Brunswick High FBLA students learn leadership skills at conference

Nearly 40 members of Brunswick High School’s chapter of the Future Business Leaders of America recently returned from their annual leadership conference in Athens.

At the conference, the students took part in leadership development workshops, networked with FBLA chapters from around the state and heard from a motivational keynote speaker.

Mackenzie Buck, a new FBLA chapter member at Brunswick High, said the conference opened her eyes to the opportunities FBLA can offer.

She participated in a “Leading Ladies” workshop, attended by young women at the conference. She said the young women exchanged empowering quotes, shared insecurities and watched inspirational videos.

“It was a nice experience,” said Buck, a freshman. “It was empowering, so they succeeded in their goal.”

D’Armand Henley-Blash, a senior member, said he came home from the trip with a new breadth of knowledge on what it takes to be a leader.

“If you have a goal set, reach that goal … Without any real good sacrifice, you won’t get anywhere,” he said.

The students also learned confidence-building techniques, said Verna Li, a sophomore member.

“We had this lady come in and talk about basically how to seem confident in front of people, and it was really encouraging,” she said. “I felt inspired because she talked about how she was really shy, and she was able to overcome it.”

The conference took place Nov. 15 and Nov. 16. Back at school Nov. 17, the students hosted a March of Dimes service project, to raise money and awareness to improve the health of mothers and babies and prevent birth defects and infant mortality.

Community service is an integral part of FBLA, said Henley-Blash, the chapter’s service vice president.

“Community service is a great way to give back to the people who may not have what you have,” he said.

The leadership conference opens members’ eyes to the large scope of opportunities FBLA has to offer its member, Li said.

“Last year was my first year, and I remember going there to Athens, and I just felt really connected because I saw that there were so many other FBLA members,” she said. “When I first joined, I just didn’t know that it’s such a big organization.”

Source: https://thebrunswicknews.com/news/local_news/brunswick-high-fbla-students-learn-leadership-skills-at-conference/article_c030324a-8904-5a55-93d8-cfc48b426414.html

7 Steps to Elevate Analytics in 2018

There are many unknowns about how this industry will be shaped in the next five years by Amazon and many other players. What is known – a strong analytics foundation will be critical to compete effectively.

As outlined in our current series on Amazon’s penetration of distribution markets – Distribution’s Omnichannel Future – the company has world-class analytics capability. Not only is it leveraging its own transaction data, but it has access to all the businesses selling on its marketplace platforms. Operationally, many distributors are rapidly adjusting their business models based on deeper analysis of their cost-to-serve, profitability and logistics data.

From our work with some of the leading North American industrial distributors and manufacturers that have developed strong market analytics and business intelligence teams, here are some ways to change how your organization thinks about analytics:

1. Choose a leader. Since the CFO is in charge of the numbers, the analytics function almost always rolls up to her. That’s appropriate but the CFO typically doesn’t possess the statistical analysis skills required to do analytics properly and so your organization needs a leader at the director or VP level with the proper experience.

2. It’s about statistics, not just financials. Distributors tend to be good at analyzing their financial statements but not so good at understanding customer behaviors such as onboarding and attrition. What actions correlate to acquiring, growing or losing an account? Your company needs statistical horsepower to understand what’s really happening in your business.

3. Analytics should be predictive and not just diagnostic. Financial statements are “backward looking.” Few distributors apply analytics to help them predict the future or build out pro-formas for various strategic alternatives. With the right leader and the right skill set, you can use a combination of financial and statistical analysis to evaluate strategic choices.

4. Combine internal and external data. Too many distributors limit their analytics to data they get from their ERP or perhaps their online marketing tools like Google Analytics. To produce top-drawer analytics, combine your internal data with information from external sources, which may include economic, market or customer and prospect data.

5. Build the three-year analytics plan. The keyword is “build.” The vast majority of distributors are early in developing analytics capabilities. Or outsource a slice of analytics to a vendor as a turnkey solution that sometimes delays building a stronger internal capability. Unless your management team is aligned on the longer-term strategic objective, it will get derailed by other priorities.

6. Win small analytic battles. Define small, crystal-clear projects. Fuzzy analytics are worse than none at all. Small pilot projects that validate the effort build momentum. There are always projects your team has talked about for years ripe to put under the analytics microscope that will yield valuable data-based insight to long-held gut assumptions.

7. Commit to analytics. Strong analytics is a combination of software, talent and leadership. Software is stronger, cheaper and better than ever. Data analytics is one of the hottest degree programs today; the key is to find analysts with communication skills to be part of a team and who have an understanding of business logic – not just financials. Be picky.

Analytics has to be elevated to a top development priority and given ongoing support and nurturing. This is a culture change for most distribution companies that is difficult and threatening. The top leaders have to defend the analytics team until it can stand on its own and you can say you are well on your way to building a data-driven culture.

