Do You Know the Financial Implications Of Taking A Career Break? Five Questions to Ask Yourself

When it’s time to start a family, many parents-to-be are so focused on decorating the nursery and choosing the right car seat that they can overlook the life-altering impact a baby can have on their financial life. And we’re not just talking the exorbitant cost of diapers—we’re talking nearly 4 million dollars in “potential income.”

These startling figures come from an interactive calculator from the Center for American Progress that helps you see the impact of a career break based on your own situation. Suppose you’re a 28-year-old woman making $50,000 annually who has a five-year lapse. First, of course, you’ll lose $250,000 in wages, but that’s just the beginning.  In addition, you’ll lose an estimated $252,383 in wage growth and $219,671 in retirement assets and benefits, bringing you to a loss of $722,054. However, that figure hides an even more frightening loss in projected “potential income,” which comes from the fact that you’ll probably take a pay cut when you do return to the workforce, more than 7 percent, according to a survey from Payscale.

course, there are considerations other than financial ones to consider when determining
if you should take a career break…and it’s a personal choice that each family
must make individually. But, here are some questions to ask yourself before
making a decision.

1. Can you afford it?

This seems basic, but it’s important since it can be tough to transition from two incomes to one. It’s best to take a trial run while you and your partner are both still working to see if you can and will forgo the extras that a second income provides. And of course during your experiment, you can bank that money to build up an emergency fund or bolster your retirement.

2. Do you
have access to adequate childcare?

is often the top reason that a woman will decide to take a career break—either
they can’t find adequate care, or they can’t afford it, given the bite that
childcare takes out of a budget. Obviously, it feels unpleasant to think that
the majority of your take-home pay is going directly to childcare, but that’s
exactly when you need to analyze the “lifetime costs” of that five-year break,
as illustrated above, to see how the actual cost of daycare might be a drop in
the bucket over the long haul.

3. Can you and your family still
retain benefits?

families have a working spouse with coverage, but it can be an incredibly
expensive proposition if you are going to have to obtain your own benefits on
the open market. While the Affordable Care Act website can help you locate coverage,
remember that these premiums are for healthcare coverage only, and don’t include
supplemental benefits that a company often provides, such as long-term disability insurance and retirement savings.

4. Do you have skills that will
remain marketable?

Some industries, such as tech, change at an accelerating speed, meaning which
your skills could be obsolete quickly if you take a break. And other positions,
such as those in sales, might be easy to slip back into from a functional
standpoint, but you may lose the contacts you need to make your job successful.
Whatever your situation, you should put together a plan for how you can keep
your skills sharp through online learning or other educational opportunities,
as well as how you will maintain your network, so that it hasn’t atrophied if
and when you decide to return to the workforce.

5. Will you feel fulfilled without
your job?

Of course, society says that being a parent is the most important job—and it
truly is. However, many women find that staying home with a child isn’t all
they expected, and they can become lonely. If you do decide to take a break,
make sure that you have created a support system of other at-home parents to
allow you to have a social life, along with the support of a partner who
recognizes that taking care of a child is a job in itself. 

Raising a
child is about a lot more than dollars and cents, but if you are considering
taking a career break, it’s important to go into it armed with the necessary
information to make a decision that’s right for your family.

Six Tips To Smooth the Employee Relocation Process

In today’s hot economy, many companies
find it challenging to attract the talent they need to fill certain specific
roles. Often that can mean calling on potential employees from other cities who
relocate for a new position. In fact, one study
found that more
than half of those surveyed said they had moved for a job in the past, with 80
percent saying they had considered it. They cited factors such as better career
opportunities, desire for a change or fresh start or a lower cost of living as
some of their reasons.

If you have employees relocating to your company—whether they
are coming from a different branch or a different firm altogether—there are
steps you can take to help them feel welcome.

Find out who they are—and what they need.

The needs of a young single will be vastly different from a
married couple with kids. One strategy is to create a questionnaire to find out
what the new employee wants or needs in terms of a living situation, whether
it’s the best school district in your area, or proximity to shopping and other
cultural amenities. Finding out their interests can help you point them in the
right direction to hunt for housing, and also can help you pair them with a
similar employee, if possible, to help show them around the city.

Be a city ambassador.

Is your region known for outdoor adventures or nightlife? Are
there art walks during the summer or fall festivals that everyone attends? Put
together a little packet of interesting information on your town so the new employee
is able to find the best pizza place or be in the know about the exhibits
coming to the local art museum.

