Engaged Workforce

Agile and social models are changing performance management, rewards, coaching, goal-setting and development. How you engage with your workforce will directly correlate with how to maximize the productivity of employees whilst giving the best possible opportunities for development.

Industry Innovators

Learn more about the 2017 CHRO of the Year and Talent Acquisition Leader of the Year EMEA Leaders of Distinction winners. By Christa Elliott CHROs and talent acquisition leaders are the driving forces behind a company’s culture and productivity. The processes of finding, selecting, and managing employees are never simple, but thanks to the vision of great HR leaders, organizations have the ability to attract and retain top talent at all levels. The 2017 CHRO of the Year EMEA and Talent Acquisition Leader of the Year EMEA Leaders of Distinction have taken the necessary steps to accomplish this for their organizations, and these awards honor their great work and accomplishments.   The 2017 CHRO of the Year EMEA and Talent Acquisition Leader of the Year EMEA Awards recognize CHROs and talent acquisition leaders who have responded to industry changes and challenges with creative programs and attention to the unique needs of the business they serve. The award winners were announced at the HRO Today Forum EMEA in November in Dublin (see page 4).

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Future Focused

Five key elements essential to developing effective leadership programs. By Janice Miller In today’s competitive business landscape, organizations need strong leaders to transform the workplace and lead in ever-changing futures. Companies that have figured out how to create competitive advantage have also recognized the business benefits of senior leadership development programs. When done right, senior leadership development programs have a measurable impact on a company’s financial performance and competitive position. In fact, Harvard Business Publishing Corporate Learning’s 2016 State of Leadership Development survey found that best- in-class programs are 94 percent more likely than aspiring programs (those that require improvement in some areas) to make a significant impact on financial success and 70 percent more likely to have a big impact on competitive performance. Best-in-class leadership development programs address specific business challenges, help senior leaders understand what’s unique about their organization in the market, and align program elements in order to drive identified strategies forward.

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A Healthier Benefits Strategy

By leveraging technology and research, HR can demystify the open enrollment process. By John Hull Benefits enrollment happens around the same time every year. But even with the same tune being sung, the same instructions being given, and the same procedures being followed, many employees never feel comfortable or familiar with the process. According to the 2017 Aflac WorkForces Report, when respondents were asked about their understanding of overall policies, deductibles, copayments, and providers in their network, only 24 percent of employees surveyed could say that they understood everything. This lack of confidence can lead to holes in employees’ coverage. The same Aflac survey revealed that employees’ lack of comprehension is a costly problem. More than half of respondents—55 percent—said
they waste up to $750 per year by making mistakes during open enrollment. The common theme is clear: Employees need more information, more guidance, and more confidence in their benefits decisions.

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Reputation Matters

Corporate scandal continues to cost companies By The Editors The impact of corporate reputation on employer brand is more significant than ever before and directly affects the cost of hiring, finds the 2017 Cost of a Bad Reputation study from HRO Today and Cielo. This year’s results show that with the U.S. unemployment rate continuing to drop and the economy projected
to expand moderately at 2.2 percent into 2018, organizations have to be more aware than ever of the impact of a bad reputation on their employer brand. According to findings from this year’s study, 61 percent of currently employed respondents were willing to leave their current employer to work with a company with a bad reputation, about the same as the prior year. Males remain much more likely than females to take the job, at 69 percent versus 52 percent, respectively. Continue reading →

Bye-Bye Financial Burden

Organizations that help workers eliminate student loan debt earn a greater payoff: increased productivity, loyalty, and retention. By Michael Fenlon  With outstanding student loan debt at a national high of over $1.3 trillion, more than 44.2 million Americans are burdened with student loan debt. Along with increased stress, debt is having secondary impacts on many professionals and affecting when they are starting families, buying homes, and how they’re saving for retirement. These obstacles have a negative impact on overall workplace wellness by decreasing productivity, leading to disengagement, and even undermining physical health. Companies must recognize that the needs of staff evolve over time, and the workplace must transform to meet them. It’s no longer enough to match the benefits of competitors--organizations need to stand out and demonstrate an understanding of what is important
to the workforce. And helping to alleviate the stress
of student loan debt is clearly important to millions of workers.

