- Talent Edge Weekly
- Talent Edge Weekly - Issue #201
Talent Edge Weekly - Issue #201
Job and work tasks subject to automation, 3 talent templates, using data to test ideas, augmenting HR with external expertise, and work relationship index report.
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THIS WEEK'S CONTENT
Here’s a glance at this week’s content. A deep dive is in the section that follows.
Assume Nothing: A Guide to Human Capital Hypothesis Testing | Deloitte Insights2Action | Shares ideas on the importance of testing whether a belief or decision is supported by data.
Jobs of Tomorrow: Large Language Models and Jobs | World Economic Forum | A new 34-page report that examines which jobs and work tasks have the highest potential for automation.
3 Talent Templates: Critical Role Risk, Employee Retention Risk, and Non-Tech Barriers to Internal Mobility | Brian Heger | I share templates to help evaluate different aspects of talent management.
Augment HR With External Expertise to Improve HR Competency | Gartner | Suggests that HR needs to augment its expertise with knowledge beyond its traditional domain as its portfolio of work expands.
HP Work Relationship Index Report | HP Inc. | A new study that analyzes 50+ aspects of people’s relationships with work, such as the role of work in their lives, their skills, abilities, tools, and workspaces.
Also, check out the 2023 job cuts tracker & Chief HR Officer hire of the week.
Let’s dive in.
THIS WEEK'S EDGE
Note: When using the summaries below on social media, blog posts, newsletters, etc., please provide attribution to Talent Edge Weekly and link to this issue whenever possible. Thank you!
As the nature of work and the workplace continues to undergo unprecedented change, leaders face the challenge of evaluating and making numerous decisions that impact their workforce. These decisions encompass a wide range of topics, such as establishing guidelines and policies for remote work and determining the role of AI in the workplace. However, as highlighted in this article, decision-makers can often be swayed by confirmation bias—a cognitive tendency where people seek evidence that aligns with their pre-existing beliefs. As a result, confirmation bias, to which we are all susceptible, detracts from effective decision-making. This article focuses on the importance of hypothesis testing in human capital decision-making. Several key points are emphasized, including "Thinking Like a Researcher," encouraging decision-makers to challenge their existing beliefs, approach their roles with humility and empathy, and remain open to learning from new data and information to refine their decisions. Additionally, the article stresses the importance of "Exploring Everything, Assuming Nothing," highlighting the need to withhold assumptions until sufficient evidence is available. While it is difficult to overcome confirmation bias completely, by applying this approach to workplace decisions, leaders can gather factual data to test assumptions, mitigate biases, and improve the quality of their decisions that ultimately impact their entire workforce. With this as the backdrop, here is a new article by Stanford Professor, Nick Bloom titled Does Working from Home Damage Productivity? Just Look at The Data.
This new 34-page report discusses the direct impact of Generative AI, specifically Large Language Models (LLMs), on various jobs and tasks. Based on an analysis of 19,000 tasks in 867 occupations, researchers assessed the level of risk exposure of tasks and jobs to automation via LLM using four categories: 1) High potential for automation: Going forward, the task will be performed by LLMs, not humans. 2) High potential for augmentation: Humans will continue to perform the task, and LLMs will increase human productivity. 3) Low potential for either automation or augmentation: Humans will continue to perform the task with no significant impact from LLMs. 4) Unaffected. Non-language tasks, such as those that emphasize physical movement (e.g., loading products for transport). Table 1 on page 8 summarizes specific tasks and the four categories in which they fall. For example, tasks with the highest potential for automation by LLMs tend to be routine and repetitive, such as administrative or clerical activities, whereas tasks with lower potential for automation and augmentation are those that require a high degree of personal interaction and collaboration (e.g., negotiation of contracts, scientific and technical work). Organizations can use this four-category framework to help break down roles into tasks, and then use this information to determine the most optimal way to accomplish those tasks through different tactics (e.g., automation, full-time employees, external partnerships, etc.). To supplement this report, I am resharing the World Economic Forum’s 2023 Future of Job Report, which explores how jobs and skills will evolve over the next five years.
As I continue to receive requests for various talent management tools, I am resharing three one-page templates I created for different talent purposes: 1) Critical Position Risk. One crucial step after identifying an organization’s critical positions is to evaluate any risks and vulnerabilities in those roles. This template helps to determine if four types of risks are present in critical positions: incumbent risk, internal bench risk, development risk, and external talent risk. 2) Employee Retention Risk. This template allows managers to assess employee retention risk using 13 indicators known as the ‘cues of turnover scale.’ The output can help identify strategies for mitigating retention risk in the most important areas. 3) Non-technological Barriers to Internal Mobility. While technology (e.g., internal talent marketplace platforms, etc.) is a critical enabler of internal mobility (IM), organizations often approach IM as a technology initiative and lose sight of the non-technological critical components of an IM strategy. This template provides practitioners with a way to identify if these six non-technological IM barriers exist in their organizations and determine the appropriate actions to take in response. Please note that these six are not the only non-tech barriers to IM, but serve as a good starting point. Although these templates aren't sophisticated, simple tools like these can prompt the right discussions leading to the right actions in critical areas of talent management.
