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Showing posts with label education. Show all posts
Showing posts with label education. Show all posts
July 28, 2021

How is the GMAT Scored?

Congratulations on your outstanding achievement in finishing your undergraduate program. Completing college is not easy and takes a lot of effort and work. Between the fall of 2009 to 2019, the number of undergraduate enrollments in postsecondary institutions decreased by 5 percent, from 17.5 million to 16.6 million students. Of that number, only an average of 62 percent will be able to finish their bachelor's degree in six years.



If you look at the total population, the percentage is even lower. In 2019, only around 22.5 percent of people ages 25 and older finished four years of college. Now that you are done with your bachelor's degree, you might feel ready to face the challenges of the corporate world.

But are you really ready? With the competitive workplace, you might need more tools and skills for your career to move forward. Enrolling in graduate business school would give you a competitive edge. However, applying for graduate school can be overwhelming. So make sure you're as prepared as possible.

The first step in your graduate school preparation is taking the GMAT, which is recognized globally as an indicator of your readiness to take a graduate business school. The GMAT measures relevant skills such as critical thinking and reasoning skills needed by the world's top graduate business school. The GMAT exam is the most common test for MBA admission and is taken by at least 200,000 graduate school candidates each year. With over 7,000 MBA and master's programs using the GMAT exam to screen their prospective graduate school students, it's imperative to prepare thoroughly for the exam.


Understand The Sections


Total, Verbal, and Quantitative Scores

Analytical Writing Assessment Scores

Integrated Reasoning Scores

Take your time



The GMAT is a 3.5-hour business school entrance exam that has three sections:

● Analytical writing assessment– Measures your ability to analyze and critique an argument. It also measures your ability to communicate ideas and think critically through an essay in English. Topics will include business and other subjects that can help assess critical thinking and communication skills.

● Quantitative and verbal reasoning– Quantitative reasoning measures your mathematical reasoning, skills in problem-solving, and interpreting graphical data. It will involve an understanding of common concepts of geometry, arithmetic, and elementary algebra.

Meanwhile, verbal reasoning measures your reading comprehension, critical reasoning, and editing abilities. It also involves evaluating arguments and correcting materials to express ideas effectively.

● Integrated reasoning– Measures how good students are at analyzing and interpreting data displayed in different formats. It involves synthesizing information from graphics, numbers, text, table analysis, and evaluating information from multiple sources.

Total GMAT scores can range from 200-800. The average score between January 2015 to December 2017 was about 521.27 out of a total score of 800. Verbal and Quantitative sections are scored interactively and adaptively.

The number of questions answered, how correct they are, and even the question difficulty determine your score. These two sections have scores anywhere from 0-60 after being tabulated. However, scores below 6 and above 51 are rare in verbal and quantitative reasoning.

The Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) involves the analysis of one argumentative essay. Scores are from 0-6 in intervals of 0.5. Machine algorithms and professional essay raters are used in scoring the essay. You can request a rescore if you feel it was inaccurate. The score can be adjusted pending the review of another human rater for a fee of $45, but any requests for rescoring should be made within six months of the date of the test.

Integrated Reasoning (IR) is rated on a scale of 1-8 within single-digit intervals. You are allowed to use an online calculator with basic functions to answer the questions. However, each question requires multiple responses and parts completed. So you have to answer all responses correctly because you do not receive partial credit if you leave sections blank.

Get Prepared for GMAT

You have to do your best to get the best score on GMAT and show you have what it takes to enter business school. Now that you know the scoring methodology, you need preparation to get your target score required to get into business school. It would be best to select suitable materials and a clear study plan. Then, shift into high gear and find resources such as a GMAT prep courseto help you fine-tune your test-taking.

The GMAT exam is a crucial step for business school candidates. Around 62 percent of GMAT test takers complete four or more weeks of preparation before their exam. The more time you put into studying, the greater chance you will do better in the exam.



