Aug 5th 2019

Weekly News Update

Senior Leaders: HR Does Not Own Organizational Effectiveness, You Do, Forbes

Some argue that human resources should own organizational effectiveness, but my partner and I very much disagree. Senior leadership should own organizational effectiveness, for several key reasons.

Organizational culture drives most of the organizational behavior. And culture is formed and maintained neither by what HR policies are in place, by the organization’s stated values, nor by what trainings and initiatives are rolled out, but rather, by what you as senior leaders pay attention to. Whether policies and trainings are influential is determined by what you allow or don’t allow, what you pay attention to or don’t, the qualities of those hired and promoted, whether your words and deeds are congruent with those qualities, and whom you hold accountable for what. Organizational effectiveness initiatives, when not first owned by senior leadership, inevitably lead to cynicism, frustration and wasted opportunities.

Here’s an example to illustrate why.

My partner and I once led a large-scale leadership development program. Participants were engaged and excited. They were learning and integrating new ways of leading and seeing positive changes that further motivated them. But they also expressed consistent concerns that led them to ask us to share two thoughts with senior leadership that they didn’t feel safe sharing directly.

The first was: “We love leading this way, creating contexts rich in real collaboration and imbued with safety and trust, where diverse perspectives are encouraged and then integrated. We understand that complex issues have no one right answer, and it’s vital to encourage different perspectives. We see the power of appropriate leadership vulnerability, where we have the courage to say we don’t have all the answers and need the help of our teams. We understand that leading in times of increasing VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) and rapid change demands a different way for leaders to think and then act. We embrace this.”

Then came the second thought. “But, senior leadership, we need you to lead the way. We need you to be in front of this, to actively show your support by what you do, what you don’t do, and what you pay attention to. We particularly need you to model these behaviors, holding yourselves and others accountable for leading this way. We need you to step back and ask your own strengths and challenges in leading this way so you can shift the culture towards greater effectiveness. We don’t understand why you act in ways that are contrary to our stated leadership values, why you promote and give attention to people who aren’t aligned with them, nor why you allow leadership behaviors that are contrary to these values. The result is that we don’t feel the full freedom or permission to lead in the way we want and need to match the challenges we face.”

Does this sound familiar?

Before senior leadership can delegate any part of organizational effectiveness to HR, they first need to model and take appropriate ownership for achieving successful results. As you’ve just seen, there are several important pieces.

The first piece, after deciding on the overall strategy for organizational effectiveness, is leading robust, safe, and open discussions — engaging on multiple levels — on the current strengths and challenges for making those changes. Plans are then needed to build on the strengths and address the challenges as much as possible, including ways to measure success.

The second piece is committing to shift the culture by actively and consistently paying attention to what will support the change. For example, we know a leadership team that steps back monthly and asks just this question: “What are we doing to reinforce desired changes and what are we doing, often inadvertently, that’s getting in the way?” When you take the perspective of others in the organization, knowing that they’re closely watching what you do and say, what do you do or say that’s supportive of these changes, and what’s not consistent?

The third piece is committing to personal and collective reflection on whether senior leaders are walking the talk. Are you modeling what you say is important? How do you know that? Are you open to getting feedback from each other and from those in your organization about this? Are you supporting and then holding other leaders accountable to lead in this way? To whom do you give power, influence and authority? Whom do you promote?

Organizational culture is also defined by what’s tolerated. Do you turn your back on “high performers” who are disrespectful or even bullying? When you see behavior that’s contrary to the current direction, do you ask what in the culture/context is supporting or driving that behavior?

If you want a coaching culture, are you actively building and demonstrating coaching skills? Are you holding yourself and others accountable? How do you know if the next level of leadership is doing the same?

If senior leadership is actively and consistently engaged in these activities — not just as a “one-off” but on a regular basis — the active involvement of HR is needed both in helping to build the strategies and then to carry them out. HR’s congruent guidance and support are crucial. HR also needs to examine its own practices and processes to see to what extent it is consistent or inconsistent with the current direction (e.g., hiring and performance management processes).

With that said, unless you first do what we’ve described here, the “new initiative” will just be another catalyst for cynicism, frustration and eye-rolling.

