Friday, June 30, 2006

Most Admired Knowledge Enterprise

Toyota is the overall Global MAKE Winner for the second year in a row. According to the 2006 Global MAKE Report, European knowledge-driven organizations are failing to keep pace with their Asian and North American counterparts, and more organizations are relying on innovation for the competitive advantage.
2006 Global MAKE study findings include:
- Knowledge-driven organizations significantly out-perform their competitors. For the ten-year period 1995-2005, the Total Return to Shareholders (TRS) for the publicly-traded 2006 Global MAKE Winners was 24.2% -- double that of the Fortune 500 company median.
- the capability to innovate and create new products is seen as 'the' competitive advantage across a wide range of business sectors.
- As a result of globalization, most key business sectors will have only 3-5 global leaders by 2010.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

HR Generalist Vrs Specialist

You simply can’t remove the HR generalists - they have a truly strategic opportunity and role in the organization. Rather than being a facilitator of data, they have to be a diagnoser of data and a true strategic business partner of management.

Whether its talent management, recruiting woes, turnover, or declining productivity, HR generalists should be at the forefront of diagnosing human capital issues rather than employee issues .

Same goes for HR specialists. That person who used to coordinate training programs may need to gain new skills now that learning management has been completely automated. The performance manager is in the same boat. Instead, these individuals should be looking at proactively optimizing the workforce in an integrated HR framework. The question is if they’ll be able to find the skills to work in a different way towards a different end state says SytematicHR.
I think sometime the roles of HR generalist and Specialists are highly misinterpreted. As a HR generalist one also perform the role of specialist for most of the areas of HR. To assume that Generalists simply act as frontline implementation agents for Corporate HR strategies is a gross misconception.

To some extent this has also got to do with the organizational matrix and decentralization .Organizations which have delegated HRfunctions at Unit level are also ensuring that generalist perform the role of Specialists.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Job Satisfaction Study

SHRM has released the 2006 Research paper on Job satisfaction with the objective to identify and understand factors important to overall employee job satisfaction from the perspective of both employees and HR professionals.

Twenty-one aspects of employee job satisfaction—ranging from job security, career advancement opportunities, communication between employees and management to benefits and compensation—were explored. In addition, new to this year’s survey, HR professionals and employees were asked about how specific benefits like health care, paid time off and retirement figured into job satisfaction.

Some of the Key findings of the Survey are:-

The top five “very important” aspects of job satisfaction, according to employees themselves, were:

1. Compensation,
2. Benefits,
3. Job security,
4. Work/life balance
5. Feeling safe in the work environment.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Great Places to Work

If you thought great paychecks and big benefits can help organisations to be considered as a great place to work , think again.

Communicating clearly with employees and encouraging staff to voice their opinions are also critical, according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), which released its annual list of the "Best Small & Medium Companies to Work for in America" Monday.
These companies stand out because their employees find them to be places where they can trust the management, have pride in their work and have fun at work," said Robert Levering, cofounder of the Great Places to Work Institute, which selected and ranked the companies, in a statement. "Other companies have much to learn about how to both be productive and do right by their people."

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Talent Crisis Looms Large

Accenture's High Performance Workforce Study, which surveyed more than 250 senior executives in the United States, Europe and Australia, found that only one in seven (14 per cent) of respondents believe that the overall skill level of their organisations' entire workforce is industry leading.

Furthermore, just one in five said that the vast majority of their employees understand their companies' strategy and what's needed to be successful in their industry.

Respondents also reported that even functions they consider critical - sales, customer service, finance and strategic planning - are not performing as strongly as they should.

In fact, among those who rated these functions among the top three, just a quarter awarded the highest rating to the performance of their sales function, while under a third provided the same rating to their customer service, finance and strategic planning functions.

"The lack of essential skills is a vital issue for senior managers," said Peter Cheese, global managing partner in Accenture's Human Performance practice.

Sucession Planning

Jason's survey findings on Succession Planning show that over 2/3rd (68% to be precise) of companies today have no formal succession planning process in place.

Now does that means organizations lack sufficient talent to plan for future roles or it’s just that succession planning is not seen as a significant contributor to the HR strategy of organization today?

Micorosoft New Challenge

Last few weeks has seen some high profile exits from Microsoft including Microsoft Vista evangelist Robert Scoble .

On June 10, high-profile Microsoft Vista evangelist Robert Scoble acknowledged he had decided to leave Microsoft for startup PodTech.Net.

