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Summer Salomonsen's picture

Your Three-Step Guide to Modern Compliance Training

When you plan a learning and training strategy for your team or organization, odds are that one category of training stands out from the rest: compliance. The average organization planned to spend over three million dollars on mandatory compliance training in 2019, while some companies in highly regulated industries could actually spend tens of millions of dollars on compliance. It makes sense. Companies know how much money fraud and sexual harassment can hurt them, so they invest money in compliance training to prevent those losses.

But the thing is, a lot of compliance training isn't really working. According to a 2016 Global Fraud Report, the average case of fraud costs an organization around three million dollars in annual revenue. And for other types of abuse, like sexual harassment, we know that many compliance training programs have not resulted in any improvement in workplace behavior since the 1980s.

In a 2018 article in Harvard Business Review, Hui Chen and Eugene Soltes laid out the problem well: “Compliance policies serve important legal functions, but forcing them into legal frameworks may limit their ability to positively influence employee behavior." Too often compliance programs focus primarily on a company's legal liability, but do nothing to address the actual underlying causes of fraud or abuse. Many compliance programs simply aren't designed to correct behavior. Instead, they're designed to exist as a legal defense.

Compliance training doesn't have to be this way. We've been working on a more comprehensive and modern approach to compliance that targets the root causes of fraud and abuse, helps teams build inclusive and ethical cultures, and actually prevents the behaviors that compliance training is supposed to target. Here's a three-step guide for designing an effective modern compliance training program that can cover all of your compliance needs in a way that will resonate with employees:

1) Start With the Foundations: Unconscious Bias

Before you can suggest specific behaviors for your employees to exhibit (or to avoid), it's helpful to give your employees the tools to understand what leads to exclusionary or unethical behavior in the first place. Unconscious Bias training helps employees locate their blind spots—the implicit, potentially harmful associations they make based on their background or experiences, often without realizing it. Rolling out Unconscious Bias training as your first compliance topic enables your employees to reflect on their current practices before they learn new specific behaviors.

2) Next Up: Proactive Inclusion and Anti-Harassment & Discrimination

After setting the foundation on a personal level with unconscious bias, it's time to target the overall culture of your workplace. True compliance—whether it's maintaining a workplace free from sexual harassment and discrimination, or making sure no one engages in financial crimes like insider trading—takes an entire organization.

Strong Sexual Harassment Prevention and Anti-Discrimination training focuses on building inclusive cultures where people feel empowered to act when they see something wrong. They teach employees to take responsibility as bystanders and speak up when necessary, which helps build trust amongst the team so that everyone feels safe to be their best selves at work.

3) Target Your Organization's Needs From a Perspective of Trust and Empowerment

Now that you've given your employees the tools they need to build a safe and productive environment at work, you'll have them primed for more complex forms of learning. Depending on your organization's priorities, this could be a good place to slot in topics like LGBTQ Inclusion or Working on Multi-Generational Teams.

Now, instead of making these into lists of rules to follow, you can situate them as part of a larger theme of acting ethically and building trust as an organization. Consider also offering learning around topics such as Mental Health at Work or Balancing Work as a Parent to dive further into specific ways every individual can make your workplace a high-functioning and safe environment for everyone. The idea here is to get specific based on your organization's needs, drawing on the foundations you've set up already to address compliance needs from an inclusive and action-oriented angle.

Modernize Your Compliance

With the legal ramifications that surround compliance training topics, it's easy to lose sight of a simple truth: if you're going to teach employees compliance topics, you actually need to give them an opportunity to learn. You can't just provide a bunch of rules and expect people to know how to follow them. Successful compliance training takes employees on a journey, setting them up with foundations that will help those employees activate what they've learned when the time comes to put their knowledge into action. When done right, compliance training doesn't just reduce legal liability. It actually helps people and organizations perform at the top of their game.

Looking for Modern Compliance content that will drive true behavior change across your organization? Get in touch to learn more about our Modern Compliance content subscription.

Terry LaBan's picture

Cartoon Coffee Break: Unconventional Recruiting

Editor's Note: This post is part of our "Cartoon Coffee Break" seriesWhile we take talent management seriously, we also know it's important to have a good laugh. Check back every two weeks for a new ReWork cartoon.

Missed the Recruiting Trends conference? From the state of recruiting automation adoption, to the role that the human element still plays in recruiting, our recap covers everything you need to know.

Header photo: Creative Commons

Jeff Miller's picture

TED Talk Tuesday: Let's Try Emotional Correctness

This article is part of our monthly TED Talk Tuesday series, spotlighting can't-miss TED Talks and their key takeaways. You can learn more about our partnership with TED here.

On the surface, Sally Kohn wasn't a cultural fit at Fox News. As a progressive commentator, she and the conservative-leaning political pundits she worked alongside didn't usually see eye-to-eye.

Despite this, Kohn and her colleagues actively brought a sense of compassion to work by attempting to understand each other's positions. Being sensitive to how lived experience shapes a belief system, Kohn was able to relate to her colleagues on a personal level.

In her Ted Talk, Kohn says "emotional correctness"—applying empathy to better understand why people act the way they do—can have a positive impact on an organization and the people in it. Below are three takeaways from her talk:

“For decades, we've been focused on political correctness, but what matters more is emotional correctness."

At the office, many employees are careful about how they present themselves and their ideas. They want to maintain a professional image for their colleagues. But Kohn says people should focus less on political correctness and more on emotional correctness.

So what exactly does it mean to be emotionally correct? “Emotional correctness is the tone, the feeling, how we say what we say, the respect and compassion we show one another," Kohn says.

These morals can be applied to everyday life, but they can be especially pertinent in the workplace. The office is home to several personality types, and when people don't know how to communicate with colleagues who are different from them, it can lead to conflict. Even employees who get along on a personal level can get into disagreements, whether that be over how to word an email to a client or the potential of a job candidate. If you find yourself in one of these conflicts, think about the other person. Why do you think they have a different opinion than you? How can you communicate your thoughts in an effective yet empathetic way?

“Political persuasion doesn't begin with ideas or facts or data, political persuasion begins with emotional correctness."