Source: https://www.mdm.com/blogs/19-distributor-analytics/post/38119-steps-to-elevate-analytics-in-2018

Only 28% of SA businesses build employees skills

CAPE TOWN – Twenty-eight percent of South African businesses are helping their employees build their skills, despite a move towards web-based digital learning.

South Africa is lagging behind in terms of human capital growth.

According to the 2017 Human Capital Trends Report for South Africa by Deloitte, only 28% of organisations are helping employees build their skills.

This lack of commitment to building employees skills comes although 83% of executives acknowledged careers and learning as very important.

“Corporates need to take a greater responsibility for skills development and ensure more substantial investment into skills development and their people”, says corporate sales manager of online education company GetSmarter, Theuns Botha.

“In a changing world, where companies are under pressure to be output and return driven, they should focus on optimising their results and company culture by recruiting the right employees, supporting training and motivating them to achieve those goals.”

READ: OPINION: Directors have to work on their skills

Online courses can potentially motivate employees.

“When an employee is chosen to do an online course from a top tier university they feel motivated and recognised by their company”, says Botha.

However, the lack of skills-building at organisations shows an imbalance between HR, leadership, and development.

Botha says that the benefits of online learning outweigh the barriers when it comes to investing in human capital. This is because online learning does not disrupt the day-to-day operations of a company, it offers a level of flexibility.

He then makes reference to an example from leadership coach Peter Baeklund:

CFO asks CEO: ‘What happens if we invest in developing our people and they leave us?’ CEO responds: ‘What happens if we don’t and they stay?’”

Source: https://www.iol.co.za/business-report/only-28-of-sa-businesses-build-employees-skills-12362973

Ph.creative launch new brand identity with recruitment drive

It’s busy times at Ph.Creative, with the company unveiling a rebrand, completing an expansion of its Liverpool headquarters and adding new staff to its offices in London and New York.

The agency is fast becoming market leaders within the recruitment marketing sector, and is delivering employer brand, talent attraction and candidate experience services for such household names as BT, RBS, Virgin Media, and Telefonica, with an increasing client roster in the United States including Blizzard Entertainment and Magellan Health.

With the new strapline “Defenders of Happiness”, the company is putting the focus clearly on its creative employer brand solutions, and in an brave and confident move the Ph.Creative website has been redesigned purely to help find new people to join its growing team.

The website delivers a talent attraction campaign with a specially-shot sci-fi film entitled “Human Codec”, and an interactive quiz that highlights the creativity and innovation driving the company’s services. As well as the film and website, the campaign is supported by an intriguing Instagram collage, Facebook Live Photo activity and video adverts.

CEO Bryan Adams comments, “We are really excited at taking this next step in the evolution of Ph.Creative. The brand refresh makes it very clear where, why and how we do business, and the website redesign puts the focus on finding great talent to join the business, rather than looking for new clients. We firmly believe that by the time a prospective client views us online they will know what we do and will already be considering our services, so we wanted to put something creative front and centre to show them the quality of the work we deliver day in, day out. It makes sense to do this by running our own campaign to find great staff, which at the same time shows clients what we can do for them.”

With a raft of new clients wins in the UK and the USA, the business is growing quickly. In addition to the rebrand, Ph.Creative has expanded its Liverpool head office with a new studio and additional staff, and has added to staff levels in London and New York, with more offices planned for 2018, especially in the USA.

http://www.clickliverpool.com/business/23468-ph-creative-launch-new-brand-identity-with-recruitment-drive/

Top in Talent: Wellington, New Zealand Attracts Global Tech Talent

DCI is always on the lookout for incredible talent attraction stories. Earlier in the year, we got wind of a particularly interesting campaign in New Zealand’s capital city, and we couldn’t help taking notice.

Wellington, NZ is a rising center for tech and creative industries, located at the very bottom of the country’s North Island. With ocean views and a vibrant culture, this city would seem like an obvious choice for professionals looking to advance their careers. However, following an all too familiar narrative of places throughout the world, Wellington companies were struggling to attract talent, particularly in the tech industry.

The Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA) recognized this problem and came up with a solution, the LookSee Wellington talent attraction campaign, launched in February 2017. This idea would eventually go on to earn them the 2017 Innovation award from Economic Development New Zealand. DCI recently had a conversation with David Jones, the General Manager of Growth and Innovation at WREDA, reflecting on the experience.

“What you’d find if you came to Wellington is that people are deeply passionate about this place. It’s a compact city that seems to attract people who have an aspirational career and quality of life,” explains Jones.

Campaign Overview

Centered around global tech talent attraction, LookSee Wellington took the world by storm. Project partners WREDA, recruitment agency Work Here and Immigration NZ, created a well-designed website and video with a simple application, seeking qualified professionals interested in making the move to Wellington. In return? Selected candidates would be flown out free of charge and be given a week of networking with top New Zealand companies, as well as information sessions about immigration and daily life. Organizers of this campaign knew that to really attract talent to their location, candidates had to see the city for themselves, up close and personal.

