Quantum Engagement: Effective Engagement

There is a constant stream of articles on the topic of engagement. All of them, of course, include a variety of suggestions on ways to increase employee engagement, ranging from more recognition to better benefits and everything in-between. While these suggestions are certainly well-meaning, they are, on the whole, not very effective. A quick look at the level of employee engagement from a survey conducted by Silk Road in 2013 titled Creating a High-Performance Work Environment: Energizing Your Employees for Business Success shows that only 14% of managers said that they had not experienced low engagement in their companies. This means that 86% of organizations are dealing with disengaged or detached employees to some extent!

In his 2012 article titled High Levels of Employee Disengagement and Underengagement, Torben Rick pointed out that, “According to a recent survey on employee engagement in the US workforce from Modern Survey, it seems that only 10% of US employees feel they are fully engaged in the company they work for. 24% are ‘moderately engaged’, 30% feel they are ‘disengaged’ and a staggering 37% are ‘under-engaged’ ”.

Obviously, despite all the well-meaning articles touting a plethora of ways to increase employee engagement, not much seems to be working. In response to the obvious question, “Why not?” I maintain that these initiatives are not effective because they are not aligned with the way the world works. Instead, they are the product of an outdated Newtonian paradigm that regards the world (and everything in it) as a machine with, of course, the machine-like characteristics of rigidity, predictability, and certainty, where linear logic prevails. Using this model, engagement is a program initiated by management in a top-down manner in an effort to ‘drive’ engagement. No wonder they have had little success!

To be fair, some of the current efforts at increasing employee engagement use some of the techniques described below; however, they are used in a piecemeal manner within the context of the Newtonian paradigm, which renders them ineffective.

I think that if we update our conceptual model of the way the world works to a modern one based on quantum physics, we will be much more successful at engaging our workforce. Rather than viewing the world as a vast, impersonal machine, the Quantum model conceptualizes the world and most things in it as living entities. This would, of course, include organizations.

This brave new world has some very interesting and exciting characteristics! For example, it is a participative one that reveals itself only when we interact with it. Since it must be experienced up close and hands-on, the people and their environment are not separate; rather, they are but two sides of the same coin. Relationships are paramount, structures are fluid and logic is non-linear.

So, how does this apply to employee engagement?
In a world that places tremendous importance on relationships, it is crucial to ensure that the employees’ relationships in the workplace, e.g. teams, networks, are positive and numerous. The more positive the employees’ relationships are, the more employees are, and feel they are, a part of the organization and are able to contribute effectively to it. It is this combination of the efficacy of their efforts and the bonding with their fellow employees (including their supervisor) that evokes the discretionary effort that is the essence of engagement.

Of all the relationships that an employee will have in an organization, the crucial one is that between a supervisor and his/her direct reports. A trusting, healthy, positive relationship here will do more to create and increase employee engagement than anything else. For a more fulsome account of how to establish and foster this critically important relationship, please refer to Improving Employee Performance: The 6 Conversations Every Manager Should Have. by M. Zroback.

Since employees interact with their corporate environment, i.e. the corporate environment affects them and vice versa, two critical issues that bear upon engagement become immediately apparent. Firstly, the corporate culture must be ‘people-friendly’, i.e. welcoming, civil, friendly, supportive, offering opportunities to contribute, bringing out the best in employees, etc. This could include, but is not limited to, such things as policies on how employees treat each other, customers, clients, stakeholders, etc., and providing effective EAP programs, regular training, periodic company updates, opportunities for stretch assignments, flexible working hours, the opportunity to work remotely, etc. Anyone who has or is still working in an organization has likely experienced some or even most of these initiatives designed to create and maintain a civil, healthy employee-oriented culture.

Secondly, the organization needs to select employees who will not only produce excellent work, but also will fit into the corporate culture and contribute to it in a positive manner. This means selecting employees who epitomize the values espoused by the corporation, who are inspired by its vision and identify with its mission. These employees will use their personal attributes to strengthen the corporate culture, and will take full advantage of the opportunities offered by the company to increase their knowledge and skills, thereby increasing their ability to contribute to the organization and increase its value in a virtuous upward spiral. Again, many people who have worked or are continuing to work have likely experienced this situation.

The quantum world is a participative one; consequently, engagement can be enhanced by enabling and encouraging employees to participate in such things as determining their role and how to fulfill it, deciding how their work is done and evaluated, figuring out what they can do to help the organization attain its goals, determining their own goals, assisting with strategic planning, creating and sustaining the corporate culture, etc. The magic of participation is that management doesn’t need to ‘sell’ anything to the employees or get their ‘buy in’. Once they have participated in a process, they own it and will, of course, support it. And it will stick! Lucky is the employee who can work in this type of corporate environment. Unfortunately, this is all too rare.

So, what techniques can be used to increase engagement?
Not surprisingly, engagement can be greatly increased by using the organizational change methods based on the quantum paradigm. This is possible since these methods use employee participation, relationship building and communication as vital components of their methodology. My own experience in using the participatory methods of the Institute for Cultural Affairs and in experiencing such other modern techniques such as Appreciative Inquiry, Future Search and the Solutions Focus attest to their effectiveness. I have never seen a room full of employees (including senior executives and board members) so energized as when participating in one of these techniques!

However, don’t take my word for it, try it for yourself. Develop an employee-friendly organizational environment, maximize the quality and quantity of employee relationships, foster employee participation, and watch employee engagement dramatically improve!

Source: https://www.hr.com/en/magazines/recognition_engagement_excellence_essentials/december_2019_rewards_recognition_employee_engagement/quantum-engagement-effective-engagement_k3ylzbhp.html

Management as a Liberal Art is The Key to Success

If you’ve read my articles on MLA concerning Peter Drucker’s insights and theories, the practical courses at McGill University in Canada developed and taught by Professor Henry Mintzberg, the work promoting and introducing the MLA concept as an ethical and socially responsible philosophy from Joseph Maciariello and others you already know of the power of MLA in business management, but the fact is that MLA is amazingly powerful for success in many fields and was used by Einstein in developing the Theory of Relativity, Steve Jobs in producing the personal computer, military leaders over the millennia and is how politicians including both Obama and Trump win elections against impossible odds. Jack Welch, given the title of Manager of the Century by Fortune Magazine, used it in winning the largest retirement package ever awarded – $417 million dollars when he retired from GE.

Jack Welch Wins $417 million by Abandoning Profitable Businesses

21 years of hard work and smarts made Welch GE’s youngest Chairman and CEO in 1981.During the next nine years at the head of GE, Welch increase GE’s value an amazing 4000%. He did not accomplish this by quantitative analysis seeking maximum profitability. Helped by Peter Drucker’s advice as a consultant, he used MLA theory instead and abandoned GE-owned companies, even if they were profitable, if they were not No. 1 or No. 2 in their market and there was little chance of their attaining that position. In this way he had the financial, personnel and other resources available to deploy these resources where they could be most effective for growth and bring the greatest return on his investment. Other companies seeking to grow simply by analysis seeking greater profitability lay stagnant and floundered. They inevitably lacked the resources for further growth. Welch and Drucker both realized that to grow, resources had to be available and utilized. Welch took the resources from areas that were less productive in building business and moved them where they would be more productive. Drucker called this abandonment theory.

