6th HRcoreLAB takeaways by Taru Salo and HR Trend Institute.

Working as the HR Director of Destia, a leading Finnish infrastructure company, it’s my duty to understand the global HR trends and best practices, and to consider what impact or opportunities these present with regards to our work and business. But at times you need to distance yourself from the daily work and reflect whether you are going in the right direction. These were the key reasons why I found myself attending the HRcoreLAB conference in Barcelona, Spain, earlier this month.

The focus of HRcoreLAB 2018

The conference focused on future recruitment, agile HR and talent analytics. Browsing through the conference agenda, I selected the presentations to attend based on the challenges my team is working on now, on the fields of talent management, cultural change and recruitment. The construction industry has been suffering from low productivity development. On top of this, we are struggling with lack of talented project managers, at least here in Finland.  At Destia, we are trying to enhance attractiveness for the whole industry to ensure capable workforce, also in the future, and hope that automatisation, robotisation and AI will in turn help to increase productivity. Given this, also HR analytics and technology are important in our current plans. It was exciting to see how big a role technology had in the success stories that were shared in Barcelona. AI and machine learning algorithms will be an amazing benefit to HR, and allow us to focus more on individuals,  and act based on facts and data. We are moving into an era where real-time data based insights and knowledge about people will play a key role in making organisations more successful.

Agile is here to stay

I started off with Tom Haak’s keynote about agile elements in HR. Tom was not wasting time to justify the importance of agile HR; his message to us all was that agile is already here to stay. He went straight to business and asked: how agile is your organisation and How agile is your HR team? After this Tom focused on the HR related elements in the agile organisation and the issues we as HR professionals can make an impact. His key advice was “Lead by example, show the way!”

agile hr

The Google example

The war for talents appears to be a global issue, the next step there is to improve the employee experience and the employer brand together with marketing. Recruitment process should be reviewed through the candidates’ eyes to improve the overall employee experience. Also, the insights made by neuroscience and human behaviour studies will be essential for the development of the future organisations. Kim Wyley’sspeech about Google’s company culture and change management had a big impact on me. Not just the content but also her inspirational presentation. Kylie summarised quite nicely how we act when we are facing a change and why addressing change both rationally and emotionally is important together with the feet of chance. Feet meaning skills, competence and knowledge.

Kim Wylie

The importance of KPI’s

Hearing these success stories reminded me about fundamentals. It’s crucial to follow development actions via KPI`s. Quite often we forget this simple thing while running HR development projects: in the end success is always measured via impact to business. Secondly, full engagement from the top management is critical in every HR development project. Arne-Christian van der Tang’s inspirational transformation story about TomTom was a great reminder of this. He told us how their CEO made his expectations very clear to all line managers when launching new leadership principles: “This is what we expect. Don’t make a mistake with this one”. No wonder that their leadership development project was successful as the message was clear to all.

My takeaways

Here are my concrete takeaways from the conference:

  • Development of HR technology will have an impact on the performance of the future organizations.
  • Enhancement of analytics will be seen in the future.
  • Learning will dramatically change via e-learning tools.
  • The employee experience needs to be aligned with the employee expectations.
  • The candidate experience should be analyzed and measured like the customer experience.
  • Strategic HR is an essential part of successful organisations. We need to separate operational HR from strategical to have time to review long-term questions.

A big thank you to Tom Haak and all the other presenters as well as to Teneo for the conference. As always, the discussions during the breaks were eventually the best part of the whole experience. Looking forward to staying in touch with my new, European wide network of amazing HR colleagues, let’s keep the discussion going!

Original article by Taru Salo for the HR Trend Institute.

HRcoreLAB 2018: Personalisation, HR Tech and Agility

Working as the HR Director of Destia, a leading Finnish infrastructure company, it’s my duty to understand the global HR trends and best practices, and to consider what impact or opportunities these present with regards to our work and business. But at times you need to distance yourself from the daily work and reflect whether you are going in the right direction. These were the key reasons why I found myself attending the HRcoreLAB conference in Barcelona, Spain, earlier this month.

The focus of HRcoreLAB 2018

The conference focused on future recruitment, agile HR and talent analytics. Browsing through the conference agenda, I selected the presentations to attend based on the challenges my team is working on now, on the fields of talent management, cultural change and recruitment. The construction industry has been suffering from low productivity development. On top of this, we are struggling with lack of talented project managers, at least here in Finland.  At Destia, we are trying to enhance attractiveness for the whole industry to ensure capable workforce, also in the future, and hope that automatisation, robotisation and AI will in turn help to increase productivity. Given this, also HR analytics and technology are important in our current plans. It was exciting to see how big a role technology had in the success stories that were shared in Barcelona. AI and machine learning algorithms will be an amazing benefit to HR, and allow us to focus more on individuals,  and act based on facts and data. We are moving into an era where real-time data based insights and knowledge about people will play a key role in making organisations more successful.