July 27, 2021

Learning English Is Essential For A Child's Success. Read This To Find Out Why

              “Communication works for those who work at it”

                            -John Powell


Children are great at learning languages, they learn a language quickly and gain fluency in a matter of years but at what age should they start learning English? 
 

There is no age bar for learning but the children need to start learning English as early as possible. Over 840 million people speak English as a first or second language, which makes it the second most-spoken language. It is considered to be the language of success. To be very honest, if someone wants a decent job anywhere in the world, he/she needs to be proficient in this language.
Children have a higher grasping power as compared to an adult. Developing a habit of speaking, writing, listening, and reading should be inculcated in a child from the very beginning.

Let’s look at the advantages of being a young learner and how parents can help their children to learn, grow and succeed.

                

Learn and Lead 

 

Being able to communicate in English is one of the most important life skills. Communication skills take a lifetime to master, if not mastered at an early age. According to a 2018 survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employees, communication skills are ranked first among ‘must have’ skills. The most important aim should be to ignite young minds and unleash the dormant energy by providing an opportunity for children to learn to communicate effectively in English. It is the duty of the parents and teachers to help broaden a child's perspective, think critically, speak fluently, participate in public speaking and tap their leadership potential.

 

Invest time in learning  

Communication skills would make them stand strong on their feet.

Poor Communication has been considered as one of the greatest barriers to confidence. If a child has not developed the skill of speaking, he might lose the confidence to take his place among others.

Communicating daily will help to sharpen their skill.


 How is the current situation beneficial for students?


 In current situations, schools are closed and students are not able to participate in co-curricular activities, thus considering the situation it is the best time to grab the opportunity and master the skill of communicating in English. Every child deserves to learn and we as an older generation should give them the right opportunity and platform.

In today's world, let’s make sure that our younger generation does not have to face any hesitation. 

We must ensure that children develop skills that classrooms can’t teach. A personalized curriculum should be developed which caters to the need of the students. Thus, making them learn in a more conceptualized way.

Let them learn and lead the world

 

Beneficial for higher studies 

 

                                                                           

Like job applications, one of the best benefits of learning English is an educational opportunity. If you wish your child should access the best colleges like Harvard, Stanford, Oxford, Cambridge, or any college, knowing English provides them an incredible edge. Writing SOP’s (Statement of Purpose) is not an easy task; therefore, writing English is very important for the students. Thus, it will ensure them to get the best education in the future. If your child wishes to study abroad or within India itself, learning English is one of the most important factors which should be kept in mind.

Learn, grow and communicate.

 

Develop the habit of writing 

 
Who knows your child might be the next Shakespeare?

One of the best ways to understand a language is to write. The more your child writes the more exposure he receives. This eventually increases their creativity.

Schools must provide the students with exposure to writing and make them understand the essence of writing. Students should start learning with simple words that later on turn into more complex and afterward the students must learn descriptive words needed to become creative writers. Much like becoming a musician, one might not understand his/her instrument until they try it out. The same goes for English. It requires consistent practice.

Start learning today, see the benefits soon.

 

Improve focus


To correctly become a well-rounded English speaker requires focus and determination. A child must develop such a thought process that helps her to remain focused and dedicated. Educators should give personal attention to students. During the course, students need to focus on the four core pillars of learning -:

 



                                                      

       SPEAKING 
         
    READING
        
 WRITING

 LISTENING

 Thus, this will provide them amazing exposure and some invaluable experience of learning.

Children are the terra firma upon which the future is built. The impact of learning will bring out their individuality. They deserve to know the world, let’s not keep them confined.

Let’s nurture their leadership qualities because we can foresee a nation run by them.  

                                               Students today are leaders tomorrow

March 26, 2020

WHAT CAN HR DO TO HELP PREVENT BURNOUT?

