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Becoming an employer of choice

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Becoming an employer of choice

  1. 1. Becoming an Employer of Choice Lesley Harvey The Human Edge
  2. 2. Global Research Findings Best Employers know the secret to attracting and retaining top employees around the world. In an attempt to unearth this seemingly innate knowledge, Hewitt Associates completed a comprehensive study of Best Employers across Asia, Europe, and the Americas the results of which form the basis of this proposition. •Best Employers have a commitment to people that is more substantial than the latest fad in employee benefits. •Being a Best Employer requires a holistic approach to building a work environment in which employees are constantly engaged and committed to business success. •Best Employers employ leaders who are passionate about people, who are clear and concise when communicating strategic direction, and who possess a sound ability to execute on their people practices
  3. 3. The five things that Best Employers have in common: What do Best Employers have in common? What distinguishes The Best from The Rest? The predominant traits of Best Employers across the globe can be expressed in five common characteristics, which are the following: 1.Inspired Leadership - It starts at the top! 2. A Unique Company Culture – embedded into every part of the business 3. Focus on Growing Talent – provide focused training & development – linked to PMS – not numbers of days/hours 4. Strong Sense of Accountability – no passing the buck or blame! 5. Aligned HR Practices and Excellent Execution – supported by HR and Operational Processes
  4. 4. What do they mean? Inspired Leadership • Are your leaders visible and accessible to employees? • Do they take an active role in identifying and promoting top performers? • Are they evaluated by peers and superiors on an ongoing basis? • Is there strong alignment among the leadership team? Unique Company Culture • Do you have a defined and well-communicated culture for your company? • Does your organization hire for the “right fit” as well as the right experience & Qualifications? Focus on Growing Talent • Are you actively managing the talent pipeline at your company? • Do you know who your top performers and high potentials are? If yes, have you communicated this to them? • Do you offer a variety of training programs to accommodate business and employee needs? • Do you prioritize a “promote-from-within” environment in which development, coaching, and training are highly valued?
  5. 5. Aligned HR Practices and Excellent Execution • Are your people practices aligned with your business strategy? • Does your company offer flexible work arrangements to accommodate different employee needs? • Do you know which HR programs are of high value to the business? • Does your organization communicate effectively to the employees? • What is the engagement level of your workforce; are employees committed to “stay, say, and strive”? • What are the drivers of engagement at your company; where can HR programs have the greatest impact? Strong Sense of Accountability • Does your company reward performance, especially differentiated pay for outstanding performance? • Do managers and employees adhere to a consistent and rigorous performance review process? • Do employees have a clear understanding of what’s expected of themand how they are rewarded ?
  6. 6. A SCHEMATIC DRAWING OF A BEST EMPLOYER Leadership Commitment to People: Clarity, Focus, Communication, Culture Orientation • Longer on-boarding program • Indoctrinate new hires in company culture Employment Experience Work processes and procedures Training and Development • More time and budget • Train for “soft” skills in addition to technical skills • Provide more access to training Opportunities •Develop Leaders Performance-Oriented Culture Performance Management • Regular feedback & coaching High-Potential Identification Compensation • Pay-for-performance • Incentive plans • Ownership programs Benefits • Flexible benefits • Conveniences Work/Life Balance Effective Communication - Frequent communication of company values, goals, and business results Employee feedback and suggestions The diagram above shows what Best Employers “do” to foster an environment that engages employees
  7. 7. What are the benefits? Benefits of Being a Best Employer •Better name recognition • Better financial results • Lower turnover • More unsolicited applications • Higher productivity • Attract the best – not the rest!
  8. 8. Taking each of the 5 things in turn – No.1: Inspired Leadership Dedicated to success for all concerned, Best Employers have leadership teams that set the example for commitment to their companies and their people. CEOs and senior leaders believe that their most important asset is people. They are, therefore, personally involved in developing top talent, interviewing potential employees, and communicating with employees the direction in which the company is headed. This is a difficult task, and the following actions are crucial: • Maintain Visibility. - Leaders of The Best talk to employees an average of three times more often than the leaders of The Rest. This higher visibility and accessibility of senior leaders helps to build trust among employees. • Provide Clarity and Focus. Leaders of The Best are relentless in their communication with employees about the company's direction, business strategy, goals, and progress toward these goals. In doing so, they provide a clear direction of where the company is headed and what role employees should play. • Encourage Openness and Involvement. The leaders at The Best help to shape a company culture in which employees are encouraged to give suggestions and feedback. Under their leadership, these companies use a consultative approach to problem solving and strategy development. While encouraging openness, the leaders at these Best Employers also exhibit closer alignment and consistency in points of view. They share a common set of values and beliefs, and reinforce behaviours that generate success.
