What We Learned – Roundtable Discussion: Human Resources 2019
WHACC AM Learning Series – Human resources
This AM series on July 23rd featured guests Bridgett Martis at ABB Inc., Nicole Johnson with the City of Warrensville Heights, and Glenn Levar from Shared Time Human Resources Management. This dynamic roundtable discussion centered on the key issues facing human resources and different tips to improve your company’s HR. Throughout the roundtable, company culture and soft skills were a main topics of discussion from all three leads.
Culture Leads to Success of a Business
Company Culture is the personality of a company. It creates the environment that the employees work in and includes the values and behaviors that contribute to it, both socially and psychologically. In our roundtable discussion, Glenn Levar opened with the topic of employment. Based on his observations, Glenn suggested a trend in HR is that companies are getting away from hiring entry level positions and are instead trying to ‘slot people in’. Continuing, he stated that they are suppressing the growth of promotion in favor of finding someone outside the company to fit the job.
When Nicole Johnson shared her points in the discussion she commented, people typically only last two years in a position. She placed an emphasis on the need for strategic gearing systems designed for re-boarding employees by making them feel valued. Companies are struggling to maintain employees because of a lack in culture. One of the reasons for this absence in culture is the lack of soft skills in employees and job candidates.
The Soft Skills are the Challenges
From Bridgett Martis, one trend in HR is the lack of soft skills in candidates for jobs. In her opinion, this deficiency stems from a lack of work or volunteer experience, where the skills can be learned, leading to less longevity and stability in their jobs. Soft Skills are necessary for success in any position. Bridgett mentioned that 75% of long term job success depends on soft skills, while the other 25% is from technical skill. The good news, soft skills are highly trainable! It is important to instill a culture in which everyone practices the same behavior. An easy way to do this is through developed value pairs, a technique Bridgett shared that ABB uses. By having these values, employees build practices for safe and ethical soft skill behavior in all aspects of their lives.
Three HR Tips from Our Experts
- Create and train a company culture.
Not only do you have to train people on what job they will be performing, but how they should think, act, and improve within the company. In the discussion Glenn advised forming a psychological contract between employer and employee. This would outline what employees should expect from an employer and how they will be treated. The contract will build trust and loyalty, establishing relationships and the beginning of a company culture.
- Include personal talents to the employee’s roll.
Nicole focused on the need to use the talent that you already have. Employees typically do not like being told what they already know from someone outside of the company. Encouraging employees to use their personal self at work allows them to open up, be empowered, feel like they are being heard, and show that you value them. Get conversations happening and be the human side of HR.
- Instill the desired soft skills into employee performance.
Create opportunities such as goals, projects, deadlines, and presentations for employees to practice the desired soft skills you want them to gain. Bridgett noted that performing the skills regularly will lead to a knowledge and understanding of the values used to form a corporate culture. Your return on investment will be employees that are happier, more productive, and stay longer at the company.
The Key Takeaway
Training is an ongoing process. Not only do you need to train employees in their technical skills, but it is important to promote soft skills to improve the company culture. When employees have a stronger set of soft skills they become more accomplished at navigating the world, solving problems, communicating, and adapting to situations. All these leading to a better culture and work environment. Having an established positive culture within the workplace will improve your company’s performance for success.