Category Archives: Data Point Tuesday

The Woodstock For HR

The competitive world of HR Conferences may be changing forever. And that’s not a bad thing, in my opinion. Innovation is happening in this space – from stronger SHRM state conference offerings, to an additional HR technology-related conference (HR Tech World) being introduced in the U.S,, to other new entries – all designed to disrupt the usual HR conference offerings and deliver greater value to attendees.

The best example of this is the WorkHuman conference, held last month in Phoenix. With well over 1,700 attendees and almost no corporate sponsors (except for the organizer, Globoforce), the focus was on engaging, useful, envelope-edge pushing content and nurturing/inspiring attendee experiences. Described as “the Woodstock for HR” by Globoforce CEO, Eric Mosley, WorkHuman isn’t our parents’ HR conference. Heck, it isn’t even our HR conference.

Re-certification credit opportunities abounded, but the focus of WorkHuman – unlike many of the really large HR conferences – was on the attendee experience. From early morning yoga and runs or walks, to healthy snack breaks, to half-hour content blocks (how many one-hour sessions can you attend in a two-day conference?), to lobby-area snackable content presentations, to blockbuster keynote speakers:  this conference is changing how HR does conferences and I see its impact on almost every other HR-related conference I attend.

It’s true that I advised the organizers on their first two conferences, but I came as an attendee this year and was thrilled to see that, despite its rapid growth (year one:  300+ attendees; year two: 600+ attendees), its focus on engaging the full human attendee has not wavered. Any time you get more than 1,500 conference attendees, the organizers tend to focus on 1) logistics, 2) schedules, and 3) sponsors/exhibitors. The people who attend become “blocks” that need to be moved around, That hasn’t happened at WorkHuman. Attendees arrive as humans and leave as engaged and inspired humans.

  • Logistics

While the conference space was large, every thought was given to the humanity of the attendees. One didn’t need to walk far to get a drink of water. The signage was easily read. The venue provided rooms of appropriate size located in close proximity for the audiences – so that session sampling was possible. The “center aisle” held snack stations, a “spotlight” stage with indoor amphitheater seating for shorter more informal presentations, comfortable chairs for congregating and conversations, info stations, and cheerful, easily identified staff to answer questions and provide directions. It’s clear that the attendee was not relegated to “steerage” status at WorkHuman. They were front and center at all times.

  • Schedules

It’s true that activities started very early – but the early agenda entries were healthy and focused on strengthening the body as well as the mind, as opposed to cramming in more re-cert credits. Starting a conference day with yoga or a group run followed by a healthy breakfast seems a smart way to start a day of learning, regeneration, and inspiration.

  • Sponsors/exhibitors

The short description is that there weren’t any. Well, outside of Globoforce, the conference organizer. It’s a rather remarkable conference experience, to be focused on new ideas, on new connections, and new ways of leading rather than being sold by vendors at every step of the way. Don’t get me wrong:  I’m not anti-sponsor/exhibitor. This is just a new way of organizing. It is fitting for a conference focused on bringing humanity into our everyday organizational life to create an exhibitor-free experience. It makes sense. As the conference gets bigger and bigger, it may make business sense to bring on a few selected sponsors, but don’t look for a major exhibition hall any time soon. Attendees take away value far greater than cheap exhibitor tchotchkes at WorkHuman.

Globoforce upends the usual HR conference calculus. By investing in the WorkHuman movement, by engaging the most current speakers and content, by prioritizing the attendee experience as the most important component of an HR conference, the WorkHuman team has created – and strengthened – one of the most compelling business conference events currently available.

Next year’s conference will be in Austin, TX (April 3-5) and keynoter Brené Brown has already been announced. I hope I see you there!

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

Internet Trends and the USA’s Income Statement

Every year, I look forward to two reports:  The Deloitte Human Capital Trends report and the Kleiner Perkins Internet Trends report. I’ve written about the Deloitte report here and here; and the Internet Trends report here and here. The 2017 Internet Trends report was published last week and it’s a doozy!

