Employee Engagement Essential in Professional Services Firms

employee engagementThe importance of employee engagement has been discussed in previous posts. Recent research indicates that nowhere is employee engagement more important than in professional services firms. While these firms are necessarily primarily client focused, ultimately the success of professional services firms relies on the success of their employees’ work. And the most successful employees are engaged employees.

In fact, in professional services firms employee engagement is a strategic business initiative.

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Multitasking Ability and Intelligence

When dividing attention between two tasks (Multitasking), people need to find the most efficient ways of allocating their attentional or processing resources between the tasks. It is reasonable to presume that people with higher levels of intelligence will be better able to allocate their processing resources efficiently. This was investigated in a study by Ben-Shakhar and Sheffer. Read on to learn more about their findings and how RightPeople has used this information to help you make better choices during your recruitment process.

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Getting the most out of psychometric assessment

Our previous post Organisations are reaping the benefits of psychometric assessments summarised the outcomes of recent research by a leading organisational research firm which revealed the relationship between HR success and the use of psychometric assessment tools.

This post provides more information about the ways successful organisations use psychometric tools and incorporate them into their talent search and development programs. The 516 organisations involved in the research were placed into three groups based on criteria indicative of employee performance and satisfaction: best performers (best in class), average performers (industry average) and those lagging behind in their industry (laggards).

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Organisations are reaping the benefits of psychometric assessments

stand_out_assessmentOrganisations are continually looking for tools and techniques to help them make better hiring and promotion decisions, as well as for ways to set themselves apart in the search for talent. A 2011 survey by an organisational research company reveals the high prevalence and impressive benefits of psychometric assessments as part of a talent recruitment and development programs, particularly in an era when many organisations cannot afford to spend significant amounts of money hiring new staff.

The survey involved over 640 organisations, including more than 500 that used assessments as part of their hiring and talent development strategy. The researchers used several benchmarks of organisational HR success. These included: high rates of employees receiving outstanding performance reviews, sound succession plans and manager satisfaction rates. Read on to find out more about what these successful organisations did to set themselves apart…

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Organisational growth requires understanding your people

A report by the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA), Talent pipeline draining growth: Connecting human capital to the growth agenda has found that failing to draw on the talent and expertise of employees can result in significant difficulties with growing the business and reaching financial targets.

CGMA surveyed over 300 CEO’s, CFO’s and HR Directors and found that almost half (43%) of respondents thought that ineffective people management had contributed to difficulties achieving financial goals in their organsiations, while two-fifths (40%) claimed it had reduced their ability to innovate.

In the context of the global financial crisis, the skills, experience, development and job satisfaction levels of employees are emerging as major sources of competitive advantage or disadvantage. Companies with highly skilled HR practices achieve up to 3.5 times the revenue growth and twice the profit margins of companies less skilled in talent management.

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R your employees OK?

Thursday 13 September is National R U OK? Day.

R U OK? Day is a national mental health day on the second Thursday of September to encourage Australians to connect with their colleagues/employees by asking them: Are you okay?

One in five people experience depression at some point in their lives. That means that approximately 4 million Australians will suffer from depression. More than 2,000 Australians suicide each year. Depression is the most common mental illness, followed closely by anxiety.   Approximately 7 percent of Australian employees in any organisation suffer from depression each year.

 

So chances are that at least one person at each workplace may be suffering from a mental health problem right now.

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Due diligence can avoid legal issues

When hiring senior executives, a lot of time and attention tends to be given to perfecting the remuneration package.  A leading workplace law and strategy firm warns that it is important to give equal attention to exit strategies, to avoid costly legal battles if the relationship sours.

One aspect of the exit/departure process that is often disputed when senior executives move on is the restriant of trade clause, which sets out which organisations the executive is prohibited from working for after they leave the organisation and how long this prohibition lasts.  For instance, some organisations prohibit executives from working for competitors for up to on year after moving on.

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The hidden costs of employee disengagement

A recent research poll of Australian workers has found that more than 80% of Australian employees feel disengaged and work, with more than 20% being actively disengaged, that is behaving in ways that are actively harmful to the organisation.  They estimated that disengagement costs Australian organisations at least $33.5 Billion a year in lost productivity.  It also has other negative social effects outside the workplace, with disengaged employees taking out their negative feelings on their families and having more health problems.

As discussed in our earlier blog How engaged are your employees, employee engagement refers to the extent to which  employees believe in the values and mission of the organisation, are committed to their work and will act in ways that further the organisation’s interests.  It integrates the well known constructs of job satisfaction and organisational commitment.

Engaged employees are focused and connected at work, supportive of organisational goals and are willing to “go the extra mile” at work.

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THE UNSKILLED NEED NOT APPLY

Finding amply qualified candidates to fulfill a specific job description and skill set is not always the simple task. When you ask whether or not a candidate is proficient in a particular skill, you will most likely receive the answer you are looking for: yes. However, surveys have implicated that 1/3 of job candidates tell little white lies during the recruitment process. How do you know who has the best skills without testing them?

Decrease the Chances of “Bad Hires”
Skills testing plays a major role in hiring the perfect people for jobs which require proficiency in specific domains. It provides an objective, fair, and efficient method of comparison. A candidate can say that they are proficient in Microsoft Word, for instance, but once you have hired them, you may find out that they are not as skilled as they stated in the interview. By then, you have already hired them and, like anyone that does the hiring and firing in a company knows, it is extremely difficult to get rid of a bad hire.

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RightPeople’s Time Management Research

Published in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Out of Time?

Researchers at the University of Sydney’s Department of Psychology have found that being a good time manager is closely related to how conscientious a person is, and that this may be a personality trait rather than a skill one can acquire. Good time managers are also likely to be early birds, and slightly more prone to worrying.

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Human Resources in the Modern Workplace

Modern-Workplace

“When hiring for a position, taking into account the various interview techniques at the disposal of the average Director, Executive, HR Manager or Business Owner, we can expect that there is about a 70%  chance that the person employed will be an average or good employee. “

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