Google & HR Analytics

Just read a fascinating article at TLNT entitled How Google is Using people Analytics to Completely Reinvent HR.

We (HR Professionals) are definitely very guilty of using “just because” as a rationale for implementing our ideas. We should pay these people more “just because” they deserve to be. We should add this benefit “just because” it would be nice for our employees to have. We should offer this course “just because” we think employees would want it. Very seldom to be provide any rationale or metrics to prove our arguments. I still remember the sheepish looks I got from some of the heads of HR I interviewed for my Doctoral research. When I asked them about HR metrics, most sheepishly relied “yah Tim, we should probably be doing a better job of evaluating what we do…but we don’t…it’s on our list this year though.” It was funny to hear that repeated but I suspect most HR departments are similar.

The problem is, some of the “soft” aspects of our organizations are difficult to quantify. I work in healthcare, and it’s really difficult to measure the performance and ROI of a healthcare professional’s work. That’s not an excuse, it’s just a reality of people industries. Healthcare is not Google, but we can probably learn a lot from Google still.


Art of HR – Presentation Notes from HRIA/HRMAL Meeting (Feb 12th)

I presented excerpts of my Doctoral research tonight at the Human Resource Management Association of Lethbridge. For those in attendance, here’s a copy of the slides I used in the presentation. Email me directly if you want more detail or the full copy of my project.

You can download my presentation in .pdf format here.

Now I’m really looking forward to the 2013 HRIA Conference, where I’ll do a longer version of this presentation and present more detail on ‘how’ to carry out some of my recommendations. Feel free to sign-up for my session if you are attending.

Are Employees Really Sick?

Biggest Reasons Employees Leave Your Company

2012 – My year in Review

It’s funny how a year flies by. I think of how much has happened to me in the past year and am excited for the new year. I finished my Doctorate, published a few articles, wrote a book, hired an agent, and am attempting to publish the book. I interviewed some of the top HR leaders in Canada and have grown more passionate about HR in doing so. I also realized that many of these leaders are pondering the same issues most HR leaders deal with.

I work in HR and a large portion of my job is labour relations. I’m intentionally careful about what I post / share because it’s usually not appropriate to share the really interesting stuff. It’s been an interesting and challenging year at work and I think I’ve grown a lot as well. I’ve experienced things that some HR Professionals may never experience (collective bargaining, union certifications etc.). My team is stronger than ever, and it’s awesome to watch them continue to grow into HR Professionals.

I’ve written lots of articles/posts on this blog, many of which were published on LDRLB. Some were ignored; others were read and shared widely. But it’s fun to flesh out my thoughts on leadership in public forums and hearing different points of view. I feel that the more I study leadership, the less I know. I’m sure many other scholars feel the same way. It’s such a broad field and there is so much I still don’t know. That’s why I love it and why I’ve spent so many years studying it.

To everyone who reads/follows this blog, thanks so much for your comments and emails. I love the debates and look forward to 2013!

HR & Christmas Policies

I’m not sure who wrote this, but a colleague emailed this to me today. It made me laugh. Merry Winterval!


Please be advised that all employees planning to dash through the snow in a one-horse open sleigh, going over the fields and laughing all the way are required to undergo a Risk Assessment addressing the safety of open sleighs. This assessment must also consider whether it is appropriate to use only one horse for such a venture, particularly where there are multiple passengers. Please note that permission must also be obtained in writing from landowners before their fields may be entered. To avoid offending those not participating in celebrations, we request that laughter is moderate only and not loud enough to be considered a noise nuisance. You should also refrain from the use of the word Christmas as others might find this offensive. Winter festival or simply Winterval has been found to be acceptable as an alternative.

Benches, stools and orthopaedic chairs are now available for collection …by any shepherds planning or required to watch their flocks at night. While provision has also been made for remote monitoring of flocks by CCTV cameras from a centrally heated shepherd observation hut, all facility users are reminded that an emergency response plan must be submitted to account for known risks to the flocks. The angel of the Lord is additionally reminded that prior to shining his/her glory all around s/he must ensure that all shepherds are wearing appropriate Personal Protective Equipment to account for the harmful effects of UVA, UVB and the overwhelming effects of Glory.

Following last year’s well publicised case, everyone is advised that EC legislation prohibits any comment with regard to the redness of any part of Mr. R. Reindeer. Further to this, exclusion of Mr. R Reindeer from reindeer games will be considered discriminatory and disciplinary action will be taken against those found guilty of this offence.

While it is acknowledged that gift-bearing is commonly practised in various parts of the world, particularly the Orient, everyone is reminded that the bearing of gifts is subject to Hospitality Guidelines, as contained within the Companies Honesty and Integrity Policy, and that all gifts must be registered. This applies regardless of the individual, even royal personages. It is particularly noted that direct gifts of currency or gold are specifically precluded under provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Further, caution is advised regarding other common gifts, such as aromatic resins that may initiate allergic reactions.

Finally, in the recent case of the infant found tucked up in a manger without any crib for a bed, Social Services have been advised and will be arriving shortly.

Merry Winterval,
Risk Management Team

Values: Ideal versus Current

Values are an important part of any organization’s core essence. But value is a state of the present, not just a future ideal. I may value punctuality as an ideal core value, but if I am not punctual myself, then is it truly a core value to me? No matter what I want to do, or want my followers to do, a value must be intertwined with our behaviors, to truly be a value.

Greg Marcus, in a response to my previous post on values, wrote, “Values exist in every organization. They are what drive decisions and limit behaviors. In many ways they are the operating system of the organization…But unfortunately they often have little in common with the high minded the words on the paper.” I like that operating system analogy and totally agree with Greg that many organizations have a large disparity between perceived and actual values.

I am writing this post on my Macbook, and no matter how hard I try, I’m not going to magically change my Macbook into a PC. I would have to buy a new computer to change my operating system. With enough knowledge, I might be able to make my own, but that will be a difficult–if not impossible–endeavor.

An authentic state where our actual and perceived values and behaviors harmoniously align is an ideal state of leadership. But that is utopian, not entirely attainable for most of us. That’s not an excuse though, and shouldn’t prevent us for striving for that equilibrium. Hultman (2005) argues that “fostering greater authenticity…requires a culture where people can admit their mistakes and still maintain their self-worth” (p.48). It is important that we are able to learn and grow since none of us are perfect. We need room to grow and make those mistakes. But who we are now (our character) is equally as important as who we want to be. Our values are exhibited now, by what we do now. So quit espousing ideal values, and start living your current values.

Hultman, K. (2005, Fall). Evaluating organizational values. Organizational Development Journal, 23(5), 39-48.