HR With Impact

Our annual award winners share their most transformative initiatives and the next big thing for their organizations.
By The Editors

HRO Today CEO Elliot Clark has said that it has become this magazine’s job to recognize those who take so much time recognizing others in the workforce that they don’t have time to honor themselves. This job has become an annual privilege for the staff of HRO Today and for the judging board of previous award winners who are also part of the process. The HRO Today Forum in Chicago in May provided the perfect opportunity to share the incredible work of this year’s leaders of distinction. The winners of our CHRO of the Year Awards, Talent Acquisition Leader of the Year Awards, and HR Healthcare Program of the Year Awards were also honored. Here, learn more about how these HR leaders have impacted their organizations and how they plan to do so in the future.

CHRO OF THE YEAR
INNOVATION
David Almeda, Chief People Officer, Kronos Incorporated

What’s the secret to creating a great place to work? David Almeda will say that it’s strong leadership. The chief people officer for Kronos spearheaded a rigorous leadership development program in 2015 for Kronos people managers around the world. Using interactive virtual sessions, the program trained and collected input from managers to transform the company’s business model and culture.

Almeda also launched research to explore the relationships between managers and their teams. The resulting model of “manager effectiveness” was then incorporated into Kronos’ biannual employee engagement survey and increased manager effectiveness (5 percent), employee engagement (3 percent), and employee retention (3 percent).

What’s Next?

Almeda wants to continue to delve into leadership and engagement strategy, specifically by gaining a deeper understanding of employee “personas.” He and the rest of the Kronos team hope to use analytics to understand how performance and engagement drivers differ based on attributes such as age, past performance, and tenure.

CHRO OF THE YEAR
SUSTAINABLE WORKFORCE
Andrea Ledford, Executive Vice President, Chief Administration Office, and CHRO, NCR

As chief administration officer for a company that has been in business for over a century, Andrea Ledford accomplished quite a feat when she helped NCR become a global software and technology leader. This transformation meant implementing an agile talent strategy and garnering support from company leadership.

Thanks to Ledford’s vision, NCR has now built its presence in strategic locations around the globe and opened new collaborative learning spaces to attract and retain talent— including a global headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia that is under construction.

What’s Next?

Ledford plans to expand NCR’s employee-centric approach through NCR’s newly created “Center for iNCRedible Talent and Leadership.” She hopes to use the center as a resource for developing talent and creating team-building experiences and will also be launching a corresponding “iNCRedible Leaders” podcast and blog.

CHRO OF THE YEAR
FOR PROFIT
Brian Little, Head of HR, Zurich North America

Six years ago, Brian Little sought to measure and optimize professional output and development at Zurich North America. Thus “the Development Curve” was born—a project designed to predict the value that talent would bring to the organization based on the quantifiable rate at which individuals typically mature within a role. This project acted as a catalyst for change at Zurich. It led to the integration of business and human capital strategy and fundamentally changed the way the organization invested in people.

Under Little’s leadership, Zurich has successfully created new talent pipelines, learning strategies, retention processes, and organizational design, and found more ways to invest in its people managers.

What’s Next?

Little plans to take advantage of the area where great talent meets cutting-edge technology. Although many in the HR space worry that artificial intelligence will take over departmental roles, Little is excited to see the ways that technology will augment human productivity and creativity. Specifically, he wants to lead Zurich into testing ideas, learning faster, and using that knowledge to build better products for customers.

CHRO OF THE YEAR
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT
Francine Katsoudas, Senior Vice President, Chief People Officer, Cisco

Francine Katsoudas believes there is strength in numbers in both teamwork and data. In fact, in order to understand the strongest characteristics of Cisco’s best teams, Katsoudas invested in developing analytics that can pinpoint them in order to replicate them across the organization. This has also created a culture of trust and shared values in which employees build new strengths every day. By improving performance and skills, Cisco’s employees are inspired to innovate and grow.

What’s Next?

With a continued focus on aligning employees with the right business opportunities and developing them to succeed, Cisco is building capabilities through its “Talent Cloud.” This platform provides analytics and transparency around the skills and drive of employees. By having a clearer picture around succession and workforce planning, Cisco will enable employees to rotate into new roles, cultivate experience, and develop future leaders.

TALENT ACQUISITION LEADER OF THE YEAR
NONPROFIT
Carol Robinette, Vice President of Talent Management, American Red Cross

When Carol Robinette took a long hard look at the American Red Cross’ recruitment initiatives, she found that certain talent segments weren’t getting enough attention. That’s why she decided to channel more recruiting resources toward hiring fundraisers, phlebotomists, and other professionals who provided much-needed services and revenue to the organization.

