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Change Communication: Visual Design Lessons From Apple

Let’s go back in time. Way back to 1997. Apple’s high-flying identity as a tech innovator had been seriously tarnished. It certainly wasn’t the global tech giant it is today, with a massive, loyal customer base and an iconic brand image.

Actually, Apple was struggling so badly that it had only 90 days of cash remaining in the bank. And that’s when Steve Jobs turned the Titanic around by asking this tough, strategic question: “Who is Apple and where do we fit into this world?”

After some serious soul-searching, the company reduced its product line and launched a groundbreaking ad campaign: Think different.

This campaign was so successful it continued for five years, returning Apple to profitability and reestablishing Apple as a brand juggernaut. In fact, Apple won the Grand Effie Award in 2000 for the most effective advertising campaign in America.

What stood out about this campaign? Aside from the beautiful black and white photos of legendary “crazy ones,” it made technology feel personal and exciting. Apple customers wanted to join this tribe of crazy ones because they could relate.

During times of change, we tend to focus on facts and figures. Apple could have easily taken that approach by listing its products’ technical specifications. But Steve Jobs knew he had to think differently. He had to build an emotional connection with Apple’s audience.

What can we learn from this story? As internal communicators, let’s look at what happens when you pull emotional threads as you communicate about change within an organization.

Change Communication: A Step-by-Step Scenario

John - fictitious internal comms professionalI’d like to introduce you to John, a fictional internal communicator. He works at a large pharmaceutical company and is gearing up for a massive company transformation — a new strategy that will change the way employees work.

John is tasked with getting employees on board and excited. Just as Steve Jobs did, John understands that the emotional aspect of organizational change is just as important as helping people understand the details. To help employees feel more deeply connected with this change, he decides to emphasize imagery and visual design.

Here’s John’s creative journey and the advice we would give him at each stage in the process:

Stage 1: Kickoff

The Challenge: Before jumping into design, John needs to align with broader objectives so he can define what communication about this transformation should accomplish. He has a group of stakeholders to consider, but first, he needs to achieve consensus on what employees should know, feel, and do as a result of this transformation process.

Change Communications Process - Kickoff

Our Advice: The best way to align on an end goal is to bring all key players together. That could include leaders, project owners, change and/or communication teams, and cross-functional partners such as IT and HR.

To discuss, collaborate, and agree on objectives, design a meeting around these important questions:

  • How does the change impact employees?
  • What do employees need to know about this change?
  • How should employees feel about this transformation before, during, and after?
  • What do employees need to do differently to ensure this change is successful?

Answers to these questions will shape communication objectives. Once these priorities are clear, John is ready to consider how visual communication will help the message resonate with employees and showcase the change. (For example, visual elements may include a campaign logo and tagline, imagery or photo styles, type treatments, supplemental art, and other details.)

What would Steve Jobs do? Treat employees like customers. Explore who they are, what their work context is, and what kind of symbols and messaging are most likely to engage, persuade, and motivate them.

Stage 2: Creating the Visuals

The Challenge: John wants employees to connect to the transformation, and he knows a visual identity can accomplish that and more. He sets out to ensure the transformation feels relevant, familiar, and personal, so it is easier to understand, internalize, and support.

Change Communications Process - Creating Visuals

Our Advice: Visuals can help you attract attention, influence perceptions, and leave a lasting, meaningful impression. Here are three ways to get there:

  • Share the change story — Because stories influence how we feel about change, they are the antidote to facts and figures. Layer on images and you can offer a more accessible way to bring big concepts to life. Think of these images as shortcuts that help employees understand what’s happening, why it’s happening, and why it’s important for them.
  • Make communication recognizable — Because change initiatives are usually one of many other things happening within an organization, communication needs to stand out and be easy for employees to identify. By consistently leveraging custom graphics, a distinctive logo, and a punchy tagline, your materials can break through the noise and invite employees to engage.
  • Break down complex topics — The human brain processes visual cues 60,000 times faster than written language. Put another way, highly visual communication makes it easier for employees to consume information and retain it. For example, illustrating a new process or using icons to break down a strategy can build knowledge and reinforce actions.

What would Steve Jobs do? Turn brainstorming on its head. Instead of spitballing words, draw illustrations or curate visuals. This exercise will pinpoint the emotion and tone you want to represent throughout your change communications. Use these ideas to focus on creating simple, memorable visuals.

Stage 3: Making it Stick

The Challenge: John knows that successful change communication depends on how well you prepare people who are responsible for sharing critical information. Everyone needs to understand which materials and assets are available, why these visual tools have been developed, and how to use them.

Change Communications Process - Making it Stick

Our Advice: Consistency is key when it comes to communicating during change. A standard package of communication resources and recommendations helps all stakeholders deliver a consistent experience for employees. Here are three examples:

  • User Guide — This document (including imagery, logo, tagline, colors, and fonts) prepares people in communication roles by providing access to visual assets and specifying how they can be applied.
  • Templates — These standard tools bring together various elements in a cohesive context. (This could include a PowerPoint deck, Word document, video opening/closing, logo/tagline files, digital signs, printed flyers/posters, and more).
  • Communication Plan — This playbook should explain when, where, why, and how to use each piece in the toolkit, and how they fit into the broader change process.

What would Steve Jobs do? Take the opportunity to express the importance of change tools by meeting with key stakeholders to reinforce the strategic objectives, explain how each element supports these goals, and answer questions about how to move forward.

 


More Visual Design Ideas to Elevate Change Communication

When using visuals to support change communication, it’s not just about sharing information. It’s about connecting with employees on a deeper level and making the change process meaningful to them. So the next time you’re tasked with a change campaign, ask yourself: How can I tap into employees’ emotions? What do I want this campaign to represent? How can I think differently?

For our advice on how to design more effective change communications, download these tips:
>> 3 Steps to Make Change Communication More Visual

What Would Your Culture Map Reveal?

Sponsored by The Culture Platform

What makes maps so special is they tell you exactly where to find places you want to visit.

Wouldn’t it be incredible if every organization had a culture map? Wouldn’t it be even better if that culture map worked like Google or Apple Maps? Anyone could easily search to find organizations whose cultural values are clearly marked on the map, and get directions to those companies. What a useful tool that would be.

The “Why, What, and How” of Culture

I think enough has been said about the “why” of culture and its role in organizational success. Anyone who has managed people or led a business knows a healthy culture is paramount to attract the best employees. And the best cultures consistently outperform and out-execute the competition.

We also know “what” culture is. It’s a set of stated values, beliefs, attitudes, rules, and behaviors expected where you work. For example, when I worked for Cisco CEO John Chambers, one of his stated cultural values was: “Treat people the way you would like to be treated, yourself.” Another was, “Deal with the world the way it is, not the way you wish it was.”

Now, as we enter the post-everything era, it’s time to focus on the “how” of culture. Companies have no other choice. “Post-everything” signaled a fundamental change in expectations. GenZ and Millennials are ready to leave one job for another faster than any generation in history.

If your company wants to attract and keep the best employees, you need a way to prove that you “walk the talk” of your stated values. But all too many miss the mark. The top reason organizational cultures don’t live up to their stated values is a lack of leadership commitment to those values.

Any organization that wants to be a magnet for talent must prove that it can live up to its aspirations. As we used to say at Cisco, “We’re in Missouri now — the ‘Show Me’ state.”

How a Culture Map Can Show The Way

For employers, a culture map is a way to show employees what the organization actually stands for. Mapping organizational culture is a new idea. It will require the same GPS features as digital maps on our phones:

  • Pin Drops: Destinations on the map need to be accurate.
  • Step-by-Step Navigation: Destinations must be accompanied by directions that explain how to get there.
  • Re-Routing: The map should reveal better ways to get to the desired destination — how to “walk the talk.”

I started The Culture Platform because I wanted to surround myself with thought leaders who have “GPS” models to measure cultural values. Because my professional background is in research, my bar is high. I’m willing to work with a model only if it is either research-based or battle-tested in the market. In other words, the models must predictably measure a specific cultural value.

I think it is a mistake to “boil the ocean” by relying on a single culture indicator. Every organization is different and unique — and every organization doesn’t need to share the same values.

The ability to measure a specific aspect of culture with a data model is what makes culture-specific “pin drops” on a map possible. In my search, I found five models that meet my criteria. Each solves a specific element of the “how” for culture-building. Those dimensions can be either curiosity, self-awareness, a sense of belonging, transparency, or empowerment.

For example, consider these five culture scenarios:

  • Many companies say innovation is a strategy — but does their culture promote curiosity, the necessary belief that it’s okay to challenge the status quo without fear of retribution?
  • Many companies say listening to their employees is a key value — but are their leaders and managers self-aware of their behaviors?
  • Many companies say a diverse workforce is their people strategy — but does their culture fundamentally embrace a sense of belonging?
  • Many companies emphasize autonomy and decentralization — but do they truly empower every employee?

These five models do more than provide the pin drop. Each has a set of step-by-step directions that represents the most effective route to the “pin.” For example, a culture of curiosity has four main “turns” to reach the pin. It should:

  1. Encourage exploration
  2. Inspire creativity
  3. Emphasize openness to new ideas and
  4. Drive engagement and focus from the top

Culture Meets GPS

The “how” of culture has always been the hardest part. It can’t be done without leaders leading the way. That’s why I was so lucky to be a direct report of John Chambers who helped him build Cisco’s culture. We had the luxury of time, though. Today, organizations need to move faster. And the way to accomplish that is with a map that includes clear “directions” to reach specific outcomes.

I remember when we Boomers printed out step-by-step directions in MapQuest (and tried to read them while driving). A culture map transports us all to the “GPS” era. Now, we can finally get to desired cultural destinations safer, faster, and with confidence.

If you want to give culture mapping a try and see how your culture stacks up, we welcome you at The Culture Platform. To get started, just email me at:  TheCulturePlatform@gmail.com.

Business Innovation Isn’t Easy. Here’s How Leaders Can Help

TalentCulture Content Impact Award Winner - 2023In recent years, digital transformation has been one of the hottest topics in leadership circles. Technology is central to this kind of complex, large-scale endeavor. But success requires more than tools, alone. Operating models and processes must also change. And for continued improvement, business innovation should be part of the mix, as well. Why?

Because technology is constantly moving forward, ongoing innovation can keep your organization ahead of the curve. However, this depends on your ability to anticipate, adjust, and adapt. And that’s where your employees can make all the difference. Your workforce carries a wealth of information, expertise, and creativity. Unlocking that potential is key.

By combining the right technology with effective leadership strategies, you can transform your organization from a static monolith to a dynamic talent magnet, where innovation is a way of life. For more insight, let’s look closer at the relationship between digital transformation, agile leadership, and business innovation…

4 Ways Digital Transformation Fosters Business Innovation

Organizations can benefit in many ways from adopting game-changing tools and processes. These are just a few outcomes to expect from digital transformation:

1. Improved Efficiency

The best next-level tools are designed with efficiency in mind. For example, systems that rely on AI-driven automation and customization make it possible to dramatically reduce workflow bottlenecks and other inefficiencies. By empowering individuals and teams to operate more productively, the entire organization can focus more fully on higher-level tasks and creative challenges.

2. Enhanced Collaboration

Workforce collaboration is essential for business innovation. But it’s not easy to achieve in today’s hybrid and remote work environments. This is where transformative solutions are making a tremendous impact.

By relying on systems that help people directly communicate, coordinate, and stay up-to-date with projects at their convenience, distributed teams can operate even more effectively than they would in person. This makes it possible to include people from around the globe, which means more diverse input for problem-solving, ideation, and other creative activities.

Digital transformation can even improve collaboration among people who work in person at a single location. A myriad of digital applications are available for team scheduling, meetings, and project management so everyone can stay better connected and more productive.

3. Scalability

The ability to scale resources is a serious challenge, especially for younger or smaller companies. When staff workloads are full and growth reaches a peak, how can you continue to scale effectively, while also making business innovation a priority?

Digital transformation helps break through these barriers. By streamlining workflows and activating new pathways that help people bring more creativity to their day-to-day tasks, they can allocate more time to strategic problem-solving and other business priorities.

4. Adaptive Learning

The famous physicist, William Pollard, once said, “Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think what you did yesterday will be sufficient tomorrow.”

This rings true for any business that wants to unlock the full potential of its workforce. Unless employees are continuously learning, they won’t have the inspiration or skills to drive innovation. And that means your organization won’t move forward.

But as many organizations discovered during the pandemic, digital learning tools can help make learning more convenient, continuous, engaging, and effective. Now, AI-driven tools are elevating everything from personalized training content and upskilling experiences to online knowledge-sharing forums and performance support at the moment of need.

How Agile Leaders Build a Culture of Business Innovation

In industries where change is a constant, digital transformation is no longer just an option. It’s an imperative. That’s because these organizations face unique issues:

  • How can they adapt quickly?
  • What can they do to stay ahead of the curve when that curve is always changing?
  • How can they attract, engage, and retain high-quality talent over the long term?

The answer to all these questions is business innovation.

The innovation process helps companies continuously adapt, stay ahead of competitors, and engage employees. Yet, merely asking employees to do their jobs differently is not enough.

Instead, ongoing innovation requires a culture shift. And that starts with a serious, top-down commitment. This is where agile leadership methods can help. Agile methods encourage innovation in a way that traditional leadership moves can’t touch. 

What is Agile Leadership?

Agile leadership is a model that values flexibility, adaptability, and continuous improvement above all else. Agile practices stimulate organizational innovation and encourage a culture where people strive to achieve better results by working smarter and more efficiently.

Developing agile leadership and integrating it into your organization takes time and effort, but the benefits are well worth the investment. These are the cornerstones:

1. Ensure Dedicated Time

Integrating top-down agility into your organization requires sufficient time for people to apply these practices on a consistent basis. When you establish specific time blocks for leaders and employees to step outside their normal scope of work, they can shift their focus to identify broader issues, generate creative ideas, and explore various possibilities. This lets business innovation blossom where it otherwise wouldn’t have space to emerge.

Also, with dedicated time for training, employees can develop the skills and mindset they need to be more inventive and push boundaries in their current roles. It’s equally important for leaders to devote time to meeting with team members, checking in, and discussing their future. This encourages a more open, collaborative, innovative culture across the board.

2. Emphasize Flexibility

Agile leaders are characterized by their flexible behavior, which in turn, permeates the organization. That doesn’t mean structure is nonexistent. Rather, it’s about being willing to adapt and change your existing structure to better align with market conditions, workforce needs, and your organization’s objectives.

Flexibility is a massive factor in keeping employees happy and encouraging an optimal work-life balance. When people don’t feel overwhelmed by stress or anxiety, they are much more likely to be engaged, productive, and motivated to support business innovation.

3. Empower Employees 

Agile methodologies were developed specifically with employee empowerment in mind. While traditional leadership models focus heavily on the authority and regulatory power of leaders, agile focuses on team building and working alongside teams to create better solutions.

It’s about establishing common goals and supporting employees as they work on projects and initiatives that matter to them. As a result, empowered employees are more passionate about their work and more creative in framing operational solutions.

The Benefits of Business Innovation

Innovation can be a difficult concept for organizations to quantify and justify. Rather than generating immediate cost savings or revenue, innovation typically is an investment in the future. Regardless, that investment can lead to impressive, long-term impact — especially if your culture is stagnant or your competitive position is slipping.

At its best, innovation can transform your business from the inside out by engaging your employees, revitalizing your work processes, and giving rise to a sustainable competitive advantage. Even if today’s effort falls short, it can still prepare your organization for future success. How? Because you can:

1. Enrich the Employee Experience

When team members feel uninspired or they don’t feel challenged, they’re likely to leave. In fact, these are two of the most common reasons why people quit.

