Showing posts from February, 2011

To Link or Not to Link Your HR Data

We have been discussing the importance of HR analytics on this blog for many weeks now. I have debriefed from 3 conferences over the last six months providing the latest and greatest research on HR Analytics.
One thing comes up over and over. You can't look at your data in silos. Whether you are talking about HR data, operational data, customer data or financial data, it needs to be analyzed from a systems perspective. We are now at a place in the metrics journey, where managers in organizations need to be predictive and have data to make better decisions.
So, that requires the leadership from all functional areas to: actually collaborate around execution of business strategy, consider initiatives to be embarked upon and to solve business problems with intelligence that already exists in each functional area.
How, you say? The first step is after you have created your beautiful, shiny new business strategy, you actually need to develop actions around that. By using a bu…

The Age of Mobility & the Executive

There is an interesting download paper on the "The Untethered Executive: Business Information in the Age of Mobility" in the latest edition of Forbes Insight. As a member of the Forbes Insight Panel I thought you would be interested. 

In summary the paper says" Much has been written about how smartphones and other mobile devices are changing the way people communicate. But little has been done to understand what the impact of this shift is on the executive suite. Are executives willing to use their smartphones for business purposes beyond email? Is the information they access via a mobile device being used to help drive business decisions? Do different “generations” of executives treat mobility differently, and are some more willing than others to blur the lines between business and personal communications devices? "

Check it out at

Has HR GAINED or LOST Ground Post Recession?

In the most recent edition of HR Magazine, there was a very interesting article by Edward Lawler, Jay Jamrog and John Boudreau, "Shining Light on the HR Profession" (membership required) regarding HR's positioning post recession.

SHRM distributed a survey to approximately 1000 HR executives and other types of managers to organizations ranging in size from 1,000 to more than 100,000 employees.
For me, the interesting results were these:
HR Executives felt that they did improve effectiveness and their strategic role as a result of how HR responded to the recession. ANDNot only did HR Executives toot their own horn but when managers were asked the same questions they agreed that HR had gained strategic and effectiveness ground.This is the good news, HR gained ground....but there were areas that were cited where HR needs improvements: Talent Management-HR needs to make sure that they are committed to the quality of their talent management decisions and that their performance …

Are You Creating A Culture of Innovation?

Great companies make innovation happen. The basic element is culture. The worlds best structures will under perform without a culture that supports people trying new things. 

How can we engender a culture that supports innovation you ask? Here are a few of the insights the Kellogg Innovation Network has learned:

Nurture a sense of purpose - take a contrary approach to business; innovate around your core product; practice flexibility in the face of obsolescenceOperate as an ethical alternative - focus on a purpose of significant social merit like supporting recycling, saving the planet, support cleaner air etc.Celebrate smart failures - understand why there was failure and build on it to succeed and avoid similar outcomes.Create MAOE - create meaningful, actionable objectives & enable people to act - inspiring challenges can fuel an innovative culture. Meaningful objectives can inspire people to create solutions.Emphasize the team - culture is not an individual it is a team, group, d…

HR Metrics Summit-Final Day Recap

After three days of listening and participating in the IQPC HR Metics Summit, I have a renewed and confirming passion around the subject of Human Capital Metrics.
It is exciting for me to hear that HR practitioners that are attending this summit are moving past typical tracking measures and actually getting to metrics that matter to the business.
Today, I heard case studies from HR professionals on how they have "linked" various data sets to create insight for the business. (Thank Goodness!). Examples include:
linking volunteerism to employee engagement resulting in higher productivity/performanceLinking employee engagement to customer loyalty resulting in increased profitsLinking leadership effectiveness to employee engagement leading to increased customer loyalty I am in a unique environment at this metrics conference. I am hanging out with people like me that understand that metrics and analytics are necessary and the one way that HR can finally be strategic and add valu…

HR Metrics Summit-Day 1 Recap

I have been honored to serve as the Chairperson for IQPC's HR Metrics Summit this week in Chicago. There is a slate of excellent topics and speakers including:
The Evolution of HR Analytics At Sear Holdings by Steve WoolwineSales Force Effectiveness by Carl Schleyer from Sears HoldingsMaking Manager Self Service Improvements by Brenda Sural"Group Therapy" session discussing which 5 metrics you would choose to discuss with your CEO.The Story of Accor's HR transformation, using HR Metrics to drive business resultsUsing Analytics to Make the Right HR Investments by yours truly :)"Group Therapy" Session-When HR Metrics Fail to Connect with Your Executives, hosted by Tim Sackett, Writer, Fitful of TalentWorkforce Analytics: Mapping Out a Data Supply Chain by Brent Auble, SAIC.Assessing the Business Impact of HR by Rick BuchmanSome of my key takeaways from day one are as follows: Case studies shared by Sears, Accor and Kraft discussed metrics being a journey that …

What is the Difference Between Metrics and Analytics?

