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Exclusive: 4 vital steps when testing and experimenting ideas in HR



4 vital steps when testing and experimenting ideas in HR

#vital #steps #testing #experimenting #ideas

When it comes to HR, the days of strategies, initiatives and policies being ‘once and done’ are over.

As new ways of working come to the fore and the pace of change accelerates, HR and People leaders will need to think more experimentally to test, adapt and iterate their strategies and ideas to find out what really works in their organisation – both for today and tomorrow.

In this article, we take a look at everything HR and People leaders need to know about testing and experimenting, why this agile approach is vital in today’s world of work, and how you can start today with help from HR tech.

Here’s what we cover:

Testing and experimenting – why now?

Before the pandemic, just 29% of HR leaders were set up for agility, adaptability and speed, our research found.

When coronavirus happened, this dramatically changed.

The world of work shifted, and HR had to navigate their organisations through unchartered territory.

Employees had to work remotely practically overnight, and it catapulted priorities such as wellbeing to the top of the HR agenda. It meant HR had to become more agile in their approach, to shift and adapt in times of change.

However, HR continues to move through unchartered territory today.


With the great resignation, the move to hybrid working, the rising importance of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), and so much more, it’s more vital than ever for HR to move away from modelling other organisations and for each HR team to find their own path in an agile way to support their organisation.

Testing and experimenting enables HR teams to do just that.

Testing and experimenting in HR

Software engineering teams have been working in this way for years, breaking away from rigid systems to working in an agile way through testing and experimentation in small increments to constantly innovate and optimise.

Like software engineering, for HR, successful testing and experimenting means a shift in mindset – moving away from a ‘once and done’ approach to a more iterative way of working.

For example, drafting a policy shouldn’t ever gather dust and become outdated. It needs to be constantly reviewed and revised.

However, at the heart of this way of working is HR tech.

You need a system that can support you when it comes to gathering, segmenting, analysing and interpreting data, so you can use those actionable insights to find the right solutions for your people.

What can you test and experiment in HR?

While testing and experimentation can be used in practically any area of HR, here’s some suggestions.

Hybrid working policies

One of the biggest trends to come out of the global pandemic is the rise of remote and hybrid working.

With many employees never worked fully remotely before, it’s driven employees to want more flexibility in where they work.

In fact, one in five employees want to work remotely full time after the pandemic, and 51% of employees who currently work in a hybrid way would consider leaving if this option was removed.


As a result, many organisations are still working out how many days employees need to be in the workplace and how many they can work elsewhere.

This is where testing and experimenting can really help.

If you can find out what your organisation wants when it comes to hybrid working, you can roll out a plan and use people data to understand how well it’s working.

By iterating and reiterating, you can make any necessary adjustments to make sure you’ve found the right balance for your employees, so they’re at their most productive.  

Wellbeing strategies

Searches online with terms such as ‘signs of burnout’ increased by nearly a quarter (24%) in 2020 compared to 2019.

The pandemic has taken its toll on employees, so organisations should look to continue to support employee wellbeing.

But which initiatives will truly help to support your employees?

A bank of wellbeing days? Implementing walking meetings? No meetings out of hours?

Making the wellbeing initiatives chime with your employees will help with uptake and overall satisfaction, so this is certainly something to consider testing which initiatives work best for your people.

By testing and learning from different approaches, you can find the right fit for your company and people – and ensure you’re always ahead in the market when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent.

Recruitment practices

The great resignation is making the jobs market fiercely competitive, so you might be reconsidering how you can hire the best talent.


Now could be a great time to try something new with your talent acquisition processes to see if this helps you to find and hire top talent faster.

Ask your candidates and current employees for feedback, so you can start to act upon it and test and experiment with your recruitment practices to find and hire the best talent.

Other opportunities for your organisation to test

Many of the areas we’ve mentioned above are larger and more long-term initiatives and strategies that you might look to test and experiment with the help of HR tech.

However, there are likely to be other incremental but important changes that you’d be able to make with a highly configurable, scalable and flexible cloud HR and People system.

