Welcome to another brand new edition of our ‘Must-Read Digital HR and HR Tech Articles’.
The top articles of August feature employer branding lessons from Beyoncé and Jay-Z, a people analytics case study, an article on developing the great human leaders of tomorrow, and a video with some of the most exciting current developments in HR technology.
I’m sure you’ll find a few pieces that you’ve missed and really should read. Enjoy!
[VIDEO] What Are You Most Excited About in HR Technology?
A Digital HR Live video to start with. This time, we asked our experts what developments in HR technology they are currently most excited about.
If you want to stay up-to-date with all our Digital HR Live videos subscribe to our channel: https://bit.ly/2rB2I30.
#3. Employer Branding Lessons from Beyoncé and Jay-Z
As you may know by now, I like analogies. Whether they’re based on films, Netflix shows or – like in this case – on songs. In her article, Abby Cheesman gives us an interesting take on employer branding. She distinguishes some valuable lessons from the lyrics of Beyoncé’s and Jay-Z’s latest album. Starting with their song ‘Boss’:
“Over here we measure success by how many people successful next to you
Here we say you broke if everybody is broke except for you
Being a business owner and boss herself, Abby aspires to build a team where every contributor is in it together, thinking about working towards the greater good. If the team is successful, everyone is successful.
In these lyrics:
“My great-great-grandchildren already rich
That’s a lot of brown chil’ren on your Forbes list”
Cheesman sees a culture centered around excellence and pushing boundaries with a healthy dose of pride in the hard work and – of course – glamour.
Beyoncé and Jay-Z also share their take on leadership in one of their songs called Nice:
I have no fear of anything, do everything well
I have no fear of jail, I was born in the trap
I have no fear of death, we all born to do that
What would you do, you knew you couldn’t fail
I have no fear of anything, do everything well
I ain’t never seen a ceiling in my whole life (uh-uh)
That’s word to Blue
I can do anything (woo) yeah
Patiently waiting for my demise
‘Cause my success can’t be quantified.”
If you end up working for Queen B and Jay-Z, you’ll be working for two boundary-breaking pushers and fierce team loyalists.
What I appreciate even more in Abby’s article than the song analogy is the message she shares in the final paragraphs: How we share our (workplace) stories shouldn’t be limited to one method of storytelling. How we share with the outside world what our companies are all about – our truths, leaders, and aspirations – isn’t limited to text. So, the way we share them shouldn’t be limited, either.
Consider ways you can use new mediums, whether those are visuals, photos, videos, illustration, graffiti art, music, or immersive experiences to share stories with the world and prospective team members.
For the full article, go here.
#2. People Analytics Case Study: How HR Made Customers Happy
With this case study, Scott Mondore shows us how smart people analytics helped to counter a downward trend in a large restaurant chain:
Challenge: Trending in a downward direction
A large restaurant chain was trending in a downward direction and struggled to understand why. When we were asked for help, we first identified three business outcomes that mattered most to the organization by conducting short stakeholder interviews with senior leaders and reviewing their balanced scorecard metrics:
- Customer count (the number of customers eating at the restaurant)
- Customer satisfaction
- Employee turnover
Smartly, the HR leaders started the journey by focusing on these business outcomes—not on the HR process that they were going to implement. This means that we didn’t focus on employee engagement: These leaders understood that the research that stated employee engagement is a driver of business outcomes is based on questionable methodology and may have damaged HR’s credibility. While we understand this statement is largely in opposition to popular opinion, we base it on research.
So, instead of focusing on engagement scores, this restaurant chose to make its employee survey truly business-focused by homing in on four areas:
- Link employee attitudes directly to their real business outcomes (e.g. customer count and customer satisfaction)
- Prioritize interventions that would have the greatest impact on their business outcomes
- Focus front-line managers on the areas that would improve their business outcomes
- Show the business impact of improving their key business drivers from the survey
Process: Leveraging Smarter Analytics
A key step in building the analytics process was to align each restaurant’s employee survey data with its respective customer count data, customer satisfaction data, and employee turnover data.
Next, after evaluating their needs, we decided to utilize the most advanced analytics technique, structural equations modeling (SEM), because it allowed us to examine the multiple business outcomes (i.e., customer count, customer satisfaction, and turnover) and predictors (i.e., the annual survey) simultaneously and control for measurement error and other extraneous factors.
With SEM, we incorporated all the data and identified which employee survey categories linked to the three business outcomes. Our next challenge was to message and relay the results in an impactful way so that leaders would understand what mattered, why it mattered, and what steps to take next. While there are several effective ways this can be achieved, we use our HeatMaps, depicted in Figure A. These HeatMaps provide a simple visual display of the complex SEM results to create a clear message for leaders to understand.
