Strategies for Greater Retention Rates for HR Managers

For an HR manager, the costs of creating and maintaining a staff can be plagued by employee turnover and disengagement. For most companies, revolving doors are a destructive force for financial growth, considering the cost to replace an employee is roughly 50% of that employee’s annual salary. An effective HR department, therefore, needs to hire appropriately, work to engage employees in the success of the business and constantly monitor observable measurements to ensure that they are on track.

So how does an efficient HR department gauge their progress and ensure best practices for employee retention? How do companies evolve past the everyday, worn-out methods of keeping employees engaged and make the work environment a place where employees can truly thrive?

Hiring Process

The trickiest part of the hiring process is ensuring that HR brings on the right person for the role to not only fill in missing personnel, but foster growth. The person needs to fit the values, short and long term goals of the company. A mismatch of skills, values, and commitment can create loss for a company. For hiring members of HR, there is a host of resources out there for hiring managers who want to maximize their hiring potential and run their small business like a larger corporation.

Primarily, hiring managers need to think about the kind of skills they need to bring into the company as opposed to simply filling a slot or replacing someone who has moved on. Is the company facing challenges? What skills would be the best counter to those challenges? A potential area of growth? It’s easy to fall back into patterns of hiring to replace, but hiring to grow benefits the company far more.

Observable Metrics

A handful of easily observable paper metrics can give HR departments an idea of how engaged and happy their employees are. Turnover is one of the most obvious metrics. If a company is perpetually bleeding employees, there is something seriously wrong. Likewise, the average length of employment can help indicate employee engagement. If most employees leave within a year, or conversely, stay for many years, these are indicators of the company’s ability to engage. The amount of sick or personal days taken can indicate an employee’s level of involvement in their job as well. Finally, the revenue per employee can help companies determine how engaged employees are on the clock.

Observable metrics are just the beginning of the story. An employee can love and be dedicated to their work, but also have a sick family member that leads to absences. When an observable metric indicates disengagement, look past the numbers into the human element. Is there a solution that would allow the employee to contribute in the way they’d like while acknowledging the issue? Would working from home allow them to care for the relative while hitting goals?

Greater Employee Engagement

Once the right employee is hired, the key to maintaining that employee’s performance and commitment is growing their engagement in the company. The best tool for engagement is communication. It’s important for management to keep lines of communication between themselves and their team open. Fostering trust and making employees feel heard helps them feel important, both to the company and as people. That level of emotional engagement is invaluable.

Help employees understand their role in the company — how their efforts aid the company’s success, and how the company’s success affects them. The ability to draw a direct line between cause and effect, both for the company and the employee, creates real stakes that encourages a better work ethic.

Goal Creation and Attainment

Realistic, attainable goals encourage greater engagement and growth of abilities, output and capability. Achieving goals can be rewarding in themselves; they can also be steps for future growth within the company. Goals should be appropriate for the company and for the employee — they should be a marriage of the interests of both parties. Is this something the employee is passionate about and finds rewarding? Is this an area of interest that benefits the company? Do they have the skills to achieve this goal, in a way that benefits the company?

For the employees, goals can include growth of current abilities, or the push to finish a project. Potential rewards for employees can include extra benefits, like a day off, the chance for a promotion (or more eligible to promotion), or a treat of some kind, like free lunch. Whenever a company uses a reward as an incentive for achieving goals, they should be clearly communicated and legitimately achievable. Carrot-and-sticking rewards like promotions is a dishonest method, and will ultimately lead to decreased morale.

Avoid Demotivation Pitfalls

Demotivation can come from many fronts. Lack of communication and transparency between management and employees creates a vacuum of information — one that is bound to be filled with speculation and guesswork. In a workplace without healthy feedback and communication, that guesswork can be powered by anxiety and untruths, which barely benefit anyone. Recognize employees, listen to their feedback.

Make sure the employee who puts her all into her job is recognized and rewarded fairly. Don’t feel the need to treat everyone the same. Follow through on commitments and promises. Show employees why certain team members are celebrated, and help the others find ways to be celebrated as well.

