EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT & EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE
Is it possible to show the Business Value of Employee Experience?
I had the opportunity to meet ING’s CHRO Hein Knaapen, EMEA’s CHRO of the year for ‘Sustainable Workforce’, to discuss Employee Experience (EX) and how best to manage it.
Hein was interested to understand how employee experience relates to engagement and to McKinsey’s Organizational Health Index, a KPI they used at ING to manage its performance. I explained that we’d spent the last two and a half years working on how to manage EX in large scale companies. Having visibility to common EX pain points we were able to co-create solutions to these, with 30 other companies. Among them were AXA, BASF, Bertelsmann, BMW, Bosch, Capgemini, Cisco, Dolby, E.ON, GE, Grundfos, Haufe, HERE Technologies, ING, Merck, Otto Group, Schenker, S&P Global, and USAA. I walked him through the detailed methodology that resulted in: CxHR - the Customer Experience of HR, with its four key components ‘Design / Share / Measure / Act’ underpinned by an online platform to support CxHR in large organisations. Hein seemed impressed – he’s a kind man. He shared with me, and the members of our Digital HR Program peer meeting that “If there is one thing I learned as a CHRO, it is that everything HR does has to have a clear line of sight to business results.” In other words, what is the business value of EX? So, let me take you through it in a little bit more detail, here goes.
On the left-hand side, the model shows generic business value levers in a simplified way: Business value is defined as return on invested capital – with the ‘invested capital’ lever greyed out – equals increasing net profit by increasing revenue and decreasing cost.
The right-hand-side the model shows the ‘What’ of EX: CxHR, our Design / Share / Measure / Act methodology, co-created, tested, continuously refined and kept up to date by the members of our ‘Journey Networks’. The most important part of the model is where CxHR connects to the generic business value tree through EX-specific business value levers in the ‘Why’ part of the model. Reading from right to left, CxHR creates two experiences:
1. An engaging experience at ‘Moments of Truth’
2. An effortless experience of HR
Moments of truth are ‘emotionally loaded moments with disproportionate impact on employee engagement’. With engagement defined as ‘discretionary effort and a higher intent to stay with the company’ it increases work productivity (discretionary effort) and retention (intent to stay; in recruiting the same logic applies for attraction). Ultimately, work productivity and retention impact the revenue lever of our generic BV tree.
An effortless experience is something consumers happily get used to, for example, Netflix makes it effortless to find the next movie to watch, with Amazon it’s effortless to buy things. Compared to these effortless experiences in their private lives, consumers’ experiences with HR services in their professional life are, alas, very different. Employees, managers, and HR professionals spend too much time with non-value adding activities. This threatens the engagement of employees, but more importantly, the business value of effortless experiences takes an undesired path.
If HR can create effortless experiences at all of the touch-points of HR customers in HR journeys, the manager time, employee time and HR staff time spent on HR activities will decline. Thus improving work productivity of managers and employees by up to 3%, which in return frees up time to generate revenue. One of the companies we are working with put their EX initiative under the motto: ‘Giving 1 million hours back to employees and managers each year!’
Moreover, effortless experiences decrease HR function costs, as less HR staff are involved in compensating for a lack of effortlessness. Finally, effortless experiences at touch-points that are supported by new, cloud-based HRIT systems will improve the end-user adoption of these systems. A massive impact: 26% of the total investment in new cloud HRIS is at risk due to lower than expected end-user adoption – mainly because the experience with the new system is not as effortless as it could be.
In summary, EX does have a clear line of sight to business outcomes! Hence, it is important not to miss this opportunity for HR to provide value to the business. We better get it right (this time). That’s why we will share more details in a small series of articles on CxHR, our methodology of EX Design / Share / Measure / Act. Stay tuned!
4 Ways Workplace Automation can Help HR Teams Get Work Done Right
A majority of knowledge workers today believe that implementing automated processes will empower them to think beyond their daily task list. Here are four examples of how HR teams can do this well.
“We shouldn’t be worried about robots taking our jobs ... we should be looking forward to cobots coming along and supporting us,” the futurist and author James Wallman once said.