I know, I have been asked many times about the difference between metrics and analytics. Luk Smeyers with INostix in Europe has created a very cool list of words that show the difference between the two concepts. Thanks Luk!

A lot of my clients and contacts are asking me quite often: "In a few words, what's the difference between HR metrics and HR analytics?" For a few weeks, I have been writing down such words in my beloved iphone (the 'Notes' app). Here you go...enjoy!

MetricsAnalytics1. TangibleIntangible2. AccountingFinance3. PastFuture4. DataInsights5. LargeSelective6. TransactionalStrategic7. InformationTransformation8. Low valueDifferentiator9. GatheringAsking questions10. ReportingAnalysing11. HR ScorecardBusiness Scorecard12. HR ownership

HR’s Strategic Role in Innovation

Historically, Human Resources (HR) has not played a very strategic role in innovation. This needs to change rapidly as we move in the 21st century. HR needs to support the cultural change to enable innovation; and the upcoming generation of HR practitioners are not going to settle for an ‘administrative-only’ role.

Innovation is primarily a social thing. Really. While processes are important, ideas come from interactions between and among humans. At the 2nd Open Innovation Summit and at the BIF-6 conference this came through loud and clear. The most fundamental asset a company has is its humans. So, wouldn’t you think the organization assigned to maximize (20th century business = manage) that resource is critical to a company’s success?

Companies are good at managing tangible, concrete, known assets, and they try to manage humans the same way. Business schools, corporate training etc. don’t do well teaching us how to ‘manage’ or ‘measure’ social assets – to train, support, and enable pe…

Developing a HRM Strategy

Faced with rapid change organizations need to develop a more focused and coherent approach to managing people. In just the same way a business requires a marketing or information technology strategy it also requires a human resource or people strategy. In developing such a strategy two critical questions must be addressed.  What kinds of people do you need to manage and run your business to meet your strategic business objectives?What people programs and initiatives must be designed and implemented to attract, develop and retain staff to compete effectively?In order to answer these questions four key dimensions of an organization must be addressed. These are: Culture: the beliefs, values, norms and management style of the organizationOrganization: the structure, job roles and reporting lines of the organizationPeople: the skill levels, staff potential and management capabilityHuman resources systems: the people focused mechanisms which deliver the strategy - employee selection, communica…

Talent Management: Does What Get Measured Really Get Done?

I am very excited to have Sean Conrad from Halogen Software as our guest blogger today:Cathy has done a series of great posts recently on HR metrics and analytics. I couldn’t agree more with her take on the importance of measuring and analyzing the right things – HR data that matters to the business, because these are the metrics that can be used to track against corporate objectives and to help make business decisions.Now of course I have a pretty specific focus on talent management metrics. Over the past several years I’ve had the pleasure of working and talking to hundreds of HR professionals who are passionate about driving high performance within their companies, but who at one time or another have struggled with determining what to track. Suffice it to say that without the ability to centralize performance and talent management data in some type of system, the question is moot, because it’s nearly impossible to get meaningful insight from paper. But for the many who have taken t…

The 10 Best-Designed Intranets For 2011

Here is the list of the 10 best designed intranets from Jakob Neilsen's Alertbox:
AMP Limited (Australia), a wealth management company Bennett Jones LLP (Canada), one of Canada's largest law firms Bouygues Telecom (France), a telecom, mobile, fixed, TV, and Internet communications services company Credit Suisse AG (Switzerland), a global financial services company Duke Energy (US), an electrical power holding company Habitat for Humanity International (US), a non-profit, non-denominational Christian housing ministry Heineken International (The Netherlands), a leading brewer and owner and manager of a portfolio of beer brands KT (Republic of Korea), an information, communications, and technology company Mota-Engil Engenharia e Construção, S.A. (Portugal), a leading construction enterprise Verizon Communications (US), a provider of wired and wireless broadband and communications services to US consumers, as well as of global business networking, data, and managed solutions to ent…