Employee Experience – The XXI Century Corporate Super Power

Written by João Duarte, Content Director at Tap My Back.

Interviewing Jacob Morgan

Jacob Morgan is a 3x best-selling author, keynote speaker, and futurist. His latest book is The Employee Experience Advantage: How to Win the War for Talent by Giving Employees the Workspaces They Want, the Tools They Need and a Culture They Can Celebrate (Wiley, March 2017) which is based on an analysis of over 250 global organizations. Jacob’s work has been endorsed by the CEOs of: Cisco, Whirlpool, T-Mobile, Best Buy, SAP, Nestle, KPMG, Schneider Electric and many others.

Tap My Back, a tool that provides the simplest way to provide work recognition recently had the opportunity to talk with Jacob Morgan about the concept relying beyond his latest book, employee recognition. Jacob advocates this concept should be the major focus of companies aiming to attract and retain talent. This article provides a summary of the main ideas explored on the interview. Alternatively,  you can read or listen the full interview here: Employee experience – The XXI century corporate super power.

Nowadays, we’re living in such a rapidly and demanding world that the skills gap issue is turning into a big thing. Therefore, more than ever before the need to attract and retain talent is a huge issue for corporations around the world. In the end, “every organization in the world can exist without technology but no organization in the world can exist without people”. Bearing this in mind, the concept Jacob Morgan approached in his last book, employee experience, comes in the perfect timing. Companies need to seek out to provide the best possible interactions with their workforce, that is the only way to guarantee they have people delivering their best and sticking for the long run.

On the interview Jacob explained that employee experience is sort of the next step in what regards the way company’s manage workforce. It appears as an answer to the fact that “employee engagement has always acted as kind of an adrenaline shot inside of our organizations” –  Jacob Morgan.

He goes through a few best practices that major companies with the likes of Facebook, Google or Microsoft are adopting to improve their staff experience, highlighting three major aspects culture, technology and physical space. Jacob also confessed to Tap My Back that this concept of employee experience is something that the whole company should be aware and responsible for, even though he sees mainly HR related roles pushing it into company’s’ culture.

In the end of the interview, Jacob Morgan was questioned about the best advice he would provide to SMB companies looking to start from scratch implementing and improving the employee experience they provide. You can check his tips and the full interview here: Employee experience – The XXI century corporate super power.


If you want to share this article the reference to João DuarteTap My Back and The HR Tech Weekly® is obligatory.

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Current and future state of HR and employee appreciation – Interview with William Tincup

Written by João Duarte, Content Director at Tap My Back.

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William is the President of RecruitingDaily. At the intersection of HR and technology, he’s a Writer, Speaker, Advisor, Consultant, Investor, Storyteller & Teacher. He’s been writing about HR related issues for over a decade. William serves on the Board of Advisors / Board of Directors for 18 HR technology startups. Many say his words dictates and predicts the future of managing people and teams.

Tap My Back, an employee appraisal software, recently managed to have an interview with Tincup about the current and future state of HR focusing topics such as performance reviews and the use of AI. This article is sort of a compilation of the main ideas he went through on this interview.

One of the most interesting topics Tincup spoke was about the way he feels HR managers currently should have more responsibilities than ever before. Following his thoughts we’re moving from era where employee engagement was the main worry of HR managers onto one where there’s the need to manage the full experience staff go through on the workplace.

He even says that engagement is the same as recycling, everyone already recognizes the value it provides but still many prefer to ignore it.

According to William, the reason why performance reviews stopped producing the outcome they used to is related with the fact that many times managers who conduct those are not honest with the employees about whose interest this process serves. As society currently values highly aspects such as transparency, HR staff conducting performance reviews should be clear to people and say something “hey, this actually for us, so that we do better, so that we make sure that we’re on the right track and we get the most out of you because we want the best version of you while you’re with us. We’re going to train you, we’re going to help you, we’re going to throw some stuff in but at the end of the day we want the best version of you while you’re with us”.

Regarding AI and Machine Learning, William provides an interesting opinion, stating that these tools will make insights that used to be remarkable to become commonplace, a commodity. Following his reasoning these tools will turn dump databases into something capable of providing insightful conclusions, sparing human brain of analyzing raw data.

William, with his typical charismatic way of being, finishes the interview with an advice for every entrepreneur, “Grow, comma grow the right way” referring to the fact that the ambition to grow should never overlap the way managers treat people

End note: You can hear and read the full interview here.


If you want to share this article the reference to João DuarteTap My Back and The HR Tech Weekly® is obligatory.

HR and Business Are Looking for Data Analytics and Insights

Stacey Browning, President of Paycor

Today our guest is Stacey Browning, President of Paycor.

Since 2001, Stacey has played an integral role in every aspect of Paycor’s operations. As president, she fosters collaboration across the business and ensures executional excellence in product development and service delivery.

Paycor is a trusted partner to more than 33,000 small and medium-sized businesses.Known for delivering modern, intuitive recruiting, HR and payroll solutions, Paycor partners with businesses to optimize their people management.

Paycor’s key areas of specialization include Payroll Management, Human Resources Solutions, Benefits Administration, Time & Attendance Solutions, Tax Filing & Compliance, Workers’​ Compensation and Employment Screening Service.

Recently Paycor announced Workforce Insights, a new data visualization solution that extracts rich and actionable insights from people data to bring valuable C-level and operational insights to key business stakeholders.

The interview is hosted by Alexey Mitkin, Founder, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, The HR Tech Weekly® Online Media Co.

  1. Hi Stacey, and first of all thank you very much for this interview with The HR Tech Weekly®. Straight away, why you have developed Workforce Insights and how it will complement other Paycor products?

Our innovation is driven by uncovering ways to better serve our clients, and Workforce Insights is no exception. Last August we surveyed our clients about the features they wanted to see in future product releases. After reviewing more than 1,000 client responses, we found that the overwhelming majority were looking for data analytics and insights.

In addition to evaluating our client’s feedback, we also looked at industry trends that show HR professionals are striving to prove their strategic value to executives. One way we can help them is by organizing their key people data in a manner that helps with business execution.

For example, through the Workforce Insights overtime dashboard, information from our time platform is correlated to OSHA incidents reported on in our HR platform. Leaders can uncover safety thresholds exceeded by location, department or manager to home in on where a performance issue may be occurring.

  1. What key benefits and advantages does Workforce Insights have when compared with other tools on the market?

Most other tools on the market force standard charts and data visualization. Workforce Insights allows customers to view their data in the way that is most impactful for their unique business needs.

Another key differentiator is the one-click sharing functionality. Users can take their insights and share that information with the appropriate parties without having to import or export data. The custom reporting and one-click sharing allows users to not only have access to the data, but to make it meaningful and actionable.

  1. Why do you think small and medium-sized businesses need their own HR technology solutions?

Employees at small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are often forced to wear multiple hats, and sometimes that even means taking on responsibilities like payroll. HR technology solutions help relieve the administrative burden of payroll and benefits while ensuring reliability and security, while also protecting against the risk of compliance infractions.

What Paycor offers seems to be what’s desired most by SMBs – a platform or suite of functionality at the right per-employee-per-transaction and per-month price point that doesn’t require a customization. A solution that can be implemented and have value derived in three days to three months, and that can adapt with them as their organization grows.

  1. Paycor has run its operations since 1990. How have your clients needs during this period changed, and what is the secret sauce for long-term success?

Since 1990, the technological needs of our clients have changed dramatically. In 1990 computers were large and expensive, “the cloud” didn’t exist, and phones were connected to a landline or, for a select few, in a bag in your car. Since then, clients have had to react to the demands of their workforce; faster access from any device, and our products have had to evolve accordingly.

