Talent Edge Weekly - Issue #247

HR tech implementation questions, non-tech barriers to internal mobility, the benefits of fractional leadership, worker preferences, and women in the workplace.

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Welcome to this week’s issue of Talent Edge Weekly!

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THIS WEEK'S CONTENT

For a quick overview with links and brief descriptions of the topics covered, check out the summary below. If your interested in my deep dive, including bonus resources, continue reading the rest of the newsletter.

Also, check out the job cuts tracker & Chief HR Officer hire of the week.

Let’s dive in! ⬇️

THIS WEEK'S EDGE 

HR TECHNOLOGY

33 questions that can help increase the likelihood of successfully implementing HR technology.

Implementing new HR technology is a challenging initiative for HR teams, involving significant investment in people, time, and money. These high-stakes implementations often face complexities despite the 'plug and play' narrative often portrayed. According to a February 2024 Gartner survey of 86 HR leaders, only 35% are confident their HR technology strategy is helping achieve business objectives. To bridge this gap, HR teams need to anticipate potential HR tech implementation issues and plan effective responses; one effective strategy is asking and answering the right questions. In this context, Michael Kannisto, Ph.D., has developed a one-page cheat sheet with 33 questions to complement an organization’s current RFP and implementation plans for HR tech. Presented during his keynote at the 2024 HR Tech Conference Online, sample questions include: What problems do people think will be solved by this implementation? Who might end up with extra work when this is implemented? Have we set metrics to evaluate operational and vendor performance? How might our processes change after implementing this tool? By carefully planning with these questions and collaborating with the right tech partner, organizations can significantly enhance the likelihood of HR technology meeting its intended business outcomes.

INTERNAL MOBILITY

I share six barriers unrelated to tech that impede internal mobility. I reshare my template to assess if these barriers exist in an organization. 

Internal mobility (IM)—the movement of internal workers across different roles and opportunities within the same organization—is a critical component of talent management. As part of the HR function, I am particularly excited about technologies like internal talent marketplace platforms to facilitate faster and more effective IM. However, while technology is essential, it's not sufficient by itself. The heavy focus on technology often overshadows crucial non-tech aspects vital to effective IM. In the attached image, I outline six non-tech barriers to IM, such as policies restricting internal movement (e.g., the employee must be in a role for a certain amount of time before moving into another role/opportunity). Practitioners can help their organizations identify and overcome these and other non-tech barriers to fully leverage IM technology. A key question for HR teams to consider is: "Even if we had the perfect technology to support internal mobility, what non-tech barriers would we need to address to maximize our technology’s potential?" As teams discuss this question, I am also resharing my one-page editable template, which provides practitioners with a simple way to discuss and identify whether the six non-technological IM barriers exist in their organizations. It serves as an initial step for identifying additional barriers.

LEADERSHIP CAPABILITY

Discusses how fractional leaders who offer their skills to multiple firms without the full-time cost can benefit an organization.

As organizations continue to find creative ways to build leadership capability, one strategy gaining appeal is the notion of fractional leaders—experienced professionals, often with decades of expertise, who offer their skills to multiple firms without the full-time cost. As this new HBR article points out, a LinkedIn search found that “as of early 2024, more than 110,000 individuals identified as fractional leaders, compared to just 2,000 in 2022.” The article discusses the pros and cons of engaging fractional leaders and outlines three key considerations and conversations necessary for effectively integrating them into organizations. One insight about evaluating opportunities for fractional work is to start with the work, not the role, by asking: What is the actual need from this function? The article also includes questions to ask potential fractional hires. Fractional leadership could be a part of your organization’s talent strategy and help fill critical talent gaps. As a bonus, regarding the Chief HR Officer role, I am resharing the Forbes Human Resources Council article, 15 Ways Fractional CHROS Can Help You Achieve Company Goals.

WORKER PREFERENCES

A new 36-page report on global trends in workers’ preferred ways of working, including their expectations of employers.

This new report from BCG delves into global trends in workers’ preferred ways of working, marking BCG’s fourth study on the topic since 2014. Based on responses from 150,735 workers across 188 countries, the study covers various topics, including job seekers' negotiating power, employee expectations of employers, worker job values and preferences, potential deal breakers in job offers, and using GenAI in the workplace. One finding is that nearly 70% of European respondents would turn down an attractive job offer if they had a negative recruitment experience, such as discriminatory questions or poor rapport with the interviewer—a sentiment echoed by about 60% of respondents in Latin America and the Caribbean. These findings highlight the importance of the candidate experience. Additionally, the lack of mental health or well-being support is a significant deal breaker for job seekers, particularly in Asia-Pacific and sub-Saharan Africa. The report also highlights a shift in preference toward job security (see post image), which is now the top work preference globally, varying by region. While this dataset is valuable, it is advisable to consider it alongside other resources for a more comprehensive understanding of these trends.

