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HR Branding’s Implications for Organizational Success

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Neelam Afzal,

Senior Program Officer ,

HR Sindh Rural Support Organization Sukkur.

HR Branding’s Implications for Organizational Success                                

HR is increasingly receiving attention by the organization as a critical strategic partner, assuming stunningly different, far-reaching, changing roles and responsibilities.

It is time for Human Resources practitioners to rethink their role and that of the HR department, not only for the purposes of contributing to the organization’s bottom line, but also for their own survival. This is why employer branding is a key concern of HR.

Employer branding is therefore concerned with the attraction, engagement, and retention initiatives targeted at enhancing your company’s employer brand.

Branding of Human Resources

When it comes to marketing, branding raises an image in the minds of consumers and can be the determinant of a consumers’ product choice. The most successful organizations have compelling people strategies that are appropriately matched to the organization’s business strategy and overall vision.

  • Increase candidate feasibility and development
  • Highlight your opportunity from the competition
  • Find and attract new talent at the job level
  • Enhance job performance through highly engaged employees
  • Increase retention rates through better alignment with your organizational culture

A good employer brand delivers a message to its audience, communicating: what is the job, how to perform it, how does it deliver on a company’s brand promise, and what does it mean to the people doing the job in this field.

The benefits of building an employer brand include:

  1. It improves credibility and strengthens the bonds of trust between HR department and employees.
    2. It acts as a catalyst for pushing change.
    3. It is communications shorthand for getting the message out.

However, as with any initiative, certain limitations are present:

  1. Employees perception at all times may not be the same.
    2. There is no standardized method for prioritizing different prongs of the strategy.
    3. HR personnel may have limited knowledge about branding and marketing.
    4. Marketing and branding very often overlap and create confusion.

Establishing HR Brand
The HR brand can be established by considering the elements that influence the expectations of an employee, such as:

  1. Reputation/ integrity
    2. Culture
    3. Recruitment process/ orientation
    4. Compensation and benefits
    5. Work/Life balance
    6. Leadership and management
    7. Performance management
    8. Growth and development opportunities
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A CHANGE IN PERSPECTIVE CAN CHANGE YOUR CAREER

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Roopali Kurve

Head L&D/ Executive Mentor/Coach

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns,

Or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”

 –  Abraham Lincoln.

A CHANGE IN PERSPECTIVE CAN CHANGE YOUR CAREER

Our Career is influenced by various factors –  Skills, Education, Finances, Family responsibilities, Location etc. and ideally also what we Like doing.

However some people reach a point where they feel stagnant in their current job as they see no career growth, or don’t get the promotion they want. OR

Some people feel what they wish / love to do [work/ career] versus what they are currently doing are two different things and are unable to make a change due to responsibilities.

To achieve change in career or career enhancement or any goal/problem in life, where one feels stuck, one needs look at not just one or two but various perspectives, to find an answer !

Perspective – A simple definition is ‘a particular attitude towards or way of regarding something; a point of view’; [a perception]. A “change” in perspective – can help solve problems personal or work related – as changing career or enhancing a career.

HOW changing your perspective can help achieve career goals /any goal?

Firstly clearly identify the problem / goal.

Often one may not be sure of what change they want –

E.g.:- If one wishes to change career – Evaluate:- Is it the job profile itself?  Is it salary?  Is it the commute? Clearly write down the problem first. Frame the problem [goal] properly.

Then Analyze the various perspectives.

One’s perspective may be influenced by various factors as environment, family, past experiences, need, education etc. – one should be aware of this and then look at various angles to find a solution to the problem. The idea is to analyze a problem in different ways.

  • Brainstorm and see what possibilities could be – what if you changed one factor or compromised on an aspect of problem /career goal, then would you get results?
  • See how influential people have solved similar problems [analyze their perspective].
  • Talk to friends /family /colleagues/seniors and understand their perspective.
  • Read [books, online, media] – about various other perspectives for similar problems /situations.
  • Always keep looking for avenues to get different views. Traveling to places and interacting with different people/cultures can help open up one’s view point.
  • On a spiritual level – mediation, contemplation, will help understand one-self better and help get different perspectives.

