The 2017 HR Hitlist #5: Treating Technology as the Solution

jasonheadshot-2The time is upon us for human resources to step up as a practice and lead. Never before has the work of HR been so critical to organizational success. To meet this challenge requires that we break some old habits. This is the fifth in a series of guest posts from thought leader, Jason Lauritsen, called the 2017 HR Hitlist. Each of the five posts will outline one practice or behavior that HR needs to eliminate, and what they should do instead.


“Golf is a hard game. I’ve had a love/hate relationship with it throughout my life.”

There have been times when I’ve wanted to be good at golf. During one of these times, I became convinced that a buying a new, state of the art set of golf clubs was the solution. If I got better clubs, surely I’d play better.

So, I saved money and ultimately made the purchase. The clubs were spendy, but they were also beautiful. It felt good to show up at the golf course with these fancy clubs. Just owning them made me feel like a more confident golfer.

But when I played with them, I still sucked.

The new clubs didn’t fix my lack of skill. They also didn’t make up for lack of practice.

Golf clubs are tools. And regardless of how fancy or expensive, they are only as good as the hands that hold them.

HR technology is just like those golf clubs.

The explosion in technology innovation means that we have a virtually endless array of technology products to buy and implement within our organization. There are technologies for every problem you can imagine in HR—from employee engagement to new hire paperwork. Continue reading

The 2017 HR Hitlist #3: Defending Broken Practices

jasonheadshot-2The time is upon us for human resources to step up as a practice and lead. Never before has the work of HR been so critical to organizational success. To meet this challenge requires that we break some old habits. This is the third in a series of guest posts from thought leader, Jason Lauritsen, called the 2017 HR Hitlist. Each of the five posts will outline one practice or behavior that HR needs to eliminate, and what they should do instead.


 

When I first started railing against the performance appraisal process years ago, my colleagues in HR were the first to defend it.

“We have to do appraisals to protect ourselves legally.”

“We can’t make fair decisions about pay increases without an appraisal.”

“We have to have some record of performance.”

“You can’t assess performance without ratings.”

The ironic thing was that many of these same colleagues actually despised the very process they were defending. It was cumbersome, time consuming, and they knew the information contained in the appraisals was questionable in far too many cases.

While defending it, they had to ignore the truth that performance appraisals are often inflated by managers looking to avoid conflict. Plus, they had been telling managers that appraisals were a legal requirement for so long, they’d forgotten that it’s not actually true.

The process was broken and they knew it. But, they defended it because they felt like they had to.  

There can be no innovation or progress unless we’re open to the possibility of a better way. The black or white, yes or no, approach to HR does not work in a world of perpetual and accelerating change. As a consequence, HR is riddled with ineffective, old management practices born in an age of industrialization that have no place in today’s world of work.  

While it seems that perhaps we’ve made progress towards replacing the traditional performance appraisal process, that’s only the beginning.

How should interviewing and selection change due to the fact that people are really bad at evaluating other people? Or, what happens to compensation when we consider the evidence that financial bonuses are negatively correlated with performance for complex and creative work?   Continue reading

The HR Hitlist #2: Enabling Bad Managers

jasonheadshot-2The time is upon us for human resources to step up as a practice and lead. Never before has the work of HR been so critical to organizational success. To meet this challenge requires that we break some old habits. This is the second in a series of guest posts from thought leader, Jason Lauritsen, called the 2017 HR Hitlist. Each of the five posts will outline one practice or behavior that HR needs to eliminate, and what they should do instead. 


One of my favorite movies is the classic Quentin Tarantino film, Pulp Fiction.

There’s a character in the movie who they refer to as “The Wolf.” He’s a fixer. When someone screws up or makes a serious mess, they call The Wolf. He shows up to save the day by making the problem disappear.  

I think this is how management often thinks of HR—as their own personal version of “The Wolf.” When an uncomfortable conversation is needed or they’ve made a mess with an employee, they call HR. And, since we love to feel needed in HR, we swoop in and handle things. The manager’s problem disappears. Everybody wins, right? Continue reading

The 2017 HR Hitlist #1: Saying “No”

jasonheadshot-2The time is upon us for human resources to step up as a practice and lead. Neverbefore has the work of HR been so critical to organizational success. To meet this challenge requires that we break some old habits. This is the first in a series of  guest posts from thought leader, Jason Lauritsen, called the 2017 HR Hitlist. Each of the five posts will outline one practice or behavior that HR needs to eliminate, and what they should do instead.  


If I had one wish I could use to transform the work of human resources, it would be to remove the word “no.”

This tiny word is at the core of why HR is too often viewed as an obstacle to progress rather than a facilitator of results.

  • Want to fire a problem employee? “No, you don’t have enough documentation.”
  • Want to let an employee work from home? “No, you don’t have the authority to make that decision.”  
  • Want to give your star performer a big raise? “No, that goes beyond what our policy allows.”

Managers can feel like “no” is the only thing they hear from HR.   Continue reading

Getting the most out of 360 feedback

Guest blog post by Beth Steinberg. Beth has over 18 years of experience in organization development, talent strategy and leadership development. Her focus has been to help leaders and companies with complex organizational and growth issues. Beth focuses on driving useful employee programs, leadership coaching, executive development and organizational development.


 

Few concepts in psychology have been written about more uncritically and incorrectly than that of feedback.. . . Actually, feedback is only information, that is, data, and as such has no necessary consequences at all. – Latham & Locke

360 feedback has continued to gain popularity over the years.  Once a process used only for senior executives, new technologies, and transparent company cultures have propelled the process to include many levels of the organization.  While much of this change is positive, there are many things to think about when you embark upon a 360 feedback process for your team.

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Traditionally 360’s have been done for the following reasons:

  • To understand how the employee is viewed across an organization, including peers, key stakeholders and direct reports as part of a company feedback process.  It can also be used as “upward” feedback on a manager.
  • As an intervention designed to look at an employee’s performance when the manager has a concern that the employee is not performing well, does not align with the values and behaviors of the company, or to gather data on specific issue.  
  • To gather feedback to help the person succeed and develop in their career for development purposes.

During my career, I’ve observed many different reactions to the 360 process. Many times, I’ve seen 360’s go well, and watched the employee benefits from the process.  I’ve also seen the opposite.  Occasionally, I’ve seen total denial and a lack of trust in the feedback and the process, especially if it was used as an intervention, when the manager was looking for negative feedback.  The reaction has depended on why the 360 was being done, how it was delivered, and what happened after the feedback was given.   Continue reading

The Importance of Early Feedback for New Employees

To ensure that your processes in recruiting, onboarding and accelerating new team members into the organization is having the desired effect, it’s critical to get candid and data-driven feedback.

Giving and soliciting this type of feedback is the best way to ensure your investment in the employee experience is paying off and driving company ROI.

Recruitment and onboarding are key processes: get them right the first time and you save yourself the expense of repeating them a few months down the line. A study by the Aberdeen Group found that 86 percent of employees decide whether to stay or go within their first six months.

Read on to learn why early feedback supports new hire success and how to best implement an efficient and scalable process. Continue reading

5 Unique Ways Teams Benefit from Peer Recognition

Peer recognition is an extraordinarily powerful tool organizations of any size can benefit from. Whether you’re operating within a team of five or five thousand, each member deserves to be recognized for the contributions they’re making.

Although managerial recognition and feedback are crucial elements of a working relationship, there are some unique advantages to inviting the team to participate in building a culture of appreciation and recognition across the organization.

Here are a few of those benefits, and some tips on maximizing them: Continue reading