The Most Decisive Battle in the History was Won by the Smallest Army

Hannibal was a Carthaginian General who lived 2000 years ago during the period that the Roman Republic emerged as the world’s superpower after conquering all of Italy, building a superior navy, and conquering and controlling other countries around the Mediterranean. Carthage was where Tunisia is today on the northeast coast of Africa and refused to submit. You may have heard about Hannibal crossing the Alps with his army while bringing across war elephants from Africa at the same time, thus avoiding the superior Roman navy. Having recovered from earlier losses against Hannibal, the Roman superpower decided to get rid of the upstart Carthaginian once and for all, with a mostly Roman Army numbering about 80,000, although some historians say as many as 100,000 troops. Hannibal had about half that number and a much higher percentage from different African countries with different customs, different arms, and tactical methods. Even modern commanders will tell you that a high percentage of allies can make command, control, and coordination of the entire army more difficult. When we consider that Hannibal was also in his enemy’s country, a simple numerical analysis would have suggested a withdrawal to fight another day. Instead, Hannibal attacked. Overcoming the Roman cavalry at the rear of the Roman’s formation, he encouraged the Roman infantry to advance against his weak center as the weaker Carthaginian center executed a controlled retreat. This huge attacking Roman force was encircled by the strong African tribes he had placed on either flank, while his cavalry attacked from the rear. Completely surrounded, the Roman army, could not maneuver and crowed together could not wield their weapons. They were trapped and slaughtered. The loss of life on the Roman side was one of the most lethal single day’s fighting in history; 80% of the larger Roman army was left dead on the battlefield. The main factor in Hannibal’s victory was his leadership of diverse units and his strategy made Roman strength a weakness, as once encircled, they were trapped. Roman numerical superiority was made irrelevant. Applied MLA!

Degreeless, Steve Jobs Builds a Multi-Billion Dollar Company

Steve Jobs had an unusual background for building aa major corporation and becoming the prime mover behind a multibillion-dollar industry. Adopted, he even referred to his biological parents as his “sperm and egg bank.” Jobs was a difficult child, and at first his parents thought that they had made a mistake in adopting him. Neither had gone to college. He entered college but left during his first year. His adoptive father defended him on leaving, blaming the college for not sufficiently challenging his brilliant son. Jobs went off to India and became a Zen Buddhist. Although gaining a love of mechanics from his father and practical knowledge of electronics through the friendship of engineers living near his home in silicon valley, it was not he that built or invented the Apple Computer, but rather it was his friend, Steve Wozniak who had earlier given Jobs a computer board which Wozniak had designed. This gift got Jobs hired as a technician by Atari and was typical of other accomplishments for which Jobs was given the credit. It wasn’t that Jobs wasn’t brilliant, he was, and if he didn’t practice certain ethical standards Drucker insisted was a part of MLA, he had a genius for understanding persuasion and motivation. If he lacked the ability to invent things on his own, he seemed to be able to get others to create ideas that he visualized. When he grew Apple company to the size that it needed a top executive with Fortune 500 marketing experience, the 20 something Jobs persuaded the far more experienced and older John Sculley, President of Pepsi Cola to become CEO of Apple with the line “Do you want to keep selling sugar-sweetened water, or do you want to change the world?” During Sculley’s 10-year tenure running Apple, sales went from $800 million to $8 billion. After Sculley left the company, Jobs who was forced out of the company earlier eventually returned and became CEO as Apple introduced and sold the iPhone, iPad, and other revolutionary and successful products.

Developing Scientific Theories while Working as a Patent Office Clerk

Many consider Albert Einstein to be one of the greatest geniuses of all time. He was a theoretical physicist. Among his accomplishments were the theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics and the mass–energy equivalence formula E=mc², which has been called “the world’s most famous equation” by those in the business. Many stories about Einstein are told to this day. For example, one story is that he was a poor student in math, one time given a grade of “F” for the year. That’s false. The truth is his school had changed the grading system so that a numerical grade of “1” corresponded to a grade of “F” rather than “A” as it had formerly. However, one legendary tale is true. As a Jew his options were limited. The only job he could get with his new PhD was as a clerk in the Swiss Patent Office in Bern. Neither computers, grad assistants, nor other facilities for research were provided. It didn’t stop Einstein. He used inductive reasoning based on something observed rather than use of a hypothesis to be proved or disproved as taught in most research schools. While working at the patent office, Einstein did some of the most creative work of his life, producing no fewer than four groundbreaking articles in one year alone.

In his first paper that year, he applied the quantum theory to light which explained the phenomenon known as the photoelectric effect, by which a material will emit electrically charged particles when struck by light. In his next article that year he gave experimental proof of the existence of atoms.

In Einstein’s third and most famous article that year, he explained the apparent contradiction between two principal theories of physics: Isaac Newton’s concepts of absolute space and time and James Clerk Maxwell’s concept that the speed of light was a constant. To do this, Einstein introduced his famous theory of relativity, which explained that the laws of physics are the same at constant speeds relative to each other, and that the speed of light is a constant in all inertial frames, He didn’t use a real observation. Instead, he used his imagination and saw himself standing next to a moving beam of light in his mind and reasoned the results. Finally, in that year of 1905, he published his paper on the fundamental relationship between mass and energy, concepts viewed previously as completely separate. The famous equation which Einstein came up with was E equals mc² where the first letter E stood for energy, m for mass and c represented the speed of light. Both his Theory of Relativity, and E=mc² were derived not in a scientific laboratory from computer calculations or mathematical analysis, but through right-brained, MLA – thinking. The Swiss Patent Office was never the same. And you will as amazed as Drucker and Mintzberg if you apply MLA right-brained thinking to your management decision-making.

Source: https://www.hrexchangenetwork.com/shared-services/columns/management-as-a-liberal-art-is-the-key-to-success

10 Signs It’s Time To Consider A New Career Path

Do you spend your morning commute fantasizing that this is the day you’ll finally quit your job? The first question is whether it’s the company, the job itself, or where you are in your life that you hate. Could you be happy doing your job at another organization? If you conclude that your current career will continue to leave you feeling depleted and unfulfilled, then it’s time to explore a new direction.

These ten signs will help you decide whether it’s time to consider a new career path:

1. Your health is declining
Is your job killing you—literally? In the U.S., 120,000 deaths a year could be attributed to work environments, according to Jeffrey Pfeffer’s book, Dying for a Paycheck. Maybe you’re stuck in the office working insanely long hours, having no downtime to eat properly or exercise. When your health is on the line, that’s an unmistakable signal that it’s time to make a change.

2. You’re not feeling challenged
Does it ever feel like you’re just coasting through the workday? Is your manager giving you projects that you could do in your sleep? Looking back over the past year, can you think of at least three enjoyable and demanding assignments that you completed at work? If not, do you really want to waste another year in a job where you feel stagnant? When your career has switched to autopilot, and you’re no longer learning or growing, it might be time to find another path.

