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    Thursday
    Apr212016

    What makes a workplace human

    Remember the classic Marvin Gaye song, 'What's Going On" from 1971?

     

    Sure you do. In the song Marvin lays out a kind of meditation on many of the issues and problems facing America in the early seventies. What is interesting about the song to me is that 'What's Going On' is not phrased as a question, as in, 'What's going on?', but rather it is presented as a statement, i.e. this is what's going on.

     

    I am taking the same approach to this post, 'What makes a workplace human', in that I am not asking, but rather I am going to try and make a statement too, at least a statement on what a human workplace means to me.

     

    If I think about all the places I have worked, and the attributes from each of those places that were the most human, three things come to mind, (there are certainly more that three 'humanizing' elements in workplaces, but I kind of think they all can be abstracted into three main categories).

     

    So what are the three common features of a more human workplace? 

     

    1. Respect for the person - The most human workplaces and experiences that I have had in my career were with organizations, or more accurately, within work teams where people were respected and treated with dignity at a basic, simple level. These were teams that were made up of smart, high-performing individuals, and led by demanding leaders, but they never forgot that the organization was not some abstract entity, but rather was made up of individual, and real people. How do you know if your organization respects and values people as real people? Check the 'official' response when a team member has a personal crisis, a family emergency, or in the worst case, a death in the family. Does the team rally to support the person in need? Or do they worry, (primarily), about project deadlines, insurance forms, and leave of absence policy compliance? A human workplace treats people as people, not as cogs to keep in line.

     

    2. Respect for the mission - The other side to the organization caring for its people as real human beings, is the people caring for what the organization stands for, and the larger mission that the organization exists to try and fulfill. The most human organizations consist of real people who (at least most of the time), feel energized by the mission and purpose of the organization, and can invest emotionally in doing their part to see that the mission is successful. When people can genuinely invest at an emotional level in a cause that is greater than just making sales or earning a profit, the 'humanity' of the organization increases dramatically.

     

    3. Respect for the community - Every organization exists as a part of some kind of community, whether it is a small, local business that sits on a main street in town, or a global organization that operates in hundreds of locations. Either way, every organization makes an impact on its community, however that is defined. The most human organizations never forget the influence that they have over these communities, and the best organizations attempt to make their communities better places. Organizations that have a strong commitment and demonstrate caring to their communities are likely the same organizations that are going to be more human in their interactions with their people too.

     

    The inspiration for this post is the upcoming Work Human Conference presented by Globoforce that is taking place from May 9-11 in Orlando. The event is about increasing the engagment of the organization, releasing the energy of your people, and helping you and your organization reach your potential. I will be attending and you can join me by using registration code WH16SB300, at the following registration link http://bit.ly/whstbotw and receive $300 off the current registration rate.
    Tuesday
    Apr192016

    NBA team jersey ads are coming - here's the HR tech vendor who should sponsor each team

    A few days ago it was announced that starting with the 2017-2018 season, small corporate advertisements will be permitted on the front of NBA player jerseys. It is estimated that these ads, which initially will be limited in size to a patch measuring 2.5 x 2.5 inches, will generate anywhere from $50M to $150M annually in revenue for the league.

    Since corporate ads on NBA jerseys are now absolutely going to happen, speculation about which companies will sponsor which teams has begun. And since I am all about the NBA and have lots of opinions about all things HR technology, I thought it would be fun to mash up these two worlds in one post. 

    How can such a mash up make sense you may be asking? How about if we pretend that only HR technology companies would be eligible for these NBA jersey sponsorship and then decide which HR tech company 'fits' each NBA team and match the NBA team to the HR tech company.

    Sounds fun, right? Here goes. And note, teams are listed in reverse order of their regular season finish in the season that just concluded a few days ago.

    30. Philadelphia 76ers - Sponsor: SmartRecruiters. No reason other than the Sixers really, really need to find some better players. Linking a company with the name of SmartRecruiters to a team in need of smarter recruiting is a good fit.

    29. Los Angeles Lakers - Sponsor: Aon Hewitt. Aon Hewitt has been no stranger to big-name jersey sponsorship in the past, (Manchester United), so I can see a scenario where Aon would jump into NBA jersey sponsorship with a big time team like the Lakers.

    28. Brooklyn Nets - Sponsor: Infor. Infor is a New York City-based company, and I went to a Nets game this season in Brooklyn and sat near the Infor lounge (to which I was denied entry, by the way).

    27. Phoenix Suns - Sponsor: PeopleDoc. This one falls into the camp of 'I think this company does some cool things, and they should be a part of the NBA sponsorship program'. The Suns play in a big market, have typically been a destination of choice for free agents, and seem like a fit for an HR tech company trying to build its name in the US market.

    26. Minnesota Timberwolves - Sponsor: The Muse. The T-Wolves are a team on the rise, filled with tons of young talent. Good match for the kinds of things The Muse is all about as well, with their focus of helping organizations connect with up and coming talent.

    25. New Orleans Pelicans - Sponsor: Namely. You may not know Namely, but the company has emerged in the last couple of years, raising funds and even advertising on cable TV channels like CNBC. I think that Namely would probably want to be a part of the NBA ad program, and nabbing the team with one of the league's best players Anthony Davis would be a coup.