WOMEN IN THE WORKPLACE

Summarizes insights from Deloitte’s fourth annual survey on women in the workplace, focusing on their experiences, including the impact of return-to-office policies.

This new article summarizes key insights from Deloitte’s fourth annual survey on women in the workplace, which collected feedback from approximately 5,000 women across 10 countries regarding their work experiences. Among several insights from the article and the detailed 49-page report, two areas to highlight are: 1) Impact of Return-to-Office (RTO) Policies: These policies have led some women to request reduced hours or relocate. About 26% of women report a negative impact on their mental health due to these policies, and approximately 20% feel less productive when required to be onsite full-time. 2) Importance of Flexible Working: Those planning to stay longer with their companies cite the ability to manage work/life balance as a crucial factor. On flexibility and work/life balance, only 1 in 10 feel they can openly discuss the need for greater work flexibility. Additionally, nearly all women surveyed (95%) believe that requesting or utilizing flexible working opportunities affects their promotion prospects. As a bonus, I am resharing McKinsey’s and LeanIn’s 2023 Women in the Workplace report (published October 2023), which further underscores the importance of flexibility, especially for working mothers —57% of whom state they would leave or reduce work hours without it. Given the increasing enforcement of RTO, these insights suggest that more working mothers might exit the workforce.

MOST POPULAR FROM LAST WEEK  

CHRO EFFECTIVENESS

Addresses how the CHRO role increasingly requires a blend of business savvy, technological understanding, and deep HR expertise.

JOB CUTS AND LAYOFF TRACKER

Check out my tracker of announcements from a segment of organizations that have conducted job cuts and layoffs since the start of 2023.

Partial view of tracker on brianheger.com

A few job cuts announced this past week:

  • CureVac Corp (NASDAQ: CVAC). The vaccine manufacturer announced it will be reducing its workforce by 30% as part of a broad restructuring plan, which includes a new licensing agreement with GSK (NYSE: GSK).

  • Priceline Group Inc. (NASDAQ: PCLN). The travel booking company reported it is eliminating 103 jobs, about 7% of its total workforce. This move is part of an alignment strategy to prioritize strategic initiatives and enhance resource allocation towards growth areas.

  • UKG Inc. (NASDAQ: UKG). The U.S.-based software firm announced it is cutting over 2,200 jobs, representing about 14% of its workforce. This decision is part of organizational changes to concentrate on growth areas, aiming to optimize operations, and enhance long-term strategy effectiveness.

Click here to access all listed announcements.

CHIEF HR OFFICER HIRE OF THE WEEK

Avaya (MORRISTOWN, NEW JERSEY)—a leader in enterprise CX—announced the continuation of its leadership transformation with the appointment of Kamilah Thomas as Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer. Based in Avaya’s corporate headquarters office in Morristown, New Jersey, she will report directly to Avaya CEO Alan Masarek. Before joining Avaya, Thomas was SVP, People and Workplace Experience at Roku. Before Roku, she served as Chief People Officer at Dow Jones & Company.

Kamilah Thomas

If you want access to +3700 (and growing) detailed announcements of CHROs hired, promoted, and resigning, join my CHROs on the Go subscription—a one-stop-shop for knowing who is moving in and out of the Chief HR Officer role.

If you are already a subscriber to CHROs on the Go, log in here.

FROM X

RETURN-TO-OFFICE

TALENT EDGE WEEKLY REWIND

PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT

Offers ideas for designing four key components of an organization’s PM: goal setting, performance reviews, ongoing development, and rewards.

THE BEST OF JUNE 2024

Did you miss the “Best of June ” issue of Talent Edge Weekly? If so, check out issue #246, which includes 16 of the most popular resources from the month.

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OUR RESOURCE LINEUP

brianheger.com provides free access to +1,300 curated articles, research reports, podcasts, and more that help practitioners drive better business results through strategic human resources and talent management.

CHROS on the Go is a subscription that provides the easiest and most convenient way to stay informed about Chief Human Resources Officer hires, promotions, and resignations in organizations of all sizes and industries.

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. You can connect with Brian on Linkedin, X, and brianheger.com