The bottom line is this: HR might be about acquiring and maintaining people as a resource, much like paper or computers, but remember that you and your crew are not robots. Metrics are useful, and numbers don’t lie, but everyone involved is a human. They have human feelings and human motivations, which don’t often conform to spreadsheet analytics. Address the human side of the equation to balance the metrics, and make the most of your skills as a leader to address real, human concerns to foster greater employee retention and engagement.

6 Reasons to Be a Straight-Shooting Leader

Every business in any industry will come across conflicts, strife, and problems both in and outside of their operations or processes. It’s one of the most inevitable parts of life, even in a professional setup, and not even the most meticulous owners can avoid this phenomenon. The true challenge with problems, however, often has to do with how you react to it, not the problem itself.

Even the most reluctant of entrepreneurs has no choice but to confront conflicts head-on so their business can advance and succeed. Avoiding or ignoring the problem should be out of the question, because not only will it exacerbate the problem until it blows out of proportion, but you’ll only be pushing your employees into further disengagement and strife with each other.

That’s why, as a leader, it’s your prime duty to establish and sustain a conducive and pleasant work environment, so that whenever something goes wrong, your employees are not scrambling to barely hold the company together or suffer a total relationship breakdown between each other. Not only that, but you’ll be able to cultivate the type of surroundings that will foster further growth both individually and as a whole for your employees and your company.

This is possible if you’re a straight-shooting leader. But why should be one? Here are the key takeaways from this infographic by Healthy Business Builder:

  1. To showcase your leadership skills
  2. In order to create genuine harmony
  3. To create a productive work environment
  4. To identify and put boundaries in place
  5. To better understand your employees
  6. To see new opportunities for growth

Learn more about these reasons, why they should be your greatest motivations into cultivating yourself as a straight-shooting leader in your company, and how these reasons can help you become the strongest leader you can possibly be by checking out the infographic now.

6 Reasons to Be a Straight-Shooting Leader

Are You a Leader or a Manager?

When describing someone at the head of a team or business, many tend to use the words “leader” and “manager” interchangeably, with the belief that these two words mean the same thing. While it does colloquially, in terms of business and character, there is actually a huge difference between the two of them that you should be aware of so you can truly gauge where you stand.

In its most basic sense, the biggest difference between a manager and a leader is the way they motivate people to accomplish their tasks and work towards a common goal. This sets the tone for most of what they do, how they approach people in their team and business, how they react during crises, and the overall atmosphere of the employees and of the business.

While there is nothing wrong with being a leader or being a manager (and not being what they aren’t), the knowledge of what you are like as a business owner and team head is still a worthwhile fact to hold as it allows you to see how you truly handle the business and where else you can improve upon. It also pays to know the difference between the two so when it comes to assigning team heads for the different projects that your business may have, you are able to assess who can work better with what task and with what sort of people they can work well with.

Find out if you are a leader or a manager with this infographic by Healthy Business Builder.

Are You a Leader or a Manager?

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.

Burn! An image from stockio.com

10 Reasons Entrepreneurs Burn Out

Plant on Field. An image from stockio.com

It’s hard to deny that starting your own business requires a significant amount of time, energy and intense dedication to hitting your goals.

As an entrepreneur, you are going to be more susceptible to burnout than most other professionals, which is due largely in part to how many hours entrepreneurs find themselves actually wanting to work, and how hard they push themselves to succeed.

It happens far too often.  Business owners will neglect their own personal needs, moving them even closer to the point of burnout, until they hit rock bottom and wonder how their situation got to be so bad.

As they begin facing burnout, their business begins to suffer, their personal relationships start taking a hit, and they’re left trying to figure out how to recover.

Before you find yourself in this situation, learn some of the more common reasons that entrepreneurs get burned out, and then figure out how you can avoid making those same mistakes yourself.

Below are 10 of the most common reasons entrepreneurs burn out.

1 – Not Delegating

Your business got to where it’s at because you were behind the wheel, and it’s hard to find someone that will treat it the way you do.

