14 Smart Strategies For Supporting Leadership Development At Every Level

When you hear the word “leadership,” you might think of an executive in a large organization, or a seasoned boss of a team of less-experienced workers. However, there are many examples of leadership that don’t rely on age or years of practice.

It’s crucial that organizations encourage and support leadership development at every stage of an employee’s career. Otherwise, your team will miss out on valuable opportunities to grow. According to Forbes Human Resources Council members, here’s how to encourage all employees to hone their leadership skills, regardless of their seniority level or title.

1. Invest In Interpersonal Skill Building

Good managers are key to engagement and retention of staff. Savvy companies provide appropriate development for managers at every stage: new manager, manager of managers, etc. Management development means investing in interpersonal skills such as giving effective feedback, performance management and delegation. These skills allow managers to move up effectively, creating a strong leadership bench. – Mikaela Kiner, Reverb

2. Gain Leadership Support

Gaining leadership support (at all levels) to develop staff is crucial. It should start once employees are onboarded into the organization and development plans should be put in place by the employee’s leader to attend classes, read books, shadow other employees, etc. The organization needs to offer resources to make this happen and that costs money, but it’s worth the investment. – Lotus Buckner, NCH

3. Offer Strategy Projects

Visibility and exposure is the key to success. The only way to hone a leader is to introduce them to key strategic initiatives and let them drive a few. By doing this, the entire organization knows of them and they, in turn, interact with existing leaders and learn from them. This visibility then drives them further to improve and make a difference for the company. – Abhijeet Narvekar, The FerVID Group

4. Make Leadership A Key Performance Indicator

In order for leadership development to be pervasive in every level of the organization, there must be clear accountability and goals set around the development of others. Make it a KPI for each of your managers with clear metrics and outcomes. In order to be a learning and development-focused organization, it has to be modeled from the top with cascading accountability throughout your team(s). – Zach Montroy, SPHR, Navigate the Journey

5. Focus On Micro-Development

Investing in today’s followers pays dividends in producing tomorrow’s leaders. As such, companies should consider offering micro-development initiatives, such as special projects, organizational events, or committee positions, to expose employees to more leadership development experiences and grow their skills. These types of opportunities, coupled with purposeful mentorship, will go a long way. – Dr. Timothy J. Giardino, Cantata Health

6. Implement Mentorship Programs

Who better to offer support than someone already in a position you want to be in or who has gone down a path you want to follow? Who better to help you get to know the company you’re at than someone who has been there? The key to a program like this is not just who you are aligned to, but also keeping an open mind as to what you want to accomplish and being open to change as it goes along. – Evan Lassiter, Contino

7. Provide Opportunities And Reward Results

Most roles or departments have a hit list of must-do tasks. Then there are those tasks that are valued, but perhaps not as urgent. If possible, allow those lower-priority projects to be open to those who want a challenge and a chance to take ownership of a project that can bring value (but also won’t be crippling if not performed successfully). It’s a great testing ground for eager talent. – Angela Nguyen, Ad Exchange Group

8. Create A Clear Career Path For Advancement

Most young professionals need to know what opportunities exist for career advancement. Employers can help themselves tremendously if, once a promising, leadership-worthy worker is identified, they create and communicate a career path with tangible milestones and training regimen to that person. When top performers know their path to success, the likelihood of retention greatly increases. – Genine Wilson, Kelly Services

9. Focus On Community Involvement

Sit on a board. Make volunteer opportunities visible to employees beyond board involvement. Getting involved in the community provides incredible leadership experience, and is an excellent way to network. Learn how meetings are run and decisions are made, how to hear many sides to an issue and how to give back to your community at the same time. – Nicole Smartt Serres, Star Staffing

10. Reconnect Employees To The Bigger Purpose

Connect every employee’s work explicitly to the purpose of the organization. Help employees see why they matter and how important they are to business success. This creates a mutual commitment that will spark higher levels of engagement and a greater sense of ownership. – Laura Hamill, Limeade

11. Make Leadership A Core Value

We encourage individual leadership by having “do the right thing” as a company value. Employees coach others and make decisions for themselves, as they work on embodying that value. We hire smart people, that want to develop and have the autonomy to do it. Those that do it often are rewarded quarterly and recognized by their colleagues for these skills. – Karla Reffold, BeecherMadden

12. Encourage Networking

Leadership development doesn’t always need to come from within the organization. Get your employees involved outside of the organization by taking them to a community or industry event. Networking and community involvement naturally develops leadership by forcing individuals to confidently initiate conversation and establish valuable connections with strangers. – Tiffany Jensen, Pure Grips

13. Define What It Means To Be A Leader

It’s important that companies establish what it means to be a leader in their own organization, and actively talk about it with their employees. This allows employees to experience leadership and enables them to see themselves as leaders. This notion lets employees take personal pride and ownership in their own leadership qualities and demonstrate them in their organizations. – Diane Strohfus, Betterworks.com

14. Make Development Employee-Driven And Manager-Enabled

New hires have onboarding, while those deemed high potential are typically granted career advancement training. This leaves everyone in between, who should also be given development opportunities. Having known career paths for all allows each person to participate in their own development. When career advancement opportunities exist for everyone and are enabled by leaders, everyone stays engaged. – Sandi Wilson, FinTek Consulting

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbeshumanresourcescouncil/2019/02/21/14-smart-strategies-for-supporting-leadership-development-at-every-level/#65f9c57c3d2d

Upskilling – The upcoming trend

A rapidly changing job market will significantly alter the way we operate. Gone are the days where employees with his professional qualification could survive his entire career span with the same set of qualification. Concepts like lifelong learning / reskilling which are more of a theoretical notion today could soon become a reality.

