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    Wednesday
    Aug312016

    PODCAST - #HRHappyHour 256 - Steps to Re-imagine and Reinvent Your Workplace

    HR Happy Hour 256- Steps to Re-Imagine and Reinvent Your Workplace

    Hosts: Steve BoeseTrish McFarlane

    Guest: Jeanne Meister

    Listen to the show HERE

    This week on the show, Steve and Trish were joined by Jeanne Meister.  Jeanne is a Partner at Future Workplace, a firm dedicated to re-thinking, re-imagining and re-inventing the workplace. Jeanne is the receipt of the Distinguished Contribution in Workplace Learning Award, an award given by Association For Talent Development to one executive each year honoring their body of work. She is also a Contributor to Forbes Magazine.  She is the co-author of the best selling book, The 2020 Workplace: How Innovative Companies Attract, Develop & Keep Tomorrow’s Employees Today and the upcoming book The Future Workplace Experience: 10 Rules for Mastering Disruption in Recruiting and Engaging Employees.

    Steve and Trish talked with Jeanne about the importance of thinking ahead, about identifying important trends in workplaces, and how HR and business leaders can be ready for the future. We also talked about the panel Jeanne will be leading at the upcoming HR Technology Conference in October, on ‘The Consumerization of HR’. 

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

    Give this lively episode a listen, and be sure to subscribe to the HR Happy Hour Show on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, or your favorite podcast app.

    Monday
    Aug292016

    Three quick 'Gig Economy' links and a warning for HR leaders

    There are about 12,238 surveys and data points that you can unearth when researching the rapidly evolving, and probably growing, 'gig economy', i.e. work that is performed by independent contractors, self-employed types, and those that for better or worse, (worse), get referred to as '1099 workers', for the IRS form on which their earnings are reported.

    Rather than spit out a bunch of (sometimes contradictory) data on how and where this gig economy is heading, I wanted to share three quick and interesting developments in this area that are worth thinking about and then one more recently released set of survey data that should be a warning to HR and business leaders that are moving towards increased usage and reliance on 'gig' workers.

    Item 1 - Atlassian now lets you hire freelancers right from Jira

    JIRA, Atlassian’s flagship project management service, is getting a new feature today that will let you easily convert JIRA tickets into job postings on Upwork’s freelance marketplace. “The smartest people will always exist outside of your company,” Atlassian’s head of growth for JIRA and Bitbucket Sean Regan told me. For many companies — and especially small startups — it’s also hard to have all the right expertise available in-house to solve every problem. With this new integration, these companies can now click a button in JIRA and get a pre-populated form to submit to Upwork’s marketplace.

    Steve here - an example (of which we will see more I am sure), of enterprise technology and management tools integrated with sourcing/hiring platforms for 'Gig' workers 

    Item 2 - LinkedIn enters the Gig Economy with an Upwork competitor

    LinkedIn has created a freelance marketplace. Launched on Wednesday, "LinkedIn ProFinder" asks employers to submit contract jobs in categories such as design, writing, or financial services and promises to send them up to five free quotes from LinkedIn users in response. Over the last five years, the number of freelancers on LinkedIn has increased by 50%, according to the company.

    Steve here - Of course it makes sense for LinkedIn to dive in more heavily into the 'Gig' work space. It's growing, and LinkedIn thinks/knows it has the way to connect gig workers with opportunity

    Item 3 - This CEO says he was shut out by tons of investors in Silicon Valley for classifying his workers as W-2 employees

    But Josh Bruno, the CEO of senior-care startup Hometeam, said that for him it was always clear that Hometeam's 1,000-plus caregivers needed to be on W-2s. They needed a lot of training, and Bruno wanted to give them the sense that Hometeam was investing in them for the long haul.

    But unfortunately, when Bruno was trying to raise money, that wasn't what Silicon Valley VCs wanted to hear.

    "I was kicked out of every office on Sand Hill Road," Bruno said, referring to the iconic street that houses many famous Silicon Valley VCs. Bruno said he even had a verbal agreement with a "flashy name" VC, who then wouldn't go through with the investment unless Bruno put his workers on 1099s.

    Why? One reason, Bruno said, is because big names like Uber and Lyft were doing it. Bruno's main competitor, Honor, which was named one of Business Insider's hottest San Franciscostartups to watch in 2016, originally used 1099s. It has since switched to W-2s.

    But it wasn't simply because everyone was doing it, Bruno said. The deeper reason rested in what a 1099 represented.

    Bruno said that to VCs he spoke with, a 1099 meant a job that was both easy and repeatable. The worker is a part that can be swapped in, which is good because it means the business will be easier to scale, Bruno explained. And it would be easier to get the kind of growth the VCs were looking for.

    Steve here - In case you wondered what the general attitude of 'people who have money and are looking to have more money' is towards labor, there you have it. 'Gog' workers are cogs, more or less the same, more or less interchangeable. This isn't a problem until.... Well, let's ask some of the Gig workers.

    And as promised, here's your warning, 67 percent of Americans who have worked as independent contractors would choose not to do so in the future (infographic below courtesy of Deloitte).

