Strategic Human Capital Insights

Training & Development: How Do You ‘Make It Stick’?

Posted by Joanne Flynn

4/7/20 9:00 AM


This is a guest blog post written by Rodney Nelson, Vice President of Client Operations for the Arizona Manufacturing Extension Partnership.


A Multi-Faceted Process Flowchart Approach


For the past four years, I have been supporting local Arizona manufacturing businesses providing them with a wide range of organizational development and training services. What I have found is that these businesses are looking for training they believe will help their teams and companies work more efficiently. Whether a company is choosing to do a single or numerous training and development sessions, the chance of that training sticking past the first two weeks is very slim.


How Can You ‘Make It Stick’? 

The “it” could be any type of change where employees are learning a new skill and are expected to use that skill going forward. Yes, we have all heard the saying, “you need management buy-in” but, unfortunately, that is not enough. Management’s expectations need to be documented all the way down the chain of command and we need to hold both the workers and supervisors accountable.

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Topics: human capital, Human Resources, human asset management, performance management, performance review, training & development

The 7 Next Steps to Complete After Your Performance Reviews

Posted by Joanne Flynn

3/12/20 11:00 AM


How to Keep Your Human Capital Continuous Improvement Process
© Continuous


Now that your performance review process is over, and the forms are all filed away, the important part of the job awaits! Reviews should not be done for the sake of reviews and end up in the HR department. The review process should be the first step in the many steps of the ongoing employee development process.

So, What Comes Next?
In a robust human capital continuous improvement process, it’s time to make sure that employee performance and capacity stays aligned with: 

  • Strategic goals and initiatives of the organization
  • Skills and knowledge needed to stay relevant with the evolving business skills and tools for today and tomorrow

1. Create Individual Employee Development Plans
It’s time to data-mine the rich information in the Performance Reviews and identify the gaps in knowledge, skills and tools. From that information, create an on-going monthly / quarterly development plan for each employee. In today’s changing world, skills are eroding faster than before and new knowledge and skills are required to help employees stay current and relevant to the job demands and optimize the many business tools available. Development plans are the mechanism to ensure that employee skills and knowledge stay aligned with organizational goals.

Here are some skills to evaluate:

  • Technical Knowledge and Skills
  • Business Tools Knowledge and Skills
  • Professional Skills (communication, critical thinking, effective presentations, etc.)
  • Leadership Skills (at all levels)
  • Customer Experience / Culture Skills
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Topics: human capital, Human Resources, human asset management, performance management, performance review

Is it Time to Review Your Performance Review?

Posted by Joanne Flynn

1/7/20 10:00 AM


Like everything else in business today that is undergoing constant growth and change, the strategic review of the Performance Review process is not exempt. Too often, outdated, irrelevant performance review forms, which drive the performance review process, are kept in place without question.  However, this form should be in a state of constant review, since strategically-aligned performance is critical to any high-growth organization.

As often as your strategy is reviewed, that’s how often your performance review form should be reviewed, as well.  Why?  The accompanying job description will likely be evolving and / or completely changing.  And, as new skills are required to perform a task, these new skills and competencies must be reevaluated, as well.

A Typical Example 

A paper-intensive and manual ordering process has been replaced by a software application that virtually eliminates paper from the process.  This will allow orders to bypass the customer service department and move directly into the fulfillment department.  Only exceptional cases will now be handled by the customer service department.  The clerical function of routinely double checking for correct orders and sales tax has been replaced by software.  Four things will happen:

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Topics: human capital, Human Resources, human asset management, performance management, performance review

6 Fundamental Organizational Structures Your Organization Can’t Live Without

Posted by Joanne Flynn

10/3/19 12:15 PM

 

Would you build a house without a sturdy foundation? When I speak with start-up-to-growth companies about how they value robust organizational structures, the first response is typically, “We don’t want to introduce anything into our organization that makes us look like big, old-fashioned companies.” 

I can understand their sentiment, however, by simply dismissing anything that appears to be ‘big company focused’, are you eliminating fundamental best practices that work for all organizations.  The trick is to introduce the best practices that create a good structural foundation without introducing the additional layers of bureaucracy that can negatively encumber a start-up-to-growth company.  So how do you manage the proper balance? 

Here are 6 Organizational Structures Your Company Can No Longer Do Without

 

Step 1: A CURRENT ORGANIZATION CHART

Every organization that has more than five people needs an organization chart.  The organizational chart captures how the organization is structured, who reports to whom, and who is functionally responsible and accountable for each task.  When a company is small, people often wear many hats. They are busy doing a lot of different things, but likely not accountable for specific functions.  A company without an organization chart is potentially an entity that is busy but chaotic and focused on getting things done now with a potential accountability gap.

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Topics: Human Resources, human asset management, human asset management strategy

Why You Need to Integrate the Job Description Into Your Performance Review Process

Posted by Joanne Flynn

8/19/19 2:15 PM


As you prepare for a robust performance review discussion with your employee, you will likely encounter at least one of the following situations:

  • That’s not my job
    The employee who should be doing more tasks but has conveniently reshaped their job to include the functions they enjoy doing and eliminate the functions they don’t like or don’t know how to do
  • It takes two people to do one person’s job
    The employee who has the knowledge and skills to perform the tasks and responsibilities of the full job description but doesn’t have the confidence to do those tasks and responsibilities at 100%, on their own, without constant reinforcement from the manager or other employees.
  • The helicopter manager syndrome
    The employee who can perform their tasks and responsibilities when the manager hovers over them, but the minute the manager stops hovering, the caliber of the work slips again. This employee can do the job, but either can’t or won’t sustain peak performance on their own.

