Category Archives: Global Human Capital

Business Depends on Learning

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Every year, the Deloitte Human Capital Trends report is a treasure trove of insight into organization behavior and opportunities for success. You can go back to it multiple times and get something new each time. This is true for the 2016 report as it was for previous reports.

I was re-reading the chapter on Learning:  Employees Take Charge, and was taken, again, with the evaluation of where organizations are today and where they will have to be in the short term in order to attract, retain and deploy the talent they need.

This chart says it all, and should be required reading – not just for HR, but all leaders who hope to hang on to their team long enough to develop them!

deloitte-learning-trends-2016

Deloitte believes that the C-suite really does understand that in order to execute their business plans they need to constantly upgrade skills and focus on quickly developing leaders. I wish I had their faith in the C-suite!

This chapter in the larger trends reports ends with recommended starting points for organizations:

  • Recognize that employee-learners are in the driver’s seat
  • Become comfortable with the shift from push to pull
  • Use design thinking
  • Use technology to drive employee-centric learning
  • Realign and reengage
  • Adopt a learning architecture that supports an expanded vision for development
  • Adopt a learning architecture that supports continuous learning

If you haven’t downloaded the full report yet, do it now. You don’t have to read the whole thing in one sitting. Take it in bite sized pieces. You’ll be glad you did.

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Filed under C-suite, China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Deloitte, Employee Development Program, Global Human Capital, Learning/Development

Employer Branding Now

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Universum, the global employer branding and market research organization, recently published a new report on the state of employer branding practices. It’s good. If you’re unclear about what employer branding is, this report is for you. If you’re involved – at all – with talent acquisition, this report is for you. If you’ve created your EVP (employee value proposition) and are headed into activation, this report is for you. Because talent is everything in today’s hyper competitive global marketplace, employer branding is becoming a critical part of talent strategy.

The report, Employer Branding Now, is a comprehensive review of what leading organizations around the world are doing to become more successful in connecting with the talent they need. Without giving away the store, the following graph shows how overall investments in recruitment channels are shifting. No surprise that investments in social channels are increasing, along with employee referral programs and alumni networks. On the other side of the coin, it’s probably not surprising that print advertising is sinking rapidly. And while you may have thought job boards were dead, that just isn’t the case. But check out the third-party recruiter channel. Are you surprised?

Universum EBnow

Food for thought here, I think!

The report is the outcome of a yearly survey of approximately 2,500 employer branding managers from around the world. The respondents represent a wide range of industries, and include 100 of the FORTUNE 500.

The actionable insights that conclude the report give helpful direction to those in the thick of employer branding activation, as well as those just starting to work on their EVP:

  1. Create closer alignment between employer brand priorities and talent priorities.

  2. Fully leverage the power of EVPs to deliver greater employer brand focus and impact.

  3. Balance brand consistency with talent segmentation and local targeting.

  4. Invest in quality social media content (no longer a side order, now the meat of the day).

  5. Invest in analytics – effective employer brand strategies are increasingly numbers driven.

The report is delivered in a colorful and easy to read eBook format. It’s a good read with attractive and easily understood graphs and data points. You can get it here.

 

Full disclosure: I chair Universum’s North America Board.

 

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Filed under China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Employer Branding, FORTUNE Magazine, Global Human Capital, HR Analytics, Human Resources, Recruiting, Social Recruiting, Talent Acquisition, Universum

Human Capital Trends To Think About

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Deloitte’s Human Capital Trends 2016 Report, The new organization: different by design, is definitely worth a read. It’s long – 124 pages – but it will make you smart. Download it and start browsing.

I won’t say much about the content – you need to read it all – except to show you the 10 trends identified as worth our consideration this year. The trends are:

  1. Organization design/The rise of teams

  2. Leadership awakened/Generations, teams, science

  3. Shape culture/Drive strategy

  4. Engagement/Always on

  5. Learning/Employees take charge

  6. Design thinking/Crafting the employee experience

  7. HR/Growing momentum toward a new mandate

  8. People analytics/Gaining speed

  9. Digital HR/Revolution not evolution

  10. The gig economy/Distraction or disruption?

This is a meaty, insightful discussion of the trends facing organizations, leaders, culture and people. Even if you don’t agree with the conclusions, you need to be educated and thoughtful about these ten trends. Take a look:

Deloitte HCM Trends 2016

Down the report here. Now. It’s that important.

