« May 2014 | Main | July 2014 »

June 2014

SLIDESHOW: The 5 Best Data Plays for HR Pros...

If you're tired of your HR reporting decks not having any pop, it's obvious what you need.

You need to stop measuring you (HR) and start measuring them (the business).  What do I mean by that?  No one cares about your time to fill, raw turnover stats, etc.  If you really want to get the attention of your business partners, you need to start measuring the people you serve.  That means not only reporting data, but using it to predict what's going to happen next.  And make it about them.

That's where we get uncomfortable as HR pros.  That's why I'm sharing part of the deck from a Fistful of Talent webinar I did with Steve Boese on HR and Big Data.

Example from the deck - you report on Time to Fill in your HR/Recruiting shop.  Business owners: <yawn>.  Want to get their attention?  Report on Hiring Manager Batting Average, which measures how many hires actually stick for a period of time (you make the call on the time period - one year?  two?).  

That will get their attention.

Check out the slides below (email subscribers click through if you can't see the embedded slides) for my top five ways you need to adjust your HR reporting to get the attention of the business and position your HR shop as a value-added equal.

Do's and Don'ts of Accepting Offers of Employment - NBA DRAFT VERSION...

I like hoops - a lot.  So I consumed 5 hours of NBA Draft coverage last night. Wow.

What did I learn?  I learned a lot about the right way to accept offers of employment.  I watched the draft with my sons (ages 14 and 11), and any time I watch things on TV with my boys, they have to listen to the world according to Kris Dunn.  They're lucky like that.

Three lessons from the NBA Draft related to reacting to offers and marketing yourself as a candidate (click through for the GIFs and Videos if you can't see them - it's 100% worth your time):

1. First up, you really need to act like you've been there before. DO NOT BREAK INTO A HUGE SOUL SHAKE ROUTINE WITH A PERSON TWICE YOUR AGE. Also, if you're a parent of new grad accpeting an offer, resist the urge to helicopter in or do anything to jeopardize your kid's ability to be taken seriously by his future employer.

Nik Stauskas, drafted 8th overall by the Sacramento Kings, failed this test.  So did his dad.  Watch the clip below and see me afterwards for an explanation. 

Yep - that's Nik performing a planned routine/soulshake with a degree of difficulty of 8.2  More importantly, the dude he's doing it with is his dad.  And yes, it ended with both of them throwing up 3-goggles (Click here for an explanation of 3-goggles).  As a former caucasian guard, I can tell you that the world will give you the latitude of the soul shake and 3-Goggles if you make it in pro hoops.  Your dad does not need to be part of the process.

Reminds me of this article on Johnny Manziel where his dad is sharing stories of togetherness with Johnny Football and is proud of their exploits that included double punches in the nuts as a father/son activity.

Me thinks Dad needs to be the grown up.

2. Next - If you're good enough to be drafted in the NBA, make sure your resume/video montage includes a large degree of self-confidence.  A GREAT WAY TO SHOW SWAGGER IS TO HAVE THE DEEP HEAD NOD AS YOU TURN TOWARD THE CAMERA LIKE YOU ARE BOUNCING TO AN ASAP ROCKY CUT.  PJ Hariston has it down - see the clip below for proof and focus on seconds :02 through :04:

That's confidence people.  No doubts exist in PJ. 

3. If the only employment that's available exists at a place you don't want to work, resist the urge to curse right after the offer has been delivered verbally.  Not a lot of basketball players want to work in Minnesota these days, including Zach Lavine from UCLA.  Watch his lips for the "f me".


So to sum up the learning for the Dunn brothers from the draft:

1. I'm not soul shaking/3-goggling with you during the most important moments of your life.

2. Understated Swagger isn't all bad.

3. Don't drop F-bombs on the phone when someone makes you a verbal offer.

My kids love having me drop the HR knowledge on them while we watch sports.  DVR and rewind has made it our own personal classroom.

STEAL THIS IDEA: The Moneyball Leadership Retreat (Podcast)

Short post today, but serving you up a great idea...!

My most recent podcast (called The CYA Report) over at Fistful of Talent featured Kellee Webb, VP of HR for Cenikor Foundation.  Kellee joins me on the podcast and we have a great conversation breaking down a killer idea she recently executed on - The Moneyball Leadership Retreat...

