Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The January 5th Carnival of HR Wants YOU - 'A Fresh Start'

The 2011 Carnival of HR schedule is up at Carnival of HR and Working Girl will be your host on January 5th.

In honor of the new year, the Carnival topic is 'Reflections and Resolutions' - and feel free to throw in some predictions while you're at it.  Let's lay 2010 honorably to rest and start getting ready for 2011!

To submit your posts for the upcoming Carnival, you can:
  1. Leave me a comment with a link 
  2. DM me on Twitter (@workgal)
  3. Email me directly at laura dot schroeder at workday dot com.
I'm looking forward to some New Year HR goodness!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Holiday Medley: Compensation Cafe Podcast

ChristmasTime In celebration of that special time of year, check out the Compensation Cafe Holiday Medley podcast - a lively thirty minute turn through a number of seasonal reward topics:
  • Cash versus Recognition. Salaries have been in a suppressed state due to the tough economy, salary freezes/cutbacks and record low salary increase levels. Can we make recognition succeed in this environment? If so, how? Will employees respond to non-cash rewards when/if they are feeling underpaid?
  • Salaries versus Incentives. Research suggests variable pay opportunities are growing more quickly than salary levels and that incentives are playing an increasing role in all employee’s pay packages. Do we buy this? Will employees buy this? Will this hold true as the labor market recovers and salary pressure grows?
  • Cash versus Learning and Development. Are learning and development legitimate forms of compensation? Will people accept training and growth opportunities in lieu of more money – particularly as the economy grows stronger?
The Holiday Medley podcast was produced in partnership with Human Resources IQ, as part of the lead-up to their Online Compensation & Rewards Summit 2011 (January 18 through February 10).

(Note that the early bird discount for event registration is extended through this week.)

Happy Holidays!

Image: Creative Commons Photo "Christmas Time!" by L*u*z*A

Friday, December 17, 2010

Top 5 Talent Management Trends in 2011

Here are five of my favorite talent management trends to help you get excited about 2011. Why? Because these trends promise change, growth and opportunity.

Trend #1: Creative talent acquisition strategies - In response to talent scarcity companies will continue to pursue creative strategies to acquire top talent such as contractors, remote workers, retirees, part-time workers. As a result, the workforce will grow increasingly culturally diverse, global, virtual, connected, and multi-generational. Needless to say, traditional top-down hierarchical management styles and one-size-fits-all approaches to talent management won't cut it with the modern workforce.

Trend #2: Focus on engagement - Few top performers consider themselves highly engaged and as many as 1 in 5 are actively looking for new opportunities. This isn’t surprising given that the workforce has undergone both a cognitive and a demographic shift while talent management practices lag behind. Given ample evidence that companies with highly engaged employees outperform companies with neutrally or negatively engaged employees, over the next few years we'll see more companies adopt - not just talk about - best practices such as closer scrutiny of manager quality, continuous feedback, talent mining and mobility, workforce segmentation, employee recognition programs and differentiated pay.

Trend #3: Technology’s finally starting to deliver on its promises from the 80s - I've been waiting a long time to say that! Modern talent management solution capabilities include talent profiles, faceted search, talent pooling, goal alignment, embedded multi-dimensional workforce analysis, mobile device access and collaboration tools. These solutions help business people work together across borders and time zones; accurately assess workforce costs, capabilities and capacity; align work to business objectives; and optimize deployment of a highly diverse workforce.

Trend #4: HR’s about the business - It always was, but now that costs have been cut as far as they can there’s a new focus on value creation. HR professionals have a unique opportunity to help drive share price with improved workforce insight, alignment and optimization and it will be interesting to see how they take advantage of this opportunity. Modern HR solutions can help but aren't a substitute for strategic thinking and execution - the solution needs to fit the strategy, not the other way around.

Trend #5: Global's the new black - According to a recent Towers Watson study Creating a Sustainable Rewards and Talent Model companies are focused on creating globally consistent talent and rewards strategies in order to improve efficiency and alignment while reducing costs and risks. Global consistency will require companies to identify talent programs and critical talent pools across borders; standardize job profiles, compensation plans and competencies; and define a global performance and rewards process. At the same time, companies must remain locally flexible in order to stay competitive and compliant in each region. In other words, global companies need to get better at managing both globally and locally.

Wishing you a very talented new year!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Project Social: Sustainability Pays for Itself

My Project Social partner Dave Ryan and I were catching up on our various sustainability projects and he suggested I write a short post about how Germany supports renewable energy.