Taking clue from Oil & Gas sector, the recent International Energy Agency’s “World Energy Outlook” report suggested that the advent of electric vehicles and more efficient fuel technologies will have a dramatic impact on transportation fuel demand, predominantly petrol and diesel. It is believed that there will be around 300 million electric vehicles on the road by 2040. Automobiles have always been a good predictor of consumer behavior. Analyzing the change in behavior can sometimes give us quicker insights than a long-term energy-modeling exercise would suggest. We can correlate this with Tesla Model 3 sales in the U.S. this year. The Model 3- Fully Electric Car is now more popular than the entry-level luxury offerings of Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz combined.

The World Energy Outlook also predicts that the demand for petrochemicals will grow to replace transport fuel demand. India’s petrochemical sector is one of the fastest growing with CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 8%+ over the last five years. The sector is a key input for an array of vital substances, including plastics, solvents, fertilizers, and pharmaceuticals. The factors that have driven the industry forward include strong GDP growth, changing consumer pattern. India’s per capita consumption stands at 10kg compared to the global average of 30kg, indicating significant headroom for growth.

Diversification from transportation fuels to the production of niche petrochemicals will significantly alter the refineries landscape in India. This will eventually give a boost to a completely new set of industries like development of dedicated plastic parks to a promote cluster approach in the areas of plastic production and plastic recycling, R&D to synthesize a new and advanced class of polymers and alternative feedstock like biomass for 2G Ethanol production as method to produce cleaner fuel. Such auxiliary sectors would require a skillsets which are traditionally different from the existing skillset of refinery sector.

In order to realize these aspirations, it is pertinent to address the people & capability dimension appropriately. From the framework of Mercer Strategic Workforce Planning Model, refiners either have to ‘Buy’ i.e. purchase external talent through increased recruitment cost or ‘Borrow’ i.e. rent talent from contracting agencies or consulting firm. Both these options come with a cost which directly impacts the bottom line of the corporation.

The option which can provide a sustained competitive advantage to organizations is to ‘Build’ the talent i.e. develop talent from within, through increase in training interventions. However, relying heavily on one option would not fetch the desired results, a combination of strategies has to be evolved depending upon the organization demography and the industry context. In this light, one thing which is quite evident is that the oil industry requires reskilling at a massive level.

This fact is also substantiated by the World Economic Forum report on “Future of Jobs, 2018”, which states that 54% of employees of large companies would need to up-skill in order to fully harness these growth opportunities. Without reskilling, only 2% of workers would have an optimal opportunity to transition to new jobs – while 16% would have none at all. A huge reskilling task is required to safeguard workforces from an expected wave of automation brought on by the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab said and I quote, “It is critical that business takes an active role in supporting their existing workforces through reskilling and up-skilling, that individuals take a proactive approach to their own lifelong learning, and that governments create an enabling environment to facilitate this workforce transformation. This is the key challenge of our time” said World Economic Forum

At the individual level, workers will have to engage in lifelong learning. For companies, reskilling and up-skilling strategies will be critical. For policy-makers, reskilling would be essential levers to fuel future economic growth, enhance societal resilience in the face of technological change and pave the way for future-ready education systems for the next generation of workers.

Owing aforesaid, there are two challenges which are coming up apparently and HR has to play a pivotal role. It is an effective HR strategy to balance all the 3 systemic pillars viz ‘Ability Enhancements’, ‘Motivation Enhancement’ and ‘Opportunity Enhancement’. Ability enhancement ensures the right kind of talent with the required competencies joining the organization. It deals with Recruitment & Selection, Learning & Development & Talent Management facets of HR. Motivational Enhancement System ensures the right kind of talent is retained and motivated enough to continuous improvement and it is addressed by managing performance, potential, Rewards & Recognition. The 3rd pillar is an Opportunity Enhancement System which facilitates an employee to reach his peak potential- this can be done through job design, diversity and inclusion, succession planning and career path.

Both Motivation and Opportunity Enhancement Pillars have evolved of late as a result of the strategic role of HR while Ability Enhancement is more of a traditional one. I believe there would be the tectonic change in a way we operate, Ability Enhancement system will again gain prominence with massive reskilling of the existing workforce, hiring talent with a completely new skillset like cybersecurity advisor, environmentalist, IoT(Internet of Things)/AI(Artificial Intelligence) experts etc.

The second conundrum is related to the sphere of Government of India undertakings i.e. all Public Sector Enterprises. India has a mixed economy where both the public and the private sector coexist together. It is imperative for PSEs to change with time and adapt to new technologies to remain competitive in the market.

At the same time, framers of The Constitution envisaged India to be a socialist, a welfare state, which place moral obligation on state to provide livelihood & jobs to its citizens. In a scenario where Automation / Artificial Intelligence is fast replacing humans and private sector embracing it to gain a competitive position in the industry – there is a conundrum, a dichotomy for all Public Sector Enterprises. A clear way forward balancing both the aspect of competitive advantage and employment generation is the need of an hour. It would definitely require clear policy intervention by the government in times to come.

Source: https://www.peoplematters.in/article/trends/upskilling-the-upcoming-trend-20923

How You Can Reach Diversity Without a Hiring Policy

Too many companies strive for an inclusive and diverse culture, but find themselves stuck when it comes to brass tax. Anva , Heuschenadvocate of D&I at Voxbone, has put thoughts to paper. She explains why you shouldn’t implement a hiring policy, and some tips for achieving diversity in your workplace.

Diversity matters. In fact, a more diverse workforce is a smarter workforce. Research has shown time and time again that diversity and inclusion shouldn’t be an empty promise, but a smart business decision. A 2015 McKinsey report found that companies were 35 percent more likely to have financial returns above the industry medians when positioned in the top quartile for ethnic and racial diversity in management, and 15 percent more likely to have returns above the industry medians when in the top quartile for gender diversity. Though, if financial gain isn’t enough incentive, Harvard Business Review points out that diverse teams are more fact-focused, more analytic with those facts, and more innovative.

However, diversity stretches farther than an unlike group of employees. Organizations that extend their diversity into the boardroom, according to Forbes, are more aware, more adaptable and more amenable.