Wallman, whose ideas have graced the pages of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, the Times of London, GQ and Vice, suggests we need to see bots as future colleagues or “cobots” who will augment human performance.
In this way, Wallman invites us to think about how automation technology can liberate us to do our best work, not liberate us from our jobs.
Workfont’s research with thousands of knowledge workers over the last five yearshas shown that 86% in the United States believe that the rise of automation will help them think of work in new and innovative ways.
But 58% of U.S. workers say they’re so swamped with getting day-to-day work done that they don’t have time to think beyond their daily to-do list. They want and need technology to accelerate work.
Automated work management technology improves both human performance and morale by soaking up mundane-but-necessary tasks and changing workplace practice for the better.
Here are four examples that will help your HR team.
1. Embrace remote work
It’s not far off a decade since Google’s (now Alphabet’s) chairman Eric Schmidt predicted that the future of enterprise technology was “social, local and mobile.”
Employees increasingly expect a workplace they can log into rather than walk into.
That could be as simple as cloud-based systems that mean you can work anywhere without physically carrying paperwork, and the ability to collaborate without colleagues without sitting in the same office space.
A two-year test project with 500 employees run by Stanford professor Nicholas Bloom found that when 250 workers started to telecommute their productivity rose by the equivalent to a full day versus their 250 colleagues who were still working in the office every day.
Employee attrition among the telecommuting employees decreased by 50% and they lost less time through illness.
The company taking part in Professor Bloom’s study also saved about $2,000 per employee on office rental.
If you haven’t already done so, you should be looking at ways that automation can give colleagues freedom of movement and a more flexible working life.
2. Leverage pattern recognition and large data sets
Bots can equip us with business insight that will help make us better decision-makers, leaders, and managers.
Take a look at professions that no-one could have imagined until recently would be automated. For instance, the knowledge and practical experience of human medics is being augmented by forms of artificial intelligence that can read through thousands of case-histories in an instant and help to give a more accurate diagnosis. And junior lawyers don’t need to spend hours in a library looking for a legal precedent when cobots can find the obscure but relevant reference in seconds.
There are exabytes of data in every business that would take humans an eternity to fathom. Yet bots can process data, identify patterns, and deliver new insight in a fraction of the time.
Think that could never apply to HR?
As Professor John Boudreau of the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California and Ravin Jesuthasan of Willis Towers Watson wrote in February this year: “HR consultants work with analytical tool kits, change management frameworks, and process design techniques that must be customized to diagnose unique problems and solutions. Such work is generally less amenable to automation, but advances in cognitive automation might automate some analytical tasks, or ‘learn’ from previous client engagements.” Work management automation technology clearly matters to HR teams.
3. Automate repetitive tasks
Here’s a simple rule: if a task is repeated with regularity, it should be automated.
Take the example of notifications or reminders: what if you could automate routine chasing emails or calls to remind colleagues of imminent deadlines? Automated project notifications save time and the stress of pushing others to stick to the plan.
One study concluded that 90% of US workers are burdened down with repetitive tasks that swallow up the equivalent of 19 days’ work a year. That’s 19 days that employees could better spend on innovation and imagining more creative approaches to business problems.
Encouraging managers to identify and automate repetitive tasks in their teams should be high on HR’s agenda to improve performance and productivity. As McKinsey & Co’s Kweilin Ellingrud has argued: “When automation can handle up to 45 percent of repetitive work, it gives workers time for more higher-value tasks such as problem-solving, finding solutions and developing new ideas. This will empower employees, and generate a more engaging and challenging work experience.”
Also Read: How Artificial Intelligence is Humanizing HR
4. Automate time-consuming tasks
If you repeat a regular task that swallows precious time, that should be automated too.
For example, how much time does an HR team spend manually sifting and sorting through resumes when a sought-after job becomes available in their business? This task doesn’t need to overwhelm the entire department. As proof, the HR team in one international business has cut the time spent trying to shortlist the best candidates by two-thirds by automated filtering of applications submitted through their website. If key job requirements aren’t apparent on the application form, it is auto-sorted to the “no” pile.
