Learning

Organizational Hurdles Often Keep Leadership Development Programs from Being Successful—New Global Survey Shows

American Management Association and Human Resource Institute Provide In-depth Look at the Future of Leadership

NEW YORK, October 4, 2005—Too often, companies fall victim to the organizational hurdles that keep leadership development programs from being truly top-notch. Lack of measurement tools and rewards systems of leadership behaviors are commonly cited obstacles that corporations face. That’s according to a new global survey commissioned by American Management Association (AMA) and conducted by the Human Resource Institute (HRI).

The AMA/HRI survey on “Leading into the Future” included responses from 1,573 managers and HR experts from around the world. The survey was conducted in conjunction with AMA’s affiliates and global partners, including Canadian Management Centre in Toronto, Management Center de Mexico in Mexico City, Management Centre Europe in Belgium, and AMA Asia in Japan.

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Gecis Global Adopts Genpact Name, Touts Growth

One of the heavyweights in the enterprise outsourcing market, New Delhi, India-based Gecis Global has changed its identity to Genpact. The former GE unit said the change was to better convey its global scope.

            We chose [the new name] because it so aptly communicates our brand promise generating value, commitment, partnership and impact, said Pramod Bhasin, president and chief executive officer, Genpact

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Suspiciously Odd Executive Pay Advice

Are million dollar salaries justified? Some board members think so.

by Matt DeLuca

In last month’s Killer Skills column, I promised to address one more major issue from the Annual SHRM Conference held in San Diego in June. At the conference, I really enjoyed all the presentations I attended except for one that continues to give me cause for concern. The topic of the presentation was compensation. The speaker was a compensation consultant from an old-line brokerage company that is currently providing HR services and had just been sold to a major bank.

I always wonder about those who make or advise executive compensation decisions today, as executive compensations continue to grow to more stratospheric heights with each round of CEO replacements. The spillover effect is now moving into HR with both positive and negative consequences–is $21 million really the appropriate total compensation number for at least one HR executive I know of?

At the conference, this particular compensation consultant waxed euphoric about how she “loves CEOs.” I had been concerned before she unapologetically shared that comment with the group, since I wondered if she had an appropriate sense of what her role entailed. How could she function effectively as a compensation consultant with her strong, boldly-shared bias? No sooner, though, had I put time and space between her comments and myself than I came across a column by Stanford Business School Professor Jeffrey Pfeffer in the July edition of Business 2.0.

In his monthly column, Professor Pfeffer, whom I had been familiar with in years gone by as a training and development professional, states, “Its infuriating when outsize CEO pay packages produce lackluster results. But get over it. Bad executives eventually wind up overboard.” Interestingly enough, Professor Pfeffer also serves on the Board of Directors for several companies and has an influence over executive pay practices. Not only does he consider coming to terms with CEOs’ salaries that often rival top professional athletes (already a problem if you ask me), but he also proceeds to quote Jeff Miller, a partner at five-year-old Redpoint Ventures, “who has served on several boards.” According to Miller, “If you think your CEO is doing a good job, pay him [sic!] accordingly. If not, get a new one.” I Googled Mr. Miller to find out a little more about his background in compensation evaluation. He has an MBA in electrical engineering and computer science and has worked for at least one prestigious organization, Intel. The Redpoint Ventures Web page gives no indication where Mr. Miller had the opportunity to develop his compensation expertise. I wonder what his opinion is about the demise of such organizations as Sunbeam, Enron, WorldCom, and Eastern Airlines and the role of their CEOs (not to mention their Boards).

My point is this: I would never assume to make decisions about electrical engineering or computer science or any other field for that matter; but I do know people who have spent a lifetime learning the complexities of the subject of compensation. I would encourage Jeffrey Pfeffer, Jeff Miller, and the nameless consultant mentioned previously to make the effort and give the time to learning compensation. They should seek out serious compensation experts like Graef Crystal and Bruce Ellig, to name just a few. In fact, Ed Lawler, Ph.D., a leading researcher and author in HR management and compensation (and named by both Human Resources Executive and Workforce magazines as a visionary in the field) is at Mr. Millers alma mater. This is important not only for their own edification but also for the well being of the organizations they continue to serve. To do otherwise is truly to continue on a dangerous path.

It is important to ensure that those from whom you seek expertise have a real respect for and understanding of the subject matter. What do you do if one (or more) of your board members is influenced by the compensation thinking of Jeffrey Pfeffer or Jeff Miller? Unless you address their advice head on with the backup and research of experts in the field, proceed at your own risk and dont be surprised if your stock options and retirement plans go the way of Enron and WorldCom employees’.

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Hewitt Associates to Provide HR BPO Services to Wachovia Corporation; Companies Expand Long-Standing Benefits Outsourcing Relati

LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Aug. 4, 2005–Hewitt Associates (NYSE:HEW), a global human resources services firm, announced today it will provide HR business process outsourcing (BPO) services to Wachovia Corporation (NYSE:WB), one of the nation’s largest financial services providers. The deal is an expansion of the companies’ long-standing HR partnership, as Hewitt has provided benefits outsourcing and HR consulting services to Wachovia since the late 1990s.

