Author Archives: Scott Rosen

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HR Take Notice: Narcissists Do Best In Job Interviews

 

Reblogged from Forbes

Author: Victor Lipman

A new study from the University of British Columbia shows that narcissists do best in job interviews – and are more successful “than equally qualified candidates who act more Handsome narcissistic young man looking in a mirror, human resources, hrmodestly.”  The study has substantive implications for Human Resources operations and hiring managers, as well as for job candidates.

Narcissism, derived from the Greek myth of Narcissus, who fell in love with his reflection, involves, per the definition from Psychology Today, “arrogant behavior, a lack empathy for other people, and a need for admiration” – qualities that are consistently exhibited both at work and in relationships.  Narcissists are frequently impulsive and grandiose and tend not to work well with others.   Thus, the importance of management making sound decisions in avoiding hiring narcissists whenever possible.

This new study, however, suggests the opposite actually occurs – since the outgoing and charismatic personalities of narcissists help them excel in interview settings.

“A job interview is one of the few social situations where narcissistic behaviors such as boasting actually create a positive impression,” said Del Paulhus, Psychology Professor at the University of British Columbia and the study’s lead author.  “Normally, people are put off by such behavior, especially over repeated exposure. “  The research noted that “narcissists tended to talk about themselves, make eye contact, joke around and ask the interviewers more questions.  As a result, the study found that people rated narcissists as more attractive candidates for the position.”

Study reveals interview cultural bias – The study also revealed an important cultural bias, as participants of Japanese, Chinese and Korean heritage “showed lower levels of narcissism, and were less likely to receive ‘definitely hire’ ratings as a result.”  The tendency to be impressed by narcissists, noted Paulus, “results in an indirect cultural bias – particularly against East Asians.”

Regarding the study’s logistics, research participants were first evaluated by a questionnaire that measures levels of narcissism, and then were videotaped in a job-interview scenario, and later scored by a team of raters.

So what are the study’s key lessons?  “Candidates should engage with the interviewer while continuing to self-promote,” Paulhus said.  More important from an HR or company standpoint, Paulhus concluded, “Interviewers should look beyond cultural style and assess individual qualifications.  Instead of superficial charm, interviewers must analyze candidates’ potential long-term fit in the organization.”

Which is why it’s always so important for key hiring decision makers to focus on a job candidate’s actual prior results – verifiable hard data – rather than being unduly swayed by charm or force of personality.

Go to Original Article


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HR, Listen Up: Teamwork On The Job Is Overrated

 

Reblogged from Worldcrunch

By Harald Czycholl

The successful candidate has to be a good team player who can fit seamlessly into the company’s dynamic team. This is the familiar notion found in virtually every employment ad these days.

But this team fetishism is also misleading. It has never been conclusively demonstrated that teamwork is particularly productive. In fact, the opposite appears to be true: It can demotivate workers and make them less inclined to perform.

And this is not a new revelation. In 1882, when French agricultural engineer Maximilian Ringelmann researched work efficiency in horses, oxen, machines and people, he found that the individual performance of men in groups when pulling loads was less significant than the performance each man would bring on his own.

Ringelmann had seven men pull on a rope, individually and then as a group. On their own the men pulled a weight of 85 kilograms (187 pounds), but in the group only 65 kilograms (143 pounds). In other words, teamwork cost nearly a fourth of performance capacity.

This phenomenon is known as the Ringelmann effect. But for a long time it was unclear whether it was really demotivation that decreased team performance relative to individual performance or whether perhaps it could be explained by logistical problems. For example, to pull a rope effectively as a group, each man has to find the perfect position enabling all his strength to be put at the service of the task. Less than optimum positions could actually mean team members were unwittingly working against each other.

The same potential kinds of problems also apply to teamwork at the office. When it is not made crystal clear what worker is responsible for which task on a project, the joint work effort suffers.

To discover more about the reasons for performance decline, American social psychologist Harry Ingham repeated the pulling experiments in 1974 — but with one small modification. This time, the eyes of the participants were covered while they pulled on the rope. They were asked to pull twice, once after being told they were doing so in a group, and once on their own. But both times, they were actually pulling alone.

This experiment settled the coordination argument because the result was the same as it had been a century earlier. Participants who believed they were part of a team pulled less hard. That was proof that people show less effort in a group than when they work solo — particularly when they can hide behind the anonymity of the group.

Teams make you lazy

The corruption of the idea of teamwork to really mean “great, somebody else will do it” is very real, and sociologists have even coined a term for it: “social laziness.”

