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Vol.3 Issue 07


HR Technology
Building the financial

Dear HR: Are You

Ready To Hire Data
Practical tips for HR

Leveling The Playing

Field For HR And
How to do that?

Don’t Waste Money On

Predictive Analytics
It doesn’t exist in HR

Distant HR, Bad HR...

Good HR must be part of the business!
Geoffroy de Lestrange
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CONNECTING HR EXPERTS GLOBALLY For more information phone: 1.877.472.6648 | email: |
07. 2015
Vol.3 Issue 07



HR Technology
Building the financial

Dear HR: Are You

Ready To Hire Data
Practical tips for HR

Leveling The Playing

Field For HR And
How to do that?

Distant HR, Bad HR...

Don’t Waste Money On
Good HR must be part of the business!
Predictive Analytics
The more distant HR will be perceived, the more it will feel the need to justify its role with It doesn’t exist in HR
seemingly unnecessary activities PG.05

05 Distant HR, Bad HR... 17 HR Professionals Must Be Great Communicators

Good HR must be part of the business! Visual communications key to successful HR
Geoffroy de Lestrange Tobey Fitch

07 HR Technology Investments 19 Leveling The Playing Field For HR And Finance

Building the financial case How to do that?
Jayson Saba John Schwarz

09 Why HR Is Far From Extinct 20 Workforce Strategies For The Coming Recession
HR has everything you need to be a rockstar HR leaders, it has begun!
Alyssa Burkus Tracey Smith

11 Dear HR: Are You Ready To Hire Data Scientists? 21 Don’t Waste Money On Predictive Analytics
Practical tips for HR leaders It doesn’t exist in HR
Greta Roberts Max Blumberg

14 Increase Employee Retention And Engagement 23 Attention California HR Managers!

Why HR should use stay interviews It’s time to rewrite your sick leave and PTO policies
Jan Johnston Osburn Mike Fagan
Editor’s Note Vol.3 Issue. 07

HR Strategy and Planning Excellence

is published monthly by,
124 Wellington Street East
Aurora, Ontario
Canada L4G 1J1.

Editorial Purpose:
Our mission is to promote HR Strategy and
Planning on constructive
values, sound ethics, and timeless

Article Submissions:
Please send any correspondence, articles,
letters to the editor, and requests to reprint,
republish, or excerpt
articles to:
Editorial Department,
HR Strategy and Planning
124 Wellington Street East,
Aurora, Ontario Canada L4G 1J1.
Phone: 1-877-472-6648
I s HR good or bad, should they have them do Data Science. She feels Data Scientist
a seat at the table, Is it time for companies hire is perhaps one of the most brilliant and Customer Service/Circulation:
to fire their Human Resource Departments, strategic hires your HR Department has ever For customer service, or information on
should we let the HR function disappear? made -- perhaps ever. But only if they can products and services, call
Well…discussions are aplenty and you will get do what they were hired to do. The practical 1-877-472-6648 or
hundreds of articles pertaining to the topics. tips she offers to HR leaders is worth reading.
Whatever the topic, one thing is sure - HR When all these discussions are on, Tracey Internet Address:
related discussions garner huge Internet hits, Smith has something else to add. She reminds
as they are widely searched for. In this issue us about the recession that has lifted its head HR Strategy and Planning Excellence
of the magazine, we too bring you articles again. She rightly points out the need of a flex- Publishing:
Debbie McGrath, CEO,,
related to this love-hate approach towards HR. ible workforce to avoid large employee layoffs. Publisher
The cover article Distant HR, Bad HR... She puts forth some interesting ideas to get Shelley Marsland-Beard, Product Manager
by Geoffroy de Lestrange, starts with a you started in having a flexible workforce. Adnan Saleem, Design and Layout
comment that led the author to write this We also have a few other thought-provoking
article. Journalist Lucy Kellaway wrote in a articles in this issue of HR Strategy and Plan- Marketing Offices:
leading journal, “The most usual sort of drivel ning that cover various aspect of workforce 124 Wellington Street East
is intermittent, comes from someone distant, planning and analytics. Do not miss any of Aurora, Ontario
usually in HR, and is routinely ignored by all.” them if you want to keep yourself updated. Canada L4G 1J1
Geoffroy is amused at how such a celebrated We hope these articles will help you in plan- 1-877-472-6648
journalist from the world’s reference business ning your strategies and wish you all luck.
Copyright © 2015
paper still considers HR this way? He finds Happy Reading! No part of this publication may be
an answer for that. The more distant HR will reproduced or transmitted in any form
be perceived, the more it will feel the need without written permission from the
to justify its role with seemingly unnecessary publisher. Quotations must be credited.
activities. The more HR knows about the Debbie McGrath To submit articles for future issues submit
strategy and the market environment, the your article to:
more efficient they will be. Want to know
more? Read his interesting article.
On the same lines, Alyssa Burkus’ article
Why HR Is Far From Extinct puts forth a Have a Say?
question, Why can’t HR still get any love Write to the Editor.
from the corporate world? Should we let the
HR function disappear? Not a chance, she
says. In fact, HR has everything you, fear-
less leader, need in to be a rock star in your
organization! Agree with her?
Greta Roberts, through her article Dear
HR: Are You Ready To Hire Data Scientists?,
however expresses her displeasure towards the
HRs who hire data scientists but never allow
COVER Article

Distant HR, Bad HR...

Good HR must be part of the business!

