Employee happiness, the new CHRO, and talent reviews
- Topics which often sound like 'soft' elements of HR are bubbling up as top of mind among many practitioners. Here are some examples.
It's that time of year again when CHROs start navel-gazing about employee needs, when the ongoing tension between HR and the rest of the company comes back into view as a talking point and when review time becomes crunch time.
Here are three stories from the trenches with our take on these topics.
How Employee Happiness Benefits Your Bottom Line
How happy are your employees? Is employee happiness at a low or a high? You know that people don’t perform as well when they’re feeling disengaged, but you may not realise the extent of the problem. The latest Gallup poll (of more than 80,000 workers) on employee engagement tells a dismal story. In 2015, only 32 percent of U.S. workers said they were “engaged” at their jobs. More than 50 percent said they were “not engaged,” while another 17 percent stated that they were “actively disengaged.” This data has shown no significant change since Gallup first started this annual poll in 2000, so the problem is persistent. In fact, more recent Gallup research suggests that, in the U.K., the number of “engaged” workers has dropped to an alarming 8 percent.G
Our POV: Things don't seem to be changing that much. Instead, the emerging Millennial cadre is taking matters into their own hands, moving to organizations that offer more than a fat pay packet and a 401 contribution. But even then, there is much that can be done.
Taking the Gloves Off: CEOs and HR
In the article, People Before Strategy: A New Role for the CHRO, the authors reference Korn Ferry research that indicate only 40 of the CHROs at Fortune 100 companies had significant work experience outside HR before they came to lead that function. This might leave a gap in terms of predicting, diagnosing, and prescribing actions that will improve business performance. However, inclusion in broader discussions will expand a CHRO’s understanding of the business. “It’s up to you to elevate HR and bridge gaps that prevent HR leadership from being a strategic partner.”
Our POV: This smacks of the 'when your face fits' manner which characterizes many senior appointments. But how to bridge the gaps? Some are suggesting that 'gender/age/race/blind' AI systems might provide the answer. Do you agree?
How Much is Too Much When It Comes to Relationships with Your Direct Reports? - Fistful of Talent
You know that side-job you have as the informal HR Advisor for any/all of your friends? It can be enlightening at times, even uplifting, when you hear some of the ridiculous sh*t people are forced to put up with in their workplace.
For the situation to reach the “Mind if I run something by you?” stage, it usually entails the insufferable actions of someone’s direct supervisor. And, since it’s annual review time for many folks, you find many of your friends in that uncomfortable situation where the “boss” has just documented & delivered feedback that is either:
1. Complete nonsense
2.Based on a single event rather than a body of work
3. Sexist or otherwise inappropriate
4. Meaningless and vague
Our POV: Again, this raises the question of bias in reviews. The problem as we see it is one of empowerment. Today, managers who are under pressure - and who isn't? - see their fiefdom as one of the few places they can exercise power. If that's not so savory then so what? Disempowered people who have some power are equally disadvantaged. And equally dangerous to the health of the organization as a whole. The pat answer is AI, but that will be resisted hard without obvious benefits.
No doubt we'll see discussions on these topics at the upcoming Unleash (formerly HR Tech) Conference in London.