Internal Mobility & Key Employee Retention
Amos Frajnd (00:00):
Okay, everyone welcome. I think we're going to start. Hello, and thank you for joining our internal mobility and key employee retention fireside chat. We have some excellent content for you today. Really something every business should be thinking of. I'm especially excited to have Steve Goldberg with me, one of the biggest influencers in human capital management field today. This is today's agenda. Hello, Steve. Hi. This is today's agenda. As this is a fire chat format, we would love to hear from you. I want to welcome all of you who have joined us today to use the Q&A and ask us anything. We will try to address as many questions as we can during the Q&A at the second half of our session. Before we jump in, I'd like to take one or two minutes to talk about Criterion HCM. Let's call it a word from your sponsor.
So for those on the call who don't know us yet, Criterion is a state-of-the-art platform for human capital management. We are cloud-based, open API architecture software, providing HR, payroll, time and talent solutions configurable to your unique business needs. We are proud to serve over 500 customers on our platform, and we are especially proud of our 95% customer satisfaction rating, which is a direct result of our personal customer success approach. We sell, implement, and service both directly to customers and through an extensive global partner network in over 10 countries. Our partner network includes some of the most trusted names in technology. We also partner with leading security vendors to ensure your data and entire solution is compliant, safe and secure. So where do we fit in the market? Why are we here and why should you care? For those of you familiar with the space, there is a big gap in the market today, especially for mid-size companies.
SMB vendors are designed to be easy to use for the end user. However, their architecture is lightweight, they're usually impossible to configure, and the lack features and granularity needed for complex use cases. They're really off the shelf products. Enterprise vendors, on the other hand, like Oracle and Workday, have the opposite problem. Yes, their software is robust and can be configured, but they're very expensive and time prohibitive for most mid-size organizations. Service bureaus are yet another player, which is a different animal together. By outsourcing payroll, you reduce some internal workload, however, you lose control of your process. Integration capabilities are usually poor and customer supports and success is notoriously bad. Being a mid-market company doesn't mean your challengers or complexity are smaller than a bigger enterprise. You need to be user friendly and maintain control of your processes all while tackling big complex challenges in use cases.
This is where Criterion comes in. The magic is really in the middle. Criterion offers enterprise grade features across HR, payroll, talent, and workforce management. Our user experience access and interface is top of the line for employees, managers, and HR professionals alike. Our native open API architectures enabled us to integrate seamlessly to any third party system, ERP, accounting, tax services benefit providers, BI platforms, you name it. And we configure every instance to the specific needs of our clients. And finally, our single database prevents any updating lags or data discrepancies and allows us to go granular, very granular to the tune that every single field in dimension in the system is reportable and exportable. Thank you for listening to my short introduction about HCM, and now I am very excited and honored to present our main speaker and the star of our afternoon, Steven Goldberg. I will not go down the list of his impressive career, but I will say that Steve has been a permanent fixture in top influencer lists in HR and HCM. Steve, it is a true honor and pleasure to have you with us.
Steve Goldberg (04:58):
That's very kind of you, Amos. Thank you. Thanks Criterion. Thanks to the audience. I will say I'm very fortunate to be in the position of being a bit selective about which HCM vendors I work with has taken me 40 years to get to this point. This is my 40th year in and around HR, HCM and HR Tech. I don't mind dating myself. It's always better to be able to, to be able to date yourself, frankly. So I've actually worked with Criterion now for a couple of years and like I said, the reason why I've been able to be selective and work with companies like Criterion on and off for a couple years. It's because I'm impressed not just what they bring to the market from a product and technology standpoint, but their understanding of of the needs of customers and how they try to factor that in the unique understanding the idiosyncratic needs.
So I think you heard enough about Criterion. Let me give you one minute on me. So obviously there's too much to talk about in four decades. but I will say just a couple of highlights. So I headed up, I was global head of HR technology reporting to the CHRO at multiple Fortune 500s. Three of them were actually Wall Street firms, and one was an investment bank as well, but in Zurich. Then I crossed over to the vendor side. So first 15 years of my career corporate HR practitioner at VP level. and I really was able to get involved and immersed in pretty much every HCM domain because the CHROs that I reported to wanted that to be the strategy to make me and my team more effective, really be exposed to all the different challenges and pain points across HCM.
