Transforming Organizational Culture

Efficient organizations are forever changing to learn information, adapt to current climates, and stay a step ahead of the competition. Change isn’t an easy task to harness, especially when we are talking about changing an entire culture of an organization.  A culture has been developed from years of experiences which then forms a way of worklife. Have you ever attempted to change your own “way of life”? Whether it has been dieting or relocating from a hot climate to a cold climate. Change is a tough task to deal with.

Today, I read an interesting excerpt by Joseph M. Patrnchak entitled Building Belief: The Five Keys to Lasting Cultural Transformation. The excerpt explains the process of how The Cleveland Clinic was transformed from a “respected but not liked” organization into a highly engaged organization by changing it’s culture. Joseph discusses everything between small changes in organizational language to large initiatives such as leadership changes. Not the replacement of physical bodies and their positions but the replacement of the current leadership’s thought process, behaviors, and responds. He introduced Robert K. Greenleaf’s servant leadership as a suitable leadership style for the type of organization. Servant leadership is the concept that a leader should be a servant before anything else. The needs of the employees should be above the leader’s own needs and the power should be shared throughout the organization. Change champions, training, and awards initiatives were introduces as well in a support to change the culture.

In summary, the excerpt determined five keys to sustaining culture change.

  1. Acknowledge the dissatisfaction/problem
  2. Catch the vision and turn it into a cause
  3. Care for the employees so they will take care of the customers
  4. Hard wire the change into every aspect of the leadership development
  5. Commit to a long process of transformation

Major initiatives to change the culture were mentioned and the initiatives produced great results. However, I’m curious to know about the details. Were there were any push back? What did it look like? How was it handled? The entire transformation was seamless, which is great! However, how realistic is that in changing an entire culture?  I’m simply thinking about how I can take the lessons introduced in this excerpt and potentially use them in my future career endeavors. Overall, I would recommend this read to my I/O Psychologist and HR friends!



A Review of Leslie Jamison’s The Empathy Exams: Essays

After reading A Review of Leslie Jamison’s The Empathy Exams: Essays, I’m interested in learning about how myself & others participate in the world. According to the Gallup Clifton Strength Finder assessment, empathy is one of strongest professional abilities. However, it maybe beneficial to question how I have become empathetic, how to use empathy more effectively, and learn empathy scenarios which I could come across in the future. Perhaps the book may answer questions, such as, can empathy be coached? As an aspiring HR professional, I think I have to add this book to the queue of 2015 reads.

To expect The Empathy Exams to equip me with a deeper sense of humanity is to expect a lot from a book—maybe too much. Still, I found myself staring at the words but not understanding them—instead, wracking my brain for something of solace to offer this man. The Empathy Exams is not a practical guide on how to live an empathetic life, but an intellectual exploration of the subject from a range of angles. My wanting to act with compassion and empathy was a byproduct of excellent writing


Data Analytic: Move Raw Data into Insight-Driven Results

When reading about data management and analysis, I came across an article on InformationWeek by Shanker Ramamurthy. Speed To Insight: Key To Big Data Success addressed to concerns of investing in big data regarding the return on investment and the amount of time until organizations can see an impact. All organizations should be supported by data analytic in some way. There’s no doubt that data analytics can hold positive influences on the way organizations function; but, how long does it take for organizations investing in data to reap the benefits? According to the annual IBM Institute for Business Value study, “among the 1,000 executives surveyed from nearly 70 countries, 63% say they’ve seen a positive return on analytic investments within one year.” Depending on the data driven project, investments could present significant results within months. This article and business study does a great job of identifying the critical business tool data analytic can be for organizational strategies.

Human resources, for example, could develop unique algorithms to identify undercompensated or overcompensated employees; marketing executives could follow sales and demographic data to precisely target expansion regions; and so on. When data analytics becomes ubiquitous, business results improve.

3 Tips for Effective On-boarding of ‘Boomerang Employees’

Re-hiring a former employee under the appropriate conditions does seem like a good option verses an employee that is completely new to the organization. One may think that the time-to-productivity ratio would be less with a former employee because former employees may know more about the organizations resources, operations, culture, and relationships better than a fresh employee. Therefore, they would have more support and knowledge.

Ceridian - Transforming Human Capital Management


Written by Maurice Fernandes, Manager of Employment Brand & Social Media, Ceridian.

I am always excited about the start of the new NBA season!  This year even more so, my home town team captured the imagination of a nation and I’m equally fascinated by the return of LeBron James to Cleveland!  Not just as a sports fan, but as an HR professional.

Let me explain, often in HR, the challenge in talent attraction is one of scouring the globe for new and previously untapped sources of talent. Recruiting professionals find themselves exploring new regions, professional and academic backgrounds and other novel areas that might turn up exciting candidates they never considered before.

