Business Intelligence – Ultimate Software's Blog https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com Thoughts on Putting People First in the Workplace Wed, 15 Nov 2017 15:32:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.3 HR for Manufacturing Companies: How Today’s Tech Can Help https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/tech-helps-hr-for-manufacturing-companies/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/tech-helps-hr-for-manufacturing-companies/#respond Wed, 16 Aug 2017 10:00:35 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=1076 The manufacturing industry contributed $2.18 trillion to the U.S. economy in 2016 and accounted for 11.7% of its GDP. On its own, U.S. manufacturing is considered the 10th largest economy—in the world. It’s also one of the largest U.S. employment sectors, accounting for 9% of the workforce and 12.3 million employees. With such a heavily […]

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HR for manufacturing companiesThe manufacturing industry contributed $2.18 trillion to the U.S. economy in 2016 and accounted for 11.7% of its GDP. On its own, U.S. manufacturing is considered the 10th largest economy—in the world. It’s also one of the largest U.S. employment sectors, accounting for 9% of the workforce and 12.3 million employees. With such a heavily populated workforce—many of whom are hourly employees, union members, or scattered throughout the country—it’s not surprising that manufacturing HR leaders face a variety of complex, industry-specific challenges. Thankfully, today’s technology solutions are increasingly alleviating these challenges.

To compete in today’s global economy, manufacturing companies must find innovative ways to strategically manage their human capital, streamline procedures, and attract investors. Fortunately, just as manufacturers are taking advantage of technology to improve their development and production, today’s HR solutions optimize the latest technological advancements to help manufacturing HR leaders recruit, train, and manage their employees.

Here’s an overview of some of the most common challenges in HR for manufacturing companies.

Recruiting difficulty

The sheer number of positions to be filled often poses challenges for manufacturing recruiters, and this problem is expounded by the industry’s widening skills gap. Deloitte predicts that from 2015 to 2025, nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will be needed, but 2 million of these will go unfilled due to a serious shortage of qualified applicants for skilled and highly skilled production positions. Already, 40% of manufacturers are citing the lack of skilled talent as a primary roadblock to investing in technology that could improve their businesses and products.

With talent shortage comes steep competition. Traditional recruiting systems can be tedious, repetitive, and complex, making it difficult for candidates to engage and often causing frustration and dropout. Many companies lose candidates during the process without even realizing it. But by making it easy for candidates to provide information and actually interact with prospective employers, manufacturers can attract the best talent and encourage them to apply—especially younger workers, who are sorely needed in manufacturing.

Compliance complexities

With an abundance of shift and union workers, overtime, and geographically dispersed employees, manufacturing payroll can be highly nuanced and brimming with complexities. Employers must consider shift premiums, overtime, and union membership while keeping track of constantly changing federal, state, and local taxes for each employee.

Seasonal work and turnover

Transitions in HR for manufacturing companies occur frequently due to seasonal changes, acquisitions, and mergers. The industry is also experiencing a significant increase in turnover as talent shortage provides more competition and opportunities for skilled workers.

Proactively managing talent with meaningful and unbiased metrics is crucial for manufacturers, as is identifying top performers and potential flight risks. By utilizing a variety of reporting, analytics, and business intelligence tools, managers can gain complete insight into headcount, turnover, and recruitment to make the most informed and strategic workforce decisions.

Click on the links below for some examples of how manufacturing companies have overcome their HR challenges:

Kawasaki (http://www.ultimatesoftware.com/UltiPro-Case-Study/Kawasaki)

HOLT CAT (http://www.ultimatesoftware.com/UltiPro-Case-Study/HOLT-CAT)

Armacell (http://www.ultimatesoftware.com/UltiPro-Case-Study/Armacell)

 

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Partner with Your People: Scott Shares His Entrepreneurial Advice with Fortune https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/scott-scherr-entrepreneurial-advice/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/scott-scherr-entrepreneurial-advice/#respond Wed, 09 Aug 2017 13:05:36 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=1048 At Ultimate Software, we put people first. Period. We owe a lot of that to the example set by our CEO, Scott Scherr, and his commitment to not only taking good care of his employees, but treating them as true partners. Scott recently shared his words of wisdom in a guest post for Fortune, discussing […]