Even with limited talent planning resources, Robinette effectively designed recruitment strategies for these critical positions, uncovered the needs of their corresponding departments, and reviewed their recruitment challenges. She and her team also provided talent consulting, which includes behavioral interview guides, interview training for hiring managers, and diversity initiatives.

What’s Next?

Robinette is developing programs that showcase the American Red Cross’ talented workforce and build its employer brand. The “Employee Enthusiast” program, for example, will ask employees to share their stories about working with the Red Cross via direct outreach and social media. The hope is that these honest and heartfelt stories will generate more employee referrals and attract candidates with a passion for service.

TALENT ACQUISITION LEADER OF THE YEAR
INNOVATION
Michael Spear, Director, Talent Acquisition and Development, gategroup

In any business, but especially in airline catering, careful planning is critical. Michael Spear, gategroup’s director of talent acquisition and development, knows this all too well and helped the department of operational planning and control, finance, and operations develop an innovative workforce planning tool. The new platform automatically tracks and prioritizes labor and business needs while advancing hiring practices and ensuring resource availability. What’s Next? Looking ahead, Spear is setting his sights on talent development. Although gategroup has already implemented several professional development programs, Spear wants to continue doing impact analysis on these approaches and improving transparency into the current talent landscape.

TALENT ACQUISITION LEADER OF THE YEAR
FOR PROFIT
Kristin Terry, Director, Talent Acquisition Center of Excellence, Cox Enterprises

Responsible for more than 17,000 hires per year, Kristin Terry has led the charge of Cox Enterprise’s three-year journey to transform into a shared services model that includes internal recruiters and an outsourcing partnership. The “Talent Acquisition Center of Excellence (COE)” is the hub of all hiring activity and has been enhanced by Terry’s decision to implement an application tracking system and customer relationship management tool. The COE ensures a positive and streamlined candidate experience that is enhanced by Cox’s employer brand. This new model also captures data and metrics that can be leveraged for better decision-making as well as to establish benchmarks and best practices.

HR HEALTHCARE PROGRAM OF THE YEAR
TALENT MANAGEMENT PROGRAM OF THE YEAR
Jeff Jurinak, Talent Acquisition Manager, Health First

Health First is no stranger to the talent shortages facing healthcare today. This is the main reason Jeff Jurinak implemented the “Graduate Nurse” program. By engaging the chief nursing offi cer and the vice president of nursing, the program has driven robust change. In fact, in its fi rst year, the organization experienced a 44 percent increase in hires. Jurinak says this program will continue to serve as a best practice model to ensure exceptional patient outcomes and enable talent to deliver Health First’s vision.

What’s Next?

Jurinak is now focusing on a customer-like experience for each candidate and technology will play a role. Health First is partnering with an organization that will enable many of the things today’s candidates desire: • Access on mobile devices • The ability to remember IP addresses and pick up where candidates left off when they return to the site. • The ability to parse resume and provide suggestions • More video content • Better branded experiences Jurinak predicts that this new candidate experience will reduce the percentage of incomplete submissions because of the ease of use.

HR HEALTHCARE PROGRAM OF THE YEAR
HR INNOVATION
Jane Maksoud, CHRO, Mount Sinai Health System

Jane Maksoud faced many challenges when the Mount Sinai Health System transformed its Mount Sinai Beth Israel hospital into a smaller footprint. It meant doing more with less. Although resources were limited, Maksoud developed a very well-received wellness program that included yoga classes and cooking classes in the hospital’s cafeteria. The cooking classes now garner the attendance of nearly 100 employees.

HR HEALTHCARE PROGRAM OF THE YEAR
HR EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR
Adriene McCoy, Chief Human Resources Officer, Baptist Health South Florida

Reducing the size of an organization’s workforce is never easy, but Adriene McCoy developed a strategic plan to do so without laying off a single employee and saving the organization more than $44 million in annual labor costs. Early retirement and voluntary separation opportunities were approaches that helped Baptist Health transform the way they do work. What drove the success? Constant communication, leadership engagement, and a robust ERP system provided the means to transition a large percent of employees in a positive way.

What’s Next?

Mergers and acquisitions are on the horizon for McCoy. Three additional hospitals are joining the Baptist Health network over the next five months. Add the fact that the new locations are four hours from headquarters—whereas most other locations are 15 minutes apart—and the task becomes increasingly daunting. McCoy’s solution? A plan to transform organizational structure and communication approaches in order to maintain the company culture of transparency.

Posted June 8, 2017 in Innovation

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