Reward Strategies 2008

Ann Bares annually conducts a survey on compensation plans in her market and the following results are the top three reward strategies identified for the year 2008.

The Number 1 reward strategy for the third year consecutively is; “the variable pay, incentives, bonuses etc”. The variable pay plans are said to be the megatrend for employee rewards.

The second winning reward strategy is; “keeping pay competitive”. It was said that it is important to keep the compensation structures and market plan programs competitive, keeping in mind that there is still a war for talent especially for employees with critical skills & experience.

Finally, the third winning reward strategy was; “the hiring bonus (this included the sign on bonuses and the employee referral bonuses)”.

Notes:

One of her favorite questions in the compensation plans survey is; “What compensation strategies and tactics did your organization find most successful in attracting, retaining and motivating employees over the past year?”

References:

Cf: http://compforce.typepad.com/compensation_force/2008/09/top-three-rewar.html

Image: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/480130

Text Messaging & Flexitime

Information that I gained from my readings today:

Will You Be Sending Learning Via Text Message?

Milleanials prefer sending text messages and the impact this could have on the future of learning and development, sending team updates or even knowledge updates.

According to Gartner (www.gartner.com) industries such as travel and tourism, food chains etc. are all preparing themselves for text message marketing as they see how their potential customers increasingly bank on their cell phones as a major mode of communication and who are always on the move.

Companies such as Ernst & Young are also incorporating texting into their new hire programs, where welcome notes are sent to the new recruits by the CEO or senior recruits.

Is Flextime Right for Your Organization?

Flexitime is an emerging trend at the workplace, and as most of us are aware it allows us to strike a work-life balance. Some who do not encourage Flexitime consider it to be a practice which deteriorates work standards or which gives some people the opportunity to do less work.

The benefits of Flexitime includes improved employee productivity and better employee morale as it takes into consideration the need of each individual employee. One example cited was, where a flextime employee could start work from 7:00am to 3:00pm and leave work early so that she can pick up her child early from a day care centre.

The potential downside of Flexitime highlighted staffing issues that managers had to take care of or challenges encountered while scheduling team meetings. However, this shortcoming can be solved by the use of technology such as web conferences. Flexitme employees should take such issues in to consideration and be available when needed.

It is likely that some employees recognize that Flexitime is not the right choice for them given the position they have. While other employees, who can take the advantage of Flexitime must also realize that it is an employee benefit and that they are trusted to complete their responsibilities on time.

Thus, companies should consider Flexitime as an option and see it if it is suitable for their organization.

Note: “A recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report estimated that 30 percent of employees work under flexible hours.” (S.Pruitt, Is Flextime Right for Your Organization? ; http://www.hrworld.com)

References:

Cf: http://newlearningplaybook.com/blog/

Cf: http://www.hrworld.com/features/is-flextime-right-082008/

Gregory Goose (T&D)

Today I came across an online preview on ‘The Leadership Secret of Gregory Goose’ by Judith E. Glaser. It’s said that the video/workshop provides a new way to understand on how leadership instincts in others can be released when sharing power. I found the learning objectives of this video very interesting (includes topics such as vital conversations, co-creative leadership, relational power etc.) and I hope to meet Gregory Goose and discuss with him his leadership secret.

Here’s the Preview and links to Gregory Goose:

http://www.creatingwe.com

http://www.benchmarkcommunicationsinc.com/BCI_publications_gregorygoose.htm

Introduction Talent Management

I have a very personal connection to the topic of talent management and you will find me writing a lot on it. I also keep up with the latest happenings and trends in this field. Before I get into the details of this topic as always I would like to begin with a definition and a brief explanation of this term.

