HR’s Guide to Remote Workforce Management

Remote work was already on the rise before the pandemic, but numbers simply skyrocketed after offices shut their doors in 2020. Companies all over the world have now adopted remote work into their company strategies. In a recent study, Gartner estimates that by the end of 2023, 48% of knowledge workers around the world will work either fully remotely (9%) or in a hybrid arrangement (39%). In the US, fully remote and hybrid workers are expected to account for 71% of the workforce in 2023.

The transition from on-site to remote workforce management is rife with unique challenges and opportunities for expansion of company culture, broadened reach for talent, and new technology (like AI tools for HR) to support this digital era. When done right, remote workforce management can ignite innovation, cut costs, and build an inclusive culture capable of easily spanning international borders.

Whether your company manages fully remote or hybrid teams, there are strategies you can implement to increase employee satisfaction and retention, improve training, and streamline onboarding and performance reviews. 

What is Remote Workforce Management?

remote workforce management

Remote workforce management is simply the practice of managing teams of remote employees. It commonly involves unique communication strategies, processes, training, and online platforms designed for maintaining a productive and motivated remote workforce. 

Knowing how to manage, train, and motivate a remote workforce is key to ensure productivity and employee retention. The State of Remote Work Report 2022 found that, “If the ability to work from home was taken away, two-thirds (66%) of workers would immediately start looking for a job that offered flexibility, and 39% would simply quit.” Which indicates that remote work isn’t going anywhere. And companies hoping to maintain relevancy and entice top talent will need to master remote workforce management.

Challenges of Remote Workforce Management and How to Overcome Them

With the many advantages of remote workforce management come a few challenges. In order to have the tools and tactics to navigate them, it is first important to understand what the specific challenges of remote workforce management are, and learn about proven strategies to overcome them.

Common Challenges of Remote Workforce Management

While there are many similarities in remote workforce management and traditional, in-person employee management, the absence of a physical office poses its own challenges for employees and managers alike. Understanding these challenges is the first step to overcoming them.

Lack of face-to-face interaction and oversight

In some cases, when managers are not physically present to supervise and offer support, workers become less efficient. Face-to-face interactions encourage both community building and accountability. In the case of remote work, you can implement processes and technological tools to overcome these challenges.

Feeling of social isolation

Though they may be surrounded by dozens of people in a virtual space, remote workers are often physically isolated. A smile, a joke, a quick coffee run, these gestures translate rather differently online than in real life. Finding a way to reduce the feelings of social isolation is one of the most important challenges of remote workforce management. This can be achieved by implementing virtual social events and using a variety of communication tools, and is a great way to tackle signs of employee burnout.

Insufficient access to information

In a remote setting, information flows differently than in-person workplaces. Accessing basic data can sometimes become a challenge. Moreover, the absence of non-verbal clues (such as body language) and water-cooler-talk can hinder interpersonal relationships. When teams bond in-person and regularly interact with each other, they are more likely to know who to ask when they need information or assistance. 

With modern HRIS platforms, remote teams can seamlessly share information in real time. These platforms also provide ample opportunities for locating important documents and asking and providing feedback and support.

Distractions

All workers juggle various responsibilities both in their professional and personal lives — yet remote workers have the flexibility and proximity to be more easily distracted by these responsibilities. Without a clear delineation between work and home, it’s easy for remote workers to get pulled away from their work. Having a dedicated workspace designed to minimize distractions is the ideal situation, but employees sometimes struggle to find such a space at home.

Aside from home life distractions, online distractions can also be problematic. Remote work management requires effective tools to ensure concentration and focus throughout the work day. 

Key Considerations for Building a Strong Remote Workforce Management System

There are many actions you can take today to address the challenges of remote workforce management and help your employees achieve productivity and efficiency. Now that you’re familiar with the common challenges of remote workforce management, let’s examine best practices for building a strong management system.

Structured Check-ins

Establishing structured and frequent check-ins, such as video or audio conferencing, can help diminish your remote workforce’s sense of isolation or lack of direction. Team calls can be great for aligning objectives, while 1-on-1 meetings are ideal for inquiring about concerns and offering support. 

Frequent check-ins with clean agendas help keep employees engaged, and removes any bottlenecks that delayed communication may present. We recommend scheduling standing meetings both with your larger teams as well as direct reports to your remote workforce management strategy.

Encouraging regular feedback

Regular feedback has a significant impact on employee engagement. According to Achievers, 44% of employees who were unhappy with the company’s feedback system searched for a new job, whereas 28% of the surveyed employees who found their company great at giving feedback, chose to stay. Encouraging regular, positive and negative feedback, promotes open communication and improves employee output. 

remote workforce management

Communication tools

Having a variety of digital tools at their disposal can keep remote workers to be more engaged and connected with their teams and managers. Adding dedicated video conferencing and instant messaging platforms to your remote workforce management communication strategy can provide a variety of real-time communication options that can help remote workers to effectively communicate. 

Choosing communication tools for your needs

Consider the types of communication your organization partakes in. Chances are, there’s a variety of styles taking place in a single day, which means you’ll most likely benefit from a variety of communication tools. Some sensitive conversations may require one-on-one video chat, while quick questions to the team can be posted on a forum, and other types of inquiries can be made via private messages.  

Establish a set of rules of engagement

If you want to keep employees engaged and boost productivity, establishing clear rules and expectations such as remote work policies, communication expectations, and general rules of engagement is key in remote workforce management. 

Providing employees with clear expectations and guidance sets them up for success, and can help curb many of the pain points managers often face in remote workforce management. To do so, ensure that your employee handbook adequately addresses the expectations and regulations surrounding remote work and take some time to go over these expectations with your employees.

Encourage social interaction

The water cooler may be missing, but you can still generate opportunities for non-work related connections that prioritize employee engagement

There are many useful techniques to encourage remote social interaction. For example, allowing a few minutes before team meetings to catch up on personal happenings, asking about everyone’s weekends, or wishing someone a happy birthday. You may also host virtual parties, mail theme party packages in advance of virtual gatherings, and even host live events for employees who live in the same area. Whatever your strategy, enhancing remote team communication goes a long way in mastering remote workforce management.

Implement remote onboarding practices

A successful onboarding process is vital for employee engagement, productivity, and retention. In the case of remote workers, the logistics of remote onboarding is unique. Without opportunities for in-person training, you have to design the best strategies to effectively convey your company’s mission and culture to new hires. Building a consistent and comprehensive remote onboarding process helps to set clear expectations and connects new hire’s work with the company’s vision and mission..

With HR software, you can make use of dedicated processes to efficiently onboard workers remotely, boosting engagement and increasing talent retention. For example, Omni offers various tools such as Onboarding Email Templates to help you streamline your remote onboarding process.

Remote employee development

Effective training and employee development opportunities are at the heart of every successful remote workforce management strategy. You can boost your employee development by offering mentoring sessions, leadership training, and other opportunities for career advancement.

Continuous learning

By creating frequent training opportunities, you allow employees to find the times that best suit their personal circumstances. Live streaming training sessions can be great to connect in real time, but you should always ensure a link with the recorded session is immediately available to anyone who was unable to attend, for example, if they are in a very different time zone.

Setting clear expectations

Remote workers need a framework they can work with. They need to know what is expected of them from early on. They must be aware of the company’s priorities as well as what is expected of them to succeed in their role.

By setting clear expectations, such as working and non-working hours, you help employees achieve a healthy work-life balance in a remote setting, which combats burnout, and improves productivity.

Setting and maintaining remote policies

Remote policies are different from on-site policies. If you have newly implemented a remote workforce, take the time to adapt your standard policies and create new ones that reflect your remote team’s circumstances. You may include productivity and schedule requirements, communications etiquette, and any other rule that can help facilitate remote work in your remote workforce management strategy.

Performance management 

Performance management is an essential part of any HR management strategy. Aside from frequent check-ins, clear expectations, continuous learning, and open communication, goal setting is an important part of managing remote employee performance. 

Implementing a consistent and comprehensive performance review process can help keep your teams on track, and guide managers in creating actionable plans through goal setting. SMART goals and KPIs are an impactful tool for guiding performance within remote workforce management, and can help keep remote workers engaged and motivated.

remote workforce management

Virtual leadership

All leadership requires tact, and your employees will have their own unique communication styles that will require various approaches to remote workforce management. While these styles may vary, there are some key tenants to virtual leadership that managers should abide by to best support their teams.

These key tips for remote team management include:

Favor mentoring over micromanaging
While remote workforce management requires closer oversight to ensure employees are engaged, transactional leadership and micromanagement discourage employees from performing at their best. Instead, focus on mentorship to invest in the skills and growth of your workforce. Understanding and exhibiting the leadership qualities of impactful managers will help you better connect and guide your remote employees, resulting in engagement and innovation.

Set clear goals and focus on outcomes rather than input
There’s a lot that can get lost in translation in a remote environment, so setting clear goals for your teams helps cut through any confusion and miscommunications. Rather than focusing on how your employees reach their goals, shift your focus to the outcomes of their work. This gives autonomy to your teams and empowers employees to manage their workload.

Build trust and support
Trust is a foundation for successful  remote workforce management. Take the time to build trust with your team members by being reliable, transparent, and supportive. Provide frequent feedback and recognition for their achievements and encourage autonomy to empower team members to make decisions. By creating a supportive environment, you can foster trust and enhance team morale.

Embrace technology and remote tools
Utilize technology and remote tools to streamline workflows and enhance productivity. Invest in reliable communication platforms, project management software, and collaboration tools like all-in-one HR software. Provide training and support for your team to ensure they are proficient in using these tools effectively. Embracing technology can help bridge the gap created by remote work and enable smoother operations.

Prioritize work-life balance and wellbeing 
Virtual work can blur the boundaries between personal and professional life. Encourage your team members to maintain a healthy work-life balance by setting clear expectations around working hours and time off. Promote self-care practices and encourage regular breaks, and be empathetic and understanding towards the unique challenges of remote work. By prioritizing well-being, you can promote a positive and sustainable work culture.

Master Remote Workforce Management with Omni

remote workforce management

Remote workforce management requires thoughtful leadership and clear strategy to ensure success. With the right tools and tactics, managers and HR leaders can build a thriving remote workforce that centers wellness, productivity, and inclusivity. 

Through the various strategies and tools to manage, leveraging automation can make all the difference in ease and flow of remote workforce management. 

With Omni’s all-in-one platform, you can easily manage remote teams and schedules, conduct performance reviews, obtain valuable performance data, streamline onboarding, and encourage effective communication among remote employees and managers all while automating time consuming and error-prone administrative tasks. 

Omni provides a variety of automated processes and metrics that can help you support and engage your remote workforce. Ultimately, successful remote workforce management can drive business growth, making both remote and hybrid teams more efficient.

