A well designed employee recognition program results in higher levels of engagement have proven, repeatedly, higher levels of employee satisfaction, greater increase in productivity, greater company loyalty, higher profits, and better customer satisfaction.
Let’s look at the facts. In 2013, a poll conducted by Gallup found that 87 percent of workers surveyed in countries all over the world were disengaged with their jobs. Only the remaining 13 percent stated that they were satisfied with their jobs and felt deeply engaged with the companies they worked for.
One of the best ways to increase engagement is to make sure that employees feel appreciated and that hard work is suitably rewarded both financially and in some other ways. Having a strategic employee recognition program in place is one of the most effective ways to get results and take advantage of the following three key benefits:
Employee Recognition Program Improves Business Results
It shouldn’t come as any surprise that happy and motivated employees are better equipped to address customer concerns. Staff members need to feel that they have personal stake in selling the brand and its products and services, while also offering impeccable customer support. Around 40 percent of companies that have adopted a peer-to-peer employee recognition program claim to have increased customer satisfaction.
Many senior managers consider them an investment rather than an expense. People want to be rewarded for good work and they’ll be mentally far better equipped to face the monotony of modern corporate culture if they know there’s a good bonus and other rewards waiting for them.
Decreases Employee Turnover Rate
While money is obviously a primary motivator in almost any job, offering a pay raise isn’t the most effective method to hold on to employees. In fact, studies have shown that about half of employees leave within two years after accepting a raise, a statistic that clearly indicates that salaries and job satisfaction don’t always correlate.
Often as important is employee recognition, which has proven to lower turnover rate significantly. Employees who are widely recognized and rewarded for their work are about 30 percent less likely to leave the company. Other benefits of an employee recognition program include increased happiness and productivity and reduced stress and frustration levels. A lower turnover rate also saves money, since a direct replacement cost up to half the previous employee’s annual salary.
Increase Engagement and Productivity
An employee recognition program is all about clear communication, transparency, and having a solid rewards-driven system in place. Such a strategy leads to greater employee engagement, since it makes members of staff feel like they’re a part of something bigger.
An employee who has a personal stake in the direction the company is heading will be genuinely concerned about the day-to-day operations of the business. By contrast, someone who counts themselves in the 87 percent of people who claim to be disengaged with their jobs will be more likely to sleepwalk through each workday while looking forward to nothing more than the paycheck at the end of the month.
Additionally, the Gallup survey showed that two-thirds of employees considered praise from managerial staff to be the top motivator.
Final Words on Employee Recognition Program
There are many ways to implement an employee recognition strategy and most of them don’t require a huge investment. Some of the most popular methods include publishing the company’s greatest achievers in email newsletters, using staff meetings as an opportunity to include praise, or preparing regular status reports. However, a more original and engaging employee recognition program might include an achievement- or score-based system complete with rewards and prizes for top workers.
Comprehensive pre-employment background checks are an absolute necessity. Your time is a valuable commodity. When you consider taking on a high-touch candidate destined for executive placement it is of even greater importance, as the time you spend performing comprehensive background checks may be considerable. Above all, you don’t want to lose on your investment.
Knowing what potential dangers lurk before you put a lot of effort into somebody makes good business sense. If it were a business acquisition, you would be performing the same sort of due diligence on the company you intend to purchase, so why not apply this to your human assets also?
Conducting comprehensive pre-employment background checks prior to in-person interviews is one of the surest ways to confirm that your candidate is representing themselves with verity — your brand reputation and the company’s future depends on it. When it is a leadership, management or customer-facing role, it is even more important to know exactly who is sitting on the other side of that desk. In this age of lawsuits and litigation, being armed with verified, up-to-the-minute information is your best protection.
Performing comprehensive pre-employment background checks before you hire is important. Performing a background check during the course of the recruiting process is just as crucial. The more you know about a candidate, the better you will be able to predict their success or lack of it.
Making sure you are placing the right person in the right position is so much more than just job experience and having the appropriate demeanor: ensuring that your candidate will meet all expectations and does not present a danger to you, the on-boarding company, their brand or their staff assures a return on your investment. It also gives you a stronger platform to work from when negotiating the deal. If you are committed to presenting the best candidate for the job, having a thorough background check in place is not just an option – it is a necessity.
Most HR departments, hiring managers, and recruiters ask their candidate to supply several references. Let’s be honest – these are peers, friends, and by and large 50% are therefore biased. Retained executive search firms like NextGen dig up and cold call references we find who are past internal customers the candidate interfaced with, vendors, external customers, and those who reported to him/her, as well as his/her former superiors. These names we dig up are caught off guard, are honest, and really do help to provide an accurate balance of professional references in comprehensive background checks.