After several top media outlets such as the New York Times, Forbes and Mashable got a hold of the story, qualified applicants from across the world flooded in, totaling well over 45,000.

Jones explaines, “It’s been an incredible campaign for the level of ROI, with millions of dollars in media coverage; for the level of investment we put in, it’s fantastic.”

When it came time for the week of interviews, executives from top companies were thrilled with the candidates who were invited to Wellington. As of today, 40+ people have either begun living and working in Wellington, or are moving through the interview and immigration process.

“It’s been great giving people the opportunity and platform to go and fulfill their ambitions. For us as a city, continuing to bring in more candidates will make an incredible difference to our economy,” says Jones.

The LookSee story doesn’t stop there, either. Not only are candidates from the original applicant database connecting with new Wellington employers and job opportunities on an ongoing basis, other regions of New Zealand are lining up to present their employment opportunities to the talent pool. The LookSee model is also being expanded by Workhere for New Zealand’s booming construction sector, with LookSee Build.

What DCI Loves About This Campaign

Solved a Problem Many Local Employers Were Facing

Talent recruitment was a reoccurring issue for many employers in the Wellington area. When the concept of LookSee was brought to local companies, WREDA was met with enthusiasm on several fronts.

According to Jones, “[Recruitment] was a common issue that was potentially constraining a lot of employers in our great potential market. As we proposed this campaign it just struck a chord with everybody and addressed a problem that was felt by a number of companies.

Provided Practical Resources for Moving to New Zealand

LookSee’s commitment to helping new talent make a smooth transition immigrating to New Zealand set this campaign apart from others. With a full week of events for attendees and involvement from Immigration New Zealand, Work Here, WREDA and professional tech organizations, candidates were given huge opportunities.

“In the mornings we put on information events around buying/renting houses, schooling, immigration and other practical things necessary to move around the world. Afterwards, candidates who were invited to set up interviews were given arrangements to meet with various employers.

“In the evenings we hosted events about Wellington life; everything from mountain biking to visiting national museums, craft beer/wine tasting events and more. We wanted to give them a range of experiences we have to offer,” describes Jones.

Helped the City of Wellington’s Brand

When asked about the biggest takeaways from the LookSee campaign, Jones spoke on behalf of the city: “The brand of Wellington has been hugely enhanced by the LookSee Wellington campaign and has helped position us as a technology hub. We were looking for an opportunity to tell that story and this gave us a chance to do it, so from a marketing point of view it’s been worth its weight in gold.”

What this campaign managed to achieve went far beyond a few dozen new employees; LookSee put Wellington on the map not only as a great place to live, but also as a great place to relocate in the tech industry.

Sought Out Talent for the Long Term

A factor that sometimes gets swept under the rug in talent attraction is a commitment to long-term relocation and creating a sustainable workforce that will last. WREDA recognized this and specifically targeted candidates who were serious about relocation.

Jones explains, “According to Immigration New Zealand, from the time you decide to move to actually doing it takes about 18 months… We recognized it’s a long-term commitment from Wellington, the employers and the candidates. If they’re serious about moving, then we’re going to help make that happen.”

This campaign is a great example of the magic that happens when an idea resonates with local stake-holders and talent. Wellington identified a need in their economy and provided a realistic solution that companies simply could not pass up. Moreover, not only did they accomplish their main goal of bringing in new tech talent, but they also enhanced their city’s brand and earned millions of dollars in media coverage.

In his personal blog, Allen Geer—one of the candidates selected from LookSee—puts it simply: “There hasn’t been a day that’s gone by that I haven’t been immensely thankful that somewhere on the other side of the world, on an isolated island in a little city, a group of folks put together a contest to bring me to Wellington.”

https://aboutdci.com/2017/12/wellington-attracts-global-tech-talent/

Building Organizational Capability of the Civil Service – A Missing Link In The 2018 Budget

Introduction

The Minister of Finance in his presentation to parliament of the 2018 budget and economic policy of the government – titled Putting Ghana back to work, emphasized the need “ to make the SDGs flow through the DNA of Ghanaians in our efforts to meet the 2030 targets.” Without a doubt it is a call for transformation, however, executing the “Putting Ghana back to work program for 2018” will require a coherent, agile and responsive civil service that has the right organizational design to deliver the policy initiatives announced by the Minister of Finance.

This paper will submit that the policy statement was inspirational with the programmatic priorities (WHAT) but weak on the over-arching organizational effectiveness intent and investment priorities (HOW). In simple terms, the organizational effectiveness intent and investment priorities details how the civil service as a major delivery model will be resourced and transformed to drive policy design, execution, monitoring, evaluation, and learning.

