Understanding Employee Engagement

Leaders around the world are aware of the competitive advantages of employee engagement, from increased retention and productivity to greater innovation and safer physical workspaces.

Despite the ubiquity of employee engagement in the modern business zeitgeist, only a select few organizations are successfully engaging their employees, a struggle that is reflected in study after study. According to Gallup, only 33 percent of U.S. employees are engaged at work — and if that sounds bleak, the same study shows that global employee engagement numbers are even lower, hovering closer to 15 percent.

So why the disconnect?

How can so many organizations be focused on engagement with so few actually building such workforces?

The difficulty starts with a common misconception, one that mistakenly construes employee happiness, motivation and engagement as different names for the same thing.

Although they are related, they’re not equivalents. Employee engagement is the emotional commitment an employee has to their organization, its goals, its people and its values. A high level of commitment is something that no number of nap pods, kegerators or catered lunches can buy — but it can be inspired.

Inspiring engagement requires a unique set of tools, but luckily many of them cost very little to use.

Start by defining how you want the team to be engaged. Evaluate your organization’s core values and how they align with personal values. If you haven’t defined your organization’s core values, if they’re vague not representative of your organization, your employees will have a difficult time envisioning how their individual contributions make an impact.

There is a purpose to every job, and purposeful work is a significant factor contributing to engagement. Although purpose isn’t something you can give to someone, you can help reveal it. Illuminate the purpose behind the work your colleagues perform by helping them see how it impacts their team, their organization and the world around them. Recognize great work in the moment and make that praise visible and specific.

A token “Good job!” and pat on the back are certainly better than nothing, but they’re not likely to help someone see the greater impact and value of their work.

Focus on specific contributions and the impact they’ve made. For example: “Great work on the homepage update, Keisha. It’s so important for us to provide users with a delightful experience, and we’re already hearing a ton of positive feedback about the update. Your dedication to quality design is really admirable.”

Simple, genuine interactions like these cost nothing but provide immense value for the recipient and can even offer perspective for others wondering about the impact of their own work, how it aligns with the values of your organization, and how they can make their own valuable contributions.

As employees earn recognition for their valuable work, they naturally become more invested — and more engaged — in its purpose and outcome, proving once again money is not always the only motivating factor for sticking with an employer.

Source: http://www.cobizmag.com/Business-Insights/Understanding-Employee-Engagement/

Employee engagement for small businesses

Workers quitting as the year ends is a common dilemma for small organizations in industries like retail, distribution, customer service and hospitality, especially if they’re dealing with young and hourly-paid staff. Some employees just leave after getting their bonuses or never come back after taking a holiday break.

These scenarios can very expensive for businesses. Turnover can cost up to 200 percent of an employee’s annual salary (depending on the role), according to Bersin by Deloitte founder Josh Bersin, considering lost productivity and the time and effort spent on hiring, on-boarding and training new staff.

Employee relations for small businesses don’t have to be complicated. Just like all other relationships, this has to be rooted in trust, communication and commitment. No matter how big or small their roles are, having an engaged pool of workers can drive a business to the next level in no time. Small business may feel disadvantaged with less to offer in terms of perks and bonuses but there are ways to effectively encourage employee engagement without having to spend immense amounts of resources.

A smaller headcount means owners can individually know each staff member. This is vital with regard to engagement initiatives. Managers and owners can start via regular check-ins that promote open and constant communication, which can eventually foster an environment of unity and trust. Visible and available business owners or supervisors can boost staff morale. Filipino workers are particularly keen on building relationships with key people in organization. Building relationships with the higher ups will lead to more open discussions.

Ensure that the lines of communication are open upward, downward and laterally. Most companies already have employee engagement perks and bonus programs but having a smaller team means that these benefits can be tailor-fit to individual needs. An extra day off, perhaps, or the cost of the flight back to their provinces for the holidays. Will an extra allowance for lodging be helpful? Are these benefits going to be useful? Knowing particular needs will help you maximize your employee benefit budget.

