Ideas for Organizing Team Building Activities

As many experienced HR managers already know, when you have a team that works well together, you also have a team that’s more effective and productive. On the other hand, such teams don’t simply fall from the sky – HR managers work hard to make it happen. For some employees, hearing the words “team building” instantly makes them develop migraines from rolling their eyes over. This is because, even though they should be, not many team building activities are actually fun. We’ve helped put together a few ideas that will help you organize fun and exciting team building activities that employees will enjoy.

Paper plane competition

If you’d like to help your team work better together, throw a small competition in. You can organize a paper plane race, but everyone has to build their own. Luckily, all you need to have is an empty hallway, a bit of tape that you are going to use to mark the launch line, and a measuring stick (or a measuring tape). Alternatively, you can play it outside when it’s not too windy. The trick is to give each team a piece of card stock that they will have to use to build their paper place, and to help them out a bit, make sure to show them several different airplane designs they can try to replicate. The team that builds the plane that will fly the farthest is the winner. Also, everyone should decorate their planes so the judge knows which plane belongs to which team.

Play dare Jenga

For this activity, you need a Jenga set, preferably the one that has extra large blocks. The good side of this activity is that it’s simple to set up and allows players to really test their limits. Each block should have a dare written on it (you can write it on a piece of paper and tape it to each block). Don’t go wild with dares, though – 15 pushups/squats, singing “Baby Shark”, and wearing an ugly sweater or a hat for the rest of the day are funny and mild enough for everyone to accept and enjoy doing them. Make sure each block has a dare, tack them up just like in Jenga, and invite everyone to come and play. Another great thing is that this can easily be done as a relaxing Friday activity and doesn’t require much preparation.

Organize a bike ride

There are only a few things that are more fun than leaving the city and going exploring for a day, so why not use this activity to bring your team closer together? You don’t have to spend a fortune and organize a sightseeing tour of another city – all you need are bikes and a bit of planning. There are probably many interesting places to see around the city, and when you do a bit of research, pick a spot you would like to take your team to. Invite everyone on a biking tour, and see how well they are all getting along outside the office. You can find great Bikes Online if you know that some of the employees don’t have their own bikes, and make sure everyone brings their sunglasses and water bottles. Once you get to the place, throw a picnic and play board games, or just allow everyone to relax and explore the environment.

Do a ‘Zombie escape’

For this activity, you’re going to need a bit more room, a rope, one key, and a stack of clues (you can use anything between 5 and 1, depending on how much time you’re planning to have the team spend on this activity). Before the game start, have one team member volunteer to play the zombie, and encourage them to go all in: arms outstretched, screeching “braaaiiins,” and stumbling around. Invite everyone to an empty room, turn around and dramatically “lock” the door, and after that point out to the “zombie” who is tied in the corner of the room. Even though they are tied, the zombie should have a foot of leeway, and every five minutes they get another foot of rope. In the meantime, the team has to work together to solve the puzzles and find the hidden key so they can leave the room before they get “eaten”.

Take them on a paintball field

No matter how well the team gets along, sometimes the stress of everyday office life and deadlines gets to you. If people are feeling frustrated and overworked, it might be a good idea to take them outside and engage them in an interesting and uncommon activity. Paintball is considered one of the best team building activities because it allows everyone to engage all of their senses and handle all of their frustrations and stress in a healthy way. Divide the people properly: bosses and CEOs shouldn’t be in the same team, but they should stand with their employees. People will love having an ‘excuse’ to shoot their superiors, they will develop their communication and will work much better in a team. In the end, you will have a group of exhausted and happy people who have spent the day outside, shooting others with paintball guns, and having fun.

Walking on eggshells

For this exercise, you are going to have to buy a carton of eggs, and find some simple construction materials such as plastic wrap, straws, rubber bands, balloons, newspaper, some tape, etc. Also, for this exercise, you need to find a place that you won’t mind getting messy (think about parking lots, these are always a good idea because nobody would mind). Divide the entire group into several smaller teams, had them the materials and an egg, and give them about half an hour to come up with a solution that will help protect the egg. They can construct a box, a bag, a carrier, or any other thing they think that will protect the egg. The task is to drop the egg from a certain height (choose the height before you start) and not break it. If you happen to end up with a tie, you can increase the height a bit until there is only one winner. Alternatively, you can boil the eggs first and have the competition inside.

Minefield

If you have an ambitious team on your hands, you can try having them go through a “minefield”. Fortunately, you don’t need much preparation, just an empty room (or even an empty hallway) and some common office items (boxes, desks, shelves, trash cans, fruit bowls, etc). Use these office items to create a set of obstacles (set the mines, so to speak). Group should not be divided into teams but into pairs, and one of the partners should wear a blindfold. The other person is the ‘responsible’ one and they should guide the blindfolded person through the ‘minefield’ without having them bump into or step onto any obstacle. The trick is that the person who is supposed to guide is not allowed to set foot onto the field, but has to only use their voice to help the other navigate. You can start off slowly ad then make it progressively difficult. In the end, the pairs will learn to listen more carefully and give clearer and simpler instructions.

