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I had gone thru the article on web....very informative so thought of posting it.



Employee Motivation, Morale, and Innovative HR Practices...

“It was the best of times; it as the worst of times.” – Charles Dickens

The challenges facing organizations have never been greater. Issues coming on the radar of a HR Manager today are diverse; from micro level issues where an individual employee needs hand holding to the macro issues pertaining to a global workforce and virtual teams. HR Managers are expected to offer instant solutions for these issues and strategies.

e-mpowering, e-nergizing, e-ngaging, e-nabling!

Picture this...

An organization which grows multi-fold but retains its "small company" personal touch. An organization where each individual is empowered, informed and independent and each system and process runs itself. An organization where all employees are in touch, "in-sync", aware of all that is going on in even the remotest corner of the organization and the world. An organization where employees recognize their peers and role-models and drive their culture, all by themselves. An organization where employees and managers have even the most specific facts, reports or information on company happenings always available at their tips, even when they are at home or travelling to any corner of the globe! An organization where all processes (even "salary-slips"!) are "paper-less" and available to the employee, anytime. An organization where people sitting thousands of miles away work together on a project or share ideas in real-time. An organization where changes are deployed in minutes and change management is truly decentralized. An organization where the employees decide and drive their own job path, even across functions! An organization where "help" for any problem is available in minutes, be it work-related, technical, logistical or personal. An organization where not just the employees but the potential hires as well as "alumni" are always in sync with the latest happenings...

In short, a value-based, culturally strong, empowered organization, where distances are notional and the right time is right now!!

HR can play a vital role in achieving this vision. In this piece I will outline many new and innovative HR practices you can deploy to achieve the above vision and objectives.

5-e" e-HR Model

HR can transcend all challenges to create a vibrant, value-driven workplace, with a high focus on the 4 "e"s:

e-mpowering the employees by providing them maximum access to key information, interfaces and resources, an ability to share their views and impact their own as well as the organization’s future.

e-nabling people to manage their jobs and personal transactions smoothly, speedily, efficiently and independently.

e-nergizing the organization’s internal environment with a positive energy in a way that makes each and every employee feel energized and charged up about life too!

e-ngaging employees so that they develop a sense of bonding with the company, its values and ethos as well as its constituents.

The 4"e"s undoubtedly have close-linkages as well as overlaps. Therefore, these need to be driven "seamlessly" through an engine that can reach each and every employee, is flexible enough to drive each of these initiatives differently, is sophisticated enough to present these to employees in a compelling way, is reliable enough to be efficient and is scalable for future growth. And of course, still simple enough to become successful.

Innovation (1) – e-HR

e-mpowering! e-nabling! e-nergizing! e-ngaging! The e-volution of e-HR is often defined as deployment done electronically, in part or wholly — via a Web browser through the Intranet or even the Internet. The need that e-HR is addressing is for every employee to be able to access all kinds of information (such as policies) readily and to be able to interact freely across the organization

Today, the e-HR system at HSS is an elaborate, multi-faceted system that comprises of the following key elements:

Employee Database (EDB)

Intranet: This is the "place" from which the employee can launch any application or view any information or make use of any e-HR resource.

A well thought out structure of innovative applications and modules: that rest on the core-information and interface provided by these two elements (Employee Database (EDB) and Intranet) to dictate the organization’s working, interaction, learning and even culture!

e-HR has the advantage of being highly versatile. Based on the need of the situation the various e-HR modules can provide varying amounts of speed, confidentiality, data security, wide access, focussed responses, customized outputs, error-free transactions and attractive formats. In addition, for a computer-friendly organization, "e-HR" is definitely a medium that is appropriate.

The following is an explanation of the way e-HR makes each of the 4"e"s come alive….

e-HR – e-mpowering

e-mpowering the employees by providing them maximum access to key information, interfaces and resources, an ability to share their views and impact their own as well as the organization’s future.

The first key role that e-HR plays is that of "e-mpowering" the employees. Empowering employees is all about being "open" and "transparent", providing them with enough information for them to understand the organizational context and operate in it independently, to connect them to others across the company, to have available to them resources and support to help them succeed at their jobs.

Obviously, "information-availability" is the key input required for this sense of empowerment to grow. By having all Policies and Key Information available on-line and creation of on-line "discussion groups" to all employees, trust and honest is developed.

Over time, this can be evolved into various specific, sophisticated modules including a full-fledged "Policies" section with real-time help on individual queries through the electronic "HR Helpdesk". In fact, e-Help-desks for all internal support functions such as IT, HR, Purchase, Corporate Communications and Quality exist.

Discussion-boards and virtual forums where employees can voice their views are another great idea to get the views of others across the organization.

