Archive for the ‘General HR’ Category

Need & Importance of Employee Retention

July 25th, 2017 No comments

Why retaining a valuable employee is essential for an organization.

 Recruit and retain

Hiring is not an easy process:

The HR Professional shortlists few individuals from a large pool of talent, conducts preliminary interviews and eventually forwards it to the respective line managers who further grill them to judge whether they are fit for the organization or not. Recruiting the right candidate is a time consuming process.

An organization invests time and money in grooming an individual and make him ready to work and understand the corporate culture:

A new joinee is completely raw and the management really has to work hard to train him for his overall development. It is a complete wastage of time and money when an individual leaves an organization all of a sudden. The HR has to start the recruitment process all over again for the same vacancy; a mere duplication of work. Finding a right employee for an organization is a tedious job and all efforts simply go waste when the employee leaves.

When an individual resigns from his present organization, it is more likely that he would join the competitors:

In such cases, employees tend to take all the strategies, policies from the current organization to the new one. Individuals take all the important data, information and statistics to their new organization and in some cases even leak the secrets of the previous organization. To avoid such cases, it is essential that the new joinee is made to sign a document which stops him from passing on any information even if he leaves the organization. Strict policy should be made which prevents the employees to join the competitors. This is an effective way to retain the employees.

The employees working for a longer period of time are more familiar with the company’s policies, guidelines and thus they adjust better:

They perform better than individuals who change jobs frequently. Employees who spend a considerable time in an organization know the organization in and out and thus are in a position to contribute effectively.

Every individual needs time to adjust with others:

One needs time to know his team members well, be friendly with them and eventually trust them. Organizations are always benefited when the employees are compatible with each other and discuss things among themselves to come out with something beneficial for all. When a new individual replaces an existing employee, adjustment problems crop up. Individuals find it really difficult to establish a comfort level with the other person. After striking a rapport with an existing employee, it is a challenge for the employees to adjust with someone new and most importantly trust him. It is a human tendency to compare a new joinee with the previous employees and always find faults in him.

It has been observed that individuals sticking to an organization for a longer span are more loyal towards the management and the organization:

They enjoy all kinds of benefits from the organization and as a result are more attached to it. They hardly badmouth their organization and always think in favour of the management. For them the organization comes first and all other things later.

It is essential for the organization to retain the valuable employees showing potential:

Every organization needs hardworking and talented employees who can really come out with something creative and different. No organization can survive if all the top performers quit. It is essential for the organization to retain those employees who really work hard and are indispensable for the system.


Employee Engagement & Retention

May 31st, 2017 No comments


Keeping the Right People

Employee Engagement & Retention

Employee engagement illustrates the commitment and energy that employees bring to work and is a key indicator of their involvement and dedication to the organization. Employees who are engaged are more productive, content and more likely to be loyal to an organization. When organizations put sound HR practices in place, they are more likely to discover that employees feel satisfied, safe and will work to their full potential…and that means they are more likely to stay put.

HR Responsibility and How it relates to employee engagement

Strategic HR Planning

  • People are the main resource that organizations have for delivering services
  • Strategic HR planning links HR management directly to an organization’s strategic plan and that means that staff will have meaningful roles tied to the strategic direction of the organization
  • Strategically planning how your organization will meet it’s current and future HR needs and how people will be supported and nurtured within your organization is critical for success

Operational HR Planning

  • At an operational level, organizations put in place HR management practices to support management and staff in achieving their day-to-day goals
  • Whether it’s determining how many employees are needed to deliver services over the next year or how performance will be monitored, the HR management practices and activities need to be planned to answer the question: “Where is our organization going and how will it get there?”
  • An operational plan ensures that employees are properly supported

Compensation and Benefits

  • Though usually not ranked the most important, compensation is an important factor in job satisfaction
  • An employee who feels adequately compensated monetarily is more likely to stay with your organization


Developing HR Policies

  • Policies and procedures both communicate the values of your organization and provide everyone with a consistent process to follow
  • Policies and procedures provide your employees with a process to follow and that knowledge can help them confidently approach situations, particularly difficult situations

Employment Legislation and Standards • Provincial/territorial and federal governments outline the minimum requirements to ensure a safe and equitable work environment for employees

Job Descriptions

  • Job descriptions are basic HR management tools that can help to increase individual and organizational effectiveness
  • A well-written job description sets an employee up for success by outlining their responsibilities and the parameters of their position
  • Job descriptions also show how an employee’s position contributes to the mission, goals, and objectives of the organization

Performance Management

  • Performance management is an ongoing process where the manager/supervisor and employee work together to plan, monitor, and review an employee’s work objectives or goals and overall contribution to the organization
  • Motivates employees to do their best
  • Establishes clear communication between the manager and the employee about what s/he is expected to accomplish
  • Provides on-going, constructive feedback on performance
  • Establishes plans for improving performance, as necessary
  • Identifies the skills and abilities of each employee so that work assignments build on and reflect an employee’s strengths
  • Identifies individual employees for more challenging work
  • Assists and supports staff in achieving their work and career goals by identifying training needs and development opportunities
  • Contributes to the succession management plan so that employee skills are developed and employers develop the skills they need to fill a potential HR gap in the future

