By John Aidan Byrne "Workers fired or dislocated by the coronavirus  have big questions  about everything from health care and unemployment benefits to fears of termination and coronavirus exposure." "Employment attorneys and other experts are being flooded with queries from people lacking immediate answers on their most basic rights in these unprecedented times, with many folks nervous about personal finances." Read Full Article
By MPN Staff   The use of the word “diversity” has become increasingly popular in today’s world. With the rising generation’s constant push for equality in places like school, the government, and the workplace, their persistence is catapulting our society into an inclusive living space for all. But sometimes, it’s easy to forget just what diversity is and more importantly, who.   Diversity is defined as a variety or range of different things. In society, we typically define it as what makes people different from others; however, this definition is too vague. A more refined version would include examples of different diverse groups encompassing race, ethnicity, culture, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, and various other factors.   These groups are not meant to isolate those with commonalities, but to celebrate their unified differences. This is why diversity is so important. Those who may be experiencing social scrutiny are now on a level playing field with their peers. The march towards equality is only found in the acceptance of those who are different and the same.   Diversity is commonly mistaken as exclusively race-based.  While race is one of the branches of the diversity tree, this misconception can feed into racial tensions in and out of the workplace. Those who may not understand this should know what people in these diverse communities are working towards. It may sound oxymoronic, but diversity is about unification. More specifically, the unification of society despite social differences: to have the same degree of respect that other groups may have inherited. Understanding this can propel others into supporting diversity, and is essential to gaining perspective and maintaining equality.               Ultimately, diversity is important because it enforces empathy: an empathy for others who are just as capable. The cultivation of new ideas is maximized through the acceptance of others. Diversity is about creating a unified feeling of wholeness within the human race. Diversity is about fully understanding, valuing, accepting, celebrating, and appreciating what it means to be human, regardless of dissimilarity.  
Achieving corporate diversity and inclusion is not an easy task; however, it is attainable. Be prepared to develop a well-planned strategy and exert consistent effort in order to successfully recruit a diverse pool of talented candidates. Launched in 1998, Minority Professional Network ( ) fully understands how to bridge the unspoken divide. We have delivered Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) integrated recruiting, marketing, training, consulting and events solutions and results in support of 1,500+ employer clients and partners based in 45+ U.S. states and several other countries. We connect corporations, nonprofits, government agencies, colleges/universities and K-12 institutions, and 3rd party entities (ad agencies, job distributors, job aggregators, staffing and placement agencies) with viable 'active' and 'passive' diverse applicants who possess the necessary skills and experience, and truly are the best candidates for the job. Given the appropriate insight, Human Resource professionals have much to gain from being selective regarding where they choose to advertise job postings online. It is advisable to evaluate the pros and cons of the two types of job boards. While the larger, highly popular boards such as Monster and Careerbuilder are viewed by many thousands of job seekers, the smaller job boards play the most vital role in achieving true diversity. Find the ideal audience of active and passive candidates. One distinguishing factor of a smaller, niche job board like Minority Professional Network is the unique ability to effectively reach a specific demographic of both 'active' and 'passive' job seekers. Oftentimes, niche boards concentrate on a target, or distinct audience. Search for the best options based on a variety of variables such as industry, talent or ethnicity. A common challenge employers encounter when attempting to achieve employee diversity is a lack of awareness on where to find the best diverse prospects for vacant jobs. Online posting boards like Minority Professional Network allow employers to reach ethnic minorities and women who possess a desired skillset and meet the specified qualifications to fill available positions within the company. Use a more cost efficient alternative. Subscribing to a niche job board can also benefit your company’s bottom line. Take advantage of the deeper discount. Who doesn’t want to get the most bang for your buck? At MPN, we enable employers to post jobs and attract viable candidates for a fraction of the cost of our larger competitors. For example, charges as much as $249 just for a monthly job posting only . Comparably, our cost-per-posting (CPP) could be as little as $40 to $100 to post one job for 15 days through our site, , and a significantly lower CPP for monthly subscriptions, bulk/feed or job wrapping posting options.   For our nominal fee, your job posting will get additional exposure through multiple standard features, including company logo and profile, resume browsing and job alerts, and featured online, social media and enewsletter exposure.   Make the choice today. Don’t miss an opportunity to effectively acquire diverse talent for your company through subscribing to niche job boards. For more information, email: or , or contact our office at 888-MPN.NETWORK (888-676-6389).