The organizational design of the civil service can either be an enabler or show stopper towards delivering the policy and the policy statement could have outlined the strategic intent and investment initiatives to build the capability of the civil service to drive execution. It is hoped that this will become clearer as we interrogate the details of the budget statement in the coming days and weeks. We will like to pose two questions ie to what extent is the organizational design of the civil service aligned to the “Putting Ghana back to work” policy agenda? And secondly what is the level of investment that has been set aside to transform the civil service to align with the policy to become a world-class agency that can deliver the ambition of government?

Organizational Design As An Enabler

This writer will define organizational design as the combination of six key variables. These are values-driven performance management that reinforces the right organizational culture, integrity-centred knowledge management that ensures data-driven decision making, organizational model for managing centers of expertise, communities of thought leaders and management hubs, robust talent management system that has breadth and depth to reproduce talented leaders who also produce equally talented next generation transformational leaders and rigor in harnessing information communication technology.

According to Edgar Schein, organizational culture is made up of the core values, written and unwritten rules, procedures, outward appearances, reward and recognition systems, symbols, myths, stories, heroes and villains, status symbols, power structures etc which put together define the ‘way things are done here”. Is the organizational culture of the civil service robust and adaptive enough to deliver the strategic ambition and plan of government for 2018? The execution of the policy statement will require transformational leadership. Does the civil service have the right leaders who role model the values of integrity, accountability, and transparency? To what extent is this aspect of the organizational design factored into the policy statement?

From an organizational development perspective, the civil service machinery performs three key expectations to ensure the right talent is available to deliver government policy. The first is the flow of people ie having the right flow of people with the right skills is critical in any organizational design to ensure it buys (hires), builds (grow internal talent), binds(retains top talent) bounce (transition and separate) and borrow( outsource) the required talent and expertise in a transparent a-political manner? A major enabler is the compensation philosophy of the civil service which we submit needs transformation to ensure a coherent total rewards strategy.

The second expectation is the flow of performance which is to ensure a solid performance management system is in place to measure productivity. The mission critical importance of having the right organizational design of the civil service becomes pronounced when one considers the fact that 54% of government revenue finances public sector compensation which includes Wages and Salaries, and social contributions (pensions and social security). We need to have value for money from the civil service to ensure accountability and good governance and we think the time has come for government together with its social partners to start reflections on how to transform public sector compensation to ensure a proper harmonization of a coherent compensation philosophy, policy, system, and practice to drive successful execution of government policy.

The third expectation refers to flow of information to enable the availability of quality data to drive economic growth and prosperity. Knowledge management will be critical in the execution of the 2018 economic policy and will require optimizing data integrity and quality to drive decision making. Does the civil service have robust quality assurance capabilities to test the speed, rigor, and integrity of data during execution of the economic policy initiatives? Investing in the operational excellence of the civil service as part of organizational design, e.g the systems, ICT infrastructure, processes, procedures with the appropriate internal controls will be key to successful execution.

Conclusion

Putting Ghana To Work will require a civil service that delivers maximum impact for all Ghanaian citizens. We need a civil service organizational design that delivers innovation, agility, speed & rigor that leads to sustainable transformation. We need a civil service organizational design that strengthens transparency and accountability with a very high focus on customer satisfaction. The new organizational model of public-private partnership presents a business case for transforming the organizational design of the civil service to become a change agent, administrative expert and a business partner to the private sector.

We need a civil service organizational design that eliminates skills obsolescence and needless complexity. We need a civil service which is not subject to petty political patronage and partisanship. The civil service is the most strategic delivery model for executing the 2018 economic policy of the government and investing in its organizational design will position it as an enabler for transformation for the citizens of Ghana.

How much is government investing in the 2018 budget to transform the organizational capabilities of the civil service?

By Casely Ato Coleman, Human Resources & Organizational Development Practitioner

https://www.myjoyonline.com/opinion/2017/December-13th/building-organizational-capability-of-the-civil-service-a-missing-link-in-the-2018-budget.php

Artificial Intelligence(AI) Meets Performance Management

Imagine a world where right kind of employee is chosen for the job at a fraction of cost what we currently incur to hire someone. Imagine a workplace where employees are able to work to their maximum potential and any problem which they face can be addressed in real time and the solutions be guided with volumes of data. Imagine a world where employees won’t have to face the dreaded year-end ritual of getting appraised by their seniors or peers. All this and much more is possible now with the power of AI.

The future of performance management is here as artificial intelligence meets performance management. Performance management is usually defined as the set of activities which ensures that the performance of employees, organizational department are in sync with the organizational goals. It is often thought of as performance appraisal but in reality, it is much more, an appraisal is just a part of it.

Bad Hire

We all remember John Sculley, the CEO who was hired by Apple in 1983 and who upon joining fired Steve Jobs. Sculley, before joining Apple was the President of PepsiCo. He was actually wooed by Jobs himself to join Apple. But in the end, it proved to be a very costly hiring mistake by Apple. The decisions taken by Mr. Sculley caused Apple to lose its stock value by 2/3rd and Apple had to downsize its operations and fire many employees to stay afloat.