Spider web, spider web…

If you’d like to test everyone’s agility and flexibility, have them play the “spider web” game .for this, you will need to tape a couple of pieces of string across a doorway at different heights. One should be placed at approximately three-and-a-half feet while the other should be put a bit higher, at about five feet. Explain the rules: each string is a dangerous and highly poisonous spider web that melts the flesh of everyone that touches it (or something equally dramatic). Divide the people into two (or more) teams and instruct them to help each other go through the opening without touching the strings. After everyone is on the other side, tape more pieces of string, and make it more difficult.

Online karaoke party

Even if all of your company’s employees are working remotely because of corona virus, there are still some funny games you can play online to help bring them all closer together. Throw an online karaoke party for everyone! You don’t need much – you don’t have to book a place, bring the machine, and negotiate the price of drinks. Everyone should just stay at home and use their computers to try and be the best karaoke singers in the company. If you’d like to take it to the next level, make it into a competition: hand out points, make up rules, and compare everyone’s high scores to find winners.

Whose office?

Another useful icebreaking game you can play remotely is the “Whose office is it?” Everyone should send you several photos of their home office beforehand, and you can use any file sharing tool to show them to the rest of the team. You can spice it up and ask about specific coffee mugs, plants, cushions, and wall décor too. You can send one photo by one or you can send them all at once, mark them with numbers or symbols, and have people guess whose photos is whose. If you want to take it to the next level, try having everyone guess whose desktop background is it, or even compare the views of the office window.

If you’re hoping to have a team that’s going to be successful, work well together, and be incredibly effective, you really have to make sure that your team-building skills are on point. Activities that are meant to bring your team together are many, and just because something sounds great on paper, doesn’t mean it will work in real life. Get to know your team a bit better before you suggest any activities, it will save you a lot of trouble (and some money too). In the end, if you do it right, you’ll help your team connect and function a lot better, resulting in a better workplace dynamic.

How To Prepare For An International Business Conference

Entrepreneurs are still keen on networking events, even though we live in the digital age. There’s always good potential in attending an international business conference. You can meet new business associates, find a mentor and expand your network of contacts. 

However, there’s also the chance that attending such an event will be a total bust but it’s a risk you must be willing to make. That’s why preparing for attending such a conference is very important because you never know what might happen. With that in mind, here are a few ways how you can prepare for an international business conference. 

Do some research first

It’s always a good idea to research the location where the conference is taking place. Usually, international business conferences last for a couple of days but you won’t be spending the entire day at the conference, that’s for sure. Therefore, treat it like any other trip and research some sights worth visiting or some entertainment that will make your visit more enjoyable. 

Also, as soon as you find out what is the location and the duration of the event, get to know more about travel insurance options for that country. This helps you make the right financial plan beforehand and get yourself insured in advance.

Plan your trip thoroughly

In most cases, the conference hosts plan every detail, including accommodations for their attendees. However, oftentimes, you’re only invited to attend, nothing more. If that’s the case, you’ll have to do the preparations yourself. Here’s a list of tasks you should focus on.

  • Book a hotel or a motel room.
  • Book a flight to your destination.
  • Arrange for someone to pick you up at the airport.
  • Arrange transportation to the conference.
  • Confirm your attendance.
  • Pack everything you need.
  • Make sure your passport hasn’t expired.
  • Plan your trip back as well.

It might not be a long or a demanding trip but you have to make sure you’re adequately prepared nonetheless. 

Protect yourself

Every international trip is not without some risks. That’s why it’s very important to protect yourself properly. As an example, keep your passport with you at all times and your valuables under lock and key. 

Moreover, check in with the travel advisories to determine what kind of documentation, if any, you should bring along. Last but not least, bring more money with you in case some unforeseen circumstance rises up, such as your luggage being lost or something similar. 

Plan to make connections

As an entrepreneur, your mission is to get the most out of the business conference you’re attending. More often than not, that means making as many connections as you can. Therefore, bring along your business cards you can hand out to potential associates. Exchanging information with key people is essential at networking events. 

Also, prepare your speech or presentation well if you’re one of the public speakers at the conference. After all, you want to put your best face on and make a good impression on the crowd. In addition, not every lead is worth pursuing. Try to determine what will benefit you or your business and focus on making connections there. If you try to explore everything, you might miss out on a good opportunity. 

Get some rest when you arrive

Arriving at a foreign country for a business conference usually means two things; travel fatigue and jet lag. If you can avoid any appointments as soon as you arrive, do so and get some rest, beforehand. Don’t  hesitate from investing in good accommodations. 

After all, a good night’s rest is required to retain your focus and have a better perspective on things. You will need some time to adjust to the new environment, as well as the new culture, which is next to impossible to do if you’re not well-rested. 

 

Attending an international business conference is always a good idea for aspiring entrepreneurs. You can learn new things and meet new people who can help you out in some way or another. That’s why it’s important to have a game plan and prepare yourself for what lies ahead. 

