HR MATTERS MAGAZINE, Singapore Issue23.2013july


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Singapore featured article on Big Data, Social Data API, CRM and Futurecasting potential influencing predictive analytics. By Dave Mendoza

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HR MATTERS MAGAZINE, Singapore Issue23.2013july

  2. 2. With a track record spanning more than a decade and established clients in key sectors, CnetG is well- positioned to help you take your business further. Our regional presence will help you gain a foothold into Asia, Europe and beyond. An executive search firm counting Fortune 500 companies among its client base, we view executive placement as building organizations. Wenevertakeoureyesofftheball. Customer Orientation | Integrity | Excellence | Teamwork | Communication | Enterpreneurship Executive Search and Selection Energy Industrial Pharmaceuticals & FMCG Corporate & Investment Banking HR & Finance Commercial golfimagecourtesyofarielc@stock.xchng THAILAND T +66 2259 6924 E SINGAPORE T +65 6829 7035 E MALAYSIA T +603 7665 0050 E
  3. 3. July 2013 C o n t e n t s Be curious about the business that you work in and the business environment in general. – Noel McGonigle 26 Entrepreneurs overestimate the power of their idea or technical skill and underestimate the value of proper management systems and execution to reach the result they want. – Jonathan Raymond Knowing a job title in a social media or external online search is no longer enough without context. – Dave Mendoza The key thing is that we started this journey mindful of the scale of our ambitions balanced against our starting point and resources available. – Brett Terry 31 21 44 Features Workforce Trends 14 Decidiphobia: Getting Today’s Digital Natives to Think for Themselves Robert W Wendover asks whether we can figure things out without a menu of choice. Organisational Change 16 The Organisation Development Cycle (Part 2) We continue with Part II of a two part article where Alison France explores the stages of the OD cycle. Courage 18 7 Courageous Conversation Questions to Apply at Work Sandra Ford Walston explains how ‘challenging’ conversations can test us in an uncomfortable way. Positive Psychology 19 The Unexamined Life of Missed Goals and Postponed Dreams Sulynn Choong asks : Do you realise how the insidious subconscious programming of habitual patterns make up the powerful mental software that runs your life? Recruitment 21 Futurecasting: How the Rise of Big Social Data is set to Transform Hiring Best Practices Globally Entirely new business intelligence resources are changing the way we think about career progression and creating talent pipelines to meet corporate hiring objectives. By Dave Mendoza. HR Practitioner 26 Transforming the Perception of HR Azzurri Communications’ HR Director, Noel McGonigle, talks about the change management programmes he oversaw which culminated in recognition at the 2013 HR Distinction Awards for the pivotal role played by the HR team. Best Practice 31 9 Best Practices that Directly Impact your Business’s Ability to Reach you Profit Target If you are interested in maintaining sustainable growth, considering effective online prospective or how to take your business to the next level, read about the ‘Ownership Stack’ – it will directly impact your business. Special Feature - Learning & Development 33 Why not make an investment where it matters most? Four HR leaders talk about the value of the Personal Development Plan. Trends 37 Experience more important than education Some of the key findings from the Randstad Q2 WorkMonitor Report. Talent Management 38 The Anointed Ones – The Talent Conundrum Identifying the key factors talents look out for in an organisation. By June Hamid. Building Leaders 40 Don’t Beat Up a Dead Horse Why is it that most businesses and HR leaders refuse to dismount the dead horse? Asks Roshan Thiran. Engagement 44 Brett Terry : We looked holistically and boldly at the culture we wanted to shape and set our course. The Alzheimer’s Society shares how they took some important steps towards further engaging their people. Governance 50 Role of Internal Audit in HR Governance Vijayam Nadarajah shares how internal audit adds value to HR governance. In This Issue 09 News 13 Featured Blog Victorio Milian 23 Lit You Already Know How to be Great. A Simple Way to Remove Interference and Unlock Your Potential – At Work and At Home 26 HR Practitioner Noel McGonigle 30 Diary 44 Q&A Employee engagement 49 Ladder HR Matters July 2013 | 3
  4. 4. July 2013 Products and Services featured in this issue A D V E R T I S E M E N T EDITORIAL Editor Rowena Morais. Writer Isabella Chan Writer Peter Raj TECHNICAL SERVICES Technical Advisor Mark Victor Graphic Design Izham Rizal Ismail ADVERTISING SERVICES General Queries PRINT EDITION SUBSCRIPTIONS Subscriptions Executive  Stephanie Lin | Annual subscriptions are available at RM99 (inclusive of postage and handling). International subscriptions are available at the rate of USD47 annually. This entitles you to four issues per year published at the end of January, April, July and October. For more information, please contact us. DIGITAL EDITION SUBSCRIPTIONS Available at USD6 per year. SUBMISSIONS We encourage readers to submit suitable ideas or features for consideration. All correspondence of this nature should be directed to the Editor by email or post. Flipside accepts no liability for loss or damage of unsolicited material. PUBLISHER HR Matters Magazine is a publication of Flipside Sdn Bhd. Suite 1208 Level 12 Amcorp Tower Amcorp Trade Centre No.18 Persiaran Barat 46050 Petaling Jaya Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia. Phone +603 6140 6398 | Fax +603 6140 6397 PRINT SERVICES Printer Thumbprints Utd Sdn Bhd Lot 24 Jalan RP3 Rawang Perdana Industrial Estate 48000 Rawang, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia. PERMISSIONS AND REPRINTS For permissions and reprints, please contact the Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photo-copying, recording or otherwise without the prior permission in writing of the Publisher. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this publication, the Publisher assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions or any consequence of reliance on this publication. All trademarks and copyright in this issue are recognised and acknowledged where possible. If we have failed to credit you, please contact us. We will happily correct any oversight. All material is accepted on the basis of a worldwide right to publish in printed or electronic format. The opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent the views of the Editor or Publisher. All rights reserved. Copyright Flipside Sdn Bhd 2013. British Council CnetG First Staffers Leaderonomics Propay Partners Randstad The Iclif Leadership & Governance Centre 4 | July 2013 HR Matters
  5. 5. See page 8 for details. Subscribe to This Issue Search for HR Matters Magazine in ‘Groups’ Remember Diary these dates! Talent Management. Raising Your Game. 2013 HR Briefings 22 August 28 November Not been receiving our alerts or email newsletters? Add these e-mails below to your safe list:, and On the Cover : Perception Rowena Morais, Editor …Unless we become aware of these patterns, much of our life is unconscious repetition. In short, we can dream and speak of our potential for greatness but if we do the same as we did yesterday, and have done for the last ten years, the outcome would be the same.” – Sulynn Choong. Sulynn comments that it is easy for us to continue doing as we have done. However, any quest for self-actualisation or to realise our potential must begin with mindfulness of beliefs, thought and action. And if you think about it, mindfulness is really not so much a useful skill but an absolute necessity in our increasingly frenetic, ‘busy’ lives. As Robert Wendover discusses ‘decidiphobia’, the young people entering our workforce today are faced with many challenges. One of them is learning to figure things out without having all the choices laid before them. Mindfulness will help them make more sense of their situation. Noel McGonigle, Group HR Director for Azzurri Communications, the featured HR personality in this issue, shares how there are times when the job is fast changing or ambiguous. You need to get used to working with limited information. You need to know how to use what you have to craft a plan for moving forward. Mindfulness is key. It involves coming to terms with what you know and what you don’t know. In our role as HR leaders, mindfulness is absolutely critical to what we do, as we grow, develop, nurture and engage people from within the organisation. In this issue :- • Alison France continues with Part II of her article looking at the Organisation Development cycle; • Dave Mendoza shares how we can accurately predict where and how future and current job candidates are likely to perform best – with futurecasting; • The State of the Business (SOBO) 2013 Report examines nine best practices that have a direct impact on a small business’s ability to reach their profit target; • Four HR leaders share their ideas on the value of the Personal Development Plan to identify and address both short and long term development goals; • Brett Terry reveals five steps taken by Alzheimer Society in their journey towards greater employee engagement; and much more. As always, hope this gets you inspired. Happy reading! HR Matters July 2013 | 5
  6. 6. July Contributors | HR Matters Noel McGonigle served in the Royal Air Force for 22 years in a variety of operational and human resource appointments. Noel joined Azzurri in 2006 and is responsible for all HR activities, including Health and Safety. He is passionate about leadership and employee engagement. Azzurri has seen its employee engagement scores improve year on year and has been shortlisted for a number of HR awards, including winning Best Reward and Benefits Strategy in 2010 and a Distinction in Change Management in 2013. Robert Wendover has been researching and writing about workforce trends for over 20 years. Managing Director of the Center for Generational Studies, he is author of nine books and a regular contributor to electronic and print media. He has served as a special advisor to the American Productivity and Quality Council (APQC) and served on the management faculty of the University of Phoenix. Mike Morrison is the Head of Global Training – Project Unity at Damco. Based in Copenhagen, Denmark, Mike is an experienced Organisational Development professional. Mike runs and leads several online communities; the largest is on LinkedIn and has more than 21,000 members. Sandra Ford Walston is known as The Courage Expert and innovator of StuckThinking™. She is an internationally recognised speaker, learning consultant, author and entrepreneur for twenty years. Sandra instructs at the University of Denver on several programmes and is the internationally published author of three books: COURAGE, STUCK and FACE IT! 12 Obstacles that Hold You Back on the Job (2011). Check out Chris-James Cognetta MSIT, LPC-Intern is an award winning instructional designer and independent training and development expert with more than 25 years of experience in the creation of blended learning solutions. He has honours awards and affiliations from the National Institute of Staff and Organisational Development, the Ford Foundation and many more organisations for the creation of innovative and groundbreaking programmes. As a business psychologist and HR professional, Alison France has a passion for using positive methodologies to shape the attitudes of leaders and organisations, enabling them to achieve profitability. Alison has facilitated organisational change initiatives as well as designed and delivered award winning leadership development programmes. When not working, Alison enjoys riding her two motorbikes on UK roads and European tracks. Vijayam Nadarajah has worked in insurance companies and banks for more than 18 years. Her extensive experience in operations, internal audit, investigation and risk coupled with leadership, drive and passion for good governance, control and corporate behaviours has seen her through a series of commendable achievements in the appointments that she has held. 6 | July 2013 HR Matters
