The Workforce: Not As Simple as Red or Blue, Male or Female, or Generation

Jobvite’s annual Job Seeker Nation Study was published a couple of weeks ago. They took a whole new approach, given the current political environment in the U.S., and it’s fascinating. Subtitled, Finding the Fault Lines in the American Workforce, it looks at how divided our nation really is when it comes to attitudes and actions related to changing jobs.

“If the past year taught us anything, it’s that we live in a divided nation. In fact, nearly 80% of Americans – an all-time high – believe the country is split in two. With this year’s Job Seeker Nation Survey of 2,000 Americans, we sought to define that split:  who are the two groups and what does the job seeking experience look like for each? The answer surprised us:  ‘Divided America’ is a myth. Sure, from 30,000 feet you see Blue vs. Red. Coast vs. Coast. But dig a couple layers deeper and you don’t find a neatly divided population… What we found is many different versions of the American job seeker.”

And then we’re off to the races with fascinating data points covering the workforce, job seekers, men, women, quitters, stayers, generations – different slices of workforce data that are sure to make you stop and think about what’s really happening with your employees.

The finding that I found most interesting had to do with job sampling. For example, more than half of the respondents are satisfied at work (64%) – but 81% of them are open to new job opportunities. Additionally, 50% had at least one interview this year to explore options – with no intention of leaving their current position! Additionally, job seekers are not as happy as they used to be. In the last year, the percentage of workers satisfied at work has plummeted 10 percentage points to 64% (from 74%). But more concerning is that 82% are open to new job opportunities. That’s a tough message for employers.

Another fascinating data point – despite greater transparency around pay, performance and the like – is that workers routinely “sample” their options by interviewing for new jobs.

The dynamics of the workforce in 2017 are clearly not cut and dried – and certainly not as simple as Generation vs. Generation or Male vs. Female. Of course, we knew that. But this report shines a light on some more nuanced slices of the data and provides some surprising results.

I look forward to this report each year. (Here’s my take on last year’s report.) The Jobvite folks always serve up a different set of data points that add depth to the planning and conversations employers are having about their workforces. This year is no different. Take a look here. You’ll find some useful insights.

 

 

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Filed under Big Data and HR, China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Employee Demographics, Employment Data, Generations at work, HR Data, Human Capital

Conference Attendance 301

In 2010 I wrote Conference Attendance 101, a post on my blog, Data Point Tuesday. It has been one of the most shared, re-posted, and quoted blog posts I’ve ever written.

Attending HR conferences successfully – getting the most out of the experience – really has taken careful planning and tons of time management. Some HR conferences are so big and have so much going on, that it can really feel like work to make sure you’re achieving an appropriate ROI for your employer.

But conferences have changed over the last 7 years. For one, there are a TON of HR-related conferences to choose from. Significantly more than 7 years ago. HR-related professional associations, HR products and services providers, publishers, networking organizations, research organizations – a whole host of organizations – all want a piece of HR professionals’ time to ply their wares and influence the direction of people policy making. They all provide re-certification credits from the HR certifiers of your choice and they promise you’ll learn everything you need to know (until the same time next year) to be successful HR leaders. It’s a booming business. But there are some new approaches to HR conferences – and their content and targeted attendees – that deserve your consideration.

I’ve been affiliated with Globoforce’s WorkHuman conference since its inception in 2015. Eric Mosely, Globoforce’s CEO, had a vision of turning his organization’s annual customer conference into a global force for good. A global force for taking 2 days each year to consider the value of humanity, the value of creating human cultures for our organizations, the value of truly focusing on human relationships to power organization success. And, in large part, his vision has come true:  at its core, WorkHuman is a global movement of people, purpose, and passion bringing more humanity to today’s modern workplace.

WorkHuman this year is May 30 – June 1 in Phoenix, Arizona. If you’ve attended, you already know it’s a conference experience unlike any other. If you haven’t attended, you should know that it aims to educate you on the value of creating a more human organization culture; to nourish your human spirit allowing you to do the same for your colleagues; and to connect you with like-minded individuals. The keynote speakers are not the usual HR fare (Michelle Obama, Susan Cain, Adam Grant, Chaz Bono, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and they all bring a particular point of view to the human organization experience. Breakout sessions – or Spotlight sessions as they are called at WorkHuman – bring additional academics, leaders, authors, and experts to help attendees get their arms – and hearts – around their humans.

In my earlier blog post, Conference 101, I suggested that pre-planning, networking, and smiling (as a way to be approachable) were time-tested ways to maximize conference attendance. At WorkHuman, I suggest that giving yourself permission to be human and being open to meet like-minded people are all you need for a successful and meaningful conference experience. Creating a human organization culture starts with allowing yourself to be human. And where better to begin that process than with thought leaders of all stripes, and attendees from all organization functions, all coming together to learn from each other the value of the human experience at work.

