Do Employees Give Leaders Points For Trying?

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In honor of next week’s WorkHuman Conference, I thought I’d draw your attention to this white paper:  The ROI of Recognition in Building a More Human Workplace.  It was published by the WorkHuman Research Institute at Globoforce, the social recognition solutions company. Because it is a white paper, it has a definite bias towards recognition, but it also has some very interesting insights to share about the larger question of the impact of culture on employee engagement.

The value of bringing humanity – a recognition that employees are more than 9-to-5 skillsets – into your culture, your policies, your practices, your leadership behavior is being documented in organizations of all sizes, in all industries and in all geographic locations. This white paper gives further insight into the attributes of “humanity” in the workplace through an analysis of a survey that was in the field from Nov 4-7, 2015 and had 828 randomly selected, full-time employees in the U.S.

The key findings of the survey analysis include:

  1. When employees believe leaders are striving to create a more human workplace, culture metrics improve.

  2. Recognition not only significantly improves engagement, but also creates a more human culture.

  3. Employees’ attitudes toward change and optimism for the future correlate with recognition efforts and efforts to build a more human workplace.

  4. Employees trust colleagues most, but it is trust for leaders that most impacts culture.

  5. Recognition and a human workplace are drivers of employee well-being and happiness.

I was very interested in findings #1 and #4 – the leadership focused findings.

Finding #1:  “When employees believe leaders are striving to create a more human workplace, culture metrics improve.”

This is fascinating. It implies that as long as leaders are trying to be more human, they get the benefit of the doubt. It would seem that employees give their leaders points for trying. Here’s a particularly informative graph from the report on this point:

ROI of Humanity 1

It seems clear that if employees believe the leaders of their organization care about them as a people – not as skillsets – they are willing to engage more across the board. Care. Not the usual word to describe the relationship between leaders and employees. But that seems to be changing. And that’s a good thing.

ROI of Humanity 2

Interesting connections.

Regarding finding #4, trust in leaders most impacts culture, I found the comparisons informative. Comparing the effects of trusting colleagues vs. trusting the boss vs. trusting leadership on various culture dynamics, the trends were clear. The impact on engagement was telling:

ROI of Humanity 3

Creating and maintaining trusting relationships with colleagues, bosses and leadership are, of course, hallmarks of more human-focused cultures. Most highly valued by employees are, interestingly, the relationship of trust with senior leaders. Many would have us believe that it’s all about the work unit, the close-in colleagues. The “best friend at work” syndrome. Others believe it’s all about the immediate boss.  I’ve long believed that trustworthy, authentic and approachable leaders – at every level – can overcome most any cultural issue – with trustworthiness being the key. And this data would agree with me. This report looks at several dimensions of trust that are quite interesting.

I like this white paper. It provides some thought provoking analysis that support the growing focus on creating more human workplaces. Workplaces that are more productive, more collaborative, more innovative and more engaging for employees. What business model couldn’t use more of all of those?

 

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Filed under China Gorman, Culture, Data Point Tuesday, Employee Engagement, Globoforce, WorkHuman

Employers: Are You Prepared for the Legalization of Marijuana?

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I just read an interesting report from Assurex Global, Workplace Impacts of Marijuana Legalization, that opened up my eyes to a growing employer challenge. If you don’t live in – or have employees in – the states of Washington, Oregon, Alaska or Colorado, you’ve probably wondered about how it works to have the use of both medical and recreational marijuana legal in your state. And you may not have done much more than wonder. According to this report, you probably ought leave the wondering behind and understand the intricacies of regulations all over the country regarding marijuana use and whether or not it impacts your current drug policies.

The truth is that marijuana remains illegal under federal law. But not in certain states. So how do employers maneuver around these conflicting regulations and still provide a safe – and legal – environment for their employees?

This report doesn’t exactly answer that question definitively, but it does share sample language for updating drug policies, as well as informative legal case studies.

I was surprised by the current lay of the land (as of September 22, 2015) regarding state regulations:

Medical Marijuana Laws

You can see that the number of states legalizing some form of marijuana use is growing. You’ve probably thought about the impact these regulations would have (or are having) on your drug policies. That’s obvious. But how about the impact on your talent acquisition policies? Should you be performing pre-hire testing for THC? And if you have a zero tolerance drug policy how will that work if recreational use is legalized in your state? What about the safety implications for your employees, suppliers and customers? Might these regulations impact your standing with the federal government? How about your insurance rates? And what about employee off-duty conduct?

That’s a lot to think about, right?

This report doesn’t give you specific answers – every state’s legislation is worded differently and includes different protections and provisions. So you have to know what’s in your state’s regulatory language. But the report raises the issues with which you need to come to terms in order to keep your business running legally and at peak productivity.

Written by attorney, Paul L. Bittner for Assurex Global, this short report tees up the issues to consider and questions to resolve in this tricky landscape. It’s a good way for employers to get a grasp of the implications of the legalization of marijuana use and how to prepare for it if it happens in your state.

 

 

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Filed under Assurex Global, China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Drug Policies, Legalized Marijuana

Accelerating Culture Change Through Leadership Development

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I recently ran across the third report in the Real Work Leadership series of reports from Korn Ferry. Create an Engaging Culture for Greater Impact looks at changing culture through the lens of leadership development. An interesting take.

The report is the analysis of a global survey of views on leadership development fielded in July and August of 2015. With more than 7,500 survey responses from 107 countries, 3 in 4 of the leaders who responded were from their organizations’ business functions; the remainder were from HR. That’s pretty unusual and made the results more interesting. Remember those demographics as you see some of the findings below.

