Tuesday, August 4, 2015

#OzHR 27 - Employee Engagement - is it all a big hoax?

Join us for #OzHR's first Wednesday tweetchat!

This week we'll be unpicking that old new chestnut, employee engagement. And to make it more interesting, we'll be having a look at the contentious view that it's all a fraud! Check out this provocative post by Neil Morrison

It got the HR world talking, even here in Australia. Some people agreed (cue Richard Westney)...

And some didn't!

It even made news in Sarah Miller's exclusive vlog, HRM TV: HR in Social Media.

I dare say there's a lot of money riding on the back of employee engagement that may make this a voracious subject!

So in keeping with discussing the burning issues of the Oz HR World, let's put it out there...

The chat will be Wednesday 12 August starting at 7pm AEST. Find your city (or corresponding time zone) below, for the starting time:

7:00pm - Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Hobart, Melbourne (AEST)
6:30pm - Adelaide, Darwin (ACST)
5:00pm - Perth (AWST)

Over in NZ, it's 9:00pm.

Other parts of the world - 4:00pm in Singapore, 8:00am in London, 5:00am in New York and 2:00am in LA! 

Just make sure to pop a #OzHR in your tweet so we can see it, and be sure to invite others along for the ride!

The questions for this topic are:

1. Is Employee Engagement a big hoax?   

2. Do employers use Employee Engagement to get something for free? 

3. Does an employee deserve to have their organisation "engage" them?

4. Where do you see "Employee Engagement" in future? What's its role?   

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Next Steps for the #OzHR Community

Thank you to the #OzHR community for both the valuable feedback on how it might best serve your needs. Oh, and thank you for your patience as we put all the pieces together.

A brief summary of what we have heard:
  • You prefer either Wednesday or Thursday (and one very committed person would like Saturdays - that's impressive!)
  • Evening works better for most - preferably 7pm or later, however straight after work (5pm to 7pm) was also an option. There were also some people who preferred early mornings, and we'll keep that in mind too.
  • Weekly or fortnightly were the most popular frequencies.
  • There were a number of suggested HR topics that were worthy of our attention, so those topics will be coming to a tweetchat near you soon!
  • Virtually everyone who provided us feedback was happy to be involved in putting some of the pieces together - this was just fantastic!
Also a special thanks to Amanda Sterling from #NZLEAD, who has also given us advice based on her considerable experience in the area. 

So where-to from here? (sorry, perhaps I'm making a big deal out of nothing here - just tell us when the Tweetchat is on and just do it, hey?!). 

We will move #OzHR to Wednesdays - this allows us to give people more choice in regards to joining in with our cousins from across the ditch on Thursdays. We will stick with the same bat-time (7pm AEST et al.), and we will stick with weekly.

We have a few more ideas that will come out over the coming months, but for now we're excited to just get cracking - topic, hashtag and discussion/debate/dialogue!

In the meantime, keep in the loop about what's happening in the big, wide world of Australian Social Media by tuning in to Sarah Miller each week with HRM TV: HR in Social Media.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

#OzHR needs your input!

Thank you to everyone who has contributed in the first two weeks of the return of #OzHR. It is wonderful to have all the wonderful HR people coming together. 

To kick things back off again after our hiatus, we dusted off the old timeslot and format, and put it out there. In the time #OzHR has been on the shelf, the Twitter chat community has moved along in leaps and bounds. For example, our very good friends at #NZLEAD chat on Thursdays too, starting two hours before we kick off (with a one hour gap in between). 

NZLEAD represents the kind of enthusiastic community we'd love to emulate in Australia. In re-launching #OzHR, we've made sure to seek the advice of the awesome Amanda Sterling, and really want the Australian and New Zealand HR communities to complement each other. NZ currently reigns over us in rugby league, rugby union, while we still hold the cricketing honours - so let's even up the ledger and get our #OzHR community as vibrant as theirs! 

We're really keen to work with our fellow online Tweeting communities, so we want to know what's best for the #OzHR tweetchat in 2015 and beyond.

We have put together a VERY QUICK survey just to get the times, days and topics sorted for #OzHR in the short term. We would very much appreciate your input here: http://ozhr.typeform.com/to/qQsFML

(in the very least, fill it in so you can check out typeform - a pretty nifty questionnaire tool). 

Let's make this, YOUR COMMUNITY, as awesome as it could be.

Thank you so much. 

While you think about that, here is some feedback that's already come in about our #OzHR community.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

#OzHR 26 - The Space Race - Are funky workplace designs gimmicks or essential?

You don't have to have been around human resources for long before you can start to rattle off examples of funky workplaces and their uber-cool facilities. 

Workplaces with ping pong tables and bar fridges were the first to impress, workplaces started "hotdesking", and over the past decade we've seen workplace design on steroids, as slides become more common (here's an article on the best 10!), open plan becomes the norm, and organisations are building the world's biggest single room (yeah, of course it's Facebook).

Many say that radical workspace redesign if vital - it's essential for communication, teaming, projectising, and even plays a role in teleworking although that's another topic all together.

There are also many more examples of organisations without central workspaces, particularly new small/entrepreneurial companies. This is has led to a burgeoning growth in co-working spaces around the world, such as Spacecubed in Perth (where I was for #OzHR 25 coincidentally!).  

So, is it all a big gimmick, is it essential, or is it somewhere in between? 

This Harvard Business Review article titled Workspaces That Move People highlights a growing body of evidence for it's importance in the future of work. 

As with most things, the answer may lie somewhere in the middle.