The HR challenge for all businesses is to find those time-sucking tasks, large or small, that could be automated with the right cobot.
James Wallman is right in his counsel that we should not fear automation. Automation technology has the potential to liberate teams from mundane work, free time for innovation, and help make us better managers by providing timely data insight to inform decisions.
As I argue in Done Right, what leaders and HR teams need to keep front-of-mind is that creativity and ingenuity are going to be the primary human attributes of the future workplace.
So, when you’re next reviewing or drafting a job description for a role, where are you going to draw the dividing lines between bot and human?
How can you get the best from your workforce by bringing in the cobots?
2019 Trends: FIVE Major Trends in Hearing the Voice of Employees
It’s time to change
The consumerization of HR
FIVE Trends in 2019 for hearing the Voice of Employees
DIGITAL (HR & TRANSFORMATION)
Designing the Organization for Digital
Digital is everywhere, it seems, threatening traditional ways of operating and presenting new business opportunities for those able to seize them. With so much at stake, companies are feeling the pressure to determine how digital fits into their business model and the right way to organize to leverage the possibilities. All too often, however, discussions about digital devolve into overly simplistic debates about whether to hire a chief digital officer, recruit a digitally savvy director or create a separate digital team.
In our view, many executives are debating the wrong questions, and we see three main reasons for this:
- When people from different parts of the business talk about “digital,” they are referring to a disparate set of forces — the growth of e-commerce, the influence of social media, the promise of big data, the proliferation of mobile devices, the new reality of cyber security, the potential of cloud computing and storage — each of which has different implications for the business. Lack of a shared vocabulary among the key players in an organization is often an obstacle to finding solutions and defining a strategy: If half of the senior team thinks of digital as social media, and the other half thinks of digital as mobile or big data, it will be difficult to find agreement on priorities and plans.
- Organizations often are discussing digital without identifying which specific digital technologies or platforms are affecting their businesses and industries — and how. For some, the impact of digital may be focused narrowly, for example, on digital marketing. For others, the digital forces impacting the company may represent a significant business model disruption. Meanwhile, for other businesses, digital may represent a tremendous opportunity to gain efficiencies and cost savings from the automation of formerly manual processes. Most companies will face opportunities and threats from multiple digital platforms and in a variety of ways.
- When implementing digital plans, companies often overlook the importance of a broad range of other issues that impact the success of digital initiatives, such as the organization’s current degree of technology sophistication, cultural dynamics, the speed and transparency of decision-making and the availability of talent.
The consequence of a simplistic approach to “solving digital” is that the organizational and talent decisions made in the absence of a clear, guiding framework will influence the direction of a digital strategy, which may not align with the real threats or opportunities facing the business. Companies that will be successful in an increasingly digital world will invest time upfront and in a regular, frequent cycle to define what digital means for them in their market and for their assets. From this analysis, a clear digital strategy and strategic priorities can be developed, which may potentially spark the need for new advisers, partners, board members, executives and organizational approaches.
Defining a digital agenda
The strategic, leadership, cultural and organizational decisions a business must make related to digital require a sound understanding of the digital forces that are buffeting the business and the specific effects they are having. These could include price and performance transparency, changing customer expectations, new competitive threats from market-disrupting or emerging global competitors, channel expansion or the threat of disintermediation. To avoid missing important opportunities, business leaders should evaluate the impact of digital from the following lenses:
- Business: The threats and opportunities at the core, such as changing demand for existing products or services and the opportunity to innovate new products and services
- Channel: The potential impact on marketing, sales and service channels, such as the opportunity to use data to deepen customer relationships or the threat of increased price transparency
- Organization: The implications for the speed of decision-making,risk assessment, automation, security and collaboration, for example, using analytic tools to drive process improvements or to automate certain operational decisions
- Ecosystem: The potential to integrate customers and partners into the organization, for example, engaging customers through social media to share ideas for new products or product enhancements
We frequently see organizations focus the digital conversation mostly on channel questions, when the real opportunity may be bringing products to market faster or introducing a new operating model enabled by digital technologies. Does the growth of mobile devices, for example, represent a new tool for customer acquisition or more efficient customer service or a threat to the very way the company does business? In many cases, a specific digital technology or platform is likely to impact the business in multiple ways.