“Social laziness mainly crops up with routine jobs,” says Christian Setzwein, managing director of Setzwein IT Management, a company specializing in project and interim management. “With more difficult jobs, individual performance tends to be higher — the individual feels protected by the group and not personally responsible.”

The phenomenon is particularly strong when each person’s role isn’t at all or is only a little discernible. In a group, “A person only makes a special effort when the results…

Read the full article: HR, Listen Up: Teamwork On The Job Is Overrated

 

 


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5 Ways Chief HR Officers Can Impact The Bottom Line

Reblogged from Forbes.com

By: Bertrand Dussert

Chief human resources officers (CHROs) hear the voices loud and clear: They must evolve to become strategic business forces within their enterprise. But when you pack up the slide decks and put away the research reports, what does that really mean?

The answer is deceptively simple: CHROs must help their company increase sales and create new sources of revenue—now and forever.

CHROs should help all employees generate more value. This topic dominated the onstage and backroom discussions at Oracle HCM World this past February. In his keynote, Oracle ORCL -0.02% CEO Larry Ellison asserted that the modern HR department’s efforts to find the right people, retain them, and help them grow professionally is essential for business success.

“Engineers are very important in terms of building the products. But who finds the engineers,” Ellison asked. “Customer service people are very important. Who trains the customer service people? In a modern company, HR takes on this expanded responsibility for team building and enabling teamwork. I can’t think of anything from a CEO’s perspective that’s more important than that.”

So how does the CHRO translate the demands of senior management into an actual revenue-driving plan? It requires creative thinking and a fundamental change in HR activities. Here are five steps that can get the money ball rolling.

1. Compete to Win: Business competition is tougher than ever, and a gap is growing between market leaders—Amazon and Facebook, for example—and their closest competitors. The same force is at work in the talent market: top talent delivers a bigger payoff than less-skilled peers.
To help senior management defend or improve market position, today’s top CHROs embrace (and encourage) the competitive instinct needed to deliver bottom-line value. They direct their organizations to uncover market advantages in the mountain of data their departments routinely gather.

For example, the CHRO’s team can analyze enterprise information to identify the people and processes creating essential value for the company. Armed with that information, the HR leadership team can set a short-term strategy to secure or develop the talent needed to maintain or expand these activities. That way HR can anticipate where the next labor shortage may be and act pre-emptively to avoid business disruption.

2. Capitalize on Collaboration: For collaboration to deliver value, it must integrate with business processes and encourage tangible results across a dispersed, diverse workforce. Most essential work today is not attributable to a single staff member; it takes a team to achieve success.

HCM strategies should be built to do two things: First, they should encourage collaboration as a business value. Teams with talent from multiple disciplines are essential to ensure that when new business opportunities or challenges arise, they’re fully addressed by line-of-business people, the IT department, sales, customer service, and any other relevant group. The right HCM strategy can put all these resources in place so they’re ready to act on new revenue chances.

Second, strategies should capitalize on collaboration to improve HR operations. Wikis, social media, and other collaboration tools help HR staff members understand the needs of employees and also give them self-service tools that reduce routine inquiries that can drain HR resources.

Find the other 3 ways CHRO’s can impact the bottom line here.


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Give HR Departments More Authority

 

Reblogged from the Wall Street Journal: The Experts

By: GIANPIERO PETRIGLIERI

authorityFor all the focus organizations put on change and innovation, human-resource departments are often among their most conservative quarters.

This is evident in the long-standing popularity of “best practices” that help replicate traditional power structures, and of “competency models” that play down the complex and context-dependent nature of managing and leading, and being recognized as doing so.

It is even more evident in HR’s current romance with “big data” and its promise to predict performance, or more precisely, to select and reward people most like those who have been credited with the company’s success in the past.

There is nothing wrong with processes, models and data, of course. The problem is turning them into a fetish with the pretense that they remove human subjectivity and bias, when in reality they just endorse the subjectivity and consolidate the biases of those people and practices cast as models for everyone else.
Human resources’ conservatism, in short, resides in cloaking leaders’ choices under a veil of pseudoscientific inevitability that inhibits the company from questioning whether reliance on those leaders, those choices—and on the past—is desirable or wise.

The inability to question leaders, choices, and the past, in turn, makes it difficult to imagine a different future—let alone build one. No wonder innovation is such an elusive aspiration.