So let's throw it open to our #OzHR community. What do you think? And please, let's not focus on the one-in-a-million examples that I've given above, let's talk about REAL workplaces. What you've seen, what you've experienced and how it's worked. 

The chat will be Thursday 11 June starting at 7pm AEST. Find your city (or corresponding time zone) below, for the starting time:

7:00pm - Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Hobart, Melbourne (AEST)
6:30pm - Adelaide, Darwin (ACST)
5:00pm - Perth (AWST)

We know it's such an exciting topic that our international people will want to join too. To help, we've done the maths for you (correctly this time I think!) - 9:00pm in Auckland, 4:00pm in Singapore, 8:00am in London, 5:00am in New York and 2:00am in LA (we know you're keen!). 

Just make sure to pop a #OzHR in your tweet so we can see it, and be sure to invite others along for the ride!

The questions for this topic are:

1. Contemporary Workspaces - gimmick or essential? Let's start with a black or white answer, nowhere in between just yet.  

2. How important is workspace design? Is it high, medium or low priority, and why? 

3. How do we manage and/or adapt our workspaces to cater for vastly different personal preferences?

4. What's one radical change you'd love to see in workspaces? Why?  

Sunday, May 24, 2015

OzHR #25 - Dreaming of a world where there were no performance ratings

You're not a real HR professional unless you've complained about performance management systems and processes. We all go to sleep dreaming of a world where there were no performance ratings, especially on evenings where we have no Game of Thrones to dream about. 
We talk about it all the time - we bag the systems, but what is the solution? What would this magical world look like?
There are a few nifty examples around.

Exhibit A. Atlassian’s Big Experiment

Atlassian are a mid-sized Australian technology company who have received corporate attention for “sacking the performance review”. Atlassian focus their efforts on a more regular, conversational approach to performance management. They have a monthly strategic topic to form the basis of a somewhat informal discussion. These conversations still hold people accountable for performance, however to not do it in the form of a “forced” rating.

They also provide solutions-focussed and strengths-based coaching to managers to assist them with this change.

Atlassian's approach to performance reviews is further outlined here:  

Exhibit B. Adobe's Performance System

Adobe’s Performance System focusses on the notion of “check-ins”, smaller and more regular conversations about performance. It is based around the three concepts Expectations, Feedback, and Growth and Development.

Adobe’s subtraction experiment appears to be having the desired effect. It is reducing unnecessary cognitive load, while at the same time, nudging managers to engage more often and more candidly with direct reports to help them develop their skills and plan their careers. The new system amplifies also the feeling that “I own the place, and the place owns me” – because it places the onus on managers and their employees to make regular adjustments that improve individual and team performance and to be accountable for such.

Adobe's performance system is further outlined here:

Exhibit C. Netflix – A Performance Culture

“Hire, reward, and tolerate only fully formed adults,” writes Patty McCord in the Harvard Business Review. “The best thing you can do for employees — a perk better than foosball or free sushi — is hire only “A” players to work alongside them. Excellent colleagues trump everything else.”

McCord’s article, “How Netflix Reinvented HR,” details the thinking behind such formerly radical notions as the still-edgy notion that Performance Improvement Plans and annual reviews are pointless, if not counterproductive.

Netflix's approach went beyond just performance management. It went to the heart of their entire culture. A modified summary by John Zappe, ERE.net, can be found here:

Are there any other good examples, people? What about in more (with all due respect) mundane organisations, that is, not technology companies? Do any government departments have good systems? Do any banks have good systems? Do any large retailers have good systems? 
So many questions.
OK HR folk, it's our turn to go from perennial performance management system critics to performance management system enablers!

The chat will be Thursday 4 June starting at 7pm AEST. Now we're in daylight savings time, find your city (or corresponding time zone) below, for the starting time:

7:00pm - Sydney, Canberra, Hobart, Melbourne (AEST)
6:00pm - Brisbane (AEST)
5:30pm - Adelaide, Darwin (ACST)
4:00pm - Perth (AWST)

We know it's such an exciting topic that our international people will want to join too! To help, we've done the maths for you - 8:00pm in Auckland, 4:00pm in Singapore,  8:00am in London, 5:00am in New York and 2:00am in LA (we know you're keen!). 

Just make sure to pop a #OzHR in your tweet so we can see it, and be sure to invite others along for the ride!

The questions for this topic are:

1. What would a world without performance ratings look like? What would people in the workplace observe and feel?

2. How would managers, peers, subordinates engage with each other around performance if we got rid of outdated systems?

3. Have you seen it done well? What key elements help manage/grow/develop performance?

4.  So... how does the HR profession start to turn the performance management beast around? What is the first step in taking these ideas and making them action?

Friday, May 22, 2015

Return of the #OzHR Chat!

#OzHR is back!

By popular demand, the weekly #OzHR chat will recommence at 7pm AEST, 6:30pm ACST and 5pm AWST, on Thursday 4th June 2015 and same time, same place each week.

This is the same deal as the previous 24 weekly installments. Why not refresh yourself with some of the awesome conversation that occurred last iteration here at http://ozhr.blogspot.com.au/. We don't even mind if you turn any of it into an HR strategy or policy, and win national awards (yep, it was that good).

We're going to start off by dreaming... dreaming of a world where there were no performance ratings. Did John Lennon write a song about that? No? Well he should have! We should check if Bruno Mars is free...

Anyway, more details and the questions for this chat will come soon.

So put a recurring recurring reminder into your calendar and we'll see you in a bit for the next #OzHR chat. Spread the word! We'd love to see you there.