Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Value of Purpose

I’m seeing a trend in the Human Capital Management space wherein vendors/consulting firms are creating mini white papers rather than big research reports. The continuation of “Snack Nation,” I guess. But I like it. For those among us who just don’t have the time to sit down and focus on a lengthy research report, these snackable bits of relevant research and content are helpful. And pwc does a better job than most of serving up helpful content based on current research and analysis.

Take Putting Purpose to Work:  A study of purpose in the workplace (published a year ago). It’s a 14 page, easy to read document that walks the reader through a discussion of the meaning of your organization’s purpose for your employees and what it can mean for your business. As we learn more and more about what drives the younger generations in our economy, there’s no denying that purpose is discussed a great deal in the C-Suite as the War for Talent wages around us.

Data in the report are based on a survey conducted by pwc that included 1,510 full- and part-time employees and 502 U.S. business leaders from 39 industries – from both public and private companies, as well as partnerships, government/state-owned agencies, and non-profits.

“The current era of disengaged, transient talent impacts every aspect of the business, and the need to activate purpose at work has never been more urgent.”

This is the thesis of the report. And it’s hard to argue against it.

The reports argues that the following commitments are critical as leaders create a purpose driven culture:

  • Make purpose accessible
  • Emphasize the human element of purpose
  • Include purpose at the center of your talent strategy

For leaders – including those in HR – the following graphic provides interesting food for thought.

This is a striking disconnect, and one that HR leaders could take the lead in eliminating. It shows that, while there is understanding in the C-Suite regarding the criticality of purpose in business success, there is a lack of will in operationalizing purpose in the business.

What’s the story in your organization? Does the C-Suite believe that your organization’s purpose is central to its success? And if it does, how is it manifested in your employees’ day-to-day lives on the job? Good questions for all leaders whether or not they’re in HR.

Of the five key insights itemized at the beginning of the report, the second really resonates and is a bit of a warning:

“Business leaders tend to focus on the value in defining and illuminating purpose for commercial success. For employees, purpose represents an avenue by which they find personal fulfillment. This disconnect is preventing companies from reaping the comprehensive potential benefit of defining what they stand for as an organization.”

Some food for thought…

 

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under Business Success, China Gorman, Company Culture, Culture, Data Point Tuesday, Employee Engagement, Purpose at Work, pwc, Talent Management, Uncategorized

Happy 4th of July!

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Of Job Seekers, Smartphones, and the Election

data point tuesday_500

Jobvite’s Job Seeker Nation Study for 2016 is out. It’s always an interesting read. (Here’s my post on their 2015 survey.) And this year is no different. There is information on who’s looking, who’s not looking, who’s having a hard time finding a job and who isn’t. There are some fascinating data points. Like most vendor “research,” this report is easy to read and very attractively packaged.

The leading themes are these:

  • the state of work is in flux and today’s job seekers are adjusting to a new reality
  • job seekers are concerned in the short term but optimistic in the long run
  • while nearly 75% of all workers are satisfied with their jobs, two-thirds are still open to new employment
  • jobs in the gig-economy are part of the new normal
  • concern about jobs becoming obsolete due to technology is growing

Jobvite CEO, Dan Finnigan, introduces the report:

“These findings emphasize the fact that the way we look for work, and the way we work, is changing significantly. The gig economy’s rapid growth is remarkable and the data demonstrate that the modern job seeker is now more flexible than ever.”

Two survey areas really caught my attention. The first, reports survey answers that indicate the use of mobile devices in job search means job seeking behavior happens everywhere, all the time:

Jobvite 2016 1

You should no longer assume that colleagues active on their smartphones in meetings are playing games or reading their Facebook feed. They could very well be researching their next employer! Even more troubling is what is happening behind closed doors at the office or in the cubicle farm!

The second survey area that caught my eye, was the section on job seekers and the presidential election. (Not kidding.) As of early February when the survey was fielded, only three presidential candidates had double digit support from job seeker nation:  Hillary Clinton (23%), Donald Trump (21%), and Bernie Sanders (12%). Looking at the demographics of candidate support and then correlating that support to concern that automation will diminish their job/career opportunities is either brilliant or something else. But I found it fascinating:

Jobvite 2016 2

Just when you thought the election couldn’t intrude into any more corners of your life…! But the data are interesting. Look at the demographics and industry sectors. And Hillary supporters are way more concerned that robots will take their jobs than those who feel the Bern. Fascinating.