    A recent online poll by Deloitte of nearly 4,000 workers found that 67 percent of respondents who have worked as an independent contractor would choose not to do so again in the future. Additionally, more than 60 percent of employed workers said that their stability would suffer if they moved to independent contract work, and 42 percent worry about sacrificing good compensation and benefits.

    Steve here - Lots of interesting nuggets to take away from the Deloitte data, but they all point to the same place - that many, many 'Gig' workers are not at all happy to be Gig workers, and that most organizations are doing a terrible job managing and engaging these gig workers. it's almost as if the Silicon Valley VC attitude towards labor is taking hold and becoming more common.

    The danger is at the same time you as an organization make the strategic move to increase your use of Gig workers, and the tools and technologies are making it easier for you to incorporate Gig workers into your processes and workflow, that the way we value, treat, and support Gig workers seems to be getting worse. And lots of Gig workers are not happy.

    Plenty to think about here as the next few years play out.

    Have a great week!

    Friday
    Aug262016

    HRE Column: Five Big Themes in HR Tech and #HRTechConf

    Here is my semi-frequent reminder and pointer for blog readers that I also write a monthly column at Human Resource Executive Online called Inside HR Tech and that archives of which can be found here.

    As usual, the Inside HR Tech column is about, well, HR Tech, (sort of like I used to write about all the time on this blog), and it was inspired by the planning process for the upcoming HR Technology Conference, (October 4-7, 2016 in Chicago).

    As the Conference program comes together one of the most common questions I get from people is if there is a theme or a main subject of focus at the event in a given year. And this year, as in the past, I don't generally set out to program to a specific theme or set of ideas, but rather the overall themes and ideas that people and organizations are most interested in tend to reveal themselves, and the program takes shape. On this month's Inside HR Tech column I take a look at some of these 'big themes', what they suggest for HR and business leaders, and point readers to sessions at the Conference that are great examples of how we will cover those themes at the event.

    Here is an excerpt of the HR Exec column titled 'Five Big Themes in HR Tech'

    The 19th annual HR Technology Conference and Exposition® is fast approaching (Oct. 4 through 7 in Chicago) and, in my capacity as program co-chair, I get a unique opportunity to talk with dozens of executives from HR technology solution providers, organizational HR leaders, industry analysts and thought leaders as I review and prepare the conference agenda.

    Through these many conversations, solution demonstrations and my participation in industry events, I try to get an overall idea on which trends, themes and important ideas are driving the practice of HR and are reflected in the HR technology landscape. This year, I'd like to share what I think are the five big themes and trends in HR tech, what they suggest for HR leaders and offer a little bit of a preview of how these themes will be covered in the upcoming HR Tech Conference.

    1. Making Sense of HR and People Data

    If there has been any single, consistently cited HR trend in the last several years it's the increased use of data and analytics in the practice of HR and talent management. This trend is still in the early stages of more mainstream and common adoption in organizations, and once again at this year's HR Tech Conference we will focus on some success stories of organizations that are making early and important progress in implementing analytical approaches and technologies to inform and improve people processes and talent-management decisions. As analytics and data-driven capabilities become more accessible and available in HR technology solutions, it will be critical for HR leaders to stay up-to-date on these latest developments, to learn from early-adopter organization successes, and to position themselves and their HR teams for what is coming next.

    Featured Session: Using Predictive Analytics to Improve Hiring and Retention at Foot Locker

    2. Engaging and Retaining Talent

    Just as analytics remains an HR "trend" that does not show signs of diminishing in importance any time soon, the organizational challenges of engaging and retaining the best and most talented employees continues to rank high on the agendas of most HR and business leaders. As the economy continues to improve, and unemployment rates decline to near "full employment" levels (at least in the United States), talent management has likely never been more critical to the success of the modern organization. The stubborn skills mismatch in many in-demand job roles only adds to the need to improve talent-management practices. The HR technology marketplace, of course, is responding to these challenges, with an evolving set of solutions to help HR leaders and organizations with these important talent concerns.

    Featured Session: Taking Talent Management from Antiquated to Innovative at White Castle

    3. The Continuing Impact of Marketing on HR and HR Tech

    A few years ago, we began to see more collaboration between marketing and HR in the areas of recruitment advertising, employment branding and candidate experience. Today, most HR and talent-acquisition leaders have seen the value of this increased amount of integration and collaboration, and the adoption of many marketing principles in HR and recruiting processes. It's not just Candidate Relationship Management systems where we see this manifest in HR technology -- in the last few years new HR tech solutions for managing HR and recruiting content marketing, crafting, shaping, and communicating the employer brand, and helping employees share their unique career stories with the outside world have emerged.

    Featured Session: The Employer Value Proposition: What the CHRO Needs to Know

    Read the rest at HR Executive online.....

    You know you HAVE to clock over to HRE and check out the remaining big themes at HR Tech this year right? Well, hop over to HRE to find out.

