Tagged: Talent Management

3 Ways Millennials Are Influencing Healthcare

[Breaking News] – The healthcare landscape is changing, and while those in DC continue to have polite, bipartisan discussions on how to “solve” this nagging problem, HR departments everywhere are trying to keep up.

A new study released last week by Allidura Consumer, GSW Worldwide, and the Harris Poll offers some creative options when it comes to running a competitive workplace. The study shifts the discussion from topics like the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, Private Exchanges, preventative care, and Medicaid Part D, to healthcare marketing for the Millennial Mindset.

And why not focus on the consumers of healthcare? Insurers, employers, and providers… grab some popcorn and watch us, Millennials, find our way through the healthcare maze. We are going to make up over half of the workforce in a few years, which means benefits packages will need to play nice with our interpretation of healthcare, whatever that may be.

We are a little bit dramatic… okay, really dramatic:

Millennials worry about getting a serious illness or affording healthcare almost as much as Boomers…. And we are 20 something! The viral nature of the web, the access we have to technology and information, and the trust we put in these types of media is overwhelmingly a GenY downfall.

  • 44% of Millennials say that viewing health information online causes them to worry
  • Millennials are more likely to describe themselves as anxious
  • 1 in 10 have been diagnosed with a social phobia

One word. Paranoid. One hashtag. #Ebola.

Tell your Millennial employees they are healthy. Show them with facts. A little biometric screening never hurt anyone.

We Love Trends:

Have you heard Millennials say (or post rather) some iteration of… #selfie Check out my progress with my #crossfit family! Oh my gosh, I’m on this cleanse and it’s amazing! #juice #eatclean Heck No! G-M-O. I drank wine last night @WholeFoods while I shopped. It was the coolest thing of all time. #wineo I made gluten free pizza from a post on Pinterest I found last week. #organic #farmtotable

Whole Foods

  • 49% of Millennials have used a training program such as P90X, Insanity, or CrossFit in the past 2 years
  • 33% have used a cleanse in the past 2 years
  • 27% are willing to pay more for foods that are free of GMOs
  • 23% are willing to pay more for foods that are made by a well-known brand
  • 15% feel it is absolutely essential or very important to eat gluten- free foods

Don’t offer us a gym membership, then we have to find friends to go with us because we can’t do anything alone. Offer yoga classes, so we can meet friends. For a company fitness challenge… I don’t want your designated pedometer, let me use my Nike+ Fuel Band. And when I win… I absolutely will REFUSE that Subway gift card. Find the brands we like with the nutritional value we think we need.

We trust people we know and our fellow consumer:

It’s no longer a little voice in our heads encouraging us… it’s now an app, our friend, or Kevin Durant giving us the authority to diagnose ourselves or choose the right nutrition plan. Oh, except they don’t have the $500,000 in debt and letters after their names like real doctors. Small detail.

KIND: Kevin Durant

  • 84% of Millennials trust information from people they know personally
  • 37% have self-diagnosed themselves with health problems that they don’t have
  • 22% trust celebrities when endorsing a food product

Groupthink is a powerful thing in this generation. Get people on board and get creative with who delivers the message and how the message is coming across (it doesn’t have to be a celebrity, but if my company felt the need to bring Sam Smith in to make sure I didn’t eat Cane’s every day of the week, I wouldn’t be mad).

The healthcare topic is here to stay. If you wait until it’s solved, you may be waiting longer than the City of Cleveland on a World Championship… aka a really long time. If organizations take a few Millennial approaches to healthcare and make them their own, rather than just keeping up they’ll find themselves setting the standard.

The Bachelorette #MenTellAll: The Ultimate Exit Interview

Finally. A forum to tell people what is really going on at this company (sort of)! Exit interviews can provide companies with feedback on areas of improvement and offers closure to employees. The concept is a little kumbaya, assuming that all break-ups will be civil, but if done correctly, exit interviews can be a positive experience for both parties.

The Bachelorette: Men Tell All episode aired this past Monday evening. There are two lucky bachelors left, vying for this season’s bachelorette, Andi. As for the twenty-three unlucky bachelors sent home earlier this season, the tell-all episode gives the guys an opportunity to explain what went wrong, why it wasn’t a match made in Heaven, and what led to their departures.

