Full Sail Partners Blog

Improve Employee Engagement with Training, Learning and Development

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Wed, Sep 04, 2019 @ 01:56 PM

Employee Training

According to Gallup’s most recent research, only 13% of employees worldwide feel engaged in their workplace. Additionally, only 33% of Americans are engaged at work based on a report from the latest State of the American Workplace. Without employee engagement, there is limited innovation and problem solving which leads to a dissatisfied customer base. Converting these uninspired workers into engaged employees is a must for a firm to be successful. A sure-fire way that firm leaders can do this is with employee training, learning and development.

Effective Training

To encourage employees to become engaged, managers must first show interest in their employee trainings. They should speak to their employees before a training to discover what they are looking to get out of it. Afterwards, they should take the time to talk about what has been gained from the training. Additionally, there should be a balanced blend of training options to appeal to a diverse workforce. Embracing technology is also an excellent way to make training enjoyable. Managers should know their people and what works for them, and with well thought out trainings, employees will stay engaged.

Constant Learning

Another way to keep employees engaged is to provide them with constant learning opportunities. One size does not fit all. Some employees like a structured lesson while others prefer an interactive approach which gets them more involved. There is certainly more accessibility to learning activities with technology so again using technology as part of the learning options is ideal. Additionally, offering employees a yearly allowance for professional learning is a great way to get employees engaged. The allowance could be spent on books, on online classes or even industry conferences.

Career Development

Another big area for engaging employees is their career development. Managers should sit down with their employees and evaluate what the future holds for them. They should be offered the opportunity to experience different roles in the firm, gradually being given more challenging work and responsibility. This entails daily learning of new skills to help reach the ultimate position with the manager’s help. From the manager’s side, this means aligning firm needs with employee aspirations. Knowing that their managers are interested in what they desire in their career path makes for engaged workers.

Worth the Time Required

While the time required to provide a balanced training menu, a variety of learning opportunities, and personal career development is high, the cost of losing the firm’s key knowledge base or customer connections outweighs the burden. Employees are a firm’s best asset and keeping them engaged should be a priority. Engaged employees work harder for your firm and ensure customer happiness so it’s worth it to spend the time to make them so.

  Deltek Talent Management

Topics: HR, Employees, Deltek Talent

Using Compensation Strategies to Retain Talent

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Wed, Apr 24, 2019 @ 05:19 PM

Compensation Compensation can directly impact the engagement and productivity of your talent. Without engaged talent, project-based firms will have a difficult time delivering successful projects. Retaining quality talent is a necessity to firm success so a well-planned compensation strategy is crucial. Let’s look at some components of an effective compensation strategy.

Budgeting

Salaries usually make up the largest part of the overall budget for project-based firms. Using Deltek Talent Compensation, budgets can be set up for each part of the compensation review cycle. They can be further broken down by level so reviewing managers will know how much money is available for compensation. There should, however, be some flexibility for outstanding efforts.

Rules and Guidelines

Rules and guidelines help employees to understand compensation plans. Having specific pay grades clarifies salary differentials. Employees can see what the expectations are for each level such as required certifications, education or professional experiences. With the guidelines in place, managers can make compensation recommendations using approval workflows.

Salary Audits

Staying in-tune to the market value of positions with your firm is important. Market data can be uploaded into Deltek Talent Compensation to show details about the current status of an employee in relation to the market. This allows managers to see how competitive their firm salaries are compared to other similar firms.

Total Rewards Package

Employees need to see all parts of the compensation package. The base salary is just one aspect of the package. The health benefits component is significant in the rewards. Additionally, any short-term incentive pay like commissions or bonuses or long-term incentive pay such as stock options make a heartier, more desirable compensation package.

Be Visible

Deltek Talent Compensation provides insight into all aspects of the compensation plan. Employees want to see that they are being paid fairly and that reasonable expectations are established for their positions. Employers need to stay on budget yet stay competitive in the market. With a visible technology solution in place, all needs of the employee and employer are met.

Implement a Comprehensive Compensation Strategy Now

With unemployment being at a historic low, not having a visible strategic compensation plan will affect retention of top talent. While putting such a plan in place may seem overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be. Once your firm has established the key components of your compensation strategy, communicate it to your employees. With top talent buy in, retention will no longer be an issue.

Succession Planning

Topics: HR, Deltek Talent

Firms Should Make Employee Development a Priority Using Career Paths

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Wed, Mar 27, 2019 @ 05:31 PM

Career PathsAcquiring top talent for project-based businesses is a necessity. With the best teams in place, projects are run more efficiently, completed timely and ultimately profitable. While getting these key players on board is crucial, keeping them inspired and engaged is just as significant. If your firm incorporates career paths as part of its HR Talent Management strategy, then employee development becomes a priority and retention remains high.

