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    Entries in HR Tech (96)

    Friday
    Jan232015

    Manager Tracking

    In case you missed it, we had a really fun, interesting, and dare I say engaging conversation last night on the very special 200th Episode of the HR Happy Hour Show and Podcast. You can catch the replay of the show here, or download to iTunes or your favorite podcast app - just search for 'HR Happy Hour'.

    The show, titled 'The Final Conversation on Employee Engagement?', had many highlights, (and was lots of fun too), but for me probably the one nugget that resonated the most was when Mike VanDervort shared how at a former employer, a large retail organization, HR and leadership realized that understanding how managers physically walked around the stores, in what speed and direction, and with whom they talked with and for how long, was a key to better understanding employee engagement. I don't want to put words into Mike's mouth, check out the replay of the show to hear his full comments, but to me this kind of insight while obvious on one level (management by walking around has been a thing for ages), is probably more valuable now than before due to the tremendous advance in wearable technologies, GPS-like tracking (even indoors), and our better ability to collect, analyze, and interpret data.

    Check out the pic below, (email and RSS subscribers may need to click through if the image does not render), it is an example of advanced visualization data on player movement from an NBA game. 

    The visualization above, of the movements of the 10 players on the court, the ball, and relative to the 24-second shot clock, provides both coaches and the players themselves insights into their performance on this play, and can help them make adjustments for future games, understand how player movements are coordinated with each other, understand where and how the movement of the ball impacts player positioning, and finally, use a data-driven approach to evaluating individual performance. This kind of deep dive into player movement is made possible by advanced video capture technology installed in NBA arenas, and powerful new software tools that can make sense of and display the massive data sets, in almost real-time.

    Let's jump back to the retail store manager example then. Just as the NBA is embracing advanced tech that captures player movements in order to make better decisions and improve team and player performance, Mike's example of the store manager incorporates those same concepts. If store leadership had a better understanding of how the best store managers actually, physically moved around the store, and where and how they chose their interactions, who they collaborated with, (the retail store version of sharing the ball in the NBA), they might be able to copy, or at least take the repeatable and transferable elements of successful manager interaction and movements to other, less successful stores and managers. With modern wearable technologies to track movements, record interactions, and supplemented by internal GPS or iBeacon tech, there is almost no reason why a large retail operation could not develop 'manager movement' maps similar to the one you see above from the NBA game. 

    Sure, the 'manager' map would move a little slower, and may not be as compelling a view, but the insights it could give to improve manager performance, (and then increase employee engagement, which is the context we were discussing on the Happy Hour Show), is I think quite attainable. 

    Already retail operations are experimenting with tracking technologies that locate, identify, and then target shoppers with custom ads and offers based on where they are in the store, their past shopping history, and what the retailer thinks will help convert a sale. I can definitely see a time when similar technology is brought to the HR technology stack, and instead of pinging a customer to a sale in Aisle 7, that due to some signals about low stock on the shelves in a certain department, it will then alert a front-line manager to spend some additional time with the employees on the receiving dock.

    It's cool, it is powerful, and I think it is coming...

    Have a great weekend!

    Wednesday
    Jan212015

    PODCAST - #HRHappyHour 199 - Employer Branding from the Inside Out

    HR Happy Hour 199 - Employer Branding from the Inside Out

    Recorded Tuesday January 20, 2015

    Hosts: Trish McFarlaneSteve Boese

    Guest: Jason Seiden, CEO Brand Amper

    Jason co-founded Brand Amper, an employer branding platform that builds brand equity quickly and sustainably by putting employees—the most trusted source of information about a company—at the center of brand creation. For 20 years, Jason has been making professional communication more genuine and productive.  You can find him on Twitter, he's @seiden.

    Listen to the show HERE

    In the latest HR Happy Hour Show, Trish and Steve welcomed back our friend Jason Seiden, CEO of Brand Amper, one of 2014's 'Awesome New Startup' technologies from the HR Technology Conference to get an update on what has been happening with Brand Amper, and to talk about engaging employees in the brand and mission of the organization. Often 'brand' initiatives are drawn up in corporate boardrooms or by expensive external consultants without much thought or acknowledgement of what the actual brand messengers and deliverers, the employees, think or feel or believe. Jason talks about the importance and power of leveraging actual employees and what they actually think and believe and aspire to in creating, communicating, and executing the brand promises and delighting customers.