Learning, Training and Development

  • Investing in training programs helps employees develop personally and professionally.
  • Creating an environment where people feel welcome and safe from harassment and discrimination motives staff to perform
  • Absenteeism and performance problems decrease while productivity, morale and employee retention increases

Work Teams and Group Dynamics

  • When you develop and support effective teams, you enhance the power and feeling of satisfaction of individuals working on the team
  • When a team works well, it means that staff trust one another and that leads to better sharing of knowledge and understanding

Conflict Resolution

  • In a healthy workplace, there will be conflict
  • Having conflict resolution policy and process will mean that conflict is constructive and not destructive

Workplace Wellness Initiatives

  • A healthy workplace means more than just warding off colds and the flu
  • It is more holistic and takes into consideration the physical, spiritual, environmental, intellectual, emotional, occupational and mental health of employees
  • Wellness promotion doesn’t just benefit the employee — an organization filled with healthy, balanced and fulfilled employees is a productive workplace that retains its employees

Employee Recognition

  • Giving employees a sense of shared values and purpose by creating a relationship with them.
  • When you thank employees you value them and that, in turn, is motivating
  • Updating staff on organizational issues through internal communications like e-mail updates and newsletters builds the sense of team and their value to the team

Staff-volunteer relations

  • Develop a sense of team with staff and volunteers contributing to the organization’s mission

Employee Satisfaction and Engagement Surveys

Listening to employees’ insights and suggestions for improvement will provide the organization with valuable information that can be acted upon to increase the level of employee engagement in the workplace. Employee surveys are an important tool to solicit employee feedback. They can be administered internally or externally as long as responses remain anonymous. Employee engagement surveys provide a way to improve productivity and emotional commitment by identifying the root causes of workplace issues.


The following steps provide a guideline for how to conduct an employee engagement survey:

  1. Determine the purpose of the survey.
  2. Determine the design of the survey (i.e. online versus paper-based; open-ended questions versus multiple choice or rating scale, etc.).
  3. Develop the questionnaire based on desired outcomes, while ensuring collection of accurate of data.
  4. Send employees the questionnaire for completion.
  5. Analyze survey responses.
  6. Prepare a summary report of the findings and recommendations for management (and possibly employee) review and discussion. (Ensure survey responses remain anonymous.)
  7. Prepare an action plan
  8. Benchmark survey results for a year-to-year comparison.

Action Plan

An action plan should be developed after discussing and prioritizing the results of the employee engagement survey. Although the plan is dependent on the outcomes of the engagement survey, it should be realistic and include the following items:

  • Action item
  • Person(s) who will be responsible implementing the action item
  • Resources required (i.e. money, materials, people)
  • Timeline – with expected completion date(s)
  • Expected outcome and/or how success will be measured

The action plan should be reviewed regularly and adjusted as required in order to achieve desired results. It is important to communicate and follow through on action plans. If employees see that action plans are implemented, they will be more likely to participate and provide feedback in the future.

Communication with Employees

Communication with employees is important to the success of the employee engagement survey. It should be done before, during and after implementation. This will generally make employees more likely to participate and provide feedback in the future. Communication to employees should include information about:

  • How the results will be used.
  • How specific action plans will be developed from the results of the survey and that input is required in order to properly formulate these plans.
  • How the results of the survey and any action plans developed will be reviewed and discussed.


Different Types of Interview and tips

May 22nd, 2017 No comments

Interview types and tips 

interview types

Screening Interview

This type of interview is generally conducted by larger companies when there is a large applicant pool and is typically the first phase of selection.  Screening interviews are used to ensure that the candidates meet minimum requirements and are often conducted by a computer or by an interviewer from the human resources department who is skilled at determining whether there is anything that might disqualify you from the position.


  • Highlight your qualifications and accomplishments using non-technical language – the HR professional is not necessarily an expert in your field.
  • Answer questions clearly and succinctly – personality is not as important at this stage of the process.
  • If asked about salary expectations, use a range – make sure you’ve done your homework in this area.
  • If conducted by phone, have your resume besides you to refer to for dates and names.

Telephone Interview

Telephone interviews are often used to screen candidates in order to narrow the pool of applicants who will be invited for in-person interviews- and is a good way to minimize travel expenses! They can be challenging because you aren’t able to rely on nonverbal communication or body language.  You should prepare for this type of interview just as you would for a regular interview so, if you are not given any warning and are not ready for an interview when called, politely request that the interviewer calls back at another mutually convenient time.  This will allow you to refresh your memory on the organization and be better prepared.


  • Have your resume, organization information, points that you want to highlight, and the list of questions you may want to ask in front of you – and have a short list of your accomplishments prepared to discuss.
  • Although you’re not required to dress up, you may find that it’s easier to get into the ‘interview mindset’ and feel more confident when dressed professionally.
  • Have a pen and paper handy to keep notes or write down any questions that come up; keep a glass of water beside you.
  • Close the door or ensure you are in a quiet setting to eliminate any potential distractions.
  • Speak slowly, enunciate clearly, and vary your voice tone, tempo, and pitch to keep the interviewer’s attention.
  • Provide short answers that make interchange easier on the phone; do not interrupt the interviewer.
  • Restate the question if you have not fully heard or understood it.
  • Smile – even on the phone, it will project a positive image.