3. Your relationships are suffering
Are you a workaholic spending 80 hours in the office each week? Do your wife and kids complain that they never see you anymore? Maybe the family dog barely even recognizes you these days. If your career is sucking the life out of you, chances are you’re miserable, and it’s affecting the people around you. That’s a definite sign to seek out other career options.

Today In: Leadership
4. You can’t be authentic at work
According to Mike Robbins, the author of Bring Your Whole Self to Work, “bringing our whole selves to work means showing up authentically, leading with humility, and remembering that we’re all vulnerable, imperfect human beings doing the best we can. It’s also about having the courage to take risks, speak up, ask for help, connect with others in a genuine way, and allow ourselves to be truly seen.” Does that sound like your work environment? If you feel like you’re wasting your time trying to fit in or play corporate politics, it may be time to consider a new career path.

Source : https://www.forbes.com/sites/carolinecastrillon/2020/12/29/10-signs-its-time-to-consider-a-new-career-path/?ss=leadership-strategy#7afce36a3020

The Paradox of Unlearning to Optimize Performance and Drive Productivity

When I present in front a group of Human Resources (HR) and business professionals from Atrium Health HR team meetings to large national conferences, I always start with the same slide quoting Wayne Gretzky: “ I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” This quote was in answer to a journalist’s question, “Wayne, what is making you the greatest of all time?” Being a sports fan has nothing to do with loving this quote so much (well, maybe a little). To me, the difference between good and great is the capacity to anticipate and take the right actions based on the assumptions.

In this digital world where enterprises are adapting to not only significant changes in the market, but also experiencing a dramatic acceleration in those business deviations, the capacity to be proactive truly determines the have and have nots of the business world.

That said, a new skill is becoming vital to all, not just HR professionals. The capacity to unlearn.

What Will I Unlearn Today?
The idea to come to work every day and ask yourself, “What will I unlearn today?” is quite new and very unnatural. The Oxford Dictionary defines it as “unlearning: discard (something learned, especially a bad habit or false or outdated information) from one’s memory.”

This concept can be taken in every aspect of personal and professional life. How can one truly advance if you’re not willing to acknowledge that what brought you where you are today might not be the best way to keep you going optimally where you want to go? How can one truly adapt to an extremely fast evolving world with rapid technological innovations, generational trends and challenges never faced before if you’re not willing to deconstruct what made you successful in the past? When “transformation,” “evolution” and “disruption” are the business world new buzzwords, it is sending a powerful message that the capacity to unlearn will become crucial to the fruitful future of any companies. This is the foundation of a Learning Organization.

Now, the challenge resides in the fact that it is contrary from how humans are wired from a young age! For example, “What did you learn at school?” or “What will you learn from that mistake?” are only illustrations of a mindset requiring you to “pile on” your existing knowledge, in addition to learning, versus intentionally ask yourself what needs to be unlearned.

To provide a personal current scenario in which the power of unlearning is key would be Merger & Acquisitions (M&A).

Chances are that as professionals, you were at one point part of an M&A. If you work in Human Resources, the odds are, hopefully so, that you were on the frontline through most of the process. And has an HR professional, like me, you are probably asking yourself, “How can we increase the probabilities of success?” Doing it better, faster and more importantly, smoother?

Let’s review some M&A facts:

The initial M&A decision is always a business one; 1) is it creating shareholders value? 2) are we complementary (better together) or diversifying? 3) can we maximize each other’s expertise? and 4) can we save cost through synergies?
M&A are a hard and important business reality all over the world. As per Statista[1] in 2018, the value of worldwide M&A deals came to $3.9 trillion. In the United States alone, the average number of M&A per year for the past five years is 21,586 compared to an average ten years ago of 13,661 per year. This is representing a 58 percent increase!
M&A isn’t a new phenomenon, but it is clearly a trend speeding up at a pace that, ready or not, we will all have to face; especially in HR. To make it more complex, the Harvard Business Review article, “The Big Idea: the New M&A Playbook,” states about 70 to 90 percent of M&A fails![2]
In addition, M&A has always prompted emotions from all stakeholders involved. When there is an M&A, no matter where you stand from being acquired to the acquirer, and anything in between (bystander, stakeholders, etc.), deep sentiments and opinions are triggered.
And what is the true component that will define and dictate the degree of success, or lack thereof, of the M&A? You have to include people from both side of the equation.
Of course, each M&A are different. Except for a conscious decision to “swallow” the acquire or do a hostile takeover, embracing and combining the multiple culture and values is a strong determinant and predictor of what will be the end results of the M&A. Unlearning is then the key. This is all about unlearning what you know and keep you comfortable to truly open your mind to what the other party is sharing. And together, while unlearning, co-creating the culture and values. If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

The State of HR

The State of HR is in transition. The days of being merely transactional are extinct and the evolution of the strategic HR department is underway. So, what shape will the future take? Where will the focus lie in order to achieve success? Find out in our latest report: The State of HR.

Business examples where the power of unlearning would have driven the bottom line are countless. To only name a few, Blockbuster would have gained to unlearn the brick and mortar model and late fees philosophy. Blackberry would still be around having unlearned the comfort of having a keyboard on your cell phone. Toys R’ Us would still be a behemoth if they had unlearned that only in-store experience matters versus the online one.

The business world is evolving. What matters is not your level of agreement with the changes, but can you unlearn and adapt. Until now, to anticipate the changes was enough to provide competitive advantages. Not anymore. Will you move forward with the reassuring lies or the inconvenient truth. What will you unlearn today?

Source : https://www.hrexchangenetwork.com/hr-talent-management/articles/the-paradox-of-unlearning-to-optimize-performance-and-drive-productivity

2020 recruiting trends technology and human connection drive recruiting success

Persuasive Candidate Experiences
Early impressions are crucial to long-term retention. Today’s candidates want more than just a paycheck, and their experiences during the application and interview process can make or break their decision to stay with your company. Our 2019 Job Seeker Survey found that candidates are looking for an easy, straightforward application process, timely communication from recruiters and a career site that answers their questions and connects them with relevant opportunities. According to Deloitte, almost 90% of candidates say that a positive interview experience has the power to change their minds about a job. For recruiters, this means that designing engaging candidate experiences can give you a competitive edge when it comes to recruiting top talent.

Advances in Recruitment AI
Recruiting technology is rapidly evolving across the board, but we’re seeing the biggest gains in the areas of automation and AI. AI can help employers identify and remove bias during the interview process, screen candidates based on specific requirements, interact with candidates via chatbots and assess candidate responses during video interviews. With so many new applications hitting the market, companies will need to have a firm understanding of their needs so they can evaluate new tools. This will require a “best of breed” mentality that considers tools on a case-by-case basis and implements the ones that support company objectives most effectively. On the candidate side, AI can also be used to create personalized job recommendations, automated communications and custom experiences based on previous interactions with your career site.
Mobile Job Search Experiences
Researchers at the World Advertising Research Center predict that within five years, almost three-quarters of Internet users will access the web exclusively by smartphone. That means your mobile job site and mobile application process should be a top priority as we head into the next decade. As consumer tech becomes increasingly intuitive and user-friendly, candidates will expect the same capabilities from the tech they use to find an employer. Mobile-optimized career sites and applications will be key to connecting with the next generation of workers.

