The Intersection of Leadership & Engagement: 2014 Pre-Conference Workshops

The 2014 i4cp annual conference got off to a great start in Scottsdale, Arizona, Monday with the offering of two concurrent pre-conference workshops—The Intersection of Leadership and Engagement and Workforce Analytics and Planning.

In the first, thirty participants joined Patrick Murray, VP Employee Surveys and Assessments, and Mark Walker, VP Sales, in a robust discussion of the alignment of talent, culture and leadership to create engagement. The attendees included both i4cp member organizations and non-member firms.

Research from several i4cp studies—including Six Talent Practices that Boost Engagement and Performance, the 2014 Critical Issues Study, and The People-Profit Chain™—served as the foundation for the workshop. To set the stage, participants introduced themselves by sharing a top engagement challenge. These included how to get leaders talking about engagement outside of the survey itself and how to sustain engagement, among others.

Group discussion exercises focused on the sharing of effective talent practices that organizations have implemented to (1) develop a responsive culture in support of employee engagement and (2) communicate and reinforce leadership’s role and responsibility for employee engagement.

In the Workforce Analytics and Planning session, the link between understanding your workforce through data and then implementing those insights for optimized workforce planning was the issue at hand. The attendees, which included representatives from Toyota Financial Services, Sears, Discover Financial, and many others, explained their own personal business needs, many of which centered on identifying the quantifiable impact of their efforts. Fortunate for us (i4cp), as this was the main topic of our research.

As is often the case when discussing analytics, many of the attendees believed that their analytical capabilities, at least in HR, were lagging behind many of the other departments in their organizations. After identifying their most pressing business needs, the next step was in showing both the relevant data and presenting a few case studies to show how other organizations had best improved their potential in this area.

There were humorous moments as well involving (workshop presenter) Amy Armitage's "methodology of fist pumping", and the shared tales of woe from the repercussions of having bad data, but overall the attendees must have come away from the session with some new strategies for combining analytical problem solving with talent management, as they were still discussing and brainstorming 20 minutes past the allotted time.