How Can Technology Improve Event Management Efficiency

Events, conferences, and meetings are becoming increasingly detailed experiences. And event managers are searching for modern solutions that will help them to keep up with the heightened expectations of attendees. They’re also finding new technologies that can help them overcome the ever-present issues of doing more work while being time-pressed and having a low-budget.

As such, event planners are using more and more innovative event management technologies to assist them in their work, and for a good reason. According to studies, event technology adoption can increase productivity by 27%, increase attendance by 20% and decrease event costs by as much as 30%.

All these innovations changed the landscape in which the industry leaders are inundated by new technologies and products on a day-to-day basis. Everyone is wondering where technology is going next and which investment will create the most ROI.

In this article, we will explain about new and old event technologies that will certainly have an impact on attendees and industry professionals alike.

Using big data

In the last few years, big data has become a hot topic in discussions. Gathering and interpreting huge amounts of information was never easier. But big data is most useful when used in the right way.

For instance, event managers can utilize Google Analytics to find out which online campaigns were most successful for influencing registrations or which were most discussed on social media.

There are also innovative options of tracking movements of attendees through Wi-Fi, iBeacons, GPS or low-energy Bluetooth to see which events they’re visiting. Or, event managers can send out surveys or second-screen solutions to find out the feelings and actions of attendees before, during and after the event. There also available platforms for acquiring and analyzing real-time data to see in which events are attendees and sponsors most interested.

Managing Attendees

Marking late arrivals and managing visitors time of arrival was never easier. New technologies can improve the management of attendees, their time of arrival, entry points and time of leaving the event.

Innovative visitor management app allows you to receive live notifications about your visitor’s time of arrival. These notifications include useful information such as the visitors’ contact details and photo, while other notifications, either through an Email or SMS, give you the ability to sign out visitor once they leave the event. Its benefits are obvious – visitors get to enjoy the reduced wait time and fast and efficient greeting on arrival.

Some of these apps even include VIP and Security Alerts. You get to highlight certain individuals as VIP’s and receive notifications about their arrival in real time. With these new technologies, it becomes much easier to see who is on site and when. Your staff will have an easier time to administer visitors in a more efficient manner.

Mapping Projections

Projections mapping is about creating an augmented reality experience through using projectors. While usual projectors cast pictures on flat screens, with projection mapping you have the option of projecting light onto any surface imaginable and turn everyday building and structures into 3D interactive displays.

This technology enables event managers to add beautiful transformational design elements into any space they would like. From stages to cars to landmarks, this innovative visual technology creates an efficient and cost-effective way to create optical illusions in any event location possible.

Since there are no clear boundaries of what you can do with project mapping, event managers are able to stretch their imagination and create inventive modern displays. Whether it’s a social media wall, a map of convention booths or an interactive art display, the technology is flexible enough to create a variety of displays – that can be used everywhere, from meeting and conferences to concerts and parties.

Increased Networking Capabilities

Social media can be applied to many fields of event managing. Social media makes it simpler for attendees to share their feelings of an event, while event managers can receive feedback from attendees more efficiently. Thus, you can use social media as a feedback system for improving future events.

Besides this, social media marketing is a great way of advertising any event. With social media people around the globe can be easily reached, a task that would be impossible without it and the Internet. Attendees are also able to share the event with other people, creating an almost free advertising platform.

You can also use email marketing for event promotion. When email marketing is combined with marketing automation, you have the option of sending more personalized emails about the event to attendees.

 

Event management technologies can save time, money and efforts of event managers while enhancing the experience of attendees. Your work requires fewer efforts thus giving you time to focus on the core part of the event. These technologies can help with all aspects of event managing from managing the attendees time of arrival, their satisfaction levels to receiving proper feedback, so make sure to test at least some of them for your next event.

Tips for Successful Conference Networking

In order to do well in any industry, you need to know and have the support of the right people. No matter how independently you work, people are the key to success in every endeavor. Although chance encounters do occur, you don’t always meet the right people at the right time.

However, you can increase these chances by setting up a booth at a conference specific to your niche. With different influencers in your industry congregated in the same area as you, the odds will be more in your favor for developing these mutually beneficial relationships.

Being at the right place doesn’t necessarily mean all these things will happen, though. You’ll need the networking and conversational skills to back you up when you meet a potential customer or partner at a conference too (even if you’re a bit more on the introverted side). Here’s what you need to know to up your conference networking game.

Don’t Skimp on Booth Design

A lot can be said about a person by the way they design their booth. When you have a booth at a conference, how your setup looks is just as important as your own wardrobe. No one will want to start a conversation with you if you look like you put no effort in your appearance.

The same is true for your booth. If you put little work into the aesthetics of your booth design, you won’t attract many people — especially if it looks like it was made the night before or is bland in style. In order to catch people’s attention, you’ll need booth banners and a striking design to flag people down.

Remember, your banner and booth materials are an extension of your brand. If anything is incongruent with your brand image, people will be confused about who you are and what you’re doing at the conference. So double check the colors and and fonts you use match the same ones as your business and other marketing materials; you always want to be more proactive than reactive.

Keep things simple and easy to read as well by designing your booth in a way that showcases what your business is about. Don’t let your message get lost in a cluttered design. Also have your audience in mind when creating your booth and banner.

