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The Key to Employee Engagement and Thriving Organizations

Posted By Editor, Wednesday, November 7, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, November 7, 2018

By Sarah Deane

While we all know the importance of health and wellbeing, the topic of wellness at work is certainly gaining a renewed breath.  With the fact that “a productive, positive employee experience has emerged as the new contract between employer and employee,” organizations that want to thrive, need to look closely at just how well they are empowering their employees’ holistic wellness--physically, emotionally, and mentally.

The topic of wellbeing and its impact on engagement and performance has been a research topic for some time. However, it is becoming more and more prevalent, with the concentration on expanding the focus beyond gym passes, on site yoga, and healthy food options.

This broader look includes mental and emotional wellbeing and cultivating the skills that enable an organization to thrive such as stress management, resiliency, and building positive and productive response systems.

Benefits of Focusing on Broader Employee Wellness

>> Read the entire article here.


Tags:  corporate wellness  employee engagement  employee wellness 

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Thank God It's Monday!

Posted By Next Concept HR Magazine Editor, Thursday, November 1, 2018
Updated: Thursday, November 1, 2018

Contributed by Judy Dang, HR West 2019 Speaker

How many of us can't wait for the weekend?  When we can finally be freed from the shackles so we can do what we really want! Relax, go out, enjoy hobbies. Work is something unpleasant we have to do before we have fun, right?

Maybe not.

Finding Flow by renowned psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi questions that paradigm and offers strategies for turning that around. This book is a guide to finding joy through complete engagement with whatever we're doing.

What is Flow?

Csikszentmihalyi coined the term "flow" as a result of his research on optimal experience.

It describes the feeling of being fully alive, completely immersed in what we're doing. Athletes call it "being in the zone."

The Paradox of Work

Work is something most of us are glad to avoid if we can. We've been taught that work is something (usually unpleasant) we all have to do.

Yet Csikszentmihalyi's research found that: "the moments when a person is in a high-challenge, high-skill situation, accompanied by feelings of concentration, creativity, and satisfaction, were reported more often at work..." Work is where flow is likeliest to occur.

He cites a study that found 77% of American women and 84% of men say they would continue to work even if they inherited enough money to make work unnecessary.

At work we have clear aims and rules. It gives us immediate feedback through a job well done. Yet we've been trained to not enjoy it.

Strategies for More Flow at Work

You have more potential for feeling fully alive at work. How can you increase that potential?

Based on Csikszentmihalyi's concepts, here are three ways to increase flow at work:

  1. Get clear on what success means to you.
    For me, this means setting lots of small and big goals.
    For example, I set goals before going to networking events: Have 2-3 meaningful conversations. If I make those connections, the event was a success.
    The bonus is that having meaningful conversations is also a flow experience for me.

  2. Get relevant feedback.
    If you work for yourself, this can be especially challenging.
    Without coworkers, how do you process ideas with someone who can give you constructive feedback?
    We are social animals; we need and thrive on interactions with others.

    I've been fortunate to have an accountability buddy for the past 7 months.
    We talk by phone each Thursday for 30 minutes about anything and everything.
    We offer each other support, tough love, and a nonjudgmental place to test out wild ideas.
    Each Thursday is TGIT because I get to give and receive with someone who understands me and inspires me to do my best.

  3. Take on challenges that stretch your skills just a tad.
    "Flow tends to occur when a person's skills are fully involved in overcoming a challenge that is just about manageable."
    This means picking a challenge that is doable but not so easy that you get bored. Or too hard that you give up.

    A few years ago I took a graphic design class. I already knew a few concepts, so had enough basics to not feel totally lost.
    But the class was interesting enough that I found it fresh and exciting.
    We might not achieve flow experiences 100% of the time, but if there are more of them than not, we have a better chance of enjoying work every day.

    Check out Finding Flow for ways to change your relationship to work.

About Judy Dang
Based in San Francisco, Judy T. Dang is a productivity expert who works with clients to tackle physical and mental clutter so they can achieve their most meaningful goals.