Our secret sauce for long-term success may be the only thing that has remained the same since 1990 – putting our clients first. We were founded because our CEO believed there was a better way to serve the needs of our clients, and it’s that passion that still drives us today.

  1. Achievements in big-time sports are based on grassroots sports. What can you recommend to HR Tech startups on how to get into the highest league?

The energy around new HR tech offerings through start-ups informs the entire industry. For some of these startups, success looks like being acquired into a larger company and human capital offering. For those wanting to progress into a higher league more independently, I recommend having an openness to partnerships and distribution options, and feedback to the offering itself. The best emerging technologies in HR are built and market-tested quickly.

  1. Since its founding, Paycor has grown to 1,460 people onboard. What do newbies need to know about the company in order to have a successful career with you?

First, excel at the job you are given, and then look for ways to take on more responsibility. It can be dangerous to be too eager to move to the next level without first nailing the task you are given. At the same time, becoming complacent doesn’t allow you to be a change agent in the organization.

To take on that next challenge and excel to the next level it is critically important that associates know and own their personal brand. Your personal brand is what people say about you when you leave the room. Think about the impression you want to leave, and make it.


If you want to share this interview the reference to Stacey BrowningPaycor and The HR Tech Weekly® is obligatory.

Millennials Take on Sourcing

Millennials Take on Sourcing

Hotel Near Seattle Space Needle

Millennial Sourcers Ready to Take Off

Sourcer SeanKelly Anderson

Recently I had the pleasure of talking with SeanKelly Anderson, an up and coming sourcer, in Bellevue, WA. SeanKelly and I met on a rainy Sunday morning in late January for breakfast at the very popular Chace’s Pancake Corral.  As everyone is Seattle is painfully aware, the traffic during the week is horrendous pretty much anywhere and everywhere. Sunday is a much lighter travel day thankfully.

On this Sunday SeanKelly had a small window of down time to chat about her professional ambitions and life as a sourcer. The conversation was enlightening and fun. As recruiting continues to grow vital tips and tricks for new sourcers will prove invaluable.

The business of recruiting and sourcing is incredibly hard work and after talking with SeanKelly it became clear that she isn’t afraid to do whatever it takes to help connect great candidates with amazing opportunities. SeanKelly grew up in Bellevue, WA and then went east to New York for college. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations, Advertising, and Applied Communication from Manhattanville College in beautiful Purchase, NY.

In SeanKelly’s brief time in the field she has interned with Velocity Search Partners (Bellevue, WA) and Recruiting Bandwidth (Seattle, WA). She’s also worked as a sourcing specialist for ProHealth Staffing (Queen Anne, Seattle). In her spare time she is a singer/songwriter who dabbles in ‘Magic the Gathering’. What’s more, SeanKelly also loves to cook weird combinations of foods.

Over the course of our two plus hours together we covered a variety of topics from why she is passionate about sourcing/recruiting to her thoughts on what millennials need to do to be successful in the work world. I’ve included a few of the highlights from our conversation.

Background and Preparation for a Career in Recruiting

It was great getting to know SeanKelly and learn about her passion for recruiting and sourcing. After we chatted about what she had been up to ‘work-wise’ we jumped right into her educational background and family.

When I asked SeanKelly to reflect on how her educational experiences and upbringing had influenced her career so far she shared the following:

My parents worked extremely hard to enroll me into a fantastic all-girls Catholic private school, Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart, from 5th grade to 12th grade. Forest Ridge had incredible teachers that wanted nothing else but to set us all up for success. This school was incredibly difficult to succeed at if you weren’t a natural at physics, mathematics, or history. Being a young woman with ADHD, I struggled a lot to keep up with the workload–but that struggle was what truly helped me as I grew into adulthood. I learned how to manage time at such a young age, that now, I find myself being able to double down and focus easier than those around me. 

The teachers who had my back are also contributors to what I view as a good quality I have now. Some teachers stayed late to meet, some came in early. It was really amazing. Having that support system and that experience of learning time-management so young really helped me succeed going into college, and has followed me into young adulthood.

I then asked her how she got into Sourcing and Recruiting:

My mom, Shannon Anderson. I have seen her thrive in her career for as long as I can remember! Throughout my life I have seen the good and bad side of being a recruiter, but mostly the good. She is one of the main reasons why I wake up every morning and go to work an hour and a half early every day- because I saw her take the extra steps and walk the extra mile my entire life, and she is the most successful woman I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. 

What Fires You Up About Recruiting?

I asked SeanKelly what she was most passionate about regarding HR, Recruiting and Sourcing? Why? Also, what is the best part of her job?

There are two sides of being a Sourcing Recruiter that I’m passionate about. I am incredibly passionate about helping people and gaining relationships with talented individuals in the Health Care industry! The other side that I’m passionate about is, of course, hitting my numbers and hitting beyond my numbers. It’s a great feeling waking up every morning and telling myself that I’m going to do whatever it takes to submit 25 candidates that week. I’ve noticed that the more positive your approach to a situation is, the easier it is to attain that goal. 

What is the best part of your job? 

My team. I have never been so happy in my entire life. I work with two amazing young ladies, who were both involved in the beginning stages of our sourcing team without any prior experience. My manager, Erica Diane, was in credentialing before she asked for a leadership role. She led our team, and she has been the most amazing, accepting, and hard-working young professional I’ve had the pleasure of working with. She won the PHS Rockstar of the Year award, which made our team look pretty great as well!

We all support each other, which is the other great thing about this job. There is a gong that we ring whenever one of us submits a candidate- whenever we ring that bell we are always cheering each other on. Also, there is a healthy competitive dynamic as well. I know that I feed off of my co-workers drive. If someone has 5 submittals before 12pm, you better believe I’m pushing myself until I get 8 submittals before 2pm!

Why is Recruiting so Difficult?

What part of sourcing & recruiting is challenging? Why?

Definitely the struggle of consistently hitting our numbers. In reality, every week is going to be different. One week you could be finding 8 candidates every day, and the other week your grand total of the entire week could be 10 submittals.

The thing about working with people is that people are unpredictable. Sometimes they want to talk, and sometimes they don’t. You just have to keep calling, emailing, or texting until they give you a solid answer. Luckily, I use this struggle as more motivation. It just depends on how you view the situation. 

What do Millennials Want?

It’s so great to understand what millennials are thinking. In your conversations with millennials what are you finding are they most anxious about (in reference to their professional careers)?

The honest answer I can give you is: money. Another one is: internships. When I ask friends who are seniors in college what they are planning on doing after they graduate, the first response is, “Anything that will make me money!” and then after that, the next response is, “I don’t have any internships, is this going to make it hard for me to get a job?”

In order to help Millennials be better prepared for the work world, what do they need to do? 

Internships. Job fairs. Networking. I am a strong believer in making personal connections–whether you have a friend who knows other professionals, or if you network at a job fair and connect on LinkedIn–I think it is incredibly important to invest time in yourself and your professional network! 

Why do You Want to Blog About Recruiting?

Have you ever written for a blog before? What intrigues you about writing for a blog like Crelate’s?

Yes! Back in college, I was very inspired by the online body positivity movement. It lead me to create a 1-month experimental blog that featured interviews with individuals I knew who were involved in the BoPo movement. It also featured plus-sized fashion tips and tricks that I have picked up throughout the years! While writing for Crelate isn’t exactly in the same realm as fashion, I’m so excited to join Crelate in bringing a Millennial voice to important conversations. I love how my topics connect with young professionals and I know that some of the topics I’m going to be bringing to light are things I would want to read about as well. 

