Are You In Love With Your Company?

If you’re not, you want to be.

Social psychologists have published enough research in the last 10 years to convince us that loving what we do, who we do it with and why we do it are key to our overall well-being and longevity. Business analysts and market research firms have gathered extensive data on the impact engaged employees have on an organization’s bottom line. Experts go so far as to say that engaged employees are the onlycompetitive advantage a company has.

If “engaged employee” reads like an oxymoron to you, it may be time to evaluate (or re-evaluate) your relationship with your employer. Ask yourself: Am I confused about the purpose of my work and whether I can add value? Do I believe I’m a victim? Am I feeling stuck? Do I often catch myself complaining or venting to…anyone around? Am I often in conflict with others?

Out-of-love employees and their companies create what Roberta Lee, M.D., calls “superstress” – a condition that manifests as job dissatisfaction, burnout, noise pollution, loss of meaningful work and lack of valuable connection with others. We know from our own experience that workplace superstress permeates our physical, mental and emotional beings. Chronic conflict with our boss, co-workers or customers produces these unhealthy behaviors that we allow to perpetuate. We make excuses. We miss work. We make mistakes. We have more accidents. Our organization’s productivity and profitability suffer and turnover begins to occur – a vicious cycle. Exhaustion, scarcity of time and fear keep us from doing anything about it. Our brain sounds the alarm, orchestrating stress responses. If this alarm is set off too often, it can do serious physical damage: disturbed sleep, moodiness, memory loss, brain fog, anxiety – even depression.

All too often, we don’t break this pattern of superstress. Life does it for us. Something happens – something significant. A close call with death. The birth of a child. A loss of someone close to us. A wonderful surprise. An accident. A wake-up call that so much more is possible creates space to think differently – and some of us begin to. We examine this question of whether we are in love with our company, or simply biding our time.

When we love our work, and it loves us back, discretionary effort – that human superpower – is abundant. We will go far and beyond what is required and tap into that vast channel of energy to achieve amazing, seemingly impossible goals. This is employee engagement. Organizations know when it’s happening because it’s visible – we show up! We create a respectful and trust-filled environment for those around us. We look out for one another and help each other achieve shared goals. We smile, laugh and reach out to our colleagues and clients and offer whatever assistance they might need in the moment. We naturally and enthusiastically celebrate one another’s wins! We are in it.

Meet Gayle. She works for the same company she began with right out of grad school. She wasn’t the top recruit or the highest potential, but she’s in love with her company, and they are in love with Gayle. She rides her bike to work and joins her team for coffee three days a week. She manages a team of five who spend most of their days dealing with unhappy customers. She and her team have made it their mission to become number one in customer satisfaction across all of the regions. Why? Because why not? They can! Gayle’s focus is on leading her team to find innovative solutions to customer problems, to go beyond what they expect and to follow up without being asked. Her passion for what she does has led her to take a few risks and challenge upper management regarding certain policies. Instead of being shut down for bringing forward out-of-the-box thinking and proactive solutions, Gayle’s company has promoted her twice in one year to demonstrate to others that her behavior is what the company values.

What companies do to drive engagement with their employees is similar to what happens in any good relationship. Leaders come together to create an environment that appreciates, supports, delights in and honors meaningful work. Diversity is embraced and nourished in all its forms. People are encouraged to find shared purpose in their lives.

And, just as in any relationship, we should expect some ups and downs. Healthy conflict and seasons of difficult communication are to be expected. Some days just being better than others. But you owe it to yourself to assess your current role and your organization. Address the barriers to loving your company. Work on the relationships at play and be open to learning about yourself and others in the process. If it’s simply not meant to be, courageously make a change. You deserve to love how you earn a living.

Source :

Job Posts on LinkedIn Will Now Feature Salary Insights

From LinkedIn Blog.

In 2016, we introduced LinkedIn Salary—a tool that allows users to see a detailed breakdown of salaries by job title and location based on information privately submitted by LinkedIn members. The goal of LinkedIn Salary is to bring transparency to salary information to help professionals understand their earning potential and make informed decisions about their career.

Since then, we’ve been hard at work identifying ways to bring more transparency to conversations about salary. That’s why today we are rolling out Salary Insights: a new way for job seekers to explore compensation details on open roles. This feature will appear on job listings and will show an estimated or expected salary for the role, based on data from our 530+ million members and employer provided information.

For companies, Salary Insights means that candidates’ expectations are aligned up front so you are getting more quality applicants and can spend more time focusing the conversation on your company culture and growth opportunities. Salary Insights will also give you more control over your salary data, as you can provide the expected range and job seekers will no longer have to go to multiple, disparate sources to get a complete picture of your role.

How Salary Insights works

As mentioned, there are two types of of Salary Insights:

  1. Expected salary: This is provided by companies for specific roles they have job posts for on LinkedIn.
  2. LinkedIn Estimated Salary: Shown only if the employer doesn’t provide a salary—and only if we have sufficient input from members matching that title, company, and location.

When you post a job on LinkedIn, you’ll now have the option to add a salary range. This will appear as the “expected salary,” noted as employer-provided.