Mobile Apps are creating new opportunities within HR technology, HRDirector

Mobile apps are definitely redefining many industries, and HR is one such niche that seems to be fast-adopting this technology. What started out as a platform to source potential candidates has transformed the industry creating better opportunities for the end users.

How often have you thought that the way performance appraisals are conducted in your office don’t give you enough opportunity to understand where you failed? Have you been regularly received complaints regarding the delays made by the HR department in accomplishing the basic tasks?

The Human Resources department is central to any organization, and you bet, managing the different tasks associated with this department is quite a difficult affair. They are responsible for everything that happens within the organization, right from recruitments to performance appraisals, and employee engagement activities. The idea is to retain as many employees as possible. They are responsible for the salaries as well as keeping a record of the absentees and the number of leaves taken. You cannot forget the leave policies either.

Imagine having to accomplish all these tasks manually without errors! Seems like a tough job, right? That’s precisely why HR has joined hands with technology, specifically mobile apps to identify simple yet effective solutions to improve their efficiency. The new and impressive human resource management app helping enterprises to manage employees and automize HR operations without any hassle.

Eases Corporate Communication

The one thing that the HR department faces maximum issue with is getting the information out to the employees at the earliest. Whether it is about a new policy that they need to adhere to or, the new mandate that they are planning to roll out, the information needs to be updated as soon as they can. In fact, if there is an important news update such as an emergency leave or a change in the schedule, the department needs to make sure the message is sent out in time.

The employees may not have access to the emails, and it is impossible for the department to send out such messages in bulk to everyone. The mobile app alerts seem to be the best way to communicate these messages. In fact, the mandate or other forms of corporate communication can be read easily as a result.

Better Payroll Management

Whether it is applying for a leave or, knowing how much of your pay is going to be cut as a result of the leaves you have taken, the payroll software is where your heads will turn. However, managing the leaves, keeping an account of the salaries and even the deductions can be quite difficult for the human resource departments. The complex management systems can further complicate and make the process lengthy, as you need to sit in front of a computer before rolling out the conclusions. The mobile apps are definitely making things easier for the HR department.

On-boarding Hassle-free

When you are in the human resources department, you ought to make sure that every aspect of on-boarding is hassle-free for the employees. The apps help with transition phases as well as with understanding the company. The application will also help with managing time and schedules, thus increasing productivity and reducing the work-life balance hassles for the employee.

Easy Application Processing

One of the major troubles that the human resources department and the potential candidates face is processing the applications. For the potential candidates, filling out the applications and ensuring the applications are fully validated is important while for the HR department it is important that the applications are sorted by the job description and the skills required for the particular post. The mobile application will come to your rescue. Not only will the application make tracking the applicants easy, but also improve the overall process of application sorting and shortlisting the candidates.

Data in One Place

One of the major reasons that the HR department seems ineffective is because of the unavailability of the data on time. For instance, if there is a birthday and you wish that person a day late, then you do not engage the employee enough. If you are unable to reach all your employees with the message, you have not engaged them well. The whole idea is to have every data needed to reach out to the employees, and automate the essential tasks. A mobile app will not only help you keep the data in one place, but also ensure that you get the data on-the-go.

You can also monitor all the information on-the-go with the tablet or mobile phones. In fact, if you are out-of-office traveling somewhere, and need data related to the employee’s attendance or monitor their contracts, you can do so with the mobile app.

Insights from Analytics

HR needs to be constantly evolving, which is why you need to monitor the current HR processes, and understand what kind of improvement you ought to incorporate. What changes do you need to bring in, if you want to redefine the entire department?

For this, you need to analyze the different aspects of HR department, and build insights from them. Value every data that is made available to you. A mobile app will ensure you have quick data available, which will prove to be critical to your decision making capabilities.

A well-defined and monitored HR department can help strengthen the internal capabilities of the organization, and increase employee engagement and retain them for a longer while.

Summing up

The human resources department is not limited to recruitments and new hiring processes. There are various other things that involved in this niche like appraisals, manpower management, monitoring the employee movement, contract management and even employee engagement.

