Talent Edge Weekly - Issue #186
Employee change fatigue, realities of building a skills-based organization, employee wellbeing, disability as a source of competitive advantage, and AI in the workplace.
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Brian Heger is an internal human resources practitioner with a Fortune 150 organization and has responsibilities for Strategic Talent and Workforce Planning. You can connect with Brian on Linkedin, Twitter, and brianheger.com
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THIS WEEK'S CONTENT
Here is a glance at this week’s content.
Can CIOs Do? | Gartner | Shares ideas for including ‘employee change fatigue’ as a decision-making factor for determining the timing and scope of technology implementations in an organization.
Building A Skills-Based Organization: The Exciting But Sober Reality | Josh Bersin | Discusses the realities and challenges of becoming a skills-based organization and offers considerations for practitioners as they navigate these challenges.
Employee Wellbeing Playlist | Multiple Resources | A one-page PDF that includes 5 resources for enabling employee wellbeing in an organization.
Disability as a Source of Competitive Advantage | Harvard Business Review | Shares four competitive advantages of including individuals with disabilities in the workforce. I share bonus resources.
Four Essential Questions for Boards to Ask About Generative AI | McKinsey | Poses essential questions that boards should ask company leaders, including those in HR, about the implementation of AI in the workplace.
And don't forget to check out the 2023 Job Cuts and Layoff Tracker, the Chief HR Officer Hire of the Week, and other resources from this issue.
Let’s dive in!
THIS WEEK'S EDGE
Note: When using this content on other platforms (e.g., social media, website, etc.), please provide attribution to Talent Edge Weekly and link to this issue.
As many organizations implement various changes in the workplace, I have received multiple requests for resources in change management. Behind these requests is a growing concern that the volume and pace of change that workers continue to experience contribute to employee burnout, disengagement, and change fatigue. While various factors contribute to this overall sentiment, one significant factor is the overwhelming number of technology changes employees are exposed to in an organization. The article provides strategies for how organizations can include “change fatigue” as a factor for deciding when and how technology changes and implementations are made in an organization. Since Chief HR Officers and their teams work closely with CIOs and the IT function on managing tech implementations, the two functions can partner to incorporate fatigue as a component of the organization’s decision-making process regarding how and when it releases technology changes. The article provides a case study example from Sky Cable, which plans and releases technology changes based on employee capacity, not just business urgency. Employee capacity is estimated through qualitative discussions with business leaders using questions such as: “Of the changes discussed, which one do you expect to cause the most stress and fatigue in your team?” Based on these assessments, the CIO collaborates with business leaders and decides whether to rescope, release, delay, or eliminate changes. Several other ideas are discussed.
This new article by Josh Bersin discusses creating a skills-based organization—highlighting the realities and challenges associated with its implementation, and providing considerations for practitioners who are responsible for navigating these challenges. While there are too many useful insights to summarize adequately from this in-depth article, a few points to highlight are: 1) Building a comprehensive skills taxonomy is a complex task, since skills fall into various categories (e.g., technical, operational, functional, industry, management, and leadership) and vary in importance across different organizations and industries. Due to the extensive number of skills in a taxonomy, every word choice becomes a matter of debate (e.g., collaboration vs. teamwork; Java or Java programming, etc.), adding to this complexity. 2) Instead of attempting a comprehensive approach to skills to start, focusing on specific problems within the organization can prove more effective. For example, if you have high turnover and low morale in customer service (the problem), you might find, after digging into the problem, that one cause is that teams may not have the right skills for the role they are in. One example mentioned is Amex—who realized that the "skills" needed in the Amex sales and service teams were not customer service skills but hospitality skills. Amex treats clients like guests, so they started recruiting from Ritz-Carlton and other hospitality companies. It took a skills-based analysis to figure this out. From the problems, organizations can determine which skills-based vendors work best in helping to solve those problems, create a process for design and governance, and more. It is important to thoroughly read the article to fully benefit from Josh's comprehensive insights, as there is much more to explore.
This one-page PDF contains a playlist of five resources for enabling employee wellbeing (EWB) in an organization. A few of these resources include: 1) The Workforce Well-being Imperative by Deloitte Insights, which shares how three determinants disproportionately impact employee wellbeing: Leadership (how leaders behave), Design of Work (how work is organized), and Ways of Working (how work gets done). 2) Addressing Employee Burnout: Are you Solving the Right Problem? This article from the McKinsey Health Institute explores how firms can address the organizational causes of burnout, such as toxic workplace behavior and ineffective organizational systems.It provides eight questions to help identify these systemic causes of burnout. For example, one question is: "Are we effectively tackling the stigma that impedes people from seeking help for mental health needs?" 3) Major Six-month Trial Finds Working a Four-day Week Boosts Employee Wellbeing While Preserving Productivity. This study, conducted by a team of social scientists from the University of Cambridge in collaboration with Boston College, shares findings from a 6-month study on the potential benefits of a 4-day work week. One finding shows that reducing the work week by 20% (days worked) without cutting pay resulted in significant decreases in workforce stress and sick days, an improvement in worker retention, and a better work-life balance for most employees while still achieving key business metrics. Each of the five resources on the playlist has clickable links to the source documents and includes a brief description of each article.
