10 Simple Ways To Get To Know Your Employees Better

To do their jobs effectively, leaders must prioritize the people on their team. After all, a company’s staff is its greatest asset, and managers should know as much as possible about each person and how they contribute to the overall success of the business.

Getting to know everyone on the team isn’t always easy, though, especially in a larger organization. We asked members of Forbes Human Resources Council to offer some advice for leaders who want to get to know their employees better. Here is their best advice:

1. Play Games

Take an afternoon to break out a deck of cards or some board games. Reserve a conference room or go off-site and play games, socialize and have fun together. Some good work and non-work-related conversations are bound to happen. Remember the fun and interesting things you learn and incorporate them into employee recognition, nicknames, etc. – Catherine Decker, Outsell

2. Manage Like A Mentor

To get to know your employees better, you must manage like a mentor. Mentorship allows you to have a different relationship with your employees. The employee will view you as a thought leader, someone who cares about their career, and they will feel more supported. With your trusted guidance, they will be inspired to share more with you. Mentoring will keep them motivated as you lead with purpose. – Charece Newell, MSILR, sHRBP, Sunspire Health

3. Ask Everyone The Same Question And Listen Carefully To Their Answers

Getting to know employees gets harder the higher up you go. Try getting to know just one thing about your employees. Decide what you want to know and ask the same question of everyone, such as, “What did you want to be when you grew up when you were 10?” or “What do you love to do?” Then listen really hard. – Pamela Potts, neosystemscorp.com

4. Have Lunch With Them

Breaking bread with your crew and listening to what’s on the minds of those doing the bulk of the work is critical to establishing leadership presence. Don’t order a sandwich so you can sit in your office. Go to the cafeteria and ask the loudest, most energetic table if you can join them for lunch. They’re likely the influencers of your organization and would greatly appreciate your presence. – Philip Dana, Bridgepoint Education

5. Hold Town Hall Sessions

Leaders should hold regular town hall sessions where they communicate the vision, goals, strategies and plans of the company to their employees. They should be honest and transparent about the direction of the business and how it would impact the employees negatively or positively. Employees should also be given the opportunity to ask questions and raise concerns. – Ochuko Dasimaka, Career Heights Consulting, Inc.

6. Be Authentic And Vulnerable With Them

To build trust and find out what really motivates and drives people, you have to be authentic and take the risk of being vulnerable. Many leaders feel they need to lead two lives: one inside the walls of the office and something different when they walk out the door. If you want to inspire people to do their best work, you have to lead with your real self. Share your passion, experience and story. – Stacie Mallen, CampusLogic

7. Have Staff Members Re-Introduce Themselves At Meetings

At staff meetings, we ask a current staff member to introduce another current staff member, sharing five new things we still don’t know about the person, even after having worked with them. It’s a great way to re-connect staff and remind everyone that there is always something new to learn. – Dynasti Hunt, EducationSuperHighway

8. Attend Company Social Gatherings

With endless responsibilities, company leaders are busy for good reason. However, there’s no substitute for time spent getting to know employees on a personal level. Leaders should make it a priority to attend events such as company celebrations and team-building activities. This demonstrates to employees that the leaders care about their well-being and not only the company’s bottom line. – John Feldmann, Insperity

9. Encourage Two-Way Dialogue In Company Communications

Leaders will get to know their employees if they establish forums that promote two-way dialogue. Often organization’s mistake notification with communication. The most effective form of communication within organizations is providing employees with a forum where they can share their thoughts, opinions and concerns. Town halls, one-on-ones and surveys are great mechanisms to accomplish this. – Ivelices Thomas, GardaWorld U.S. Cash Services

10. Work Alongside Them

The best way to get to know your employees is to push up your sleeves and work side by side. Most employees enjoy sharing what they do and how they do it, but they may not get the opportunity to share very often. Get out of the office and get to know them and the work. Let your employees tell you what they do and let them see that you care. Who knows? You may even learn something new. – Michele Gonzalez-Pitek, Best Friends Credit.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbeshumanresourcescouncil/2018/03/05/10-simple-ways-to-get-to-know-your-employees-better/#622db9e84b97

Employers failing to develop future leadership society needs

Employers are failing to develop the leadership needed to address challenges such as climate change and wealth inequality, according to research from the University of Cambridge.