But this isn’t a problem in cultures that welcome new ideas and encourage people to find better ways of getting things done. Companies that encourage innovation at all levels see a noticeable improvement in work culture. That’s because employees become more invested in an organization’s mission, vision, and values when they’re actively contributing to its success. And as employee ideas take root, engagement grows stronger. It’s a virtuous cycle.

2. “Future-Proof” Your Organization

Even if your business is thriving today, it’s impossible to guarantee this will continue. Industries change, market preferences change, and business fortunes can suffer. That’s why business innovation is so important. It could be the key to sustainable success. Why?

When organizations embrace change, employees are more likely to identify and share internal and external issues as they arise. They’re also more willing to work toward solutions that address these challenges.

No business lasts forever. No idea lasts forever. However, committing to continuous business innovation is the key to staying at the forefront of your industry, even through disruption. It can help you keep a leg up on competitors and strengthen your current offerings, while simultaneously improving employee commitment, engagement, and retention.

A Final Note

Talent is called talent for a reason. Indeed, great ideas don’t always come from upper-level management. That’s why leaders should create an environment where team members play an active role in business innovation. It engages team members more deeply. It strengthens your culture. Plus, it brings frontline voices to the table, so you can generate better ideas and implement better solutions.

At first glance, the connection between digital transformation, agile leadership, and business innovation may not be obvious. But if you follow the logic, their interdependent relationship becomes clear. Ultimately, when technology, people, and processes come together for a common cause, the benefits are often much greater than the sum of the parts.

Worktech Can Work Better: Employers, What’s Your Plan?

Over the years, worktech solutions of all types have repeatedly promised to transform the workplace. Still, employers aren’t so sure. In fact, it can feel like an impossible dream if your tech stack has ballooned into a jumble of loosely coupled platforms, applications, tools, and data.

Sound familiar? If so, it’s time to rethink how you tie together all the elements in your worktech ecosystem. But sorting through an alphabet soup of platforms — ATS, HCM/HRIS, ERP, CMS, TMS, LMS, LXP, and more — can be arduous.

Of course, that’s only the tip of the iceberg. You’ll also need to consider sub-level features that reach across systems. For example, is SSO fully deployed? Are you prepared to support enterprise-wide video or XR capabilities? Can you leverage APIs or SFTP for data sharing? And how will you demonstrate ROI to your CHRO?

The potential pitfalls are rampant, but employers don’t have a choice. To attract and retain high-quality people in today’s competitive talent market, a stellar employee experience is crucial. And the right worktech plays a central role in bringing that vision to life.

What’s Behind This Worktech Challenge?

Three factors:

1. An Overwhelming Array of Options

The landscape is massive. Thousands of HR tech solutions are available. The learning tech segment, alone, includes hundreds of platforms. And each system offers its own unique set of features.

For example, in the learning space, you can find platforms focused on content creation and curation, skills and competencies development, microlearning, training resource management, learning analytics, and much more. Similarly, among applicant tracking systems, features may include resume parsing, candidate screening, interview scheduling, job board integration, AI-based chatbots, and so on.

This barely scratches the surface of worktech functionality. Yet even more features are on the way, thanks to advances in generative AI, process automation, predictive analytics, and other machine learning-driven capabilities.

In other words, the options are overwhelming. And the landscape is becoming even more complex. Any organization could spend years trying to find clarity in the noise this saturated market generates.

2. A Disjointed Experience

Another challenge involves existing legacy infrastructures that result from ad-hoc purchasing decisions. Too many organizations suffer from a proliferation of systems, selected in silos, to address specific business needs over time.

What’s more, if decision-makers embrace the “sunk cost” fallacy, they’re likely to hold on to existing technology. But this only causes disjointed infrastructures to persist.

Highly cohesive digital experiences come from minimizing the need to toggle between technologies. Also, by combining data with actionable insights, you can ensure that system administrators don’t become full-time reporting specialists.

Every platform in your worktech stack needs to be flexible, so you can seamlessly integrate, share, and synchronize data. This ensures your ecosystem will scale and reduces disruptions in an otherwise harmonious employee experience.

3. Functional Silos

Talent, HR, and learning teams typically work in parallel, but not together. They don’t communicate or collaborate on the tools decision-makers invest in. This only compounds the proliferation of work tech tools and flawed sunk-cost logic.

The result? Perhaps your ATS doesn’t share data with your HRIS, so they don’t work together seamlessly. Your LMS may not sync with your LXP. Or your LXP may not share data with your HRIS. The potential disconnects grow with each incremental system you add.

Ultimately, you’ll find multiple dead ends, isolated data sets, and organizational blind spots. All these issues drain productivity. In fact, estimates say employees waste as much as five work weeks each year, just toggling between applications.

Obviously, this causes frustration for employees. It also harms platform engagement and adoption. Even worse, it contributes to employee dissatisfaction, disengagement, and even turnover.

So, What’s the Solution?

1. Take the Long View

As you choose platforms and vendors, let your long-term interests guide you. Look as far into the future as possible. Aligning worktech with your long-term strategy helps ensure it will support you well beyond the initial contract. Here are several “future-proofing” tips:

  • Be sure each platform and application is designed to integrate beyond its own proprietary products.
  • Select vendors with robust research and development resources. You should expect to see tangible examples of recent innovations. Evaluate each vendor’s recent product releases to understand how frequently and effectively the solution has improved over time.
  • Vendors may also help you look ahead by sharing a brief overview of their product roadmap. And if you both sign non-disclosure agreements, you can more freely discuss how well a vendor’s product strategy aligns with your organization’s objectives and expectations.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask specific questions about innovations of interest to you. For example, these days, generative AI, process automation, and other machine-learning capabilities are hot topics. Vendors who are ahead of the curve won’t hesitate to respond. Those who continuously adapt and innovate are far more likely to keep up when the next disruptive enabling technology or killer app enters the worktech space. The best vendors can demonstrate a consistent track record of advances and a clear vision for the future.

With so much at stake, you don’t want to leave these decisions to chance. If you don’t have sufficient expertise or bandwidth to develop a game plan or identify appropriate platforms, you may want to rely on an independent IT solutions architect or Consultant for insight and advice.

2. Pick the Best Worktech Providers

Speaking of vendor selection, choosing the right partners can be a bit of a minefield. You can find numerous suggestions and “top 10” lists for any flavor of HR platform. But keep in mind that each of those lists is based on the author’s point of view. Are your goals and their criteria aligned?

Ultimately, nothing beats conducting your own thorough research to learn about various platforms, understand each vendor’s use cases, and verify the results their customers have achieved.

No solution will be perfect. But some will be a better fit for your business. When engaging with a new vendor, I look for green flags like these:

  • The company has a clear mission and vision, with industry-leading partnerships and evidence of consistent, sustainable growth.
  • Sales representatives ask numerous intelligent questions about your specific needs.
  • You have access to a comprehensive demo or trial period, so you can test the platform.
  • They readily share user experience details – how they optimize UX and how this contributes to overall tech stack efficiency.

Ultimately, you’re looking for partners who will serve as an extension of your team and celebrate your wins. When they are invested in your success, everything else falls into place.

3. Focus on Open Platforms

Why does this matter? Open platforms are not just a work tech feature, they are the way forward. And they are proven. Many well-established enterprise tech stacks already depend on open systems. Atlassian, WordPress, and Zendesk are all examples of open platforms that support millions of businesses, globally.

The strength of open platforms comes from the flexibility of publicly available Application Programming Interfaces that make it easy for systems to exchange data. By leveraging APIs, your IT team and development partners can efficiently build desired functionality into your platforms, and continue to customize as your needs evolve.

Open Means Freedom to Explore Options

With an open platform, you aren’t limited to the functions, products, or partners defined by your chosen vendor. You have more latitude to experiment with various work technologies so you can configure the best solution for your business needs.

For example, at some point, you’ll probably want to build on the core capabilities in your LMS. Perhaps you want to offer a dedicated talent intelligence marketplace to improve internal mobility, or a coaching app for high-potential talent, or a just-in-time learning experience for frontline workers. Open systems make it possible to add these enhancements incrementally.

Closed Means More Complexity and Cost

On the other hand, a closed platform is just the opposite. Closed systems limit you to a predefined set of available data, features, developers, and partners. Any changes or additions require a skilled external developer or solutions integrator with access to proprietary knowledge and tools — and a budget to match.

All things considered, an open ecosystem makes sense for most organizations. This gives you the flexibility to decide for yourself which functionality works best for your workforce, along with the freedom to implement changes while preserving your core investment. You can prove and disprove the effectiveness of different platforms with relative ease because your technology foundation is integration-friendly.

The Result: Worktech That Works

Talent, HR, and Learning Working Together — Not Alongside

Your organization’s various “people” functions may already be collaborating. After all, most software buying cycles now involve stakeholders from HR, Learning, IT, the C-Suite, and others.

However, nothing is more valuable than ongoing visibility into related organizational functions, and direct communication with counterparts in those business areas. This helps you better understand others’ buying priorities. Plus, it helps you recognize where others’ teams, platforms, and efforts can be more fully aligned for more effective, cost-efficient operations, overall.

You may even discover that one team’s problem could be solved by another team’s platform.

For example, nearly every HR team is grappling with how to attract the talent they need in today’s tight labor market. Most organizations rely on relatively costly recruiting solutions to solve internal skills shortages. Still, many roles remain unfilled. Yet upskilling from within saves an estimated 72-90% over the cost of hiring new talent.

Now, think of this challenge from the perspective of a worktech ecosystem where platforms are integrated and working cohesively.

One solution could be to closely connect a talent intelligence marketplace with an employee upskilling platform. This lets you consolidate and mobilize valuable skills data, so you can efficiently identify which employees have desired proficiencies and which are strong upskilling candidates.

As a result, your organization could save time and money, while also improving business productivity and performance. Ultimately, this could move your organization forward in using skills as a strategic factor that improves workforce agility, innovation, and responsiveness.

Of course, this is only one example of the benefits that come from an open, integrated worktech game plan. Many more opportunities are getting attention from organizations these days. What workforce challenges are you ready to tackle with this approach?

Offboarding: How to Give Employees a Fond Farewell

One of your employees just handed you a resignation letter. What happens next? Are you prepared to set your company’s offboarding wheels in motion?

Situations like this might keep you up at night, especially when a valued staff member decides to move on. It’s natural to worry about how your team will fill the knowledge gap, and how soon you’ll be able to replace an employee who seems irreplaceable.

But sometimes these concerns create unexpected tension between you and the employee who, until this point, enjoyed working at your company. You may want the exit to go smoothly, but despite your best intentions, this kind of transition can go awry. It may even disrupt your work environment and put unnecessary strain on the rest of your team, which can damage morale and productivity.

No employer wants a team member to leave on a negative note. That’s why it’s useful to develop and implement a well-crafted offboarding plan. But what does that look like? First, let’s look at what this process can help you accomplish.

Why Is Effective Offboarding So Important?

Offboarding is an integral part of the departure process for employees, as well as for your business. The right steps can help you:

  • Manage the practical aspects of shifting the employee’s responsibilities to others
  • Gather work-related feedback, so you can identify key issues and improve
  • Minimize security risks (for example, by removing employee access to company accounts and recovering company assets)
  • Prevent legal issues (such as contract or compensation disputes and wrongful termination)
  • Part ways on the best possible terms

By addressing each of these concerns, you can close the employee’s chapter at your company in good faith.

Is It Really Over?

But what if the story isn’t yet finished? What if a departure could be avoided? Offboarding discussions may expose unresolved issues with an employee’s pay, holiday entitlement, pension contributions, benefits, work schedule, location, and more.

If you discover that someone is disgruntled but not fully committed to leaving, you may have the potential to fix these issues and avoid an unnecessary departure.

The key is to pay close attention. Is unhappiness or dissatisfaction with your company motivating someone to leave? If you identify the root cause and resolve it quickly, will the employee reconsider? Each situation is unique. But you may find it worthwhile to address these issues so you can keep a valued employee onboard.

Managing Employee Exits With Grace

Above all, don’t assume an employee’s departure is a personal rejection of you or your company. Staff members leave for many valid reasons. Another company may have offered an irresistible pay increase, a compelling promotion, or more attractive benefits. Or maybe it’s time for a career change.

By keeping this in mind, you can manage offboarding in a respectful way that motivates a departing employee to cooperate in handing off responsibilities with minimal upheaval.

Always try to keep the situation professional and treat the employee fairly, regardless of the reason for their departure. Helping people maintain a positive relationship with your company is important for multiple reasons. It minimizes negative internal consequences and potentially avoids public discord. Also, it reinforces the integrity of your employer brand and preserves your ability to attract strong talent in the future.

Ultimately, when an employee chooses to resign, you cannot stop them from leaving. And if the relationship turns sour, it is often best to let people go, rather than become upset or try to strike a deal.

Watch for Warning Signs, Even Before Offboarding

Sometimes, the first sign of trouble may come long before an employee actually resigns.

For instance, when you meet with a team member for a casual one-on-one conversation, or to discuss a specific concern or disciplinary measure, what response do you receive? Does the employee arrive late, avoid answering questions, appear disengaged, or show other signs of a negative attitude?

If it’s clear this employee is disgruntled, you’ll want to address the issue immediately, honestly, and with an open mind. Perhaps you’ll find that this person doesn’t feel sufficiently supported or compensated. Their actions could be a form of “quiet quitting,” where they refuse to go above and beyond.

By encouraging clear, honest communication, you may be able to address the individual’s specific concerns in a way that improves the employee experience for others, as well.

On the other hand, if a negative employee has already handed in their notice and isn’t interested in discussing solutions, it’s important to let them go. Invite them to an exit interview and do what you can to encourage them to attend.

Offboarding Checklist

To successfully manage an employee’s exit and avoid costly claims, be sure to take these steps:

  • Always acknowledge the resignation or exit situation with a letter explaining logistical steps. This should include the date an employee’s contract will end, the amount of any remaining annual leave, pay arrangements, and instructions for returning any property or equipment.
  • Remind employees before they leave about any contractual obligations that apply, which may include confidentiality clauses and post-termination restrictions.
  • Revoke the employee’s access to IT and security systems. This protects you from anyone who may try to change or delete information before they leave.
  • Emphasize that they are not permitted to remove or share proprietary data or confidential information. Provide a list of documents and details you need from them before they leave, including passwords and relevant client or customer information.
  • If appropriate, conduct an exit interview to clarify any unresolved issues and gather useful feedback. Venting at this meeting can be a type of therapy for exiting staff and provide valuable insights you may want to act upon.

Top Tips for Handling a Difficult Exit Interview

Instead of treating an employee’s exit interview as the full stop at the end of their time with you — or only an opportunity to uncover issues that may be causing them to leave — use this time to collect actionable data you can share with others in your company who want to improve your work culture and reduce future turnover. These guidelines can help:

1. Think of This as the Opposite of a Recruiting Interview

Instead of asking questions about why an employee wants to join the company, you’re asking why they want to leave. This type of conversation may seem uncomfortable, but it is vital. When someone chooses to leave your company, you’ll want to know why. People rarely leave for trivial reasons, and their feedback could provide insights into your company culture or team dynamics.

2. Schedule Exit Interviews on an Employee’s Last Day or Soon After

Why is the timing important?

  • Any sooner, and they might hesitate to share honest feedback while still onboard.
  • Any later, and they may feel distant and disengaged. When this happens, you run the risk of receiving feedback that isn’t as accurate, specific, or complete.

3. Keep it Casual

For example, if you can meet at a nearby cafe, the conversation will feel more relaxed and less like a formal work session.

The way you handle this interview is also important, particularly if you’re facing a difficult situation with an irate employee. Try to listen more than you talk. Avoid responding to feedback. That’s not the objective of this process. You’re not trying to defend the business. Instead, you want to learn as much as possible about how the departing employee perceives things.