That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to actually do everything, though.  Delegating some of the responsibilities to people who know what they’re doing in those roles can save your sanity.

At the end of the day, you have the same number of hours as everyone else around you.  By surrounding yourself with knowledgeable people, you can increase how many hours are being put into your business from day to day.

You can quit stressing yourself out with the more mundane tasks and put people in place to handle them while you focus on the higher level, executive tasks.

2 – Staying Too Focused

Being in the zone is a great place to be when you’re building your business.  However, staying in the zone too long can cause you to lose focus on other areas of your life.  Tunnel vision is a real problem for many entrepreneurs, and is one of the biggest reasons for them to get burned out.

You can only stay in the zone for so long before you start feeling the effects, and exhaustion begins to take over your mind and your body.  It’s critical that you figure out a balance between your work life and your personal life, to avoid getting caught up in the zone.

3 – Not Eating Properly

Too many entrepreneurs skip meals to make sure they’re able to get more done during the day.  Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner, skipping meals and then binge eating unhealthy foods can wreak havoc on your mind.

Not eating properly makes you function at a lower level, destroys your productivity, and affect your sleeping patterns, making it difficult for you to focus when you really need to.

Taking an hour in the morning, and an hour in the afternoon to make sure you’re getting healthy meals into your body can do more for you than you might think.  Avoiding these healthy foods can spell disaster for your productivity, and your business.

Avoid running yourself ragged, causing more problems in an effort to help save yourself some time or thinking that you’re going to get more done.

4 – Setting Unrealistic Goals

Goals are a requirement if you’re going to build a successful and profitable business.  However, unrealistic goals can do more harm than good.

Having unrealistic expectations for yourself or your employees can be a major problem for many entrepreneurs, and will only set you up to constantly feel like either you’re failing, or they’re failing you, leading to even bigger issues down the road.

No business that has become successful ever became successful overnight.  However, business owners that did try to become an overnight success have gone through fatigue, stayed discouraged, and exhausted themselves out.

To avoid this, make sure that you have set realistic expectations for you and the people around you, and that you’re focusing on both short-term goals and long-term goals.

5 – Failing To Maintain Boundaries

Boundaries don’t just exist in your personal life.  The same way that you have certain things that you won’t accept from the people in your personal life, you need to set realistic boundaries for what you will and won’t accept in your business.

When you decide that you are no longer working, you need to completely shut off and avoid work.  This means not letting your clients get in touch with you, and not giving your employees any of your time.

Likewise, when you’re turned on, you need to be completely available to your employees and your clients and customers.  This will help them figure out that when you’re not at work you’re unavailable, but when you are at work they have your full attention.

Taking the time to recharge when you’re not at work is critical to your performance while you are at work, so make sure you have boundaries set for everyone you’re involved with.

6 – Living In Denial

Even though you may understand what causes burnout, you may not necessarily be aware that you are currently feeling the effects.  And if you are aware, you may be completely denying it, pushing yourself even harder to “bust through” the burn out.

Burying your head in the sand and forcing yourself through isn’t going to make the situation any better than it is right now.

If you’re denying that you may be currently dealing with the effects of burn out, or could be on your way to getting completely burned out, you’re going to need to step back now.

Dealing with it “later” will never actually happen and, by then, it could actually be too late.  The damage could already be done.  Step back, take a break, regain your composure, figure out what’s working and what isn’t, then come back with a renewed energy.

7 – Losing Sight Of The Prize

Whenever you’ve buried yourself in the trenches, finding solutions to problems that have been hanging over your head can be difficult to do.

Getting away from the business, even for an hour at a time, can help you recharge your batteries and gain new insights on the problems that you’re facing.  It’s easier to look outside in than it is to try and find solutions to problems when you’re caught up in the day to day.

Losing sight of the prize because you’re focusing too hard can be as dangerous as depriving yourself of sleep or eating unhealthy foods all of the time.

When you feel your energy starting to wane, or are finding it harder to figure out solutions to problems you once had instant solutions for, you need to take a step back and remember why you’re doing what you’re doing.

