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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Keeping Employees Motivated

A new report captures surprising insights on the future of work

By Jeff Vijungco, vice president of Global Talent at Adobe

The workplace is changing faster than ever before with four generations working side-by-side, technology advancing at a rapid pace, and the line between work and life blurring more each day. New research from Adobe shines a light on employees’ attitudes about work and the future of technology in the workplace. The report, “Work in Progress” surveyed more than 2,000 office workers who use computers daily as part of their jobs in India, the U.S. and U.K. The findings reveal unexpected insights about today’s workforce. It goes without saying that engagement all starts with great people leadership, but here are some other takeaways from the U.S. results that shed light on what’s motivating employees today.

1. Tech is The New Perk of Choice

With companies today operating across many different systems and time zones, workers say good tech (not ping-pong) is what keeps them happy in the office. Eighty-one percent of U.S. workers single out access to cutting-edge technology as the top contributor to their overall job satisfaction, above perks like food, on-site amenities and slick office design. People want to get stuff done and tech should be an enabler to drive a culture of productivity. Employees who said their company’s technology is “ahead of the curve” feel twice as creative, motivated, and valued as those who say their company is “behind the times.” Yet, just one in four workers believe that his or her company’s technology is ahead of the curve.

It boils down to productivity. Eighty-five percent of workers believe technology makes them more productive, and a majority also think it improves their work-life balance and makes their workday better and easier.

2. People Actually Love to Work 

Employees need to be challenged intellectually and connected emotionally to their job to be happy. Our research shows that people really love to work with seventy percent of U.S. office workers saying they love their jobs. Eight in ten would even keep working if they won the lottery—and of those, half would, surprisingly, stay in their current roles.

Not only do people love to work, but a majority also define themselves by the work they do and spend more than forty percent of waking hours during their days off working or thinking about work.

3. Pay Isn’t Everything

On the contrary, money a warning sign. If you come for money, you’ll also leave for it.  The driver of employee engagement must be centered around making a difference. People want to make an impact on their society or community, in addition to feeling recognized for their successes. Forty-seven percent of respondents said they would move to their “ideal” job for less pay and most people would rather work long hours doing work they love, than shorter hours doing work they don’t enjoy.  

4. Moonlighting Has Become Mainstream

Look around you; it’s likely that someone sitting near you holds more than one job. One-third of respondents across income levels are holding one or more jobs in addition to their primary profession. And those that do, whether for money or to pursue a passion, say they are more likely to feel happy and optimistic than those that don’t have more than one job.

Could this be an indicator of what’s to come? Well, it might be since more than half of U.S. workers predict that most people will have multiple jobs in the future.

People want more than a large paycheck and showy benefits, and companies need to provide better experiences with flexibility, meaning, and opportunities for growth—or they may just lose top talent. In fact, research shows that a majority of workers are likely to leave their job for a new opportunity, and even half who love their job would still make a switch. Employers need to help integrate their employees and be mindful that they have both a professional and personal life.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Project RPO Engagement Strategies: Does Project RPO Make Sense for You?

By Bill Ingram, Executive Vice President of Seven Step RPO

If you’re thinking about hiring a recruitment process outsource (RPO) firm on a short-term or project basis, there are important things to consider before taking that route. Most companies look at RPO when they are struggling to achieve target recruiting results or when their internal team is over capacity. Project RPO offers wonderful benefits and direct solutions to these challenges, but it’s not something to jump into blindly.

What is Project RPO?

In enterprise RPO, you hire the RPO provider to become part or all of your full-time talent acquisition team, and their experienced professionals handle all aspects of your recruiting and hiring. These engagements are typically one to five years in duration, take three to six months to implement, and literally transform hiring by leading to more efficient processes, a better employment brand, and higher quality hires.

For companies that already have a strong internal talent acquisition function but need extra help for hiring surges, part of the hiring process, or part of the requisition profile, project RPO can be a way to augment a strong model. These engagements are typically shorter (three to 12 months), involve direct integration with existing talent acquisition team members and the RPO provider, and may include only parts of the process or hiring profile.

A well-scoped project RPO solution with the right provider can be a great way to handle more and maintain quality of service to the business. But what do you need to know to determine if it’s right for your company?

Determine the context. Think carefully about how long you will need the RPO service, what kinds of requisitions will be in scope, and what steps in the recruitment process will be executed. In my experience, a project duration of less than three months may not make sense. Why? Because RPO integration always involves a major commitment and investment in time, work, and resources to implement. If your need is for less than three months, it may be better to hire a staffing agency, contract recruiters, or get by with what you have.

The SOW needs to be substantial enough to justify the investment and attract a RPO firm. If you’re opening a call center and need 250 new hires in three months, that can be a great RPO project. If you have a one-time need to fill 20 jobs over three months, that isn’t as clear of a value proposition. Now let’s say those positions are critical, revenue-generating jobs and you can project those people are going to generate $3 million in revenue next year; in that case, investing in project RPO makes sense.

So, duration and SOW are your first two criteria to determine if Project RPO is a route for you.

