May/June 2018

May/June 2018

NOMINATIONS OPENING

Have an HR initiative or program that’s achieving results? The annual Optimas Awards from Workforce magazine will help you recognize it.

Awards presented in 10 categories:

Benefits
Business Impact
Corporate Citizenship
Global Outlook
Innovation
Managing Change
Partnership
Recruiting
Training
Vision

Benefits
Business Impact
Corporate Citizenship
Global Outlook
Innovation

Managing Change
Partnership
Recruiting
Training
Vision

Nominations open April 20. Visit Workforce.com/Optimas to apply.

#OptimasAwards

| From Our Editors

In the land of gourmet catered lunches, lounge-like corporate HQs and limitless vacation time, it’s hard for a company to compete for talent. Hard but not impossible.

Look no further than this year’s Workforce 100, our annual list of the best companies for HR. You’ll see some of the stalwarts of the new economy — Apple, Google and Netflix — as well as talent-centric firms like Accenture, Deloitte, McKinsey & Co. and KPMG.

But you’ll also spot sandwich-slingers Chick-fil-a and In-N-Out Burger and quirky grocer Trader Joe’s. Their presence proves that good HR doesn’t depend on being on the technology vanguard or offering perks that grab headlines.

It’s about something more fundamental. Caring about your people and making their success a priority every day.

—Mike Prokopeak,
Editor in Chief

The workplace has changed a lot since 1922. That year The Journal of Personnel Research debuted, rebranded later as Personnel Journal and finally Workforce. Now in our 96th year, we take a look back at what was on the minds of past generations of people managers.

‘Reskilling’ in the Great Depression, June 1935

The Great Depression’s effects on the working population were far-reaching but the lack of available work made some people unhireable even when jobs did return, wrote W.H. Lange in “Regaining Lost Skill,” in the June 1935 issue of Personnel Journal. Often, vacancies required work experience within the past five years, which was impossible for many people. “The loss of opportunity to use their skill possessed in earlier years has led to a loss of the skill itself and has forced many to forget their former occupations,” Lange wrote.

Reemployment was also tricky. Even when someone did get their job back, they showed signs of “nervous tension,” for fear of not qualifying for a job. They may “have suffered severe mental shocks which must be overcome.” Also, they might have a serious physical health problem due to malnutrition common during the Depression.

The June 1935 issue also featured a book review of “Controlling Depressions” by Paul H. Douglas, who argued against a common idea people held at the time that the Depression would cure itself. Recovery is not inevitable, he said. Rather, it depends on society taking action.

There also was a summary of the benefits of a six-hour work day. Many benefits were business-related, like elimination of certain meal periods and cafeteria expenses, decreased overhead and increased daily production for the factory. Workers also had more time to “play tennis, ball [or] go swimming and motoring.”

Andie Burjek

Introducing the Personnel Man, January 1957

Today’s numbers tell us that women dominate the human resources profession by roughly a 70-30 split.

Some 60 years ago that wasn’t necessarily the case. In the January 1957 issue of Personnel Journal, the lead story addressed its target reader: the personnel man. Yep, “New Management Thinking Lifts Personnel Man’s Status” not only gave the pre-HR practitioner a gender-bending pep talk, it was also an early push for the proverbial seat at the table.

Chief of Personnel Services Frank J. Householder Jr. wrote, “The place a personnel man holds in his organization is a reflection of his own stature. The job can be a tremendously big one with a big man in it and a pitifully small one with a small man.” You go, big personnel man!

The issue also addressed “Older Workers Are People Too,” “Why Men and Women Get Fired” (immorality and disloyalty, the author notes) and employee engagement. Paul A. Brinker of the University of Oklahoma wrote in “Morale Among Professional Workers: A Case Study” that “Dissatisfaction in about one-third of low-morale offices could be attributed to middle management” and that “Good middle management also contributed in some instances to fine morale.” Workers don’t leave jobs… .