For example, HR leaders who had a cloud HR and People system during the pandemic meant they could make changes and customise their technology at a drop of a hat.

This allowed them to tailor communications effectively, take new approaches to things such as managing remote teams, and, if needed, add in vaccine management tracking – all without having to go out and procure new systems.

They’re now also able to remove areas of the system that are no longer needed – all with clicks, not code.

That’s why, when it comes to experimenting and testing in HR, it’s vital you have a scalable HR and People system to be able to make the changes you want to see quickly, so you can adapt as you need to the changing working environment.

4 vital steps when testing and experimenting in HR

These are just some of the areas in which HR leaders can test and experiment.

However, as we’ve already said, testing and experimenting at its heart relies on a configurable and flexible HR system.

So, here’s our four-step approach to getting it right, with help from HR tech.  


1. Survey your target groups and get feedback

The best place to start is by collecting high-quality people data and getting feedback from the right people.

If you survey people often, you don’t want them to experience survey fatigue. So pick your target groups wisely based on what you’re looking to test.

A cloud HR and People system can provide you with a pool of people data which you can then segment.

For example, if you were looking to address hybrid working, you could conduct a survey that asked employees about working hours and style of working, the ideal at-home set-up, and what they believe to be the right balance of home and office.

2. Collate and analyse the survey results

This part may sound obvious, but it’s so important.

Survey results provide a solid basis for understanding the needs and desires of the wider business and will also highlight differences in opinion.

It’s also a crucial step for measuring the success of whatever you then implement. You can survey again and compare results.

This is where it’s vital to track and analyse the results over time. Our research shows that 70% of HR leaders say they’re not providing leading metrics, data that indicates future trends, despite it being a priority for the C-suite.

By tracking these metrics over time, you can spot trends and predict them before they happen.

3. Use the information to make informed decisions

This can be harder than it sounds, especially if you are trying to manage conflicting opinions.

However, having garnered everyone’s input, you’re now in a prime position to craft an informed approach that benefits both the business and your employees based on the numbers.


And this will allow you to provide the insights to the C-suite about the best course of action.  

4. Execute your new approach – and keep iterating

Finally, take the time to inform employees of the upcoming change before implementing. This gives them space to get used to the upcoming shift and gives you time to plan.

At this stage, you’ll need to look to implement new workflows and rules depending on the change you’re making. You might need to create new teams, objectives or dashboards to adopt and then monitor success.

Once you’ve implemented your initiative, strategy or policy, it’s vital to keep on testing, experimenting, adapting and iterating.

You might have implemented something new but there’s likely some tweaks and adjustments you could make after you’ve collated feedback. If something isn’t working, you go back to the data, do some more digging and follow the process again.

Standing out in the new world of work

There’s never been one rule book when it comes to HR because every person, team and organisation is different.

But in today’s world of work, HR leaders have even more of an opportunity to set their organisations apart and create a truly irresistible place to work.  

Testing and experimenting is vital to getting ahead and enabling your organisation to stand out from the crowd. So be sure to follow the steps and make sure you have a flexible and configurable HR and People system in place that can support you.

If your HR team can adopt a mindset where testing and experimentation is the norm and leverage your HR system, then you can make sure that your HR and People strategy is always tailored to your people, as your organisation continues to evolve.



Exclusive: This woman died because of an abortion ban. Americans fear they could be next. –




This woman died because of an abortion ban. Americans fear they could be next.

#woman #died #abortion #ban #Americans #fear

After the Supreme Court’s historic decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, some doctors are highlighting the 2012 death of a pregnant woman in Ireland and warning that the same thing could happen on a large scale in the United States.

Dr. Savita Halappanavar, a 31-year-old Indian-born dentist, died in 2012 in Galway, on Ireland’s west coast, after she was denied an abortion by doctors who cited the country’s strict laws, despite there being no chance of her baby’s survival, according to Ireland’s official report on the case.

Her death shook the foundations of the traditionally conservative and predominantly Roman Catholic country, and catalyzed its pro-abortion rights movement. In a 2018 referendum, Irish people voted by a two-thirds majority to legalize the procedure.

