By now, you have realized that your employees are the most important and valuable part of your organization and it’s your HR department’s responsibility to engage your employees. In fact, this is a crucial part of growth.
One of the best ways to ensure employees feel valued is by knowing what they need to do their job more efficiently. By having the right tools and resources it is possible for employees to help propel a business to success. Much of this is contingent on knowing what the latest HR software trends are and making sure they are used to their full capabilities.
The fact is, the options are growing daily with everything from listening tools to tracking systems, like ATS | Applicant Tracking Systems, analysis tools, and more. If you want to ensure your business can keep up with the competition, consider getting to know some of the latest HR software trends, which are highlighted here.
Making a Move to the Cloud
Do you still use legacy HR software? If so, you have a system that’s focused on storing information and task completion. Now, however, companies want to replace this common HR software with cloud-based solutions. The biggest advantages of making a move to the cloud with your HR software include reduced maintenance, no need for complex IT infrastructure, easy upgrades, mobile support, user-friendliness, and unlimited access from any location.
Integration of Learning and Social Media
Anything that relates to trends has social media leading the way. This provides a method of networking, but social media is also an effective way to communicate within a workplace. By using simple and fun communication methods, such as hashtags and emojis, you can improve the overall employee experience. Even the ability to send social recognition across a platform designed for this can boost the engagement of your workers.
LMS – Learning Management Systems – are now considered an old tool, too. Modern HR departments are adopting web-based technology for interviews. Today, video-based learning is a fundamental part of the process and something that many companies have already started to use. With the rise of AI and VR, having HR software with visual element support features is a must.
Employee Predictive Analysis
For communication tools, a more integrated approach is also being adopted. Most people want to have an end-to-end technology-enabled platform for the purpose of interpersonal communication. Innovative tools that let you easily share and collect data across organizations and departments is now preferred because it provides fast access to real-time insights.
Culture assessments, employee rewards and recognition, and pulse surveys help to merge all employee needs into a single group and is something all HR departments need. The trends have shown that being able to build a predictive analysis model and the ability to harness employee data is crucial today and there are many companies that are spending large amounts of money to ensure this is done.
Mobile is Now the “Go to” Platform
With all the advanced technology available today, it’s clear there’s an entirely new world coming in regard to a modern HR department. Just look around – there are more mobile devices being used than laptops and PCs combined. People talk on their phones, walk with their phones, and even sleep with their phones. Virtually everyone accesses information on mobile devices.
What this means is that HR technology software must adapt according to this. For example, mobile applications can be a significant benefit for recruiters because many candidates use their mobile devices to find new job opportunities and this is something they can do while on the go. You need to ensure that if HR mobile applications are adopted, they are mobile-friendly, simple to use, and that they remain current regarding how employees prefer to engage and communicate.
Embracing the HR Software of the Future
If you want to ensure your HR department is poised for the future, then adopting the software and technology here is a must. Doing so is going to help ensure success and growth for any business.
3 ways Gamification will Revolutionize your Business
The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated employee engagement levels. A recent Gallup study shows that employee engagement had increased from 36% in 2019 to 39% in 2020. There are various reasons behind this sudden jump, such as:
a. 45% of employees said they got feedback in 2020 compared to only 26% in 2019.
b. 38% of employees working from home were more engaged than 32% of those working on-site.
But the same study shows that 14% of employees are actively disengaged. Although the engaged to actively disengaged ratio had gone down from 2.7-to-1 in 2019 to 2.6-to-1 in 2020, companies need to identify the vacant spaces and fill them.
Gamification is an excellent strategy for increasing employee engagement levels to all-new higher levels. Many statistics show that employees who have fun at work are more productive and engaged and finish their work well before deadlines.
a. Research by Catapult shows that absenteeism costs UK businesses £554 per employee. Absenteeism can significantly decrease when employees have fun at work.
b. A survey sponsored by Alfresco shows that 65% of employees interact and collaborate with their colleagues multiple times a day. Thus, if employees enjoy time with their colleagues, they will work better and communicate more effectively.
c. According to a study by the University of Warwick, happier employees are 12%-20% more productive than those who are not.
These statistics prove why gamification is essential for your business. Now, let’s see three use cases of how gamification can revolutionize your business.
1. Make your training sessions compelling instead of grueling.
We all know how boring training sessions can get. I have participated in several L&D programs sponsored by the companies I have worked in. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that most people are either busy chit-chatting with their colleagues or sipping extra cups of free coffee. Thus, the primary purpose of training sessions is somewhere lost.
And, why do you think that happens?
People can give various explanations, but the primary reason is boredom.