HR’s conservatism is hardly due to the timidity or ideology of individuals who occupy the function. Quite the contrary, HR executives I meet are often frustrated by the constraints it poses on their desire and ability to initiate or support strategic change.

It is most often a product of the ambiguous status the HR function still holds in many organizations.

While corporate rhetoric celebrates it as a strategic instrument, HR is often treated as a maintenance tool. The aim to stay aligned to the business so as to create value often translates into the demand to keep the organization running smoothly to earn legitimacy.

Take leadership development, for example, arguably the most forward-looking among HR’s duties. Most of the practices… Read More


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Getting HR Data Right Is Key to Leveraging Latest HR Technologies

 

Reblogged from Workforce

Written by: Julia Mench

Human resources executives have never seen more diverse, innovative technologies that support all aspects of an HR department.

The cloud is helping app developers push the innovative envelope and rapidly bring new HR solutions to market. But the biggest challenge isn’t which technology to adopt; it’s the quality and relevancy of the data that powers these solutions.

Organizations can put the coolest, easy-to-use, agile HR app in place, but if bad, irrelevant or out-of-date data supplies that technology, then they fail on both fronts. Ultimately this translates into little to no return on investment on the new technology, and the HR executive receives inconsistent, inaccurate results to drive their corporate strategy.

While other industries have long relied on the knowledge and skills of data scientists, the world of HR has only recently begun leveraging their talents.

Whether HR executives decide to stay the course with an older HR management system or rip and replace entirely, they have a rare chance to get their data right and provide long-term strategic worth for their department and the overall business.

How do they accomplish this? Through the establishment of accurate data sets and proper governance processes, senior HR professionals can ensure data accuracy as the paramount outcome for informed decision-making.

Establish One Source of ‘Truth’

Whether HR systems have been in place for more than a decade, ever-changing because of an acquisition or because a company is introducing the newest app into its technology mix, different systems inevitably need to share and synchronize data with each other. One system may deal with recruiting while another holds enterprise resource planning information; these systems may be housed in differing geographic locations so information is updated at different times.

HR executives must establish one global source of HR “truth” to get an accurate and complete picture of the organization’s human assets. As data latency issues often occur with multiple systems, it is best to set up a universal information layer that captures the data at the same point in time on a regular basis — ideally on a nightly basis. This practice optimizes recruiting and workforce decisions by ensuring that executives have access to consolidated, current HR data every day.

While other industries have long relied on the knowledge and skills of data scientists, the world of HR has only recently begun leveraging their talents. Not only do they have access to hundreds of the latest analytics tools, but they understand the HR marketplace and can return meaningful reporting data on the most pivotal issues driving HR success.

Data scientists can quickly produce sophisticated reports ranging from head count analysis to sales performance statistics and companywide benefits comparisons. They can also support recruiting efforts by… Read More


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Five Things Hiring Managers Can Do to See and Hire Stronger People

Reblogged from LinkedIn

By: Lou Adler

Being a great manager starts by hiring great people, and hiring great people starts by understanding how they make career decisions.

While using the Performance-based Interview and Talent Scorecard will dramatically increase assessment accuracy, it really won’t matter if hiring managers aren’t seeing enough good people to begin with. In this case, they’ll just be more confident they’re not hiring the right person.

Hiring-for-Converged-InfrastructureFor most people, the interview is just an assessment tool, not a recruiting tool. In order for it to be both there are a number of things a hiring manager can do to improve the quality of people seen, interviewed and hired. Here are my top five:

  1. Clarify job expectations before you ever see anyone. A list of skills, duties and experience requirements is not a job description; it’s a person description. Few top people are excited when companies use these for advertising purposes. Instead, define what the person in the role needs to do to be successful, tie this to the company strategy or important project, and describe why people already doing this role find it appealing. Here’s a sample posting for a Controller that covers it all. I call documents defining the top 4-5 performance objectives required for on the job successperformance-based job descriptions. (FYI, this step is number one of Gallup’s Q12 of factors that drive employee performance and job satisfaction.)
  2. Treat your recruiter as a trusted partner. When a recruiter doesn’t understand real job needs he or she converts to a transactional sales approach focusing on box-checking skills. This is an instant turn-off to anyone competent. Recruiting top people involves a consultative sales process that starts with a full understanding of real job needs. On top of this add a strategic approach to sourcing and networking that enables the recruiter to uncover the best people in short order. Recruiters can make or break a hiring manager. This is why they should be treated as core members of the department and invited to every staff meeting.
  3. Conduct an exploratory phone screen before ever conducting a face-to-face interview. I just read a small segment of a rather scholarly report by Dan Cable that investigated the impact of first impressions on the predictability of the interview. The key finding: there is a negative correlation! If you like someone you go into sales mode, and if you dislike someone you seek out their flaws. You can virtually eliminate this problem by conducting a performance-based exploratory phone screen before inviting a person in for an onsite interview. You’ll need to give the person… Read More