Agile is here to stay

I started off with Tom Haak’s keynote about agile elements in HR. Tom was not wasting time to justify the importance of agile HR; his message to us all was that agile is already here to stay. He went straight to business and asked: how agile is your organisation and How agile is your HR team? After this Tom focused on the HR related elements in the agile organisation and the issues we as HR professionals can make an impact. His key advice was “Lead by example, show the way!”

agile hr

The Google example

The war for talents appears to be a global issue, the next step there is to improve the employee experience and the employer brand together with marketing. Recruitment process should be reviewed through the candidates’ eyes to improve the overall employee experience. Also, the insights made by neuroscience and human behaviour studies will be essential for the development of the future organisations. Kim Wyley’sspeech about Google’s company culture and change management had a big impact on me. Not just the content but also her inspirational presentation. Kylie summarised quite nicely how we act when we are facing a change and why addressing change both rationally and emotionally is important together with the feet of chance. Feet meaning skills, competence and knowledge.

Kim Wylie

The importance of KPI’s

Hearing these success stories reminded me about fundamentals. It’s crucial to follow development actions via KPI`s. Quite often we forget this simple thing while running HR development projects: in the end success is always measured via impact to business. Secondly, full engagement from the top management is critical in every HR development project. Arne-Christian van der Tang’s inspirational transformation story about TomTom was a great reminder of this. He told us how their CEO made his expectations very clear to all line managers when launching new leadership principles: “This is what we expect. Don’t make a mistake with this one”. No wonder that their leadership development project was successful as the message was clear to all.

My takeaways

Here are my concrete takeaways from the conference:

  • Development of HR technology will have an impact on the performance of the future organizations.
  • Enhancement of analytics will be seen in the future.
  • Learning will dramatically change via e-learning tools.
  • The employee experience needs to be aligned with the employee expectations.
  • The candidate experience should be analyzed and measured like the customer experience.
  • Strategic HR is an essential part of successful organisations. We need to separate operational HR from strategical to have time to review long-term questions.

A big thank you to Tom Haak and all the other presenters as well as to Teneo for the conference. As always, the discussions during the breaks were eventually the best part of the whole experience. Looking forward to staying in touch with my new, European wide network of amazing HR colleagues, let’s keep the discussion going!

Original article by Taru Salo https://hrtrendinstitute.com

Why it’s time for HR to use sound judgement

HR departments tend to be criticized by the business for not understanding their true needs. From their own perspective, HR feels they are able to bring order and fairness to the business by developing policies and procedures that ensure a like-for-like treatment of its workforce. A deviation from the rules means that discretion is being applied, creating a precedent to others. And this is a fair point, as managers are strict on reimbursements to their staff but not themselves, or provide salary increases and promotions based on personal preferences rather than professional performance.

Using sound judgement in a structured system

Still, the criticism has some value, and is even recognized by HR departments themselves. For example: Last week I was with a company where a high potential left the firm as she was frustrated by the policy which limited the speed of career progression. The responsible HR business partner suggested that HR should do a better job of explaining why the policy is as it is. At that point, the HR director intervened and said: ‘what we do is unfair’. Unfortunately, she did not feel she was capable of developing an alternative without jeopardizing the consistent system they had built over the years.

This is the main problem for HR: how to use sound judgement in an otherwise structured system. The main reason for this is that if policies and consistency prevails, any deviation needs to have a very decent business case. And yet typical HR departments lack insight in the information needed to justify such deviation. It is a huge opportunity for HR to create ownership for their workforce instead of their policies by simply embracing the data that is already there. It would bring the policies to where they are: as an instrument to support the business, not as an objective in itself.

Supporting the business

It is not difficult to start making a shift in mindset. It’s a very simple question that any HR professional can use: What information do I need to justify a deviation from our policy? In other words, what would be the objective business case that allows to use judgement rather than policy. What would be the difference between an overly enthusiastic manager and a true business need in promoting that talent faster than the policy allows?

Using this question as a starting point, will help to identify the output that is expected from HR to truly support the business. This would mean a tremendous upgrade of the function of HR itself.

As for the challenge at the company I mentioned, the employee had a couple of unique traits. It was a consistently high performer (3-years in a row), in two different functional areas, with her age lower than those of her direct peers, and, as a bonus, a female in a male dominated workforce. Having done this simple math would have kept the employee.

Any feedback on this post is very much welcomed, curious to see if my observations are being recognized.

Original article from crunchrapps

Learning And Development Not Valued By Organizations

Shutterstock

Two-fifths of international organizations don’t have a global strategy for learning, according to recent survey of 200 learning and development (L&D) senior decision makers by Open University Business School.