Demand for Essential Skills
In this age of rapidly changing technology and skills requirements, soft skills are shifting from “nice-to-haves” to “essentials” – so much so that the nomenclature has followed suit. Many companies now refer to abilities like critical thinking, leadership, problem solving, communication and teamwork as essential skills, and they sometimes take precedence over hard skills that can be taught later. Driving this trend is an explosion of new technology that is expected to permanently alter the workforce. Companies with teams full of critical thinkers who can adapt quickly will find themselves at the forefront of their industries, while those who are married to old methodologies will lag behind. These essential skills also set human workers apart from AI, making them a valuable asset to candidates entering the workforce.

Culture-First Hiring and Better Employer Brand
Three-quarters of job seekers will consider the reputation of your company as an employer before applying for a job. Known as your employer brand, this reputation includes your culture, perspectives, and values, and it has the power to attract or repel your most desirable candidates. But it’s not enough to create a desirable brand on paper. Your brand has to infuse the employee experience, and it should also align with the ethos of the company as a whole. As competition for top talent remains fierce, your ability to communicate culture and brand effectively can be a deciding factor for many candidates.

Predictive Analytics Drive Recruiting Decisions
Recruiters rely on data to source, screen, interview, and assess candidates, and that means companies need clean, accurate data as well as a clear analytics strategy for the best results. Data capture and analysis can tell you the “what” and “why” of your recruiting strategy, but you’ll need to go one step further to transform decision-making. That final step involves AI, and it uses previous data to make future predictions. Known as predictive analytics, this capability will be a differentiator for companies looking to make the most of their data moving forward.
As we consider recruitment strategies for the next decade, we can expect advancements in technology – particularly in the area of AI – to remain a driving force. But we can’t overlook the human component of recruiting, especially for engagement and retention. Candidates still want to interact with real people, and interpersonal communication remains a vital aspect of engagement. By effectively integrating cutting edge technology with the essential skills of human connection, you can position yourself as an employer of choice for 2020 and beyond.

Source : http://blog.engage2excel.com/2020-recruiting-trends-technology-and-human-connection-drive-recruiting-success

HR Digital Strategy – Tips that Propel Your Company into the Future

Technology has disrupted every industry. The way we work today looks nothing like it did only a few years ago. As a matter of fact, the changes in the workplace have been rapid and sweeping.

Today, workers can apply for jobs through their mobile device. They can even participate in interviews. If hired, the onboarding process starts online before they step foot on company property. And in some cases, they don’t have to do that because they work remotely.

These are all symbols of the digital transformation of HR. It’s not an easy process, but it can be achieved in such a way that ensures positive results.

HR professionals hear the term digital transformation on a regular basis. It’s actually a buzzword in the space today. It’s important to define what the transformation is before looking at building a digital strategy that will help support the organization during the transition from older processes to more modern processes.

The HR digital transformation, itself, is the process of embedding technology into business processes. The point is to improve functionality across the board. Just as technology is disrupting every industry, it can also disrupt every department within the organization. It will upend work processes and create new ones at the same time. That’s where a strong HR digital strategy comes into play.

Creating the business case is critical. This is the stage where HR can gain buy-in from C-Level and senior level leaders. Without it, there is little reason to attempt to build a strategy. Focus on technology and data that provides a clear picture when it comes to the return on investment for supporting the cause.

Set Goals
Before moving forward with a plan, HR should take stock of the current situation at the organization. What is it HR wants to achieve with the change? Also, HR should take a look at the workforce. What are its strengths and weaknesses? How can the strategy help create the transformation leaders want to achieve?

Strategy Development
Developing a strategy is all about how HR plans to move the organization forward during the transformation. It’s almost like a map. Without it, it can be easy to get lost. Know what steps need to happen and in what order so implementation can go smoothly.

Find the Right Tech
The technology chosen by HR should support the strategy. Considering the goals and the strategy, HR should determine what technology is needed to succeed. It’s important to make sure the chosen tools or technology also support the goals of the business.

HR should be open to experimenting during the transformation. There is no “how-to” guide on the transformation. It’s important to take stock in what’s happening in the industry in which the business resides. It’s also important to understand the makeup of the workforce as it will help determine the next action taken.

Develop Skills
This has to happen at all levels. Technology won’t make much of a difference unless people are allowed to use it and fail. Failure allows for the review of mistakes and that can be a learning exercise in of itself. The result is often the development of new skills.

Measure Results
Keep an eye on results. This will help HR monitor the success of the transformation. It will also help determine what is and what isn’t working for the employees.

Be Transparent
Changes will happen at a non-stop pace at first. It’s important to continue to discuss those changes in an open way. And don’t forget to take real stock in both success and failures.

Leaders Need to Lead
Leaders can’t just sit on the sidelines. They need to take an active part in the transformation. Not only do they need to help decide on the best course of action, but they also have to promote it and live it.

Company Culture
Don’t lose sight of the company culture. Transformation isn’t easy and your culture will be tested. As long as the process supports and empowers the organization, HR won’t fail. Neither will the workforce.

No matter how robust the digital strategy, the transformation it supports won’t happen overnight. It will take time and a consistent amount of work. Not only that, but technology is still evolving. That means this process isn’t a done-deal. It will continue to need attention and refinement. As long as companies remain agile and consistent, the strategy will always propel the company to success.

Source : https://www.hrexchangenetwork.com/hr-tech/articles/hr-digital-strategy-tips-that-propel-your-company-into-the-future

Mindfulness at work is just a ‘band aid’ for employee stress

Practices adopted by businesses don’t help staff resolve workplace problems, research reveals

Corporate mindfulness – an approach to wellbeing that is said to improve staff performance and focus – has been dubbed nothing more than a ‘band aid’ or ‘quick fix’ in a paper from Durham University Business School.

Research conducted by Dr Mai Chi Vu for her PhD suggests mindfulness practices adopted by organisations don’t help employees resolve workplace issues, and are just a pressure-releasing technique to deal with stress that was actually caused by the company in the first place.

Researchers interviewed 24 Buddhist executives in Vietnam, and compared corporate applications of mindfulness with the traditional Buddhist principles they take inspiration from.

The study found that while Buddhist ‘right mindfulness’ is a tool used to help individuals develop themselves and problem-solve, applying such practices in workplaces is “misguided”, as no two people experience stress in the same way.

Professor Roger Gill, who supervised the study, says “corporate mindfulness has overshadowed the Buddhism-based nature of mindfulness, presenting mindfulness techniques as nothing more than a stress-release practice that is, or can be, easily misused or exploited”.

