7 ways to make the HR function more agile

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7 ways to make the HR function more agile

Data from a new survey of 850 HR decision makers globally shows that:
  • Less than half of HR directors (44%) report their data is integrated for realtime reporting and analysis.
  • Only 10% believe they have complete integration of data, and 44% feel strongly that they lack this.
  • 45% believe data in their systems in contradictory, and only 6% disagree with this.
  • Only a third of HR directors (35%) are at all confident that their employees have a basic understanding of data analysis methods – but not everyone needs to be a data scientist, rather they need the ability to interpret the findings data scientists discover.
So how can we overcome this productivity paradox which comes with working through technology? There are seven key factors that have been identified in this new research from Oracle and the WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management – wherein business efficiency has been shown to increase by two-thirds when the right technology is implemented alongside these factors.  

1 Flexibility and embracing change

More than half of HR directors report their organisation emphasises agility, in both their people and the organisation as a whole – only 3% say this isn’t the case. And managers are trialling new ways of working, with new team structures tested on a regular basis according to 38% of HR directors and 30% of employees. Meanwhile, half of HR directors (49%) strongly agree that new technologies have been openly embraced, as do 42% of employees. ACTION ITEM: Organisations should embrace flexibility as a concept and, where possible, keep an open mind on how and where their employees work – otherwise a large number of organisations could miss out on the benefits of freeing their people to work from anywhere at any time.  

2 Learning culture

Half of HR directors strongly agree that their organisation’s basic values include ‘learning as the key to improvement’, but just as many report their organisation’s culture does not make learning a top priority. Only 36% of employees definitely agree that development and promotion opportunities are available to all staff, while less than half of HR directors (48%) feel the same way. Almost a third of employees (31%) are very concerned they won’t have opportunities to learn and prosper in the future. ACTION ITEM: And as every employee is different, personalised learning programmes should be a focus. Thankfully, this looks like to become the norm, with 53% of organisations planning to be able to target their employees with development and training opportunities within the next three years.  

3 Data-driven decision making

While most of us embrace data as our guide for decision making, hierarchy still seems to play a significant role in many organisations. In fact, 41% of HR leaders and 36% of employees strongly agree that seniority and experience are the typical basis for decisions in their organisation. This is concerning, especially as only 48% of HR directors and 38% of employees report that it’s standard practice to incorporate available data within any decision-making process. ACTION ITEM: With less than half of respondents saying that data use in decision making is standard, it seems there’s plenty of room for improvement. Leaders need to demonstrate both the right skills and behaviours in this area – demonstrating both the skills and the mindset to be led by evidence.  

4 Open communication and collaboration

It may seem obvious that more communication leads to greater sharing of ideas, a better work environment, etc. Yet, 51% say that they ‘better keep their cards to themselves’. This could be down to a certain amount of bureaucracy and process left within most organisations. Only 31% of HR directors and 25% of employees are sure they have very little formal bureaucracy within their company – and one in five employees says this definitely isn’t true. ACTION ITEM: Many newer, and more agile, organisations have a flatter structure, with less hierarchy. This begins with a leadership team that leads by example, being open, visible, and encouraging. And it’s how they can build engagement with, and participation in, a shared vision.  

5 Shared digital vision and participative leadership

It seems there’s an established digital vision in place for most companies, as only 20% of employees feel their organisation doesn’t have a well-defined digital strategy, and only 24% of HR directors agree with this. But this is still a considerable proportion for a modern business. And while some don’t have a strategy in place, the bigger issue may be that strategies aren’t complete, aren’t agreed, or aren’t being effectively communicated. ACTION ITEM: If leaders can communicate openly, and collaborate, then it’s easier for employees to see a shared digital vision, appreciate the role they play, thus helping to encourage participation from top to bottom. And participation at all levels is critical if an organisation truly aspires to become adaptable.  

6 Entrepreneurial culture

While almost half of HR directors (44%) feel they have a culture that tolerates failure and acknowledges people learn from their mistakes, only a third of employees (34%) report this is the case, meaning two thirds are wary of acting aligned or driving their own ideas. In fact, many report their organisation simply does not boast an entrepreneurial culture. Over two-thirds of staff (69%) say they don’t work in a ‘dynamic and entrepreneurial place’ where people take risks. ACTION ITEM: This means removing barriers to contribution and helping staff to feel safe to question norms, trial new ideas, and sometimes fail, in order to learn. It may also necessitate teaching them the basics of ROI, of justifying their ideas under ‘inputs and outcomes’ and not primarily under ‘budgets’.  

