Category Archives: HR Trends

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:

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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:

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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

That State of American Jobs and Workers

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While I was browsing the internet looking for some economic data, I came across this 2016 report from the Pew Research Center:  The State of American Jobs. And it is compelling! The Pew Research Center is “a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. They conduct public opinion polling, demographic research, content analysis and other data-driven social science research.”

This report is hefty at 95 pages, but it is totally readable. And full of great information about the state of the U.S. workforce. I couldn’t put it down. (Well, I couldn’t stop scrolling forward.)

There are five sections – and they’re all fascinating. If you have anything to do with people in your organization – hiring, managing, training, deploying – there will be nuggets here that will absolutely help you be more effective. The five sections are:

  1. Changes in the American workplace
  2. How Americas assess the jobs situation today and prospects for the future
  3. How Americans view their jobs
  4. Skills and training needed to compete in today’s economy
  5. The value of a college education

Each of these alone are fascinating topics and the data/analysis provided generate great food for thought and action. An opening overview section sets the stage for a fascinating discussion of how American workers are assessing their skills, their ability to be competitive in the economy and the role of the U.S. education infrastructure to ensure employability.

Here are two graphs from the overview section that ought to catch your eye. First:

pew-2And second:

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Each of these graphs tells a profound story about workers, responsibility for employability, and the role of our education system in preparing workers for careers. And these are just in the overview. Wait until you see the nuggets in each of the following 5 chapters.

95 pages seem long – but it really isn’t. There are insights galore here that can help you in your talent attraction, development, retention and deployment policies and programs. And you don’t have to dig to get to the nuggets. They’re right there on the surface. Download it here, and browse through it first. Then go back and delve in to the chapters that really appeal to you. If you’re in any kind of people business – and who isn’t? – those nuggets will be valuable. Totally worth your time.

 

 

 

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Filed under China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Employee Productivity, HR Data, HR Trends, Human Capital, Pew Research Center, Post-secondary education, Talent Analytics, Workforce Demographics, Workforce Planning

Whatever Happened to Succession Planning?

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Here’s an interesting and quick read by Ben Eubanks and Trish McFarlane for Ultimate SoftwareThe New Realities of Work. Ben and Trish are seasoned HR leaders turned analysts within the HR technology space and this quick read reflects the depth of their in-the-trenches HR experience as well as their knowledge of the HR tech space.

This quick hit has 5 topics:ultimate-1

  1. Strengths-based Talent Practices
  2. Social Influence
  3. Collaborative Innovation
  4. Tools Promoting Partnership
  5. Blending Approaches for Better Outcomes

The first category, Strengths-based Talent Practices has a configuration I hadn’t seen before:

  • Talent acquisition
  • Learning
  • Performance
  • Succession

Talent acquisition, learning and performance management are the usual suspects in these conversations; but I don’t see succession included in these broader discussions any more and I appreciated seeing it here. The concepts of succession and succession planning have given way to the almost singular focus on talent retention and the necessity of doing a better job at managing the various generations in our workforces. Giving succession planning short shrift through the organization has given rise to higher turnover and inadequate preparation of talent to assume higher levels of responsibility. In short, a major part of retaining talent is preparing it for ever greater roles and responsibilities. I may be totally out to lunch here, but I think our focus on retaining talent has made us laggards in educating and preparing our talent for greater responsibilities. We’re taking a very short term view, which, in my opinion, exacerbates the talent retention challenge.

This quick treatment doesn’t shed a ton of light on this issue, but rather includes it in the a broad (and quick) discussion of the new realities of work and calls it out as an area of best practice. Check it out. Trish and Ben have done a nice job.

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Filed under #HRTechTrends, China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, HR, HR Technology, HR Trends

Zombie HR

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The Future of Work, a new report from the SHRM Foundation, is a quick study on, well, the future of work.

Everyone talks about the future of work like it’s the next scary thing coming for us after the zombies have left. And that may be true (well, not the zombie part), so this short report can help you frame what you should be concerned about.

Working with the Economist Intelligence Unit, the SHRM Foundation identified 5 trends that their research shows are impacting the world of work:

  1. Demographic shifts
  2. Loss of middle-skilled jobs
  3. Skills gap: disconnect between educational standards and organizational demand
  4. Eroding physical barriers and increased globalization
  5. New models of work: crowdsourcing

Taken individually, none of these trends are surprising, right? But taken together, they create a set of concerns that keep most C-suite leaders, as well as their HR colleagues, up at night.

I believe that the most impactful of the five trends is number 3:  the skills gap. The growing disconnect between employer skills needs and output from the global education system is already impacting small, medium, and large employers everywhere in the world. The other four trends just make things even more challenging.