Employees get bored of training sessions because there are no fun-filled activities to hold their interest.
This is where gamification comes in. Instead of after-session surveys or post-training tests, you can provide real-time polls to check what they have understood and what they have skipped.
And it has never been as easy as it’s today. You can ask the participants to install apps when they enter the L&D room, where they will take polls, surveys, and tests.
You can plan some group activities and hands-on sessions where learners move their hands and legs, as it has several therapeutic benefits. A mild physical activity will go a long way in helping participants to drop boredom.
2. Start a “boredom removal program” at your workplace.
Yes, you heard that right.
A “boredom removal program” is similar to a “pest removal program” frequently conducted by municipal corporations. Boredom is not very different from pests. The latter contaminates the external environment while the former infects our minds, but they function along the same lines.
Follow the steps below to cut of the roots of boredom in your company:
a. Arrange for face-to-face meetings (or online conferences if physical meetings aren’t possible) with managers and junior executives to find out reasons for boredom.
b. Avoid asking closed-ended questions that have simple “yes” or “no” answers. Instead, learn the technique of asking open-ended questions that brings emotions into the equation. You can better judge the employee’s psyche by understanding their feelings.
c. Gamify your interactions. Instead of reading out notes or displaying dull PowerPoint presentations, say what you want to say in the form of games. Online Games have a unique power to engross players for hours. Give puzzles, assign collaborative tasks, and do some physical exercises to suck the boredom. In short, allow the participants to think. Employees who think and come up with innovative solutions never get bored.
d. There is nothing else that gets people more excited than competitions. No matter how much you see, listen to, or talk about equality, people still like winning and watch others losing. Our brains have reward centers that activate when we win a competition. Moreover, our minds are hardwired to experience the thrill of winning over and over again. So, organize branch- or nation-wide competitions and you will be surprised to look at the results.
3. Gamification stimulates the ideas creation process.
Companies conduct pre-market release surveys and research to get an idea of how their products will perform in the market. Gamification can completely transform this process by augmenting our mental processes that dictate our ability to analyze, respond, and react in different situations. There are two ways of doing this: alternate reality games and live-action role-playing games (LARP). Let’s discuss them one by one.
In alternate reality games, the players remain as they are, but the reality around them changes. Jane McGonigal, a gamification expert, has developed a game called “World Without Oil” to show how companies can stimulate the ideas creation process. In the game, the participants become part of a world with an extreme oil shortage. The players receive reminders about the change in oil prices, notifications of oil shortages, and alerts about countries fighting over remaining oil reserves. Players constantly share insights about how the new changes in the world are impacting their lives. This data is collected and is used by different industries for long-term planning scenarios.
On the other hand, in LARP, players take on new roles but the reality around them may or may not change. A new role allows players to shed off traditional social norms and observe the world without predefined criteria and beliefs. For example, researchers at the University of California developed a game called Battlestar Galactica to study the impact of wearable devices.
In this game, the players act as the survivors of an alien attack on their home planet. They need to adjust to new communication patterns based on mental and physical health signals that originate from the clothes they wear. Through this game, researchers gain valuable insights into how wearable technology can positively change human interactions.
Companies across a broad range of industries are using gamification techniques to significantly improve their processes and give a powerful voice to their employees. Gamification plays a vital role in holding the employees’ interest by fostering creative thinking, re-imagining resource consumption, and exploring future challenges interactively. Traditional industries like the automobile industry can also use the gamification technique to understand the benefits and drawbacks of electric cars and the strategies they can implement to emerge as industry leaders.
4 Benefits of Using an Online Research Community
The business world is growing very rapidly and becoming competitive day after day. With so many businesses offering the same products and services, it has become a challenge to attract customers and let them see the value they get if they make the decision to choose you. Technological innovation has played a huge part in ensuring that businesses have something to work with when it comes to understanding key things about their audience.
With the help of online community platforms, a business can easily do research, collect data, and analyze this data. In this article, I am going to highlight the importance of online research community platforms and the benefit they offer to businesses around the world. So, without further ado, let’s jump right into it so that you can take your business to the heights of success.
- Bring People Together
The very first and the biggest benefit of an online research community platform is that it provides you with an ideal place to bring different people together. It doesn’t matter what kind of industry you belong to or what kind of a business you are running; you can easily use such platforms to connect with your customers.
The platform lets you get insight into what they want and expect from you so that you are able to transform your business accordingly. It goes a long way in making sure that the people who are using your products and services are actually satisfied with what you are offering them, and they feel as if they contribute to your business in a positive way.
