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Driving Innovative People Strategies for Positive Financial Impact

By Michael O' Brien, VP Corporate HR Services, Caesars Entertainment Corporation

Michael O' Brien, VP Corporate HR Services, Caesars Entertainment Corporation

Transition to a Consumer Driven Plan

Embedded within our core values at Caesars is the concept of Rigor, specifically, the rigor associated with utilizing data and outcomes to drive strategy and actions. The HR function is no different. Leveraging numerous tools available to the team we accumulate and analyze massive amounts of data across KPI’s identified across the various verticals to evaluate performance and drive specific strategies. Additionally, we are able to identify interdependencies within the results that allow us to define the most impactful employee strategies. For example, the analytics associated with our annual surveys allows our HR teams to be  much more surgical in addressing employee engagement issues, focusing the most effort in the areas with the most potential impact. At a functional level (i.e., Employee Benefits) we have utilized several best of breed solutions— telemedicine, transparency, prescription management—in support of our transition to a consumer driven health plan solution; providing our employees with the tools needed to facilitate effective healthcare decisions.

Leverage Talent Management through Social Media

Within the Talent Acquisition and Management function in our business we rely heavily on technology from our initial contact with a candidate and throughout the lifecycle of the team member. By leveraging the power of the various social media platforms (i.e., LinkedIn, Facebook) our recruiters can greatly expand their reach and more importantly, leverage the professional and personal networks of our teams to identify successful candidates. At the other end of the spectrum, our talent management tools allow us to develop accurate profiles— strengths, opportunities, career desires of our critical high potential team members are identified, developed and afforded the opportunities to fully realize their potential.

Challenges and Opportunities with Changing Trends

These trends, as you describe, provide both a tremendous opportunity to expand reach and access to our teams, while also, presenting us with the challenge of how to transform the HR solutions to a form and flow that is consistent with the expectations of the users. At the most mundane level, HR
activities/programs that have historically been orchestrated ‘behind the firewall’ can potentially be managed in the cloud and therefore allow our employees to complete these activities at their convenience—annual surveys, benefits enrollment, etc. Additionally, the continued expansion of these platforms, provide us with the opportunity and expectation to provide more innovative employee tools across our function. Similar to the innovations in mobile banking, our employees will expect our function to ‘meet them where they play’ (i.e., mobile benefit tools—find a doctor, find the closest pharmacy, monitor my fitness level, etc.)

"HR activities/programs that have historically been orchestrated ‘behind the firewall’ can potentially be managed in the cloud"

Leverage Data to Identify Key Trends

As with many of my counterparts, there has been a clear recognition of the HR function and the strategic relevance of our people strategies to our business. By leveraging data and analysis to identify key indicators and trends, we have been able to effectively drive innovative people strategies with demonstrable positive financial impact to the company. Whether we are utilizing quality metrics to evaluate our hires over time to drive our costs to hire, or biometrics to monitor and drive a healthier workforce, and ultimately cost performance within our benefits programs—the strategic relevance and consideration for the function is universally acknowledged across the business.

Leverage Objective Data to Facilitate Innovation

For my HR counterparts, though probably not unique, I would challenge you to continue to raise the bar and expectations to leverage objective data/metrics to drive the function and utilize the available technologies to facilitate innovation within the function. Rather than identifying major gaps in the available solution platforms, our desire is that providers continue to drive innovation in the direction of better leveraging the flexibility and availability of the ever expanding capabilities within the mobile platforms—smart phone, tablets, etc.

We must continuously innovate and meet our employees where they expect—mobile. We need to be in a position to provide the function and flexibility in this space.

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