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At Ultimate Software, we put people first. Period. We owe a lot of that to the example set by our CEO, Scott Scherr, and his commitment to not only taking good care of his employees, but treating them as true partners. Scott recently shared his words of wisdom in a guest post for Fortune, discussing some of the perks that set Ultimate apart—like our 40 percent no cap 401(k) plan and guaranteed company equity—and how other entrepreneurs can foster their own people-first culture. In Scott’s words, “take care of everyone, every day, and they’ll return the favor many times over.” Check out the piece on Fortune, or read more below:

Why the Most Successful Companies Think Like Sports Teamsscott scherr

Note: this post originally appeared on Fortune’s Insiders Network

Everything I know about building a business, I learned from my father. As a kid in the Bronx, I watched him build a successful company from the ground up. His straightforward approach to business just made sense: The people were there to take care of the business, and the business was there to take care of the people.

Many young entrepreneurs focus mainly on the business plan, profit margins, and mastering the investor pitch. While all of that matters, it’s important to remember the fundamental questions: What kind of company do you want to run? And who do you want to help you build that business?

Remembering my father’s advice helped guide Ultimate from day one: Take care of everyone, every day, and they’ll return the favor many times over. To me, the “secret sauce” isn’t in the best-laid marketing plans—it’s in having the right team to execute on them.

Here are a few ways you can foster business growth and success by focusing on your people:

Make a big investment in your people

In our early days, one of my “non-negotiables” was 100% paid-for health care benefits for employees and their families, and 401(k) matching for every employee. That’s uncommon for startups today (only 14% of companies with 100 or fewer employees offer a 401(k) plan) and it was virtually unheard of 27 years ago.

Think of the ways you can walk the talk so your employees know you’re truly invested in them. Catered lunches and group celebrations help preserve your culture, but remember what cultivates your core values. Maybe it’s flexible hours or generous PTO to support employees’ work-life balance. Running a successful business has many highs and lows. But when you’re relentless in putting your people first, they’ll continue on the journey with you, weathering the good times and bad.

Think like a (sports) team

As a former athlete and lifelong fan, I see many connections between sports and business. The best teams that consistently win are not simply teams with good players. Championship teams have the best players and are coached by leaders who are fully committed and know how to get the most out of their players who are equally focused. Not every person you hire has to be a star athlete or accomplished coach, but it helps to have that team mentality.

Every person counts and must be working toward the same goal. No matter what business you’re in, if you find and keep the best, most committed talent, and coach them, you’ll make it to the playoffs every year—and bring home championships.

Promote from within

When businesses are looking to grow, they’ll usually look to the competitive market to find top talent. However, many times, the best people are already on your team. Focus on building leadership from within, rather than hiring the first outsider with the right skill set, but who may not be a cultural fit. Your existing employees have a greater knowledge of the company, a deeper connection to its values, and a more personal investment in its long-term success (especially when you’ve shown you’re invested in theirs). Developing your current people also helps foster stronger relationships and business growth as your employees build their careers with your company. Some of Ultimate’s highest-ranking—and most successful—people were our very first employees.

The business strategies that work best often seem simple, but they’re also the most powerful. Like I learned from my father: Your people keep you inspired, and keep your business moving forward. To achieve continued success as an entrepreneur, keep your eye on what matters most. Always remember to invest in your people first.

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Ask Adam: Creating a Positive Employee Experience https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/positive-employee-experience/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/positive-employee-experience/#respond Thu, 20 Apr 2017 10:00:13 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=974 “Employee experience” has become a standard HR buzzword, and today’s executives are increasingly recognizing and prioritizing its influence. In January, Forbes published “The Employee Experience Is the Future of Work,” and we now know that “ee experience” is the #1 driver of employment outcomes. Unfortunately, measuring—even defining—the drivers of positive employee experience can be tumultuous, […]

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“Employee experience” has become a standard HR buzzword, and today’s executives are increasingly recognizing and prioritizing its influence. In January, Forbes published “The Employee Experience Is the Future of Work,” and we now know that “ee experience” is the #1 driver of employment outcomes. Unfortunately, measuring—even defining—the drivers of positive employee experience can be tumultuous, primarily driven by a lack of data outlining exactly what contributes to employee happiness, satisfaction, and fulfillment.

