Purposeful HR

Purposeful HR
Purposeful HR

Welcome to Purposeful HR

Welcome to Purposeful HR

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Why great in your niche might not be good enough! A few lessons from #TLNT Conference

So I am at the High Performance Workforce Summit in Atlanta this week, being hosted by TLNT.  Great content, meeting amazing HR pros (@broc.edwards, @kenHRInnovator, @Frannyo, just to name a few on twitter, but many more)!!  Presentations were awesome, and round table discussions were invaluable.  Great info in every session.

It was TLNT's first year with this conference, so it is a smaller crowd than typical conferences I've attended.  But I have to say I am getting SO much out of this intimate setting, speakers are upper echelon of HR pros with great insight, and just better, deeper networking opportunities. 

But I have also come to an eye-opening realization today!  While Cenikor Foundation is “cutting-edge” for the non-profit world, and several of our programs are well beyond most non-profits (even some orgs much bigger than us), it is NOT ENOUGH!!

I have an elevated vision of HR since our sessions today.  A few quotes impacting me:

1) The CHRO/VP of HR is in the best position to drive strategy.  Talent is the driver of performance, and performance is the only way to drive growth and profitability (or more services for non-profits). @kenHRinnovator had great information, they are doing great things at his org!

2) Defining engagement - there are two parts, psychological and behavioral.  Traditional engagement definitions focus on the behavioral part - not only is the work done, but they go above and beyond.  That's great, but why?  Psychological engagement is when you have won their hearts, when they have pride in working for your organization, and give selflessly to meet the mission.  Much harder to measure, because it's what they feel, not what they produce.  

3) We live in a VUCA world (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous).  How do we engage in a VUCA world to engage and retain high performers?  We've got our culture principles and our culture survey we do every six months.  But that's what we want to measure and improve.  I'm going to do deeper work to determine what our employees value, what keeps them engaged, thanks to Tina Vos, Director of HR at Air Wisconsin.

4) Panel discussion at end of day was so intriguing with some subject matter on automation/robotics in the overall topic of TOTAL TALENT workforce.  But one statement from Ron Mester, CEO of ERE Media, parent company of TLNT really stood out.  It gave me "permission" for my current perspective as an HR pro.  Ron’s quote: "HR is becoming a department of getting work done effectively, not a department just to take care of employees."  I will always be fair with employees, but you must ALWAYS be executing on our mission.  

So, it boils down to I am not going to be satisfied with being a great in our niche, a great non-profit. There were so many bigger, for-profit organizations with many more resources I was able to tap into today. I will be prioritizing the information and tools I have learned in this first day of conference to step up my HR game! 

Being a great non-profit is not good enough - I want to position us to successfully compare to any company with top-notch HR initiatives.

I hope you have an opportunity to serve and make a difference today!

Kellee Webb, SPHR

Monday, May 19, 2014

Maintaining Your Company Culture - Money Talks and BS Walks!

There is plenty of information out there on how to determine or define your culture; obviously that is the first step.  The hard part is implementing and maintaining it, and it not just being a blurb on your website or maybe on a nice shiny plaque in your reception area.

At Cenikor, the core principles of our culture are so important to us that we created an anonymous survey by which we score every manager and above (including our CEO) with the following questions:

Does this person consistently add value to meet our mission of service for Cenikor clients?
 Does this person demonstrate a consistent positive, respectful attitude with staff and clients?
Does this person work effectively as an active participant of your team?
Does this person consistently role model appropriate, professional behaviors? 
Does this person consistently act with integrity (i.e., honest communication, keeping commitments, openly addressing issues)?

The scoring is:

5 points - Consistently demonstrates (~85-100% of time - no one is perfect)
3 points - Somewhat consistent (~65-84% of time)
1 point - Not consistently

MOST IMPORTANT POINT:  Comments are REQUIRED for each question and this is part of the instructions.  Positive feedback on what you would like the person to keep doing and the impact, or constructive feedback on areas for improvement and how it impacts you as a team member.  The feedback is the "meat" of this survey; it is from this information we learn the most.