The Cambridge Institute of Sustainability Leadership (CISL) said businesses should motivate future leaders with a purpose that links commercial success with delivering positive outcomes for society.

According to its Rewiring leadership: the future we want, the leadership we need report, HR teams could help meet this requirement through training and incentivising their staff.

CISL has developed a framework – the Cambridge Impact Leadership Model – to help organisations inspire future leaders to drive social and environmental change.

It said employers needed to develop leaders at all levels of their businesses and make the most out of individual strengths.

CISL’s executive director for education, Lindsay Hooper, said that while many organisations recognised that future leaders will need to drive forward wider societal changes, employers were not equipping their staff to do so.

She said: “For businesses to be successful in reconciling sustainability with profitability, we will need to see a significant shift in the development of leadership capacity. That means new collaborations spanning HR, L&D, sustainability and executive teams, and with an investment in leadership capacity right up to board level.

“Effective leaders for the future will be motivated by a purpose that aligns commercial success with delivering positive outcomes for society.

“Many businesses recognise this and understand the need to respond to and, where possible, shape the changing context in which they operate.”

The report claimed that developing a leadership strategy did not simply mean “adding a one size fits all” briefing module into an existing learning and development programme. Instead, it said employers should consider gaps in knowledge, values, attitudes and capabilities.

Desray Clark, head of leadership development at mining company Anglo American, said leadership development should be offered to all employees to help achieve the company’s future targets.

“We have learnt that this is the only way to ensure that we deliver against our purpose. In the past, like many organisations, we reserved leadership development for select senior leaders who would return from their training, ready to implement what they had learnt – but the system was not ready for them,” she said.

Source: https://www.personneltoday.com/hr/employers-failing-future-leadership-development/

Key Ways to Reduce Your Employee Turnover Rate

Tiffany Rowe, Marketing Administrator at Seek Visisbility explores how organizations can reduce employee turnover rates through better reward and recognition prgrams, effective communication, flexibility and establishing a culture of engagement

When it comes to managing a workforce, it’s always important to know how to best advertise roles, shortlist candidates, conduct interviews, and provide benefits that will entice the top workers to a team. However, if you really want to build the most productive workforce possible, it’s crucial to also continually work on reducing your firm’s employee turnover rate.

If staff members keep moving on after just a short period, not only will you have to spend more time and money on finding and training replacements, but the company’s team morale and productivity rates will also be negatively affected. Read on for some key ways you can go about reducing your firm’s employee turnover rate this year.

Recognize and Reward Staff Members
For starters, one of the most important ways to ensure your staff members stay with your company for longer is to recognize and reward their efforts and results. This doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money but can make a huge difference to employee satisfaction and engagement.

For example, start by simply thanking your workers for a job well done, and/or for going the extra mile in their roles. A heartfelt, sincere thank you, either in person, on the phone, via a letter or email message etc. can show people you notice their hard work, and appreciate it. Don’t be afraid to show your gratitude publicly too, via shout-outs on social media sites, in company newsletters, or at conferences and other events.

It also pays to purchase employee recognition gifts and to provide teams with perks. Gifts can include things like vouchers, movie tickets, bottles of wine, hampers, flowers, chocolates, or anything else you think will specifically suit the person and their interests, hobbies and home/family life.

As for perks, consider things such as free or better parking, free meals, zero or low-cost massages, and other healthcare benefits, access to on-site gyms, childcare, and quiet rooms, and additional time off work. You might also want to hand out awards through a regular set up, such as an Employee of the Month program, when you think it’s called for.

Help Workers to Learn and Grow
Next, keep in mind that something that’s incredibly important to employees these days, particularly the younger generations, is having the chance to learn and grow within their jobs. People are keen to receive regular training; to have development opportunities such as attending key industry events or taking on more responsibility at work, and to parlay this additional experience and knowledge into more regular promotions.

