Your Invite to #DisruptHR HSV: Let’s Do This

If you live within driving distance of of Huntsville, Alabama, I’d love to personally invite you to the first ever DisruptHR HSV on August 16th at 5:30pm. If you’re not familiar, DisruptHR is a global movement made up of local grassroots-level events giving HR and business leaders an opportunity to network and discuss how we can change HR for the better.

disrupthr hsv

We just closed the speaker applications and are sorting through submissions (announcing soon!) If you want to sponsor (limited opportunities up for grabs), contact me here. If you want to attend, tickets are very inexpensive. We purposely priced them at such a low rate to make sure we can make attendance attainable for anyone that is interested in HR, training, talent, and/or recruiting.

Kristina Minyard and I are the co-organizers (co-disruptors?) for this event, and we’re honored to have the opportunity to bring this event to Huntsville and help our local HR audience learn and grow through innovative content. There will be food. There will be drinks. There will be content. What more could you ask for?

We have a ton of amazing speakers lined up, including one of Huntsville’s finest and a nationally recognized HR blogging and social media expert, Jazmine Wilkes. Additionally, our fine city will be represented by Erin Koshut, one of the key influencers and leaders at the Huntsville Chamber of Commerce. Look for more speaker info coming out soon on the event page.

If you have questions, feel free to reach out to me. Tickets just opened last week and are already nearly 30% sold out. We fully expect to sell out in advance!

employee engagement performance

Here’s How An Engaged Company Outperforms Others by Nearly 150 Percent

Employees are more disengaged than ever, and the statistics on employee engagement only serve to further the narrative. Gallup reports that more than half of employees (51 percent) say they’re actively looking for a different job or watching for opportunities. Nearly 26 percent of the U.S. workforce is going to change jobs this year, and these are typically the most highly skilled and motivated employees.

Organizations need to fully understand just how critical engagement is to success. Gallup shows that organizations with a highly engaged workforce outperform peers by 147 percent in earnings per share. And the cost of rehiring and retraining replacement workers has been well-documented.

So why, in this enlightened age, would any organization not prioritize employee engagement?

The Compliance-Engagement Balancing Act

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We’re Only Human 38: How to Take Advantage of the Human Qualities of Work

What does it mean to be human?

With all the discussion of robots, AI, and machines at work, is there a clear delineation between what humans can do that software can’t? In today’s discussion with the inimitable Dani Johnson of Red Thread Research, Ben and Dani discuss some practical ways employers can look at weaving more human components into the work they’re doing.

Dani’s research shows that things like collaboration, storytelling, and creating a vision for the future all tie in with this innate human quality of work, but how do we take advantage of those tools to create better workplaces and performance? This meshes well with Ben’s approach in his new book, “Artificial Intelligence for HR,” and the conversation takes a fun turn as they both explore examples and ideas for how to make this practically appealing for employers. 

To learn more about Dani and Red Thread be sure to visit redthreadresearch.com

 

press compensation transparency framework

How Pay Transparency Affects Equality, Engagement, and More

Next week I’m heading up to Massachusetts to talk about pay transparency to a group of HR and business leaders. Of all the topics I could have spoken about, why pay transparency?

First of all, it’s becoming more and more of an issue because of legislation that prevents employers from asking about salary history. Research shows that women are less likely to ask for higher salaries and these laws are about trying to reduce negotiations so that women and men have more equal pay for equal work.

Secondly, in a workplace where trust is at a premium, all the research points to considerable links between trust, transparency, and employee/business performance. We can’t have engaged employees without trust and transparency, and employers can’t succeed without engaged, energetic employees. It’s all connected!

The Options for Transparency

Employers have a range of options when it comes to transparency. They can be transparent about:

  1. Business decisions–why certain decisions are made and how they affect the workforce
  2. Job opportunities–are you sharing open jobs with internal staff or hoping they don’t find out about them and try to make internal moves?
  3. Compensation decisions–do workers know how decisions are made around compensation or is it a “black box” where decisions are made without any clarity or insight?

Deloitte’s research says that high-performing companies are 4.5x more likely to have a well-defined communications strategy, sharing information on pay determinants, budgets, and distribution.

The Spectrum of Transparency

The first thing that appears in your head when I say transparency around compensation might be a company like Buffer. Buffer posts its salaries on the website for the public to see. Yes, really. The company also shares radically about its business plans and other information openly. While this has worked out for the firm, it’s not something I’d recommend for everyone.

There are clear pros and cons for a fully open and transparent approach. The benefits include clear expectations, consistent compensation schedules, and difficulty to discriminate. However, the issues can include a lack of connection to performance, lack of organizational agility, and a significant difficulty to motivate/retain top performers.

Without some measure of transparency, bad things happen. For example, Lawler’s research shows that workers routinely OVERestimate the pay of their peers and subordinates and UNDERestimate the pay of their superiors. That means they are less happy with what you’re paying them!

Additionally, Helliwell and Huang’s research points out that a 10% increase in organizational trust is equal to a 36% increase in pay for workers. They want, need, and crave trust (and transparency), and it’s as important as a pay bump to get it!