Some will insist that compensation remains a very big part of employee retention. Engaged employees, however, aren’t driven by monetary benefits but rather by the workplace environment.

Fleur Therese Saguid is the Head of People Operations at First Circle. She has over six years of experience in human resource management at fast growing start-ups with particular focus on talent acquisition and labor relations.

Source: http://www.manilatimes.net/employee-engagement-small-businesses/370244/

The best way to negotiate a higher salary if you’re an introvert

Negotiating for a higher salary is nerve-wracking for many of us. If you’re an introvert, however, you may be even more reluctant to fight for higher pay.

“The idea of negotiating is something that strikes fear or discomfort in many people, introverts among them,” says Susan Cain, best-selling author of “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking,” and one of the most popular TED Talks speakers of all time with over 17 million views.

But having this discussion doesn’t have to be a terrifying prospect. Cain explains that there are various steps you can take to make negotiating your salary a seamless and easy process.

“When you have to negotiate a salary,” she says, “one thing that you can always do is your homework to figure out what the market value is for this role that you’re applying for.”

Knowing how much your peers are making in that same role or industry will at least give you a starting baseline and you can navigate your way from there.

If you’re looking to negotiate, it’s crucial that you stake your request in the market value, Cain explains. By doing this you’re “depersonalizing” the negotiation. “You’re not making this like a contest between you and your prospective employer,” she adds.

Focusing on the market value also makes the dynamic between you and your employer much more comfortable and less combative, says Cain. She suggests saying the following: “I know the market value for a position like this is generally X. Do you think that you might be able to reach that?”

Approaching the “salary topic” in this manner is based on a principle in negotiating which is called “being soft on the people but hard on the problem,” says Cain.

This tactic is particularly useful for introverts who tend to shy away from tough conversations that they find draining. On the flip side, Cain notes that one of an introvert’s many skills lies in their interactions with others on a deeply personal level.

Introverted employees should also make use of this ability to snag senior level roles, which generally come with a higher payday.

When you’re tackling a difficult scenario, being firm on the issue yet still personable is always your best bet, according to the bestselling author.

“It’s always the way you want to go,” she says. “Be firm about the substance but be friendly, and open and warm in your dealings with the people.”

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/26/the-best-way-to-negotiate-a-higher-salary-if-youre-an-introvert.html

Four Ways to Use Big Data in Employee Training

Big data and the technologies behind it have become one of the major factors driving modern business. An IDG Research study found that 80 percent of large enterprises and 63 percent of smaller companies were using or planning to deploy big data solutions. Collecting and analyzing the information gathered from various corporate activities enables companies to make more informed and timely decisions.

But even with the increasing amounts of data being assembled, it’s of little value if it isn’t structured for fast analysis and multiple needs. The demand for data scientists and better big data tools have been on the rise for some time as it encompasses more business functions.

One of these is employee training. The data produced in skills development can be analyzed to increase training efficiency. Here are some of the areas where big data can save your company time and money in your training processes.

Identify Training Needs

Performance analysis can indicate where training is needed within the business, whether it’s with specific job roles, teams, or individual employees. You’ll then be able to explore options to determine the skills and topics that should be covered and find the most appropriate training programs.

There are a wide variety of approaches that can be used, such as classroom formats, online courses, group workshops, or demonstrations. You must evaluate your options to select the training that’s best suited to your employee abilities, work schedules, and your corporate needs. Teaching skills and information also requires purchasing or preparing the materials you will require. This can become a blend of printed or digital documents, visual aids, technologies, and tools. Big data can guide you to the right purchases.

Individualized Approach

HR managers can use analytics to define particular strengths or weaknesses in your workforce capabilities and make necessary adjustments. Every training program should be monitored so that results can establish the effectiveness of your training processes. More personalized or more creative techniques may be called for.

Advanced educational technology can allow you to make evaluations of each employee and personalize the experience based on individual progress. Big data can integrate each trainee’s testing scores with larger datasets such as demographics and testing histories to determine which methods are effective and where reinforcement or retraining is needed. Continual evaluation will suggest which training modules are most effective with certain employees.

