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Saturday, March 24, 2018

Dimple Star, MIASCOR, PCOO; What Can we Learn as HR Leaders?

In recent news;
  •  Dimple Star recently received a 30-day suspension order from the LTFRB.  This happened after one of their buses figured in accident that resulted to 19 deaths and 17 injuries. The government agency conducted an inspection that showed the company’s buses are ill-maintained.  This is not the first time something like this happened. Sadly, it won’t likely be the last.
  • 4,000 MIASCOR employees are bound to lose their job because of a few employees who stole items from OFW baggage.
  • PCOO is again the laughing stock of the Internet due to a photo of their company ID that went viral in social media. This is not the first time. At one time, they mistakenly used the logo of Dole Philippines when they should have used the logo of D.O.L.E. , the Labor Department.

What is common here? I’d say culture. An organization’s culture is the manifestation of its values and behaviors that contribute to its social and psychological environment. It represents what is allowed and/or encouraged.  All organizations have culture, but many leaders know or care little about shaping them.  This is why, I think HR plays an important part in shaping the organization’s culture.  Here are my recommended steps following John Kotter’s Change Model:
  1. Create a sense of urgency for change. Cite numerous examples of companies or organizations that suffered the fate of the three organizations I mentioned. There are so many, you won’t run out of sources.  Help management recognize the need to start a deliberate effort towards culture building or culture change. You can also send this article if you like.
  2. Form a powerful coalition for change. Get executive sponsorship, rally the managers towards building a desired culture that lasts. Have a conversation about organizations with good or bad reputation. Compare your organization and recognize opportunities for improvement. Get their buy-in on the need for change.
  3. Envision Change. You and the rest of the organizational leaders need to agree on what kind of culture you want to build. One that sustains the company and protects the interests of its stakeholders including the customers, especially the customers.
  4. Communicate desired change.  Talk to people about how things that do not contribute to growth can endanger the whole organization including themselves. There are so many cases to reference from. Explain how change performance and habits can only result to better future for your organization. Explain the importance of not tolerating misalignment and mediocre behavior.  Model the way in demonstrating proactiveness and other behaviors you want others to manifest.
  5. Remove barriers to change. And what are these barriers to change, you may ask? Resistance due to lack of buy-in, hesitance due to lack of competence to act on the desired change. Confusion due to lack of a clear road map. As you plan to change the organization’s culture, you will need to develop a road map that capacitates and motivates people to align with the change. Embrace concepts like Kaizen, 6S, ISO standardization, business process re-engineering, Six Sigma. Anything that raises awareness and habits of performance.
  6. Generate short term wins. Recognize early adapters. Point out positive and blooming changes. Reward people who demonstrate alignment. Broadcast initial successes to motivate people to pursue more changes.
  7. Build on the change.  See what’s working and not working. Learn lessons from initial implementations. Ask people for their inputs on how much further we can go with improvements.
  8. Institute the change.  Make the new behavior part of the culture by teaching it to new entrants and leaders. Ensure that it is part of your on-boarding program, your leadership and management development initiatives, your employment policies, general assemblies. I have a client who promotes safety awareness by including a “safety minute” as the first part of their meeting where a participant talks about a safety practice or issue and what should be done.  Also, ensure that changes are reviewed for further improvement. Be watchful of what you recognize and what you tolerate, because what you tolerate becomes your norm.

Imagine, if the three organizations I mentioned have measures that encourage positive behavior or discourage mediocre behavior. They may have not suffered what they are experiencing now. I hope we all learn something from their experience. 

If you are interested and recognizes that you need help in your culture-building initiative, reach out to me through 8933199.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Lessons Learned from Training Trainers

I conduct a good number of training, from leadership, management, strategic thinking, customer service, assertiveness, personal mastery, creativity, teamwork, HROD, to coaching and mentoring.  I customize programs based on the unique needs of my clients. One of the most challenging and most fulfilling of them for me is training trainers. I’ll tell you why.  When I conduct training for trainers, I recognize the multiplying effect of my efforts. If I do well, I could help trainers help other people become effectively equipped to do their jobs.  It is challenging, especially when you deal with trainers who have developed bad training habits. Many have this notion that if you’re eloquent, funny, and can present well, you are training well. If people are entertained, agreeing with you, inspired by what you said, and gave you a high rating because they appreciate everything that you said, they are learning. I just don’t believe that is true. So here are a few things I learned and tried to do when I facilitate training for trainers.