As an HCM technology company defined by our “People First” philosophy, pinpointing the key factors facilitating a great employee experience was necessary both for our own development and to add value for our customers. We partnered with the Center for Generational Kinetics to conduct a comprehensive study of U.S. working adults and found that two-way trust, nurtured through open and ongoing communication, was critical for a positive employee experience. Other important factors included organizational culture, professional development opportunities, innovative technology, promptly addressing concerns, and safety—both physical and emotional.

We recently presented these results in a webcast, and received so many great questions that I didn’t have time to answer them all. Here are a few of the most common questions, along with my suggestions. If you have any other questions about our research or the employee experience, please let me know in the comments below!

Q: How can I determine how employees feel?

A: Just ask them—and often. Today’s workforce values inclusion, coaching, and ongoing feedback. Instead of relying solely on formal performance management processes, which are certainly useful but have a slew of limitations, modern organizations are beginning to implement more frequent, informal positive employee experiencecheck-ins and pulse surveys. On-demand surveys allow you to gauge how your employees are actually feeling in real time, particularly when your solution uses advanced sentiment analysis technology to accurately dissect open-ended text. Armed with substantial data about the health of your organization, you’re empowered to quickly address areas of concern and dramatically increase positive employee experience.­

Q: How do you build trust?

A: At its core, trust is based around communication, transparency, and action. The goal is to develop managers into better people leaders who are in tune with their teams and empowered to take ownership of engagement. Technological solutions can provide structured and proactive coaching support, including practical suggestions for taking the most effective action.

Q: What investments should my company make to create a positive employee experience?

A: Fortunately, you don’t need to dismantle your entire organization to improve the employee experience for your people. Little things can make a big difference—but it’s crucial to invest in both career development and modern technology. Providing ongoing learning opportunities to your employees will challenge and motivate them while improving overall satisfaction. Employees are also heavily impacted by the tools they use to get their jobs done, as well as those they use to access their pay and benefits information. Even I was shocked by our research results regarding technology in the workplace—one in three employees said they would consider leaving their jobs because of outdated technology.

Implementing these strategies will help positively influence all manners of the employee experience, including fostering ongoing communication, providing career clarity, and—most important of all—building trust between your organization and your employees.

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Where to Catch Ultimate Software at #HRTechConf 2016 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/ultimate-software-hrtechconf-2016-awesome-new-technology/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/ultimate-software-hrtechconf-2016-awesome-new-technology/#respond Fri, 30 Sep 2016 14:07:53 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=705 With every October comes the annual HR Technology Conference & Expo, held this year October 4–7 in Chicago. It’s a pivotal time across the HR tech space, and there’s no shortage of innovative and exciting developments ahead. Several of my colleagues and I will be at this year’s HR Tech conference, participating in many panels […]

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With every October comes the annual HR Technology Conference & Expo, held this year October 4–7 in Chicago. It’s a pivotal time across the HR tech space, and there’s no shortage of innovative and exciting developments ahead. Several of my colleagues and I will be at this year’s HR Tech conference, participating in many panels and sessions, discussing hot topics and trends, sharing current best practices, and previewing what’s in store when it comes to tech advances for HR professionals and organizations.

If you’re heading to HR Tech 2016, here’s where you can catch Ultimate Software:

Tuesday, October 4
On Tuesday, Cecile Alper-Leroux, Ultimate’s vice president of HCM innovation, will take part in a first-of-its-kind event. Women in HR Technology is designed to empower women in HR and in HR tech to grow as people and professionals. Join Cecile and other accomplished tech execs as they share their stories about rising to leadership roles and discuss how successful organizations create workplace cultures in which women thrive.

Wednesday, October 5
Wednesday is a full day with several Ultimate events, from conversations with our customers to special looks at the latest UltiPro® features. Learn How Armacell Inspires Engagement in a Global Workforce when Cecile sits down with Keith Norwood, Armacell’s chief human resources officer. Then, join Cecile for Payroll 2.0: Innovation in the First HR Technology Application, an expert panel with insights on how payroll helps provide increased value to organizations and improves employees’ access to important information.