So after that, I crossed over the PeopleSoft and became the overall Head of Strategy of PeopleSoft. And really for the past 15 years, have been an advisor and industry analyst working with folks like Josh Burson and others. And lastly, I've probably had the good fortune to be an advisor or board advisor to over 60 HCM tech players over the last 15 years. So it all nets out to the line you see at the bottom. I think that's what differentiates me other than my, my winning personality is I've operated on also of HCM, HR and HR Tech. I think that's enough about me.
So this says, Amos said is the, is the crux the talk today, but I want to say a couple of minutes upfront about what is really unique, compellingly different about the times we live in, the times we live in from from a workforce management and a capital management standpoint. If I could use the term, "the pre-covid era" and the pre-covid era I would say the needs, interests and goals of employees were considered. They were important. there were some universal needs of employees historically the need to progress, the need to be paid fairly aligned with their skills, the need to have their career interests and, and learning goals taken into account, even though those needs weren't always satisfied. So those needs, interests and goals were, let's say, taken into account. But in my opinion inI the pre-covid era, they were never on par with the needs, interests, and goals of the employer.
So that's really the essence of what has changed, and it has changed in a big way. So today, if you look at the organizations, the employers who are rated best place to work, and there's a few different organizations that certify best places to work. Yes, they're looking at growth, personal growth, investment in learning, diversity, equity and inclusion, belonging, et cetera. They're looking at corporate culture. But foundationally they're also looking at this balancing act, in my opinion, of balancing the needs, interests, and goals of both employee and employer every day in a demonstrable way, in a way that's supported with metrics. So, that that's the kind of the target culture that many top in, you know, top shelf employers are are aspiring to, to be able to achieve that balancing act. And that's why you see words like we put employees first.
And that's why the employee experience are probably the two most often cited words in the, in the annals and, and realm of HCM Tech. And I'm going to share with you an employee experience framework. It's pretty simple, but sometimes simple things can have an elegance and a stickiness to them. And and I actually developed that employee experience framework five pillar employee experience framework about six years ago. So I'm gonna share that with you, as well as an employee journey framework. So here's some research and as you can see, just I'll kind of net out. I'm not gonna read any bullets here. You could see that a lot of employees are not feeling settled where they are. A lot of employees, and it can tends to be more of an acute issue with the generation where you have employees kind of in the in, in their mid twenties, let's say,
but a lot of employees are planning on leaving their job. Now here's kind of the double-edged sword of research. Research can guide us. This all came from Aptitude Research, and I'll put in a plug for my friend Madeline Laurano, who runs Aptitude Research. She and I worked together about a dozen years ago at Burson & Associates. And so one thing about research, even the way this is stated, this finding this doesn't necessarily mean that they want to leave the organization, but they certainly want to feel unstuck in their job. They're feeling stagnated in their job or on their career path, and maybe they don't want a linear career path anymore. We'll get into that. What else did these findings indicate? some of the reasons for employees wanting to leave, you can see most of them have to do with items that a manager has lots of influence and control over.
Next point are the employees you know, stating that that they, they want to stay at their company. You could see 41% will ask for some sort of role change, again, plays right into the internal mobility theme and, and the need for employees to feel meaning at work. We don't feel a lot of meaning when we don't see a trajectory in a career path, that's gonna be more and more exciting and enriching. And employees are so invested in creating this new role that nearly a third would take a pay cut to get in a more meaningful situation where they could have a line of sight into growth. And growth is not just about compensation growth, as we know. On the right hand side, only half of all org's personalized feedback. To me, this is a big miss.
Personalization is key to not just the employee experience, it's analogous to the customer experience. I was in India last week for the week, and by day two, the hotel staff knew what kind of food and what kind of drink I liked every morning. And I felt valued. I felt like they cared to know something about me and my interests, and my needs and my preferences. Same thing with employees, right? So you need to, personalize and personalization is much more than knowing somebody's name. And needs and preferences change over time, which is part of personalization, right? And it's, it's an indictment in a way of employers that only have personalized feedback and learning opportunities and communications only half in third point on the a quarter of personalizing communications. And finally on this slide is, you know, three quarters of employers increase their investment in internal mobility. They're seeing, they're getting feedback and the one-on-one check-ins between employees and manager or supervisor, the organization is getting feedback that internal mobility is super important to today's employee. Next slide, please.
