Category Archives: Human Resources

Is Your Organization An ACE?

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I rarely do book reviews here at Data Point Tuesday. When I do, it’s because the book is written specifically for my readers, HR professionals in the trenches, and because I know and respect the author. Today I’d like to recommend just such a book.

fulfilled-schiemannFulfilled! Critical Choices:  Work, Home, Life, written by William A. Schiemann, will be available on October 1. Lucky me, I got an advance copy and loved it! If you’re active in SHRM, then you have probably heard Bill speak at the Annual conference or at one of many state conferences where he continuously supports the HR profession. I saw Bill two weeks ago at the KYSHRM conference where we both keynoted. He’s a Ph.D. researcher, writer and consultant bringing evidence-based research into practical and useful focus for organizations of all types and sizes.

Fulfilled! Is a guidebook as well as a workbook – it helps you organize and chart the steps to find meaning in your life and your work, as well as supporting your organization in creating a culture where every employee can find that meaning. It’s full of true individual examples of people achieving real meaning as well as examples of people who missed the waypoints along the way and never achieved true fulfillment.

From an organizational perspective the organizing concept is ACE: alignment, capability and engagement, which Bill calls “People Equity.” Bill’s consulting firm, Metrus Group, has found that organizations with high People Equity have:

  • Higher profits or reach their goals more effectively
  • More loyal customers who buy more
  • High employee retention
  • Higher quality output

“The organizations that achieve high People Equity (high alignment, capabilities, and engagement) have a distinct advantage over their competitors. And the individuals who apply this concept to their live also win…”

I really appreciated both the individual and organizational discussions about alignment, capabilities and engagement. They are simple and easily understood – and so impactful. This is one “How-To” book that ought to be on every HR leader’s bookshelf.

I don’t want to give away the good stuff – the book is available on Amazon on October 1 and you should get it. But here’s a final view at the final chapters of the book, Life Lessons:

Lesson 1:  Keep the end in mind

Lesson 2:  Nurture your body

Lesson 3:  Build a social network (but have at least one fantastic friend)

Lesson 4:  Always seek things you are passionate about

Lesson 5:  Take reasonable risks

Lesson 6:  Never stop learning – never!

Lesson 7:  Stick to your values and spirituality

Lesson 8:  Resilience – find the silver lining

Lesson 9:  Give and get

Lesson 10:  Check in with yourself regularly – force it!

You may think to yourself, I’ve read this book before. But I assure you, you haven’t. Bill brings to life real people who made good decisions as well as mistakes; who risked it all and who played it safe; who learned and who never learned. And the organizing principle of People Equity is truly a new view backed by years of research and real life practice.

And after you’ve read Fullfilled!, take it with you to your next HR conference. Chances are good that Bill will be keynoting and you can get him to autograph it for you!

 

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Filed under Balance, Business Success, China Gorman, Culture, Data Point Tuesday, Engagement, Happiness at Work, HR, HR Books, Human Resources, Performance, Productivity

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

Ian Ziskin on CHRO Success

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I don’t usually do book reviews on Data Point Tuesday. But Ian Ziskin, a high profile CHRO, has written a book and he very kindly sent me a copy. Ian and I both contributed chapters to The Rise of HR: Wisdom from 73 Thought Leaders, edited by Libby Sartain, Bill Schiemann, and Dave Ulrich (2015) from HRCI. I like this book, Three (The Human Resources Emerging Executive). And if you’re in HR, I think you should read it.

Three by Ian ZiskinThe book jacket says “This indispensable text gives emerging HR executives a roadmap for accelerating their overall business effectiveness and establishing their place in the field.” And it does just that in easy-to-digest, practical chapters that cover the whole spectrum of being an effective business and HR leader. Note that business comes before HR. And that’s why I really like this book:  his focus on the business.

