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Hosted by Greg Morton, CEO, NCHRA
"Industrial Relations," "Personnel," "Human Resources," "Human Capital" -- it seems as if the terms are always changing! This blog spotlights those individuals who are shaping the science around people and their purpose, in an unparalleled intersection of technology and humanity.

 

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Conversation with Michael Papay, CEO and Co-founder of Waggl

Posted By Greg J. Morton, Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A proven HR technology pioneer with over 15 years of domain experience, Michael Papay is CEO and Co-founder of Waggl, a San Francisco Bay Area company that provides a simple, cloud-based solution to help organizations listen to people, distill insights and make improvements. He is a frequent author and contributor to advancing the thought leadership around organizational learning and employee engagement. Papay believes that mutual respect and active listening leads to more meaningful relationships and productive organizations. 

Companies now want an engaged workforce and employees want to know that their opinions count. dynamic pulsing platform to enable focused communication, Waggl offers a solution that fits this ever-present need. I wanted to know what Michael thought about the role of HR and how it continues to change in conjunction with today's new technologies and trends.

Q:  What are some of the most pressing challenges faced by HR professionals today?

A:  The workplace has become extraordinarily complex, and is only becoming more so every day.  Most organizations aren’t properly organized to cope with digital transformation. Deloitte's 2016 Global Human Capital Trends Report surveyed 7,000 HR and Business Leaders from 130 countries and found that 92% of HR and business leaders believe that redesigning their organization is a top priority in the coming year. All of this complexity puts HR professionals in the difficult position of having to serve as the compass for the human beings that work in these organizations as they navigate tremendous change.  This requires the ability to have a real-time, two-way dialogue in which everyone has the opportunity to be heard, so that business leaders can access the intelligence of the entire organization.  It also requires the ability to communicate new ideas quickly and effectively, so that the organization can achieve alignment on key initiatives as they are introduced.

 

Q:  How can Waggl's pulse surveys change the way HR professionals approach these challenges?

A:  HR technology often aims to help with efficiency and improve processes.  But beyond that, pulse surveys can provide a way for HR and business leaders to really tune into the wisdom in the system. The people who are on the front lines dealing with customers every day hold a great deal of valuable knowledge, but in many cases, they don’t have a direct line of communication with executive management.  The traditional means of listening and drawing insights from a large group of employees has been the annual survey, which takes months to administer and is already out of date by the time it is received.  Similarly, most people want real-time feedback in order to improve their performance on a continual basis, rather than sitting down with a manager only once a year.  Pulse surveys are a great way for organizations to communicate more frequently and authentically with their workers, and also enable HR and business leaders to quickly surface ideas and achieve alignment.

Q:  In such a complicated business environment, does it really make more sense to add more technology and tools into the mix?

A:  As we head deeper into the new era of digital disruption, HR and business leaders will need to take a more active role in encouraging technical innovation in order for the entire organization to be successful.  According to a recent report from Cisco, IMD, and the Global Center for Digital Business Transformationby neglecting digital workforce transformation, companies are failing to build the capabilities that they will need to succeed in an era of digital disruption.  The report describes the steps that an organization can take to digitize its people-related processes in order to build a workforce that is highly agile, innovative, and engaged – factors that will enable the organization to create value for its customers, partners, and for its own employees.

 

At Waggl, we believe that works needs to be more human, and that listening to people is valuable.  Our utilization of technology strives to help strengthen connections, distill insights, and create a 2-way dialogue that allows people to contribute, and feel more engaged and motivated. Our aim is to make it easier for HR leaders to better manage the cultures  of their organizations, and to connect and engage with their people through a common sense of purpose. We build trust within the workplace by giving employees a voice and a set at the table.  The ultimate goal is to provide a better way for everyone to make a difference.

 ... a sponsor of HR West Seattle, July 15, 2016
Learn more about Waggl 
Follow Michael Papay on Twitter: @Papay3
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@waggl_it
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Tags:  CEO  Ceo Corner  Greg Morton  HR  HR Tech  HR West 2016  HR West Seattle  Innovation  NCHRA  Waggl 

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Judge Denies SHRM's Motion to Prohibit NCHRA Events

Posted By Laurie A. Pehar Borsh, Tuesday, June 28, 2016

I am very pleased to provide the following update regarding SHRM’s May 31, 2016 communication regarding their legal action against the NCHRA. SHRM had filed a motion for a preliminary injunction in the Eastern District of Virginia seeking to prohibit the NCHRA from holding its Seattle, Las Vegas and Phoenix HR West events. SHRM claimed that NCHRA’s Charter as an affiliate of SHRM restricted its activities to an undefined geographic area in Northern California.

