Oh boy, that’s one month gone already. With January drawn to an end and February starting to warm up, it’s time for our monthly selection of must-reads. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the first edition of our “Must-Read Digital HR and HR Tech Articles” of 2018.
#6. Six of the Best Podcasts for HR and Wellness Pros
Strictly speaking, this is more than an article. You could say that it’s a combination of text and audio, namely podcasts. Having discovered a keen interest in (HR) podcasts myself recently – I know, I was kind of late to the party – I thought this piece by Alan Kohll would be the perfect addition to this month’s list.
In his article, Kohll talks about how, as the popularity of podcasts continues to rise, there are more and more podcasts discussing useful topics for HR and wellness professionals.
Since you can listen to a podcast over lunch, or during your commute, they can be a great tool to help you learn new skills in a fun and interesting way. A few of the things HR and wellness professionals can use podcasts for:
- To find inspiration
- To continue learning
- To inspire others
- To grow professionally and personally
Kohll then lists six podcasts for HR professionals to start with:
1. The Tim Ferriss Show by Tim Ferriss – In his episodes, Ferris features, among other things, discussions on leadership, managing procrastination and setting goals that HR professionals can benefit from.
2. Workforce Health Engagement by Jesse Lahey – This podcast is great for all things employee health and productivity related. It’s aimed at CEOs, HR executives and other business leaders who care about creating a culture of wellness.
3. School of Greatness – Host Lewis Howes features interviews with leaders in entrepreneurship, health, and athletics as well as mindset and relationship experts. Howes talks about many topics that can be used in the workplace.
4. Redesigning Wellness Podcast – This podcast, hosted by Jen Arnold, is all about corporate health and employee well-being. It can be particularly helpful for HR and wellness professionals looking to expand their corporate wellness initiatives and achieve higher participation rates.
5. HR Happy Hour – This podcast, run by hosts Steve Boese and Trish McFarlane, is the longest-running and most downloaded HR podcast. HR professionals will gain great insights on emerging HR trends and management advice.
6. WellBites – This is a workplace wellness podcast by the Michigan Wellness Council. Through interviews with wellness professionals, listeners will gain insight on employee engagement and how to improve workplace wellness initiatives.
For the full article go here.
#5. Study Finds that a Bad Onboarding Experience May Disengage New Hires
The onboarding period is like a honeymoon for new hires: they’ve just committed themselves to this long-term, professional relationship and they couldn’t be happier.
Unfortunately, a new study by Kronos and the Human Capital Institute – called New Hire Momentum: Driving the Onboarding Experience – clearly shows that ‘onboarding is a critical weakness for a majority of companies that stalls the new hire momentum and threatens to disengage enthusiastic employees during their crucial first weeks on the job.’
In this article, John Hollon discusses the findings from the above-mentioned study and gives his own take on why onboarding is important.
3 critical findings from the onboarding study are:
- Onboarding – and inboarding – is critically important but fundamentally broken.
- Orientation is NOT onboarding.
- More accountability is needed.
Organizations that don’t execute the onboarding of new hires very well run a big risk that all the time and effort their recruitment staff puts in to find new talent and get them on board, goes to waste. Disappointed in their new ‘relationship’, a lot of employees end up leaving only a few weeks into their new job.
As John says: ‘This survey makes one thing perfectly clear, onboarding is a great concept, but only if you take the time to do it right and get new employees you spent so much time recruiting on the right track from Day 1.’
For the full article, go here.
#4. Retail Giants Are Shifting America’s Economy, Meet the Recruiting Tactics Shaping Their Impact
An interesting and, with e-commerce giant Amazon opening its first Amazon Go store last week, relevant article about high-volume recruiting by Joe Weinlick.
Unlike what many of us may think, big companies like Amazon and Wal-Mart are creating a lot of jobs in smaller towns all over the United States: the number of warehouse and storage-sector jobs has risen around 3.9% year-over-year to a preliminary count of 948,500 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
And again, contrary to what many of us may think, warehouse jobs pay about 31% more than retail jobs in the same county and – the cherry on the diversity hiring cake – are more likely to hire black and Hispanic workers.
Not too bad, right?
But while the opening of new warehouses is good for local employment, finding the right people to staff these locations comes with particular challenges for recruiters:
- Poor or non-existing public transportation.
- Low-income population.
- Unwilling workforce.
- Competing for a smaller pool of candidates.
- Geographic requirements don’t always line up with the population.
- More difficult than typical retail work.
- Lack of brand.
So what tools are recruiters using to combat these challenges?
- Better pay.
- Benefits you don’t see every day (at least not at this skill level).
- Unique approaches.
- Going beyond standard job postings.
- Advantages of mobile first recruiting.
- Referral programs.
Read the full article here.
#3. 7 Ways Chatbots and AI are Disrupting HR
Whether it’s enrolling in benefits, discussing vacation policies, or completing training, HR bots can assist employees every step of the way, on-demand. In this article, you’ll find a list of 7 ways in which chatbots and AI are disrupting HR.
HR bots for seasonal and temp employees
Usually, seasonal employees are hired in volume due to for instance a seasonal spike in customer demand during the holiday or tax season. This causes an HR scale issue that bots can resolve in the following ways:
- FAQ’s on Company Policies
- Employee Training
- Common Questions
- Benefits Enrolment
- Annual Self-Assessment/Reviews
Rather than just raving about all the benefits the use of HR bots can have, the article also mentions some of the challenges that come with the use of chatbots for HR.
Since HR bots handle personal identification information (PII) and sensitive personal information (SPI) of an employee, the following areas should be well-thought-out before fully embracing bots for HR:
#1: Information Security
#2: Legal Boundaries
#3: Bot Extensibility
#4: Audit Logging
For the full article, go here.
#2. Case Study: Reducing Gender Inequality Using Analytics
An interesting read with even more interesting findings. Archil Cheishvili and his team investigated whether gender biases were real in 5 medium-sized US and international companies.
With the use of technology that incentivizes people to provide feedback to each other, they were able to collect tens of thousands of high-quality data points through surveys, one-on-one employee-manager checks-ins, and goal setting tools.
They found that men and women are equally as likely to meet goals but men were getting 25% more positive evaluations compared to women in the same position.
When they looked into how employees were providing feedback they found that women provided almost identical performance review scores to men and women while 70% of men provided higher evaluations to men than to women.
In more senior positions almost 75% of men provided higher reviews to men than to women.
The team concluded that, in order to eradicate gender bias, radical transparency about how compensation decisions are made, how people evaluate each other and the relationship between results and performance reviews is necessary.
Read Archil’s full article here.
#1 What Black Mirror Tells Us about Our Deepest Workplace Fears
My favorite article this month is written by Mitchell Garsee. In his article, Mitchell draws a parallel between certain episodes from the popular TV-turned-Netflix show Black Mirror and our workplace fears about technology.
He uses examples of episodes from Black Mirror to show us how the technology we’re becoming more and more dependent on could lead us (hopefully strictly hypothetically) in an infinite number of directions.
Some of the scenarios that could happen:
- A future where your employer sees everything
- A future without work
- A future where work never ends
As Garsee sees it, Black Mirror should be considered a warning. As long as we’re able to respect and empathize with our fellow workers, we shouldn’t have to fear omniscient employers who reduce workers to soulless drones. It’s up to us to preserve our humanity and steer technology in a way that maximizes well-being for all.
Go here for the article, but please note: If you’re a Black Mirror fan and you decide to read it, there are lots of spoilers ahead!
Well done if you made it until the end of the article, I know it was a long one this time. More must-reads (and perhaps the occasional video or podcast) here next month, subscribe to stay up-to-date!