With a plethora of benefits to a diverse environment, we ask, why are so many tech companies falling behind on the diversity curve? While the biggest names in the tech industry are unanimous in their calls for a more diverse workforce, even the most diverse companies are coming up short of the equal opportunity ideal. On a list of the most diverse companies in tech, striving for the top of the list means facing some pretty fierce competition, but it’s not an unachievable goal.

Also Read: 4 Workplace Diversity Trends for 2019

From most to least diverse:

Airbnb (52.5% m, 47.5% f)
eBay (58.1% m, 41.9% f)
LinkedIn (61.9% m, 38.1% f)
Voxbone (65% m, 35% f)
Hewlett-Packard (66.9% m, 33.1% f)
Facebook (71.2% m, 28.8% f)
Google (72.2% m, 27.8% f)
Cisco (74.4% m, 26.6% f)
Microsoft (75.7% m, 24.3% f)
Intel (76.2% m, 23.8% f)

Thirty-five percent of high-tech companies have diversity initiatives in place, but the need for a hiring policy is outdated. Companies can have competitive diversity by hiring the best, most qualified people, without being unconscious of the gender balance in their workforce, management team and board members.

Ideal.com defines diversity hiring as, “[hiring] based on merit with special care taken to ensure procedures are free from biases related to a candidate’s age, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and other personal characteristics that are unrelated to their job performance.”

It’s obvious why simply hiring candidates based on individual merit should always be the case — nature does not distribute talent according to sex, gender, or ethnicity. By leaving out the notions of prejudice, organizations can inherently end up with a more diverse workforce.

Hiring a new candidate shouldn’t be based on an internal hiring policy. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when looking to create a truly diverse workplace without implementing a hiring policy:

Don’t be afraid of working moms
Don’t hesitate to hire women who are at the age where they may want to start a family. Motherhood shouldn’t be seen as a disruptor to business operations. In this day and age, men and women alike can pursue their desire to start a family while continuing to work with minimal interruption. Having an organization inclusive of working parents is important in creating a family-friendly culture that runs throughout the company.

Encourage a healthy work/life balance equally
Employees have a life outside of the office. Encouraging both male and female employees to find a healthy work/life balance will allow them to reduce stress, while still being productive and remaining ambitious in meeting the organization’s objectives.

Hire people based on individual merit
Hiring solely based on race or gender is, by definition, biased. Diversity hiring boils down to bringing in the perfect person for any role, with the right mindset and work ethic to fit into the company’s culture. The focus should be on hiring a candidate based on merit, not to check a box and meet an internal quota.

Be attracted to different
True diversity and inclusion should be taken very seriously. Creating a diverse company culture is not just about gender or race, but also culture, religion, sexual orientation, and nationality. Getting ahead of the curve when it comes to diversity means being inclusive and genuinely interested in people who are different.

For many, the idea that hiring the most qualified, motivated and willing candidate feels unsatisfying, but imposing hiring policies that turn away a perfect fit in the name of diversity hinders the possibility of a truly cohesive organization.

Source: https://www.hrtechnologist.com/articles/diversity/how-you-can-reach-diversity-without-a-hiring-policy/

Why Your Organization’s Future Demands a New Kind of HR

Disruptive forces are sharply changing how we live and work, creating an imperative for enterprises to rapidly adapt. But there are several areas where the pace of change has yet to catch up with the new realities of business. Chief HR officers and their teams must take the lead with agility and sustain exponential value for the future of human resources.

Enterprises are fundamentally shifting with new business models, technologies, and changing expectations of—and by—the workforce. Often, HR teams are left straddling the needs of the legacy organization while planning for the needs of the future.

This creates unprecedented opportunity for HR to play a new and vital role in shaping the way enterprises compete, access talent, and show up in the communities where they operate. Enterprises can compete—and succeed—by changing entire business models in the field, product and services development, sales, production, leadership teams, and back office. And, of course, in the HR suite.

Disruption is creating three key futures that HR must address:

• The future of enterprise
• The future of the workforce
• The future of how work gets done

Enterprise: Disruption in enterprise is being accelerated by a tsunami of data that has increased by more than nine times over the past two years, the shortening life span of S&P 500 companies to an average of a mere 15 years, and the expectations of businesses that are trusted more than governments by people around the world. HR has the opportunity to help the enterprise become a social one, drive innovation and agility through workforce development, and help extend the enterprise with a partnership ecosystem.

Workforce: Disruption is accelerating in the workforce, where the length of careers is increasing to as much as 50 years at the same time that the half-life of skills has diminished to between 2 and 5.5 years. Major shifts are coming with the rapid rise of the open talent economy, in which it is estimated that more than 40 percent of the workforce will be contingent by 2020. HR leaders have an opportunity to build an inclusive workforce with many different skills in talents. They can create new workforce experiences to invigorate teamwork and productivity. HR must also forecast future capabilities and enable continuous learning.

How Work Gets Done: Organizations have yet to understand just how digitization will fundamentally change how humans and their emerging machine coworkers will work together. This will create massive new value for customers and the enterprise, but will also create new roles for workers that we have yet to imagine. HR leaders must re-imagine the work across the enterprise and HR with digitization and automation. HR must leap to a fit-for-purpose HR operating model to suit the enterprise and advance the workplace to enable workforce collaboration.

Many HR leaders have renamed their functions, using terms such as “employee experience,” “people,” and others to signal a shift in brand. Words matter, and this isn’t the first time that the rebranding of “HR” has happened at major inflection points in the history of the function.

Of course, a fresh brand can easily backfire without fundamental changes to the business outcomes driven by HR. The challenges that come with the three futures described above are plentiful. Yet with challenge comes opportunity, and HR has the chance to drive tangible impact as organizations face the futures of enterprise, workforce, and how work gets done.