Rick Bell

May/June 2018 | Volume 97, Issue 3

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
John R. Taggart
jrtag@workforce.com

PRESIDENT
Kevin A. Simpson
ksimpson@workforce.com

Vice President, GROUP PUBLISHER
Clifford Capone
ccapone@workforce.com

VICE PRESIDENT, EDITOR IN CHIEF
Mike Prokopeak
mikep@workforce.com

Editorial Director
Rick Bell
rbell@workforce.com

Managing Editor
Ashley St. John
astjohn@workforce.com

SENIOR EDITOR
Lauren Dixon
ldixon@workforce.com

ASSOCIATE EDITORS
Andie Burjek
aburjek@workforce.com

Ave Rio
ario@workforce.com

COPY EDITOR
Christopher Magnus
cmagnus@workforce.com

EDITORIAL ART DIRECTOR
Theresa Stoodley
tstoodley@workforce.com

Editorial InternS
Aysha Ashley Househ
ahouseh@workforce.com

Mariel Tishma
mtishma@workforce.com

Vice President, RESEARCH & Advisory Services
Sarah Kimmel
skimmel@workforce.com

RESEARCH MANAGER
Tim Harnett
tharnett@workforce.com

Data Scientist
Grey Litaker
clitaker@workforce.com

Research Content Specialist
Kristen Britt
kbritt@workforce.com

VIDEO AND MULTIMEDIA PRODUCER
Andrew Kennedy Lewis
alewis@workforce.com

Media & Production Manager
Ashley Flora
aflora@workforce.com

Production Coordinator
Nina Howard
nhoward@workforce.com

VICE PRESIDENT, EVENTS
Trey Smith
tsmith@workforce.com

Events Content editor
Malaz Elsheikh
melsheikh@workforce.com

Events Graphic Designer
Tonya Harris
lharris@workforce.com

Webcast Manager
Alec O’Dell
aodell@workforce.com

BUSINESS MANAGER
Vince Czarnowski
vince@workforce.com

Marketing Director
Greg Miller
gmiller@workforce.com

Regional Sales ManagerS
Derek Graham
dgraham@workforce.com

Robert Stevens
rstevens@workforce.com

Daniella Weinberg
dweinberg@workforce.com

Director, Business Development 
Kevin Fields
kfields@workforce.com

Director, Audience Development
Cindy Cardinal
ccardinal@workforce.com

Digital & Audience Insights Manager
Lauren Lynch
llynch@workforce.com

Digital Coordinator
Mannat Mahtani
mmahtani@workforce.com

LIST MANAGER
Mike Rovello
hcmlistrentals@infogroup.com

Business Administration Manager
Melanie Lee
mlee@workforce.com

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS
Jennifer Benz
Patrick J. Castle
Kris Dunn
Sarah Fister Gale
Jon Hyman
Anna S. Knight
Patty Kujawa
David Mendlewicz
Rita Pyrillis
Michelle V. Rafter
Daniel Saeedi
Rachel L. Schaller

WORKFORCE EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD

Arie Ball, Vice President, Sourcing and Talent Acquisition, Sodexo
Angela Bailey, Associate Director and Chief Human Capital Officer, U.S. Office of Personnel Management
Kris Dunn, Chief Human Resources Officer, Kinetix, and Founder, Fistful of Talent and HR Capitalist
Curtis Gray, Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Administration, BAE Systems
Jil Greene, Vice President, Human Resources and Community Relations, Harrah’s New Orleans
Ted Hoff, Human Resources Vice President, Global Sales and Sales Incentives, IBM
Tracy Kofski, Vice President, Compensation and Benefits, General Mills
Jon Hyman, Partner, Meyers, Roman, Friedberg & Lewis
Jim McDermid, Vice President, Human Resources, Cardiac and Vascular Group, Medtronic
Randall Moon, Vice President, International HR, Benefits and HRIS, Lowe’s Cos.
Dan Satterthwaite, Head of Human Resources, DreamWorks
Dave Ulrich, Professor, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan

Workforce (ISSN 2331-2793) is published bi-monthly by MediaTec Publishing Inc., 111 E. Wacker Dr., Suite 1200, Chicago IL 60601. Periodicals postage paid at Chicago, IL and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Workforce, P.O. Box 8712 Lowell, MA 01853. Subscriptions are free to qualified professionals within the US and Canada. Digital free subscriptions are available worldwide. Nonqualified paid subscriptions are available at the subscription price of $199 for 6 issues. All countries outside the US and Canada must be prepaid in US funds with an additional $33 postage surcharge. Single price copy is $29.99

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On The Cover

WORKFORCE 100:
THE BEST HR HAS TO OFFER

It’s the fifth year of our list that honors the best in HR. Hilton’s HR team is among them.