Also on Wednesday, Awesome New Technologies for HR will feature UltiPro’s new Leadership Actions tool, which helps managers become better people leaders. Using machine learning-driven prescriptive analytics technology, UltiPro’s Leadership Actions offers managers a variety of actionable steps for engaging individual team members, with a focus on developing and retaining key talent—all while supporting cultural and management initiatives within the organization.

HR Tech also offers a first look at Ultimate’s latest solution, UltiPro Perception, in an exclusive demo titled To Improve the Employee Experience, You Must First Understand It. UltiPro Perception helps companies make employee-survey data actionable—by analyzing not just what people are saying about their work experience, but also how they feel about it. Don’t miss your chance to see UltiPro Perception in action. Space is limited and you must preregister to attend this session. Sign up now at www.ultimatesoftware.com/HRTech2016.

Thursday, October 6
On Thursday, see what’s ahead in the field of predictive and prescriptive analytics with The Evolution and Future of HR Analytics Technology, a panel featuring Brian Kelly, Ultimate’s senior director of strategy. Learn how HR analytics can provide the most value for organizations and where this game-changing technology is heading over the next few years.

 And back by popular demand, it’s the second annual HR Technology Conference Hackathon. If you attended HR Tech last year, or are familiar with other hackathons, you know this is a can’t-miss event. Teams of talented engineers and designers, including Ultimate’s UltiPro developers, will have just 48 hours to design, build, and demonstrate a brand-new solution that addresses real HR and business challenges. Be there for the big-reveal showcase on Thursday to see the creative concepts these teams come up with and to cast a vote for your favorite application.

Friday, October 7
Friday morning features an Ultimate double-header with back-to-back sessions to wrap up the conference. First, join me and Cecile for the Ideas and Innovators in HR panel, bringing together some of the most innovative minds in the industry. We’ll share cutting-edge ideas about HR, technology, and the workplace. Then, head over to Managing Workforce Retention and Identifying High Performers with Predictive Analytics to hear my conversation with Gregg Paulk, director of information technologies at Anderson Center for Autism. We’ll discuss best practices and daily uses for predictive analytics, and how organizations can best connect people and data for HR success.

HR Tech is jam-packed with useful information and networking opportunities for all members of the HCM industry. No matter which panels and events you attend, be sure to check out Ultimate Software at Booth #916 any time during the conference. You’ll also want to stop by our Relaxation and Recharge station just outside the exhibit hall, where you can enjoy a free massage and charge up your mobile devices—a must throughout the four-day conference.

If you can’t make the conference in person, or just want to keep up with all that’s happening, remember to follow @HRTechConf and @UltimateHCM on Twitter for real-time updates.

See you at HR Tech!

The HR Technology Conference is right around the corner. See what Ultimate Software is up to!

The HR Technology Conference is right around the corner. See what Ultimate Software is up to!

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Transforming Data into Action Yields Bottom-Line Results https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/transforming-human-capital-management-data-action-yields-bottom-line-results/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/transforming-human-capital-management-data-action-yields-bottom-line-results/#respond Wed, 13 Jul 2016 08:59:35 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=614 We know people are a key differentiator in business. That means businesses are incredibly focused on talent. Recruiting, engaging, and retaining talent are the top issues facing organizations, according to last year’s Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends report. In order for organizations to hire and retain the talent they need to accomplish their business goals, […]

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We know people are a key differentiator in business. That means businesses are incredibly focused on talent. Recruiting, engaging, and retaining talent are the top issues facing organizations, according to last year’s Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends report.

In order for organizations to hire and retain the talent they need to accomplish their business goals, human resources professionals need to be in a position to educate and inform senior management about what’s taking place both with employees and in the labor market. There are two ways to “educate and inform” senior management.

By using predictive and prescriptive analytics, businesses are turning big data into actionable insights that improve business success.

By using predictive and prescriptive analytics, businesses are turning big data into actionable insights that improve business success.