The researchers suggest that for corporate mindfulness to be effective, it needs to be implemented with compassion and in a targeted fashion, rather than across the board as a quick fix.

Source: https://www.peoplemanagement.co.uk/experts/research/mindfulness-at-work-just-a-band-aid-for-employee-stress

Building an Ethical Career

Most of us think of ourselves as good people. We set out to be ethical, and we hope that in pivotal moments we will rise to the occasion. But when it comes to building an ethical career, good intentions are insufficient. Decades’ worth of research has identified social and psychological processes and biases that cloud people’s moral judgment, leading them to violate their own values and often to create contorted, post hoc justifications for their behavior. So how can you ensure that from day to day and decade to decade you will do the right thing in your professional life?

The first step requires shifting to a mindset we term moral humility—the recognition that we all have the capacity to transgress if we’re not vigilant. Moral humility pushes people to admit that temptations, rationalizations, and situations can lead even the best of us to misbehave, and it encourages them to think of ethics as not only avoiding the bad but also pursuing the good. It helps them see this sort of character development as a lifelong pursuit. We’ve been conducting research on morality and ethics in the workplace for more than a decade, and on the basis of our own and others’ findings, we suggest that people who want to develop ethical careers should consider a three-stage approach: (1) Prepare in advance for moral challenges; (2) make good decisions in the moment; and (3) reflect on and learn from moral successes and failures.

Planning to Be Good
Preparing for ethical challenges is important, because people are often well aware of what they should do when thinking about the future but tend to focus on what they want to do in the present. This tendency to overestimate the virtuousness of our future selves is part of what Ann Tenbrunsel of Notre Dame and colleagues call the ethical mirage.

Counteracting this bias begins with understanding your personal strengths and weaknesses. What are your values? When are you most likely to violate them? In his book The Road to Character, David Brooks distinguishes between résumé virtues (skills, abilities, and accomplishments that you can put on your résumé, such as “increased ROI by 10% on a multimillion-dollar project”) and eulogy virtues (things people praise you for after you’ve died, such as being a loyal friend, kind, and a hard worker). Although the two categories may overlap, résumé virtues often relate to what you’ve done for yourself, whereas eulogy virtues relate to the person you are and what you’ve done for others—that is, your character.

So ask yourself: What eulogy virtues am I trying to develop? Or, as the management guru Peter Drucker asked, “What do you want to be remembered for?” and “What do you want to contribute?” Framing your professional life as a quest for contribution rather than achievement can fundamentally change the way you approach your career. And it’s helpful to consider those questions early, before you develop mindsets, habits, and routines that are resistant to change.

Goal setting can also lay the groundwork for ethical behavior. Professionals regularly set targets for many aspects of their work and personal lives, yet few think to approach ethics in this way. Benjamin Franklin famously wrote in his autobiography about trying to master 13 traits he identified as essential for a virtuous life (including industry, justice, and humility). He even created a chart to track his daily progress. We don’t suggest that everyone engage in similarly rigid documentation, but we do suggest that you sit down and write out eulogy-virtue goals that are challenging but attainable. That is similar to what Clayton Christensen of Harvard Business School advocated in his HBR article “How Will You Measure Your Life?” After battling cancer, Christensen decided that the metric that mattered most to him was “the individual people whose lives I’ve touched.”

Even the most carefully constructed goals, however, are still just good intentions. They must be fortified by personal safeguards—that is, habits and tendencies that have been shown to bring out people’s better angels. For instance, studies suggest that quality sleep, personal prayer (for the religious), and mindfulness can help people manage and strengthen their self-control and resist temptation at work.

We also recommend “if-then planning”—what the psychologist Peter Gollwitzer calls implementation intentions. Dozens of research studies have shown that this practice (“If X happens, then I will do Y”) can be effective in changing people’s behavior, especially when such plans are voiced aloud. They can be simple but must also be specific, tying a situational cue (a trigger) to a desired behavior. For example: If my boss asks me to do something potentially unethical, then I will turn to a friend or a mentor outside the organization for advice before acting. If I am solicited for a bribe, then I will consult my company’s legal team and formal policies for guidance. If I witness sexual harassment or racial prejudice, then I will immediately stand up for the victim. Making if-then plans tailored to your strengths, weaknesses, values, and circumstances can help protect you against lapses in self-control, or inaction when action is required. But be sure to make your if-then plans before you encounter the situation—preparation is key.

Mentors, too, can help you avoid ethical missteps. When expanding your professional network and developing relationships with advisers, don’t look only for those who can hasten your climb up the career ladder; also consider who might be able to support you when it comes to moral decisions. Build connections with people inside and outside your organization whose values are similar to yours and whom you can ask for ethics-related advice. Both of us have reached out to mentors for advice on ethical issues, and we teach our MBA students to do the same. Having a supportive network—and particularly a trusted ethical mentor—may also bring you opportunities to make a positive impact in your career.

Once you’ve made a commitment to living an ethical life, don’t be shy about letting people know it. No one likes a holier-than-thou attitude, but subtle moral signaling can be helpful, particularly when it’s directed at colleagues. You can do this by openly discussing potential moral challenges and how you would want to react or by building a reputation for doing things the right way. For example, in a study one of us (Maryam) conducted, participants were much less likely to ask an online partner to engage in unethical behavior after receiving an email from that partner with a virtuous quotation in the signature line (such as “Success without honor is worse than fraud”).NISHANT CHOKSI
Direct conversation can be tricky, given that people are often hesitant to discuss ethically charged issues. But if you think it’s possible, we recommend engaging your coworkers, because ambiguity is a breeding ground for self-interested rationalization. Tactfully ask clarifying questions and make your own expectations clear: for example, “I think it’s important that we don’t cross any ethical lines here.”

We are all shaped more by our environment than we realize, so it’s also critical to choose a workplace that will allow if not encourage you to behave ethically. Not surprisingly, employees who feel that their needs, abilities, and values fit well with their organization tend to be more satisfied and motivated than their misaligned peers, and they perform better. Of course, many factors go into choosing a job—but in general people tend to overemphasize traditional metrics such as compensation and promotion opportunities and underemphasize the importance of the right moral fit. Our work and that of others has shown that ethical stress is a strong predictor of employee fatigue, decreased job satisfaction, lower motivation, and increased turnover.

Some industries seem to have cultural norms that are more or less amenable to dishonesty. In one study, when employees of a large international bank were reminded of their professional identity, they tended to cheat more, on average, than nonbanker counterparts given the same reminder. This is not to say, of course, that all bankers are unethical, or that only unethical people should pursue careers in banking (although it does highlight how important it is for banks to prioritize hiring morally upstanding employees). We do suggest, however, that anyone starting a new job should learn about the organization and the relevant industry so as to prepare for morally compromising situations. Job interviews often conclude with the candidate’s being asked, “Do you have any questions for me?” A possible response is “What types of ethical dilemmas might be faced in this job?” or “What does this company do to promote ethical business practices?”