What are Career Paths?

Career paths are plans that lay out the steps to get to the next place in an employee’s journey with your firm. Your top talent needs to feel that there is growth potential within your organization. Using Deltek Talent Management, employees can see jobs they want to aspire to and other lateral roles they may need to undertake first. With career path software, everyone is informed of where an employee currently stands, and where he wants to be down the road. This keeps all parties accountable for employee development.

The Key is to Start Early

Developing career paths should begin at the talent acquisition phase. Is this candidate a fit now and potentially down the road? What are the motivations and incentives to be part of your firm? What are the cultural desires? HR can use Talent Management to review skills and competencies and determine what gaps need to be filled to move further down the career line. There should be a three to five-year duration of the career path. What would be the immediate placement of this candidate and what would provide growth?

Development plans

When establishing career paths, it is necessary to set guidelines to target competencies and identify skill gaps. There must be clear objectives and deadlines to reach these goals. Mentoring by firm leaders and developing new skills are essential to acquiring needed competencies. However, employees can also use professional associations in their industry to further develop their knowledge base. Development can happen year-round.

Reviewing Career Paths

While the firm should provide opportunities for development and mentors to help talent learn new skills, the employees need to drive the effort. Both lateral and job promotions are necessary parts of the career path. It is just as important to spend time in different jobs at one level as it is to move to the next. Continuous feedback sessions should be part of the career path process with roadblocks included. Finding out how the employee is contributing to the firm shows engagement.

Career Paths Contribute to Employee Retention

Career paths help make employee development a priority, and they can be updated as needed. Employees can even be included as part of succession planning in their career path. Remember that in creating career paths, authenticity is key, and communication is vital. Employees must know that you value them and how they can grow with the firm. In exchange, excitement for career potential will keep employee retention high.

Deltek Talent Management  

Topics: Technology Solutions, Deltek Talent

Always Be Recruiting – Ways to Find and Nurture Candidates

Posted by Sarah Gonnella on Wed, Nov 21, 2018 @ 03:49 PM

Candidates

Firms complain that there aren’t enough candidates when a job opening needs to be filled yet many firms aren’t taking the necessary steps to ensure they have candidates in the hopper when a position opens. Do projects just fall out of the sky? Ok, maybe on a rare occasion, but most of the time you must nurture relationships in order to be considered for a project pursuit. Recruiting should be looked at in the same way. A great way to find the best fit for your firm is to identify potential candidates before a position opens and develop these relationships.

Finding Potential Candidates

Recruiting should involve more than just your HR department and executives. Just like marketing and business development, recruiting should be something all staff members do. Some firms have found that having a referral process can be a great way to encourage employees to share the news, but even more important is letting your employees know to keep their eyes out for anyone that might fit the firm’s corporate culture and have skills needed within the company. The best recruiters leverage their staff within the company to help them do their jobs. Here are places employees can find potential new recruits: 

  • Social and informal connections happen all the time and staff can use these interactions as informal recruiting sessions. Potential recruits can come from current projects, partners, vendors, neighbors, and social events. Asking the right questions can provide you with a plethora of information regarding whether any of the people you deal with would be good matches for your firm.
  • Conferences and networking events are also convenient places to meet potential candidates. Conferences and association networking events are specifically geared for your industry. Sometimes individuals you meet might be great teaming partners or they might be just what you are looking for if a position comes available. Collect those business cards and ask some deeper questions about their jobs and you have a talent pool without having to officially recruit.
  • Social media is another easy way to recruit for candidates. Whether you tweet or connect with others via LinkedIn, there are a variety of ways to find qualified people that fit with your company culture. Just keep in mind what skills you are looking for on a consistent basis, and you will have plenty of options in the world of social media.
  • Job fairs, of course, are also appropriate places to find potential candidates. Even without an open position available at your firm, people at job fairs are looking to find where they fit in so when something does come up with your firm you have options. Simply gather names and resumes and you will get an immediate talent pool, or better yet, send them to your website to upload their information into your Talent system. 

Nurture Those Potential Candidates

In the Deltek Clarity report, project-based firms stated that their top challenge was finding qualified talent. I would beg to differ since talent is always around you and most likely available if you nurture the relationships. I suspect your challenge is just not identifying the talent when you come across it. 