HR practitioners face increasing demands and requests for support from their organizations, often in areas where they are not the primary experts, such as AI, mental well-being, and social issues. According to a Gartner survey, 33% of HR employees receive requests beyond their expertise. This article advocates for Chief Human Resources Officers (CHROs) to shift from solely cultivating internal expertise to integrating it with external knowledge and ideas. Stated differently, 'CHROs must shift from just expertise development to expertise augmentation.' The article discusses this transition and draws insights from case studies showcasing HR functions enhancing expertise through augmentation strategies. For instance, Light Ocean sources 75% of its HR Business Partners from outside of the function, employing targeted 2-year rotations for high-potential employees with people management experience and an affinity for people issues. Fannie Mae, on the other hand, conducts deliberate 'experiments' or pilots, where HR can work with partners outside of HR on 'innovative' projects that can potentially create stakeholder value. While as many as half of all pilots fail, the company uses them as learning opportunities, ensuring that the pilots that fail have no negative impact on either the organization or the individuals involved. Figure 3 shows Fannie Mae’s decision tree to identify pilot suitability. If you are a CHRO, to what extent are you using augmentation strategies to help HR meet the demands of its growing portfolio of responsibilities? And if you are a leader outside the HR function, how are you augmenting the expertise of your talent?
This new report presents findings from HP Inc.'s inaugural HP Work Relationship Index study, analyzing 50+ aspects of individuals' work-related dynamics, including work's role in their lives, skills, tools, and leadership expectations. The study draws upon feedback from over 12,000 "knowledge workers," primarily desk-based, including hybrid and remote workers, along with 3,600 IT decision-makers and 1,200 business leaders across 12 countries. A few findings include: Leadership: While 68% of business leaders agree that new ways of working demand new leadership styles, only 1 in 5 workers feel leaders have evolved their leadership styles accordingly. Many knowledge workers would take an 11% pay cut to work somewhere with empathetic and emotionally intelligent leadership. Wellbeing: About half (48%) of knowledge workers are too emotionally and physically drained to complete personal tasks and responsibilities. This sentiment often hampers their ability to innovate. Workspace: Knowledge workers want a seamless experience as they move between work locations – and a choice in where they work each day. The same group said they would give up 13% of their salary to work somewhere that lets them work where or when they want. Page 23 shows a snapshot of six key drivers that can lead to a healthy relationship with work. Subsequent pages provide suggestions for actions organizations can take in the six areas. Since this is just one report, it should be used with other sources to derive a fuller set of insights.
MOST POPULAR FROM LAST WEEK
This new article by Marc Effron discusses two crucial questions for evaluating an organization's ability to create value through talent: 1) Is your organization able to sustain individual high performance? 2) Do you have appropriate talent depth in your most important roles?
2023 JOB CUTS AND LAYOFF TRACKER
Here is my tracker, which includes announcements 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:
Centene Corp. (NYSE: CNC). The health insurer is cutting about 3% of its workforce as it reduces costs amid a multiyear plan to boost profits. The terminations will affect about 2,000 people.
Epic Games. Fortnite maker Epic Games is laying off 16% of its workforce, impacting 870 people.
Lululemon (NASDAQ: LULU). Is undergoing another round of layoffs this week in the wake of its new partnership with Peloton. The athleisure brand said the cuts will impact 120 employees across the Lululemon Studio team.
Click here or the image below to access all listed announcements from 2023.
CHIEF HR OFFICER HIRE OF THE WEEK
The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (MARYSVILLE, OHIO) [NYSE: SMG]—the world’s leading marketer of branded consumer lawn and garden as well as indoor and hydroponic growing products— announced a reorganization of its executive team following the planned retirements of President Mike Lukemire and EVP Global HR and Chief Ethics Officer Denise Stump. Replacing Stump is Julie DeMuesy, most recently SVP, HR Operations. DeMuesy has been with the Company for 13 cumulative years, serving in a variety of roles with increasing responsibility.
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FROM TWITTER (aka X)
This analysis by @HarvardCorpGov provides all you need to know about the incoming class of new directors for S&P 500 boards, including diversity, industry background, and experience. corpgov.law.harvard.edu/2023/08/22/202…
— Brian Heger (@Brian_Heger)
Oct 1, 2023
TALENT EDGE WEEKLY REWIND
This PDF includes 17 people analytics questions that I shared on a Twitter (X) thread. The 17 questions are organized into six categories. 1) Recruiting, 2) Performance / Productivity, 3) Internal mobility, 4) Employee Retention, 5) Employee Wellbeing, and 6) Diversity and Inclusion. It includes an editable text box that you can use to add questions to each of the six categories. The PDF is not intended to provide an exhaustive list of all people analytics questions. Instead, it aims to spark ideas on how your organization might utilize people analytics to guide aspects of your talent strategy and initiatives.
THE “BEST OF” SEPTEMBER
Did you miss the “Best of September” issue of Talent Edge Weekly? If so, check out issue #200, which includes 15 of the most popular resources from the September issues of Talent Edge Weekly.
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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 6 PM EST.
Talent Edge Weekly is written by Brian Heger, an internal human resources practitioner with a Fortune 150 organization. Brian holds responsibilities for Strategic Talent and Workforce Planning. You can connect with Brian on Linkedin, Twitter, and brianheger.com