If you don’t provide salary information, a “LinkedIn estimated salary” may appear on the job post. This range is culled from member-submitted responses to LinkedIn Salary, and is clearly marked as an estimate from LinkedIn.

An estimated salary will only appear if we have enough input that matches that role, company, and location—otherwise, we won’t display any salary information.

Employers can override estimated salaries for a given job by providing an expected salary range.

Providing Salary Insights upfront attracts more talent, focuses your conversations, speeds things up, and adds clarity to the candidate experience

After your company’s website, LinkedIn is the #1 place candidates get info before applying to a job. By having Salary Insights on your job posts, candidates won’t have to leave LinkedIn to search across several sources. That means they can stick around to keep learning about your company, reach out, apply, and talk to you about their priorities.

Instead of leaving salary talks until the end of the interview process, you can align expectations early so you can spend your conversations talking about everything else that matters to candidates, like their career, your culture, and how they’ll add to it. And, since compensation is one of the top reasons people change jobs, salary info can be be a powerful trigger for otherwise passive candidates to respond or reach out.

While there are other websites where candidates can see user-submitted salaries, the figures they find are often noisey, conflicting, and outdated—and you have no control over what they see. Supplying an employer-provided salary range gives candidates clarity and peace of mind, and you can rest easy knowing that they’re not dropping out based on unreliable info from other sources.

Finally, as pay transparency continues to become the new status quo, it’ll be easier for you to understand your competitive landscape and see how your compensation stacks up.

Overall, salary transparency, whether employer provided or based on LinkedIn’s member provided data, will help improve the hiring processes for both employers and candidates alike by setting expectations right off the bat, allowing everyone to focus on the other important parts of the job.

Source :

The Value Of An Employer Branding Structure

Today, job searching, talent research, company culture and corporate values play a much larger role for organizations than ever before. Companies will have to realize the many values in creating strong company cultures and employer brands if they are interested in attracting this generation’s top talent.

This was the realization that dawned on my company six years ago. Having started as a recruiting startup, our job was to attract talent and connect them with their next career adventure. Finding ourselves in a highly competitive market, we realized our only real chance of bringing talent to us over our much bigger competitors was via our own employer brand and company culture.

In a time of digitalization where work and life tend to blend into one via social media, a shifted focus on employer brand, company culture and reason of being seemed quite clear. The belief that the world becomes a better place if we all do what we’re really passionate about started our employer brand journey.

Two years ago, we were excited to see clients turning to us for help regarding their own employer brands. We realized that through the thousands of interviews we held each year, we gained unique insights into what today’s generation of talent is looking for in employers and how they go about finding the information they need to make the decision of applying. Backed by this insight, in 2016, we transformed into both a recruiting- and employer-branding company.

After weeks of researching to find a model to work with and connect our own experiences with our market, we realized we could not find one model that was easy enough to understand or easy enough to execute upon. Hence, it felt natural to put the best empirical pieces together and add what we found missing into a new model. The result was our own model, which we call the “Oddmodel” of employer branding. In it, a company’s employer brand consists of four parts: reason of being, cultural pillars, cultural activities and communication. Companies around the globe can use this model to improve themselves.

Reason For Being

At the very core of a company’s employer brand is its reason for being. Simon Sinek said it best in his immensely popular TED Talk: “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” Surprisingly, most companies have forgotten — or never knew — their actual reason for being.

The reason for being is the answer to why you do what you do. And it’s not to make money, especially not for today’s generation of talent. We’re talking about, “What is our actual cause and what are our beliefs?” At Facebook, it’s “To give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.” At Adidas, it’s “Shape the future of sport through innovation.”

An organization’s reason for being is most easily discovered via a workshop format with both employees and management. Supporting the reason for being are the cultural pillars.

Cultural Pillars

The pillars describe who you have to be as individuals and as an organization to be able to fulfill your reason for being. They are preferably discovered via a workshop format together with as many of the company’s employees as possible.

At Facebook, the cultural pillars include building social value and a focus on impact. At Netflix, they include judgment, communication and impact.

By their very nature, cultural pillars differ within each organization depending on the existing company culture. However, their function is to always support the reason for being. Once you have discovered your reason for being and your cultural pillars, you have the foundation of your employer value proposition (EVP).

Cultural Activities

A strategic document like an EVP will only be of value if you make sure to activate it inside the organization. This is where the cultural activities come into play. It is via your cultural activities that you bring your EVP to life by connecting daily, weekly and monthly cultural activities to your cultural pillars.

Is one of your cultural pillars kindness to one another? Activate a cultural activity where it’s mandatory for everyone to compliment each other once a day. Is one of your cultural pillars adventure? Go whitewater rafting or surfing as a team. Living out your cultural pillars means activating your cultural activities regularly in big and small ways.


If you live out your reason for being, cultural pillars and cultural activities, you probably have a strong company culture where people feel happy, seen and motivated. But so far, only the people inside the actual organization know about it. If you want to attract the right kind of talent, you have to communicate to the right target groups outside your own walls. This is where communication comes in.

