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    Friday
    Oct122018

    PODCAST: #HRHappyHour 342 - Sports and HR with The 8 Man Rotation

    HR Happy Hour 342 - Sports and HR with The 8 Man Rotation

    Sponsored by Virgin Pulse - www.virginpulse.com

    Host:Steve Boese 

    Guests: Kris Dunn, Lance Haun

    Listen HERE

    Today on the HR Happy Hour Show, Steve was joined by two of the founding members of the 'Sports and HR' crew known as The 8 Man Rotation. Kris, Lance, and Steve broke down three recent HR and workplace issues taken from the world of sports.

    The crew discussed the recent harassment and hostile workplace charges at the NBA's Dallas Mavericks organization, how the City of Pittsburgh is implementing a form of the NFL's 'Rooney Rule' to try and improve diversity and representation of underserved populations in City's workforce, and how one innovative technology is moving from the football field and into corporate America.

    Sports were the source of these topics, but the true topics were harassment in the workplace, the responsibility of leaders to respond to harassment reports, diversity in sourcing and hiring, and how modern technology is changing workplace training - all 'real' HR issues.

    You can listen to the show on the show page HERE, on your favorite podcast app, or by using the widget player below:

    This was a fun, interesting, and engaging conversation about how these important workplace issues have originated in the world of sports, but have relevance and importance in the 'real world' too.

    Additionally, we broke down budget hotels in the southeast, the best dining options at Publix, and Tim Sackett's shameless use of exclamation points in blog post titles.

    Thanks Kris and Lance for joining us!

    Remember to subscribe to the HR Happy Hour Show on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher Radio, Google Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts - just search for 'HR Happy Hour'.

    Tuesday
    Oct092018

    You had me at "Almost no email"

    I had come across a few pieces about the tech company Glitch, (formerly Fog Creek Software, one of the most innovative tech companies of the last two decades), but until recently had never actually explored around their site to try and see what was so unusual and refreshing about their approach to openness and transparency.

    While their Employee Handbook has been the usual focus of articles that talk about just how different Glitch is, I found myself absolutely stunned into silence (and admiration) for this the paragraph below, buried as bullet point number three in a section called 'Working at Glitch'. And here is it: 

    • Almost no email. Most people at Glitch get fewer than a dozen email messages in a week from their coworkers. We use email for especially urgent company-wide alerts, and to work with people at other companies. For ordinary chat, we prefer to use Slack, and for lengthier conversations, we write out our ideas in full and share them for feedback and comment. It's common for people to come to work in the morning at Glitch and have no new emails in their inbox, and Inbox Zero is common enough that nobody even talks about it

    I know, I know what you are saying - our company isn't a small, tech company and we can't operate on just a handful of emails per day. We have too many things going on, too many moving parts, too many people we have to deal with on a regular basis to ever function in the way Glitch seems to function. Besides, if 273 emails not sent just turn into the same number, if not more, pings on Slack, then what is the difference. Fair point.

    But the other fair point I think, and one that is doubled-down on in the next 'Working at Glitch' bullet point titled 'We Respect Working Hours', is that Glitch has seemed to recognize that a barrage or onslaught of electronic messaging that you are expected to remain on top of all day long (and all night and weekend long too), is probably not the best way to create an inspired, engaged, and productive workforce.

    It's so easy to default back to the way we have always done things, the way we are conditioned to do things. I would guess that at least some portion of the team over at Glitch arrived there from some other workplace where 24/7 connection and hundreds of emails per day were the norms. But I would also guess that many of these same people now can't imagine going back to that kind of an environment. Good luck, by the way, cold-calling someone like that and luring them back to the dark side.

    Over time, and especially when things get really busy, I more and more send an email or a text almost begging that we stop emailing each other and just get on the phone. I am not sure all this email is doing us and our workforces the service it once did, back when we really thought for moment or too about sending the email in the first place.

    There are lots of other interesting ideas over at the Glitch careers site. I recommend checking it out. If only to dream 'What if?' for a few moments.

    Have a great day!

    Friday
    Oct052018

    HRE Column: Making Better HR Decisions Using HR Tech

    Yes, you may have noticed that I have been writing a little bit less frequently here on the blog. The combination of a ton of travel in September, helping deliver the largest HR Technology Conference ever, and keeping the growing HR Happy Hour Podcast Network going are all taking up quite a few cycles lately. But I am still writing over at Human Resource Executive where my latest column just posted.

    The piece is titled How Technology Helps Us Make Better HR Decisions and is a reflection on some of the more important topics in HR and HR Tech today - data, and making sense of data, and understanding how modern HR tech can help us make better HR and Talent decisions.

    Here's an excerpt from the piece on HRE:

    With the HR Technology Conference just completed a few weeks ago, I have had some time to attend a few industry events, record new episodes of the HR Happy Hour Podcast, and give a presentation on data, technology and decision-making in HR and talent management.

    In preparing for that talk, I referenced two highly recommended books, How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking by Jordan Ellberg; and Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence by Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans and Avi Goldfarb. While neither book is “about” HR—or even the workplace—both provided some excellent frameworks for thinking about information, data, technology and AI, and had great examples of how understanding these “non-HR” concepts can help those of us in HR get better at making talent decisions.

    I thought I’d devote this month’s column to sharing a few ideas from those books and my own personal thoughts on how we might want to view our people challenges a little differently.