The Challenges of Global L&D survey also revealed that half of L&D decision-makers think learning is not seen as important and 42% lack direction from the top. “L &D is often seen as a ‘token’ activity and that is the underlying philosophy that top managers have about it,” commented Bernd Vogel, director of Henley Centre for Leadership at Henley Business School. Vogel urged senior L&D decision-makers to step up to the plate and outlined reasons why the function wasn’t valued by leadership. “The L&D function needs to be seen as a senior partner. L&D people often lack confidence and clarity about what they contribute to the business and it’s not always about retention and investment. The second issue is there are not enough entrepreneurial individuals in the L&D teams to carry out an agenda. The third reason is that L&D is often treated as just a delivery entity for training.”

If you’re a global organization, then learning and development really has a commercial impact and businesses are demanding much more from their L&D function, remarked Penny Asher, director of executive education at Open University Business School. “Business wants to reduce costs but there is a greater commercial impact if you don’t get L&D right. Organizations then work in silos and the impact on performance is much reduced and you’re failing to realize some of the synergies.”

A strategy for developing workforce skills for organizations that work across economies and sectors is fundamental, argues Laura Harrison, strategy and transformation, director at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. “There is a tactical point about language. If you’re talking about skills then that sits in a silo of L&D so the function needs to talk the language of business. At a more strategic level, the challenge is that it’s easy to cut L&D budgets in less financially benign times but that is a short-term perspective. We would argue that development needs to be about capabilities needed to deliver your business strategy and that is about either acquiring new talent or developing your existing workforce.”

Two thirds of respondents believe organizations with a learning culture will be the most successful over the coming years, and a similar proportion see global learning programs as the future. Indeed, 60% think highly effective learning is ‘critical’ to organizational success, helping companies to adapt quickly to market need and effectively to disruption and uncertainty. Over half of L&D decision-makers stated that there would be a significant commercial impact if their L&D teams collaborated across the world.

Despite the commercial imperative, currently only a fifth of businesses very consistently share learning across the geographies in which they have offices. In nearly half of the organizations surveyed, the learning architecture is ‘decades’ out of date.  “The barriers to sharing learning are often practical such as different time zones and people prefer face-to-face to build relationships and there are also barriers around language.”

The report also highlighted that lack of leadership support was a key issue for L&D professionals. Forty-two percent of L&D decision makers voiced concerns that they lack direction from the top and the leadership team does not value learning. Local resistance is an issue affecting two fifths of organizations. Outdated technology is cited as another barrier: in nearly two fifths of companies the L&D team believe they do not have the technology to coordinate learning globally.

Technology has had a tremendous impact on L&D, remarked Ms Asher. “Five years ago, the technology was still developing but now the technology developed in social management systems means that people can curate information and you can access information much more easily. Peer to peer learning enables sharing of information and problem-solving and the linking of expertise.”

On a more positive note, 94% of L&D departments are planning to increase investment in international learning programmes over the next year. The report outlined the workplace trends that are driving this investment in international learning programmes. More than half of L&D professionals see that employees increasingly want access to market-leading learning programmes, and nearly half worry they risk losing talent to competitors because their company does not share learning effectively. Two fifths of businesses are already losing talented employees because they are not constantly being developed. Ms Asher added that L&D was often viewed as a ‘value/cost’ piece. “Learning is looked at as a cost and although there is often an investment in top talent that is not necessarily throughout the organization. These days, employees are demanding continuous learning and an investment in all the employee population rather than just picking up on the top tier of management.”

Ms Asher warned that this was a pivotal time for organizations when it came to L&D. “We are experiencing a fundamental shift that will affect every L&D department. Tighter margins and the increasing expectations of candidates and employees mean there has never been such pressure to get it right; those that do so stand to make great global gains.”

This article originally appeared in Forbes and was written by Karen Higginbottom @KarenHigWork

 

Artificial Intelligence Looms Larger in the Corporate World

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AIG’s corporate headquarters at 175 Water Street in Manhattan, NYC. PHOTO: MICAH B. RUBIN FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNA

Spending on AI technologies by companies is expected to grow to $47 billion in 2020 from a projected $8 billion in 2016, according to IDC

Artificial intelligence, long a subject of fanciful forecasts, is starting to enter the corporate world in a much bigger way, as costs decline and the need increases to identify patterns within ever-growing troves of business data.

Once a mainstay of startups and big-tech firms such as International Business Machines Corp. and Alphabet Inc., technologies such as machine learning are taking a larger role inside corporate giants including American International Group and Fannie Mae, which are deploying AI to automate and augment tasks previously done by humans alone.

Chief information officers say the technology helps them complete routine tasks faster and often without human help, saving money while freeing their employees to focus on value-added activities.

But as the technology becomes both less expensive and smarter, and more advanced technologies continue to emerge, companies will extend AI use beyond routine jobs to aid in decision making and spot trends and patterns that wouldn’t be evident to the sharpest data scientist.

Spending on AI technologies by companies is expected to grow to $47 billion in 2020 from a projected $8 billion in 2016, according to market-research firm International Data Corp.

CIO Explainer: What Is Artificial Intelligence?

