Pokemon Go and the future of busines

Pokemon Go has taken over everything it seems. Everyone is talking about it, many are playing it. I’ve seen a lot of stories – good and bad – as well as how this is impacting business. From developing new businesses (uber driver for Pokemon hunting, at slow speeds to simulate walking) to how to regulate it in the office.

What I haven’t heard from anyone yet is how this will change business in the future. We already have the ability to have targeted ads at bus stops and technology that was so far fetched that Star Trek predicted it decades ago. But how can augmented reality impact shopping and improve our lifestyles?

Pokemon Go is changing not just gaming, but our very lives. Those who think of how to use similar (or better) technology to improve business, lifestyle, and health of the world will be on the cutting edge. I’m willing to bet, as my dad says, dollars to donuts, that in two to three years we will see the beginnings of what entrepreneurs and visionaries are starting to work on right now. In five years this sort of thing will be common place. In ten years we will have evolved way past this and onto the next life changing thing.

How can you prepare your business to function better, faster, more efficiently, increase margins to position itself in that future? How will your workforce change? How will your policies and procedures change? Think about the myriad opportunities for team building, recognition, retention, even impacts on health insurance rates and employee wellness programs. How about recruiting? Compensation plans and strategies?

At the very least we know that battery life will improve exponentially in the next year or two. lol I look forward to when transporters aren’t just for Sci Fi media. šŸ˜‰

C8: Business Acumen

Yesterday I took the World At Work Business Acumen test. I was very surprised.

The test was 114* minutes for 78 multiple choice questions. There was a small amount of math (1 question.)

Why was I surprised? That boils down to two answers. The first is that there were about 10-15 questions that were about concepts that were not in the testing material (self study book or the supplemental case study.) The second was that about half the test was a level of questioning akin to the SPHR rather than the previous 8 tests I had taken through this certification track.

When I state the questions were SPHR level, the questions were not straight forward what is X? In stead you had to use your knowledge of the concepts and vocabulary to extrapolate and think about the situation presented and each of the answers for the best answer (as sometimes two or three were correct, just one was better than the others.) Ā Considering the majority of the previous 8 tests were much more straight forward and representativeĀ of the material rather than its applications this was… challenging.

I was also surprised that not a single one of the “Test your knowledge” or end of module questions were utilized, as had been on the previous 8 tests. That and there was no survey afterwards to give feedback about the test itself.

The one math question fits into the category of “was not in the preparation material.” I took a guess at how to calculate the answer. For having numerous equations and financial concepts, to ask about one NOT in the material felt underhanded.

I feel that the materials provided did not accurately prepare one for the test.

While I did pass it, I don’t feel much satisfaction from doing so.

Considering much of the material for the course was a repeat from a number of the other courses, having this new test added to the required track for certification just feels like a money grab rather than actual preparing and ensuring one is knowledgeable on the topic and can act in a means to benefit their organization or advance their career.

I recognize the course (and thus also the test) is new. There are many bugs to work out.

*6 minutes for the “tutorial” if one has not taken a test before. If you don’t use the full six minutes then you lose that time, it is not added to your time for the “real” test.

Tis the season…

The holidays are here and no matter how or what one celebrates, there are some common themes. One of those themes coincides with one of the (free) ways to help improve an organization, business, morale, and retention: gratitude.

Image from http://jeanniepage.com/tag/gratitude-tree/

Since my last post, it is probably no surprise, that I have a new job with a new company. The environment and atmosphere (so far) feels completely different than my prior employer.

The biggest thing that I’ve seen and felt a change in is respecting employees and their time/effort/skills. There is a culture of gratitude that is refreshing and “real.” I repeatedly hear “thank you” and how people mean it.

So often people say thank you by rote or because it is forced. To feel sincerity in being appreciated really makes a difference.

Next time you say it, pay attention to how you say it. Pay attention to how often it is genuinely meant when you hear it and how it makes you feel.

You might be surprised.

Our biggest asset

… is our people.

Image from Changeyourgamebealeader.com

I’m sure you’ve heard it from hundreds of employers, read it in handbooks, and rolled your eyes as hard as I do.

Sabrina hits a nail fairly square in her latest post about how important it is for a company to know it’s employees.

In my company I’ve noticed a very interesting pattern in the past year. It’s a pattern that isn’t unexpected. We are starting to have a large number of voluntary turnover, especially at higher levels. Why? I theorize that the economy has crossed the tipping point, because these people areĀ choosingĀ to leave rather than it being involuntary. Ā (I have other theories based on other patterns, but that is another post.)

Frankly, I don’t blame them. My current manager whom I’ve worked underĀ for Ā over a year doesn’t know I’m where I call home, nor have they communicated to me why I got an unexpected raise three months ago. They don’t know me, nor do they show that they care anything about me or understand the company’s actions/motivations.

To a recruiter, I am ripe for the plucking. And if I do say so, I’m quite the catch. šŸ˜‰

A very wise leaderĀ onceĀ told me that employees are the company’s clients. I believe it was hearing those words echo in my head while reading Sabrina’s post led to my nodding head and this earnest post. If your employees are your clients, just as important as those that purchase your goods and services, why aren’t you treating them better and getting to know them?

Another point Sabrina slyly snuck into her post is that I have to wonder, why so many benefits – like tuition reimbursement – are underutilized. A strong suspicion I have based on what I have seen in my own career and in working with thousands of clients, is that it isn’t communicated! Imagine if, in a chat between coworkers or manager/subordinate in getting to know one’s dream that they could match it with an existing program? An employee who loves to volunteer at their local polling location learns that the company gives you a paid day to do that! Imagine the good will built with five minutes and no money (because the program is already in place.)

Sure, everyone is replaceable. But with the costs of replacing employees, do you really want to focus your resources on attracting, rather than retaining? You work to retain your clients/customers, don’t you? Well, your employees are just as important to woo; they are your customers too.

Continuous Improvement and Poker Face

There are days I love my job, today was one of them.

I’m a big believer that nothing is ever set in stone, nor should it. I had the privilege and pleasure to be part of my second experience to review current processes with a cross sectional team to change things for the better. I swear that my employer’s unspoken motto is akin to Big Brother, “expect the unexpected.”

Continuous improvement has many names depending upon the industry. It is a long, painful process. It has proved interesting to see how the “future state” and “pie in the sky” end result actually implements. Luckily, regardless of how close reality is to the envisioned future state, improvements are generally the result.

Even when not leading the team (although it could be done by HR for any company) it shows just how much HR (be it generalist or a specialist) are project managers. Let’s face it, if it is an I-9 Audit; AAP; annual enrollment; updating the on boarding process; reviewing job descriptions, salary structures, and employee alignment – HR is nothing but projects and improving things!

Another very important part of HR is having a poker face. I read in the past year a great article about how to improve yours and been practicing! (Read my admitting to failing at it here.)I felt that I did a fabulous job at using it in the meeting today, only emitting one raised eyebrow over the course of 9 hours (while on 4 hours sleep and being in physical pain.) But I know that I have mastered it due to a recent four day ordeal in my personal life where despite being under tremendous stress and difficult situations I held it together for the 90% of the time.

Do you have any stories or tips to share about continuous improvement or poker faces?