Archive for the ‘Technology’ category

A Strong Start to the Year

February 6th, 2015

Our team started 2015 in full speed all over the world.

In London, we were a sponsor at Learning Technologies 2015. George Walker, our director of Global Services, gave a “Back to the Future”-inspired presentation: “From small data to big data – the benefits of learning and talent analytics.”

Liam Butler, our EMEA GM, participated in a Google Hangout session with Matt Wicks, CTO of Dreamtek. The session focused on the future of Learning Management Systems, and it was moderated by Don Taylor, Chairman of the Learning Technologies Conference. You can catch the recording of the session here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FC2mxRD3VRc

In Karlsruhe, we exhibited at Learntec 2015 with our messaging around high-consequence industries resonating very well with the audience. Dirk Flaskamp, one of our Sales Directors in Germany, gave a presentation at the “Anwenderforum”(User forum) on “Talent Management for Everyone.” Our focus was on why organizations should really focus their Learning & Development programs to the middle employees instead of just their top talent. We were also delighted to meet up with a few of our German clients, like tesa, SEW-EURODRIVE & Fresenius Medical Care.

Shows

In Ft Lauderdale, FL, we sponsored the first ever Brandon Hall Group’s HCM Excellence 2015 event. We had the chance to meet with some phenomenal people, participate first hand in the welcome session, and hold a fireside chat with one of our award-winning clients, the Credit Corp Group. We were also honored to receive 3 silver Brandon Hall Group Excellence Awards:

Award

Catch my welcome remarks at HCM Excellence 2015 (from a smartphone recording) here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AzpZkXECd8o

We are delighted to start 2015 with such momentum; it is going to be a great year for us to tell our story.

Analytics — The First Pass

October 7th, 2014

Vendor AnalyticsLast year a group of executives at one of our big company clients decided to take a hard look at efficiency and outcome issues around learning.

Having to deal with a variety of use cases, end-user groups and training providers, not to mention the complications of operating in more than 50 countries and 18 languages, the executives saw their immediate task as getting on top of the data.

To this end, they put the following into effect:

  1. All courses, seminars and training events now end with a mandatory, standardized evaluation comprised of five questions, the first being the by-now-classic Net Promoter Score (“NPS” or the number of raving fans minus the number of complainers divided by the total number of responses multiplied by 100, this process yielding a number somewhere between minus and plus 100 – big positive numbers are good). The NPS question is followed by simple, sensible questions on each training program’s relevance by job role and topic, quality and effect.
  2. Individual employee progress is now measured the same way and on the same scale for all training.
  3. Costs are standardized on a per-employee basis and resolved to a base currency.
  4. Time costs are no longer only estimated by the provider, but also measured by the learning management system on a per-employee basis for training delivered online. Time taken is recorded for live and virtual events and estimated (or reported) for take-home assignments, again, all on a per-employee basis.
  5. All training is associated with a named provider, meaning a courseware-off-the-shelf, consulting or custom content vendor in the case of external training and an employee or department in the case of internally sourced training.
  6. All training is placed into one of five company-defined general topic categories.
  7. All training is sponsored by and associated with one of the company’s internal training academies (IT, product and services education, etc.).

The result after a year is that the company has a standardized report format for training, meaning company executives now have a shared language for cost vs. benefit issues, training take-up, attrition and mastery rates, lost-labor costs, unnecessary duplications, regulatory compliance vs. employee development spend, etc.

The company can also stack-rank vendors now, i.e., if the company is using three IT training vendors globally, company executives can see at a glance which vendor offers the most value for money, which vendor to drop and which vendor to squeeze on price come renewal.

All very clever but just the beginning.

The next steps will include getting a lot more sophisticated about data types and then marrying the learning data to line-of-business data.

This will be interesting.

Next Steps 2014 Chicago recap

September 24th, 2014

Last week we were delighted to spend two days with our clients at Next Steps 2014 in Chicago. Next Steps is our annual user conference and our theme this year was innovation and business results. Innovation in terms of new technologies, tools, apps, practices, ways of thinking that shape how we work and live. New ways to take advantage of the NetDimensions Talent Suite across different functions in the organization. Business results in terms of how learning & talent management technologies and processes link to actual business metrics that are relevant to CxOs. Metrics relating to revenue contribution, cost control, change enablement, and risk management.

