Effective Leadership Communications for HR Professionals
As an HR Manager, you will be asked to present to a senior leadership team many times in your career if you haven’t already. Defining a problem and identifying the appropriate call to action is difficult. The overall objective of this course is to help you develop a clear, concise communication when handling three different HR related scenarios including:
During this course, I’ll demonstrate how to set up a professional presentation, review the best method for telling your story and ways to prepare for your meeting. We’ll develop a succinct, straightforward set of communications to address common HR scenarios. The lessons will prepare you for that moment in front of your senior leaders; a moment to build credibility, improve your brand and bring visibility to an important HR issue.
HR Jetpack is recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP. This program is valid for 2.50 PDCs for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP. For more information about certification or recertification, please visit shrmcertification.org.
This activity, has been approved for 2.50 HR (General) recertification credit hours toward aPHR™, PHR®, PHRca®, SPHR®, GPHR®, PHRi™ and SPHRi™ recertification through HR Certification Institute® (HRCI®). For more information about certification or recertification, please visit the HR Certification Institute website at www.hrci.org.
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Title: Who, What, When, Where?
Module: Employee Survey Results
Moving on to the next slide. We know who our audience is and we can present detailed results on each department along with comment summaries. However, this is in preparation for a one to two day offsite senior leadership meeting and you only need to put together a summary of results. This is going to help set the foundation for a much longer, more in-depth conversation. As I've mentioned before, meet with the President or most senior staff person before addressing the group. You don't want him or her to be surprised during your review. You also want to answer any of their preliminary questions and this way you'll be better prepared. You could get some of the same questions during the actual meeting itself.
So illustrations are much more fun than using text to tell the story. So we are going to get into some metrics illustrations here. Let's get rid of our text. We're going to extend the box all the way over to the 6 on the other side so that way we have plenty of room for the graphs that we're going to start using. Go to the center of the text box and select Chart and we're already on column and we're going to use a clustered column although it's not going to look this advanced. We’re going to click OK. Now I know what you might be thinking. Why wouldn't we use a more advanced looking chart? Don't I need something more advanced to be taken seriously and trust me the answer is No. The simpler, the better. You want your audience to be able to quickly understand your message and focus their attention on you without any distractions. So you want to get that chart up there, you see that data and your audience gets it right away. You know showing a chart with multiple lines and bars and dots won't necessarily impress your team especially when they look at it and if they don't understand what it is you're trying to say it could raise more questions. It can start to bring into question your credibility and so on.
Now we need to populate an excel document with some sample data. So at this point we just want to share the overall scores year over year. So we're not going to need columns C and D. So we're going to select our box down here and drag it over so you only see column B. For our example, we only need three rows of data. We're just going to go back three years so I want to also carry up this small box or dot here up one, so that way we now have just three rows of data and we need to start populating our categories so this is for year over year information. So we're going to start with the most recent information, let’s say it’s 2015. We’ll go down to 2014 and we’ll go down to 2013. And then we also need to start populating our data here. So let's start at 2015. Our engagement score is not looking so good. In 2014 it was a lot higher. And then in 2013, let’s say it was around 72%. So this is certainly not the type of trend that your organization would want to see which is why you’re bringing it up at the staff meeting.
So we're going to select the X here to close our document. Make sure that the graph is selected on the Powerpoint slide and we're going to start making some updates to it. So we're already on Design tab. We're going to go all the way over to the left to add a chart element and what we want to be able to see is the data. You don’t want your audience guessing what these numbers are by looking over here at your X axis. So go down to Data labels and we're going to select outside end so it's right there visible for your audience to see. In addition to that, we're going to go over to our X axis and we're going to update this. As I've done in a previous lesson, we want our minimum to be 0. We're going to want our maximum to be a 1 because really at some point you know there may be certain categories that you have or questions on your survey they might not reach 100% but they certainly could get as high as 95, 96. And I have seen this within organizations, so it's important to make sure your scale starts at 0 and goes all the way up to 1. Now our major unit here is already at 10% so that looks pretty good and then finally our minor unit is .02 and that's fine as well. And let's close this pane by clicking the X in the upper right hand corner.