    Additionally, Trish and Steve lamented the sorry state of Email in the workplace, (it is NEVER going to die), and Jason shared why he wears the same black H&M shirt everywhere he goes. Steve is 100% with Jason on this strategy, while Trish has some concerns about the mental well-being of both of the gents.

    You can listen to the show on the show page here, and using the widget player below, (email and RSS subscribers will need to click through)

    Check Out Business Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Steve Boese Trish McFarlane on BlogTalkRadio
     

     

    As always, you can listen to the current and all the past shows from the archive on the show page here, on our HR Happy Hour website, and by subscribing to the show in podcast form on iTunes, or for Android devices using Stitcher Radio (or your favorite podcast app). Just search the iTunes store or your podcast app for 'HR Happy Hour' to add the show to your subscriptions.

    This was a really fun show and I hope you enjoy listening!

    Monday
    Jan052015

    What HR will be talking about most in 2015, (and what we need to stop talking about)

    My completely unscientific, biased, personal, and guaranteed to be 100% accurate take on what HR, work, and workplace technology topics we will be spending endless cycles dissecting and analyzing in 2015, followed by a short list of topics that we have, have, have to stop it already with lamenting.

    These 'hot' topics were complied from a scientific review of all the stuff I saved, tweeted, bookmarked, or emailed to myself over the holiday break, because since I read everything, that is the only research that is really needed. Also, and as an aside, I still email myself stuff all the time and every time I do that I feel like a noob. Oh well, here goes...Mark Rothko, Rust and Blue, 1953

    What HR will be talking about most in 2015:

    Predictive Analytics - Amazingly in three short years we have moved from talking about Big Data, to talking about analytics, and in 2015 we have arrived at even better analytics - the 'predictive' kinds. This is despite having (mostly) not all that much to show for all the focus on Big Data and regular analytics. But in 2015, expect to see HR tech companies espouse the power of their solutions ability to use data to 'predict' which employees will quit, which ones will perform well, which ones most likely to steal your Chobani from the break room fridge. 

    Retention - 2015 is going a be a fantastic year for some folks in the talent game as churn (and therefore recruiting) activity ramps up even more. More organizations are growing than are shrinking, more talented employees are ready to move, the 'quit' rate is climbing, and the best, most in-demand talent is completely in charge. Keeping your best, most difficult to replace people happy is going to be job #1 for HR in 2015. 

    Branding/Marketing/Attraction - In other words the hard job of 'selling' the company and its opportunities to talent that has the power. In 2015 this conversation is going to have to start expanding beyond just the external candidate facing aspect, and become much more of a complete, strategic priority. Marketers always remind us that it is much less expensive to keep, renew, and occasionally upsell existing customers than it is to try and find brand new customers. The same type of logic I think applies to people in the organization as well. It is easier, cheaper, and probably a better long-term play to keep working, investing, developing, and yes marketing to the existing employees than to always be on the hunt for external talent.

    What HR needs to stop talking about in 2015:

    'Social' HR - If you are someone, in 2015, who is still trying to get more HR folks engaged on social media I beg you to let that go. Twitter has been a thing, and a popular, well-known thing, for YEARS. If someone has not been able on their own to figure out if there is some value there for them by now THEY NEVER WILL. Lots of folks, possibly even me too, had some fun, got to travel to events, and got to pretend we were somehow cool or smart because we had a bunch of followers. That was fun. In 2010. In 2015 it is kind of sad. Please let this one go.

    Candidate Experience - I think treating candidates respectfully, professionally, and communicating the status of any of their applications in a timely manner is important, and basic. Everyone should do this. I think spending any more time on 'experience' beyond ensuring those elements are in place is likely a less than optimal use of any organization's time and resources. If you have ALL your other internal talent management challenges in order, then sure, focus more effort on candidate experience. Then again, if you did have all of your other talent management challenges in order it is pretty likely you provide a perfectly satisfactory candidate experience as well.