By Geoffroy de Lestrange

If you don’t read Lucy Kellaway’s articles in the Financial The worst thing in this example is that I’m sure this corporate
Times, you really should. Her “Dear Lucy” Agony Aunt column HR department was convinced to be doing something useful.
is at the same time fascinating and witty, as she gives common That’s the real issue: If HR doesn’t work in close cooperation
sense advice to readers writing about problems concerning all sorts with the field, they are at risk of making such mistakes.
of work life topics of various importance, from sexism to email I can give 2 examples in opposite directions: On the negative
greetings.  side, just google “weird team building activities” and you can
Yet one of her last articles on  Dress code regulation  made read how far some so-called consultants would go in their mad
me react. Not on the topic itself, but on one specific sentence:  creativity... and you’ll wonder how some HR departments make
“The most usual sort of drivel is intermittent, comes from to sign for such things!  On the positive side, I remember the
someone distant, usually in HR, and is routinely ignored by case of an international bank which developed a global training
all.” For non-native speakers like myself, “drivel” means “silly programme around risk management in order to foster a culture
nonsense” according to Oxford Learner’s Dictionary. of risk awareness and  prevent dangerous situations that some
In this one single sentence, Ms. Kellaway sums up all the of its competition had been facing. This, I believe, is a great
prejudices that HR still has to overcome today: example of HR working in close relationship with the field and
• HR is perceived as distant developing a truly useful development plan that had  a direct
• HR seems to concerns itself with drivels impact on the company business.
• in relation to this, HR appears to considers drivels to be Working in talent management, I see numerous cases of great
important HR teams heavily involved in making operations more efficient
• as a consequence, HR is ignored by all via quality recruiting, efficient onboarding, targeted learning,
Of course, I had exactly the same perception of HR a few years fair performance reviews, strategic succession planning, and
ago but I really hope that the general feeling about HR depart- collaborative knowledge sharing. Yet how come  HR in some
ments is evolving, given the highly important missions that are companies still has the need to prove themselves? The answer,
- or should be - under their responsibility. Just to mention a few: again, lies in the understanding of the company’s business. The
• They ensure that the company employs the right person more HR knows about the strategy and the market environment,
with the right skills at the right position and the right time, the more efficient they will be. The further they are from it, the
and develop metrics to prove this more they’ll avoid engaging themselves with operations and will
• They help developing skills in relation with the company continue “concerning themselves with drivels”.
strategy Any examples of close cooperation between HR and operations
• They are in charge of creating an environment to foster you›d want to share? S&P
employee engagement
• They are responsible for spreading the company culture  This article has been originally published on Cornerstone OnDemand blog
• They check that employees are diverse enough
• They  check attrition rate and try to find hidden talents Geoffroy de Lestrange is managing product marketing in Europe at Corner-
within the company stone OnDemand, a global software provider of Talent Management solutions.
How come, then, that such a celebrated journalist from the He has more than 15 years of experience in marketing positions within various
technical or IT related industries. He loves to write about the influence of tech-
world’s reference business paper still considers HR this way? I nology in HR and the working life in general. 
think the word “distant” is key here. We can define the follow- Email
Connect Geoffroy de Lestrange
ing rule: The more distant HR will be perceived, the more it
will feel the need to justify its role with seemingly unneces-
sary activities. Would like to Comment? Please Click Here.

When I mean distant, I refer to the relationship between HR

and operations. Just to give one extreme example: I have in mind
the case of a company that was facing huge troubles due to the
financial crisis some years ago. In the midst of this tempest,
employees received the company internal magazine, which was
explaining how everyone was trusting the company to get better.
Of course, this generated a burst of bitter laugh as everyone
was all aware of the real situation on the field. Corporate HR
and internal communication somehow destroyed their reputation
that day and I do wonder why local HR and management did
not decide not to distribute this internal magazine...

HR Strategy and Planning Excellence presented by | 07.2015 Submit your Articles 5
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HR Technology Investments
Building the financial case
By Jayson Saba

Every time an organization’s financial leader makes a deci- answered with workforce management, and about 23 percent
sion on where to allocate budget, the head of human resources indicated talent management. Their responses represented the
faces a dilemma: Often, the company’s technology for human three categories of HCM—workforce acquisition, workforce
capital management is complicated and inelegant. The need management and workforce optimization. That’s the entire
for something new can be pressing, yet the challenge to build a employee lifecycle.
compelling case for its replacement is tall. Problems with overly An array of challenges bears down on any organization going
integrated, typically premise-based solutions for HCM are clearly about managing its workforce. Payroll, time and attendance
evident, yes, and the superiority of modern HCM technology, present a weekly or biweekly challenge to reconcile and get right
based in the cloud and delivered via software-as-a-service (SaaS), so the paychecks are right. (Sometimes, it’s an ordeal.) Addi-
is readily apparent. But a chief financial officer might see the tional processes native to core HR present challenges, too—e.g.,
return on investment as unclear or uncompelling. HR leaders benefits administration and the employee self-service designed
need a better way to build the financial case for investments in to help staff handle a portion of this on their own. Then there’s
HCM technology. Fortunately, there’s a methodology for that. the rest of HCM, which comprises a kaleidoscope of activities,
A Kaleidescope of Challenges for HCM and its Technology much of which falls under the umbrellas of workforce manage-
During a recent webinar on this very topic, Ceridian polled ment and talent management.
attendees to determine which types of HCM technology they That’s a lot of workforce-related activity in need of better
were trying to develop a business case for. Nearly 65 percent technology. Plus, regulatory complexity is increasing around
said Core HR and payroll. Another 41.4 percent pointed to ben- several elements of employment facilitated and managed by
efits management and enrollment. Almost the same percentage that same technology. For instance, though delayed for one year,

HR Strategy and Planning Excellence presented by | 07.2015 Submit your Articles 7
HR Technology Investments