8 – Avoiding The Hard Work

As an entrepreneur, it can be hard to slow down.  Your employees, on the other hand, probably have zero problems taking a few minutes here and there to regain their composure.

While you may want your employees to grind as hard as you do, you could actually take a lesson out of their book and step yourself for a few minutes every hour.

Like everything else on this list, though, the real magic happens when you find a balance.  If you are constantly taking a break to avoid doing the hard work that you know needs to be done, you need to step back into your role and get it done.

On the other side of that same coin, if you’re not taking breaks so you can avoid the hard work, filling your schedule up with the easy tasks, get the hard work done first.  Allowing it to stack up on you can create a situation where you’re burned out and don’t have the energy to get all of the “hard” work done.

9 – Getting Irritated

As you start getting to work, you realize that everything is bothering you, big or small.  Your assistant can’t seem to do anything right.  Your employees are dropping the ball.  Your clients are frustrating you.

When this happens, you have to look at the situation from an outside perspective.  Chances are high that if all of these situations are happening at the same time, those people aren’t the problem, you are.  And you could be burnt out.

You’ve put those people in place around you because they can help you and your clients are the perfect people to work with.  That means they haven’t suddenly changed, something in you has.

If you find yourself dealing with frustrations all of the time, you probably aren’t eating right, sleeping right, or taking good care of yourself.  It’s time to take better care of yourself, relax, take a break, and come back reinvigorated.

10 – Trying To Understand Burnout

If you are trying to figure out why entrepreneurs face burn out, or whether or not you may be facing it, you’re probably knee deep in it, or well on your way to becoming burned out.

Taking the time away from your business, unplugging from your employees and your clients, spending some time on yourself and with your family, and remembering why you are doing what you’re doing can help you save your sanity.

Start setting new priorities in your life, and then remember that building a successful business is like running a marathon.  It isn’t a sprint, and thinking you can be an overnight success will only wear you out even more than you are now.

Focus on sticking around for the long haul, and build long-term plans that help you hit those goals.

A man at the glass-desk with laptop. An image from kaboompics.com.

5 Ways Outsourcing Your Payroll Can Improve Work-Life Balance

Written by Jan Van Mol, Head of Global Alliances at SD Worx.

Outsourcing Payroll

There are plenty of reasons why outsourcing payroll strategies can be hugely beneficial to your company. Typically, it is the financial arguments that are used, not the emotional ones. However, there are many ways in which outsourcing your payroll can improve the wellbeing of your employees and can restore their work-life balance.

It’s well known that happier employees are much more likely to commit themselves fully whilst at work, bringing increased employee retention rates. Yet, many employers don’t realise that changing your payroll strategy can have an incredibly positive effect on the happiness of your employees. Here’s five reasons why:

1. Reduced workload

If your team is overworked and understaffed, an outsourced payroll strategy is the perfect way to get things back on track. An outsourced payroll strategy takes away the need to recruit and train an additional team member, and can dramatically reduce the workload of your staff much more quickly than getting a new member of staff.

Reducing this workload will make your employees instantly happier as the amount of potential overtime required will fall. Working fewer extra hours will allow employees to improve their work-life balance and will free up time for them to do the things they really love outside of work.

2. Reassuring the workforce

Payroll duties are sometimes given to members of staff who already have packed schedules with their own duties and responsibilities, which can lead to an anxious workforce.

Some employees may also feel concerned about other staff members having full access to their salary details. Moreover, relying on an over-tasked employee to process payroll can create tension for employees who expect to be paid accurately and on time each month.

By outsourcing payroll, an impartial person has access to salary details, which will eliminate any personal tensions surrounding payroll. Knowing that an outside specialist has sole responsibility will also reassure employees that their payroll matters are being taken care of, leading to a more relaxed workforce, a better work-life balance, and a better company culture.

3. No delays

Internal payroll managers are subject to the same demands on their time as everyone else in your company. If a company is going through a busy period where everybody’s help is required to solve an urgent issue or meet an external deadline, those members of your team responsible for payroll are no exception to this.