    Employee Engagement - Only 30% of employees are 'engaged'. That has become an immutable truth of work and workplaces. It is right alongside 'Average annual salary increases will be 3% this year' as the most expected headline of the year in HR. And so maybe it is time to just accept it. Lots of people are not 'engaged' and probably will never be no matter what. Quit worrying about it. Worry about if they show up, they get their jobs done, they don't leak the company intranet to the North Koreans, and they don't microwave leftover fish in the lunch room. We (collectively) have spent ages of time, effort, and energy trying to 'fix' engagement and we have (so far) failed. Maybe it's time to take a year off.

    Ok, I am out. What say you? Am I close on this? Off the mark? 

    Have a great week and a fantastic 2015!

    Wednesday
    Dec242014

    PODCAST - #HRHappyHour 197 : Non-predictions for HR in 2015

    HR Happy Hour 197 : Non-predictions for HR in 2015

    Recorded Tuesday December 23, 2014

    HostsSteve BoeseTrish McFarlane

    For the might-be-the-final show of 2014, HR Happy Hour hosts Steve and Trish took a quick look back at some of the big themes in HR and HR technology in 2014, (data, really BIG data. And also analytics too), while coming to a fast agreement while this may have been a trend in 2014, that actually speculating or predicting on future trends is kind of silly. What makes a trend anyway? Do any of these HR predictions matter?

    We also hit on some thoughts about what 2015 might hold for HR and HR tech (Note: these are NOT predictions), and hit upon one of the most interesting current stories impacting work and technology - the recent hack and leak of Sony Pictures Entertainment. Long story short - EVERY HR shop has loads of sensitive HR and employee data getting passed around the organization in Excel spreadsheets. And you put way too much private stuff in Emails. Be careful out there friends.

    Additionally, Trish staked out a plan to do a live HR Happy Hour Show from the Tournament of Roses parade in 2016 and Steve pitched a potential live New Year's Eve show for next week.

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

    Check Out Business Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Steve Boese and Trish McFarlane on BlogTalkRadio

     

     

    Also you can access and subscribe to the show on iTunes, or for Android devices using Stitcher Radio, (or your favorite podcast app). Just search for 'HR Happy Hour' to add the show to your playlist/subscriptions and you won't miss an episode.

    This was a fun show about some of the big things happening in HR and HR tech and hope you find the show fun as well.

    Happy HR Holidays!

    Tuesday
    Dec162014

    UPDATE: The ADP Workforce Vitality Index

    Back at the HR Technology Conference in October, the folks at ADP introduced their latest measurement of the pulse and health of the American workforce and labor market, called the ADP Workforce Vitality Index.

    The Index is compiled by the professionals at the ADP Research Institute and provides quarterly measure of U.S. workforce dynamics that looks at key labor market indicators, such as employment growth, job turnover, wage growth and hours worked. This free report yields insights into workforce dynamics and trends than previously available -the index includes lots of key metrics on employment, workforce strategy and human capital management.

    Since HR Tech in October, most of the reporting on 'macro' labor market trends all seem to be signaling a tightening labor market, upward pressure on wages, and an environment where workers (at least the ones with the 'right' skills), have more and better options than they have had in years. 

    The ADP data seems to bear this out, with an increase in overall 'Vitality' (a measurement of the total wages paid to workers across a number of dimensions), across regions, industries, and income levels.

    Take a look at the latest report embedded below (Email and RSS subscribers may need to click through).

    Infographic: ADP Workforce Vitality Index Shows Real Wages Accelerating

    Overall, the data show real wages accelerating - the total real wages paid to the US private sector workforce, is Indexed to 110.6 in the third quarter of 2014 (2Q2011=100, Seasonally Adjusted), an increase of 0.77% from the previous quarter.

    There is plenty more to dig into in the ADP data, especially if you are a data geek like me, and more information and complete data sets that can be downloaded can be found here.

    One of the greatest potential benefits that the massive data sets that are available to the largest HCM solution providers make possible is the ability to analyze, synthesize, and derive insights from the aggregated data from thousands of employers and millions of employees. The ADP Workforce Vitality Index is a great example of this and hopefully, soon other providers with similarly robust HCM data sets will create their own unique reports and indices for use by HR and organizational leaders.