Respondents ranked their top 7 priorities for leadership development within their organizations. Remember, only 25% of the global pool of respondents were in HR.

Korn Ferry 4

I was interested to note that only one of the top seven priorities for leadership development is operationally performance driven:  #4, Accelerating time to performance. Right in the middle of the pack. #1 and #3 were change related, and #2 was talent acquisition related. I find these surprising from a group overwhelmingly made up of non-HR leaders. But looking at the final three – Driving engagement, Diversifying the leadership pipeline, and Becoming more purpose and values driven – enables me to back off of my surprise. If these were the only choices from which to rank the important leadership development priorities of senior leaders, then the only real surprise is that Accelerating time to performance is not rated the top priority.

The survey analysis goes on to suggest that Developing leaders to drive strategic change really means developing leaders to accelerate culture change. That would be really interesting if true. That would mean that 5,625 very senior business leaders around the world think that changing their culture is their very top priority. That would be outstanding. For someone like me, who thinks that culture is the one of the most critical business sustainability dynamics, this is music to my ears.

The report is mostly about leadership development. That’s a big part of Korn Ferry’s business. So that makes sense. And there are a number of interesting data points that you might want to consider in your business. Things like the following:

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But this:

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Remember again that the vast majority of respondents in this survey were not HR leaders. But the data ought to give HR leaders all over the world ammunition to begin to link their leadership development strategies to their organization’s business strategies in new and compelling ways. Especially as they relate to culture change. Perhaps this from the report is one of the most simple descriptions of the interconnectedness of culture, leadership, and strategy – and so, performance:

“The starting point for organization alignment is mission, purpose, and strategy. Ideally top leaders define these elements, the path to execution , and the values and behaviors that will support implementation and success.  Once they have done so, these individuals must communicate this information clearly, consistently, and repeatedly throughout the organization.”

I liked this survey analysis. We talk about culture all the time. (Well, I talk about culture all the time.) We don’t often talk about culture through the lens of leadership development, though. And as this paper reports, leadership development – particularly as we are in the midst of a demographic sea change of Biblical proportions – may be an integral strategy for moving cultures forward for performance, for talent acquisition, and for business sustainability.

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Filed under Change Management, China Gorman, Culture, Data Point Tuesday, Demographics, Korn Ferry, Leadership Development, Learning/Development

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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Filed under China Gorman, CHROs, Data Point Tuesday, HR Credibility, Human Resources, Ian Ziskin

Of Job Seekers, Smartphones, and the Election

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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.

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

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

Racing For Talent

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Sometimes research results are organized in complex and hard to consume ways. We’ve all seen those reports, academic treatises and white papers. And then, all too rarely, there are research results that are organized and easily consumable. Here’s one of the good ones: Randstad Sourceright’s 2016 Talent Trends Report. Not only is the information easily accessed, it has a catchy organizing principle: Formula One racing. I know, it seems a bit of a stretch, but it actually works quite well – and Randstad has been the official partner of the Williams Martini Racing Team since 2006. So there’s that.

The report organizes Randstad’s findings into 5 themes, and each theme has a number of trends that their research has identified. Each trend takes a page, and at the end of each theme there is theme/survey summary. The graphics are good and easily understood, and data are compelling. Truly, there’s a nugget (or 3 or 8) for everyone who touches talent.

The 5 themes are:

  1. Navigating a dynamic course
  2. Relying on an agile team
  3. A holistic approach powers talent capabilities
  4. Execute winning tactics
  5. Firing on all cylinders accelerates talent strategy

So those all fit into the racing formula, but it’s the trends that are really compelling. The trends identified within the first and last themes were the most interesting to me:

  1. Navigating a dynamic course
  • Talent is king
  • The impact of regulations on gig workers
  • Talent scarcity threatens business
  • Prepare for a demographic time bomb
  • Reverse brain drain accelerates
  • Employers look to global mobility for talent

We know about all of these trends – or, at least we should. And each trend is supported by data, real world examples and tips for aligning your business and HR practices to support your success. Very useful.

The fifth theme breaks down in the following way:

  1. Firing on all cylinders accelerates talent strategy
  • The evolution of total talent analytics
  • Technology redefines the meaning of remote working
  • Gamification goes mainstream
  • HR accelerates the Internet of Things
  • HR technology integration remains the holy grail
  • Workforce automation heats up
  • Sourcing methodologies and human intelligence become more intertwined

The graph below, in the Theme 1 Summary, is a sample of the kinds of survey responses Randstad collected. And, if you need a wakeup call about the impact of talent scarcity, here it is:

Randstad Talent

Look at the adverse consequences of not having access to the talent you need: threatened leadership continuity and succession, disrupted existing businesses, limited business growth, and delayed product/services launches. These are enormous impacts to the bottom line and future of your organization. If you ever needed data to support greater investment in talent acquistion resources, this would be it.

And in the Theme 5 Summary, this graph looks at which HR technologies are actually enhancing the attraction of quality talent:

Randstad Talent 2

Have you checked out recruitment marketing platforms? How robust are your talent analytics dashboards? Do you provide candidates self-service tools? These are all working for employers around the world in helping to effectively combat talent scarcity.

This is a data-rich, insight-rich report. It’s beautifully organized, the insights are easily consumed, and the data are depicted in simple and engaging visuals. I like this report. A lot. And I suspect I will revisit it more than once.

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Filed under China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, HR Analytics, HR Data, Randstad Sourceright, Recruiting, Talent Acquisition, Talent Management