Define comprehensive pre-employment background checks
SSN trace, search and validation: This verifies your candidate’s identity. A social security number is specific to the state and city where it was obtained, and can tell you a great deal about an individual, such as their residential history. A verified SSN can also help to verify other information that the background check might reveal.
County criminal record searches: This will reveal if they have been in trouble locally.
Current and previous residences: Frequent moves can be a harbinger of trouble to come, revealing transiency or any kind of trouble in holding down a residence.
National criminal file: This is a validated result that is cross-referenced to known addresses. Care must be taken to verify this information against a known quantity, such as an individual’s SSN. There are likely thousands of William Smith’s in the world, for example.
Federal criminal record searches (last 7 years): Any federal criminal offence will appear here. Federal offences are far more serious, and include many ‘white-collar’ crimes such as fraud.
Federal civil records searches (current and previous residences): this will illuminate problems with money, handling money, securities and bad debt–very important in hiring for fiduciary positions. It will also reveal past marriages or any civil proceeding that the candidate has been involved with.
OFAC terror watch/sex offender check: It probably goes without saying, a history that includes terrorism, violent crime or a sex offence has the potential to cause a great deal of harm to your company, your customers and your workforce.
Education verification (2 highest degrees): Education verification to prove your candidate’s claims.
Employment verification (last 3 employers): Verifying past employment, positions held and more proof of claims.
Professional character references (past superiors, direct reports, internal/external customers as applicable): How your candidate interacts with others should be of great interest to you. This is the trickiest part as most HR departments lack the skills to conduct job references pertaining to those whom the candidate interfaces with. It’s not just the interactions, but the mentor and coaching capability, listening skills, ability of the candidate to sell their ideas, examples of conflict resolution, and teamwork.
Social media reputation reports: Many people reveal their true character online in ways they never would to your face. It’s not about the kids, the cottage or the kittens, but if your candidate is a drunk or has a tendency to bad-mouth their employers or even worse – their customers – online, you’ll want to know.
PEER credit report: A PEER credit report takes an individual’s personal credit, residential and employment history into account and is a little more detailed than a standard background check. The PEER report is more a gauge of dependability than credit worthiness, and does not result in a credit inquiry for the candidate. Use for C-Suite level, VP and fiduciary roles.
‘Ban the Box’ laws impacts comprehensive background checks
In states or municipalities where a ‘ban-the-box’ law is in place, access to your candidate’s criminal history in comprehensive background checks could be limited until later on in the hiring process. You might think that this legislation has limited influence with regard to executive search and placement, but it still has the potential to lead you down a blind alley every once in a while. You might, for instance, spend a great deal of time on a candidate during the on-boarding process only to find that there were some legal or ethical issues that you just cannot afford to take a chance on.
The legislation itself applies to federal government job applications, some private contractors and companies operating in specific regions that have adopted the policy. While it is arguably a useful and constructive way to level the playing field, it could still impede your process when hiring mid-level to senior management.
Since the legislation can be enforced at the state, county or municipal level, it is important to find out what the laws are in your area, and understand what you can and can’t legally ask up front.
Most ban-the-box laws do not prohibit an up-front comprehensive pre-employment background checks, but some do require the employer to wait until after the first interview or even later in the hiring process.
Hoe to run comprehensive pre-employment background checks
Your HR department can check references and social media, but a verified background check ensures the information you obtain is bona-fide and that the person whose life you are looking into is actually the one you intended. Additionally, there is a lot of information that cannot be uncovered in a limited search.
Some data can only be accessed by a licensed firm that specializes in comprehensive pre-employment background checks. Such companies have the experience to get you what you need in an expedient manner, and will help to prevent you from looking at personal data that might put you in violation of state or federal law. If you are in doubt, consult your legal department first. Most states require that you obtain a written consent from the candidate prior to conducting a search. You should also expect to provide a copy of that search to the subject in addition to any related communications or recommendations.
Above all, look at a broad spectrum of information. Don’t just look at the negative, and don’t focus too closely on any one thing. The sum total of your candidate’s data should tell a story – hopefully a good one – that will help you decide how best to proceed.
When it comes to beginning a program of combining recruitment and employee retention together, an employer can update software programs, build core robust networks, create better security systems… there are five smart ways to achieve employee retention technical talent. Technology hiring and investment have been two bright spots in an overall strong job market and booming economic recovery. Today, the question is – can it continue?