Clients go from feeling stuck to moving forward. Find out why she enjoys being an introvert here!

Judy will present at HR West 2019.  March 11-13, 2019 in Oakland California.
To find out more and register for this important annual HR Industry Conference go to:
Please stay tuned for further details about Judy's session and HR West! 


HR West 2019

Tags:  HR leadership  HR Management Skills  HR West 2019  HR West Speaker  Judy Dang  Workplace  Workplace Flow 

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Fitting Data into Your Hiring Process

Posted By Laurie A. Pehar Borsh, Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Traditionally, data and analytics have been the domain of departments like accounting, marketing and sales, but this is changing. Increasingly, data drives all aspects of a business, including HR. Executives know this; a Gallup survey found 86% of corporate leaders said data science and analytics skills will be required of “some” or “all” HR managers in the next three years.

Despite a widespread understanding of the importance of data for HR, one study found that only 10% of large companies performed any significant analysis of employee data. This means that if your company is part of that 10% you won’t only make hiring easier and more efficient — you’ll also have a competitive advantage over your competitors.

Data collection and storage can shape your recruitment strategies, help you find the right candidates, and automate workflows for the recruitment, hiring, and onboarding processes. Here’s everything you need to know about what data to collect, how to evaluate the data's value, and how to gain actionable insights from this data that can be used to improve processes.

Getting Started With HR Data

If you’re concerned that your HR department doesn’t have the time or resources to dig into data and analytics, you may be surprised. Most companies don’t have hundreds or thousands of employees, which means that in relative terms, the amount of HR data is manageable. Likely, the hardest step will be the first one — identifying which data to collect, cleaning up your data, and establishing a process to collect it going forward.

When the data’s been cleaned up, it’s easy to use software to track and analyze it. As you start to use data in your hiring process, note that:

  • It’s important to keep the end in mind. You’ll get bogged down if you try to track and analyze every piece of data in your hiring process.
    Prioritize the areas of the hiring process you most want to strengthen, and align your data analysis with broader organizational strategy.
  • Legislation concerning employee data varies by jurisdiction. Not all states have the same legislation surrounding employee data, For example,
    Massachusetts requires most companies to write and adopt a security policy to protect customer and employee data.
  • Analyzing HR data can reveal information that will require legal and/or management responses. For instance, if female employees in a department are paid less than male employees performing the same job function, your legal team may need to get involved.

With these three things in mind, you’re ready to begin collecting data, analyzing it, and using that data to improve every aspect of your hiring process from posting your job ad to welcoming new employees on their first day.

Using Data for Recruiting and Hiring

Recruiting and hiring are serious challenges for many employers. With low unemployment rates, it can be difficult to find skilled candidates, and a whopping 93% of employers say the availability of candidates in the labor market makes it difficult to fill an open job. Further, 91% say it’s challenging to maintain a pool of candidates.

Data can help you meet these challenges. As we’ve previously explained, examining metrics can help you improve your hiring process. Data and the use of talent management systems can also make it simple to:

  • Filter resumes by keywords. No more spending hours sifting through hundreds of resumes. If you’re looking for certain skills, it takes only an instant to call up resumes  featuring those skills. If you prefer to interview candidates with a specific qualification, pull up resumes of those with that qualification. It’s so simple.
  •  Score and rank candidates. If going through hundreds of resumes once wasn’t bad enough, deciding who to interview often requires going through them multiple times to compare candidates to each other. Data can automate this process, providing you a ranked list of applicants.
  • Make recruiting decisions. After onboarding new employees, evaluate how well your recruiting efforts were: assign a “Quality of Hire” score to each candidate and look for trends in the data. Who are your highest-quality hires? What do they have in common?
  • Ensure workplace diversity. When people are responsible for determining who gets an interview, unconscious bias will slip in. Examining the characteristics of who gets interviewed and ultimately hired will show if your company has a bias towards a certain type of person. Stripping demographic information from resumes and filtering them by skills and qualifications will help reduce the bias in your hiring process. In these ways, data can make your workplace more diverse.
  • Build a talent bench. You can go back to previous applicants’ resumes to search for keywords relevant to new open positions. Ideally, this will reduce the number of open hiring processes your company goes through, as you are able to go directly back to previous candidates and find other positions for which they may be the right fit.