Data and analytics, for example, will have broad implications for most businesses. Certainly, the use of analytic tools is transforming the practice of marketing and customer acquisition, as digital platforms allow businesses to know much more about their customers and move marketers closer to a time when they can provide personalized offers and experiences in real time. As one media executive explained, “One of the things we will be doing differently than in the past is to engage with the people formerly known as “the audience.” This means we will be much more cognizant of who you are and what your relationship is with us throughout the day and the week and as you move from one digital device to another. We know who you are. We will know what your usage patterns are and then we will start to tailor our services around you and bring you the best of what we have available across TV, radio and online. That means we can be much more user-centric.”
But data and analytics have the potential to affect every part of the business. One consumer products company executive told us that his organization will incorporate new and external sources of data, such as weather data, into supply chain and order planning systems to improve forecasting in a notoriously fragmented retail market. Cable television companies, meanwhile, are monitoring the stream of data from cable set-top boxes about customers’ use — what they watch, search for and download — to inform marketing decisions and to alert them about service outages. Similarly, the so-called Internet of things — which leverages mobile connectivity, Internet-connected devices, analytics and software to enable remote monitoring, automation and control — is expected to generate business-altering applications for a wide range of activities. For example, cable and phone operators are selling services allowing customers to unlock doors and control temperature settings from a smart phone; and the healthcare industry is abuzz with the possibilities of new services that will allow doctors to monitor patients’ vital signs or adherence to a medication plan remotely so that potential problems can be flagged before they lead to expensive trips to the hospital.
Mobile is another digital platform with the potential for broad impact. As customers increasingly connect with businesses using mobile devices, companies must reorient their sales and customer service organizations for these channels. Already, more than half of same-day hotel reservations and 30 percent of all hotel reservations on one travel site are made via mobile smart phone or tablet, compared to just 5 percent two years ago. At the same time, this has changed the ability of guests to book en route and use novel platforms such as TripAdvisor and Airbnb to influence their choices. Other mobile technologies, including mobile payments, may be even more transformative. Retailers and others are preparing for a future when more financial transactions are completed via the phone; technology systems will recognize customers as they walk in the door, allow customers to scan an item by themselves and walk out of the store with the merchandise — without ever opening a purse or wallet.
The marketing uses of social media are well-documented, but many companies are beginning to adopt social media applications for internal communications, such as private social networks like Yammer, to improve collaboration and engagement. For other companies, media businesses, in particular, the growth of YouTube and other video-sharing sites have created a new ecosystem of people who are interested in creating their own content and sharing it with their community, creating both new competitors for viewers’ time and new opportunities for engaging.
By defining which of these forces are affecting the business and the ways in which they are — whether it is marketing, customer service, productivity and efficiency improvements or the very business model itself — business leaders will be able to develop a comprehensive digital strategy that supports the core strategic drivers of the business, positioning the organization to identify and prioritize new business opportunities and build the teams to respond.
Evaluating organizational needs
A solid digital strategy is just part of the equation. Businesses must take into account a wide range of other considerations when evaluating the right organizational approach, among these: the urgency for change; the technical and digital sophistication of the organization; the current level of investment in technology and tools; the knowledge base and capabilities that are available for digital efforts; the readiness of business processes and systems to support digital; and the facets of the culture that are likely to hinder or support change or the ability to attract and retain top talent.