This was an example of a bad hiring at CXO level. But even in lower levels, cost of bad hiring can be extremely expensive for the company. According to a CareerBuilder post, 41% of companies say that a bad hire in the last year has cost them at least $25,000, and 25% of companies say that a bad hire in the last year has cost them at least $50,000. According to United States Department of Labour, the cost of bad hiring could be as much as 30% of the salary of the hired employee. For a small firm, a couple of bad hires and the firm may find it difficult to remain profitable. And it is not just the immediate cost. There are other implications too, such as a drop in morale of the other employees and these things are hard to quantify.
But the good news is, now with the help of technology of artificial intelligence, companies have been able to reduce their bad hires significantly. Companies are known by the employees they recruit and they spend anywhere from $137.50-$557.50 on hiring each candidate. This cost is augmented by the training cost which is nearly one-third of the cost incurred in filling a vacant place. Most of the companies such as HUL hire young graduates from the on-campus process and they go on to lead the firms at the international level in positions of CXOs. This is the reason why the top management is closely involved in recruiting new hires so that they can judge the acumen of future CEOs. This drives the need for the recruitment process to be unbiased and uniform.

Hiring Process

Use of Artificial Intelligence by automating the screening process grades the candidates uniformly to match the qualifying criteria. It reduces the unconscious human bias since Artificial Intelligence can be tuned to ignore demographic related information about candidate’s age, sex, and race. A hiring manager can enhance his efficiency by automating redundant and time taking processes using AI such as CV screening, interview scheduling, and communication with candidates.AI can help assess candidates and speed up the time to hire without sacrificing quality of hire. For example, AI can turn a 15-minute video interview into a set of 20,000 data points on facial movements, intonation, and word choice to assess a candidate. Joey Price, CEO of Jumpstart: HR, a managed HR services provider, thinks AI will be most helpful in drawing insights from the millions of data points to discover models for an ideal fit for the company, reducing errors and minimizing compliance fines. Artificial Intelligence is not a leap forward anymore, as more managers understand its unique importance and adopt it. Alicia Shankland, Principal at Huntbridge, an executive search and consulting firm, envisions AI will give us insights that can open up entirely new candidate pools by identifying a diverse set of experiences, abilities, and mindsets that are better predictors of success.

Training and Development

HR departments all over the world always find the ways to train their staff, enabling them to earn certifications, cross-train and learn new skills. What AI-enriched software programmes bring to the table, is that they allow staff to engage in self-directed progress with their training, at their own comfortable pace. It allows for faster development by introducing rewards and incentives based on each employee’s profile. The focal point of such a training program is to achieve a measurable return for the business relying on it. Tests and quizzes developed with A.I. may extend beyond the basic question-and-answer format and may adapt themselves based on individual progressions and needs and therefore measure an employee’s engagement with the training program more intuitively and intelligently. This would increase employee enjoyment of the program, as well as the program’s capacity to teach.

Motivation and Retention

By mapping individual employee’s current skill set and what they require to develop further, using AI managers will be able to incorporate customised training programs and yield better from their teams. While most of the HR managers face that attrition is the major problem plaguing their investment of skill building, training and hiring investment in the employee, George Elfond, CEO at Rallyware, a workforce engagement platform highlights that AI-based learning technology have seen impressive results, such as a 32% increase in employee productivity and a 43% increase in employee retention. We have seen how human resource management is imbibing AI into their activities related to all stages of an employee’s career with the company and progress by leaps and bounds.

Performance Review

It is common knowledge that employees dread the year-end review and feedback. But a not so common knowledge is that even the companies aren’t satisfied with the current performance review management. According to a recent study as quoted in Forbes.com, only 6% of the companies felt that their current performance management processes are worthwhile. They are aware that the current processes are marred with the subjectivity of the evaluator and there can be possibilities of biases while reviewing. And hence it is often seen that employees are never satisfied with the feedback that they get in such reviews and organizational goals are not met effectively.

BetterWorks is an AI solution provider to problems such as performance reviews and goal setting. Its current clients include BMW, GoPro, AOL, Shutterstock etc. It works effectively by providing 360o feedback and performance measurement. Because it relies on hard data, and it considers way more variables which a human HR can process, there are absolutely negligible chances of biases creeping in. The good thing about it is, it provides the performance review in real time. So, if an employee is doing something really good and is achieving goals then he can be rewarded instantaneously which acts as a positive reinforcement. And in another case where an employee is not able to achieve goals then intervention too can be provided in real time so that it doesn’t get too late before the problem goes out of hand. Also, many employees feel motivated when they are able to see how their contribution helps the company in achieving the organizational goals. By deploying AI, employees will be able to see how even their minutest of actions are affecting the bottom line of the company.