To reduce your employee turnover rate then, look for ways to assist your team to develop. You might hire speakers to come in and run learning-based sessions; create company-specific training, or invest in your workers by paying (fully or partly) for them to attend university or other courses. You could also set up mentoring programs; hire from within rather than externally; and enable staff members to take on new challenges in their jobs.

You should also regularly ask your employees what their career goals are. Running quarterly, or at a minimum annual, reviews, where you can sit down and discuss these things, are ideal. Once you know what your workers want to achieve, you can create plans, together, to help them get there and learn and grow as time goes on.

Give People More Flexibility
Giving your teams more flexibility can also really help to encourage them to stay on board for longer. This can be done in numerous ways. For example, consider not just making it possible, but actually encouraging, workers to move around the company. Enable them to try different roles and to work in different locations, including other offices around the state, country, or even world.

Flexibility can also be given when it comes to working hours and methods. For example, make it possible for interested staff members to work from home more often; to decide on their own working hours, based on their family life, most productive times, and more; and give people access to tech tools which enables flexibility in how, when, or where tasks are completed.

You can also make it easy for employees from different areas of the business to work together on projects, rather than always limiting conversations to set teams. This gives staff members the opportunity to not only enjoy getting to know other employees but also means they’ll get access to fresh points of views and information, which keeps things interesting. As a bonus, this makes innovation more likely for your company too.

Source: https://www.hrtechnologist.com/articles/culture/key-ways-to-reduce-your-employee-turnover-rate/

Research: Do People Really Get Promoted to Their Level of Incompetence?

You’ve probably encountered managers you admire more for their technical skills than for their actual leadership skills.

Perhaps it’s the familiarity of this experience that lends the Peter Principle its popular appeal. The Peter Principle, laid out in a 1969 book by Dr. Laurence J. Peter, describes the following paradox: if organizations promote the best people at their current jobs, then organizations will inevitably promote people until they’re no longer good at their jobs. In other words, organizations manage careers so that everyone “rises to the level of their incompetence.”

The Peter Principle problem arises when the skills that make someone successful at one job level don’t translate to success in the next level. In these cases, organizations must choose whether to reward the top performer with a promotion or to instead promote the worker that has the best skill match with a managerial position. When organizations reward success in one role with a promotion to another, the usual grumbles ensue; the best engineer doesn’t make the best engineering manager, and the best professor doesn’t make the best dean. The same problem may apply to scientists, physicians, lawyers, or in any other profession where technical aptitude doesn’t necessarily translate into managerial skill.

Investigating the Peter Principle

While the Peter Principle may sound intuitively plausible, it has never been empirically tested using data from many firms. To test whether firms really are passing over the best potential managers by promoting the top performers in their old roles, we examined data on the performance of salespeople and their managers at 214 firms. Sales is an ideal setting to test for the Peter Principle because, unlike other professional settings, it’s easy to identify high performing salespeople and managers—for salespeople, we know their sales records, and for the sales managers, we can measure their managerial ability as the extent to which they help improve the performance of their subordinates. The data, which come from a company that administers sales performance management software over the cloud, allow us to track the sales performance of a large number of salespeople and managers in a large number of firms. Armed with these data, we asked: Do organizations really pass over the best potential managers by promoting the best individual contributors? And if so, how do organizations manage around the Peter Principle?

First, we found that sales performance is highly correlated with promotion to management. For salespeople, each higher sales rank corresponds to about a 15% higher probability of being promoted to sales management.

Second, sales performance is actually negatively correlated with performance as a sales manager: when a salesperson is promoted, each higher sales rank is correlated with a 7.5% decline in the performance of each of the manager’s subordinates following the promotion. We found similar results regardless of whether salespeople were promoted to their own team or to new teams. In other words, firms tend to promote top sales workers into management, even though they become the worst managers.

In our data, among people who were actually promoted, better salespeople ended up being worse managers. But if we could observe the managerial potential of all salespeople, and not just those who were promoted, would we still find a negative correlation between sales performance and managerial performance?