the Employer Mandate, part and parcel of the Affordable Care ing in HCM technology improvements relate to indirect costs.
Act (ACA) in the United States, will call for highly prescribed, But that’s only on the surface. The workforce is–in most
complicated tracking of employees’ hours to determine workers’ cases–the organization’s largest asset and most controllable
eligibility for legally-required healthcare benefits. Increases in expense. The CFO has a responsibility to help maximize the
the minimum wage, too, occurring regionally across the United productivity of the company’s assets and control expenses. This
States, come with attendant increases that depend on the ac- extends to investing in the tools and programs to develop and
curacy and efficiency of HCM technology. manage human capital assets.
Where Does ROI Come From? Defining HCM’s Footprint, Applying a Sound Methodology,
ROI comes from three different buckets: Persuading the CFO
1) How much is it costing the company to run the current Think about all the variables affected by HCM technology
system and process? and costs associated with it: Hardware, IT resources, courier
2) How many people are affected by the solution? and postage fees, turnover and attendant fees for recruiting staff,
3) How often is the system used? maintenance (time and fees), check stock, bank fees, consulting
Boston-based Nucleus Research recently found that for every fees, multivendor support. The list is immense. HCM and its
dollar spent on automating workforce management, time and at- technology occupy a large footprint within the organization,
tendance and scheduling, a company gets back $7.88. In addition and examples of direct costs lurk everywhere. Identify and
to the efficiencies saved administratively for payroll managers highlight them.
and operational supervisors, automating workforce management Realizing the challenges HR leaders face in building a financial
minimizes clock rounding, virtually eliminates timesheet errors, business case for investment in new technology, Ceridian part-
and helps reduce labor costs by setting parameters on when an nered with Nucleus to develop a tool that helps our customers
employee can clock in. For instance, in a typical 8-hour shift, build the financial business case by justifying their investments
employees clock in at shift start, clock out for their first break, in cloud-based HCM applications. Cloud-based, SaaS-delivered
clock back in, clock out for lunch, clock back in, clock out for HCM technology like Ceridian’s, which resides in one appli-
their second break, clock back in, and then clock out to go cation running one rule engine and requiring zero interfaces,
home at shift’s end. That’s a total of 8 events. Let’s assume in can have a profound, positive effect on HCM’s organizational
a manual time and attendance tracking environment that for footprint. Everywhere, there is a direct cost to be underscored
8 clock-in/clock-out event, a manager rounded just 2 minutes. and presented to the CFO for his or her consideration as a factor
That’s 16 minutes for an 8-hour (i.e., 480-minute) shift, or 3.33 making the case for an investment in better HCM technology.
percent. For a mid-sized company with 250 hourly employees Again, take payroll. Companies experience an error rate of
each making an average of $40,000 dollars per year, 10 million up to 8 percent in their payroll, according to data published
for total payroll, these savings equate to $333,000 annually. by the American Payroll Association. An error rate as little as 1
That’s an undeniable benefit. percent would find an organization losing upward of $100,000
Indirect vs. Direct Costs—Speaking the CFO’s Language for every $10 million of payroll processed industry-wide. When
Direct vs. indirect costs are akin to hard vs. soft costs. Direct investigating Ceridian customers, however, Nucleus found that
costs’ detriments or benefits jump off the page, whereas indi- automating time and pay with Dayforce HCM, a single ap-
rect costs’ consequences require, typically, inference and leaps plication for both eliminated upwards of 90 percent of payroll
of faith. That’s because indirect savings are associated with ef- errors. For these customers, Dayforce HCM simplifies payroll
ficiency, productivity, and compliance risk, whereas direct cost processing, reduce payroll errors, and increase productivity for
savings include, for instance, reductions in overtime and current managers and employees. The first two of those are direct costs,
spending on existing systems. just the kind that speak to CFOs’ penchant for hard numbers.
While indirect savings are important, CFOs prefer direct Going for Credibility
savings. Why? Direct cost savings are far easier to quantify. HCM is full of opportunities to bring about direct cost savings,
Direct cost savings spare CFOs from guesswork—e.g., how just what the CFO likes to see. When building a financial case
much revenue is generated by taking a manager out of the back for investing in HCM technology, just remember: It’s not always
office and having him or her spend more time on store floor? the biggest ROI number that will sway a CFO to allocate budget
Or, how would making the payroll department more efficient for improvements in HCM technology. Often, it’s the most
result in headcount reduction? In most cases staff is reallocated credible number, instead. S&P
to spend more time on other areas within payroll or HR such
as reporting, onboarding, or looking for ways to add strategic Jayson Saba is the Vice President of Market Strategy at Ceridian. In addition
value to the business. to leading market research and industry relations, Jayson supports Ceridian’s
global marketing strategy and press relations. Prior to joining Ceridian, he was
Any effort HR leadership undertakes to build the case for the lead analyst covering Core HR, Workforce Management and Outsourcing
investment in better HCM technology must speak CFOs’ lan- at the HCM practice of Boston-based Aberdeen Group. Jayson blogs, speaks at
HR events, and gives lectures about HR issues and technology to graduate and
guage. Nearly three-fifths of respondents to Ceridian’s webinar undergraduate students.
poll indicated that CFOs are the most difficult stakeholders to Email
convince that investments in HCM technology are worthwhile.
That may be because CFOs respond best to discussions about
Would like to Comment? Please Click Here.
direct costs, whereas many of the go-to arguments for invest-

8 Submit your Articles HR Strategy and Planning Excellence Essentials presented by | 07.2015
Why HR Is Far From Extinct
HR has everything you need to be a rockstar
By Alyssa Burkus

HR is having a 50-year-old identity crisis. Born out of the Coaching. Even the most junior HR person has had a call from a
personnel management world in the 1960s, Human Resources has manager that starts with “Can you help me solve this problem? Here’s
struggled from the early days to be seen as a critical strategic partner. the situation … “HR has experience providing guidance and coaching
And while there are lots of strong, strategic HR superstars, the profes- support at all levels of your organization’’.
sion continues to be mocked and undervalued. Still not convinced? Well, I’ll admit, not every HR department has
For decades, we have loved to hate HR. The bolder backlash started these bases covered, but they have the starting point of the infrastructure
with a Fast Company article in 2005 called “Why We Hate HR”, and you need, and can work with you to build it. If they aren’t delivering
ten years later, despite every effort to combat it, many organizations across these 5 pillars, push them to up their game in these areas, as
are still unhappy with their HR function, or use it as the scapegoat they are critical elements to creating an infrastructure that supports
for all people-related issues. moving change quickly into your organization.
And now, Harvard Business Review has made Why We Love To Despite having these resources, it is still going to be an uphill battle
Hate HR its summer cover story. to change the reputation of the HR profession. Perhaps it’s the “HR”
Why can’t HR still get any love from the corporate world? Stereotypes acronym that needs to fade, taking with it the outdated approach of
say they are policy-focused, lack basic business knowledge, and are simply managing policies and structures. Some teams are rebranding
unable to provide the tools leaders need to deliver on their mandates. with titles like “People Operations”; not in name only, but to signal
Does this mean HR is going to fade away, with people functions a new approach to looking strategically at people-related activities.
simply distributed to front-line leaders and their teams? The internet If you need to lead change in your organization (and really, who
says it’s possible. (Search “Is HR irrelevant”, and you’ll get over 27 doesn’t these days?) you need to partner with your HR teams and
million hits.) leverage their capabilities. And if you’re in HR, get out there and
Should we let the HR function disappear? Not a chance. In fact, market yourself to your leaders as the next big thing. Just be ready
I think you’re crazy to turn your back on HR. HR teams should be to back it up with delivering the goods. You’ve got all the ingredients
the darling of the corporate world, guiding light to leadership teams, for maximizing change in organizations, you just need to be ready
and the secret weapon to successfully launching change initiatives in to own it and deliver.
your organization. HR isn’t dying. Far from it. But they’ll need to change the stereotypes
Why? Well, listen up. HR has everything you, fearless leader, that continue to haunt the profession by delivering critical elements
need in to be a rock star in your organization. To lead change boldly for change, and lead the charge in creating the agility, collaboration
and create massive amounts of agility, connection and collaboration and engagement their organizations need. S&P
across your workforce.
HR has at their fingertips all the ingredients for creating the change What do you think? Are HR teams doomed to extinction, or gearing up to be the next corporate
infrastructure you need – a framework that allows you to move change powerhouse? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
into your workforce on an ongoing basis, where change is no longer
something you do, but a mode you’re in. Alyssa Burkus is the Founder of Shift Wisdom, an organization strategy and
Oh sure, you say. Like what?   change management consulting firm in Toronto, Canada. She works with
leaders to build the skills and culture needed for change to become part of
Here are the key elements to successful organization change you the corporate DNA, creating agile, collaborative and engaged teams. Prior to
need from HR: launching Shift, Alyssa was part of the change management practice of a global
consulting organization, followed by several senior HR leadership roles.
Data. Big data is everywhere. HBR’s report “The Big Data Op- Follow @alyssaburkus
portunity for HR and Finance” indicates that HR’s access to data and Email

ability to mine it to make strategic decisions will be critical. Workforce

data will help you pinpoint the issues you need to solve, if you hope Would like to Comment? Please Click Here.
to get change moving in your organization.
People. Need to know who the key players are who can champion
change? Call HR. They know the rock stars, the allies who can provide
support, and the adversaries who can send your very best ideas into
oblivion with the influence they wield.
Tools. Whether social platforms, learning management systems, or
surveys – whatever the tool, HR has experience implementing them,
and knows how best to leverage them.
Programs. Whether changing behaviour through training pro-
grams, or leading the launch of new initiatives, HR teams are pros at
launching “what’s next” for an organization, and how to maximize
communication channels to get the word out.

