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    Entries in HR (415)

    Monday
    Mar302015

    UPDATE: The Microsoft Band and the Future of Wearables at Work

    Do you wear a fitness tracker like a Fitbit or a Jawbone? Or maybe you are planning to jump on the Apple Watch fanboy train in a few weeks and take advantage of that device's ability to track your activity. Lot's of folks are keeping closer track of their workouts and activity today.

    A few months back Microsoft launched its first entry into the wearables market with the Microsoft Band, a wearable tracker that possesses a variety of sensors including a microphone, a GPS location sensor, motion sensors, an optical sensor that measures heart rate, a sensor that tracks skin conductance, which can reveal levels of stress, and even a UV sensor to calculate sun exposure, delivered in a black bracelet with a rectangular touch screen.

    At that time, your humble blogger, (me), shared some thoughts about why this particular wearable smart device could be the one that has the greatest potential for near-term impact and relevance to work, workplaces, and employees. Namely, because Microsoft has such a choke hold on most organization's email, calendaring, and document management that it would be both natural and powerful for a Microsoft wearable to be integrated with these existing and traditional workplace tools.

    You can read my entire take here, but at the risk of getting too meta and quoting myself, below is the gist of my argument back in October 2014:

    I can think of a couple of really compelling use cases for this kind of integration right off the top. 

    One - how work itself effects employee health. Does someone's heart start racing in every staff meeting? Do they begin to get twitchy when called upon to present to a group? Does a certain interaction with a colleague result in three nights of poor sleep? And then what can organizations then do to better understand and potentially align individuals with projects and team members that can aid their ability to perform, while not making them crazy? How do schedules, (and in particular over scheduling), impact employee health and activity? Do we need to be more mindful of how overworked and over scheduled many of our people are?

    Two - Insights into who in the organization inspires, challenges, and lifts people up, and who serves as essentially the corporate buzzkill? Imaging a meeting with 10 people inside, all wearing the MS Band. One person dominates the meeting, maybe it is the boss, and immediately after the other 9 people begin to show signals of nervousness, irritability, or even lethargy. Maybe email and collaboration patterns in the team begin to show signs of changing as well. Perhaps some members of the team skip their normal workouts for a day or two in the aftermath. Maybe some folks don't even turn up the next day. 

    Clever stuff, right? Why bring that back up again today? Well, check the comments from a recent piece from a few days ago that was posted on the MIT Technology Review site - Microsoft's Wristband Would Like To BE Your Life Coach:

    During a recent interview at Microsoft’s Redmond, Washington, headquarters, Matt Barlow, general manager of marketing for new devices, said the company is investigating the kinds of insights it can share with users by matching up biometric data with other sources of information like their calendar or contacts to show things like which events or people may stress them out.

    In the coming months, the Microsoft Health app is poised to gain the ability to compare calendar or contact information with your physical state as measured by the band—your heart rate or skin conductance level, for instance—so the app could nudge you with detailed observations about how those things might relate. For instance, the app might send you an alert like, “I noticed you have a meeting with Susan tomorrow, and last time you met with her your heart rate went up 20 beats per minute and stayed elevated for an hour. How about trying this deep-breathing exercise that you can use with the Band?”

    Initially, these kinds of scenarios are expected to become possible through an integration with Microsoft Office services, though over time it may branch out to include other services as well.

    Hey - the Microsoft dude is essentially touting the same kinds of capability and interesting workplace data integrations that little old me talked about in October. But not to say I told you so...

    But the real point of resurfacing the old post and topic was just to remind you that even though wearables and fitness trackers have been around for a while now, we really are just still in the first inning of a long game. Trackers and biological/physiological sensors won't really start impacting the way work gets done until they actually are integrated with the tools of work - email, calendars, meetings, etc.

    Stay tuned...

    Have a great week!

    Friday
    Mar272015

    PODCAST - #HRHappyHour 208 - LIVE from Ultimate Connections 2015

    HR Happy Hour 208 - LIVE from Ultimate Connections 2015

    Recorded Wednesday March 25, 2015

    LISTEN HERE

    Hosts: Steve BoeseTrish McFarlane

    Guest: Cecile Alper-Leroux, Ultimate Software

    This week on the HR Happy Hour Show, Steve and Trish recorded LIVE from the Ultimate Software Connections 2015 Customer Conference in Las Vegas. Our guest was Cecile Alper-Leroux from Ultimate, one of the most interesting, influential, and engaging leaders in the HR Technology industry. And quite frankly, Cecile is one of the HR Happy Hour Show's favorite guests too.

    On the show, Cecile talked with Steve and Trish about designing HR technologies from a person-centric viewpoint, the importance of creating technologies that are simple to use while still providing the depth of functionality that most organizations need, and finally around some really interesting and innovative concepts like thinking about the organization's health more holistically and 'culture as a service.'

    Additionally, Steve talked about a $175 million journal entry, Ben Eubanks makes a cameo appearance, and Trish shared some 90s music memories.

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

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

     

    This was a fun and engaging show - many thanks to Cecile and to everyone at Ultimate Software for hosting the Happy Hour once again!

    And of course you can listen to and subscribe to the HR Happy Hour Show on iTunes, or via your favorite podcast app. Just search for 'HR Happy Hour' to download and subscribe to the show and you will never miss a new episode.