Answering this question is difficult because the promoted managers we observed in the data weren’t promoted at random. For example, if firms promoted by flipping a coin, then poor salespeople could get promoted because they were lucky, rather than being promoted because their employer observed qualities that overcame their deficiencies as salespeople. Although people aren’t getting promoted by coin flips, they are more likely to be promoted if they happen to be in the right place at the right time: using variation in the promotion rates across industry over time to act as our coin flips, we still find that better salespeople tend to be worse managers.

We also found that firms underweight other indicators that a salesperson would be a good manager. In particular, we found that salespeople whose sales credits were shared among a large number of collaborators become very effective managers. Credit sharing for enterprise sales is typically a mark that the salesperson was involved in large, complex deals requiring collaboration. This type of collaboration experience positively predicts managerial quality.

How do firms manage around the Peter Principle?

Firms have long wrestled with the Peter Principle, and our exploration of the data reveals how firms have tried to minimize the costs of promoting top workers who become bad managers.

First, firms can reward top performers with pay rather than promotion. In our data, we found that firms with the strongest pay-for-performance also promoted the best managers. In other words, by rewarding sales performance with greater incentive pay, firms are free to promote the best potential managers. The best salespeople don’t feel they “have to” become managers in order to earn more money.

But promotions aren’t all about pay, they’re also about prestige. Other organizations (such as Microsoft) have avoided tying promotions to changes in responsibility by using dual career ladders, for instance, by promoting excellent programmers up a technical track and excellent leaders up a managerial track, with similar job levels in each equating to similar pay and prestige. These ladders allow people to progress in their career, drawing on their existing passions and talents rather than requiring them to shift job duties.

A second solution is to let managers be managers: promote the best candidates for the managerial job role, let them manage large teams, and isolate their managerial responsibilities from their individual contributor responsibilities. We find that when firms assign managers more responsibility over larger teams, firms are more willing to promote workers who are weaker in terms of sales but more likely to be effective managers. Separating managerial and sales responsibilities also limited conflicts of interests and other issues that arise in “player-coach” arrangements.

Both solutions can be implemented as part of the performance evaluation process. One approach, embedded in evaluation regimes like the ninebox, asks raters to decouple evaluating future career potential from prior job performance. People who score highly on future career potential can be rewarded with promotion to management roles and stock options to retain them until their potential can be realized. People who score highly on prior job performance can be rewarded with bonuses, promotions up an individual contributor track, or recognition. The process should be designed to recognize and reward excellence in one’s role without necessarily changing one’s role.

Incentive pay, dual career ladders, and thoughtful performance evaluations can recognize that people contribute to the success of the organization in different ways. But it seems that, at least in sales, companies nonetheless reward sales talent by promoting top sales workers into management.

Source: https://hbr.org/2018/03/research-do-people-really-get-promoted-to-their-level-of-incompetence

Why traditional classroom training isn’t enough for today’s employee

In an era of deep talent gaps, the need to train has never been greater. And new tech that promises to make workers more productive — if they only had the time to learn to use it — compounds the problem. Employers are feeling the squeeze from all sides and looking for solutions.

Internal training is critical for upskilling current employees and bringing newcomers up to speed. For many employees, however, critical training just isn’t being offered. In its State of Workplace Training Study, Axonify found almost one-third (31%) of employees were offered no formal training in 2016; 43% who received training found it to be ineffective.

Employers are looking for measurable learning outcomes. But new research may be confirming what employees have been saying forever: One-and-done training doesn’t produce results. The traditional classroom-style session may be an excellent means to deliver information to groups, but may not be the best way to educate groups.

JD Dillon, principal learning strategist for Axonify, believes it takes a lot more than a single event to change a person’s behavior. “This is both common sense and hard science,” Dillon told HR Dive. “While a training activity, such as a classroom session or eLearning module, may be quick and can grab someone’s attention for a moment, additional support is required to transform new knowledge into sustained behavior and performance.”

He suggests spacing out learning sessions to help employees remember what they’ve learned. Also, retrieval practice, recalling information repeatedly, deepens knowledge and supports long-term behavior change for employees. ”These activities,” he suggests, “should be embedded continuously into an organization’s learning strategy to lessen their reliance on event-based training.”

