Remote Work Has Arrived, But It’s Not Quite As Great As We Hoped

We’ve had almost a year of remote work, and the transformation has been amazing. Today, among those who can, 71% of Americans work from home most of the time, 87% say they have excellent tools, and employees are roughly as engaged as they were before the Pandemic.

But there is a huge gap between rich and poor going on.

In fact, “remote work” is the ultimate new class divide.

Consider this data (from Pew Research, 5,900 workers): 62% of College-Educated workers say they can work from home, only 17% of those without a college degree say the same.

When we look at income levels, the disparity is even greater.

The New Corner Office Is The Home Office

What does this mean? We have created a whole new “corner office” effect. While many of us can work at home all day, our lower-income team-mates simply cannot.

And younger workers (under the age of 50) are having a much harder time than people my age. Younger workers feel far less motivated, less able to meet and connect with peers, and less productive in general. In fact, as the data shows, younger workers are “half as motivated” than older people.

What does this mean? Well, remote work is more complicated than we thought.

Remote Work Is Harder Than We Thought

In the first few months of the Pandemic we rushed to buy tools, set up Zoom or Teams, and create all sorts of home office setups for people to adapt. My friends at Target told me they tracked the process of American’s outfitting their home offices by watching buying trends: first wifi routers and laptops; then desks and cameras; then new furniture and household furnishings; now exercise equipment, music systems, and all sorts of wellbeing aids!

Well, this may feel like a good thing, but it has had a dark side. Our operational and service worker friends haven’t been able to gain these benefits. Young people are getting fed up with the “work at home” life. And young parents, mothers, and people with children are actually suffering.

Consider this: according to the Pew study only 13% of workers believe their work is “better” than before the Pandemic. 23% think it’s “worse.”

When asked about specific aspects of their job, a third say they feel less connected to their co-workers, 26% say it’s harder for them to balance their work and family responsibilities, about one-in-five say they have less job security and fewer opportunities for advancement (19% each), and 16% say it’s harder to know what their supervisor expects of them.

Bottom Line: Learning To Manage Remote Work Takes Time

One of the big findings in the Pew research is that people who have worked at home a long time (writers, designers, researchers) are as happy as ever. For the rest of us, it has been a novelty that’s starting to wear off.

Right now I know most of you are working very hard to put together Employee Experience programs for 2021. I would suggest you look at Remote Work carefully, and think about all these issues. Are you giving young people the connection and advancement they need? Are lower-income workers able to work at home when they want? And are leaders paying attention to all the new issues that have come up?

If you’re interested in my thoughts, here are the principles I’ve developed – I talk about tools, rules, norms, and culture. They all play a role in this new world of remote work.

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How AI Will Guide Corporations, Part 1: By Redefining Roles

Industries dramatically change every decade or so. Consider this—only about 50 companies, or roughly 10%, have remained on the Fortune 500 list since 1955. As we start moving into the early 2020s, we’re on the cusp of another major change, one that will be guided by artificial intelligence (AI).

As revenues rise and fall, and companies adjust to new economic, political and social landscapes, the internal workings of companies change as well—specifically, executive roles, processes and technology. For the first article in my three-part series, I’ll walk you through how, guided by AI, executive roles within companies will change in the 2020s.

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Companies have long assigned new responsibilities to some executive roles, and have carved out new executive roles, too. For instance, these days, it’s not surprising to see a company with a chief revenue officer (CRO) either operating alongside or in place of a chief marketing officer (CMO). It’s also becoming increasingly commonplace for chief information officers (CIOs) to work more closely with chief human resources officers (CHROs) to improve the employee experience.

Why AI Will Reshape Go-To-Market Executive Roles The Most

In the 2020s, changes to executive roles in go-to-market departments—finance, marketing, customer success, sales, product development and human resources—will be guided by AI. This is a crucial development in the evolution of the corporation because it will also inform how practitioner and staff roles evolve in the 2020s.

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Roles in these go-to-market departments have the most potential to be redefined by AI because they naturally rely on a lot of data and shifting variables. These roles are marked by conditions of VUCA, which stands for volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. People have to make decisions in these roles that are, on some level, predictive.

While each unique role will be redefined and retooled through automation and augmentation via AI in different ways, broadly, AI can guide executives and other employees in these departments by showing them what’s going on across the business (the big picture view), by presenting them with different scenarios and associated consequences and by suggesting fresh ideas.

For instance, CMOs traditionally make marketing decisions based on past campaign data, such as lead conversion rates. AI could give them another layer of guidance to show them different scenarios and options and the good and bad that could result from each decision, such as selecting a new segment, targeting a new geographical market or starting a new brand campaign. AI could even show CMOs novel ideas they might not have brainstormed on their own.

We’ll also see chief customer officer (CCO) and chief experience officer (CXO) roles be drastically redefined, if not enabled, by AI. People in these roles interface with customers at various stages of the customer journey. AI will augment their decision-making to streamline and improve those customer interactions. We are living in a buying era where 67% of the buyer’s journey happens digitally. Unlike the classic funnel of awareness-consideration-purchase, buyers are acting non-linearly. They ask LinkedIn connections for recommendations, research competitors, use free trials and more. Using AI to collect data points along the customer journey, CCOs and CXOs can engage customers at the right time, on the right channel, with the right message.