With just one straightforward graphic, managers easily learn where to focus their time, attention, and money to provide the largest ROI. Put simply, the survey categories in the Focus box have the strongest impact on the outcomes of interest to the organization and have the greatest room for improvement.
For this restaurant chain, the most important drivers of outcomes were Senior Leaders, Teamwork, Management, Communication, Ethics, and Job Fit.
The senior team, in collaboration with HR, created and funded comprehensive initiatives around improving the visibility of senior leaders, the teamwork within and across their restaurants, management development opportunities, a recommitment around ethics and values in the organization and a revamp of their hiring assessment process to improve job fit.
We did not stop there though. By identifying the key drivers of customer satisfaction, customer count, and turnover, this large restaurant chain was able to calculate the expected ROI if survey scores increased. By calculating the differences in business outcomes between restaurants that performed well on the key-driver survey categories versus those that scored poorly, we demonstrated the value of scoring higher on the employee survey.
Restaurant managers that had an overall mean rating of 4.00 or greater on the six survey key drivers outperformed their peers. If a manager increased their survey scores on those categories to above a 4.00, they were likely to see a 16 percent increase in customer satisfaction, 18,000 more customers a year, and 10% less staff turnover. With this analysis, HR was able to put a real dollar amount on its strategic initiatives (e.g., recruiting, hiring, surveying) and demonstrate its value to the rest of the business.
The Impact of the Revolving Door
High turnover is clearly an ongoing problem in most retail and restaurant organizations — and the best organizations understand that getting it under control can reduce costs and potentially improve performance. But it isn’t enough to rely on anecdotes and gut-feel. This organization was able to calculate the stark differences between restaurants that performed well on turnover (or the “revolving door”) versus those that didn’t by comparing actual business data.
As shown in the figure below, the customer counts and customer satisfaction ratings are significantly higher where turnover is more under control. This comparison allows HR to put a real dollar figure on its recruiting, hiring, and turnover initiatives. Business is about making money so there isn’t a compelling reason for why all companies are not doing such calculations.
This organization was able to leverage the power of its people data to most effectively pinpoint where to focus managers at all levels to improve their business outcomes. By using analytics to demonstrate that the resources spent on people initiatives would provide true ROI for the company, these HR leaders were able to serve as true business partners for the company and drive their bottom-line.
HR leaders continue to struggle with demonstrating the worth and/or showing the ROI of the investments companies make in their people. How can HR executives expect the C-suite or business owners to approve of expenditures if the value can’t be clearly depicted with analytics?
Instead, taking a more strategic and business-focused approach to HR initiatives provides benefits to the organization, HR, and even employees by:
Read the full article here.
#1. Developing Great Leaders: Creating a Human Workplace
An interesting read about creating the great leaders of tomorrow by Ashley Lipman. As the workplace shifts to welcome new generations, what makes a leader great today isn’t the same as what made a leader great ten years ago. How can you develop great leaders in a changing world? The difference lies in humanity. Today, it’s about developing strong humans who empathize and connect with others in an effective way.
Coaching and Training
All levels of employees need to feel adequately trained and integrated into the new workplace before they’re thrown into daily projects and challenges. This might entail creating a coaching program where current higher-ups work with those under them to strengthen leadership skills. It might also mean bringing in outside leadership consultants.
Start with Communication
The foundation of a human-based workplace is communication. Create a plan for opening lines of communication within the structure of the workplace, and stick with the plan to create a healthy workplace!
Great leaders have the ability to solve a variety of complicated problems quickly. Problem-solving involves analytical thoughts, communication, and implementation. Great leaders need to feel confident in all of this which is why it’s important to develop problem-solving strategies for future and current leaders.
Proper planning goes a long way in keeping firm leadership. Do your planning in advance and set realistic goals for both management and team members. Break them into easy to meet steps and make them happen! Decent planning makes teams stronger and gives employees a system for understanding their own expectations.
Strong leaders know when to let go. Leaders should be skilled in building more leaders and know when to coach others and when to let go of tasks. Delegation prepares the leaders of tomorrow by giving them their own tasks to manage.
Ashely finishes her article on an encouraging note: It doesn’t take big steps to create a foundation for tomorrow’s leaders. Leading today is about being a human being who can work fairly and consistently. It’s about setting a positive example for all in the workplace.
For the full article, go here.
And that’s our August round-up all done! If you read a great Digital HR or HR Tech article this month and you feel it deserves a place in next month’s list, please share it in the comments.
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