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As Frederick Buechner described, vocation is “the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”

I attended my first professional baseball game in July of 1975. The Boston Red Sox traveled to the dearly departed Milwaukee County Stadium to face the Brewers. Hank Aaron was in the final years of his Hall of Fame career while Jim Rice and Robin Yount were beginning theirs. My senses were overwhelmed: the sight of freshly cut green grass, the excitement of the fans, the smoke rising from the grills of a thousand tailgaters, and the music blaring from the speakers prodding the crowd to cheer. Right then, like any other eight-year boy across America, I knew exactly what I wanted to be…

The organist for the Milwaukee Brewers.

It seemed like the perfect job: you attended games for free, everyone seemed excited when you performed, and to my limited understanding of employee benefits, you received free hot dogs.

As I grew older, and my desire to practice plummeted, I looked elsewhere for career satisfaction. One of the essential terms of my workplace is vocation. As Frederick Buechner described, vocation is “the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”

What is HR’s vocation? Are we corporate lackeys just enforcing its restrictive and punitive rules? Are we creating a workplace where workers can share ideas and feel welcoming? Does the latter even matter? Is HR’s calling helping others find theirs while still meeting the company’s interest?

The understanding of vocation is a particular concern as the latest generation enters the workplace. Trends show an increasing number of Americans working in temporary positions, and ending up with multiple careers during one lifetime. It is also increasingly diverse. People are living longer enabling many to pursue second or third careers. Individuals are also entering the workforce at an increasingly older age; people are taking the time to choose a career. As a result, workers need to find out how to find their calling.

Matthew J. Stollak, HRExaminer.com Editorial Advisory Board Contributor

My colleague Paul Waddell speaks to the importance of ethical considerations when mentoring for vocation. Here are four ways those considerations can be applied to HR so that they can be masters of vocation:

  1. Practice prudence. Thomas Aquinas talks of prudence as the capacity to make good judgments about how to behave. When employees share their story with HR or ask HR for guidance and advice, prudence should help us determine how we should respond. We may have good intentions, but unless we see a situation clearly, good results cannot follow. Given the investment organizations have in their workforce, and retention more crucial than ever, helping employees clearly understand their career path is critical.
  2. Honor humility. Humility is particularly challenging for HR as it requires an honest appreciation of ourselves that allows being something beyond a competitor and instead be a friend. Whose interests does HR serve? The company, its employees, or ideally, both? But often they conflict. Employees are looking to HR to be authentic, and authenticity lies at the heart of humility. In this instance, HR can serve the employee by helping him or her understand where they stand in the organization and identifying if the calling is right.
  3. Demonstrate detachment. Like humility, detachment means one can set aside ego and ambition to concentrate on the well-being of others. It allows an employee to find out who he or she is called to be, instead of necessarily what the organization wishes him or her to become.
  4. Engage with empathy. Empathy requires us to see things from the perspective of someone else, particularly someone who may be significantly different from us. Can HR walk in their shoes? To this end, we try to best enter into their experience and discover why the employee has that passion.

HR is in a unique position to help employees discover and follow their vocation. Employees come to us from various places and different stages in their lives. By assisting them to become their best selves, prosperity will soon follow for the organization.
 

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HRx Radio – Executive Conversations: On Friday mornings, John Sumser interviews key executives from around the industry. The conversation covers what makes the executive tick and what makes their company great.

HRx Radio – Executive Conversations Guest: Stela Lupushor, founder and Chief Executive Re-framer of Reframe Work, Inc.
Episode: 304
Air Date: December 7, 2018

Sponsor: BenefitEd – From student loan repayment to college savings, we provide a full range of education benefits programs to help progressive employers create a more engaged and productive workforce. Visit BenefitEd
 

Guest Bio

Stela Lupushor is the founder and Chief Executive Re-framer of Reframe.Work Inc., a consulting firm advising organizations on workplace inclusion in order to bring resiliency and access to talent in an environment disrupted by demographic shifts, technology, value chain disintermediation, and human behavior evolution.

She is also the Program Director, Strategic Workforce Planning and HR Business Partners Councils at The Conference Board facilitating conversations with Fortune 500 corporations-members on building new global workforce strategies to deliver business performance. Additionally, she is the Human Capital Analytics Center Leader at The Conference Board shaping its research agenda.

Stela is the Founder, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of amazing.community, a non-profit organization extending the work horizon for women, empowering them to thrive in the workplace of the future.