HR Strategy and Planning Excellence presented by | 07.2015 Submit your Articles 9
Nominations for the 2016 Leadership 500
Awards are open now through September
30th, 2015. Submit an extraordinary leadership
program or individual. Winners receive: a
featured article interview & photo in a 2016
edition of Excellence Essentials, a video on our
YouTube channel, their name published in the
printed 2016 edition of Leadership Excellence,
and the opportunity to purchase a pass to the
invite-only LEAD2016 conference where they will
be celebrated at an awards dinner and ceremony.

Apply Now!


Dear HR: Are You Ready To Hire Data Scientists?

Practical tips for HR leaders

By Greta Roberts

I had yet another call today with a brilliant data scientist Ironically, the Data Scientist hire is perhaps one of the most
working inside of a Human Resources Department of a major brilliant and strategic hires your HR Department has ever made
business. This HR data scientist has both a strong analytics and -- perhaps ever. But only if they let her do what she was hired
predictive analytics background. She has a Bachelor’s Degree to do. HR Data Scientists can help move HR from being tacti-
in Statistics and a Master’s Degree in Predictive Analytics. She cal to strategic, using an analytics approach to highlight never
excels in R, math, predictive modeling, machine learning and seen before patterns, make decisions based on data and the like.  
all things quantitative. She is also excited about applying data Tips on letting that brilliant HR Data Scientist you hired be
science from other domains, to solve interesting workforce one of your most brilliant hires:
optimization challenges. 1. Assign Reporting to someone else. It’s a very important task,
She applied for a quantitative HR role that promised to let but it doesn’t require a Data Scientist. Reporting will quickly
her use her skills and interest in solving difficult employee-based bore them to tears and they’ll resign.
challenges. She was hired for this role. What’s the problem you 2. Don’t block them from talking directly to your business
ask? HR won’t let her do Data Science. areas. (I often hear they have to go through the HR Business
Over and over again she has suggested a data science approach Partner who protects the business leader and blocks them from
to help solve employee focused challenges that have plagued the access).  Working with the HR Business Partner of course makes
organization for years, and cost many millions to the organiza- sense. Being blocked by the HR Business Partner doesn’t.
tion’s bottom line. Over and over again she is denied the ability 3. Task HR Business Partners with finding either high turnover
to move forward. roles or low performance roles that your Data Scientist can work
Her comment is that HR seems to be scared or hesitant in to help with. These are great projects for your Data Scientist.
moving forward to a new way of solving solutions. The real 4. Have them focus first on solving business challenges (like
concern is that the “reason” was not fully discussed so she could Financial Advisor turnover) not HR challenges like Compliance
learn. Issues. This will give visibility to the great work they do and
Instead, she is asked to work on generating monthly or weekly introduce HR’s new expertise to solving business challenges that
reports that the organization has grown addicted to. When affect the bottom line.
she is allowed to solve an interesting problem using analytics, 5. When they complete an analytics project, give them a chance
and brilliantly does so, the executive HR leadership won’t give to talk and present the results, regardless of the outcomes. Did
it executive visibility or implement it in production. Results it help or not help? Don’t keep the results inside of HR.  
are found “interesting” but not deployed. Then, she’s back to 6. Admit that you’re a little nervous about what they do.
generating reports. They’re nervous about what you do too.  
She isn’t alone. And, this blog isn’t about one unique HR Data 7. Trust your Data Scientist. Stop being scared. You hired them
Scientist.  Not by a long shot. I hear this all the time - thus this because they have an area of expertise traditional HR doesn’t.
blog. As a result, I also see brilliant HR data scientists jumping Embrace their area of expertise.  You need to trust their advice
from one company to another. I can see it on LinkedIn updates and approach, or yes, they’ll leave.
as brilliant HR Data Scientists move from one company to the And mostly, don’t hire a Data Scientist if you’re not ready for
other. I hear it in the conversations I have with them about why Data Science. If you thought you were and you find out later
they left and their angst before they leave. you really aren’t, let them know and let them go. Be honest.
My plea to HR (and any other department hiring a Data Don’t put them in a different role and block them as they keep
Scientist)? Stop hiring real Data Scientists until you’re ready to trying to be successful.  S&P
do real data science.
I think I understand some of the problem. Perhaps the pres-
Greta Roberts is the CEO & Co-founder of Talent Analytics, Corp. Greta
sure on HR to begin using an analytical approach has led them Roberts is an influential pioneer of the emerging field of predictive workforce
to hire data scientists, but when it comes to actually using this analytics where she continues to help bridge the gap and generate dialogue
between the predictive analytics and workforce communities. Since co-found-
approach it’s too foreign, or scary or “not what we’ve done ing Talent Analytics in 2001, CEO Greta has successfully established the firm
before”. HR needs to learn from these brilliant people they’re as the recognized employee predictions leader, both pre- and post-hire, on the
strength of its powerful predictive analytics approach and innovative Advisor™
bringing into their domain or stop hiring them to begin with. software platform designed to solve complex attrition and performance chal-
“Anyone can hire a Data Scientist. Not every HR department or lenges.
organization is ready for data science. Generating reports are not Follow @gretaroberts.
analytics - even if they’re prettier or faster reports. Dashboards are
not analytics even if they’re really pretty dashboards. More than Would like to Comment? Please Click Here.
anyone, HR should understand the devastating impact of changing
job description on someone that’s been hired.”

HR Strategy and Planning Excellence presented by | 07.2015 Submit your Articles 11
Employees choose
the areas of focus
they want to work on.

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employees become engaged, better performers and
motivated each and every day?
2 How employees learn

You should and now you can!