Ultimately, the way companies organize for digital should be viewed as a function of the strategy and the analysis of these issues. Some organizations will choose to establish separate digital units to jump-start an initiative. In order to quickly develop a capability in analytics, for example, some companies are building dedicated analytics teams in a completely separate location where the expertise can be found. Other companies will create “virtual business units” that draw in cross-functional resources and provide both structure and creative freedom to pursue digital opportunities. The BBC iPlayer, for example, was developed by establishing a special project team segregated from the rest of the organization, which effectively became a cross-functional virtual company within the larger organization with access to the necessary resources and the freedom to explore game-changing delivery models. A centralized digital team also may enable an organization to attract and retain more experienced leaders and ensure a coordinated and strategic approach to digital initiatives.
By contrast, when digital needs to be part of everyday business operations or when it has matured sufficiently, companies are more likely to integrate digital capabilities into existing functions and business units. To succeed in a multichannel environment where it has to deliver both print and online content, the Financial Times' FT.com decided fairly early on to build teams combining people with traditional print and digital skills. By establishing cross-functional teams, FT.com set out to tackle the critical cultural challenge of integrating “digital natives” with people who worked in established media businesses their entire careers, with the goal of creating a collaborative environment.
And as consumer demand for a seamless omnichannel experience has grown, many retailers that originally established separate e-commerce units with distinct leadership and resources are now reconsidering whether to integrate digital into the overall business. “When e-commerce was really small, you almost had to separate it from the rest of the business so it didn’t get swallowed up and you could really focus on getting things right for e-commerce. That meant it was essentially a separate silo that eventually built its own functional groups,” observed the North American e-commerce leader of a luxury retailer. “E-commerce has become so big and influential in driving the company’s performance, it now makes sense, particularly for the consumer, to integrate it into a more seamless shopping experience.” Such integration has encouraged the broader use of digital marketing techniques to drive customers to the stores, experimentation with geo-targeting and SMS messaging for store events, and the creation of apps for in-store associates to place orders for online inventory in stores.
But, there are risks of integrating digital, especially if it spreads digital expertise too thinly across the organization or knowledge isn’t shared across teams. One U.S.-based drug store company recently brought together the digital experts formerly housed in individual business units and consolidated them into single enterprise digital team. “Each business unit essentially had an underdeveloped digital capability. They weren’t sharing best practices, and they were creating very different experiences for the consumer depending on the business unit,” said the executive. By bringing the team together under a new leader, the company has been able to quickly leverage good ideas from different parts of the business.
For many companies, organizing around digital is initially less about whether or not to establish a separate digital business unit or even whether to add specific digital capabilities than about building a culture that thinks and behaves differently — one that is flexible enough to take advantage of the digital forces that matter to the business over time. As a global consumer products company executive explained, “We could spend a lot of time chasing the latest shiny object and miss something much more fundamental, and that is the need to develop a set of behaviors that makes digital part of our culture. The number-one priority around digital technology is actually being digital — moving quickly, adapting and integrating; innovating; becoming competent with the collection and analysis of data — making digital part of the culture.” Organizations can begin to shift the culture by seeding teams with digital evangelists who can model and teach these attributes or by encouraging senior leaders to participate in “boot camps” that help them understand digital trends and the impact on the business. The most successful digital enterprises embed disruptive ideation into regular business planning.
Finally, it is important to recognize that this process of reviewing the digital forces that are meaningful for the business, refining the strategy and evaluating the organizational challenges is an ongoing process. Organizational approaches cannot be static, and must evolve as strategic priorities change. “Every organizational structure is temporary because we have to constantly match our organization against what we believe tomorrow’s opportunity will be, and tomorrow’s opportunity changes as we learn,” argued one consumer products company CMO.
Too many companies assume that once they hire a chief digital officer, add a digitally savvy director to the board or set up a digital team, they are prepared to tackle digital. In fact, the desire for easy answers amid so much complexity is understandable, especially for companies that are behind the curve. As one executive told us, “These things go through phases. The first phase is, “Oh my gosh, digital is big, and the board is asking about digital, I better do a big buy on Google or sign a partnership with YouTube.’ Then you realize it’s a tactic looking for a strategy. You then take a step back and say, ‘How is digital going to impact my business?’” We encourage businesses to resist the temptation to act first and then reflect on this question.