Kohn's approach not only leads to a healthier work environment, it can also have a successful business impact. While facts and data bring an element of expertise to any argument, applying the concept of emotional correctness can help you sell an idea. Emotional correctness builds trust and gives you credibility.

Try to bring the concept of compassion to your conversations with colleagues and clients, especially those who tend to have different beliefs than your own. Imagine how the person you're talking to might react to what you're about to say. What might their doubts be? How can you alleviate their concerns? Paying attention to not only what they say, but their body language can help you react and respond appropriately.

“We spend so much time talking past each other, and not enough time talking through our disagreements."

When people disagree, they often dismiss the person on the other side of the argument. But it's important to step outside yourself and check your ego. Think through your argument and analyze the pros and cons. Then, think about the merit of the other person's argument. By considering the situation from a different point of view, you might realize some benefits of the other person's argument—or even potential flaws in your own.

“If we can start to find compassion for one another, then we have a shot at finding common ground," Kohn says.

Approaching conflict with emotional correctness is not easy, and it takes practice and patience to get it right. But once you add empathy to your resume, you will begin to improve your relationship with your colleagues—no matter how much you may disagree. 

Header photo: TED

Charles Coy's picture

As Hiring Trends Shift, The Need For Corporate Learning Remains Constant, CareerBuilder Finds

Despite growing demand for full-time workers, employers are finding it challenging to secure candidates that possess the skills that their open positions require, according to a new study from CareerBuilder.

Technology used across fields and industries is changing faster than universities or traditional classroom-based training programs can prepare learners, not only forming skills gaps at organizations, but also forcing recruiters to hire candidates that aren't fully qualified for the roles they're brought in to fill. According to CareerBuilder, 59 percent of employers plan to train and hire workers who may not be 100 percent qualified but have potential.

How can employers close this skills gap for existing workers and new hires? CareerBuilder has identified some ongoing learning and training trends that are helping organizations take the skills challenge into their own hands—here's how to apply them at your organization:

1) Dedicate More Resources to Tech-Based Training

Employers are willing to allocate bigger budgets to new learning technologies, which marks a key shift in how companies view learning, according to CareerBuilder. It's no longer seen as a pesky cost—it's now considered an investment in the growth and development of workers, which ultimately contribute to the health of the company.

“While a skills gap has created an environment where employers are having trouble finding qualified talent, employees' and companies' mutual dedication towards competency-based training indicates we have made leaps and bounds toward eliminating these obstacles," CEO of CareerBuilder Irina Novoselsky, said in survey results.

Technology-specific training is currently one of the biggest focus areas for organizations, according to CareerBuilder, since 55 percent of employers believe that an average of 50 percent or more of all jobs involve tech requirements.

To respond to this growing need, companies are updating their internal learning content to include more technology-specific material, even investing in outside training if needed, especially for roles that require field training and specific software/equipment. More than half of employers have paid for employees to pursue skills-based training offsite.

2) Seek and Nurture Soft Skills

As technology automates certain relatively simple and mundane tasks at work, skills unique to humans—soft skills—are increasingly critical. CareerBuilder found that 92 percent of employers look for soft skills such as critical thinking, interpersonal skills and communication abilities in all candidates today. Eighty percent also reported that soft skills would be equally or more important than hard skills (i.e. knowledge of specific technology) when hiring employees.

And while "soft skills" often sounds somewhat vague on a job description, employers in the CareerBuilder survey said that they have concrete requirements. Though critical thinking, interpersonal skills and communication abilities are indeed the broader soft skills employers are seeking, the specific top skills that employers are hiring for this year are the ability to be team-oriented (51%), give attention to detail (49%) and thoughtfully provide customer service (46%).

One way to nurture these in candidates that show potential? Lead by example. By exhibiting these skills, managers and HR leaders can train new hires and even long-time employees to practice them as well.

3) Provide Learning Opportunities Outside of Work Hours

Time is often listed as the key obstacle standing between employees and learning, but CareerBuilder found that workers are willing to learn even when they're not on the clock. This is a missed opportunity for employers.

According to the survey, 66 percent of employees report that their company doesn't provide learning opportunities or workshops outside of work. However, 73 percent of employees said they would be extremely or somewhat likely to partake in these opportunities if they were being offered. Workshops on newly-adopted technology, industry conferences or even public speaking courses are among the kinds of learning employees seek, according to CareerBuilder.

In 2019 and beyond, employers will have to continue to focus—and sometimes reimagine—the best ways to deliver training to their workforce. Candidates, meanwhile, will have to brace themselves for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead and continue to prioritize learning as the means to career growth and success.

Photo: Creative Commons

Steve Dobberowsky's picture

Why Public Sector Compliance Management Needs an Upgrade

The public sector is facing a crisis. Despite being tasked with overseeing and ensuring compliance across industries, government agencies and organizations often don't have a handle on their own internal compliance practices. In fact, less than half of public sector HR teams have implemented an automated solution to help them manage their compliance efforts, relying instead on siloed, outdated management tools like spreadsheets.

Progress is being made as the public sector starts to adopt automation, but the process is gradual. According to “State of Human Capital in Management and Government," a report by HCMG, WBR Insights and Cornerstone OnDemand, 62 percent of government employees said their organization is currently investing in technology to support digital transformations, or will be in the next 12 months. Still, even as AI and data-enabled software starts to simplify processes and procedures throughout certain departments, HR teams are often last on the list for upgraded technology, including compliance tools.

Confronted with tight budgets that can change at any given moment and initiatives that are often delayed due to new leadership, it can be difficult for HR professionals in the public sector to get approval to implement new solutions, but with compliance management on the line, they simply can't afford to wait any longer. To change the status quo, it will be up to HR leaders to prioritize these innovations by demonstrating the difference that automation can make. After all, effectively implementing modern, automated compliance tools can improve efficiency and help HR teams keep up with changing laws, while giving workers an opportunity to apply the human touch where it counts.

Doing More in Less Time

According to the report, the majority of HR teams are spending 36 to 60 percent of their time on managing compliance requirements, but a new age compliance tool can take many tasks off their plates. For example, automated compliance systems track internal policy and security documents documents and enable HR departments to create controls within the software that are specific to their organization. If an employee or manager forgets to take very sensitive and critical compliance training, an AI powered compliance tool can not only flag this issue, but also remind that employee directly with an automated email. The tool also is capable of escalating any notices should the employee not complete the compliance activity as needed. With these systems and processes in place, employees would get back time to focus on more strategic tasks, such as hiring and people management.

