Tuesday Aug 26, 2014

When is a marketing event not a marketing event?

I’m a sales rep. For me, a marketing event exists for only one purpose – to generate excitement amongst organisations for my products (known as sales leads).

We recently had an absolutely useless marketing event. No leads! None. I invested time inviting clients, plus a half day being trained for the event, and then spent another half day in the event. A big investment for NO leads.

The event – Employee Experience Journey Mapping. What happened in this event? We had the pleasure of approximately thirty senior HR professionals from a variety of organisations for half a day, and we took them on a journey to understand the attitudes of an employee through a series of scenarios. The scenarios included a manager badly in need of management training (or being fired); being poached by another company; and the onboarding experience of joining that other company.

We examined the HR processes, the human and non-human interactions of this employee, as they went through these scenarios, and super imposed the changing attitudes of the employee – from jubilation at major successes to frustration at a manager not prepared to listen and act. We selected a major low point and workshopped solutions to address the attitude of the employee and avoid the loss a talented professional.

The Employee Journey

Largely speaking, the various workshop groups did not identify Oracle products to solve these problems. (Shock, horror.) Instead they identified programs of work, from leadership training to recognition processes, to alter employee attitudes, to increase staff engagement and retain top talent.

As I said – NO LEADS.

But each of the attending organisations took away a new approach to tackle employee attitudes in their organisations.

I guess this marketing event was never supposed to generate leads. But if you want some help with identifying ways to improve employee attitudes in your organisation, give us a call. We’ll be delighted to talk HR with you, instead of the latest features of our HR systems.

And for more detail, read the blog HERE from a colleague of mine that describes the journey in more detail.

Monday Aug 11, 2014

Do Retailers have different HR needs?

On the one hand, people are people. On the other hand, a mining pit is a vastly different environment to the floor of a supermarket.

To understand the differences, you need to look at the job requirements, and it is obvious that you have different skill sets. Just have a look at the skills needed in any job advertisement. But are the HR processes different? The employee in a mining pit shares the same human emotions as the employee on the supermarket floor. The manager of the employee has the same objectives – to align the employee to the needs of the employer.

So where am I going with this?

The retailers I talk with want to know about HR in other retailers. Why are they more interested in understanding HR in retail organisations than HR in other organisations? The HR challenges that a retailer faces are not unique to retail – but the combination of HR challenges is unique. Some examples of these challenges are:

  • Employees are typically customer facing, and are the face of the employer
  • Multiple generations are often in the same work environment, from Millenials in their first job to Baby Boomers on the cusp of requirement, with each demographic having different attitudes to tenure, technology and customer service
  • Volume hiring is a constant need, with high attrition rates sometimes above 20%, and peak hiring periods for seasonal workers when you can hire as much as a third of your workforce again, with the attendant costs of hiring and training
  • Employees are not desk bound; they are on their feet facing clients constantly; they have limited access to a computer in a confidential environment

What does all this mean for a provider of HR systems, such as Oracle? The good news for us is that we have many Retail clients, and much experience to draw upon. A large retail chain with tens of thousands of employees, seasonal workers and contingent workers recently committed to an Oracle HR solution, and I spoke with the Oracle team to understand the retailer’s industry specific requirements.

The key retail decision points for them were:

  • a social media enabled recruiting solution to appeal to the younger demographic
  • an onboarding solution that incorporated video and learning tools to improve pre-hire engagement and mitigate the drop out risk between hire and start date
  • a recruiting solution capable of managing a high volume of applications / employees at reasonable costs, given a typical 20% attrition rate and seasonal worker requirememts
  • a mobile implementation of the manager’s HR environment, so that they can walk the shop floor and have their employee’s profile, skills and goals available for an instant discussion

So do retailers have different HR requirements? No doubt the above requirements exist in many industries – but do all of them exist simultaneously in another industry?

I suspect not.


Follow this blog to see what the Oracle Human Capital Management team is up to in Australia and New Zealand. Read about our client experiences, our industry observations, and the events we are running. Our team is made up of Sales Reps and Solution Consultants, constantly talking to clients about Human Capital Management - if you've got a question - chances are we've heard it before. Contact us if you need any help.


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