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5 Best Practices for Improving Organizational Effectiveness Through Employee Development

Training *cue melodramatic scary movie theme music & sound effects* — Whether you associate training with sunshine or the apocalypse, effective organizational development provides significant gains to the bottom line of the organization. I’m not talking about a mandatory 3-hour course on how to do your job better. Organizational development does come in different forms; whether it’s a monthly 30-minute meeting with your supervisor to discuss professional objectives or having on-boarding resources for new hires to decrease the time-to-productivity ratio. Regardless of the development initiative, the following 5 best practices should be considered:

1. Employee Development should support organizational goals

As an organization, every function should tie back to the organizational goals — especially development initiatives. The learning objectives can be clearly defined to tie directly back to those organizational goals. If the training isn’t going to help you achieve your goals, it’s probably better to invest valuable resources elsewhere.

2. Effective development clearly articulates job expectations 

Development should always present the opportunity to gain more insight on job expectations and what success looks like in the role.

3. Diversify development methods

Instructor-led training is a main source of delivering large amounts of information of key skills and concepts; however, employees often need on-going coaching for reinforcing those concepts and fine-tuning the results. A key would be to keep development FUN and ENGAGING.

  • Present a new challenge in the form of a work-related task or project (as stated in my previous #MotivationalMonday post,3 Key Concepts for Motivating Your Employees)
  • Provide access to the knowledge and resources necessary to meet the challenge
  • Meet regularly during the progress of the project to provide meaningful feedback and mentoring

4. New hires should complete a thorough orientation

Successfully on-boarding new employees is a key development initiative that can increase engagement, productivity, and job satisfaction. Effectively socializing employees helps to decrease the amount of time it takes for employees to be fully operational in their position. New hire orientation (a separate within the on-boarding process) also exposes them to the organizational culture and sets a tone of continuous learning and improvement.

5. Job-related information and training should be readily available

Identify the information and tools employees need to perform their jobs well (including the contact information of the departments/co-workers needed to complete daily job tasks). An important concept to consider would be knowledge management; developing a process to harness organizational information especially from employee that are leaving the company. Having this information, resources, etc. to provide are key to developing new employees and assisting in the improving of organizational efficiency.

Implementing the following 5 best practices will be a great step towards creating a culture of learning.

Resource & Credit: Salsa 

Hire for passion and intensity; there is training for everything else.
– Nolan Bushnell, technology pioneer

Infographic Thursday: What Your Dream Hires Want and Where to Find Them

Something Different HR

Check out this great infographic from Jobvite showing what attracts today’s talent to roles, what their demographic make up is, and what level of position they’re seeking. As always, if you like today’s inforgraphic follow Jobvite here. And as always, please share your thoughts in the comments section below:

The Candidate Experience

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#MotivationalMonday – The Disney Institute

Wow! Recently, I had the pleasure of experiencing an organizational development/training session headed by the world renown Disney Institute. Disney Institute uses the philosophies which built The Walt Disney Company to develop custom, creative solutions for other organizations. Presented more so as an employee appreciation event than a training session, Disney Institute advisers used (get this) storytelling to engage and convey their message to the employees. The session addressed organizational strategy, attempted to connect the employees with the vision, defined expectations, challenged misconceptions, and introduced a new employee recognition & rewards program.

The entire experience was truly motivational as an employee and as an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist.

As an Employee; I felt  

  • Refocused on the direction of the organization
  • Connected with the CEO (through storytelling and understanding his connection to the organization)
  • Clear on what was and was not expected of me
  • Valued, appreciated, and motivated

As an I/O Psychologist; I appreciated  

  • The organizational development structure & techniques, such as having the CEO deliver a compelling story about his connection to the company
  • The branding aspects introduced
  • The response from the employees
  • The presentation of a new HR tool (Employee Recognition & Rewards Program)
    • I’m especially excited to see how this customize tool is implemented and how it will impact the organizational culture.

I’m trying not to be too specific and respect the hard work of the Disney Institute, but I would like to touch on one thing. The Disney Institute advisers made an interesting point using semantics. In an attempt to get employees on board with delivering great customer service, the advisers proposed the idea of giving an extra inch verses going the extra mile. Both of the sayings suggest you go above and beyond the call of duty. When comparing an inch to a mile, it does seem less of a hassle to simply go an inch. While I was listening to the advisers, I heard one of my fellow employees whisper “What is the difference? Inch—Mile— It’s the same ____ thing.” That’s when the adviser explained (as if, the adviser heard the employee) that small efforts to make the customers feel special means the world to the customers. They went on to give several examples of minor efforts which could really impact the customer, as well as, the bottom line of the organization.

I thoroughly enjoyed the experience! It’s exciting to see organizational development at work!