Daily Top 5 Global HR News – 4 December 2017

Daily Top 5 Global HR News – 4 December 2017

Daily Top 5 Global HR News – 4 December 2017

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We bring together from ICube Research and published news, a summary of 5 items that are contemporary. The news is curated from more than 50 HR related websites across more than 15 countries including Singapore, USA, UK, Canada, Australia, India, Malaysia and Kenya, among others.

The Daily Digest covers the Global view of latest people practices and technology developments amongst other areas.

1. How to Thrive in HR in the Age of Digital Disruption

In an age of digital disruption, technology is transforming every aspect of a company including employee recruitment and managing a 21st-century workforce. In order to keep up the evolution, HR and business leaders can no longer operate in their old paradigms. Are you prepared for this new revolution? We sat down with Josh Bersin, Principal and Founder,

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    Bersin by Deloitte, Deloitte Consulting LLP to discuss the major trends and role of technology in the changing HR landscape.

    Highlighted below are three key points from the discussion. For a complete view, check out the Leading Edge webcast.

    i. Three important HR trends
    Each year Deloitte publishes the Global Human Capital Trends Report. According to Josh and the 2017 Trends report. Here are three key trends of focus:

    • Companies are no longer operating in hierarchies, but rather as teams and networks. Organizations are striving to break down silos, to encourage collaboration. This requires restructuring organizations to fit the needs of the future.
    • Employees need continuous learning. With technology such as AI, employees are uneasy about the implications and unknowns as it pertains to their job. This is driving companies to build “always-on” learning experiences that allow employees to build skills, quickly and easily, on their own terms.
    • Use cognitive tools and data for recruiting to find the best people for the team and company; making the recruiting process an art and science.

    ii. Digital adoption is centered in HR
    According to Josh, HR has to play a leading role in helping the company, and its leaders, become digital and understand the digital characteristics that benefit the organization. These digitally based processes and tools reinvent how HR operates, producing team-centric HR solutions, and elevating the HR tools. Adoption of these tools requires understanding what employees need and producing experiences, tools, coaching exercises, and apps that support individuals and teams. It helps them perform, excel, and thrive in their roles and responsibilities. Also, don’t forget to make it simple and easy for your employees to access the tools so you can increase adoption.

    iii. Get leadership’s attention
    This topic is imperative to get your organization on the digital train. A simple approach can help you frame the conversation.

    Identify the top concerns of your CEO, or business stakeholders, and determine the issues or personnel that are impacting the business agenda or stalling progress from being made.

    Take those issues back to your HR department and apply design thinking to work toward the core of the issue. Think about the challenge in context to the stakeholder, what they need to achieve as a whole, how the issues are affecting their division and others, etc. To give an example of an executive leadership issue that HR creatively tackled, during the digital disruption of mobile commerce, Visa’s executive team felt that their experience in this new technology was lacking. Instead of hiring new people, Visa University was created. It is a digital platform used to promote digital learning and help their employees learn more about mobile commerce. It’s a collaborative platform where employees can learn together, share best practices, and build new digital solutions in the e-commerce market.


2.More firms willing to hike wages next year

MANILA, Philippines — Average salary hike across industries is projected to be higher in Philippines compared to other economies in the region next year as the country’s stable economic growth is prompting more companies to pay more, a new report by global human resources consulting firm Mercer showed.

Mercer’s Global Compensation Planning Report and Total Remuneration Survey revealed that overall salary increase across industries in the Philippines is seen at 6.3 percent for next year.

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    The projected increase is higher than that of Thailand (5.3 percent), Malaysia (5.2 percent), Korea (4.4 percent), Hong Kong (3.9 percent), Singapore (3.9 percent), Taiwan (3.6 percent) and Japan (2.1 percent).

    In the Philippines, companies in the fast-moving consumer goods, energy and life sciences sectors are reported to be more aggressive, forecasting 6.5 percent to 6.7 percent salary increase.

    “Mature industries such as energy, consumer and pharmaceutical tend to pay more compared to emerging industries such as the shared services and business process outsourcing,” Mercer said.

    The Philippine market is also bullish on hiring, the report indicated, with 47 percent of the companies surveyed planning to add headcount in the next 12 months as skills shortage continues to be acute across all levels of career.

    Mercer said there remains a mismatch between the skills employees possess and skills demanded by employers in the country as the current educational and technical infrastructure is not producing enough “ready for work” employees.