In your experience, how do Millennials engage with blogs? Mostly reading on phones or tablets? Other ways?

Phones and computers are key. There are so many platforms and devices that we can use to experiment and engage with news and blogs–but I find that our phones are accessible enough for us to engage whenever we want. 

What do you think Millennials (working in HR/Recruiting) can gain from subscribing to (or following) blogs that address issues pertinent to Recruiting, Sourcing, and HR?

Now that we are bringing Millennials to the table, young professionals will be able to connect and relate with articles written by people going through the same situations as them. Also, by seeing content from more experienced professionals millennials can learn a lot. It’s great that we are covering topics Millennials can relate to because it gives more exposure to topics on the blog that may help us younger folk! 

Finally, what are a few broad topics you will pursue as you write articles for the Crelate Blog?

The first article I’m going to write is going to be called something like “Millennials, Get Used to Job Transitions! Here are Some Tips and Tricks!” or “The Stages of Losing the Job you loved, and How to Get Back on Track!”. Other ones are going to be advice-based like “How to Indicate if a Company is Being Truthful During an Interview or How to Decipher Whether your First Company is a Hit or Miss”. Additionally, some are going to be more self-reflective like ” What are Your Values? What do You Need to Feel in Order to Feel Like you’re Succeeding at your Company?”

The Career Path Doesn’t Always Go in a Straight Line

We are delighted that SeanKelly Anderson is going to be contributing articles to the Crelate Blog.

For those starting their careers as HR professionals SeanKelly will provide fascinating stories, musings, and advice.

Her contributions will also be beneficial for people looking to learn tips and tricks for landing great gigs. It’s incredibly beneficial to hear from a millennial perspective on jobs, work, and the economy.

Want to be an amazing at sourcing? Check out SeanKelly Anderson‘s articles on the Crelate Blog for the latest tips & tricks for successful sourcing.


Source: Millennials Take on Sourcing – Crelate

HR Technologies Are Following the Social Landscape

Karen Crone - Chief Human Resources Officer @ Paycor, Inc. | The HR Tech Weekly®

Today our guest is Karen Crone, Chief HR Officer at Paycor – a leading provider of intuitive, cloud-based HR, payroll and timekeeping software.

Karen spent over 15 years in senior and C-suite positions in HR in leading companies such as Convergys Corporation, Kendle Corporation now INC Research, American Modern Insurance Group, and currently Paycor.

Paycor is a trusted partner to more than 33,000 small and medium-sized businesses. Known for delivering modern, intuitive recruiting, HR and payroll solutions, Paycor partners with businesses to optimize their people management.

Paycor’s key areas of specialization include Payroll Management, Human Resources Solutions, Benefits Administration, Time & Attendance Solutions, Tax Filing & Compliance, Workers’ Compensation and Employment Screening Service.

The interview is hosted by Alexey Mitkin, Founder, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, The HR Tech Weekly® Online Media Co.

  1. Hi Karen, and first of all thank you very much for this interview with The HR Tech Weekly®. Recently you told us about HR predictions in terms of employee benefits in 2017. What do you think this year will bring to us in respect of HR technologies?

HR technologies are following the social landscape in many ways. For example, smartphones have become the human body’s external central nervous system. They relay information from every facet of our lives – news, entertainment, calendars, email, text messages, phone calls and so on. We have come to expect fingertip access to real-time information that integrates our personal and professional lives. From my perspective, mobility will continue to be the top trend. This is especially critical as the work itself becomes more fluid in terms of when, how, and where it’s completed. Mobility also supports the dynamic of collaborative and virtual teams that group, disband, and regroup as the work requires. HR technology must be mobile-friendly to be relevant.

Another trend is analytics and guided insights through dashboards and reports. For example, a young professional with a 401(k) does not just want to know her account balance, but also her performance relative to their peers. Is she saving more or less than peers? Is she using similar investment strategies? Lastly, she wants to know what to do to maximize her savings. The same concept applies to organizations. For example, employee retention data in the aggregate does not provide insights into critical talent segments like first year employees, top talent, or Millennials. You can take this further and look at industries, geographies, peer groups, and so on. HR technology must not just present data, but also interpret it, benchmark it and guide an outcome.

Lastly, as consumers, we appreciate curated products and services that match our interests. Amazon and Netflix are great examples. This same concept is shaping learning. We want to be served the highest impact content, in any format, which helps us close a learning gap. We also want that content to have our peer groups’ stamp of approval. For example, a sales person wants to be shown the best example of a product demo or the best script for overcoming objections. It must also be accessible on the smartphone or tablet, bringing HR technology full circle.

  1. You have extensive experience in managing Human Resources for over twenty years. How has HR management evolved since you started, and what are the tips for 21st century from your perspective?

HR management today is about keeping business leaders and managers tuned into the voice of employees and removing obstacles to their performance and development. Engagement at the grassroots level is critical to a healthy organization. You must cultivate candid, two-way communication – and really listen. Today’s business moves too swiftly and has too many complexities to rely on just the executive team for all the answers. That’s probably the biggest change – the power of the people, and the need to embed HR at the front-lines of the business. Your best ideas, your biggest innovations, and your efficiency ideas all reside at the grassroots, and HR can help surface them.

  1. It is a kind of standard to consider that Human Capital Management (HCM) solutions are designed mostly for the corporate business. How it’s important for small and medium businesses and why?

HCM solutions are even more important for SMBs. SMBs often run fairly lean, yet they face the same business challenges and to-do lists as larger companies, with fewer people to handle the load. HCM solutions create capacity by automating data collection, data analysis, work flows, reports and so on. For every task you automate or put at people’s desktop through employee or manager self-service, there’s more time to spend on the customer experience, new product ideas, recruiting top talent, or a host of similar business issues. HCM solutions create capacity for SMB leaders and their teams to work on the stuff they love – making a great business.

  1. What is the role of a Chief HR Officer (CHRO) and why it’s important for them to have a voice at the leadership table?

The primary role of the Chief HR Officer is to be the coach, counselor, sounding board, and voice of reason for the CEO and senior executive team when it comes to leadership team dynamics, the leadership of the executive’s team or function, and his or her personal development. Another role is to be the physician to the company’s organizational health and culture. It’s better and easier to practice preventative care than to address neglect. One example that illustrates this is an empty succession pipeline. It’s important for CHROs to have a voice at the table to keep people matters front and center in the context of business strategy. Businesses without a solid “people plan” are missing a leg of the stool. CHROs facilitate and guide that important, most often strategic, dialogue.

  1. Employee engagement is a hot point in HR discussions. Very often it seems that it’s mostly addressed to new hires (and new generations) while it’s important from “hire to retire”. Could you share some tips from your practice please?

At Paycor, we are more sophisticated in segmenting the workforce and in personalizing services. As an example, we learned that our 4-6 year tenured sales professionals were sliding in their connection to the company. No surprise there, as you noted in your question. In a high-growth company like Paycor, we focus significant energy on onboarding new associates. We started action planning at the segment level, which in this case resulted in a Chief Sales Officer roundtable, more career consulting, a HQ visit, product training, and so on. Segmenting by life events is another way to personalize engagement. For example, how can you make recognition of a baby or a wedding, or your response to a serious illness memorable? When you get personal, you strengthen the connection and ultimately engagement.