Researchers suggest that diversity can positively impact a company’s productivity. Forbes magazine quoted a case study published by McKinsey. It found companies with the most ethnically diverse executive teams are 33% more profitable. Realistically, implicit bias is the most difficult type of bias to absolve. Gaze around the executive table at your company. Do the faces looking back resemble your own? If so, chances are implicit biases exist and has gone undetected within your company for quite some time. Understanding: What is Implicit Bias? Once diversity is a corporate objective, the company should clearly communicate to all employees that explicit, or conscious bias, is absolutely unacceptable. However, implicit bias is much more difficult to combat. Implicit bias refers to an attitude(s) or stereotype(s) that unconsciously affects how we think, what we do and how we respond to others. Research suggests everyone has implicit biases. According to Training , implicit biases exist because humans need to process a lot of information in a short amount of time in order to successfully reach sound decisions. Fortunately, we can re-train our brains to establish new methodology. While it is unclear how many types of implicit biases have been classified, here are a few common ones: Affinity bias - This is the occasion in which we associate with people with whom we identify. Shared interests or commonalities tend to influence how well we receive others. Attribution bias - This type is readily identifiable through a flawed perception of one’s own actions as opposed to the actions of others. Beauty bias- When one associates a person’s physical appearance with a specific personality type or stereotype . Confirmation bias- This occurs when one looks for evidence to support a preconceived notion about another person. Conformity bias- Surrendering under peer pressure, one’s views are influenced to conform to the majority opinion. Contrast bias- It compares person A to person B based only on the metrics favorable to person A or person B. Halo Effect- When one likes a single characteristic of an individual and assumes that individual must possess additional positive traits as well. Horns Effect- Failure to recognize positive characteristics of another person due to the existence of a single, negative trait. Acknowledging and Addressing the Biases The first step to resolving a lack of diversity is to acknowledge and identify existing biases. Start by obtaining as much viable information regarding prevalent implicit biases within the company. Require current employees participate in mandatory, anonymous survey designed to provide the necessary privacy to report unfair situations or identify any biases experienced in the workplace. Former employees are also a great source. When individuals can confidently voice their opinions without possible repercussion, they are typically 100% honest about their work experience with your company. Once the biases specific to your company are known, control the narrative by intentionally discussing fair treatment and overall respect. Review every phase of the employment cycle for implicit bias, from resume submission and interviews to promotion and termination.  Offer training sessions to address prior situations and the emotional aftermath. Consider creating an Ombudsmen position tasked with a primary responsibility of handling employee complaints regarding discriminatory behavior. These are a few simple ways to directly address and eventually eradicate implicit bias.   Conclusion True diversity encompasses individuals who represent different genders or originate from various ethnic or even cultural backgrounds. While many business leaders understand the value of diversity, being purposeful to change the workforce can be extremely challenging. Once your company understands what implicit bias is and which issues exist, then it’s time for the leadership to develop and implement strategic initiatives aimed at achieving diversity. Boosting the company’s profit margin is a nice payoff too!