Use graphics and language that appeal to your target audience so that your setup is the one they’re attracted to the most. Look into applied psychology and color theory, too, and see which shades and hues communicate the message you want your company to evoke while still being pleasing to the eye.

Have size in mind as well and make sure the promotional materials you use are large enough to catch a crowd’s attention while still conforming to the size restrictions of your booth area. Placing your booth in a good light doesn’t hurt either by utilizing lighting equipment that accentuates your display and brings attention to areas you want people to see most.

Overall Best Conference Practices

Once you’re at a conference, it won’t do hoping for the best that the right people will come to your booth. You need to prepare and devise a plan to best utilize your time at the conference. By first seeing what the conference’s schedule is, prioritizing and managing your time for the workshops and panels you want to attend will be that much easier.

Also see which topics will be discussed and which speakers were invited so you can do further research on the two to increase your chances of forming a connection with the influencers speaking and attending. You may not be able to do everything you want at the conference, so determine which events are a priority and which can be missed if you don’t have the time.

Have someone man your booth at all times as well so that your station is not left unattended while you visit various events. It helps to familiarize yourself with the location of the conference and where each activity will occur too. Knowing how long it will take to walk to certain panels and workshops will help you determine which ones you can get to in time, and having a familiar idea of where the conference is and where you can park will ensure you’ll arrive on time.

Don’t forget to schedule in break times for rest and food yourself, either. You won’t be impressing anyone if you’re exhausted or your stomach’s growling through a whole conversation. Speaking of conversations, leave some time for exchanges with other attendees as well since the whole point of you being there is to network.

If you have questions about what you should wear, look at past conference pictures on their website to get a feel for what the dress code is. You’ll want to be comfortable since you’ll be on your feet for a good portion of the day. Check the weather as well so you can plan your outerwear accordingly. Layering up is another good idea since different rooms can be set at different temperatures.

Lastly, consider other items you will need to bring with you to the conference such as a laptop, chargers, pen and paper, and business cards.

Talk the Talk

Once you have a plan of attack, you need to brush up on your networking skills. As you can see, networking is one of the top ways agencies drum up new business.

That being said, there are a lot of people vying for the same relationships you want to cultivate, so it’s up to you to distinguish yourself from the rest. Do this by being more eager to help the other person rather than having them assist you. Showing a genuine interest in the other person will make your more noticeable than a person who only asks for what they want.

Networking isn’t a one-sided relationship. It takes the efforts of two people trying to connect with one another. So be a good listener and ask them questions about themselves. Honesty is truly the best policy when it comes to networking, so speak the truth about yourself to build a solid foundation of trust between you and your contact.

Be consistent with who you are as a person both professionally and personally as well. People have a knack for discovering inconsistencies when talking with a person. Getting caught in an untruth can seriously damage a budding connection.

Also remember to continue the conversion long after the first encounter by consistently following up with them. A true networking relationship only grows and prospers if you put in the work to stay in contact with them.

Take Advantage of Hiring Opportunities

Although you may be going to a conference to form beneficial business connections, don’t forget to network with people who want to form connections with you as well. Especially when you’re hiring your first employees, it’s important to start your hiring process right by recruiting the best and brightest first instead of ones who will just do for now.

The kind of people you hire in the beginning will ultimately encourage or halt the progress of your company altogether. Hiring has a domino effect in that the employees you hire will recommend and attract other employees like them to your company, so it’s best to give yourself a good headstart and hire the most qualified candidates you can find.

Individuals attending conferences will most likely have the qualities you want in an employee, so keep your eyes open for potential hires at these events. It’s good to think in the long-term when considering a prospective employee as well since your business will have to deal with the consequences — negative or positive — of each hire you take on.

You will have to be the judge whether or not the skill sets a person possesses will benefit you just now or many years down the road. It’s also important that you like the person you’re thinking about offering a position to. Company culture is a key part to business success.

If people are miserable with the coworkers they have to collaborate with, this will only lead to setbacks for your company. After all, why would you want to hire someone you don’t like? Employees also work their best and come up with their most innovative ideas if their work environment makes them feel comfortable and encourages research and development that way of thinking. According to HR Gazette, “48% of human resources and recruiters and managers believe that technology helps them make better decisions.” 

Even with the best intentions, many startups and companies fail — but that doesn’t mean failure has to happen to you too. Attending and setting up a booth at a conference is a great way to find lasting and beneficial connections.

However, you can’t just walk in and expect great results to happen. By investing in your booth design, putting together a conference game plan, and brushing up in your networking skills, you will form relationships that will help you and your company progress far into the future.

Unleash 2018 – The next wave of Digital HR

The formerly known HR Tech World celebrated its re-birth this year in London from 20th to 21st of March after the official rebrand to “Unleash”. Marc Coleman, Founder, and CEO of UNLEASH said, “The UNLEASH community will look to become more open to leadership from across organizations and to engage with the people that are making big differences in the world of work, creating communities that enable disruptive workplace innovation and learning.”