Constant Improvement

Analysis of training data enables HR and senior managers to keep improving their training programs. Big data creates a clearer picture of which modules are effective, which topics are harder to learn, and how employees interact with the materials and formats that are provided to them. By accessing cloud-based analytic tools, you can view real-time updates and adapt your methods as training continues.

This is even true for remote employees. The cloud is a very flexible data and service solution for an increasingly mobile workforce. Cloud computing makes it easy for virtual employees to get all the benefits of corporate training without traveling to the office.

Growing data stores of trainee performance and feedback on various subjects will suggest practices for improving training efficiency.

Future Expectations

The two business trends that you’ll continue to see are big data and sustainable practices. Both promote optimization of processes for greater profitability. Ensuring that your teams are adequately trained for core business activities and changing technologies helps your business to remain profitable well into the future.

Big data also allows you to forecast future trends. You’ll be in a position to adapt training programs before your competition sees the need. Accepting social responsibility will improve your branding and employee motivation throughout the 21st century business environment. Consumers are expecting responsible practices while workers can take confidence in improved career skills.

Training your workforce to engage with sustainability is a critical step. By leveraging big data technology in your training programs, you’re providing new opportunities to your workers and more sustainable profits for your company.

In Conclusion

Big data and analytic tools are an essential asset to modern businesses. When applied to making improvements in training programs, you’ll get happier employees with better skills contributing to your profits. Growing data will contribute to the accuracy of results, while anticipation of trends and training needs creates a more flexible business model.

Effectively capturing and structuring data from your training operations enables you to perform big data analytics that drive improvements in output, quality, and employee engagement. Constant improvements give you the potential to advance employee skillsets more rapidly and consistently to meet new workforce developments such as cloud computing and remote workers.

Big data enables you to predict market and industry trends so that employees across the company can receive the training they need. As individuals or as an organization, your team will be able to adapt to business changes more smoothly and efficiently.

Source: https://insidebigdata.com/2017/12/22/4-ways-use-big-data-employee-training/

A Year-End Review for Your Employee Engagement Program

It’s common to “take stock” of our personal and professional goals as we transition to a new year. We may take the time to evaluate how we performed against our own goals or resolutions, year-end reports and performance reviews can evaluate how we performed against professional goals, and we can evaluate our programs, vendors, and customer/client experiences as a way to measure progress against organizational goals.

The majority of organizations today have employee recognition programs in place, with the most commonly-used program type as milestone recognition or service awards. But employee engagement has grown beyond recognition and into elevated programs to address culture, wellbeing, drive, and more.

If you want to take a mental inventory or audit of your employee engagement program, start here:

Purpose — In one study, 57 percent of employees polled said “meaningful work” made the strongest contribution to their positive feelings about their work. Ultimately, everyone wants to know their work makes a difference — to the team, the organization, the community, and even the world. Does your organization make it easy for employees to connect to a greater purpose in their work? Does your mission statement have life? How do people within the organization live up to company values? And is there a strong sense of social responsibility with support from senior leaders and commitment throughout the organization?

Work Design — Part of the buzz around culture is about swanky office design, open work concepts, even trends like hot desking — but you don’t need to compete with startups and ad agencies for the most creative spaces. Ultimately, a good workspace provides a safe physical environment that supports productivity and is appealing to employees. But beyond the physical workspace, good work design involves the design of jobs, autonomy of employees, and a focus on innovation, with programs to support continuous product and services improvement and professional development.

Social System — Having a friend at work has an impact on how we feel about work. Feeling connected to a social system can provide a sense of belonging, meaning, and make work feel a little less like work. To evaluate your organization’s social system, ask these questions: Does your organization support diversity and inclusion in meaningful ways? Is onboarding an inclusive and thoughtful process, making new employees feel truly welcome, prepared and part of the organization? And — can employees communicate in ways that support their work?
Personal Growth — Nearly half of workers in a recent study reported professional development opportunities supported their engagement at work. In another study, 76 percent of Millennials said development opportunities were an important part of culture. Professional development can be offered in technical training, leadership development or support for personal growth. Want to know what your employees would appreciate most? Ask them.

