Tag Archives: Human Capital

Tangible Vs. Intangible Assets

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You might not be aware of a trend in the corporate valuation world. You might not think that developments in how companies are being valued by the financial world would be of interest to HR. But, hold on to your horses! Validation of “our people are our greatest asset” is here!

Ocean Tomo LLC, the Intellectual Capital Merchant Banc™ firm, publishes an annual study of intangible asset market value. The most recent, published in early 2015, includes a rather eye-popping chart. But first a couple of definitions.

Tangible Asset (from Investopedia):  A tangible asset is an asset that has a physical form. Tangible assets include both fixed assets, such as machinery, buildings and land, and current assets, such as inventory. The opposite of a tangible asset is an intangible asset.

Intangible Asset (also from Invetopedia):  An intangible asset is an asset that is not physical in nature. Corporate intellectual property (items such as patents, trademarks, copyrights, business methodologies), goodwill and brand recognition are all common intangible assets in today’s marketplace.

Tangible assets are things. Physical things. Intangible assets are the results of human intellect and work. And the financial value of those – tangible and intangible assets – have completely reversed in the last 40 years. Completely!

Ocean Tomo provides the following chart showing this complete reversal.

Ocean Tomo Intangible AssetsIf ever the argument was made that our people are, in fact, our biggest asset, this nails it. In 1975 tangible assets comprised 83% of the S&P 500 market value; in 2015 intangible assets made up 84% of the S&P 500 market value. That means people, human beings are the greatest driver of corporate value — and not by a little bit.

So here’s the question:  if the finance/valuation world is truly valuing our organizations based on the value of our human capital, why is it so hard to talk about – much less act upon – the value of building cultures fit for human beings?

Something to think about during this week’s heat wave.

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Filed under China Gorman, Company Culture, Culture, Data Point Tuesday, Human Capital, Ocean Tomo

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

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

What War for Talent?

Data Point TuesdayAccenture’s 2014 College Graduate Employment Survey compares the expectations and perceptions of 2014’s university graduates with the realities of the working world according to both 2012 and 2013 graduates. This comparison casts a focused and specific lens on the issue of entry-level talent development, and gives us some insightful data. Accenture’s survey underlines that at the end of the day, many organizations are not effectively developing their entry-level talent. When we consider that 69% of 2014 graduates state that more training or post-graduate education will be necessary for them to get their desired job, we see that organizations are likely facing a major talent supply problem. New graduates and entry level talent’s perceive that their organizations will provide them with career development training: 80% of 2014 graduates expect that their employer will provide the kind of formal training programs necessary for them to advance their careers. Despite this, the percentage of graduates that actually receive such training is low, creating a significant discrepancy between expectation and reality.Expectation vs Reality

Another concern when it comes to recent college graduates is that 46% (nearly half) of 2012/2013 graduates working today report that they are significantly underemployed (i.e. their jobs do not really depend on their college degrees). This statistic was at only 41% a year ago.Entry Level UnderemployedAccenture’s survey found that 84% of 2014 graduates believe they will find employment in their chosen field post graduation, and 61% expect that job to be full time. Again, we find a stark contrast between expectation and reality, with just 46% of 2012/2013 grads reporting holding a full-time job – 13% percent have been unemployed since graduation. How long do recent graduates stay at the jobs they do have? More than half (56%) of 2012/2013/2014 graduates have already left their first job or expect to be gone within one or two years. Is this be a reflection on the lack of development for entry-level talent? It seems more than plausible…

Recent graduates are also finding discrepancies between expectations and realities when it comes to income and job prospects. Of the 13% of 2012/2013 grads who have been unemployed since graduation, 41% believe their job prospects would have been enhanced had they chosen a different major (72% expect to go back to school within the next five years). Among Accenture’s 2014 survey respondents, 43% expect to earn more than $40,000 at their first job, however, just a minimal 21% of the 2012/2013 graduates that are in the workforce are actually earning at that level. 26% of these graduates report making less that $19,000, a concerning figure when roughly 28% of 2014’s graduates will finish school with debt of more than $30,000.

Accenture’s study does point to some silver linings, however. Increasingly, college students are turning an eye towards what they can do to be more market relevant. 75% of those who graduated this year took into account the availability of jobs in their field before selecting their major, compared to 70% of 2013 graduates and 65% of those in the class of 2012. Another positive is that 72% of 2014 graduates agree or strongly agree that their education prepared them for a career (compared to 66% of 2012/2013 grads) and 78% feel passionately about their area of study. 63% of 2014 graduates stated that their university was effective in helping them find employment opportunities, an increase from 51% among their recently graduated peers. Recent graduates are also increasing their chances of employment by being geographically flexible. 74% of 2014 graduates said they would be willing to relocate to another state to find work and 40% of those would be willing to move 1,000 miles or more to land a job.