Have you ever felt just... done? Overwhelmed, utterly exhausted and detached or unmotivated at work? If that feeling persists for longer than a day or two, you may well be suffering from burnout as a result of chronic stress (often tied to your job).
In fact, the World Health Organization recently categorized burnout as an official health condition — and it’s not one to be taken lightly. In a systematic review of studies, burnout was found to be a significant predictor of numerous health problems including Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, fatigue, respiratory issues, insomnia and depressive symptoms, among others. And companies with burned-out employees don’t fare well, either. According to a Gallup studyemployees suffering from burnout are 2.6 times as likely to be actively seeking a different job, 63% more likely to take a sick day and 23% more likely to visit the emergency room. That’s in addition to the expected nose dive in productivity and engagement.
But there are many things businesses can do to help reduce burnout. (They cannot, of course, always prevent it. Family stress, financial problems or illness can all contribute to burnout, even if your job is fantastic.)
The Mayo Clinic identified these six causes of workplace burnout, and proper management and good HR can improve all of them: 
  1. Lack of control (over workload, schedule, assignments, etc...) 
  2. Unclear job expectations 
  3. Dysfunctional workplace dynamics 
  4. Extremes of activity
  5. Lack of social support
  6. Work-life imbalance
Let’s take a look and see what we can do to make it likely in your office.
Employees need control over their responsibilities. My kids have to do the dishes after dinner every night, and the goal is clean dishes. I don’t dictate whether they clear off the plates or the cups first. I don’t even care how things are arranged in the dishwasher as long as they get clean. There are some places where I, as the manager/mom, step in. Yes, you must scrape the dishes. That’s non-negotiable and will be corrected. 
Employees often have managers who focus on the order of plates versus cups, and it makes them feel out of control. If you couple this with a dysfunctional workplace, it can be a disaster. Can you imagine being the child with a mom who yells at you if you clear the cups first, but a dad who flips his lid if you start with the plates? Managers need to be crystal clear about what’s expected of their direct reports (including their priorities) and avoid micromanaging; trust employees to get their work done without unnecessarily picking apart the process. 
Both dull jobs and chaotic ones can lead to burnout. If certain work is more monotonous, allow employees to listen to music or podcasts to help break it up, if possible. Other jobs are just hectic by nature—for instance, a trauma surgeon will never have a perfectly scheduled day. But you can work with your employees to come up with suggestions for making things better in both cases. Listen when they tell you that it’s too stressful and examine ways to reallocate—or possibly eliminate—tasks to help ease the burden. 
Make sure your employees have a good work-life balance and the chance to build a social support system outside of work. If they’re putting in 12-hour days, they can’t possibly have a life outside of the office. All the perks that the big tech companies have—free meals, onsite gyms, onsite haircuts and everything else under the sun—sound amazing. But they trap employees to a degree. If those individuals aren’t encouraged to walk out the door, they can’t develop the strong support system needed to keep them grounded and happy.
Burnout isn’t entirely preventable, but well-managed offices will see less of it, and making a concerted effort can provide a massive difference to your employees.
March 26, 2020

DEAR REWORKER: IS THERE EVER A CASE FOR REHIRING SOMEONE YOU ONCE FIRED?

Dear ReWorker,
We had a long-term employee who was unreliable—coming in late, calling in sick often, leaving early—who we eventually fired. Now, three years later, he’s applied again. My boss says it’s better to hire him, as we won’t have to train. I’m hesitant to rehire someone who we fired in the first place. What do you think?
Sincerely,
Skeptical of Second Chances
_________________________________________________________________________
Dear Skeptical of Second Chances,
Let me get right to it. 
Rehiring people who you fired for poor performance, unreliability or cause? Probably not the best idea. 
This individual, in particular, was a long-term employee who repeatedly showed you who he was. You have no reason to believe that he’s changed. If you rehire him, chances are he’ll call in sick, come in late and leave early. (I am assuming that he didn’t call in sick, but “sick” and didn’t have a genuine disability or illness that would be protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act or the Family Medical Leave Act. If that’s the case, shame on you for firing him!). And you’ll likely want to fire him all over again.