So as kind of a, a way of introducing this slide, I will use a phrase that I've used before in talks. I call <laugh>. I named it after myself cause it's a term, sorry, about sorry, about being so kind of egocentrical about it. But I call it the the Steve Goldberg Ascension test. Like we're ascending a mountain. So if we think or use a lens of what does it take for an organization to ascend the ranks within its industry sector or industry vertical, right? Yes. On a left hand side if we're saving money, if we're capturing operational efficiencies, it's good stuff. These are, these are benefits. These are some reasons certainly to invest in automation, process automation within HR in my view as we go further, right? The customer organization is getting more strategic value, which is correlated with the ability to ascend the ranks, right?
To really move the needle. So, left side importance, it kind of pays the bills, but to really ascend the ranks, they're gonna move more toward the right. And on the right hand side, what do we see? We see organizations that, in my opinion, should be devoting more resources, financial and people resources, to things like develop outcomes, like developing a great employee experience. Why is that important? Cause we'll, as, as employers will be able to attract and retain the best talent out there. That's pretty darn important. And organizational agility, we'll be able to improve organizational agility. If we look at the most successful companies in any in any part of the world it's well documented that those are also the most agile. They're able to pivot strategically, pivot, which is also dependent on operationally pivoting. And so what is that?
What I'll, I'll give you a couple of examples. Blockbuster years ago was able to pivot, but they were late and pivoting a business model based on charging customers late feeds wore, wore thin over time, let's put it that way. Similarly Blackberry - Blackberry was all the age with those you know, raised keys, keyboard, and then touch touchscreen came along, and Blackberry was no longer all the rage. And it kinda, you know, fizzled out. So my point here is pivoting is not just the endgame, it's being able to pivot quickly, but also being able to anticipate when you need to pivot and how you need to pivot. And to me, that's like one of the most important things in terms of strategic value and technology and data and optimized process can really help a lot in terms of elevating organizational agility.
And and lastly, on this slide, I put you know, to the left of that box on the right is some of those items in the top of that box correlate with internal mobility. And likewise, some on the right in the bottom of the box correlate with employee retention. so you know, business planning, strategic workforce planning, managing change clearly they're all very important in terms of employee retention. You have to be able to assess readiness for change. If you just impose change and a big, you know, transformational exercise, and employees without profit, communications, without checking their attitudes that they're receptive to it, without giving them the skills and tools they need, you're going to lose them. Let's go to the next slide.
So here's my kind of foundation for elevating employee retention. And I, I have it in four quadrants, as you could see, and I've mentioned the word meaning or meaning and purpose a couple of times already. But I believe elevating employee retention is greatly achieved by consistently emphasizing all four of the jigsaw puzzle pieces here. So we're talking about you know, recognizing that meaning and purpose for a workforce is not just totally correlated with a great employee experience when you give employees meaning and purpose. But what else is it correlated with? Sustainability of the organization at the macro level and sustainability of the employee interest in working there at the micro level. So growth and development, that's obvious. Material offerings manifested in, in, in compensation and benefits, for example, connection and community tends to be more and more important for younger generations. Not to overgeneralize. I think all people need connection and community and, and frankly, capabilities and technology are, let's say, being more attuned to, to that need, that organizations have to have people connected to each other, but also that individuals have to, to be connected for mentoring, for learning from others. Informal learning is as important as formal learning, et cetera. But meaning and purpose, I'm gonna get into that more in the employee experience. Slide next, please.
All right. These are all obvious benefits of internal mobility. Improved organizational agility, ability to pivot quickly, anticipate the need to pivot. Why is internal mobility so kind of organically connected to internal mobility? Well, because of the skills factor and the resourcing factor, what people do we need? Where of what skills? So once we have that, we ability to, we have an ability to execute at a reliable and effective level. you're gonna have business continuity, you're gonna have excellence of execution. You're gonna have resilience. You know, we live in pretty uncertain times, more relatively speaking in terms of external operating environment in particular. And so you as an organization, you build resilience to the factors you can totally control by being able to pivot. And organizational agility is, is central to that enhanced employee experience. I'm gonna defer and come back.
I actually have a slide on each of those. So we are gonna speed ahead cuz I'm gonna talk about each of these on this slide. One at a time. Employee experience, productivity basically the skills lens and enabling greater innovation. So if we go to the next slide, Amos, please. So I've already talked as you can see on the right hand side, I gave you those Blackberry and Blockbuster references. There's so many more. And conversely, if you think about you know here's, here's an interesting anecdote, perhaps. We we all know Starbucks. It's a household name pretty much worldwide. Many of us don't know that there was a time when Starbucks did not make coffee. And guess what? That time period lasted over 10 years from the founding of Starbucks to the time they started selling coffee was at least 10 years, might have been 12 or 14 years. And what were they doing during that time? There was selling coffee machines and coffee beans. So that's how important pivoting is. it allows an organization to, to sustain itself, roll with the times, roll with the demand of the customer, et cetera, reinvent itself. Ability to be out in front of both business risk and business opportunity. The opportunity for Starbucks was, hey, we need a Starbucks and every corner cause everybody's consuming coffee. So let's go to the next slide.