 

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Filed under China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Deloitte, Global Human Capital, HR Analytics, HR Data, HR Trends, Human Capital, Human Resources, Josh Bersin

HR Journey: Talent Management in Singapore and Viet Nam

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Gerry Crispin and I are back at it! We’re joining forces once again to lead a delegation of senior HR leaders on an international recon trip. Last year it was Cuba. (Links to blog posts from the Cuba trip are here, here, here and here.) This year it is Viet Nam and Singapore! These two economies are growing targets of U.S. investment and leaders in both countries are dealing with unique talent challenges. Come along with us as we meet with leaders from business, academia and government to get an up-close and personal introduction to each country. We’re partnering with Nanda Journeys to deliver an extraordinary professional and cultural development experience.

Singapore 1

The experience starts from LAX and is 9 days and 7 nights (crossing the international date line is confusing…) The first stop is Singapore and the second is Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). Both locations include meetings with HR professionals and the SHRM equivalent there. Next up will be interactions with appropriate government officials and local businesses. Of course cultural activities will be built in so that we’ll feel like we know both the business context and the cultural framework of these southeast Asia business hubs. Click here for the day-by-day agenda.

These HR delegations deliver far more than professional development and cultural learning. You’ll meet and travel with some of the most interesting and accomplished HR leaders around. There’s nothing like traveling internationally with a group of like-minded professionals to expand your own sense of self and profession. You’ll make life-long friends with whom you’ll want to travel again.

Unlike the Cuba trip last year, there will be a Guest Program running side by side with the professional program, so spouses, partners, and other guests are welcome to join you on this grand adventure. The focus of the Guest Program is national history and culture.

Take a look at the itinerary and details. Gerry and I would love to have you join the people who have already signed up. You might want to make your reservation now, because the spots are filling up — and let us know if you have questions.

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Filed under China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Gerry Crispin, Global HR, Global Human Capital, Global Leadership Development, HR, Human Resources, Nanda Journeys, Uncategorized

Work and Workers Are Changing

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I’m a big fan of the SHRM Foundation. The resources they put in the hands of HR professionals all over the world are impressive. They do this by funding academic research in areas of interest to HR and business leaders, they provide scholarships for HR professionals to further their professional development and credentials, and they partner with organizations like The Economist Intelligence Unit to provide deep dives into the most pressing people issues of the day. I like that. A lot.

While attending the SHRM Foundation’s most recent Thought Leader Retreat in the fall, I picked up this nifty piece of thought leadership from 2014: What’s Next: Future global Trends Affecting Your Organization; Evolution of Work and the Worker. Published in partnership with The Economist Intelligence Unit, this report discusses the outcomes of “a rigorous process of surveys, expert-panel discussions and analysis” to identify key themes that look at What’s Next in the evolution of work and the worker.

The executive summary lists nine key findings – some are just what you’d expect in considering how work is changing and how the role of workers is changing. Some, however, might be surprising to you:

  • Demographic shifts post conflicting challenges

  • Young populations neither in education nor employment will elevate concerns of a lost generation and the potential for social and political unrest in the near future

  • Burgeoning workplace diversity requires sophisticated managerial response

  • Disconnect between educational standards and organizational demand

  • Services sector on the rise globally at the expense of agriculture and industry

  • Technology transforms workforce composition and culture

  • Wage expectations conflict with increased focus on shareholder value

  • Inequality on the rise as technology decimates the mid-skilled tier

  • Companies balance pros and cons of investment in new regions of development

The discussions in this 48 page report are fascinating and cover a lot of ground. Each topic has graphs from a multitude of sources – if you just read the graphs you’d start to develop a new awareness of the global challenges we face in providing sustainable people strategies for our organizations. This one tells a pretty interesting story:

EIU SHRM Foundation 1

Another one that takes an interesting look at global competitiveness – and perhaps an outcome of the chart above – is here:

Eiu SHRM Foundation 2

I encourage you to pull down this report. It’s a little more than a year old, but it highlights the global issues with which organizations are grappling. HR professionals need to have meta data like this top of mind. Whether you’re leading HR in a one-location organization, or an HR team member in a large, global organization – work is changing. And workers are really changing. And some of the reasons they are changing have to do with what’s happening in other places in the world. It’s not enough any more to only know what the trend data are for your pocket of the world. We – especially HR professionals – need to understand all the levers that are pushing on our people, our industry and our work. This report could assist in developing a broader understanding of why this is important.

