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

The Future Is Now

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Deloitte’s annual human capital report was just published. I look forward to this one every year because it’s backed by a massive amount of data collection and analysis, it’s easy to read, it always throws at least one curve ball, and there’s a TON of useful information. This may be the most on point, useful research report published for leaders each year. At 144 pages, Rewriting the Rules for the Digital Age is not a quick read, but it’s a must read for every HR professional – regardless of the size of your organization. Whether you’re a department of one, a depart of 10, or a department of hundreds of thousands, the trends captured by Deloitte’s survey and discussions need to be on your radar. Period.

Each year the survey identifies the top 10 human capital trends that should be shaping organizational decision- and policy-making, investments, budgets and leadership behavior. This year they are:

Trend 1           The Organization of the Future:  Arriving Now

Trend 2           Careers and Learning:  Real Tim, All the Time

Trend 3           Talent Acquisition:  Enter the Cognitive Recruiter

Trend 4           The Employee Experience:  Culture, Engagement, and Beyond

Trend 5           Performance Management:  Play a Winning Hand

Trend 6           Leadership Disrupted:  Pushing the Boundaries

Trend 7           Digital HR:  Platforms, People, and Work

Trend 8           People Analytics:  Recalculating the Route

Trend 9           Diversity and Inclusion:  The Reality Gap

Trend 10         The Future of Work:  The Augmented Workforce

As you look at these trends, don’t you think to yourself, “you could write a whole book on each topic!”? Well, I did. But the good news is, after the introduction, there is a whole chapter on each trend with data, analysis, heat maps, graphs – all the goodies you’d expect.

But here are two graphs from the Introduction, Rewriting the Rules for the Digital Age, that sets the context for everything that follows. If you’re like me, you’ll do a bit of a head smack when you see these and say to yourself, “Yep. That’s exactly how it’s working. Or not.”

deloitte-hcm-trends-2017-fig-1And,

deloitte-hcm-trends-2017-fig-2

These make so much sense and really underscore HR’s role in leading all organizational leaders to consider the broader context of what technology can – and must – mean in the coming years.

I don’t want to give away the store here, so I won’t share more of the research and conclusions. Read the trends analysis yourself. See how you would prioritize the 10 trends and make a plan. Time to roll up your sleeves! Remember that old saying, that the future is now? Well, in this context, it’s true.

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Want To Improve Your Business Outcomes?

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Last week I wrote about the new Gallup report, State of the American Workplace, and discussed some of its broader findings. This week, we’ll dig in a little more specifically.

Two of the chapters, U.S. Workers: Increasingly Confident and Ready to Leave, and The Competitive Advantage of Engaging Employees, should be required reading for all leaders as well as HR folks.

Let’s look at the chapter on U.S. workers having one foot out the door first. According to Gallup, “51% of U.S. employees say they are actively looking for a new job or watching for openings.” Think about that for a minute. A little more than half of your employees have at least one foot out the door.

Optimism about the job market is up for good reason:  hiring is up. Gallup measures job creation and reports its Job Creation Index. In 2012 the Gallup Job Creation Index averaged +18. For the first three quarters of 2016, it averaged +32. So our employees have a deservedly high level of confidence that when they leave, they can find a good replacement job fairly quickly. It’s no wonder that many of our employees have a “grass is greener” outlook.

gallup-employees-are-leaving-2017

And, of course, all of these reasons tie into your HR strategies, policies and plans. Your approach to employee engagement should be tying in to these 5 reasons for employee resignations.

While there are many definitions for employee engagement, this really caught my eye in the report:

“Some leaders and managers believe the ultimate goal of employee engagement is higher levels of worker happiness and satisfaction. Happier workers certainly benefit an organization, but the real goal of employee engagement is improved business outcomes.”

Boom! Let me quote this again:  “…the real goal of employee engagement is improved business outcomes.” Every definition of employee engagement works here – as long as we understand the real outcome for which we’re working.

If employees are happier, they’ll work smarter and harder and quality will go up, improving our business outcomes.

If employees feel respected, they’ll be more committed and stay longer, improving our business outcomes.

If employees’ skills are developed, they’ll make greater contributions, improving our business outcomes.

If employees see a career path forward, they’ll be more committed and stay longer, improving our business outcomes.

