Does This Job Make My Butt Look Big?

Thanks to David for reminding me that the blog title is important. Just for the record, I am not covering that job you had that gave you an extra 15lbs by making you work 80 hours per week and feeding you ‘round-the-clock, all kinds of processed snack foods. That is a topic for another post altogether, or a therapy session (or both).

What I am talking about today is more on the idea of engagement and what I learned at a recent conference I attended. 

The session was hosted by the Conference Board and it was a preview into their 2008 engagement research. In a nutshell, they found what we here at TalentedApps have been saying for a while: the most critical element of engagement globally is a well structuredwell designedinspiring job.

This is not just having a job that provides you with growth opportunities, but also a job that fits well into your broader life, balancing the demands of both your personal and professional needs. 

What is so interesting about this study is how consistent this is across a global population. The four questions that “worked” in every geography to measure engagement were about:

  1. Variety and challenge of the work itself
  2. Interpersonal relationship with the manager
  3. Shared company values
  4. Opportunity for career growth

In the US, there was also a strong correlation between goal alignment and engagement. My personal guess is that this is evidence that the focus on strategically aligned and managed goals is beginning to take root. 

As we look at strategies for getting the most from ourselves and our teams, we must focus closely on how we define and measure jobs. That, to me, should be the strategic agenda of anyone interested in turning the employee engagement focus from a fad to a result.

This blog was originally posted on TalentedApps.

HR Transformation — Are We Sick of it Yet?

I’ve been thinking about HR Transformation for quite some time and I’m starting to wonder how we can move on from HR transformation to “Beyond HR” when we never actually transformed in the first place. 

I have some concern that maybe we are just distracting ourselves to avoid actual measurement and accountability. Are we witnessing a real desire to change the role of HR or are we just a manifestation of Corporate ADD?

It’s an OD problem, no, it’s a recruitment (excuse me — talent acquisition) problem, no, it’s a performance management problem, wait, it’s a succession planning problem, no, I think it’s a web.20/community problem. And don’t even get me started on the idea that it might be an analytics problem!

The more I study this market and talk to companies attempting to truly transform their organizations, I come to realize that it is, and always was, a leadership problem. I know I risk a good ducking here, but I believe that chasing the latest software fad without real vision and leadership will fail. Not dissimilar to how a weight loss program that doesn’t involve diet and exercise will ultimately fail for you (it might work for someone else, but it will not work for you, trust me on this one!).

So, where to start and what to do? First and foremost, you need to find leadership. Hopefully you can find that leadership in yourself, but if not there, find someone who has it first. Once you have acquired the will to lead, then you can begin to benefit from the flywheel effect and realize results. 

If you cannot find the will to lead, I suggest you stop now before you spend important resources and energies on the hard part of a transformation (the starting) and never actually receive the benefits of the work. At the risk of stating the obvious, I also suggest you use the same philosophy for your holiday (or post-holiday) diet plan. 

Quit spending your time trying to find the silver bullet out there, you know that it doesn’t exist. Instead, first analyze your own capabilities and then look to see how you can use technology to implement your vision.

This blog was originally posted on TalentedApps.