Human Resources and friendship have a complicated relationship. If you come from a more corporate environment, you may be thinking that HR professionals should keep employees at arm’s length. On the other hand, a more informal environment like a tech or start-up company may view HR as just another one of the crew. So, what’s the right choice? Should HR make friends at work… and how?

should hr make friends at work

The answer is… there is no one answer that’s right for everyone. At PerkSpot, one of our core values is “We Value People”. Our culture naturally lends itself to a strong sense of community, so for us, the answer is yes. However, we know this may not work for everyone and that’s ok, too.

If you’re an HR professional thinking about embarking on friendships at work, here are three main things to keep in mind:
• Choose Your Friends Wisely
• Don’t Play Favorites
• Know Your Culture

Make Friends, but Make Them Wisely

HR can absolutely make friends at work, but these may not look like the best friends you’ve had all your life. Work friends generally know a little bit about you, but they aren’t the ones you’d call up when something goes terribly wrong. They may even be more of an acquaintance than an actual friend. However, finding someone who shares similar interests, that makes you laugh, and all-in-all makes work more enjoyable is extremely valuable for all employees, and HR is no exception.

Make Friends, but Treat Everyone the Same

One of the dangers HR can run into when having friends at work is being accused of favoritism or bias. It’s important that even if you “click” with someone at work, you treat others fairly and kindly. You should make each employee feel valued in their own way. It’s only natural to connect with some more than others. However, that should never affect how you interact with them professionally.

Make Friends, but Know Your Culture

Every workplace is different so it’s important to know what’s appropriate for your office. At PerkSpot, we are fairly casual so it would be of no surprise to see our head of HR mingling with a beer during our Friday afternoon cheers. This is appropriate because it’s a part of our culture and helps to create an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect. However, this is unique to PerkSpot and one size definitely does not fit all. Find ways to gain the trust and respect of your coworkers in a way that’s appropriate to your culture.

Do you think HR should make friends at work? We’d love to hear what you think!

Back in 2016, Glassdoor predicted that employee perks would be a huge job trend for the year. Well, they weren’t wrong. Three years later, perks are still one of the leading trends throughout the country in workplaces that are looking to offer their employees more than just the run-of-the-mill benefits. We know that perks work. (In fact, we like to think of ourselves as perk experts.) But why do they matter?

why perks matter

Here are the ABCs of why perks matter:

  • Show your Appreciation.
  • Foster a sense of Belonging.
  • Create an atmosphere of Consideration.

A is for Appreciation

First, it’s no secret that employees appreciate being recognized for their work. But, for an employer, it can feel difficult to recognize each employee for their contribution in a way that feels meaningful and impactful. That’s where perks come in. Implementing perks as an added bonus for employees sends a message to each one that says, “I see you and I appreciate you.”. Just like you enjoy small acts of kindness from a friend or family member, it feels the same to experience small gestures from your workplace that show you are being thought of and cared for. If you want to go one step further, consider a rewards & recognition platform for your workplace!

B is for Belonging

Twenty years ago, most workplaces looked the same. Fast forward to 2019 and it’s all about making your company stand out for job-seekers and creating a strong sense of identity for your employees. Perks are a great way to make your culture meaningful. Perhaps it’s having a pet-friendly office space that makes every day “Bring Your (Fluffy) Friend To Work” Day. Maybe it’s offering a paid sabbatical for your employees to develop their professional skills. (Cough, cough, we’ve got both!). Whatever it is, perks like these help illustrate the values and culture of a workplace and create a sense of belonging for your employees.

C is for Consideration

One of the great things about perks is that one size does not fit all, and it doesn’t have to! Offering an option like an employee discount program (we can help you out here!) allows an employer to provide perks to each employee that they can then customize for their own personal preferences. A wide variety of perks, all under one umbrella, means your employees get to choose how and when they want to enjoy their them. Through meaningful discounts, you’re not just checking a box, but providing perks that matter to them.

These days, it’s not just about offering your employees perks that you think might momentarily spark their interest. Instead, we’re focusing on finding perks that actually mean something to them. In doing so, you’re demonstrating your gratitude to each employee, plus setting yourself apart from the rest!

What perks do you offer your employees to illustrate culture and show your appreciation?