The avoidable death of Halappanavar, who was 17 weeks pregnant, proved that doctors  — not politicians, police and judges — should help decide the best course of action in similar cases, according to Dr. Sabaratnam Arulkumaran, the expert who in 2013 wrote the official report on the case.

“That’s why Biden said that the issue should be between the patient and the doctor, rather than with the law,” he told NBC News by phone, referring to President Joe Biden’s speech reacting to Roe v. Wade’s reversal June 24. 

In Halappanavar’s case, doctors opted against an abortion because the fetus had a heart rate and anyone carrying out a termination could theoretically have been prosecuted at a later date.

“Because the fetal heart rate was present all the time, the obstetrician did not do a termination. If someone decided that she had done it illegally, she would have gone to jail,” he said, referring to the doctor attending on Halappanavar. 

Arulkumaran, a professor emeritus of obstetrics and gynecology at St. George’s University of London, added that mothers’ lives are at stake in the United States.

“I think maternal mortality will go up,” he said. “I think those who are going to be affected are those from lower socioeconomic groups, adolescents, those who don’t have facilities to go for termination.”


Back pain first sent Halappanavar to Galway University Hospital on Oct. 21, 2012. She was sent home but returned just hours later after she “felt something coming down” and said she had “pushed a leg back in.” A midwife confirmed no fetal parts could be seen, according to the official report. Later that day, she described the pain as “unbearable,” according to the official report. 

 She was admitted and on Oct. 23, a doctor told her a miscarriage was “inevitable” due to the rupturing of the membranes that protect the fetus in the womb, despite the fact that her baby was a normal size and was registering a heart beat. The medical team had decided to “monitor the fetal heart in case an accelerated delivery might be possible once the fetal heart stopped,” the official report said.In Halappanavar’s case, an accelerated delivery would likely have meant a medically induced miscarriage.  

When, on Oct. 23, Halappanavar and her husband, Praveen, asked about medically inducing the miscarriage instead of delaying the inevitable, a doctor told them: “Under Irish law, if there’s no evidence of risk to the life of the mother, our hands are tied so long as there’s a fetal heart[beat],” the official report said.

The report added that once their waters have broken, pregnant women are at very high risk of infection, which in some cases can be fatal.

On Oct. 28 at 1:09 a.m., having caught an infection and gone into septic shock, Halappanavar was pronounced dead.

“It was a life-threatening condition but they took the view of not doing anything because of the legal framework,” Arulkumaran said in the interview.

Praveen Halappanavar, who didn’t respond to a request for comment, told The Guardian newspaper in 2013 that the inquest into his wife’s death “vindicated” his version of events. He told the inquest that a doctor told him an abortion couldn’t be performed because “this is a Catholic country.

After the report was released University Hospital Galway apologized to Halappanavar’s family in a statement which said it “was clear” that “there were failures in the standards of care provided.”

“We can reassure all concerned that we have already implemented changes to avoid the repeat of such an event,” it added. 

Threat to a mother’s life

While some American states have enacted “trigger laws” banning abortion   — some offering exceptions such as in the case of rape or incest, and all currently allow abortion if the mother’s life is seriously at risk — many experts question how easy it will be to get such an exception. In addition, asking doctors to interpret complex legislation in the middle of a medical emergency can lead to dangerous decisions, they said.

Irish law in 2012 allowed abortion to prevent a “potential major hazard or threat to the mother’s life.” But the Halappanavar report said a doctor decided the point at which an abortion was “allowable in Irish law” had not been reached.


This is not a theoretical scenario in the U.S., said Dr. Jen Gunter, an OB-GYN based in California and the author of “The Vagina Bible.”

“I’ve personally been in a situation where due to the state law, abortion was illegal at our medical center and we had a patient who needed one,” she said in an interview, declining to share any further details of the case aside from the fact that it was in Kansas, where abortion is legal up to 22 weeks with some restrictions.

“It wasn’t a pregnancy complication, her organs were failing because of the extra burden of pregnancy due to her underlying condition,” she added. 