    Jobs that are difficult to recruit and retain are sales, finance, and IT positions at both professional and management levels, the report showed.

    “The diversity of employees in the workplace in the Philippines is increasing rapidly and resulting in multi-generational workforce in organizations. We are also noticing year-over-year increase in the number of employees on local plus packages especially in the IT and BPO industries. Given the different needs and aspirations of all these employee groups, organizations should be changing their approach to creating employee value proposition,” said Floriza Molon, Philippines career business leader at Mercer.

    The report further revealed that Filipino employees have a high level of satisfaction when it comes to their work.

    However, it said the high level of satisfaction does not translate into commitment to stay longer in their jobs as Filipino workers want to be recognized and rewarded for a wide range of contributions.

    On the other hand, they leave because of pay, opportunity for promotion, and flexible work options.

    “Overall, apart from compensation and benefits, it is also important take a more holistically view from a total rewards perspective and to have a successful employee value proposition that not just addresses immediate retention needs but also the future talent attraction and retention plans. Innovative employee benefits are also key in helping employers differentiate and brand themselves as employees feel valued when employers take care of them and their families,” Molon said.


3. Five Steps to Protect Your Training With Reinforcement

Talent development professionals know the challenges of educating thousands of employees on a new product or skill set. But that’s just one part of the process. Next comes creating incentives that motivate employees to complete the course, and then you must ensure that employees retain this new knowledge so they can apply it to their jobs.

Think of these concepts as the training challenge, the incentive challenge, and the retention challenge.

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    It’s not uncommon for the talent development profession to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars addressing the training and incentive challenges, but then overlook the retention challenge entirely. In such cases, the forgetting curve begins to erode our hard-earned victories. The moment employees leave the classroom, their new knowledge drains away at a rapid pace. Within a few weeks, most of what they’ve learned disappears. That often results in a significant gap between learning and performance: What people learn doesn’t translate to improved job performance.

    Corporate training success stories show that one of the most effective methods to tackle the retention challenge is to enroll employees in a training reinforcement plan as soon as they complete a learning program. Training reinforcement introduces carefully planned retention exercises (known as retrieval practices) so that learners retain knowledge and can apply it to their jobs.

    The research

    In the late 1800s, German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus discovered the forgetting curve. Since then, researchers have repeatedly shown that people instantly start forgetting what they’ve just learned—as much as 70 percent within 24 hours.

    This issue is evident in all kinds of settings, and corporate learning is no exception. Making matters worse, typical training conditions don’t support long-term knowledge retention, leaving employees with an “illusion of knowing” (or “illusion of mastery”). The strategies often used to accelerate learning during training (for example, massing practice to minimize the time spent away from work, providing frequent feedback, and keeping the conditions of practice constant) are proved to be some of the worst techniques for long-term learning.

    Therefore, the challenge to improve how we learn is this: Discover a way to interrupt the forgetting process and overcome the illusion of knowing.
    The solution: Training reinforcement

    We’re in luck. Cognitive psychologists have spent more than a century researching what works best for ensuring long-term learning retention. Studies show that effort is the key to deep, comprehensive, durable learning and the ability to transform knowledge into real-life actions. The more effortful and stimulating the learning process, the better we internalize new knowledge and the easier it is for us to recall and use that knowledge outside the initial training context.

    That’s why a training reinforcement plan that uses retrieval practices is so effective. The primary goal of a training reinforcement plan is to foster long-term knowledge retention and understanding. It should prompt learners to actively recall and retrieve what they were taught by using short retrieval practices (mainly quizzes, but possibly also flashcards, smart tips, and microlearning modules). Every time we call up a memory, we reinforce a mental route in our mind and, therefore, increase our ability to connect what we know with what we can do. Even a single retrieval practice can produce significant improvements in retention.

    The first thing you need to do is determine which corporate training programs can best benefit from a reinforcement dimension. Then you define a basic structure, choose a delivery method, and create the content. It’s not as complicated as you might think.
    Here are five practical steps to get you started.

    Prioritize your programs

    For best results, prioritize which of your training programs need reinforcement based on three factors:

    • Criticality—which programs are most valuable to your company?
    • Cost—which programs are the most resource-intensive, in terms of both actual and opportunity costs?
    • Reach—which programs have the largest number of target trainees?

    By focusing on those characteristics, you maximize your training reinforcement investment and put yourself in a better position to demonstrate value to executives.