On June 15, Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates announced plans to step out of his daily Microsoft duties, as of 2008. Gates passed the Chief Software Architect torch to Ray Ozzie, the creator of Lotus Notes and Groove collaboration software, effective immediately.

On June 20, Microsoft officials confirmed that Windows Live marketing chief Martin Taylor was no longer on the Microsoft payroll. Microsoft would not comment on why Taylor and his 13-year employer had parted ways so abruptly.

The latest addition to the departure list is Ted Hase, one of the four original Xbox team members and co-creator of the Microsoft Media Center PC concept.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Next Generation Traits for HR

Jason talks about the 6 Traits of the Next-Generation HR Leader.

Can manage complex teams of employees, partners and vendors.

Knows how his strategy (and execution of that strategy) is impacting the financial performance of the business.

Uses analytics to manage his business.

Creates a flexible work environment and is capable of managing change.

Capable of selling his strategy throughout the organization.

Understands technology and how to deliver technology to an enterprise.

XLRI to train Managers across Country

XLRI Jamshedpur has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the National Network of Human Resources Development to train managers across the country in competency management.
“Today, HR managers are in great demand, with an estimated 5,00,000 required across industries . But there exists a shortage to the tune of 40%,” Father N Casimir Raj, SJ, director of XLRI, told ET. “This apart, the attrition rate is high as people are not sure what areas they can excel in. The training has been designed to check these trends,” he added.

As part of this programme, XLRI will prepare an instrument to measure competency required for various levels of managers in different industries. This will be validated and the questionnaire administered to people to determine their strengths and weaknesses

Friday, June 16, 2006

Employee Benefits

McKinsey Quarterly survey findings shows that vast majority of executives say that employee benefits help their companies attract and retain talent and that benefits are important to competitiveness of a firm.

The respondents acknowledge that employee benefits have a significant impact on company finances. Sixty-three percent of the executives whose companies offerboth health care and retirement benefits view health care benefits for current employees as being more critical to a company's long-term financial health.

Whatever the cost of benefits, it is clear that executives think investing in them is worthwhile, even crucial. An overwhelming majority—89 percent—say that providing benefits is either "somewhat important" or "extremely important" to their company's ability to compete effectively

Thursday, June 15, 2006

HR's Impact on ER

A White Paper Released by HRAmericaThe Impact of Human Resources on Employee Retention" says that “HR professionals are spending increasing amounts of time on administrative tasks that are necessary for day-to-day survival and avoiding legal problems. More than 40 percent of executives and HR managers said they were frustrated by the amount of time they spend on administrative requests.

This inefficient time management prohibits HR professionals at all levels from providing insight that can provide a competitive advantage such as:
• Talent management
• Employee brand development
• Employee communication

Very true, most of us have cribbed about the administrative and maintenance part of the HR function. The fact that recruitment, development and retention strategy is the key to HR success in organizations.

It says “With the exception of core competencies, many HR business processes can be outsourced to help HR professionals achieve maximum productivity and provide strategic input that can advance the company .

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Unilever Outsources its HR Operations

As part of moves to cut costs and increase its competitiveness global personal care player Unilever has announced an agreement which will see its human resource operations outsourced.The company has chosen global management consultants Accenture to provide a range of human resources services – from recruitment to payroll processing and performance management – in 100 countries under a business process outsourcing contract.

Although financial terms for the deal were not revealed, Unilever said that the initial contract will run for seven years.

Forming part of the 'One Unilever' restructuring programme, the outsourcing aims to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the company's HR operations.

The outsourcing move follows a distinct trend in the industry, whereby all core operations, from manufacturing to research and development, are steadily being outsourced to a range of companies.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Worth of an MBA

Does it pays to do an MBA from HARVARD?
Is it worth the effort and money? What about a top online MBA?
Academicians and students continue to debate the worth of an MBA degree.

NYT says“According to the 2006 Global M.B.A. Graduate Survey from the Graduate Management Admission Council, 63 percent of M.B.A. alumni described the value of their degree as "outstanding or excellent," when comparing the cost of their degree to the quality of their educations; 29 percent called it "good.”

They said that balance, financial security and corporate power were their top goals, but they placed less emphasis on becoming C.E.O.'s and were more interested in general corporate leadership positions. Ranked last was "respect by peers." Another category that often emerged, Professor Higgins said, was "impact" — defined as making "a real difference" or "a positive difference to society."

Friday, June 09, 2006

Top 10 Workplace for Undergrads

Business week has a list on Top 10 workplace for new undergrads business majors.Walt Disney, PWC, Ernst and Young and Google lead the list.