  7. 7. 2013 HR Matters | Contributors Dave Mendoza is a multi-award-winning talent acquisition thought leader and global speaker. Recently, he was a Finalist for the HROA’s Trustee Award ‘North American Thought Leader, 2013’. He has also earned awards for ‘Excellence in Sourcing Innovation’ and ‘Most Strategic Use of Technology’ Awards. He recently authored ‘Futurecasting: How the Rise of Big Social Data API is Set to Transform the Business of Recruiting’. Sulynn Choong is a positive change consultant and coach working with organisations to energise their workforce for outstanding performance. Combining practical corporate experience with evidence-based research in positive psychology, she assists CEOs in evaluating their organisations’ existing and proposed change initiatives for coherence, congruence, relevance and positive impact. Roger Brooks is the Executive Director of Training & Development for Safeguard Business Systems. Roger also serves as the Board Chairman for Girl Power 2 Cure, Inc., a 501c3 non-profit organisation whose mission is to make Rett Syndrome the first curable neurological disorder. His motivation is his daughter, Juliana. Girl Power 2 Cure, Inc. works to support the more than 500,000 girls and women currently suffering from Rett Syndrome. Junaida (June) Dato’ Dr Abdul Hamid provides HR management, customer service, team building and related training and consultancy for multinationals, GLCs and the government arena. She is not merely a facilitator, but an excellent communicator, business coach and now an entrepreneur. As a Consultant Trainer, she has facilitated and trained more than 3,000 staff in core HR and soft skill areas. Bob Holliday is the Director, Product Training & Curriculum Development for Boehringer-Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc. He has 18 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, with more than 13 years in pharmaceutical training. He has held numerous roles in training from Product Training Manager and Specialty Skills Training Manager to Head of Global Oncology Training and has lead training for over 25 product launch meetings. Brett Terry is Director of People and Organisational Development at Alzheimer’s SocietyUK.Hispassionliesinunderstanding people at work and he is particularly interested in the opportunities and challenges presented by multi-generational workforces, a topic he has addressed at numerous strategic conferences. Outside of work Brett is a keen wildlife photographer. Roshan Thiran is CEO of Leaderonomics, one of the fastest growing consulting firms in Asia. Prior to this role, he was the Director of Global Talent Management with Johnson & Johnson. He was also with the General Electric Company (GE) for more than 12 years, working in a number of roles. Roshan is a certified coach and is also certified in numerous training programmes including Myer-Briggs Type Indicator, Change Acceleration Process, WorkOut, Strategy Workshops and Finance education. HR Matters July 2013 | 7
  8. 8. HOW TO SUBSCRIBE Direct Banking Malayan Banking Berhad C8-C10 Jalan SS15/4D, 47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia. Account Name : Flipside Sdn Bhd Account Number : 51 222 22 11 294 *Terms and conditions apply. By including your email address, you consent to receipt of emails regarding this magazine and potentially other products and services provided by Flipside Sdn Bhd. For more details, please visit 0713 Cheque Addressed To Flipside Sdn Bhd Suite 1208 Level 12 Amcorp Tower Amcorp Trade Centre No.18 Persiaran Barat 46050 Petaling Jaya Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia. PHONE FAX EMAIL WEB PRINT SUBSCRIPTION - PAYMENT Subscriptions are yearly at the rate of RM99.00 (inclusive of postage and handling). International subscriptions are available at the rate of USD47.00 for a one year subscription. This entitles you to four issues per year published at the end of January, April, July and October. For more information, please contact us. DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTION - PAYMENT Available at USD6 per year. +603 6140 6398 +603 6140 6397 Not a subscriber? Pay RM99/- for a year’s subscription and begin enjoying the benefits immediately! 3 reasons why you need to subscribe now : 1Quarterly print issues of HR Matters 2Keep up to date with the best thinking in talent development 3Free passes to HR Matters briefings
  9. 9. HR Matters | News News LONDON | The CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, celebrated its 100th anniversary on 6 June. To mark the occasion, for the last few months it has been asking its members and prominent thinkers in the world of work to reflect on their vision for the future of work, the workforce and the workplace. Contributing to the CIPD’s ‘100 thoughts’ project, Michael Davies, CEO at the UKCES, highlighted the need to reverse elements of Taylorism, in order to redistribute power between managers and front-line workers to rebuild trust and boost agility and performance. In his piece, he argues: “The businesses that survive and thrive will be those which recognise the changing nature of consumerism, and hand power to their staff to meet this challenge”. SINGAPORE | Professional job seekers can find out exactly what they’re worth with the Salary Checker app, launched in May by recruitment consultancy, Robert Walters. It draws on data from the firm’s market leading Salary Survey and allows users to : • determine their own market rate • see how this compares with other sectors and cities/countries and globally • view salary trends over time. The app is an upgrade to the first version – launched in 2011 for iPhone and iPad which received more than 200,000 downloads – and covers thousands of job types globally. New features include easy-to-follow bar charts and graphs, with users able to configure the data to their local currency. The app may be downloaded from the Google Play Store or the iTunes Store. CIPD Centenary : HR leaders reflect on the future of HR and the world of work Publication of a series of perspectives on the shifting work and workplace challenges and opportunities shaping business and working lives for the next 100 years Find out how much you are worth with new Salary Checker App App hits number one in app charts Comments from other contributors included: • “The future of HR is to drive the value of people through valuing people. This calls for community, trust, leadership, insight and innovation.” Karina Rook, HR Director, Canterbury College • “The classic work-life balance will become a phrase of the past - work will be life and life will be work, there will be no delineation.” Mike Campbell, Group Director Europe, easyjet • “We need to spread what HR already knows - that good employee relations is one of the biggest untold economic growth measures.” Frances O’Grady, general secretary, TUC. The contributions are available to read on the CIPD website at aspx. HR Matters July 2013 | 9
  10. 10. News | HR Matters News LIVERPOOL | The City of Liverpool has shortlisted the Human Resource/ Organisational Development provider, Thirsty Horses Ltd, for two prestigious Business Awards. This fast-growing company has captured the imagination of private and public sector organisations across the UK by proving the out-dated ways of top-down ‘Performance Management’ can be turned on its head to great effect. Thirsty Horses’ lead product - INSPIRE - enables employees to willfully own all aspects of their personal performance and KUALA LUMPUR | Despite Malaysian firms’ investment in the digital, creative and marketing sectors, salaries have either dropped or stagnated. font talent, which specialises in recruitment across the digital, creative and marketing industries, released in June the latest findings from its ongoing salary survey which compares wages, benefits and retention rates across gender, job function and country. Overall, figures showed that despite women being more likely to hold a degree or higher than their male colleagues, their median salaries remained lower. The exceptions were amongst the advertising account directors and creative directors surveyed. Malaysia country manager Priya Bala says this may be due Thirsty Horses shortlisted for prestigious Business Award Salaries drop across Malaysia’s digital, creative and marketing sector Despite Malaysian firms’ recent investment in the digital, creative and marketing sectors, salaries have either dropped or stagnated development using contemporary easy to use software, including accessibility on all hand-held devices. Moreover, this activity drives great ‘real-time’ strategic workforce data that enable leaders to get to grips with their organisation, its direction, pace and levels of employee engagement. This increased ownership at all levels, combined with increased levels of visibility, make the HR/OD holy grail of ‘culture change’ a tangible and measured journey rather than something organisations crave, and often plan for, but rarely truly deliver. More details on the Business Awards can be found at Visit Thirsty Horses at to men being more likely to remain in their jobs for six years or longer, and the fact that men are more likely to receive company- paid training than women. She added that the digital, creative and marketing industries are often guilty of long hours, and Malaysian women with family commitments are more likely seek a better work-life balance, such as a government position, which further reduces their chances of achieving pay parity within the creative and digital sector. For more details, download the font Market Pulse June 2013 report at Men continue to receive higher salaries than women despite holding the same qualifications. Priya Bala ray pendleton, chief executive thirsty horses ltd 10 | July 2013 HR Matters
  11. 11. You’re in business to succeed — to set ambitious goals, drive growth and achieve results. Getting there requires vision, resources and above all, the brightest talent. As a world-leading specialist recruitment & HR services firm, Randstad is a company built on a deep network of sourcing expertise that crosses industries and geographies. Our vision is to help our clients achieve a constant state of ‘talent readiness’ with the best recruitment and talent management solutions in place, ensuring you have the right people, in the right jobs, at the right time — for today and for the future. With over 17 years experience in Malaysia, our consulting team are specialists across: To get connected to the brightest talent in Asia Pacific today, visit: or contact us in Kuala Lumpur on +603 2036 6666 or Penang on +604 638 1050 • Accounting & Finance • Banking • Business Support • Contact Centre • Construction, Property & Engineering • Human Resources • Information Technology • Life Sciences • Sales & Marketing • Supply Chain You’re in business to succeed — to set ambitious goals, drive growth and achieve results. Getting there requires vision, resources and above all, the brightest talent. As a world-leading specialist recruitment & HR services firm, Randstad is a company built on a deep network of sourcing expertise that crosses industries and geographies. Our vision is to help our clients achieve a constant state of ‘talent readiness’ with the best recruitment and talent management solutions in place, ensuring you have the right people, in the right jobs, at the right time — for today and for the future. To get connected to the brightest talent in Asia Pacific today, visit: connecting the brightest talent with the best companies across Asia Pacific