By outsourcing your payroll to specialist company, you hand over a big responsibility that would require lots of time, money and pressure on payroll employees. The payroll process becomes the outsourcing company’s top priority, so the internal team can focus on other tasks. There are few things which disgruntle an employee more than delayed pay, so offer your employees guaranteed on time payment by using an outsourcing partner to handle your payroll.

4. Lifting the pressure

Managing payroll is a huge responsibility, since you are personally responsible for the livelihoods of everyone in the company, many of which will be close personal friends and colleagues. This can put a lot of moral burden on an employee.

Outsourcing your payroll removes the personal element, as the person making sure that everybody is paid each month won’t individually know the people whom they are paying. Taking this emotional burden away from one of the members of your staff will relieve them of a huge weight, meaning that they are less likely to have to put in long hours to get the payroll sorted in time and will be able to regain a much better work-life balance.

5. Lead by example

Making a positive action such as changing the way you run your payroll will have a trickle-down effect throughout the business. Firstly, it will show employees that their payroll is an essential part of the business, and will lead the way for other changes in different areas and departments.

Many workplaces suffer by not adapting their strategies as the business grows and develops. Outsourcing your payroll strategy is a great example to show your teams of how to be proactive about making changes for the better that will set the business up well for its next phase. You’ll be amazed at how influential such a decision can be, and how large an impact it can have on the mindset of your workers.


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Engaging Executives: HR’s Responsibility to the Higher Levels

Engaging Executives: HR’s Responsibility to the Higher Levels

Engaging Executives

When experts talk about employee engagement, most people imagine lower-level employees and middle managers. These workers have minimal authority over their daily tasks, they are the least job-secure, and they tend to receive the lowest pay and worst benefits packages, meaning they are most likely to be disengaged from their work. As a result, the web is filled with engagement solutions to keep lower-level employees around.

Yet, while HR professionals devote the bulk of their energy to engaging this portion of the workforce, executives are suffering. Though they have greater responsibility and greater remuneration for their efforts, executives can still disengage from their work, lowering their productivity, and endangering the entire business – including those workers at lower levels. However, the engagement solutions that work for lower-level employees rarely apply to higher-level business leaders. Therefore, HR professionals need an entirely different strategy for executive engagement.

Understanding Executives

HR typically doesn’t pay much attention to executives for a couple reasons:

  1. Executives already earn high salaries, and they generally have more control over their schedules and tasks. Therefore, the monetary rewards and engagement strategies HR is most familiar with don’t work.
  2. Most HR reps can’t relate to executives.

Most HR professionals have more in common with low-level employees than upper-echelon executives. Most HR reps earn respectable salaries and average benefits; they complete daily tasks that have little bearing on the greater goals and direction of the company; and only the CHRO and similar top-tier HR workers ever interact with executives. Thus, few members of HR comprehend the lifestyle and struggles of working in the higher levels of an organization.

The first step to engaging executives is understanding executives. It is important to consider that although executives might boast different responsibilities, they are still human. As such, they experience stress and concern for their jobs, their subordinates’ jobs, and their families’ well-being. Further, executives have interests and hobbies, they consume media, and they take pleasure in small joys like the rest of us. Remembering this, HR reps should find it easier to empathize with higher-level workers.

It might also be useful to know what executives discuss with one another – which is not nearly as disparate from the lower-levels as HR reps might expect. Alongside infrequent discussions about business direction and organization design, executives lament their full schedules and intrusive meetings, gossip and chat about mutual acquaintances and people within the organization, and generally talk about what work needs to be done. A savvy HR professional will note that their discussions are nearly identical to those of lower-level workers.

HR’s Responsibility to the Higher Levels

Engaging Executives

Aside from their wealth and authority, executives aren’t terribly different than anyone else within a business. Therefore, HR reps only need to determine what motivates individual executives to develop effective engagement tactics for the upper echelon. Some common higher-level motivators are:

  • Need. Executives have finely honed talents, and they want to know their talents are integral for business success.
  • Passion. Like everyone else, executives want to like what they do.
  • Chemistry. Workplace culture is important; even executives want to like the people they work with.
  • Challenge. Executives tend to be competitive. If a job isn’t challenging enough, most will disengage.