A new year and new decade are almost here. Kick it off with a strong start and get your employees moving in the right direction. Employee recognition goes a long way to inspire positive action among your staff. Human Resource professionals suggest using a recognition program to reiterate the company’s values to its employees. According to a related survey conducted by Society for Human Resource Management , "Recognition was perceived to positively impact engagement for 90 percent of respondents practicing values-based recognition vs. just 67 percent for non-values based programs. Retention was likewise affected—68 percent of values-based programs perceived a positive impact vs. 41 percent for non-values-based programs.” Let’s take a look at a few simple steps to ensure your company incorporates an effective employee recognition program throughout the year. Identify the Rules Be mindful to identify the rules and make them widely known internally. Ask the following questions: Are the selection guidelines defined and clearly communicated? Does the selected employee understand which specific actions and behavior led to their recommendation? Do fellow colleagues know why an employee is being recognized? If an employee has done something noteworthy, then let it be known! Isn’t that the whole point of employee recognition—to highlight a valuable asset or desired behavior of an individual and inspire duplication in the future? Additionally it is significant for employees to know the selection criteria of the recognition program. Once the rules are communicated, employees can concentrate on improving specific aspects of their work performance and focus on developing certain professional skills and characteristics. Open Policy All employees should be eligible for formal recognition. Yes, ALL employees should be actively engaged in the workplace; therefore, acknowledgment is well deserved whenever any employee exhibits exemplary behavior, positive action or other valued characteristics such as teamwork, leadership, efficient time management, etc. Reinforce this open policy by allowing employees on all levels, staff and management, to participate in the nomination process. This eliminates the possibility of presumptive biases and potential prejudicial allegation being factored into a nomination. Create a Buzz The experience of winning should be exciting and memorable, not dull or predictable. The same should apply to employee recognition. As a company that wishes to honor its employees, it is ideal to emphasis the employee’s achievement deemed noteworthy of acknowledgement. Common methods used to honor recognized employees include a simple gathering, a company sponsored lunch or a brief write up in the monthly newsletter. Don’t be afraid to increase the stakes. Sure, a raise isn’t the most cost effective method of creating a buzz. However, why not offer those “star” employees preferential application status when new job opportunities arise within the company? Or maybe offer to address a need for new equipment or software to increase efficiency within a particular department. Investing in your employees makes them feel valued; this, in turn, invokes a higher retention level. Regardless of the way in which your company expresses appreciation for those who excel professionally, there should be genuine excitement surrounding all employee recognition. Following these three simple guidelines will help your company further emphasize employee recognition as a priority moving forward. Opt to build your company’s employee recognition program on sustainable values already identified as essential to strengthen and inspire the professional growth and dedication of your workforce as a whole.
By MPN Staff A large number of employers typically emphasize the recruitment process. However, it is equally important to be intentional about keeping great employees on staff. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average person will only stay at a place of employment for a maximum of roughly 4 years. Help your company combat the tough odds of losing great employees after exerting vigorous energy and effort into attracting and hiring the ideal candidates. Here’s our short list of tips to help R.E.T.A.I.N the MVPs of your company:   R e-evaluate the salary - Two is the magic number. Salary reviews should be conducted on each job position at least every two years. Conduct research to ensure the pay is comparable to industry standards within the city where your company is located. This could be a crucial move in assuring your company maintains a competitive edge. In most cases, it is more costly to hire and retrain a new employee than it would be to offer a raise and keep an existing employee onboard for another few years.   E stablish an ideal work environment - Analyze available data regarding how current and former employees view the company. Draw conclusions based on surveys and previous exit interviews. If your company does not have access to existing data, conduct a mandatory, anonymous survey of existing employees. The survey should collect vital knowledge about what their ideal work environment looks like as well as the current status. Take active steps towards narrowing the comparison gap.   T rain managerial staff - Leadership is not an innate ability. However, it is a skill that can successfully be taught. Minority Professional Network offers courses to train the leaders within your company on how to effectively lead their peers. For instance, we place emphasis on clear communication, identifying the weaknesses and strengths among the team and developing employees professionally to achieve their full potential.   A ctivate growth opportunities - Growth does not necessarily mean elevation, it could mean breadth. Avoid employee stagnancy when possible. Encourage lateral transitions which offer a similar title or salary, yet implements a transition to a different team or department. This allows employees to gain additional skills and knowledge while also  developing potential mentorships throughout the company. If stipends geared toward continuing education courses or college tuition is outside of the company budget, consider paying annual fees for employees to become active members of professional organizations within the industry.   I nquire then incorporate innovation - Improvement is a proved, bonafide method of moving your company forward. While tried-and-true company protocols may not need to be completely abolished, a critical analysis would indicate if modifications are necessary to increase efficiency and overall productivity. Create “think tanks” between correlated departments to evaluate existing inefficiencies. Be responsive regarding the feedback obtained and create permanent resolutions to resolve any identified issues.   N eutrality as a way of life - According to a recent survey conducted through Family Living Today, the U.S. ranks 30th in 38 countries for work-life balance. 11.4% of participants report working 50+ hours a week. The end result translates into work regularly impeding on the employees’ weekend, holiday and vacation time. Consider small, but effective ways to implement a more stable work-life balance to ensure employees stay productive and happy.   MPN’s C.J. Bland is a subject matter expert in the area of employee recruitment and retention. He will offer his insight as a featured panelist at the American Express Summit for Success in Atlanta on March 28, 2019. If your company could benefit from 1-on-1 consultation or group training or facilitation from C.J. and his staff, contact Minority Professional Network to learn more about how our team can help your company with staffing needs from recruitment to retention and everything in between.
