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Being Global: How to Think, Act and Lead in a Transformed World

Being Global: How to Think, Act and Lead in a Transformed World
By Angel Cabrera and Gregory Unruh
Harvard University Review Press, 2012
224 pages
List price: $29.95
ISBN: 978-1-4221-8322-9

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*This book has been approved for HRCI Recertification Credit.

Guides to global management often focus on learning the local cultures of employees and figuring out how cultural differences should influence management styles. But in Being Global, the focus is on the individual manager: Global leaders are made, not born, say authors Angel Cabrera and Gregory Unruh.

Their book outlines how managers can develop three personal characteristics—global mindset, global entrepreneurship and global citizenship—that are key to becoming global leaders.

Global mindset. People who can “analyze and decode” situations in more than one cultural context have a global mindset. They can work with and influence people and organizations that are different from their own. These potential leaders are good at building trust, and they don’t judge situations or people prematurely.

Importantly, leaders with a global mindset are not necessarily experts about all the cultures they encounter, and people who are culturally aware don’t necessarily have a global mindset for business.

Readers learn how they can build critical elements for a global mindset, including intellectual capital (learned knowledge about cultures) and social capital (relationships leading to other relationships and resources). The book also examines the business and personal benefits of a flexible, global mindset.

Global entrepreneurship. These entrepreneurs create value by taking risks. The book shows how leaders can tap into differences among regions and resources and create networks connecting organizations and people—even across borders.

Global citizenship. This means making business decisions that recognize that one firm’s prosperity depends on the prosperity of others. These choices aren’t just moral—they’re also practical. The authors offer cases of business citizenship in action. They look at how fighting corruption benefits business globally, why creating and enforcing standards of practice is important, and how some employers are filling needs in the communities where they operate.

The book includes tools readers can apply now, including questions to ask and specific, immediate actions to take to develop their global mindsets as well as their global entrepreneurship and global citizenship skills.

Cabrera and Unruh include examples from firms in industries as varied as computers, apparel, pharmaceuticals and food production. The authors also offer both support and caution to leaders, warning against complacency: “Being a global leader is not a position anyone ever arrives at,” they note. Wherever the reader is now in the journey, “there will be more to learn.”

Managing Employee Turnover

Managing Employee Turnover
By David G. Allen and Phil Bryant
Business Expert Press, 2012
124 pages
List price: $43.95
ISBN: 978-1-60649-340-3

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*This book has been approved for HRCI Recertification Credit.

Is your HR organization using data to try to improve retention? Your data may be misleading. Do you look to others’ best practices to inform your retention programs? Those practices might be too generic or might not fit your firm’s situation. Do managers use their gut instinct about hiring, firing and retention, and do you as the HR professional believe that those instincts can be wrong?

These are all reasons why HR needs to carefully approach retention management by relying on evidence and research, not instinct, ill-fitting examples or incomplete data.

Managing Employee Turnover first debunks myths about turnover, then identifies the evidence-based retention strategies employers can use throughout employees’ career paths, from recruitment, hiring and onboarding through training, compensation and supervision issues.

The authors dissect five major misconceptions about turnover, including these:

  • “Turnover is bad.” Turnover is turnover, and whether it’s good or bad depends on the situation. Employers need to define turnover carefully, collect data on what really happened in any departure, and develop a turnover cost formula to assess both costs and benefits of turnover.
  • “Turnover is driven by job dissatisfaction.” Research shows that turnover is far more complex than that. Employers need to look at the multiple paths that lead to departures and the reasons other employees stay put.
  • “Retention is simple.” Until employers understand the real reasons behind turnover, they can’t fully know what’s required for retention.

The book’s second half teaches readers how to use evidence as the core of retention strategies.

Topics include doing away with traditional interviews in favor of “structured interviews” that use job analysis and job competencies to inform questions about how candidates would behave in specific situations.

A chapter about onboarding advocates going beyond the usual discussion of benefits and expectations; employers also should use socialization practices that help newcomers adapt to the new work environment and its culture.

Research shows that providing training and development can cut turnover, and the authors discuss how to start providing those opportunities more effectively. They also point out how supervisor and management training can shrink turnover at all job levels.