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objectives you have set for your organization. Map content
and exercises to your employees that help your organization
achieve its goals while developing all your leaders. In addition,
you will be able to embed custom training and content and
messages that can reach your employees daily, motivating and
inspiring them each and every day. 3 Spend 3-5 minutes of the day

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Align content with Corporate Values and Mission
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Increase Employee Retention And Engagement
Why HR should use stay interviews
By Jan Johnston Osburn

Using Stay Interviews to Increase Employee Retention and What is a Stay Interview?
Engagement A stay interview is a structured retention interview designed to
Gallup recently released its State of the U.S. Manager report. They’ve discover why a current employee stays and what motivates and engages
been reporting on U.S. workplace engagement since 2000 and the them. They help minimize “triggers” that cause an employee to consider
findings have been pretty consistent.  quitting and they are great opportunities to build trust. 
Americans are simply not “engaged” in their jobs in any given year. Benefits of the ‘Why-do-You-Stay’ Interview
Disengaged employees and the tentacles of disengagement are felt Stay interviews are effective retention tools because:
throughout the organization in terms of costs, productivity, morale, • They stimulate employee engagement.
and retention. • They identify actions that can improve the employee experience
Don’t Ask “Why Are You Leaving”, Ask “Why Do You Stay” and actions that can help eliminate any major frustrations.
Many organizations rely on exit interviews to help identify the • They focus on the positive because if you understand why an
reasons why employees leave. But asking “why are you leaving” on individual employee stays, you can reinforce those factors throughout
the last day of work is reactive. It’s a little too late. Stay interviews the organization.
help companies gain valuable knowledge about how they can retain Possible “Stay-interview” Formats to Consider 
their remaining, valued employees - now. You want to know why Organizations are not equal.  Any initiative should be scalable
they are engaged and happy now so you can continue to provide to what makes sense for your organization.  Stay interviews can be
that environment. conducted by the manager or by Human Resources but all formats

14 Submit your Articles HR Strategy and Planning Excellence Essentials presented by | 07.2015
Increase Employee Retention and Engagement

need to encourage open communication and candor. • Can you highlight any recent recognition that you have received
Possible formats include: that increased your commitment and loyalty? Are there actions that
• A focus group covering a small group of employees we can take to further recognize you?
• A one-on-one interview with HR • Can you highlight your positive experiences in the area of learn-
• A one-on-one interview with their manager ing, development, and growth?
• Questionnaires / Surveys • If you were to ever begin to consider leaving, help me understand
what kind of “triggers” might cause you to consider leaving?
• Think back to a time in the last 12 months when you have been

“ If your organization lacks trust and open communica-

tion, the stay interview will not be effective. You’ll get
at least slightly frustrated or anxious about your current role. Can
you list for me the frustration factor or factors that most contributed
to that anxiety? Can you also help me understand what eventually
happened to lower that frustration level?
bad or inaccurate answers. Be careful not to trivial- • What are the prime factors that caused you to leave your last
two jobs? Are there factors from your previous jobs that you hope
ize how employees feel in your stay interviews. You you will never have to experience again at our firm?
may agree or disagree with the views expressed, but Don’t Do it if You’re Not Going to Make Changes
nonetheless, they are the current reality of the em- You’ll only want to start this if you’re going to be serious about im-
proving. You need to be committed to making positive changes.  And,
ployees.” when you do make changes, you need to let employees know the
changes are the result of their suggestions and responses in stay inter-
views. They may not make the connection automatically.
Stay Interview Questions to Consider If your organization lacks trust and open communication, the stay
Again, do what makes sense for your organization. There’s no re- interview will not be effective. You’ll get bad or inaccurate answers. 
quired set of questions that must be used in stay interviews but your (And if you know this, you need to address that issue first.) Be careful
stay interview should identify the following: not to trivialize how employees feel in your stay interviews. You may
• Factors that make the employee want to stay agree or disagree with the views expressed, but nonetheless, they are
• Positive actions you can take to increase the employee’s com- the current reality of the employees. 
mitment If you decide to embark on this process, it can be a very rewarding
• The possible “triggers” that may cause the employee to consider process for everyone.  The benefits will far outweigh any time and
leaving resources dedicated to the process but you have to be serious about
Possible Questions: taking action.  However, if you can retain key people and you know
• Help us identify the factors that make you more passionate, they are engaged, you’re ahead of the game. S&P
committed, and loyal to your team and the firm.
• What do you look forward to when you come to work each day?
• What are you learning here? Jan Johnston Osburn is a Senior Global Talent Acquisition leader and Career
• Why do you stay here? Coach with a proven track record of driving transformational initiatives. She
holds a Master’s degree from the University of Buckingham, UK as well as
• Why might you leave? certifications in Human Resources, Executive Coaching, and Advanced Social
• What can your manager do to make working here better for you? Media. Her first book, Dream Big Or Go Home: Today’s Dream is Tomorrow’s
Reality will be available September 12th on Amazon.
• Do you feel that you are currently doing “the best work of your Email
life?” (If no, why?) Connect Jan Johnston Osburn

• Do you feel that your work makes a difference in the company?

(If no, why?) Would like to Comment? Please Click Here.
• Do you feel “fully utilized” in your current role? If so, can you
identify the factors that make you feel fully utilized? Are there ad-
ditional things that we can do to fully take advantage of your talents
and interests?
• Can you also make a list of the less-desirable elements or frustra-
tions in your current role that you would like to do “less of?”
• Are there any frustration factors that keep you up at night, that
enter your mind while driving to work, or that cause you to dread
having to come to work at all?
• Can you help us understand your career progression expecta-
tions and tell us where you would like to be in the organization two
years from now?
• Can you list the most challenging but exciting aspects of your
current job situation? Are there actions that we can take to further
challenge you?

HR Strategy and Planning Excellence presented by | 07.2015 Submit your Articles 15

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HR Professionals Must Be Great Communicators

