Friday, 5 February 2016

Speaking at Tech HR in India




I'm delighted to confirm that I'll be speaking at Tech HR 16 in Gurgaon, outside Delhi, India in August.

Although I've not spoken at / chaired HR Technology in Las Vegas or HR Tech Europe / World in London / Amsterdam / Paris for a few years I continue to do a lot of work in the technology space and as well as sharing some of my own ideas and perspectives I look forward to catching up with Holger, Josh, Johnny, Gerry and Laurie, and all of the Indian speakers and attendees.

And if you're attending, let me know if you'd like to meet up whilst I'm there.

 
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Friday, 22 January 2016

Social recognition for more innovation in talent management and reward




I've got a few more comments to share with you from my chapter on reward in the ATD's new Handbook of Talent Management.


These are on the value of social recognition:



One of the main opportunities for transforming reward in many organizations is likely to be to introduce or reinforce the use of recognition using new social and gamified technologies which help organizations focus recognition upon their strategy or organizational values and help draw all employees into giving recognition.

Social recognition supports the need to move towards non-financial and personalized reward and is the nearest reward oriented equivalent to the shift towards informal and social learning within the talent development space.


Of course people and companies do not need these systems to express appreciation for each other.  For example, Doug Conant sent 30,000 personalised thank you cards to his employees during 10 years as CEO of Campbell Soup Company.  But technology makes it easy for everyone, not just the most dedicated people, to do this and can build a culture where a large proportion of the workforce participate in giving and receiving recognition to each other.


Also see:



And you may also be interested in my posts on Workstars' social recognition system:



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Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Innovation in Reward through Personalisation / Customisation




One of the other areas of innovative reward strategies I address in the new Talent Management Handbook from the ATD is personalisation / customisation.  Here are a few of my thoughts on this:


Personalised Reward

Whatever the approach to reward an organization wants to use, this will need to be tailored according to different groups within the workforce.  One of the key needs in companies operating across geographies will be to tailor rewards based upon national cultures as well as different legislation (and managing global reward can therefore be just as or even more complex than managing global talent development.)

Organizations may also need to respond to sector based differences.  This applies in particular to differences between the private and public sectors and between sales and everything else - sales performance management and incentivization will always be a special case requiring specific types of reward.

There may also be a need to take account of generational differences.  There is considerable debate about the extent to which employees from generations Y and Z are less materialist ie less interested in pay and more interested in having a job which provides them with meaning and development opportunities.  In my view the greatest shift that any differences have produced is to make employees from all generations feel able to ask for work which is meaningful for them.

In any case, age differences are likely to be more significant than generational ones as pay, as opposed other elements of total reward, is likely to more important to people early on in their careers.  This is likely to counterbalance any increased desire for self actualization within newer generation employees, at least in the short-term.

People working in different roles and employment relationships, for example part-timers and homeworkers, will also have different needs.

In fact, at some point, organizations face so many different factors to take account of that the only way to respond to them effectively is to personalize every person’s reward - at the very least ensuring that this is based upon them as a person rather than just the job they are holding, but ideally by trying to take account of their individual engagement needs as well.  One example of this is Deloitte’s approach to career customization which allows people to dial up or down the demands of their jobs along with their career expectations but also their rewards, depending upon their personal needs and the way these factors change during their careers.


Also see:

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Monday, 11 January 2016

Best country in Europe to get a job





And if you are thinking of quitting your job, this research from Glassdoor reviews some of the economic factors which are important in providing good job prospects.  And the video is my interview talking about the research on BBC World (in Europe).

Basically, the research supports Glassdoor's entry into the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Germany, Austria and Switzerland as well as the UK and Ireland with more national url sites so if you're in Switzerland you can go to de.glassdoor.ch or fr.glassdoor.ch, depending on the language you want to use.  But their experience is that even within Europe there are vast differences between countries with high growth and employment (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) and those with double digit unemployment and slow economic growth (Greece, Spain and Portugal).

Their review of the various factors relating to and the quantity and quality of employment, centred around unemployment, temporary work and involuntary part-time work suggests that Estonia, Norway, the UK and Austria are the best countries to apply for a new job.