    Monday
    Mar232015

    PODCAST - #HRHappyHour 207 - CHRO Corner: Laurie Zaucha, Paychex

    HR Happy Hour 207 - The CHRO Corner with Laurie Zaucha, Paychex

    Recorded Friday March 20, 2015

    LISTEN HERE

    Hosts: Steve BoeseTrish McFarlane

    Guest: Laurie ZauchaPaychex

    This week on the show, the HR Happy Hour launched a new series, the CHRO Corner, that will feature the most interesting and influential leaders in Human Resources today. Our first guest in this new series is Laurie Zaucha, VP of HR and Organizational Development at Paychex, a leading provider of HR software solutions and services having over 500K customers and upwards of 13,000 employees.

    On the show, Laurie shared her insights on the role of technology in the modern HR organization, what HR leaders should be considering when evaluating technology, how Paychex has adopted several innovative and collaborative programs for candidate attraction as well as internal employee engagement, and finally some thoughts on what are some of the most important focus areas for the HR leaders of the future. Laurie is one of the most progressive HR leaders in the industry, and she shared some amazing insights on leading HR in the modern organization.

    Additionally, Laurie talked about moving and shaping the culture of an organization, Steve tried to sound (reasonably) intelligent interviewing his former boss Laurie, and we all realized once again the benefits of post-production editing.

    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 Trish McFarlane on BlogTalkRadio
     

     

    And of course you can listen to and subscribe to the HR Happy Hour Show on iTunes, or via your favorite podcast app. Just search for 'HR Happy Hour' to download and subscribe to the show and you will never miss a new episode.

    This was a fun and interesting show with one of the most innovative HR leaders in the technology industry. 

    Thanks to Laurie and everyone at Paychex for being part of the HR Happy Hour fun!

    Friday
    Mar132015

    PODCAST - #HRHappyHour 206 - Live from Benefitfocus OnePlace

    HR Happy Hour 206 - Live from Benefitfocus OnePlace 2015

    Recorded Wednesday March 11, 2015

    Hosts: Trish McFarlaneSteve Boese

    Guests: Shawn Jenkins,  Shan Fowler

    Listen to the show HERE

    This week on the HR Happy Hour Show, Steve did a live show from the Benefitfocus OnePlace 2015 event in Orlando, Florida, (Trish was on assignment this week at the Peoplefluent event in Miami).

    On the show Steve was joined by Shawn Jenkins, President, CEO, and Co-founder of Benefitfocus and Shan Fowler, Benefitfocus' Director of Marketplaces. Benefitfocus provides robust, modern, and powerful technologies for the management, communication, and the employee experience with their benefits programs -both for employers as well as carriers and exchange providers.

    On the show, Shawn and Shan shared some of the history of Benefitfocus, and how Benefitfocus' offerings help employers and providers to meet their goals of engaging, educating, and providing the most effective benefits programs for their employees and enrollees.

    One of the most important ways that average employees interact with workplace technologies is how they interact with their employer's benefits technology. From annual open enrollment, to periodic live event type changes, and even in ongoing benefits for health and wellness - these employee experiences are critically important ones, impacting employee's engagement, well-being, and helping them to take care of themselves and the welfare of their families.

    '

    Additionally, Shawn and Shan shared some of the important decision drivers that bring organizations to invest in more robust and powerful benefits technologies than the ones often present in 'core' HR systems, and the basic steps that organizations follow to get the new benefits platform up and running in rapid fashion - often in as little as 120 days.

    We also lamented again (well, just Steve), about the terrible winter weather, we talked college foootball fan affiliation, and Shan was given the title of 'Best beard ever for a HR Happy Hour guest'

    You can listen to the show here, or using the widget player below, (Email and RSS subscribers will need to click through, or go to the show direct link)

    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 great show, and many thanks to Shawn and Shan for being a part of the fun. 

    Friday
    Feb202015

    PODCAST - #HRHappyHour 203 - The HR Happy Hour Oscars Preview

    HR Happy Hour 203 - The HR Happy Hour Oscars Preview

    Recorded Thursday February 19, 2015

    Hosts: Trish McFarlane, Steve Boese

    Listen to the show HERE

    I know what you are thinking - what in the hell are Steve and Trish thinking doing an Oscars preview show?

    I must admit, for a second I thought the same thing myself, but once we sort of 'found' the topic on the show, (the Oscars stuff starts in after about five minutes or so after Steve had to talk NBA trades for a few moments), we had a fantastic time talking movies, actors, and of course making some Oscars predictions.

    You can listen to the show here, or using the widget player below, (Email and RSS subscribers will need to click through, or go to the show direct link).

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

     

    Since Steve (admittedly), actually saw an amazingly low number of Oscar nominated movies and performances, we ended up having to get a little more creative in devising new ways to evaluate the contenders. Without giving away too much, let's just say the movie Mr. Mom plays a big role in the assessments, as well as which actor did a better job playing The Incredible Hulk. Luckily, Trish was much more prepared to talk movies and actors or else this could have been a disaster.

    This was a really fun show, I hope the HR Happy Hour fans that are also movie fans or just plan to watch the Oscars on Sunday night will enjoy the show. Once the show goes live, we will post it to the HR Happy Hour page on Facebook, (yes, we have one of those, I always forget to mention it), where we hope you will leave your Oscar predictions as well.

    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.

    Enjoy the weekend, enjoy the Oscars, and if you are in the Easter half of the USA, please stay warm!