Visual communications key to successful HR

By Tobey Fitch

Of all business professions, Human Resources has the most messages. And they also know that big announcements or poten-
challenging and varied communications responsibilities. We need tially controversial messages are always best delivered in person,
to be masters of exploration and persuasion when recruiting, because any questions can be addressed immediately, and the
have empathy in employment relations, craft nuanced employee tone of the message is less likely to be lost in translation than
communications, design effective training, and simplify the if it were delivered via email.
complexity of compensation structures and benefits plans.
It is no wonder then that HR has been on the visual communi-
cations forefront, leading the charge with concepts like corporate
storytelling, graphic recording, video-enhanced training, etc.
Over the past decade, with commoditization of video and
graphic design, the visual communications landscape has changed
“ When leadership decides to change strategic direc-
tion, the HR team must figure out how to communi-
dramatically. HR professionals have responded by enhancing cate changes without causing confusion or distress
onboarding programs with engaging videos and creating com- amongst employees; if business takes a tumble and
prehensive infographics to explore data-intensive issues such as
workforce diversity. bonuses or jobs need to be cut, the HR team is respon-
Let’s take a look at some of the primary forms of commu- sible for finding the least de-motivating way to com-
nication that most HR professionals will encounter (and be municate this information.”;
responsible for) at some point in their careers.
New Hire Onboarding
First impressions are important, because they have the power Employee Training & Development
to set the tone for how a relationship, whether it be personal or From mandatory harassment trainings to specialized profes-
professional, will unfold. The new hire onboarding presentation sional development courses, HR teams are responsible for making
is an organization’s best chance to make a good first impression sure that entire organizations have the knowledge they need
on every employee who walks through the door. Organizations to do their jobs. At their worst, training presentations are dry,
who want to build strong, long-lasting relationships with their uninformative, and sleep-inducing. It takes a great communi-
employees and strong cultures invest time and money into ef- cator to give the kind of training session that not only teaches
fective onboarding. but also entertains.
HR professionals often have to communicate a wide variety of The best trainers always are the best at communicating the “so
topics in an onboarding presentation: Everything from company what?” about every main point they make. They tie it all back to
values to codes of conduct, from benefit plans to strategy and the day to day lives of their audience. Beyond that clarity, they
organizational structure. Given the overwhelming nature of use positive energy, humor, and an interactive presentation style
these kinds of presentations—not to mention the length of most to keep their audience on their toes. Even at 4pm on a Friday,
onboarding sessions—the main challenge for HR professionals they’re able to hold the attention of a room full of managers
here is to make sure that they bring their audience along with learning about how to give feedback, because they know how
them every step of the way. Engaging visuals and interactive to make even the dryest content engaging.
technology can help presenters maintain the attention of an If you weren’t convinced before that HR professionals need
audience, especially when the content of the presentation is to be at the top of their game when it comes to effective com-
vast and complex. munication, I hope that this post has changed your mind—and
Internal Company Meetings and Email helped you take a step towards being the kind of HR commu-
When it comes to maintaining alignment across a large or- nicator you’ve always wanted to be. S&P
ganization, internal communications are key. HR professionals
are often tasked with managing these communications, a job Tobey Fitch is the head of People and Talent for Prezi. Prior to Prezi, Tobey led
that requires top-notch communication skills. The challenges of Fitch Associates, a strategy and organizational development consultancy whose
clients included: Apple, Oracle, Pixar, Adobe, Intuit, as well as non-profits like
internal communications are numerous. When leadership decides   the Rockefeller foundation, Planned Parenthood, and several major universi-
to change strategic direction, the HR team must figure out how ties. Previously in his career, Tobey ran leadership development and training at
Apple and Sprint. Tobey serves as a Director on the Board of, The
to communicate changes without causing confusion or distress Northwest Earth Institute, and the Waitte Charitable Foundation.
amongst employees; if business takes a tumble and bonuses or Connect Tobey Fitch
jobs need to be cut, the HR team is responsible for finding the
least de-motivating way to communicate this information. Would like to Comment? Please Click Here.
Whether the news is good or bad, effective communicators
know how to manage expectations when delivering internal

HR Strategy and Planning Excellence presented by | 07.2015 Submit your Articles 17

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Leveling The Playing Field For HR And Finance

How to do that?
By John Schwarz

It’s time to put HR on an equal footing with Finance. A critical component of the modern CHRO’s arsenal is a
Who decides what is the right budget to cover the people re- detailed understanding how much the organization’s whole
sources or how many resources are affordable within the budget? workforce really costs. The workforce is usually the biggest in-
Typically it’s Finance. vestment an organization can make, and decoding a Total Cost
Still, because people are hard to define only by numbers, CEOs of Workforce (TCOW) is the greatest organization leverage the
want the CHRO to be a strategic talent advisor who can also CHRO has.
speak the language of the business with hard data. A February
2015 study -- conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Visier --

surveyed 301 corporate executives and revealed key traits that
can help elevate HR’s profile in the business.
According to the survey, the sought-after HR leader is: Forward-thinking HR leaders are seizing the oppor-
• 80% of executives agree their company cannot succeed
tunity to complement their knowledge of people dy-
without an assertive, data-driven CHRO, who takes a strong namics with CFO-like capabilities, such as business-
stance on talent issues and uses real-time facts to chart their linked, cost-driven thinking.”;
talent strategy.
• 81% of executives say that when hiring new senior HR
talent they value business acumen more than technical HR skills. True TCOW analysis includes compensation and benefits for all
Performance-Focused employees, part-time and contingent workers and all of the other
• 78% of executives agree that their company cannot succeed people-related costs, including allocations and equity programs.
without a CHRO that takes on responsibility for contributing With a TCOW, HR can deliver a very clear workforce plan
directly to business performance. and project where costs are going.
It puts the CHRO in the position of having the facts to support
the talent needs of the business when these issues are debated
with Finance and the C-suite. S&P

Visier’s co-founder and CEO, John Schwarz brings to the Visier Board over
forty years of business and IT experience. John has previously successfully acted
as CEO for Business Objects, now part of SAP. During his tenure, Business
Objects doubled its revenue to more than $1.5 billion, improved profitability,
and executed seven strategic acquisitions. After SAP’s acquisition of Business
Objects, John oversaw a dramatic continuing expansion of its business as a
member of the SAP Executive Board. Prior to Business Objects, John held senior
executive positions at Symantec and IBM. John is a director on the Boards of
Teradata, Synopsys, and Avast, and is a former board member of SuccessFactors
and Verity. John is also a member of the Dalhousie University Advisory Board.
Connect John Schwarz

Would like to Comment? Please Click Here.

Click here for a good resolution image

The above traits -- data-driven, business-focused, performance-

driven -- may be more available in Finance than HR. Unlike
the accountants, HR does not have the tradition of closing the
books every quarter, gaining instant access to data -- revenue,
profit, and earnings per share -- that clearly paints a picture of
business outcomes.
But the modern CHRO is not just an accountant: A solid
understanding of people dynamics is also key. Forward-thinking
HR leaders are seizing the opportunity to complement their
knowledge of people dynamics with CFO-like capabilities, such
as business-linked, cost-driven thinking.

HR Strategy and Planning Excellence presented by | 07.2015 Submit your Articles 19
Workforce Strategies For The Coming Recession

HR leaders, it has begun!