Contribution Awareness — Everyone wants to feel appreciated for the work they do. There’s a lot of pressure on organizations to increase the feedback employees are receiving, but this doesn’t always mean more check-ins with the same manager or team. Performance insights can come from a variety of sources (including customers). And while more than 80 percent of organizations report having some form of employee recognition program in place, a holistic recognition system with tangible rewards can make a measurable impact on how values employees feel in the organization.
Advocacy — In the spirit of customer loyalty programs, today, we can foster advocates from within the organization as well. Does your organization support employee ambassadors and referrals? What steps can your engaged employees take to share their satisfaction with people outside of the organization? Can they (or do they want to) engage with the organization on social media? Can they (or do they want to) share their work achievements with their friends and family?

Wellbeing — Corporate wellness programs have gone beyond fitness challenges and into supporting mindfulness, wellness education, and opportunities to eat healthy and get exercise at work. Many organizations promote financial and psychological health for employees as part of supporting a holistic sense of security. If employees are not financially secure or emotionally well, the likelihood that they are able to do their best work is diminished. Organizations who recognize this support the whole health of their employees without being invasive or paternalistic. Employees need opportunities to willingly engage in, not required programs that could take away from their enjoyment of their jobs.
Want to learn more about how your organization is wired to support engagement? Take our free, innovative online assessment: Engagement Potential Index (EPI). Your results will be compared to industry benchmarks in a customized report alongside a tailored set of recommendations on how to improve your standing. If you’re serious about taking stock in your organization’s engagement program and you want to learn more about how to support employees, take the EPI today!

Source: https://www.maritzmotivation.com/blog/employee_engagement/year-end-review-employee-engagement-program/

Five Tips From ‘Entrepreneurial You’ For The Modern Day Entrepreneur

We’re living in a time of relentless economic upheaval. The rules and career guidelines are being torn up and re-written as our increasingly digitized infrastructure is paving the way for not only more job anxiety but also, and crucially, more opportunities to diversify.

Dorie Clark’s new book, Entrepreneurial You, builds on the lessons from her previous best-selling titles, Reinventing You and Stand Out. I’ve long admired Dorie, who takes one big breath, looks at a rapidly changing globalized economy, and challenges readers to leverage their expertise and skills to develop new income streams. In reading, I was energized by her experience and enthusiasm — it’s impossible to read this book without then taking a long, hard look at your own business practices. Here are a few ideas I’ve borrowed from Dorie to great effect in my own business strategy.

1. No Job Is Completely Safe

Dorie can relate to the instability of a changing economy, and reflects in the book on her own experience in journalism — an industry that has undergone one of the biggest overhauls in recent years. On one of her early jobs as a political reporter in 2001, Dorie says she was made redundant and left with the realization that the idea that there are any jobs that are completely protected and “safe” is a falsehood.

I can relate to this realization with my own career highs and lows. The lesson that jumped out at me was about safeguarding your income and confidently leveraging your skills in a society that’s shifting and changing in immeasurable ways. Side income streams allow you to create fallback mechanisms and passive income that can give you more economic confidence when negotiating your way through life. Dorie calls this “career insurance,” which is a phrase I really like.

There’s a tendency in many business guides for so-called gurus to promise the world and sell lofty ideas with little fruition. Alternately, Dorie advocates the long game and carefully putting the building blocks in place to diversify and capitalize on new opportunities.

Multiple income streams allow you to assist clients in lots of different ways. To this end, I’ve been working on my own online courses to make them even more humanized and customer-centric for the people who buy them. By leveraging my background and know-how in speaking, writing, evangelizing brands, consulting, increasing my course offerings and writing books, I’ve been able to place smaller bets with safer rewards.

2. You Don’t Have To Be A Big Risk-Taker

A lot of budding entrepreneurs and people with a great idea are put off by the idea of taking a big risk. But you don’t have to quit your job and throw all of your savings into a new venture or side hustle; you can work on passion projects in your spare time and eventually even leverage new skills to expand your duties at your day job.