Most recently, Stela established and led the people analytics functions at Fidelity Investments and TIAA where she developed analytics capabilities across the organizations and enabled data-driven workforce decision making.

Previously, Stela led the HR Strategy and Social Analytics function at IBM where she built the “future of work” strategy for IBM. One outcome was the sentiment analysis solution which is now used to understand the engagement of IBM’s global and complex workforce. She brought to these initiatives her consulting experience acquired at Price Waterhouse and the successor organizations – PwC Consulting and IBM Global Business Services.

Sponsor: BenefitEd – From student loan repayment to college savings, we provide a full range of education benefits programs to help progressive employers create a more engaged and productive workforce. Visit BenefitEd
 

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“There used to be two ways to tell someone something, in person or in writing, one on the record, one informal. Our new ways of communicating have added nuance and changed our views.” – Heather Bussing

There used to be two ways to tell someone something, in person or in writing. Writing was a more formal way of communicating that was always “on the record.” Talking was more informal, and was usually off the record. Even if someone asked about your conversation later, memories are imperfect and you could always deny it.

Now there are many different ways to communicate — email, text, Slack, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, google voice, youtube, chat. You can broadcast to many people at once, or send direct messages to one or a few people. Each channel has its own level of formality. Most people choose a communication method based on their relationship with the other person, how the connection was made, whether the communication is scheduled or unscheduled, and how fast the sender expects or needs a response.

When fax, then email, became primary business tools, the speed of written communication changed dramatically. No letters had to be mailed and delivered, no memos had to be distributed by hand. For awhile, the way to really get to someone was to fax bomb them late Friday afternoon with something that would require them to work over the weekend. But you could turn the machine off and it was possible to stop the flood of communication to focus on the work at hand. Now you have to turn your phones and computers off and become a digital hermit. Many people would never consider it.

We’ve been thinking about how your choice of communication channel affects both the message and how it’s perceived.

Quick, informal communications like chat, Slack, DM, or internal systems are seen as a natural part of doing the work. Longer and more formal communications like email and saved chats are seen as more threatening, or administrative (and therefore useless).

In person communications like meetings and phone calls are more disruptive than a written note. Both people have to stop what they are doing to talk. Discussion requires immediate response. It’s still a great way to get quick decisions, answers, or feedback. But because it’s time consuming and requires that both people be available to do it, in-person conversations are often scheduled in advance and tend to be more formal.

Our new ways of communicating have also added nuance. So it’s really important to consider what tool you use to communicate and what message you send along with the words.

It’s also essential to understand that there is no such thing as “off the record.” Every digital communication is either directly recorded or there is a record of it. Anything you type into a device can be retrieved, even if you delete it. The person next to you probably has several different devices that can take your picture, record your conversation, and send it to someone else instantly.

This will become even more important as new HR Tech tools collect and analyze data about how you work and whom you connect with. There are tools to crowd-source performance reviews based on comments and endorsements from everyone you work with, not just your manager. There are tools to find the experts in your company to ask them for help. And there are companies looking for and analyzing everything you do online to see your digital exhaust so they can understand what you are interested in and good at. Then they try to sell you stuff or sell the information to someone else.

I’m skeptical about the usefulness of a lot of this stuff. Many of the “new” tools I saw are just another system or program to distract people from doing their actual work. Even the vendors don’t really understand what they will learn or how it can or should be used. But it is crystal clear that everyone is focused on collecting every little digital crumb, while encouraging everyone to make more.

So before you send the next message or schedule that meeting, think about how much you are interrupting someone, the level of formality you want to convey, and the true urgency of the issue.

And remember, everything is on the record.
 

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“My premise is this: the HR/Employee relationship is dysfunctional and almost surely codependent.”
– Paul Hebert


I am not a psychologist or psychiatrist, but I have stayed at many Holiday Inns in my time. That, and a bit of my own historical references allow me to have the following opinion. My premise is this: the HR/Employee relationship is dysfunctional and almost surely codependent.

Codependency is defined by a faux “helping” relationship where one person supports or enables another person’s addiction, poor mental health, immaturity, irresponsibility, or under-achievement. Among the core characteristics of codependency, the most common theme is an excessive reliance on other people for approval and a sense of identity. I don’t know about you all but that is almost a dead-on description of most HR/Employee relationships. And I’ll submit, most of the work being done today to help HR is actually creating a new, and more insidious codependent relationship.

I think our increasing dependence on technology (and AI in particular) is increasing the dysfunction between the HR staff, the employee and the technology.