If you are interested in seamless, elevated and better focused remote workforce management, book a demo with our team today to learn more about how you can leverage Omni to champion your remote teams. 

5 Best-in-Class Company Mission Statement Examples

A mission statement is much more than a catchy marketing phrase. It captures your company’s very essence, its reason for being, and identifies its driving force. 

Some of the most effective company mission statement examples are short, powerful, and crystal clear. They connect to their target market, build a bridge between the company and its potential clients, and inspire greatness.

An effective mission statement is like a lighthouse that signals your company’s mission and values. When done right, it can inform recruitment and onboarding processes, daily operations, employee satisfaction, and customer loyalty.

What is a Company Mission Statement and Why is it Important?

company mission statement examples

In a nutshell, a mission statement presents your company’s overarching purpose, the problems it vows to solve, and the products or services that embody its proposed solution. 

Mission statements, in large part, will be the reason people choose to work at your company and clients want to do business with you over your competitors. 

Research by Deloitte revealed that 60% of Millennial respondents chose to work for their employers due to their “sense of purpose,” and 57% of those who felt their organization had a “strong sense of purpose” (a mission) reported higher job satisfaction. 

Mission statements serve as a guiding principle for leadership and employees alike. When your mission — which also signals your values — is clearly defined it serves as the backdrop for all other major guidelines for your business. Company mission statement examples help shape your company goals, which in turn influence employee goals and objectives, which further guide productivity frameworks such as OKRs and KPIs.

We’ve covered how to tie employee objectives and key results (OKRs) and key performance indicators (KPIs) back to your company mission statement in previous blogs.

In short, mission statements are the bedrock of all subsequent defining decisions within your organization, and help shape your company culture as a result. 

Before diving into the 5 company mission statement examples we love and why, let’s break down what makes a great mission statement.

5 Characteristics of a Strong Company Mission Statement

company mission statement examples

The most impactful company mission statement examples share common characteristics that promote clarity, inspire greatness, and act as a call to action for both their internal teams as well as their customers. 

1. Impactful

Effective mission statements describe how a company’s work impacts the broader community. They explain what makes the company unique and how that uniqueness can leave a mark on the world. 

2. Concise

Conciseness is at the heart of strong mission statements. They pack a lot of meaning and impact into one or two short sentences and don’t include any fluff or jargon that few people can understand. 

The best company mission statement examples adhere to the maxim that fewer words can tell a more compelling story. 

3. Inclusive

The language in a strong mission statement is inclusive. It conveys the message that the company understands the public’s needs and desires, and makes readers feel included. Great mission statements avoid language that excludes different groups of people based on their ethnicity, sexual orientation, ability, or other personal characteristics. 

4. Specific

Compelling mission statements are specific. They avoid generalities and vague ideas. Instead of saying they want to make the world a better place, company mission statement examples that are specific would explain how their products can transform the world. They propose a concrete and specific solution to a concrete and specific problem. 

5. Inspiring

Memorable company mission statement examples are inspiring. They state the facts but also spark the imagination. They are fun and exciting, and offer a glimpse of the better world your company is trying to create with its products and services. 

When drafting an inspiring mission statement, word choice is important. Choose words people associate with happiness, satisfaction, success, and harmony to elevate your mission statements, inspiring people to join your cause.

Crafting a Compelling Company Mission Statement

company mission statement examples

If you want to attract and retain talent and customers alike, you need a strong mission statement featuring three basic components:

  • What your company does
  • How it does it
  • Why it does it

Compelling company mission statement examples typically follow a set formula. Following these best practices will help guide you in crafting a quality mission statement. 

Step 1: Identify

Identify the following sentiments about your company to help bring direction to your mission statement. Your answers will serve as building blocks for your mission statement.

  • What your company does
  • Why it was created
  • Its goals
  • Its values
  • Who its customers are
  • Its competitive advantages
  • Your brand’s public image
  • The public image your brand would like to have

Step 2: Use the VIPS method 

Once you have identified the core of your company’s mission, you are ready to start formulating a compelling statement.

The VIPS method allows you to apply a dynamic framework to the information you have just identified. By organizing the basis of your mission into VIPS’ four categories — value, inspiration, plausibility, and specifics — you will be able to see it from a different angle, one that can ignite ideas to craft a strong vision statement. 

Let’s break down each of the VIPs categories:

Value

The value your company offers to customers, employees, and the global community.

Inspiration

The reason people should want to get involved with your company. 

Plausibility

Achievable goals rather than impossible dreams.   

Specifics

How your company’s actual actions can help you achieve your goals.  

Once you have organized your ideas based on these four categories, you are ready to take a crack at your mission statement.

Step 3: Formulate your company’s purpose

All of the best company mission statement examples introduce purpose, values, and goals, and yours needs to as well. First, write one phrase describing your company’s purpose, what it does for its customers, in simple terms. 

Step 4: Formulate your company’s values

Take a look at the values you identified in step one and filter them down into core values. Look for themes and similarities to help you condense these values, and then convey them in one, clear sentence.

Step 5: Formulate your company’s goals

Sum up your company’s big-picture goals in one simple sentence. Remember what you learned while applying the VIPS method. Make it specific. Make it inspiring. Make it sound achievable. Ensure it is aligned with your company’s values.

Step 6: Connect and condense

At this stage you should have all the parts necessary to craft a compelling mission statement. It’s important that you find a way to connect each thought into one, fluid, and cohesive statement, and to keep it short. 

To achieve this, you must connect your company’s values to its purpose and goals. Find the shortest, most powerful formulation you can to say, basically, “we do X (purpose) because we believe that Y (values) can do Z (goals) for the world.”

Step 7: Refine

Chances are you won’t go with the first draft of your mission statement. At this stage it’s great to seek feedback and keep refining your mission statement until it accurately represents and conveys your purpose and values. This process should help remove any unnecessary, difficult, or cryptic words or phrases.

Clarity and conciseness are as vital as the ability to capture the imagination and invite the reader to join in on something wonderful and full of promise. 

Your company mission statement is a valuable marketing asset. Refine it until you are sure it can appeal to investors, clients, and members of your organization. Even if they play different roles, your mission statement should connect all of these stakeholders, making them feel like they are part of the team. When in doubt, review some company mission statement examples that you admire to help lend some guidance.

5 Inspiring Company Mission Statement Examples

Crafting your mission statement is no easy feat, so when in doubt, look to leaders across various industries to inspire your efforts.

Let’s examine some best-in-class company mission statement examples to influence your process. 

1. Amazon

Mission statement: To be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online.

It doesn’t get better than proposing to be the best in the world —and actually achieving it. This company mission statement example includes something about the company’s philosophy and values (customer-centric), its purpose, and its big-picture goals. All those parts are perfectly connected and articulated, in this case, thanks to the use of “where,” which seamlessly links goals and values with purpose.

2. Tesla

Mission statement: To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy through increasingly affordable electric vehicles in addition to renewable energy generation and storage. 

Tesla’s company mission statement example also has it all. The use of the word “affordable” shows Tesla’s commitment to serving their customers, calling them into their mission and making it accessible.

The company’s goals are clear as well as inspiring (transition to sustainable energy). The last part clearly explains what the company does, i.e., the purpose. Tesla’s mission statement is also a triumph of conciseness. Think of everything that is packed into those 20 odd words. One might have said it in 100, but Tesla went for the very essence; nothing else.

3. Nike

Mission statement: To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world. If you have a body, you are an athlete.

Among these company mission statement examples, Nike ‘just did it’ with this tremendously succinct and powerful mission statement. The first sentence clearly states the company’s goals in a very simple and appealing manner. The second sentence is as inclusive as it gets; it says the company’s product is for everyone. 

The purpose may seem vague, but consider what Nike offers, an array of goods and services (clothing, equipment, fitness classes). By keeping their mission focused on inspiring athleticism, they keep the door open to a variety of products.

4. Microsoft

Mission statement: Our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

Microsoft presents itself as a company that caters to the needs of “every person and every organization”, nailing the component of inclusivity. 

The company’s goal is very clear and expressed in compelling language (empower… to achieve more) that is also definitely inspiring. 

Because Microsoft has so many lines of business, its mission statement favors inclusivity over specificity. This is a great strategy for crafting mission statements for companies that are constantly diversifying and expanding. This mission statement’s vast scope leaves the door open for businesses this type of company might pursue in the future.

5. Kickstarter 

Mission statement: To help bring creative projects to life.

The simplest of our company mission statement examples,  bringing creative projects to life is exactly what Kickstarter has done over the years. The goal is very clear, and it hints at the purpose, without describing it explicitly. The company’s values and philosophy are implicit: a passion for creativity and art, a desire to support creators. The idea of bringing something to life is quite inspiring. 

Driving Culture Through Your Company Mission

Clearly defining your mission can contribute to shaping company culture. When employees value and understand their organization’s mission, they are inspired to innovate and commit to achieving the company’s higher goals.

Like all of these company mission statement examples, a great company mission statement can help drive employee engagement, increase talent retention, and inspire new and impactful ideas. 

When you want to learn whether employee performance is aligned with your company’s mission, structured performance reviews can give you all the information you need. 

Conversely, when you are in the process of developing your mission statement, pointed performance review questions can provide key information that can help you identify employees’ ideas about your organization’s mission and purpose, as well as what drives them.

Omni’s free Ultimate Performance Review Template offers you a framework to engage your employees and their managers to assess strengths and alignment to your overall mission, as well as provide key insights into the motivations and values of your workforce.

company mission statement examples

How to Make the Offboarding Process a Positive Experience

The offboarding process is a topic that often gets overlooked. Yet, it plays a crucial role in shaping an employee’s final impression of their workplace as well as influencing organizational culture. In fact, according to a Gallup Study, employees with a positive exit experience are 2.9x more likely to recommend their organizations to others.

A positive offboarding experience requires strategic and thoughtful actions that center employee experience and aim to gather insight that can improve your company culture. Here, we explore the steps and tools required to make employee offboarding a positive experience that leaves both your organization and employees satisfied.

What is Employee Offboarding?

Employee offboarding is more than just saying goodbye to employees. It’s a process that involves thoughtfully managing their departure and preparing for the arrival of new hires. The process includes exit interviews, knowledge transfer, returning company property, finalizing paperwork, and removing access to company systems. 

With this, organizations show their commitment to maintaining excellence, even when experienced employees leave. 

Reasons for Employee Offboarding

The offboarding process is a common practice for HR teams and one that most people associate with resignation. However, there can be various reasons for an employee to depart from their role at a company.  

