Thursday, July 6, 2017

Workforce Report - 2017

Moments after stepping off the plane from New Orleans I headed into San Francisco to present at the Northern California Human Resources Association's Compensation Conference.

After a week of interacting with 10's of thousands of HR Professionals, a few questions remained:
1. Why aren't things changing at a more expedient rate?
2. What is something new we can do that will actually work?

I left SHRM17 with a mission to help organization find their Utopian Employee Experience.

... The concept was immediately applied at NCHRA's Compensation Conference. 

What is Your Employee Value Proposition?
We asked attendees to answer this question... answered varied.

In essence, your Employee Value Proposition addresses a single and all-important question:
Why would I want to work at your company more than anywhere else?
  • Do you have a better compensation package?
    • Is optimal pay enough to create an irreplaceable Employee Experience?
  • Is there a clearly defined opportunity for advancement?
  • How is working at your company like no other professional experience?

How Do You Know?
After reviewing an extensive research project, I heard a couple of attendees express their distaste with surveys.

Nobody cares about having a best friend at work, but it is a far better experience working with people who you like.

People will not answer questions honestly if they know their answers will be analyzed and held against them.

If a survey comes from HR, one will not express candor if it will only get them in hot water.

Why are you asking the same questions over and over and only on an annual basis?

You can gather employee insight through:
  • Idea sharing portals (or even a suggestion box)
  • Light touch, frequently administered, pulse surveys
  • Conversation.... (this is the ability to leave your office and engage Employees in face-to-face communication :()

What Are You Gonna Do About It?
Anyone can ask questions and/or gather opinion. Action Planning is a strategic necessity that commonly remains unmet.

A company I worked for once decided to alter their performance management process by having employees evaluate their managers. HR gave the results to said manager and asked that person to take action to improve their approach. Several managers embraced the concept and used the feedback to fuel their development. A few, however, tried to find out who said what about them.... their ego and tenured entitlement fueling their mission to keep their incompetence private (which was the intent of the process restructuring in the first place).
  • Managers who failed to comply scared all their employees from submitting candid feedback going forward.
  • HR did not follow up with employees to understand the managers method for benefiting from workforce feedback.
  • Many quit.... except the managers in denial who continue to drive great talent away to this day.
This is a prime example of a good idea having an adverse effect:

~ You can spend a million dollars on tie tacks, but if nobody wears ties this "reward" will do more harm than good.

~ If you ask for opinion but do not take action, employees will fail to trust.

~ Without HR Intervention in workforce planning, incompetent middle managers will continue to drive away the leaders of tomorrow. 

Opportunity Missed
I was emailed an annual survey by our VP of HR accompanied by a diatribe of all the great programs our company offered. Authenticity was impossible, results would not be a cause for action planning and a workforce conduit positioned himself as a shill for upper management's lack of workforce understanding.

Collection of information should present a GAP analysis to understand areas of improvement.

If you are only asking for employee opinion to put a "best place to work" trophy on your receptionists desk, you are missing an opportunity to evolve.

Micro-Management has given way to Purpose-Driven Leadership!

For planning purposes, the opinion from the trenches matters more than those of the C-Suite.

Innovation is a human practice with a defined, strategic path.

Employees would rather have opportunity for advancement than pats on the back.

It is imperative that we are crystal clear in reforming our company purpose, that we validate through feedback and action plan for the future with transparency at the forefront.

Don't Forget to Remember!

Dave