Under the new seven-year agreement, Hewitt will provide HR BPO services, including contact center, payroll, learning and benefits outsourcing to more than 90,000 Wachovia employees

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ALPHASTAFF AND TAMARAC ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES, LLC FORM HUMAN RESOURCE OUTSOURCING PARTNERSHIP

AlphaStaff to provide human resource services for more than 5,000 employees

Boca Raton, FL August 3, 2005 — AlphaStaff Group, Inc., a market leader in Human Resource Outsourcing (HRO), and Tamarac Administrative Services, LLC, a leader in the senior housing industry, today announced their HR Outsourcing and Co-Employment partnership. AlphaStaff will provide high-end safety, human resource (HR) and tax services, along with worker’s compensation coverage, for over 5,000 Tamarac employees in 27 locations throughout Florida and Georgia

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Six U.S. Federal Government Agencies Renew E-Learning Contracts with GeoLearning

Leading provider of Managed Learning Services expands its dominance within the U.S. federal government.


WEST DES MOINES, IOWA, August 2, 2005 — GeoLearning, Inc., the leading provider of Managed Learning Services and hosted learning technology, expanded its dominance within the U.S. federal government today with the announcement of one-year renewals and/or expansions of contracts with six federal agencies for its GeoMaestro learning management suite:

U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC)
U

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U.S. Department of Homeland Security Selects GeoLearning’s Hosted LMS Suite

WEST DES MOINES, IOWA, July 18, 2005 — GeoLearning, Inc., the leading provider of Managed Learning Services and hosted learning technology, announced today that the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has selected the GeoMaestro learning management suite to deliver training content and manage enterprise-wide human capital performance for 14,000 of its employees.

GeoMaestro is an Internet-hosted learning management platform that enables organizations to capture, create, manage and share knowledge to improve workforce productivity, accelerate critical business processes, and drive organizational performance

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Caterpillar Chooses Kenexa for Survey Services

Kenexa (NASDAQ: KNXA), a provider of talent acquisition and retention solutions, announced that it will be providing Caterpillars workforce with a comprehensive survey offering to gather valuable employee feedback. Caterpillar is Continue reading →

BT and Accenture Sign Five-Year Learning Outsourcing Contract

LONDON; July 6, 2005 BT and Accenture (NYSE:ACN) have signed a five-year, $127 million (70 million) business processing outsourcing (BPO) contract for learning services. This contract renews a previous learning agreement between the two companies and complements the 10-year (US$575 million) human resources outsourcing contract signed by BT and Accenture in January 2005.

The services to be provided under the new contract include technical and safety training around switching, data, transmission and network technologies

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HR Is Alive and Getting Better!

A report from the San Diego SHRM Conference

by Matt DeLuca

I just returned from the SHRM Conference. It was such a terrific gathering that it will take two columns for me to do it justice. This months column will be an overview. Next months will be devoted to a major topicadding value and getting to know the customer. Now for the conference highlights.

First, new buzzwords in HR terminology abounded, some helpful and some just silly. For example, the 9-80 schedule. Houstons oil companies are putting exempt and non-exempt workers alike on a 9-80 schedule where employees work nine days every two weeks for a total of 80 hours. Everyone usually gets the same day off, (I guess calls all go to voice mail on the tenth day). Then there was the 720, a 360-degree performance measurement tool that includes customersbut isnt that what a 360-degree evaluation was already supposed to include?

Second, there didnt seem to be a lot of new products out there, just more of the same. The only exception was new products in healthcare and wellness. Medtronic and others are now offering leases for sophisticated monitoring devices so that employees can check their blood pressure and heart rate at work as frequently as they like. Will the sequence be 401(k) investments first and blood pressure next or the other way around?

Third, tchotchkes a Yiddish word for give aways with no English equivalentare getting more elaborate. Thomson was giving away luggage on wheels (lines were at least an hour long). The Gap offered flipflops (hopefully not encouraging employees to wear them on their business casual days). Human Resource Executive was putting attendees pictures on the cover of their magazine as vendors at carnivals frequently do (You too can be TIMEs person of the year!) And vendor-sponsored parties included star quality entertainment Hootie and the Blowfish (at the San Diego Zoo of all places!) and the Village Peoplealong with open bars, pedi-cab transportation, and, of course, more open bars.

Fourth, outsourcing is being re-examined as an HR service delivery strategy. First Advantage used the conference as an opportunity to kickoff its new superbrand. You may know First Advantage for the variety of HR services they provide on the back end (reference checking, tax consulting, and risk management, to name a few). Then again, you may not know them because First Advantage has taken an aggressive strategy of acquiring a disparate group of organizations in a very segmented marketplace and have been demonstrating the real synergies that come from economies of scale and top quality service delivery by pulling several companies under one huge net. Of particular interest was CEO John Longs response to an outsourcing question at a press briefingthat his organization may provide services, as a third party vendor, to an outsourcing organization under their own brand, but his strategy is for First Advantage to offer its services as a provider/supplier in a more traditional sense.

Fifth, content is still king. The presentations I saw were loaded with useful substance and very thought provoking. Of course, I have a bias for HR practitioners who told their stories, such as Margaret Morford or ex-SHRM CEO Michael Losey. Or Bob Pruitt, who discussed how by bringing humor into the performance appraisal process at Parkview Noble Hospital he vastly improved the results. Then there were the metrics (Fitz-ensupdated, finally!), benchmarking (Kaplan is outinflexible!), and best practices (UCLAs Professor Moshe Rubinstein, a Masters Series presenter, asked why we should limit our line of sight to yesterdays best?). More important, SHRM demonstrated terrific research initiatives that included its second-year sponsoring of the 50 Best Small and Medium Places to Work. More kudos to SHRM for making it so easy to spot both the CEOs and their HR leaders from all the winners, by providing them with large badges so that we could see for ourselves their passion and energy and hear how much they value their employees and HR.

Last, it was good to see that HR is getting a seat at the table. Now we need to be sure we know what we need to do (and how to act) once we get there. More on that next month.

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