Articles by: Rob Bennett

Professional Goal Setting: Looking Back to Move Forward

The New Year brings so much promise, so much opportunity, so much change. Many of us start the year thinking about the changes we are going to make, which in turn establish our goals for the years ahead.  Unfortunately, by the time we learn to stop writing ‘2017’ on things, we have already forgotten the goals that we were previously so motivated to achieve at the start of the year. This is when strategic professional goal setting comes into play.

Instead of jumping headfirst into 2018, take a moment  to think about what happened in 2017. Evaluate your company, your role, what’s working, and what’s not. What did you want to accomplish, and, more importantly, what did you accomplish?

Too often we think of goals as personal and not work related. When we think about work related goals, we primarily think about professional growth. We think, I will read more, take a management class, or hire a coach. All good things, but to truly succeed in the New Year, one must think bigger. Think about what is happening day to day within your business.  Are things running smoothly and efficiently?  Could things be better?

One of the biggest, most relevant pain points for businesses all over the country right now is HR. Now more than ever, executives are looking for more efficient ways to manage their workforce, hire the right candidates, and retain their top performers. To address your current HR situation, try this exercise to kick off your first few weeks in the office. First, get out a piece of paper and think about your current HR processes. Now write out each process from start to finish. However, instead of simply writing out the steps, I want you to peel back each step like you would an onion.

For example, think about the candidate and how they are going through your organization’s hiring process. Are they immediately aware of your employment brand and why your job is the right one for them?  Did the hiring manager have an easy time requesting to fill the role? How many people were involved in the hiring process? Asking these types of questions and digging deep into each of your organization’s processes is an easy way to spot inefficiencies and areas for improvement.

Once you’ve completed this ‘peel back’ of your hiring, onboarding, benefits administration, performance management, payroll, and time and attendance processes, you’ll not only have a much clearer understanding of the way your organizations works, but also a much better idea of how you can improve your organization in 2018. While it may be time consuming with a lot of questions to ask, this exercise can reveal deficiencies within your organization that you never knew existed, and can help define your professional goals in 2018.

Like professional goal setting, to have a successful HR processes, you need to understand where you are and set attainable, realistic goals. It all starts with peeling back each step in the process and asking some hard questions. Each question could lead to a new discovery that will help you improve the efficiencies within your organization, and more importantly, help you understand the amount of resources being taken up on redundant activities that new HR technology or software solutions could help with. Once you dig into each process and understand your benchmarks, it is then time to set attainable, measureable goals for 2018 and have a successful year.

This DATIS Blog was written by Robert Bennett, DATIS, on January 4th, 2017 and may not be re-posted without permission.

Understanding the Virtual Organizational Chart

Change is exciting. Change can be scary. Let’s face it, change is a lot of work. As organizations continue to grow and add new employees the organizational landscape continues to change.  We all have experienced it.  One person leaves, a position is added, or someone is promoted, leaving you with a new organizational structure.  We are all trying to figure out what the cost of the hire was or what cost center that comes from.

When change does happen, for many organizations that means reorganizing their internal structure or completely starting over from scratch. Many companies manage their organization’s costs and team set up through complex spreadsheets and documents that only a few employees can understand at a glance. As the 2018 State of Workforce Management report shows, 42% of health and human services organizations experience a turnover of over 20%, creating constant alterations to organizational structure. To stay on top of these changes, organizations need to find a simpler way.

An organization’s structure should be transparent, meaning that all employees within a workforce should be able to view and understand how their organization is set up. This helps employees understand the internal chain of command, and helps managers see all employees within their team, and take administrative action when needed. When employees leave an organization, a vacant role is filled, or an employee moves to a new positon, an organization’s structure should update automatically, without any manual effort or intervention. Fortunately for health and human services organizations, there is now a tool available that encourages transparency and automation regarding an organization’s structure designed specifically with their needs and challenges in mind. This tool is known as a virtual organizational chart.

What is a Virtual Organizational Chart?
A virtual organizational chart is a visual representation of an organization’s internal hierarchy, and maps out a workforce by department. Virtual organizational charts are instrumental in workflow automation, and help ensure that no tasks, projects, or data slips through the cracks. This is especially helpful within organizations with hundreds of employees, where keeping track of the changing organization manually can be a full-time job. Not only does this save HR time, but it frees them to focus on tasks that contribute more to organizational success such as recruiting and retaining top talent.

The virtual organizational chart empowers executives to set up their organization the way they want, allowing them to determine how many positions will be in each department. Executives can also take it a step further and tie specific attributes to each position such as salary range, cost center, funding source, and location. On top of increasing the organization’s internal visibility, this approach also helps executives better track the costs associated with each position. This significantly reduces the risk of hiring any unbudgeted employees.

Where Can You Find a Virtual Organizational Chart?
Many of the major players and vendors in the HR software space don’t come complete with a virtual organizational chart. This is likely because their software is generic, and is for mass use regardless of organizational size. However, sophisticated, specialized vendors like DATIS that focus on specific industries offer a fully interactive and actionable virtual organizational chart at no additional cost. For executives currently in the vendor selection process that see value in more internal transparency and automation should inquire about a virtual organizational chart during software demonstrations.

Modern virtual organizational charts are web-based and can be accessed from anywhere at any time, usually through an online portal. Many health and human services organizations have employees that work remotely or on the road, allowing these employees to view their organizational structure can increase employee engagement and keeps these employees in the loop. While all employees within an organization have access to the virtual organizational chart, managers, administrators, and executives have special permissions that provide them with more detailed descriptions of the various positions that make up their organization.

What Can You Do Now?
With 98% of health and human services organizations predicting that they’ll invest in more digital tools and solutions in 2018, it’s likely that you’ve already researched some vendors or even scheduled demos. Take a moment today to review your processes. You have probably moved to different technologies over the last year, but have you completely moved away manually entering information into spreadsheets and paper based solutions? Think about how much time is spent updating the organizational structure as it changes, and the benefits you’ll experience by automating this process. Imagine being able to structure your workforce within a few clicks of your mouse, and have workflows automatically redirect to the appropriate employee when the chain of command is broken.

For more information on the virtual organizational chart, download the DATIS Organizational Chart datasheet.

This DATIS Blog was written by Rob Bennett, DATIS, on February 22nd, 2018 and may not be re-posted without permission.