Let’s dig into the why I think this.

Some Elements of Codependency

  1. HR feels like their job is to solve the problems of employees and managers. Either through training or technology versus enabling people to solve their own issues. How often does HR intervene to take over the role of the manager? Too often.
  2. If advice isn’t followed HR feels like they’ve been spurned and ignored. How dare they!
  3. Employees feel like everything bad that happens is someone else’s fault – HR’s, Management’s, the clients, the market. It’s never the employee’s fault is it?
  4. Connected with the thought of being faultless is the need to blame others and have excuses. I don’t think we need to dig much deeper than this.
  5. Whether we’re talking HR or employee – everyone in the company worries about being rejected or feeling unloved. In other words, too much of their value is tied up what others think vs. what they know is good work.
  6. Codependent people don’t think for themselves but rely on others for direction. Can we say lack of self-management? Lack of autonomy? Of all the reasons we have engagement and employee issues this is probably #1 on the hit parade.
  7. The relationship is conditional – “If this, then that.” Not sure how we get around this one, but it is a classic foundational codependent element.
  8. The need to control the outcome. Again – this is either HR or employee focused. Too often today we NEED control because we are concerned that ceding control makes us vulnerable to being laid off or reprimanded. Our lack of trust creates this need.
  9. Saying Yes when they really should say no. I’ll just leave this here because I know that saying no is a kiss of death in today’s world. Aren’t we all team players? Yes is the only answer for a team right?
  10. You can’t communicate. Has anyone had a great conversation with HR? Does HR ever really think they get through to employees? Doubtful.

I stopped at 10 because frankly this could go on forever and I think these few examples pretty much sums up my point.

Paul Hebert | Founding Member, HRExaminer Editorial Advisory Board


So how do we fix this?
  1. Be Honest – admit we have this relationship. Stop believing we have a “professional” relationship when all relationships are emotional, personal, human. Regardless of where the relationship happens the elements that drive that relationship follow human paths. Admit we have the problem and we can start to fix the issue.
  2. Accept our differences. Know we are human and that we have to make allowances for that. Don’t try to create such rigid processes that they don’t fit the human condition. Once we create static processes is when the individual starts to feel disconnected, less valuable, less autonomous. All the things that begin to create a codependent relationships.
  3. Know what you’re actually responsible for (both HR and employees). “The employee is unhappy today, but their happiness isn’t my responsibility. I do not have to feel bad/anxious if they are not happy.”
  4. Make people responsible. Don’t rely on technology to do your work. Use technology to identify what work YOU need to do. Big, big difference.
  5. Know the difference between co-dependence and interdependence. Business is a function of interdependence and requires two people doing what they do best, taking responsibility for their own work, attitude and actions. Codependent people focus on how the “other” person can be responsible for their success.
  6. Finally, create specific and enforceable job functions/outlines. Codependency is primarily about boundaries. Create them and stick to them.

I know this is a bit of a stretch and there isn’t really hard evidence that I’m right (but I am.) But ask yourself how much more productive you and your company would be if every day, everyone in the organization got up, and looked in the mirror and said

“I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and gosh darn it, people like me.
 

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The Timer’s Going Off HRExaminer Weekly Edition v9.49 December 7, 2018
 

 
Does your organization have a process and tools that highlight warning signs, triggers, or alarms when your data for key performance measures go out of range? Erin Spencer explains more in, The Timer’s Going Off.


Mary Faulkner shares seven tactics to reduce the risk of implementing HR Tech. Read, The Gamble of implementing HR Tech.


Making any enterprise software viable is like seasoning a cast iron skillet. Usage makes it better. John Sumser explains what it’s all about in, Scaling the Enterprise.


John Sumser speaks with Kate Bischoff, Employment Attorney, Speaker, and HR Consultant at tHRive Law & Consulting. Kate is an enthusiastic management-side employment attorney and SHRM-SCP/SPHR-certified HR pro and Adjunct Professor at Mitchell Hamline School of Law. Listen to Kate Bischoff on HRExaminer Radio.


Brian Sommer, is the Founder of TechVentive and an Enterprise software industry analyst that covers the ERP, finance, and HR sectors for Diginomica and other publications. John Sumser speaks this week with Brian Sommer on HRExaminer Radio.