How AI Will Reshape Roles Outside Of Go-To-Market Executive Roles

Outside of the executive suite, one example of AI retooling these go-to-market departments that we’re already seeing is in the news industry. Using algorithms and live data, Reuters writes text-based summaries of some sports games. Reuters also introduced a prototype for a fully automated presenter-led sports news summary system earlier in 2020. This ties into something important I think will happen. It’s not that AI will necessarily replace many jobs (although it will replace some); it’s more so that AI will enhance the more “chore-like” aspects of these roles, freeing up people to produce more and use more of their energy to create and innovate.

Apart from the go-to-market departments, roles in development, IT and other technical areas may also be augmented by AI. Consider this—in the past, data scientists spent a huge percentage of their time on model selection, or identifying the right machine learning models for problems. Now, with auto machine learning via platforms like AWS and Microsoft, AI can choose the right models with minimal data scientist involvement.

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In short, executive roles in go-to-market departments will reap many benefits from AI, as will their teams. With these data-driven predictions at their fingertips, they’ll be able to make more nuanced, educated decisions and spend less time reaching those decisions, gaining a competitive advantage in the process.

Going a step further, we’re already starting to see people in chief AI officer (CAIO) roles. Maybe every company in the future will have a CAIO who oversees the role of AI in the organization. Or, maybe chief digital officer (CDO) roles will incorporate more AI responsibilities, developing ethical frameworks for how their companies use AI internally and externally. Perhaps companies will even have an AI robot or two on their board of directors, something a Hong Kong-based VC firm has already done.

When it comes to reshaping jobs, AI won’t be the be-all, end-all. It’ll be more like a team member “hired” to help people in different roles. Think about all the administrative, repetitive parts of your job that you’d love for an AI assistant to take care of! AI won’t stop at transforming roles, either. In my next two articles, I’ll explain how AI will guide changes in the processes and technologies companies use.


Five changes to workplace culture that HR can drive in 2021

As we kick off the year, there is always speculation about what lies ahead for the next 12 months. However given the unknowns, the intrigue and uncertainty this year are greater than ever.

According to a recently published report by O.C. Tanner’s 2021 Global Cultural Report, the year ahead promises to be one of “crisis, opportunity and compelling data”.

Here are the five big changes predicted by the research, factoring in the impact of the pandemic.

#1 Digital transformation continues apace

Getting buy-in from employees is a crucial factor in the success of an organisation’s digital transformation.

“Most organisations assume employees are afraid of artificial intelligence and other advanced technologies. The research shows any fear is more nuanced and centres on how the organisation implements new tools,” the report states.

It also suggests that companies perform at their best when they weigh the impact technology will have on the employee experience and work culture.

Employees are ready to get on board with this. Almost two- thirds (65%) are optimistic about new technology at their company, while 32% of companies are culturally ready to embrace new technology.

#2 Increase in transparency

The research revealed that organisations that have increased their transparency since March have experienced and 85% boost to employee engagement and a 152% jump in a willingness to do more.

Conversely, organisations without a formal recognition programme have a 20% higher score in intention-to-leave amid employees, a 49% decrease in engagement and a two-fold increase in fear of Covid-19.

#3 Recognition a crucial factor

Companies with integrated recognition are 73% less likely to have had layoffs in the past year and 44% less likely to have had employees suffering from burnout.

According to O.C. Tanner, “When organisations use programmes and tools that elevate the role of recognition and enable authentic connection, cultural and business success follows. Embedding recognition into culture allows it to become the natural response to great work across the organisation.”

oc tanner recognition

#4 Organisational culture

HR and senior leaders have a key role to play in consolidating the changes to the workplace forged by the impact of Covid-19.

“Leaders will need to find ways to bring people back together, even if it means doing this remotely, and some leaders may even need to strip everything back and re-build a more positive, connected and purpose-driven culture from the ground up,” the research states.

#5 Focus on diversity & inclusion

A number of studies published over the past year have highlighted the fact that many employees believe their companies initiatives in D&I are not sincere. Business leaders need to up the ante and take real action with their D&I programmes.

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What HR needs to know: GDPR and AI

Complete transparency about how your AI technology works, whatever the process, is essential. Without it, employers can run into GDPR challenges and lose the trust and buy-in of colleagues. An impending class action against controversial taxi app developer Uber could have some implications for how such technologies are used in the workplace.

The App Drivers & Couriers Union is currently bringing a legal challenge to courts in the Netherlands over more than 1,000 claims by Uber drivers that they have had their right to work for the company terminated because of fraudulent activity flagged by the app. The claimants believe they were wrongfully terminated, and Uber has refused to give them any explanation over what they did wrong or how the app came to its decision to automatically terminate their accounts.

The core of the Uber driver’s complaint is that there was no human intervention in the termination of their contracts – which is what may be unlawful.

By contrast, HR professionals can legally use algorithms to help them work out who they should be recruiting as the final decision ultimately lies in human hands. Under GDPR and the Data Protection Act (DPA), Excello Law employment specialist Hina Belitz explains: “It’s unlawful to take a “significant decision” solely on an automated basis.”

Using algorithms in recruitment may also fall into an exception to GDPR law that deems, according to Belitz: “It’s permissible to use solely automated decision-making where it’s necessary for entering into, or the performance of, a contract.