 

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My panel on talent analytics with Betty Mills of Centra Health, Jerry Bishop of Brigham Young University, Richard Beaumont of Omega Performance, Dan Sherman of The Nature Conservancy, and George Walker of NetDimensions.

 

» Read more: Next Steps 2014 Chicago recap

Are books for learning?

September 1st, 2014

BooksNot an entirely silly rhetorical question — in our work world of endless data aggregation and analysis, the reading of books remains a curiously solitary and hard-to-track enterprise.

It’s easy enough to hand someone a book. It’s easy enough to require a signature acknowledging receipt and even demand answers to a compliance question or two to check headline-level comprehension.

But it’s hard to do anything with a book approaching a deep and actionable, let alone shared understanding of the content without classes and clubs — meaning that costly in-person conversations in and around the act of reading are still what makes reading, at least the extended kind, real and useful.

But for the corporate world, the idea of reading as a purely personal pursuit may be changing. Three developments — e-book readers, the advent of technology-mediated social reading and the X API (nee Tin Can) — together make books cost-efficient, communal and reportable in new ways.

e-book readers are now ubiquitous and cheap. Even general-purpose iOS and Android tablets support the e-pub standard. New services like Zola make reading a compelling group exercise (it’s very cool). Established services like Lulu let any company build its own libraries for private, on-demand distribution. The X API means that the reading of a book can be recorded by chapter and task in any competency framework a company may need.

Books Redux.

Announcing Next Steps 2014

May 4th, 2014

Right after wrapping up Next Steps 2013, our annual user conference, we were already well into planning Next Steps 2014 (if you are curious, find out what happened at Next Steps 2013).  The overwhelmingly positive & exciting input from our clients, partners, and colleagues who attended last year’s conference in London, Chicago, or Shanghai, has reinforced our decision to keep investing in this event in terms of continued variety of what we add to the agenda, more interactivity in all our sessions, and ample opportunities for networking.

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We are very proud of what we’ve planned for next year. Here are some things to look forward to.
 
» Read more: Announcing Next Steps 2014

The End of the Annual Performance Review

April 1st, 2014

Ruth-Thomas-200x200Guest post by Ruth Thomas, Founder and Senior Consultant at Curo Compensation

Ruth has over 20 years of international experience in the management of compensation processes and the design of pay and benefit structures, salary progression systems, and management incentive plans. Her corporate experience includes Lloyds TSB Group, Price Waterhouse Coopers, Dow Jones Group and Credit Suisse.

If this is the end of the annual performance review what happens to pay for performance? 

An emerging theme amongst the various analyst predictions for HR trends in 2014 is the belief that the traditional annual performance management cycle is no longer fit for purpose. The forecast is that forward thinking organisations are now looking at moving from an annual evaluation-only approach to performance management that is achieved through on-going feedback and coaching designed to promote continuous development.  This is in response to a number of factors including the increasingly dynamic business environment that has emerged where business goals and strategies are changing at a rate that outpaces an annual setting and assessment of performance goals.  Similarly forced ranking or competitive calibration is generally seen as counterproductive in the drive for high performance and engagement. Organisations are also trying to consider how to engage and motivate the growing workforce population of millennials who are characterised by their need for more regular feedback and reinforcement.

So does this also mean the end of the annual compensation review as well?

I think this is unlikely; many organisations have strived to move away from the ad hoc or anniversary based review approach with its inherent problems of budget creep and limited ability for peer/market ranking.  This combined with the reality that many organisations still struggle to manage a single annual review cycle in a way that prevents it from being anything other than a challenging administrative exercise.

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A better approach is to extend the range of factors that drive effective compensation decisions, to include:

  • Individual performance will move to be assessed more regularly but still provide input into variable pay decisions annually.
  • Annual business outcomes will continue to drive variable pay outcomes, particularly at more senior levels.
  • An assessment of an employee’s talent potential and leadership capabilities should influence compensation decisions, particularly salary in order to retain and motivate high potential employees.
  • More focus on recognising those employees with critical skills or indeed business relationships and networks required to support future business strategy should influence salary decisions.
  • Fairness and equity and market competitiveness will remain overriding principals for all compensation decisions.