Resignation 

Employees may voluntarily leave an organization for various reasons, such as finding a better-suited opportunity, dissatisfaction with their current work environment, feeling unfit for their role, or a change in life circumstances. 

Termination 

In some cases, employees may undergo involuntary termination due to misconduct, violation of company policies, poor performance, or restructuring within an organization. 

Retirement

Employees reaching the end of their careers may choose to retire voluntarily. Retirement is a planned reason for offboarding, typically occurring at a certain age or fulfillment of specific criteria for retirement benefits. 

Death

In unfortunate circumstances, an employee’s departure may be due to their passing away. In such cases, organizations carry out the offboarding process to handle administrative matters, support the employee’s family, and provide assistance with benefits or compensation.

Critical Components of the Offboarding Process

The critical components of an offboarding process may vary depending on the circumstances, like whether the departure is voluntary or involuntary. Let’s look at the key elements to consider in different offboarding cases: 

In Case of Voluntary Departure 

Resignation letter 

When employees decide to leave the organization, it is customary for them to submit a written resignation letter. This letter serves multiple purposes. Firstly, it acts as an essential record-keeping document, ensuring a formal record of the employee’s intent to resign. Secondly, it provides HR and managers with a tangible notification, allowing them to initiate the offboarding process promptly. 

Therefore, providing advance notice through a resignation letter enables HR professionals to effectively plan for workforce management, facilitating a seamless transition for both the departing employee and the organization. 

Exit interview

Conducting an exit interview provides employers with a valuable opportunity to gather feedback from departing employees, gaining insights into their overall employee experience, reasons for leaving, and suggestions for improvement. This feedback can be instrumental in identifying patterns, trends, or areas of concern within the organization. 

In addition, exit interviews serve as a platform to express appreciation and recognition for the departing employee’s contributions, reinforcing a positive employer brand and fostering goodwill even after their departure.

Knowledge transfer 

It is crucial to facilitate a knowledge transfer from the departing employee to equip their colleagues or replacement with the information essential to carrying out the duties of their role. There are several ways to carry out a knowledge transfer. One common practice is having the departing employee create a document listing their roles and responsibilities, outlining the status of each task, who the primary contacts are, and any relevant information to support the project. From there, you can arrange training sessions, follow up on pending deadlines, and coordinate with contacts to ensure no projects fall by the wayside.

Equipment and access return 

It is crucial to ensure that departing employees return company property, such as laptops, access cards, keys, or other equipment. 

Firstly, it helps protect the organization’s assets and prevents unauthorized access or misuse of company resources. Secondly, retrieving these items allows for proper inventory management, ensuring that resources are available for reassignment or future use. Lastly, maintaining a comprehensive record of all company assets will help you effectively plan for replacements, repairs, or upgrades in the budgeting process.

In Case of Involuntary Departure 

Documentation 

When terminating an employee, preparing accurate and essential documents is crucial. This includes drafting a termination letter clearly communicating the reasons for termination, relevant dates, and any additional obligations, as well as gathering any warning letters for poor performance that may have been issued prior to termination. In addition to that, HR professionals should handle documentation for severance packages or agreements, when applicable. These documents outline the terms and conditions of financial compensation or benefits the departing employee may receive. 

It is also essential to document the employee’s benefits status, including changes to health insurance, retirement plans, or other benefits resulting from the termination. Proper documentation ensures compliance and serves as a reference for both HR professionals and the employee in the future.

Termination meeting 

When an employee is being terminated, it is essential for organizations to conduct a meeting to communicate the reasons behind the decision. This meeting should be approached with sensitivity and respect, considering its impact on the employee.

Conducting a termination meeting is a best practice and a legal requirement in many jurisdictions, especially if the employee has completed their probationary period. The meeting allows the employee to gain insight into their performance and understand the reasons for the termination. It can serve as a constructive feedback session to help the employee learn from the experience, aiding their future career opportunities.

Exit interview (optional) 

Exit interviews provide a platform for the departing employee to share their feedback, concerns, and insights about their experience within the organization. It can also help identify patterns or systemic issues within the organization that may be contributing to employee turnover. 

However, there may be situations where conducting an exit interview with an involuntarily departing employee may not be appropriate. For example, if the termination involves legal complexities or concerns about potential conflicts or misconduct, it may be advisable to forgo the exit interview to minimize potential risks or complications. 

Equipment and access retrieval 

Similar to voluntary departures, it is essential to collect company property from a terminated employee, including laptops, access cards, keys, and any other relevant items.

In certain circumstances, depending on the nature of the termination, it may be necessary to coordinate with the IT department to revoke the employee’s access during the termination meeting. This precautionary measure helps mitigate potential security issues and ensures that the terminated employee no longer has unauthorized access to company systems or sensitive information.

In Case of Retirement

Retirement notification 

When employees decide to retire from the organization, it is customary for them to provide a formal retirement notification to their supervisors and HR department. This notification serves as a crucial record-keeping document, confirming the employee’s intent to retire and initiating the offboarding process promptly.

Planning for succession

Retirement offers an opportunity for organizations to plan for succession and ensure a smooth transition of responsibilities. HR professionals and managers should work together to identify suitable candidates to fill the retiring employee’s role. This involves evaluating internal talent, considering potential promotions or transfers, and initiating recruitment if necessary. 

Knowledge transfer

To facilitate a seamless transition, it is essential to capture the retiring employee’s knowledge and expertise. This can be done through various methods, such as documenting their roles and responsibilities, creating process manuals, or conducting training sessions. Encouraging retiring employees to share their insights can significantly benefit the organization and assist in transferring critical information to their successors. 

Benefits and retirement packages

HR professionals should ensure a smooth transition of retirement benefits. This includes providing retiring employees with information on pension plans, retirement savings accounts, healthcare coverage, and any other applicable benefits. 

Clear communication regarding the process, paperwork requirements, and deadlines should be provided to retiring employees, allowing them to navigate the retirement process with ease.

Exit interviews or surveys

Similar to other offboarding scenarios, conducting exit interviews or surveys with retiring employees can offer valuable insights and feedback. These conversations can cover a range of topics, such as overall job satisfaction, organizational culture, and suggestions for improvement. 

In Case of Death 

Notification and condolences

When an employee passes away, it is essential to handle the situation with compassion and sensitivity. HR should promptly notify employees, supervisors, and relevant stakeholders of the employee’s death. This notification should be accompanied by a message expressing condolences and support to the family during this difficult time. 

Providing support to the family

HR professionals should reach out to the family to offer assistance, including guidance on filing for benefits, insurance claims, and any other financial or administrative matters. It is crucial to maintain open lines of communication and be responsive to the family’s needs, providing guidance and support throughout the process.

Workload reallocation

Upon an employee’s death, it is necessary to assess their workload and redistribute responsibilities among the remaining team members. HR and managers should work together to identify critical tasks and projects and ensure they are assigned to individuals who can handle them effectively. This reallocation process should be communicated clearly to the team, with a focus on minimizing disruption and maintaining productivity during the transition period.

Legacy and tribute

Recognizing the deceased employee’s contributions and legacy is an important part of the offboarding process. This may include honoring their achievements, sharing anecdotes or stories that highlight their impact, or establishing a memorial or tribute in their memory. Creating a lasting tribute not only pays respect to the employee but also serves as a source of closure for your team.

Common Components 

Pro tip: You can tailor these components to your company policies, legal requirements, and specific circumstances surrounding your employee’s departure. Some organizations may require additional steps or processes specific to their industry.

Final pay and benefits 

In the offboarding process, it is crucial to ensure that the departing employee receives their final paycheck and pertinent information regarding their benefits. This typically  encompasses any outstanding wages, including accrued leave balances or unused benefits. Timely payment of the final paycheck demonstrates compliance with employment regulations.

Be sure to also provide information regarding the continuation of benefits or their eligibility for any post-employment benefits. This may include details about healthcare coverage, retirement plans, or life insurance. Clear communication about benefit options helps the departing employee understand their options and make informed decisions regarding their future coverage.

Cancellation of accounts and access

Revoking access to company systems, email accounts, and other confidential information is a critical step in the offboarding process. It is essential to coordinate with the IT department to promptly cancel the departing employee’s accounts and revoke their access privileges. This measure is crucial to protect sensitive data and prevent unauthorized access or potential security breaches. 

HR and administrative tasks

As you handle the offboarding process, several essential administrative tasks must be considered. First, update the departing employee’s records to reflect their departure accurately. This includes noting their termination date and updating their employment status. 

Additionally, remove the departing employee from organizational charts to maintain an accurate representation of the company’s structure, update contact lists, and remove the employee’s information to ensure up-to-date and accurate contact details for relevant stakeholders.

Lastly, notify the necessary departments about the employee’s departure, such as IT, payroll, and benefits. This ensures they can take appropriate actions, such as revoking system access, updating payroll records, and addressing benefits-related matters.

Transition planning 

When an employee is preparing to depart, it is essential to develop a transition plan to facilitate a seamless continuation of work within the team. This plan involves redistributing the departing employee’s workload to other team members, ensuring that tasks and responsibilities are appropriately reassigned. 

A crucial part of transition planning is facilitating a knowledge transfer. As part of the plan, it is crucial to facilitate the transfer of knowledge and expertise from the departing employee to their colleagues. This ensures that critical information, processes, and insights are shared, enabling the team to carry out the work without interruption effectively.

Support programs 

In addition to the standard offboarding process, some companies offer additional support programs to aid their past employees during the transition period. These programs aim to provide additional assistance and resources to help employees navigate new employment challenges. Some potential programs include career coaching services, mental health resources, and resume reviewing services.

For example, while cost-cutting measures led to employee layoffs during the COVID-19, Airbnb took proactive steps to support their former employees that were affected. The HR team created a talent directory that showcased the achievements of their past employees during their tenure with the company to highlight their skills and help them seek new employment.

In a show of dedication, a significant portion of Airbnb’s recruitment team focused on alumni placement, using the talent directory as a tool to connect laid-off employees with potential job opportunities. This initiative aimed to assist 1,900 affected employees in finding new employment and easing their transition.

7 Steps for a Successful Offboarding Process

“One of the biggest misconceptions about employee offboarding is that it has to be financially costly,” says Alison Dachner, management professor at John Carroll University.

It’s no secret that a well-executed offboarding process requires time and effort, but it doesn’t necessarily require a substantial financial investment, especially when well-managed.

1. Thank your employee for their contributions

During your exit interview, be sure to thank your departing employee for their efforts and dedication. Regardless of the circumstances of their departure, it’s important to recognize the work done, which boosts morale and helps foster a positive sentiment around their time at your organization.

In addition, ensure that the departing employee receives a formal thank you email from the company, signed by relevant leaders or managers. This email is a lasting testament to their impact and can be proudly included in their professional portfolio. 