HR must step into a new future by shifting in four areas:

• Mind-set: The future is calling for new capabilities. HR teams across organizations of all sizes and industries have been steadily growing their capabilities, as Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends report has shown over the past few years. As so many leaders across businesses have discovered, HR leaders also recognize the importance of operating with agility and fluidity across organizations, breaking down silos, and fostering intentional collaboration with a spirit of disrupting old solutions. The digital age demands even further capability of growth for sustained success in the future. The ability and cultural readiness to fail fast but learn faster and continuously innovate new solutions are among the most critical to mastering a new mind-set for the future of HR in order to drive the value that enterprises require. As artificial intelligence, robotics, and cognitive solutions grow in sophistication, the nature and typology of work will continue to change. Organizations must reconsider how they design jobs, organize work, and plan for future growth.

• Focus: Workforce engagement and satisfaction are table stakes. Continued, proactive efforts in employee engagement and satisfaction remain important. Yet success in the future demands broadening the scope to consider engagement and satisfaction of an enterprise’s full workforce in a world where nontraditional employment constructs are exploding. A customer-centric focus in the future of HR requires workforce-centered solutions that apply personalization wisely in a scalable way as part of creating a Simply Irresistible Organization™. The future of HR moves beyond quantitative value and instead focuses on driving tangible, measurable value that is both qualitative and quantitative across the enterprise.

• Lens: High-Impact HR Operating Model at the core. Many leading organizations implemented a High-Impact HR Operating Model by moving toward communities of expertise, business HR, HR operational services, and governance with joint HR and business leaders. These moves are foundational to the future of HR. Yet the future demands re-imagining work, advancing beyond organizational structure shifts, and moving toward continuous improvements in how work gets done in order to meet the constant disruptions to the enterprise. In this new world, the pace of change demands a strong ecosystem of partners to build upon and enable internal capabilities with speed while creating new channels for talent and innovation. Networks of agile teams within HR can advance Communities of Expertise by driving collaboration across all parts of the HR function. The HR operating model of the future increases empowerment of managers and leaders to engage with the workforce and to participate in the curating of a workforce experience that grows skills that leaders anticipate as important to the future of the enterprise. The external ecosystem of customers, suppliers, and the society where enterprises operate is one of important stakeholders and collaborators in the future of HR.

• Enablers: Cloud/SaaS platforms by themselves are not enough. While HR has blazed new trails through its early adoption of cloud platform solutions, automating and enhancing with advanced digital solutions that reshape how work gets done is imperative. Many have begun to apply robotic process automation and even artificial intelligence technologies to traditional HR activities. The introduction of virtual reality, machine learning, and social collaboration can make it possible to truly reinvent rather than only automate. Achieving this is only valuable if it is easy and intuitive for the customers of HR, and is brought together through a unified engagement platform, avoiding a patchwork quilt of solutions―an all-too-easy trap given the temptation to implement individually innovative solutions without a thoughtful, yet iterative, road map.

Change is messy, and there is rarely a straight line to follow from the present to the future. Each HR organization will have a different starting point for the future of HR, and definitions of a successful future will vary. Roadblocks will appear that will force you to take unexpected turns, and it may feel as though your progress is slower than desired at certain points along the way.

Source: https://hbr.org/sponsored/2019/02/why-your-organizations-future-demands-a-new-kind-of-hr

Move over HR: Why tech is taking charge of company culture

Better known for managing hardware and software, CIOs are being given a new task — remaking company culture to cope with an era of massive, rapid change.

ech chiefs could be key to establishing the right business culture for organisations during a period of continuous change, much of which has been created by the digital transformation projects already being spearheaded by the IT department.

Such is the influence of CIOs over people and processes now that tech analyst Gartner estimates digital leaders will be as responsible for culture change as HR bosses within two years.

The analyst suggests that CIOs have the means to create the right kind of business culture through the technology choices they make, and that CIOs have already picked up plenty of experience in leading cultural change as they’ve pushed through digital transformation.

What’s more, it appears CIOs have acquired a bit of a taste for leading change. Elise Olding, research vice president at Gartner, says that many CIOs recognise that the right culture helps to accelerate digital transformation efforts.

That’s something I’ve heard repeatedly through my conversations with CIOs, too. Julie Dodd, director of digital transformation and communication at charity Parkinson’s UK, says successful digital transformation requires a cultural change and an awareness of how technology can be used to help the business meets its objectives quicker.

That doesn’t mean that every CIO-led digital transformation project is a success, either: winning people over about the potential power of IT-led change is from easy. Successful digital transformation projects are really about tweaking the personality of a business — and changing that engrained character is tough.

SEE: 10 ways to communicate more effectively with customers and co-workers (free PDF)

Gartner has also found that to be the case. The tech analyst says 50 percent of transformational initiatives are clear failures, with a culture of resistance to change the main barrier. The analyst’s vice president Christie Struckman says CIOs should start with culture change when they embark on digital transformation, not wait to address it later.

Yet embracing digital change it is not without its challenges. Phil Armstrong, global CIO at finance firm Great-West Lifeco, says using technology as a strategic lever often means re-inventing processes that are working well and that are extremely profitable.

Armstrong says this process of reinvention — using technology like cloud computing and new ways of agile working — is crucial because it ensures the business starts to see the value of staying one step ahead of its competitors. “We’re seeing tremendous change in the attitude towards technology in our organisation,” he says.

“I believe strongly that technology is the business; the blur between tech and business is not just blurring, it’s disappearing. If you don’t recognise that, and start to embrace that change, through things like Agile, DevOps and cloud, then you will be left behind quickly.”

So how to get started? Gartner suggests the best way to make cultural change stick is to start with a small, motivated user group and then showcase the results.

Phil Lewis, director of digital transformation at fashion retailer Boden, is another digital leader who has passed lessons learnt through his IT change programme to the wider business.

Lewis has worked hard at Boden to remove cultural differences between technology and digital. He has helped push agile working methods across the business and created scrum teams for new initiatives that include various elements from within the company, such as development, product and user experience.