The general set up remained very similar. A jungle full of HR tech vendors including the well-established ones but also many small and upcoming startups that presented themselves. The HR tech market has seen lots of movement over the recent years also welcoming lots of fresh players. Especially technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) but also blockchain will further disrupt the HR market. Having algorithms support companies to find better candidates or having the new contract being issued in a blink of an eye with the help of blockchain technology.

So it came with no surprise that these topics were heavily discussed in the different breakout sessions along with other hot topics such as GDPR, Brexit, leadership, learning 2.0, diversity and inclusion, mentoring and many more.

Keynote speech by Skype co-founder Jonas Kjellberg

Jonas Kjellberg says about himself that it is disrupting an industry that gets him up in the morning. Jonas Kjellberg is one of the co-founders of Skype. He has a successful past in disrupting industries, most famously the telecommunication industry. He described how hard it is to invent in the zeros but that’s what he did with Skype. The highest valued startups such as Uber or AirBnB invest in the zeros as they simply offer a platform but do not own the product anymore. The bottom line of his speech is if a company wants to survive in this highly disruptive market it needs to re-imagine its organization and make innovation the heart and soul of the company’s DNA. This also includes hiring different profiles and giving them the room to be themselves.

The big HR tech vendors all to be found right after the entrance

After making it through the registration and the entrance to the stands that were located right on the ground floor visitors were welcomed by the big players in the HR Cloud market. For Oracle it was all about the new UX this time including its new “newsfeed” landing page. Employees can now highlight the data and details they care about most.

Another big topic of this year’s Unleash was data and people/workforce analytics. HR has been for many years looking in the rearview mirror, rather than looking forward and being able to predict events that will occur in the future. With the help of the latest and greatest analytics solutions, for the first time HR has the chance to really understand who is their workforce and being able to abstract relevant information and match these against business outcomes. Knowing who is at risk, or who should be taken into consideration for a promotion, predicting these events lets companies better plan and develop their workforce for the future.

The startup corner hosted the disruptors of the future

At the end of the main hall the HR startups were to be found. More than 40 startups presented themselves. The common ground for all these companies is that they want to contribute to the Future of Work.   Innovating in their area of HR and leading the way to the next generation of HR.

Next to the Startup Zone the competitions took place. The 5 HR startups finalist had the chance to present their ideas and products to a selected jury. With the help of Unleash the winners will get access to further support and access to influencers.

We are all looking forward to discover other innovative HR propositions and to further uncover the innovation happening in the HR market.

For more insights, please visit hr-jump.com

Author: Mats Nemelka – HCM Solution Consultant, Oracle

Mats advises companies in the HR space on how to handle HR transformations best with the help of a cloud software solution. Views are his own. Follow @matsnemelka

World’s Leading L&D Platform - 7th Learning & Development World Congress 2018 | 27 February - 2 March 2018, Singapore

World’s Leading L&D Platform – 7th Learning & Development World Congress 2018

World’s Leading L&D Platform - 7th Learning & Development World Congress 2018

With the increased focus on learning in driving the organization forward, Learning and Development Managers are still having difficulties getting the support from upper management due to the lack of methods to quantify the ROI on learning and development programs.

  • Are you facing the same issues of getting your upper management to invest their time and money into learning and development initiatives?
  • How do you encourage and sustain a continuous learning culture in your organisation? Everybody is talking about technology now so what is the best digital platform to enhance your training programs?
  • What do you need to ensure you implement the most suitable training courses to help your organisation meet future business demands?

GET ALL YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED IN ONE CONFERENCE!

Equip Global’s renowned conference, 7th Learning & Development Congress 2018 is back on 27 February to 2 March 2018 in Singapore! Coming straight to you with strategies from international Learning and Development Directors, this congress focuses on addressing the challenges you face in moving away from traditional learning and analyzing how you can align your learning and development programs to meet your future business and employee needs.

Expect a packed program with strategic case studies on developing and sustaining a continuous self-learning culture in your organisation, designing training programs that is parallel with the growth of market and obtaining support from upper management in implementing learning and development initiatives by providing justification on programs. Not forgetting the upcoming trends on digital learning, what is the most suitable and how to use it to your advantage. Lastly, what is the future of learning and development and how does it affect your role as Learning and Development Manager?


Click HERE to find out more about the 4-Day Conference Programme.  This is one event you do not want to MISS!!!

Q & A with David Green | The HR Tech Weekly®

People Analytics Is Core to the Future of the HR Function: Q&A with David Green

People Analytics Is Core to the Future of the HR Function

Today our guest is David Green, a true globally respected and award winning writer, speaker, conference chair and executive consultant on people analytics, data-driven HR and the future of work.

David is the Global Director, People Analytics Solutions at IBM Watson Talent. He is also the longstanding Chair, of the Tucana People Analytics conference series, the next edition of which – the People Analytics Forum, takes place in London on 29-30 November.

David has spoken at conferences and/or worked with people analytics leaders in over 20 cities in the past year including San Francisco, Sydney, London, Paris, Singapore, New York, Amsterdam, Moscow and Berlin. This affords David with a unique perspective and insight into what’s working, what’s not, and what’s forthcoming in the field of people analytics.