Build a solid business case. Anytime you hire a RPO firm, you need to justify the investment of time, money, and people to ensure true ROI. In the past RPO was leveraged to cut costs from recruiting, but the value proposition now is more tied to value creation. RPO firms leverage experience to improve efficiency, strengthen your employment brand, improve retention, and improve quality of hire. All of these things can positively impact revenue. So, while your recruiting costs may not go down, your ability to generate revenue goes up.

But, since RPO comes with a price tag, your leadership will need to see the numbers. You can’t hire a RPO provider just because your recruiters are stressed and overworked or because you want to make the recruitment process easier. You need to be able to tie the RPO firm's potential impact to specific business outcomes, i.e., lost revenue, lost people-hours, or lost opportunities. Every business case will be different, but you need to find meaningful financial ROI.

Evaluate the operational impact. It’s also critical to examine the operational impact that the RPO partnership will have on your current team and ensure alignment. Why? Because two negative things may happen without alignment. One, the wonderful talent acquisition team that you've built may feel marginalized once they know you’re hiring a RPO and become disengaged or quit. Two, your team could feel animosity towards the RPO team, which would then make it difficult for the two teams to "play nice."

Whether your RPO team is going to take a specific project and handle it completely or if you are only hiring them to work in conjunction with your existing team, you need to be thoughtful about how they will work together.

You also need to consider how you will onboard and manage the RPO team. There is real, extra work to be done to implement RPO. Do you have capacity to manage their engagement?

Be picky in choosing a qualified provider. Because of the shorter duration, you will need to refine your requirements of a project RPO provider. With an enterprise RPO solution, providers have months to shift or hire resources to dedicate to your account. In project RPO, the timeline is shortened. The provider needs to be ready now with the expertise for your specific job profiles and staff in your geographic locale. Be sure to talk with potential providers about their current workload, where they have done similar work, who they are going to assign to you, where those resources are located, and what previous experience they have with your specific job profiles. There simply isn’t time to learn on the job.

When everything aligns, project RPO is a great way to augment your team and meet hiring goals. Just be careful that you do your homework, vet providers thoroughly, and prepare your team to collaborate well with their RPO teammates.

Friday, July 8, 2016

The Three ‘U’s of Building a Career Development Program

By Lindsay Moroney, Chief of Staff for The Muse

When it comes to creating a career development program, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Employees today expect different programs at different types of companies and stages in their career. Each team member is also unique and has distinct needs and wants. But if you want to grow and nurture your team the right way, there’s one consistent truth: U make the difference.

Here are the three Us I recommend when contemplating building your career development program:

1. Understand what makes your team different

Researching other companies’ policies is tempting and can help to generate ideas, but remember that what works at one workplace won’t necessarily address the challenges at yours. Also keep in mind that what you implement must be specific to not only the team you have, but also to the team you seek to grow. Here at The Muse, we regularly survey the team to see what their growth goals are and which opportunities, if given the choice, they’d want us to spend our money and time on. It’s simple, but it ensures that we’re constantly learning from our team and building programs that will impact them most.

2. Build programs unique to your team

Jack Welch, former chairman and CEO of GE, increased the company’s value with management programs like his “up or out” model—if employees aren’t improving and being promoted, they must eventually be let go. While Welch’s style worked wonders for GE, this specific idea wouldn’t work at a rapidly growing startup like The Muse: We need individual contributors as we scale; the institutional knowledge each team member holds is priceless for us; plus, as we’ve learned from our people, not everyone wants to become a manager! So our programs aim to support all types of employees—which leads me to the third U:

3. Uncover the power in each team member

Programs that support career development can come from anyone on the team. Google’s Laszlo Bock wrote in Work Rules! about a spontaneous program where one Googler set up office hours for anyone who wanted to talk about his or her career path. It was filling a need the company hadn’t thought to ask about or to create a program for. But when it became popular, it was formalized into a program now called Career Gurus. The lesson? Good ideas can come from anywhere. Make sure your team knows they are welcome to share their ideas or even create their own career development opportunities.

If you’re strapped for resources, consider starting small with a specific group that needs your support—like new managers or rising stars—to build a program that satisfies their unique needs. However you choose to do it, though, make an effort to understand what your employees want and need, build unique programs for them, and uncover the power in each team member to act when they see a need. You’ll develop your employees’ careers for their benefit and your company’s benefit.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Big Business Impacts You Can Deliver with Micro-Learning

By Didi D’Errico, Vice President of Brand Advocacy at Saba

Where do you go to learn? Chances are, your answer today starts with a Google search, a favorite app or a direct inquiry on YouTube—all conducted from your mobile phone. This process has become the default for figuring out anything from tips on starting a do-it-yourself weekend project, to developing a new exercise routine, to learning a specific skill—all at the touch of your fingertips.

When it comes to delivering a similar workplace experience as an HR or learning and development professional, it means so much more than giving access to existing learning content on a mobile device.

Moving to mobile will mean learning and development teams need to review their most critical content and streamline or rework it. But, there is a silver lining: training content for mobile learning doesn’t need to—and shouldn’t—come just from the learning and development (L&D) group. Some of the highest impact informal learning can come from peers and subject-matter experts within the organization and can be as easy to share as uploading a video to YouTube.