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Attention to Retail

Take a closer look at how Shop Direct revamped its recognition strategy during a big transition. By Christa Elliott

Today, Shop Direct is a multi-brand, online retailer serving the United Kingdom and Ireland. The company’s 4,700 on and offline employees successfully ship more than 50 million products every year, but its digital success was a long time coming. Only after transitioning to an online platform and rethinking the way that it recognised its workforce was Shop Direct able to meet its full potential and become the retail success that it is today.

Shop Direct was born from the iconic British retailer Littlewoods—a company founded more than 80 years ago when mass-market retailing was in its infancy. Although Shop Direct became a brand well-loved by consumers, the shift to online shopping and marketing over time meant that the U.K.-based retailer had to adapt alongside industry developments or risk becoming obsolete.

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Bon Voyage

Bringing a positive candidate experience to relocation assignments can be a key differentiator.

By Christa Elliott

Most HR professionals agree that creating an outstanding candidate experience—from recruitment through onboarding—is a great way to boost employee engagement and well-being. But relocated employees, whether they are new hires or transferees, will have a very different “candidate experience” due to the special circumstances of their employment and the careful planning that goes into a relocation. Done well, a relocation can illustrate that the organisation is invested in the employee’s success and growth. But if the relocation assignment isn’t given special attention and care and becomes stressful for the employee, it can work against the organisation.

A 2017 study by CareerArc found that 99 per cent of employers believe that managing employer brand and reputation (including through candidate experience) is important to attracting top talent.

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Little’s Big Impact

By investing in employees, Zurich has seen increases in engagement levels and net promoter scores to boot.

By Debbie Bolla

Although his surname may mean diminutive, Brian Little has only done big things for Zurich North America. As head of human resources for the insurance provider, Little intrinsically understands the direct link between exceptional employees and satisfied customers. Striving to be “a company of choice for insurance in North America and globally” means focusing on what differentiates Zurich from competitors, and Little believes it’s how Zurich interacts with clients. That interaction is one of the main drivers behind his “Zurich Oxygen” initiative: a program that completely shifts how managers work at the insurance company.

Understanding the critical role managers play in supporting employees to be their best, Little developed Zurich Oxygen to help mold and improve the capabilities and people management skills of managers.

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Compensation Considerations

Research reveals five trends that help guide best practices in payroll.

By Mollie Lambardi

Payroll continues to be one of the top services that is outsourced to a third-party provider. In fact, Aptitude Research Partners’ recent study on workforce management found that four out of five organizations are using payroll software solutions or payroll services. When looking at large enterprises—those with more than 1,000 employees—that number is nearly nine out of 10. As organizations struggle to find and keep great talent, creating a positive payroll experience is increasingly important. And as HR organizations seek to position themselves as strategic leaders, the last thing they want is to be bogged down by payroll errors. But an increasingly complex regulatory environment is quickly complicating the world of payroll.

Fortunately, today’s payroll solutions are moving beyond the commoditized marketplace, charging pennies per employee to cut checks.

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Going Glocal

A successful, global recognition programme calls for a local touch.

By Debbie Bolla

With nearly 50,000 employees in 180 countries, the global nature of The Dow Chemical Company’s workforce was a primary consideration for its employee recognition programme. What was CHRO Johanna Söderström and her team’s solution? A global platform executed locally.

The technology behind the programme—powered by O.C. Tanner— was standard across the organisation, but leaders in each country could determine the specific approaches that would work for them. The global, multifaceted “Accelerate Great” programme creates meaningful experiences for employees through the direction and discretion of managers and leaders.

For example, David Sturt, executive vice president of O.C. Tanner, says it’s more commonplace for a recognition moment to be very public in India—it would likely feel like a celebration.

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