employer communications

Did Google Fake its AI Demo? A Lesson for Employer Communications

If you’re a nerd or just a casual technology news consumer, you might have heard about the recent live Google Duplex demo with the company’s CEO. In essence, the technology will assist you with those mundane or annoying times when you need to schedule an appointment. Simply tell your device to schedule an appointment for you and it will take care of the whole thing, phone call, scheduling, and all.

Sounds amazing, right? But following the demo, journalists began asking questions of Google. Here’s an article that tipped me off to the issue:

The demo was indeed impressive…  But is it possible that the promise of Google’s advanced artificial-intelligence tech is too good to be true? As Axios noted Thursday morning, there was something a little off in the conversations the A.I. had on the phone with businesses, suggesting that perhaps Google had faked, or at least edited, its demo.

Unlike a typical business (Axios called more than two dozen hair salons and restaurants), the employees who answered the phone in Google’s demos don’t identify the name of the business, or themselves. Nor is there any ambient noise in Google’s recordings, as one would expect in a hair salon or a restaurant. At no point in Google’s conversations with the businesses did the employees who answered the phone ask for the phone number or other contact information from the A.I.

Further, California is a two-party consent state, meaning that both parties need to consent in order for a phone conversation to be legally recorded. Did Google seek the permission of these businesses before calling them for the purposes of the demo? Was it staged in the simulated manner of reality TV? (Source: Vanity Fair)

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renee robson HR

Does Your HR Career Leave an Impact? [Podcast]

If you know anyone who is considering an HR career transition or has recently moved to a new HR or recruiting role, this is the episode for them!

In my 10+ years in the workplace, I still screw things up. Do you? It’s usually driven by urgency rather than slowing down to take a strategic look at how to make a decision. While I will say I haven’t really made career choice mistakes that way, I could have probably done some of the transitions better. More planning, more prep, better alignment with supervisor expectations, etc.

In today’s episode of We’re Only Human I chat with Renee Robson, an HR leader currently based in Australia. We talk about what it takes to measure your success as an HR leader, how to create an environment where you can succeed, the best things about working in HR, and more. It’s a really fun discussion and you can hear the passion in Renee’s voice as we cover all these points!

The thing I think of when this topic of impact arises? Legacy. What’s your legacy? When you leave, how will people refer to you? What will they say about your work and your impact?

And while you won’t hear it in the recording, Renee gets the award for longest “chit chat” before and after a recording. I think we talked for over an hour total OUTSIDE the conversation you’re about to hear. :-) Also, if you enjoy this episode you will probably like “How to Be a Chief Trouble Maker in HR” as well where I talk with Jill Kopanis about breaking out of the stereotypical HR mold.

Show Notes

Episode link: https://beneubanks.podbean.com/e/33-how-to-measure-your-success-in-an-hr-career/

How do you measure success as an HR leader? Is it in the company’s retention and hiring rates, or is it something more personal? Maybe you think about how you’ve helped others succeed in spite of challenges.

renee robson HRToday’s discussion explores how to measure your success, how to make a career transition successfully, and more. Speaking with Renee Robson, Performance and Capability Manager for Widex Australia, Ben digs into what it takes to stratgically run your HR career and take it to new heights. For example, how do you personally lay a foundation of success before and after you take on a new job?

Renee’s insights include a variety of information, from the best things about working in HR to the best way to measure your success in an HR role. She even offers a way to build out a 30, 60, or 90 day plan when taking on a new role or project to ensure sustained success.

Connect with Renee:

https://twitter.com/reneeroberz

https://www.linkedin.com/in/reneerobson/

See other episodes and information about We’re Only Human: http://lhra.io/podcast

hr certification career options

2018 HRCI Certification Changes: What You Need to Know

If you haven’t heard, HRCI recently came out with some major changes to their learning content structure–the biggest I’ve seen in the last ten years. Below I outline what you need to know, how to prepare, and a major announcement from me about what we’re doing to help you prepare.