With twenty-three good-looking, broken-hearted guys confessing their love, I have to say that’s an epic display of a true, romantic tragedy.

When conducting an exit interview, there are a few types of people (or bachelors in Andi’s case) HR should be on the look out for:

Extremists (Marcus):

These are the people that make you feel like this (insert eyes wide open emoji). They say so many good things about your company that there aren’t any take-aways, and you can’t get one piece of constructive criticism out of them. It’s like talking to Elmo or something.

Then there are the folks who have a V for Vendetta against the organization. Your company is so detrimental to society that even the instant coffee machine that spits coffee onto their brand new white pants gets stage time in their “famous last words” speech.

If you detect either of these sentiments, run far, far away. Don’t let these people skew your data.

Friend Zoners (Marquel):

This never works out too well. Telling current HR staff members about the laundry list of awfulness is like officially breaking it to someone that they’re in the friend zone. It’s hard. It usually means it’s been going on for a while, and their heads don’t match their hearts. You’ll never get the truth.

The Gentleman (Chris):

Nice guys finish last in love, again… But, on the off chance you find an Honest Abe who has the opportunity to express his constructive criticisms and valid compliments to a non-partial third-party, do not squander the encounter! If Chris, the farmer from Iowa, is sitting at the table, don’t let him get away!

Whether it’s feedback on culture, a manager, the location of the popcorn machine in proximity to napkins, or process improvements, capturing the data and implementing action steps is imperative.

While most exit interviews won’t have an HR department with Bachelorette host Chris Harrison on staff, a blooper reel, lie detector results, millions of viewers, tears (well maybe), or cookies thrown into the crowd, the idea is the same. We all need closure, whether it’s with The Bachelorette or a company. And if done the right way, the conversation might yield an improvement in the instant coffee machine for the rest of us.

It’s 2014: 3 Ways Technology Can Drive Your People Strategy

Last Saturday night I sat on the patio of a local pub trying to hold back from devouring the plate of funnel cake fries sitting in the middle of the table but, more importantly, to celebrate one of my closest friend’s 25th birthday. We all went to high school together, and during those wonder years, the patio I was sitting on was home to a Borders.

My inner geek started creeping in and I thought to myself how incredible and powerful technology is, putting entire industries either out of business or forcing those who survive to radically change their business models (e.g. Barnes & Noble).

Poof. The need for another “me too” storefront retailer of CD’s and books is gone. Thank you iTunes and tablets. But, iTunes is so 2006, and online music streaming is now putting even the almighty iTunes at risk of extinction.

Every two days we create as much information as we did from the beginning of time until 2003. Today, it’s no secret data can aid in making better, more efficient decisions. Why not start applying it to how we attract, develop, and retain people?

In a few years (or today if you’re a Decoded Company):

(1) Internal referrals will never be the same!

Your LinkedIn profile is a data source being tapped by people you’ve never met, terrifying right? Not really.

With LinkedIn data and network notifications, you can be reminded of that ex-coworker who meets all of the requirements for the Accounting Department’s open analyst role. A quick e-mail asks if you would work with him again. A survey is sent evaluating culture fit. A few clicks later… #boominternalreferral. No outbound recruiting needed.

(2) The best Sourcer is no longer determined by who has the best Boolean string.

Wouldn’t it be cool if while I was sitting at a stoplight on my way to lunch, Wendy’s pinged my cell phone with a Buy One, Get One Free Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger coupon? By the way, it’s right across the street.

Location-based advertising can not only get you a discount on your next burger but maybe even find you your next job. Unassuming passive job seekers would be alerted of an opening on their smart phones when they walk by your office that could be a good fit for their background. Click here to apply. Companies in metro areas should be all over this with the high-level of foot traffic populating their sidewalks.

(3) Training is proactive rather than reactive.

What if you had an internal system tracking your projects? Any mistakes or errors made would be flagged. If an individual is consistently being flagged for the same mistake or error, their manager could be notified in order to provide training rather than wait for a quarterly or annual review to discuss solutions.

How we do things is being optimized by technology, and HR (or whatever snappy title you’ve given this department) is no exception.

We live in a world of information and if companies choose to ignore this or are slow to adapt, they may very well end up like Borders. However, if an organization can adjust their business model, use technology as an asset, and still hold onto their where I came from swag, they may find themselves in the Barnes & Noble safe zone… for now at least.

