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    Entries in hHR (6)

    Thursday
    Jul122018

    PODCAST: #HRHappyHour 329 - Reimagining and Redesigning Employee Performance Management

    HR Happy Hour 329 - Reimagining and Redesigning Employee Performance Management

    Sponsored by Virgin Pulse - www.virginpulse.com

    Host: Steve Boese

    Guests: Laurie Zaucha, VP Human Resources and Organizational Development; Tom Hammond, VP Corporate Strategy and Product Management, Paychex

    Listen HERE

    This week on the HR Happy Hour Show, Steve is joined by Laurie Zaucha and Tom Hammond of Paychex - one of the largest HR technology companies who have completely redesigned their internal performance management processes.

    Paychex is both a major player in the HR Technology space - they have over 650,000 clients and process payroll for 1 in 12 US workers, and is a large, complex, and dynamic technology company with over 14,000 employees.

    On the show, we talked about how Paychex has evolved their performance management processes to a new format and structure called the 4x4 - four simple yet important questions, reviewed four times a year by managers and employees, which has helped to keep employees focused on their most important goals, enabled managers to do more coaching and development, and helped the organization become more agile and responsive to changing customer and business needs.

    If you are an HR leader stuck between the traditional annual performance process, and the newer totally unstructured, feedback-driven tools that have become trendy but may not actually keep employees and the organization overall remain aligned, this 4x4 approach to performance development may be just the right and most impactful balance between the two.

    You can listen to the show on the show page here, on your favorite podcast app, or via the widget player below:

    Thanks to Laurie and Tom for sharing their insights and for hosting the HR Happy Hour Show.

    Remember to subscribe to the HR Happy Hour Show on Apple Podcast, Stitcher Radio, Google Podcasts, or your favorite podcast app - just search for 'HR Happy Hour'.

    Thursday
    Dec212017

    Do sports build character or reveal it?

    Regular readers will know how much of a sports guy I am, as I have probably spent about a third of my time writing about sports related topics on the blog over the years. And I spend way too much time in the Winter/Spring on NBA League Pass and poring over the box scores. But it's good to have a hobby I guess.

    Yes, I love sports but I also don't take them too seriously. I didn't back when I was playing organized sports, and I don't now as a fan and as a parent of a son who participates in a few high school sports. Sports are awesome, but they are just games in the end. And generally not all that important.This may or may not be my HS team

    That perspective is why I never really liked the often repeated maxims (usually spouted by coaches, and most frequently football coaches) about how sports build character, create leaders, or somehow make people 'better' by virtue of their participation. Like somehow 'commanding' a huddle miraculously transforms someone into General Patton or Margaret Thatcher or Abe Lincoln. I just never bought in. Some of the biggest jamokes I know played sports in high school. And also some of the most successful, accomplished people I know as well. I don't think sports participation really meant all the much in determining any of that.

    Turns out at least one recent research study has come to the same conclusion. In an Institute of Labor Economics paper titled 'Do High School Sports Build or Reveal Character?', authors Michael Ransom and Tyler Ransom examine three large, national, and longitudinal data sets of high school students to come to the conclusion that high school athletes are no more likely to attend college, earn higher wages, or participate in the labor force than non-athletes.

    Here's an excerpt from their findings:

    We revisit the literature on the long-run effects of high school sports participation on educational attainment, labor market outcomes, and adult health behaviors. Many previous studies have found positive effects in each of these dimensions by either assuming that sports participation is exogenous (conditional on other observable characteristics), or by making use of instrumental variables that are unlikely to be valid.

    We analyze three separate nationally representative longitudinal surveys that link participation in high school sports with later-life outcomes: the NLSY79, the NELS:88, and the Add Health. We employ an econometric technique that empirically tests the sensitivity of the selection on observables assumption and find that estimates of the returns to sports participation are highly sensitive to this assumption. Specifically, we find that, for most educational and labor market outcomes, if the correlation between sports participation and unobservables is only a fraction of the correlation between sports and observables, the effect of sports participation cannot be statistically differentiated from zero. Thus, we conclude that a causal effect of sports participation is unlikely, and that most of the findings of the literature that report beneficial impacts represent the effects of selection into sports.

    Or, in simpler language the authors conclude that the kinds of people who are likely to be successful later in life for whatever set of reasons/attributes that make people successful sometimes participate in high school sports, and sometimes they do not. They may be part of the drama club or the chess club or maybe the 'leave me alone, I am just doing time until I can get out of here' club. But sports themselves do not function as some kind of magical leadership development or success training program that make athletes more likely than non-athletes successful later in life.

    And this conclusion goes against most of the mainstream thinking (at least it seems to me) about the true benefits and value of sports, particularly youth sports.

    Sports are awesome. They are fun. You can make some great friends and learn some things too.

    But lots of other things are awesome, fun, social, and provide great learning opportunities too. It is good to keep that in mind, especially if you are involved at all and at any level in youth sports.

    Happy Thursday. Have all your holiday preparations nailed down yet?

    Thursday
    May252017

    PODCAST - #HRHappyHour 285 - Discovering the Next Great HR Technology Company

    HR Happy Hour 285 - Discovering the Next Great HR Technology Company

    Host: Steve Boese

    Guest Co-host: George LaRocque

    Listen to the show HERE

    This week on the HR Happy Hour Show, Steve Boese is joined by George LaRocque to talk about the process for Discovering the Next Great HR Technology Company at the HR Technology Conference in October. Steve and George talk about the process for companies to submit,and how George and the other expert coaches will work with the selected contenders. Plus, we talk about how HR leaders and the HR community can get involved in the process. 