The key here is systematic small bets instead of massive risk-taking. Business is about using data and evidence to take considered action — then, if you’re not successful, you haven’t lost considerable resources and you haven’t failed. Perhaps your data wasn’t comprehensive enough. Whatever the reasons, you can learn from your small bets and remain unscathed.

This approach is sensible for entrepreneurs who are just starting out. Even taking the smallest possible step and validating a new idea by telling a friend about it is progress. This goes to show that entrepreneurs aren’t risk-hungry; they’re careful and considered.

3. Work For Exposure

When you’re just starting out with your side hustle or new business venture, you may be encouraged to work for free. You should consider it — in the right circumstances.

Dorie’s book explores this, but by no means does she recommend consistently doing work for free and letting people take advantage of you. However, when you’re looking for experience, you can offer your services to folks on trim budgets or with whom you have good relationships already. This helps to build your confidence, generate testimonials and earn some referrals. With that, you can grow your client base and start charging healthy rates.

Giving away some of your expertise so that you can learn from a project or make some new connections can be just as worthwhile as short-term revenue — and you never know, it could lead to long-term work.

4. Data Is Your Friend

Sometimes it feels right to take action based on your gut instinct or disregard evidence that pushes you toward a direction you’re not happy with. But data and factual analysis are critical to your new or established business.

Entrepreneurial You made me even more aware of the importance of sourcing various datasets and evidence before making decisions. Dorie describes using a research standpoint to communicate her ideas and repackage complex concepts and data captured from her interviews into straightforward, actionable strategies. Approaching your business from a research standpoint (for example, collecting customer testimonials and insight) can really help you to move forward.

I encourage my customers and audiences to reach out to me by including multiple touchpoints and ways to connect. I’ve developed my own tool that’s integrated with Facebook Messenger to facilitate conversation and use social listening to generate data I can use to build my business. This is then connected to my CRM so I can segment things further, including where people are coming from and what kind of information they prefer.

5. Find Strategies That Work For You

One of the most salient points Dorie explores that resonated with me is the need to find ways of working and growing your brand that is comfortable for you.

If you’re introverted or quite shy, then networking events could be overwhelming, so work on online spaces where you can make connections and build your confidence. After reading, I felt encouraged to focus on public speaking because I enjoy it so much. In fact, I’m now putting together some new, refreshed materials to send out to organizers.

Dorie aims to equip readers with the models and mentalities to free themselves from being locked into restrictive careers that are increasingly precarious and less stable. What I discovered is that we often have the skills required already, but the next step is building trust with an audience and utilizing your skills in new formats.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2017/12/18/five-tips-from-entrepreneurial-you-for-the-modern-day-entrepreneur/#627aa51c6e5b

New Year’s Employee Engagement Strategy: Set Realistic Goals

Our founder, Stefan Wissenbach, always says “play a game you know you can win.” That’s not just about beating your kids at Scrabble – it means setting yourself up for success when creating personal and professional goals. When you set goals you can realistically accomplish, you help yourself build positive momentum and confidence that contribute to even greater successes.

Here’s our guide to setting realistic, achievable goals for 2018.

Forget “New Year’s Resolutions”
Nobody keeps their resolutions past February. (Seriously, statistics show that only 8 percent of people actually keep their New Year’s resolutions)

Why do they fail? Mostly because they set too many resolutions and become derailed by small failures.

So while we do think setting a goal that begins on January 1st is useful timing, let’s skip the New Year’s nomenclature. Set a few goals for yourself for 2018 – but do it the SMART way.

A SMART Take on Goal Setting
Studies show that people with written goals are 50 percent more likely to achieve them than people without written goals. With that in mind, here’s a writing exercise to set you up for success in 2018.

Holiday travel is great for carving out time for self-reflection. Whether you find yourself in a plane, train or automobile, take a little time to review 2017. If you set goals for 2017, write down what they were. Which were you able to accomplish? Which did you leave undone? Note down what worked, what didn’t work, and what you can do to improve in 2018. We’re essentially applying the Experience Transformer technique to goal setting.

