Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Employee engagement wins again!

When organizational transformations succeed, managers typically pay attention to “people issues,” especially fostering collaboration among leaders and employees and building capabilities.

Over years of research and client work, we've identified a few tactics that help drive successful transformational change--any large-scale change, such as going from good to great performance, cutting costs or turning around a crisis. In a research study conducted by surveying executives from around the world, we've dug into just how companies apply some of these tactics. We found that a few approaches in each area are most tightly correlated with successful transformations of both short-term performance and long-term corporate effectiveness, or "health."

By looking at the approaches used by companies that executives describe as most successful in transforming themselves, we found evidence suggesting the importance of engaging employees collaboratively throughout the company and throughout the transformation journey. In addition, a focus on strengths and achievements, not just problems, throughout the entire transformation process is strongly tied to success.

Notably, employee engagement as early as the planning process emerges as a key success factor. Indeed, in successful transformations, executives say that identifying underlying mindsets that would need to change was the approach used most often. Moreover, three-quarters of the respondents whose companies broke down their change process into clearly defined smaller initiatives and whose transformations were "extremely successful" say that staff members were entirely or very able to participate in shaping those change initiatives. Click here to read the full article.

Employee engagement, as we all know, remains at the top of our list in effort to achieve true success in the workplace. I thank Derek Irvine for this quote...

“People engage with a sense of meaning, of purpose, of an understanding of fair play, of company values aligned with their personal values. The sum of all of this is your company culture.”

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

iPhone app to target employee engagement

The Assessment and Development Group International (ADGI), the developer of Organizational Management System, has released Interact 1.0, a new app for iPhone and iPod touch users. The program aims to help create management strategies complete with specific tactics tailored to each employee’s motivation, talents, and worldview.

The application functions by stratifying reports for each employee which include the talents the person seeks to use on the job, the person’s work environment preferences and needs, and the specific management behaviors that will work most successfully with the employee’s motivation and style. The management behaviors are generated through the app’s comparative analysis of the traits and behavioral styles of the manager and each employee.

People seek to be understood for who they are and what they can contribute. By introducing a more objective, realistic understanding of each person along with the specific guidance and tactics to develop greater commitment and engagement with the job, Interact is a powerful personal productivity tool leading to higher performing, more satisfied employees who stay longer. Click here to read the full article.

What do you think? Can an iPhone application really hold its own when it comes down to employee engagement?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Strong corporate culture 'can benefit firms'

Firms which develop a strong corporate culture can gain competitive advantages over their rivals, it has been suggested.

Writing on Emirates Business 24/7, Jeffrey Saltzman recommended that companies attempt to create an environment where workers feel rewarded, valued and developed, which may interest those running employee recognition schemes.

He explained that this can allow businesses to gain strength from their workforce, which could be more loyal and productive because of the support offered by employers.

Mr Saltzman also advised firms to communicate their corporate culture and values to their workers.

"Organizations that clearly define who they are and what they expect from those inside the organization are the ones that excel in using corporate culture to their advantage," he wrote in the article. Click here to read the full article.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sims are everywhere

A medical simulation application from BioDigital can teach medical residents the high-technology procedure for lung resection of the upper lobe – a treatment commonly used to treat resectable lung cancers.

“The BioDigital Human platform can replicate almost any type of surgical procedure in a realistic interactive 3D virtual environment,” said Aaron Oliker, partner and director of 3D technology at BioDigital.

"[The device] allowed us to accurately reproduce the feeling of moving and manipulating the surgical tools within the patient's anatomy - and the flexibility to tailor the tactile experience in follow-on training solutions," explained Oliker.
Touch-enabled simulators allows trainees to practice their skills on computers, with no risk to patients and without the costly practice on cadavers or cadaveric organ blocks. The simulator can also collect data on residents’ progress and skill level as they practice. Click here to read the full article.