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Filed under China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Demographics, Economist Intelligence Unit, Effective Practice Guidelines, Employment Data, Global Human Capital, HR Data, Human Resources, SHRM Foundation, Uncategorized

Cuba: Jerry-rigged To Fail

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Gerry Crispin and I led a delegation of 21 senior HR executives to Cuba last week. I’m still processing what we experienced and learned, but wanted to share some high level observations for you. First of all, read Laurie Ruettimann’s blog post from yesterday here. Her take is, as always, captivating and profound.

Second, let me set the stage for you. With recent developments in the relationship between Cuba and the U.S., it seems important to begin to understand how work happens in Cuba. It may not be long before U.S. employers can open up businesses or begin to invest in Cuba’s infrastructure. And understanding the history of work since the revolution would be a critical step. Additionally, understanding the social context of the revolution and the subsequent U.S. embargo and their impact on the people, careers and lives of Cubans would be another critical step. And finally, understanding how Cuba works (or in many cases, doesn’t work) would be the ultimate learning.

So, 21 hardy HR executives set out on the 14th of November to get those questions answered. Our delegation was made up of CHROs, heads of Talent Acquisition, consultants, bloggers, job board owners, academics and other senior HR types. Age-wise we ranged from early 30’s to early 70’s, so we were an amazingly diverse group from every angle.

Because this was an education-focused delegation we met with senior level government officials in the Ministry of Work and Social Security, the Foreign Ministry, the national workers union, the Ministry of Tourism, the national Jurists union, and several other senior government representatives who could interact with us about work and employment in Cuba. Additionally we met with members of a local Committee for the Defense of the Revolution, a sort of “neighborhood watch” group that provides social activities as well as a way for the party to watch over citizens at the most grass roots level.

Our interactions were fascinating, challenging, and disturbing. I’ve been to developing nations and seen abject poverty in places like India, China, Jamaica, Uruguay and others. And in those places I’ve been aware that the governments were working hard to lift up their economies and their people. But not Cuba. And that is kind of insane. There’s an insistence that the Revolution is working and that the hardships their citizens have endured – particularly since the collapse of the Soviet Union – are all for the good of the populace in service of their communist/socialist ideals. The insistence that unemployment is 2.7% when only 4 million of their more than 11 million citizens are working seems completely out of touch. The fact that the Cuban government just raised the salaries of doctors to 1,600 Cuban Pesos a month (about $60 U.S.) is noteworthy because it was used over and over again as an example of how the government is loosening its grip on worker compensation and embracing a more market-based approach to “business.” The anticipation/fear about what will happen in the next Presidential election as Raul Castro has declared he won’t stand for reelection is palpable. In short, the world of work in Cuba is tenuous at best. Everything in Cuba is tenuous at best.

Cuba 1

It seemed to me that the people we met with – officially and unofficially – fell into two camps: those who are true believers in the revolution and those who would like to leave Cuba this very minute and never return. Unfortunately, the true believers are all in official government positions with perks and influence, and the ones who would like to leave and never return are everyone else.

The infrastructure of Cuba is decrepit. It truly is as if time stopped in 1960. The classic cars from the 1950’s are something amazing to behold (and held together with duct tape, wire and glue), but they are the perfect example of life in Cuba: sometimes things work, but mostly they don’t. And when they do work, they don’t work like they’re supposed to and only do work because they were jerry-rigged.

Cuba 2

Despite all of this adversity the Cuban people are warm, lovely and eager to be hospitable – particularly to Americans. Most Cubans have family in the U.S. who fled during the revolution or who left in the subsequent mass migration. More than one Cuban joked with us that the “real” capital of Cuba is Miami. These people want to be productive, to live happy lives and provide for their families. In that way they are no different than we are and they are a potential gold mine in the challenging global talent pool. The Cuban government declares 100% literacy in their population and if that’s true, they could add significantly to the global economy. If they can get to it.

Gerry Crispin said something really profound early in the trip when I asked him how he was doing. He replied, “Wonderful. Because that’s the only option.” I think the same is true for Cubans. How is life in Cuba? It’s wonderful, because to admit it isn’t is to cast aspersions on the revolution, Fidel and Che – and most importantly, because it makes the future far more terrifying than it already is.

Our trip to Cuba was fascinating, interesting, challenging, more than a little heart-breaking, and disturbing. Whatever is next for its economy, social and political structure, and its people – they need help. Lots and lots of help.