Storytelling is a very powerful way to share employee stories. Senior management will want to hear about employees who go above and beyond to deliver excellent customer service. They will want to know how employees are using their benefits to further their careers.

Data are equally powerful means for telling a story about what’s taking place within the workforce. Data can tell a story about groups of employees. For example, data can tell management how the company is using employee referrals to find quality talent. It can also offer insights into why employees choose to resign.

Both storytelling and data are important, but the language of data is often preferred by many senior managers because it’s a format that’s familiar to them. They already spend lots of time looking at financial reports, so presenting HR data is a way to communicate with your audience on their level.

However, understanding data and analytics doesn’t always come easy. Harvard Business Review reported in the article “The Changing Role of the CHRO” that only one-third of organizations use analytics to make talent decisions. The same article implies that the reason so few companies are taking advantage of workforce analytics is because developing analytical skills is a challenge for HR.

The good news is today’s human resources technology can help HR professionals transform data into action. Here’s an example:

Hiring managers and HR have data and information regarding what it takes to be successful in the organization. Those factors for organizational success include traits such as communication skills, goal achievement, resilience, flexibility, and creativity. In some organizations, these might be identified as company values or competencies.

Equipped with this information, HR and managers use the knowledge they have about employees to take action. The knowledge is often found during employee performance reviews, training sessions, and onboarding programs. By bringing together these factors and the current employee information, managers and HR can take action.

What actions can they take? Well, managers can use predictive analytics to focus their efforts on high-performing and high-potential employees. Managers can also spend their time coaching and mentoring employees to ensure they remain engaged with their work and plan to stay with the company.

During this year’s Ultimate Software Connections conference, I learned about a study that showed organizations using their employee data to provide regular actions to employees have up to 50% less turnover. And less turnover means bottom-line savings. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the cost of turnover for a salaried employee can range from 1.5 to 3 times annual salary. For non-salaried employees, it’s $5-20K per employee.

As Peter Drucker once said, “What gets measured gets managed.” However, simply gathering the data isn’t enough. Organizations that want to see real results with their talent strategies need to look at the numbers and use them to take action.

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“People First” in Action https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/people-first-in-action/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/people-first-in-action/#respond Thu, 05 May 2016 10:09:28 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=568 By now, we understand that employee engagement gives way to the employee experience. Meaning, it’s time to focus on automatically creating an outstanding employee experience so engagement just happens. But, in order for that to happen, the employee experience cannot mimic the traditional employee lifecycle. It needs to focus on people. In a person-centered lifecycle, […]

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By now, we understand that employee engagement gives way to the employee experience. Meaning, it’s time to focus on automatically creating an outstanding employee experience so engagement just happens. But, in order for that to happen, the employee experience cannot mimic the traditional employee lifecycle. It needs to focus on people.

In a person-centered lifecycle, HR professionals aren’t spending their time developing processes. They are identifying and developing talent. They are helping the business set the priorities when it comes to talent strategy. And they are designing work that is open and accessible in order to maintain a competitive advantage.

Leadership Gaps Impact a “People First” Culture
Organizations looking to move toward a person-centered lifecycle must invest in their leadership teams. According to the Deloitte 2015 Global Human Capital Trends Report, 90 percent of respondents surveyed cite leadership as “important” or “very important.” However, the data also suggest that organizations have made little or no progress. The capability gap for building great leaders has widened in every region of the world, with only 6 percent of companies feeling fully ready to address their leadership issues.

Ultimate Software is so successful because the organization works with a great culture, creates award winning products, and delivers exceptional customer service. All three must be great in order for business to succeed. Putting People First
The key to a person-centered lifecycle is making people the center of organizational strategy. Think of it as a three-legged stool of sorts, with the legs being products, services, and culture. People touch each strategy, and without the right people…well, the strategy isn’t what we planned. Organizations need to align people with their products, services, and culture.

Make Great Products
Having the best talent and putting people first does not absolve a company from making good products. The best products come from the company’s efforts to find the best talent and treat them well. The challenge is syncing up business outcomes with talent strategy.

Organizations expect leaders to manage business outcomes through the performance management process. However, recent research has shown that performance management ratings are not accurate predictors of actual business performance—meaning, ratings have zero correlation with business unit performance.