  1. What companies of all sizes should consider when evaluating HR technologies?

When evaluating HR technologies, it’s critical to start with the end in mind, what problems you are trying to solve, and how you want the business to run in the future. That helps prioritize the features, functions, and types of technology needed. Next, consider the relationship you have with the providers. There will be hiccups along the way. Think about who it is you want and trust to be by your side. If your partner listens to and responds during the sales process, it’s a signal that the customer experience matters. Lastly, consider the voice you have in shaping the future of the technology. What role does the customer play in identifying and influencing new releases? The technology must grow with you.

  1. What are the upcoming challenges for you as CHRO of an HR Tech company and Paycor as an HR Tech vendor?

As the CHRO of Paycor, it’s about scaling our people practices in support of rapid growth and reinforcing our strong culture across an evolving geographic footprint. Growth creates first-class challenges! The HR tech space is intensely competitive when it comes to hiring the best and brightest engineering and product management talent. As CHRO, I stay vigilant on the state of hiring and on internal mobility. A healthy talent pipeline is one signal of a healthy company. Finally, for Paycor as an HR tech vendor, we are monitoring the ripple effect of the new Presidential administration. Our customers expect and want Paycor to help them navigate compliance complexities and business opportunities. Finally, our hallmark is service. We want to keep improving the customer experience and make employee management even easier.


If you want to share this interview the reference to Karen CronePaycor and The HR Tech Weekly® is obligatory.

Employee Relations: The Last Bastion of Manual HR Processes?

Employee Relations: The Last Bastion of Manual HR Processes?

Today our guest is Deborah J. Muller, CEO and Founder at HR Acuity®: a leading provider of employee relations and workplace investigation solutions.

Deborah founded HR Acuity, LLC in March 2006, after she spent more than 20 years in key HR leadership positions at numerous Fortune 500 companies, including Citicorp, Honeywell, Marsh & McLennan and Dun & Bradstreet.

HR Acuity designed and developed HR Acuity On-Demand, an essential web-based application that minimizes an organization’s legal and financial risks.

HR Acuity On-Demand, winner of the 2009 Top Product of the Year award from Human Resource Executive® Magazine, enables consistent documentation of employee issues, a structured process for workplace investigation, and immediate search and reporting.

The recently released 2016 HR Acuity Employee Relations Benchmark Study analyzed employee relations practices related to organizational models, case management processes, metrics and issue types, volumes and trends. The entire study had 74 organizations participate representing over 870,000 employees with the goal to establish a foundation for the development of a unique set of best practice employee relations benchmarks.

The interview is hosted by Alexey Mitkin, Founder, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, The HR Tech Weekly® Online Media Co.

  1. Hi Deborah, and first of all thank you very much for this interview with The HR Tech Weekly®. You started HR Acuity® operations ten year ago. What has changed during this time in the employee relations management landscape?

Over the last ten years we have seen a real shift in the intersection of HR and technology. Organizations are looking beyond the traditional HRIS data to get insights that can be used to understand, diagnose and even predict how employees – their human resources – will behave and perform. And the relationships between employees, employer, co-workers, and customers – must be part of that story. What can we learn from those interactions (the good, the bad and the ugly) to become smarter in hiring, developing, managing and motivating our employees to drive business success? As a result, we have seen our conversations with clients make a real shift from educating about the power of employee relations to strategic dialogues about capturing and deliberately using this information.

  1. Why did you decide to perform the Employee Relations Benchmark Study, and how long did it take to get the results?  

For the past eight years we have been conducting an annual survey take get a pulse on employee relations issues and practices. But over the last few years, our network has been asking for more. When it comes to employee relations issues, organizations want to know what is “normal?” How many harassment issues should we expect? What should we expect our caseloads to be like given our size or industry? How do similarly situated organizations model their employee relations resources? The data had not previously been available and we were in a position to capture it. That being said, we were very fortunate to form an incredible advisory board from organization such as ADP, TIAA, MetLife, LinkedIn to help develop our Study questions.

The result was an in-depth questionnaire that required participants to take the time to gather the data requested sometimes from multiple constituents within their organization. In the end, their willingness to do so with such granularity speaks volumes about their desire to get their hands on this valuable information.

  1. Did you have any assumptions before performing the Study, and how different were they from the outputs?

Since I live employee relations day in and day out, I had some hypothesis going in but clarity of what we heard was most surprising. First of all, we knew from our clients that organizations were making a switch to centralized employee relations teams – this is something the Study confirms. What surprised me was uniformity of rationale for this change. Organizations are looking to drive consistency of process, ensure neutrality how issues are handles and safeguard that those handling the situations have the right expertise.

Secondly we knew there was steady increase in the reliance of organization to track employee relations metrics. When we started surveying organizations in 2009, less than 15% used an employee relations management system and over 50% didn’t track at all. What was surprising to us with the Study was how far this has shifted in the last seven years — basically flipping around. Now over 45% of organizations use some form of an employee relations management solution or case management system while only 12% reported not tracking at all.

And finally, in one of our open ended questions we asked about how caseloads have changed recently. Almost everyone who commented used the exact same word to describe what they were seeing…”complexity.” Cases are just more complex than they were a few years ago. Not a big surprise given the growing number of regulations that need to be considered but very powerful reading through comments from strangers who all use the same terminology.

  1. What are the core statistics and findings of the Study? Could you just lift the veil for our readership please?

So to give you a peek at some of the results I’ll share three areas of information the Study explored:

Organizational change. Not only are organizations moving to centralized models but our data shows that that type of organizational model uses 25% fewer HR resources than those with Mixed and Decentralized Models.

Analytics. Most respondents described employee relations analytics as “early stage.” However those that are ahead of the curve are actively monitoring key metrics and provided insightful examples of how the information measured has been used to impact key business drivers – all which we included in in the Study results.

And finally case and staffing benchmarks. The Study provides some “normal” on numbers and types of cases that employers are dealing with. In most instances we were able to break those numbers down by size of organization and organization model so that as a reader you can consume what is most similar to your needs. For example, for every 1,000 employees, our Study found that organizations will receive approximately 4.44 allegations of discrimination or harassment.

  1. On one hand, there are plenty of HR Tech solutions for recruitment, employee engagement and other things often called disruptive. On the other hand, some employee relations statistics may surprise you. What about solutions for managing risks, preventing and resolving conflicts at workplace?

I love that you bring up this point. Employee relations seems to be the last bastion of manual HR processes. And when you speak to HR practitioners they totally get it. The reality is that most HR professionals already capture employee relations information on a daily basis but in spiral notebooks or at best on excel sheets. By “digitizing” this last piece of the puzzle organizations can create tremendous impact and ROI without disruption. Instead of spending millions of dollars to figure out something intangible like employee engagement, having an employee relations management solution can uncover why employees are disengaged, what are the trends that drive inappropriate behaviors or subpar performance, what can you do to reduce incidents and drive growth: very tangible and very straightforward.

  1. Your Benchmark Study covered the corporate world. Do you have any observations regarding SMB companies and recommendations for them to mitigate risks of employee relations?

At HR Acuity we always say that employee bad behavior doesn’t discriminate…whatever size or industry, you need to be ready to face issues or allegations that will pose risk for your organization. Process missteps can be costly and particularly detrimental to the health of a smaller organization. So our recommendation is to be prepared. Have a process. Know who will be involved and ensure they have the proper training to handle the incident in a compliant manner. HR Acuity has some great free resources and tools on our website that we encourage folks to download.

  1. The last but not least question I love to ask my guests is what are upcoming challenges for you?

For us it is about Managers… How can we leverage technology to provide managers the tools to do their jobs more effectively? Those tools will not only help drive consistency but can be used to validate that good management and leadership practices drive business results. Once that happens, the relationship between managers and HR will change to become less traditional and more strategic.