Companies have already made commitments to reignite technology projects that were put on hold during the economic downturn and to deal with inadequate resources. Even with corporate tax cuts, fresh doubts on the economy exist if Congress changes to gridlock in 2019, so those commitments will likely be fulfilled. It all begins with developing a very good recruitment and employee retention strategy.
“Companies are playing a bit of catch-up in terms of their infrastructure, as well as the IT staff they need to replace aging hardware and software and who can deal with security challenges,” says Tom Silver, senior vice president of North America for Dice Holdings, Inc.
Now it is most important to create ways to reach a good employee retention technical talent with specific skill sets, such as mobile application development or the ability to program in multiple languages, are in high demand. Several forces have converged to create a talent crunch of recruitment and employee retention in the tech sector, which is driving competition to lure tech talent and lucrative compensation packages for even newly minted tech professionals.
Why Employee Retention Technical Talent is Key to Success
• Low tech unemployment — As of July 2011, the unemployment rate for computer and mathematical professionals was just 4.7% – about half of the overall U.S. labor market rate. Trends indicate that tech sector hiring will continue to increase throughout 2011. “The search for exceptional, top-quality technical candidates is alive and well as companies struggle to attain the level of talent they desperately need. The war for talent is still fiercely competitive at the top levels,” says Craig Hufford, recruitment and employee retention technical talent practice lead at NextGen Global Executive Search.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, July 2011.
• Mobile technology boom — The acceleration of the digital revolution is driving demand for mobile application developers, high-level programmers and network systems experts.
While these sought-after IT professionals know how to harness technology to help companies run more efficiently and increase revenue, there aren’t enough of them. In fact, job postings on Dice that include some specific tech skills have more than doubled in the last year; albeit companies fail to include recruitment and retention programs that mean real value in their job postings.
• Recruitment and Employee Retention with More Start-ups — A wave of investment dollars is fueling the growth of many new start-up companies, which is putting pressure on the tech hiring market.
Even big name employers such as Google and Facebook are struggling in recruitment and retention as they seek new ways to attain and retain top tech talent. In a widely publicized retention effort toward the end of last year, Google gave all its employees a 10% raise and a $1,000 bonus.
As a result of the tight IT hiring market, the recruitment and employee retention technical talent battle among employers is intensifying. Companies around the country are reporting that more aggressive hiring tactics are being used to lure tech professionals away from their current employers.
And many think that process is only going to accelerate. According to a recent Dice survey, 54% of employers expect competition in recruitment and retention for top tech talent to increase this year compared to 2010, while just 3% expect that competition to decrease.
Does your employee retention technical talent program include identifying the signs of whether your staff members are looking elsewhere for work? “If there is a noticeable change in an employee’s work habits, such as single day absences, a disengaged attitude, changing to more formal dress, and frequent sick days, these are all indications that the person is looking around,” advises Silver.
Five Proactive Employee Retention Technical Talent Strategies
You can’t completely protect your organization from competing with other employers, but you can use proactive employee retention strategies so that employees are less inclined to entertain offers from other companies. Putting in the effort up front is worthwhile because it’s difficult in recruitment and retention to retain employees once they have begun to seek employment elsewhere, even with additional compensation or advancement opportunities.
“When companies react to a person leaving, they often cannot change the really important reasons why the person is leaving, irrespective of the amount of money they throw at him,” says Hufford.
#1: Make sure it’s a match — Tech professionals have a slightly different motivation from other employees, says Herb Gosewisch, partner at U.S. Alliance Partners, a consultancy focused on employee engagement, recruitment and employee retention, and sustainability practices. “They have more loyalty to their career and personal development than the company that employs them,” he says. “IT workers tend to stay longer and find more satisfaction when they feel they can ‘own’ their work and it’s something they influence from a creative point of view.”
What does all this mean to recruitment and employee retention technical talent? The stronger the match between the job requirements and the employee’s skills, goals and values, the more likely it is that the employee will want to stay. “Focus on a key individual and make sure that the projects they’re working on allow them to continue to develop their skill set,” says Silver.
#2: Start strong in your recruitment and employee retention programs — The latter part of recruitment and retention efforts should begin during onboarding. “All the recent studies suggest that new employees determine within the first few months of employment whether or not they made a good decision,” says Gosewisch. By engaging new employees in the company culture and business infrastructure from day one as part of your recruitment and retention strategy will improve employees’ experiences and prospects for staying.