Change won't come overnight—the public sector has historically been slower to innovate than its industry peers, and much of that is the result of a reluctance of people in power to embrace change. Yet, millennials are now the largest generation in the U.S. workforce, and they're bringing with them a technology-first mindset—after all, many of them don't remember a world without computers. As more millennials obtain positions of power in the public sector, the industry will start to see the use of automation increase.

Keeping Up With Changing Regulations

Government agencies and organizations face specific challenges when it comes to compliance, as processes can change based on budget cuts or administration priorities. Even for organizations that have been proactive in implementing these tools, the nature of how the government operates can complicate things.

Jessica Lynch, Director of Human Capital Strategy and Management for Logistics & Industrial Operations at Naval Air Systems Command has experienced these challenges firsthand.

“What's frustrating is when the regulations are just changed," Lynch said in the HCMG report. “Some of them change so frequently. You have to go back and reprogram your system." Lynch has found that deploying automated systems into her organization's compliance strategy has been integral in helping mitigate many of these challenges.

"Once you have a process set up, and that is the nice part of automation, you don't need to keep doing it," she said. “The system will enforce that for you." With the right solutions, employees can take control of the work that matters—and handover the manual processes to automation.

Aligning Humanity and Technology

Many long-time employees remain concerned about the rise of automation because they fear their jobs may be at stake, but on the contrary, automation can help employees and leaders do their job better. “The reality is that we've got a lot of tenured leaders and supervisors in the federal government who still think in terms of people management and knowledge management from the human perspective and less on how technology enables those processes," Ayers said.

These concerns are valid—a report from McKinsey global institute predicts that automation could take over 800 million jobs globally by 2030. But despite these frightening statistics, new technology will still require a human element.

Lynch says automated systems will evolve the role of compliance subject matter experts. These tools will continue to rely on humans to implement, analyze and communicate across systems.

With the right solutions, employees at these organizations can take control of the work that matters — and hand over the manual processes to automation.

Photo: Creative Commons

Charles Coy's picture

Office Hours: The Challenges of AI at Work

All forms of automation pose a risk to the work environments they're supposed to make more efficient. Take, for example, the case of auto manufacturing where robots work closely with humans, lifting heavy machinery. Though the machinery poses no danger to the robots, they must take care not to harm the humans working around them. Artificial intelligence (AI), for its complexity, is one form whose ill-effects are especially hard to manage, and nowhere is this more evident than in the office environment, where AI may give “signals that we don't know how to use correctly."

That's according to Josh Bersin, principal and founder of Bersin by Deloitte. In this video, Bersin explains some likely pitfalls and challenges of using AI in the workplace.

Some of these challenges include how a manager should respond to the prediction of an AI system and the potential for AI to have bias programmed into its algorithm. On this second issue, Bersin says you should first acknowledge that AI is “filled with bias." Then you can take measures to address it, including demanding transparency from your organization's AI systems.

Photo: Creative Commons

Charles Coy's picture

A Look at the Numbers Behind the 31M+ Employees Learning on Cornerstone [Infographic]

In honor of Digital Learning Week Cornerstone is offering a sample of 150 modern eLearning courses for free from February 25 through March 11. Register here to access the eLearning portal.

The rapid increase of artificial intelligence, robotics and automation in the workplace has widened the skills gap between the skills employers seeks and the skills that workers actually have. According to a recent report by the US Chamber of Commerce, for example, open data scientist positions grew from just 1,061 in 2012, to 14,653 in 2016. The supply of data scientists hasn't been able to keep up, the report states, making data analytics a sorely in-demand skill that's critical, yet difficult to source and teach. And there's a handful of this skills gap data in the market, as we also see professional 'soft-skills' skills gaps widening—such as creativity, critical-thinking and leadership.

Continuous learning is crucial for ensuring that employees obtain and maintain such skills, but the 2018 Human Capitalist report from Bersin by Deloitte found that over half of respondents (54 percent) said they did not have any learning programs in place to help employees build the skills of the future. This is a missed opportunity.

At Cornerstone, we've seen the benefits of learning first hand, and this year we are challenging ourselves to do even more with the Five for Twenty Challenge. Our goal is to commit to investing at least five percent of our employees' time to learning and encourage other organizations to do the same. The goal? To "improve retention and engagement, save big money and create a higher-performing, more future-proof organization," says Adam Miller, CEO of Cornerstone OnDemand.

We know creating a learning program isn't easy. Your learning program is only as strong as your ability to build excitement around it—you need employees to see your program as an opportunity to develop, not a mandatory checkbox.

We've dug into our data to shed light on what works and what doesn't. Check out the infographic below to find out how an engaging learning program comes together.

Charles Coy's picture

How to Create Job Titles That Entice Modern Workers

There are few things more deflating for employees than getting a perplexed look from their parent after they tell them about their cool new job. In the digital era, many professionals face the uphill challenge of helping their parents—or really any member of an older generation—understand the nature of their work. Of course, it doesn't help that many modern workers, especially those employed at tech firms and startups, have rather unusual job titles.

But giving workers creative job titles (or letting them choose their own) isn't a just a fun new trend—it's a strategic recruitment approach. In a recent survey by Pearl Meyer, a compensation consulting firm, 40 percent of companies said they use titles to attract prospective employees, up from 31 percent in 2009. Rebecca Toman, vice president of the firm's survey business unit, told The Wall Street Journal that titles offer employers a way to show workers how they “can have an impact or make a difference." And in today's dynamic and innovative workplaces, nobody wants to be assigned a bland and dimensionless title that doesn't describe what they really do or that limits their potential.

Below, we've compiled a list of a few unusual job titles, what they mean and why they are so attractive to candidates. Not only do the titles fit under LinkedIn's list of 20 top emerging jobs, but they also have these three things in common: These jobs are critical to the business; they can be challenging, but also rewarding; and perhaps most importantly, they require highly talented professionals to execute them.