Let’s look at an Example: – A career situation where You feel you want to pursue some other career/job/field but need to keep your current job as you may have responsibilities.

Look at the problem from various perspectives and analyze –

Is it possible that you like your company but the job profile that is not satisfactory? Or is it the commute that makes you unhappy?

=> If it is job profile then – What if you look at other options within the company that can offer you more satisfaction?  Could you compromise on lesser income so that you get a job you really love? Or Could you consider what you love doing as part time job option and continue keeping current job which pays well?

=> If its job commute then – Is it possible to negotiate timings so that your commute is not during rush hours or Can you compromise on income and work lesser hours? Or what if you switch jobs closer to your home and may have to compromise on salary? What if you change your job profile?

You may realize that some problems are more complex and you may need help of a trainer or a coach or a mentor to help find a solution.

Analyzing a problem from a different point of view will help you get the right answer and pave your path to success!

Remember – Changing your perspective can change your world!

Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you are right. – Henry Ford

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How Employee Engagement & Training Leads To Profits

 

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Pankaj Sharma

ATM

GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals

How Employee Engagement & Training Leads To Profits

Organizational effectiveness has become a catchword in the current state of affairs. Each employee play a important role that leads to effectiveness of the organization. Each employee is the key differentiator in the growth of the organization. If we see employee and the productivity in an organization some activities are really works like catalyst and heady to bring the desired change in the individual performance and productivity. If you invest on your employee no problem if you don’t is the big problem. Employee engagement activities are like enriching input to get quality output. This may cost to the organization initially but payback in multi fold and long term. As we know that changes are a natural, continuous and inevitable observable fact and they have tremendous impact on the behavior of the employees in the organizations. The constant is change if an organization is willing to change as per the requirement its like bringing new strategy which best suits to the internal customers. Which possibly helps in building win-win culture in the organization.  Employee engagement activities and training leads to profit for the long term. Some of the employee engagement activities are mentioned below.

1, Open the speak up culture.

2, 360 degree feedback.

3, Social events.

4, Cultural talents.

5, Cross function events.

6, Modern work place learning.

7, My mentor.

8, Best employee recognition on various parameters and platforms.

Some intermediate training events will help employee to discover their own talent potential. Many organizations invites hybrid speakers which is the good initiative to bring different perspective to see opportunity in adversity. Employee engagement and training brings profits and helps in talent retention. Training employees is an ongoing practice of the learning organization. Learning organizations are having less employee attrition and high productivity. If management is not happy in investing on their employees they may have to pay high cost in long term compare to the pro learning organizations. During employee satisfaction surveys it was emerged as one of the important reason , why people stays in the organization. Employee engagement and training helps people to develop and grow into their career and this gives them the understanding that an organization is interested for their growth.

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Do Performance Improvement Plans Work?

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Pranay Sharma

 Human Resources

Reliance Power Limited

Do Performance Improvement Plans Work?

“Discipline and freedom is not mutually exclusive but mutually dependent because otherwise, you’d sink in chaos”-Paulo Coelho– Well, plans will work! When, it is executed, properly. Many of us have inhibitions about PIP, we often feel that it is one of the most effective and planned way to trim your workforce by removing under performers. Yes, on the contrary we do have to agree, it is one of the most effective tool to build high-performing organization, if it is executed properly. It depends on an individual, how he or she looks at things.  High-performing organizations strictly demand all of its employees to perform exceedingly well and meet their targets. It is quiet natural when it comes to competitions some are stars, some are average, and some are below while some do not have any scope of improvement. Leader and followers both have the responsibility of improving the performance of each other, for eg: “Virat Kohli” centuries cannot single handedly win matches, since it is a team-effort and if you are running with such a leader like “Virat Kohli” who expects everyone to put in their 200 percent, one has to perform or perish. We have to go down deep into what is expected out of what and at what pace it will satisfy the organization.  For making it work following methodology can be followed-

Objective- What is expected out of an individual to raise his/her standard of performance.

Purpose- The main purpose is to encourage improvement and support individual by enabling him/her to achieve required standard of performance.

Design- At the beginning of PIP a communication shall be sent to identified executive regarding its commencement and purpose.

A meeting shall be facilitated between the executive and the respective Appraiser in the presence of Business / Functional Head with the objective of preparing the PIP.