Then, draft out a short list of what you’d most like to accomplish this year. We recommend setting one big goal, or up to three. But no more than that, because you may find that following through is more of a commitment of time, energy and resources than you think.

Once you’ve sketched out three goals you’d like to achieve, make them SMART.

SMART is a goal-setting structure that helps with clarity, focus and motivation. These goals are:
Specific – What do you want to accomplish? Why is that goal important? What resources do you need to do it? What is your plan for getting those resources?

Measurable – How can you track your progress towards your goal to stay motivated? For the same reason it’s so important to measure engagement for your employee engagement strategy, it’s also important to measure your own progress in any area of your life you wish to improve.

Achievable – When goal-setting, be careful not to overestimate what you can do. If anything, underestimate and make sure you’re playing a game you can win.

Relevant – Write down why this goal is worthwhile to you right now. This statement will come in handy when you need to remember your motivation later.

Time-Bound – Set a time limit on when you can reasonably expect to meet this goal, and don’t make it too far ahead (like December 31st). What can you do in the next three months to get closer to your goal? Plan in bite-sized increments.

Adding details and giving yourself a structure to reach your goals will get you most of the way there, but there’s another component to success: Sharing your goals.

Make it a Team Effort
Research has shown that sharing goals with a friend and sending that friend regular updates on your progress can improve chances of success – people who write goals down, enlist friends, and send progress reports have been shown to succeed 75 percent of the time.

Sometimes a friend isn’t enough. Sometimes you need someone in authority to hold you accountable. If you need that extra layer, consider investing in a coach, trainer, or other professional (You can also enlist your own team members to be your “Goal Buddy”). Finding the right tools can also help. In the age of smartphones, you might well ask: Is there an app for that? There are probably several.

Most importantly, consider how you’ve achieved goals in the past. What about those situations contributed to your success? How can you recreate what worked then now? There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to successful goal setting. The truest compass is always yourself.

Source: https://www.engagementmultiplier.com/blog/new-years-employee-engagement-strategy-set-realistic-goals/

CEOs say top job candidates know what companies are all about

Dive Brief:

A strong majority (88%) of U.S. and U.K. CEOs surveyed by Glassdoor say their most desired quality for top job candidates is an understanding of what their company is about. That sentiment is also reflected by CEOs of companies selected in the job site’s 2018 Best Places to Work list.

Respondents, a group composed of HR professionals, recruiters and those with hiring responsibilities, said informed candidates weren’t just interested in salary, but also in the organization’s culture.

Top candidates also come to the interview with ideas; are a good company fit; have passion, drive and talent; are motivated, compassionate self-starters; and can come onboard ready to work right away, the survey showed.

Dive Insight:

Useful as this tidbit may be, the true challenge is living up to your employer brand authentically. An Addison Group survey found that, after salary, job seekers want to work for employers that value workers. However, in another survey, only 19% of employees believe their employer’s brand matches their work experience.

Being true to your brand is a must for employers, or else you risk losing workers’ trust and, ultimately their engagement and retention. Incidentally, online reviews tend to be accurate, one study showed — all the more reason to improve the experience of current workers.

Candidates who show they’re informed about a company have always had an edge over less knowledgeable candidates in the recruiting process. Their familiarity with an organization shows they’ve taken time to do the research needed to understand what it does and whether or how they might fit in. But, first, make sure candidates know what your organization’s values, mission and purpose are, which requires marketing your brand in job postings, just as your organization does in ads for its products or services.

Also high on employers’ list are candidates who “fit the culture.” An Employee Engagement and Organizational Culture Report shows that turnover is drastically higher in organizations with weak cultures than those with strong cultures. But for some recruiters, “cultural fit” is less about an organization’s values, or brand, and more about weeding out people whom the majority of employees might find unacceptable for reasons other then their ability to do the job. Recruiters need to check whether their own biases are excluding otherwise eligible candidates.