 


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5 Reasons You Should Stop Hiring Based on Titles

By: Mary Gay Townsend

Source: http://thenextweb.com/entrepreneur/2014/02/22/5-reasons-stop-hiring-based-titles/#!y9DBx

hiring-unemployedThe time comes for every young company when the addition of a COO or a dedicated IT specialist is required. In the face of a growing talent shortage and a war for the best employees, however, adding the right people to your team can be a large task for a growing company.

What can you do to manage this challenge and create the best team in the business? Consider the way you look at resumes. Are you reviewing an applicant based on their title?

While it might be tempting to search for candidates who have experience in the very role you are looking to fill, take a more creative approach and look for applicants with the skills you need rather than the title you want.

Here are a few ways hiring based on titles alone fails to serve the needs of a growing business.

1. It limits you to one skillset

Take a look at the skills required for your open position. All companies, from startups to corporate giants, have a way of growing organically and the needs of your company may change over time.

Approach this process with a thoughtful and honest attitude to reveal the core skills your new hire should possess.

Once you have identified the skills necessary for the job, do not fall prey to the temptation of deciding what position would best suit your needs. This can lead to overlooking candidates who bring a variety of marketable skills to the table.

For instance, when looking to fill a sales position, you can consider applicants from backgrounds as varied as marketing and professional sports. These professions all share certain key characteristics: They are high pressure environments that encourage agility, creativity, and teamwork.

Banking juggernaut Goldman Sachs recently hired former U.S. Treasury Department aide and presidential spokesman Richard L. Siewert Jr. as global head of corporate communications because he was “low-key, knowledgeable and battle-tested.”

2. Rethinking roles based on skill reveals gaps

As you discuss what skills are necessary to fill an open position, consider what skill gaps exist within your team that could be incorporated into the position. Are you in need of better office management? Do you have gaps on your finance team? Perhaps there is a growing need for graphic design capabilities that no one on your team possesses.

As your business grows, you need to constantly assess and reassess the needs of the business and fill gaps… Continue reading here.


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How to Speak the Language of Hiring

 

Re-Blogged from fastcompany.com.

By: 

Take two people: the hiring manager and the job applicant. While these two should be interacting with the kind of simpatico of best friends, the hiring process can be so convoluted that they end up speaking different languages.

Online recruitment platform Bright looked at 1 million job descriptions and 1 million resumes. They teased out the most frequent terminology used by both hiring managers and job seekers and compared the two.

In addition to a phenomenal number of commonly misspelled words, the results indicated that the two were indeed at odds on several points. According to Bright’s analysis:

Hiring managers are interested in the quality of experience, but applicants highlight mostly actions.

we-are-hiring-bitcoin

The presence in job descriptions of adjectives such as “exceptional,” “excellent,” “essential,” “competitive,” “comprehensive,” “positive,” and “dedicated,” not to mention “quality” itself, show that hiring managers are very interested in the quality of a candidate’s experience, but many fewer such terms appear on resumes. Instead, people tend to highlight the action that they have taken in their positions, by including verbs such as “managed,” “performed,” “created,” “worked,” and “assisted.”

Managers want to know how candidates will work if hired but candidates focus on their education.

In the job description list, words like “teamwork,” “responsible,” and “environment” point out that hiring managers also consider how candidates will work with others if hired. Job seekers place much more emphasis on education in their resumes than hiring managers do in job descriptions.

What’s a worthy candidate to do?

WRITE FOR THE RIGHT READER

Donna Svei, a professional resume and LinkedIn profile writer, says for starters, there’s one important thing to remember. “Hiring managers don’t read very many resumes, the applicant tracking system (ATS) reads them.”

Software doesn’t care how splendid your template is or how liberally it’s sprinkled with keywords. The electronic sweep can be too sensitive to digest any fancy tables or fonts, and too sophisticated to fall for a barrage of the same search term. Graphic geeks take heart though, fonts do matter when the resume is scanned by human eyes. There’s a whole psychology behind those serifs.