The main finding is that regulated markets do seem to suffer more temporary and part-time work as well as unemployment and an ongoing employment gap (between levels of employment before the global financial crisis and today).  I'd also suggests that Spain's growth today is almost certainly linked to the recent easing of their previously right regulations.

However, I also agree with the report's comments on side effects eg the potential to form a dual labour market with the rise of 'mini jobs' (part-time, temporary contracts).  Or in the UK where we don't have high rates of these, the prevalence of zero hour contracts (see my previous BBC interview on these), self employment and increasingly, completely unregulated roles in the sharing economy.

The key point for me, once again, is designing these types of roles for an organisation's employees and to suit their needs for flexibility, and not just business needs.  And that applies for individuals, businesses, countries and the whole of Europe too.


It's great to have a role which gets me thinking about macro level issues as well as just those operating within companies, and gets me thinking back to some of the economic development projects we did when I worked at one of the government's Training & Enterprise Councils 20+ years ago.

You may also be interested in these posts on a similar agenda.  Firstly, for Glassdoor:

And for / related to the UK's Commission for Employment and Skills:


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The need for less boring work in 2016




Glassdoor has released some new research looking at the reasons people leave work - with January being a key month for doing so.

The research identified low salaries as the main factor that led people to quit  - not surprisingly given the questions asked the last straws which caused people to leave.  Other factors like relationships with the line manager, and other people, will still be more critical in getting people to start thinking about leaving - at which point levels of reward start to become more of a thing.

But it's also interesting to see factors we think about less frequently - such as the boring nature of a lot of the work people are asked to do - appearing as important tipping point factors too.

These were my comments in Glassdoor's press release:
“Understanding what causes employees to leave a company is beneficial to both the job seeker and the employer. For job seekers, this survey in particular, offers an important reminder to research a company before applying or accepting a job offer to understand what keeps current and even former employees satisfied and what would or did cause them to resign. For employers, understanding reasons for resignation both across the country, at competitors and within your own company can help in evaluating and improving recruiting and retention efforts.”

For more, see the commentary on OnRec.

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Wednesday, 23 December 2015

HR Plans for 2016



Still need to do your planning for 2016?  You may interested in reading this white paper I wrote for HRZone and CoreHR:


What are your plans to be more effective in your HR role in 2016?

Focus on these four strategies, based in the reality of the working environment, to become more efficient and effective throughout 2016.

Curated and written by independent workplace expert and commentator Jon Ingham, this piece looks in detail at core things that HR need to focus on in 2016 and provides insight into how to make sure you are doing these things well - like finding the right talent and making it count.

If you're looking to become more effective in 2016 and ensure you're focusing on the right things at the right time, this is a must read.

Don't delay - get up to speed with what's important in 2016 today.

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Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Speaking at ATD ICE 2016




I'm also going to be speaking at ATD's International Conference and Exposition in Denver in May 2016.

I'll be talking about learning evaluation having become a bit frustrated by some of the other sessions by the Kirkpatricks, Jack Philips and others whilst I I have been following the event on Twitter over the last couple of years.

Last year there was even a session on Kaplan and Norton's Balanced Scorecard which completely missed out the opportunity to tailor this tool for the talent development agenda.

It's really not that hard people!

See:


I'm also hoping I'll get a chance to help promote ATD's new Talent Management Handbook.

Do let me know if you're going to be at the event too.



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Monday, 21 December 2015

Fleming Gamification in HR & Customer Service Summit




Also just to not that I'll be speaking about gamifying HR at Fleming's Gamification event in Amsterdam on 8 and 9 June.

I'll be helping participants identify for themselves the main opportunities to gamify aspects of their HR (and Customer Services) processes.

If you're interested in ways to make HR more engaging and natural for your employees do come to the event and find out how to do this.


Also see Friday's post on gamification of reward and talent management.

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Friday, 18 December 2015

Reward Gamification in Talent Management




One of the other key trends in Reward and broader Talent Management I'd expect to see even more focus on next year is gamification, supporting a broader shift from financial to non financial reward.