That’s why I always look forward to the annual Jobvite Job Seeker Nation report. They vary the questions enough to make the results and insights different from year to year, and certainly more relevant. Give the survey a read. I think you’ll enjoy it.

1 Comment

Filed under China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Employment Data, Gig Economy, Human Capital, JobVite, Uncategorized

HR Journey: Talent Management in Singapore and Viet Nam

data point tuesday_500

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.

Leave a comment

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!)

data point tuesday_500

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.

Leave a comment

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

data point tuesday_500

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.

3 Comments

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

Does Your CEO Have a Higher Purpose?

data point tuesday_500

Each year I look forward to the pwc CEO survey findings. And they’re just out. You can see their top ten findings here.

If you’re in HR you need to know what your CEO is thinking about. What she’s worried about. What keeps him up at night. What she’s planning to tackle in the next several years. And if you don’t have access to your CEO, this survey can help you make sure you’re preparing for what may be coming down the pike. These survey results could help you be brilliant for your organization – and for your CEO.

The top ten issues for 2016 identified by U.S. CEOs in the survey are fascinating. They cover regulation, cyber security, tax reform, doing deals, paying attention to customers, investors, employees – and understanding the organization’s higher purpose. A virtual smorgasbord for HR!

Top issues CEOs are expecting to confront in 2016 include:

  1. U.S. market prospects will outshine the low-growth world

  2. Over-regulation will continue to pose a threat to business growth

  3. Regionalization in trade and divergence in economic models and regulatory frameworks, with threats to open Internet

  4. Customers and other stakeholders will expect business to demonstrate a higher purpose over the coming years

  5. Prospects will improve for laying the groundwork for U.S. tax reform

And, in 2016, U.S. CEOs will plan to:

  1. Strengthen the technology foundation to set their business apart

  2. Do more deals, especially domestically

  3. Hold fast in China, while recognizing the bumps along the way

  4. Anticipate the needs of future customers and other stakeholders

  5. Prepare the Millennials for leadership roles

I’m fascinated that 3 of the top ten land squarely in HR’s court: demonstrating a higher purpose (that’s culture), anticipating the needs of…stakeholders (that’s talent), and preparing Millennials for leadership roles (that’s talent development). If you ever wondered whether or not your CEO thinks about HR, the answer is a resounding YES in 2016.

I’m particularly intrigued with the higher purpose issue. It’s no secret that bringing humanity into the workplace is a topic on the minds of many business leaders. Having CEOs concerned that customers, investors, employees, strategic partners all want in on the higher purpose is pretty darned interesting. What are you doing to help the organization understand and communicate its higher purpose this year?

pwc CEO survey 2016 1

Anticipating the needs of customers and employees is another thought provoking issue. Addressing employee needs like wellness – physical and financial, parental leave, career development, and providing opportunities to contribute to society are clearly articulated needs of today’s U.S. employees. Are you helping your CEO provide options to meet these needs?

And preparing Millennials for leadership roles is front and center, isn’t it? Investing in their development brings a number of benefits to the organization in addition to deepening your leadership bench. Millennials frequently report that learning and skills development are as – or more – important than compensation growth. Many report that they leave their employers in search of learning and growth opportunities. Investment in their leadership development undoubtedly impacts retention in a positive way. Are you beefing up your succession plan and its supporting programs?

pwc CEO survey 2016 2

My guess is that most HR practitioners and leaders are currently thinking about these 3 priorities, among a long list of others. Isn’t it nice to know that your CEO may just be ready to help you tackle these issues?

The bigger question may be, are you ready for your CEO to start asking “what’s the plan?”

Leave a comment

Filed under CEOs pwc, China Gorman, Company Culture, Data Point Tuesday, HR, Leadership Development, Organization Values, pwc, Strategy, Talent Management, Uncategorized, Workplace Culture