  1. A good training is a well-designed training. Some subject matter experts line up their topics logically but fail to apply the right methodologies to make the learning process work. This is why I spend a good amount of time, helping trainers appreciate the fundamental concepts of learning and how they apply in the training design process, so they can design courses that lead to better learner engagement and synthesis level learning.
  2. Listen to Bloom – Benjamin Bloom developed the taxonomy of learning and it’s a great gauge of how deep trainers go with their training.  At cognitive domain, the levels are knowledge or awareness, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation. A good training in my opinion, reaches synthesis and evaluation. Many seminars I attended go as far as attempt for comprehension. If you are a subject matter expert and your audience understand and appreciate what you said, you can get good evaluation rating, but many of them wouldn’t know how they will apply what they learned if they didn’t have an opportunity to practice applying it with the guidance of a trainer. It’s like explaining how a bicycle works, how beneficial they are to your health, how fun they are to ride, and go through the steps of riding a bicycle without giving them a chance to try riding one.  People will feel excited about the idea of owning a bicycle but will not have the confidence to try and ride it.  At the very least, I think training should go as far as application level. Which means they've tried riding the bicycle, fail, go back to the saddle and ride again.
  3. A seminar is not a training - A speaker in a seminar is a resource person, hence I call my self a trainer or learning facilitator rather than a resource speaker. A seminar is a formal presentation where resource speakers present their topics of expertise while the audience listen and process the knowledge they gain if they can. The resource speaker wouldn't know the difference if the  audience really learned or not. A trainer facilitates learning by helping participants learn a concept and guide them through the development of necessary knowledge, skills, and attitude to do a task. A seminar presenter uses lecture and presentation, while a trainer employs various methodologies not just to entertain or engage their audience, but to use the best learning tools to help learners learn. A resource speaker basically says, here’s what I know, do what you want with it. A trainer walks with the learners through their learning journey and helps them cross each learning milestone.
  4. Presentation and platform skills are helpful but not sufficient.  It sure is helpful, but one skill that trainers need to learn more than that is facilitation of learning.  The range goes from walking the learners through the steps of getting things done, to helping them process their learning through conversations, reflections, abstractions and learning decisions. Some people think that if they have stage  presence, can carry a crowd, have them tap the shoulder of their seatmates, and stimulate their affects, they’re good trainers. They’re good public speakers who can entertain and momentarily inspire a crowd, but if the crowd goes home or back to work not knowing what to do with what they heard or saw during the learning event, they didn’t learn. If they didn’t learn, maybe they weren’t trained.
  5. Training is done not when the event is over but when the learners have learned. In one speaking engagement, a participant approached me and said thank you and that he learned a lot. I said you haven’t learned anything. At best, what I did was make you aware of what you need to do. When you decide to apply the knowledge, you gained from the seminar, make mistakes and improve from there, go back to me and say how much you’ve learned. When I conduct trainers’ training, I walk the participants through the learning activity design process, get them to practice presentation and facilitation. At the end of the training, they would have designed a course, and demonstrated how to present and facilitate. I would have a gauge of how much they have really learned from the program aside from the smiley sheets that fill out in the end.  Some participants would complain that my lessons are quite challenging, and they feel they exerted a lot of effort. I would reply by asking, but how much have you learned? Can you quantify it? They almost always can.  
Learning is an internal process. It is activated by the learner's decision to learn. The job of the trainer is to create the condition to help the learner gain the confidence to pursue learning. That's at the back of my mind every time I facilitate training, and that's what I try to help trainers learn whenever I conduct a training for trainers. 

If you want to know more about how I can help your company trainers develop the necessary learning design and facilitation skills for optimal learning, please contact my company exeQserve through 459-9603 or visit ExeQserve Website. You may also join us on July 25 to 27 for a three-day Training the Trainer Workshop. 

Monday, January 29, 2018

Developing an Integrated Competency-Based HR System

It makes a lot of sense!