Being as transparent as possible, you want to communicate your employer brand and company culture on everything from your career site to your interview materials to your social media. It is by clear, consistent and personal communication of employer brand and company culture that you create brand awareness and interest in your company among the talent you aim to attract.

With all four parts activated, your company is bound for positive change. More candidates start to apply for open positions, employees turn into brand ambassadors and they stick around and develop their skills for a longer period of time. The workplace gets happier and more motivated, with the extra benefit of you not having to turn to a recruiting company for help ever again.

Source :

Leaders as Explorers

Exploration happens outside the comfort zone – creating new business models, serving new markets and new customers

“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” ~ Albert Einstein

When it comes to leadership development, organizations are becoming smarter by increasing the amount of resources and energy given to exploration strategies, while continuing to deliver results through exploitation strategies. What remains to be a challenge for many companies, is how to adequately prepare corporate leaders to be effective in the exploration domain. Simply put, how do leaders become explorers within their companies? And why is it so important?

For business and leadership, exploitation is the comfort zone for companies, where the business model has been tested, opportunities and strengths are crystal clear, and the customer profile is immaculately sketched out. In layman’s terms, exploitation is what pays the bills, covers the payroll and generates profit for the company.

On the other hand, exploration is what happens outside the comfort zone. It is about searching for, or creating new business models, entering new markets and developing new customer profiles to attract. By its very nature, it involves experimentation, disruption, deconstruction, risk taking and tolerance for failure.

Humans generally follow the path of least resistance. If an option is hard to attain or causes discomfort, we are likely to become discouraged and for many, the low hanging fruit will look much more appealing. To translate this notion into a business and leadership context; what is the easiest route for a company to take – exploit its strengths and what it knows how to do well or explore new opportunities? If we follow our rational minds, then exploiting current strengths provides least resistance and naturally becomes the appealing option for many organizations. However, by looking at the dim outcomes of organizations such as, Kodak, Research in Motion (Blackberry), Netscape, Nokia (mobile business) or Barnes & Noble, we know that it may not necessarily be the right option. It is for these reasons that business schools, leadership gurus and consulting houses repeatedly advise companies that to remain relevant and maintain staying power one needs to have clearly identified exploitation AND exploration strategies. Successful companies need to be able to do both.

Historically, the executive education industry has been good at helping companies to be better exploiters, but things are patchy when it comes to exploration. So, what options are available to organizations wanting to develop their leaders into explorers? For those sincerely interested in strengthening the exploration muscle of their leaders, Corporate International Service Learning (CISL) is increasingly considered a very effective route.

CISL programmes are defined by the fact that employees travel across international borders to apply their work based skills to a project or other assignment that serves a third-party constituency. Examples might include a cohort of tech executives travelling to Nairobi on a structured learning journey to collaborate with a water management social enterprise to solve issues around stakeholder alignment. Or for leaders from a Middle East oil and gas company to actively engage on a specific challenge with a London based local youth training initiative to better understand the values and preferences of millennials. Or a cross functional team from four different continents that come together for ten days in Peru to help a health clinic become a centre of excellence in cancer prevention and treatment.

To understand how CISL works from a developmental perspective, it can be broken down into three parts:

1/ Heat Experience: Participants, who are leaders in their home organizations, are taken out of their normal work routines and comfort zones and challenged to make a difference on an issue that matters. The very different but real-world context disrupts habits and thinking patterns.

2/ Colliding Perspectives: By actively collaborating on pressing challenges with a third-party constituency in a different context to that which they are familiar with, participants must confront very different ways of seeing the world. To be successful they may need to shed their expertise and embrace alternate possibilities. Their usual power dynamics shift, they learn to work with imperfect information and begin to see the same problem with multiple perspectives, which they need to internalise and reconcile.

3/ Sense Making: The placement of this kind of challenge within a learning framework, where expert coaches and facilitators stimulate reflection and surface insights helps participants make sense of the experience. Through this they gain self-awareness, and integrate the multiple perspectives to shape a solution to the challenge at hand and ultimately develop an advanced world view.

Moving beyond the classroom lecture, CISL is a transformational experience that surfaces emotional triggers and taps into the behaviours that a leader requires to start acting like an explorer. This happens as the leader ‘stretches’ to gain a sense of comfort in the environment with its accompanying sense of increased ambiguity. The context pushes leaders to collaborate with new stakeholders and only through imagination and experimentation, can they take the challenge forward.

To get a feel for how a CISL programme works in practice join Emerging World’s is open enrolment experience in May 2018.

The Immersive Global Leadership Experience, taking place in Kenya, offers interested companies the opportunity to try a CISL experience alongside their peers from other companies using a compressed design that that we have employed previously on successful programmes with global organizations including EY, Microsoft and Salesforce. To learn more about the open enrolment.


Why the right benefits can help in the new war for talent

Employee experience has become a watchword for employers looking to recruit and retain the best staff and avoid high turnover. But they need to do more than offer juice bars and gym memberships, according to Jack Curzon of Thomson Online Benefits.

“We are back into the war for talent, and this time the talent is leading the charge.”