There is no one single right answer for how to organize for digital: The right approach will be highly specific to a business’ industry, which digital platforms it is prioritizing and its digital strategy and readiness for change. Organizational structure is determined by the broader commercial strategy and business model, competition, objectives for digital investment, nature of the product or service being offered, the intended market, physical footprint of the business, dominance of other channels, and how advanced the current digital effort and capabilities are. By making leadership and talent decisions within this complete context, companies are more likely to unlock their full potential in a digital world.
Leadership for the 21st century: The intersection of the traditional and the new
Leaders today face new challenges due to the speed of technological, social, and economic change. Do these new challenges call for a new breed of leaders?
In a world of disruptive digital business models, augmented workforces, flattened organizations, and an ongoing shift to team-based work practices, organizations are challenging their leaders to step up and show the way forward. CEOs are being pressured to take a position on social issues; C-suite executives are being asked to work more collaboratively across functions; line leaders must learn to operate in networks of teams. But our research shows that while organizations expect new leadership capabilities, they are still largely promoting traditional models and mindsets—when they should be developing skills and measuring leadership in ways that help leaders effectively navigate greater ambiguity, take charge of rapid change, and engage with external and internal stakeholders.
YEAR after year, organizations tell us they struggle to find and develop future-ready leaders. In this year’s Global Human Capital Trends survey, 80 percent of respondents rated leadership a high priority for their organizations, but only 41 percent told us they think their organizations are ready or very ready to meet their leadership requirements.
We see leadership pipelines and development at a crossroads at which organizations must focus on both the traditional and the new. Organizations know that they must develop leaders for perennial leadership skills such as the ability to manage operations, supervise teams, make decisions, prioritize investments, and manage the bottom line. And they know that they must also develop leaders for the capabilities needed for the demands of the rapidly evolving, technology-driven business environment—capabilities such as leading through ambiguity, managing increasing complexity, being tech-savvy, managing changing customer and talent demographics, and handling national and cultural differences.
Leadership in a new context
It’s clear that many people believe that organizations have new leadership needs (figure 1). Eighty percent of the respondents to this year’s global survey told us they think that 21st-century leadership has unique and new requirements that are important or very important to their organization’s success. Topics such as inclusion, fairness, social responsibility, understanding the role of automation, and leading in a network were not part of the leadership manifesto a decade ago. And in the midst of these changes, many organizations are not satisfied with their leadership programs. Only 25 percent of our respondents say they are effectively building digital leaders, and only 30 percent say they are effectively developing leaders to meet evolving challenges.
Yet even though many organizations have built digital leadership models, updated their frameworks, and invested in new leadership programs, we believe the greater need may lie in the combination of developing new competencies and putting them in a new context (figure 2). That new context is the changing set of social and organizational expectations for how leaders should act and what outcomes they should aim for. In the era of the social enterprise, people no longer believe that financial results are the only or primary measure on which a business’s success should be judged; they also judge organizations for the impact they have on the social and physical environment, as well as on their customers and the people who work for and with them. As a result, leaders that focus only on running a tight ship and competing relentlessly in the marketplace can be viewed as too narrow and not fully engaged with the challenges of the broader business and social environment.
New competencies, new context
Traditional leadership expectations and outcomes still have a place in today’s new world of work, but they should be combined with a set of new competencies and recognition of a new context to round out how leadership is defined for the 21st century (figure 3).
Where are the biggest gaps?
Developing leaders with new competencies requires more than an evolution in the competencies themselves. Equally paramount is for the organization to have the culture, the structure, and the management processes to cultivate these leaders. In our survey, we found three areas where significant gaps exist within many organizations.
Transparency. In today’s world of the social enterprise, transparency is the most valuable organizational currency. It helps engender trust and respect in a world where many may question an organization’s true intent. Yet as important as transparency is, only 18 percent of our survey respondents believed they have a transparent and open model; 37 percent were worried about their ability to create trust, 60 percent were worried about their employees’ perception of transparency, and 27 percent believed that a lack of transparency was creating a competitive disadvantage.
