Earlier today the latest workplace flexibility research from the Families and Work Institute and SHRM came out, and there were some very interesting data points in the study. A few quick hits from the 2014 National Study of Employers (link to the full study below):
- The presence of women/minorities impacts offerings: Organizations with more women and racial or ethnic minorities who are in or report to executive leadership positions are more likely to offer a high level of health care and economic security benefits than organizations with fewer women/minorities in those positions.
- How are employers preparing their people? Employers are more likely to provide training for supervisors in managing diversity and least likely to have a leadership development program for women (63% vs 11%).
- The all important culture discussion: Respondents were asked to assess the supportiveness of their workplace cultures… The majority of respondents indicated “very true” to statements assessing whether supervisors are encouraged to assess employee performance by what they accomplish rather than “face time” (64%) and whether supervisors are encouraged to be supportive of employees with family needs and by finding solutions that work for both employees and the organization (58%). Far fewer employers, however, responded “very true” to statements asking whether management rewards those within the organization who support flexible work arrangements (11%) and whether their organization makes a real and ongoing effort to inform employees of the availability of work-life assistance (24%).
- Twenty one percent of employers overall indicated they must comply with the FMLA but fail to offer at least 12 weeks of paid or unpaid leave for at least one type of leave. In other words, approximately one in five employers appear to be out of compliance with the Family and Medical Leave Act.
It’s day two of the 2014 SHRM Talent Management conference, and I attended a great session on Quality of Attrition: Management’s Favorite Human Capital Metric. The bottom line is that we know that every person that leaves the business is not the same. Why they left, how valuable they were, and what the organization could have done to change the results are all elements of attrition quality that can (and should, arguably) be measured.
So who’s doing it?
According to data from i4cp, high-performing companies are more likely than low-performing companies to measure various factors relating to employee attrition. In fact, 85% of high performing companies measure factors such as voluntary/involuntary attrition, whereas low performers only measure that data approximately 70% of the time.
Earlier I posted on career growth and development and some ideas and insights from the SHRM Talent Management Conference, and as I was looking through some of the results from a SHRM survey released this week I realized that there is an interesting disconnect. While we want to look at employees as more valuable than their current job title for development purposes, we don’t want to do do that up front when they approach us as candidates. In fact, 66% of organizations prefer chronological resumes to functional resumes (source: SHRM).
I’m at the SHRM Talent Management Conference in Nashville this week. This morning I attended a session on improving employee retention by Linda Ginac at TalentGuard. Here are some thoughts on that topic…
Turnover is real
With average employee turnover by generation standing at 2 years (Millenials), 5 years (Gen X), and 7 years (Boomers), turnover is a real issue for organizations everywhere. According to a recent study, the average turnover in the US is 15% with just over 10% of that being voluntary/preventable.
So, what are you going to do about it?
[Related: Check out this employee retention video]
Each employee is more than their job title
This isn’t a call to completely forego the HR strategy that undergirds your long term success. However, it is a reminder that some of the things you’ll have to do to ultimately be successful include more than just making plans, developing schedules, and keeping to those guidelines. Sometimes you might actually have to jump in and help. Step away from the flowchart, roll up your sleeves, and get into the thick of things.
A vivid example
In college, I had an HR professor who spent years in the medical industry working as an HR manager. He had great stories, but one he told has stuck with me over the years. One day there was an accident and several people were brought into the hospital at once, overwhelming the staff. He happened to be walking by and saw the chaos, then he realized there was a puddle of blood in the floor from one of the injured patients.
Next week I’ll be attending the SHRM Talent Management Conference in Nashville. It’s an event focusing on recruiting and talent, and I’m excited about attending and sharing some of the sessions I’ll be viewing.
If you’re going to be there and want to connect, hit me up via email and we can try to make it work.
As a preview, here are the sessions I’m planning to check out during the event.
Big Data: Your Best Bet In The War For Talent
Why: As our organization has grown it has become harder to source from some of the same pools that we’ve used repeatedly over the years. I’m hoping to learn more about using data to help find the next person I hire.
Quality of Attrition: Management’s Favorite Human Capital Metric
Why: We have a long-standing discussion at work about the difference between retention and turnover. For our purposes, retention is preventable, turnover is not. I’m hoping to learn more about attrition, what the market averages are, and how we can leverage that for better organizational metrics.
Beyond Performance Reviews: Influencing Performance Improvement
Why: Thanks to my buddy Chris Ponder, I’ve been getting more interested in the field of performance improvement lately. I’d like to look at ways we can take our paper (shudder) performance reviews to another level with more impact to the business.
Effectively Managing a Remote Workforce
Why: We have more people outside our local office and we’re adding new work sites regularly. It becomes difficult to make sure everyone feels included and engaged when they are not physically in the same workplace. I’m looking for ideas on how managers can lead those people as well as how to make sure we’re taking care of the remote staff adequately.
Strategic Talent Acquisition: The “Talent Advisor” Approach
Basically, how valuable would your leadership say your recruiting function is? Do they think it enhances the overall business by finding the right people at the right time? I think we do this pretty well, but I am always looking for ways to improve our service delivery on the recruiting side.
Well? Anything in there look interesting to you? What would you like me to share about?
Recently the list of the 100 best jobs was published for this year, and HR was again on the list. This time it ranked number 71 out of 100. It’s always fun to look at these lists to see how they compare, because we all want to think we’re working in a field that others see as important and valuable. It’s difficult to do that in HR, because many people have never run across someone working in human resources that truly cared about their wellbeing and success.
So, what were some of the 70 jobs that beat it out?
Jobs that are (supposedly) better than HR
Accountant. (Even during tax time, this somehow managed to beat HR?)
Meeting planner. (I thought planning events was an HR function…)
Compliance officer. (Ditto-doesn’t HR do compliance? Also, how in the world is compliance better than human resources?!?)
Bill collector. (Wow. Calling people to harass them about money they owe is better? Really? Now we’re just getting ridiculous.)
How to get an HR job
From the article:
If Segal was hiring a new specialist, she says she would consider “someone who is smart, understands that HR is part of the management function, has business savvy and a keen analytical mind.” Like other areas of business, HR focuses on innovation and return on investment, she says. “HR needs creative, innovative thinkers to take us past the traditional paper processing and compliance focus to show our value and ROI in the global economy in new ways,” she says. In addition to having fresh ideas, Segal says you must demonstrate good writing skills, be able to work with financial data and have a solid understanding of your industry. “Being in HR in a startup tech company is not the same as being in HR in a bank or a manufacturing company or in the entertainment industry,” she says. “While there is some obvious overlap, if you want to be truly effective, be seen as more than a paper pusher and have a seat at the table, you need to show that you understand the business you’re in and how HR can support the bottom line.”
I agree with some of this for sure, but it’s also funny to see that some of these comments still don’t align with how a large portion of the HR population works and thinks even today. Many of those in this profession don’t put any stock in reviewing/analyzing financial data or even having a firm understanding of their industry. They are content to make policies, fight to keep fun out of the workplace, and collect a paycheck until they retire. It’s why blogs like this one have become so popular–because people like you realize that there is more to this profession than what we were told when we started. There’s certainly more to life (and HR) than what meets the eye.
More on breaking into HR, for those who are interested. Also, if you want to check it out, the US News article is here.
What are your thoughts? Is this job better or worse than the ranking they assigned? Why?