  12. 12. Report | HR Matters KUALA LUMPUR | In an effort to find out what’s on the minds of senior business leaders this year, BTI Consultants announced in May 2013, the launch of the Executive Outlook Report 2013. An annual survey of CEOs, Directors, Chairpersons and VPs across Asia Pacific, the Americas and Europe focused on innovation and business viability, key findings from this survey indicate : • 88 percent of all business leaders have a positive outlook for the economy and are expecting business growth this year; 33 percent are expecting significant growth. • Business leaders based in Asia-Pacific have far higher expectations of business growth compared to those in the Americas and EMEA regions. • More than half of the leaders surveyed (52 percent) believe that ‘cultural issues’ within the organisation itself are the main barriers to innovation and business growth. • Leaders of organisations with a structured, proactive approach to innovation are far more positive about their 2013 revenue outlook— 45 percent of those with a proactive approach are expecting significant growth in their revenue this year, compared to just 23 percent of those who are focusing their efforts entirely on core business activities. • 36 percent of business leaders measure and attach KPIs to business viability initiatives. Improved business growth and profitability expected Executive outlook report indicates significant turnaround in global business activity, consistent with other signs of improved business optimism AmericAs And em eA A PAc Despite the challenging business environment of 2012, and the ongoing uncertainty on global markets, the majority of business leaders have a positive outlook for the growth of their business in 2013. What stands out from the research is that those organisations with the greatest positivity going into 2013 are those with a proactive approach to innovation. exPect growth this yeAr 88% forecAst significAnt growth 34% hAve A ProActive APProAch to innovAtion 42% believe their comPetitive Position is unchAllenged 11% feel AccountAbility for growth is too nArrow 22% business decline outlook 23% business decline outlook 3% business growth outlook 92% business growth outlook 55% meAsurAble goAls And AllocAted resources to Protect long-term initiAtives towArds innovAtion focus on incrementAl innovAtion focus on core business Activity only AmericAs And emeA Global firm Global firm Global firm Multi- national Multi- national Multi- national Local conglomerate Local conglomerate Local conglomerate Non-profit/ Government/ GLCs Non-profit/ Government/ GLCs Non-profit/ Government/ GLCs outlook by region APProAch to innovAtion by comPAny tyPe APAc 51% 37% 34% 50% 27% 12% 20% 17% 47%46% 30% 20% 1.5% 0% 0%5% 5% 4% gdP growth forecAst 2013–2018 gdP growth forecAst 2013–2018 executive outlook2013 More than half of the leaders surveyed (52 percent) believe that ‘cultural issues’ within the organisation itself are the main barriers to innovation and business growth. 12 | July 2013 HR Matters
  13. 13. WHO • Human Resource consultant, writer and speaker based in New York City. • Maintains a HR blog at The HR Interview Victorio frequently works with two distinct client groups- emerging HR talent and seasoned HR professionals. With emerging talent, he offers practical advice on how to successfully navigate the job market. He does this by helping HR job seekers align their online and offline personas so as to better promote the person’s unique value proposition. For seasoned Human Resources professionals, Victorio conducts an ongoing HR Interview series on his blog. This showcase gives practitioners the opportunity to discuss how they do what they do. Get involved ! With the HR Interview series, Victorio is seeking dynamic Human Resources practitioners from across the globe. He would be especially interested in connecting with those that operate in any of the countries within the continent of Africa. If you or someone you know is interested, please reach out to HR Matters | Blog FEATURED BLOG Victorio Milian Victorio Milian My advice to young aspiring HR practitioners is... don’t ever let anyone devalueyourwork.Noteveryone(senior leaders, other business functions, the public) understands the value of a qualified and competent Human Resources professional. Ensure that you have what it takes, not only in providing quality services to those you work with, but also in how to effectively articulate your worth with conviction and firmness. Do great work, surround yourself with great people, and it becomes difficult to fail. LONDON | Companies are losing an annual average of 24 days of extra working hours by not allowing employees to work from home, according to the latest research by video conferencing service provider UCi2i. The claim, based on a poll of 1,000 office employees in the UK, highlights the benefits to individuals of having a flexible working environment and the ‘overtime’ they put in as a result. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the study also finds that colleagues back in the office struggle with the lack of transparency with 1 in 4 believing those who do work from home ‘cheat the system’. Overall, 84 percent of those surveyed said they were uncomfortable with their colleagues not working alongside them, highlighting that better forms of communication between working locations is vital for a productive and happy workforce. To address this, UCi2i launched in early July, a simple and easy-to-use personal video collaboration tool for business-quality video communications, called ‘V-Book’. The platform allows instant face-to-face communication and collaboration with colleagues and customers at the click of a button regardless of location or the device they are using. As a result of the research, UCi2i has found that as many as 94 percent of UK office workers work better when they work from home despite stating they were not equipped with the appropriate technology to communicate with fellow colleagues (85 percent). When asked why working from home is so successful, reasons that were given included: peace and quiet for productivity (26 percent), spending the time they would be travelling to the office, working (18 percent) and allowing the ideal work/life balance (13 percent). The survey, conducted in June 2013 by Censuswide, shows an increasing desire in office workers to be equipped with suitable communication technology to allow them to work from home. Companies encouraging working from home gain an extra month of work per employee each year But fear of lack of transparency and colleague collaboration issues remain barrier to mass adoption HR Matters July 2013 | 13
  14. 14. L Workforce Trends | HR Matters Let’s face it. Advances in technology have always been a mixed blessing. It is no different with today’s digital applications. On one hand, they save us hours and energy on the tasks that used to require manual labour. On the other, they delay, impair and degrade the development of complex reasoning skills. This is especially true among the so-called digital natives, those who have come of age immersed in electronic messaging, work-type applications, and non- stop entertainment. While some may protest this gross characterisation, there is ample evidence to support it. Scientists have been able to replicate these effects in a variety of settings. Educators observe it among their students. Employers complain about it in the workplace. The result of all this is what I call “decidiphobia,” a fear of making decisions when outside a menu-driven environment. Most of those with decidiphobia don’t display this behaviour in obvious ways. It is not apparent to passers-by. No one seeks federal assistance because they are afflicted with this terrible disease. But it lurks in the minds of those around us. What does it look like? Here are a few examples: Endless questions – When the ‘parade’ in your office gets out of hand, you can probably attribute it to decidiphobia. After all, the first inclination of a person who fears making a mistake is to ask the individual in charge for assistance. Expecting to see options for all decisions – When you learn to navigate through the day with your thumbs, mouse and screen, it is only natural that you would expect a menu of choices for every decision. But making judgments in ambiguous situations can be downright debilitating. Difficulty with extrapolation – For those who learned through trial and error, figuring out the process of ‘if this, then that’ comes easy. When the development of this type of reasoning is delayed due to a reliance on menu-driven options, young adults struggle to deduce what appears to be common sense to others. Some may argue that learning to use software requires trial and error technique as well. But it’s not the same when there’s no escape key. Absence of situational awareness – Employers wonder why some young people simply stop when they’ve completed an assigned task, rather than look around for other things to do. But for those who have gotten used to having all instructions and possible answers presented, the urge to look outside of the immediate focus does not occur to them. Besides, they need to check Facebook™. Does decidiphobia afflict all digital natives? No. There are lots of individuals who have learned to thrive outside of the digital environment. This may be due to upbringing, culture, a lack of available technology and other factors. Unfortunately, the increasing pervasiveness of this technology is inculcating many people under 30 with a belief that all answers can and should be found on a screen. Is decidaphobia a matter of intelligence? Definitely not. Brokers at Wall Street firms tell of Ivy League graduates pestering them for specific instructions on routine matters. Teachers complain of common grammar and syntax errors because of a reliance on SpellCheck™. Supervisors express surprise that young professionals get stuck when they can’t find what they need on-line. Business owners wonder why the young tech whizzes they hired can’t think through everyday conundrums on their own. Whose fault is all this? Everyone’s. Digital natives are a product of the culture in which they come of age. As society has embraced the lure and convenience of digital applications, the emerging generation has been immersed in this technology almost from birth. Decidiphobia: Getting Today’s Digital Natives Figuring things out without a menu of choice. By Robert W. Wendover But making judgments in ambiguous situations can be downright debilitating. to Think for Themselves 14 | July 2013 HR Matters