This Week's Articles  

 
The Timer’s Going Off
“Does your company have benchmarks (or alarms) that are agreed on by leadership and prompt specific action? For example, if sales dip to a certain percentage, or your cost of goods or labor increases, at what point do those changes prompt action for those making decisions?”
- Erin Spencer Read Now »




 
The Gamble of implementing HR Tech
What’s the risk of implementing a sparkly new expensive piece of HR software? Mary Faulkner shares her experience and advice from the trenches.
Read Now »






 
Scaling the Enterprise
“It’s a long way from product launch to achieving scale. Making any serious Enterprise Software viable is like seasoning a cast iron skillet. Usage makes it better.”
- John Sumser
Read Now »




 
HRExaminer Radio — Executive Conversations: Episode #302: Kate Bischoff John Sumser speaks with Kate Bischoff, Employment Attorney, Speaker, and HR Consultant at tHRive Law & Consulting. Kate is an enthusiastic management-side employment attorney and SHRM-SCP/SPHR-certified HR pro. Kate is also an Adjunct Professor at Mitchell Hamline, serving as faculty for the School of Law’s HR Compliance Certificate Program. Listen Now »




 
HRExaminer Radio — Executive Conversations: Episode #303: Brian Sommer John Sumser speaks with Brian Sommer, the Founder of TechVentive and an Enterprise software industry analyst that covers the ERP, finance, and HR sectors for Diginomica and other publications.
Listen Now »





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HRx Radio – Executive Conversations: On Friday mornings, John Sumser interviews key executives from around the industry. The conversation covers what makes the executive tick and what makes their company great.

HRx Radio – Executive Conversations Guest: Brian Sommer, Founder TechVentive and Industry Analyst at Diginomica
Episode: 303
Air Date: December 5, 2018

Sponsor: BenefitEd – From student loan repayment to college savings, we provide a full range of education benefits programs to help progressive employers create a more engaged and productive workforce. Visit BenefitEd
 

Guest Bio

Brian Sommer is the Founder of TechVentive and an Enterprise software industry analyst that covers the ERP, finance, and HR sectors for Diginomica and other publications. Brian began his career began by re-writing a payroll/time-reporting system for a fast food chain and subsequently reworked, implemented, etc. numerous application software systems. He went on to run Accenture’s Global Software Intelligence organization where he advised hundreds of clients on software selection and shared services initiatives. Brian also headed up Accenture’s Global HR Center of Excellence and its Global Finance/Performance Management Center of Excellence.

More recently, Brian has led several HR/ERP software selections/negotiations and had been an expert witness for major software litigation cases.

Brian has won Software Advice’s Authority Award – ERP Expert and numerous ERP Writers’ Awards. He has keynoted numerous software conferences globally including events for NetSuite, PeopleSoft, Sage and many more.

Sponsor: BenefitEd – From student loan repayment to college savings, we provide a full range of education benefits programs to help progressive employers create a more engaged and productive workforce. Visit BenefitEd
 

Subscribe to Podcast or Download

 

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The other day, someone asked me why enterprise companies make such awful products. I’m kind of floored when my colleagues frame it this way but I understand how very far it is from the land of entrepreneurs to the universe of big iron.

It got me thinking about Oracle’s Fusion.

Here in Silicon Valley, making things work well at scale is something people think about a lot. In consumer transactional tools (apps, desktops, phones, retail) handling huge numbers of simultaneous interactions is the heart of success. The heart of the digital economy is the belief that massive volume is transformative.

In those settings, gaining volume is the essence of economic success.

Scale isn’t just about transactions and volume. Scale is where utility actually comes from. It takes more than a little while to scale a new technology.

That’s probably a little obtuse.

I mean that you can’t learn the things that are necessary lessons by simply announcing a tool/architecture/system. Development and launch are just starting points. Enterprise tools don’t achieve full utility until they have been used for a while.

Making something like Oracle’s Fusion (or any serious Enterprise Software) viable is like seasoning a cast iron skillet. Usage makes it better. It’s as if there were an equivalent of Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours for Enterprise software and the ecosystems that involve it. The stuff gets better because people use it.

For example, the way that errors are discovered is through usage. The more time the tool is in the field, the fewer errors a user experiences. While every legitimate piece of code is tested thoroughly, the user experience is theoretical until people actually use the tool.

Like consumer products, enterprise endeavors are never any good at the version 1.0 point. In all markets, early adopters carry products for the time where they are less that perfectly useful. ‘Viability’ comes after the product is good enough for people who are not early adopters.

In the Apple universe, they are called fan boys. In enterprise markets, they are loyal customers and people seeking a competitive advantage. People who join the parade early gain significant value but it comes at the price of some operational inconvenience.