What's the Moneyball Leadership Retreat, you ask?  Kellee put together leadership training that included a trip to a minor league baseball park, hitting practice on the field, then dinner and a movie up in the luxury boxes - specifically using the movie "Moneyball" (Brad Pitt, ladies...) to drive home conversations about talent, leadership and how to squeeze more performance out of an organization that has set limitations financially (and every organization has those).

Take a listen below and make some notes - Kellee's kind enough to share all the deails with me.

PS - be sure and check out Kellee's new blog, Purposeful HR, which is a resource for all with a specific bent to HR pros at non-profits.

Can’t see the player below? Click here to listen now.

All episodes available on iTunes [click for archives]

HR Metrics: Stop Measuring You and Start Measuring Them, HR...

Because I'm a glutton for punishment, I'm doing a webinar on Thursday at 2pm ET with the esteemed Steve Boese entitled, HR Moneyball:  The FOT Bootstrapper Guide To Getting Started With Big Data.  Join us if you can, should be fun.

You know what I realized in prepping for this session?  When it comes to data, we are WAAAAAAAY to Measured concerned about measuring what HR does in the organization.  Time to fill, cost per hire, average merit increases, etc.  I'm not sure anyone on the business side cares until something's broke.  Then, they just want it fixed - they're not even that concerned about seeing the improvement in the metrics that we hold near and dear.

I think the more powerful track when it comes to metrics and data out of the HR function is to measure what's happening in the business, then use what you measure in the business as a reason to partner with the most powerful people in your organization to fix what may be broken.

Need examples?

HR Metrics - everything you measure now to show the efficiency of your HR shop.

Data/Metrics that measure how effective the business is (as well as the managers who run it):

--Hiring Manager Batting Average (how good someone is at selection - as measured by how many people stick)

--Salary Cap Utilization (a better way to talk about budget, and flexibility on budget than FTE counts)

--Revenue Per Employee (which basically sets you up for all the people ways that you can influence revenue above and beyond just firing people...)

--Turnover with a prediction angle (those who have problems with turnover are predicted to have... you guessed it... more turnover in the future)

Vanity is a bitch.  Stop reporting about what you are doing and become the data nerd for the business, with a hat tip to the people side.

Nobody cares about time to fill unless there's a problem.  Everyone is interested in who the best managers are when it comes to hiring.

Start making your data plays more interesting.

The Best Looking Benefit They'll Never Use - Tuition Aid...

I'm on the record as saying there's a couple of ways to compete for the a Best Place to Work award.  Here's the playbook:

1. The easy part - write a check for benefits others can't or won't provide.

2. The hard part - Become world class in how you make your people more productive and happier while you squeeze more out of them. Crowded-studying

The first part is the easy part - as Ferris Bueller once said, "if you have the means..."  The second part is hard as hell.  

An ever better way to engage the first part - benefits others can't or won't provide - is to pick one that looks great but is hard to use. Example - Tuition aid.  It looks great, but it's hard as ##@# for busy adults to use.  That's why Starbucks could see their way clear to offer it via online courses to all associates.  Of course, there are some strings. 

First, the offer from Starbucks via a breakdown in the LA Times:

"The Seattle coffee giant announced this week it is helping employees who enroll in Arizona State University's online bachelor's degree programs for all four years. The company said it would provide full tuition reimbursement to juniors and seniors, and that freshman and sophomores would be eligible for a partial scholarship and other financial aid.

The assistance is open to employees who work at least 20 hours a week in any company-operated store, Starbucks said, regardless of how long they've been with the company.

Days later, however, the coffee purveyor clarified that scholarships to workers in their freshman and sophomore years were provided by ASU, not Starbucks. Company spokeswoman Jaime Riley said those students will get scholarships from ASU that will cover about 22% of tuition for their first two years.

Starbucks is assisting its workers who qualify as juniors and seniors, but that help comes with a long list of caveats.

The coffee company will reimburse students for any tuition that is paid out of pocket or that is covered by loans. However, Starbucks will only pay out an initial lump sum to juniors and seniors after they earn 21 credits. Additional reimbursements will be dispensed in 21-credit increments as well. The money is paid once a year in an employee's paycheck, Riley said."

