Wednesday, August 27, 2008

HR Talent Management:- ROI of Talent Management

The good news? Your boss apparently knows how important your work as a trainer is. The bad news? Further evidence of what you've known all along: Not enough resources are being devoted to achieving what your boss says he or she wants you to achieve. A study by IBM and the Human Capital Institute (HCI) shows that while 84 percent of organizations know workforce effectiveness is important to achieving business results, only 42 percent of those surveyed say managers devote sufficient time to people management.

The study, "Integrated Talent Management," was based on research with 1,900 individuals from more than 1,000 public and private-sector organizations around the world. It was undertaken by IBM and HCI to identify the return on investment of integrated talent management. Here are some interesting findings:

• Organizations that Apply Talent Management Practices Demonstrate Higher Financial Performance compared to their industry peers. Those specific talent management practices that most distinguished financial out-performers from other organizations are understanding and acting upon employee engagement and aligning recognition and performance management systems.

• While organizations recognize the value of talent management practices, they find it Difficult to Apply Workforce Analytics (only 40 percent accurately forecast skill needs), promote collaboration (49 percent provide the right tools), deploy people effectively (64 percent say they do,) and develop those employees in a timely and effective manner (only 38 percent have the right focus).

• Organizations with Between 1,000 and 10,000 Employees are Less likely to Apply Leading Talent Management Practices compared to other organizations. These "corporate adolescents" appear to be too large to manage informally and too small to have the necessary managerial focus or human capital infrastructure.

• Knowledge and service-intensive industries, such as electronics, technology, and professional services, are More likely to Apply Talent Management Practices, while the public sector significantly lags in their use.

• "The IBM/HCI Study Clearly Calls for the Same Rigor In Talent Analytics and Management that CEOs and CIOs Require to Make the Strategic Decisions their companies depend on," says Tim Ringo, vice president, Human Capital Management, IBM. "The challenge laid out for IBM's clients is to treat their most valuable asset—their people—as their most competitive edge."

• "The Long-term Payoffs of Strong Talent Management Far Outweigh the Costs and complexities associated with upfront investments," says Allan Schweyer, executive director of HCI. "This research proves that in today's increasingly globalized, technology-driven economy, a strategic and integrated focus on talent can, in fact, help your organization prepare for corporate adolescence and financially outperform competitors, no matter the size or industry."

HR Leadership:- The Influencers: Change How You Change Minds

To improve results and solve the most pervasive, persistent and resistant problems, leaders must influence others to behave differently. In most cases, to get people to do things differently leaders must get them to think differently. Consequently, changing minds is one of the most important leadership challenges.

The challenge is not a difficult task if the change of mind is minor or not a strongly held belief. To change people's minds around some issues, you only need a clever advertisement or a clearly worded e-mail. However, other changes of mind are very difficult indeed—like convincing the union leader that cutting jobs is the best course to follow or getting a hardened criminal to choose a different lifestyle.

When it comes to the toughest problems, there are three methods employed by leaders to change minds.

No. 1: Verbal Persuasion.
This is the method used by most leaders most of the time. And, ironically, it's also the least effective method. Verbal persuasion is using reason, logic, data and information to tell people why they should want to care. This tactic works when the change of mind is unimportant or insignificant. But when the change is profound, difficult or important, this approach doesn't perform. In fact, it usually creates boredom and indifference or worse, distance and defensiveness. It seldom changes minds.

No. 2: Actual Experience.
This is by far the most effective way to change minds. Let people learn for themselves the value of the change you are advocating. If you want to create a high-performance empowered change, send each person to work for a month on a high-performance empowered team. Let them see how an effective team works. Let them feel the excitement of achievement. Let them experience support and teamwork from their motivated co-workers. When they return, their minds will be changed about what's possible and what they desire.

But the challenge with actual experience is the cost, the time and the difficulty of arranging these experiences for everyone who should have them. For example, the best way to change the minds of healthcare workers about patient service is to put them in a hospital bed for two weeks and experience the world of a patient. They return to their job with a complete understanding of common patient frustrations and a desire to provide much better service. Of course, logistically it's just not possible to give every hospital worker that two-week experience.

No. 3: Vicarious Experience.
Sometimes you can't give folks an actual experience and you don't want to default to verbal persuasion. Can you choose an in-between strategy that's still effective? Sure. Let them have an experience with the change or the need to change vicariously through someone else.

There is a wide range of possibilities for creating vicarious experiences. Send several union leaders to visit a company using self-managing teams (Actual Experience) and have them return and report to their peers about what they learned (Vicarious Experience). Bring a customer to the manufacturing team meeting to talk about how they experienced benefit or difficulty by using the product manufactured by the team. Or, instead of dumping data and reports on your employees, share a well-told story about someone's experience to illustrate the point you're trying to make and to connect to human consequences and the personal values of the participants.

