sick leave

Can We Dock an Employee for Using Company Paid Leave? [Reader Question]

sick leaveWe get all kinds of interesting questions about HR, talent, and the workplace, and today is no exception. Have your own question? Shoot it in to us and we’ll keep it anonymous!

Can an employee be docked on a yearly/scored performance evaluation for using their paid sick leave benefit for legitimate medical appointments?

The Purpose of Employer Paid Leave

Continue reading

mark onisk skillsoft

We’re Only Human 45: How to Pursue a Culture of Learning Innovation

Ask almost any business leader, and they’ll tell you that they want their organization to have a culture of learning. However, in today’s discussion, Mark Onisk points out that firms often fail at that “squishy” dream because it’s not well-defined. Simply setting up a learning portal won’t lead to improved results, says Onisk.

In this episode, Ben talks with Mark about the development of learning as a discipline and how it has changed over time. Mark is the Chief Content Officer at Skillsoft, a company that recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. In the discussion, Ben and Mark look at how to create durable skills for workers, the biggest mistake to avoid when setting up a learning strategy, and how to get business leaders to prioritize skills development.

If your organization is looking for ways to build a more competitive workforce that is ready for a digital future, this is the episode for you.

Read Mark’s blog on how learning will change in the next five years: https://www.skillsoft.com/blog/2018/11/5-ways-corporate-learning-will-change-in-the-next-20-years/

Get the 2019 HCM Trends Report mentioned in the introduction: http://lhra.io/blog/2019-hcm-trends-market-size-investment-priorities/

7 Tech Tools Under $500 for Your Small Business

Many small businesses run on a shoestring budget. When your resources are limited, it’s hard to figure out where to spend money. Investing in the wrong area can jeopardize growth, but how are you supposed to make confident financial decisions?

blog post

Site Tracking

Say you’ve invested a lot of money into designing and building out a great company website. All of your services are clearly presented and there are ways for customers to reach out to you, but for some reason you aren’t being contacted. In these cases, it’s possible that the problem isn’t your services, it’s your website.

There are affordable website trackers with analytic options that can show you who is checking your website and which posts are getting the most clicks. For small businesses, this service is practically indispensable. It’s like hiring a doctor to make sure that you have a healthy online presence. You can make adjustments to your strategy based on traffic, and carefully monitor which marketing tactics are working.

Laser Printing

Even if it’s an inconvenient truth, most offices use a lot of paper. Sometime in the near future all paperwork will hopefully be automated, but until then the use of paper is the day-to-day reality in most workplaces.

It’s easy to find expensive printers, but affordable options are rare. It you’re looking for the best laser printer for small business needs, HP offers a line of budget-friendly models that are ideal. They print quickly, are wireless, and doesn’t require businesses to break the bank while improving efficiency.

Sales Forecasting

In order for your sales and marketing teams to function properly, they need to have as much information as they can. Affordable sales forecasting programs can help your marketing team get creative while planning future campaigns, and will give you a sense of the resources you should allocate to different projects. While it’s impossible to be 100% accurate, investing in predictive technology can pay large dividends in the long run.

Lead Assistance

When your company is small, it’s important to know which clients you should be investing your resources in. If you only expend a limited amount, directing too many team members towards a potentially unfruitful client can be catastrophic, especially if you’ve overlooked a potentially important lead in the process.

Companies like Unomy offer B2B tools and solutions which help business research and track down fruitful leads. While this is perhaps the most expensive tech tool on this list, which hovers around $500 and can exceed that number with additional options, it’s a vital resource that should be considered if your business is struggling to identify which leads to pursue.

CRM Tools

Especially if you don’t have many clients, keeping the ones you do have satisfied while you pursue others is vital for the continuation of your small business. Hubspot offers free CRM software that allows you to keep track of your client information, assign client relationship tasks to different employees, and schedule meetings. Many companies consider CRM tools indispensable to their marketing strategy, because it helps them keep tabs on what they are doing correctly according to their current clients.

hubspot

Business Training

If your team is ambitious but inexperienced, there are ways to fill in knowledge gaps without breaking the budget. Online, you can find free business training courses which cover all aspects of business operation. Without sending team members to expensive training seminars, you can make the smart financial choice by using the free resources available on the internet.

Retargeting Programs

It’s unlikely that first-time customers who visit your company website will convert. However, if you utilize affordable retargeting programs like Adroll, these services will display messages while they visit other websites that redirect them back to your business. It’s a fantastic way to keep your company on the radar for potential clients and ensures that they won’t forget you after a single site visit.

With these affordable tools, you will be able to boost your company visibility without having to sacrifice too much coin. Affordable tools are everywhere, and the companies that make it to the top start with options like these.

 

2019 hcm trends report

What Are the 2019 Trends in HR?

2019 hcm trends report

In terms of writing and reading content, I have always been anti-trends. Every year people recycle the same information over and over, and it never really reflects reality.