    Also, we discuss some tips and ideas for HR leaders when working with startups, where innovation is happening in HR Tech, and what are some of the exciting new technology innovations we see coming in the future.

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

    This was a fun show, thanks George for sitting in. 

    Thanks as always to show sponsor Virgin Pulse - learn more about them at www.virginpulse.com.

    Be sure to subscribe to the HR Happy Hour on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts.

    Monday
    Sep262016

    PODCAST - #HRHappyHour 260 - #HRTechConf Preview and Oracle OpenWorld Review

    HR Happy Hour 260 - The HR Tech Conference Preview and Oracle OpenWorld Review

    Hosts: Steve BoeseTrish McFarlane

    Recorded live at Oracle OpenWorld 2016, San Francisco

    Listen to the show HERE

    This week on the HR Happy Hour Show hosts Steve Boese and Trish McFarlane review the recently concluded Oracle OpenWorld event, talk about some of the important and interesting developments in the Oracle HCM products, as well as the broader implications for HR and business leaders that stem from moving more enterprise applications, (ERP, SCM, HCM), to the cloud. It was a great event and there are lots of interesting and exciting things happening at Oracle.

    Additionally, Steve and Trish previewed the upcoming HR Technology Conference, (October 4 - 7, 2016 in Chicago). We talked about some of the new and exciting elements at the Conference this year, what sessions that attendees should be sure not to miss, and shared some advice on how to make the most of their HR Tech Conference experience.

    You can listen to the show on the show page HERE, or by using the widget player below, (Email and RSS subscribers need to click through)

    This was a really fun show, and we hope you enjoy it. 

    Thanks to Oracle for having the HR Happy Hour out at Oracle OpenWorld this year.

    Be sure to subscribe to the HR Happy Hour Show on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, or your favorite podcast app. Just search for 'HR Happy Hour' to subscribe and never miss a show.

    Friday
    Nov062015

    Grantland, Simmons, and how talent (still) is hard to hold on to

    Last week media giant ESPN decided to abruptly shutter the website Grantland, the sports and pop culture site, (and which was  pretty literary for a sports and pop culture site), that had been founded and led by Bill Simmons. Simmons was let go, (or more accurately, informed his contract would not be extended), in the spring, following a series of clashes with ESPN management over Simmons' comments about the NFL and its commissioner Roger Goodell.

    After a few months of muddling along, Grantland, now devoid of Simmons (and many other talented writers and editors who left Grantland after Simmons), has now been shuttered for good by ESPN, who in a statement indicated they have 'decided to direct our time and energy going forward to projects that we believe will have a broader and more significant impact across our enterprise.'

    Without Simmons, there really could be no Grantland, and certainly ESPN doesn't need a Grantland wihout the founder, leader, and most popular personality on board anyway. The 'core' site of ESPN.com is one of the web's most visited properties after all. Any Grantland talent that remains with ESPN can be absorbed by ESPN.com.

    But despite the demise of Grantland, it is still worth making a couple of observations about what happened with Grantland/Simmons, and how this episode in Talent Management / Employee Relations might offer a couple of lessons or things for the average HR and Talent pro to consider.

    1. No succession plan, no future

    While Grantland had dozens of staff, including some acclaimed, award-winning writers, the face, inspiration, and key to the entire endeavor was Simmons. There was simply no other, singular, talent that emerged over Grantland's four year run that could rival/replace Simmons in this role. It could be argued that once ESPN released Simmons from his duties earlier in the year, that they always knew Grantland would be closed soon after. But if they had developed or at least identified a plausible candidate to assume Simmons' place as the leader of Grantland they would have had more options. Simmons dominated Grantland to an extent that it made no sense to continue it without him, regardless of if ESPN would have like to see it continue.

    2. The best managers understand the role and importance of the best talent

    The job of leadership is to get talent to produce and create, and this does not work by threatening with rules or by levying discipline. And managing the very best talent is probably the hardest challenge for the manager, even harder than managing out poor performers. How much leeway do you give the best talent? How many rules do you allow them to dodge or break? How much freedom do you give top talent to create, unencumbered by roadblocks and rules? 

    What for organizations is next in importance after finding and hiring the best talent? Finding and hiring the right managers that can confidently, carefully, and diplomatically get the best work out of these talented folks while at the same time keep the other 95% of the workforce from hating them.

    3. The best talent, brand-building talent, is very hard to find and keep

    ESPN certainly helped build Simmons into the star media personality he has become. But ESPN also certainly had underestimated the value and power of Simmons popularity. Over the years ESPN seemed almost as interested in controlling and keeping Simmons toeing the company line as they were in supporting and positioning Grantland for success. That attitude might be effective (and needed), for the 95% of the staff who are just good to very good, but it almost never works or sits well for that 5% of employees who are really elite.

    There are very few talents like Simmons out there. And the more that management tries to tell these talented people what to do and how to act the more they are going to be alienated and look to move on.

    Talent still runs the world. Even if leaders like to think otherwise sometimes.

    Have a great weekend!