Email Etiquette

Being HR, you have to check your email etiquette for candidates, employee and management. Before sending them an email or reply them you have to follow these etiquettes - 
1. Make sure your message is simple and clear - Instead of trying to write longer emails so they appear more important, narrow them down and get rid of jargon. Focus on what the person receiving the email is looking for and avoid everything else. This is especially important because emails are read on mobile phones over desktop computers these days so it takes longer to scroll down.
2. Use proper spelling, punctuation and grammar - If you are misspelling words in your emails, people will pick that up and it will hurt your reputation as well as your credibility. If your email provider doesn't have automatic "spell check" then you should copy and paste the email text into Microsoft Word to verify that everything is spelt correctly.
3. Respond to emails in a timely manner - After you receive an email, don't tuck it away. The faster you respond, the better. I've learned this from experience and typically respond immediately especially if it's something really important. The receiver will appreciate the fast response and you will be perceived as more dependable.
4. Make it action oriented - If you aren't pushing someone into action through your email, then what's the point of even writing one? Your goal should be to end your email with an "action item" so that the receiver knows exactly what to do after reading it.
5. Beware of the "reply all" button - Try not to hit "reply all" after receiving an email unless you're positive that the entire team needs to have that information. You don't want to waste anyone's time because they are probably occupied with their own projects.
6. Make the subject line grabbing - Your co-workers receive a lot of emails so make sure your email stands out and they read it. People browse subject lines so concentrate on making your subject line interesting and appealing to the people you are sending the email to.
7. Know your audience - If you're emailing a co-worker who is also a friend, then you can be more casual than if you're emailing an executive you've never met before it's important that you aren't too casual though because your friend could potentially forward your email to someone who you haven't met yet and that could appear unprofessional.
8. Don't hide behind your email - Sometimes you have to pick up the phone or go to your co-worker's office. Schedule a meeting with them and talk it out in person.
9. Use an "out of office" reply when necessary - When you're on vacation or in training, always make sure you have an away message so that people know where you are and who to contact in your absence. This not only looks professional but can help you defer some requests to others who can support you and solve them on your behalf.
10. Review the email before you send it in the first place - If you read your email at least twice before you send it, you will naturally send better emails. Those who just fire off emails without reviewing them first usually make mistakes and look bad in the process.
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Gratuity Calculation


Gratuity is a benefit received by an employee by an organization. For companies covered under the Gratuity Act, this benefit is paid when an employee completes five or more years of service with the employer. An employee gets gratuity when he/she resigns, retires or is laid off. In case of death or disablement there is no minimum eligibility period.

How Gratuity is Calculate??
The gratuity amount depends upon the tenure of service and last drawn salary. It is calculated according to this formula:

Gratuity = Last drawn salary (basic salary plus dearness allowance) X number of completed years of service X 15/26.

According to this formula, the time period of over six months or more is considered as one year. This means if you have completed five years and seven months of service, the number of years would be considered as six years for calculation of gratuity benefit. On the other hand, if the service period is five years and five months, for gratuity calculation it will be considered five years.

Maximum Amount
For government employees, Rs. 20 lakh is the maximum amount that can be paid as gratuity. The Seventh Pay Commission had recommended increase in the gratuity ceiling to Rs. 20 lakh from the earlier level of Rs. 10 lakh.

Income Tax Treatment of Gratuity
For government employees, entire amount of gratuity received on retirement or death is currently exempted from income tax. In case of non-government employees, income tax rules on gratuity are applicable depending on whether employees are covered under the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972 or not.

For non-government employees covered under the Gratuity Act, the income tax exemption on any gratuity received is least of the following:
·         1- Maximum amount specified by the government which is currently Rs. 10 lakh
·         2- Last drawn salary X 15/26 X years of service
·         3- Actual gratuity received

For example, the last drawn salary (basic plus DA) of Mr Rohit, for example is Rs. 60,000 (per month) and he has worked for 25 years. 
The gratuity according to the formula is Rs. 8.65 lakh but suppose he has actually received gratuity of Rs. 12 lakh. So for income tax calculation
Rs. 8.65 lakh will be considered for exemption. So Mr. Rohit will pay tax
Rs. 3.35 lakh (Rs. 12 lakh - 8.65 lakh).

