10 Important Questions to Help Identify High Potential Leaders

We all want our Talent Management processes to identify High Potential Leaders as early as possible in their careers — here are 10 questions that can help….

Rise Performance Group

dv1990116By Dario Priolo

According to research from the Corporate Executive Board, 40% of internal job moves made by people identified by their companies as “high potentials” end in failure. Many organizations make the mistake of looking simply at ability when assessing an employee for a management job. Think of the hot-shot sales rep or the genius software engineer. It is incredible how often high producing individuals get promoted into management jobs that require a totally different mindset to be successful.

The reason these people fail often comes down to three critical factors: leadership behaviors, aspiration and engagement. Aspiration entails whether the candidate really wants the position and is willing to make the sacrifices it may require. Engagement involves the employee’s commitment to the company and its mission. In focusing on whether an employee potentially can do a job, many organizations neglect the question, “Does he want to…

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How Can HR Help Their Organizations Succeed in 2013?

HR INSIGHTSHR MANAGEMENT -TLNT

HR’s Big Challenge for 2013: How Do We Help Our Organizations Succeed?

by   on Jan 7, 2013, 7:00 AM  |  0 Comments
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What did you learn today?

Morning Joe,” which is a show that I watch on MSNBC, always asks the most profound questions at the end of every show. Each guest talks about their learning moment for the show.

During the hiatus from work last week, I heard the question asked and thought about it in the context of what I do as a consultant, blogger, and social media enthusiast.

Given that it was the end of one year and the beginning of a new one, I looked back and thought about 2012 and what I learned.

What did you learn?

HR has been headed into an unrelenting storm. Transforming HR has been the focus for the past few years. It makes you wonder: where are we headed and when will we get there? Then again, maybe you are already there. I do know that there is no one size that fits all. Best practices, while good to be aware of, are not the silver bullet.

HR is in an enviable position at this point. Our work is being discussed in the board room; our work is being discussed by the CEO (CEO Insomnia Index).

As David Ulrich said in his book, HR Transformation: Building Human Resources From the Outside In,“Simply stated, we propose that the biggest challenge for HR professionals today is to help their respective organizations succeed.”

That, to me, is our overriding mission and that is my learning point for 2012. How do we help our organization succeed? That is the big question in all of our lives — or it should be.

We have better buckle up because the runway is clear. There are no planes ahead of us. We are positioned to take off. We have to become students of our own profession.

The organizational environment has become far more complex than ever before, both the internal complexity as well as external forces of Hurricane Sandy magnitude. This complexity has been driven by huge technological changes, layoffs, industry disruptions, economic turmoil, and more. In every walk of our professional lives, change is at the forefront.

These changes have in turn been an equal opportunity affecter. Whether in your industry, your organization or individually, change has permeated our environment. The world in which we all operate has become extremely complicated.

Do you understand the position you are in?

What are the main issues facing your organization? That should be at the top of your 2013 to-do list. HR must know what it takes to get your organization back on track, or to stay on track for that matter.

How can HR make sure that alignment between the organization, its employees, and other stakeholder groups stays aligned? As Dave Ulrich said, “How can we help your organizations succeed?”

Today, organizations are more complex than they were 10 or 20 years ago. The factors that I see that are:

  • The economic environment (which includes the organization’s financial situation as well as the competitive and general economic environment).
  • The technological environment has disrupted our entire society. How do we play in the new environment?
  • The social/cultural environment.
  • The sustainability environment (what is your organizations strategy and how does that align with your people?).
  • The regulatory and legislative environment. New taxes, new health care laws will be felt for years to come.

This is the whirlwind that has engulfed your environment. The unrelenting pressure shows no sign of letting up. But then this is not be a pity party for HR because Marketing and IT and other departments are all both trying to navigate this within their organizations.

So as we analyze what we have learned and use those as anchor points to move forward, we must remember what I think are the four most important words in our lexicon: Read, discuss, analyze, and formulate.

Happy New Year and welcome to the new normal.

John Hollon is Vice President for Editorial of TLNT.com, and the former Editor of Workforce Management magazine and workforce.com. An award-winning journalist, he has written extensively about HR, talent management, and smart business and people practices. Contact him at john@tlnt.com, and follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/johnhollon

How to tell the difference between good and great HR analytics – part 1 « All about Human Capital by Morten Kamp Andersen

All about Human Capital by Morten Kamp Andersen

How to tell the difference between good and great HR analytics – part 1

14/12/2012 at 15:42 9 comments

Great HR Analytics

Question: What is the difference between good and bad analytics?

