Sunday, September 30, 2012

Ready or not, here comes HR analytics

This article was based on an interview that I gave on HR analytics.  The article was originally published at Search financial applications.  Interview was conducted by Emma Snider, Associate Site Editor for

Much like big data has revolutionized marketing and finance, industry experts say that HR analytics -- workforce metrics that can help companies glean information about their talent pool -- will transform human resources. But are HR professionals ready to assume a more data-oriented role?

Not without better analytical skills, says Josh Bersin, president and CEO of Oakland, Calif.-based consultancy Bersin and Associates. "HR teams are not very analytical in their thinking yet," Bersin said, despite broader adoption of talent management software. "That is holding them back from doing more data-driven decision making."

Ron Thomas, director of talent and human resources solutions at New York City-based Buck Consultants, has a similar opinion. Thomas said it can be difficult for HR managers to get away from "gut-feeling" decision making.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Confronting Bad Behavior: Can You Step Up and Do the Right Thing?

“As I opened the door, I saw her with her back turned and shoulders slumped. When she turned around, I could see that she had been crying. I felt bad but it made me realize that I am not the only one who gets verbally abused. The kicker was that she was a senior level person.”
This tidbit was based on a senior level person being screamed at in the conference room by someone senior to her. This happened in front of a room full of people.
When I asked what happened and did anyone intervene, I was told this happens all the time to EVERYONE. They have developed a garden of screamers.
They have developed an organization with a culture that says it is OK to scream, and everyone is tip-toeing around, afraid of their own shadow. My question was: who is in charge? Oh, and by the way, the CEO is also known for getting upset and walking out of meetings.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Power of Failure: Why It Is One of Our Very Best Teachers

How did the project turn out? Oh, we lost it. The project was a disaster from start to finish.”
Sometimes during the course of the day, we hear statements that stick with us. This was my sticker statement of the week.
I was having a conversation with someone who was talking about their job and some of the challenges that it encompasses. Almost in passing, they mentioned a project that they worked on — and that’s when this statement was uttered.
My question was this: what did you and your team learn from it? To put it in a nutshell, they basically walked away from it and moved on. I could almost hear the buzzer go off, and I wanted to say stop, rewind, and let’s go over that again.
A powerful learning tool

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Future of HR: It’s All About Making It a True Decision Science

“It is important for communities to educate our children for their future, not our past.”
In a recent interview, Romain Dallemand, the superintendent of schools in Bibb County, Georgia,  talked about how he came into the job last year with a bag of changes he calls “The Macon Miracle.”  One of the tools in that tool kit was adding Chinese as a language requirement in his school district.
“This is HR’s future”

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Are You “Done?” You Need Some Fire to Fix Employee Discontentment

“I’m done.”
Those words were uttered by Andy Roddick last month at the beginning of the U.S. Open. Tennis is unlike a lot of sports, where the coach or general manager lets you know in so many words that it may be time to go.
Yes, in most sports they tell you when you are done. In tennis, it is the player’s decision and determination when they’re finally finished.
As I commute into New York City each morning, I know that so many people that are on my bus are DONE. You can spot it in the most minute bit of a conversation. It oozes out of their pores. At the smallest opening, they tell you it without uttering those two words — but we know.
Freedom or fallacy?