The interview is hosted by Alexey Mitkin, Founder, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, The HR Tech Weekly® Online Media Co.

1. Hi David, and first of all thank you very much for this interview with The HR Tech Weekly®. The year of 2017 is approaching its end. What made a difference this year in the field of people management and HR technologies?

Thanks Alexey, it is a pleasure to speak with you. For me, 2017 has been a pivotal year in the field as the realisation that people analytics is core to the future of the HR function has become far more widespread. In one of his recent articles (see here), Josh Bersin described people analytics “as the lynchpin of success for HR in the next few years”, and I have to say I completely agree – although that probably doesn’t surprise you!

We still have some way to go in terms of widespread adoption and just as importantly in embedding analytics and data-driven decision making within organisational culture, but the acceptance that this is core rather than peripheral is a welcome momentum shift.

Elsewhere, the move from many companies to develop programs and technologies that personalise the candidate/employee experience in areas such as talent acquisition, onboarding, learning and mobility is also positive. It’s about time that we have rich and personalised experiences at work similar to those we already enjoy as consumers. Data and analytics plays a foundational role in this.

2. People analytics is an area of profound interest to business leaders. What do you see as the main trends in the people analytics space?

You are right to highlight the heightened interest levels in people analytics Alexey. I’d summarise the main trends as follows:

  • More and more organisations getting started with people analytics – 2017 seems to have been the year that the talking about when to start analytics stopped and the actual hard work in creating capability began for many organisations. So, the number of organisations in the early stages of their people analytics journeys is on the increase and many will face similar challenges in terms of data quality, skills and capabilities, stakeholder management/education and project prioritisation. Our recent IBM Smarter Workforce Institute research on HR Analytics Readiness in Europe demonstrated though that most organisations still have a long way to go.
  • Developing an analytical culture: this is key for organisations that want to develop sustainable capability in people analytics. This means exciting, equipping and enabling HR Business Partners, and clearly demonstrating and communicating the impact of people analytics initiatives within the organisation. This is the focus of many companies that have built initial capability and success in people analytics.
  • Ethics and privacy concerns: this continues to be the most important and challenging aspect for practitioners. Research from Insight222 reveals that 81% of people analytics projects are jeopardised by ethical and privacy concerns. With the EU GDPR legislation coming into effect in May 2018 and the emergence of new employee data sources, focus on this area will continue to be high.
  • The consumerisation of HR – as per my earlier point, many organisations that have developed people analytics capability are looking at ways to understand and improve the employee experience. In addition to the personalised machine-learning based technologies referenced earlier, this includes efforts to understand and analyse employee sentiment. You can’t do either of these things without analytics so those organisations that have already developed people analytics capability are in pole position to take advantage here.
  • Organisational network analysis (ONA) – interest in ONA has exploded in 2017 as organisations seek to better understand team effectiveness and productivity. Practitioners interested in this burgeoning area of people analytics should check out the work of Rob Cross, recent articles by Josh Bersin and vendors like TrustSphere, Humanyze and Worklytics. Expect interest in this area to continue to soar in 2018.

3. On the eve of People Analytics Forum 2017 could you slightly open the curtain on what makes an ideal agenda in modern HR analytics, workforce planning and employees insights then?

I always enjoy chairing the Tucana People Analytics World and People Analytics Forum events as the agenda is always cognisant of the fact that the diversity of delegates in terms of where they are with analytics varies widely. As such, the three tracks: Start (for those getting started), Grow (for those building capability and looking for deeper insight) and Advance (for advanced practitioners and those exploring new data sources) means there is something for everyone. This is hugely important as in my experience the people analytics community is highly collaborative and there is a mutual desire amongst practitioners for shared learning. The Tucana events provide this in spades.

4. It was heard that some attendees of conferences recently formed a viewpoint that the slow adoption of analytics has been because of a lack of practical cases delivered by speakers. Your point of view on the problem will be of great influence.

I haven’t really heard this viewpoint from many. I would argue the contrary in fact that most of the conferences I attend feature numerous and diverse case studies from practitioners. I think you need a balance of speakers from the practitioner, consultant, vendor and analyst communities as each provides a slightly different perspective – indeed much of the innovation in the space is coming from the vendor community. As such, at the conferences I chair, speak and attaned there is normally much to inspire delegates whatever their maturity level when it comes to people analytics. Of course, there is a distinction between being inspired and immitation as each organisation faces different business challenges and has unique cultures. If I could offer one piece of advice to practitioners, whatever their maturity level, it is to channel their efforts on the key business challenges that have the biggest impact within their organisations.

5. What new data-driven HR solutions are on your watchlist and why?

As I mentioned before much of the innovation in the people analytics space is coming from the vendor community and I always recommend to practitioners to keep abreast of the latest developments here. Data-driven companies to look at include: TrustSphere, Alderbrooke Group, Aspirant, Glint, Visier, Crunchr, Workometry, Peakon, OrgVue, Headstart, Worklytics, Humanyze, Qlearsite, One Model, hiQ Labs, Cultivate and StarLinks; and those are just the ones I can remember off the top of my head!

