New Survey Says Performance Reviews are Useless

Employment expert Rob Wilson explains what companies should do instead

Performance ReviewA recent survey found that two-thirds of organizations feel that their performance reviews are not effective. Described as ‘subjective and highly ambiguous,’ performance reviews can be a very impactful tool when used appropriately, but as this research shows, most companies say that they are falling short of the mark.

Employment trends expert Rob Wilson, says, “Although some employers are eliminating the annual performance review, we don’t see that as a good solution for the vast majority of companies. Without an annual review (even if it’s just a compilation of more frequent ones), it’s very difficult for employers to work on merit pay increases.”

Wilson, who is the President of the national employment solutions firm Employco USA, says that instead of ditching performance reviews entirely, companies need to rethink the way they approach this measuring stick and bring performance reviews into the modern era.

“Modern performance reviews are largely based on the merit system used by the military in World War I – a system that has not grown adequately to suit the needs of today’s corporate structures. The original idea was that workers were so plentiful that poor performers needed to be identified from efficient workers so the former could be replaced and the latter promoted. This mentality is slowly dying as the labor market tightens up. Employers are now more concerned with coaching poor performers instead of replacing them immediately. Annual reviews are less effective in this regard, since their primary purpose is to hold employees up to a (typically) quantitative standard, not to assess granular performance and insert coaching opportunities. That’s where frequent check-ins come in,” says Wilson.

What is a frequent check-in? Think of frequent check-ins as microscopic evaluations. In this process, managers evaluate employee performance periodically throughout the year, not just at its end. Managers are checking in on employee performance as it happens, not giving a rating months later.

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House Votes to ‘Ban the Box’: Gov. Agencies Can No Longer Inquire about Criminal History on Job Applications

Human resources expert explains the impact of the Fair Chance Act on employers outside the gov. realm 

Job ApplicationLast week the House Oversight and Reform Committee passed a bill which would effectively “ban the box” that would keep federal agencies and contractors from asking potential employees’ about their past criminal history, until after these applicants had been offered a conditional employment offer.

Known as the “Fair Chance Act,” the measure is meant to help previously incarcerated individuals increase their ability to rebuild their life post-conviction.

But what does this mean for employers?

“Currently, this legislation only prohibits federal agencies from including a criminal history box on their application and from asking these questions in interviews before a conditional job offer is made,” says Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA and human resources expert. “However, ten states (and the District of Columbia) have ban-the-box laws that apply to private employers— including California, Illinois, Hawaii, and New Jersey, and other companies such as Target have banned the box across state lines at all of their locations.”

Wilson says this number will likely continue to grow, but he explains that banning the box doesn’t mean that employers have no rights when it comes to establishing a person’s character and mental health.

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BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is Now Commonplace in Workplaces: Here is What Employers Need to Know

Employment expert explains what companies should know regarding ‘mobile device policies’ and keeping sensitive data safe 

Mobile DevicesTwo-thirds of Americans have smartphones, and nearly half of us use our phones for work purposes. That number is only continuing to increase, and 95 percent of organizations allow employees to use their phones for business tasks.

However, employment expert Rob Wilson says that some companies could be opening themselves up to lawsuits by not having a strict mobile device policy in their handbooks.

“If you enter a workplace in America, you are likely going to find most employees with their cell phone on their desk beside them,” says Wilson, who is President of Employco USA, a national employment-solutions firm with locations across the country. “And, when they go home at night or on the weekend, many of them will be performing work tasks via their phones, even if it is just to quickly check their work email.”

Wilson says while many employers view this as a win-win, there are some considerations that should be taken into account.

“Yes, when an employee uses their own phone for work purposes, you are going to save money,” agrees Wilson. “You won’t have to pay for multiple phones, and you won’t have to deal with the burden of fixing broken phones or replacing stolen phones. However, even if your name isn’t on the bill, you could still be paying a price.”

Here, Wilson outlines the concerns which could crop up when employees BYOD:

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What the Proposed Overtime Changes Will Mean for Employers

Human resources expert available to offer commentary on new overtime proposal

Department of LaborThe Department of Labor (DOL) has just released their proposed changes related to the federal overtime regulations.

Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA and employment solutions expert says, “Under the new proposal, employees earning less than $35,308 per year will automatically be eligible for overtime pay. Employees will continue to earn one and a half times their regular pay rate for time worked over 40 hours in a week. However, since this is a proposed rule, the final regulation may incorporate substantial changes including a possibility of the salary threshold ending up higher or lower than the current target of $35,308.”

As for the impact of the possible changes on the business community, Wilson points to past attempts by the Department of Labor to alter overtime regulations.

