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    Wednesday
    Feb132019

    PODCAST: #HRHappyHour 357 - Employee Financial Wellness and How Employers Can Help

    HR Happy Hour 357 - Employee Financial Wellness and How Employers Can Help

    Host: Steve Boese

    Guest: Jamie Kalamarides, President, Prudential Group Insurance

    Listen HERE

    This week on the HR Happy Hour Show, Steve was joined by Jamie Kalamarides, President of Prudential Group Insurance to discuss the increasingly important topic of employee financial wellness, and what employers can do to help their employees with these challenges.

    On the show, Jamie shared the most common life events that can lead to employee financial stress or financial insecurity, offered recommendations and tips for employees to reduce financial stress, and talked about some programs and opportunities that employers can offer their employees to help and support them. 

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

    The recent US government shutdown brought the issue of financial insecurity to the forefront, and was an important reminder that a large percentge of the workforce is only one or two missed paychecks or an unforeseen financial emergency away from severe challenges in their lives - which has a follow-on impact at work.

    Thanks to Jamie for coming on the show to share his insights. Learn more about Prudential's programs at https://www.prudential.com/employers/financial-wellness.

    Find the Prosperity Now scorecard at https://prosperitynow.org/

    Corrections:

    1. Employer matches are not permitted for “after-tax” 401(k) contributions, only for pre-tax and Roth contributions.

    2. 401(k) contribution limits for 2019 have increased to $19,000 for before-tax and Roth contributions. Contribution limits across pre-tax, after-tax and Roth increased to $56,000 in 2019.

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

    Monday
    Feb112019

    From the NBA: A reminder that people build culture, not the other way around

    It's been too long since I dipped back into the 'Sports and HR' space, (probably not long enough for some readers), but over the weekend I caught an excellent piece on my new favorite NBA team, the Brooklyn Nets, by Harvey Araton at the New York Times, and knew it was time to break out a sports and HR take, as well as a re-sent on one of my other favorite themes - the intersection of talent, strategy, and culture in organizations.

    First, let me get something out of the way. I mentioned the Brooklyn Nets are now my new favorite NBA team and I feel like, for the one or two readers that care, the need to explain why I am dropping my life-long team, the New York Knicks, down on the pecking order. In short, their recent trade of Kristaps Porzingis, the franchise's best player in decades, and for the last three seasons, the only player who made the terrible Knicks worth watching, was the final straw for me, and I imagine many other frustrated Knicks fans. The Knicks are awful at playing basketball. But that can be tolerated if the players are giving their best effort, seem to care about improving, and are at some level fun and likable to watch. But when the team ownership and management is so inept, it makes any efforts the players put forth mean almost nothing, then that's when I just have no tolerance and no more patience. The clueless Knicks management created such a toxic mess that even their marquee star, Porzingis, wanted out. And I don't blame him. Ok, enough about that, and back to the Nets and culture and talent.

    In the Times piece, "Behind the Nets’ Success Is a Carefully Crafted Culture and, Finally, a Clue", Araton profiles Nets executive Sean Marks, one of the main architects behind the Nets slow climb from the depths of the league, to their current position as a contender for a playoff appearance. I won't bore you any more with the basketball reasons why the Nets are performing better, but I did want to highlight what is probably the most important line in the Times piece - an observation of Mark's skills as a leader provided by legendary NBA executive R.C. Buford, under whom Marks worked for a time when he was with the San Antonio Spurs - an organization also legendary for their 20+ years of high performance. Of Marks, Buford observed - “In every role he’s had, he’s been a culture builder".

    I like that line because it illustrates and in fact emphasizes that organizational culture, either with a sports team, or in any of our organizations, is something that exists and is informed through people, and the explicit actions they take, the behaviors they demonstrate, and the actions and behaviors, (and the kinds of people) who are not accepted, (at least not for long). Culture, such that it is, has to be a by product of people, and often, as wee seen in the Nets' case, of leadership of people like Marks. This may seem like a really obvious point to make, but I still feel like too much of what we say, think, and discuss about organizational culture makes culture something that exists somehow outside of specific decisions and actions of people. And, none of it ultimately works without adding to people like Marks with more of the kind of people that can help build culture. Some other time I will expand on how the Nets young core of talented players are doing their part to help.

    Culture can't exist without people. People buld culture. And leaders create strategies that can succeed in that context and be executed by those people.

    Let's go Nets.

