Author Archive

Creating a culture of flexibility: The role of HR

July 31st, 2015 No comments

Enabling a flexible workforce can result in real business benefits – from hiring and retention of team members to reducing environmental impact and facilities costs. But to do it right requires more than just a flexible work program, it requires a culture of flexibility that is integral to the business. And that means many different functions within the enterprise, working in concert.

In other blogs on this topic, we explore the roles of IT and Facilities in fostering that culture. Here, we’ll look at the responsibilities of human resources (HR).

Our culture of flexibility is supported by two main initiatives: First ourConnected Workplace program enables eligible team members to work remotely, at variable hours or in other flexible capacities that fulfill the needs of both their jobs and their lifestyles. Second is Conexus, our Employee Resource Group that enables mobile and remote team members to network more effectively and share best working practices.

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HR Meets Technology: The Ten Facets Of Culture

July 29th, 2015 No comments

HR is experiencing a watershed moment. It’s not like the massive shift from virtual punchcards and e-forms to Cloud-based applications and analytics. It’s not the sudden appearance of millennials texting in the staff cafeteria, or the first Internet conference call. It’s the shift to a new paradigm: HR and Technology is essential to the success of an organization. This is culture.

Simply put, HR has become an integral, critical component in the functioning of business, from strategy to operations, customer experience to culture. It’s no longer a tangent, or a bunch of middle managers working in a bubble of regulations and number-crunching somewhere on the seventh floor. Not that we ever saw ourselves that way.

At least that’s the model. It’s not always the reality. But I’m being asked what’s next a lot these days, because, for a range of reasons, there is a tangible, different, nexthappening in this field. When the pundits and thought leaders are all being posed “what do you see as the future of” questions, I know from experience that the future is probably already happening. It’s a different culture and ecosystem, and we’re already living in it.

Here are my 10 facets of HR meets technology and why culture remains a top priority:

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How HR Can Communicate Important-But-Boring Stuff to New Hires

July 20th, 2015 No comments

In today’s fast-paced business environment it’s critical to get new employees up to speed and productive as quickly as possible. Especially for large or growing companies where multiple new employees join every week, there is significant ROI for anything that shortens the onboarding process.

Then why do most companies’ new hire orientation programs fail to achieve this goal? Because often this necessary information is presented in a lengthy text-heavy, slide deck that is as boring as your car’s user manual. Slide 1: Vision, Mission, Values.

HR is saddled with the responsibility of communicating dense, boring information: performance review guidelines, compensation levels, employee handbook, etc. They write newsletters, design intranets, produce videos and create loads of presentations. While tedious, much of this information is critical to the employee at some point. And yet, when employees set out to find a particular piece of information they have to slog through a morass of slides to find what they need.

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HR must think smarter about smartphones

July 16th, 2015 No comments

Americans have smartphones, so does the rest of the world. Millennials think their phone is more important to their daily life than their deodorant, toothbrush and coffee. And there’s support for these apps across the vendor community. So where is HR? Where is HR in thinking about the introduction of mobile applications into the HR department and with their workforce?

This was the question posed by Katherine Jones, VP HCM technology research at Bersin by Deloitte, in a recent webinar: Hungry yet? The Appetite for Smartphones in HR.

The answer to the smartphone question is that HR is doing very little with the technology, and worse still, has few plans to do anything much in the near future. Out of 128 HR executives surveyed by Bersin earlier this year, only 19% of respondents already used smartphones for HR and 23% planned to do so over the next 12 months. That left the biggest chunk of respondents, 58%, who said they had no plans to use this technology in the future.

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To Do Good in the World, Get a Better HR Department

July 13th, 2015 No comments

Human resources is often thought of as an endless source of bureaucratic hassles, but finding the right people is the beginning of getting any company on a path of positive impact.

HR-bashing has been one of the professional world’s most popular pastimes since well before the viral 2005 Fast Company article, “Why We Hate HR,” which summed it all up: The department is seen by many as “a dark bureaucratic force that blindly enforces nonsensical rules, resists creativity, and impedes constructive change.”

But for companies that are trying to change—whether to become better corporate citizens or simply more successful—a smart and flexible HR department is crucial. No matter how lofty the goals of a visionary founder or chief executive, it’s difficult for those goals to be achieved without the right people and the right support in place. As Patty McCord, a former chief talent officer at Netflix, told me:

You wouldn’t think of going to another country or doing a new initiative or changing the direction of the company without having a CFO in the room to be able to model what it is going to cost. You also shouldn’t be able to think about any of those things without having the person in the room that says, “Do we have the right people to pull that off?”

“Pulling that off” starts with what McCord calls “the muscle of every company”: recruiting. The wave of Baby Boomer retirements is already causing angst across industries: The Society for Human Resource Management reports that by next year one-third of the U.S. labor force will be over 50 years old, up from 27 percent in 2007. Michelin North America, the tire manufacturing company, toldNPR that more than 40 percent of its workforce is approaching retirement age.

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