Jessica Herrin, the co-founder of Stella & Dot, said “Shaping your culture is more than half done when you hire your team.” Here at PerkSpot, we agree – culture is one of the most important elements of our company and an incredibly crucial part of our hiring process. But how do you impart your culture to a potential job candidate in a small amount of time, when it’s so important? Try one of these great tips!
culture
We believe there are 4 easy ways to highlight company culture during an interview:

  • Use Social Media
  • Introduce Core Values
  • Involve Other Departments
  • Give an Office Tour

Use Social Media

The average internet user has at least 5 social media accounts. Odds are, the candidate you’re interviewing has at least one, and they’ve used it to scope out your company before even firing off an application. Use this knowledge to your advantage, and show off your culture on social media. Upload fun pictures of company events and outings to your Instagram or post interesting blogs and articles illustrating your company culture. This will give candidates an inside look at the company so they know what to expect.

Introduce Core Values

At PerkSpot, we take our core values seriously, because they are one of the main motivators for what we do and how we do it. Chances are, you created your company culture with your core values in mind, so why not put them on display during the interview process too? If a potential candidate doesn’t feel that they will align with the values you hold dear, there’s a good chance they won’t enjoy the culture you’ve created either.

Inter-Departmental Interviewing

One thing we’ve learned recently is the importance of hiring to add to company culture. Keeping this mentality when recruiting and hiring employees has allowed us to create a diverse and fresh workforce. We are proud of what we’ve created and love to demonstrate this during the hiring process! Be sure to bring in different employees from different departments who you think can both challenge and excite a potential job candidate. Not only will this help you see whether that candidate will work well with your current employees, but it gives the candidate a good idea of the way each employee contributes and adds to your company culture.

Office Tour

You know the popular adage, the eyes are the window to the soul? Well, we believe that the office is the window to the company – and its culture. A potential candidate can learn a lot from surveying the future office he or she could be working in. Before or after the interview, offer a quick tour. Point out interesting decorations, where each department sits, and where employees enjoy hanging out or eating lunch. You put a lot of thought and effort into creating a great environment for your employees to work, so you should show it off! Plus, a quick tour can stir up excitement in a candidate and give them great insights into how your company and its employees interact on a day-to-day basis.

Culture is important to your company, and it should be important to job candidates as well. Each company’s culture is unique – by displaying it for a job candidate, it helps both of you get a better idea of what the other is looking for!

….And Do We Really Need Both?

Diversity and inclusion are two of the most popular buzzwords in HR today. But, let’s be honest. How many of us have truly spent the time to break each of these down and what they mean? Do we know the difference between the two? Plus, if they aren’t the same thing, do we really need both?

We’re breaking down Diversity and Inclusion and what these two mean for our businesses

  • Definition of Diversity and Inclusion
  • The Difference Between Diversity and Inclusion
  • Why Diversity Matters
  • Why Inclusion Matters
  • The Case for Both Diversity and Inclusion

difference between diversity and inclusion

Defining D&I:

First, let’s get our definitions straight with Merriam-Webster:

Diversity:

The condition of having or being composed of differing elements. Try thinking of diversity outside of human resources. Really, it’s just adding variety to something. You could have a diverse palate by enjoying foods from different cultures, or a diverse wardrobe that contains all the colors of the rainbow.

Inclusion:

The act of including; the state of being included. For inclusion, maybe it’s helpful to think in terms of membership of a group or club. All the members actively decide to include someone on the outside. This is the act of inclusion.

The Difference Between Diversity and Inclusion

There’s a well-known quote by D&I expert, Vernā Myers, that puts it perfectly, ”Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance.”. Diversity is great because it brings more ideas and perspectives to the table. Inclusion complements diversity by embracing those differences and finding ways to make every perspective feel welcomed and every voice heard.

Diversity Matters

Did you know that more CEOs in America are named David than are women? That’s powerful stuff when you think about the impact on these businesses’ bottom line. In “Diversity Matters” by McKinsey, they surveyed 366 businesses in Canada, Latin America, the U.S., and the U.K. to find out the effect of diversity on financial returns. The findings were significant: Companies in the top for racial and ethnic diversity are 35 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians, and companies in the top for gender diversity are 15 percent more likely to have higher returns.

Making your workplace more diverse isn’t guaranteed to be easy, but it’s definitely worth it.

Inclusion Matters

Diversity isn’t the only initiative producing high returns. In fact, in a study by Deloitte Australia, reported that when employees felt included, companies saw an 80% uptick in business performance. If this isn’t a case for inclusion, we don’t know what is! Employees who experience inclusion are more motivated to work harder, making a huge impact on the business.