“EU guidance suggests that recruitment may be one of these situations. After all, the processing is with a view to entering into a contract of employment. This is called a qualifying significant decision.”

So long as there are safeguards in place to protect candidates’ rights and freedoms, Belitz adds that automated sorting in the job application process is allowable. People must be told that their data is being handled in this way, which also means they have the opportunity “to request a reconsideration or the making of a new decision which has a human in the mix” adds Belitz.

An employer is obligated by law to carry out a data protection impact assessment before implementing such tools. Belitz says: “It would have to consider whether it was really necessary, as opposed to convenient or cheaper.

“For instance, if you get a thousand applications for every job opening – but not perhaps if you get 20 or 30. And it ought also to consider discrimination aspects.”

It may also be possible to positively discriminate using an AI tool. Belitz adds: “Any skewed outcome where an algorithm is used is a possibility [for positive discrimination].”

When it comes to social deprivation though, as it is not a protected characteristic at present, Belitz says: “There is unlikely to be any legal recourse for an individual. The main protection to bear in mind is to ensure there isn’t sole reliance on automated decision making.”

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The Four Universal Traits We Want From Leaders During Crisis

In the midst of time tumultuous time, how can leaders bring out the best in those they’re charged to lead?

A good place to start is by looking backward; examining past crisis for the traits people sought out, and valued most, in their leaders.

Fortunately, Gallup Organization has done that. They studied the fears, concerns, and confidence of citizens from across the world through many of the biggest crisis of the past 80 years — including the Great Depression, Pearl Harbor and World War II, Kennedy’s assassination, civil unrest in the 1960s, 9/11, the 2008 financial crash, and now, the COVID-19 pandemic.

As they did, one thing became clear. In the midst of crisis, people look to leaders to allay their fears and bolster their confidence; to reassure them that they’ll be okay, even if things will be rough in the short term.

It’s why in this period of intersecting crisis – employment, economic, social, political, public health – leaders must be even more intentional in how they ‘show up’ for others. Gallup’s study distilled the leadership attributes people are seeking into four core universal needs

Trust: Be predictable in an unpredictable time
That leaders should act with integrity and be trust-worthy is a given. In the midst of crisis, when so much is outside a leaders control, people also want to trust that leaders are at least in control of themselves. Sure much is uncertain, but at least they can be certain that their leader will do the right thing, even if it costs them.

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Being able to count on behavioral predictability is a lynchpin to sustaining this trust. Leaders who are inconsistent in their decision making, show a lack of emotional mastery or are prone to being reactive under pressure only stoke anxiety in their ranks. No-one does their best work when they’re afraid.

Where can you be more consistent and predictable between your values and actions?

Compassion: Show that you care about what they care about
The adage that people don’t care what you know until they know how much you care is never truer than in crisis. When people feel anxious about their future, demonstrating that you genuinely care about what they care about is imperative to keeping them engaged and focused on your team or organizations ‘mission critical’ priorities.

On the flipside, if people assess their manager really doesn’t care much about them personally, there’s little chance they’ll be fully engaged in their work, much less be willing to go the extra mile when it might matter most to the organization.

In turbulent times such as these, leaders must be deeply connected to the emotional landscape of those in their ranks. This is rarely comfortable work. At times, it can require immense vulnerability. Yet connecting from the heart, not just the head, lays at the heart of real leadership.

Are you regularly conveying to team members – through your words and small daily actions – that you truly care about what they care about?

Stability: Ensure everyone knows what to focus on and why
It’s part of the human condition to seek certainty. So when people feel their future is under threat, they crave frequent assurance and clear direction so they can prioritize effectively and avoid overwhelm. As people work remotely, it’s even more vital to ensure they’re clear about what ‘success’ should look like.

Gallup research found that only 39% of U.S. employees ‘strongly agree’ their employer communicated a clear plan of action in response to COVID-19. So it is better to risk over-communicating – using multiple mediums and touchpoints – than to risk under communicating. Unless people are clear about what leadership is thinking, doing and why, the communication vacuum will be filled with catastrophizing worst case scenarios and rumors running wild.

As you communicate plans and update progress, expand the context for those on the front line so they can see a higher purpose beyond their daily grind. People want to find meaning in hardships, to know that their ‘hard yards’ are contributing to a cause greater than themselves.

Link what you’re asking of them to what lays at stake, using accessible language they can adopt in their own conversations. Make it easy for them to answer for themselves ‘For the sake of what am I doing this?’ Doing activates the ‘rally effect’, getting everyone pulling together, and guarding against tunnel vision.

Is every single person in your team is clear about your plans, priorities, progress and the higher purpose your collectively working toward? If not, what other way can you communicate with them? Try talking more, texting less.

Hope: Fuel optimism for a future worth working toward
Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl observed that the deciding factor between those who survived the brutality of Nazi concentration camps came down to hope of future happiness. Those who could resist succumbing to despair, found that their hope “gave them courage” to press on even in the bleakest of times. Frankl among them.

Hope is a precious capital. Hopeful employees are more creative, courageous, agile and resilient. So as you share plans and progress, express your firm belief that the goals you’ve set are doable and that the vision you’re rallying people behind is achievable.