Let these inspire the next job description you write:

Office Happiness Advocate

Translation: I help my company build positive and lasting relationships with its employees by coming up with creative ways to engage them online and offline.

The appeal: Who doesn't want to be known for making people happy? But this feel-good title has a real business purpose, too: No company can thrive if its employees aren't happy. "Workplace happiness isn't about behavior change, though that can be part of it. More pivotal are the leaders of happy companies, who we've found are better at infusing positive energy into their work and teams," says Dede Henley, founder of Henley Leadership Group.

Data Wrangler

Translation: I use complex software programs to make data more useful for my company to analyze and use in business decision-making.

The appeal: Working with data is tough. Making it understandable to non-data people? Even more so. This title makes the person who wrestles and tames data sound legendary. "Companies like to play 'dress up,'" Ladders CEO Marc Cenedella told Business Insider. "By wearing the clothes, adopting the lingo, and mimicking the behavior of companies they want to be like, they hope to have some of the magic rub off on them."

Developer Evangelist

Translation: I work with technical and nontechnical people inside and outside of my organization to create new software products and bring them to market successfully.

The appeal: An evangelist's role is to help people see the light. And convincing diverse stakeholders to buy into ambitious software projects takes a special person. "Evangelism creates a human connection to technology way beyond typical content marketing means because there's a face and a name relaying the story, expressing the opinion, and ultimately influencing a decision," enterprise technology evangelist Theo Priestly explains.

Growth Hacker

Translation: I develop and test new ideas for using technology in marketing, sales, product development, and other areas of the business to help my company reach more customers and generate revenue.

The appeal: Originally coined by Sean Ellis back in 2010 when he was tasked with hiring new kinds of marketers at Dropbox, this title evokes a vision of a vast field of fertile, untilled soil. "I didn't want to get résumés from traditional marketing people," he explained back in 2015. "By calling it something else, you could say 'these are the important things.'"

People Partner

Translation: I make sure that our company has the right programs and processes to help all of our employees be happy and effective at work, and to make the best use of our talent.

The appeal: Companies need help retaining their talent. And workers need to know their employer is invested in their success. Enter the people partner, who ensures that people are always a business priority. "Unique titles help create a positive environment for employees, but [leaders] should be true to their company culture when crafting new names for positions or departments," advises Michael Heinrich, founder of Oh My Green, an office food supplier.

Pro Tip: Focus on Tasks—Not Title

Next time you're looking to fill an open position, consider this before sharing a job title and description: The translations above focus on each role's purpose and responsibilities, not its title. Keeping things simple, and avoiding acronyms and jargon, can also help you get candidates excited.

And when it comes to making sure your employees' parents understand what they do, invite them to bring their parents to work. Encourage employees to demonstrate firsthand what they do, give parents an office tour, introduce them to colleagues and take them to lunch. Whether you wrangle data or hack for growth, they'll want to see the impact you're having on your company and your teams.

Photo: Creative Commons

Charles Coy's picture

ICYMI: Don't Be Afraid to Bring Your Emotions to Work

Editor's Note: In today's fast-paced news cycle, we know it's difficult to keep up with the latest and greatest HR trends and stories. To make sure you're updated, we're recapping our most popular articles every month in our "In Case You Missed It" series. Keep reading for February's top stories.

Take It From a Futurist: Don't Be Afraid to Bring Your Emotions to Work

For years, employees have been encouraged to "stay positive." But that sentiment is rapidly changing, and managers are beginning to recognize the importance of bringing emotions into the workplace. Futurist, Harvard psychologist and business consultant Susan David, discusses how companies can embrace an empathetic and emotionally intelligent workplace.

Dear ReWorker: What If a High-Performing Executive Is Also a Bully?

What happens when one of your top-performing employees is helping the company make money, but hurting the people who work for her? Our ReWorker shares her advice on how HR should respond.

How to Implement a Practice of Regular Reflection in 2019

In the early days of the new year we tend to fixate on goals, but the biggest mistake most of us make is that we never look back. Regular reflection is an integral part of professional development. Find out how you can make it a habit in 2019.

A Day in the Life of a Health Care Industry Compliance Manager

As compliance director at National Seating and Mobility, Karen Shell juggles creating policies, procedures and training. Learn more about her work in our exclusive interview.

Expert Roundtable: Four Corporate Learning Professionals Discuss Today's Top L&D Content Trends

How can organizations create and curate materials that engage seasoned employees and new hires alike? Four of our experts weighed in on today's top L&D content trends.

Header photo: Creative Commons

Terry LaBan's picture

Cartoon Coffee Break | Artificial Intelligence Recruiting

Editor's Note: This post is part of our "Cartoon Coffee Break" seriesWhile we take talent management seriously, we also know it's important to have a good laugh. Check back every two weeks for a new ReWork cartoon.

Didn't make it to the Recruiting Trends & Talent Tech Live! hosted by Human Resource Executive (HRE)? Check out our two biggest takeaways from last week's event and find out how recruiting automation will shape the future of work.

Header photo: Creative Commons

Charles Coy's picture

Recruiting Trends Conference Recap: In the Age of Automation, The Human Element Still Shapes Talent Acquisition

Each year, Human Resource Executive (HRE) puts on the Recruiting Trends & Talent Tech Live! Conference to explore the latest and greatest recruiting trends shaping the talent acquisition landscape. Emerging technology, namely automation, was top of mind for presenters and attendees from the start, but the people that actually use this technology every day to draw in candidates were in the spotlight as well. The consensus? The human element is alive and well in the world of recruiting,

Hosted at Caesars Palace in a surprisingly snowy Las Vegas, this year's conference weather had us expecting the unexpected right from the get go — and it did not disappoint. In case you missed it, we're sharing our two biggest takeaways from last week's event.

Hiring Automation Has Left the Station

From virtual assistants and recruiting chatbots, to bias detection and candidate sorting algorithms, a new wave of smart recruiting technology is bringing about huge changes to the talent acquisition industry. While a panel titled “Where's the Humanity? Is Recruiting Tech Making Us Less Human?" determined that a standard definition for “artificial intelligence" and “machine learning" in recruiting have yet to be agreed upon, there's no doubt that recruitment process automation has evolved beyond early adoption.