  15. 15. HR Matters | Workforce Trends Numerous studies have demonstrated the ease with which young people assimilate to the intuitive nature of software. From this, they have learned to manipulate information at lightning speed, but only within the realm of technology. While all this wizardry requires judgment, most of the decisions involved are retractable through the escape, back, and undo keys. No so with choices outside of the computer environment. Is it any wonder then, that decisions with permanence can intimidate them? Technology is not the only culprit in this equation, but it is certainly a major contributor. So what’s the cure? How can employers instill an orientation of self- assured decision making within their workplace? Here are several practical strategies: Teach them to solve problems. No kidding! It is ironic that few in society are ever taught a framework for problem solving. Instead, we are left to ‘figure it out’ as we come of age. That served so- called digital immigrants well in the era prior to menu-driven software. But the lure and distraction of these applications have misled digital natives into assuming that anything worth knowing can be found on-line or through a text to their friends. When it comes to discerning ambiguous situations and making decisions that have impact on those around them however, the solutions cannot be found on a screen. Consider your environment and initiate a discussion about how decisions can be made effectively. Simply having this kind of ongoing conversation can begin the process of developing confident problem solvers. Employ think-alouds. A favorite strategy of educators, this means asking those posing questions to think through their problem out loud in front of you. This accomplishes three objectives: 1) It allows you to reinforce and praise what the person is doing well; 2) It provides an opportunity for you to correct mistakes in their thinking or assumptions; 3) It forces them to think all the way through the issue rather than relying on someone else to provide an answer. While you may find this to be awkward at first, those asking endless questions will learn to adapt quickly. Always have a list. This would seem to reinforce the habit of asking endless questions. But in an effort to manage time wisely, inform those you supervise of what other tasks can always be completed. In the process, you teach them to make choices and reduce the office parade at the same time. Explain the big picture. The more people understand how they contribute to the overall effort, the more they will infer what needs to be done and how to resolve routine problems. Show them how the organisation functions financially. Teach them the ins and outs of how individual products are designed, created and sold. Explain the concept of overhead and its impact on profits. Ask them to critique the work they are assigned and how it fits into the big picture. You may find that they have some ideas for efficiency, but were hesitant to speak up. Withdraw your support. Sometimes it’s just easier to give someone the answer. Do this enough however and you will have fostered an overreliance on your judgment and instructions. Use the other strategies in this article to stem this behaviour. Process the decisions made. With most workdays a blur of activity, it is difficult to find time to evaluate outcomes. But this is especially important for those who may be less than confident in their decisions. Even two minutes worth of reflection about the result of their actions can help a digital native better understand how to evaluate situations in the future. Besides, this can present the perfect time for a non-threatening ‘teaching moment’. Provide specific praise and feedback. Like it or not, digital natives have come of age inundated with feedback from video games, digital instruction, over-protective parents and the like. Couple this with the impatient world we’ve created and you can understand their demand for ongoing evaluation and reinforcement. You may find that you have to manage these expectations. But the fact that they are hungry for feedback is a positive sign. The nature of workplace decision making is evolving due to digital influences. We need to be vigilant in marrying the strengths of trial- and-error thinking with the menu-driven processes now before us. Robert Wendover is Director of The Center for Generational Studies and author of the newly released, Figure It Out! Making Smart Decisions in a Dumbed-Down World. Reach him at The more people understand how they contribute to the overall effort, the more they will infer what needs to be done and how to resolve routine problems. HR Matters July 2013 | 15
  16. 16. Organisational Change | HR Matters I In my last article, I detailed the first two stages of the Organisation Development (OD) Cycle. This second part of the OD Cycle review will explain the final two stages, Intervention and Evaluation. Intervention An intervention is a structured activity which aims to shift the system towards a different state. The goal of OD can include fixing problems as well as building on strengths to anticipate future changes ultimately altering the status quo, requiring development for everyone involved, often including the client. This is worth remembering as sometimes the client themselves may not consider that they need to change. The practitioner will therefore need to coach the client through the process to raise their awareness and ensure they are fully prepared. Behind the intervention design are the practitioner’s theoretical assumptions (e.g. action research or social constructionism), ethics and values (e.g. humanism and valuing diversity), their ‘use of self’ (how their presence impacts on the organisational system) and their collaborative relationship with the client. All of these factors combine to create a successful interaction and will be detailed more thoroughly in future articles. The broad scope and complex nature of OD as a discipline means that OD intervention design itself is a complex process. So the following is an overview of some of the key considerations when designing interventions. A key skill is to think cross-dimensionally when creating the design. It can be useful to use a model as a A look at the two final stages of the OD cycle, Intervention and Evaluation. By Alison France conceptual framework to aid this thinking. One example is Schmuck and Miles OD cube (1976) above. This demonstrates cross-dimensional design based on the diagnosed problem, focus of attention and mode of intervention providing a practical framework to make decisions about the intervention design. Other three dimensional cubes include other considerations such as: • Kinds of change (Blake and Mounton 1985):Acceptant, Catalytic, Confrontation, Prescription and Theories & Principles; • Intensity (Reddy, 1994): Low, Medium and High; and A key skill is to think cross-dimensionally when creating the design. Development Cycle the Organisation (Part 2) The Schmuck and Miles OD cube 16 | July 2013 HR Matters
  17. 17. HR Matters | Organisational Change Individual Interpersonal Group Intergroup Organisation • Coaching • Mentoring • Counselling • Life and career planning • Education • Behaviour modelling • Third party conflict resolution • Role negotiation • Storytelling from each side • Role swapping • Partnership work • Interdependency exercise • Team building • Role analysis • Visioning • Improved decision making • Unstructured group training • Third party peace making • Survey and feedback • Restructuring of sub-units • Intergroup activities to build awareness and interdependence • Organisation design • Appreciative Inquiry summit • Future search • Real time strategic change • Partnership and customer conference • Type of intervention (Reddy, 1994): Cognitive, Skill & Activity, Behaviour description, Emotion/reflection and Interpretive. Obviously, this level of complexity is useful for practitioners to ensure the intervention fits the objective, organisation and individuals involved. However, I find it useful to ask questions of clients using this knowledge as a framework to enable the client to make informed decisions. Cheung-Judge and Holbeche suggest the following six questions: 1. What are the diagnosed problems? 2. What are the focal issues (ensure you drill down to specific detail)? 3. What is the focus of attention (individual, pairs, group, intergroup, organisation, environment etc)? 4. What is the necessary level of intensity required? 5. What is the necessary intervention role of the consultant? 6. What is the mode of intervention (training, feedback etc)? Evaluation and termination Evaluation is the final and crucial stage of the OD cycle which both enables OD practitioners to prove the value of their work whilst celebrating the achievements made by the organisation in moving towards its goal. However, the decisions about what to evaluate should be integrated into the beginning of any project alongside contracting and directly linked to the initial stated purpose of the OD activity. At this phase, the specific metrics (measures of success) should also be identified. In this way, data collection can be integrated into all other stages of the OD work, therefore both guiding future work and making the evaluation results richer and more meaningful. Cheung-Judge and Holbeche outline the following nine key actions OD practitioners can take to make evaluation an integral part of their work and the culture of the organisation they are working with. 1. Align OD programmes to the organisation’s strategic priority. 2. Link OD initiatives to the core business results (e.g. money savings, innovation, service excellence and beating the competition). 3. Build a strategic partnership with other professionals to continually improve your evaluative methodology (e.g. strategy, social research, project management and finance). 4. Continuously educate clients as to the value of evaluation. 5. Senior leaders should commission the OD project and define the metric. 6. Senior leaders need to take ownership of evaluative data. 7. Build the habit of having evaluation discussions from the beginning of the process. 8. Always collaborate with clients when defining evaluation and metrics. 9. Write up case studies of good evaluative practice to show others how to do it. the organisation development cycle [continued on page 48] Don’t forget the answers to these questions should also be informed by the information you have gathered in the diagnosis phase. Additional considerations include : • Focus on the task where the goal is a specific output such as an action plan. Or process focus where the goal is how people interact such as dealing with conflict, make decisions etc. • Structured interventions which are highly planned and the delegates are guided through activities. Or unstructured interventions where the delegates self organise. Ultimately clients want to understand the mode (or type) of intervention – what exactly can you do to achieve the goal? Below are some examples of OD interventions. Be aware that, depending on the size of the project you are undertaking, you may require an intervention strategy which includes a number of these activities in a planned sequence. Practically this is more of an art than a science due to the intangibility of some of our work and the need to assign a monetary value to the development of people. HR Matters July 2013 | 17
  18. 18. Y SANDRA FORD WALSTON THE COURAGE EXPERT Courage | HR Matters You’re too intimidated to have that overdue conversation so you utilise a form of ambiguity? You’re a manager whose style of managing is hands-off. This way you don’t have to suggest ideas that might offend or be misunderstood. Whether you’re a manager, human resource director or CEO, you are often required (hard-pressed) to engage in the awkward, elusive or tight rope conversations that require courage. These types of ‘challenging’ conversations test us in an uncomfortable way. Why? Because the exchange is more than just applying candour (a cousin to courage) or being brutally blunt (“Let me be honest with you...”). There’s the old adage “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” This old saying is false. For example, ‘a stone is thrown’ when someone says, “I don’t care how you do it, just get it done!” With the phrase “I don’t care” the receiver is most likely going to have an internal breakdown at work and then one at home. We all want to feel appreciated and valued for our contribution. Because words are so powerful, they can hurt you, but they can also get you positive results at work, such as increased productivity, improved morale, enhanced project effectiveness, a renewed demeanour and reduced stress, to name a few. Most of the time it’s about asking a lot of ‘you’ questions steeped around the obstacles Courageous Conversation Questions to Apply at Work that block courageous leadership actions such as intimidation, manipulation or blame. So if you can communicate more effectively with coworkers, you can reshape your work environment and produce the sustainable results you’re seeking. Muster the courage to try these six examples: 1 The founder of my Newfield Network coaching organisation always opened our international conferences or local gatherings with “What’s cooking?” This kicked off an understanding that it was safe to share what was internally going on with that person allowing them to display their courage. 