    Choose the right reinforcement structure
    Your training reinforcement plan should start right after the initial training program ends and last no more than six weeks (depending on your content). Ideally, each session is five to 10 minutes in length and offered two to three times per week. Overwhelming your learners will only hurt your chances of success.
    Choose the delivery method
    Although you have several options for delivering training reinforcement content, mobile is an important one to consider. Native mobile apps make it easy and cost-effective to implement learning reinforcement in a corporate setting because they:

    • are tailored to the modern learner, offering a strong user experience and learner engagement
    • provide offline access to learning content
    • can work in step with cloud technologies to carve out intelligent, customized learning paths that respond instantly to the changing needs of individual employees
    • support a rapid development cycle
    • collect data at a granular level, both for real-time analytics and to provide individualized coaching opportunities.

    Craft results-driven content

    Content will make or break your training reinforcement plan. Excellent structure and scheduling with mediocre content creates the perfect storm for a stalled reinforcement plan.

    The good news is that developing effective reinforcement content doesn’t need to be complex or time consuming. The idea isn’t to rehash everything that’s been taught in an initial course. To be effective, your plan needs to reinforce core information that is most fundamental to long-term retention and job performance. You can accomplish that in four steps.

    First, identify core competencies. Focus on the most critical knowledge your employees need to transfer to their everyday jobs.
    Second, develop a series of quizzes with a solid question bank, because quizzes are one of the best forms of retrieval practice. Your question bank needs to have several items for each competency covered in your reinforcement plan. Scenario-based questions, such as “What would you do in this situation?” are a particularly effective—especially when they’re challenging. Retrieval practices need to be effortful to be effective (but not overwhelming, of course).

    Third, use additional bite-size learning resources. These might include flashcards or microlearning modules to enrich your learners’ reinforcement experience.

    Last, use metrics and a control group to first sell the effectiveness of your reinforcement plan, and then to fine-tune as you go.

    Start small, but start

    Training reinforcement needs to become an integral part of your learning investments. Consider running a simple and inexpensive pilot to test the waters. By using analytics, you can measure and demonstrate how much you have increased the return on your training. That way, you would have tackled the forgetting curve head-on and, more importantly, you’ll no longer have to guess how your employees perform after training.

    If you’d like to learn more about learning reinforcement, doing some extra reading is always a good idea. For a comprehensive overview on the latest research around durable learning and retention, read Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning by Peter Brown, Henry Roedinger, and Mark McDaniel.


4. Company lets employees share PTO

In this season of gratitude and giving, some companies are offering their personnel a way to make those virtues tangible.

One such company is New York-based Business Intelligence Associates (BIA), an e-discovery firm that has an office in Portage with 20 employees.

About seven or eight years ago, one of the firm’s staff members had a severe family emergency that required her to use up all of her paid time off (PTO).

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    The company wanted to help, said Brian Schrader, BIA president.

    “Like many, she and her family didn’t have the resources to be able to continue for long after all of her available PTO and other leave had been exhausted,” he said. “In looking for ways that, within often-strict employee/labor laws, we could help our team member in need, we discovered a company that had created a PTO donation program.

    “We immediately adopted that program, and the employee was able to take several more weeks without having to go on unemployment, disability or other assistance.”

    Schrader said most needs for leave time fall within the three to five weeks of PTO the average BIA employee earns per year, depending on years worked in the company, so relatively few have had to take advantage of PTO sharing.

    “It’s really a program that comes into play in those thankfully few instances where an employee has such a severe and lasting need that their normal PTO is exhausted,” he said.

    Financially speaking, the impact on BIA of allowing leave sharing is low since it’s mostly a matter of moving already-allotted leave from one person to another.

    But one of the things BIA had to consider before implementing the program was what the differential in pay rates might cost the firm after PTO is transferred.

    “When we first got into it, (we knew) for accounting purposes, you have to track accrued PTO. One of the things we thought about was when you value a person’s PTO for accrual purposes … say I get paid $10 an hour, and you get paid $20, you’re getting PTO time that’s worth $10 instead of $20 or vice versa,” Schrader said.

    “We looked at that and said, ‘At the end of the day, it’s not worth preventing this.’ The differential isn’t that much for most employees.”

    A factor that helps prevent abuse of the policy is the family-oriented culture at BIA, Schrader said. Its close-knit teams usually already know when a co-worker is struggling. They know about the opportunity to share PTO, and they know the need is genuine rather than someone trying to game the system.