As this technology becomes more available (and also, more affordable) Cornerstone's own principal consultant Tom Boyle took the stage with Michael Olsen, Talent Acquisition Manager at Good Samaritan, to discuss the company's journey to automate the hiring process. Olsen described how Good Sam revamped their application process and added mobile capabilities, reducing average time to apply from 30 minutes down to five.

“This transformation alone helped them see a 33 percent increase in new applications," Boyle explained. “A variety of organizations spoke at the event about how they had streamlined the candidate experience while increasing the level of automation within their existing recruiting process."

Candidate Engagement Is Everything

With the U.S. economy booming and a near-record streak of low unemployment, the conference did not shy away from highlighting the challenges of today's labor market. Workers are now firmly in control of the recruiter/candidate dynamic, forcing employers and hiring teams to reevaluate their approach to recruitment.

The recruiting tech industry has responded with a new crop of products and services focused on allowing recruiters to deliver improved candidate engagement and amplify their employer branding. During the event's opening keynote, Glassdoor's Rusty Rueff described that candidates are seeking greater transparency and have new expectations for employers. This means recruiters need to leave behind traditional post and pray job boards tactics, and instead embrace the idea of delivering incredible candidate experiences.

Beyond the unique trends that emerge every year, there's always one constant at these events — and that is the critical importance of recruiters to their organizations. People are the lifeblood of a company, and recruiters are the heart that keeps pumping talent into the company.

Photo: Creative Commons

Joe Burton's picture

Bookmarked: Get to Know Joe Burton, Founder and CEO of Whil Concepts

Editor's Note: This post is part of our "Bookmarked" series, where we ask some of our favorite HR experts, analysts and business professionals to answer questions about their career, life and aspirations for the future. Be sure to bookmark it for next month!

Stressed and overworked to his limit, Joe Burton knew that he wasn't thriving in a high performance public company culture. But Burton is a firm believer in changing your environment if it's not working for you, and has since made it his mission to help others do the same.

As founder and CEO of Whil Concepts, a company offering digital training designed to make people—namely employees—live healthier, happier and more engaged lives, Burton works to ensure that employees know how to cope when they find themselves in high-stress situations or jobs.

Read on to learn more about him in our Bookmarked questionnaire below.

Charles Coy's picture

To Retain Your Workforce, Show Your Appreciation

Companies around the country are preparing to celebrate Employee Appreciation day on March 1, and celebrating this day in a meaningful way is more pressing than ever. A recent Gallup survey showed 60 percent of millennials, a cohort that now makes up the majority of the workforce, are open to a new job, and 21 percent of them have changed jobs in the past year. Making them feel more valued could result in greater retention, but appreciation shouldn't just be reserved for wooing millennials into staying.

Organizations need to communicate their appreciation and invest in all employees' personal growth. After all, a survey by management consulting firm Cicero Group revealed that 37 percent of U.S. employees between the ages of 25 and 65 say that getting more recognition would encourage them to do great work.

As companies experience higher than average turnover and face the challenge of a low unemployment rate, HR departments are having to get creative about showing their employees that they're valued—consistently. Here's how two companies are showing their workers that they matter.

Southwest Airlines Isn't Waiting a Decade to Reward Employees

Employees at Southwest Airlines, who once had to wait for their five- or 10-year job anniversary to receive recognition, now receive a travel-related freebie like a duffle or battery backup on an annual basis, thanks to a new company program. Small perks like these can go a long way. As a result of Southwest's recent efforts, 95 percent of the company's employees say they take pride in working there. Moreover, the voluntary turnover rate is less than 3 percent, according to Rhonda Hanson, manager of awards, recognition and cultural services at Southwest Airlines.

Hanson and her team know that the competition for talent is fierce. Managers understand that they're not just competing with other airlines for qualified employees—tech companies want their programmers and marketing agencies want their communicators and content experts. “We are always competing with ourselves and other companies to recruit and retain talent," she said.

Motley Fool Opts For Smaller—But More Regular—Signs of Appreciation

Multimedia financial services firm Motley Fool has also begun investing more in employee appreciation programs. The Northern Virginia-based company draws a tech- and finance-savvy roster to its 300-plus positions and has consistently ranked as one of the top places to work. The company has made it a priority to listen to feedback from all employees, regardless of title or experience level and one consistent piece of feedback has been that employees value recognition from their peers even more than from the traditional top-down, manager-level channels.

As a result, HR introduced the YouEarnedIt platform, which allows employees (or Fools, as they are referred to within the organization) to post electronic pats on the back for anything from running a good meeting to writing a sharp sentence. The digital notes are seen by everyone at the company and come with “Gold" that can be used to buy gift cards or other tangible awards.

“Because we have this amazing record for every Fool, we are able to draw from it like a well of good feelings," Motley Fool's Alison Southwick wrote in an email. “For example, to thank/celebrate a Fool employee who was done serving her time on the board of directors, we printed off every piece of recognition she was given on YouEarnedIt and put it in a jar for her to keep," Southwick said. “It hopefully showed to her how positive an impact she's had on so many Fools throughout her tenure."

While celebrating Employee Appreciation Day on March 1 is a great way to start giving back to your employees, these activities should not be limited to one day out of the year. There is no "right" time to show colleagues that you are grateful for the work they do. Employee appreciation comes in many forms, from something as small as a thank you note, to something as large as a promotion. Think about who your employees are and what they value. Once you know your audience, you can build an employee appreciation program that can be replicated at your organization for years to come.

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Charles Coy's picture

Take It From a Futurist: Don't Be Afraid to Bring Your Emotions to Work

Editor's Note: We would never dream of trying to predict the future—that's why we left it up to the futurists. In this series, we interview experts in HR, recruiting and the future of work to get their take on what's next.

As the mindfulness movement infiltrates every aspect of modern-day life, there is now a growing interest and need for emotional intelligence (EQ) in the workplace. While the thought of conducting business with emotions may still cause some to cringe, it has become “essential learning" for leaders and executives as they harness their insight and turn it into inspired action, says Harvard psychologist and business consultant Susan David.

David has built a compelling case for managing our inner world in order to be better employees, managers and leaders at the office. Her bestselling book, Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life, grabbed accolades from The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Harvard Business Review, among others, when it published in 2016.