“We’re at a point where artificial intelligence has finally come of age,” said Philip Fasano, executive vice president and chief information officer at AIG. “Any CIO (Chief Information Officer)…has to be considering what AI and knowledge-based systems mean to their business.”

AIG launched a number of AI projects in 2016 and will continue to invest in the technology, Mr. Fasano said. He has cut spending on outsourced projects, allowing the company to redirect money to AI initiatives, and plans to hire more programmers with AI development skills.

Less expensive, more abundant data storage, increased processing power and advances in deep-learning technology could lower the cost of artificial intelligence and make it possible for machines to learn with minimal programming from humans.

One common deep-learning tool, the neural network, uses layers of interconnected nodes to roughly mimic the operations of the human brain.

Nova Spivack, founder of AI startup Bottlenose, said the latest versions of deep learning employ hundreds of layers of neural networks. That power can be used in areas such as weak-signal detection, or the ability to spot trends more quickly.

Artificial intelligence has grown in fits and starts since the 1950s, but has become more viable as less costly and faster computers have made it possible to store and analyze massive data sets. Cheaper computing power also means companies can direct more money toward developing algorithms and acquiring new data.

Any CIO has to be considering what AI and knowledge-based systems mean to their business

—AIG CIO Philip Fasano

In broad terms, artificial intelligence encompasses the techniques used to teach computers how to learn, reason, communicate and make decisions. Its applications span technologies that can recognize images and process human speech, to name a few.

Applications range from practical, highly targeted virtual assistants to broad-based artificial intelligence such as IBM’s Watson system. Facebook Inc.’s Messenger service supports at least 33,000 chatbots, including one from Mastercard Inc. that allows Messenger users to check activity on their credit, debit and loan accounts.

New applications across industries continue to crop up. Massachusetts General Hospital plans to use a system that draws on a database of 10 billion images to identify anomalies on CT scans and other medical images. Industrial conglomerate General Electric Co. uses computer-vision systems to quickly identify cracks in jet engine blades.

AIG said it recently deployed five “virtual engineers” inside its IT infrastructure that work 24 hours a day collecting and analyzing system performance data and spotting network device outages. They work alongside human engineers to learn patterns in the network data and eventually act on their own to solve technical problems.

A network device outage, for example, typically would go to a queue and take human engineers about 3½ hours to address, an AIG spokeswoman said. Using the virtual assistants, nicknamed “co-bots,” there is no queue and most incidents can be fixed within 10 minutes, she said. If a machine can’t solve a problem on its own, it is kicked back to a human engineer.

The ability to automate routine tasks and quickly analyze larger data sets has allowed human employees to do their work faster and focus their energy on activities that computers can’t do on their own, CIOs say.

Mortgage giant Fannie Mae employs a team of analysts who crunch data and write industry reports about the credit standing of individual companies. With limited people and mountains of SEC filings and other published data, Fannie Mae analysts only had time to write reports for their 100 most important customers, said Bruce Lee, senior vice president and head of operations and technology.

The company now uses technology called natural-language processing to electronically “read” those documents, find relevant information and create reports for more than 6,000 potential customers. Many analyses that happened once a year now occur every quarter.

“The AI is doing all of the heavy lifting and is able to cover all companies,” Mr. Lee said. “It also freed up our analysts to perform in-depth assessments where they could add the most value.”

CIOs say artificial intelligence is in the experimental phase inside many companies, but they envision the technology playing a larger role over time.

To be sure, many companies are puzzling over how artificial intelligence technologies might impact their workforce and operations. As AI advances, firms may face tough questions about when humans do or don’t need to be involved in decision-making.

This article originally appeared in The Wall Street Journal and was writeen by Steven Norton

10 HR Trends for 2017

hr_trends_2017

The last two years we published an overview of the HR trends of which we expected that they would have an impact on HR in the coming year (“9 emerging HR trends for 2015” and “11 HR trends for 2016“). Number one on the 2016 was “HR embrace agile”. Although we have seen this topic appearing on the agenda of many conferences, the reality is that many HR teams have great difficulty to work in an agile way. Here we present the 10 trends we think (and partly hope) that will be important for HR in 2017. The list could have been longer, but this year we stick to the magical number 10.

1. Consumerisation

In her excellent article “Consumerization of HR: 10 trends companies will follow in 2016” Jeanne Meister captured all the trends she describes under the label “Consumerisation”. People are more and more expecting an experience at work that is comparable to the experience they have at home. Netflix knows their movie taste and makes good recommendations. With the help of Tinder they are able to find new partners, and all their devices at home are connected through the internet. What most people experience at the workplace is still far from ideal. The percentage of people who are not very happy at work is still remarkable high. Where is the algorithm that has suggestions for new opportunities? (“You like these type of assignments, you might also like …..”). The “Employee Experience” is very much related to this trend. The organisations that consciously design a positive employee experience, for the complete life cycle of an employee, are still scarce.

