Quantcast
Subscribe!

 

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

 

E-mail Steve
This form does not yet contain any fields.
    Listen to internet radio with Steve Boese on Blog Talk Radio

    free counters

    Twitter Feed
    Friday
    Mar232018

    Job Titles of the Future: Director of Mental Health and Wellness

    While there definitely has been increased focus on wellness and wellbeing in the workplace in the last 10 or so years, most of that focus has been on the physical dimension of wellness - with programs and tools designed to help employees get more physically active, to quit smoking, to get a handle on better ways to manage long-term and (often) preventable health risks. But less attention (it seems to me anyway), has been paid to other aspects of wellness/wellbeing - and in particular, mental health. And mental health, and how employee mental health impacts people and the organization is a huge deal. I mean huge.

    How huge?

    According to some data from the Depression Center from the University of Michigan:

    Depressive illnesses, including major depression and bipolar disorder, are highly prevalent in the United States, affecting nearly one in five adults at some point in their life. These conditions are also among the top five causes of disability globally, and depression ranks as the #1 contributor to disability in the U.S. and Canada. An estimated 6.7% of adults in the U.S. had at least one major depressive episode in the past year. Depression is one of the most costly health conditions for American employers. The annual cost of depression in the U.S. is estimated at $210.5 billion, with approximately 45% attributable to direct costs, 5% to suicide-related costs, and 50% to workplace costs. A majority of these workplace costs are due to lost productivity in the workplace from both absenteeism (missed days of work) and "presenteeism" (reduced productivity at work). Presenteeism represents nearly 75% of workplace costs and 37% of the overall economic burden of depression.

    And that is just one set of data points from one source on the significant impact the mental health challenges and depression in particular makes on organizations, not to mention the personal and family impact depression has on people, families, and communities.

    So it makes sense that organizations are and should be addressing mental health and depression as just as important a dimension of employee wellness with as much focus as they have with physical wellness. And at least one organization, maybe one you wouldn't think would 'have' to worry about the mental health of its workforce is doing just that.

    The organization is the National Basketball Association, (don't worry, this is not turning into a 'sports' post). From a recent piece on the NBA.com site:

    Kevin Love and DeMar DeRozan -- two All-Stars -- who became the latest NBA players to detail their public battles with mental wellness. Love wrote a first-person account last week in The Players’ Tribune of the panic attack he suffered earlier this season. DeRozan spoke last month of the depression he’s dealing with during what may be his most successful NBA season.

    Their disclosures came as the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association are close to naming a Director of Mental Health and Wellness, who will run an independent mental wellness program that is being jointly funded by the league and union.

    It might seem surprising that NBA players - generally young, wealthy, successful, admired, and in great physical health would be affected by mental health issues, panic attacks, and depression. But the fact that we can have that kind of a reaction - 'Gee, what do these guys have to be depressed about?', reminds us that it is too easy to fail to take mental health issues seriously, or to want to treat them as not real issues for employees because we can't 'see' them.

    And I am pretty sure that is going to change, or it will have to change, as these issues become more common in the US and by extension, in the workplace. The National Institute of Health’s National Institute of Mental Health estimates that, in 2016, more than 44 million Americans suffered from some form of mental illness, ranging from mild to moderate to severe, and impacting more than 18 percent of all U.S. adults.

    As an NBA fan, I like that the league is doing more to actively recognize, address, support and mostly not to hide from the mental health challenges that players are facing - even if we think these don't or shouldn't exist, the accounts of Love, DeRozan, and others show us the problems are real. And with the data showing that mental health issues and illnesses growing at a consistent rate, it makes sense for organizations to think about today's Job Title of the Future - Director of Mental Health and Wellness. Maybe you should too.

    Have a great weekend!

    Wednesday
    Mar212018

    Introducing the Human Friendly Workplace Podcast

    I'm super excited to share with you the debut episode of the newest podcast on the HR Happy Hour Podcast Network - The Human Friendly Workplace Podcast hosted by employee engagement and workplace culture expert Jason Lauritsen

    On the Human Friendly Workplace Podcast, Jason will speak with HR and business leaders who are actively engaged with making their workplaces better - and more human.

    For Jason's debut episode, he talks with Graham Moody, People and Culture Manager at ansarada, an Australian company that has seen rapid growth, and has had to make sure their unique culture could scale.

    Here are the details for the show - and many thanks and a welcome to Jason - we are thrilled to have you be a part of the HR Happy Hour family.

    The Human Friendly Workplace 1 - Creating a Human Friendly Workplace

    Host: Jason Lauritsen

    Guest: Graham Moody, People and Culture Manager at ansarada

    Listen to the show HERE

    How can understanding employees’ personal values help create a stronger and more self-aware workplace? What does it mean to reevaluate and decide to change your company values, and how can you make sure employees connect with the new values?

