Profitability drives the actions of all organisation, even not for profits as they at least need to break even, as such senior leadership teams are constantly reviewing regular reports on the health of their organisation through financial, operational and people metrics. Unfortunately a majority of these metrics are looking backward at what took place during the last month, quarter or year.
Especially when you start looking at metrics such as Employee Engagement/Satisfaction which usually result out of an annual survey. Following the actual survey period is at least a month of analysis after which the result are usually distributed back to managers over a period of weeks if not months. Afterwards the long drawn out process of implementing the recommendations takes place. This can actually disengage employees as they do not see positive outcomes from the survey for many months.
At best organisations will have engagement figures that are only 90 days old, at worse over 12 months, resulting in executives using a historical view on the “health” of their largest expense for decision making.
Over the last few years serious financially based research has been taking place around how employee engagement impacts organisational financial performance. Alex Edmans’ most recent findings are:
Companies listed on the “100 Best Companies to Work For in America” generated 2.3% to 3.8% higher stock returns per year than their peers from 1984 through 2011.
Leading expert on employee engagement David Zinger provided an interesting fact; a disengaged employee is actually costing you US$2,246 per year. David’s source as a lovely infograph created by ADP in the US based several different bodies of research. Some other facts from the infograph include:
- 67% of employees are not engaged, this is less than Australian estimates of around 80% not engaged
- 49% of employees feel their executive do not create an environment that drive engagement
- Engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave
- Removing roadblocks and access to resources can improve employee performance by 25%
It is research like Alex Edmans and figures like the type from the ADP infograph that make it not surprise that switched on organisations take this seriously and are finding year old data on engagement just not “cutting the mustard”. Really switch on ones are doing something about it like Atlassian’s Mood App.
I had a thought over the last couple of days; “What are my most popular posts?”
About 7 years ago I installed a plug in called WP-PostViews as I cannot remember exactly when I installed it I have no solid starting point for the numbers. However it is still interesting to see what has been popular.
- 52 ideas on using social media within HR – 61,258 views
- Social networking sites in Australia – 52,986 views
- Less posting here – 47,358 views
- Is Facebook good or bad? – 42,426 views
- Job Board consolidation – 35,764 views
- Become a recruiter for your friends – 29,455 views
- What generation are you – 28,153 views
- Internal Social Networks Analysis – 25,649 views
- Australian Payroll: Chris 21 – 23,783 views
- Jeremy Wright was fired and other notes on blogs and work – 20,242 views
The list has mainly very old posts, in years that is, and very SEO keyword friendly so I am not surprising about them being in the list. The most recent post was the one on Chris 21 back in August 2009.
I was driving home today listening to The Cloud Computing podcast where Chris Dailey discussed an article entitled Scrap you code. Start from scratch for cloud which was suggesting that smaller companies do not need to invest on-premise computing offerings instead they can go straight to the cloud for everything. The premise of this, going all cloud, was you saved money, became more agile, executed faster deployments delivering an overall better result. Chris and his fellow panelists disagreed with this approach being 100% right all the time, and I totally agree with them. To quote one of the panelist:
Buy what you can for your business from the cloud that makes sense but there is a good chance there is an expect of your business that will require specialization and that the cloud will not make that go away.
Instead you should go through a process of mixing and matching different technologies to an end result that delivers value for your business and allows your business to operate in the manner it finds most effective. Just like on-premise software implementations to be successful you need to start by assessing your business needs and then select the most effective product for that need, regardless of technology.
Going cloud for every new requirement or migrating currently operating on-premise software to the cloud just because everything should be cloud based is wrong. You need to work towards an optimized solution that considers your business requirements, reviewing the value of all existing technologies to determine which types of products and technologies provides the best value for your business problem.
These same process should take place with your HR/Payroll technology selections. Does it make the most sense to host your online job board on your own IT infrastructure running on-premise software or is it best to use an Software as a Service (SaaS) provider? Your payroll software should that be on-premise or SaaS?
Finally these questions cannot and should not be answered in isolation they need to be reviewed based on your business requirements, IT strategy, HR strategy to determine the solution that offers the most value to your organisation.
After reading a post about collaboration and recruiting from Jobscience I went to watch the TEDGlobal Video of Rachel Botsman who explores the currency that makes systems like Airbnb and Taskrabbit work: trust, influence, and what she calls “reputation capital”. To me what Rachel is talking about is really the same as Whuffie, a term coined by Cory Doctorow in Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom back in 2003, or social capital and not really something that new or revolutionary but is something very important.
The ability to transfer your reputation across different sites and services, just like Whuffie, would change the way we use new sites and services. For example I have looked a Airbnb and many property’s prefer you to have a good reputation before they will allow you to use their property, makes sense, but how does one get a reputation to start with if you can’t book a property. Enter the transferable reputation. I could transfer my eBay or LinkedIn reputation to Airbnb and immediately gain access to these properties. (Yes I know Airbnb allows you to link to these services and provides other methods but you have to start from scratch.)
Now into the workplace.
With the growth in collaborative, social enterprise software over the last few years now means many of us have (or will) built up internal reputations, earned badges, become experts inside our own organisations. This reputation in a collaborative organisation can help you get promoted, onto new projects become the go to person on topics etc. (Not to mention many people just like getting badges for the sake of badges, the whole gamification thing.)
But when you leave the organisation what happens to all of this reputation? Nothing. You join a new organisation and you start from the beginning again. Just like in the consumer world it would be great to be able transfer the reputation gained on these internally focused tools to your new organisation.
Again many in new organisations will review your Linkedin profile and other publicly available sources but still all that effort in your last organisation is basically lost.