2 “How do you imagine this project progressing?” This question not only engages the person but also decreases stress because creativity and curiosity are being generated, and people are more motivated to speak up. 3 “Is there anything else I can offer you?” and “Do you have any other requests?” Requests and offers allow people to open up and reveal the ‘chatter’ in their head (or what they really want), thus providing transparency in everyone’s communication and removing any awkwardness if someone ordinarily feels hesitant about speaking up. 4 “What was your assessment about the big project we just finished for that client?” Be cautious with your tone. This means you take responsibility for how your language affects others. Your words are a part of your daily legacy—people remember them more than the action. Will you be remembered the way you want to be remembered? 5 “How do you envision accomplishing the task/results?” This response keeps passion alive and perpetuates retentive innovation. 6 Because we’re human, we naturally expect the receiver to know exactly what we expect in the outcome and what we mean. Be direct and say, “I have expectations that you will do this and that.” The outcome of unclear expectations? Wasted time that can’t be reclaimed and unnecessary tension in the workplace. 7 If you are working with a prospect/ business partner/ project manager try, “What do you see our next step to be?” Using the word ‘our’ in your question leads the client/customer to think of you as a partner when making a decision. Comedian Lily Tomlin said, “If you can’t be direct, why be?” Think about what type of language you experience in your work environment and what you display. The words we choose can submerge us into negativity or elevate us to a different level of courage consciousness—and take our coworkers with us. That is the power of courageous questions! Sandra Ford Walston is known as The Courage Expert and innovator of StuckThinking™. She is an internationally recognised speaker, learning consultant, author and entrepreneur. Reach Sandra at Communicate more effectively so that you can reshape your environment Be cautious with your tone. This means you take responsibility for how your language affects others. 18 | July 2013 HR Matters
  19. 19. S Missed Goals Postponed Dreams Are you simply nothing more than a modern day zombie living on auto-pilot? By Sulynn Choong HR Matters | Positive Psychology Socrates’ bold statement “The unexamined life is not worth living” is at once accusing and provocative in that life is a personal quest of personal and spiritual growth which we must choose to consciously take time to examine and reflect upon. In fact, the Spanish philosopher, George Santayana observed quite astutely that “He who does not remember the past is condemned to repeat it.” Indeed of late, I have become acutely aware, of how ingrained the habit of living by auto- pilot is in most of our lives. It has become so much so that any disruption to routine is auto- directed to stress-mode. Living in the current times where ‘I can only do tomorrow what he/ she/they wanted yesterday’ is the norm, is both emotionally draining and mentally exhausting. We also tend to divert time and energy from nurture of our social, spiritual and physical wellbeing, to boost effectiveness. Net result: ‘I am so stressed.’ ‘I am so tired.’ ‘My brain is dead.’ ‘I have no time.’ ‘I am busy.’ And yet, there is so much that is important in our lives that is not attended to, just because these things are not urgent e.g. changing that light bulb in the store room, writing up a will to protect your loved ones, or that coveted MBA or PhD, the broken wheel on the tricycle of your now 16 year old son, that promised get- together with old neighbours, and maybe, that guitar you are going to pick up again someday. Not me! I hear you in my head. Yes you! From the time you woke up till this minute, consider how many of your daily tasks and functions have been transacted quite efficiently and smoothly without much conscious thought. We go through the morning routine: brush teeth, shower, dress, eat breakfast (really?) and commute with barely a quick check on time. Most of us have become modern day zombies going through the motion the processes with pre-set safety-cautionary check steps. We feel tired and listless, often hovering between being a little anxious and stressed out - about not doing enough, doing too much, too much to do, no time, too many meetings, other people and their Living in the current times where ‘I can only do tomorrow what he/she/ they wanted yesterday’ is the norm, is both emotionally draining and mentally exhausting. The Unexamined Life of and HR Matters July 2013 | 19
  20. 20. Positive Psychology | HR Matters idiosyncrasies, and so on. We experience the absence of purpose and meaning in our lives manifested as the absence of moment to moment pleasure or positivity. The insidious subconscious programming of habitual patterns from repeatedly doing the same sequence of action and making the same response to circumstances makes up the powerful mental software that runs our life. Unless we become aware of these patterns, much of our life is unconscious repetition. In short, we can dream and speak of our potential for greatness but if we do the same as we did yesterday, and have done for the last ten years, the outcome would be the same. Yesterday, today, forever – our habits lead us to the same. To advance, to realise our potential, and to self-actualise, we need to mind what we believe, think and do. Examining our life and habits reveals firmly entrenched patterns of behaviour that had evolved to help us cope and deal with experiences in childhood, in school, at work, and daily routine as well as regulate stressors. In the auto-pilot state, our attention is lulled into drift mode, piqued by what’s moving, new, or novel. The tsunami of technology and consumerism feeds right into the scheme. We seek entertainment, excitement, and enlightenment from outside of ourselves rather then look inside our heads, hearts and spirit to discern what’s important to us, what’s of value and what we want of Life. Instead of seeking Instantaneous gratification and multi-dimensional stimulation, let us re-visit being fully human - use that amazing mass of grey matter in our heads, cherish the engineering magnificence of our physical body, nurture our fragile yet valiant hearts, and reflect on that which is larger than self that we can draw strength from and give freely to. Start with mindfulness. Be present in the moment e.g. looking into the faces of the people around you and registering their outward expressions of inner dialogues, or taking time to consider the full human inside the harried colleague whom you have grown accustomed to acknowledging as the typing machine or the financial calculator or the completer-finisher. On a personal note, note the tone of your child or spouse when speaking to you at various times, savour each of the meals you shovel into your mouth as you mull over decisions and issues, or notice how you behave differently at home, at work and at play. Who are you? Who are you being when you are with others? Other people matter. What relationship patterns do you create? Focus on what you really want. Visualise your Best Possible Self. What would life be like in that ‘someday’ that you keep putting off, ‘when you have time or money or both’, and ‘if things were different’? Do you know where you are heading? What do you need to do to get there? What are you postponing because you are running on auto-pilot? Identify what you have control over and can change, and make the change. Develop self-awareness and work at self-mastery. Hire a coach. Do something different every day in the direction of your dreams and goals. Overcome the inertia of auto-pilot, get out of that comfort zone of useful excuses and self-limiting beliefs, and in no time at all, you will gain momentum and be well on your way to a life worth living far away from the zombified existence of one big integrated system of mal-performing habits. Otherwise, we are choosing by default to live with too many layers and autopilot systems to tweak – which makes change seem impossible. Change is possible. Stop functioning on auto-pilot. Start what seems difficult right now, the impossible might just take a little while longer! Sulynn Choong is a Positive Change Consultant and the Founder/Chief Engagement Officer at the Asian Center for Applied Positive Psychology (ACAPP). The insidious subconscious programming of habitual patterns from repeatedly doing the same sequence of action and making the same response to circumstances makes up the powerful mental software that runs our life. Unless we become aware of these patterns, much of our life is unconscious repetition. 20 | July 2013 HR Matters
  21. 21. HR Matters | Recruitment W hat is Futurecasting? It’s the act of building accessible data sets for competitive intelligence and talent acquisition best practices that are sustainable, the emphasis being on data longevity. The methodology allows for key deliverables to be achieved even if you don’t have the technology resources of Big Data with the perennial, mainstay tactics for conducting talent acquisition within your organisation. The idea is premised upon a fully cloud-based, open-source platform application and, concurrently, meant to rehabilitate the inner- workings of CRMs so they can handle Big Social Data and yield real- time, easily updated, dynamic candidate and business intelligence records that accurately predict where and how future and current job candidates are likely to perform best. Why does it matter to you, Talent Acquisition Leaders, and to Corporate CEOs, in their quest for talent? The conclusions drawn from my research have direct implications for corporate organisations within the Fortune 500 and ultimately, on a global scale, are fundamentally significant because the ‘how’ of finding talent has been built on prior preconceived notions. As a global talent strategist, the one constant in being of service to leading employers is that those who win key talent from competitors are those ‘who care to know and invest in knowing.’ In short, the potential application of the broad term ‘data’, as I have defined it, is essentially more so about building ‘knowledge’ to properly influence the decision-making process of today’s workforce and the organisations who hire them - and as a direct by-product, companies can dramatically improve workforce planning. Knowing a job title in a social media or external online search is no longer enough without context. The equation to master in the Futurecasting: How the Rise of Big Social Data is set to Transform Hiring Best Practices Globally Accurately predicting where and how future and current job candidates are likely to perform best. By Dave Mendoza 21st century is about identifying talent of higher quality -with the added context of their ‘talent ecosystem’ from objectively precise competitor choices and trending geographical sources that have been mapped and validated without preconceived notions from hiring managers and the recruiters they direct and those errors . The ‘We Think’ culture of talent organisations will be a relic to Those ‘Who Know’ and have the datasets to prove and reap the benefits of strategies based on talent that is mapped and recruiters that are informed. Converging trends, emerging capabilities Futurecasting is a concept that’s built on a number of key trends and developments of recent years. Understanding Futurecasting’s potential and application is impossible without first understanding the trajectories of each of these trends. Big Data: a collection of data sets so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process using hands-on database management tools. Unlocking Big Data can bring huge benefits, as has been shown in a number of other fields. Today, for instance, techniques to interpret Big Data help us to spot business trends, measure the quality of research and combat crime. Social: for billions of people, the rise of social networking has transformed the way they conduct their personal and professional lives. LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace, Viadeo, Xing and Twitter are among the best known channels, but far from the only ones. And the sector is moving at a phenomenal pace. Only ten years ago, Facebook was a site called Facemash with just 450 visitors. Knowing a job title in a social media or external online search is no longer enough without context. HR Matters July 2013 | 21