Connect them with local specialists.

Whether your new employee will be buying
or renting
, you’ll want to connect them with a local real estate agent
who knows the lay of the land. If you have frequent relocations, consider
finding a firm that will informally “partner” with you to help your new people
find the right neighborhood and situation for them; many real estate firms have
agents who specialize in relocations or are experts in specific neighborhoods.

You also can help connect them with local services from cable
TV and utilities to the nearest DMV to make their move as smooth as possible.
You might consider putting together a separate packet that helps them locate
all these essential services. And don’t forget their family members—including
their furry ones. Having the whole family on board for the move is going to
make it smoother for the employee, which is good for the entire company.

Establish and clearly communicate your policies.

Some companies that regularly help employees relocate might
have a robust roster of services, from moving to temporary housing available
for their team, while others who relocate employees less frequently might let
workers handle the details (and expenses) themselves. Make sure you clearly
communicate to the new employees exactly what is covered so there are no
misunderstandings down the line.

Give a special onboarding.

While every new employee feels a certain amount of “culture shock”
and needs to be acclimated, the feeling can be more acute in one who is new to
the area, in addition to your company. That’s why your regular onboarding
should also include plenty of interpersonal information—to make them feel
welcome in a place where they might not know a soul. Make sure that their
manager works with the team to go out of their way to welcome them, and pair
them with someone who has agreed to be their “go-to” person, ideally someone who
is a good match based on some of the demographic information you collected

Pay extra attention to local benefits information.

Some of the programs you offer might be the same no matter
where an employee is, but many might have some local flavor; for example, if
you offer gym memberships or public transportation reimbursement. Also plan to
take extra time to discuss the company’s medical benefits, since a new-to-town
employee might have specific questions about which hospitals are closest or
where to find an orthodontist. This is also a great time to talk with them
about what they need to know about disability insurance, specifically Social Security Disability
Insurance (SSDI) or SSI (Supplemental Security Income) benefits
, if applicable.

An employee who has relocated to your company can add a
special layer with fresh ideas and perspective. The goal is to make them feel
welcome so that your town feels like “home” in no time.  

Ten Ways To Show Your Employees You “Love” Having Them Work For You

Want to keep your employees happy? The answer might be
easier than you think—in fact, a surprising 81
percent of employees say they would work harder for an employer who made them
feel appreciated
. With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, it’s the
perfect time to let your employees know how much you appreciate their hard
work. Here are 10 ideas to get you started.

Say it with food.

This one’s a no-brainer; everyone loves unexpected food. Surprise
the team with donuts in the breakroom or a full-on pasta lunch at noon. Another
fun idea that doubles as a team activity is to create a sundae bar and let
employees make their own sweet treat.

Order each person
their own coffee mug.

Spend some time browsing online and buy a coffee mug for
each member of the team that reflects something that reminds you of
them—whether it’s a hobby they enjoy or a motivational saying that reminds you
of them. They’ll appreciate the thought you put into it, as well as the fact
that you have recognized them individually. And as a bonus side benefit, no one
will ever wonder which mug is theirs again. 

Volunteer together.

Show your heart by going out in the community and doing a
good deed together. You might bring sandwiches and mittens to the homeless or
help at a local food bank. Everyone will feel a warm glow when they know
they’ve brightened someone else’s day.

Start a mutual
admiration chain.

Everyone likes to hear they do a great job; this is the
perfect time for everyone on the team to say something nice about each other.
Make a book for everyone and invite team members to write a little note of appreciation
about something they do that makes the work day smoother for everyone.

Ask what they need.          

Sometimes the best way to show appreciation to employees is
to let them voice their concerns or issues. Create a suggestion box that you actually
use to find out what’s on their mind. Kick off the program with a special team
meeting where you explain the goals and ask employees if they’d like to voice any
thoughts right away. Keep the meeting positive with a light tone—and provide
food, of course.

Host dinner on you.

They probably don’t want to eat dinner with you on Valentine’s Day, but you can still spring for dinner. Find out a favorite
restaurant of each employee and give a gift certificate or just tuck a $50 bill
in a card where you have expressed your appreciation.

Host a team-building
activity (that’s actually fun).

A lot of these so-called activities can be quite awkward.
That’s why we put together a list of
six really cool ideas for group activities
that they wouldn’t hate—no trust
falls included.

Buy a group gift.