Cover Photo by John Harrington

Sector Report

18

EAP Providers

Companies need to destigmatize employee assistance programs if they want employees to get help.

50

Rewards & Recognition Providers

Customization, ease of use and lots of options make voluntary benefits an attractive recruiting tool.

Features

24

THE WORKFORCE 100

Find out which company topped the list in the fifth annual Workforce 100.

38

HR REBOOTS ITS ROOTS

Where once HR eschewed personnel in pursuit of strategy, the pendulum may be swinging the other way.

44

THE FIRST-TIME MANAGER

A manager’s debut means previously unseen challenges. A daily outlook can help management newbies keep ahead.

On The Web

speak up!

The Workforce online community provides you with virtual meeting places to chat about issues and trends affecting you and your workplace.
 

Join the group:
workforce.com/linkedingroup

Columns

4

your force

Nothing wins talent like care for your people and their success.

14

WORK IN PROGRESS

Identify ambition and how it fits in your culture.

19

Benefits beat

Engagement is a shared goal by many benefits and HR leaders.

22

THE PRACTICAL EMPLOYER

There is no such thing as reverse discrimination.

54

THE LAST WORD

Much can change in a decade or seven.

For Your Benefit

16

TRICKLE-DOWN BENEFITS

Money from the tax reform bill is beginning to find its way to some employee 401(k) plans.

17

WAR ON DRUGS

Mailing it in? Only when employers offer employees a fresh new way to fight the opioid crisis.

17

SPEAK UP

One health insurer is finding its voice when it comes to answering frequently asked coverage questions.

18

ON AN ISLAND

No doubt workplace loneliness is sad for employees but it is also proving to be bad for business.

Trending

10

FIGHT ON, P-TECH HIGH!

An IBM academic model helps students secure two-year degrees.

11

FROM THE WEB, PEOPLE MOVES AND BY THE NUMBERS

Ultimate podcast; Jones leads Munich RE; HR stats.

12

Q&A

Former Netflix HR executive Patty McCord’s new book.

12

NO ALIEN NATION

Clampdown dramatically drops number of refugee workers.

Legal

20

MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS

Employers face a substantial jump in biometric privacy lawsuits.

21

LEGAL BRIEFINGS

Pay history; personal email.

Trending

P-TECH a Lesson in Closing High-Tech Skills Gap

IBM’s academic model helps high schoolers secure two-year degrees.

By Sarah Fister Gale

W

hen Azzaria Douglas was just 16 years old, she secured an internship with the IBM Watson analytics department in Chicago, where she managed data and built websites. By 18, she had already completed a two-year applied science degree in web development and landed a full-time job offer with IBM.

Douglas isn’t a prodigy. She’s one of thousands of students taking part in P-TECH, Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools, across the country.

P-TECH is an accelerated curriculum that focuses on science, technology, engineering and math. The coursework is specifically designed to get high school students ready for the workplace faster so they can take on hard-to-fill midlevel tech jobs. “It was an amazing opportunity,” Douglas said. “It showed me the link between school and the workplace and helped me think about what I was going to do in the future.”