All in all, be as transparent and open as possible and keep up your healthy management practices until the very last day. 

What if the employee is leaving due to a policy violation? 

Regardless of the circumstances surrounding an employee’s departure, It’s essential for HR to remain neutral, professional, and positive in their offboarding practices. 

“Rather than dwelling on any possible negatives, it’s important to leave off with compliments, advice, or simple well wishes. This way, the employee’s very last impression of you and your company is good,” says John Berry, CEO of Berry Law.

2. Communicate the departure to team members

It’s vital to effectively communicate an employee’s departure to ensure a smooth organizational transition. Schedule a 1-on-1 or team meeting to inform immediate teammates, and send a company-wide email to inform colleagues about the employee’s departure. Ensure you provide only the essential details, such as the departure date and appropriate transition plans. If the employee is leaving voluntarily, get their consent before sharing details such as retirement.

Here’s a template you can use for informing your company of an employee departure:  

Hello Team, 

I wanted to inform you that [employee’s name] will depart our organization on [departure date]. Their last day with us will be [date]. We appreciate [employee’s name]’s contributions and dedication during their time here, and we wish them the best in their future endeavors. 

As we progress, we will work on a smooth transition plan to ensure minimal disruption to our operations. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or require further information.

Best regards,

(your name)

Next, update all internal systems, such as HR records, email distribution lists, and organizational charts, to reflect the employee’s departure. Moreover, update shared documents or project management tools to reassign tasks and delegate responsibilities. 

3. Facilitate a knowledge transfer 

A smooth knowledge transfer process ensures that valuable information and expertise are passed on effectively. Knowledge transfers aren’t limited to documents and guidelines, it also includes the historical knowledge and context an employee has gathered during their time in their role. To ensure a well-rounded knowledge transfer, be sure to cover the following:

  • Determine the critical areas of employee knowledge, such as project details, client information, primary points of contact, status updates, and specialized skills. 
  • Set up dedicated knowledge-sharing sessions between the departing employee and their team members. This can include 1-on-1 meetings, group discussions, or training sessions.
  • Encourage the departing employee to create comprehensive documentation, guidelines, or manuals that capture essential processes, procedures, and insights.
  • You can only teach some things from a long list of documents and guidelines. Due to this, you must ensure the knowledge gained from personal experiences, which are harder to document, reach your employees through informal conversations and training sessions. 
  • Emphasize the importance of open communication during the knowledge transfer phase. Encourage employees to ask questions, take notes, and speak up if they require additional clarification. 
  • Lastly, ensure timely check-in on the knowledge transfer progress, address challenges promptly, and provide additional resources or training as needed.

4. Recover company assets and revoke system access

Recovering company assets and revoking system access is crucial to protect sensitive information. It reduces the risk of unauthorized data breaches or misuse of confidential information. 

Start by creating a comprehensive offboarding checklist of all company assets the departing employee needs to return. This may include laptops, mobile devices, access badges, keys or company credit cards. 

Next, schedule a meeting with the departing employee to collect the company assets. Choose a convenient date, time, and location for both parties involved. During the meeting, review the checklist and physically collect each item from the departing employee and check their condition.

Simultaneously, coordinate with the IT department to revoke the departing employee’s access to company systems, networks, email accounts, and other digital platforms. Timely revocation of permits helps protect sensitive data and ensures the departing employee can no longer enter confidential information. 

If not done immediately, here’s what you might find on Twitter:

offboarding process

Avoid serious data leaks with timely access revocation 

Ignoring this step can lead to severe data leaks. In 2021, a disgruntled ex-executive from security SaaS company Proofpoint took trade secrets to one of their biggest competitors. He revealed all major strategies to compete, and the company suffered. While an extreme case, Proofpoint’s story is an example of why timely access revocation is crucial to avoid data leaks and security breaches. 

5. Conduct an exit interview

Exit interviews can be a major eye-opener for your organization. They not only allow you to receive candid feedback on your employee experience but offer a unique perspective into the pain points of your company and management practices.

Conducting exit interviews help organizations to make necessary changes to improve company culture and reduce employee turnover. 

Here are some things you must consider to conduct a successful exit interview: 

  • Schedule the interview at the convenience of your departing employee, but make it timely. It’s important to gather feedback while the experience is still fresh on the mind of your departing employee. The longer you wait to conduct an exit interview, the less likely your employee will be to attend or accurately report on their experience.  
  • Tailor the exit interview questions to the specific role, tenure, and situation of your employee.
  • Create a comfortable, private environment where employees can freely share their views and experience. 
  • Ask open-ended questions that prompt detailed responses such as, “What factors contributed to your decision to leave?” or, “What are your suggestions for improving the company culture?”
  • Ask follow-up questions to understand specific issues in detail. 
  • Document their feedback and compare it with other exit interviews to identify patterns. 
  • Use the insights gained from the exit interview to make necessary improvements to your processes and overall culture. 

Contrary to popular belief, exit interviews are not restricted to finding the reasons for employees leaving. They’re also an opportunity to leave the door open for your top performers. 

As Joshua Host, the founder of Thrivelab explains, Indicate if you’re open to the offboarding employee returning to your company. With the rise of boomerang employment in an uncertain economy, this makes a significant impression on the professional and can ultimately lead to your best employees possibly returning.

On that note, see how Createwithflow went the extra mile to show its best employees that they are always welcome.

offboarding process

6. Update organizational charts and documents

Updating organizational charts and documents is crucial to accurately represent the organization’s structure and responsibilities after an employee departs. 

Begin by reviewing the existing organizational charts to identify the employee’s position and reporting structure. Next, determine if any roles need adjustments or redistribution to maintain workflow efficiency. Finally, update the organizational chart accordingly, indicating the vacant position and any reassignments or promotions resulting from the departure.

In addition to organizational charts, review and update relevant documents such as employee directories, team lists, and job descriptions. This will ensure clarity and transparency within the organization, facilitating smooth transitions and effective communication among team members.

7. Arrange final payments and benefits

Initiate the process by reviewing the employee’s contract, company policies, and applicable employment laws to determine the final payments and benefits owed. This may include any remaining salary, accrued vacation or sick leave, bonuses, commissions, and retirement contributions.

Calculate the amounts owed based on the employee’s tenure, accrued time off, and contractual agreements. Next, coordinate with your finance team to process the final payment. Finally, consider any legal requirements or internal policies to set a clear timeline for disbursing the amount.

Lastly, communicate with the departing employee about their final payment and benefits package details. Provide a breakdown of the amounts and any supporting documentation if necessary.  Address any questions or concerns they may have regarding the process. 

Tools For an Effective Offboarding Process

Now that you know the steps involved in conducting an employee offboarding process, you’ll need the help of specific tools to ensure you can easily carry out the offboarding process. 

1. Checklists

An offboarding checklist is like a “to-do” list for bidding farewell to employees. It helps ensure a smooth offboarding process without missing out on any core aspect. Here are some key things you must include on your employee offboarding checklist: 

  • Return of company assets 
  • System access revocation 
  • Exit interviews/surveys
  • Transfer of responsibilities 
  • Information about benefits and retirement plans 
  • Exit documentation 
  • Final payments and benefits 

Note that sometimes employees prefer to forgo an exit interview. In such a scenario, Asker Ahmed, the Director of iProcess Global Research Inc., suggests adding an exit survey to your offboarding checklist. Understanding why an employee is leaving a company can allow businesses to adjust to retain other employees. 

Ahmed adds that if the employee leaves for a comparable position with higher pay, businesses may need to reevaluate their compensation structure to remain competitive. And if an employee is leaving due to management issues, companies may want to consider providing management or leadership training. 

offboarding checklist template

2. Email 

Email can be a valuable tool for various aspects of the employee offboarding process. Let’s look at some ways you can utilize email to communicate offboarding tasks effectively. 

  • Departure announcement 

A departure announcement email can inform relevant stakeholders about the departing employee’s name, position, last day of work, and any pertinent details about their replacement or interim arrangements. 

  • Communication of offboarding tasks 

Email can effectively communicate offboarding tasks, such as returning company property, scheduling exit interviews, and transferring project files. This ensures that all parties know their roles during the offboarding process.

  • Account and access notifications 

Email can be used to notify IT administrators, system administrators, and managers about necessary account adjustments. This ensures that company systems, applications, and data access is promptly updated and aligned with the departing employee’s departure date.

  • Collecting feedback 

Email can also help to collect feedback from departing employees through exit surveys or feedback forms. Moreover, sending an email with a link to an online survey or attaching a questionnaire can streamline the feedback collection process and is an effective method for employees who prefer to avoid a formal exit interview.

While email is a valuable tool for offboarding, it’s essential to complement it with other tools to ensure a comprehensive offboarding experience for both the departing employee and the organization.

3. Automation software 

Automation software can significantly streamline and enhance the employee offboarding process. With so many tasks and follow-ups required during the onboarding process, automation can help digitize manual tasks, track and organize employee data, and ensure a smooth transition when employees leave your organization, all while saving you time and streamlining your offboarding workflows. There are many benefits to leveraging automation software during your onboarding process, such as:  

  • Saves time 

Automation software streamlines the offboarding workflow by guiding HR professionals and managers through the necessary steps. It eliminates manual tasks, reduces paperwork, automates follow-ups, and saves valuable time, allowing HR teams to focus on other strategic initiatives.

  • Efficient task management 

Investing in automation software ensures efficient tracking and management of offboarding-related tasks and documents. HR professionals can assign tasks, set deadlines, and monitor progress, ensuring timely completion. Documents such as exit interviews, separation agreements, and final paycheck details can be automatically generated, securely stored, and easily accessed when needed.

  • Sends automated reminders 

Automation software sends automated reminders to relevant stakeholders, ensuring that all pending tasks are addressed promptly. It helps in maintaining timelines, coordinating activities, and avoiding delays in the offboarding process.

  • Enhanced communication 

Automation software facilitates seamless communication between HR, managers, and the departing employee. It enables the sending of automated notifications and updates, keeping all parties informed throughout the offboarding process. This improves transparency, collaboration, and coordination among different departments.

  • Simplified access management 

Automation software simplifies the process of revoking access and permissions to various systems, databases, and accounts. It helps ensure data security by automatically disabling or removing access for the departing employee, reducing the risk of unauthorized access.

Create Impactful Offboarding with Omni

When it comes to offboarding, Omni is your comprehensive solution that enables a seamless and efficient offboarding experience. Omni’s all-in-one HR management software allows you to seamlessly update employee records, communicate to relevant stakeholders and departments, and facilitate the entire end-to-end offboarding process in one, easy to use system, putting an end to silos and miscommunication. 