4. Take the High Road

Keep in mind that retaliation of any kind is likely to worsen the situation. Even if you want to match the employee’s behavior, resist the temptation. If it becomes difficult to remain calm, consider pausing or adjourning the interview. If you anticipate a volatile discussion, ask a peer to remain close, and request assistance if needed.

5. Document Everything

Remember that you are responsible for the meeting’s tone and agenda. Try to stay focused on your purpose as a fact-finder. Make a note of any unexpected issues so you can return to them later in the discussion. Or reschedule the meeting for a later date if you need more time to gain closure. Make a note of any physical action such as slamming the table, shouting, or storming out of the meeting, so the minutes and outcome of the meeting can reflect the nature of the discussion. Finally, always follow up in writing to document events and outcomes.

How to Ensure a Smooth Departure

For productive handoffs, many organizations turn to trained HR consultants for assistance. This is especially useful if you’re new to the offboarding process or you don’t have sufficient internal resources available to ensure its success.

Relying on specialists for help is a very effective way to be sure that a departing employee can leave your organization on the best possible terms, and a replacement will be ready to step into their role. In addition, you’ll sleep more soundly, knowing you’re prepared to fill the open position with a suitable candidate as soon as possible.

Leading Through Change: What Have We Learned?

Leaders, how are you doing? If you’re feeling weary, I get it. Leading through change is hard. Of course, no one promised it would be easy. But no one saw the pandemic coming, either. Suddenly, it just crashed into our lives and shook us to our collective core.

Covid disrupted everything everywhere all at once. And the virus was only the beginning. Three years later, shock waves continue to roll through the world of work, and we still feel massive reverb. In 2021, it was the Great Resignation. Last year, it was Quiet Quitting. Now, it’s about finding a viable path through the push-pull struggle between return-to-office policies vs. remote work preferences.

On that note, let’s take a brief pulse check. Employers, whatever your current remote work standards may be, how’s that working for you? Moreover, how’s it working for your people?

If you’re ambivalent, you’re not alone. Plenty of organizations are still unsure about committing to long-term flexible work options. But if you think remote work demand is just a passing phase, think again. Just check this chart from Google Trends:

Leading through change - remote work - search interest 5 years - google trends

In short, it means U.S. interest in remote work has never been stronger than today – as measured by the volume of Google searches people conduct each day. In fact, we’ve just reached peak historical interest – 100 on a scale of 0-100. And global interest is growing at a similar rate. Surprised?

But I digress. This really isn’t about remote work, per se. It’s about a deeper issue. Namely, how can we lead through change that’s beyond our control? How can we engage and motivate employees, even in the most difficult circumstances?

Recently, I hunted for some answers to these questions by rewinding the #WorkTrends podcast time machine to June 2020. Three years ago, the world seemed at a low ebb. We were living in isolation. Life seemed sad, volatile, and bleak. Change management felt more like crisis management. But that was the perfect time to compare notes with Doug Butler, who was CEO of Reward Gateway – an employee recognition platform provider.

Doug has seen firsthand how mission, values, and engagement can build or break businesses and work cultures. So I asked him to share some of his best advice. Looking back, his leadership suggestions are still just as useful today…

Leading Through Change: 5 Takeaways

1) Aim for a balance of caution and optimism

When things are tough and circumstances are changing rapidly, communication is everything. Remind yourself and others that you’ve been through serious challenges in the past, so you’ll find a way through this, as well.

Sometimes, the process may be painful. You need to be willing to make mistakes and keep going. But be sure people know that you’ll share what you know, when you know it. Then follow through on that promise.

2) Rebuild and reinforce connections

Be more visible. Show up regularly and be accessible to people, whether it’s virtually or in-person, or a combination. Encourage others to do the same. Video technology helps, but there are two kinds of video to consider:

Virtual meetings are common at Doug’s company. But more importantly, he writes a weekly blog for employees. And during the Covid lockdown, he started including a video summary with each update. People responded well to that personal touch. So all of the company’s leaders began adding a video to their written messages.

3) Make it your mission to sustain engagement

While you’re figuring out how to adjust, it’s important to prioritize team morale and emotional wellbeing. Change naturally takes a toll on people, especially when what’s ahead is unclear. This is another reason why open, honest communication and deliberate action are key.

Doug says this management style is actually very liberating. It’s also the best way to put trust at the center of your culture during difficult times.

4) Recognize the upside of change

Ironically, when things are changing, leaders often see new opportunities. It can open the door to doing things better or doing entirely different things. But Doug cautions leaders not to become distracted by too many opportunities.

You need to prioritize. That’s where listening to others helps. People need to feel like they’re part of the conversation. Listening is another aspect of communication that is essential for the health of your culture and your business.

5) Share your vision for the future

This isn’t about making unilateral decisions and delivering a roadmap. It’s about recognizing that people have a vested interest in the future and inviting them to participate in that discussion. That’s why Doug’s team continuously let people know what was in front of them and what they were considering.

Whatever you plan to do, always frame it with the organization’s mission and values. No one wants to change things just for the sake of change. But with the right context, change can become a powerful way to bring people together.

Leading Through Change: Top 10 “To Dos”

After revisiting that podcast with Doug, I found another source of leadership advice from 2020 that deserves renewed attention. Mark Zuppe, a serial business founder, shared a brilliant article on our blog about how to sustain employee experience during tough times.

In many ways, his advice echoes Doug’s. And I think his recommendations are just as relevant now as they were three years ago. Don’t you?

Tips to Stabilize Employee Experience During the Pandemic

  • Foster transparent communications
  • Keep communications positive and helpful
  • Offer employees ways to relieve stress
  • Adjust your internal processes to the “new normal”
  • Be empathetic and patient with your team
  • Proactively seek employee input
  • Expand inbound feedback channels
  • Promote new safety protocols
  • Help your team recalibrate expectations
  • Recognize the small things

Leading Through Change: What’s Next?

We’ve all had to find ways to keep moving through unrelenting change, for better or worse. We’ve made mistakes and we’ve learned some leadership lessons we never expected to have on our plate. It’s been overwhelming at times. But we’re all better prepared to navigate uncertainty in the future.

Now the question is, will we hold on to those lessons, or leave them behind with our supply of Covid masks? And when the time comes to demonstrate agility again, how will we apply that experience to whatever lies ahead? I hope you’ll share your leadership lessons with me on LinkedIn, or perhaps even in an article or podcast here at TalentCulture.

Change Management is Tricky. How Do You Handle It?

Change is an integral aspect of every organization — especially in today’s volatile environment. But managing change is challenging. That’s why it sometimes helps to rely on change management specialists for guidance or support. But when? It depends on the situation.

To better understand how leaders tackle change successfully, we asked business professionals to tell us how they approach this process. Nine people shared their recommendations. And despite their diverse experiences, some common themes emerged:

  • Help Employees Adjust
  • Include Employees in Decisions
  • Facilitate a Culture Shift
  • Encourage Two-Way Communication
  • Gamify Change Initiatives
  • Deliver Readiness Bootcamps
  • Involve Everyone in Training Curricula Updates
  • Build Skills for Collective Change
  • Keep Remote Teams in the Loop

To learn more about when and how your organization could benefit from these change management methods, read the full responses below…

9 Ways to Lead Change Management

1. Help Employees Adjust

Our direct managers’ plates are already full, so they don’t have enough time and energy to communicate about every change and seek continuous feedback from across their teams. That’s why we rely on dedicated change managers. They ensure that employees get the kind of support they need throughout any change process, and anyone with a question or idea has access to the right forum where they can speak their mind.

Sometimes, employees prefer to discuss these issues with change management specialists, especially if they’re worried about overloading their direct manager with more work. But the change management team is always available as an employee resource.

Their mission is to ensure a seamless adjustment — whether that includes taking ample time to listen to employee concerns, or to address suggestions that might make the implementation process better.

Jack Underwood, CEO and Co-Founder, Circuit

2. Include Employees in Decisions

Our organization isn’t big enough to require a change management team, so whenever a significant change is required, it’s imperative that we include employees in the process. Change can be daunting, stressful and scary, so it’s essential to mitigate any negative impacts, if possible.

Even if you’re just starting to consider a change, employee input is invaluable. People are much more likely to get onboard with new initiatives if they feel a sense of agency. Plus, they often have interesting insights and ideas to contribute.

And when you do move forward, respecting employees’ feelings and involving them in decision-making means you’ll have a smoother journey. Offering opportunities throughout the process to ask questions, raise objections and make suggestions is crucial.

These actions are not just about supporting change. They also reflect a spirit of inclusion. By seeking input and responding to ideas, you demonstrate that your employees are respected and valued, and they matter to your organization. Working together towards a shared vision and collective responsibility reinforces a sense of teamwork and helps employees feel more in control. This encourages engagement and helps employees embrace change.

Martin Gasparian, Attorney and Owner, Maison Law

3. Facilitate a Culture Shift

Our organization is tiny, so we do not have a dedicated change management team. However, we do have a culture committee composed of members from each department, and this group often helps navigate organizational change.

These representatives can act as liaisons and report on general workforce sentiments that might otherwise go unheard for fear of upsetting management. Members can also help their departments understand the reasoning behind a change decision and model a positive example of embracing and adapting to that decision.

A large part of change management is a cultural shift. So, the culture committee can help employees feel like they’re part of the process and help them view change as an evolution of company culture, rather than abandonment of the status quo.

Grace He, People and Culture Director, TeamBuilding

4. Encourage Two-Way Communication

We have a dedicated change management team at Brosix. That’s because change is an inevitable part of any business, and being prepared for it is crucial. One way we handle change is by empowering employees through communication. But change management communication involves more than just sending out a one-time email notice. It requires ongoing interaction with employees. And that demands dedication, clarity and consistency.

Effective two-way communication techniques like surveys, focus groups and informal feedback gathering give employees a voice in change-related decisions. When leaders involve their team in this process, people feel heard and appreciated. And when people feel valued, they’re more likely to welcome change and participate in making it happen.

Proactive two-way communication has other benefits, as well. Leaders can identify and resolve issues that are likely to cause resistance. And the organization can potentially avoid obstacles and pitfalls before they become a problem.

Stefan Chekanov, CEO, Brosix

5. Gamify Change Initiatives

At TechAhead, we have a dedicated change management team that is highly skilled in collaboration, communication and critical thinking. This team analyzes the potential risks and challenges that come with change and develops effective strategies to mitigate them.

To make the change process more engaging, accessible and effective, we use a unique “Gamification of Change Management” approach. Specifically, we’ve developed a game-based change journey that rewards employees with points and badges for completing challenges such as attending training sessions, participating in feedback surveys and collaborating with team members.

We also offer a “Change Management Cafe,” where we invite stakeholders to openly discuss their concerns, suggestions and feedback about changes we’re planning or implementing. This helps create a culture of transparency and collaboration, which makes the entire change process more inclusive.

Vikas Kaushik, CEO, TechAhead

6. Deliver Readiness Bootcamps

Throughout my career, I have seen many organizations struggle with change management. However, my current employer has implemented highly effective “change boot camps” for employees.

These boot camps are training sessions that focus on teaching people how to accept change and move through it with a positive mindset. They also receive resources and tools to make necessary transitions smoother.

With this structured approach to developing employee change capabilities, our organization is better prepared to handle change more efficiently, while maintaining morale, and ultimately achieving success in the transformational process.

Derek Bruce, First Aid Training Director, Skills Training Group

7. Involve Everyone in Training Curriculum Updates

The healthcare industry is a fast-paced, stressful environment where staying on top of constant change is critical. We don’t have a dedicated change management team, but we do have medical educators whose roles include change management. This comes into play for us when we introduce a new curriculum for medical certifications we offer.

Every two years, we need to incorporate best practice updates into our certification programs for medical skills such as CPR and BLS (Basic Life Support). It is our education team’s job to make sure our instructors and clients (nurses and healthcare workers) are up-to-speed with all these curriculum adjustments.

Because this change process focuses on our curriculum, it’s a business priority. That’s why it’s a central part of our education team’s ongoing responsibilities, rather than a standalone activity.

Brian Clark, CEO and Marketing Director, United Medical Education

8. Build Skills for Collective Change

Change management is central to our organization’s mission. We educate others about the power of facilitation in change management and we equip them with tools to transform the process by replacing traditional methods with facilitation.

Within our organization, we embrace the same philosophy. Rather than relying on a dedicated change management team, we focus on equipping individuals across the organization with facilitation skills to address change collectively.

By engaging stakeholders and empowering them to actively participate in the process, we are fostering a culture of change, adaptability and resilience. Ultimately, this means we can achieve change outcomes that are more enduring and effective.

Douglas Ferguson, President, Voltage Control

9. Keep Remote Teams in the Loop

We don’t have a dedicated change management team because our organization is a relatively small remote team. My partner and I oversee necessary changes. Currently, we’re focused on work to be done so we can boost our sales and generate business results.

However, for change management, we keep our employees in the loop by conducting frequent video calls and arranging online meetings so we can communicate our expectations and discuss any questions people may have.

We ensure that employees are satisfied with the volume and nature of their work, so no one feels overloaded. We also consider their feedback about the company’s operations, so we can incorporate changes they will appreciate and feel comfortable adopting.

Harman Singh, Director, Cyphere

 

How Agile Leadership Can Fundamentally Change Work Culture

Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” This quote is perhaps one of the most familiar business phrases of all time. Yet, while most leaders agree on the importance of culture, surprisingly few actually devote serious attention to shaping workplace culture. Why is this the case? What role should culture play in business success? And how does agile leadership help shape successful organizations? In this article, we’ll explore these questions in detail…

Why Smart Leaders Value Culture

Just how deeply should leaders focus on culture? Edgar Schein is widely considered the father of organizational culture. In his book, Organizational Culture and Leadership, he describes leadership and culture as two sides of the same coin.

In other words, leaders invariably shape culture for better or worse, whether they intend to or not. It starts when they establish organizational policies and practices. Then, through their daily actions, leaders demonstrate their commitment to these standards. Ultimately, they become role models for expected behaviors.

This aligns with Andrea Tomasini’s definition of culture as “the set of behaviors that are accepted and expected.”

Culture Change: A Case In Point

One example of a leadership-driven culture shift comes from a large telecom equipment provider. The company’s culture was highly hierarchical and control oriented. Employees were even forbidden from posting anything on their office walls or windows.

Although the company was a recognized market leader, it was losing market share to smaller competitors. This was when executives recognized the need to build a more innovative, collaborative culture.

Leaders visited directly with teams to ask what they needed to work in more collaborative, innovative, agile ways. They documented the various responses on sticky notes, and then posted these comments on a highly-visible wall in the building’s atrium. But the process didn’t end there.

In essence, this wall of sticky notes became a Kanban board that helped drive organizational change. Leaders started taking action on each request. They began meeting weekly at the board, where everyone would see them moving sticky notes from “To Do” to “In Progress” and eventually to the “Done” section when each action was completed.

Within months, teams began creating their own Kanban boards and collaborating daily. Sticky notes on the walls became a new cultural norm. The leadership team’s visible actions changed employee understanding of behaviors that are accepted and expected.

How Does Agile Leadership Help?

In their book Leadership Agility, Bill Joiner and Stephen Josephs offer a well-researched, practical model for leadership development. Think of leadership skills as a series of vertical stages of increasing effectiveness. As leaders develop capabilities, they move from Expert to Achiever to Catalyst.

These stages are like gears in a car’s transmission, letting leaders “shift” into different speeds as needed. In fact, research shows that the most effective leaders have the agility to shift fluidly between leadership modes – as well as the awareness to know which leadership mode is most appropriate in a given situation.

The Leadership Agility Model in Agile Leadership

Most leaders start at the “Expert” stage. Experts are focused on hands-on work that leverages their functional expertise. They tend to focus on tactics and solving immediate problems. However, they tend to lack awareness of their leadership style and have low emotional and social intelligence.

