Category Archives: General

Measuring Productivity in the Modern Workplace: Prodoscore on We’re Only Human

“We can’t forget about being human.”

Tom Moran, Chief Strategy Officer, Prodoscore

 

We’re Only Human — Episode 102

 

When workers gathered to work on assembly lines, productivity was easy: you counted the widgets produced per hour. In the modern workplace, it’s a much harder proposition. How do you know when knowledge workers are really accomplishing what they need to be? 

In today’s discussion, Ben dives into those questions and more with Tom Moran of Prodoscore. Prodoscore is a productivity intelligence tool designed to help companies understand how the workforce gets things done, who may need help, and where opportunities exist for smarter business practices. 

Tom shares how Prodoscore helps customers measure individual worker productivity, how the data can serve as a performance coaching tool, and more. 

 

See Prodoscore’s ethical pledge: https://www.prodoscore.com/company/#pledge

 

2021: A Personal Update and a Look Ahead

If you follow the blog closely you have noticed that I’ve gone a bit quiet in recent months other than episodes of the podcast coming out. I can pull out the reasons/excuses if you like:

  • Work has been intense (partly due to the madness of navigating a pandemic) and frankly, balancing ever-present kids and work has been mentally tiring. On the plus side, I’m getting quality time with family that I might never get again, so it’s a worthy trade off long term. :-)
  • We’ve had deaths of close friends and connections, and that accumulation over the last 12 months has pulled at my soul.
  • I finally rehabbed my knee tendon issue (was off of running from January to October). But I got overexcited with returning to running (my favorite stress buster), putting too much stress on my foot and prolonging my recovery.

I took a bit of time off around the holidays (even had a new year’s eve dance/glow dance party with the kids) to take a much needed pause.

dance party

Taking off a bit of time has been helpful to rejuvenate and refresh my thinking and ensure that the coming year includes the things that you’ve come to expect from this blog: fresh perspectives, practical advice, and maybe even a bit of entertainment in the form of audience questions.

I’d love to hear from you–what do you want to see more of here?

  • Practical advice?
  • More questions answered?
  • Inspiration and encouragement?
  • How-to’s?

I’ve been running this blog for over 10 years now and while I have some ideas on things to cover this year, I’d love to hit the things you care about, the things that inspire you, and the things that make you a better person and HR pro. If you like the reader questions, I’ll publish more of them! If you prefer more inspirational pieces to encourage you, we can do that, too. I’d just love to know, really.

A few things on my radar for 2021

Super secret project: I’m on the verge of finalizing a new tool that helps you to see how your work style fits into HR, whether you are leading a team, looking for a job, or just trying to find out what role is best for you within the HR spectrum. SO excited about this one. It’s going to be incredible. Hoping to announce/release it within the month!

HR Summer School: I am already in early talks to bring back a version of the immensely popular HR Summer School for 2021 with a new set of voices and perspectives on things that matter to each of you.

Learning Reimagined: If you focus on learning and/or talent development, you should check out Learning Reimagined. It’s going to be incredible and unlike any virtual event you’ve seen so far (and better than many in-person events, too). I’m partnering on this one but so excited to see if come to life.

Speaking/Events: As of now, there are one or two events that are scheduled in physical locations, but they may still be pushed back as did everything in 2020, depending on vaccines and other developments. Much more likely that I’ll continue the trend of virtual events, both speaking and organizing, alongside the team at HR Tech Roundtable as I have in 2020.

Podcast/Livestream: I’m continuing with the podcast and the new weekly video livestream show on LinkedIn and YouTube (check out HR Tech Talks if you haven’t already seen it), but I’m always up for ideas for content if you have anything you would like to see me cover on the shows!

Local/volunteering: I’m incredibly thankful for an opportunity to support my local HR chapter as a mentor this year in our Mentor University program. I was a participant on the receiving end over 10 years ago in the first program, and I always said I’d pay it forward if someone gave me the opportunity. I’ve been paired with a wonderful HR pro that shifted from a career in technology, and I can’t wait to learn from her as well as help her with her professional growth.

Bottom line: it’s going to be an insightful and invigorating 2021, and I’d love to have you play a part in that. Tell me what you’re looking for, and we’ll make it happen.

Mediocrity, Clarity, and Personal Brand with Carla Patton on We’re Only Human

“We allow business leaders to dictate things based on who they like, who they golfed with the last weekend, and things like that when it should be: ‘Who is doing the work and who is a benefit to our work environment and our culture?'” Carla Patton, HR Executive

We’re Only Human — Episode 101

One of the challenges in the last year is that the pandemic showed the cracks in the relationships created by poor leadership. In an office environment, there are enough opportunities to smooth over mediocrity from a leadership perspective, but when things are virtual, those kinds of behaviors like favoritism or simply being inept become magnified.

In this episode, Carla Patton encourages us to stop accepting mediocrity from our leaders and hold them to a higher standard. It’s not just about business results–it’s about the kind of environment they create for their team and whether that environment encourages performance or hinders it.