Omni brings teams together, fostering collaboration and transparency by enabling smooth communication across departments, ensuring everyone is on the same page throughout the offboarding journey.

With Omni, you can say goodbye to manual paperwork and administrative tasks with streamlined workflows and automated reminders to carry out every step of the offboarding process; from initiating offboarding requests to managing tasks, documents, and access revocation, and even starting the recruitment process to backfill open positions.

To learn more about how Omni elevates your offboarding process and reduces inefficiencies, book a demo with our team today!

How OKRs Can Revolutionize Your Workplace Culture

Workplace culture has become a buzzword in recent years, and for good reason.

The data makes it clear — companies with strong cultures have lower turnover rates, higher productivity, and increased profitability. A positive work environment will lead to happier employees who are more engaged and motivated to do their best work.

But what exactly makes up a strong workplace culture? At its core, a strong culture is defined by employees who feel connected to the work they do and the organization they work for.

There’s many routes you can take to achieve this sense of connection. Some classic approaches include clear communication, strong leadership, and a sense of purpose. But as workplace culture evolves, new techniques and strategies are arising to enhance this culture. Nowadays, leadership teams are turning to goal setting to engage their employees and foster a sense of connection between role responsibilities and greater purpose.

Objectives and Key Results (OKRs), are a goal-setting framework touted by some of the biggest companies (notably in tech), including Google. OKRs are a simple and effective way to get an entire organization on the same page, and work towards achieving a common set of objectives.

Here, we’ll take a look at what OKRs are, how they compare to other goal-setting frameworks, the potential benefits OKRs could offer your company culture, and how to implement them.

What are OKRs and How Do They Compare to Other Goal-setting Methods?

As we mentioned above, OKRs are a framework for setting and tracking goals. But OKRs are specifically designed to focus efforts, and generate collective goal achievements so organizations can effectively advance to their most important objectives. There are two parts to the OKR structure: Objectives and Key Results.

OKRs explained

Objectives are specific and measurable goals that are set by an individual or team. When we say measurable, it has to be something that can be tracked, iterated and improved on — something not always easy to establish. These objectives are meant to be ambitious and should ladder up to the overall goals of the organization.

Key Results are the measurable outcomes that need to be achieved to accomplish your objectives. Like the objectives, key results should be specific, measurable, and achievable. Achievable being key here — ambition is welcome in the OKR framework, but shouldn’t prevent establishing realistic objectives and key results.

The fundamentals of OKRs might sound pretty basic, but they differ from other goal-setting methods in several ways.

OKRs vs. KPIs

okrs

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), are metrics that track the performance of a business or a specific process. While KPIs are useful for monitoring progress, they don’t always help entire organizations set goals or define their strategy. Instead, KPIs tend to focus on very specific metrics and targets within a particular area (be it a team or an individual contributor), and can’t capture the full breadth of goals and strategic alignment required for your entire organization.

Contrast that with OKRs, which are designed to help organizations set clear and measurable goals that are aligned with their overall strategy. KPIs don’t have the “big picture” impact OKRs offer.

OKRs vs. SMART goals

okrs

SMART goals are another popular goal-setting framework. The acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

We’ve written about SMART goals before, and it’s clear they’re useful for setting specific and achievable goals, but don’t necessarily help organizations align their goals with their overall strategy (this is a recurring theme among other goal-setting frameworks). Similar to KPIs, SMART goals lack the comprehensive alignment and strategic focus of OKRs. SMART goals focus on individual or departmental objectives, lacking the cascading and alignment across teams and the whole organization.

Benefits of OKRs on Company Culture

okrs

If your organization decides to leverage OKR goal setting, you stand to realize a significant positive impact on your company culture. Let’s take a look at some examples of the benefits of using OKRs.

Increased engagement

When employees understand their role in achieving your organization’s objectives, they become more engaged and motivated to contribute. It snaps employees out of the “assembly line worker” mindset, where they’re only focused on the minutiae of their daily tasks, and provides a sense of the greater goal of the company, and how their work contributes to achieving that goal.

OKRs also provide a clear roadmap for employees to follow, which helps them stay focused on the most important tasks without distraction.

Increased alignment

OKRs help organizations align their goals and objectives across different departments and teams. When everyone is working towards a shared objective, there’s much less confusion and conflict, which leads to a more cohesive and productive work environment.

Another benefit of this approach is improved camaraderie across departments, something that also has a major impact on employee morale and the perception of your company culture.

Increased transparency

Having a clear view of the work you’re doing and the results you’re aiming for means you can make decisions that accurately advance towards your organization’s goals.

OKRs offer this transparency, and when everyone is aware of the organization’s priorities, it becomes easier to make decisions that are aligned with the overall strategy holistically, not simply at the individual level.

Increased accountability

OKRs create a sense of accountability among employees. When everyone is working towards a common set of objectives, there’s a greater sense of responsibility and ownership over their work.

This facilitates a culture of “self management” — employees will proactively work towards the most important goals without the need for managerial intervention. Less micromanagement boosts employee morale and frees up leadership’s valuable time.

Continuous improvement

One of the most unique parts of OKRs is that they’re specifically designed to be dynamic and flexible. This means that they can be updated and adjusted as your organization’s priorities change, which allows for continuous improvement and ensures that everyone is always working towards the objectives which offer the best outcome for your organization.

How to Implement OKRs to Transform Your Company Culture

Implementing OKRs can lead to significant improvements in company culture and performance, which is why so many major companies have adopted the framework. Follow these steps to introduce OKRs to your management strategy.

Define your organization’s objectives

The first step in implementing OKRs is to define your organization’s objectives. These objectives need to be clear, measurable, and aligned with a broad, holistic strategy and vision. Once you’ve defined your overarching objectives, you can begin to break them down into individual team or department goals. Sharing in this clear vision makes every team member feel the satisfaction of working towards a common goal — a huge boon to your culture.

Set team or department objectives

To realize this cultural growth, you also need to get tactical at a smaller scale. Goals at the team and individual level are approached the same way they are at higher levels, just with a more laser-focused approach, tailored to the team or person setting out to achieve them.

Like all parts of the OKR strategy, these objectives should be aligned with the organization’s overall objectives and should be specific, measurable, and achievable.

Define key results

For each team or department objective, define the key results that need to be achieved to accomplish the objective. Remember — specificity is incredibly important here. Any vaguery can lead to confusion and cause teams to work in the wrong direction, which can derail goals across the company. By facilitating focus, you’ll give your employees a better chance at achieving their goals, and the positive feelings that come with it.

Assign ownership

OKRs rely on defined owners for objectives. Assign ownership of each objective and key result to a specific individual or team, so that they can take clear responsibility for driving results.

This ensures that everyone knows who is responsible for achieving each objective and key result, and if pivots are required it can be dealt with at a granular level.

Review and adjust

As we mentioned above, OKRs aren’t set in stone — and that’s on purpose. This flexibility encourages regular reviews and adjustments as needed. Regular reviews ensure that your organization is staying on track and all teams are making progress towards its main objectives.

Aligning OKRs to Your Business Strategy

One of the keys to successfully implementing OKRs is to ensure that they are aligned with your business strategy. This comes down to a matter of prioritization — consider what the most important, time sensitive and impactful goals are for your company, and prioritize defining your OKRs around those objectives first.

When aligning your OKRs to your business strategy, consider the following:

Define your long-term vision

Your long-term vision should be the guiding force behind your OKRs, the North Star that your organization is working towards. By keeping your vision long term, rather than solely focusing on quarterly goals, you’ll set your organization up for long-term success.

Identify your most important priorities

After defining your long-term vision, identify the most important priorities that will help you achieve that vision. These priorities should be the core focus of your OKRs.

Break down your objectives

Break down your main objectives into smaller, more specific goals that are aligned with your most important priorities. All smaller goals should ladder up directly to supporting the greater strategy.

Define your key results

For each objective, define the key results that need to be achieved to accomplish the objective. Again — as we’ve said before, these key results should be specific, measurable, and achievable. That’s the crux of OKR effectiveness.

Assign ownership

Assign ownership of each objective and key result to a specific individual or team. This ensures that everyone knows who is responsible for achieving each objective and key result.

FAQ: How Many OKRs Should I Set?

One of the most common questions about OKRs is how many objectives should be set. While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, it’s generally recommended that organizations set no more than 5-7 objectives per quarter. This ensures that your organization is focused on its most important priorities and that employees aren’t being asked to go in too many directions at once.

5 Team-Specific OKR Examples

Different departments will approach OKRs in different ways that best support their unique goals and responsibilities.

From Sales and Marketing to Operations, Customer Success, and IT, we’ll take a look at how these teams can define Key Results to drive growth, engagement, and efficiency. This way, you’ll get a clear picture of how OKRs can be tailored to suit different teams and contribute to overall success.

Sales

Objective: Increase revenue by 20% in Q2.

Key Results:

  • Sign 10 new clients in Q2.
  • Increase average deal size by 15% in Q2.
  • Increase conversion rate by 10% in Q2.

Marketing

Objective: Increase website traffic by 30% in Q2.

Key Results:

  • Publish 10 new blog posts in Q2.
  • Increase social media engagement by 20% in Q2.
  • Run 3 successful email marketing campaigns in Q2.

Operations

Objective: Improve product quality in Q2.

Key Results:

  • Reduce product defects by 15% in Q2.
  • Implement a new quality control process by the end of Q2.
  • Conduct customer satisfaction surveys and achieve a score of at least 9 out of 10 in Q2.

Customer Success

Objective: Increase customer retention by 10% in Q2.

Key Results:

  • Conduct customer satisfaction surveys and achieve a score of at least 8 out of 10 in Q2.
  • Implement a new customer feedback system by the end of Q2.
  • Reduce customer churn rate by 5% in Q2.

IT

Objective: Improve system uptime in Q2.

Key Results:

  • Implement a new monitoring system by the end of Q2.
  • Reduce mean time to resolution for system issues by 50% in Q2.
  • Achieve system uptime of at least 99.9% in Q2.

Unlock a Culture of Excellence With OKRs

In a world where workplace culture can make or break an organization’s success, OKRs represent a powerful tool to revolutionize your company’s trajectory. By embracing this dynamic goal-setting framework and aligning it with your business strategy, you open the door to a culture of excellence, collaboration, and continuous growth.

Omni allows managers and People leaders to leverage the power of automation to digitize the people management process. Set and track employee goals, performance review cycles, and access real-time actionable insights on employee performance in one, easy-to-use platform.

Book a demo with our team today to learn more about how Omni can help you transform your company culture and help your teams achieve their performance goals.

The 15 Leadership Qualities of Impactful Managers

Our ideas about leadership are constantly evolving. Over the last decade, the concept of a tough manager who gets results regardless of how they treat subordinates has become obsolete.

