Monday, July 27, 2020

D E & I are not just letters

I am proud to be part of SHRM's Together Forward at Work (TF@W) campaign. TF@W is a call for the HR Profession and broader business community to drive racism and social injustice out of America's workplaces through specific actions and measurable outcomes of human equity.

I have been in the Human business for nearly 13 years. I get to work with organizations to reward and recognize employees for a variety of achievements and contributions. There are so many different ways we can look at organizational impact and form initiatives to produce measurable results. Bringing attention to racism and social injustice will involve a much different approach. We cannot package human oppression as a module. We cannot change inequality through pizza parties. Our work moving forward will involve a far more complex approach to organizational change.

Organizations across the world are trying to discover their voice in this time of social injustice.... it might be better just to listen.

There is so much to be repaired. Let's get to work.

D, E & I are not just letters
A friend of mine prepared tirelessly and went through a 90 day interview process to be rewarded a prominent job at an established technology firm. She left her former employer and prepared for the first day of the rest of her life. On her first day she was introduced to an on-boarding program on the company's internal social software. There, she saw that her new manager had received a "Diversity Champion" badge for hiring her. She thought she earned the opportunity through her hard work and expertise. Needless to say her first day at the firm was her last.

Too often, organizations look to systematically deploy ways to improve diversity, equity and inclusion only to further validate systemic prejudice.

I was intrigued to hear VMware is mirroring the NFL's Rooney Rule on a recent HR Famous podcast. The organization has committed to have minority candidates involved in all hiring opportunities. A foot forward in a long journey ahead.

It is time for organizations to commit, take action and prove results.

HR Tech and Inclusion     
Many people of diverse backgrounds are oppressed by their Managers. If one-to-one closed door meetings and confidential performance reviews are the only way individuals can advance in an organization, they will be continually held back by those who have assumed power.

Employee Recognition can be an organic act of inclusion. You might see a face different from yours on a profile accompanied by an accolade of achievement to present their greatness to the entire organization. Public Leaderboards may introduce less-vocal employees through their consistent achievements. Social community contributions can be tracked and measured outside of silos.

Individuals are not expecting favors for being different, they are simply seeking equal opportunity.

2020 will likely be regarded as a historical nightmare to the world economy. If nothing else, hopefully we can emerge from the slumber of this year with a collective approach to allow employee voices to form organizational change.

We are rebuilding together to be better forever.

Let's Get To Work!!!

- Dave   

Monday, July 6, 2020

A New Path to Employee Engagement

I was impressed to see statistics from Quantum Workplace that indicated Employee Engagement is actually UP in this time of isolation; impressed and somewhat bewildered. It seems a lot of the things we originally thought irreplaceable in formulating the Employee Experience can actually be replicated. Turns out, organizations have the tools to pivot in times of change, employees are really resilient and customer relationships can maintain their constructive viability without face-to-face contact.

Some might think that people are just happy to have a job in the parlance of our times. Others may look to the current state of things as a reckoning that many of the management objectives once assumed mandatory really are not that important. There seems to be an uptick in personal mental health for those who are able to balance work and life when they exist within the same four walls. The assumed perils of work from home structure (dogs barking, kids zoom bombing) are actually being celebrated. We're spending less time in traffic. Few are being called upon to board airplanes. Leaders are being lifted up in times of anguish by the very people they have been called upon to lead. Words like transparency, trust and vulnerability are working their way into professional values.

So, you are telling me, people when trusted to do their job actually do it?

Maybe it's time to take a hard look at workforce structure.... ?

What Really Motivates
People's motivation can be categorized by one of the following Intrinsic Motivators:
Autonomy, Mastery, Purpose, Progress and/or Socialization

Six months ago, I would have told you that in-person interaction is necessary to tap into the aforementioned motivation characteristics. I would have been wrong.

Autonomy may not have been everyone's first choice for performance advancement but it has transitioned into a trait of necessity. Professional independence tends to come from experience. Companies would traditionally be more trusting of a 20 year workforce veteran to work from home more than they would a young person fresh out of college. Now, we're seeing a group of young people who are extremely proficient in e-learning making a simple transition to professional life in isolation.