You Need Both Diversity and Inclusion

So what good is a party without a little dancing, right? Diversity and inclusion go hand in hand in building a stronger workplace. Bringing in a ton of new perspectives and ideas is the first step. However, if employees don’t feel comfortable voicing these opinions, it’s a moot point. On the other hand, with nothing but a homogenous group, inclusion loses its power. That’s why diversity and inclusion are two sides of the same token. We have to seek out a diverse workplace. Then, we have to work to make each employee feel included and respected.

We’ve come a long way, but we still have a long road ahead of us. What are some ways your business is making a difference for D&I?

the ultimate guide to a better workplace

If your office is anything like ours, then your January is off to a strong start, as well as a busy one! The first month of the year can be a strenuous one for any HR professional – your to-do list is filling faster than you can cross things off. So here are our secrets to productivity you need to adopt if you want to make your January the most productive month yet!

secrets to productivity

The key to your productivity is saying NO.

It might sound strange, but saying no will actually boost your productivity levels, especially when you need it most.

Why you need to say no

It’s natural to say yes to things. You want to be a committed employee with a reputation for helping out fellow colleagues when they’re feeling swamped, or when they want your expert input. But all those yeses will start to add up and put so much pressure on yourself and your list of to do’s that you find yourself unable to accomplish the important things. Instead, focus on time management and prioritization.

How to start saying no

The people pleaser in you is probably feeling a little stressed just thinking about it. But we’re not telling you to exclusively say no, or to do so in a rude or offensive manner. We’re simply reminding you that your time and energy are precious resources, and you should use them wisely. Ask yourself these two questions next time someone asks you to do something for them.

1. Do I have the time?

Is your schedule full of meetings? Planner full of to-dos? Keep in mind, there are only so many hours in a day, and so many days in a week. Filling each and every one of them is neither healthy nor conducive to your productivity. Take a step back and decide whether you have the time for this task.

2. Is it a priority?

Prioritization is one of the most important things to remember when you’re trying to be your most productive. It’s natural to put an easy task on your to-do list, especially since you get the satisfaction of quickly crossing it off – we’re talking simple things like making an appointment or sending an email. But in reality, those small tasks steal away your focus from the larger tasks at hand, and you end up losing time and effort in completing them. Set aside a specific time of day to handle them instead of letting them draw focus and attention from more important tasks.

Saying no to a fellow coworker is hard, and it might not feel natural or comfortable, especially in the beginning. But your time and energy are just as important as those who are asking for your help. Trust us – your productivity will thank you!

If you’ve been in the workplace for a decent amount of time, you’ve probably noticed that all managers are not necessarily leaders. In fact, sometimes the strongest leaders in the office are not in management at all. Why is that? What are these hidden characteristics that define leaders versus managers?
HR leaders and managers

These are the five ways managers are different than leaders:

1. Leaders inspire others with vision.
2. Leaders practice humility.
3. Leaders trust others to carry out tasks to completion.
4. Leaders are confident, but not overbearing.
5. Leaders think larger than their own point of view.

1. Vision

One differentiating factor between a manager and a leader is that leaders inspire others with their vision. Management requires only that you mandate tasks and ensure that your team is completing them quickly and efficiently. Leadership, on the other hand, means you inspire others to think beyond the task at hand and focus on the overall mission. They inspire employees not just to do the work, but to love it by casting vision passionately and articulately.

2. Humility

Quite possibly the most important trait of a strong leader is humility. That’s why it’s one of our core values here at PerkSpot. We believe a great workplace cannot exist without it. The strongest leaders are ones who aren’t afraid to admit when they’re wrong. They possess the humility to share the spotlight with others, recognizing their achievements and pushing them to be the best version of themselves.

3. Trust

It’s 2019. No one micromanages anymore, right? Unfortunately, micromanagement is still alive and well in our workplaces. Leaders, on the contrary, do not micromanage. True leadership means trusting others to carry out responsibilities. In fact, the best workplaces are those which empower employees to use their strengths. Even the best leaders can’t be good at everything. That’s why it’s important to build a strong team around you and trust them to work together towards your mission.

4. Confidence

Confidence is a common trait among leaders, but not every assertive person in the workplace is a great leader. Any manager can be confident, but leaders are careful not to exhort their confidence over people. Instead, they speak their mind while also listening to other opinions. This trait goes hand in hand with humility, as it takes the perfect balance of both to create great leaders.