For more discussion kindly email me on my email id hrrahulsaxena@outlook.com

Go with the link for read the Gratuity Act with Amendments -

My Slide Share link for Gratuity Act & Amendments


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Reasons why Employees hate HR


Employees hate Human Resources for a variety of reasons—some are logical reasons based on bad experiences with HR teams. Whereas other reasons why employees hate HR demonstrate the employees' lack of knowledge about the role of HR in the workplace.

The Top 5 Reasons Employees Hate HR

1. HR Employees Are Incompetent

Employees go to HR and find untrained, uneducated employees with little experience working in a professional HR office. A common complaint is that the HR staff came from accounting or another unrelated office and don’t know what they’re doing with employees or in HR.
2. HR Employees Are Dishonest
Employees complain that HR staff members are dishonest. They don’t tell the truth about how they handled an employee situation. They misrepresent the employee’s story to management and in court. Many employees believe that the HR staff is untrustworthy because they lie to cover up their mishandling of a situation.

3. HR Has Only the Company and Management’s Interests in Mind

HR cares only about the interests of the company and the managers. In any employee complaint situation. HR will side with the manager the majority of the time. Even if you have multiple witnesses or employees have repeatedly complained to HR about the same behaviour, HR sides with the company. Additionally, in their quest to keep the company safe from lawsuits, HR covers up legitimate employee concerns.

4. HR Is Not Objective and Fair

Employees find that HR staff members are not impartial or fair. Their desire to keep their jobs, and earn a bigger salary and their next promotion, keep them from acknowledging the legitimate employee point of view. They are also supporting managers over employees regardless of the evidence in the situation. They assume that a complaint against another employee is true and that the majority of complaints boil down to "he said, she said," so the situations are never resolved.

5. HR Is Too Involved in Office Politics

HR staff members are viewed by many employees as seeking to favour with the executive leadership. They make dealing with employees political based on the employee’s job title and position. Because HR does not add value to the bottom line or fails to demonstrate how they have employees view the job as expendable. In their view, HR employees ingratiate themselves with managers and executives because they add no value to the bottom line. A common theme encountered frequently from readers is that HR staff should prove themselves in a management role in the line organization before joining HR.
These five factors can play a serious role in how competent and trustworthy employees in your organization view HR. For a successful organization that retains the best employees to serve customers, the above five opinions are deadly. Do everything you can to avoiding creating them in the first place.
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HR Analytics terms you should know


Redundancy - The act of dismissing an employee when that employee is surplus to the requirements of the organization.

Six Sigma - Six Sigma is a disciplined, data-driven methodology used to eliminate defects and improve processes and cut costs from manufacturing to transactional and from product to service.

360-degree feedback -  An appraisal process whereby an individual is rated on their performance by people who know something about their work.  This can include direct reports, peers, managers, customers or clients; in fact anybody who is credible to the individual and is familiar with their work can be included in the feedback process. The individual usually completes a self-assessment  exercise on their performance, which is also used in the process.

Wage drift - The gap between the Collective Agreement rate and the rate actually paid. Evidence of geographical variations in wage levels.

Wellness programme - Programmes such as on-site or subsidized fitness centers, health screenings, smoking cessation, weight reduction/management, health awareness and education which target keeping employees healthy therefore lowering costs to the employer associated with absenteeism, lost productivity and increased health insurance claims.

Performance Management - This is a process of identifying, evaluating and developing the work performance of employees in an organization, in order that organizational objectives are more effectively achieved and understood by employees.

Peer appraisal - A performance appraisal strategy whereby an employee is reviewed by his/her peers who have sufficient opportunity to examine the individual’s job performance.

Pareto chart - A bar graph used to rank in order of important information such as causes or reasons for specific problems so that measures for process improvement can be established.

Orientation - The introduction of employees to their jobs, co-workers, and the organization by providing them with information regarding such items as policies, procedures, company history, goals, culture, and work rules. Similar to Induction.

Benchmarking - A technique using quantitative or qualitative data to make comparisons between different organizations or different sections of the organizations

Balanced Scorecard - A popular strategic management concept developed in the early 1990's by Drs. Robert Kaplan and David Norton, the balanced scorecard is a management and measurement system which enables organizations to clarify their vision and strategy and translate them into action. The goal of the balanced scorecard is to tie business performance to organizational strategy by measuring results in four areas: financial performance, customer knowledge, internal business processes, and learning and growth.