If employees feel connected to the organization’s mission, they’ll spend more of their discretionary energy on the job, improving our business outcomes.

You get the point. As you’ll see in the chapter on The Competitive Advantage of Engaging Employees, employee engagement isn’t a nice-to-have any more. In this age of talent shortages and high turnover, employee engagement is a requirement to meet and exceed our business goals.

Gallup has been measuring employee engagement globally for a long time. In the U.S. the figures for the last 16 years are surprising. And not in a good way. They are actually alarming. Take a look:

gallup-engagement-2017-original

What’s alarming about this data is that, essentially, despite a ton of investment in programs, approaches, technology, and training, the employee engagement needle hasn’t moved since 2000. For all intents and purposes, despite our best (?) efforts, the percentage of the workforce that is either Not Engaged or Actively Disengaged hasn’t moved at all over the last 16 years. Somehow, despite our best efforts, we are not convincing our employees that we value them, that we need them, or that we want them. And they’re actively looking. Add in to the equation that there a lots of jobs available – and a lot of them are good jobs – and it’s easy to see why employees feel empowered to check out the green grass across the street or across the country.

Perhaps we aren’t speaking their language. Perhaps we aren’t letting them in as real partners in our drive for success. Perhaps we aren’t asking, or listening, or engaging. But it’s clear from this data – and a great many other sources – that the average organization needs to step up its employee engagement game.

The data are clear. Engaged employees – use definition you like – have lower turnover, lower absenteeism, higher customer metrics, higher productivity, higher sales, higher profitability – as I have been quoted saying, “everything we measure that we want to go up will go up, and everything we measure that we want to go down will down when we create a culture that values its humans.”

Download this report. Download it today and start considering how you can improve your business outcomes by engaging your employees.

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Filed under China Gorman, Culture, Data Point Tuesday, Employee Engagement, Employee Productivity, Gallup, Happiness at Work, Talent Management, Workforce Management, Workplace Culture

Got Culture?

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Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report is out. It’s a lot of information (214 pages!). But it’s important information and you’ll enjoy the most current data from this global collector and analyzer of work related data.

We talk about employee engagement – or some other euphemism for connecting with employees in a human, caring way – all the time. We get at our data through the famous surveys from organizations like Gallup, Great Place to Work™, Quantum Workplace, or Workplace Dynamics – or any of a hundred other providers of culture measurement and strengthening solutions. And we compete in geographical and industry competitions all over the world to claim one of the top spots in great organizational culture lists. All of this to attract and retain world class employees.

I’m a big believer that culture trumps most every other organizational dynamic in the war for talent, innovation, profitability, top line growth, competitiveness and any other thing you might measure. I’ve been quoted frequently as saying that “strong, positive  cultures improve everything we measure that we want to go up, as well as reducing everything we measure that we want to go down.” And it’s true. But intentionally creating and managing the right kind of culture is getting more difficult as the world gets more and more complex: 4 or 5 generations in the workplace; Big Data and Artificial Intelligence; globalization; nationalism; terrorism; population growth; global warming – the list of external dynamics – some might say threats – impact  our organizations’ success as well as how we relate with our employees seems to grow every day.

So, I appreciate organizations that collect data, make sense of it, and then make it available to all of us. I appreciate them a lot. And Gallup does a better job than most. This report, State of the American Workplace, has a ton of interesting data in it. You probably don’t want to read it in one sitting, but you do want to read it all.

In the executive summary, the report lays out the roadmap for leaders to follow in creating organization sustainability:

  • design and deliver a compelling and authentic employer brand
  • take employee engagement from a survey to a cultural pillar that improves performance
  • approach performance management in ways that motivate employees
  • offer benefits and perks that influence attraction and retention
  • enable people to work successfully from locations besides the office
  • construct office environments that honor privacy while encouraging collaboration
  • improve clarity and communication for employees who work on multiple teams

Sounds simple, I know; but any leader who has tried to create a stronger culture knows that this is hard stuff. It’s 3 steps forward, 2 steps back stuff. And Gallup has the data to back it up.

The executive summary ends with this:

“The one thing leaders cannot do is nothing. They cannot wait for trends to pass them by, and they cannot wait for millennials to get older and start behaving like baby boomers.”