    If you liked the piece you can sign up over at HRE to get the Inside HR Tech Column emailed to you each month. There is no cost to subscribe, in fact, I may even come over and take your dog out for a walk or re-seal your driveway if you do sign up for the monthly email.

    And one last thing, the Early Bird pricing for the HR Tech Conference expires on Wednesday, August 31 - head on over to the Conference website to be sure in register before that great discount expires.

    Have a great weekend!

    Have a great day!

    Wednesday
    Aug242016

    Have to advise your kid on their college major? Here's some data you may want to review

    Time to dig into some labor market data!

    (Note: all the data referred to in this post can be found courtesy of our pals at the BLS. While their site isn't the easiest to navigate, you can start at the 'Employment, Hours, and Earnings' page to get started with this kind of analyses).

    I had a chat with a friend recently who was sending their child off to his or her, (I can't remember which, does not matter), first year of college this month. In the conversation I faked genuine interest by asking what the child was planning to choose as their major. I think the answer was 'Business' or 'Physics', like I said, I was faking interest at this point, but the entire conversation made me think about just what 'should' the child have chosen, forgetting for now what they are interested in/good at. If the child wanted to make a purely rational, economic decision, what might be the direction to head in terms of college major?

    I confess to not knowing the answer, but a recent piece from the Nieman Lab about trends in employment in selected information industries, (copied below), at least provides one set of data points to (hopefully), better inform these kinds of economic decisions. Take a look at the Nieman Lab chart, (knowing by accessing the BLS data in the link above, you could create similar charts across other or all industry classifications), and then some comments from me after the data.

    The point of the Nieman Lab piece was more or less 'Gee, what a crappy last decade it had been for the newspaper business, and the people working in it', but examining this kind of data a little more broadly can be instructive on a number of levels.  Sometimes this kind of data validates what we think we know or have observed in our own lives - do you know anyone who actually reads a newspaper anymore?

    Other times the data can be a bit surprising too. I personally had no idea that employment in Motion Picture and Video Production had just about doubled since 1990. Are there really that many more films being made? Besides the Sharknado series I mean?

    Back to the original question raised in the post - what should someone making what they hope to be is a rational, economically sound decision choose for their college major? 

    Some topic or subject that maps easily to an industry group we think holds bright employment prospects for the future? 

    I still have no idea I suppose. But at least I would tell them to not plan to work for a newspaper after they graduate. 

    And then I would take a minute to explain what a 'newspaper' is.

    Happy Wednesday. Have fun with the data.

    Monday
    Aug222016

    Wanting to win is a great motivator. So is not wanting to come in last place

    Over the weekend I was coerced had the opportunity to participate in a 2-mile time trial with my son's high school cross-country track team, and the results of which were pretty sad and interesting at the same time.

    Let's step a bit to set some context. I heard about the Saturday morning time trial pretty late on Friday evening and was informed that the cross-country team coach encouraged the student runners to invite their parents and other family members to attend and even compete in the time trial, and in fact, many, many parents would indeed participate in the race. Armed only with that small bit of information, and since I am a very casual two or three times a week jogger, and I knew I could cover the two miles with collapsing, I agreed to show up early on run on Saturday morning.

    Fast forward to the actual morning of the race and it turns out that no, 'many, many' parents were not intending to participate in the race. It was just me, one other older guy, (I say older, I probably had him by 8 or 9 years), and about 30 high school cross-county athletes lined up to race the two miles. 

    My focus immediately shifted from ' I hope I can run a respectable time' to 'I can't let myself come in last place in this race', as a fairly decent-sized crowd of non-running parents, (as well as all the high schoolers), had gathered to watch the race (and eat donuts and bagels). 

    After unsuccessfully feigning a pre-race injury in order to try and back out of the race, I was off and running with the 30-odd kids and the one-odd other old dummy like me tricked into doing this.

    Here's how the rest of the race unfolded: first half mile or so I tried to stay connected to the back of the pack of kids, second half mile I lost contact with all but about five of the slowest kids, last mile or so I ended up passing a few kids, (most of whom I later found out were making their very first training run that morning).

    And oh yeah, the other 'old man' in the race? He stalked me, about 15-20 yards back for most of the race and then tried to outkick me, (term used very, very loosely), in the last 50 yards or so. Once I realized this, I managed to speed up enough to hold him off at the tape. I ended up placing about 25th out of about 31 or 32. My time, while slow, was about one minute per mile faster than I would normally run.

    What's the point of all of this, i.e., why place it on the blog?

    I was thinking about how incented I was to raise my performance level not to win or even try to win the race, because there was no chance of that, but to a level where I simply would not be the worst performer. And it worked, to a degree.

    The fear of being the worst, and having that be a public thing, drove me to perform better than I would had I been squarely in the middle of a typical pack of weekend 5K runners. I knew I had to push myself to beat even just one other person in the race and avoid the indignity of coming in last.

    All performance is relative. It is true in running, and in most every other activity we take on that calls for measurement, (and rewards).  And motivation to perform to be the best, while certainly powerful and meaningful, isn't the only kind of motivation that can drive improved relative performance.

    That's is from me. Happy Monday. Have a great week.