The key lesson, says Lewis, is that the broader organisation sees the plus-points that a new way of working brings and then demands similar benefits. “In the same way that it happened in the IT industry in terms of Scrum and Agile, I think people have started to realise that smaller, cross-functional teams can add value in other areas of the business,” he says.

Lewis, therefore, posits a change in perception, one that holds non-IT executives are recognising that digital chiefs have broad expertise that can help change the business for the better. Board members who call on their CIOs for advice on people and processes find new ways to overcome the cultural challenges associated to transformation.

That view resonates with Brad Dowden, interim CIO and director at Intercor Transformations. He says the experience digital leaders have of running transformation programmes definitely leaves them well-placed to advise the rest of the organisation — including HR chiefs — about the best ways to pursue successful culture change initiatives.

“People might be keen on the idea of change, but when they see how the alterations impact their day-to-day roles, they can be less keen. And that’s where CIOs really can help and use their experience to help deliver the right culture for digital transformation,” says Dowden.

He recognises that getting organisations to adopt a forward-looking vision is the biggest challenge digital leaders face. “Technology change is tough but it’s doable — the really hard part is getting people to buy into the cultural change that’s required to deliver business transformation,” says Dowden.

However, to succeed in the role of cultural change makers, CIOs might not want to look to channel the HR chief, but look instead to their marketing and sales peers.

“Ultimately, technology is an enabler for people to succeed — winning hearts and minds is the key, not assuming the responsibility of the HR chief,” says Dowden. “All CIOs need to become a bit more like sales people and have the capability to sell visions to people, including the relationship between technology implementation and cultural change.”

It sometimes feels as if the remit for the CIO continues to expand exponentially. IT leaders who could once focus on buying and implementing systems must now extend their influence far beyond the technology department.

The good news is this expectation to take on new areas —such as operations, procurement, innovation and now culture — means the business has more confidence in the abilities of the CIO than ever before.

People used to joke that the initials CIO stood for ‘Career Is Over’. In reality, the digital leadership role is entering a new period of growth and development. CIOs must embrace this opportunity — the question is how many CIOs are up to this challenge.

Source: https://www.zdnet.com/article/move-over-hr-why-tech-is-taking-charge-of-company-culture/

How to talk about your salary with your coworkers

I recently got a call into the Bossed Up podcast hotline from Nicki. The message she left was a little garbled, but the basic gist is this: her boss was livid with her for discussing her salary at work.

Now, like a true Bossed Up community member, Nicki had negotiated her salary, so her starting hourly rate exceeded some of her colleagues, who were doing the same work for less. So naturally, when her colleagues found this out, they were pretty upset, too.

In this particular case, it just so happens that Nicki wasn’t sharing her salary at work. Her boss was incorrect in her accusation and her coworkers had found out some other way. Regardless, it got Nicki wondering: was there anything explicitly wrong about discussing salary at work, after all? If she had been the one to share her salary, was it fair for her to be reprimanded for it?

Can I talk about salary at work?
In a word: yes. As HR company Insperity put it in a recent blog post:

Can your employees discuss their salaries or wages with their co-workers? Yes. Even if you have a company policy against it? Yes.

Turns out, the freedom to discuss your salary at work is a protected right under federal labor law. The National Labor Relations Act of 1935 protects your right to discuss the conditions of your employment, including issues related to safety and pay, even when you’re not protected by a union.

The act was intended to protect collective bargaining activities like finding out what your colleagues are making, so you’ll have a stronger case for negotiating your own pay.

In fact, companies that have policies on the books forbidding such discussions risk getting it trouble with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), an independent federal agency that exists to protect the rights of private sector employees. In 2014, President Barack Obama took executive action to bring added visibility to this issue and formally forbid pay secrecy policies amongst federal contractors as well.

Why talk salary with coworkers?
Talking about salary with colleagues can be uncomfortable, since there’s such a taboo about discussing money matters, but it’s an important step towards achieving equal pay for equal work. Until pay transparency becomes the norm, we can help each other out by sharing what we’re making with our colleagues to more easily spot discrepancies and discrimination.

One barrier, however, stems from how we think of our own financial worth. Too many people I talk to wrongly consider their salary a reflection of their inherent worthiness, a statement about their skills, experience, or value. I’m tempted to shout, “It’s not about you! It’s about market economics! It’s about the position you’re in!” At the end of the day, if we can all detach our self-worth from our salaries a bit more, it’ll become easier to talk turkey with our colleagues.

Because the more secrecy swirls around our compensation conversations, the less power we all have as individual workers. Knowledge is power. So when we can talk honestly about pay with colleagues – especially our white male colleagues who may benefit from privileges they’re not even aware of – the more we can identify wage discrimination when it’s happening to us.

Ok, but how do I talk about salary?
Asking about money outright can be tough, so one trick I’ve picked up along the way is to ask for your colleagues to confirm or deny. For instance, you might volunteer your salary first and ask “Does that sound about right to you?” by way of comparison.

Or, let’s say you’re interviewing for a promotion to become a manager. You might ask a fellow manager about the kind of salary you should expect by saying, “I’m seeing salaries for this kind of position ranging from $65,000 to $70,000 – does that seem accurate to you?”

This way, even if your colleague isn’t comfortable sharing their salary outright, they can help you identify if your expectations are on point or way off.

Source: https://www.theladders.com/career-advice/how-to-talk-about-your-salary-with-your-coworkers

How to Motivate Your Workforce for Learning and Development

Whether you’re a business owner, HR, or L&D professional, encouraging your workforce to learn and develop new skills is a must for business growth. Here are six ways to motivate your workforce for learning and development

No matter your business size, your workforce should be ready for capturing the skills shifts in the market. While only 29% of the U.S. workforce is engaged at work, employee motivation leads to the positive growth of the company. Thus, motivating your employees for learning and development is a way to not only prepare the workforce for changes that may occur in the modern economy but also reduce employee turnover.