Last month, I shared an article by BCG titled "Your Workforce Includes People with Disabilities. Does Your People Strategy?" The article reveals that many organizations report a relatively low percentage of employees considered People with Disabilities (PwD), averaging only 4 to 7 percent. However, a BCG survey found that approximately 25 percent of workers reported having a disability or health condition that limits a major life activity. The UN Convention on Rights of PwD defines those for whom it advocates as "individuals with long-term physical, mental, intellectual, or sensory impairments as those who face obstacles hindering their full participation in society on an equal basis with others." As noted in the BCG article, the gap between the self-identification of individuals with disabilities and the numbers reported by employers suggests that employees with disabilities are significantly less likely to disclose their condition to their employers due to potential stigma, concerns about job security, or the impact on promotion opportunities. In this new Harvard Business Review article, the authors emphasize four competitive advantages of including individuals with disabilities in the workforce, citing the presence of unique talents. For instance, academics who study autism found strong links between autism and aptitude at tasks requiring attention to detail. Another example is that those with dyslexia may excel at detecting anomalies in data. This in-depth article shares examples of how organizations are creating opportunities for PwD to express their unique talents. As a bonus, here is a previously shared article on how Mastercard goes about recruiting and hiring those who identify as being neurodiverse—a term that refers to people who think differently than the majority of people.
This article discusses four essential questions that boards should pose to company leaders, including those in HR, regarding the implementation of AI in the workplace.1) How will generative AI affect our industry and company in the short and long term?, 2) Are we balancing value creation with adequate risk management?, 3) How should we organize for generative AI? 4) Do we have the necessary capabilities? Regarding question #4, "Do we have the necessary capabilities?", Chief HR Officers and their teams must think through several considerations, such as the new skills that employees will require as their interaction with AI increases. Which skills will become more important? Which will be less important? Apart from skills, it is crucial to consider the organizational culture. The authors emphasize that companies struggling with innovation and change may encounter difficulties in effectively adopting generative AI. "To ensure ethical and successful implementation of AI in the workplace—a learning culture, shared responsibility, and accountability are crucial." HR leaders can assist their organizations in contemplating the cultural shifts necessary for successful AI adoption. As a bonus resource, I am resharing the Conference Board's report, "Generative AI: Questions CHROs Should Ask." This report contains 35 questions that Chief HR Officers and their teams should consider as they help their organizations prepare for AI in the workplace.
MOST VIEWED FROM LAST WEEK
Outlines 10 steps for building a skills-based organization through three focus areas: 1) Building the business case for skills, 2) Deconstructing work into tasks and skills, and 3) Managing the transition and change.
CHIEF HR OFFICER HIRE OF THE WEEK
As part of CHROs on the Go— a digital platform subscription that provides the easiest, fastest, and most convenient way to stay informed about hires, promotions, and resignations in the Chief Human Resources Officer role—15 new CHRO announcements were posted on the platform last week.
This week’s CHRO announcement is:
Alignment Health (ORANGE, CALIFORNIA) [NASDAQ: ALHC]—— a consumer brand name of Alignment Healthcare, Inc— a tech-enabled Medicare Advantage company — has announced the appointment of Melinda Kimbro as its new Chief People Officer. Kimbro brings more than 25 years of HR experience and a deep understanding of people management. She spent over two decades at Viasat, Inc. (NASDAQ: VSAT), where she helped grow the company from 500 to 7,000 employees across 20 countries. At Viasat, Kimbro served in various HR, employee relations and developmental roles, including Head of HR, Senior Vice President of People and Culture and Chief People Officer. READ MORE
172 CHROs Hired and Promoted the Last 90 Days
Over the past 90 days, 172 Chief HR Officers have been hired and promoted in organizations such as Burberry, PepsiCo, and Kohl’s, to name a few.
This complimentary PDF provides information on 12 CHROs who were hired or promoted from April through June 2023. It includes a summary of each announcement, links to the source announcements, and links to the LinkedIn profiles of each CHRO. Learn how to get this now!
Do you want to join hundreds of others getting the EDGE each week in knowing which CHROs are being hired, promoted, and resigning? If so:
Currently, there are +2500 CHROs announcements on CHROs on the Go, with an average of 20 new announcements added each week!
If you are already a member of CHROs on the Go, you can log in to access all announcements and site functionality.
Here you can see the latest updates from a segment of organizations that have announced job cuts and layoffs since the start of 2023. A few firms that announced job cuts this past week include Amdocs, Evernote, and Vista Group.
TWEET OF THE WEEK
CEOs continuously rank talent as a priority. But do they have blind spots in talent strategy & management? @DDI@DDIworldntifies 5 potential blind spots & shares what Chief HR Officers can do to help their CEOs course correct. https://ddiworld.com/blog/ceo-blind…#hr #chro
— Brian Heger (@Brian_Heger)
Jul 9, 2023
TALENT EDGE WEEKLY REWIND
Highlights a previously shared Talent Edge Weekly resource that received many views and engagement!
A 29-page report that shares 17 predictions that influence recruiting, hiring, and talent acquisition practices. The report is broken into five sections: 1) The Role of recruiting, 2) Economic uncertainty, 3) Employer branding, 4) Skills-first hiring, and 5) Internal mobility and upskilling.
If so, you can check out issue #184, which includes 15 of the most popular resources from June. The resources are broken into 3 major themes—HR Effectiveness, Technology & AI, and Talent Trends and Practices.
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Talent Edge Weekly is a free weekly newsletter that brings together the best talent and strategic human resources insights from various sources. It is published every Sunday at 6PM EST.