These words, recently shared by analyst Josh Bersin, could not be more apt. We’re on the cusp of a new crisis in recruitment and retention, in part driven by a universal shift in work culture, which has seen the decimation of the ‘job for life’ mentality.

High levels of employee turnover is understandably unpopular with employers, who invest heavily in developing their people – only to watch them fly the nest.

For this reason, the past two decades have seen increased emphasis placed on retention, with employers going all out to differentiate themselves and provide an unparalleled employee experience.

Simultaneously, businesses have become more accepting of shorter tenures in roles, and focus on driving maximum engagement and productivity while people are still employees.

Make yourself at home
One of the first great battle grounds in this war for talent was the office. Early adopter employers introduced ball-pits, onsite massages and juice bars, developing the workplace to enhance the message that they were a fun, thoughtful and caring organisation to work for.

To play into the needs of their millennial targets, they turned the office into an extension of the home – both in feel (more casual) and function (being able to carry out personal admin).

The problem with this tactic is that it can be viewed as style over substance unless it is underpinned by the company’s values and drives performance.

A great office is only one factor that influences the overall employee experience. Employers who are serious about providing a fantastic experience for their employees need to look beyond the physical environment, to every point of engagement.

If employers want to deliver a stellar experience then they need to take a step back and consider what the top talent will be looking for from an employer brand perspective. What kind of employer do they want to be seen as?

One that wants to work them to their limits, regardless of the damage they do their physical or mental health? Or one that doesn’t see these two things as mutually exclusive, but wants to look after employees’ wellbeing to make sure they are working at their best?

Supporting goals
Employees today are grappling with a multitude of challenges – from stress induced by their 24/7 working lifestyles, to health concerns and rising household bills. They’re looking for an employer that will help them overcome these challenges, and go one step further to help them achieve their life goals.

Our recent Global Employee Benefits Watch revealed that employers are falling short of offering anything near this level of support. According to the research, over 40% of UK employees aspire to own their own homes, yet just 4% of workplaces will support them in doing so. The same number would like to get fit and healthy, yet less than 20% of benefits schemes support this.

Employers are clearly missing an opportunity here. If they want to attract and retain the best people, they need to start honing their offering to meet the needs of current and potential employees – and this includes caring for their financial, physical and mental wellness. The old, long-term view of retirement and health isn’t enough.

Taking an employee-centric approach, employers can develop a people strategy that meets their needs, encompassing tangible and less tangible measures.

If we take employees’ desire to get fit and healthy as an example. Employers could offer more nutritious food in the staff canteen and install standing and treadmill desks – but unless they accompany this with measures to help employees sustain a healthy lifestyle outside of work, it doesn’t quite ring true. Nor does the company have the data to back up what’s working and what’s not.

Sustainable performance
This is where benefits play a critical role. By including benefits such as exercise classes, mindfulness apps or healthy eating advice in their schemes, employers can add another dimension to their care for employees, helping them better position themselves as a great place to work.

It will help to move your strategy from health to wellness to eventually what Bersin terms “sustainable performance”.

Offering these benefits is one thing, but unless employees can access them at a time and place that works for them, it’s all fruitless.

Marrying people and digital strategy is critical. Employee benefits should be the digital extension of any great workplace, and employees should receive a digital experience emblematic of the organisation they work for.

If we return to the wellness example, forward-thinking employers are now augmenting their wellness offering with technology, offering wellness pots via online benefits portals.

These provide employees with an allowance to spend on achieving their own health and wellness goals – be this through drumming lessons, yoga or pottery – accessible to book wherever and whenever they like.

Consumer-grade experience
Speaking more broadly, employees don’t want to work for an organisation with antiquated technologies and processes, but one which is committed to enabling them to do the best job possible, while remaining in control of their personal lives.

Technology provides the consumer-grade experience employees expect while providing a seamless experience with the office. It is surely impossible to offer only one or the other and still engage people.

HR teams will also reap substantial rewards from delivering benefits via a centralised, online platform. Digital interactions generate data – in this case insight on employees’ engagement with their benefit schemes.

Studying this, HR teams can see whether specific campaigns are working, and which benefits offer greater ROI. They can use this insight to inform their approach and validate spend to the rest of the organisation.

Develop strategies now
As workforces become ever more global and mobile, defining people strategy and matching this with a sophisticated digital approach will become increasingly important – this helps demonstrate the culture of the business, and how it benefits the employee.

Our research shows that global organisations are four times more likely to be effective in attracting and retaining talent if they have a global benefits strategy in place and seven times more likely to be effective if this has been established for three or more years.

This shows that it takes time and effort to get there – it is not a case of the haves and have-nots.

If Josh Bersin is right – and I strongly suspect he is – employers will face a tough time attracting and retaining talent in the years to come.

It’s paramount that they start to develop their strategies now; consider what will make them a great place to work and how they can keep their best people a little longer and a little more engaged and productive once they’re through the door.


How Workplace Gender Diversity Continued To Evolve In 2017, According To A New Report

In the final months of 2016, the vision for 2017 looked quite different – many anticipating it would be the year of the woman, as would-be President Hillary Clinton would shatter the ultimate glass ceiling into a million pieces, and those pieces would sprinkle down like revolution-causing magical dust that would bring gender parity and allow women to soar to new heights of equality and success.

