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Career Conversations and Employee Engagement

Career Conversations and Employee Engagement

Recently I had a great discussion with an early career professional. This person contacted me about the possibility of making a job change, and he asked many questions about career choices. He was interested in how various options would impact his long-term career possibilities. He wondered if staying with his current firm would hurt his marketability should he later switch industries. Also, if he switched industries, at what career level should he do so. His questions were not uncommon, and we discussed them at length. Then he said something that struck me as interesting. He said there was no one in his company to talk with about these questions without raising concerns he might be in a job search mode.

 

Many employees have similar feelings. No matter how much employees like their current role, they may wonder if they are missing out on a better opportunity. Individuals can address this concern by creating and following a career plan. Employers have an opportunity-and an obligation–to help.

 

An article by Right Management shows that employers enhance employee engagement by providing career planning help, and two-thirds of individual performance drivers tie to career conversations. To create a dedicated team of employees, organizations must develop career plans for each team member.

 

Sean Conrad, Certified Human Capital Strategist with Halogen Software, says career development is the second most impactful way to increase employee engagement. More to the point, employees will look elsewhere if their career advancement desires are not fulfilled.

 

In an article published by Forbes magazine,  author Lisa Quast cites a study that explored employees’ and managers’ perception of whose responsibility it is to drive career development. The results showed key disparities. 74% of workers believe employers should provide professional development and career paths for them. However, an overwhelming majority of managers believe workers should take responsibility for their own career development. This gap sheds light on an opportunity for employers to engage with employees in a meaningful way.

 

Many employers provide mentors, coaches, development plans and succession plans for their people. For employers that do not, an article published by SHRM provides great suggestions. The benefits of increased employee engagement and productivity will outweigh the investment.

 

Here at Future State Talent, we provide career planning, employee engagement, succession planning and other consulting services. Please let us know if you would like to discuss career planning for your employees.

 

Randy Samsel
rsamsel@futurestatetalent.com
www.futurestatetalent.com
216-548-0740

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hyland, Creator of OnBase – A #WorkplaceParadiseNEO Company

Hyland, Creator of OnBase – A #WorkplaceParadiseNEO Company

 

The day I announced the Workplace Paradise NEO series and asked “Where are the best places to work in Northeast Ohio?”, Mary Vales was the first to respond and said, “Hyland, of course”. Mary is the Manager of Learning and Organizational Development at Hyland, and says “Our employees are our family. Best work-place ever.”

 

Started in 1991, Hyland is the creator of OnBase, a single enterprise information platform for managing content, processes and cases. OnBase has transformed thousands of organizations worldwide by empowering them to become more agile, efficient and effective. Today the company is headquartered in Westlake, Ohio where it has a multi-building campus that includes about 1600 local employees, and roughly 2200 total employees globally.

 

If you ask anyone who has visited Hyland’s headquarters in Westlake about first impressions, they are likely to mention the playground-like slides in the lobby. Not one slide, but two. They bring a smile to the faces of most who visit. But there is a lot more to working at Hyland than the slides.

 

Recently I had the opportunity to talk with Kathleen Vegh, Manager of Employee Engagement and Megan Klingshirn, Public Relations Specialist at Hyland. They shared insights into what makes Hyland so special – and it is a special place to work. Here are some of the aspects of working for Hyland we discussed.

 

It starts with a culture that was formed and nourished in the early years of the company by Hyland family and friends, who were the founders and initial employees. Hyland believes that happy employees make happy customers, and it lives by that mantra. As described on its website, Hyland encourages passion, creativity and individuality which is reflected in a flexible, inclusive environment. Hyland values its people, and provides great careers AND well-being. Hyland recognizes that people are more than employees, and welcomes the whole person to the company.

 

Since its early days, Hyland has been dedicated to a fundamental purpose. Broad, inspirational and enduring, Hyland’s purpose is to enable organizations to operate more efficiently and effectively. To ensure it stays on point with that purpose, Hyland created a set of five core values:

  1. We conduct ourselves with honesty, integrity and fairness in our relationships with our partners, customers, employees and shareholders.
  2. We deliver configurable business solutions that are intuitive to use. Our customers are confident when navigating our solutions.
  3. Our customers are our partners.
  4. Our employees are our family.
  5. We are motivated people passionately dedicated to the success of the company.