  9. 9. People Practices to support this : People Practices Average number of times the CEO communicates business information to employees per year Percent of companies that use employee surveys Percent of companies that have a formal program to encourage employee suggestions Employee Perceptions I get enough good information about our organization’s business results and performance. I trust senior management to appropriately balance employee interests with those of the organization. I see strong evidence of effective leadership from the organization’s senior management. I feel well consulted when major changes are made in this company. I am inspired to do my best work every day. 23 7 84% 69% 85% 53% 86% 63% 71% 44% 72% 55% 61% 40% 79% 55% The Best The Rest
  10. 10. Taking each of the 5 things in turn – No.2: Create a Unique Company Culture Best Employers are articulate about their unique organizational culture, and they hire people for “culture fit.” Best Employers create a unique employment experience and emphasize promotion from within, thus attracting people who see the benefit of furthering the success of the company. By harnessing the power of the organizational culture, Best Employers drive superior performance and business results. Best Employers embrace a culture of high performance, stress company values, and have systems and practices in place to inspire their workforce to do their best. Some of the foundations of reinforcing a unique company culture are: • Job-Person Fit. Best Employers are more likely than The Rest to recruit people based on the “right fit”—the people who have the ability, drive, and mind-set needed to help their Best Employer achieve success. The Best devote time and effort to articulate their culture and values to employees. They see the power behind a workforce that’s aligned and unified under a shared set of values and beliefs. In addition, Best Employers typically have a longer on-boarding process to help new hires assimilate to the company culture. A significant benefit of selecting for “fit” is that employees’ values are better aligned with the company’s values, and thus, the employees are more likely to remain at the organization for long periods of time Home-grown Talent. To ensure that future leaders at their organizations continue to promote the same beliefs, Best Employers are more likely to promote from within, identify high-potential talent, and have leadership development programs in place and execute them effectively. — For example, 29% of the Best Employers fill job openings with internal hires as compared to 18% at The Rest
  11. 11. People Practices Supporting This: People Practices Emphasize recruiting for culture fit Emphasize indoctrinating employees into the culture during orientation Keep practices across the organization mostly consistent Employee Perceptions I feel like I fit in well here. I am driven to go beyond what is required to help this company succeed. The Best The Rest 85% 67% 72% 57% 84% 67% 52% 20% 92% 56%
  12. 12. Taking each of the 5 things in turn – No.3: Focus on Growing Talent Best Employers provide more opportunities for employees to develop and grow professionally and personally. They are highly aware of and focused on the talent pipeline. Best Employers identify high potentials and ensure that they receive accelerated training and development, as well as frequent opportunities to meet with senior management. Because they view talent management as a critical investment, Best Employers spend more time and money on training, actively developing high potentials and offering other facets for career development. This focus is realized through the following: • Commitment to Training. Best Employers provide access to more training channels and programs, put more employees on assignments or job rotation programs for developmental purposes, and are more likely to implement one-on-one mentoring. Training includes leadership and technical skills, as well as education about company culture and values. The Best also use more vehicles to deliver their training and development, such as classroom training, e-platform training, mentoring, coaching, paid membership in professional organizations, and company libraries. —Best Employers’ commitment to training and development is appreciated by their employees. On average, more employees at The Best than The Rest feel they have sufficient opportunities to develop the skills necessary to take on more responsibilities, 73% versus 51%. Robust Talent Pipeline. Best Employers are more likely to have programs in place to help people manage their own careers, including mentoring plans. Best Employers are more likely to identify high potential employees and provide them with accelerated learning opportunities. In addition, The Best are more likely to tie managers’ compensation to how they manage the talent pipeline and develop their people.—For example, on average, about half (49%) of The Best offers special career coaching or mentoring programs for high-potential talent, versus 43% of The Rest. Consistent with having a focus ondeveloping high-potential talent, 65% of the Asian Best reported that developing high potentials has a significant influence on the bonus of the employee’s manager, versus 24% at The Rest.