Didn’t happen.

Indeed, we may have witnessed the start of that anticipated shift in gender dynamics and disparity, but under different circumstances.

As we look toward the future (perhaps 2018 will be the official year of the woman), it is critically important to track the changes, rely on the research and listen to the amplified voices of women in the workplace. Fairygodboss, a women’s career and community site, has access to that unique perspective. Through various touch points, including job reviews, panel surveys, discussion board posts and in-person events, Fairygodboss collects data to discover trends, summarize and share through an annual report. With a reach of 750,000 women every month, their second annual report, published earlier this month and titled “The State of Gender Equality In The Workplace,” uncovers new truths about what it means to be a woman working in today’s world.

This year’s report reflects a changing landscape, with three new sections that explore sexual harassment, intersectionality, and employee resource groups. Some of the findings are surprising, while others are confirming.

1. Women’s Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are still powerful and effective.

In July, Deloitte announced that they are phasing out workplace affinity groups for women and minorities, and replacing this long-standing approach with “inclusion councils” that bring white men into the conversation. With an aim to bring more voices into the conversation, cultivate and harness allies and drive change, Deloitte dismantled their 24-year old women’s initiative called WIN, and other groups built around race and sexual orientation are facing a similar fate in the upcoming months. This shift away from the traditional was partially driven by new research findings that highlighted that millennials, who make-up the majority (57%) of Deloitte’s employee base, don’t like being clustered or grouped by demographics.

Deloitte’s statement and move away from a decades-old approach to diversity, sparked a much broader debate about the role and effectiveness of ERGs. The amount of attention this announcement garnered and continues to receive isn’t surprising – affinity and network groups are foundational to the corporate diversity and inclusion efforts that have spanned decades, starting in 1970 when Xerox launched the first ERG. Other large corporations have since followed suit with ERGs established for women, employees of color, LGBTQ employees, etc. The original goals are focused on engagement, inclusion, confidence-building and support in corporate cultures commonly dominated by straight white men, but some view ERGs as relics of the past. However, with Deloitte’s announcement, the focal question became: Are ERGs still relevant in the ever-evolving and amplifying efforts to drive diversity and inclusion in the workplace?

While the Fairygodboss report findings don’t explore the effectiveness of all ERGs, the research clearly indicates that women’s ERGs are still successful. They are prevalent, highly subscribed, and effective at advancing careers and changing policy and workplace culture.

Prevalent: 90% of Fortune 500 companies have at least one ERG.
Highly subscribed: According to Fairygodboss, 65% of women will join a women’s ERG, if one is offered by their employer.
Effective: The Fairygodboss report showed that participation in an ERG results in career advancement and changes to policy and workplace culture. Nearly 70% of survey respondents and community members stated that their women’s ERG impacted change at their workplace, and 87% believed that their ERG had personally benefited them or their career. ERGs also improved policy, with 55% of respondents reporting an improvement in parental leave benefits and 53% reporting more flexible work schedules due to ERG influence.
While the jury is still out on the effectiveness of inclusion councils, only time will tell if this new approach is more effective than the current model. The Fairygodboss report shows that women’s ERGs are making a difference in the workplace and helping move the dial toward gender parity.

2. The majority of sexual harassment perpetrators are colleagues, rather than bosses.

Fairygodboss reports that nearly 43% of women have experienced some type of harassment in the workplace. Similarly high numbers have been reported for years, but the report also captures new details that are more surprising. This year’s headlines and front-page stories have showcased powerful, older men being removed from power and post on a near daily basis. Mary Pharris, Director of Business Development and Partnerships at Fairygodboss shares:

“We would have been remiss to not discuss sexual harassment in the workplace given everything that happened this year. We really wanted to engage with our community to see what they are experiencing, especially what is happening to women in the workplace who aren’t dealing with high profile people.”

The toxic power-gender dynamic dominates the public discourse, but as Fairygodboss data highlights, the majority of workplace sexual harassment is perpetrated by a colleague (57%), rather than a boss (36%) or manager (25%).

While older, more senior male figures — the giants of industry — are being removed from their positions, Fairygodboss found that the majority of women (72%) reported that their harasser was 40 or under. This paints a very different picture than the one in the headlines, and also highlights the vast scope of workplace sexual harassment and assault in this country. Contrary to one line of pervasive thought, this epidemic will not be phased out of the workplace as the next generations retire, and it is clear that stronger, immediate policies and methods of reporting, education and awareness are necessary.

3. Women of color have a drastically different experience in the workplace than Caucasian women.

Fairygodboss found that appearance-based bias impacted hiring decisions, and that women of color were less likely to be hired by Caucasian hiring managers and recruiters than by other hiring managers and recruiters of color. Moreover, hiring managers are more likely to associate leadership potential among women of their same race.

As the research shows, one woman’s experience isn’t the same as another’s. Preventing discrimination and mitigating costly and damaging bias requires a holistic approach. Intersectional practices result in a better workplace for all, and the inclusion of intersectionality in this year’s Fairygodboss report is an important contribution to the ever-expanding work in this area.