Ian was the CHRO of 3 Fortune 100 corporations – Northrop Grumman, Qwest Communications and TRW – so he knows whereof he writes. His practical models and approaches ring true. Adding to the mix are academics like John Bourdreau, Wayne Cascio, Jay Conger, Ed Lawler, David Lewin, Dave Ulrich, Al Vicere and Theresa Welcourne. They have all been at the forefront of providing the academic research that underpins today’s HR practices.

The book itself is not a hard read. It is a bit of a workbook that encourages readers to actively engage in the content and in self-reflection. If you’re serious about becoming a CHRO, you should get a copy and get started. If you’re in HR and don’t want to be a CHRO, you should still get a copy and get started.

We all know that the world of HR is transforming before our very eyes. Read this and be prepared for what’s next.

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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

Do You Know What Your Candidates Are Thinking? (And I don’t mean Bernie and Donald!)

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It’s here! The 2015 Talent Board North American Candidate Experience Research Report was published a couple of weeks ago. And if you have any interest at all in the relationship between the experience your employment candidates in the application process and your ability to actually hire the right talent, this report is a gold mine! Written by Madeline Laureno and Kevin W. Grossman, it’s a great read and full of useful data points.

As far as research reports go, it’s well laid out, the graphics are strong, and the data are Cand Exp 2015 3incredibly useful. The table of contents breaks out the data into 3 overarching categories:

  • Attract
  • Recruit
  • Hire

And then within each of those three categories, each has the following sections:

  • What Candidates Want
  • What Employers Are Doing
  • A Candidate Experience Case Study
  • Key Recommendations: What CandE Awards Winners Do Better

This is a very useful structure that makes the research actionable. Case studies from CandE Awards winners include Capital One, AT&T, Cumming, Hydro Québec, Comcast, and Sonos. Each of them is full of detail about what they actually do. These are among the most useful case studies I’ve seen in a long time.

The top 10 key takeaways from the 2015 North American CandE Research Report are:

  1. Most employers are not making a first impression with candidates.

  2. Candidates are becoming more sophisticated.

  3. Job boards are not dead.

  4. Mobile apply is still lagging.

  5. Communication with candidates is very weak.

  6. Employers do not offer enough opportunities for candidates to showcase skills, knowledge and experience.

  7. Employers are letting more candidates through the funnel.

  8. Employers are making interviewing more efficient.

  9. Employers are automating the onboarding stages.

  10. Onboarding is still a missed opportunity for the candidate experience.

Here’s a great example of the ease of getting to the useful data from the Attract/What Employers Are Doing section. It opens with this observation, “Employers often have little insight into what the candidates want and what they find valuable.” And follow it up with this chart:

Cand Exp 2015 2

This is pretty interesting and helpful information for organizations who are ready to step up to the challenge of being better and more effective talent attractors. There are a number of these kinds of aha! data points in the report that will not only get you thinking. They’ll get you acting.

The Talent Board is the brain child of Elaine Orler, Ed Newman and, of course, Gerry Crispin. With these three big brains behind the action, it’s no wonder this is such valuable information. I encourage you to download the report here. I’m guessing you’ll make more than one change to your talent acquisition processes as a result.

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Filed under Big Data and HR, CandE Awards, Candidate Experience, China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Ed Newman, Elaine Orler, Employee Referrals, Gerry Crispin, HR Analytics, HR Data, Human Resources, The Talent Board, Uncategorized

HR Challenges vs. Organizational People Priorities

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At Data Point Tuesday we love great graphics. Great graphics can really make a point. They can help people digest complex data points and make sense out of the numbers. Quantum Workplace’s new report, the State of Employee Feedback, does all of these things.

The things I found most interesting about the data, however, were not about the state of employee feedback, but rather about HR’s priorities and their view of organizational people challenges. This report isn’t really about those things, but they’re pretty interesting. Quantum Workplace polled HR professionals in nearly 300 organizations that cover the size spectrum. (No information on industry sectors or geographic location, sadly, but maybe those are being saved for another report.)