Is your dishwasher on its last legs or coffee maker a relic?
Consider buying something special for the kitchen or break room that everyone
can enjoy in the days ahead. Or, if your appliances are all up to par, spring
for a gourmet coffee or snack service—a little something extra to show you’re
thinking of your employees and appreciate their hard work.

Remind them of all
the ways you take care of them.

Sometimes HR can struggle with a creative way to remind employees
of their benefits, and Valentine’s Day provides the perfect opportunity to send
an email summarizing your programs—such as healthcare, disability
, gym memberships, etc., and highlight how you take care of your
employees all year long.

Give them the
afternoon off.

It’s hard to beat the offer for more time with their loved
ones. Surprise the team with a “free” afternoon off—that they can take on an impromptu
basis or save for a time that they can plan ahead and make the most of it.   

Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to show everyone in your
life how special they are—even employees. With a little creativity, you can
send them home for the day feeling a little more appreciated. You’ll be glad
you did, as gratitude gives a boost to both the giver and the recipient.

Keeping Your Office Healthy: Five Ways to Keep Germs at Bay

It used to be that one sign of a good worker was just powering through the day, even if you felt crummy. Now, the opposite is true, as workplaces get wise to the fact that a sick employee isn’t likely to get much done—except potentially spreading their germs to the rest of the team.

In fact, those coughing, sneezing coworkers can be a health hazard to everyone around them—just by breathing. One study estimates that more than 60 percent of people with flu symptoms admitted to leaving their house—presumably many of them to head to work—while they were sick. And that’s a lot of germs being passed around, infecting even healthy people.

Here are some ways that the HR team can contribute to a healthier workplace.


  1. Offer sick days


Many employees come to work sick because they think it’s expected. But creating a relatively lenient sick day policy might actually save you money in the long run, if workers stay home and keep their germs to themselves. One study found that “presenteeism,” the lack of productivity in workers experiencing health problems, can cost U.S. companies up to $150 billion annually.


Sick days can help stem the tide of germ-sharing in the workplace, according to a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research. Researchers found that flu cases dropped in cities that adopted paid sick-leave mandates.

The key is to make sure employees know the policy and the protocol for calling out sick (see below for more on helping them telecommute.) And be aware of the duration of the illness; you might need to touch base with an employee if a spate of sick days is stretching into a case for when short-term disability insurance should potentially kick in.


  1. Create work-at-home protocols.


When deadlines loom, many employees might feel that taking a sick day will just make things worse when they return. According to one study, more than 40 percent of employees said that was the reason they came to the office while sick—to avoid future work overload.


But the truth is that many employees can do key parts of their job remotely—even if it isn’t feasible all the time. However, that can raise the question of whether the employee has actually taken a “sick day” or not, which can impact their compensation. That’s why you might want to consider implementing a policy that covers some of those issues, such as how their time will be tracked and how many “work-at-home-while-sick” days each employee can take.


Having a clear policy can protect your company so you can verify that work is actually being done, while avoiding the risk of having employees spreading germs to others.


  1. Encourage your team to get flu shots.


Of course it’s best to get the flu shot earlier in the season, but it’s never too late to help prevent an office epidemic. In fact, the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) says, “Getting vaccinated later, however, can still be beneficial and vaccination should continue to be offered throughout flu season.” And since flu outbreaks happen at different times in different communities, you may still have time. If yours hasn’t hit yet, getting vaccinated pronto could help keep people safe from it.


  1. Kill workplace germs as fast as you can.


It’s amazing how fast a virus can move in an office,” says Charles Gerba, a microbiologist and coauthor of The Germ Freak’s Guide to Outwitting Colds and Flu. “If one person comes in with the cold or flu, he can infect as many as one-third of his fellow office mates within a day.”


Pay special attention to wiping down objects in community areas like the printer, copier, refrigerator handles, and door handles—and don’t forget the coffee pot. And encourage employees to wipe down their stations frequently also.


  1. Encourage healthy habits.


One of the best ways to build immunities that help stave off illness is to adopt healthy behaviors, such as getting adequate sleep, eating well and exercising regularly.

You can play a role by sharing articles with healthy tips (such as those found on this site) or by encouraging employees to sip water and munch on healthier choices, if your workplace offers snacks at meetings.


With these tips, a healthy office can be within reach.