Progress has been made, but there is still a lot of work to be done.

To advance workplace gender diversity, we must first capture, track, share and discuss our experiences. Our collective knowledge and wisdom can then be harnessed to implement policies that push toward a more equitable workplace. Here’s looking to 2018 – the year of the woman.


How HR Technology makes a difference to social mobility

A recent survey by Deloitte found that those from low-income backgrounds earn, on average, 10% less than their most advantaged peers six months after graduating from the same subject.

The UK is one of the worst countries for social mobility, meaning that there is little chance that an individual from a low-income background will receive the same opportunities as someone from a higher class – regardless of their hard work or talents.

  • There are many blogs and guides with ways HR can support social mobility:
  • Choosing talent over background, race, gender, or other characteristics;
  • Introducing apprenticeships for those unable to attend university;
  • Providing a minimum of a living wage and/or accommodation allowance to enable those from lower income families to support themselves;
  • Providing unconscious bias training for managers and recruitment teams;
  • Fostering a culture of acceptance by reaching out to schools, universities, and communities to promote your values and programmes in your company.

Two years ago my colleague Talia and I wrote a white paper on socially responsible recruitment which encompasses these and more.

What struck me during the process of editing this paper was that even with all the steps above, there is a huge overwhelming gap in action to help the specific individuals or groups of individuals with what they specifically need to generate the courage to apply, have inspiration and confidence to even consider a role, and then go on to stay in the recruitment process and be successful in achieving a position.

Consider Hanif, one of the mentees I worked with for over a year: no one in Hanif’s family has attended university or entered a profession. When I met him, his aspirations wavered between being a professional footballer and beating his mates Grand Theft Auto.

Over the period of a year, we talked and emailed about my work, other people I know and their work, the type of characteristics and attitudes people need to get on in life, as well as practical things like getting work experience.

This, at its essence was all about building a relationship, the chance to ask questions, get honest responses, build trust between us, and picking from the skills and experience I’ve picked up over the years to help him when he needed it, in the way he needed it.

For the first time in my career I can see the potential for combining technology with mentoring to deliver the right-hand side of the picture. Next year it’s time to explore the wonders that artificial intelligence can bring to tackle the challenges that individuals like Hanif face.


Creating the right culture and environment for employees to thrive in a digital age

As our consumer-centric world embraces the digital age, the expectation for employers in the UK and further afield to deploy new digital technologies is becoming greater. Organisations that want to keep ahead of the curve, must prioritise finding and retaining talent with the necessary skills, but also foster a collaborative environment and the right culture for their employees to want to work in. For employers to stay competitive, talented technical people who possess a set varied skills and qualifications have to be not only sourced, but more importantly retained.

The best digital and IT literate talent does not typically reside at large organisations, therefore enterprises must become more creative in their pursuit of attracting this audience. A successful recruitment strategy requires more than an online job advert and the promise of internal incentives. To attract and retain talent, it’s vital to create a culture and work environment where employees thrive. By enabling employees to work in the right environment where they have full autonomy and trust during their own working day, means they have the freedom to grow and develop in a way that suits them. This makes a workplace flourish.

The right environment empowers a workforce

Improving the sustainability and longevity of any business goes far beyond technology alone. If a company makes a strategic shift, be it a business model evolution or the implementation of a digital agenda, it must come from the people inside the organisation. For a company to successfully digitally transform, an environment needs to be created where everyone can work together and achieve the same goal. By having transparency and collaboration throughout an organisation, every department is fully aware of what the digital agenda is and what their individual role is within that. If people feel accountable, they will make sure they fulfil that expectation.

People drive process. Therefore, organisations much invest in talent whether that be hiring new people or training and encouraging current employees. Employee engagement is vital for every business. Only when an employee feels truly comfortable and invested in, will they then take the time to enhance their technical knowledge beyond their natural remit. By enhancing current employee skill sets and giving people the autonomy in their role, it will leave them feeling valued and empowered.

Collaboration is vital

With the continual influx of new technologies and innovation, organisations must ensure that employees are given the right environment to work in, so that they buy-in to the digitalisation process. Giving talent essentially a ‘playground’ to do their work, sets them up to create their own individual working environment which suits their own working style. In addition, it means that employees are constantly learning by working with different departments in an open and collaborative way.

By setting up spaces that teams can reconfigure and adapt as they grow, as well as react to changes in the way they work and expand, a truly collaborative environment can be created. From small structural layouts such as keeping the number of doors to a minimum, to larger more open working spaces, companies should look to encourage not only people, but ideas and information to flow. Employees should be encouraged to communicate, as this is how they can continue to learn, and in turn evolve their skills by learning from others. The right environment should foster collaboration between people working on the same project, but at the same time allow engineers and designers to be in the zone, and focus on the work that they are doing. For organisations that encourage pair programming, space and equipment should allow for easy pairing, such as special workstations or screen sharing tools.