If you’ll forvive the self-promotion, I would like to add that IBM is also doing some groundbreaking work in this space through bringing Watson to HR, particularly in the talent acquisition and the employee experience areas – see more here.

6. What advice would you give to HR professionals looking to boost their careers within the people analytics space?

Well, firstly you should get yourself along to the People Analytics Forum and read my articles on LinkedIn!

Seriously, analytics is a core capability for the future HR practitioner and it won’t be long before the likes of CIPD and SHRM build this into their educational programs. Until then, find some courses (like the Wharton School course on Coursera), attend some conferences, read some books (like The Power of People and the Basic Principles of People Analytics), and seek to learn from analytics professionals both in and outside of HR.

For me, HR is one of the most exciting places in business to work in at the moment and the increased use of analytics and data-driven decision making is one of the reasons why I believe this to be the case.

Riyadh Header

Saudi Vision 2030 on the Agenda for Inaugural HR Tech Saudi Summit 2017

Leading HR and IT decision-makers will gather to discuss next generation HR challenges and new frameworks proposed under Saudi Vision 2030.

HR Tech Saudi Summit

Dubai, August 31 2017 — As the Fourth Industrial Revolution continues to transform the workplace with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Automation becoming increasingly prevalent across industries, Dubai-based B2B event specialist QnA International, has unveiled plans for a first-of-its-kind summit to discuss the unique challenges this will place on HR and IT departments in Saudi Arabia.

Being the only event dedicated to HR Technology in the Kingdom, the HR Tech Saudi Summit, taking place 20-21 November 2017 in Riyadh, will unite HR executives with the IT industry in Saudi Arabia at a time when the Kingdom is making significant investments in leading technology solutions, in line with Saudi Vision 2030.

QnA Director Mr. Sidh N C

Sidh N.C., Director, QnA International, said: “The debut of the HR Tech Saudi Summit comes at a time when Saudi Arabia is moving towards digitization and hence uniquely placed to welcome the collaboration between the HR and IT capabilities. The summit is the first of its kind in the Kingdom to address the technological revolution underway in the workplace and debate how best to harness its capacity for the success of business in the public, private and government sectors”

In line with Saudi Vision 2030, the Kingdom has pledged to increase investments in technology in order to continue leading the digital transformation of the region. Under the King Salman Program for Human Capital Development, 500,000 government employees will receive training to upskill by 2020. All Ministries and Government institutions will be required to adopt best practice in Human Capital Development and other organisations will be tasked with enhancing engagement and the employee experience.

Enabled by mobile, remote and real time connectivity, digital HR processes now reach beyond payroll and data capture to incorporate functions such as interviewing, performance management and KPI review. The technology exists for employees in larger organisations to share concerns and feedback, or even complete training remotely, through mobile video.

Sidh N.C. added: “With discussion focusing on the latest HR technology trends, innovations and disruptive ideas, the HR Tech Saudi Summit will help leaders from the HR and IT departments to collaborate on effective solutions to modern human challenges.”

The launch of HR Tech Saudi Summit, follows the three successful editions of HR Tech MENA Summit in Dubai. The 3rd edition of HR Tech MENA took place in May 2017 under the theme of Revolutionizing the Future of Work with discussions ranging from the challenges of rapid technological developments to the need for enhancement of workplaces.

About HR Tech Saudi Summit

Reshaping the Kingdom's Workplace

The HR Tech Saudi Summit is the only initiative that brings together HR and IT professionals from the unique business landscape of Saudi Arabia, on a singular platform, to discuss the newest trends, ideas and disruptions over a period of two days exclusively dedicated to and focused on HR Technology.

Technology today has revolutionized every step of our lives and Human Resources is no different. The influence of technology on our evolution is paramount to making it imperative for HR to keep abreast with newest developments.

Today, HR is en route to becoming smart HR. Concepts such as bog data, cloud, social media, mobility, and gamification are today’s buzzwords and every organization is keen to embrace them in tackling the key issues of talent acquisition, talent management, change management and employee engagement.

Organiser: About QnA International

QnA International

QnA International creates and delivers business learning and development exchange platforms through B2B conferences, bespoke events and trainings. The company also has an expertise in outsourced sponsorship sales and key account management.

CEO’s Corner: Charlene Li on Technology and Employee Experience

Charlene Li

In the end of June 2017 CEO’s Corner post put a spotlight on Charlene Li, Principal Analyst at Altimeter (a Prophet Company) and keynote at this year’s HR TechXpo. Li supports leaders to thrive with disruption, primarily focusing on creating business strategies and developing leadership around digital, social, and emerging technologies. An analyst since 1999, and having seen business, society, and the world undergo seismic changes over the last 18 years, she’s driven to create research and thought leadership that helps to bring greater clarity and inspire audacious actions.

The interview is hosted by Greg Mortona corporate strategy and growth development specialist and Chief Executive Officer of the Northern California HR Association.