Trending

from the web

Responding to #MeToo

HR has been maligned for its lack of unified response to sexual harassment in the workplace. However, stepped-up compliance and awareness training are just the beginning of efforts to show employees the industry is on their side in ongoing workplace sexual harassment claims. Still, when your HR team is a department of one, how do you handle it?
Workforce.com/MeToo

The Ultimate Podcast

Workforce Editorial Director Rick Bell reports from the Strauss Room at the Wynn in Las Vegas where Ultimate Software hosted its Ultimate Connections conference this year. He spoke with Lauren Dixon during a recent “Talent10x” podcast about conference keynote speakers, what makes a user conference successful, and the pay-on-demand movement.
Workforce.com/UltimatePodcast

An Onboarding How-to

How-to HR, Workforce’s new monthly video series, takes a look at the do’s and don’ts of onboarding. An employee’s first day can be a disaster or a dream. Your onboarding program needs to be viewed as a process, not just a single event. Include retention strategies and management support that goes beyond the initial first-day experience.
Workforce.com/GetOnboard

PEOPLE moves

NERISSA E. MORRIS
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital named Nerissa E. Morris as senior vice president and chief human resources officer. Her civic and professional affiliations have included board of directors positions with the American Red Cross of Greater Miami and the Keys and the College & University Professional Association for Human Resources.

CHERYL JONES
Munich Reinsurance America Inc. has named Cheryl Jones as head of human resources. In her new role, Jones will lead talent strategy, focusing on driving efficiency and enhancing employee engagement, retention and recruitment. Jones joined the company in 2014 after more than a decade in financial services HR roles.

IRIS DRAYTON-SPANN
Washington, D.C., public broadcasting station WETA named Iris Drayton-Spann vice president of human resources and organizational development. Drayton-Spann will head the hiring and HR development operations for the Greater Washington region’s public TV and radio broadcaster and national television producer. Drayton-Spann will work with a workforce of 290 employees.

NERISSA E. MORRIS

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital named Nerissa E. Morris as senior vice president and chief human resources officer. Her civic and professional affiliations have included board of directors positions with the American Red Cross of Greater Miami and the Keys and the College & University Professional Association for Human Resources.

CHERYL JONES

Munich Reinsurance America Inc. has named Cheryl Jones as head of human resources. In her new role, Jones will lead talent strategy, focusing on driving efficiency and enhancing employee engagement, retention and recruitment. Jones joined the company in 2014 after more than a decade in financial services HR roles.

IRIS DRAYTON-SPANN

Washington, D.C., public broadcasting station WETA named Iris Drayton-Spann vice president of human resources and organizational development. Drayton-Spann will head the hiring and HR development operations for the Greater Washington region’s public TV and radio broadcaster and national television producer. Drayton-Spann will work with a workforce of 290 employees.

To be considered for People Moves, email a brief announcement and a high-resolution color photo to editors@workforce.com. Include People Moves in the subject line.

Trending

STREAMING AN HONEST STORY OF HR

By Aysha Ashley Househ

Patty McCord’s approach to HR culture inspires some and sparks irritation in others. Her co-creation of the Netflix culture deck, a key onboarding document for companies, still follows her around, which is why she thought it needed an “instruction manual.” That manual is her new book, “Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility,” and focuses on how the culture at Netflix was formed. Workforce intern Aysha Ashley Househ spoke to McCord about the difficulties of applying unconventional changes.

Trending

Clampdown Clips Refugee Hires

By Aysha Ashley Househ

A

s immigration issues swirl around businesses seeking to hire foreign talent, a new guide published by the Tent Foundation still touts the benefits of hiring refugees.

The “U.S. Employers’ Guide to Hiring Refugees” highlights the positive aspects businesses reap when hiring refugees. Diversity tops the list of what refugees bring to the workplace, according to Gideon Maltz, executive director of Tent Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works with businesses to help them integrate refugee workers.

Trending

Get ambitious in your hiring

By Kris Dunn | Work in Progress

“D

issatisfaction is a symptom of ambition. It’s the coal that fuels the fire.”
Trudy Campbell, “Mad Men”

Ambition. As much as many of us are uncomfortable saying publicly that it’s a value/feeling/potential factor we want in our organization, ambition is needed in your company to get great results.

You know your high-ambition employees. They are the ones that often do great things and occasionally put tire tracks across the back of some teammates in the process. Are you better with or without these people? And if everyone is happy with their current status, who moves the company forward?

A few years back, I was doing a classic “section 2” in performance management at a previous company. As part of that exercise, we were trying to change the traditional company values to rate people to “potential factors,” which are more actionable “DNA” strands your high achievers have regardless of position.