- Create Brand Ambassadors
Another benefit of online engagement platforms is that you can use them to create a following for your business. A platform lets you engage with your customers on a daily basis, which allows you to let them be a part of your VIP community where you share important information about your future plans.
These VIP customers act as brand ambassadors and create a positive word about your products and services so that everyone in their circle knows what you are offering. It is a great way to advertise your business without spending a lot of money on it.
- Increase Your Reach
One of the most important parts of running a business is making sure that you consistently make new customers while keeping the old ones happy. Engaging with your existing customers in a positive way helps other people see that you truly care for your audience and want to keep them happy.
Engaging with your customers on these platforms and sharing important information about your business is going to improve your brand recognition and customer loyalty. By developing a good relationship with your customers, you promote other people to connect with you, which ends up going a long way in improving your overall reach.
- Understand Customer’s Behavior
Last but not least, I can’t stress the importance of tapping into your customer’s mind and finding out what he really wants. Your customer’s buying pattern and behavior are going to give you an insight regarding what kind of products he likes. You can use this information to create better products and drive better marketing campaigns that have better success.
An online research platform not only allows you to connect with your customers but also lets you dig deep into how he is feeling. You can ask important questions regarding his experience and get feedback from him to improve your business. It is a great way to understand his motivations and desires and then use this information to market your products in a better way.
4 Virtual Office Christmas Party Ideas
Regardless of whether this would have been your company’s first Christmas party or the twentieth, you were probably putting plans in motion for a while now and hoping that COVID-19 would have been handled by the time the holidays arrived. However, seeing as how we are still in this situation where social distancing is recommended and many of us still work from home, your plans for the office party have probably changed. If you’ve decided not to cancel the cheer this year and opted for organizing a virtual party instead, you might be looking for some ideas and tips on how to make it a success even if you can’t all be in the same place. Keep on reading for some suggestions.
Socialize over cocktails
Even though you’re not all in the office or a place you’ve rented for the party, it doesn’t mean that you can’t set a time and date for the party and get fancy. Provide everyone with the platform you plan on using, whether it’s Zoom, Skype, or something else, and give them instructions on how to dress. You can either simply dress for a cocktail party or give the party a theme, such as wear your worst Christmas sweater. Seeing as how you’d be paying for drinks anyway, you should consider food and drink delivery to everyone’s home so that you can all have the same experience. When it comes to décor, allow the participants to do as they please, as it’s possible that some don’t celebrate Christmas or just don’t want to put up decorations. If you work in different time zones, it might not be time for cocktails everywhere so you can opt for coffee and snacks instead of drinks.
Play party games
Video calls also make it easy to play various party games. When planning the event, make sure to come up with these games in advance so that you know if there is anything that needs preparing beforehand. Luckily, there are many games that don’t require any preparation. For example, charades don’t require anything but a willingness to have fun. With a simple notepad and pen, you can also play Pictionary. Then, if your employees are a creative and talented bunch, you can organize a company talent show. Keep in mind that some workers are more introverted and might not want to take part in showing off their skills, so consider appointing them to be judges. Something else to take into consideration is giving out silly prizes to your team members – just make sure no one is overlooked.
Organize a Secret Santa exchange
If you were planning to do a Secret Santa gift exchange, you can still do that. You can find an organizer and generator online to help you get everything ready. When it comes to gifts, you should probably set a budget and rules as you don’t want some people to be disappointed by only getting a Christmas card and someone else getting a new laptop. Remember that you are also taking part in this and that you have to get a gift for one of your colleagues. If you get a female coworker you respect a lot, you should browse the internet for some Christmas gift ideas for her before you make a purchase. However, if you don’t know her all that well, a hamper full of sweet and savoury delights as well as a drink or two might be the solution you are looking for. Remind everyone to send their gifts on time so that you can all open them during your video call.
Make cookies together
Sometimes, a Christmas office party doesn’t have to be a party at all. If there are only a few of you in the company, you might be only looking for a way to spend some quality time together. One way to do that is by setting a time when you can all make cookies together. Maybe one of you is an expert at baking and is going to teach the rest how to make tasty treats for their families. Make sure you tell everyone which ingredients are necessary and what other equipment they might need. If you all agree on this, it’s essential that you are all relaxed as tension has no place at a Christmas party. In case someone can’t follow along, be patient and help them keep up. If baking is not your company’s forte, you can opt for other types of crafting projects, such as making your own decorations or gifts for other people.
While you can stick to the regular party setting and have everyone sip on cocktails from the comfort of their own home, you can also make the most of this new reality and come up with something new for your office holiday party. Who knows, maybe this new approach of baking together or playing games online turns into an annual thing.
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