Research also shows that elements of a work environment can enhance or diminish self-control, regardless of cultural norms: High uncertainty, excessive cognitive demands, long days and late nights, and consecutive stretch goals all correlate with increased rates of unethical behavior. Such pressures may wax and wane over time in your workplace, but during periods of intensity you should be extra vigilant.

Making Good Decisions
Even if you’ve planned for an ethical career and established safeguards, it can be difficult to face moral challenges in the moment. Sometimes people overlook the implications of their decisions—or they find fanciful ways of rationalizing immoral, self-interested behavior. In other instances, they face quandaries in which the right decision isn’t obvious—for example, a choice between loyalty to one’s coworkers and loyalty to a customer, or a proposed solution that will produce both positive and negative externalities, such as good jobs but also environmental damage. There are several ways to manage moments of truth like these.NISHANT CHOKSI
First, step back from traditional calculations such as cost-benefit analysis and ROI. Develop a habit of searching for the moral issues and ethical implications at stake in a given decision and analyze them using multiple philosophical perspectives. For instance, from the rule-based perspective of deontology (the study of moral obligation), ask yourself what rules or principles are relevant. Will a certain course of action lead you to violate the principle of being honest or of respecting others? From the consequence-based perspective of utilitarianism, identify potential outcomes for all parties involved or affected either directly or indirectly. What is the greatest good for the greatest number of people? And from the Aristotelian perspective of virtue ethics, ask yourself, Which course of action would best reflect a virtuous person? Each of these philosophies has advantages and disadvantages, but addressing the fundamental decision criteria of all three—rules, consequences, and virtues—will make you less likely to overlook important ethical considerations.

Note, however, that the human mind is skilled at justifying morally questionable behavior when enticed by its benefits. We often tell ourselves things such as “Everyone does this,” “I’m just following my boss’s orders,” “It’s for the greater good,” “It’s not like I’m robbing a bank,” and “It’s their own fault—they deserve it.” Three tests can help you avoid self-deceptive rationalizations. (1) The publicity test. Would you be comfortable having this choice, and your reasoning behind it, published on the front page of the local newspaper? (2) The generalizability test. Would you be comfortable having your decision serve as a precedent for all people facing a similar situation? (3) The mirror test. Would you like the person you saw in the mirror after making this decision—is that the person you truly want to be?

If the answer to any of these questions is no, think carefully before proceeding.

Studies also show that people are more likely to act unethically if they feel rushed. Very few decisions must be made in the moment. Taking some time for contemplation can help put things in perspective. In a classic social psychology experiment, students at Princeton Theological Seminary were much less likely to stop and help a stranger lying helpless on the ground if they were rushing to get to a lecture they were scheduled to give—on, ironically, the biblical parable of the Good Samaritan, which is about stopping to help a stranger lying helpless on the ground. So be aware of time pressures. Minding the old adage “Sleep on it” can often help you make better moral decisions. And delaying a decision may give you time to consult your ethical mentors. If they are unavailable, practice a variation on the mirror and publicity tests: Imagine explaining your actions to those advisers. If that would make you uncomfortable, be warned.

Research suggests that reflection is critical to learning from past experiences.

But taking an ethical stand often requires challenging coworkers or even superiors, which can be excruciatingly difficult. The now infamous Milgram experiments (wherein study participants administered potentially lethal shocks to innocent volunteers when they were instructed to do so by an experimenter) demonstrated how susceptible people can be to pressure from others—especially those in positions of power. How can you avoid succumbing to social pressure? The authors of The Business Ethics Field Guide offer a few questions to ask yourself in such situations: Do they have a right to request that I do this? Would others in the organization feel the same way I do about this? What are the requesters trying to accomplish? Could it be accomplished in a different way? Can I refuse to comply in a manner that helps them save face? In general, be wary of doing anything just because “everybody else is doing it” or your boss told you to. Take ownership of your actions.

And don’t forget that many ethical challenges people face at work have previously been confronted by others. As a result, companies often develop specific guidelines, protocols, and value statements. If in doubt about a certain situation, try consulting the formal policies of your organization. Does it have an established code of ethics? If not, ask your ethical mentor for guidance. And if you’re dealing with something you view as clearly unethical but fear reprisal from a superior, check to see whether your organization has an ombudsman program or a whistle-blowing hotline.

Reflecting After the Fact
Learning from experience is an iterative, lifelong pursuit: A lot of growth happens after decisions are made and actions taken. Ethical people aren’t perfect, but when they make mistakes, they review and reflect on them so that they can do better in the future. Indeed, a wide array of research—in fields as diverse as psychology, computer science, nursing, and education—suggests that reflection is a critical first step in learning from past personal experiences. Reflecting on both successes and failures helps people avoid not only repeated transgressions but also “identity segmentation,” wherein they compartmentalize their personal and professional lives and perhaps live by a very different moral code in each.

But self-reflection has limitations. Sometimes ethical lapses are obvious; other times the choice is ambiguous. What’s more, people can be hemmed in by their own perspectives as well as by their personal histories and biases. That’s why we should seek the counsel of people we trust. You can approach this as you would job performance feedback: by asking specific questions, avoiding defensiveness, and expressing gratitude.

Finally, you can engage in what Amy Wrzesniewski of Yale calls job crafting: shaping your work experiences by proactively adapting the tasks you undertake, your workplace relationships, and even how you perceive your job, such that work becomes more meaningful and helps you fulfill your potential. You can apply job crafting to your ethical career by making bottom-up changes to your work and the way you approach it that will help you be more virtuous. For example, in some of the earliest studies on job crafting, Wrzesniewski and colleagues found that many hospital housekeepers viewed their work in a way that made them feel like healers, not janitors. They didn’t just clean rooms; they helped create a peaceful healing environment. One custodian used her smile and humor to help cancer patients relax and feel more comfortable. She looked for opportunities to interact with them, believing that she could be a momentary bright spot in the darkness of their ongoing chemotherapy. She crafted her job to help her develop and cultivate eulogy virtues such as love, compassion, kindness, and loyalty.

You may feel that it isn’t all that difficult to be an ethical professional. As your parents may have told you, just do the right thing. But the evidence suggests that out in the real world it becomes increasingly difficult to remain on the moral high ground. So take control of your ethical career by cultivating moral humility, preparing for challenging situations, maintaining your calm in the moment, and reflecting on how well you’ve lived up to your values and aspirations.

Source : https://hbr.org/2020/01/building-an-ethical-career

2020 Talent Predictions That Probably Won’t Happen

There’s not a whole lot in talent acquisition that anyone can actually predict (its inherent unpredictability is what makes recruiting fun, after all), but that doesn’t stop every prognosticator and pundit in the TA and HR Technology business from trying.

Perhaps the most predictable thing in the entire business of talent are the specious, spurious and soporific “prediction” posts that proliferate on pretty much every editorial calendar in the industry.

Sometimes, of course, the “analysts” whose analysis mostly consists of analyzing anecdotal evidence get one right; give enough monkeys enough typewriters, as they say, and eventually, they’ll write a compelling job description. The chances aren’t good, but, as the immortal Steve Urkel pointed out after Laura told him there’s a one in a million chance that she’ll agree to go on a date with him, “at least there’s still a chance.”