If you want to share this interview the reference to Deborah J. Muller and  The HR Tech Weekly® is obligatory.

Linking Corporate Social Responsibility to Corporate Reputation

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An Interview with Nielsen’s Wendy Salomon, VP, Reputation & Public Affairs

wendy-salomonToday, we welcome Wendy Salomon, a vice president in Nielsen’s Reputation Management practice, to join us for our Q&A blog series. In her position, Wendy leads research engagements that deliver business insights to her diverse set of clients. She is entrusted with some of the firm’s most valuable client relationships.

Wendy has more than twenty years of experience with research and research-based consulting. She has helped her clients set strategy, refine business and reputation management plans, and optimize agency relationships based on research insights. Her work focuses on reputation management, brand strategy, and strategic communication engagements. She has earned particular regard for her ability to consult in challenging B2B environments around the world.

Wendy recognizes the value of both qualitative and quantitative inputs and has intelligibly brought to bear advanced analytics for many of her clients. She is a highly regarded partner and is often called to interact at the c-suite level within her client organizations. She is a published thought leader on reputation management and a sought-after presenter.

The interview is hosted by Jennifer Spencer, Content Marketing Manager at Versaic.

Versaic: Why should companies invest in CSR?

Wendy: It’s funny; that’s something you used to hear asked a lot, and now investing in CSR is not often something that is called into question.

The most successful companies have led the way in understanding that corporate reputation is a business asset that requires proactive understanding and management—the same as any other asset like their supply chain, brand portfolio, workforce, etc. How a company is seen as engaging with the world—whether it is viewed as socially responsible by key stakeholders—is often at the heart of reputational equity and risk.

Simply put, the world and the marketplace have moved beyond evaluating companies based solely on the quality of what they make or the service they provide. Equally important to protecting and growing reputation are the relationships a company has with the environment, communities, its employees, etc.

Versaic: What brand and marketing value can CSR and sustainability initiatives bring?

Wendy: We know that a strong corporate reputation clears the way for positive product brand stories to be heard. A company might have a compelling brand story to tell, perhaps even a pitch-perfect value proposition. However, if there are reputational frictions in the conversation about the company—for instance, if some call into question whether the company behaves in responsible ways—that brand message will have a really hard time cutting through the noise.

CSR activities protect and grow corporate reputation, which creates a supportive backdrop for brand strategies to be brought to life. CSR activities also help the company continue to engage with communities and stakeholders that can provide valuable feedback for their products and services, strengthening their business. Investment in initiatives that bolster reputation unlock business value and shared value.

Versaic: What are the unexpected benefits or outcomes that you have seen for companies that have implemented CSR programs successfully? 

Wendy: Beyond the good these programs do in the world, one of my favorite outcomes of these types of programs is the positive impact they have on employees. This is true on two fronts.

First, for employees themselves, these activities are often a critical piece of how they connect with the company. It makes them fulfilled, gives them a chance to serve with colleagues in a new way and build their skills, and plays an important role as they go out in the world and serve as brand ambassadors in their daily lives.

Second, we know that future talent around the world feel it is a priority that the company they work for is socially responsible, and this is particularly true of those early in their careers. Even when compared to things such as career advancement, elements of corporate character are a compelling part of a company’s reputation that can influence whether someone wants to work for you or not. The importance of this can’t be overstated. There are many who seek to work in a sexy technology environment but somewhat fewer who aspire to many of the stalwart “traditional” industries that desperately need creative talent to remain innovate. CSR activities can help pave the way to attracting and retaining high-potential hires.

Versaic: What are the three most important ways companies measure the success, and how does that lead to value in the business?

Wendy: From what we see, the landscape of CSR measurement is evolving and is a big opportunity for CSR managers. When measurement is lacking, the programs default to being a line-item expense versus something that drives business value for the corporation. By measuring success, the case can be made that CSR activities protect reputation and shape the business landscape in a supportive way. I’d recommend focusing assessments in three broad areas.

First is actual performance. Are the efforts themselves bringing about the desired positive change? CSR programs take many forms, but they all generally seek to make the world a better place. Perhaps your CSR initiatives set out to feed, educate, or create healthier lifestyles using products that are manufactured with fewer negative environment impacts, or they provide access to cleaner water and the chance for kids to play in cleaner parks, etc. Companies must measure and evaluate their positive impacts, alongside their community and nonprofit partners, so they can share this information both internally and externally. It’s good to do good.

Next is “campaign”-level understanding. This primarily applies to initiatives that are fairly well resourced and time bound, etc. Were stakeholders aware of the effort, how did they come to know about them, and did it contribute to the desired understanding of the company/issue? Over time, insights like this serve to inform future efforts to hone CSR practices.

Last is the overall impact that social responsibility efforts have on corporate reputation and risk mitigation, including the impact on the company’s license-to-operate and overall business environment. This is the business case for CSR that is critical for companies to operationalize—the extent to which being a socially responsible company builds reputational equity and mitigates reputational risk.

Versaic: How can companies truly differentiate themselves in how they communicate their CSR initiatives and results?

Wendy: One of the main things that should be kept in mind when it comes to communicating about CSR initiatives is the basic tenet that companies will need to tell more than just one story. Particularly for CSR, how diverse stakeholders view the information will vary dramatically based on their specific priorities. So, a CSR communication strategy for consumers, for example, is quite different from the strategy for policy influencers, NGOs, or investors. There is a real danger in being tone deaf. Thus, accounting for the different lenses through which stakeholders see your CSR activities is important and has real implications for communicators.

Another thing I’d share about how to differentiate is the expanded value that’s possible when companies engage in activities that link to their own core competencies—moving from old-school philanthropy to “skillanthropy” or skills-based contributions. This could be a CPG company addressing access to healthy food, a bank educating vulnerable populations on financial literacy, a shipping company getting supplies to storm-battled regions, etc. There is a particular “stickiness” when programs such as this are part of a CSR portfolio, as they allow them to shine a light on the good the company does in the world and also the expertise it brings to the marketplace day in and day out.

Versaic: What tips can you share with companies who would like to increase the impact of their CSR programs?

Wendy: You’d be surprised at how many companies don’t communicate the steps they take to be socially and environmentally responsible at all. There is worry that it will be seen as opportunistic versus sincere, or boastful versus humble. The truth is that people are making an effort to learn proactively about the way a company engages with the world before they decide to support it—whether that support be in the form of buying the company’s product, working for the company, or welcoming the company’s expansion in their local community. We know that many don’t like what they find and opt to engage elsewhere.

So, the main tip I would share is to tell your authentic corporate-responsibility story. It’s up to companies themselves to make sure this information is available when consumers go looking; without it, opinions can be shaped by broad industry perceptions, critics, and misinformation. A misperception of many reputation managers is that a lack of a bad story is the same as a good story, under the false hope that the lack of high-profile irresponsible behavior provides the proof necessary that the company is engaging in responsible behavior. For companies who have prioritized social responsibility, it should be a component of their enterprise-messaging strategy.

Versaic: Where do you see CSR going? What is going to be important three years from now?

Wendy: I would say there are two things to watch.

First, we have seen the evolution over the past decade from a definition of social responsibility that was dominated by environmental issues toward a broader view of corporate citizenship. Looking ahead, I think this “bigger tent” definition of what it means to be a responsible company will continue to expand. So, we’re likely to hear more about economic impacts, transparency, employee well-being, etc., as proof points for being a responsible company.

