Monday, March 26, 2012

Employee Engagement: A Universal Goal

ICC is very excited to have Nettie Nitzberg as this week's guest blogger.  Nettie is the founder and principal of WOW! transformations, a talent development consulting firm. WOW! works with organizations to optimize the return on their talent investment.  
“Employee engagement is more than just an initiative or program started by Human Resources,” said Dean Debnam, CEO of Workplace Options.  “Keeping employees engaged should be a key component of every business strategy.  An engaged staff is a productive, happy and profitable staff.”
  • Fewer than half of IT employees (48 percent) trust their organization’s senior leaders.  By contrast, three-quarters (76 percent) trust their immediate manager.
  • Career development and training are the primary drivers of satisfaction and contribution for this group.
  • But there’s a paradox: Despite lower engagement levels, IT employees are no more likely to jump ship than the North American workforce as a whole.  More than half of the 11,000 respondents (56 percent) indicate they plan to “definitely” stay with their employer for the next 12 months.  If this is true, many employers are facing a challenge dealing with embedded disengagement.
  • IT employees who are considering a move are most likely to leave to pursue career advancement or more fulfilling work.

Apparently more work needs to be done with IT workers.  According to a global study by BlessingWhite, “Only 26 percent of IT employees in North America are fully engaged at work, while 22 percent are actually disengaged.”  Compare that finding to the North American workforce overall: 33 percent engaged and 18 percent disengaged.

An article in Talent Management cited the “Employee Engagement Report 2011,” which explored workplace attitudes among employees and found:
Organizations take notice.  Too many employees are not happy; they want your attention.  They want to be able to trust what you say and do.  They want opportunities to learn new skills and to move horizontally and vertically within your organization.  They want to be respected and listened to.  They want you to stay enamored of them after the orientation honeymoon and create a talent-focused culture.

It is time for training and HR leaders to step up and be strategic members of the organization.  With their help the people side of the business can play an effective role by ensuring the right people are in the right jobs and are getting the right training to become long-term assets.   Onboarding is only a beginning.  Engagement depends on the continuous development of talent.

Tell us your ideas on how you have engaged your workforce for IT workers or any function...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Is it Time for Some HR Rebranding?

I had a great conversation with Natalie Cooper, at Changeboard in the UK.  She was hosting the HR Carnival last week, and she asked me about my title as the Chief Performance Officer.

A very interesting conversation was then started.  Check it out here.

I love social media for this reason, right here.  Great conversations, awesome connections with smart people!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Selling the Value of HR

I had the awesome opportunity of leading a panel discussion at the 22nd Annual SHRM-Atlanta Conference yesterday.  If you are interested in reading the twitter feed for the conference the hashtag is #shrmatl12.

The panelist included :
 Brandon Conkle, Director of Total Rewards, The Weather Channel; Megan Graham, Vice President of Learning, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta; Dawn Lewis, New Dawn Consulting 
The discussion was centered around "Selling the Value of HR."  We spent a fair amount of time, discussing the following question:
What is the process for how you have received buy in for an HR initiative from your leadership?  What was the initiative?  What data did you need?  Were you competing for resources from other functions in the organization?
I wanted to summarize the answers from the panel for my readers.

1) The panelist all agreed on the concept of crafting a business case for the initiative.  They all agreed it was a great skill set for HR to possess.  The business case needs to include scope, linkage to strategy, stakeholders, timeline, resources needed and metrics for success.  I agree with this point whole-heartedly.

2) The panel also discussed the need for HR to have established credibility.   In order to understand what initiatives are needed for the organizational strategy to succeed, HR must know what is important to the business leaders.  The panelist began to discuss the importance of building relationships in the organization so that all functions understand how HR can drive business results for the organization.

3) Finally, examples were given in areas of training, employee engagement and rewards and recognition initiatives where ROI is calculated to PROVE value.  HR professionals must get in the practice of measuring impact of our programs.  If not, why bother?

4) The topic of HR metrics were discussed as well.  I loved a comment from Megan Graham, "Some metrics are just about keeping your HR house in order."  So true, but the C-level likes to see the ones that move the dial, or that are pointing directly to the strategic objectives to the company.  Those are the metrics they want to see.  The panelist agreed that sometimes the lines from revenue to initiatives are blurred but if you try hard the connections can be made.

I did have the opportunity to ask the panelist if they felt HR had made any progress in the strategic area post recession.  They all agreed that HR has made progress but has a long way to go in the areas discussed above.

The conference closed today.  I I have said many is a great day to be in HR.  We are making progress, and I feel it!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Here We Go Again...More Haters on HR

I get so tired of reading one-sided, non-researched articles on "why so-and -so hates HR." I have heard why Fast Company hates HR. I have heard why CFO's hate HR. And now, we have a new blog post on why 5 CEO's hate HR. (You must read this).

Here is the deal.

Yes, we as a profession have been slow to embrace some very important concepts like, I don't acumen, metrics and strategic alignment. I get that, I do.

However, I feel we have come a long from that first Fast Company article that depicted HR as picnic-loving-administrators.

I teach HR, I consult on HR, I am President Elect for one of the biggest SHRM Chapters in this country. I was not born an HR person...I just wound up here. So, my point is..I know this profession and I see progress.

I see HR professionals that are getting it done and making changes. Here are a few examples:

1) I see HR Directors and higher getting involved in organizational strategic discussion and then linking their own strategy to it.

2) I see HR leaders either getting metrics savvy or hiring that competency as the business is demanding that.

3) I see talent management being the priority for HR leaders

4) I see HR leaders embracing technology, even in the cloud way more than 10 years ago.

5) I see HR leaders getting MBA's and other degrees to gain credibility and business acumen.

6) I see colleges and universities adding statistical and financial classes to their HR curriculum.

7) I see, everyday young HR leaders that have a different mindset when it comes to HR. Check out Ben Eubanks, Teela Jackson, and many others that don't have the damn "Seat at the Table" baggage strapped to their back.

As you can see I am a little fired up on this subject. I believe as I have said many times, HR YOUR A ROCKSTAR!

Do we have a LONG way to go, yes? But are we listening to the demands of our CEO's and business leaders...yes. I believe this recession has been a good thing for HR. It has forced HR to be more effective.

I think I will go and research why CEO's love HR now....

UPDATE: This blog post from the HR Bartender was just brought to my attention...excellent as well on "Stop Bashing HR."