Monday, November 28, 2011

Execution TRUMPS Strategy: 5 Ways to Engage Your Employees




The one thing that has stood out in my mind this year is strategic execution. We have had several clients this past year struggle in the area of strategic execution. Why do most strategies fail? EXECUTION!

The story goes something like this:

Client: "Our strategy isn't working"
ICC: "Really, why do you say that?"
Client: "We are not reaching our goals and no one knows what our mission statement is"
ICC: "How did you communicate the new strategy to your employees?"
Client: "We emailed them our strategic plan via email. It was 27 pages long"
ICC: "I am shocked, it isn't working"

If I don't know anything else, I do know this: Strategic Execution takes Engaged Employees

Employees want to engage for these reasons:
1) They want to be a part of something bigger than themselves
2) They want to feel a sense of belonging
3) They want to go on a meaningful journey and want to know that their contributions make a significant impact.

Those three reasons really speak to being engaged to an organizational strategy...if the strategy is communicated properly. Strategy is definitely big and is a journey.

Don't get me wrong the "what" part of the strategy is not a consensus process. Strategic development does need to come from the top down. It's the "how" part (strategic execution) that needs employee engagement.

Here are some ways to engage employees around strategy:

1) Create a shared meaning, tell a compelling story. Discuss why the strategy is changing and what the before and after will look like and WHY it's important to the success of the organization. Leaders must engage their managers and managers must engage their front line workers.

2) Cultivate aligned behaviors. Make sure the culture is CREATED based on behaviors that drive desired performance.

3) No more silos. Strategy is hard to execute in a vacuum. Make sure all functions, departments are on board and working together.

4) Align goals and objectives making sure all understand how they contribute to the overall organizational goals.

5) Give status reports with mentions, shout outs, atta-boys and girls to keep the momentum going. Recognition is king to keep employees motivated and moving in the right direction.

What are your strategic execution war stories, what has worked? What have you learned?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Moving from HR Data to Organizational Insight

Over the last few months, I have been presenting and discussing the topic of HR analytics.
I feel that as a profession, HR is stuck. I think we have "got" the measurement part down pat. We can measure turnover, we can measure cost per hire, and time to fill.

But it's not really about these activity based measures anymore. It's about what you actually DO with the data.



You have to use the data in context with other data in order to really get to impact. For example, using customer satisfaction data and performance data to understand who is delivering the best experience to your customers and further determining how to sustain that experience over time...that's impact.

I have been giving some thought to why we are stuck at the Phase 2 on the above analytics roadmap. Why can't we make it faster to phase 5, where HR provides the business with BUSINESS INSIGHT that has significant IMPACT to the business.

Here are some of my initial thoughts:

1) It's the data excuse-Stop the madness. HR has more data than most departments. The issue is the condition of the data in most cases. Also, we have data in so many systems it is difficult to bring it all together. NOT IMPOSSIBLE just difficult.

2) It's the talent excuse-I don't have analytical people on my team. See last week's post on how to accomplish this one from two very smart HR professionals from Wells Fargo.

3) It's the "I don't have time excuse"-Find time before someone else takes over your data and does it for you. Enough said...

4) It's the "I can't get the data I need from other departments" excuse-Make a clear business case or state a compelling question that you need to solve that has impact on the business. State this at a high level meeting to get buy in and interest.

5) It's the "it's not important" excuse. keep thinking this while HR tasks are being outsourced and HR is suddenly being staffed with non-HR professionals who get analytics. Nay, it's not important.

I believe HR has the chops and smarts to get this done. Start small with one business problem that needs to be solved like:

1) How can I get my production workers to be more productive and get orders fulfilled on time when absenteeism is at an all time high and morale is at an all time low?

2) How do I increase our market share in a new market, where our competition has a strong hold and we have had problems recruiting talent that we need to make this happen?

3) How do I increase customer satisfaction in our call center, it has been dropping for two quarters straight?

Each one of these issues can be looked at with metrics and then analytics. It just takes asking the right questions, getting the right data and telling a great impactful story!

Why are you stuck? or...How have you moved past being stuck?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Human Capital Metrics Conference: It's about Value

The Human Capital Metrics Conference was awesome this year. Check out my recap of Day 1, here.

Day 2, did not disappoint either. Michael Echols with Bellevue University began his keynote with a very profound point for me and for all HR professionals.

See my tweet below:


"The opportunity is to create FUTURE value from current human capital investments."

Boy, do I believe that. That one statement gives HR measurement a whole new perspective. It's not so much about what has already happened, it's more about WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN. Don't our CEO's want to invest in whatever will give him/her the most return? We are in "predictive" land now.....say goodbye to HR tracking metrics...it's over. (Thank goodness).

The second highlight for me on day 2, came from two very smart women from Wells Fargo. Natalie Tarnopolsky and Kathy Doan delivered a great presentation on "Building a TRUE HR Analytics Team." It was not only a good presentation but entertaining as well. Yes, they made analytics entertaining.