At the “Achiever” stage, leaders begin to rely more on others. They are focused on results and outcomes, and are willing to delegate the “how” to others. They become more invested in influencing others to accomplish their goals. They’re also more aware that they need buy-in to achieve the best results.

When leaders reach the “Catalyst” stage, they develop a broader, more systemic perspective, long-term orientation, strong self-awareness, social awareness, and situational awareness. They realize that goal-setting, alone, isn’t enough to motivate people. Vision and purpose are also essential. And they genuinely believe people are assets — not just “resources.”

How Agile Leadership Affects Workplace Culture

Agile leaders demonstrate multiple capabilities that are vital for shaping organizational culture:

1. Situational Awareness and Balance

Agile leaders are able to shift their approach between expert, achiever, and catalyst modes, as needed. They can operate effectively at a tactical, strategic or visionary level. This means agile leaders are adept at tackling a wide range of problems. By tapping into this broad set of skills, they serve as role models to others in the organization, creating a culture that values leadership growth and development.

2. Long-Term Visionary Orientation

“Catalyst” leaders devote more of their energy to a long-term vision for their organization. They realize the key role culture plays in achieving this vision. And they realize there is no silver-bullet shortcut that creates a positive culture. This is why they move deliberately and persistently to build a better culture. As role models, they help other leaders in their orbit develop a similar visionary perspective.

3. People-Centered Leadership

Catalyst leaders have strong social intelligence and genuine empathy for people on their team. They are willing to invest time in coaching and mentoring people for personal growth. This goes beyond merely setting goals, measuring performance, or demanding results. This leadership style serves as a role model for all in an environment where people feel genuinely valued.

4. Ability to Navigate a VUCA World

Today’s fast-paced global economy is volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA). In this environment, agile leadership is essential. It frees leaders to let go of the illusion of control and gives them the confidence to help others do the same. Agile leaders frame complex challenges as learning opportunities rather than neatly defined execution tasks. Instead of punishing small failures, they reward learning. This kind of support encourages people to take initiative and tackle complex problems.

5. Concern for Psychological Safety

By combining two agile leadership capabilities we’ve mentioned – social intelligence and willingness to reward learning – leaders can establish a sense of psychological safety. When people feel it’s safe to participate, learn, contribute, and even challenge the status quo – innovation can flourish. By actively promoting an atmosphere of psychological safety, leaders can help their organization evolve and succeed over time.

Modeling and Shaping Culture

For leaders who want to proactively shape workplace culture, a cultural assessment model can be particularly helpful. At Agile Leadership Journey, we rely on the Competing Value Framework (CVF) by Kim S. Cameron and colleagues. This CVF model focuses on four cultural archetypes: Collaborate, Create, Compete, and Control:

Competing Values Famework in Agile Leadership

 

CVF research indicates that no singular “best” culture exists. Instead, the most successful organizations try to balance the four archetypes. CVF provides a model for assessing an organization’s culture “shape” – the relative strength of each value system and culture archetype. With this tangible assessment, leaders can make deliberate choices about actions that can shift the culture in a desired direction.

Culture Values Framework Agile Leadership

Because culture is so complex, leaders should treat these activities as experiments — assuming the outcome is uncertain, and side effects will be difficult to predict.

Our experience with CVF and culture shaping reveals that these techniques can lead to a measurable shift in culture. However, significant changes often take years to manifest fully. This means organizations need to rely on the strength of “Catalyst” leaders with the agility, wisdom and skills to persist through a complex cultural transformation.

Why and How Can Internal Video Help You Boost Employee Morale?

For most office-based employees, “work” no longer represents a physical location. In fact, 84% of people who worked remotely during the pandemic said they intended to mix home and office-based work when the lockdown ended. Now, with hybrid and remote work models defining so much of modern work life, employers are rightfully concerned that employees are feeling increasingly disconnected and disengaged. This is why many are turning to technology like internal video to help improve employee communications.

For some time now, savvy HR and marketing professionals have recognized the importance of video communication. And they’re onto something. For example, research says employees are 75% more likely to watch a video than read an email. People have discovered the convenience and effectiveness of video. And they’re not going back.

How Can Internal Video Improve Employee Experience?

This post-pandemic era promises greater scheduling flexibility, improved work/life balance, and happier employees. But it is also introducing a variety of challenges for employers to address.

For example, it’s harder to reach and engage people who work on a remote or hybrid schedule. When left unchecked over time, this distance can erode connections with managers, colleagues, and company culture. Without access to clear, consistent communication and recognition from managers, employees are at risk of feeling increasingly undervalued, disillusioned, and unmotivated to work.

If the pandemic taught us anything about the future of work, it’s that organizations must evolve so people stay connected, even when they’re not at the office. Over the past three years, video has played an important role in filling that gap, connecting leaders and teams through video conferencing, webinars, online learning, and study resources.

Every great company wants to create a positive employee experience and a strong company culture. And one of the most effective ways to achieve this is through enhanced communication. So, in today’s digital world, what better way to ensure that team members stay connected and informed than through internal video?

Benefits of Internal Video

There are multiple reasons why it makes sense to leverage internal video to boost staff morale. For example:

1. Video is highly effective

Whether it’s a company update or new sales strategy, internal video is the best communication format available. But it can be even more effective when combined with the power of email. Email is a great tool — and it’s clearly the most dominant business communication tool. But you can achieve much more by incorporating video.

For instance, instead of writing a hefty block of static text to communicate an important employee update via email, try writing a brief introductory one-liner and embedding a video into the message.

Video is much more engaging than written copy. That’s because people absorb video content more quickly and effectively. You can also convey much more with video than a text-based message. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then as Dr. James McQuivey puts it, a single minute of video is worth about 1.8 million words.

2. Video can illustrate complex information in a simple way

The success of a business is measured by more than just revenue and profit. It’s also about communication. Without effective internal communication, important information can get lost in translation and employees can become frustrated. This is where videos can help to transmit information in a simple, clear, and digestible way.

Studies show that videos can improve a person’s ability to remember concepts and details. In fact, when people watch a video message, they retain 95% of the message, compared with only 10% if they read the same message in written form.

3. Video helps employers connect with employees

Communication is a two-way street. It’s not enough to simply pass information along to team members. Particularly when working remotely, it’s important that staff actively develop trusted working relationships, and feel they are working together toward the same goals.

By sending regular video updates, you can bridge the gap between your onsite team and those who work remotely at least part of the time. When employees feel more connected with each other and your organization, they’ll be in a frame of mind to collaborate and perform well.

When Internal Video Can Help You Improve Company Culture

For internal corporate videos that will improve your company culture and boost morale, you’ll want to build a library of video templates. This can help you jumpstart new content production, and simplify updates whenever they’re required. Here are some recommended types of internal video to help you improve employee morale:

1. Make onboarding easier for new employees

A proper new-hire orientation is a highly effective way to help people feel welcomed and valued. In fact, thoughtful onboarding is proven to help people become more excited about their role, which in turn reduces turnover.

But onboarding can be overwhelming. New hires are typically required to absorb huge amounts of information from Day One. Traditionally, this process involves serious paperwork and in-person training.

This is one reason why induction through video training is gaining popularity. Pre-recorded videos are an efficient, effective way to present orientation information in a reusable format that significantly reduces the need for one-on-one training. By watching and learning at their own pace, employees can quickly get a sense of your company’s culture and what’s expected of them. 

2. CEO messages

In larger companies, employees — particularly newer or more junior staff — have minimal contact with the CEO. This limits opportunities to develop workforce trust and loyalty. However, by broadcasting internal video messages, a CEO can communicate about the organization’s ongoing objectives and challenges in a personal and convincing way.

It can be difficult to achieve this same direct connection with text-based email. That’s because a memo or letter can be written by anybody. Also, many people are better at in-person communication than in writing. A video demonstrates executive leadership qualities in real time, and shows how much your leaders value the opportunity to speak directly with employees about issues that matter to them.

3. Company updates

One thing is for certain — everything changes. But this doesn’t mean people are always comfortable with change. If employees are left in the dark about organizational change, it can damage staff morale as well as productivity. Timely, clear, transparent communication can minimize anxiety about business change. This is why well-crafted internal video content can help.

Internal video can be used not only to discuss the details of any organizational change, but also help employees understand the beneficial impact expected from these changes. Video gives organizations more control over the type of messages you’re sharing, as well as the pace and timing. This can minimize rumors, cut down on speculation, and give employees a forum where they can address common concerns.

4. Training and education

Training employees can be time-intensive. It can take days or weeks to address all the  requirements of a role, and how to perform effectively in that context. But new learning tools make it easy to develop and deliver internal video content for job training, how-to tutorials, skills development, compliance, and more.

Video media is particularly valuable for continuous learning, because it lets people learn at their own pace, without disrupting day-to-day responsibilities. Whenever an employee has a break in their work schedule, they can simply click on a relevant training video and resume watching from wherever they left off in their previous session. It’s a highly convenient option.

What’s more, video can help employers standardize training content and learning experiences in ways that one-on-one or even group training cannot.

5. Team and morale building

Video is a highly personal form of communication. After watching a video, people are more likely to feel a connection with the speaker. By creating this type of personal relationship with employees, they’re likely to feel part of the same team.

To rejuvenate employee connections, create some fun and exciting video updates about what’s happening day-to-day across your company. Did you recently bring on a new client? Did you just close a huge deal? Are sales up from last quarter? Has a team just completed an ambitious new project?

These are things employees want to hear about. Everyone wants to feel they contribute to their company’s success. Seeing these accomplishments highlighted in video honors the moment and reminds employees how important they are to your organization’s achievements.

Final Notes on the Power of Internal Video

Communication is the backbone of any company’s culture. And video media is a highly personal way to reach out to employees, build connections, and strengthen cultural bonds.

Employee-focused videos keep everyone in the know. They offer understanding about rules and standards, shared values, accomplishments and business progress. Now that video communication has become a highly accessible medium for all of us, it’s worth investing time and energy to embed video messaging into every aspect of the employee experience.

How to Design a More People-Centered Organization

Sponsored by Performica

In today’s world of work, it’s easy to find two very different types of people — self-promoting “squeaky wheels” whose voices are often the loudest, as well as those who quietly deliver without much recognition. Both bring something to the table. Still, leaders often judge an employee’s value based primarily on their visibility. This kind of bias is a critical reason why it’s important to build a people-centered organization.

But what can leaders do to better understand everyone’s true contributions? And how can they use these insights to develop more engaged, productive teams?

This issue matters, not only now, but for the future of work. That’s why I want to dig deeper with an HR tech innovator and entrepreneur who understands what it takes to design a more productive, people-first work culture.

Meet Our Guest: Alex Furman

Please join me in welcoming Alex Furman, CEO and Co-Founder at Performica, a people analytics platform provider. Previously, Alex co-founded Invitae, where he was responsible for growing the company’s collaborative culture of innovation at scale.

His first-hand experience as a senior business leader with technology expertise makes Alex an ideal guest for this discussion. Join us as we explore how you can leverage technology to build a more equitable and effective work environment…

Designing a More People-Centered Organization

Welcome, Alex! How do you define a people-centered approach to organizational design?

For a truly human-centric organization, we need to understand how people actually operate in the context of getting work done. Historically, we haven’t done that. We’ve thought in terms of org charts, business units, profit centers, and vertical silos.

But people are our greatest asset. And they’re social. The dynamic, cross-functional way people actually work doesn’t show up on org charts.

So to optimize people as an asset, we need to make sure everyone is seen, heard, valued, supported. That means moving away from analyzing org chart boxes and looking through the lens of humans working together.

Finding Hidden Influencers
You say teams rely heavily on “stealth influencers.” Could you tell us more?

As the head of people at a rapidly growing tech company in 2014, I wanted to see who was actually working together in real time. So I asked our engineers to connect our internal systems and create an org graph.

Soon it was clear that we had been over-celebrating those who were good at promoting themselves. Meanwhile, we were under-recognizing quieter “non-leaders” who were actually stronger influencers.

It was humbling. But that was the beginning of a solution to an important problem in the corporate world.

Tech’s Role in a People-Centered Organization

How can technology help leaders build a more people-centered organization?

We all know people are a company’s biggest asset. At most companies, 75-85% of expenses involve things like payroll, office space, travel and entertainment.

But people are also our biggest liability. We see this when cultures go sour and top performers start leaving. It becomes hard to attract talent and this can cripple a company.

But truly knowing your people and how they work is like a superpower. For example, one of our customers is going through significant change management. In this company of 1000 people, we identified only 24 people who are driving about 50% of employee sentiment and engagement.

So we’ve worked with senior management to target their interventions through that group of influential people. Now we’re seeing a massive and very measurable positive effect.


For more insights from Alex about how you can build a more people-centered organization, listen to this full podcast episode. And be sure to subscribe to the #WorkTrends Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.

Also, to continue this conversation on social media anytime, follow our #WorkTrends hashtag on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

After Layoffs, How Can Employers Handle Survivor Guilt?

We may or may not be heading for an economic downturn this year, but we certainly are seeing a slew of layoffs. The technology industry has been most heavily affected, with more than 224,000 jobs eliminated since the start of 2022. Although many small companies are affected, we’re also seeing announcements from big names like Alphabet, Amazon, Microsoft, Salesforce, and Meta.

Now, layoffs are spilling into other sectors as well. For instance, Disney, Goldman Sachs, and FedEx recently announced job cuts. Even McDonald’s is downsizing.

But no matter where and when layoffs happen, we can’t help wondering about the people who’ve lost their jobs. How will they cope financially? How will their mental health be affected?

It’s natural to be concerned about their wellbeing. But what about employees who remain onboard? We shouldn’t forget about them.

Many of these layoff “survivors” are likely to be suffering as well. They may be expected to put in extra effort or take on additional tasks to cover for those who are gone. All the while, they’re worrying about whether their own job will vanish next. Survivor guilt only compounds their problems.

Recognizing the Trauma of Layoffs

When lives are lost in a traumatic event, survivors sometimes feel guilty because they didn’t die. Or they may obsess about what they could have done (but didn’t) to help save others. This survivor guilt phenomenon also emerges in the aftermath of work layoffs. Although the situation is less dire, employers should take it seriously.

Remaining employees may feel guilty because they still have a job when others lost theirs. They may believe they’re less worthy or less skilled than those who were laid off, which further compounds feelings of guilt. This is one reason why layoff survivors typically don’t perform as well as predicted, which can ultimately harm business performance.

Learning From Covid Layoffs

The last big wave of layoffs happened during the Covid pandemic. At that time, my organization conducted research to understand the impact on employees. Specifically, we asked people how much they agreed or disagreed with these questions:

  • I am annoyed or angry that I am still working, when others have been laid off or furloughed.
  • I feel guilty about having a job, when others have been laid off or furloughed.

We found that remaining employees were much more likely to feel guilty than annoyed. In fact, only 5% agreed or strongly agreed that they felt annoyed or angry. In contrast, 33% agreed or strongly agreed that they felt guilty. This means a third of respondents were experiencing survivor guilt.

Upon closer inspection, we found that the extent of this guilt varied considerably from person to person. In part, it was due to differences in personality preferences for either Thinking or Feeling, a dimension included in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) framework.

People with a Thinking personality preference prefer to make decisions based on objective logic. In contrast, those with a Feeling preference favor decisions based on values and how those decisions affect people.

Our research found that individuals with a Feeling orientation were significantly more likely to experience guilt than those who lean toward Thinking. Specifically, 44% of people with a Feeling preference agreed or strongly agreed that they felt guilty, compared to only 21% people with a Thinking preference.

How Guilt Affects Remaining Employees

Given today’s economic pressures, organizations could see a repeat of the 2020 survivor response. It’s important for line managers to pay close attention to this, because survivor guilt can erode job performance.