Check out six proven ways to motivate your workforce for learning and development:

1. Create a Positive Work Environment
Since the majority of people spend 1/3 of their lives working, being happy at work is an important element of overall well-being. Job satisfaction affects employees’ motivation, so HR specialists should create a positive work environment. It is not just about the office design and up-to-date gadgets; it’s also about relationships between workers and employers, career growth opportunities, and inspiration.

When it comes to office work environment, it’s easy to take care of office stuff and design, organize workplaces, supply snacks, and provide workers with feedback face-to-face. However, things are different when people work out of the office. One of the most important changes in the workforce’s digital transformation is that 70% of people around the globe work remotely at least once every week. Thus, it’s also important to ensure your workers stay productive and motivated, so you need to teach them how to increase brainpower at the workplace.

Working in a positive environment, employees are motivated to achieve career goals, so they are more likely to dedicate themselves to learning and development.

2. Discuss and Create a Development Plan
No matter how good an employee is, he or she needs to have a clear direction on how to improve skills, and therefore advance the career. Thus, the majority of workers seek out feedback, so discussing personal career growth is a way to get a better understanding of necessary knowledge and skills. Moreover, it motivates employees for learning and development.

Having a plan is not just a step-by-step guide for personal growth but also an important element of a successful employee development strategy.

Since workers need to have quick access to the document to track achievements and measure progress, it’s a good idea to use the cloud for file storage. Living in the digital era, people are pressed for time, so they don’t waste a minute: keeping files online is a proven way to work on them wherever you are. What is more, it’s also a way to work on the process once an employee is motivated.

3. Reward Employees’ Enthusiasm
One of the most difficult tasks for employers and managers is keeping employees motivated. While most workers start a new job full of enthusiasm, they lose motivation with time. Thus, it’s important to nurture positive relationships with employees with the help of reward systems.

If you wonder whether your business can afford to implement ongoing recognition programs, you may need math help to ask for complex financial calculations, and therefore estimate your potential investment. However, it’s also important to remember that employees crave recognition, and it’s not about good pay and bonuses. All in all, it means you have cost-effective ways to reward employees’ enthusiasm. To motivate your workforce for L&D initiatives, your company can offer education-funding programs: training courses, business conferences, or industry events.

4. Encourage Workforce Collaboration
When it comes to the hiring process, employers want to find the best staff. Although all your employees are good at their job duties, they can learn from each other to improve skills and obtain knowledge. Moreover, workforce collaboration is good for team building, and it is a key to business success.

For example, it’s a good tactic to ask experienced workers to help new colleagues during the first weeks at work. Not only will it help new employees feel welcome, it will also make workers feel valued. Moreover, 38% more employees who experience effective onboarding are confident in their ability to do their jobs.

5. Provide Mentoring Programs
Both new and experienced employees need mentors to achieve career success faster. According to the 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey, 83% of workers are satisfied with mentoring, 91% believe their mentors are interested in their personal development, and 94% claim that mentors provide good advice. All in all, it means employees find mentoring programs effective and motivating. Moreover, there are many ways to make the most out of mentoring programs without spending much time or effort. AI has transformed learning and development: virtual mentoring is a new way to track learner’s progress and send feedback online.

6. Promote E-Learning
To motivate your staff for learning and developing, it’s important to prove that the process won’t take much time. Unlike offline educational events, e-learning allows people to schedule their time for studying. What is more, it’s easy to study at a desk or table which means people can learn on the go.

At the same time, it’s important to make sure the format of online courses is interesting and engaging for your workers. For example, people perceive video content better these days, so it’s no wonder that 98% of organizations would implement video as part of their digital learning strategy by 2022. With a variety of e-learning tools on the market, it’s easy to train even if they work remotely.

In a Word
While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to motivating your workforce for learning and development, finding out ways that work best for your workers is a must if you crave for business growth. With the impact of digital technologies on the workforce, modern L&D strategies allow employees to obtain knowledge without spending much time and effort. Thus, it’s important to keep up with the trends and motivate workforce for learning and development in an interesting and engaging way.

6. Promote E-Learning
To motivate your staff for learning and developing, it’s important to prove that the process won’t take much time. Unlike offline educational events, e-learning allows people to schedule their time for studying. What is more, it’s easy to study at a desk or table which means people can learn on the go.

At the same time, it’s important to make sure the format of online courses is interesting and engaging for your workers. For example, people perceive video content better these days, so it’s no wonder that 98% of organizations would implement video as part of their digital learning strategy by 2022. With a variety of e-learning tools on the market, it’s easy to train even if they work remotely.

In a Word
While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to motivating your workforce for learning and development, finding out ways that work best for your workers is a must if you crave for business growth. With the impact of digital technologies on the workforce, modern L&D strategies allow employees to obtain knowledge without spending much time and effort. Thus, it’s important to keep up with the trends and motivate workforce for learning and development in an interesting and engaging way.

Source: https://www.hrtechnologist.com/articles/learning-development/how-to-motivate-your-workforce-for-learning-and-development/

How to Attract and Retain Digital Talent

Jo Deal, LogMeIn’s Chief Human Resources Officer, shares the best practices to attract top digital talent and explains why creating a frictionless work environment, built around your employees, is the key to winning in today’s highly competitive market.

With a competitive labor market and more pressure than ever to win the ongoing war for talent, attracting employees requires new thinking. Companies are fighting over skilled workers, trying to catch their attention with what some consider “table stakes” perks like office baristas and free spin classes. However, perks are not a substitute for creating a strong culture, one with good open communication channels, a focus on employee engagement and clear alignment of job to business outcome. I am a coffee junkie so having a coffee bar in our office is one of my favorite treats, but cold brew alone cannot create a great place to work. Creating a frictionless work environment, built around your talent, so that your employees feel supported, motivated and engaged on a day-to-day basis, that is the key to winning in this market.

