Performance Driven Cultures: Russell Klosk, Accenture and Loren Miner, Decision Toolbox

Hosted by Chris Dyer, the CEO of PeopleG2 – TalentTalk Radio features engaging conversation with CEOs, thought leaders and HR executives. TalentTalk connects professionals who care about talent-related issues and performance driven culture. 

Today’s guests are Russell Klosk, Director at Accenture; and Loren Miner, COO of Decision Toolbox. To hear the entire show, click here.

Performance driven culture is more than a workplace fad. As today’s guest’s show, they are deeply rooted in a company’s ability to implement solid HR processes – from on boarding to retention to succession.

RUSSELL KLOSK performance driven culture

Russell Klosk is an Associate Director at Accenture in its Strategy Group. His expertise is in building workforce planning and talent management solutions for Accenture’s customers. Prior to joining Accenture, he worked in enterprise services at Hewlett Packard. There, Klosk focused on cataloging the competencies of his people and developed strategies for the business to best succeed globally.

Succeeding in Succession

When it comes to talent management, Klosk says, “The concepts are the same regardless of what industry you’re in.”  In general, HR and talent management used to be known for recruiting or moving people around within an organization. That definition has grown to include employee retention and recognition. He offers, “The real benefit of talent management is in retaining top talent…If your employees are happy and dedicated and engaged, you’re going to drive higher customer results and that measures in sales, customer satisfaction surveys and repeat customers.”

Klosk has worked in succession planning as well. “Somebody could be on 15 different successor lists and if they leave the company, the entire (talent) pool collapses. You’re looking at less critical positions than the CEO, but [still] very critical positions – ones that are key to the company’s success. Those are the ones we need to focus on from a succession planning point of view, a recruiting point of view and from a leadership development point of view,” contends Klosk.

Two Lessons from Abroad

Klosk was fortunate to work overseas where he was faced with unique leadership development challenges. “How do you expand from a people point of view?  What roles – when you expand in to new countries – do you put expats in and for how long?”

Another observation Klosk makes from his experience working overseas is how, while Western philosophies allow an employee to question the boss and voice his or her opinion, many Eastern countries tend to only allow a voice to those with seniority, position or age.

On Success in Onboarding

Klosk says in his 24 years of work experience, HP has “the best onboarding process I have ever experienced or seen. It was smooth, there were constant touchpoints but not so much that it was annoying,” recalls Klosk. He was given access to materials and felt a constant welcoming presence. Klosk explained, “I went through a three-day orientation and I hit the ground running the following Monday. I had a roadmap, I knew how to get to everything and everything worked.”

Final Thoughts

Klosk shares, “Plan the work. Work the plan.  Everyone has a process for everything including all of your talent management activities. If you’re not planning it or you’re not managing it, you’re probably not doing it optimally.”

What are You Reading?

Klosk is reading The Purpose Principles: How to Draw More Meaning into Your Life by Jake Ducey and Jack Canfield.

How Can People Connect with You?

Via Twitter @russmk or via Russell Klosk on LinkedIn.

LOREN MINER performance driven culture

Miner is COO of Decision Toolbox. She began her career at what was then Deloitte Haskins & Sells in finance.  She joined Decision Toolbox (DT) as CFO and has since moved into the role as COO as well. DT provides recruitment technology and processes to companies who do not have their own in-house teams.

“For some clients we are ‘all things recruitment.’ For other clients they use us in specialty areas [such as] hiring for sales and marketing. We have one client who uses us for all their non-exempt positions. We become the recruitment department for hire. We’re there when they need us and gone when they don’t,” says Miner.

Performance Driven Culture

The biggest initiative at DT is to become a more performance-driven workforce. “We are 100 percent virtual. All 75 employees work from home offices,” says Miner. That means each employee must be held accountable. DT’s recruiters are measured on days-to-fill, hire ratios and hiring manager satisfaction. Miner shares, “What we need to be better at as a company is understanding those numbers. What we are really trying to do is be able to fix things upstream before they hit downstream.”  As a performance driven workforce (PDW), it’s not about outcome, it’s about process — and ideally employees will be able to manage themselves. “Our philosophy is that we should micro-train but macro-manage.”

She continues: “In a performance driven workforce, people are held accountable and rewarded for their performance. They feel invested in the performance of the company; they can work when and how they want, as long as they’re contributing to the performance to the company.  It allows work-life balance.”

Financial Savvy

Miner feels her professional success stems from her background as a CPA. The experience prepared her to be attentive to details but to also see the big picture. “I believe I can assess the health of any business regardless of industry. I came to DT knowing nothing about recruitment and never having used a recruiter. That means I bring a different perspective to the table.” 

Miner believes not everyone needs to have financial competency but someone in the company needs to have it. “Our CEO doesn’t have that financial competency but she is the face of DT; we call her our ‘hood ornament.’ She reaches a large network through her networking and public speaking. I am her ‘rear view mirror’ and she relies on me to be both tactical and strategic,” explains Miner. 

Playing to Strengths

When it comes to becoming a success at DT, Miner says, “My direct reports are way smarter than I am. But no matter how good an employee is they can’t be good at everything. Instead of focusing on areas of weakness, we flip the approach and focus on their talents. I have created roles at DT that did not exist just because I believed one of my direct reports had the skills and the talent that would bring so much value to the role.” 

Another area Miner feels strongly about is employee engagement.  “Engagement is crucial.  Without it a company cannot succeed,” asserts Miner.  But there is also a need to create a performance driven culture. To that end, DT has an annual, all-staff strategic retreat, and last year they asked each employee to create personal life statements. It was a great exercise and I would recommend it highly. “Working from home can be very lonely. They cannot feel like they live on an island,” says Miner.

Final Thoughts

Miner shares, “Provide mentorship, great communication and implement performance-driven workforce initiatives where people feel rewarded and are held accountable.”

What are You Reading?

Miner is reading, Predictable Revenue by Aaron Ross and Room by Emma Donoghue.

Tune into the show next week, and remember, do what you love….and show the world how talented you can be, today.

Date: January 20, 2015