    “We believe that values drive behavior and that behavior drives results.” - Graham Moody

    In today’s conversation Jason interviews Graham Moody with ansarada. Ansarada is headquartered in Sydney and has grown rapidly in the last 18 months, reaching nearly 200 employees while simultaneously pivoting its business model. Having strong company and personal values has always been deeply important at ansarada, and the recent changes posed a new challenge to the company culture.

    In the discussion, Moody will discuss how the company preserved the company’s culture during the rapid growth and a business focus shift. Listeners today will also learn why you should create a culture of servant-based leadership and also hear the one piece of advice he would give to managers on creating a human-friendly workplace culture.

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

    Today’s episode is being powered by Small Improvements.

    Small Improvements is a feedback platform that helps employees grow and succeed. From Performance Check-Ins, Goals and 360s, it combines both ongoing and structured feedback to facilitate meaningful development.

    Subscribe to all the HR Happy Hour Podcast Network shows wherever you get your podcasts - just search for 'HR Happy Hour'

    Monday
    Mar192018

    What the Toys R Us meltdown reminds us about workforce trends

    By now you probably have seen the sad news that Toys R Us is in bankruptcy, and is facing the likely closure of its 700+ stores in the US in the coming months.

    Definitely a sad day for many, especially for the thousands of Toys R Us employees soon to be out of work, and for the let's say 'traditionalists' among us who still enjoyed shopping for toys and games and the like in the 'real world', and not just from an Amazon app.

    Of the many reasons that have been blamed for Toys R Us demise, competition from Amazon (and others) is frequently cited, along with the pretty staggering amounts of corporate debt and debt service payments that Toys R Us has been burdened with since its acquisition by Private Equity companies in 2005. Other post-bankruptcy analyses have pointed to Toys R Us failure to modernize its shopping experiences, inability to grasp digital commerce trends, and the fact that they lost touch with their most important customer - mothers shopping for their kids.

    But there is one other factor that has contributed to the toy retailer's plight, one that has not been mentioned as much in the coverage, and one that has much wider implications in work and workplaces as well. And it is this: people in the US are having fewer children, thus creating fewer of Toys R Us' prime 'end customers', and, eventually, fewer entry-level workers for all US firms to recruit.

    Here it the thing, the folks running Toys R Us maybe couldn't figure out what to do about this trend, but they did see it coming. Here is an excerpt from their most recent 10-K financial filing from April 2017:

    "Most of our end-customers are newborns and children and, as a result, our revenues are dependent on the birth rates in countries where we operate," the filing reads. "In recent years, many countries' birth rates have dropped or stagnated as their population ages, and education and income levels increase. A continued and significant decline in the number of newborns and children in these countries could have a material adverse effect on our operating results."

    Data from the CDC in the US backs that up - the most recent data available from 2016shows the US birth rate hitting a record low, and with no obvious sign of this trend changing, retailers like Toys R Us are going to face continuing pressure. Longer term, if this trend does continue, all kinds of employers will face pressure too - a different kind of pressure perhaps, this one stemming from relatively fewer entry-level or younger candidates, as well as the need to create workplaces that are more open, accommodating, and available to older workers too.

    Since I love charts, I will close with this one, from our pals at FRED - a look at the increase in the 65+ labor force in the US over the last 20 years or so.

    I will spare you trying to squint at the small print, but the total number of workers aged 65+ has more than doubled since 2000 - with almost 10M people in that group as of the latest data. And even if you can't read the small print, it is easy to see the 'up and to the right' trend in the data.

    Fewer babies and young kids means trouble for Toys R Us in 2018. It could mean recruiting problems for your organization too, in a few years. Don't wait until it is too late, like our pals at Toys R Us, to know how to react.

    Have a great week!

    Friday
    Mar162018

    PODCAST: #HRHappyHour 315 - Breaking Through with Diversity & Inclusion

    HR Happy Hour 315 - Breaking Through with Diversity & Inclusion

    Sponsored by Virgin Pulse - www.virginpulse.com.

    Host: Steve Boese

    Guests: Cecile Alper-Leroux, Dr. Jarik Conrad - Ultimate Software

    Recorded Live at Ultimate Connections 2018

    Listen to the show HERE

    This week on the HR Happy Hour Show, Steve is joined by Cecile Alper-Leroux and Dr. Jarik Conrad from Ultimate Software to talk about the challenges organizations are facing with Diversity & Inclusion initiatives and the keys for organizations who want to improve and make progress in these areas. Cecile and Jarik talked about the definitions of diversity and inclusion, the importance of appreciation and acceptance at work of all people from all backgrounds, and what people want from work in the modern era.

    One of the interesting points discusses in the show was the idea that organizations can't jump right from awareness of these issues into solutions - there is an important stage of preparation or 'readiness' that has to be addressed in organizations and especially with leaders and managers before solutions can be developed and implemented. So 'readiness' is the pre-condition before action.

