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    PODCAST - #HRHappyHour 257- Innovative Approaches to Diversity and Inclusion

    HR Happy Hour 257 - Shocking and Innovative Approaches to Diversity and Inclusion

    Hosts: Steve BoeseTrish McFarlane

    Guest: Anka Wittenberg, SAP


    This week on the HR Happy Hour Show, Steve and Trish talked with Anka Wittenberg, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer (CDIO) at SAP.  We had the good fortune of recording live from SAP/ Successfactors “SuccessConnect 2016” event.  Anka is leading the global People Sustainability Department encompassing Diversity & Inclusion, People Principles and Health. She is the pivotal change agent on how to design and implement work relationship at SAP – all together in an inclusive environment based on mutual respect, care and trust.

    Anka talked with us about developing and implementing SAP’s Diversity and Inclusion strategy globally, and the steps they take to ensure sustainable business success. She shared her thoughts on why diversity and inclusion still really matter.  She also talked about some of the programs and policies that have been implemented at SAP to promote and support diversity and inclusion in the organization.

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

    This was a fun and interesting show, and we hope you check it out. Many thanks to Anka for joining the conversation and to SAP/ Successfactors for inviting us to record live at Success Connect!  For more information, be sure to check out their site and download their paper on Diversity and Inclusion.

    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.


    The tyranny of connectivity

    I am slightly ashamed to admit to having done a fair bit of 'real' work over the long Labor Day weekend, (including yesterday, Labor Day itself). 

    Of course I didn't really want to work on Labor Day, or perhaps said differently, I did not want involve other people in said work, mainly by sending out email messages to them on a holiday. But, sadly, I indeed did send a few email notes out, interspersed with the other work that I was doing that did not need to involve communicating to others in order to complete.

    And I as wind up the holiday, (I am writing this on Monday night, pretty late), I have three quick observations from my Labor Day spent, (at least partly), working.

    1. LOTS of other people were working too. As I mentioned, I did, against almost everything I hold dear, send a few work-related emails on Labor Day. I received replies from almost everyone I contacted. And three or four people replied to me within 10 minutes of my original message. If Labor Day is meant to be a celebration of the working person, lots of working persons I know were also, actually, working.

    2. NO ONE I corresponded with over email or chat on Labor Day did not mention the fact that it was, in fact, a holiday. No one questioned why I was messaging them. No one replied, 'hey, it is a holiday, I will get back to you tomorrow', and almost no one failed to get back to me by about 8PM ET, (as I am writing this). 

    3. Aside from the aforementioned email exchanges, I spent most of my 'working' time on tasks that did not require outside collaboration, input, or communication. They were just things I needed to do, and were fairly important, but for some reason had not been done. I noticed my ability to get these tasks completed on a holiday, where I was not being peppered every 2 minutes with a new incoming email or chat message was incredibly enhanced. Quite simply, I was probably twice as productive working on these items on a holiday as I would have been on a normal Monday, when I am, like everyone else, almost constantly being barraged by incoming messages and requests. If I changed my working hours to say, 7PM - 3AM I swear I would be two or three times more productive than I am now. The technology and the need to stay 'connected' all the time during the normal workday is killing our ability to get things done.

    I am not about to change my official work schedule to 'off hours', but I can't say that I am not tempted. there is something to be said for working when no one, (or most anyway), are not working, and you can be, despite our state of constant connectivity, be more or less alone with your thoughts.

    There are thousands of productivity advice pieces that advocate that you consciously disconnect from email and work chat and Slack, etc. during the work day in order to get more work done. But realistically, how many people actually take that advice and feel comfortable and empowered enough to actually not be accessible to work colleagues for large stretches of the workday?

    Most organizations, and teams, expect if not demand almost real-time access and response.

    It is not until you spend a day, or even a few hours, working when that expectation simply does not matter until you realize how our constant connectivity damages our ability to get anything done.

    Having said that, maybe I should not have been surprised so many other folks seemed to be working on Labor Day. They too must have realized that a holiday is the best day to get anything done.

    Have a great week!


    VIDEO: Steve on DisrupTV talking HR Tech, Disruption, and the NBA

    Quick spot for a long holiday weekend getaway Friday. Wanted to share some video from Ray Wang and Vala Afshars' DisrupTV show, where I made an appearance I did last week.

    On the show, Ray, Vala, (and with a special late in the show appearance by Holger Mueller, talk about HR Technology, digital disruption and transformation, and I even make a VERY bold prediction for the upcoming NBA season.

    You can catch DisrupTV on the show's Vimeo page here, my appearance, (about 20 minutes), is here, and also embedded below, (email and RSS subscribers will need to click through).

    DisrupTV Featuring Steve Boese, HR Technology Conference 8.26.16 from Constellation Research on Vimeo.

    Hope you found the topics interesting and maybe, just maybe, you will agree with me on my NBA dark horse pick!

    This was a really fun conversation - thanks to Ray and Vala for having me on the show!

    Have a great, long weekend!


    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.


    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!