Tag Archives: CEO’s Letter

CEO’s Letter: Presumption Versus Investigation and the Role of HR

HRO Today

By Elliot H. Clark

Here I go again writing about the impact of political culture on the life of HR. And I hope the hate mail I get is not too hateful in these overwrought times. But there is an important cultural moment at hand and depending on how social views become ingrained, it may impact the practice of HR.

By the time you read this, the U.S. mid-term elections will be over and the impact of the so-called “Kavanaugh effect” will be clear. The question of whether it galvanized the political right or energized the political left will be answered. But the divisions will remain, and the question of how a process could become so flawed may never be understood.

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CEO’s Letter: HR and Corporate Responsibility—Perfect Together

HRO Today

By Elliot H. Clark

In this month’s cover story, we profile one of our CHRO of the Year Award winners Kevin Silva of Voya Financial. Kevin Silva is an extraordinary example of a CHRO who owns responsibilities beyond the HR suite and who drives the Voya culture in a unique way. By culture I mean not only HR programming, but also the company’s entire corporate responsibility (CR) program. At HRO Today, we love that idea.

Last year, we divested our ownership of Corporate Responsibility Magazine to a friendly rival, 3BL Media, with whom we had areas of competition and partnership. It was the right decision for the shareholders of SharedXpertise Media LLC, the parent company of HRO Today. However, this transaction did not fundamentally signal a change in our philosophy. There are so many synergies between CR and HR, it is unfortunate that more organizations do not combine these executive roles.

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Protecting HR Investments in Services and Technology

HRO Today

By Elliot H. Clark

For many years, HRO Today has provided numerous customer satisfaction based rankings of providers through the HRO Today Magazine Baker’s Dozen Customer Satisfaction surveys. We appreciate the notoriety and respect the practitioner community has placed in the methodology of the ranking. However, we only perform this kind of study in up to 10 areas of technology or service. This leaves many categories that are not covered or fall neatly into the Baker’s Dozen programme.

Juxtaposed to these needs is another disturbing trend. As workforce issues heat up with the global economy, there is a greater demand for HR services and new technology solutions. This causes new providers to flood the space—which can be both good and bad for the market. New providers can bring new approaches and innovations. But when a new provider fails to perform, word can spread through the HR community and raise concerns in the entire industry. I have long referred to unqualified providers that claim to have capabilities beyond the scope of their experience as “Faux POs.” There needs to be a way to protect unwitting clients from the lure of a Faux PO provider. A more comprehensive system is necessary to help identify the best providers.

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My Bad: An Apology

HRO Today

By Elliot H. Clark

I try to teach my children that when you cause offense to be the first to apologize and give an apology before it’s requested. I need to practice what I preach. I made a mistake in the delivery of a message, but I want to explain that I feel the message has some merit and fits within the mission of HRO Today.

First, the mistake. I was trying—in an entertaining way—to review the HR angle of some social, political, and international issues. I knew before the event that it was a difficult tightrope to walk. I wanted to get the audience to think about controversial issues, but to communicate with humor. It backfired.

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CEO’s Letter: Engaging Your Engine

HRO Today

By Elliot H. Clark

I can remember as a young geek watching episodes of the science fiction series Star Trek. Captain Kirk and his series successor Captain Picard would gesture with their hands and say the word “engage,” and the warp engines would magically whisk the starship to light-speed. Unfortunately for HR professionals—who are not in the Starfleet—we have to deal with warp engines made of people. We have talked so much about talent acquisition the past few years, but now, as the labour markets heat up, organisations need to be laser-focused on retention and engagement. Most companies already are. But how are industry providers of engagement surveys and consulting services faring? This year, HRO Today Global will launch a Baker’s Dozen Customer Satisfaction survey for Employee Engagement Survey Services to find out just that.

Employee engagement is one of the most esoteric areas of HR and one of the most important. It is similar to the search for perfection and organisations will not achieve good outcomes without moving the bar further. It is like the old religious paradox: Is God so powerful that he/she can create a rock that even God cannot lift? The answer is yes— create the rock then will more power to lift it. This way, the clergy even got the Lord on a treadmill of constant striving that requires at least one day a week of personal time to recover from. I do not know a single CHRO who is not focused on employee engagement or who is completely happy with their result. Even if someone ever got a 100 per cent rating, HR would re-evaluate the process because they couldn’t accept the possibility of a perfect result.

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CEO Letter: Ours is Not to Reason Why

clarkBy Elliot H. Clark

Seven years ago I was given the privilege to lead HRO Today and since then many people have asked me questions about the Baker’s Dozen programs that we run each year. Most of the questions are about how we do it and a few on why we do it. I was reminded of the why this year when we had two providers tell us they wanted to opt out of their participation.

I want to be clear. This program is not “optional” based on a provider’s choice.

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