Anyone reading this blog on a Nook Tablet?

4 Ways Talent Management Programs Can Learn From Millennials

If you take a holistic view of the workforce and use a little math, it can be determined that millennials are the closest in age to their childhood. Your 20-somethings within your organization are fresh off the “becoming an adult” train and who knows, maybe some of your 30-somethings are too. 

For as much as we millennials love the future and being on the cutting edge of technology, pop culture, and style (for those fashionistas out there) we also love looking back at ourselves, seeing how we grew up and remembering “that one night when…” As technology continues to shape how millennials operate in the workforce it’s also enabling a generation to say, “Remember when…” and track moments in time that would otherwise be overlooked.

Talent Management Programs continue to grow in popularity. When an organization is ready to develop their talent as well as focus on engagement and retention, a TM Program is usually looming overhead. Charts, graphs, feedback outside of the “annual review” from the supervisor, virtual high fives, those are… “Okay,” as Juan Pablo from The Bachelor would say. But if you look at how millennials are tracking their own lives… maybe there’s something to be learned.

1. TimehopThis is an app you connect to all of your social media outlets. Timehop aggregates posts, pictures, Tweets, places you’ve “Checked-In” and tells you what was going on in your life one year ago, two years ago, and three years ago today. Similar to SportsCenter saying “Today in sports history…” We can now say, “Today in my history…” Pretty cool, huh?

Timehop Example

2. SpotifyI now have every ‘NSYNC and Backstreet Boys album at my fingertips. Music gets old fast these days. If I have to hear “Blurred Lines” or “Cups” one more time I might give up on the radio. But, the #throwbacks – those stay forever. You want to listen to J. Lo or 2Pac? Maybe even LFO, Third Eye Blind, or Blink 182? Go right on ahead. 

Spotify Example

3. ‘Look Back’ Videos: For Facebook’s 10th anniversary Facebook users could create a ‘Look Back’ video. A ‘Look Back’ video selected unrelated posts and pictures from people’s profiles, put it to music, and told their 10-year (or less) story in a one-minute snip it. It is a potpourri of your life and brings back sentimental feelings connecting you to your family, friends, milestones in your life, but also the days you were just hanging out watching football with your dog.

Look Back Example

4. BuzzFeed Junkies: Who needs news? I could scroll through BuzzFeed all day to remind me of what I loved as a kid and a teen.

I know I’ve taken a risk posting these links as those with short attention spans have already clicked and are on to another window but for those who haven’t I will close the blog.

BuzzFeed Example

Why is this important in today’s workplace? Think about if you were able to track employees careers like they track their personal life. Wouldn’t it be cool to Timehop that one day you won your biggest account? When you hired your CEO as an intern and now he’s calling the shots? Why not add ways to ‘Look Back’ and show your history, where you came from and where you’re headed?

Incorporating a similar type of platform could remind valuable, top talent why they joined, stayed, and want to continue growing within your organization. 

Why is Human Capital a Top Challenge in 2014? Again.

CEO’s have once again listed human capital as their top challenge for 2014. Woo hoo! Victory for HR! And what specifically are they worried about? 1. Insufficient talent coming in and 2. Insufficient leadership talent.  This all sounds great right? Focus on your people, develop your people, and you will move your business forward. We can now wash our hands of this and move onto “real business activity.” I say wait a minute…

Unknown

Did CEO’s just recently find out that even an automated process had to be created by a person? Is corporate America unaware that the movie “her” is a fictitious film? Outside of the beginning of time, regardless of how you think that came to be, every product, service, or idea came from someone’s mind. This logic makes it seem necessary to declare that PEOPLE MATTER. If people didn’t exist there would be no products, services, or ideas. And voila, I give you the year 2014 and the biggest challenge in a CEO’s mind is still human capital, but why?

We as humans have this inherent uncertainty and that level of uncertainty is magnified when your name is tied to the bottom line of your business, Mr. or Mrs. CEO. There’s pressure for your people to perform. Can you trust them? You want to… but there’s just something that’s keeping you from fully committing.

We can find this inherent uncertainty when we watch historical events. One thing we cannot change is history, unless you have a Delorean of course. However, as we watch instant history replays, we know the outcome and yet we may still be unsure if that outcome will come to fruition. Don’t believe me?