As part of that exercise, we established 51 potential factors to whittle down to the five or six we would eventually live with. The ones you would expect most — innovative, communicator, etc. — were there.

For Your Benefit

Tax Reform Trickle Down Is Drip-Filling Employee 401(k) Plans

Employers look to grow business, loyalty with compounding financial investments.

By Patty Kujawa

M

anagement at Advance Financial considered bumping the matching contribution to its 401(k) plan last August but didn’t have the money to do it.

Then in December, President Donald Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 — also known as the tax reform law. The sweeping rule made the most significant changes to the tax code since 1986. Most notably for companies, it slashed the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent. That increased many companies’ net income, allowing them to put that money to work for their businesses.

For Your Benefit

Insurer Gets Vocal Over Health FAQs

By Rita Pyrillis

T

ech tools designed to turn employees into savvy health care shoppers are everywhere and can be accessed 24/7 from most devices, yet many consumers still struggle to understand basic health insurance terms.

In fact, 96 percent of consumers can’t explain what these terms mean, according to a 2016 survey by Policygenius, an online insurance broker. While most people know what a premium is, most could not define copays, deductibles, coinsurance or out-of-pocket maximum, the survey of 2,000 consumers found.

“Employers are recognizing that technology hasn’t met their needs,” said Julie Stone, a benefits consultant at Willis Towers Watson. “They are looking for something different that will allow people to quickly interact with a digital hub. Meeting people where they are is critical.”

For Your Benefit

Employees Asked to Mail It in to Fight Opioid Crisis

By Andie Burjek

W

ith the opioid epidemic costing employers upward of $18 billion a year in medical expenses and lost productivity, one company is offering a remedy to get excess drugs out of employees’ hands.

Safe disposal of the drugs could help as a preventive benefit to combat the opioid epidemic, according to Meg Moynihan, marketing program strategist at waste management company Stericycle Environmental Solutions.

“I think there’s increasing awareness on the corporate sector of the value of providing employees with safe and secure medication disposal,” she said. “It’s a logical counterpart to pharmacy benefits programs.”

In September 2014, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration released new regulations for the disposal of pharmaceutical controlled substances, thus allowing authorized organizations such as Stericycle to collect the substances from people through a prepaid mail-back program.

For Your Benefit

Workplace Loneliness Is Sad for People and Bad for Business

Studies show connection between absenteeism, productivity and a sense of belonging.

By Rita Pyrillis

F

rom communication tech tools to open-floor office plans, employers are finding ways to encourage collaboration. Yet loneliness in the United States is on the rise and that is proving detrimental to worker well-being and bad for business.

For Your Benefit

One Word for You: Engagement

By Jennifer Benz | Benefits Beat

A

high-tech company rolled out several new family benefits last year and wants its people to take advantage of them.

A university created new medical plans and successfully moved employees and their families into those plans during enrollment; now it needs those families to use the plans.

A professional services leader — traditionally quiet about the rich benefits it offers — has realized this is “just not the way things work anymore.”

Legal

Biometric Privacy Lawsuits Rising

Asking employees to authenticate their time using similar technologies could have far-reaching legal implications for employers.

By Patrick J. Castle and Anna S. Knight

Y

ou can hardly pick up a smartphone these days without reading about — and experiencing — how biometric authentication technology is changing our lives and businesses.

Finger and facial recognition have become so commonplace that you might not think twice before asking your employees to authenticate their time using similar technologies, especially because traditional punchcard systems can be inefficient and vulnerable to fraud or abuse.

Legal Briefings

ARE PAY HISTORY INQUIRIES … HISTORY?

Prior salary and experience may not be a bias-free basis for wage disparities.