But here’s a potential problem: Managers and executives are far more likely to have a Thinking personality preference. This means they’re less prone to survivor guilt, themselves. They’re also less likely to notice survivor guilt in others, or take it seriously.

How can organizations bridge this gap? The MBTI assessment and similar tools can help managers understand if their staff members see the world the same way they do. When an assessment reveals misalignment, it can help managers recognize that, even if they aren’t experiencing survivor guilt themselves, they should be open to others who are struggling.

Steps to Minimize Survivor Guilt

Managers and HR specialists can take several steps to mitigate the worst effects of survivor guilt. For example:

1. Let remaining employees know that you addressed all those who were laid off as individuals and you treated them as well as possible. But don’t communicate this message if it isn’t true. People with a Feeling preference have a knack for sensing inauthenticity. So lying will make matters worse than saying nothing at all.

2. Offer to help employees who lose their jobs. For example, you may want to offer outplacement counseling to everyone who is laid off. Providing this kind of support is a moral thing to do. Plus, it can improve morale and engagement among those who remain. So, even though it increases the upfront cost of layoffs, this investment can lead to tangible business benefits.

3. Reassure employees that, even if they had been prepared to make sacrifices themselves, the outcome wouldn’t have changed. Again, don’t communicate this message unless it is true.

4. Clearly explain the rationale for layoffs to those who are leaving as well as those who remain. This helps avoid the appearance of arbitrary decision making.

5. Do not congratulate survivors because they still have a job. This may only increase any guilty feelings they’re experiencing.

6. Establish multiple channels to share information on an ongoing basis. People have different communication preferences, depending upon their personality. That’s why it’s important to offer a variety of methods, especially if your organization includes remote and hybrid workers. Here are several ideas:

Provide opportunities for people to ask questions and submit suggestions. Some people prefer live face-to-face discussions, group meetings, online forums, or instant messaging. Others need to think about questions and submit them in writing. These people may feel more comfortable with on-demand online events, online feedback forms, email messages, or anonymous surveys.

Whatever communication mix you implement, be sure to set expectations for how quickly you’ll respond to questions, ideas and comments. And once those guidelines are in place, be sure to follow through.

Final Thoughts

Whenever employers initiate layoffs, it’s vital to consider the organization’s psychological contract with employees. Unlike a tangible work contract based on things like salary and working conditions, the psychological contract is intangible. It focuses on values and “the way we do things around here.” This contract is an implied agreement between employer and employee.

Organizations must consider if and how layoffs violate this contract. When this is the case, leaders must explain their actions. Otherwise, employees with a Feeling personality preference may walk away from their jobs without any explanation or warning. They’re likely to feel justified because their values have been compromised.

To avoid these unintended consequences, think ahead about the implications of layoffs — not only for those who will lose their jobs, but also for those who will remain. Then act accordingly. If you want your organization to prosper in the long-run, ignoring survivor guilt is not an option.

Should You Create an AI-Powered Talent Marketplace?

After years of upheaval that have redefined society, business and work, we’ve entered a period some call the “Great Reflection.” During this era of mindfulness, employees everywhere are reevaluating what they truly want from their career and their employer. In response, companies are investing more heavily in workforce retention strategies. For instance, the internal talent marketplace concept is rapidly gaining momentum.

Why marketplaces? CIPD research says 30% of employers intend to increase wages in 2023. This is certainly one way to show people you value them. Who wouldn’t appreciate competitive compensation? But many people are looking for deeper reasons to stay onboard. As a result, more companies are focusing on employees’ career development concerns.

According to Gallup, 76% of people are seeking opportunities for professional growth. At the same time, modern businesses know they can’t advance their agenda without a future-ready workforce.

That’s why now is a good time to invest in an internal talent marketplace. This kind of solution offers multiple pathways to develop more skilled, innovative individuals and teams. But how can you accomplish this in a way that is cost-efficient, personalized, and accessible? This is our story…

Inside a Talent Marketplace: One Example

To accelerate internal mobility, Schneider Electric, a global leader in integrated energy solutions, has developed and deployed an Open Talent Market (OTM). This marketplace leverages leading-edge technology to help retain talent and stimulate employee growth.

OTM is an AI-driven career development and internal mobility platform that matches workforce skills and ambitions to opportunities across the organization. First, employees describe their current skills and past experiences, as well as their future aspirations. Then OTM provides information about relevant open positions, part-time projects, and possible mentors.

The platform also offers career planning capabilities. For example, people can explore potential career paths and establish short-term development tracks to address immediate upskilling needs or develop new skills for the future.

How the OTM Process Works

This talent marketplace is open to all connected employees at Schneider Electric, and through pilot programs for shop floor employees who don’t have daily access to a work computer. With artificial intelligence as its backbone, OTM manages the entire experience at speed and at scale.

To get started, employees create a profile in the platform, which can be based on a LinkedIn profile or resume upload. Next, they can edit and expand their profile information, adding appropriate skills, experiences, interests and development areas. The more data an employee includes, the better the AI results will be.

Schneider Electric embraces the “3E” development framework – Experience (70%), Exposure (20%), and Education (10%). And because OTM is so easy to use, employees can independently explore upskilling and development opportunities that align with each of these learning methods.

Talent Marketplace Benefits

In addition to improving talent development and mobility, this solution has formalized the way our organization manages its internal gig economy. Now, by offering part-time projects through OTM, the company can unlock hours from employees who are eager to work on stretch assignments.

But the real beauty of this talent marketplace comes from its underlying AI, which makes it possible for anyone to discover opportunities that might not otherwise have been considered.

Too often in the past, finding a new position or mentor was all about who you knew. Now, it’s about transparency. That means everyone has access to a broader spectrum of opportunities that might not have been visible previously.

At the same time, the AI personalizes the matching process. In other words, it helps employees focus on opportunities that fit their unique skills and interests, instead of requiring them to filter through a sea of options. This levels the playing field and accelerates the talent matching process by identifying the strongest possibilities, regardless of current role or business unit.

Preparing to Support Internal Mobility

An effective talent marketplace depends on a culture that is open to internal mobility. For many organizations, this requires a significant mindset shift before and during the rollout.

At Schneider, the end goal is to retain our employees by placing them in opportunities that are best suited to their skills and help them continue to grow. This is why we strive to foster open dialogue among employees, current managers, and hiring managers about internal mobility and talent development.

To set the stage for OTM, we adjusted several key policies and procedures, and built OTM logic to support our business objectives:

Policy Changes

  • To help employees pursue new opportunities more on their terms, we’ve removed minimum “time in current role” requirements, as well as the need for a manager’s approval when applying for a new position.
  • To encourage actionable communication about opportunities, we ask internal candidates to receive feedback about any application, regardless of its outcome. In the past, this was not occurring consistently.
  • To support continuous learning and development, we request that employees dedicate 10-15% of their time to projects outside of their current role.

System Functionality

  • When using OTM for career planning, employees can see possible career paths based on several criteria, including their desired roles, typical paths that others in their current role have pursued, or whether they’re interested in moving into management. Within those paths, they can see existing open positions, as well as skill development opportunities to help prepare for future roles.
  • In addition, employees can use OTM to build shorter-term career tracks based on skills or experiences they want to gain or a specific position they want to pursue:
    • A track based on skills and experiences lets employees browse available opportunities, as well as courses offered in our learning management system.
    • A track based on positions lets employees select a specific position they’d like to pursue. Then the AI compares market data to find the skills most often applied in that role and identifies which of those skills the employee already has and indicates any gaps. The platform then suggests available projects, mentors and courses in our LMS that could help an employee fill those gaps.
  • Lastly, OTM is not a one-way street. The AI helps employees uncover matched opportunities. But it also lets recruiters and project owners discover candidates with a skill or experience needed for a position or project role. This feature required change management to ensure that our managers perceive it as a tool that enhances internal mobility, rather than “poaching.”

Talent Marketplace Results

To-date, 80,000 Schneider Electric employees are registered OTM users. And since its launch in May 2020, this solution has helped more than 26,000 employees connect with projects, positions or mentorship assignments.

OTM has been a highly effective way to actively involve employees in managing their careers. It supports people as they develop, grow, and shape their future. And it helps the organization more fully utilize talent, while strengthening engagement and retention. At Schneider, our commitment to a world-class talent marketplace is leading to a brighter future, all around.

 


EDITOR’S NOTE:  In developing this article, Jessica Staggs collaborated with Michele Egan, Open Talent Market Digital Transformation Lead at Schneider Electric

Transforming Talent Acquisition: One Employer’s Story

If your organization is like most, you’re constantly looking for ways to strengthen your workforce through smarter talent acquisition tactics. Although recruiting has shifted dramatically during the past few years, some innovative practices from the pre-pandemic era are worth another look.

A Pre-Covid Lesson in Recruiting Innovation

One example is the talent acquisition process at financial services provider, TIAA. Several years ago when the company completed a full-scale recruiting revamp, we spoke with Angie Wesley, then SVP and Head of Talent Acquisition.

TIAA has since promoted Wesley to Head of Workforce Strategies and People Operations. She has also been named one of the top 100 Women in Business by the National Women’s Conference. And looking back now at how she advanced talent acquisition at TIAA, we can see why she is recognized as a visionary. She clearly is ahead of the curve. 

Because TIAA is a well-established organization, Wesley knew she needed to initiate change in ways that would inspire buy-in, particularly from the recruiting team. Her approach is a powerful lesson in how to beef up business processes with technology and avoid friction while getting everyone onboard.

Rethinking Recruiting for Modern Business Needs

There’s no question that next-level recruiting depends on modern technology. But business aspirations are extraordinarily high. And modern recruiting tools, alone, are not enough to drive a cultural sea-change. For example, many employers want to:

All of these depend on a strong tech stack. But as we’ve seen time and again, simply acquiring new tools and bolting them onto existing processes and ecosystems is not sufficient. Integration and adoption are key — and that takes serious organizational insight, training, and adjustment.

Building a Better Tech Stack For Everyone

That’s where Wesley’s role came in. She led the transformation of TIAA’s recruiting functions so team members could better navigate the modern candidate marketplace.

(Brief reminder: Before the pandemic struck, recruitment was already facing serious pressure. From a very tight talent market to shifting candidate expectations about the hiring experience, employers were fielding plenty of recruiting challenges. But none of us could imagine the Covid curve ball coming our way.)

As Wesley told TalentCulture at the time, next-level recruitment was “either going to come to us, or we were going to have to join it.”

The tools she selected and implemented helped TIAA’s recruiting team in numerous ways. In particular, they significantly improved the candidate experience and paved the way for a more streamlined, compliant hiring process.

What’s more, Wesley’s advancements didn’t get mired in resistance. All too often, organizations meet change with pushback at numerous levels, from employees who don’t want to adjust their workflows to senior leaders who aren’t sold on the ROI of a new recruiting tech rollout.

In TIAA’s case, what made the difference? Two clear objectives…

Keys to Recruiting Transformation Success


1. Provide Training to Build Familiarity and Confidence

Wesley noted that recruiters voiced more concerns than anyone else. “A lot of these recruiters are seasoned, so they have their own way of moving candidates through the process,” she explained. “We had to show them how technology actually helps them, instead of inhibiting them.”

To encourage adoption, TIAA instituted both in-person and remote (web-based) training. The content included plenty of context and real-world examples from other organizations. This approach helped staff members agree that the new tools could help improve their productivity and performance.

In addition, TIAA started tracking who uses the tools, so they can find and fix individual issues. “If we have folks that aren’t using a certain technology or tool in our recruiting process, we’re able to identify them and work with them to understand and resolve the difficulty,” Wesley explained.

2. Focus on Candidate Experience

Many recruiting technology upgrades are intended to improve the candidate experience, but sometimes they miss the mark. Wesley made sure candidates remained a top priority throughout the planning and implementation process.

These days, some of TIAA’s changes may seem like table stakes. But several years ago, these recruitment essentials weren’t a given. (Technology evolves fast!) For example:

  • Online Applications
    TIAA made sure its employment website and career pages were mobile-friendly and candidates could complete the application process on any device.
  • Digital Assessments
    The company began offering assessments that candidates could complete online at their convenience — another forward-thinking capability that is now considered a best practice.
  • Text-Based Communication
    Recruiters began relying more heavily on text messaging to conduct conversations in real-time. This led to more frequent candidate communication that helped the recruitment process feel more immediate, personalized, and meaningful. Ultimately, this
    kind of responsiveness made a big difference that translated into better hiring outcomes.
  • Video Interviewing
    The hiring team also instituted video interviews. Again, this was once a leading-edge strategy that positioned the TIAA employer brand ahead of others. But the organization needed a better way to reach the passive talent market. At that time, the most attractive potential candidates were employed elsewhere. Video interviews offered more convenience and less disruption. Of course, during Covid, video interviewing became the new norm. Now, many organizations still rely on video tools to extend recruiting reach and streamline the hiring process.

Reinforcing the Human Side of Recruiting

Does TIAA’s recruiting game plan suggest that technology should replace human interactions? Not at all. Actually, this is another lesson to remember for the future of talent acquisition. The human element counts, always.

According to Wesley, “What we are finding is candidates still want that human touch in the process somewhere. They don’t want technology to take care of everything.”

Employers must strike a balance in the recruiting journey. Candidates want to experience the human side of your organization, especially when it comes to your company’s history, culture and values. Potential employees appreciate personal conversations with people who can speak on behalf of your brand.

On the other hand, candidates also value employers who quickly process their applications and provide a hiring process that is reasonably simple and painless.

So by all means, deploy the best and most innovative recruiting technology to make the whole journey easier and improve the overall candidate experience. But don’t forget the human touch. After all, those personal moments along the way may just give you an advantage in hiring the best talent.

Are You Ready to Lead Through Uncertainty?

Sponsored by HiBob

As 2023 begins, the world of work is bracing for a rough ride. For more than a year, inflation has gripped the economy. Previously unstoppable tech companies are reeling from recent layoffs. And other industries are tightening their belts, as a recession now seems unavoidable. What will it take to lead through uncertainty?

Strategies that helped organizations thrive under different circumstances are no longer relevant. But during lean times, how can you preserve what’s valuable and unique about your organization? This question is top-of-mind for leaders everywhere. So let’s get advice from someone who understands the factors driving today’s business climate:

Meet Our Guest:  Ronni Zehavi

Today, I’m thrilled to welcome Ronni Zehavi, Co-Founder and CEO of modern HR platform provider, HiBob. After more than 25 years of experience in launching and leading successful technology companies, Ronni knows first-hand how to guide organizations through volatile, uncertain circumstances. Now he’s sharing his unique perspective and expertise to help others lead through uncertainty.

Managing Multiple Unknowns

Welcome, Ronni. Let’s dive right in. How can organizations navigate through uncertain times?

It’s a bit like driving a car. In 2021, driving fast may have been easier because the road was clear. But today it’s bumpy and cloudy. No one knows when it will end, so you need to slow down.

2023 is going to be challenging. First, read the map and then adjust your plan. How long is your runway? Do you have enough cash? Do you have enough funds to weather the coming storm?

Then look realistically at the environment. A slowdown will have an impact on your customers as well as your organization. Will you be able to generate the revenues you expect?

The Long Game

The economy will eventually bounce back. How can we prepare for that now?

It starts with your people. Invest in them. Make sure you can retain all of them. Or, if not all of them, focus on your most important people. Because you’ll want them to be with you when the tailwind comes.

And more than anything else, think positive. What goes down comes back up. So optimism is critical.

How to lead through uncertainty

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What About Layoffs?

Is there a right way to reduce headcount? How can leaders avoid damaging their company culture?