Ever year Mary Meeker, from Kleiner Perkins, takes a vast look at what the Internet is doing to the world. How it is changing everything. While it’s never about HR, per se, HR is in most nooks and crannies of the data that are shared. And it really should be required reading for all business leaders. Including HR. This year, at 355 pages, the report is a blockbuster. And worthy of more than one Data Point Tuesday post.

This year’s report looks at these areas:

  • Global internet trends
  • Online advertising (and commerce)
  • Interactive games
  • Media
  • The cloud
  • China Internet
  • India Internet
  • Healthcare
  • Global public/private Internet companies
  • Some macro thoughts
  • Closing thoughts

To be honest, I always start with the macro thoughts section. This is where she drops the aha! moments. Well, at least for me. And this year was no different. Part of the macro thoughts are about USA, Inc. and she leads off with the USA’s income statement comparing F1986 through F2016. If you think of the USA as a business, this is eye popping.

What does this have to do with HR? Well, nothing and everything. Understanding income statements is a requirement for any business leader today. Including those in HR. Understanding how our businesses spend and make money is key to being able to successfully lead and invest in people.

Understanding our nation’s income statement should be a requirement for every citizen. Knowing how the taxes we pay are used, where our money is being invested, and the state of our debt are all important things for us to know. Be honest:  have you ever really thought about our nation’s finances from an income statement perspective? Even if you have, this ought to be under a magnet on your refrigerator door!

Knowing the state of our nation’s finances will put into perspective the state of your employer’s finances – and the choices that are being made nationally as well as at work. This is called perspective and it’s a valuable thing to have.

Next week, we’ll take a look at another aspect of the Internet Trends Report for 2017 that may have a more direct connection to the world of HR. In the meantime, you might take a look at it here. (And the 355 pages are PowerPoint pages, so they’re pretty easy to move through.)

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Filed under Analytics, Big Data and HR, China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Deloitte, Demographics, HR Trends, Internet Trends, KPCB, Mary Meeker

Investing in Recruitment Marketing?

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“Over 70% of companies are planning to invest in solutions with recruitment marketing capabilities over the next 12 months.”

This is one of the opening quotes in Aptitude Research’s Recruitment Marketing Index 2017, a comprehensive review of the world of recruitment marketing. It’s fascinating.

The report, focused on providing essential information to enable the understanding of the recruitment marketing vendor space, doesn’t rank providers. Rather, it shines a light on the space and provides some organizing principles for understanding what’s happening in this dynamic and competitive space.

The report starts with an overview of the top 10 trends in recruitment marketing – and they may not be what you expect:

  1. The need for greater simplicity

  2. The opportunity in the mid-market

  3. The cost is justified

  4. Artificial intelligence is a must-have

  5. A different set of metrics

  6. ATS satisfaction increases with an RMP investment

  7. Services take two forms

  8. Recruitment marketing is an experience solution

  9. Companies want more use cases

  10. Inbound marketing is a differentiator

Early in the report, Madeline Laurano, Co-Founder & Chief Research Officer, defines a recruitment marketing platform as a platform that “manages outbound sourcing, inbound recruitment marketing, and employer branding. A recruitment marketing platform includes capabilities that maintain the employer brand, foster candidate relationships, and enhance messaging and communication efforts. The most critical capabilities in these systems include: Career Site, SEO, Employee Referrals, and Talent Communities/Networks.”

Simply put, it opens the top of the funnel and manages the interactions with talent in a robust and clear way that creates rather than destroys relationships.

The top four priorities of talent acquisition leaders when contemplating investments in their practices are these:

Aptitude Research 2

So, providers need to ensure that these four bases are covered. Thanks to Aptitude’s research, you can clearly understand which providers offer which capabilities. It is not surprising that improving the candidate experience is the top of the wish list – and a capability that is no long a “nice-to-have” feature.

The report is hefty, at 90 pages, but it’s a primer on recruitment marketing. If hiring more people – and more people who fit your organization better – is part of your remit, this report will give you the foundation you need to begin to put your strategies and plans in place. As usual, the Aptitude Research team has done a great job of both analyzing a critical part of the market, as well as  educating the HR professional on providers to consider.

 

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Filed under Aptitude Research Partners, China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Madeline Laurano, Recruiting Technology, Recruitment Marketing

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