    24. New York Knicks - Sponsor: ADP. They are both huge, recognizable names in their domains, and have some shared geographical ties as ADP is headquartered in the greater NYC area. I can just 'see' and ADP logo on a Knicks jersey and it would feel like it would make sense.

    23. Milwaukee Bucks- Sponsor: CareerBuilder. The Bucks are a team that many think could evolve and develop into a contender in the next few seasons, they just need one or two more pieces to be in the mix. Pairing up with a vendor that is all about making connections with talent seems like a good fit.

    22. Denver Nuggets - Sponsor: iCIMS. Another HR tech company that it seems would have to be a part of the NBA program, iCIMS continues to grow and expand and the name and brand recognition that would come from being a NBA team sponsor seems to align with these growth plans. 

    21. Sacramento Kings - Sponsor: Globoforce. This one is more about what the Kings need and less about what the sponsor needs. The Kings have been a pretty dysfunctional organization for several years, and they could use a pairing with a vendor who focuses on making work better and more human.

    20. Orlando Magic - Sponsor: Dice. I don't have a super reason behind this match, but I think Dice would have to be in the NBA mix somehow, so I will slot them in here with a Magic team that hopefully has better days ahead of them soon.

    19. Utah Jazz - Sponsor: HireVue. While there are several HR tech companies in the Salt Lake City area, I just associate Hirevue with the area so strongly, they have to be the pick for the Jazz sponsorship. And nothing says 'You're in Utah' more than jazz music.

    18. Washington Wizards - Sponsor: Equifax Workforce Solutions. It only makes sense that the team in the home of the US Federal Government be sponsored by an HR tech company that is synonymous with compliance - Equifax is a natural fit for the Wiz.

    17. Houston Rockets - Sponsor: CivilSoft. Maybe a stretch by me, but I like the idea of pairing the team from America's oil and gas industry capital with one of the few, if not the only, HR tech companies that is HQ'ed in the Middle East.

    16. Chicago Bulls - Sponsor: SAP. Great history, been around what seems like forever. Known all over the world, SAP seems like a match with the Bulls on all these levels.

    15. Memphis Grizzlies - Sponsor: Kronos. The Grizz have long been known as a blue-collar, grind it out kind of team, so pairing them with Kronos, the biggest player in the time keeping space seems like a good fit.

    14. Dallas Mavericks - Sponsor: Glassdoor. The Mavs owner Mark Cuban is famous for speaking his mind, and being incredibly open and transparent. Matches the Glassdoor ethos of making information about work and organizations more open and transparent for job seekers as well.

    13. Detroit Pistons - Sponsor: WorkForce Software. The team from Detroit, the city long-associated with hard work needs to be paired with a sponsor coming from the same place. I like the match of a tech vendor with deep roots in the hourly workforce space with the Pistons.

    12. Portland Trail Blazers - Sponsor: Virgin Pulse. Portland feels like the kind of place/team that is a fit with the vibe of well-being that Virgin Pulse is all about. 

    11. Indiana Pacers - Sponsor: Mercer. I like Mercer for the Pacers as they both give off a feel of solid, stable, trustworthiness. You don't have to worry that they know what they are doing/saying, they just put in a great effort every night. 

    10. Charlotte Hornets: Sponsor: SumTotal. This may be a reach, but the Hornets have had a really, really good season despite not having any 'star' players. They have been, in short, better than the sum of their parts. So matching them up with leading learning vendor SumTotal works.

    9. Boston Celtics - Sponsor: IBM. The modern day Celts are not flashy, but continue to achieve at a high level and feature solid coaching and front-office leadership. Plus, there's decades of success in their legacy. Sounds in some ways like IBM to me.

    8. Atlanta Hawks - Sponsor: Kinetix. Though not exactly a tech company, Kinetix lands the Hawks sponsorship by virtue of their Atlanta HQ and KD's affinity for Dennis 'German Rondo' Schroder.

    7. Miami Heat - Sponsor: Ultimate Software. Ultimate is a South Florida company, so that is a fit. And I once heard Pat Riley speak at an Ultimate user conference.

    6. Los Angeles Clippers - Sponsor: Cornerstone OnDemand. Cornerstone is an LA-area company and it makes sense that they would link up with one of the LA teams. The Clippers just seem a better fit to me than the Lakers. 

    5. Oklahoma City Thunder - Sponsor: Paychex. This one is simply because like Oklahoma City seems to be an unlikely place to be the home of a top-level NBA team, Rochester, NY, (home to Paychex and me too), is also a fairly unlikely place to be the home of a leading HR tech provider. But it is and this one seems like a solid fit.

    4. Toronto Raptors - Sponsor: Ceridian. They have a pretty strong presence in Canada so it just makes sense for Ceridian to connect with the NBA's lone Canadian franchise.

    3. Cleveland Cavaliers - Sponsor: Workday. No other reason than a high-profile team like the Cavs would have to be paired with a big-name sponsor, so Workday gets the nod here.