5. Perspective

Many managers get lost in their own personal point of view, or even their team’s. Great leaders are able to step outside of their own agendas and look at the greater good. They are able to (confidently and humbly) unify everyone towards a common goal. This is perhaps the most difficult trait to learn, but it’s what truly differentiates a manager from a leader.

Do you manage a team or are you working on your leadership skills? Tell us what you think makes a great leader in the comments.

According to an article by Entrepreneur, January marks the beginning of a highly active hiring season. Job seekers are putting the finishing touches on their resumes and signing up for every career fair and job alert under the sun to find their perfect position. But what are you doing to find the perfect candidate?
hr recruitment strategy
If you’re an HR professional, you probably know it’s shaping up to be a tough season for those filling job openings. If you want yours to be a success, here’s the resolution you should be making this new year:

This year, HR professionals should be thinking like marketers.

How can you do this? Here are a few ideas for finding the marketer within:

1. Use Social Media

We all know that social media can be a great tool for communicating with clients and customers, but it’s beginning to make its way onto the recruitment scene as well. Almost 60% of employees said they found their current position with their company through social media. And why not? It’s a cost-free and effective method of finding candidates for a position that you might have never encountered otherwise. If you aren’t using social media platforms to seek out new hires, make 2019 the year when you start!

2. Find Employee Advocates

A great recruitment strategy should let your company culture shine from the inside out. Your company most likely already markets the products or services they offer. This year, up your game by having employees act as brand ambassadors, speaking on reasons why they love working at your company. Create a strong network of individuals who will both fit into your company’s culture, as well as add to it. Place a strong emphasis on your values and mission statement in the job description.

3. Reach out

You can’t expect job applicants to do all the work. In 2019, we aren’t posting a job opening and waiting for applications to pour in. Instead, we’re putting in the work to find the candidate that is just right. Just like marketers use their content to engage potential leads, you can do the same for potential job candidates. Do your research and understand exactly what individual candidates are looking for in their future role, and then show them why you can offer those things.

In 2019, put your efforts towards attracting the top talent. Get in touch with your inner marketer, and it’ll be a breeze!

As we cross off another day on our calendar and inch closer to the end of the month (and year!), we’re taking some time to look back on 2018 and beginning to prepare for 2019. We saw quite a bit of change this year in the HR world. A new year means new trends we can use to guide our projects and plans in the workplace. Check out some of the trends we’ll take with us from 2018 and the ones we’ll leave behind.

Leave: Employee Engagement

Take: Employee Experience

In 2018, we spent hours developing programs and testing approaches for engaging our employees – and for good reason. A study found that companies with highly engaged employees outperform their lesser engaged counterparts by 202 percent! We know that engagement is a vital part of productivity for our employees, but in 2019, we’re kicking it up a notch. Engagement should be only one element of a larger concept: the employee experience. This is not just engagement levels, but how companies do culture, benefits, dynamics among employees, and rewards and recognition. (Hint, hint, we can help with that one!) In a year where the employee has the control, create a fantastic employee experience for them and you’ll see the reward.

Leave: Physical Wellness Programs

Take: Holistic Wellness Programs

Any type of wellness program you’ve created for an employee will be appreciated, but in 2019, we’re leaving wellness programs specifically for the body behind. Instead, we’re replacing them with a more holistic approach, which gives equal mention to mental, physical and financial wellness, all of which are vital to creating a wholly healthy employee. To do so, have some meaningful conversations with your employees. Take time to understand what they want out of a wellness program and commit time and effort to find the ways you can fulfill their requests.

Leave: 9-5 Schedule

Take: Flexible Schedule

The 9-to-5 schedule trend has been on its way out for a long time, but in 2019, we’re giving it the final boot. As we ring the new year in, we’re saying hello to flexible schedules, a trend which is here to stay. This means giving new mothers and fathers the time off that they need to welcome their little ones to the world, and then recuperate from doing so. It means creating work-from-home opportunities for those who prefer to work from the couch every once in a while. It means being flexible and adaptable to your employees’ needs, which in turn can reduce turnover, absenteeism, and tardiness for the employer! According to a 2018 Global Talent Trends study, 71% of thriving employees say their employers offer a flexible work schedule. In 2019, expect this number to rise. (And make sure you’re one of those employers!)

