What are the Opportunities of Doing More with the Right Less?

I never advise my clients to do more with less, because you start to make choices that are not the right thing to do. Doing more with the “right” less – now that’s a philosophy to live by.

Are objectives clearly defined?

What needs to get done? Establishing overarching strategies and corresponding objectives will help. In the nooks and crannies of all companies are things “we’ve always done,” things we like to do (that have no meaning) and processes that have not been reviewed and streamlined for years. At The Applied Companies, we used to “vomit” a three-inch binder every month. Three pages actually had impact. Now we focus on the information needed for decision-making, set benchmarks to dictate change and trigger attention to fluctuations that are off goal. We’re using technology to streamline, including new staffing software, which will allow us to complete 15-20 percent more work with the same people.

How are results measured / communicated?

If you ever tried to potty train a puppy, you know you get better results by praising and disciplining closer to the scratch on the door or the accident on the rug. Try giving incremental results on a periodic basis, even if it is a raw valued result sooner with the final number coming at a close later date. Close the circle of excellence by giving feedback on how people are doing.

Is everyone set to succeed?

What are your employees’ strengths? We pride ourselves in hiring a diverse workforce, people who think differently and complement one another. We all take a Strengths Finder assessment/evaluation, to determine what our people are best at doing. Tom Rath, Strength Finders 2.0 author, points out that “…people have several times more potential for growth when they invest energy in developing their strengths instead of correcting their deficiencies.” Once an employee’s strength is found, it can be matched with a need, duty or responsibility and let the power go!

What happens if goals are met or not met?

How many times did Thomas Edison try before getting the light bulb right? More than 10,000. Value flexibility and trial and error before you announce “we got it right.” Ask, “what happened or how can this be improved?” Tom Rath continues with this study result: people who do have the opportunity to focus on their strengths every day are six times as likely to be engaged in their jobs and more than three times as likely to report having an excellent quality of life in general.

Focus on the strengths of your employees to do more with the right less.

Written by Jim Annis, President/CEO of The Applied Companies, which provide HR solutions for today’s workplace. Celeste Johnson, Tom Miller, and Suzanne Chennault, Applied’s division directors, contributed to this article.

April 2014 HR Brain Teaser

Brain Teaser Courtesy of EPLI Pro™

The company provides employees with a refrigerator to use in the lunch room.  Except for the occasional complaint (e.g. "My leftover meatloaf is missing!") there hasn't been any significant issue - until now.

A new employee has gone to HR and requested that management prohibit employees from storing non-kosher meats in the lunch room refrigerator. The employee explains his religious beliefs forbid him from storing his food with non-kosher foods. Bells and whistles go off: religious accommodations are required. HR assures the employee the company will make the change immediately. HR prepares a sign, "NO MEAT ALLOWED IN REFRIGERATOR - effective immediately."

Within minutes, HR's in-box is full of emails from employees complaining about the new policy.

What, if anything, do you think this HR department should have done differently?

A.  Nothing.

B.  Speak with the new employee about his religious beliefs to determine if there's a solution that will satisfy him and other employees.

C.  There's no reason to talk to the new employee any further. Take the sign off the refrigerator and buy him a small refrigerator where he can store his food.

D.  Send a reply to the complaining employees and explain that they should take up their issues with the new employee. After all, it was his request.

Answer:   The best answer is B     Employers with 15 or more employees are required under federal law to reasonably accommodate an employee’s religious beliefs. The employee threshold is lower in many states (e.g. California). The law, however, doesn’t require that the employer blindly implement the employee’s first request. As with disability accommodations, the employer must talk to the employee to determine the specific needs of the employee and how the employer can accommodate those needs.

Here, the employer should have spoken with the employee to get more information on his belief. You can’t discuss an accommodation without understanding the employee’s needs. Don’t judge the beliefs and needs. Perhaps in the situation above, the employee would have been able to clarify what he means by non-kosher meat. At a minimum, the employer should have explored other options before immediately putting the sign on the refrigerator.

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The Primer on Mobile Recruitment

Mobile Recruitment is the act of finding job candidates actively and passively through the use of mobile career pages and internet recruiting strategies through social platforms. Here’s a shocker – 1 BILLION job searches are done per month on a mobile device. Indeed.com, the metasearch engine for job listings, has the number one free business app for iOS and Android. Seventy percent of job seekers are using mobile technology! Disconnect – only 26 of the Fortune 500 offer a mobile optimized job application process. Your business can be more nimble. At The Applied Companies, we communicate with the bulk of temp-side candidates via text. People are using our website application process via mobile. Nearly 30 percent who accessed our website did so with a mobile device or a tablet.

Why is it needed? 

From the job seeker perspective, flexibility, convenience and immediate notices are a competitive edge. Getting a feel for the technological capabilities of the employer may determine if they’re a good fit. In the temporary employment side, first come first served is the name of the game. Employers can streamline their processes because mobile recruitment (properly executed) has a conversion rate five to 10 times better than PC, at 20 percent of the cost. Mobile recruitment abilities can help set you apart as a preferred employer and attract and engage tech savvy millennial talent.

Best Practices

From SMS job alerts to LinkedIn email, responsiveness is the job seeker’s mantra. Seventy percent of mobile searchers act within an hour; only 30 percent of PC searchers do. Employers can use mobile search engine optimization, mobile career pages, and highly targeted mobile recruitment campaigns. Doing more with the right less via mobile is cool and relevant. Employees want to be proud of where they work and reflect a company’s tech values. If your application process is not easy or quick, good talent will look somewhere else.

Video capabilities via mobile are great tools. Executive search uses Skype to interview candidates versus shouldering travel costs. Candidates submit video resumes with a green screen. Vine’s six-second videos are a creative way to post job position openings and give a peek into your corporate culture with company visuals. Job candidates can be required to submit their own Vine video as part of the application process, like “selling” one of your major products or services with a six-second video.

Limitations

You can identify a candidate; however, they may not be the person you would hire. Job seekers may not feel the company environment is a good fit.

Once mobile narrows the field of potential employers/candidates, you can then spend quality time looking at your top five choices.

Written by Jim Annis President/CEO of The Applied Companies, which provide HR solutions for today’s workplace. Celeste Johnson, Tom Miller, and Suzanne Chennault, Applied’s division directors, contributed to this article.