Assumption—that’s often the name of the game for human resources decisions. After all, HR professionals are employees too, right? They went through the hiring process themselves, they use the benefits, they want career paths—they’re just like the rest of the employees. Except they’re not. And neither are leaders.
Too often we sit around conference room tables making decisions based on our assumptions about employees—what we think they want, what we think they need and where we think they should be placed. And that often leads to misplacement.
Enter Dr. Joe Ungemah’s new book, Misplaced Talent. A balanced approach to people decisions, it provides a way to consider both science and practice without relying solely on assumptions. And, when Dr. Ungemah asked me to reflect on the importance of making decisions this way in his new book, I gladly agreed. My job is focused on helping my clients find the balance and my career has been a long search for that balance.
There are many companies out there challenging the 9-5 mentality and offering different approaches and options for the way its workforce works. Some work environments don't allow for much flexibility, as there are jobs where you must physically be present, such as a shift at a restaurant or a security guard. Where it is possible though, companies are experimenting with what works for their companies and workforce. Here are some recent trends in alternative and flexible work arrangements, that someday may shift from being "alternative" to being the "norm."
1) Leaders Catching on to Four-day Workweeks from Human Capital Online
"For an increasing amount of companies, four-day work weeks have become standard practice – particularly during the summer months – but is a compressed schedule something you should consider? These advocates think so. “Better work gets done in four days than in five,” says Basecamp CEO Jason Fried. “When there’s less time to work, you waste less time.” The software company shifts to a 32-hour work week from May through to October – giving employees the chance to spend long weekends with their families without taking time off."
We're back with the Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup. There has been a lot going on related to employment news this week, with big names such as Uber, Clinton, and Disney. Check out below for the latest news this week:
1) In a Turnabout, Disney Cancels Tech Worker Layoffs from New York Times
"In late May, about 35 technology employees at Disney/ABC Television in New York and Burbank, Calif., received jarring news. Managers told them that they would all be laid off, and that during their final weeks they would have to train immigrants brought in by an outsourcing company to do their jobs. The training began, but after a few days it was suspended with no explanation. In New York, the immigrants suddenly stopped coming to the offices. Then on June 11, managers summoned the Disney employees with different news: Their layoffs had been canceled."
Last week, we hosted our inaugural class - Brand Like a CMO - as part of our learning series. We invited speakers from non-HR functions to educate employer brand practitioners on the fundamentals of consumer marketing. Speakers included: Steve Hoeffler, a marketing professor from Vanderbilt University's Owen Graduate School of Management; Mitzi Gaskins, VP of Luxury Brand Management for Marriott International; Caroline Frisbee, VP - General Manager for Delk; and Peter LaMotte, Chief Digital Engagement Officer for Levick. Participants came from all over the country (and Canada!) and from a variety of industries.
The performance review. Most people dread them. Some people look forward to them. The intent of performance reviews is worthwhile. It's an opportunity to provide feedback to employees and discuss areas of growth. Sometimes though, employees and managers just go through the motions making performance reviews a pain in the neck rather than a meaningful discussion. We're half-way through the year, which is a time when employees and managers usually "check-in" with each other, so for this week's Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup, we're sharing the latest thinking around performance reviews.
1) Employee Performance Review: Productive or Destructive? from Findmyshift
"Why do employees overwhelmingly dread their annual performance review with the boss? Quite often, this discussion is tied to the decision of whether an employee will receive a pay raise. What's more, many of the points a manager makes about an employee can feel personal, even subjective, and not reflective of his or her true performance over a year's time. It's up to managers to make the dialogue in the annual performance review as employee-friendly as possible, even though the odds are already stacked against both manager and employee. A different kind of process altogether can benefit employees and empower managers to feel more successful in appraising employee performance."
Last year, the Department of Labor created the #LeadOnLeave campaign to encourage states to re-assess their family leave policies and provide paid leave. Some states and cities have taken note and adjusted their policies. Most of the arguments for paid leave are to move the government to modify the policy, which would mandate organizations to change. But why wait for a government policy when companies have the ability to change their own policy? Yes, we’re constrained by what we can’t do according to the law – currently that means not terminating employment for women who take up to twelve weeks off. And of course a government policy would force companies to make the change.
It's official. Millennials have taken over the workforce. According to Pew Research Center analysis, millennials are now the largest generation in the workforce. It was inevitable that this would happen, it was just a question of when and that time has come. To help you brush up on the latest millennial news, this week's Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup is putting the spotlight on millennials.
1) Organizations Concerned About Leadership Programs For Millennials from Forbes
"Organizations worldwide have pinpointed a lack of capability when it comes to providing leadership programs for the millennial generation, according to Deloitte’s 2015 Global Human Capital Trends report. The ability to develop leadership programs for millennials is cited as an area of weakness by 60% of HR and business leaders worldwide across all industries, according to a study of 3,300 business and HR leaders from 106 countries. The millennial generation has become an area of focus for organizations, said Tim Clayton-Ball, human capital partner at Deloitte."
