The HR Strategist: August 2020
In this issue:
- Employers vs. Unemployment
- HRi’s Newest Integration
- Steps to take when Sharing Bad News
5 Ways Employers can Compete with Unemployment Benefits
As unemployment claims rise, many businesses have discovered that does not translate to cheaper or more available labor. For example, some states are requiring a 2-week quarantine for individuals crossing state lines. Leading to limited access to talent in surrounding cities/states. At the same time, some people who are qualified to work are denying job offers because they earn more money collecting unemployment (UI) benefits. However, the good news is that these obstacles can be overcome with the right approach. Below, we have constructed guidelines to consider to help you secure the talent and employees you need.
5 Approaches to Consider
Adjust Pay Rates
- To even remotely compete with the $600 per week additional to UI benefits, an employer must “make an offer (people) can’t refuse”. But how? Well, while results vary, the average threshold for attracting workers away from UI is $15.00/hour. However, this number will depend on the area’s cost of living. Therefore, rates up to $18.00/hour, while favorable, may not be enough to coax individuals into the workplace.
Pay out Retention Bonuses or Monthly Incentives
- Attracting individuals away from UI benefits is only part of the challenge; keeping them on-board is just as important. Even if the rate of pay is $15+/hour, workers and job seekers are more compelled to accept job alternatives that offer better rates. To increase retention, consider supplementing the base rate with a bonus. However, for flexible workers, monthly bonuses can provide that extra incentive to stay on-board.
Take Safety to a New Level
- As businesses begin to open physical workplaces, the conditions are anything but “business as usual”. Therefore, employees entering or reentering an office space have anxieties about their safety. To alleviate these anxieties, HRi has created guidelines of the steps to take to ensure your business is safe. However, it is important to over-communicate your precautionary actions to ensure safety of your employees. During these times, security and confidence are essential.
Be Creative and Flexible with Work Arrangements, Shifts and Schedules
- It comes to no surprise that navigating workers’ family demands will be one of the most pressing needs for companies to address. Those with families are likely struggling to coordinate their work schedules with time needed at home, and with the uncertainty of school and childcare openings. The solution? Businesses need to be as flexible as possible. This flexibility includes part-time work, job sharing, and full-time with flexible hours. These small shifts in flexibility can make a great difference toward giving workers a viable option for the schedules.
Temporarily Waive Drug Testing
- More specifically, employees or new hires may be scared or weary of going into clinics for drug tests out of fear of contracting COVID-19. However, the waive or suspension of drug tests does not have to be permanent, and businesses can revisit and re-implement the requirements as cases stabilize and drop across locations.
At this point in time, employers can’t eliminate uncertainty, but they can show good faith. Therefore, by taking action to put employee well-being at the forefront, businesses can address those concerns, and gain a lasting advantage for obtaining the talent they need.
HRi’s Newest Integration: Performance Management
With today’s challenges in finding and hiring new employees, retaining your top contributors has never been important. Human Resources inc.’s Performance Management allows you to track manager and employee reviews, quickly set team and employee goals, and solicit employee feedback. With a modern performance management program, you get the data you need to see who your high performers are, and which employees need help to improve.
4 Considerations for Sharing Bad News
So, what do you want first, the good news or the bad news? Okay, you don’t really have to answer that; however, it’s a question we’ve all faced. But just from reading it, how did it make you feel? Did you feel your stomach drop, or did you unknowingly answer with an indifferent shrug? Regardless, it’s probably among one of your least favorite questions. Why? Well, let’s be honest, the offer of “good news or bad news first” is a way of softening the bad news. Therefore, it’s a small expression of empathy for those receiving the news. In other words, you better ‘buckle-up buttercup’.
While the “good news/bad news” line is best kept locked in the safe, leaders (and employees) should still have a method for sharing bad news effectively. Here are some considerations in doing so:
Prepare to Share
Bad news has the tendency to arouse negative feelings; there’s no doubt about that. However, leaders can better manage the reactions by preparing to share bad news, which includes:
- Having a complete and solid grasp of the facts surrounding the bad news
- Understanding the scope of the bad news and possible implications for the future
- Anticipating questions that will be asked, and having the answers to those questions
Take a Step Back
Sharing bad news is never easy, and if it is for you – please share your secret! So, while preparing to deliver bad news should be taken seriously, leaders must also keep the news in perspective. In other words, consider the following to help relieve the stress of sharing bad news:
- The news must be shared, and it’s your responsibility to share it
- Sharing the news, rather than hiding it, will produce better outcomes
Stick to the Relevant Facts
Once a leader strays away from facts, and begins making emotional appeals, all advantages gained – are lost. When a conversation becomes charged with emotions, it can easily lead to a disagreement. To avoid these disagreements, it is important for leaders to maintain a focus and emphasis on the facts, especially facts that are relevant to the issue on hand.
Unfortunately, it is not enough for leaders to simply share the facts when conveying bad news. Therefore, it is important for leaders to inspire positive action and loyalty in their employees. But how? Glad you asked. This can be achieved by providing employees with a vision for the future that moves past the bad news of the present. A leader’s vision should not ignore realities or downplay potential risks, and it should be flexible enough to provide employees with options. In other words, bad news can rattle some employee’s nerves, but a strong vision for the future can provide them with the tools to overcome challenges.
At some point, all businesses will have to share bad news. However, leaders who have a plan for sharing bad news can moderate conflict, calm emotions, and provide a path forward. In this way, bad news can inspire employees to raise their performance to new levels – and that, is good news.