Hope isn’t about denying the harsh reality. Nor is about ‘toxic positivity’ and Pollyanna optimism. Rather it’s being able to confront the brutal reality of a situation while also keeping faith that you will ultimately prevail and better days lay ahead. To paraphrase Nelson Mandela, ‘May how you lead reflect your hopes, not your fears.’

Does your demeanor speak optimism? Do your conversations fuel a sense of hope for the future?

By spreading ‘positive emotional contagion’ – through trust, compassion, stability and hope – leaders foster the conditions for people to do their best work and bring their boldest thinking to the most pressing challenges at hand, particularly in the toughest of times.

In doing so, you leaders transform shared adversity into a catalyst for growth, for collaboration and for innovation toward stronger outcomes than would ever have been possible otherwise.

Drawing on what we can learn by looking backward, it’s now time to look forward, rallying all stakeholders behind a shared vision toward a better, brighter, future.

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What The U.S. Capitol Riot Can Teach Us About Toxic Organizations

The U.S. Capitol Riot of January 6 has been decried as an attack on democracy. Whether or not all agree with this, there is no question it was a most unfortunate event, leading to loss of life, injuries, and extensive property damage.

It was grounded in what many identify as a dysfunctional political system. There is no question that the polarization of American politics has had a role in increasing animosity between the parties. There is much work to be done to heal these differences to improve U.S. democracy.

What about the role of the leader? What does the head of an organization have to do with the level of toxicity in the organization?


As the world’s largest economy, one can also think of the United States as the world’s largest corporation – with the President as the head of that organization. When thinking about it this way, all the signs of a toxic organization have been visible for some time.

Toxic and dysfunctional organizations are identified through indicators such as low morale and low engagement. This leads to a high turnover of employees, managers, and executives. Ultimately, this leads to the organization not being successful at conducting its affairs.

When the actions of the head of the organization demonstrate and reinforce toxic behaviors, it begins to appear throughout the organization.
It Starts at the Top
Egocentric leadership and confrontation versus cooperative behaviors at work often lead to toxic organizations. Productivity and creativity are replaced by inefficiency and a destructive culture motivated by self-interest and a lack of shared vision. As the number of disgruntled employees grows in relation to workplace stress, it is important for managers and decision makers to lead by example to avoid reinforcing dysfunctional work practices that foster a toxic environment.

For a short time, this can be tolerated – organizations are resilient. But if the behavior at the top continues, those who hold their ground against toxic behavior are punished, are fired, or choose to leave. Over time, increasing numbers of people in leadership roles begin to replicate and reinforce the toxic behavior of the top leader. It becomes ‘the way business is done’.
What is a Toxic Organization?
The “toxic organization” is essentially understood to mean an organization in which there is a negative spiral of dysfunctional working relationships. From key leadership down to frontline employees, the toxic workplace affects everyone. Egos may get in the way of sound decision making, power struggles and intense competition between individuals may stifle the pursuit of common goals, creating a negative spiral.

In the toxic organization, leadership tends to focus too much of their time on building their own self-interests, making interaction with subordinates unproductive. Departments are often at odds and recognition and appreciation are rare. Work-life balance is a concept acknowledged but not practiced. Generally, the emphasis is on what went wrong instead of what went right, which creates an environment that damages the emotional, physical, and financial well being of employees. Put simply, toxic leadership promotes a toxic culture.
Moving Towards A Healthy Organization
The importance of the right organizational framework
Healthy organizations have productive working relationships where work is conducted in an open and transparent way, inspired by a culture of trust. In other words, if someone says something will happen, it happens. There are well-defined frameworks in place defining the “rules of the road” so that everyone understands how to perform and how to relate effectively. Think of driving a vehicle, and the importance of understanding what a red light means or the purpose of a lane. Imagine how difficult it would be for vehicles to interact in a public street without rules – it would be sheer chaos. The same is true in organizations.

In the absence of a framework, individuals pursue self interest
In many modern organizations, there is no common framework consistent language about how work is delegated down the organization, or about how work-flows across the organization. As a result, people are left to their own devices to determine how best to carry out their work. For example, people in one part of an organization often depend on output from others for success in their own work. Yet if these two people have a different understanding of their roles with respect to each other, how can they be successful in their collaborative work? This common framework, or language of collaboration is critical for aligning organizational workflow, making it more likely that individuals will do and collaborate on work that is in the best interest of the organization overall.

Managers lead by example
Managers play a significant role in deterring or enabling the toxic organization through their behavior. For example, if subordinates are told that family and work-life balance is important, and yet the manager works a 60 to 80 hour week and through body language and innuendo appears to expect the same from the team, what is the message? If expectations are that employees are available during evenings and weekends, over time these expectations become part of the organization’s culture. Managers lead by example – whether positive or negative – and these behaviors, while not written down or formalized, become ingrained in the organization

Recognize and discourage dysfunctional work practices
Managers need to recognize and discourage dysfunctional and destructive work practices. People are not robots, and despite best efforts, will not be at their best if they are constantly overworked or under-valued. If dysfunctional work practices become standard operating procedure, people are apt to burn out. They will not be as responsive, and their creativity will wane. Over time, the organization will lose opportunities for building the business and improving workflow processes. As a result, overall operational performance declines, whether it’s to find that new product, reduce cost or most importantly, provide an opportunity for people to focus on the value-added work that is so critical to organizational success.

