Do we value Diversity at work?

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Diversity at work can help attract talent, increase creativity to find solutions and improve the understanding of business needs amongst other things according to the experts Kossek and Lobel. But do we value Diversity at work?

At Hewlett Packard while I was the Diversity lead for the Personal Systems Business at European level, I started to investigate the attitude of young men and women towards Gender Diversity.

I wrote an article with Antonio Nuñez Partido and Belén Urosa of the Universidad Pontificia Comillas that was published in the 12th IAJBS Forum de Beirut in 2006. The research was carried out through a questionnaire of 25 items around Diversity that was answered by 214 university students.

The results show the participating university students value positively diversity in general and gender diversity in particular. So they perceive the advantages of a diverse workforce in terms of attraction and creativity. This is good news.

Nevertheless, further research would be needed to understand how much these thoughts impact their attitude once they join the labor market.

If you are interested in reading the full article, it is available at the following link: University Students attitude towards Gender Diversity

Success factors for a Sales Incentives Plan

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I start my Blog with one of my favorite topics: "Sales Incentives". Incentives drive behavior. There are two areas in Human Resources where incentives play a fundamental role:  
  • Top Executives & Board Members
  • Sales Force
In the sales environment, the design and communication of sales incentives is key to achieve the business goals. I have experienced mergers and changes in strategy where sales incentives have been fundamental to reach the business objectives. 

The success factors of a sales incentives plan can be summarized in three key points:
  1. First of all, a design aligned with the business strategy stresses the need involve business managers to ensure the plans incentivize the right behaviors. It is also important to include finance in the design team as they will bring a pragmatic view on measurement and reporting. The HR lead will play a double role as:
    • Compensation Expert,  to ensure a best in class design to influence the desired sales force behavior.
    • Design Coordinator, involving all parties so all points of view are taken into account, such as affordability, implementation, etc. 
  2. Afterwards, communication plays a key role as the purpose of the program is to incentivize a behavior upfront. The communication process should ensure the whole organization is fully aware of the strategy behind the plans and behavior it pursues. Communication should be clear, simple and made in a timely manner, that is, as soon as the commission period starts.
  3. The third success factor is quality of the implementationThese complex projects often suffer from delays and errors, for example, in the reporting process.  The only way of influencing sales rep behavior efficiently is to ensure they have online information of their performance and that they are paid soon and accurately on their results.
These ideas were developed in this article that was published in 2003 in the International Conference for systems, cybernetics and informatics, CISCI (Florida) Sales Incentives Plans within a Total Compensation approach