FBI also features in the list at no 10, and majority people felt that work life balance was the first priority for choosing Walt Disney as No. 1.

The No. 1 overall pick for undergraduate business students is Walt Disney, praised for its internal mobility, rapid advancement possibilities, and social values.

Surprisingly according to the study, B-schoolers are attracted both by government work in general and the "branding" of the FBI by TV shows such as 24 and Alias.)

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Making Organizational Transformation work

Organizational transformations can be explained in light of the recent brain research which outlines how to make organizational transformation succeed.

Some of the major findings are :

Change is pain. Organizational change is unexpectedly difficult because it provokes sensations of physiological discomfort.(Any change leads disturbs the equilibrium)

Behaviorism doesn’t work. Change efforts based on incentive and threat (the carrot and the stick) rarely succeed in the long run. (People are smart enough to understand the long term implications).

Humanism is overrated. In practice, the conventional empathic approach of connection and persuasion doesn’t sufficiently engage people.(They all understand the business reality drives human decisions.)

Focus is power. The act of paying attention creates chemical and physical changes in the brain.Expectation shapes reality. People’s preconceptions have a significant impact on what they perceive.(A pre-conceived notion always exists about any change move.)

Attention density shapes identity. Repeated, purposeful, and focused attention can lead to long-lasting personal evolution.(Every individual needs to be explained the process, objective for buy-in on a regular,consistent basis.)

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Organisational Ethics and Transparency

Google Inc. co-founder Sergey Brin acknowledged on Tuesday that the dominant Internet company has compromised its principles by accommodating Chinese censorship demands. He said Google is wrestling to make the deal work before deciding whether to reverse course.

"We felt that perhaps we could compromise our principles, but provide ultimately more information for the Chinese and be a more effective service and perhaps make more of a difference," Brin said.

Google's China-approved Web service omits politically sensitive information that might be retrieved during Internet searches, such as details about the 1989 suppression of political unrest in Tiananmen Square. Its agreement with China has provoked considerable criticism from human rights groups.

On the other hand research from employee research and consulting firm ISR found a five-year increase in how employees view their company's ethics.

The study of more than 200,000 U.S. employees, examined issues of integrity, social responsibility and company values.

The research looked at the impact the media attention on corporate ethics scandals had had on U.S employees.

Between 2001 to 2005, it found that employee opinions on company integrity had increased by a significant 11 per cent.
Workers are demanding better ethics from their employers as the pressure on transparency and accountability becomes critical aspect in firm’s ability to attract and motivate employees.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Effective Tips for Recruitment and selection.

David Meyer, Ph.D. gives 9 effective tips for successful recruitment and selection.

Hire for Today’s Need and Tomorrow’s Vision

New people should provide the skills you need in the future, not just match the job demands you see today. Be clear about your strategic direction for the future, and then hire the talent to help you achieve it.

Understand the Job

Finding the right people to hire is much easier when you first analyze the job you want to fill. Ask yourself what kinds of people do the best in this job? If you’re lucky enough to have a top performer already in the job, learn from them.

Be Legal

Stick to the law of the land and ensure fairness in selection process to avoid litigations.

Build a Standardized Hiring Process and Use It

At a basic level, your standardized hiring process should include criteria-based screening of an adequate number of candidates, a background check, standardized assessments and structured interviews.

Hiring Top Talent Means More Profit

The right person will make contributions to your company’s productivity and profitability that far exceed salary cost. But the wrong person can cost you plenty.

A Bad Hire Is Worse Than You Think

According to the Harvard Business Review, 80 percent of turnover is caused by bad hiring decisions. These are costly mistakes.

Interviewing Doesn’t Work

The traditional job interview is a highly subjective process. Interviewers often have a range of biases that dramatically affect their perceptions of individual job candidates.

The Most Neglected Aspect of Hiring

A job analysis is the most neglected aspect of hiring. Performed correctly, a job analysis provides a list of the personal attributes required to work effectively in the role.

Matching People to Jobs

Candidate screening, personality and skill assessments, performance-based interviews and behavioral based interviews all help identify top candidates.

HR Top 100

HR magazine has come up with the list of HR Top 100: Most influential

The magazine wanted to know which HRDs were the biggest movers and shakers out there.

