Improve Retention With Onboarding Feedback

HR Headliner

October 2018
Improve Retention With Onboarding Feedback

You’ve interviewed… you’ve contacted references… new hire paperwork is filled out and orientation checklists are checked. So why don’t things seem quite right with your new employee? The fact is, many companies’ onboarding procedures leave new hires feeling confused, ignored, and generally disenchanted with what they hoped would be a positive new beginning.

In a recent survey of employees who resigned jobs within six months of being hired, bambooHR found the top reasons for leaving so quickly were:

  • They decided the work wasn’t something they wanted to do anymore (28%)
  • They were given different work to do than was expected from the interview process (26%) and
  • The boss was a jerk (23%)

Many employees said they wanted to have better training and clear guidelines about what their responsibilities would be. And 17% stated that “a friendly smile or help from a coworker would have made all the difference.”

Smart employers can catch issues like these early by examining the onboarding process and checking in with new staff to ensure they’re feeling confident and welcomed. Consider adding an Onboarding Survey to your hiring plan. Feedback from new employees regarding training effectiveness, supervisor and co-worker support, and alignment with the expectations created during interviews can help you make changes that will boost retention and improve the onboarding experience for future staff.

With the increasing role of websites such as Glassdoor in recruiting top talent, your onboarding survey could also uncover problems before negative reviews are spread to other job candidates. New employees are seeing your business with fresh eyes, and getting their feedback could be a game-changer for recruiting retention and overall employee satisfaction.

Sierra HR Partners can help you develop and administer custom onboarding surveys and employee satisfaction surveys. Contact us today if you’d like to learn more!


Telecommuting: Perks and Pitfalls

HR Headliner

According to a recent survey by FlexJobs, 65% of employees believe they would be more productive working from home than in a traditional office environment, with most respondents citing fewer distractions and interruptions as the reason for better performance.

The survey also found that many people rank work-life balance higher than pay rate when considering a job prospect, and would be more loyal to their employer if it offered flexible work options. So what’s not to love? More productive employees who will accept lower pay and be loyal to the company? Let’s all telecommute!

Of course, it’s not that easy. While telecommuting and flexible work arrangements can be an excellent benefit to attract and retain a quality staff, there are a variety of potential pitfalls to keep in mind:

  •  All but the most structured individuals will struggle with work and personal boundaries from time to time. Despite the best of intentions to stay productive throughout the day, young children in the house, that overflowing laundry basket, or the temptation to make “just a quick Target run” can easily creep into scheduled work hours.
  • Telecommuting employees may feel out of touch with the rest of the office team, and miss out on valuable collaboration that takes place during on-site meetings and informal chats.
  • Working from home creates an unexpected risk for workers’ compensation claims. If the employee trips over a garden hose while taking a client’s phone call in the backyard, would the claim be covered?
  • Remote access to company computer systems can compromise your network security and trade secret protections.

If your company would like to offer work-from-home options, we recommend the following steps to minimize the risks:

  • Identify which jobs are eligible for telecommuting and be consistent in your approvals of staff requests.
  • Agree on the number of work hours an employee is expected to complete, and remind non-exempt staff that meal and rest period policies still apply.
  • Agree on work priorities and performance standards, and hold employees accountable for deliverables. Regular check-ins and performance assessments may be especially important for telecommuting staff.
  • Provide company-owned equipment such as a laptop, cell phone, or other necessary electronics, and search usage histories regularly.
  • Reduce safety risks and company liability by setting guidelines for work locations. This could include prohibiting the employee from working away from the home office and reminders to immediately report injuries that occur during work hours.
  • Consider requiring the employee to work from the office at regular intervals (such as one day per week) and encourage on-site attendance at key meetings to maintain personal connections with co-workers.


When “Back to School” Means Time Off Work

HR Headliner

The summer has flown by, and many of your employees are sending their children back to school this month. Here is your “refresher course” in the leaves of absence provided by California law relating to school activities.

Labor Code section 230.7, which applies to all employers, provides an employee with unpaid time off to appear in his/her child’s school due to the child’s suspension. The employee is required to give reasonable notice of the need to visit the school.

Labor Code section 230.8, which applies to employers of 25 or more employees, provides up to 40 hours of unpaid time off per calendar year for a variety of reasons:

• to find, enroll, or re-enroll a child in a school or with a licensed child care provider;

• to participate in activities of the school or licensed child care provider; or

• to address a child care provider or school emergency.

Some important details to remember:

• School activities can include field trips, class parties and assemblies, volunteering in the child’s classroom, and extracurricular sports that are sponsored by the school (including after school hours.)

• If an employee’s child is cared for by a friend or family member who is not a licensed care provider, you are not required to approve time off.

• “Child care provider or school emergency” can mean anything from a natural disaster or disciplinary problems, to a care provider being unavailable or simply requesting that the child be picked up. If an employee is unable to drop his/her child off at daycare because the care provider is sick, it’s covered under this law.

• When possible, such as to enroll a child in school, the employee must give reasonable notice of the need for time off. In the event of an emergency, the employee need only give notice.

• Employees can be required to use accrued vacation/PTO for the absence.

• An employer may require documentation from the school or day care provider.

• You may limit the employee’s time off to eight hours in a calendar month.

Contact Sierra HR Partners if you’re unsure how to handle an employee’s request for time off.

We’re here to help!


Staff Welcome!


Staff Welcome!

Staff Welcome!


July 2018 HR Headliner

HR Headliner

July 2018 HR Headliner

Consistency is Key: Build Trust and Minimize Risk Through Consistent Standards for Employee Conduct

July 2018 HR HeadlinerMost of the media coverage about Harvey Weinstein’s Hollywood exploits has faded, but the story still holds an important lesson for California employers. It was reported that in his employment contract with The Weinstein Co., Harvey was protected from termination when claims of sexual harassment were filed against him. All he had to do was pay a fine to the company, and business could continue as usual. The penalty payments increased for each additional offense, showing that the Board had no expectation that his risky behavior would stop.

You surely do not have this type of agreement with any of your managers or employees. But, have you ever minimized a complaint by saying “I’m sure he didn’t mean anything by it”? Ever looked the other way on an employee’s inappropriate behavior because she is a top producer? Ever avoided discussing aggressive behavior because you’re uncomfortable with confrontation?
These sidesteps may not be as shocking as writing sexual harassment into a contract, but they could have substantial consequences for your company.

When employees perceive that the company excuses or ignores the inappropriate behavior of certain individuals, they may be discouraged from discussing any kind of concern with management – from harassment to safety to payroll problems. A company policy promoting your “open door” is only as good as managers’ willingness to really listen and take appropriate action. If members of your management team are not confident in handling employee complaints, invest time in training and role play scenarios to ease those concerns. If there are problems with favoritism, mismatched communication styles, or simply overbooked schedules, identify those barriers and find ways to remove them.

When complaints are submitted to management or HR, a thorough investigation and appropriate remedial action are critical. Even if you don’t believe the claim has merit… even if it’s coming from the most over-sensitive person in the office… even if it is alleging wrongdoing by your best salesperson or a top executive. Conduct an impartial investigation and take timely steps to correct any wrongdoing and prevent it from occurring again. This consistent approach will demonstrate to employees that their well-being is taken seriously, and can reduce the legal risk for the organization. You’ll also avoid being the next shocking headline!

Upcoming events:

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Sexual Harassment, Abusive Conduct, and Discrimination Prevention Training​

Register by E-Mail

Register / Pre-Pay Online

Thursday. July 26, 2018

Legal Beagle Bagel Breakfast

Topic TBD

Contact: receptionist@flclaw.net for more information