Team-Building Activities Your Team Will Actually Love

Trust falls. Ropes courses. Bowling or mini golf. Many offices plan a summer team-building activity designed for camaraderie, but forced group fun can cause anxiety in many. Maybe your office mates don’t know each other particularly well, or there are people of so many ages and ability levels that anything too physical can be a non-starter. The great news is that there are still a wide variety of team-building activities you can plan that everyone will love. Here are six to consider.


Throw a board game competition.


Not everyone’s great at kickball or golf but almost anyone can find the fun in a round of Monopoly or Sorry. Board games are having a resurgence, and it’s easy to see why. Everyone takes turns, works cooperatively and has a blast. Consider classics from everyone’s childhood or find a new one where everyone can learn the rules together. Depending on the size of your office, you can allow people to choose from among several or rotate every 45 minutes or so. Keep the competition level light and the snacks heavy.


Host a scavenger hunt.

This is another cooperative game that can be fun for all ages and abilities. Compile a list of offbeat items both inside the office and outside – if you’re close to a city, head downtown for even more fun. Have the gang take photos of the items they find, and gather back at the office after an hour or two to share wild stories and enjoy a snack.


Trade jobs.

What does Annette in accounting or Sam in sales do anyway? Sometimes walking a mile in another employee’s shoes can help promote better understanding – and possibly a renewed sense of appreciation and even patience. Work out a schedule where employees visit other departments to experience what others do; have each department offer a brief overview and then let the group loose to do a sample project — for example, working up a new client sales presentation or troubleshooting cybersecurity threats, just for fun, of course. After a couple of rotations, meet back and have the group share some observations or surprising insights about what they learned about other teams’ roles and challenges.


Plan a family day.

Often work activities fail because your employees may not want to give up precious free time to socialize with colleagues. That’s where a family fun day can serve triple duty –allowing them to be with their family, but also showing their family their workplace AND allowing coworkers to get to know each other better through their families.

Make sure there are suitable activities for all ages, from a bouncy house for the younger set, to games for older kids and a photo booth and plenty of food for everyone. If your budget allows, splurge on some sort of entertainment, maybe a music group or a family-friendly comedian. Make sure you have name tags on hand so everyone knows who belongs to who and plenty of action to encourage mingling.


Have a reading club.

If you don’t want to devote an entire afternoon or day to the team-building activity, or sense that this type of mixing wouldn’t be well-received by your staff, consider having a Book Club instead. Ask everyone to read the same book (you might provide copies so they don’t have to finance it) and give the team ample time to read the book and then hold a discussion to get everyone’s thoughts on it.

Not sure where to start? Here’s a list of recent business books that have gotten attention, or you might consider something by Malcolm Gladwell, who writes books full of engaging stories that have applications both for business and personal growth. Another option might be a book written by someone in your industry, such as “Shoe Dog” if you’re in retail or a creative field.


Volunteer together.

Believe it or not, almost half of respondents to one survey said their employer’s volunteer policies played a role in accepting an offer. While an ongoing volunteer program can be a powerful perk, even a one-day stint working as a group at a food bank, cooking a meal at a homeless shelter or assisting another non-profit that’s important to your team can help increase their bonds – and also give them the “helper’s high” that accompanies volunteering.

Not sure what project might resonate? Just ask! Maybe offer a couple of choices and either split up or let the group vote on which one might receive your collective power this time. Volunteering can be a huge win-win for your team and everyone whose lives they touch. And who knows…you might just spark an ongoing commitment for several of your team members.


The Benefits That Matter to Working Caregivers

Mother with baby and her father.Gen Xers now occupy the most leadership roles globallyBut this generation also brings a unique set of challenges to the workplace. Employees born between the early 1960s and 1980 increasingly need to look after their children as well as their aging parents. They’re known as the “sandwich generation” and according to the Pew Center for Research, account for almost half of adults in their 40s and 50s.

Caregiving is becoming a big workplace trend. The Caregiving and the Workplace: Employer Benchmarking Survey conducted by Northeast Business Group on Health (NEBGH) and AARP in 2017 indicates that 30 percent of Americans currently care for a family member—and they’re spending an average of 20 hours each week caregiving.

This combined with ever-lowering unemployment levels in the US, means that companies need to update their benefits packages to address the needs of caregivers. According to the NEBGH report, 84 percent of companies believe that during the next five years caregiving will become an increasingly important issue for their company.

Here are some benefits that are particularly valued to those caring for families: 

Paid time off

Clearly, if your company can offer paid family leave—this is a significant help, particularly during family emergencies. Deloitte recently implemented a new paid family leave program in response to these changing demographic shifts.

