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Leaders Must Learn When It Is Time to Pivot

Kevin McDonald, VP, BPO Governance, The E. W. Scripps Company
Kevin McDonald, VP, BPO Governance, The E. W. Scripps Company

Kevin McDonald, VP, BPO Governance, The E. W. Scripps Company

Using HR solutions to improve effectiveness

Scripps took on a multi-year journey adding pieces along the way. However, the first, and most important step was the stabilization of core processes and data. This started with not only a transition to a new core HR solution, which includes Employee and Manager Self Service, but also included a large data cleansing effort. This stabilization allowed us to layer on additional tools and processes around Learning, Performance, and soon Compensation, which can rely on good data flowing between systems and enabling processes in an automated fashion. This now allows managers and leaders to have a different view of our human capital and will allow us to provide more meaningful, reliable analytics in the future.

"Leaders must learn when it istime to pivot and when theyneed to resist the urge to chase the new, shiny object"

The areas in business environment where solutions donot yet exist or not up to the mark, and which if existed, would've made job easier

Leaves of Absence/ Leaves Management is a pain point for many companies. This is a tough process to automate completely and I know many colleagues who would embrace technology, to help smooth out this process.

Technology trends impacting the HR function

I think the challenge for HR is to provide tools (social, mobile, or otherwise) that allow employees to perform tasks or engage in various processes (learning, recruiting, collaboration, etc.) in much the same way as they use tools in real life. Most employees use some form of social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter), read blogs for updates to topics that interest them, and use online tools to transact in their personal lives (online banking, etc.). Not only are they using these various tools online (via PC), they are using the various mobile/tablet apps available for these activities. HR technology providers and HR leaders need to embrace this change in order to foster better adoption of tools and better engagement.

Lessons learned and advice for fellow HRs

The biggest lesson I learned over the years is the importance of having a long-term vision/ strategy. Too often, HR leaders have gone about buying technology without a clear roadmap based on specific outcomes over time. Also, a lot of leaders lack the “stick-to-itiveness” it takes to see things through. Smaller, niche implementations can be done and results seen relatively quickly, but larger system implementations and business process transformations take much longer to complete and even longer to see the desired end results (which must be defined and measured, by the way). With the quick pace of technology change, it is easy to be tempted to change courses frequently. Leaders must learn when it is time to pivot and when they need to resist the urge to chase the new, shiny object.

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