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Filed under China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Globoforce, Humanity in the workplace, WorkHuman

Empathy: Corporate Performance Enhancer?

If you’ve heard me speak on “Humanity Means Business,” you know I pay a lot of attention to the intersection of corporate culture, business performance, and people. And I mention several organizations that measure and/or rank employers on scales of relevant cultural attributes. It is sometimes surprising to audiences that top ranked (on a number of lists) employers are also top financial performers. So lists like FORTUNE’s 100 Best Companies to Work For, and WorldBlu’s annual list of certified employers, along with BCorp certified companies and devotees of the Conscious Capitalism movement – all provide road maps for leaders to enhance corporate performance through creating strong, human (of varying sorts) relationships with their people. And it’s always interesting to me that many organizations show up on more than one list.

Through  my Facebook feed, I found a different list posted on Harvard Business Review Online on December 1, 2016:  The 20 Most Empathetic Companies, 2016. This “corporate fitbit for empathy” is about “understanding our emotional impact on others and making change as a result” and its authors believe that empathy “is more important to a successful business than it has ever been, correlating to growth, productivity, and earnings per employee.” While the authors don’t share those correlations, they do share the 2016 list. And the listed companies do not surprise; they show up on other lists.

“The Empathy Index seeks to answer the question: Which companies are successfully creating empathetic cultures? These are the companies that retain the best people, create environments where diverse teams thrive, and ultimately reap the greatest financial rewards.”

Based on this list, I’ll easily believe that they all have better than average retention statistics, and certainly strong records of financial performance. But I wonder if each company on their list is truly an organization “where diverse teams thrive.” One just needs to note the number of Silicon Valley tech companies on the list. We all recognize the diversity challenges these organizations face – including those on this list.

The article’s author, Belinda Parmer, says “the tech sector continues to lead our ranking, now accounting for an even bigger share of our top ten (60% in 2016 versus 50% in 2015), with Facebook knocking Microsoft off the top spot, owing to its focus on improving its internal culture and the introduction of the Empathy Lab.” So trying counts. But should it?

I wonder at the assumptions being made by the researchers. These are their research parameters:

  • Ethics
  • Leadership
  • Company culture
  • Brand perception
  • Public messaging through social media
  • CEO approval ratings from staff
  • Ratio of women on boards
  • Number of accounting infractions and scandals
  • A carbon metric was added in 2016

That’s a lot. They don’t say how they measure these components, just that many are from public sources. Counting the number of women on boards is easy. Measuring ethics and culture are not. Defining and measuring brand perception is doable, measuring leadership is not.

I think we’d all agree that empathy is a good thing – for people and organizations. I’m really not sure, however, that empathy – as a leading organizational culture characteristic – is that meaningful. Are these 20 companies on this list because they’re trying to be empathetic? Or are they on the list because they pay people fairly and well; have intelligent, approachable leaders; are competitive in their sectors and have business plans that take advantage of – and lead – their market conditions? I’m not sure we can tell.

I’m not convinced that empathy as a corporate culture cornerstone is something that moves the performance needle more than respect, intelligence, humanity and flexibility – or any other list of current cultural attributes. It’s an interesting discussion, though, and I encourage you to read the HBR online article. It will definitely get you thinking.

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Filed under China Gorman, Culture, Data Point Tuesday, Diversity, Empathy, Employee Engagement, Employee Productivity, Engagement, HBR Online, Workplace Culture

Culture and Compensation

PayScale has produced its 8th annual in-depth report on compensation best practices: Comp is Culture. If you have anything to do with paying people – so, that’s virtually every manager, everywhere – reading this report will be well worth your time. Even though I’m not an HR professional, much less a compensation professional, I found it fascinating. Especially the impact that compensation practices have on organization culture.

The report is based on responses gathered in November and December, 2016 from 7,700 respondents, of which 5,136 were in the U.S. and 641 in Canada (as well as respondents in Australia, India, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and others);12% were Enterprise organizations’ (5,000+) employees, 13% Large organizations’ (750-4,999) employees, 29% Mid-sized organizations’ (100 – 749) employees, and 46% Small organizations’(1-99) employees.

Not surprisingly, the report identifies the following ass the biggest talent- and culture-related challenges in 2017:

  • Finding and growing great talent
  • Employee retention/engagement – large number of retirements anticipated in 2017 as well as continued millennial job-hopping
  • Competition from younger stage tech startups
  • Hiring and retaining the right employees in the face of high growth
  • The fierce talent competition shifting the balance of power to candidates
  • Improving company culture and fighting attrition for newly trained employees

The picture here is clear:  the war for talent hasn’t abated. In fact, in may just be beginning in earnest.