Before an organization identifies who its talented people are, it should have a clear definition of what it means by ‘Talent’. Different organizations define what talent means to them differently. An example here is:

Definition Talent: Talent signals an ability to learn and develop in the face of new challenges. Talent is about future potential rather than past track record. So talent tends to be measured in terms of having certain attributes, such as a willingness to take risks and learn from mistakes, a reasonable (but not too high) level of ambition and competitiveness, the ability to focus on ‘big picture’ issues, and an awareness of their own strengths, limitations and impact on others…’ (1)

So what is Talent Management? The following two definitions help us comprehend this term:

Definition Talent Management: ‘Talent management is the process of ensuring that the organization attracts, retains, motivates and develops the talented people it needs.’ (2)

OR

Definition Talent Management: ‘A conscious, deliberate approach undertaken to attract, develop and retain people with the aptitude and abilities to meet current and future organizational needs. Talent management involves individual and organizational development in response to a changing and complex operating environment. It includes the creation and maintenance of a supportive, people oriented organization culture.’(3)

It’s important to note that some organizations associate the term talent or talent management only to key performing individuals. However, it is essential to remember that each one of us has some talent potential and hence it should not be restricted to the very few. Nevertheless, it is highly likely that more attention is going to be paid to employees with high potential or exceptional skills.

Several talent management processes need to be in place on a strategic level in order ensure its success. Such processes/strategies include talent identification, recruitment & assessment, competency management, performance management, career development, learning management, compensation, succession planning etc.

Talent management has a number of benefits to offer such as employee engagement, retention, aligning to strategic goals in order to indentify the future leadership of the organization, increased productivity, culture of excellence and much more.

References:

1. Yeung, R., (Nov 2004): Finders keepers, in: Accountancy, Vol. 134, No. 1335, pp. 42-43

2. Armstrong, M., (2001): A Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice, 8th edn, London & Sterling, Kogan Page

3. http://derekstockley.com.au/newsletters-05/020-talent-management.html

Workshop: Managing the Generation Mix

I recently attended a workshop on Managing the Generation Mix. We had a phenomenal Speaker and it was great to be with people from all different generations. The people from the diverse age groups brought in their perspectives on the current reality of the generational challenges experienced by them at their place of work. The following includes some of the important lessons learned from the above.

To begin with, the following table gives us a picture of the important generational differences. Please note that some authors do not distinguish between Generation Y and Millennials, and hence Gen Y is the same as the Millennials.

Image: Link given below

The Speaker at the workshop made us ponder on some of the TV shows, commercials, and/or news events that we remembered as kids and how they affect who we are today. The various responses from the audience actually made me think of how the past events/TV shows/news etc. have actually shaped and impacted our thinking and the persons we are today.

Next, she moved on to distinguish clearly between the terms ‘stereotypes’ and ‘generalizations’, and said how we can only generalize about a particular generation but not stereotype the individuals in each of the respective generations.

We were then introduced to the areas of generational differences at the workplace, which were as follows:

· Communication/Feedback

· Work Style

· Work/Life Balance

· Etiquette/Grooming

· Motivation & Rewards

· Respect & Loyalty

· Leadership

· Technology

Another interesting point made was how the generational mix actually impacts our workplaces on issues such as motivation, retention and conflict. The Speaker then mentioned that thus organizations should ask themselves if they feel the need to update their processes depending on their generational mix.

Finally, we saw the Do’s & Don’ts for each of the generations (information given to us by our Speaker), stated as follows:

Baby Boomers:

· Do’s: Honor the commitments made, build consensus and to direct by example

· Don’ts: Avoid being indifferent or untrustworthy

Gen X

· Do’s: Give them flexi time, be friendly and to challenge them in new ways.

· Don’ts: Be bureaucratic or micro manage

Gen Y/ Millenials:

· Do’s: Get to know them personally and show them recognition for their achievements

· Don’ts: To ignore their ideas because of their age and do not forget to say thank you

And finally, we were told about the Titanium Rule:

“Treat others how THEY want to be treated, NOT how YOU want to be treated.”

Links/Downloads:

Here’s a link to a Presentation that I found online on The Multigenerational Mix: saweb.memphis.edu/mimsac/downloads/Mulitgenerational%20Workplace.ppt, August 28th 2008

Here’s the second link to a video (series) on YouTube by Karen McCullough on Generation Mix. She highlights the characteristics of the different generations as well: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-LA9JPIsLo, August 28th 2008

The image above has been taken from the following online article: http://newlearningplaybook.com/blog/page/2/, August 28th 2008

Google Generation & A Learning Challenge

The article ‘Learning For the Google Generation’ by Jeanne C. Meister tells us about the Google Generation and draws attention to a key challenge organizations face to address the learning needs of this generation.