Toxic organizations can be avoided. In addition to recognizing when work practices or employees are becoming driven inappropriately, the most effective managers are cautious not to reinforce negative dynamics in the organization.
What if You are the Head of the Organization?
As the head of your organization, you may be setting a clear context for work, demonstrating the right example, and delegating appropriately. But beware! Toxic behavior can take root whether the leader is the Manager of a front line team, the Director of a function, or the Vice President of a Department.

Unfortunately, most organizational measurement systems are focused solely on results. Are the margins there, is the profit adequate, did we get the sales, are we at the right level of quality? Of course, these are important measures. But if that team leader is getting results at the expense of the team the results will be short term.

The results will not be sustainable. The stress on the team will lead to lower productivity. It can even lead to more severe consequences for the health and safety of team members.

As the head of the organization, you must also have good knowledge of the input measures. Measures such as manager effectiveness, employee engagement, support system effectiveness and managerial leadership need to be understood so you can identify those leaders that are not carrying out their duties appropriately. The members of each team know full well whether their leader is creating a toxic work environment. You need to ask the questions, preferably through anonymous, third party tools.

The bottom line is accountability in an organization. As the head of the organization, you are accountable for everything that happens in the organization. Results are not enough. You need to be sure that you are achieving the results in the right way. The bonus is that if toxic behavior is eliminated in your organization, you will create a dynamic that will result in increasingly improved performance.

With higher morale, more engaged employees, and everyone focused on the right work, even in turbulent times, you can grow and prosper.

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Why women leaders thrive during a crisis

Early on in the coronavirus pandemic it became apparent that countries led by women tended to handle the crisis better, but it wasn’t necessarily clear why.

After all, there aren’t that many countries with female leaders (19), and there are all sorts of other cultural, socio-economic and geographic factors that could influence Covid cases and deaths.

A recent study by academics from the Universities of Liverpool and Reading sought to clarify whether female leadership styles played a role. They found that, indeed, women-led nations had significantly fewer deaths (around 1,650 fewer on average) and cases than their closest similarly-sized neighbours.

The pattern of better health outcomes was still there even after controlling for health expenditure, and factoring out possible outliers like New Zealand (led by Jacinda Ardern) and Germany (led by Angela Merkel), in part because women PMs and presidents were generally quicker to lock down.

It would be a mistake just to draw the conclusion from this that ‘women are better leaders’ per se – leadership is individual, contextual and crucially can be learned – but it is telling to look at the behaviours that proved so effective.

For example, female leaders tend to be more sensitive to risk and to communicate in a more egalitarian way, a point highlighted by UCL professor of organisational behaviour Sunny Lee.

In a pre-pandemic analysis of nearly 9,000 leadership reviews US leadership consultancy Zenger/Folkman found that when rated by their direct reports, women outscored men on 17 of 19 leadership capabilities, significantly so when it came to relationship building, practising self-development, developing others and displaying integrity. There was less divergence on technical capabilities, strategic perspective or the frequency and power of communication. (When the study was repeated during the coronavirus pandemic women leaders outscored men on 13 of the 19 competencies.)

The critical leadership trait here is empathy, which increases awareness of the consequences of your own actions, your ability to build relationships with others, and indeed your willingness to put human beings ahead of hard economics. And it’s something all leaders would do well to cultivate.

“Countries that have handled this crisis better were ultra cautious, which led them to take big decisions early. They have usually been led by women,” says Rene Carayol, business coach and author. “But it’s not about gender, it’s about empathy. It’s the ability to feel the mood music.”

Being able to relate to the emotions of others and control your own is important not just in showing people that you care about them, but also to earn their trust and bring them along with you.

This is no more apparent than when we look at the bravado demonstrated by Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro, Britain’s Boris Johnson and America’s Donald Trump – all of whom at one stage or another refused to acknowledge the real threat of the virus (and therefore the risk to their people), or later to admit that they were wrong.

All three countries have significantly high death rates, and all three would have benefitted from a little more empathy, and a little more humility. Fortunately, for leaders in politics or business, men or women, these are things that can be learned.

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A window of opportunities: how leaders can harvest the good from the crisis

If and when vaccines effectively curb the spread of coronavirus, working patterns will surely change again. But rather than just waiting to see what happens, business leaders need to decide now what they want the new world of work to look like for their organizations. The pandemic has given employees an unprecedented opportunity to experience ways of working that are less structured and less limited. Many won’t want to turn back the clock.

Where people work, when they work, and how they work all have huge ramifications for a company’s development of both its physical and human resources, affecting everything from office space to employee development and team building. If companies don’t plan now, they’ll face significant risks as the pandemic subsides.

Chief among these is the danger that some employees continue to work from home while others make a full return to the office, potentially splintering teams and company cohesion. Some employees may seek to physically be in the workplace to build a relationship with their bosses and advance their careers, while others may believe they are more productive at home. If half a team works in the same room while the other half connects solely via video calls, team dynamics are sure to be disrupted.

From a real estate perspective, there’s a clear danger that a business will end up with too much (or too little) capacity, depending on whether it has retained or reduced its office space during the pandemic. If business leaves it up to individual employees to decide when and where to work, it’ll be very difficult for estate managers to ensure there’s enough suitable office space to accommodate seemingly random fluctuations in working patterns.