The attorneys at the medical center in Kansas told Gunter she couldn’t perform the abortion unless the woman was in “imminent danger.” 

“I was like, ‘What does that mean?’ And their interpretation was that she was going to die in the next three minutes,” she said. Gunter said the hospital attorneys set up a call with the state politician involved in the legislation, who told her, “Do what you think is best, doctor.” 

“So I thought, ‘Then why do we have this law?’” she said.

An ectopic pregnancy — in which a fertilized egg  implants and grows outside the uterus, often in a fallopian tube, and can endanger the life of the mother — could cause added confusion and untenable delays in treatment under the new laws, she said.

Watch more from NBC News: More confusion on state abortion laws spreading following Roe v. Wade reversal

Gunter is unsparing in her prediction for what tighter abortion laws could mean in the U.S.

She said women could die despite better antibiotics to treat septic abortions.

“Halappanavar? That won’t ever change things in the States when that happens here, and it will happen.”


Lawmaker Ivana Bacik, leader of the Irish Labour Party and a long-standing advocate of abortion rights, led a protest against the Supreme Court decision outside the American Embassy in Dublin on Monday “in solidarity for American women and girls.”

“Our experience here is that banning and criminalizing abortion puts women’s lives in danger. It’s very clear that’s the appalling reality now for American women,” she said. 

“If you remove the right to abortion from women and girls, you endanger lives. The reality is that there will be life-threatening conditions in pregnancy that will threaten lives and health.” 

Bacik said Halappanavar’s story was instrumental in turning public opinion toward a “yes” vote in 2018. As was the case of a brain-dead woman in Ireland whose life support machine was only turned off more than three weeks after she was declared clinically dead in 2014 following a protracted legal battle because she was 18 weeks pregnant.

In their submission to Ireland’s ongoing government review of abortion laws, a group of 20 women’s rights and heath care charities commissioned polling in March showing 67% of people across the island supported free access to abortion — mirroring the support for the “yes” vote in 2018.

Still, opponents to abortion rights in Ireland continue to fight. On Saturday, a Right to Life rally will take place in Dublin, where organizers are calling on sympathizers “to be a voice for the 6,500 babies being killed by abortion every year.”

Carol Nolan, an independent lawmaker representing the constituency of Laois–Offaly in the Irish midlands, opposed the law change in 2018 and argues that Halappanavar’s death has been “deliberately and continually” misrepresented by women’s rights campaigners.

“The factors that overwhelmingly contributed to Savita’s death were then, medical negligence and the mismanagement of maternal sepsis,” she said via email, adding that she believed the law prior to 2018 — known as the Eighth Amendment — was not a barrier to Halappanavar receiving proportionate and effective care. 

“Following the removal of the constitutional amendment, we have seen an explosion in the numbers of abortions and the application of relentless political and nongovernmental pressure to further widen the parameters of the post-2018 law,” Nolan said.

Watch more from NBC: How overturning Roe v. Wade affects access to medication abortion

There were 32 abortions in Ireland in 2018 and over 6,000 in each of the following two years, according to the latest figures available from the country’s government.  


“This was entirely predictable,” Nolan added. “However, it has only served to vindicate my own view that the Eighth Amendment acted as a beacon of proportionality and sound law grounded in an authentic vision of human rights.” 

The sometimes deadly intersection of law and medicine in the debate preoccupied those who support abortion rights, too. 

Bacik, the Dublin lawmaker, cited the case of Andrea Prudente, an American woman who was denied an abortion after heavy bleeding in Malta on June 12. She was airlifted to Spain where she received treatment and the fetus was removed.

Multiple cases of women dying after being denied abortions have emerged from Poland, which has a near-total abortion ban. Last year, a 30-year-old woman known only as Izabela, who was 22 weeks pregnant, died of septic shock, her family said. Scans had shown multiple problems with the fetus but doctors refused to terminate while there was a fetal heartbeat, Reuters reported.

After fetal death, doctors could then legally operate. But Izabela’s heart stopped on the way to the operating theater to have a cesarean section. 

At subsequent mass protests in Poland, flags were raised bearing the slogan: “Her heart was beating too.