Here's my EX framework. I developed this in 2017, and I've been giving talks on it ever since. And so I know it like the back of my hand. So number one, in terms of pillars we could say that there's a universal need out there. There's a universal need, and it's a recognition that all employees have an intrinsic need to feel valued to be productive. Nobody wants to just, you know, the date goes pretty slow if you're not productive, right? And have, again, meaningful work, all employees. If you have a commitment as an organization to delivering a great employee experience, then it's super important to provide a line of sight to every single employee, whether it's a non-exempt or an exempt. Give them a line of sight into how their career's gonna unfold. Not in specific terms necessarily, but it, it's not a topic that should be avoided because you don't have the specific terms.
It should be directionally how their career is gonna unfold what the organization's gonna do to support it. So it's, it's giving them that line of sight. then fairness is the operative word in my third pillar, but it's not just fairness, it's the perception of fairness, which is often as important as the reality of fairness, if you will. Perception of fairness in how you're evaluated, rewarded, and invested in, invested in, in terms of learning, for example. A sense that the organization generally cares about my total wellbeing, physical health, mental health, et cetera. Obviously, mental health, as we see on LinkedIn every day is front and center has a lot to do with the covid era, working from home, working being disconnected, et cetera. As, unfortunately, that's been a major dynamic the last few years. Tools and processes that are not a speed bump to us being productive, that is part of the employee experience as well. Next slide, please.
So I kind of extended the employee experience framework into what I call the employee journey framework. And I'm not gonna get it. These are stages, a couple of points up front. These are not necessarily stages that every employee goes through, whether they're there're in an organization for one year or 20 years. But I do believe based on my experience in a variety of organizations, many employees go through most of these stages. Yes, these are my terms for them on the left. But the definition, the operational definition of those terms on the right is hopefully what the audience here can relate to socialization. That's an easy one to relate to. You know, the first few of these stages, socialization, immersion, acculturation, development. I, I would think that everybody can relate to those.
Let me, let me dive into number two, immersion. You know, if we think about onboarding, and one of my, I don't know, obsessions over the years, it started when I was a, a spokesperson for PeopleSoft. And it was my job to kinda think about how the industry should change and what, and HR technology capabilities should come more to the forefront. And one of them related to onboarding, the process of onboarding historically has been about, as we know, compliance or filling out paperwork, automating the workflows around you know, the, the new hire paperwork, getting on payroll and benefits. That's all pretty important stuff. Is that what's going to cause an employee to be attracted to an organization or stay? Maybe not. So that's why I call an immersion instead of onboarding, just to underscore the fact that employees really ideally, need to immerse themselves in the job, in the team, in their culture, in the culture of the team and the organization.
Alright, I'm gonna skip down. And so you could see some of these stages relate to continuing to develop, be more proficient, move toward that kind of level of proficiency of being an expert and a subject matter expert or you know, technology guru, whatever it might be. And then you reach a stage like six - validation, where you're confirming, is this the path I want to be on? Is this the organization that is going to afford me the types of opportunities to, for example, number nine, explore. Is this the organization that's gonna gimme an opportunity to explore when I feel stuck and stagnated when I have a sense that there's other jobs that might be more exciting to me? That is in many ways the essence and the driver behind retention and internal mobility. Internal mobility, it's one of the key strategies in internal mobility and in preventing leavers and, and retention risk and dealing with retention risk has allowed people to explore.
This has done in a number of different ways. but I can tell you this, when I was on the corporate HR side one of the real standard programs we had was in those days it was for high potentials, hipos, as we called them. I'm sure it's still called that. And, and these days that HR organizations can be more scalable cause of technology. So it doesn't have to be limited in scope to only high potentials. Ideally, it should be extended to everybody. And what I'm talking about is the ability to explore when you, when you feel like, you know, maybe I don't want to be on the, to pick a, a job family on the accounting path from Junior Accountant to Senior Accountant to Assistant Controller, the Controller, whatever, CFO, maybe I don't wanna be so linear over my 25 to 35 year career.