What do employees want?
The classroom style approach may work for young learners, but adults learn differently. Research points to experiential learning as the most effective. In essence: hands-on training that applies directly to the work being performed is retained, while last week’s conference is largely forgotten. In their survey, Axonify found employees want:

93% want training that is easy to complete/understand;
91% want training that is personalized and relevant; and
90% want training that is engaging and fun.
Considering the nature of long, classroom-style training sessions, few likely meet those criteria. And follow-up is unlikely.

“Employees need consistent opportunities to build on the skills, knowledge, and behaviors they have learned after training is over,” Koreen Pagano, corporate product management director for D2L, told HR Dive. She recommends two ways to help employees retain knowledge: set up automatic releases of related content post-training and provide a space for collaborative work and knowledge sharing.

Along with the type of content and delivery, employees want certain access. For example,:

89% want training anytime/anywhere they need to do their job;
85% want to be able to choose training times that fit their schedule; and
80% believe frequent/regular training is more important than formal workplace training.
Dillon says the results illustrate why “it’s so important to enable employees to take advantage of the right-fit learning opportunity for their moment of need and to design content to solve very specific, measurable problems.”

Training the five-generation workforce
But within those general findings, there are individual needs. For example, learning professionals are looking at ways to address the preferences of a multi-generational workforce. First, throw out the stereotypes and look at the variety of skill sets to determine your training offerings. A seasoned employee will likely need less background information than a new hire, while a completely new protocol or procedure will require deep learning for all. The challenge is to create learning opportunities for each level of competence.

“For organizations, the lesson here is to find the right mix of learning, taking a blended approach, based on not only generational preferences but job role and level,” Pagano says. Organizations that consider this range and find ways to deliver ongoing opportunities for short and long form training in a range of offerings, such as video, informal conversations and bite-size training content “will support greater learner engagement and skill retention.”

A focus on knowledge retention
Of all the aspects of learning, knowledge retention may be the most important — and classroom-style training may be missing the mark. One study revealed that 45% of employees spend at minimum 15 minutes per week looking up information that was taught in a company training session. The Forgetting Curve suggests how quickly we lose information without repetition and reinforcement:

within one hour people will forget 50% of the information presented;
within 24 hours people will forget 70% of the information presented; and
within one week people will forget 90% of the information presented.
The one-and-done classroom session may provide a wealth of information, but if that information isn’t retained, it’s of very little use to employees or the business. It’s becoming clear that business needs to provide the type of just-in-time training employees want to get them the information they need.

Pagano recommends three approaches. First, make learning employee-specific. “Contextual learning boosts learner retention and provides a much higher degree of value and relevancy,” she says.

Next, offer learning in bite-sized content form that’s easily accessible via mobile or online. This helps employees leverage training at the point of need, as well as “personalized, self-paced learning, which is a major plus for time-crunched employees.”

Finally provide opportunities to share expertise. Employees are the subject matter experts. She believes you can reinforce training by “allowing colleagues to connect informally, capture and share expertise, and collaborate.”

Whether you’re onboarding new hires, upskilling current employees or training the newly transferred, the amount of energy and resources you put into the training should provide a good return on investment. With the wealth of options, from short-burst learning to MOOCs, apprenticeships to remote sessions, there are more learning options available today than ever.

Source: https://www.hrdive.com/news/why-traditional-classroom-training-isnt-enough-for-todays-employee/518229/

Sponsorship is an important key to unlocking women’s career potential

Founder of Collaborativity Leadership Advisory and the former chief human resources officer of American Express Canada.

Did you know that …

There are more CEOs named John than female CEOs in total?

Just 2 per cent of venture-capital investment goes to women?

While we’ve made significant strides since the suffragettes of the early 1900s, we have ways to go. One way we can move the dial is through the power of sponsorship.

Sponsorship – often confused with but very different from mentorship – is one step beyond advocacy: It’s someone being your champion, putting their reputation on the line for your career advancement.

