Photo: John Stepper
A podcast interview with John Stepper
How to give everyone in the company a voice and allow their expertise to be sought by other colleagues? In this blog post we are bringing you an exciting podcast conversation with John Stepper, creator of the Working Out Loud movement. This is a special episode for Europe’s biggest HR event of the year, the Zukunft Personal Europe 2018, where John will be one of the key-note speakers.
“Working Out Loud is an approach leading to the purposeful discovery of opportunities. Its combined elements are like superpower. A lot of people don’t know that they have it, or not comfortable using it.”
You can listen to the conversation on iTunes, Acast and other podcasting apps. What follows here are excerpts from our conversation with John, edited for length and clarity.
Photo: Negative Space
There is perhaps no other decision faced by Human Resources professionals, that comes with such great responsibility, and yet so much uncertainty at the same time, than hiring a new person. There are endless resources with good advice on how to manage the entire process from advertising to appointing the candidates, and recruitment over the years has become its own industry, from agencies to thought-leaders, apps and software, to certification and training organisations.
And even though the industry is booming, particularly in the current labour market context, the majority of tools and methods we apply to attract and hire employees have proven to be not efficient in predicting future work performance, employee engagement and organisational success. As so much depends on finding and holding on to the right people, I venture it is time to spend some time on reflecting about our recruitment habits and re-consider some of the tools and approaches we deploy.
Photo: negative space
In an e-mail to his Tesla employees sent in April this year, CEO Elon Musk instructed colleagues to “walk out of meetings if you are not adding any value”. He goes on to say, that it is not rude to walk out of a meeting, rather it is rude to stay and waste somebody else’s time. He is not the only mogul introducing policies to help employees navigate the modern world of work with an intention to increase productivity. Jeff Bezos of amazon has introduced the “weirdest meeting culture you will ever encounter” and ended PowerPoint presentations, and now requires the employee to prepare a 6-page narrative memo, a sort of story-telling, which meeting participants spend 30 minutes reading and taking in at the beginning of the meeting – in silence.
AI, smart machines, digitalisation – not a day goes by without an abundance of articles or news items about these latest tech developments. If the threats about robots stealing jobs were not enough, now the fear about data and its farming may have caused further alarm in citizens and businesses all over Europe. How can companies keep up with the rapid shifts in technology?
Samuel Thomas Johnson was a young boy when he wrote a letter to the CEO of LEGO telling them that working at the company was his dream job, and what does he need to do to be hired by them. He received an encouraging answer with a list of qualifications a design engineer may need to be hired by LEGO. 15 years later as a young graduate he pursued the company and landed his dream job, working on projects like Ninjago and the smash hit the LEGO movie.
Talking to the main sponsor of Zukunft Personal 2017, SAP, represented by Stefan Schuessler, Business Development Manager Human Capital Management, one thing becomes blatantly clear: Digital transformation is in the hands of people. It needs to be embraced, explored and used by humans. So in a way, even technology platform providers and enablers, just like SAP, need to reach out to the professionals and engage them in learning about the technology and the role of people in making technology useful and a value add to businesses.
Photo: Nell Watson
In the second episode of the interview series in which we welcome some of the keynote speakers of the Zukunft Personal in 2017 we spoke with Nell Watson. In a truly mind-opening conversation we touched upon human resource management, her experience in teaching in Brazil and many more. Nell is a super insightful, inspirational, imaginative and broadly-aware communicator whose talk you surely don’t want to miss at the conference.
Photo: Thorben Albrecht
A podcast interview with Thorben Albrecht
In a one of a kind process, the German Federal government involved its 80 million citizens in co-creating the future of work. The process, which started in late 2014, involved experts, citizens, business, trade unions and artists, and culminated in a policy White paper at the end of 2016. Taking us into the details of Arbeiten 4.0, or Work 4.0 is Thorben Albrecht, Permanent State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs in Germany.
Anyone who followed the process since the beginning, perhaps at the annual Zukunft Personal HR exhibition in Cologne, where the Ministry and the stakeholders regularly presented the progress of the Work 4.0 dialogue, surely gets a sense of the forward-looking and innovative nature of this initiative. Perhaps one of the key aspects worth mentioning is the underlying motivating factor, namely not to let technological change shape the way people work and live, but to be more in control of these changes and trends, and find out first how do people want to live and work, and then ensure that technological change is an enabler for that.
I would like to start this post by asking you to take a moment to think about a number of experiences you had recently, along the next paragraphs:
Think back for a moment: when was the last time you experienced great customer service? Did you buy something online, or went to an actual shop? Did you receive all the information you needed, on time, to make the right decision? Were you able even online to ask questions and be directed to the product that is right for you?
From fruit-baskets to corporate yoga classes, meditation rooms to mindful emails and meetings, the offer for wellbeing initiatives is growing exponentially. As HR professionals are bombarded by sales e-mails and calls with an overwhelming number of apps, fitness and health trackers, coaching and mindfulness training, concierge services and ergonomics, it is increasingly difficult to make the right choices, and use the scarce resources in the best possible way to maximise the benefit for employees.
As there are still a couple of months before the Zukunft Personal 3 days event in Köln, there are a lot of things you can do to be prepared, to make sure you make the most out of the presentations and the exhibition, by understanding your organisation’s needs first, so when you arrive in Köln, you will know what to look for.