Tagline - Hard as hell, people.  More on the general usage of Tuition Aid in the industry from The Atlantic:

"But as some have noted, this also is a savvy PR move. Many companies offer tuition reimbursement as a way to recruit and retain staff. But the benefits are used, on an average, by fewer than one in 10 workers: only 3.9% of retailers’ staffs, the sector that includes Starbucks, take advantage of tuition reimbursement, the lowest of any sector tracked by EdLink, a leading supplier of employer tuition reimbursement programs.

By comparison, 6.1% of Fortune 500 companies workers took a class on the company, 8.0% of health care workers—and in a few individual companies, one in five workers took classes that their bosses underwrote. Even at the best organizations for staff development, chosen by Training magazine, only 8% of eligible workers took college courses paid by the company."

It's a great benefit, but it's not going to apply to everyone.  That's the best type for any company, because it still attracts candidates who like to think they'll go back to school at some point in the future.

Well played, Starbucks.  I'm not hating, it's a smart play.

HR pros - take note.  This is from the gold level playbook of maximizing buzz and brand, but limiting financial exposure.

Meritocracy is Easy to Say and Hard as Hell to Do...

Meritocracy.  Easy to say you have it at your company.'

Hard as hell to prove that what you call meritocracy works.  

Let's start with a definition of what meritocracy is.  I'll go with the following: "a system in which the talented are chosen and moved ahead on the basis of their achievement."

Simple enough. But things start getting complicated when we start trying to systematically link rewards for all in a corporate environment to the concept of meritocracy.  Pay for performance is a concept that tied to a blend of performance ratings to a merit matrix driven by the compensation budget you have. 

Look back at the definition of meritocracy above - "a system in which the talented are chosen and moved ahead on the basis of their achievement."  The biggest thing I see with that definition is that it only refers to the talented. There's no mention of the average people.  Which to me suggests that the talented are moved forward on the basis of a whole bunch of subjective measures, like the ability to have political savvy, knowing how to deal with power in an organization, form alliances, etc.  All things that get rewarded and are subconsciously included in the defition of "talented".

Pay for performance for the masses?  Probably not related to meritocracy in any way.  Especially if you're unwilling to tell someone there getting a 0% increase because they're merely good - not great- at thier job.

True meritocracy is a big old Darwinian mess.  Don't confuse meritocracy with performance/pay for performance.  Not the same thing.

Bonus - check out the video below of one of my favorite venture capitalists (Marc Suster) talking about his failure at a past company he ran (email subscribers click through for video).  He did everything wrong, and talks about why his definition of meritocracy doesn't work for the masses.  Turns out, the masses just want to be told what do.

Which is why they're destined for a 3.2% raise. 

You Want HR Competencies? There's Only 3 That Matter...

I know people are going to try and sell you on bulky, thick competency models that look great in the roll-out meeting and then no one uses.  That's as true for HR competency models as it is for any other functional area.

So I'm going to give you the 3 HR competencies that truly matter.  The rest might be nice, but they aren't core to what makes a great HR manager/director - the HRBP level.  Here's what I've got that really matters: BuzzwordBingo

1. Ability to Negotiate.  This covers a lot of ground, but a HR pro's ability to read the situation, see what's possible and negotiate for the company, HR as a unit or herself is key to the outcomes you'll get.  Is your HR Pro willing and able to use the same sales tactics as a high level sales pro?  Then they've got what it takes.  

2. Innovation.  Look, innovation is a strong word and a buzzword most of the time, so let's dumb it down.  What innovation means from an HR pro is whether they can create work product that wows the people they serve and have it packaged in a way where the marketing of the idea takes care of itself.  Example? You need a executive comp analysis done but don't have budget.  Can your HR pro go find resources (beg, borrow or steal) to create something and present it in a way where everyone has faith in the product?  Or is she simply asking for money for others to do it?  

3. Says "Yes" more than they say "No".  This will give many a cause for pause, but let's face it - the HR pros the rest of the business world doesn't respect are the ones that say "no" all the time.  The HR pros with the right stuff listen and find ways to say "yes" with conditions - that might require they work to make the yes a reality.  HR pros at all levels who aren't viewed as players say "no" more than they say "yes".

I think these three competencies are tied to some behavioral items - quick cognitive speed, high assertiveness, low rules and mid-high details.  The HR pros who can do these three things are worth their weight in gold.  

All other competencies?  Meh.

LEADERSHIP WISDOM: "We're Not Good Enough to Complain"...

There's a negative aspect to humanity that shows up in every environment where people work in teams.

It's called, "B*tching".  