Accenture’s study does, however, put into question many of the highly publicized reports that point to human capital/talent acquisition issues as a #1 concern in the C-Suite. If talent is the #1 issues, where is the attention to entry-level talent? Is the attention being placed exclusively on development for upper-level positions? It’s clear that there are multiple factors influencing graduates’ struggles for acceptable employment, including the rise of part-time and contingent work, but training and development is an important part of any entry-level position. The survey points to six areas in which organizations can focus on to help meet talent supply challenges:

  1. Reassess hiring and retention strategies
  2. Hire based on potential, not just immediate qualifications
  3. Use talent development as a hiring differentiator
  4. Remember that tangibles matter, even to Millennials
  5. Cast the net more widely
  6. Use talent development and other benefits as part of a total rewards and attraction approach

These are logical conclusions. But perhaps the biggest logical conclusion is that organizations are just paying lip service to the so-called war for talent and aren’t convinced that the there is, in fact, a shortage of talent. Am I wrong?

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Filed under Accenture, China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Human Capital, Millennials, Professional Development, Talent development

HR: How Disconnected Are You From Employees?

ADP recently released a report which, based on data they’ve collected from several studies, examines the causes and implications of a persistent disconnect recorded between HR’s and employees’ perceptions. The topic is an interesting one: despite the vast improvement in and efficiency of communications tools and processes that we’ve witnessed over the years, employees and HR departments have seemed to maintain notably differing perceptions on many key human capital management effectiveness issues. This disparity holds true globally, and in companies of all sizes. ADP has noted this trend in three of their ADP Research Institute® global studies in 2013: Quantifying Great Human Capital Management, Employee Perspectives on Human Capital Management, and HR 360. All three studies measured perceptions of status and value of the HR function and showed consequential differences between employees and HR in key areas such as how well employees were being managed, how well questions regarding HR and benefits issues were addressed, whether feedback was communicated or even collected, and in performance evaluations. Data indicate that similar gaps in perception exist between HR and senior management on these same topics, and as ADP points out, these differences matter because they may be indicative of larger problems within organizations – such as whether investments in HR technology are actually delivering the results of more effective communication, or whether advantages of a strategic HR function are being actively sought and realized.

ADP’s research studies show that globally, employees have much more negative perceptions of how well their organizations are managing them than the perceptions of their senior executives and HR leaders. This disparity is notable in such areas as compensation, work/life balance, career opportunities, and the effectiveness of senior leadership. The data also show that the larger the organization, the greater likelihood that employees’ perceptions of how well the organization is managed will decline.how well companies manage employees

differing perceptionsSenior executives and HR leaders are also significantly more satisfied than employees with the processes they have in place for getting employees’ answers to their questions regarding HR/benefits. Globally, this disparity is greatest in the Asia-Pacific region and in the United States. In the U.S. 79% of HR leaders report that it is Extremely/Very Easy to get HR/benefits questions answered, compared to only 56% of employees. Continuing the gap in perceptions is that, when employees’ questions are answered, HR leaders and senior executives perceive that employees are far more satisfied with the process they’ve gone through to get questions answered than employees actually are.

Such differences in perception bring to light a number of potential challenges. How do organizations know they’ve secured the advantages of providing benefits if HR is more fully convinced of employees’ satisfaction than employees themselves? Additionally, if HR thinks that their processes for answering questions are more effective than they actually are, are employees even aware of all their benefit options? This becomes especially disconcerting if organizations are counting on their benefits as a way to attract and retain talent. Interestingly, more than half of employees in large U.S. companies stated that an employee portal is an important informational resource, while less than one-third of their HR leaders shared that conclusion. The options primarily cited by HR leaders for employees to get answers to their questions included an in-office HR team, a dedicated HR representative, and the employees’ managers. Employees’ responses however, cited an 800 number or internal company portal as the most important resources for getting answers.

Note too, that among respondents who felt that it was extremely or very easy to have their HR questions answered, less than 1/5 reported they would be likely to look for a new job in the next 12 months; but among respondents who said it is not easy to have their HR questions answered, that number almost doubled to more than 25%. Lastly, another key area to note where disconnect occurs is between employers and employees perceptions of their organizations talent management processes:talent management disconnect

For more on information on the disconnect between employees and human capital management, make sure to check out ADP’s full report, “Human Capital Management’s Employee Disconnect. A Global Snapshot.”