“This isn’t the first time the DOL has gone down this road,” says Wilson. “In November 2016, a federal court in Texas granted a nationwide injunction prohibiting the DOL from increasing the salary threshold to $47,476. The law would have also included an automatic increase that would be scheduled for every three years. The change was set to take effect December 1, 2016 with the first salary threshold update set for January 1, 2020. Although the Texas court’s permanent injunction is on appeal, the 2016 rule would be rescinded as part of the new proposal.”

Wilson says that the DOL proposal is not without its drawbacks.

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BREAKING: Pres. Trump’s Trans Military Ban Starts in April – How LGBT Employers/Employees Should Prepare

H.R. expert explains how this breaking news story may impact the LGBT community and how to handle transgender issues in the workplace

Dept. of Defense SealThe Defense Department has just announced that President Trump’s ban against transgender military members will go into effect in April. With just a matter of weeks until the ban is implemented, many transgender people in a variety of industries are feeling frightened about their own job status, even if they do not work in the armed forces.

No wonder—a recent survey led by the DC Office of Human Rights found that 48 percent of employers showed bias against hiring a transgender individual, even if the applicant was more qualified than others. In addition, nearly 90% of transgender individuals report workplace harassment. Human resources professionals across the country need to become educated and prepared when it comes to handling transgender issues, both as it relates to hiring and harassment and beyond.

Rob Wilson, human resources expert and President of Employco USA, says, “It is against the law to discriminate against applicants based on gender, race, or religion, and the same holds true for transgender individuals as well. Thanks to Macy v. Department of Justice, there is a legal precedent which prevents hiring staff from refusing or rescinding job offers upon finding out that a person is transgender.” Additionally, there are other things that employers must consider as well, such as:

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Why March Madness Costs Companies Billions Due to Employee Distraction and Poor Productivity

Employment trends expert explains these findings and suggests staff management techniques

BasketballRecent statistics reveal that March Madness has become more popular than ever before, thanks in large part to the worldwide betting that takes place. Over 60 million people are expected to fill out brackets this year, with an estimated $10 million being put on the table. However, there is another cost which people may not expect: A downturn in employee productivity.

“March Madness can be a drain on a company’s time and resources,” says Rob Wilson, employment trends expert and President of Employco USA. “With millions of Americans filling out brackets and managing their bets, you can bet that employee productivity takes a hit during this time of year.”

In fact, research shows that lost wages caused by employee distraction and poor productivity during March Madness could amount to losses of up to $1.9 billion!

Wilson says, “Between filling out brackets, researching picks, watching the games and then calling in sick or skipping work due to game days or hangovers, you are looking at a sharp downturn in employee performance. Luckily there are some ways you can manage this common nationwide issue.”

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‘Entitled’ Millennials May Have the Right Idea

Employment expert explains how younger workers are demanding more from bosses – and getting it

MillennialsMillennials often get criticized for having an ‘entitled’ attitude, and this appears to hold true in the workplace as well. Recent reports reflect that younger workers do appear to demand more than their older counterparts.

“Previous generations used to be happy to have a steady paycheck and a gold watch upon retirement,” says Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA. “But younger workers don’t approach employment the same way. Research shows that Millennials change jobs more frequently than previous generations, and they also have a lower opinion of corporations. In other words, they don’t want to commit years at companies which they see as purely self-interested.”

Wilson says that employers would be wise not to give up hope when it comes to engaging and retaining younger workers.

“Yes, these workers are more prone to dissatisfaction and more apt to leave jobs that don’t make them happy, but research shows that when companies approach Millennials as individuals and try to appeal to them on their own level, they do so with great results.”

When Millennials are engaged by their employers, and companies make an effort to reach out to the younger generation in the workplace, they see a vast improvement in both agility and innovation.

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New Study Reveals the Costly Woes of On-Boarding New Staff

Human resources expert reveals why so many companies struggle to keep new employees – and how to change that

Employee quitA new study found that over 20 percent of people quit their new positions within the first 6 weeks of joining a company. Furthermore, the new research from Robert Half found that 93 percent of new employees consider leaving their jobs before the end of their probationary period.

“The results found that 36 percent of people leave their jobs due to issues with ‘onboarding,’” says Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA and employee engagement expert. “Yet many firms neglect to put much effort into acclimating their employees to their positions.”

Losing a new employee can be a financial hardship, thanks to the cost of recruiting and training employees, and it also creates a workplace that feels unstable and tense for existing employees.

“A revolving door of employees is a problem for a number of reasons,” says Wilson. “It increases the risk of fraud and other crimes, but it also makes employees feel as though newcomers aren’t going to stick around long…ergo they aren’t very welcoming or very thorough in their training, as they figure it’s a waste of time.”

Wilson also points to the fact that searching for employees is very time-consuming and leaves other important tasks unfinished. “A human resources team who is constantly focusing on finding new employees is doing so at the cost of caring for the needs of existing employees.”

So, what should companies do in order to ensure that their new employees stick around for the long haul?

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