 

What do all these employees have in common?  They are all busy doing work but, when measured against the the job description benchmark, they all fall short of ideal performance. 

In a recent meeting with managers, we were discussing the elements of conducting a successful performance review meeting and the following questions came up:

  • How do we hold an employee accountable for increased performance?

  • What if the employee thinks they are doing a great job and doesn’t agree with us?

  • How do we keep the conversation from going around in circles and not achieving consensus or agreement on performance standards?


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Topics: Human Resources, human asset management strategy, job description, performance review

Why Job Descriptions Should be at the Center of Your Organization

Posted by Joanne Flynn

5/16/19 2:00 PM


HUMAN ASSET MANAGEMENT STRATEGY AND THE CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT LOOP


Why do organizations invest time and effort into continuous process improvement and stop there? When the responsibility for continuous process improvement is driven by people, shouldn’t there also be an aligned Human Asset Continuous Improvement Loop for the people who drive the process?

 

How often do the following questions come up?

  • Why aren’t my people coming up with solutions to problems they encounter?
  • Why can’t employees see beyond the next step?
  • Why isn’t the quality control / assurance function as proactive as it should be?
  • What has happened to the disappearing skills of:
    • Trend Spotting?
    • Problem Identification?
    • Problem Solving?
    • Critical Thinking?
  • Why aren’t people planning, recommending and thinking about business impact analysis?
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Topics: Human Resources, Organizational Alignment, human asset management strategy

2015 Survey Results: Evaluating the Global Business of HR

Posted by Joanne Flynn

7/8/15 2:00 PM


Human_ResourcesOver the past year, there has been a significant amount of research conducted on the challenges of meeting the workforce demands as we approach 2020. There is no doubt that organizations will face significant human capital challenges globally over the next five years.  One of the core issues emerging from this research is the critical role that HR has, can and should play in this human capital planning process.

Organizations globally are facing change and transformation in ways they have never experienced before.  The importance of having highly skilled employees ready to meet competitive challenges and accelerate business growth has never been more important to organizational sustainability and peak performance than it is today.  Human capital is being viewed from the lens of value creation and is now a strategic imperative. While the issues of human capital development are a core HR responsibility, the research shows that HR’s voice is not being heard as loudly as it should and that HR often does not have a seat at the table. 

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Topics: Human Resources

3 Ways to Improve Your Organization's HR Metrics

Posted by Joanne Flynn

6/24/15 10:30 AM


Why are HR Metrics
Having Such a Bad Time?

A recent report by Visier, “The State of Workforce Analytics 2014," states:

“Spreadsheets (48%) and HRIS reports (25%) are the most commonly used tools for workforce metrics and analytics – with low satisfaction rates. Only 5% are satisfied with spreadsheets, and just 15% with HRIS reports”

From their research, Visier produced the below model for assessing the impact of HR metrics and analytics.


 

You can improve your HR metrics by following some of the recommendations:

  1. Process is easier to measure – but MEASUREMENT SHOULD FOLLOW PURPOSE - it’s easy to measure processes like recruitment, retention and development.  It’s difficult to measure the motivation behind the process. So we end up measuring what we know we can easily measure rather than establishing the purpose behind the measurement.
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Topics: Human Resources

HR Has Evolved: 2 Human Resource Functions Redefined

Posted by Joanne Flynn

5/28/15 9:00 AM

The function of human resources (HR) means so many things to different people that, in many cases,  there is a resulting identity problem for HR.  There are mixed and sometimes unrealistic expectations of the HR function. Over the past decade, HR has attempted to rebrand itself to the point where the terminology is ambiguous! No wonder people outside HR are confused about what HR does.  The new word in vogue is Talent – and it is used to describe everything from Talent Management, Talent Acquisition, Talent Development, Talent Success, Talent Engagement and the list goes on.  HR is definitely evolving and going through rebranding at the same time. It is no surprise that the people whom HR serves may be confused about what HR does.  HR is now responsible for a number of functions that simply didn’t exist when I first started working in HR.  I remember when HR was the upgraded version of Personnel – but what has changed over the years?  The one change that the recent research does highlight is that the perception and value of HR has changed – the consensus view globally is that HR’s value is in steep decline. How can that be? It may be in the evolving perceptions of HR. 

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Topics: Human Resources

Where is HR's Seat at the Table?

Posted by Joanne Flynn

5/20/15 2:00 PM


HR_SuccessCurrent literature and corporate pronouncements continually state that Human Capital is a key business issue. Yet the current research data suggests that there is a significant disconnect between corporate pronouncements and reality.  The logic would assume that if human capital is indeed one of the top business issues, then HR, where that functional responsibility must reside, needs to be the strategic voice of human capital AND MUST have a seat at the strategic planning and implementation table.  Right now, the research data suggests otherwise.  Until HR is included in the organization’s business strategy discussions, we are all living in the comfortable but dangerous state of denial. 

There are many reasons for this alignment disconnect that we will explore in our HR as a Business Accelerator blog seriesbut it is necessary to evaluate two critical pieces of recently released research.  The research suggests that globally a deep organizational alignment disconnect exists between the business and HR.  And now is the time to address this situation, before this misalignment becomes a chasm too deep and wide to close.  If HR does have insights on the current state of the workforce, they are not being heard at the appropriate level. 

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Topics: Human Resources

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