The best thing about it is, since BetterWorks implementation, there has been greater satisfaction and acceptance among employees about their feedback as now they know that it purely based on data and it is a continuous feedback and doesn’t come as a shock at the end of the year.

While some leaders and human resources professionals in organizations are questioning whether sensitive data about workplace can be exposed to the software of Artificial Intelligence, the only risk with using AI and big data in performance management is the possible breach of data privacy which needs to be safeguarded. Because so much data is being collected for each employee, it brings upon the greater responsibility to ensure that this data is used only for the purpose it was intended to and be kept confidential at all times.

http://www.newspatrolling.com/artificial-intelligenceai-meets-performance-management/

Heinz Endowments funds new program to instill leadership skills in young nonprofit talent

A new program launching in January will bring together 25 young leaders of large and small nonprofit organizations in the region to help them better address social equity challenges as Pittsburgh continues its ongoing economic transformation.

The initiative, Lead Now Pittsburgh, is a yearlong fellowship developed by Leadership Pittsburgh, a Downtown nonprofit that offers a variety of leadership development programs.

The organization is partnering with Rockwood Leadership institute of Oakland, Calif., to deliver the program.

The Heinz Endowments provided a $500,000 grant to fund it.

Aradhna Oliphant, president and chief executive of Leadership Pittsburgh, described the program as leadership training “that will cement the potential of these nonprofit leaders who have been identified as among the best of the best in our region.”

Those selected range from their late 20s to mid 40s and lead a group of diverse organizations in development, social work and the arts. They include leaders from the August Wilson Center, the Center for Coalfield Justice, the Latino Community Center, Lawrenceville Corp., the City of Pittsburgh, Homewood Children’s Village, and the Program for Research and Outreach on Gender Equity in Society.

“They could be dealing with issues of immigration, women’s rights, community development, early childhood, youth or environment,” said Ms. Oliphant.

While the program isn’t “issues-based,” she said, it’s meant to develop leadership skills among the participants “no matter what the issues are.”

“Nonprofits work so hard with so few resources to provide a safety net in the community,” she said. “This program lifts those efforts up and helps to sustain their energy to do the work for the long haul.”

Foundation and community leaders selected the 25 nonprofit fellows from more than 150 nominees.

Those chosen will participate in retreats, executive and peer coaching, mentorship activities, and each will create an individual development plan.

Among the activities is a one-week retreat at a ranch in Sonoma, Calif., where participants will connect with nonprofit leaders from around the country.

“There’s a value in going away and coming back,” said Ms. Oliphant.

Janet Sarbaugh, vice president for creativity at the endowments, said in a statement the foundation supported the program because, “Our nonprofit leaders carry immense responsibility for the health and success of Pittsburgh and the region, yet they are often challenged in advancing their work due to limited resources, guidance, and recognition.”

http://www.post-gazette.com/business/career-workplace/2017/12/11/Lead-Now-Pittsburgh-nonprofits-leadership-Heinz-Endowments-grant-Leadership-Pittsburgh/stories/201712110127

Death of the dreaded annual evaluation? One can hope

For decades, it’s been an annual ritual for most white-collar employees that occurs around this time of year: Take stock of the past year’s job performance and prepare to discuss that and goal achievement with their boss and hope all the subjectivity adds up to a raise or a bonus.

But the old paradigm of how to reinforce and achieve desired behaviors is shifting from a once-a-year, face-to-face encounter to supervisors giving their employees quarterly, or even instant, informal feedback to guide them throughout the work year and avoid surprises along the way.

“The traditional performance review has been practiced in many, if not most, organizations as a once-a-year, by-the-seat-of-the-pants, informal discussion about very subjective topics that may, or may not, relate directly to an employee’s actual performance,” said Bettina Deynes, interim chief human resources officer for the Society for Human Resource Management in Alexandria, Va.

“It has been every bit as frustrating for the employee as for the employer and generally has not been productive in changing performance or behaviors,” she said.

What has changed and what is working is the increased frequency of the evaluation interview.

Some organizations that are making this change are adopting quarterly reviews, and some others, such as General Electric Co., are developing apps for smartphones that encourage supervisors and their employees to communicate regularly, even daily, on the subject.

“Another change, and a welcome one for many, is the direct tie-in between the performance management system and the strategic plan and job descriptions in a few innovative enterprises,” Deynes said. “This adds a quantitative element to performance reviews that can be more easily related to goal and objective accomplishment, as well as overall performance success.”

ALIGNED WITH

COMPANY GOALS

Companies that still cling to outdated performance metrics that focus on traits and characteristics as opposed to competencies and performance are increasingly in the minority, said Meloney Sallie-Dosunmu, founder and president of Precision Talent International in Allentown.

“Organizations that have transactional HR departments are not getting the best performance out of their employees,” she said. “They’re just checking boxes.”

All of her 15 clients are using a performance appraisal process, but they’re using robust talent management technology for succession planning and measuring performance more than once a year to help ensure employees are aligned with and understand the organization’s goals and vision.

