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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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Charlene Li on Technology and Employee Experience

Posted By Laurie A. Pehar Borsh, Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, June 27, 2017

This week my CEO's Corner post puts 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.

Read this article on the new CEO CORNER.

Tags:  CEO Corner  CEO's Corner  Employee Experience  Greg Morton  HR Experts  HR Leadership  HR Tech  HR TechXpo 

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Louise Welch, former Senior HR Professional at Google, in the CEO Corner: The Role of HR in Today's Organizations

Posted By Greg J. Morton, Monday, April 24, 2017

Senior HR professional, Louise Welch, who has been with Google for 14 years in a variety of HR positions, is now moving from California to Capital One in Virginia. During her time at Google, Louise's responsibilities included staffing, global university relations, human resources, career development, product management and talent management.

Most recently, she was Head of Talent Management at Google and lead talent management best practices, succession planning and top talent initiatives company wide. Prior to that, she was Head of Learning and Development Technology and lead product strategy for new company-wide learning technology systems.

As the Head of Career Development, she and her team built global coaching, mentoring and rotational programs. Louise was with Google in Mountain View, CA for 10 years and in London for 4 years. Prior to Google, she was in advertising at Bates Worldwide in New York and at start-ups in San Francisco. Louise holds a degree in Psychology from Sewanee, The University of the South.

I wanted to hear Louise Welch’s thoughts on her HR career, that has spanned several functions. I was curious to know how her experience has shaped her view of the role of HR within organizations.

Q. You have already had a rich career in roles ranging from HR Business Partner, to Career Development and Global Talent Management. From your vantage point, what is one insight you would share from having worked across these various functions?

A.  There is an advantage to developing breadth across several functional areas.

I've been able to reinvent my career every few years—virtually starting a new career each time in an area in which I hadn’t worked before.

I attribute my career opportunities to excellent leaders who were willing to take risks on me to do these jobs well even when I didn’t have a background in them. The insight I've gained--which has benefited me throughout my career---is an understanding of how all the aspects of HR work together and the build value in each other, whether it's strategic planning, staffing, university relationships, or people systems. Broad exposure has been eye opening and helps me operate as a strategically-minded HR professional.

Q.  What is the most important area of human resources or talent management that all leaders and managers should get more training in?

A.  One skill that leaders don’t exercise consistently is how to have development conversations. They tend to be good at the mandatory conversations around performance management, succession planning and compensation. 

However, I've found that great managers naturally and instinctively have development conversations as part of their one-on-one meetings with direct reports. 

They really take the time to get to know their employees, their long-term goals, and what skills they want to develop. I think all managers should take the time for these rich development discussions.

Q.  What is one area of HR that often gets overlooked and could benefit from more innovation?

A.  I think there needs to be more innovative improvement in the overall HR system landscape. For example, I've found that many HR departments use multiple systems for their operations, however most of them are not fully integrated and do not have a holistic picture of the employee or organization. 

By integrating systems and having effective data management practices, HR will have a more complete and strategic overall view of the organization. 

This will enable HR partners to better consult with business leaders and to help shape their people strategy.

 

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You can follow Louise Welch on LinkedIn.  

If you'd like to comment or have further questions for Louise (or me), I welcome you to post here (below), on Twitter @GregJMorton or on LinkedIn (adding #CEOCorner).

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Greg Morton  is a corporate strategy and growth development specialist and Chief Executive Officer of the Northern California HR Association.

Tags:  Capital One  CEO CORNER  Google  Greg Morton  HR Experts  HR Leadership  HR Management  human resources management  Louise Welch 

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HRCI CEO Amy Schabacker Dufrane Shares Thoughts on the Present and Future of HR

Posted By Greg J. Morton, Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Amy Schabacker Dufrane, Ed.D, SPHR, CAE, is CEO of the HR Certification Institute, where she focuses on developing collaborative long-term partnerships with individuals and organizations looking to create and deliver change around human resources. Before joining HRCI, she spent more than 25 years in leading human resources functions within nonprofit and for-profit organizations.