However, this year I partnered with a team to create a list of real trends for 2019 based on where capital is being invested into HR technology, what the forward-thinking employers in the market are doing, and more. It’s a true look at the trends for the coming 12 months. I hope you enjoy the report below. If you’d like to download a copy just click here.

  • If you’re a practitioner facing one of these challenges, feel free to reach out to us for an advisory call to discuss.
  • If you’re a solution provider interested in learning more, feel free to contact our team to see how we can help.

Buy a Book, Get Free Stuff: Limited Time Only

We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming for this important announcement!

Cover design for the new book

Cover design for the new book

This year I’ve written my first book. It’s coming out in North America on December 28th. Since the publisher decided to push it to the end of the month, it’s not a Christmas present–it’s a “let’s start 2019 off with some really cool insights on HR and how technology is enabling us to create more human workplaces” present.

As with all my writing, there’s a good blend of research, fun stories, and examples to make even a book on technology very interesting and actionable!

Free Bonus AND a Giveaway

To encourage you to grab a copy, I’ll be running a special promo. Anyone that buys a book in the presale period will receive a special shirt to commemorate our collective belief that HR is an essential part of the future of work. We’re working on the design right now but it will be sure to get great comments (and plenty of jealousy) from your HR friends if they don’t get in on the presale.

Additionally, for every copy you buy you will get entered into a drawing to win a Human Capital Institute virtual conference pass ($800 value). Buy two copies, double your chances of winning! :-)

Please note: Amazon and other sellers do not send me presale information as the author, so in order to enter the contest and get your shirt I need you to send a copy of your receipt and your preferred shirt size to ben@upstarthr.com no later than December 30th in order to participate. Shirt orders will be made on 12/30 so we may not be able to accommodate late requests.

Note: If you are ordering a batch of 10 or more books for your HR team, your students, your customers, or a local HR chapter or reading club, please let me know and I can try to help with a bulk order to save you some money through the publisher directly.

Questions? Drop a comment below! Thanks in advance for all of your support and I am looking forward to sharing the book with the world!

7 Ways Pre-Employment Assessments Help You Find the Best Employees

 

Human capital plays a critical role in carrying the vision of the company. A team can determine if the company achieves its goal of not. At a time when finding talent is an arduous task, taking a risk is not an option. You want to get the best person for the job. You also want a person you can nurture to be a future leader.

Because of that, you have to consider many factors before making a hire. They include merit, aptitude, temperament, ambition, culture fit, and many other things. Thanks to pre-employment assessments, you can tighten your hiring process to minimize the risk of hiring the wrong person.

You must be wondering how that is possible. Well, keep reading.

  1. You Can Sort Quickly Before the Candidates Start To Pull Out

Whenever you post a job advert, some candidates get offers from other companies when you are still shortlisting. You can remove the shortlisting stage by introducing pre-employment tests. During such trials, candidates will naturally select themselves out of the running for the position.

The process leaves you with those who score highly. All you have to do is to invite those who qualify for the interview. Unlike the keyword-based shortlisting method, this one is specific to the void you want to fill.

  1. You Only Interview the Most Qualified

Continue reading

veterans day

Something Personal for Veteran’s Day

Note from Ben: my wonderful wife, Melanie, recently wrote this as a personal tribute and “thank you” to those veterans closest to our family. She’s taken to doing more writing of late to share personal stories with our kids both now and in the future, and I am always touched by the words she crafts to explain emotions, feelings, and more. Sharing here with her blessing. 

veterans dayFor 20 years, I selfishly thought as Veteran’s Day as just another day. Another day to miss school and/or work.

I remember the day I received the call. I was in Scottsboro cheering Ben on as his brothers and he competed in a triathlon. My phone rang and it was my mother telling me that my dad had received word that he would be sent to Iraq for a year, possibly longer. I broke down, went and hid in the restroom, and thought of nothing more than my father’s safety.

The time that led up to his deployment was hard. We tried to fit in a lot of family time, but we also kept dreading the day we would have to send him off.

Eventually, we all gathered at the airport, hugging him tightly. Then he boarded his plane and was gone.

We coped as best we could. We stopped watching the news, avoided newspapers, and continued to pray for his safety.

We received letters, emails, phone calls, and pictures. Technology has come so far. We didn’t have him home, but we heard from him often.

Thankfully he remained safe during the full term of his deployment, but things at home didn’t go as hoped. His mother was suffering from cancer, and we knew her days on earth were numbered. He received personal leave to come home, but when he arrived, she no longer was responding to us. She soon passed away.

Also during this time, my sister had to have an emergency c-section due to preeclampsia. My niece was born not breathing, but was revived. She was taken to a NICU at another hospital while my sister recovered in the ICU where she delivered. Things were very scary. We kept these details from him until we knew they were both going to be okay.

My point is that not only are our military men and women put in harm’s way, they miss so much family time when they are away. Instead of thinking of today as just another normal day, make it a point to thank a Veteran.

To those veterans both stateside and abroad, we thank you for your service from the bottom of our hearts.