The HR Strategist: August 2019
In this issue:
- Microlearning: What is it?
- It’s Back-to-School!
- 3 Steps to Reduce Company Fraud
Have you heard of Microlearning before reading the title? Yeah, me neither; but if you had – well, you’re already one-step ahead! The basic definition of microlearning explains it as a way of teaching and delivering content to learners in small, very specific bursts; all while the learners are in control of what and when they’re learning. It’s also known as ‘bite-sized’ learning; however, that just makes me think of a piece of Halloween candy. Anyways, introducing microlearning makes it easy for leaders and employees to learn a new skill or idea in 10 minutes or less. Not to mention, this type of learning caters towards our waning (or selective) attention spans; and has been proven to increase the speed of development by 300%. WOW!
Although just about 80% of companies have adopted this way of learning, few are utilizing it to their full potential. So, what types of ‘mistakes’ are causing this type of effect? Let’s look:
Mistake #1: Managers don’t recommend specific courses to employees
Solely indicating to an employee that a specific skill needs improvement or a refresher, forces them to find the course themselves. The problem with this is the manager is asking the learner to find the content, and hope this found content aligns with what the manager is looking for – whatever that may be…?
Rather, managers and leaders should review these types of courses personally. This will ensure the employees will learn exactly what they need to.
Mistake #2: Managers fail to follow-up
When you fail to follow-up, there are a handful or items missed. For example, employees, then, do not have the opportunity to debrief what they learned, nor can they ask questions. During these follow-up meetings, have the employee(s) present what they learned. You, as the manager, can then use it as a touch point to refer to when discussing areas of improvement.
Mistake #3: Employees don’t use microlearning proactively
Employees should feel empowered to access microlearning outside of their managers request. By being proactive about their growth, employees can address their deficiency and find ways to enhance themselves and their career development.
Mistake #4: Employees don’t consider themselves content curators
Although managers can assess whether a course addresses the learning, they intend their employee(s) to gain; the efficiency and quality of the microlearning is best rated by the employee. They’re able to provide feedback and recommendations to co-workers based on engagement, understanding and application.
Microlearning programs can evolve into a positive and vital piece of growth; for not only an individual, but for the organization as well.
How Employers can help Working Parents during Back-to-School
Your kid misses the bus, there’s a parent-teacher conference, and the half days are making it impossible for you to find after-school care. The summer has come to an end, and it’s time for the kids to go back-to-school. Now, you’re trying to juggle your job duties, as well as family responsibilities. Are you tired yet?
Back-to-school brings a lot of challenges, and over 51% of working parents said back-to-school interferes with work. But, by making the right adjustments, employers can assist their overwhelmed employees for the better.
As we know, back-to-school means back-to-germs. Kids get sick, it’s bound to happen, but what can employers do to help parents with sick children? By offering year-round benefits such as “back-up childcare” for emergencies, employers will see a decrease in absenteeism and a boost in productivity among working parents.
For example, Care@Work reports employees who have access to back-up childcare work 6 additional days per year. Care@Work’s services help working parents find the best emergency or ‘general’ childcare for their needs, and even assist in the navigation through the complexity and confusion of finding the right care for an elderly relative. By employers providing care support for their teams, they will see results in greater overall performance and bottom-line results.
Let’s take a Deeper Look:
Another way for employers to assist working parents is to be even-handed about flexibility. Benefit equality is crucial to building a culture supportive of a work/life balance. For example, if you’re granting flexibility to parents during back-to-school, do the same for employees who may not have children, but need to bring a parent, significant other, or self to the doctor. However, with flexibility should also come accountability. Employers should encourage employees to be as proactive as possible by creating deadlines to meet as they adjust to the back-to-school schedule.
Throughout the course of the school year, a working parent’s productivity may be stifled by more than just the scheduling challenges. Parents can also be plagued by the worry of their child in the classroom; which can distract them from their job duties. It’s a never-ending cycle and can lead to the feeling of guilt or concerns of being viewed as less committed by their peers and managers. Employers can help in easing their employees concerns by showing interest in the school year and how a worker’s child is doing. This provides a feeling that the wall between work and family is more porous than it is traditional.
Reduce the Risk of Fraud in your Office
The topic of fraud and embezzlement isn’t just for banks and businesses on Wall Street. Every business owner must understand the dangers and risk embezzlement could have on their organization. However, you can reduce your risk of fraud through the following steps:
Step 1: Require Employees to take Vacation
Well, you don’t have to tell me twice! Okay, on a serious note, taking time off allows employees step-back and reflect on their priorities. This reduces ‘burnouts’ and improves overall productivity. Did you know, vacation time keeps crime down? It’s good for everyone to get out of the office occasionally; and requiring those to leave their work laptops behind will ensure your employees are able to escape the 9-5 grind.
Step 2: Implement Background Checks
Over a third of the U.S. workers were hired at their job through a referral. When you hire someone you know, or think you know, you may be less inclined to process a background check. However, you should still treat this individual equally to previous employees or candidates and process a background and credit check. What’s the saying…better safe than sorry!?
Step 3: Cross-Train Your Employees
If you work for, or own, a small- to mid-sized business, chances are your organization is nimble, and resources may be tight. However, no one should be the only one who knows how to execute basic tasks in their department. There should be more than one person who knows how to cut a check, and multiple people who have the login credentials to your financial systems.
By taking these simple steps, your employees remain happy and your finances stay ‘in check’.