It’s hard to call that viable.

The chattering class, usually people without significant engineering development experience, bring expectations that are not necessarily in synch with the way that technology is created. The cast iron skillet burns food in the early days of seasoning. Any maturing tool does the same thing. When people who don’t understand the process see this, they find it hard not to criticize the output. That adds fuel to the fire.

It’s harder to be an early adopter than it sounds. That means that the user experience of an early adopter includes more technical issues than someone who buys later in the cycle. It is not really surprising that they seem to complain more. They have more to complain about.

Birthing something like Fusion, which involves a rearrangement and reorganization of the entire business, would take time to mature. We’ve not really ever seen institutional transformation at this scale before. It’s taken a decade to get from vision to stable reality. That may be just what it takes.
 

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HRx Radio – Executive Conversations: On Friday mornings, John Sumser interviews key executives from around the industry. The conversation covers what makes the executive tick and what makes their company great.

HRx Radio – Executive Conversations Guest: Kate Bischoff, Employment Attorney and SHRM-SCP/SPHR-certified HR Pro
Episode: 302
Air Date: November 30, 2018

Sponsor: BenefitEd – From student loan repayment to college savings, we provide a full range of education benefits programs to help progressive employers create a more engaged and productive workforce. Visit BenefitEd
 

Guest Bio

Kate Bischoff is an enthusiastic management-side employment attorney and SHRM-SCP/SPHR-certified HR pro. She advises organizations in a wide range of industries on employment law and human resources issues, from recruitment and workplace culture to terminations. Kate is passionate about improving company culture and using technology (social media and data analytics) in the workplace. Kate speaks from experience when advising clients when administrative and court matters commence. Prior to founding tHRive Law and Consulting, Ms. Bischoff served as a Human Resources Officer for the United States Department of State at the U.S. Embassy Lusaka, Zambia and for the U.S. Consulate General Jerusalem. Kate is also an Adjunct Professor at Mitchell Hamline, serving as faculty for the School of Law’s HR Compliance Certificate Program.

Sponsor: BenefitEd – From student loan repayment to college savings, we provide a full range of education benefits programs to help progressive employers create a more engaged and productive workforce. Visit BenefitEd
 

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What’s the risk of implementing a sparkly new expensive piece of HR software? Mary Faulkner shares her experience and advice from the trenches.

A recent SHRM NextChat focusing on technology and how to reduce distractions in the workplace struck a nerve. While most of the conversation focused on the ways technology can reduce productivity and put organizations at risk, one question in particular piqued my interest –

Which social technology platforms have you stopped using due to redundancy or poor adoption rates?

What followed was a litany of brand names whose companies might weep at the lack of adoption – yammer, ello, google+, Gotomeeting, Peach, Slack, Quora, etc.

Most of these are pretty low cost (e.g., “free”) and have a low barrier to entry, so the lack of adoption might not be that big a deal. But what if you are implementing a sparkly new expensive piece of software?

Throughout my career, I have been part of a number of HR software implementations – from learning management systems (LMS), to performance management, to talent reviews, to applicant tracking systems (ATS), to the company intranet. Each implementation has its own challenges. In addition to all of the configuration and brain power needed to just get the systems working correctly, there is the pressure of cost and the added question as to whether or not people will use the software once it’s launched.

Mary Faulkner, HRExaminer Editorial Advisory Board Contributor.