Autonomy within the workplace: introducing Buildit

Ultimately, the people within any organisation are the ones that determine whether change is adopted or fails. Therefore, providing employees with the freedom to grow and develop in their own careers will empower them to want to help drive these changes. By having that mutual appreciation, people feel supported and want to keep learning as the market moves forward. Employees need a human approach where they feel they have the autonomy to figure out their own problems, but also support to find innovative ways to solve them.

An example of the right environment in practice can be found at Buildit, an agile transformation studio and team operating as part of Wipro Digital. Buildit’s number one mission is to not only retain and attract new talent, but to make sure that those with digital and IT skills, such as engineers, tech leads and designers, are given the right environment to work in to allow them to be the masters of their own craft. Buildit has an open structure, which means that employees work within wide boundaries. The environment and culture which is shaped by Buildit’s people, is driven by several key factors including; transparency, curiosity, inclusivity, pragmatism and responsibility. Buildit employees work in an environment where everyone is encouraged to continually develop through a cohesive unit of learning, and perhaps more importantly, given the autonomy to do so.

To hire and retain people as we shift into a completely digital era, a different, more human approach is required. It doesn’t matter who you are, what industry you are in or what skills you possess, employers need to give people the freedom to collaborate and focus on their craft in an environment that best suits them. A fluid channel of communication, collaboration between departments and the right set of skills within the wider organisation allows both business and employee to gain a full sense of awareness, and understanding that they individually have absolute accountability for the success of their own, and organisational growth.

Daria Naumova, Director of Talent and Alexander Kalinovsky, Director of Engineering, Buildit at Wipro Digital


Diverse Hiring and Inclusive Leadership Is How Startups Thrive

Diversity creates opportunity, value and respect for all. Inclusive leaders ensure you feel it. Empowering people, capitalizing on the strengths of each employee, and using the full potential of every individual provides your team with a competitive edge.

Inclusion makes all people feel like they belong. It’s about finding like-mindedness in our differences and placing our unique differences at the center of conversations to be able to grow and build inclusive teams. Inclusion is about growth of the individual, growth of the team and growth of the organization. You break down silos by shared problem solving and creating safe and trusting environments.

Inclusion is a mandatory part of organizational culture, and defining how a company listens to its people is today’s business. Diversity and inclusion are now a business reality. Companies like Facebook and Salesforce are publicly highlighting gender equality and setting a strong example. Salesforce performed a comprehensive analysis of 17,000 employees, identified a gender pay gap and spent roughly $3 million to even out the disparity.

Let me share with you how embracing inclusive practices make a difference.

Are we asking the right question?
Organizations continue to ask the same question over and over. How do we train diverse employees for them to succeed in our culture? We continue to ask the wrong question and wonder why we expect different results. Geoff Llopis, author of The Innovation Mentality, asks a valid question: “Why do people need your diversity and inclusion plan, and what is the opportunity it is solving for you?” If you cannot answer the question, then you are probably solving the wrong things.

Move from group to team.
Leaders need to grow your workforce from groups into teams to maximize the full potential of every individual. Establish a team working towards a shared vision. The common purpose is the driving force. When teams are unified each member understands and supports each other in a manner that feels inclusive. The overarching goal is to accomplish its mission. The synergy of the team creates the competitive edge.

Predator waiting to pounce.
Unconscious bias is like a predator waiting to pounce as it lurks in the back of every mind. Our bias is deeply rooted within usand serves as a filtering lens that can shade our perceptions of what people are capable of.

Education plays a vital role in awareness of the issue. Eradicating bias from systems and processes is the first step. Giving leaders a language to discuss bias and holding them accountable needs to be a priority. Even more than that, teaching leaders how to lead conversation to co-develop solutions with staff has to be a priority.

Beginning the conversation within the organization.
Often workplaces wait for a new initiative to be released before conversations begin. Starting a conversation amongst colleague’s drives buy-in that can be difficult to develop when an initiative is led top -down. How often do we see organizations adopt an approach and attempt to sell an initiative, only to see it flat line? Open the conversation by defining what inclusion means, what it looks like and how it feels and how will you know it is happening organically within the organization. Make a commitment to the value of diversity and inclusion by having open conversation and agenda items in various forums.

Explore the elements of inclusion.
Often conversations limit themselves to gender and race. Highlighting that there are many categories of differences in the workplace and the value of having many perspectives creates more robust discussions and more effective implementations. It takes more than delivering one class and a conscious decision to remove bias, as they are deeply rooted beliefs.

Inclusive leadership requires a lifelong commitment to your people through personal development and coaching. Learn to recognize differences and how to benefit from them to cultivate a new culture.

People first.
Inclusion is not about color, race and culture; it is about embracing the uniqueness of all individuals, eradicating oppression of all forms and inspiring a workforce that lines up at the door because they want to belong to an organization that believes in them.

Deloitte partner Juliet Bourke says research into the impact of inclusive leaders found a strong connection between authentic leadership and individual feelings of inclusion. Employees were more likely to experience greater self-worth as organizational members, more likely to help their coworkers and more likely to care about the organization’s performance.

Creating standards of excellence in the workplace.
It means welcoming and encouraging involvement by creating a space where asking for help is the norm and actively seeking information and problem solving is a collective responsibility. It’s creating a team spirit where each person feels like they are a part of something. You have to draw people into conversations and ask them what they think, using periods of silence to allow thoughts to develop.