Using Data for Onboarding

Data is useful beyond the hiring process. Consider these ways it can make onboarding better for new employees by making it easier to:

  • Respond to new employee questions. Salesforce examined the service tickets of new hires to determine what kind of information they were looking for soon after starting their new jobs. With this information, the company developed an email journey for new hires, delivering the information they needed at the right time. The result? A 30% drop in help tickets from new employees, who had more of the information they needed.
  •  Identify mentors for new employees. Mentoring can improve staff retention, and data can help you identify the best mentors for new employees. Salesforce gleans data from its collaboration tools that reflect individual employees’ skills and interests. From this data, they are able to suggest people who may be good mentors to younger and newer employees.

When it comes to your company’s hiring process, data is your friend. Use it to make your hiring, recruiting and onboarding more efficient, more inclusive, and more tailored to your the needs of your company and your employees.


About the Author

 Chris Lennon is Vice President of Product Management at BirdDogHR. Chris is an active participant in the talent management community bringing over 18 years of experience to BirdDogHR. He has presented at numerous industry events and has been quoted as an industry expert in leading publications like Talent Management magazine, CLO magazine, New Talent Times, TLNT and HR Bartender.

Tags:  hiring  hiring costs  hr data  onboarding  recruiting 

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Member Spotlight: Srinidhi Varadhan, aPHR

Posted By Editor, Monday, October 15, 2018
Updated: Monday, October 15, 2018


Srinidhi Varadhan, aPHR
NCHRA Volutneer

  1. What led you to Human Resources as a profession/How did you get into your current role?

    My passion for HR began when I was doing pro bono work for my law school. It was an employment law telephone advice line, we provided advice to employees who had employment problems. Being the first point of contact for employees and acting as a liaison between employees and volunteer employment lawyers intrigued me to pursue HR.

  2. In your opinion, what is the future of HR? How do you see it changing over the next few years, especially in terms of HR innovation?

    Technology, especially Artificial Intelligence, is the future of HR. From enhancing and automating business processes to reducing bias through algorithm assessment program. AI can really revolutionize human resources.

  3. What do you find is the greatest reward working in HR? 

    Culture and people. Working with diversified people and learning their culture has always been my passion.
    In developing the people around us, the work done in HR goes a long way in the professional development of other employees.
    With performance reviews and interviews, HR professionals can collect valuable information that guides employee development plans.

  4.  What role has NCHRA played in your career? 

    NCHRA and certification that I prepare for with NCHRA is a playing key factor in my job search. Companies recognize that I am a member of a reputable HR association.
    Volunteering with NCHRA has improved my network and helped me attend conferences and networking events to keep me up-to-date with HR and HR technology.

  5. What is something people might not know about you?

    The National Park service in the U.S. is a fantastic idea. I am a big fan of this concept. I would like to complete visits to 60 national parks in U.S.
    So far I have visited 9 national parks in California and 5 in Utah. 


If you’re interested in talking to Sri or have an HR job opening
, please send us an email at

Tags:  candidate  HR professional  nchra member spotlight 

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Six Reasons to Consider Upon Adding a College Savings Option To Your Benefits Suite

Posted By Laurie A. Pehar Borsh, Wednesday, October 3, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, October 3, 2018

** Contributed by Julio Martinez, Executive Director, ScholarShare Investment Board **

As an HR professional, you are probably always on the lookout for new, competitive benefits to help retain your employees and attract the best talent. With college costs exponentially rising, today’s parents are looking for the best ways to save for future higher education expenses. There’s a growing trend in HR that addresses both of these important goals...

Read this article on Next Concept HR Magazine.

 ScolarShare529 is a NCHRA Platinum Sponsor


Tags:  529plans  benefits  employee benefits  scholarshare 

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