Before I jump into the changes, one of the most common questions I’m getting is whether our certification materials help with this NEW exam. I cover this more deeply below, but my most common answer is this: there aren’t fundamentally different ways to practice good HR. There’s pretty much one way. And changing exam weightings, names, or even throwing in a competing certification (SHRM) doesn’t change that, despite the fact that each certifying body tries to make themselves sound unique and different. Our courses and training materials are designed to help HR professionals get their arms around the needs of the business and how HR can align with them, whether in recruiting, learning, performance, or something else.

That said, we ARE making changes to what we offer, and again, I cover that in more detail at the end of this post.

HRCI Changes: The Big Picture

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Lighthouse-research-and-advisory

5 Research-Backed Performance Management Practices of Great Companies [Webinar]

Instead of just hating on performance management processes, why don’t we do something about them? We hear a lot of stories about companies with rainbows and unicorns. Everything is perfect and happy. But the reality is most of us have challenges, and this is a real look at the specific practices we can use to improve outcomes.

New insights our team has uncovered at Lighthouse Research reveal a clear distinction between the performance management and engagement practices used at high-performing firms versus their lower-performing peers. The top-performing companies leverage a mixture of recognition, regular conversations, and other practices to create more engaging workplace experiences for their employees, ultimately driving engagement and performance to new heights.

Lighthouse-research-and-advisoryIn this webcast, we’ll look at the research and what it can teach us about how to improve our approach to performance management. More practically, we’ll examine some case studies and stories of companies that have modified their approach to performance management, reaping a variety of rewards. You will learn:

  • the deep links between engagement, performance management, and business results
  • how to adapt performance management practices to improve outcomes
  • how other firms have made the transition, including lessons learned.

This 60-minute training session will be held on Wednesday, May 9th at 11:00am Central. Sign up for the webinar below (subscribers click through to register.

Would You Fire Your Employee for Saying This?

In the last week the media world tied itself into a knot after a writer at The New Yorker wrote a scathing critique of Chick-Fil-A’s continued success in New York. The issue, in part, was that the critique wasn’t totally focused at Chick-Fil-A itself but had its sights set on Christian values. A few quotes from the piece:

  • The brand’s arrival here feels like an infiltration… because of its pervasive Christian traditionalism.
  • Its headquarters, in Atlanta, are adorned with Bible verses and a statue of Jesus washing a disciple’s feet.
  • The restaurant’s corporate purpose still begins with the words ‘to glorify God.’

My question for you today: would you have fired your employee for saying or writing this kind of thing, knowing that his or her actions reflect on you as an employer?   Continue reading

skills future proof

Future-Proofing Your Skills for an Automated Workplace

In a recent interview, I heard motivational speaker Jon Acuff tell the interviewer that he sincerely hopes that nobody looks for their dream job as their first “real” job. Instead, he explained, that first job is there primarily to teach someone how to have a job.

skills future proofHow to deal with people. How to handle pressure. How to solve problems.

Those and other similar soft skills will be increasingly important as the workplace sees increasing automation through artificial intelligence and robotics. Continue reading

kristina minyard

4 Millennial Myths and a Very Hard Truth [Podcast]

I haven’t done a great job of keeping the podcast shared here because I’m now publishing about once a week, and I typically have time to publish about once a week on this blog as well. If you have missed any episodes, like how to forecast your workforce planning (episode 25 interview with H&R Block’s head of hiring) or how to get the most out of an HR conference (episode 26 interview with Donna Quinney of Ignite), be sure to subscribe to the feed by plugging this link into iTunes or searching for the show in iTunes, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast app! 

If you’ve followed me for any length of time you know that this “Millennial thing” gets me. It gets me good. I can’t stand to be lumped into a giant demographic with tons of red flags and stereotypes. That’s why I recorded this podcast with Kristina Minyard (fellow Millennial) to talk about the four myths we see in how people expect this generation to want to be treated. It’s fun, entertaining, and a great opportunity to hear from some actual people that SHOULD know what’s going on, not another “generational expert” that’s milking your fears of what generations want for money.

See? It gets me. :-) Continue reading