Once you find potential candidates, it’s important to capture their information so you can pull from a talent pool. Using the Deltek Talent Acquisition system, recruiters and managers can quickly add resumes to talent pools allowing you to access your potential candidates by categories when a position opens. These talent pools allow you to keep lists of candidates with specific requirements or needs. 

We know great Project Managers or Marketing Coordinators are hard to find so you could tag potential candidates as you come across them. Instead of waiting until the position needs to be filled to start your search, with talent pools you can quickly send a templated email asking candidates you have met in the past, that have been pre-qualified, to submit for an opening. Imagine how much easier and quicker recruiting can be by taking a more proactive versus reactive approach.

Improve Hiring Efficiency

For project centric businesses, people are your competitive advantage. Ensuring solid talent management best practices within the business means assuring you can find the talent quicker than your competition. See how Deltek Talent can improve your employee hiring process.

Talent Acquisition 

Topics: HR, Deltek Talent

How to Attract and Keep Great Employees Throughout the Employee Journey

Posted by Sarah Gonnella on Thu, Mar 15, 2018 @ 12:23 PM

TalentIf I were to ask you which is more important to a successful business, the employee or the client, what would you answer? It's a tough call and either choice could be right depending on your circumstance. However, I would argue the employee is more important to ensuring a company is successful because great employees attract and keep great clients. So then why aren’t we investing more in our employees, and more importantly, how do we attract and keep great employees? The answer lies in mapping the employee journey.

To understand the employee journey and the imprint your firm is making, we will look at five key steps along the path of an employee.

  • It all begins with awareness or the knowledge or perception of a situation or fact. The key word being perception. How do candidates perceive you? Perception of a potential candidate can come from many sources:

    • Knowing an employee
    • Speaking to your clients or vendors
    • Articles and information disseminated by your firm
    • Research on the internet
    • Your website and social media pages

All of these are related to your brand. Brand awareness is equally important for HR to comprehend. A simple way to start to understand your brand is to ask exemplary employees: What did you know about our company before you interviewed and what made you choose us? This question can give you insight into your brand and what to do more of to ensure you know employee perception and the source of that info.  

  • The interview phase is another area that creates an impression. Not only for those you hire, but those you don’t. There are resources like Glassdoor that provide potential candidates insight on what the interview process is like and what it’s like to work at the firm. Do you know what is being said about your firm? The interview phase should give a candidate a sense of what it would be like to work for the firm and what will be expected. Recruiting and interviews are also a great time to build your network. You never know where the best candidate or client might come from. Even if you decide this person is not the candidate for this position, think about these things:

    • Could they fit another current or future position?
    • Do you know another position outside of your company?
    • Is this a person that could be great for networking?
    • Did you leave a positive impression while telling them they didn’t get the position?

  • The on-boarding phase can say a lot about a company. Firms that don’t have a formal process may find employees quickly leaving. Employees want their own manager to take charge, not HR. Firms should still be focused on recruiting an employee even after hiring. Additionally, on-boarding isn’t completed within the first week or even month of hire. Here are some things to think about when developing your on-boarding program:
     
    • Do you have a checklist for your onboarding?
    • Does the new hire have a place to sit and a computer to work on?
    • Is the hiring manager there on the employee’s first day?
    • Who are the mentors to train this new hire?
    • Who is responsible for reviewing company policy items, i.e. Timesheets, Expenses, Social Media, 401k, Healthcare, etc.
    • Do you have 3, 6 and 9-month goals and expectations outlined?
    • If local, who takes them on a tour and welcomes them?

  • The retention phase is the most vital stage for both the employee and the company. The relationship between an employee and employer will have its ups and downs, but continuous feedback and formal reviews will ensure everyone is on the same page. The needs of both the employee and employer must be balanced. Establishing goals, offering feedback and discussing a career path provide multiple benefits to the organization:
     
    • Decreases turnover
    • Increases employee loyalty
    • Increases employee referral
    • Differentiates the firm from competition
    • Creates a more engaged company culture
       
  • The exit phase is not a phase that many companies plan for, but firms should have a process in place for when an employee leaves. Just like onboarding, your firm should have a checklist. How will you transition clients, projects and job duties? Capturing institutional knowledge and minimizing single points of failure can be critical to the success of the firm. Lastly, remember that an exiting employee could become a client, vendor, or maybe even return to your firm, so be sure to keep the line of communication open.

The entire employee journey with your firm should be as positive as possible. Each of the five key phases is significant to ensuring your firm is perceived well by employees. Creating a good impression of your firm is essential to attract and retain the best employees. Check out our webinar to learn more about how your firm can increase its HR effectiveness by properly marketing itself.

Talent Management

Topics: Employees, Deltek Talent