2. Performance Consulting

Redesigning the performance management cycle was high on the agenda of many organisations in 2016. Earlier we made a plea (“HR: don’t kill performance measurement!“) not to stop with performance measurement. It is positive that we get rid of the traditional paternalistic process, where a boss who had limited observations has to give feedback to her employees. It is positive that we are getting rid of labelling people with performance ratings (“You are a 3.5…”). 2017 can be the year with more focus on performance consulting: how can we help good people to become better, by providing very concrete feedback and very concrete suggestions on how to improve performance. Most people want to improve their performance, and frequent relevant feedback from various sources is an important element of performance improvement.

3. From individuals teams to networks of teams

In their article “Organizational Design: the rise of teams” McDowell et. al. describe how new shapes of organisations are emerging. From static hierarchical organisations to networks of teams that are able to adapt to the continuously changing environment. Traditionally the focus of HR has been on individuals. Many of todays HR practices (as recruitment and performance management) take the individual employee as the starting point. The view of HR is also often limited to the people on the payroll of an organisation, with less or no focus on people and teams who are important for the organisation but not on the payroll. The focus of HR is slowly shifting, from individuals to teams. Looking at networks of teams and how to improve the way teams are working together still gets less attention.

4. Man Machine collaboration

The notion that it is less about man (woman) versus machine than about how men and women can benefit from machines is slowly gaining ground. Dirk Jonker of Crunchr told me about a recent experiment in the area of succession management. The MD officers of a multinational were asked to take a pile of cv’s of employees and rate them to what extend they were considered to be candidates for certain positions (1=highly unlikely, 5=highly likely). The results were fed into the computer. The next step: the computer was asked to look into  the HR information system, and suggest candidates that were not in the initial pile, but were comparable to the profiles of the people with high ratings. MD Officers and machine working together to crate a richer succession bench. It is still early days, but the signs are there that artificial intelligence will enable HR to increase their impact in various areas.

5. Algorithm Aversion

Alas. Even when an algorithm beats human judgment, people tend to trust human judgment (especially their own judgment) better. When you sat next to the driver in a Tesla, you have probably experienced the feeling. You prefer the driver to keep his/her hands on the steering wheel, above trusting the Tesla technology. Algorithm aversion is also one of the obstacles in the use of people analytics. If HR provides solid insights, many managers still tend to rely on their own judgement. How to overcome algorithm aversion is an important topic for 2017. Additional reading: Walter Frick in HBR: “Here’s why people trust human judgment over algorithms”.

6. HR Operations

HR operations has been highly undervalued. Of Ulrich’s HR roles “Administrative Expert” certainly got the lowest ratings. All the HR professionals wanted to be a strategic business partner, the role with the most positive connotation. The last years we have seen an upgrade of HR Operations that will continue in 2017. Most likely HR can add most value in the HR operations area. The requirements for the people in HR operations are different though, and probably we need a new breed of HR professionals who can run HR as a service organisation. Read: 6 major trends in HR Shared Services

7. Data ownership

In 2014 we wrote (“9 emerging trends for 2015“) that privacy seems to be less of an issue. For 2017 our prediction is that there will be more discussions about privacy and data ownership. As part of their effort to improve people analytics, organisations are capturing more and more data of their employees. There are numerous new instruments available that can capture people data realtime, and use it to give an indication of the mood in various parts of the organisation. In the discussions about people analytics we sense a growing resistance. Employees are starting to wonder what is in it for them. Who is the owner of the people data? This trends is clearly related to trend number 1 (“Consumerisation”). People are willing to share data, if the benefits are clear. You don’t mind Netflix to measure what series you are watching, if they use the data to give you good suggestions.

8. The end of Open Space

In 2015 we mentioned as trend for 2016 “Back to the Office”. If people return to the office, they do not want to work in open space. They prefer an individual approach, where they are able to choose their working location in line with their individual preferences and personal needs. Not one-size-fits all. and this will require more creativity and flexibility of the office designers. Tech can help to make the best match between current needs and available space. Generally individualisation continues to be an important trend, and HR has difficulty to cope. HR likes equality, transparency and neatness, and these values do not always fit well with an individual approach.

9. The battle of the Apps

The amount of clever HR Tech solutions is increasing rapidly. The list of successful HR Tech companies is not so long yet. The big HR systems have not lived up to the promises. Implementation is expensive and takes a long time. If you have the money and a relatively stable organisation, the investment in one of the big core HR systems can certainly be worthwhile. The providers of the neat modern HR solutions are struggling to convince HR to add their solution to the mix. HR does not want to take risks, and the IT department still does not like to have too many providers. But increasingly HR gets the notion that currently a good mix between a solid core HR system, payroll solutions and focused innovative HR solutions might be most effective. This leads to the questions: which solutions to choose, and how to capture the data from the different systems for your people analytics?