Second, it’s a hobby of mine to take note of how companies work CSR activities into their actual organizational structures. Is there a “sustainability” team or “global citizenship” department? Is it primarily a marketing function charged with creating a glossy sustainability report? Are responsible business imperatives decentralized and woven in across the company, giving it a voice in R&D, community outreach, and hiring practices? It’s all across the board right now. As the definition of corporate responsibility becomes broader—the bigger tent I mentioned—presumably, providing a framework for responsible behavior will need to become more systemic. I’m not sure yet what shape it will take, but I think we’ll see fewer occasions where companies opt to relegate CSR to a silo and fewer instances where it is an appendage on the org chart that is separate from where the “real work” happens. We’ll see more and deeper integration.

Try a demo today.


Source: Linking Corporate Social Responsibility to Corporate Reputation: Nielsen’s Wendy Salomon, VP, Reputation & Public Affairs

People you hire will be pivotal in shaping business culture and maintaining success!

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Today our guest is Mr. Sabby Gill, Executive Vice President (EVP) International at Epicor Software.

Sabby Gill brings more than 20 years of international sales, operations and enterprise software industry experience to Epicor. In his role, Gill is responsible for operations including sales and professional services with a focus on accelerating company growth throughout Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) and Asia Pacific (APAC).

Prior to Epicor, Gill was Senior Vice President of International Sales for IGT. He has also held executive management roles with leading technology companies including HP, CA Technologies, Oracle, PeopleSoft (acquired by Oracle), and DEC.

The interview is hosted by Alexey Mitkin, Founder, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, The HR Tech Weekly® Online Media Co.

  1. In your recent article you have told us about how as companies grow and expand, there is a tendency for employees to be disengaged in the workplace due to heavier workloads, pressures, and deadlines. You explained how investing in the right technology can help companies manage this growth. What other drivers can you point to for ensuring employee satisfaction, engagement and wellbeing?

As your business grows you need your team to be strong, so the people you hire will be pivotal in shaping its culture and maintaining its success. Ensuring that your employees are happy and fully engaged is also vital. Take for example a traditional business that acquires smaller, nimble entrepreneurial entities to gain a competitive advantage but find the newly acquired talent assets that the company paid highly for start leaving the company. This is a common mistake made by many companies that are growing through acquisition but failing to consider the wellbeing of, and engage effectively with the organisation’s new employees.

Another important aspect for companies to consider is the influx of Millennials in the workplace. I would argue that it’s even more paramount for organisations of all types and sizes to create workplace environments that nurture the free-thinker and their entrepreneurial spirit. But where do organisations start? To begin, they need to understand the characteristics of entrepreneurial teams and what motivates them. You can almost forget about traditional incentive plans; when dealing with entrepreneurial types, “challenge” trumps traditional notions of compensation/rewards, because if the work environment isn’t challenging enough, they are likely to leave. They need to understand what the entrepreneur works for (and what they live for): The vision, the dream, the challenge – it’s their oxygen. To fully engage, entrepreneurs must buy into the vision.

As companies grow and with it create entrepreneurial teams, larger organisations may need to rethink placing talent in the constraints of the traditional hierarchical structure. These teams may be more effective when they are free to look at projects holistically: to craft a vision and define how problems will be solved. Remove as much process, structure, and bureaucracy as is feasible; as they prefer working without walls, and that includes traditional “job description” boundaries. 

  1. What do you expect from HR Managers delivering to the change management initiatives?

Employee ‘buy-in’ is the cornerstone of any change initiative and the onus often falls on HR to manage this process. Changing business processes can have an impact on employees’ familiar work routines whether or not they are directly involved in the project, so this process must be managed for the entire workforce. Employees need to be gradually introduced to new processes and job roles over a period of time so that they can accept and familiarize themselves with these developments. Neglecting this aspect or putting it off until later on in the project may result in organisational resistance to the new system, even to the point of operational risk. 

  1. Do you observe any distinctions when people from different industries, functions, and maybe regions, implement new software? For instance, what scares HR professionals more comparing with other business roles?

Change is never easy and most people are averse to change – this is true regardless of culture, industry and job function! HR’s challenge, given where it sits in an organisation, as opposed to other business roles, is helping employees, navigate and embrace any changes made in the organisation. 

  1. What are the core advantages Epicor®Human Capital Management delivers to HR and business when their demands and expectations grow toward self-service, engagement, micro-learning, and people analytics solutions? 

Today’s economy needs HR to adopt a more proactive and strategic role. To add to this, managers and employees are demanding direct access to human resource (HR) systems and information. Epicor Human Capital Management (HCM), delivers this and more, helping HR departments better manage a dispersed workforce, improve human resource processes, and make HR an integral part of an organisation’s strategic planning.

Epicor HCM is an intuitive, functional, and adaptable HCM solution that helps HR departments to spend more time managing talent than data. With Epicor HCM, HR teams have the ideal tool to manage their organisation’s most valuable resource—the workforce, who are pivotal maintaining a company’s success.

Epicor HCM automates everything related to HR in a single software system, enabling the organisation to track, manage, and analyse all data for the employees, from application to retirement. Through automated workflow, Epicor HCM allows organisations to improve efficiency. With powerful reporting and analytical tools, HR teams can gain a complete picture of the company’s workforce to enable better strategic planning.

  1. What technological trends will influence ERP and particularly HCM vendors in the nearest future, in your opinion?

The Cloud has without a shadow of a doubt been one of the biggest drivers of change in our industry. Organisations across the globe are beginning to realise the benefits of moving to the cloud, specifically:

  • Compelling connectivity — the ability to collaborate in real-time across remote sites, mobile employees, and trading partners
  • Enhanced operational efficiency — seamless operations, unparalleled scalability and flexibility, upgrade management, and business continuity
  • Improved security — higher level of security, network monitoring, and disaster prevention
  • Smart economics — the opportunity to achieve lower total cost of ownership (TCO) and positively affect the bottom line
  • Better resource allocation – improved ability to focus resources on core business activities and applications

These benefits are magnified when it comes to HCM because HCM has always been viewed as a non-critical, labour intensive function. By moving HCM applications to the cloud, organisations can make sure their HR teams focus on more business critical activities, reduce operational costs, and, most importantly, stay connected with an increasingly mobile workforce. 

  1. You have proven C-level experience in business development and managing people within global technological companies in EMEA, Asia Pacific and Latin America. What do you recommend to managers who strive to build their careers at the international markets?

My number one recommendation for managers is to be understanding and respectful of the various cultural differences. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach when it comes to dealing with people across markets. What works in the US might not be the right tactic for China, but sadly too many C-level executives take this for granted.

Secondly, “Be as good as your word – do what you say you’re going to do.” The idea of following through on commitments and being held accountable for your plans and actions is vital. It helps build trust and comfort with the people you deal with knowing that you bring credibility and will ensure that things get done. You want to be that person who others can rely on. People buy from people and your future is in the hands of what they say and what they do. When you enter a relationship, which is what we do when we implement ERP solutions, you need to care about the job you, and everyone else, does for that customer. Everything reflects on the promise you make to your customers, partners, investors and employees. Whichever way you look at it, their emotions, personal ambitions, etc., all play a part in the business at hand.

Thirdly, be an advocate of change and look for excellence in everything you do. Do not dither. C-level positions demand, as well as offer, respect. People expect answers and directions from those in these positions in a timely and articulate manner. Think about a driver of a high-performance car; with a professional driver behind the wheel you can obtain strong performance and look to break lap records. However if you put a novice behind the wheel, you will struggle to get the same results. You need to grow into the expert that people want to rely on to drive the business forwards.