Headaches, high blood pressure and hair loss – each are common symptoms often attributed to stress. According to the American Psychological Associates, last year 61% of participants ranked “Work” as the third common source of stress. “The Future of America” and “Money” claimed the first two slots. Companies can implement various initiatives in the workplace aimed at helping to reduce stress levels for its employees.   Be flexible. Enforce an open door policy. A clear flow of effective communication can quickly resolve unanswered questions about a project or address concerns regarding other work related issues. When supervisors and leaders make themselves accessible, employees are less likely to build up frustration due to an established method of problem resolution. Promote teamwork. Certain assignments may become extremely stressful due to a lack of resources or access to viable information. Managers should offer insightful information or pass along reference materials to employees who are tasked with complicated, cumbersome projects. This will help cut down on unnecessary stress. It could also possibly even reduce the time required to execute and deliver a final project.   Promote healthy lifestyle choices. It is a well-known fact that exercise releases “happy” hormones or endorphins. Encouraging employees to be more active during their breaks is a great way to introduce exercise as a regular daily habit. A quick stroll during the day provides a much anticipated break from the desk. Improved circulation, potential weight loss and boosted energy are a few of the great health benefits associated with walking. What we eat also affects how much energy we sustain during the day. Individuals who work in a sedentary profession often develop unhealthy eating habits. Typically the crowd favorites are greasy junk foods like potato chips and sugary snacks including cookies, candy, cupcakes, etc. Consider providing healthy snacks for the office on occasion. For example, a fresh fruit basket may disappear just as quickly as the box of doughnuts.             Encourage Good Productive Habits. Keep it simple. If a topic can be addressed in an email, then do so. This reiterates concise communication regarding policy and procedure changes or modifications. Emailing such updates also creates a searchable record that employees can consult at any time. Your company hires employees to be productive. If a meeting is not necessary, do not waste anyone’s time. The constant pinging of messaging alerts, sporadic pop ups for incoming emails and insistent ringing of phones contribute largely to serious sensory overload.  Employees would likely attest to obtaining higher productivity levels when those interruptions are silenced. Why not eliminate them? Once a week for a few hours, let employees “unplug”. Give them an opportunity to sign out of email, silence their phones and tackle work without any distractions. Conclusion. Flexibility allows employees to properly address any unresolved issues or concerns in an attempt to establish clear communication. Influencing better lifestyle choices regarding exercise and diet can contribute to happier employees. Also eliminating frequent interruptions gives employees a chance to focus solely on a specific task or project. Ideally, reducing stress levels in the workplace will also positively impact employee productivity levels.
