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Showing posts from January, 2011

HR: Make Your Case!!!!

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In preparation for an interview with IQPC this morning regarding their upcoming HR Metrics Summit, I am pondering the following question:
Do you often find it difficult to build a solid business case for investment in HR? How are you meeting this challenge?
I will answer this from our experience and from a client's perspective. I do see many HR professionals struggle with getting budget and resources for HR related investments. This exercise is especially difficult when HR is competing with other functional areas competing for the same dollars.
I have a strong bias on how to accomplish the business case....get your data and tell a great story. For example, say that HR is looking to invest in a training program and/or a rewards program for a call center. At the same time marketing wants a new CRM and sales wants to add staff. All options are competing for the same budget dollars.
The key for all functional leaders is to make a LINK to the desired business outcome. So, let…

New Community Radio Opportunities to Increase Provision of Local Services and Information

Community radio in the U.S. received a large boost in January when President Obama signed a billed that will permit establishment of an estimated 800 to 1200 new local community radio stations

About 800 of the non-commercial community stations are already operating and providing music, health, education, and local information, news, and sports. The stations are run by community organizations, churches, and other civic groups, typically staffed by volunteers, and dependent upon donations from organizations and listeners.

Community radio operations tend to provide information about community and civic organizations that are overlooked by commercial broadcasting, focus on social issues in communities, and provide services to minority, ethic and immigrant groups. Programming on community radio is distinctively different from commercial radio and tends to be more local than, and providing alternative content to, that of public radio stations.

The stations operate on low power, making them use…

IBM Makes Social Media The Responsibility Of Every Employee

As a global technology leader focused on delivering forward-looking technology and solutions, IBM is no stranger to taking a unique approach in order to generate a stronger end result. To encourage discussion and foster a cultural affinity for social media across its vast network of 400,000 employees, countless partners, and global customer base, IBM made social engagement a key responsibility of every employee. Through a collaborative effort led by marketing, employees embraced social media to help get the word out about IBM solutions and events. The result was a measurable increase in awareness and tighter collaboration among IBM employees to better meet customer needs.


by Jeff Ernst

New Hires - Where Do Yours Rank?

In a recent HR Executive poll, 19% of all newly hired employees achieve "unequivocal success" with in 18 months of hire. If on-rolling (which includes orientation), mentoring, and training play a part in this, which they do, where does your company rank against this statistic?

Success Stories and Predictive Analytics

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Thanks to Andy Spence (@andyspence) for asking me the question, "Do you know any success stories from predictive analytics in HR?
I do know some success stories and I hear and read more and more everyday. But before I discuss the successes, I would like to define what "predicative analytics" mean. As defined by wikipedia:
Predictive analytics encompasses a variety of techniques from statistics, data mining and game theory that analyze current and historical facts to make predictions about future events.In business, predictive models exploit patterns found in historical and transactional data to identify risks and opportunities. Models capture relationships among many factors to allow assessment of risk or potential associated with a particular set of conditions, guiding decision making for candidate transactions.
Predictive analytics is being used more and more in companies to make predictions about behavior, investments, and performance as it relates to a firm's hum…

How Current Are You - Interior & Exterior Redesign

I went to a meeting this past week and was struck by a conversation I overheard about age discrimination. So in my ususal manner I excused myself and entered the discussion. I want to make sure I place this post in the right context so there is no misunderstanding on what I mean.

A person I know has been out of work for over a year and a half and has not had any luck in landing a position. Yes, this is another human resources professional at the senior level looking for work. I have talked to her in the past and asked what is her approach, her story, and how she attacks the interviews. To sum it up in less than five(5) words, "I do not fit"!!! WHAT, you do not fit ,what does that mean. Her comment to me was "age discrimination". In addition she said, I think they are not considering me because I was at my prior company for 28 years. Have you heard that before, I bet you have, probably coming from your mouth to a hiring manager behind closed doors and telling the ca…

HR Measures, Metrics and Analytics Summit-Recap

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The American Strategic Management Institute hosted the HR Measures, Metrics and Analytics Summit this week in Arlington, VA.This conference is my third HR metrics in the last six months.I ALWAYS learn something new.Below is a list of just a few observations from this week:
HR must take the lead on metrics, before someone else does.It’s not good enough anymore for HR to align with organizational strategy, HR needs to actually BUILD organizational strategy. (Jeremy Shapiro, Stanley Morgan)Metrics and Analytics will be used, paid attention to, and acted upon if you can relate them to organizational outcomes.Many organizations are at the infancy stage of HR metrics, just starting to track HR effectiveness and efficiency but….Organizational leadership is more demanding for evidenced based decision-makingThe future of HR Metrics is predictive analytics….the future is now! (Darren Shearer, SuccessFactors)Insight from data can’t happen until you begin to integrate your HR data with other funct…

Failure as a Necessary Component of Innovation and Breakthroughs

In most organizations failure is implicitly, sometimes explicitly, understood to be career limiting.



Regardless of the rhetoric, and I have heard loads of it over the years of working with senior executives. They will say things like: "it OK to fail around here"; "we value failure as evidence of pushing the envelope"; "no success without failure" and so on. The truth is failure is not acceptable in most organizations. Now if we distinguish between carelessness and failure we may have an opening for a new freedom to invent, create, discover, and take responsible risks - and in the process make major advances, even breakthroughs. Carelessness I distinguish as not paying sufficient attention in performing in task that has a proven and established process or methodology to ensure the desired outcome. This thoughtlessness in executing a step or missing a step means that the desired outcome is not produced. And, in all likelihood what is produced has unwanted cons…

How Clean is Your Human Capital Data?