Does rehiring former employees make sense?

Yes. It can make a lot of sense. Some companies even have alumni groups to encourage people to remain in contact and eventually rehire those people. You send your employees out into the world; they get training and experience elsewhere and can come back and contribute to your business on a higher level. It’s a great benefit to the company.
Rehiring people who you laid off for business reasons (not performance reasons) is also a great idea. You know what they can do, they know your business and it can be a great fit. If you’ve had layoffs in the past couple of years and need to hire, you can start by targeting these former employees. It can save you time in recruiting and training. 

But in your situation, why is rehiring this person a consideration?

I suspect that hiring might be difficult for your business right now. That’s not unusual, as unemployment is at record lows. Bringing on someone who you’ll want to fire in a few months isn’t a solution to that.  
What is the solution? Change. Check your salaries. Are you paying market rate? Do you need to bump them up? (Remember, don’t just increase wages for new hires, but for your current staff as well.) How does your PTO look? Do people have a sufficient amount of vacation and sick time? How is your health insurance? Does it compare to your competitors? 
I know you (probably) don’t have spare cash for all of this, and it’s easier just to hire this guy. But think of all the money you’ll spend managing him, coaching him, training and retraining him. Consider your overall turnover. Every new hire costs more than just their salary. You can save money in the long run by making your business a more attractive place to work now.

Are there times when you should consider rehiring someone you fired? 

Sure. For instance, the goof-off intern who is now 30 and has both experience and maturity is worth another shot. The person who was going through a terrible time in their personal life and explains how things are under control now? Sure. People can change.
But, as a general rule, rehire the people who left you or who you laid off—not the people you fired.
Sincerely, 
March 26, 2020

HOW TO RECOVER FROM A DECADE OF LOST EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT

Despite years of effort by HR professionals, Gallup’s latest findings indicate that 70 percent of the U.S. and 87 percent of the global workforce are disengaged or emotionally disconnected from their work, costing businesses billions of dollars each year. Little progress has been made on the state of employee engagement since 1999, when the Gallup Organization’s groundbreaking work First Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently took the industry (and New York Times bestseller list) by storm. 
How is this possible?
Interestingly, a 2014 survey of HR leaders found the top three methods currently used to promote engagement are recognition, work-life balance and wellness. In the survey, retention was the most frequently used metric to gauge the effectiveness of engagement programs. Recently, I was pleased to see a Forbes post recognizing that corporate leaders are concerned that engagement has not been improving, then surprised to find its recommended solution: hosting “fizzy Fridays,” a random day for pizzas, or mid-day ice cream deliveries at the office.  
Though building a positive workplace is a worthy goal, employee satisfaction is not enough. We must be careful not to confuse workplace fun and contentment with engagement. Likewise, let’s not assume that improving retention increases engagement. Statistically, we are more likely retaining disengaged employees. (Blessing White would refer to them as “free loaders,” those who are content and deriving maximum satisfaction from the job but contributing little to the organization). 
So what are we missing? Gallup, CEB and White all point to the critical role of the immediate manager. Eleven of Gallup’s 12 engagement indicators are under the direct control or influence of the manager. CEB identified the “Top 50 Levers of Engagement,” 43 of which are controlled or influenced by the manager. 
Great. So let’s make sure all of our managers are engaged in engaging their employees, right?
But that brings us to the root cause of the problem. CEB found that 57 percent of managers would have opted for non-management roles if there was an option. Even more alarming, 65 percent of managers would “opt-out” of a management role if given a chance to take another equally attractive role. A CEB study of 9000 managers concluded that only 19 percent were both committed and effective at managing. Given the current state of management, we shouldn't be surprised that employee engagement levels remain stagnant. We have been solving the wrong problems!
In Gallup’s 2013 State of the American Workforce report, CEO Jim Clifton states, “The single biggest decision you can make in your job — bigger than all of the rest — is who you name manager.” I couldn't agree more. Organizations must develop what I call "manager effectiveness systems" that include programs and processes for selecting, assimilating, developing, assessing, recognizing, rewarding and promoting managers to the next level. The role and expectations of a manager must be clearly defined. Those organizations who dedicate the necessary effort to manager effectiveness will reap the rewards of a more engaged workforce, an improved leadership pipeline and sustained competitive advantage. 
March 26, 2020