A people-first product strategy embraces transparency and innovation. Work is open and collaborative. Employees feel connected to their work and understand its impact on the bottom line.

Deliver Excellent Service
This means not only deliver excellent service to customers, but also deliver excellent service to employees (who work with customers every day). Service needs to be extraordinary and efficient.

Today’s business leaders have to spend their time wisely. As reported in the Harvard Business Review article, “Reinventing Performance Management,” Deloitte tallied the number of hours it spent on performance management and found that completing the forms, holding the meetings, and creating the ratings consumed close to 2 million hours a year.

A people-first service strategy invests in development at every level of the organization. It supports employees becoming masterful in their roles, so employees can take care of customers.

Create a People-First Culture
A people-first company culture should support product innovation and respectful service. To make that happen, leaders need to be given the tools to properly hire, onboard, train, etc. It also means giving leaders performance management tools that add value. In addition to being a lengthy process, performance evaluations are also one of the costliest employee processes. The average organizational cost of a performance appraisal is $2,500 per employee, per year.

It’s time to give leadership a performance management process that puts people first. Leadership is ready to coach and mentor employees to do their best work.

The future of work is here. It’s centered around people who will take your business to the next level. It’s time to create a people-first culture by focusing on the future of people at work.

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12 Days of HCM – #2 HCM Analytics https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/12-days-of-hcm-analytics/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/12-days-of-hcm-analytics/#respond Tue, 08 Dec 2015 14:14:16 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=402 The Future of HCM Analytics Analytics aren’t just for statisticians anymore. There’s growing buzz for analytics in HCM. Yet, many HR leaders remain hesitant to embrace them; some citing reservations with Big Data. But research continues to show organizations benefit from using HCM analytics—to help attract, develop, and retain talent, for example—including a new study […]

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The Future of HCM Analytics

Analytics aren’t just for statisticians anymore. There’s growing buzz for analytics in HCM. Yet, many HR leaders remain hesitant to embrace them; some citing reservations with Big Data.

But research continues to show organizations benefit from using HCM analytics—to help attract, develop, and retain talent, for example—including a new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research. The idea isn’t to replace people with machines, but to combine their powers: knowledge without bias.

Ultimate’s been in the HCM analytics space for years, developing a range of predictive and prescriptive tools that help HR leaders make smarter, data-driven decisions about their people.

For HR leaders embracing analytics in 2016, we predict a more productive year.

#12DaysofHCM Predictive Analytics

A number of organizations have valuable data, though few act upon the information. HCM analytics are key to unlocking these troves.

 

Suggested Articles:

 

To follow our 12 Days of HCM series on social media, use the hashtag #12DaysofHCM.

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Getting at the Heart of Employee Engagement https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/heart-of-employee-engagement/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/heart-of-employee-engagement/#comments Fri, 17 Apr 2015 15:38:18 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=264 By Colin McLetchie Colin is the Founder and President of Five Ways Forward, LLC, a leadership & life coaching and HR & Organizational Consulting Firm in Arlington, VA. He is a dynamic and powerful coach, speaker and facilitator, bringing passion, deep insight and his unique compassionate challenge as he helps individuals, managers, executives, teams and […]

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By Colin McLetchie

Colin Mc Letchie, President of Five Ways Forward LLC, on Getting at the Heart of Employee EngagementColin is the Founder and President of Five Ways Forward, LLC, a leadership & life coaching and HR & Organizational Consulting Firm in Arlington, VA. He is a dynamic and powerful coach, speaker and facilitator, bringing passion, deep insight and his unique compassionate challenge as he helps individuals, managers, executives, teams and organizations move forward to success at work and in life. Find out more at www.fivewaysforward.com  or  colin@fivewaysforward.com.

It’s everywhere. Everyone is talking about it. Consultants build entire practices and companies around it. You hear executives and leaders clamoring for it! “WE NEED EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT!” It becomes a battle cry around which we hope to rally the troops to get our employees’ heads in the game at work and keep the floodgates of unwanted attrition from opening wider than they already are.

And therein lies the problem. It’s not in their heads.

Yes, you heard me. It’s not in their heads.