Making it Stick

I have developed a five-part process called the PRESS framework that guides employers through the decisions that improve transparency.

press compensation transparency framework

What are your thoughts on compensation transparency? Is your organization doing a good job of this, or would you like to be doing better? 

*If you’re interested in having me speak at your conference or company on this topic please feel free to reach out to me!

The Calm Before the Storm…

It’s been quiet this week, because I’ve been finishing up the final round of edits on my book that comes out later this year. Yesterday I turned in what I think is the 99.99% version to the editor (you never quite get that 0.01% from what I can tell).

I’ve learned a lot in this process, and obviously there’s still some ways to go with the publishing and marketing process. What I am very surprised by is how many people are signing up to learn about the book when it comes out. Whenever someone hears there’s a book coming out I always laugh and tell them I went for the broadly appealing topic that everyone can get behind: the impact of AI technology on the HR profession. :-)

Seriously, though, for you as an HR leader, this will be a great resource. And if you like my style of writing and the stories I tell, then you’ll love the book because it’s 64,000ish words of stories, examples, and case studies about how technology is changing HR (and how it’s not).

In the next year or two, if they haven’t already, the leaders of your business will be asking you about how artificial intelligence will impact the workforce, the industry, and the business itself. I wrote this book to help you answer that question. You’ll get real insight, cut through the hype, and be able to give credible guidance to your leadership.

I’m actively booking speaking events and keynotes on the topic, in case you might be interested in hearing me tell some of the stories and give some insight into how HR can be more human, not less, through the advent of new technologies.

Above all else, I am thankful for the 10,000+ of you that follow the blog, read here on a regular basis, and support me and my family. I’ve wanted to be an author for a very long time, and I have to be honest when I say this topic isn’t the one I imagined for my first book.

My local friends and colleagues know that on top of working on this book for the last 8 months (and researching it for another year before that) I am also the President of North Alabama SHRM this year. I volunteer because I like staying plugged in and because I love the opportunity to influence and support today’s HR leaders.

However, it’s been tough trying to balance both of those activities with the needs of four kids, the day job at Lighthouse, work travel, the additional projects I’ve been leading on the development of our new certification materials, the creation of our new training courses, and more. Put simply, this has been a tough year. Now I’m planning DisruptHR in Huntsville with my good friend Kristina Minyard and we’re even trying to revive HRevolution for the first time in years.

I think I’ve learned a few things. First of all, I’m bad at balancing everything. I have recently pulled back on some activities at church in an effort to reclaim some of my time. I’m about finished with the book, which has been a MAJOR chunk of my time. I am working with my board to plan our last few NASHRM events of 2018, which is one of the most time-consuming parts of being President (it shouldn’t be one of my tasks but I love programming too much to let it go!).

The other thing I’ve learned? I always have to have a few things cooking. Another publisher has already reached out asking if I’d be open to writing a book for them. I DO need a little break in between but I’ve already committed in my head to writing another book in the next year or two. I just love sharing at a deeper level and the idea of having a physical product in hand at the end of the process is exciting for some reason.

What were you supposed to get from today’s conversation? Not sure… But hopefully you are enjoying your holiday week as well. And next time we have a Wednesday holiday, can we all agree to take off the last half of the week to celebrate? :-) Enjoy your weekend!

We’re Only Human 37: Taking a Different Approach to Safety Training

Safety training is boring. It’s blah. It’s a waste of time and resources. Right? Or is it the foundation for creating a workplace where employees can thrive? As you’ll hear during the show, the cost of safety training can top $200,000 per year for many firms when you factor in all of the associated costs. Yet we don’t do a good job of making sure that investment pays off. 

In today’s discussion, Ben talks with Rick Tobin, CEO of SafetyNow, about various aspects of learning and development. The discussion covers topics like retention of critical knowledge, how to use a learning management system to simplify training delivery, and why safety training is more than just a passive session in front of a DVD player. 

Want to connect with Rick? Check out SafetyNow.com

To see all our show archives and learn more, be sure to check out http://lhra.io/podcast

paid time off

4 Ways to Get Employees to Use More Vacation Time

Did you know that you can now hear the HR Happy Hour show on your Alexa? Simply enable the HR Happy Hour skill and you can hear flash briefings a few times a week. These 3-5 minute episodes cover all kinds of topics that will help you keep your HR skills sharp and stay on top of the latest news. I am recording shows every week or so in addition to the other hosts, and I also am still running We’re Only Human for full episodes.

In a recent episode of the HR Happy Hour Alexa show, I talked about unlimited paid leave plans (episode embedded below; subscribers click through to listen to the 4-minute discussion).


Then last week I spoke with a firm that mentioned the accrued vacation leave liability on their books (millions of dollars!) If you work in HR, you are trying to give your workforce the best benefits you can afford, and that includes paid leave. We want to give them something that shows them we appreciate their efforts, but what happens when employees don’t use that leave? That’s right–it starts to build up a huge liability on the books.

Additionally, it can impact your firm in other ways as well. Taking vacation time has been associated with reduced stress, improved mental/physical health, and more.

Ready for a strategic moment? Sit down with your CFO to talk about how you can reduce that aggregated vacation leave balance (and the associated liability on the balance sheet). Below are four ideas for how to approach it from the HR side.  Continue reading