Finally, I would say, continue “to reflect”. What I mean by this is always take a step back when you find yourself in a difficult or complex situation and reassess what it is that you are trying to achieve. Too many times we get fixated on finer details and can’t see the forest for the trees. Taking a step back can help us see the wider picture and realign our focus.


If you want to share this interview the reference to Sabby Gill and The HR Tech Weekly® blog is is obligatory.

How Starwood Measures Social Impact

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An Interview with Kristin Meyer, Associate Director of Community Partnerships

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Kristin Meyer, Associate Director, Community Partnerships

Since 2009, Global Citizenship has been a cornerstone of Starwood’s business strategy. Global Citizenship provides Starwood’s guests, customers, communities, owners, and associates a better way to experience the world. A key component of influencing lasting, sustainable improvements in communities around the globe is accomplished through collaborative partnerships with the Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Foundation, Inc. (“Starwood Foundation”) and international charitable organizations. The Starwood Foundation is dedicated to enriching communities by supplying financial grants to select partner organizations driving change in three key focus areas: Workplace Readiness, Human Rights, and Community Vitality (includes: Sustainable & Ecological Development and Disaster Relief).

When we first started a partnership, the Starwood Foundation team knew they needed to track, quantify and evaluate their social impact and put a system in place to manage the complexity. As a first step, the Starwood Foundation contracted with The Rensselaerville Institute (TRI) who suggested a shift in mindset from ‘funder’ to ‘investor’ to achieve a portfolio approach. With that perspective, the Starwood Foundation created a strategic framework to clarify results for their signature program grants. With clarity on what results they were seeking, they could be more strategic in how they identify partners, educate those partners, align the application and selection process, create effective grantee reports, and implement performance assessments. The flexibility of the Versaic online solution made it possible to streamline the grantmaking process and aggregate results across programs.

One year ago, Versaic wrote about Starwood’s grants program in this ebook. We wanted to follow up with Kristin Meyer, Associate Director, Community Partnerships, to get an update on the Starwood Foundation’s grants programs and the impact they are having.

The interview is hosted by Jennifer Spencer, Content Marketing Manager at Versaic:

1. Thanks for joining us Kristin. Let’s start by talking about the Starwood Foundation’s workplace readiness program. The investments the Foundation has made in this focus area and the impact it has had on your hiring in those communities is such a great example of tying corporate philanthropy programs to business goals. Can you elaborate on your signature workplace readiness program and the results the Foundation has seen?

By adopting more of a results-based framework, we’ve been able to apply what we’ve learned from our partnerships with NGO’s around the world to better understand what needs to be done in the private sector to support the requirements of the community. In the area of workplace readiness specifically, we know from the results shared by our partners that training is not enough to move the needle in the workforce development space. Our partners were achieving phenomenal success equipping individuals and marginalized populations with the appropriate skill set as well as the social and emotional support to enter the job force. Yet many of our partners often commented on how time consuming and challenging the process was to establish employer partnerships and place their clients into local jobs. In addition, employment retention was quite challenging, not because the clients weren’t adequately prepared, but because employer expectations were sometimes not aligned.

We have taken some of the learnings from our investments on the CSR side and applied that to how we can do our part as a business within those communities. How do we better train and equip our hotels to ensure they are working with those same NGOs on the ground, and actually hiring from that talent pool? How do we make sure they really understand not only what an NGO does, but the populations that they serve, and how those populations may differ from our typical candidates? What are the practices they may need to alter internally in order make sure that those individuals are adequately supported starting from an initial interview, through onboarding, hiring and retention? That is really where our program has been successful. We learned from our philanthropic investments the impact we’re achieving and where there are gaps, and are applying that to our business model to ensure that as an organization, we are playing our part by hiring from the talent pool we are helping to create.

2. Regarding the other pillars that you’ve focused on, are you getting the same kind of results, learning, and impact in those areas that you’ve achieved in workplace readiness?

Sustainable & Ecological Development is another area where we’ve used a results-based framework to manage our charitable investments. Through this approach, we have been able to make investments in environmental organizations around the world. Similarly to Workplace Readiness, we are able to capture learnings from our NGO programs and apply that knowledge to our business operations. For example, one of the funding streams under Sustainable & Ecological Development is water risk, encompassing water access, quality, scarcity, security, stress and sanitation & hygiene. My colleague, Claire Cutting, works with our partner NGO’s within this focus area. Through these relationships, she is able to better understand the conditions that can lead to any one of these water issues as well as prevention and remediation actions. In one such case, the analysis from coastal and watershed restoration projects, funded by the Starwood Foundation’s results-based investments, has provided learnings that led to the creation of a water risk framework for our development team, ensuring that we, as a company, understand how to properly mitigate a community’s water risk as we build new properties. Applying knowledge from our Foundation investments to our business allows us to contribute positively to a community and ecosystem’s health. We also are able to share examples of successful business practices with our NGO partners so that they can share with other relevant stakeholders.

3. Can we talk a little bit about how you are collecting the data needed to analyze results and communicating impact?

We collect all of the data directly from our grant partners. We worked collaboratively with the Versaic team as well as our consultants at TRI to establish the results framework, which was specific to Starwood and the impact we were trying to drive. From there, we approached a small group of our grantees, showed them the results we were seeking, and asked them to help us understand what steps were involved for them to accomplish the desired results. That process helped us build out a more robust grant application that included the right indicators of success. We ask our grant partners to project their expected results during the application process and then we collect progress updates on a semi-annual basis, which makes it simple for them to submit and easy for us to discuss successes and challenges.

In addition, The Starwood Foundation team does a lot of training at the beginning of the relationship with a new NGO partner. If I were to call out one thing that we do as a best practice, it would be this initial training. Asking our new partners to attend a two-hour training on results-based impact is understandably a tall order, but many have since come back to us and said how worthwhile the training was for them. We want our partners to clearly understand the results-based framework, how to think about setting milestones, and what we mean when we talk about impact. Having our partners share their results is imperative for us to understand our larger impact as a Foundation. To understand the progress of our grant portfolio, we built scorecards that enable us to look at the results of each individual grant, as well as aggregate the results of our investments. As an example, for Workplace Readiness, we can look across our global portfolio to understand not only how many individuals have been served, but how many of them have achieved a certain education level or how many have retained employment for a certain period of time.

4. How has your impact reporting affected your brand and business?

For the Starwood Foundation, our results-focused approach has definitely elevated our exposure and reputation within the nonprofit field. The Starwood Foundation has become a respected partner within the charitable community. In addition, the work of the Starwood Foundation has enabled us to understand where there may be opportunity to have even more impact as a company. We’re able to more effectively evaluate and consider opportunities with both business and social returns. The Workplace Readiness program is a perfect example of this in action. As a result of the Starwood Foundation’s investments and the strategic framework, we were able to identify an opportunity on the corporate side in terms of how Starwood can more effectively drive social impact and tap into a new potential talent pipeline.

jennifer-spencer-versaic
Jennifer Spencer

Driving inbound interest means being everything from a publicist, researcher, and writer to thought leader.

 

 

Whether it's sponsorship, grants or donation, Versaic's best-in-class solutions are easily combined and customized to provide companies of any size a comprehensive solution for managing their CSR programs. Visit www.Versaic.com to learn more.

Source: How Starwood Measures Social Impact: An Interview with Kristin Meyer, Associate Director of Community Partnerships

The Digital World of Work: 6 HR Leaders Share Their Visions and Fears

Written by  | Originally published at CMSWire 

The era of digital HR is arriving fast, bringing together social, mobile, analytic and cloud technologies.