Example 1: Argo

In the film, as the hostages and Ben Affleck’s character were navigating the airport in Iran, slowly making their way through security with bogus identification, I was clenching the armrest in the movie theater, probably perspiring, and unknowingly grinding my teeth, rooting for the fake film crew to make it out of Iranian airspace. Well folks, they made it! The only problem is, I already knew they would make it, everyone did. However, if you were recording a video of me watching you would have thought I was watching live events on a newscast.

Christipher-Dunham-Clea-Du-Vall-Tate-Donovan-Rory-Cochrane-Kerry-Bishe-and-Scott-McNairy-in-Argo

Example 2: 1983 National Championship NC State Buzzer Beater

I have probably watched the clip of the three-point prayer thrown up by Dereck Whittenburg, that is then snatched out of the air by Lorenzo Charles and dunked for the win about 124 times. Yet again, here I am wondering if the prayer will fall to the ground, short of the bucket. Maybe this time Charles isn’t around? Maybe this time, Houston boxes out? Nope. NC State wins every time.

062811lorenzocharles_crop_north
Example 3: Nik Wallenda

If the name doesn’t ring a bell, this is the guy who walked across the Grand Canyon on a tightrope in June of last year. It was a television event on the Discovery Channel garnering 8.5 million viewers. The big players in TV were reluctant to show a live account, as they were uncertain if Mr. Wallenda would fall to his death. If you can watch a replay of this event and not have your heart rate spike as he’s wobbling 1500 feet above the ground, I congratulate you and also question whether or not the FBI has trained you. It’s one of the most stressful and anxious videos to watch and you more than likely were shifting your weight back and forth on the couch as you completed the feat yourself. I know I did.

Nik Wallenda

We as human beings are unsure of events that are already written in history. Let alone relying on a company, department, or team of people who are responsible for delivering results that do not exist yet. CEO’s are concerned because they understand they need their people. But people are scary and a challenge. It’s not enough to state human capital is a challenge; the true question is what are we doing about it?

You can never be 100% sure you are acquiring, developing, and retaining the best. But, what you can do is commit time and resources to finding and using better information to increase your chances of doing so.

After all, your people matter.

Your Desk Needs a Makeover

I think I’m somewhat becoming claustrophobic these days and I believe there to be one culprit and one culprit only for this sudden spike in spatial awareness. My cube. My two beyond neutral beige toned walls, the color most likely selected as to not distract anyone and prevent anyone from thinking something innovative might be happening, have recently grown quite mundane. On these walls I have important work documents scattered around, pinned up behind my computer and around my desk so I can reference them easily.

Sounds pretty typical and to be honest, it really isn’t all that bad. I have a Mac desktop with a screen larger than my TV I had in college and by luck of the draw I get to sit by a window with a beautiful back drop of some Ohio forestry. I will say these two facets of what I walk into every day are nothing to criticize.

However, like in the AT&T commercial with the little kids… “We want more. We want more. Like if you really like it. You want more.” What I realized was that I need more of what I like around me. I like simple, clean cut, and I like people. A couple quotes on the wall, a few pictures with my family, and my favorite classic Michael Jordan photos should do it. I would even venture to cross my fingers, close my eyes, and wish I could sit at a table with no walls.

My Desktop with original wings poster. "No bird soars too high, If he soars with his own wings." - William Blake

My Desktop with original wings poster. “No bird soars too high, If he soars with his own wings.” – William Blake

Office design is a top trend noted in Sodexo’s annual Workplace Trends Report for 2013. The report reads, “Organizations are increasingly recognizing the importance of the built environment in creating quality work environments and positive work experiences; each playing a crucial role in performance, engagement, and productivity.”

HR and Talent roles are people oriented and directly involved in performance management, employee engagement, and dare I say it… productivity. How is your company productive? The people are productive. Until a robot can operate a business with no human capital, your people create productivity.

Business leaders are rolling their eyes and saying, “ So now you’re telling me to spend money and rearrange the office? Paint some walls? Get a basketball video arcade game? Ha. Right. Make me money, don’t spend it.”

I can look at dollars and cents all day, but there is someone behind a desk, on a plane, working from home, or sitting in a coffee shop making those dollars and cents. Remember that. Can ROI be drawn directly to HR and Talent? Too many people have argued that before me and I’m too young to know or even comment.