The ‘Google Generation’ includes all those young people born after 1993 and who grew up in a world dictated and lead by the Internet. These young people either have little or fail to have any idea of life before the web. They are also synonymously termed as ‘digital natives’, ‘the Net generation’ or the ‘millennials’.

According to Educause Review March/April 2006 this group of individuals has their own unique characteristics such as they prefer the keyboard than writing in a spiral book, or are happier to be reading from the computer screen than paper in hand etc. One of the key features of this group is constant connectivity; that is that they want to be in touch with family and friends at all times and from any place. Thus the ‘Google Generation’ differs in their expectations, attitudes and perceptions with regard to school, work and career development.

Organizations now are now struggling to find ways to best attract, develop and retain this generation as they enter the workforce. To develop a policy that allows access to social networking sites at work is one of the key challenges organizations face in this regard. Companies also find it challenging to retain their younger employees because their IT infrastructure fails to meet their standards. Thus, learning departments now study as to how to include the social networking needs of the millenials into the delivery mix.

The article then gives an example of Deliotte and shows how they cater to the social networking needs of its employees. It organizes an employee film festival where new employees make short films, creative videos, titled “What’s Your Deloitte?” Thereby it encourages their new hires to articulate their vision of the organizational culture and its values. The best of the short films are then uploaded on YouTube. In order to create networks for its recent hires Deloitte also uses Facebook.

Another example of social networking is the rise in the number of blogs of CEOs and other high ranked executives of publicly traded companies. Examples here are; Jonathan Schwartz, “Jonathan’s Blog” — CEO of Sun Microsystems and Bill Marriott, “Marriott on the Move” — CEO of Marriott International.

Thus learning departments should take this special need of the Google Generation into consideration because this generation will demand the use of same tools at work that they are habituated to in their private lives.

Reference:

Cf: http://www.clomedia.com/includes/printcontent.php?aid=2142; April 30th 2008

Building a Learning Culture

Here’s an article on Building a Learning Culture by Josh Bersin. I found it very interesting to read about what exactly constitutes a ‘true learning culture’.

The focal point of several learning organizations is performance driven learning; where they concentrate on solving timely and urgent business challenges. This can involve training employees to use a new application to even train them to support the launch of a new product etc. It is said that the performance driven programs help organizations achieve a competitive advantage, short term results and have measurable business impact.

The following factors; however, determine the success of performance driven programs; first of all we have performance consulting where you need to analyze the business problem to be solved; secondly the needs analysis which involves knowing the audience and their learning needs; next is content development in which one develops and builds interesting and engaging content; then we move on to program management where you deploy and manage the program; followed by implementing the technology and finally metrics where you measure the results and identify the areas of improvement.

However, the article emphasizes that concentrating only on performance driven programs is not enough. A true learning culture should incorporate and focus on learning which helps an organization to grow, develop the talent of its employees, adapt to changes etc. This is where talent driven learning comes in. The talent driven learning aspect of the organization includes much more than just skill development. It concentrates on developing behavior, attitudes and vital corporate competencies.

Talent driven programs or learning can be found in many forms; it can be a multi-tiered leadership development programs or an end to end sales training program. It is essential to note that the program must be integrated with career development and performance management for its successful implementation. Through talent driven learning organizations experience intangible gain such as employee satisfaction, customer loyalty, employee engagement, innovation etc.

The article thus brings to light that equal focus on performance and talent driven learning is at the heart of a learning culture. Thereby, a learning culture not only recognizes the necessity to concentrate on performance and improvements, but also on organizational and individual learning as a component of its business strategy.

Learning Culture = Performance Driven Learning + Talent Driven Learning

Reference:

Cf: http://www.clomedia.com/best-practices/josh-bersin/2008/April/2141/index.php?pt=a&aid=2141&start=3050&page=2; April 30th 2008