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Exclusive: Xiaomi launches smartphone with enormous imaging sensors and Leica optics –




Xiaomi launches smartphone with enormous imaging sensors and Leica optics

#Xiaomi #launches #smartphone #enormous #imaging #sensors #Leica #optics

With a limited launch in mainland China today, one glance at the new smartphones from Xiaomi leaves little doubt what the smartphone is all about. A third of the back of the smartphone is dominated by a dome covering a number of cameras with one of the biggest sensors we’ve seen in a smartphone so far – a 1-inch sensor covered with Leica glass.

A lot of people – men especially – will tell you that size doesn’t matter. In the case of imaging sensors, that just isn’t the case; the glass in front of lenses can only do so much and perfect glass doesn’t exist. Bigger sensors means higher resolution, yes, but it also means that the sensors have space for  bigger individual pixels. This helps both with the cooling of the sensor and could indicate much better low-light performance.

The entire 12S series of smartphones features different imaging systems jointly developed by Xiaomi and Leica. I know that in the process of making fun of Leica recently, I was making fun of Hasselblad for its smartphone integration, but in this case it actually somewhat makes sense. By using lenses designed by Leica (carrying the prestigious Leica Summicron brand, no less), the phone might actually be able to make the most of its sensors.

The range of cameras available on the various cameras include some pretty sophisticated lens designs rarely seen on smartphones; I can’t wait to get my hands on one and see if it works as well out in the real world as it looks on paper.

That’s a full-size smartphone. That’s also a hell of a lens. Image Credit: Xiaomi

The company claims that its lens designs drastically improve the photo quality the camera can deliver in general. The alphabet soup in the press release makes it sound as if the smartphone has re-invented the wheel, and makes some pretty juicy promises:

Xiaomi 12S Ultra primary camera adopts an 8P aspheric lens, in order to address common photography issues such as flare, ghosting, and chromatic aberration, the camera module of Xiaomi 12S Ultra also adds anti-glare lens coating, lens edge ink coating, cyclic olefin copolymer material, and infrared light filter with spin coating technology. Together, these features offer a clearer overall picture that is consistent across the lens.

In addition to the advanced optical design, Xiaomi 12S Series “co-engineered with Leica” also utilizes Leica imaging profiles, inheriting Leica’s century-old image aesthetic and reproducing Leica’s tone and aesthetics with the aid of cutting-edge algorithms. For the end user, this means access to two photographic styles: The “Leica Authentic Look” and “Leica Vibrant Look”, both offering enhanced creative freedom to the photographer.

To those of us who’ve read a photography press release or two, the first paragraph above can be summarized as “We stuck tech in this camera that was pretty common on compact cameras in 2005 or so” and the second can be summarized as “… and we created some filters that have been around in Hipstamatic since 2009, but these look kinda like Leica cameras look. Ignoring, of course, that the ‘Leica look’ is heavily dependent on the films you put in the camera giant’s legendary cameras.


Press release sleight of hand aside, the cameras themselves do look impressive, and sticking Sony’s IMX989 1-inch sensors in smartphones is a hell of a feat to pull off, both from an engineering point of view and as a commitment to photography from the smartphone maker.

I mean just look at that thing! Image credit: Xiaomi

To use a corollary: Have you ever heard of the A-10 fighter plane? Usually referred to as the Warthog, was essentially a ridiculously large machine gun firing depleted uranium rounds, and they built a plane around it to be able to blow up tanks. That’s the image this smartphone conjures for me; this isn’t the kind of optics you just slap into a phone at the last minute because the product folks thought it was a good idea.

The sensors, mated with high-quality glass, promise exceptional low-light photography capabilities. Pair that with some smart computational photography skills, and a 10-bit RAW format, and you’re starting to talk about some truly advanced camera tech indeed. These phones could very well be the final nail in the low-end compact camera category that’s been at death’s door for so long.

Wild, for the photography buffs, is that we’re here talking about an SLR-challenging 50.3 megapixels of resolution and a 23mm-equivalent wide-angle lens. This is, as far as I’m aware, the most advanced set of lens/sensor combos of any smartphone on the market. Of course, megapixels aren’t everything.

