3 Ways To Become a More Modern Leader: Culture, Technology, Innovation

 If you’re in a leadership position, one of the easiest patterns to fall into is working in past processes.  In the short term, this is typically an acceptable practice.  In the long term, it can be career suicide.  If you’re someone who is stuck in the past, there are ways to overcome any resistance you have toward the modern workplace, how people need to work, how to better interpret data or accepting new technologies and the impact on your work.  Most of us are raised thinking it is all right to be resistant to change.  We hear adages such as:
  • Past behavior or performance determines future performance.
  • Slow and steady wins the race.

It’s logic like this that keeps business leaders plodding along, year after year, doing the same things. Thinking that there is some reward for maintaining business practices instead of taking risks is a commonality many leaders share. This measured, predictable approach plays out whether the topic is new technology, new employee policy, or new recruitment methods. Many HR leaders fall into this trap as well. What can CHROs and other HR leaders do to help ease this type of leader into the present or even the future of the workplace? Three areas HR leaders can focus on are culture, technology and recruitment.

The Future Leader- Culture

One of the biggest challenges organizations face in reaching greater success is leadership stuck in the past about the way they view their culture. In the future, successful leaders will start by taking an active role in creating a culture where all employees are heard. One frequent complaint HR departments encounter comes from employees who think their leader is not listening to them. They are not having their needs met, nor their ideas heard.

If an organization has a group of leaders with this perceived behavior, it can create an organizational culture where employees do not feel valued. There are direct ways leaders can make simple changes in communication to conquer this perception. If you have a leader who does not embrace employee contributions, start by sharing the benefits of a partner approach with the employee. Specifically, there are exercises the leader can do to create a more connected partnership with the employee. Several include:

  • Add team member feedback as an agenda item for every meeting.
  • Solicit feedback directly from team members on ways to improve communication among the group.
  • Task different employees for leading being the “voice of the team” for that week or month. That employee has the role of soliciting feedback and ideas for the entire team.
  • For any situations needing a solution, assign team members from different generations to tackle the problem and come up with a recommended solution. By exposing team members to opportunities to more formally share their different perspectives, you will create an environment where employees are not only heard by the leader, but by their colleagues.

These are just a few tactics that can work to improve the team culture. They will not only increase your team’s engagement, but may also help your organization realize a decreased turnover rate. Employees who feel valued and heard tend to stay with the leader, and the organization.

The Future Leader- Technology

Purchasing and using new technology in an organization remains an area where leaders are hesitant and skeptical. Often, it is the fear of the unknown, coupled with rapidly changing technology that keeps leaders paralyzed. Additionally, there is the challenge of working for a company that will not allocate budget to technology upgrades or purchases, so leaders fall into the pattern of not worrying about it. If you are in an organization where there is potential spend but a leader is not embracing it, there are ways to start the conversation.

One area where leaders tend to balk, but could see great reward with adoption, is embracing mobile.  By giving the leader examples of current technology and case studies of where it is working, you will make the leader more comfortable making the move. Additionally, if you point out ways the leaders, as well as employees, use their mobile devices in their personal life for consumer-driven experiences, it may be enough to demonstrate that similar capabilities exist in the work experience.

The Future Leader- Innovation

Finally, demonstrate, stress and reward innovation by the organizational leaders. This continued process lessens the fear of failure the hesitant leaders have. When they see that innovation is being built into the culture, they will slowly begin to feel more secure being innovative. Today, most leaders are not rewarded for real innovation. They are still being rewarded for tactics that lead to short term goal achievement. We give gift cards, trinkets, etc. Start to think about what true innovation could do for your organization. What is the potential revenue impact? Start with a pilot program to build that into a leader’s reward process and see if that is enough to spark an organization-wide movement.

If you continue to get met with resistance from leadership stuck in the past, ask questions to learn what they think could be better with their ways and give examples of how new approaches “fix” those. By citing similarities of how the new suggestion is like the current process, they may be open to considering the approach. It’s all about having an open, honest discussion and using your coaching skills to bring the leader around. The benefits will be numerous.

User Experience & Artificial Intelligence in HR Technology

HR Happy Hour 289 – User Experience in HR Tech, Live from Inforum 2017

Hosts: Steve BoeseTrish McFarlane

Recorded Live at Inforum 2017 in New York City

Listen HERE

Recently, Steve and I recorded live from Inforum 2017 in New York City and talked about some of the big announcements and innovations in HR Tech that were discussed at the event. The Infor HCM team continues to innovate in HR technology– from Artificial Intelligence, advanced analytics, and importantly,  user experience design.

On the show, I shared some of the details of these innovations, and we discussed the importance of design and user experience in HR Tech.  We examined what HR leaders should look for, and think about, when assessing potential solutions.