Sure, we want people to give discretionary effort, to persevere through the hard march, to get their creative energy focused on innovation, to care for and about our customers and clients. And none of that lives in their heads.

Ask your HR people. They know. They know because they hear it in exit interviews all the time. And it sounds like this:

  • My heart wasn’t in it anymore.
  • It just got too hard to care here.
  • I just didn’t have the heart for it here any more.

The etymology for “engage” is “to make a pledge to.” And when we pledge something, particularly allegiance, where does our hand go? Over our heart. The key to employee engagement, to inspiring them to want to pledge allegiance to our company, our mission, our clients and customers, is to learn how to empower their hearts. Managers and leaders will be successful at doing this when they have real dialogue, real connection with their employees about what makes them inspired to come to work, what’s getting in the way of their passion for showing up at work, and what matters to them as people.

HR professionals getting at the heart of employee engagement

And how do you do that? Talk to your team members. Ask them. They’ll tell you if you take the time to nurture a relationship with them. One tool I recommend is a “stay interview,” which is simply a series of purposeful questions aimed at getting to the heart of the matter. Identify those key team members who are most critical to the success of your organization, and take them to coffee or for a glass of wine. Let them know, “you’re important to me, as a person and a team member, and I want you to have a successful and meaningful career here at ABC Corp. Would you be willing to talk with me about that?”

Construct questions that engage (see what I did there?) the person’s heart. Things like:

  • What are you passionate about?
  • What values are most important to you?
  • What makes you want to get up every morning and come to work here? Or if that’s not where you are, what would do that?
  • Where do you see conflicts with those here at ABC Corp.?

The key is to make sure this isn’t a one time conversation but a beginning of an ongoing dialogue / relationship. You must follow up on what you hear from your team members. A powerful close to this conversation is to recap with a summary of “here’s what I heard you say that matters most to you, and here’s what I heard you ask for us to work on. You have my commitment to doing so, and I will keep you posted. In return, my ask would be that if you start to disengage, get itchy to look outside or start answering those recruiters calls, that you will talk to me first so we can see what’s going on and what we might be able to. Are you willing to do that?”

When you begin having a real, honest, vulnerable dialogue with your team members, you will begin to cultivate greater trust, honesty, and connection.

Beyond that, if you nurture the heart of your employees by making sure they are taking care of their whole person, by having real commitment to and connection with your team members, you will begin to allow the heart to show up at work. It’s time we talk about the heart at work and not act like it’s a dirty word. We want their heart to show up in equal balance with their brain and their body.

My challenge to you is this: Find three ways in the coming week to begin to show your heart more at work. How, when and where will you do this?

Because the heart of employee engagement is the heart itself.

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Big Data https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/big-data/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/big-data/#respond Wed, 20 Mar 2013 06:48:16 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=145 Last week, I was a guest at the Ultimate Software Users’ Conference. The audience was at least 1,500 strong. The customer loyalty was evident. Big Data was part of the subtext of the meeting. Ultimate is expanding its reach with “connectors” and a partnership with Informatica. Both involve making the UltiPro tool the center of […]

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Last week, I was a guest at the Ultimate Software Users’ Conference. The audience was at least 1,500 strong. The customer loyalty was evident.

Big Data was part of the subtext of the meeting. Ultimate is expanding its reach with “connectors” and a partnership with Informatica. Both involve making the UltiPro tool the center of data usage and analysis.

Ron Hanscome, the new analyst at Gartner gave a presentation about Big Data that included the usual admonishments to upskill the HR Team. He noted that most intra-system work is done with spreadsheets. He described an achievable vision of the questions involved in going towards big data.

And, Ultimate is introducing an algorithm that predicts an employee’s retention risk and embeds it directly into their Talent Card, helping leaders more proactively manage their talent.

There are a few things that most people miss about Big Data in HR.

  • HR will be a significant provider to other departments’ Big Data machinations. It will require a rapid move away from spreadsheets and towards real data integrity. This will be a new and important demand for HR’s time and resources. The political and legal issues are significant.
  • Real time performance management is another way of saying real time surveillance. As the Talent Management arena becomes real time, HR’s role is going to shift in a hurry.
  • The most significant benefits of Big Data projects will use data from outside the HR Department and from outside the organization.
  • Big Data will have a larger effect on the organization than social media. It will force departments and suppliers to collaborate in ways impossible to imagine.

