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Enhancing Organizational Performance

Archive for April 2020

The Last Victim

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As a species, humans have a desire to be first. We want to be the first to climb a mountain, the first to explore a cave, the first to walk on the moon, the first to be a trillionaire. I want to own the tallest building, the most successful startup, the hottest restaurant. I want to be the fastest, the strongest, the fittest, the best speller, the brightest, the most popular, the prettiest or most handsome and we lavish recognition onto those who achieve first place benchmarks. The World Series, the Superbowl, the World Cup, the Nobel Prize, Miss America, being the winner, being first is so ingrained into our societies that we often don’t even realize the significance of where the motivation for those behavioral activities comes from. Much has been written about these desires.

Taken to an extreme wanting can cross over to needing and psychopathology can come to the forefront. Desire is one thing, for it can be motivational, when properly channeled it can drive advances that benefit all of us, but when desire to be crosses over to must be aberrant thoughts and actions can take over.  I have been in many meetings with C-suite types where the C-level person must be the smartest person in the room, even when they are not, not even close. It is narcissistic on their part when they assume they are the smartest and have all the answers, and some of their thinking is along the lines of, “After all I am in this position of power and you are not! I have been recognized for my achievements and placed into this position, and you have not!” In my experience, somewhat more rare but present is the cognitive dissonance of, “I am paid all this money, so I must be the best and have all the best ideas, for if I am simply average like the rest of you, why am I being paid so much?”

Our psychology is such that we when do achieve success we have a tendency to credit our internal abilities and when we fail, we tend to assign blame to some external force. Again, it is normal pattern of behavior, but when taken to an extreme it is pathological, where one can never accept responsibility for one’s mistakes or failures. This pattern causes certain individuals to go through life collecting injustices, these people are the perpetual victim of wrongs being done to them.  They have a tough time ever being truly happy.

We are at an inflection point. The global COVID-19 pandemic has caused tens of millions in the USA alone to lose jobs and the International Labor Organization (ILO) says globally that number may be 195 million. Many more are now without access to healthcare or health insurance. The growth in the number who are now food insecure is enormous and hunger, as in the Great Depression, now roams freely across the land. Medicare and Social Security were created as a direct result of the documentation of the suffering older Americans were experiencing during that time and afterwards, Americans who had worked their whole lives, but could not live out the remainder of their lives with respect and in dignity.

What do we have to do to have everyone live their lives with respect and in dignity? What would it take to shift our orientation from rewarding our first-place finishers to striving to have last victims? The last victims of hunger, the last victims of a broken healthcare system, the last victims of COVID-19, the last victims of homelessness, the last victims of living in rat infested tenements, the last victims of racism and discrimination, the last victims of war, the last victims of unemployment/underemployment or low paid employment, the last victims of a poor education? There are endless ills that need our attention. But the vast number of issues suggest that it is time for a more radical shift than trying to simply get back to business as usual.  I am reminded of a difference between Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. Thomas Jefferson founded the University of Virginia and wanted admissions to be based on merit, those most deserving would be admitted. Benjamin Franklin founded the University of Pennsylvania under the notion that education should be available to all who wanted it, in other words, education should not have any victims, all who want an education should be able to get one. How can we all become more like Benjamin Franklin?

Written by Jeffrey M. Saltzman

April 25, 2020 at 9:39 am

Posted in Human Behavior

COVID-19 Pulse Survey Now in Multiple Languages

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Our free Employee Well-Being and Business Resilience Survey has already been completed by thousands of employees across large and small organizations. However, many of you asked for the ability to survey employees across the globe, without barriers. 


We are pleased to now offer this free survey in 13 additional languages.




During this global crisis, we know organizations need to connect with all their employees, no matter where they are located or what language they speak. Thanks to the generosity of TransLingua, our preferred translations partner, we are now able to offer our survey in the following languages:


European French








Latin American Spanish


Simplified Chinese






Our free Virtual Conference, Employee Well-Being and Strategic Surveys,
is coming up this week, on Thursday and Friday! 





Copyright © 2020. All Rights Reserved.

Written by Jeffrey M. Saltzman

April 20, 2020 at 12:54 pm

Free Employee Well-Being and Business Resilience Survey: Solicit Feedback Now to Best Understand Employee Needs 

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During this time of rapidly shifting needs, OrgVitality is offering free access to a pulse survey that has been crafted to measure your employees’ needs, as well as their thoughts on your response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Why Survey Now?