          Diversity and inclusion are complementary and work best when applied together. Yet some companies mistakenly assume that once a diverse staff is hired, the work is done. This could not be further from the truth. Inclusion reinforces the value a company places on the need to hire employees who exhibit intangible assets such as knowledge, experience or professional background; it then nurtures and offers support for those individuals to perform at the highest levels attainable.           According to PwC’s 18th Annual Global Survey , 85% of CEOs identified a diversified and inclusive workplace as being influential to an improved bottom line. Here are three steps to help reinforce your company’s attempts towards achieving a truly diverse and included population.      Assess Your Current Standing             First perform an assessment to measure the existing level of diversity within the workplace. Execute data analysis activities to reveal the amount or percentage of employees who meet specific categories. These should include race, gender, disability and sexual orientation for instance. Note how many of these individuals hold specific titles within the company’s higher tiers of leadership.             This assessment will be significant because it serves as an undeniable reality check. Knowing whether your company adequately achieves diversity is vital in order to properly determine the level of inclusion. The results should be used as a measuring stick to evaluate future efforts.             Recruit a Tribe           Creating a more inclusive workplace takes a team—a tribe of reliable, socially awake individuals. Anyone who exudes passion about civic rights are obvious recruits. Among the tribe, some members may already hold leadership positions. However, be intentional to identify natural leaders within their perspective departments. Your tribe should be influential whether the purpose is to motivate co-workers or modify hiring practices or adjust the ceiling for potential promotions.           The primary purpose of the tribe is to bridge the communication between all tiers of the staff. Serving as an advocate for inclusiveness means discussing existing challenges and developing strategy to destroy racial, gender, age and other biases in the workplace.    Do the Work           The tribe’s main objective is to create a filter through which your company can see in different perspectives or hear through a unique experiences directly derived from the existing staff. This creates an opportunity to adapt a well-informed narrative on how best to manage your people.  Strategic and active listening will serve as the team’s grassroots effort for gathering constructive feedback from the staff regarding a myriad of issues. The next step should include developing initiatives and introducing educational resources aimed at resolutions to ensure all employees feel as if they belong. Employee retention levels seem to be directly affected when underrepresented employee groups are advanced toward professional excellence.           The team’s findings will also affect potential recruits. Identified needs of a diverse staff will help fine tune new hire objectives. The Human Resources department can also market jobs by emphasizing the company’s commitment to employee inclusion.             Conclusion             Strategy is a must in order to effectively achieve employee inclusion within a company. Be decisive and make inclusion a priority. The first step is to perform an inventory check and see how your company measures up in terms of diversity. Develop a non-biased team of influential, people managers who will be tasked with collecting real-time data regarding the current challenges of underrepresented employee groups. The final step is to establish a few different ways to properly address identified issues with the intent of complete resolve.
Without proper planning and execution, annual performance reviews can be a huge waste of time. In fact, CEB—a business best practices company, researched the amount of effort invested in performance reviews. The study found the average manager reported spending about 210 hours doing appraisals each year. Undoubtedly, annual performance reviews should be a valid indicator of an employee’s value within the company. Feedback should be accurate and well-informed. Employees should be encouraged to continue operating in strengths. Constructive criticism should be offered on how to improve weaker areas. Here are three pointers to help your company excel at job performance reviews.   Share the S.M.A.R.T. Goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-Oriented, Time-bound) Once company executives define priorities, discuss best practices and determine goals for the upcoming year, it’s only fair to communicate specific expectations of the staff. Email a detailed script to all staff members. This written version of the company’s S.M.A.R.T. goals and expectations can be an accessible measuring reference throughout the year. Break down the company’s anticipated annual goals to fit within a quarterly, monthly or  weekly scope as applicable. All employees should be familiar with the company objectives, as these individuals will be held accountable for successfully achieving them.   Warm Up to Friendly Confrontation Anxiety typically stems from confrontational situations. Reduce it by scheduling regular, informal brief reviews throughout the calendar year. This allows performance reviews to become a conversation instead of a monologue. For example, an employee should have an opportunity to discuss existing or anticipated challenges and viable resolutions toward innovative or modified business practices. Managers should take detailed notes in order to better evaluate an employee’s progress between reviews. Hold a company-wide meeting at least twice a year. In general, the purpose is to keep staff abreast of how the company measures in terms of annual goal achievement. This helps everyone understand the importance of their role in the overall success of the company. The Annual Review Date Eight weeks prior: Remind employees to gather supportive documentation. Encourage them to focus on showing how they successfully achieved the predetermined S.M.A.R.T. goals. Employees should include praise reports from clients, colleagues or leadership. Proposals for necessary protocols and best practices should also be discussed. Six weeks prior: Managers should begin collaborating notes from previous reviews. Employees will appreciate your preparedness and feel valued at the same. Notice how productive the review process can be involved parties are properly prepared. During the review: All parties should be prepared, open minded and receptive to the findings that have been tracked throughout the year. Managers should also be intentional about identifying an employee’s strengths. A Gallup poll found that employees who received feedback on their strengths had 14.9% lower turnover rates than employee who received no feedback at all. Conclusion Maximizing annual reviews can be beneficial to improving the level of employee engagement on the job. A viable first step is to effectively communicate all identified S.M.A.R.T. goals for the entire company as well as on department or team levels. Specify how achievement of desired results will be measured within deadlines.  Next, take the initiative to dispel the common myth that annual performance reviews are a huge waste of time. Make the effort to prepare and hold employees accountable for presenting their best at all times. Finally, engage in meaningful conversations by providing quality feedback, that is both accurate and informative, and reassuring employees their contribution is valuable. =============================== Tip #1- Dispel the myth that the annual review is a joke Tip #2- Embrace confrontational situations Tip#3- Determine the value of these review: Stat// Managers who received feedback on their strengths showed 8.9% greater profitability.