Take a look at the report. It’s a quick read and will put the whole “future of work” discussion into a helpful context.

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Filed under China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Demographics, Economist Intelligence Unit, Future of Work, HR Trends, Randstad, SHRM Foundation

Watson Agrees With Me!

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“More positive employee experiences are linked to better performance, extra effort at work, and lower turnover intentions.”

For people who follow my work as a speaker and a writer, this quote may seem familiar. And it’s true. I’ve said variations of this for several years. And I’ve had a range of data sources to back me up. But now, Watson has said it, so it must be true!

My friends at Globoforce and the IBM Smarter Workforce Institute have published a new white paper:  The Employee Experience Index. And it’s definitely worth a read – and not just because Watson agrees with me.

Together, Globoforce and IBM have created the Employee Experience Index that should give all those legacy engagement survey data analyses a run for their money. Frankly, I think focusing on “employee experience” rather than “engagement” makes sense. Employee experience is specific, it’s logical, it’s definable. “Engagement” is none of those things. After a broad research study that included literature review and construct identification, construct measurement, and index and driver definitions, they define employee experience as:  “a set of perceptions that employees have about their experiences at work in response to their interactions with the organization.” An elegantly simple definition. We can work with this!

And they did:  they created a 5-dimension, 10-item index to capture the core facets of employee experience:

  • Belonging – feeling part of a team, group or organization
  • Purpose – understanding why one’s work matters
  • Achievement – a sense of accomplishment in the work that is done
  • Happiness – the pleasant feeling arising in and around work
  • Vigor – the presence of energy, enthusiasm and excitement at work

These dimensions make so much sense to me. And here is the framework of drivers and outcomes of employee experience at work:

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Again, elegantly simple. Note the “Human Workplace Practices.” Not “best practices.” Not “effective practices.” Human practices. Watson is on to something!

This 13 page analysis and report includes findings like the following:  Positive employee experience is linked to better work performance, more effort, and retention. And their data supports these conclusions.

This is a terrific report. Download it here. It will give you a perspective on what many call engagement and will give you a context in which to engage your leaders – the folks who set the stage for your employees’ experience.

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Filed under China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Employee Engagement, Employee Experience Index, Engagement, Globoforce, HR Trends, Humanity in the workplace, IBM Smarter Workforce, Watson

Quality of Hire and Data

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“Quality of Hire” is one of those terms – like “engagement” – that we all use and all mean different things when we use it. And there is no standard definition. Directionally, we’re probably all in the same ballpark. But there is no precise, function-wide, commonly agreed-upon, global definition.

That’s why I read with interest Joe Murphy’s Quality of Hire:  Data Makes the Difference. It was published by Wiley in the Summer 2016 issue of Employment Relations Today.

Joe believes that Quality of Hire is not an abstraction or a myth. He believes that “It is a practical measure, comprising core talent acquisition processes and hiring outcome variables. Its factors can be identified, tracked, and reported in both qualitative and quantitative terms.” And then he shows how.

There’s a wealth of critical information in this article if you are not really comfortable with analytics – including predictive analytics. It breaks it down simply. I like the Talent Analytics Maturity Model and the way it is introduced:

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There are 4 phases in the model that progressively advance in terms of the analytics

Primitive

“Primitive analytics is the use of simple methods to organize random, text-based data.” Like that from a resume.

Evaluative

“Evaluative analytics is the mathematical analysis of relevant data.” Assigning numerical values to experience, or skills, or employers and adding them up.

Speculative

“Speculative analytics involves the complex analysis of largely random data and some element of relevant work-related data.” Like that from analyzing “verbal responses, converting spoken words to text to explore patterns and relationships.”

Predictive

“This method is characterized by experiment design and the conducting of correlational analysis with two or more sets of highly structured, job-relevant data.” These can be collected through work product samples and surveys about experience and work style.

The bottom line is this:

The growing use of data and analytics in all stages of the hiring process helps companies make more educated decisions about the people they hire and lessen the randomness of personal judgement in making these hiring decisions.

Moving beyond trying to make sense of random data (like resumes, LinkedIn profiles and notes from an interview) to using relevant data and advanced analytics really will make a difference in hiring outcomes and improve the quality of your hiring. Take a look at this article. Joe does a great job of making the case for the use of analytics to improve quality of hire – and to do it consciously and continuously.

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Filed under Analytics, Big Data and HR, China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Hiring, HR Analytics, HR Data, HR Trends, Joe Murphy, Quality of Hire, Recruiting, Shaker