Regardless of the kind of HR software implementation you’re going through, there are a few things you can do to increase the likelihood of success. (Notice I didn’t say “guarantee” success – there’s not accounting for human behavior. Hence the word “gamble” in the title.):
  • Before you buy, make sure you need it:
    With all the cool new technology out there, it’s tempting to go out and make a purchase. But are you solving the right problem? Just as training isn’t the be all-end all solution to all performance issues, technology isn’t the be all-end all solution to your HR problems.
  • Have a strong WHY message:
    As Simon Sinek says, start with why. This is the first question people will ask you when you launch the software. You should have a good answer. Chances are you had one when you got buy-in from the leadership team, so tweak the message for the end-user.
  • Have a strong communication plan:
    Contrary to what sit-coms would have you believe, no one likes surprises. Pave the way for a successful implementation. Let people know it’s coming, why it’s coming, when it’s coming, how it’s coming, and what you need from them. Then let them know a few more times.
  • Make it easy to learn and use:
    Hopefully you selected a software with a friendly user-interface. Regardless, configure the system so it’s easy to log on (single sign on is your friend), easy to navigate, and provide lots of “help” documentation. And train the heck out of all end-users – both just-in-case (classroom/online) and just-in-time options (quick videos and job aids).
  • Integrate it into your business processes:
    If you want them to use it, don’t allow workarounds. I recently spoke to a quality manager whose organization had launched a recognition software. It was a rare opportunity to talk to a non-HR end-user, so I asked him how they went about integration and what the adoption rate was. He said the integrated it into all business processes so you couldn’t do certain tasks WITHOUT using the software. Pretty sneaky…and pretty smart. Initially, people may resist this approach, but sometimes you need compliance before you can reach consent. (Remember, yammer seemed like a good idea until no one made it mandatory.)
  • Content is king:
    As always, populate your software with useful information. Are you launching an LMS? Make sure the training content is good. Launching an ATS? Ensure the hiring manager can get to the information he/she would want to see the most. Want a company intranet? Make the content interesting and relevant.
  • Is it adding value?:
    Always ask yourself if the software is adding value to your primary user group. If not, people will abandon it and you’ll be left with an expensive desktop shortcut that no one ever uses.

Not every HR software implementation will pan out. Sometimes they start with a bang and end with a whimper. If, however, you take the time to think through your plan and set yourself up for success, you just might win the implementation battle.
 

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“Does your company have benchmarks (or alarms) that are agreed on by leadership and prompt specific action? For example, if sales dip to a certain percentage, or your cost of goods or labor increases, at what point do those changes prompt action for those making decisions?” – Erin Spencer


My elementary-aged children didn’t have school on Election Day. As a working parent, random school holidays require me to figure out alternative childcare or use a vacation day. Fortunately, I currently work from home so my son, daughter, and nephew can pile up the blankets and pillows, build a fort, and play video games. I’m able to work on work projects while caring for (and yet ignoring) the kids.

However, this isn’t about the care gap, school scheduling as a nightmare, or any other work-life balance issue, it’s about lunch. More specifically, it’s about what happened at lunchtime.

Children want to be fed at regular intervals (shocking, I know) so I put a pizza in the oven and headed upstairs to get ready to go vote. 15 minutes later I head downstairs and am greeted by a timer going off.

I ask my son how long it’s been beeping and a few minutes was his reply. After I rescue lunch, I think about how leadership responds to alarms within an organization.

Does your company have benchmarks (or alarms) that are agreed on by leadership and prompt specific action? For example, if sales dip to a certain percentage, or your cost of goods or labor increases, at what point do those changes prompt action for those making decisions?

Erin Spencer, Senior Research Analyst at Sierra-Cedar and HRExaminer Editorial Advisory Board Contributor.


My son was waiting while the timer went off for someone else to solve the problem while lunch needed attention. He had the right information but didn’t know what to do with it.

The business consequences of ignoring small warning signs can be far more significant than an overdone pizza. They include missed opportunities, declining revenue, or even liquidation.

Do you give people the information they need to make good decisions? Do they have a path to share concerns at the early stages of change? Are they allowed or encouraged to notice when things are wrong?

Do they know how to use the information that they have? Can they recognize the fact that the ‘timer is going off’? Do they know what to do when that happens?

I study HR software and strategy and one of the types of organizations we look at in our analysis of the Sierra-Cedar HR Systems Survey Data is the Data Driven Organization. These organization’s employees and managers have more access to business data. They use more sources of data when making business decisions. They achieve better financial, Business, HR, and Talent Outcomes than organizations that aren’t data driven.

I’m not suggesting that every organization be Data Driven. There are benefits if you are. But, transparency is a critical organizational choice. Our data driven companies also practice deep transparency. They teach their employees what to do with information. It’s not for everyone.

However, all organizations are faced with expanding volumes of data. They need a clear process to determine what is and isn’t important and why. Broadly sharing information across the workforce is a separate topic from managing your data. The worst possible case is when a company doesn’t know what data it has and doesn’t share it with employees.

On Election Day in United States of America, voters have the ability to look at external data and situations. They use some, all, or none of it to make decisions about leadership and the direction of the country. In corporate America not every employee sets strategies. But mechanisms should be in place to identify possible problems and create solutions.

Building a proactive culture is better than waiting for someone else to identify the warning signs. Then you might get a course correction before the timer goes off and everyone’s lunch burns. But the effectiveness of proactive organizations is precisely limited by data availability and the insights data provides.
 

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