Home' HR Monthly : April 2017 Contents 6
I’m not the first to point it out, but it bears repeating. Apple, the world’s
largest software vendor, writes no software. Uber, the world’s largest
tax i company, owns no taxis. Facebook, the world’s most popular media
owner, creates no content. A nd Netflix, the world’s largest movie house,
owns no cinemas. Has the world gone daft? Not really, it’s just that the
combination of the internet, cloud computing, tablets and smartphones,
e-commerce, electronic readers, WiFi and working from home, together
with new material sciences have created a new world for work.
The great digital disrupters have well and truly arrived and found
innovative ways to ‘lean in’ on assets created by others, and also to
convert use of publicly available assets for dedicated commercial growth
There is a bright side to this new global digital working life. A mong
workers, A-grade players can seek out A-grade employers – just as the
latter can hire the former to hunt out more A-grade customers. As a
consequence, modern organisations have to delegate explicit responsibility
to line supervisors for their talent, and so enable the former’s work to be
more efficient by accessing big data and applying their own workforce
analytics, to engage and retain the best.
Workforce analytics is a high-sounding term but has a quite simple
set of meanings – calculating the return on investment of individual HR
practices like training and recruitment; reporting metrics like cost per
recruit, time to fill critical roles; as well as scorecards for progress of its
people, and ex ternal reporting of human capital applications. A nd most
of all, tying down the connection between what your people do and how
strategy is executed.
But there is still a lot of wheel spinning with big data, and associated
measurement forms that often seem driven more by technical nuance and
intrigue, rather than a prior ref lection on the core business benefits.
How do you best get started in this new complex digital world?
A first suggestion is to begin with strategy and ask questions about
what data you need to advance that, and also what is needed for your
continued understanding of its future progress.
Mark Huselid of North Eastern University in Boston has recently
concluded in his new book on workforce disruption, The Differentiated
Workforce that organisations should ask themselves three questions.
Firstly, ask what is strategic work – and be ruthless about “fixing, keeping
or eliminating” what it finds, and also to focus on H R systems that
support the strategic focus of its own work, and not worry about pu rsuing
other people’s best practices that may or may not fit with you. He also
emphasises that targeted measurement systems, that hold managers
accountable for how they manage their talent, is a critical condition for
The second is around talent, which has seen a massive movement
towards better but highly devolved talent management systems. Clarify
what talent inventories you need to advance your strategy; where the gaps
are; and how can they be closed. Data needs will evolve from doing that.
The focus should be on your strategic talent – the people who can make
a difference to the key drivers of strategy that are exposed to volatile or
negative outcomes, especially when left in the wrong hands.
Good HR is focussed on differentiating these d rivers and selecting the
people who can be made accountable to achieve them, and also take the
Thirdly is to consider tools for assessing performance and reward.
Despite the latest controversy about ending formal performance
reviews, HR still needs to understand an organisation’s performance
and productivity con nections with its people. The key takeaway is that
performance feedback needs to be managed continuously, and not
through an annual star-chamber exercise at the year end. Workforce
analytics can now give us fresh information to fine tu ne individual targets
and overall direction for the enterprise quite quickly.
The monitoring and enhancement imperatives with talent are next in
line. In this contex t it’s worth asking whether you have data to answer the
• Is our top talent highly engaged with this organisation?
• Do we know the value creation of every job, and are we
focussed on that?
• How well does our top talent compare to the
• Does our talent value the way we are investing in
• Are we successfully identifying the drivers of
organisational performance, and the implications
for ou r individual talent?
• Have we got the right alignment working with our
rewards for talent?
• Are there mentoring, support and
stress management systems and
strategies in place to help our top
talent maintain their resilience?
Good HR may not have the answers to
all these questions, but they know they
should and are driven constantly to
determine the best solutions today. •••
The Bright Side
Hail the power of data and how we can shape it to our needs
BY PETER WILSON AM FCPHR AHRI CHAIRMAN
To read past Perspective columns by Peter
Wilson, visit bit.ly/hrmonline
Most people in corporate Australia have
been through a development program that
focuses on understanding their personality
traits so that they can know themselves
better. The reason for doing this is to improve
performance. But multiple research shows
that personality traits account for less than
20% of the difference in work performance.
To compound the situation, most
personality assessments are self-report
and rarely do we make accurate self-
assessments. Generally, people have
overinflated perceptions of their own talents,
abilities, and character – they see themselves
as better than they actually are.
Many organisations are realising that there
is a better way to improve people skills – and
are switching their focus to behavioural skills
as these are more predictive of enhanced job
performance, according to research.
McDonald’s is one of the organisations
moving away from personality traits and
showing their people instead how to make
better ‘in the moment’ behavioural decisions.
This is the new field of Social Intelligence.
Social Intelligence is largely behavioural
and is defined as the ability to form co-
operative relationships with others. By
behavioural, we mean focusing on doing
what works as opposed to understanding
who you are.
Social Intelligence has three
components: Behavioural Intelligence,
Behavioural Emotional Intelligence and
McDonald’s case study
McDonald’s Australia has made the switch
to Social Intelligence and the impact is being
keenly felt. National Training Manager Sarah
Kevin and Corporate Development Manager
(People & Culture) Sylvia Davis became
certified so they could teach the behavioural
intelligence program to their corporate staff.
‘Managing for Results’ provides employees
with skills in Social Style and Versatility.
“In the past we wouldn’t have done any
kind of assessment that would involve other
people rating individuals. This course is
about getting people to realise that how they
perceive something isn’t necessarily how
others perceive it, and then know what to do
to be more effective,” says Davis.
It is a decisive move by the organisation
to focus on individual improvement as a key
metric for overall performance.
“This focus on development centred
around individuals helped to bring some
strong connections between teams and
across departments, which has increased
collaboration across the business”.
“The feedback has been that it’s really
valuable in terms of developing confidence
and knowing how to deal with situations.”
A newer Social Intelligence course is the
Adaptive Mindset for Resilience program
which shows people how to thrive in rapid
change. Surveys conducted after the course
90% of participants implement what they
learned within a week
80% said they were more confident to
deal with change
75% said they were better at dealing
72% were able to identify their negative
responses to change and replace them
with more positive ones.
So why does the behavioural focus work?
The answer is that it shows people how to
make more effective behavioural decisions
‘in the moment’ when working with others.
These skills are teachable and do not
require people to change who they are or
have a deep understanding of their psyche.
Participants find it easy to use and see
Those who increase their behavioural
intelligence are seen by others as:
27% better at managing conflict
26% better at influencing others
and they earn on average $30,000
more than their peers
Managers who increase their behavioural
intelligence out-perform other managers on
47 key competencies such as coaching,
diversity and motivating others.
For those engaged in learning and
development programs, it’s imperative
that you’re unlocking the full potential of
Here’s a great way to make that happen.
We invite Learning and Development
professionals to become certified so that they
can deliver Social Intelligence programs in
their own organisations. Trainer certification
programs are delivered by the Social
Intelligence Group in Australia.
Why it’s behaviour and not personality
that is key to improving performance
not who you are
It’s what you do, SOCIALINTELLIGENCEGROUP
To find out more go to
This article was sponsored by the
Social Intelligence Group who are the
Australian distributors for the Tracom
Through years of research and proven
methodology, the TRACOM Group
has helped millions of people identify
strategies for more positive outcomes
and professional success. The
programs developed are evidence-
based and meet the 2014 American
Psychological Association’s Standards
for Psychological Testing.
20/03/2017 10:25 AM
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