Video Conferencing

Video conferencing is typically used to conduct interviews using video technology from a distance. The same interview strategies you would use if you were meeting in person apply – clothing, body language, and dialogue are important.


  • Depending on the sophistication of the technology, you may experience short transmission delays so be sure to take that into account when you are interacting with the interviewer.
  • Make eye contact with the camera, which, to the employer, appears as direct “eye contact.”
  • Check the monitor periodically to observe the interviewer’s body language.

One-on-One Interview

The most common interview format is the one-on-one (or face-to-face). This interview is traditionally conducted by a direct supervisor and if often the last step in a series of interviews.  The interviewer may or may not be experienced in conducting interviews and, depending on personality and experience, the interview may be directive following a clear agenda, or non-directive relying on you to lead the discussion as you answer open-ended questions.


  • You will likely be asked a variety of interview questions, so be familiar with all of the different types of questions so that you can adjust your answers appropriately.
  • It is important to be thoroughly prepared – know the job and know yourself.

Panel Interview

A panel interview is conducted by two or more interviewers and is designed to reduce individual interviewer bias.  It is very common for entrance into graduate and professional schools.  One member of the panel may ask all of the questions or individual panel members may take turns.


  • Make eye contact with the person asking the questions, but also to give every member of the panel your attention, regardless of if they ask any questions at all – treat them all with equal importance.
  • Be prepared to extend more energy in this setting, as you need to be alert and responding to more people

Group Interview

A group interview occurs when several candidates for a position are interviewed simultaneously.  Group interviews offer employers a sense of your leadership potential and style and provide a glimpse of what you may actually be like as an employee and how you would fit into the team. Candidates may also be asked to solve a problem together which allows interviewers to assess candidate’s skills in action (e.g. teamwork).


  • Be aware of the dynamics established by the interviewer, try to discover the “rules of the game”.
  • Regardless of how you may feel about any member of the group, treat everyone with respect, and avoid power struggles which make you appear uncooperative.
  • Give everyone a chance to speak and not monopolize the conversation.
  • Be aware that all interactions are being observed; don’t let down your guard or lose your perspective.

General Group Interview/Information Session

This approach is intended to save time and ensure applicants understand the basics of the job and organization by providing large amounts of information. This process is usually followed by an individual interview.


  • To stand out in a group setting, a well-timed and intelligent question may help the employer remember you positively.

Sequential/Serial Interview

A sequential interview is conducted by two or more interviewers, separately or in sequence.  The candidate either moves from one location to another or stays in one room and while different interviewers join them.  Sequential interviews involve a number of ‘first impression’ opportunities so be aware of how you present yourself each time. At the end of the process, the interviewers meet to evaluate each applicant and make their decision.


  • If you have difficulties remembering what you have already said to one person – don’t be afraid to ask!


Interview Formats

Behavioural Interview

The Interviewer will ask for specific examples from your past experiences to determine if you can provide evidence of your skills in a certain area – the best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour.  Although the interviewer is having you recount stories from your past, they are really trying to imagine how you would handle similar situations in the future.

When deciding what examples from your past to use, consider the following:

  • The more recent the behaviour, the better it’s predictive power.
  • The more long-lasting the behaviour, the better it’s predictive power.
  • Prepare yourself for the probable skill areas the employer will be interested in and will, therefore, likely be asked about in the interview. Determine this by reviewing the job description.

Situational Interview

This format is highly structured in that hypothetical situations are described and applicants are asked to explain what they would do in these situations.  Interviewers may use a scoring guide consisting of sample answers to evaluate and score each applicant’s answers.

Structured Interview

This format combines the situational interview with a variety of other types of interview questions.  Typically, each candidate is asked the same set of questions and their answers are compared to a scoring guide and rated.  The goal of this approach is to reduce interviewer bias and to help make an objective decision about the best candidate.

Unstructured Interview

Questions here are based on the individual’s application documents such as their résumé and so different variants of a question will be asked to each applicant. Without structured guidelines, the conversation can be free-flowing, thus making this method of interviewing the most prone to bias, but allowing the interviewer to get a more natural and perhaps more realistic sense of who you are.  Although this type of interview may seem more casual, and may even occur over lunch or dinner, you must still be well-prepared and maintain a professional demeanor. Be careful not to provide the information you would not have communicated if the interview was more structured.

Semi-Structured Interview

This format is a blend of structured and unstructured, where the interviewer will ask a small list of similar questions to all candidates along with some questions pertaining to your resume.

Case Interview

The case interview format is popular among consulting firms.  It gives the interviewer a good idea of your ability to solve problems ‘on the spot’ – an important skill for any consultant.  This interview format is also designed to assess logical thought processes, quantitative skills, business knowledge, general knowledge, creativity, and communication skills.


It is common for employers to use standardized tests or work simulation exercises to assess a candidate’s fit to the position or to test work-related competencies.  Testing is usually done after an initial screening process and can be a very costly process for the employer.

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