Source: https://www.hrdive.com/news/ceos-say-top-job-candidates-know-what-companies-are-all-about/513371/

Elevate The Executive Within: The Democratization of Executive Coaching

US companies spend over $70 billion annually on training and development expenses, ranging from in-person seminars to online programs. Only a small percentage of individuals, however, have access to the customized services of an executive leadership coach. The costs of individual coaching are so high (up to $3,500 hourly) that only a select few can access and benefit from the service for their leadership development and career growth.

Does everyone actually need a live executive coach to reap the benefits of executive coaching? With the growing sophistication of various Internet technologies, we are poised in the near future to see a significant sea change (even a full blown “disruption”) of the executive coaching industry. Since a core principle of executive coaching is that individuals can (and should) proactively drive their own personal and professional growth, the field is well suited for the introduction of technologies that empower various forms of self-directed learning at a substantially reduced price point for workers at all levels in companies and organizations.

Most executive coaching experiences are comprised of a structured, stepwise process that includes 1) assessment of work challenges and goals, 2) feedback from colleagues and other stakeholders, 3) formulation of a developmental action plan, 4) accountability processes to ensure implementation of new behaviors, and 5) a sustainability plan to fuel continued growth after the official coaching ends. Coaching engagements generally run for approximately 6 months. Individuals can experience each step of the coaching via emerging technologies such as online coaching platforms, and without incurring the major expense of a live human coach.

For example, clients can be prompted by a coaching app to assess their own workplace challenges by various self-reflection exercises and completion of brief questionnaires, which they can upload onto their personal coaching platform. The process of receiving feedback from their colleagues and stakeholders can be explained via the app, and then the client can be guided to assemble a group from whom he or she can seek structured “360 degree” feedback. These and other self-directed learning activities all can feed into a developmental action plan, which the coaching client can share with a boss or manager — and then work on implementing over the ensuing weeks and months.

At the same time, we need to consider seriously the potential benefits of working with a live human coach, whose creative conversational skills, nonverbal communication, and empathy are key components of the executive coaching experience for many clients. There are two major aspects of technology driven coaching that can mitigate against this objection. In fact, these two powerful factors suggest that technology based coaching might provide a non-inferior (or even superior) coaching experience for clients, as the technologies continue to improve rapidly.

First, coaching apps can guide clients to identify and develop their own network of people for mentorship and enhanced collaboration. There is growing recognition that leadership training ought to be embedded in the client’s actual work life. A recent article from Deloitte presented research suggesting that leadership training is most effective when learning experiences “build in real work, risk and accountability, intentional networking, exposure, collaboration, micro-learning, and on the job problem-solving.” Along these lines, coaching apps can stimulate clients to pursue more meaningful interactions with colleagues, thereby deepening the human relationships at work that can propel high performance. Rather than depending on interactions with a live human coach, coaching apps can empower clients on their own to enhance their human relationships with internal colleagues in the workplace.

Second, there are emerging technologies that could allow clients to connect with chatbots, avatars, electronic games, and other artificial intelligence (AI) technologies for powerful coaching experiences. Many of these technologies have emerged from the mental health world. In a randomized control study, the SPARX online game for treating adolescent depression was shown to be “non-inferior” to well credentialed, human cognitive-behavioral therapists. The study and its results were so impressive that it was featured on the cover of the prestigious British Medical Journal. Some groups are also developing AI programs for executive coaching which may hold as much promise as the programs already developed for psychotherapists. If these programs are “non-inferior” (or eventually superior) to live human coaches, then executive coaching is likely to become less expensive and more widely accessible in the years to come.

We have entered an exciting era for digital executive coaching, as new technologies are poised to lower its expense, increase its accessibility, and enhance the client’s self-directed learning experience. While a select few will surely continue to work with live human coaches, many will soon have the option of supplementing or replacing live human coaching experiences with coaching apps, chatbots, avatars, electronic games, and a host of other technologies under development for individuals aiming to enhance their executive skills in the 21st century.