The answer is probably best illustrated like this;

This is bad analytics:
You have received the latest performance management data from all five divisions. You know from experience that the data is questionable – in two of the divisions many of the inputs are the default settings. You also hear that the managers have a somewhat relaxed attitude towards the accuracy of the data (to say the least). Your report show that absenteeism is flat at a reasonable level. You report this with satisfaction.

This is ok analytics:
You get the latest voluntary employee turnover data and see that the figures are trending upwards. The level is above the 6 month moving average. You dig deeper into the data and see that it is in particular in three division the employee turnover has been higher than expected. These division have three things in common; a new leader has been employed, workload has increased and they are client facing. You contact the relevant HR partner and suggest that they implement the usual retention initiatives.

This is great analytics:
You get the latest voluntary employee turnover data and see that the figures are trending upwards. The level is above the 6 month moving average and 2 %-point higher than sector-adjusted benchmark. You dig deeper into the data and see that it is in particular in three division the employee turnover has been higher than expected. These division have three things in common; a new leader has been employed, workload has increased and they are client facing. You then decide to interview relevant people in those divisions including leaders and employees as well as the HR partners. You read relevant academic research and case studies on effective measures against voluntary turnover in your particular sector and discuss this with experienced managers and HR partners within your company. You suggest three actions; coaching for the leaders, competency profiling to match job demands and team building. Your data suggest that these three initiatives will reduce the voluntary employee turnover from the current rate to 1 %-point below the benchmark at a ROI of 55%

 So what is the difference? Great analytics

How to tell the difference between good and great HR Analytics – part II « All about Human Capital by Morten Kamp Andersen

All about Human Capital by Morten Kamp Andersen

04/01/2013 at 14:17 Leave a comment

In my last post I argued that great workforce/HR analytics share four common traits; they are

  1. predictive
  2. made on reliable data
  3. combined with qualitative data (and perhaps some intuition)
  4. used an evidence based approach.

But there is one thing missing and probably the most important thing; It must be based upon a strategic approach. I know that”‘strategic” is such an overused word in HR now and frankly most of what is said about strategic is anything but. However there is no getting away from the fact, that you can do good analytics with the above four traits without actually adding much value.  Without doing analytics on the right things AND in the right way it really amounts to very little.

Or to put it in another way: Workforce analytics without a strategic approach will only with the help of luck turn out to be truly value added.

What does strategic approach mean in practice? The best way to illustrate this is to look at the difference between a bottom-up or top-down approach.

Strategic HR Workforce Analytics

Analytics can be bottom-up (operational) or top-down (strategic). The bottom-up approach is the approach many take. They combine their data into Big Data and look through interesting ways of diagnosing, measuring, illustrating, visualizing, trending and reporting the data. They find interesting links between employee turnover and profits (no kidding!), talent profiles and performance or particular training programs and customer satisfaction. That’s when they are good. Sometimes they just show which divisions are experiencing lower employee turnover!

The top-down approach on the other hand start with your HR strategy (which of course is aligned with the business strategy). You then look at which areas you want to focus your HR efforts. Then you find the desired knowledge you require to make the right decision. The you design the data required to provide you with this knowledge.

Good analytics made from a bottom-up approach can give good results; they can surprise you, show links you hadn’t seen before and even challenge your strategy. BUT that approach must not stand alone. The primary use of analytics should be top-down. That’s the strategic approach and that is likely to support you most.

Remember: Workforce Analytics is ‘just’ a tool to make better HR decisions. It is a great tool for that, but if you are an HR executive looking to make strategic HR decisions, your analytics has to be strategic too. Don’t look at the data you’ve got and make the best of them but instead look at what data you need to create the most value-added predictive analytics.

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Connecting an (HR) Disconnect

Can HR become aligned, or is it destined to struggle to “find itself” and thus the rest of the organization? A former colleague of mine puts forth her hypothesis!!

Connecting an (HR) Disconnect:  by Carol Anderson, Anderson Consultants

Posted on December 5, 2012

Back in the 1980s, I thought HR was disconnected. At that time, I was starting out in compensation, writing job descriptions (yippee). This was back in the days of point-factor evaluation plans where details of what the job did, what/who it was responsible for and how it influenced in the organization determined the salary grade and pay level.  Job descriptions were pretty standard, and a quick look at shrm.org says they haven’t changed much….identification data, general purpose, duties, tasks, functions, qualifications/KSAs, special requirements, ADA information.

I didn’t quite “get” the purpose of job descriptions back then (it may have been because I really didn’t like to write them). But it seemed that they were written, graded and stuffed in a drawer never to be looked at again until someone wanted the job upgraded.