As it relates to pay practices and culture, the PayScale research found the following:

  • When it comes to pay, only 20 percent of employees said they were paid fairly, whereas 44 percent of employers said that their employees were fairly paid.
  • In a similar vein, employers were significantly more inclined to say their employees were appreciated at work (64 percent), whereas only 45 percent of employees said they felt appreciated at work.
  • A question around pay transparency revealed more of the same – 31 percent of employers said their company had a transparent pay policy, whereas only 23 percent of employees agreed.

There are a number of discussions and supporting graphs to keep even the most nerdy among us engaged, but these discussions and graphs are also easily understood and the information flows simply and logically. There’s a lot here, and it’s all good.

Being focused on all things relating to organization culture and leadership’s impact on it, I found the following chart very interesting:

There are two points here that are worth pondering if you think the data might apply to your organization:

  1. The percentage of respondents in both the employees and employers categories who agree or strongly agree on all five statements is higher than might be expected, with the exception of the final statement.
  2. Only one statement has a higher percentage of agreement from employees than from employers – and it’s the statement about the state of the employer/employee relationship. Employees report that their relationship with their manager is stronger than the managers report. With rising turnover and many organizations struggling to increase retention, who saw that coming?

This report covers the waterfront in terms of compensation practices, their impact on culture, and employees’ perception of many of the aspects of their pay. There are a number of surprising nuggets of information that could impact your organization’s compenation practices. It’s not an easy read, but it’s a good read. I recommend you spend some time with it.

 

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Filed under China Gorman, Compensation, Culture, Data Point Tuesday, Employee Experience, Employee Satisfaction, HR, HR Data, PayScale, Performance Management

Employees First

I came across this fascinating white paper from SilkRoad the other day. The Big Shift Puts Employees First:  HR Transforms from Processes and Transactions to Employee Experiences, is the 2017 contribution to their annual State of Talent reports. This shines a light on how the HR tech conversation has switched from tech to employees. The paper opens with this:  ”More than ever, today’s CEOs recognize the tremendous competitive advantage in a workforce that’s highly motivated, excited and tightly connected to business goals. Building a powerful workforce strategy remains front and center for HR teams.”

White papers are, by their nature, primarily marketing documents. The data are collected and analyzed in a way that put a positive light on the vendor/purveyor who commissions the study and report. There appear to be robust data behind this analysis with the use of results from 8 surveys (including one from an analyst firm), fielded throughout 2016, from1,335 respondents in HR leadership positions, It’s a vendor white paper, to be sure, but one of the more interesting I’ve seen.

The topics covered in the report include the following:

  • State of Talent Strategy

  • State of Talent Technology

  • State of the Employee Experience

  • State of Talent Acquisition and the Candidate Experience

  • State of Onboarding and the New Hire Experience

  • State of Talent Development and the Employee Experience

  • State of Analytics and Technology

  • State of HR

  • Top Five Talent Trends

Don’t let this long and timely list deter you from downloading the report:  it’s a compact 30 pages full of graphics and survey data. You can read this in under 30 minutes – and you’ll be smarter for it. These are critical topics for HR leaders and professionals in all industries – all over the world.

Introducing the first chapter, The State of Talent Strategy, 4 disruptors are identified that set the stage for the interesting data and discussions that follow:

Disruptor #1:  Dissatisfaction with HR Technology

Disruptor #2:  Continuing pressure to improve business outcomes

Disruptor #3:  Changing workforce, multiple generations

Disruptor #4:  Differentiation to attract talent

And then the following chart really kicks things off:

These data points then lead the fascinating analysis and discussions that follow. Even keeping in mind that this is a marketing document, it’s extremely well done and brings to light some important (and maybe surprising) shifts in focus and strategy that leaders (not just HR leaders) are contemplating.

You may not agree with all of the conclusions. And you may not have budgets to move forward in all – or many – of these areas. But the findings are fascinating and worthy of further exploration. Download the report here and have at it.

 

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Filed under Big Data and HR, Brandon Hall Group, Candidate Experience, China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Employee Engagement, Employee Experience, HR Analytics, HR Data, HR Tech, HR Technology, HR Trends, HRM Technology, SilkRoad, Workplace Strategies

Talent Management & Development Journey to Japan

Imagine that you’re the Global Head of Talent at an employer with a significant number of employees in Japan. And then understand that in 2014, 26% of Japan’s population was estimated to be 65 years or older, and the Health and Welfare Ministry has estimated that over-65s will account for 40% of the population by 2060. Then think about how your workforce planning activities will be impacted by this shifting demographic.