“What I’m seeing is more of an evolution of the performance appraisal process, where HR is functioning as a business partner,” Sallie-Dosunmu said.

SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE

A certain amount of anxiety over being held accountable will always surface with employee-boss encounters over performance, but establishing so-called smart goals allows both sides to track and quantify the quality of work over the course of the year to help defuse the tension.

Some organizations use the acronym SMART to definite their goals as specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely (with a deadline).

“Organizations are trending toward smart goals because they’re specific and measurable, not someone else’s judgment,” Sallie-Dosunmu said, and allow employees to control their success during a year.

“Managers should be there to help someone through a career development process.”

NO MAGIC BULLET

To be sure, all employers are concerned with performance management and employee productivity, said Bob Orzechowski, a board member of the Berks County chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management.

“Employers are faced with many variables and must try to strike a balance among them daily,” he said. “The human asset component is usually one of the largest expenses for any firm, so managing employee performance is always on the employer’s mind.”

Given the vast array of firms (size, culture, workforce composition and technology), industries and other organizations today, there is simply no one formula for success, Orzechowski said.

“It is generally accepted that employees want to know how they are doing; they want meaningful work and recognition for good performance,” he noted. “Thus, the real question for HR is how to align employee expectations with the employer’s need to remain competitive and productive.”

REGULAR INTERACTION

There are tools and solutions that can be brought to bear for most workplace performance situations and conditions, and few people are experts in all of them, said Orzechowski, chief operating officer of the Lancaster Cancer Center.

“The key is to know which tools and solutions to use in which situations,” he said.

Lancaster Cancer Center, for example, employs highly skilled Registered Nurses and uses a competency-based job description and appraisal process for them and other clinical staff and office staff, and each has a performance appraisal document fit to their jobs, which focus on essential functions.

“The review is held annually, but interaction is regular and constant, as we are all in one facility,” Orzechowski said. “Any needed intervention and accommodations are addressed as they manifest. We do not see the anxiety or deleterious impact on the employee-manager relationship.

“Even when a marginal employee must be coached, counseled or disciplined, it is not a surprise and it all usually works out well,” he said. “A key is to hire well so we can manage more easily.”

NECESSARY, VALUABLE

Performance reviews in the nonprofit world also are commonplace but changing to accommodate more frequent conversations.

For the full-time staff members at Moravian College in Bethlehem, the annual performance assessment still applies.

“I think we owe it to our employees to sit down with them at least once per year and discuss how they are doing,” said Jon Conrad, vice president for human resources. “Ideally, it is a synopsis of discussions throughout the year about how their work relates to the strategic plan of the college.”

Moravian employees monitor their goals quarterly to make sure goals are on target and to avoid surprises during review time.

While acknowledging that no one looks forward to annual reviews, Conrad said they are “very necessary.”

OBJECTIVITY

From a legal standpoint, employers should be mindful of not giving false performance reviews, which can be tempting when work relationships evolve into friendships over time.

“When employees bring claims of discrimination or retaliation based on employment decisions, the employer must provide legitimate business reasons for the decisions being challenged,” said Keely Jac Collins, a Bethlehem labor and employment attorney.

“Even where the employee has a history of discipline, positive evaluations may undermine an employer’s ability to credibly assert that poor performance was the reason for the decision.”

Employers may want to consider assuming the role of mentor with their employees to keep the work relationship positive and productive without losing objectivity, she said, adding that employees are looking for opportunity and engagement as primary motivators “as opposed to just a paycheck.”

LINKED TO LOYALTY, MORALE

Although employee engagement is the buzzword in HR these days, companies are still concerned about employee loyalty and morale.

“All three are important to a growing and successful enterprise,” Deynes said. “Many companies are still trying to figure out how to make that trifecta work effectively for them.

“What they do not yet realize is that effective performance management systems will take them a long way in that direction.”

BUILD YOUR OWN

A successful formula combines much more frequent reviews; review conferences that are short and to the point; quantitatively measurable criteria for performance measurement; measurement criteria that are directly tied into the organizational strategic plan and individual job descriptions; and use of cutting-edge technology to assist in implementing reviews and review schedules.

“In addition, thought leaders in more progressive companies are encouraging supervisors and employees to develop their own standards of performance together as a part of the ongoing performance management system,” Deynes said.

“People will support this when they have a direct hand in creating it.”

http://www.lvb.com/article/20171211/LVB01/171209871/death-of-the-dreaded-annual-evaluation-one-can-hope

Top in Talent: Wellington, New Zealand Attracts Global Tech Talent

DCI is always on the lookout for incredible talent attraction stories. Earlier in the year, we got wind of a particularly interesting campaign in New Zealand’s capital city, and we couldn’t help taking notice.