After I became a hiring manager, the recruiter sat with me to create a “hiring profile”. As I described what I was looking for, it struck me that pretty much nothing I told her was reflected on the job description for the position. That seemed odd to me, but she explained that job descriptions record “jobs”, while her profile process reflected the actual “position.”

Okay, intellectually I get the difference. But I had this nagging feeling that there should be a connection somewhere. After all, aren’t we talking about the same people – those who are hired who then fill the jobs that were described?
Here we are many years later, and it feels as if there is still an opportunity to connect the various information needed for the “job”…the side of the equation that represents what the organization wants the employee to do and be. And with the knowledge work in most organizations today, we can’t afford to put people into a neat box by telling them exactly what to do.

To complicate it more, we add yet another set of criteria in the performance appraisal. Now, the employee was hired to one set of criteria, doing the job of another, and held accountable for a third. It’s enough to confuse even the most diligent employees. Learning and development may add yet another layer as they design learning objectives for training programs.

So how do we connect the disconnect? I think that there is an opportunity to collaboratively (meaning all areas of HR) come together to define the job side of the equation. Recruiting, compensation, performance management and learning should work from the same model – a model based upon a set of competencies that are shared.

I question the need for recording job duties at all. When jobs were scientifically graded based upon a point-factor process, that information formed the basis for the grade. Today though, compensation departments rarely have the staff to support effective point-factor analysis, and typically use a “General Purpose” statement to match the job to the market job. Additionally, comp staff usually work to make job descriptions more and more generic, so the duty statements become less and less relevant.

Investing time in creating effective core and functional competency models can be the linchpin that will allow all of the various HR areas to work from the same starting point. Getting all the parties in the same room to define what the job data will be used for, and then looking at commonalities can lead to a very integrated process that will make sense to the end user – the employee. After building a good competency model, based upon the organization’s business, operations and strategy, each HR discipline can use.

Let’s play that out using “Builds relationships” as a core competency.

  • Talent acquisition focuses on assessing the candidate’s experience in collaborative planning and execution and experience in working within a team environment.
  • Compensation needs to differentiate between two levels of the same job, so defines the higher level in terms of the criticality or complexity of building relationships.
  • The performance management process identifies “building relationships” as a critical success factor for those in the role,
  • And the learning and development team builds curriculum at an employee and leadership level on team, collaboration and communication.

The employee sees a consistent and holistic picture of how they are expected to behave and develop as a member of the organization. The leader coaches to help the employee build the skill, using practical examples of relationship building as it relates to the projects and processes in which the employee participates.

Can it work that way.  It absolutely can, but takes strong alignment on the part of the HR stakeholders to the ultimate vision – creating a unified road map for the end user – the employee.

5 Ways Assessments Help You Avoid Bad Hires: Human Capital Advantage Newsletter

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From the desk of…

Valerie Oldre

5 Ways assessments help you avoid bad hires

Bad hiring decisions cost money but the real loss may be in the time wasted managing poor-performing employees. A recent study by Robert Half International found that supervisors spend 17 percent of their time each week overseeing poor performers. The study also found that 60 percent of CFO’s believe bad hiring decisions somewhat affect team morale and one in three said it greatly affects team morale.

Poor hiring decisions clearly have high costs. Many managers like to blame chance for these decisions but Max Messmer, CEO of Robert Half International, said that the most common reason for bad hiring decisions is that managers “failed to give proper attention to the hiring process.” Assessments are a useful tool to ensure you are giving the hiring process the time, objectivity and analysis it needs. There are many different styles of assessments. When used in the right sequence, they can be extremely helpful in employee hiring. Here are five ways assessments can help you avoid bad hiring decisions:

1) Assessments help you determine if a person fits a particular job. Total-person or job-fit assessments like the ProfileXT® can help you determine how well a prospective employee fits a particular job in your company. Job-fit assessments are typically based on performance indicators, behavioral traits, interests and aptitudes. Managers often hire people because they are hard-workers. This can be useless if their aptitudes and interests do not match the requirements of a particular job. Use assessments to help you keep a narrow focus on the requirements of the job before considering more general personality traits.

2) Assessments help you remain objective while selecting employees. The importance of networking in today’s society has created an “it’s not what you know but who you know” mentality when it comes to hiring. Networking is very important but far too many people get jobs because they are a friend or a relative of an employee. When certain candidates are given priority in hiring due to their connections, hiring managers can be more lenient about making sure the candidate has the necessary skills and aptitudes to do the job. A desire to hire a friend or acquaintance is never an excuse to rush through the hiring process. Requiring the candidate to take an assessment benefits the company by avoiding a potential bad hire. It also benefits the candidate by saving him or her from ending up in a job where he or she would not succeed.