Now before we forget, let's update our subtitle here. We’ll make a few more slight updates to our graph. We're going to call this, Overall survey scores, right, so this is for the entire organization. We’ll go back to our graph. Now you'll notice that there are still a few things that we could update about our graph, doesn't look too bad. Looks pretty good but the font is different from what we typically use and the sizes are a little different as well and our colors, this soft blue, and so we're probably want to make a few little changes. Let's go over to Home and notice our default setting the font and we want to be Arial. So we're going to type in Arial and then for the size you want to make sure that everybody can see what we have, let's bump that up to 16. Now because the title is Overall survey scores, we don't need this little box right here. We don't need a title for the graph because we already know what it is so select it and delete that and then again we only have one data point it's not like we have another bar next to each of these so let's get rid of Series one. You see how our graph here is expanding a bit as we move forward. Now we also have these extra grid lines. We really don't need them. So we're going to select them and click Delete on your keyboard. And now finally let's update our actual color. Right again soft blue isn’t terrible. It's a solid color. It's pretty standard but I like it to be a little deeper, right, something that catches your eye. So let's go up to Shape fill, our paint bucket that's tipping over, and from the drop down menu let’s select the dark blue.
Your talking points will be very straightforward. Now during a last staff meeting, let's just say that there was already a conversation around the significant drop in scores so there's really nothing new that you need to share. And in fact, for some particular staff meetings you might find you might not even need this particular slide to show to your group, although it might be something that you always want to have in your back pocket as a reminder.
We continue on to the next slide to further explain the what, when and where. This time let's use the same slide that we just created as our template for another graph. So let's go back up to slide #6. And we're going to hit, in the clipboard here, Copy and then we’re going to click within where we want that slide to be placed and it’s pretty easy for this particular presentation. We just want to be placed after slide #6. And we'll hit Paste. So we already have a graph that we can work with. So this helps to cut down on the time it takes to actually create these slides. So we're going to go in. We're going to click back on the graph. We're going to go to Design and this time we want to edit data. So we're going to select from this dropdown menu whether we want to edit the data in that small Microsoft Excel worksheet that appears or if we want to go back into and pull from Excel 2013 but instead we're just going to edit data right here. We just all we really need is just this little excel spreadsheet. Again, not a very complicated graph. This time we want to update participation. So we're going to say that in 2013 participation was really high at 85% and then we're going to say 2014, it dropped a bit but still relatively high and then in 2015, it went down to 75%. So it's interesting about this is that these scores are actually not that bad. But what's concerning is the trend that you're showing on the slide. Clearly, this is an indication that something is wrong. So we're going to close out this mini Excel document. And we're going to update the sub heading here to, Participation. And you can add down here in your Notes. You know here you can fill in this data, X participated in 2013, X number participated in 2014 and X number participated in 2015. So you certainly may get asked that question, what is the “n” size for participation.
Now we aren’t done yet. I recommend sharing demographic data based on the largest workforce segments. For example, hourly versus salaried employees or direct and indirect. The issues within each demographic may be very different and it’s important to recognize all employee feedback appropriately. So let's scroll down to our next slide and let's select the text here and we're going to delete it and I want to carry and expand my text box all the way out to the 6. Let's select a Chart in the illustration section and this time I'm going to demonstrate how to use a Pie chart, the simplest one is the first one here out of all of our selections. We’ll click OK. Now we don't need all four categories, unselect the bottom two. So we're choosing two demographics and for our purposes I’ll say salaried and hourly so let's type those in here. There could be other segments like, I was saying, within your organization, I mean you might want to look at male versus female population or different ethnicities or age groups, tenure, you know how long have people been with the company and what's their engagement level and their participation levels.
So let's say for our salaried population that 58% participated in the survey or identified themselves as being a part of the salaried population and let's say 42% identified themselves as being a part of hourly. Now you'll notice up here we have this default called Sales and we're just going to get rid of that title. Now and right now, we're not going to need a title. I’ll show you that in a moment. So let's close this mini Excel document. Now that we’ve closed out our data, I want to change the colors to something a little darker. Right now, we have these softer colors so I’m going to go in, select our Pie chart and actually select the right hand side. I'm going to go to format and I want to go to the Shapefill. And I'm going to select a dark blue for the right hand side. Then I'm going to go over to the left hand side and I'm going to select a dark green color. Let's say, in addition to that, I want to update our font type. So let's go over to the Home tab. Let's get rid of this default and type in, Arial and we want our data to easily be seen, so let's select 16. Now you may notice, what is missing right now are our data labels. So let's go back up to Design and we'll click Add chart element, go to our data labels, and we want it to be on the outside, see so it's very easily visible. And at the very top here, we're going to get rid of this heading because we don't need it. In fact, we're going to put our heading right here at the very top. We’re going to get rid of, Tell the story and we're going to put in salaried verse hourly participation. Right, so that heading there tells you exactly what you're looking at and then down here the bottom is our legend.