Onboarding - A relatively new term, it is more far-reaching than historical orientation programmes. It links new employees with team members very early in the employment process and continuing after the traditional orientation programme ends.

Outplacement - A benefit offered by the employer to displaced employees which may consist of such services as job counselling, training, and job-finding assistance.

Labour-force mobility -  The willingness of potential employees to travel or move to where work is offered.

Lump-sum payment - A fixed negotiated payment which is not typically included in an employee’s annual salary. Often times are given in lieu of pay increases.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator -  A psychological test used to assess an individual’s personality type.

Hawthorne Effect - A term produced as a result of an experiment conducted by Elton Mayo whereby he concluded that expressing concern for employees and treating them in a manner which fulfils their basic human needs and wants will ultimately result in better performance.

Extrinsic rewards - Two forms: Money and non-money rewards. Examples : job enrichment, job enlargement, personal and working relationships with colleagues and supervisors and managers.

Random Testing - Drug and alcohol tests administered by an employer which selects employees to be tested on a random basis.

Key-Result areas - Used to establish standards and objectives, key result areas are the chief tasks of a job identified during the job evaluation process.

KPI’s - ‘Knowledge, Skills and Abilities’ - Key Performance Indicators. Tasks that have been agreed between an employee and line manager/HR with an expectation that they will be completed satisfactorily in the time agreed or as an ongoing task.

KSAs - Knowledge, skills and abilities – the personal attributes that a person has to have to perform the job requirements.

Incentive Pay - Additional compensation used to motivate and to reward employees for exceeding performance or productivity goals.

Exit Interview - An interview with a member of the staff of the organization that an employee is leaving to ascertain the reasons for the employee leaving the organization. 
Should not be carried out by employee’s immediate superior. Used for possible changes

Employee retention - Organizational policies and practices designed to meet the diverse needs of employees, and create an environment that encourages employees to remain employed.

CoreLabor Force - A small group of permanent workers, for example, strategists, planners.

Contingent workers - Employees who may be: casual labour, part-timers, freelancers, subcontractors, independent professionals and consultants.

Bumping - The practice of allowing more senior level employees whose positions have been slotted for elimination or downsizing the option of accepting an alternative position within the organization, for which they may be qualified to perform and which is currently occupied by another employee with less seniority.

Attrition - A term used to describe voluntary and involuntary terminations, deaths, and employee retirements that result in a reduction of the employer's physical workforce.


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HR Policies on Dress Codes


Dress code policies can vary from extremely rigid to quite lax depending on the needs of the business or the corporate. Typically, a human resources department is responsible for the drafting and enforcement of the company dress code. Aside from organizations that assist employees with filing complaints, there is little regulation governing company dress codes. There is much to consider when establishing a policy that is fair and practical while incorporating safety measures.

Employer Rights

As an employer, it’s up to you to establish a dress code policy that suits your business needs. You have the right to enforce your policy as you see fit, which might include the use of verbal and written warnings, suspension or termination of employment. A typical dress code policy includes lists of permitted and prohibited attire and information about how the policy is enforced and consequences faced by those who fail to comply.

Employee Rights

Regardless of the type of dress code policy you implement, you must treat all employees with certain job categories equally. The policy must not treat employees less favourably as a result of their race, colour, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability or genetic information. For example, a dress code may prohibit certain kinds of ethnic dress, such as casual Indian attire, only if the policy prohibits all casual attire, such as jeans, across the board. If a company's dress code conflicts with the religious practices of an employee, that employee may request accommodations. Unless the employer can prove that modifying the dress code to accommodate that employee’s request would result in undue hardship, the employer must modify the dress code. The same applies to requests for accommodations based on disability. 

Practicality

Institute and enforce a practical dress code for your business. Take all factors into account when drafting your policy, such as whether employees are exposed to elements like rain and cold temperatures and whether they are visible to the general public or remain behind the scenes. Piercings, tattoos and hairstyles, although socially acceptable, can be taken offensively by some. There may be an extremely fine line between sexual harassment and artful expression. You’re within your rights as an employer to require piercings to be removed, tattoos to be covered up and stylistic expressions to be tamed. You’ll want to enforce a dress code that reflects your industry. Some companies institute a uniform dress code that clearly shows company logo and employees’ names. Other companies, such as banks, may opt for a business dress code enhanced with a name tag.