It's conducted every 6 months, and completed by 8-12 participants for each person, a combination of direct reports, peers and supervisor.  It is anonymous in the fact that each person being surveyed does not see individual surveys.  HR combines scores and all comments into one report to maintain anonymity, unless someone self-identifies with a comment.  

Here's where the money talks:  the scores are tied back to annual variable pay.  The combined scores from the 2 surveys each year make up 20% of the annual variable pay potential.  There is a stair-step down from 100% of bonus to 0%, depending on your combined scores.  Scoring is setup to pay out fairly generously.  Again, the most critical component of this is to get honest feedback for our managers on how they are consistently upholding our culture, not to "ding" them on their bonus.

Most of our employees who did not have a positive survey the first time around were open to coaching and training, and their scores have improved, many drastically.  Interestingly enough, a few of those that did not show improvement after multiple surveys and had a lack of response to follow up coaching have self-selected out of employment with Cenikor (BS walks).

For those non-profits who do not have funds for annual variable pay or perhaps your funding streams do not allow staff bonuses, you can still implement a similar program just not tied specifically to money.  If you have multiple locations, perhaps the location with the highest scores after each round of surveys gets to celebrate with management bringing in lunch.  You can get creative on how you reward, but remember this should never be punitive or you may have team mates manipulating scores/comments to help keep each other out of trouble.

It will not be without some bumps in the road, we've had to do training with some of our newer managers on how to give constructive feedback, instead of criticizing or labeling.

As a non-profit, we need to be focused on our mission and hitting our goals, and just as focused on the culture we want to uphold, and how we interact and serve each other as team mates.  We spend way too much time at work for it not to be enjoyable to work together.

I hope you have an opportunity to serve and make a difference today!

Kellee Webb, SPHR

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Purposeful HR - So why another HR blog?

So here we go with my first blog post, and I had to ask myself why?  There are many knowledgeable HR pros putting out usable information every day.  Some of my favorites include HRCapitalist.com, HRBartender.com, HRNasty.com, UpstartHR.com, as well as those sites with multiple contributors like FistfulofTalent.com and TLNT.com.  But I've yet to come across the HR blog for non-profits, and there are some unique challenges faced by non-profits.

Me personally, I've worked for both for-profits and non-profits, but my passion is to work for a non-profit; it's where I am most fulfilled.  However, I have found there is a continuum with idealism on one end and accountability on the other.  Too many non-profits are so far to the idealistic side, and all too often accountability and the ability to set goals and make good business decisions just goes by the wayside, or funding doesn't allow for necessary improvements, and the non-profit does not achieve their mission. While I am passionate about working for a non-profit, I am DEFINITELY on the accountability side of the continuum and was struggling to find an organization who had the right mix.

In July 2009, problem solved!  An opportunity became available, and I finally found the perfect "home".  I was hired by Cenikor Foundation, a non-profit with a mission of serving those in need of behavioral health and/or substance abuse treatment.  I am part of an executive team and report to a CEO who believes as strongly as I do about running a non-profit as professionally as a for-profit, with a laser focus on our goals for our mission, finances and culture.  Over the past several years, we have put tools and processes in place that have been hugely successful, and we've been invited to speak at national conferences for our industry about our culture, our leadership development program and our outcomes. The participants were eager for the information and we were happy to share.  The industry interest in our success, along with some prompting from Kris Dunn, HR Capitalist, got me to thinking I may have something to contribute to the blogosphere.

And then most recently our executive team worked with Lane Sloan, author of Develop a Leadership Plan, Become a Great Leader. I know you might be thinking, OK, another leadership book, so what?  For me, the session with Lane helped specifically define my personal purpose not only to be a servant leader, but to inspire an army of servant leaders who want to make a difference in the lives of others, both in Cenikor and in other non-profits.  Therefore, the creation of PurposefulHR.

So now you know a bit about me and the purpose of this blog.  I look forward to sharing information on both the successes and the misses as I strive to be a servant leader and nurture this culture at Cenikor Foundation and beyond.  Whether you are the HR pro, a manager, or executive for your organization, hopefully you will find this perspective useful for how you lead and serve to achieve your mission.

I hope you have an opportunity to serve and make a difference today!

Kellee Webb, SPHR