And perhaps it’s time to begin questioning whether the data you are reviewing regarding your organization’s HR effectiveness is actually true.

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Filed under ADP, China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, HR, Human Capital, Workplace Studies

Leadership Challenges, Critical Skills and the Importance of Gender Diversity

Data Point Tuesday
Development Dimensions International (DDI)
and The Conference Board have recently released a report, “Global Leadership Forecast 2014|2015.” This report, the seventh of its kind published by DDI, includes survey responses from 13,124 leaders, 1,528 global human resource executives, and 2,031 participating organizations. The volume of respondents allowed DDI to look at findings from a variety of perspectives – multinational vs. local corporations, spans four leadership levels and leaders/HR professionals of different genders, ages, 48 countries, and 32 major industry categories. The report is comprehensive and contains more than one blog post’s worth of data and insight, so I’ll just pull a few of the highlights here… But if you find the data interesting make sure to take a look at the full report for more information!

Let’s start by looking at top challenges of leadership cited in the report. According to the research, the top four CEO challenges are Human Capital, Customer Relations, Innovation, and Operational Excellence. When responding CEOs were asked to identify strategies to address the human capital challenge, four of the top strategies cited included a focus on leadership:

  • improve leadership development programs,
  • enhance the effectiveness of senior management teams,
  • improve the effectiveness of frontline supervisors and managers, and
  • improve succession planning

Though the top three cited strategies for combating the human capital challenge were to: provide employee training and development, raise employee engagement, and improve performance management processes and accountability, the fact that a focus on leadership was present among the top 10 strategies suggests that leaders recognize that organizations cannot develop and retain highly engaged, productive employees without effective leadership and leadership development programs.

Top CEO ChallengesCEOs surveyed also identified the leadership attributes and behaviors they perceived as most critical to success as a leader:

  • retain and develop talent
  • manage complexity
  • lead change
  • lead with integrity, and
  • have an entrepreneurial mind-set.

Unfortunately, no more than 50% of leaders assessed their own readiness to address such tasks as “very prepared.” And HR leaders’ perceptions were even more grim, with only 9% indicating their leaders were “very ready” to address the human capital challenge.

When HR professionals were asked to rank two critical leader skills for leaders’ success in the next three years, and how much their organization’s current development programs focuses on them, the level of focus of most skills corresponded to how critical the skills were perceived to be for the future. However, there were some interesting exceptions:

Critical SkillsAs you can see in the above graphic, two skills that were listed by HR as most critical (fostering employee creativity and innovation/leading across countries and cultures) are not actually being focused on, while building consensus and commitment/communicating and interacting with others are two skills not listed by HR as highly critical to the future yet are being heavily focused on. DDI informs us that because these are foundational skills it’s easy for HR to either overemphasize or undervalue them, which supports the data we see in the graphic.

While DDI and The Conference Board’s report is chock full of fascinating data like those mentioned above, it has been getting wide attention for a particular section of the report: the section on gender diversity. The report indicates that organizations with better financial performance have more women in leadership roles. Organizations in the top 20% for financial performance report 37% of all leaders are women vs. organizations in the bottom 20%, which report that only 19% of all leaders are women.

Women in LeadershipWhile this clearly points to the positive benefits of gender diversity, at the same time, it highlights how disturbingly imbalanced the gender demographics still are when it comes to leadership. DDI’s survey explains this imbalance in several ways. There was no significant difference between the men and women in the study when it came to leadership skills or ability to handle management and business challenges, however, a noted difference between sexes were their levels of confidence. Women were less likely than men to rate themselves as effective leaders, as having completed international assignments, lead across geographies or countries, or lead geographically dispersed teams. The study cites these global or more visible leadership experiences as key missed opportunities, because leaders who had access to these experiences were far more likely to be promoted and to advance more quickly in their organizations.

Gender DifferencesThe bottom line is that this data supports what we know about diversity in its entirety: fostering and encouraging diversity in the workplace is always something to strive for as it inherently leads to more diversity of ideas, problem solving, productivity and financial success!

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Filed under China Gorman, Critical Skills, Data Point Tuesday, Development Dimensions International, Gender Diversity, HR, HR Data, Human Resources, Leadership, Leadership Challenges, The Conference Board, Workplace Studies