 

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Filed under China Gorman, Cuba, Gerry Crispin, Global HR, Global Human Capital, Uncategorized

Deloitte’s HR Wake Up Call

data point tuesday_500Deloitte recently released its 2015 Global Human Capital Trends report, their annual comprehensive study of HR, leadership, and talent challenges compiled using data from surveys and interviews taken by 3,300+ HR and business leaders in 106 countries around the world. The report identifies 10 major trends that emerged from the most current research, and cites the capability gap (measuring the distance between the importance of an issue and organizations’ readiness to address it) associated with each, as well as practical ideas for how to help organizations combat theses challenges. Ranked by importance, the top ten talent challenges reported for 2015 are: culture and engagement, leadership, learning and development, reinventing HR, workforce on demand, performance management, HR and people analytics, simplification of work, machines as talent, and people data everywhere.

Deloitte’s data highlight considerable gaps in capability among all 10 trends, with the majority of capability gaps getting larger compared to last year. Global Importance vs. ReadinessLet’s take a look at the top five talent issues for 2015: Culture and Engagement ranked as the #1 issue overall for 2015 (not a surprise to us at Great Place to Work®), barely edging out leadership, which ranked as the #1 issue in 2014. This highlights organizations’ recognition that understanding their culture and focusing on building great cultures is a critical need in the face of a potential retention and engagement crisis. Building Leadership ranks as the #2 talent issue for 2015, with close to 9 out of 10 respondents citing the issue as “important” or “very important.” Despite this, Deloitte’s data show that organizations have made very little progress towards meeting this challenge since last year. Learning and Development jumped to the #3 talent challenge in 2015, up from the #8 spot last year. And while the number of companies rating learning and development as important has tripled since 2014, the readiness to address it has actually gone down (!?). Reskilling HR came in as the 4th most important talent issue for the year, with business leaders rating HR’s performance 20% lower than HR leaders’ ranking (and that is with both HR and business leaders ranking HR performance as low on average). Workforce on Demand was the #5 talent challenge for 2015, with 8 out of 10 respondents citing workforce capability as “important” or “very important” in the year ahead.

Through data analysis and extensive conversations with organizations around the world about these challenges, Deloitte arrived at six key findings that give us a bird’s eye view of how organizations are approaching talent and work:

  1. “ ‘Softer’ areas such as culture and engagement, leadership, and development have become urgent priorities.”
  1. “Leadership and learning have dramatically increased in importance, but the capability gap is widening.”
  1. “HR organizations and HR skills are not keeping up with business needs.”
  1. “HR technology systems are a growing market, but their promise may be largely unfulfilled.”
  1. “Talent and people analytics are a high priority and a tremendous opportunity, but progress is slow.”
  1. “Simplification is an emerging theme; HR is part of the problem.”

Each chapter in Deloitte’s report takes a deep dive view into the 10 talent trends they uncovered through their research with some interested findings. For example (in looking at the #4 trend, reskilling HR) Deloitte notes that nearly 40% of new CHRO’s now come from business, not from HR. Why are CEOs bringing in non-HR professionals to fill the role of CHRO? The answer may lie in their sinking belief in HR’s capabilities and abilities to provide solutions to people-related business problems.HR Performance

Deloitte puts it bluntly: right now HR is just not keeping up with the pace of business, and a reskilling of HR professionals while reinventing the role of HR is becoming critical. This need however, also creates an unprecedented opportunity for HR to play a big role at the highest levels of business strategy. But where do organizations start? Deloitte offers the following advice:

  • “Redesign HR with a focus on consulting and service delivery, not just efficiency of administration. HR business partners must become trusted business advisors with the requisite skills to analyze, consult, and resolve critical business issues.”
  • “Rather than locating HR specialists in central teams, embed them into the business—but coordinate them by building a strong network of expertise. Recruitment, development, employee relations, and coaching are all strategic programs that should be centrally coordinated but locally implemented.”
  • “Make HR a talent and leadership magnet… Create rigorous assessments for top HR staff and rotate high performers from the business into HR to create a magnet for strong leaders.”
  • “Invest in HR development and skills as if the business depended on it… Focus on capabilities such as business acumen, consulting and project management skills, organizational design and change, and HR analytical skills.”

There are very useful insights in this report – as there are every year. But this year the insights also serve as a warning to HR. A warning that it’s losing the confidence of CEOs and other C-Suite executives. That 40% of all CHROs are coming from functions other than HR should be sobering. That the top capability gaps are growing larger, not smaller, should be cause for concern. Without bringing furniture into the conversation, this report is a credible and important HR wake up call!

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Filed under China Gorman, Culture, Data Point Tuesday, Global Human Capital, HR, Human Resources, Leadership, Learning/Development