Where do your priorities lie?
Given these risks, it’s important to plan now for the aftermath of the pandemic. To do that, the senior management team needs to prioritize. Should the priority be making employees happy? If the company’s involved in a talent war this could be very important. Or should the focus be on improving the financial situation of the company, given the way in which the pandemic has ravaged the economy? Or should the company concentrate on making customers happy and winning market share, while rivals flounder? Or a combination of all three?

If used wisely, the current window of opportunity could allow businesses to significantly increase employee satisfaction (in terms of when and where they work), improve the customer experience (through greater agility and better collaboration), and realize significant savings for the organization. If working from home becomes the default, the cost of operating and maintaining facilities will drop, while greater use of remote training and events should improve efficiency. As employees commute less and can work more flexible hours, the business may also be able to spend less on payroll and incentives. Remote working has proved to be efficient during the pandemic and is becoming more broadly accepted by organizations and their leaders.

But working from home isn’t a panacea. Kearney’s experience of supporting clients during 2020, and conducting a comprehensive internal global study, suggests that the upsides of the new working patterns are counterbalanced by various downsides (see figure).

If people spend much of their working life away from the office, a key challenge for CEOs and CHROs will be to give them a sense of belonging and ensure they continue to develop. People who work predominantly from home won’t receive as much informal guidance from colleagues and managers. When everyone’s in the office, problems and solutions are discussed in the cafeteria, in the corridor, or even in a bar after work. It can be hard to replicate that dynamic in a remote working environment.

Companies will also need to consider how many of their staff have enough space at home in which to work effectively. Parents who have to work in their kitchen, for example, could be interrupted by children returning from school or their partner making a meal.

In reality, many businesses are likely to pursue a hybrid model in which about half of employees’ working time is in the office and the other half is at home or elsewhere. It could become customary, for example, to perform tasks that need full concentration at home, while projects that involve a high degree of personal interaction and collaboration might be conducted in offices or other shared working spaces where colleagues can gather together and have access to the necessary amenities. For many service and software companies, the bulk of work may be produced off-site and delivered electronically, blurring the conventional definition of the workplace. Freelancers and contractors from different organizations will work together in ad hoc teams that are assembled and disbanded as required.

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail
For most organizations this will represent a major shift in working patterns, so they need to prepare properly. Now’s the time to review and adjust elements of the operating model to take full advantage of the new ways of working.

The first step is to define the ambition: draw up a people and real-estate strategy that includes targets in terms of where and when staff will work. The allocation of office space should reflect the different needs of different roles and job functions—someone in a back-office position may need less space than a project engineer but more than a salesperson. Whereas some employees may require a dedicated workspace, others may need to book before they visit the office. People performing back-office functions may be able to do most of their work at home, while a software engineer or graphic designer, for example, might need to be in the office to work on specific equipment or collaborate closely with colleagues.

To help clients revamp their working arrangements, Kearney typically develops between five and 10 archetypes of office-based employees who describe where they need to work (home or office?), when (traditional or flexible time model?), and the office layout they require. This analysis is based on an evaluation of how much time each archetype spends on the four Cs—concentration, collaboration, communication, and community. We also help identify the digital collaboration and productivity tools each archetype will need and whether employees have the necessary skills to use these tools effectively.

It may also make sense to provide staff with incentives (and the equipment they need) to work remotely, as the organization could benefit through a reduction in fixed and variable real estate/maintenance costs: tailoring office space to functions should reduce the amount of unutilized capacity and improve efficiency. Although flexible workspace will continue to be important for collaboration between teams, clients, and suppliers, this could be rented from private coworking facilities as the need arises.

Compressing and scattering time
One way to attract better staff and motivate existing staff is to give employees more ownership and control over their work-life balance. For example, allowing for flexible start and finish times will enable individuals to work when they’re most productive, or choose to commute outside peak hours. Some may wish to compress their working week into four days, putting in longer hours each day but gaining one or more extra free days to spend as they please. Others may want to scatter working time, fitting in their hours around childcare or other personal responsibilities. Short sabbaticals could become the norm, giving employees the opportunity to further their interests, such as spending more time with their families, advancing their education, travelling, taking part in charity or sporting events, or developing their entrepreneurial skills. If employees can achieve a better work-life balance, they’re more likely to stay with the organization.

Of course, giving employees flexibility on when they work can’t be allowed to compromise the business. The company will need to design mechanisms that enable compressed and scattered time models and other forms of flexible working, and can be implemented without weakening operating processes. In other words, the organization needs to proactively design rules and conditions, rather than simply allowing flexible working to take place. In practice, this could require a redefinition of roles and responsibilities and management models (for example, span of control) to make the organization more agile. New working models could call for fresh processes, a revamp of cross-functional interaction and collaboration, and even revised customer and employee satisfaction metrics. Indeed, it’ll be vital to ensure that managers throughout the organization are closely involved in designing new working models.

In terms of real estate, there may be a need to create flexible spaces that can be adapted to fit changing requirements, such as seasonal fluctuations or variations in the type of work being done. When people do come into the office, many will be looking for social interaction, so offices could be redesigned to provide space that allows people to meet and collaborate easily.