By Tracey Smith

I t has begun.  Canada is in recession and the U.S. will • With the flood of people accepting early retirement pack-
likely follow shortly. ages in corporate headcount reductions (who don’t show up in
2015 to date, U.S. employers handed out 242,830 pink slips unemployment statistics), there is a vast, experienced and flexible
(redundancy notices), a 13 percent increase from the same workforce available to support you.
period last year. One of the recent announcements came from • Cross-train employees in different jobs and functional
Microsoft with a plan to reduce its workforce by 7,800 people. areas. As workload flexes, you can move these employees where
75,000 of the job cuts are said to be in the oil and related you need them. This is done frequently in manufacturing. It
industries but retail, finance and tech are also cutting headcount can be done in office jobs as well.
(Target, Gap, HP, etc.). I’ll leave it to my fellow LinkedIn experts to contribute a few
The point of mentioning this is that most companies are still more strategies.
not adopting the strategies of having a flexible workforce. By Without action today in determining strategies for build-
flexible, I’m not referencing employees who work remotely. I ing a flexible workforce, we will certainly find the next few
mean workers who are not employees. Having a larger percent- years looking similar to 2008.  It’s now up to HR leaders
age of flex workers will help to avoid large employee layoffs. and company executives to initiate a plan for setting flexible
Companies hold tight to the concept of trying to keep em- workforce strategies. S&P
ployees for many years, but the fact remains that the typical new
employee will have an average service of 1.5 years. Yes, by the  
time they are up to speed, they are looking for their next job. Tracey Smith is one of the “Top 50 Global Influencers in HR Analytics” and
presents at conferences in the U.S., Canada and the U.K., primarily on the
Here are a few ideas to get you started in having a flexible topics of analytics, continuous improvement and Strategic Workforce Plan-
workforce: ning. She holds degrees in Mathematics, Engineering and Business and has over
25 years of experience in the areas of Human Resources, Supply Chain and
• 53 million Americans are freelancing (34% of the work- Engineering. She is the author of “Strategic Workforce Planning: Guidance &
force). These are people like me who choose to support multiple Back-up Plans” and “HR Analytics: The What, Why and How.”
Online School “NI Magazine: Numerical Insights for HR” 
companies at the same time instead of working for one employer. Visit
40% of these freelancers are true, independent contractors. These Connect Tracey Smith  
Follow @ninsights
are the ones you need to ensure a high level of dedication to
your company. You don’t want a moonlighter who’s only avail-
able after 5pm. Pre-approve some freelancers so they are a “just Would like to Comment? Please Click Here.

in time” workforce.

20 Submit your Articles HR Strategy and Planning Excellence Essentials presented by | 07.2015

Don’t Waste Money On Predictive Analytics

It doesn’t exist in HR
By Max Blumberg

Did you know that scientifically, the only way to guarantee programmes to improve performance (as one telecom client did
predictive analytics is to set up a randomized double-blind against good advice), you’ll be in for a horrible shock - as they
controlled trial? In other words, this is the only way to guar- were when they discovered that in their culture, performance
antee that a particular set of predictive metrics is causing the predicted engagement rather than vice versa. Thus their £2m
desired outcome rather than some other factor that you hadn’t investment had absolutely no measurable effect on performance.
thought of. This is why they’re used when testing new drugs The rules are:
because the risk of incorrectly predicting the effects of a drug 1. Accept that predictive analytics probably doesn’t exist in
can be catastrophic. most organisational settings and that you need to make do with
Yet as we all know, even under carefully controlled random- correlational analytics
ized double-blind experimental conditions, we still sometimes 2. Assess the risk of investing large sums based on analytics
read drug disaster stories in the news. Why? Because even under which are in fact correlational rather than predictive
these stringent conditions,  randomized double-blind control 3. Always run a small pilot or two before spending big money
trials sometimes fail. on implementing the results of “predictive analytics” (which we
So therefore, in real-world organisations where so many hun- now know are really just correlational analytics). S&P
dreds of possible predictors which might be affecting the desired
outcome we seek, the chances of true predictive analytics is virtu- Max Blumberg PhD, is founder of the Blumberg Partnership who over the past
ally none. This is because randomized double-blind control trials 15 years have pioneered many analytics solutions in common use today. The
Blumberg Partnership continues to deliver innovative competitive advantage to
are simply not usually an option outside of tightly controlled its clients through the application of machine learning to workforce analytics
laboratories and even there they’re highly suspect.  automation and the development of organizational designs for blending HR,
operational, financial and marketing analytics data. Their clients include the
Therefore as workforce analysts, we should really become BBC, Lloyds Register, Rentokil Initial, and Friends Provident.
more responsible and start using the term “correlational analyt- Email:
ics” - because that is generally as good we’re ever going to get
in most organisations. Would like to Comment? Please Click Here.
This is not just semantics. For example, if you believe that
engagement predicts performance and spend £2m on engagement

HR Strategy and Planning Excellence presented by | 07.2015 Submit your Articles 21
Upcoming Virtual Events & Webcasts
Virtual Events


Core HR, HRIS and Payroll Sept 2, 2015

Employee Benefits and Wellness Oct 14, 2015

HR in California August 12, 2015

HR Strategy & Planning Nov 3, 2015

Leadership Oct 27, 2015

Recognition and Engagement Nov 10, 2015

Social Media and Employee Communications August 25, 2015

Talent Acquisition Sept 29, 2015

Talent Management Sept 23, 2015

Technology Enabled Learning Oct 6, 2015

Workforce Management Dec 3, 2015

Employee Wellness Virtual Health Fair Sept 17, 2015

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August 13, 2015 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM ET Register

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Attention California HR Managers!
It’s time to rewrite your sick leave and PTO policies
By Mike Fagan

By now, California’s Human Resource Managers are famil- The new law also requires you to provide paid sick leave to
iar with AB 1522 – the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families employees who are exempt from overtime. Most employers do
Act of 2014 (“AB 1522” or “the new law”), which was signed not provide paid sick leave to exempt employees but instead offer
September 10, 2014. AB 1522’s sponsors claim that the law limited, or in some cases unlimited, PTO that may be used for
alleviates the problem of California’s low-wage workers who any purpose. Because of this time consuming record management
lack paid sick leave, which the sponsors cite as a public health requirement, you are now tasked to track the accrual and use of
hazard. The impact of the law is pervasive. paid sick leave and/or PTO for exempt employees.
2. Tracking accrual and carry over of paid sick leave
The need to track accruals begins on July 1, 2015, or at a