A softer way to say it is that people love to complain, usually about things they can't control.  Left unchecked, the complaining can turn into a proxy or an excuse for a lack of performance.  

"We didn't get the support we needed."  "Everyone was against us."  "We couldn't get anyone to cooperate."

The smartest leadership I can summon about complaining is the following statement:

"We're Not Good Enough to Complain".

What's that mean?  It means that if you're performing at an average or below average level, you might want to reconsider the automatic reflex to complain about others as a reason/excuse for your crappy performance, either as a team or as an individual.

I got my start in college basketball as an assistant coach.  One of the things I noticed was that when you were down by 20 and complaining about calls, the best officials wouldn't get mad, they'd just start laughing at you.

Brutal, but true.  The laughter was their way of saying "you suck" and "why don't you go back and work on what you can control, come back the next time and play a tighter game, then maybe I'll entertain your issues."

Until that happens?  You're not good enough to complain.

Go get better, control your performance and then your complaints might get some attention.  Until then, stop the finger pointing and general b*tching.

It's as true in the business world as it is in sports.

The Zappos Drinking Game...

My new column is up at Workforce.com.  Here's a taste:

"There's a new joke rolling around HR conferences near you. It goes something like this, “Anytime you hear someone say ‘Zappos,’ you have to drink.”

It’s HR nerd humor at its best. And all HR leaders (including me) who have been in the game for a decade or more have a little HR nerd in them.

The point of the HR drinking game is simple. Like any industry, HR tends to latch onto cool, trendy ideas and drive them into the ground. Las Vegas-based online retailer Zappos.com has done a great job in building and sustaining its workplace culture — so much so that it has become a target for cynics who enjoy a shot of Jägermeister."

Go get the full column here!

HR Moneyball:The Bootstrapper Guide For HR Getting Started With Big Data (WEBINAR)

You’ve heard the hype: Big Data is taking over the business world, and HR’s going to be expected to make decisions—not through feelings, relationships or gut instinct—but via numbers.  The problem is… your HRIS, ATS and Performance Solutions are all different systems and weren’t built with the big-data revolution in mind. In short, you feel less than ready for workforce analytics—you’re just trying to get the basic reports generated.

We feel your pain, people. That’s why our June installment of the HR Capitalist/FOT webinar is entitled, HR Moneyball:  The FOT Bootstrapper Guide To Getting Started With Big Data. Join Steve Boese and I Data nerd for this webinar on Thursday, June 26 at 2pm EST(sponsored by ThoughtSpot, a cool business intelligence startup), and we’ll share the following goodies with you:

A brief review of where HR stands with Business Intelligence (BI)/Big Data. We’ll cover some of the trends, what the bleeding edge is doing, the 3 types of data sources available to HR shops and what the CEOs and business leaders you support are asking for related to data and BI out of the HR Function. We’ll also talk about what your options are when HR is the last priority for an over-burdened IT function.

Why HR pros need to shift/lean forward. It’s not what happened, it’s what going to happen. Getting your head around business intelligence and data means you have to shift your focus from reporting the past and move to predictive analytics. We’ll give you examples of great reporting decks from the HR Hall of Fame and tell you how they have to change to meet the call from predictive analytics out of your HR shop.

- The Five Best HR Plays for Business Intelligence (BI) and Big Data. Since we’re all about helping you win, we wouldn’t do this webinar without giving you some great ideas for where to start with a data play out of your shop. You’re going to stop reporting turnover and start predicting it. You’re going to stop reporting time to fill and start showing which hiring managers are great at—you guessed it—hiring.  We’ll give you five great ideas and show you how to get started piecing the story together.

- A primer on what’s next once you start channeling Nostradamus. Since you specialize in people, you naturally understand the move to using Business Intelligence (BI)/Big Data that helps you predict the future is only half the battle—you have to have a plan once the predictions are made. We’ll help you understand the natural applications for using your business-intelligence data as both a hammer and a hug—to get people who need to change moving, and to embrace those that truly want your help as a partner.

You’re a quality HR pro who knows how to get things done. Join us on Thursday, June 26 at 2pm EST for HR Moneyball: The FOT Bootstrapper Guide To Getting Started With Big Data and we’ll help you understand how to deploy Moneyball principles in HR that allow you to use predictive Big Data to position yourself as the expert you are.  Form to register appears below or just click on the link above.