Oracle's Larry Ellison: How to Manage Your Most Precious AssetsJohn Foley,?Oracle
Private sector employers hired 2.2 million workers in the US last year. Their ability to maximize the contributions of those talented individuals—to integrate, train, motivate, and keep them—now depends on how good those companies are at helping employees reach their full potential.
It’s called human capital management, and it’s rapidly evolving from a back office records-keeping function to a competitive differentiator that companies are using to attract the best and the brightest. The trend is being driven by global competition for hard-to-find skills, changing demographics in the workforce, and the experiences and expectations of a new generation of workers.
Oracle??CEO?Larry Ellison?says HCM has emerged as one of the two most important functions in business—the other being customer service.
“It’s all about people,” Ellison told attendees at Oracle CloudWorld in San Francisco on January 29. “Taking care of your employees is extremely important, and very, very visible.”
Ellison is now taking that message directly to Chief Human Resources Officers and other executives responsible for HR operations, service delivery, recruitment, talent management, and the technology that supports those disciplines.
The venue for this meet up is?Oracle HCM World, a first-time event that runs from February 4 to 6 at The Venetian Las Vegas.
Oracle CEO Larry Ellison
The speakers and attendees at Oracle HCM World will be a cross section of business execs responsible for transforming a workforce into a?tour de force, including Marie-Ann Morgan, Vice President of HR?International?withElizabeth Arden?RDEN?-0.18%, and Levent Arabaci, Executive VP of HR withHitachi?Ltd. Topics on the agenda include data-driven HR leadership, recruiting, on-boarding employees, succession planning, rewards, and workforce management—all under the umbrella of HCM transformation.
The time is right for a serious brainstorming session on HCM best practices. According to a just-released survey by PwC, 63 percent of CEOs are concerned about the availability of key skills in their companies, and 50 percent say they will be increasing headcount over the next 12 months. The quality of those hires, and the speed with which their ideas and competencies are leveraged, will determine how successfully companies close the skills gap.
The data points above are from PwC’s 17th?annual CEO Survey. Ed Boswell, a principal with PwC and the firm’s US advisory people & change practice leader, will be a keynote speaker at Oracle HCM World, as will John Doel, principal with KPMG, and Maureen Brosnan, managing director of HCM with Accenture.
This dramatically better approach to people management is best accomplished (in fact, it’s really only possible) with a new generation of socially-enabled tech tools—what Ellison describes as a 21st?Century HCM system. One thing that’s very different about these new platforms is that they’re used by every employee in the company, not just by HR specialists.
These next-gen HR apps must be as easy and familiar to use as LinkedIn or Facebook and, like those social apps, run on virtually any mobile device. “The social network is the paradigm of the modern service application,” Ellison says.
A modern-day HCM system is cloud-based, faster and cheaper to deploy than on-premises systems, and applies business intelligence to deliver actionable insights. It must also have best-in-class capabilities in global HR, workforce optimization and management, rewards, and other core HR competencies. Check out?Oracle HCM Cloud?for the best example of this.
After carefully laying out this new and improved approach to HR, Ellison was asked why? Why was he putting such a major emphasis on HCM? “It’s the application everyone in the company uses,” he explained. “And it’s the application that manages your most precious assets—your people.”
llison points to Oracle—with 125,000 employees and still growing–as an example of why it’s so important for companies to create a collaborative work environment that places a premium on talent and innovation.
“What is Oracle? A bunch of people,” Ellison says. “And all of our products were just ideas in the heads of those people—ideas that people typed into a computer, tested, and that turned out to be the best idea for a database or for a programming language. I don’t think it’s very different whether you’re a technology company or a law firm or a retailer.”
Or a media company, which is where I worked for years before joining Oracle as a new employee eight months ago. That is to say, I’m walking the walk when it comes to modern HR. I’ve been on boarded, manage my own employee profile, and use Oracle social tools and messaging to collaborate with colleagues across the company every day.
As mentioned earlier, HCM is only half of the equation for companies in today’s service-centric economy. Customer service is the other half, and businesses must excel at both, Ellison says. His message boils down to this: Take care of your employees?and?take care of your customers.
There’s a virtuous cycle in doing so. It’s long been said that happy employees make happy customers. So businesses must be careful not to excel at HCM and disappoint at CX—or vice versa. They must strive to be great at both. “You can’t do one without the other,” says Ellison.
And they must attract top talent, Ellison says, in much the same way that the Miami Heat recruited and built its NBA championship-winning basketball team. Is there a LeBron James of new product development in your company? A Dwyane Wade of sales?
Because attracting the very best people in your line of business, whether they’re dunking a basketball, renting cars, or selling financial services, provides a competitive edge. “I would say it’s simply the difference between winning and losing,” says Ellison.
That’s why HCM has moved to the top of the business priority list. And why HR execs have become trusted advisors to CEOs trying to build their own championship teams.
For more on how HCM has risen to become a CEO-level issue, see?“How CEOs Can Transform HR Into A Revenue Driver,”?by Oracle President Mark Hurd.
I would also recommend two columns by Bertrand Dussert, Oracle VP of HCM Transformation and Thought Leadership:?“HR Should Hire ‘Scary’ Data People”?and?“HR Executives Need To Think Like The CMO.”
Hurd and Dussert will be among the more than two dozen expert speakers atOracle HCM World.?I hope you to see you there.
For more on talent management, see these articles:
Kids, Code, And The Future Of Technology
The Customer Within: How ‘Employee Experience’ Is HR’s Competitive Differentiator