Presenting the data on this broader range of factors to Line Managers to enable them to make informed compensation decisions will be a challenge for many organisations that are struggling to effectively access and calibrate HR and talent data.  Now is the time to start adapting reward policies for the new post-recession landscape and preparing yourselves for the data management and analytics required to support these changes.

 

Your employer is watching

February 17th, 2014

And listening, and applying predictive analytics at the same time.

Excellent shout-out in Marginal Revolution (a blog by a couple of award-winning economists, not rebel types) on an FT piece (gated for most of us, unfortunately) on how some employers are improving productivity by measuring employee interactions with each other (interestingly not with clients) and noting employee tone of voice in the process.

It seems talking things through with your peers really does make things better. It also turns out that a sustained spike in dulcet tones while mixing it up on break is in fact highly correlated with productivity improvement.

Employers take note: this kind of experiment is the tip of the iceberg and only goes to prove the old saw, “What get measured gets improved.”

Read it here.

Mooconomics

February 12th, 2014

An excellent post from John Cochrane (The Grumpy Economist) on what works about online learning.

Read it here.

The flipped classroom discussion is particularly good and has implications for corporate training strategies.

Worth a look.

 

Next Steps 2013

November 26th, 2013

October, what a month!! We just wrapped up Next Steps 2013 (#nextsteps13), our global user conference, and it was quite a cross-continent run.  We gathered with our clients in three locations – Chicago, Shanghai & London – with more participants than ever before representing over 120 organizations worldwide.

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Next Steps is focused on creating value for our clients, but it’s always a tremendous learning experience for us too.  Year after year, I come out of Next Steps inspired by the level of innovation our clients are demonstrating on how they use our software in demanding, results-driven environments.

This year was no different …

» Read more: Next Steps 2013

Improving Performance Locally in a Global Market

September 26th, 2013

stacey-harrisGuest post by Stacey Harris, VP of Research and Advisory Services at Brandon Hall Group. Stacey Harris oversees Brandon Hall Group’s research strategy and agenda, solution provider relations, and advisory services.

More than 83% of organizations with a skilled labor workforce state that it’s difficult to find employees capable of addressing their organizations’ hiring needs. By 2020, global workforce shortages are predicted for critical skilled roles in healthcare, high-tech, and manufacturing.

Yet unemployment in 2012 increased by more than 4.2 million people, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO), jumping to 197 million people globally. “Many of the new jobs require skills that jobseekers do not have,” said ILO Director-General Guy Ryder. That is especially true for 74 million next-generation workers between the ages of 15- to 24-years-old who are currently unemployed.

Businesses and governments alike are quickly realizing that long-term strategies for performance improvement, growth, innovation, and market share must include a workforce strategy focused on developing critical skills inside their organizations.

On  Oct. 23, at NetDimensions Next Steps 2013 in London, I’m looking forward to addressing these topics and sharing global data from Brandon Hall Group on:

  • Managing global talent scarcity
  • Embracing our changing world: getting on board
  • Creating strategic connections between performance and learning
  • Developing a learning environment to build the workforce of tomorrow

The Skills Gap concerns may very well be global issues – with real business impact:

  • More than 55% of manufacturing organizations say a lack of skilled labor impacts their ability to grow the business.
  • More than 35% of high-tech organizations say a lack of skilled labor impacts their ability manage costs and grow the business.
  • 33% of healthcare organizations say that a lack of skilled labor impacts their ability to comply with external quality standards and regulations.

But the answer to these challenges is more likely a local answer. Those organizations that ranked themselves as first-rate in managing community and educational relationships were 50% more likely to have all of their Key Performance Indicators moving in a positive direction.

Organizations that hired employees expecting to provide continuous development were correlated with the highest levels of ongoing business performance compared to those that hired people with the expectation of providing just onboarding development.

We’ll be holding several discussions throughout the day Oct. 23 about the role of learning, talent, and HR leaders in preparing their organizations to compete in a new world where performance and talent are tightly connected.

Next Steps London
Keynote: Improving Performance Locally in a Global Market

Stacey Harris will share hot-off-the-press global research on how organizations are addressing talent scarcity issues while developing the next generation workforce. 

Click here for more information on Next Steps 2013.