Source: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/elevate-the-executive-within-the-democratization-of_us_5a37c616e4b02bd1c8c6088a

The 1 Reason Most People Quit (and 5 Things You Can Do to Prevent It)

According to Gallup, only 32 percent of employees in the U.S. are engaged–involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their work and workplace. When you expand the sample worldwide, those numbers drop to 13 percent.

Some organizations may not be overly concerned about participation in employer-sponsored programs or employee enthusiasm towards work, but everyone should be alarmed to hear that 87 percent of employees have commitment issues.

Now, I don’t know the exact cause, but common sense leads me to believe that employees probably feel like their employers aren’t committed to them, either. Although it would be nice if everyone were immediately bought-in after signing their offer letter, the truth is–like in most relationships–trust is earned; it is not a transaction.

If your organization wants to inspire commitment, it’ll have to go first. SAP SuccessFactors ran a study and came away with five ways for employers to prove they’re committed to their employees. Here they are:

1. Make continuous feedback and coaching central to performance management.
I know the conversations feel unnatural and are a little awkward, but I promise, the more you get into the habit of providing real-time feedback, the easier it will become. In my experience, receiving in-the-moment advice was less threatening and more impactful.

To throw a sports analogy at you, imagine if coaches waited until the end of the season to provide instruction to their players. Ridiculous, right? You would have had no way of pivoting and making critical adjustments to help the team. Unfortunately, some organizations do this through the traditional annual performance review. Many companies are now moving toward real-time feedback throughout the year.

Continuous feedback is vital to an employee’s growth. It proves to them that you care about their success and are committed to seeing their development.

2. Create development opportunities for the skills and roles you need.
It can be frustrating to employees when their organizations rely on outside talent to fill senior individual contributor and management positions.

If this is a regular occurrence for your organization, it signals the need to build and improve bench strength. This includes hiring for potential, workforce planning, and grooming employees for leadership roles.

After an employee reaches a point of productivity, your organization should think about next steps. The process doesn’t have to happen immediately–it can take years to fully develop the next generation of leaders. The most important thing is that it starts and that employees know where it’s coming from.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen managers lose great people because they never communicated what their intentions were for them. If you don’t make a point to develop your people, then other companies will.

3. Make succession management a key priority.
I get it. The feelings of complacency can be terrifying. So it makes sense that one of the top reasons consistently listed for employee turnover is a lack of career progression opportunities.

There are multiple occasions however for which promotional opportunities just don’t exist. You definitely don’t want to promote just for the sake of promoting. Top-heavy organizations and ill-equipped managers are an even bigger issue.

Look to lateral moves through other departments, additional training, or mentorship opportunities to help team members grow, learn and progress.

At the end of the day, I don’t believe that employees expect to be promoted every year. They just want to feel like they’re part of the big picture.

4. Align compensation strategies with today’s hyper-competitive market.
Thanks to resources like Glassdoor and LinkedIn, it’s very easy for employees to cross-reference their roles and compensation packages with the market.

To prevent your top performers from jumping ship, make sure they feel fairly compensated based on their level of contribution–not their tenure. Although employees may be brought into your organization at different levels, it’s important to assess their impact and calibrate compensation packages based on performance.

With the current market shortage of top talent, it’s more critical now than ever before to differentiate your high-performers from the rest of the organization and reward them accordingly. If not, feelings of being treated unfairly will drive dedicated employees to look for more equitable environments.

5. Empower employee connection and collaboration.
Spending quality time with your team is one of the best ways to show that you’re dedicated to their success as a manager. This doesn’t mean long sit-down or drawn-out conversations.

Instead, I think what employees really value is shared experiences. When you include your direct reports in projects and choose to collaborate as opposed to work independently, it shows that you’re committed to imparting the wisdom necessary for their success.

There’s no shortcut to employee engagement and commitment. If you want to flip the statistic and inspire commitment, then you’ll have to dedicate yourself to employing processes that make employees a priority.

Source: https://www.inc.com/michael-schneider/5-brilliant-things-leaders-do-to-inspire-employee-loyalty.html