Safety

A dress code always should incorporate safety considerations, such as if employees are required to wear safety gear, such as goggles, steel-toe boots and helmets. Clearly, list any regulations, and let employees know if they are responsible for providing their own safety supplies or if the company issues them. Address facial and body hair in your policy, particularly for such industries as food. Address shaving, hairnets and other means of pulling hair back.

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Performance Apprisal



Everything You Need to Know about Appraisals

According to an article that is published on the Wikipedia website, “a performance appraisal (PA), also referred to as a performance review, performance evaluation, or employee appraisal is a method by which a job performance of an employee is documented and evaluated”. Additionally, a performance appraisal can also be considered as a part of the Career Development of the employees. Companies often conduct performance appraisal as their method to justify salary hike and bonuses to be given to the members of their organization. Aside from that, the performance appraisal will also determine whether there are enough grounds to terminate the employees.

Advantages of Conducting an Employee Performance Appraisal

Aside from being able to determine the percentage of the salary increase, there are a couple of amazing benefits that come with a good employee performance appraisal.
  • Potential Job Promotion – Aside from the monetary bonus, an employee with a flawless work performance is likely to earn a promotion. Since most companies offer promotion programs, a performance review can help them weed out underperforming employees from the program.
  • Compensation – Employees who do not qualify for the compensation package offered by the company is determined by a performance appraisal. Oftentimes, the compensation package includes a higher salary increase, incentives, and extra benefits depends on how well the employee has been functioning in his role for a given period of time.
  • Motivation – A lot of employers consider performance appraisal as a motivational tool that makes the organization members strive harder to become more efficient and gives the best of their abilities to perform their daily duties and responsibilities. And since a performance appraisal provides a comprehensive and honest feedback on the employee’s performance, the manager is able to identify which areas that the employee needs help. Usually, the manager will schedule a training for the employee to help him improve his work ability.
  • Open Communication – A performance appraisal is seen as a great communication tool that can benefit both the employer and the employee. If both parties are able to communicate regularly, it makes it even easier to build a strong employer-employee relationship and keeps both parties on the same page.  
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Important Things with HR Before Accepting Job

At one time, many people had the mindset that jobs were hard to come by, so they should take whatever was offered to them, with no questions asked. Today, people are becoming choosier about their career paths, and they know that they are deserving of more than the bare minimum. Nowadays, people aren’t content to take anything that is being offered, and they know that they need to ask certain questions to make sure that they are going to be treated like a valued employee and not just a number. 
If you are offered a new position, here are few important things that you need to talk to the HR Person before you accept the offer.
1. Ask about Benefits 
It is important to know what is included in the benefits package. If the benefits are not appealing, this may not be the right company for you to work at. Find out about provider options, how much you have to pay into the health plan yourself, what is covered (including prescriptions and specialty services), if dental and vision care is covered, etc. These days, with the high cost of healthcare, it is important to know that you have excellent health care coverage through your employer.
2. Ask if the Salary is Negotiable
Most employers aren’t going to come right out and tell you that salaries are negotiable because they want to pay as little as possible. So you are just going to have to come right out and ask. You will never know unless you do ask, and you may be pleasantly surprised by the answer. In many cases, if the candidate has enough to offer an employer, the employer is going to be more than willing to negotiate the salary a little bit.
3. Ask about Other Perks
These days, it is not always enough for companies to offer competitive wages and benefits packages. The more perks a company offers, the more attractive the job offer is going to be. So, you need to find out what other perks might be available to you should you decide to accept the position being offered. Perks can be anything from flexible shifts and working hours to office parties to paid time off, etc. Some of the best perks to ask about are advancement training and promotion opportunities.
4. Ask about Vacation Time
You need to know before you take the job if you are going to actually be able to take vacations at all. Some companies only let you take time off that is unpaid, while others offer paid vacations once you have worked for them for a certain amount of time. Don’t forget to ask if you can roll over any unused vacation days and use them in the following year.
5. Ask what other Employees are Saying
You can tell a lot about a company by listening to what current and past employees have to say about it. If it is a good company to work for, the HR person should have no problem telling you what employers are saying about the company, and even find people within the company for you to talk to. If you find out that the employees are happy in their jobs, chances are you will be as well, and that this is a company that you would like to work for. 
6. Ask about Incentive Compensation 
Some companies will give bonuses to their employees as compensation for certain incentives, such as taking on additional responsibilities, pay raises based on performance etc. Find out if monetary bonuses are offered, and if so, what the criteria are to be eligible for these bonuses. The more you know about how you will be compensated, the more you will strive to really earn those bonuses and be the very best that you can be when it comes to doing your job.
7. Ask about Relocation Expenses 
If you are going to have to relocate in order to take the position, you need to find out if the company is going to help with any of the relocating expenses. Obviously, they are not going to pay for everything, but if they expect you to move for them, they should be expected to help in some way. For instance, they may offer to pay a percentage of the actual moving expenses or put you up in a rental unit until you are able to find an appropriate and affordable place to live.
8. Ask about Education Opportunities
Many companies will offer incentives for employees to go back to school or learn additional training that is going to help them advance in their careers. In fact, this is one way that companies can ensure long-term employees, because these employees are grateful for the help, and want to give back. Some companies will pay for a portion of tuition, and some even allow you to take a leave of absence in order to get your degree. The more education you have, the more you will have to offer your employer, and they often recognize this and will help.
9. Get it in Writing 
Ask if you can have the job offer and everything that you have agreed on, in writing. This way, there is little chance that the employer is going to pull back on the offer. A written agreement is much more binding than an oral agreement, and if you have everything on paper, they can’t turn around later and say that something wasn’t part of the offer, add work that isn't in the job description etc. If they don’t want to give you anything in writing, it is a good sign that this may not be the best company for you to work at.