Some of you may have heard about the Lilly Pulitzer partnership with Target and the mayhem that ensued when it was launched. I shamefully took part in the mayhem. I’m not a die-hard Lilly Pulitzer fan, but fell victim to their marketing. They had countless media plugs, a pop-up shop in NYC, and a glamorous marketing campaign that consisted of 3-D snapshots sprinkled with models and celebrities oozing the Palm Beach life. My intense desire to take part in this lifestyle mimicked an eight year old child walking down the candy aisle of a grocery store. I had to take part. I scoured the collection and researched blogs with the best strategy to ensure I ended up with my most coveted pieces. On the day of the launch, my friend and I waited in line for the store to open with about 50 people in front of us and 80 more behind us.
In honor of Memorial Day on Monday, we are featuring the latest news in hiring veterans for this week's Talent and HR News Weekly Update. This has been a topic of discussion for years. See what some companies are doing to help veterans find employment.
1) Wal-mart Announces Expansion of Veteran Hiring from ABC News
"Nate Waits wakes up before 3 a.m. four days a week to get to his job at a Bentonville distribution center for Wal-Mart Stores Inc., where the former Marine is among more than 92,000 veterans the company has hired in the past two years. As the two-year anniversary approaches of the Veterans Welcome Home Commitment program the company launched on Memorial Day 2013, the retail giant announced Wednesday that it is expanding its original plan to hire 100,000 veterans by 2018 to hire a total of 250,000 recently discharged veterans by 2020. Chris Sultemeier, executive vice president for logistics at Wal-Mart, said the company has been pleased with the skills that the veterans bring to a range of positions including retail, distribution and management. He said about 8,000 of the original hires have already been promoted."
All of the news in this week's Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup has a common theme: how to honor your workforce. Whether it's through an reward trip, diversity, or just giving them a chance even though they may not have all of the credentials - your workforce is invaluable. We hope this catches you up on this week's news. Enjoy!
1) Chinese company treats 6,400 employees to French vacation from CNN
"More than 6,000 employees of Tiens Group -- a Chinese conglomerate -- were given the VIP treatment on an all expenses paid trip to France to celebrate the company's 20th birthday.The tour group -- the largest to visit the country -- was given a private tour of the Louvre museum and a private shopping session at luxury department store Galeries Lafayette during their four-day trip, reported French news agency Agence France-Presse."
I’m a bit of a product lover. One of my favorite pastimes is roaming around CVS or Sephora and checking out all of the new products and packaging. My husband thinks I’m nuts and doesn’t understand my obsession. I think part of it is I’m a gullible consumer, even though I’m well versed in marketing tactics. There’s a thrill to finally finding that something that appeals to you. It’s almost like it’s calling your name, “Lexi, I’m exactly what you’re looking for. Buy me!” My current obsession: baby products.
Before I had my daughter, I knew nothing about babies. I wasn’t around them much. My ignorance convinced me to use “organic” diapers. I purchased a pack of those natural colored, good-for-the-earth diapers thinking how great it would be to take care of my baby’s needs, while taking care of the environment.
Welcome to this week's Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup. What's been happening this week as it relates to employment and the workforce was pretty grim, until today's jobs report was released. The unemployment rate is at a seven-year low at 5.4%. Have a drink to celebrate this weekend!
1) Google is planning to spend $150 million to make its workforce more diverse from Mashable
"If there's one consistent complaint about Silicon Valley, it's that all the people working there tend to look remarkably similar. Those who try to change things, however, including Reddit interim CEO Ellen Pao, don't get very far. Google, one of the largest employers in the value, is planning to change that. The company is committing to spend $150 million in 2015 to recruit more women and minorities, according to an interview Google's vice president of people operations gave to USA Today. Nancy Lee, Google's vice president of people operations, told the paper that the money is part of a broader program aimed at changing the company to better reflect its consumers."
This week, there has been a hodge podge of employment news: from the SEC being involved in linking executive pay to performance to getting leadership tips from U2. It's all in this week's Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup.
1) SEC Rule Would Link Executive Pay to Performance from NPR
"The Securities and Exchange Commission voted 3-2 today to propose a rule to link the pay of top corporate executives to their companies' financial performance. NPR's Jim Zarroli, reporting on All Things Considered, says: "The rule grew out of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial overhaul bill. And it simply says that companies have to disclose whether executive pay is in line with their financial performance. "This information is already available for people who want to pore through financial reports. The new law would simply require companies to put it in a form that's easier for shareholders to digest." But, he adds, it's unclear what impact the new rule will have on corporate pay."
This week's Talent and HR News Weekly Update focuses on employees because, why not? Most of us are or have been an employee of somewhere, so these articles highlight the environment where employees work, relationships with employees, and recruiting employees. Enjoy!