7 Critical thinking and open questioning

Only 48% of HR directors say the use of evidence and analytics in decision making is part of the culture and even less – 37% – of employees agree. This means many HR teams are not understanding their talent landscape or are unable to predict future needs, shortages and requirements, at a point in time when organisations need to be taking an objective, evidence-based approach to decision making; there’s room for improvement in critical reflection. ACTION ITEM: The ‘old’ corporate world often favoured ‘sticking to the processes’ – behaviours. Less questioning but therefore less efficient execution. The ‘new’ corporate world needs to break with this. This requirement to continually challenge the business looks like a significant challenge for all firms.  
The study gathered insights from almost 6,500 professionals around the globe, composed of 850 HR decision makers and 5,600 employees of all levels, of which approximately 300 employees as well as 50 HR directors in Singapore participated.  
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This article was first published in Human Resources and is reproduced with permission. 
Original can be found at 
https://www.humanresourcesonline.net/7-ways-to-make-the-hr-function-more-agile/

Is it a good idea to serve alcohol in the office?

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Is it a good idea to serve alcohol in the office?

We all know the scenario. It’s 5pm on a Friday and you and your colleagues have had a productive week in the office. The team’s hitting its budget and meeting deadlines. What better way to celebrate and do a little team bonding than sharing a glass of your favourite wine or beer?

But is it actually a good idea? Far be it for the team at Human Resources to come across as a bunch of wowsers – but we look to bust a few myths about workplace drinking.

 

Five myths around alcohol in the workplace:

Myth No.1: It’s OK to get drunk every once in a while

Although it’s good to celebrate successes and foster a closer feeling in the organisation, overdoing it can encourage a drinking culture at the office. The short and long-term effects on alcohol are well documented: impacting health, ability to function properly and, in the worse case, leading to dependency.

 

Myth No.2: Drinking is safe in moderation

Moderate drinking can still be harmful to health. HR needs to be mindful of an employee’s health. Just one drink can negatively impact an employee with poor health – for example, if they have a heart disorder or are pregnant.

 

Myth No.3: Wine or beer won’t make you as drunk as spirits

Often, businesses provide drinks at events, but choose to stick to wine and beer as it is assumed they won’t make people as drunk as spirits such as whiskey or gin. However, all alcoholic beverages contain alcohol (ethanol), therefore, all alcoholic beverages can make you drunk if consumed in sufficient quantity.

 

Myth No.4: Drinking is OK as long as you can hold your booze

There always seems to be that individual who appears to consume alcohol freely at functions, but appears tip-top at work the next day. Despite this, such individuals can still suffer the effects of excessive alcohol consumption to their health – such as dehydration – and, in the long term, their liver.

 

Myth No.5: You can sober up quickly with a cup of coffee

It’s not uncommon for employees to head for the coffee machine the morning after a night of partying and drinking for that all-important shot of caffeine to wake/sober them up. Unfortunately, coffee has no effect on processing alcohol.

For businesses hosting a function on a week night where alcohol is served, they could choose to have it on a Friday, or give employees the day off the next day, giving them time to remove the alcohol from their system.

 
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This article was first published in Human Resources and is reproduced with permission. 
Original can be found at 
https://www.humanresourcesonline.net/is-it-a-good-idea-to-serve-alcohol-in-the-office/

The three key qualities required for digital leadership

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The three key qualities required for digital leadership

What are the leadership qualities so needed today to truly align with the new workforce of tomorrow? Francis Goh, CEO, HehSed Consulting, clarifies.

In this age of disruption, the environment has significantly changed, resulting in change as a constant. How have the dynamics in people and talent management evolved and what are the qualities in leadership needed today to truly align with the new workforce of tomorrow? The rate of change in business productivity significantly lags behind the rate of change in technology. This productivity is further broken down as an individual and as an organisation, where the latter lags further behind the individual. There is a name for the new reality that we are treading in – the VUCA world.  The ability for one to be able to stay relevant, yet transcend above the tide, to emerge as a successful person in whatever he/she does. Technological advancement has surpassed beyond human imagination, with Moore’s Law confirming the rate of increase in transistors per square inch. The cadence period used to be 18 months for the past few decades. In 2017, Intel stated that hyperscaling in computing power and architecture would continue the trend of Moore’s law and offset the increased cadence by aggressively scaling beyond the typical doubling of transistors. Therefore, in the VUCA world, the emergence of the digital leader is imperative, to manage the vortex of change and development. Three key qualities stand out as new digital leadership qualities:

Leverage the qualities of digital megatrends

The ability to fully comprehend, understand and apply the impact of digital megatrends is tantamount to a sailor looking through his navigation tools to plan and predict the future. These megatrends include blockchain, internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), cloud computing, drones, driverless vehicles, and more, and they have big impact on our everyday life. While many of these technologies are no longer new, but their applications are vast and venture into unexplored territories. ALSO READ: HRUnplugged: The top ways HR has evolved in recent years The digital leader would need to possess the mindset, mental capability and foresight, to leverage on these technologies, creating new applications and solutions within his/her sphere of influence. This could often result in the development of new and creative solutions and problem-solving instances. Coupled with the scalability of various technologies, the impact is far greater than expected.