HR professionals are in a unique position to contribute to their organizational response during the COVID-19 crisis. Employee feedback and measurement opportunities are critical as both individuals and organizations adjust to a radically different work environment. While surveying employees may seem small in comparison to the impact of COVID-19, people need to hear from their leaders more than ever. Now is a time for leadership to send the message that they care about their employees and their well-being both now and long-term. It’s also a time to listen and find out how they are handling this crisis. Helping employees feel secure, supported, and able to make a positive impact is critical.

How did we design our survey?

Our team of consultants relied on their experience and research from other times of great challenge to develop a core set of items that cover both symbolic and tactical areas of focus. Ultimately, the takeaways of our survey include the following:

  • Show leadership cares. Ask questions around whether employees feel the company has their best interests at heart, and is prioritizing employee safety. By sending out these items, you are showing the organization that this is important to leaders. Results can be used to target employee segments who may not feel as appreciated or cared for in this trying time.
  • Improve effectiveness of remote workers. Over the past few weeks, droves of employees have been sent home to work remotely. While this is a good move for health and safety, by necessity it was done quickly and often without the chance for training. Many employees struggle to do their work effectively from home, or to connect with peers in a productive way. Ask questions about whether employees have the resources, training, and clear direction needed to work effectively. Often, data reveals clear areas for improvement that can be targeted for quick intervention.
  • Assess flexibility of systems in an unprecedented time. We are in a new reality. For many companies, the markets or customer needs are shifting along with the way employees must work remotely. Agility at an organizational level, and flexibility at an individual level are critical. For example, employees with school-age children are likely juggling work demands with homeschooling issues. Ask questions about whether employees have the autonomy to modify work processes and routines to be effective in meeting changing requirements.
  • Ensure employees know where to go for help. In times of uncertainty, the need for information is paramount. Employees need information on how the company is handling the crisis, what is changing for their customers, how their job requirements change being remote, how their PTO benefits apply, what to do if they become sick – the list goes on. Ask questions about communications big and small to assess whether they are getting the information they need, and whether they know where to go should they need to request additional flexibility or assistance.

HR professionals are at the heart of managing this crisis within organizations. A well timed, carefully crafted survey can arm them with data to target groups that need support immediately. Click here to learn about our survey crisis tool, ready for deployment immediately. You can send this to a sample of your population, or to everyone. Or, click here to connect with one of our consultants to discuss a more custom approach to fit your organization’s needs. As always, OrgVitality is here to support you in any way we can.



We are also pleased to announce our upcoming free Virtual Conference: Employee Well-Being and Strategic Surveys
April 23rd and 24th. 

Please note, you need to register for each session individually, 

or contact us if you’d like us to register you for the entire conference.


Schedule for Thursday, April 23rd

Managing People Through Uncertainty 

Presenter: Jeffrey Saltzman, CEO

12:00-12:30 EST

Register here

The Coronavirus has thrown the world into a tailspin; cities, offices, and schools are shutting down, global leadership is chaotic, and people are panicked. Yet there is much an organization can do to offset some of the fear and help guide employees through this difficult time. Please join OrgVitality CEO Jeffrey Saltzman as he kicks off our virtual conference with a welcome, overview of the current crisis, and offers tips for organizations grappling with a new reality.
Mental Health: Reducing Stress in the Workplace
Presenter: Dr. Walter Reichman, Partner and Vice President, OrgVitality

12:45-1:15 EST

Register here

Dr. Walter Reichman is an expert in the field of mental health in the workplace. During this half-hour webinar, he will provide organizations with the necessary information to help guide employees through the current crisis.


Case Studies: How Leading Organizations are Leading the Way

Presenters: Dr. James Scrivani, Director, Global Talent Management COE, PepsiCo
Jerry Seibert, Executive Consultant, OrgVitality


Register here

PepsiCo and Jack in the Box have each recently received the Human Resource Management Impact Award for evidence-based HR, a competitive honor awarded by the Society for Industrial-Organizational Psychology and SHRM. Dr. Scrivani will  describe PepsiCo’s Global Leadership Assessment & Development (LeAD) Program, which has helped PepsiCo accurately and consistently identify and develop internal talent, from early career to senior executives. Jerry Seibert will share the approach to human capital analytics that helped Jack in the Box achieve dramatic performance gains at the restaurant level, including retention, customer satisfaction, productivity and profitability.