Finding the right formula
Clearly, there won’t be a one-size-fits-all approach to post-pandemic working. Kearney is working with clients with very different priorities—one business is seeking to close one of its buildings in Paris to cut costs, while another is involved in a talent war and is focused on boosting employee satisfaction. A third client is based in a rural area, which has made it difficult to find good people. New ways of working can help overcome this challenge.

Still, almost all businesses have one thing in common: COVID-19 has opened minds by revealing how digital technologies can overcome many of the challenges related to remote working. The transformation in how, where, and when we work has just begun.

Beyond the pandemic, acute shifts in technology, demographics, the labor market, and the very nature of work itself could reshape the relationship between employers and employees. As remote working and virtual interactions become more accessible, location will matter less and less. Freed of this long-standing constraint, business leaders have a golden opportunity to shape working practices for the better. Now’s the time to act, to maintain your competitive edge.

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How Making Your Company Culture Can Be A Key Feature Of Your Talent Strategy

Every organization is bound by its employees. The efficiency of the organization is also determined by the efficiency of work laid down by them. There must be coherence and likeminded subject between the employers for the initiation of trust-based relationships. To strengthen the trust, there must be cultural-based collaboration in the organization to expose the talents of the participants or employees themselves. It is helpful for the workers to make their own decisions.

MBA students all over the world often have to complete and study their assignments based on the HR case studies. Moreover, these case studies are also used in real-time scenarios to support the theoretical concepts in interview aspects. The case studies have underlying importance in the MBA curriculum. The Business Case studies are used in theoretical and practical aspects such as in interviews and while conducting business. The business operations mentioned in the curriculum will have a calculated amount of work and research. It has to be done by students whenever they are assigned a new topic.
Now, the business case studies regarding HR handling and the reports are affluent and approached when it is used from a reading point of view. Imagine if the report and other studies were given as assignments, and the students were tricked into it by finishing the assignment. The students will have no other option than to complete the assignment. However, there are professionals at Expert Assignment Help to assist in the completion of assignments. The team of HR experts are here to assist students, and help reduce the burden by completing their assignments.

There are five key features in which an organization can be re-established and refreshed by implementing company culture. They are:

Every organization, to understand their employee’s behaviour, and to collaborate with the first needs to see-through its employees. The transparency character is meant to out-show everything to your accomplice. The nature of transparency is passed onto a task to gain the trust of the employees, which helps them understand their ideologies and problems. Moreover, nurturing your company culture is possible only if there is transparency among them. Apart from money, every employee looks to join a trusted organization, and trust can be earned if there is transparency within it.

In business studies, a 1subsequent amount of focus must also be laid on building leadership qualities. For effective leadership, a perfect leadership strategy must be followed to win the minds of the followers and the subordinates. With decision-making skills and strong determination, the business studies students have to decide for efficient functioning. Expert Assignment Help also provides information regarding leadership and how to become a great leader one day. Compelling leadership achieves shared objectives yet also causes individuals to associate with their enormous possibilities and empower them to get things done.

The employees in an organization are just like children who always look for praise. They are desperate to get motivated in their work. In a remote organization you can nurture your company’s culture by motivating your top employees and underperformers. Therefore, the top performers need to be praised in front of everyone and should be provided with rewards for their exemplary performance. As for the underperformers, they need to be given extra focus where the employer will coach them in private to perform well in the future. This is one of the benefits of making your company culture key to your talent strategy.

The field of management study is too long and has many departments to support it. And assignment services are thriving to help the students in all kinds of case studies and assist in the field of HR. The team helps with HR case studies by finding out the best possible studies within a short period. To equalize the time constraints, they provide a solution as soon as they find out through the research to safeguard the submission of the assignment before the deadline. They help with all kinds of categories including case studies on training, skill development, employee retention etc.

In every organization, the employees always look for recognition of their work. The reward program is not enough for them to escalate their life expectancy along with their financial package. There must be a fair screening system for remote employees to help them and to provide them with the necessary amenities to make them comfortable. It is also to recognize their importance in the company. The employees, apart from their rewards and recognition, can also be promoted for their project success, which helps improve your talent strategy using company culture. If there is a position for the promotion, that should be given to the employees based on the evaluation.

In cultural collaboration, the company key personnel play an important role in promoting the ultimate goal of leadership by their efficient functionality in the organization. They are the strongest advocates who always preach the right thing and motivate their employees to work efficiently so that there will be no problems. Moreover, they act as a leader by solving the company person’s requests and always make a bold decision to show their courage and determination for the company and the employees. This is why having perfect leadership is a great talent strategy for your company culture because there aren’t any disadvantages when having a good leader. By their exemplary act, the company key personnel and the authoritative heads remain as a source of inspiration for the employees.

The employees must have the habit of equal treatment for all of the staff irrespective of their position in the company. There must be equal access between the leader and the employer during the time of issues and work to help motivate remote employees as well. The efficient strategy to be implemented for the successful integration of a company’s cultural collaboration is by forming a team to carry out the work together. The teamwork and team strategy help break all kinds of chains in the managerial discrepancies.

The pandemic has forced institutions in many countries to switch on to the process of e-learning from traditional learning. The students are now attending classes in the field of a video platform. The assessment and evaluation methods have also gone into the hands of software entries. The assignments which are issued to the students are based on some paper evaluation, but the current situation has forced the assignment submission to be undertaken online. Platforms like Assignment Essay Help are here to assist students with their HR papers and essays on leadership.