    Schrader said while BIA hasn’t seen a one-to-one correlation between the leave-sharing policy and talent attraction, it is a benefit that never fails to surprise prospective workers.

    “We were looking to do something above and beyond the normal. Most of our peers in the same market, as we are, offer basic health insurance. But we wanted to do the shared PTO,” he said.

    Other perks the company offers include lunch-and-learns, where BIA provides free lunchtime training sessions; company outings to baseball games; and a “Wow” program in which employees vote to recognize the excellent work of their teammates, and the company rewards winners with a $1,000 bonus and three extra PTO days.

    The company also offers the opportunity for employees to take three extra PTO days for community service at a charity of their choice. Schrader said whole departments often opt to volunteer as a group at the same place.

    Partly thanks to these bonding activities, turnover at BIA is fairly low — last year it was around 5 percent of the company’s workforce of 65 to 70, Schrader said.

    “We have employees who have been here five, 10, 15 years,” he said, noting the company is 15 years old.

    Retention is increasingly important in such a tight labor market, Schrader said. It’s not just the Michigan office that has a hard time finding qualified workers; it’s also BIA’s other offices in Washington, D.C.; New York; and Denver.

    “When we first moved into Michigan in 2008, it was the worst year of the economy (during the Great Recession),” he said. “Then we saw a swing in Michigan. When we first came in, there were tons of people in the job market. You would put out a posting for five or 10 positions and would get hundreds of applications. Now you don’t.

    “Even today, a lot of it depends on the position. If I’m looking for a computer forensic expert or attorney — the highly trained, highly skilled workers — that’s harder.”

    Although a lower unemployment rate is a good thing for the economy, it means the programs BIA puts in place for retention and workplace culture are crucial.

    “We want people to get up and not dread going to work, but to like the company, the programs and the people they work with,” Schrader said.

    “It’s not just touchy-feely. It does help the business. If everybody’s enjoying themselves and getting along, it translates into a better work environment and a better experience for customers.”

5. The Achilles’ heel: talent attraction and retention

It is imperative for politicians and economic development officers who crow about “bringing jobs” to West Michigan to cease the false bravado and address the enormous elephant in the room: talent attraction and retention.

This oft-cited Business Journal analysis is given new perspective by example of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who last week began twisting legislative arms for a $7-million national marketing campaign to attract workers to the state where 13,000 workers are needed (and not available) just for the jobs being created by Foxconn Technology Group, a deal Walker brokered with $3 billion in tax incentives. According to the Associated Press reports, Wisconsin has worker shortages amounting to 45,000 in seven years, across all industries. Reuters reported last week that Moody’s Investor Service dropped the credit rating for Racine County, the site of the new plant, citing the debt burden after authorization of financial incentives.

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    Grand Valley State University Seidman College of Business researchers have put Michigan’s deficit at 80,000 in the same period. Most of that shortage is exacerbated by deficiencies in educational attainment. Business Leaders for Michigan research shows the state ranks 31st among all U.S. states. The executive group has moved education issues to the front burner of priorities.

    Business Journal reporting provides a pause to applaud a program to alleviate the shortages currently obstructing the skilled trades industry. Associated Builders and Contractors Western Michigan Chapter partnered with the Literacy Center of West Michigan to provide training for refugees through a Michigan Office of New Americans (MONA) grant. The collaboration provides job training for students in the English as a Second Language program. ABC/WMC Vice President of Workforce Development Jen Schottke told the Business Journal, “West Michigan has a large population of new Americans seeking work, and we thought this partnership would provide promising opportunities for both these individuals and our local construction employers.”

    Another report provides an example of retention of employees. Business Intelligence Associates (BIA), an e-discovery firm that has an office in Portage with 20 employees, conducted a deep dive study to retain an employee who needed personal time for a family emergency, after exhausting time available. After looking for pathways within often-strict employee/labor laws, BIA found the answer by way of a company that created a PTO donation program. The employee was able to take several more weeks without having to go on unemployment, disability or other assistance.

    Employers must use such out-of-the-box initiatives to stay ahead of the worker shortage tsunami. Politicians and economic development officers must do so, too. The problem isn’t more jobs, it is educational attainment and worker shortages.


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(The articles above have been curated from various sources but not been edited by ICube staff)

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