    2. San Antonio Spurs - Sponsor: Indeed. The right for the Spurs was a little tough to come up with, but in the end I went with a pick that at least reminds me of the low-key, efficient, and fundamental way the Spurs play basketball - the job aggregation behemoth Indeed. 

    1. Golden State Warriors - Sponsor: Oracle. Kind of a no-brainer, since the Dubs play in Oracle arena. Once a team's home gets associated with a corporate brand, a really tight bond develops.

    That's it, your guide to NBA jersey sponsorship, HR tech edition.

    Disagree with any of the pairings? Hit me up in the comments.

    Thursday
    Apr142016

    Notes from the road #19 - #HRTechChina Edition

    We are about half way through the inaugural HR Technology China Conference and Exposition in Zhuhai, China and while I am a short break from Conference events and duties, I will try to crank out a quick Top 10 notes and observations from the trip so far:

    10. Many of the primary HR issues in China and with Chinese companies seem really similar to those we commonly in the US as well - engagement, retention, the need for innovation and 'modern' people practices. Many of talks I have sat in on so far would not have been out of place in an American or European event as well.

    9. One of the opening keynotes was given by former US Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao. She gave a great talk about challenges and opportunities for HR leaders worldwide, and how advances in technology are impacting the workforce. But beyond that, Secretary Chao is an absolute ROCK STAR in China. Literally hundreds of attendees lined up to see her up close and try to take a picture with her. And she was really kind, funny, and just all around cool as well.

    8. I am the on-stage host of the China Conference like I am at HR Tech in the US, but let's just say the two rooms and audiences are very, very different. I probably need to learn some new jokes if I get to play China again.

    7. But another portion of my act seems to be playing well in China - I have been told by no less than four different people in two days that I am the most handsome member of the American contingent at the event. So there's that.

    6. I somehow talked Madeline Laurano and Trish McFarlane into making the long trip and presenting at the Conference. And Trish has already wrote a great post about the event which you should check out. 

    5. Jason Averbook closed out the opening keynotes with a tight, crisp, but completely on-point talk about what are the really important considerations with HR transformation and technology disruption.

    4. I love Chinese food. I might not love it for 12 meals in a row. Time for a burger and a beer. Hopefully soon.

    3. Everyone in Zhuhai has been incredibly kind, generous, and patient with us as we have occasionally stumbled our way around. Someday I will write about trying to figure out how to print a batch of pre-ordered ferry tickets from a kiosk that was configured all in Chinese.

    2. If you have never come out to China, or this part of the world in general, you really should try to make that happen. This is my second time in China, and really is an amazingly interesting place.

    1. As much as I love this place, I will be glad to get back home though. The NBA playoffs are about to start! Congrats to the Warriors for reaching 73 wins.

    Tuesday
    Apr122016

    HR Technology in China

    I am out at the first ever HR Technology China Conference this week, so posting on the blog might possibly be a little sporadic over the next few days. But I will definitely be taking notes at the event and will plan on sharing as much as I can from what I see and hear this next week.

    At the event, I will be speaking, co-hosting, and otherwise making sure that things go smoothly, (and eating as much Chinese food as I can). This is the first international event for the HR Technology Conference brand, and we are really excited for a fantastic event with thousands of HR leaders from China.

    I would also like to thank a few folks that readers might know who are making the long trip to speak at HR Tech China. Many, many thanks to Ray Wang, Jason Averbook, Trish McFarlane, Madeline Laurano, Bill KutikKevin Wheeler, and special thanks to Holger Mueller.

    Since it is a little unlikely we are going to be able to live tweet the event, (follow me on WeChat if you like), you will have to hear all about the event when we return.

    In the interim, please enjoy a video of the song I can't can't get out of my head since heading to the airport to make this trip.

     Happy Tuesday. 

    Monday
    Apr112016

    PODCAST - #HRHappyHour 243 - Live from Oracle HCM World

    HR Happy Hour 243 - Live from Oracle HCM World

    Hosts: Steve Boese, Trish McFarlane

    Recorded LIVE at Oracle HCM World 2016, Chicago 

    This week on the HR Happy Hour show, join hosts Steve Boese and Trish McFarlane live from Oracle HCM World 2016 in Chicago. At the event, Steve and Trish talked about some of the themes and ideas from the conference including how technology continue to disrupt HR and HR leaders, the challenges of integration across HR technology platforms, the need for HR technologies to provide consumer-grade user experience, and how the migration of enterprise technologies to the cloud creates opportunity for HR leaders and their organizations.

    Additionally, Steve shared his pro tips on how to describe your professional experiences, the major stages of enterprise technology innovation, (featuring a Y2K reset), Trish explained the difference between employee engagement and employee commitment, and Trish scored a major point be beating Steve to the punch when discussing the need for HR and Financial systems to work together seamlessly.

    You can listen to the show on the show page HERE, or using the widget player below:

     

    This was a really fun and lively show, and we hope you give it a listen.

    And many thanks to everyone at Oracle and the Oracle HCM team for welcoming the HR Happy Hour to the event!

    Reminder: You can listen and subscribe to the HR Happy Hour Show on iTunes, and all the major podcast player apps for iOS and Android - just search for 'HR Happy Hour' to subscribe and never miss a new episode.