Debunking three myths about HR managers

HR are the Office Enforcers Yes, it’s the job of the human resources manager to police many aspects of the office, but that doesn’t mean they spend their workdays lurking in the shadows of your cubicle, waiting to catch you in the act of rule-breaking, or actively searching for disputes to regulate. It’s more accurate to compare their regulating role to that of a sports referee, whose job is to step in only when needed to ensure the game continues to run smoothly. Enforcing office policies is a small part of an HR manager’s role, anyway, and they’re often very busy with the other facets of their position. HR can help you negotiate your pay While your human resources department often plays a part in payroll, promotions, hiring and firing, the individuals working in HR don’t exist to help you negotiate these touchy subjects. Don’t discuss how much of a raise you seek or how generous of a severance package you deserve. Of course, they’re constantly working to ensure these issues are handled fairly, but they can’t share and freely discuss these details with individual employees. Human resources just hires and fires Human Resources does have a role in choosing new hires and letting employees go, but they also fulfill many other duties that keep the company running smoothly. They help interview potential employees, handle payroll, make sure all state and federal employment guidelines are being met, and meet with managers to find out employee needs. It’s also their job to design and manage employee training. This is a crucial part of their job because if an overseeing organization,...

Tips for handling time-off requests around the holidays

With the holidays approaching, employees are planning their trips to catch up with distant family members or escape to tropical destinations. While it’s completely understandable to want time off between Christmas and New Year’s Day, if every employee leaves town that week, there will be no one left to keep the business running. So, when the time-off requests start trickling in, it’s up to human resources personnel to manage these requests in a manner that’s fair to both the company and its employees. As an HR manager, you want to grant every time-off request that comes in, because you know firsthand that taking time away from the office to spend with loved ones allows you to recharge and be more productive when you return. But it’s always not feasible to give every employee the precise time off they request, so here are some tips to handle these requests fairly. Ensure the company’s time-off policy is understood Make sure all your employees are aware of the company’s time off policies, and the manner in which time-off requests are granted. You can inform employees of this when they’re hired, but it’s not a bad idea to send out an annual reminder via company memo. That way, when the holidays approach, employees should know to plan ahead and comply with the company time-off policies. Grant requests in a fair manner The best approach is usually to grant employees’ requests in the order in which you received them. If seniority does play a role in receiving PTO, make sure this is known by all employees, so no one gets the impression that you’re...

Tips for organizing the corporate Halloween party

Falling leaves, shorter days and chillier mornings signal the onset of autumn and the approach of the season’s sweetest holiday: Halloween. It’s an occasion for assembling a creative costume and indulging in candy—and why should children have all the fun? If you’re in charge of organizing your company’s office parties, you’re probably in the midst of planning some sort of Halloween celebration. And while these festivities can provide a morale-boosting diversion from the typical workday, it’s important, when throwing company-wide events, to ensure that the fun is good-natured and inclusive. Here are a few tips for throwing a Halloween party that’s both lively and workplace-appropriate. Specify costume guidelines Creative getups are an essential part of Halloween, and, therefore, most Halloween parties. Just make sure all employees are on the same page about what sort of costumes, if any, are expected at your company Halloween party. No employee wants to be the killjoy who doesn’t dress up. But it’s equally horrifying to enter the office decked out in full costume while everyone else is in business attire. Avoid confusion by sending out a company memo outlining the nature of this Halloween celebration. Tell employees there will be prizes for the most creative costume, the most colorful costume, or the best homemade costume, to provide parameters for their costume selection. Schedule a start and end time for the party so everyone knows not to schedule client meetings during this time. Use your best judgment to help employees avoid offending their coworkers with their costume choice. Every company culture is different, but it’s better to be overly cautious and specify ground rules...

Three common scenarios that require employee training tracking software

If you occupy a role in upper management or human resources, part of your job entails ensuring all employees are properly trained as well as managing the repercussions if they are not. You and your business will, at some point, encounter one of several scenarios that not only require that all employees meeting training requirements, but that you are able to provide proof of that training. Tracking employee training with powerful software instead of spreadsheets and documents will allow you to navigate these scenarios more smoothly. In the case of an accident In certain industries, workplace accidents are inevitable, and they can cause impacts and complications that are potentially damaging to your company. Even if employee negligence or company practices aren’t to blame for such accidents, providing standardized employee training can mitigate the chances of accidents occurring. If an accident does occur, having documented records of that training can protect your employees and your business. If legal issues arise due to an accident, you will be able to prove that your company did everything within its power to ensure that employees were correctly certified and trained to industry standards. In the case of an audit Many industries require employees to meet certain training standards as outlined by the United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA standards require employers to train employees in the safety and health aspects of their job, to   ensure workplaces are free from serious recognized hazards. New employees must complete this training within the first few weeks of being hired, and refresher training must be completed annually. To ensure businesses comply...

How Employee Training Improves Office Culture

The most obvious results of investing in Conductor’s employee education training tracking software are the skills and knowledge your employees will gain from the program. But equally important are the emotional benefits which, in turn, boost overall office moral and culture. Here are several ways employee training creates a more positive office environment. Hire the right people If you don’t list your employee training as a perk when advertising open positions, you should! Many adults get caught in a cycle of completing their daily tasks and rarely have time to devote to learning new skills, so they recognize the value of an employer who will offer free education that is also directly related to their respective field. Not only will you attract more applicants, but you’ll attract the right kind of employees: those who view education as a valuable opportunity. These people are naturally curious, proactive, and motivated — soft skills that will help them to not only excel in their daily tasks, but also motivate fellow employees to do the same. See confidence rise Employees thrive when they know what is expected of them and feel they have the knowledge to fulfill those expectations. Standardized training makes them feel prepared for situations they might encounter during the workday, and that feeling of preparation boosts their mood and confidence. Improve in-office communication Every person in your company has a different background, and therefore a unique skillset and knowledge base. Overall, this is advantageous, because it gives your team a greater variety of tools and approaches to solving problems in order to fulfill company needs. But it helps to first...