The chapters are mini culture theses in themselves:

  1. U.S. workers: increasingly confident and ready to leave
  2. Do employees want what your workplace is selling?
  3. The real truth about benefits and perks
  4. The competitive advantage of engaging your employees
  5. A shift in managing performance
  6. A closer look at the 12 elements of engagement
  7. Making sense of matrixed teams
  8. The changing place and space of work

I encourage you to delve into these chapters and consider the data, the analysis and the conclusions in each. In chapter 2, data are shared that might motivate you to reconsider how you think your employment candidates are evaluating your organization as a potential employer:

gallup-american-workplace-2017-1

Increase in income potential and a well-known brand are not as important as they once were. Did you know that?

There are a number of similar “ah-ha” data points in this report. They are easily accessible, simply constructed and are potential game changers as you think about your organization’s culture and its impact on your ability to retain and acquire the talent you need.

Download it here. I think you’ll gain surprising new insights.

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Filed under Big Data and HR, China Gorman, Company Culture, Data Point Tuesday, Employee Engagement, Employee Satisfaction, Gallup, Generations at work, HR Analytics, HR Data, HR Trends, Human Capital, Talent Analytics, Talent Management, Workplace Culture

What The Heck Is Candidate Experience?

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Well, it’s that time of year. All kinds of new research reports are being published – the kinds of reports that we collect and never seem to have enough time to read. We’ve all got them on our hard drives. But here’s one you’ll download and read. Multiple times. The information is that useful!

Of course, I’m talking about the Candidate Experience 2016 report. It’s here! Talent Board, the non-profit organization behind the data collection, research, and report, has stepped up to the plate again. As background, Talent Board, was founded by Gerry Crispin, Elaine Orler, and Ed Newman, in 2010 to “recognize the candidate experience offered by companies throughout the entire recruitment cycle and to forever change the manner in which job candidates are treated.” Starting first with the North America market, it has since grown to include the United Kingdom, EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa), as well as the Asia Pacific region. I’ll share information from the North America market, but know that there are layers of data and analysis that are truly global in their reach.

For 2016, data were collected from 183,000 candidates who applied to more than 240 organizations who wanted to know what their candidates thought about their experience as employment candidates.

Broken down into three major sections – Attract, Recruit, and Hire – the data collected are fascinating. Within these three sections are subsections that cover the complete candidate experience:  Employer Branding, Recruitment Marketing and Sourcing in the Attract section; Apply, Screen and Disposition, and Interview and Select in the Recruit section; and Offer, Onboarding and New Hire in the Hire section. Within each of these subsections the data and analysis (and case studies), are all organized with the following structure:

  • What It Is
  • What Candidates Want
  • What Employers Are Doing
  • Key Recommendations: What CandE Award Winners Do Better

This structure makes reading the analysis and report easy. Although 114 pages long, it’s easy to work through the material because of its organization. You won’t probably read this in one sitting, but its structure makes it easy to come back and continue reading.

Case studies include organizations like Capital One, CH2M, Delta Airlines, GE, Informatica, and several others. This is good stuff, folks. It shows how leading organizations are thinking about and executing on their need for talent in new and highly impactful ways. Charts abound and they are easy to read and understand, and easy to translate into new approaches and actions in your organization.

Perhaps the simplest graphs that create the case for attending to the candidate experience are these:

cande-report-2016

They create the critical business case for investing in the experience of your employment candidates – just as you would invest in the experience of your employees or customers. Pretty simple stuff. Simple, and hard to execute. The beauty of this report – and the attending webinars, awards, and activities – is that the data and analysis show clearly what strategies are working and what the impact of those strategies are in an increasingly critical market demographic:  your potential employees.

If you aren’t familiar with “candidate experience,” read this report. If you are familiar with “candidate experience,” get involved. The resources provided through Talent Board are extensive. Attending to the experience of your candidates could make the difference in your talent acquisition strategies and plans. And your ability to deliver the foundation for your organization’s growth:  the right people with the right skills at the right time.

 

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Filed under Candidate Experience, CareerXroads, China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Demographics, Ed Newman, Elaine Orler, Employer Branding, Gerry Crispin, HR Analytics, HR Data, HR Trends, Selection, Talent Acquisition