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Over the last few weeks, we have discussed the importance of HR Analytics. We discussed last week about looking at linkage to business strategy in order to start the process. Another important issue to look at, at the beginning of the project is the data itself. The one common theme/issue I have heard from conferences, clients and colleagues is the issue of data hygiene.
I believe that data cleanliness has to be a priority in HR as analysis of Human Capital data is more and more common every day. The one "stopping block" in the analysis process is the state of the data. By having strong data entry rules on the front end will save a lot of heart ache on the analysis end.
Here are some data pitfalls we have experienced:
1) Data is not entered into HRIS in a uniform manner thus creating issues when trying to perform data analysis
2) Data is not entered in a manner that allows for comparison across data sets. In other words, in the HRIS you enter data at the divisional leve…

Leaders Should Know What to Do

Leadersneed to be prepared. Often times this is just a simple matter of thinking ahead. There are certain circumstances that you can see coming. For example, if you take a new position and soon realize that you will probably need to let a particular person go, you should be prepared for that possibility. You should have thought through the best way to handle it and most importantly you should have thought through the ways you are not going to handle it–ways that could create an even bigger problem. Making decisions is a big part of leadership and the more intelligent your decisions, the better of a leader you can become. A decision made on whim is much less likely to be the best choice as compared with a carefully planned out decision made in advance.

Leaders Create Leaders

A good leader leaves a legacy of leadership skills in others. Well led organizations become even more well led because of this. It all starts at the top with the organizational leader. If you invest in the people under you, they will learn how to invest in the people under them. If you avoid making promises you can’t keep to people under you, they will be less likely to break promises to people under them. Many times you will find an organization that is extremely dysfunctional in a particular area. When you trace the problem, it becomes evident that the problem started with leadership at the very top. Everyone else followed the example that they were shown and turned a small flaw in one or two people into an organization wide dysfunctional problem.

What Leadership Looks Like in 2034

Workplaceleadershiphas changed enormously in the past generation. There is far less top-down, command-and-control leadership, and greater flexibility. Leaders are more highly trained and give greater attention to human resources. How will leadership continue to change and evolve in the next generation?


Bernard M. Bass was one of the foremost leadership scholars, with a career that spanned 7 decades. In 1967, he was asked by the American Management Association to speculate what management/leadership would look like in the year 2000. Remarkably, most of his predictions came true. For example, in 1967, Bernie foresaw that managers would make daily use of computers in analysis and decision making (he did not foresee the invention of personal computers, but assumed leaders would be connected to mainframes). He also predicted that leaders would have to adapt to workers with greater knowledge and skill and desire more challenging work. He also predicted tremendous growth in leadership trainin…

Where to Start the HR Metrics Journey?

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Many times I have been asked by students, attendees and colleagues, "Where do I start with HR Metrics?"
I have answered that question in the past by saying, "Start with low hanging fruit, maybe with efficiency measures in recruiting like time to fill or cost measures in training like training cost per employee."
I still believe those are important EFFICIENCY TRACKING metrics, but I believe we are so past metrics like those. We need to be focused on those metrics that give us some INSIGHT into a decision, an issue, or strategic outcomes.
So my answer today, is quite different. I believe you start your metrics journey with your business strategy. It has to begin there. Leaders are looking for metrics that let them know how they are doing against their strategic objectives, what investments make the most sense (ROI) and what are areas that need improvement.
So, HR is key in this role, since approximately 60-80% of organizational budgets are tied to people related in…

Don't Forget Training & eLearning in 2011

In an economy like what we are experiencing today one of the first budget cuts we see is usually in training & development. As we all know, training is one of the key life bloods of an organization that builds your workforces skills and is a platform for growth.One of the key elements for continuing training of your human capital is instilling that training is important to them and that they should take the time to expand their skills, grow their competencies, and make it a ritual in their working lives. So how do you do this? Here are a couple of important guidelines:
make sure there is a solid training strategy that ties to the corporations' goal/objectiveskeep the training budget as much in place as possible make sure your managers buy into the training strategy managers must emphasize that training is important to themoffer eLearning options for your employees through companies like Skillsoft provide time each week for learning show the outcome of skills training so people …

Start The "New Year" Off Right - Reassess

Now that we have entered into 2011 it is time for every HR executive and manager to reassess everything top to bottom. When you think of it you probably did your budget in September or October, your staffing plans about the same time when the strat plan was being done. You also built your own strategy plan around the company plan. 


Well, now that 2010 is gone and some assumptions may not be valid today reassess everything. It is also time to reassess your own value to the organization and how you can add additional value and less HR bureaucracy and other HR administrivia. Now I know that as executives in the new world of HR you do not focus on this stuff you should make sure your managers and key subject personnel have a direct line of sight to the business and not to build their own castle. 


So, in summary, reassess the following in detail and re-evaluate the net effect on the bottom line:

HR strategy planHR budget for 2011 and subsequent years if you are on a multi-year planning basisH…

HR Analytics: Learning the Language of the Business

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We have been discussing HR Analytics over the last few weeks with such topics as "The 3 Most Important HR Measures" and "How to Introduce Analytics into the Organization."
I have been thinking about how to make sure HR Analytics are not only a part of the overall HR Strategy but that they produce information and insights that are actually USED.
So, like with any information that we have in our organizations, adoption really depends on a few things:
1) Ease of use 2) Access to the information 3) Understanding of the information 4) WIIFM-why should the end user care?
I believe when you embark on an analytics strategy you have to adapt the language of the business into your outputs. Reports, charts, graphs and studies need to address the following:
1) What is the business issue? 2) How does the issue relate to the current strategy? 3) Keep information simple 4) Don't show off math skills, show off a real understanding of the business issue while using cool analytic skills.�…