  22. 22. Recruitment | HR Matters Without a blueprint or initial guidance, the organisation that would otherwise embark on a plan to implement Futurecasting – a methodology possible to employ right now – might give up altogether for want of simple first steps. This whitepaper aims to help such organisations jump-start the process. What follows, therefore, are seven steps that are recommended for any organisation looking to take advantage of the Futurecasting methodology. 1 Map the organisation’s process Creating a fully functional CRM begins with mapping out your talent acquisition process, from first contact with a prospective candidate to when they come aboard. If this is not something that you’ve previously worked on within your company, now is the time to make it a priority. How can you know what you need from your system if you haven’t identified it within your process? 2 Standardise the organisation’s protocol The very first step that any organisation should undertake toward realising more efficient CRM is to create a standard protocol. Initiate a stakeholder-driven effort to establish a workflow process that applies to the entire CRM lifecycle, with each stakeholder’s role clearly established and documented. For instance: • What default fields do you retain vs. which customised fields need to be created to meet your organisational needs? • What determines a complete record profile vs. a record that requires additional revision? • What is the data quality review process by which incomplete records are reconciled? • What is the standardised model for geo-locational, industry-specific, or in-house organisational data? What is the standardised model for number- based entries such as postal codes and telephone numbers (no dashes or numbers only)? • What is the agreed-upon terminology for a tagging system, list titles, and job ID vs. pipeline requisitions? 3 Add social data You might claim to be operating within social recruiting. But if you’re not already incorporating social data into the tools you use, you’re missing half the equation. While many systems do not yet have clickable URL fields available by default (such as a link to someone’s LinkedIn profile), you can certainly set them up as customised portions of your candidate profiles. 4 Segment the organisation’s data Because it’s such an important part of CRM, segmenting audiences should be an ingrained process for every sourcer and recruiter. A basic user can easily create simple segmentation, and advanced users can build rules and filters robust enough to allow the CRM to recognise a Twitter URL vs. a LinkedIn URL, if these are capable of being segmented. For instance, an organisation might want to, and would be able to, split lists by those with Twitter URLs and those with only LinkedIn URLs to then push these leads into groups or as followers to a corporate career site or user name. Once the data is segmented, an API facilitates the uploading. Though not all CRMs currently offer this feature as an off-the- shelf option, it soon will be standard. So start proactively adding URLs: when the CRM has that capability, the organisation can be sourcing immediately. 5 Reinforce competitive intelligence as a workflow process Adding an organisation’s own job titles to search for people within the system doesn’t always make sense. In fact, unless the organisation is one of the world’s largest companies or a governmental entity, it makes no sense at all. Ideally, most of the profiles in the system are of passive candidates. Their job titles will likely look very different from those used within the company. So make sure to build in titles for competitor organisations and create a more robust search string – for example, “x” is far more useful than “y” – to account for these discrepancies. In the same vein, consider using notes and tags to discover marks of distinction that competitors routinely give out (e.g. President’s Circle, Chairman’s Club, Catalyst Award). 6 De-duplicate and enforce data quality standards to your organisation’s database What is missing is as important as what is found. A 21st century Talent Acquisition organisation spends as much time identifying their knowledge gaps and the administrivia and automation capital to fill them as they do seeking new technologies. What data is missing from the database and talent knowledge libraries it builds are often as critical as the daily output of sourcing new talent prospects. Though not a short or easy process, it is one that every company should do on a continual basis, at e to implement a Futurecasting methodology things organisations should do right now 7 By Dave Mendoza 22 | July 2013 HR Matters
  23. 23. I I like the back cover blurb : Each of us has the capacity for greatness. So what is it that’s stopping us from reaching our true potential? The answer : too much interference. This is a different take on how we can approach any attempt at improvement or problem solving. While most approaches are outside in – we look online, we employ consultants, we get a coach – Alan seeks to focus on an ‘inside- out’ approach. The argument is that it’s not about going out there to gain new knowledge or a new method. You have everything you need already and it’s more a case of learning to use/tap into the knowledge you already have. Alan is the founder and president of InsideOut Development, a professional services firm offering training and coaching services. He has spent the last twenty five years as a mental performance/focus coach to top professional golfers, tennis players, musicians and corporate executives. This book covers the basic performance model, GROW, which he helped develop. GROW is an acronym for the four stages of decision making, considered by many to be a gold standard framework for structuring coaching conversations. The book is divided into three parts : Paradigm and Principle, Process and finally, Practice. As Alan describes it, “this book is less about gaining new knowledge and more about getting rid of what’s keeping you from using the knowledge you already have”. It’s long but packed with calls to try experiments that Alan outlines and a section at the end of each chapter where he poses questions for you to reflect on. Two things to recommend about the book: Firstly, the focus on execution. It is not knowledge alone that enables high performance. It is our ability to close the gap between what we know and doing what we know. It’s Alan’s belief that our ability to close this gap will have far greater impact on improving our performance than any additional knowledge we may gain. Any book that pays more attention to getting it done, is worthy of your attention. Secondly, Alan helps you to really understand the ideas he puts across through the use of detailed conversations. He breaks the dialogue down, highlighting at the various parts of the conversation, what he thinks of the situation, where he sees it going wrong and how he would approach it. This is very useful because it’s an opportunity to see theory brought to life with examples and detailed analysis. Overall, I think it’s worth investing your time and effort in. Anything that can help you not to gain more knowledge but instead, how to turn this into action, and how to execute on the plan is well worth your time. Additionally, if you are a self- starter, or someone who wants to help yourself, then this is, as Stephen Covey writes in the Foreword, a ‘truly landmark book on helping yourself and others journey to greatness’. - Ed HR Matters | Lit least until the technology does it for us. By identifying and extracting necessary data that is missing or incomplete, moreover by ridding the database of duplicate records, the organisation accomplishes two things: • It determines where and by what methodology its data needs to be standardised to minimise knowledge gaps (see step 1). • It saves time and financial resources when looking for records that outlast the routine attrition of your existing talent organisation. By upgrading the importance of quality validation of your data records – ridding it of incorrect, incomplete or old information and replacing all that with correct, complete, new information – the organisation accomplishes another two things: • It creates URLs for profiles that didn’t have them before and significantly extends the shelf-life of data regardless of present employers, position titles or relocations that are otherwise not dependable in an ever increasingly mobile global society. • It serves as the basis of validating fields that are empty, making that profile fully searchable and relevant. 7 Recognise the value of intellectual property With recruiting turnover and contract recruiting a fact of life for many local and global organisations, companies need to realise the value of their data. Simply put, if an organisation pays someone to source data on a daily basis, it must make sure that it keeps that data safe and validated by following the steps listed above. Excerpted from the Futurecasting whitepaper. Title : You Already Know How to be Great. A Simple Way to Remove Interference and Unlock Your Potential – At Work and At Home By : Alan Fine Published by : Piatkus Year of publication : 2010 ISBN 978-0-7499-5578-6 Details : Paperback 234 pages Available at : Borders Malaysia RM54.90 and all major retailers ® futurecasting [continued on page 49] HR Matters July 2013 | 23
  24. 24. Updates | HR Matters Leaders are not born. We believe everyone has the potential to become great leaders. We at Leaderonomics believe that people are the heart of an organisation’s success. Ensuring your top talent’s continuous development ensures a solid leadership pipeline for your organisation. Leaderonomics’ signature Talent Accelerator Programmes (TAP) aims to work with organisations to create ecosystems that accelerate the development of talents into leaders that would bring your organisation into the next century. The Leaderonomics TAP does this in 4 steps: Identify, Design, Execute and Assess. Leaders bring success to an organisation. When opportunity comes, are your talents prepared to take on leadership roles to take your organisation to the next level? Be A Leader. Your People, Your Greatest Asset. Are You Accelerating Them? To find out more about the Leaderonomics Talent Acceleration Programmes, please visit our website or write to Identify your Top Talent Organisations hire the best and brightest, but how do we ensure they are your game changers? Through a series of selection and qualifying criteria, we will help you identify key talent that will help you take your organisation to the next level. Design the Programme We carefully design a dynamic Talent Acceleration Programme that will incorporate a continuous competency-enhancing cycle for talent acceleration. This includes masterfully crafting LEARNING EXPERIENCES that builds on your talents’ CHARACTER and COMPETENCIES. With enhanced competencies, we drive your talent to CREATE VALUE for the organisation through live projects from your organisation. Execute, Execute, Execute! No programme is successful without world class execution. Putting the programme into motion with exciting key elements such as experiential learning sessions, projects, field trips, case studies and more create a dynamic learning environment to accelerate your talent. Key stakeholder involvement such as mentors, project sponsors and industry leaders ensure your talent learn from the best. Asssesing for Development Pre-programme, on-site and post-programme assessments are crucial information-gathering processes that create a robust Talent Acceleration Programme. Talent Managers conduct continuous assessment throughout the programme to ascertain the development progress of each talent and final assessment reports are provided to the organisation as a valuable insight into each talent and alignment for future organisation development.