  13. 13. People Practices Supporting this: People Practices Percent of companies that offer career development opportunities Percent of companies that offer mentoring Percent of companies that offer tuition reimbursement Median hours of training per year Employee Perceptions I have appropriate opportunities for personal and professional growth. I have sufficient opportunities to develop skills necessary for assuming greater responsibilities The Best The Rest 60% 29% 49% 43% 87% 76% 66 47 69% 53% 73% 51%
  14. 14. Taking each one of the 5 things in turn – No. 4 Strong Sense of Accountability Best Employers instil a strong sense of responsibility in their employees. Best Employers demonstrate respect for their people by holding them accountable for results and recognizing their achievements with enthusiasm and celebrations. Employees have a clear understanding of what is expected of them because leaders communicate with them frequently about business direction and company goals. Consequently, employees have a better understanding of the direction the company is headed and their roles. Best Employers are successful in conducting performance management, which helps solidify the alignment between employees, company goals, and performance expectations. • Setting Clear Expectations. It’s important to ensure that employees are clear about the company's goals and what’s expected of them, or there will be a misalignment. Frequent communications about goals and direction from leaders to employees creates a focus and sense of accountability as each person knows his or her responsibilities. The vigorous performance management program ensures that employees are on the right track and working toward the company goals. —For example, 88% of employees at Best Employers in Australia report that they are clear about their goals and expectations, compared to 79% at The Rest. • Rigorous Performance Management Program. On average, Best Employers conduct more frequent formal performance reviews than The Rest. Employees at The Best often have the opportunity to evaluate their managers and their peers. In addition to the formal performance discussions, Best Employers are more likely to build in feedback systems in day-to-day interactions with employees. Managers give immediate feedback to employees in recognition of good work or to help improve performance.
  15. 15. No. 4 cont… Emphasis on Fair Pay. While The Best do not always pay at the top of the market, they do emphasize “fair” pay by communicating clearly with their employees about their compensation and reward programs. Best Employers tend to use a variety of vehicles to communicate pay information, such as direct communication from managers or supervisors, employee handbooks, and focus group sessions. As a result, employees at The Best have a better understanding of how they are paid.—On average, 69% of the employees at The Best agree that the way their company rewards and recognizes people helps them to produce the desired business results. • Pay-for-Performance and Ownership Opportunities. Best Employers do not usually apply a universal increase percentage for all employees across the same role where there are differences in performance. Best Employers are not afraid to compensate high-performing employees differently. They emphasize pay-for-performance, and they are more likely than The Rest to offer incentive pay and variable pay to more employees. In addition, The Best are more likely than The Rest to provide employee ownership opportunities to share in the company’s success.—On average, 27% of the Best Employers will provide base pay increases greater than three times for high performers in the same role, as compared to 15% of The Rest.
  16. 16. People practices supporting this: People Practices Percent of companies that have a variable compensation program Percent of companies where base pay higher for top performers compared to “average” performers in the same role Employee Perceptions I know what is expected of me at work. Overall, the way we reward and recognize people in this company helps us produce the business results we want. The Best The Rest 86% 81% 27% 15% 89% 72% 69% 46%
  17. 17. Taking each on in turn – No. 5 Aligned HR Practices and Excellent Execution. Best Employers do not necessarily have more people programs than other companies, but the HR programs and practices at The Best are aligned with business strategies and are executed effectively. Best Employers make sure that their HR practices and programs are relevant to the business and valuable to employees. The Best identify and promote high- value programs that will drive employee engagement and business success. In addition, Best Employers demonstrate an ability to execute programs effectively. Through careful planning, dedicated resources, and communications, Best Employers make sure that programs are carried through to a successful implementation. For instance, among the European Best, 80% of employees say that their companies’ HR programs are aligned with business strategy and performance expectations, compared to 59% at The Rest. Some examples of The Best’s leading-edge HR programs include the following: • Work Flexibility. In a world in which the boundaries between work and life are increasingly blurred, companies that provide employees work/life balance create an environment conducive to long-term productivity and retention. Flexible working hours, telecommuting, and job sharing are effective ways to help employees balance their work and personal lives. Best Employers offer these programs to a broad group of employees, whereas The Rest offer these programs only to some employees.