This past Friday, June 24, 2016, the federal court in Virginia denied SHRM’s motion. In denying the motion, the court reviewed all of the evidence and arguments presented by SHRM and found that it did not clearly show that it was likely to prevail on the merits or that SHRM would suffer irreparable harm if the conferences were to go forward as planned. This did not come as a surprise to us as we were confident we had the right to bring our conference to a new audience without restriction and will continue as planned.

Although the court denied SHRM’s motion, the underlying lawsuit filed by SHRM will continue. SHRM’s choice to sue us (NCHRA) has been disappointing, but just as we did in the matter of the preliminary injunction, we are confident we will prevail with regard to the lawsuit. In light of the court’s ruling on Friday, it is our hope that SHRM will spend more time on elevating the Human Resources profession and less on making difficult the continued success of one of its oldest affiliates.

Sincerely,


Greg Morton
Chief Executive Officer
Northern California HR Association
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Tags:  Greg Morton  HR West  NCHRA  SHRM Letter  SHRM v NCHRA lawsuite 

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NCHRA Response to Recent SHRM Communication

Posted By Greg J. Morton, Tuesday, June 7, 2016



I have written this post in light of a letter you may have received from Henry Jackson, President and CEO of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) about a legal action SHRM has filed related to the Northern California Human Resources Association’s (NCHRA) upcoming HR West events outside of California. We at NCHRA are disappointed that SHRM has taken this action and we stand behind our decision and believe we are within our legal rights. And for this reason I want to explain NCHRA’s strategy behind the expansion of HR West and the supporting events and address any questions you may have.  

 

NCHRA is proud to have been advancing organizations through human resources since 1960. We are among the largest HR associations in the country, serving a community of more than 20,000 HR professionals in one of the world’s most innovative areas. While historically we have been focused on Northern California, we recognize that organizations, and the industry as a whole, are continuously evolving, particularly with the growth and wide reach of the internet. Therefore, to meet the needs of the industry and our members, we need to evolve on a parallel path. We also recognize that the innovation we experience in Northern California is expanding beyond our borders to other areas in the Western U.S. – the entire region is now considered by many to be the most innovative place on earth.  

 

As New York Times reporter Thomas Friedman wrote more than a decade ago, the world is flat, meaning that companies and organizations increasingly operate in a borderless world. HR is no exception. With that in mind, we are leveraging the opportunity to share the expertise and knowledge we have gained operating in Northern California with a wider audience across the West – including in Seattle, Phoenix and Las Vegas. Our newest HR West events aim to complement and support the education and opportunities currently available to HR professionals across the West and to share with them the exciting innovation that we experience here in Northern California. HR professionals who attend HR West events will have the opportunity to learn from those who are leading innovation in the HR industry and participate in sessions designed to prepare them for today and tomorrow’s challenges. An additional benefit to those certified professionals who attend our conferences is the opportunity to receive recertification credits.  

 

NCHRA would like to emphasize that HR West and the events in Seattle, Phoenix and Las Vegas are not meant to replace the offerings of any organization, but have instead been developed to provide additional education and guidance. 

 

Our mission has always been focused on improving the skills and knowledge of the professionals we serve. Practicing agility within today’s competitive landscape allows us to continue to effectively support the development of HR innovation in Northern California and beyond.  

 

We thank you in advance for your continued support and recognize the value of the strong community we have built together. We are here to serve and look forward to seeing you at one of our events in the near future. 


Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns.  

 

Regards,

 

Greg Morton
CEO 

Tags:  Henry Jackson  HR West 2016  NCHRA  SHRM Letter 

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Meet Workday's Chief People Officer, Ashley Goldsmith

Posted By Greg J. Morton, Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Updated: Monday, May 9, 2016

Ashley Goldsmith is an HR leader and advocate for the way technology can transform an organization. As the Chief People Officer at Workday, a leader in enterprise cloud applications for finance and human resources, Ashley helps lead the company’s commitment to creating opportunity for all employees and maintaining a strong workplace culture – one that has gained both local and national recognition.

From its start, Workday has fostered an employee-first culture. The company firmly believes that if employees enjoy the work they are doing, the people they work with, and feel supported by management, then they will do great things for their customers to drive the business forward. Now more than 11 years old, Workday has over 5,200 employees, boasts a 98% customer satisfaction rating, and counts some of the world’s most recognizable and innovative brands as customers, including Nissan, Netflix, and Bank of America.

I sat down with Ashley to talk about how personalization is taking shape in the workforce, how Workday is enabling people to work the way they want and the impact on company culture.

I’ve heard you talk about the personalization of enterprise software. What exactly does that mean and how does it apply to the world of HR?

