By investing in employees, Zurich has seen increases in engagement levels and net promoter scores to boot.
By Debbie Bolla
Although his surname may mean diminutive, Brian Little has only done big things for Zurich North America. As head of human resources for the insurance provider, Little intrinsically understands the direct link between exceptional employees and satisfied customers. Striving to be “a company of choice for insurance in North America and globally” means focusing on what differentiates Zurich from competitors, and Little believes it’s how Zurich interacts with clients. That interaction is one of the main drivers behind his “Zurich Oxygen” initiative: a program that completely shifts how managers work at the insurance company.
Understanding the critical role managers play in supporting employees to be their best, Little developed Zurich Oxygen to help mold and improve the capabilities and people management skills of managers.
Research reveals five trends that help guide best practices in payroll.
By Mollie Lambardi
Payroll continues to be one of the top services that is outsourced to a third-party provider. In fact, Aptitude Research Partners’ recent study on workforce management found that four out of five organizations are using payroll software solutions or payroll services. When looking at large enterprises—those with more than 1,000 employees—that number is nearly nine out of 10. As organizations struggle to find and keep great talent, creating a positive payroll experience is increasingly important. And as HR organizations seek to position themselves as strategic leaders, the last thing they want is to be bogged down by payroll errors. But an increasingly complex regulatory environment is quickly complicating the world of payroll.
Fortunately, today’s payroll solutions are moving beyond the commoditized marketplace, charging pennies per employee to cut checks.
A successful, global recognition programme calls for a local touch.By Debbie Bolla
With nearly 50,000 employees in 180 countries, the global nature of The Dow Chemical Company’s workforce was a primary consideration for its employee recognition programme. What was CHRO Johanna Söderström and her team’s solution? A global platform executed locally.
The technology behind the programme—powered by O.C. Tanner— was standard across the organisation, but leaders in each country could determine the specific approaches that would work for them. The global, multifaceted “Accelerate Great” programme creates meaningful experiences for employees through the direction and discretion of managers and leaders.
For example, David Sturt, executive vice president of O.C. Tanner, says it’s more commonplace for a recognition moment to be very public in India—it would likely feel like a celebration.
Organisations operating in EMEA that leverage a localised approach to HR can connect to an international workforce.
By Christa Elliott
The EMEA region encompasses 116 countries on three continents, but despite the area’s cultural and geographic diversity, there is at least one thing that its businesses have in common—the need for a localised approach to HR policies and processes, particularly in Europe. Many organisations have implemented localised hiring programmes and benefit rollouts for years, and these practices are more widespread than ever before in EMEA.
What is “localisation” exactly? In the context of HR, localisation refers to the process of adapting policies, operations, or strategies to accommodate the diverse cultures of the countries in which the organisation operates. It may translate to reviewing country-specific laws regarding benefits and making sure that the organisation’s offerings and policies are compliant.
With rapid business growth, talent leaders need to keep their eye on Latin America.
By Paula Jacomo
Between the introduction of new technologies, changing demographics, and talent wars within the region, Latin America (LATAM) has quickly emerged as a fierce competitor in the global talent market. The region has seen rapid business growth for multinational corporations looking to expand their footprints, and its start-up community is also booming. Not only has this growth swiftly increased the demand for talent, but it has also led to a shift in employee expectations regarding the technologies and benefits made available to them.
This change has also made HR departments pivotal to organisational success in the LATAM region, and those that are adapting their processes to attract and retain the best talent within the region are already seeing results. Although 20 years ago, companies in the region may have been more associated with older labour trends, today HR departments in LATAM are applying innovative and forward-looking strategies to help meet these changing priorities.
Horizon achieves desired behaviors and outcomes through a values-based, social recognition program.By Debbie Bolla
Ask Marie Crea, director of HR for Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, how she would describe the organization, and she would tell you that it’s employee-centric. The healthcare insurance provider is in the business of ensuring quality service for its members, and that level of service is literally in the hands of its employees. So when engagement scores fell a hair under benchmark level in 2013, Crea knew it was time for HR to step it up and roll out a modernized, socially-driven recognition program with the same name.
Employee recognition has been a part of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey’s core strategy during the entirety of Crea’s 12-year tenure at the company.
Organizations need to adapt their approach to benefits to suit today’s changing demographics.
By Randy Stram
With the gig economy rapidly expanding, employers are focused on retaining and engaging employees. According to MetLife’s 15th annual U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study (EBTS), more than half (51 percent) of employees today are interested in contract or freelance work. Not surprisingly, gig work appeals to millennials most, with nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of the generation interested, followed by Gen X (52 percent), and baby boomers (41 percent). Workers are drawn to freelance roles due to the flexible hours, the ability to work from home, and project variety. This is causing organizations to have a laser focus on retaining their talent—the top priority among employers, according to EBTS’ findings. In fact, 51 percent of respondents plan to leverage benefits as a retention strategy in the next three to five years.
Bringing a positive candidate experience to relocation assignments can be a key differentiator.By Christa Elliott
Most HR professionals agree that creating an outstanding candidate experience—from recruitment through onboarding—is a great way to boost employee engagement and well-being. But relocated employees, whether they are new hires or transferees, will have a very different “candidate experience” due to the special circumstances of their employment and the careful planning that goes into a relocation. Done well, a relocation can illustrate that the organization is invested in the employee’s success and growth. But if the relocation assignment isn’t given special attention and care and becomes stressful for the employee, it can work against the organization.
A 2017 study by CareerArc found that 99 percent of employers believe that managing employer brand and reputation (including through candidate experience) is important to attracting top talent.
Some organizations are moving toward total talent management. What are the advantages and challenges?
By The Editors
When it comes to implementing effective workforce solutions, some organizations are following the philosophy of “consolidate, consolidate, consolidate.” This may be driven by the growing number of worker classifications in the market today, as organizations want to attract both full-time and contingent high performers while remaining compliant. A total talent approach may be the answer.
Randstad Sourceright’s President of RPO North America Dan Oakes reports that 49 percent of C-suite leaders consider integrated talent as a way to build for the future. Technology will play a role in this workforce transformation. According to Oakes:
• 52 percent of HR professionals say that the digitization of HR has benefitted their company.
• 17 percent say that the digitization of HR has been the primary factor in bringing about HR transformation.
By calling out employee efforts that tie to company purpose, organizations can drive loyalty.
By Gary Beckstrand
When anthropologists evaluate groups of people and try to define cultures, the first characteristics they look for are mutual purpose and vision, and with good reason—a unified purpose is what connects people and separates distinctive groups.
Purpose is growing increasingly relevant, especially to corporations trying to define company culture. Today, purpose in and outside of the workplace is a large part of the collective consciousness. Millennials—73 million strong in the U.S. and the largest population in the workforce—are particularly focused on living purpose-driven lives and finding meaning in their work, according to a recent study from Gallup. They want to feel connected to a greater good that transcends a steady paycheck and health coverage—as do the rest of the generations in the workforce.
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