“ AB 1522 requires all employers with at least one em-

ployee in California to accrue employee sick leave at a
later date of hire. HR managers must not only examine their
policies with a fine tooth comb to ensure they fully comply, but
they also must determine the best way to manage and share this
information securely and in a streamlined manner. For example,
rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked. Thus, part- HR managers have to analyze whether their current systems can
manage this information with minimal HR time commitment
time and temporary employees are also covered.”; (proactive compliance monitoring would be invaluable) and
whether the solution is a self-service model that empowers your
employees and eliminates a significant administrative burden
Employers without paid leave, paid time off or paid sick leave on HR.
policies must institute them consistent with AB 1522. In ad- AB 1522 requires all employers with at least one employee in
dition, employers with existing policies may mistakenly believe California to accrue employee sick leave at a rate of one hour
their policies comply. To comply with the new law, current for every 30 hours worked. Thus, part-time and temporary
policies must provide paid leave that may be used for the same employees are also covered. Employees are also entitled to paid
purposes and under the same conditions as AB 1522 and must sick leave if they work at least 30 days in one year from their
also do one of the following: satisfy the minimum accrual, carry date of hire and can begin using accrued sick leave 90 days after
over, and use requirements of AB 1522; or permit employees they begin employment.
to take no less than 24 hours or three days of sick leave, or Additional compliance issues arise in the new law because
equivalent paid leave or paid time off, over each calendar year employees accrue sick leave based on the number of hours
or 12-month period. worked under AB 1522, whereas most employers provide sick
In addition to those basic requirements of AB 1522, there are leave or PTO accrual based on the number of days, weeks, or
many aspects of the new law that require additional administra- months worked.
tive monitoring and analysis to ensure your policies comply. Of Accrued sick days must carry over from year to year. There is
course no new California employment law would be complete an exception. Employers who have a paid leave policy or paid
without anti- retaliation provisions and the imposition of sig- time off policy that allows for at least 24 hours, or three days, of
nificant penalties on employers for violations. paid sick leave at the beginning of each calendar or anniversary
The practical effect of AB 1522 is that almost every HR year, do not need to provide carry over.
manager is going to spend more time on administrative and Furthermore, employees can use sick leave for the diagnosis,
policy-related paperwork and less time on key business initiatives. preventative care, or treatment of an existing health condition
Provisions That May Require Revisions to Your Current of the employee or a family member, including a parent, parent-
Policies in-law, child, spouse, registered domestic partner, sibling, grand-
1. Determining who is entitled to sick leave child, or grandparent. Employees may also use sick leave for a
HR Managers need to revise their current policies to broaden variety of reasons, such as being a victim of domestic violence,
the scope of employees who are covered under the new law. sexual assault, or stalking.
Employers commonly provide paid sick leave only to full-time 3. Tracking the use of paid sick leave
employees or employees who work a certain minimum number Most employers provide a certain number of paid sick days
of hours per week. AB 1522 requires employers to offer sick leave per year, rather than providing sick leave by the hour. However,
to any employee who works more than 30 days in a year. While under AB 1522 employees accrue sick leave by the hour, and
not explicit, presumably this does not mean 30 full-time days you must allow them to use sick leave in increments as little as
but would include any work performed over any 30 days in one two hours.
year from the start of employment. Thus, part-time, temporary, Beyond that, tracking difficulties arise because of a 90-day
per-diem, and even seasonal employees may be covered. “probationary period” within the new law. While employees

HR Strategy and Planning Excellence presented by | 07.2015 Submit your Articles 23
Attention California HR Managers!

begin accruing sick leave on July 1, 2015, or their date of hire permission-based access for employees to view and self-manage
if hired after July 1, 2015, they are not entitled to use accrued that information will be vital.
sick leave until they have worked for at least 90 days.
4. Doctors’ notes/notice requirements

Many employers require an employee to provide a doctor’s
note either before or after he or she takes a sick day in order for
the employee to be paid for time off. While the new law doesn’t Several California cities have enacted their own sick
mention whether you can make doctors’ notes mandatory, Cali- leave legislation. AB 1522 says that, if you are subject
fornia’s Department of Industrial Relations permits employees to
file a claim with the Labor Commissioner against an employer
to a local sick leave law, it must comply with the law
who denies sick leave “due to a failure to provide details.” that is more generous to the employee.”;
5. Paystub requirements
Under the new law, an employee’s paystub or another document
provided to the employee must show the amount of accrued sick
leave that the employee has available. Unless you want to issue 9. Special issues regarding seasonal employees
a separate document to each employee at every pay period, this Unless required by another law, most employers do not already
requirement is a real challenge to HR managers who manage provide paid sick leave to seasonal employees. However, seasonal
paperwork. employees are clearly covered under the new law, which poses
6. Discipline for excessive absenteeism special tracking and record management issues. For example,
Many employers discipline an employee for excessive absentee- if an employee leaves for any reason and is rehired within one
ism. Some employer policies allow for the discipline of employees year, all previously accrued and unused sick leave is restored to
who do not notify management in advance of an absence. Other the employee. But this does not apply if the employer allows
employers may require employees to find a replacement to cover the employee to “cash out” his or her sick leave.
their scheduled shift as a condition of allowing them to use sick What HR Departments Should Do Now
leave. You need to revisit such policies in light of the new law. • Review your current sick leave or PTO policies
Requiring employees to find a replacement is forbidden under • Review any absenteeism policies to ensure that employees
the new law too. In addition, you may not fire, threaten to fire, are not disciplined for taking paid sick leave under the new law
demote, suspend, “or in any manner discriminate against” an • Review and, if needed, modify your documents to make
employee for using accrued sick leave. sure they reflect both the accrual and the use of paid sick leave or
7. Interaction with local sick leave laws PTO under AB 1522 and local ordinances prior to July 1, 2015
Several California cities have enacted their own sick leave • Analyze how to streamline internal document processes to
legislation. AB 1522 says that, if you are subject to a local sick give your employees self-managed access and to provide manag-
leave law, it must comply with the law that is more generous to ers with the compliance monitoring of and access to Employee
the employee. Employers subject to local sick leave laws need information for which they are responsible.
to compare their local law with the requirements of AB 1522 to • Before disciplining them, determine whether the employee
ensure they are applying the most generous law. San Francisco is protected under AB 1522.
is among those cities. Its local paid sick leave law differs from Most importantly, AB 1522 doesn’t have to increase your
the new law in terms of permitted uses, caps on accrual, notice paperwork and the time you spend on mundane tasks. With a
and recordkeeping provisions. few simple adjustments, the new law is an opportunity to reduce
8. Written policies and Record management the time you spend finding, sharing, and governing documents,
Some employers may allow employees to take sick leave without while you also reduce the frequency of lost or misfiled docu-
a detailed written policy. However, AB 1522 requires you to post ments, and eliminate the wasted cost of using expensive floor
a notice containing information about the new sick leave law. space as file space.
For employees hired prior to January 1, 2015, you must also
provide them with written notice, either digitally or in paper Mike Fagan is director of Sales at Archive Systems, is an attorney with 20 years
format, of any changes to its sick leave policies within seven of experience in private practice and as an in-house attorney.
Connect Mike Fagan
days of the actual change.
Employers with existing policies that meet all the requirements
of AB 1522 must also provide written notice to employees out-
lining the specific requirements of the new paid sick leave law,
even if the policy is in writing. Would like to Comment? Please Click Here.
AB 1522 also imposes additional record management require-
ments on HR Managers. For instance, you must maintain and
store for three years all records documenting hours worked,
paid sick days accrued, and paid sick days used. Those records
must be made available to employees, upon request. HR depart-
ments with a document management system that has secure

24 Submit your Articles HR Strategy and Planning Excellence Essentials presented by | 07.2015

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