If your resume is up to software snuff, the recruiter (either within the company or externally) will get it and do a further parsing of potential candidates before passing a selected bunch to the hiring manager. Svei says while it’s great to be able to deliver a resume directly to a human, the truth is that even candidates recommended by colleagues, friends or family tend to be handed over to someone else for screening.“Write for the computer, then the recruiter, then the hiring manager,” Svei advises.

NARROW YOUR FOCUS

The best way to do this is to be specific. Erin Kennedy, one of only a few professionals worldwide to achieve “Certified Master Resume Writer” distinction, says that she’s noticed applicants trying to massage their resumes to fit four or five very different positions. “Hiring managers are looking for specialized skills,” she asserts. It’s best to narrow it down to two things and pop that into the summary area up top to add the most punch, Kennedy suggests.

STOP WITH THE SUPERLATIVES

Certainly it’s most appropriate to toot your own horn when a new job is on the line. Bright’s analysis discovered that superlatives actually pepper job descriptions, but that doesn’t mean it’s always appropriate to use them. Kennedy says that, while you could get away with using “excellent,” “That’s your opinion. It is much more important to stay focused on what you’ve done.”

And make sure that if you’re doing something in your current position, your language reflects that. Bright’s survey found that many candidates used past tense, which is fine for… Read more.

 


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Modern HR Or How To Earn Your Employees Every Day

Re-Blogged from Forbes OracleVoice

By Gretchen Alarcon, Vice President, Human Capital Management Strategy

Many executives define their customer experience strategies as an effort designed to earn their clients over and over again. In today’s talent-centric corporate landscape, it seems to me that modern human resources (HR) could use a similar adage: How can we help our employees choose our company again and again?

happy-employees

After all, the winning products and services that make a company successful in the marketplace are the direct result of employees’ knowledge, skills, and capabilities. To maintain that success, HR should be doing everything possible to ensure that when an employee leaves the office Monday night, they come back Tuesday morning refreshed and excited—rather than looking for work with a competitor.

Working with IT, HR executives have delivered significant advances to standard processes over the years—payroll, time tracking, and mandatory compliance training have all benefited from automation and self-service. However, those processes reflect a baseline of operations that defines an era based on HR transactions. These improvements have addressed the basic needs of the department and the workforce and served the business well.

But to build a rich culture that extends beyond the employee’s basic needs, HR must engage in an ongoing conversation that promotes a vision of the future to employees—rather than simply reinforcing the strategies of the past. What can we offer to employees to give them new ways to engage with the company?

To refocus HR around the employee experience, we need to move beyond transactions to address four important business needs: a talent-centric view of the workforce, tools and policies that encourage collaboration, applications that are engaging and mobile, and the insights that management needs to predict the business impact of HR efforts.

The Talent Conversation

This seems obvious on the face of it—when the success of a company is predicated by what its employees produce, of course you want to build a culture that focuses on making the most of workforce talents. But like many obvious concepts, a talent-centric workplace has not been historically easy to pull off. An end-to-end talent management process is a mix of skills and systems, and the trick is to find the simplest way to help employees direct the conversation.

For example, I believe that social sourcing is an essential requirement for any next-generation recruiting effort. Finding talent used to involve name generation, incentives, and a lot of follow-up. It was time and labor intensive, even when it was effective.

But now, we can identify existing top performers and ask them to curate open positions for their social connections. Because it’s likely that a quality employee knows other quality people, an authentic Facebook post about an open position is likely to yield much better results than a broad referral drive.

But such an effort requires a deep understanding of the referring employee, content and tech support to help with the effort, and the right incentives to reward them for their time and advocacy. This, in turn, requires a high level of employee engagement and a true love for their work and the organization that employs them. Creating a talent-centric organization is not just about how you find and recruit talent—it’s about how you keep your existing talent engaged so they advocate for you in the marketplace.

Collaboration Is Social

Social media was in its infancy when we first started talking about building social capabilities into Oracle HR products—and the business case was still being analyzed. How, after all, would a medium characterized by virtual farms and sheep-throwing wars help us provide collaborative tools with a bottom line benefit?

The key is employee engagement. A 2013 Gallup report entitled “The State of the American Workplace” found that 20 percent of American workers are “actively disengaged” and estimates that the lower productivity of those workers costs the United States economy about US$450 to US$550 billion per year.

When HR provides a way for employees to be social in the context of their everyday work, it paves the way for enhanced collaboration and communication throughout the enterprise—and that encourages productivity, passion, and commitment.