So I want to be able to explore, this is part of the employee experience. And it certainly dovetails into both themes of the day, mobility and retention in resolution. when we feel like there's something out there and the organization or our direct boss or supervisor is not responding to us feeling a bit unsettled then the resolution is not good for the organization, might be good for the employee. So ideally, you have the employer being attentive and attuned to an employee that's at the crossroads and thinking about whether or not they want to continue with that organization and on that kind of historically linear career path. Next, next slide, please.
Another little vignette, if you will, that I've been telling since my days at PeopleSoft 20 years ago, is you know, we know intuitively that productivity matters. It matters a lot. it it certainly is directly correlated with, with with profitability and, and growth of an organization. But let's just look at the numbers. Simple math, right? If we take a, a kind of a foundational cornerstone metric like revenue per employee, most companies track that and assume in this hypothetical, hypothetical example, that revenue per employee is 150K per employee. A very modest uptick in productivity or revenue per employee. Modest to the tune of 4% means you're now at 156k revenue per employee from one 50. But that, that 6,000 additional bump in revenue per employee in an organization that's 2,000 employees, you do the math, it's 2,000 times 6,000, that's $12 million, and that's out to 12 million in incremental value.
So that's why productivity matters. Just gotta do the math. And I would advise and recommend that for org organizations that are putting together business cases for HR technology, map the technology and like in the case of Criterion HCM, map it to the ability for organiz for your employees in the organization to be more productive. And this is a perfect ROI example, but be conservative when you frame it. Be conservative, talk about 2% productivity uptick. It'll still probably come out to be a big number if you have any appreci, appreciably sized organization. Next slide.
All right, so these are all logical. I talked about the ones on the left, but let me give you a couple of, company examples here. So but it's more important than the companies. It's the strategies and the approaches that they used, right? Spotify encourages all employees to being a job rotation program. Many organizations around the world have been doing this for years. No reason why every organization shouldn't be doing it, because the research is very compelling. It works. In the case of Spotify, they branded, they named this program Missions. Missions. So what's the the outcomes here associated with job rotation? Yes, it does lead directly to employee retention because the pathway is internal mobility. It's exposing the employee to new skills, to new jobs, to new learnings, to new people in the organization that they could learn from, et cetera.
So job rotation is a great way for an employee to understand what are the options in that organization. It just opens up the aperture, it opens up the lens that I'm not limited to this kind of linear path. I keep using that expression. Another one is Unilever, and also Vodacom which created an interesting, program. So the first one was internal, internal to Spotify. They created a job rotation program. and, and then you have a partnership between two companies, Unilever and Vodacom, that basically said, you know, we have people in marketing and why don't we do a marketing exchange program? You have some best practices, we've learned some things. Let's have our marketing people you know trade prices for three months. Obviously this makes a big difference if they're not direct competitors. Next slide, please.
So another one of my kind of an acronyms, let's say acronyms, ERP, but it's an alternative ERP acronym, if you will, is engagement, retention and productivity, right? And what you see here is from my experience and some of the research I did as an analyst what are the fundamental drivers of better results relative to engagement, retention, and productivity. Certainly the strategy as it relates to how you are employee experience vision is manifested. Are you really putting career growth front and center? Are you valuing employees for who they are including this is kind of not the best way to say it, but including inclusiveness. Inclusiveness is a big part of the employee experience these days. And I'm not just talking about the kind of the traditional let's say characterizations or classifications of inclusiveness.
I saw a great presentation from SAP yesterday about inclusiveness for people that were visually impaired, vision impaired or hearing impaired. And it was a young lady that had a cochlear implant that's been at SAP for years. I happen to know the person and, and they now have an inclusiveness program for the hearing impaired. So it's great to see inclusiveness being extended out beyond the typical demographics and categories, if you will. And you can see some of the other others here. I'll skip down to one of my favorites in the sense that I've been talking about it for a while. Line manager effectiveness, line manager effectiveness. We saw on a previous slide that many of the drivers of employee engagement, if not employee, you know, mobility and retention are the manager.
The manager is the person on the spot. They are the person that picks up the signals and cues that employee is satisfied, charged up, highly engaged, or the opposite. Think about the typical HR department. Typical HR department typically comprises 1% of the organization. 1%. It, it's, it's a hundred to one ratio. That's what it's been for years in better run organizations that have really leveraged technology and optimized their processes. It might be 125 employees to every one person in HR. But if you just think about a 1% of your organization is HR, it's impossible for an HR organization to be everywhere. At the same time, they cannot scale, particularly if you're global, it's line managers that are there. Line managers are the conduit in a way. They're the representative of HR. They're the ones that have to respond. And if they need help responding, then reach out to HR for strategic advice.