In addition to the help-desks, on-line surveys and "opinion polls" alsogive employees a chance to voice their views, share suggestions and even make decisions! For instance, if there was a proposal to change the office-timings, an opinion poll could be conducted to let employees themselves decide on the issue.

A "Directline" could be set upon-line, to provide electronic access through which any employee can share his/her comments, ideas or questions directly with the President of the Company.

To build on this sense of openness and involvement “news-stories" (updated everyday) could be created to share with all employees the accomplishments and events as they unfold company-wide. In fact, nowadays, it is not uncommon to see "film clips" of company parties and get-togethers too!

Empowerment is alsoabout making personal choices and taking charge of one’s own future. There are various systems and modules of e-HR that support this, one of them is "IJPP" or the "Internal Job Posting Program" whichallows employees to look for job change within the company! All new positions can be posted and employees can apply on-line in total confidentiality ( without even their managers’ knowledge) and the selected candidate can move to a new job, maybe even in another function!

Empowerment is not just about independence in day-to-day job related issues and career-paths but also the things that are "personal" to the individual employee. This is the area in the model where "e-mpowering" and "e-nabling" start overlapping. An example of this can be seen in the case of Hughes Software Systems Compensation Management. The employee can log on to the "CTC calculator” to see the details of his/her individual compensation. The monthly "Pay-slip" is also available on-line through their intranet. At the time of compensation review, the new compensation is also communicated to the employee through an automatic e-mail. Employees can also do their income tax calculations on-line. This not only empowers the employee to manage personal finances more independently and effectively, but it also empowers the employees in the support functions to spend their time on the developmental aspect of their jobs.

e-nabling! e-HR

e-nabling people to manage their jobs and personal transactions smoothly, speedily, efficiently and independently

e-HR is particularly well-suited to managing the "operational efficiency" of people processes with high-level of independence, reliability and cost-advantages. The e-HR modules and applications should start kicking in even before the employee comes on board, in order to play a key role in shaping the entire work-experience of the employee while at the organisation.

Through detailed information and stories available on the web-site (about what it means to work in the organisation), potential employees start getting to know the organisation even before they join. They can also interact with "tech-gurus" on-line and take their help in solving technical problems.

Another innovative idea is to interface between a potential hire and the organization through web-enabled employment application forms on the organisation’s web site.

The "potential employee" then comes within the purview of the Recruitment Management System. This is an e-HR application available in the Manager’s work area of the intranet and all "New Hire Requests" are raised, approved and tracked through this by managers as well as HR. This also serves as a central repository of data about any employment related transaction.

On the day of joining, every employee should be able to access the e-HR module called to learn what the organisation is all about, where everything is, who everyone is, and in fact, find out all that a newcomer would like to know about the company. For most, this is the very first direct contact with the elaborate e-HR system of applications and interfaces. In fact, this is highly relevant for most people as it provides "just-in-time" information, which effectively supplements any classroom orientation.

Time-sheet and workforce scheduling System is another innovativee-HR application which records and tracks all employees’ working hour information. This is also accessible through an extranet. It can also be linked to Payroll and used for generating invoicing/billing information for our customers.

Softworks ClockWise Time & Attendance / Flexitime solution is used by a wide variety of organisations where they find it extremely useful for controlling and monitoring flexitime, tracking employee attendance and complying with The Working Time Directive. ClockWise is very easy to use, stores all the parameters of the directive and is updated as new legislation comes into place.

With full graphical reporting capabilities, ClockWise processes, as standard, the most extensive range of in-depth, real-time reports available in the market place today, so you can be sure you always have accurate employee data to hand.

Performance Management based work-flow application is a very innovative HR idea as it allows each employee and manager to set objectives on-line, review progress, make adjustments and do an annual review for task, role and behaviour. It can be used to archive all documents and allows HR and other relevant interfaces to access company-level information on-line and even displays the names of managers missing deadlines, to create peer pressure to comply!

The Skills Inventory Systemis an e-HR applicationthat tracks the skills and knowledge base of all employees and lets the function-heads or managers use it for reports and decision-making support.

An on-line e-HR module used by HSS called "Heads U Win"allows employees to send in referrals to HR for suitable candidates for hiring at HSS. One can also see the status of one’s referral online. There is even an e-HR workflow application called the Resignation Management System in HSS through which even the resignations, their review, approval and "no dues" clearance happen on-line!

In addition, there are several other applications and features HR could include; an on-line concierge service , travel desk, library booking, taxi-bookings, electronic employee magazines, a software library, on-line booking of discussion rooms etc.