It isn’t difficult to develop engagement programs around executives knowing how simple and common their needs and wants truly are. To stimulate their need motivation, HR reps can institute a “thank your boss” day, where higher-level employees receive executive gifts. To improve chemistry around the office, HR can organize team-building exercises that are mandatory for the C-suite.

Another useful tactic for engaging executives is to connect them more closely with their subordinates. While some high-level managers are naturally proficient at seeking out and befriending low-level employees, most executives maintain a boundary between themselves and the grunts. HR should strive to coach executives in their behavior toward lower levels, revealing their blind spots when it comes to leadership methods and results. HR should lead by example, placing people first and exemplifying how executives should interact with other members of the organization.

If necessary, HR should encourage executives to enroll in leadership training courses; just because they’ve reached the higher levels doesn’t mean they can’t acquire new skills and knowledge. If an organization invests in its people, its people will invest in the business – even executives understand the value of that.

About the Author:

Tiffany Rowe

Tiffany Rowe is a leader in marketing authority, she assists Seek Visibility and our clients in contributing resourceful content throughout the web. Tiffany prides herself in her ability to create and provide high quality content that audiences find valuable. She also enjoys connecting with other bloggers and collaborating for exclusive content in various niches. With many years of experience, Tiffany has found herself more passionate than ever to continue developing content and relationship across multiple platforms and audiences.


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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

10 Things You Need to Know About Digital Transformation | Featured Image

10 Things You Need to Know About Digital Transformation

Digital Transfomration

Digital transformation isn’t just a phase or a buzzword. Business leaders are now fast waking up to the important role technology is set to play in their growth strategies, with the latest report from Gartner showing a rise in the number of CEOs ranking IT as a priority – “The IT-related area rose from 19% mentioning it as a priority for 2016/2017 to 31% in 2017/2018.”[i] The recent explosion of connected devices and platforms, for example, has made it imperative for companies to quickly adapt their products, services and processes, and move towards the digital world. This, naturally, requires transformation of some kind.

However, the reality is that digital transformation will require some tough choices to ensure your business isn’t dragged along or left behind. But we all know that change is not easy. You might be thinking how do you start transforming? Does it have to cost lots of money? Or perhaps you’re experiencing resistance to change. What’s the problem with doing things the ‘old’ way anyway? Here are ten considerations that that will help companies on their digital transformation journey.

Digital transformation will change your business, but focussing on the right level of change is key

New digital technologies should be seen as an enabler for better, more seamless and streamlined business operations that make your business competitive – driving growth. Focusing on where digital transformation can deliver the most benefits and add the most value in your quest for growth should be where you begin the change process.

Technology investment is crucial to growth but just because the technology is new, doesn’t mean it’s right for you

Sometimes less is more. The right use of technology can radically improve your business, but the deployment of technology for technology’s sake can be self-defeating. Being open to the transformative impact of new technologies is the most important consideration for companies around the world.

Consider where your company is on its digital transformation journey

Growing your technology platform doesn’t necessarily mean your business will grow too. Sometimes it’s better to have fewer solutions than more, but it can be challenging for business managers to keep on top of the latest tech trends and new solutions being launched in the market.

Many competing technologies profess to drive digital transformation, however, the utility of solutions depend on the stage your company is at in the transformation journey. From mobile sales and field services, to wireless sales counters and warehouses, to advanced inventory management – different solutions provide new ways to reduce costs, improve the customer experience, and improve the bottom line.

Not everyone in your company will feel comfortable with digital transformation

Society and technology are changing more quickly than most companies can adapt. From enterprise resource planning (ERP) to cloud computing, new tools, platforms, and channels are creating unprecedented opportunities to connect with customers and improve internal processes—but only for the businesses agile enough to transform and adapt to these new digital realities.

Even so, there’s no single roadmap for digital transformation and the path is different for every company and industry. However, there must be attempts to get employee buy-in from the start. This requires a commitment to digital technology from the boardroom to all levels of staff. You should have leaders with the right mind-set and motivation to lead the digital transformation process.