Different from mentorship, the sponsor/”sponsoree” relationship is always between a senior leader (someone with influence over career decisions) and someone more junior. Also, sponsorship is not asked for – it must be earned. Sponsorship often happens behind closed doors, and sometimes we don’t realize we have sponsorship until we reflect back on pivotal career moments that would not have been likely based on merit alone.

According to 2016 research commissioned by Women of Influence and American Express Canada, women with sponsors are almost twice as likely to believe that reaching the C-suite is attainable (61 per cent versus 32 per cent over all). Empirically, knowing that someone has your back and is advocating for you behind closed doors increases risk taking and confidence – making you more likely to put your hand up for that stretch assignment or role.

Why, then, do women still seem to deprioritize this very important relationship? According to the same study, only 8 per cent of women acknowledged having a sponsor. Is this because they are too humble to admit they have one? Or is it because they don’t think sponsors are important? Both are a problem.

Men are far more likely to have sponsors than women are; they are also more likely to adhere to Richard Branson’s advice: “If someone offers you an amazing opportunity and you’re not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later.” So, generally, women are doubly disadvantaged when it comes to attaining senior positions.

Knowing that the working world is not always a meritocracy, organizations need to be more forthcoming in opening the dialogue around sponsorship and why it is such a critical component of the diversity agenda.

Formal mentorship (matching) programs may work to develop a specific skill or achieve a certain goal. But sponsorship match-making is akin to online dating – in order to take the leap and actually put your own reputation on the line (or in the dating analogy, committing to your match), the relationship should happen naturally, otherwise success is pretty much left up to chance.

Recognizing that sponsorship is so important in closing the gender gap in leadership positions, here are some things to consider both as sponsors and as sponsorees:

Sponsors

Let them know: Sponsorship should be part of your job and performance goals as a leader. Let those you sponsor know so that they can feel confident knowing someone is in their corner.
Don’t take it personally if your sponsoree leaves your organization – and don’t abandon them! First, they may boomerang back to your organization at some point or become a valued customer. Second, they need you even more as they explore new territory and need to maintain confidence.
Participate in #gosponsorher– a movement to help move the dial on women’s advancement. Going public about your sponsorship will give your sponsoree a boost of confidence and also serves as a fun challenge to other leaders.

Sponsorees

Don’t put all your eggs in your current basket: It is important to have sponsors both within and outside of your organization – and more than one in case you or your sponsor leaves your current company.

Sponsors are not all created equally: The wrong sponsor can be worse than no sponsor at all. If your sponsor’s voice is not highly valued, think about whether they are the right person to be advocating for you.

Not everyone earns a sponsor: If you do not have a sponsor, it could be because you haven’t earned one – yet. Think about how you could earn sponsorship (e.g. from a leader or mentor) through hard work and strong performance.

Help them help you: First, acknowledge and appreciate your sponsors. Keep your sponsors abreast of your career aspirations and “sound bites” they can use so that they are on the lookout for and advocate for the right opportunities for you and present you in the best light.

In honour of International Women’s Day 2018, let’s move the dial. Male and female leaders alike – who have you sponsored this year?

Source: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/careers/management/sponsorship-is-an-important-key-to-unlocking-womens-career-potential/article38204533/

Want Happy Employees In 2018? Keep Them Connected

What’s the secret to a happier office: iced coffee on tap, hot-desking, bike rooms, personal phone booths, a ping pong table? Businesses across all industries are rethinking the office by deploying flexible configurations or providing amenity-rich spaces to motivate teams and drive productivity, but the key to employee engagement is something you can’t physically see or touch when you look around the office.

Driving employee engagement has been at the forefront of effective management for decades, but now more than ever, it is central to employee attraction and retention. For today’s workforce, an engaging work environment is an expectation for new hires and an ineffective office environment has the potential to drive away your most valuable talent.

At a recent WiredScore panel on the future office, a workplace building manager from Uber shared a hurdle that their company has encountered during its rapid expansion. To accommodate tight launch deadlines, new offices across different markets were opened without a permanent furniture solution in place. The strategist noted, however, that if the new space doesn’t have internet connectivity, the office cannot open for business.