  25. 25. Alignment Kristin Kaufman Hiring Carol Quinn Courage Sandra Ford Walston One of your greatest assets As an executive, we have two assets which rival as to which is most valuable to us. Both our time and our team are the two most critical components in achieving our objectives, personally and collectively. We challenge you to take the Hiring IQ Test! To bring awareness to the fact that so many interviewers know so little about hiring...and how to do it well...we’ve created a CONTEST and are giving away free interviewer training that teaches exactly how to hire high achievers. Courage – C-suite or Cube : It Matters! Just mention the word courage and you are bound to set people off with all sorts of projections (usually steeped in fear). Do people have courage? What is courageous leadership? Why is managerial courage important? Workforce Trends Robert W Wendover Leadership Rajeev Peshawaria The ROI of HR Laura McAdam Training the Mind of the Millenial. Tips 1 through 6. In the last post, I took a 30,000 foot view of the issues with training our digital natives, the Millennials. Here are the first six, of twelve, strategies that I and others are using to better land instruction and content. The Other Duty of Corporate Governance According to, corporate governance is “The Framework of rules and practices by which a board of directors ensures accountability, fairness, and transparency in a company’s relationship with its all stakeholders.” The Metrics of HR The costs of a company’s workforce account for 40 – 60 percent of its total expenses, and this percentage increases to around 80 percent for a non-profit company. HR Matters | Columnists websitesnapshot A quick look at posts this July HR Matters July 2013 | 25
  26. 26. HR Practitioner | HR Matters Who: Noel McGonigle, Group HR Director for Azzurri Communications Limited, one of UK’s leading independent provider of managed communication services. What : Recently won “Best Change Management Programme” at the HR Distinction Awards. The Awards recognise outstanding achievement from leading HR directors. Where : The Awards were held as part of the 11th HR Directors Business Summit in Birmingham, UK. Why : Recognition of the HR team who played a pivotal role in managing and implementing organisational transformation. The category was judged on merit in the planning, execution and performance results from large scale change programmes. When : 2013 In this exclusive interview, Noel McGonigle talks about a number of big changes that took place within the organisation over the last couple of years and how the upheaval and uncertainty was managed positively. Q| As a relatively young company, thirteen years in the making, Azzurri Communications is impressive in that it has acquired 16 companies to date and thrived. Managing and working in a constant state of flux must be an everyday norm for most of you. How do you manage the upheaval and uncertainty? Noel : For me personally, my military background has given me experience with fast changing or ambiguous situations. In a sense, it means getting used to working with the limited information you have and what you can deduct from your experience. You use this information to craft a plan and if there are critical things you don’t know, you need to work out where and who to go to, to get the answers. There’s a very old military phrase – no plan Transforming the Perception of HR Ex-military man, Noel McGonigle talks to Rowena Morais about how the conflict situations he faced enabled him to manage corporate and organisational change positively and proactively. survives contact with the enemy. The idea here is that theoretical planning and the work behind the scenes changes as soon as you start taking it forward into reality. Consequently, it’s critical that you remain flexible and that you continually re-evaluate and re-plan. Be prepared to change mid- direction if the plan doesn’t work because there’s nothing worse than pressing on when the plan is failing. Sometimes, you have to go with your instincts as well. Ultimately, it’s better to make a decision and do something than sit and do nothing. Q| How do you manage the upheaval and uncertainty for your people? Noel : I guess the key factor for managing it for the organisation is communication. We always have a clear communication strategy, for any acquisition, both for the company being acquired and for ourselves. As soon as it’s possible to commercially start talking about it, we do that whether it’s via email, video or face to face. Q| Have any changes been objected to and how do you deal with that? Noel : Yes, of course. It’s inevitable especially if change impacts a person’s role or them personally. It boils down to engaging people in the process. When we have the basics of a plan, we use employee Noel McGonigle 26 | July 2013 HR Matters
  27. 27. HR Matters | HR Practitioner consultative groups to talk about what we intend to do and to get feedback before we move forward. It’s not a big bureaucratic process. But where there are tough decisions to make, such as redundancy or where the shape of the business is changing, we ensure that once we make a decision, we then deal with the people who are leaving the organisation, in a fair and open way. It is important that they are well treated. And it’s just as important that the people who are left behind in the organisation see this as well so that there is no resentment. In 2009, when the business was refinanced, we needed to make 50 people redundant. This took place across the organisation because there was a restructure, but in that case, employee engagement scores actually improved. We could see that it was linked to our communication programme and how it was handled. Q| Recruitment and retention – these are twin pillars to any talent management strategy. What are your top three focus areas for attracting new talent and retaining the talent you have? Noel : Our primary focus is retention. We hone in on managers. We want them to be well trained and as equipped as they can be so that they inspire. We have a strong set of values in place and we do expect managers to be role models of these values. The manager is, after all, the single biggest factor in determining how engaged you are in the organisation. We also focus on leadership across the organisation. We ensure that we too are good role models, that we are visible and that we take the time to be available to our people. There’s also a focus on personal growth, by ensuring that everyone not only has a development plan but that they are working to that every year. This is a KPI and a focus area for employee feedback. And in terms of attraction, we work closely with marketing so that there are positive messages in the press. This is good not just for customers but also presents a branding opportunity. We encourage charitable work to build a community presence so that people are aware of us locally. It also allows us to demonstrate commitment to our community and giving back which then flags us to potential employees. Q| You served in the Royal Air Force for 22 years in a variety of operational and human resource appointments. Do you believe that your military experience has had a huge influence in your work in managing and growing people? Noel : Yes, certainly. There was a lot of leadership and management training in the military for me. I believe that conflict situations provide a much tougher training ground which has had definite benefit for me. Q| If you could advise an up and coming HR professional in today’s climate, what three pieces of advice would you give? Noel : Firstly, I would say, be curious. Be curious about the business that you work in and the business environment in general. For us to add value, there needs to be an understanding of how business works, in general, how your own business works and more importantly, what is needed to be successful in that organisation is also very important. Secondly, you need to be a risk taker. Don’t just go by the rules. HR can be quite good at hiding behind the rule book and that’s not always best for business. So, flex and do what is right for the business. Thirdly, never stop learning. Don’t forget to develop yourself and your skills. Get as broad an experience as you can… in compensation and benefits, in leadership etc. At some point, you might want to specialise, but experience across the board, will allow you to contribute to the HR function and to the business as a whole. Q| In relation to the Best Change Management Programme at the HR Distinction Awards 2013 - can you tell us a little bit about these change programmes? How many programmes were in place and how large were they? Noel : There were two or three programmes in place. When the business was refinanced in 2011/2012 and new ownership came on board, there was a desire to streamline the business. And we wanted to support this. One key initiative was improving the sales performance and pipeline. It involved us looking at drivers for sales performance, assessing individuals against the matrix using psychometric tools and identifying areas for individual development. It also meant introducing more development tools for the people and tools to support consultative selling. We were moving from selling products to selling solutions. Therefore, we needed to help our sales people make the transition from product to solution selling. In that regard, we managed assessment, development and delivery of that programme and drove an 18 percent increase in profit. Be prepared to change mid-direction if the plan doesn’t work because there’s nothing worse than pressing on when the plan is failing. HR Matters July 2013 | 27
  28. 28. HR Practitioner | HR Matters Q| There were a significant number of financial and management changes in the financial year till June last year. There was a refinancing exercise, change of ownership as well as the introduction of a new management team. These changes were reportedly introduced in a short period of time. Are you able to share with us some of your key business strategies to get these changes accepted within the employee base? Noel : All this took place in the space of a few months. The big shift in the last refinancing was having a new Board. There was a new Chief Executive, new Finance Director and new non-executive directors. The key element, I believe, was allowing the CEO and the CFO to meet as many people in the organisation as they could, and being able to communicate their background and their priorities. The message was essentially a positive one and it put the business on a solid footing moving forward. I believe that while there was a bit of a honeymoon period in the initial phase, the markets were challenging in the UK at the time. So, the external competition really made our people focus on what was happening outside. It was a combination of many factors including the mix of products we had, how the way we were selling was changing, there was more pay as you go and far more happening on the cloud. There was, therefore, lots to respond to and essentially, it kept our people focused and busy. There are legacy issues, of course, but there is a point at which you invest in systems, such as your financial or purchasing systems (that need to be continuously updated or integrated) that take your people to the next level. Q| It’s a challenge to navigate through these uncertainties and simultaneously keep the flow of the day to day running of the business. Can you elaborate on a key communication initiative HR embarked on to ensure that the needs of both the enterprise and the individual were aligned? Noel : We’ve reenergised and refocused our product to be more cloud-based. So, there is more pay as you go and customers were also wanting to use their own devices. Consequently, we had security and integration challenges associated with this. While we wanted to launch our new solutions to the market, we also wanted our employees to understand the breadth of the new solutions too. To do this, we ran two events for our offices in the north of England and also the south. Our CEO presented our vision, values and strategy to go to market. This was followed by a series of five product area demonstrations where these products were showcased and our people were shown how customers were using it. This enabled them to get a sense of what the products involved. We captured it on video and made it available for viewing online internally. We followed this with more in depth workshops for our technical and sales people to ensure they had the support they needed. And there was great feedback from this. Q| At the Awards above, it was stated that with your resized team and reduced budget, your HR team was able to successfully transform the perception of HR within the organisation. How was HR viewed prior to this and what do you feel contributed to this feeling? Noel:Ibelievethat,beforethis,HRwasviewedpositivelybutprobably not as commercial as it was after the change programme took place. The programme we undertook was a company-wide programme and as such, it raised the game. It changed the perception of HR from tactical to one of business partner to the company. Q| What do you see as a key challenge for HR today? How do you feel that this is best addressed? Noel : I think the key challenge is to keep up with the pace of change in the market and the organisation. You want to do this so that the support you provide is relevant and meets the needs at the time. To do that, you have to be outward facing to the market yet close to the business. Noel McGonigle served in the Royal Air Force for 22 years in a variety of operational and human resource appointments. Noel joined Azzurri in 2006 and is responsible for all HR activities, including Health and Safety. He is passionate about leadership and employee engagement. Azzurri has seen its employee engagement scores improve year on year and has been shortlisted for a number of HR awards, including winning Best Reward and Benefits Strategy in 2010 and a Distinction in Change Management in 2013. The manager is, after all, the single biggest factor in determining how engaged you are in the organisation. 28 | July 2013 HR Matters