The Top 10 list has:

01. DAVE ULRICH - professor of business administration, University of Michigan
02. NEIL RODEN - group director HR, Royal Bank of Scotland
03. CHARLES HANDY - writer, broadcaster and lecturer
04. WILL HUTTON - chief executive, The Work Foundation
05. CLARE CHAPMAN - Group HR Director, Tesco
06. JIM COLLINS - Business researcher, teacher and author
07. LYNDA GRATTON - associate professor of management practice, London Business School
08. HENRY MINTZBERG - Professor of Management Studies, McGill University, Montreal
09. VANCE KEARNEY - Vice-President HR, Oracle EMEA
10. PETER SENGE - Senior Lecturer, MIT Sloan School of Management

We have only 4 practicing professionals in the Top 10 list and rest of them are into consulation/academics.

India on Global Scene

In my last few post I have highlighted the kind of attention India is getting world over for its unique growth story and ITES services.

Close on the heels of these events Julia Hanna has an article on India in HBR’s latest edition.

"India—the world's fastest-growing free market democracy" read posters and banners all around the Swiss resort, while Indian success stories such as Infosys Technologies were the talk of movers and shakers at swank soirees. The spotlight continued to shine on India well into the spring with cover articles appearing in major news magazines. Then came a state visit from U.S. President George W. Bush (HBS MBA '75) in March, the same month HBS inaugurated its global research center in Mumbai.

In my previous post yesterday I had quoted that “So what started as a simply cost reduction strategy is now becoming the USP for many IT companies”.

ET has an article on how global companies are adopting the Indian model for creating a global footprint for themselves.

Global Manager and Soft Skills

As a manager of team having members from diverse background , one has to walk a tight rope when it comes to manage teams effectively. Working as an effective manager in Global environment means diverse opportunities as well as diverse challenges. HBR article says that “While top performance usually is what gets global managers their international assignments, soft skills may be more important.”

Organizations need to ensure that managers have had the opportunity to build a basic understanding of the new cultures in which they will be immersed—with a particular focus on appreciating how behaviors differentiate.

Beyond this, Teagarden has identified a number of key characteristics that successful global managers possess. Among them are three that resonate loudly:

(1) a belief that differences matter;

(2) openness to new and different ideas; and

(3) cognitive complexity, or the ability to focus on both the "hard" and "soft" metrics in an organization—the hard quantitative side along with the softer, people side.

Monday, June 05, 2006

India and IT Industry

NYT has a story on the vital role India is playing in the future growth of IBM and other IT global multinational companies.

I.B.M. is growing not only in size by adding new hires, but also in revenue. The company's business in India grew 61 percent in the first quarter of this year, 55 percent in 2005 and 45 percent the year before.

That growth has not come just from taking advantage of the country's pool of low-cost talent. In recent months, the technology hub of Bangalore has become the center of I.B.M.'s efforts to combine high-value, cutting-edge services with its low-cost model.
For instance, the I.B.M. India Research Lab, with units in Bangalore and New Delhi and a hundred employees with Ph.D.'s, has created crucial products like a container tracking system for global shipping companies and a warranty management system for automakers in the United States. Out of the second project, I.B.M. researchers have fashioned a predictable modeling system that helps track the failure of components inside a vehicle, a potentially important tool.

So what started as a simply cost reduction strategy is now becoming the USP for many IT companies.The It talent pool in the country is now all set to take IT Co's in the next phase of growth..

Friday, June 02, 2006

The India Story

The India Story seems to be selling quite well and The Economist has a survey report on the Indian Growth Potential.

“Internationally, India is on a high. President George Bush has made improving lations with India one of America's central foreign-policy objectives. To that end, he agreed in March to a highly controversial deal permitting American assistance to India's nuclear programme, even though that country has never signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and has exploded the bomb. At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in January, the Confederation of Indian Industry, a private-sector lobby group, led a highly successful national branding campaign. Its slogan told no more than the truth: “India everywhere”.

How do you reward your employees ?

Rewarding and motivating workforce is a perennial challenge for HR. The traditional reward system of monetary incentive, bonus has given way to ESOPS, Holiday Trips, and Gifts.

How do employee perceive these changes in the reward system and are they happy with this?
A study by Wharton management professor Sarah Kaplan gives some interesting insights on the employee incentive system.

Kaplan and Henderson's paper deals with incentive structures across the board, in startups as well as more established firms. But they note that established firms face particular challenges because they have long histories of operating -- and rewarding employees -- in specific, well-known ways. "Not only do you have to figure out a new method [of providing incentives to employees], but you also have to break the set of promises you made based on the old incentive system."

The incentive system is likely to be "embodied in a series of relational contracts" -- meaning ones that cannot be fully written out but are enforced by the fear of repercussions if they are not followed.