Showcasing your culture to candidates is a big part of successful recruiting, making sure they can see inside the walls to what life@yourcompany is really like. Finding smart ways to highlight your brand with authentic insights, stories straight from the mouths of other employees all delivered through easily digestible bites on mobile apps and impactful career sites. Successful recruiters focus on the candidate experience from the very first interaction and treat the journey like a customer lifecycle, thinking carefully about the connection points along the way. Getting this part right can make all the difference in catching the interest of an in-demand highly skilled candidate who has multiple job options available to them.

Hiring is just the beginning. Employees’ alternative career choices don’t cease to exist the minute they take a new job. With such a favorable market, people can consider quitting a new job within a few months and moving onto a new one with none of the judgment or consequences you might have expected even just a few years ago. It is a dangerous move to assume your team is settled and happy once they are on board. A leader once told me “you need to re-recruit your best employees every day” and he was right. Retaining talent has to be front of mind for every manager if you want to meet your business goals; engagement = productivity = greater corporate success.

If the goal is a productive engaged employee who feels valued and rewarded, there are many talent programs that need to be in place to ensure that can happen, from reward and benefit programs, recognition platforms and engagement surveys and pulse tools. Additionally, leadership and strong employee communications both have a big role to play in setting out strategy and linking teams and individuals’ work to the bigger picture, so each of us can understand what we are expected to do and how it fits into the overall picture of company success.

These are all critical, complex pieces of the engagement puzzle, and most HR leaders I know spend a lot of time thinking about these. I am a fan of focusing on the big rocks, one or two things that can really have an impact. However, I think the secret sauce may include spending a little time thinking about the multitude of little distractions that get in the way of everyday life and everyday work and put friction into the workplace. How to go about taking those little problems off the table?

Consider these interesting points from a recent Guardian Workplace benefits Study:

2 in 3 employers are now more digital than paper-based in managing their benefits and HR programs
3 in 5 millennials wish it were easier to learn about and access their workplace benefits
42% of millennials and 26% of baby boomers use artificial intelligence, such as their Alexa or Google Home device to ask benefits or health-related questions.

Now consider the fact that we are operating in a time when employees have smart devices accessible to them all the time, with recommendation engines that suggest what to shop for, and apps like Siri that help provide answers to day to day questions. There is an abundance of technology that makes for a personalized and easier experience in multiple aspects of life.

Why wouldn’t employees look for the same personalized, digital, easy experience at work?

The tech companies I have worked at have been investing in making life easier for a while now, starting with the little things – dry cleaning drop off at work, on-site dental cleaning or eye exams, even on-site bike repair services, and car refueling. Reducing the time we need to spend on personal tasks naturally frees up more time to put into work or hobbies or family.

It is time to up that investment and think about digital solutions within the workplace to make work life easier, not only creating more time but also a more enjoyable, easier work environment.

We began at LogMeIn with streamlining IT support services. We’ve all had that moment when our computer won’t cooperate and of course, it always comes at an inconvenient time, 5 minutes before a presentation is due or in the evening when there is nobody around to help. Putting a ticket into the helpdesk is fine but doesn’t guarantee a quick fix. This sort of frustration affects how employees feel about their company and feed into dissatisfaction. With slow support response time being one of the top end-user pain points (60% of users say the help desk interaction took too long and frequently didn’t solve the problem), companies need to invest in self-service tools. Time is a precious commodity in all of our lives and real-time, tailored answers that we can search out for ourselves can alleviate the frustration that comes from time wasted.

Self-service applications are a great first step, but purpose-built employee self-service tools can be a game changer, making it easier for employees to get the right first time answers. This is not just applicable to IT support, where we launched a chatbot 24/7 support service. We then took the premise and applied it within HR. How could we best help provide answers to frequently asked questions, whether related to benefits or company holiday schedules or policy information? Much of our HR information is traditionally stored across apps, documents, and websites and designing a layout that works for 3500 different employees in 15 countries who all search and pose questions in different ways inevitably means multiple employees’ searches will result in frustration. We decided to use AI to redefine what service looks like, creating a frictionless experience for our employees and resulting in quicker, more accurate answers and ultimately more satisfaction.

By reimagining the employee experience and focusing on the little points of friction, we built up a collection of little solutions that amount to a significant “big rock” improvement in how we manage all our tasks at work and aim to provide a friction-free, supportive and engaging place to work.

These tips represent a shift toward a truly employee-centric support system that will ultimately help you attract and retain digital talent by changing your workforce’s day-to-day life for the better. Putting employees at the core of any business is not just about perks or talking the talk – it’s about prioritizing the employee experience and making work life easier. What you do with that freed up time is up to you, though I highly suggest grabbing a latte and a chat with your colleagues.

Source: https://www.hrtechnologist.com/articles/employee-engagement/how-to-attract-and-retain-digital-talent/

Succession Planning: It’s A Marathon, Not A Sprint

The focus on financial advisory succession planning is at a fever pitch as many firms begin to think about the next generation of their business. From my experience, succession planning takes a long time and should not be rushed.

Our firm’s founder set course in 2012 with a goal of “Having the firm perpetuate past [his tenure] with the purpose of sustaining a business that will continue to serve clients for generations to come.”

Valley National Financial Advisors (VNFA), like many independent firms, was founded as a solo entrepreneurial business that grew over the decades to function as a collection of siloed advisory practices loosely collected under one name. Without a firm brand, shared client relationships or strategic firm-wide goals, the challenge to “perpetuate” that original vision was not going to be easy.

Our firm’s succession plan had to focus on more than coordinating a simple passing of the baton. It required strategy in four key areas: Equity succession with proper corporate governance, operational management, financial advisory/client succession and brand development.

Build an operations and management structure.

When I came on as COO in 2012 and was tasked with implementing a succession plan, our founder was not only the owner but also President, Chief Compliance Officer and managing the largest client practice. This was something that needed to be restructured in order to break down the siloed model and institute a business plan that includes working together and sharing resources under the supervision of a dedicated management team.