10. Choose your own

Many more trends are emerging. Add your own, or choose on of the list below, to make this a list of 10 HR Trends for 2017.

  • From vacancies to opportunities
  • Selecting on value fit
  • The end of classroom training
  • No more leadership journeys
  • Purpose, purpose, purpose….
  • Less multitasking
  • Working from 9-5
  • …………………………….

This article was written by Tom Haak and originally posted in HR Trend Institute Blog.

Developing Leaders using Virtual Reality

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2016 has been heralded as the the year of VR. After a few high profile flops in the ´80s and ´90s when the term virtual reality was first coined, VR is back in the headlines with the Spring launch of two high-end VR headsets: The Oculus Rift (launched on 28 March and acquired by Facebook) and HTC Vive (developed by HTC and Value Corporation and released 5 April). Sony will launch PlayStation VR later this year. It has sparked predicable discussions in the global press concerning the application of VR. A recent study predicts that gaming, football and porn will make up the main VR content. Daniel Terdiman writing in Fast Company says, for now, it’s likely that games will make up the bulk of what people do with systems like the Vive and Raymond Wong writes an unnerving piece in Mashable about VR porn:

I found myself transported into a bedroom. Kneeling before me was a female porn star who was seductively talking dirty to me. I looked down and saw some guy’s muscular body. Well, that’s not mine, I thought to myself. I was confused. Whose body was this? Then I realized, was now this guy.,, I dropped into a female body, a male porn star who was thrusting into “me” was so up in my personal space, I swear I smelled his armpits.

Surely there is more to VR than gaming and simulated armpit smelling? Knvul Sheikh writing in Live Science thinks outside of the box headset by exploring applications for military, healthcare, manufacturing, crime scenes and education; others see applications for advertising and marketing.

As someone who works in the field of leadership development, I see some tremendous opportunities to use VR to develop and train leaders. Here are a few ideas:

Crisis management. When I was a young and keen first-time manager I was invited to become a crisis management rep. for my department which I thought was a great accolade until I realised that nobody else wanted to do it; and I´m not surprised – the training was dull. We spent one day a month locked in a crisis management room in a basement reading scenarios from scraps of paper and making pretend telephone calls. There is a saying that you don´t know the strength of a tea bag until you pour hot water on it but the problem with traditional crisis management exercises are that you never feel the hot water. With VR, the possibility to create a programme with a real-life crisis scenario adapted to individual business reality where facilitators monitor a leader´s decision-making and stress levels in a simulated crisis is immense. I dug a little further and discovered that two or three visionary companies are already using virtual reality in crisis management training. There goes my multimillion-dollar idea.

Role-Playing. How many of us have looked awkwardly at each other in resident leadership programmes as the facilitator announces a role-playing exercise where we are required to act out various characters (underperforming team member, angry customer, disengaged stakeholder and the like) for the benefit of our equally chagrined co-participant play-acting the leader. Some companies have experimented using trained actors playing the roles which is very effective but involves high costs in hiring, prepping and accommodating the actors. Virtual reality could be an excellent substitute where participants engage in a virtual scenario and are observed by co-participants providing feedback. Such programmes could be standard or tailored to the participant´s reality.

Simulations. No leadership training programme is complete without a business simulation exercise. The problem is that so many of these simulations use duplos, blindfolds, ropes and balls that often fail to create a realistic business challenge and require a pretty sharp facilitator to draw connections back to the business and business leadership. A decent VR programme could create a realistic business challenge where participants are stretched and monitored. Such an approach could still retain the all-important group debrief.

Psychometrics. Most psychometrics are scenario based with multiple choice responses. For example: you are at a party do you mingle or stand at the side? Logistically, traditional paper-based psychometrics are cumbersome to administer: taking up a lot of time in set-up, assessment and scoring. Computer-based psychometrics are usually done as pre-work but are not facilitated. Such instruments require the participant to simulate scenarios in their mind and record preferences; wouldn´t it be more effective to do this in a simulated VR environment? With the party example, you could have a simulation of a party and the participant´s body language and reactions can be measured and instantly scored. Imagine it: no messy scoring, more data points and no word-based language barriers. VR psychometrics? Now that could be a money spinner.

Virtual leadership programme. Experts will tell you that e-learning is effective for building skills whereas face-to-face learning is effective for building behaviours (the latter usually facilitated by a qualified behavioural developmentalist). The problem with face-to-face training is the high cost (Deloitte costed global training in 2013 at $24 billion) and the time away from the office. I can imagine a future where leadership programmes are fully VR based, where the participant collects the headset, goes into a small meeting room and participates in virtual leadership training with VR psychometrics, simulations, role playing and knowledge building designed around key competences that have been programmed to suit the organisation. Such an intervention will be learner-paced, cost effective, measurable and consistent across the organisation. If this is the future, I guess I need to look for another job.