Simulations are everywhere. A simulation-based approach to learning allows people to gain a greater understanding of the skills need to master the trade. In our case, simulations allow people to experience the consequences of their actions in a realistic but risk free business environment.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Florida library adds educational video games to its collection

Eager bookworms visiting the Pembroke Pines Library this summer will find a new addition between the latest biographies and great works of poetry. But it won’t be another great read…instead it will be EDUCATIONAL VIDEO GAMES!

Designed to keep kids in the ‘game’ of learning and reinforcing key math concepts, the DimensionM instructional software engages students in a series of quick-paced, immersive missions that incorporate 3D graphics, sound, animation and storylines comparable to those in most popular commercial video games. By successfully navigating the hundreds of embedded math and algebra lessons, students rack up points and master math concepts discussed during the school year.

“Today’s children require new methods of engagement,” said Ntiedo Etuk, chief executive officer and co-founder of Tabula Digita. “They think, learn, and process information differently and technology has accelerated the speed at which this generation is garnering knowledge. Having educational games available in a local library is a perfect union for collaboration, discovery and most of all learning!”

Click here to read the full article.

Monday, June 21, 2010

HR Pros Can Drive Technology Innovation

Who’s Driving HR Technology Innovations?

With nearly 20 years in the human capital space both as a practitioner and vendor, it seems it’s roughly the same cast of characters driving the discussions that matter most about HR technology. Though heavily driven by vendors and moderated by analysts/thought leaders, this ongoing dialogue is where the innovation is spurred in the market. Sure, many involved in the dialogue have come and gone along the way – flashes in the pan enjoying their 15 minutes. But it’s mostly the same voices. This post isn’t about those pundits though. It’s about you, the practitioners.

Bringing the HR Technology Innovations to You, the HR practitioner.

Start first with developing an understanding of the innovation happening in the market – what direction it is moving, and how it may impact your business or department. Then select some vendors that are in alignment with your key objectives or challenges and begin to develop relationships with them – centered on evaluation of them as vendors, and their products/services. The relationships you then develop with vendors – and the influence with them that you build over time will get you to the BEST vendors to ultimately knocking at your door to work with you - AND – will ensure you have the MOST leverage in the actual buying part of that process.

But the real kicker? Those relationships will even allow you to influence the direction of product development with certain vendors which then brings perhaps the BEST result. The more you share with the right vendors over time – the SMOOTHER THE IMPLEMENTATION, THE BETTER THE USER ADOPTION, AND THE FASTER YOU GET TO ROI (if you care about any of those).

Click here to read the full article.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Tips for new hires

There is critical knowledge to be imparted to new employees to make them productive from Day 1. This learning has nothing (or almost nothing) to do with bathroom location or how to get IT help for a smoking computer.

Here is a great list devised by Michael Watkins, Chairman of Genesis Advisers and author of The First 90 Days and Your Next Move.

  • Business Orientation. Company values, customers and how work gets done.
  • Expectations Alignment. How performance will be evaluated.
  • Political Connection. Who has the juice, and why?
  • Cultural Adaptation. Is it OK to be a few minutes late to a meeting? Are PowerPoints considered crucial to meeting success?

Interestingly, Watkins says lack of cultural adaptation is the one that most often trips up new managers. It’s also the most difficult to teach because we are not reflective ourselves about the business culture we live in. Click here to read the full article.

New Hire Orientation: The Musical

If you’ve had a job in your lifetime then you’ve been subjected to new hire orientation of some kind. Whether that was someone putting a paper hat on your head and telling you to up-sell with fries on each order or if it was a more formal orientation program in a large organization, you’ve been through it. And, from most accounts, it is typically the most boring time you’ll spend in your working career.

I joke at work that I would like to change our employee orientation to be like a broadway musical since it’s held in the auditorium and that would be a way to bring fun, creativity, and passion to the event. Click here to read the full article

The broadway musical approach would be one solution to the traditionally mind-numbing oriention. Another maybe more logical solution would be creating a personalized simluation which would train and fully immerse new hires into your workforce and culture.