Research has consistently shown that the most successful managers share a series of leadership qualities that include empathy and compassion as well as strategic thinking and a goal-oriented perspective.

Managers have the unique opportunity to directly shape the perspectives and experiences of their teams, and are responsible for nurturing talent to achieve their full potential. There are many strategies that influence the way you manage, but great leadership has a certain set of qualities in common that translate to employee buy-in and a positive working environment.

Why Companies Need Great Leaders

Great managers can completely turn around a business and achieve fantastic results. Gallup reports that on a global scale, companies could rake in an extra $7 billion annually if their leaders were more adept at preventing conflict.

The Importance of Leadership Qualities

We all want great leadership that can drive outstanding results while fostering a productive company culture, but understanding how ineffective leadership is affecting your business can be challenging.

There are no metrics that can tell you how your company might have grown if leaders had been more empathetic or strategic or had done a better job at retaining talent.

If you want to have great leaders in key positions, it is vital to identify the qualities that the most successful leaders have in common.

For instance, research has shown that when people think highly of their managers, they are more engaged and enthusiastic about their work.

Managers, in turn, believe encouraging employee engagement is key, and they also agree that their own leadership skills are vital for driving engagement rates.

Addressing the Leadership Gap

Leadership Qualities

Many people in management positions believe they should receive more and better training to develop essential leadership skills. The concept of that missing training is known as “the leadership gap.”

In one of the largest leadership surveys to date, nearly 9 in 10 business leaders said they wished they had received more leadership training before being promoted into a managerial role. And 85% of respondents said they received zero training before stepping up.

The good news is, once the leadership gap has been identified, you can address it by selecting the best candidates and giving them appropriate training. With the right human resources management system (HRMS), these important tasks can be simplified and streamlined. The result will be better leadership, increased employee engagement, and ultimately, better business results.

Understanding Leadership Styles

Before you address the leadership gap, you need to decide what great leadership looks like for your company. Not all company cultures are created equal, and each specific environment will require a particular set of skills.

No matter the particular set of skills that may be beneficial for your specific organization, there are some skills that are universally valued in leaders, regardless of industry or company size.

Leadership styles and business success

Besides affecting business results, ineffective leadership can cause talented employees to quit and go in search of greener pastures.

When done right, there are endless ways in which advanced leadership styles can contribute to business success.

Psychologist Kurt Lewin did some groundbreaking research and defined three basic leadership styles that are still an important point of reference today:

Autocratic leaders
An autocratic leader is a type of leader who holds absolute power and authority over a group or organization. Autocratic leadership is characterized by a highly centralized decision-making process, where the leader has complete control and makes decisions without seeking input or consensus from others. Autocratic leaders typically do not delegate authority or involve others in the decision-making process.

Laissez-faire leaders
In contrast to autocratic leaders, laissez-faire leaders leave absolutely everything in the hands of their subordinates. One of the problems with this type of leadership is that it puts the onus entirely on the team, with no clear leader or person to hold accountable. If team members are not sufficiently motivated, very little will get done.

Democratic leaders
DemocraticThese leaders integrate others into their decision-making process. They take responsibility for business outcomes, and their focus is on positive results not only for the organization but also for all team members.

In today’s fast-paced business world, there is little room for non-democratic leaders. Democratic does not mean that everything is up for a vote. But a good democratic leader will know when to consult their team members, how to identify the necessary expertise in their employees, and which aspects of the task at hand are non-negotiable based on their company’s mission, vision, and culture.

Traits of an Impactful Leader

Good leadership is a multifaceted topic; there are countless ways to successfully lead a team, and every good leader has their own unique approach that works for their business. 

Amid the many styles and approaches to leadership, 3 main traits stand out across all impactful leaders. 

A manager who has successfully developed outstanding empathy, decisiveness, and strategic thinking is likely to succeed in terms of both employee engagement and business results.

Good leaders are empathic

Leadership Qualities

True leaders have superior emotional intelligence. In the last couple of years, empathy has emerged as one of the most critical skills for business leaders. “Far from a soft approach,” Forbes recently reported, empathy “can drive significant business results.”

According to this latest research, great leaders who demonstrate empathy do not only generate a healthier atmosphere but also achieve better results in terms of innovation and talent retention.

When your goal is to keep employees engaged and at the top of their performance, empathy can help you create the right conditions for talent to blossom and thrive, and even help low performing employees reach their full potential.

Empathy is one of the top leadership qualities, and emotional intelligence is the matter from which empathy is made. Without this type of intelligence, commonly known as EQ, empathy can be either insufficient or misguided.

If you are in a competitive industry, your organization’s employees likely face all kinds of stress in the shape of long hours and demanding deadlines. These conditions can be taxing on employee bandwidth and morale, which is why it is essential to have leaders with high emotional intelligence to offer support and empathy.

Good leaders have the emotional intelligence to be assertive without being arrogant, to avoid unnecessary confrontation, and to inspire the best performance  from their employees, regardless of their various personality types.

The best leaders are fair, while catering to the unique needs of their individual team members. This can take the form of positive reinforcement, difficult conversations such as negative feedback, or personalized goal setting like creating KPIs to help motivate employees.

Empathy as a driver for innovation

Empathy may make our work life more pleasant., but that is only the tip of the iceberg.

Research by Catalyst found that aside from dramatically increasing employee engagement rates, empathy is also a driver for innovation.

Survey respondents who had empathic leaders, Catalyst found, were able to be innovative much more frequently than people whose leaders were not considered empathic.

According to Baruch Sachs, Global Client Innovation VP at Pegasystems, “at its core, design thinking is about empathy. To really understand a problem we are trying to solve, we must have an empathic view of the people who are experiencing that problem.”

Without empathy, it is impossible to understand our customers´ needs. And therein lies the essence of innovation, stepping out of our own reality and imagining walking in someone else’s shoes.

As technology dominates every aspect of our work, empathy becomes more important than ever before.

Empathy ensures talent retention

Research has found a direct link between empathy and employee retention. Women who feel valued and respected at work are over four times more likely to stay at their companies than those who feel underappreciated and disrespected.

Better work-life balance and more inclusive workplace environments are also associated with empathic leaders. When they cultivate empathy, leaders reduce the impact of racial bias, gender bias, and other types of prejudice. And when leaders are empathic, employees can better navigate the demands of their work and personal life.

Good leaders are decisive

Leadership Qualities

Today’s leaders must constantly make quick decisions.

Having an indecisive leader can be disastrous for your organization. It could lead to missed opportunities and significant business losses.

The strongest leaders can make important decisions in a way that inspires everyone to get aligned with their strategies.

They may not waver, but they continuously evaluate the impact of their decisions throughout the process and pivot whenever it makes sense.

Additionally, the best leaders consider every aspect and ask for relevant opinions. They facilitate the decision-making process, rather than deciding unilaterally without considering the needs of all stakeholders.

Good leaders are strategic

Leadership Qualities

Leaders who understand their company’s strategic vision and make it an integral part of their work are able to drive the success of their organization with precision and purpose.

Strategic leaders show their employees the way, pointing them in the right direction to achieve the company’s goals.

Strategic leaders also know where to allocate resources, how to execute organizational change when needed, and how to react to external factors.

When they have a strategic manager, employees better understand their role in the organization and how their actions influence business outcomes which promotes pride in their work.

To encourage productivity and good performance, strategic leaders create reward systems and support everyone on the team in making decisions that can lead to achieving goals.

Common characteristics of strategic leaders

  • Alignment of vision with actions and words
  • Broad, long-term perspective
  • Derive information from both formal and informal sources to get a well rounded perspective
  • They use power wisely, actively working to gain employee buy-in and pushing ideas gradually rather than simply imposing them
  • They are comfortable delegating and authorizing their employees to make decisions

Ultimately, strategic leaders know how to develop a vision, how to communicate it, and how to drive their teams to materialize it.

Other essential leadership qualities

While strategy, empathy, and decisiveness are the core characteristics of an impactful leader, there are many other leadership qualities that can have a positive impact on employee satisfaction and business outcomes. 

Authenticity
Authenticity is one of the leadership qualities most appreciated by employees. When a leader is authentic, they can inspire trust and loyalty.

Creativity
Effective leaders are also creative. They work to  find out-of-the-box solutions to complex problems, and inspire innovation.

Positive attitude
One of the leadership qualities every great manager must have is a positive attitude.

Self awareness
Self aware leaders have a  strong understanding of their capabilities as well as their effect on their team. They don’t assume they are capable of doing everything, and they surround themselves with people who have the skills and talents that best complement their own.

Flexibility
Outstanding leaders are flexible. Willing to change or pivot once presented with new information, flexible leaders know how to listen and are always ready to learn something new and change course.

Improve Your Employee Management with Omni

Impactful leadership requires thoughtful and strategic actions to garner employee engagement and buy-in. Whether that’s through regular performance reviews, consistent and timely communication, or a strong understanding of employee engagement rates and performance through actionable data. Leaders that aim to deepen their impact can benefit from an HRMS system to help them automate and streamline their efforts, helping them free up valuable time to focus on the more strategic components of their role. 

Omni offers a comprehensive set of tools to streamline and help you carry out the essential tasks of employee management By automating the entire end-to-end employee lifecycle, Omni unlocks the ability for managers and leaders to support their employees without sacrificing their limited, valuable time on manual or repetitive tasks.

Further, the data collected by Omni and analyzed using its proprietary tools will help you understand which leaders are driving performance, fostering an inclusive culture, and keeping employees engaged.

How HRMS can foster leadership skills

Through Omni’s data and analytics, leaders can gain a clear perspective on their employee’s performance, identifying opportunities for growth and getting ahead of any performance issues early on. By gaining a clear picture of team members’ contributions, leaders can adequately support their employees, help set impactful goals, and offer much needed training and development opportunities that are uniquely tailored to each employee. 

Benefits of Omni-Powered Leadership Qualities

When you put Omni to work for your organization, leadership qualities can develop naturally, eventually driving performance and results.

Talent retention

Omni helps you identify and track employee’s contributions and wins, providing an opportunity to recognize employee’s hard work. When leaders demonstrate  their appreciation for their employee’s contributions, employee retention increases.

Customer satisfaction

Strategic leaders keep customer satisfaction front and center of their management and business strategies. When done well, they can even anticipate customer’s needs, developing products and services designed to directly address their pain points.

With Omni, leaders can leverage  and customize employee performance reviews to support and nurture areas of employee performance that directly contribute to driving customer satisfaction.

Increased productivity

By inspiring employees to do their best and guiding them toward achieving company goals, great leaders can boost productivity. Motivated employees whose work is aligned with their organization’s vision work harder and drive better results.