  29. 29. We could talk about us till the cows come home... but we figure that what our clients think about us is more important. It’s about the ‘personal touch’ and responsiveness of the Consultants as well as the timeliness of service delivery despite short notice. I am happy with the services rendered by Propay Partners thus far. The No. 1 Insurance Brand in the world with more than 101 million clients. Propay Partners delivers on the knowledge of statutory requirements, work practices and other developments that we need to keep up to date with – their expertise in this area is invaluable. Our day-to-day Consultant is highly reliable, professional and responsible. Global Brand for Premium Audio and Infotainment Solutions Propay Partners Sdn Bhd Tel: +603 7655 6688 | Fax: +603 76650049 Email: | Website: Propay Partners delivered exceptional personalized services, ensuring payroll was prepared on time and administered flexibility alongside our resources. Global trusted Food Company CowImagecourtesyofMZacha@stock,xchg
  30. 30. Diary | HR Matters DIARY Event listings are complimentary. If you have an event that you think will be of interest to those in HR, send details at least two weeks before month of magazine issue for inclusion in the print edition. Details can be emailed to 1 HR Matters presents Talent Management. Raising Your Game 2013 HR Briefings Dates : 22 August and 28 November Venue : Menara Star, Section 16, Petaling Jaya Info : htm 2 Asian Shared Services and Outsourcing Revolution Date : 14 – 15 Aug 2013 Venue : New World Makati Hotel, Makati City, Philippines Info : 3 HRDF Conference & Exhibition 2013 Date : 3 – 4 September 2013 Venue : Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre Info : 4 Careers in Asia | Careers in Africa International Recruitment Summit Calendar Date : 11 – 13 October 2013 Venue : Sydney, Australia Info : www.globalcareercompany. com/doc/2013_calendar. pdf 5 HR Tech Europe 2.013 European Conference and Expo Date : 24- 25 October 2013 Venue : Amsterdam Info : The key thing is that we started this journey mindful of the scale of our ambitions balanced against our starting point and resources available. This meant we had to map out very carefully the sequence and inter-relationship between the various engagement work streams. Brett Terry, Director of People and Organisational Development at Alzheimer’s Society. Read more about Alzheimer’s Society journey towards greater employee engagement on page 44. For more info on getting invited to the Roundtables, call +603 6140 6398. 30 | July 2013 HR Matters
  31. 31. HR Matters | Best Practice Best Practices that Directly Impact Your Business’s Ability to Reach Your Profit Target The Essential Toolkit for Profitability - how each best practice increases the odds of your business hitting your profit target. Excerpts from the State of the Business Owner 2013 report. Why is it called ‘The Ownership Stack’? “We call it this to make it clear there’s no secret if you really want to feel in control — to “own” your business through and through. It’s about taking the time to build your foundation — to think about the future and plan how to get there — knowing that every step you take is a step in the right direction.” 9 M Mid May saw the launch of the State of the Business (SOBO) 2013 Report* in which more than 1700 business owners were surveyed across 83 countries. One of the largest global studies of small and midsize business success factors, the SOBO Report (which is now in its second year) aims to gain insight into the challenges that small and midsize businesses face daily. The Report indicated that the cautious optimism noted in their 2012 study was now replaced by untempered optimism about growth this year. A key finding is the identification of nine best practices that have a direct impact on a small business’s ability to reach their profit target and the fact that each best practice implemented increased the odds of a business hitting this profit target by 6.6 percent. These best practices – The Ownership Stack - form a universal set of tools, each of which has a dramatic impact on the business. The Ownership Stack Defined 1 Written Values A clear set of values from your heart, that inspire a team of people who share your priorities and deeply own their responsibilities in a way that frees you. 2 Written Vision A 2-3 page statement defining what your business will look like, act like, feel like and perform like when it’s treating customers how you want it to, every time. 3 Ideal Customer Profile A detailed definition of your perfect customers. This includes demographics and psychographic information about how they feel, think, and make decisions. 4 Employee Role Descriptions Signed agreements that define every role — focused on results and values, not tasks and policies. These are the foundation of job ownership and excellence. 5 Revenue Plan Plans for generating revenue, and associated assumptions, documented and translated into a twelve month budget that is both realistic and stretches you. 6 Written Marketing Plan A cohesive plan for generating leads, designed to meet your ideal customer where they are, with what they need, in a brand-consistent way. 7 Repeat Sales Plan Driven by powerful customer experiences, systems that leverage your existing relationships to sell more and more often to your current and former clients. 8 Marketing Metrics Indicators that tell you how well you’ve converted people from total strangers to your best customers, so you have actionable data to maximise your impact. 9 Business Metrics A simple dashboard of strategic indicators to track progress toward your vision, to ensure initiatives have the right impact, and course correct as needed. For details on sustainable growth, effective online prospecting, how to take your best practices to the next level or to find out how to build your own Ownership Stack, download the SOBO report at HR Matters July 2013 | 31
  32. 32. The State of the Business (SOBO) 2013 Report is produced by EMyth, a global leader in transformational business coaching and PixelSpoke, an award- winning digital marketing agency. Jonathan Raymond, Chief Brand Officer at Myth, who was formerly their Chief Executive talks to HR Matters Magazine. If you had to choose the most significant finding from the SOBO report, what would that be, and why? Jonathan : The most important finding was what we’re calling the ‘Ownership Stack’. It was a set of nine best practices - actions like defining your ideal customer in detail to creating real role descriptions for employees - that have a direct correlation to hitting profit goals. The Report found that each one of these nine tools had a dramatic impact on a business. In fact, implementing each one increased a business owner’s odds of reaching Best Practice | HR Matters 9 best practices [continued on page 48] Key Facts • Over 1700 business owners participated in the study • Owner compensation ranged between $1K-2.5M • Average gross annual revenue $4.6M • Combined revenues of all participating businesses exceeded $4.2B • Participating businesses employed over 8,000 full-time workers in 2012 • The median growth rate for 2012 was 12.5%, and the expected growth in 2013 is 20% • 65% of participants have owned or founded at least one company previously • The oldest participant was 83, the youngest was 20, and the median age was 47 • Business owners from 83 different countries participated. 87% of the survey respondents were from six English-speaking countries: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa • The median business had been around for 10 years SOBO infographic courtesy EMyth their profit targets by 6.6 percent, and implementing all nine of them increases their odds by nearly 60 percent. And while some of these practices are not new, what we found compelling was how they can work together to support real and sustainable revenue growth and increased profitability. From what you’ve seen, what do you believe are the three biggest failings for small and midsize businesses? Jonathan : The first common failing is overconfidence. The SOBO Report found that 85 percent of business owners believe they have a competitive advantage. Given the daunting statistics from the Small Business Administration that only 50 percent of new businesses survive the first five years, this is a very risky attitude. Entrepreneurs overestimate the power of their idea or technical skill and underestimate the value of proper management systems and execution to reach the result they want. 32 | July 2013 HR Matters
  33. 33. HR Matters | Special Feature LEARNING &DEVELOPMENT S P E C I AL F E A T U R E P ersonal Development Plans (PDPs) can be useful for individuals and teams to identify and address both short and long term development goals. These plans provide a systematic approach to continuously developing your skills. We talk to four HR leaders about noteworthy practices that they have come across, in crafting or implementating effective PDPs. Make an investment where it matters most Why PDPs? In today’s business world, I believe it’s critical to long- term success to invest in the development of your own PDP and those of your employees. I have been fortunate to have worked with and for incredible leaders that made PDPs a priority of my development conversations. I’ve led people for more than 17 years, and as a leader, when you’re able to help others understand the importance of how investing in yourself, both personally and professionally, and by how doing so translates into overall success at work and life, it’s just one of the many things you do that helps them grow and achieve more. One way to do this is to make PDPs a priority during one-on-ones. I believe it’s our job to help foster and facilitate the discussion about why PDPs are important and then work together (operative word is together) to craft a plan that addresses both a personal and professional goal. Keep them simple. Complexity shuts down even the best made plans. When as leaders we can help connect the two, commitment to a PDP happens. Research has proven that life-long learners succeed at higher rates in both life and business. Over the long-term, fostering focus and attention towards PDPs with employees nets you the greatest returns on your most valuable assets - your people. Why not make an investment where it matters most? It’s what truly sets you apart from the rest. Roger Brooks is the Executive Director of Training & Development for Safeguard Business Systems, a leading manufacturer and distributor of business products and services designed to help small to medium sized business owners run and grow their business. Roger’s twelve year career in learning and development has spanned across industries such as retail, restaurants and franchising. For greater engagement, offer something that fits the preferences of people When PDPs were first used, in the late 1980s, their purpose was to help encourage employees to take ownership of their development for the first time. Before this, it was trainees and high flyers that held personal plans, other staff were at the whims of employers. Developing single PDP systems for all employees proved difficult and gaining whole scale commitment even harder. When these systems worked, they really did add value. One such system I was leading was developed for London Underground. This provided a return ten times the cost of implementing the system… just from one learning intervention, from one manager! That would not have happened without a PDP. At that point evaluation was stopped! where it matters most? The case for Personal Development Plans. By Isabella Chan Keep them simple. Complexity shuts down even the best made plans.~ Roger Brooks Why not make an investment HR Matters July 2013 | 33