STAR EMPLOYEES AREN'T ALWAYS MANAGEMENT MATERIAL – AND THAT'S OKAY

My colleague once shared a story about managing that I will never forget. At the conclusion of her company’s performance management process, one of the new manager’s evaluations were the most thoughtful, honest and actionable she’d ever seen – despite it being his first time providing formal feedback. Unfortunately, it was also his last time. Upon realizing the effort required to manage people, the employee decided to relinquish his managing role and return to his passion as a software developer. 
I love this story because it highlights the importance of truly understanding people management. "Manager" is a responsibility – not just a fancy title – that requires a special set of skills and immense effort. And it's not for everybody: It should be okay for ambitious high performers to decline the management career path.
The many consequences of ineffective and uncommitted managers take a high toll on organization effectiveness. Far too often, top individual contributors transition into management roles for the wrong reasons and without knowing what the role truly entails. In a previous post, I shared some alarming data from the Corporate Executive Board’s (CEB) Corporate Leadership Council research:
  • 57 percent of managers would have opted for non-management roles if there were an option.
  • 65 percent of managers would “opt-out” of their management roles today if given a chance to take another equally attractive role.
  • 31 percent of managers were neither committed nor effective at their management roles.
  • Only 19 percent (out of 9000 managers studied) were both committed and effective at managing.
In order to avoid the mediocre management syndrome, human resource professionals need to provide career path alternatives, help high performers consider alternatives and then carefully select qualified and committed managers. Below are three ways to cultivate the best managers for your company and determine the best paths for your employees:
1. Offer alternative career ladders
Commonly found in technology industries, dual career ladders allow those not well-suited or interested in management to advance their careers up a comparable professional ladder. “Distinguished engineer” might be the job-level equivalent of a senior manager or director, for example. And an engineering or scientific “fellow” may be the equivalent of a vice president.
2. Mentor aspiring managers
You can design a set of tools, programs and experiences to help top performers gain an understanding of the management path – and make an informed decision about whether it's right for them. At 2020 Talent Management, for example, we developed a one-day program to mentor aspiring managers in Bangalore, India. During the pilot program, two engineers approached me after lunch, having already decided management was not right for them. This was a true win-win – the engineers avoided accepting an ill-fitting job and the company avoided appointing disengaged managers.
The next time I delivered the program in Boston, I shared the Bangalore story with the group. By 11:00 a.m. that morning, one of the participants told me he did not have to wait until after lunch – he already understood management was not the best fit. 
3. Design a comprehensive selection process
Jim Clifton, the chairman and CEO of Gallup Inc., said, "The single biggest decision you make in your job – bigger than all the rest – is who you name manager. When you name the wrong person manager, nothing fixes that bad decision.”  
Establishing a formal process for selecting new managers is critical to the future success of your organization. While the hiring manager is ultimately responsible for any decision, the smartest hiring choices are made in consultation with others (i.e. HR, Leadership Development, current colleagues). When selecting new manager candidates, consider their skills and experiences, such as leadership on informal teams or projects, collaboration and ability to establish relationships beyond their immediate team, as well as their personal motivation and commitment to being a manager. Consider utilizing standardized tools that assess attributes that correlate with manager/leader success, such as Emotional Intelligence and Learning Agility.