Adobe’s 2016 Future of Work Report found that 81% of office workers say that state-of-the-art technology was more important to them than an office’s design or on-site amenities. If there is one thing that today’s workers absolutely refuse to put up with, it’s issues with their internet connection. Adobe’s study also found that those U.S. workers who said their company’s technology is “ahead of the curve” feel roughly twice as creative, motivated and valued and love their work about twice as much compared to those at companies whose technology is “behind the times.” The Value of Connectivity, a survey conducted by Radius Global Market Research in partnership with WiredScore found that when connectivity issues occur, companies report increased employee stress (45%), frustration in helping customers (41%) and lower productivity overall (36%).

In some ways, good connectivity affords your employees the ability to connect better on a personal level, through face-to-face or audio interaction. Though positive in some regards, high mobility and flexibility can run the risk of pigeonholing personal interaction to platforms like Slack or Chrome but it also increases the chance for people to connect more closely through different media, such as high-quality audio and video. Video in its most clear, uninterrupted form is vital to people actually feeling connected with their co-workers and leadership, thus increasing the likelihood of a positive, healthy work environment.

An internet outage, especially one of an indeterminate length of time, shuts down all that useful technology and is guaranteed to grind business to a halt. The result? Upheaval in the workplace and lost profits until it is restored. If you are a business owner looking for new office space, make sure to ask your broker for comprehensive information about the quality of internet connectivity in the building.

It’s not just your company’s profitability that’s at stake; it’s your employees’ happiness, too. Because of this, you need to look for certain infrastructural elements to ensure that a potential office space is up to snuff. To find out if a building is fully equipped for connectivity, you should ask about a building’s number of internet service providers (ISPs), whether they have access to any backup connections and the protections put in place to secure telecom equipment from accidental damage.

Ensuring that a building has dedicated fiber is another way you can be sure that it is prepared to handle the connection needs of your office. Offering greater flexibility and scalability, services delivered over dedicated fibers can be scaled to fit a business’s needs and are easy to repair and maintain and do not share bandwidth with other tenants. All of these things together will benefit a business looking to succeed in terms of sustained growth and employee satisfaction.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2018/03/09/want-happy-employees-in-2018-keep-them-connected/#325fffa79fc9

Employers of choice – what makes them different?

Ever wondered why some organisations consistently earn the employer of choice title? What is their secret?

Putting heart in all they do
Very often, companies focus on managing the systems and infrastructure which support the growth of the organisation. While all of these are essential to growing the business successfully, what really gives you a strong competitive edge are your values and how well you care for employees. There is no greater motivation than for your employees to work in an environment where they are treated with dignity and respect.

Values define the ‘heartware’
Good organisations create a culture that strongly reflects their values. They recognise the importance of treating their employees with respect and taking their feelings into consideration when making decisions.

Beyond treating their employees fairly through proper compensation for their contributions, they have practices that establish that personal connection with their employees. For example, implementing programmes that are tailored to the long-term development of your employees highlights your willingness to invest in their future.

Aside from that, cultivating an environment that provides employees the autonomy to solve problems, contribute ideas, and provide recommendations will also allow employees to feel appreciated and trusted. Most importantly, good employers understand how small actions can make a big difference in the lives of employees. These actions could be simple things like being flexible and responsive to their personal situations or publicly recognising their good work.

After all, employees are at the heart of your business.

Source: http://www.humanresourcesonline.net/employers-of-choice-what-makes-them-different/

How to set leadership development goals for dummies

Here is my trusty, dusty “how to” blog. There are people out there a lot smarter than me who have great theories and advice for setting leadership development goals. This is not that.

This is “Setting Leadership Development Goals for Dummies,” an original (kidding, of course) title I’m quite proud of, and a title I would read if I were searching for a “how to” article on setting leadership development goals.

There are so many great books and tools out there; I have many more to read, learn and practice. I thought this month, however, I would try out my own how to set leadership development goals blog, based on my 18 or so years of considering myself a leader.