    Have a great week!

    Wednesday
    Feb062019

    PODCAST: #HRHappyHour 356 - The Mom Project: Connecting Moms with Great Opportunities

    HR Happy Hour 356 - The Mom Project: Connecting Moms with Great Opportunities

    Hosts: Trish McFarlaneSteve Boese

    Guest: Colleen Curtis, Head of Community and Marketing, The Mom Project

    Listen HERE

    This week on the HR Happy Hour Show, Steve and Trish were joined by Colleen Curtis of The Mom Project, who works to connect returning to work Moms with great opportunities in the workplace. The Mom Project helps Moms who have fantastic skills and experiences match with organizations that are in need of experienced professionals and who care about culture, work/life balance, and the overall wellbeing of their employees. Returning to work Moms are an untapped and under-recognized talent community that every organization should be reaching out to in this challenging labor marker.

    Colleen shared how organizations and Moms work with The Mom Project, some of the success stories that have resulted from this matching of companies with this great talent pool, and how The Mom Project works with both sides to help ensure success.

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

    This was a really fun and interesting conversation about a topic that is really important to organizations and to the community as well. Thanks so much to Colleen for joining us. Learn more at www.themomproject.com.

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

    Monday
    Feb042019

    Dealing with 'Hard to Fill' positions? Don't forget about throwing cash at the problem

    Quick shot for a post Super Bowl Monday - I have posted a few times over the last year or so about the US Trucking industry and the labor market for commercial truck drivers. I am fascinated by this sliver of the labor market as many of the big labor trends like increased automation, shifts in demographics, increased regulation, and employers struggling to hire enough new drivers (and retain existing ones), make this area really ripe for observation and analysis.

    Having said that, I wanted to highlight one of the strategies that one employer, in fact the largest private employer in the US, is rolling out in an attempt to find more candidates and ultimately make more hires. Simply put, it is throwing more cash at the problem. Here's what Walmart is doing in order to hire more truck drivers from a piece on Fortune:

    While some people focus on whether automation will kill long-haul trucking jobs over the long-term, Walmart is currently more concerned with its short-term reality. The company is once again raising truck driver salaries to try to correct for an ongoing shortage of drivers. Walmart needs to hire at least 900 drivers this year, according to the Dallas Morning News.

    One reason: trucking tonnage is way up. The American Trucking Association, the industry’s largest trade association, says that tonnage hauled annually is up 6% is up even while the industry continues to suffer from nearly 50,000 unfilled long-haul jobs. The ATA’s chief economist Bob Costello notes that in 2018, truck tonnage hit its highest peak in 20 years.

    In a separate change, Walmart also recently relaxed somewhat the candidate screening process for prospective drivers. Instead of a 'one and done', fail and you are out screen of driving skills, Walmart is now allowing candidates to attempt the driving capability screen, offer them coaching and suggestions on how to improve their performance on the test, and then the chance to re-take the test. 

    The TL;DR summary of all this? Walmart has a problem filling an important job so they are taking major steps to increase the candidate funnel by changing a key element of the screening process, and are throwing more cash at the problem to try and convince more job seekers (who continue to enjoy a strong labor market), to accept and remain in these truck driver positions.

    Let more people in the door, offer them more money to stay. Pretty simple, let's see how it works.

    Have a great week!

     

     

    Wednesday
    Jan302019

    PODCAST: #HRHappyHour 355 - HR in the Digital Age

    HR Happy Hour 355 - HR in the Digital Age

    Host: Steve Boese

    Guest: Harry Osle, Principal, Global Human Resources Practice Leader, The Hackett Group

    Listen HERE

    This week on the HR Happy Hour Show, Steve is joined by Harry Osle of The Hackett Group - www.thehackettgroup.com, to talk about some of Hackett's recent research on Digital Transformation and its impact on HR. On the show, Harry shared some of the research findings on the impact of technology advancements and digital transformations on the workplace and in the practice of HR. Harry shared some of the key drivers and impetus behind HR and workplace digital transformation and how HR leaders can become more aware of these drivers and incorporate them into their HR and HR tech programs and plans.

    Additionally, Harry shared what their research suggests for how the HR leaders and the HR organization's skills and roles will need to adapt to help their organizations meet these new tech and digital challenges and take advantage of the opportunities. This was an interesting and deep dive into digital transformation and how it will impact HR in 2019 and forward.

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

    Thanks Harry for joining the show.

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