In Bowen v. Manheim Remarketing Inc., Qunesha Bowen sued her employer, Manheim Remarketing Inc. for pay discrimination in violation of the Equal Pay Act and Title VII. Bowen worked for Manheim for three years before being promoted to arbitration manager. Her male predecessor in the same position was paid nearly 50 percent more than her in his first year. Bowen’s predecessor also had more relevant experience and a higher salary than Bowen prior to promotion. But even after six years of working as an effective arbitration manager, Bowen still earned only as much as her male predecessor did during his first year in that role.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit found that Bowen demonstrated a pay disparity between her and her male predecessor. Manheim attempted to defeat liability by showing it considered a “factor other than sex” when it relied on Bowen’s prior salary and experience to set her salary each year. However, the court held that after Bowen performed as an effective arbitration manager for many years, her prior salary and experience no longer seemed to justify treating her differently than her male predecessor. The 11th Circuit overturned the lower court’s finding that Manheim’s reasons for paying Bowen less than her male predecessor were nondiscriminatory, and remanded the claims for trial.

Legal

Reverse Discrimination? Nope

By Jon Hyman | The Practical Employer

Reverse Discrimination? Nope

By Jon Hyman | The Practical Employer

W

orkplace diversity has two sides.
One side says that employers cannot discriminate against minorities. The other says that employers cannot discriminate against non-minorities in favor of minorities.

Some people call this reverse discrimination. I just call it discrimination.

For example, Title VII does not define “African-American” or “men” as protected classes; it merely says “race” and “sex.” Thus, if you discriminate against a white person in favor of an African-American, or against a man in favor of a woman, you’ve violated Title VII no differently than the converse.

Salesforce.com, an honoree the past four years, finally nabbed the top spot on 2018’s list.

Compiled by Workforce editors

W

hile this past year shed light on certain blind spots in some HR departments regarding harassment claims, 2018 has revealed that many companies continue to show true excellence in HR. Just as bad people practices sour employees on their employer, a great HR department can turn even the most difficult circumstance into an opportunity for a better workplace.

Now in its fifth year, the Workforce 100 recognizes companies that excelled in HR over the course of the previous year. To determine which companies make the list, Workforce editors work with researchers from the Human Capital Media Research and Advisory Group, the publication’s research arm.

The research team created a model to sift through publicly available data on HR performance to separate the best from the rest. To give employees more of a say in the rankings, we asked recruiting and job-review website Glassdoor to provide data on what workers are saying about the companies that made our list. From there, we combined that information with the public data available to create our 2018 Workforce 100 list.

Back row from left: Hilton’s Idris Stover, Matthew Schuyler, Laura Fuentes and Amanta Mazumdar. Front: Christine Maginnis and Gareth Fox.

Home-Cooked HR

Traditional high-turnover industries drive through the Workforce 100, including one CEO who onboards new staff at his dinner table.

Back row from left: Hilton’s Idris Stover, Matthew Schuyler, Laura Fuentes and Amanta Mazumdar. Front: Christine Maginnis and Gareth Fox.

Home-Cooked HR

Traditional high-turnover industries drive through the Workforce 100, including one CEO who onboards new staff at his dinner table.

Photos by john Harrington

“C

ongratulations, you’re hired!” It’s the statement every hopeful job candidate wants to hear.

Then the onboarding begins. You join your fellow newly hired employees gathered not around a conference table or in a sterile classroom setting, but at a dinner table awaiting the host.

The host also happens to be the company’s CEO.
Dan T. Cathy is head of Atlanta-based fast-food eatery Chick-fil-A. His onboarding policy includes dinner at his home as his personal welcome to the company’s corporate ranks. It’s one example that sets Chick-fil-A’s culture apart from its competitors in the fast-food industry, according to Darya Fields, senior manager of culture and engagement at the company.

Why International Business Expansion Needs a New Model

Seizing a new opportunity abroad has significant organizational impact

By Andrea Dumont, Vice President of Marketing, Globalization Partners

Global business expansion should be simple. A company sees an opportunity in a new market, or finds talent in a new market, and opens a sales channel there. Done.

It’s what happens in between that makes this sort of global growth a prohibitive challenge. To get even one sales person on the ground overseas, a U.S.-based human resources staff has to navigate the myriad laws, local regulations, tax implications, bank accounts, and payroll hurdles unique to the locale. As a result, the process often fails before it ever had a chance to begin. This scenario is especially true for companies without the infrastructure, expertise, and bandwidth to investigate these challenges abroad.