Layoffs are only one option in a CEO’s toolbox when adjusting to a difficult environment. First, you may decide to slow down hiring. If a slow down isn’t enough, then you may need to freeze hiring or freeze salary increases, or both. And if needed, the next option could be salary cuts or layoffs. One or both.

But it is important to think about the people who stay as well as those who are laid off. Retention can be affected when those who remain are expected to do the job of two people or even more.

Communication and transparency are critical to preserve your culture.

Can Flexible Work Help?

Do you think economic changes will influence where we work? 

I don’t think so. I think hybrid work is here to stay. Flexibility was a nice-to-have perk a few years ago. But the pandemic proved that organizations can deal with it.

The ultimate combination is two or three days at the office or two or three days remote. It offers flexibility, but it keeps engagement and collaboration among people.

How to Support Hybrid Work

I like the idea of finding a balance between onsite and remote work. But how can leaders accomplish this? 

It’s a journey. It will take time until we get there as a standard. But flexibility is all about what we call internally, The Three T’s:  Trust. Transparency. Teamwork.

If your organization follows these values, it will help you create a flexible work culture.

 


For more insights from Ronni about how to lead through uncertainty, listen to this full podcast episode. And be sure to subscribe to the #WorkTrends Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.

In addition, we invite you to join our live Twitter chat about this topic on Wednesday, January 25th at 1:30pmET/10:30amPT. Follow @TalentCulture for questions and be sure to add the #WorkTrends hashtag to your tweets, so others in the community can easily find your comments and interact with you!

Also, to continue this conversation on social media anytime, follow our #WorkTrends hashtag on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

Are You Cultivating a “Culture-Add” Talent Strategy?

In recent years, I’ve been encouraged by a groundswell of employers that are choosing to embrace “culture-add” people practices. In fact, several months ago, I wrote about it in a Sage Masterclass article.

Because this concept is central to the future of work, I’ve continued to ponder, read and discuss culture-add issues with others. Now I’m convinced this topic deserves much more than just one blog post. So let’s explore it further here. I hope this underscores the need for a shift to a culture-add recruitment and retention mindset. But more importantly, I hope it inspires constructive change.

What Does “Culture-Add” Mean?

The term “culture-add” speaks to a paradigm shift beyond traditional “culture-fit” talent strategies. On the surface, the culture-fit approach seems appealing. However, it ultimately leads to one-dimensional groups, teams, and organizations. And history tells us homogeneity can have dangerous consequences:  blind spots, groupthink, and poor decision-making.

In contrast, a “culture-add” approach actively seeks people with diverse perspectives that enhance teams and organizations. As we learn more about the significant benefits of a diverse workforce, culture-add hiring is emerging as an important way to strive for differences that make a positive impact.

As I noted in my previous article:

Most of us know that employees who align with a company’s values and fit into the culture generally have higher job satisfaction, improved job performance, and frankly, stick around longer. However, we are resting on our laurels if we use this as our rationale for continuing to use the culture-fit model.”

Embracing Organizational Change

We all know humans tend to resist change. In fact, the old adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” was suitable for a long time. It still holds some merit, so let’s not dismiss it completely. Tried-and-true processes can potentially save us from all kinds of turmoil — emotional, logistical, financial, and more.

However, if we want to innovate and grow, we must also be able to adapt. No doubt, changing an organization’s cultural fabric can be daunting. But it is necessary for long-term viability.

As Stephanie Burns says in a 2021 Forbes column, Why Evolving Your Business Right Now Is Critical:

Anyone who has wanted to cling to how things were will be in for a surprise this year, as COVID-19 entirely shifted the original paradigm. However, it’s also presented an opportunity for businesses and individuals to evolve into new ways of being.

COVID hasn’t just turned the world on its head, it’s accelerated trends that were already happening, such as the shift to remote work and the collective desire for more convenience…

Still, some founders don’t want much change. This could be due to fear of the unknown or fear that leaving their old business model, which had worked so well for so long, could be catastrophic. However, we’re reaching a critical impasse where businesses that don’t evolve may very well fade out of the picture. Evolution is a natural part of all of our lives, and our businesses are no exception.”

Leaders would be wise to heed this important advice, even if it seems overwhelming. It’s time to change. Our work cultures are constantly shifting. We, too, should remain prepared to embrace new ideas, processes, and people who can make us better.

Culture-add hiring can support this process by inviting more diverse minds and voices to the table as we dream up fresh ideas and orchestrate change. This reminds me of a related term — new blood. We need new blood to thrive.

Connecting Culture-Add and Diversity

This conversation leads us directly to the benefits of diversity. There’s an excellent article on the NeuroLeadership Institute blog, Your Brain at Work: Why Diverse Teams Outperform Homogeneous Teams. The entire piece is worth reading, but here’s a noteworthy excerpt:

Diverse teams are particularly good at exposing and correcting faulty thinking, generating fresh and novel ideas, and accounting for a wider array of variables in planning.

Part of the reason this happens is due to what scientists call cognitive elaboration — the process of sharing, challenging, and expanding our thinking. In essence, diverse teams compel each other to think more deeply about their reasoning and interrogate the facts more objectively.

They share counterfactuals as they go, they don’t take things for granted, and there is minimal ‘social loafing’ — or just accepting things at face value. In short, diverse teams tend to come to better conclusions because those conclusions have been road-tested more thoroughly.”

The science of diversity in teams is truly fascinating. It tells us that recruiting and hiring leaders can help by feeding teams with talented people who can accentuate the benefits of diversity.

Of course, diversity and inclusion don’t end with hiring. The next step is fostering a workplace that makes a wide variety of people feel valued. This is not an easy task. However, it is essential. So let’s look closer at what to consider…

Tips For Building a Culture-Add Mentality

1. Actively weave a sense of belonging into your workforce

As you build a more diverse organization through culture-add hiring, don’t be surprised if cliques and segmentation develop based on geographical, cultural, and other distinctions. That’s natural! But challenge your people to also learn and share what they have in common with others. Allow space for these common interests and goals to surface.

The Why Diverse Teams Outperform Homogeneous Teams article offers a compelling reason to make this a priority:

The benefits of diversity aren’t likely to accrue if we simply put together a team of diverse individuals and assign them a task. The environment in which they’re working should be inclusive — one in which all members feel valued and as if they have a voice.

In that inclusive environment, the benefits of diversity are far more likely to materialize. If not, employees will leave the organization, or worse, stay but not contribute. Diversity without inclusion only creates a revolving door of talent.”

Vigorously work on building a sense of belonging so people of different ages, backgrounds, and lifestyles feel celebrated for their differences. After all, you’ve brought them in to add to your culture, so allow them to shine.

2. Prepare to fully retrain your recruiting and hiring staff

This tip could stand alone as an article, white paper, or college thesis. But to be brief, let’s use an example to illustrate how deeply culture-add hiring upends the traditional approach:

Previously, when Bob hired someone at XYZ insurance company, he considered a candidate like Stan an excellent fit. That’s because Stan lived in a similar neighborhood, was married to a well-liked woman, and had kids who were high achievers. If Stan also golfed on the weekends and enjoyed a steak dinner, even better! He’d fit right into XYZ Insurance and would have a fulfilling career.

As mentioned previously, this model once made a lot of sense. Cultural similarities and a genuine “he’s one of us” mentality created a comfortable atmosphere where longevity was often the result. Unfortunately, homogeneous organizations were also the result.

Today’s businesses face new challenges that require a different approach. Your talent acquisition team can start by taking the initiative to reassess the criteria they use to find people (where, how). Then you can reframe the recruitment conversation from end to end.

Instead of looking for people to fit a standard outdated profile, allow questions and conversations to emphasize and embrace differences in candidates. What can they add versus how do they fit?

Begin by asking yourself and others in your organization to talk openly about how hiring is being handled, and what kind of outcomes this approach is creating — for better or worse.

If a culture-fit model still drives your talent decisions, don’t be ashamed to admit it. But if that’s the case, you’ll want to start making changes soon. Because I assure you, your competitors are already moving toward culture-add for the win.

Leadership Done Right: Yes Elon, Empathy Works

Some conversations stay with me. It could be something about the subject, the wisdom of the person I’m talking to, or the timeliness of the discussion. And sometimes, a random event triggers my recall. Case in point: The world recently watched a sad spectacle, as half of Twitter’s 7,500 employees lost their jobs when new owner Elon Musk stepped into his CEO role and promptly went on a firing spree. Apparently, he hadn’t received the memo from other successful executives that empathy works as a leadership style.

Twitter is obviously grappling with numerous business issues. But it’s stunning to think this company’s future depends on a singular person in a position of great power who simply decided to slice the workforce in half. And that was only his first week on the job.

Why Empathy Works

This behavior reminds me of a #WorkTrends podcast discussion I had with Gary DePaul, a brilliant leadership consultant, researcher, and author. We spoke in June 2021 — more than a year into the pandemic — when everyone was grappling with workplace challenges. The Great Resignation was gaining steam, and leaders were scrambling to redefine work life and organizational culture in ways that would keep talent onboard.

Over the course of our conversation, Gary explained what makes leaders effective in the long run. Among the qualities that give leaders staying power is (you guessed it) empathy. Seems like the opposite of Elon Musk’s approach, doesn’t it?

Whatever you think of his business acumen, Elon has never been an empathetic leader. It doesn’t seem to be one of his goals, to put it mildly.

This posture is already damaging his relationships with employees. And it doesn’t seem to be garnering trust among Twitter’s business partners, either.

Days into this acquisition, major advertisers like GM decided to put their Twitter budgets on hold and marketing strategists began advising clients to spend elsewhere. It seems Elon’s lack of empathy is already costing him dearly.

Empathy Works Because it Builds Common Ground

Will an empathy void ultimately matter to the success of this $44 billion deal? It probably depends on your view of the people/profits equation.

In our podcast interview, Gary made it clear where he stands, and I’m inclined to agree. Empathy is absolutely crucial for leadership. It’s also a necessary through-line for every organizational tier. Whatever your title, you won’t win the hearts, minds, or cooperation of your team members unless you make a genuine effort to connect with them on a human level.

Gary said that openly acknowledging your weaknesses as well as your strengths is a powerful way to break the ice. It doesn’t need to be complicated. For instance, at your next Zoom meeting, when you ask everyone to introduce themselves by sharing a bit of personal information, don’t skip yourself.

Empathy Also Builds Alignment

Self-awareness leads to humility, which in turn, leads to empathy. When you honor others’ right to be at the table, you can expect a better response from them. That’s the reason why empathy works.

Think about it. When you make an effort to connect with others, pay attention to them, and factor their input into your decisions, others will be drawn toward you.

But when your actions make it clear that your business revolves around you, why would your team sign-up for that? When you send a message that says you make decisions in a unilateral, top-down way, you inhibit the free exchange of ideas where engagement and innovation thrive.

No wonder we see phenomena like “quiet quitting” eroding modern work cultures. When people feel like it’s not worth the effort to work hard or go the extra mile, why should employers expect that kind of commitment?

The Elon Musk Twitter story still needs to unfold. But I think we’re already learning some valuable lessons. I believe Gary DePaul would agree.

Authority is best served with warmth. In other words, leaders should be willing to admit they’re going to make mistakes. They should also be willing to admit they’re on a learning curve — particularly when they’ve just taken over a company.

Anyone in charge of a team can and should work on their leadership style and recognize the importance of communicating with different types of people on their terms. (Hint: Maybe email isn’t the best way to deliver life-altering news.)

A Key Takeaway from Gary DePaul

Studying leadership is Gary DePaul’s career passion. When we spoke, his latest book was What the Heck Is Leadership and Why Should I Care?  It speaks to these core questions:

  • What does it really mean to lead?
  • What does this job really require?

Gary’s bottom line:  Leadership is a continuous, ongoing vocation. So if you’re heading into the corner office (metaphorically or not), don’t assume you’ve arrived. You’re just getting started.

 


EDITOR’S NOTE:

For more insights on leadership and other work-related topics, explore our #WorkTrends podcast archives. You’ll find a treasure trove of great guests and ideas.

Also, be sure to subscribe to Meghan M. Biro’s LinkedIn newsletter,  The Buzz On Work, her personal take on what’s happening at the intersection of people, tech, HR, and work culture.

Key Design Decisions for 360 Feedback Success

Many managers and HR practitioners are familiar with 360 feedback as a leadership development practice. However, no two 360 feedback experiences look alike.

That is actually a good thing. Most successful 360 feedback drives behavior change both for individual leaders and their employers because the process is tailored to the organization’s unique culture as well as the intended purpose of the exercise.

On the other hand, this need for customization means practitioners face an overwhelming number of decisions when designing a new 360 feedback assessment. For example:

  • Who should participate?
  • How many survey questions should we include?
  • Who should receive the report?
  • What kind of follow-up support should we offer?
  • Who should choose the raters?
  • What role should HR play in the process?

Fortunately, some 360 feedback implementation practices have become ubiquitous. That means some guesswork, research and debate aren’t necessary. For example, below are five must-haves for strong engagement and outcomes.

Five Design Factors for 360 Feedback:

1) Which groups should participate in ratings?

Anyone who has observed a leader’s on-the-job behavior can provide useful rating input. This could include the leader who is being assessed, as well as a combination of direct supervisors, secondary managers, peers, direct reports, customers, board of directors representatives, donors and even skip reports.

In some situations, it is helpful to include other groups to meet specific requirements. For example, if a leader is actively involved with strategic partners or other third-party groups, their voices could add useful context. 

While there is flexibility to customize the participant mix, 360 feedback assessments typically include these four core rater groups as a baseline:  self, peers, direct reports, and direct managers. In fact, according to soon-to-be-released research from our firm, 88% of organizations include these four core groups.

2) Who will select and approve raters?

Among 360 feedback experts, there is some debate about the best way to choose raters. Should assessment recipients choose their participants? Those who favor this approach say it ensures a sense of ownership and buy-in. Others say a third party (a manager or HR representative) should choose raters. This ensures that feedback is well-balanced and avoids a “friends and family” bias.

Most 360 feedback process owners agree leaders should choose their own raters to build trust and establish assessment process buy-in. On the other hand, 70% of organizations tell us they review and approve final rater lists.

We agree that manager involvement is a wise practice, and a leader’s direct manager should approve the final list. Over the last 20 years, we’ve found that this is the most common approach. And according to our new benchmarking analysis, 48% of companies continue to use this method.

3) How will we score surveys and generate reports?

As with many HR processes, technology has also transformed 360 feedback implementation practices. Now, most HR practitioners rely heavily on online tools so they can collect, organize, analyze and share useful feedback faster and easier.

In 2009, spreadsheets and even paper surveys were still popular ways to collect and report 360 feedback data. Today, those methods are all but obsolete. In fact, 91% of organizations now use a web-based reporting tool to manage surveys and generate reports.

Many practitioners are also choosing to outsource this task to specialized service providers. In fact, our recent research shows that 80% of employers rely on an external vendor or consultant to handle this aspect of the process. 

4) How can we assure rater anonymity? 

To encourage honest responses, employers must ensure that feedback sources remain anonymous. Therefore, it’s not surprising that 81% of employers tell us rater anonymity is essential to the success of their 360 feedback endeavors.

A common way to ensure anonymity is by requiring a minimum number of survey responses for any group specified in the report. For example, peer scores are displayed separately only if at least 3 peers respond. If fewer peers respond, then that data is included only in overall average ratings.

Most often, organizations require a minimum of three raters in a category. In fact, 83% of companies use this three-rater threshold rule. Very few skip this requirement altogether (3% require no minimum responses). And on the other end of the spectrum, very few require more than three responses.

5) How will we help leaders translate the report into action?

For best results, talent management experts agree that personal follow-up is essential. To optimize ROI, employers should avoid the “desk drop” follow-up, where leaders receive a 360 feedback report, but no direct support to discuss results, implications, or next steps.