If you offer a mentorship or self-selection management program as described above, did the candidate take advantage of it? You can also ask candidates to work through a manager-oriented case study, such as the HBR case studyIs the Rookie Ready.
Great leaders foster engaged teams that deliver great results. By carefully selecting and developing effective and committed managers, you can enhance your organization’s competitive advantage and ensure a sustainable future for your company. 
March 26, 2020

HOW TO CREATE PERSONAL PERFORMANCE GOALS (HINT: THERE'S AN 'I' IN 'TEAM')

Over the past few months I have been exploring the reasons why I struggle with individual performance goals even though I am a professional in the performance management system design industry. What I keep coming back to is that individual performance management goals are difficult to write, time consuming to develop, and quick to become outdated. 
I also think that calling them “goals” is misleading. To me, a “goal” denotes special work that is accomplished outside of regular duties, something that has a finite beginning and end.

Bring the Team to the Individual

So what do we do? Perhaps we're over-thinking the process. Perhaps it's as simple as sharing team goals with all employees, augmenting them with one or two work statements that have an element of “regular job” with a component of added speed, accuracy or service to help work towards some of the team goals.
The team goals come directly from the team business plan, which is shared and dissected by the team, generating ideas that can lead to team success. It is not so much the process of breaking down the goals as it is collaborating on achievement. Even if an employee’s role is tangential to the work described, she can still participate in the accomplishment of the team business plan. By being involved in dissecting the business plan, she has ownership in the result.
Performance review dialogue for team goals can be a conversation about contribution — reflecting on what went well, and what didn’t.

Don't Stop at Documentation

The reality is that, unless the administrative work of setting, reviewing, adjusting and documenting goals actually adds value to the organization, I challenge the need to do it.
The documentation is not the end game — the successful accomplishment of the work is the end game. We document to ensure that leaders are doing their jobs and developing and challenging their teams. After all, isn’t that what performance management really is?
So rather than going through the annual exercise of breaking organizational goals into individual goals, why not take the interim step to develop the team or unit plan to accomplish the organizational goals, sharing and dialoguing with team members about the plan, the successes, the challenges and the results, and engaging team members in making real meaning in their work by clearly seeing how it contributes to the whole.
March 26, 2020

HOW TO TAKE THE EVIL OUT OF HR

I have heard this too many times: “Here comes HR. Something bad is about to happen.” 
Simply put, HR walks into workspaces and people worry about their jobs. In an effort to gain respect for our profession, I wonder if we've allowed ourselves to assume a role that is absolutely wrong for what we really want to achieve — trust.
Termination of an employee is a significant risk to the organization, even if all the proper steps are taken and the conversation is honest and accurate. HR is charged with managing the risk and, by golly, if we’re going to assume the risk, we are going to manage it. After all, it is our opportunity to grab a little power in the organization.
The performance and disciplinary process in organizations is cumbersome. If leaders were proactive about setting performance expectations, giving regular and clear feedback, and providing ample warning when the end is near, they would own the process and HR could go back to being a trusted advisor to leadership.
Do we in HR really want to allow ourselves to jeopardize the very trust we are trying to gain by micro-managing leaders in the performance and discipline process?
Many HR professionals have already turned this role back to managers. Some develop management skills, while others trust their managers to carry out disciplinary meetings without HR. Some still point the terminated employees back to HR to collect their ID, keys, cards, and get all of the appropriate forms signed.
But here is the challenge in that — at least from my perspective. HR should be trusted by leaders and by employees. By putting them in the position of being associated with terminating employees, we damage their reputation and put trust at risk.
Is there a better way? I have a couple thoughts:
  • HR should actively coach leaders in how to discuss performance and termination with their employees. When I say actively coach, I mean role play and pretend to be the employee and allow the manager to practice to the point where both have confidence that the manager will communicate clearly and not put the organization at risk.
  • If there is a difficult situation anticipated, have the next level manager participate rather than HR. This gives the next level manager insight into how the manager communicates and manages the organizational risk. It also keeps HR out of the “evil HR” role.
  • Provide a checklist to the manager for terminated employees, so that they collect the employee's ID, keys and completed forms.
Allowing HR to distance themselves from the actual employee meetings may help in preserving a reputation of trust. Visiting business units for positive reasons is also a great way to avoid being seen as “the terminator.”
March 26, 2020