The identified executive shall be given fair chance to explain the problem faced by him/her, which shall be considered and analyzed by the appraiser/functional head to find out the problem areas.

All assignments and improvements required by the executive shall be mentioned in PIP form.

The targets on which performance is to be measured for each area requiring improvement shall be identified keeping in mind that they are reasonable and attainable within the given time frame.

The PIP shall be rolled out with consensus of all the participants and the PIP form shall include signatures of all the participants.

The executive shall be given a copy of the Performance Improvement Plan with stipulated timelines for achieving it.

The appraiser and the Functional / Business Head shall ensure that the executive gets the support needed during the PIP in terms of resource / training. The same shall be captured in the PIP form.

Quarterly Review-

The progress and performance of the executive shall be monitored on a timely basis.

Both the executive and the appraiser shall participate in the quarterly reviews diligently.

If the executive is found to be lagging behind, then the reasons shall be probed into. Results of each meeting shall be captured.

The copy of the Review Chart shall be sent to HR.

Final Assessment:

The final assessment shall be done in the following Year End Evaluation.

The appraiser, the HR representative, Functional / Business Head and the executive all shall participate in the final assessment.

Corrective Action:

In the event of non-improvement of performance of the executive in-spite of providing sufficient support as per PIP, any of the following Corrective Action may be taken-

  • Demotion
  • Reduction in salary
  • Termination
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Employee retention through peer motivation

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Pinky Dey(Assistant Manager)  

CBE (Centre for Behavioral Excellence),

Talent Transformation, Wipro Ltd.

Employee retention through peer motivation

Sandra, an excellent performer, was awarded the ‘Best Employee Award’ for three consecutive years. While most leaders acknowledged that she was one among the top three employees, her peers mostly gave her cold response to these achievements. Some chose not to respond and some said ‘Congratulations’ in a not so genuine tone. With repeated experiences like these from the past, what do you think Sandra would have started believing?

In reality, she stopped sharing her achievements with her peers. As a consequence, her motivation to contribute in discussions that needed peer inputs dropped, thus impacting her performance. Finally, she resigned and her exit interview comments said,“Only if I had peers as friends than contenders at work, I would have retired from this organization

While there could be various reasons behind employees leaving organizations, most corporates do desire retaining top talents. How can peer motivation be a significant enabler in such scenarios?

Few years ago, a research conducted by an employee engagement firm, TINY pulse, revealed surprising results. Their survey conducted on employees from over five hundred plus organizations discovered that the number one reason for employees to go the extra mile at work was when they experienced camaraderie and peer motivation. 44% of the employees gave peer to peer recognition when they had an easy tool to do so. These results emphasize that organizations have a scope of using peer motivation to drive high performance and employee retention.

So, what could be few thought processes that may fizzle out peer motivation in organizations, leading to top talents resigning sooner than they should?

  1. Your target, not mine: When performance targets are perceived as individual independent goals, there could be probabilities of not understanding the connect between ‘individual objectives’ and ‘team objectives’. One may not feel the need to comprehend objectives set for others. Therefore, employees are seen working in isolation that may affect peer motivation.
  1. Your loss, my win: The definition of ‘win’ is often misunderstood by most of us. Individual win is mostly seen winning at the cost of a peer’s loss. With such a mindset, gaining cooperation from peers may become challenging and convert healthy competition to manipulative rivalry. In an environment like this peer motivation may drop drastically.
  1. We hardly meet:Most teams function virtually today, therefore there are little opportunities to meet team members in person. However, when least efforts are made by employees to meet their peers, it may cause long time, no see leading to long time,no connect. As a result, bring down levels of engagement with each other.
  1. We talk only work: When conversations among peers limits to work and only work, the personal bond goes missing. Relationships become transactional. This could lead to lesser interest in understanding what’s happening in one another’s lives and how it impacts their communication styles at work.
  1. You are judging me:When peers make judgements on your actions and express them in open without being sensitive of further conclusions by others, it breaks hearts and it becomes very difficult to gain cooperation in future.

Like these reasons, there could be several causes behind employees not feeling united among peers. How could couple of behaviors and thought processes enable an environment that promotes peer motivation?