The high level, easily consumed findings (and terrific graphics) focus on 5 areas:

  • What are HR teams’ biggest challenges?
  • What will be prioritized in the coming year?
  • What employee feedback strategies and tools have become more or less important?
  • What tactics and strategies are organizations using to measure and improve their employees’ experience?
  • What are the most engaged organizations doing differently?

As a vendor white paper, the report is most focused on discussing findings on issues 3 – 5. While they are all interesting and probably useful as a backdrop, the first two were most interesting to me. They show in great specificity the challenge that is being an HR professional today. This survey’s respondents listed these as their top organizational HR challenges:

Quantum Workplace 1

Interesting that proving the ROI of HR initiatives is in the #3 spot, not the #1 spot. As HR becomes more and more a strategic business function, and less and less an administrative “overhead” function, I would assume that proving the ROI of everything HR does would move to the top of the priority list. That’s how business functions operate

But wait. There’s more. I’m comparing and contrasting that list – of HR challenges – with HR’s self-report of top organizational people strategies:

Quantum Workplace 2

This is as good a list of or organizational people strategies as I’ve seen. No one is probably surprised that Attracting Top Talent is the first organizational priority. And even though there is no common definition of Employee Engagement, no common way to measure it, and no indication that it’s improving anywhere in the world, it’s not surprising that HR folks would put this category in second place for its organization. Talent acquisition and employee engagement are the tip of the spear in all popular business and HR content outlets.

What I’d like to see are the same questions posed to CEOs and CFOs in those same organizations. I’d love to see if those other senior leaders identify the same HR challenges and people priorities in the same order. Call me crazy, but I’ll bet there would be significant differences in both categories and rank order. And that’s my point today. HR talking to itself about HR and people processes is not bad. Better, though, would be HR talking to other business leaders about HR and people processes. I hear anecdotally that this is starting to happen. But the simple fact that Finding an Executive Sponsor is on the list of HR’s top challenges for 2016 tells me it isn’t happening enough.

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Filed under China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Employee Engagement, HR Data, Human Capital ROI, Human Resources, Quantum Workplace, 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 and Maslow

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Last week I wrote about some of my experiences on a recent HR study delegation to Cuba. My comments were pretty tough. With another week of reflection behind me, I want to write about the people of Havana, not the systems and political infrastructure of Cuba.

As we look forward to greater cooperation between the U.S. and Cuba in the future, we should be prepared to invest more than money in business opportunities. We should be prepared to invest time, training and social support to a struggling nation of people who want, as I said last week, “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.”

It seems to me that the Cuban population falls into two categories: those who are “believers” and those who are “non-believers.” Believers still feel the revolutionary zeal of Fidel, Che and Raul and they are mostly at the top of the food chain. They are the “They” to whom average Cubanos refer when talking about the 630 +/- government decisions makers – whether we talked to university professors, high ranking Ministry officials, grassroots CDR (Committee for the Defense of the Revolution) members, high ranking union leaders, grassroots community organizers, workers in state-owned restaurants or owners of paladares (privately owned/run restaurants) – each talked about “Them” as far removed and somewhat unknowable. Not so different from average citizens in our or any other country: disenfranchised, at the mercy of forces they don’t really understand (despite ongoing, artful propaganda), and yearning for a good life, for economic and social stability for themselves and their families and the ability to find meaning in their work and lives.

Think Maslow’s hierarchy:

Maslow 2

Cubanos hover between physiological and safety needs – the State tries to provide for social and esteem needs but that’s hard to accomplish when it is a nation whose people live with ration cards for the most basic food supplies, whose people live in homes that are barely standing – many with no windows or real protection from the elements, but whose leaders proclaim a 100% literacy rate, education and healthcare systems the envy of other third world nations, and an employment system where people aren’t fired, they just “become available.”

