As the U.S. economy appears to be climbing out of its year-plus recession, HR professionals are turning their thoughts toward 2010 with hope for growth. How will strategies and decision-making change as organizations consider lessons learned from 2009? Three key leaders within Ceridian share their viewpoints on how they will approach the opportunities that lie ahead in 2010.  

Ceridian experts weigh in on the year ahead

As the U.S. economy appears to be climbing out of its year-plus recession, HR professionals are turning their thoughts toward 2010 with hope for growth. How will strategies and decision-making change as organizations consider lessons learned from 2009? Three key leaders within Ceridian share their viewpoints on how they will approach the opportunities that lie ahead in 2010. 

 

Diane Cothran, employee engagement leader

"Across the company, we share a passion for serving our customers and engaging the diverse talents and experiences of our people. Employee engagement impacts customer alignment. Therefore, Ceridian is continually focused on this important productivity metric -- especially in the current economy. 

"Over the past two years, Ceridian has measured its levels of employee engagement through a survey administered to all employees. With participation levels in the high 90th percentile, there has been a high level of commitment throughout the company to discuss the issues and challenges and define creative solutions that will help us all to be more engaged and more aligned with the needs and interests of our customers. 

"During 2009, Ceridian focused on key drivers for employee engagement, including change leadership and communications. Our recent survey showed a significant improvement in our areas of focus over the past year. This focus will continue into 2010 and should serve us well in building a highly engaged culture. 

"Communications technology has benefited us from the standpoint of providing better ways to reach our employees. For example, in our roadmap to employee engagement, we have built a global onboarding portal with a step-by-step guideline for managers to enrich the new hire's experience and improve time to productivity. 

"As we continue to build a strong engagement culture, we are focused on retaining our high-potential employees and, at the same time, raising the bar for those who are not as highly engaged. Equipping our managers with the right performance management tools is important in accomplishing this goal. In addition, cascading the messages from leadership to all employees is important; managers are the critical link in this communications flow. We will continue supporting our managers in all of these areas in 2010." 

"In 2010, we will continue providing many communication opportunities with employee engagement survey focus groups, executive roundtables, and manager skip level meetings with employees. In this time of uncertainty, we must continue to integrate our change leadership process into all levels of the organization and equip our employees with the tools and resources to better serve our customers." 

 

Randy Ruckdashel, organizational development leader

"We all hope the economic recovery will occur soon, but some indications say it will be a slow recovery. We believe our business offers long term value for our customers in spite of the challenges in the present economy. We will sustain our vigilance around cost control while continuing to invest in our core processes. This will help us emerge into the recovery poised to compete even more effectively than we have in the past. Additionally, we're working on product adjustments to take advantage in the new economic circumstances. We're finding opportunity in the change and proceeding with caution. We must move forward and not get stuck on what is now behind us. 

Like other organizations, we've made adjustments in our employment ranks. Our people are critical to our success through their performance. Managers and employees are working together to establish reasonable and appropriate goals for performance and development. Our most important asset continues to be the abilities of our people and we need to manage and grow that to the best of our ability. 

Growth-oriented companies will use performance management processes and systems to build clarity around goals and performance. When used effectively, performance management systems can make it possible for all levels of the organization to maximize performance and better share talent across the organization. 

We as employees can't control the destiny of the economy, but we can control our reaction to the current state by delivering consistent and high value results for our customers. We can't navigate through 2010 by keeping our heads down and delivering what we did in 2009. We must understand our customers' critical business challenges and find ways to help them to be even more successful. 

As 2010 unfolds, my focus is to support Ceridian's growth-oriented culture by building the capabilities and skills of leaders and employees. Our biggest opportunity lies in integrating all of Ceridian's capabilities and initiatives to more effectively serve our customers. Our success in 2010 will be based on extending our customer focus beyond delivering world-class products and services and into developing closer customer partnerships." 

 

Jeff Fix, senior vice president of human resources in Ceridian's HR/Payroll business

"In our current economy, a different strategy is needed for retaining top talent in the organization. Talented people find jobs regardless of the economy, so it is important to focus on a strategy to keep them from jumping ship. Employees who tend to leave in down economies are critical people that you can't afford to lose. We have to segment performers. All are important, but high performers may need to be rewarded differently, whether exposing them to new projects, providing career development opportunities, mentoring or rewarding them. Most organizations look at people in a general bucket. However, there are different segments that need to be treated differently. 

"In addition, outsourcing will continue to be a critical component to get our results more quickly to the business. Return on investment and created client value are key factors to consider. If I am a purchaser of solutions and can see a value created, regardless of the economy, I will still make the purchase if it means my job will be easier and I will be more efficient. 

"When considering skills and expertise that are needed in 2010, there is a difference between skills and expertise versus ability and desire. Those who demonstrate ability and desire are the ones who seek to do more and think of the bigger picture. Too many times, people focus on their job and not how that impacts the overall strategy. Finding the right talent is not necessarily a skill listed on a resume, but the desire, ability and ambition to reach further and find solutions. Talent will differentiate the organization in the marketplace. There is a plethora of talent out there right now -- it's a company's 'buying market.' For one open job, I have 30 or 40 candidates, which requires more skill in recruiting to screen them. It is more important than ever to play off candidates' experience and skills through behavioral interviewing and not just looking at the resume."