Build of culture of inclusion that starts from the top.
Symbolic workplace changes are critical at the top of organizations if you are serious about inclusion. Developing a narrative as to why inclusion is critical to business success should be the priority of creating change. Highlighting the benefits, integrating inclusion into the organizational values, is significant in guiding behaviors and holding senior leaders to account for non-inclusive behaviors. Showcasing highly inclusive leaders and the benefits derived for the organization leads the way.

Proctor & Gamble became a leader in this arena by investing $2 billion annually to support diversity programs. From advancing women leaders through comprehensive leadership programs, to a stronger presence of women amongst managers and driving a leadership position in supporting employees with disabilities to ensure an inclusive workplace where all can contribute — P&G was a shining star for inclusion.


Why 2018 could change your office life forever

Contributed By Pankaj Bansal, Co-Founder and CEO of PeopleStrong

e as a generation of citizens of India have been really lucky. We saw the transformation of India from being a closed economy to the fastest growing one, from a manual job intensive market to the technology hub of the world and from being a dot in the global business world to the nation with the largest human potential.

Amidst this action, one of the key things that never received enough attention is HR. Though an industry in its own might (globally), it continued being a backend function in India until recently (as recent as 5 years ago). Times have changed and so has our focus on Talent and Technology.

Being part of this journey for that past decade, we thus felt that this would be the best time to talk about the subject which impacts businesses even more than we realize. And to start with we chose our personal favourite topic – the HR Tech Market.

The entry of ‘technology’ in HR started with the mainframes, which were used for administrative tasks like record keeping and payroll management. Then came the time of Traditional ERPs, where the problem of physical space was resolved, but it was still difficult to implement and manage systems.

This was followed by the phase of point solutions which were on-premise software on top of which internal teams build HR systems. Then came the wave of cloud, mobile and the latest Artificial Intelligence.As the maturity of technology grew, the market and its dynamics became all the more interesting. Here’s is our take on it!

Getting the numbers just right!

HR as a function has often been blamed to have a nemesis in numbers and perhaps that is the reason why even experts globally could not agree to a market size!! While conservative assumptions peg the market for a number of 10 – 14 B USD (Gartner etc.), there are others who say it is an approx. 400 B USD market.

The difference in the two numbers is very huge and hence when we started studying the HR Tech Market, we spent time understanding different segments. After a number of interactions with experts and a lot of secondary research, we came up with our own market size.

From what we saw, HR Tech by 2021, will be a mammoth $34 billion industry globally. By this, a sizable chunk of almost $20 billion will be commanded by existing solutions largely in Human Capital Management, another $8 billion will be the Payroll Software and the remaining $6 billion will be the new market that will get added to the equation as “Gig-Economy” systems gain popularity.

The India Focus: How big is it on the global map?

Once we had the overall number, the next Herculean task was to understand how each of the geographies phases out. Where all experts agree, is that the US Market which currently forms approx. 60% of the market will have 50% share by 2021; APAC and MEA are expected to contribute nearly one-third of the total international HCM business.

That’s about $6.7 billion. The Asia Pacific and the Middle East-Africa regions have always been the tacit metrics of measuring an organization’s global evolution because the developing regions having such untapped territories hold the maximum potential.

Of this total number, Japan and China together will be at $2.4 billion, MEA at $0.7 billion, rest of APAC will be close to $3.6 billion of which India would be a billion-dollar market and rest $2.6 B would be ASEAN countries. Looking at the current number this would mean that India’s HR Tech market will double up in next 4 years!

Believe it or not!

While the geography wise study makes an interesting read, eye-opening facts came out when we started studying the functional market segments of HR Tech markets not talent management but Core HR and Workforce management system that needs the major focus. Just to contextualize, we divided the market into Recruitment, Core HR (which is employee data, administrative tasks, self-service, mobility), Workforce management (leave, timesheet, scheduling), Talent Management (Performance, Learning, Compensation etc.), Payroll.

Today, if we ask anyone that what would be the most talked about term in HR (apart from recruitment) – the response would either be performance or learning. An interesting revelation that came as part of our study was that even though these segments are most talked about ones, they form hardly 5-10% of HR Tech expenses. In fact, more than 70% of the HR Tech expense globally is made up of HRIS, Payroll and Workforce management. This is a common trend across geographies and segments.

A Billion dollar pot that remains unnoticed

Just like we have seen, the Big4s in the world of Audit, there had always been the Big 21/2 (SAP, Oracle and Infor) in the traditional ERPs. However, they could also not survive the jolt of cloud solutions and went on acquiring companies like SuccessFactors, Taleo. This study is eye-opening and will help in understanding the market dynamics. And as we can see, the Indian market is huge and is shouting out loud for smart individual HR Tech players to manage the workforce of Tomorrow.

We hope that as we move towards being a billion dollar market, excitement in the journey increases and so does the pace of innovation.

Here’s the roller coaster ride ahead. Cheers!

Fact Check

  1. Overall market pie
  2. APAC, India Size
  3. Market spends