The intranet serves as the one point interface for all of these and other e-HR modules and applications, enabling employees, managers and HR to capitalize on the strengths of e-HR to manage a multitude of people processes and interfaces much more quickly, efficiently and independently than any conventional system.

e-nergizing! e-HR

e-nergizing the organization’s internal environment with a positive energy in a way that it makes each and every employees feel happy, energized and charged up about life too!

While "e-nabling" is all about smart ways of managing Operations, "e-nergizing" is all about strategic deployment of OD interventions to build a positive energy.

Example: Hughes Software Systems

Over the years, Hughes Software Systems has deployed several e-HR interventions in the area of Recognition to good effect.

Positive strokes are strong motivators and great creators of positive energy. "HSS Applause" is an on-line, e-HR recognition system that encourages managers to recognize the contributions of team-members in real-time. The work-flow application not only allows managers to nominate employees for award and respective group-heads to approve them but to also independently publish them on their intranet with just a mouse-click, without any need for intervention by HR or any other function.

"Applause" also hosts an e-HR application on "Popular Awards".These are awards in 12 categories such as Best Sense of Humour, Great Reviewer, and Best Leader etc., which are given out every quarter based on the on-line company-wide voting by all employees conducted through this application. This has been a key intervention facilitating leadership development and "role-modelling".

"HSS Applause" is also linked to an "Awards Homepage" showcasing all past winners, for all kinds of award categories.

HSS-specific greetings are available at "e-Greetings" on the intranet to encourage peer-to-peer recognition as well as to build the habit of appreciation across levels.

As all-round development, a healthy work-life balance as well as a sense of social engagement is important to a feeling of "high energy", I have outlined below further ways HR can be innovative to achieve this development;

"Club Zone" - Employees can develop their extra-curricular interests by signing up for Club Zone - a virtual space which could include, among others, a music group, dramatics group, literary group and even a dance club. The Club Zone could also have information on recreational options, such as a "movie-guide", a "travel-guide", "hot-deals" (special rates at restaurants) and even the "menu" of the day at the company cafeterias is published.

"Reach Out" - is another innovative HR idea dealing with various social work projects, and local school and volunteer work employees can help with.

"Common Cause" - Employees could also sign up on-line for campaigns such as "green sheen" (environment protection) or "Clean the Neighbourhood" or educating slum children.

e-ngaging! e-HR @ HSS !

e-ngaging employees so that they develop a sense of bonding with the company, it’s values and ethos as well as its constituents.

The very simplest and most basic mode for getting in touch with another employee is through an on-line directory. However, for employees whose job involves being on a PC for most of the day, and the natural predisposition is not to seek out new relationships, e-HR provides an innovative way for HR to foster Communication and Relationship Building across groups, locations and levels through various "e-Discussion groups" hosted on the intranet. The groups could range from as diverse areas as "Project management" to "Junk" (a no-holds-barred group) to "Ideas" (a group that explores new thoughts).

In addition, each work-group could have its own Group home-page on the intranet where it makes available information on its team, accomplishments and other particulars to all employees. In fact, employees could independently set up individual home-pages too. This shrinks distances and helps employees across the organization to "connect".

Video-conferencing and "web-casting" of company events across locations can also help draw the company closer together.

e-HR can also be deployed to keep ex-employees engaged with the organization! An e-portal can be set up where ex-employees can join the virtual community and keep in touch with the happenings, people and events at the organisation and share their thoughts, opinions and ideas with each other and other employees too.

The last word...

HR is the lifeline of an organisation and is the bond that keeps the organisation together. But all aspects of daily life are changing the economy is changing evolving and daily life is evolving therefore company cultures need to develop at the same time. Hr is at the forefront of managing this change, therefore HR needs to be dynamic and innovative in its practices. HR has not only provided ease and efficiency to employees and managers over the years but has also been key in spreading, building and enhancing culture, recognizing excellence, building bonds and relationships, facilitating employee and organizational growth.

This "5-e model" of e-HR has emerged out of the analysis of HSS’ unique context (of challenges and opportunities), needs and "Values" (the "HSS Way"). Therefore, e-HR at HSS is not a tool: it is a comprehensive, all-pervasive, strategic intervention based on a scalable model that will ensure its growth and evolution with that of the organization.

9 creative ways that leading companies use to maximize the power of people.

Support and Accountability for New recruits at Trilogy Software

Trilogy Software, inc among the world’s largest privately held software companies pushes the responsibility of grooming new hires into the organization on their sponsors. As a result, if the new hires make the grade, the sponsors are paid $ 1,000 bonus. If the new hires fail, the sponsors are required to pay $4,000. As most sponsors hold stock options worth millions of dollars so the penalisation does not mean much to them. However, what happens is those who fail examine why their recruit failed and take steps to avoid those mistakes.