Sample image shot with the new flagship smartphone. It was taken with the 24mm f/1.9 built-tin lens at 1/1250 shutter speed and ISO 225. Image credit: Xiaomi

The rest of the smartphone looks decent on paper as well – 67W high-speed charging, a large 4,860 mAh battery and smart battery management should keep you running for a while. The phone is powered by the all-new Snapdragon® 8+ Gen 1 Mobile Platform. The Xiaomi 12S Ultra is even equipped with a cooling pump that uses a capillary network to pump cooling liquid around and keep things from overheating and a 6.73” AMOLED color display.

The phones are currently only available in mainland China, with the Xiaomi 12S Ultra starting at around $900, the Xiaomi 12S Pro starting at around $700, and the Xiaomi 12S starting at $600. No word on if or when these will make it outside of the country’s borders.

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Exclusive: U.S. flight disruptions finally ease as the holiday weekend winds down –




U.S. flight disruptions finally ease as the holiday weekend winds down

#flight #disruptions #finally #ease #holiday #weekend #winds

Lighted tunnel in the United Airlines terminal, O’Hare International Airport, Chicago Illinois.

Andrew Woodley | Universal Images Group via Getty Images

U.S. airline delays eased on Monday as weather improved, a relief for travelers and airlines as the July Fourth holiday weekend comes to an end.

As of Monday afternoon, about 1,200 U.S. flights were delayed and 183 were canceled, down from nearly 4,700 delays and more than 300 cancellations a day earlier, according to flight-tracking site FlightAware.

This year through July 3, 2.8% of the more than 4.1 million flights scheduled by U.S. airlines were canceled, up from 2.1% of the more than 4.74 million flights scheduled in the same period, according to FlightAware. And so far this year, 20.2% of flights were delayed, up from 16.7%.

about a fifth of U.S. airlines’ flights were delayed and 2.8% canceled, up from 2.1% canceled over the same period of 2019.

The weekend was key for airlines as executives expected a surge of travelers after more than two years of the Covid-19 pandemic. Passengers shelled out more for tickets as fares surpassed 2019 levels.

Industry staffing shortages, many the result of buyouts that airlines urged workers to take during the pandemic, have exacerbated routine challenges like bad weather.


U.S. airline executives will begin detailing their summer performances and providing updated outlooks for the year in quarterly reports starting midmonth. A big question is what happens after the summer-travel peak fades, as many children in the U.S. go back to school in August.

Airlines spent the last few weeks focusing on limiting summer travel disruptions. Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and others have trimmed their schedules to give themselves more room to recover when things go wrong, such as when thunderstorms hit major airline hubs over the weekend.

Airlines and federal transportation officials have pointed fingers at one another in recent days over the cause of the flight disruptions. Airlines blamed air traffic control for lengthy delays, while the FAA and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg lashed out at airlines for letting go of workers during the pandemic, despite billions in federal aid.

Buttigieg on Saturday said one of his own flights was canceled.

“The complexity of modern aviation requires everything to work in concert,” said Matt Colbert, who previously managed operations and strategies at several U.S. carriers and is the founder of consulting firm Empire Aviation Services.

Delta took the unusual step of allowing travelers to change their flights outside of the peak July 1-4 period if they can fly though July 8, without paying a difference in fare, in hopes customers could avoid some of the disruptions on the busiest days. Envoy Air, a regional carrier owned by American Airlines, offered pilots triple pay to pick up extra shifts in July, CNBC reported last month.

“Bring patience,” Colbert said. “The people working on the other side of the counter are frustrated, too.”

European travel has become chaotic with passengers at some of the biggest hubs facing long lines and baggage delays as the industry faces staffing issues and a surge in demand.

Scandinavian airline SAS on Monday said it would be forced to cancel half of its flights after pay talks with pilots’ union representatives broke down, setting off a strike. Meanwhile, the chief operating officer of low-cost airline easyJet resigned after recent waves of flight cancellations.

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