Follow-up can include any number of supportive actions, such as:  Adding development suggestions to the report, offering action planning guidance, providing individualized 1-on-1 coaching, assigning in-person or online workshops, referring leaders to specialized resource libraries, and more.

The most common step is also what talent management professionals feel is most critical for 360 assessment success:  Provide a one-on-one meeting with a trained 360 feedback coach who can facilitate action planning based on the results.

Historically, these sessions were conducted in person. However, in recent years, video meetings have become the dominant format. Also, reliance upon external coaches (rather than in-house staff) has become more popular.

Fortunately, 88% of organizations say they provide debrief sessions and one-on-one coaching, so feedback recipients can interpret insights and chart a relevant path forward.

Final Thoughts

Good leaders thrive on feedback. But for 360 feedback assessments to be effective, it’s important for leaders to understand the results and commit to improvement.

This means employers must take care to design and implement a valid, well-informed process from end to end. By addressing key design elements at the outset and by investing in ongoing leadership guidance, organizations can dramatically increase the likelihood of success.

 


EDITOR’S NOTE:
Want to learn more about the decisions talent managers make when designing and implementing 360 feedback assessments? Replay this recorded webinar, where the 3D Group unveils findings from its latest benchmarking study,
Current Practices in 360 Feedback, 7th Edition. This analysis includes 20 years of data from more than 600 companies.

Skillability: Will It Solve the Talent Crunch?

The current talent market poses numerous challenges for leaders and employees, alike. Perhaps the most disruptive force redefining the post-pandemic business landscape is persistently high employee turnover. This Great Reshuffle” demonstrates just how quickly teams can change—even beyond the pandemic shift to remote work.

A New Business Necessity: Skillability

This fluid employment environment brings good news and bad. Employees are welcoming it as an opportunity to advance their careers. But among employers, it has given rise to the practice of talent poaching. Global companies are proactively pursuing candidates from all over the world, culling the best talent away from other, smaller businesses.

And on top of this highly competitive talent market, employers are now struggling with the effects of inflation. As the cost of living continues to increase, so do demands for higher wages. And candidates are willing to hold out when employers don’t meet their salary expectations. These dynamics can make it tough to fill openings, even for high-paying, highly-skilled roles.

At the same time, employees face a volatile economic landscape that is sending conflicting messages about how to weigh the stability of an existing job against other attractive options. Today’s sky-high inflation hasn’t done employees any favors, either. Even though individuals have more bargaining power, inflation quickly eats into any wage increases gained from a job switch. As a result, economics plays a much more active role in career choices these days.

But despite all of these issues, both employers and employees can rely on one shared secret weapon. It’s something I call skillability.

The Power of Skillability

A skill is an individual’s capacity to perform a job task or function, based on existing knowledge, ability and competence. Skillability, in contrast, is an individual’s capacity to develop proficiency in an unfamiliar skill.

The faster and more efficiently someone can develop a skill, the better. So, skillability can be measured by determining the time an employee needs to develop new skills, along with the investment needed to build those skills.

Training, alone, is not enough to improve skillability. It also requires a supportive, learning-forward work environment. Together, they can nurture professional growth and create a win-win for individuals and their employers.

It’s essential for leaders to develop key workforce skills internally. This gives them new ways to support employees in their current roles, while helping them prepare for future growth within the organization. At the same time, by proactively encouraging team skillability, leaders can uncover new growth opportunities for themselves.

For example, consider technology advancements. While new technologies may promise greater operational efficiency and profitability, they also require specific skills that existing employees may lack. Employees with a high level of skillability can help companies hedge against the uncertainty of changing technology by being adaptable and agile in the face of change.

Building Skillability Within Your Organization

Skillability may sound like a trait, but the ability to develop new skills can actually be learned. It’s all in your approach to training, development, and talent acquisition. Here are just a few ideas to help your organization move forward with this strategy:

1) Consider Candidates Who May Not Fit the Mold

Candidates who lack one or more “required” proficiencies can bring a background or experience that enables them to quickly pick up new skills, duties, and responsibilities. Don’t screen out these individuals.

This approach offers several advantages. First, it opens your organization to new, often untapped talent pools. Also, it encourages the development of existing internal talent, which can drive retention and avoid the consequences of unwanted turnover.

Think about it. If you hire new employees for skillability and their desire to learn, you’re not just investing in their future, but in your organization’s future competitiveness, as well.

2) Build Achievable Benchmarks Into Training

Benchmarking is nothing new. Business leaders use it to determine the highest standards of performance. However, it can also be used for training and onboarding. Benchmarks and timelines can spur self-driven learning over a defined period.

Industrial technology provider, Emerson, relies on a powerful version of this model. It instills lifelong learning “DNA” in new employees to ensure that they will be skillable throughout their employee journey. This kind of approach indicates early on whether employees are likely to grow continually and take on new challenges as they arise. It also encourages the most enterprising employees to quickly distinguish themselves and demonstrate their skillability.

3) Break Employees Out of Their Comfort Zones

Sometimes, the most effective way to cultivate skillability is to nudge employees toward learning opportunities that push their existing boundaries and routines. This strategy is inspired by the fact that people learn more effectively when they’re somewhat uncomfortable as they explore new ways of thinking and doing things. 

Effective learning disrupts the status quo, so to speak. And overcoming these challenges has a way of encouraging people to continue pursuing learning opportunities for themselves. This means you’ll want to put employees in new situations that force them to challenge their thinking, expand their knowledge, test their abilities, and ignite their desire to grow and evolve in their careers. 

4) Establish a Supportive Environment

The climate you establish for new and existing employees is paramount to skillability’s success. It’s important to create a setting where fear is seen as an invitation to grow, rather than a signal to hold back.

Often, leaders inadvertently discourage growth in others because they fear negative consequences or they’re anxious about their own ability to grow. This can intimidate others and put a damper on skillability. One way to avoid this is for senior leaders to consistently and openly encourage all team members to develop skillability, and for the organization to reward people at all levels who step up to the challenge.

Final Thoughts

Employers can become so invested in hiring for a specific skill set that they fail to consider a candidate’s skillability. When you hire people, you’re already planning to involve them in training. So, why not broaden your talent options to include those with a stronger likelihood to learn much-needed skills in the future?

Even if you look within your ranks for employees with motivation and a commitment to continuous learning, you’re likely to find viable job candidates you might not have otherwise considered. It may only take a gentle push in the right direction and an environment that gives them the support they need to grow and succeed.

Job Design: Is It Time to Rethink Your Approach?

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the last article in a 4-part series sponsored by Unit4. The series outlines a new approach to talent strategy for people-centric organizations. This final post looks at why and how employers should rethink job design.


 

As we close this series about how employers can reinvent their talent strategy for the future of work, we turn our attention to one of the most important ways to attract and engage the people your organization needs to succeed. Namely, we’re looking at why this is the right time to revisit your approach to job design.

For most of the past 100 years, employers have used the same techniques to scope job vacancies, write job descriptions, and hire employees to fill roles. But these classic job design methods aren’t particularly efficient or effective.

In fact, only about 50% of interviewed candidates who receive a job offer actually become employees. Plus, the talent acquisition process, itself, is expensive. This means the perceived cost of a “bad hire” is so steep that decision-makers often become paralyzed. And that inaction forces organizations to offset costs by relying too heavily on long tenure.

It’s not an ideal solution by any measure. But focusing on the 4th talent strategy pillar can help you address these issues. How? Read on…

Reworking Job Design: Where to Start

Employers can no longer afford to ignore the need to address ever-changing talent rosters. Average employee tenure is decreasing, even as demand for future-ready skills is increasing. This means leaders must fundamentally rethink the way they structure jobs.

Here’s a good starting point: Design new roles based on the assumption that whomever your hire will stay onboard for 2-4 years. Then work backward from there.

In this game plan, onboarding and robust initial training are especially important, so you can ensure faster time-to-value from new hires. In addition, jobs designed with shorter tenure in mind will benefit from being supported by onboarding and “bedding in” processes that are much more tightly controlled.

This means that skills mapping, employee learning, and professional development will need to become a more prominent part of the HR function, along with talent pipeline development. It also means that the skills you expect to develop in employees should become central to the benefits you offer candidates.

Reframe Benefits for Shorter Job Cycles

In addition to packaging skills as benefits, you’ll need to reorient benefits so they’re compatible with shorter terms of service. Rewards for time-in-role or time with the company are relics that don’t make sense in today’s workplace. They need to be replaced.

For better results, focus on performance-based incentives for contributions to specific projects and programs with more clearly defined targets and expectations.

What Does This Look Like? An Example

One way to illustrate this new approach to job design is through the rise of the contractor. This increasingly popular option is a way to tap into skilled talent on a temporary basis. It helps employers find and deploy people more quickly, while simultaneously reducing operational overhead and risk.

At the same time, contractors benefit from more options in today’s predominantly hybrid working environment. They also benefit from a faster learning curve that comes from working on a more diverse portfolio of projects over time.

Reliance on contractors has increased dramatically—but not at the same rate in every region. For example, in the U.K., contractor usage has grown by about a third since the 2008 financial crash. By comparison, in the U.S., it has surged by the same proportion since only 2020.

Nevertheless, the shift to a contingent workforce shows no sign of diminishing. And many organizations still struggle to find permanent employees in today’s tight labor market. So the advantages of hiring contractors make project-oriented hiring a highly attractive option.

Repackaging Jobs to Attract Top Talent

In your job descriptions, do you still use this kind of phrase?

“The successful candidate must be willing to…”

If so, prepare to leave that kind of thinking behind. Instead, think in terms of asking this question:

“How do you want to work for us?”

In other words, you’ll need to let new hires determine some of the terms of their engagement with you. This makes sense because it encourages deeper ownership of the role’s success. Besides, if you’re designing jobs around shorter “tours of duty” with specific goals and objectives, why not configure these positions so they can be performed on a contract or project basis?

This model offers multiple benefits:

  • You can more accurately assess jobs and redefine them so they deliver the most value to your organization.
  • You’ll be better prepared to tap into a much larger talent pool. (After all, the huge increase in today’s contractors is coming from somewhere. That “somewhere” is the rapidly growing segment of the working population currently seeking greater flexibility in how they market and sell their skills.)

Where to Find Help

This blog series may be over, but your job restructuring journey is just beginning. For an in-depth view of our insights into this and other future-minded strategies for people-centered organizations, download our white paper:

Rebuilding Talent Strategy: Finding and Retaining People in a Changing World.

Also, as you consider technologies needed as the backbone of a reimagined talent strategy, we invite you to take a closer look at our ERP and HCM suite of solutions. These advanced platforms can provide the advantage your business needs to stay at the forefront in the future of work.

For example, you’ll be better equipped to:

  • Audit and map workforce skills
  • Target and deliver timely, relevant learning and development programs
  • Take the pulse of workforce engagement
  • Increase pay equity and transparency
  • Provide people with seamless connections to colleagues and resources in hybrid work settings.

In combination, these capabilities can help you build sustainable business value, going forward. To learn more about how Unit4 solutions can make a difference for your organization, book a demo here.

 


Related Reading

For other articles in this series, check the following links:

Part 1:  Reimagine Talent Strategy: Make Development a Core Part of Your Business

Part 2:  Commit to Careers

Part 3:  Engage in the Employee

 

Which Comes First, the Culture or the Practices? The Chicken-and-Egg Problem in HR Tech

In the innovation and HR tech field, one of the common concerns we hear from people is that their culture might not be ready for new practices, processes or tools.

They say their employees simply wouldn’t be ready for the kind of transparency and personal responsibility that are central for virtually all modern collaboration platforms. This might include platforms for employee engagement, idea management or internal communication.

They often continue by saying that unless a culture shift happens prior to introducing these tools or related practices, they would be very likely to fail.

On the other hand, there are also people who see these practices, processes and tools as a way to actually create that change.

Let’s examine both sides of the argument. What does it take to shape culture and successfully introduce change to an organization?

Where Does Culture Come From?

To think about where culture comes from, we must first define what we mean by culture — which isn’t easy since there are probably as many definitions as there are leaders out there, none of which are perfect.

However, my favorite approach is to define culture as the collective way things are done in an organization, especially when the boss isn’t around.

There are a number of factors to consider:

  • The larger purpose and mission of the organization.
  • The collective values of the organization.
  • The personal values of each employee.
  • The formal processes and tools used by the organization.
  • The informal ways of working within the organization.

Let’s take a brief look at each of these factors.

Which Comes First, the Culture or the Practices? The Chicken-and-Egg Problem in HR Tech

The Purpose and Mission

Since there’s such a shortage of talent in most industries, talented employees can choose who they work for. This is especially the case for the most respected and influential people in each organization.

More often than not, these influential employees haven’t chosen the organization they work for based purely on factors such as benefits and compensation, as Daniel Pink argues in his book “Drive.” They often work for the organization because they believe in what it’s trying to achieve. Since others in the organization look up to these influential team members, they often follow suit and seek to help the organization achieve its mission, which has a big influence on how people behave.

The Collective Values of the Organization

Most organizations have core values that represent what they believe in. However, the values the organization has chosen and communicates to the outside world might not really reflect how it actually behaves.

A great example of this is the story of Enron. “Respect” and “integrity” were two of its core values, and it had a 65-page ethics manual elaborating how the company was supposed to behave.

Which Comes First, the Culture or the Practices? The Chicken-and-Egg Problem in HR Tech

However, the people in the organization, starting from the very top, chose not to act according to those values. They acted not based on respect and integrity, but on greed. Employees thus saw that kind of behavior as the way to succeed in the company and replicated it, which eventually led to Enron’s downfall.

So the collective values of your organization matter a lot, and they’re not just words. When your words and actions are at odds, it’s your actions that people will believe in and replicate.

The Personal Values of Employees

Just like the collective values of the organization, the personal values of employees affect behavior. These values can, and often do, also influence other employees.

Over time these individual values shape the larger collective values of the organization, which makes it crucial to choose employees with values that match your desired culture.

As Workday CEO Aneel Bhusri said in a recent episode of the Masters of Scale podcast, having a good fit between candidates’ personal values and your desired culture should always be a key factor in hiring decisions.

The Formal Processes of the Organization

The formal tools, practices and processes used by the organization also have a huge impact on the culture.

If you want your culture to be collaborative but most work and decisions happen individually, it’s quite unlikely that collaboration will thrive. It’s thus crucial that the tools, practices and processes that employees use daily are in line with the culture you want to create.

So if you’re looking to shape your culture to be more innovative, it makes sense to implement practices that encourage employees to innovate, be it via an idea-management process or a practice like Google’s “20 percent time.”

The Informal Ways of Working

If you have a problem with the office printer, the first thing you do probably isn’t to create a support ticket for your IT help desk. Instead you ask Alice for help since she’s the expert on that stuff.

And if it’s too difficult to get approval for new initiatives, the odds are that either you’ll become passive or you’ll find a way to implement the initiative even without permission.

All organizations have thousands of informal ways of working that have gradually become a part of the organization. These informal practices play a huge role in shaping the culture.

How Do You Shape Culture?

If those five factors define culture, how do you shape it?

It’s simple, really. You change those five factors to the direction you want to move and gradually people will adapt to the new norm, which results in the culture changing.

However, “simple” doesn’t necessarily mean “easy.”

Changes in your processes can have unintended consequences. It’s notoriously challenging to change people’s habits and ways of working. Your employees might not embrace the new values until they see management do so. They might even dislike the new values or mission and decide to leave.

There are plenty of practical challenges on actually making cultural change happen. The real question is “Where should we start?”

Which Comes First, the Chicken or the Egg?

Getting back to our original question, there are two basic approaches we can take to driving cultural change:

  • Start from the purpose and values.
  • Start from the processes, tools and ways of working.

Let’s look at each of them separately.