Steve also put me on the spot by asking me to write a letter to her former HR leader self, offering advice as to what to think about when thinking about HR Tech. You definitely want to check out my answer.  Additionally, Steve theorized on how, where, and why the old ‘Big ERP’ approach to HR and HR tech went wrong.

You can listen to the show on the show page HERE, or by using the widget player below (email and RSS subscribers click through)

Remember to subscribe to the HR Happy Hour Show on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher Radio, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Steps to Re-Imagine and Reinvent Your Workplace

HR Happy Hour 256- Steps to Re-Imagine and Reinvent Your Workplace

Hosts: Steve BoeseTrish McFarlane

Guest: Jeanne Meister

This week on the show, Steve and Trish were joined by Jeanne Meister.  Jeanne is a Partner at Future Workplace, a firm dedicated to re-thinking, re-imagining and re-inventing the workplace. Jeanne is the receipt of the Distinguished Contribution in Workplace Learning Award, an award given by Association For Talent Development to one executive each year honoring their body of work. She is also a Contributor to Forbes Magazine.  She is the co-author of the best selling book, The 2020 Workplace: How Innovative Companies Attract, Develop & Keep Tomorrow’s Employees Today.

Steve and Trish talked with Jeanne about the importance of thinking ahead, about identifying important trends in workplaces, and how HR and business leaders can be ready for the future. We also talked about the panel Jeanne will be leading at the upcoming HR Technology Conference in October, on ‘The Consumerization of HR’.

Give this lively episode a listen, and be sure to subscribe to the HR Happy Hour Show on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, or your favorite podcast app.

Announcing the HR Happy Hour Podcast Network!

Today is a big day for H3 HR Advisors, and specifically, for the HR Happy Hour podcast.  Steve Boese, my co-host, created the show back in 2009.  I was a listener and guest host until 2013, when I joined officially as a co-host.  Since then, we’ve talked to business leaders, technology solution providers, authors and more.  We’ve shared research and ideas on how to make your business better.  It’s been such a great experience and we’re so proud that our listener network has grown so much.  That growth led us to the realization that even more shows are needed.  This is where things get exciting.

Today is the official launch of the HR Happy Hour Podcast Network, and the details of the three new shows that will soon debut on the HR Happy Hour umbrella. We are thrilled to be joined by such a great lineup of shows and contributors, and you can read the details of the announcement HERE.

 

And now with the launch of the new HR Happy Hour Network (details are in the release here), we are partnering with George LaRocque, Ben Eubanks, Madeline Laurano, and Mollie Lombardi in what we know will be an exciting new group of shows.  Their shows will expand on topics that Steve and I know are important to not only the HCM industry, but to businesses globally.

Many thanks to everyone who has listened to, supported, or even guested on the show so far – stay tuned for more great and informative content, HR and HR technology insights, and hopefully – lots of fun from your pals at the HR Happy Hour Show and Network.

Oracle “Human Talks” Show: Guest, Brent Skinner

H3 HR Advisors is excited to share a new video series we have in partnership with Oracle.  Human Talks is a show where we talk to HCM practitioners, analysts, and Oracle partners.  Each episode is approximately 5 minutes, so well worth your time in hearing what is happening in the world of HCM.  These episodes were recorded at HCM World 2016.

Please check out the first episode with one of our favorite industry analysts, Brent Skinner, Principal Analyst at Nucleus Research.  Brent shares information on what their research is uncovering about performance management and learning and the impact from HCM technology.  He also touches on how predictive analytics plays out in the workplace.  Be sure to connect with Brent and Nucleus Research to learn more.

 

Thank you for watching.  Be sure to visit the Oracle site for more information about Oracle and HCM World 2017.

HR Happy Hour 248 – Generational Influence vs. Life Stages: The Battle!

Recently on the HR Happy Hour Show, Steve and I talked about one of our favorite reports.  The KPCB Internet Trends Report by analyst Mary Meeker. In the report, Ms. Meeker examines macro trends in technology, economics, demographics and more.  We discussed a few of the major items, one being the impact of generations on the workplace and behavior.  There is a heated debate regarding what impacts behavior most.

FYI – Steve felt he was right of course.

We also talked about some of the major shifts in world and workplace demographics and how some of the major tech trends might impact work, workplaces and Human Resources.

You can listen to the show on the show page HERE or by using the widget player below:

This was a fun and interesting converstaion for sure. And many thanks to our HR Happy Hour Show sponsor Virgin Pulse, www.virginpulse.com.

Finally, remember to subscribe to the show on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, and all the major podcast apps – just search for ‘HR Happy Hour’ to add the show to your subscriptions and you will never miss a show.

Need a New HR System? What Leaders Need to Know

This has been a big month for the HR Happy Hour show.  First, we are THRILLED to welcome our new partner and sponsor, Virgin Pulse to the HR Happy Hour show!  Virgin Pulse, part of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, designs technology that cultivates good lifestyle habits for your employees. This is especially important if you want to better engage your employees and help them participate in ways to improve their well-being.  Please visit them at www.VirginPulse.com for more information.