There is a lot of competition in the job market. Make sure your company is a viable contender for winning the attention of the most promising candidates. According to*, more than 52% of applications are completed and submitted through job boards. Another 34% comes from career sites. Logically, job descriptions for openings within your company take on a relatively significant role. After all, advertisements for job vacancies are often the source of initial exposure applicants experience when interacting with a company. Take a look at the job descriptions your company posts online. Chances are those descriptions could use a makeover. Minority Professional Network offers advice about four significant factors to consider when rewriting a more, attractive job description. What’s in a Name? In short, everything. While there is no magical formula for choosing the “right” job title, being too creative could also come at a price. A qualified applicant may bypass learning more about a position based on the way a job title is worded. The simplest solution is to make job titles SEO proof. Search engine optimized job titles can add more versatility to your online postings. Considering technological advancements, the average job seeker can perform an internet search to locate listings for a specific job title in a specific location. Sure, researching whether “Marketing Analytics Analyst” or “Data Analyst” is more widely searched takes a bit more effort; however, an increased likelihood of appealing to ideal candidates makes it well worth it. K.I.S.S. The K.I.S.S. model acronym is definitely applicable when rewriting your job descriptions. Stick with an easy-to-follow structure, starting with a short description of the job. Add no more than 5- 7 bullet points explaining the expected tasks of the specific role.  It may be helpful to consider grouping these tasks into categories such as management skills or communication. Another way to simplify a large amount of information that could potentially become convoluted is to use shorter sentences. Pertinent details can easily get overlooked in long sentences. The ultimate objective is to prevent your recruiting team from wasting time reviewing resumes from unqualified applicants. Finally, spell check and proofread. Job seekers spend hours poring over countless job descriptions. Therefore, spelling and grammatical errors should be avoided. Be Relevant.  It is likely not a good idea to dust off and reuse an old job description from five years ago. Whether posted on a job board, career site or even inside a social media interest group, all job descriptions should be relevant to the skills and experience necessary to be competitive today. Therefore, it is advisable for Recruiters and Human Resources professionals to conduct interviews and receive feedback from employees who currently hold specific positions. A good job description addresses the company’s long term objectives and overall focus on growth. It should also offer insight regarding the expectations of how the individual hired in the specific role is expected to contribute to the overall profitability of the company. Be Human. In order to attract the masses, your job description should appeal to applicants’ emotional intelligence. Organize your thoughts and communicate clearly. Be inclusive of details regarding your company’s work culture, and discuss characteristic traits of an employee who would be considered a good “fit”. Be assertive. Sell the position and explain why fulfilling this role with the right candidate could make a huge impact on the company as a whole. Highlight the company’s values as well as employee benefits and perks. Conclusion A poorly crafted job description can negatively impact your company’s ability to successfully attract potential candidates. Don’t take the risk. Apply these guidelines, and rewrite those job descriptions to be more thoughtful and effective. Engage Minority Professional Network to provide more hands-on assistance with rewriting your company’s job descriptions. We provide consultation and writing services. * (Jobvite 2017 Recruiting Funnel Benchmark Report)