As many business leaders around the world are dealing with talent shortfalls and struggling with how to ensure their competitiveness in the global marketplace, Cuba’s government leaders are trying to feed, clothe and shelter their talent – whom they also employ. More than 95% of all workers in Cuba work for state-owned enterprises, educational or healthcare institutions, or the government itself. It’s hard for even the unions to be effective championing worker rights when the employer is the government.

Cuba isn’t the proverbial riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. It makes no effort to hide the reality of its challenges.

It’s pretty clear that Cuba needs significant policy changes at the top in order to bring a chance of prosperity to its citizen workers. If Cuba ever expects to play on the global stage, as an employer it needs to create a culture that moves up Maslow’s hierarchy. Subsistence living conditions do little to build loyalty, or motivate high levels of performance, innovation or learning. The U.S. doesn’t have to be the model. Use the Czech Republic, Hungary or Poland – all of whom have entered the global economy and are making economic and social progress benefiting all of their citizens.

Cuba Street

Cuba could be at a crossroads. Raul Castro has said he will not stand for re-election in 2016. It’s hard, however, for both the believers and non-believers to envision a more free society and economy. The future is looming large and unknowable. But we saw a glimmer of hope that perhaps incremental freedoms will soon come at a faster pace and allow for the advancement of a society, economy and people that are all past ready to bloom. This would be good for Cuba and its people – and good for the global economy.

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Required Reading for HR: Internet Trends 2015

data point tuesday_500Really. I’m not kidding. You may think from the title that Internet Trends 2015 is a report that has nothing to do with Human Resources. You couldn’t be more wrong. It’s ALL about HR. And how nearly everything about business, work and the employer/employee relationship is changing because of what the internet enables.

The report, prepared by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers’ Mary Meeker for this year’s Code Conference, presents the 2015 Internet Trends report, 20 years after the first The Internet Report was published in 1995. You’ve probably heard about this year’s report because every journalist in the world was agog at one piece of data: how Millennials relate to their smartphones. Everyone now knows that 87% of Millennials in the U.S. report that “my smartphone never leaves my side, night or day.” That’s one of several data points on one page of a 196 page report. And while interesting, it is among the least interesting data points in the report. I promise.

But first. You need to know some definitions to get the full value of the report. Here are a few terms and acronyms you should – and probably already – know:

  • MAU = Monthly Active Users (how many users are on an application at least once a month)
  • DAU = Daily Active Users (how many users are on an application at least once a day)
  • Y/Y = Year over Year (compares results from two consecutive years)
  • API = Application Programming Interface (how programs/apps connect to each other)
  • GDP = Gross Domestic Product (total value of goods and services produced by a nation)
  • GMV = Gross Merchandise Value (total sales value of merchandise sold through an internet channel)
  • VoIP = Voice over Internet Protocol (Skype would be a good example)

This report hits on all of HR’s buttons with high impact data: the nature of work, the job market, benefits, age demographics in the workplace, freelancers, government benefits, union participation, employer retirement plans, healthcare, the impact of drones on work, what’s happening in China and India and more. All in a report about internet trends. And almost every page is a data-rich picture of how things are changing. This might be my favorite page because it is the continuous thread of everything else discussed in the report:

KPCB 2015 Trends 2

And this might be my favorite chart because the impact of the data here fuels most everything else mentioned in the report. The connections between economic growth/decline, demographic changes, the internet and business impact every HR person everywhere, every day. Everywhere. Every day. This report shows these connections clearly.

KPCB 2015 Trends 1I’d like to make this report mandatory reading for all HR professionals. If you’re having a hard time grasping what the opportunity really is for HR to keep ahead of the profound changes happening all around us, this report will help you understand. Read it. Discuss some of the findings (pay particular attention to the section at the end, Ran Outta Time Thoughts) in staff meetings and with other leaders in your organization. Develop a point of view about how internet trends are impacting your organization and your people, and begin to strategize responses that will work for your business and your people. You must.

And oh yes, read this report.

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Filed under #HRTechTrends, China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Employee Demographics, GDP, Human Resources, Internet Trends, KPCB, Mary Meeker