For the people who really need to take advantage of family leave, it can make an astounding difference in their lives,” said David Pollock whose paid leave policy at Deloitte allowed him to stay in the hospital with his wife and be by her side for her final days of stage four lung cancer. Adobe has also added this benefit, offering employees up to four weeks of paid leave to care for a sick family member.

Health and disability insurance

As you build out your benefits program, make sure you include disability insurance alongside health insurance. Also known as “paycheck insurance,” it protects an employee’s ability to earn part of their salary if they need to miss work due to illness, injury, or pregnancy.

For a caregiver who is responsible for the lives of others, it’s critical that they can continue to earn an income if they unexpectedly need to miss work for qualifying health reasons. It also means that HR teams don’t need to have that heart-breaking conversation once the employee’s paid leave or sick days run out.


Not all companies can afford to offer a generous benefits policy. But flexibility is a true gift for employees who may need to balance numerous conflicting schedules—whether it’s the ability to leave a little earlier to get to the hospital or to work from home remotely for a period of time. Offering flexibility with work schedules and locations is a boon for all workers. In Gallup’s most recent State of the American Workplace, 51 percent of employees said they would change jobs for one that offers them flexible work time.

On-site assistance

Some companies are opting to bring the care itself to the workplace. Patagonia offers a childcare facility on-site at its headquarters in Ventura, CA, as well as a distribution center in Reno, NV. The company fronts 25 percent of the costs with employees paying the rest unless they qualify for stipends.

Rick Ridgeway, the company’s vice president of public engagement explained at the Society for Human Resource Management’s annual conference in New Orleans, that the costs were quickly covered by the rise in employee retention and engagement. It also has made the company a magnet for new hires. “Another benefit is the higher rates of employee recruitment,” he said. “We have a lot more people applying because of these policies.”

Employee support

Don’t underestimate the power of being a caring company, and offering employee support. The NEBGH survey revealed that “caregivers generally abandon their own physical and emotional needs while caring for others”.

Offer counseling services or train up your HR teams to guide caregivers to local resources, such as geriatric assessments and elder care options. AARP outlines several excellent strategies that workplaces can fairly easily put into action, such as organizing affinity groups for caregivers, creating quiet spaces where people can take calls during the day, or simply making sure that the words “working caregivers” appear alongside words like “working parents” in company documents.

As the writer of the AARP article sums it up, “People caring for older loved ones step up every day. In order for caregivers to thrive in their jobs, they need their employers to step up, too.”

How Summer Vacations Boost Workplace Engagement

Family at the beach.As the summer vacation season kicks off, now is a good time for HR to be reminding employees and managers about the value of time out of the office.

Vacations are critical to the emotional and physical health of your workforce — and new studies show that they build a far more engaged, happy, and productive workforce.

Unlike other developed countries, the United States has no mandated number of days off for employees. A quarter of Americans have no paid vacations at all. This has an impact on wellness. 

A 2017 CareerBuilder survey revealed that 61 percent of workers self-identified as burned out in their current job, with 31 percent reporting high or extremely high levels of stress at work. A third of all workers (33 percent) said they had not taken nor were planning to take a vacation that year.

Why aren’t people taking time off?

A survey from Project Time Off in 2017 reveals a key reason why people are avoiding vacations: they think it makes them look like a less committed worker. Thirty eight percent of employees wanted to be seen as “a work martyr by their boss”. Yet as the report states: “What those nearly four-in-ten employees do not understand is that work martyrdom not only does not help them advance in their careers; it may be hurting them.

“These self-proclaimed work martyrs are less likely (79 to 84 percent) to report receiving a raise or bonus in the last three years than those who do not subscribe to the work martyr myth. When it comes to promotions, they are no more likely to have received a promotion in the last year than the average worker (28 percent), showing that the work martyr attitude is not helping anyone get ahead.”

Melinda Gates addressed this topic in her first LinkedIn post after Microsite acquired the platform in 2017 — pointing out how this workaholic culture can be particularly damaging for women. “The American workweek has soared from less than 40 hours to nearly 50 in the time since that issue of Fortune was published,” she wrote. “Technology has made it harder to pull away from our jobs, and easier to wonder whether a night off or a long weekend is damaging our careers.

The benefits of the summer vacation

New data from a O.C. Tanner survey shows a clear correlation between those who take regular vacations and their overall emotional health and happiness on the job.