“Emotional agility is a process that enables us to navigate life's twists and turns with self- acceptance, clear-sightedness and an open mind," says David, whose 20 years of research on emotionally-agile people has led her to her conclusions. “The process isn't about ignoring difficult emotions and thoughts. It's about holding those emotions and thoughts loosely, facing them courageously and compassionately, and then moving past them to ignite change in your life."

So what does it mean to be emotionally intelligent and how does it translate into a more productive and perhaps even more pleasant work environment? We asked David to explain and offer some recommendations.

Being Vulnerable

The old adage “stay positive" and what it implies—hide your emotional truth no matter what—is finally losing its grip on society, and for good reason. David says being unhappy is an authentic human experience: “A sense of disaffection or dissatisfaction or concern is your inner self telling you that you are moving away from something of value to you. To deny this type of emotion in the service of positivity means you're choosing not to learn something important."

In other words, it's like you're cutting off a key piece of data.

David's work provides readers with a roadmap for overcoming the obstacles and stressors that hold them back. If leaders are able to achieve self-awareness, organizations will experience greater success.

Ultimately, this requires leaders to establish and maintain a company culture that empowers every member of the team to feel safe in times of uncertainty and vulnerability.

We've all been there, clouded by our difficult emotions during a critical juncture, which David refers to as “oceanic feelings of distress." In this moment, she says it's important to acknowledge and address the feelings by labeling them, which creates a finite experience with boundaries. Doing this puts space between you and the feelings so you can figure out an appropriate action based on your values.

According to her research, how we handle these scenarios is the biggest predictor of our success and effectiveness in every aspect of our lives.

How to Thrive

Thanks to technology and globalization, organizations are coping with unprecedented complexity. To adapt and flourish in changing circumstances, she says, is to be agile and resilient. And unless the people at the helm are emotionally agile, the business will be left behind.

To help others thrive while living their truth, David designed an action-oriented roadmap featuring four key concepts:

Showing Up: Instead of ignoring difficult thoughts and emotions or overemphasizing “positive thinking," face your thoughts, emotions and behaviors willingly, with curiosity and kindness.

Stepping OutDetach from and observe your thoughts and emotions to see them for what they are—just thoughts, just emotions. Essentially, learning to see yourself as the chessboard, filled with possibilities, rather than as any one piece on the board that's confined to preordained moves.

Walking Your WhyYour core values provide the compass that keeps you moving in the right direction. Rather than being abstract ideas, these values are the true path to willpower, resilience and effectiveness.

Moving OnSmall deliberate tweaks to your mindset, motivation, and habits – in ways that are infused with your values, can make a powerful difference in your life. The idea is to find the balance between challenge and competence, so that you're neither complacent nor overwhelmed. You're excited, enthusiastic, invigorated.

Are you ready to transform your most difficult feelings into energy and creativity? David's free quiz might help you assess your emotional agility and start transforming how you deal with your emotions in the workplace.

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Charles Coy's picture

Office Hours: How to Weave Learning into the Work Flow

A recent survey from Software Advice suggests that employees want three things out of their companies' L&D programs: shorter lessons, real-life rewards for learning progress and a social component to their learning—a way to compare notes with their peers.

Josh Bersin, industry analyst and founder of Bersin by Deloitte and now at, would likely agree.

In this video, Bersin lays out three strategies for making learning a permanent and non-disruptive component of the workday. First, he says, each piece of learning material should be brief; an employee is much more likely to complete a short video or blogpost than one that lasts two hours. Second, companies should invest in platforms that organize all this content in a way that makes it easy for employees to find what they need. And third, employees should be given both formal and informal opportunities to practice what they've learned.

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Carol Anderson's picture

Take a DevOps Approach to Learning Content Development

A recent LinkedIn research study found that across organizations, the biggest obstacles to learning are finding time for it and having content ready at the time of need. To tackle these challenges, Josh Bersin and other researchers argue for learner-centric, technology-enabled learning programs that deliver materials that employees actually need when they need them—on the go, via mobile, etc. But there's also a core element that can't be overlooked as organizations rethink their learning strategies—learning content development.

Let's draw an analogy to another development process: the development of software. Much like learning content development, traditional software development has typically been fairly linear—complete a needs analysis, develop code, test the code and launch the product. But today, processes like DevOps combine multiple development tools with cross-functional collaboration to produce and update systems more efficiently, catch and fix glitches faster and continuously improve the code.

I like DevOps' concept of incorporating cross-functional collaboration as a foundation for improvement. Their premise: get everyone who has a stake in the outcome involved throughout the build, giving feedback from their unique perspective, embracing failure and adjusting as the project moves forward. So what does DevOps have to do with learning content development? I believe applying an intentional, formal cross-functional collaboration process to creating learning programs can make them better-suited for learners needs. With more ongoing feedback and iteration throughout the content development process, learning materials will be more targeted, easier to consume and more likely to have a lasting impact.

Here are three ways to apply the DevOps mindset to learning content development:

1) Identify Stakeholders and Formalize the Process

An oft-forgotten stakeholder in building learning is the learner. To kick off a learning development launch, ask not just what they need to know, but also when and how they'd like to learn it. Balance that with what leaders and other key stakeholders see as critical content.

During my tenure as CLO at two organizations, we made a formal process of documenting the learning needs and asking for approval by key stakeholders before beginning work. We began each program with a launch meeting, involved all stakeholders and documented the purpose, expected outcomes and learner needs. We met regularly throughout the development process to track progress and adjust, if necessary. Don't be afraid to schedule additional conversations if need be—there's no limit on communication.

2) Chunk It Down

Outline and prioritize content into bite-size pieces. Identify the immediate need and work on that first. As an example, new managers don't need to know everything about their managerial role on day one. Issues of FMLA, FLSA and other compliance requirements will come soon enough. What they do need to know immediately is that they are required to treat their employees fairly.

In three to five minutes, create an introduction to the manager's role and test it with new managers to see if it's clear, helpful and resonates. Use it a couple of times, but be sure to tweak it based on feedback. Then, put it into your LMS or other knowledge database for managers to return to as needed.

Continue to build new chunks until you've covered all crucial elements and evolve the learning content through a continuous process of review, adapt and re-launch.

