5 Key Ways to Motivate and Engage Creatives

HR gurus have researched motivation for decades, and all the books and theories could fill the largest library in the world. And yet, every organization struggles with keeping its people motivated. The reason being that motivation and engagement is a balancing act between the individual them self and the organization’s connection with the individual, and this can vary person-to-person and day-to-day.

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Here’s What Industry Insiders are Saying about Out-with-Performance-Management, In-with-Feedback-Management

As an HR professional, one gets multiple requests from salespeople of HR technology companies to choose their platform over competitors when it comes to Performance Management. Performance management is a process that provides the employee feedback and promotes their effectiveness.

Michael Armstrong, in his Handbook of Performance Management, 2009 described it as “the continuous process of improving performance by setting individual and team goals which are aligned to the strategic goals of the organization, planning performance to achieve the goals, reviewing and assessing progress, and developing the knowledge, skills and abilities of people”. According to BambooHR, 70% of HR professionals feel performance reviews are very valuable, but only 34% of non-management employees feel the same. In the recent years, HR technology systems such as Trakstar, ClearCompany, SuccessFactors, and Namely have helped lift the administrative burden of appraisals from managers but for Performance Management to continue to be effective there are additional factors organizations should consider. Read more

Employee Engagement

How do you measure employee satisfaction and success? Have your HR business partners utilized complex analytics to look at the retention rate, factors leading to successful long-term employee placement, and what drives employees to stay or go? If not, it’s time to take a look at what is shaking things up in your organization, and whether that shake-up is something beneficial to your company’s growth and longevity. Read more

How Do You Retain Top Talent in Today’s Workforce?

We  live in a different world from thirty years ago. Instant results, knowledge at our fingertips, and communication at the speed of light…these are all realities in 2017 – not only in our personal lives, but also in our lives at work. Customers, clients, and coworkers expect immediate responses, and we have been programmed (or in some cases re-programmed) to react accordingly. In this fast-paced, technology-driven, instantaneous world, how do business leaders retain top talent and hold on to the good ones before they are stolen away by the next big thing, the newest shiny toy, or the most creative perk you can imagine? We think it’s important to keep a few key ideas in mind when planning how to not only attract those star performers, but even more importantly…how to keep them!

· Employee Engagement & Purpose: Employees not only want to be engaged with their work, they want a company culture that supports great causes, that offers volunteer opportunities, and that gives back in some monetary or giving way. Read more

How You Doin’? Effective Performance Management Strategies

“Checking-in” on employees is a critical piece of the retention puzzle. Landing quality employees is a big win, bigger still is retaining them for the long haul. Good people stay when they feel themselves developing and enhancing their skillset. Updating your performance management strategies, taking time to provide feedback to employees, and making sure the process is beneficial for everyone at the table is a worthwhile venture. In the words of Joey Tribbiani, a simple “how you doin’?” can go a long way! Here’s a quick rundown of ways that you can start implementing effective performance management strategies in your workplace today.

    • Setting up a system that everyone in your organization can get on board with is critical. If the CEO refuses to do performance evaluations or check-ins with his team, then there will likely be a trickle-down effect. Create a system that works for your organization – from the C-suite to the entry level.

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Talent Mapping – The Recipe for Today’s Succession Planning

“Succession Planning” is a term that seems outdated – a process-laden, long-range staffing plan for a large organization.  A more apt name would be “Talent Mapping” – a streamlined version of identifying qualified and inspired employees to fill future positions as and when they are needed.

Businesses of all sizes and types are susceptible to sudden vacancies of key positions.  What restaurant can afford to lose its top chef? Who will take on key client accounts when a high-performing salesperson retires? How will the family business continue if family members no longer want to run it? Will the non-profit mission be carried forward under new leadership? Read more

Mentorship and the Future of Work

I am the product of baby boomer parents who survived an arguably sheltered millennial upbringing in Southern California. My parents’ generation boasts of having worked at the same company for 20+ years, and some will easily double that number before their retirement. Company loyalty is something that baby boomers value immensely, and as these things often go, they’ve raised a bunch of restless, challenge-crazed and adventure-seeking millennials. The generational differences not only change how employees work alongside each other in today’s age-diverse workforce, but it also impacts how leaders should structure the succession plans and mentoring programs at work to ensure that there is learning and development, rather than resistance and conflict occurring as we seek to build workplace relationships to strengthen our teams and the future of the company. Read more

Trends: Employee Tenure, a Two-Way Street with Employer or Fast Lane to a Better Job?

Long-held notions that longer tenure benefits both employee and employer continue to erode as the reported median length of employment spirals downward. In January of 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,  the median number of years that wage and salary workers had been with their current employer was 4.2 years.  Down from 4.6 in 2014. Way down for select demographics and industries.