#3: Reduce burnout — In today’s fast-paced IT work environments, stress levels and burnout can run high and lead to employee turnover. Improve your recruitment and retention program by evaluating your project management and organizational approaches, seek ways to improve work-life balance and ensure equitable delineation of duties. Better yet, ask your technology employees for their input on lowering stress and lightening workloads.
#4: Employee Retention includes conducting motivation checks — Regularly assessing your employees’ motivation for their work gives you valuable insight into their level of engagement and allows you to make strategic adjustments in your recruitment and retention programs. Motivation checks also serve as an early warning system.
“Regular assessment gives you the opportunity to identify the people who are thinking about leaving or who are somehow dissatisfied with the work or the environment,” says Gosewisch. He adds that getting regular feedback from employees as part of your recruitment and employee retention program often uncovers small management issues that can be corrected before they become big problems.
#5: Develop a sustainability strategy — Believe it or not, the missing part of your recruitment and employee retention technical talent is your company’s commitment to the environment, the community and innovation is very important to many key employees, especially Generation Ys and Millennials who often have the most experience with leading-edge technology.
These two generations grew up surrounded with environmental messages they see as important. “An employer needs to show that it has a recruitment and retention strategy to not only be profitable and exciting, but that it has a social and environmental conscience. It also needs to show that it allows employees inside the company to be innovative and have a voice,” says Steve Caballero, IBM Global partner. “Making a profit at the expense of the planet, the community, and your people does not cut it anymore.” Beyond organizational and management changes there are other, more tangible things that employers can do to improve employee retention. While giving employees salary increases is the first and most obvious approach, money isn’t the only answer.
Looking Ahead in Recruitment and Employee Retention
For the remainder of the year, the technology recruiting market is expected to remain healthy. With certain shortages in metropolitan areas and skill sets, competition amongst employers for the recruitment and employee retention of top tech talent will continue giving tech professionals the upper hand in the job market.
“Tech professionals know that the pendulum has swung back in their favor a little,” says Silver. This means employers need to step up their game quickly. The best place to start is a careful and complete review of recruitment and employee retention practices, benefits and onboarding processes.
The focus should be on what the company offers in their recruitment and retention programs versus what employees and prospective tech candidates actually want. Silver advises, “The IT hiring market is tight and employers don’t want to lose good people. Now is the time to act.”
Source: Dice survey of tech professionals, June 2011. Originally published on Dice
Loads of companies and recruiters use some type of screening tests but few look at the all important concept that faster productivity + team dynamics in whether a potential new hire is both a role fit AND a team fit We know that new hires impact team dynamics. While some have a one-size-fits-all behavioral analysis testing for the candidate only, what are the recruiter or hiring manager comparing the candidate to?
Some measure job skills, others measure interpersonal and communication skills, planning and organizing, and some measure aptitudes, and still others cognitive ability. There are even some that test applicants on their ability to make presentations or on their behavior pattern in a simulated meeting, however they still fail to consider profiling hiring teams in order to form a target candidate profile as part of measuring team fit to make a positive impact on team dynamics.
Productivity in how New Hires Impact Team Dynamics
One way to understand the first part of performance based recruiting is in the discovery step prior to planning a search strategy. Sadly too many internal recruiters and HR managers put too much emphasis on matching potential candidates to a “one-size-fits-all” corporate culture. They fail to take into account that EACH TEAM is UNIQUE.
Each team has it’s own culture that is not a clone identity to the corporate culture. If you want to achieve faster productivity, recognize how new hires impact team dynamics in recognizing the positives and negatives. You must take that individual team culture the new hire will work within as part of your search strategy. What the executive search consultants at NextGen do is to ask the stakeholders (listed below) to take a brief less than 10 minutes online survey that can be taken 24/7.
- his/her direct report/hiring manager
- at least 2-3 internal customers
- for sales, product management, product marketing, and sales engineering roles, we recommend at least 1-2 key external customers on whom this position will have an impact.
This is where many internal hiring managers miss the boat. Many in Human Resources and even some executives fear asking external customers (who can be direct customers, partners, or vendors) to participate. Their immediate thought is to perceive this as negative. Rather it is completely positive as those external stakeholders value and appreciate you have included them on designing a target candidate profile. It makes for better customer interaction because you are taking into account how not only how they interface with this role, but also the impact the potential new hire will have on productivity + team dynamics.
Achieving Longer Retention | New Hires Impacts Team Dynamics
It is designed to gauge and measure each respondents view of the role and team in terms of values and motivations, relational communications traits, decision making and conflict resolution skills. These questions in the survey, combined with how each stakeholder views the OBJECTIVES of the role instead of the requirements and responsibilities, is used to create a Composite Team Profile.