Digital HR will bring with it new ways to improve employee productivity and the effectiveness of business processes but the power of HR tech transformation is only beginning to emerge. Too many HR departments have yet to embrace the possibilities of this transformation.

Eugenia Bereziuk spoke with several HR professionals to ask them about the current state of their HR tech use and gather their perspectives on the opportunities and challenges that digital HR brings with it.

The Question

— How is your company incorporating digital HR technologies?

The Answers

Steve Browne, Executive Director of HR, LaRosa’s

Steve BrowneAs executive director of human resources at LaRosa’s Inc., Steve Browne has strategic responsibilities for more than 1,400 team members as a generalist.

Our approach to HR has been more “old-school” to date, but I like many of the apps/systems that are out there now for HR folks to use. We have on-line tools but they aren’t tied to apps yet.

I have a feeling that most, if not all, HR resources will be app-based in the near future. We have been looking at scheduling apps most recently to help ensure that our team members have current information in their hands.

There are so many solutions I would consider. The key to me isn’t a brand name, but making sure that the tech truly meets our needs. I find that many HR practitioners get overwhelmed when they have so many options to choose from.

The tech needs to fit a company’s culture as well as the needs of HR and the workforce. It takes strategy and developing a partnership relationship with a vendor to make the best choices.

I think that digital HR is our reality. I don’t think it will replace people, but I do think it will improve how HR is practiced. It is the natural evolution of business … but the gap needs to shrink more rapidly.

Alexey Mitkin, Founder, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief, The HR Tech Weekly

Alexey MitkinAlexey Mitkin has 15 years of C-level corporate experience in Human Capital Management in leading multinational and local companies.

Not all HR specialists are ready to use HR tech and there are few things to consider behind the scenes: The first is human nature because people are usually inclined to resist change.

Second is the rapid development of new HR technologies because HR professionals simply couldn’t research and adopt all the new apps even if they wanted to.

A related third issue is the level of user experience versus the complexity of new solutions. In general, adopting any new solution will result in a learning curve and that’s especially true when technology solutions are evolving faster than we can adapt to them.

Finally, I’d highlight the gap between what business expects from HR and what HR actually delivers. It’s not uncommon for CEOs to invest in FinTech or MarTech more easily than in HR because they are more confident in their understanding of those technologies compared with HR.

I belong to the HR tech world and am deeply addicted to digital technologies. Yet I think it’s simultaneously true and false that the future of HR is digital: On the one hand, everything is becoming digitalized and we must adjust to become, if not digital natives, at least digital immigrants in order to survive. On the other hand, since human nature remains the same, we’ll need more profound scientific knowledge about people and behavior to make digital technologies more effective.

In today’s era of new competencies and approaches, there is no doubt that in order to come out on top, HR departments will need to craft effective combinations of traditional and digital approaches.

And one must always keep in mind that no technology itself will change a culture. As Nobel Peace Prize winner Shimon Peres said at the Forbes Under 30 Summit EMEA, “Instead of trying to make a better robot, try to make a better man.”

Kristi Weierbach, Manager, HR/Payroll Advisory Services, Stambaugh Ness

Kristi WeierbachKristi Weierbach is a senior HR professional focused on helping clients create a unique HR architecture, applying practical solutions that complement strategic goals and company culture.

I have been exposed to various forms of digital HR during my career, including recruiting/onboarding solutions, training and performance management solutions and compensation/benefit management systems.

HR systems can help HR departments reach optimal performance but significant time and energy is needed to set up and implement any type of new HR technology. For example, if unclean data enters the system, then reporting and dashboard functionality will be hindered.

HR technology is here to stay and as an HR professional, I have an obligation to embrace it. That being said, it is important for companies to perform needs analyses prior to selecting HR technology solutions because those solutions can range from basic to robust.

For all members of an organization to benefit from an HR solution, it must be a system of engagement rather than just a system of record. Technology has changed the way we communicate with our employees, supervisors, and executives1 and I look forward to the continued transformation of the HR profession.

Jackye Clayton, Editor, RecruitingTools.com

Jackye ClaytonJackye Clayton said she uses her sense of humor, understanding of recruiting and HR to knock out informative, smart, addictively clickable blog posts about tools you do use, will use or should use as a recruiter or a person who just wants to hire top talent.

I think the fear of HR tech among many HR professionals has to do with adapting to change, especially if they believe that their current solutions are doing an adequate job. It is hard to convince someone who is experiencing success that a different way can work even better.

Another reason is that they have no existing processes for onboarding, coaching, engagement and so on, so implementing new technologies means adding more work rather than streamlining current practices.

The other thing that we have to consider is that certain apps control the data that we have worked so hard to gain. However, I believe that embracing HR tech is imperative in order to move forward and stay ahead of the competition.

But you have to reserve a place for old-school tools. I believe that face-to-face communication is the number one old-school tool that gets overlooked. Sometimes,  good communication is the only thing that works.

Ward Christman, Chief Advisor, HR Tech Advisor  

Ward ChristmanWard Christman has more than 20 years experience creating and selling e-recruiting technology and services, with special expertise in ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems), employee referral, and job marketing (via job boards and social media).

In my experience, HR professionals are generally people people, not technology people. HR people may be using technology like computers and smartphones, but they are trained for compliance and risk mitigation.

That makes them, by nature, averse to taking risks and trying new technologies and often leads to concern about upending the status quo. That’s why many of the leading HR technology vendors get around that mindset by selling directly to the C-suite

The newer flavors of HR technology can put the consumerist experience that we’ve come to expect when using platforms like Facebook and Twitter into the hands of employees and potential employees. We need to ensure there’s a solid business case for a given technology in order to make an investment in the first place and employ the change management needed to ensure success for that investment once the business case has been approved.

I see the future of HR being 100 percent digital, from initial sourcing of candidates all the way through to retirement provisioning. Many of the old-school tools we use might work today, but they won’t be well-received in the future without serious upgrades to their user interface and usability.

Adriano Corso, Sourcing Science/Digital Recruiting Consultant, IBM Smarter Workforce

Adriano CorsoAdriano Corso leads, develops and manages all digital recruitment activities within IBM Kenexa in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Asia Pacific and the US.

With all the tools available today, there isn’t a single tool that works for everything. That’s why a mix of tools, platforms, and SaaS — in combination with a great sourcing and recruitment team — is necessary to succeed.

As a digital consultant, I’m not very keen on using old-school tools and I am always looking for new digital solutions we can implement for our business. In my experience, marketing automation tools are starting to play a key role in recruitment. Once integrated with an ATS or CRM, they let us not only track the history of a specific lead but create a tailored strategy with specific triggers based on a candidate’s behavior.

I would definitely suggest that any company think outside the box to listen to and understand their audience better, the same way that company would assess any market needs and trends.

Digital technology is part of our lives and it has brought us new ways of imagining and managing businesses. But if we get too excited about the potential of artificial intelligence, we are going to lose human relations at some point.

I personally believe that recruitment and HR need to rely on human relationships and connections, even though we currently use digital tools, platforms and channels. For instance, I am against having robots handle job interviews. In the end, go digital, but make sure you are able to build true relationships through it and with it.

Title image by Lena Bell

About the Author

Eugenia BereziukFormer journalist Eugenia Bereziuk is a business analyst at CactusSoft, a full-cycle software development company, and editor-in-chief at HR-blog WISP.

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Source: The Digital World of Work: 6 HR Leaders Share Their Visions and Fears | CMSWire


Reprint: The Digital World of Work: 6 HR Leaders Share Their Visions and Fears | WISP Blog

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