For many years now, cloud-based consumer applications have provided users with a very personalized experience. At heart, personalization is about removing the friction between intention (wanting to do something) and results (getting it done). No more spending time looking for a good movie to watch or turning on the local news in the morning hoping for information about driving and weather conditions for your commute—consumer applications know your preferences and anticipate when you need to receive certain information to make your life simpler and more enjoyable.

Unfortunately, this personalized experience hasn’t always been possible in the business world. Rather than removing friction, outdated technologies seemed to make relatively simple questions—headcount in a certain department, for example—such a laborious process that by the time you received the information, it was out of date and not very useful.

But that is now all starting to change as we are beginning to see the widespread adoption of cloud-based enterprise applications. An intuitive look and feel means that you don’t spend time wondering how to accomplish a certain task—you just do it. These applications don’t just reduce the friction between intention and results, but they provide mobile and analytics capabilities that give us access to data and information in real time to make faster, smarter business decisions.

From an HR perspective, these technologies can streamline how organizations recruit or manage a global workforce. And they can also provide people with a clearer career growth path within their own organization. Altogether, these technologies empower people in ways that weren’t possible just a couple years ago and enable them to work how they want to work.

Why is it so important to create an environment that enables employees to work how they want to work?

At Workday, employees are our number one core value. We strongly believe that this approach helps people feel more empowered in their role, gives them a greater sense of purpose in the work that they are doing, and creates higher levels of engagement with the business.

Enabling people to work how they want to work means that you are helping to remove barriers. You’re providing them with the tools they need to do their jobs more efficiently and effectively.

But there’s also an added bonus to this approach. As an employer, it helps you stand out from the crowd so that you can better recruit and retain top talent. People want to work in an environment that empowers them. They want to work in an environment that is people-focused and provides a personalized approach to their careers.

Can you provide some examples of how this approach can play out across different areas of HR?

One big way is through the democratization of data. As I touched on earlier, modern technologies and applications are making critical data and information available to the people on the front lines of the business, which is a far cry from how it used to be.

At Workday, this means that managers don’t have to spend hours meeting with their HR business partners to figure out headcount numbers or get updates on job openings. They already have that information at their fingertips. Instead, the conversations with HR can focus on more strategic topics like how to more effectively engage your workforce to drive the company’s growth.

Another area where this can be applied is in how organizations can help employees grow their careers from within. To do this means you have to be transparent and provide employees with tools that allow them to view other opportunities, learn more about those opportunities, and easily pursue them.

At Workday, this is particularly important given our continued growth, so we are rolling out a tool that will give employees a personalized view of positions inside the company that might be relevant to their interests. We are able to predict what jobs an employee will be most interested in by mapping the actual movement and success of other employees who held similar positions. It will not only help people see what moves others have made, but it will allow them to reach out and speak to those individuals who are a few moves ahead. This employee centric- view promotes retention and helps employees envision a future with their company.

Do you see a direct correlation between creating a more personalized environment for employees and sustaining a positive corporate culture?

Absolutely – I think the two are intrinsically linked together. To bring us full circle to the earlier discussion of personalization in the consumer world: Which products and services have the greatest growth and customer loyalty? The ones that are difficult to use, or the ones that remove as much friction as possible between intention and results?

A personalized environment is a direct reflection of a culture that is open and transparent. Creating opportunities rather than unnecessary friction for employees helps them stay engaged, motivated, and gives them a clearer sense of the contributions they are making to the overall success of the company. All of this together helps to create a culture that people want to be part of and inspires them to do great work for the business. 

Workday Chief People Officer Ashley Goldsmith on the CEO Corner with NCHRA CEO Greg Morton




Read more about Workday
Follow Workday on Twitter: @Workday
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Tags:  CEO  Ceo Corner  CHRO  Greg Morton  HR  HR Blog  HR Leadership  Human Resources  NCHRA 

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Conversation with David Swanson, EVP Human Resources, SAP Americas

Posted By Greg Morton, Tuesday, April 26, 2016

I recently met up with David SwansonSPHR SHRM-SCP, EVP Human Resources, SAP Americas. With over 25 years of human resources management experience, David Swanson is currently the executive vice president of human resources for SAP. He is a panelist and keynote speaker on the Future of HR focusing on how HR can make an impact in the business through analytics and big data, not just activity reporting. David is also an adjunct lecturer with the University of California, Santa Cruz Extension, and works with the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) and the Northern California Human Resources Association (NCHRA) as both a presenter and facilitator. Some of you might have attended David's HR West 2016 session, "Key Differentiators of High-Growth Companies." So in keeping with our HR West theme, "HR in the most innovative place on earth," David has offered and continues to offer (as you will read below) some exciting insight into how HR leaders can implement data-driven initiatives in order play an even more important role in the overall success of their organizations.