A Catalyst for Company Success

By HRCI

Harnessing the Full Power of HR in a Changing Economy

From preventing workplace behavior that could threaten a company’s reputation to recruiting and retaining talent, the importance of human resources is apparent. Additionally, companies are struggling to harmonize the work styles of various generations, unify the efforts of workers in disparate locations, and adjust to the changing nature of work in the digital age.

We spoke with the CEO of HR Certification Institute (HRCI), Amy Schabacker Dufrane, Ed.D., SPHR, CAE, about how the role of HR has evolved and what companies can do to maximize HR’s impact.

The Right Tools to Hire the Right People

Using personality assessments for quality hiring

By Caliper

Whether you’re looking to hire and develop top performers, identify high-potential employees and future leaders, address performance issues, or build more collaborative and productive teams, personality assessments can be a valuable tool. An effective assessment shines a light on people’s intrinsic strengths, behavioral tendencies, and developmental pitfalls, enabling you to make more informed decisions about your human capital.

The challenge is choosing the right assessment that will provide the critical insights you need to make informed decisions. A good one can help transform your organization; a bad one is, at the least, a waste of time and money. With so many options on the market, how do business leaders find one that works? Keep the following ideas in mind.

HR Reboots Its
Personnel Roots

Where once HR eschewed personnel in pursuit of strategy, the pendulum may be swinging the other way.

BY MICHELLE V. RAFTER

A

fter spending years automating workforce administration, companies are looking for ways to put the “human” back in human resources.

Organizations are creating concierge positions for HR practitioners to provide individual attention, in some cases going above and beyond what would normally be considered HR work. Some companies are even bringing previously outsourced HR operations back in-house to offer a more personal touch.

And in an ironic twist, more are using technology with human-like characteristics, including artificial intelligence-powered chatbots, to handle employees’ questions and complaints.

“As transactional as HR can be, we have to make sure we keep the human aspect,” said Nicole Roberts, a regional HR director for the Compassion-First Pet Hospital emergency veterinary chain and a popular HR blogger. “These are people. Benefits and payroll have an impact on people. Our job is to support people in being able to focus on doing their jobs.”

The move to infuse HR transactions with more humanity is part of broader changes that organizations are making to people operations. Companies are moving away from a centralized HR model to one that views the HR team as internal consultants who coach and support managers and supervisors. The objective is to empower HR managers to become people-centered organizational leaders, according to Jonathan Westover, an associate professor of organizational leadership and ethics at Utah Valley University in Orem.

Refocusing on the human side of work reflects a wider societal trend toward “tech-light” days and logging off electronic devices, said Dan Schawbel, a consultant on the future of work and author of the upcoming book, “Back to Human.”

HR Reboots Its
Personnel Roots

Where once HR eschewed personnel in pursuit of strategy, the pendulum may be swinging the other way.

BY MICHELLE V. RAFTER

A

fter spending years automating workforce administration, companies are looking for ways to put the “human” back in human resources.

Organizations are creating concierge positions for HR practitioners to provide individual attention, in some cases going above and beyond what would normally be considered HR work. Some companies are even bringing previously outsourced HR operations back in-house to offer a more personal touch.

And in an ironic twist, more are using technology with human-like characteristics, including artificial intelligence-powered chatbots, to handle employees’ questions and complaints.

“As transactional as HR can be, we have to make sure we keep the human aspect,” said Nicole Roberts, a regional HR director for the Compassion-First Pet Hospital emergency veterinary chain and a popular HR blogger. “These are people. Benefits and payroll have an impact on people. Our job is to support people in being able to focus on doing their jobs.”

The move to infuse HR transactions with more humanity is part of broader changes that organizations are making to people operations. Companies are moving away from a centralized HR model to one that views the HR team as internal consultants who coach and support managers and supervisors. The objective is to empower HR managers to become people-centered organizational leaders, according to Jonathan Westover, an associate professor of organizational leadership and ethics at Utah Valley University in Orem.

Refocusing on the human side of work reflects a wider societal trend toward “tech-light” days and logging off electronic devices, said Dan Schawbel, a consultant on the future of work and author of the upcoming book, “Back to Human.”