You need to work hard in all these departments if you want to keep your employee happy and transparent. The best way to achieve a good HR system is with a well-defined and transparent mobile app. An ideal mobile app solution will be based on the problems you intend to eradicate from your organization. Build your apps on insights gathered from employees within the organization and the gaps that they believe exist.

A well-defined and monitored HR department can help strengthen the internal capabilities of the organization, and increase employee engagement and retain them for a longer while.

The future of work is an adaptive workforce, ZDNET

To become an adaptive enterprise requires significant investments in technology transformation, in culture building, and in setting up structures and processes.

To Build An Adaptive Enterprise, Build An Adaptive Workforce

The adaptive workforce has three key characteristics:

Burstable – Adaptive workforces can flex up or down their resources in response to changing conditions by tapping into next-generation labor pools: The talent economy (contingent workforce providers, the gig economy, or employees from the partner ecosystem) and the automation economy (AI, business process management, robotic process automation, and other intelligent software that can complete tasks).

Less hierarchical – Traditional corporate organizations are extremely vertical and siloed: An employee starts working in one organizational function and continues to do so throughout their entire career at the firm. Now, a “botmaster” who manages bots in the finance department can move to do similar work in HR, contributing and also learning new skills in the process.

Composable – Swarm teams, which assemble employees from cross-functional groups to destroy silos, drive innovation, and solve problems, exemplify the adaptive workforce. They can be assembled and disassembled as projects complete or as conditions evolve.

The future of work isn’t something that happens to you — it’s something you create for your company and your own career. Unfortunately, C-level technology and business leaders are often uncertain on how to do it. We’ve just released a major new report to establish a North Star for your aspirations — and a blueprint for how to get there.

Adaptive enterprises win by identifying future opportunities and proactively reconfiguring themselves, including their business models, in the face of changing customer and market demands. To become an adaptive enterprise requires significant investments in technology transformation, in culture building, and in setting up structures and processes. For example, an adaptive enterprise must be able to alter its business concept based on insights that improve the company’s odds of fulfilling future customer demand.

As your customers raise the bar on their demands — and shift their preferences more frequently — you must build an adaptive delivery organization, too. This new adaptive workforce taps into technology innovations — particularly AI and automation — to become more flexible, responsive, and productive and to support the broader adaptive enterprise strategy.

But There’s More: Culture, Skills, And Organizational Structure

Aside from organizational innovations, though, there is a deeper level of preparation that’s required to successfully develop an adaptive workforce. The underlying culture, skills, and organizational structures of your company will make or break these future-of-work efforts.

Why? It’s necessary but not enough to select the right technology and choose the right vendor. But for technology to successfully transform your business, your people, leaders, structures, and values must all be aligned.

Forrester believes there are three dimensions to this problem:

Individuals need to be fitter – As AI and automation reshape the workplace, and the economy becomes more biased toward temporary, contingent, and gig labor, individuals need to be ready to compete. Forrester’s Future Fit framework measures the readiness of everyday employees — and also leaders, who must up their games — in three areas: Health (physical, emotional, and psychological); mental (curiosity, agility, and risk); and action (worldview, cooperation/collaboration, and technology readiness).

Workplaces need to drive excellent employee experiences – A strong employee experience will drive better customer experiences; happy workers lead to happy customers. Most of what makes up employee experience is making progress toward their work goals and having the resources they need to succeed in the work they do every day. Forrester’s Employee Experience Index helps guide improvements in employee experience and measuring progress over time.

Organizations need to optimize culture, leadership, and structures for AI and automation – The future of work involves human employees working side by side with robots, intelligent machines from AI, automation, and robotics. And in general, your people, leaders, and organization aren’t ready for this revolution. For example, Forrester’s Technographics data shows that only 18% of global information workers agree with the statement, “My career path in the world of automation is clear to me.” Forrester’s Robotics Quotient helps executives move the needle on these fundamentals, leading to more successful business results.

Investing in these three attributes together drives better readiness. Information workers who aren’t high in any of the three attributes — they don’t score high on Future Fit, Employee Experience Index, or Robotics Quotient — hold much less helpful attitudes about issues such as customer obsession, pride in working for their companies, or innovation. But employees with two or more of these attributes score 3x to 10x higher in their attitudes of cultural readiness.