Wellington, NZ is a rising center for tech and creative industries, located at the very bottom of the country’s North Island. With ocean views and a vibrant culture, this city would seem like an obvious choice for professionals looking to advance their careers. However, following an all too familiar narrative of places throughout the world, Wellington companies were struggling to attract talent, particularly in the tech industry.

The Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA) recognized this problem and came up with a solution, the LookSee Wellington talent attraction campaign, launched in February 2017. This idea would eventually go on to earn them the 2017 Innovation award from Economic Development New Zealand. DCI recently had a conversation with David Jones, the General Manager of Growth and Innovation at WREDA, reflecting on the experience.

“What you’d find if you came to Wellington is that people are deeply passionate about this place. It’s a compact city that seems to attract people who have an aspirational career and quality of life,” explains Jones.

Campaign Overview

Centered around global tech talent attraction, LookSee Wellington took the world by storm. Project partners WREDA, recruitment agency Work Here and Immigration NZ, created a well-designed website and video with a simple application, seeking qualified professionals interested in making the move to Wellington. In return? Selected candidates would be flown out free of charge and be given a week of networking with top New Zealand companies, as well as information sessions about immigration and daily life. Organizers of this campaign knew that to really attract talent to their location, candidates had to see the city for themselves, up close and personal.

After several top media outlets such as the New York Times, Forbes and Mashable got a hold of the story, qualified applicants from across the world flooded in, totaling well over 45,000.

Jones explaines, “It’s been an incredible campaign for the level of ROI, with millions of dollars in media coverage; for the level of investment we put in, it’s fantastic.”

When it came time for the week of interviews, executives from top companies were thrilled with the candidates who were invited to Wellington. As of today, 40+ people have either begun living and working in Wellington, or are moving through the interview and immigration process.

“It’s been great giving people the opportunity and platform to go and fulfill their ambitions. For us as a city, continuing to bring in more candidates will make an incredible difference to our economy,” says Jones.

The LookSee story doesn’t stop there, either. Not only are candidates from the original applicant database connecting with new Wellington employers and job opportunities on an ongoing basis, other regions of New Zealand are lining up to present their employment opportunities to the talent pool. The LookSee model is also being expanded by Workhere for New Zealand’s booming construction sector, with LookSee Build.

What DCI Loves About This Campaign

Solved a Problem Many Local Employers Were Facing

Talent recruitment was a reoccurring issue for many employers in the Wellington area. When the concept of LookSee was brought to local companies, WREDA was met with enthusiasm on several fronts.

According to Jones, “[Recruitment] was a common issue that was potentially constraining a lot of employers in our great potential market. As we proposed this campaign it just struck a chord with everybody and addressed a problem that was felt by a number of companies.

Provided Practical Resources for Moving to New Zealand

LookSee’s commitment to helping new talent make a smooth transition immigrating to New Zealand set this campaign apart from others. With a full week of events for attendees and involvement from Immigration New Zealand, Work Here, WREDA and professional tech organizations, candidates were given huge opportunities.

“In the mornings we put on information events around buying/renting houses, schooling, immigration and other practical things necessary to move around the world. Afterwards, candidates who were invited to set up interviews were given arrangements to meet with various employers.

“In the evenings we hosted events about Wellington life; everything from mountain biking to visiting national museums, craft beer/wine tasting events and more. We wanted to give them a range of experiences we have to offer,” describes Jones.

Helped the City of Wellington’s Brand

When asked about the biggest takeaways from the LookSee campaign, Jones spoke on behalf of the city: “The brand of Wellington has been hugely enhanced by the LookSee Wellington campaign and has helped position us as a technology hub. We were looking for an opportunity to tell that story and this gave us a chance to do it, so from a marketing point of view it’s been worth its weight in gold.”

What this campaign managed to achieve went far beyond a few dozen new employees; LookSee put Wellington on the map not only as a great place to live, but also as a great place to relocate in the tech industry.

Sought Out Talent for the Long Term

A factor that sometimes gets swept under the rug in talent attraction is a commitment to long-term relocation and creating a sustainable workforce that will last. WREDA recognized this and specifically targeted candidates who were serious about relocation.

Jones explains, “According to Immigration New Zealand, from the time you decide to move to actually doing it takes about 18 months… We recognized it’s a long-term commitment from Wellington, the employers and the candidates. If they’re serious about moving, then we’re going to help make that happen.”

This campaign is a great example of the magic that happens when an idea resonates with local stake-holders and talent. Wellington identified a need in their economy and provided a realistic solution that companies simply could not pass up. Moreover, not only did they accomplish their main goal of bringing in new tech talent, but they also enhanced their city’s brand and earned millions of dollars in media coverage.

In his personal blog, Allen Geer—one of the candidates selected from LookSee—puts it simply: “There hasn’t been a day that’s gone by that I haven’t been immensely thankful that somewhere on the other side of the world, on an isolated island in a little city, a group of folks put together a contest to bring me to Wellington.”