Mapping the competency needs of the organization and making sure that people’s competencies are aligned with the company’s strategic direction is a good route to take. But it takes more than providing the necessary competency-based learning intervention to make people demonstrate the expected behaviors at work.  It takes a comprehensive and integrated HR strategy to build a competent organization.
It all starts with determining the necessary competencies to push the company forward towards its goals. It helps to recognize what people should be doing and what kind of behaviors they should be demonstrating.

Hiring people with the right competencies or have the necessary aptitude for developing them is an essential part of the process. I have always said that a wrong hire can not be corrected by training. It helps to start with hiring the right people. The problem with using competency models to screen out candidates is, it is possible for your hiring yield to decline because you’ve become more stringent in your screening. It helps to have a strategy for attracting and getting the necessary talents on board.  When you start your competency-based HR journey in recruitment, you might be able to save some money for filling competency gaps through learning and development.

There will always be a need for learning and development initiatives. As the organization adopts new strategies, people must learn new competencies. Developing a strategic learning and development plan should support the company’s goals by equipping people to demonstrate the necessary competencies at work. Learning, however is not the be-all-and-end-all of competency development. It takes follow through, coaching and mentoring to develop the necessary habits that yield result. This is the reason why, competency-based performance management should be aligned with the company’s competency development initiatives.

There is a need to rethink performance management. A lot of global companies are dumping their annual appraisal for more regular feedback to aid performance development. I believe that a competency-based approach can help managers make expectations clear and performance feedback, even clearer.

This is the reason why I designed and developed three training programs to help HR and OD Managers in developing their competency-based HR Systems. It is not yet complete. I started with competency-based L&D in January, I’m running another one in May, next will be Competency-based Recruitment which is already slated in March and, finally, Competency-based Performance Management training in April.

If you are keen in developing your company’s competency-based program and you don’t know where to start, I suggest that you join me on these following dates and click the images for registration details. 

Sunday, January 14, 2018

The Case for Competency-based Recruitment

Many organizations now use competency models to develop talents in their organizations. Without a strategy for recruitment that utilizes the same competency model, however, their talent development initiatives will have limited success. That’s because, as I have always said, a wrong hire will not be corrected by training.  There are competencies that require some fundamental abilities that should be found before making a hiring decision. If you hire a manager who does not have the aptitude for strategic thinking, training that person will have limited if not no result. It would be like watering a soil with no seed in it.

Having a competency-based recruitment strategy on the other hand, can help in the success of a company’s competency-based learning and development program by providing the necessary raw materials of people or talents to develop.  It also helps by lessening the need for training if the competencies being sought are already visible during the screening thereby lowering the cost of training overall. If aptitudes necessary for demonstration of competencies are found during screening, talent development initiatives become more effective because the learners respond better to the learning.
I must say that the starting point in competency-based talent development is finding the right talent to develop through hiring.  Finding the right talent means finding job fit; people who have the needed technical and leadership competencies to do the job, and possess the competencies that are core and aligned with the culture of the organization.  There are a number of things that need to be done in order to achieve this;
  1. A method of identifying the needed core, technical and behavioral competencies for each position;
  2. A strategy for “casting a wider net,” or sourcing because competency-based recruitment means having a more stringent screening process that weed out unqualified candidates that would have been otherwise, hired simply because they have the needed years of experience and familiarity with the work;
  3. A set of screening process to surface the needed competencies if they are present in the candidates for the job. This means having paper-pencil tests or computer based tests to determine aptitude, and behavior-based interviews to determine if those aptitudes have been applied in the past, having the idea that past behaviors predict future performance;
  4. Having the right onboarding program to ensure engagement of talents as early as possible and induct them in the organization’s culture; and
  5. A way to equip all those involved in the hiring process to use the tools available for profiling, sourcing, screening and onboarding talents.
Putting together a competency-based recruitment process can be quite taxing. I’ve gone through that task and what I want to do now is share the strategies and tools that I’ve developed in the past.
I invite you to join me on March 13 and 14 as I facilitate a workshop on competency-based recruitment. I’ll share with you my experience and walk you through some of the tools I’ve developed in implementing a competency-based recruitment process. As usual, you’ll take home those tools and templates to customize for your own organization. Click the image for more details!

See you there!