But, what I do know is people make up your business. People drive your business. People make your business money. If office design can improve your people’s performance, engagement, and productivity, no wonder it’s a topic of conversation in the HR community for 2013.

Your workplace is where you spend about 10,400 hours per year of your life. Why not surround yourself with what you like at your desk? Some may think this is another narcissist ploy as a Millennial so engulfed in my interests that I bring what I like to decorate my workspace. But, to those who believe we’re all too self-assured and consumed with telling the world what we’re doing on social media, I say count how many articles are written on Personal Brand. It might take you 10,400 hours to do so.

HR professionals can improve workplace design by working with the appropriate parties. However, one individual, millennial or not, can’t build their office’s Rome in one day. But, you can get pretty darn close to building your own personal Rome in a day. Look at your desk. If the item is irrelevant, throw it away. If you need to reference it, make it a digital document you keep on your desktop.

What drives you to be better? What do you like?

Maybe that’s what you need to be looking at everyday. Just a thought.

I should have just clicked “Yes.”

An October 1 article by Lorraine Mirabella in the Chicago Tribune discusses frustration felt by job applicants interacting with Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).  I read or heard this other places as well.  Unsurprisingly, many candidates dislike the impersonal nature of trying to demonstrate their qualifications for the role by answering some “Yes” or “No” questions.  A “wrong” answer often triggers an email informing the candidate they are no longer being considered for the position.  To be sure, there are many good reasons for using these kinds of systems, including how “internet applicants” are defined by the federal government, decreased barriers to applying, and downsized HR staffs.

The consternation felt by job seekers brings to mind two issues near and dear to my heart as an industrial/organizational psychologist; applicant reactions and validity.  Let me quickly summarize why these are important to this discussion.

Applicant reactions can be described as the emotions and opinions applicants have as they go through a selection process.  Do they feel it was fair and they had a chance to adequately describe their qualifications and skills?  Did your organization come across as professional?  What did the process tell me about the culture?

For many organizations, applicants and potential customers are one in the same.  A bad experience (actual or perceived) may actually choose to not shop or eat there any more either– not to mention there is always a chance the scorned applicant will let fly with an epic Twitter rant that ends up getting a million hits on YouTube or file one of those pesky employment lawsuits.  None of these are positive outcomes your organization or employment brand.

Validity refers to how realistic the inferences are that we draw from data available to us.  When pre-screen questions are used to eliminate a candidate from the selection process, the inference is that specific answer means it is no longer worth continuing to talk to that person.  In some instances, this may make sense.

Consider the position of an Advanced Bulldozer operator and these two questions:

  1. “Have you ever operated a bulldozer before?”
  2. “Do you have 10 years of experience operating a bulldozer”

If the answer to Question 1 is “No,” I can see how one could make a reasonable inference that the respondent is someone who does not meet minimum qualifications for the position – eliminate them from the process by all means.  To me, eliminating someone for answering “No” to Question 2 is a far more suspect conclusion.  How do you know that 10 years is the “magic” amount? Is someone with 10 years of experience significantly more qualified than someone with 9 years of experience?  Too often, the line between “required” and “preferred” qualifications get blurred in the bells and whistles.

The moral of the story?

Just because the technology to do something is available, that doesn’t mean we should always use it.  And just because technology can reduce workload and make some “decisions” for us, that doesn’t mean other tradeoffs do not exist.  Too often, I find features and functions of online systems end up driving selection system design decisions, not what is in the best interest of the business.

The good news?

We tell the computers what to do! (at least until singularity comes!)

  1. Always, always treat applicants with respect.  It’s the right thing to do – and it has the upshot of helping solidify the employment brand you have been worrying about.
  2. Use technology to make the experience more personal, not less.  Make your “no thanks” email something other than “We are keeping your application on file.  Thanks.”
  3. Be very selective in what becomes a “knockout” question.  Ask whatever questions you want, but use most of them to help you figure out who to phone screen or call in for an interview first.
  4. Ask hard questions internally…how do we know someone has to have majored in marketing to be able to do this role?  Does that twelfth year of commensurate experience really make a difference?

Happy hiring!

Chad Thompson, Ph.D. is the Managing Director of the Consulting and Assessment Practice at Taylor Strategy Partners.  You can connect with him on LinkedIn or following him @TSP_Consulting