A manager’s debut means previously unseen challenges from new bosses, a varied workload and winning over staff. Here’s a seven-day outlook to keep management newbies a step ahead.

Y

ou did it! You’re a manager now.

Did you update your LinkedIn headline? Great. With that out of the way, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get down to business.

No surprise here, but being a manager is hard work. It doesn’t come naturally to many people, but the good news is with the right foundation you’ll be on your way to becoming a great leader.

While every week will present new challenges, the first week will be a deep dive into the trials of managing your employees as well as meeting the expectations of executives above you.With so much on your plate and you brimming with excitement and trepidation, here’s a seven-day rundown to help keep you focused as you begin your managerial journey.

Now, before you go into full TED Talk mode at your debut team meeting, take time to pause, breathe and assess the situation facing you. You’ll be onboarding for part of the day, but take time to mentally audit the tools and resources you have available and the ones you do not. If you work at a large company, you likely have experienced and dependable human resources professionals there to guide you as you begin your managerial duties. But if you’re at a smaller company or a startup, it’s probably you against the world. Some important questions to consider as you get through Day One:

A manager’s debut means previously unseen challenges from new bosses, a varied workload and winning over staff. Here’s a seven-day outlook to keep management newbies a step ahead.

Y

ou did it! You’re a manager now.

Did you update your LinkedIn headline? Great. With that out of the way, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get down to business.

No surprise here, but being a manager is hard work. It doesn’t come naturally to many people, but the good news is with the right foundation you’ll be on your way to becoming a great leader.

While every week will present new challenges, the first week will be a deep dive into the trials of managing your employees as well as meeting the expectations of executives above you.With so much on your plate and you brimming with excitement and trepidation, here’s a seven-day rundown to help keep you focused as you begin your managerial journey.

Now, before you go into full TED Talk mode at your debut team meeting, take time to pause, breathe and assess the situation facing you. You’ll be onboarding for part of the day, but take time to mentally audit the tools and resources you have available and the ones you do not. If you work at a large company, you likely have experienced and dependable human resources professionals there to guide you as you begin your managerial duties. But if you’re at a smaller company or a startup, it’s probably you against the world. Some important questions to consider as you get through Day One:

EAP Providers

Anxiety and the Employee Assistance Program

Stress in the workplace is on the rise, but companies need to destigmatize EAPs if they want employees to get help.

By Sarah Fister Gale

A

merican workers are stressed, and for a lot of reasons.
The American Psychological Association’s 2017 “State of the Nation” report found that health care, financial concerns and trust in the government top the list of stress-inducing issues. It also found respondents are more likely to report symptoms of stress, which include anxiety, anger and fatigue, than they have in the past.

This is not good news for employers, said LuAnn Heinen, lead expert on employee assistance programs for the National Business Group on Health, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization focused on national health-policy issues.

Rewards and Recognition Providers

Variety Is the Key to Voluntary Benefits Success

Customization, ease of use and lots of options make voluntary benefits an attractive recruiting tool.

By Sarah Fister Gale

V

oluntary benefits used to be a necessary add-on — giving employees the option to add auto, home or life insurance to their list of annual benefits. But today’s voluntary benefits packages are far more diverse, offering a range of services including pet insurance, financial wellness, legal help, long term disability and even genomic mapping, said Amy Hollis, national leader of voluntary benefits for HR consultancy Willis Towers Watson. In the consultancy’s most recent benefits survey, almost 70 percent of employers said voluntary benefits and services will be an important part of their employee value proposition in the next three to five years.

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Last Word

Rick Bell

A LOT CAN CHANGE IN A DECADE —
OR SEVEN

A LOT CAN CHANGE IN A DECADE —
OR SEVEN

T

he Society for Human Resource Management’s annual soiree is headed back to Chicago in June. SHRM last visited the Windy City five years ago, just a couple of months after Human Capital Media had acquired this publication from our previous ownership, Crain Communications.

SHRM also brought 14,000 or so of its closest friends to Chicago in 2008 when Workforce was based in Irvine, California, and published two magazines a month. Workforce has since relocated to Chicago and now publishes six print issues annually.

Thanks for reading our May/June 2018 issue!