Top 5 Survey Trends
Presenters: Dr. Scott Brooks, Partner and Vice President

Dr. Victoria Hendrickson, Partner and Vice President, OrgVitality

2:30-3:00 EST

Register here

Come learn about the latest trends in the survey industry. OrgVitality consultants Dr. Scott Brooks and Dr. Victoria Hendrickson will share the latest innovations, best practices, and client case studies.


Barriers to Open Feedback
Presenter: Dr. Susan Kamin, Consultant, OrgVitality

3:15-3:45 EST

Register here

Organizations often administer surveys or feedback programs such as 360 or upward feedback assessments with the hope of learning how their employees feel about various issues. But how honest is this feedback? When employees do not feel that they can safely share their views or concerns, the downsides can range from issues such as dissatisfaction, turnover or unrealized potential to large-scale public scandals after a whistleblower goes public. This presentation will discuss some of the factors that impede open feedback as well as strategies to encourage and reinforce a more open culture.


Friday, April 24th

Making HR Contributions More Strategic and Influential in Organizations
Presenters: Bill Schiemann, CEO of Metrus Group

Jerry Seibert, Executive Consultant, OrgVitality 

11:00-12:00 EST

Register here

I-O Psychologists often conduct important work that is not fully understood or valued by executives. Please join OrgVitality Executive Consultant Jerry Seibert and the Metrus Group CEO Bill Schiemann as they address how to make I-O research more strategic and relevant to leaders by discussing key areas of impact including strategic positioning, business context, ROI, linkage to business outcomes, and packaging. By the end of this session, participants will have numerous strategies for communicating with executives, better positioning I-O work within the strategic business objectives, and creating high-impact people measures that drive business performance.


Bottom-Up, Top-Down, or Blended? Approaches and Lessons from Allstate and PepsiCo

Presenters: Sachin Jain, Director of Talent Management, PepsiCo

Dr. Jennifer Diamond Acosta, Manager, Executive Assessment & Development, Allstate


Register here

Driving action from an employee survey is hard. It builds on a base of solid measurement and data mechanics. But ultimately, action requires that the right information lands in the hands of people who can do something about it, people who can make the changes that the organization needs. In this session, learn from PepsiCo and Allstate about their journeys to match the right reports and support with the right levels of leadership.


Artificial Intelligence: A Primer for HR
Presenter: Dr. Victoria Hendrickson, Partner and Vice President, OrgVitality

1:00-2:00 EST

Register here

AI promises – and hype – are everywhere these days, from Hollywood blockbusters to venture capital investments to corporate jargon. Organizations are feeling the pressure to keep up with these quickly-evolving technologies, but it can be an overwhelming and confusing landscape.
If you want to better understand AI – as well as learn how and when it can best apply to your work – join Dr. Victoria Hendrickson for a thorough look at uses and guidelines for AI in the corporate world.


Framing Your Survey: Tactics to Get Executives Excited
Presenter: Dr. Scott Brooks

2:30-3:30 EST

Register here

There can easily be a bit of Black Box to top leadership’s framing of what surveys are and can do, which changes how they charter, digest, and use employee survey results to run the business. This webinar will draw on behavioral economic concepts of Decision Framing (how choices may be worded or structured to influence the decision) and psychological ideas of Growth Mindset (the belief that abilities can be developed, rather than being innate) to help diagnose whether top leaders see surveys merely as risks of bad news versus opportunities for development. Moreover, it also highlights the subtle implications that have dramatic consequences.


Privacy Legislation: Everything You Need to Know about GDPR and More

Presenter: Dr. Victoria Hendrickson, Partner and Vice President


Register here

It’s almost two years since the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect in the EU. Still, many questions remain about how to best remain compliant, especially where HR data is concerned. Please join Dr. Victoria Hendrickson for an overview of what you need to know about GDPR and other impending privacy regulations, especially as they relate to survey programs.


You can view our full line-up here. Please be aware, this is a rapidly evolving conference, and subject to change. Register for any session to receive updates as the schedule changes.

If you’d like to present a session, please let us know.

Want to come to everything? Email us and we will take care of your registration.


Written by Jeffrey M. Saltzman

April 3, 2020 at 3:46 pm

Posted in OrgVitality

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