And what else? Yeah, I think I covered some of the others here. organizational culture, you know, clearly important. And what else? HCM systems, I guess we should talk about that for a second. So, <laugh>, I'm making a joke. Engagement, retention and productivity. Of the three, I would say the, the correlation is strongest between the role that HCM systems and tools plays, and I would feed that into engagement. And there's a number of examples there in, in terms of, well, certainly the user experience, if you just think about it strictly from the system usage standpoint. But if you think about functionality of the system, if the system is capturing a basic thing, like one of my career goals, if it's not captured, they're not gonna be accounted for and factored in in the way I'm managed.
So, you know, the data model is clearly important. and I would skip to productivity clearly from a skills standpoint and making sure that I have the skills that are most relevant to the job and most relevant these days. We have something that I call skills science. I'm gonna talk about that in a I think in a minute. And skilled science is not just what skills are most relevant for the job, but what skills are most relevant to succeed in that job. And their, and success in the job has a lot to do with productivity. So I think we're gonna see more from mid-market players like Criterion HCM to focus even more on skills so they can have their customers really leverage the investment in HR technology to improve productivity, to be able to say, we did the math, and our revenue per employee is definitely going the right direction.
Next slide, please. All right, so here, I think it's my last slide, but there's a lot on this slide. I'm calling it the lightning round. And so I'm gonna maybe just do two or three sentences on each of these boxes and kind of whatever comes to mind and hopefully it'll turn out okay. And my friend Amos is, is kind of like my band mate here, and we're trying to be synchronized. All right, so best versus king employee. I actually, I mentioned this before anecdotally my advice is, let's stop narrowly using the expression top talent or senior talent or executive talent. Yeah, there are places where that's the appropriate phrase to be very descriptive. But if we're thinking about employee retention, well, I would argue that a key employee is anybody for whom if they leave the organization is gonna be disrupted.
So, what's an example? The organization, let's say, invested millions over time in some technology infrastructure or some system and there was a project team and there's only one person left. So there's only one person left with knowledge of that legacy system. Well, in my book, no matter what that person gets paid they're a key employee and we want to make sure that we're picking up on signals that they may be retention risk. I already talked about the relationship between customer and and employee retention in that the same fundamental principles apply. People want to feel known for who they are more than a name, just like a customer does, an employee does. And moreover there's no doubt that customer retention will be positively impacted if you have better employee retention and negatively impacted if you don't have good employee retention.
Customers really like dealing with the same employees. Personalization across the human capital management value chain, when I put that up there, I'm really talking about again, in the context of an employee experience, they want to feel known, but then when you break it down to real kind of use cases from an HCM standpoint so yeah, personalization kind of reared his head (in a positive sense) in the world of learning systems you know, what content, you know, the Netflix model, learning experience platforms was about well, I, this content was relevant for me, so this content should be relevant for me. That's personalization. But personalization, you could extend across the whole HCM value chain to compensation, to benefits, et cetera, to coaching and mentoring. Different people have, different people are receptive to different styles of coaching and mentoring and being given feedback.
A term that I came up with years ago was latent competencies. But you can substitute the word invisible. And what am I referring to here? There are competencies, whether they are hardcore concrete, like technical competencies and skills. There's also behavioral competencies like ability to function at a high level during periods of change, or be a change agent. That's more of the behavioral competency, let's say. And sometimes those competencies, as important as they are, are invisible to the organization. Why? Because they're not totally relevant to the job the person is in. So it's really important to, as the industry keeps evolving that we have a facility for tracking what's the total picture on an employee and not limited to the job they're in. Employee value indicators is another example of that in a different way. It's another term I came up with sometime back.
Everything with me is sometime back. But EVIs, employee value indicators, are essentially all the ways that an employee delivers value, whether it's related to their job or not. So what are some ways mentoring, coaching, referring candidates that become great employees suggesting operational improvements, funneling leads to the sales team? Why wouldn't it be beneficial for an organization to track all of those, all of those sources of value, even though they're kind of outside the confines of the job, and also the employee will feel valued when they're viewed as a whole person delivering an array of value. Moments that manner is a term that can relate to at, you know, the macro level an M&A, corporate restructuring, going into a new region, a new line of business changing, you know, a business transformation. These are moments that matter at the macro level, but you have moments that matter at the employee level.