    We also discussed some of the research around the business benefits of Diversity & Inclusion initiatives, and why these benefits do not necessarily resonate equally in all contexts. Finally, we talked about how, where, and when in the HR/Talent lifecycle in organizations that bias, sometimes unconscious bias, can be introduced and how some of the modern HCM technology solutions are helping organizations detect and try to minimize and eliminate these biases.

    Finally, Cecile shared her recent mountaineering adventure and Steve and Jarik bonded over baldness.

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

    Thanks to Cecile, Jarik and the team at Ultimate for having us at the event.

    Subscribe to the HR Happy Hour wherever you get your podcasts - just search for 'HR Happy Hour'.

    Wednesday
    Mar142018

    HRE Column: Succeeding with HR Tech - Part 2

    Once again, I offer 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 that can be found here.

    This month, I continue the topic of 'Success with HR Tech' that we covered first in February with a look at some of the external factors that impact HR Technology projects. In the March column, we pivot to examine a few of the internal issues, challenges, and opportunities that perhaps have even more of an impact and influence on success with HR tech.

    These are two of the major themes that we will be focusing on for the next HR Technology Conference - the nature of 'success' with your HR technology initiatives, and we will focus on the key issues, themes, and considerations for HR Tech projects, vendor relationships, and internal program/project best practices that are essential for success, and that will be covered in more detail at the Conference this year.

    In the piece, I take a look at some of the issues and considerations that HR leaders should keep in mind as they build a business case for HR tech projects, evaluate potential solution providers, organize and staff project teams, execute their implementations, and finally deal with the important topics of change management and user adoption.

    Here's an excerpt from this month's piece in HRE Online:

    Last month’s column focused on the “success” theme while looking at the considerations and questions you should ask of prospective HR tech solution providers prior to purchasing any HR technology solution. This time around, we will look at some of the internal factors that are vital to customer success in HR tech.

    The organizational elements of success with HR technology will be highlighted this September at the HR Technology Conference and Exposition® in Las Vegas, and the combination of information and best practices on these “outside” (or provider) elements—along with the “inside” (or organizational) elements—will provide HR and HRIT leaders with the foundation for overall HR tech success.

    Here are a few of the key internal elements that organizations must address when planning, executing, evaluating and achieving long-term success with HR technology.

    Creating the business case

    Almost every organization’s HR technology initiatives require internal justification, a budget and executive support, and the means to define and secure these commitments is usually the business case. But for many HR leaders, preparing a technology-centric business case meant to form the basis for HR technology investments is not always easy.

    Here are a few of the key questions that the HR technology program business case should answer.

    The purpose: What specific business problem needs to be solved?

    The importance: What is the negative impact or value of the missed opportunity by not solving this problem?

    The benefit: Stated in quantitative terms, what happens to the business if we do solve this problem?

    Potential approaches: What are some plausible ways to address the business problem?

    Recommendations for action: What are the specific recommendations for next steps? Give special attention to how HR technology will support/drive the business problem’s solution.

    Managing the vendor selection

    Once the organization’s business case has been approved, perhaps the most interesting and difficult process begins: making a technology and vendor selection.  Successful organizations process through and address many of the following considerations when making such selections:

    Identify “must-have” business requirements. Recognize the necessary business-critical capabilities—ones that directly impact the business problem your business case defines—so that you can ensure they can be supported by the selected technology solution.

    Be honest about “nice-to-have” requirements. Take care to understand the difference between critical system capability and other functionality that some users may love but are not fundamentally important to support business processes and solve business problems. No HR technology solution will meet 100 percent of a company’s requirements. The key is knowing that not all requirements are the same.

    Understand the internal factors for success. Who will be the users of this solution? What specifically are their needs? How is their ability and capacity to embrace and adopt new technology? Not all technology solutions are a “fit” with all organizations. Make sure your unique and specific organizational attributes are aligned with the technology provider.

    Gather your candidates. There are increasing sources for HR leaders to create lists of potential solution providers for their HR technology evaluations. From traditional research reports, crowd-sourced software review sites, recommendations from peers, to previous experience with specific solutions, there is plenty of market information available. At HR Tech, we will help you understand how to make sense of all this information to help you narrow down the list that gives your program the best chance for success.

    Assess the providers. Once the short list of technology providers has been created, HR leaders should approach assessment and evaluation in a thorough and consistent manner. Key considerations in this process include the ability of each provider to meet your prioritized requirements, how each solution matches or fits your organization’s user profiles and culture, how the provider aligns with your goals and vision, and finally, how you assess the provider’s willingness and ability to be a true business partner, not just a technology supplier...

    Read the rest at HR Executive online...

    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 plant your spring garden, take your dog for a walk, or re-surface your driveway.

    Have a great day!