LEADERSHIP LEARNING IN THE TIME OF EBOLA

This isn't a trick question, but a serious inquiry. I believe that learning happens at three levels in any organization: the individual level, the team level and the organizational level. Higher levels of learning are not necessarily the sum of individual or team learning, but a dynamic and evolutionary way that people come together to accomplish something.
Individuals can learn by reading a book, writing a paper, talking with others, and reflecting internally. Teams and organizations cannot learn by reading or writing. Given that teams and organizations are comprised of individuals, learning occurs in the spaces between the people — through interaction, dialogue and debate.
Apparently the Center for Disease Control counted on reading and writing as learning tools to protect against Ebola outbreaks, sending their protocol to healthcare providers to read and implement. I suspect that the two nurses who cared for Mr. Duncan would agree with me that reading the protocol wasn’t enough. Thankfully, in most organizations, we don’t face life and death situations, but perhaps there is a lesson for us to learn from this horrible situation so that we can avoid falling into the trap of thinking that simply communicating a change in behavior is sufficient to actually enact behavior change. 
Even without dire situations facing us, we do find ourselves needing to change behavior. Take, for example, those in leadership positions. As a leader, our behavior must change the moment we accept the role. We now have responsibility for the work, the people, and the results. That is a sobering responsibility, to have so much hinging on our leadership skill.
Yet we send new leaders into their roles without helping them to learn how to lead.  We may communicate to them the content that they need to know. We may even do a really good job of teaching them how to budget, complete performances reviews, and allocate other administrative work. Rarely have I seen organizations that help a new leader learn leadership behaviors, though.
Changing behavior requires practice, reflection, feedback and more practice, particularly when the behaviors are contrary to someone’s instinct, or are difficult to carry out. Helping someone learn these behaviors requires a systematic, consistent process of stating clear expectations, establishing consequences, and allowing the new leader to practice in a safe space.
What happens if a new leader is not given the opportunity to learn? She may have great instincts or have looked up to and observed a great leader. She may not have the instincts or role models. Everything that an organization accomplishes is through people, and leaders are in the unique position to either motivate or stagnate a group of people. Is leadership of the people of an organization something with which we want to take a chance?
Perhaps had the CDC realized the significance of the behavioral change required by the Ebola protocol, they may have sent advisors to help ensure that the learning was, in fact, taking place when the first case appeared. Like the CDC promulgating a protocol document and expecting that everyone will do the right thing and take it upon himself or herself to learn and practice, we cannot leave leadership skill to chance. It is too important to the success of our organizations.
March 26, 2020