The drive to simulate reality has had a long and checkered history dating back to the panoramic paintings and stereoscopic photo viewers of the mid-nineteenth century. A new report suggests VR is still 6-8 years shy of becoming mainstream; but if and when VR does finally come of age in this second VR wave, let´s hope it finds useful applications beyond the predicted gaming, football and porn. Without doubt, it could revolutionise education, particular in the area of developing individual leadership skills and behaviours.

Article writen by Ric Kelly PhD. in leadershipissues.com Click here to see the original article.

If HR analytics are the answer, what are the questions?

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More and more organisations are taking their first steps with HR analytics. A recent panel debate hosted by the London HR Connection looked at where they should set their priorities and the key issues that need to be addressed as HR builds its competence in this area.

Every HR professional knows that analytics are becoming must-have capabilities – helping the function to do anything from identifying employees at risk of quitting to detecting potential fraud. A recent survey by Deloitte found that 36% of companies are now using people data to predict business performance.

At this month’s London HR Connection debate: If HR analytics are the answer, what are the questions?, a panel of HR professionals at different stages of the HR analytics journey debated how HR can up its game even further in analytics, and what should be measured.

Dr Martin Edwards, author of Predictive HR Analytics and a statistics lecturer at King’s College London, challenged the frequently cited view that HR lacks the capability to exploit analytics.

He said: “If we look at the research that has been published in recent years, the perspective is that HR will fail to rise to the analytics challenge, that it will be a fad that passes us by. I personally don’t agree – it’s a developing field.”

Edwards pointed to an innovative project at pharmaceutical company Astra Zeneca, which has mined thousands of pieces of historical data to predict the likelihood of someone resigning.

The company has also used data to discover that in one area of the business, external candidates were more likely to be shortlisted for a vacancy, but if an internal applicant was interviewed, they were far more likely to be offered that role.

Christian Cormack, head of HR analytics at AstraZeneca, explained how this has begun to change hiring managers’ perceptions: “We’re not trying to turn HR professionals into statisticians, what’s important is to get HR to understand the nuances of the metrics, to interpret them correctly to start a conversation.”

How effectively the data insights will be used can depend on how well they are explained and communicated, he added: “You really have to know the data to be credible and to tell the story with confidence.

“[When presenting data], we try to make the title of each slide a bold statement that connects with the business narrative and tells people what’s going on in the business – it takes bravery to put an opinion in the title.”

Small beginnings

Nathan Adams, HR director, partnering global risk and audit at insurance company Aviva, said the best advice is to start out small.

“Perhaps surprisingly, for an analytical and risk driven organisation, we are only just starting out on the analytics journey in HR.

“Don’t try to rule the world and say you’ll pick everything and anything to analyse. Make sure there is a business problem to solve.

“You could end up spending a lot of time trying to work something out, so make sure it’s a priority to sort and you can actually implement something off the back of the analytics. We use this as a provocation – if we found something, could we actually do something about it?”

At Aviva, using analytics has helped to challenge assumptions. Data insights revealed, for example, that the highest performing employees in its life insurance business were not older workers – who you would assume would be able to understand and empathise with the customers better – but 20- to 30-year-olds.

While the panellists agreed that it was useful to recruit data analysts to help crunch the data, it was up to HR to know how to ask the questions, and ultimately have a sense of what to do with the answers.

Mark Sheridan, global head of HR for HSBC Commercial Banking, said: “You don’t need to be a data analyst to be curious, you just need that human urge to explore what goes on around you. Or, if you’re presented with incongruity, can you use the data to try and explain?”

He conceded, however, that the quality of data could often get in the way. “You might have multiple reporting tools from different sources, systems might have a different definition of ‘surname’, and information that you acquired during the recruitment process might end up being corrupted.”

One solution might be to drop data into an operational data store, he added, rather than trying to get every system to talk to each other.

Degree of control

Edwards warned that HR should not get too constrained by trying to find tangible evidence when so much of the people function is subjective.

“When you do a business case, you can say you can reduce turnover by x% if we invest £y, but the degree over which HR has control over certain metrics can be hard to predict,” he added.

“Income generation is not the only thing to measure; there are so many things HR does that have an impact on the business.”

And with good data and the appropriate skills and tools to analyse it, the potential insights HR can derive seem infinite. But just because you can ask a question, does that mean you should? Where should HR stand on the ethical use of employees’ data?

“I think we should learn about this from customer organisations,” said Aviva’s Adams. “We all know that there are elements of personalisation that annoy us or switch us off, but we can also personalise an experience for someone’s benefit.

“There are several pros and cons that organisations need to consider, but I think it’s important to draw a line and be clear up front about what you’ll do with the data, looking at it in aggregate rather than on an individual level.”

As with everything in the fast-growing field of analytics, getting to grips with the ethical implications will be as much of a learning curve as refining and crunching the data.