The economy of Japan is the third-largest in the world by nominal GDP and the fourth-largest by purchasing power parity, and is the world’s second largest developed economy. Think about that. The world’s second largest developed economy – with about a population about a third of the U.S.’s. And a population that is aging and shrinking.

Want to learn about those things? Want to learn about them in person in Japan with some really smart Talent Management professionals as your learning/traveling companions? Want to hear from Japan’s biggest employers? From Japan’s government leaders? Yes?

Then join Gerry Crispin and me on a Nanda Journey to Japan in November. Gerry and I traveled together to India – with about 30 other HR leaders – several years ago under SHRM’s auspices. Then 2 years ago we joined together to lead a trip to Cuba with nearly 20 like-minded HR and talent management professionals. It was a life changing trip for many of our travel mates – and we want to do it again this year. In Japan.

Our 10-day itinerary includes meetings with employers, government agency leaders, and special meetings with executives from Recruit – parent company to Indeed, among many other staffing companies around the world. While focusing on talent management issues in the second largest developed economy in the world, we will also spend time in understanding the Japanese cultural landscape. Additionally, we’ll spend two days in the countryside living with families and understanding the small town rural life in Japan.

This journey, organized by our friends at Nanda Journeys, will be an extraordinary 10 days of learning, engaging with our travel companions, and making new professional friends in the land of the rising sun. There will also be a robust companion program perfect for a spouse, partner, child or grandchild.

Click here for more information on our itinerary and a request for information. Take a look. And let me know if you have any questions. Gerry and I are looking forward to another fascinating travel experience learning about Japan’s culture and the unique talent management challenges being faced by its business and government leaders.

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Filed under China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Gerry Crispin, HR in Japan, Nanda Journeys

Are You Planning For Your Future Workforce?

Accenture’s strategy group has published an interesting look at the workforce of the future:  Harnessing Revolution, Creating the future workforce. At an easily consumable 28 pages, it focuses on three primary areas of emphasis for organizations wanting to get a competitive leg up in the hyper competitive talent markets:

  1. Accelerate reskilling people
  2. Redesign work to unlock human potential
  3. Strengthen the talent pipeline from its source

If you’re starting to discuss talent acquisition, development, and retention strategies with your C-Suite, you’re a little late – and this report will be helpful in scoping out the known and unknown challenges barreling down the pike.

The report is full of good news like data presented that show workers being optimistic about the impact that technology will bring to their work life:  “…instead of resenting technology, 84 percent report being excited about the changes it will bring. A full 87 percent are downright optimistic, projecting that it will actually improve their work experience in the next five years.” So that’s some good news we’ve haven’t seen before.

As an advocate for humans and humanity in the workplace, I was especially pleased to see an emphasis in the report on the value that human skills bring to the enterprise:  “our model shows fewer jobs will be lost to automation if people are able to reallocate their skills to tasks that require more ‘human skills’ such as complex analysis and social/emotional intelligence.” The following figure shows that perhaps the gross fears of automation and job eliminations may not be grounded in fact:

The challenge of job loss due to automation is clearly real. But as this report shares, reallocation of skills will significantly decrease job loss. Accenture’s research shows that investments in reskilling the workforce will “dramatically” reduce job loss: “Estimates for Europe show that a one percent increase in training days leads to a three percent increase in productivity, and that overall productivity growth attributable to training is around 16 percent.”

The section on focusing on reskilling people is short and sweet:

  1. Reskill at the top of the house
  2. Keep building on what you have
  3. Change the mindset to “learning as a way of life”
  4. Use digital to learn digital

While, paragraphs 2 – 4 are expected, paragraph 1 is not. Accenture’s research points to a lack of technology skill and experience in the boardroom. And from a leadership perspective, leading in horizontal rather than hierarchical ways will be foundational. Investing in additional skills at the top of the house could make or break your workforce planning outcomes.

There are lots of nuggets in this report. It’s a pretty quick read and the data sources include Accenture, of course, and the likes of the World Economic Forum, Manpower Group, ILO, OECD, Harvard Business Review, Pew Research Center, INSEAD and many others. Citing these sources is one of the reasons I really like the report. This isn’t the usual white paper.

If you’re really getting into the weeds of planning for your future workforce, this is a strong addition to your data sources. Not only is the report useful, but the list of source material could keep you going for weeks.

 

 

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Filed under Accenture, China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Demographics, Future of Work, Generations at work, Gig Economy, HR Data, HR Trends, Human Capital, Strategic Workforce Planning, Talent Management, Workforce Demographics, Workforce Planning