Let's not forget that, like that exploration stage when you're at the crossroads, when you're feeling stuck and stagnated et cetera. Predicting retention risk. There's some really, thankfully, over the years, there's been a lot of studies and a lot of models developed around predicting retention risks. So there's two numerous to mention. You can Google some of the tried and true methods, but I'll give you maybe a couple, a couple that I've come across in my years. as an example. Let's say you have an employee that has been referring great candidates every year, every, you know, every so often they're referring a great candidate. And all of a sudden that channel stops. You would think maybe they're a little less engaged or they're not participating in some of the social activities that that organization sponsors. or in the 1 on 1 check-ins, they just don't appear totally excited about their role anymore.
There could be so many different ones I could think of. You know, when a person that on occasion likes to put in some overtime and then that shuts down. So any type of change like that that's manifested in, in, in behavior, in attitude, in metrics those can all be signs of retention risk. Certainly a basic one is when an employee's compensation, total compensation is not aligned with market or they haven't gotten more than a meager increase because of budget constraints. engagement, yeah, is, is certainly a predictor. How is engagement trending? That's your predictor. Engagement at the individual level can be ascertained by surveys through one-on-one check-ins, by how engaged they are in extracurricular or in those, some of those value added ways of delivering value to the organization, right? Like mentoring and coaching, let's say I was doing a lot of that, and then I just stopped.
okay, I already talked about that exploration that, that's really key to internal mobility and retention. The ability to explore everyone is a high potential. I gave you that example of an organization I worked for where, you know, they, the organization identified, I think the number was 250. It was an organization of, I think, 12,000 employees. They identified 250 hipos - high potentials, and they allowed those hypos to spend three months in different parts of the organization, cross-functionally trained or skilled, and just exposed to different parts of the organization. And that fed their imagination and their kind of validating what career path they wanted to be on, and whether or not it was a traditional one or not. So in my mind the, the new age way to look at this is everyone is a hipo. That should be the mindset, because we have technology that helps us scale and do things much differently.
Advances in skills science relates to, you know, the fancy word ontology. Ontology is really using machine learning. It's not deeply adopted as a capability tool set, but the more vendors are offering it, particularly, particularly in the large market where the systems tend to be a bit more expensive and ontology is skills related to other skills related to jobs related to projects. and and there's other aspects of skills science which maybe I'll get into later, maybe there'll be some questions on opportunity. Marketplace is kind of, you know, speaks for itself, what projects are out there, gig projects, if you will. And certainly what, what roles and, and what jobs are out there. Hopefully the organization when they're posting jobs is posting to the internal population first. Not only does it lead to more internal mobility, but it sends the right sign to employees that the culture is putting their own people first. I think that may be my last slide, and I probably need a drink of water, but how are we doing, Amos?
Amos Frajnd (47:53):
We doing great. Thank you so much, Steve. That was really fascinating. I especially love the lightning round slide really going deep and, and you know, really shows. Your experience shines through through these slides. Thank, thank you. I would like to start our Q&A session. so first thing that I will do is I will remind all attendees that you are welcome to use your Q&A tab to type in any questions you have for Steve or for me. To start things off I have a couple of questions that really came to me while listening to you. So, if you don't mind, I'll just start shooting them over.
Steve Goldberg (48:47):
Amos Frajnd (48:48):
So you spoke about onboarding. What role does onboarding play in employee retention? It's really like the beginning of the journey, and it's kind of I'd like to understand that a little more.
Steve Goldberg (49:02):
Yeah, so I use the word immersion. When I talk to HR practitioners, I tell 'em because of the connotation, the limited and limiting connotation that onboarding has had for eons, namely, I'm gonna get on payroll and benefits, and it's pretty important stuff. And I'm, I'm gonna be paid, right? And the compliance matters will be handled. But onboarding to have a positive retention and engagement effect, yes, things have to go right administratively, but the person has to get immersed. They have to feel connected to the job, to the team, to the culture, to the broader organization. That's what onboarding should be about. And I'll give you a use case that I've suggested to which I think is so kind of fundamental, and I've suggested it to to various, both vendors and, and, and customers.