How is the role of the CHRO changing in today’s business environment?

In my role, I have the opportunity to talk to a number of CHROs across many markets both public and private, large and small. One of the common themes I hear is that, for many heads of HR, the expectation of the executive team is for HR to be able to measure the impact of the HR programs -- not just the activity. Meaning, HR must now get more comfortable with using analytics in order to show how a leadership program or a new hiring training will improve productivity, retention and customer satisfaction. The days of just reporting on number of people hired or how many managers were trained are behind us. HR must now be able, like our marketing and finance colleagues, to predict outcomes!

For example, at my company SAP SuccessFactors, we are measuring the hiring effectiveness of our people managers. We want to know who consistently hires people who get productive faster and promoted sooner, are identified as top talent, where we can measure (such as a call center), have higher net promoter scores from our customers. Then we want to know what they do differently from average hiring managers and try to incorporate those skills into all of our hiring managers. The expectation is that we will see an increase in retention as employees who are engaged and successful are less likely to leave their organizations, as well as provide an increase in customer satisfaction. The data we are using is not perfect, but it can tell a story.

If we don’t get comfortable with this approach to HR programs and strategies a troubling trend could increase! That trend is that more and more CHROs coming from outside of HR, to include finance, operations, or sales-- because they understand how what they do impacts the organization’s bottom line!

We continue to read more and more articles on big data and analytics. Why is this so important for HR to understand?

The new currency in business today is data. Those who figure out how to use their data for a competitive advantage will survive, but those that don’t will get acquired or disappear. In HR, we generate phenomenal amounts of data yet we rarely take the time to use that data effectively. Disparate systems, dirty data, and lack of data analytics capabilities in many organizations are roadblocks to success. The reality is that the data will never be perfect, there are systems that can connect disparate data fairly easily and there are experts in data analytics that can help out to jump start a data driven HR organization.

Organizations that I have worked with have started small, taking a well-defined pain point and using data to seek trends or hot spots. Recruiting is a good place to start. Many organizations would like to improve the quality of candidates or focus their marketing in those areas that have shown results. Unfortunately, many organizations keep going to the same sources for potential talent hoping for a different outcome.

Taking the time to understand the effectiveness of sources of hire can help HR focus efforts and potentially provide a higher quality candidate pool. Doing this could seem cumbersome, but there are simple ways including using both HCM software or just good old manual data crunching. I tell people to first pick a role that you hire for consistently, that way you should have more data to review. Then ask managers who their best people are, or review the last calibration data and identify top performers. Now go back and find out where those top performers were sourced from. Was it through internal referrals, job boards, or some other identifiable source? You will likely find that there are one or two sources that consistently produce the best talent. You might also find that some of the sources you are spending a significant amount of money on are not producing candidates who stay and outperform their peers!

So how can organizations start on a data-driven HR journey?

I have mentioned a few ideas already. The key is start small and build on success. There is a great quote I learned from a consultant, Peter Lee (out of Vancouver, B.C.) that I have carried with me for many years, “Sometimes you have to slow down to speed up.” All too often, in our desire to have immediate results, I have seen HR organizations launch a company-wide data initiative. Often the initial euphoria leads quickly to frustration. i.e.“The data is no good or too hard to obtain!” or “How can we get the business to engage?” There is also a propensity to want to buy a systems solution before one really understands what the business pains are.

Successful data-driven HR organizations begin with some idea of what they are trying to solve. This is where close partnership with the business is essential. Going to a sales manager and telling them that you want to dig into the data on the performance of sales people will often elicit a quick: “get out of my business until you fix your recruiting machine!” or some other less than helpful response! Instead, what if you asked them,“If we could identify the key causes of sales turnover and could reduce it by 5% would you be interesting in playing?” The response is likely to be very different!

Any data-driven project must begin with a clear business need AND one that can show some correlation to business performance, profitability or customer satisfaction.

I often tell colleagues that if you don’t know where to start go ask your marketing head or a marketing person that you know. Marketing has been using data analytics for years to predict buying behavior, customer retention, and effectiveness. They can often be a great partner to help you get you program off the ground.

Start small and celebrate early wins! Don’t shoot for fundamental change, but strive for incremental change. The data is out there waiting for you to inquire. Take the bold step an enter the world of data driven HR, the door is wide open and your organization needs you to step through.

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Follow me on Twitter: @GregJMorton
Follow David on Twitter: @DavidSwansonHR
You can also connect with David Swanson on Linkedin

Tags:  CEO CORNER  David Swanson  Greg Morton  HR  HR Leadership  SAP 

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