With the information gathered the original job spec, the discovery step, and the composite team profile, the recruiter can effectively construct a Search Strategy including a Target Candidate Profile for screening and assessment.
The end goal is to identify, recruit, assess, and determine a shortlist of candidates that are both a role fit and team fit, meaning that they have a high likelihood of achieving the objectives of the role. In other words, new hires impact team dynamics becomes a positive impact. NextGen’s award-winning Leadership Vault search process has resulted in 94% of our placements still working for the company we staffed at 3.5 years of employment.
In addition, the most common feedback is that the candidates we presented not only met, but exceeded client expectations. Combined with an industry leading 24 to 36 months replacement guarantee and performance based recruitment fees, we are often called upon when other search firms have failed to deliver.
Leadership traits are defined by what we do, not the role we are in. Leadership is action, not a position. Some people in leadership roles are excellent leaders. But too many are bosses, “snoopervisors,” technocrats, bureaucrats, managers, commanders, chiefs, and the like. Whether in enterprise mobility, manufacturing, or consumer devices, strong leaders are well-rounded and constantly expanding their personal leadership traits across these key areas.
Leadership Traits in Functional Management Roles
To lead is to show the way by going in advance. To lead is to guide or direct a course of action. To lead is to influence the behavior or opinion of others. We all need to be leaders, regardless of our formal title or role.
This starts with inner leadership traits in self-leadership and moves outward to influence, guide, support, and lead others.The process of becoming a leader is the same as the process of becoming a highly effective human being. Leadership development is personal development.
Effective leadership traits ultimately shows itself in what we do “out there.” But it starts “in here.”It would be easy if we could all become leaders by following a simple set of steps.
But the journey of personal growth means finding our own way. There are, however, critical areas of personal development based on timeless principles. The distance we need to grow along each of the leadership traits dimensions will differ for each of us, but defining and continually growing along each of these paths is the way of the leader.
Expanding Key Personal Leadership Traits
Strong leaders are well-rounded and constantly expanding their personal leadership traits across many areas, however these areas are key:
- Choose Not to Lose. Whether we choose to focus on our problems or our possibilities is a key leadership issue. When we are faced with obstacles and failure, those with the leadership traits who can overcome adversity and learn from their experiences, turning them into opportunities, are the ones who will be truly successful.
- Focus and Context. The core of my being: This is central to our growth along all the other leadership traits dimensions. Our Focus and Context is shaped by three vital questions: Where am I going? (my vision); What do I believe in? (my principles and values) and; Why do I exist? (my purpose or mission).
- Responsibility for Choices. If it’s to be, it’s up to me: Good leadership traits means accepting responsibility for our choices in life. Leaders realize that life accumulates, that choice more than chance determines their circumstances. They refuse to succumb to the “Victimitus Virus” (“it’s all their fault” and “there’s nothing I can do”).
- Authenticity. Getting real: Leadership isn’t just what we do, it’s something that we are, which then drives what we do. Great leadership traits are authentic, and based on honesty, integrity, and trust. We must ring true to ourselves by exploring our inner space, gathering feedback on our personal behavior, and ensuring consistency with our stated values and principles.
- Passion and Commitment. Beyond near-life experiences: Successful people are energized by a love for what they do because it brings them ever closer to who they are. They have the leadership traits that overcome apathy and cynicism, develop a burning commitment to their cause, and with discipline achieve their dreams and desires.
- Spirit and Meaning. With all my heart and soul: What is the purpose of our work? Of our lives? Material success alone is not enough. Leaders seek within their leadership traits and find something more. In what is too often a mad dash from cradle to grave, we need to take time in work and life to nourish our inner selves.
- Growing and Developing. From phase of life to way of life: The popular goals of security, stability, and predictability are deadly. The closer we get to these dangerous goals, the more our growth is stunted. Good leadership traits will reflect true and lasting security comes from constant growth and development, based on regular reflection and renewal.
- Mobilizing and Energizing. Putting emotions in motion: Leaders don’t motivate with rewards and punishments. Whether at home or in the workplace, they energize people to motivate themselves. Highly effective leaders who possess ethical leadership traits boost the energy of others with their passion and appreciation. They engage people’s hearts as well as their minds.
Effective Leadership Traits Make a Difference
The more the world changes, the more leadership principles stay the same. And effective leadership traits apply to all of us; no matter what role we play in society or organizations. NextGen Global Executive Search uses a proprietary Performance Based Retained Search to recruit exceptional executives with good leadership traits. Contact us today for a free consultation or demo of our proven executive recruitment process.