These core values are consistently consulted when making decisions and creating policies, and are not compromised for financial gain or short-term expediency.

 

Its culture, purpose and values have helped the company become wildly successful, as evidenced by numerous business and workplace awards. For seven consecutive years, Hyland has been recognized as a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Content Management. For three years running, Hyland has been recognized as a Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For, moving up 28 places to number 48 this year. Locally, Hyland has been recognized as a Plain Dealer/Cleveland.com Top Work Place and NorthCoast 99 winner, and has received many other awards and recognitions.

 

These awards and accolades have helped attract talent as well. Hyland is the first name mentioned by most candidates I talk with when asked where they want to work in Northeast Ohio. However, that doesn’t mean it’s always easy to attract and retain the highly talented professionals Hyland requires. Kathleen Vegh explained that Hyland looks for motivated, positive and hard-working people, mostly in the IT field. Those are the same people MANY companies seek. And the roles at Hyland come with high expectations, tight deadlines, and some with high travel and long hours. Even so, Hyland continues to attract the best and brightest by working at it.

 

For example, Hyland has an entire team dedicated to engaging employees, using a process of interviewing employees, actively listening to their concerns and advocating on their behalf. The process has resulted in many of the perks and benefits employees enjoy today. One example is the addition of bicycles used by employees to go between buildings at the Westlake Campus (OK, for the record, the original request was for Segway’s). The engagement process provides an opportunity for employees to share concerns and improve their workplace.

 

Hyland also trains its people to look for ways to contribute to its customer’s success, which is directly tied to the Hyland corporate purpose. As Cam Bowers, Technical Consultant states, “What is most enjoyable about working as a Technical Consultant in Implementation Services is helping our customers achieve the goals they have set out for their companies. When I can help someone make their life easier, I feel rewarded.”

 

Looking forward, Hyland projects to have over 3000 employees by 2020. Even though Hyland enjoys a very positive, high profile as an employer, the company continually looks for new ways to keep the talent pipeline full. Three approaches stand out to me. The first is an ongoing commitment to hiring interns. The Hyland Career Site focuses on People, Place and Purpose. Within the people section, internships are addressed separately. Hyland believes that internships should be about gaining valuable work experience, not fetching coffee. Providing meaningful work experiences to interns helps with a steady flow of early career candidates, and with building an employment brand that appeals to all professionals.

 

The second approach to keeping the talent pipeline full is the CHAMP program. Kathleen Vegh said that Hyland tried something new in 2016 and hired 25 entry level professionals into this program, which provides intensive training designed to prepare them for future roles as business and technical consultants. The program serves as a feeder system to the market-focused service and consulting delivery teams. The CHAMP program provides tremendous flexibility in filling internal roles as needed, especially compared to sourcing experienced professionals with specific IT skills.

 

A third approach to keeping the talent pipeline full is to hire remote workers and expand in other locations. Given the global footprint of the customer base it makes sense to have employees elsewhere. That approach provides an opportunity for Hyland to attract talent from outside Northeast Ohio, without requiring relocation.

 

Though Hyland will continue to expand outside Northeast Ohio, the company is committed to Greater Cleveland. As its career site proclaims, “We’re born and bred in Northeast Ohio and we couldn’t be more proud of our hometown.” The headquarters and majority of employees will be in Westlake for the foreseeable future. That commitment provides benefits beyond business and tax revenues. Hyland and its employees are big on giving back. Hyland’s Community Engagement Program focuses on employee involvement in the organizations that mean the most to its employees. To that end Hyland provides matching gifts, Dollars-for-Doers and paid service days. Hyland also hosts charitable events and conducts corporate-wide volunteer initiatives.

 

Hyland truly is a shining star as a business, civic and employment contributor in our area, and a great place to work.

Thank you, Mary, Kathleen and Megan for providing tremendous insight into #Hylandlife, and thank you Hyland for providing a Workplace Paradise in NEO!

 

 

 

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