I hired people to manage underserved aspects of our operations, promoted peak performers to help serve clients and implemented new technologies (including modern CRM, portfolio reporting and rebalancing) to spark an evolution of our workplace culture. As a result, our advisors could spend more time with clients and on business development — not an overnight undertaking. Finding the right people, convincing the existing team of the positives of change, and the actual rollout of some of these initiatives all took time.

Establish client and advisory practice succession.

The main challenge for VNFA was figuring out how to develop next-generation advisors who senior advisors would trust to perpetuate their client relationships. Again, we took the long-term view and carefully built a desirable succession strategy. We began to recruit two new college graduates each year as part of our Entry Level Professional (ELP) program. These new employees would rotate through our advisory business and learn “our way” of working — from the ground up.

As these ELPs developed to take on some junior advisory work, existing junior advisors could be promoted to full-time advisory roles. In a matter of two years, we went from four full-time advisors to eight. Each newly promoted advisor was given a segment of clients to manage. The senior advisors took the time to integrate these individuals into their client service patterns until there was no question that clients were comfortable and confident in the succession. (This part actually happened faster than we anticipated.)

These transitions had a tremendous impact by increasing capacity and, thus, business development. This also shifted our culture to make room for shared goals and firm-wide strategic initiatives. We continue to replicate this model, with the goal of having 12 full-time advisors by 2021.

Structure ownership succession.

For our founder, it was a simple idea: He wanted to set up a passive ownership model that would ensure the firm would perpetuate according to his original vision and mission. This simple idea was actually an intricately constructed three-part plan. First, a trust was created to hold all the controlling shares for the company upon his passing, ensuring that the shares would be protected from firm-wide monetization or liquidation, which would not benefit the client’s interests. Second, a board of directors was created to oversee and provide corporate governance for the operating business. Third, he transferred operational responsibility of VNFA to a new CEO — me.

Now he serves as chairman of the board and spends his days working with his clients. In the end, our firm is designed to operate more like a privately held business versus a partnership or multiple-owner model. The obvious hurdle this creates is incentivizing and retaining our talented team without direct ownership. Over the past year, we have created unique compensation incentives for next-generation management and senior advisors that echo equity ownership. This is designed to create a solid passive/active ownership model for the next generation and keep key leaders focused on the clients.

Establish branding and marketing strategies.

When a founder decides it is time to transition or exit the business, no one person is able to fill that void. We developed a brand based on the founder’s core values and mission as a foundation for the long-term. With that brand to stand on, we have encouraged advisors to develop and publish thought leadership so that clients and the community would learn to know, like and trust the people representing that brand. This collaborative approach has helped our clients understand the importance of succession and how it will sustain their relationship with our firm.

Part of our brand is that we are and will remain a local and independent firm. So, we participate in our local and regional community. That meant that when our firm celebrated 30 years in business, we celebrated with our community. The goal was to tell our succession story to the community and solidify client confidence that, although things change over time, we will continue our promise to always put the client first in everything we do.

Your story is going to be different. We, by our nature as advisors, help our clients plan, and they rely on us for generational advice. We should be doing the same and ensuring that this advice will continue. If you are not planning for succession, you are not fulfilling your fiduciary obligation to your clients and their families. Be patient, and take it one step at a time. After all, the strategies for succession I have outlined in this article have been progressing for seven years.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesfinancecouncil/2019/02/13/succession-planning-its-a-marathon-not-a-sprint/#103209817e77

2019 Employee Engagement Trends

Last week BI Worldwide published the Employee Engagement trends that will impact programs this calendar year. The results rectify program initiatives that continue to entice participation. There are also a few new trends that are taking intrigue to an elevated strategic level.

The Impact of Employee Recognition on Mental Health
As an educator of College aged people and a spouse to one who works in the Mental Health profession, I am ever-encouraged by the sea change in the support over the last decade. Stigmas are being lifted and transparency has opened up with generous resolve. The corporate world is listening….

Wellness programming has extended from step counts to mental and spiritual support.
Flexible work and less-confined workplace structure is an expectation.
Coaching has evolved beyond tactical work application to individual development.
Every organization is a collective made up of ambitious individuals. Employees now expect to have the opportunity to self-select their career path. Companies can no longer fear that the knowledge they provide will be taken elsewhere. If your organizational culture rocks and you have programs to support development, your people will grow together to create something completely unique.

Integration Makes for a Better User Experience
Employee Recognition programs exist in 3 functions: user experience, management tools and leadership insight. Without adoption, engagement is impossible.

It seems elementary but if programs are not easy to access and simple to use, your platform will gather dust.

Employee Recognition evolves into Employee Engagement when recognition is integrated with Learning Management, Performance Management, Customer Relationship Management and Collaboration. You have the opportunity to create a consolidated entry point to all the aforementioned programs.

With the proper programming, Human Resources is the organizational tunnel to development.

Think Beyond your Sandbox
Where technical integration makes for a better user experience, vendor consolidation saves money, speeds up the legal process and strengthens HR’s strong hold on internal branding.

An organization’s Employee Value Proposition (EVP) encompasses six strategic functions:

Compensation & Benefits
Work Content
Rewards and Recognition
Limiting Employee Recognition to peer-to-peer and manager discretionary functions covers less than 1/6th of your all-encompassing EVP.

Great organization’s expect their vendors to partner with them from behind the curtain. Programs should be completely unique to organizational culture and far reaching to address all areas of the aforementioned EVP.

Outstanding organizations are not dubbed so due to a survey.

We are called upon to use technology as the backbone of Employee Engagement and to humanize program development in a language that only our employees understand. It’s hard work but the effort of consolidation, integration and amplification across the organization will streamline focus and save your company millions.

I don’t believe I’ve ever been more excited about the potential realized in the work we do together. Call it Employee Recognition, Employee Engagement, Employee Experience or Ninja Training…. Human Resources are now the unavoidable strategic organizational element that the title deserves.

Don’t Forget to Remember,


Source: https://blog.shrm.org/blog/2019-employee-engagement-trends