Where mastery was once thought of as the ability to hone one's trade (see Gladwell's Outliers), now mastery and progress work hand-in-hand. As working from home becomes a new normal, employees will learn at a faster rate due to the proximity of information and learning opportunity.

Those who seek a social experience from work have found a way to navigate disappointment. Social feeds that drive ideation, collaboration and recognition are filling the dopamine fix many once found in company happy hours; these tools also help people get better at their job.     

There is a social justice movement in full swing across the world. In support, companies are opening employees to personal expression in the workplace in ways they never have. People are finding purpose-driven organizations to be desired places to work.

Give and Take
With savvy social media navigation comes a new approach to work. There is an #Unfollow culture emerging. In a time where every story has 75 angles, people have developed an acute awareness of propaganda. How does this relate to work? With Employee Empowerment comes the ability to stand for what you believe in and ignore what is not helpful. Busy work, micro-management, training for the sake of training and memorization to test out will take a back seat to meaningful advancement in the future of work.   

People We've Never Met
I've worked with people from all parts of the world, every day, for almost 10 years. Many of them I've never met face-to-face. There are "friends" that I have in social media circles who I have known for two decades and never seen in physical form. I consider many of these people dear friends. Why are we still of the impression that being within sneezing distance of someone is the only way to form a lifelong bond?

People are sheltering in place across the world. Office buildings are closed. Major conferences have been cancelled. Trips for achievement are on-hold. Training sessions at corporate HQ aren't likely to be happening any time soon......

..... and Employees are More Engaged than ever!

Remember the episode of The Office when the team finds themselves at their highest point of productivity without a boss?

Look for major shifts towards Holacracy in the future.... and be amazed by how incredibly great work can be when the water cooler is closed indefinitely.

Don't Forget to Remember,


Thursday, July 2, 2020

The New Social Media

My father told me a long time ago that the best way to break up a good time was to bring religion or politics into a conversation. His intent was always respected but that was a long long time ago.

Enter Social Media. I was an early adopter of LinkedIn and Twitter, I use these avenues in a manner that seldom requires commentary. Not all social sites (or the networks we have built upon them) observe rules of engagement. This "sharing" world has become a battle ground.... and it seems to be getting worse. If we all stopped arguing with empty profiles think of how our individual mental health would improve. Imagine if our mood for the day wasn't predicated by what Ward from Oklahoma thinks of your shirt.... ???

Pandemic has robbed us of physical human interaction so our focus on social media has intensified; good for good and bad for bad. What if we embraced a new life devoid of negativity in the wonderland of social media?

Re-Establish Your Network
This may seem like a crazy concept, but how about this: If a person in your network makes participating difficult, unfollow them.

Assess the time, effort and anguish you put into being "friends" with your high school buddy or Aunt Karen. If you are giving more than you get back at the behest of positivity in your network.... unfollow them.

Sure, the virtual Thanksgiving dinner might be weird for a few years, but screw it. If you have a network in harmony, your life will become immediately better.

The reason people challenge thought is because you've allowed them to.

Take control and move into a positive direction.

At the onset of the Lenten season in 2019, I stopped participating in Facebook. Seems like a silly thing to sacrifice, but I was spending a couple hours a day in debate with my friends. Just seemed like a waste of time and energy.

If you are on a social network that in confrontation driven. Stop using that application. 

We all have our moments of responding with vitriol. Maybe it's a political or human rights matter.... Far less important social media arguments have ended friendships. 100% of the time when people release their feeling from cyber-space into reality, the conversation is far less heated.

What if you vowed to participate a whole day in social media submitting only positive information? What if that day turned into.... FOREVER!

The world is in it's most fragile state. People are losing their jobs, businesses and lives. Are we really still fretting over conversations had with a screen about things that aren't that important?

Do you really think you are going to change someones mind with your feedback to one of their posts? If you never brought it up would it make any difference?

Did calling out someone's ideology make your life better?

Our lives are consumed with screen time at the moment. Try to eliminate everything that takes a percentage more energy than the likelihood of achieving a positive result.

Don't Forget to Remember,