Omni gives you real-time insights into employee productivity, so you can detect any problems early on and rapidly address them.

If you are interested in taking your managers’ leadership skills to the next level, book a demo with our team today to learn how Omni can help you effectively manage your employees to deepen your impact and drive results.

How Transactional Leadership Affects Employee Performance

There’s no one correct way to lead a team. Different circumstances call for different tactics, for example, a small organization designing toys for children is going to operate wildly different than a multi-national bank.

There are a variety of leadership styles that any manager or business leader can use to motivate and guide their employees. One of the more notable styles of leadership is transactional leadership.

The name really says it all — like a financial transaction, this style of leadership involves give and take; incentives and rewards for good behavior and performance, and punishment or discipline for falling short.

These days, transactional leadership is a little out of vogue — most organizations find more success in developing employee motivation and improving performance through intrinsic techniques like training, camaraderie, and collaboration.

But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for transactional leaders. Depending on the nature and size of your organization and the makeup of your team, transactional leadership theory may still offer value.

What is Transactional Leadership?

Born in the era of the industrial revolution as a source of competitive advantage, transactional leadership is a style of leadership that focuses on supervision, organization, and performance.

As Europe and other parts of the world rapidly industrialized, manufacturing industries were growing at incredible rates. This called for a new style of leadership that could help manage increasingly large and complex organizations and lead the people within them.

One of the key figures in the development of transactional leadership was Max Weber, a German sociologist who lived from 1864 to 1920.

Weber’s early work focused on the concept of rational-legal leadership, which placed an emphasis on the importance of rules and regulations, procedures, and formal authority in organizational management. In other words, a business could find success running with the same stringency as a government.

Weber thought that in large organizations, it was essential to have clear rules and procedures to ensure that everyone knew their role, what was expected of them, and have clearly defined metrics for success. He also believed that formal authority should be used to enforce these rules and ensure that everyone followed them.

If this is beginning to sound like the stereotypical depiction of the tough boss, it should. Weber was describing a rigid and authoritarian kind of leadership, one he felt was necessary for organizations that were large and growing and suffered the complexity inherent in that growth.

The evolution of transactional leadership theory 

In effect, transactional leadership is the practical application of Weber’s ideas. If you’re a transactional leader, you use a range of rewards and punishments to motivate employees to meet their specific goals and follow firm organizational procedures.

This is based on the idea that employees are rational people – they’ll respond to incentives and can be motivated by the promise of rewards (or kept in check by the threat of punishment).

As the industrial revolution wrapped up, transactional leadership became increasingly popular.

During the 20th century, organizations became even larger and more complex, so organizational leaders needed a way to manage their employees and ensure that they were following established procedures and meeting their goals.

The best part? Transactional leadership is an incredibly simple approach and easy to institutionalize. It provides a clear and structured method to management that is easy to implement, measure, and doesn’t require tailoring to different team members.

This leadership style isn’t without its drawbacks, however. Its “one size fits all” approach isn’t well-suited to organizations that require a high degree of innovation or creativity.

Also, transactional leadership is often less effective at promoting long-term employee engagement or job satisfaction. Research is consistently pointing towards intrinsic factors having an outsized impact on employee motivation, which transactional leadership fails to account for.

Despite its limitations, transactional leadership remains a popular leadership style in many organizations. By understanding the history and characteristics of the transactional style of leadership, you can assess whether this style of leadership is appropriate for your organization.

Characteristics of transactional leadership

Transactional leadership has several distinct characteristics that make it unique from other leadership styles.

Clear goals

Transactional leaders set clear and specific goals for their employees. This helps to ensure that everyone works towards the same objective.

Monitoring

Transactional leaders monitor the performance of their employees closely to ensure that they are meeting the expected standards. While metrics differ depending on the organization, they are all tracked with the same rigor.

Rewards and punishments

Transactional leaders provide rewards to employees who meet or exceed their performance goals, such as bonuses, promotions, or recognition. But there’s a flip side — they also impose punishments on those who fail to meet expectations, like warnings, demotions, or termination. That can lead to a tough conversation, but one that can be leveraged to boost employee performance.

Transactional Leadership

Performance feedback

Transactional leaders provide frequent feedback to their employees about their performance. They highlight areas of improvement and recognize areas of success.

Hierarchical structure

Transactional leadership is based on a hierarchical structure, a structured environment where the leader has ultimate authority over decision-making (and this ladders up through the organization). The leader assigns tasks and responsibilities to employees and expects them to follow through.

While lots of other leadership styles employ a variety of these characteristics (such as clear goals and performance feedback) it’s the in-built rigidity, consistent application across an entire organization, and the outcome that defines transactional leadership.

Pros and Cons of Transactional Leadership

Like any leadership style, transactional leadership has its advantages and disadvantages, many of which depend on the setting it’s applied in.

Pros of transactional leadership

Clear expectations

Transactional leaders provide employees with clear expectations and guidelines for their work. There’s not a lot of room for confusion and plenty of opportunities to course-correct. This helps to increase efficiency and productivity.

Motivation

Transactional leaders use rewards and punishments to motivate their employees; a simple but often effective system. This creates a sense of competition among employees and drives them to perform more effectively.

Accountability

Employees are held accountable for their actions and performance by effective transactional leaders. This can help to ensure they take their responsibilities seriously and seek to improve in areas they’re falling short, or limited in.

Stability

With rigidity and consistency at its core, transactional leadership provides stability and predictability for employees. This can create a sense of security and comfort in the workplace for employees who appreciate the carrot/stick model of motivation.

Cons of transactional leadership

Lack of creativity

Transactional leadership stifles creativity and innovation. Everything is designed to be cut and dry — not only is experimentation discouraged, but if done unsuccessfully an employee could be punished for the attempt. Employees may be afraid to take risks or suggest new ideas for fear of being reprimanded.

Limited autonomy

Transactional leaders limit the autonomy of employees. They are expected to follow rules and procedures set by the leader, which can lead to a lack of initiative and independence, both factors that could impact an employee’s job satisfaction.

Short term focus

Transactional leaders tend to focus on short term goals and results. Keeping the goals boxed in can make them more clear-cut and attainable, but not necessarily put an organization on a long-term roadmap for success. This can lead to a lack of strategic thinking and long-term planning.

Resistance to change

Resistance to change is inevitable under a leadership system that puts such an emphasis on predictability and repetition. Employees may be hesitant to change their behavior or adopt new, improved methods if they are not explicitly rewarded for doing so.

The value of transactional leadership is often organization-dependent 

Let’s say you’re launching a tech startup. You’re breaking new ground, and looking to catch the eye of creative talent looking to grow with the company. In this case, where experimentation is necessary, predictability is difficult to achieve, and where a long-term strategic vision is paramount, a transactional leadership style simply won’t work.

On the flip side, if you’re a leader at a large insurance company with thousands of employees, many of whom want to spend the majority of their career at one company, providing a predictable workplace focused on achieving quarterly goals makes far more sense for transactional leaders.

In other words, the pros and cons of this leadership style will depend on the setting in which they’re applied.

The Effects of Transactional Leadership on Employee Performance

There’s been tons of research conducted to determine the effects of both transactional and transformational leadership on employee performance. And the consensus is that transactional leadership’s shortcomings may outweigh its positive aspects.

One study found that transactional leaders had a positive effect on employee performance in the short term but had no significant effect on long-term performance, something that tracks with the short term focus of the transactional leadership style.

This suggests that transactional leadership may be effective in achieving short term goals but that such leaders may not be effective in promoting sustained employee performance.

Another study found that transactional leadership was associated with lower levels of employee job satisfaction and higher levels of employee turnover.

While the transactional leadership model may be effective in achieving goals, it comes at a cost to employee well-being and retention. If you’re a leader that prioritizes your team’s wellness over output, transactional leadership might not be for you.

Transactional Leadership vs. Transformational Leadership

As we discussed above, transactional leadership is based on the exchange of rewards and punishments in exchange for employee performance.

The transactional leader sets clear expectations and goals for their employees and provides rewards for meeting or exceeding those goals while punishing those who fail to meet them.

Transactional leadership focuses on maintaining order and stability within the organization. But there’s another popular leadership style that steps outside this framework.

In contrast, transformational leadership is focused on inspiring and motivating employees to achieve a shared organizational vision.

Transformational leaders are often charismatic and use their influence to encourage employees to work towards a common goal. This style of leadership empowers employees to take ownership of their work and provides them with the support they need to succeed.

In terms of its impact on employee performance, transformational leadership is more effective than transactional leadership in promoting employee engagement, job satisfaction, and long-term performance. It fosters a sense of purpose and meaning in work, which can lead to greater levels of motivation and commitment, and, of course, higher employee retention.

Not every leader is naturally charismatic, which limits the universality of this leadership style. That said, finding opportunities for charismatic leadership to motivate your team to a shared vision they can pursue with a degree of autonomy could offer organizational value in the long run.

Transactional Leadership

Transform Employee Performance with Omni

Omni is a cloud-based platform that helps organizations to improve employee performance by providing the tools and solutions necessary to manage the entire end-to-end employee lifecycle and get the best from your team. Whether you’re using transactional leadership or another leadership approach, Omni can help you achieve organizational success.

Our all-in-one HR suite can overcome the limitations of transactional leadership. Omni’s goal-setting capabilities help leaders to set and track clear, well-defined goals for their employees, ensuring that everyone is working towards the same objective. Whereas Omni’s performance monitoring helps leaders gather valuable insight into their employee’s performance; helping make identifying areas of strength and opportunities for improvement easy and time efficient. With Omni, you can pinpoint performance pain points early on, saving time and resources while building an effective and productive team.

Omni’s recognition feature helps leaders provide frequent, targeted feedback and recognition to their employees to foster a positive work environment and improve employee morale, something that can be harder to achieve under transactional leadership.

Transform the way you manage employee performance with Omni. Our team can show you how Omni’s platform can be customized to meet the unique needs of your organization. Book a demo today to learn more.

How to Eliminate Gender Discrimination in the Workplace

Introduction to Discrimination Based on Gender Identity

We have been trying to close the gender gap for decades, and yet, gender discrimination is still everywhere, in every country, in every industry, and likely in your own company. From unequal wages to micro-aggressions based on gender, race, ethnicity, and sexual identity and barriers to the advancement of women into leadership positions, these types of discrimination are very hard to eradicate.

Business leaders and HR professionals can use a variety of tools to minimize gender discrimination in the workplace. The strategies you can implement include establishing leadership programs for women, tracking and analyzing salaries by gender, and eliminating gender bias in your recruiting processes.

Fortunately, modern HR management systems can help you streamline these processes to reduce gender discrimination in the workplace.