Here are some thought on this, also taken from the new Talent Management Handbook published last month by the Association for Talent Development (ATD) and which features a chapter from me on innovating reward (matching the existing transformation in talent development).


Financial to Non-Financial Reward

We know that financial reward tends not to have as much impact as people often suggest so it often make sense to refocus on intrinsic reward by building a compelling environment in which people can become intrinsically motivated.  Edward Deci and Richard Ryan’s self determination theory suggests that this requires an emphasis on autonomy, competence and relatedness.  Dan Pink develops these ideas in his popular book, Drive, to suggest a focus on autonomy, mastery and purpose.  Creating an environment which encourages these things is still not going to be easy but it may well be more productive to put time and effort into this than putting more and more money into financial incentives.

To the extent that this is possible, the shift should also emphasize a move away from complexity and towards simplicity by aiming to pay people enough to get reward off the agenda (paying them what they are worth and ideally what is possible rather than just what you can be got away with) and then focusing on other things.

One particular approach which is worth reviewing is gamification which is one of the newest trends in business and HR as this can have high relevance for reward as it can for talent development.

People engage in lots of other activities, including games but also other voluntary activities, for lots of reasons that have nothing to do with reward.  In fact, they are often much more engaged when they are undertaking these activities than when they are at work, even though they are not being paid to undertake them.

Gamification uses the mechanics and components of games which make these activities fun and applies them to aspects of work to make these work activities more compelling too.  The three main three mechanics are points, badges and leaderboards, also called PBL.  Used inappropriately, these game elements can lead to unhealthy competition and dysfunctional behaviours however there are a broad range of game components which can be used.  One of these which is highly relevant to the reward agenda is virtual currencies which can be used to help people measure their progress and achievement against their colleagues, and can be converted into something valuable for them at a later point, providing potentially greater motivation but without the same cost to the employer.  Innovation systems are often based upon this mechanic.

However gamification can also be about meaning, collaboration and many other mechanics which drive intrinsic reward for example allowing people who are successful in an activity to do more of this activity.

One good example of a gamified approach is IGN which uses what it calls viral pay in which a proportion of profit is shared with employees through $1 tokens which can then be distributed throughout the workforce according to the wishes of each employee.  Although distributions are kept secret the company does publish the amount received by the most successful employees, as a way of inspiring other employees.


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Thursday, 17 December 2015

Pay Transparency in Talent Management




I posted towards the end of last month about my issues with today's pay differentials, included in the ATD's new Talent Management Handbook (in which I wrote the chapter about Reward).

However changing differentials isn't the only action that's needed, we also need to be more transparent about the differentials we have.

This is particularly relevant in the UK given recent reporting that the gender pay gap for women in full-time senior employment is now higher now than it was in 2005.

It'll be interesting to see whether the introduction of mandatory gender pay gap reporting in the UK next year will tackle this and even more importantly whether it will start to increase broader transparency at all.

Here is this section from the Handbook...


Increased Pay Transparency

Most organizations encourage people to keep their reward secret as people tend to judge the worth of other people by focusing on what they can see people doing rather than the real challenges in a job which tend to be more intangible, meaning that pay levels can be hard to justify.  However we are living and working in an world where people are easily able to share information with each other and more importantly, there is a greater expectation that things will be shared.  Given this increasing level of transparency, trying to maintain secrecy around reward or anything else is increasingly unsustainable.

Transparency is also increasing externally as well as internally, particularly with the growing popularity of sites like Glassdoor and increasing amounts of legislation  around external pay reporting.

However the main reason that pay transparency may be needed is that it is difficult to ask people to trust pay systems when they are opaque, particularly when trust is already low, and also when pay is going to be increasingly person rather than job based in future.

In any case, pay transparency tends not to be a major issue in countries where all or some of the salaries are made public.  Also we in the HR / Talent Management function already know and accept peoples salaries and there is no good reason to think we can handle this information but that other people cannot.

One of the businesses promoting pay transparency is Buffer which emphasizes how transparency breeds trust and leads to better teamwork.  Supporting its open salaries approach the company has published how it calculates salaries, bonuses and equity payments and also provides the amounts all its staff receive.


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