1) Stop thinking of leadership development goals as goals with beginnings and endings. There isn’t an end. If you think there is, get over it. There isn’t. Most everyone will teach you goals are measured, and they are usually measured by someone else. That doesn’t work either. Only you can truly measure your leadership progress. The trick is you have to be willing to be honest with yourself.

2) In order for it to be a goal, you must write it down and share it with someone other than yourself. If you don’t write it down, it’s only an intention, not a goal. In order for you to see growth within yourself, you have to be deliberate about it and put it on paper.

3) Make the moments mean something. For example, if you have a leadership goal to listen better and you find yourself interrupting all the time, make a mental note of it at the time. Before the end of the day, write down what you did and acknowledge you need to do better, and then practice doing better. It’s not enough to keep apologizing for your rudeness every time you do it; you have to intentionally work on changing your behavior.

4) Self-awareness doesn’t give you an excuse for being a poor leader. Setting leadership development goals isn’t simply about becoming more self-aware. Sure, unfiltered self-awareness is important. Being self-aware and deciding what you want to do to improve, and then working towards that improvement, is crucial. If you do one without the other, you’ve missed a huge opportunity.

5) You can’t just ask for feedback — you have to listen to it with your whole heart. If you would really like to see growth on your leadership journey, you have to do more than be open to feedback. You have to ask for it, listen to it, internalize it, and then do something about it as you work towards your goals.

6) Unlike measurable goals, your leadership goals should be ever changing as you grow as a leader and as a person. They are one in the same.

Notice I didn’t tell you what your leadership goals should be. You have to figure that out for yourself. Notice also I wrote about nothing all that earth shattering. I kept it simple for all the dummies (myself included!).

Like you, I consider myself a student, someone still growing and learning as a leader every day.

If you have questions on how to set leadership development goals for yourself and your team members, maybe this simple “how to” will help you start a needed conversation. If you think you have it all figured out (you probably aren’t reading a how to set leadership development goals blog), it’s more than likely you don’t and you should break it down to a “how to” that is just this simple.

Good luck to all of us dummies. Leadership development goals certainly aren’t simple. If they were, we would have many more enlightened leaders out there. The good news (refer to step #1) is there is always time to start and none of us will ever truly finish.

Source: https://www.mcknights.com/living-leadership/how-to-set-leadership-development-goals-for-dummies/article/749267/

Goldman Uses Data to Help Improve Bank’s Diversity, Cooper Says

During the decade Edith Cooper, one of Wall Street’s most powerful black women, led human resources at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the firm focused more on data to help increase diversity.

“For us, a real game changer was to pause and step back and say, ‘What have we done and how are we doing to measure impact?’” Cooper, who was in Goldman Sachs’s human resources department and a member of the bank’s management team, said on a panel Thursday. “We really started to understand that we really had to get under the hood and look at the data.”

Goldman Sachs, like other financial-services companies, has said publicly that having a diverse workforce is a priority. A lack of diversity at the bank shows the challenge businesses are facing in hiring and retaining a base of employees that more closely resembles the U.S. population.

Women at Goldman Sachs made up 38 percent of U.S. workers in 2016, according to data from the company. That’s up from 36 percent in 2011. None of the nation’s largest banks has ever had a female chief executive officer.

Black employment among the firm’s U.S. workforce rose slightly to 5.3 percent in 2016 from 5 percent in 2011. The percentage of Hispanic employees rose to 7.4 percent in 2016 from 5 percent in 2011, according to Goldman Sachs.

Goldman Sachs puts an emphasis on data that show how white managers and leaders impact the experiences of minority employees, Cooper said at the Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit. Millennials are also helping top management make changes by “holding us accountable,” she said.

Cooper stepped down as head of human resources at year-end and joined the board of Slack Technologies Inc. last month.

“We also have to be really honest with ourselves about the cultural things that make it harder for us or easier for others,” Cooper said to an audience of mostly African-American attendees. “That’s how we’re really moving the needle to make progress.”

Source: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-09/goldman-uses-data-to-help-improve-bank-s-diversity-cooper-says