as their seniors did, working on daily routines. They look out for cultural fits at the organizations and expect perks such as flexible working times, casual dress codes, work from home, etc. to count a few. So, with multiple generations followed by cultural and ethnic differences, workplace diversity management becomes a challenge to tackle with continually, for small organizations.

Training and development of the workforce

Investment in the training and development of skills of employees at lower levels is another common challenge that HR faces. Some businesses have trouble finding resources to carry out these programs. The employees at higher levels, i.e. the ones on the front lines are the ones who work the most and they might be too busy to teach at a training course organized for the ones at lower levels.

Changes with respect to management

With the growth of a business takes place the growth of the strategies, structure, and the internal processes of the business. There might be some employees who do not adapt easily and have a hard time coping with such evolution. Subsequently, organizations fight decreased employee morale and productivity during the transition phase. So, for a business, the owners should clearly communicate the advantages and positive effects of changes to the subordinates. When the team will know about the why(s), how(s), and what(s) of the change(s), they can get on board with these changes easily.


The employee benefits package

In the past few years, Affordable Care Act, for many small businesses, has been a pain point. Rising costs with respect to healthcares and insurances mean organizations must either approve these costs to their employees or take, in their line, a bottom hit. Understanding good employee benefits package is the key since good benefits packages can be a key factor deciding potential hires. Yet again, smaller businesses have to face big players that have additional budgets to cope up rising employee expectations.

With rapidly evolving technology, it becomes a challenge for smaller businesses to catch-up considering the budget restrains they have. It is imperative to get employees learn new technologies and embrace innovation else wise they will soon be left in the dust by their competitors. So, understanding how crucial communications can get must be considered. While bringing such changes, a clear communication to if the employees have a clear picture of change, is very important.

Ultimately, HRs must acknowledge the trends where cost cutting is the key while growing is still important.

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The employee sphere in any organization tends to evolve with time with new resources coming on board while a few leaving for better opportunities. No matter voluntary or involuntary, the reasons behind increased attrition rates needs consideration else wise drastic business loss aren’t far away. These can be any means like retirement, resignation, termination or the company’s decision to make the position redundant. There are different turnover rates across the industries but they can be costly. Hence, controlling turnover rates is essential for an organization.

Let’s talk about some of the ways that might help control attrition rates:

Communicate your vision

When employees keep working blindly, they may not show the dedication and passion you put into your work. To make them work with zeal and zest, you might want to share your vision and the roadmap to achieve. They might have an idea as to what they do but restating a perspective brings new ideas thereby igniting their interest. When they are involved in communication loops of what drives the business, higher levels of clarity are achieved and that’s exactly what the best employees look out for.

Have clearer and detailed job requirements while recruiting

You must know who the best candidates are, right from the recruitment levels. So, beyond hiring a talented candidate only, look out for the behavioral and cultural fit. Asking them behavioral questions and showing them your business around can be a good start. If candidates don’t gain confidence, they’ll turn down the offer, saving you from a sudden resignation at a later stage.
 Advertising clear job requirements is the first step towards a thoroughly optimized hiring strategy. Blurred expectations tend to deviate the employee and decreased their interest towards the work desk, no matter how important they are to your organization.

Attach attractive monetary benefits to fixed salary

Employees easily fall for rewarding salary offers and if you are not paying them well, they might hunt for alternatives that surely will. Start with a research in your local area to determine a competitive salary enough salary for a particular profile.  Moreover, just paychecks won’t thrive. A good deal of benefits for your employees must be covered in the package. No matter how loyal an employee is or how driven is he/she with the company’s vision, if the salary cannot meet their basic requirements, they are eventually going to quit.

Apart from a competitive salary, benefits like paid time off, remote work privileges, flexible schedules, service and travel accounts, transport pick-up and drop services, etc. can go a long way.

Showing the career path

Stagnation is boring. Don’t deploy a resource in a particular project for too long. As per a recent research, most employees tend to leave when they are denied exit form a particular project. There have been instances where a particular resource was locked in an assignment for more than 5 years. Not just this bores them, lack of variant skills may no longer fit them in different assignments at the 11th hour. A great boss will try to push their employees out of their comfort zones. He/she will challenge the employees every now and then to accomplish tasks that may seem impossible at first.
Simply running an engagement survey once an year isn’t enough. The overall work environment has to be encouraging enough throughout the year.

Managing a pool of talented candidates isn’t straight enough! You ought to complement their growth and hone their skills. So, share regular feedbacks, address to their assignment grievances and let them know that you are concerned for their individual goals.  Not engaging them will make them complacent.

Have a flexible work culture

If employees have a provision of flexible work timings, they can maintain a work-life balance in a better way. They can go to appointments, take care of families and resonate to all personal commitments efficiently. Moreover, the work benefits you offer strongly influences your employees and their retention. Note that the most loved companies are known for the perks they offer towards the all round development of the employee and the family. When a company meets their employees’ needs, they benefit more from their employees.

Happiness may sound squish to you but the figures hidden behind are enormous. Enhanced job satisfaction bring s down the absenteeism from work and improves work productivity.
Acknowledging employee performance

A recent Workforce Mood Tracker Survey painted a dismal picture of how employees feel about performance reviews. Only around 49% of employees feel that the reviews are accurate and around 47% of them think they motivate them. So, you can fortify employee relationships and improve performance management by overhauling reviews. You will watch productivity and trust grow.

‘A word of encouragement is a joy forever’ fits perfectly for employees who have burnt the midnight oil. Acknowledge as much as you can towards achievements as short as a task completion or bigger goals completion such as project go live. More than just the monetary compensations they get, employees wait for recognitions and at times, it is enough to build an encouraging work ambience thereby giving them one more reason to stay. The very feeling that one’s efforts haven’t gone unnoticed is the best perk next to impressive salary.