Here are three examples of how mobile learning is uniquely delivering a different level of agility to organizations large and small and their teams, partners and customers alike.

1. Democratize Learning
Over many years of growth, computer giant Dell had amassed an equally giant collection of training materials about its products: nearly 12 million pages of training documentation. In an effort to improve the impact of its training content and the efficiency, the Dell L&D team created quick troubleshooting videos corresponding to a QR code attached to each piece of Dell equipment. Now, when users scan the tag on their Dell device, they are immediately linked to a short video of how-to’s with access to a host of related links. Mobile learning at Dell is now as easy as: Scan, learn, do.

2. Globalize Learning
Global hotel and hospitality leader Hyatt Hotels took a close look at their mobile content, since the vast majority of their colleagues work outside a dedicated office every day and created mobile image-based content for core tasks required within in a hotel —without words. Their all-visual micro-content covers a range of topics from making a bed, to pouring wine. This image-based mobile learning removes both access and language barriers at once. As a result, Hyatt team members worldwide are better enabled to learn in their work environment and are starting to self-subscribe to more mobile content to extend their skills.

3. Bridge the Generational Gap
Countrywide PLC is a leader in residential real estate property services across the UK. Part of its continued growth in a highly regulated industry is via industry acquisition. As a result, the learning team does quite a bit of new-hire orientation training in addition to regulatory training and skills development. At a recent onboarding session for a newly acquired team, a 78-year-old office worker asked the learning leader how the company preferred expense reports to be filed. He encouraged her to look in the learning system to find the answer. So, she asked to borrow the iPad of the young woman sitting next to her in the conference room, did a quick search on expense reports, found short instructions, filled out the form, and submitted it in a few keystrokes.

At Saba, we are lucky enough to be inspired every day by our customers and their strategic ideas for advancing the potential of learning. We are really jazzed about the potential of predictive analytics technologies to deliver personalized learning nuggets like new contacts, new content and new courses to each person in your organization based on their interests, just like Amazon and Netflix suggest ideas on new shoes and movies based on their unique interests.

Intuitive, irresistible, engaging, always available, and open to all: what’s not to love about mobile learning?

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

How to Motivate and Retain Millennials in The Workplace

By Lisa Copeland

Companies are always on the lookout for the best and brightest prospects, and there seems to be no shortage of potential from the millennial generation. Unfortunately, a growing trend is causing some concern.

While there is an abundance of worthy applicants, millennials are job-hoppers, with many changing jobs every two to three years. It used to be that people found a company in their line of work and stuck with them for their entire career. So what is it about millennials that they can’t stay still?

To find out why this generation has been flaunting the tradition of long term employment with a company, our team at The Culture Works surveyed more than 5,000 millennials to find out what really motivates them in the workplace, and how companies can be more successful at long-term employee retention.

What motivates Millennials?

Millennials are motivated by loftier ideals than the “me” generation that was in its twenties in 1980s,. We found that a major goal was to make an impact and affect positive change in the world. They often feel a sense that destiny awaits, and become frustrated that they don’t find themselves in a position that makes them feel like their work is important.

For others, the pursuit of knowledge is the goal, and these workers thrive on the ability to continue learning, no matter where it takes them. As long as they continue to get better at what they do, they will change jobs as often as they need to.

The third largest motivating factor we found was family. Having their family be proud of them and being able to balance work and home life greatly influences what job they take, and how long they stay.

What doesn’t motivate Millennials?

Unlike the generations before them, most millennials are not highly motivated by money, prestige or autonomy. They are not attracted to a company because it has a famous name or is willing to give them a fancy title. Many millennials crave direction and teamwork early in their careers and aren't eager to step on their colleagues to get ahead. Money is definitely satisfying, and almost anybody would rather have it than not, but it’s surprisingly not a huge incentive to stay.

What can your company do to motivate and retain Millennials?

Your company needs to reach out to the idealistic side of millennial employees to show them that they are integral to the company and make an impact through their work. Explain clearly the mission of your company and how it makes the world a better place. Challenge your millennial employees to learn and set goals on a regular basis, starting in the very first week on the job. A good timeframe for accomplishing a set goal is six months. This gives the millennial enough time to work towards a goal without being overwhelmed by it. Be sure that this goal is tied to at least one core value or mission of the company.

You can also help your millennial employees better manage a work-life balance and look out for their well-being. Many millennials haven’t learned how to shut off. While they may have lots of energy, young people need to be encouraged to take their vacation days, turn off their work computer at nights and on weekends, and go out regularly with friends or family to recharge their batteries. Millennials should learn to balance, and it’s a manager’s job to help them adopt that skill.

Now is the time for millennials. The world is getting smaller and it’s all within reach for them. Don’t let the brightest slip out of reach for you. A little adaptation to their thinking can keep valuable employees with you for years to come.

Lisa Copeland is a global workplace expert specializing in culture, engagement, leadership and teamwork. She is part of the leadership team at The Culture Works.  To learn more, visit and