This week on the HR Happy Hour Show, Steve and I talked with Dave Fiacco, President and COO of PeopleStrategy. As President and Chief Operating Officer of PeopleStrategy, David Fiacco sets the bar high and ensures the company upholds its promise to deliver exceptional solutions coupled with extraordinary service.

Dave talked with us about a topic that leaders everywhere struggle with.  Do you need a HR system?  Do you need to upgrade your system?  If so, how do you know and what are the steps?

Some of the issues we tackled on the show:

-What considerations should HR think about during the process of moving from using Excel or other home grown tools to an actual HR system?

-How do HR leaders (or other leaders) decide if a suite or point solution is what they need?

-How does the type of solution you choose tie into pricing?


Remember to download and subscribe the the HR Happy Hour on iTunes, or using your favorite podcast app for iOS or Android – just search for ‘HR Happy Hour’ to never miss an episode.

Holding HR in High Regard Around the Globe

There are moments in life that you anticipate with great joy and fear: graduation, marriage, the birth of a child, a big promotion or a trip to a foreign country.  Last week, I had the opportunity to experience traveling to China for the first time, and it certainly turned out to be one of those great moments of a lifetime.

Madeline and Trish ChinaI was invited to speak at the first HR Technology China conference presented by LRP Publications and China Star.  The anxious feeling I had in anticipation of the trip and during the 22 hours of travel led to a great release of adrenaline when I finally landed in Hong Kong.  With friendly, welcoming faces of industry leaders Madeline Laurano and Steve Boese to greet me, I was ready to experience all that China had to offer.

This was the first event put on by LRP and China Star ,and the results were nothing short of amazing.  Held in mainland China in the city of Zhuhai, the trip from Hong Kong via ferry boat was invigorating.  As I looked out at the Hong Kong – Zhuhai – Macao Bridge (HZMB) being constructed in the waters of Lingdingyang of Pearl River Estuary, I began to appreciate the development of the region.  As far as the conference goes, with nearly 6,000 registrants mostly comprised of HR practitioners and leaders, the energy was palpable.

As I, along with a handful of speakers from the US, settled in to meeting the China Star team, we were amazed at the level of interest they had in our being at the event.  We quickly learned that the formality of the relationship between the HR vendor, the event and the Zhuhai government officials was a close knit one.  Several of us were invited to a special meeting with Liu Jiawen (Vice Mayor of Zhuhai), Wang Qingli (Vice Mayor of Zhuhai), Hua Fuzhou (President of China Association for Labor Studies), and many other important dignitaries of the Zhuhai municipal government.  It was an honor to be welcomed and the experience was filmed and photographed for their local news.  Quite exciting!

From there, it was a whirlwind of dinners, presentations, then then the main conference.  Steve Boese welcomed everyone on behalf of LRP and kicked off the new event.  The keynotes, including one by our industry expert Jason Averbook, were nothing short of inspired.  The other keynote presentations, including one by former US Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, were filled with passion for HR, data, and the importance of technology.  The realization that the Chinese hold HR in high regard, as many of us do here in the US, was a revelation.  Some of the commonalities were the focus on:

  • Talent Acquisition- Finding the best hires for an emerging market that is becoming more services dominated is a key priority.
  • Branding– Employer branding that goes hand-in-hand with the extensive branding of the cities themselves is a focus.  The combination made for an interesting juxtaposition.  I believe that US organizations who embrace this approach may find an easier time with recruiting for either hard to fill positions or for staffing in cities that may have had a less desirable past.
  • Engagement- Engaging employees is important globally.  As I learned in the Middle East at the end of 2015, and in Europe and China in 2016, this remains one of the top concerns for business leaders, not just HR leaders.  This tells me there is still a great opportunity for HR leaders, vendors, consultants and analysts when it comes to finding solutions to this age-old problem.

I shared with you the innovative, hard-working and proud side of the people I met in China in my earlier post about coaching.  From the way this event incorporated students to the way they embraced all of us from the US, HR Technology Conference China gave the impression that it will be around for years to come.

As an added bonus, I was able to spend a few days in Hong Kong visiting local markets, restaurants, and stores.  I was even lucky enough to spend a day at Disneyland Hong Kong!  For anyone who knows me, Disney is one of my favorite places, so being able to see the Chinese version was just amazing!  13012784_10156876605550523_1407773878852074846_n

I encourage you to follow the HR Technology Conference here in the US for more information about China next year.  It is worth making a business case for, or for investing in your own career and making the trip.

Thanks again to LRP Publications, Rebecca McKenna, Steve Boese and the whole LRP team.  Thank you also to China Star for the gracious hosting.  Lastly, thank you to my US based HCM colleagues for making my first trip to China a memorable one.