1) 7 LinkedIn Tools for Recruiting New Employees from Entrepreneur
"In his book Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn for Business, search engine optimization and online marketing expert consultant Ted Prodromou explains how you can use LinkedIn to quickly engage with ideal customers, partners, and employees, showcase your company and attract new opportunities. In this edited excerpt, the author briefly describes the seven different ways you can use LinkedIn to attract new job applicants. LinkedIn offers a number of paid solutions for companies who do a lot of recruiting. Let’s explore these options in more detail, so you can see how they can help you build a premier organization with the very best employees."
We talk a lot about engagement because it’s a strong indicator of the state of a workforce. There are many ways to boost engagement that typically fall under HR—well-defined career paths, recognition or promotion opportunities, a clear alignment with company goals, wellness and benefits,…and the list goes on. These methods of personal and professional growth are focused on balancing the needs of the individual with that of the organization—keeping a high level of engagement to positively affect the bottom line of the company.
What if there was a way to engage employees by inspiring the collective workforce to create actions that affect the bottom line AND have a positive impact on the world around us? Sounds too good to be true, but today technology exists to do this type of good. I sat down with Founding Partner of WeSpire, Sarah Finnie Robinson, who hopes her company can “move the needle on human behavior as it relates to creating a network effect of exponential positive impact, such as energy efficiencies and environmental sustainability.”
There was a lot of news about compensation and equal pay this week, so that's what we're going to focus on in this week's Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup. Increasing the minimum wage has been a popular topic in recent months. Just a few weeks ago, McDonald's reported its intentions to increase its minimum wage, and I wrote about Gap's plan last year. These companies are focused on the hourly worker. But what about a minimum wage for the salaried worker? That actually happened this week. This week was "Equal Pay Day," a day that symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year. Bet you didn't know this was a thing! Enjoy the other news related to equal pay and compensation below.
1) Gravity Payments CEO Takes 90% Pay Cut to Give Workers Huge Raise from CNN Money
"Price, who heads up the Seattle payment processing firm Gravity Payments that he founded, has pledged to make sure all of his staffers make at least $70,000 annually in the next three years. To do that he's cutting his $1 million salary to $70,000, and dipping into the firm's annual $2 million in profits. This will double the pay of about 30 of his workers and will mean significant raises for an additional 40. Price told employees of the new pay policy at a meeting Monday. For several moments there was stunned silence before people broke into applause and high fives said Phillip Akhavan, a merchants relations worker whose $43,000 salary immediately jumped 16% to $50,000."
There are so many valuable HR tools and technologies available--from employee engagement to feedback to perks and benefits. How can we implement the ones we want to use without overwhelming our workforce who has to learn to use each new platform? They solve many of the day-to-day challenges we have, and are usually cost effective. But most companies can't wait for multiple tools to be are acquired so they’re all on one platform. So what’s the tipping point on tools?
We asked some of the leading experts in HR technology. Here's what they had to say.
There are some big brands included in the employment news conversation this week: Google and Starbucks to name a few. Get leadership tips from the Final Four coaches, and see how culture can help the bottom line in this week's Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup.
1) Google's Head of HR Shares His Hiring Secrets from Fast Company
"Laszlo Bock knew he wasn’t walking into a traditional corporate setting in 2006 when he arrived for his job interview for head of people operations at Google. Google recruiter Martha Josephson implored Bock, who had done stints at firms like GE and McKinsey & Co., not to wear a suit to his interview. No one wears suits there, she told him—show up in one, and they'll think you don't get them or their culture. Bock acquiesced, but kept a necktie in his jacket pocket just in case."
Succession planning sort of feels like signing up for life insurance or investing in your retirement. It’s not something you need today, and you’ve managed thus far, so why think about it? And couldn’t you just figure it out when the time comes? Sure, you could get away with not having these things in place, and what if they were in place? Your loved ones would be pretty relieved you had life insurance should a tragic event occur. And you would be a lot less stressed being able to comfortably retire when the time comes. Same goes for succession planning. Who wants to think about the long-term when there is so much to do in the short-term? Your employees want you to, actually.
There have been quite a few "employment" related news pieces this week. Another company declares a hike in its hourly pay (you may also want to check this out), more new job numbers, and the world's largest company is in the news again. Check out what happened this week below so you can have semi-intellingent conversations with your significant other's boss at Happy Hour tonight.
1) US Economy Gained 126,000 Jobs in March, an Abrupt Slowdown in Hiring from The New York Times
"The labor market’s yearlong streak of robust monthly job creation was broken on Friday with the Labor Department’s report that employers added just 126,000 workers in March, a marked slowdown in hiring thatechoed earlier signs of a winter pall on the economy. Analysts blamed the punishing weather in the Northeast as well as the plunge in oil prices. "The American energy industry is adjusting very quickly to low oil prices, and so we’ve seen this in the counts of the number of rigs that are active and are seeing in mining and energy-related industries," said Carl Tannenbaum, chief economist at Northern Trust. "The bad news is we’re losing some jobs. The good news, is we hope, that the average consumer is saving a tremendous amount of money in lower gasoline prices.""