It’s no good having data if you don’t know what it means

Firms that undergo a true digital transformation programme put data and information at the heart of their technology focused business models. Many are shocked to see just how much information they had but were not utilising properly. The new data landscape provides you with unique opportunities to turn data into insights – the fuel for any digital transformation journey – with real-time updates providing opportunities for better business decision making.

In fact, Forrester Research has found that more than 70% of decision-makers report planned or current initiatives to encourage more data-driven decisions, making unlocking the value of integrated business data critical to success in today’s modern distribution marketplace.

Digital transformation won’t grow your profits overnight – embrace change as part of a wider growth strategy with measurable goals

Change is a constant in today’s dynamic marketplace, but it’s important to be realistic about what you can achieve in a short time. A recent survey we sponsored, highlighted how high-growth companies embrace change. Seventy-six per cent of high-growth companies prefer constant innovation to business stability, while only 49% of low-growth companies do so. In an age where innovation is driven by rising customer expectations, growing companies have distinct short-term goals that embrace innovation and business change as part of a wider transformation journey for growth.

Digital transformation should make your business more adaptable but it won’t make you immune to competition

It has never been more important for business leaders to carry the torch for digital transformation, but the most important factor is making sure digital potential is translated into competitive advantage. This requires top executives to champion the deployment of flexible, digital technologies that change the way they engage with their customers.

As Gartner rightly states, “technology shapes business strategy, but market, political and financial factors prevail.”[ii] Nevertheless, embracing the right technology brings people together, allows businesses to land and expand into new geographic locations with minimum resources, and makes the product development lifecycle more responsive to consumer demand than ever before. 

It takes more than just digital technology to encourage collaboration across departments and divisions

To begin digital transformation, you need to look at your business from the inside out – consider the tools and systems you use, what works well, what doesn’t and ways these can be improved. But when technology is heralded above all else, there becomes an even greater disconnect between employees and the challenges that their business is trying to solve.

There might be isolated investments that are doing very well, but they’re still isolated. New solutions must be an enabler aligned with a bigger mission – to evolve internal processes, structure and culture, or to match the evolution in customers’ behaviour. Consider how you communicate both internally and externally, the strengths and weaknesses of your staff and if their skills are fit for purpose. Do you need staff with more digital skills and will you need to recruit them throughout the process?

Your customers don’t think about your digital transformation, but they do expect it to happen

The digital trends that are impacting every part of business operations will not slow down, and it’s the same playing field for all of your competitors, and every start-up that’s gunning for a piece of your world. Your customers expect that you are embracing digital transformation because they are doing so, and they need you to join them on the journey. 

You can talk the talk, but make sure you walk the walk

To make digital transformation happen, high-growth companies don’t just pay lip service to ideas such as new technology and innovation – they back them up with investment. The growth survey we did, found that in the coming year, 88% of high-growth companies are planning significant investments in technology and innovation, while only 49% of slow-growth companies are doing so.

Digital transformation is different for every business. While some manufacturers will have more challenges than others, and while some will also embrace more technologies than others, being aware of the ten considerations above will be helpful to every business that is embarking – or has already embarked on – this journey.

[i] Gartner, 2017 CEO Survey: CIOs Must Scale Up Digital Business (March 2017)

[ii] Gartner, 2017 CEO Survey: CIOs Must Scale Up Digital Business (March 2017)

About the Author:

Sabby Gill, EVP, Epicor Software

Sabby Gill brings more than 20 years of international sales, operations and enterprise software industry experience to Epicor. In the role of executive vice president (EVP), International, Gill is responsible for operations including sales, professional services, and field marketing, with a focus on accelerating company growth throughout Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) and Asia Pacific (APAC).

Prior to Epicor, Gill was senior vice president of International Sales for IGT, a gaming technology company. He has also held executive management roles with leading technology companies including HP, CA Technologies, Oracle, PeopleSoft (acquired by Oracle), and DEC.


If you want to share this article the reference to Sabby Gill and The HR Tech Weekly® blog is obligatory.

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