Addressing this problem has been a focus for policymakers for over 150 years. As early as 1872, the US Congress passed a law that guaranteed equal pay for women employed by the federal government. The 1964 Civil Rights Act granted equal rights to women in the workforce, and a 1991 amendment allowed them to sue their employers for sexual harassment. Many other countries have followed suit.

Southeast Asian nations have recently made remarkable strides to close the gender gap in labor markets. Singapore, in particular, has been praised for “actively encouraging women to pursue higher-level management roles.” These efforts have resulted in a higher percentage of women sitting on the boards of the nation’s top 100 publicly traded companies.

Despite all these public and private efforts, gender inequality and discrimination continue to creep into workplaces in a number of ways.

Gender discrimination in the workplace in numbers

  • According to the World Economic Forum’s 2022 Global Gender Gap Report, it will take at least 132 years to effectively close the gender gap on a global scale. “As crises are compounding,” WEF analysts wrote, “women’s workforce outcomes are suffering, and the risk of global gender parity backsliding further intensifies.”

  • The Pew Research Center recently reported that white women in the US only earn $0.84 for every dollar earned by their male counterparts, with Black and Latina women earning even less.

  • A 2020 United Nations study spanning 75 countries concluded that about 90% of people “hold some sort of bias against women,” a clear indication that demolishing these invisible barriers to gender equality may prove more difficult than implementing the right policies to shatter the proverbial ‘glass ceiling.’

  • Discrimination based on sexual identity can be as challenging as discrimination against women. 46% of LGBTQ+ workers report having experienced unfair treatment in the workplace according to a UCLA study published in 2021.

What is Gender Discrimination in the Workplace?

Workplace gender discrimination can take many forms. Basically, it means that an employee or job applicant is treated less favorably based on their gender identity or sexual orientation.

You may also encounter instances of gender discrimination where the victims are also discriminated against because of their race or ethnicity. For example, if a top performer who happens to be a woman of color cannot is passed up for a promotion despite her high performance, she may be facing a mix of gender discrimination and racial bias.

A woman who does the same work as a man for a lower salary is a typical example of gender discrimination in the workplace. Women and LGBTQ+ people also suffer many forms of harassment at work. Sexual harassment tends to make more headlines, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg. Other common forms of harassment include inappropriate remarks, condescending statements, verbal abuse, and impossible demands and deadlines.

How Gender Discrimination in the Workplace Perpetuates the Glass Ceiling

When people are experiencing gender discrimination, it becomes nearly impossible for them to climb to the top of the corporate ladder. As of early 2023, only 10% of the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies are women, and this is considered a triumph. We must not forget that the percentage was 0.0% in 1995 and only 3% in 2010.

Naturally, when your company’s employees look at these numbers, while also seeing few women in senior positions in their own departments, they may be discouraged. As a business leader or HR specialist, it is your job to show these women that there is room for them at the top.

Every year, women graduate from prestigious universities at a higher rate than men, yet men continue to reach CEO or board positions more frequently. Income parity is like a pipe dream, and some of the top companies in the world are still struggling to change the status quo.

Types of Workplace Gender Discrimination

Unchecked gender discrimination in the workplace creates a hostile work environment for women and LGBTQ+ people. While it is impossible to enumerate all the possible forms of gender discrimination, the list below will give you an idea of its many, constantly evolving forms.

  • Qualified applicants not being hired due to gender bias or a mix of gender and racial bias

  • Systematically seeking men for higher-paying jobs

  • Having employees who get paid less to do the same job as an equally qualified person of a different gender/sexual identity or sexual orientation. For example, a cis, heterosexual man getting paid more than a trans woman, a cis woman, or a gay man

  • People being held to higher performance standards based on their gender identity

  • Requiring people’s outward appearance or behavior to conform to traditional standards of femininity or masculinity. For example, referring to assertive women as “aggressive” while describing aggressive men as “strong leaders” in performance evaluation. Another example of this type of gender discrimination is expecting women to wear makeup in order to be deemed “professional”

  • People being denied opportunities such as raises, promotions, training, and leadership programs, which are offered to equally qualified employees of a different gender or sexual orientation

  • Taking disciplinary action against people of a certain gender, while people of a different gender are never disciplined for the same behavior

  • Verbal abuse and hostile remarks related to sexual identity or gender identity

  • Ignoring an employee’s gender identity, referring to them using the wrong pronouns or by the name they used before a gender transition

  • Refusing to hire or promote a woman because she is pregnant

  • Sexual Harassment: Subjecting employees of a specific gender to unwanted sexual advances, requesting sexual favors, and making comments of a sexual nature. Women have traditionally been the target of sexual harassment, but it can happen to anyone

7 Steps to Eliminating Gender Discrimination in the Workplace

Gender Discrimination in the Workplace

There are many steps you can take to create a diverse and inclusive work environment that is free from systemic gender discrimination. A truly inclusive workplace must take into account the unique needs of women, who are still the prime caregivers for young children and older adults and continue to have more responsibilities at home. For example, women who are pregnant or have young children feel more included when companies offer more flexible schedules.

  1. Hire more women and focus on diversity in the recruiting process

Recruitment is where it all begins. Ensure your job descriptions are inclusive enough, and try to attract candidates of different genders. You can automate the key stages of the selection process to eliminate gender bias.

Statistics show that only 1 in 4 C-suite executives are women. For this reason, it is vital to foster diversity when recruiting for higher management and executive positions. When you hire more women for senior roles, this can contribute to changing the culture and reducing gender bias throughout your organization.

  1. Focus on flexibility and childcare access

Research has shown that women experience employee burnout at a higher rate than men. In one study, 1 in 3 women said they were considering quitting their jobs or downgrading to a lower-responsibility position.

If you offer schedule flexibility, access to quality childcare, remote or hybrid work, and other options that can help them achieve work-life balance, highly qualified women will likely be motivated to stay in your company and rise through the ranks. Without flexibility and truly inclusive policies, mothers seldom have a sufficient incentive to focus on their careers.

  1. Enforce equal pay

Develop and implement a strict equal pay policy. Eliminate gender bias from job descriptions, especially in calls for applicants. Address any salary disparities before hiring new employees. Monitor compensation regularly and ensure transparency regarding salary ranges.

Because so many businesses have problems in this area, a culture of equal pay and transparency can make your company very attractive for top candidates.

  1. Implement fair promotion procedures

Hiring women for senior management and C-suite positions is great, but promoting from within can be even better. When you promote highly qualified women into the top jobs, you are sending a message that there is no glass ceiling and women can expect to be rewarded for their performance.

Ultimately, implementing transparent and fair promotion procedures creates an incentive for employees of all genders.

  1. Implement diversity, gender bias, and gender discrimination training

One of the key tools in fighting discrimination is through education. Implement training to address implicit gender bias and help employees detect instances of gender discrimination.

This type of training can set the tone regarding what is acceptable within your organization, fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion.

Gender discrimination training should be a regular occurrence. A few sessions once in a blue moon won’t be enough. These programs should be constantly upgraded to reflect current trends and policies, and employees should be required to attend them at least once a year

  1. Increase accountability

Companies that are striving to prevent gender discrimination in the workplace must integrate diversity and inclusion goals into their business strategies. Managers should be held accountable when targets are not met. This requires tracking and analyzing data about gender discrimination, pay gaps, and harassment complaints.

When you come across reports of workplace discrimination or sexual harassment, these must be thoroughly investigated, and your company must take action against the people who violated company policies. As much as you may train your teams about gender stereotypes and try to promote a discrimination free environment, if the higher-ups still get away with breaking the rules, few people are going to take your policies seriously.

  1. Build diverse and inclusive teams

One of the best ways to reduce gender discrimination is by fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment. Especially in some areas like IT, women are sometimes surrounded by male colleagues, which can feel isolating. Studies have shown that women who work in the company of other women are less likely to feel undervalued or experience harassment. “Women who are ‘Onlys’ [the only woman in a team] and ‘double Onlys’ [the only woman and the only person of their race in a team] have a much worse experience,” McKinsey analysts wrote in a report.

Women, LGBTQ+ persons, and people from all backgrounds must feel supported in the workplace. They need to feel that there is space for them to grow and that their colleagues and supervisors want them to succeed.

How to Build an Equitable Workplace with Omni’s Performance Reviews

Gender Discrimination in the Workplace

Advanced Human Resource Management Systems like Omni can help you and your company efficiently tackle gender discrimination. By streamlining processes and gathering valuable insights through data analytics, our HRMS can provide an ideal framework for businesses invested in closing the gender gap and fostering happier, more productive teams.

Automate performance reviews to reduce gender bias

Omni allows you to design, schedule, and run performance reviews that can provide vital insights to inform decisions about promotions and other opportunities. Review questions can be customized to eliminate gender bias, allowing employees to move up the corporate ladder based on their performance rather their gender or their sexual identity.

Streamline the hiring process to reduce gender discrimination and bias

With AI-powered recruiting and on-boarding processes, HRMS can help reduce gender bias. You can input the skills and characteristics you are looking for and obtain a list of suitable candidates. When you program your HMRS to disregard gender, you eliminate bias and ensure the best applicants can be selected.

Track women’s and LGBTQ+ employees’ career progression

Omni’s integrated end-to-end employee lifecycle management allows you to track career progression. You can learn whether men are advancing faster than similarly placed women and whether the company is providing fewer career development opportunities for women and employees who identify as LGBTQ+. The system will collect all the necessary data to help you address these issues.

Establish inclusive leadership programs and succession planning

You can use our HRMS to plan for succession and create opportunities for all qualified employees, regardless of their gender. Use Omni to find suitable candidates for leadership programs to eliminate gender bias from the equation.

Implement robust policies on gender discrimination

Women routinely report encountering sex discrimination in the workplace or when applying for jobs. When it comes to establishing strict policies against gender discrimination and sexual harassment, Omni’s centralized, data-driven systems can be instrumental in facilitating implementation and detecting violations.

Gender-based discrimination is going to take many decades to eradicate. With Omni’s HRMS, your company can pioneer the new era of equal opportunity and equal pay.

Our advanced HR management tools can deliver instant insights about gender discrimination in the workplace, the gender pay gap, and any discriminatory behavior that may be taking place in your business. If you use these insights to address any issues and streamline your recruitment processes with Omni’s unbiased systems, you can take your company to the next level.

Creating a discrimination-free environment can help you attract and retain top talent, making your company more competitive in today’s fast-paced market. Omni’s scalable, all-in-one employee management software can help your business automate and streamline the most complex administrative HR functions so you can consistently build high-performing, diverse, and inclusive teams.

To learn more about how Omni can help you build a culture of inclusion, book a demo with our team today.

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