3) Assessments help align talent with business needs. Every company has different human capital needs. Some companies place more value on an innovative workforce and other companies may have a strong need for employees that are expert written communicators. Hiring managers must know what particular skills contribute most to the success of their companies. Business needs should be the foundation of the hiring process. Assessments can help managers eliminate candidates that do not have the critical skills the company needs to move forward. Managers can easily fall into the trap of admitting that a candidate does not have a core skill but hiring him or her anyway because of perceived potential. Potential is great, but the skills your company needs to be successful are more important.

4) Assessments can help you measure hard skills. We have talked a lot about necessary skills being the foundation of any hiring process. But how do you measure whether or not a prospective employee has those skills? Any candidate can put a skill on his or her resume but that does not indicate expertise. A skills assessment, like the Profiles Skills Test™, can measure specific skill sets. The results of skills assessments will be the meat of your hiring process. If a candidate does not have the necessary skills to do a job, there is no need to waste time and money measuring job-fit and personality traits.

5) Assessments help you learn how to better manage your employees. Once you are certain you have hired employees who have the necessary core skills, personality assessments like the Profiles Performance Indicator™ can help you develop them. These assessments help you understand how to motivate and manage employees with various personalities. Every employee has strengths and weaknesses. Assessments can help you identify the weaknesses in particular and address them so employees do not become bad hires due to lack of training.

When used correctly, a combination of assessments can be your best hiring tool. They move candidates along the hiring process based on skills and job-fit, the two most important factors to employee success. Bad hires happen all the time but they do not have to happen in your company. Implementing assessments into your hiring process is the first step to bringing in qualified employees who are able to effectively do their jobs.

WAYS TO BE HAPPY AND PRODUCTIVE AT WORK

  • November 25, 2012, 12:10 PM GMT

Ways to Be Happy and Productive at Work

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The Source has teamed up with the iOpener Institute for People and Performance to find out how happy and fulfilled readers of the Wall Street Journal are at work. The institute has designed a survey to help you establish how happy you are at work, and along with the article below, you can figure out how you can increase your happiness and be more productive. Complete the questionnaire now.

What in the world is happening in the workplace? Economic data over the last couple of years shows a confusing picture of productivity. The U.S. reported a modest increase due to downwards wage pressure, while the U.K., outperformed by France and Germany, has reported more employment but less output.

South African productivity has hit a 46-year low, while even China and India which have been fueling their economies with cheap labor are seeing costs rise as investors eye up cheaper countries or territories in which it’s easier to do business.

Productivity is a combination of many things: traditionally it includes investment, innovation, skills, enterprise and competition. But there’s one key ingredient missing here.

The happiness of employees.

Employees who are the most productive are also the happiest at work.

We know this because the institute has gathered data since 2005, tells us that when you are unhappy or insecure at work you withhold your best effort. You are simply less productive when you’re looking to balance the psychological contract between you and your employer. Which is the reason it matters for both bosses and employees.

So where are you? If you want to assess what’s affecting your performance,complete our questionnaire to get a personalized mini report.

And what do we know about employees who are happiest at work? Our research tells us that they are:

  • Twice as productive
  • Stay five times longer in their jobs
  • Six times more energized
  • Take 10 times less sick leave

And we’ve found other benefits.

Happier workers help their colleagues 33% more than their least happy colleagues; raise issues that affect performance 46% more; achieve their goals 31% more and are 36% more motivated.

If there’s a positive effect, they demonstrate it. Every organization needs happy employees because they are the ones who effectively tackle the tough stuff and turn ideas into actions.

So what should organizations, bosses and individuals do? Our research show that everyone needs to focus on the five drivers of individual productivity because they propel performance and ensure that employees are happy in their work too.

Driver 1: Effort

This is about what you do. You’ll never be productive without clear goals or precise and well-articulated objectives that lead to those goals and without addressing problems that arise on the way. That means the ability to raise issues and have others help you solve them too. That’s what leaders need to make happen and what employees need to push for.

Constructive feedback helps you contribute even more while personal appreciation goes a long way to boosting productivity. Interestingly, negative feedback which is poorly given doubles sick leave, according to our data, and increased sick leave of course affects productivity levels. So one practical thing organizations can do is teach their managers how to give great feedback.

Driver 2: Short-Term Motivation

This is about staying resilient and motivated enough to maintain productivity levels. Our data shows that resilience hasn’t taken a knock over the past few years, but motivation has. It dropped by 23% during 2010 and climbed back by 17% during 2011 but there has been no improvement in 2012.

Of course reduced motivation means it’s harder to maintain high performance and maximize output.