Sixty six percent of respondents said they regularly take a vacation that’s at least one week or longer during the summer months, and nearly the same percentage (67 percent) said it is somewhat or extremely important for them to do so. This is what they then found in the regular vacationers:

  • Dedication to the Job: 70 percent of respondents say they are highly motivated to contribute to the success of the organization, as opposed to only 55 percent of respondents who do not regularly take a week-long summer vacation.
  • A Sense of Belonging: 63 percent of respondents say they feel a sense of belonging at the company where they currently work, as opposed to only 43 percent of respondents who do not regularly take a week-long summer vacation.
  • Loyalty: 65 percent of respondents say they have a strong desire to be working for their organization one year from now, as opposed to 51 percent of respondents who do not regularly take a week-long summer vacation.
  • Viewed as a Good Employer: 65 percent of respondents say their organization has a reputation for being a good employer whose people do great work, as opposed to just 46 percent of respondents who do not regularly take a week-long summer vacation.

In another example discussed in Harvard Business Review, one company implemented a mandatory week off once every seven weeks for all staff. The result? “Creativity went up 33 percent, happiness levels rose 25 percent, and productivity increased 13 percent.” The company concluded that once every seven weeks was perhaps excessive, but nonetheless the sheer productivity and creativity that came from having a rested and recharged workforce benefited the entire organization.

So the next time you hear a manager complain about a worker requesting a vacation, show them the data. And if you haven’t already, now is the time to be instituting a positive and proactive vacation policy.

5 Qualities of The Most Successful HR Leaders

Team of people, with people at center shaking handsVisionary human resource leaders are in strong demand. 

The Mercer Global Talent Trends 2018 Study argues that as organizations accelerate their transformation efforts, ”putting people at the heart of the change makes HR pivotal.” Gallup meanwhile calls HR leaders the “stewards and keepers of the culture of an organization.”

Gallup shows the numbers behind this claim: “Just four in 10 U.S. employees strongly agree that the mission and purpose of their organization makes them feel their job is important. By doubling that ratio to eight in 10 employees, organizations could realize a 41 percent reduction in absenteeism, a 33 percent improvement in quality, or in the case of healthcare, even a 50 percent drop in patient safety incidents.”

So their impact can be change-making. But what makes a HR leader truly great?

Here are five qualities:

They’re coaches.

As an industry, HRs benefit the workforce by acting as coaches and relationship-builders.

In 2015, the professional services firm Zenger Folkman analyzed 360 degree feedback data on 2,187 HR leaders around the world. The findings were published in an article in Harvard Business Review. “One of the most positive areas for HR leaders in general was that they were truly concerned about developing others,” the article explains. “This set them apart from leaders in other functions, who did not score highly on this skill. They were also rated positively on providing coaching, acting as a mentor, and giving feedback in a helpful way.”  

They’re rich in knowledge.

HR leaders need a deep well of knowledge to draw from about everything from labor laws to benefits. This is something we’re particularly aware of at The Council for Disability Awareness. As benefits become important markers of a strong company culture—and voluntary or worksite benefits in particular rise in popularity—HR leaders need to be fluent in explaining the entire range of benefits. This is particularly true when it comes to knowing lesser known benefits like disability insurance.   

They see the forest for the trees.

A sports coach keeps their eye on the upcoming game as well as never losing sight of the championship. The same is true of the best HR leaders—they’re strategic. They have an ability to focus on the immediate problems while continually moving the organization towards long-term goals. This helps them drive business strategy and activate real change.

They know their metrics and analytics.

Metrics are vital to the HR function, from employer turnover rates to calculating the cost/benefit analysis of a financial wellness program. But you also need to know how to use those numbers.

“Most people use data the way drunks use the lamppost: for support rather than for illumination,” says Alexis Fink of Intel in a brilliant article about this by SHRM. Fink explains this further: “HR metrics are operational measures, addressing how efficient, effective and impactful an organization’s HR practices are. Talent analytics, on the other hand, focus on decision points, guiding investment decisions” that impact the workforce and related matters.”

They’re great humans.

Finally, this is human resources after all. Matthew Chapman, CEO and Executive Chairman of ChapmanCG, told Boss Magazine: “It may sound obvious, but fast-rising HR leaders are great humans. They look to make a connection, and because of that, they are respected by the business, their HR colleagues, their direct teams as well as their leaders.”