If a new hire is confused about company policy, he can pose a question to his internal social network, and more-experienced employees (or his HR representative) can give him the answer. If a high-potential employee in Vietnam wants to make a big career move within the company, she can be paired with a mentor in Turkey to get advice on her next step. And measuring the performance of remote and virtual teams becomes much easier when they are collaborating on a shared internal social platform.

This all adds up to creating a collaborative work environment that employees want to engage with every day. And with a generation of millennials entering the workforce (who were raised with social media as a fundamental part of their public identity), building an effective and lively platform for collaboration becomes more than a pleasant bonus for young workers. It will be a business necessity.

The User Is Always Right

But too often, new recruits experience a disconnect between the applications they use in their daily lives and the enterprise tools they must use once they are hired. That difference can erode an employee’s experience from day one. Achieving a high level of engagement means giving employees social-ready apps to connect to anyone, anytime, anywhere. It means that we need to give them consumer-grade user interfaces and integrated mobile functionality to get them connected to the tools they need.

If HR leaders want to have a conversation with the workforce, it has to be easy to talk—and that means a mobile-first culture as far as applications go. It also means that we do a lot of thinking about how to take popular features of mobile apps (like games or social sharing) and apply them to HR tools, to engage in a different way.

For example,  executives should be looking for IT functionality that helps extend beyond what is typically considered the realm of HR—into areas such as such as wellness, safety, quality improvement, innovation, and team building. By emphasizing competition, media sharing, and the curation of an employee profile, modern applications should help staff connect with HR in a way that’s more rewarding (and fun) than simply responding to alerts about mandatory training.

It’s HR engagement with a social component—and it is easy to accomplish with the tools the employee already has (a smartphone, for example) because the modern HR system they interact with is mobile-enabled and designed with the user in mind.

Analyze the Future

These expanded functions add new content, transactions, interactions, and data generated by HR systems. So it’s essential that modern systems be designed from the ground up to take advantage of the new insights that this new traffic generates.

If HR is committed to delivering on the employee experience, that means identifying and extracting the data points that really influence a person’s decision to stay at a job. What makes them a high performer? What behaviors are more likely to lead to promotion? How big should an employee’s bonus be? Who is at risk of leaving—and what preventive action can managers take to convince them to stay?

These are the kinds of predictive analytics that a modern HR system can deliver. I tend to think of this as an early warning system, where all of this information can come together and be analyzed by HR. Then, it can be shared with managers to help address or offset risk, allowing managers to take actions that will, in the long run, keep high performers happy at their jobs.

And that, I believe, is the point of modern HR: to make a case to the workforce that they should continue to show up and put in their best effort every day. As Larry Ellison said at Oracle CloudWorld in January, “It’s all about people. Taking care of your employees is extremely important, and very, very visible.”

 

Original article at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/oracle/2014/02/06/modern-hr-or-how-to-earn-your-employees-every-day/2/


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View from HR: More than one way to accomplish a business goal

By Bruce Clarke

Reblogged from &NewsObserver.com

goalsBusiness and human resources leaders occasionally clash over the right way to reach a goal. Sometimes there is genuine disagreement. More often, though, one of these barriers prevents working together toward the best business result.

Which goal? Do all members of the team understand the business goal? Much like a 6-year-old’s soccer game, knowing “which goal” is key. A score for the other team is bad. A kick toward the proud family is almost as bad. Understanding the definition of success is necessary for true success.

A goal is more than, “We need more engineers” or “We have to cut health care costs” or “We are not attracting and keeping the right people.” Enough detail is required to show why this matters at this time to this company: “We need these types of engineers because our $100 million investment in research to create a product capable of replacing the old technology must meet new expectations of a market we do not understand.” Even better: “The customers are European; travel to their sites is required; we might do our first expat agreement, and these other decisions have not yet been made.”

This should sound very basic. Yes! It is about how things will be different when we succeed, not just a box to check next to a misunderstood or poorly communicated task.

What filter? Realize that well-intended managers bring different filters to every conversation. The CEO may see this engineering project as all about opportunity, profit or replacing a dying product. The finance leader could bring caution around expenses or capital needs. The HR leader might use a filter of the hard work needed to make this happen in a tight market. Each filter affects behaviors, which may hurt success unless they are recognized and reconciled.

Leaders and team members must keep each other away from their own mirrors and stay focused on the company telescope. Listening, challenging and reinforcing unclear components are helpful tools. Acting early and…

Read more here.