Obsess over the connected customer

In today’s context, consumers have unparalleled choice. With the proliferation of information and cross-border transparencies across all commerce channels, the power has shifted from the business to the consumer. Therefore, customer loyalty is a challenge. ALSO READ: By 2024, 60-70% of talent development to be based on experiential learning The digital leader must possess the ability to emotionally connect with his/her customers, through hard and soft skills, by leveraging on the various technological tools available. Understanding and breaking down the entire customer journey into micro-steps, as well as evaluating and analysing all potential opportunities will enhance the customer experience and delivery process. In short, the customer is at the centre of the business model, cutting across, people, processes, systems, and tools.

Adapt to different generations of employees

The entry of the newest generation into our workforce, Generation Z has elevated Millennials to the title of the more senior group, thus providing more groups of people to focus on. Yet, outdated management styles continue to stifle organisation integration, synthesis, and growth. ALSO READ: The forgotten workforce generation Some leaders in corporations are now managing teams across four generations of employees, i.e. Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials (Gen Y), and Gen Z. Therefore, the versatility and agility in their leadership styles are far more relevant in context of these mixed workforce dynamics of the workforce. Digital leaders evidently must possess the ability to adapt to different generations, through a unique blend of agility, dynamism, emotional connection, and character.
Francis Goh is the CEO of HehSed Consulting, which specialises in corporate strategy, innovation and leadership. Having served as the CEO of Mercer Singapore and Fujitsu Singapore previously, he has a track record of building high-performance teams and overachieving both revenue and profit targets. This August, he will be bringing his expertise to the table with a masterclass on developing digital leaders of the future. Joining him as co-facilitator is Brigette Hyacinth, an international leadership influencer with more than a million followers on LinkedIn.  
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This article was first published in Human Resources and is reproduced with permission.
Original can be found at
https://www.humanresourcesonline.net/the-three-key-qualities-required-for-digital-leadership/

Working on holiday? You’re not alone, 62% of Indian employees do so

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Working on holiday? You’re not alone, 62% of Indian employees do so

A recent study by Snow Software has revealed that employees in Asia Pacific (APAC) find it most difficult to disconnect from their jobs while on holiday, compared to those from the US and UK. In fact, amongst the 3,000 employees surveyed globally, more than one-third of those in APAC (37%) said they always took their work devices on vacation. More specifically, the percentage of employees per country who did so was as follows:
  • India: 62% (Highest globally)
  • Hong Kong: 60%
  • China: 36%
  • New Zealand: 33%
  • Japan: 30%
On the other hand, just 28% of Australian workers always brought their work devices on holiday. Globally, a little more than one-third (36%) of American workers had the same habit, while 26% said they would never bring their work devices on vacation. At the same time, Europe had the smallest number of respondents who brought their work devices on holiday, at just 29%. That said, about one-third (35%) did report bringing their devices along “most of the time”.

Younger employees more likely to bring their devices on holiday

The generation with the highest number who always took their work devices on vacation was the Millennials (37%), compared to only 24% of Baby boomers. On the contrary, 33% of Baby Boomers said they’d never take their devices with them, a contrast to just 18% of Millennials.  
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This article was first published in Human Resources and is reproduced with permission. 
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How long is too long to sit on a job offer?

 in Hong Kong by 

How long is too long to sit on a job offer?

There are countless career websites or mentors urging candidates to take some time to review a job offer before accepting it. It turns out mulling over a job offer for too long can burn bridges. More than half of the 225 Hong Kong bosses surveyed have withdrawn a job offer because a candidate took too long to consider the offer. So, what is an acceptable range for hiring managers? One to two weeks (40%) One day to one week (28%) Two to three weeks (18%) Three to six weeks (12%) “In a candidate-short market, in-demand talent can be more selective about the roles they choose to pursue. However, lengthy decision-making times can cause frustration for both candidates and hiring managers. When it comes to filling vacant roles, time is usually of the essence which means hiring managers are inclined to move forward with another candidate if their preferred applicant takes too long to decide,” said Elaine Lam, associate director of Robert Half Hong Kong. Hong Kong employers indicated these are the most common reason why candidates take so long to make a decision: Multiple job offers (29%) Non-competitive salary (26%) Counteroffer from candidates’ current employer (20%) A lack of passion about the role (16%) Unsatisfactory job responsibilities (9%)  
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This article was first published in Human Resources and is reproduced with permission. 
Original can be found at 
https://www.humanresourcesonline.net/how-long-is-too-long-to-sit-on-a-job-offer/