Compensation structures and procedures also affect retention, and readers learn steps for improving these tools. A section for supervisors and their bosses shows how supervisor support for employees influences retention and how both supervisors and the larger organization can provide that support.

Frequently Asked Questions About Compensation

97 Frequently Asked Questions About Compensation
Edited by Margaret Fiester
Society for Human Resource Management, 2014
165 pages
List price: $23.95
ISBN: 978-1-58644-356-6

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HR professionals ask SHRM’s HR Knowledge Center thousands of questions about compensation each year. This volume, a compilation of the “greatest hits,” includes questions about bonuses, taxes, international assignments and more.

The pithy 97 Frequently Asked Questions About Compensation organizes questions by topic, allowing readers to find what they need quickly and use it immediately. Subjects and sample questions cover:

  • Bonuses. Do you have to pay a bonus to an employee who’s being terminated?
  • Commission-based pay. If an employee is on 100 percent commission, how do you calculate pay when the employee takes paid time off?
  • Communication. What is the best way to handle employees’ requests for pay increases?
  • International assignments. How should we compensate employees on international assignments? Must expatriates pay income tax?
  • Legal and regulatory issues not covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). What happens to unpaid wages owed employees when a company files for bankruptcy? What happens during a wage and hour audit? Other subjects in this category include questions about auto mileage, lactation break times and severance packages.
  • Legal and regulatory issues covered by the FLSA. Questions cover a wide range of pay issues, such as compensation during drug testing, natural disasters, break or meal periods, jury duty, part-time status, and more.
  • Paid time off and sick leave. Must employers pay out unused vacation time to employees who leave?
  • Payroll. How do we handle paychecks that haven’t been cashed by current or former employees? Can we withhold a paycheck from an employee who hasn’t turned in a timesheet?
  • Planning and design of compensation strategies and systems. How do you establish pay for an employee in an acting or interim role? What are “total rewards” strategies? What are some sources for salary survey data?
  • Tax compliance. If we operate in more than one state, what are our state tax withholding obligations?
Applying Advanced Analytics to HR Management Decisions

Applying Advanced Analytics to HR Management Decisions
By James C. Sesil
Pearson Education Inc., 2014
156 pages
List price: $59.99
ISBN: 978-0-13-306460-5

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We don’t make decisions rationally, says author James C. Sesil. Our biases play a strong role, and business decisions are no exception. In Applying Advanced Analytics to HR Management Decisions, Sesil shows how bias works, then discusses the myth that people are naturally self-centered—a myth that he says has damaged our ability to be cooperative and collaborative at work.

But through the right combination of learning, economics and psychology, managers can eliminate bias in decision-making, get better performance results and reduce discrimination. Sesil demonstrates how the science of “advanced analytics” can improve decisions.

What prevents us from making the best possible choices? Sesil, who currently is developing HR software to support decision-making, describes the problem of relying on intuition and biases when making human capital management decisions.

Sesil delves into what makes collaboration work so well, and why people are not as motivated by selfishness as we think. He covers the types of organizations that benefit from collaboration, the bottom-line advantages of participative decision-making and models of collaboration in business. Analytics can improve choices by predicting outcomes more accurately, mapping individual and team performance, and evaluating the impact of planned changes. Employers can learn to use human capital data better, and Sesil demonstrates how research data can contain biases that HR and management must be aware of.

How do you model “ideal HR practice choices”? Sesil provides ideas on optimal practices. He also introduces readers to specific software packages that can help with talent analytics, enterprise resource planning, talent management and more.

Selection and promotion decisions can be particularly prone to biases, so a more analytical approach yields more-objective choices. Tools include a “biographical survey” that uses a candidate’s personal history as an indicator of potential job performance.

Incentives and motivation are other areas where more science and fewer assumptions could create more-effective systems. Sesil explains why collaboration does not work with competitive compensation and reward systems that pit employees against each other and create mistrust.

The author outlines the usefulness of performance management tools based on analytics, including expert systems, predictive modeling, artificial intelligence and econometrics tools. He also describes how analytics can help with specific incentive issues, including incentives for executives; for low-skill, low-wage employees; and for specific job groups such as teachers and physicians.

Compiled by Leigh Rivenbark, a freelance writer and editor in Vienna, Va.