So, before I disclaim this entire post by pointing out that no one, particularly me, is capable of actually knowing what’s new and what’s next in recruiting and hiring, I should point out that yeah, there’s a chance that I might get one or two of these (well informed) predictions right.

Now, if you need actual expertise to navigate the digital transformation, technology landscape and constantly evolving world of work, well, click here – because Allegis Global Solutions understands what evolving talent organizations need today to compete for – and win – the top talent of tomorrow.

In the meantime, here are some educated guesses from yours truly on which talent trends every HR and recruiting pro should know for 2020.

1. The Echo Chamber
Conversational intelligence is conventional wisdom in recruiting at this point, but for some reason, we’re more preoccupied with building bots and adjusting algorithms than we are with anticipating a trend that’s been self-evident in consumer technology for several years now.

Voice search has moved from margins to the mainstream, and with it, so too have candidates’ online search behaviors and expectations. What technologist Mary Meeker refers to as “The Voice Based Front End” should have a profound impact on talent technology in the coming years.

If we agree candidates are consumers, consider that Comscore predicts over half of all online searches in 2020 will originate from voice enabled devices like the Amazon Echo, Siri, Cortana or Google Assistant.

These technologies are increasingly becoming part of our personal lives; eMarketer reports that by 2021, 122.7 million Americans, or 42.2% of the US internet population, will use voice assistants daily (with similar penetration being evidenced in markets all around the world).

Another recent study found that nearly 58% of internet users globally reported to using voice search to research a local business in the last 12 months; fully 42% of those users who utilized a voice assistant like Google or Amazon searched for information on a business at least daily.
What consumers wanted most from these voice searches were information on a business’ products, company information and scheduling (such as medical appointments and reservations); 26% of voice based business searches resulted in the user clicking through to the company website.

In terms of market penetration, consumer adoption and search volume, it’s pretty obvious that the same sort of shift in search is coming to how job seekers look for jobs, and will be an increasingly critical part of every recruitment marketing strategy (and, likely, the roadmap at more or less every TA tech vendor out there, with applications ranging from job boards to CRM and ATS systems to programmatic ad platforms and more).

A year ago, I probably would have dismissed this as one of those specious and suspect fads, but in the arms race for online job search supremacy, the increasing importance of voice search isn’t a question of if, but when. And it’s probably a whole lot sooner than you think.

2. Survival of the Biggest
While institutional capital will continue to pour into the HR Technology vertical in 2020, the nature of that funding, and the key players, will change dramatically as capital is being increasingly concentrated in late round funding of a few players.

Investors are moving from the high volume of high risk, high reward deals involving early stage, emerging startups in talent tech, as we’ve seen for the past few years of financing, to less volatile and lower risk (albeit higher dollar value) investments in more mature, less volatile companies.

Part of this is being driven by the fear of a looming recession (something as yet unsupported by job numbers), and part as a sort of hedge against the soaring multiples and overt overvaluations (WeWork, anyone?) that public markets and private equity firms are quickly correcting.

TL;DR: all of those startups that have been popping up over the past few years in HR Technology will either be purchased by private equity firms and bigger software companies, will merge with other small startups as a survival tactic, or disappear entirely.

The HR Technology market received an estimated $5B in funding in 2019, capping off a four-year run of record quarters for deal size and deal volume in HR Tech; many investors want to start seeing some returns and solid revenue soon, particularly as the HR Tech market matures and consolidates.

From the whopping $11 billion buyout of Ultimate Software by PE shop Hellman and Friedman in February to the $200M majority stake K1 took in Jobvite that same month), private equity seems to see a lot of opportunities in the HR Technology market, which means that there is likely still a lot of TAM left to address in the next few years.

Similarly, bigger players are investing or subsuming emerging solutions (eg Workday’s ‘strategic investment’ in CRM provider Beamery or Indeed’s acquisition of programmatic platform ClickIQ or SAP’s headline grabbing $8B acquisition of Qualtrics), which has historically been a primary M&A strategy in the HR Technology market, as enterprise software providers can more quickly integrate point solutions’ functionality, features, proprietary IP and existing customer contracts faster than building them. The result may be a whole new generation of “Frankensuites” in HR Technology, but from a market share perspective, that strategy certainly hasn’t hurt the incumbents.

Finally, we’re seeing more companies coming together to ensure their continued survival and viability, the result of increased cost of business, competitive landscape and the drying up of VC in all but a few more mature players. Whether framed as an acquisition (Entelo/ConveyIQ; Smashfly/Symphony Talent) or as a merger of equals (Indeed/Glassdoor; Saba/Lumesse), the smaller players realize that in a world where it’s survival of the biggest, size absolutely matters.

The last scenario, of course, is that many companies simply run out of funding and simply cease to exist; this will be the most common “exit event” for startups in the HR Technology space in 2020 (as it has always been, given the assumed rate of failure inherent to VC investment). This year, expect to see some spectacular fails as once meteoric startups crash back to earth – and the market snaps back to reality.

Why does this matter to HR and recruiting practitioners? Well, simply put, there’s a whole lot of uncertainty about a whole lot of vendors, many of whom have long term contracts in place with their current customers; in an M&A event, this could include changes that significantly alter employers’ HR Tech stacks and total talent strategy.

If you want to know the direction HR technology is going, follow consumer technology. If you want to know the direction the HR Technology industry is going, follow the money.

3. Internal Mobility is Everything
Generally, retention is considered an HR initiative. This is an increasingly critical flaw in most hiring processes: once a hire happens, they functionally move from the purview of talent acquisition to the purview of HR.

HR’s playbook looks at retention from the perspective of employee satisfaction and traditional engagement metrics – not so much delivering long-term value. Recruiting should take a different approach: Upward mobility, career advancement, and the sort of aspirational, “it’s not just a job, it’s a career” things that get written into job descriptions will increasingly be the focus of corporate TA in 2020, as opposed to just in time sourcing, screening and selection of largely external candidates, as has historically been almost a default strategy for filling a requisition.

Despite the fact that internal hires consistently make up over half of all hires and are the top source of hire year after year (and have been so since the start of SOH surveys), companies spend relatively little time or resources on internal mobility as opposed to external search. The result of this approach is that fully 1 out of every 4 new exempt hires fail within the first year (a pretty high failure rate for recruiting), while the cost of backfilling those hires continues to increase (currently about $4500 a pop).

Additionally, employee tenure is at an all-time low, and industry churn is at an all-time high, which means not only are workers leaving, but they’re leaving to go work at your competitors. If talent really is a company’s greatest asset, this could have inordinate and unexpected costs.

Increasingly, companies will look to increase internal hires and promotions in 2020 as a way to increase retention, employee engagement, worker satisfaction and quality of hire. They will do this largely by using matching technologies to proactively source internal candidates against external talent for every open req (and machine learning should, inevitably, make internal hiring even more prevalent, given they’re 400x more likely to get hired than an external applicant, something that algorithms should quickly pick up on).