Not unexpected, among 16 to 19 years-old’s who were still exploring skills and careers, 74 percent reported having had a tenure of 12 months or less with their current employer. On the opposite end of the demographics, 55 to 64-year-olds reported a median of 10.1 years. Read more

What Millennials Want: Strong Leadership Goes a Long Way

“According to a new and comprehensive Gallup study, employees 20 to 36 years old are the least engaged generation in the workplace by far. On top of that, 21 percent quit their jobs last year, and 60 percent say they’re floating their resumes right now!”

Mark C. Crowley

So should we all just write the millennials off as “needy” or “entitled” and hope that the next generation will be more loyal, dedicated, and ambitious? Or is this a case of not understanding what the needs and wants of the millennials truly are, and instead catering to what we think they want? Employers have changed workplace dress codes to include hoodies and jeans as the standard attire. They’ve adopted “dog at work” policies, set up break rooms with energy drinks in addition to the traditional coffee makers and water coolers, and even instituted benefits such as student loan assistance to get those debts paid down while the millennials are hard at work. But maybe that’s not what the millennials are looking for after all. Read more

Peoplescape’s Take on Talent Management Trends from California HR Conference


When Human Resource professionals gathered in Long Beach for the PIHRA California HR Conference on August 30th, discussions — both formal and informal — focused on emerging and future trends that significantly impact employers and their HR leaders and managers. One of the strongest trends discussed this year concerned the demographic shifts and the skill gap for key talent.  Belinda Morris, Principal at Peoplescape, comments on this trend.

Q Shari. What was the conference “take-away” from the Peoplescape team in attendance with regard to Talent Acquisition?

A Belinda. A tighter labor market and greater competition for quality employees resonates with our clientele, especially in Los Angeles. We have certainly seen increased interest from companies for retained recruitment assistance. They are turning to an outside consultant to find that special person faster and to screen potential candidates at a more stringent level using our trained techniques and assessment tools. Untrained interviewers, using gut feel selection methods are just not cutting it these days and it shows – the costs outweigh the ‘apparent’ benefits.

Q Shari. Many of the speakers used the word “urgency” in describing the companies they encounter that are stalemated from achieving a vital goal without that key executive in place. Are companies doing enough proactively to develop key employees with potential already working in their companies?

A Belinda. What we have seen in the past is that career development and employee “soft-skill” training was often placed on the back burner while more pressing needs were handled. The conversation at the conference indicates a shift toward making this a higher priority. The dialogue revolved around a culture of investment in people and creation of a sense of belonging, in order for them to stay. Companies are less willing to invest dollars in career development if they feel that employees will participate only to leap to their next career step somewhere else. Employees often tell HR that their workloads and schedules don’t really allow enough time to engage in cross-training or leadership training so there may be a disconnect as to the training subject matter. The take-away for our team at the conference is that engagement surveys are one solution that can align these competing interests to achieve more effective outcomes when employee development initiatives are undertaken. These discussions kept reminding me of Richard Branson’s quote “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.

Q Shari. Speaker Vlad Vaiman, of Cal Lutheran, reported in his Global Talent Management presentation that in 2014, for the first time, workers over 40 years of age exceeded workers under 40. Further with the 55+ age group increasing to 25% of the workforce, and in about 5 years’ millennials filling almost the other 75%, this demographic shift can result for many companies in a clash of culture and styles. What do you see from clients in terms of issues that arise directly from this broader dynamic and what practical steps can they take knowing the intergenerational nature of workforces is with us to stay?

A Belinda. Managing intergenerational employees is a mega-trend for HR across all businesses and heavily talked about at business conferences. Diverse and multi-generational is the NEW workforce paradigm. The impact shows up in a variety of “clashes and disconnects” and at Peoplescape we receive many calls requesting behind-the-scenes advice on ways to improve these dynamics. The Workforce Emerging Workforce Study 2015 Spherion was mentioned repeatedly at the Conference and brings attention to the need for companies to become more inclusive and creative in bringing out the best, distilling the value from each generation, in order to stay competitive or, better yet, to become an Employer of Choice.

Q Shari. As HR consultants, you stay on top of tools, resources and professional concerns that are voiced at regional conferences like the California HR Conference. What might your team focus differently on going forward to better address the most important people issues small to mid-size employers are reporting?

A Belinda. Our team is always looking for cutting edge tools that support HR so we spent time at the Expo to discuss with vendors their latest products to enhance and improve Human Resource management. If we are the experts, we have to have our ear to the ground on best sources and be ready to access them to elevate our clients and the projects we implement for them, to the next level.