3) Embrace Failure

In systems development, failure means learning, and learning is good. It can be the same for developing content. If during a review process you find that a piece of content was not nearly as effective as you thought it'd be, don't be disappointed. This is valuable information for your next round of development.

Recognizing the limitations of the content and seeing its effectiveness—or lack thereof—from different users' perspectives will strengthen your learning program in the long run.

The more we learn, the more we know what we don't know. Someone made that comment once, and it stuck with me. By approaching learning content in small chunks, we begin to see what else is important. Creating a full curriculum or even course in today's complex world takes too long. By the time it's complete, things change.

Using a “try and learn" process creates forward momentum.

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Charles Coy's picture

Expert Roundtable: Four Corporate Learning Professionals Discuss Today's Top L&D Content Trends

The race for talent is getting tougher as recruiters struggle to find candidates with the skills needed to perform today's jobs. Proficiency in artificial intelligence-powered technology, for example, was a critical requirement for six out of the top 15 emerging jobs highlighted in LinkedIn's recent Emerging Jobs report. Yet, it's a skill many job seekers still lack, according to the report.

Even as HR teams consider internal candidates that can step up to the plate and fill knowledge gaps as they arise, challenges abound. Employees often don't have enough time to devote to learning, development and upskilling. Moreover, their expectations for learning content are greater than ever, says Summer Salomonsen, head of Content Studios at Cornerstone On Demand.

"I'm seeing a lot of pressure put on organizations and leaders to source, build, provide and distribute content in a very up-market type of way to retain the attention of their employees," she explains.

The onus is on L&D teams to create and curate materials that engage and inspire seasoned employees and new hires alike. What will it take to deliver this high-level learning content? We asked four experts to weigh in with their perspectives on today's biggest learning content trends, and offer recommendations for experimenting with them at your organization.

Microlearning Is Powerful, But It Isn't For Everything

Short and highly-targeted, microlearning content can convey information to learners without taking up a significant amount of time. But not everything can—or should—be condensed into this format.

"Microlearning is designed in a very specific way to teach learners something in a short amount of time. You can't just take a short clip of a longer course and call it micro-learning. To be effective, the topic has to be appropriate for microlearning, versus a much deeper concept, around which learning would need to be designed differently."

— Akanksha Garg, General Manager, CyberU, Inc.

"To be called microlearning, content has to be three things. First, it needs to be single concept, meaning it covers just one thing. Second, microlearning must use a unique delivery mechanism including audio and visual elements to build on a single concept. And finally, to be most effective, microlearning shouldn't be something that happens outside of work—it should happen during work."

—Summer Salomonsen

Video Can Be Highly Engaging—When It's Done Right

Video is a captivating way to present learning materials, but not all videos are created equal. Unless executed thoughtfully, video can fall flat and get lost in a noisy space.

"One time I asked an L&D professional: 'Why do you choose TED [videos] for your learners?' They responded: 'Because TED speakers talk from the heart.' Companies shouldn't shy away from this! Bringing human-centered stories and examples to the table helps drive home key points, reinforces the bigger 'why?' behind the learning, and makes learning more lasting and memorable."

— Kaylen Nalven, TED

"Video can be an incredibly powerful tool, and it's easier and more affordable than ever, but organizations need to spend time drilling down what is most critical and earn the learner's attention. We can't just prop up a talking head in front of a cool green screen and people will listen."

—Summer Salomonsen

Use Cases For VR- and AR-Based Learning Are Emerging

Virtual reality and augmented reality are no longer gimmicky tools—they have useful applications from a learning standpoint across industries.

"I recently saw a demo of VR content used to train someone in hospitality. An employee would put on a headset that showed a virtual situation in which they were greeting customers. The virtual reality offered different interaction options, things to grab and things to show the customer."

Akanksha Garg

"Walmart famously used AR/VR- based training to prep its employees for Black Friday. They needed to get their store associates ready for surging hordes of people and create that emotional experience for workers so that they could be prepared. A lot of hospitals and teaching universities are also using AR and VR to simulate challenges in dealing with patients. The biggest challenges are that these experiences are often costly, and not all learning lends itself to scenario-based cognition."

—Summer Salomonsen

AI Can Play Multiple Roles in Learning Content Strategy

AI can create more tailored learning opportunities for employees and provide managers with insight on what types of content are effective.

"An AI-based learning platform can recommend content based on the preferences of similar users, the learning interests that users demonstrate or their desired career paths. That's what's next for this promising technology—it's going to be a way for people to self-develop."

— Akanksha Garg

"There's a wealth of data that AI can provide on a learning platform. What content are people engaging with? Are they watching full videos? What's the participation rate? Eventually, AI will be able to monitor facial expressions while learners are watching content and will help determine their level of engagement. There's a lot that's still untapped."

—Ira Wolfe, President of Success Performance Solutions

Learners Come For Required Courses, But Stay For Self-Improvement

Beyond compliance, learning content should empower employees to challenge themselves and grow professionally.

"Courses on project management, time management and office productivity, as well as more personal topics such as health and wellness or morale boosting, are important. Having that balance of content in any learning strategy is key because it shows that you're invested in your employees, and your learner's development isn't just about checking the box of compliance."

Akanksha Garg

"My research with hundreds of L&D professionals validated one well-cited trend: the importance of human or soft skills—namely the focus on nurturing leadership, communication, collaboration, creative problem-solving and emotional intelligence in the workplace—is undeniable."

—Kaylen Nalven

Looking to update your content strategy? Cornerstone is offering a sample of 150 modern eLearning courses for free from February 25 through March 11— including microlearning, TED talks, and more. Register here to access the eLearning portal.  

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Suzanne Lucas's picture

Dear ReWorker: What If a High-Performing Executive Is Also a Bully?

Dear ReWorker,

One of my employees, Katie, recently approached me with complaints about her manager, Holly. Katie told me Holly is abrasive, curses at employees in public and has gone through five administrative staff members in the past seven months because she's intimidating and disrespectful to her team. Holly is also a high revenue manager, so my boss is asking me to look the other way and ask Katie to resign if she is unhappy. I feel that if I do this I would be breaching my moral compass. What would you do?