And our final slide. So we're going to need one more. So let's go up to new slide and we’ll select, Title and content and we'll put on the caps lock and we’ll type in, Employee Survey Results and we'll take it off caps lock. Now, at this point we want to highlight strengths and opportunities. So what we're going to do is get rid of this text box completely and we're going to go up to Insert, to Shapes, down to the equation shapes and we're going to select the plus sign. This is what is going to tell us what our strengths are so you see your cursor has turned into a plus sign. And we're going to drop this, we’re going to try to put it in the middle of this first quadrant right here. OK, so let's drop it and we want the shape fill to be green. So we're going to go right up to the Shape fill. We're going to select a dark green color and we also want the outline to be green as well. So green is a color certainly for go, good. Typically, it's something that's used to convey a positive key point. So we want to check the size. We’ll go over here to the right hand side and let's make it .7 and we’ll make the width just a hair bigger at .75. I'm going to take this and I nudge it using my up arrow. So we're going to leave it for here now, this might be the best spot for us or it might not be so we'll see as we go forward.
Let's go back up to insert now. Go back to Shapes. Go back down to Equation shapes and let's select the minus symbol and we're going to drop that over here on the right hand side quadrant. We're going to line it up towards the middle again. We’re probably going to nudge that up, just a bit so it is aligned with the grid just like it is on the left hand side. Now let's go up to Shape fill. And the minus symbol, of course, highlights those particular key points or, for our purposes, the survey those categories are questions that we did not do that well in so let's double check the size. We’ll make it the same as the plus symbol .75. OK so we've reduced the size a little bit. Let's nudge it over and nudge it up using our arrows so that it is pretty much in the center.
So we need a place to type our strengths and opportunities. So let's go back up to Insert. Let's go to text box, have that selected, and we're going to drop one right here underneath our plus symbol and we're going to extend it all the way across. And, in fact, we'll start it right here at the 6 and extend it all the way to the 0. We’ll go up to our default font right here, type in Arial. 18 is a pretty good size so I think that we’ll keep it at 18. Usually I use 18 or 20, somewhere around there, and we're just going to type in a few placeholders here for your data. So we're going to put in Category one, Category two. (These also could be specific questions that your team did well on, where the company did well on) And Category five. Now in these types of presentations I usually highlight three to five categories or questions that the team will need to work on.
And so we're going to need this same text box over here on the right hand side, so let's keep it selected. We’ll go up to the clipboard. We'll hit Copy and then we'll hit Paste. And we're going to pick this up and we're going to move it right over to the right hand side and notice that those two little red lines have appeared at the very top and bottom of the text box. So again this helps us with aligning the text so we have it formatted properly. Doesn't throw people off and it doesn't become a distraction when you have it somewhere else on the screen. Now another way that you can check that these two text boxes are actually at the same height and that they are aligned, is by selecting both of them, so you’d click on one, hit control on your keyboard and then click on the other. Go up to Arrange, go down to a line and then select a line at the top. And so you notice it's kind of another way just to check to make sure that they're at the same height.
Now what we're missing on this slide is our subtitle. So let's go to Insert. Let’s select text box and we're going to drop that right underneath our heading bring it all the way over to the far right so that it lines up with our title. We're going to type an Arial and then we're going to type in 28 and hit Enter. And for this, we're going to call this, strengths and opportunities and we'll go up to our disk and hit save.
Now we have the main slides for our presentation. Let's go back up to slide #2 and fill in each of our topic areas. So our first one we talked about the survey purpose. Our second one, we talked about survey administration. Third one, we talked about the overall survey scores. The fourth one, we typed in participation and the fifth one, we highlighted our strengths and opportunities. Now your presentation is ready!
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Christina A. Danforth, SHRM-SCP & SPHR, launched HR Jetpack in 2016 to support the development and professional growth of her fellow HR colleagues. She started her HR career in 2002. After obtaining her Master’s in Business Administration degree, Christina joined United Technologies Corporation. She moved across the United States...