Consider a final example of the power of experience. The daughter of a close and personal friend of mine was diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes. The disease required her to take four finger pricks a day to monitor and modify her condition. The parents and the doctor explained to her the importance of these tests in managing her disease (Verbal Persuasion). After two weeks of four needle pricks a day, her fingers were covered with band-aids and she found it very difficult to play the piano, a favorite activity. The parents assumed everything was going fine when six months into the routine, their daughter's friend confided that the daughter had quit doing the tests.

What are the parent's options? They could sit her on a kitchen stool and lecture her on the necessity of the four-a-day needle pricks (Verbal Persuasion). They could not give her an actual experience with the effects of the unmanaged disease, which would not manifest themselves until 40 years down the road. However, they could design a vicarious experience to help change her mind.

One Saturday morning, the parents woke their daughter and announced, "We volunteered you to be a nurse's aid today." Over her mild protests they drove her to a dialysis center. She spent the day helping the nurses treat patients in the advanced stages of diabetes. She saw patients with wounds that would not heal. She saw patients who had become blind. She saw the pain and discomfort of dialysis. She talked to patients who expressed their regret that they had not managed their disease earlier. On the long ride home the daughter said nothing. But that evening she recommitted to the regimen of four blood tests a day and has seldom missed one since.

The Persuasion of Experience

Changing minds is one of the most important leadership challenges. Where possible, give people an actual experience with the advocated change or with the negative consequences of not making that change. When actual experience is not practical or possible, use vicarious experiences to help people understand the importance of changing behavior through the experiences of others. And above all else, never resort to the old, tired, ineffective strategy of verbal persuasion.

By Ron McMillan

Motivational:- It's the Little Things

In life, the "little things" make all the difference. We like to pretend that at least the "big things" in life, like choosing a spouse or career or teaching our children, are the result of well-thought-out decisions, but it never works that way.

Careers grow out of conversations over coffee or lunch. They happen because we need a job or because a friend has a friend in the business. Marriages grow out of casual flirtations at a party or because a friend set us up. The BIG stuff never starts with a bang; it starts as something small and later we look back in astonishment at what mighty oaks grow from tiny acorns.

Both achievement and failure are like that.

Getting rich almost never requires "big" drama. It starts with the small decision to save a few dollars every week. Most people who end up "doing well" invest in safe, boring mutual funds, let compound interest work in their favor, and over time, it works out well. Unfortunately, going broke is just as easy. Make a few small decisions to buy one of those, and one of that, and pay the bill next month. Over time, there you go.

To gain weight, eat a few extra calories every day. A scoop of ice cream or an extra sandwich should do it. Fortunately, losing weight (for most people) is just as simple: Run or bike or hike a few minutes every day, skip desert, have a salad for lunch and there you go.

The keys to success are almost NEVER dramatic. High achievers might get up a few minutes earlier or make one more phone call every day, but that hardly qualifies as "dramatic," does it? Winners train slightly harder or slightly longer, but not so that anyone would notice.

Unfortunately, the path to mediocrity is just as ordinary. Henry Thoreau observed that "most people live lives of quiet desperation" not because they made big mistakes or fail any great test. They simply make the same small mistakes, over and over, day after day.

Here are some suggestions for small steps that create huge pay-offs over time:

1. Eliminate the Little Annoyances. Everyone has their personal list, and we tolerate them precisely because they seem so "little", but they rob us of energy, passion and confidence. It if annoys you, fix it.

2. Do One Good Thing for Yourself, Every Day. Read a good book or watch a video. Soak in the bath, or go for a run, but do something enriching and fulfilling, just for you, every day. It'll make you strong.

3. Take One Extra Step In the Direction You Want to Go. Rarely does "the good life" require courage or drama, but it does require that we move in the direction we want to go. Make one more sale, write a letter, make a call. Exercise or read or play with the kids. Every day, do one "little thing" that moves you toward success.

4. Invest In Your Relationships. "We get by with a little help from our friends," and the love of family and friends makes all the difference. And, once again, it's the little things! Give her a call, write him a note. Invite a friend to lunch, keep the friendship alive. These "little things" make life more fun!

Success and failure are the result of small steps, taken over time, one after another. Magnificent mansions are built of small, ordinary bricks, piled one on top of another. Marathons are completed one step at a time. What do you want? What sort of life would you prefer? You can have it, one day at a time. But you must walk in the direction you want to go.



"Inch by inch, anything's a cinch. Yard by yard, everything is hard."
                                               -- Unknown

"The way we live our days, is the way we live our lives."
                                               -- Annie Dillard

"A day will never be anymore than what you make of it. Practice being a 'doer'!"
                                               -- Josh S. Hinds

"If you can DREAM it, you can DO it."
                                               -- Walt Disney