HR practiced well – which is what HRCI is all about – ensures that organizations hire the best, support employees to perform their best, and align their human capital with the organization’s business goals.

I wanted to hear Amy’s thoughts on the present and future role of HR and how HRCI is raising the bar on how HR leads business. 


What does a 21st-century HR organization look like? What skills beyond traditional HR subject matter knowledge do HR professionals need if they are to be successful?


The most important resource of any organization – and in fact, business as a whole – is its people. The most powerful way an organization can differentiate itself is through its people – because people are what’s behind every product and service. To be successful, today’s HR professionals must understand the business they work for. They need to understand what they are selling, what their organization’s challenges are, and what their customers and employees are saying. In short, we need to be business leaders who can think and strategize. 

We can no longer just be the “rules and tools” people.  

We need to be able to look at data from finance and marketing and think about HR from the perspective of how do we hire the right people and how do retool the people we have. 

We need to be able to ask, and answer, the right questions: What do we need to do from a strategy perspective? Who do we need to be here to make the changes we need to make, not tomorrow, but five years from now? How are we going to get there? Do we work with colleges and universities to identify the talent we need so we can put the right training and education in place? It’s about being able to make recommendations about what the future looks like from a human capital standpoint. 

We also need to think about how we brand our company. It used to be “come and work for us, we have great benefits and we will pay you well.” Now, to entice people to come work for you, you have to clearly differentiate your workforce and your workplace and your products or services as something that that’s interesting and appealing to be a part of. 


What would you say to a CEO about the importance of the HR function in their company?

HR’s role in business is so fundamental. Never before have we seen this necessity for HR and anything that is going on in business to be 100% in alignment. Good HR people who have earned accredited professional credentials perform better and are more invested in their career and their profession. And there’s large-scale research that proves that. Professionally credentialed HR pros are in it for the long haul. They are committed to making sure they understand the fundamental elements of HR and how to protect their organization and move it forward. This requires competencies in leadership and development and analytical thinking, all of which are elements of being certified at a more senior level.


What do you think about the notion that with all this automation and artificial intelligence, robots will replace HR? 

I think that technology and innovation are presenting opportunities that greatly enhance HR. Think about how we used to do performance evaluations. It was paper-driven, once-a-year conversation whose impact was pretty much limited to the sphere of the supervisor and their direct report. Today, we have a rapidly growing array of technologies that allow supervisors and staff to deliver, receive and integrate feedback continuously and across entire organizations, enabling managers, employees, teams, departments and entire companies to learn, adapt, evolve and perform at the highest levels. While automation has reshaped and eliminated certain jobs and technology can be expensive, even the smallest companies are becoming more and more sophisticated. Automation and AI are allowing us to work smarter. With AI we now have technology that helps us figure out how work gets done and who is involved. It’s HR’s job to figure out how to put that technology to work for us. This is very exciting, and I see this as HR’s challenge in the digital age – how to put technology to work for us to help our employees work smarter.

To learn more about HRCI, got to: www.hrci.org 

Follow (HRCI) on: 
LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/company/hr-certification-institute
Twitter – https://twitter.com/HRCertInstitute
Facebook –  https://www.facebook.com/hrcertificationinstitute
YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/user/HRCertInstitute?feature=guide

Connect with Amy: 
Twitter – @HRCI_CEO 
LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/amydufrane



Greg Morton is a corporate strategy and growth development specialist and Chief Executive Officer of the Northern California HR Association.

To comment on this article or ask (name of person interviewed) additional questions, please post below, tweet to @GregJMorton or connect with Greg on LinkedIn (using #CEOCorner with all social media posts).

 

 

Tags:  Amy Schabacker Dufrane  CEO  Ceo Corner  Certification  Greg Morton  HR  HR Education  HR Leadership  HR Re-Certification  HRCI  Innovation  innovators 

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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
Connect with Ashley Goldsmith on Linkedin
Please follow me on Twitter: @GregJMorton

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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