Enterprise employers will also realize that their process is broken, and begin to streamline or eliminate many of the barriers that make it difficult for internal hires to apply for roles (like requiring prior permission from their current supervisor before applying for an open role).

It’s really simple. We talk all the time about this concept of talent communities, right? Well, your org chart, or company directory, functionally serves as a talent community. So, if you need to find all the marketing people with consumer product experience in your organization, you can easily do that using the most rudimentary human capital management (HCM) system.

When a job opens up, instead of going straight to publicly posting it to job boards and searching external resume databases for potential candidates, go into your HCM and ATS, instead.

If you don’t start your searches by looking inside first, then half the time you’re really just reinventing the wheel with every search. If you want to make the hire, which is every recruiter’s job, then internal mobility is the most efficient and effective way to get that job done. And that small step might just be the biggest trend to watch in 2020 – and beyond.

After all, the future of work is a work in progress. And your workers of the future are statistically likely to be your workers of today, too. Once we figure that out, we’ll make the recruitment function of tomorrow better. Together.

Source : https://www.humanresourcestoday.com/?open-article-id=12409769&article-title=2020-talent-predictions-that-probably-won-t-happen&blog-domain=allegisglobalsolutions.com&blog-title=allegis-global-solutions

Not The Best Place To Work: Leadership Missteps That Dropped Facebook And Google Out Of The Top 10

Last week, when Glassdoor released its list of the best places to work in 2020, two companies were notably absent from the top 10. Facebook, which has held the No. 1 position three times over the past decade — including in 2018 — dropped 16 spots to No. 23, and Google fell three spots to No. 11.

Glassdoor bases its rankings upon the quantity, quality, and consistency of anonymous employee reviews. To be considered for the list of the best large American employers, a company must have at least 75 ratings across eight workplace attributes — overall company, career opportunities, compensation and benefits, culture and values, senior management, work-life balance, willingness to recommend the workplace to a friend, and six-month business outlook — from the previous year.

While Glassdoor’s list is merely that — a list — and its importance should not be overstated, Facebook’s and Google’s declines should still serve as a signal to the leaders of both companies. Here are three leadership missteps that may have led to a decrease in employee satisfaction, and a subsequent omission from Glassdoor’s top 10.

1. Failing to Prioritize Culture

Today In: Leadership
Facebook and Google have always had distinct cultures; in fact, they pioneered many of the workplace features associated with big tech. In recent days, however, it appears as though the cultures have not evolved alongside the companies. “Especially for these tech giants, as they continue to grow we’ve seen that sometimes culture can get diluted,” Amanda Stansell, a research analyst at Glassdoor, told the New York Post. “And while the culture at these companies is still really strong, there are some growing pains.”

Culture, indeed, is more difficult to control as a company grows — which is why it must remain a leadership imperative. As Glassdoor’s chief economist Andrew Chamberlain told Silicon Republic, “research consistently shows that culture is the leading driver of long-term employee satisfaction.” That said, ping-pong tables, laundry services, and free food are not enough. “[B]eing a culture-first organisation isn’t about expensive perks,” Chamberlain continued, “but about articulating a clearly stated mission that resonates with employees’ own aspirations.” Given the scandals that plagued Google and Facebook this year, it would not be surprising if employees felt as though the companies have abandoned their cultures and missions in the name of growth.

For further proof of the importance of culture, leaders can look to Amazon, a company with a famously toxic work environment. It has never appeared on Glassdoor’s list of the 100 best places to work, let alone in the top 10. It provides a stark contrast to Hubspot, the tech company that took the No. 1 position this year. There, co-founder and CTO Dharmesh Shah believes culture is the company’s “second product,” saying: “just like any other product development effort, building a great culture is all about getting candid feedback and iterating.” That is advice Google and Facebook should take to heart.

2. Not Aligning With Employee Ethics

Corporate ethics are of growing concern to employees, especially those from younger generations: In one study, 64% of millennials said they would not accept a job at a company with weak corporate social responsibility practices. This newfound expectation — that companies should align their values with those of their workers — has led to a growth in employee activism, and to public clashes between employers and their staff.

In June of this year, for example, Wayfair employees staged a walkout over the company’s selling of beds to migrant detention camps. At Facebook, employees wrote a letter decrying the company’s unwillingness to fact-check political ads. At Google, employees have protested a wide range of company actions, including its handling of sexual harassment cases, hiring of controversial figures, and contracts with Customs and Border Patrol and China. While it is, of course, impossible to please every employee, these events show that business leaders can no longer ignore the societal implications of their decisions.

Instead, they should place a premium on ethical business practices — which, in addition to being the right thing to do, can help the bottom line and increase engagement and loyalty among employees. “Humans are emotional beings and they buy-in to their workplace based on how much the purpose resonates with their own values,” Marie-Claire Ross, a trust leadership consultant, wrote on LinkedIn. When leaders, therefore, make decisions that run contrary to the values of their employees, they will likely see a decline in engagement, as was demonstrated by Google’s and Facebook’s falls from Glassdoor’s top 10.

3. Betraying Employee Trust

When American employees trust their leaders, according to a study by the Trust Edge Leadership Institute, they are willing to work longer hours (21%), be better team players (25%), and be more loyal (23%). When employees do not trust their leaders, they are likely to leave the organization; in the study, “not feeling appreciated” was the only quality that ranked higher among reasons to quit. As David Horsager, the institute’s CEO, wrote: “In today’s economy, trust is the most valuable resource… Trust can accelerate, and mistrust can destroy, any business, organization, or relationship.”

At the moment, Google and Facebook are learning that lesson first-hand. Over the past few years, the most egregious mistake that the companies made was breaching the trust of their employees (and of the American public). Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg did this when his company allowed Cambridge Analytica to harvest user data. Google’s leaders did this by performing a series of moves that have been seen as attempts to minimize employee voices, including altering communications policies, tracking meetings, hiring an anti-union public relations firm, and firing several activist employees.

For Google, this last action — completed just last month — has brought the most heat. Although the company claims the terminations were due to data security violations, and not as a punishment for organizing, the employees have filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board. At a recent rally, Laurence Berland, one of the fired staffers, said: “If we can’t speak up about these issues that concern us about our work, how can we ever hold ourselves and each other to the high standard that we need and the world deserves? Silence and secrecy are not the way for us to come together to solve problems.”

Berland is right. The leaders of both Google and Facebook need to hold themselves to a higher standard — not merely so they can once again pierce the top 10 best places to work, but more importantly, so they can once again become role models for the rest of the tech world. As Christian Sutherland-Wong, Glassdoor’s president and chief operating officer, told The Mercury News, we are entering a “culture-first decade in the workplace,” wherein top employers will place “culture, mission and employees at the heart of everything they do.”

Source : https://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonwingard/2019/12/20/not-the-best-place-to-work-leadership-missteps-that-dropped-facebook-and-google-out-of-the-top-10/?ss=leadership-strategy#16bdfc70451b