Investing in the workspace

Given the fact that employees spent almost half of their day at the workplace, investment towards work ambience deserves consideration. That is, every employee would prefer working in a comfortable office. While an employee’s well being is best reflected in his performance, it is imperative to built a place that encourages learning, collaboration, socialization and many other focused activities.

However, bringing down the attrition rate to null isn’t a realistic idea since better opportunities will always attract. You can’t entirely eliminate it but can surely control its impact over business.

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Hiring freelancers is an excellent way to get tasks done at the eleventh hour when regular resources aren’t available. However, managing them can be difficult as you don’t have any formal authority. It’s a big challenge for HR professionals to bridge the gap and keep the freelancers motivated.
Here’s more.

Understand their expectations – they are valuable to the project too

Freelancers don’t earn the usual employee benefits that your fulltime workforce does. Subsequently, it is important to acknowledge their contribution no matter its paid. Identify what keeps them motivated; is it the lucrative money or the skills growth that they are seeking from you? Freelance resources operate remotely from a far off distance and in most instances you may not be meeting them in real. As the entire communication executes through digital medium, it is imperative to understand their expectations, keep them motivated and thus boost their productivity. Assign variety in work, offer fee hikes, and acknowledge letters and ultimately a sense of employment security that they won’t be laid off instantly. Freelancers fear abrupt loss of work and its your responsibility to settle that forever.
Search online and expand your reach

The Internet, in fact is the only reliable medium to hire freelancers. Many portals that started freelance network websites have produced entrepreneurs out of assignment seeking contractual workers. Such portals have engaged millions of freelancers from the world who respond to posted project descriptions that are divided by categories. As you receive resumes from a pool of eager and skilled professionals, keep adding them to your database. This helps in hiring a freelancer instantly, negating delay times and not affecting the ongoing project in any case. Not all organizations are friendly to freelancers and if you’re is, keep your social pages updated so that the best resources stay in touch with you. Noteworthy, a verbal recommendation is the best marketing tool for a freelancer. You can always ask other associates or business owners for their recommendations.

Make the on-boarding process easy and fast

Following up with the above point, have a backup data of available freelancers. Encourage them to stay in touch with you even if there’s no work. As the market gets more agile, you need to be sure beforehand as to when you may need freelancers to work for a particular assignment. Freelancers do not rely on their regular income and so, every hour of missed billing is missed revenue. If your hiring process is similar to the lengthy process you employ for hiring permanent employees, they will be gone in no time. The freelance – organization engagement is mostly empowered through trust and that’s where you score higher than competition. Remember, if taken care of, freelancers have proven to be more valuable than full time employees.

Make your expectations clear and detailed

It is always better to put the expectations upfront. Deadlines for the completion of the project, checkpoints, outlining of the scope of the project, guidelines, etc. should be made clear to the freelancer especially if he/she is working remotely. You need to be clear about what you want- be it a website, an application, or a brochure, etc. Drafting a statement referring to the details of the project containing details of what is needed is a smart move. Although, quick adaptation of the requirement is the anchoring attraction of freelancers, still you must leave sufficient bandwidth that they’ll utilize to understand the business effectively.
Be a critic and review their work

The idea of hiring freelancers is their valuable experience and the knack to work effortlessly. However, they are vulnerable to produce errors under extreme cases. Besides carefully reviewing portfolio in the first stance, it is essential to perform regular revisions of their work post hiring. Although poking them continuously isn’t a great idea, you may have to build understanding so that exchange of newer ideas is welcomed. Share feedbacks and encourage them to perform better. This will help both the parties as you will not have to regret upon the quality of the work. Apart from that, feedbacks will help them grow and hone their skills; something they’ll cherish and deepen the association.

Acknowledge the work flexibility they want

There’s a reason someone chose to be a freelancer than a full time employee and that’s the freedom to work as per their comfort. Freelancers love flexibility and room provided to them as it helps them function better. They need to feel that they can work however and whenever they like. To be a successful freelancer, you need to be motivated and eager enough so that you can do the work assigned to you without anyone to look at you. Freelancers don’t like micromanagement. You may not be their only client and hence, you need to give them their space. Generally, best contractors are very good at their jobs and they love to do it and if something is done out of passion, it will be done well.

Make them feel at home.

Try to work in a way that they don’t feel they are contractors. Make them feel as if they are a part of team and are working with alignment towards the same goal as that of the organization. People generally deliver better when they feel they are respected. To get the most out of a freelancer relationship, a company must focus of forming a relationship between the contractors and the permanent team members. Try to avoid all the subtle differentiators that may arise, like not giving them access to the corporate gym, different colors of ID badges, etc. Try to invite them to team’s important meetings so that they don’t feel as if they are second-class citizens.
Payments should be up to the mark.

Freelancers deserve to be treated fairly. You need to pay them the market rate at the least and if you really appreciate their work and efforts, don’t hesitate to pay them more. Even for tryouts, don’t hesitate on paying them for them. You need to make the payments on time though it may seem a very basic thing to be considered but it can be the biggest area leading to miscommunication between contractors and companies. So, it should be made clear that when and how much compensation is to be provided to the freelancer prior to the start of the work.

Moreover, you must know about the tax obligations you are entitled to. Classified as an independent worker, that person is in business for himself alone. You do not have the right to withhold any taxes from their wages. Neither are you responsible to pay payroll taxes on their behalf. So, understand your tax obligations with respect to freelancers.

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