Internal collaboration. As organizations move into service-center business models, they’re able to benefit when C-suite leaders shift their focus beyond their narrow towers of responsibility and work more closely with one another. As we discussed in last year’s report, the C-suite’s roles and work are becoming much more complex and more integrated. Yet eighty-three percent of respondents told us their C-suite executives rarely collaborate or do so only on an ad hoc basis; only 17 percent said C-suite executives at their organization regularly collaborate.
Performance management. How individuals’ success is measured remains a powerful way to shape behavior. However, despite organizations’ strong desire to elicit different, more 21st-century behavior from their leaders, respondents described a very traditional approach to how they evaluate top leaders. The top three criteria organizations used to measure leadership success were driving strategy (63 percent), delivering financial results (58 percent), and managing operations well (44 percent).
Putting different performance measures in place for leaders can go a long way toward establishing a culture that supports competencies such as the ability to manage uncertainty and lead through change. Sasol, an integrated chemicals and energy company with operations in 32 countries, is one company that has made progress in establishing a culture of development through the way it measures its leaders. The company evaluates leaders based on employee engagement feedback, leadership capability assessments, and the ways in which leaders align themselves with the company’s leadership principles. These practices contribute to reinforcing a culture where leaders are encouraged to embrace change and recognize opportunities to innovate and pursue excellence.2
If organizations want leadership that is ready for the 21st century, they should first look at their own attributes to create the type of environment that will give rise to leaders’ success. Transparency, internal collaboration, and performance management are good places to start that process.
Refreshing leadership from within
Setting a new context, identifying new leadership competencies, and putting the right culture in place are all vital parts of an effective leadership strategy. The final step is to find and develop the individuals who will serve as the leaders themselves. But where can organizations find them?
Today, the idea that organizations can simply go out and “hire” new leaders is being called into question. Rather than searching to find and hire great leaders from the outside who may or may not succeed in the organization’s corporate culture, most organizations would do well to explore new approaches and to invest more in developing the potential leaders they have. In today’s fast-paced environment, people learn by doing—and trying. To cultivate needed leadership competencies, organizations can give people more diverse, developmental assignments; promote people into leadership roles both earlier and later in their careers; give leaders with less traditional experience the opportunity to run businesses and initiatives; and honor the ability of their workers and leaders at every level, from early to late in their careers, to rethink, challenge, and develop the business they’re in.
Many organizations continue to struggle to put leaders in place with the experience, capabilities, and motivation to take on both old and new business challenges. We suggest starting by taking a fresh look at the context in which leaders need to operate today, as it offers a key to cultivating the leaders of tomorrow.
The CMO of People
This post is submitted by Joyce Maroney, Executive Director of the Workforce Institute.
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing David Creelman and Peter Navin, authors of the new book The CMO of People: Manage Employees Like Customers with an Immersive Predictable Experience that Drives Productivity and Performance. David is a longtime Workforce Institute board member, speaker and author focused on leadership and HR. Peter is Chief Human Resources Officer at Grand Rounds, a leading provider of employer-based technology that connects members and their families to high-quality healthcare. Peter joined me for a podcast in 2017 to talk about why more executives should consider the role of CHRO as a career path.
In this book David and Peter propose a new model for HR leaders to consider that borrows heavily from marketing disciplines and urges them to think about talent management in terms of maximizing the lifetime value of employees. Just as the CMO thinks in terms of the acquisition and lifetime value of customers, Peter Navin’s Talent Funnel “cocktail napkin” chart here summarizes the analogous concepts for how CHROs can think about talent.
In our wide ranging conversation, we talked about:
- How HR leaders can use this model to up their brand from Personnel Department to strategic partner.
- Why HR should approach curating the employee experience the way a Chief Marketing Officer does the customer experience.
- Why the “predictable and immersive employee experience” is so important and what tools an HR leader can use to achieve this.
- The need to find unconventional people to staff this unconventional model.
You’ll learn a lot more by listening to the podcast below, and even better, by reading the book. And please consider adding your own thoughts by commenting on this post.