Good organizations encourage motivation by helping employees own issues and take responsibility. And they do that at a level that fits with an individual’s skills, strengths and expertise levels. Those employees are encouraged to work on what they are good at, to prioritize what they do and to build efficiencies into their work.

Driver 3: How Well You Fit Into a Firm

Performance and happiness at work are both boosted when employees feel they fit within their organizational culture. Believing that you’re in the wrong job, feeling disconnected from the values of your workplace or disliking your colleagues is dispiriting and de-energizing and all of that feels much worse if decisions in your workplace feel unfair.

Our investigation of fairness at work doesn’t tell a good story. It tumbled 19% in 2010, rose 9% during 2011 and has been flat-lining during 2012. According to the U.K.’s Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development, fairness is connected with discretionary effort: if decisions feel fair, work gets done. If they don’t, employees look for other ways of getting what’s missing, which is when equipment gets broken, work gets sabotaged and things go missing.

Good firms can address this by being as transparent as possible about why decisions are made, explaining why resources are allocated in the way they are and making sure that their approach is as equitable as possible.

Driver 4: Long-Term Engagement

This is about commitment and the long-term engagement you have with what you do and your organization. Having to work hard in a job you feel stuck in is energy draining at best and, as we’ve found, associated with higher illness at worst.

Our data reveals that one of the key items that creates commitment is a belief that you’re doing something worthwhile. And this is particularly important to Generation Y — those born in the early 1980s. If your digital natives, those familiar with digital media and technology, don’t feel they are doing something worthwhile, they’ll be eying the exit and intending to leave within two years; and our numbers clearly tell us that money won’t solve this problem.

In fact more than other generation, Generation Y need to believe in the strategic direction that their employer is pursuing. The more Generation Yers believe in the leadership’s corporate strategy, the less likely they are to leave.

This tells employers that they need to regularly and convincingly communicate the corporate strategy, along with tangible proof of how that strategy is being implemented and the contribution it is making not just to the bottom line.

Driver 5: Self-Belief

If you’re not confident you won’t make decisions, take risks, or spend cash. Confidence is the gateway to productivity and our data shows that a primary indicator of confidence is that things get done. We also found that things get done better, faster or cheaper because people are confident of the outcome.

Right now confidence has a significantly lower average than the other four drivers and that’s a problem because you can’t have confident organizations without confident individuals.

And productivity works in the exactly the same way.

When we collect data, we ask employees how much time they spend “on task” or engaged with their work. This ranges from 78% for those who are most on task, to 41% for the least.

Just to be clear, the people who are most on task also have the highest levels of all the five drivers as well as being the happiest employees at work. In real terms, that 78% is equivalent to about four days a week while 41% is just two days a week. This represents a huge productivity cost to any organization.

In effect an organization is losing about 100 days of work a year for every “unhappy” employee.

If leaders, organizations and industries want to manage productivity and move it in the right direction, it’s time to understand these five drivers, investigate the numbers and to recognize the serious outcomes that happiness at work can bring.

For the second year running, The Wall Street Journal (Europe) is running a global happiness at work index in conjunction with the iOpener Institute to see who’s happiest at work. If you want to take part, click here to get a self-assessment in Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, English, French, Hebrew, German, Korean, Malay, Portuguese, Russian or Spanish. The iOpener Institute will be reporting back on the results of readers clicking through in six weeks’ time.

The iOpener Institute for People and Performance is an international consultancy which conducts research to find practical solutions to workforce issues.

 

 

THE NEW HR COMPETENCIES

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2012

The New HR Competencies  by Cathy Missildine-Martin, SPHR

This past summer at the SHRM National Conference, hosted in my fair city of Atlanta, GA, the new HR Competencies were announced.

I personally had been waiting on these for awhile as I remember participating in the research for the project.

Here are the 9 competencies as determined by SHRM:

1) Technical HR Knowledge (like comp, talent management, recruiting, etc.)
2) Ethical Practice
3) Impactful Communication
4) Consultation
5) Critical Evaluation
6) Global and Cultural Effectiveness
7) Relationship Management
8) Organizational Leadership and Navigation
9) Business Acumen

I was very happy to see that “Critical Evaluation” made the list because I have felt that a competency that included measurement and analytics had been sorely lacking in other models.

I LOVE Organizational Leadership and Navigation as I believe that is what HR people are supposed to be doing.  Here is the formal definition:

The ability to lead or maneuver initiatives and processes within the organization with great agility.

I think the “with great agility” is the part we as HR professionals need to concentrate on.  The ability of HR professionals to ebb and flow with the business is key.

The rest of the list I had pretty much seen before..so no big surprises there.

What do you think about the new list?  Any competency missing?