Category Archives: General

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

stay compliant rif checklist

3 Tips for Staying Compliant with a Reduction in Force (RIF)

Ask any business leader and they’ll tell you that a reduction in force, or a RIF, is one of the hardest activities to carry out. Often times good employees are hit by these decisions through no fault of their own, and the resulting morale issues can doubly affect the workplace in a negative way. That said, there are times when a RIF is an essential part of business continuity and operations. Today we’re going to explore some of the key things to know about RIFs.

What is a RIF?

stay compliant rif checklistA RIF is a time when employers have to reduce their employee headcount. This can be a handful of workers or a significant population. There are a variety of reasons why these might occur. For instance, maybe the company lost a large contract or a product has not sold as well as was expected, which means the workforce planning forecast was too high.

Essentially the employer finds out that the number of workers on payroll is more than the necessary number required to continue operating the business, and those additional workers need to be identified and separated. However, it’s not as simple as seeing that there are twenty extra workers that need to go — it’s important to pick the right ones so that the company isn’t hindered by this process any more than necessary.

3 Tips for Managing a Compliant Reduction in Force

A RIF is hard enough to go through without running afoul of legal requirements. No HR team wants to manage this fairly emotional process only to find out there are additional headaches and legal challenges on the other end. With that in mind, these three suggestions help to run a successful (and compliant) RIF:

  1. Get clear on the skills your company needs post-RIF so that you make the right decisions about who to retain and who to remove as part of the RIF. This is a core part of the HR strategic planning process and should not be overlooked in this exercise.
  2. Understand the WARN Act and its requirements. The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act requires companies with more than 100 employees to provide 60-calendar days of notice in advance of plant closing and mass layoffs. Failing to comply with the law could cost the employer up to 60 days of back pay and benefits for each employee.
  3. Do an internal adverse impact analysis to understand the likelihood of legal action based on decisions. While we can’t always know what will happen, this is a great preventative measure. For additional ideas and examples, including how to calculate adverse impact, be sure to check out the rest of my post on how to stay compliant with RIFs.

What has been your experience? Any other ideas that might be worth remembering during this process?

How to Get the Employee Experience on the CEO’s Agenda [eBook+Webinar]

employee experience business impact
Short version: I’m co-hosting an upcoming webinar focusing on the employee experience and how to get executive attention and investment in building your own firm’s employee experience. Read on for details about how to sign up and how to get a free copy of the new eBook!

It’s hard to turn around today without hearing about the employee experience. Virtually every vendor is laying claim to this concept, yet for most HR practitioners the concept is fuzzy, and for executives, it’s even more abstract. In that case, good luck getting support and investment for yet another “squishy” HR program that doesn’t impact the business… Seriously though, what is this idea of the employee experience, and more importantly, does it connect to the business in a meaningful way?

This question is the one my HR Federation partners, George LaRocque and Madeline Laurano, and I set out to answer. George and I will be leading a webinar on March 29th at noon Central to explore the concepts in the eBook and to dig a little deeper into the employee experience. It will be a fun conversation full of ideas to help you up your HR game. Be sure to register here for the session so you can get those insights. In addition, we’ll be giving registrants a copy of the eBook for free!

About the eBook

Our latest collaborative piece adds some much needed clarity around the concept of employee engagement. The eBook specifically looks at how to get the employee experience on the CEO’s agenda.

In the eBook, you can learn about how to connect key business metrics, such as innovation, revenue, productivity, customer satisfaction, and employee retention, back to this overall concept of employee experience. As any leader knows, having an executive-level discussion about the business will inevitably turn back to the data, and this guide arms you with specific examples to help build a business case for embracing and investing in the employee experience.

In addition, if you have questions about the employee experience (what is it, how does it work, why should you care, etc.), feel free to bring those to the discussion Thursday and George and I can address them in the flow of the conversation.

donna quinney

How to Attend an HR Conference (and make it worth your while) [Podcast]

One of the greatest compliments I get from you, the listener, is when I have the opportunity to share something highly practical with you that you can use to improve your results in a powerful way. Today’s discussion is one of those.

Think about the last conference you attended. What did you learn?

No, specifically, what did you learn?

Research tells us that within a few days we forget most of what we hear in a single training session, much less a whole conference with a wide range of topics. That’s why today’s episode is focused on how to get the most out of the HR conferences you attend. Over the course of my ten-year career I have attended dozens of conferences, seminars, and events, and I would imagine you also attend a good number of events as well. Let’s get the most out of those, shall we?

I attend a lot of conferences. I meet people. I hear sessions. I meet vendors. It’s part of my world. But what about yours? Chances are you attend a limited number of conferences, seminars, and events as part of your ongoing professional development. How do you make sure you approach these learning opportunities strategically, enabling you to not only solve today’s problems in your business but also to build a network of people that can help you solve tomorrow’s problems as well?

In today’s podcast, I interview a friend (and fellow parent of twins) about how she prepares for events. Donna Quinney is the HR Manager at Ignite in Huntsville, Alabama. In the episode Donna explains how she connects with her manager prior to attending an event to make sure that they get the most out of their investment, what content and topics to prioritize, and more. Whether Donna’s method works for you or not, it’s a great reminder to be thinking about how to get the most from the events you attend to make the best use of these amazing professional development opportunities.

If you’d like to check out an HR conference I’ll be at this year, definitely consider signing up for the SilkRoad Connections User Conference. I will be leading a series of workshops on innovation in HR and helping attendees to solve some of their most pressing challenges across the spectrum from engagement and retention to diversity and talent.

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