Monday, March 13, 2006THE HR NETWORK: How do I integrate two culturally different organizations?
Keep abreast of the latest HR strategies and best practices with the HRNetwork, a global listserv for strategic HR professionals. Here's an exampleof a recent posting with one of the responses it generated:
Q: We're currently facing change management issues related to theintegration of another firm into ours. Culture, processes and habits arequite different and this results in difficulties integrating the two teamsto make them work together properly. We're thinking of offering an award orfinancial incentive to the team that shows they focus on integrating witheach other, or to the team that's already the best integrated. I'd reallyappreciate any ideas on this topic. - HR MANAGER, A TOP GLOBAL LAW FIRM
A: I wouldn't offer a reward for integration and cooperation that's monetarybecause you're now establishing a new incentive plan for behavior that'spart of everyone's job: "working together to serve the customer."
The best integrations seem to occur when the following factors are put in place andsupported by the top leadership team:
1. The clear and compelling reason the merger was formed to begin with. Whatare the market and competitive realities that make this important andcritical to survival? What major opportunities does this create for everyoneif successful?
2. Form a powerful guiding task team with membership from both companies tobe accountable for the integration. Incorporate this objective on theirappraisals and link these to existing performance reward systems.
3. Create and publish a vision of what the new company/entity will be ableto accomplish.
4. Communicate the new vision through every channel possible enlisting themost influential people.
5. Systematically evaluate what has to change in order to make the vision areality. Structures, processes, systems, people.6. Plan for and publish short-term wins.
7. On a quarterly basis, have total company reviews of the progress to date.
- HR SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, HUGHES SUPPLY
Asked to rate the performance of various areas of their business, respondents to the Economist Intelligence Unit's latest annual CEO Briefingsurvey gave HR an emphatic thumbs-down. Alone of the functions under review,more people rated the performance of HR bad (6%) than excellent (4%).
No other function - not even the notoriously unlovable IT department - came close to being this unappreciated.The 555 senior executives from 68 countries were asked to choose which three business functions will be most important to realizing corporate strategy over the next three years: HR received only 16% of the votes, with sales and marketing rated at 56%.
Senior executives worldwide predict that their organizations will prioritize international markets over domestic ones in the next three years. They identified the importance of globalization to their strategic growth plans,with respondents expecting the proportion of revenue coming from overseas markets to jump by an average of one-third over the next three years.
Acquiring new customers is seen as the most important strategy for achieving revenue growth (58% of respondents). Increasing market share (53%) andgrowing revenue (50%) outstrip lowering the cost base as strategic priorities for executives.
Almost nine out of ten respondents regard the prospects for business globally as either good or very good, a marked increase on previous years. One paradox of globalization is that it increases the value of localknowledge. Understanding the needs of local customers in the differentmarkets as customers' tastes change and competition intensifies is thebiggest challenge that managers of global companies face, according to thesurvey.
To download the CEO Briefing report free of charge, visithttp://www.eiu.com/CorporatePriorities2006
Wednesday, March 01, 2006The Latest on Workforce Race Relations
At least in the accounting profession, there is evidence that race still matters. According preliminary results of a December 2005 survey of 427 members of the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA), the profession still has a way to go.
Fifty-nine percent of respondents believe that because of their race, they have not always received unbiased/objective evaluations from their supervisors, and 55 percent sense that the mistakes they might make in the workplace directly impact the perception/evaluation of other members of their race.
Almost half think their non-minority counterparts with less technical competence or experience are given more high profile/challenging job assignments, and 63 percent feel no obligation to remain with their current employer.
For more information, visit www.nabainc.org.
Unlike a fine wine, there's a good chance an employee who's been on the job for years isn't getting any better with time, new research by Cleveland-based human capital assessment firm PsyMax Solutions suggests.
The study of 2,300 behavioral profiles of executives, managers and other employees, found a steady drop in supportive behavior as a person's job tenure increases, PsyMax Solutions CEO Dr. Wayne Nemeroff said in a release issued last week.
"While someone's work style might ordinarily be expected to stay the same, we learned that in respect to one behavior there is a definite change," he said. "After three to five years on the job, there's less willingness to show concern, assist others or even act in a welcoming manner."
It seems that after several years on the job, that eagerness often just isn't there anymore. "Left to their own devices, some employees lose their unprompted readiness to reach out to others in their place of work," Nemeroff explained. "We surmise that people just become more task-oriented and set in their ways. They focus on getting the job done, and are not so engaged in supportive behavior."
For more information, visit www.psymaxsolutions.com.
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