  18. 18. No. 5 continued Communication Strategy. Best Employers clarify company direction, goals, policies, and processes, which motivates employees to stay on track. Today’s Best Employers leverage technology and other mediums to deliver targeted messages to their workforce in a variety of meaningful ways. The Best also tend to use more channels of communication, such as town-hall meetings, employee meetings, emails from CEOs, newsletters, memos, and an intranet. In addition to top-down communication, Best Employers are more likely to have formal employee suggestion programs and to conduct regular employee opinion surveys and focus groups. These bottom-up communication channels give senior management a sense of what’s happening at the front line, what challenges employees face, and what successes they’ve accomplished.
  19. 19. People practices to support this: People Practices Percent of companies that share business goals/objectives with employees at least once a month Percent of companies that offer a flexible working practices to most or all employees Employee Perceptions I get enough good information about our company’s business results and performance. I get enough good information about our company’s policies and procedures. 84% 67% 77% 48% 56% 28% 36% 22% The Best The Rest
  20. 20. It Pays to Be a Best Employer • Financial Performance. Best Employers consistently outperform The Rest in revenue growth, profits, and total shareholder returns. • Talent Attraction and Retention. Best Employers receive more unsolicited applications and have a higher employee retention rate, which translates into significant savings, higher productivity, and knowledge retention for the companies. • Employee Engagement. Best Employers have a passionate and engaged workforce that will inevitably further the company’s success.
  21. 21. The returns.. Average annual growth rate, 1999-2001 Average revenue growth rate, 2000-2002 Average profit growth rate, 2000-2002 Five-year annualized total shareholder returns (TSR), 1997-2001 Five-year annualized TSR in excess of industry sub-index 1997-2001 14.9% 10.1% 13% 7% 21% - 12% 4.6% 1.5% 11.2% 9.3% Asia Australia Australia Canada Canada Country/Region Financial Measure The Best The Rest Best Employers outperform their peers on a number of common financial measures. The table above shows that Best Employers consistently outperform The Rest across various financial measures.
  22. 22. The returns cont… Talent Attraction and Retention Best Employers enjoy a lower employee turnover rate and receive an average of twice as many unsolicited applications than The Rest. The lower turnover rate means more savings for the companies, the cost to a company to replace an employee is one to one-and-a-half times the annual salary. Having more unsolicited applications means that the company has a wider talent pool to select from, which ensures far greater possibilities of hiring the best fit for opening positions.
  23. 23. And it pays.. Asia Australia Australia Canada Canada Europe India Average number of unsolicited Applications Ratio of job applications/ inquiries received in 2002 per job opening Average voluntary employee turnover rate Number of applications per position Average voluntary employee turnover rate Percent of employees who left the company after one year Average number of formal applications per position 1,909 1,669 28:1 19:1 14% 19% 4.4 2.4 6.7% 9.1% 7% 16% 41.8 8.2 Country/Region Financial Measure The Best The Rest
  24. 24. The results.. Employee Engagement Best Employers acknowledge that people are their most important asset in achieving the business results they need to succeed in the marketplace. This is why the aim of Best Employers is to build and sustain an engaged workforce. Acknowledging this link between people practices and business results is what puts The Best ahead of The Rest. Engagement is a measure of the energy and passion that employees have for their organizations. Engaged employees are individuals who take action to improve business results for their organizations. They “stay, say, and strive”—stay with and are committed to the organization, say positive things about their workplace, and strive to go above and beyond to deliver extraordinary work. Among Best Employers, leaders have a clear understanding of what engages their workforce; they strive to align employee needs with business priorities and in doing so, build a work environment conducive to success. Best Employers around the world have highly engaged employees. The contrast is glaring: at least 20 percentage-points better engagement at Best Employers compared to The Rest
  25. 25. Summary Best Employers: • hire the right people • provide opportunities for training and development • conduct regular performance feedback • involve employees in business decisions •keep employees informed of company direction and strategies •communicate effectively with employees • align people practices with business goals. •Have great leadership The benefits of such a thorough employee strategy are seen at the bottom line
  26. 26. The Commitment.. Best Employers for three or more years running consistently demonstrate the following: • They have a common focus on the sustainability of people practices. • They have an unrelenting emphasis on doing a few core things very well. • They have an organizational culture that reinforces adaptability. • They have an intense focus on the execution of people practices and alignment with business strategy. The results are delivered by IMPLEMENTATION

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