Q: You talk about the seismic changes that have recently occurred in the workplace. Besides the obvious impacts of technology, virtual work, and social media, what’s a change you are observing that most people are underestimating? 

A: One of the biggest overlooked opportunities is thinking about the employee experience, as opposed to employee engagement. Employee experience is when you look at a situation through the eyes of the employee, and focus on how the day-to-day experience creates a deeper relationship between the organization and employees. This is a significant shift for HR who must shift from managing transactions (recruiting, hiring, evaluations) and risk mitigation (training and compliance) to nurturing relationships. Technologies makes this easier but it’s only when technology fades into the background, and the relationship work comes forward, that the experience becomes a differentiator to the employee.

Q: What is the biggest takeaway you hope readers get from The Engaged Leader?[i]

A: Relationships form the foundation for leadership and I hope that by reading the book, people understand that digital channels must be part of the repertoire of skills leaders use to develop relationships. My hope is that readers are inspired to hit the pause button on their busy day and take a few minutes to reflect on how they need to be better engaged — even if it means simply listening to the people crucial to the achievement of their goals.

Q: We’re getting ready for our 2nd Annual HR TechXpo which last year was quite an exciting event showcasing the intersection of HR and Technology. You have talked to hundreds of providers, so are probably not easily wowed. What are one or two technological features you have seen in HR solutions that have knocked your socks off?

A: I’m excited to see SaaS-based strategy planning and execution tools getting traction in the market from companies like StrategyBlocks and Cascade. The software makes explicit and transparent the strategic plan of the organization, so that everyone across the organization is connected to the strategy. This means it’s clear how what you do every day impacts the long term strategy. It takes the idea of “connected workforce” and gives it a direction and objective, where the purpose of the connection is a strategic objective. This is exciting for HR because it ties together HR functions (workforce management, performance evaluation) and ties it directly to strategy and business outcomes.

You can find Charlene Li on LinkedIn and on Twitter.

You can find Greg Morton on LinkedIn or on Twitter.

[i] Charlene Li. The Engaged Leader: A Strategy for Your Digital Transformation – Wharton Digital Press, 2015

Banner HR TechXpo 2017

2nd Annual HR TechXpo will take place on August 25, 2017 in Hilton Union Square, San Francisco.

The HR Tech Weekly® readers get a free registration! Enter promo code hrtechweekly at time of checkout when you register here: http://hrtechxpo.com/register.

Please use #HRTechXpo to share the news about this exciting event showcasing the intersection of HR and Technology.

If you’d like to comment or have further questions for Charlene Li or Greg Morton, you are welcome to leave your reply here or post on social media adding #CEOCorner.


Source: CEO’s Corner: Charlene Li on Technology and Employee Experience

Robots Are Taking Over Human Resources

Robots Are Taking Over Human Resources – NCHRA TechXpo Pushing Technology Envelope for Industry

HireMojo LogoSan Francisco, CA, August 11, 2017HireMojo, Inc., the Hiring Automation Platform (TM), announced the unveiling of it’s latest hiring “robot” at the Northern California Human Resources Association (NCHRA) HR TechXpo on August 25, 2017. With this invitation, the NCHRA event demonstrates leadership at the intersection of Human Resources (HR) and technology.

Beyond simple automation, complete functions are being transformed with Robotic Process Automation (RPA). According to a recent PWC Research Report, robots will replace up to 38% of U.S. jobs by 2030. Until now, HR functions have been largely insulated from this wave of technology. The introduction of HireMojo’s robot, which makes it possible for nearly anyone to find candidates and fill jobs without needing industry specific knowledge or resources, sets the NCHRA August event apart.

“We are delighted to see the NCHRA lead the way for technology innovation among HR leaders across the country.” said John Younger, HireMojo’s CEO. “Advancing the balance between human and machine actually makes the entire hiring process more intimate, scalable and effective. We applaud the NCHRA for their efforts to pull HireMojo and others together. ”

“By bringing together some of the most transformative technologies for the HR industry, our goal is to help attendees learn to incorporate these advances into their departments.” emphasized Greg Morton, CEO of NCHRA. “HireMojo’s process automation is a good example of a technology most thought was not possible in the recruiting and hiring function, yet it’s here and it works.”

About HireMojo:

HireMojo (http://www.hiremojo.com) develops a subscription-based automation software for the recruiting and hiring function. Based on the data from filling tens of thousands of jobs with millions of applicants, it’s Hiring Automation Platform (TM) incorporates a constellation of resources and performs many of the routine activities needed to make hiring predictable, fast and easy.

About NCHRA:

The Northern California HR Association, one of the nation’s largest HR associations, has been advancing organizations through human resources since 1960. Delivering nearly 200 programs annually, the association is dedicated to connecting human resources professionals with practice resources, leading California-specific training, legal and legislative developments, quality service providers, and each other–forming career-long networks and partnerships.

Contact: Laurie Pehar Borsh
lauriepeharborsh@lpbpr.com
800.915.2151 x706


The HR Tech Weekly readers get a free registration to HR TechXpo in SF on August 25th! Enter promo code hrtechweekly at time of checkout when you register here: http://hrtechxpo.com/register