Jeff Taylor, Founder and CEO of Monster on the importance of having a good time with employees.

“We have a full breakfast bar at our company. We bring in 500 bagels and fresh cut fruit in the morning. We have a gym with a trainer. We have parties once a quarter, where we invite the employees to come and have a good time.”

Practice what CEO of SAS, Dr. James Goodnight calls “Management by Loitering”

“It’s just to be seen walking around and talking to people, and finding out what they’re working on and basically being approachable. You know a lot of things that don’t really come up through the management ranks and some times you find out some very interesting things that people are working on.

Fostering a Learning Culture the Granite Rock Way

Granite Rock, a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Winner replaces performance goals for individuals with learning goals. The company gets each employee to set his or her annual objectives in the format “Learn………….so that I can…………..”

In addition, “Granite Rock University” provides an entire curriculum of classes ranging from product training to computer skills to management skills and employees spend an average of about 43 hours of training outside of mandatory training like Safety. Individuals take responsibility for charting their own careers and professional development.

Larry Page on automating Performance Tracking at Google.

“We did a simple thing that in retrospect was brilliant: We wrote a program that asks every engineer what they did every week. It sends them an email on Monday, and concatenates the emails together in a document that everyone can read. And it then sends that out to everyone and shames those who did not answer by putting him or her on the top of the list. It has run reliably every week since we started, so forever week of our company’s history we have a record of what everyone did. It’s good for performance reviews, and if you’re joining a project team, in five minutes you can read what your team members did last week or months.”

Patagonia practices what it preaches

Patagonia has a company-subsidized Environmental Internship Program. For up to two months, any of Patagonia’s 1,000 employees worldwide can work at an environmental group of their choice and continue to receive their regular Patagonia paycheck.

Andy Taylor, Enterprise Rent a Car on Relentless Customer Focus

“So we decided that we had to add some metrics to our customer satisfaction. We created a measurement called ESQi, which is the Enterprise Service Quality index. It’s a statistically valid sample of customers’ opinions taken monthly, at every one of our branches. The customer gets called seven to ten days following the close of the rental. We have an outside company to collect the data, and there are basically two questions. The first asks about the customer’s satisfaction level, with five answers ranging from “completely satisfied” to “completely dissatisfied”, and the second asks how likely he would be to return to Enterprise. Beginning in 1996 we told all employees, if you’re not at corporate average or above on your ESQi, your not getting promoted. And all of a sudden, customer satisfaction went to the top of the list. The ESQi has given us a greater sense of urgency and I would consider that the greatest change that has occurred here. The process enables us to go from being a nearly $2 billion business in 1994 to a $7 billion-plus business today.”

Staying in touch at Walmart

“At retail giant Walmart, every Monday, members of the senior executive team head out to Walmart stores around the world, where they talk with managers, employees and customers. To ensure that they get a complete picture, they also pay a few visits to competitor’s stores. On Thursday evening, they return to corporate headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas, armed with new insights about the market and their people. There, they discuss what they’ve seen and heard, thus allowing the organization to modify its strategies. On Saturday thousands of store managers participate in a videoconference and the senior team shares their observations and provides direction for the coming week. Come Monday, They’re on the road again.

Take Employee Feedback like IBM

IBM held a three-day discussion via the corporate intranet to debate and discuss about the company’s values, the nature of the organisation and what it stood for. The forum dubbed “ValuesJam” attracted about 50,000 of IBM’s employees and elicited about 10,000 comments about the proposed values.


According to research carried out by the University of Limerick, good human resource (HR) practice can add 50,000 per employee to company revenue.

The research, which points to strong links between progressive HR policies and other areas of company performance, was based on a survey of HR practices in 165 of the State’s top employers.

The research, conducted by UL was on the behalf of the National Centre for Partnership (NCPP) among Ireland’s Irish Times Top 1000 companies examining staffing, performance management, training and other HR practices.

UL researchers then analysed the relationship between the use of high performance work systems in the companies and outcomes in terms of employee turnover and productivity.

Good communication, high levels of training and formal grievance procedures were defined as high-performance work systems. The researchers found that companies, which use such systems, tend to be innovative in other areas, such as investment in R&D.

They concluded that there was a “striking” increase in productivity in companies, which used high-performance systems.
4th July 2006 From China
Asst Prof HR OB

5th July 2006 From India, Pune
Hi Citeian
i am new memebr of this forum. i just go through your net artical it really well informative for HR professionals and those who wants to learn OB.
keep in touch
Syed Navaid Abbas
HR Executive
WorldCALL Telecom Limited Pakistan
5th July 2006 From United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi
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