  1. Use new connecting methods, without over looking the old ones: WhatsApp, Twitter, Yammer and many more. There are communication methods available on your figure tips. Overuse and under use of these methods may cause barriers in communication. Practice these methods complimenting them with face to face interactions as most of the business and personal problems get sorted faster when two people meet in person.
  1. Experiment like ability check: It is a good idea to evaluate how many people in the team like you. 8 out of 10, 6 out 10 or 2 out of 10? How many of your peers stand by you when you need help? Do these peers volunteer help or pushed for assistance?Employees may closely observe behaviors to figure out their like ability ratio so, they could gauge peer support in the team for themselves.
  1. Involve in tasks with dependencies:Getting involved in tasks that need dependencies may get you talking to peers for task accomplishments. This may also help you uncover qualities and abilities from either sides thus improving peer motivation.
  1. Celebrate successes and failures together:Individuals do not win, teams win and so, is the case when failures come your way. Achievements and fiascos, both offer huge amount of learning. Instead of sighing alone after a failure and relaxing too much after a success, ensure that you reflect and celebrate both, victories and flops along with your peers.
  1. Acknowledge collaboration:Acknowledge and encourage peers who support you and cooperate with you when you need them. Open-mindedness,listening to other viewpoints, receptivity and working well with the team. These are couple of actions that may give you signals of collaborative behaviors and inspire you to appreciate your peers ona timely basis.
  1. Strike the right balance between formality and informality: All the reports, records and other forms that supply working information to various parts of an organization are included in the formal communication. Formality demands that the information flow takes a specific route only.As people go about their work, they have casual conversation with their friends in the office too. These conversations deal with both personal and business matters. One must strike the right balance between informal and formal conversations among peers to avoid burning bridges among themselves.

Most of the schools today, have specific grading systems to evaluate a child’s knowledge. With an available choice of preparing independently for respective academic grades, what drives the children to come together for group studies during exams? What makes them keep all their egos away, come together and work towards their academic performance? It is ‘peer motivation’. As adults, we must awaken the child within us, come together and start building stronger relationships at work thus giving more reasons to our fellow peers to stay back in organizations.

 

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Role of best practice in planning your next change initiative

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Frederick Reynecke

International Organizational Change Management Institute

Director

The role of best practice in planning your next change initiative

Ensuring your change journey takes off successfully (Part 1 of a 2 part series)

Frederick Reynecke, Change Management Expert
Many organisations start their implementation without the proper preparation and thinking (analysis) only to see it “crash and burn”. Understanding and adopting best practices in change management will facilitate a smooth start and will assist in minimizing turbulence as you continue travelling to your destination. Change is the route (process), not the destination (event).

Let’s get one thing straight; announcing a project or change is not change management; communication is not change management, neither is training. Both contributes to change management but as a standalone is not effective. Like a wheel or seat; as part of the complete vehicle adds more value than by itself.

According to Gartner “80% of all technology projects were not used in the way intended or not used at all six months after installation”. Another scary statistic is “70% of change projects do not deliver the expected benefits”.

  • Is yours one of them?
  • What would it be worth if you could avoid that happening?

Prosci (a combination of the words Professional + Science = Prosci) was established to make sure science and research is used when dealing with people management. Since 1994 they have conducted best practice research and are the largest body of knowledge on the subject.

To find simplicity and clarity, they’ve asked participants in their benchmarking research studies the same simple question every two years since 1998; “What has been the single greatest contributor to the success of your change management program?” This question seeks to help us understand and prioritize the parts of their change management approach that are most critical to achieving successful outcomes on change projects. Why are some changes implemented more successfully than others? According to Prosci’s research the following seven factors are the top contributors to success:

  • Active and visible executive sponsorship
  • Structured change management approach
  • Dedicated change management resources
  • Integration and engagement with project management
  • Employee engagement and participation
  • Frequent and open communication
  • Engagement with middle managers

Let’s unpack these findings and see how they can make your change journey (initiatives) more successful.

