Photo: Rodion Kutsaev

#WorkTrends: Remote Working: Craving Knowledge and Skills

Is working remotely actually working? At this point, it has to. And the good news is we want it to.

Remote working was already on the rise before mandatory work from home orders. From leaders to managers to employees, we were already anticipating — and in many cases, making — the shift. So Meghan M. Biro invited SkillSoft’s CMO, Michelle Boockoff-Bajdek, to #WorkTrends to discuss the nature of remote work right now. The upshot: it’s working. But there’s plenty we can do better. 

Companies need to further support remote working by providing more opportunities and channels for learning, and managers need to empower their employees to have a “growth mindset,” as Michelle said. This conversation should be both “easy to access and rich in delivery,” she added. By doing this, organizations are not only maintaining engagement and culture, they’re also giving their workforce the learning and the means to stay relevant. 

Michelle (who’s known as Michelle B.B.), said Skillsoft has opened up access to Percipio, their immersive online learning platform: 90 days for university students; 60 days for everyone else). And many are taking advantage of the access, including managers, whose hunger for remote strategies is evidenced by the record number of searches on the platform for “collaboration” and “management.” 

While employees are doing their part by finding solutions to improve as remote individuals and teams, managers must also do their part by guiding them through this transition as humanly and empathetically as possible, both Meghan and Michelle concurred. As home life, school, and workplace collide (and combine), being mindful of employees’ emotional well-being is just as key right now. That may mean informal check-ins to increase the connection. And finding out what employees want and need.   

When Meghan asked for Michelle’s perspective on what comes next, Michelle noted that shifting to remote work has taught us that “physical proximity isn’t the only way to connect.” In fact, she noted, we’re becoming more socially connected — both online and offline, and that will likely continue. The challenge and adventure of remote working during this global crisis is a reality shared by so many, she added, and it’s bringing us together. And when we have access to digital learning it’s far easier for us to do our jobs, no matter where we are. 

Listen to the full conversation and see our questions for the upcoming #WorkTrends Twitter Chat. And don’t forget to subscribe, so you don’t miss an episode. 

Twitter Chat Questions                                                                                                           

Q1: Why are many organizations struggling with remote work?  #WorkTrends
Q2: How can learning platforms help improve the transition to remote work? 
Q3: What can leaders do to help create better remote workplaces? #WorkTrends

Find Michelle Boockoff-Bajdek on Linkedin and Twitter

This recap is sponsored by Skillsoft.

Demand for Great Leadership Exceeds Supply: #TChat Recap

I’m not going to throw you any softballs. We did enough of that in last night’s #TChat.

Instead, I’m going to throw the next pitch really fast – the money ball – straight down the middle. C’mon, let’s see you swing. I want to see you knock it out of the park.

Because for the most part, we’re not knocking it out. My hope has always been that future leadership leads us out of our corrupt economic quagmire and into new world of ethical capitalism.

I’m also still hopeful about my fellow brothers and sisters today, even when time and again our mindful presence fails us. Like in today’s business and politics.

What about personal leadership today? What about us?

Polarized incivility and corruption are celebrated by the fringe and given the mainstream spotlight – for business, politics and pleasure.

But the radical center in many of us worldwide is rising up. We’re demanding better leadership; we’re learning to lead ourselves out of this quagmire.

No business school or political party or leadership program or religious movement has done that to date.

This, from a recent The Economist article, The new middle classes rise up:

This focus on corruption suggests that, at the moment, middle-class activism is a protest movement rather than a political force in the broader sense. It is an attempt to reform the government, not replace it. But that could change. In most middle-income countries, corruption is more than just a matter of criminality; it is also the product of an old way of doing politics, one that is unaccountable, untransparent and undemocratic.

Great leaders don’t give in to destructive impulses. They may dabble in the dark arts, but we forgive when it’s for the greater good. We are human. We are fallible.

We are leaders, each unto ourselves

But we have to be personally responsible, to own our every decision and its ensuing consequence. All leadership sparks start with self, the true fiery heart of inspired innovation.

Fanning the flames won’t mean that everyone catches fire, and I don’t disparage tough business leadership and those who succeed while others struggle to feed their families with no job prospects in sight.

I do empathize, though. Empathy is a leadership quality still too often bullied and laughed at. But it’s experience by failure and emotional intelligence that fights back with the insidious subtlety of a dry-witted comic.

Who’s laughing with you, not at you.

Today, the demand for great leadership exceeds the supply. The good news? Most of us are willing to transform the economic status quo.

Read Matt Charney’s precap here and here were the questions from last night:

  • Q1: What role do leaders play in driving innovation? Collaboration?
  • Q2: What makes someone a “leader?” Is this a matter of role/responsibility or perception?
  • Q3: Which matters most for leaders: education, experience or emotional intelligence?
  • Q4: What can organizations do better to hire and develop future leaders?
  • Q5: What role does social media and technology play in determining leadership efficacy?
  • Q6: How is leadership evolving, if at all? What does the future of leadership look like in 5 years? 10?

The #TChat Twitter chat and #TChat Radio are created and hosted by @MeghanMBiro @KevinWGrossman and powered by our friends and partners @TalentCulture @Monster_WORKS @MonsterCareers @HRmarketer and of course @Focus.