Links:

Ben on the Paychex HR Podcast: https://open.spotify.com/show/3F4a4zK3l0PSQEMf9wl5du

Connect with Carla on LinkedIn:

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

Check out The Career Salon podcast with the HR Twins:

https://open.spotify.com/show/0zUiPwDUotwiu5dna1WrLa

How Paypal Maps and Creates Employee Journeys on We’re Only Human

“We map the employee journey and experiences that an employee has. We do things where we can really hear, learn, and better understand the employee sentiment, directly from employees. We have feedback mechanisms built in that allow us to continually evolve, and we really look at that feedback that we get on our experiences as a gift. We welcome it. We want to hear ‘what did we do’ and ‘how did it land’ and ‘how can we make it better?'”

Adella Bell, PayPal

 

We’re Only Human — Episode 100

 

Today, one of the most challenging pieces of supporting employees is understanding their unique journeys, identifying their needs at each step, and designing experiences that meet those needs. At PayPal, there is a clear approach that leads to better outcomes, and it hinges on employee-focused design. From how feedback is gathered to how journeys are mapped and more, every piece of this is centered on the employees and what they need. 

In today’s discussion, Ben talks with Ramesh Murugan and Adella Bell from PayPal’s HR team to explore how PayPal designs an employee experience that is scalable and high touch, including key insights into how the HR team identifies what the workforce needs through comprehensive voice of the employee efforts. 

 

To learn more about IBM Talent Transformation Services:
http://ibm.biz/talentacquisition

Other episodes in this series on Talent Transformation: 

Learn about PayPal’s commitment to and support of global intiatives in their Impact Report: https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/globalimpact 

 

Ashley Furniture Saved ~$5 Million with Employee Retention: Featuring Humantelligence on We’re Only Human

“So you’re about to go into a meeting physically or remotely, you click on the team on the calendar invite and it’ll pull up the culture of that meeting. Imagine EQ everywhere, and you’re delivering emotional intelligence insights where every person can communicate, collaborate, and connect.” Juan Betancourt, Humantelligence

We’re Only Human — Episode 99 

One of the issues with the tools, the technology, and the processes we use in HR is that we sometimes get away from the human at the core of it all. This episode includes an incredible case study of how Ashley Furniture reduced turnover by approximately 30% and saved nearly $5 million in the process by focusing on the real drivers and values of each individual they hire onto their team.

In today’s discussion, Ben and Juan dig into how we can use more emotional intelligence insights in everyday interactions, creating more human and people-focused workplaces. From hiring decisions to team alignment, there are many different types of opportunities to support and enable better communication and connection.

Connect with Juan: https://www.linkedin.com/in/juanluisbetancourt/

Learn more about Humantelligence: https://humantelligence.com/

How Do I Create an HR Department When My Company Doesn’t Have One [Reader Question]

One of the most popular features here is a series answering reader questions. If you have a question you’d like to ask here or on the podcast, please send it to questions AT upstarthr.com or record a short voice note here anonymously: https://upstarthr.com/question

See other reader questions here. Today’s question is about starting an HR department when the company doesn’t have one yet.

Hey there! Hope all is well with you and your family! My name is Demee and I just finished watching your video on YouTube that you posted several years ago. I will give you some quick background on myself.

I was a Business Manager at a massage business for almost 2 years and decided to step down because I had a feeling that I was on a sinking ship–and it turns out that I was right! So I took a huge leap of faith and changed fields completely! I am now an Oral Surgery Assistant (I had no experience & they trained me) for an oral surgeon group with 9 locations. I’ve currently been at my position for almost 2 years now and I realize that there is no HR department so I see the need for this and want to start one.

Do you have any tips or suggestions for me? I would have to convince my manager of this and he would then have to probably bring it up to the doctors. I have experience hiring/terminations, processing employee verifications, doing payroll, creating/editing the employee handbook (which we desperately need), and I used a payroll technology vendor in the past.

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How to Drive Business Innovation from Within HR on We’re Only Human

“Human resources is ripe for innovation right now. Innovation is definitely a place of great opportunity within human capital. We should be constantly looking out for how we can leverage what others have done in other areas and apply it to human resources functions.” Karin Wagner, Senior Director of Talent Transformation at UnitedHealth Group

We’re Only Human — Episode 98

If you’ve ever wondered why HR seems to struggle with innovation, you’re not alone.

  • For some companies, HR expects innovation to come from other departments.
  • For some companies, HR tries but fails to generate the innovation it needs.
  • But in some firms, HR leads the charge with innovation, creating new opportunities to drive the business and demonstrate the value of HR within the organization. 

In today’s discussion with Karin Wagner, Senior Director of Talent Transformation at UnitedHealth Group, Ben and Karin talk about how this process works and Karin opens her playbook on how to build relationship capital in authentic ways, what it takes to go from idea to execution, and more. Karin is incredibly insightful and you don’t want to miss her ideas in this special episode. 

 

To learn more about IBM Talent Transformation Services:
http://ibm.biz/talentacquisition

Connect with Karin on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/karin-wagner-b26500