I call it the 30 day onboarding plan. And the 30 day plan, if you think logically about it, something, I mean, what would be the components of a 30 day plan? Who I should meet, what training course, maybe I should avail myself of? What are my goals for the first 30 days or deliverables? Well, guess what? We have workflow. Workflow can go to my manager before I even show up, it can ask my manager those questions. And then my first day, voila, my 30 day plan is there, who I meet, what course I take and, and what my goals are. Much, much different impact on engagement, productivity and retention - the ERP, than "it takes days to figure out, you know, where the coffee pot is and and what my goals are".
Amos Frajnd (50:59):
Thank you for that. So another thing I wanted to dig a little bit more into, you, you came up with a few, you brought up a few examples for indicators and predictors for employee retention risk. Can you expand a little bit more about that? I'm sure that this is interesting to people listening.
Steve Goldberg (51:19):
Yeah, I mean, that's definitely at the heart of the talk. So I already mentioned is there misalignment, a question, really the question, is there misalignment between comp and and market value? And these days 95% of employees know their market value because they can find it in two minutes on the internet. So is there misalignment there? If there is and the organization or the manager is not communicating to the employee, we are aware that you're only in the 25th percentile in your job family, in this market, in this region, here's our plan to do something about it. In the absence of their communication, that person's a very high retention risk. If we talked about if we talk about jobs that are posted internally and if managers are blockers, if they're speed bumps or state our state positively more positively, managers need to be very supportive, proactive, proactively supportive of employees to to apply for other jobs internally.
Yes. Does it cause, does it have a short term, maybe a blip for them if that employee leaves their department and is gonna go work in some other department? Yeah, but what's the long term, in the long term, the whatever they invested in that employee you know, they're gonna keep that employee and that employee will take the skills and the exposure in one area and kind of cross-functionally propagate in the organization, be able to connect instead of organizations working in silos, they'll be able to connect you from parts of the organization. There's a lot of benefits to allowing that employee to move, not to, not to leave out, if that becomes foundational to the culture that the managers in this organization really do proactively support internal mobility, more employees will, more candidates will wanna work there. So those are, those are some of the items.
And of course here we have almost like the the merging of retention risk and internal mobility. If you don't support, if managers are not supportive of internal mobility, employees become retention risk if the comp is not, is not aligned with the market. Last thing I'll mention is, I'll, I'll underscore again, if you're not recognizing the value, that an employee brings, not just in the context of their role and job, but the total package. If one employee is, if my employee or my team member is referring candidates that become great employees, if they're spending their own time to mentor and coach if they're giving us great ideas that are saving the company a lot of money, well if I'm not recognizing there's a whole area of HCM now called rewards and recognition, and then rewards may pertain to seniority awards, different types of recognition awards, but that total value package needs to be recognized. Sorry to take so long on that.
Amos Frajnd (54:45):
Oh, that's okay. Speaking of seniority and, and being proactive one thing we haven't really spoken about but is really fascinating, being on the ground, I hear a lot about it. How can succession planning have a positive impact on employee retention?
Steve Goldberg (55:05):
You know, I love that question because there's some nuances to it that are not I'm just looking at the time here, so that are not totally obvious. Succession planning typically was a process or is a process designed to ensure that there's coverage in key roles. Again, I define key a little bit differently. It's not just the top two levels of the house, but if you think about succession planning and what's at the heart of it. So let's, let's take a real practical use case. Let's say you have a director of of a certain business area and a programming director. And and there are two or three logical successor candidates. Oftentimes in succession planning, you have people that are ready, now ready, midterm ready, long term. Well guess what? If all of those three successor candidates identified are ready now, they're not all going to stay. so that's the connection in my mind, really, between succession planning and retention. You, you need kind of a lack would better phrase, a diversified portfolio of successor candidates. They all can't be ready now, logically, they're not all gonna stay. Cause you can't, you can't move 'em all up at the same time.
Amos Frajnd (56:24):
Yeah, that makes sense. Well, as you...
Steve Goldberg (56:27):
Do we have any more time? I think we're outta time. I'm too long winded.
Amos Frajnd (56:28):
Yeah, I think we're, I think we're outta time. I wanted to, first of all, thank you very much, Steve. It's been an honor, pleasure to have a conversation with you. The rest of the attendees you can see both Steve's and, and my details on the screen. If you would like to reach out to us and ask questions or, or just discuss some other things, internal mobility or HCM at large please do so. Thank you so much for your time, for, for joining us today.
Steve Goldberg (57:06):
Thanks, everybody. Take care, Amos!
Amos Frajnd (57:09):