    1. Data don’t always mean what you think they mean.

    How Not to Be Wrong opens with an extremely interesting tale from World War II. As air warfare gained prominence, the challenge for the military was figuring out where and in what amount to apply protective armor to fighter planes and bombers. Apply too much armor and the planes become slower, less maneuverable and use more fuel. Too little armor, or if it’s in the “wrong” places, and the planes run a higher risk of being brought down by enemy fire.

    To make these determinations, military leaders examined the amount and placement of bullet holes on damaged planes that returned to base following their missions. The data showed almost twice as much damage to the fuselage of the planes compared to other areas, most specifically the engine compartments, which generally had little damage. This data led the military leaders to conclude that more armor needed to be placed on the fuselage.

    But mathematician Abraham Wald examined the data and came to the opposite conclusion. The armor, Wald said, doesn’t go where the bullet holes are; instead, it should go where the bullet holes aren’t, specifically, on the engines. The key insight came when Wald looked at the damaged planes that returned to the base and asked where all the “missing” bullet holes to the engines were. The answer was the “missing” bullet holes were on the missing planes, i.e. the ones that didn’t make it back safely to base. Planes that got hit in the engines didn’t come back, but those that sustained damage to the fuselage generally could make it safely back. 

    Read the rest at HRE Online...

    You can also subscribe on HRE Online to get my monthly Inside HR Tech column via email here. I promise it will be the most exciting email you will ever receive. 

    Thanks for checking out the column, the blog, the podcasts, the 'Alexa' show, and all the nonsense I'm now in my second decade of churning out. 

    Have a great weekend!

    Wednesday
    Oct032018

    PODCAST: #HRHappyHour 341 - The Evolution of Talent Branding and Candidate Experience

    HR Happy Hour 341 - The Evolution of Talent Branding and Candidate Experience

    Sponsored by Virgin Pulse - www.virginpulse.com

    Host: Steve Boese

    Guest: Kathryn Minshew, The Muse

    Listen HERE

    This week on the HR Happy Hour Show, Steve was joined by Kathryn Minshew, CEO and Founder of The Muse, a career platform used by over 50 million people to navigate their careers and by hundreds of companies looking to attract, hire and retain great talent. She’s also the author of "The New Rules of Work," a Wall Street Journal national bestseller.

    On the show, Kathryn discussed how candidates have become increasingly discerning in their careers, how they expect more and more authentic information from prospective employers, and how organizations can leverage new technology and media to deliver these talent brand messages and create better candidate experiences.

    Kathryn feels we are in the 3rd phase of the talent branding and candidate experience journey - where employers have to be specific, accurate, and use their 'real' people to tell the organization's stories and deliver an authentic message about how they experience their work environment. She also shared how some of the more effective employer attraction strategies have parallels to marketing - by sourcing great stories to share with prospective candidates, inserting more information and authenticity when interacting with candidates on sites like LinkedIn and email, and by making job descriptions more thoughtful and interesting to candidates. 

    Listen to the show on the show page HERE, on your favorite podcast app, or by using the widget player below:

    This was a great conversation, thanks to Kathryn for coming back on the show!

    Subscribe to the HR Happy Hour Show wherever you get your podcasts.

    Tuesday
    Oct022018

    Other duties as assigned: How about 'Micro-influencer?'

    Calling your attention to a super read over at The Atlantic titled 'Employers are Looking for 'Influencers' Within Their Ranks' that describes the relatively recent phenomenon of employers enlisting 'real' employees for what are, mostly, low-tech, minimal production values, and hopefully authentic advertising and branding campaigns. In what reminded me of the seemingly ubiquitous trend on TV spots where car companies tout their casts of 'Real people, not actors', The Atlantic piece breaks down how Macy's has recruited dozens of real and often front-line workers in their Macy's 'Style Crew' campaign where these workers share updates, pics, and videos showcasing Macys fashions as well as sharing some of their own lives as well.

    A great example of a Macy's Style Crew Instagram post is embedded below, (if you can't see the image in email or RSS, you may need to click through)

     

     

    You can see from this pic, and from the several dozen others I looked at with the #macysstylecrew hashtag, that most of the pics achieve what Macy's is after from this campaign - grass roots, believable, authentic, and perhaps most importantly, inexpensive branding and advertising for the business.

    In a world where consumers tend to trust brand messages less and less, and "official" Instagram and other social media Influencers are charging higher and higher fees for sponsored posts and produce mentions, Macy's is trying a different approach, one that calls to action participants that it has more control and influence over - the company's own employees.

    The upside for Macy's? Hundreds, perhaps thousands of quasi-independent voices sharing content and information about the brand's products, in a casual, "real" way, and the opportunity to build stronger bonds between the company and their customers, (and employees).

    The upside for Macy's employees in the Style Crew? It is a little less clear, to be honest. The Atlantic piece does mention some kind of compensation for these participants, (it is not apparent how much or in what form the compensation is delivered). They also stand a chance, with interested and enthusiastic participation to get noticed by higher ups at Macy's, I guess there is some value to that. And last, if nothing else, they get to have a little fun at 'work' - posting selfies of your daily outfit before you head to the office or store is kind of a thankless job, (that's why I stopped doing that myself). Injecting a little brand ambassadorship into the equation makes it somehow (maybe?) less inane of a practice.

    In the modern, gig economy we are all always hustling. For some Macy's employees, that includes when taking selfies.

    Have a great day!