Americans tend to distrust new legislation, and not without reason. But check out what intelligent legislation in action can do:

Thanks to the adoption of feed in tariff legislation in Germany, anyone can become an energy provider.

For example, if you install solar panels on your house the energy produced feeds into the grid and the energy provider pays you for it at a fixed rate.

You can kiss your energy bill good bye and probably even recoup enough cash back each month to repay the loan you took out to pay for the solar panels. Best of all, once you’ve paid off the loan your investment turns into an annuity.

That’s the beauty of sustainability: It pays for itself.

As a result of sustainable legislation, Germany is already enjoying the benefits of renewable energy, such as less dependence on foreign oil, fewer power plants, more choices for energy consumers, a thriving domestic industry and leading the charge on green technology.

Increasingly, being competitive will mean being sustainable. For example, did you know:
  • According to Deloitte: 50% of shareholder proposals in 2006 were sustainability related;1
  • In 2010, a record number of investors filed shareholder resolutions related to climate and energy;2
  • According to E&Y recruiting top talent is more difficult for organizations that do not communicate their sustainability agenda.3

Make no mistake: The world as we know it is changing, moving to decentralized computing, sourcing, production and knowledge networks in order to increase capacity and lower costs. Energy production will necessarily follow, which will mean a cognitive shift in how we think, behave and conduct business.

If you’d like to get a glimpse of a world where distributed power production replaces big, ugly, expensive power plants, check out this preview of The 4th Revolution

And don't miss Dave's latest post on making green pay!

1 Deliotte, “Sustainability: Balancing Opportunity & Risk in the Consumer Products Industry” (2007)
2 Ceres, “Investors Achieve Record Results On Climate Change”, July 7, 2010 - available here
3 Ernst & Young, “Ready Or Not, Here Comes Sustainability” (2009).

Friday, December 3, 2010

Project Social: Green Jobs

My Project Social partner Dave Ryan and I met this week to coordinate our next post.  Up to now, I’ve been focused on the corporate sustainability side of green technologies while Dave the HR Official has been thinking more in terms of job creation.

My kinda HR guy!

For his next post he plans to visit a recycling plant with his camera and film a short vlog about who works there and how it all works so stay tuned...

Anyway, as we got to talking about jobs in green tech I also started feeling excited as possibilities occurred to me.  Mind you, it’s not totally clear what kinds of jobs will be created by emerging green technologies and most of the manufacturing may be done offshore.

But think about it: 

With the emergence of any new technology or industry, you need planners, inventors, project managers, buyers, market researchers, sales people, facility managers, trainers, marketing professionals, consultants, installers, accountants, legal experts, resellers, technicians, billing clerks, business software designers, hotline personnel and a whole cast of other supporting talent.

For energy generation in particular you also need construction workers, plant managers and personnel, cable layers and engineers to assemble all those off shore manufactured pieces into power plants that actually feed electricity into the US power grid.

Plus all the people involved with leasing and developing land, including bankers, lawyers, landowners, notaries and bureaucrats.   And training programs focusing on green tech and people to write books on all these new topics.

And let us not forget HR folks to administer all these people…

Even if you don’t believe in the environmental importance of sustainability – which I won’t comment on – believe in the jobs.

So, where are all these jobs?

Some of them are there now, although not enough to feed the US demand for jobs or even green jobs in particular.  For example, although only about 3% of total US energy is produced from renewable sources, wind energy already employs approximately 85,000 people today.

And unlike oil – the US uses 25% of the world’s oil but only has 3% of the world’s oil reserves - it’s our wind.

Other jobs have yet to be created because the US has been slow to recognize this opportunity while other countries like Germany have been moving ahead with alternative energy development. 

The good news:

Although the US is still clinging to the previous century when it comes to energy production there’s lots of promising stuff going on.  Energy's expensive, after all, which encourages business leaders to take an interest in sustainable energy with a view to minimizing costs.
One way companies and private individuals can invest in a sustainable future is by purchasing renewable energy credits (RECs) to offset the energy they consume from non-renewable sources. RECs subsidize renewable energy providers and help them get a foothold in the energy market. 

It's not a perfect system - it's a bit like saying Hail Mary's and capacity is still limited - but RECs help renewable energy providers expand their operations and provide cheap, clean, sustainable energy.

If anyone has questions or would like to discuss setting up a corporate sustainability program at your own company, feel free to reach out to Dave or myself.

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