Morally Conflicted


Dear Morally Conflicted,

It is both unethical and unproductive to continue to placate a bad manager by getting rid of her victims. Since you know that Holly has cycled through five of her subordinates in the last seven months, you can safely assume Katie is not the problem.

But keep this in mind: as an HR professional, you are not the final decision-maker on hiring or firing your staff, and your superiors can override whatever decision you make. Still, that doesn't mean you should ask Katie to resign — I certainly wouldn't.

Despite her being a "high performer," I'd insist on immediately re-training Holly or, if that doesn't work, even consider letting her go. Here's why:

High Turnover Adds Up

Holly is a high revenue manager, so you know she's making the company a lot of money. But just how much money is she losing with her bad behavior?

According to, the average administrative assistant salary in San Francisco is $51,611. Let's assume that this is the salary Holly's administrative staff members were making.

The Society For Human Resource Management (SHRM) estimates that every time an entry- or administrative-level employee calls it quits, your company loses 50 percent of their salary in turnover costs. In Holly's case, losing five people in seven months at $25,000 per person has already cost your company $125,000 in turnover costs. If this pattern continues for an entire year, that adds up to the loss of nine employees, resulting in $225,000 in turnover costs. These are all hidden costs because they aren't factored into Holly's department budget. Instead, they impact the recruitment team's budget.

Office Bullies Impact Morale

People like Holly not only impact a company monetarily, but they can also create stressful work environments. According to Arash Emamzadeh at Psychology Today, office bullies can cause a decline in the overall quality of work.

"People who are bullied are more likely to have reduced commitment to work, feel dissatisfied with their job, experience job insecurity, have a high rate of absenteeism and become recipients of disability pension," Emamzadeh said.

Take a look at the remaining staff on Holly's team. Are they happy and engaged? My bet is no. People who tolerate Holly may not be working at their full potential.

How much more could the company earn if Holly was less of a jerk?

Protecting a Bully Could Ruin Your Reputation

Any sexual harassment training will tell you that it's technically not illegal to be a jerk (as long as you are an equal opportunity jerk). But if the #MeToo movement has taught HR anything, it's that all victims have voices now. Katie or one of Holly's previous five staff members could easily post on Twitter, Facebook or even Medium about their Devil Wears Prada-esque boss. This could hurt your company' reputation—and rightfully so.

This story is not a new one. In January, 22 year old Olivia Brand's account of a horrible job interview with CEO of Web Applications UK, Craig Dean, went viral. Susan J. Fowler's 2017 account of her nightmare year at Uber turned the tech world upside down—and she simply posted it on her personal blog. If you do not take appropriate disciplinary action or confront Holly about her behavior, things could get messy.

If Holly continues her behavior, it will cost your company money, morale and possibly its reputation. Present the information you have to your manager and propose that Holly receive executive coaching immediately. This approach is cheaper than letting the problem sit. If your manager doesn't take your advice, you may need to decide whether you want to stay at a company that doesn't value its employees.

Sometimes, you need to walk away from something good for the sake of your own integrity. If that's the path you decide to take, your turnover costs will be just another casualty of Holly the high performer.

Your ReWorker,

Suzanne Lucas, Evil HR Lady

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Thomas Boyle's picture

5 Old School Recruiting Behaviors That Are Costing You Candidates

Today’s job seekers are more tech savvy than ever before. This applies to virtually every candidate and role. Gone are days of walking in and applying in person – this approach has been replaced with the expectation of a branded personalized online experience that can be delivered entirely on mobile.

As organizations look to leverage technology to help manage the candidate experience and the overall hiring process it’s paramount that they understand that technology alone will never be enough. Technology is only 49 percent of the solution. Real success comes when organizations realize the importance of change management and challenging the way they have always done things.

All too often organizations take the same old school behaviors they’ve relied on before technology was in place and try and replicate them with technology. It’s time to eliminate or replace these practices. Having consulted with organizations across a wide range of industries and size, I have compiled list a old school behaviors that impede the ability to attract and convert candidates In today’s market. 

  • So What'cha Want – When it comes to candidates and more importantly career sites, one size doesn’t fit all. Today’s candidate expect targeted personalized content. It’s no longer enough to have a single career page in the hopes that visitors will find the right job, understand why they should work for you and ultimately apply.  Organization looking to stand out should create multiple branded career pages targeting the most important types of roles and audiences.

  • Get It Together:  In today’s technology driven world it has become increasingly common to hear about data breaches with some of the largest, most recognizable organizations.  As a result, candidates and consumers alike have become reluctant to supply personal information without a strong sense of purpose and security. All too often organizations are collecting personal information that puts both the organization and candidate at risk. Review the candidate journey to ensure that you’re collecting only what you need, when you need it.

  • Ill Communication: Above everything else candidates are looking for transparency and the perception of fairness throughout the application process.  One of the most common mistakes I see is waiting too long to disqualify applicants. If you average time to fill is 30 days and you have a shortlist of candidates being interviewed there is no need to wait to disqualify the other applicants until the end of the process. Be respectful of their time and communicate as much information as possible as often as you can.

  • Hold It Now, Hit It: Change management is paramount when leveraging technology for your hiring process. Stop dipping your toes into automation. Simply automating your old paper process is not enough—don’t be afraid to double down on automation and leverage technology that makes your work more efficient.This is your time to challenge the status quo.  Partner with your technology provider, review best practices and continuously review your hiring process and technology adoption.

  • Sabotage: The clear majority of organizations leveraging technology have a one and done, consideration and placement strategy. This means that candidates are considered solely for the position to which they apply.  Once disqualified they are notified and the record sits in the Applicant Tracking System with no activity or consideration. Increase operational readiness and reduce your time to fill by leverage technology to tag high potential candidates and create shared talent pools. 

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Terry LaBan's picture

Cartoon Coffee Break | Onboarding Paperwork

Editor's Note: This post is part of our "Cartoon Coffee Break" seriesWhile we take talent management seriously, we also know it's important to have a good laugh. Check back every two weeks for a new ReWork cartoon.

If you do it right, onboarding means that a new employee can hit the ground running and start out on a positive note. Learn more about why onboarding is the critical first step to employee engagement.

Header photo: Creative Commons