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How to Reduce the Communication Gap with Employees


Employees are a company’s most valuable assets, so it makes sense to invest in the corporate culture that helps them succeed. While vacation days and fringe benefits (health insurance, stock options, employee discounts etc) are appealing lures, the heart of the employee experience occurs during business hours, as staff members interact with each other.
Good communication is square one for employers seeking to reinforce relationships with workers and it creeps in to every aspect of business operations. In many cases, communication mechanisms fall short on the job, leaving room for most companies to improve their standards and reduce the communication gap with employees.
Credibility and Communication
Credibility is an important area to focus on when it comes to influencing effective communication between employees and their superiors. When executed correctly, communication with workers reinforces trustworthiness for managers and other high-level employees. But if there is a deep communication gap between bosses and staff members, it can ultimately undermine productivity and employee engagement.
At its core, communication with employees is just sharing information, but it is also layered with influencing how employees perform. For effective communication from bosses to employees, here are the three essential principles to follow:
Honesty – Nothing erodes employee confidence faster than dishonest communication (as mentioned above). While some information is clearly reserved for higher-level access, sharing honest discourse with employees goes a long way to reinforce credibility.
Respect – Work hierarchies can be alienating to lower-level employees, who can easily feel less valuable to the workplace than their bosses. Respectful communication, both written and verbal, helps bridge the communication gap felt across varying departments. An effective strategy for reinforcing each employee’s value to the company includes proactive communication from upper-level bosses, directly to line-level employees.
Trust – For security purposes, certain information simply can’t be shared with the entire workforce. However, trust reinforces employees’ perceived value to the company, so whatever can be done to include them in the big picture helps foster job satisfaction and better performance among staff.
Instructive Communication
Some of the most important ideas shared with employees relate to job functions and employer expectations. Without clearly articulated instructions, employees wind up improvising and this can lead to being much less productive. Even job turnover rates are higher when communications fail, frustrating staffers without well-defined job descriptions and mission statements in place.
To bridge the communication gap at work, be candid with employees, encouraging them to ask specific questions about their job roles. Successful managers communicate with staffers in groups, but also facilitate one-on-one contact with each employee they supervise.
Just as important as formal, instructive communication, effective approaches also include informal contact with employees. Reaching out to staffers when you don’t necessarily need something specific fortifies their engagement when you do call upon them to act on a particular need.  Casually asking how a project is going, for example, shows employees you are all in it together. And even occasional small-talk keeps lines of communication open between employees and higher-ups.
Two-Way Street
Too often, employers focus on top-down communication, carefully crafting mechanisms for disseminating information from managers to employees. But successful communication is a two-way exchange.
Effective communication also provides channels for employee feedback, encouraging them to share ideas and suggestions for increasing productivity within the company. And it isn’t enough to simply request feedback – acting on employee suggestions keeps them engaged and eager to provide further input as well as being able to find ways to reward employees with their own ideas.
Reducing the communication gap at work starts with honest discourse; furnishing two-way mechanisms for staffers and bosses to share ideas.

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