The importance of sponsorship was cited over three times more frequently than the next contributor. Participants consistently used the key words “active and visible” to describe this top contributor. “Active and visible” sponsorship means that the sponsor is:

  • Supporting the change by giving consistent attention to the change and the need or case for change management
  • Championing the change by leading and motivating others (leadership and Business Unit teams) in the organization
  • Making effective and influential decisions regarding the change, including the ability to align priorities among other leaders in the organization (leadership alignment and building a guiding coalition)
  • Maintaining direct communication with the project management and change management teams and being accessible during the change

Another key study finding reinforces the impact of quality sponsorship on achieving outcomes; projects were almost 3.5 times more likely to meet or exceed project objectives than projects with very ineffective sponsorship.

Related to this is the coalition that the sponsor must build in creating an aligned leadership team. For the last 3 success factors; employee engagement and participation, frequent and open communication and engagement with middle managers to have the required impact leaders must walk-the-talk through their behavior (example) and aligned efforts. Their actions should speak louder than their words.

An intentional and defined approach to managing change provides the structure necessary to stay on track this will ensure time is spent on meaningful activities and allows space to identify and address gaps throughout the project lifecycle. A formal approach makes processes repeatable for consistent application of change management on other initiatives throughout the organization. Key words that came up when participants described this top contributor included, established, customizable, scalable, easy to implement across multiple changes and easy to apply at every phase of the project.

The number of organizations using a specific methodology continues to grow; in 2003, fewer than 35% of participants used a change management methodology. In 2015, over 70% of participants used a methodology.

Although a structured approach is critical, initiatives and projects also need dedicated resources and funding to get the actual change management work done. Dedicated change management resources and funding means having access to the appropriate amount of funding and resources, resources with change management experience and a change team or community of flexible, ambitious, decisive, collaborative individuals.

We’ve heard this many times before: “If it isn’t someone’s job, then it’s no one’s job.” To realize the benefits of change management, someone must be responsible for it and have access to an appropriate amount of funding. In analyzing the data, Prosci identified a positive and meaningful correlation between having a dedicated resource (person) and overall change management effectiveness. This should be linked to the sponsor as well. Participants that had dedicated resources were significantly more likely to have good or excellent change management effectiveness than those without a dedicated resource. These resources are not solely responsible for change management but merely facilitators (more on this in part 2). This is also the link to project management.

Prosci’s research has underscored the common trend of integrating change management work with the activities of project management. These complementary disciplines naturally cross paths throughout the life of an initiative. In the 2016 study, 77% of participants integrated project management work and   change management work. Examples of how this is achieved; integration are fully integrating the change management and project management approaches, integrating change management activities into gate requirements and supporting collaboration between project and change management teams to develop the overall project plan.

Participants who integrated these two disciplines were 16% more likely to meet or exceed project objectives than those who did not integrate. More and more organizations are realizing the value of integrating project management and change management.

These four best practices have a lot to do with setting up your project for success. In part 2 we’ll have a closer look at how the other three factors contribute towards a successful journey during implementation.

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What Every HR Manager Needs to Know About Succession Planning

Arpita Ganguly

New Delhi

What Every HR Manager Needs to Know About Succession Planning

Identifying backups for top level positions in organizations is often confused as Succession Planning. It ie not! In fact, you are resorting to only what is a Replacement planning.

Succession Planning goes beyond that. It delves to develop potential talent to create a database of ready resources for several positions in future.

– Succession Planning enables both career path planning of employee and aims at planning for various grades/ profiles coming up in future. The more difficult to fill vacancies will be aimed for first to create a ready bench strength.

  • Succession planning adopts a systematic process using various performance and behavioural measurement tools and data for identification.
  • It is a long term process and may involve training, on the job transfers, learning, job enrichment.
  • It helps create multiple skilled talent in the same internal pool of resources.
  • In summary, whilereplacement planning is reactive in approach, succession planning is proactive. Succession planning motivates team as they are increasing their skill sets in various profiles, possibly also for more senior profiles.
  • Also these people are usually hi-potential teams who are more energised being part of the recognised group being trained for various roles, leading to better loyalty and lesser attrition.

For any succession planning to be successful, the senior management must own the process, duly communication with all team members on its importance, along with HR team which rolls it out and evaluates periodically.

Success of any organisation is dependent on highly charged, well trained team, keen to take on changes and challenges, and Timely Succession Planning helps in moving in the right direction to achieve the same.

 

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