IT oriented consultants view the adoption of this next wave of technology as yet another exercise in readiness and planning. It will be every bit as much of that as social media or the original web were. Meaning not at all.

As we learn to ask the right questions and learn to ask the ones we think are impossible, the magic of measuring will become clearer.

Meanwhile, tons of companies will be aggregating the data about our employees and offering to sell it back to us. They will arrive at insights we wish weren’t so public. They will spot our weaknesses before we do.

For example, what is the range of tenure in your most important department? What should it be? What is it like in other companies? What percent of your best people are close to or beyond the average retention rate? How does that compare to your industry, their industry, your region or other clusters of that type of professional.

(Note that every worker is simultaneously a member of your company’s industry and their profession’s industry. You can’t really understand your workforce unless you understand the dynamics of both.)

Just as Big Data is emerging as a force in recruiting (Indeed and all of the social data aggregators and testers). It will transform the HR Department and the rest of the organization.

I’m not so sure about the upskilling thing but do recommend that you get everyone in the HR Department a copy of Naked Statistics. (The sad thing is that the folks who really need it block content that contains the word Naked.)

 

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Big Data and Predicting Turnover https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/big-data-and-predicting-turnover/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/big-data-and-predicting-turnover/#respond Sun, 15 Apr 2012 10:13:21 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=111 I learned a lot about data during this year’s Ultimate Software Connections conference. Which is totally cool with me; I’m not afraid of numbers. One specific term was “big data.” Now, I admit that I had heard the term but didn’t really have my arms around what it meant or what it means for business. […]

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I learned a lot about data during this year’s Ultimate Software Connections conference. Which is totally cool with me; I’m not afraid of numbers. One specific term was “big data.” Now, I admit that I had heard the term but didn’t really have my arms around what it meant or what it means for business.

Chris McLatcher, director of business intelligence and analytics for Ultimate Software, really gave a great overview of big data during his session, “What’s Coming in the Area of Reporting, Metrics, Analytics & Predictive Analysis.” In case you’re wondering, the term “big data” refers to groups of data so large that they become challenging to work with. But we do it anyway, because of the trend data that we can pull from it. If you’d like to learn more, here’s a video that can help.

 

Data has always been important to our organizations. Now that lots of it exists and more is generated every second, data is even more important. But not just getting the data. It’s equally key that we can read, process, and make decisions based upon it.

This is where predictive analytics takes over. We can use these techniques to leverage the data. Because what our organizations are able to do as a result of the data will help them achieve success. Having data just for the sake of data isn’t achieving success. Ultimate Software talked about one of the ways they are able to use big data for their clients. Think about this scenario:

Your company is getting ready for their annual strategy session. Part of that session is setting business goals for the next operational year. During the conversation, someone mentions that they are concerned about achieving the goals being discussed because of the current talent situation in the company. “There are lots of reports in the media about people looking for new jobs. If we lose a couple key players, we won’t have the bench strength to make these goals a reality.”

Wouldn’t it be great if you could put the senior leadership team’s fears to rest? The question is: what could possibly be said? Ultimate Software has been successfully testing the use of predictive analytics to not only determine how much turnover an organization might expect but the likelihood of an individual to leave the organization. This is pretty powerful stuff!

If businesses had more accurate data regarding potential turnover, there would be opportunities to potentially change the outcome. Again, what our companies can do with data becomes incredibly valuable and has the potential to impact the bottom line. It all comes down to knowing and understanding the business data we have available.

If you want to stay on top of business analytics and how they can help your organization, consider joining the UltiPro Business Intelligence SIG on LinkedIn. Chris also mentioned two books: Investing in People by Wayne F. Cascio and John W. Boudreau and HR Analytics Handbook by Laurie McBassi. Neither are reads for sipping a pina colada by the pool, but when you need them, they will be very useful.

There’s an old cliché about knowledge being power. In today’s world, having access to the data you need, at the moment you need it, will create powerful opportunities for your company.

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