SHIFT THE PARADIGM: CAROL ANDERSON'S WISH FOR HR IN 2015

What does 2015 hold for human resources? Honestly, I don’t know. I worry a bit about our future: will it bring more of the same or will we step up and make a change in order to create real value?
We need a shift. We are under fire and often seen as a necessary evil. We function as an overhead department and are pressured to reduce expenses. We devise programs that are dreaded and implement technology that is clunky. If we were a business, would our customers be buying?
Rather than make a prediction for 2015, I want to make a wish. I wish that human resources would use this next year to make a dramatic change in their approach to work — moving from an overhead department mentality, to that of a business provider.
I have a lot of years invested in this profession, and I truly believe that HR professionals have the ability to add tremendous value to organizations. But what does it mean to “add value”?
When I became an independent consultant and started reading and talking with others in the field, one message was consistent: we must create products and services that satisfy a need and provide value. This means doing a very good needs assessment, reporting back about what you hear and confirming the validity, and then devising a plan to fill the need. Once you implement the plan, you begin the process of evaluating effectiveness — gaining candid feedback from users about whether it addresses the need, and whether it is a feasible and workable solution. If it is not, then you tweak the solution until the need is met.
We don’t do that in HR. Instead, we tell the client (aka employee) what they must do, but rarely do we ever ask them for feedback. I know this for a fact because I have been one of those HR people who really didn’t want to hear any negative feedback because I felt powerless to do anything to fix it.
What if we used 2015 to do a really good needs assessment on one or two of our products or services?
Let’s take “talent management” as an example. What does talent management mean to your organization? Can you answer that question? Would your answer mirror that of your executive team? You probably have a talent management program in place. If you can’t answer the questions about what it is supposed to do, how do you know if it is the right solution?
Make 2015 the year that you commit to adding value to your organization, find out what value means, and assess your current programs for their value.
That’s a lot to do, all while keeping the wheels turning at the same time. However, just asking the questions of your executives and leaders shifts the paradigm. It says, “HR really wants to work with the business to make a difference to the business.” Once you turn that corner, I predict that you will gain significant credibility.
March 26, 2020

WHY CLEAN DATA IS THE BEST DATA

In today's HR landscape, data is having a moment. But I'd like to suggest that not all analytics are created equal.
HR data is essentially HR business intelligence. This should be the basis on which decisions are made about the people of the organization. All of the cool technology in the world cannot override bad data, which is why the accuracy of HR data is a highly strategic function.

First, let me provide some perspective.

In 1980, I was responsible for a department that included personnel records. There was a supervisor who had been in the organization for years. Her staff had been with her for almost the same amount of time. I was used to the impeccable (and regularly audited) records from my prior position with the Marine Corps, and this department maintained similarly accurate and credible personnel information.
Next I went into banking, and while "records" were not part of my responsibility, I relied on the data for my compensation analysis. When I got there in 1989, I found another amazing records overseer who kept our data clean by checking and rechecking all of the personnel forms that arrived on his desk. Our job codes, EEO codes, departmental hierarchy — everything needed for good analysis — was clean.
Then came automation.

Technology as a Data Keeper

The records-keeper job was eliminated because our HRIS was going to take over. We worked hard reviewing, auditing and cleaning data so that the “go live” would contain good data. That lasted about a week.
The good news: We could access, sort and analyze data quickly and easily. The bad news: The data got progressively worse.
Why? Because we shifted the job of keeping the HRIS up-to-date from an individual who knew the importance of the data to managers who couldn’t care less. I haven't seen an organization with good data since. The promise of technology, which could have been such help, fell prey to a system that didn’t review, audit, analyze or even really see the importance of clean data.

Why is Accurate Data so Important?

Today, organizations not only have an HRIS, but many also have add-on human capital management systems which provide applicant tracking, learning management, compensation planning and other specialty modules. If they are smart, however, the HRIS is the “system of record” meaning that all core data is entered in one place and is fed to other modules. This is a critical first step of having accurate data.

How to Fix Jumbled Data

You must take the accuracy of your data seriously. Here are a few ways:
  1. Every data field should have a business owner. It is the business owner’s responsibility to audit the data in that field. As an example, the compensation department “owns” job codes. They should be the only one allowed to update the job code table, but should also audit the use of job codes regularly to ensure that managers are assigning them properly. Job codes are a critical element of HR analysis, in everything from compensation to employee relations. One wrong job code can throw a job’s comp-ratio way off.
  2. Organizational hierarchies should be deliberately established by a collaborative group of HR sub-disciplines. This should happen with the understanding of the implications of each structure on data reporting. For one sub-discipline to change a hierarchy without informing others can do damage to the reporting credibility.
  3. Reports should be produced by a single source within the HR team, regardless of the “owner” of the data. HRIS and human capital systems are too complicated, and a novice analyst can pull the wrong data too easily. One source for reporting should help to catch discrepancies before reports are distributed.