Article taken from Personel Today

HR in 2020: From closed hierarchies to open networks

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It is 2020. The role of HR has changed considerably in recent years. We have seen many organizations changing from tight, closed hierarchies into more open networked organizations. The place and the role of the flexible workforce has also changed. Where flexible workers were previously seen (and treated) as second rate, they are now considered an important part of the organization.

Eight aspects of the role of HR in 2020 we have seen changing:

1. HR focuses on a broader group

Previously, the focus of HR was on staff with a permanent contract. Today HR focuses on a much broader and more diverse group. The distinction between temporary employees and employees with a permanent employment has faded. The contract format is not important; it is about the contribution that someone can make to the organization, today or in the future.

2. HR masters workforce planning

Workforce planning has become increasingly important, and HR plays an important role. HR sits in the middle of the business, and therefore has good understanding of the strategic plans. What kind of people do we need? What are the critical capabilities we need to strengthen? Where can we find the people with the necessary skills?

3. HR focuses less on positions, and more jobs to be done

HR previously spent much time formulating comprehensive job profiles. Fortunately, those times are gone. It is now much more about jobs: what do we need to accomplish for our customer? What capabilities do we have in the house and which do we have to find elsewhere?

4. HR has become faster and more agile

If in the past you wanted something to happen fast, you did not involve HR. This would delay the process, as HR had the tendency to hide behind rules and procedures. Today this is different. HR is like a spider in the web. If you need help in strengthening your team and you can not find the solution, then HR is the right partner to involve. HR is firmly rooted in various relevant communities. Therefore, HR has quick access to ideas and suggestions from others.

5. HR makes creative use of technology

Technology is deployed on several fronts. High-speed mobile communication with management and staff. To provide real-time feedback. To facilitate training on the job. To measure and improve the performance of employees. HR has developed into HR Tech.

6. HR has access to a larger talent pool

If you limit yourself to the talent that you already have in your organization, you do not always get the best. Many top talent is no longer looking for a permanent contract, but wants to do interesting and challenging assignments for (various) organizations. In recent years, HR started looking more at external talent pools. Not only in their own country, but also increasingly international. Organizations are also much more willing to share their own talent pool. Employees are not always properly challenged, and can learn a lot by working temporarily for another organization.

7. HR relies on facts, not opinions

HR has learned from marketing. Measuring is knowing. By clever techniques the preferences of (potential) employees can be identified and organizations can respond better to the individual wishes and needs. HR has learned a lot in the field of people analytics, and regularly comes with surprising insights. HR knows what motivates people.

8. HR no longer needs to pamper management

The number of layers is reduced in organizations. With fewer managers life is easier. Many HR processes are automated and managers and employees love it. HR can focus more on core tasks, such as selecting talent and finding creative ways to increase productivity.

The role of HR will widen in the coming years. A key question is how HR and the organizations they are part of can play a role to reduce the gap between people who have work and those who don’t.

This article is a translation of an article published on the website of “Eerlijke Flex”, http://www.eerlijkeflex.nl and taken from the HR Trend Institute Blog. http://hrtrendinstitute.com/

Success Story – 4th HRcoreLAB

At Teneo Meetings we believe that the fundamental keys to success are the sharing of experiences and learning from others. We dedicate our efforts towards the bringing together of key movers and shakers within the HR industry to do exactly that and although we focus on HR, our primary goal is the organisation of fantastic corporate events. During our 10 years in this business we have learned to rely on client feedback in order to continuously improve with every conference.

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The HRcoreLAB4 is a great example of our success story and was a perfect combination of case studies from large-­scale organisations and fast-­growth companies such as Airbnb, Uber and Spotify; interspersed with Q&A, networking and interactive sessions. 343 HR executives attended from 27 countries representing 169 companies to discuss topics ranging from Employer Branding and Talent Acquisition to Leadership Development, Talent Analytics, Agile HR and almost everything in-­between.

Don’t take our word for it though. Below you can see what our clients are saying:

‘’It was a joy to see how much Teneo has grown over time in professionalism, depth and scale. Something to be proud off!’’Global Executive VP HR, Shell

“Excellent programme and great networking. The caliber of the speakers was really good this year. Great job!”  – Global Head of Leadership Development, Learning & Diversity, ING Bank

 “The event was also very inspiring and had a very good level of interactions and quality questions. Congrats to you and great job there! Always pleasure to work with you” –HR SVP Energy Business, Schneider Electric 

 “In general all of the event organization was just impeccable!” – Chief HR Innovation & Delivery, AXA

We would like to thank everyone who joined us for this 2 day conference in Barcelona; without whom we would have been unable to create the fantastic learning experience that it was.

We look forward to seeing everyone again next year!

greg
Greg Miller
Senior Key Account Manager

For more information on our upcoming events, meetings and team building experiences please visit our website www.teneoevents.eu.

 

Upcoming Events:

HRcoreACADEMY³ – 19th & 20th October – Brussels 2016

Learning & Development 4.0

10th annual “Talent Trends”