Company Culture is now followed in many countries to reflect the employee’s true talents and to motivate them for higher work efficiency. The integrative collaboration helps in binding the employer and the employee to work as a team to achieve their goals.

Three Ways to Build Your Personal Brand from Home

There are dozens of ways to build your personal brand online and the first step is to find what works for you. Identify what you’d like to share with the world—is it your resume, portfolio of projects, presentation videos, original songs, writing samples, t-shirt designs, or blog posts on your passion? Then choose your platform that aligns with what you want to share.

The first and easiest platform to launch your personal brand is your LinkedIn profile. Simply start with a professional photo and resume. If you already have this step down, you could level up with a personal branded website or leverage platforms that already exist. Read on for three creative ways to build your brand on existing platforms and communicate your passion like a boss.

1. Pump up your IG

Let’s say you’re passionate about yoga, meditation, and mindfulness. You desire to work for a wellness organization. Consider curating an entire Instagram feed dedicated to this passion. For example, you could include a daily video of a new yoga pose, or feature an inspiring quote relating to mindfulness. You might read articles by experts and each week share what you’ve learned in a post and photo that reflects your learning.

Not sure where to get these images? Pull from your own life. Check out Unsplash for free-for-use photos. You can even design an image on a free tool like Canva—a tool I absolutely love for designing quote tiles to feature on my personal branded Instagram.

Your posts don’t have to be professional or perfect. As many personal brand experts will tell you, brands constantly evolve. Your personal brand will grow as your tastes evolve and as your industry changes.

It takes a lot of courage to put something out there, especially in the world of social media where some people receive thousands of likes and your fledgling account may not be super popular right away. When it comes to a professional career journey, everyone has to start somewhere. While it may be impressive to a yoga studio if your yoga Instagram page has a ton of followers, there are still plenty of studios that would be equally as interested in a passionate new teacher who is still creating their Insta page and keeps at it. At the end of the day, they will see your passion, and your passion shouldn’t be swayed by “likes.” Truly passionate people do what they love whether other people take notice or not.

Then imagine the impression you will make when you can share your Instagram page that demonstrates that passion. Fast forward to your interview for your dream career and your personal brand is your differentiator—especially if you’re competing for a job against someone with the exact same resume, strengths, and skill set.

2. Show off your videos

Let’s say your passion is music. You play an instrument and produce your own tracks. You’re interested in a career in music production and dream of working with stars like Beyoncé. At an event at the University of San Diego, I once had a student raise his hand and share this exact vision. I loved it—dream big! When it comes to building his personal brand, many great platforms already exist for the music industry—YouTube, Vimeo, even Facebook live.

Before you can start growing your platform, first things first, you need a video. You’ve chosen video as your medium because it doesn’t scare you, but it still takes guts to hit “record” that first time. After that, it gets easier.

For this first foray, keep it simple. Record yourself playing your instrument. Record a mix you made and set it to an image. Or record yourself talking about whatever it is that you are currently learning about in the music production world.

If you’re passionate about music technology or pro audio, you could take inspiration from a publication like CNET and make videos where you geek out over the latest technology. As you read articles and books about music production, share what you’ve learned in a video. Show us how you put your learning into action by creating your first track. Every day you’ll get better and your viewers will be along for the ride. Meanwhile, you’ll start to develop your personal brand.

Now that you’ve created your first video, spruce it up with a thumbnail image (the first image that shows up and the one you can pin on YouTube to show for promotional efforts). Keep in mind there are free tools available, such as the free tool Canva, where they already have the YouTube dimensions and example template designs to choose from. No professional design skills needed here.

You’ll be surprised by how impressed other people will be by your free designed template and iPhone-filmed one–minute video talking about a new pro audio tool you’ve tried out. The fact that you put in the effort to do this courageous yet small act sets you apart from everyone else who is too afraid to put their passion out into the universe.

3. Start podcasting stat

Did you know that 14 million new people have become podcast listeners in the last year?* It’s my favorite way to build your brand because it’s a fantastic excuse to make courageous connections with people you admire in your industry, by asking them for interviews. Another advantage is that you can repurpose the video interview for YouTube, the audio for a blog post, and pull your favorite quotes for your Instagram. You don’t need any tech experience to get started; just a smartphone.

I believe anyone can start a podcast. Like uploading your videos to YouTube, creating a podcast is free and open to all. Keep in mind that Apple Podcast does require a submission and approval process, but you can easily stream your podcast on Libsyn, Spotify, or other platforms that have little or no barrier to entry. Not to mention, there’s very little overhead cost to get started. You can get started with virtually zero tools other than your smartphone.

You can edit your podcast using iMovie, which is free on Apple iPads or computers, or you can leave your podcast unedited and just go with it!

I can’t tell you how many people I know who have told me they would love to start a podcast. Set yourself apart by making moves. I promise you, if you set aside the time, you can make a podcast. It does not require a diploma, expertise, or experience. It only requires passion to fuel your creation.

Similar to video, podcasts range in format. Consider which of the formats works best for your goals: Interview or Q&A, Conversational, Educational, Storytelling. The interview format makes for a great excuse to make courageous connections with thought leaders in your field. Start with one fifteen-minute podcast and share it with the world.

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