Leave: Culture Fit

Take: Culture Add

In 2018, we talked a lot about company culture. What it is, how to create and improve it, and how to find employees that fit into it. In 2019, we’re not worrying about employees that are a culture fit; instead, we’re focusing on finding employees who add to our culture. It’s natural to feel an inclination towards those who are similar to us. However, in only hiring employees who fit into an already established culture, we lose the opportunity to diversify and evolve our culture. A better workplace seeks out employees who can bring along new ideas and beliefs that will stand to enhance a company’s culture. Doing so will a unique viewpoint that wouldn’t have been present otherwise. Keep this in mind in 2019 as you begin the recruitment and hiring process!

2018 was a great year – we opened our minds to new ideas and possibilities in the HR landscape, and they paid off. It’s time to close the books on this year and begin preparing for the next. Make sure to take these new trends with you, and it’ll be another successful year!

We’ve been diving into what makes a better workplace. In fact, we even wrote a book about it. But, we get that you’re busy. That’s why we’ve put together our top five statistics you absolutely need to know to build a better workplace in 2019.

5 statistics to build a better workplace

80% of Employees are Motivated to Work Harder When They Receive Appreciation

Not only that, but they’re also more motivated to stay at their company. We’re no strangers to recognition and in 2019, you shouldn’t be either. Employees are moving to places where they feel appreciated, and they’re staying there.

By 2025, 75% of the Workforce Will Be Millennials

Tired of hearing about millennials? While this is not a new topic, it’s important to think about how we develop this generation into the future leaders of our workforce. Now, more than ever, it’s time for us to start training and mentoring millennial employees in preparation for a new generation of managers, directors, and executives.

45% of Managers Don’t Receive Formal Training

Most of the people leading our offices and developing younger employees have never actually received any type of formal training themselves. This statistic should really wake us up. It’s time to provide real opportunities for professional development, especially for our leadership.

Almost 70% of Sexual Harassment Cases Occur in the Office

The #MeToo movement isn’t going away any time soon. In 2019, it’s imperative that every organization has a plan for handling sexual harassment.

48% of Employees Are Worried About Their Finances

You may think it’s not your responsibility to help employees with their personal finances. However, studies show 70% of employers would disagree with you. In order to maintain a competitive edge in today’s workplace, employees want to work somewhere that values them. This means providing education and resources around financial health and well-being.

These are our top five stats, but you can find these in more in our e-book, How to Build a Better Workplace.
the ultimate guide to a better workplace

As we explore what it means to build a better workplace, we can’t help but dedicate some time to employee recognition. Recognizing employees should be an integral part of any workplace, so here are some tips for employee recognition that are quick and easy to implement.
tips_for_employee_recognition

Get Social

One of the easiest ways to recognize employees is by utilizing your social media channels. There are 2.62 billion people in the world who use social media. Chances are, the majority of your employees are included in this number. What better way to show your appreciation than by posting it publicly in the channels that they already visit throughout the week? Celebrate your employees on your social channels – it’s free and easy.

Stretch Their Paycheck

At PerkSpot, we love being in the business of stretching paychecks. Of course, you might be thinking we do this in the form of exclusive discounts, but we’ve also launched a recognition program that makes recognition practical and meaningful. Managers or peers can send an email recognizing an employee for a job well done along with credits to spend at our Gift Card store. It doesn’t have to be a million dollars to be meaningful. Even $5 can make someone smile and enjoy their favorite cup of coffee in the morning.

Recognize Their Strengths

As we state in our Ultimate Guide to Build a Better Workplace, 60% of employees believe that working for a place that enables them to use their strengths is very important to them. At PerkSpot, we understand the value that comes with recognizing an employees’ strengths. That’s why one of our milestone recognition programs comes in the form of sabbaticals. After an employee reaches a three-year tenure at PerkSpot, they get two weeks off and a small stipend to grow professionally and advance their skills. This may not be the most obvious form of recognition, but it’s definitely impactful.

Embrace Your Culture

Each Friday at PerkSpot we celebrate the week with beers and cheers. It fits our culture and reminds us all that one of our core values is to “Have Fun”. As a bonus, we also choose one PerkSpotter as a “PerkSpot Super Star” where they are recognized for their achievements that week and given a gigantic blue trophy along with some extra cash to spend in our R&R platform. This casual atmosphere works really well for our culture and makes recognition easy to remember. Find what works for your company and make sure your recognition aligns with your values and your culture.

What are some ways you’ve implemented recognition at your company? We’d love to hear your tips for employee recognition.

the ultimate guide to a better workplace