Natalie and Kathy outlined their 9 step process used at Wells Fargo:

1) Assess your analytical capabilities. Where are you today (reporting) and where would you like to be (optimization)?
2) Assess your foundation. Conduct a gap analysis of your foundational building blocks. (foundational data, vision, key questions, truths i.e. cost and value per FTE)
3) Strengthen partnerships. Identify stakeholders, build relationships, determine goals and share, build credibility and communicate loudly!
4) Have a clear plan and ensure sponsorship. Review HR organizational structure, accountability, and create business case.
5) Select the right technology. Decisions on build or buy with right people involved in process.
6) Support self sufficiency. You must control demand or increase manager self sufficiency in the reporting area.
7) Secure the right analytics team based on the following key skills: business acumen, people influence, communication effectiveness, data manipulation, financial acumen, analytic rigor, and critical thinking.
8) Outline the analytical process. Clearly plan and communicate what the key question is, the assumptions and approach that will be used to answer the questions and the potential value that can be derived.
9) Conduct analysis and share the results. Spend time in prepping the data and previewing the findings.

I like their process as I believe it will work for large and small companies alike. It was one of the most popular topics on the twitter feed for #tcbhcm.

I look forward to next year, as I see HR professionals and the C-Suite embracing HR Analytics more and more every day. It's very exciting to see this topic finally get its fair share of attention.

I believe analytics are no longer a nice to have.....they are a must have for competitive advantage, no matter your industry.

What are your thoughts? Are HR Analytics a fad or here to stay?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Human Capital Metrics Conference: Recap Day 1




I was honored to be asked to serve as the official blogger for The Conference Boards's Human Capital Metrics Conference, today and tomorrow in NYC. HR Metrics are definitely a passion of mine...so I am thrilled to be here especially hanging out with Dr Jac Fitz Enz.

To see more specific insights go to twitter and search on: #tcbhcm....interesting observations, check them out!

Last year, I was also serving in the same capacity. Below are observations I have noticed as differences in 2011 vs. 2010:

1) There are definitely more people here. Small talk contributes this increase to a slightly better economic situation and an increased interest and focus on HR metrics and analytics.

2) The conversations are not about tracking measures, or even dashboards and scorecards...it's about making BETTER BUSINESS decisions. I love this as it puts context around HR and their role in the organization. Michael Gregoire, CEO Taleo said it best:

"Business Strategy and HR Strategy should be ONE!"

3) Last year, I didn't even hear the word social media and its impact on talent management. Today, I have seen how smart companies like Juniper are leveraging technology to manage talent, leading to engagement, leading to desired business outcomes. AWESOME!

4) Lots of talk around HR metric standards. The over arching opinion is that they are coming...from industry experts. My question around this topic is, why hasn't SHRM taken a lead on metric standards? I know they have finally developed a standard around cost per hire. YEAH, but guess what? We have moved on from that metric...#toolittletoolate

The audience was polled and 54% were involved in HR Metrics but only about 1/2 as many involved in predictive analytics. I mention this because HR must get to "predictive" in order to assist CEO's in making better decisions. Mike Echols of Bellevue University said it best....

"HR needs to be better competitors for organizational investment capital"

If that is to be the case, as the money is certainly there on US balance sheets for the taking, then HR needs to make a business case. That business needs data most of the time and what the predicted outcomes will be so that CEO's can make informed decisions on resources.

I think this need for talent management investment must be HR's driver to get on the analytics train.

I always like to know what is next...what's the next topic after we leave tomorrow. Dr. Jac said he is thinking about, "How to build and analytic culture." OMG....2 of my fave topics all in one. Please can I come back?

Ok, so here are some other thoughts regarding today's sessions:

1) I think there is a need to use other Talent Management examples besides training. I believe you can look at examples for rewards/recognition, engagement, performance management, etc and show how companies have linked those to bottom line results as well.

2) I think one big example of aligning strategy to HR strategy and then analyzing MULTIPLE HR investments against desired outcomes would be great. Even better, how to choose between competing HR initiatives. If you have identified through strategic mapping that you may need a training program or a rewards/recognition change, how do you use data to pick the one that has the "most bang for the buck" (discussed by attendees at my lunch table as a suggestion)

3) Dr Jac had a great slide demonstrating linkage between employee investments, operational outcomes, customer outcomes and finally financial results. This really drives home the need for HR strategy and business strategy being one. This idea supports it's not about alignment really but about integrating HR's strategy into the business strategy.

4) Talent management data is not business intelligence by itself. It's just another siloed data set that needs context. It needs to be analyzed with its other data friends...customer, operational and financial data.

Bottom line...a company's competitive advantage is not about services/widgets...it’s the people. Don't you need to know how that investment is performing for you? Don't you need to know how to increase that asset's performance?

The only way to answer those questions is through analytics.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

HR Metrics: Q&A The Conference Board


Tomorrow, I will be attending the HR Metrics Conference hosted by The Conference Board in NYC.

Dr. Jac Fitz Enz, the "Father of HR Metrics" will be in the house.

I can't wait...I met him last year and yes, I am a groupie. For those that know me, HR Metrics are a passion of mine. Call me, geeky, I don't care.

I thought this opportunity would be a great time for my readers to get their pressing HR Metrics questions answered.

So let's have them....what do you want to know about HR Metrics....

Follow #TCBHCM on Twitter for real time insights from the conference.