Which Comes First, the Culture or the Practices? The Chicken-and-Egg Problem in HR Tech

The Values-Driven Approach

Proponents of the values-driven approach call for clarifying the purpose of the organization and using that to identify core values that are critical for success.

We’ve heard plenty of talk about the importance of purpose and shared values for motivation and for organizational culture, and we’ve seen research to support these findings, such as the Two-Factor Theory.

The Action-Driven Approach

The other side of the argument is that values and a mission alone rarely result in anything concrete, even if people believe in them, unless they’re rooted in how the organization actually works.

Thus, the more vocal proponents of this approach say that changing an organization happens by collectively building new habits to replace the old ones, and that the important thing is to just get started.

Putting It All Together

The bottom line is that the argument between these schools of thought is somewhat artificial and academic. Yes, it’s hard, if not impossible, to act the right way before you have a purpose and a set of reinforcing values. And yes, you’ll never make change happen at large scale with just a purpose and a couple of values. But in real life you need both. You have to think about them together and you have to implement them together.

Just as with strategy and execution, values and actions are fundamentally linked. If the sides aren’t aligned or one side is lacking, failure is usually inevitable.

Of course, cultural change usually doesn’t — and shouldn’t! — mean that you need a 180-degree reversal of everything the organization stands for. It’s simply about making small adjustments to guide you toward achieving your mission.

So the next time you implement a new HR tech solution, ask yourself whether the tool is going to help you in your mission, and whether your culture should be changed to better accommodate the new tool achieve that purpose — and if so, how you plan to achieve that.

#WorkTrends: Smoothing Out Your Messy HR Processes

HR is at a crossroads. Technology is making it easier to streamline messy, time-consuming HR processes, but where does that leave HR teams? On this week’s episode, longtime HR pro Ryan Higginson-Scott of PeopleDoc joins us to share answers every HR team needs.

An innovative HR leader with more than 15 years of experience spanning business partnerships, shared services and strategic program design, Higginson-Scott works to optimize the employee experience, enhancing both engagement and productivity.

He has helped organizations develop and scale HR/people operations as an advocate for continuous process improvement, operational efficiency, legal compliance and self-service enablement for managers and employees.

Listen to the full conversation or read the recap below. Subscribe so you never miss an episode.

Managing Change

Higginson-Scott has extensive experience managing others through process change, and he shares some of the challenges he has faced helping others adapt, along with the strategies he’s relied on to overcome those roadblocks.

“My number one priority in managing change, helping people adapt to change or even helping them accept that change is imminent is to help them find the value in the change,” he says. “Everyone’s human, and they have their reasons for their perspective. I’ve talked people into change, and I’ve talked people out of change when it was the right thing to do.”

He shares a fascinating example of working with an already efficient payroll department on implementing a new piece of technology that was essential but that primarily benefited HR. He explains how he ultimately, through conversations with payroll, discovered one of his biggest pain points overlapped really well with one of payroll’s biggest pain points — which was a challenge they didn’t necessarily realize was a problem. That prompted both departments to look at a different technology that was a solution for both of their problems.

“I’ve worked in a number of different industries and different teams,” he says. “It’s always important to find the right way to communicate with teams and individuals who think differently from you.”

Helping People Adapt to Automation

The rapid pace of technology change in the HR world, particularly when it comes to automation, can be a source of anxiety for people who wonder if they’re going to lose their jobs with the elimination of manual work. Higginson-Scott says including those workers in the implementation of change can help reduce some of that consternation.

“Technology has changed HR more in the last few years than I ever would have expected,” he says. “It’s scary when we start talking about automation and self-service. It feels like the whole role of HR is changing in general. How do people on the front lines, people whose job it is to be tactical and transactional, navigate that change? For me, it’s always been really important to include them in the process and to have them help drive not only the immediate change, but actually be part of the road map design.”

Looking Ahead

With technology reshaping HR, Higginson-Scott talks about his approach to handling the technology and also trends he’s seeing in the space.

“Something I’ve found really interesting lately — because really it’s a move away from the big bang, one-size-fits-all enterprise approach to technology, for the most part,” he says. “It’s become about collaborating between the right tools in each area of HR, to help the teams build the right employee experience and improve efficiency and productivity on both sides of the table.”

He says that while HR departments don’t necessarily have to have a tech-focused person at the helm, organizations should invest time and resources in keeping up with technology trends.

“Business partners, COE leaders, anyone can contribute to or take on management of any of these tools and upscaling around technology and innovation,” he says. “Being part of that process is really where I think everyone in HR needs to spend some time and put some of their focus.”

Resources Mentioned in This Episode

  • HR tech news:
    News release: Ultimate Software Enters into Binding Letter of Intent to Acquire PeopleDoc for HR Service Delivery.
  • Ryan Higginson-Scott at PeopleDoc on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Let’s continue the conversation. Join us on Twitter (#WorkTrends) for our weekly chat on Wednesdays at 1:30 p.m. Eastern, 10:30 a.m. Pacific, or anywhere in the world you are joining from to discuss this topic and more.

This episode is sponsored by PeopleDoc.

How To Lead Change By Looking At The Past

There is certainly no shortage of advice on what actions leaders should take to successfully implement change.

However, despite the plethora of guidance available, organizations generally have difficulty executing their “brave idea”. The desired change doesn’t see the light of day; the intended benefits aren’t realized; dysfunction and discontent are often left as the aftermath.

Traditional change management methodology has two fundamental flaws.

First, the premise of change management is based on the future. It focuses on what needs to be done differently in order to meet expected new environmental and competitive shifts.

The risk here is the implicit internal message that can be sent that somehow the past (and by implication the people who were there) is “bad”, and is responsible for the jeopardy leadership says the organization faces.

I’ve seen “warriors” in the organization steadfastly refuse to consider a change in direction because they felt betrayed; they were recognized and rewarded yesterday but today seem to be condemned for getting the company “into this mess”.

Second, change management is treated as an intellectual exercise; one that concentrates on people comprehending strategically what needs to be done given the forecasted threats and opportunities the organization is likely to encounter.

Accepting the need for change at the strategic level is easy; people “get it” because at this stage of the conversation the impact on individuals is rarely understood in detail.

Intellectualizing the need for change doesn’t mean people will jump on the bandwagon to support it.

What is needed is a bridge between understanding the change required and emotionally wanting to play an active role in helping the change get implemented; the trigger that compels the intellect to act.

That trigger is the organization’s history. It harbors the latent emotional energy for employees to be passionate about the change leadership says is required.

The past is the evidence that the organization is capable of adapting to a changing environment.

It provides demonstrated evidence that, in the face of formidable opposing forces, success can be achieved with people who WERE prepared to take on new challenges at the expense of their comfort zone.

The past can inspire people to believe a new future is possible; that people have the capacity to shift “the way they’ve always done things around here”.

It is crucial to honor past achievements and praise the people who delivered them if you expect them to now take on more change. A leader who incessantly reminds people that “the only constant is change” will only repel change agents, not attract them.

Honor the past; use it to usher in the future.

Use it as the right to ask people to take the journey and create another new future.

Then say goodbye.

Photo Credit: loop_oh Flickr via Compfight cc

4 Reasons You Should (Not) Trash Company Performance Reviews 

Recently, there’s been a lot of talk as to why companies should just get rid of their performance reviews. They don’t improve performance. No one likes them. Well, just because you don’t like to give constructive criticism doesn’t mean you should just get rid of it. After all, you still had to eat your broccoli as a child regardless of if you thought it tasted like dirt, right?

Love them or hate them, performance reviews are a necessary use of time and are critical to the success of your performance management system. Most of the arguments to get rid of the performance appraisals all together are largely based on poor performance management practices. You can, however, improve the effectiveness of performance reviews in your organization without trashing them. Here are four reasons to keep them around:

 

  • They do improve team performance.

 

Performance reviews of the 1950s may not have been conducive to the improving employee performance, and that’s the problem. The organizations that say performance reviews are merely a formality and don’t truly ameliorate the work of the team use an antiquated process. Companies that see performance reviews as more than merely a formality do experience a 14.9% lower turnover rate because they conduct them more often than just once a year.

 

  • You can empower management.

 

One of the problems with employee performance reviews is simply that managers don’t like to give criticism because they don’t know how to give it. As an employer, you can solve this. You can empower your management team by providing the supervisory training necessary to conduct more effective performance reviews. Nearly half – 46% – want training in how to properly and successfully conduct performance reviews. When your managers know how to give praise and criticism, they are empowered to conduct better appraisals.

 

  • Employers can ensure consistency.

 

Often, performance reviews are criticized for a lack of consistency from employee to employee. However, as with any other process, employers can set standards. Establish goals and expectations before the performance appraisal so employees know what their supervisors look for when evaluating their work. Paul Falcone (@PaulFalconeHR), a Senior Human Resources Executive at Grifols BioScience, said:

“So don’t think of the process of goal-setting as an afterthought once the backward-looking annual performance review is given: see it as a new way for your staffers to reinvent themselves in light of the new challenges that may be coming your company’s way.”

 

  • Employees want performance reviews.

 

Not only do your employees need regular performance reviews to know their progress on goals, they want performance reviews. More importantly, they want the constructive, or corrective, feedback from their supervisors. In fact, 57% of employees want the corrective feedback. It’s a learning and growth opportunity for employees, so give them the tools they need for development and provide some areas for improvement.

Just like broccoli at dinner when you were a child, you may not like it, but the performance appraisal is a necessary practice. Despite the growing disdain towards performance reviews, organizations still need to use the performance management method in order to track employee growth and maintain goal adherence. Employees want to improve their performance, and a thorough appraisal is the perfect way to do that. Even though each performance appraisal will be slightly different because your employees are different, you can ensure consistency by establishing goals and expectations before the review process. Regardless of the growing negativity surrounding performance reviews, if conducted in accordance with the emotional intelligence of your team, they will improve performance.

3 Methods To Strengthen Your Next Generation Of Leaders

The value of one’s life can be measured by how much of that life is given away. Nearing the end of life, we celebrate one’s selfless acts. Title, status, and accolades do not matter. Selfless actions expand our lives outside of just us. If leadership is all about you, at the end of your life everything you taught dies with you. However, when you make leadership about others, your teachings will live through many generations.

Looking in fear on a new generation of leaders is not an uncommon occurrence for more experienced leaders. Comparing themselves to these emerging leaders, seasoned leaders tend to worry that the new generation has more education and better skills than they had at the same age. When the “newbies” come face-to-face with the experienced leaders, it can be intense as they start asking questions that you know you should be asking.

The Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast that aired on August 1, 2014 discusses being a “beyond you leader.” This is a leader who thinks outside of him/herself and outside of their own generation. Empowering those to follow in their footsteps is the selfless avenue they take.

Not threatened by these new leaders, beyond you leaders see newbies as opportunities; opportunities to use their influence for the goal of bettering the organization and all the leaders that surround them. Truth be told, everyone knows that the accomplishments of a true leader are shown in the number of leaders they raise.

We all get prideful at times. We all fear competition at one time or another. We all have schedules that keep us busy. Investing time will not happen if it’s not intentional. Stanley provides 3 real solutions to becoming a beyond you leader while, simultaneously, strengthening the next-in-line generation of leaders.

First, he recommends that you make as few decisions as possible. Engage with next generation leaders by providing support in the form of a “you decide” mentality. Let them take the reins and step back a bit. As leaders begin to climb the organizational ladder, they’ll be held accountable for more things; things about which they may not know anything. For this reason, it’s important that seasoned leaders step aside allowing the next generation to lead. It’s a great time for newbies to learn their limitations and exercise delegating responsibility. As they are eager to learn via on-the-job training, Millennials will respond well to this idea. They want to make an impact, sharing ideas and contributing to the team. Turn them loose!

Stanley, then, suggests that you work for your team. Quit worrying about how they can serve you and focus your energy on serving them. They need to see you in action. Don’t be afraid to ask them how you can help, and then follow through by doing what they ask. The influence you provide will be invaluable.

Lastly, Mr. Stanley recommends that you empty your cup. Your cup should never be full. It’s your job to pour into the next generation of leaders, and you’ll be surprised by how much you know once you start talking. Your knowledge and expertise will spill out of you quite easily, and this next generation of leaders will reap major benefits. You won’t be able to control what they do with the information you give them, but you’ll still be doing what you should be doing.

A word of caution about beyond you leaders. Don’t wait to become one! If you don’t start right now, you probably won’t start at all. Procrastination kills. If you don’t become a beyond you leader, you’ll begin to think that you achieved your success based upon information not helping. Hoarding stalls influence while sharing multiplies influence.

John C. Maxwell says it well: True success comes only when every generation continues to develop the next generation.”

Exemplify what it means to be a beyond you leader and for generations to come, beyond leaders will emerge.

How will you be intentionally selfless in developing the next generation of leaders?

Live from #SHRM15: The Brilliant HR Profession of Today and Tomorrow

SHRMWe’re very excited to announced that the TalentCulture #TChat Show will be live from the 2015 SHRM Annual Conference & Exposition in Las Vegas, NV on Wednesday, July 1, 2015, from 1-2pm ET (10-11am PT). We’re going to talk about the brilliant HR profession of today and tomorrow.

Get this: The enterprise executive whose traits are most similar to those of the CEO is the CHRO.

Did you get that? The CHRO (42 percent of which are high-performing females), not the CFO, CMO, or CIO. This all according to “counterintuitive” and groundbreaking research based on data from executive recruiting firm Korn Ferry and the work of Dave Ulrich, a University of Michigan professor and a leading consultant on organization and talent issues.

This research also clearly revealed that a CEO’s people skills, strategy, flexibility, energy and empathy (and many other business-centric attributes) closely align to the CHRO.

The HR profession has never looked brighter and HR leaders are now powerful change agents, amplifying talent engagement and driving business outcomes. And according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), HR professionals are feeling more confident about the job security and growth opportunities than ever.

Sneak peaks:

We hope you’ll join the #TChat conversation on July 1, 2015, and share your questions, opinions and ideas with our guests and the TalentCulture Community.

Thank you to all our TalentCulture sponsors and partners: Dice, Jibe, TalentWise, Hootsuite, IBM, CareerBuilder, PeopleFluent, SmartSearch, Predictive Analytics World for Workforce and HRmarketer Insight. Plus, we’re big CandE supporters!

Sneak Peek:

#TChat Events: The Brilliant HR Profession of Today and Tomorrow

TChatRadio_logo_020813#TChat Radio — Wed, July 1 — 1 pm ET / 10 am PT

Join TalentCulture #TChat Show co-founders and co-hosts Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman as we talk about the brilliant HR profession of today and tomorrow at #SHRM15 with this week’s guests: Chanel Jackson, HR Business Partner, Honda of America Mfg., Inc.; Callie Zipple, PHR, HR Rewards Analyst, Zebra Technologies; and Steve Browne, SHRM-SCP, SPHR, Executive Director of HR, LaRosa’s, Inc.

 

Tune in LIVE online Wednesday, July 1

#TChat Twitter Chat — Wed, July 1 — 1:30 pm ET /10:30 am PT Immediately following the radio show, Meghan, Kevin, Chanel, Callie and Steve will move to the #TChat Twitter stream, where we’ll continue the discussion with the entire TalentCulture community. Everyone with a Twitter account is invited to participate, as we gather for a dynamic live chat, focused on these related questions:

Q1: How confident are HR pros about their job security and growth? #TChat (Tweet this Question)

Q2: What top skills do HR pros need to have a successful career? #TChat (Tweet this Question)

Q3: How can HR help with tech adoption and create a better employee experience? #TChat (Tweet this Question)

Until then, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed, our TalentCulture World of Work Community LinkedIn group, and in our TalentCulture G+ community. So feel free to drop by anytime and share your questions, ideas and opinions. See you there!!!

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